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The University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts

About the UK School of Music

The University of Kentucky School of Music is internationally recognized for excellence in performance, music education and research in music. For nearly 100 years, the School has helped musicians prepare for careers as performers, educators, researchers, and a wide array of leadership positions both in and outside of the field of music. More than 400 music majors benefit from world-class teaching and the broad academic offerings of a major university. Students have abundant opportunities to participate in prestigious ensembles that perform throughout the United States and the world.

Integral to a top School of Music is a great faculty. The UK School of Music is comprised of 48 full-time faculty in residence that include internationally acclaimed performers, scholars, and teachers who have dedicated their lives to nurturing young talent. Students benefit from care offered by the faculty as well as the guest artists and conductors, clinicians, and lecturers who visit our campus.

With a low faculty-to-student ratio, the School of Music provides personal attention with small classes and excellent private applied instruction.

The UK School of Music is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Visit the NASM website for more information.

See the individual Areas of Study pages for the recent accomplishments of students.

Award Winning Traditions

World Equestrian Games Opening Ceremony

Over 300 students and faculty in the UK School of Music performed during the 3-hour ceremony broadcast internationally: UKSO, UKOT, UK Choirs, UK Percussion, UK Trumpets (Sept 25, 2010).

Brass Students

  • In summer 2017, the UK Baroque Trumpet Ensemble recorded a CD with Australian Baroque trumpet virtuoso John Foster. They performed as a featured ensemble at the Historic Brass Society International Conference and performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the opening of a new exhibit of early brass instruments.
  • The UK Trumpet Ensemble won second prize at the 2016 National Trumpet Competition, the only public university to make the final round.
  • Jared Wallis was awarded a Teaching Assistantship to attend the Eastman School of Music in Fall 2015 to pursue a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance. He was also accepted to the University of Michigan, University of North Texas, and Oklahoma State University.
  • Steven Siegel was appointed Instructor of Trumpet at Centre College in Danville, KY, where his duties began in Fall 2015.
  • Caden Holmes won Third Prize in the 2015 GVSU International Solo Competition in Allendale, Michigan.
  • Alum Rui Li is a member of the National Center for Performing Arts Orchestra in Beijing, China. It is believed that Rui is the first Chinese citizen to complete a doctoral degree on a brass instrument. (2016)

Keyboard Students

  • Ni Zhan (B.M. piano) was named the State Winner of the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition, 2017, and will compete in the Division Competitions in 2018. Cody Kuriwa (B.A. piano) was named the alternate (2nd place winner).
  • Hannah Walker (B.A. piano freshman) was honored with an Honorable Mention in the Bluegrass Young Artist Competition 2017.
  • Olivia-Xin Zhang (DMA, piano) won the Bronze Medal in the Piano Artists Category of the 2017 Vancouver International Music Competition. She was also a second place winner of the 2017 Concert Artist International Virtuoso Competition.
  • Zixi Ren (MM '17) was appointed a piano teacher in the Shenzhen International school (China). Another 2017 graduate Wei-Sian ("Tiny") Chen was appointed a Visiting Assistant Professor at Kentucky State University.
  • Doctoral candidates Hye Jin Yeom and Yuri Kim performed at Carnegie Hall through their recognition in the 2015 American Protege International Piano and Strings Competition and the American Protege International Concerto Competition, respectively.

Music education Students

  • Michael Hudson (Music Education Faculty) won the College/University Teacher of the Year Award from District 7, Kentucky Music Educators Association (2016)
  • Jill Campbell (Music Education Student) presented Authentic and Documentable Assessment in Grades K-3, Kentucky Music Educators Association (2016)
  • Cecilia Wang (Music Education Professor Emerita) was named the recipient of the Excellence in Research Award presented by the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (2015)
  • Michael Cotton (Music Education Student) won the Kentucky Music Educators Association Collegiate Composition Competition (2015)

Music Therapy Students

  • 2013 regional American Music Therapy Research Award

Music Theory & Composition Students

  • Kevin Holm-Hudson (Music Theory Faculty) won the Jay Flippin Music Educator Award at the second annual Lexington Music Awards (2016)
  • Jenn Salamone (Music Theory Student)’s paper "Misbehaving Minuets: A Preliminary Theory of Humor and Dance Form in Haydn’s Late String Quartets" was accepted at the annual meeting of Music Theory Southeast at Kennesaw State University and the annual meeting of the Texas Society for Music Theory at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (2016)
  • Jay Crutcher (Music Theory Student) won an AKADEMIA award for best Cover Instrumental for "Te Extrano (I Miss You)" (2015)
  • Michael Cotten (Music Composition Student) won the 2015 Kentucky Music Educators Association college composition contest (2015)
  • Kevin Holm-Hudson (Music Theory Faculty) contributed a chapter, "Through a Lens Darkly: The Changing Performer-Audience Dynamic as Documented by Four Progressive Rock Concert Films," to the collection of essays, "The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment," published by Bloomsbury (2015)

Musicology & Ethnomusicology Students

Katie Caton presented “Whispering Through a Megaphone: Glass’s Satyagraha in the Opera Satyagraha,” at the Sixth International Conference on Music and Minimalism at the University of Tennessee (2017).

Erin Fulton presented four papers in 2017: “’Strength and Beauty Are in the Sanctuary’: Presentational and Participatory Music in Lowell Mason’s Late Publications ”at the American Musicological Society South-Central Chapter Conference, Louisville, KY; “How Congregational Singing Got Its Shape: Lowell Mason, Fashioner of Hymnals” at the American Academy of Religion Midwest Regional Conference, Material and Sensory Cultures of Religion Section, in Muncie, IN; “Negotiating German- and Anglo-American Sounds and Sensibilities in Franklin Harmonie,” at Translation Meets Book History: Intersections 1700–1900, Galway, Ireland; and “’Strength and Beauty Are in the Sanctuary’: Lowell Mason’s Vision of Presentational and Participatory Worship,” at the Biennial Christian Congregational Music Conference, Cuddesdon, United Kingdom. Her article “Nativist Rhetoric in the Opera Journalism of Antebellum New York City,” appeared in Nineteenth-Century Music Criticism, ed. Teresa Cascudo García-Villaraco (Turnhout: Brepols, 2017).          


Megan Murph presented two papers: “Sounds of the Junk Yard for Noise Rockers” at the annual meeting of the  South-Central Chapter of the American Musicological Society at the University of Louisville (for which she received the Rey M. Longyear Student Paper Award) and “Schafer and the Book of Noise” at Sounding Out the Space: An International Conference on the Spatiality of Sound at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Dublin School of Creative Arts, and GradCAM, in Dublin, Ireland. She also had two publications: “Korean Drumming at the Women’s March in Lexington, KY” in Trax on the Trail (2017) and “Max Neuhaus’s Artistic Response to Noise Pollution Policies” in Vol. 6 of  Ecomusicology Review (2017).


Laura Pita read her paper “Constructions of Patriotism, Virtuosity, and Gender in the Reception of Teresa Carreño’s Concerts of 1862 in Caracas” at American Women Pianist-Composers: A Celebration of Amy Beach and Teresa Carreño,” University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, 2017. Laura had five publications appear, including editions of two works by Carreño and “No MacDowell, No Carreño:” Teresa Carreño’s Contributions to the Dissemination of Edward MacDowell’s Piano Music,” in “Very Good for an American:” Essays on Edward MacDowell, 53-82, edited by E. Douglas Bomberger (Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2017).

Becky O’Brien read her paper “Cartoon Constructions of Race: Musical Stereotyping in His Mouse Friday” at Music and the Moving Image XII at New York University (2017).

Nathaniel Lucy presented two papers in 2017: “Ozark Jubilee’s Legacy and the Emergence of Country Music Tourism in the Ozarks” the Missouri Conference on History at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, and “Branson Famous: Creating Country Music and Finding (Authentic) Expression on Fabricated Reality Television”  at the International Country Music Conference in Nashville.

Saesha Senger’s paper “Place, Space, and Time in MC Solaar’s American Francophone” will be published in the Journal of World Popular Music in 2018.  Her paper “Muscles, a Mullet, and a RoMantic: Michael Bolton and Masculine Melodrama” will be presented at IASPM-Canada in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Katie Caton’s paper “Imagined Memory in Christopher Cerrone’s Invisible Cities,” has been accepted for the Annual Meeting of the  Society for American Music in Kansas City, for the Opera and Musical Theatre in the United States conference at Middle Tennessee State University, and for the Annual Meeting of the South-Central Chapter of the American Musicological Society in Asheville, NC, all in 2018.

Megan Murph’s paper “Sonic Explorations in the Yoga Studios of Lexington, Kentucky” has been accepted to the 2018 Symposium on Yogic Traditions and Sacred Sound Practices in the United States at Boston University.

Percussion Students

  • W. Adrian Jones, 2018: Brian Keith; The Elaine Gould Memorial Percussion Award, 2018: Jacob Smith; The James B. Campbell Endowed Scholarship in Percussive Development, 2018: Emily Durocher, Blake Brooks; The Kevin Toole Memorial Scholarship Fund in Percussion, 2018: Matthew Noll
  • UK Percussion Ensemble won first place in the Collegiate "Call for Tapes" contest for the 2014 Percussive Arts Society International Conference.
  • UK Percussion Ensemble has been named a collegiate winner of the PASIC Percussion Ensemble Competition a record five times.
  • In Fall 2015, six members of the UK Percussion Studio traveled to Hohhot, China, for a series of concerts and workshops with the Art College of Inner Mongolia University.

Strings Students

  • The Verdi String Quartet, (Daniel Brier and Kyle Van Arsdalen, violins; Ivan Ugorich, viola; and Christopher Erickson, cello) took first place in the college division of the 16th annual Macauley Chamber Music Competition (March 2012)
  • Ricardo Saeb, Masters in Guitar, was selected to perform a concert in the prestigious International Guitar Encounter in Queretaro, Mexico (2011)
  • Verdi String Quartet, Second Place in the collegiate division of the 15th annual Macauley Chamber Music Competition (2010)
  • Niles Quartet, First Place in the college division of the Macauley Chamber Competition (2008), invited to study at the Banff Festival, and coached with members of the Juilliard String Quartet in New York (2008)

Voice Students

  • Alumnus Reginald Smith, Jr., took one of the five winning spots in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 2015.
  • Two UK voice students took honors at the 2012 National Opera Association Vocal Competition. Senior Reginald Smith Jr. took first place in the competition's scholarship division and graduate student Michael Preacely took third place in the competition's artist division (January 2012)
  • AdrianaLia Arbeláez-Moutz, D.M.A. student in voice performance, received a Fulbright to do research in Spain (2011)
  • Reginald Smith, Jr. placed third place in the Regional Metropolitan Auditions (2011)
  • Since 1995 the UK School of Music vocal program has produced seventeen Metropolitan Opera winners at the district level, four at the regional level, and one at the national.

Woodwind Students

  • The UK Wind Ensemble was one of nine bands invited to perform at the 2013 College Band Directors National Association National Conference at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro (March 2013) 
  • “Up Top,” UK’s student clarinet quartet, won first place in the 2009 Macauley Chamber Music Competition (Spring 2009)
  • Seth Morris (BM ‘07, flute) won the 29th annual Pappoutsakis Competition in Boston (Spring 2009)


  • Go! The Music of Bob Mintzer, with performances of the UK Wind Ensemble, was nominated for a Grammy Award (October 2010)
  • The UK Wind Ensemble was invited to perform as a featured ensemble at the College Band Directors National Association Southern Regional Conference at the University of Mississippi (February 2010)
  • The UK Wind Ensemble performed world premieres of Go! by Bob Mintzer (2009), Turbine (2006)by John Mackey, Rhythm of the Americas (2006) by Bob Mintzer, and Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble by Mike Mower (2005). The Wind Ensemble has also hosted and worked directly with award-winning composers and conductors Michael Colgrass, David Maslanka, and Keith Brion.
  • The Wind Ensemble toured the People’s Republic of China for ten days, with the final performance in the new Concert Hall for the Military Band of the People’s Liberation Army in Beijing (May 2008).
  • The UK Wildcat Marching Band performed at the opening ceremonies of the Ryder Cup in Louisville (2008)
  • The UK Symphony Band was invited as featured ensemble, Southern Division MENC/Florida Music Educators’ In Service Clinic-Conference (2005) and the featured ensemble at the Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference in Louisville (2003 and 2008)
  • The Wind Ensemble compact disc Distilled in Kentucky – Premieres from the Bluegrass was nominated for Grammy consideration in 2007 by Mark Recording Company (2007)

Opera Theatre

  • Students in UK Opera Theatre and UKSO performed in New York, World Premiere of Thomas Pasatieri’s God Bless Us Everyone with Di Capo Opera, (16-18 December 2010)
  • UK Opera received at $15K grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for its production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (May 2010)
  • Students in UK Opera Theatre and UKSO performed in New York, World Premiere of Thomas Pasatieri’s God Bless Us Everyone with Di Capo (December 2010)
  • UK Opera Theatre received a $500,000 gift from Warren Rosenthal and a $600,000 challenge grant from William E. and Casiana Schmidt  (August 2010)
  • UK Opera received at $15K grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for its production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (May 2010)
  • UK Opera Theatre performed as part of Our Lincoln at Kennedy Center in Washington, DC (2009)
  • UK Opera Theatre and UK Symphony Orchestra’s world premiere recording of Thomas Pasatieri’s Hotel Casablanca on Albany received a full-page laudatory review in Opera News, Fanfare magazine, and American Record Guide (2008)
  • Gave the first university performance of Thomas Pastateri’s Hotel Casablanca and recorded the opera with Albany Records (2007)


  • UKSO performed with Natasha Paremski, thanks to collaboration with the Singletary Center (February 2012)
  • UKSO performed with the Boston Pops in Rupp Arena as part of Keeneland’s 75th Anniversary, 15 October 2011.
  • UKSO performed in a sold out performance with legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman, thanks to collaboration with the Singletary Center (March 2011)
  • UKSO, under the direction of John Nardolillo, reunited with Arlo Guthrie at Carnegie Hall, 27 November 2010, in a sold out performance
  • UKSO performed with Denyce Graves, Sarah Lee Guthrie, Wynonna Judd, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Ronan Tynan as the official orchestra of the World Equestrian Games Opening Ceremonies, 25 September 2010. This concert was broadcast internationally.
  • UKSO in collaboration with UK Opera Theatre has recorded Die Fledermaus (2010) and the world premiere recording of Thomas Pasatieri’s Hotel Casablanca (2008) on Albany Records
  • UKSO performed with famed violinist Sarah Chang, thanks to collaboration with the Singletary Center (February 2010)
  • UKSO was the recipient of a 1.2 million dollar endowment created by Maker’s Mark specialty edition bottles with Coach Rich Brooks’s signature (April 2009). This endowment was increased to 1.5 million with the Maker’s Mark John Calipari bottle (April 2010)
  • UKSO performed with legendary violinist Gil Shaham, thanks to collaboration with the Singletary Center (February 2009)
  • UKSO performed as a major part of Our Lincoln at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
     (February 2009)
  • UKSO Released a CD of George Frederick McKay’s Epoch on Naxos’s American Masters Series (September 2008), which has received glowing reviews from two national publications and was the number one downloaded classical album on Naxos’s website shortly after its release.
  • Governor Beshear joined the stage with the UKSO to perform Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait (Fall 2008)
  • UKSO performed with Arlo Guthrie in a sold out performance at Carnegie Hall and released a CD with Arlo: In Times Like These (2007)

Faculty Awards

  • An article authored by John Okley Egger and D. Gregory Springer and Lori Gooding entitled “The Effect of Behavioral Contracting on Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Performance Achievement on the Soprano Recorder” was accepted for publication in the Journal of Music Teacher Education, and will appear in an upcoming volume of the journal. (2013)
  • Ron Pen and the Red State Ramblers were invited by the U.S. Embassy to tour Kyrgyzstan for ten days culminating in a performance at the National Opera House in Bishek as part of a celebration of 20 years of U.S.-Kyrgyz relations (February 2012)
  • W. Harry Clarke (Professor Emeritus) won the KMEA Distinguished Service Award, which honors an individual who has shown outstanding leadership service to KMEA and to music education (February 2012)
  • Ron Pen and the Red State Ramblers were invited by the U.S. Embassy to tour Kyrgyzstan for ten days culminating in a performance at the National Opera House in Bishek as part of a celebration of 20 years of U.S.-Kyrgyz relations (February 2012)
  • Lori Gooding was awarded a UK ADC/NIA Grant ($25,000) in Music Therapy (2011)
  • Elizabeth Arnold, soprano, and Ben Arnold, piano, performed an all-Liszt Song Recital in Weimar, Germany in honor of Liszt’s 200th Birthday celebration as part of Der Ganze Liszt – Liszt Interpretationen: Internationaler Kongress, Ben Arnold also gave an invited paper “Early, Late, and Last Thoughts: Liszt’s Songs 1839 to 1886” and chaired a musicological session on “Musikdenken und Kompositionstechnik” (18-22 October 2011)
  • Lori Gooding received the SER-AMTA Special Recognition Award for Excellence in Service (2011)
  • Lori Hetzel was the 2011 recipient of the Robert K. Baar Award, presented annually by the Kentucky Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and given to one choral director in the state "who exhibits outstanding leadership in choral music and promotes music education in the state of Kentucky." (July 2011)
  • Cody Birdwell, Director of UK Bands, has been named Vice President of the CBDNA-Southern Division (2011) and will become President-Elect in 2013 and President in 2015
  • David Sogin was nominated for the Outstanding Achievement in String Research Awardwhich is to be awarded for the first time at the National Conference of the American String Teachers Association in 2011
  • Ron Pen, I Wonder as I Wander: The Life of John Jacob Niles (University of Kentucky Press, 2010)
  • George Boulden was named as KMEA District 7 College/University Teacher of the Year (2010)
  • Everett McCorvey was selected to be the Executive Producer of the Opening Cere-monies for the World Equestrian Games (2010)
  • Skip Gray, winner of the first Clifford Bevan Award for Meritorious Work in Low Brass Scholarship (2010)
  • Jonathan Glixon, Provost's Distinguished Service Professor of Music (2010)
  • Noemi Lugo received a Fulbright to research and perform in Brazil during Spring 2010
  • Benjamin Karp was invited to serve as a Visiting Artist in Cello Performance at Indiana University (2009-2010)
  • Cliff Jackson received one of six university wide Great Teacher Awards from the UK Alumni Association (2010)
  • Diana Hallman published an article in Music, Theater, and Cultural Transfer: Paris 1830-1914 (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2009) that received the American Musicological Society Ruth A. Solie Award for “a collection of musicological essays of exceptional merit published during the previous year in any language and in any country.” (2010)
  • Cliff Jackson was named vocal Coach of the Year by ClassicalSinger magazine (Summer 2009)
  • Irina Voro received a Presidential Scholars Teacher Recognition Award (awarded annually to 130 out of 7,000,000 American teachers nominated by their outstanding students. Her private student Connie Wu named her the most influential teacher in her life (August 2009)
  • Everett McCorvey was recognized as a Kentucky Star Awards winner (April 2009) and was interviewed on the national Bob Edwards Show (Spring 2009)
  • Ron Pen won the Distinguished Service Award of the Society for American Music at the society's Annual Meeting. This recognizes Professor Pen as one of the outstanding scholars in the field of American Music (March 2009)
  • Noemi Lugo received a Fulbright to research and perform in Brazil during 2009-2010 (March 2009)
  • James Campbell, “A Teacher Who Made A Difference,” UK College of Education (2007 and 2009)
  • Beth Glixon received a post doc in musicology at Yale University (Spring 2009)
  • The OSLANDAILEY combo of Miles Osland, saxophone, and Raleigh Dailey, piano, were featured in an article and CD for Sept./Oct. 2008 issue of Saxophone Magazine (2008)
  • The Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra (Professors Miles Osland & Dick Domek, co-conductors) released its second CD titled Flying Home (2008)
  • Everett McCorvey, elected to the UK Board of Trustees (2008)
  • James Campbell, named to the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame (2008)
  • Noemi Lugo, University of Kentucky Provost’s Awards for Outstanding Teaching (2008)
  • Lori Hetzel, “A Teacher Who Made a Difference” UK college of Education (2003 and 2008)
  • Jonathan Glixon, one of four UK Research Professorships that UK awards each year (2008)
  • James Campbell, Provost's Distinguished Service Professor of Music (2007)
  • Schuyler Robinson, Professor of Organ, Harpsichord, and Sacred Music, served as Visiting Resident Organist at Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, England July 30-August 6, 2007.
  • Everett McCorvey, elected to serve on the board of directors for the National Assembly of State Art Agencies (NASAA) (2007)