Meet the Orientation Leaders

Thursday, Aug 17, 2023
Juilliard Journal
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Students are assembled in a circle participating in a group activity

Get to know this year’s orientation leaders!

Jonny James Kajoba, fourth-year actor

Great resource: Drama Book Shop
Advice: Breathe—and be open to new people and things

Ilai Macaggi, fourth-year jazz trombonist

Advice: Play with tons of people, go to lots of shows, collaborate with other divisions
Fun fact: My family travelled with an Italian circus when I was younger

Alejandro Vargas, fourth-year dancer

Favorite haunts: Café Paradiso, El Mitote, El Coco, Pho Shop, Gong Cha, Tea Magic, Playa Betty’s
For dancers: On Stage Dance Wear NYC

Eloise Fox, second-year soprano

Favorite haunts: Breads Bakery, Sala Thai, Amber sushi
Fun fact: I love to sew! I make stuffed animals, and clothing and even made the quilt in my dorm room

Caylen Bryant, second-year master’s jazz bassist

Fun fact: I like to sew my own clothes
Favorite haunt: Black Lab Café, a nice dog cafe near the 79th Street station

Naomi Okada, fourth-year actor

Favorite haunts: Rosetta Bakery, Emmy Squared Pizza, Made in New York Pizza, David Geffen Hall lounge

Great resources: Juilliard Library (for plays and sheet music)

Trevor Haumschilt-Rocha, second-year master’s baritone

Favorite haunts: The Flame Diner, Tenzan, Pop’s Pizzas, Magnolia Bakery
For singers: Piano Piano Rehearsal Studio (coaching space outside Juilliard), Opera America (common place for auditions)
Fun fact: I’ve been on both The Price Is Right and Wheel of Fortune

Xavier Logan, third-year dancer

Advice: Don’t conform to the school, allow the school to conform to you

Ana Karneza, fourth-year actor

Favorite haunts: Empanada Mama is great for a quick, affordable snack day or night
For all students: The financial aid office is a great resource
Fun fact: I switched undergrad majors from psychology to computer science; acting allows me to keep trying out different lives/careers/skills

Danae Venson, third-year composer

Favorite haunts: Guantanamera (great post-show destination), El Burrito Box
For composers: Get your scores bound for free at the fifth floor copy center; if it’s not open, FedEx or Staples are good options
Fun fact: I’ve learned to play about 10 instruments, most recently the harp

Connor Williamson, second-year trumpeter

For brass players: The orchestra office (for renting auxiliary instruments for free), J. Landress Brass is a great repair shop
Favorite haunts: Casbah food truck, Central Park, Riverside Park

Gillian Alexander, third-year dancer

Advice: Don’t get lost in what the school is expecting of you and what you’re expecting of yourself—just be true to the artist you are and know you’re here for a reason

Christopher Armstrong, third-year composer

Favorite haunts: Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine, Bareburger, All Stars Sports Bar & Grill near Columbus Circle
Fun fact: I love bonsai

Dom Valenzuela, second-year master’s violinist

For strings: Reed Yeboah Fine Violins, Strings and Other Things music store
For all musicians: Both Sam Ash Music and Guitar Center often have items the mom-and-pop shops don’t
Advice: Pause, relax, and reflect

Angie Ramirez, third-year dancer

Favorite haunts: Urban Jungle (Brooklyn thrift store), McNally Jackson Books, Chip City Cookies, Chelsea Market, Strand Book Store
For dancers: Capezio in Times Square, Yumiko

Nichagarn Chiracharasporn, fourth-year composer

Favorite haunts: Chinatown, Koreatown, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art

Mal Layne, second-year master’s trombonist

For all students: Build rest into your weekly schedule so you can stay on top of your practicing, homework, and rehearsals
For music students: To study repertoire, YouTube a concert from a world-famous orchestra and take notes about style and tempos, or go on IMSLP and score-study thousands of pieces with one click
Favorite haunt: Central Rock Climbing Gym is close and it has cheap student memberships

Le’Ronnie Bussey, third-year dancer

For dancers: There’s a Bloch dancewear store across from Juilliard
Advice: Get off campus

Coby Petricone-Berg, fourth-year jazz saxophonist

Favorite haunts: Salvation Army, Westsider Records and Westsider Books, Little Italy
For jazz students: Smalls Jazz Club and Mezzrow jam sessions

Sarah Goldberg, third-year trombonist

Favorite haunt: Housing Works Thrift Shop
Advice: Get all you can out of Juilliard—reach out to others; learn from faculty members; get to know the resources the school offers; and explore art, music, and cultural spots in the city

Yuchan Li, second-year composer

Fun fact: A composer who always carries a viola
Advice: Just enjoy!

Elaine Baez, fourth-year actor

Favorite haunts: Maman, La Traviata Pizzeria, Peacefood Uptown
Advice: Don’t let anyone tell you what your experience is going to be
Fun fact: I had a praying mantis as a pet

Corah Abbott, third-year dancer

Favorite haunts: Anything in Hell’s Kitchen, Alfie’s
Fun fact: I built a desk