Mason Moy (BM '21)

Mason was admitted to California Institute of the Arts and will begin the MFA Performer-Composer Degree in Fall 2021. Mason's senior recital included premieres of his Honors Capstone Project Now > Ever Suite and I’m Your Only Friend for saxophone. Additional premieres included Magnificat for saxophone quartet and Mothman's Delight performed by the JMU Jazz Ensemble.

This year, Mason also developed the Learning Sounds Method Book with colleagues from JMU's MUS 450 Theory Seminar and composed the music for the short film Hot Potato.


Joe Jaxson (BM '22)

Joe's piece Fanfare and Overture was selected as a winner of the University of Southern California Student Symphony Orchestra's 2020 Call for Scores. His piece Persevering was selected as the winner of the JMNew Music Ensemble 2021 Call for Scores and received honorable mention in the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and the newEar 2020-2021 Composition Contest. Joe was also a finalist in the Press Start Inaugural Composer Competition, a selected composer of the FivebyFive Modern Chamber Music Call for Scores and Ideas 2020, a selected composer for the Summer 2021 SPLICE Institute, and was elected president of the JMU Club Composition for 2021-2022.

Joe had four pieces premiered: Overture for the 21st Century for brass and percussion, Well with My Soul for horn and tenor saxophone, Cautiously Optimistic for solo euphonium, and Fanfare and Overture for full orchestra. He also composed original music for the Donald Heiter Community Center's 2021 Radio Dramas Natalie and the Chocolate Factory, streamed through their Sweeten Your Spirit podcast during their annual Chocolate Festival, and Tarrstown Tales: Kris's Time-Traveling Lewisburg Adventure for their annual Celebration of the Arts.


Joshua Villa (BM '22)

Joshua arranged, orchestrated, and directed a brand-new musical song cycle with theatre major Anna DeNoia. The project received a College of Visual and Performing Arts Undergraduate Research Grant to fund the studio time to release a cast album, which is coming soon! Joshua and Anna's work was recently featured in The Breeze.


Kendall Waters (BM '21)

Kendall's paper "When I Wore a Younger Man’s Clothes': The Nostalgia Topic in the Music of Billy Joel" was published in the James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal (JMURJ). Kendall also worked with Joe Jaxson, Amy Millesen, and Camila Maric to create the Journal of Undergraduate Research in Music (JURM), the first undergraduate journal totally dedicated to the research and study of music.

Kendall's senior composition recital featured her pieces Find Me at 3 AM, Sketches of Pianists, and Madison Miniatures. Kendall was also invited to spend the summer interning with the Smithsonian Jazz Program at the National Museum of American History.


Michael Kahle (MM '21)

Michael was awarded a graduate teaching assistantship from West Virginia University and will begin his DMA at WVU this fall.

Hefang Ma (MM '22)

Hefang Ma's chamber sextet Nishang was featured on the new music YouTube channel incipitsify. Hefang also collaborated with DMA percussionists Will Alderman (DMA '23) and Reese Maultsby (MM '21) to compose Akezora for percussion duo, which was premiered online in April 2021.


Mason Moy (BM 21) was awarded a 2020 Undergraduate Research Grant from the JMU College of Visual and Performing Arts. Mason was also selected to participate in the Longy School of Music's Divergent Studio for summer 2020.

Jack Yagerline (BM 22) was admitted to the 2020 Sō Percussion Summer Institute

Joe Jackson (BM 22) was admitted to the 2020 NYU Film Scoring Workshop.

Kt Allenbaugh (BM 20) was awarded Third Place in The Choral Project's 2020 Rachel Moore Composition Contest for her work “Love is a Bright Light."

Ryan Stees (BM 16) was given honorable mention by the New York Youth Symphony 2020-21 First Music Commissioning program.

Brian Junttila (BM 20) was given honorable mention in the Civitasolis Reed Quintet's 2019 Composition Competition.

Douglas Byler (BM 17) was awarded Second Place in The Choral Project's 2016 Rachel Moore Composition Contest for his work “Paris in Spring."

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