During the 2023-23 academic year, Dr. Álamo presented recitals and master classes in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the USA. During his research leave, Álamo completed the draft for his upcoming marimba book titled, Marimbissimo: Pathways for Developing an Integrative Approach for Marimba Studies, and recorded the music for his next marimba album which will feature original compositions for marimba and big band. Both projects are scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2024.
In April, Álamo was featured as a soloist with the TCU Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Steve Anderson’s concerto for marimba, percussion, and orchestra. He was also featured as a clinician and judge at the NC PAS Day of Percussion. In May, Álamo was featured as a soloist with the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory concert jazz band at the 25th Puerto Rico International Percussion Festival. In the summer of 2023, Álamo served as a guest faculty and performer at the American Percussion Seminar in Denton, Texas.
Naomi André drafted two chapters of her work in progress, Writing Opera, Singing Blackness in the United States. She published two short articles on the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s premiere of The Factotum by Will Liverman and DJ King Rico (in the stagebill for the Lyric Opera and for Opera News, February 2023). She revised and proofread “Interlocking Themes: American Music, Race, and Music Scholarship” for American Music vol. 40, no. 4 (Winter 2022) and wrote a short essay, “La Traviata’s Ways of Love” in the Seattle Opera stagebill (for their performance in May 2023). She submitted the article “Opera’s New Realism: Engaging Harm, Care, and Repair” to Opera Quarterly based on themes from her book project.
She brought a research group of scholars to South Africa in the Black Opera Research Network, participated in three podcasts, gave seven guest lectures, and worked with three opera companies (Seattle Opera, Carolina Opera—Charlotte, and North Carolina Opera—Raleigh) and the Fellows at the New World Symphony.
Stephen Anderson and the Dominican Jazz Project were winners in two categories in the national 2023 Premios Indie Dominicano (Dominican Indie Awards) for which Anderson composed five pieces and served as pianist and musical director—Best Jazz Album, for their Desde Lejos CD release, and Anderson’s composition, Fuera de la Oscuridad, won Best Jazz Song. The group was likewise nominated in two other “all musical styles” categories for Best Album and Best Song (Fuera de la Oscuridad). Anderson was formally distinguished by the Ministra de Cultura, Señora Milagros Germán representing the government of the Dominican Republic (May 2022). The award states, “for his research and contributions to the national musical heritage, he has generated pieces and compositions whose contents are based on the roots of native Dominican music. In his works of fusion with jazz, our rhythms have traveled with our seal of identity.” In a review, Raul Da Gama of Latin Jazz Net recognized Anderson’s artistic work, stating, “Anderson is a wonderful composer…setting the tone for music that superbly captures the West African influences and inflections of the Taíno people, making for the unique Caribbean sound palette” (May 2022).
The Dominican Jazz Project was invited to perform in San Juan Puerto Rico for an event that was sponsored by the Consulado Dominicano and the Fundación Cortés (February 2023), and the group toured across the southeastern United States (October 2022). The Texas Christian University Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Germán Gutiérrez, Conductor, Dr. Juan Álamo, percussion soloist, gave the Texas premiere of Anderson’s symphonic work, Concerto for Puerto Rico (April 2023). Anderson’s new work, …a time like no other, was performed at the UNC Wilmington New Music Festival and at UNC by Trio Sureño, and Anderson appeared in concert with other ensembles at the Johnson City Tennessee Jazz Festival, the Duck Jazz Festival, the South Carolina Chamber Music Festival, and in other venues—in total, comprising over 50 performances during the 2022-23 season.
Andrea Bohlman participated in the 2022 Tar Heel Bus Tour across eastern North Carolina over Fall Break. She wrote and spoke about music by Allen Anderson, Joan La Barbara, and Annea Lockwood, as well as on the history of field recording. In December, she co-organized a conference on the history of tape recording at the University of Cambridge, UK, with Peter McMurray and participated on the Advisory Council for an exhibition on arts and resistance at the Institute of the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity in Poland. She is at work on a new book project, Magnetic Fields: Tape Recording and the Sounding of Consent.
Nicholas DiEugenio (Associate Professor and Head of Strings) continues to be in demand as a soloist, chamber musician, and ensemble leader, creating powerful shared experiences in music ranging from early baroque to contemporary commissions.
In February ‘23, Nicholas debuted his “Inspired by Bach” program at UNC’s Moeser Auditorium with a three-hour marathon performance by heart of the entire Six Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin by J.S. Bach. Nicholas also presented his own original works of visual art, 31 in all, each corresponding to a specific movement of the Bach. In ’23-’24, Nicholas will bring this program to the University of Michigan, Penn State University, the Green Hill Center for NC Art, and to New York City as part of The Sebastians’ subscription concert series.
In March ’23, Nicholas and his violin studio at UNC presented “Inspired by Bach: In The Studio,” a direct involvement of UNC undergraduate students in the research of Professor DiEugenio. In addition to pieces by Bach, students also studied and performed pieces inspired by Bach, including music by female composer Lera Auerbach as well as Béla Bartók and Eugène Ysaÿe. Nicholas also serves as the director of the Luby Violin Symposium and MYCO.
The ’22-’23 season also included many appearances as guest concertmaster or leader, including as guest Principal 2nd Violinist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy. In addition, Nicholas served as guest concertmaster and/or soloist with the New York City-based choral group TENET, The Sebastians, and at the Staunton Music Festival as well as the Duke Bach Cantata Series. Additionally, Nicholas performed at the Washington National Cathedral and at the Princeton Festival, and was lauded this season in reviews for his “joyous, inspirational” performances (TAP into Princeton) and leading “captivating musical conversation” (New York Classical Review).
Nicholas continues to be passionately committed to collaboration and performed in ‘22-23 alongside members of the Finnish Meta4 Quartet, pianist Mimi Solomon, violinists Gabriel Richard, Mari Sato and Ingrid Matthews, violist Jonathan Bagg, cellist Raman Ramakrishnan, members of the UNC faculty, and members of Orpheus, A Far Cry, Tafelmusik, Philharmonia Baroque, Tempesta di Mare, Apollo’s Fire, the Handel and Haydn Society, and TENET.
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Annegret Fauser was made an honorary member of the American Musicological Society in November 2022. She presented a keynote address at the international conference, Gender, Sexuality and Eroticism on the Lyric Stage (Venice), and the Kenneth H. Peacock Lecture at the University of Toronto. Her recent publications include articles on Ludwig van Beethoven, Wanda Landowska, French song, and music’s role in human flourishing. On 1 April 2023, her current and former PhD students honored her with a celebratory symposium. She retired from UNC on 1 July 2023.
In June 2022, Professor Feldman made his debut conducting the North Carolina Symphony, leading four performances of a film music program in Wilmington, Southern Pines, New Bern, and at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. He also led a performance of their Juneteenth program at Koka Booth, which included the world premiere of Spirituals of Liberation, by composer Anthony Kelley.
2022-2023 marked his fifth year as Principal Guest Conductor of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. These services included holiday pops and a collaboration with the Indigo Girls, plus 11 educational concerts, including eight in the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. He was pleased to involve UNC voice students Julia Holoman and Nuria Shin, who sang with the symphony and helped present a piece for body percussion and orchestra.
He was a contributor to Andrew Boysen Jr.’s new book, Developing Rehearsal Techniques Through Active Listening, and was the spring guest lecturer for Musical Empowerment.
When he wasn’t on campus, Michael Figueroa spent time traveling to New York, Boston, and London to conduct field research for his current book project (Music and Racial Awakening in Arab America) and to give invited talks at the Center for Jewish History, Brandeis University, King’s College London, and SOAS, University of London. This year, he won the American Musicological Society Jewish Studies and Music Study Group Publication Award for his article, “‘Behind the Sounds’: Matti Caspi, Shlomo Gronich, and the Politics of Genre in Israel” published in 2021 in the Journal of Musicology. Figueroa also helped strengthen the UNC-KCL partnership by joining the advisory board for a European Research Council Advanced Grant-funded project directed by KCL colleague Martin Stokes: Beyond 1932: Rethinking Musical Modernity in the Middle East and North Africa. He will be on research sabbatical in 2023–24, having won a George A. And Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship from Brown University.
Jeffrey Fuchs, Director of University Bands, served as a band host for the College Football Playoff Championship game in Los Angeles, CA in early January 2023. He was assigned to the TCU marching band and assisted them with logistics in addition to serving as a liaison between the TCU band staff and the CFP staff, game production team, transportation coordinator, and the band representative on the local hosting committee while in Los Angeles. Fuchs served in a similar role for the ACC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. As the band liaison, he was responsible for transporting, assembling, and monitoring the two drum sets used by the bands during the tournaments in addition to working directly with the ACC band directors before, during, and after the games their teams play as a conference representative.
The UNC Athletic Bands, under the direction of Jeffrey Fuchs and Erin Cooper, collaborated to present halftime performances with the Florida A&M University Marching 100 and the Soul Rebels, a New Orleans-based brass band. Pep Bands traveled to away football games at Appalachian State, Duke, Virginia, and Wake Forest, and the Field Hockey Band made the trip to Storrs, CT to support the field hockey team at their national championship game. The Marching Tar Heels traveled to Charlotte, NC for the ACC Championship game and to San Diego, CA for the Holiday Bowl in support of the football team. The spring bands enjoyed performing for men’s and women’s basketball games and a variety of other UNC sporting events both on and off campus.
In March 2023 David Garcia was scholar-in-residence at the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place, Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he led graduate seminars and delivered a lecture titled “La batalla de Angostura (1847) and the Soundings of Traumas and Manifest Destinies.” He also presented portions of this lecture at the North Carolina Consortium of Latin American Studies, Duke University, and remotely for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Southampton. These lectures are a part of Garcia’s ongoing research project on the nineteenth century history of Latin music and dance in the United States. He also served his second of a three-year appointment on the National Museum of the American Latino’s Scholarly Advisory Committee (Smithsonian).
The 85-member UNC Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Professor Tonu Kalam, presented a full season of four concerts to enthusiastic audiences in Memorial Hall and Moeser Auditorium.
Three members of UNC’s music faculty appeared as soloists with the orchestra during the year. In October, pianist Clara Yang performed Johannes Brahms’ monumental Piano Concerto No. 2. On the November concert, newly appointed bassoon instructor Jessica Kunttu presented the Bassoon Concerto by Italian film composer Nino Rota. And Leonid Finkelshteyn, Principal Double Bass of the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh and UNC’s new bass instructor, performed the Double Bass Concerto by the Estonian symphonist Eduard Tubin on the season’s final concert in April.
This year’s student winners of the annual UNC Concerto Competition were soprano Taylor Loyd, pianist John Kees, and the orchestra’s concertmaster, Siana Wong. They shared the stage in the orchestra’s February concert, performing music by Carlisle Floyd, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Brahms.
The ensemble’s repertoire also included a wide variety of orchestral works by Copland, Elgar, Sibelius, Wagner, Rachmaninoff, Humperdinck, Carl Nielsen, and Anna Clyne. All of the UNCSO’s 2022-23 concerts are available for viewing on YouTube.
Professor Kalam also conducted a cello choir consisting of faculty, professionals, and alumni in a performance of Allen Anderson’s Memento, on an October concert honoring Prof. Anderson upon his retirement from our faculty.
In 2022, Mark Katz’s fifth book, Music and Technology: A Very Short Introduction, was published by Oxford University Press, both in print and audiobook formats. During the academic year, he delivered the keynote lecture at the conference, “78 rpm at Home,” in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as a variety of invited and conference lectures, including at the annual meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology, at Leiden University, Nova University Lisbon, the University of California Santa Cruz, and Utrecht University. He was also interviewed about his work for the BBC Radio 3 program Music Matters, for the journal Cultural Trends, and for podcasts hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations and Meridian International Center.
In November 2022, Michael Kris performed with System Five Brass Quintet during its tour of Belgium and Northern France. System Five is a chamber group of faculty from five different UNC system schools (UNC, UNCG, ECU, WCU, and ASU). The tour included eight concert performances and a broadcast presentation on Belgian National TV of an Armistice Day performance in Yeper, Belgium. In the spring, he collaborated with Joe Fort of Kings College, London, the KCL Choir, and UNC Students to perform concerts of late 16th-century music from Spain. The collaboration presented concerts on March 14 and 17 in the Chapel at Kings College, London. In June, he traveled to Maryland for his eighth season as a faculty mentor at the National Music Festival. In July, he participated in a historic presentation of Mozart masses at the famous Basilika St. Michael in Mondsee, Austria, and another concert of late 16th-century music from Salzburg in Sazburger Dom with Ensemble Musica Juvavensis.
Timothy Sparks was a featured Master Class clinician for the Mid-Atlantic Regional NATS Spring 2023 Conference held at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, and offered an on-campus Vocal Technique Clinic for H-B Woodlawn High School Choirs from Arlington, VA during March. In April, he was the tenor soloist for Felix Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, Op. 52 with the Greensboro Choral Society & Philharmonia of Greensboro. In June, he participated in a Brahms Celebration in Southern Pines, NC featuring the beloved Liebeslieder Walzer.
Lee Weisert’s second album of original compositions, Recesses, was published on New Focus Recordings in April 2023. The album features performances by Allen Anderson, Nicholas DiEugenio, Jonathon Kirk, Melissa Martin, and Matthew McClure. The album was praised by critics as “dazzling,” “rich,” and “kaleidoscopic.” Weisert’s sound installation Both Man and Beast and the Creeping Thing was presented at the Ackland Museum in February 2023 as part of their “Good Object, Bad Object” exhibition, which featured subversive and unconventional sculptural works. In October 2022, the Chapel Hill Philharmonia performed Weisert’s orchestral work Gol Gumbaz, in which electronic “echo” effects are applied to the music played by the orchestra.
Brent Wissick has now completed 41 years on the faculty at Carolina and still loves teaching, rehearsing, performing, researching, and even committee work. There were 21 cellists in the studio this year, and alongside UNC Symphony, chamber groups, solo recitals, Baroque Ensemble, and Charanga, they presented a Cello Choir concert in April focused on Latin American music. Wissick played a February concert here in Chapel Hill on the baryton, a viola da gamba with a total of 15 strings: 6 bowed and 9 plucked for which Haydn wrote almost 200 pieces. He also performed in NYC during April with the viol consort Parthenia in a program of Coprario’s music, about which he also presented a lecture/workshop. Two UNC Alums returned to campus this year and worked with current cello students: Joe Kwon (2002) to share experiences from his career with the Avett Brothers, and Keith Nicholas (1995) of the Nashville Symphony to perform with the Elliston Trio and teach cello lessons. Several cello alums who live in the area (Lindsay Stipe, Emma Dunlap-Grube, Audrey Atherton, Paula Peroutka) joined with Wissick in a cello ensemble piece(conducted by Tonu Kalam) in an October concert celebrating the retirement of Allen Anderson.