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Faculty Notes

Friday, January 25, 2013
By Music Department 

Kirsten Broberg's piece “Inward” for string quartet, which was a Fromm Music Foundation commission from Harvard University, was premiered by the Kronos Quartet string quartet at the Ensems Festival for contemporary music in Valencia, Spain on May 31. 

Angela Broeker conducted the St. Paul High School Honors Choir at the Ordway on April 24 in conjunction with the 21st Annual Honors Arts Celebration. Participating students came from Central, Como, Highland, Humboldt and Johnson high schools.

Aaron Brown and the UST Schola Cantorum collaborated with local organist Kraig Windschitle to present a concert of Bach organ works based on Gregorian chant.  The Dec. 9 concert was in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Gabriel Kney organ.

Paul Budde served as a clinician for the Middle School Band Festival at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells April 19-20. He also presented a clinic session at the Iowa Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference on Nov. 16.  His clinic session, "Articulating on Articulation: Research-Based Ideas for Teaching Young Wind Musicians," summarized research on the subject of articulation, as well as information derived from the study of phonetics and the impact of native language in an effort to share effective and inclusive ways to teach articulation to young wind musicians.

Vanessa Cornett-Murtada gave a workshop as an invited speaker at an International Wellness Symposium on June 28 in New York City. The three-day seminar on holistic teaching was sponsored by the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Associations (CFMTA), and featured three presenters offering programs on physical and psychological health for performing musicians. On July 19 she presented a paper, “Mental Wellness for Musicians: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Psychology and Performance Anxiety Management,” at the 2012 World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) in Thessaloniki, Greece.  The paper was offered as part of a special interest group, Musician’s Health and Wellbeing, sponsored by the ISME Forum for Instrumental and Vocal Teaching. She presented a two-day workshop on “Performance Psychology and Mental Skills Training” for the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association in Thunder Bay, Canada, Oct. 26-27. On Nov. 16, she presented a paper, “On Common Ground: Uniting the Youth of Israel and Palestine Through Music,” at the national conference of the College Music Society in San Diego. She has two recent publications, a paper, “Nurturing the Whole Musician: Mindfulness, Wellness, and the Mind-Body Connection,” in the September issue of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) eJournal, and an invited article, “Cognitive Restructuring for Performing Musicians,” in the September issue of The Canadian Music Teacher / Le Professeur de Musique Canadien. She has been elected to the new Musician Health in Education task force of the College Music Society.

On July 28 two of our faculty members presented papers at the 30th annual symposium of the Performing Arts Medical Association (PAMA), “Medical Problems of Performing Artists,” in Snowmass, Colo. Vanessa Cornett-Murtada presented “The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Performance Anxiety Management,” and Sarah Schmalenberger presented “Musician Survivors:  Breast Cancer's Effect on Their Livelihood.” An article-length essay of Schmalenberger’s presentation is forthcoming in PAMA's journal, Medical Problems of Performing Artists.  They also performed with the new music improvisation ensemble “The Improfs” on Nov. 18 at the Aria building in the Minneapolis Warehouse District.  The five-member ensemble performed as part of the project "Play the Building," an installment created by the avant-garde musical artist David Byrne (
Matthew George and Bruce Gleason conducted clinics with the Bennett High School band and choir of Martin, S.D., at St. Thomas on May 5.

In June, Matthew George spent a week in Cordoba, Argentina, serving as conductor in residence at the University of Villa Maria.  He led conducting master classes, repertoire seminars and conducted the university wind ensemble in rehearsals and concerts. He returned to the University of Villa Maria during the final week of September to serve as artist in residence. In that capacity, he served as guest conductor of the university wind ensemble and gave master classes in conducting. In July, he completed a guest-conducting residency with the professional orchestra of Ouro Preto, Brazil.  He also served as master conductor for a week of conducting workshops and a final concert as part of the Cultural Festival of Minas Gerais in Ouro Preto.  He also conducted the Ouro Preto Orchestra in an international music festival held in Juiz De Forra, near Rio de Janiero. He conducted a recording project in São Paulo, Brazil, with the professional Brazilian Wind Orchestra. During the first week of October, he was the guest of Jiaotong University in Xi’an, China, giving lectures on music’s place in higher education and standards of international music programs. He served as an adjudicator for the Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestras Concerto Competition Finals along with current and past members of the Minnesota Orchestra in St. Paul on Oct. 28. He also recently returned from a short trip to Brazil, where he conducted the Brazilian Wind Orchestra as part of the organization’s 20-year anniversary.  A conductor on the ensemble’s latest CD, he also participated in a CD release event.

Bruce Gleason participated in the second biennial Harmoniemusik Academy, St. Moritz, in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Aug. 13-18. Comprised of sessions in conducting and music history led by Isabelle Ruf-Weber and Urs Bamert, and headed by Bastiaan Blomhert, the weeklong academy focused on 18th- and 19th-century harmoniemusik repertoire and practice, and concluded in a public concert. Gleason, who received funding from a UST Faculty Development Research Grant toward his continuing band history research, shared the podium with conductors from the United States, Germany and the Netherlands in works by Beethoven, Mozart, Lachner and Gounod. He also addressed a music education doctoral seminar on the topic of online academic journals, and a historical research course at Arizona State University on Oct. 30 using Research and Issues in Music Education and his band history work as templates.

Ora Itkin gave a piano performance along with Rena Kraut, clarinetist for the Schubert Club Courtroom Concert Series, on Oct. 25 in St. Paul. The program included works by Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Schumann, Poulenc and Stravinsky.

David Jenkins attended the biennial national convention of the American Guild of Organists, July 1-6, in Nashville, and is beginning a three-year term on the board of the Twin Cities chapter of the AGO.
On Sept. 16 he performed his annual faculty recital in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, performing the complete Symphony No. 6 by Widor.

Shersten Johnson is contributing a chapter to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Music and Disability Studies. The newly emerged interdisciplinary field of Disability Studies offers a sociopolitical analysis of disability, focusing on its social construction, and shifting attention from biology (the proper study for science and medicine) to culture (the proper study for humanists). The goal of the Handbook is to produce a comprehensive "state of current research" for the field of Disability Studies and Music. The chapter explores ableist narratives of music analysis through the lens of Braille Music notation, and contributes to the specific field of Music Theory and Analysis by questioning traditional notation-based analyses in an effort to move toward a more “universal design” of music analysis. She also presented a paper, “Refiguring Disfigurement in Petitgirard’s Joseph Merrrick, The Elephant Man,” at the Society for Disability Studies conference in June 2012. The paper, engages the opera’s themes of visual and auditory difference as refigured in the Prague premiere and Minnesota Opera productions, considering how gender, vocal grain, and spectacle, and staging call into question understandings of disfigurement and disability. She alsopresented a paper, “Cruel Rhythms and Musical Blows,” at the International Conference on Music and the Body in Hong Kong in March 2012. This paper audits several operatic moments of physical cruelty to see how music multi-modally represents not only bodily impact itself, but also the emotional impact for victim, punisher, onstage onlookers, and audience. In her capacity as liaison from the Society for Music Theory’s Music and Disability Interest Group to the Networking Committee, Shersten Johnson, is working to improve the accessibility of the Society for Music Theory and Music Theory Online websites. In collaboration with accessibility expert, Phil Kragnes, she developed a list of recommendations to improve the accessibility of the society’s web presence for those with vision-related disabilities. Most of these changes have now been implemented at the SMT website. Dialogues continue with the MTO editorial staff to improve accessibility in the MTO archives as well.
UST music major Thomas Glass collaborated with faculty advisor, Shersten Johnson, on a URCS Collaborative Inquiry project, Occupy Mozart: Class Conflict in W.A. Mozart’s Operas.
Lydia Miller traveled to Honolulu in May to play violin with the Hawaii Symphony, performing works by Tan Dun, Gershwin, Rachmaninoff and Mussorgsky. In July she was at Indiana University working with legendary violin pedagogue Mimi Zweig and serving as associate concertmaster of the Festival Orchestra alongside several concertmasters, including Jorja Fleezanis, former concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra and currently professor of violin at Indiana; Timothy Lees, concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; and Noah Bendix-Balgley, concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Conductors included Matthias Pintscher, Roberto Abbado and Carlos Kalmar. She coached members of the string section of the All-State Orchestra at Concordia College and played at the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd in August. In September Miller and Chris Volpe (trumpet) performed in the Minnesota Opera's production of Nabucco.

Several UST adjunct faculty members taught in the Orff program at Southern Methodist University, June 18-29 – several of whom are UST alumni. Beth Nelson, ’09 M.A., taught all three levels of movement. Jacque Schrader taught Level II ensemble. Michael Chandler, ’09 M.A., taught Level I ensemble. Andrew Ellingsen, ’09 M.A., was a new faculty member this year, teaching one section of Level I movement. Paul Weller, a former UST Orff student, apprenticed in Level I with Paul Cribari, ’04 M.A.

Beth Nelson presented a workshop for the American Orff-Schulwerk Association in Pittsburgh on Oct. 20. UST also had a strong alumni/faculty representation among the presenters at the national conference, including Kris Olson, Meg Tietz, Sharon Mazion, Paul Weller, Jo Ella Hug and Sarah Richardson. Jacque Schrader presented a movement session based on the new Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education Movement Curriculum with Christa Coogan. Beth Nelson, Julie Scott and Paul Cribari presented a daylong Introduction to Orff Schulwerk workshop. Beth Nelson, as a member of the Steering Committee for the Guidelines Revision, presented the new AOSA Teacher Education Curriculum during two sessions at conference.

Douglas C. Orzolek has been granted a “Teacher Enhancement Grant” to examine and develop models for the assessment of critical thinking in music learning. He presented “Building a Support Network” to the music education majors at Minnesota State University – Mankato on Sept. 14 at the invitation of their professor and UST alum, Amy Roisum-Foley. On Sept. 20 he presented “The Roles of Assessment” at a professional development session sponsored by the UST Center of Faculty Development. He published an article, “The Call for Accountability,” in the Journal of Music Teacher Education; in addition, he published “Your Role in Teacher Evaluation” in the journals of 14 state music education associations. The article is a part of his role as national chair of the National Association for Music Education's (NAfME) Society for Music Teacher Education. He has been invited to serve as a reviewer and researcher for NAfME’s development of a new set of national content standards for music education.

The Music Major Convocation on April 10 featured Sarah Schmalenberger performing the (1982) “Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano (Homage to Johannes Brahms)” by György Ligeti. Joining her were Tarn Travers, violin, from Luther College and Matthew McCright, piano, from Carleton College. She performed a final recital of the trios for violin, horn, and piano by Gyorgi Ligeti and Johannes Brahms on May 6 at Carleton College.  The trio ensemble of Schmalenberger, Travers and McCright received grants from Luther and Carleton Colleges as a collaborative initiative to perform these works at each of their representative institutions. One of the books ordered for the library, Blackness in Opera, ed. by Naomi André, Karen M. Bryan, and Eric Saylor, University of Illinois Press, 2012, contains a chapter by Sarah Schmalenberger: “Hearing the Other in the Masque of Blackness.” The book received a “recommended” review in Choice (Aug 2012), one of the major selection/reviewing journals for academic libraries. Schmalenberger and co-researcher Jean Giebenhain (UST Psychology) presented their research on the Life and Livelihood Study to the annual meeting of the American Music Therapy Association in St. Charles, Ill., on Oct. 13.  Their 90-minute presentation, “Healing the Musical Self,” explained how their data on musicians injured from breast cancer treatments suggested opportunities for music therapists to serve as allies in healing during and after breast cancer.

Faculty members of the University of St. Thomas Music Department presented an afternoon of Wind Chamber Music on July 22 in Baumgaertner Auditorium in Brady Educational Center. Paul Schulz (clarinet), Peter Douglas (bassoon) and Sarah Schmalenberger (horn) were joined by guest pianist Frances Armstrong in performing works by Franz Berwald and Daniel Baldwin; in addition, Armstrong performed two major works from the solo piano repertoire: Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 in c-sharp minor” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Sonata Op. 7 No. 4 in E-flat.”
Two faculty members presented workshops and led discussion sessions for the Madison Area Piano Teachers Association on Nov. 2. Suzanne Schons’ topic was "How do students learn music? A look at the brain and learning for piano teachers" and Vanessa Cornett-Murtada presented "Crush the Jitters! Strategies for Performance Anxiety Management."

Cellist Andrey Tchekmazov and pianist Ora Itkin performed a recital of works by Schubert, Brahms, Shostakovich and Piazzolla on May 21 in Baumgaertner Auditorium in Brady Educational Center.

Rachel Wixson, ’11 M.A., has an article in the fall 2012 edition of the Orff Echo: “The Primary Years Programme: An Interdisciplinary Approach For Music Educators.”
Larry Zimmerman is in his 16th season as principal trombone of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra and performed with the orchestra on Nov. 17 at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. The program of Mendelssohn’s “Elijah,” was conducted by Music Director Designate, Dirk Meyer. Jennifer Gerth was playing principal clarinet.