DMA Performer Biographies

The following featured performers are pursuing their Doctor of Musical Arts in Contemporary Music at Bowling Green State University.

Soprano Carolyn Anderson has performed with the finest arts institutions of Northwest Ohio including Bowling Green State University, Toledo Opera, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo Art Museum, Toledo’s Rosary Cathedral, MACCM, and the Lima Symphony Orchestra. Recently, Ms. Anderson performed Eric Whitacre’s Goodnight Moon with the BGSU Wind Symphony and won the Conrad Art Song Competition with pianist/composer Steven Naylor. Currently, she is playing the Novice in Toledo Opera’s production of Suor Angelica. Ms. Anderson is working on a D.M.A. in Contemporary Music at BGSU. She received her M.M. at BGSU and her B.M. at Oberlin Conservatory. 

Horn player Rachel Boehl is passionate about commissioning new works for both chamber and solo performance. She completed her undergraduate degree at the Manhattan School of Music and is a Dean’s Medal recipient from UCLA, where she received her MM. An avid chamber player, she is a member of Bowling Green’s PACEM Quintet. In addition to horn performance, her interests lie in analogue and digital synthesis and integrating electronics into her horn playing. She is in her 2nd year of doctoral studies with Andrew Pelletier at BGSU.

Claudia Aizaga Chávez is an Ecuadorian flutist, educator, and new music advocate. She is a founding member of both the Diverge Trio and the Newphonia Ensemble, a chamber group dedicated to performing the works of living composers and new commissions for their unique instrumentation. Claudia has won top prizes in various competitions including the “Música Maestro” competition in Ecuador and the LSU Concerto Competition. Additionally, for 8 years she has served as a flute teacher through “El Sistema” at the FOSJE foundation in Ecuador and has organized the yearly Festival Internacional de Flautistas En El Centro Del Mundo. Since In the summer of 2022 she served as a Flute Teaching Fellow at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Claudia holds degrees from University of Northern Iowa and Louisiana State University and is in her third year of DMA studies at BGSU with Terri Sánchez.

Pianist Sandra Coursey is in her third year of BGSU’s doctoral program in contemporary music. She is a founding member of the chamber quintet, Newphonia, who recently completed a residency at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Other recent performances include a recital with Newphonia at Western Illinois University, as well as solo performances and a lecture recital at Mississippi University for Women’s 2022 Music by Women Festival.

Inspired by the artwork of her traditional Chinese painter and calligrapher father, harpist Shelly Du seeks new ways to explore colors and shapes through sound. Her drive to understand the harp’s timbre among a bigger texture led to many opportunities as an orchestral performer, frequently with ensembles such as the Buffalo Philharmonic, Sarasota Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the Erie Philharmonic. Noted on for her “impressive technique and musicality,” Shelly was a winner of the American Harp Society Anne Adams Awards, and was a featured concerto soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra, Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra on tour. Currently in her fourth year in the DMA program under the tutelage of Julie Buzzelli, Shelly Du holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Pianist, composer, and sound artist Stephen Eckert has performed at every kind of venue, from local pubs to the 4th Stage of the National Arts Centre of Canada. Mx. Eckert has notably performed as a sound artist at Pique in the Ottawa Art Gallery, solo recitalist with Gros Morne Summer Music, touring opera repetiteur, chamber musician in festivals across Canada, and pianist for The Ewashko Singers. Stephen’s accolades include the Memorial University Medal in Music for graduating at the top of their class and the 2021 Nicole Senécal Emerging Artist Prize.

Saxophonist Garrett Evans is a current doctoral student at Bowling Green State University. He has performed internationally, travelling to Strasbourg, France in 2015 with the Lawrence University Saxophone Quartet, and domestically, he has performed in universities, public schools, warming shelters, country clubs, parks, and malls. Garrett also spent several years teaching in the public schools in Wisconsin. He received degrees from Lawrence University and The Hartt School, where his primary saxophone instructors were Steven Jordheim and Carrie Koffman. He is currently studying with John Sampen at BGSU.

Adam Har-zvi is a composer and double bassist originally from New Jersey. His pieces have been performed by groups such as The Toledo Symphony, The 21st Century Consort, and the Mivos Quartet. His music has received awards from the National Federation of Music Clubs, The Ohio Federation of Music Clubs and the NJ Arts Collective. He holds degrees from The Cleveland Institute of Music, UMass Amherst, and BGSU. As a bassist, Har-zvi is a member of the chamber quintet, Newphonia, which commissions several pieces annually and gives numerous performances throughout the Midwest. Additionally, he performs regularly with the Adrian and Mansfield Symphony Orchestras. He has studied composition under Jeremy Allen, Christopher Dietz, Mikel Kuehn, Elainie Lillios, Salvatore Macchia, Marilyn Shrude and Kate Soper, and double bass under Salvatore Macchia, Bob Rohwer, and Derek Zadinsky. Har-zvi is in the 3rd year of his doctorate at BGSU, studying with Marilyn Shrude.

Seeking human connection through contemporary music, saxophonist Joshua Heaney has commissioned and premiered over 40 works by composers such as Augusta Read Thomas, Viet Cuong, Matthew Kennedy, and many others. He has performed throughout the United States at new music engagements including the Bowling Green New Music Festival, Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival, Society for Minimalist Music International Conference, SoundNOW, and is regularly featured on radio and other music programs. Joshua teaches saxophone and clarinet at Heidelberg University and is completing the Doctorate in Contemporary Music Performance at Bowling Green State University, where he studies with John Sampen. His debut album, ALCHEMY, will be released in Fall 2022.

Shannon Lotti is a first-year DMA student at Bowling Green State University studying with Dr. Terri Sánchez. She is currently an active flute teacher as well as a solo and orchestral performer. Shannon is a prize-winner of several competitions including first prize of the 2021 MTNA Nebraska Woodwind Competition, SC Flute Society Collegiate Competition, Great Composers Competition, and Maverick Flute Soloist Competition. She received her MM at the University of Nebraska Lincoln and her BM at the University of Texas at Arlington.

For over 10 years Anthony Marchese has worked to hone his craft as a professional cellist, teacher, and musical collaborator. During his time in the field, he has performed as a featured soloist with the Eastern Michigan University Symphony Orchestra, placed first in the Barry Manilow concerto competition, and recorded a full-length album in collaboration with folk singer/songwriter Joanna Sterling. He enjoys exploring all genres of music with an emphasis on folk and world music. Anthony currently holds adjunct positions at Bluffton and Heidelberg Universities and is in his second-year of doctoral studies with Brian Snow at BGSU. Recent projects include a second full-length album in collaboration with Joanna Sterling and the release of 4 newly commissioned works by his ensemble Quarteto Raro. One of Anthony’s primary goals is to commission new works from underrepresented composers, particularly within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Oboist David Munro is a versatile performer who builds upon tradition while embracing contemporary, avant-garde, and electro-acoustic music, engaging audiences through thoughtful and innovative performances. David thrives in collaborative environments, performing regularly with the Diverge Trio (fl, ob, pn) and Newphonia Ensemble. He has been a Performance Fellow at the Bang on a Can, Nief Norf, and Splice Summer Festivals, exploring contemporary chamber performance in works like Ellen Reid’s Push/Pull and George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children. David is currently pursuing his DMA in Contemporary Music at BGSU and is studying with Dwight Parry.

Planning interesting and audience involved events, with a lean towards contemporary chamber music, Keri Lee Pierson is a soprano that brings music from the medieval period through today to a variety of venues. She enjoys discovering and performing lesser-known pieces and collaborating on new ones to bring classical music to a wide audience. In 2021, she was awarded a grant from the FL Department of State to tour and educate on new music around Northeast Florida. Some of her more unique performances include an event in Orlando called DUSK to DAWN, and her interactive performances: Music & Meditation, iPlay: An Audience Perspective on New Music, and a music and wine pairing event. She has been teaching private lessons in voice, piano and flute since 2012, and has taught classes in grade schools and colleges. She has also held administrative positions, often designing publicity materials. She is in the 2nd year of her doctorate at BGSU, studying with Jane Rodgers.

Mezzo-soprano Katherine Pracht is a 3rd-year student at BGSU pursuing a DMA in Contemporary Music. An ardent new-music performer, Pracht’s primary focus is on American contemporary opera. In the 2021-2022 seasons, Pracht reprised the title role in Puts’ and Campbell’s Elizabeth Creewith West Edge Opera earning rave reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle and Opera News; she sang Miss Jessel in Britten’s and Piper’s The Turn of the Screw with Miami’s IlluminArts; covered the role of Charlotte Malcolm in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at Arizona Opera, and created the role of Horatio in the world premiere of Joseph Summer's Hamlet in Ruse, Bulgaria (recording released April ‘22, Navona Records). This summer’s performances included her role debut as Madeline Mitchell in Heggie’s and Scheer’s Three Decembers and a workshop of Kaminsky’s and Moore’s February at Opera on the Avalon, St. John’s, Newfoundland; then in San Francisco, Pracht made her role debut as Cornelia in Handel’s and Haym’s Baroque opera Giulio Cesare followed by a workshop of Stookey’s and Davis’ Bulrusher at West Edge Opera. In October, Pracht returned to her hometown of Davenport, Iowa to sing as Alto soloist in Beethoven 9 with the Quad-City Symphony, and she looks forward to debuting the role of Mary Johnson in Spears’ and Pierce’s Fellow Travelers with Virginia Opera in February 2023. Favorite new-music performance highlights: the role of Lady Wang in Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber on tour in China; the US premiere of Richard Wernick's "...and a Time for Peace" with Leon Botstein conducting the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall; the role of Mariam in the American Opera Projects-sponsored workshop of Sheila Silver’s opera, A Thousand Splendid Suns in NYC; and her Kennedy Center debut as soloist in Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 5 with the Washington Chorus.

Updated: 10/12/2022 09:27AM