Grammy Nominees have UMKC Conservatory Connections

December 7, 2012
Contact: Dana Self
(816) 235-2949,

Nominees worked with students this year

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance students saw some familiar names in the recently-released list of Grammy nominees.

The nominees include Joyce DiDonato, the Kansas City Chorale, and eighth blackbird. The Conservatory has ties to all three.

Conservatory alum Charles Bruffy (MM vocal performance), who leads the Kansas City Chorale, is nominated for two Grammys for the Chorale’s most recent recording, Life & Breath—Choral Works by Rene Clausen; the nominations are for Best Choral Performance and Best Engineered Album, Classical. Several Conservatory alumni perform with the group, including Katie Crawford (MM, vocal performance), Paula Brekken (BME), Julia Scozzafava (MM vocal performance), Cassaundra Sutherland (BME), Pamela Williamson (BME, MME); Bryan Taylor (MM, choral conducting), and Sarah Tannehill Anderson (MM, Vocal Performance).

eighth blackbird’s Meanwhile received Grammy nominations for Best Small Ensemble Performance and Best Contemporary Classical Composition. The ensemble is the Conservatory’s in-residence Barr Institute Laureate Ensemble.

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato’s Best Vocal Classical Performance nomination is for Homecoming-The Kansas City Symphony Presents Joyce DiDonato. DiDonato has worked with UMKC students in master classes. Kansas City Symphony members who also teach at the Conservatory include Noah Geller, concertmaster; Jeff Kail, principal bass; Chris McLaurin, principal percussion; Barb Bishop, associate principal oboe; and Marita Abner, bassoon. Alumni include Marvin Gruenbaum, viola; and DMA student Youming Chen, viola.

About the Conservatory
Dubbed “one of the country’s liveliest academies” by The New York Times, UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance is internationally recognized as a center for artistic excellence, innovation and engagement with our communities. A community of artists, educators and scholars, the Conservatory enrolls about 500 students in a comprehensive array of liberal arts and professional degree programs in Composition, Music Theory and Musicology; Dance; Instrumental Studies, Keyboard Studies; Music Education/Music Therapy; Jazz Studies; and Vocal Studies.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).

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