About Standing Ovations

Feature stories highlighting activities and achievements within the ECU School of Music, as described in the links below. Below the features are the popular Treasured Tunes podcasts from performances by School of Music faculty members.

ECU Symphonic Wind Ensemble performs at NCMEA convention, commended for excellence

The ECU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. William Staub, performed at the North Carolina Music Educators Association Convention (NCMEA) in November and was commended by the NCMEA and the NC Bandmasters Association for excellence in musical performance.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble is composed of the most outstanding wind and percussion students in the School of Music. The group is dedicated to the study and performance of the finest wind repertoire regardless of historical period. For more information, contact Dr. William Staub

Click here to hear the Symphonic Wind Ensemble in concert.

NCNMI Premiere Performances provides hands-on music career preparation experiences

Student composers and musicians collaborate in unique hands-on learning experiences to create and perform original music in ECU’s School of Music.

“Premiere Performances concerts offer a chance for our student composers to collaborate with student musicians in every step of the creative process: from identifying and securing performers, to sharing sketches and ideas, to creating the final score and parts, to planning and facilitating rehearsals, to producing the final concert performance,” said Dr. Travis Alford, assistant professor of music composition and theory and director of the North Carolina NewMusic Initiative at ECU. “It’s ‘hands-on learning’ at its finest, for both the composers and the performers.”

Click here for the full story. Click here to learn about the NCNMI student-led new music commissioning program.

ECU music student wins NC Symphony competition, other students named finalists

East Carolina University School of Music piano student Ritchie Bui was first prize co-winner in the North Carolina Symphony’s 2022 Kathleen Price and Joseph M. Bryan Concerto Competition Young Artist division in May.

Bui, a student of ECU piano professor Kwan Yi, performed Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G in the competition. As co-winner, Bui will perform with the N.C. Symphony during the upcoming season.

Full story here

Guitar series honors Hispanic heritage

The Hispanic Heritage Guitar Series returns to East Carolina University’s A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall. School of Music professor Elliot Frank started the concert series in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Click here for the full story.



World’s best pianists at ECU for festival

Young musicians from around the country converged on East Carolina University’s campus for an intense week of master classes with some of the world’s best pianists at the East Carolina Piano Festival.
Click here for the full story.

Piano student and instructor

Pianist Sekino selected for hall of fame

Steinway & Sons announced that ECU piano professor Dr. Keiko Sekino was selected for induction into their Teacher & Educational Partner Hall of Fame.

The company said the prestigious designation recognizes the work of North America’s “most committed and passionate piano educators.”

Sekino is part of the hall of fame’s second class of honorees following its inaugural class in 2019.

“Pianist Keiko Sekino enjoys an active career as a solo recitalist and chamber musician in the United States and abroad, having performed at such venues as Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Steinway Hall, Bennett-Gordon Hall at Ravinia Park, and Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria in Santander, Spain. Keiko Sekino completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and holds additional degrees from Yale University in economics and music,” the company said in a press release.

Sekino was among 44 teachers inducted at special events held at the historic Steinway factory in New York City.

The Dreamer

THE DREAMER, a new chamber opera by Mark Taggart, composer, and Ann McCutchan, librettist, premiered online on Friday, August 27, 2021.

You may view it now at https://www.youtube.com/user/ECUSchoolOfMusicLive.

Featuring a cast and chamber orchestra of undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty members of the ECU School of Music.

Click here for full story.

ECU School of Music nationwide study on mental health needs of music students released

Rigorous rehearsal schedules combined with heavy course loads each semester, individual practice time and part-time jobs can sometimes overwhelm music majors.
How students across the country coped with those demands — before and during the pandemic — is the focus of research by two School of Music faculty members.
Drs. Raychl Smith and Adrienne Steiner presented their findings virtually at the International Music and Wellbeing Conference hosted by the University of Saskatchewan on May 28.

Click here for the full story.

Former faculty member Chauncey gifts $5.2 million for music scholarships

Beatrice “Bea” Chauncey spent a lifetime around music — teaching others how to coax the right notes out of a flute, playing in numerous chamber ensembles, and attending the concerts and recitals of her students and friends.

When Chauncey died on April 2, 2017, at age 94, she gifted $5.2 million for music student scholarships.

Click here for the full story.

Pirate Profile: Evan Martschenko

Music has always been a part of Evan Martschenko’s life. The East Carolina University junior started thinking about turning that interest into a career while he was in high school.

After he started taking lessons, piano became Martschenko’s primary instrument instead of his middle school trombone. He also plays other instruments, including steel drums, accordion, harpsichord, organ, dulcimer, autoharp, guitar and double bass.

ECU Chamber Singers win national award

The East Carolina University Chamber Singers won second place in The American Prize in Choral Performance, College/University division, 2019-20 competition.

Announced July 27, The American Prize provides cash awards, professional adjudication, and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels.

Directed by James Franklin, the Chamber Singers are the select choral ensemble at ECU.

Pirate Profile: Jason Schodt

East Carolina University student Jason Schodt likes to get involved in the community and meet new people.Schodt, a senior from Wake Forest, is double majoring in engineering and music with a concentration in music performance, sacred music/organ. Schodt has a twin brother, Tyler, who also attends ECU and is double majoring in music and accounting.

NewMusic Initiative takes composer on 3-year journey

Asha Srinivasan was chosen to write a piece of music commissioned as part of East Carolina University’s NewMusic Initiative. She’s now into the second year of a three-year process that is allowing her to stretch her musical boundaries and to represent Lawrence in new ways. She spent two days in Greenville, North Carolina, during Lawrence’s fall term reading period working with East Carolina composition students, a prelude to the choral music she’ll be writing in the months ahead.

Full story here.

Student taking a piano lesson

Making Music Accessible

ECU Musical Empowerment chapter members teach children weekly lessons
East Carolina University students are making music accessible to elementary, middle and high school students in Greenville through a new program called Musical Empowerment.
The ECU chapter is one of six in the country and one of the only ones with a dedicated teaching space. Musical Empowerment is a nonprofit organization where college students offer K-12 free private music lessons.

Carroll V. Dashiell Jr.

Celebrating Arts

Carroll V. Dashiell Jr. honored by North Carolina governor during Black History Month
East Carolina University’s Carroll V. Dashiell Jr. was one of 50 African-American musicians, writers and artists honored on Feb. 14 by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and First Lady Kristin Cooper in celebration of Black History Month.

Andy Dai playing Piano

Midsummer Melodies

The past two weeks at East Carolina University were filled with music as the inaugural East Carolina Piano Festival started on June 23, followed by the 23rd annual ECU Summer International Guitar Festival. The festivals featured ECU faculty, acclaimed guest musicians, public concerts and hands-on instruction for veterans to novices.

Edward Jacobs

Jacobs Receives Guggenheim Fellowship

School of Music professor becomes first ECU Guggenheim fellow.
East Carolina University School of Music composition and theory professor Edward Jacobs has received a prestigious Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. The foundation recognized Jacobs on April 4 for his work as a composer.

Chris Short

Pirate Profile: Chris Short

Chris Short is a junior from Apex and is double majoring in vocal performance and music theory/composition at East Carolina University. He is involved in the ECU Opera Theater, ECU Chamber Singers, ECU Students for National Association of Teachers of Singing and is vice president of ECU chapter of the Society of Composers Inc.

Lauren Lewis

ECU music education major selected for national achievement award

East Carolina University senior music education major Lauren Lewis has been selected as one of this year’s recipients of the Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Collegiate Professional Achievement Award.

U.S. Army musician playing trumpet

Serving Through Music

ECU alumni provide vital service in Army bands
From reveille to taps, music is an essential part of military service, and alumni of East Carolina University play a vital role in providing musical inspiration to the U.S. Army.

Music Therapy Students

Power of Music

ECU students use music therapy to help Vidant Medical Center patients


Treasured Tunes

Welcome to East Carolina University’s Treasured Tunes, a podcast series in which professors from the School of Music offer commentary about selected musical compositions and performances. From state-of-the-art facilities, to world-renowned music professors, the School of Music is one of the premier music schools in the Southeast. Let Treasured Tunes offer a glimpse into the fascinating world of ECU’s musical prowess. Please sit back and enjoy the music.

Hear the podcast, read a Q&A with each professor, and access transcripts below:

Emanuel Gruber

Episode 11
featuring Emanuel Gruber

Emanuel Gruber, professor of cello and chamber music, offers insight about his lifelong love of classical music and comments on selected works of three composers.

Christine Gustafson

Episode 8
featuring Christine Gustafson

Christine Gustafson, professor of flute at East Carolina University, shares a jazz-inspired duet between flute and piano.

Scott Carter

Episode 7
featuring Scott Carter

Scott Carter, former director of the School of Music Symphonic Wind Ensemble and ECU professor emeritus, conducts a composition inspired by Superman comics.

Dr. Elliot Frank

Episode 1
featuring Elliot Frank

Dr. Elliot Frank, guitarist and music professor at ECU, shares his thoughts about a recital of classical guitar pieces written by South American composers.

Dr. Jocelyn Nelson

Episode 3
featuring Jocelyn Nelson

Professor Dr. Jocelyn Nelson, who specializes in renaissance guitar performance, offers commentary on a selection of pieces from her most recent CD, Ma Guiterre je te chante.

Dr. Mark Richardson

Episode 4
featuring Mark Richardson

Professor Dr. Mark Richardson, teacher of music theory and composition, sheds light on the inspiration behind his composition Moonscape.

Christopher Ulffers

Episode 6
featuring Christopher Ulffers

Christopher Ulffers on bassoon, along with the East Carolina University Chamber Singers, premiered a piece written by Norwegian composer Egil Hovland.