Tennessee’s Premiere Musicians

Students in the instrumental music program participate in orchestra, wind ensemble, 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.

→  2020 GSFTA Instrumental Excerpts

ALL MUSIC AUDITIONS WILL BE SUBMITTED BY VIDEO.

Students will need to make a video recording of their audition submission and upload it to the Accepted platform:
https://app.getacceptd.com/tennesseegsa

1) YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR ONLINE APPLICATION AND YOUR HARD COPY APPLICATION TO GSFTA BEFORE YOU MAY UPLOAD YOUR AUDITION VIDEO

 

2) YOU MAY UPLOAD AUDITION VIDEO(S) AFTER DECEMBER 1, 2019.

3) Deadline to submit videos is January 17, 2020.

4) Upload video to: https://app.getacceptd.com/tennesseegsa
• Note – Acceptd.com has a $30 fee for this service
• Each component of the audition should be uploaded as a separate video

5) QUESTIONS? Please contact:

The Governor’s school for the Arts
615-898-2223
gfsta.com

 

MUSIC AREAS:

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Percussion, Piano, Harp and Voice.

Flute

Scales: B major (2 octaves), D-flat major (2 or 3 octaves), full range chromatic: low C to high C
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Oboe

Scales: E-flat major (2 octaves), E major (2 octaves), full range chromatic: low B-flat to high F
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Clarinet

Scales: E major (3 octaves), D-flat major (2 octaves), full range chromatic: low E to G above high C
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Saxophone

Scales: B major (2 octaves), E-flat major (2 octaves), full range chromatic: low B-flat to high F or F-sharp
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Bassoon

Scales: B-flat major (2 or 3 octaves), G major (2 or 3 octaves), full range chromatic: low B-flat to F or B-flat (2.5 or 3 octaves)
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Trumpet

Scales: F major (2 octaves), B-flat major (2 octaves), full range chromatic: low F-sharp to high C
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Horn

Scales: A-flat major (2 octaves), B -flat major (2 octaves), full range chromatic: from low F or C (below middle C) to A or C above the staff
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Trombone

Scales: D-flat major (2 octaves), A major (2 octaves), full range chromatic: low F to high B-flat (2.5 octaves)
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Euphonium

Scales: A-flat major (2 octaves), E major (2 octaves), full range chromatic: low F to high B-flat (2.5 octaves)
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Tuba

Scales: A-flat major (2 octaves), E major (2 octaves), full range chromatic: low F to high B-flat at top of bass clef staff (2.5 octaves)
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Violin

Scales: B-flat major (3 octaves), E major (3 octaves), (1, 2, or 3 notes per bow)
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Viola

Scales: D major (3 octaves), F major (3 octaves), 2 notes slurred per bow
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Cello

Scales: E-flat major (3 octaves), B major (3 octaves)
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Bass

Scales: G major (2 octaves), B-flat major (2 octaves)
A solo or etude of the student’s choice, unaccompanied.
A short preparation orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Percussion

Scales: Bb Major (2 octaves), Ab Major (2 octaves), on xylophone or marimba.
One orchestral snare solo (Cirone, Aleo, Delecluse, etc).
One short timpani solo (Davila, Firth, Beck, etc). Be sure to show yourself tuning the instruments with a reference pitch, not a digital tuner.
One short two- or four-mallet solo, or a 2-3 minute excerpt from a larger solo.
Optional drum set solo or play-along demonstrating various styles.

Piano

Scales: A major (4 octaves), E-flat major (4 octaves)
Two short contrasting works from different style periods. One should show technical ability and the other lyrical playing.
A short chamber music excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

Harp

Scales: A major (2 or 3 octaves), E-flat major (2 or 3 octaves)
5-7 minute solo work of the student’s choice. Etudes are not acceptable.
A short orchestral excerpt which will be posted on this site on December 26.

VOCAL REQUIREMENTS
Vocalists are required to sing two songs from memory. Your selections can be an Art Song, Folk Song, Aria, or an appropriate selection from the Musical Theatre repertory.

Please consult with your Vocal and or Choral instructor in selecting appropriate audition pieces.

It is highly preferred that you use a live piano accompanist for your prepared solos. If you are unable to access an accompanist, recorded accompaniments will be considered
Each solo should be two to four minutes in length. Please introduce yourself and clearly state the title and composer of each selection.

Upload video to: https://app.getacceptd.com/tennesseegsa

Instrumental Music Faculty

Dr. Jerome Reed

Music Chair

Jerome A. Reed is the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Piano at Lipscomb University.

He has performed extensively in

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Dr. Jerome Reed

Music Chair

Jerome A. Reed is the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Piano at Lipscomb University.

He has performed extensively in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and South America, appearing in such venues as the Mendelssohnhaus in Leipzig, Germany; the Musikhochschule in Graz, Austria; and the Conservatoire Royale in Brussels, Belgium. Other appearances have included recitals and masterclasses in Taiwan, China, South Korea, Japan, France, Italy, England, Hungary, Poland, and Uruguay. He has also performed at Steinway Hall in New York and the Coburn School in Los Angeles. Reed is the director of the music division of the Governor's School for the Arts. He has recorded works for piano and tape for Capstone Records and has released a recording of sonatas for flute and piano with Deanna Little. Navona Records (a division of Parma Recordings) released his recording of Elizabeth Austin’s Rose Sonata. He has given over fifty performances in the U.S. and abroad of Charles Ives’s Concord Sonata, which incorporate a multimedia presentation and readings from Ives's writings. He has been awarded the Avalon Award for Creative Excellence, the Distinguished Service Award from the Tennessee Music Teachers Association, and in 2010 he was named Teacher of the Year by the same organization.

His students have won many competitions, including first places in Tennessee Music Teachers Association competitions, the Nashville International Piano Competition, the Tennessee Tech Young Artist Competition, and Clavierfest at MTSU. His student piano trio, the Avalon Trio, placed third in the United States at the Music Teachers National Association Competition in New York. He has served on the faculty of the InterHarmony Music Festival in Italy, and currently teaches at the East/West International Piano Festival in China.

He holds the D.M.A. and M.M. in piano performance from The Catholic University of America, where he was a student of Béla Börzörményi-Nagy. He also studied with Jeanne-Marie Darré at the Conservatoire de Musique de Nice.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Amy Collins

Oboe Faculty

Amy Collins, oboist, is presently a member of the artistic faculty at The University of South Florida and principal oboist

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Amy Collins

Oboe Faculty

Amy Collins, oboist, is presently a member of the artistic faculty at The University of South Florida and principal oboist with Opera Tampa.  Ms. Collins spends her summers on the faculty of The Governors School for the Arts in Tennessee as well as The Clazz International Summer Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy. Prior to these appointments Ms. Collins was on the faculty of The InterHarmony International Summer Music Festival in Aqui Terme, Italy and Sultzbach-Rosenburg International Music Festival in Sulzbach-Rosenburg Germany, served as second oboist with The Classical Summer Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria and was honored in the Fall of 2007 to perform for Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in Rome Italy where she made history as being the first instrumentalist to perform in the Basilica of St. Peters since Pope John Paul I.  In addition to The University of South Florida, Ms. Collins is also on faculty at Hillsborough Community College, Eckerd College as well as Gibbs High School (Pinellas County Center for the Arts) and she has an active private studio. She was English hornist with The West Coast Symphony for six years, second oboe/English hornist with The West Coast Symphony for five years, and principal oboist of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra in Ft. Myers for six years prior.

              Ms. Collins has played with The New York City Opera Company, Miami City Ballet Company, Joffrey Ballet, The Moisiev Ballet, Mannheim Steamroller, Cirque de Sole, and with such greats as Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Tony Bennett, Diana Ross, and Josh Groban, to name a few.  Ms. Collins released her first solo oboe recording in 1995 entitled “Amy and Friends” and her second oboe recording in 1998 entitled “Amy and Friends at Christmas”. Ms. Collins has given clinics throughout the United States. She has received two grants from The Pinellas County Arts Council and has served on the grant committee for The Pinellas County Arts Council. She has also been an Allstate oboe adjudicator and often is a double reed judge at both the district and state levels of FBA’s Solo and Ensemble events. Ms. Collins is president of her own business; The Stellar Corporation, Inc. dba Stellar Oboe Products.  In 2017, The Stellar Corporation, Inc. (www.oboe.net) celebrated twenty years in business.

               Ms. Collins received her bachelor’s degree from The University of South Florida and her master’s degree from both The University of South Florida as well as The University of Florida.  Primary teachers include John Mack, Robert Mayer, Jan Eberle, Patty Sharp Malone and Leslie Odom.

Todd Waldecker

Clarinet Faculty

Todd Waldecker has served on the faculty of the Middle Tennessee State University School of Music where he teaches clarinet,

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Todd Waldecker

Clarinet Faculty

Todd Waldecker has served on the faculty of the Middle Tennessee State University School of Music where he teaches clarinet, pedagogy and chamber music.  He holds degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Yale University, and the University of Missouri. He has also served for over twenty years on the faculty of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts.

Waldecker has performed across the United States, Europe, Asia and South America, and has appeared by invitation at several International Clarinet Association conventions. He is a frequent performer with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Opera, and can be heard on commercial recordings for film, television and video games.

Waldecker’s current and former students enjoy careers as university professors, public school teachers, orchestral and military band performers, and in the various fields of music publishing, sales, marketing and instrument repair.  His students have been semi-finalists and finalists in the International Clarinet Association Competitions and they regularly attend summer music festivals around the globe.

Image by http://www.eilasblog.com/

Chris Combest

Tuba - Euphonium Faculty

Dr. Chris Combest serves as assistant professor of tuba at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN where he leads

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Chris Combest

Tuba - Euphonium Faculty

Dr. Chris Combest serves as assistant professor of tuba at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN where he leads an active career as a performer and educator. In addition to teaching, he conducts the MTSU tuba-euphonium ensemble and instructs brass chamber music. A faculty fellow and a member of the graduate faculty, Dr. Combest is also co-director of the Stones River Chamber Players, the music faculty ensemble-in-residence at MTSU. He has taught on the faculties of the University of Texas-San Antonio, Southern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

As a performer, Dr. Combest has appeared throughout the United States and internationally in Europe. A former tubist with the Louisville Orchestra, he performs regularly with a myriad of ensembles in the Nashville area including the Nashville Opera, Nashville Symphony and the Chattanooga Symphony. He has also appeared with the Indianapolis Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, The Lexington Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony, Longview Symphony, Orchestra Kentucky, The Victoria Symphony, The Plano Symphony, the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Tone Road Ramblers and various artists including film composer John Williams, the Canadian Brass, John Michael Montgomery and Audra McDonald. Recordings on which Dr. Combest can be heard include “Andres Cardenas - Violin Concertos of Barber, Stock, and Copland” (Albany), “Brass Masters: Vol. XI” with the Lexington Brass Band (Polyphonic), and “Live from St. Louis” with the Saxton’s Cornet Band (Classics). In addition to his work in Nashville, he can be heard on live broadcasts for National Public Radio, the BBC and on commercial recordings for Sony and Disney.

A dynamic supporter of commissioning and performing new works for the tuba and euphonium, Dr. Combest has worked with composers such as John Stevens, Rodney Newton, Robert Litton, James Grant, James Stephenson and Ethan Wickman to expand the repertory of the instruments. He was recognized as a finalist for the prestigious Clifford R. Bevan Award in Research by the ITEA in 2010 and recently, as Competitions Chair for the ITEA, he led an expansion of the International Tuba Euphonium Conference Competitions to include a new Electronics division. Dr. Combest is a member of the Board of Directors for the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium Tuba Competition where he serves as the Tuba Competitions Music Chair and is also a Life Member of the International Tuba Euphonium Association (ITEA). Dr. Combest holds a B.M. from Eastern Kentucky University, an M.M. from the University of Louisville and a D.M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Brian Utley

Saxophone Faculty

Brian Utley is Senior Lecturer in Saxophone and Coordinator of Chamber Music at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. Utley

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Brian Utley

Saxophone Faculty

Brian Utley is Senior Lecturer in Saxophone and Coordinator of Chamber Music at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. Utley has been a featured soloist with the Vanderbilt Wind Symphony and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, and is the regular classical saxophonist with the Nashville Symphony. As a chamber musician, he has performed with the contemporary music ensemble Intersection, the Blair Wind Quintet, the Stone Fort Wind Quintet, and the Nashville Saxophone Quartet.

Utley is a regular recitalist at regional and national conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance, and has performed at multiple NACUSA conferences, World Saxophone Congresses, U.S. Navy Band International Saxophone Symposia, and new music festivals. As an advocate of new music, he has premiered works by noted composers including David Froom, Leonard Mark Lewis, Stephen Lias, Lidiuno Pitombeira, and William Price. His first solo recording Characters is available on the Mark Records label. The project features 21st-century works by American composers, including three world premiere recordings. Utley is an endorsing artist for Légère Signature Series Reeds.

Utley holds degrees from Louisiana State University and Murray State University, and his primary teachers include Griffin Campbell and Scott Erickson. Prior to his appointment at Vanderbilt, he was Associate Professor of Saxophone at Stephen F. Austin State University.

Staci Spring

Bassoon Faculty

University of Tennessee Chattanooga and Lee University

Based in Chattanooga, TN, Staci A. Spring leads a versatile career as a professional

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Staci Spring

Bassoon Faculty

University of Tennessee Chattanooga and Lee University

Based in Chattanooga, TN, Staci A. Spring leads a versatile career as a professional bassoonist, educator, and arts advocate. She performs frequently throughout the region with ensembles including the Knoxville Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, Rome Symphony, Chattanooga Bach Choir, Opera Tennessee, Figment Chamber Ensemble, and the Fourth Wall Trio. She maintains a private bassoon studio, and holds faculty appointments at Lee University, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga State Community College, and the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. In 2019 she was selected as a UTC-Wolf Trap Teaching Artist, an affiliate program of the nationally renowned Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts. 

An active member in the Chattanooga arts community, Spring has participated in the Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute, served on the Community Arts Team for the Kennedy Center’s Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child initiative in Chattanooga-Hamilton County, and spent three seasons with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera as the Youth Orchestras Manager and the Community Engagement Manager. In 2016 she founded the Scenic City Bassoon Ensemble; a group for bassoonists of all ages and skill levels that performs in community settings. 

Other professional experience includes a decade of performing and teaching in Texas, where she held faculty appointments at Stephen F. Austin State University, McMurry University, Abilene Christian University, and Hardin-Simmons University. She performed numerous recitals as a member of the Stone Fort Wind Quintet, Key City Winds, and the Abilene Chamber Players, and performed regularly with the Abilene Philharmonic, Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale, San Angelo Symphony, Longview Symphony, Texarkana Symphony, and Shreveport Symphony orchestras. She has performed and presented at conferences for the International Double Reed Society, Texas Music Educators Association, and the College Music Society, and has served on the organizational team for the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition & Bassoon Symposium since 2013.

Spring is a doctoral candidate at the University of North Texas, where she studied bassoon with Kathleen Reynolds and 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. 

 

 

Jackie McIlwain

Clarinet Faculty

Dr. Jackie McIlwain, Assistant Professor of Clarinet, began teaching at The University of Southern Mississippi in 2013. She enjoys keeping

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Jackie McIlwain

Clarinet Faculty

Dr. Jackie McIlwain, Assistant Professor of Clarinet, began teaching at The University of Southern Mississippi in 2013. She enjoys keeping a diverse and active performance schedule with solo recitals, chamber recitals, solo performances, and orchestral concerts. In 2017 Dr. McIlwain became a licensed Andover Educator, which allows her to teach Body Mapping. This body awareness technique teaches anatomy and physiology of the body and how this knowledge can help us release tension and move more efficiently. Body Mapping was created specifically to help musicians perform with more freedom and ease as well as to aide in injury prevention and recovery.

 

Mark Clodfelter

Trumpet Faculty

Mark Clodfelter is a versatile performer of international acclaim and a Grammy nominated recording artist. He was recently described by

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Mark Clodfelter

Trumpet Faculty

Mark Clodfelter is a versatile performer of international acclaim and a Grammy nominated recording artist. He was recently described by Classical Voice North Carolina as “…a stellar world-class trumpeter who’s dazzling playing wowed the audience”, as “warm toned” by the Lexington Herald Leader (KY) and “an exceptionally strong performer” by the International Trumpet Guild Journal. As a soloist, Mark has appeared in many of the world’s finest performing venues throughout the United States, Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, Russia, Thailand, Greece, Australia, Brazil, Croatia, the Czech Republic and the Peoples Republic of China.

Mark can be heard as Principal Trumpet of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, the Trade Winds (Tamp Fl.) and with the Palladium Brass. At home in a great array of styles, his commercial affiliations have recently included split lead with the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra and the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra. Mark is member of Covalence, a chamber duo, with Rebecca Wilt, his wife and renowned collaborative pianist. Additionally, he spends summers as a member of the faculty of the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy.

Mr. Clodfelter has recorded extensively in styles ranging from classical to rock. He has also appeared with such headliners as Josh Groban, The O' Jays, Gladys Knight, Mannheim Steam Roller, the Moody Blues, the Lettermen, Doc Severinson, Bob Mintzer, Frank Mantooth, Lou Rawls, Glen Campbell and Ray Charles.

Mark is the Professor of Trumpet at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro. During the decade prior to this appointment, he was Professor of Trumpet at the University of Kentucky. In both cases, his students garner national and international recognition; winning coveted awards and professional placement. Additionally, he was Co-Conductor of the Blue Grass Area Jazz Ambassadors and the Central Kentucky Youth Jazz Orchestra. Mark entered collegiate teaching as Instructor of Trumpet and Director of Jazz Band at Mars Hill College. He has served on the faculty of the prestigious Eastern Music Festival and has taught the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. Mark was a founding member of the Giannini Brass and has held positions with the Greensboro Symphony, Orchestra Kentucky, the North Charleston Pops,the Western Piedmont Symphony, the Salisbury Symphony, the Greenville (SC) Symphony and the Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mr. Clodfelter holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University and a Master of Music Degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Mark Clodfelter is an S.E. Shires Performing Artist and plays Pickett Brass custom mouthpieces.

Cahill Smith

Piano Faculty

Pianist Cahill Smith has performed in major venues in the United States and abroad, including four programs at Carnegie Hall’s

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Cahill Smith

Piano Faculty

Pianist Cahill Smith has performed in major venues in the United States and abroad, including four programs at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York, Chongqing’s PolyTheatre, Zhuhai’s Mozart Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall in Boston, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Royal Dublin Society’s Concert Hall, Buffalo’s Kleinhan’s Music Hall, and Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Center. Cahill has been featured as a concerto soloist with the National Ukranian Symphony Orchestra in Kiev, the Mongolian Symphony Orchestra in Hohhot, China, the Eastman Philharmonia, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Chattanooga Symphony, the Butler Symphony Orchestra, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, and others. His live and studio recordings have been broadcast on WQXR, New York’s Classical Music Radio Station, WCRB, Classical Radio Boston, and WSMC, Chattanooga Public Radio.

Cahill gave his first recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2013 with a program dedicated entirely to works of Nikolai Medtner. Two years later, in a review of his 2015 solo recital in the same venue, New York Concert Review wrote, “The entire second half was devoted to a special “cause” of Mr. Smith: the piano music of Nikolai Medtner […]. Here, Mr. Smith was in his element, revealing every twist and turn, every poignant repeat of the cyclic themes, with beautiful shimmering colors I haven’t heard since Gilels played the Sonata reminiscenza in Carnegie Hall in 1980.” Cahill has given recitals and lectures on Medtner’s music at Yale University, the International Medtner Festival in London, and others. In January of 2019, his debut album “Medtner: Forgotten Melodies” was featured as Classical Radio Boston’s “CD of the Week” for its “irresistible lyricism” and “a palpable sense of love – a real affinity for the directness and honesty in Medtner’s music, which goes straight to the heart.”

Cahill completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Eastman School of Music, where he served as the teaching assistant to Natalya Antonova. At Eastman, Cahill was the inaugural recipient of the Douglas Lowry award for excellence in degree recital performance, won the Eastman Concerto Competition, received honors in chamber music, and was awarded the Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Cahill completed his Master’s degree at the University of Michigan with Arthur Greene, and his Bachelor’s at the University of Alabama at Birmingham with Yakov Kasman. Cahill previously served as Keyboard Area Coordinator and Artistic Director of the International Piano Festival and Competition at Lee University. He joined the faculty of Utah State University in 2019. Cahill is a Yamaha Artist.

Dennis Hawkins

Conducting

Dennis A. Hawkins, Jr. has facilitated performances on the podium as a conductor, in ensembles as a trumpet player, in

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Dennis Hawkins

Conducting

Dennis A. Hawkins, Jr. has facilitated performances on the podium as a conductor, in ensembles as a trumpet player, in lecture-based courses as an instructor, and administratively as a certified nonprofit professional. Hawkins has a passion for teaching that continues to be cultivated through the support of many mentors with whom he has had the privilege of studying. He finds great inspiration through collaborations with guest artists, composers, educators, and students.

Since joining the faculty of Middle Tennessee State University, Hawkins has completed training for both the Safe Zone Program and Mental Health First Aid USA. Hawkins has also recently had research published by the International Women's Brass Conference. A recent commissioning project with The Paper Days, a contemporary folk band based in the Twin Cities, resulted in the creation of a piece for contemporary folk band and wind band. This three-movement work attempts to prove that the unique characteristics of a contemporary folk band and the strengths of a wind band do not have to exist exclusive of one another. Previous engagements include serving in varying capacities with the University of Nevada, University of Minnesota, The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own", Metro Brass, Minnesota Chorale, St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra, Medalist Concert Band, Dana Faculty Brass Quintet, Brevard Music Center, Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Western Reserve, American Wind Symphony, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and the Youngstown State University Foundation.

Hawkins holds memberships with the American Composers Forum, College Band Directors National Association, International Trumpet Guild, League of American Orchestras, Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, National Band Association, and the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. Dennis Hawkins is a proud brother of both the Kappa Alpha and Alpha Alpha chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi and the Delta Eta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Currently, Hawkins serves as co-advisor for the Omicron Tau chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfornia at Middle Tennessee State University.

 

Angela DeBoer

Horn Faculty

Associate Professor of Horn & Music Theory Middle Tennessee State University

Angela DeBoer is the Associate Professor of horn at

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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.

William Koehler

Piano Faculty

Dr. William Koehler received a Bachelor of Music Degree and a Master of Arts Degree in speech/theatre from the University

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William Koehler

Piano Faculty

Dr. William Koehler received a Bachelor of Music Degree and a Master of Arts Degree in speech/theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Superior.  The Bachelor’s degree was an individually designed curriculum which focused on voice, acting, directing, and dance. He also holds a Master of Music Degree in vocal performance from the University of Kentucky where he studied with Everett McCorvey and a Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree in vocal performance from the University of Minnesota where he studied with John DeHaan.

Comfortable on the opera stage, in concert, in theatrical productions and as a director, Koehler’s activities have included the Mother for WVU’s Opera Theatre production of Seven Deadly Sins, and Abe Kaplan in Street Scene; soloist for Eternal Light Requiem by Howard Goodall, Bass soloist in Messiah both for WVU; Pooh-Bah in Lyric Opera of the North’s production of Mikado, stage direction of both Bizet’s Carmen for the WVU Schools of Music and Theatre & Dance and the WVU Opera Theatre’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury; Juror No. 7 in the play, Twelve Angry Men produced by M.T. Pockets Theatre of Morgantown, and Gaston in Picasso at the Lapin Agile produced by the Frostburg State University Theatre.

Other performances include Cadmus/Somnus in Handel’s Semele, Bottom in Britten’s Midsummer Nights Dream, Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, the Rev. Winemiller for WVU’s Opera Theatre production of Summer and Smoke, and soloist in WVU’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Koehler, a Visiting Assistant Professor, has taught several classes besides applied voice lessons for WVU’s School of Music. Among them are Diction for Singers, Vocal Pedagogy for music education majors, Voice Pedagogy for vocal performance majors and assistant Opera Workshop instructor.

He also teaches Voice Technique for Speakers through the Community Music Program at WVU. This is a course which is designed for adults who depend on their voice: singers, clinicians, actors, teachers, coaches, clergy, announcers, lawyers, salespeople, or people who simply suffer from vocal fatigue.

He has been a member of the music faculty at Frostburg State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Transylvania University, the University of Minnesota Morris, and the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Besides his solo work, Koehler sings and has recorded with the American Spiritual Ensemble, a group that performs all over the world and whose mission is to keep the American Negro Spiritual alive and vibrant.

 

 

 

Ben McIlwain

Trombone Faculty

Dr. Ben McIlwain joined the faculty of The University of Southern Mississippi in the fall of 2010 and was named

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Ben McIlwain

Trombone Faculty

Dr. Ben McIlwain joined the faculty of The University of Southern Mississippi in the fall of 2010 and was named the Nina Bells Suggs Endowed Professor of Trombone in May of 2014. He holds degrees from Middle Tennessee State University (B.M.), Manhattan School of Music (M.M.) and The Florida State University (D.M.)

One of Dr. McIlwain’s main passions and research interests is supporting new music for the trombone.  As of June 2017, Dr. McIlwain has commissioned over 30 new works for trombone solo and/or ensemble.  This includes compositions for his group, Tromboteam, which successfully funded a Kickstarter.com campaign in 2012 that raised $10,000 for new works for trombone ensemble including composers James Kazik, Kevin McKee and Alan Theisen to name a few.  Tromboteam released their debut album containing all nine of these Kickstarter.com funded commissions in 2015. This recording is funded by a Scholarly and Creative Arts Grant provided by the College of Arts and Letters.  After being awarded the Aubrey Keith Lucas and Ella Ginn Lucas Endowment for Faculty Excellence, Dr. McIlwain was able to fund a new concerto for trombone and orchestra by Russian composer, Polina Nazaykinskaya.  In addition, the composer agreed that this piece would be written in memory of McIlwain’s former student Gustavo Campos Cassemiro, who lost his battle with cancer on December 4, 2013.  The title of this work is Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra, In Memoriam to Gustavo Campos Cassemiro.   Premiere performances included with the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra in February 2015 and with the U.S. Pershing’s Own at the American Trombone Workshop in March 2015.

In addition to these commissioning and performance opportunities, Dr. McIlwain has been active in service to the International Trombone Association.  The former President of the International Trombone Association, Jiggs Whigham, appointed him, Director of TAPAS (Trombone Artists Performing for Amateurs and Students), which aimed to increase membership in the Association.  Dr. McIlwain is also a frequent contributor to the ITA Journal as a writer and literature reviewer.

At Southern Miss, Dr. McIlwain directs all aspects of the trombone studio including The Southern Miss Trombone Choir, Select Octet,  and Hub Bones (jazz trombone ensemble).  The Southern Miss Trombone Choir was invited to perform twice at the 2013 International Trombone Festival in Columbus, GA and at the American Trombone Workshop in 2017.   He is also a member of the Southern Arts Brass Quintet, the faculty brass quintet at Southern Miss. In June 2015, Dr. McIlwain joined members of Tromboteam to start an annual summer trombone camp in 2015: Summer Slides @ Southern Miss with Tromboteam, which was a rousing success. His primary teachers have included Dr. David Loucky, formerly of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and Dr. Per Brevig, former Principal Trombonist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, along with Dr. John Drew, professor of trombone at Florida State University.

As a Presidential University Fellow at Florida State University, Dr. McIlwain was the first doctoral trombone student and one of two in the entire College of Music at FSU to ever receive this honor. The research for his doctoral treatise titled, “Select Contributions and Commissions in Solo Trombone Repertoire by Trombonist Innovator and Pioneer: Stuart Dempster,” consists of extensive interviews with Stuart Dempster and Pauline Oliveros, among others.  He has published articles in the Grove Dictionary for Music and Musicians and the International Trombone Association Journal. Dr. McIlwain has also performed as a guest artist at the International Trombone Festival, the American Trombone Workshop, and Trombonapalooza.

In addition to the Suggs Endowed Professorship and Lucas Award, Dr. McIlwain has also been awarded the Junior Faculty Creative Achievement Award and the College of Arts and Letters’ Junior Faculty of the Year Award at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Dr. Ben McIlwain is a Performing Artist for S.E. Shires Trombones.

Sarah K. Crocker

Harp Faculty

Franklin, TN native Dr. Sarah K. Crocker is a professional harpist and musicologist lecturing and performing solo, chamber, and orchestral

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Sarah K. Crocker

Harp Faculty

Franklin, TN native Dr. Sarah K. Crocker is a professional harpist and musicologist lecturing and performing solo, chamber, and orchestral music throughout the United States and beyond. Dr. Crocker is Adjunct Professor of Harp and Music at Middle Tennessee State University, where she serves on the faculty of the MTSU Honors College, and Adjunct Professor of Harp at Lipscomb University. Crocker joined the faculty of the Kentucky Institute of International Studies (KIIS) in 2016 to teach ethnomusicology courses on music and dance in Latin America in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Additionally, Dr. Crocker is the founder and co-owner of Hillnote Music and Director of the Hillnote Harp & Piano Academy, a company providing noteworthy music services to Middle Tennessee, including private harp and piano lessons and customized music for events. Sarah serves as the President of the Nashville Chapter of the American Harp Society (2014-present). Prior to her position at MTSU, Dr. Crocker was an Instructor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology courses and the Instructor of Secondary Harp at the University of Alabama.

Dr. Crocker made her debut as a soloist performing Debussy’s Danses sacrée et profrane with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, where she has been principal harp since 2006. Crocker also currently serves as principal harp of the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra (TN) and the Shoals Symphony Orchestra (AL), and was the principal harp of the Meridian Symphony Orchestra (MS) from 2005-2013. She also regularly performs as substitute principal harp with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra (AL), Orchestra Kentucky, and the Nashville Wind Ensemble, and has performed as principal harp with many other orchestras across the Southeast, including the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra (GA), and Montgomery Symphony Orchestra (AL). Having a passion for chamber music, Sarah is a founding member of the Delta Duo (flute and harp) and the Druid City Ensemble (soprano, flute, and harp) chamber groups, who have performed and led master classes at universities and festivals across the United States, most notably at the 2016 National Flute Festival in San Diego and the Second Saturday Concert Series in Chicago.

Dr. Crocker holds a B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. in Harp Performance with Musicology cognate from the University of Alabama, where she studied with Judith Sullivan-Hicks. She completed summer harp studies with Judy Loman (Toronto), Katie Buckley (Brevard Music Festival), and Mary Brigid Roman (FSU). She has performed in master classes for famed jazz harpist Deborah Henson-Conant and Maxim Rubstov, principal flute of the Russian National Orchestra.

Andrea Dawson

Violin Faculty

Andrea Dawson joined the MTSU Music Faculty in 2007 and the faculty of the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts

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Andrea Dawson

Violin Faculty

Andrea Dawson joined the MTSU Music Faculty in 2007 and the faculty of the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts in 2008. Dawson is a member of the Stones River Chamber Players and Music City Baroque (formerly Belle Meade Baroque), and has been a featured chamber musician on WPLN, Nashville Public Radio. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, China, France, Mexico, Curaçao and Brazil. 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,

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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..

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

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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.

 

Christine Renée Kralik

Cello Faculty

Christine Renée Kralik, DMA, MS, BA

Adjunct Professor of Cello and member of Quartet Nova at Angelo State University Dr. Christine

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Christine Renée Kralik

Cello Faculty

Christine Renée Kralik, DMA, MS, BA

Adjunct Professor of Cello and member of Quartet Nova at Angelo State University Dr. Christine Renée Kralik is a thriving young professional cellist who received her Doctorate of Musical Arts with an emphasis in cello performance from Texas Tech University in May of 2018. She holds a Masters in Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Utah. She studied cello performance with Jeffrey Lastrapes at Texas Tech University, Cleveland Orchestra cellist Richard Weiss at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Utah Symphony cellist Pegsoon Whang at the University of Utah.

Dr. Kralik was principle cellist of the Texas Tech Symphony Orchestra for all three years of her Doctoral studies, providing her with many opportunities to solo and lead. She performed in many recitals with faculty and students, participated in premiere recording sessions, performed as a TMEA soloist, was an active member of the Graduate String Quartet, has performed with symphonies all over west Texas, is a member of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, and has performed in chamber ensembles in the communities of Lubbock and San Angelo on many occasions. Along with holding a busy performance schedule, Dr. Kralik finds great joy in teaching. She teaches students in the communities of San Angelo and Lubbock as well as students studying cello on the collegiate level, through Angelo State University and Texas Tech University.

This summer she is excited to join the faculty of the Tennessee’s Governor’s School for the Arts and to be able to work with the students, where she will share her passion and love for music and the cello with those she teaches. Dr. Kralik will also be returning to teach cello at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Dr. Kralik performs on a German Wilhelm Hammig cello dated 1907.

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

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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.

Brian Mueller

Percussion Faculty

A native of Wichita, Kansas, Dr. Brian Mueller is currently Lecturer in Percussion at Middle Tennessee State University. 

He holds a

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Brian Mueller

Percussion Faculty

A native of Wichita, Kansas, Dr. Brian Mueller is currently Lecturer in Percussion at Middle Tennessee State University. 

He holds a Doctor of Music degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (2016).  His prior academic background includes a Bachelor of Music degree from Wichita State University (2007) and a Master of Music degree from The University of North Texas (2009). Brian has worked as a freelance drummer, percussionist, and instructor for many years, and is also a published composer.  He has traveled and performed nationally and internationally, including as a guest soloist and clinician at the Paris Conservatory in December of 2014, and has performed twice at PASIC. He has been an active steel pan performer with the Bloomington based steel pan group, Steel Panache, and currently plays marimba with the newly formed B-Line Jazz Percussion Trio.  Brian performs regularly with the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra and is also an active clinician, presenting workshops and performances nationally.  He proudly endorses Innovative Percussion.

 

 

 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”