Spring 2023 Newsletter

Faculty and Emeritus Faculty News



Frank La Rocca's Mass of the Americas Debuts at #1 on Billboard Classical Charts

The Cappella Records release of longtime CSUEB Music Department Chair and Professor Emeritus Dr. Frank La Rocca's Mass of the Americas debuted at #1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Albums chart, and held that position for two weeks. In addition, it was recently announced that the album reached #10 on the year-end Traditional Classical Album chart for 2022! For more information on the album, and to purchase the recording on CD or digital media, visit Cappella Records. Congratulations, Dr. La Rocca!


eros.jpgDr. John Eros recently published a case study entitled "An Exploratory Study of Transferring from a Community College into a 4-Year Music Education Program" in the peer-reviewed Journal of Music Teacher Education. Dr. Eros is honored to have collaborated with Dr. Karen Koner, a music education faculty member at San Diego State University, on this study. The paper was also presented at the Southwest Regional Conference of the College Music Society at Azusa Pacific University in the spring. Dr. Eros's current projects include a book chapter entitled "Modifications of Music Curriculum and Assessment for English Language Learners," and a literature review on the topic of influences on the career choices of preservice and inservice music educators.


Dr. Peter K. Marsh has contributed to the recent Illinois University Press publication Mongolian Sound Worlds (2022), an anthology of papers about contemporary Mongolian music and culture. Three of Dr. Marsh's papers were included in this publication: 'We Were Born with Global Ambition': Continuity, Innovation, and a New Chapter in the Development of Mongolian Popular MusicInterlude: Consistency, Patience, and Perseverance: Maintaining the Fiddle-Making Tradition (co-authored by Bayarsaikhan Badamsuren), and The Horsehead Fiddle: A Biographical History (co-authored by Charlotte D’Evelyn). For more information, visit this link.

jeffrey.jpgDr. Jeffrey Sykes was recently an invited guest artist and featured performer at the African American Art Song Alliance Conference at UC Irvine. Works performed include Songs of Love and Justice by Adolphus Hailstork, settings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with soprano Deborah Selig of Wellesley College; Four Songs on Poems of Edna St Vincent Millay by Margaret Bonds with soprano Leberta Lorál from the Monterey area; and the song cycle Borderline by Robert Owens, settings of Langston Hughes, with bass-baritone Timothy Jones of the University of Houston. Dr. Sykes was also recently appointed Artistic Director of the prestigious Cactus Pear Music Festival in San Antonio, Texas.

abra.jpgChristine Abraham recently performed in the 5th Pankonin American Art Song Award Showcase, held at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  Kristin Pankonin was a champion of new music and this concert showcased the year's composition winners alongside the works of more established American composers.  Ms Abraham, who also serves on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, performed works of Florence Price, Marion Bauer, and Lee Hoiby.


CSUEB at Carnegie Hall

Buddy James has been invited to conduct his teacher Morten Lauridsen's masterful "Lux Aeterna" at Carnegie Hall on MidAmerica Productions' historic 40th season on April 22, 2023. We intend to take CSUEB students to join him on stage for this performance of his teacher's music with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. If you would like to support students on this trip, please consider making a donation (DONATE HERE - under Gift Designation select 'Other' and type Carnegie Hall into the box to ensure your donation benefits this project). Traveling is expensive and every cent will help give a deserving student on this extraordinary opportunity.

There will also be an opportunity for alumni to join us at Carnegie Hall plus in a performance of this music in the Bay area. More information will be available this spring.


band performs

Instrumental Area

Mark Your Calendars!

Instrumental Music Festival · Dr. Danielle Gaudry, director
Friday, February 3, 2023 · Concert at 2:30pm
University Theatre

Avenue Woodwind Quintet Recital and Master Class
Thursday, March 16, 2023 @ 12:15pm · MB 1055

Air Force Band of the Golden West Woodwind Quintet
Monday, March 20, 2023 @ 7:30pm · MB 1055

The East Bay Wind Symphony
and Diablo Valley College Symphonic Band

Wednesday, March 22, 2023 @ 7:30pm · University Theatre


Graduate Student News

tian.pngGraduate student Tian Wang, student of Dann Zinn, was recently awarded First Prize at the San Francisco International Innovative Music Competition (SFIIMC), in the Advanced Saxophone Romantic Category. The SFIIMC is run by the Bay Area Music Association and awards prizes for pianists, instrumentalists and vocalists, with entries by musicians from across the globe. Congratulations, Tian!

Alumni News

vasallo2.pngCSUEB Music Department alumnus Nick Vasallo's album APOPHANY has been shortlisted in the Best Classical Compendium category at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards!

"If you were to connect seemingly unrelated things – Heavy Metal and the symphony orchestra, for example – you might be guilty of apophenia. Melding Xenakis, Varese, Extreme Metal, and Dark Ambient with gothic charm, Vasallo conjures up a muscular sonic battle that leads you on an inexorable musical journey to a conclusion where surrender is your best option"

Click here for more information and to purchase the album.

Congratulations, Nick!


Music Department faculty member Marko Bajzer and alumnus Noah Luna are featured on-sc reen performers in Philharmonia Fantastique, a new animated film from composer Mason Bates, recently released on Apple TV and Apple Music. The animated film flies through the instruments of the orchestra to explore the fundamental connections between music, sound, performance, creativity and technology. View the trailer here.




CSUEB Music Department Flute Instructor Victoria Hauk was featured in a concerto performance on December 4 with the Winchester Orchestra of San Jose. She collaborated with the fantastic musicians of this orchestra and conductor Scott Seaton on Antonio Vivaldi’s Flute Concerto in D Major, “The Goldfinch”.

Share Your Story!

There are many things that strike me about the CSUEB Music Department including the amazing faculty, the hard-working alumni, and the tradition of musical excellence. There are many stories to tell, and we share them so that you may enjoy them. 

We also want to know your story. If you are a student, faculty member, or alum of our department, let us know what you are doing so that we may continue to build upon our tradition of musical excellence.

- Buddy James
CSUEB Music Department Chair
and Director of Vocal and Choral Activities

Contact us and share your story!