Iowa School of Music 2021-22 Magazine

University of Iowa School of Music 2021-2022 Magazine

Photo credit: Toko Shiiki

Mélisse Brunet

Q: What and where did you study before coming to the University of Iowa? A: I first got a Bachelor of Music with a minor in music management from the University La Sorbonne in Paris. I studied for 11 years at the Paris Conservatoire (one of the best music schools in the world), where I received six diplomas. One is a Master’s in Orchestral Conducting. I then studied for two years at the Cleveland Institute of Music for a Professional Studies Degree in Orchestral Conducting and three years at the University of Michigan for a Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting. I was the director of orchestral activities at Appalachian State University for five years. I also was music director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. Q: What brought you to the School of Music? A: I applied to the job in November 2020. It seemed a great job for the next step in my professional career. I was lucky to be one of four finalists invited on campus and offered the prestigious position of director of orchestral studies.

Director of Orchestral Studies

Q: What types of courses did you teach this past year? A: I taught orchestra for about 90 students who take an audition and rehearse three times a week for 90 minutes with four series of concerts per semester. I taught Orchestral Conducting for master’s and doctoral students: I have one master and two doctoral students. I also taught them professional development and basic technical skills. I supervised the newly founded Campus Symphony Orchestra that my TAs taught as well (a group of 90 non-music majors who meet once a week). Q: What did you enjoy most about teaching over the past year? A: The passion, drive, intelligence, flexibility, and eagerness of my students to learn. They have been very patient and supportive of me despite all the changes and challenges I brought to them.

Q: What’s a favorite memory of your time at the School of Music so far? A: Our last concert: Stravinsky’s Firebird on May 3 at Voxman Music Building. The energy of the students and the high- level quality of the performance was so contagious that the audience immediately stood up. The happiness of the students after our concerts is also priceless. Music heals our souls, and you can tell when you witness it. Q: What has surprised you most about your time at Iowa so far? A: The very high-level quality of support and offers for the faculty outside our professional lives. The rec center facilities are world class, with personal trainers, counseling, and mental health support. These are unique benefits. I really feel valued, appreciated, and supported by the University of Iowa.


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