Alumni Portfolio

47487730_2093538697378415_2638023218769690624_n Chris Glassman

Lamont trombone graduate Chris Glassman is this year’s winner of the Jamey Aebersold Scholarship through the Jazz Education Network. From Chris…”Thank you so much to my mentors past and present (Michael Dease, Scott Bean, Steve Wiest to name a few) for their invaluable help during my development thus far, and for all of my friends and family for their unceasing support!”


47395231_2090568187675466_6861022599648903168_n 47388957_2090563721009246_4577988113044865024_n Matt Peterson / Central City Image

Great news from Lamont Opera graduate Matt Peterson – I am so excited to announce that I will be returning to Central City Opera this summer as an apprentice artist to cover “Billy Budd” and sing a small role in it as well! “Billy Budd” is one of my favorite roles in all of opera so I’m delighted to explore this character at an opera company so special to me.


38190302_2160914154190757_2296274436258529280_o Teresa Castillo (center)

Teresa Castillo (2013 MM in Performance) has been reviewed in Opera News‘s October issue about her performance in Teatro Nuovo’s production of Medea in Corinto, this summer.

“…tenor Mingjie Lei as Egeo, Prince of Athens, was able to fill the void with his boundless energy, passion, and easily produced lyric tenor. Lei, together with the Creusa of young soprano Teresa Castillo, who imbued the role’s coloratura with equal turns ardor and unshakable dread, matched the energy and dramatic momentum of Brandani and Lehmann in the pit, which shaped this performance into the high stakes story of love and betrayal that Medea in Corinto truly is.”


Carlo Fierens Carlo Fierens

Carlo Fierens a DU Lamont alumnus from Italy, (2011 Artist Diploma in classical guitar) will embark on a performance tour on July 16 that will take him first to Thailand where he will play at the Bangkok Culture and Art Center, then Japan for a series of concerts, including his debut in the prestigious Munetsugu Hall in Nagoya, Taiwan where he will play as soloist with the Hsinchu Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Chen-Sheng Lee, and Hong-Kong in mainland China where he will perform in the Assembly Hall at the Baptist University of Hong Kong.

At Lamont, Carlo studied guitar with professor emeritus Ricardo Iznaola and with Jonathan Leathwood, currently chair of guitar and harp. He is completing a doctorate at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Carlo’s website

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Kevin T. Padworski and Teresa Castillo

Reflections on a Mexican Garden by Lamont Graduate Kevin Padworski will receive it’s world premiere at Carnegie Hall on April 1. The premiere will be performed by the New England Symphonic Ensemble with Lamont graduate Teresa Castillo as soprano soloist. The work will be conducted by another DU graduate Gregory Gentry.



Lamont Opera graduates Senhica Klee and Theresa Kesser will be performing at Wolf Trap Opera this summer.


2014 Lamont Opera Theatre production of  Oklahoma!

View a DU News site video –
DU Alum Reflects on Experience Performing on West End

Not many people can say they have achieved their life’s dream by the time they are in their mid-20s. Typically it takes years of hard work, and even then, the dream might not be achievable. DU alumnus George Arvidson says realizing his dream came with a little luck and being in the right place at the right time.

W-Rappaport-artist-Award-2-rs  W-Rappaport-Artist-Award-1-rs
Jonathan Rappaport (second from R)

Lamont graduate Jonathan Rappaport has been named a “Champion of Artists” by the Massachusetts Artists Leaders Coalition.  Read the Community Advocate article.

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Robert Wolff

Lamont graduate Robert Wolff, BM in Oboe Performance, 1983, was the Scoring Editor of the last two STAR WARS pictures, The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens. Robert has worked with John Williams for the past 27 years. See Robert’s Robert Wolff IMDB page.

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Lamont conducting graduate and music director of the Nebula Ensemble, Kornel Thomas was recently featured in Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok’s Hangoló Magazine.

23517582_10100867838980606_2126077089831149396_n Jillian Lee

Lamont Vocal Performance graduate Jillian Lee released her debut CD Pretty Lies.

23334062_1585879341477689_5345298966730256534_o Griffen Hogan Tracy (far left)

Lamont vocal graduate Griffen Hogan Tracy is a graduate student at the University of Tennessee where he appeared in the Opera Theatre’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Griffen performed the role of Figaro.  Photos by Ryan Colbert.

24059141_1604662629599360_2039475073553968396_n Deke Polifka

Deke Polifka, a performance graduate on organ, is Director of Music at St. Paul’s Memorial Church (Episcopal), which is located on the campus of The University of Virginia.

22555047_1565657026833254_3914846718176790219_n    22814200_1565656793499944_3212572095258752047_n  Evita_EncoreBrands_600x900px - Copy Cast of Evita, George Arvidson, Evita poster

Lamont musical theatre/opera graduate George Arvidson performed in the West End (London’s Broadway) production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Evita. The production ran at London’s Phoenix Theatre for 12 weeks last summer.


The 2017 Adler Fellows, photo by Matthew Washburn, courtesy of San Francisco Opera

DU Lamont graduate Sarah Cambidge Chastain (far right, standing) has been awarded one of the highest honors and most prestigious appointments in the Opera world. Sarah is a 2017 Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera.


Lamont Graduate Jackson Stevens has been awarded the EY Next Wave Leadership Award by the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts. Jackson, a community volunteer and musician from the Colorado Symphony’s Remix, won for his arts ambassadorship. The award was presented at the 2017 CBCA Luncheon.


Lamont vocal performance graduate Teresa Castillo, soprano, recently won 1st place in the Anita Cerquetti International Competition in Montecosaro, Italy. She will be joining Bel Canto at Caramoor for a second summer as a Young Artist covering the role of Adele in “Il Pirata,” singing on the opening night gala with soprano Angela Meade and will be singing the soprano solo in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. In 2018, she will participate in the Herndon Emerging Artist Program with the Virginia Opera and will be covering the roles of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor and Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Lamont graduate Matt Peterson will be joining Virginia Opera in the 2017-2018 season as a Young Artist! He will be doing outreach for the opera in Richmond from August to December, and then cover Demetrius in their mainstage production of Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream from January to February.


Lamont graduates Katie Burns and Russ Callison have formed a guitar/cello duo. Check them out. Here are links to their Facebook page, Katie’s website and Russ’ website for performance information.


The University of Illinois announced the winners of the 2017 Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award. This is an international competition with more than 300 works submitted. Lamont graduate Oren Boneh (BM in composition, 2013) was awarded FIRST PRIZE for his composition “Winter Walks That Gravel My Voice,” for viola and chamber ensemble.

We are pleased to announce the 2016 Merola Opera Program participants from around the United States and the world. Meet the future of opera.

This is San Francisco Opera’s extremely prestigious training program and two Lamont Opera graduates, Sarah Cambidge Chastain, 2013 MM in Performance, and Teresa Castillo, 2013 MM in Performance, have won spots in the program. They will spend this summer in San Francisco.


Lamont graduate, Aileen Razey, 2015 MM in Performance, will be attending the Aspen Music Festival and School this summer to study with Michael Rusinek, Principal Clarinet of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Nate Wooley, 1999 MM in Trumpet Performance, is one of just 14 recipients to receive a major grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Nate received the 2016 Music/Sound grant.

Robert Wolff, 1983 BM in Performance, oboe, continued his 25-year association with John Williams by working as the Scoring Editor for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

11219039_10153462076320502_6469662998354936730_n - CopyGeorge Arvidson
George Arvidson, BM vocal performance, is performing in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland production of URINETOWN at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland this summer.

MichaelVanWirt Mike Van Wirt
Mike Van Wirt, 2010 BM in performance, recently won the national audition for section percussion with the Colorado Symphony. After graduating from Lamont, Mike was awarded a full ride to the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. After receiving his MM, he won a position with the New World Symphony. He will start with the Colorado Symphony as a full time musician this coming summer.

Congratulations Mike!

Senhica-Klee%20photo-resize3 French_Lindsey_Headshot-2 kismetgraphic
Lamont alumni Senhica Klee and Lindsey French are performing lead roles in Loveland Opera Theatre’s production of KISMET.
Loveland Opera Theatre       Facebook

headshot-kevin-t-padworski  Kevin T. Padworski
Kevin Padworski, 2013 MM in Conducting, has been named the Artistic Director and Conductor of The Colorado Chorale. Colorado Chorale website

Toby Reutter-HarrahToby Reutter-Harrah
Toby Reutter-Harrah, BM in Jazz Studies and Commercial Music, is touring as drummer for the Glenn Miller Orchestra. He’ll be on the East Coast and in the Midwest before heading to Japan next November.

14498586322_b03b0536c4_h1-1024x680  Teresa Costillo
Teresa Castillo, 2013 MM in Performance will be attending the Bel Canto at Caramoor program summer 2015 in beautiful Katonah, NY. The Caramoor program consists of daily coaching with top notch coaches, and singing under the baton of noted American conductor, William Crutchfield. The artists have the chance to sing in several solo concerts and in the two operas, which next year are “La Favorite” and “Dialogues of the Carmelites.” These operas are sung mainly by professionals while the young artists and apprentice artists sing chorus, small roles and cover larger ones. The program takes place from June 8 – July 27. Bel Canto at Caramoor websiteTeresa’s website

Julian Ramirez, 2014 BM in Performance, was a production intern on THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and will be moving to the nation’s capitol soon be a production intern at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

528294 Sarah Perske 383369_10151138612595164_800631982_n Tim Girard
Lamont Sweeps Awards at 2014 Colorado Clarinet Days Composition Competition First Prize was awarded for “Devotions and Dialogues,” by Sarah Perske (a current MM in Composition student). Second Prize was awarded for “Complements V,” by Tim Girard (2013 MM in Composition). The Audience Prize also went to Sarah Perske’s piece. CONGRATULATIONS! Website

claudio_ribeiroClaudio Ribeiro
Claudio Ribeiro, 2008 MM in Conducting, has been conducting (guest artist) and lecturing at theUniversity Federal of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, with which he has been associated since 1984.  Claudio wrote, “Lamont School is an excellent educational institution, surely one of the best in North America. I hope Nancy (Cochran) and people in charge of making music and pedagogy alive in the city, can go on with this marvelous artistic project of which your Country certainly is proud of.  Vibrant applauses for Lamont!!!  Best wishes for an unforgettable 150 Years of University of Denver!!!”

Dr. Jessica M. Quiñones   Dr. Jessica M. Quiñones
Dr. Jessica M. Quiñones, 1998 BM in Flute Performance, is now an International Flautist living in the UK. Jessica’s website

jonathan speek  Jonathan Speek

Jonathan Speek,2012 BM in Performance, just graduated with a MM from Carnegie Mellon and has established a major ensemble in Pittsburgh, PA as Executive Director of The Brass Roots. They are currently Artists in Residence at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, a historic 2,300 concert hall where Mahler once conducted the New York Philharmonic. Their first season will kick off there on Oct. 19th with a show titled “Symphonic Spectacular”. This show highlights how the experience of the symphony orchestra can be translated to the more intimate settings of chamber music. The ensemble is very similar to that of the Denver Brass, where Jonathan interned while studying with Kathy Brantigan at Lamont.

After the premiere   Alisha Bauer

Alisha Bauer, 2003 BM in performance, spent the last six months of 2013 working on the film “If I Stay”, in theaters now. Lead actress Chloë Grace Moretz plays a cellist hoping to be accepted into Juilliard. As the cello consultant for the film, Alisha helped advise on anything related to the cello in the script and presented appropriate repertoire selections to be featured in the many cello scenes. In addition, she coached the actress and cellists involved in the shooting and performed the cello solos heard in the childhood scenes.

hillary_flowers  Robert Spano & Hillary Flowers

Hillary Flowers, 2014 MM in cello performance, spent her summer learning and performing at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Here’s Hillary with Robert Spano, Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival.

travis.jurgen  Travis Jürgens
T ravis Jürgens, 2012 Artist Diploma in Conducting, has been appointed Music Director of the Ohio Northern University Symphony and Musical Theatre.  In addition to leading these programs, he will be coaching singers and teaching classes iin Advanced Conducting, Music Theory, and Instrumentation and Arranging.

Tom Erickson  Tom Erickson
Tom Erickson, 2004 BM in Saxophone Performance,  Was interviewed about his jazz composition career in the Earl MacDonald Blog.

Jonathan Govias 2  Jonathan Govias
Jonathan Govias, 2006 MM in Orchestral Conducting, was recently appointed the new Director of Orchestras at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Jonathan’s website

Lamont Symphony Orchestra Conductor Lawrence Golan Large

An update on Conducting Alumni from Lawrence Golan: Devin Hughes, AD-Orchestral Conducting, is the Music Director of the Boulder Symphony Orchestra and the Arapahoe Philharmonic Simeone Tartaglione, AD-Orchestral Conducting, is the Music Director of the Newark (DE) Symphony Orchestra Robert Boardman, MM-Orchestral Conducting, is the Music Director of the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra Travis Jürgens, AD-Orchestral Conducting, is the Music Director of the Philharmonia of Kansas City Claudio Ribiero, MM-Orchestral Conducting, is a Lecturer at Rio Grande do Sul Federal University (Brazil) Stefano Vignati, AD-Orchestral Conducting, is the Music Director of the Tuscia Opera Festival and the Festival Barocco in Italy, Artistic Director of the Italian American Opera Foundation in California and Artistic Consultant of the DiCapo Opera Theater in New York

???????????????????????????????  Jim Stranahan       2318728 Jim Stranahan, 1976 BME and 1982 MA in Music, and his Little Big Band have released their new CD – Migration to a Higher Ground on Capri Records.

ben_golden Ben Golden
Ben Golden, 2012 MM in Classical Guitar Performance, has accepted a position as a utility musician for Brantley Gilbert, a national country artist with multiple #1’s both as an artist and a songwriter for other artists.  Ben will be playing acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, organ, dobro, lap steel guitar, and harmony vocals. He beat out 10 other musicians in Nashville to get this gig and will be moving back to Nashville in a few weeks.  Ben said, “In the audition, Brantley asked me about my academic background and then asked if he could hear me play some classical music.  I played the double from the BWV 997 lute suite by Bach and then a Flamenco Solea ‘compas’ and that was a big part of me getting the gig.  In fact, when I went back for the final audition, he asked me to play one song with the band and then said I had to play ‘some of that fancy guitar’ for the rest of the band.  I was immediately hired!” Brantley Gilbert’s website

Jen Davis Jen Davis  Jeremy Martin, Boomerang photographer Jen Davis, 2003 MM,  Was featured in a Laramie Boomerang article: How the anatomy of singing gave Jen Davis the confidence to inspire others to express themselves Laramie Boomerang article Rudy Royston Rudy Royston, 1994 Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music (Percussion), has a new album, 303, reviewed Dan Bilawsky in All About Jazz. Read the NPR Music article

Andrew Stewart Andrew Steward
Andrew Steward, 2012 Bachelor of Arts in Music (flute), has received the Inspiring Hope Award in Educational Achievement from the National Council for Behavioral Health. This award recognizes individuals who have shown extraordinary tenacity and courage in battling serious mental illness and are living full lives and pursuing their goals. They also honor the clinicians, advocates, and organizations that care for and support these individuals in their recovery, changing lives and building healthy communities. Andrew will be recognized at the NCBH Annual Conference in May where national leaders in health care will work toward providing better service for and eradicating the stigma of mental illness. 2014 Inspiring Hope Honorees

Patrick Sutton Patrick Sutton

Patrick Sutton, 2010 Master of Music in Guitar Performance, wrote to Ricardo Iznaola in January…”I’m in Kabul, Afghanistan teaching and performing for ten days at the winter academy of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music.  I’m donating a copy of (your book) Kitharologus and I’ve been using it extensively in the lessons I’m giving here.  These kids are so unbelievably motivated and most have never had a proper guitar teacher.  It’s amazing what they have achieved on their own.  Almost every one of them has heartbreaking stories of parents lost in the war, friends killed by the taliban and extreme poverty.  The school is their oasis and they are the most joyful music students I’ll ever see. They have been devouring your exercises with excitement and gratitude. You should know that your wonderful book is having an influence on the lives of these special kids.”

Carlo-Fierens Carlo Fierens
Carlo Fierens, 2011 Artist Diploma in Classical Guitar, recently won two prestigious prizes in his native Italy – a first prize at the “Art Music and Talent” International Competition – being the first guitarist to win the first prize, and the first prize at the “Italian National Prize for the Arts”, an important competition organized by the Ministry of Education.  This prize is given to the best music student among all Italian conservatories and schools of music.  As a result, next year Carlo will be performing in several cities in Italy and will play a gala concert for the Minister of Education in Rome.

754376_8a6d1935e5deb0ea6ed602a782960e5c.jpg_srz_p_510_630_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz Rachel Bouton
Rachel Bouton, 2007 BA in Vocal Performance, is a writer, actor, improviser, and comedian in New York City.  She currently appears as a member of the touring musical improv company Broadway’s Next H!t Musical, and as a member of the improv teams The Washingtons (People’s Improv Theatre) and Petting Zoo (QSIC).  Stand-up and storytelling credits include Gotham Comedy Club, New York Comedy Club, The Metropolitan Room, and the Moth.  She has studied at The Second City (Chicago), Upright Citizen’s Brigade (NYC), Annoyance Theatre (NYC), Magnet Theatre (NYC), and The People’s Improv Theatre (NYC).  She can also be seen as the Asian Temp in the film Crazy Enough with Chris Kattan (LA Comedy Festival Opening Night Selection) and on a park bench somewhere eating a bagel.

patrick Patrick Sieben
Patrick Sieben, 2011 BM in Audio Production, was named a “Las Vegas Music Must See” in an article on Toonari Post

nate_wooley25 Nate Wooley
Nate Wooley, 1999 MM in Trumpet Performance, just had his sextet’s album listed as the #1 new album by Chicago Reader jazz writer Peter Margasek.

daniel_watt Daniel Watt
Daniel Watt, 2013 MM in Trombone Performance, accepted the position of Principal Trombone with the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra in Casper.  Wyoming Symphony Orchestra


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