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Glimpses of Some Recent Alums April 2017

Nick Finzer (photo by Ricardo Nelson), Kyle Miller (photo by Tatiana Daubek), Cristina Spinei (photo by Lindsey Grace), Macy Sullivan (photo by Janelle Jones), John Holiday (photo by Fay Fox)


Nick Finzer (MM '12, jazz studies)

Since Juilliard I've been touring the world, playing everything from jazz to pop, and everything in between! I served as a visiting professor of jazz trombone at Florida State University for two years (2014–16), as well as running my record label, Outside in Music, and my educational nonprofit, the Institute for Creative Music! I'm on the road now touring the music from my latest album, Hear & Now, which was released in February—you can also hear my Juilliard classmates Dave Baron (bass), Lucas Pino (tenor sax) Jimmy Macbride (drums), and Alex Wintz (guitar) on it.


Kyle Miller (MM '12, viola, MM '14, historical performance)

Hey, friend! It's been a while—how are you? I still live in N.Y.C., but I've been hitting the road pretty often for concerts with my old Juilliard chums in the Diderot String Quartet and ACRONYM (that 17th-century jam-band I'm in—the Altmusik Collective Resurrecting Old-but-New-to-You Music). I've also been soaking up some California sun at the Carmel Bach Festival, and every once in a while, I get to play with dreamy groups like Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and the English Concert. All-in-all, the freelancing Baroque-viola lifestyle has been sensational. There's something different every week, but I'm always surrounded by dear friends and gorgeous music.

Cristina Spinei (Pre-College '02; BM '06, MM '08, composition)

Even though it has been nine years (!) since I graduated from Juilliard, I still find myself working and collaborating with other alums. I moved to Nashville two years ago and met Banning Bouldin (BFA '02, dance), who started Nashville's first contemporary dance company, New Dialect. We just knew that we had to collaborate, and I wrote the music for her latest work, HEAP, which premiered last fall at Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Continuing in the dance theme, my debut album, Music for Dance, was released by Toccata Classics last year, and I'm currently working on a piece for the Nashville Ballet and a large-scale work for wind ensemble.

Macy Sullivan (BFA '12, dance)

2016 (and Jan.–Feb. 2017) saw a lot of firsts:

  • performing a duet in another time zone—with Asha Thomas (BFA '99, dance)—via Skype in Pat Catterson's NOW
  • traveling to Southeast Asia with Dance Heginbotham on the DanceMotion USA tour
  • getting stung by a jellyfish
  • posting something on Instagram (I know, I know)
  • teaching first grade and pre-K and visiting Chicago schools as a guest artist through Juilliard Global Ventures
  • trying—and liking—acupuncture (this was big; I hate needles)
  • performing CPR to keep a colleague alive after a rehearsal and then coordinating a hands-only CPR class for Juilliard's Residence Life staff
  • teaching Dance for PD (Parkinson's disease) classes
  • performing at the Kennedy Center

Five years past graduation and the adventure seems to get more and more exciting!

John Holiday (Artist Diploma '14, opera studies)

Since graduating, I've been very blessed to have a steady stream of exciting projects. This spring, I make my Boston Baroque debut as Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare in Egitto, and I'll sing the title role of Xerxes at Glimmerglass in June. In the fall, I'll sing John Blue in Opera Philadelphia's world premiere of We Shall Not Be Moved—an opera with music by Daniel Bernard Roumain that's directed by Bill T. Jones. I'll also continue my yearly self-produced show The Holiday Experience, where I transition from opera to jazz and popular music. And next year, I'm performing Bernstein's Chichester Psalms with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and singing Orfeo in the Florida Grand Opera production of Orfeo ed Erudice! I'm also starting in the Fall as an assistant professor of voice at the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University. It's a busy and wonderful time and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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