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Students, Faculty + Alumni

Student and Alumni News | January 2024

soo min ha

Soo Min Ha

Our students and alumni have exciting updates to share. Here's what they're up to.

Composer Daniel Asia ’77MM, Professor of Composition and head of the composition department at the University of Arizona’s School of Music, will retire at the end of the academic year. He's served on the UA faculty since 1988.

Soo Min Ha ’21MM ’22MMA won a position in the oboe section of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.

Carter Johnson ’23MMA ’29DMA and Salome Jordania ’21MM ’22MMA won First Prize and Fourth Prize, respectively, at the 2023 Hauts-de-France International Piano Competition, in Roubaix.

heather kurzbauer
Heath Kurzbauer

Employment and Vulnerabilities in the World of Orchestral Musicians: Symphonic Metamorphoses, a 2022 dissertation by violinist Heather Kurzbauer 82MM, was published by Wolters Kluwer. Kurzbauer, whose work has led to advisory roles in the EU, describes the book as a “comparative journey through the trials and tribulations of orchestral musicians and freelancers in times of crisis.”

In 2001, choral conductor Joan (Lee) Pi ’00MM ’01AD was named Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA, where she established a new music program. Last year, in collaboration with Prof. Doug Brown and Dr. Samuel Springer, Pi served as an adult choir clinician for a church music conference in Massanetta Springs.

Kevin puts by David white
Kevin Puts

Kevin Puts ’96MM was named Musical America’s Composer of the Year.

School of Music alum and Professor Emeritus of Music Willie Ruff ’53BM ’54MM died in December in Killen, Ala. He was 92. Ruff was on the faculty at Yale from 1971 until his retirement in 2017. Obituaries were published by the School and University and by The New York Times and other media outlets.

Erika Schafer
Erika Schafer

Trumpeter Erika Schafer ’01MM was promoted to the rank of professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2022. In November 2023, Schafer performed with the Fountain City Brass Band at the Brass in Concert Festival in England.

Pianist Lucas Wong ’06MM ’07MM ’12DMA received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to support his upcoming performance at the Cobbe Collection in Surrey, England. The concert will feature the world premiere of Wilhelm Taubert's piano works, which Wong will record for a Naxos release.

Naomi Woo ’12BA ’13MM, who studied piano at YSM, was named Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. It's the first time a woman will lead the ensemble, which was formed in 1960.

These news updates feature alumni and current students! Submit your news by March 1 to be included in the next Student and Alumni News roundup.