WestConn music alumni excel after graduation

DANBURY, CONN. — Several recent Western Connecticut State University music department graduates have excelled at their highly competitive and prestigious schools and conservatories.

Jennifer Caraluzzi, of Bethel, a 2009 graduate, and Hernan Berisso, of Greenwich, a 2010 graduate, are studying at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Caraluzzi was cast in the leading role of Cunegonda for the spring production of Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide.” Berisso recently performed the leading role of Papageno in Mozart’s “Magic Flute.”

Kathryn Kupchik, of Cromwell, a 2008 graduate, is attending the University of Miami, where she performed a leading role in John Gay’s “Beggar’s Opera.” Her performance brought acclaim from the South Florida Classic Review: “Kupchik brings glamour and myriad vocal coloration to Polly’s rival Lucy Lockit.”

Karolina Wojteczko, of Derby, a 2010 graduate, competed in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions in New Haven, where she received an Encouragement Award, as well as an invitation to audition for the Yale University graduate opera program.

Meagan Johnson, of Trumbull, and Giulia Stanford, of Greenwich, both 2008 graduates, also have excelled after leaving WestConn. Johnson is studying at the Westminster Choir College, while Stanford has received her Master of Music degree from the Boston Conservatory.

Professor of Music Dr. Margaret Astrup said there is more than one reason why WestConn graduates are successful.

“They are motivated and eager to compete in the real world.” Astrup said. She also attributes the fact that Western doesn’t have a graduate program in music to the success of WCSU’s alumni. “Our undergraduates end up getting more performance opportunities than they might have in a larger institution where they would have to compete for stage time with graduate students,” Astrup explained.

WCSU offers a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Bachelor of Science in Music Education, Bachelor of Music in Performance or Jazz Studies and Master of Science in Music Education.

For more information, call (203) 837- 8358.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.


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