Tennessee’s Premiere Musicians

Students in the instrumental music program participate in orchestra or piano ensemble. They take classes in theory, conducting, improvisation, and world music, participating in chamber music as well. They also rehearse within their groups and present several concerts. Selection Process Students wishing to audition for instrumental music should refer to the instructions below for specific audition guidelines and criteria pertaining to their instrument.

Brass, Woodwinds, and Strings

1. Perform a short prepared solo (unaccompanied). Please prepare an entire solo or etude. 2. All major scales and the chromatic scale (strings — major scales only.) 3. Sight reading.

Percussion

  1. Mallet Keyboard Solo (2 or 4–mallets) minimum 1–minute; maximum 5–minutes (Can be excerpted from a longer solo).

    Suggested Material: 2-mallet solos from McMillan, Thomas, Masterpieces for Marimba; Gottlieb, Beth, Masterworks for Marimba; or any solo or etude roughly equivalent. 4-mallet solos from Davila, Julie, Impressions on Wood; any etudes/solos from Smadbeck, Glennie, Peters, Rosauro, Tyson, or equivalent.

  1. Symphonic Snare Drum Etude or Solo (1–2 pages – one preferred)

    Suggested Material: Cirone, Anthony, Portraits in Rhythm; Aleo, Keith, Advanced Etudes for Snare Drum; or equivalent.

  1. Timpani Etude or Solo (1–2 pages – one preferred) (Tune instrument from a reference pitch, e.g. pitch pipe, tuning fork, etc.)

    Suggested Material: Firth, Vic, The Solo Timpanist; Carrol, Raynor, Exercises, Etudes, and Solos for Timpani; Woud, Nick, Symphonic Studies for Timpani; Hochrainer, Richard, Etüden für Timpani Book 1; or equivalent.

  1. SIGHT READING (both 2–mallets and symphonic snare drum)
  1. Optional additional selection (4-mallet solo; jazz drum-set play-along, solo, or transcription; rudimental snare drum solo; vibraphone). Approximately 2–minutes or less.

*Suggested materials are merely a reference. Short/half-page etudes such as regional audition etudes are not encouraged. Scholarships are competitive. However, all are encouraged to apply and audition provided the applicant prepares a complete audition (snare drum, mallet keyboard, timpani).

Question regarding repertory? Email Dr. Andy Smith apsmith@utep.edu

Piano

1. A minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 10 minutes of classical (non-popular) music. This should include at least two pieces of contrasting style. Arrangements, simplified versions, and popular songs are inappropriate. All pieces should be played from memory. 2. All major scales, both hands, four octaves. 3. Sight reading 

Music Chair

Dr. Jerome Reed

Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Piano Lipscomb University DMA, The Catholic University of America

Jerome Reed has been on the faculty of the Governor’s School for the Arts for 26 years. He keeps an active performance schedule in the U.S. and Europe, giving recitals and lectures and adjudicating competitions. Recent performances include recitals in Japan,Taiwan, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Belgium, Austria, France, England and Uruguay. He has appeared as both soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States. His recording for the Capstone label have been broadcast over MDR in Germany, Australian National Public Radio, and NPR. He has written numerous reviews for The American Music Teacher. He is Past-President of both the Tennessee Music Teachers Association and the Southern Division of Music Teachers National Association. He holds the B.M. degree in Piano Performance from MTSU, and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in Piano Performance from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Reed is The Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Piano at Lipscomb University, where he teaches private piano, piano literature, chamber music and collaborative piano. He is the recipient of Lipscomb University’s Avalon Award for Creative Excellence and Tennessee Music Teacher’s Association Teacher-of-the-Year Award.  

John McDonald

Music Production Coordinator

John McDonald is currently a doctoral candidate in choral conducting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and... read more

John McDonald

Music Production Coordinator

John McDonald is currently a doctoral candidate in choral conducting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. At UMKC, John studies with Dr. Robert Bode and Dr. Charles Robinson, and serves as conductor for an undergraduate select chamber choir, Canticum Novum, and co-conductor of the large ensemble University Singers. Previously, John received a masters of music in choral conducting from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. At ECU, John studied conducting with Dr. Andrew Crane, and voice with Mr. John Kramar. While in Greenville, John was involved in the East Carolina University Opera Theatre program, where he served as Conductor, Assistant Director, Assistant Conductor, Chorusmaster, and Stage Manager. John also had the opportunity to conduct the Collegiate Choir and the award-winning East Carolina University Chamber Singers.

John holds a bachelor of music degree in Vocal and General Music Education from Middle Tennessee State University and taught high school choral music in Murfreesboro, TN. He currently holds the position of Music Production Coordinator for the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, and Music Director at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kansas City. John and his wife, Alyssa, live in Overland Park, Kansas with their son John Tyler, Jr.

Steven Ward

Orchestra Conductor

Professor of Music, Abilene Christian University DMA, Michigan State University
Dr. Steven Ward is Professor of Music at Abilene... read more

Steven Ward

Orchestra Conductor

Professor of Music, Abilene Christian University DMA, Michigan State University
Dr. Steven Ward is Professor of Music at Abilene Christian University, serving as Director of Bands and Orchestra and teaching courses in conducting. Previous to his appointment at ACU, he was Director of Bands at Hope College in Holland, MI, and the Music Director/Conductor of the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra in Kalamazoo, MI. Dr. Ward holds a D.M.A. in Conducting from Michigan State University, a M.A. in Conducting from Stephen F. Austin State University, and a B.M. in Music Education from Abilene Christian University. Prior to his appointment at Hope College, Dr. Ward was the Music Director/Conductor of the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra in La Grande, OR, and was Instructor of Music at Eastern Oregon University.

He has conducted extensively in many different areas including orchestra, band, musical theater, opera, and contemporary music, and is a recipient of the ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. He spent 9 summers at the Interlochen Arts Camp, conducting the Interlochen Philharmonic, as well as middle school and high school bands and orchestras, and faculty ensembles. He has conducted many all-region and similar ensembles, including the Symphony Orchestra at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival, region orchestras and bands throughout Texas, Michigan, Tennessee, and others.

He has served as a conductor for the Orchestra at the Tennessee Governor’s School in summers since 2006. Dr. Ward is a member of the College Orchestra Directors Association, the College Band Directors National Association, the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Orchestra Directors Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, the Michigan State Band and Orchestra Directors Association, and the American String Teachers Association.

Brandon Houghtalen

Conducting

Associate Director of Bands and an Assistant Professor of Music at Abilene Christian University Maryville native and Governors School for... read more

Brandon Houghtalen

Conducting

Associate Director of Bands and an Assistant Professor of Music at Abilene Christian University Maryville native and Governors School for the Arts alumnus Brandon Houghtalen joins the conducting faculty in 2015. Dr. Houghtalen is the Associate Director of Bands and an Assistant Professor of Music at Abilene Christian University. His responsibilities include directing the Big Purple Marching Band, conducting the Concert Band, supervising the instrumental music education program and studio horn. He previously held orchestral and band positions at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of New Mexico and in the public schools of Fayette County, Georgia. Dr. Houghtalen frequently collaborates with emerging and established composers, and has premiered and commissioned works by Doug Farrell, Paul Hembree, Daniel Kellogg, Carter Pann, Greg Simon, Steven Snowden, and Joseph Turrin. His editions of the music of James Reese Europe and the 369th Infantry Regiment Band were premiered at Arizona State University in January 2012.

Together with Emmett O’Leary, Dr. Houghtalen is Editor and Host of Music Ed Resource (MER), a website and podcast that explores topics relevant to pre-service and in-service music teachers. MER is available through the iTunes Store and at MusicEdResource.com. As a hornist, Dr. Houghtalen has performed with professional ensembles throughout the United States, including the Traverse (MI) Symphony, Oak Ridge (TN) Symphony, Waltham (MA) Symphony, the U.S. Army Ground Forces Band (GA) and the Salt River Brass (AZ). His brass mentors include John Ericson, Sam Pilafian, Pat Sheridan, and the late Calvin Smith.

He is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences on the topics of music education, horn pedagogy, and music technology. Dr. Houghtalen holds degrees in music education and conducting from the University of Tennessee, University of Colorado, and Arizona State University. His primary conducting teachers include Gary W. Hill and Allan R. McMurray. He is an active member of the Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Educators Association, National Band Association and the College Band Directors National Association, for which he serves as a member of the Committee on Technology.

Deanna Little

Flute Faculty

Associate Professor, MTSU DM, Indiana University Deanna R. Little, associate professor of flute at Middle Tennessee State University, holds a... read more

Deanna Little

Flute Faculty

Associate Professor, MTSU DM, Indiana University Deanna R. Little, associate professor of flute at Middle Tennessee State University, holds a Bachelor of Music degree in education from the University of Northern Iowa, a Master of Music degree in flute performance and the Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University. Her primary instructors include James Scott, Kate Lukas, Peter Lloyd, Trevor Wye, and Angeleita Floyd.

As a professor at MTSU, Little currently teaches applied flute, classes in woodwind methods, literature and pedagogy and directs the MTSU Flute Choir. As a writer/arranger she is the author of Daily Flutin’, a daily warm-up and exercise book for flutists, and has arranged several works for flute ensemble. As an active performer, Little is a member of the Stones River Chamber Players and a frequent guest on Nashville’s WPLN “Live from Studio C” radio broadcasts. She has performed with the Nashville Symphony, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Huntsville Symphony ( AL), and Evansville Philharmonic (IN).

Little has won numerous awards for her flute playing. She was a two time winner in the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition (1998, 1996) as well as the recipient of an award for best performance of a newly commissioned work at the 1996 convention. She was a winner in the 2007 Myrna Brown Competition in Texas and a 1998 semi-finalist in the New York Concert Artists Guild Competition. She has performed as a soloist, master class clinician, and flute ensemble director throughout the mid-west and mid-south. She was also the 2004 local arrangements coordinator for the NFA Convention in Nashville, TN and is the past-president of the Mid-South Flute Society.

Laura Ann Ross

Oboe Faculty

Adjunct Professor, MTSU MM, Temple University Laura Ann Ross is an active freelance oboist in the Nashville area and also... read more

Laura Ann Ross

Oboe Faculty

Adjunct Professor, MTSU MM, Temple University Laura Ann Ross is an active freelance oboist in the Nashville area and also teaches at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN. She a frequent substitute for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Kentucky, and is principal oboist of the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra with whom she appeared as a soloist in 2009. Ms. Ross also performs with the Stones River Chamber Players, the MTSU Faculty Woodwind Quintet and on the program “Studio C” on WPLN FM.

In 2008 she joined the faculty of the TN Governor’s School for the Arts. Before moving to Nashville, Laura Ann Ross lived in the Philadelphia area where she played principal oboe with the Great Hall Chamber Orchestra in Bryn Mawr and served as a substitute for both the Haddonfield Symphony (NJ) and the Reading Symphony (PA). She was also a faculty member at Suburban Music School in Media, PA. Under the tutelage of Louis Rosenblatt, Ms. Ross earned a Master of Music degree from the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University. She earned a Bachelor of Music (Summa cum laude) from Miami University (OH) as a student of Andrea Ridilla.

While at Miami she was a featured soloist with the Miami University Symphony Orchestra as a winner of the Concerto Competition and was a Third Prize winner in the Miami University Undergraduate Artist solo competition. In the fall of 2007 Laura Ann Ross was a participant in the Nicholas Daniel Masterclass in Udine, Italy. She has also participated in the National Orchestral Institute, Pierre Monteux School and the Oboe Repertoire Festival in Paris and Côte d’Azur, France.

Todd Waldecker

Clarinet Faculty

Associate Professor, MTSU DM, Indiana University Todd Waldecker serves as Associate Professor of Clarinet in the School of Music at... read more

Todd Waldecker

Clarinet Faculty

Associate Professor, MTSU DM, Indiana University Todd Waldecker serves as Associate Professor of Clarinet in the School of Music at Middle Tennessee State University where he was a recipient of the 2006 MTSU Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award.  Waldecker is also a faculty member of the summer Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts where he teaches a selective group of high school clarinetists. His degrees include the Doctor of Music from Indiana University, Master of Music from Yale University, and a music education degree from the University of Missouri.

His primary teachers include Howard Klug, David Shifrin, Eli Eban, James Campbell, Alfred Prinz and Paul Garritson. Prior to his appointment at Middle Tennessee State University, Waldecker held teaching positions at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Purdue University, and the University of Northern Iowa. Waldecker has performed by invitation as a featured soloist at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest 2008 and the 2007 University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium.

As a member of MTSU’s Stones River Chamber Players, he has performed throughout the southern United States, Germany, Switzerland, and France; and has appeared at conventions of the National Flute Association and the Guitar Federation of America. In 2006, Waldecker traveled to South Korea with the MTSU Wind Ensemble where his performance of Artie Shaw’s “Clarinet Concerto” was broadcast on Korean television. Waldecker is a frequent performer with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and has recorded with the ensemble for Decca, NAXOS, and National Public Television. Since 1999, he has also served as principal clarinetist with Orchestra Nashville and has recorded and toured nationally with the ensemble.

DON ALIQUO

Saxophone Faculty

Professor of Saxophone and the Director of Jazz Studies at Middle Tennessee State University

Saxophonist Don Aliquo has been described as... read more

DON ALIQUO

Saxophone Faculty

Professor of Saxophone and the Director of Jazz Studies at Middle Tennessee State University

Saxophonist Don Aliquo has been described as a player “with an articulate flow of always surprising ideas, sophisticated with a dexterous technique and an incredibly smooth tenor sound that seduces rather than shouts.” An active recording artist, new recordings include NEW TIES AND BINDS a collaborative effort with the brilliant trumpeter Clay Jenkins. The record also features the incredible Rufus Reid, Harold Danko and Jim White. Another collaborative recording is Aliquo’ s September 2015 release with pianist Beegie Adair. (TOO MARVELOUS FOR WORDS) Recorded with her working trio, Aliquo and Adair sail through some of the American Popular Songbook’s most interesting and revered tunes.

Both discs were favorably reviewed in Down beat magazine. Previous releases include SUN & SHIELD featuring veteran jazz masters Reid again on bass, Jim McNeely, piano and drummer Obed Calvaire. The album also introduces Aliquo’s work as a jazz clarinetist. Other collaborations include CHICKEN ON THE HILL WITH WILL featuring iconic Pittsburgh artists Roger Humphries, Dwayne Dolphin and David Budway. Don’s formative years were spent in his hometown of Pittsburgh where he studied with his father, an active and well-respected jazz artist and he went on to play with many of the city’s jazz legends.

Since his arrival in Nashville, he has had the opportunity to perform and record with Gary Burton, Donald Brown, Scott Robinson, Roger Humphries, Marvin Stamm, Dana Landry and Michael Jefry Stevens. Don is currently Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Middle Tennessee State University where he also served as the Director of Jazz Studies from 2002-2012. Don is an in-demand clinician, presenting concerts and clinics throughout the United States and is honored to represent Vandoren reeds and mouthpieces and Selmer saxophones.

Staci Spring

Bassoon Faculty

Lecturer of Bassoon & Musicology, Stephen F. Austin State University

ABD: University of North Texas, M.M.: Florida State University

Staci A. Spring... read more

Staci Spring

Bassoon Faculty

Lecturer of Bassoon & Musicology, Stephen F. Austin State University

ABD: University of North Texas, M.M.: Florida State University

Staci A. Spring joined the music faculty of Stephen F. Austin State University in 2013. She held previous appointments in Abilene, TX at the McMurry, Hardin-Simmons and Abilene Christian Universities, where she taught courses in applied bassoon, music history, woodwind methods, and chamber music.

A versatile musician, Spring has performed with several professional orchestras throughout Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia and Florida, and was a co-founder of the chamber ensemble Key City Winds. Passionate about creative programming and collaboration, she has performed numerous solo and chamber recitals, and has performed at the International Double Reed Society, National Flute Association, and Texas Music Educators Association conferences. She was a co-founder and pianist for the jazz combo MCMJ, and now performs with the Stone Fort Wind Quintet.

Spring is a doctoral candidate at the University of North Texas, where she studied bassoon with Kathleen Reynolds and also completed a Graduate Academic Certificate in Arts Leadership as a Priddy Scholarship recipient. She earned dual Master of Music degrees in Historical Musicology and Bassoon Performance from The Florida State University, studying with scholar Denise Von Glahn and bassoonist Jeffrey Keesecker. She completed her undergraduate studies at Brevard College in North Carolina. Throughout her education and career, Spring has attended numerous master classes, festivals, conferences and camps, and been an active member of several arts organizations. Recent highlights include interning with the City of Chattanooga’s Department of Education, Arts and Culture, being selected for the 2009/2011 Banff Master Classes, and serving as the Competition Committee Chair for the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition.

Spring is a native of Chattanooga, TN and attended the Governor’s School for the Arts while in high school.

Dr. Christopher Wilson

Trumpet Faculty

DMA – The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Dr. Christopher Wilson is a native Arkansan having grown up in Russellville,... read more

Dr. Christopher Wilson

Trumpet Faculty

DMA – The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Dr. Christopher Wilson is a native Arkansan having grown up in Russellville, lived in Fayetteville, and currently resides in Jonesboro where he is Artist/Associate Professor of Trumpet at Arkansas State University. At A-State his duties include teaching applied trumpet, trumpet methods, and performing in the A-State Faculty Brass Quintet. He has performed with the symphony orchestras of Annapolis, Alexandria, Maryland, North Arkansas, and more recently the Nashville, Memphis, and Arkansas symphonies. Wilson is an active soloist and clinician having performed throughout the United States, Italy, and Japan including having performed at the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) Conference in 2011, 2012, 2013; and the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Convention Southwest Division in both 2009, and 2014. Wilson has been a clinician at the Bands of America Summer Symposium, and the Orvieto Musica in Orvieto, Italy. In July 2013, Wilson released a solo album of new original recital pieces for trumpet entitled New Horizons. An advocate of new music, Wilson has premiered new pieces for trumpet by composers David Sampson, Sy Brandon, Daniel Tacke, and Jeremy Doss, among others.

Prior to his appointment at A-State, Wilson performed with the United States Air Force Band, Washington, DC. While a member of the United States Air Force Band, he was selected as a tour soloist performing the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto. He performed for numerous dignitaries and audiences from around the world, including Presidents George W. Bush and Barrack Obama. In 2004, he performed at the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan. Live television broadcasts include a Veterans Day Celebration at the Strathmore Concert Hall in Bethesda, MD, which aired on PBS in 2008; and a Memorial Day at the National Capitol, which also aired on PBS in 2006 in collaboration with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Wilson completed his Bachelors Degree of Music Education and Masters Degree in Music Performance at the University of Arkansas, and received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. His former teachers include Wiff Rudd, Steve Hendrickson, Charles Daval, and Robert Bright. Wilson is a member of the International Trumpet Guild and is a Yamaha Performing Artist/Clinician.

Angela DeBoer

Horn Faculty

Associate Professor of Horn & Music Theory Middle Tennessee State University

Angela DeBoer is the Associate Professor of horn at... read more

Angela DeBoer

Horn Faculty

Associate Professor of Horn & Music Theory Middle Tennessee State University

Angela DeBoer is the Associate Professor of horn at Middle Tennessee State University where she also teaches music theory, brass literature and pedagogy.   She is an active performer, playing second horn with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera and assistant principal horn with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.  Ms. DeBoer appears regularly with the nationally acclaimed Nashville Symphony as well as performing with the Nashville Opera, Nashville Ballet and maintaining a presence in the recording studios of Nashville.  Additional creative activity will find her performing on the Baroque and Classical natural horns; instruments on which she presents lectures and masterclasses at workshops and schools around the country.  Ms. DeBoer is also the co-coordinator of the MTSU music faculty concert series, the Stones River Chamber Players, and since 2011 has been on the faculty of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts.

Prior to her work in Tennessee, DeBoer was a member of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and worked with the Tulsa Ballet and Tulsa Opera.  She was also active in the freelance community in and around Chicago for many years, performing with the Milwaukee, Grant Park, Elgin, South Bend, Northwest Indiana, Duluth-Superior and Illinois Symphonies as well as with Symphony II, Chicago Sinfonietta, Millar Brass Ensemble, Chicago Opera Theatre and the Illinois and Fort Wayne Philharmonics.  She also spent several seasons as a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a group with which she also appeared as soloist.  She has attended several competitive music festivals including Tanglewood, National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, Sarasota Chamber Music Festival and the Music Academy of the West.  Angela was also a semi-finalist at the 2007 International Horn Competition of America.

Ms. DeBoer received her Bachelor of Music degree from DePaul University in Chicago, studied in the Orchestral Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music and received her Master of Music from Northwestern University.  Her primary teachers include Gail Williams, David Krehbiel, Jerome Ashby and Jonathan Boen.

In addition to her work at MTSU and in the music profession, Angela competes nationally in Three Day Eventing (horse triathlons) with her horse Christopher.

David Loucky

Trombone Faculty

Professor, MTSU DMA, State University of New York—Stony Brook

Dr. David Loucky, trombonist and low brass specialist, performs on all low... read more

David Loucky

Trombone Faculty

Professor, MTSU DMA, State University of New York—Stony Brook

Dr. David Loucky, trombonist and low brass specialist, performs on all low brass instruments.

A faculty member at Middle Tennessee State University since 1989, he also performed for two seasons as Assistant Principal Trombonist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He has performed and lectured at several International Trombone Festivals, and International Tuba-Euphonium Conferences and served on the faculty of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts.

He is an active performer with the Nashville Symphony, the New Hampshire Music Festival, the Huntsville Symphony, the Stones River Chamber Players, the MTSU Faculty Jazz Combo, the Middle Tennessee Jazz Orchestra. the MTSU Faculty Brass Quintet, and the Nashville Chamber Brass. With the St. Louis Symphony, Loucky toured 6 European countries and four states, performed six times in Carnegie Hall, and played in all the low brass chairs except tuba (Principal, Assistant, Second and Bass Trombone, Euphonium and Bass Trumpet).

He was also very active in the Symphony’s educational arm, the Community Partnership Program. With the Nashville Symphony he has played in every low brass chair including tuba, and also performed in that orchestra’s Carnegie Hall debut in 2000. Loucky earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University, a Master of Music from Yale School of Music, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He had additional studies in Cologne, Germany and Vienna, Austria in both classical and jazz traditions. His principal teachers include John Swallow (New York Brass Quintet and NYC Ballet), Ronald Borror (American Brass Quintet and NYC Ballet), Bill Harris (Syracuse Symphony), Jiggs Whigam (West German Radio Big Band), Horst Kublbock (Vienna Symphony) and Eric Kleinschuster (Austrian Radio Big Band). Loucky performs on a period 19th century ophicleide, the predecessor of the tuba and euphonium. He engages in the research of repertoire for this instrument and collaborates with composers who are interested in writing new works for it.

Matthew Crossley

Tuba Faculty

Masters University of Missouri – Kansas City

Recently completing graduate studies in Kansas City, Matthew earned a Masters degree in tuba... read more

Matthew Crossley

Tuba Faculty

Masters University of Missouri – Kansas City

Recently completing graduate studies in Kansas City, Matthew earned a Masters degree in tuba performance at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. While attending the Conservatory, Matthew held the tuba Fellowship position in the UMKC Graduate Fellowship Brass Quintet, an ensemble devoted to performing a diverse selection of literature, and performing educational outreach performances. The quintet competed in a number of national and international competitions, which included an appearance as an international finalist in the 2010 Coleman Chamber Music Competition in Pasadena, CA, and semi-finalist in the 2010 Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition held in Boulder, CO. Matthew performed at the 2010 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic as a member of the Conservatory Wind Symphony under the direction of Steven D. Davis

Matthew earned a Bachelors of Music degree in Instrumental Music Education from the School of Music at Middle Tennessee State University. Matthew served as principal tuba in the MTSU Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and was a four-year member of the Band of Blue. In 2005, Matthew performed throughout South Korea with the MTSU Wind Ensemble.

Currently serving as a band director at Riverdale High School (TN), Crossley provides extensive instruction for concert, marching, and chamber ensembles. Matthew served as Director of Bands at Sunset Middle School in Brentwood, TN from 2007-2009. At Sunset Middle School, Crossley implemented an active jazz band and private lesson program, along with receiving consistent superior and excellent ratings at concert festivals.

Being an active performer in the Middle Tennessee and Kansas City area for several years, Matthew served as Principal tuba/Production Manager for the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra for two seasons, and has also performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Heritage Philharmonic (MO), Missouri Brass Quintet, First Class Brass, and the Nashville Philharmonic. Crossley was also a performing member of The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps ( Rosemont, IL). Matthew’s teachers include Thomas Stein, Gilbert Long, David Loucky, Michael Arndt, Joseph Stegemann, and Prentiss Hobbs.

Matthew is a member of the Middle Tennessee State Band and Orchestra Association, Professional Teachers of Tennessee, and the International Tuba Euphonium Association.

Andrea Dawson

Violin Faculty

Assistant Professor, MTSU DMA, Eastman School of Music Andrea Dawson joined the MTSU Music Faculty as Assistant Professor of Violin... read more

Andrea Dawson

Violin Faculty

Assistant Professor, MTSU DMA, Eastman School of Music Andrea Dawson joined the MTSU Music Faculty as Assistant Professor of Violin in 2007 and the faculty of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts in 2008. Dr. Dawson is a member of the Stones River Chamber Players and Belle Meade Baroque, and has been a featured chamber musician on WPLN, Nashville Public Radio.

She has also performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Mexico. Before moving to Tennessee, she was Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Texas ­ Pan American and Associate Concertmaster of the Valley Symphony Orchestra in south Texas. Dawson received her Masters in Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded the coveted Performer¹s Certificate.

She also received a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, with a minor in French, and a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from Oberlin College. Her principal teachers include Lynn Blakeslee, Camilla Wicks, Taras Gabora, Kathleen Winkler, and Robert Koff.

Mark Reneau

Violin Faculty

Adjunct Professor, Southern Adventist College and Cadek Conservatory Concertmaster, Huntsville Symphony

Violinist Mark Reneau’s career encompasses solo, recital and concerto appearances,... read more

Mark Reneau

Violin Faculty

Adjunct Professor, Southern Adventist College and Cadek Conservatory Concertmaster, Huntsville Symphony

Violinist Mark Reneau’s career encompasses solo, recital and concerto appearances, as well as orchestral, opera, chamber music and baroque performance. Concertmaster since 1998, Mr. Reneau has performed with the HSO since 1977. He plays frequently in the violin section of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, performing with such conductors as Stefan Sanderling, Carlos Kalmar and Leonard Slatkin. Since 2000, he has performed regularly in the violin section of Orchestra Nashville. In 2003 and 2004, he toured with Amy Grant and Vince Gill. Since 2005, he has been Associate Concertmaster of the Bellingham Festival of Music in Washington state. Several of his performances with the Bellingham Festival have been broadcast on National Public Radio’s Performance Today.

Prior to his appointment in Huntsville, he served as associate concertmaster of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera from 1983 to 1998. In 2006, he was concertmaster of the first Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition held in the United States. Mr. Reneau has made several recordings with Orchestra Nashville, including the first stereo recording of Virgil Thomson’s cello concerto and a critically acclaimed Naxos disc of works by Aaron Copland. He has also made studio recordings with diverse artists such as Trey Anastasio, James Brickman and Rebecca Lynn Howard. Mr. Reneau is gifted and dedicated teacher, serving over twenty years on the faculty of Southern Adventist University. Since 2000, he has taught at the Tennessee’s Governor’s School for the Arts.

From 1978-2005, he was on the faculty of Cadek Conservatory of Music. His students are regularly accepted to music conservatories and major festivals, and are performing with distinguished ensembles such as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Mr. Reneau’s sons are also accomplished musicians. Charles is bass trombonist with the Oregon Symphony, and has performed with the orchestras of Honolulu, Huntsville, Atlanta, Alabama, the Metropolitan Opera and the Israel Philharmonic. Douglas is a graduate trumpet student at the Indiana University. Winner of several national competitions, he toured Europe in 2005 performing the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto. In the summer of 2008, Douglas with the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado. Mr. Reneau’s hobbies include the study of old stringed instruments and bows, cooking, and the study of theology and social history..

Carol McClure

Harp Faculty

Carol McClure, BA, MCM, alumna of the University of Louisville and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary School of Church Music... read more

Carol McClure

Harp Faculty

Carol McClure, BA, MCM, alumna of the University of Louisville and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary School of Church Music (choral conducting, harp performance), enjoys a multifaceted career as children’s music educator, conductor, composer, concert and recording artist and university faculty member.

Carol’s conducting experience includes service as choral director at Queen’s Park Baptist Church in Glasgow, Scotland, Director of Music and Arts at North Decatur Presbyterian Church, Decatur, Georgia, as well as her current work with the children’s choirs at FPC. Nationally known for her compositions and arrangements for children’s voices as well as for her workshop and conference leadership, she is Children’s Music Editor for St. James Music Press (SJMP) and creator of the SJMP children’s choir curriculum Viva Voce.

In her "other" life, Carol, whose harp teacher-mentors included Marcel Grandjany and Mildred Dilling, is Artistic Director of The Harp School, Inc., professor at the University of Louisville, Indiana University SE and Union University, and, along with her husband, composer and arranger Wes Ramsay, serves as Area Representative of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), London.

Carol believes that singing in a choir should be an integral experience in the life of every child, as it was for her two children, Susannah, an MSN graduate of Vanderbilt University, and Parker, Organ Scholar at King’s College, University of Cambridge.

Carol lives with her husband, and her border collies (all Scottish names) and cats (Glissando and Arpeggio) on a small farm in Dickson County, Tennessee.

Ayn Balija

Viola Faculty

DMA, James Madison University Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music

Violist Ayn Balija, enjoys a varied career... read more

Ayn Balija

Viola Faculty

DMA, James Madison University Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music

Violist Ayn Balija, enjoys a varied career as both a teacher and performer. As the Lecturer of Viola at the University of Virginia, Ms. Balija is a member of the Rivanna String Quartet, co-directs the Chamber Music Seminar, and serves as principal violist of the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra. In the 2009-10 Season she was asked to perform, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with guest violinist Max Rabinowitz.

She frequently collaborates with the composition faculty on new works and volunteers for the UVA Baroque Orchestra. Dedicated to teaching, Ms. Balija seeks to develop a well-rounded musician. Students who go on in music are accepted into some of the top music schools around the nation. She was invited to present a paper at the 2014 American String Teachers National Convention entitled “Roles, Rules, and Running” highlighting the development of non-major talent and future roles they will take in society.

Immersing herself in the Charlottesville, VA and Columbus, OH communities, Ayn provides private lessons as a Boyd Tinsley Tutor in the Charlottesville Public Schools, performs outreach concerts, and maintains a private viola studio. Outside of the University, Ms. Balija performs with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, OH, gives masterclasses and recitals around the region, and collaborates regularly with her colleagues. She is often asked to substitute for the Richmond Symphony and has gone on tour with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

During summers, she has attended numerous festivals including the Aspen Music Festival and School, Banff Center, Credo, and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival. She participated as an orchestral musician, chamber coach, mentor, and quartet fellow. Starting the summer of 2006, Ms. Balija was awarded the Aspen Mentor Fellowship to aid in the instruction of aspiring orchestral musicians. This summer she will return to Yachats Summer Music Festival in Yachats, OR and be on faculty at the Tennessee Governors School of the Arts. Ms. Balija has degrees from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her principal mentors are Jeffrey Irvine and Peter Slowik. She is currently finishing her doctoral studies at James Madison University with Amadi Azikiwe.

 

Jeffrey Noel Lastrapes

Cello Faculty

Associate Professor of Cello and Chair of Strings at Texas Tech University Cofounder of Caerus Ensemble Jeffrey Noel Lastrapes is... read more

Jeffrey Noel Lastrapes

Cello Faculty

Associate Professor of Cello and Chair of Strings at Texas Tech University Cofounder of Caerus Ensemble Jeffrey Noel Lastrapes is an active soloist, chamber musician and teacher having performed and taught in Europe, South America and in every region of the US. He holds degrees from the Curtis Institute Music and the Juilliard School where he studied with Orlando Cole and Harvey Shapiro respectively.  He has recorded for New World Records and Centaur Records.

In 2009, Mr. Lastrapes gave his New York Debut at Merkin Hall to critical acclaim. “An excellent cellist with consummate technical mastery, Lastrapes is a seasoned performer whose strong, outgoing personality lets him shape the music on a big canvas with bold colors and contours.”  Edith Eisler New York Concert Review. Mr. Lastrapes has participated in major summer festivals around the world including the Evian Festival, Interlochen, Hot Springs, Peninsula, Bay View, Bellingham, and the Piatigorsky Seminar, and is a frequent performer and pedagogue in South and Central America.

He is currently Associate Professor of Cello and Chair of Strings at Texas Tech University, is the cofounder of Caerus Ensemble, is on the faculty of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, and has been on the faculty of the Interlochen Center for the Arts since 1996. Mr. Lastrapes performs on a Francesco Ruggieri cello dated 1684 and a Paul Schuback cello dated 1987.

Taylor Brown

Double Bass Faculty

Master’s degree from Duquesne University Bachelor’s degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University

Double bassist, Taylor Brown, joined... read more

Taylor Brown

Double Bass Faculty

Master’s degree from Duquesne University Bachelor’s degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University

Double bassist, Taylor Brown, joined the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera as principal in 2012. Prior to his appointment, Taylor performed regularly with the symphony orchestras of Youngstown, OH, Canton, OH, and West Virginia. In addition to his work with the CSO, Taylor has performed as a substitute musician with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Huntsville Symphony, toured internationally with Barry Manilow, and has performed with Earth, Wind, and Fire.

He maintains a private teaching studio in the Chattanooga area comprised of students of all ages and is a faculty member of Tennessee’s Governor’s School for the Arts. Taylor has earned a Bachelor’s degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s degree from Duquesne University. His primary teachers were Jeffery Turner and Micah Howard of the Pittsburgh Symphony and John Hood of the Philadelphia Orchestra. As an advocate for the arts, Taylor has served as a musician’s representative on the board of directors of the CSO and is a founding board member of Chattanooga Young Artistic Network (CYAN). When not performing, Taylor enjoys riding bikes on the roads and trails of the Chattanooga area.

Andy Smith

Percussion Faculty

DM, Indiana University Musician, Educator, and Composer, Andy Smith is recognized internationally, having enjoyed a diverse career for over two... read more

Andy Smith

Percussion Faculty

DM, Indiana University Musician, Educator, and Composer, Andy Smith is recognized internationally, having enjoyed a diverse career for over two decades. His most recent projects include CD recordings, Finally Here with Angel Roman and Mambo Blue, and Transparency featuring Latin Jazz group Batuquê Trio (batuquetrio.com). Andy’s recent compositions include: Vento no Ritmo (Wind in Rhythm) for flute trio with leg rattles commissioned by Deanna Hahn-Little; Fora da Caixa, an experimental graphic score for percussion trio; Two Maracatu for Drum-set Duo (a popular youtube video features Andy with drummer Marcus Finnie); and Brazilian Suite for Tambourines, premiered at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

2015 will include new works for 10-Can Percussion and Caixa Trio. The recently formed B-line Trio is an innovative jazz percussion trio featuring Andy with colleagues Brian Mueller and Brian McNulty. The trio performs clever arrangements of jazz, choro and popular music and specializes in residencies and percussion festivals where they present master classes together and separately in diverse “break-out” sessions. Andy currently lives in Bloomington, IN with his wife Amy Smith (Caixa Trio) and their children.

Andy earned a Doctor of Music degree there at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and continues to serve as assistant director to Michael Spiro’s Indiana University Bateria, performing at carnaval (carnival) festivals in Bloomington and Indianapolis. Andy taught as Adjunct Percussion Instructor at Middle Tennessee State University from 1999-2008 and serves as the Percussion Instructor for the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, a state sponsored program for elite college-bound musicians.

His career has taken him from the recording studios of Nashville, TN to Tanglewood, Ravinia and the Hollywood Bowl. He has traveled to Ghana West Africa and the Caribbean to be immersed in African diasporic rhythm. In 2012, Andy was awarded a Tinker Foundation grant to study contemporary Brazilian Jazz drumming in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Other recent performances include the Jazz Education Network Convention, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Lotus Music Festival, and grant sponsored workshops with Bernard Woma, Musical Ambassador to Ghana. Andy is published by Row-Loff Publications. Additionally, Andy self-publishes his works for solo percussion with electronics, percussion and other chamber ensembles and Latin-Jazz combo (asmithdrum.com). He is endorsed by Pearl/Adams, Evans drumheads and Innovative Percussion.

Amy Smith

Percussion Faculty

Amy Smith is a nationally recognized performer and educator. As a member of the Caixa Percussion Trio, she has performed... read more

Amy Smith

Percussion Faculty

Amy Smith is a nationally recognized performer and educator. As a member of the Caixa Percussion Trio, she has performed at music festivals throughout the United States and in Peru, Brazil, South Korea, and France. Amy has performed with many orchestras including the Nashville Symphony, the Evansville Philharmonic, the Boulder Philharmonic, and the Sewanee Festival Orchestra. She was a marimba soloist with the Boulder Bach Festival in Colorado and was also a member of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. Amy holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Performer’s Certificate from Pennsylvania State University.

She received her Master of Music in Percussion Performance from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Amy is an endorser of Innovative Percussion, Pearl/Adams Musical Instruments, Evans Drum Heads, and Grover Pro Percussion. Currently Amy is the performing arts director at Brown County Junior High in Nashville, Indiana and performs traditional Zimbabwean mbira and marimba music with the Mbira Queens.

Amy Dorfman

Piano Faculty

Associate Professor, Blair School of Music—Vanderbilt University MM, Indiana UniversityStudent of James Tocco and Alfonso Montecino. Additional studies with Rosalyn... read more

Amy Dorfman

Piano Faculty

Associate Professor, Blair School of Music—Vanderbilt University MM, Indiana UniversityStudent of James Tocco and Alfonso Montecino. Additional studies with Rosalyn Tureck at the Banff Centre and Edith Oppens at the Aspen Music Festival. Chamber music coaching with Josef Gingold, Janos Starker, Pierre Fournier, Menachem Pressler, and Walter Roberts. Concerto appearances with Nashville Symphony Orchestra. National Public Radio and TV appearances with bassist Edgar Meyer including Lonesome Pine Special and St. Paul Sunday Morning as well as recitals at Tully Hall and Town Hall in NY and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Guest artist at summer festivals including Sedona Music Festival and Music Mountain in Connecticut with the Blair String Quartet and Mozart Festival in California and Northwest Chamber Music Festival in Oregon with Mr. Meyer. Member of Dorfman/Katahn Duo with pianist Enid Katahn since 1991. Member of Blakemore Trio with violinist Carolyn Huebl and cellist Felix Wang since 2002. Students have attended undergraduate and graduate programs at Indiana University, North Texas State University, Oxford University, University of Oklahoma, and Gnessin Academy in Moscow as well as Aspen, Eastern, Sewanee, IU Piano Academy, and Interlochen.

Students have been winners of state division competitions(TMTA), Vanderbilt Concerto Competition, Curb Records(soloist with Nashville Symphony Orchestra). Individual Artist Fellowship Award, TN Arts Commission, 1990. Additional faculty positions at University of the South(1983/84) and Fisk University(1985/86). Blair School since 1984.

David Northington

Piano Faculty

Professor, UT-Knoxville DMA, Yale University At his New York debut recital at Carnegie Recital Hall, the New York Times called... read more

David Northington

Piano Faculty

Professor, UT-Knoxville DMA, Yale University At his New York debut recital at Carnegie Recital Hall, the New York Times called David Northington “an immensely gifted musician…who combines the technical mastery of a virtuoso with the musical sensitivity of a poet.” Such critical accolades have followed Northington throughout the world in concerts and concerto engagements. 

His tours have included the United States, eastern and western Europe, Canada, China, and Russia.  In addition to recitals and concerto engagements, he has given master classes at many of the leading conservatories in these countries.  David Northington’s masterful pianism has won him first prizes in the Concert Artists Guild Competition, the East/West Artists Competition, the American Music Scholarship Association’s International Competition, the unanimous Judges Prize at the Fourth Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and selection to the Artistic Ambassador Program sponsored by the United States Information Agency. 

As an Artistic Ambassador for the United States, Northington has toured extensively in France, Spain and Portugal.  In addition to broadcasts throughout Europe on the Voice of America, he has filmed recitals in the historic Tallyrand Theatre in Paris for telecast on French National Television. Recently, Northington celebrated the international release of a compact disc featuring of the waltzes of Chopin on the Centaur Records label.

After this release, Dr. Northington was invited to perform solo recitals in the United States, Italy and Poland.  Since receiving his degrees at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the Yale University School of Music, David Northington has taught on the faculties of several universities.  His many teaching awards include the Tennessee Music Teachers Association’s Teacher of the Year Award and the Tennessee Governor’s School of the Arts “Outstanding Teacher Award’.  Dr. Northington has also been the recipient of the Tennesssee Arts Commission’s Artist of the Year Award.

 

 

 

 Past Commissioned Composers

1985 Orchestra Kenneth Schermerhorn – Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Overture “Celebration! A Tennessee Quilting Party” 1986 Orchestra Marvin Lamb – Tennessee Technological University, “Amazin” for Orchestra and Chorus Wind Ensemble Don Freund – Memphis State University, “Jug Blues and Fat Pickings” 1987 Orchestra L. Thom Hutcheson – MTSU, “We, the People…” for Orchestra, Mixed Choir, and Narrator Wind Ensemble Jeffrey Wood – Austin Peay State University, “Symphonic Fantasy” 1988 Orchestra Gilbert Carp – University of Tennessee, Martin, “Serenade for Orchestra” Wind Ensemble Robert Jager – Tennessee Technological University, “Old Hickory Suite” 1989 Orchestra Jordan Tang – Jackson and Paducah Symphony Orchestras, “Preludes for Orchestra (1989)” 1990 Orchestra Paul Martin Zonn – University of Illinois, “Dawn River” 1996 Orchestra and Chorale Commissioned for the Tennessee Bicentennial Celebration Vernon Whaley – Cedarville College and President, Integra Music Group, “Tennessee Morning”

Dance

Dance

Governor’s School students learn that dance is inherent to our heritage and world and that of others around us. Students are encouraged to perceive, evaluate, and understand dance as a conveyor of culture.

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Filmmaking

Filmmaking

Filmmaking students are introduced to both the theory and technical aspects of filmmaking. Through lectures, films and hand-on experiences, students will learn the three aspects of filmmaking: pre-production, production, and post-production.

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Instrumental Program

Instrumental Program

The School for the Arts provides educational instruction for students skilled in strings, wind ensemble, piano, and both choral and opera technique..

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Vocal Music

Vocal Music

The School for the Arts provides educational instruction for students skilled in strings, wind ensemble, piano, and both choral and opera technique..

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Theatre

Theatre

The theater school is a program of dedicated and focused study in all areas of theatrical studies, with an emphasis on the process of creating live theatre.

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Visual Art

Visual Art

Visual Arts students learn human understanding, achievement and self-development through the study and practice of visual art.

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