Two Eastman School of Music alumni, Sean D. Connors and Geoff Saunders, were winners in the National Academy’s of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.’s 59th GRAMMY Awards Sunday.

Connors (BM 04) is a member of the ensemble Third Coast Percussion, which won the Best Chamber Music / Small Ensemble Performance Grammy for the album Steve Reich. Formed in 2005, the ensemble champions new music and has collaborated across a wide range of disciplines with engineers, architects, astronomers, and more, enhancing performances with cutting edge new media.

Connors has performed with Amphion Percussion, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, eighth blackbird, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Signal, and Metropolis Ensemble, and he was the percussionist for two summers with the prestigious Aspen Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble. As an educator, he served for two years as assistant professor of percussion at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, and taught elementary school and middle school music in the Chicago suburbs.

Saunders (BM 09), a double bassist, is a member of the O’Connor Band with Mark O’Connor, which won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album for Coming Home. The album was at the top of Billboard’s bluegrass album chart for nearly half a year.

In addition to O’Connor, Saunders has worked with such artists as Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, Gloria Estefan, Steve Miller, Larry Rosen, Phil Ramone, Dave Grusin, and Terence Blanchard. He is an active freelance player in Miami and is a founding member of the local folk/pop group The Wynwoods.