San Francisco Conservatory of Music voice faculty César Ulloa received the Sarlo Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching at a special Convocation ceremony held in the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall on Wednesday, September 24. President David H. Stull and foundation benefactor and Conservatory Trustee George S. Sarlo bestowed the annual award, which recognizes outstanding faculty members at several educational institutions in Northern California. SFCM also granted the Presser Scholarship, an award for musical achievement and academic excellence, to Mark Grisez ’15. The collegiate senior recently won a one-year appointment as acting associate principal trumpet with the San Francisco Symphony.
A faculty member at SFCM since 2006, César Ulloa performed more than 50 roles in an international opera and concert career lasting more than 15 years, appearing with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra, among many others. Ulloa is also master teacher of the San Francisco Opera Center’s Adler Fellowship Program and Merola Opera Program. Guest speaker Sheri Greenawald, director of the San Francisco Opera Center, called Ulloa a natural-born teacher and applauded his ability to help students navigate a variety of technical and psychological hazards as they begin their careers. “César has proved over and over and over again that he is able to confront every singer in my program with his knowledge and his humor and his experience and eventually win them over. I am so grateful for this tremendous ally in this complicated and detailed and emotionally fraught business of voice teaching.”
Under Ulloa’s tutelage, numerous Conservatory students have progressed through the San Francisco Opera Center’s elite training programs and gone on to win major competitions and launch successful careers. They include tenor Eleazar Rodriguez ’10, current Adler Fellows tenor A.J. Glueckert ’10 and baritone Efraín Solís ’13, and recent Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions winner soprano Julie Adams ’13.
In a remarkable achievement for a collegiate senior, Presser Scholar Mark Grisez was recently named to a one-year substitute position as acting associate principal trumpet by the San Francisco Symphony. A student of faculty members David Burkhart and Mark Inouye, the Symphony’s principal trumpet player, Grisez has performed as principal trumpet with the California Symphony, rotating principal and section trumpet with the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado, and as an instrumental fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. He has represented SFCM in performances at The Kennedy Center as part of the Conservatory Brass Quintet, and at AT&T Park and other Bay Area venues as part of the ensemble Noble Trumpets. Faculty member Inouye says, “Mark is the kind of student that really listens, and not just to me, but to everybody. He has learned the art of learning and this will help him excel at everything he does, with and without the trumpet. It’s an honor to have such a young talent in the brass section of the San Francisco Symphony.”