Soprano CJ Greer was named the winner of the 2015-16 Penn State Graduate Exhibition's performance option, held March 18 in Esber Recital Hall. Her competition repertoire included “Depuis le Jour” (from Louise) by Gustave Charpentier and “The Audience Song” by Ben Moore. Kathy Gattuso Cinatl served as collaborative pianist. CJ is a voice student of Jennifer Trost.
CJ made her operatic debut with Penn State Opera Theatre in Spring 2015, singing the role of Mimì in Puccini’s La bohème. She has extensive experience in the musical theatre realm and has appeared on Broadway and on tour in Sister Act, Les Miserables, The Producers, and The Buddy Holly Story. Other significant roles include Mother in Ragtime (Kennedy Center), Florence in Chess, Martha in The Secret Garden, and both the Witch and the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods.
She received her bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Illinois and is a candidate for both the Master of Fine Arts indegree and the Master of Music degree in Pedagogy and Performance at Penn State.
Doctoral student pianist Yin Yu placed second in the competition, playing "Das Jahr" by Fanny Hensel and "A Calendar Set" by Judith Lang Zaimont. She is a student of Penn State piano faculty member Christopher Guzman.
In the Graduate Exhibition's research poster option, M.A. Music Theory degree candidate Richard Desinord received the overall “Data Visualization Award” and received second place in the Arts and Humanities category. His paper, based on his master’s thesis, was titled "Active Stasis: Repetition and the Façade of Discontinuity in Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat." His research is advised by Distinguished Professor Maureen Carr.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Richard graduated from Howard University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. He is continuing his studies at Penn State after teaching for three years in the Washington, D.C. public schools.
While at Penn State, he completed a summer residency at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, where he presented his paper titled "Rite of Swing: Stravinsky’s Jazz in Histoire du soldat and Marsalis’ Adaptation." Upon graduation, Richard plans to pursue his doctoral degree in music theory.
More than 200 graduate students participated in the 2016 Graduate Exhibition, which included 202 research poster presentations, 8 participants in the visual arts option, 12 in the performance option, and 8 in the video option.
The Graduate Exhibition celebrates research and creative scholarship, in all its aspects, as an essential and exciting part of graduate education at Penn State. Established in 1986, the Exhibition places special emphasis on communicating research and creative endeavor to a general audience, and offers an unusual opportunity for professional development by challenging graduate students to present their work in clear, comprehensible terms to people outside their fields. It also offers an opportunity for graduate students to see themselves as part of the larger University community, to share their scholarship, and to appreciate the breadth of quality research being done at Penn State.