2019 Fall Alumni News by Lara Saldanha

RPPF 11/18/2019

RPPF Fall Alumni News by Lara Saldanha


As the year comes to a close, I would like to take a moment to highlight and celebrate just a handful of the many milestones that RPPF alumni have achieved recently. As you can see, RPPF alumni have not only successfully continued their academic work but have made great strides in building unique and multifaceted careers for themselves. All of us at RPPF wish to congratulate the alumni below on their accomplishments, and we look forward to following the careers of all our alumni!


Giselle Moraga (RPPF 2014) earned her Master’s degree with the highest distinction in August 2018 at Facultad de Artes Universidad de Chile. Since 2016, she has been giving masterclasses and concerts free of charge to rural Chilean students, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to access such programs.


Michelle Schodowski (RPPF 2014) recently finished her MBA and won a business pitch competition to start an online platform, raddaconnect.com, that connects music students with teachers around the world to critique their performances, giving students opportunities get critique from musicians they may not have access to otherwise. Her experience with different masterclasses and lessons at RPPF 2014 led her to develop the idea for Radda!


Michael Clement (RPPF 2018) was the pianist for the University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band, a Grammy nominated ensemble, and will be featured in their upcoming album, Lab 2019. He was also named the “Yamaha Award” winner at the 2019 American Jazz Pianist Competition, held at Yamaha Artist Services in New York City in April, and as part of that award, will soon record an album at Yamaha Studios in New York. 


Zixiang Wang (RPPF and Mini 2018) won 2nd prize in the William Byrd Young Artist competition with Rachmaninov’s third concerto in March; was a fellow at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, playing on faculty concerts and teaching secondary piano; gave his Hangzhou debut recital with an all-Liszt program in August and gave a lecture on Beethoven’s early-period sonatas there; and passed his comprehensive oral exams and became a candidate for a Doctoral of Musical Arts in September!


Rie Tanaka (Mini 2019) successfully defended her doctoral thesis “Wellness for Musicians: A Blueprint to Your Very Own Injury Prevention Course,” partly inspired by her work with Rebecca Penneys during her own injury recovery. She has started her own concert series, given 5 lectures/masterclasses in 3 states, and is working on her yoga teacher training and certification!

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