College of Performing Arts Welcomes New Faculty
August 22, 2022
Dean Giulio Ongaro of the College of Performing Arts has announced the addition of several new faculty this semester. “We are very excited to introduce an exceptional group of new faculty of distinction,” he said. “Headed by the internationally renowned choreographer Dwight Rhoden, who joins us just as we are opening the new spectacular Sandi Simon Center for Dance, this a very strong group of artistic and academic leaders who will greatly benefit the students of CoPA, and the artistic and intellectual life of our community. It is also a testament to the strength of CoPA and of Chapman that in every single instance we were able to hire the favorite candidate of the search committee and faculty out of very strong applicant pools. I know these new colleagues are as excited to be here as we are to welcome them to campus. I can’t wait for the semester to begin!”
Department of Dance
Dwight Rhoden—Artistic Professor of Dance
Rhoden is the founding artistic director and resident choreographer of the groundbreaking Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York and brings with him an international reputation as an innovator who embraces multicultural diversity in his work, having choreographed for television, film and theatre.
“As a member of the faculty, I’m looking forward to being able to influence the various aspects of dancers’ training and contribute to the conversation and overall philosophy of what makes impactful performances,” he said. “I am also looking forward to bringing my body of work to the students as well as building new work, and having creation processes — encouraging their imaginations and ideas and to empower them to discover their unique voices.”
Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music
Christopher Castro, Ph.D.—Assistant Professor, composition
A composer and double bassist from Brooklyn, New York, Castro is a recipient of Chamber Music America’s 2021 Classical Commissioning Award, where one of the jurors described his music as “On par with Varèse,” giving him the nickname “The New Colossus of Sounds.” His new work, Canções dos Desassossego (Songs of Disquiet), will be written for the Lyris Quartet and soprano Sharon Harms and premiered in 2023. His music has been performed by Sharon Harms and the Composers Conference Ensemble under James Baker (Two Songs from Brooklyn Narcissus), the St. Louis Symphony under David Robertson (Choruses III), pianists Sarah Cahill and Eric Zivian (IV–I), piano duo HereNowHear (Beethausenstro—Castockhoven) and the Lydian String Quartet (Choruses IV). He is the 2022 Guest Composer for the James Tenney Memorial Symposium, composing and collaborating with the New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble.
Marc Callahan, D.M.A.—Associate Professor; Director, Opera Chapman
“I am honored to assume the role as Director of Opera Chapman, carrying on its fine legacy into the future. I am particularly excited to work with our fantastic students and using the opera workshop course as a time to fearlessly explore of the opera stage, turning it into a boundless playground. And I am looking forward to mounting my first production in the immaculate Musco Center for the Arts!”
Dr. Callahan has received critical acclaim for his directed and designed productions, including first prize from the National Opera Association for Kurt Weill’s Der Jasager and honors from the American Prize’s Charles C. Reilly Director’s Prize. As a singer hailed by Opera magazine as “a powerful baritone, providing wickedly glamorous tone,” his operatic career has taken him around the world to perform in major opera houses. His upcoming recording of works by Gerald Finzi will be released by Albany Records.
So Jin Kim, D.M.A.—Assistant Professor, violin; Temianka Endowed Professor in Music
Praised by critics and audiences alike for her “powerful interpretation…[and] flawless sound” (Cuxhavener Nachrichten) and “creating tones of poetry” (The Strad Korea). Following her solo debut with the Juilliard Orchestra in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in 2006, she has appeared as a soloist throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Her debut CD recorded in Leipzig Gewandhaus was released worldwide in 2018 under Genuin Classics with raving reviews from publications including Klassik Radio Austria, Klassik Heute, and Das Orchester. Her second album of Mozart Violin Concertos with Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim under Ars Produktion was nominated for the 2020 OPUS KLASSIK award.
Yoshika Masuda, D.M.A.—Assistant Professor, cello; Director, Strings Program
“I’m beyond excited to be joining the wonderful community that exists here at Chapman’s Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music. I have already felt so much love and support from many of my colleagues and I am confident that together we can reach new heights and bring the Strings program to the next level!”
Described by the press as ‘a remarkable cellist who possesses both intellect and innate musicality… one of the finest cellists of his generation’ (Chopin magazine Japan), Dr. Masuda has performed throughout Australia, Japan, China, Korea, Mexico, the USA, the UK and much of western Europe as a soloist and chamber musician. He is the winner of national competitions in Australia, Japan and the US, and was also awarded the prestigious YAMAHA Music Foundation of Europe String Award. He is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of young cellists—his students have had successes in both local and national competitions, as well as being admitted to prestigious institutions such as Juilliard, NEC, and USC.
Jotaro Nakano—Interim Conductor, The Chapman Orchestra
“I feel so incredibly fortunate to be welcomed into Chapman this year alongside several amazing new faculty members at the College of Performing Arts. This will truly be a year of wonderful new beginnings, and I am honored to be able to lead The Chapman Orchestra during such an exciting time. A symphonic orchestra can provide the greatest opportunity for our students to experience heartfelt collaboration with all of their inspiring classmates. As we rehearse the most beautiful music of our world, I hope to ignite our students’ collaborative spirit and deepen their love and appreciation for the gift of making music together.”
Department of Theatre
Josh Epstein—Assistant Professor, lighting design
“I’m so thrilled to be joining Chapman’s College of Performing Arts and I am really looking forward to collaborating with such a vibrant group of theatre-makers. It’s an especially dynamic time to be exploring theatre and live-event design, and I look forward to sharing my professional experiences with our students.”
This September, Josh will create the lighting designs for The Geffen Playhouse production of The Inheritance, written by Matthew López and inspired by the novel Howards End by E. M. Forster. Read more about the production here.