Meet the faculty and staff of the EWU Music Department
Mellad Abeid is an accomplished and versatile guitarist with over fifteen years of music industry experience. He began performing with church choirs and at Irish dancing shows at the age of 17. In 2002, Mellad graduated from Gonzaga University with a BA in Music Composition. Since then, he has worked as an adjunct guitar instructor at Gonzaga University and private guitar instructor at St. George's School and Colville High School.
Mellad is a patient yet highly skilled instructor who is well-versed in a variety of musical genres, including Classical, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Commercial, Country, Celtic and Broadway. As an international guitar performer, songwriter and record producer, Mellad is a dynamic instructor who brings a wealth of real-world expertise to the classroom.
In 2003 Mellad founded pop-based Irish group An Dóchas. He serves as the band leader, writer and arranger. The band has released two critically acclaimed albums including Independent Celtic Album of the Year awarded at the 2006 JPF Awards in Hollywood, CA. As a member of An Dóchas, Mellad also began working with Irish tenor Michael Londra, formerly of Riverdance Broadway. Mellad and Londra collaborated to create the Irish music and dance show Celtic Fire, which tours extensively throughout North America and was featured on the Emmy-nominated PBS special Beyond Celtic in 2011.
For the past several years, Mellad has been fortunate to write and arrange songs for several independent vocal artists. Most recently, Mellad has been writing and performing with Country artist Nicole Lewis and is currently working on her upcoming Nashville-based full-length album. When not on tour or teaching, Mellad enjoys playing guitar for local Jazz ensembles and the live theatre circuit. Mellad has worked as a guitarist at Spokane Civic Theatre for the past 4 seasons and Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre for the past 5 seasons.
Dr. Janet Satre Ahrend began her organ studies in Spokane with Barbara Top Rockwood. She holds the Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Idaho and the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts Degrees from the University of Washington, with further training at the Royal School of Church Music in England.
She has been a member of the music faculty at Gonzaga University since 1984, teaching organ, class piano, and portions of the music theory program, and on the faculty at Eastern Washington University since 2008.
From 1990 to 1993 Janet served on the Hymnal Committee for the United Church of Christ, helping to produce the New Century Hymnal. She has been Organist / Choirmaster for the Cathedral since 1997, where she also directs a handbell choir and coordinates the afternoon concert series, Mostly Second Sundays. Janet maintains a private piano and organ studio in her home.
Janet's professional affiliations include: American Guild of Organists, Regional Education Coordinator; Association of Anglican Musicians; Royal School of Church Music; Music Teachers National Association; and Sigma Alpha Iota Music Honorary Alumni.
A native Californian, Alaina Bercilla graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles, and also received a M.M. in Flute Performance from the University of Michigan. She has held the 2nd Flute/Piccolo chair in the Spokane Symphony Orchestra since the fall of 2008.
Ms. Bercilla has been invited to perform as a featured soloist with the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, and the Pasadena Community Orchestra. She has also been a finalist in the Aspen Music Festival Concerto Competition and the Las Vegas Flute Club Competition, a semifinalist in the Frank Bowen Competition and the WAMSO (Volunteer Association for the Minnesota Orchestra) Competition, and a qualifying participant in the National Flute Association's Young Artist Competition. In 2006 she was invited to be a part of a week-long training workshop held by the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, which focused on the music of Steve Reich and culminated in a concert at Zankel Hall celebrating the composer's 70th birthday.
Prior to joining the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, she held positions as an associate member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and as Piccolo Fellow with the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra.
Having taught flute at a variety of levels, from beginning 5th graders at Bursch Elementary School in Compton, CA, to gifted high-schoolers in Detroit, MI, as Principal Flute and Mentor of the Detroit Civic Orchestra, Ms. Bercilla is looking forward to working with the students of EWU as adjunct professor of flute. She currently maintains a private studio in Spokane, WA, where she lives with her husband, Adam Wallstein.
Jeremy Briggs Roberts currently works as Music Director and Conductor of the Washington Idaho Symphony in Pullman, Washington. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Briggs Roberts served as Music Director of the Icicle Creek Youth Symphony and Summer Symphony, Associate Conductor of the Philharmonisches Kammerorchester Berlin, Music Director of the University of Washington Opera for the 2004-2005 season, Associate Conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the University of Washington Baroque Ensemble and Contemporary Group.
A member of the conducting faculty at the 2009 Marrowstone Summer Music Festival in Bellingham, Washington, he has led such ensembles as the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Juneau Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Thüringen Philharmonie, Orchestra Seattle, the Sofia Festival Orchestra and the Bacau Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. His opera credits include productions of Cimarosa's Il Matrimonio Segreto, Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites, Offenbach's Orphée aux Enfers, Britten's Turn of the Screw, Ravel's L'enfant et les Sortilèges, Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte, Die Zauberflöte, Le Nozze de Figaro, and Der Schauspieldirektor, Salieri's Prima la Musica e Poi le Parole, and Smetana's Bartered Bride.
Dr. Briggs Roberts was a prizewinner at the 2006 Vendôme Academy of Orchestral Conducting in Paris. He has studied and worked closely with many of today's leading conductors including Peter Erös, Janos Fürst, Gerard Schwarz, Jorma Panula, John Nelson, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, and Gianluigi Gelmetti. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Music from the University of Puget Sound and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Washington.
Emily Browne is currently principal horn of the Spokane Symphony. Emily has also performed with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Sinfonietta, the Nittany Valley Symphony, and the Genesee Symphony Orchestra. She has enjoyed spending summers at the Sarasota Music Festival, the Chautauqua Music Festival, and the Bay View Music Festival.
Passionate about teaching, Emily is a brass coach for the Spokane Symphony's Music Innovates program, which provides music education for underserved children in Spokane. While living in Los Angeles, Emily taught brass sectionals and early childhood music as a member of the Thornton Outreach Program. She has recently presented masterclasses at Washington State University, and the University of Southern California. Emily has maintained private horn studios while living in Pennsylvania, California, and Washington.
Emily earned her Bachelor of Music and Performer's Certificate at the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Peter Kurau, and her Master of Music at the University of Southern California, under Kristy Morrell.
A member of the Spokane Symphony since 2005, Daniel Cotter performs as the orchestra's 2nd and Eb Clarinetist. With a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from Harid Conservatory and a Master of Music Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Daniel has been invited to perform as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Harid Philharmonia, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the Philharmonic of Veracruz, and the Jalisco Philharmonic, among others. After his solo appearance with the NSO, the Washington Post described his, "velvety tone and elegant phrasing."
Also as a soloist, he has participated in concert broadcasts on various radio stations in New York, Cleveland, Washington D.C., and here in Spokane on KPBX. He has been invited to play with the Cleveland Orchestra and New World Symphony clarinet sections and has performed as Principal Clarinet of the Spokane Opera, the Veracruz Philharmonic, the Florida Sunshine Pops, the Miami Ballet, the Gold Coast Opera, the Florida Symphonic Pops Orchestra, the Sarasota Music Festival Orchestra, and the Santo Domingo Festival Orchestra.
From 2001-2005, Daniel held the position of Professor of Clarinet at the Superior Institute of Music of the State of Veracruz. From 2005 through 2008 he served as the Music Director and Conductor for the Spokane Community Orchestra/Spokane Falls Community College Orchestra.
Daniel and his wife, Bethany Schoeff-Cotter, run the popular oboe cane website, Northwest Oboe Cane. They sell precisely gouged cane for making reeds to oboists around the world. Together they have twin boys, Ethan and Logan, born in 2012, who keep them incredibly busy. Daniel also has a large private studio of clarinet students. Teaching Cotter's passion, and he is incredibly proud of the achievements of each and every one of his students.
Jane Ellsworth is Associate Professor of Music at Eastern Washington University, where she teaches music history. Both a musicologist and a clarinetist, her scholarly and performing activities explore the intersection of various disciplines.
Dr. Ellsworth earned a PhD in musicology in 2004 from The Ohio State University, and also holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in clarinet performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a DMA from Ohio State.
Her recent research has been mainly in early American music; she has published on the history of the clarinet in early America, and is working on projects related to the status and livelihood of early American instrumentalists. Other areas of interest include English music of the nineteenth century, the history of performance, and organology.
Dr. Ellsworth is active with the International Clarinet Association, contributing regularly to its journal, and has also published in the Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society and elsewhere. She has performed and lectured on the clarinet throughout the United States and in Europe, South America and Asia, on both modern and historical instruments. She is currently bass clarinetist with the Spokane Symphony.
Kendall Feeney is a member of the piano faculty at Eastern Washington University and director of the EWU Contemporary Music Ensemble. She has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and Asia and been featured on National Public Radio's "Performance Today." A native of California, Ms. Feeney studied with John Perry at the University of Southern California where she received her bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance, winning both the Undergraduate and Graduate Keyboard Awards.
From 1991 to 2003, Feeney was Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Northwest concert series ZEPHYR: A New Design for Classical Music. She is a frequent guest artist at Chamber Music San Juans and the Bellingham Music Festival and is on the faculty of the Golandsky Institute at Princeton. She has served on the chamber music staff of the New College Festival in Sarasota, Florida and the Round Top Festival Institute in Texas.
Ms. Feeney is nationally recognized as a leading pedagogue of the Taubman approach to piano playing and is well known for her work with injured musicians. She regularly coaches with New York Taubman specialist, Edna Golandsky. Ms. Feeney maintains private studios in Seattle, Spokane and Portland and is a sought after adjudicator and lecturer. In addition to her performing and teaching, she is a regular contributor to Clavier Magazine. She was awarded the 1997 Individual Artist of the Year by the Spokane Arts Commission and is included in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Women.
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Dr. Lynne Feller-Marshall is principal bassoonist with the Spokane Symphony, and teaches bassoon at Eastern Washington University and Whitworth College. She also performs a variety of music with other Spokane musical groups such as Zephyr, Allegro, the Northwest Bach Festival, and the Spokane Opera.
While attending The Juilliard School in New York City, Feller-Marshall was a freelance orchestral player with several metropolitan-area groups. From 1991 until 1995, she was bassoonist with The Devienne Trio, a New York-based group that was selected for a year-long residency with the National Endowment for the Arts.
She has participated in the Tanglewood, Banff and Recontres Musicales d' Evian (France) festivals during the past several years. Her degrees include a BM in Music Education (1989), SUNY Potsdam; Master of Music (1991) and Doctor of Musical Arts (1997), The Juilliard School. Her primary teachers were Stephen Maxym, Frank Morelli, and Frank Wangler.
Dr. Feller-Marshall and her husband have a son and a daughter. Lynne's extra-musical interests include horseback riding, cooking, and travelling with her family.
Erin Foster taught music theory/ear training and advised incoming freshmen at Eastern Washington University for almost 15 years. Currently, she teaches Music in the Humanities Online, a course she developed for the EWU Online Education Program. In addition, Erin teaches Music in the Humanities, theory, and bassoon at Gonzaga University and bassoon at Whitman College. Erin is an "Eastern Washington University Honor Faculty Member" award recipient for outstanding teaching.
In addition to teaching, Ms. Foster is a professional musician who performs with many groups in the greater Spokane area including the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Coeur d'Alene Summer Theater, Spokane Opera, Coeur d'Alene Opera Orchestras, and Walla Walla Symphony. She was a long-standing member of the Westwind Woodwind Quintet--an educational ensemble of the Spokane Symphony--and Mosaic Winds, conducted by Dr. Robert Spittal. Ms. Foster coached and auditioned the winds and brass for the Spokane Youth Orchestra's Junior Symphony Orchestras. She adjudicates for many area and state solo/ensemble and large group festivals and coaches woodwinds for schools throughout the great Spokane region as well as teaching private bassoon lessons.
As Vice-President of the Spokane Historic Concerts Association™, she also designed and maintains their website and helped revived The Spokane Royal Fireworks Concert™. Before moving to Eastern Washington, Ms. Foster played with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra in Reno, Nevada, Reno Opera Orchestra, Reno Salon Orchestra, Reno Wind Quintet, and freelanced with many other Nevada and California chamber groups and orchestras. She has an undergraduate degree in orchestral performance and master's degree in bassoon performance. Previously, she taught English courses at North Idaho College.
Ms. Foster resides in Cheney with her husband, Bill Foster, the band and strings teacher at Cheney Middle School and recipient of the "Christa McAuliffe Outstanding Educator" award for exemplary teaching in Washington state from the Governor of Washington and is the bass trombonist with Spokane Jazz Orchestra and the Bob Curnow Big Band. They have two daughters.
Stephan Friel is currently professor of saxophone at Eastern Washington University where he also teaches jazz studies and woodwind techniques. He is a DMA Candidate with the College of Music at the University of North Texas where he studied with Dr. Eric M. Nestler.
As a saxophonist, Stephan has performed with such artists as Natalie Cole and Tony Bennett. He can be heard on recordings with the Two O'Clock Lab Band, where he was lead alto. In 2008, Stephan recorded Concert Tango as saxophone soloist with the University of North Texas' Wind Symphony under the direction of Eugene Migliaro Corporon. Stephan has also performed as saxophonist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Richardson Symphony.
Stephan has performed as oboist with the Enid Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Texarkana Symphony, Richardson Symphony, and Tyler Chamber Series. He can be heard on several GIA recordings as principal oboist with the University of North Texas' Wind Symphony, Eugene Migliaro Corporon conducting.
Mr. Friel has also performed with Broadway equity shows, Oklahoma City Summer Lyric Theater and with several theater groups in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as a woodwind doubler on flute, oboe, clarinet and saxophone.
Stephan has been a member of several Army National Guard Bands for twenty-seven years and is currently serving in the Texas Army National Guard with the 36th Infantry Division Band with whom he deployed to Iraq in 2010.
Don Goodwin is a graduate of Eastern Washington University, where he received his Master of Arts in Composition (2007). Before returning to Eastern to pursue his degree in 2005, Goodwin lived and worked in Seattle for eight years, where he taught music theory at The Art Institute of Seattle, and performed with several touring groups around the country. His band, BeeCraft, recorded several albums, and was featured at many of the Northwest's premiere venues and festivals. Most recently, Goodwin can be heard as a keyboardist and as a composer featured on four separate Flowmotion albums. With Flowmotion, Don played, among many other venues, Bumbershoot in Seattle, and shared the stage with many influential recording artists such as Widespread Panic, G-Love and Special Sauce, Bill Frisell, and Critters Buggin'.
Currently Godwin teaches music theory, counterpoint, composition, jazz small groups, and jazz piano. In addition, he serves as Jazz Band Director at Lewis and Clark High School, and is an adjunct professor at Gonzaga University, where he teaches advanced jazz piano.
In the professional community Don is a sought-after pianist, composer, and clinician. He leads his own jazz trio (The Don Goodwin Trio), as well as several funk/jazz/rock small groups, including Freefire, Jungle Circus, and WE B-3. In addition, Don is the pianist for The Bob Curnow Big Band, and plays in several area groups as a sideman.
As a composer, Don is constantly working on many commissions. His piece, "Parallels" was performed in October of 2007 by the Spokane Symphony Orchestra at their Symphony On The Edge concert series, under the direction of Morihiko Nakahara.
Jim Kershner of The Spokesman Review had this to say about Goodwin's piece: "The entire evening would have been worth it merely for the world premiere of "Parallels," a jazzy, flashy juggernaut by Spokane composer, conductor and jazz pianist Don Goodwin. This piece, which closed the concert, was rich with bright washes of sound and flashes of brilliant complexity. Complexity was in plentiful supply at this concert, but Goodwin's piece managed to conjure up an entire jaunty world, like the soundtrack to a particularly wonderful movie cartoon."
Don has had several of his original big band charts published by Walrus Music Publishing.
Jody Graves maintains an exciting, diverse and active performing career, and is recognized nationally as a distinguished artist and teacher of piano. Her recital engagements as a soloist and collaborative pianist take her across the United States and abroad. She has performed concerts in Austria, Norway, France, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Japan, and has toured in the Persian Gulf serving as a Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. State Department. The Middle East Tour, with the Sapphire Trio, included concerts in Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The press reviews have called their performances "exciting...imaginative and compelling." Her work in the Middle East has continued over the past 10 years. In April, 2010, she was a judge for the National Palestinian Piano Festival in Jerusalem, and following that event toured the West Bank region with the Sapphire Trio performing concerts and giving master classes. The Sapphire Trio returned to the Middle East for a concert tour and master classes in April, 2011, and Dr. Graves returned to the Middle East to perform concerts and give master classes in March 2012.
Dr. Graves is in great demand as an adjudicator for piano competitions and festivals. Each season takes her across the country as an MTA clinician, and she has an active schedule each year as a workshop presenter for teachers. Ms. Graves has been a presenter at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and in 2015 was a Keynote Speaker in Chicago, IL. She has been a presenter and performer at numerous State and National MTNA conferences such as the National MTNA Conference (Kansas City, Milwaukee, L.A.) and was invited to present at the national MTNA Conference again in 2015 in Las Vegas. She was the guest artist for the Utah State MTA conference in 2013, and has been invited to be the guest artist for the Montana State conference in 2016. Dr. Graves has served as a judge for the International Piano Competition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and also served on the faculty with Dr. Alexandra Ngyuen for the Eastman Summer Session titled 'Plays Well With Others', featuring sessions on collaborative arts performance. Additionally, Dr. Graves has authored articles for the American Music Teacher and Clavier magazines.
Her 4th recording project 'ANANDA - Notes from the Heart' was released in May 2015 featuring the music of Brahms, Liszt, Berg, Copland and others. She has performed solo and chamber recitals across the country at university guest artist series and community concert events, and has been a featured performing artist several times on public radio. Ms. Graves has been a soloist with the Spokane Symphony, the Butte Symphony and the Wenatchee Symphony and has received rave reviews of her performance of 'Rhapsody in Blue'. Graves is the pianist with the nationally acclaimed Sapphire Trio and they have been featured guest artists at the National MTNA conference in Seattle, WA, the International Clarinet Festival in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Assisi, Italy, Baton Rouge, LA, and the International Clarinet Music Festival in Madrid, Spain in 2015.
Dr. Graves also offers the "Artists' Retreat" seminars which focus on the "Heart of Performance" addressing everything from the issues of stage delivery, to living an artistic life. Graves is especially interested in promoting concert art music, creating unique and contemporary ways to foster a collaborative experience between artist and listener, and is dedicated to maintaining the life of music in our schools and culture. Ms. Graves is recognized for her creative ability to engage the audience during her concerts with anecdotes, historical perspectives and humor, and often uses multi-media to highlight the musical works. The press has referred to her as "Victoria Borge".
She holds a Doctorate Degree in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and her Master degree from Catholic University in Washington D.C. Dr. Graves is currently Associate Professor of Piano at Eastern Washington University, in Cheney, WA and was recently awarded the Fosseen-Kusaka Distinguished International Exchange Scholar Award at EWU which took her to Japan as a solo artist and master class clinician in 2014.
For more detailed information: www.drjodygraves.com
For more detailed information: www.drjodygraves.com
Riley Gray is a Spokane area pianist and keyboardist who has been a member of groups such as the Bob Curnow Big Band, Son Dulce Live Salsa, and many other projects. He has taught at the EWU jazz camp since 2010 and maintains a private studio of students. He has had multiple performances on the KPBX 97.1 program, Piano Bench.
Ashley Hirt teaches Music in the Humanities at EWU. A native of the Kansas City, Missouri area, she holds a Master of Arts in Music History from the University of Idaho and is completing her PhD in Musicology from the University of Kansas, where she has studied under Dr. Roberta Schwartz and Dr. Sherrie Tucker. She has taught music history survey courses at the University of Idaho and the University of Kansas, and has served as quarterly faculty at EWU prior to her recent appointment. Ashley's research examines issues of nationality, gender and identity in contemporary popular music, with an emphasis on the globalization and educational culture of jazz in an increasingly connected world. Her additional research interests include music in film (specifically science fiction), brass pedagogy, and improvisation. Ashley is also an experienced low brass musician and has played trombone and euphonium professionally for many years.
Ashley was an Alternate for a Fulbright Fellowship to Norway in 2014 to observe and document methods of jazz education in Norway's secondary academic institutions. She has presented original research at several major academic conferences. Prior to moving to Eastern Washington, she was active as a performer on low brass, voice, and keyboards in the Kansas City area, playing everything from Latin band to big band jazz to contemporary opera to Baroque dance suites. She currently performs as a trombonist with Spokane's Tuxedo Junction Big Band. Ashley's chamber music compositions and arrangements have been performed by the Black House Collective and the H2 Saxophone Quartet.
Ross Holcombe is the principal trombonist of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, and also holds the position of associate principal/second trombonist of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. Ross has previously served as the principal trombonist of both the Plymouth and Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestras in Massachusetts. Outside of his regular schedule Ross has appeared with numerous other orchestras, including performances as principal trombonist with the Seattle Symphony, Bellingham Festival, and Boston Philharmonic Orchestras, and second trombonist with the Oregon Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, New Bedford Symphony, and the New World Symphony.
Solo engagements include performances with the Spokane Symphony of John Mackey's Harvest: Concerto for Trombone. Ross has also been featured as a soloist and guest performer at the Eastern Trombone Workshop as a member of the Frequency Band, and has presented solo recitals at the Florida State University, Gonzaga University, and New England Conservatory. As a younger musician, Ross was heard as a soloist on NPR's radio show, From the Top. Ross is a founding member of the Spokane Brass Quintet, and has collaborated in other chamber music performances with members of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Currently serving on the faculties of Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, and Whitworth Universities, Ross has also presented masterclasses at schools across the United States, including Drake University, the University of Montana, and the University of South Florida. An avid composer and arranger for brass, Ross' music has received performances by the Atlantic Brass Quintet, the Vermont Symphony Brass Quintet, and the Spokane Brass Quintet, as well as by the trombone choirs at the New England Conservatory, Eastern Washington University, and the University of Montana.
Ross earned his Bachelor's of Music Degree in Trombone Performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston. His primary teachers have included Norman Bolter, John Drew, Grady McGrannahan, Joseph Frye, and Dale Moore. Ross has also received fellowships to attend the Tanglewood Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival, and the National Orchestral Institute.
Kristin Joham teaches horn at Eastern Washington University and plays horn with Spokane Symphony. She also conducts sectionals at local schools and teaches privately in the area.
Ms. Joham received both her BM and Master of Music in horn performance from the University of Cincinnati- College Conservatory of Music. While living in the Midwest, she subbed with many regional orchestras including the Dayton Philharmonic, the Columbus, Indiana Philharmonic, and the Terra Haute Symphony Orchestra.
Her primary teachers have been Randy Gardner, Michelle Baker, Duane Dugger, and Michael Hoeltzel.
Skyler Johnson is currently the bass trombonist of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his position with the Spokane Symphony, he served as a member of the Quad City Symphony, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, and the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra. Since the summer of 2011, Skyler has served as the bass trombonist of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra under the baton of Corrado Rovaris in Fayetteville, AR. He has also performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, and many orchestras throughout the Midwest.
As a chamber musician, Skyler is a member of the V3NTO Brass Trio. The trio specializes in expanding the repertoire for brass chamber music. Recent performances include the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, Lawrence University, and Southwestern University. More information on the V3NTO Brass Trio can be seen and heard at www.V3NTO.com.
As a freelance musician in the city of Chicago, Skyler performed with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, the DaCorneto Opera, Chamber Opera Chicago, and the Chicago Composer's Orchestra. While attending DePaul University, Skyler had the privilege of recording the album Solitude with jazz saxophone artist Phil Woods with the DePaul Jazz Ensemble. The following year with the same ensemble, Skyler recorded the album Kenton and DePaul Double Feature Vol. 1. This album is comprised of lesser known jazz tunes by composer and arranger Stan Kenton. You can hear Skyler performing the bass trombone solo to "Cabin in the Sky" on track 3 of disc 2.
Skyler is currently Adjunct Professor of Low Brass at Spokane Falls Community College. Prior to his position at SFCC, he served as Adjunct Professor of Low Brass at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, IL. Skyler has held masterclasses and lectures at the University of Oregon, Vandercook College of Music, Lawrence University and Southwestern University.
Skyler received a Bachelor's of Music Degree in Euphonium Performance from the University of Oregon and a Master's of Music Degree in Bass Trombone Performance from DePaul University. His primary teachers include Michael Grose, Dan Satterwhite, Mark Fisher, and Charles Vernon.
Trombonist and composer Jenny Kellogg's musical career has taken her around the world to China, England, Italy, and Peru. Jenny participated in Betty Carter's "Jazz Ahead" Residency Program at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Stean's Summer Music Institute at Ravinia, and she played lead trombone in the 2012 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band. In 2011 and 2012, Ms. Kellogg won the solo trombone chair in the Grammy-Nominated One O'Clock Lab Band. The "Lab 2012" and "Lab 2013" albums feature her large jazz ensemble compositions. Jenny holds a Bachelor of Music degrees in Trombone Performance and Music Composition from the University of Idaho and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. She has shared the stage with many jazz greats such as Kurt Elling, Chick Corea, Ingrid Jensen, Wycliffe Gordon, and many others. Jenny also plays in the Spokane area with Spokane Jazz Orchestra and the Bob Curnow Big Band.
Tomoko Kimura has been teaching Group Piano Class at Eastern Washington University since 2005. It was at Eastern that she received her Master's degree in Piano Performance in 2006, studying under Dr. Jody Graves, Ms. Kendall Feeney, and Margaret Brink. She received her Bachelor's degree in Music Education from the Kunitachi School of Music in 1996, where she studied under Fumiko Yoshida and Yukiko Takeyama. In her high school in Kunitachi, she majored in clarinet and was the principal clarinetist.
Since coming to Spokane to study, Tomoko has accompanied dozens of instrumentalists and vocalists, from undergraduate students to world-class performers. She has earned several awards including the James Edmonds Collaborative Pianist Award.
Tomoko was the music director for the Spokane Children's Theatre winter 2007 production of The Velveteen Rabbit as well as for the spring 2007 production of Cinderella. In addition to teaching at EWU, she also teaches private lessons to both children and adults and is in high demand as a professional accompanist.
John Marshall is the professor of cello and chamber music at Eastern Washington University. He also teaches string techniques, computers in the music classroom, and sight-singing classes. Marshall holds performance degrees from three of the most prestigious music schools in the country: a BM from Indiana University, an MM from Yale University, and a DM from Northwestern University. At these schools he studied with some of the most distinguished cellists in the world: Janos Starker, Aldo Parisot and Hans Jensen. Marshall strives to combine the varying strengths of these three pedagogues into his own teaching methods. His doctoral dissertation focused on compositions for two cellos and orchestra.
In addition to his duties at EWU, Marshall performs over 60 concerts a year as principal cellist with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. Marshall is also a frequent performer with several arts organizations in the Inland Northwest, including Zephyr, the Spokane Chamber Music Association, Connoisseur Concerts, and the Sandpoint Festival. While he was a member of the Spokane String Quartet, Marshall performed throughout the Northwest, and made two tours of Europe and one tour to Taiwan.
In 2001, Marshall initiated the CELLObration Spokane festival. Now an annual event at EWU, CELLObration brings together over 50 student and professional cellists from all over the Northwest for a day of learning and performing music for cello ensemble. Clips of CELLObration may be found on YouTube.
During the summers, Marshall serves on the faculty of the famous Interlochen Arts Camp, teaching cello and chamber music.
"SOAK" CD - http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/paradoxsoak
"MiX-5" CD - http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/paradox8
Interlochen Arts Camp Cello Ensemble Videos
"One" Cello and Dancers - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoVbmA8pAUo
"Purple Haze" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4M93HixgxE
"Kashmir" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woTzv3dVa9A
EWU CELLObration Videos
"Bartok Duos" with Joshua Roman - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcawKaQmo0A
"Walk, Don't Run" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK6XD19kM04
Dr. Jonathan Middleton is a composer, music researcher, and professor at Eastern Washington University. His creative interests include spontaneous approaches to composition through stream of consciousness and algorithmic composition. The foundation of his work is created from Web-based software he originally designed in 2004. The application, available on the Web at musicalgorithms.org and musicalgorithms.ewu.edu, provides a user-friendly environment where anyone can create music from varied data sources. Dr. Middleton's work is often collaborative; his most recent research involves partnerships in the areas of biochemistry (proteins), agricultural economics, and environmental science (salmon). Some of his work is being completed at the University of Tampere between 2015 and 2017, where he is working on data-to-music sonification research and new compositions.
Dr. Middleton obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts in 1999 from Columbia University where he was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the School of the Arts. He has studied composition with numerous professors including Fred Lerdahl, Jonathan Kramer, Emma Lou Diemer, William Kraft, Frederic Rzewski, Ann Kearns, Dan Warner, Peter Golub and Pulitzer Prize winners Roger Reynolds and Lewis Spratlan. He also studied contemporary compositional techniques with Kyle Gann and Tristan Murail.
As a mid-career composer, Dr. Middleton has created many works, from orchestral to electronic. In recent years he has received numerous commissions with performances and recordings by professional ensembles: Czech Philharmonic, Kiev Philharmonic, Millennium Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Coeur d'Alene Symphony, Paradox, MoPho, and Music Northwest. His music is featured on the cd's Soak, ERM Masterworks of the New Era vols. 11 and 17, and ERM Music of the Americas. In 2008, he co-authored an article with Diane Dowd in the journal Leonardo (41/2 2008), which describes his creative process with the "musicalgorithms" software.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Middleton has served as a visiting scholar and composer at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) where he completed a new work for mobile phones with performances at Stanford, Belfast, Helsinki, Monterey and Berkeley. He is currently in residence on a part-time basis with the Human Computer Interaction Unit at the University of Tampere in Finland. Dr. Middleton is also working on a composition textbook for Waveland Press and an opera for concert band.
Keleren Millham began her songwriting, arranging, touring and recording profession while in college as a founding member of the a cappella trio, Lotus. Shortly after its formation, Lotus was signed to Aery productions, leading the group to a diverse touring schedule, which included many arts council and NACA performances.
A life-long student of vocal pedagogy across multiple genres, Keleren maintains a thriving, diverse private studio and busy performing career as soloist and ensemble member. For the last eighteen years, Keleren has been writing, touring and performing as a part of a duo with her husband, Michael Millham. A veteran of over 10 recording projects, her voice has been heard by millions in ad campaigns for FOX and NBC.
An in-demand teacher, Michael maintains studios at Eastern Washington and Gonzaga Universities, as well as nurturing a private studio. He is a regular host/director of the Northwest Guitar Festival, and has been a featured performer for numerous regional festivals including the Northwest Guitar Festival, the Northwest Bach Festival, the Festival at Sandpoint (in concerto with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra), and Northwest Folklife's guitar showcase in McCaw hall, among others.
Michael has been profiled in the magazine Acoustic Guitar and is a regular contributor to the same. He has also written for Guitar Teacher and Play Guitar! magazines. Michael has worked as either an alpha/beta testing endorser or performing artist for Elixir strings, Lowden Guitars, Schoenberg Guitars, Hill Guitars, L.R. Baggs electronics and AER amps among other companies. His duo (with his wife, vocalist Keleren Millham) regularly performs at venues ranging from wine bars and house concerts to radio shows, theaters, universities and festivals: over 2,000 performances to date. They have released 3 CDs featuring their own compositions and completed their first documentary film soundtrack. Michael was recently featured in performance and on record with the Montana choir Dolce Canto (2011 recording). He is a graduate of the Lionel Hampton School of Music-University of Idaho.
Michael's students have won multiple gold and silver medals at Musicfest Northwest, including concerto performances in the young artist division. He has had students go on to respected schools for bachelors and masters degrees, and his former students have themselves been hired to teach at the college level, including Gonzaga and SFCC.
Both an acoustic guitar amplifier (L.R. Baggs A-Ref) and an acoustic guitar pickup (L.R. Baggs M1) designed with/around Michael's input have won MIPA awards (Musikmesse International Press Award; the "Grammy" of the Musical Instrument/ProAudio industry). The M1 pickup, in particular, has been adopted by many players at the pinnacle of the pop/acoustic music industry, including Tom Petty, David Gilmore (Pink Floyd) Cold Play, Jakob Dylan, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Oasis, among others.
In 1999, Michael was one of eight recipients selected nationally for Jim Beam Brand Worldwide's Benefiting Emerging Artists in Music grant.
Steven Mortier, an American lyric baritone, is noted for his warmth of singing combined with bold dramatic interpretations and solid musicianship. In 2002, Mr. Mortier displayed his versatile talents by meeting the demands of a wide variety of genres. He performed Haydn's Mass in Time of War with the Oregon East Symphony, the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro with Rainier Lyric Opera, Don Quixote in The Man of La Mancha with Spokane Opera, a return to the Lake Charles Symphony for the King in The King and I and in Spokane he was heard in the March Messiah with the Spokane Symphony. Last season Mr. Mortier was heard singing for Gonzaga's 100th Year Bing Crosby Birthday Bash: A Cole Porter Celebration with the Mid-Columbia Symphony, the role of Brander in The Damnation of Faust with the Spokane Symphony and a return to Spokane Opera for the role of Leporello in their production of Don Giovanni. Other recent engagements include the title role of Rigoletto with the Lake Charles Symphony, Leporello in Don Giovanni with Tacoma Opera, a return to Mississippi Opera to perform Masetto in Don Giovanni and a Holiday Pops Concert featuring Bing Crosby tunes and The Reluctant Dragon with the Spokane Symphony.
Mr. Mortier made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1996 with the New England Symphonic Ensemble in Haydn's The Creation and at Lincoln Center with The National Chorale in The Messiah. Mr. Mortier then performed the role of the Traveler in Spoleto Festival USA's production of Curlew River, with Pittsburgh Opera in L'Elisir d'Amore as Dulca- mara, with Lake Charles Symphony in their fully staged production of Oklahoma as Curley, with Mississippi Opera as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and with Spokane Opera as the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro. He has also had staring roles with Tacoma Opera, Southern Utah University, and Tri-Cities Opera as well as Opera Grand Rapids.
With such companies as Chautauqua Opera, Birmingham Opera, Opera Pacific and the Vallejo Symphony, he has sung leading roles in Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, Falstaff, The Bartered Bride, and The Tenderland, as well as a special production of Weill's Mahagonny led by Kent Nagano. Mr. Mortier is currently on the voice faculty at Eastern Washington University and has a private voice studio in Spokane.
Cynthia Nasman has taught in the elementary school music classroom for over 20 years in Washington and California, and at the university level for 12 years in Washington and Indiana, with a special emphasis on world music and foundational skills and methods for both music and general classroom teachers. Now living in Spokane, WA, she is finishing a Doctorate in Music Education at Indiana University with a dissertation on the preferences of elementary school students for world musics.
Andrew Plamondon completed a bachelor's degree in Music Education at Boise State University in 1984. He attended graduate studies at Indiana University from 1984-86 where he was a student of William Adam. Other teachers include Galindo Rodriguez, Armando Ghittalla, and John McNeil. Andy has been an active clinician, adjudicator and performer since moving to Spokane in 1987. He is a member and is often featured as a soloist with ensembles such as the Spokane Symphony, Spokane Jazz Orchestra, Bob Curnow Big Band, Clarion, and many others.
In 2001 Andy was selected as a senior lecturer at Eastern Washington University where he teaches trumpet, brass and jazz courses, and directs student groups such as brass quintets, trumpet ensemble, and jazz ensembles. Mr. Plamondon has previously taught trumpet and jazz courses at Whitman, Gonzaga, Walla Walla, and Whitworth Universities.
He has performed as a guest soloist with many symphonies, bands and chamber ensembles and has appeared as a soloist on recently released recordings by Clarion, Desifinado, The Bob Curnow Band, The Spokane Jazz Orchestra, and Casey MacGill and the Spirits of Rhythm. He teaches, performs and adjudicates at music festivals and camps throughout the US and Canada. Andy has performed and toured with many of the world's most well known and respected jazz, country, rock, pop, folk, and classical artists throughout the US and abroad. He regularly performs and writes music for a diverse array of small groups such as The Brass Works, Square Revolution, The Spokane Brass Quintet, Zephr, Desifinado, and Soul Proprietor, to name but a few. He and his family love Spokane and the Northwest. Travel, hiking, sports, and reading are his favorite hobbies.
Kim Plewniak is originally from Buffalo, NY. She received her Professional Studies and Master of Music degrees in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. While in Manhattan, she studied both with New York Philharmonic Bassist, Orin O'Brien, and associate principal bass from the Metropolitan Opera, Timothy Cobb. Her Bachelor of Music degree is from the Eastman School of Music where she tutored under double bass soloist, James VanDemark.
Before living in Spokane, Ms. Plewniak performed professionally with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (NY), the Virginia Symphony (VA), the Lancaster Festival Orchestra (OH), and was principal bass of the Billings Symphony (MT). Her orchestral experiences have let her work under such distinguished conductors as Kurt Masur, Roger Norrington, Eji Oue and Jerzy Semkov. She has participated in summer festivals at the Pacific Music Festival (Japan), the National Orchestral Institute (MD), and played in the Heidelburg-Schlossfestspeile Opera Orchestra in Germany.
At the present time, she maintains a large private bass studio and is an adjunct professor at both Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga University. During the summer, she teaches at the Red Lodge Music Festival in Montana. Ms. Plewniak is currently the assistant principal bass of the Spokane Symphony.
Kristina Ploeger is currently a full-time Associate Professor, serving as Director of Choral Activities at Eastern Washington University, and Artistic Director of the Spokane Area Youth Choirs (formerly the Spokane Area Children's Chorus). Previously in Spokane, Kristina taught Choral Methods at Gonzaga University and observed student teachers for Whitworth College as well as teaching Middle School Choir at St. George's School and High School Choir at West Valley High School in the Spokane Valley. Before moving to the Spokane area, she taught at Everett High School, Ephrata High School, and AC Davis High School.
A member of ACDA, NAfME, and WMEA, Kristina has served on the WA ACDA Board in the multi-cultural, children's chorus, university and jazz R&S positions. She has presented numerous times for state and all-northwest MENC/WMEA conventions as well as seven WA-ACDA Summer Institutes. Directing Honor Groups and All-State Choirs in Washington, Oregon and Kentucky has given her the chance to work with a wonderful array of choristers and directors.
She has earned degrees from Edmonds CC, CWU, and EWU; and is currently completing a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Kentucky where she studied with Dr. Jefferson Johnson and Dr. Lori R. Hetzel. In 2005, Kristina Ploeger was awarded the "Arts in Education Award" by the Spokane Arts Commission of the City of Spokane. In 2009, she was awarded Spokane's "YWCA Woman of Achievement in Arts and Culture Award." And, in 2010 the Spokane Area Children's Chorus, directed by Kristina, won the "Arts Organization Award" from the Spokane Arts Commission.
Dr. Julia Salerno serves as professor of Violin and Viola at Eastern Washington University. Ms. Salerno has been a featured soloist with many orchestras, including the Northwest Philharmonia, Spokane Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony, and the Walla Walla Symphony. Julia also appeared with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra in Prague and presented a recital for their International Diplomat Series.
Early accomplishments include winning first prize and the festival medal in the 2000 Seattle Young Artists Music Festival; national finalist for the String division of the 2001 MTNA collegiate competition; and String Division Young Artist Winner of Musicfest Northwest in 2004. Salerno has also served as concertmaster of many orchestras, including three years at the University of Michigan. During their 2004 season, the UM orchestra made the GRAMMY Award winning recording of William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, conducted by Leonard Slatkin. Julia was concertmaster and a violin soloist in that recording.
While residing in Los Angeles, Ms. Salerno enjoyed a diverse musical experience, including a small appearance in the 2009 movie The Soloist, the 2009 Academy Awards Governors Ball Orchestra, a PBS Documentary honoring Ella Fitzgerald, and performances with musicians like Stevie Wonder and Natalie Cole. She also participated in chamber performances with principal musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and performed on the popular Classical Underground chamber music series with her USC piano trio.
Julia began Suzuki violin lessons at age two. Her teachers have included Kathleen Spring, Margaret Pressley, Stephen Shipps, Lyndon Johnston-Taylor, and Martin Chalifour. Julia was a scholarship student at several summer festivals including the Encore School for Strings, Indiana University Summer String Academy, and the Meadowmount School of Music. Julia graduated with a DMA in Violin Performance from the University of Southern California in May 2010. She was awarded major scholarships for music study at the University of Michigan and University of Southern California, where she received her B.M. and M.M., respectively, in violin performance summa cum laude.
Julia enjoys collaborating with colleagues for frequent chamber performances around the Northwest, including several appearances at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival. She also performs around the US in the violin duo "SEEING DOUBLE" along with violinist Sarah Whitney of Sybarite5. Julia enjoys teaching a wide range of students and has a large private studio spanning Spokane to Walla Walla. Julia serves as co-director of the Walla Walla Suzuki Institute, and also enjoys teaching in Vermont at the Green Mountain Suzuki Institute each summer.
Julia loves to meet and work with prospective students and would be pleased receive an email or call from anyone interested in violin/viola studies at Eastern Washington University.
Bethany Schoeff received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Oboe Performance from The Lynn Conservatory of Music, formerly The Harid Conservatory, in 2001, where she studied with former Principal Oboe of the Florida Philharmonic, John Dee. She also received her Master of Music Degree in Oboe Performance & Minor of Music in Baroque Oboe Performance from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in 2008, where she studied with former Metropolitan Opera & St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Oboist Linda Strommen and Baroque Oboe Soloist Washington McClain.
Bethany was Principal Oboist of the Veracruz Philharmonic in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, from 2001 to 2005 and during that time was also Professor of Oboe at the Superior Institute of Music. She has appeared as a Soloist with the Veracruz Philharmonic, The Florida Philharmonic Chamber Strings & won the concerto competition at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in 1996. She was also a guest performer at the Crystal Cathedral in Los Angeles, California. As a substitute musician, she has performed as Principal Oboe for the Florida Philharmonic & Spokane Opera, Section Oboe, English Horn & Bass Oboe for the Spokane Symphony & the North Miami Beach Symphony. Bethany was also a substitute musician for the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida.
As a chamber musician, the groups she has performed with include The Veracruz Woodwind Quintet, Mozart on a Summers Eve, Allegro Baroque and Beyond, & The Royal Fireworks 'Royal Band'. During her time in Florida she studied under Arthur Weisberg, Founder of the New York Woodwind Quintet & former Assistant Principal Bassoon of the Cleveland Orchestra. While living in Mexico, Bethany studied Alexander Technique privately with Professor Claudia Montero & also studied Spanish Language with Professor Joaquin Vargas. Bethany has participated in oboe & English horn masterclasses with Ray Still, Alex Klein, Thomas Stacy & Peter Cooper.
Bethany is currently working as the Personnel Manager for the Spokane Symphony and is the proprietor a small business, Northwest Oboe Cane.
Peter Shelley teaches music theory for Eastern Washington University. He received his bachelor's degree in piano performance and mathematics from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and holds a Ph.D. in music theory from the University of Washington, where he completed a dissertation on early American minimalist music and sculpture under the supervision of Jonathan Bernard. Dr. Shelley's minimalist research emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to the connections between music and sculpture that include art criticism, continental philosophy, feminist theory, and the history of emotions. He has also published an article on the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, and is currently expanding his research interests to include American hip hop. As a graduate student, Dr. Shelley taught introductory and core music theory at the University of Washington. After receiving his degree he went on to teach popular music for the Indiana University Comparative Literature Department. He has presented his research at regional conferences and internationally, and will be participating in a panel discussion on the philosopher Adriana Cavarero at this year's national joint meeting of the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory.
Scott was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and moved to San Francisco, California, in 1981. While living in San Francisco, Scott became one of the top calls for bass players in the S.F. jazz scene, playing with many of the finest local jazz musicians and well-known, visiting artists.
In 1985, Scott won the bass chair in the Horace Silver Quintet and played with them for a year. After returnin, Scott continued to play with many of the most influential jazz players in S.F. such as Tee Carson, Richie Cole, Bobby Hutcherson, Bruce Forman, Joe Henderson, Vince Lateano, Mark Murphy, Kitty Margolis, and many other traveling musicians.
In 1990, Scott became Bass Clinician for the Monterey Jazz Festival's Traveling Clinician Program and continues doing so.
In 1993, Scott began became the bassits with legendary singer Joe Williams, which he continued to do until Joe's death in 1998. In 1997, Scott moved to the Portland area where he has been well received and works with many of great musicians there such as Gary Hobbs, Randy Porter, Dan Balmer, Mel Brown, Tony Pacini, Tom Grant, Rebecca Kilgore, and many others.
In 2001, Scott became the bass player and Music Director for the Diane Schuur group and performed with her until 2010.Scott's playing can be heard on many recordings and can also be seen at many of the Jazz Festivals around the world.
In 2010, Scott moved from the Portland area to Spokane,Washington. In addition to teaching at EWU, he is the jazz bass instructor at Whitworth University in Spokane,WA. He also performs with several groups in Spokane.
Earecka Tregenza is an active performer throughout the Pacific Northwest, both as a soloist and orchestral musician. Ms. Tregenza is Principal Harp with the Spokane Symphony and performs as a substitute principal and extra harp with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. She is also regularly heard with her husband, violinist Jason Moody, as a part of Duo Zephyr.
Ms. Tregenza has performed extensively in Europe and North America, and has appeared as a guest principal harp with the Houston Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and New World Symphony. Her music festival credits include fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Center, National Orchestral Institute, Aldeburgh Festival, Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Rome Festival, Round‐Top Festival Institute and the Texas Music Festival. She was a finalist in the ASTA/NSOA National Solo Competition, and a winner of the Alice Chalifoux Prize for artistic excellence at CIM.
Earecka Tregenza earned a Master of Music from Rice University, Shepherd School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Following her graduation from Rice, she attended the Royal Conservatory of Music, Glenn Gould School. Her primary teachers have been Judy Loman, Paula Page, Yolanda Kondonassis, Alice Chalifoux, Marilyn Costello and Rebecca Lewis Wagner.
A dedicated teacher, Earecka Tregenza is the harp faculty at Eastern Washington, Gonzaga and Whitworth Universities, and has served as a harp instructor at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Interlochen, Michigan and the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program at Rice University.
Dr. Randel R. Wagner earned his Doctorate of Music in voice performance and pedagogy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his Master's degree from San Diego State University in choral conducting and voice performance. After completing a Bachelor of Music Education degree at Walla Walla College, Dr. Wagner taught choral and vocal music at the high school level in San Diego.
After study at San Diego State University, he taught at the college level in Texas and Nebraska. Before accepting the position at EWU, he was on the voice faculty at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland and was the Director of Choral Activities at Hammond High School in Columbia, Maryland. Dr. Wagner has a busy performing and conducting schedule. As a professional baritone he performed with the Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane and Coeur d'Alene Opera Companies.He was a freeland singer in San Francisco that included work with the San Francisco Opera. As a conductor, his work ranges from appearances at the Oregon Bach Festival and the N.W. Bach Festival to Musical Theater and the Spokane Civic Theater.
He has presented recitals and master classes across the United States, in Europe and Asia. His awards include Regional Finalist, Metropolitan Opera Auditions; National Finalist, NATS Singer of the Year Competition; and the Nicolai Gedda Award, Music Academy of the West. He has worked with conductors Helmut Rilling, Robert Shaw, Roger Wagner, Paul Salamunovich, Joseph Flummerfelt, Howard Swan, Elmer Iseler, Sir David Willcocks, John Rutter, Jon Robertson, Bruce Ferden, Frank Almond, Gerard Schwarz, and Eduardo Müller. His voice teachers and coaches include Martial Singher, Gwendolyn Koldofsky, George Trovillo, Cornelius Reid, Marianna Busching, Armen Guzelimian, Maurice Allison, Julian Patrick, Ellen Mack, George Fiore, Elly Ameling and Ellen Faull.
As a clinician, Dr. Wagner has conducted the Nebraska Honor Choir, the Archdiocese of Seattle Choral festival at Benaroyal hall, Festival of the Arts (Spokane), North Idaho Honor Choir Festival and the Montana Honor Treble Choir. As an adjudicator he has judged the Northwest Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Oregon Choir Championships, state large ensemble choral festivals, and state solo and ensemble festivals in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.
Dr. Michael Waldrop is Professor of Percussion at the Eastern Washington University. He teaches jazz drumset, classical percussion, percussion ensembles and percussion methods at EWU. He has a Bachelor's degree in percussion performance from the University of North Texas, a Masters in Jazz Studies from the University of Memphis, and a Doctorate in Performance from the University of North Texas.
Dr. Waldrop's career has been extensive and varied, ranging from rock and jazz styles to performances with major symphonies in the United States and abroad. Waldrop is a recording artist on the grammy nominated "Origin" label that released his critically acclaimed CD entitled "Time Within Itself" in 2015. He was a member of the Grammy nominated One o'Clock Lab Band and recorded two CD's with the group and has been on several international tours, including a European tour of the Broadway production of 42nd Street and a tour of Turkey with Prix di Rome prize-winning composer Kamran Ince and his ensemble. In addition, he has performed with a number of jazz luminaries including Randy Brecker, Marvin Stamm, and Mike Stern. Dr. Waldrop was also a member of Blue Note recording artist Bob Belden's quartet. He has played and recorded with many of the greatest percussionists in the world including Gordon Stout, Nebojsa Zivkovic and Airto. He has played on many recording projects ranging from the Warner Bros. Movie "Christmas Vacation", a plethora of jazz recordings and various chamber music projects.
Dr. Waldrop was a member of a select group of 50 of the finest marimbists in the world chosen to represent the international Percussive Arts Society in a 50 member marimba orchestra to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the society in 2011. He was recently featured on a 2014 CD with internationally renowned marimbist and member of the PAS Hall of Fame, Gordon Stout. In Spokane, Waldrop was a featured member of the Bob Curnow big band from 2006-09 with whom he recorded four CD's and was featured as a soloist on these CD's.
Dr. Waldrop was the Director of Jazz Studies and Percussion at Colorado Mesa University in Colorado from 1999-2004. While in Colorado, he was Principal Percussionist with the Grand Junction Symphony as well as Director of the Western Colorado Jazz Orchestra. He was the professor of percussion at the University of Toledo from 2004-2006 . While there he performed in the Faculty Jazz group with legendary jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks. He is a current member of Jack Cooper's Jazz Orchestra of the Delta based in Memphis. Dr. Waldrop recorded four CD's with the Bob Curnow band from 2006-09.
Dr. Waldrop's former teachers include Robert Schietroma, Ron Fink, Henry Okstel, Greg Bissonnette, Gordon Stout, Frank Shaffer, Keith Copeland, and master classes with Leigh Stevens. He is an endorser and clinician for Yamaha percussion instruments and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.He is available for clinics and performances in both jazz and classical percussion idioms.
Hailed by one Austrian critic "the discovery of the evening . . ." Susan Windham combines dramatic intensity with beautiful, communicative singing. A graduate of Eastern Washington University, Ms. Windham is a proud to return to her alma mater as an adjunct professor of voice.
Active in regional and local opera, Ms. Windham has performed lead roles in productions of Tosca, Merry Widow, Susannah, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Dia- logues of the Carmelites; and supporting roles in Han- sel and Gretel, La Traviate, Carmen, and Magic Flute. Her orchestral works include Verdi's Requiem, Mozart's Requiem, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Mahler's Second Symphony and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. She has performed locally with Zephyr, Connoisseur Concerts, the Westminster Chamber Orchestra, and the Spokane Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Windham has attended the University of Northern Iowa where she worked towards a master's degree in voice. Her teachers have included Dr. Ralph Manzo, Dr. Marietta Coyle, Carol Weber, Caryl Becker, and Elizabeth Colson. She has attended various vocal institutes and has recently studied with Dr. Doreen Rao, receiving her first year CME Certificate.
Ms. Windham also teaches voice at the Holy Names Music Center. She has been employed by the Spokane Area Children's Chorus as conductor and accompanist and was a founding member of OOPS (Oatmeal Opera Players of Spokane), an opera education program that has delighted thousands of school children as well as adult audiences.
Dr. Sheila Woodward is Chair of Music and Associate Professor of Music at Eastern Washington University, USA. She is Past-President of the International Society for Music Education and serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Music Education.
She is a native of South Africa and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town and a Performer's Licentiate in Organ from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. She previously taught at the University of Southern California, the University of South Florida, and the University of the Western Cape.
She has previously served on numerous professional boards; among them being two terms on the ISME Board of Directors (2004-2008), three terms on the ISME Early Childhood Music Education Commission (1992-1998, two as Chair), two terms on the NAfME Council for IN-ovations (2012-2014, one as Chair), and two terms on the NAfME Executive Board of the Society for General Music (2002-2006).
Dr. Woodward's research focus is Music and Wellbeing. She explores this from before birth to adulthood, with studies on the fetus, neonate, premature infant, young child, at-risk youth, juvenile offender and adult musician. She has published numerous articles, in addition to chapters in Elliott's Praxial Music Education: Reflections and Dialogues (Oxford, 2005) and in Malloch and Trevarthen's Communicative musicality: Narratives of expressive gesture and being human (Oxford, 2009).
She has been awarded generous grants to promote international exchange programs, bringing South African musicians to perform in the USA alongside students and professors, and she has directed numerous outreach programs in both countries.
Wentao Xing is a producer, audio engineer, video editor, composer, double bassist, electric bassist, pianist and vocalist, with experience in genres spanning classical, world, and popular music. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree and Bachelor of Law Degree from Xiamen University and a Master's Degree in Music Technology from New York University.
Her professional experience includes producing concerts at the United Nations Headquarters, Carnegie Hall, Smithsonian Museum, New York University, and the Manhattan School of Music. She worked as a recording engineer with ARF! Production, a company with credits on over 45 Grammy awards and nominated albums in New York. Other experience includes working as Recording Assistant to Leszek Wojcik, a leading recording engineer in classical music, and Recording Studio Manager in Carnegie Hall.
Wentao's work focuses on the intersections between art, science and human expression.
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