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Academics > Undergraduate
Music

Alumni

The Music Program at Mills has a well-established reputation for producing distinguished composers, sound artists, and performers. The list includes Charles Amirkhanian, Beth Anderson, Elinor Armer, Ben Goldberg, John Bischoff, William Bolcom, Chris Brown, Dave Brubeck, Julia Christensen, Paul DeMarinis, Janice Giteck, Ron Kuivila, Phil Lesh, Frankie Mann, Miya Masaoka, Rebeca Mauléon, Amy X Neuburg, Maggi Payne, Steve Reich, Gino Robair, Laetitia Sonami, Morton Subotnick, Mark Trayle and many others.

If you are a graduate of one of our programs, please let us know what you are doing by emailing music@mills.edu. Here is just a sample of the recent accomplishments of some of our alumnae/alumni of the last ten years:

Javier Arciniegas MA ‘03, MFA ‘04 is currently a senior engineer at Global Platform, Software Solutions at DeNA. He previously worked at Grasshopper Manufacture Inc. and Uubisoft in Montreal. Recent performances include a concert at the Society for Electroacoustic Music in Sweden, and a performance at the Societé des Arts Technologiques, during the "Upgrade" festival.

Betsey Biggs, '00 completed her PhD at Princeton University and is pursuing an active career as a composer and sound/video artist based in San Francisco.

Shelley Burgon, MFA '02 lives in New York where she has performed with John Zorn, Chris Speed, Ikue Mori, and many others. She is a member of Ne(x)tworks, a collaborative ensemble of musicians creating and interpreting work that features a dynamic relationship between composition and improvisation.

Teri Card Heller, '04 earned a Master's Degree in Composition from the California Institute of the Arts and is now working as a film composer.

Beau Casey, MFA '02 worked at Pixar Animation Studios, ImageMovers Digital, and Sony Pictures and currently works at Image Engine Design Inc.

Charity Chan, MFA '08, PhD Princeton University ’10 was a Research Affiliate of the Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, housed in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and is currently General Director and Artistic Director of Le Caribou Sonore in Montreal.

Julia Christensen, MFA '03 is the Henry Luce Visiting Professor of Emerging Arts at Oberlin College and Conservatory. Her book Big Box Reuse was published by MIT Press in the Fall of 2008. Recent solo exhibitions include: Your Town Inc., (which originated at the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University), and Surplus Rising (which originated at the Banvard Gallery, Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University).

Ted Coffey, MFA '99, PhD ’05 Princeton University is currently teaching courses in composition, music technologies, critical theory and pop at the University of Virginia.

William Fowler Collins, MFA ‘04 released his first full-length CD, Western Violence & Brief Sensuality in 2007 and has since released several CDs, LPS, and cassettes. His works appear on the Type, Utech, Handmade Birds, Daymare, Digitalis and Root Strata labels.

Eli Crews, MFA '01 is co-owner and engineer at New, Improved Recording in Oakland, whose clients have included Maria Muldaur, Rova Sax Quartet, Deerhoof, and scores of others.

Jennifer Curtis, '01 Since graduating with distinction from Juilliard School of Music, award-winning composer, violinist and mandolinist Jennifer Curtis appears regularly as featured soloist and as collaborative chamber musician across the United States and abroad.

Kiku Day, MFA '05 completed her PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and the Royal Academy of Music. She recently performed as shakuhachi soloist with the Odense Symphony Orchestra in Denmark in a rare performance of Takemitsu's November Steps.

Cenk Ergun, MA '02, MFA '03 was nominated for the Netherlands' prestigious Gaudeamus Prize in 2006, and has been commissioned by renowned cellist Joan Jeanrenaud and the quartet SOPercussion among others. He is also active as a laptop performer. He is currently pursuing a PhD at Princeton University.

Kristin Erickson, MFA '08, DMA CalArts ‘13. Working with Bevin Kelly (Blevin Blectum) Kristin (Kevin Blechdom) won the Ars Electronica prize in the Distinction category in 2001. Having returned to Mills to complete her degree in 2008, she toured Europe and North America with Blectum from Blechdom, Eugene Chadbourne, Christopher Fleeger and others.

Wu Fei, MA '04 has received numerous commissions, including SHE HUO for the Percussions Claviers de Lyon (France), which premiered in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing in 2007. She tours regularly in North America, Europe, and China and composes for symphony orchestra, choir, string quartet, chamber ensemble, Balinese gamelan, film, and modern dance.

Noah Georgeson, MFA '03 is working as a guitarist, producer, and engineer, with Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart, and The Pleased among his many clients. In 2013 he won a Latin Grammy Award as a producer.

Ann Hege, MA '03 is pursuing a PhD at Princeton University. She has explored writing music for dance in her work with choreographers Carrie Ahern, Jill Sigman, Elena Demyanenko and Donna Costello. She performs original works in her duos, New Prosthetics and Sidecar, as well as in the vocal trio, Celestial Mechanics. She recently joined the touring laptop ensemble Sideband as performer and composer.

Kymberly Jackson '99, MFA '04 performed on the nationally televised talent show "Showtime at the Apollo," video taped in Harlem, New York, at the world renowned Apollo Theatre. She owns Kjes Entertainment.

Marielle Jakobsons MFA '06 performs regularly across the USA and Europe, and designs sounds and interactive music for The Sims video games, Electronic Arts. She is also an educator of sound arts at all levels, from children's workshops to developing the course Experimental Sound Art at San Francisco State University.

Darren Johnston, MA '06 is a critically acclaimed trumpeter and composer working in the Bay Area. He is currently director or co-director of several projects, including The Broken Shadows Family Band, The Darren Johnston Quintet, Cylinder, and The Nice Guy Trio. He was commissioned for a work for the Trans-Global People’s Chorus in 2013. He was recently chosen by Down Beat as a "Trumpeter of the Future."

Rasmus Jørgensen, MA '03 is a full-time performance artist currently based in Norway. He recently premiered "ME NO YOU," a solo in collaboration with director "a smith," and worked with Teater Cinnober/Ning on a new music theater production. His play, Lille Scene, was presented in Oslo in 2012.

Bevin Kelley, MFA '08, PhD Brown University ’14 (also see Kristin Erickson). After seven years working at Bleakhouse Studios, Bevin is working as a freelance composer and sound designer whose recent credits include tracks used for MTV1's series "Dirty (aka "Team" in the USA) Sanchez." In 2011 she was artist-in-residence at WORM, a Rotterdam based institute for avant garde music and art. Her next full length, Emblem Album, was released on Aagoo records in December 2013.

Elizabeth Kohnke, ‘02 is the Experimental Media Arts Lab Manager in the Art and Art History Department at Stanford University.

Anantha Krishnan, MFA ’08. In May of 2008, Anantha was a featured soloist in the Grammy nominated, Miles from India tour, which premiered in Town Hall, NYC presenting the great Miles Davis’s music with Indian instrumentation featuring jazz legends: Ron Carter, Dave Liebman Lenny White, Ndugu Chancler, and Pete Cosey. In July of 2011, he performed in a Carte Blanche Artist Series at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam to a crowd of 64,000. He currently teaches at KM Music Conservatory, Chennai. Tamil Nadu, India.

Gregory Lenczycki, MFA '94, a composer living in Los Angeles CA, is on the board of directors of SASSAS, the Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound, a non-profit established in 1999. He is a Senior Systems Engineer at Audio Intervisual Design, where he designs, integrates, installs, and supports systems in use by major motion picture, television, and recording studios in Los Angeles.

Kristin Miltner, MFA '02 is an award-winning sound designer and audio artist who worked as Audio Lead for Leapfrog Enterprises, then Sims Electronic Arts, and is currently Audio Director At Super Saga Studios. She also works for numerous theater companies. She is a steering committee member and production manager for the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival.

Benjamin Piekut, MA '01 earned his PhD from Columbia University, where he is now Assistant Professor of Music. His book, Experimentalism Otherwise: The New York Avant-Garde and its Limits, was published in 2011 by the University of California Press.

Caroline Penwarden, MA '06 is working as a composer for dance and film, including Nourish, Save Our Snow, Chasing Glaciers, Tradewinds, Falling Up and Find Way to Fall 1 (AXIS Dance Company), and many others.

Tara Rodgers, MFA '05, PhD McGill. Award-winning composer and sound artist, and co-founder of the webzine Pink Noise, Tara received a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a PhD at McGill University in Montreal in 2006-07. Her book Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound was published by Duke University Press in 2009. She teaches at the University of Maryland.

Greg Saunier, MA '00 is drummer, singer, and songwriter with the world famous rock band Deerhoof.

Edward Schocker, MA '00 Executive Director and Founder of the Music For People & Thingamajigs Festival (begun in 1997), Edward was a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship. He divides his time between the Bay Area and Tokyo.

Elizabeth Setzer '07 spent a year studying folk singing at the Academy of Music in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on a Fulbright Scholarship. She is a core member of the vocal ensemble Kitka, and was commissioned to compose a work for the ensemble.

Aram Shelton, MFA ’07 has performed in Europe, Canada and the United States at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, the Suoni per il Popolo Festival in Montreal, and the Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival. He has led workshops at the Evergreen State College, the Luzern Jazz School, through NEXMAP and at UC Santa Cruz. His playing and music are available through Delmark, Clean Feed, Cuneiform, 482 Music, Locust Music, MultiKulti, Edgetone, and his own Singlespeed Music.

Peter V. Swendsen, MFA '01, PhD University of Virginia’08, received a Fulbright scholarship, won awards from the Josephine De Kármán and Andrew C. Mellon Foundations, and is currently an Assistant Professor, teaching in the Technology in Music and Related Arts (TIMARA) Department at Oberlin College.

Agnes Szelag, MFA '06 is a Course Director at Ex'pression College for Digital Arts Her work as a composer, performer, and audio/video installation artist has been presented throughout the United States and Europe and broadcast on National Public Radio's Spark. She received a Fulbright Grant to research performance and composition in Poland for 2011-2012.

Sudhu Tewari, MFA '02 After a sustained period as Audio Technical Director at Leapfrog Enterprises, and a year as Artist-In-Residence at SF Recycling and Disposal, Sudhu spent a year as co-director and curator of Radio Village Nomade in La Corbière, Switzerland. He is currently pursuing a PhD at UCSC.

Michael Trigilio, MFA '02 is currently serving on the faculty of the Department of Visual Arts at University of California, San Diego. His works in film, sound, performance, and tactical-media have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, and the Anthology Film Archives in New York.

Tim Walters, MFA '02 worked for Avid (Digidesign) as a software engineer, then Dolby Laboratories, and is currently working at Apple as a Test Framework Architect.

I Nyoman Windha, MA '05. After attending the Mills graduate music program on a Fulbright scholarship, distinguished gamelan composer and director Windha has been teaching at Bali's National Institute for the Arts, and performing internationally.

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E: music@mills.edu

Last Updated: 2/28/13