School of Music Welcomes New Faculty

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This fall, The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music welcomes several significant additions to its stellar roster of faculty. This group of gifted performers and experts expands the breadth and depth of the school’s musical instruction and scholarship in the departments of music and musicology while supporting student success.

Jan Berry Baker joins the department of music as Associate Professor of Saxophone and Woodwind area head. An active orchestral saxophonist, she is a frequent performer with renowned ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Atlanta Opera, Joffrey Ballet, and Grant Park Orchestra. She is co-artistic director of the contemporary music ensemble, Bent Frequency and is a founding member of the Committee on the Status of Women in NASA (North American Saxophone Alliance). Baker earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in music from Northwestern University.

“As a performer, I am excited to explore new opportunities for cross-disciplinary and socially conscious collaborations with colleagues at UCLA as well as in the greater Los Angeles artistic community,” Baker said. “I am deeply committed to championing contemporary chamber music, especially works by those who have been historically under-represented in western classical music.  The School of Music’s mission to celebrate individuality, diversity and community through dialogue, creativity and critical thought creates a vibrant, welcoming and inspiring community of artists – a wonderful place to call home.”

Also joining the department of music is Assistant Professor of Piano Performance and School of Music alumnus, David Kaplan (’05). Kaplan is an accomplished soloist with orchestra, recitalist, and chamber musician, as well as a core member of Decoda, the affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall and ensemble-in-residence at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He received his bachelor of arts degree in music from UCLA and went on to earn his master’s and doctoral degrees in music from the Yale School of Music. He also studied conducting at the University de Künste in Berlin on a Fulbright fellowship. For Kaplan, returning to UCLA to teach young musicians is a great honor.

“I could not be more excited to join the vibrant community at the Herb Alpert School of Music, with its distinguished faculty, engaged students and dedicated staff,” Kaplan said. “As my alma mater, UCLA is close to my heart, and my wife and I are eager to dive into the rich cultural landscape of Los Angeles.”

Catherine Provenzano joins the School of Music as Assistant Professor of Musicology. A singer, songwriter and scholar, Provenzano’s academic focus is on voice, mediation and labor in contexts of popular music production, with a regional specialty in North America. She has conducted ethnographic research with software developers, audio engineers, music producers and artists in Los Angeles, Nashville, Silicon Valley and Germany. In addition to an article in the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Catherine has presented research at meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology, EMP PopCon, The New School, Berklee College of Music and McGill University. At NYU and The New School, Catherine taught courses in popular music, critical listening, analysis of recorded sound and music and media. Provenzano, who earned her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from New York University, is eager to join the School of Music’s engaged academic community.

“The faculty, students and staff at the Herb Alpert School of Music bring together such incredible richness of and passion for musical craft and scholarship,” Provenzano said.  “I am thrilled to teach and learn in an environment of such range and vitality, and to join this community in its commitment to excellent public education.”