Tuesday, April 22, 2008
MTD students, alumni awarded department honors
The achievements of students and alumni of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance (MTD) took center stage during the Ninth Annual MaTilDa Awards celebrated April 14 at the Centerpoint Marriott. The awards are presented annually to students and alumni from MTD for their accomplishments in memory of Matilda Dodge Wilson, co-founder of Oakland University.
The event was sponsored by patrons Maggie and Bob Allesee and the George and Elizabeth Seifert Foundation. Other sponsors included Harry Carlson, Craig Chamberlain, Linda and Victor Curatolo, Edie Diggory, Jean Parker and Evola Music.
For more information on Oakland University’s music, theatre and dance programs and performances, visit the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance Web site or call (248) 370-2030.
2008 MaTilDa Award Recipients
- Distinguished Musicianship Award — Christopher Napier
Christopher Napier will graduate this year with a Bachelor of Music in both Music Education and Trumpet Performance. An active performer, he serves as principal trumpet in the Wind Symphony, Brass Ensemble, Meadow Brook Brass Quintet, as a full-time member of the Pontiac Oakland Symphony. He plays in the pit for OU musicals and was a member of the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra for three years. He won a 2006 MaTilDa, the 2004 and 2007 Oakland Concerto competitions, and 2005 Symphonic Band Concerto competition.
- Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Voice Performance — Ashley Bahri
Ashley Bahri, a senior vocal performance major, studies applied voice with Edith Diggory. Bahri has also studied at the University of Siena’s CILS, and Scuola Italia in Urbania, Italy. In addition to performing with the Michigan Opera Theater and singing the national anthem for the Detroit Tigers games, Bahri has performed on stage with Broadway touring casts and frequently lends her talents to charity events in the Detroit metropolitan area. Thanks to a Hollingsworth Fund award, she will attend The Italian Operatic Experience this summer in Urbania, Italy.
- Outstanding Graduate Student in Voice Performance — Tara Sievers
Tara Sievers will graduate this spring with a Masters in Voice Performance. Winner of the 2007 Concerto Competition, she regularly appears in oratorio and chamber music performances around the Detroit area, and recently sang the role of Doralice in a concert performance of Scarlatti’s “Il Trionfo dell’Onore”. She also currently serves as director of music for the Project Daydream Youth Arts Organization in Birmingham and is on staff at Deborah’s Stage Door in Rochester. Tara plans to pursue a career in opera and oratorio upon graduation.
- Outstanding Student in Piano Performance — Sunkyeung Hong
Sunkyeung Hong will graduate this year with a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy. Hong received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in piano performance at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. She was awarded a full scholarship at Yonsei University and graduate school, and also awarded Honorable Student in piano performance. She has performed with orchestras, in many recitals and chamber concerts, and served on the teaching faculties of the Yewon and Baeksuk schools of arts in Korea. Hong has previously been a member of Korean Pianist Society.
- Jennifer Scott Memorial Award — Marilyn Burns
Marilyn Burns plans to graduate in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music in piano performance. A pianist for 11 years and violinist for seven, she has performed extensively as a piano soloist, as well as in various ensembles, on and off campus. A member of the Honors College, she has received a number of competitive scholarships. Burns currently works as a private music instructor and performer, as well as business manager and music coordinator of two performing groups, and director of a children’s choir and string orchestra and is currently working with her brother on a feature-length film score. After graduation, she plans to continue teaching, while pursuing a master’s degree.
- Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Instrumental Performance — Katherine Fox and Jennifer Shinska
Katherine Fox is a senior instrumental music education and clarinet performance major graduating from the Honors College and minoring in Theatre. Fox was a 2007 Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition winner and last year completed her Senior Honors Thesis Project, for which she was awarded two highly competitive grants. She has played in diverse ensembles and for seven musical theatre shows. This is her third MaTilDa award.
Jennifer Shinska, a senior double majoring in trombone performance and instrumental music education, won the 2008 Pontiac Oakland Symphony concerto competition, played with Doc Holladay and Regina Carter in the “Tribute to Duke Ellington Concert,” and participated in the Michigan Teacher’s National Association Young Artists competition. A member of the Pontiac Oakland Symphony, she also performs with the Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, Brass and Trombone Ensembles. Shinska also played in the pit orchestra for several musicals.
- Outstanding Student in Music Education — Chelsea Rhodes
Chelsea Rhodes, a senior voice student in music education, performs with Chorale, Jazz Singers Ensemble and the Symphony Chorus. She was awarded the prestigious Gretchen E. Van Roy Music Education Scholarship from the National Federation of Music Clubs and is Vice President of the Collegiate Music Educators’ organization on campus. Rhodes teaches the “Bound Together” music class at the All Saints Episcopal Church in Pontiac, as well as the Preparatory Division’s elementary voice class.
- Outstanding Student in Jazz — Dakotah Cooper and Jennifer Shinska
Dakotah Cooper, junior, has performed with many of the ensembles offered by the music department, and in doing so has developed greatly as a musician. With a growing passion for the jazz language, he performs throughout the metro Detroit community with his quartet “Shades of Gray,” which has played at clubs in Southfield and Livonia. Cooper still has two years left in the department and is looking forward to progressing further as an individual and as a musician.
Jennifer Shinska—see Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Instrumental Performance
- Outstanding Student in Chamber Music — Meadow Brook Brass Quintet (Nicholas Andragna, Alex Carter, Andrew Eden, Jackie Mayville, Christopher Napier
Alex Carter is a sophomore trumpet performance/music education major. He is a part of the Oakland University Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Brass Ensemble, Pep Band and The Meadow Brook Brass Quintet and has also played for the Theatre program production of “Steel Pier.”
Andrew Eden plans to graduate in 2009 with a focus on trombone performance. He performs regularly with the Oakland University Wind Symphony and locally with the Rochester Symphony and the Pontiac Oakland Symphony. He plans to further his education with a post-baccalaureate degree in trombone performance, with an emphasis on orchestral trombone.
Jackie Mayville, senior, will graduate with a Bachelors of Arts in Music with a focus in audio recording techniques under the direction of Terry Herald. She is co-producer of an OU steel band recording grant project, as well as sound director on a local documentary about Detroit. A French horn player, she has participated in many OU ensembles.
Christopher Napier— see Distinguished Musicianship Award
- Pat and Mercedes Nicosia Meadow Brook Estate Award — Leah Darany
Leah Darany is a junior Musical Theatre major and member of the Honors College planning to graduate in 2009. She is more than excited to perform in her first Cabaret presented by Meadow Brook Estate this April. Darany has participated in many Oakland University productions including “A...My Name is Alice, “Steel Pier,” “By Jupiter,” and “Honk!” This spring, she will be seen as Autumn in “Brenda Bly: Teen Detective.”
- Gittlen Achievement Award in Musical Theatre — Christopher Rozanski
Chris Rozanski is currently a sophomore pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre. He is the president of Actors and Techies. He has appeared in “Bat Boy The Musical,” “By Jupiter,” “A Flea In Her Ear,” “A Year With Frog and Toad,” “Steel Pier,” and “Drat! The Cat.” Rozanski was chosen as an Irene Ryan nominee for his portrayal of Snail in “A Year With Frog and Toad,” and he moved on to the semifinal round of the competition in Milwaukee, Wisc.
- Gittlen Achievement Award in Theatre Production — Peggy Montgomery
At the age of 4, Peggy Montgomery started taking dance lessons. Since then, she has been involved in many performances, including a high school tour to Austria during high school. Involvement in arts activities throughout her life led her to pursue a career in theatre. She has crewed and designed costumes and scenery for a number of OU theatre and dance productions, but her passion lies in stage management.
- Gittlen Achievement Award in Theatre Performance — Greg Anderson
Greg Anderson entered OU’s Theatre Performance program in 2005. After being encouraged to audition by professors, he was cast as Cripple Billy in “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” for which he received an Irene Ryan award nomination, and in “Found a Peanut,” “The Rimers of Eldritch” and “Chekhov in Yalta.” He designed sets for “Steel Pier” and “The Rimers of Eldritch,” which earned him a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Certificate of Merit.
- Gittlen Theatre Award — Katie Nabors
Katie Nabors, a junior Theatre Performance major, has been seen in “The Rimers of Eldritch,” “Crumbs from the Table of Joy,” “Waiting for Waiting for Godot,” and will be seen in “The Importance of Being Ernest” and “Brenda Bly: Teen Detective.” She performed in “Lysistrata” in Greece and became an Equity Membership Candidate with her performance in “Biloxi Blue”s at Meadow Brook Theatre.
- Jacob Decker Dance Award for Outstanding Dance Performance — Kathaleen Moylan and Charity Newton
Kathaleen Moylan recently finished her exercise science minor after completing her Bachelor of Arts in Dance/Performing Arts in April 2007. She danced with Oakland Dance Theatre and the OU Repertory Company, where she participated in the American College Dance Festival gala concerts in Kansas and Ohio. She has performed works by Sean Curran, Stephen Koester, Alexandra Beller, Adrienne Clancy, Gregory Patterson, Mariah Malec and Christine Naughton Shawl. She is currently an apprentice with the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble and is in her second year teaching at the Ede Center for Dance.
Charity Newton plans to graduate in December 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance/Performing Arts. She has danced professionally with the WNBA dance team for three years, and choreographs for many high school dance teams, as well. Newton has been on the Intrigue hip hop dance team at OU, serving as the group’s vice president for three years. She has danced with Oakland Dance Theater and is currently a member of Oakland’s Repertory Company.
- Maggie Allesee Student Choreography Award — Justine Detloff
Senior Justine Dettloff has been dancing for 19 years, starting with The Dance Studio Inc. She graduates this spring with a Bachelor of Arts Performing Arts in Dance and a minor in Exercise Science. Justine has been a member of Oakland Dance Theatre and the OU Repertory Dance Company, of which she is currently the president. She teaches and choreographs at The Dance Studio Inc., and has served as a dance instructor and judge for Universal Dance Association. She plans to continue sharing her love for dance by performing and teaching.
- Distinguished Dance Student Award — Amber Czisny
Amber Czisny, a senior, will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in dance and performing arts. She has both danced and choreographed for the Oakland Dance Theatre. At Bowling Green State University in Ohio, she performed with the University Performing Dancers before coming to OU in order to further her education. She hopes to pursue her interests in choreography and teaching using the experiences that she has gained at Oakland University.
- MTD Award for Commitment to the Interdisciplinary Nature of the Department — Robert Glowacki
Robert Glowacki is a junior Theatre Design and Technology Major with a focus in Lighting Design. His many production credits include: “Story Tellers” (lighting design, Oakland Community College), “Charm School Reunion Show” (assistant lighting designer, VH1) and many stage and dance productions at OU. At Eisenhower High School, he teaches lighting and assists in scenic carpentry. He is secretary of Actors and Techies. Glowacki plans to pursue a career in technical theatre, focusing on lighting design.
- Outstanding Student Service Award — Robyn Morawski (Dance), Tennessa Harmon (Music), Andrew Wilhelm (Theatre)
Senior Robyn Morawski is vice president for Oakland Dance Theater and has performed and choreographed for the company. Last summer, she attended the Alvin Ailey Summer Dance Intensive and participates in similar activities every summer. Morawski is also a photographer for MTD and designs graphic T-shirts and warm-ups for dance groups. This semester, she started Dynamic Artists Networking in the Community; Enriching and Revolutionizing the System (DANCERS), to help inform students, faculty, and the community about the art of dance.
Tennessa Harmon has earned high ratings in regional and state festivals and has also been in All-State Band, Utah Intercollegiate Band and the Western Regional Intercollegiate Band held in Reno, Nevada. She has also performed in chamber ensembles playing works like Mozart’s “Octet Serenade in C minor” for Cedar City’s Mozart Celebration, and “Serenade for Music” by Vaughan Williams. She has served in her Nauvoo, Ill. Church as a brass band performer, has been in many youth orchestras, as well as Detroit Civic Youth Wind Ensemble, Orchestra of Southern Utah and the Pontiac Oakland Symphony.
- Alumni Achievement Award in Theatre — Jack O’Reilly
- Alumni Achievement Award in Music — Walt Szymanski