The College of Arts and Architecture

Three Graduate Students To Be Classical Music Ambassadors

classical music project logo

Three Penn State graduate students have been selected for the new Classical Music Project Student Ambassador Program. The program is part of the Center for the Performing Arts Classical Music Project, funded by a grant provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and through a partnership with the Penn State School of Music.

“I am very excited to be launching this new and ground-breaking program,” said George Trudeau, director of the Center for the Performing Arts. “We have selected three outstanding student musicians who I am confident will be great ambassadors for classical music programs at Penn State.”

The program is based on the principle of “students-engaging-students” and will be used to train student musicians to become strong arts advocates and future community leaders. The ambassadors, each of whom has an extensive background in music, will develop opportunities to bring live classical music into the fabric of student life. They’ll coordinate dorm concerts, performances in non-traditional venues and informational performances in both general education music classes and non-music classes.

The students were selected from among 25 applicants based on their musicianship, leadership and commitment to music advocacy. They will be provided with residency training and are charged with creating and implementing student-centered engagement and music advocacy programs. School of Music faculty member Robyn Dixon Costa supervises the program.

“The passion our student ambassadors have for arts advocacy is palpable and is already starting to ripple excitement for classical music throughout our Penn State community,” Costa said. “We can’t wait to implement some of the ideas being generated by this energy.”

The 2014–15 Classical Music Project Student Ambassadors are:

  • Alix Bigley, a second-year graduate student in voice performance and pedagogy at Penn State, is from Tarpon Springs, Florida. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Miami.
  • Janey Martinsen, from Hollidaysburg, is a second-year graduate student in clarinet performance. She received her undergraduate degree at Penn State.
  • Dave Phillips, a first-year graduate student in viola performance. He received his undergraduate degree from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam in Potsdam, New York.

The goals of the Classical Music Project—now in its fourth season—are to raise the profile of Center for the Performing Arts classical music presentations and to engage Penn State students, faculty and the community with classical music programs.

Earlier this year, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State a $400,000 grant to support the continuation of the Classical Music Project through June 2017.

Go to to read more about the project, including news, artist blogs, performance information and residency activities, as developed.

For tickets or information about all of the Center for the Performing Arts 2014–15 music, theater and dance presentations, visit or phone 814-863-0255