Emma Gavenda was a harpsichord performance major
at UC Davis. She moved to Auckland, New Zealand, in 2017 and
joined The Graduate Choir NZ, a high-quality community choir,
immediately upon arrival. Since 2019, Emma has been working as
part of the fundraising team for the Auckland Philharmonia
Orchestra as their Trusts and Foundations Manager. When she’s not
singing or writing grant applications, she is exploring
Aotearoa—New Zealand’s immense natural beauty, by hiking,
kayaking, and swimming throughout the country.
Susanna Peeples earned her bachelor’s
degree from the UC Davis Music Department in 2009 and went
on to earn her master of music degree (in music
education) from the University of the Pacific. She has been
teaching choirs, piano, and guitar at Granite Bay High School.
Shawyon Malek-Salehi graduated from UC
Davis in 2014 with a double major in music (violin performance)
and pharmaceutical chemistry. He began studying the violin at the
age of five and was concertmaster of the UC Davis Symphony
Orchestra (UCDSO) from 2010 to 2013 and during their
international tour to Spain in 2012. He won the UCDSO Concerto
Competition in 2009, 2012, and 2013. At UC Davis, Malek studied
with Dan Flanagan and also participated in masterclasses with
Fritz Gearhart, Ida Kavafian, Rachel Barton Pine, David Halen,
and Gil Shaham.
Richard Chowenhill is an award-winning composer and guitarist.
His music has been performed across North America by the Lydian
String Quartet, the Talujon Percussion Ensemble, the Beat City
Percussion Ensemble, the Wellesley Composers Conference
Orchestra, Music from China, members of the UC Davis Symphony
Orchestra, members of the UC Davis Early Music Ensemble, the
Davis Shakespeare Ensemble, and numerous other soloists and
ensembles. Originally from California, he has performed as a
guitar player in numerous California-based bands and chamber
After graduating, Front moved to Brooklyn, working for Boosey &
Hawkes as a part-time Database assistant and part-time at a small
non-profit called the Gruber Foundation. He eventually moved to
the Gruber Foundation full-time, then worked at a few different
non-profits, and in the past few years, has started specializing
in the Salesforce database.
After graduating from UC Davis, she completed a Master of Music
degree in flute performance at San Francisco State University and
has taken a number of professional auditions. She also
established a private teaching studio, which now includes about
twenty private students. Green frequently performs in chamber
music concerts around the Bay Area, and is now preparing to join
the San Jose Wind Symphony.
Jessica M. Gutierrez is an ethnomusicologist-in-training with
research interests in Mexico, Native American music, music in
video games, indigenous studies, music and identity, and
ethnography. She is fascinated by how native peoples in the
Americas not only maintain, but celebrate their traditions
through music and dance. In her current research, she is using
Diamond’s Alliance Studies Model (2007) as the primary
analytical framework to trace cultural and historical connections
to a famous Zapotec- Mexican song and dance.
Jonathan Pwu is now a band and orchestra director at his alma
mater, Saratoga High School in Saratoga, California. During
his time at Davis he assisted Pete Nowlen with the UC
Davis Concert Band and played clarinet.
“One of the best things about studying music at Davis was the
flexibility and support that the professors and staff gave
the students. They really consider your interests and
encourage student involvement beyond just playing in
Hari (“Indi”) Savitala graduated in 2003 from UC Davis with
a Bachelor of Arts in Music, focusing on percussion performance.
After hearing a lecture on acoustics and seeking advice from the
music faculty, he studied acoustics at Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute (RPI) and graduated in 2006 with a Master of Sciences
degree in Architectural Sciences with a concentration in
M.M., Percussion Performance – University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music (2010)B.A., Music Performance – UC Davis (2008)
Megan Shieh-Cruz is an active freelance
percussionist residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, devoted to
the performance of Western Contemporary Classical and
Afro-Caribbean percussion. She received her bachelor’s degree in
percussion performance from UC Davis, studying with Chris Froh, and her master of music
degree in percussion performance from the University of
Wisconsin-Madison School of Music in 2010 under the mentorship of
Anthony Di Sanza.