To stay connected with the department, we invite you to join our
alumni registry. To register, please send us an email message that
includes your full name (and maiden name, if relevant), year of
graduation, area of emphasis, and current professional
information. You may also wish to register with the UC
Davis Cal Aggie Alumni Association.
Among our graduate degree recipients before 2004 are the
composers Eric Sawyer, Martha Horst, and Anne Guzzo; and
musicologists Donna M. DiGrazia, Carol Hess, Don Meyer, John
Palmer, Matthew Daines, Suzanne Jubenville, Mark Brill, and Paul
Jeremiah Trujillo is an active soloist, collaborative pianist,
and historical musicologist. He is the recipient of numerous
awards, including a special prize for the interpretation of a
nineteenth-century Romantic work at the 2013 San Francisco
Young Pianists Competition. He is a recipient of the 2018
Faculty Recognition Award for Excellence in Musical Performance
at UC Davis, and the 2014 Eisner Prize for Music, awarded at
UC Berkeley. Jeremiah was also a finalist in the 2013 Carmel
Music Society piano competition, held at Sunset Center in Carmel,
B.M. Performance (flute), UC Santa BarbaraM.A. Musicology, Pennsylvania State University
Claire Thompson is a doctoral candidate in musicology at UC
Davis. She has a B.M. in performance (flute) from UC Santa
Barbara, and a master’s degree in musicology from Pennsylvania
State University. Her research interests include music aesthetics
and the cultural and political aspects of opera and operetta. Her
dissertation explores the creation, dissemination, and reception
of nineteenth-century Italian operas based on the works of Sir
Walter Scott. She is a recipient of the Hubert H. and Barbara P.
In summer 2017, Jonathan Spatola-Knoll took up residence at the
Salzburg Festival as an awardee of the Vienna Philharmonic’s
Ansbacher Fellowship for Young Conductors. He holds a master’s
degree in conducting from UC Davis, where he has acted as the
assistant conductor for both the symphony orchestra and chorus,
and will soon complete his doctorate. He has also served on the
faculty at Whitman College as director of orchestras.
Hendel Almétus received a Ph.D. in composition from UC Davis in
2012. He was born in Haiti where he began his musical training at
the age of 12. He earned a bachelor’s in music composition from
the Houston Baptist University and a master’s in composition
from the Eastman School of Music.
Gabriel José Bolaños (b. 1984 Bogotá, Colombia)
is a Nicaraguan-American composer of solo, chamber, orchestral
and electronic music. He holds a PhD in composition from UC Davis
and a BA from Columbia University. His principal composition
teachers include Mika Pelo, Pablo Ortiz, Laurie San Martin,
Fabien Lévy, and Sebastian Currier, and he studied orchestration
with Tristan Murail. He likes to write music that explores
unusual timbres and structures, and is interested in
computer-assisted-composition, auditory perception, and
Composer and Chinese flutist Yu-Hsin Chang is currently a Ph.D.
candidate in music composition and theory at UC Davis.
She received her previous degrees (MFA, BFA) from Taiwan.
Her works include solo, chamber, and orchestral pieces for
both Western and Chinese music instruments, and have been
performed by soprano Tony Arnold, the Empyrean Ensemble, the
Daedalus Quartet, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Chai Found
Music Workshop, and the Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra.
An alumnus of the Juilliard School, William David Cooper has
enjoyed a diverse career as composer, conductor, and
keyboardist.His music has been championed by Augustin Hadelich,
the Juilliard Orchestra, Trio 180, the JACK Quartet, and the
Lysander Trio, and has been performed at the Radio France
Festival and the Wellesley Composers Conference. He has
recently been commissioned by Soli Deo Gloria, and is currently
writing Hagar and Ishmael, a two-act opera, that will
premiere with members of the Indianapolis Symphony
Orchestra. In addition to positions on faculty at Purdue
David Dennen is assistant professor of Applied English at Chihlee
University of Technology in Taipei, Taiwan. He received his Ph.D.
in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Davis. He
received his bachelor’s from the Evergreen State College in
Olympia, WA, where he concentrated on ethnomusicology, cultural
studies, and performance.
Anthony (Tony) Dumas is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the
State University of New York, The College at Brockport where he
teaches courses in both the Department of Theatre and Music
Studies and the Delta College Program. Previously, Dr. Dumas has
taught at UC Davis, Woodland Community College, St. Lawrence
University, and SUNY Potsdam.
MusicologyPh.D. Musicology, University of California, Davis
Carol A. Hess has published books and articles on the music of
Spain and the Americas. Her work has been funded by the National
Endowment for the Humanities, the Spanish Ministry of Culture,
and the New York Public Library, among other entities. She
received the Society for American Music’s Irving Lowens Article
Award, and her book Manuel de Falla and Modernism in Spain,
1898–1936 (University of Chicago Press, 2001) won the
ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award and the American Musicological Society’s
Robert M. Stevenson Prize for Outstanding Scholarship in Iberian
Music, in addition to other prizes.
Sarah Lappas received her Ph.D. in 2013 in Ethnomusicology with
research interests in African American and African popular music,
music and violence, multispatial criminalization, indexicality,
and musico-racial signification.
Sarah Messbauer has been a graduate student at UC Davis since the
fall of 2011. She graduated from Muhlenberg College in the
spring of 2011, receiving a Bachelor’s degree with honors in
anthropology and music. While at Muhlenberg, she received
the Louise M. Cafouros Award for distinguished scholarship in the
field of anthropology, as well as the Class of 1969 Award for
Promising Work in the Field of Music.
David Möschler is an award-winning San Francisco Bay Area-based
musical director and conductor. He has music-directed over one
hundred musical theater, opera, and theater productions, and
conducted over eightypieces for orchestra, including over two
dozen first performances.
Garrett Rigsby is a conductor based in Kansas City, Missouri. He
is currently the Assistant Conductor of the Conservatory
Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra at the University of
Missouri–Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. He has
conducted fully staged productions with the UMKC Opera Theatre.
He recently was the Barbara K. Jackson Fellow in Conducting at
the University of California, Davis where he served as the
Assistant Conductor of the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and UC
Davis University Chorus and Alumni Chorus.
The music of Garrett Ian Shatzer (b. 1980) has been performed by
such musicians as the Mobius Trio, Erato and Finisterra
Piano Trios, GRAMMY-award winning countertenor Ian Howell,
EOS Duo, Lyris Quartet, Meridian Arts, Empyrean, Luna Nova
and Citywater Ensembles, violinist Rolf Schulte, cellist
David Russell, and pianist Geoffrey Burleson in such venues
as the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.) and the Teatro
Colón (Buenos Aires). His current commissions include a
choral work to be premiered in St.
Alexander Stalarow received his Ph.D. in Musicology in 2017. His
dissertation, Listening to a Liberated Paris: Pierre
Schaeffer Experiments with Radio, was funded by awards
including a Chateaubriand Fellowship from the French
government, a Bilinski Dissertation Fellowship, and an Alvin
H. Johnson AMS 50 Fellowship. Alex currently lectures at the San
Francisco Conservatory of Music and University of the
Alex Van Gils (b. 1987) is a composer and bassist whose music is
influenced by his love of classical music and jazz, and
especially by his practice and study of Tibetan Buddhism under
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
David Verbuč (from Slovenia) received his master’s degree in
ethnomusicology at UC Davis (with distinction), and his
bachelor’s degree in music education from the Academy of Music,
University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (under the supervision of
Svanibor Pettan, professor of ethnomusicology).
Ching-Yi Wang began her music training in piano at the age of
five, and started taking composition lessons at the age of twelve
and received bachelor and master of fine arts degrees in theory
and composition from Taipei National University of the Arts in
Taiwan (TNUA). One of her music compositions, Yu Lin
Ling, was awarded the Tune in Taiwan, 2002. Wang has taught
at Tainan National University of the Arts.
Her music can be found on the Taiwan Composer League’s Taiwan
Contemporary Composers I: Chamber Music CD, released in
Chia Wei Lin is greatly interested in the historiography of music
and the history of performers.
Born and raised as a pianist in Taiwan, Lin received her master’s
degree from Taipei National University of the Arts and her
bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan Normal University. She
began playing piano at age three and her formal music education
commenced at age eight. As a pupil of Professor En Wang, a
renowned pianist and an enthusiastic promoter of new Taiwanese
music, Lin has performed works by contemporary Taiwanese
composers, including the esteemed composer Mao-Shuen Chen. She
has been performing since the age of twelve, with several
premieres to her credit. Recently, she performed and recorded the
incidental music for the theater work Elephant’s
Graveyard, composed by contemporary American composers
Laurie San Martin and Garrett Shatzer in the Mondavi Center at UC
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.
Since graduating, Antipa completed his MS in Optics at
University of Rochester, then began working as an optical
engineering at NIF at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. While
working there, Antipa began playing with the UC Berkeley Symphony
Orchestra and studied with Adam Luftman. After a few years, he
moved to Boston where he continued to work with LLNL remotely.
While there, Antipa played with the New England Brass Band. He
was then accepted to UC Berkeley for a PhD in EE.
Since graduating from UC Davis, Courtney earned an M.M. degree
from Sacramento State in cello performance, an M.M. in Music and
Human Learning from the University of Texas at Austin, and K-12
teaching certification. She is currently a faculty member of the
University of Texas String Project, and teaches 2nd through 5th
grade orchestra at UT Elementary School. Courtney has received
Suzuki Cello Teacher Training from Carey Cheney and Tanya Carey,
and worked for two years as the Business Administrator for the
Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas.
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
Megan Shieh is an active freelance percussionist residing in the
SF Bay Area, devoted to the performance of Western Contemporary
Classical and Afro-Caribbean percussion. She graduated from UC
Davis in 2008 and received her M.M. in percussion performance in
2010. Over the past five years she has performed with the
San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, San Francisco Chamber
Orchestra, Empyrean Ensemble, Opera Parallèle, Silicon Valley
Symphony, Grupo Samba Rio, Maracatu Luta, and many other
ensembles. Megan started her own private teaching studio, Shieh
Percussion Studio, in 2011.