Sophia Gilmson

Associate Professor of Piano Pedagogy and director of the Piano Project

A Russian-born pianist, Gilmson graduated cum laude from the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where she studied with Vitaly Margulis. She is the recipient of numerous awards, among which are the first prize in the Young Artists Competition in New York, which was followed by a recital in Carnegie Hall, and the Piano International Recording Competition. Her performances have been broadcast by Radio Leningrad, Radio Vatican, WQXR and WNYC in New York, and she has concertized extensively in Russia, Italy, and the United States.  Her 2001 recital of Bach's Goldberg Variations won the Mount Everest Award by the Austin Critics Table, and Michael Huebner of The Austin American-Statesman referred to the performance as "one of the most refreshing and thought-provoking performances this season." She has also received an array of excellence in teaching awards, including the 2001 Collegiate Teaching Achievement Award of Texas. Gilmson is the co-founder of both the Houston and Austin Young Artists Concerts, which feature programs designed for musically gifted children; she served as artistic director for both programs for 20 years.  

Bruce Pennycook

Professor of Composition

Bruce Pennycook leaves his position as Professor of Composition with a focus on electronic music and media, as well as his position as chair of the Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies in the School of Design and Creative Technologies.  

Pennycook specializes in new media and audio technologies including music visualization, film and video music, interactive music performance, and network-based audio. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University in 1978.  He then taught at Queen's University in Canada from 1978 to 1987 in both the department of music and the department of information and computer science. From 1987 to 1999, Pennycook taught at McGill University in Montreal, where he developed new undergraduate and graduate degree programs in music, media and technology. From 1998 to 2000 he held the position of Vice Principal for Information Systems and Technology at McGill University. Pennycook's compositions include electroacoustic and acoustic pieces for solo, chamber and large ensemble. He has also worked as a consultant for government, industry and other post-secondary institutions in the United States and Canada.

David Small 

Associate Professor of Voice 

Baritone David Small established his career on the operatic and concert stage, both in drama and comedy. In 1991, he debuted his Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City; he subsequently completed over 100 performances of the role for the opera companies of Des Moines Metro Opera, Fresno, Nevada, Dayton, Toledo, and Lyric Opera Cleveland as well as touring France and Spain with Il Teatro Lyrico d’Europa. Small’s repertoire includes Escamillo (Carmen), Dr. Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Belcore (L’Elisir d’Amore), and many others. In addition to numerous recitals, he has appeared as soloist with St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati May Festival, Austin Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Canton Symphony, Missouri Symphony, and Bravo! Colorado Music Festival. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and the Mass in G by Schubert, with John Rutter conducting. He earned an Artist’s Diploma in opera and a Master of Music in voice performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of the late Metropolitan Opera basso Italo Tajo, and his Bachelor of Music degree from the DePauw University School of Music. Small was invited to give a presentation entitled, “From Studio to Stage to Studio; The Life and Times of an Artist Teacher” at the 2008 National Association of Teachers of Singing convention in Nashville.