SOMD Alumni

As a graduate of the UO School of Music and Dance, you are part of a worldwide community of outstanding artists, educators, scholars, and professionals. Wherever you are, we hope you’ll keep in touch. Let us know what you've been doing, or connect with us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter. We hope you're as proud to be an Oregon alum as we are to call you Ducks! For more information on alumni resources contact the SOMD Office of Development at 541-346-3859.

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Distinguished Alumni

Each year the School of Music and Dance honors one alumnus from each of our two primary areas—dance and music—with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Honorees are invited to address the assembled graduates at the spring commencement exercises.

2023 Award Recipient 

Catherine Solaas, MS ’96, BS ’93, Dance


Catherine Solaas (she/her), MS ’96, BS ’93, Dance, currently serves as Department Chair and Associate Professor of Dance at Austin Community College. She has celebrated more than 30 years as a dancer, choreographer, educator, and arts administrator. At ACC, Solaas initiated a new, internationally recognized certificate program in Somatic Movement Education, collaborated in the development of the State of Texas’ freshman and sophomore level dance curriculum, and spearheaded a paid internship program for dance majors serving Austin’s Title I schools. She produces an annual season of six public dance events, and choreographs and performs original dance works on campus and at dance conferences and festivals. She has presented research on equity in higher education at The League for Innovation in the Community College, National Dance Education Organization, and the Peace and Conflict Studies Symposium. Solaas serves on several advisory committees, as well as the board of directors for the Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company.

Past Recipients

20222019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 | 1994 | 1993



Josh Deutsch
MM ’09, Jazz Performance & Composition
Grammy-winning trumpeter/composer Josh Deutsch has established himself as a versatile and unique voice in New York’s music scene. Equally comfortable as a leader and sideman, Deutsch has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. Deutsch’s projects include the band Pannonia and the Josh Deutsch / Nico Soffiato Duo. He can also be heard with Lila Downs, Dafnis Prieto Big Band, Sofia Rei, Pedro Giraudo’s Expansions Big Band, the Terraza Big Band, Miho Hazama’s M_Unit, Livio Almeida’s Brazilian Dectet, Grupo Rebolu, Noa Fort, Juancho Herrera and Niki Pankovits, and has appeared with Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society and the Duke Ellington Big Band directed by Victor Goines. Deutsch has twice led bands as part of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, directed by Dave Douglas, as well as Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle and Outpost Summer Music Festival in Albuquerque. A native of Seattle, Deutsch holds degrees in music from the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Oregon. He now resides in Queens, NY, where in addition to performing he is an active music educator.



Valerie Ifill
MFA ’09, Dance
Valerie Ifill is a dance educator, researcher and performer focused on the intersections of dance and the community. She currently serves as Dance Program Director and Assistant Teaching Professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Ifill earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from the University of Oregon, completed the Independent Study Program at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a dance minor from Kent State University. Ifill is also certified to teach “Inside-Out Prison Exchange” courses, and recently led a pioneering Inside-Out movement class, “Politics of the Body,” with a group of university students and incarcerated citizens at a women’s correctional facility in Philadelphia.

Ifill’s studio-based work for the college dance student is grounded in sensory-driven improvisational work, builds a strong anatomical foundation for sustainable performance work, and is informed by movement vocabulary from the African Diaspora. Her written research is centered on understanding multiple perspectives through community-based learning, race and power in education, and making dance and movement accessible to everyone.

She continues to perform and choreograph across the country with the TRANSForm Dance Collective (a group of UO SOMD dance alumni that was formed soon after Ifill’s graduation), Ifill Dance Co.|Lab, and performs work by Maria Bauman with New York-based dance company MBDance. In addition to directing the dance program at Drexel University, Ifill directs a dance program for West Philadelphia (Mantua/Powelton Village) residents at the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships and directs the Youth Performance Exchange Touring Ensemble.

Ifill recently accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Akron in Ohio, where she will serve as Assistant Professor of Dance in the School of Dance, Theatre and Arts Administration. Her responsibilities will include developing dance curriculum focused on the African Diaspora. She will also continue an innovative, interdisciplinary project she began at Drexel University called “Black Girls STEAMing Through Dance,” blending dance-making, code and wearable technology to develop STEAM literacies, STEAM identities and positive self-concept among African-American elementary and middle school-aged girls.



Todd Nix
BMus ’93, Tuba Performance   

Todd Nix is a senior chief musician with the prestigious U.S. Naval Academy Band, where he has been a member for 22 years. He performs with the marching band and ceremonial units, and serves as Operations Division Leading Chief  Petty Officer. Nix has performed for every United States president since 2001, and at commissioning ceremonies for many naval warships, including the U.S.S. Bulkeley, a destroyer which launched from New York soon after the 911 attacks.

A native of Grants Pass, Oregon, and a 1988 graduate of Grants Pass High School, Nix received his Bachelor of Music degree in tuba performance from the University of Oregon in 1993. Nix credits Richard Frazier, his primary teacher at UO and the school’s first full-time performing instructor of tuba and euphonium, with strengthening his work ethic and laying a strong foundation for his musical career. Frazier also introduced Nix to his next musical mentor, Harvey Phillips, who visited UO as a guest artist.  

Nix went on to study under Phillips at the Indiana University School of Music, where he completed a Master of Music in tuba performance, and served as a graduate assistant to Daniel Perantoni. Nix also counts Floyd Cooley as an influential teacher.  

Prior to joining the Navy, Nix performed with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra and Eugene Opera Company, and served as adjunct professor of music at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. He has been recognized nationally for his ensemble work at both the Fischoff National Chamber Music Festival and the NY Brass Conference, and was awarded second place in the Mock Orchestral Audition Competition held at the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference in 1995.  

In addition to his musical career, Nix is active in the sport of rowing, and has been an internationally-ranked competitor at indoor rowing championships. He serves as a volunteer coach with the Naval Academy Crew Team, and is the program director of Annapolis Junior Rowing.  

Nix lives in Annapolis with his wife, Maegan, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy as a Navy intelligence officer and now works at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory after retiring from the military. They are the proud parents of three sons — Toby, 10, Alden, 8, and Graeme, 5. 



Kelly Kuo
BA, Music and Chinese '96
Kelly Kuo began his musical studies on the violin at age five, and made his debut as a piano soloist with the Walla Walla Symphony five years later. He continued his piano studies as a student at the UO, under the mentorship of professor Dean Kramer, before going on to earn a MMus in piano performance from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music.

Praised by the Cincinnati Enquirer as “a leader of exceptional musical gifts, who has a clear technique on the podium and an impressive rapport with audiences,” Kelly Kuo’s dynamic and collaborative style, along with his fresh approach to programming, have been heralded by critics and audiences alike.

Kuo recently extended his contract through 2021 as Artistic Director of Oregon Mozart Players, having “transformed this chamber group into...a band of professional, enthusiastic and superior musicians, playing confidently as one unit” (The Register Guard). A versatile musician with a diverse repertoire, including over 80 operas, he also continues as Music Director and Conductor of the Butler Opera Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

This season Kuo leads performances of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and Verdi’s Falstaff at the BOC, makes his conducting debut with the Memphis Symphony, and leads six programs for Oregon Mozart Players. Recent conducting engagements have included Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cincinnati Opera, Anchorage Opera, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Ballet Fantastique, Kentucky Opera, Lexington Philharmonic, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, concert:nova, and New York Harlem Production’s Porgy and Bess in Hamburg, Munich, and Las Palmas, in addition to having curated and conducted the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s inaugural Summermusik festival as Interim Music Director. 

An Oregon native and recipient of a 2009 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistant Award for young conductors, Kuo continues to concertize as a keyboardist as the only living pianist to have studied with two pupils of the Russian virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz. Upcoming keyboard performances include recitals with Avery Fisher prize-winning clarinetist David Shifrin, Cleveland Orchestra’s principal cellist Mark Kosower, violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou, and the Zenith Chamber Music Festival. He holds a master’s degree in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music and is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.



Gina Bolles Sorensen 
MFA Dance '08
Gina Bolles Sorensen is an artist and educator who delights in the body’s potential for movement, the mind’s capacity for imagination, and the possibilities that transpire at the intersection of the two. Her choreography has been produced in festivals and concert programs throughout the United States and abroad. She has danced for companies and choreographers in New York, San Francisco, Oregon, and San Diego, including Jesse Zarrit, Yolande Snaith, Elfi Schaefer-Schafroth, Stephan Koplowitz, Jean Isaacs, Elizabeth Swallow, Wallpaper Performance Company, Rita Honka Dance, Strong Current Dance Company, High Release Dance, and many more independent choreographers.

Bolles Sorensen has taught dance, composition, dance history, and world dance forms at festivals and institutions including the American College Dance Festival (Missoula, MT), the University of California San Diego (La Jolla, CA), the University of Oregon (Eugene, OR), San Diego State University (San Diego, CA), Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, TX), Winthrop University (Rock Hill, SC), Johnson C. Smith University (Charlotte, NC), and the Interlochen Arts Camp (Interlochen, MI) to name a few.

In 2007, Bolles Sorensen was awarded a Gary E. Smith Summer Research Grant and a Center for Study of Women in Society Research Grant to study the classical Indian dance Bharatanatyam in Bangalore, India. In 2008, she was awarded the Georgianne Teller Singer Dean’s Fellowship in recognition of her work as a graduate student and teacher in Dance at the University of Oregon. An excerpt of her thesis entitled “Imagery Ability, Imagery Use, and Learning Style: An Exploratory Study” was published by the Journal of Dance Education in Spring 2009.

Most recently, Bolles Sorensen was the recipient of a 2013 National Artist Teacher Fellowship from the Center for Arts in Education at Boston Arts Academy. She has an MFA in Dance from the University of Oregon and a BA in Mass Media Communication Studies and Political Science from UCLA.

Bolles Sorensen currently teaches dance at the Coronado School of the Arts and Grossmont College, as well as yoga at Bonita Pilates and Yoga. Gina is an Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher and the founder of Yoga Natyam, an online resource for yoga classes.



Anthony Brown
BS Music & Psychology '75

Anthony Brown joined the United States Army after graduating from the UO. He served as a NATO liaison officer in Europe, and later as an intelligence staff officer back home in San Francisco, eventually rising to the rank of captain. During his time in uniform, he actively pursued his love of music as the house drummer at the Jazz Club Athens during a posting to Greece. He went on to become commander of the U.S. Army Chorus in Europe when he was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. When Brown left the military in 1985, they awarded him the Army Commendation Medal.

After his military career, Brown earned two master’s degrees in music — the first with a focus on jazz performance from Rutgers University — and the second a Master of Arts in Music from UC Berkeley. He continued his studies at Berkeley and earned his PhD in music with a specialization in ethnomusicology in 1997, where he has served as a visiting professor. 

His pioneering work with the San Francisco-based jazz quartet United Front in the early 1980s blended Asian instruments and influences with traditional jazz idioms and improvisation. The band’s unique sound was a reflection of his own personal heritage as an artist of Japanese, African and Native American descent.

Brown continues to foster cross-cultural understanding through his work as artistic director of Fifth Stream Music and leader of the Asian American Orchestra in his hometown of San Francisco. Brown has also appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, on a live broadcast for National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation, and in jazz festivals across the United States and around the world.

As a scholar, he’s published articles on some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time from Duke Ellington to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. His academic excellence was recognized by the Smithsonian Institution, which asked him to serve as an associate scholar. As a composer, Brown has written a diverse collection of works inspired by themes such as the civil rights movement and nuclear nonproliferation. One of his recent commissions was Our Eyes on The Prize: King’s Dream 50 Years On. His work Never Again! was performed at Peace Plaza in San Francisco in commemoration of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.



Timothy Cowart 
MFA Dance and MS Arts Administration '04

Timothy Cowart spent several years performing with modern dance companies including the David Dorfman Dance Company, and Elizabeth Streb/Ringside prior to his graduate studies. He also performed nationally and internationally with the Pittsburgh Dance Alloy and the Lewitzky Dance Company, under the tutelage of renowned modern dance pioneer Bella Lewitzky.

Cowart has toured as a dancer with Impact Productions, entertaining crowds in the U.S. and China with performances designed to spread biblical teachings through the arts.

It was during his time at the UO that Cowart discovered his research passion, while working as a research assistant for associate professor of dance Jenifer Craig. It is the nearly forgotten story of Michio Ito, a Japanese immigrant to America who began teaching his own modern dance technique in the early 1900s. Ito staged sold-out dance performances at the Hollywood Bowl at the height of his fame. But he was imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp during World War II before being deported back to Japan, where he continued to teach until his death in 1961.

Michio Ito has continued to be a primary research focus for Cowart during the past 10 years, in his role as associate professor and chair of the Dance Department at DeSales University — a private Catholic college north of Philadelphia. He invited one of Ito’s last surviving students from Japan, Ms. Kyoko Imura, to visit DeSales University as a guest artist, and he has traveled to Tokyo to perform Ito’s work for a Japanese audience.

As a graduate student, Cowart helped grow our guest artist program, attracting dancers from Portland and Seattle to campus. He has continued that tradition at DeSales, with more than 30 visiting guest artists each year.

For the past year, Cowart and his wife have been living near their family in the Columbia River Gorge with their five boys (all under the age of eight) including a set of triplets who just turned five. During that time, Cowart has been a visiting guest artist at Western Oregon University while his wife has been teaching classes in Portland. In the fall, Cowart is scheduled to return to his position as chair of the Dance Department at DeSales University in Pennsylvania.

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Robin Collen
MS Dance, ’84

Robin Collen received both her BA (1976) and MS (1984) in Dance from the University of Oregon. She received a certification in Movement Analysis from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute’s Seattle program in 1989, and a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University in 2002.

Collen is a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the State University of New York at Potsdam, chairing the department for six years. In 2011 she received the university’s President’s Award for Excellence in College Service. She also taught for three years at the UO.

Collen has choreographed numerous productions, and has performed with the Mary Miller Dance Company (Eugene and Pittsburgh, PA), with a variety of choreographers in Seattle, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and at SUNY Potsdam. She has presented her scholarly and creative work at numerous state, national, and international conferences.

At the UO, Collen worked closely with emerita faculty member Janet Descutner, and attributes to that collaboration her skills as a writer—skills she utilizes as a member of the Journal of Dance Education editorial board.

Collen is a member of the New York State DanceForce, a consortium of dance activists committed to increasing the state’s quantity and quality of dance activity.

Collen continually refines her pedagogical approaches to improvisation, choreography, Laban Movement Analysis, contemporary dance, and dance pedagogy. She marvels at the many ways she can create learning environments that take students through transformational processes as dancers and as human beings.



Carl Woideck
BMus, ’81, MS, ’89

In 2016, Carl Woideck is retiring from his position of senior instructor of jazz, rock, and blues history at the University of Oregon. He received both his Bachelor of Music (1981) and Master of Science (1989) from the UO.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Woideck lived in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1968-71, performing with artists such as Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, and Buddy Miles.

After moving to Eugene in 1975, Woideck began teaching part-time in 1982 at the UO. He became full-time under Dean Anne Dhu McLucas, and was promoted to senior instructor under Dean Brad Foley.

Woideck is the author of Charlie Parker: His Music and Life (University of Michigan Press). He is currently revising the book, which has been
translated into Japanese and Italian.

Woideck is author and editor of The John Coltrane Companion and The Charlie Parker Companion (both Schirmer Books). He has written compact disc liner notes extensively for the Verve, Impulse, Blue Note, Mosaic, and Prestige labels.

Woideck is a professional saxophonist and leader of the Carl Woideck Jazz Heritage Project, which performs concerts at Eugene’s John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts.

A longtime jazz radio announcer, Woideck has interviewed Dexter Gordon, Ornette Coleman, Clark Terry, Chan Parker, Rebecca Parker, Jon Hendricks, Marian McPartland, Red Rodney, Max Roach, Lee Konitz, Gerry Mulligan, Branford Marsalis, Vijay Iyer, Ellington band members Barrie Lee Hall, Jr., and Art Baron.



Donna Krasnow 
MS Dance '94

Donna Krasnow received her Master of Science in dance in 1994 from the University of Oregon, where she was recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Research Award. She received her Ph.D. in dance science in 2012 from the University of Wolverhampton in England.

Krasnow is professor emerita and senior scholar in the Department of Dance at York University in Toronto, as well as special faculty for the Sharon Disney
Lund School of Dance at California Institute of the Arts.

Krasnow specializes in dance science research, concentrating on injury prevention, conditioning for dancers, and motor learning
and motor control. Her most recent research focus has been the adolescent dancer, psychological issues surrounding injury and dance training, and motor control in elite dancers.

In 1988 Krasnow founded the York Dance Ensemble, and in June 2002 received the York University Excellence in Teaching Award. In 1976 she founded Dance Source, a professional training school in San Francisco. In addition to performing as a guest artist with numerous prestigious companies, Krasnow has taught extensively in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan. She served as head of the modern division at the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre in Toronto.

Krasnow’s articles have been published in numerous journals, and she is currently the Associate Editor for Dance for Medical Problems of Performing Artists. In 2010, Krasnow’s book Conditioning with Imagery for Dancers was published by Thompson Educational Publishers (co-authored with Deveau).
Her book Motor Learning and Control for Dance: Principles and Practices for Performers and Teachers (co-authored with Virginia Wilmerding) will be released in July 2015 by Human Kinetics.



Mia Hall Miller
BMus '72 & MMus '73

Mia Hall Miller received both her bachelor’s degree in music (1972, emphasis in music education and violin) and master’s degree in music (1973, emphasis in voice) from the University of Oregon.

After her graduation, Miller studied in Stuttgart, Germany, for two years under noted conductors Helmuth Rilling and Frieder Bernius. Miller’s passion for conducting children and youth has grown through fifteen years at First Presbyterian Church in Portland as well as teaching in both public and private schools.

In 2003 Miller founded Pacific Youth Choir (PYC), which has grown from the original 60 children to today’s 290 singers in eleven choirs. The ensembles are well recognized locally, regionally, and nationally, enjoying regular invitations to perform with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Ballet Theater, Portland Youth Philharmonic, Trinity Choir, and Pink Martini. PYC has been named the Oregon Symphony’s choir of choice, with six performances this season.

PYC is featured on four Pink Martini recordings, including the immensely popular Joy to the World album, which went “Gold” across the globe. In March of 2012 Miller was featured in The Oregonian newspaper series “Inside Obsession,” a series about artists who devote their lives to their passions. Miller is a member of American Choral Directors Association, having served as state membership chair and district honor choir manager. In addition to PYC, Miller has guest-conducted and coached many clinics including two Oregon Music Education Association All State Choirs, two Portland All City Honor Choirs, and Pacific University’s Music In May.


Michael Harrison

Michael Harrison
BMus '83

Michael Harrison, composer and pianist, has been called “an American Maverick” by Philip Glass. Through his expertise in “just intonation” tunings, Indian ragas and rhythmic cycles, he has created “a new harmonic world…of vibrant sound” (The New York Times). Time Loops (Cantaloupe Music), his latest CD with cellist Maya Beiser, was selected by NPR in the Top 10 Classical Albums of 2012. The feature work Just Ancient Loops (2012), a collaboration with filmmaker Bill Morrison, was premiered with live performances by Beiser at the Bang on a Can Marathon and Sundance Film Festival, and screened at the American Film Institute Film Festival and film festivals throughout the world.

His previous CD, Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation, was chosen by the New York Times, Boston Globe and Time Out New York as one of the Best Classical Recordings of the Year, and received awards from the Classical Recording Foundation and IBLA Foundation. Critic Tim Page wrote: Say it plainly — Michael Harrison's ‘Revelation: Music in Pure Intonation’ is probably the most brilliant and original extended composition for solo piano since the early works of Frederic Rzewski three decades ago (and no, I am not forgetting Elliott Carter).

In 2012 the JACK Quartet premiered Harrison’s new work “Chant” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 2011 Centre Pompidou in Paris exhibited The Bragdon Pavillion, a multi-media collaboration with French artist Loris Greaud. As a pianist Harrison has performed his music throughout the United States and Europe. Recordings of his works have also been released on New Albion Records, Windham Hill Records, Important Records, and Fortuna Records, and chapters are devoted to his work in the books Grand Obsession (Perry Knize, Scribner) and Temperament (Stuart Isacoff, A. Knopf).

Harrison received his Bachelor of Music in composition from the University School of Music in 1983. In the 1980’s he also became La Monte Young’s apprentice, during which time he prepared all of the specialized tunings and scores for Young's 6½-hour work, The Well-Tuned Piano. In 1987, Harrison became the only other person besides the composer to perform this extended work. In 1986, Harrison designed and created the “harmonic piano,” an extensively modified grand piano with the ability to play 24 notes per octave, which is described in Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments.

Harrison is the co-founder of Faust Harrison Pianos, the New York area's largest piano dealer and one of America's foremost Steinway Rebuilders. He is also the co-founder and president of the American Academy of Indian Classical Music and a disciple of master Indian vocalists Pandit Pran Nath (1979 until his passing in 1996), and Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan (1999-present), with whom he performs regularly. Harrison has been on faculty at Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance Program and the Bang on a Can Summer Institute at MASSMoCA. Recent grants and fellowships include the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc. (2012, Time Loops CD), Classical Recording Foundation (2012, Time Loops CD), MacDowell Colony (2012), where he also serves on the Fellows Executive Committee, Djerassi Resident Artists Program (2013), and Ucross Foundation Residency Program (2013).



Karen Studd
MA '83

Karen Studd, holds an MA in Dance from the University of Oregon (1983) and a CMA, Certified Movement Analyst from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute’s Seattle Program (1987). In addition Karen is a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) and Registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME). For twenty years she has taught in the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies Certification Programs across the United States and in Canada. She has served as a LIMS® Program Coordinator at the University of Maryland and is currently a Program Coordinator for the LIMS® Modular Programs in New York City. Internationally, she has taught the Laban/Bartenieff work in workshops in Krakow, Poland, the International Summer Dance Festival, in Poznan, Poland and has presented papers and given workshops in Brazil and Bratislava. Karen has taught in the Dance Departments of the University of Oregon, the University of Wisconsin, George Washington University and George Mason, where she is a tenured dance faculty member. A teacher of dance technique, experiential anatomy, composition and a choreographer, she is focused on adult education and personal development through movement. Although she came to the Laban work through the art of dance, Karen sees herself as movement educator, and dance as a highly specialized area of application within the larger body of knowledge that is movement itself. Her interest is in the understanding of the importance of human movement across all disciplines. She has been recently active in the observation of movement of political pundits and has been interviewed by the Washington Post newspaper and on television’s HardBall commentary with Chris Mathews.

Karen Studd is an internationally recognized master teacher of the Laban/Bartenieff Movement System. Her recently co-authored book, Everybody is a Body (2013), is being hailed as a vital text for all interested in discovering the potential of human movement.


Karen Bradley

Karen Kohn Bradley 
MA Dance '77 

Karen Kohn Bradley received an MA, in Dance from the University of Oregon in 1977, and became a Certified Movement Analyst in Laban Movement Analysis, in 1984, followed by further study in dance/movement therapy.

Karen currently serves as Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Dance at the University of Maryland.  As a dance scholar, she is a Past-President of the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) and is the Government Affairs Liaison for the National Dance Education Organization, is on the Board of Directors, and has contributed regularly to the development of national standards and to various research projects in dance education. She also serves on the Board of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York City.

As a movement analyst, she has worked in dance therapy, with learning-disabled children, in arts education research and policy, and observes and coaches politicians and business leaders.  She authored the book Rudolf Laban as a part of Routledge’s series on Twentieth-Century Performance Practitioners. In addition, she has published book chapters, articles, and presentations on arts education, specifically learning theory and styles as observed and accessed through dance and movement. She has also choreographed, written and directed for theatre in the Baltimore and Washington, DC communities and is currently writing an online book: Ultimate Moves: Fluency in Your Other Native Language.

Bradley comments regularly in the media on political figures and their body movement, most recently in The New Yorker magazine, for the Washington Post, and has appeared on Hardball, with Chris Matthews and Inside Politics on CNN. She has led workshops on nonverbal leadership style for the Academy of Leadership Studies at the University of Maryland, where she is a Fellow.

Karen Bradley received an ADVANCE grant from the University of Maryland for a pilot study entitled "Your Brain on Dance", in which she will work with Dr. Jose Contreras-Vidal's team at the University of Houston to determine brain-wave patterns for particular expressive movement qualities. She is also a part of the leadership team on a grant from the Canadian government entitled "Moving Stories: Digital Tools for Movement, Meaning, and Interaction." The project is a partnership among the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in NY, Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts and Technology in Vancouver, BC, and the University of Illinois' eDream Center.

Bradley has been writing core standards for dance in the US, developing a book chapter on dance and arts integration, and overseeing a grant for the National Dance Education Organization from the National Endowment for the Arts entitled EVIDENCe: Evidence in the Value of Dance Education for Our Nation’s Children, in which current statistics, databases, research, and project reports are being mined for evidence of the power of dance to learning in children. She is a past recipient of the National Dance Education Organization’s Visionary Award.



Margaret (Peggy) Quackenbush
MA Music '76

Margaret (Peggy) Quackenbush came to the University of Oregon following the receipt of her BA in Music from the University of Minnesota, Morris and she earned her MA in Music History in 1976 here at UO.  She then went on to complete the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Performance and Literature (clarinet) from the Eastman School of Music, where she was a student of D. Stanley Hasty.

A native of rural Minnesota, Peggy has lived and worked in Rochester, New York since 1979. Her interests in performance, teaching, and building musical community have been centered at the Hochstein School of Music & Dance, where she has been President & Executive Director since 1992.  In previous years she served the School in the positions of Interim Director, Assistant Executive Director, Registrar/Dean of Students, and as a member of the clarinet faculty.  Under her leadership, the School’s programs have expanded substantially, building on Hochstein’s history of bringing excellent instruction in music, dance, and music therapy to a diverse student body in western New York, and the Hochstein Performance Hall, renovated in 1999, has become Rochester’s premiere mid-sized concert hall.

An active clarinetist, Dr. Quackenbush is a founding member of Antara Winds, a woodwind quintet that has performed for the Eastman School of Music’s Music and Globalization Symposium, Chamber Music Rochester, and the ensemble performs frequently on “Live from Hochstein”, broadcast live on NPR affiliate WXXI-FM. Dr. Quackenbush also performs frequently with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Music Rochester, Rochester Oratorio Society, and Rochester Lyric Opera.  During her years in Eugene, she performed with the Eugene Symphony, Eugene Opera, the Oregon Bach Festival, and as a member of the University of Oregon Faculty Woodwind Quintet.

Her teaching career has included positions at Roberts Wesleyan College and Lane Community College, in addition to the Hochstein School, where she has taught clarinet and chamber music.  Her students have won positions in local, regional, and national honors ensembles, and have pursued undergraduate and graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, Yale University, and Oberlin College, among others.  

Dr. Quackenbush has received numerous awards and recognition for her work over the years from the Monroe County Music Educators Association, the Milestone Certificate of Appreciation from the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Musician of the Year from Mu Phi Epsilon - Rochester Alumni Chapter, and the Rochester Philharmonic’s Special Award for Outstanding Music Educators.

She has served on the boards of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and the National Association of Schools of Music, and currently serves on the Accrediting Commission for Precollegiate and Community Arts Schools. She is a founding board member for the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School in Rochester, New York, and in 2007 joined the board of the Penfield Music Commission Project.

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Philip Frohnmayer, Music
Heidi Duckler, Dance


Mira Frohnmayer, Music
Mary Seereiter, Dance


Doree Jarboe, Music
Timothy Ryan, Dance


Richard Benedum, Music
Ann Rodiger, Dance

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Larry Gookin, Music
Barbara Sellers-Young, Dance


Ray Miller, Dance 
Edgardo Simone, Music


Terry Kuhn, Music
Dianne Markham, Dance


Julie Anne McCornack Sadie, Music
Tiffany Mills, Dance

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Barry McNabb, Dance
Richard M. Smith, Music


Allan Eugene Aitken


Richard Fuller


Charlotte Plummer Owen

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Janet Towner, Dance


David Schrader


Jon Appleton


Lynn Sjolund

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Doug Orme


Jerold Ottley


Gene Slayter


MarAbel Frohnmayer 

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