A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
Lily Afshar, Guitar
Dr. Lily Afshar, Professor of Guitar, is the recipient of the University of Memphis
2008 Distinguished Teaching Award, the 2000 Board of Visitors Eminent Faculty Award,
the 2000 Orville H. Gibson Award for Best Female Classical Guitarist and recipient
of the National Endowment for the Arts Recording Award. Chosen as "Artistic Ambassador"
for the United States Information Agency to Africa, she was the winner of the Tenth,
Eleventh, and Twelfth Annual "Premier Guitarist" awards presented by the Memphis Chapter
of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. She has taught master classes
and performed concerts world-wide in prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall in London,
the Salle Cortot in Paris, the Jerash Festival of Arts in Amman, Jordan, the Aspen
Music Festival in Colorado, and the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming.
A recipient of numerous state, national, and international honors, she has toured
and performed new works in North, Central and South America, Denmark, Poland, England,
France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Iran, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Africa.
Dr. Afshar is the first woman in the world to receive a Doctorate of Music in classical
guitar. She received that degree from Florida State University, a Master of Music
from the New England Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music from the Boston Conservatory.
She also received 3 Diplomas of Merit from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena,
Italy. Dr. Afshar's articles on Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Goya are published multi-lingually.
Herbook, Five Popular Persian Ballads and her recent DVD, “Virtuoso Guitar” are published
by Mel Bay, Inc. Her CD's 24 Caprichos de Goya, A Jug of Wine and Thou, Possession,
and her recent release Hemispheres, which was number seven on Billboard's Classical
album chart are available from Archer Records and Summit Records.
Jason Bell, Piano
Jason Bell’s career has exposed him to many different aspects of the music world.
He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis in piano performance. Currently,
he works around Memphis as a musician and teaches piano to students of all ages. He
has been involved with numerous shows in musical theatre in Memphis and Nashville.
He has also performed in England, France, Canada, Grand Cayman Islands, and numerous
other cities in the United States. He serves as Assistant Music Director for Theatre
Memphis and is a Teaching Partner at Amro Music Store. He also owns and operates
www.musiciansatwork.net, which helps to create and find new jobs for musicians. He
also serves as Executive Director for the Musicians at Work Foundation that strives
to increase the public’s awareness of music’s benefit to society by supporting music
education programs and working musicians.
Davy Bennett, Guitar
Davy Ray Bennett has been a songwriter since he was 13 years old. He has written,
recorded, and performed songs ever since. Davy fronts a band that plays all original
music, called The Davy Ray Trio. In addition to this band, he has played guitar, bass,
drums, or saxophone in Chinook, Transit, Rae-Ray, Blessed Possum, The Misti Rae Band,
and Los Albinos.
Academically, Davy holds a Bachelors of Music degree in Instrumental Performance with
emphasis on the Classical Guitar, received from The University Of Memphis. He has
studied with Dr. William Yelverton at MTSU and Dr. Lily Afshar at The U of M. He has
taken Master classes with William Kanengiser, Dorius Do Lat Shahi, Steven Robinson,
and Carlos Perez. Recently, Davy was certified to teach the Suzuki method for Guitar
at The Andrea Canon Guitar Studio in Spring Texas.
As an instructor, Davy strives to expose the student to all aspects of music, including
many genres, technique, rhythm, theory and professionalism.
Sofya Bravver, Suzuki Piano
Ms. Sofya Bravver, Suzuki Piano Instructor (Community Music School). Ms Bravver graduated
with honors from the Samara School of Music, Russia with a Professional Degree (Master's
level) in piano pedagogy and music theory pedagogy. In 1993, she completed the Suzuki
training program at the University of Memphis and has been teaching Suzuki Piano at
the Community Music School since 1992. Ms. Bravver has over 30 years of teaching experience
including teaching piano, music theory, and music history for 19 years at the Samara
School of Music. She served as faculty at the Rhodes College Music Academy for 8 years
and holds memberships in the Suzuki National Association, MTNA, GMMTA, and Piano Basics
Valetta Brinson Voice
A native of Memphis, Valetta Reneé Brinson is an adjunct voice instructor at the University
of Memphis Community Music School and Southwest TN Community College. She is currently
pursuing the Doctorate of Musical Arts in performance at the Rudi E. Scheidt School
of Music where she is a Hohenberg-Scheidt Scholar. She received her Bachelor of Arts
degree from Morris Brown College and her Master of Arts degree from Middle Tennessee
State University. She is a former middle school music teacher and currently teaches
English as a Second Language at Messick Adult Center in Memphis, TN, the only adult
school in the Memphis City School System. She studies voice with Dr. Randal Rushing
at the University of Memphis. Valetta has performed with the Nashville Opera Association,
Mississippi Opera Association and Opera Memphis in such productions as Strauss' Der
Rosenkavelier, Puccini's Madama butterfly and Gianni Schicchi, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte,
Verdi's Falstaff and Niccolai's Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor. In 2004, she debuted
the role of Coretta Scott King in the opera, The Promise, by Dr. John Baur, about
the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She has performed in concert and recitals
in the UK and Japan and has placed in several vocal competitions, namely the Leontyne
Price Vocal Arts Competition, National Association of Teachers of Singing and Metropolitan
Opera National Council Auditions.
Cindy Browne, Violin
Cynthia (Cindy) Browne, originally from Montana, began her study of violin at the
age of 11 and early on was very involved with the Glacier Symphony, as well as performing
in several master classes and recitals. She completed her last year of high school
by attending Interlochen Arts Academy, where she studied violin with Paul Sonner.
For her bachelor's in violin performance, Mrs. Browne attended The University of Memphis
under the instruction of Soh-Hyun Altino, completing her degree in 2009. Also through
the University, she received training in Suzuki books one through four under Libby
Armour. Mrs. Browne is married to cellist Griffin, and they both enjoy playing music,
teaching, and raising their son Matthew.
Griffin Browne, Cello
Griffin Browne holds degrees in Cello Performance from Stetson University in Florida
(B.Mus.2006) and the University of Memphis (M.M. 2008). He has performed in orchestras
throughout the Mid-South area and has taught cello privately both in Florida and Tennessee.
Griffin is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Cello Performance
at the University of Memphis and currently resides in Memphis with his wife, Cindy,
and their son, Matthew.
Irene Chang Buchanan, Piano, Suzuki Piano
Irene Chang Buchanan, a native of Hong Kong, earned her BM and MM in Piano Performance
from The University of Memphis. Ms. Buchanan studied Suzuki Pedagogy, and has successfully
incorporated Suzuki and Traditional methods for students of all ages. Ms. Buchanan
is a member of Music Teachers National Association, National Guild of Piano Teachers
(Teacher Division of American College of Musicians), and Suzuki Association of Americas.
In recent years, one of the activities that Ms. Buchanan enjoys is learning to play
the viola. She finds it challenging and rewarding to perform with the Germantown Symphony
Michael Caffee, Saxophone
Michael Caffee is a Junior Music Education Major at the University of Memphis. His
primary instrument is the Alto Saxophone. He is a student of Allen Rippe, assistant
professor of saxophone at the U of M. He is a graduate of Burkburnett
high school in Burkburnett, Texas. He has experience teaching in beginning band classes
and will be working with the Center Hill High School Band this fall. He has been teaching
private lessons since last spring with the Community Music School and is looking forward
to having new students!
Joyce Cobb, Voice
Ms. Joyce Cobb, Adjunct Faculty, has enjoyed a long and varied singing career. Ms.
Cobb first began working in the radio and television industry in the early 1970s.
Working with Stax Records and Shoe Productions, she began to compose and released
her first single. After her first years in the industry, she released a solo album
with RCA Records that went to #11 on the Billboard Top 40 chart. Ms. Cobb has opened
for performers Taj Mahal, the Temptations, Muddy Waters, Al Jarreau, and has toured
Europe with Otis Clay. As a soloist, Ms. Cobb performs regularly with the Memphis
Symphony Orchestra and tours with the Memphis Beale Street Blues Company. She has
won numerous awards including four Premiere Player Awards for best female singer from
the Memphis chapter of NARAS. When Joyce Cobb's on Beale opened in 1992, it was the
first club on historic Beale Street to be named for a woman.
Zachary A. Corpus, Tuba
A native of Kansas, Zack Corpus is a doctoral student of Dr. Kevin Sanders and a Graduate
Teaching Assistant at the University of Memphis. He is also on the faculty at the
University of Arkansas at Monticello as Adjunct Instructor of Tuba and Euphonium.
Zack holds a Bachelor's degree from Kansas State University and a Master's degree
from the University of North Texas.
Zack has performed around the United States and internationally, including Australia,
New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. He has received numerous accolades for his playing,
including being named an honorable mention winner in the Artist Solo Division Competition
at the 2011 University of Central Arkansas Low Brass Festival. An avid supporter of
chamber music, Zack is tubist with The Memphis Graduate Brass Quintet and is founder
of Thor and the Thundergods Tuba Quartet, which was selected as first alternate in
the 2010 International Tuba Euphonium Conference Quartet Competition. Zack is in demand
as an educator and adjudicator, teaching and judging low brass in school districts
across the Memphis and Dallas/Fort Worth metroplexes. He currently serves as tuba
and euphonium instructor at Arlington High School in the Shelby County (TN) School
District. Zack has studied privately with Phillip Black, Wichita Symphony Orchestra;
Dr. Steven Maxwell, Kansas State University; Donald Little and Dr. Brian Bowman, University
of North Texas; and Dr. Kevin Sanders, University of Memphis.
Zack's professional affiliations include the International Tuba Euphonium Association,
Music Educators' National Conference, and Music Teachers' National Association. He
is an alumnus of both Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Kappa Kappa Psi fraternities and a
member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. He can be heard on various
recordings with the GIA and Klavier labels, performing with the North Texas Symphonic
Band and North Texas Wind Symphony under the batons of Dennis W. Fisher and Eugene
Matthew Cummings, Suzuki Piano Group Teacher
Mr. Cummings earned his B.M.E. from Loyola University and his M.M.E. from the University
of Memphis. He has completed all 3 levels of Orff training and Master Class. Mr. Cummings
is the Orff Music Specialist at South Park Elementary and Director of Music at St.
Michael’s Catholic Church.
Saundra D’Amato, Suzuki Piano, Musicianship
Saundra D’Amato has taught Suzuki piano, group piano classes and musicianship classes
at The University of Memphis Community Music School for 18 years. After graduating
from Yale University (with a B.A. and a M.M.), she played oboe in the Boston area,
and taught Suzuki piano and Providence, RI. After a two-year stint with the Colorado
Symphony, she taught in Springfield, MA before moving to Memphis in 1992. She is
also the second oboist in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the Memphis
Symphony Woodwind Quintet.
Maria Debacco, Suzuki Piano, Piano
Ms. Maria DeBacco began work in the music library as a Library Assistant III in September
of 2004. Some of her responsibilities include reference and instructional assistance,
work with current periodicals, and processing of new additions to the collection,
including gifts. Along with her library work she teaches piano in the Community Music
Program at The U of M, provides musical accompaniment for church services and is pursuing
a master’s degree in library and information science. Maria received both her Bachelor
of Music and Master of Music in piano performance from The University of Memphis.
Bruce Erskine, Flute
Mr. Bruce Erskine, professor of flute, received his B.A. and M.M. degrees from the
State University of New York at Stony Brook and studied flute with Samuel Baron, Philip
Kaplan and Julius Baker.
He was principal flutist of the United States Air Force Band of the East, principal
flutist of the Opera Memphis Orchestra and flutist for the Tennessee Summer Symphony.
As a freelance musician he has performed with many national Broadway show companies.
Currently he is the flutist with the Memphis Woodwind Quintet and principal flute
of the Eroica Ensemble. Mr. Erskine has performed throughout the United States including
performances at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City and at National
Flute Association Conventions. He has also performed in Turkey, Cyprus, Ireland and
South Africa, and has given master classes at the Royal College of Music in London
and the College of Music in Dublin, Ireland.
Mr. Erskine has been on the faculty of The University of Memphis since 1976 and has
taught at the Hartt College Summer Youth Program and the Tennessee Governor’s School
for the Arts. A clinician and adjudicator, he has judged many all-state festivals
as well as contests for the National Flute Association and the Music Teachers National
Association. Bruce Erskine also served as chairman and coordinator of the Newly Published
Music Competition of the National Flute Association for four years.
James Gholson, Clarinet
Professor Gholson is on the faculty of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. He serves
as principal clarinet of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Gholson holds the B.M.
from Michigan State University, the M.M. and D.M.A. from Catholic University. He is
a former member and frequent soloist with the U.S. Navy Band and a member of the Memphis
Woodwind Quintet. Dr. Gholson is the author of “Unitus” BBS and website (http://unitus.org.)
as well as “Windscapes,” a videotaped series of clarinet primers.
James Harr, Voice
James Harr, tenor, is currently a DMA candidate in vocal performance at The University
of Memphis. A native of Chattanooga, TN, he holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance
from Washington University, St. Louis. After receiving his degree, he joined the music
faculty in St. Louis to teach applied voice. While in St. Louis, Mr. Harr sang with
the St. Louis Symphony for 7 years as a principal singer. He has covered tenor solos
in The Messiah, Haydn’s Seasons, Mozart Requiem, Berlioz Requiem, and Britten’s War
Requiem. He recently debuted with the SLSO singing in the sextet for the Berlioz Huit
Scenes de Faust and as the 1st Prisoner in Beethoven’s Fidelio. With the Memphis Symphony,
James has performed Schubert's Mass in G and Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. Mr. Harr
is no stranger to the opera stage. He has performed roles in Die Zauberflöte, Le Nozze
di Figaro, Lucia di Lammermoor, Falstaff, Eugene Onegin, Tosca, Carmen, Albert Herring,
Handel's Partenope, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Manon, and The Crucible.
Scott Hines, Composition
Dr. Scott L. Hines is Facilities and Performance Manager for the School of Music.
In addition to the main music building, he is responsible for music events in the
Communication and Fine Arts Building, Psychology Auditorium and at three facilities
on the Park Avenue Campus. Dr. Hines received his Doctor of Musical Arts in 2008 from
The University of Memphis where he studied with composition professors John Baur,
Kamran Ince, and James Richens. He received his B.M. in music education and music
theory/composition and M.M. in composition from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
Dr. Hines serves on the faculty of the Community Music School. He has received commissions
and performances by Ballet Memphis and the Chicago Chamber Orchestra among others.
He was named Composer of the Year in 2005 by the Greater Memphis Music Teachers Association
and was nominated for the 2005 Tennessee Composer of the Year. In addition to his
career in music, Dr. Hines worked in television and radio broadcasting and newspaper
Rose Meri Hurt, Voice
Ms. Hurt served on the faculties of the Department of Music and The Music Academy
from 1992-2003. She holds the Bachelor of Arts degree in music education, with a concentration
in voice, from Lambuth College, where she studied voice with Wayland Rodgers. After
teaching piano and voice for many years, Ms. Hurt continued her vocal studies with
Carolyn Cansler while teaching voice at Immaculate Conception High School for Girls.
She serves as music director for St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Collerville. Ms.
Hurt is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Camerata Music
Club, and Etude Music Club and can often be heard singing with the Memphis Vocal Arts
Alla Ilyin, Suzuki Piano
Ms. Ilyin has been teaching piano, music theory and music history for the past 37
years. She holds the M.M. from Odessa State Conservatory, Ukraine and the B.M. from
Kiev College of Music, Ukraine. Ms. Ilyin is a certified Kindermusik® educator. She
has Suzuki piano training from the International Music Festival, Cleveland, Ohio and
from the Chicago Suzuki Institute under the SAA certified trainers Leena Crothers,
Fay Adams and Yasuko Joichi. Ms. Ilyin is a member of SAA, MTNA and GMMTA.
Anna Khokhlova, Suzuki Piano
Ms. Anna Khokhlova, a native of Russia, holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano
Performance and Music Education from the College of Music, and a Master of Music degree
in Piano performance and Pedagogy from Minsk State Conservatoire in Belarus. Ms. Khokhlova
brings 35 years of teaching and performing experience to her teaching work at The
University of Memphis Community Music School. Her private instruction is based on
high professionalism and extensive knowledge. Ms. Khokhlova's students regularly participate
in local and state competitions, receiving high evaluations and compliments. Ms. Khokhlova
is active member of Music Teacher National Association of America since 1994, GMMTA
and Suzuki Association of America.
Khearstynne Lester, Suzuki Piano
Khearstynne Lester began her Suzuki piano training as a student of Samuel Sidhom at
age 5 and continued lessons under him and his wife, Vera Sidhom, for 13 years. She
is an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, has obtained the Every
Child Can & Suzuki Piano Book 1 certifications, and plans to continue her Suzuki training.
Ms. Lester has enjoyed teaching students from age 3 through adults in both the Suzuki
and Traditional methods. In addition to playing her primary instrument, Ms. Lester
has also participated in shows in several local theatres, lending her voice to many
musical theatre productions. She loves to sing and accompany herself on the guitar,
as well. Khearstynne is currently a student at The University of Memphis with a major
in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Sociology.
Chenpei (Cindy) Lin, Suzuki Piano
Chenpei Chen Lin was born in Taiwan and came to The United States of America in 1984
for further study of music. She received her Bachelor of Arts in piano performance
from The Chinese Culture University in Taiwan and received a Master of Arts in piano
performance from The University of Memphis. While working on her Master degree, she
also completed the courses for Suzuki Piano Pedagogy and was certified as a Suzuki
Piano instructor through The Suzuki Association of America. She has been teaching
Suzuki Piano at The University of Memphis Community Music School since 1985. Not only
does she enjoy working with children while teaching piano, but loves being in their
Kyle Millsap, Trumpet
Kyle Millsap is Adjunct Instructor of Trumpet at Murray State University. He holds
a Bachelor of Music in Performance from Wichita State University and a Master of Music
in Performance with related studies in Jazz from the University of North Texas. He
is currently completing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree (ABD) from The University
of Memphis with a minor in Conducting. Mr. Millsap has performed with such artists
as The Temptations, Johnny Mathis, and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, as well as the
Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfonica UANL (Monterrey, Mexico), and the
Jazz Orchestra of the Delta. Additionally, he has performed on recitals throughout
North America and Europe. When not on stage, Mr. Millsap can be found in the orchestra
pit as a member of the Orpheum Theatre Orchestra and at Playhouse on the Square where
he has performed for several regional premieres. He has been a clinician and applied
instructor in Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas. His primary teachers in include
David Spencer, John Holt, Judith Saxton, and Kevin Hartman.
Tracy Montgomery, Suzuki Piano
Ms. Montgomery holds the B.M. and M.M. from the University of Memphis in piano pedagogy
and Suzuki piano pedagogy. She is certified in level 1 of Orff-Schulwerk from the
University of Memphis. Ms. Montgomery began teaching piano in 1989 and became a Suzuki
Piano teacher in 1993. During the academic years from 1999-2002, she served as interim
Suzuki Piano coordinator. She has taught Suzuki piano group and adult group classes
and has extensive experience in working with very young children in educational and
musical settings. Ms. Montgomery is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda national honor music
fraternity, Suzuki Association of the Americas and is an alumna of Sigma Alpha Iota
national music fraternity for women.
Melodie Moore, Harp
Ms. Moore is currently majoring in Music History at the University of Memphis. She
serves as the harpist for the University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble,
Symphonic and University Bands, Opera Orchestra, Memphis Repertory Orchestra, Kirby
Woods Orchestra, and ensembles throughout the community.
She recently returned from studying in Shanghai, China where she performed various
pieces, including the Boieldieu Concerto for Harp and Orchestra with the Conservatory
and GPACYS Orchestras. She has also performed as featured soloist with the University
of Memphis Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, Melodie performed in Carnegie Hall with Grammy
winner and saxophonist, Kirk Whalum, and the Overton Wind Ensemble. A few of her
honors include 4th place in the American Harp Society’s 16th National Competition,
PEO Star, 2010 Memphis Outstanding Student, 2009 and 2010 Orpheum Star Search finalist,
and 2008 Outstanding Young Women of Memphis. As a soloist, she entertained in the
2009 Memphis Little Summer Music concert series and 2007 USA International Harp Competition
opening reception. A few celebrities she has entertained include Queen Noor of Jordan,
Naomi Judd, former First Lady Barbara Bush, Canadian Consul General, human rights
advocate and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi Tutu, and Oprah Winfrey.
Melodie achieved Distinction, Level 8, following intense testing through London’s
Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). She has been featured in
national and international media and has been chosen by audition to perform in numerous
master classes in the United States, Canada, and Europe. She studied at the Los Angeles
Idyllwild Arts Program on full scholarship with the final concert performed in Walt
Disney Concert Hall.
Since beginning harp, Melodie has performed more than 200 orchestral pieces in numerous
groups under the direction of over 15 conductors. Each year, she volunteers extensively
for non-profits and community outreach programs. Her harp music serenades visitors
in the Cannon Center’s east lobby prior to Memphis Symphony Orchestra concerts. Melodie
is a harp instructor and performs as a recording session musician.
Greg Morris, Suzuki Violin, GPAC Suzuki String Coordinator
Originally from Jamestown, New York, Greg Morris received a Bachelor of Music degree
from State University of New York at Albany and his Master of Music degree in violin
pedagogy from the University of Memphis. He studied Suzuki Pedagogy in Matsumoto,
Japan, as well as studying with John Kendall, Allen Lieb and Yuko Honda.
Greg has been a member of the Memphis Symphony since 1979 and has been an instructor
of Suzuki violin at the University of Memphis since 1980. He is currently the coordinator
of the GPAC Suzuki String Program. Greg is also a violinist with the Summer Symphony
at Lakeside, Ohio, where he has played since 1984. Greg also performs on both violin
and viola in chamber music ensembles. In 1996, he was a guest musician at the Prague
International Music Festival and concertmaster of the Ameropa Chamber Orchestra at
that festival in the Czech Republic.
John Mueller, Trombone
Dr. John Mueller is Assistant Professor of Trombone and Euphonium at The Rudi E. Scheidt
School of Music. He is trombonist with the Memphis Brass Quintet and The Birth of
the Cool faculty jazz ensemble. He joined the faculty at the University of Memphis
in 2001 after a 21-year career with The U.S. Army Band in Washington, D.C., where
he was euphonium section leader and soloist. Dr. Mueller has performed on both trombone
and euphonium with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra,
the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the Jazz Orchestra of the Delta, and the
Kennedy Center Theatre Chamber Players. As a soloist, clinician, and adjudicator,
he has appeared throughout the U.S., Japan, Australia, and Europe. Dr. Mueller earned
his Bachelors degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
and his Masters and Doctoral degrees in Trombone Performance from The Catholic University
of America in Washington, D.C. In 1999 he released his debut solo recording, Euphonic
Sounds. Dr. Mueller has served on the faculty of The Catholic University of America
and the executive committee of the International Tuba Euphonium Association (formerly
T.U.B.A.). He is a Meinl-Weston artist/clinician. Dr. Mueller's principal teachers
include Milton Stevens, Robert Gray, Daniel Perantoni, and Brian Bowman.
Edward Murray, Percussion
Mr. Murray holds the B.M. from New England Conservatory. He has studied with Vic Firth,
Buster Bailey, and Allen Abel. Mr. Murray is a member of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra
and serves as adjunct instructor at Rhodes College. He performs in the salsa band,
“Caliente” and frequently for Broadway touring productions at the Orpheum Theatre.
Anna Palazola, Piano
Born and raised in Russia, Anna Palazola at the age of three, began to play the piano.
She later pursued her gift for piano by attending the University of Memphis, where
she graduated with honors. During her studies at the University she attended many
workshops, that has enabled her to become a more effective musician and educator.
She has studied with the accomplished pianist in US and Europe. Some of whom were:
Samuel Viviano, Daniel Fletcher, Samuel Sidhom, Victor Asuncion and Bertrand Giraud
from the United States. Palazola has over eight years of teaching experience in the
USA, and three years in Russia. She loves teaching music to children. Her passion
to music and the arts is limitless.
Alex Somervell Perry III, Suzuki Violin, Viola
Mr. Perry, is a specialist in early childhood education and music instruction. He
is a doctoral candidate in educational psychology at the University of Memphis as
well as a Master’s candidate in Montessori education at Loyola College of Maryland.
Mr. Perry currently teaches at the Lipman School, a laboratory school on the University
of Memphis campus, where he will implement the expansion of the Montessori program
to include elementary education. He administers and teaches in the Suzuki violin and
viola program he founded in Jackson, TN. He performs with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra
and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi.
Dan Phillips, French Horn
Mr. Dan Phillips, Associate Professor of Horn and Theory, joined The University of
Memphis faculty in the fall of 1999. In addition to teaching duties, he plays in the
Memphis Brass Quintet, the Memphis Woodwind Quintet and the Birth of the Cool Ensemble,
all faculty ensembles in residence at the University. He holds degrees in horn performance
from Michigan State University and the University of Notre Dame and has done additional
graduate study at Indiana University.
His background as a hornist includes extensive experience in solo, chamber ensemble,
symphonic, studio and operatic idioms throughout the US and in Europe, Brazil and
Japan. Mr. Phillips has a broad background as a conductor, arranger, and teacher.
He served three terms as Visiting Professor at Southern Illinois University's campus
in Nakajo, Japan; and in the spring of 1992, he was an Artist-in-Residence at the
Latvian Music Academy in Riga. He is webmaster for The Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music
and for the International Horn Society.
Samuel Sidhom, CMS Director, Suzuki Piano
Mr. Samuel Sidhom, Suzuki Piano Coordinator and Director of the Community Music School,
has been teaching private and group piano lessons since 1982. He has maintained a
private studio for over 25 years. While earning his B.A. in engineering at the University
of Cairo, he studied music theory and composition by correspondence from Trinity College
of Music in London. He earned his M.M. in sacred music from Cincinnati Christian University
and has done post-master’s work at The University of Memphis in piano, Suzuki pedagogy
and Orff-Schulwerk. He has completed all three levels and the master class in Orff
training under Konnie Saliba and Jos Wuytak. Mr. Sidhom received his Suzuki teacher
training under Doris Koppelman, Nehama Patkin, Yasuko Joichi and Doris Harrell. He
is registered with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and is an active member
of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts.
Katie Slemp, Percussion
Katie Slemp is a Senior Music Performance and Music Education Major at the University
of Memphis. Her primary instrument is percussion. She began studying percussion at
age 10. She is a student of Dr. Frank Shaffer, Associate Professor of Percussion
at the U of M. She previously studied Music Performance and Education at East Tennessee
State University for three years under Dr. Rande Sanderbeck, Professor of Percussion.
She is a graduate of Tennessee High School in Bristol, Tennessee. She has experience
teaching beginner to intermediate students in marching percussion as well as concert
percussion. She has been teaching privately with the Community Music School since
Spring of 2011.
Ann Spurbeck, Violin, Suzuki Violin
Ms. Spurbeck holds the B.Mus. in violin from the University of Miami, FL, and the
M.MEd. from Indiana University, Bloomington. Ms. Spurbeck completed her Suzuki Training
at the University of Memphis with David Becker and participated in workshops conducted
by Rhonda Cole, Craig Timmerman, John Kendall, Marge Aber, Alice Joy Lewis, Kimberly
Meier-Sims, Yuko Honda, Lorraine Fink and Susan Kempter.
Gerald Stephens, Piano
Mr. Stephens is a pianist/keyboardist and music teacher in the Memphis area. He is
a graduate of Southaven High School and the University of Memphis. He has worked as
a freelance pianist in Memphis since 1994 and has been a part of many local groups,
including the New Memphis Hepcats. He has performed on four locally released CD’s,
including the Hepcats’ “Live at the Hi-Tone” and “Singopoly” and has taught piano
at the Germantown Baptist Conservatory of Music since 1997. Mr. Stephens has been
on the CMS faculty since 2002.
Kathryn Stimson, Piano
Ms. Stimson holds a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University
of Memphis, and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in Music History from Hollins
College. She has taught piano at the Community Music School since 2003 and at Rhodes
College since 1993. Ms. Stimson was awarded the Tennessee Music Teachers Association
Distinguished Service Award in 2011. She is currently President-Elect of TMTA. Ms.
Stimson was President of the Greater Memphis Music Teachers Association from 2007-2009
and was named GMMTA Teacher of the Year for 2010. She has served as Competitions
Coordinator for the Tennessee Music Teachers Association and for the Music Teachers
National Association in Tennessee. Ms. Stimson serves on the board of the Tennessee
Music Teachers Association and is a member of the American Matthay Society, the American
Guild of Piano Teachers and Pi Kappa Lambda.
Rocky Tejada, Memphis Area Choral Society Conductor
Mr. Tejada joined the Memphis community this summer as the Director of Music Ministries
at St. Luke's United Methodist Church. He has maintained an active career as a choral
conductor, baritone soloist, music minister, and educator. Mr. Tejada received his
Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Alabama, and his Bachelor
degree in vocal performance and theater from Jacksonville State University. At the
University of Alabama, he studied conducting under Dr. John Ratledge, with whom he
was given the opportunities to teach the University Chorus and travel on national
and international choir tours to New York City's Carnegie Hall and South Korea. In
addition to his work in music ministry and teaching, Mr. Tejada has worked as musical
director in theaters throughout the state of Alabama, and most recently conducted
Sondheim's Sweeney Todd with the Actor's Charitable Theater in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
He has worked as chorus master for the Alabama Opera Theater, as well as the Jacksonville
Opera Theater, where he also performed leading operatic roles, and solo performances
by Mozart, Donizetti, and Gilbert &Sullivan. His choral conducting credits include
major works by Vivaldi, Handel, Bernstein, Britten, and Rutter. Rocky is excited about
his new adventure in Memphis and hopes to become an active, longtime member of this
great musical community.
Irene Wade, Suzuki Viola
Irene Wade has been a violist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra since 1979. She
was Principal violist in the Lincoln (NE) Symphony, and has played with the Jackson
Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, Winston-Salem Symphony, and
Roanoke Symphony orchestras. She graduated from the Eastman School of Music with distinction,
attended Oberlin Conservatory and College, and received a diploma from the North Carolina
School of the Arts. Ms. Wade was a graduate teaching assistant at Memphis State University
and also at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she earned the Master of Music
degree. Other academic awards include the National Honor Society and a four year National
Ms. Wade teaches violin and viola in the Suzuki String Program at the University of
Memphis Community Music School, and has maintained a private studio since 1995. She
has been recognized as an Outstanding Teacher by the faculty and students of the Tennessee
Governor’s School for the Arts.
Lecolion Washington, bassoon
Mr. Lecolion Washington, Bassoon, received a BM in Music Studies from the University
of Texas at Austin, MM in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music,
and Artist Certificate Studies at Southern Methodist University. His principal teachers
were Kristin Wolfe Jensen, Frank Morelli, and Wilfred Roberts. Washington has performed
with the Austin Civic Chorus Orchestra, New Texas Festival Orchestra, Mid-Texas Symphony,
Garland/Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, and as Principal Bassoonist with the Victoria
Symphony Orchestra. He also performed with the Riverside Symphony Orchestra and as
Principal Basoonist and with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. He won orchestral auditions
with the Houston Grand Opera and Shanghai Broadcasting Orchestra, performed with the
Memphis Symphony and Iris Chamber Orchestra, and currently serves as Co-Principal
Bassoon of the Missouri Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Professor Washington
performed with the Circadia Wind Quintet, New York Chamber Ensemble, and with principal
players from orchestras including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble,
and the New York Philharmonic. In 2004, The Orchestral Performance Program at the
Manhattan School of Music invited him to perform on a chamber music concert of Distinguished
Alumni. He has attended the Texas Music Festival, Cape May Music Festival, and the
International Festival Institute at Round Top. He won concerto competitions at the
Round Top Music Festival and Southern Methodist University, and performed the Weber
Andante and Rondo with the Columbia Civic Orchestra. Professor Washington has given
recitals and master classes at The University of North Texas, Baylor University, and
The University of Texas at Austin. He served as the Assistant Professor of Bassoon
at the University of Missouri-Columbia and bassoonist for the Missouri Wind Quintet,
before joining the Memphis Woodwind Quintet and faculty of The Rudi E. Scheidt School
of Music in 2004.
Pamela Wilensky, Suzuki Violin
Pamela Wilensky has been a String Specialist for Memphis City Schools for 12 years,
teaching at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She is a graduate of Appalachian
State University with a Bachelor of Music Education. She has had extensive Suzuki
Teacher Training and has taught in the University of Memphis Suzuki Program since
1995. She is also an active performer in Memphis and with the Germantown and Jackson,
TN Symphony Orchestras. She is a co-director of the Memphis Music Camp and was co-director
of the Chamber Music Camp at Rhodes College for many years.