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Music Students Shine in National Competitions!

Recently several UC Santa Cruz Music Department students participated in prestigious music-related events where they showcased their exceptional talents. “We are very proud of our students, said Professor of Music and Music Department Chair Anatole Leikin. “They are talented, extremely dedicated, and exceptionally active in their chosen field, be that performance, composition, or musicology.” (Read more below.)

National Association of Teachers of Singing
UC Santa Cruz Music Department voice students, Christian Bernal, Nic Gerst, Tess Greenberg, Ben Greenberg and Mandy Aceves-Lopez, recently participated in the 2015 San Francisco Bay Area National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Singing Festival. NATS celebrates the art of singing through a series of competitions and programs that are designed to showcase the talented singers and performers who are soon to be rising stars in the profession. This year, 385 students of various ages from all over the Bay Area participated.

All of our music students sang beautifully and placed in their divisions: Tess Greenberg tied for first in Oratorio (all ages); Ben Greenberg took second place in Art Song (ages 22-23); Nic Gerst took second place in the Aria division (ages 24 and up); Mandy Aceves took third in Art Song (ages 20-21) and received an Honorable Mention for Arias (ages 21 and under). The students worked very hard, and these honors are well deserved, congratulations to these incredible undergraduates!

Society for American Music
On another note, UC Santa Cruz Music Department grad students Elisse LaBarre, Mark Davidson, and Jessica Loranger all gave excellent presentations at the national meeting of the Society for American Music (SAM) which took place March 4-8 in Sacramento and was chaired by UC Santa Cruz Professor of Music, musicologist Leta Miller. Participating faculty members from all over the U.S. remarked how impressed they were with these three outstanding students.

It was also announced at the conference that all of the book reviews in the Society’s bi-annual publication Bulletin will be authored by UC Santa Cruz PhD students. Other students who did not present papers also participated in a very meaningful way. Ben Negley played in the SAM brass band (an annual tradition), allowing him to meet some of the most important scholar/performers working in American music in the country. Charissa Noble, Jay Arms, Madison Heying, Ryan Lambe, and Cameron Mozee-Baum also attended UC Santa Cruz music students were in animated conversations with renowned musicologists throughout the conference.

Hult Prize Regional Finalists
Three UC Santa Cruz undergraduate music students, Terre Lee, Kymberley Kudravy, and Justin Kohlberg, advanced to the regional finals of the sixth annual Hult Prize, which, in partnership with President Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, challenges students from around the world to develop innovative social enterprises that aim to tackle pressing issues face by billions of people.

The UC Santa Cruz team was one of 250 selected from more than 20,000 applications – from over 500 colleges and universities in over 150 countries – to participate in the regional finals. It proposed to bring quality enrichment to early childhood education through interactive learning tools inspired by the music program, El Sistema, which challenges the notion that socioeconomics is the biggest predictor of academic success. The Hult competition is designed to give student entrepreneurs from around the world a platform to innovate and revolutionize the way society thinks about servicing the poor.

Congratulations to the remarkable students who were part of all of these distinguished programs!


Pictured: Hult Prize Regional Finalists: from left to right: Kymberley Kudravy, Justin Kohlberg, Terre Lee