Daniel Godsil (PhD, composition, ‘21) has joined
the full-time faculty at Columbia College, which is located in
California’s Sierra Mountains. He will be both developing
and teaching music theory and musicianship, along with teaching
piano, guitar, chorus, orchestra, and other ensembles.
Alum Alex Van Gils (PhD, composition ‘17)
has joined the staff of Cycling ‘74, which produces the
industry’s leading electronic music software—including Max/MSP.
In his new role he will be a part of the materials team, teaching
users—particularly at universities and other similar
Cortez (B.A., music, ‘12) has been named Interim
President and CEO of El
Sistema USA. El Sistema started in Venezuela as a hope
for all young people to have access to music education. Its
leader and the community El Sistema created was so bold and
captivating it inspired musicians, artists, and activists around
the world to create programs committed to exploring the
intersection of music and justice.
“I’m so thankful to the board of directors, who have trusted me
to support the organization through this transition,” said
On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at 6:00 pm (Pacific Time) the
ensemble Earplay will give its virtual summer
gala, Gratitude, Gathering, and Music. They
will present new compositions by UC Davis graduate student
Catalan, Andrew Conklin, Richard Festinger,
and Hyo-Shin Na. This program will be hosted by Andrew
Conklin with introductions by the composers and commentary
from fans and colleagues of Earplay.
UC Davis Professor of Music Kurt Rohde will
have his It Wasn’t a Dream performed by the
Brooklyn Art Song Society as part of their final concert series,
“New Voices,” on June 12, 2021, at 7:30 pm. It Wasn’t a
Dream was recorded by the Brooklyn Art Song Society and
released by Albany Records in 2020.
Graduate student composer Sarah Wald will
have her 2017 Percussion
Trio performed at 5:00 pm Pacific on April 12 via
YouTube. The trio will be performed by Northern Illinois
University’s Percussion Ensemble, which is directed by Greg
Beyer. Greg is also the leader of Arcomusical and gave
several first performances of UC Davis graduate student works
earlier this year with Arcomusical.
UC Davis graduate student Josiah Tayaq
Catalan will have his new composition,
unravel, composed for solo piano, premiered on
the SFCMP program available April 10 through May 10,
2021. The concert is part of the Contemporary Music
Players CROSSROADS series and is accessed
on-demand webcast for $8–12 beginning April 10 at
8 pm Pacific time.
Undergraduate music major Tiara Abraham performed “Quia Respexit”
from J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, and earned the
Grand Prize from the Enkor International Music
Competition. She received a score of 96.25 percent,
which is the highest received by a contestant during its six
years and won the Grand Prize among ages 10–25 in the vocal
category. Enkor is a unique music competition with a jury
board consisting of more than 500 members throughout the
Delayed from fall of 2020, this year’s festival features eight
women, including co-director Jane Lenoir, in celebration of 100
years since ratification of women’s right to vote in the
United States. Concerts will be livestreamed via
the Berkeley Choro Ensemble’s YouTube
channel. Pioneering women composers of Brazil, notably
including Chiquinha Gonzaga and Carolina Cardoso de
Menezes, will be featured in this year’s festival.
Kurt Rohde, UC Davis professor of music,
will for the second year running be the composer-in-residence at
the summer festival produced by New York’s Weekend of Chamber Music in
the Catskill Mountains. The festival is titled “Into the
Light,” and will feature chamber music of Ludwig van Beethoven,
Elliott Carter, Füsun Köksal, Huijuan Ling, Kurt Rohde, Franz
Schubert, Andrew Waggoner, and Shelley Washington.
Alumna Emma Gavenda
(B.A., music, ‘10) recently appeared in New Zealand Opera’s world premiere of
‘Avei’a – Star Navigator. It was performed in concert by
the Manukau Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Choral and the Graduate
Choir New Zealand. Gavenda was a chorister in presentation,
which featured Amitai Pati, one of the 2016 Rising Stars of Opera
at UC Davis Robert and Magrit Mondavi Center for the Performing
UC Davis professor of music Laurie San
Martin’s duo Zeppelin, for flute and cello, will be
via livestream on Monday, April
5, 2021, at 5:30 pm Pacific Time,
from the Hamel Music Center at the Mead Witter School of Music,
University of Wisconsin. The program also includes works by David
Lang, Lou Harrison, and Astor Piazzolla.
When many people think of African music, the first ideas that
come to mind are often of rhythm, drums, and dancing. These
perceptions are rooted in emblematic African and
African-derived genres such as West African drumming, funk,
salsa, or samba and, more importantly, essentialized notions
about Africa which have been fueled over centuries of contact
between the “West,” Africa, and the African diaspora. These
notions, of course, tend to reduce and often portray Africa and
the diaspora as primitive, exotic, and monolithic.
Professor Kurt Rohde’s composition
One Wing is featured on a new
recording by the Left Coast Chamber
Ensemble. Rohde’s work is inspired by Olivier Messiaen’s
chamber work Quartet for the End of Time which is also
on the recording.
An “Aggie for life,” alumnus Bill Hollingshead (B.A.,
political science, ’60) died in early February. He and his wife
Dianne were longtime patrons of the Department of Music. Bill’s
patronage to UC Davis is showcased in article on the College of
Letters and Science website.
Graduate student composer Trey Makler was recently
interviewed by CapRadio’s classical music director Kevin
Doherty in regards to his composition Spaceman/Watchman.
Featuring text by creative writing graduate students Jordan
Dahlen and Sawyer Elms, the work was included in the recent
concert New Words and New Music with Voice.