Happening @ The Hugh

A look inside the classrooms, studios and performance halls of the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia.

Welcome to Happening @ The Hugh!

Welcome to Happening @ The Hugh, the official blog for the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia. Here you’ll find behind-the-scenes looks at what our exceptional students and outstanding faculty are doing, direct from the educators themselves!

Our school is rich with talent and expertise, and that intersection creates some of the finest performing arts experiences in the country. What this blog aims to show is not just what’s happening at #TheHugh, but that it’s ALL happening at #TheHugh.

Featured post

M.M. Student Trevor Barroero’s Featured Performance at the United States Capitol Building

My name is Trevor Barroero and I am currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant at UGA, pursuing my Master of Music in Percussion Performance with Professors Timothy Adams and Kimberly Toscano Adams.  In March of 2018, I auditioned for The National Collegiate Solo Competition hosted by The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.”  With a few hundred applicants each year, I was honored to be chosen as the NCSC winner and was given the special opportunity to perform as a featured soloist with the Pershing’s Own.

The Army flew me out to Washington D.C. last week to rehearse with the band and perform Emmanuel Sejourne’s Concerto for Marimba at their outdoor concert in front of the United States Capitol Building.  It was an absolute privilege and honor to share the stage with such remarkable musicians and it’s an experience I won’t soon forget!

Continue reading “M.M. Student Trevor Barroero’s Featured Performance at the United States Capitol Building”

5 episodes of DOC-U scored by student composers

This semester, sophomore composition majors in Dr. Emily Koh’s Introduction to Composition (MUSI 2822) Grant Allen, Sydney Domel, Eric Dowler, Marley Gilbert and Cameron Gwynn collaborated with Grady College students in Dr. Taylor Miller’s Documentary Production (EMST 5270/7270) in producing and scoring the five-episode first season of DOC-U, a documentary series focusing on Georgia themes. These episodes were produced alongside Mary Lynn Miller from the Richard B. Russell Jr. Special Collections Libraries Building who facilitated the research.

Grady Documentary Production students with HHSOM composition students, and their professors, Dr. Taylor Miller and Dr. Emily Koh. Photo Credit: Taylor Miller

Each of the five episodes comprising Season One explores Georgia themes through an impressive array of collaborations, including with the UGA Veterinary Hospital and the Athletics Department, several local community groups and businesses, as well as the Departments of Economics, Anthropology, History, Geography, and Music Business, among others. The five episodes are:

Episode 1: “The Olympics Come to Georgia” (scored by Eric Dowler)

Episode 2: “The Limits of the Hope Scholarship” (scored by Marley Gilbert)

Episode 3: “Yonah and O’Ryan” (scored by Cameron Gwynn)

Episode 4: “Below Baldwin” (scored by Sydney Doemel)

Episode 5: ““Athens’ Downtown Music Scene” (scored by Grant Allen)

The audience at the Tate Theatre. Photo Credit: Taylor Miller

The premiere screening of DOC-U was held at the Tate Theatre on May 1, 7pm with more than a hundred people–students, families, faculty and community members–in the audience. There were Q&As after Episodes 1,2 and 3, and after Episodes 4 and 5 for the audience to question each student group about their documentary. Popcorn was provided by the Miller Learning Center and UGA Libraries and served by Amy Watts, a reference and research librarian at the UGA Main Library.

Amy Watts serves popcorn provided by the UGA Libraries.

For episode summaries and trailers, please visit For more information, contact Dr. Koh at

Atlanta Symphony to play new orchestral pieces by UGA student composers

The student composers at the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music were bustling with creative energy all fall semester, composing new pieces for orchestra to compete for the incredible opportunity to have their pieces read and rehearsed by Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. To prepare, the students studied and discussed orchestral works by established composers, and even had a visit from the ASO’s head librarian to lead a workshop on the finer details of preparing sheet music for a professional orchestra.

The pieces were sent to the ASO in December, and by January the winning selections were announced:

  • Jason Abraham: In the Middle of the Surrounding Hullabaloo
  • Nikolos Bacote: Float
  • Nicholas Gambino: Imposter Syndrome
  • Badie Khaleghian: Shiraz
  • Annie Leeth: Anew
  • Catherine Willingham: A Moment in Time

On Friday, March 23rd from 1:30-4pm in Hodgson Hall at the UGA Performing Arts Center, Robert Spano will lead the Atlanta Symphony in a reading and rehearsal of each of their compositions. The reading/rehearsal session is free and open to the public. If you’ve ever wanted to know what goes into preparing a premiere of a new composition by a major orchestra, come by!

Robert Spano, Atlanta Symphony Artistic Director

The workshop will be preceded by a 45-minute panel discussion between the Robert Spano and the selected student composers, moderated by UGA Assistant Professor of Composition, Peter Van Zandt Lane. This event will take place at on March 23rd from 12:30-1:15pm in Edge Hall at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, and is also open to the public.

The Atlanta Symphony Composers Workshop at UGA was made possible by the generous support of the Willson Center for Arts and Humanities at UGA, the President’s Venture Fund at UGA, the Atlanta Symphony and the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

For more info, contact

Hodgson Wind Ensemble: Love Among the Ruins

HWE takes you from an adrenalin rush opener through music exploring social [in]justice, music for contemplation, and finally “musical wildflowers.”  

Come and meet composer Craig Biondi
Come and hear Maggie Synder…she sounds incredible
Come and see the arm-waving talents of doctoral candidate conductors, Matthew Sadowski and Jonathan Poquette

Tempered Steel, Charles Young
Music for Rosa, Mark Camphouse
Basin Street Blue, Craig Biondi
Love Among the Ruins, James Syler
(Maggie Synder, viola)
Lincolnshire Posy, Percy Grainger

Wednesday, November 14 at 8:00pm at the Performing Arts Center.

Spotlight on the Arts Family Day

Spotlight Family Day facebook picBring the whole family to the East Campus courtyard for plenty of family-friendly activities and performances showcasing UGA’s arts units.

Events include:

Saturday Morning Club performance by the Children’s Theater Troupe, Performing Arts Center, 10am

GMOA Family Day, Theme of “Colors”,  10am – 12pm

Dance classes: hip-hop, tap, ballroom, creative movement, and folk dancing

Creative writing workshops for kids 7 – 14, 1pm and 2pm, GMOA lobby classroom

Screenprinting and Ceramics demos in the courtyard

Art Education TASK event in the courtyard

Musical Instrument Petting Zoo,  11 – 3, School of Music 1st and 2nd floors


New Horizons Band performance (11:15)

Georgia Children’s Chorus performance (12:30)

Suzuki violin students performance (2pm)

and MUCH more!!

Parking is available in Lots E11, E07, and the PAC garage.   Taqueria 1785 will be available 11:30 – 1:30 for lunch, as well as the cafe in the GMOA.


2017 Bassoon Studio Halloween Recital


On Halloween, the HHSOM Bassoon Studio is presenting a recital featuring traditional bassoon quartet music and music from Disney movies arranged for bassoon ensemble. The students will be wearing Halloween costumes for the ensemble portion of the concert that represent characters from Disney movies. The preparation of this concert has been a wonderful experience for the students, as they have been divided into different committees and have taken ownership of the organization of the event.

UGA bassoonists Nib McKinney, Catherine Willingham, and Campbell Cona, and former UGA bassoonist Taylor Poole all arranged music for the ensemble. The promotion committee has taken over the tasks of marketing the event with digital flyers and posters as well as promoting through social media. At the recital, the philanthropy committee will be gathering donations for Habitat for Humanity in an effort to help the community and support a worthy cause.

The students have also organized a costume competition for the audience (with prizes!) and are encouraging all audience members to come dressed for Halloween. Dr. Jacalyn Hartenberger is serving as this year’s emcee for the competition. There will be a reception following the recital so that everyone can celebrate the holiday together. The students have been working exceptionally hard on preparing their parts and the other fun aspects of this event. Come join us at 6 pm in Ramsey Recital Hall on Tuesday, October 31st. Admission is free, but please bring a donation for Habitat for Humanity. If you can’t make it in person, catch the live-stream online at We promise this will be an event you’ll never forget! (P.S. see if you can find all six different student created posters online or in the HHSOM)


Horns at the dorms, drums on the quad

As we approach the end of spring 2017, our students are preparing for exams, final projects, juries and the like, but they’re still finding time for a little fun, too. Students from our horn studio and the African Music Ensemble surprised passers-by with a bunch of impromptu performances over the last few weeks in some places you’d never expect. Look below the jump for photos!

Continue reading “Horns at the dorms, drums on the quad”

Hodgson Wind Ensemble goes to CBDNA! Part 2

The Hodgson Wind Ensemble performed at the College Band Directors National Association national conference in Kansas City on March 16, and by all accounts, it was a complete success. Cynthia Johnston Turner, director of the ensemble, sent a few words from the road following the performance.


Continue reading “Hodgson Wind Ensemble goes to CBDNA! Part 2”

Hodgson Wind Ensemble goes to CBDNA!

The Hodgson Wind Ensemble was selected to perform for the College Band Directors National Association 2017 national conference in Kansas City! The conference runs from March 15-18, with HWE performing today (watch them on at 4:30 p.m. EST/3:30 p.m. CST). As they made their way to Missouri, the ensemble stopped in Kentucky for a special engagement. Teaching assistant/DMA conducting student Matthew Sadowski wrote about their time in Henderson, KY.

Continue reading “Hodgson Wind Ensemble goes to CBDNA!”

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