An Interview Podcast from Peabody LAUNCHPad

Max Q refers to the most stressful part of a rocket’s ascent. We focus on a similar, often difficult time for new alumni—the initial period following graduation. Our podcast features recent Peabody alumni discussing the challenges they have faced since completing their studies: their jobs, what they have learned, and how their education has impacted their lives as working professionals. Each episode is hosted by Dr. Zane Forshee, Christina Manceor, or Robin McGinness, members of the LAUNCHPad staff.

We at LAUNCHPad seek to help students and alumni forge satisfying and successful careers. We’re excited to share these conversations about pathways to building varied, vibrant, and sustainable lives in the arts!

Credits: 2023 Intro music by Soo Hyun Bahn. 2022 Intro music by Aaron Gao. 2021 Intro music by Dmytro Nebesh; 2020 Intro music by Vincent Fasano. Audio editing by Greg Hays. Logo by MegDig Design.

If you are an alum and would like to be featured on the podcast, please email [email protected].

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Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3| Season 4

Season 4

8. Max Q – Rachel Jones

Our final episode this season features horn player Rachel Jones (BM ’18). Shortly after graduating from Peabody, Rachel joined the 229th Army Band Brass Quintet and has since expanded into working in Human Resources for the Guard. Outside of her work with the National Guard, she is an active freelancer on the East Coast and recently became a core member of the Maryland Winds.

Recorded April 22, 2024.

7. Max Q – Ana Uribe Law

Our guest this month is Ana Uribe Law (MM ’21), a musicologist and violinist. After receiving her Master’s degree in Musicology from Peabody, Ana is now pursuing her PhD at Florida State University. She also holds an MBA in Arts Innovation from the Global Leaders Institute.

Ana is a passionate advocate for greater representation of popular music genres within academia. Her research centers on contemporary Latin American genres, with a particular emphasis on the impact and influence of reggaeton in the United States. In addition to her scholarly work, Ana has prepared and indexed several renowned 20th century Latin American music journals, and served as a research and digitization assistant at RIPM (Le Répertoire international de la presse musicale).

Youtube: @anaspul

Recorded March 11, 2024.

6. Max Q – Steve Crino

Our guest for this episode is Steve Crino (DMA ’22), a teacher and composer with a deep focus on vocal music. Steve’s creative portfolio includes two award-winning operas, numerous songs, and choral compositions. A passionate interdisciplinary collaborator, he is co-founder of The Circus Opera Company, a new organization exploring connections between opera and circus arts. Steve maintains an active private studio and teaches Music Theory and Music History at Temple University. Our conversation touches on building your own projects, creating financial stability as a composer, and the importance of personal connections and word of mouth.

Youtube: @stevencrino6967

We’re closing out the episode with a section of “Stay for a While” from Steve’s opera Six Autumns on the Hudson.

Recorded February 15, 2024.

5. Max Q – Ashna Pathan

Our guest this month is film, theatre, and games composer Ashna Pathan (BM ’22). Currently working as a full-time assistant to the acclaimed composer Mac Quayle in Los Angeles, Ashna’s recent projects include the award-winning comedy short “Aghast!” and the full-length musical “Senior Year Is Gonna Kill Me! – The Murder-Mystery Musical.” We delve into Ashna’s diverse types of composition, her journey into the LA music production scene, finding opportunity and support in your networks, and her strategies for time management and motivation.

Youtube: @ashnapathanmusic

We’re closing out the episode with a sound clip Ashna wrote for the 2022 short film NURIKABE. 

Recorded January 27, 2024.

4. Max Q – Marie Herrington

This time on Max Q we are speaking with Marie Herrington (BM ’20, Vocal Performance). A versatile artist, Marie’s repertoire extends from sound installations, as seen with the Alluvium Ensemble at the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, to her role as a featured composer at San Francisco’s SongFest. We discuss how she got into Chruch music, finding support for your creative endeavors, and the importance of enthusiasm. Currently, she is the Music Director at Govans Presbyterian Church in Baltimore. Additionally, she is an active leader and collaborator in regional musical ensembles.

Closing out the episode we have a clip of Marie’s “A Dream” for voice and loop station.

Recorded Jan. 9, 2024

3. Max Q – Allen Branch

Max Q this week features drummer, educator, and composer Allen Branch. (BM ’22 Jazz Percussion) A multi-instrumental jazz performer, Allen (also known as Aldo) has played at international venues, including Carnegie Hall and the Berlin Music Hall. More recently, Allen has moved into education and is currently serving as the Dorothy Clayborne Teaching Fellow at the Bryn Mawr School.


Allen’s recommendations:
48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene

Closing out the episode we have a clip of Allen’s original composition, “Baby Done Changed” from his album 27 Love

Recorded Nov. 6, 2023

2. Max Q – Mira Fu-En Huang

On Max Q we’re featuring soprano and arts-administrator Mira Fu-En Huang (MM ’22 Historical Performance Voice). Mira masterfully juggles her performance career—highlighted by roles in operas like Handel’s “Semele” and collaborations with contemporary composers—with her arts administration work at organizations like the Candlelight Concert Society and Business Volunteers Maryland. A former social media intern at LAUNCHPad, she also earned a Launch Grant for her storytelling project, “Story to Song”. Join us as we delve into Mira’s multifaceted career, exploring how she balances her time, starting and running an ensemble, and her drive for storytelling in music.

Closing out the episode, is a recording of Mira from an upcoming release with Ensemble Magdalena.

Instagram: @amirsopranosaur

Mira’s recommendations:
Before the Coffee Gets Cold – Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Recorded Oct. 2, 2023

1. Max Q – Andrea Copland

This week on Max Q, we spotlight Andrea Copland (MM ’19, Oboe & Musicology), a Baltimore-based oboist, music historian, and librarian. Integrating actively performing and gigging with contributions to research institutions like Peabody’s Friedheim Library and the répertoire international de la presse musicale (RIPM) database, Andrea has also taken on the role of an educator with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program. Passionate about social justice and music accessibility, she delves into the confluence of music, politics, and perception on her blog, ‘Outward Sound’. We discuss the opportunities found in setbacks, balancing multiple priorities, and building what motivates you into your job.

Andrea’s recommendations:
Simone de Beauvoir’s The Ethics of Ambiguity 
William Cheng’s Just Vibrations 
Jonathan Sterne’s Diminished Faculties .

Recorded Aug. 7, 2023

Season 3

9. Max Q – Rush Johnston

Max Q this week features dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, and movement researcher Rush Johnston (BFA ’22, Dance.) During their time at Peabody Rush received several grants including a Launch Grant for their show “Making a Mess.” Alongside creating widely featured performances, choreography, and dance films, they are the founder of the confi-DANCE project in Greenville, SC, which provides movement workshops for at-risk youth, and Kaleid Movement Collective, an interdisciplinary artistic platform for creative experiments and exhibitions.

Instagram: @rushj_dance
Facebook: @rush.johnston

Check out “My Room,” one of the pieces Rush mentioned in our conversation.

Recorded Mar. 15, 2023

8. Max Q – Dmytro Nebesh

This episode we’re interviewing Dmytro Nebesh, who graduated from Peabody with degree in Music for New Media in 2022. Dmytro currently works as a sound designer for Firaxis Games and as a freelance composer. In the interview, we explore how Dmytro’s experiences during school led to his sound design role, connecting and collaborating on professional work, and balancing creative projects and other personal priorities with a full-time job. 

Instagram: @dmytro_nebesh
YouTube: @dmytronebesh6939
Twitter: @Dadmyt

You might notice our intro music is different this episode. Dmytro composed the theme music for the first season of Max Q, and we’ve brought it back as a special feature for this episode. 

Recorded Mar. 1, 2023

7. Max Q – Nathan Cicero

We’re featuring Nathan Cicero (MM ’18, Vocal Accompanying) on Max Q! Since graduating, Nathan has built a career as a freelance collaborator, church musician, and as music staff for numerous opera companies including Sarasota Opera, Chicago Summer Opera, and Pensacola Opera. We discuss the path to becoming a collaborative pianist, life working as a pianist in an opera company, building a freelance career, and the differences between playing for musicians and a general audience.

Nathan’s Recommendations:

Closing out the episode we have a recording of Nathan playing Poulenc’s Madrigal, with Baritone Mark Billy

Recorded Jan. 30, 2023

6. Max Q – Gavon Peck

This episode of Max Q features violist, arts administrator, and yoga teacher Gavon Peck (GPD ’20, Viola), speaking with Sarah Thomas. Gavon performs regularly with chamber ensembles and orchestras in DMV, is an Artistic Director at Listeso Music Group, and teaches yoga with Baltimore Hot Yoga and Wellness. Sarah and Gavon discuss his different types of work, the evolution of life goals, and the importance of taking care of our bodies as artists. 


Recorded Dec. 8, 2022

5. Max Q – Sam Bessen

This episode of Max Q features Sam Bessen (MM ’17, Horn). Sam is the curator of the Levy Sheet Music Collection at the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries as well as the Founder & Artistic Director of the In the Stacks Series, which hosts performances in the George Peabody Library. Speaking with Christina Manceor, the conversation explores how Sam found his way to his position as a curator, how to connect your passions to new career paths, and how to pivot and move past performance injuries.

Recorded Dec. 9, 2022

4. Max Q – Bobby Ge

This episode of Max Q features Bobby Ge (MM ’20, Composition), a Chinese-American composer, pianist, and educator. Since graduating from Peabody, Bobby has collaborated on several multimedia projects, won composer residencies and competitions, and had works performed and commissioned by a variety of different orchestral and chamber ensembles. Christina Manceor speaks with him about building collaborative relationships, how artist residencies work, and the importance of grants in supporting his goals. Currently, Bobby is pursuing his Ph.D. in composition as a Naumberg Fellow at Princeton University.

Instagram: @bobbycge

At the end of the episode, you can hear a clip of “Variations for the Worlds Below” fromThe Ocean’s Cry, a visual album created by the composers’ collective Consonance in collaboration with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.This piece was written for and performed by a trio of musicians from Peabody – Robert Brown (BM ’22)  on sax, Ben Giroux (BM ’21) on percussion, and Sherry Du (MM ’19) on piano. The album is available on all streaming platforms

Recorded Nov. 28, 2022

3. Max Q – Lily Josefsberg

In this episode of Max Q, Christina Manceor speaks with Lily Josefsberg (GPD 18’ Piccolo Performance.) After extensive freelancing experience at orchestras around the U.S., she was appointed piccolo with the San Diego Symphony in January 2022. The discussion covers life for orchestral musicians, ways to navigate the audition process, and how Lily’s experience in school impacted where she is today. 

Instagram: @Bach2baking

The episode closes with a clip of Lily playing the 3rd movement of Mike Mower‘s sonata for Piccolo and Piano.

Recorded Nov. 11, 2022

2. Max Q – Ross Tamaccio

This week on Max Q we speak with Baritone Ross Tamaccio (MM ’18). Ross has built a career on concert music and church music, singing career both as a soloist and ensemble member, singing with ensembles like True Concord, Conspirare, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and with most of the major church music programs in the DC area. We discuss how he moved from seeing opera as the primary career path to pursuing ensemble singing, how teaching fits into his career, managing scheduling, and how auditions and networking have helped build a full calendar.

Music and Book Recommendations:

Instagram: @rktamaccio

Episode closes with a clip of Ross singing “O Man Greatly Beloved” from Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the Maryland Choral Society

Recorded Aug. 23, 2022

1. Max Q – Arindam Jurakhan

Our first episode of the season features composer, instrumentalist, rapper, and producer Arindam Jurakhan (MM ’21). After releasing his first album FLINCH during his final year at Peabody, Arindam is currently pursuing his DMA in composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. We discuss differences between producing live and recorded music, differences in networking across different fields, and how to publicize your recordings.

Music and Book Recommendations:

  • It’s Almost Dry – Pusha T
  • Gemini Rights – Steve Lacy
  • Sculpting in Time – Andrei Tarkovsky

Instagram: @Jurakhan.Music
Twitter: @Jurakhan_Music

Episode closes with a clip of Persona feat. Mingjia. Recorded Aug. 10, 2022

Season 2

14. Max Q – Bergamot

Robin is joined by alumni ensemble Bergamot Quartet (Ledah Finck MM ‘18, Sarah Thomas MM ‘19, Amy Tan MM ‘19, Irene Han MM ‘18). With the imminent release of their debut album In the Brink, we discuss how Bergamot has found success building opportunities to give workshops, opening doors for performances and collaborations, and crowdfunding their new CD.

More info about In the Brink
Upcoming Performances 
Instagram: @bergamotquartet 
Facebook: /bergamotquartet
YouTube: Bergamot Quartet

Recorded Mar. 10, 2022

13. Max Q – Kyle Jones

Christina speaks with saxophonist Kyle Jones (MM ’17), who is currently pursuing a DMA in saxophone performance at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory; in addition to his freelance career, Kyle is an educator and arts administrator. They discuss how to approach building a sustainable career in the arts, including balancing time between school, work, and other activities, proactively reaching out to collaborators and employers, and prioritizing a sense of self and community.

Follow Kyle:


Links & Resources:

Fast Forward Austin – WebsiteInstagram
Less Than 10 Music: WebsiteInstagram
The Professor Is In – Karen Kelsky, PH. D.

Recorded Jan. 5, 2022.

12. Max Q – Frances Pollock

Composer Frances Pollock (MM ’15, Voice) started her own projects while at Peabody, creating opportunities for both her colleagues and herself. Robin McGinness discusses how Frances figured out prioritizing, the importance and ease of establishing relationships, and building understanding of the financial side of art and opera.

Frances’s Opera Earth to Kenzie will be performed as a digital production by Peabody Opera Theater, scheduled for this spring.

Music at the end of the episode is France’s piece Honey Bees.

Follow Frances
on Facebook
or her Website:
Midnight Oil Collective:

Frances’s Recommendations:
Octavia Butler’s Earthseed series (Book 1)
Carey & Morris – King of Capital

Recorded Nov. 20, 2021.

11. Max Q – Jacob Lyerly

Jacob Lyerly (MM ’20, Guitar & Pedagogy) joins Robin McGinness to discuss how his experience in the Arts in Health and other Peabody programs built the skills he uses in his career today. While at Peabody Jacob was a member of LAUNCHPad’s student staff, an active performer solo and with his duo Un/Strung, and a regular participant in Peabody’s Arts in Health programing. Currently, Jacob teaches music in North Carolina’s Richmond County Schools.

End of episode music is the first movement from Suite Retratos by Radames Gnattali, performed by the Un/Strung Guitar Duo

Follow Jacob on:
Instagram – @lyerlyjguitar
Facebook – @lyerlyjguitar
or his website –

Recorded Oct. 22, 2021.

10. Max Q – Shannon Fitzhenry

Violinist Shannon Fitzhenry (BM ’18) maintains a busy schedule subbing with the BSO, performing gigs and chamber concerts with other Peabody alumni, and serves as concertmaster for the El Paso Symphony Orchestra. In this episode, she joins Robin McGinness to discuss how she built her current portfolio career, the unique challenges of finding orchestral work, and how to think strategically as an aspiring orchestral performer.  

Follow Shannon on Instagram: @shannon.fitzhenry.violinist

Recorded August 20, 2021.

9. Max Q – Networking

Networking, or making connections with artists, partners, and collaborators is one of the primary challenges we hear about from students and alumni. This week on Max Q we’ve highlighted clips addressing how to talk to people, build relationships, and find strong partners.

In order, here are the full interviews featured in this episode:
Cellist and arts administrator Olivia Rainoff (MM ’20) – Full Episode
Bass, voice teacher, and radio announcer John TK Scherch (MM ’17) – Full Episode
Cellist and conductor Thomas Fortner (GPD ’17) – Full Episode
French guitarist and composer, Julien Xuereb (GPD ’17) – Full Episode
Educator and administrator Alysia Lee (MM ’06) – Full Episode

8. Max Q – Melody Quah

Pianist Dr. Melody Quah, a 2017 Peabody DMA graduate, joins Christina Manceor on Max Q. Melody has a broad-ranging career as a soloist, collaborative pianist, and educator across multiple continents. They discuss navigating the requirements of a new faculty position, keeping a healthy separation from your work, and building experience towards a faculty position. 

The episode closes with a selection from Melody’s recording of Chopin’s Scherzo Op. 54, No. 4.
Penn State School of Music –

Recorded June 9, 2021.

7. Max Q – Passepartout Duo

Christina Manceor speaks with percussionist Chris Salvito (Peabody MM ’16) and pianist Nicoletta Favari of Passepartout Duo. Making music that escapes categorization, the duo’s travel around the world informs the multi-disciplinary collaborations, instrumental compositions, and evocative music videos that constitute their work. The conversation centers on how artistic residencies have been foundational for the Duo, the path from graduation and traditional instruments to their current work with portable ones, and the economics of a small, mobile ensemble. Currently, they are in Iceland working with composer Hafdís Bjarnadóttir on a project called Sheep Music, where they will be performing for sheep throughout Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
Passepartout Instagram
Passepartout Facebook
Daylighting on Bandcamp

Recorded May 12, 2021.

6. Max Q – Daniel Sabzghabaei

This week on Max Q, Robin speaks with composer and vocalist Daniel Sabzghabaei (MM ’17). After Peabody Daniel immediately went on to pursue his doctorate, all while continuing to grow his list of commissions and premieres. We discuss how he deals with creative “drought,” managed to keep creating through the pandemic, trying to escape the trap of being known for a specific kind of work, and what goes into building a compositional team. 

Daniel’s Website
Full recording of Zemestun

Recorded May 9, 2021.

5. Max Q – Jessica Satava

In this episode Dr. Forshee speaks is joined by Jessica Satava (MM ’04, Voice), executive director of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. They discuss Jessica’s journey to leading an orchestra, how she joined her new community and learned their needs through food and concerts, and discoveries about how changing the narrative and venue can open doors to new audiences. 

4. Max Q – Allison Clendaniel & James Young

In this episode, Christina Manceor speaks with Allison Clendaniel (BM ’14) and James Young (DMA ’12). Just to name a few facets of their diverse work, Allison and James are performers, composers, and performing arts presenters based in Baltimore. Alongside their colleague Jason Charney, they co-founded Mind on Fire, a cooperative of highly trained musicians whose goal is to eliminate barriers in classical and contemporary music. On the podcast, we discuss the challenges of balancing freelance work as creative artists, why it’s important to look at success as a process, and how their work with Mind on Fire has evolved over the years.

Allison’s website:
James’ website:
Mind on Fire website:

Upcoming Mind on Fire Virtual Variety Show, feat. Bashi Rose, Natalie Draper, and Orlando Johnson
April 21, 8pm –

Recorded Feb. 25, 2021

Bonus: Max Q – Alysia Lee

Robin McGinness speaks with Alysia Lee, a 2006 graduate from Peabody and current instructor for Peabody’s Breakthrough Curriculum. Alysia is founder and Artistic Director of Sister Cities Girlchoir, an El Sistema-inspired, girl empowerment, choral academy and serves as the education program supervisor for Fine Arts education for the Maryland State Department of Education. Our conversation ranges from building collaboration on the relationships you start at school, to tips on creating themed programming that speaks to all audiences.
Say Her Name – Full Recording
Sister Cities Girlchoir – Graphic Scores Composition Gallery

Interview recorded Mar. 8, 2021.

3. Max Q – Olivia Rainoff

Cellist and arts administrator Olivia Rainoff (MM ’20) discusses her post-graduation life and work with Robin McGinness, particularly how she found a full-time position after leaving Peabody. We explore her process of finding a job during the pandemic, what prepared and inspired her to pursue a job with Death of Classical, and how her administrative work has revitalized her practice.
To America (Recorded broadcast from The Greene Space)

Interview recorded December 1, 2020

Bonus: Max Q – Sandbox Percussion

In this special release, Christina Manceor speaks with Victor Caccese (BM ‘11) and Terry Sweeney (BM ‘13), two members of Sandbox Percussion, a quartet with a focus on creating performances and collaborations that are both visually and aurally impactful for a variety of audiences. We discuss how the group’s priorities have evolved, how they have continued to move forward professionally during the pandemic, and the importance of placing business responsibilities in the context of your artistic work to stay motivated and inspired.

Learn more about Sandbox on their WebsiteYouTube, and Patreon.

Outro music is from David Crowell’s Music for Percussion Quartet off Sandbox’s new album AND THAT ONE TOO.

Interview recorded January 21, 2021.

2. Max Q – Thomas Fortner

Cellist and conductor Thomas Fortner (GPD ’17) joins Christina Manceor to discuss the balancing of administrative and artistic work, the behind-the-scenes of starting a non-profit, and how understanding your audience helps create and fund art. We also talk about maintaining motivation and finding creativity for those who don’t perform or make music full-time.

The State of Our Art Podcast
Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (full performance)

Interview recorded October 16, 2020

1. Max Q – Julien Xuereb

Max Q’s second season premieres with French guitarist and composer, Julien Xuereb (GPD ’17), speaking with Christina Manceor. We discuss how Julien built his freelance performance and teaching career, as well as his strategies for setting rates, negotiating with clients, managing time, and setting goals for long-term projects.

Outro music is Through the Telescope, composed and performed by Julien Xuereb

Interview recorded October 9, 2020

Season 1

12. Max Q – Teng Chen

In this episode, Christina Manceor is joined by Teng Chen (BM & MA ’17), who is a freelance audio engineer currently based in New York City.  In addition to her work as a studio engineer, Teng is also a music production mixer and editor at Saturday Night Live. Teng shares how her goals and path have transformed since she began her studies at Peabody, why networking played a key role in her transition from Baltimore to New York, and the different ways she approaches negotiation with various clients.

Philadelphia Orchestra concert series: Our City, Your Orchestra

Interview recorded Oct. 5, 2020.

11. Max Q – Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas (MM ’19) joins Christina Manceor in this episode to share her journey as a violinist, chamber musician, and teacher. We explore how her work with Bergamot Quartet has evolved since graduation, what it’s like to teach virtual lessons during the pandemic, and how new and unexpected experiences can be surprisingly influential in both artistic and other professional work. Since Sarah is currently pursuing a Professional Studies Diploma at Mannes School of Music along with her chamber group, the Bergamot Quartet, we also discuss ways to balance work, school, and basic life needs while taking classes full time – and how these different perspectives inform each other.
MATA Jr. Festival, featuring Bergamot Quartet
MATA Jr. Concert Video

Interview recorded Sept. 30, 2020

10. Max Q – Amanda Dame

This episode of Max Q features flutist and educator Amanda Dame (MM ’19) speaking with Robin McGinness. While at Peabody, Amanda was a peer mentor in the LAUNCHPad office. We discuss what can be gained from frustration, finding opportunities in unlikely places (like Craigslist), and how offering free lessons impacted her private teaching. She also shares how she has built her connections and performance opportunities after leaving school, and the way she discovered that she didn’t enjoy seeking orchestra jobs.
Office Ladies Podcast
Millionaire Musician Group on Facebook

Outro music from Amanda’s Master’s Recital at Peabody with Pianist Hui-Chuan Chen. 

Interview recorded July 20, 2020

9. Max Q – Sahun Sam Hong

Pianist, teacher, and entrepreneur Sahun Sam Hong speaks with Robin McGinness about his approaches to freelancing, and the importance of building business and tech skills as a performer. Currently finishing his doctorate at Peabody, Sam built on the skills he gained from Peabody’s Performer referral service to grow his business as a freelancer, including starting a concert design agency, Subito Arts.
Full recording of concert with Ensemble 132

Interview Recorded May. 20, 2020

8. Max Q – Taylor Davis

Taylor Davis (MM’ 19) joins Christina Manceor to discuss ways to manage long-term projects, balancing multiple aspects of a portfolio career, and how to approach planning for the future. We also explore ways to engage followers on social media, getting more comfortable with failure, and the importance of trying new things.

Percussion Pal

Intro music by Vincent Fasano. Audio editing by Greg Hays. Logo by MegDig Design.

Interview Recorded Apr. 24, 2020

Music Journalist Amanda Cook

This is a special release, outside of our interviews with recent Peabody alumni. To engage with the current dramatic changes in our world, LAUNCHPad director Dr. Zane Forshee is interviewing distinguished professionals in our field about the impact of COVID19 on students and artists in the performing arts.

On today’s release, Dr. Forshee speaks with Boston-based music journalist, digital editor, and arts administrator Amanda Cook. During their conversation they discuss how artists and artistic institutions are adapting to creating virtual performances, and how virtual performances are encouraging experimental art-making, creating new opportunities for storytelling, and pushing artists to stand out. 

7. Max Q – John T.K. Scherch

This episode Robin McGinness speaks with bass, voice teacher, and radio announcer John TK Scherch (MM ’17). We explore the idea of ‘creating luck’ – how you can use networking, persistence, and building on your prior experience to ‘luck’ into an ideal career. Additionally, we touch on the role failure can play in your career path and the importance of taking the time to identify your passions.

WBJC – Maryland’s Classical Music Station
U92 The Moose
Pause and Listen – John’s Podcast
InSeries – Innovative DC based opera company

Dean Abra Bush

This is a special release, outside of our interviews with recent Peabody alumni. To engage with the current dramatic changes in our world, LAUNCHPad director Dr. Zane Forshee is interviewing distinguished professionals in our field about the impact of COVID19 on students and artists in the performing arts

This episode, Dr. Forshee interviews Abra Bush, Peabody’s former Senior Associate Dean of Institute Studies. They discuss how mindset and routines can help make your way through quarantine, Peabody’s Lunch and Learn series for arts educators and how it got started, as well as ways the pandemic accelerated preexisting trends in the performing arts such as the increased importance of entrepreneurship and social media.

Upcoming and recorded listings for Peabody’s summer Lunch and Learn series 

Conductor Marin Alsop

This is a special release, outside of our interviews with recent Peabody alumni. To engage with the current dramatic changes in our world, LAUNCHPad director Dr. Zane Forshee is interviewing distinguished professionals in our field about the impact of COVID19 on students and artists in the performing arts

In this release, Dr. Forshee speaks with Marin Alsop, Director of Peabody’s Graduate Conducting Program and music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Their conversation touches on how the current crisis has accelerated classical music’s entry into the 21st century, using slowdown created by the shutdowns to reevaluate how you are spending your time, and the unifying power of joy.

6. Max Q – Kris Johnson

In this episode, Christina Manceor is joined by jazz trumpeter, composer, and educator Kris Johnson (Michigan State University, MM ’07), who visited Peabody as a guest artist in Fall 2019.  We discuss how to stay organized while maintaining a busy freelance career, ways to work smarter rather than work harder, and tips for making genuine connections with colleagues and mentors. Kris also shares his experience building business and technology skills that help him maximize his creative projects.

Learn more about Kris through his WebsiteYouTube, and Instagram.
The Four Stages of Mastery –

Interview Recorded Mar. 20, 2020

danah bella

This is a special release, outside of our interviews with recent Peabody alumni. To engage with the current dramatic changes in our world, LAUNCHPad director Dr. Zane Forshee is interviewing distinguished professionals in our field about the impact of COVID19 on students and artists in the performing arts

This episode Dr. Forshee speaks with danah bella, chair of Peabody Conservatory Dance. They explore the meaning of arts during the COVID-19 crisis, increased access to instructors in different styles from all over the world, understanding what is enough for you, and using this time to discover what kind of artist you are.

danah’s recommendations:

Conductor Joseph Young

This is a special release, outside of our interviews with recent Peabody alumni. To engage with the current dramatic changes in our world, LAUNCHPad director Dr. Zane Forshee is interviewing distinguished professionals in our field about the impact of COVID19 on students and artists in the performing arts
In this release, Dr. Forshee speaks with Joseph Young, Peabody’s Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Artistic Director of Ensembles. and Professor of Conducting. The conversation touches on remaining collaborative when we are all isolated, finding new possibilities by asking what listeners are missing, sharing your process and not just the product, and the silver-lining of time for reflection created by the shutdown.

5. Max Q – Claire Galloway Weber

Claire Galloway Weber (MM ’15) joins Robin McGinness to explore the value of secondary skills or even degrees in maintaining a sustainable career, knowing when to pursue management, and the importance of having supportive team. We also talk about the loss of structure that happens after leaving school, and the need to create a schedule and goals for yourself to keep moving forward.
Check out Claire’s WebsiteYouTube, and Instagram

Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America – Heidi Waleson
Art of Asking – Amanda Palmer

Interview Recorded Mar. 25, 2020

Max Q COVID-19 Interviews – Trumpeter Sean Jones

This is a special release, outside of our interviews with recent Peabody alumni. To engage with the current dramatic changes in our world, LAUNCHPad director Dr. Zane Forshee is interviewing distinguished professionals in our field about the impact of COVID19 on students and artists in the performing arts.

Here Dr. Forshee speaks with trumpeter Sean Jones, Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair of Peabody’s Jazz Department. The interview touches on leaning on other artists for inspiration and support, using the current situation as an opportunity to maximize limited resources, as well as the importance of goals, scheduling, and managing your time.

Bonus: Max Q – Susan Zhang

In this bonus episode entrepreneur and pianist Susan Zhang (GPD 18’) discusses how she cofounded The Concert Truck, a startup she created during her time at Peabody, and the skills needed to keep it running.

You can learn more about The Concert Truck at their website ( or by following them @theconcerttruck on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

Interview Recorded Feb. 13, 2019

4. Max Q – Zoe Fried

Performer, administrator, and arts advocate Zoe Fried (MM ‘16) speaks with Christina Manceor about the ways those who work in the arts can inspire audiences, both through their work on stage as well as back stage. We also discuss how Zoe discovered her passion for arts administration, ways to approach thinking about long-term goals, and finding common ground to organically connect with your colleagues.

Learn more about the Shriver Hall Concert Series.

Interview Recorded Jan. 29, 2019.

Bonus: Max Q – Michael Repper

This is a bonus Max Q interview excerpt with DMA conducting candidate Michael Repper. We discuss networking, managing your time as a freelancer, and wisdom from Disney movies. Find out more about Michael and his current projects at his website

Interview Recorded Jan. 24, 2019

3. Max Q – Molly Grace Young

Soprano, teacher, and chamber musician Molly Grace Young (MM ‘13) speaks with Robin McGinness about the importance of diversification, both in life and in your career as a musician. We touch on the relationship between teaching and performing, the importance of establishing a flexible studio that allows for your performance schedule, balancing ambition and contentment to set goals given an uncertain future, and the necessity of self-care and creating a life outside of music.  

Interview Recorded Jan. 15, 2019.

2. Max Q – Ledah Finck

Composer, violinist, and violist Ledah Finck (MM ’18) discusses with Christina Manceor the importance of finding inspiration inside and outside of school, the difficulty of saying no, and how to manage touring with her ensembles in Baltimore and New York while holding space for practicing and composing. 

Learn more about Ledah Finck, the Bergamot Quartet, and her piece “In the Brink.”

Interview Recorded Jan 25, 2019

1. Max Q – Ryan Tani

Music Director and Conductor Ryan Tani (MM ‘17) speaks with Robin McGinness about the challenges of maintaining balance between his administrative jobs, conducting positions, and life in general.

Learn more about Ryan Tani and Occasional Symphony on their websites.

Interview recorded Jan 30, 2019