May 18, 2023
A group picture of Music Program graduates with the Du Bois library and Campus Pond in the background.
Music Program graduates after Convocation

The UMass Amherst Department of Music & Dance held its annual Convocation Ceremonies on May 16 (Music) and May 17 (Dance) to honor its graduates and scholarship award winners.

The Music Convocation event is designed as an informal end-of-year celebration, with time for socializing (and pizza!) afterward. The winning students are listed below, and the event program with a full listing of graduates can be viewed here.

Rachel Hertz and Juan Tovar playing clarinets with Nikki Stoia playing the piano in the background.
Rachel Hertz & Juan Tovar,
clarinet, with Nikki Stoia, piano

Hosted by department chair Matthew Westgate, the music event opened with a fanfare by Paul Dukas performed by UMass music major brass players, including Esther Jo, Marcus Gonzalez, and Cris Fagundes, trumpets; Lu Tovar, Declan Mulkerin, Brianna Maunus, and Aiden Langley, horns; Bronwyn Tyler-Wall, Benjamin Hogan, and Justin Leach, trombones and Konner Hafner, tuba.

The program also included the traditional performances by the winners of our top two awards from last year - clarinetists Rachel Hertz (Presser Scholar) and Juan Tovar (Lebow Scholar), who played a duet by Michele Mangani, accompanied by Nikki Stoia.

Dr. Westgate standing with Qeanu Smith.
Dr. Westgate with Qeanu Smith

After opening remarks from Matt Westgate, this year’s music scholarship winners were revealed (see full list below). The winner of this year’s Theodore Presser Award, which is presented to an outstanding music major in recognition of excellence, is sophomore Qeanu Smith. She is double-majoring in Music Education and Music Performance (saxophone), and is an avid participant in a variety of chamber ensembles at UMass and beyond.

Westgate standing with Zoë Cohen and Danny Trainor.
Westgate with Zoë Cohen
& Danny Trainor

The winners of the Howard Lebow Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to students who have distinguished themselves as performing musicians, are Zoë Cohen and Daniel Trainor. Zoë is a senior Music Education major and member of the Trumpet Studio; Eric Berlin describes her as “a great leader and brilliant scholar” as well as a talented trumpeter, vocalist, and conductor. Daniel, a sophomore who is double-majoring in jazz performance and computer science, is a multi-instrumentalist (saxophone, flute, bassoon and viola) who is “passionate, dedicated, hard-working, and curious,” according to his saxophone instructor, Felipe Salles.

The Dance Program's Senior Convocation Ceremony took place the following evening and featured guest speaker and former UMass dance faculty Paul Dennis; Dance Program director Tom Vacanti hosted the event. The honored dance graduates were Isabella Berenstein, Brette Cronin, Cole Ellsworth, Sophie Leveille, Jillian Murray, Nicole Lombardi, Alison Parent, Kayla Reid, and Niamh Rollins.

Dance graduates at Dance Convocation standing in a line and holding flowers.
Dance graduates at Dance Convocation, 5-17-23

2023 Music Scholarship winners:

Theodore Presser Scholar Award: Qeanu Smith

Howard Lebow Memorial Scholarship: Zoë Cohen & Daniel Trainor

Fletcher Henderson Memorial / Max Roach Scholarship: Dylan Walter

Russell E. & Janet R. Falvey Scholarship: Maya Powe

Ornest Undergraduate Award: Sean Campbell & Timothy Goliger

Philip Bezanson Graduate Voice Award: Zachary Fisher & Sara Holmes

Eugenie M. May Piano Award: Enoch Hsiao

Nadine Shank Memorial Piano Award: Joshua Burniece & Eoin Clark

Julian Olevsky Memorial Award in Violin: Luca Costa Kevorkian

Laura Klock Award in Horn: Brianna Maunus

Lynn Klock Award in Saxophone: Brian Carr

Susan Cunningham Campbell Outstanding Freshman Award: Nick LaCava

Susan Cunningham Campbell Outstanding Sophomore Award: Marielle Chrupcala

Friends of Music Senior Award: Timothy Goliger

David W. Briggs Scholarship in Memory of Jean S. Briggs: Héloïse Goncalves & Marielle Chrupcala

A group picture of Music Scholarship Award winners with Dr. Westgate.
Music Scholarship Award winners with Dr. Westgate at left

Our music and dance students receive scholarships through the generosity of our donors. Please consider a gift to the fund of your choice by visiting this Giving link