Please welcome our new Music, Theatre and Dance faculty starting in 2024-25


Danyé Brown

Danyé Brown, born and raised in Detroit, Mi, is an actor/director and educator that has a passion for stories that advance critical conversations, perception shifts, and policy change through experimentation with multiple performance forms. She has taught and/or directed plays at California State University Northridge, UCLA, SUNY Binghamton, Clark Atlanta University, Kennesaw State University and Georgia State University. Her research interrogates theatre pedagogy through the lens of intercultural competency. Her goal is to strengthen the bond of humanity through the practice of documentary theatre and thought-provoking narratives that promote empathy. Danyéwas selected to perform in Edinburgh, Scotland for the American Theatre Fringe Festival as the title role in the Broadway musicalSarafinaby Mbongeni Ngema. She has worked at the Alliance Theatre, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare Theatre, Actor’s Express Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, Tupac Center for the Arts, City Equity Theatre, Matrix Theatre, and the Stella Adler Theatre just to name a few. She is a member of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers (NAAT), Michael Chekhov Association (MICHA) and Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC), holds a BA in Speech and Drama from Virginia Union University, and an MFA in Theatre from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Teagan Faran

A native of Buffalo, NY, Teagan Faran is a multidisciplinary musician focused on enacting social change through the arts. She has collaborated with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Recent recording features include albums with Carlos Simon, loadbang, and Diamanda Galás. Also active in the world of tango music, she has performed with Victor Lavallén and the Orquesta Escuela de Emilio Balcarce.Faran attended the University of Michigan and the Manhattan School of Music. She was a fellow of the Fulbright Program, Turn the Spotlight, Dee Dee Bridgewater’s Woodshed Network, and OneBeat. She is half of the electroacoustic duo Persephone & the Phoenix and is a Co-Artistic Director of the string ensemble Palaver Strings.


Deb Sivigny

Deb Sivigny (she/her) is an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist and maker. As a costume and scenic designer, she specializes in new work and devised pieces, bringing a sense of play and iterative experimentation to her designs. Her love of dramaturgy, research, and cross-cultural dialogue has led her into academia where she explores the development of “design-driven” works inspired by literature, politics, personal aesthetic, and experience. She has worked at Hangar Theatre, Barrington Stage Company, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, TheatreWorks, Everyman Theatre, Round House Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Imagination Stage, and the Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences, among others. She has a BA from Middlebury College and an MFA from University of Maryland in Costume Design. She is a member of USA 829 and is represented by Michael Moore Agency, NYC.


Eric Troiano

Saxophonist Eric Troiano is an active teacher and performer as both a soloist and chamber musician. He has been a guest artist at numerous places and festivals including the Asia Pacific Saxophone Academy, Singapore Saxophone Symposium, Great Plains Saxophone Workshop, SUNY Potsdam, Central Michigan University, Oklahoma State University, Oakland University, Interlochen Center for the Arts, among others. He is also a founding member of the Viridian Saxophone Quartet, which performs regularly throughout the country. The VSQ has won top prizes in the North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition, Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, Coleman Chamber Music Competition, and the MTNA National Chamber Music Competition.

An advocate for new music, Eric has premiered and commissioned many new works for the saxophone and saxophone quartet. As an accomplished baritone saxophonist, he has pioneered many solo works for the instrument.

A native of Connecticut, Eric received a Bachelor of Music in music education and saxophone performance from Ithaca College, and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in saxophone performance from Michigan State University, studying with Steven Mauk and Joseph Lulloff.


Lisa Williamson

Lisa Williamson, soprano, has forged a distinct career performing a wide range of repertoire from Suor Angelica to Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady to Ella Fitzgerald’s iconic arrangements from the Great American Songbook with such companies as Washington National Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, Portland Opera, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, the Orcestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, and wind ensembles at the Hartt School of Music, West Virginia University, and the University of Connecticut. From 2005-2010 she was the vocal soloist with the United States Coast Guard Band, performing in over 200 concerts throughout the U.S. and Japan. She is a champion of the art songs of Black American composers and is an active recitalist. She was a member of the inaugural class of the Future of Music Faculty Fellowship at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and is a 2024 Teaching Intern with the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Music from the Yale School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music from the Peabody Institute. A Virginia native, she now lives in Eastern Connecticut with her husband, Commander Adam Williamson, the director of the United States Coast Guard Band, and their son, Jack.

Maya Cunningham will be joining the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance as a Pre-Doctoral Diversity Fellow in fall 2024.

Maya Cunningham

Maya Cunningham holds a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz studies (voice) from Howard University and a Master of Arts degree in jazz performance from Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. A scholar of Black music and culture, she has received an MA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Maryland, College Park and an MA in Afro-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is pursuing a PhD at the WEB Du Bois Institute for African American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, while serving as a Lecturer in music at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The title of her dissertation is Jazz Malungaje: Understanding the Africanity of African American Jazz Through the Lens of the South African Jazz Tradition. She is also a Fulbright scholar and Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow.