Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State
Three students talk on the edge of a fountain on an autumn day.

ABOUT THE STUDENTS

Student Ambassador Program. Photo of three students smiling in front of trees.

The Classical Music Project Student Ambassador Program was developed in fall 2014 as a partnership between the Center for the Performing Arts and the School of Music. Classical Music Student Ambassadors—selected for their musicianship, leadership, and commitment to music advocacy—are provided with residency training and are charged with creating and implementing student-centered engagement and music advocacy programs. The work of the ambassadors is supported in part through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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-engaged leaders. The ambassadors’ objective is to bring live classical music into the fabric of student life and the community by coordinating activities such as dorm concerts, performances in non-traditional venues, and “informational performances” in both general education music classes and non-music classes. They are also tasked with generating enthusiasm for classical music and drawing attention to upcoming Classical Music Project programs offered by the Center for the Performing Arts.

 

Bigley poses with a smile. She has long curly hair and a pendant necklace.

Alix Bigley

Congratulations to Alix Bigley, a second-year graduate student in Voice Performance and Pedagogy, who has been named a 2014-15 Classical Music Student Ambassador.

Originally from Tarpon Springs, Florida, Alix received her bachelor’s degree in voice performance from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. She is the daughter of Scott Bigley and Rebecca Shaffer. As a new student ambassador, Alix is looking forward to hosting “events that excite and educate students from all academic areas about classical music” and she also wants to include other student musicians in these events. The outlet for personal creativity is one of the most exciting aspects of the program for her. “It is exciting to shape a brand new program along with other talented students!”

She is currently a voice student of Ted Christopher. More about Alix can be found at www.alixbigley.com.

 

Martinsen poses with a smile. She has long hair.

Janey Martinsen

Congratulations to Janey Martinsen who has been selected as a 2014-15 Classical Music Student Ambassador. A second-year graduate student in clarinet performance from Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, she received her undergraduate degree from Penn State in 2013. She studies clarinet with Anthony J. Costa.

The daughter of Gary Martinsen and Mike and Chrissey Wagner, Janey has been an active leader in the School of Music’s student community during her years on the University Park campus, participating in numerous ensembles and becoming a passionate advocate for the arts. She believes that her experiences at Penn State have provided her with “a serious passion for classical music and the creativity to share it with others in a unique way.”

Janey is honored to be selected and excited to begin her work as an ambassador. She states that the CMP ambassador program is “just what the classical music world needs - bringing it to people and places that wouldn't get to experience it otherwise.”  You can read more about Janey on her website: http://janeygmartinsen.weebly.com/.

 

A man with glasses and a beard smiles in front of a chalkboard with music staves drawn on it.

Dave Phillips

Congratulations to Dave Phillips on being named a 2014-15 Classical Music Student Ambassador. From Colonie, New York, he is the son of Christopher and Carmen Phillips. Dave is a first-year graduate student in viola performance, studying with Timothy Deighton. Dave received his undergraduate degree in spring 2014 from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam in Potsdam, New York, where he served as the conductor of the Viola Ensemble.

As a student ambassador who is new to the University Park campus, Dave’s objective is to develop “more interactive performances with the campus community, commissioning projects with student composers, and a youthful image of art music on campus.” He believes that his strengths lie in “creative thinking and analytical skills” and that he can use both of these to develop innovative musical events that will engage and intrigue the campus community. “I am excited to begin working on my life goal of reestablishing music as an important societal institution for all walks of life!”

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