MSU Denver

More from this department:

Matthew Cavoto: Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance

Sarah Cole: Bachelor of Music Education

Bryan Lastrella: Bachelor of Music in Composition; Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory

Jerod Nelson: Bachelor of Music Education

Jessica Ornelas: Bachelor of Arts in Music

Megan Schmauder: Bachelor of Arts in Music

Mikey Swartz: Bachelor of Music Education; Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance

Jakey Wherry: Bachelor of Music in Jazz & American Improvised Music Performance

 

Congratulations to all of our Fall 2022 Graduates!

Hannah Baty

Hannah Baty headshot

Degree:
Bachelor of Music Education

About:
I have always had a love and passion for music and am convinced that music is the heart of society and positively impacts numerous aspects of our lives. Music brings satisfaction and confidence to those who listen and make it. I grew up in a very musical family, from my dad playing bagpipes, drums, and guitar to my mom playing guitar, bass, and singing. I first found my love for singing while in the car, jamming out to music. By the age of 8, I had begged my parents to let me learn how to play the violin. By the age of 9, my parents realized that singing in the car might not be enough for me and enrolled me in a choir. I realized that I loved making music with others because it does something unexplainable when you create something so wonderful together. After a couple years in the choir, I volunteered to work with the younger group of choir kids and I realized that I loved working with them. By 16, I had decided that I wanted to pursue a degree in music education, mixing my love for kids and my love for music!

Future Career Goals:
I plan to become an elementary music teacher and will be working towards my Master’s degree starting next year.

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
I am so grateful for the music department staff who have helped me become the person I am today. I have had so many amazing experiences not only in performing music, but also learning how to teach it. When I first started at MSU Denver, I was not very confident in myself or in my singing ability but that has all changed thanks to Michelle Thompson, Dr. Bradley Thompson, and Gene Roberts. They have all taught me how to sing and how to love and be more expressionate with my singing. I would also like to thank Cherise Leiter and Chris Keelan for making theory slightly more enjoyable, even when it was difficult. They have made me appreciate music so much more because of all the thought and technicality that goes into it. Dr. Carla Aguilar and Dr. David Kish have also made learning how to teach music such an incredible experience and made me love teaching all the more. Lastly, I’d like to thank MB Kreuger for making my love for choir even greater, for creating such an amazing community in Chorale, and for providing me with the opportunity to intern with St. Martin’s Chamber Choir. Being in Chorale with MB and all the other members has been one of my favorite parts of being in the music program at MSU Denver by far and I would never change joining it for the world.

Zuri Leigh Barnes

 

Zuri Barnes headshot
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts in Music, Commercial Songwriting

About:
I moved to Denver from Charleston, West Virginia when I was a senior in high school. I graduated from Denver School of the Arts, what feels like forever ago, and now I’m finally getting my bachelor’s degree. I moved here with my parents, my younger sister, and our puggle Rosie.

Future Career Goals:
I have so many passions, and so many dreams!! Sometimes being a creative is hard because I just want to get my hands on everything. I hope to continue making music and working with other artists. I am currently finishing up a children’s album, and I am excited to see where that takes me. I would eventually like to compose for animated feature films, because I love children and music. I am very inspired by animation, and music really helps to bring those ideas to life. I will be a household name, and I’m just ready to see what is in store for me and my music career.

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
I really enjoyed the jazz a capella ensemble I was in for 2 semesters. I had so much fun with those folks!! I also really enjoyed playing in the opera with the orchestra for my last semester. I enjoyed my Beauty Cultures class with Dr. Sheikh. I appreciated the opportunity I had to speak at the Umoja conference in October celebrating women in and/of hip-hop. It has been a journey to say the least!

Bianca Thomas

 

Bianca Thomas seated at a parkDegree:
Bachelor of Music Education
Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance

About:
I am a first-generation student who grew up in Aurora, CO. I currently live in Denver. I am a transfer student and am so glad that I was able to find my home at MSU Denver!

Future Career Goals:
I am looking forward to being able to teach and professionally perform throughout my entire career. I am currently a private voice and piano teacher, and am in pursuit of my next teaching adventure after graduation in December. I plan to teach and perform as long as I can!

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
The music department in its entirety was so supportive of me and my success and I couldn’t be more thankful. Being a part of MSU Denver Choirs, NAfME, being able to tutor music theory, and being able to perform and do lessons, among many other things I was able to be involved in, helped me in so many ways. Being able to connect with professors and peers throughout my experience at MSU Denver has made me a much better musician, performer, and teacher.

Caden Hirsch

Caden Hirsch headshot
Degree:
Bachelor of Music in Composition
Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory

About:
Music has surrounded me my whole life, but it wasn’t until I was at Metro I actually decided to pursue it as a career.

As a composer, I always listen and experience music with a creative ear. I look for influence in creating music from every part of my life and look for opportunities to share this creation and musical learning with others. I began composing through Metro, but I don’t intend to stop making music through many means. My main influences come from film scores and Romantic styles.

My theory interests sprout from many disciplines of music as well. My focuses currently surround film scores and symphonic works, but I also have interests in theory pedagogy studies, as well as music therapy and overtone/frequency-based concepts.

Future Career Goals:
It is my intention to pursue masters and doctoral degrees in music theory, and teach/research music theory at the collegiate level. I also intend to pursue other musical skills, such as learning several instruments and learning piano tuning as well. I hope to learn deeper levels of music therapy as they pertain to theory as well, whether or not I pursue it as a formal study.

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
I want to thank my professors, recognizing that their leadership and professionalism have pushed me to pursue similar levels of competence in my own career. Conducting with M.B. Krueger and Dr. Brandon Matthews, singing and learning vocal pedagogy with Dr. Bradley Thompson, and digging into music theory with Cherise Leiter, Chris Keelan, and Dr. David Farrell have all been wonderful experiences, and I’m so grateful to have had this faculty involved in this part of my path.

William Perkins

William Perkins headshotDegree:
Bachelor of Music in Jazz & Classical Guitar Performance

About:
I am 23 years old, born here in Denver, Colorado. I started playing guitar at the age of 9 as a hobby and have always been passionate about a career in music. I can’t recall a time in my life in which I was not involved with a band, or ensemble. Every friend I have ever made, I did so through music. Though I am quite passionate about any style that observes plucked string instruments, it has always been my dream to explore and contribute to the world of unaccompanied guitar music. Ever since I can remember, I have always been fascinated by musicians like Stanley Jordan, Tommy Emanuel, and Paco de Lucia. Guitarists that could channel the experience of an entire ensemble with a single guitar.

Future Career Goals:
I intend to explore and contribute to the world of unaccompanied guitar music. I envision a new approach to the instrument that would give guitarists the tools to read and perform polyphony at a more similar level to pianists. While at the same time reinforcing their relationship with articulations and timbres that already give the instrument it’s distinct character. I hope to first realize this image with a great work of music, a composition, performance, recording, or a combination of the four. I then intend to publish my thoughts into a manuscript to be shared with the world.

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
Professor Alex Komodore Is without doubt the most outstanding instructor I have ever learned from. Every lesson was such a privilege, and he has been a tremendous influence on my life. I most certainly would not have grown as much as I had if it were not for his tutelage. He has opened countless doors for me, and I have the utmost respect for who he is and what he does. I can only ever hope to have the same impact on my students as he had on me.

Eric Welty Rodriguez

Eric Welty Rodriguez sitting on sidewalk playing guitarDegree:
Bachelor of Music in Jazz & American Improvised Music Performance

About:
Eric Welty Rodriguez is a musician, composer, producer, bandleader, and teacher currently residing in the Denver, Colorado area. For the last 10 years he has been dedicated to writing, performing, and teaching music with the community of collaborators he surrounds himself with. From performing original music with People In Between, to teaching local students, music has always been a deep and profound experience for him. At his core, Eric is looking to blend and combine many types of styles, genres, and backgrounds that he is interested in with the hopes of pushing limits, boundaries, and preconceived notions to create interesting and engaging music for everyone to listen to.

Future Career Goals:
I plan to continue creating, playing, teaching, and engaging in music with the amazing community around me.

Favorite Moments from MSU Denver:
I have learned it’s never about who you play with, but how you play with them.