Kappa Psi Faculty
Dr. Bruce Briney
Professor of Trumpet
Bruce Briney pursues a creative life that intersects the worlds of conducting, performing and teaching. Briney received his musical education from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University where he earned a Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance. His primary teachers in trumpet were David Hickman and Vincent Cichowicz with additional studies from Arnold Jacobs, Ray Mase, Charles Geyer, George Vosburgh, Ray Sasaki and Luther Didrickson. At Northwestern, his conducting teachers and mentors included John Paynter and Victor Yampolsky. Commercial recordings of Briney’s work as a conductor and instrumental soloist are represented on the Crystal, Koss, Premiere, Ravello, and RMC labels and distributed by Amazon. He has performed and presented at conferences and conventions throughout the nation including the International Trumpet Guild Convention, the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Texas Music Educators Convention, the Trombone Workshop, the New York Brass Conference, North American Association of Brass Bands, and regional College Music Society and CBDNA meetings. Briney was selected as the Music Director of the Quincy Symphony (IL) in 2007 commencing with the organization’s 60th anniversary season. During his tenure as QSO Music Director, concert attendance and season subscriptions have grown immensely, drawn to the organization’s colorful and engaging programming. The Illinois Council of Orchestras awarded Briney the 2012 Community Orchestra Conductor of the Year Award and the Quincy Symphony received the 2011 Community Service Award for creative artistic collaborations. 2014 marks the start of Briney’s twenty second year as a music professor at Western Illinois University. He received the Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Fine Arts and Communication in 2001. His students are frequent finalists and winners in the National Trumpet Competition, International Trumpet Guild Orchestra Competition, MTNA state and regional solo competitions and the School of Music Concerto Competition. Recent projects include contributions to Luis Loubriel’s book Back to Basics, and Mark Dulin’s Cichowicz Flow Studies, both focused collections on the life and teachings of brass pedagogue Vincent Cichowicz.
Dr. James Caldwell
Professor of Theory and Composition
James Caldwell is a Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Western Illinois University. He joined the faculty in 1985. A native of Michigan, he earned a B.M. degree at Michigan State University and M.M. and D.Mus. at Northwestern University, studying composition with Alan Stout, M. William Karlins, David Liptak, Charles Ruggiero, and Thomas Christian David, and electronic and computer music with Stephen Syverud, Peter Gena, and Gary Kendall. For thirty years he has been co-director of the WIU New Music Festival, and curates ElectroAcoustic Music Macomb, an annual concert of electronic music at WIU. A frequent collaborator with WIU performer colleagues, his compositional interests are divided between electronic music and music for acoustic instruments and voices. Recently he has been exploring and performing with alternative controllers for real-time computer music such as the iPad and the Wii Remote. His music has been performed on concerts and recitals at the WIU New Music Festival, the Society for Electro Acoustic Music in the US, Electronic Music Midwest, the International Computer Music Conference, New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Third Practice Festival, ÉuCuE Canadian Electroacoustic Community, the College Band Directors National Association, the National Trumpet Competition, the International Double Reed Society, the College Music Society, MENC/NACWAPI National Conference, the Radford University Center for Music Technology and New Horizons series, Goucher College Ars Viva, Contemporary Connections, Peoria Lunaire New Music Ensemble, EARFEST at SUNY Stony Brook, the Texas Christian University Festival of Contemporary Music, the VBDNA Symposium of New Music for Wind Ensemble, New Music DePaul, The Michigan State University Symposium of New Music, Northwestern University Contemporary Music, University of Illinois Funny Music and FUN Music. His Elegy, recorded by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra was released on the MMC label. Mechanism II has been released on the Presence III CD from the Canadian Electroacoustic Community, and Hanging with Clifford is on the Bruce Briney CD Time Passages. Research in rhythmic theory, music technology, analysis, and aesthetics has been presented at meetings of the College Music Society and published in the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy and ex tempore. He is active in leadership at WIU. He has been chair of the University Personnel Committee, and he was president of the WIU chapter of University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100, representing faculty and academic support professionals, in 1998–2000. In 2004 he began studying drawing, design, print making, and painting at WIU as a way to stretch creatively and to reacquaint himself with the experience of being a student. He earned a B.A. in Art in 2015. In addition to three WIU Faculty Excellence Awards, in 2005 he was named Outstanding Teacher in the College of Fine Arts and Communication and received the first Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and most recently received the College award for Excellence in Creative/Performing Activity. As the 2009 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, he delivered the lecture “Musical Space and Musical Expression.”
Mr. Terry Chasteen
Associate Professor of Music in Voice
The 2010 recipient of the College of Fine Arts and Communication Excellence in Teaching Award, Mr. Chasteen is an Associate Professor of Music in Voice and the Vocal Area Coordinator. Primarily a teacher of classical voice technique, Terry spent a recent sabbatical studying the Estill Voice Technique to gain new perspectives in teaching classical singing and to gain technical knowledge for the teaching of Contemporary Commercial Music styles. Mr. Chasteen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from West Virginia Institute of Technology and the Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Indiana University School of Music. While completing his performance degree, Chasteen began his professional career that has taken him throughout the United States and to Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. Active as both an operatic and concert soloist, he has performed with New Hampshire’s Opera North, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Indianapolis Opera, Opera Memphis, Abilene Opera (TX), Longview Opera (TX), the West Virginia Symphony, the Huntington Symphony (WV), the Texas Baroque Ensemble, Plano Symphony (TX), Irving Symphony (TX), Valley Symphony Orchestra (McAllen, TX), and the Wausau Symphony (WI), and was heard in recital on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Live from the Elvehjem series. Local and regional performances include appearances with Opera Illinois, the Peoria Bach Festival, the Galesburg Community Chorus, Nova Singers (Galesburg), the McDonough Choral Society, and the Southeast Iowa Symphony. Five Songs from Christina Rossetti for tenor voice, clarinet, cello and piano, composed for Chasteen by composer and colleague, Paul Paccione, were recorded and distributed internationally by New World Records. A review of the work on Music Web International made note of the way in which the music was “sung with unforced expressiveness and an attractive tone by tenor Terry Chasteen,” while Fanfare magazine described his performance as “expressive and clear toned.” In 2014, after spending four summer seasons as a guest faculty voice instructor, Mr. Chasteen was named the Coordinator of the Professional Training Program for Musical Theatre Interns in conjunction with Theatre West Virginia. His student's accomplishments at WIU include performing in lead roles in the University Opera Theatre main-stage and Opera on Wheels productions, as concert soloists with university ensembles, as winners of the School of Music Concerto Competition, as participants in international voice programs/seminars in Italy, Germany, and England (to date), and have been hired for professional engagements with Opera Illinois and the Muddy River Opera (Quincy). After completing degrees under his tutelage, students have been accepted into graduate programs at the Indiana University Jacob's School of Music, the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, the Boston Conservatory, the New England Conservatory, and the University of Illinois School of Music.
Dr. Mike Fansler
Director of Bands
Mike Fansler is director of bands and conductor of the wind ensemble and chamber winds at Western Illinois University, where he also leads the graduate wind conducting program and teaches undergraduate music education courses. He joined the faculty in 2001 and is currently Professor of Music. Under his leadership, the Western Illinois Wind Ensemble has maintained an active performance schedule on campus while engaging audiences on tour at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference (2009/2015), Rio de Janeiro/Salvador, Brazil (2010), the prestigious Armour Stage in Chicago's Orchestra Hall (2006/2009) and the College Band Directors National Association's North Central Conference (2008). Together, the wind ensemble and he have released five compact discs: "IV" Maslanka's fourth symphony (2012), "Words of Love" (2010), "The Promise of Living" (2008), "Till Eulenspiegel" (2007), and "Live in Chicago" (2006). Dr. Fansler has conducted in Australia, South America, Europe, and throughout the United States, where has made guest adjudicating and conducting appearances with numerous high school and honor bands. He has lectured on the music of Percy Grainger at the Midwest Clinic and later received a grant to visit the Grainger Museum in Melbourne to further study his music and life. During a sabbatical in 2012, Dr. Fansler presented saxophone masterclasses at the Universidade Federale de Bahia, and lectured at the Colégio Militar de Salvador, and the Universidade Católica de Salvador in Brazil. He has previously held similar teaching positions at Idaho State University, Mars Hill University (NC), and Sullivan East High School (TN). His main musical influences are James F. Keene, Daniel Schmidt, Larry Clark, Ronald Caravan, Gunnar Mossblad, Merry FitzRandolph, and William Meckley. His education is from Schenectady County Community College, James Madison University, Syracuse University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His professional memberships include the prestigious American Bandmasters Association (2012), College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, Illinois Music Educators Association, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He resides in Avon, Il with his wife Abby and three kids, Jordan, Jessie, and Juliet.
Dr. Randall Faust
Professor of Horn
Randall E. Faust is a Professor of Music at Western Illinois University and Hornist of the Camerata Woodwind Quintet and LaMoine Brass Quintet. In addition, he has served on the Summer Horn Faculty, Interlochen Center for the Arts for over two decades. The compositions of Randall Faust have been performed at many international venues—including the Symposia of The International Horn Society, The International Trumpet Guild, The International Trombone, Association, The National Gallery of Art, and the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall. His compositions have been discussed in several doctoral dissertations—most prominently in The Horn in Mixed Media Compositions Through 1991 by James Alan Criswell--Doctor of Musical Arts Dissertation, The University of Maryland, 1995; and A Performance Guide to the Horn Works of Randall Edward Faust by Alan Franklin Mattingly--Doctor of Music Treatise, The Florida State University, 1998. His music has been recorded on Crystal Records, Summit Records, and ACA Digital Recordings. As a hornist, he has established a reputation as a performer of the work of contemporary composers—most recently on the Camerata Woodwind Quintet Recording of the works of Hétu, Iannaccone, and Steinmentz (Crystal Records), and his recent recording of horn music of William Presser and Randall Faust (Faust Music). Past performance credits include many broadcasts over Peach State Public Radio during twelve years as Principal Hornist of the Columbus, Georgia, Symphony Orchestra and the recording as a member of the Clarion Wind Symphony: Sea Drift—the Wind Music of Anthony Iannaccone (Albany Records Troy 280.) His articles and reviews have appeared in The Horn Call since 1980. He has chronicled the work of legendary Interlochen horn teacher Marvin Howe in his 1996 Horn Call Article “Marvin Howe Singer of Smooth Melodies” and in his edition of Marvin Howe’s The Singing Hornist (2001). Dr. Faust's professional and academic studies began at The Interlochen Arts Academy (Interlochen Honors Musicianship Scholarship, 1966), and continued at Eastern Michigan University (Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, 1972), Minnesota State University, Mankato (Master of Music in Composition, 1973), and The University of Iowa (Doctor of Musical Arts, 1980). He has served on the Faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory of Music of Shenandoah University (1973-1982), Auburn University (1982-1997), and has served as President of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, (1992-1994), and The International Horn Society (1987-1990). During the 2004-2005 Academic year, he served as Interim Chair of the Western Illinois Department of Music. Since 1990, his work has been recognized as an annual recipient of the prestigious ASCAP AWARD. In 1987, he received the Orpheus Award from The Auburn University Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity for "significant and lasting contributions to music in America." Most recently, he was honored by the Western Illinois University Chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi as the recipient of its Outstanding Artist Award for 2004.
Mr. Eric Ginsberg
Professor of Clarinet
Professor of Music in Clarinet; Clarinetist, Camerata Woodwind Quintet. He previously was visiting professor of clarinet at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1990-1994. He has played in the Oklahoma Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Oklahoma City, the Lincoln Symphony, and the Omaha Symphony; free-lanced in New York City with the Goldman Band, New York City Ballet, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic; played at the Aspen and Spoleto festivals; and played with the Con Spirito Woodwind Quintet and the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra. He studied with Stanley Drucker at the Juilliard School, where he received both his bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as with Ben Armato and Kalmen Opperman. He also performs and teaches in the summer at the Brevard Music Center. WIU appointment, 1996.
Mr. Matt Hughes
Professor of Bass
Originally from Kalamazoo MI, Matt Hughes performed in numerous symphony orchestras and jazz ensembles in the Midwest. After receiving his BM from Michigan State University and his MM from Western Michigan University, He moved to New York City to tour and record with jazz great Betty Carter. He has worked with the Cab Calloway Orchestra and had the honor or recording " The Bass" one of bassist Milt Hinton’s unrecorded features with the Orchestra. Hughes was a featured performer at the International Society of Bassists convention and has performed chamber music at the Greenwich house in New York City, at Penn State University and Potsdam University. Mr. Hughes has performed with several Symphony Orchestras from Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan to The Cincinnati Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The New York repertory Orchestra and Moody Blues strings. He has also performed on Broadway in the Broadway musical “SWING”. In the Jazz Idiom He has performed with ensembles such as The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, The Jimmy Dorsey, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Gene Krupa Orchestra, The Grand Hotel orchestra, the Bill Warfield Big Band, The Next Legacy Orchestra, The Mills Brothers and has also performed with Jimmy Heath, Eric Alexander, Myron Waldon, Jon Hendricks, Donald Harrision, Jack Dejohnette, Billy Hart, Richard Stoltzman, Milt Hinton, John Boutte, Lea Deliara, Jim Rotundi, Anthony Wonsey, Chip McNeill, Chip Stevens, Jim Pugh and Glenn Wilson to mention a few. In all Hughes has traveled to more than 30 countries around the globe to perform and clinic in a wide a variety of context. This winter he toured with Max Weinberg (former music director for late night with Conan O’brien and drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band) and recorded an new CD with Pianist Travis Wesley Mr. Hughes has taught at Western Michigan University. He is currently a teaching assistant at the university of Illinois where he is finishing his doctor of musical arts.
Dr. Douglas Huff
Professor of Bassoon and Music History
Douglas Huff is Professor of Bassoon and Music History and a member of the Camerata Woodwind Quintet at Western Illinois University. Dr. Huff began his undergraduate studies as an economics major at Harvard College, eventually transferring to the University of the Pacific, where he was awarded a BM (1975). He received an MM (1977) from Indiana University, a Teaching Certificate in Elementary Education (1993) from Chapman University, and a DMA (2001) from the University of Iowa. His past teachers include Ronald Tyree, Mordecai Rechtman, Milan Turkovic, Leonard Sharrow, James Dickie, Richard Lottridge, Stanley Petrulis, Donald DaGrade, Walter Green, Rudy Aurori, Dan Kingman and Primo Yob. His orchestral experience includes principal bassoon positions with the Galesburg Symphony Orchestra (1998-2010), the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra (1997-98), the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra (1995-98), the Regensburg Philharmonic Orchestra (1982-90), the Bad Reichenhall Philharmonic Orchestra (1981-82), the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (1978-80), and the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra (1977-78). He also served in the US Army as bassoonist/percussionist with the 6th US Army Band in San Francisco (1970-71), and the 76th US Army Band in Worms, Germany (1971-72). Solo appearances include concerto performances with orchestras in the United States, Germany, and South Korea. Trevco Music has published Huff's edition of Clifford Julstom's Aria and Scherzo for bassoon and piano, and the CD of Huff's performance with the Camerata Woodwind Quintet received the highest rating in a review in The Double Reed. Huff also performs on James Stephenson's The Devil's Tale — A Sequel to Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat, to be released on Parma Records in June, 2015. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including an Iowa Arts Fellowship (University of Iowa, 1993-95) and a Fulbright Grant (South Korea, 1978-80). In 2007, Huff received WIU's College of Fine Arts and Communications award for Excellence in Teaching with Technology, and he has given presentations at national conferences of the College Music Society and the Association for Technology in Music Instruction on the use of "clickers" (electronic response devices) in teaching large classes of music appreciation. He plays Heckel bassoon #7033, built in 1931 and restored by Carl Sawicki in 2003. One of Huff's hobbies is distance running, and he has run more than twenty marathons as well as several ultramarathons, including the Huntington Ultra Frigid 50K and the Biel 100K. WIU appointment, 1998.
Dr. John McMurtery
Professor of Flute
Professor of Music (flute) and member of the Camerata Woodwind Quintet, Dr. McMurtery is section flutist of the New York City Opera Orchestra and principal flutist with the Opera Orchestra of New York. During the 2011-12 season he served as acting piccoloist with the Oregon Symphony. He has performed regularly with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New Jersey Symphony. As soloist, Dr. McMurtery has appeared with the New York Symphonic Ensemble, the Artemis Chamber Ensemble, and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. Of his debut performance of Brian Ferneyhough’s Carceri d'Invenzione IIb at the 2005 Lincoln Center Festival, The New York Times wrote: "…a tour de force for flute bristling with invention was played brilliantly by John McMurtery…[exploring] the extreme high and low registers of the instrument, zapping back and forth at hyperspeed." Works composed for him include two virtuosic pieces for solo flute by James Romig: Sonnet 2 and Oiseau Miró. He has given countless premieres by renowned composers such as Dennis Bathory-Kitsz, Sean Hickey, Jackson Hill, and Edward Taylor. As chamber musician, Dr. McMurtery performs with UpTown Flutes and Luna Nova. McMurtery recorded for the NAXOS label as principal flutist on a collaborative disc of world premieres by award-winning composer Sean Hickey. Previous teaching appointments include The University of Nevada – Las Vegas, Westminster Conservatory Young Artist Program, and Drew University Summer Music. He taught studio flute at the Lucy Moses School in New York City, and is a past president of the New York Flute Club. Dr. McMurtery earned his DMA from the Juilliard School (where he studied with Jeanne Baxtresser and Julius Baker), MM from Rutgers University (Bart Feller), and BM from Central Washington University (Dr. Hal Ott). WIU appointment, 2012.
Mr. John Mindeman
Professor of Trombone
John Mindeman, Associate Professor of Trombone & Euphonium at Western Illinois University, has distinguished himself as a performer, teacher, composer and arranger in the United States and overseas. He currently performs with the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra in Chicago and the Lamoine Brass Quintet at WIU. John enjoys giving solo recitals, teaching master classes, and playing chamber music throughout the Midwest. John has performed with the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Opera Theater, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Brass Quintet, and the Millar Brass Ensemble. He has played under some of the finest conductors of our time, including Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim, Helmut Rilling, Rafael Kubelik, Christian Thielemann, Roberto Abbado, Erich Kunzel, Mistislav Rostropovich, and Semyon Bychkov. He has also played with popular artists such as Joni Mitchell, the Three Tenors (Domingo, Pavarotti, Carreras), Andrea Boccelli, Nanci Griffith, Audra McDonald, The Moody Blues, Marvin Hamlisch, and Garrison Keillor. He was a member of two overseas orchestras, the Filarmonica de Santiago (Chile), and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Costa Rica. From 1999 to 2009, John taught and performed at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wisconsin, a unique summer program for young musicians age 13-19. In addition, he has taught at Wheaton College, Knox College, Northern Illinois University, Roosevelt University, and North Central College. He has a substantial catalog of arrangements and compositions for brass and other ensembles. John's talents as a performer and arranger can be heard on the following recordings: Brass Surround with the Millar Brass Ensemble (Delos); Joy, Joy, with Tenor David Phelps (Spring Hill); Trio for Trumpet, Horn, and Trombone on the disc The Trumpet Music of Verne Reynolds (Mark); and the premiere recording of the Trombone Concerto by Dexter Morrill on the disc Three Concertos with the Northern Illinois Philharmonic (Centaur). John received a Bachelor's degree from Wheaton College, a Master's degree from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, and a Performer's Certificate in jazz trombone from Northern Illinois University. He is grateful to have studied trombone with superb musicians such as Edward Kocher, George Krem, Edward Kleinhammer, Arnold Jacobs, Charles Vernon, and Tom Garling. He lives with his wife Miriam in Macomb, IL, and loves building electric guitars in his spare time.
Dr. Moises Molina
Professor of Cello
Cellist Moisés Molina is an active soloist and chamber musician. He holds the Bachelor of Music degree (summa cum laude) from Columbus State University and graduate degrees, Master of Music and Doctor of Music, from the Florida State University, where he was a teaching assistant. He studied cello with Martha Gerschefski, Andrew Luchansky, Lubomir Georgiev, and Alan Harris. Dr. Molina has performed in the United States, Central and South America, and Europe. He has recorded for Centaur Records, Profil, and New World labels and has served on the faculty of the Schlern Music Festival in Italy (now Orfeo Music Festival). Dr. Molina is Professor of Cello and Assistant Director of the School of Music at Western Illinois University. In addition, he is the cellist for the Julstrom String Quartet, a faculty ensemble at WIU. He was a guest artist at the 2015 Cusco Music Festival in Cusco, Perú. During summers Dr. Molina is a guest artist at the St. Augustine Music Festival in Florida and teaches the WIU Summer Institute Cello Camp. He is in demand as a clinician. Recently Dr. Molina was a guest artist/teacher at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He was one of the guest artists/teachers at the 2011 Tennessee Cello Workshop in Nashville and the 2011 V Biannual Violoncello Festival in Lima, Perú. Dr. Molina directed the Quincy Summer Music Institute Orchestra and the IMEA District IV Junior High School Orchestra for several years. Dr. Molina has served as principal cellist for Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, Abilene Opera Orchestra, Quincy Symphony, and Associate Principal for Tallahassee Symphony, Peoria Symphony, and Heartland Festival Orchestras. He has given lectures and clinics for the College Music Society and the Texas and Illinois Music Educators Associations. He was successful in several concerto, solo and chamber music competitions, and he was awarded an orchestra fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival. Molina taught at Hardin-Simmons and Abilene Christian Universities, the Summer Fine Arts Camp at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and he conducted the Abilene Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Western Illinois University Preparatory Orchestra.
Dr. Kevin Nichols
Drumline Instructor/Assistant Professor of Percussion
Kevin A. Nichols, Associate Professor of Music at Western Illinois University, teaches applied percussion and percussion methods course, coach jazz combos, and is the Drumline Instructor/Arranger for the Marching Leathernecks. Outside of WIU, he is active as a performer, director, clinician and adjudicator throughout the Midwest and Southwest. Active as a performer, Mr. Nichols has supported such notable artists as Marie Osmond, Evelyn Glennie, David Amram, Jim Rattigan and the Turtle Island String Quartet. Additionally, he is a section percussionist, assistant timpanist, and drumset specialist with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. In addition to section duties, he was the symphony’s featured percussionist on their performance of Darius Milhaud's La Création du Monde and Aaron Copland's Music for Theatre. Other symphonic performance accomplishments include University of Iowa Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, Knox-Galesburg Symphony, and Galesburg Symphony Chorus. Active on the drum set, he is a member of the John Cooper Jazz Orchestra, Peoria Heritage Ensemble, Savoy Stompers, and the Matt Warnock Trio. His WIU performances include solo recitals, the Faculty Chamber Series, and Summer Music Theatre. Mr. Nichols is also a founding member of the resident faculty jazz combo, the Hopper Jazztet. Mr. Nichols has been a presenter for the Illinois Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, I.M.E.A. All-State conference, and the Taos (NM) Youth Music Group. As a director he is the former Director of the Central Illinois Youth Percussion Ensemble in Peoria, and has led Concert and Marching Percussion Ensembles throughout the state of Illinois. During the summer months, he is a Percussion Instructor for the WIU Summer Music Camps. In 2005, Mr. Nichols was an adjudicator for the Percussive Arts Society International High School Percussion Ensemble competition. Additionally, he has adjudicated events for University of Missouri, Illinois High School Association and the Illinois Music Educators Association’s All-State Convention. Mr. Nichols has completed coursework towards a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Iowa. His research focal point is compositions written for drum set as a multi-percussion instrument. Presentations of his research have been hosted by McKendree University, Kansas State University, Oklahoma City University, Bradley University, and Chicago State University. He holds two Master of Music degrees from Northwestern University, in Jazz Pedagogy and Percussion Performance, as well as a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University. Mr. Nichols is a member of the PAS Drumset Committee and a former officer for the Illinois Chapter of PAS. He is a member of M.E.N.C., C.M.S., and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Mr. Nichols is an Educational Artist for the Avedis Zildjian Cymbal Company and Remo, Inc. Illinois Wesleyan University, Bachelor's degree Northwestern University, Masters degree University of Iowa, Doctorate degree
Dr. Alphonso Simpson, Jr.
Interim Chair of African American Studies
From: Andalusia, Alabama Started at WIU: Fall 2000 Areas of Specialization: African American Music Black Popular Culture African American Religion Black Male/Female Relationships Bachelors Degree: Alabama State University - 1995 Masters Degree: University of Missouri-Columbia - 1997 Doctoral Degree: University of Wyoming – 2001
Dr. Terry Solomonson
Professor of Tuba
Terry Solomonson is an Associate Professor of Tuba at Western Illinois University. He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Murray State University and his Master of Music Education degree from the University of Louisville. He has done further applied graduate study at the University of Illinois School of Music and holds a Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois. He is currently serving as the Chair of Western Illinois University’s Council on Admissions, Graduation, and Academic Standards (CAGAS). Dr. Solomonson has performed with the Ringling Brothers – Barnum and Bailey Circus, Chautauqua Symphony and Festival Orchestras, the Louisville Orchestra, the Kentucky Opera Orchestra, the New Louisville Brass Quintet, the Owensboro Symphony, the Bloomington-Normal Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, and the Knox-Galesburg Symphony Orchestra. He is currently principal tubist with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and Opera Illinois, and a member of the Lamoine Brass Quintet. He has served as soloist with the Louisville Symphony Band, the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, the Peoria Municipal Band, the Prairie Wind Ensemble, and many college and high school band and orchestras. He has appeared with touring artists such as Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Ella Fitzgerald, the Moody Blues, and many more. An accomplished recording technician as well, Terry has produced and/or performed on CDs and other recordings for Barbara Streisdand, Crystal Records, CBS, Parkway Productions, Murray Hill Productions, Alfred Publishing, Caterpillar Image Labs, PBS, NPR, and Mirror Image Productions. In addition, he has interviewed musicians such as Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Garrick Ohlsson, and Andre Watts, composers such as Morton Gould and Joan Tower, actors such as Kitty Carlisle and David Ogden Stiers, and political figures such as William Stockdale and George Ryan. At Western Illinois University, he teaches courses in recording techniques as part of the Music Business Degree Program, and also presents a semi-annual summer graduate course in recording techniques for music educators. Dr. Solomonson is a member of ITEC., the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, IMEA, MENC, the College Music Society, and is listed in Who’s Who in America. For the past 15 years he has served as faculty advisor to the Kappa Psi chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. As an educator, Dr. Solomonson has served as artist-in-residence at Maple Mount Music Camp, WIU’s own summer music camps, the Chautauqua Institute, at Middle Tennessee State University, and as a clinician for university marching band camps. He has served as an adjudicator for IHSA, DCI, NYSSMA, and the Peoria Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. He was appointed to the WIU faculty in 1997.
Dr. Michael Stryker
Associate Professor of Jazz Piano
Michael Stryker is Associate Professor of Jazz Piano in the School of Music at Western Illinois University. He directs big bands and coaches jazz combos, teaches Applied Jazz Piano, Class Jazz Piano, Jazz Fundamentals, Jazz History, and is a member of the Dale Hopper Faculty Jazz Sextet. He is also on the faculty of the Birch Creek Summer Music Performance Center located in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, teaching jazz piano, coaching jazz combos, and performing with the resident faculty big band. Dr. Stryker's doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music were completed fall of 2009 with the degree awarded spring of 2010. He began his work at Eastman in the fall of 2002 as the first full-time student in a new program, the D.M.A. in Jazz and Contemporary Media. At Eastman, he studied piano with professors Tony Caramia and Harold Danko, and jazz composition and arranging with Professor Bill Dobbins. Past degrees include a B.S. in Biology from Purdue University in 1985 and both the B.M. and M.M. in Jazz Performance from DePaul University in 1996. Previous teaching positions include Eastern Illinois University, DePaul University, and the University of California at Berkeley. He is co-leader of a jazz quintet called Condition Blue, whose first CD, Condition Blue Live, was released January of 2007 (http://cdbaby.com/cd/conditionblue). He can also be heard on Roots and Branches (http://www.jazzexcursionrecords.com) with the Shirantha Beddage Quartet, and regularly performs with the Todd Kelly Quintet and many other fine musicians throughout Illinois. Recent travels have taken him to Butler University and Arizona State University for residencies, and his trio with Marlene Rosenberg (bass) and Bob Rummage (drums) was among the featured artists on the 2010 Al Sears Jazz Festival. Dr. Stryker has also performed with Freddie Hubbard, Jim Snidero, Robin Eubanks, James Moody, John Fedchock, Kim Richmond, Clay Jenkins, Gary Foster, Bob Mintzer, and Joshua Breakstone.
Dr. István Szabó
Professor of Viola
Violist István Szabó is a graduate of the University of Illinois (M.M; DMA) and of the George Dima Academy of Music in Cluj, Romania with a double major in viola performance and pedagogy. He studied at the University of Illinois with Rudolf Haken. While a student at the George Dima Academy of Music, Szabo studied viola with Albert Derzsi, Marius Suarasan, and Chamber Music with Ferdinand Weiss and Ilse Laszlo-Herbert. As a chamber musician, Szabó concertized throughout Europe and the United States. Some of these recitals received direct broadcast in the Romanian and the Hungarian TV as well as Radio stations. He also participated in workshops with prestigious artists and teachers such as Karen Tuttle, Hatto Beyerle (founding member of the Alban Berg String Quartet), Sandor Devich (founding member of the Bartok String Quartet), the Amadeus String Quartet, the Schubert String Quartet, and Pal Szabo, cellist of the Vegh String Quartet. Szabó has been on the music faculty at Western Illinois University since 2005. Previously he served as viola/violin instructor at Eastern Illinois University, and Teaching Assistant at the University of Illinois. Szabó appeared as clinician for the American String Teachers Association. He is also in demand as an adjudicator, having served at Young Artist and Chamber Music Competitions in the Midwest. Szabo’s students participated successfully at national competitions, won orchestral positions and teaching positions and have been admitted to the top graduate programs around the country. Szabó served as viola faculty in Summer Music Festivals in United States and Europe. Most recent appearances include solo recitals and master classes in Bulgaria and Ireland. He also appeared as a soloist with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Quincy Symphony Orchestra. Currently Szabó is Assistant Principal Violist with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and Associate Principal Violist with the Quincy Symphony Orchestra. He served as Principal Viola for the Prairie Ensemble and Associate Principal Violist with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Szabó performs regularly as the violist for the Julstrom String Quartet.
Mr. Lynn Thompson
Associate Professor of Musical Theater (Voice)
Lynn Thompson, Associate Professor of Music, teaches voice in both Classical and Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) genres. In addition to studio voice, Mr. Thompson teaches courses related to singing for the School of Music and for the Department of Theatre and Dance. He regularly serves as conductor for musical theatre productions, and from 1996-2010 was Artistic Director of the WIU Madrigal Dinner. Mr. Thompson is a Past-President of the Central Illinois chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. He is treasurer of the Western Illinois University Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. In addition to these leadership roles, Mr. Thompson holds memberships in the Organ Historical Society, the College Music Society, the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and the Worship Arts, The Reed Organ Society, The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and the American Choral Director's Association. Mr. Thompson was the 1992 Winner of the Norman Treigle Memorial Prize. He has been a Fellow of the Aspen Music School, the Bach Aria Festival and Institute at Stony Brook, the Cleveland Art Song Festival and the NATS Intern Program. He holds the B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Louisville, and has pursued advanced studies at the University of Cincinnati and Shenandoah University. Mr. Thompson is a certified instructor of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Mr. Thompson's principal teachers include André Montal, Thomas Paul, Edith Davis Tidwell, and William Sharp. He has studied vocal pedagogy with Donn Everette-Graham, Mary Henderson-Stucky, Barbara Honn and Jeannette LoVetri. He has performed as soloist with the Louisville Orchestra, the Louisville Bach Society, Kentucky Opera, the Washington Choral Ensemble, Opera of Central Kentucky, the McDonough Choral Society and the Galesburg Community Chorus. His vocal chamber music appearances include concerts at the Aspen Music Festival and the Grandin Festival, and performances with The Kentucky Center Chamber Players and the Ceruti Chamber Players. From 1990-2001, Mr. Thompson was Co-Artistic Director of Ars Vocalis, an ensemble devoted to the great art song and vocal chamber music repertory. In addition to his active career as a vocalist, Mr. Thompson has performed throughout the U.S. as a pianist, organist and harpsichordist, and has been a professional church musician for 33 years. Mr. Thompson is currently Director of Music at Wesley United Methodist Church in Macomb. Since Spring 2011, he has served as accompanist for the McDonough Choral Society. He has been a National Convention recitalist for the Organ Historical Society. His work as an organist is recorded on OHS recordings and has been featured on Minnesota Public Media's Pipedreams. Mr. Thompson's students have performed leading roles on Broadway and in National Tours; have been full-time members of the professional vocal ensemble Chanticleer; and regularly perform with major opera and theatre companies throughout the USA and in Europe. His students have been finalists in the MTNA competition and the Seattle Opera International Wagner Competition, winners at state and regional NATS competitions and at the district and regional levels of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Lynn Thompson joined the WIU faculty in 1996.
Dr. George Turner
Professor of Guitar
George Turner has worked full time as a jazz guitarist and guitar teacher since 1993. Since then, he has led many his own groups playing straight ahead and Latin jazz, as well blues, funk and rock. In 2000 he released the CD Slip, Don't Fall, featuring his original compositions. Residing in Charlottesville, Virginia until 2006, Turner played with many of Virginia's top jazz musicians including John D'Earth, Robert Jospé, and Jeff Decker. During this time he also maintained an active schedule running a private teaching studio, as well as working as the guitar instructor at St. Anne's-Belfield School in Charlottesville. In 2006, George moved to Urbana, Illinois to pursue a Master of Music in jazz studies at the University of Illinois. He completed this degree in 2008, and is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the U of I. Since moving to Urbana, Turner has maintained an active performance schedule, playing with his own groups and as a sideman in local clubs. He has played with many of the area's top jazz artists including Chip McNeill, Chip Stephens, and Glenn Wilson. Turner has also continued to teach the guitar at the Conservatory of Central Illinois in Champaign, and as an instructor for the University of Illinois. Currently, Turner holds the position of Instructor of Guitar at Western Illinois University in Macomb. He continues to perform regularly throughout Illinois, the Midwest and beyond.
Dr. Barry Witten, PhD.
Professor of Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Witten earned his Ph.D. from Kansas State University in Curriculum and Instruction, with an emphasis in social studies education, in 1999. He also holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from Fort Hays State University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Social Studies Education at both elementary and secondary levels in the department. Dr. Witten is active at the state and national levels of the National Council for the Social Studies and is also active in the National Council for Geographic Education. Dr. Witten worked with two U.S. history grants for area middle level and high school American history teachers funded by the U.S. Department of Education. He edited seven volumes of teaching strategies as editor of publications for both grants. His research interests include the American West, historical inquiry, performance assessment, and current issues and trends in elementary and middle level education. Dr. Witten currently serves as the chair of the Graduate Committee for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and is the coordinator for the Graduate Program in Elementary Education. He serves as an advisor for about 75 candidates in this program.