Announcing the 2015-16 Jumpstart Team


The Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development (OECD) is pleased to introduce the 2015-2016 Project Jumpstart Team.

Members are graduate student Rafael Porto – who participated as a member of last year’s team – Elleka Okerstrom, Christian Purdy, and Natalie Martell. The team is mentored by OECD director Alain Barker, with additional help from the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Kelley School of Business.

Offerings to look forward to this year include panel discussions by prominent artists, scholars & entrepreneurs, interactive workshops, mind & body sessions, networking opportunities, {well-advised} lunches, and meet & greets with leading professionals. In addition, Project Jumpstart coordinates the annual Jacobs School of Music entrepreneurship competition.

Read the 2015-15 Annual Report to lean more about the activities of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development and Project Jumpstart.


Rafael Porto

Brazilian bass-baritone Rafael Porto is a returning member of the Project Jumpstart team and is in his final semester of his MM degree with Distinguished Professor Tim Noble. This past year he served as a media specialist for the group, overseeing photography, audio and video, while also organizing events such as connecting voice students with Bradley Moore of the Houston Grand Opera, an interview session with acclaimed alumna mezzo-soprano Jaime Barton, bringing the Voice Clinic of Indiana as a part of the Mind & Body series, and teaching at the Manage Your Media and Covering Your Assets workshops. As an entrepreneur, he runs his business Rafael Porto Media Services ( that provides design, photography, and recording services for classical musicians. Porto has done work the Indianapolis Colts, IU Jacobs Marketing Department, New York City Opera, American Guild of Organists, Butler University, and Indianapolis Children’s Choir to name a few. He was a Wilfred C. Bain Fellow, Georgina Joshi International Fellowship winner, and is currently an Associate Instructor of voice. During the past five years Rafael has sung 18 roles at various venues including IU Opera Theater, Indianapolis Opera, Butler Opera Theater, and the Montefeltro Music Festival in Italy.

Elleka Okerstrom

Soprano Elleka Okerstrom is a first-year master’s student studying with Brian Horne, having completed her BM in vocal performance at DePauw University in 2014 where she studied with Caroline B. Smith. For the past year, Elleka has served as the DePauw University School of Music’s graduate intern for the 21st-Century Musician Initiative (21CM). Through her position, she assisted several notable musical groups, including Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, Baladino, Roomful of Teeth, the King’s Singers, and many others. She also worked as the assistant coordinator for the School’s two-week Dvorak and America festival, featuring renowned cultural historian Joseph Horowitz and bass-baritone, Kevin Deas. During her time at DePauw, she performed several lead roles under the direction of Joachim Schamberger, including Violante in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera. Other performance highlights include performing Libby Larsen’s Try Me Good King and John Corgliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man through DePauw’s Music of the 21st-Century during the residency of the composers. “Musical entrepreneurship has become an integral part of my life as a musician,” said Elleka, “and I couldn’t be happier to continue exploring the all that the musical world has to offer with the Project Jumpstart team.”

Christian Purdy

Christian Purdy is a fourth year undergraduate student in the Jacobs School, studying general music education and music entrepreneurship. During his time at Indiana University Christian has developed numerous independent and joint entrepreneurial projects both inside and outside of the Jacobs School, and has worked with many state-wide and national music advocacy organizations. Alongside his entrepreneurial endeavors, Christian studies bassoon with Kathleen McLean and spends much time focusing on early childhood music education. Over the past three years Christian has served as President of the IU chapter of the National Association for Music Education, Teaching Assistant for IU Musical Beginnings, Ritual Coordinator of Kappa Kappa Psi, and as an Undergraduate Staff-member of the IU Marching Hundred. “I’m elated to join the Project Jumpstart team,” said Christian “and I look forward to supporting the innovative endeavors of the Jacobs School.” Outside of his studies, you can find Christian enjoying local restaurants and experiencing the beauty of Bloomington’s natural landscape.

Natalie Martell

A senior at the Jacobs School of Music, soprano Natalie Martell is pursuing a BM in vocal performance with Alice Hopper. She is also pursuing a Certificate in Arts Administration at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. This past summer, Natalie worked for the Asheville Lyric Opera as the Administrative Intern, alongside General and Artistic Director and Jacobs School alumnus, David Craig Starkey, gaining experience in marketing, development, event planning, and community outreach. Natalie has appeared in numerous opera choruses with the IU Opera & Ballet Theater and was most recently featured as Janet McGregor in South Pacific. In addition to serving as treasurer for the University Gilbert & Sullivan Society, she performed the role of Celia in the organization’s first production, Iolanthe. Born in Toronto, Canada, Natalie currently resides in the Washington D.C. area.

Project Partner: The Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Kelley School of Business offers one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculums in the world, with nationally-ranked academic programs that a wide range of real-world entrepreneurial experiences through cross-campus initiatives with university departments and involvement with the business community.

Oboist Gabe Young receives rave review in Washington Post

The Washington Post

A joyful evening of Wagner and Mahler from young maestros

By Patrick Rucker
July 26, 2015

In all of Western music, few C major chords are as ample, radiant and filled with joyful portent as the ones that open the Prelude of “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,” Richard Wagner’s opera about the practice and love of music.

Saturday night at the Kennedy Center, those chords signaled the beginning of the final concert of the National Symphony’s Summer Music Institute Orchestra, composed of more than 60 gifted young musicians ages 14 to 21, competitively chosen from 27 states and Canada. They’ve been in town for the past month, getting to know one another and making music under the expert direction of conductor Elizabeth Schulze. The music they made Saturday was engaged, sophisticated and thoroughly compelling.

Although these are young musicians, many of them have already begun their professional training in conservatories and universities. In fact, the beautifully blended string choirs, superb wind and brass playing and the contained enthusiasm of the percussion section suggested a much more mature ensemble than this group’s median age. The breadth of Wagner’s great surges easily dissolved into agile quick passages, phrases ebbed and flowed, and full-throttle climaxes blossomed rather than blasted.

Mahler wrote his First Symphony when he was only 28 and, despite its many challenges, both in terms of ensemble and for individual players, the orchestra played it as if it had been composed specifically for them. There are occasions in the symphony when you are not sure whether Mahler’s naivete is genuine or a tongue-in-cheek parody. In this fresh, committed performance, sincerity was never in doubt. The rustic Scherzo had an infectiously bumptious rusticity. The klezmerlike interruptions of the funereal movement here seemed emotionally credible rather than abruptly obtrusive. The apocalyptic finale was thrilling.

Between these two late 19th-century orchestral extravaganzas, Gabriel Young, a 19-year-old oboist from Oregon, played a Venetian baroque concerto by Alessandro Marcello, accompanied by a chamber-size ensemble of strings. Young is not only a master of his instrument but an artist of taste and discernment. The sound of his oboe is, for lack of a better word, angelic. There were moments, particularly in the Adagio, when the music seemed to transcend even that exquisite oboe sound, emerging instead as pure, disembodied human expression. Young created a breathtaking spell that lasted well into the Mahler symphony.

Schulze, who presided over this remarkable, deeply satisfying evening, has conducted the past 15 of the Summer Music Institute’s 23 seasons. Her baton technique is impeccable, her beat is clear, crisp and economic, and her musical imagination is rich. The eyes of her responsive young colleagues are always on her.

Jacobs sophomore Gabe Young to perform at Kennedy Center Saturday, July 25

Young_Gabe-200x300Originally published July 24, 2015.

Oboist Gabe Young, a student of Linda Strommen, has been named the winner of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Summer Music Institute’s (SMI) concerto competition. He will perform the Marcello Oboe Concerto with the SMI Orchestra on Saturday, July 25, at 7 p.m. EDT on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. He will be also playing the principal oboe part on Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 on the second half of the program.

The concert will be live-streamed, and the concerto performance will be archived.

The NSO Summer Music Institute, now in its twenty-second year, is a four-week intensive music program located at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Approximately 60 students between the ages of 15 and 20 from across the United States and Canada are accepted each year to attend the program, free of cost.

The students participate in private lessons taught by members of the NSO, receive chamber music coaching from NSO members, attend master classes and seminars, rehearse side-by-side with the NSO, perform two full orchestra concerts under the baton of Elizabeth Schulze, and more. They also all have the opportunity to compete in a multi-round concerto competition, with the winner being selected to perform with the SMI Orchestra at its final concert.

At age 19, Young has been performing professionally for more than half of his life. From busking on the street corners of Southern Oregon as a small child to performing sold-out concerts in world-class venues across the United States, Russia, and England, he has continued to develop his musical prowess in a variety of styles, including classical, jazz, Klezmer, and Celtic.

Born and raised in Ashland, Ore., Young began playing saxophone at a very early age. A member of a musical family, he picked up the oboe in the fifth grade, excited by the opportunity to play in an orchestral setting. He spent eight years in the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon, and while studying at Ashland High School, was named to numerous all-state and regional ensembles.

He was the four-time Oregon State Solo Competition champion and was named to the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) in both 2013 and 2014. It was on consecutive tours with the NYO-USA that he had the honor of performing under the batons of famed conductors Valery Gergiev and David Robertson, and alongside renowned violin soloists Joshua Bell and Gil Shaham.

Young’s classical solo career includes guest solo performances with the Rogue Valley Symphony, Second Street Baroque Orchestra, and Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon. He has been interviewed and has performed on National Public Radio, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, and BBC Radio and Television.

He is a sophomore Wells Scholar at the Jacobs School of Music.

Lucas Debard wins Great American Songbook Competition

Incoming freshman Lucas Debard, majoring in Music Education with a minor in Jazz Studies, is the 2015 winner of the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador Award. The 18-year-old is from Lebanon, Ind. During the final concert, on July 25, he sang American standards “I’m Going to Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” and a mash-up of “I’ll See You in My Dreams” and “I Have Dreamed.”

As the first place winner, Debard gets the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to perform with two-time Emmy- and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer and founder of The Great American Songbook Foundation, Michael Feinstein. The winner will serve as the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador for one year and will have opportunities to perform throughout the year.

DeBard is a 2015 graduate of Lebanon High School. He was very active in the Lebanon High School Music Department as a member of Madrigals, Charisma Show Choir, musical casts, musical pit orchestras, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, and marching band. He plays weekly at Lebanon Christian Church at the youth service “4:12.” He has been a featured performer at Lebanon’s Back to the Fifties, fourth of July events, and Thorntown Festival of the Turning Leaves. This year, he received three Grand Champion awards at show choir solo competitions and received numerous music scholarships and awards. He teaches private lessons at the Little Black Box Theatre in Lebanon.

The Great American Songbook Foundation selected 40 students from across the country to participate in the 2015 Great American Songbook Academy from July 19-25 on the campus of the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Ind. High school vocalists representing 16 states have worked with mentors that included Michael Feinstein, Tony-nominee and Broadway star Laura Osnes, and Grammy- winner Sylvia McNair. The mentors selected the Youth Ambassador at the end of the final performance.

Jenna Barghouti joins Houston Symphony community-embedded musicians initiative

BarghoutiViolinist Jenna Barghouti, a student of Jorja Fleezanis, is one of four string musicians recruited by the Houston Symphony to be part of an initiative announced earlier this year to embed musicians more deeply in the community. The four musicians/educators will focus on enhancing the orchestra’s growing education and community engagement activities while also performing on stage for select Houston Symphony performances.

David D. Connor, double bass; Anthony Parce, viola; Hellen Weberpal, cello; and Barghouti are part of the first group of Houston Symphony Community-Embedded Musicians (CEM), who will spend most of their time in schools, neighborhoods, and healthcare settings beginning in the fall of 2015. Each one of these musicians is a practicing professional musician with the complementary skills and sensibilities of an educator, who will teach and engage people in learning experiences in, through, and about music.

Among other new and expanded community activities, these musicians will be part of a music and wellness program aimed at increasing the quality of healthcare through music. In addition, they will be heavily involved in education programs targeted at improving problem solving, critical thinking, and essential life skills in students.

All four Community-Embedded Musicians will perform on stage with members of the symphony in approximately 25 concerts each year. The orchestra intends to add more of these musicians over the next two seasons, providing ever-increasing levels of service and music education to the rapidly growing Houston region.

“Becoming a Houston Symphony Community-Embedded Musician is a dream come true,” said Barghouti. “Playing with one of the leading orchestras in the country while helping empower the local community through music is an ideal start to my career as a performer and an educator. I am quite fortunate to be given this opportunity to professionally fulfill both of my passions. I could not be more excited to be a member of the very first CEM team, and I look forward to working with the talented musicians and leadership of the Houston Symphony to further grow and develop this inspiring program.”

The creation and launch of the Community-Embedded Musicians program has been made possible through the early investment of generous supporters, including the Spec’s Charitable Foundation, Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, BBVA Compass, and Mr. Monzer Hourani, all longtime leadership supporters of the Houston Symphony.

Barghouti grew up in the West Bank, Palestine, before coming to the United States when she was 16 years old. She has taught violin to underserved children in both the Fairview Project in Bloomington, Ind., and in her home country. Barghouti, an associate instructor at Indiana University’s Pre-College String Academy and substitute violin for the Philadelphia Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony, is fully bilingual in Arabic and English. She is currently pursuing a Performer’s Diploma in violin performance at the Jacobs School of Music. She earned her undergraduate degree in violin performance from the Jacobs School under the supervision of Mimi Zweig.


Works by three Jacobs students presented at SONiC Festival

Works by Melody Eotvos, Jeremy Podgursky, and Texu Kim–all Jacobs  grad students in composition–will be presented at the SONiC Festival in New York City October 15-23, 2015. The festival, produced by the American Composers Orchestra, features twenty-first century music by more than 60 composers age 40 and under.

In addition, Kim has been commissioned to write a new piece for the National Orchestra of Korea, which features traditional Korean instruments, for the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of its founding.

Kim was recently composer-in-residence for the Korean Symphony Orchestra.

Franz Liszt Mini-Fest a hit

ALS performers 620-21Karen Shaw, chair of the Department of Piano and president of the American Liszt Society IU chapter, recently presented “Franz Liszt, Master of the Piano Transcription” in two concerts featuring IU alumni pianists, on June 20 and 21 in Auer Hall. Fifteen guest pianists appeared in solo and duo-piano repertoire, with a finale of a two-piano, eight-hand arrangement of “The Grand Galop Chromatic.”

The festive event drew capacity audiences, and both concerts were received with standing ovations!

Alumnus Krishna Thiagarajan named chief executive of Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Krishna-Thiagarajan-600x321Jacobs alumnus Krishna Thiagarajan has been named chief executive of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO).

Thiagarajan earned both his B.M. in Piano Performance and his M.M. in Piano Performance from the Jacobs School of Music, studying with Leonard Hokanson. In addition, he taught as an associate instructor of piano at the school.

Read the RSNO release.

Connie Glen delights Mini University participants

Connie Cook Glen, director of music in general studies, recently wowed Mini University attendees with an engaging look at the intersection of politics and popular music in the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Glen was featured on the front page of the Bloomington Herald-Times for her work with Mini University, IU’s award-winning program for lifelong learning.

Informative classes, appreciative students keep Mini University coming back for more

By Kat Karlton | The Herald-Times
June 10, 2015


Jacobs School of Music Director of Music in General Studies Connie Cook Glen plays a half step from the very first score of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Lonely Room” from the musical “Oklahoma!”


Patty Harpst and Mary Jo Rock have been best friends ever since their moms introduced them after meeting in the ladies’ room before dinner one night. It was their first week as students at Indiana University, and both women would graduate in 1956 with bachelor of science degrees in education.

Sunday, the pair made a new best friend at IU—Judy Shettleroe—who earned her master’s degree in special education from IU in 1983.

The three women met in an elevator on their way to register at this year’s IU Mini University program.

“We were the new best friends, as they say,” said Harpst.

The program of roughly 100 classes taught by IU faculty, along with various social events, began Sunday and runs through the end of the week.

Of this year’s 537 participants, about half are IU alumni, said Kyla Cox Deckard, director of public relations and community outreach for IU’s Lifelong Learning unit.

“Every year, the vibrancy of our participants excites us,” said Cox Deckard. “We’ve had really positive feedback so far.”

Inside the State Room East at the Indiana Memorial Union Tuesday afternoon, Connie Cook Glen, Jacobs School of Music director of music in general studies, prepared for a class on Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein and the intersection of politics with their popular music.

Cook Glen taught classes at Mini Universities in previous years on Leonard Bernstein and Cole Porter.

“This one is about politics and fun,” she said.

Cook Glen shared a slideshow, speaking about Hammerstein’s preference of incorporating nature and simplicity into his work, the pair’s “brave” incorporation of mixed-race relationships into their early work and more.

Participants watched eagerly as their teacher brought up a video of Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner performing “Shall We Dance” from the musical “The King and I.”

Fast-forwarding through one scene, she said, “We have to see them dance,” and the audience responded with a resounding, “Yes!”

After wrapping up the class with a video of Lady Gaga performing the title song from “The Sound of Music,” Cook Glen greeted appreciative audience members.

“I often learn something from the audience,” she said, noting she appreciates how alumni often come to her Mini U classes with vast backgrounds of outside knowledge.

Because of her appreciative audiences, Cook Glen said she’ll likely teach future Mini U classes, which are completely volunteer staffed.

In addition to the classes, the new three best friends said they enjoyed Mini U for the atmosphere.

“I’m just excited to be back at IU, because I’ve lived in Tucson since 1961,” said Harpst.

According to Cox Deckard, participants came from 25 states in the nation, and this year’s class was filled to capacity.

This year’s final events take place Friday and conclude with an 11 a.m. commencement in the IMU’s Whittenberger Auditorium.


The Cliff Colnot Residency – 5 Workshops and Career Advising this Summer

CliffNotes-120Jacobs School students have a terrific opportunity this summer to attend five workshops with Cliff Colnot, the Chicago-based conductor and composer. Called CLIFF NOTES, the sessions cover a range of subjects that are key to career development in the 21st Century. All sessions are open to Jacobs School students and take place on Thursday, from 12-1:30pm. Free Jimmy John’s sandwiches will be provided!

  • CLIFF NOTES: Lunches and a Workshop Session with Conductor & Arranger, Cliff Colnot
  • NEW THIS YEAR: Individual Career Advising Sessions with Cliff Colnot

Open to all students in the Jacobs School of Music. Please click below to sign up for the sessions you’d like to attend. 


Thursday JUNE 18     SCORE STUDY
Effectively studying music in preparation for performaChicagonces
12-1:30pm                          JS 415
> Sign Up Here

Thursday JUNE 25     AUDITIONS
Understanding the audition process for orchestras, summer festivals, and other projects
12-1:30pm                           JS 415
> Sign Up Here

Taking advantage of opportunity in a fast-changing cultural landscape
12-1:30pm                           JS 415
> Sign Up Here

Making the most of your valuable time
12-1:30pm                           MA 405
> Sign Up Here

The secrets and surprises of great ensemble intonation
12-1:30pm                           MC040
> Sign Up Here


Once you’re in the Career Portal, click on “Events” then “Workshops”
All sessions are at Jumpstart Central, MU011, in Merrill Hall

  • Wednesday, June 17, 2-4 pm
  • Friday, June 26, 2-4 pm
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2-4 pm
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2-4 pm
  • Tuesday, July 7, 2-4 pm
  • Wednesday, July 8, 2-4 pm
  • Wednesday, July 15, 2-4 pm

See you there!
Team JumpStart



Colnot-squareIn the past decade Cliff Colnot has emerged as a distinguished conductor and a musician of uncommon range.

One of few musicians to have studied orchestral repertoire with Daniel Barenboim, Colnot has served as assistant conductor for Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Workshops for young musicians from Israel, Egypt, Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries. Colnot has also worked extensively with Pierre Boulez and has served as assistant conductor to Boulez at the Lucerne Festival Academy. He regularly conducts the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), with whom he recorded Richard Wernick’s The Name of the Game for Bridge Records, and he collaborates regularly with the internationally acclaimed contemporary music ensemble eighth blackbird and the Pacifica String Quartet. Colnot has been principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s contemporary MusicNOW ensemble since its inception and is principal conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, an orchestra he has conducted since 1994. Colnot also conducts Contempo at the University of Chicago and orchestras at Indiana University. He has appeared as a guest conductor with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Utah Symphony.

Colnot is also a master arranger. His orchestration of Shulamit Ran’s Three Fantasy Pieces for Cello and Piano was recorded by the English Chamber Orchestra. For the chamber orchestra of the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, Colnot has arranged the Adagio from Mahler’s Symphony No. 10, Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande (both published by Universal) and Manuel De Falla’s Three Cornered Hat. For ICE and Julia Bentley, Colnot arranged Olivier Messiaen’s Chants de Terre et de Ciel for chamber orchestra and mezzo-soprano, also published by Universal. For members of the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Colnot arranged Shulamit Ran’s Soliloquy for Violin, Cello, and Piano, to be published by Theodore Presser. Colnot recently re-orchestrated the Bottesini Concerto No. 2 in B Minor for Double Bass, correcting many errors in existing editions and providing a more viable performance version. He has also been commissioned to write works for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Percussion Scholarship Group. His orchestration of Duke Ellington’s New World Coming was premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim as piano soloist in 2000, and Colnot also arranged, conducted, and co-produced the CD Tribute to Ellington featuring Barenboim at the piano. He wrote music for the MGM/UA motion picture Hoodlum and has written for rock-and-roll, pop, and jazz artists Richard Marx, Phil Ramone, Hugh Jackman, Leann Rimes, SheDaisy, Patricia Barber, Emerson Drive, and Brian Culbertson.

Colnot graduated with honors from Florida State University and in 1995 received the Ernst von Dohnányi Certificate of Excellence. He has also received the prestigious Alumni Merit Award from Northwestern University, where he earned his doctorate. In 2001 the Chicago Tribune named Cliff Colnot a “Chicagoan of the Year” in music, and in 2005 he received the William Hall Sherwood Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts. He has studied with master jazz teacher David Bloom, has taught jazz arranging at DePaul University, film scoring at Columbia College and currently teaches advanced orchestration at the University of Chicago. As a bassoonist, he was a member of the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago, Music of the Baroque, and the Contemporary Chamber Players.

“Cliff Colnot conducted the excellent International Contemporary Ensemble in an alluring performance.”              —  Anthony  Tommasini, New York Times

“To every score, conductor Cliff Colnot brought a dedication, virtuosity, and intensity of feeling new music needs but doesn’t often receive.”                                                              —  John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

“Everywhere [in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1] were signs of meticulous preparation and keen stylistic acuity.”  —  Michael Cameron, Chicago Tribune