School of music

School Notes: School of Music
July/August 2022

Robert Blocker |

Organist appointed to faculty

Organist James O’Donnell was appointed to the faculty of the Institute of Sacred Music and School of Music, and will begin his work at Yale in January 2023. In addition to teaching, O’Donnell will direct a new vocal ensemble. He comes to Yale after serving 30 years as music director at Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. 

Alumni honored with Grammy awards

Composer Caroline Shaw ’07MusM won a Grammy Award in the “Best Contemporary Classical Composition” category for Narrow Sea, an album featuring performances by soprano Dawn Upshaw, pianist Gilbert Kalish, and So Percussion, whose members include Eric Cha-Beach ’07MusM, Josh Quillen ’06MusM, Adam Sliwinski ’03MusM, ’09DMA, and Jason Treuting ’01MusM, ’02AD. Cellist Alex Veltman ’90MusM won a Grammy Award as a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra for the ensemble’s recording of Florence Price’s First and Third symphonies. The album won in the “Best Orchestral Performance” category. Vocalist Mindy Ella Chu ’15MusM won a Grammy Award in the “Best Choral Performance” category for her contributions to a recording of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, National Children’s Chorus, Pacific Chorale, and soloists. And violinist David Angell ’84MusM won a Grammy Award in the “Best Country Album” category for his contributions to Chris Stapleton’s Starting Over

Commencement celebrations return

The School of Music welcomed alumni from the classes of 2020 and 2021 back to Yale to participate in the commencement-related activities they missed due to the pandemic. Those alumni were recognized in a ceremony on May 14. The Class of 2022 was celebrated at the School’s May 23 commencement ceremony, which was held immediately after the university’s. The school held its annual honors banquet and commencement concert in person for the first time since 2019. 

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