The staff and faculty at the Residential College are proud to announce that Katri Ervamaa, the head of the RC Music Program, will receive the Individual Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, bestowed by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in fall 2019. The nomination package demonstrates that Katri is exceptionally dedicated to her students, constantly going above and beyond for everyone who enters her classes – whether they are relative novices or are already advanced musicians. Former students speak of her impact not only on their musicianship but on their lives, through her extremely creative and insightful coaching, the space she creates for deep collaborations that enable new friendships to emerge, and her example as a performer yourself. Katri has a tremendous ability to help students grow, as musicians and as people. 

The Individual Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education carries a monetary prize which will be presented to Katri this fall along with the certificate of this honor.

Angela Dillard, former Director of the RC and current LSA Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, as well as the Earl Lewis Collegiate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies in the RC and LSA, says to Katri: "Recognition of our mission as educators, within an outstanding research environment, is one of the highest priorities of the College. As you may know, the University of Michigan is consistently at the very top of the various rankings for the quality of the undergraduate academic experience. As the primary site for undergraduate teaching, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts drives that success. Your contributions help to define our excellence, and we are grateful for and proud of your commitment and creativity." 

About Katri

Finnish-born cellist Katri Ervamaa, DMA, is a multifaceted performer with a special love for chamber music, new music and creative improvisation. She has performed and given master classes throughout North America, Europe and Taiwan. Her festival appearances include the Orlando, Kuhmo, Bowdoin, Lyckå and Norrtäjle Chamber Music Festivals (with the Finnish Owla String Quartet) as well as the Denison University Tutti! New Music Festival, Poison City Music Festival, Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival and Finnfest, among others. She has also performed at Ann Arbor’s Edgefest with Lars Hollmer’s Global Home Project, Guy Kluscevic, Mark Kirschenmann, E3Q, Andrew Bishop and Ed Sarath. Katri studied cello with Erling Blöndal Bengtsson and Marc Johnson in the US, and chamber music with the Amadeus, Borodin and Vermeer Quartets, among others. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan.  Katri is a founding member and past president of the Brave New Works new music ensemble, the Muse Ensemble and E3Q, an improvisation-based genre-defying trio of cello, trumpet and percussion, as well as the newly founded Järnefelt Piano Trio. She appears on Envoy Recordings, Block M Records, and AMP Records labels. Most recently, she spearheaded and appeared in the documentary ”Mestiza Music”, produced by WFYI-Indinapolis, on 60 PBS stations nationwide, and the Brave New Works record ”The Outer Bar”, released in 2019. Besides teaching at the University of Michigan Residential College, she has also been on the cello faculty at the Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green State Universities. She plays on a 1868 HC Silvestre cello, and you can find them online at

Congratulations, Katri, on this honor, and thank you for your exemplary commitment to our students!