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Welcome back to the Faculty Features series! Every Friday during this eight-week series we’ll be sharing a short interview with some of our faculty members; highlighting their teaching, upcoming courses, and getting to know them better! Today we’re featuring Professors Juan Álamo, Evan Feldman, Tatiana Hargreaves, Mark Katz, and Jackie Wolborsky.

Associate Professor Juan Álamo

Associate Professor Juan Álamo

What is your position on faculty and what courses are you teaching next semester (and this summer, if applicable)? I am an associate professor and area head for Winds, Brass, and Percussion. This summer I will be teaching MUSC 145 Intro to Jazz History as well as the Latin Combo at the UNC Summer Workshop.  Next fall I will be teaching private percussion lessons, percussion ensemble, charanga Carolina and MUSC 147 Music of the Americas.  

What is your favorite part of teaching? In all honesty, I love everything about teaching, from preparing a lecture for an academic course to working on rehearsal strategies for my ensembles to writing exercises for my private students to help them solve a specific musical problem.  If I must single out a favorite thing, that would be the interaction with the students – the opportunity exchange ideas and points of views. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of my students’ journey of self-discovery and growth both as students, musicians, and human beings.  

What is the project that you’re most excited about currently? My upcoming solo marimba recording, which is scheduled to be released this summer by Summit records. 

Ensoñación – original composition This an original composition written in the style of a Puerto Rican Danza. This piece is the title track of my upcoming solo marimba album Ensoñación – scheduled to be released this summer by Summit Records. Visit www.juanalamomusic.com for more info.

Photo courtesy of Juan Álamo

What are some of your non-musical hobbies? Basketball, either watching NBA games (see photo to the right) or playing pick-up games with friends!  

If your students could learn one thing from you, what do you hope it will be? Perseverance and not to be afraid of failures or mistakes!  

What music are you currently listening to? Currently, I am listening to all kinds of music from xylophone ragtime music to Rachmaninoff’s piano concertos to Chick Correa’s trio Vigilette and his Latin ensemble The Spanish Heart Band! 

Anything else you’d like students to know about you or your teaching? I am a firm believer in the idea of being a well-rounded/versatile musician and percussionist. Thus, in my teaching I try to expose my students to a wide range of techniques, musical styles, and traditions from classical, to jazz, popular, and world music.  I also try to instill in them the importance of becoming their own teachers through introspective study and critical thinking. 

Evan Feldman
Professor Evan Feldman

Professor Evan Feldman

What is your position on faculty and what courses are you teaching next semester (and this summer, if applicable)? I am a Professor of Music and I’m also currently the Associate Chair for Performance, Composition, and Music Education.

This summer I’ll be teaching MUSC 121 during Summer Session II, and this fall I’m teaching Introduction to Conducting (MUSC 168), Advanced Conducting for Music Education Majors (MUSC 309), and Wind Ensemble (MUSC 211-02).

What is your favorite part of teaching? My favorite parts of teaching are that my actual job is sharing music, talking about music, moving around while doing it, and making music with other people. 

What is the project that you’re most excited about currently? Honestly, at this point my favorite project is the opportunity to make music inside for the first time in almost a year.

Feldman smiles as student practices conductingWhat are some of your non-musical hobbies? Besides movies and tennis, I like driving around trying new bakeries, ice cream shops, and food trucks.

If your students could learn one thing from you, what do you hope it will be? I hope my students will share the goosebump moment that happens when you practice and study something, design a performance, and then pull it off as planned. (Boy, that sounds pretty cheesy.)

What music are you currently listening to? I’ve been listening to the music of Raffi with my 3-year old.  It’s oddly humourous and nourishing for an old person, too.

Tatiana Hargreaves, fiddle
Lecturer Tatiana Hargreaves

Lecturer Tatiana Hargreaves

What is your position on faculty and what courses are you teaching next semester (and this summer, if applicable)? My position is lecturer of bluegrass fiddle and I teach Music 103/203 which is essentially individual bluegrass fiddle lessons that last throughout the semester

What is your favorite part of teaching? My favorite part of teaching is seeing my students develop their playing and deepening their understanding of the genre. I especially enjoy working with students over longer periods of time and getting to really find what they are drawn to musically within bluegrass music and exploring that. 

What is the project that you’re most excited about currently? I am currently preparing to record my second duo album with Allison de Groot and I am really looking forward to finally being able to sit down and play music together in person. 

Player piano surrounded by swirling colors, text reads Soledad.
Hargreaves recently released ‘Soledad,’ an album of original compositions inspired by the novel ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude.’ The album is available on Bandcamp.

What are some of your non-musical hobbies? Outside of music, I enjoy reading, writing and spending time in the woods.

If your students could learn one thing from you, what do you hope it will be? I hope my students can learn to be better listeners, both inside and outside of musical contexts. 

What music are you currently listening to? Lately I’ve been listening to Charlie Parker, Tommy Magness (an oldtime/bluegrass fiddler) and Sudan Archives.

Anything else you’d like students to know about you or your teaching? I love being able to explore new ideas and techniques with students who have never improvised or played music off of the page before. Improvisation, rhythmic bowing and expressive intonation are often left out of standard violin education and it can be daunting to try them for the first time. I hope to make a comfortable environment to explore together and open up new ways of approaching the instrument.

Mark Katz
Professor Mark Katz (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Professor Mark Katz

What is your position on faculty and what courses are you teaching next semester (and this summer, if applicable)? I’m a professor of music in the academic division of the department. Next semester I will be teaching MUSC 991, Musicology Colloquium, which is a workshop for doctoral students writing their dissertations. I will also be teaching a graduate seminar (title and number TBD) on music and incarceration.

What is your favorite part of teaching? Two things: learning from students and helping students have transformative educational/intellectual experiences.

What is the project that you’re most excited about currently? Music in prisons. (Editors Note: Learn a little more about this work in this “Do the Work Wednesdays” installment he wrote, “Rap and Redemption on Death Row.”)

What are some of your non-musical hobbies? I like to walk a lot and I’m an avid amateur photographer.

If your students could learn one thing from you, what do you hope it will be? The joy of learning.

What music are you currently listening to? Recently, I’ve been listening to 1960s French pop.

A diverse group of individuals sit and converse on a big bench in front of an ornate wall mural in Uzbekistan.
Carolina Global photography competition winner. Prof. Katz took this photo in Uzbekistan in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Mark Katz.)
Jackie Wolborsky
Lecturer Jacqueline Wolborsky

Lecturer Jacqueline Saed Wolborsky

What is your position on faculty and what courses are you teaching next semester (and this summer, if applicable)? Lecturer of Violin, MUSC 103 and 203 

What is your favorite part of teaching? When I have been working on a concept with a student and suddenly the lightbulb goes off!! It’s exhilarating!! 

What is the project that you’re most excited about currently? I just released a streaming concert recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as soloist with the North Carolina Symphony. It was our first concert as a chamber orchestra since Covid stopped our concerts in March of 2020. It was incredibly fun and creative!  

What are some of your non-musical hobbies? I play tennis as much as I can and love yoga.  I find that both enhance my playing and mindset for performance. I also love to read and bike.   

If your students could learn one thing from you, what do you hope it will be? To always look at the big picture in life and music. Detailed work is important, but then let go, be expressive – you have to live a full life in order to express it.  

What music are you currently listening to? Jessie Montgomery!  A young American, female composer. Great, unique style encompassing improvisation and social justice.  

Anything else you’d like students to know about you or your teaching? Get outside yourself in performance. It’s all about the music and discovering, in a creative and personal way, what the composer is trying to say.  The technical work should happen so this interpretation can sing freely.  You need to move yourself before you can move an audience. 

Wolborsky on stage with the NC Symphony chamber orchestra recording Winter from Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
Wolborsky on stage with the NC Symphony chamber orchestra recording Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. (Photo credit NC Symphony)

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