SUNY Fredonia alumni among 2024 GRAMMY nominees; faculty perform on nominated works
SUNY Fredonia School of Music alumnus Randy Merrill, ’97, was nominated for four 2024 GRAMMYs, with alumnus Charlie Post, ’98, nominated for his work with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
In the category of Record of the Year, Mr. Merrill was nominated as mastering engineer for “Vampire,” by Olivia Rodrigo, and for “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift. In the category of Album of the Year, Merrill was nominated as mastering engineer for Rodrigo’s “Guts,” and for Swift’s “Midnights.”
Merrill graduated from Falconer Central High School in 1992, went on to study at Jamestown Community College and graduated from Fredonia's Sound Recording Technology program in 1997. To date, he has 25 GRAMMY nominations and eight wins.
Mr. Post, who majored in Sound Recording Technology and in Music-Applied while at SUNY Fredonia, was nominated as an engineer with David Frost in the category of Best Engineered Album, Classical, for “Contemporary American Composers,” by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
In addition, Musical Theatre graduate Alex Joseph Grayson, ’14, was nominated for a GRAMMY in the category of Best Musical Theater Album, for his performance in the lead role of Jim Conley in the Broadway show, “Parade.” The production won a TONY Award last spring.
Yet another alumnus, Evan Harrington, ’98, was a performer on "Sondheim Unplugged (The NYC Sessions), Vol. 3," nominated in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. He was a Musical Theatre major at SUNY Fredonia, who has appeared on Broadway in "Phantom of the Opera" and as Amos Hart in "Chicago." Alumnus Kyle Sackett, ’12, performed on "Carols After A Plague," with the group, The Crossing, conducted by Donald Nally, which was nominated for a GRAMMY in the category of Best Choral Performance. Mr. Sackett was a Music Education major at SUNY Fredonia and is now choral director at Thomas Webster High School in Webster, NY.
The nominations were announced Friday, Nov. 10.
Dean of the Fredonia School of Music David Stringham commented on the nominees’ achievements: “Earlier today [Nov. 10], we were thrilled to learn that School of Music alumni Randy Merrill (’97), Charlie Post (’98), Evan Harrington (’98) and Kyle Sackett, (’12) — as well as Alex Joseph Grayson (’14), who studied voice while pursuing his Musical Theatre degree — have been collectively nominated for eight GRAMMY awards. Randy, Charlie, Evan, Kyle, and Alex have worked alongside collaborators such as Jason Robert Brown, Micaela Diamond, Olivia Rodrigo, Riccardo Muti, Ben Platt, and Taylor Swift to produce art that people across the world have enjoyed. We are so proud to count them among our many alumni who are leveraging their creativity, humanity, and skills to connect people through music, and congratulate them on this tremendous accomplishment.”
In addition, Fredonia School of Music faculty including trombonist Jonathan Lombardo and head of trumpet Alex Jokipii performed on the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's Naxos recording, "Scriabin: Symphony No. 2; The Poem of Ecstasy," conducted by JoAnn Falletta, which was nominated for a 2024 GRAMMY for Best Orchestral Performance. It was recorded by SUNY Fredonia Professor and Head of Sound Recording Technology, Bernd Gottinger, assisted by SUNY Fredonia SRT alumna and BPO audio engineer, Jenna Rutowski, ’21.
There's yet another wonderful connection to SUNY Fredonia among the nominees. Nicole Zuraitis, who recently was lead artist for the Fredonia Jazz Festival in October, and performed with the Fredonia Jazz Orchestra in Rosch Recital Hall, was nominated in the category of Best Jazz Vocal Album for “How Love Begins.”
The GRAMMY awards broadcast is scheduled for Feb. 4 in Los Angeles.