2020 New Faculty

Frost Welcomes Internationally Renowned Faculty Artists

Top, from left to right: Abby Young, Kim Josephson, Troy Roberts, Gabrielle Cornish, and Nicole Yarling.

Bottom, from left to right: Petagay Letren, Joseph Petrasek, Leon “Foster” Thomas, Nicole Perry, David Chiverton, and Benjamin Montgomery.

By UM News

Top, from left to right: Abby Young, Kim Josephson, Troy Roberts, Gabrielle Cornish, and Nicole Yarling.

Bottom, from left to right: Petagay Letren, Joseph Petrasek, Leon “Foster” Thomas, Nicole Perry, David Chiverton, and Benjamin Montgomery.

Frost Welcomes Internationally Renowned Faculty Artists

By UM News
Known for its world-renowned, award-winning faculty, the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami is pleased to announce eleven new esteemed faculty hires for 2020-2021.
“I am thrilled to welcome these immensely gifted and nurturing new colleagues to the Frost School,” stated Shelton G. Berg, Dean of the Frost School of Music.  “I’m also ecstatic that some of our new hires are FrostBuilt, a term we proudly give to those who have graduated from Frost, and have transitioned from student to professional.  I look forward to the enrichment each and every one will bring to creating a powerful and vital learning environment necessary to foster our talented students to become leaders in all facets of the future of music.”
 

INTRODUCING OUR NEW FACULTY

KIM JOSEPHSONPROFESSOR OF VOCAL PERFORMANCE
Kim Josephson is an international opera superstar.  He is one of opera’s most heralded and versatile baritones whose appearances at the Metropolitan Opera House include more than 250 performances of 29 roles including the title role in Rigoletto, Germont in La Traviata, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore,  to name a few.  He has also performed at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, most notably as Eddie Carbone in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge and, from the standard repertoire, Rigoletto, Germont, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and Marcello in La Boheme.   Additionally, he has performed with the Seattle Opera, Minnesota Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Baltimore Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Connecticut Opera, the Spoleto Festival, U.S.A., Sarasota Opera, and Tulsa Opera. His international appearances include the Vancouver Opera and Opera Hamilton, the Vienna State Opera as the Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, Germont, Enrico, Belcore, and Marcello. He has also performed with the Metropolitan Opera on tour in Japan.
 
An indefatigable champion of his students, Professor Josephson seeks to ignite their passion for excellence in the arts.   He previously served as chair of the vocal area at the University of Oklahoma and is an Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor of Voice.   
 
He is the recipient of many honors, including the William Sullivan/George London Foundation Award, Baltimore Opera Vocal Competition, Enrico Caruso International Vocal Competition, Loren Zachary Foundation Award, Puccini Foundation Award, Bagby Foundation Award, Bruce Yarnell Award, Singer’s Development Foundation Award, and a Richard Tucker Career Grant.  Kim Josephson is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Houston where he earned B.M. and M.M. in applied voice. In addition, he has studied voice with Franco Corelli, Louis Quilico, Michael Trimble, and Jean Preston.
 
GABRIELLE CORNISHASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MUSICOLOGY
Gabrielle Cornish is one of the rising stars of the latest generation of music scholars, who is deeply committed to teaching and bringing her work to the broader public.  Dr. Cornish’s scholarly interests greatly complement those of the Department of Musicology’s other renowned faculty members, all of whom explore in their own way, music’s role in reflecting and reshaping how people experience and understand the world around them.  Her research broadly considers music and everyday life in the Soviet Union. In particular, she traces the intersections between music, technology, and the politics of socialist modernity after Stalinism. Her work has been supported and honored by the Fulbright Program; a Mellon/ACLS Fellowship; the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies; and the American Musicological Society, among other institutions. Cornish’s writing has appeared in not only leading scholarly publications, such as the Journal of Musicology and the Slavic and East European Journal, but also in SlateThe Washington Post, and The New York Times. She has discussed Russian history, culture, and politics, on NBC Nightly NewsBBC World Service Television, and BBC Radio Newsday. Professor Cornish holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from the Eastman School of Music.
 
TROY ROBERTS, M.M. ‘07—LECTURER, STUDIO MUSIC & JAZZ
Two-time GRAMMY-nominated saxophonist and composer Troy Roberts is known internationally as one of the music industry’s most sought-after performing and recording artists. As an educator and the recipient of a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, he has traveled the world performing and presenting master classics and clinics.  In addition to his two GRAMMY nominations, Troy was a semi-finalist in the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Competition.  The notable artists he has performed with include: Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Joey DeFrancesco, James Morrison, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Christian McBride, Sammy Figueroa, Billy Hart, Dave Douglas, Orrin Evans, and Kurt Elling. He also shared the stage in an international septet comprised of jazz giants Wayne Shorter, Richard Bona, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Zakir Hussein for Herbie Hancock’s launch of International Jazz Day at the United Nations and was part of Hancock’s 2014 International Jazz Day held in Osaka, Japan performing with jazz luminaries such as Gregory Porter, Marcus Miller, Esperanza Spaulding, and John Scofield.
 
NICOLE YARLINGLECTURER, CONTEMPORARY MUSIC AND MUSICOLOGY
A recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association’s Jazz Hero Award, and an inductee into the South Florida Jazz Hall of Fame, Nicole's Yarling is one of the most respected and sought-after educators, performers, and mentors for aspiring young musicians today. As a result of the concert series Jazz Encounters, established at radio station WDNA in Miami ten years ago, she received a $10,000 Knights Arts Champion award and used it to create the Jazz Education Community Coalition, where she mentors young musicians with an interest in studying Jazz. She has participated as an adjudicator, educational consultant, and performer for the prestigious Young Arts organization based in Miami for the past nine years and as a coach, along with the late Betty Wright for Little Dreamers, an organization established by Phil Collins to help young performer fulfill their dreams.  Ms. Yarling serves as Educational Director and host of a monthly jazz jam for young musicians, First Friday Jam, sponsored by the Gold Coast Jazz Society. The program is going into its eleventh year and has served as curator of the Student Stage for the South Beach Jazz Festival.  Her education is extensive and ongoing, ranging from a BA in Music from Baruch College to a Master’s in Music Education at Columbia University.  Her notable talent has a virtue all its own, but it would be remiss not to mention she was discovered by the late great jazz vocal legend, Joe Williams.
 
ABBY YOUNG, M.M. ’14, D.M.A. ‘17—MANAGING DIRECTOR, HENRY MANCINI INSTITUTE
Abby Young is a Frost Built success story.  She earned her Master's and Doctorate degrees in Violin Performance with Scott Flavin at Frost where she served as a Henry Mancini Fellow and Graduate Teaching Assistant.​ Her doctoral research culminated in her thesis, entitled "Job Satisfaction of Orchestral Musicians: The Effects of Non-Performance Organizational Roles."  As a member of the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, Abby performed live in concert with John Williams, Kristin Chenoweth, Gloria Estefan, Ben Folds, Bruce Hornsby, Barry Manilow, Matthew Morrison, Arturo Sandoval, Mark O'Connor, Jon Secada, and Rita Moreno. She appeared on a live PBS Special, produced by Phil Ramone, "Jazz and the Philharmonic,” featuring Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, Dave Grusin, Mark O’Connor, Terence Blanchard, and Dean Shelly Berg: and the live PBS Special "Gloria Estefan: The Standards." As a member of the Nu Deco Ensemble, she collaborated with artists such as Wyclef Jean, PJ Morton, Corey Henry, Jacob Collier, and Macy Gray. She has also performed with the Naples Philharmonic sharing the stage with Itzhak Perlman, Immanuel Ax, and Joshua Bell. Other regular ensembles include the Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Symphony, and Atlantic Classical Orchestra, in addition to performances with Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bolton, José Feliciano, Natalie Cole, the Marley Brothers, and with KSHMR at the Ultra and Ilesoniq Music Festivals. A native of Ashland, Oregon, Abby studied Violin Performance with Fritz Gearhart at the University of Oregon, where she was named the 2012 Outstanding Undergraduate Performer in Strings.
 

ADJUNCT LECTURERS

JOSEPH PETRASEK- INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMANCE (Percussion)
Joseph Petrasek was appointed Principal Percussionist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2017, and Principal Percussionist of the Colorado Music Festival in 2019. Previously, he served as Associate Principal Percussionist of the Kansas City Symphony for 8 seasons, and as a percussion fellow in the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. Petrasek has appeared as Guest Principal with the San Francisco Symphony and has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Originally from Southern California, Petrasek earned his bachelor's degree at UCLA studying under Mitchell Peters, former Timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He went on to receive a master's degree at Temple University, studying with Philadelphia Orchestra percussionists Alan Abel and Angela Zator-Nelson.
 
LEON FOSTER THOMAS – STUDIO MUSIC & JAZZ
Leon Foster Thomas is a gifted international jazz musician and steel pan virtuoso who blends the music of his Caribbean roots with the harmonic and improvisational complexities of jazz, creating a lively and eclectic meld all his own. Winner of the World Steelband Music Festival Soloist and Duet competitions of 2002 and 2004, critics laud him as “the next big thing on his instrument”, “…an enthralling improvisor…” (All About Jazz); “…masterful with impeccable musicianship” (When Steel Talks); “a benevolent wizard” (Venice Magazine). His latest release, Metamorphosis, on Ropeadope Records, exemplifies his growth and maturation as a musician. Honing his in-depth talents as a musical storyteller, Thomas has produced an album that perfectly illustrates his transformative journey. He has worked with artists such as Hugh Masekela, Vince Mendoza, Randy Brecker, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Dolly Parton, Igor Butman, John Beasley, Richard Smallwood, Ky-Mani Marley, and many more. He continues to perform at festivals and concerts around the world, as well as conduct lectures and master classes at various educational and cultural institutions. Thomas’s first-rate programming, phenomenal musicianship, and warm stage presence will keep you on the edge of your seat.
 
DAVID CHIVERTON-STUDIO MUSIC AND JAZZ
The beat of a drummer’s soul could not have been placed in a more incomparable musician than David Chiverton, who has been called one of South Florida’s greatest musicians. While focusing on his college career, Chiverton ventured into other genres of music, from Hip-Hop to R&B creating a more diverse repertoire. A featured drummer at Miami L.I.V.E. at Santos Miami, he shared the stage with artists ranging from John Legend to Lil Wayne. While attending Florida International University with a full scholarship, he served as an intricate player in their Big Band and performed with such notable artists as Arturo Sandoval, Ingrid Jensen, and Nicole Henry.  Upon graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, he toured internationally with various major performing and recording artists including Lauryn Hill, Jon Secada, and Donnie McClurkin.
 
PETAGAY LETREN—DANCE
Petagay Letren is a lover of visual and performing arts. Petagay believes in the strength of vulnerability, the human capacity for growth, and the power of dreams. Through her choreography, she tells stories that explore the depth of the human experience.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from New York University, a Post Graduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Enterprise Management from the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Trinidad and Tobago, and a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography/Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
 
BENJAMIN MONTGOMERY, D.M.A. ‘20MUSIC THEORY & COMPOSITION
Benjamin Montgomery is a composer and theorist whose pedagogy focuses on developing students’ curiosity and personal connection to the music. He aims to develop more complex individual understandings and interpretations by approaching music from a variety of different perspectives. His music has been programmed by ensembles and organizations such as Seraphic Fire, the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra, the New York City Electronic Music Festival, Duo Cortona, The NED Ensemble, Kaleidoscope MusArt, and the Skylark Vocal Ensemble. He has been in residence at festivals such as New Music on the Point, the Cortona Sessions for New Music, and the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium. Benjamin holds a DMA in Composition from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and MM degrees in Composition and Music Theory from Michigan State University. He received a BM in Composition from Ithaca College (NY) and has studied with composers such as Charles N. Mason, Dorothy Hindman, Ricardo Lorenz, Jere Hutcheson, and Dana Wilson.
 
NICOLE PERRY—DANCE

Nicole Perry is an intimacy director/choreographer, director, and choreographer in South Florida. Recent credits include Imagine: a Journey in Dance at the Kravis Center, choreography and intimacy direction for the US premiere of The Glass Piano at Theatre Lab, and intimacy choreography for In the Heights with Measure for Measure Theatre, where she is the resident intimacy choreographer. You can see examples of her work on her website.

Nicole is a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst through Integrated Movement Studies. Her final project presented the connection of Laban concepts and vocabulary with Intimacy Choreography.
Nicole provides guest teaching in Laban for Theatre and/or Dance, as well as Consent for Performers and Power Dynamics in the Rehearsal Room, through Momentum Stage. Nicole founded this non-profit to provide affordable resources in best practices for performing artists and teachers.

Nicole is an adjunct professor of dance at the University of Miami and teaches dance at a public middle school. She is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Association of Theatre Movement Educators. She apprenticed with Intimacy Directors International.