Distinguished Alumni Awards: Celebrating our past, present and potential

September 19 2018

On Wednesday, September 26 at 7 pm, we are taking over Kingsbury Hall for a powerful evening of diverse art that will juxtapose the work of our current students with the successes those who have come before.

We hope you’ll don something snazzy and join us in celebrating Claudia Sisemore, Rosa Vissers and Neil Hendricksen.


Meet our Distinguished Alumni:

Claudia Sisemore is a prolific and versatile visual artist with an almost 50-year career as a maker. She received her MFA from the U in painting and filmmaking and has gone on to teach, exhibit, and make films inexhaustibly, including a 15-year career making more than 200 educational films for the Utah State Office of Education and KUED. She’s a decorated artist, having been honored as an outstanding teacher, painter and filmmaker, and a recipient of the 2015 Salt Lake City Mayor’s Award in visual arts and one of Adobe’s 12 outstanding female artists in Utah.

Rosa Vissers is a Netherlands-born Seattle-based dance, nonprofit leader, and lover of plants. She received her MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah in 2007, and sees movement as a powerful pathway to reclaiming our beauty, resilience, and connection to ourselves and each other. She has performed internationally for 15 years with over 20 companies and artists on large and small stages, film, sidewalks as well as in galleries, parks, and living rooms, including Jessica Jobaris, Shannon Stewart, and zoe|juniper. As a movement educator, she has offered dance and yoga classes at universities, festivals, and in prisons for over a decade. She is currently the Executive Director of Yoga Behind Bars (YBB), a nonprofit offering trauma-informed yoga to incarcerated youth and adults.

Neil Hendriksen just completed his 32nd year as director of choral activities at Woods Cross High School in the Davis School District. His time there has been peppered by regional and national choir competitions, leadership in arts education organizations like the Utah Music Educators Association (UMEA) and the State Music Advisory Committee for the Utah High School Activities Association (AHSAA), and sharing his love of music with hundreds (thousands?) of lucky students. He has led with a philosophy of inclusion, and works every day to find ways to inspire his students and himself. In addition to Hendriksen’s work in education, he’s also a working musician. He can be found in the recording studio, on the concert stage and elsewhere doing vocals of all varieties, and playing the low brasses in diverse groups such as the Ballet West Orchestra, the Utah Symphonic Winds, the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra, and the Orchestra at Temple Square.

We will also enjoy performance or films from each of our five academic units (listed in show order).

Selections from Pictures at an Exhibition …… Modest Mussorgsky
(played without pause)
1. Promenade: Con mortuis in lingua mortua
2. The Hut on Hen’s Legs (Baba-Yaga)
3. The Great Gate of Kiev
The University of Utah Philharmonia
Dr. Robert Baldwin, conductor
Full list of performers below

Art & Art History:
“A Closer Look”
Videography and Editing: Eduardo Ayres Soares

As civil servants: Kimi Brown, Jacob Weitlauf, Maddy Timm, Caitlin Rae Campbell, Dylan Panter, Jace Von App, Micki Martinez, Matt Rudolph
Anatoly Sergievsky: Cam Holzman
Florence Vassy: Mary Nikols
Walter De Courcey: Burke Schoeppl

Anatoly Sergievsky: Cam Holzman
Florence Vassy: Mary Nikols
Walter De Courcey: Burke Schoeppl
Reporters: Madeline Watterson, Talia Heiss, Savannah Bigelow, Jake Watt, Trey McEuen, Allyshea Sexton, Sarah Hutchinson,Rachel Brenneman

"before she sleeps in the sand" (excerpt)
Dancers: Brooklyn Draper, Samijo Kourgioulis, Cameron Mertz, Bayley Smallwood

Film & Media Arts:
By Film & Media Arts grad student Shujing Zeng

Philharmonia performers:
*Ali Parra
Nava Payandeh

Mitchell Atencio

*Erika Qureshi
Hilary Coon

English Horn
Luca Florin

*Jairo Velazquez
Michal Tvrdik

Bass Clarinet
Ryan Wing

*Jessica Wiley
Hans Fronberg
Zachary Froelich

Mateusz Jagiello
Osvaldo Rodriguez
Sean Dulger
Andrew Clevenger
Korynn Fink

Isaac Loveland
Jacob Whitchurch

Michael Barski
Ammon Helms

Bass Trombone
Evan Silloway

James Andrus

Ty Excell

*Brandon Williams
Preston Gilbert
Kalyse Conger
Nicholas Humphries

Stephanie Rhodes Russell

Melody Cribbs
Anna Mitton

1st Violins
*Hung Yang Lin
José Flores
Audrey Lund
Elizabeth Curtis
Madison Vanderwall
Maya Miro Johnson
Hallie Mosteller
Amanda Edwards
Izzy Cram
Natalie Amano
Mason Lunceford

2nd violins
*Sariah Silvester
Matt Gardner
Connor Madsen
Alexander Drysdale
Nola Martin
Mary Griffin
DeAnn Nixon
Joshua Jensen

*Devan Freebairn, principal
Katherine Deneris
Tara Hollein
Lily Springer
Ling Yu
Sandro Rosborough
Rachel Dodge
Laura Lieser
Catherine Miller

*Ambrynn Bowman
Carl Colby
Aaron Stoddard
Alexandra Call
Lauren Anderson
Emma Fine
Derek Curtis

*Arianna Birch
Ben Tufte

Assistant Conductors
Nick Harker
Stephanie Rhodes Russell
Logan Blackman

* = Section Leader