Kim Cook, professor of music in cello, embarked on a ten-day trip to Croatia in May 2014, where she was hosted by her former students Mihovil Karuza ('05 M.M. cello) and Hillary Vaden Karuza ('05 M.M. cello) for a series of performances and masterclasses in the cities of Split and Omis. Mihovil and Hillary met during their master's degree programs at Penn State. After graduation, they married before returning to Split, where Mihovil serves as professor of cello at the University of Split and Hillary teaches cello at the Josip Hatze School of Music. Both alums are active performers as soloists and ensemble members.
During her visit, Cook performed Haydn's C Major Cello Concerto with the Split Virtuosi, a professional chamber orchestra, at a church in Omis and at the Croatian National Theater in Split. “It was a thrill to play in the beautiful setting and acoustics of the concert hall of the National Theater,” she said. Cook was thrilled to see her former students and to witness first-hand the successes they are experiencing in Croatia. "I was so impressed by the high level of Miho's students and by their passionate commitment to studying cello. Penn State alums are now all over the world and doing wonderful things!"