Sam Kaestner (BM ’00, Clarinet) founded Stretto, which works to enhance the interactivity between audiences and performers during a livestream. Stretto was named a finalist for Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards 2021.
Christine Lyons (MM ’16, Voice) has performed as the Governess in The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten with IlluminArts Miami in October and in a concert of art songs set to Emily Dickinson’s poetry with Lyric Fest at the Academy of Vocal Arts in December. Lyons will perform as Nella in Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with OnSite Opera in New York City in March and in May will make a house debut with Florida Grand Opera in the title role of George Frideric Handel’s Agrippina.
Anastasia Pike (MM ’07, Harp), a former student of Jeanne Chalifoux, recently completed the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative’s Meta-Leadership Training program through the joint Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership. She was one of 50 out of 2 million active duty military spouses eligible to be selected for the fully-funded program.
Diana Cantrelle (MM ’12, Voice, Pedagogy) was commissioned by composer Gavin Brown to perform five of his original compositions for Remembering December. The CD release party was held on December 12 at the Howard County Center for the Arts Blackbox Theatre.
Awadagin Pratt (PC ’89, Piano; PC ’89, Violin; GPD ’92, Conducting) won a $100,000 grant from the Sphinx Organization to start the Nina Simone Piano Competition which will feature African American pianists and will debut in the summer of 2023. The competition will be presented every two years in collaboration with the Art of the Piano Festival, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Pratt was recently featured in the Cincinnati Business Courier for interview about his recent and upcoming performances as well as the new piano competition.