MSU Denver

More from this department:

Elizabeth Arons: Bachelor of Music, Vocal Performance and Bachelor of Arts, Music Theory

Ian De Gala: Bachelor of Music Education

Jessica Diaz: Bachelor of Music, Percussion Performance

Emily Ho: Bachelor of Music Education

Violet LaRue: Bachelor of Arts, Commercial Songwriting

Samantha Walker: Bachelor of Music Education

 

Congratulations to all of our Spring 2022 Graduates!

Jimmy Finnegan

Jimmy Finnegan headshot

Degree:
Bachelor of Arts in Music
Minor in Public Relations

About:
I play electric bass and studied in the jazz program at MSU Denver.

Future Career Goals:
I want to play music around the world with my band. I also want to book my band and others at venues around the country.

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
Playing in Dave’s, Dru’s and Shane’s combos was a priceless experience. I’ll forever think back to their guidance and coaching in my own teaching methods and whenever I play in a group setting.

Kalin Peña

Kalin Pena headshot

Degree:
Bachelor of Music Education

About:
Although I took my first classes at MSU Denver in 2018, it has been twenty years since I first began working towards this degree. Life had different plans for me and I put the goal aside, never imagining I would have the chance to come back and make my dream a reality. This has been one of the most challenging yet fulfilling experiences of my life, and I am grateful to have met and worked with so many amazing people that continue to inspire and motivate me.

Future Career Goals:
I am looking forward to sharing my passion and experiences as a secondary-level music teacher. Once upon a time I might have said I’d be “a band director,” but now I aim to be a partner in my students’ education wherever their musical journey might lead.

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
Although I aim to teach instrumental music largely within Western traditions, experiences such as Balinese gamelan and improvisational sound painting have given me insight into ways that we can celebrate diversity in music and cultures. More than that, I feel these experiences have helped me grow as a musician in all areas of my craft.

Donatella Pompeo

Donatella Pompeo headshot

Degree:
Bachelor of Arts, Commercial Music Performance, Vocals

About:
Donatella currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She pursued choir, theatre, and music theory courses throughout high school, and is ecstatic to have the opportunity to study music at MSU Denver as well. Donatella is a dedicated student, being on the Honor Roll for much of her collegiate career.

Future Career Goals:
Alongside her homework this semester, Donatella has been recording her debut album in Detroit, Michigan, where she had been taking in-person courses pre-COVID. With friends she met there she formed her backing band, and has started her career as a performing artist and songwriter.

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
Donatella is extremely grateful for the music department staff that acknowledged her talent and provided space for growth. Peter Schimpf, Dawn Clement, Liz Macy, and Joslyn Ford Keel specifically. Joslyn, her private vocal teacher, offered valuable guidance that pushed Donatella to advocate for her own musical abilities as she navigates the contemporary music industry.

Jaki Treasure Berger

Jaki Treasure Berger headshotDegree:
Bachelor of Arts, Music

About:
I’ve been studying music for over 25 years, in different aspects. I grew up learning violin and viola, and have greatly enjoyed expanding my instrument repertoire both through MSU Denver and other life experiences. In the past ten years I’ve also worked a wide variety of jobs, and I discovered a passion for music therapy and working with neurodivergent people. This passion is what brought me to MSU Denver, and after I graduate I will be applying to CSU for a master’s program and certification in music therapy.

Future Career Goals:
I plan to become a board certified music therapist (BC-MT) and work with a wide variety of clients, from neurodivergent kids and adults to family and couples counseling.

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
I greatly enjoyed taking classes at MSU Denver – so much so that I have a triple minor! Some of my favorite professors in the music department include Chris Keelan, Dr. Bradley Thompson, Tim Krueger, and Dr. Liz Macy.

Gavin Davis

Gavin Davis headshotDegree:
Bachelor of Arts, Music

About:
I’m the middle child of 3 brothers. I am the only person in my family that has learned and is still playing an instrument. I found music at a young age when I got my first Native American flute. Ever since then I chased that excitement the first flute I had gave me and is something I have been trying to reexperience ever since.

Future Career Goals:
So far I have started working for the LPS School District and aim to find honestly any job working at the district’s main office.

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
I think one of the best moments I have ever had at MSU Denver was in my many theory classes with Keelan. I have never met someone with that much passion for something that was also so down to earth. He really showed me that no matter what you do there will always be a way to enjoy it if you try hard enough.

Gabriel Balogh

Gabriel Balogh headshotDegree:
Bachelor of Music, Classical Guitar Performance

About:
I received my first musical education from my mother, who taught my brothers and I how to read music at a young age, and taught us to play simple tunes on the recorder. At age 7 I picked up the violin which my older brother played well, and was especially interested in traditional Irish music as a kid. At age 11 I started learning some chords on the guitar, and when I was 18 I decided I wanted to be a classical guitarist.

Future Career Goals:
I’ll be attending the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for my MM in the fall of this year, and then hopefully continuing toward my DMA. I hope to build a career of performing and teaching, and will pursue opportunities to teach at the collegiate level.

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
I’ve been to many concerts at MSU Denver that I found inspiring. I participated in masterclasses with many of the greatest guitarists in the world at MSU Denver – most recently with my favorite player of all, Paul Galbraith. Waiting backstage at my recital and listening to Alex Komodore introduce me before I walked on stage will always be a special memory. Getting to work with student composers was a really great experience as well.

Aaron Dooley

Aaron Dooley headshotDegree:
Bachelor of Music, Commercial Music Performance, Bass

About:
After high school, I spent the better part of the decade receiving an informal music education from the depths of record stores, while also performing music on the electric bass. In 2018, I came to MSU Denver to legitimize my musical aspirations. It has been wonderful learning so much and meeting so many amazing people.

Future Career Goals:
It is my intention to keep sustaining myself through music. Ideally, I aim to keep performing, writing, and recording music that takes me around the world.

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
We were playing “Say A Little Prayer For You” in Ron Miles’ jazz combo. He asked if anyone had heard the song before and I said “Ya, Wayne Brady sang it to Dave Chapelle when he held him hostage in that one sketch.” Ron’s reaction was one of joyous surprise and laughter, not expecting me to make that reference. I’ll always remember his laughter fondly.