Art and Music Faculty, Alumni in the News

exhibition photo
Alum Julian Tan has a virtual exhibition "Catastrophic But Not Series."

Alumna Susanna Peeples given 2021 ‘Early Career Choral Conductor’ award

By Hayley Morris, UC Davis Media Relations Intern

The California Choral Directors Association (CCDA) has awarded UC Davis alumna Susanna Peeples with a 2021 Early Career Choral Conductor award. The award was given at this year’s CASMEC conference (virtually, of course). Susanna Peeples earned her bachelor’s degree from the UC Davis Music Department in 2009 and went on to earn her master of music degree (in music education) from the University of the Pacific. She teaches choir, piano, and guitar, at Granite Bay High School, where she was named that school’s Teacher of the Year by her peers in 2020. Susanna has served as the Choir Manager of the San Joaquin Music Educators’ Association for the last five years.


In addition to directing choirs, Peeples sings with Vox Musica in Sacramento and has been a guest soloist numerous times throughout the Bay Area and Sacramento region. She is passionate about music education and especially about training and retaining new teachers; to that end, she along with three other teachers created a weekly podcast about making it through the first years of teaching called AMusEd: A Music Educator’s Podcast.

Read the Department of Music mention here.

Professor Levy to be vice president of the Society for American Music 

The Society for American Music has chosen UC Davis Associate Professor of Music Beth Levy as their vice president. The Society for American Music focuses on strengthening and celebrating a community of scholars, educators, performers, and archivists.

Levy’s dissertation research, on twentieth-century American composers and the mythology of the American West, has yielded journal articles in American Music (2001) and repercussions (1996) and conference papers presented at the national meetings of the AMS and the Society for American Music. She has been an active participant in the California chapters of the AMS, and was the winner of their 2000 Ingolf Dahl Competition. She has also given invited talks at UCLA and Bowling Green State University, and she has written program notes for the Berkeley Early Music Festival and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Her book Frontier Figures: American Music and the Mythology of the American West (UC Press) was published in 2012. Her other interests include 18th- and 19th-century aesthetics, reception history, and representations of music in literature.

Read the Department of Music mention here.

Joshua Pelletier, Something Rancid About You

Alum Joshua Pelletier's (MFA 2010) solo exhibition, Something Rancid About You showcases his latest ink drawings that vent "his frustration towards the inequities in our society that the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to lay bare." Employed as a special contractor for the ultra-rich in the Los Angeles area, Pelletier has experienced first-hand the vast gulf in consciousness that lies between the “1%” and the majority of Americans. In Pelletier’s surrealistic world, the grotesque and the dull ache of generalized angst reigns supreme, but the full story can be read between the lines.

View the exhibition here. Visit Pelletier’s website here.

Julian Tan, Catastrophic But Not Series

Alum Julian Tan's (MFA 2016) first virtual solo show "Catastrophic But Not Series" is now online. “What will illustrate our age of technological caused malaise for future generations? What questions will they ask about us? What entertainment will define us?” asks Tan. His art focuses on these questions.

Visit the gallery and see more of his work here

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