Graduating Seniors

As the 2022-2023 school year comes to a close, we are delighted to acknowledge the exceptional achievements of the graduating class of 2023. These talented individuals excelled musically and made significant contributions to our musical community while studying at PCM.

In this blog post, we celebrate the musical journeys of our graduating seniors and extend our warmest wishes as they embark on this exciting next chapter.

Congratulations to the Class of 2023!

Young woman in white shirt poses in front of a tree

Parmida Amjadi
Parmida graduated from the Polytechnic School and has been a student at PCM since 2007. She studied violin with Mary Kelly and Sharon Harman and piano with Dr. Kathryn Eames. She plans to attend Lafayette College in the fall as a pre-medical student majoring in Biology.

“I’ve enjoyed your lessons so much, Parmida, during these short years together. You have a very special musical heart! I hope you continue to embrace musical activities at Lafayette College in PA and wish you the very best as you pursue studies towards a career in medicine. Thank you for being a wonderful violin student!”
– Sharon Harman

Two women in black pose in a recital hall

Amelie Besch
Amelie studied voice at PCM with Mariné Ter-Kazaryan. She was a member of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus’ Chamber Singers and will attend the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at the University of Michigan in the fall.

“I am so proud of your accomplishments in such a short period of time. In just 9 short months you have blossomed into a beautiful classical solo singer, from not having any operatic training or repertoire under your belt. It was my pleasure to work with you and teach you the fundamentals of vocal technique. University of Michigan Vocal Arts department is lucky to have you. I cannot wait to see where your voice goes from here. Congratulations!”
– Mariné Ter-Kazaryan

Young man plays violin

Damian Chagoya 
Damian recently graduated from California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley. He has been a student at PCM since he was four months old, when his family enrolled in the Young Musician program. Beginning in 2013, he studied violin with Dorthy Kwon. Alongside his musical pursuits, Damian is enthusiastic about sculpting and gaming. In fall, he will attend the University of California, Merced, majoring in Bioengineering.

“Damian, these past 10 years have proven your strength and perseverance to reach your goals. Your inquisitive mind and thirst for knowledge will propel you to go places beyond your wildest imagination. I am excited for the future that awaits you.”
– Dorothy Kwon


Grace Chang
Grace recently graduated from Whitney High School, and studied piano at PCM with Dr. Stephen Cook for the past 13 years. She plans to attend the University of California, Irvine in the fall.

“I’m so happy for Grace as she continues her studies at the University of California Irvine. It has been a joy to watch her musical growth over the past 13 years!”
– Dr. Stephen Cook

Sarah Clark
Sarah just graduated from California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley. This past year, she studied chamber music at PCM with Andrew Cook and participated in the summer Chamber Music Intensive with Aimée Kreston. Sarah plans to attend the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, studying cello performance.

Annie Debreu
This year, Annie graduated from the International School of Los Angeles and studied piano with Dr. Nic Gerpe at PCM since 2017. She was a member of PCM’s ensemblePROVA, a new-music group that explored special sounds created by contemporary music. She plans to attend the University of Chicago in the fall.

Young man poses at piano

Eiji Harrison 
A recent graduate of the Waverly School, Eiji and has been studying piano with Dr. Vatché Mankerian at PCM since 2012. He performed with various high school bands, exploring a wide range of genres including rock, pop, jazz, and heavy metal. He has also contributed as a Musical Director for several school drama productions. Harrison plans to attend UCLA in the fall, where he will study Anthropology.

Calista Hermon
Calista recently graduated from Blue Ridge Academy and studied cello at PCM with Andrew Cook since 2010.

Young man plays piano

James Labrador 
James is a recent graduate of Loyola High School. He has studied at PCM with Dr. Vatché Mankerian since 2013 and participated in masterclasses with Peter Fang, Carl Matthes, Lucinda Carver, and Louise Thomas. He plans to major in computer science at Boston College, where he will also pursue music lessons.

Young man poses in front of piano

Ryan Liddy 
Ryan recently graduated from Loyola High School and will attend the USC Thornton School of Music, studying classical voice, in the fall. He studied at PCM for the last seven years with Mariné Ter-Kazaryan. A member of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, he performed with the LA Opera and LA Phil. Liddy was awarded Honorable Mention in Classical Voice by YoungArts in 2022 and is a two-time Music Center Spotlight semi-finalist. He is also an avid classical jazz pianist and performs musical theater.

“It has been wonderful to see you grow vocally and musically throughout the last 5 years! You had the talent at 12, but through hard work and meticulous attention to mastering the vocal technique, you have achieved a high level of singing at such a young age. You got accepted to everywhere you applied, and that is the biggest validation of hard work being paid off. I can’t wait to watch you grow at USC Thornton School of Music, and one day attend your leading role performance at a major opera house. Congratulations! I am so proud of you!”
– Mariné Ter-Kazaryan

Young woman plays piano

Lissette Lorenzana 
Lissette just graduated from California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley and has studied piano at PCM for 6 years. A student of Dr. Vatche Mankerian, she will attend California State University, Fullerton as an art/animation major and music minor.

Nathaniel Marko 
Nathaniel recently graduated from the Polytechnic School and will be attending Brown University with a concentration in Philosophy in the fall. He began music studies at PCM at age three in the Young Musicians Program and studied violin with Mary Kelly and Patrick Rosalez. He has been a member of the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra for seven years and was a member of their Philharmonic Orchestra for his sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school.

“I just wanted to say congratulations on graduating from high school and getting accepted to Brown. It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you better and to hear about all of your different interests. I’ll miss our chats about what’s going on in your world. You’re such a smart and gifted person and I know that whatever path you choose, you will find success.”
– Patrick Rosalez

Young man sits at piano holding violin

Andres Olmos 
Andres studied at PCM since 2008, taking piano lessons with Dr. Nic Gerpe and violin with Patrick Rosalez. He recently graduated from Marshall High School. Alongside his musical talents, he has a strong passion for visual arts, particularly character animation. He plans to attend Pasadena City College in the fall.

“Andres, congratulations on graduating from high school. You’ve been a part of my life for almost two decades. It has been such a pleasure and privilege for me to watch you grow into the young man you are today. Your senior recital was an event I will never forget. You are such a gifted artist and I know you’ll do great things. I am very excited to hear about where your journey will take you.” – Patrick Rosalez

Young man plays piano

Tristan Rooke 
Tristan recently graduated from California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley. He studied piano for 14 years with Dr. Stephen Cook. Tristan recently gave his senior recital in Barrett Hall, performing works by Gershwin, Beethoven, Prokofiev, Chopin, Mussorgsky, and others. He will attend the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, as a music major, in the fall.

“I’m so proud of Tristan and all that he has accomplished. The Rooke family has been a part of my life for over twenty years, and it’s hard to imagine that I won’t be seeing them weekly. Onward and upward as you continue your studies in music!”
– Dr. Stephen Cook

Young woman plays violin

Denise Sauppe
Granddaughter to one of PCM’s founders, Silke Sauppe, Denise recently graduated from Crescenta Valley High School and will be pursuing a nursing degree at Azusa Pacific University. She has been studying violin at PCM since the age of seven and has been actively involved in the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra and PCM’s chamber music program. In addition, Denise has been a member of her high school’s pit and symphony orchestra, including a performance with the latter at Carnegie Hall.

“It’s been so wonderful to work with you Denise, bringing out the beautiful heavenly sound you are gifted with. Congratulations on your exquisite senior recital, especially “The Lark Ascending”. All the best as you pursue nursing at Azusa Pacific University and continue with music. Thank you for being a wonderful violin student!”
Sharon Harman

Young man plays electric guitar

Christian Shin
Christian has been a PCM student since 2016 and plans to attend Azusa Pacific University in the fall, majoring in commercial music. Christian studied classical guitar with Dr. Brian Barany, advanced guitar ensemble with Dr. Bryan Fasola, jazz guitar with Dr. Jarret Myers, jazz piano with Amy Rowe, and jazz combo with Dr. Ray Briggs. In the spring, he was accepted to the LA Jazz Society’s 2023 Bill Green Mentorship Program, where he participated in workshops, recording sessions, and performances over the 10-week program.

Jessica Wang
Jessica just graduated from the Westridge School and will attend Cornell University as a business major in the fall. She has studied violin at PCM since 2017 with Sharon Harman.

“I’m so proud of you Jessica for all the amazing progress you’ve made over these years! I’ve seen you grow with great confidence and beauty of sound, shooting up like a rocket! I hope you continue to enjoy music with colleagues at Cornell University as you pursue your business degree. Thank you for being a wonderful violin student!”
– Sharon Harman

Joshua Wang
Joshua graduated from Palisades Charter High School and has been a PCM student since 2012. He studied piano with Dr. Stephen Cook and plans to attend the University of California, Riverside in the fall.

“Congratulations, Joshua, on all of your accomplishments. The University of California Riverside is lucky to have you! You will be missed…”
– Dr. Stephen Cook

Gloria Yang
Gloria recently graduated from San Marino High School. She has been a PCM student since 2016 and studied violin with Elizabeth Hedman.