Alumni Achievements

Note to our alumni: If you would like to let us know what you’ve been up to and have your achievements included here, please email information to Steve Rouse. Those of you already included feel free to get in touch with updates and corrections.

Alumni are listed in reverse chronological order of their year of graduation.


Bryce Fuhrman (M.M. 2014)

attends the University of Maryland, pursuing his doctoral degree in composition as a student of Mark E. Wilson. As a teaching assistant at UMD, Bryce also teaches courses in the music theory department. Bryce was selected to compose a new work for string quartet as part of the Spektral Quartet residency program at Maryland in February 2015. Recent performances include “Shatter” for five trumpets at the University of Maryland, conducted by Chris Gekker.


Yvonne Freckmann
(M.M. 2013)

was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to spend a year at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, Netherlands. She will study multimedia composition with Yannis Kyriakides and will complete a project entitled "Wired Arias" for singers and live electronics.

Jonathan Carter (M.M. 2012)

was awarded a Fulbright Grant to continue his studies in electro-acoustic music at the University of Music and the Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria.

José Julio Díaz Infante (M.M. 2012)

attended UofL on a Fulbright Grant.  He was recently appointed to a three-year term on the selection panel of the Foro Internacional de Música Nueva Manuel Enríquez, the largest and most important new music festival in Latin America.   His music was also featured in the 2008, 2011 and 2012 Foros.  He is currently Assistant Director of Academic Studies and Professor of Composition at the Center for Research and Studies of Music (Centro de Investigación y Estudios de la Música) in Mexico City.  His music has been performed in various venues in the USA, Mexico, and other parts of Latin America, and he has a busy docket of commissions and upcoming premieres.

Rene Orth (M.M. 2012)

has had recent performances by the Fifth House Ensemble (Chicago), cellist Paul York and Contemporary Ensemble at the Atlantic Music Festival, among others. She was a recipient of a Kentucky Foundation for Women Artists Enrichment Grant.  She is currently studying with Richard Danielpour at the Curtis Institute of Music where she holds the Milton L. Rock Composition Fellowship. Rene has released her chamber opera, The Red Thread, in a recording subsidized by the Kentucky Foundation for Women and a successful Kickstarter campaign. Recent and upcoming commissions include the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Dover Quartet, and a ballet for the Rock School of Dance. Rene was recently commissioned by the Washington National Opera and American Opera Initiative for a 20-minute chamber opera to be premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC on November 20. She is collaborating with librettist Jason Kim and working with singers from the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. The mentors for this project include Jake Heggie, Mark Campbell, and Anne Manson.

Adriana Guzmán (M.M. 2011)

attended UofL on a Fulbright Grant.  She is Director of Academic Programs at the School of Music of the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia and founded the digital multi-media studio Hiper-Lab ( ). She is active as a theorist and composer, with a particular interest in computer music and multi-media projects.

Jason Palamara (M.M. 2011)

is a fourth year PhD candidate in music composition at the University of Iowa. He is an active performer on the violin, guitar and laptop and is a founding member of the newly constructed Laptop Orchestra at the University of Iowa (LOUi), which was recently profiled in the Washington Times.Jason currently works as the in-house composer for the University Of Iowa Department Of Dance and as the Research Assistant for LOUi. Jason composes music for many dance department projects, specializing in electroacoustic music, collaboration and improvisation.His recent works have seen performances by the JACK Quartet, the Enid Trio, and several performances by the Baker-Tarpaga Dance Project in Burkina Faso, Africa.In his spare time, he teaches songwriting and musicianship to the inmates at Oakdale Community Prison.You can find links to his music, events and more info at and

Matthew Walker (M.M. 2009)

is Development Director at the ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn (, an alternative performance space dedicated to fostering innovative new work by artists working across disciplines, with an emphasis on music and other sonic art.  He also co-curated an exhibition titled Render Visible at the Present Company gallery in Brooklyn. He created scores for two short films, one of which has now screened at a number of festivals including the Tribeca Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival. He is currently working on the score for a dance work by artist Alexis Zaccarello.

Aleksander Nowak (M.M. 2008)

returned to Poland to receive his Ph.D. in composition at The Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, where he now teaches courses in orchestration, modern scoring and introduction to composition. He is active as a composer, receiving commissions from numerous festivals and institutions. His music has been performed by such ensembles as the London Sinfonietta, Alarm Will Sound , Studio for New Music Ensemble in Moscow, Warsaw Philharmonic, Silesian Philharmonic and the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice. He has a particular interest is music for the stage. His chamber opera Sudden Rain was premiered at the Polish National Opera House in Warsaw in 2010 and remained on the program for two seasons. The premiere of a new, full size opera to a libretto by Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov is scheduled in March 2015 at the Grand Theatre in Poznan. He is the president of Silesian branch of the Polish Composers’ Union and the director of two festivals: the Silesian Contemporary Music Days and The Brand-New Music Festival in Katowice.

Jeremy Podgursky (B.M. 2001, M.M. 2007)

is continuing his studies on a Doctoral Fellowship at Indiana University, where he has also taught several courses.  He was a recipient of the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and commissions, including a Fromm Music Foundation Commission, a very rare achievement for someone still in graduate school at the time of the award, and the National SCI/ASCAP Commissioning Competition.  His music has been performed in the USA, Europe and Japan by such groups as Alarm Will Sound, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Arsenal Trio, newEar and Holographic, of which is a cofounder.  He was a guitarist and singer/songwriter in the band, The Pennies.

Zhiyi Wang (M.M. 2006)

is one of the foremost Chinese composers of his generation recognized by both academic and commercial music industries. As a core member in the music crew of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Wang contributed various music programs for the Opening Ceremony, including the official theme song You and Me. Wang’s music has been performed worldwide in many concerts and festivals. He has collaborated with artists including Lorin Maazel, Sarah Brightman, Lang Lang and Zhang Yimou. He received many prestigious awards and honors, as well as appointed residency by Shanghai Opera House. Wang founded Z-1 Music Studio in Beijing, where he produces various music works for major projects, including opera, ballet, concert, film, pop and multimedia. Zhiyi Wang's CV

Carrie Leigh Page Drake
(M.M. 2005)

received her doctorate from Arizona State and is active as a composer, with many performances and commissions to her credit. She was a Bomhard Fellow while at UofL. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Alliance For Women in Music. She recently accepted a full-time position teaching composition and theory at Montana State University in Bozeman.

David Plylar (M.M. 2003)

went on to receive his Ph.D at the Eastman School of Music.  He has received awards and recognition from the Meet the Composer Foundation, ASCAP, the American Music Center, the Minnesota Orchestra Reading Sessions and the Hanson Institute for American Music, among other organizations.  He was the Artistic and New Music Coordinator of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra for two years, and is currently a Music Specialist and Concert Producer at the Library of Congress.

Rebecca M. Doran Eaton (M.M. 2003)

earned a Ph.D. in music theory from the University of Texas at Austin. Since then she has taught theory and aural skills at Texas State University-San Marcos.  She has presented her research on minimalism as film music at national and international conferences and is published in The Ashgate Research Companion to Minimalist and Postminimalist Music (2013) and Music and the Moving Image (forthcoming).

Patrick Soluri (M.M. 2002)

is active as a composer and performing musician in New York City.  His Inferno of Dante: Canto V was featured at Vox 2003—Showcasing brianAmerican Composers, by the New York City Opera.  He was a resident artist at American Lyric Theater's Composer Librettist Development Program, 2007-09.  His music has been commissioned, performed and recorded such groups as the American Lyric Theater, Staatsballet Berlin, Dances Patrelle, Bryan McCauley Dance, the Remarkable Theater Brigade, and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, and has been presented in Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, and the Kennedy Center, among other prestigious venues.  He is active as a TV and film composer as well.

J. Daniel Jenkins (M.M. 2000)

went to the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester as a teaching assistant in music theory, where he won awards for teaching excellence university-wide as well as within the Eastman School.  He was a Fulbright Scholar in Vienna 2005-06, where he completed research for his doctoral dissertation on the music of Arnold Schönberg.  His scholarly work is widely published and he has presented papers in the US, Canada and Europe.  He also remains active as a composer, arranger, and countertenor.  He is currently on the faculty at the University of South Carolina.

Brian Herrington (M.M. 2000)

continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, working with Grawemeyer Award winning composer Simon Bainbridge, and receiving his doctorate from that institution.  Composition awards include the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, Morton Gould Award (ASCAP), Leo Kaplan Prize (ASCAP), First Music Award (New York Youth Symphony) and two composition awards from the Royal Academy of Music. His music has been performed at the Soundscape Festival in Italy, UMKC Cello Days, OMMAGIO (the memorial concert for Berio in London), the Royal Festival Hall Organ Recital Series, Society for the Promotion of New Music (U.K.), and the Darmstadt International Summer Institute.  His music has been performed by the London Sinfonietta, the New York Youth Symphony, the BBC Singers and others in venues including Queen Elizabeth Hall and Carnegie Hall.  He is on the faculty at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas where he is founding director of Intersection New Music Collective.

Jay Batzner (M.M. 2000)

received his doctorate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and taught at Central Florida University before accepting his current post at Central Michigan University.  His music has been performed in venues across the United States and abroad, and been the recipient of several prizes.

Nathan Brock (B.M. 1999)

pursued graduate work at the University of California, San Diego, receiving his doctorate there.  He was also a post-doctoral research fellow at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. He had very wide-ranging interests as a composer, including technological applications.  At his untimely death in 2012, he was on the faculty at UCSD.

Adam Levowitz (M.M. 1998)

spent 3 years as an enlisted member of the 257 Army Band in Washington DC, and is proud to have written the official song of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the "Home of Warrior "care. He is currently living in New York and has joined the producing team for Somewhere In Time, a new musical that is coming to Broadway next summer. His own musical, Galactic Cigarettes Presents: It's Your Worldis in development with a target of 2016 for Broadway. His recently completed ballet,Maan Singh, the Wolf-Child, is currently preparing for a 2014 tour.

Daniel Worley (B.M. 1993)

is a composer/producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, most recently as the dobroist/guitarist for the Danville, Kentucky-based postmodern bluegrass group MP. He received a DMA in composition with an electronic music emphasis from the University of Michigan in 2002, after which he was an active producer and performer, leading the alt-country band CityGoat, and founding the Good Noise Studio—producing and recording records in all genres. As a composer he has written for theater and dance, as well as receiving commissions from the Albany Symphony, the Tulsa Philharmonic, and saxophonist Timothy McAllister, among others. He is currently teaching orchestration and composition at the UofL, and guitar, digital music, and composition at Centre College.

Rachel Grimes (B.A. 1993)

is a composer and pianist.  She was a member of Rachel's, a crossover group combining diverse musical influences, which released six albums on Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records.  Her music is used in film, theater and live dance and has a wide indie following.  She tours as a solo performer as well as a collaborator with a variety of ensembles. A Rachel's tune, Water From the Same Source, is featured in Paulo Sorrentino's Academy Award winning film, La Grande Belleza (The Great Beauty).

Chris Fitzgerald (B.M. 1989, M.M. 1992)

has been a member of the Louisville jazz community as both teacher and performer since 1985.  He has performed with local and internationally-known jazz luminaries, and has taught at various universities and the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops. He currently teaches both classical theory and jazz courses at the University of Louisville.  He is an active performer, including his role as bassist in the Harry Pickens Trio and the original music ensemble Liberation Prophecy, appearing with them on NPR’s World Café, and at the Blue Note in New York City.