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Points of Pride – Music Alumni News

Welcome to the spring edition of Points of Pride, news devoted to alumni of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at Colorado State University.

Read our most recent music alumni Class Note submissions, information about the upcoming East/West week at the UCA, and take an in-depth look at The Turn of the Screw, the next production to come out of the Charles and Reta Ralph Opera Center.

Colorado choir alumni, the CSU Chamber Choir is hitting the road! Click here for more information.

Monday, April 9, 7:00 p.m. – Concert at Bear Creek HS (with Green Mountain HS and Wheatridge HS), 9800 West Dartmouth Place Lakewood, CO

Tuesday, April 10, 7:00 p.m. – Concert at Augustana Lutheran Church, 5000 E. Alameda Dr., Denver, CO

Wednesday, April 11, 2:15 p.m. – Concert at Vail Mountain School, 3000 Booth Falls Rd, Vail, CO



Music Alumni News


Rachel Holmes ’11 M.M. Music completed a 12 day residency at Florida State University. She writes “my time there concluded with a recital in which I will premiere two pieces composed for me by Michael Broder (The Shield of Achilles for chamber ensemble and soprano) and J. Cooper Schirmsher (Io v’amo sol perche for soprano, cello and piano) along with newly composed song cycles by Matthew Herzog. I also gave a guest lecture on the subject of young singer’s issues and triumphs whilst traversing the often difficult field of “new” music, as well as completing a few recording sessions with student composers. This residency was funded by the SCI chapter of FSU, to which I am very thankful!”

Laura Begley ’10
B.M. Music was a winner at the Metropolitian Opera Council District Auditions in Tulsa, OK, and advanced to the Midwest Regional Auditions. Laura, a mezzo-soprano from Loveland, holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from Colorado State University. She is now at the University of North Texas where she is a student of Dr. Linda DiFiore and pursuing a M.M. in Vocal Performance with a related program in Opera Studies.

James Baumgardner ’09 B.M. Music performed in the Spring Alumni Concert Series on Feb. 15 in the Organ Recital Hall at the UCA. A note from the program,

“For many of you here today including family, friends, mentors, colleagues, and employers who have supported me through my career thus far, I cannot thank you enough and tell you how much your support means. The world of performance can be a very hard and discouraging path for many, but its these kinds of events that remind us why we fell in love with music at the start, and they are invaluable to a young performer! GO RAMS!” Read more about James here

Geoff Pennington ’09 M.M Music Geoff enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 2010 and graduated from basic training at Fort Jackson, N.C., as Leader of the Cycle and earned the Army Achievement medal. He attended the U.S. Army School of Music in Virginia Beach, V.A. for 10 weeks of training. He graduated as Distinguished Honor Graduate, and was one of five who made the Commandant’s List. He earned the ASI C1 rating, denoting superior musical ability.

John Lindsey ’09 B.M. Music
was Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Minnesota Opera March 3-10, 2012

Sandy Siedow Herrera ’05 B.M. Music was “Student of the Month” at the Armed Forces School of Music in October 2011.

Robert Pippin ’01, ’03 B.M. Music Education, M.M. Conducting is the Band Director at Thompson Valley High School in Loveland, Colo. and the second trombone in the Fort Collins Symphony. He is still an active mountain biker and Xterra triathlete. He is married to Holly (Pederson) Pippin ʹ01, ʹ07 and they have a wonderful Irish Wolfhound/Golden Retriever mix named Georgia.

Miroslava Mintcheva ’02 M.M. Music Dr. Miroslava Mintcheva, MM-CSU, DMA-CU, was hired by Florida Southern College as a visiting Assistant Professor of Piano for the 2011-2012 year.


Clint Miller ’82 B.M. Music Education writes “I retired in 2005 after a 23 year teaching career. I currently work at the Collbran Job Corps Center where I have been employed as Assistant Center Standards Officer since 2009.”


Russell Crescentini ’76 B.S. Physical Education writes “I was in the CSU Bands (Marching, Concert, Jazz, Brass, Choir, ROTC) from 1968 to 1973. I came back to finish my degree in Physical Education in the spring of 1976. Before coming to CSU in the fall of 1968 I was stationed for four years with the 15th Air Force Band at March Air Force Base in Riverside, Calif. During my enlistment I was a member of the featured Trumpet Trio and performed for President Eisenower. I traveled all over southern California, and as far north as Spokane, WA and as far east as Roswell, NM. This month I will be 65 years old, and I still play in a few groups in the Phoenix, Ariz. area, including Phoenix College Community Band, Glendale College Community Band, the Arizona Winds Symphony, Prosit German Band, Celebration Brass Quartet and the Sun City “Pops” Band.”

Music News

East/West Week at the University Center for the Arts

Following our highly successful East-West week in 2010, we have invited our friends from East China Normal University back to CSU. We have planned an exciting week of cultural exchange through exciting musical collaborations.

Tuesday, April 24, 7:30 p.m. Organ Recital Hall
Voice Recital featuring students from CSU and ECNU. Free.

Thursday, April 26, 7:30 p.m. Organ Recital Hall
Voice Recital featuring Cao Jin, soprano and Todd Queen, tenor. Free with purchase to Friday or Saturday night performance.

Friday, April 27, 7:30 p.m. Griffin Concert Hall
Combined Orchestra/Choral Concert featuring Yellow River

Saturday, April 28, 7:30 p.m. Griffin Concert Hall
Combined Orchestra/Choral Concert featuring Yellow River

The Charles and Reta Ralph Opera Center’s The Turn of the Screw

Deceit, betrayal, paranormal activity, and madness define the story behind Benjamin Britten’s opera The Turn of the Screw. Well known for its 12-note theme, the production has proved to be a welcome challenge for Director Dr. Tiffany Blake and the students starring in the opera produced by the Charles and Reta Ralph Opera Center at Colorado State University. Read more.