Alumni in the News

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Michael Gillespie sketching next to an Italian brick building

Alumni Painter Michael Gillespie

Michael Gillespie (B.F.A. Art Education, 1983) spent a month as Artist in Residence at a 5-star boutique luxury hotel in Tuscany, Italy. He did plein air painting and taught art lessons to the guests. He was recently commissioned to paint an oil portrait of Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt of Dallas. 

Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Iva Kinnaird to be Featured in Hello Project Gallery Exhibition

Work by Iva Kinnaird (B.F.A. Studio Art, 2014) will be featured as part of Hello Project Gallery's "Summer Party Too" exhibition, which also marks the Houston gallery's one-year anniversary. Also featured in the show is current Fine Arts graduate student Rachael Starbuck. The exhibition runs July 10 to August 8. 

Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Force of Nature exhibiton

Marcia Green Santore co-chair of Force of Nature exhibition at Plymouth State University

Force of Nature exhibition website

Marcia Green Santore (B.F.A. Studio Art, 1982) is co-chair of the Women's Caucus for Art/NH Chapter's national juried art exhibition FORCE OF NATURE: Exploring the Power of the Feminine in two venues on the campus of Plymouth State University. Juried by Judith Brodsky, this exhibition brings the work of more than 80 artists across the U.S. to New England.

Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ariana Vincent

Ariana Vincent Receives Award From Alliance for Massage Therapy Education

The Ariana Institute for Wellness Education is pleased to announce that Ariana Vincent (B.F.A. Studio Art, 1977) is The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education 2015 Continuing Education Provider of the Year, recognizing her excellence in massage and bodywork education.

Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hai Zheng and Dr. Kiyoshi Tamagawa

Hai Zheng and Dr. Kiyoshi Tamagawa complete third Asian concert tour

Hai Zheng, concert cellist (BM 1988, MM 1990) and Dr. Kiyoshi Tamagawa (DMA 1988) recently made their third Asia concert tour together. They first gave master classes and recitals at Bangkok and Hua Hin in Thailand, then went on to the Yong Siew Toh-Asia's International Conservatory in Singapore and finished their tour at China Conservatory in Beijing. Hai Zheng is Assistant Professor and Artist in Residence at Southwestern University. Dr/ Kiyoshi Tamagawa is Professor of Music and Associate Dean for the Sarofim School of Fine Arts at Southwestern University.

Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jason Pittman

Jason Pittman takes command of submarine USS HELENA

United States Navy website

Cmdr. Jason Pittman, B.M. 1998 and a Distinguished Graduate of UT NROTC, took command of the fast attack submarine, USS HELENA (SSN 725), this month at a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk. He is the first Music major to be accepted to the Navy's nuclear propulsion program and the first to take command of a nuclear powered ship.

Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dr. Christina Wright-Ivanova

Christina Wright-Ivanova appointed assistant professor, collaborative artist at University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Christina Wright-Ivanova (D.M.A. 2012) has been appointed assistant professor of music/vocal coach and collaborative artist at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. She begins her faculty residency in fall 2015. There were 90 applicants for the position, and Wright-Ivanova says her success is due in no small part to the Butler School of Music faculty and students with whom she worked in her three-year residency.

Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Alumnus Alan Hicks wraps up second year at Seattle Opera

Alan E. Hicks (D.M.A. 2009) recently completed two seasons as the staff Assistant Director at Seattle Opera. For the 2015-16 season, Alan will join the staff of Lyric Opera of Chicago assisting Susan Stroman on The Merry Widow and Daniele Abbado on Nabucco. Alan will also make directing debuts at Minnesota Opera, Opera Santa Barbara and Miami Summer Music Festival.

Posted: Monday, June 1, 2015

Alumnus Luke Leonard to direct multiple projects this fall

Luke Leonard's (M.F.A. 2010) upcoming directing projects include the Houston premiere of Bum Phillips: All-American Opera Sept. 24, 2015 at The Stafford Centre; the Australian premiere of The Difficulty of Crossing a Field in October 2015 at the Nagambie Lakes Opera Festival; and the world premiere of Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a musical play written and directed by Luke with music by Peter Stopschinski and co-lyrics by Katie Pearl, Oct 7-25, 2015 at 59E59 Theaters in New York.

Posted: Friday, May 29, 2015

Alumnus James Jeter performs, teaches bassoon across the country

James Jeter (B.M. 1971) will perform solo bassoon with the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players at the Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center in Virginia this June and with the Conductors Institute Orchestra at Bard College this July. He will also teach and perform at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in western Michigan for his tenth summer.

Posted: Friday, May 29, 2015

Alumna Hilary Karming Lai opens acupuncture practice in Colleyville, Texas

After earning her Ph.D. in Acupuncture last summer from the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hilary Karming Lai (B.A. and B.F.A., 2007) has opened her own practice, Benefit Acupuncture, in Colleyville, Texas.

Posted: Friday, May 29, 2015

Brett Mitchell

Butler School of Music Alumnus lands contract extension and promotion at the Cleveland Orchestra

Butler School of Music alumnus and conductor Brett Mitchell (M.M. 2003, D.M.A. 2005) has landed a two-year contract extension with the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, along with a promotion from assistant conductor to associate conductor. Mitchell's duties will shift to those of an active conductor and will entail more opportunities leading pops, family and education programs.

Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Alumna's play featured in the Austin New Latino Play Festival

Teatro Vivo ATX

Jelisa Jay Robinson's (Theatre and Dance 2014) play The Stories of Us premieres May 16 at the fifth annual Austin Latino New Play Festival. The Stories of Us is a collection of stories examining the intercultural conflict between African Americans and Latinos. Visit Teatro Vivo ATX for more information.

Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2015

Michael Arthur

An Illustrated Guide to Broadway's Airline Highway

Vanity Fair

Pulitzer Prize-finalist Lisa D'Amour (MA Theatre, 1996) was featured in Vanity Fair for her Broadway debut with Airline Highway, a new play that centers around a community of misfits in D'Amour's hometown of New Orleans. The feature was written and illustrated by D'Amour's former classmate Michael Arthur (PhD Theatre, 1999). Airline Highway premieres at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on April 23. 

Posted: Friday, April 3, 2015

shelley wood

Shelley Wood Exhibition at Photo Méthode Gallery in Austin

Photo Méthode Gallery

Shelley Wood (BFA Studio Art, 1986) is exhibiting her photographic work at Photo Méthode Gallery in Austin, TX in a two-artist show titled, "Between the Aether." The exhibition will be on view through April 24.

Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Theatre Alumna recognized as 2015 Susan Blackburn Prize Finalists

The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

Lisa D'Amour's (MA Theatre, 1996) play Airline Highway and Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's (MA Play Writing, 2009) play The World of Extreme Happiness were finalists for the 2015 Susan Blackburn Prize, an international award for women playwrights given annually to recognize those who have written works of outstanding quality. 

Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jason Kendall

Jason Kendall on The Weather Channel

William Paterson University

Jason Kendall (MA Acting, 1996) joined Al Roker and Stephanie Abrams this past month on the morning TV show "Wake Up With Al" on the Weather Channel. This series served as the only live astronomy program on national television. Check out videos of Kendall chatting about the stars here!

Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015


Erik Parker

The Huffington Post

Erik Parker (BFA Studio Art, 1996) was featured in the Huffington Post yesterday for his massively colorful nature-scape paintings. His new series, titled "¿What About Now?" is currently on view at Madrid's Galería Javier López. They will make their U.S. debut this fall at New York's Paul Kasmin Gallery

Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Group Exhibition: Pitch

SOIL: Artist-Run Gallery

Phil Ladeau (MFA Studio Art, 2014), Erik Shane Swanson (MFA Studio Art, 2014), and James Scheuren (MFA Studio Art, 2014) have a group exhibition, Pitch, at SOIL Artist-Run Gallery in Seattle, Washington. Pitch revels the extraordinary within common objects and occurrences through sculpture, drawing, and photography. The exhibition will run from March 5 through March 28. 

Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2015 Grammy for Best Choral Performance awarded to Mela Dailey and Conspiraire Company

Conspiraire Company

Soloist Mela Dailey (M. Music, 2003), won a Grammy this week for Best Choral Performance as part of the ensemble The Conspiraire Symphonic Choir and their performance of "The Sacred Spirit of Russia." Dailey is a faculty member in the Department of Theatre and Dance as well as a Butler School alumna.

Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2015