University of Vermont

Department of Music and Dance

Careers in Music

The UVM music department helps students hone their skills and passion, preparing them for a life of music. Graduates of the Department have gone on (often with graduate school training) to pursue careers in:
  • performance
  • public school education
  • private lesson teaching
  • composition 
  • music technology
  • concert management / promotion
  • conducting
  • ethnomusicology
Rachel Marie Capobianco ('95, B.A. Music)
is the founder, owner, and sound engineer of Vermont Sound and Light. She has provided sound and lights for UVM's a cappella groups for a decade, as well as the school's annual Convocation ceremony and Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations. She has worked with performers such as Phish, Bill Kreutzmann, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Harry Belafonte, Neko Case, and Jon Stewart. Rachel has played drums for over 25 years and plays with Burlington-based all-female rock band Steady Betty. Her passion for excellence in audio, lighting and event production for the last twenty plus years has garnered the recognition and high praise from all levels of the entertainment industry.

Rebecca Wood ('13, B.S. Music Education)
is in her third year of teaching, and beginning her second year at Weathersfield Elementary in Ascutney, VT where she teaches K-8 General, Choral, and Instrumental Music. "It is a lot of work, but never boring!" She also directs a church choir, youth choir, and community choirs in her hometown. She is an active member of her town's community arts board, which has helped to initiated a jazz festival, community folk dances, and community shows. She is a former member of Bella Voce and Cantiamo women's choirs, and plays saxophone in the Vermont Wind Ensemble. "This summer I began graduate work at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT where I completed my Level 1 training in Kodaly. I'm looking forward to completing the other levels in the upcoming summers! (Take your theory labs seriously, folks!)"

Scott Kipnis ('14, B.A. Music)
graduated from the Music Department in 2014 and hasn't stopped performing since! He is currently a member of the New York Choral Society, performing a season with a wide range of music every year across multiple New York City venues. He was also involved in the chorus of Apotheosis Opera's inaugural production of Wagner's opera "Tannhauser" in East Harlem in the summer of 2015.

Jennifer Murdoch ('85, B.A. Communication Science & Disorders)
played flute in concert band and hockey pep band, and bass clarinet in the Vermont Wind Ensemble at UVM. Her graduation gift was a tour of Austria, Switzerland, and Hungary with the USA Winds (playing a baritone sax she borrowed from the school!), led by UVM faculty member Herbert Schultz. She is now an associate director at a community mental health agency, wife, and mother of two teenagers. She plays various instruments in the Bristol Town Band, Middlebury Community Wind Ensemble, Vermont Wind Ensemble, Vermont Symphonic Winds, LC Jazz Band, pit orchestras, and small ensembles.

"I am your average adult community musician. There is so much opportunity to play as much, or as little as you desire post UVM. I really encourage any person entering the school to join one of the ensembles to maintain and grow your skills, enjoy the camaraderie, and keep the joy of making music in your daily life!"

Sandra Dahl ('74, B.S. Music Education)
played clarinet at UVM, then picked up brass instruments and the viola as well. She taught for 39 years in Vermont public school music, retiring in June 2013. She taught in 4 school districts for 11 years, 3 school districts for 4 years after that, then finished the next 24 years in 2 districts. "I wanted to be a music teacher ever since I was in third grade. I had the best job in the world because I got to sing, dance, and make music every day of my career and share that with children." Sandra is pictured playing cornet with the Green Mountain Brass Band.

Alex Toth '06 - trumpet

Bachelor of Arts - music, jazz studies concentration
Minor - community development and applied economics

Alex Toth, trumpetA New Jersey native, the trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Alex Toth brought his unbounded energy and edgy soulfulness to Vermont. During his time at UVM Alex was the prime mover behind many ad hoc student groups as well as creative jazz and poetry projects in collaboration with the UVM English professors and renowned writers, Major Jackson and John Gennari.

As a member of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Big Band, he also performed the music of Frank Zappa with Ed Palermo, Sketches of Spain with Randy Brecker, and the music of Jim McNeely with the composer directing and playing piano. After graduation, Alex moved to Boston where he started touring with the popular ska/reggae band John Brown's Body and eventually founded the critically acclaimed Rubblebucket Orchestra, a contemporary Fela Kuti-inspired Afro-beat ensemble. He has recorded several CD's under his own name and recently released Rubblebucket's debut album. Alex can be heard all over the Northeast from New York City to Burlington and many places in between.

Annakalmia Traver '06 - alto sax, flute, voice

Bachelor of Arts - music, jazz studies concentration
Minor - community development and applied economics

Annakalmia Traver, trumpetA woodwind player and vocalist from Woodstock, Vermont, Kal Traver now resides in Boston where she plays with the nationally recognized reggae band John Brown's Body and is a member of the acclaimed Afro-beat ensemble Rubblebucket Orchestra. She also composes for her own groups, and works as a freelance saxophonist, singer, and web-designer for artists and musicians.

Her compositions, she explains, "are inspired by sounds in nature, old-time music, chorales, loud drums, shouting, dancing, and all kinds of tiny, big and ancient vibrations," and her saxophone playing "comes from the alto spirit: quick, mischevious, and dirty at times; but fruity too, searching and emotionally exuberant." While at UVM Kal played and sang with the 15-piece funk band Soulvation Army and performed and recorded with other UVM jazz students in the jazz group, the Lazybirds. Fluent in several languages including Spanish, Kal gained valuable musical experience during UVM-sponsored trips to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

Rob Duguay '05 - bass

Bachelor of Science - international business management

Rob Duguay, bassAlthough he graduated with a degree in business, Rob took advantage of opportunities to perform in multiple jazz ensembles each semester. He was the UVM big band bassist for four years and had the chance to perform with Clark Terry, Paquito D'Rivera, and Arturo O'Farrill. Rob performed with many of Vermont's busiest jazz ensembles, including the Red Thread Trio, Dan Silverman Quartet, Big Joe Burrell and Friends, Cam Cross Trio, Justin Purdue Trio, Guagua Latin Jazz, and the Geoff Kim Trio. He also led many groups of his own and started a jam session every Friday night for local jazz musicians.

After graduation, Rob headed off to graduate school in New Orleans. Unfortunately, the Katrina disaster cut short his plans, and he soon found himself relocated to the prestigious jazz program at William Paterson University in New Jersey. From there he spent a productive year working as an intern at the Smithsonian Institution under Dr. John Hasse. Currently, Rob is laying down his infectious grooves all over New York City.

Russell Flynn '08 - bass, composition and arranging

Bachelor of Music, jazz studies concentration

Russell Flynn, bassA multi-instrumentalist and composer from Huntington, Long Island, Russ Flynn has contributed to numerous musical projects both on-campus and in Burlington's thriving music scene, including performing in popular bands such as Roku and Premarital Sextet in downtown clubs like Nectar's and the Radio Bean.

Russ has developed a sophisticated yet naturally flowing compositional style. In fall 2008 he began graduate study with acclaimed composer Michael Philip Mossman at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York City, and earned his M.M. in Jazz Composition and Arranging in 2010. Listen to some of Russ's compositions at

Last modified July 27 2016 02:11 PM