Congratulations to our Class of 2020 Graduates!



“Music does not disappear. It flies above time - Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations remain as relevant in 2020 as they were in 1741.”

— Kent Nagano, Grammy Award-winning conductor and School of Music alum (M.A., ’76)

School of Music Student Honorees

Ma at piano

Jiaze Ma

Graduate Honoree

As voted by the music faculty, the distinguished graduate winner is Jiaze Ma. While completing her MM in Piano Performance, Jiaze Ma distinguished herself as a probing and mature creative artist. Faculty note that “Jiaze has been an outstanding student, particularly conscientious about her written assignments, making a point of meeting regularly at office hours as she works at fine tuning and polishing her work. The care which she brings to her work is palpable. I should also note that she is using her second language to do this, a truly outstanding achievement.”

Randella Jones

Randella Jones

Undergraduate Honoree
Recipient of the LCA Undergraduate Hood

An accomplished violinist and pianist, Randella Louise Jones is among our most brilliant students, graduating with a double major in both Music (Jazz) and Race and Resistance Studies. Her work here has been truly exemplary, both in terms of her scholarship, as well as performance practice and education activism. From Afro-Cuban to Jazz and Classical ensembles, Randella has been a model colleague to her peers, displaying rare cross-cultural skills and understanding in every musical context. While studying abroad in Kingston, Jamaica, at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Randella’s research with folk music traditions of the African diaspora has yielded extraordinary results, from her exceptional work as violin instructor with the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, to her co-directing Son Umbé, a youth Afro-Mexican Son Jarocho ensemble at the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music. As a perennial Dean’s List honoree and recipient of numerous awards and scholarships (including the John Handy Scholarship for Jazz Studies, and Benjamin A Gilman International Scholarship), her next move is to earn a teaching credential at SF State and teach elementary school music while planning ahead for graduate studies in ethnomusicology. The School of Music and the College of Liberal and Creative Arts shines today thanks to graduates like Randella Louise Jones, whose outstanding intellect, activism, and artistry, continues to motivate and galvanize us all in the most original and effective ways, well into a brighter future.

Competitive Piano Award Winners

Michael Avalos Piano Scholarship: Melody Chen

William Corbett-Jones Piano Scholarship: Brite Zhou

Carla "Carol" Ferrando Memorial Endowed Scholarship: Jiaze Ma and Jeong Le

Paul Andrieu Memorial Scholarship, Given by the Ross McKee Foundation: Alexa Thanos and Reece Owens

James Ramos International Video Competition: Hewen Pan and Brite Zhou

Additional Award Winners

Presser Award: Alexa Thanos

Music Teachers Association of California Award: Jiaze Ma

William Zech Cup: Randella Jones

Concerto Award Winners: Bryan Kiang, MM Flute and Alexandre Lee, MM Viola

Congratulations to our 2020 Graduates


Laurena Marie Alm, Bachelor of Music

Daniel Alvarenga, Bachelor of Arts

Diana Calica, Bachelor of Arts

Astrid Cifuentes, Bachelor of Arts

Naomi Figueroa, Bachelor of Arts

Hannah Gomez, Bachelor of Arts

Marisa Elena Gonzalez, Bachelor of Arts

Randella Louise Jones, Bachelor of Arts

Matt Larson, Bachelor of Arts

Najé Amina Maszewski, Bachelor of Arts

Michaela Overall, Bachelor of Arts

Lizbet Marbella Cruz Perez, Bachelor of Arts

Kyle Pescasio, Bachelor of Music

Sohnjay Reeve, Bachelor of Arts

Mona Shahnavaz, Bachelor of Arts

Graham Swann, Bachelor of Arts

Betuel Torrez, Bachelor of Arts

Marcela Ruth Zaragoza, Bachelor of Arts


Hussein Al-Nasrawi, Master of Music

Brian Michael Kelly, Master of Music

Christian Laremont, Master of Music

Jiaze Ma, Master of Music

Ana Marie Miranda, Master of Music

Greer McGettrick, Master of Arts

Hewen Pan, Master of Music

Sarah Sims, Master of Music

The School of Music requires permission from all graduates to list their name. If you would like your name listed contact