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2021 Summer Graduate Fellows

May 21, 2021

Summer fellowship winners (l-r): Matthew Abernathy, Jay Afrisando, Hisham Groover

Summer fellowship winners (l-r): Matthew Abernathy, Jay Afrisando, Hisham Groover
Summer fellowship winners (l-r): Matthew Abernathy, Jay Afrisando, Hisham Groover

The School of Music is pleased to announce the 2021 Summer Graduate Fellows. The following graduate students will conduct scholarly and creative activities over the summer months with financial support from the annual Summer Graduate Fellowship program. Fellows are selected by the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee. Here are the unique projects that earned fellowships. 

Matthew Abernathy (DMA, choral conducting, Kathy Romey; advisor) : “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Advanced Musicianship for Conductors” 

  • Matthew Abernathy’s project will focus on advanced musicianship skills for conductors, and how they both acquire and apply these skills in their work, learning scores, and leading rehearsals. It draws on the legacy and teaching of Nadia Boulanger and her unique methods for developing a deep understanding of a work. 

Jay Afrisando (PhD, composition, Alex Lubet; advisor): “Tangguh, A Piece for Aurally Diverse Audiences and Bodily Diverse Performers”

  • Jay Afrisando will create “Tangguh” (Resilient), a one-hand piano composition intended to be played by a bodily diverse performer and performed for aurally diverse audiences. This piece will be published in the form of stereo audiovisual media in collaboration with Yan Pang (music faculty/scholar/performer) and J-Sun (dance faculty/scholar/performer).

Hisham Groover (DMA orchestral conducting, Mark Russel Smith; advisor): “Professional and Artistic Development – Summer Workshops and Competition”

  • Hisham Groover will attend the International Conductors Workshop and Competition (Atlanta, GA), the Summer Orchestral Conducting Institute (Fort Worth, TX), and the Cabrillo Festival Conductors Workshop (remote) to further his conducting skills and artistic development.

Stephen Thompson (MA in Music Therapy, Michael Silverman, advisor): “A Descriptive Analysis of Music Therapy in Veteran’s Affairs Settings in the United States”

  • Stephen Thompson hopes to develop a descriptive analysis of the population of Music Therapists who work in a VA setting. He will then present the project at the National Music Therapy Conference and submit the paper for publication in the Journal of Music Therapy. 

Shekela Wanyama (DMA choral conducting, Kathy Romey, advisor): “Our Magnitude and Bond: Working Practices of BIPOC Performing Arts Leaders in the Twin Cities.” 

  • Shekela Wanyama will attend a leadership course this summer and interview BIPOC leaders to learn about their development as leaders and artists. She will explore how the leaders came to establish or run their organizations, the role their organization and art plays in the life of their community, and their navigation of the particular challenges of COVID-19 and social unrest in the Twin Cities during 2020 and 2021.

Marshall Yoes (MA music therapy, Michael Silverman; advisor): “Songwriting in Adult Mental Health Settings: A Meta-Synthesis of Service Users’ Experiences”

  • Marshall Yoes plans on examining the experiences and perspectives of individuals with a mental health condition who participated in a songwriting music therapy intervention.