The Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra performing at the Ferst Center

Georgia Tech School of Music Presents:
Student Showcase

Georgia Tech School of Music Presents:
Student Showcase

Friday, April 14, 2023
West Village Concert Hall

Dr. Chaowen Ting, Conductor

Dr. Andrea Perez Mukdsi, Conductor


In addition to orchestral repertoire, the annual student showcase provides an opportunity for chamber groups to perform pieces that they’ve been working on. Following two student chamber performances, the GT Concert Orchestra will present Suppè’s Overture to Poet and Peasant, which chronicles the adventures of a poet vacationing in the mountainside. This lighthearted overture consists of several contrasting “episodes”, including a stately brass chorale, a lyrical cello solo, and a calm waltz that becomes progressively more fast-paced, leading up to an exciting finale. Next on the program is Lauren Spavelko’s Grit, a short piece for strings that is characterized by irregularities in rhythm, accents, and plenty of dissonance. They will close out the evening with Liszt’s Totentanz (translating literally to “dance of death”), featuring Rishi Raman on piano. 


Max Bruch (1838-1920)

8 Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, Op. 83 (1910) 

      6. Nachtgesang 

Ryan Murphey, clarinet 

Emma Axelson, viola 

Conner Awald, piano 

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) 

String Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp minor, Op. 108 (1960)

            III. Allegro – Allegretto  

Adrian Cheung, violin 

Kevin Li, violin 

Ivy Xue, viola 

Sergey Blinov, cello

Franz von Suppè (1819-1895) 

Overture to Poet and Peasant (1846) 

Lauren Spavelko (1989)

Grit (2013)

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

Totentanz, S. 126 (1864)

Soloist: Rishi Raman, piano (Runner-up, 2023 GTSO Concerto Competition)

Headshot of Lauren Spavelko

Composer Bio - Lauren Spavelko

Lauren Spavelko is a composer, teacher, performer, and visual artist in Columbus, Ohio. From the serious to the lighthearted, Spavelko's work inspires deeper connections with one another and ourselves. In equal measure, listeners can find play, curiosity, joy, sensitivity, and deep empathy. 

Her works have been performed across the United States, as well as in Italy and Singapore. She has been commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Central Ohio Symphony, the Johnstone Fund for New Music, and numerous artists & performing ensembles. She arranged Orphée+ with Opera Columbus. Spavelko has won multiple awards, including the 2017 Gian Carlo Menotti Young Composers Prize in Spoleto, Italy (Baby Book) and the Ruth Anderson Commission Prize from IAWM (Black Box 2.0). She has been a finalist for the NATS Art Song Composition Award and for the American Prize in Vocal Chamber Music and Orchestral Music. 

In addition to composing, Spavelko is a dedicated educator. She operates Musical Life Studio, where she offers lessons in voice, piano, violin, & composition. She is a part-time professor at Otterbein University, where she teaches theory & piano skills for musical theater. She also presents as a guest composer in K-12 classrooms, designs youth composition workshops, composes for youth ensembles, and delivers lectures on solo entrepreneurship for college students. 

Spavelko is a graduate of the University of Louisville (M.M. Composition) and Ohio Wesleyan University (B.M. Music Education). She has studied composition with Steve Rouse, Clint Needham, and Jason Bahr.  

Program Notes - Grit

Grit is defined as “an abrasive material composed of hard, sharp granules” and also, psychologically, as a personality trait characterized by “firmness of mind or spirit, unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger, and perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” Grit is thus composed to capture the dual meaning of the word. 

The structure of Grit portrays concepts of perseverance, struggle, and courage in the face of adversity. This brief work makes abundant use of irregular meters, uneven rhythms, accents, abrupt shifts, and sharp dissonances which, combined, create the rough-around-the-edges sound of the piece. From the first moment, a heartbeat is set—ragged, relentless, and driving perpetually onward. This primary theme punctuates the piece, always different as it transforms through each section, but always returning—rushing to a breathless and triumphant finish. 

Soloist Bio - Rishi Raman

Rishi Raman is a second year undergraduate from Pennsylvania majoring in computer science. He has studied piano for about 15 years with Mrs. Marge Majka, Dr. Peter Cirka, and currently with Dr. Igor Resnianski. He has played in multiple competitions and has received a gold medal at the Golden Key Piano Festival, in addition to being invited to perform at Weill Recital Hall. He is also interested in music composition and has won state and national competitions for his compositions. On the side, he loves to stay active and has worked as a TA and research assistant. 


Violin I

Dalton Yu, Concertmaster Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 4th year
Brigid Millette Biomedical Engineering, 4th year
Eric Li Mathematics, 1st year
Seth Kinoshita Biochemistry, 1st year
Jihoon Kim Computer Science, 1st year
Varsha Jacob Computer Science, 1st year
Ivy Bell Biomedical Engineering, 1st year
Alice Heranval Physics, 2nd year
Jasmine Hsu Industrial Design, 2nd year
Andrew Mund Architecture, 4th year

Violin II

Jack Turbush, Principal Aerospace Engineering, 2nd year
Melanie Su Biomedical Engineering, 4th year
Antoine Marin Aerospace Engineering, 1st year masters
Ikenna Okoro Computer Science, 1st year
Oluwaferanmi Akande Biomedical Engineering, 1st year
Colin Cassell Computer Science, 4th year
Joanna Arulraj Biology, 1st year
Mariana Ornelas International Affairs, 1st year
Nishka Soni Business Administration, 1st year
Libby Hillock Civil Engineering, 1st year


Nicole Redder, Principal Operations Research, 5th year PhD
Morgan Lockett Biology, 1st year
Palin Bhardwaj Aerospace Engineering, 3rd year
Ivy Xue Neuroscience, 3rd year
Emma Axelson Civil Engineering, 1st year masters


Sergey Blinov, Principal Physics/Mathematics, 2nd year
Evan Zhou Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2nd year
Leena Khan Biology, 1st year
Sophia Anderson Materials Science and Engineering, 1st year
Arjun Verma Computer Science, 3rd year
Sydney Brown Industrial Design, 1st year


Matthew Walloch, Principal Mathematics, 2nd year


Ben Rochford Computer Science, 4th year
Mikaela Relford Mechanical Engineering, 4th year
Ky Tran Computer Science, 1st year


Nathan Yam Computer Science, 4th year
Karie Yamamoto Civil Engineering, 4th year PhD


Kenneth Glaze Civil Engineering, 4th year
Jack Parker Industrial Engineering, 4th year


Gavin Wilkinson Computer Science, 4th year
Daniel Hudadoff Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2nd year masters


Gabriel Yam Electrical Engineering, 1st year
Zixiao Yang Mechanical Engineering, 3rd year


Alexander Coles Industrial Engineering, 2nd year


Kwanwoo Lee Computer Science, 1st year


Jingrui Zhang Computer Science, 4th year


Georgia Tech School of Music

Through interdisciplinary degree programs, outstanding performance ensembles, and innovative research endeavors, the Georgia Tech School of Music cultivates a rich legacy of musical traditions and develops cutting-edge technologies to help define music's future. The School serves students in bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs in music technology and offers innovative performance opportunities, courses, and cultural and artistic experiences for students throughout the Institute.