Alumni Engagement

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Quick Links: Alumni News | Hartt Alumni Award 

Our dynamic and accomplished alumni are making an impact all over the world. They are accomplished musicians, dancers, choreographers, actors, singers, educators, technicians, and arts administrators who have earned awards and acclaim in their respective fields.


Alumni News

Hartt Alums

Steve Davis Awarded the 2023 Hartt Alumni Award 

Hartt alumnus Steve Davis ’89 is the recipient of the 2023 Hartt Alumni Award. Since 1959, this prestigious award has recognized outstanding Hartt alumni who have made significant accomplishments in the performing arts as artists, scholars, and educators.

Davis is widely recognized as one of today’s leading voices on the trombone. Following his graduation from Hartt’s Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, Davis gained widespread recognition as the last to join the Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He has worked with a broad range of jazz luminaries starting from his first mentor Jackie McLean, to others such as Benny Golson, James Moody, Horace Silver, Hank Jones, Roy Hargrove, Willie Jones III, and more.

Davis has performed globally, including appearances at The White House Tribute to Ray Charles. His numerous recordings have earned him many rave reviews and topped radio charts.

In addition to his many accolades in the jazz world, Davis finds music very much a family affair. He has performed and recorded with both his son guitarist Tony Davis (also a Hartt alumnus!) and his wife vocalist Abena Koomson-Davis. Davis is also an active presence in the vibrant CT jazz scene and is very much close to the Hartt and UHart community. His daughter is also a recent graduate of the University. A long-time educator, he has provided guidance, mentorship, and inspiration to countless emerging musicians in his 31-year teaching career at Hartt.

Mikaela Papasodero

BFA, Dance Performance, 2019

Mikaela's senior piece, Spectrum,  has since been performed at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, and the Versatility Dance Festival. She was also recently asked to perform the work for a show at RIOULT Dance Center, where she was able to present alongside artists such as Jenn Freeman, Maleek Washington, Jon Lehrer, Pascal Rioult, and Hannah Cullen.

Mikaela currently works for two professional dance companies in NYC: Amirov Dance Theater and Rioult Repertory Project. She also enjoys traveling all over the United States to perform and guest teach. Learn more about Mikaela's Hartt experience.

I was extremely close with my class, and still talk to all of them everyday. They’re my family, and they always will be.

I firmly believe that my time at The Hartt School laid the musical foundation that I rely on every time I step on stage to perform, and it's because of this remarkable foundation that I am able to stand so tall today.

Ryan Speedo Green '08, World Renowned Bass Baritone

Nicole Arruda

BA in Performing Arts Management, 2019

After landing an internship at the artist management company, Triple 8 Management, Nicole secured her current full time position with AGD Entertainment in the Zero to Sixty artist development program– a curriculum based day-to-day management program that provides education, mentorship, and support services for developing artists. Learn more about Nicole's Hartt experience.

Lean on a small, tight-knit family like the PAM program and it's professors and maximize every connection it gives you. Trust me, that [program] ended up making me stand out...because it gave me a deeper, more personal, and different look at the industry.

The Hartt Alumni Award

Since 1959, The Hartt School has recognized an outstanding alumnus/alumna with the Hartt Alumni Award.


2022 – Javier Colon '00

2021 – Gregory J. Banaszak ’88

2020 – Gwyneth Walker M.M. '70, D.M.A. '77

2019 – David Lazaar Katz ’77, AD’84, M’89; Orin Wolf '01

2018 – Shane Shanahan '98 

2017 – Martha Summa-Chadwick '83

2016 – Jimmy Greene '97

2015 – Phillip Boykin '95

2014 – Ed Alton '81