Meet Our Students! | University of Portland

Meet Our Students!

A photo of Yudai Endo, a young student wearing glasses

Yudai Endo, '26

Music Major - Euphonium

Hello, I’m Yudai! I'm a sophomore music major, and I'm studying some music theories and how I can improve myself as a euphonium player. In order to grow as a musician, I think it is essential to interact with others, and the PFA department provides the opportunity to do so. There is an opportunity to meet with new incoming students before the semester begins, we have a gathering of music people a couple of weeks after the new school year started, we also have so many places to engage with other people such as banquette. So I met many people there, not only people in the same grade, but all people in the PFA department. Actually, I'm such an introvert that I didn't go to senior camp and stayed cooped up in the band room, but even I could enjoy being in those PFAevents. 

Also, I’m in the symphonic wind ensemble and jazz ensemble, which are my favorite classes in UP. Both professors, (Dr. Murphy for wind, and Dr. Norton for jazz) and students are awesome, and I’m really enjoying being in these groups. One day, there was an incident when Dr. Murphy sneezed during a rehearsal and forgot to cue the trumpets, so all the trumpets forgot to play. It was so funny that he sneezed, and in addition to that all the trumpet forgot to play, and we couldn’t stop laughing. Just like this, a symphonic ensemble is so enjoyable, and a jazz band as well. Of course you need to work on pieces outside of classes, but it will be okay as long as you are doing your best. 

Lastly, you can contact me at so don’t hesitate to ask me any questions. I hope I’ll see you in PFA events!

Ricardo Guevara, a brunette student smiling to camera

Ricardo Guevara, '25

Theater and Marketing Double Major

Hi, I’m Ricardo! I’m a junior Theatre and Marketing double major from Beaverton, OR. I am very grateful for my department, as I have been able to experiment and grow in acting, directing, and playwriting—there are so many opportunities for students at UP, whether it be in the main stage department season or the student-led club season. Some of my favorite memories here have been in my playwriting class, where I wrote and polished a one act called The Night the Theatre was Painted Red, with the theatre club, where as vice president I’ve worked with the board on creating opportunities for students to create the theatre they want to make, and on the department show Everybody, where I was cast as a Somebody and had to memorize five different roles and play them at random every night. 

I’ll close out by saying I appreciate that this department challenges me to be better, to improve, and to broaden my perspective. I have become a very different artist since I took my first class at UP, and it’s all thanks to the consistent support I have gotten from my community.

Reach out to with any questions!

Tara Peterson, a blonde student smiling at the camera

Tara Peterson '23

Electrical Engineering Major
Music Minor - Voice

Hi everyone, I'm Tara! I am a senior Electrical Engineer and music minor. I have been working on my minor throughout my four years alongside my engineering classes, focusing on voice and piano. 

I chose UP originally for the engineering programs but after having the chance to take voice lessons, I wanted to have more experience with the amazing PFA department. 

My favorite memories were being able to perform at multiple opportunities, whether alone or in a group. There is nothing more exciting and nerve-wracking than showing off what you have spent so much time working on.  Since starting my minor, I have grown in my musical capabilities. I gained better control of my voice and how I wanted to use it either singing or in everyday conversations. One of my favorite classes I took was vocal pedagogy with Dr. Maines. The class taught about how to be a voice teacher and explained the anatomy of how the voice works. Even though I am not planning on becoming a voice teacher, I have an incredibly more complex understanding of how the voice works, as well as how to take care of it. I am so grateful that I was able to use the amazing resources that the PFA department possesses. I am hoping to use what I have learned in my minor and add it to my major as I am interested in the devices that process music and other audio. I am more than willing to talk about my experiences! Send me an email at and I will answer any questions!

A photo of Laura Stephenson, a young student smiling, posed with a dog

Laura Stephenson, '25

Psychology Major
Music Minor

Hi, I'm Laura, I'm a junior psychology major and music minor from Sandy, Utah. I've played bass in the jazz ensemble since my freshman year and loved every minute of it. There's always been a sense of community within the group and in the music program as a whole. My time in the jazz ensemble has also led to other opportunities to perform, including in musicals, pep band, and even some gigs outside of UP. I also recently began taking bass lessons with Dr. Bill Athens. Academically, the music classes at UP are amazing, my favorite of which so far, has been a music technology class with Hal Logan. We were able to record and mix songs with digital audio workshops and learn some of the science behind music. 

My favorite memory with the PFA department is travelling to LA with the pep band to play at March Madness, in support of our women's basketball team. Being able to play in that environment was truly unforgettable, not to mention, we were given the opportunity to just enjoy LA and hang out at the beach. 

The PFA department is a tight-knit community that holds students at a high standard that inspires growth (I know my abilities have grown a lot) and I couldn't recommend joining enough. I can't wait to continue being a part of this community! I'd be more than happy to answer any questions about the music department or UP in general, 

A photo of Laura Stephenson, a young student smiling, posed with a dog

Emma Wheatcroft, '24

Music Major - Vocal Performance
German Minor

Hi! My name is Emma Wheatcroft, and I am a vocal performance major and German minor here at University of Portland. I am from Portland, OR, and feel so lucky to be studying so close to home. I have been privately studying with Dr. Nicole Hanig for nearly 8 semesters now, and the growth that I’ve experienced, both as a vocalist and as a person, is profound. The community within the PFA department is so much fun, and I have always felt supported by my peers and professors in everything I do. I have had so much fun performing in the many performance opportunities here at UP, everything from weekly performance classes to choir concerts, solo competitions, and musical theater productions. Some of my favorite opportunities provided to me through this program and its faculty are being a national competitor in the classical NATS competition, singing with the UP orchestra, and singing in beautiful venues with our talented choir. I was also provided the opportunity to audition for and participate in a month-long opera intensive program in Italy, which was an incredible experience. I couldn’t be happier with my experiences here at UP, and I’m looking forward to finishing my final year strong! 

For any questions, please contact

A photo of Anna Yrjanson, a young student smiling in front of a tree

Anna Yrjanson, '24

Computer Science and Psychology Majors
Neuroscience Minor


Hello, my name is Anna Yrjanson, and I am a senior Computer Science and Psychology major from Vancouver, WA. I have been in choral ensembles since my first year at UP; part of why I chose UP is because I wanted to participate in music ensembles while pursuing a non-related degree. This year, I am the soprano section leader and choir manager for University Singers, and I sing in our chamber choir. I am more involved in music than I anticipated three years ago, but I am so grateful for all the opportunities the choral arts department has provided me.

I love every performance with University Singers. Still, my favorite performance was singing with the Eagles on stage on their Hotel California tour stop in Portland. It was surreal singing with some of my choir friends for tens of thousands of people, an experience I'll never forget.

The students, professors, and administration in the PFA department are incredibly supportive of each other's endeavors. I have seen people from theater and fine arts at choir concerts, and I have also seen people from music at several theatrical performances and fine arts events on campus!

 I love the PFA department and would love to answer any questions you may have; please don't hesitate to contact me at!