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Student Interview Videos

See menu above for
Admissions/Audition info.
Contact: Music Admissions, 413-545-6048




Chamber Choir sings in newly-renovated Old Chapel (link to video)

Jazz Students & Ensembles Take Six Downbeat Magazine Awards

Jazz Ensemble I, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Mike Caudill, Dann Friedman & Christian Tremblay

Link: Press release & pictures (pdf)

Mike CaudillMike Caudill

Fanfare Magazine

Faculty Achievements (below)
Gilles Vonsattel with Munich Philharmonic
Erinn Knyt's new book & grant
Chamber Choir at State House
Give Now - Music Donate now! Click here to learn how to support our Music and Dance Department.


Philip Bezanson Graduate Scholarship in Voice: Kirk Bobkowski, Amanda Lauricella & Uriah Rodriguez
Falvey Scholarship: Jillian Gummeson
Henderson/Roach Jazz Scholarship:
Eric Smith

Laura Klock Award in Horn: Liam Hanna
Lynn Klock Award in Saxophone:
Dan Phipps

Eugenie M. May Award in Piano:
Kristen Flanagan

Julian Olevsky Scholarship in Violin: Jonathan Livioco
Geraldine Shank Collaborative Piano Award: Helen (Jiaqi) Gan
Friends of Music Senior Award: Dan Phipps
Theodore Presser Scholar Award:
Sarah Harney
Howard LeBow Scholarship: Jessica Toupin
Campbell Scholarship, Freshman:
Emily Thomas

Campbell Scholarship, Sophomore: Charlotte Ouellette
Ornest Award in Voice:
Emily DiGiusto, Jessica Toupin, Lauren Fay, Matthew Garrity, Caroline Lee, Anthony Ferreira, Julia Urbank, Rachel Forbes, Colleen Burns, Lydia Barrett, Jessica Huetteman, Amanda Urquhart, Melissa Tompkins

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On March 15 and 17, 2017, piano faculty member
Gilles Vonsattel
made his Munich Philharmonic debut as the featured soloist on Leonard Bernstein's "Age of Anxiety," a work that reflects the tensions of the early Cold War-era. The appearance, under conductor Kent Nagano, is a major accomplishment, as the Munich Philharmonic belongs to the uppermost echelon of orchestral ensembles in the world. "As the post-WWII order threatens to unravel before our eyes in 2017, Bernstein's work takes on a particularly acute relevance," commented Vonsattel.

Gilles Vonsattel

Erinn Knyt recently received an AMS 75 PAYS Endowment book subvention grant from the American Musicological Society, which is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This grant supports the publication of her book, Ferruccio Busoni and his Legacy, which is scheduled to appear with Indiana University Press in July 2017. She also had an article, entitled "'A History of Man and His Desire': Ferruccio Busoni and Faust," accepted for publication in the prestigious journal, Nineteenth-Century Music.

Erinn KnytErinn Knyt

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Chamber Choir at State House

On January 24, the UMass Chamber Choir, led by Director of Choral Studies Tony Thornton, performed at Governor Charlie Baker's State of the State Address. UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy (at left, with Tony Thornton) and UMass President Martin Meehan (front row, far right) were on hand to congratulate the performers, and the Chancellor lauded the group for their "extraordinary talents" via Twitter. The Choir was subsequently invited to perform at President Meehan's State of the University Address on March 6.

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) announced that Thom Hannum, University of Massachusetts Associate Director of the Minutemen Marching Band and Director of the Marimba Band and Marimba Ensemble program, is the recipient of the 2016 George N. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education. Thom will receive the award during the Opening Ceremony at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis on Saturday, November 12, 2016.

"The George N. Parks Award honors an exemplary music educator who embodies the characteristics and leadership that Mr. Parks showed his students every day," said Michael J. Blakeslee, executive director and CEO of NAfME. "The recipient must have a collaborative spirit, dedication to knowing the students as people, perseverance and enthusiasm, and an ability to instill qualities in students beyond the musical. We are greatly pleased to present Thom Hannum with this year’s honor."  Link to full NAfME article

Thom HannumThom Hannum

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Professor Emiliano Ricciardi has been awarded a $260,000 Scholarly Editions Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for his Tasso in Music Project: (p. 20)

The project, of which Ricciardi is director and general editor, is a digital critical edition of c. 650 musical settings of the poetry of Torquato Tasso (1544-1595), the most prominent poet of late 16th century Italy. The majority of these musical settings, which represent the work of over 100 composers, are currently unavailable in modern edition and will be brought to the attention of scholars and performers for the first time. In so doing, the project will also illuminate the significance of Tasso's poetry for the musical culture of the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods.

Collaborators include Stanford University's Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities, and a team of editors from leading research universities in North America and Europe.

Emiliano Ricciardi
Tasso Project Homepage

Professor Matthew Westgate, Director of Wind Studies, is coordinating a series of recording sessions on our campus.  Faculty, students, and guest artists are recording three "lost" chamber works by Frank Martin: "Totentanz anz zu Basel im Jahre 1943," "Concerto for Winds and Piano," and "Rhone und Rhine."  This is the culminating project of Westgate's Research-Intensive Semester.

Arts Laureate from Washington, D.C. is recording the CD, and it will be distributed by MSR Classics in 2017.  This is a big opportunity for the students involved, sitting next to and playing alongside their teachers and other professional players.

Matthew WestgateProf. Matthew Westgate

Lisa Lehmberg's book Music For Life was recently published by Oxford University Press.  With co-author C. Victor Fung, she focused on music participation and senior citizens' quality of life.  The book concludes with a challenge for music educators: act on the latest research to enable people of all ages to benefit from music, a substantial contributor to quality of life.  More information/purchase at the Oxford website.

Prof. Lisa Lehmberg

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Chamber Choir, under guest conductor E. Wayne Abercrombie, performs the UMass alma mater, When Twilight Shadows Fall, in the newly renovated Old Chapel, Dec. 2016



Dance Department