School of Music

Composition, Theory and Technology

People / Current Students

Rafael Abdalla
PhD

Brazilian bass player and composer Rafael Abdalla has been one of the most active musicians in the Brazilian music scene over the last ten years. He has recorded three albums as a leader and has participated in over 20 other instrumental albums. As a sideman, composer and arranger  he has worked with some of the most important musical figures in Brazil including Raul de Souza, Leo Gandelman, Paulo Moura, Rogério Bocatto, Vinicius Dorin, Andre Marques, Zé Renato, Vânia Bastos, Paulo Freire, Nenê, Michel Leme, Lupa Santiago among others.

See website: www.rafaelabdalla.com

Tabajara Belo
PhD

Virtuoso guitar soloist, composer and arranger, Brazilian musician Tabajara Belo released two solo albums. He blends his concert programs with classical, Brazilian popular/folk and jazz. He holds a Master degree in guitar from the University of Arizona. Mr. Belo is a faculty member at the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto and has been constantly performing throughout Brazil, United States and Europe. He was recently awarded with 2nd. place at the prestigious National Prize for Guitar Composition “Novas 3”. Presently, Mr. Belo is a Composition PhD student and Theory Teaching Assistant at the University of Florida.

See website: www.tabajarabelo.com

Eric Heumann
PhD

Eric Heumann’s colorful and creative music has received many performances across the United States. Most recently, his chamber orchestra work, Gateway to the West, received a premier performance by the Ann Arbor Camerata under the direction of Victor Huls. Eric attended Rollins College where he studied piano with Gloria Cook, music composition with Daniel Crozier, and organ with George Atwell. Eric is also a recent graduate of the University of Houston where he studied composition with Rob Smith, Marcus Maroney, and David Ashley White. Eric has participated in master classes with distinguished composers such as Stephen Paulus, John Harbison, Stephen Montague, Kamran Ince, and Chris Rogerson. Eric is currently pursuing a PhD in music composition.

See website: https://www.ericheumann.com

Jane K (Evgeniya Kozhevnikova)
PhD

Jane K (Evgeniya Kozhevnikova) is a composer, pianist, and educator. Her works have been performed at regional, national, and international level music events.  Jane composes in various styles and genres, from classical to jazz and tango, tastefully blending them together. In 2020, she released a jazz-tango album Tango Avenue. Jane’s compositions received awards in multiple competitions, including the DownBeat Student Music Award, American Prize, International Composers’ Competition Opus Ignotum, Music Now Chamber Music Contest, Anima Vox duo Call for Scores and Competition. She holds two master’s degrees, in Music Composition and Music Performance, from Western Michigan University.

See website: www.JaneKmusic.com

Jong-Chan Lee
PhD

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Jong-Chan Lee has been seeking to create a musical language which embraces Western classical music, jazz, rock and traditional Korean music, and which also communicates his personal aesthetics. His musical ambitions have led him to study in three different countries, majoring in various subjects from jazz to Korean musicology. Lee holds a BA Honours degree in Music (jazz composition) from Middlesex University in London, England; an MMus in Composition from Goldsmiths College, University of London; an MM in Composition from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; and a PhD in Literature from South Korea’s Seoul National University. He is currently pursuing a PhD degree in composition at the University of Florida with the aim of expanding his musical vocabulary yet further.

Alireza Nikkhah
Masters

Persian composer, arranger, songwriter. Nikkhah is interested in writing for all kinds of music and in recent years he has tried to hone his skills regarding writing for orchestra and Big band. He has done Jazz Arranging and Composition at Berklee College of Music and he has some experience about Film scoring too. He usually reads film scores of great composers such as: John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Aaron Zigman and so on.

Michael J. Papa
DMA

Michael Papa is a composer focused on expanding the musicianship and listening skills of everyone, regardless of who they are. His works are often designed to heighten our awareness of music perception, and encourages us to experience each piece of music differently every time. Orchestral, electronic, and chamber music are three major domains of Papa’s music that encompass these ideas. He holds a Bachelor's degree in music education and a Master’s in composition, aiming for a well-rounded sense of musicianship. Papa’s music has something to offer for everyone at both an artistic level and a pedagogical one.

See website: www.michaeljpapa.com

Hoàng Phó
PhD

Vietnamese composer Hoàng Phó writes music covering a wide range of practices, from instrumental to electronic categories where he seeks to unfold possibilities of sonic colors that are unique yet receptive to the ears of listeners. Many of his compositions have been performed by numerous reputable artists and ensembles, such as clarinetist Nina Janßen-Deinzer, Boston Musica Viva Ensemble, Sunshine city Opera, Florida Orchestra and Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra. In addition to writing music, Hoàng Phó is also active in recording engineering, as well as performing piano in contemporary music.

Hooman Rafraf
PhD

Composer Hooman Rafraf was born in 1985 in Tehran and is currently based in Gainesville, Florida. Hooman’s compositional output includes works for orchestra, electronics, chamber music, soloists, and collective projects with arts museums as well as collectives. He received a Bachelor's degree in computer engineering and a Master’s degree in music composition both from University of Tehran. He received a second Master's in music composition from University of South Florida. His original composition, Serere Bastian, was recognized with the winning award in the 30th Fajr International Music Festival in Tehran in 2015. He is currently a Ph.D student of music composition in the University of Florida where he also serves as an electronic-music TA.

Dalton H. Regnier
PhD

Dalton H. Regnier is a composer and clarinetist based in Gainesville, FL.  His works have been performed by several chamber and large ensembles, including loadbang, Unheard-of//Ensemble, Xelana Duo, University of Delaware Symphony Orchestra, and Hope College (MI) Wind Ensemble.  His wind ensemble piece, “The Great Stone Face,” was recently awarded in Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble’s Composition Competition.  He was also awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts in 2019, which culminated in a recital featuring premieres of three new works in addition to two other chamber works.

See website: http://www.dhregniermusic.com/

Chris Shelton
PhD

Chris Shelton is an internationally performed, award winning composer and teacher of music theory, music technology, and guitar and.  His music has been performed by ensembles such as: PHACE, the SOLI Chamber Ensemble, and Quinteto Pierrot.  He is currently a doctoral student in composition at the University of Florida and has earned a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Music degree in Theoretical Studies from New England Conservatory.

See website: https://chrissheltonmusic.com

Brendan Sweeney
PhD

Brendan Sweeney (he/him/his) is a composer, trumpeter, arranger, and writer living in Florida. Brendan’s music strives to connect the conceptual with the visceral, often exploring form, parallels with other artistic disciplines, and the idiosyncrasies of the medium itself. A native of the gulf coast, his new work looks to incorporate the unique environment and landscape of his home into his music. His works center on impermanence, metamodernism, poly-aestheticism, and the synthesis of aleatory and systematic techniques.

See website: https://www.brendansweeneymusic.com/

Daniel Townsend
PhD

When Dan isn’t educating others, he sharpens his own compositional craft by writing music for podcasts, dancers, jugglers, art installations, and other collaborative endeavors. When writing for ensembles specializing in new music, Dan’s approach changes from a commercial process into exploring previously hidden sonic boundaries. His most recent ensemble works have included concepts such as emphasizing controlled breathing, musical games via graphic notation, and cultivating his own big band sound with the UF Big Band jazz ensemble.

See website: www.DanTownsendMusic.com

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