Student News

2018 President's Award: Katiana Nicholson

2018 Honors Assembly Program

 2015-16 MTSU Flute Studio Successes

  1. Alyssa Baransk - 
    1st place winner of South Carolina Flute Societies Collegiate Artist Competition (2016)
     1st Place Winner of the Kentucky Flute Festivals Collegiate Artist Competition (2016)
    2nd place winner of the LaGrange Symphony Young Artist Competition (2016)
    Winner of the 2016 Mid-South Flute Festival Collegiate Masterclass Competition(2016)
    Finalist for the North Carolina Flute Festivals Young Artist Competition (2015)
  2. Megan McKinney -
    2016 2nd place winner of the Kentucky Flute Festivals Collegiate Artist Competition
  3. Eric Luminais -|
    2016 3rd place winner of the Beethoven Club Competition, Memphis

 MTSU Guitar QuartetThe MTSU Guitar Quartet performed music from the Renaissance and Baroque to contemporary American and Latin Music.  Music of Praetorius, Telemann, Andrew York, Paulo Bellinati and more.     The quartet members, Brad Poe, Ryan Jerzak, Alex Saber, and Jacob Miears are 4 of the finest classical guitarists in the state.  The quartet was featured in concert at the spring '15 MTSU School of Music Honors Assembly.  Brad Poe received his BM in Guitar Performance from MTSU and is presently Adjunct Professor of Guitar at MTSU. Ryan Jerzak is completing his BM in Music Composition at MTSU and is one of the area's busiest guitar teachers with 40 private students.  Jacob Miears is MTSU's top senior Guitar Performance major and has received 2 undergraduate research awards for guitar scholarship. Alex Saber received his BM in Guitar Performance from Belmont University and was awarded a Graduate Assistantship in guitar at MTSU.

Graduate student, Jacob Hendley, was invited to perform at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS on Thursday, Oct. 8 and give a masterclass to the guitar students on Oct. 9. The recital program will include works by Dowland, Tarrega, Piazzolla and more. It will be recorded by Millsaps. (Sept. 2015)

MTSU School of Music students Maria Gramelspacher (bass), Daniel Krenz (trumpet), Ashley Landers (bassoon), Jeremy Steffens (bass) and ​Sarah Swarts (horn) and MTSU alumuna Shannon Moore (flute) were Fellowship members of the 2015 Nashville Summer Orchestral Institute (Blair school of Music) in June. Tina Babler (violin) served as a member of the NSOI first violin section. Robin Winkowski served as the assistant conductor of the NSOI.

MTSU Vocalist Rise to the Top at TN State Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Student Audition (Oct. 2014) 

Four MTSU students were top winners at the TN State Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Student (NATS) Auditions held Oct. 4 at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

MTSU students, Collin Peterson, Hannah Sims Elizabeth Bumpas and Beth Ann Stripling placed in the top three spots out of approximately 100 students completing.

Peterson took first place in the sophomore men’s category and third place in Music Theater.  Sims took first place in the sophomore women’s category while Bumpas took third place in the junior women’s category. Stripling won first place honors among junior women.

Additionally, Stripling and Bumpas were selected to sing the preceding day for master classes with Dr. Thomas Jaber, collaborative pianist, coach, and choral director, from The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. 

09/16/2014 - DJ Creech won the Second Trumpet Position in the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Apparently, as is always now, it was stiff competition and the audition consisted of three or four rounds. DJ completed his masters degree here at MTSU in May of 2013. He took the 2013-2014 year off of school and freelanced. He joined me many times over the past few years at my request in the Huntsville Symphony. He also joined me in performances this past May at the International Trumpet Guild Conference and played skillfully and beautifully for a packed house. He had  just started a doctorate at the University of Georgia studying with the recently retired Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic, Phil Smith.

Jack Lorens, a freshman music major in MTSU's School of Music, is one of 6 Semi-Finalists advanced in the prestigious Leonard Falcone Euphonium Competition, Student Division. The semi-finals will be held August 8-11, 2014 at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan. Please join me in celebrating Jack's accomplishment. (May 2014)

Please congratulation MTSU Flutists on their current successes!!! (Spring 2014)

  • Rebecca Murphy (graduate student)was selected to perform with the Professional Flute Choir at the NFA convention this coming August in Chicago!
  • Alyssa Baranski (sophomore) was selected to perform in the College Flute Choir at the NFA convention this coming August in Chicago!
  • Megan McKinney (sophomore) was selected to perform in the College Flute Choir at the NFA convention this coming August in Chicago!
  • Tiffany Jih (freshman) was selected to perform in the College Flute Choir at the NFA convention this coming August in Chicago!
  • Tiffany Jih (freshman) was awarded a URECA grant through MTSU and will be doing her work/creative research this summer! 

NATS winnersOn April 4 and 5, over 400 students competed at the Regional National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition at Blair School of Music. MTSU had three winners at the event. Collin Peterson, Elizabeth Stripling and William Duke won in the categories of Freshman Men, Underclass Musical Theatre and Junior Men. Kayla Holt, Elizabeth Bumpas and Ciera Cope were also selected as semi-finalists for the two-day event.


FLUTE NEWS Spring 2014: Senior, Shannon Moore, was chosen as a winner for the 2014 Mid-South Flute Festival College master class Competition and will perform for Goran Marcusson this coming march. Alumni & adjunct faculty, Abi Coffer, is the WINNER of the 2014 Kentucky Flute Festival (last weekend). Senior, Anna Laura Williams, was one of 5 finalists chosen for the 2014 Florida Flute Fair Collegiate Artist Competition. Senior, Shannon Moore, was selected as a finalist for the 2014 Delta Symphony Concerto Competition. Anna Laura Williams won 3rd place at the 2014 florida Flute Fair Collegiate Artist Competition. Both Shannon Moore (current senior) and Roya Farzaneh (2012 BM Perf grad) have by been accepted to study in England next year with esteemed flutist, Trevor Wye. He takes six students into his course.

  • Jacob Farmer (Freshman '13) attended the 2013 NFA Convention in New Orleans and performed with the Jumbalaya Flute Orchestra conducted by Angeleita Floyd.
  • Shannon Moore (senior '13) spent her summer in Italy where she was selected as a performer for the summer Leone Buyse and Sergio Pallottelli Master Class.
  • MTSU's graduate student, Melissa Gensler is releasing her debut CD "SANIK" SONYQ is an ELECTRIC FLUTE and guitar duo whose unique style mixes free form jazz, rhythm & blues, and contemporary flute methods to create a revolutionary form of modern electronic music. Flute timbres and textures are created by a microphone and performing through guitar and vocal effects pedals! Digital delay, distortion, and harmonization electronic effects combine with an avant-garde flute sound and techniques. All the works on the CD are original compositions and arrangements by the band, Melissa Gensler (flute) and Michael Keeling (guitar). Compositions are improvised, through-composed, or arrangements of well-known music from classic flute literature. Their debut CD, "SANIK," is now available on iTunes and at for $7.98. 
  • Abi Coffer performed the first movement of Mozart's Flute Concerto in G Major with the MTSU Chamber Orchestra on April 19. She has been accepted to the Eastern Music Festival this summer and has been offered both a Merit Schoalrship and an Apprentice Scholarship. (posted 06/01/09)

  • MTSU Guitar graduate Silviu Ciulei who won the $1000 Fifth Prize in the Parkening International Guitar Competition at Pepperdine University, May 28-30. The triennial Parkening Competition is the preeminent guitar competition in the world, offering $65,000 in cash prizes. Silviu, age 23, was the only USA college student to win a prize in the 2009 Parkening International Competition. (The other prize winners hailed from Italy, Spain, Scotland, and Finland). Silviu, a native of Romania, received his B.M. in Guitar Performance from MTSU in '08. He has just completed his first year of graduate school at Florida State University under the direction of Bruce Holzman. (posted 06/01/09)