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Skidmore College
Music Department

Honors Convocation Awardees


  • Awarded to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the study of voice, and has made a considerable contribution to the Music Department and to the furtherance of musical activities at the College
    • 2014 recipient Laura Bowman Pendleton '14 has distinguished herself as a Filene Scholar. Her inspiring work ethic, inherent talent, fertile imagination, all coupled with her ability to perfect vocal technique and combine it with musical artistry, have been unequaled in recent memory. Laura has been one of the linchpins of both the Skidmore Chorus and Vocal Chamber Ensemble. And her solo performances, most notably her stunning senior recital, have enthralled all who have heard her. As Laura moves toward to a career in medicine, we hope she will continue sharing her remarkable gift with myriad lucky listeners.

    • 2013 recipient Emma Goldberg Liu '14, soprano, came to Skidmore having studied voice for one year at Fiorella LaGuardia High School. Since her freshman year, she has participated in the Skidmore Chorus, Vocal Chamber Ensemble, and has frequently been a featured soprano soloist. Emma has sung in master classes and performed in the “Singing In Spring” and “Falling for Song” department voice recitals. During her junior year, while studying in Paris, Emma expanded her French repertoire. After being a featured artist in the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum's Showcase of Young Performers in early June, Emma spent the rest of the summer in Graz, Austria, studying lieder at the American Institute of Musical Studies. She was also accepted into the highly competitive opera program, which is usually reserved for graduate-level and professional singers.



  • Established by Mrs. Johns and awarded to the outstanding music major or minor in piano
    • Filene scholar Danny Pravder  '16: Danny is strong both as a classical pianist and as a jazz performer. He is passionate about music and completely dedicated to his art. His curiosity is engaging, and he loves challenges. Last year, collaborating with the Dance Department, he was the solo pianist in Les Sylphides, playing Chopin while ballerinas danced in the shared stage. His recital included classical works as well his own compositions. He also performs extensively as a jazz pianist. We wish him well as he continues to grow as a musician.
    • Filene scholar Alexandra Zabludoff  '15 has done superb work at Skidmore. She participated in a challenging recording project with Grammy-award engineer Adam Abeshouse. She attended master classes by Wendy Young, Jeremy Denk, and Gabriela Montero. She has worked backstage at Zankel and helped archive recorded performances. Besides her student responsibilities, she has found time to tutor in the Music Department’s Piano Lab and evaluate a local piano teacher’s students. She participated in a shared recital including compositions by Samuel Barber, Esta Blood, and Bach’s D minor concerto. Sasha’s signature Bach performance is a cluster of energy!


  • Established by Helen T. Muller Rigo '39 in memory of her father and awarded to the outstanding senior major in the Music Department
    • 2014 recipient Andrew James Koehler '14 has been a distinguished student throughout his four years at Skidmore. His contribution to the Music Department has been multifaceted, with his exemplary participation and leadership in academic music courses, small jazz ensembles, big band, orchestra, student musical productions, as well his own personal bands and recording projects. Andrew has been an inspiration to his peers and faculty. His senior recital of April 6, 2014, was a fantastic representation of Andrew’s composition and arranging skills and his very fine improvisation in jazz piano. He expresses himself artistically and creatively though his music and has represented the college and Music Department in countless performances both on and off campus. Andrew has demonstrated academic excellence in all areas of study, and has earned the accolades of faculty and students throughout his Skidmore experience. He is most deserving of this award.
    • Samantha Hoffman '13 presented her teachers with the nearly impossible task of finding a way to challenge her.  Her brilliance shone in every class. Samantha returned from a junior year spent at Oxford University even more intrigued by academic research and thinking, and decided to raise the bar for herself by writing theses in both of her declared majors (music and English). Her thesis in music was an ambitious attempt to grapple with Russian influences, specifically Mussorgsky, on Debussy, whose music presents daunting analytical obstacles. Samantha’s thesis and all her course work sustained our highest expectations; she was indeed the outstanding music major of her class.