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Music graduates: Where are they now?

Helena Brown Helena Brown '12

"The music faculty use the small size of Hollins as an opportunity to nurture and give students individual attention. Judith Cline has been a mentor and scholarly liaison to me. Some of the many things I learned under her tutelage include a healthy, relaxed technique, how to allow the music to happen, and how to intimately communicate with the audience through song, no matter the language. The entire faculty was instrumental in giving me a strong, academic foundation that continues to support me in my studies today. When I think of my time spent at Hollins versus a conservatory, I remind myself that the sheer breadth of resources was exceptional. I was able to do independent research in music, learn (in depth) about women in music, compose, do an internship with a local opera company, connect with the local community through recitals, create new ensembles with fellow students, and take advantage of what other departments have to offer (especially in English, theatre, and the language departments), all in four years! I am a well-rounded musician, but most of all, a world-wise Hollins woman."
Elizabeth Anne Dister

Elizabeth Anne Dister '07

"The music department at Hollins is, quite simply, exceptional. It's friendly enough to feel like an extended family, serious enough to provide excellent instruction in theory, history, and performance, and stimulating enough to keep everyone inspired and motivated. I grew immensely as both a performer and a scholar during my four years at Hollins, receiving constant support and encouragement to meet the challenges that my professors set before me. Visits to other institutions have shown me two things: First, at Hollins, I probably had more access to professors as a college freshman than even most graduate-level students at other institutions have to faculty. Second, Hollins is unmatched in the way it supports women as aspiring performers, teachers, and scholars in the field of music."

Dister received a scholarship and award from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She was given full tuition to complete a combined master of arts and doctorate program in musicology, and an $18,000 a year stipend for seven years. She will be working with the leading musicologist in 19th-century French music, Hugh Macdonald.

Kathyrn McKellar

Kathyrn McKellar '05

"Hollins provided an environment where I could explore my artistic and human potential while developing a strong foundation of creativity, artistry, and musicianship. The faculty and staff supported me in every step towards professional readiness. Dr. Cline was more than a voice teacher, advisor, and mentor; she acted as a catalyst; encouraging and supporting me in my music studies in Italy, in organizing outreach opera programs throughout the Roanoke community, and through my transition to graduate school. Hollins provided a rich and varied intellectual life where I developed the values of excellence, curiosity, and innovation within opera and classical performance."


Dee Singleton '04

"My experience at Hollins was one that I will always treasure. One of the best decisions I ever made was to go back to school and get a degree in music at Hollins. Being there challenged me and forced me to grow, not only intellectually but personally as well. I am a different person now, thanks to Hollins."

Stephanie Jensen-Moulton

Stephanie Jensen-Moulton '94

"When I began my musical training at Hollins, I had no idea that a long career path was winding out before me. I came to Hollins intending to major in English, but quickly took on a double major in music and French. Senior year, my voice teacher, Judith Cline, advised me to apply for master's degree programs in voice performance. She deftly assisted me in choosing the right repertory, and I had five top schools from which to choose when the auditions were all over. After completing my master's of music degree at Boston University, I moved to New York and performed with small opera groups and the chorus of the New York Philharmonic.

"Throughout my career, Judith Cline has been an advisor and mentor. At my 10-year reunion, she talked with me about my next move: a Ph.D. in musicology, with a concentration in women's studies. Very few singers end up as music scholars, but Judith is one of them. Her scholarly work, which goes hand in hand with her vocal artistry, has been an inspiration to me as I follow a similar path of writing and singing. Judith also has a wonderful perspective on balancing career and family. She was one of the first people I contacted when two of my articles had been published, one on gender in hip-hop, and one on music and disability. This year, I joined the full-time musicology faculty of the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, where I teach music classes in the core curriculum and graduate seminars such as "Women in American Music." Now, mentoring constitutes a major part of what I do, and it all started at Hollins."


Priscilla Leuenberger '00, who interned with Jazz@LincolnCenter

"The main thing Hollins gave me sounds like a cliché, but I mean it: It's this idea that you really can use anything you learn at Hollins outside of the college setting."

Tiffany Seymour

Tiffany Seymour '99

"The music program at Hollins has been an enriching experience for me. Hollins is an environment where you grow from the personalized help you receive. My voice teacher, Dr. Judith Cline, is not only a mentor but also a friend."


Maggie Collins '96

"The music department is academically very strong, whether you are interested in applied music, music history, music theory, or any other aspect of the study of music.

"I was a voice major. The music department helped me set up internships with the Roanoke Symphony and Opera Roanoke. I was even able to perform a solo in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with Opera Roanoke. The faculty also helped me study for my music GREs and were instrumental in helping me to get accepted to the conservatory at the University of Missouri."