Congratulations, Class of 2020!

In a virtual Class Day ceremony this afternoon, students, faculty, and staff joined together over Zoom to honor and send off the remarkable students in the Class of 2020. The proceedings featured tributes from faculty members, excerpts from senior theses and recitals, and the presentation of awards.

Department Chair Professor Wendy Heller noted:

“In the midst of the pandemic, our students amazed us with their extraordinary senior thesis presentations and their brilliant streamed recitals from their living rooms, showing us not only how much they will contribute to the arts and society in the future, but also the power of music to heal in times of trauma. Today, as we celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020, we also thank them for everything they have taught us. As we think ahead to the Fall semester and the inevitable challenges ahead, it is their pioneering spirit, their willingness to experiment, and sense of purpose that will inspire us. We owe them much!”

Congratulations to:


Eli Berman, Composition

SENIOR THESIS: Xibuccal Instruments: Designing Expanded and Interconnected Vocal Tracts, advised by Prof. Dan Trueman

Hansini Bhasker, Composition

SENIOR THESIS: Nirvana – A Through-Composed Vocal Sound Piece in 6 Movements, advised by Andrew Lovett

Andrew Damian, Composition

SENIOR THESIS: Unsung Liturgy – A Composition for 12-Piece Orchestra, advised by Juri Seo

Joseph Gelb, Composition

SENIOR THESIS: Suburban Fringe – A composition exploring changes in landscape as one journeys out of the city, advised by Dmitri Tymoczko

John Nydam, Composition

SENIOR THESIS: Cluster Suite: 4 Movements for 7-Piece Jazz Ensemble, advised by Dmitri Tymoczko

Timothy Ruszala, Musicology

SENIOR THESIS: Three Views of Musical Mountains in the 19th Century, advised by Simon Morrison

Allison Spann, Composition

SENIOR THESIS: Water Play: An Anti-Disciplinary Work for Dehydrated Bodies, advised by Andrew Lovett


Hansini Bhasker​, Voice, coached by Sarah Pelletier

Reilly Bova​, Conducting, coached by Michael Pratt

Janice Cheon​, Baroque Violin, coached by Nancy Wilson & Classical Violin, coached by Anna Lim

Cara Giovanetti​, Tuba, coached by Brian Brown

Haeun Jung Violin, coached by Anna Lim

Hanson Kang, Clarinet, coached by Jo-Ann Sternberg

Leland Ko, Cello, coached by Alberto Parrini

Katie Liu, Viola, coached by Eric Wyrick

Jonathan Makepeace​, Voice, coached by David Kellett

Hana Mundiya​, Classical Violin, coached by Eric Wyrick & Baroque Violin, coached by Nancy Wilson

Megan Ormsbee​, Voice, coached by Martha Elliott

Henry Peters, Percussion, coached by John Ferrari

Yang Song, Clarinet, coached by Jo-Ann Sternberg

Allison Spann​, Voice, coached by David Kellett

Catherine Sweeney, Voice, coached by David Kellett

Jacob Williams, French Horn, coached by Chris Komer

Harry Xi, Piano, coached by Francine Kay


Cara Giovanetti​, coached by Jeffrey Snyder

Matthew Helm, coached by Daniel Trueman


Eli Berman, coached by David Kellett

Charles Hemler​, coached by David Kellett

Meredith Hooper, coached by Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek

Thomas Jankovic​, coached by Kevin Deas

Madeline Kushan​, coached by Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek


Will Steidl​​, Jazz Trombone, coached by David Miller

Danielle Stephenson​, Jazz Voice, coached by Trineice Robinson-Martin


Highest Honors, Summa Cum Laude: Eli Berman, Hansini Bhasker, Joseph Gelb, John Nydam, Timothy Ruszala

High Honors, Magna Cum Laude: Allison Spann

Honors, Cum Laude: Andrew Damian


Isidore and Helen Sacks Memorial Prize

Awarded to a student or students who have made exceptional contributions to the artistic life of the Music Department through excellence in music performance or composition.

Haeun Jung & Alex Laurenzi

Edward T. Cone Memorial Prize

In memory of Edward T. Cone, a faculty member in the department who was a music theorist, composer, and performer—an engaging and thoughtful musician and musical thinker. Awarded annually to a graduating senior who demonstrates mastery of multiple areas of music, including performance, composition, and music scholarship.

Eli Berman & Allison Spann

Anthony H.P. Lee ’79 P11 P14 Jazz Studies Prize

Awarded annually to a graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence as a jazz performer, composer, and student of a musical tradition that has long been recognized for its historical and cultural significance, artistic innovation, and far reaching influence.

Danielle Stephenson

Asher Hinds Prize in European Cultural Studies
Awarded by the Program in European Cultural Studies (ECS)

This prize was established in memory of Professor Asher Hinds, one of the leaders of the Special Program in the Humanities, which later became the Program in American Studies and the Program in European Cultural Studies. Professor Hinds was remembered with particular affection by his students and colleagues, who established this prize in his memory. The prize is awarded annually in recognition of the best senior thesis completed by an ECS certificate student.

Timothy Ruszala, co-recipient


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