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2013 Edition of REVUE
(College of Fine Arts and Communication publication)

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Jacobs named ECU School of Music Robert L. Jones Distinguished Professor

EdJacobs copyEast Carolina University School of Music Professor Edward Jacobs has been named the Robert L. Jones Distinguished Professor in Music beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year.  

The Jones Distinguished Professorship is one of the oldest endowed professorships at ECU. It is awarded for a three-year term and provides startup and/or continuing funding for important music performance initiatives that will significantly impact ECU, the School of Music and the region. 

Jacobs is a professor of composition and music theory at ECU, and founder and director of the North Carolina NewMusic Initiative, (formerly the NewMusic@ECU Festival), begun in March 2001. He was also founder of the Young Composers Project, a collaboration between ECU and middle-school general music teachers to make the creation of music a fundamental part of public education. 

Jacobs was awarded a Charles Ives Fellowship for music composition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2005. 

The Jones Professorship award will fund the North Carolina NewMusic Initiative’s projects to establish a unique commissioning program involving students and faculty in all phases of the creation of new works; bring guest artists to ECU including performers, composers and critics; and explore alternative means of public engagement and programming formats.
School of Music welcomes two new faculty

The School of Music welcomes two new faculty members to start the 2014-2015 school year. Daniel Shirley joins the School as teaching instructor in the Voice Department and assistant professor Dr. Raychl Smith is the newest member of the School’s Music Education faculty.

Of his 2013 Carnegie Hall debut, the New York Concert Review noted, “Daniel Shirley’s voice soared over the large forces with strength and clarity.” The tenor continues to earn critical praise for his appearances in concert, opera, and musical theater. During the 2014-15 season he looks forward to debuting Candide and Anthony Hope (Sweeney Todd) with Madison Opera, and to more concert appearances including Carmina burana with the Alabama Symphony.
Recent seasons have brought debuts with Michigan Opera Theater, Opera Memphis, New York City Opera, Boston Baroque, Sugar Creek Symphony & Song, Madison Opera, and Intermountain Opera Bozeman. In concert, he has appeared at Carnegie Hall with Distinguished Concerts International New York, and with the Pacific Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Music of the Baroque, Indianapolis Symphony and Evansville Philharmonic.
Shirley trained in some of America’s most notable apprentice programs: Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Central City Opera and Chautauqua Opera. He is working towards the completion of the Doctor of Music from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he earned a Master of Music. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music. His teachers have included Patricia Stiles, Jason Ferrante, Jonathan Retzlaff, and Gayle Shay.
Shirley is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and performs often with his wife, soprano Caitlin Shirley.

Raychl Smith comes to the School’s Music Education faculty from Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Smith holds the Ph.D. and M.M. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a B.M. from Appalachian State University. She was previously the program coordinator and assistant professor of music education at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
While completing graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Smith served as an instructor of music education at Elon University.
Prior to teaching at the collegiate level, Smith taught in the public schools of North Carolina as an elementary general music teacher, choral director and middle school band director. She was selected as teacher of the year at Weddington Hills Elementary School while teaching in Cabarrus County
Smith’s research interests include Creative Motion pedagogy, innovative approaches to facilitating free improvisation, community music making, and music education and social justice.Her most recent article, published in the Journal of Creative Motion, explores the differences between external movement and internal motion within Creative Motion pedagogy.
Smith serves as the Second Vice President of the Creative Motion Alliance, a national organization that certifies teachers in Creative Motion pedagogy.
She teaches on the summer faculty of the Windswept Music Conference, which has previously been held on the campuses of William Jewel College and Ouachita Baptist University.

Brooks named 2013 Distinguished Alum   

Joli Brooks has been named the 2013 School of Music Distinguished Alumna.

Brooks began playing the violin as a sixth grader in the public schools of Sanford, NC. Brooks performed in the orchestra at Lee Senior High School and studied violin at the Duke String School with Dorothy Kitchen.  As a student at ECU, she studied with Dr. Rodney Schmidt and earned her degree in Music Education in 1983.  In 2003 she also earned a Master of School Administration from East Carolina.

She has taught orchestra in Lee, Harnett, and Onslow County school systems and has served as a clinician and adjudicator in North Carolina and Virginia.  She has been host and chair of various state, regional and local activities for school orchestras.  She is the former concertmaster of both the Lee County Community Orchestra and the Crystal Coast Community Orchestra, and continues to perform professionally with the Crystal Strings Quartet.  Brooks is National Board Certified in the area of Early Adolescent through Young Adulthood Music, and from 2004-2008 worked part-time for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as an evaluator.

Her school orchestras consistently earn high ratings at state orchestra and small ensemble festivals, and many of her students each year earn music awards and scholarships.  Today, Brooks is the Director of Orchestras at Jacksonville High School, where she also teaches Advanced Placement Music Theory and International Baccalaureate Music, and serves as the director of the school's Creative and Performing Arts Academy.

In 2012, she was selected by her peers as the NCMEA Eastern Regional Director of the Year and in 2013, she was awarded the Jackson Parkhurst Award for Special Achievement by the NC Symphony.  She is currently a student at Boston University, where she is pursuing a doctoral degree in music education.

Organ students achieve   

Krista Melcher, senior, has been named "E. Power Biggs Fellow" by the Organ Historical Society. She will represent ECU at the national convention summer 2014 in Syracuse, New York.

Jordan Prescott, sophomore, won the Richard van Scriber scholarship in organ and church music from Metropolitan Music Ministries in Charlotte, NC.

Sharon Veitch, grad student first year, and Prescott both earned the Service Playing Certificate from the American Guild of Organists.

They are students of Andrew Scanlon.
McCaslin nominated for recording award

ECU tuba professor Tom McCaslin has been nominated for the International Tuba Euphonium Association Roger Bobo Award in the Solo Tuba category for his CD "One More Dance" released on the Potenza label in March, 2012.

The Roger Bobo, Harvey G. Phillips, Clifford Bevan Awards, and Jim and Jamie Self Creative Award were established by ITEA to foster, encourage, and recognize excellence in the fields of recording, composition, and research. These awards recognize the very best artists, composers, and researchers who have produced work of the highest distinction and are indeed given to those whose work illustrates the highest level of artistry and scholarship, regardless of popularity or other factors.

"One More Dance" is available at iTunes: or Amazon:

ECU flute students win performance auditions 

Willie Santiago has been awarded a Fellowship in Flute as a performer for the National Music Festival for summer 2014.  NMF Fellowships are awarded through a competitive process.

Jackie Traish has been accepted by competitive audition as a performer to The Panoramic Flutist Workshop in Boulder, Colorado. Distinguished faculty include Christina Jennings, Lisa Garner Santa and Carol Wincenc.

They are students of Dr. Christine Gustafson.
ECU guitar students place in competition

ECU guitar students distinguished themselves at the Appalachian Guitar Festival's International Solo Competition in April, 2014. Justin Lindley and Aaron Beck were chosen as two of the six semifinalists. Aaron was selected as a finalist and won the second prize. 

They are students of Dr. Elliot Frank.
Sarah Cox wins ECU Research and Creative Achievement Week competition

Congratulations to School of Music sophomore Sarah Cox for winning first place for her presentation in the undergraduate Humanities category of the 2014 ECU Research and Creative Achievement Week competition, held April 2, 2014. The title of her presentation was: "The Multi-Faceted Cultural Attainments of the Twelfth-Century Renaissance."
Her faculty mentor was Dr. Kevin Moll.
ECU Music Therapy Club wins Spirit Award

The ECU Music Therapy Club was awarded the Spirit Award for the Southeastern Region (11 states) of the American Music Therapy Association in March 2014. This is the highest award students can receive in the association.  Nine music therapy students accepted the award at the luncheon in Mobile, Alabama at the regional conference.  

The award is based on the most service projects in the community, the number of members in AMTA, attendance at conferences and the level of visibility in the community.

President: Gina Gerrard 
Vice President: Randi Lee
Treasurer: Brianna Henderson
Secretary: Anna Margaret Brown
Historian: Becca Dideum
Parliamentarian: Katie Nolan 
Voice students compete at Orpheus

Five ECU voice majors were invited to compete in this year’s Orpheus Voice Competition in Tennessee on March 8 and 9, 2014. Sopranos Kimberly Watson and Caroline Vaughan, mezzo-sopranos Martha Hensler and Olivia Johnson, and tenor Ashton Humphrey advanced to the semi-final round from an initial pool of over 200 singers. Kimberly Watson advanced to the final round in the student category — one of only nine finalists in an initial group of over forty semi-finalists. She was awarded fourth place, including the “Donizetti Prize” which included a handsome cash prize.

Kim, Martha, and Olivia are students of Dr. Jami Rhodes. Caroline and Ashton are students of John Kramar.

Music grad wins ECU thesis award

Joanna Pepple (MM '12, Theory-Composition) was selected as 2014 winner of the ECU Humanities & Fine Arts Master’s Thesis Award. The award includes a cash prize of $500 and a certificate of achievement.

Her thesis advisor was Dr. Amy Carr-Richardson.

Each ECU college was invited to nominate a thesis in the Humanities and Fine Arts category for consideration. Her thesis was selected by a committee of faculty and administrators based on its (1) impact in the chosen field of study; (2) the compelling case it makes for new approach to a problem of significance; (3) the quality of writing and clarity of its message; and (4) the originality of the work. 

ECU voice students win North Carolina NATS awards

ECU's participants in the North Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Auditions were very successful in February! Congratulations to the following winners:

First Place — Freshmen Women
Rebekah Shamberger

First Place — Junior Women
Michelle Lerch

Second Place — Junior Women
Caroline Vaughan

Second Place — Senior Women
Olivia Johnson

Third Place — Junior Women
Arlie Honeycutt

Third Place — Senior Women
Kimberly Watson

All of the prize winners above qualified to advance to the Regional Auditions in April.

Singers who also qualify to advance to the Regional Auditions in April:
Rachel Skora
Ashton Humphrey
Julia Becker
Casey Daniel
Sara McBrayer
Rachel Webb

The competing students from ECU are students of Jami Rhodes, Rachel Copeland (Meghan Dewald), and John Kramar. 

Kramar releases voice CD

sized JohnKramar1Print copyJohn Kramar (Chair, Department of Vocal Studies; Director, ECU Opera Theater) has had a new compact disc recording released on the Albany Label. “The Collected Songs of Alva Henderson” is a 2-CD set featuring 26 songs by the award-winning California based composer Alva Henderson. Kramar has been associated with Mr. Henderson for the past 20 years. Henderson first engaged him to sing a New York recital featuring premier performances of four songs written to texts by the former Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia.  The collaboration has been a fruitful one, with Kramar continuing to champion Henderson’s works in numerous recitals around the country, including several workshop performances of Henderson and Gioia’s opera, Nosferatu, where he sang the title character. The current recording was made during August of 2012 on the campus of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Kramar is partnered with soprano Melanie Emilio, and pianist Louise Lofquist – both of whom are members of the music faculty at Pepperdine. For further information about the recording, go to www.albanyrecords

Kim releases violin CD

smaller kim 2 copy 2Assistant Professor of Violin Hye-Jin Kim has released a debut CD with pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute on the Concert Artists Guild label entitled “From the Homeland.” Kim takes an emotional and personal journey through four works, exploring Sibelius’ thought that “Music begins where the possibilities of language end.” The album includes violin sonatas by Debussy and Janacek and rarely heard works by Sibelius and Smetana. The CD can be downloaded at

Ulffers named School of Music Director

The East Carolina University School of Music welcomed Christopher Ulffers as director beginning January 2, 2014. 
Ulffers replaces Christopher Buddo, who was named Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication in June 2013. The School of Music is one of the four schools that comprise the college.

Ulffers came to the School of Music in 1992 and has served continuously since, both as associate director and professor of bassoon. Ulffers’ duties as associate director included undergraduate admissions and scholarship administration, the assignment of faculty loads, course scheduling and assets management for the Fletcher Music Center.

“I am thrilled that Chris will be leading our school,” said Buddo. “His years of service as associate director have prepared him well to take on the challenges of directing the School of Music—he has worked with all levels of university administration and is uniquely qualified to advocate for our outstanding school, and he possesses the vision to carry the school to new levels of excellence.

“Thank you to Scott Carter for his strong and dedicated leadership during the interim period. His service as interim director kept the School of Music functioning at the highest level and has positioned us well for moving forward.” 
In addition to teaching bassoon, Ulffers taught a variety of courses in music history, music literature and music appreciation prior to his administrative appointment. In 1997 he was the recipient of the Robert and Lina Mays Award for Teaching Excellence awarded by the ECU Alumni Association.

“It is with great humility and honor that I become the next director of the School of Music,” said Ulffers. “ECU has been and will continue to be a beacon of musical excellence in the region, and I am well aware of the tradition we have to uphold.” 

Ulffers has been published in The Opera Journal and he presented papers at the ECU Conference on Renaissance Studies and the Conference on Renaissance Studies at Universitá degli Studi di Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.

He has participated in the Aspen Music Festival, was a bassoonist and staff librarian with the National Repertory Orchestra for five summers and was on the artist/faculty of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC. He is currently the principal bassoonist of the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle and has appeared several times as concerto soloist. He has also appeared as concerto soloist with the ECU’s wind ensemble, symphony orchestra and chamber singers. Ulffers’ appearance with the Chamber Singers at the 2009 New Music@ECU Festival featured the American premiere of the Bassoon Concerto by Norwegian composer Egil Hovland. This performance led to the first commercial recording release of this work in 2010 on the Gothic recording label, distributed by Naxos. He was contrabassoonist with the Virginia Symphony and Virginia Opera from 1993-2003, appearing with the orchestra at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall and on several recordings. He is frequently called upon as an extra musician by orchestras throughout the region and he performs regularly with the North Carolina Symphony in educational, pops and classical series concerts. 

He received a Bachelor of Music from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in 1989 and continued his studies as a graduate student at Indiana University where he received a Master of Music degree in 1991.

He resides in Greenville with his wife Beth and their three children.
Scanlon releases organ CD

ScanlonCDcoverAndrew Scanlon, ECU's professor of organ has released a new compact disc recording, "Solemn and Celebratory," on the Raven label. The album, recorded on The Perkins and Wells Memorial Organ at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Greenville, features a wide variety of organ literature designed to showcase the versatility of the Fisk pipe organ.  School of Music faculty member, Travis Garrison, was the recording engineer.  The C.B. Fisk organ is the primary teaching and performing instrument for ECU's organ and sacred music students. Details about the instrument may be obtained here.

The CD is available at or

David Albert Joins North Carolina Symphony as Director of Education

ECU music education alum David Albert (BM, 1982) joined the North Carolina Symphony as Director of Education in October 2013.

Albert was the Conductor of Bands and Arts Department Chair at Leesville High School in Raleigh for 19 years.  Prior to that, he was the Conductor of Bands at Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City for nine years.  He currently serves as Immediate Past President of the North Carolina Music Educators Association, served as President of the North Carolina Bandmasters Association, and is also is a past member of the North Carolina Symphony Education Committee. 

He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston Mass., studying drum set performance, and worked as a studio drummer in the Boston area.  A graduate of East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education, Mr. Albert is also a National Board Certified Teacher.
Tomlinson's "Audible Desserts" chosen for Electronic Music Midwest Festival

ECU composition graduate student Joshua Tomlinson has had his composition “Audible Desserts” selected by the Electronic Music Midwest Festival for performance in October. It was chosen previously by PARMA recordings for the SCI Region 1 Conference/PARMA Music Festival in August.

Cain, Cooper receive Distingiushed Alum awards

Organist Frances Cain (BM "59), the first woman to receive a BM at ECU, and vocalist Bridgette Cooper (BM '90) were awarded the 2013 ECU School of Music Distinguished Alumni Awards April 30, 2013 in a ceremony at Peace Presbyterian Church in Greenville, NC. The awards presentation was followed by a performance by the ECU Chamber Singers.

2013 Orpheus National Voice Competition

ECU students and alums placed well in the 2013 Orpheus National Voice Competition. 
Cera Finney won third place and the Orpheus Da Capo cash prize in the final round of the student category, Todd Barnhill won a cash encouragement award from the judges in the student category and Elizabeth Thompson (MM '11) took fifth place and the Mozart cash prize in the final round of the young artist category. Semi-finalists from ECU included Emily Tucker, Jordan Winslow, Brenton O'Hara, and Scott Willis, as well as recent graduates Josh Allen (BM '12) and John Charles Clark (MM '12.) There were over 200 original applicants, narrowed down to 43 students, and 26 young artists in the semi-final round. The final round had eight students and eight young artists hailing from ECU, CCM, Eastman, University of Kentucky, Boston University, Indiana University, Vanderbilt, and several other fine schools.
Finney and Tucker study with Jami Rhodes. Thompson, now a DMA student at University of Illinois, studied with John Kramar. Barnhill, O'Hara, Winslow, and Willis study with Kramar. Allen studied with Perry Smith. Clark graduated in 2012, is currently an adjunct faculty member in the voice department, and studied with Kramar. 
ECU students win regional awards

Cameron Jamison (CJ) Collins won 3rd place and an Honorary Mention at the Music Teachers National Association Competition (regional competition, southern division) held at UNCG on January 19. Jamison is a senior cello student of Emanuel Gruber. First year Masters in performance student Aaron Robinson placed a 2nd  in Young Artist Performance."(brass). Robinson is a tuba student of Tom McCaslin.

Sarah Cox won the Raleigh Symphony Competition this past weekend.  Amelia Dietrich and Catherine Cox received Honorable Mention. They are violin students of Ara Gregorian.
ECU students win MTNA awards

ECU School of Music students won prestigious awards at the North Carolina Music Teachers National Association competition held in Chapel Hill in November. 

Aaron Robinson, 1st year masters of music student in tuba performance, won the senior brass division. Robinson is a student of Tom McCaslin

Andrew Kropp was the winner of the woodwind young artist division. He is a senior saxophone student of Dr. Jeff Bair. Junior flute performance major Jackie Traish, a student of Dr. Christine Gustafson, won honorable mention.

The ECU string area swept the awards in the string young artist division at MTNA. 
Winner - CJ Collins, a senior cello student of Emanuel Gruber
Alternate - Micaela Fruend, a viola student of Ara Gregorian and Melissa Reardon
Honorable Mention - Logan Dailey, a junior cello student of Emanuel Gruber

Kyle Walker, senior piano student of Benjamin Hochman, won honorable mention in young artist piano.

Acclaimed ECU Graduate to perform September 1

Mary-Jean O’Doherty
Guest Artist, Coloratura Soprano

Mary-Jean O’Doherty is a graduate of East Carolina University where she received a Bachelor of Music in Voice and Flute performance in addition to a BA in Psychology. While a student she performed leading roles in ECU Opera Theater productions of Acis and Galatea, Don Giovanni, Albert Herring, and Venus and Adonis. This promising coloratura soprano was the first recipient of the Australian International Opera Award in 2008, a scholarship to study at the acclaimed Cardiff University’s Cardiff International Academy of Voice in Wales, directed by the renowned dramatic tenor Dennis O’Neill, CBE.

Miss O’Doherty has been a finalist in the Australian Singing Competition (2007), the 10th Aragall Singing Competitiong in Sabadell, Spain (2010), and The Stuart Burrows International Vocal Competition in Wales (2011).

Recent highlights of Miss O’Doherty’s career include performances of “Naiad” in Ariadne auf Naxos for Welsh National Opera, “Queen of the Night” in The Magic Flute for Opera’s Ddraig in Cardiff, UK, “Carolina” in Il Matrimonio Segreto for Cardiff International Academy of Voice in Barga, Italy, and the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor with Prague State Opera. In the upcoming season, Miss O’Doherty will reprise the role of “Lucia” for Prague State Opera and make her Royal Albert Hall debut with Raymond Gubbay’s Classical Spectacular.

East Carolina University Schedule

Thursday, September 1, 2011 Recital with pianist Eric Stellrecht
featuring works by Mozart, Bellini, Strauss, Rodrigo, and Donizetti
A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 7:30 pm, free

Friday, September 2, 2011
ECU student Q&A with the artist, A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, 3:00 pm
Music Therapy/Education welcome guests


Tony DeBlois, pianist for the Banquet of Eastern Carolina Vocational Center, joined the music therapy program for an impromptu jam session on Thursday, October 14. 

DeBlois, 36, was born prematurely with blindness, autism and Savant Syndrome. His genius is music. He has a repertoire of 7000 to 8000 songs, perfect pitch and plays 13 instruments.

Dr. Clifford K. Madsen, Coordinator of Music Education/Music Therapy/Contemporary Media at Florida State University, presented the Leadership in Music Education and Music Therapy Seminar to more than 80 students, faculty and guests at ECU on Wednesday, October 20th & Thursday, October 21st. Topics included Current Trends and Practices in Music Therapy, Developing Leadership Skills in the Music Environment and Education Advocacy: Developing Leaders for the Music Education Profession.

Chamber Singers release Eternal Light

G-49272-2 copy

The award-winning ECU Chamber Singers have released “Eternal Light,” their second professional compact disc recording.  Recorded in the sumptuous acoustic of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greenville, and internationally distributed on the Gothic recording label, the recording features mostly twentieth-century sacred works for unaccompanied choir. In addition, three selections are “world premiere” recordings of works for choir with single instrument obbligato featuring instrumental faculty members Christopher Grymes, clarinet; Christine Gustafson, flute.  The major premiere is a 25 minute four-movement setting of the Angus Dei by Norwegian composer Egil Hovland and featuring Christopher Ulffers, bassoon.

In an interview with distribution partner Naxos, Roger Sherman, production engineer and manager of Gothic Records, called the CD “truly one of the most beautiful recordings we have ever made.”

Recordings can be purchased through most online classical music recording distributors, including the Gothic Records website (, or at the ECU School of Music office.


School of Music welcomes new faculty member

East Carolina University School of Music grad Jami Rhodes will join the SoM voice department faculty this fall. A native of North Carolina, mezzo-soprano Rhodes is an active performer in a variety of genres. Most frequently seen on the operatic stage, she holds a number of favorite roles to her credit including Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Baba in The Medium, Madame de Croissy in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Jo in Little Women, Charlotte in Werther, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, Florence Pike in Albert Herring, The Old Lady in Candide and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen.

Also a frequent of the concert stage, Rhodes recording of Dinos Constantinides’ Marche de Galvez with the Louisiana Sinfonietta and the Schola Cantorum was released by Centaur. She has been a winner in the Orpheus National Vocal Competition and a District Winner and Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

She is also an active educator, having maintained a private voice and piano studio for over 10 years. In addition, she has taught in the NC public school system, and she served on the faculty of the New York State Summer School for the Arts (NYSSSA). Rhodes is a full active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).

Rhodes holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance and pedagogy from Louisiana State University, as well as a Master of Music in vocal performance from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Music in music education from East Carolina University.

Third Annual School of Music Alumni Reunion and Recital November 5, 2010

The East Carolina University School of Music Alumni Professional Society Board invites all alumni to attend the Third Annual School of Music Alumni Reunion and Recital on Friday, November 5, 2010, at 7:00 p.m., in the A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall. The program is open to all alumni of the School who would like to sing or play any instrument solo, in chamber groups, or jazz ensembles. A special word of encouragement to couples who met at the School of Music—we would love to feature you on our program. If you would like to attend this event and/or be included on the program, please contact Bonnie G. Mani at or 252/328-1060 to provide your program information and to RSVP for the reception. A few alumni have already volunteered to play so hurry! A reception with alumni and their families, current and retired faculty members will be held immediately following the recital. Please come join in the fun and reconnect with fellow alumni and some of your former professors. The last two years' events were enjoyed by all who attended and performed. Let’s keep the tradition alive!

P. S. You could make it a weekend! ECU Pirates vs. Navy at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on November 6, 2010, at 3:30 p.m.
Nelson releases the CD “Ma Guiterre je te chante - 16th century guitar solos and chansons.”


East Carolina University School of Music professor and early-music musician Jocelyn Nelson and New York-based soprano Amy Bartram have released the CD “Ma Guiterre je te chante - 16th century guitar solos and chansons.” “Ma Guiterre je te chante” includes selections from the French renaissance guitar repertoire performed on the four-course renaissance guitar, and features intricate guitar solos and rarely-heard 16th-century arrangements of French love songs for soprano and guitar based on dances from the period. Many of the voice and guitar arrangements are by the French composer and music printer Adrian Le Roy, and were considered the pop songs of their day. This is the first recording dedicated to the French renaissance solo guitar repertoire to include songs for solo voice and guitar performed in the original arrangements. Nelson teaches music history, lute and guitar literature, Baroque guitar and music appreciation at East Carolina University's School of Music. “Ma Guiterre je te chante” is available for purchase at cdbaby, The site also features CD excerpts.

Benjamin Keaton receives National Opera Trustee Recognition Award

OPERA America recognized ECU alum Benjamin Keaton (BS ‘57  MA ’61) of Long LeafBenjamin - Tux copy Opera (North Carolina) as a recipient of the 2010 National Opera Trustee Recognition Award. In its third year, this award honors trustees of U.S. opera companies for exemplary leadership, generosity and audience-building efforts on behalf of their respective opera companies.

OPERA America is committed to recognizing strong trustee leaders, acknowledging the pivotal role they play in the success of opera companies and the vitality of the communities they serve.

The honorees represent a significant range of accomplishments, generosity and a deep commitment to promoting opera in their communities.

Twelve years ago, conductor and composer Benjamin Keaton co-founded Long Leaf Opera with Randolph Umberger as an alternative company with two missions: to present exclusively operas written originally in English and to develop a multicultural company of artists at all levels. Concerned with the lack of opportunities for young American composers, Mr. Keaton set out to recruit the finest regional and national composing talents available and to follow a colorblind casting policy on stage, in the pit and in the board room. Since then, Mr. Keaton has overseen the production of 33 operas, including seven world premieres. In 2007, Keaton established an international competition for new operatic works, and to date over 100 compositions have been received from countries including Germany, Australia and the U.K.

OPERA America will pay tribute to the 2010 honorees and celebrate their remarkable achievements at a February weekend in New York City, including three nights at the Park Lane Hotel, two dinners, a reception, a performance of La filled du regiment at the Metropolitan Opera, an awards banquet, and a free full page ad for their company in Opera America magazine.

McCaslin releases tuba CD


Tuba and euphonium professor Tom McCaslin has released his debut CD, “Inside Out” through Crystal Records.  The recording includes an world-premiere interpretation of a transcription of the improvised guitar solos of Frank Zappa, given to McCaslin by legendary tubist Roger Bobo. Zappa’s widow, Gail Zappa, said, “This is definitely not for the faint of heart. This rocks my world.”
The CD includes a variety of works for tuba. The CD was supported by a College of Fine Arts and Communication Research and Creative Activity Grant.

The CD is available at

Faculty accolades

George Broussard attended the 40th International Trombone Festival in Nashville in June, where he performed with the Palmetto Posaunen (trombonists from SC, NC, TN, GA, Va), and the Cramer Memorial Choir conducted by John Marcellus (twenty college professors from through out the US and a guest quartet from Hungary). He also judged the finals of the J. J. Johnson Jazz Competition.

Tom McCaslin has been awarded a Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge Grant to record his second CD in the summer of 2011. McCaslin's first CD, "Inside Out," was released in 2009 to critical acclaim.

Dr. Jeffrey Ward published "Tips from the podium: A guest conductor's perspective of the honor choir" in the October 2010 edition of the Choral Journal, the national journal of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).
Drs. Michelle Hairston, Linda High, Greg Hurley, and Jeffrey Ward presented in four different concentrations at the 29th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) in Beijing, China in August 2010.
Dr. Jeffrey Ward conducted the Mozart Coronation Mass with the Greenville Choral Society and New Carolina Sinfonia with faculty soloists Sharon Munden and John Kramar in May 2010.He also conducted the Rutter Requiem with the St. James United Methodist Church Choir and Orchestra with ECU student soloists and faculty instrumentalists in March 2010.

Dr. Scott Carter, Director of Bands in the School of Music, guest conducted the Winthrop/Charlotte Area Wind Orchestra at the American Bandmasters Association Convention this past March in Charleston, South Carolina. The American Bandmasters Association is considered the most prestigious professional organization for wind band conductors. During the summer he directed the East Carolina University Summer Band Camp, a weeklong residence program that enrolled 300 band students in grades 6-12 from the region. He also served as conductor for the School of Theater and Dance Summer Theater production of a George M. Cohan review at the Waterside Amphitheater in Manteo, NC.

In addition, he recently contributed an article to the book series for band directors entitled Teaching Music Through Performance in Band.  The contribution was an analysis of Steven Bryant's composition Stampede. Fall 2010 he will adjudicate marching band competitions in Raleigh and Jacksonville. He has also been invited by Colonel Thomas Palmattier, commander and conductor of the United States Army Field Band, to guest conduct the ensemble when they are in North Carolina on an east coast tour.  The U. S Army Field Band, based at Fort Meade, Maryland, has performed in all 50 states, and in 30 countries on four continents. They are considered one of the finest concert bands in the world and are the "musical ambassadors" of the United States Army.

Dr. Christine Gustafson, Flute professor at the School of Music, has been selected for the Annual East Carolina University Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Scholar-Teacher Award, which recognizes outstanding faculty members who integrate scholarship and teaching.

ECU professor Carroll Dashiell will present the newly established ECU Jazz Studies “Dr.  Billy Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award “ at the Howard University concert ceremony honoring Dr. Billy Taylor on November 19.

ECU trombone professor George Broussard performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival 2009, “The Year of The Trombone,” for the opening ceremony, two performances with The Palmetto Posaunen and at the U. S. Custom House with Wycliffe Gordon. Broussard also toured Europe this summer as Dixieland Medley soloist with the American Trombone Choir (in Bad Neuenahr, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic); and as part of the Cramer Memorial Trombone Choir, a 24 member choir representing six countries (in Aarhus, Denmark).

ECU guitar professor Elliot Frank performed at the Fort Worth Guitar Guild Music Festival in July. Reviewers said:

"Frank had a highly studied technique that displayed an exceptional grasp of the architecture of the piece he was performing. He also did a nice job of explaining the common ground shared by two seemingly unrelated works on his program: a lute suite by Bach (BWV 998) and Capriccio, a work by contemporary composer Andrew Zohn, who will perform later in the festival. Frank’s insightful introduction made this modern piece, which was the highlight of his set, more enjoyable."

ECU music professor Jocelyn Nelson performed renaissance guitar at the Boston Early Music Festival on June 10 with soprano Amy Bartram. Nelson and Bartram have collaborated on a CD of early music to be released soon.

ECU educators Jennifer Bugos, Jocelyn Nelson, Mike Dixon and ECU student Alexis Groner have published research articles recently.

Bugos, J.A., & High, L. (2009). Perceived versus actual practice strategy usage by older adult novice piano students. Visions of Research in Music Education, 13, 1-26

Bugos, J.A., & Groner, A. (2009). The effects of instrumental training on non-verbal reasoning in eighth-grade students. Research Perspectives in Music Education, 12, (Accepted for Publication in March 2009 issue)
 Bugos, J.A., Nelson, J. & Dixon, M. (2009). Podcasting: A method of enhancing course perceptions and performance in music appreciation. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 6 (1), 37-45.

Oboe professor Bo Newsome was one of five semifinalists in an international visual arts competition attracting 600 international entries from 60 nations,

The Maine Center for Creativity and the Sprague Energy Corporation selected Newsome’s design for consideration as one of five finalists in the “Art All Around International Design Competition.” The winning design—not Newsome’s—will beautify 16 oil tanks located in the port of South Portland, Maine.

On entry into the competition, Newsome begged the indulgence of the judging panel, explaining that he is a musician competing among visual artists to deliver an intricate submission: “Our proposal stops one step short of what every other proposal will probably excel at: submitting a sophisticated presentation of the actual graphic art to be painted on the tanks.”

“Tunetowers of Maine” proposed the combination of graphic art,
song and technological innovation to create an aesthetically engaging
landscape in which the oil tanks “sing” to Portland and the world. The proposed music would have been transformed into animated graphic musical notation and painted on the sides of the tanks, with the top of each tank illustrated with notation in a round format.

Student accolades
Mary Catherine Cox, junior violin performance major studying with Ara Gregorian, won both the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra and the Durham Symphony Orchestra concerto competitions in January 2014.  Also, she recently won the 2013-14 ECU Concerto Competition Ron and Patty Allison Prize, and the opportunity to perform as soloist with the ECU Symphony Orchestra. She has been awarded All-State Honors Orchestra and has attended the Music Teacher’s National Association state auditions and international music festivals in France, England, and Italy. Last summer Cox was awarded a fellowship to study at the Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival in Wisconsin. 

Cox will perform with the Raleigh Symphony February 23 and the Durham Symphony April 6.

ECU School of Music students placed well at the North Carolina Music Teachers Association competitions held at UNCW on Friday, October 8.  ECU student cellist CJ Collins won first place and student cellist Hillary Flowers took third place and honorable mention, both in Young Artists Division. Collins and Flowers are students of Emmauel Gruber. Caroline Cox, student of Keiko Sekino, was named alternate in the Young Artist/College piano division. ECU's Dr. Kerry Carlin is chair of the state competitions.

Music education major Tremayne Smith has been elected ECU student body president for 2010-2011.

ECU flute student Tunisia Bullock was invited to attend Beyond the Masterclass Flute Week 2010 in June as an Allegro performer. Jim Walker's  Flute Week combines the traditional masterclass environment with special seminars designed to expand a flutist's horizons outside the "flute performance major" mentality. It is hosted at The Colburn Conservatory of Music's beautiful facilities in downtown Los Angeles across from Walt Disney Concert Hall.

In April, the Mid-Atlantic NATS organization (National Association of Teachers of Singing) held its audition for the regional competition (MD, DC, VA, NC and SC) at University of South Carolina.  Four of the seven students from ECU who qualified were able to attend with the following results: Nicole Sonbert House, First Place, Graduate Women; John Hinson, First Place, Graduate Men; Sarah Boswell, Second Place, Freshmen Women; Erin Moorman, Third Place, Continuing Education Women.

ECU students Elizabeth Thompson and Christian Waugh advanced to the
semi-final round of the Orpheus National Vocal Competition in Tennessee this
past weekend. (130 singers whittled down to 27.) Christian later made it to
the final round (27 singers whittled down to 7), and won third place,
including a cash prize!

ECU held its own among some fierce competition -- students from CCM, FSU,
New England Conservatory, Eastman, Curtis, and Indiana University to name a

Rafael Valle
's composition "Primeiro Trio" has been selected for inclusion in the spring concert of the Out of Bounds New Music Ensemble. This is Valle's third competition success in spring semester 2010.

ECU had several student winners in Greensboro at the North Carolina National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition.  All of our winners will advance to the regional round in South Carolina in April. Kevin Carswell, 2nd place, Graduate Men  (student of Perry Smith);John Hinson, regionals for Graduate Men (student of Louise Toppin); Nicole House, regionals for Graduate Women (student of Louise Toppin); Sarah Bosweel, regionals for Freshmen Women (student of Louise Toppin) ; Lisa Harshman, 3rd place, Advanced Jr/Sr High School Women (Private student of Louise Toppin).

Nathan Walker's composition "Leaves" will be programmed by the NC Master Chorale Chamber Choir, directed by Al Sturgis.  His music will be hear on the group's "Time Passages" concert, on Thursday, March 25, 2009 at 8 pm in Kenan Recital Hall, Peace College.

November 1, 2009,Rachael Arnold, a senior at ECU double-majoring in flute performance and music education, was the winner of the Undergraduate Collegiate Division of the Raleigh Area Flute Association Competition.  Rachael will receive a cash prize and has been invited to perform on the Winners' Recital of the Raleigh Area Flute Association on November 13, 2009 in Raleigh, NC.  Rachael is a student of Christine Gustafson.

Nicole Frazee, graduate flute performance major, was the winner of the
Graduate Collegiate Division of the Raleigh Area Flute Association
Competition.  Nicole will also receive a cash prize and will perform for the
Winners' Recital on November 13.  Nicole is Graduate Assistant for Christine

Tremayne Smith, ECU Marching Band Sr. Head Drum Major and senior music education major, was crowned ECU homecoming king during the fall 2009 ECU homecoming festivities.

Kyle Walker, sophomore piano performance major, was chosen the state winner in the Young Artist Piano Competition at the state conference of the North Carolina Music Teachers Association (affiliated with Music Teachers National Association).

His program included Bach: Prelude and Fugue in G-sharp Minor (Book I, Well-Tempered Clavier); Beethoven: Opening Movement of the
Sonata # 31, in A-Flat, Opus 110; and Albeniz "El Albiacin" (from Book 3 of Iberia).

Kyle currently holds the Olive G. Long Memorial Piano Scholarship and is a student of Dr. Henry Doskey.
There were six contestants; the Young Artist Division is basically the College Division, through age 26. ECU has had winners in this competition before, but Kyle is one of the youngest ECU students to win this division, which tends to be dominated by seniors and graduate students. He advances now to the Regional Competition, which will be held in Birmingham in January.

Congratulations, Kyle!

Steve Lewis, whose sheet music for his composition titled "A Just War" has been published and is available for sale at

You can check it by clicking the following link:

Senior flute performance major Jamie Wilken, student of Christine Gustafson, has been accepted to the Christian Lardé masterclass in Paris for two weeks in July, 2009.  Jamie has been granted a full scholarship--all course fees, room and board are covered.  However, she will have to go back and forth to Paris from Brazil, where she and duo partner, guitarist Josinaldo Costa (former student of Elliot Frank and one of our first Music Alive! Exchange students), have been invited to perform in three chamber music festivals: Virtuosi na Serra in Pernambuco; the Villa-Lobos Hall in Rio de Janeiro under the aegis of the Guitar Society of Rio de Janeiro; and the Londrina Chamber Music Competition in Londrina, Brazil.

Alumni accolades

Tremayne Smith (2011), Director of Bands at Rocky Mount High School in Rocky Mount, NC, received the 2013 ENCORE award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American School Band Director’s Association. The award recognizes select bandmasters with fewer than seven full years in the profession who have demonstrated great future potential as music educators and a desire to serve their district and state organizations.

James “Aaron” Hardwick, class of 2004, has been named a Yale Distinguished Music Educator.  The award is presented biennially by the Yale School of Music to participants of the Symposium on Music in Schools.  The award honors fifty music educators from across the country that are selected for their outstanding accomplishments teaching music in public schools.  Mr. Hardwick was one of more than 300 nominees representing 45 states.  He attended the four day symposium and award ceremony held at Yale University in June. 

Hardwick is the director of orchestras at Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  He oversees the Falcon Chamber Orchestra, Falcon Concert Orchestra, and the Cox High School Quartet.  He has also been recently appointed as the new conductor of the Bay Youth Orchestra of Virginia; Virginia’s premier youth symphony orchestra.  He holds of Bachelor of Music Degree from East Carolina and is a former viola student of faculty member Ara Gregorian, and conducting student of Dr. Scott Carter.

He currently resides in Chesapeake, VA with his wife Christina, also class of 2004.  Feel free to contact him via email at

Colleen Hussion
has been selected to play the bassoon/contra bassoon for the 2011 National Intercollegiate Band at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in July. Founded in 1947. the NIB will make its twenty-eighth appearance at the biennial national convention of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma honor fraternities.
Hussion was chosen from the more than 200 students who auditioned for chairs in 2011.

ECU guitar alumnus and Elliot Frank student Chris Adkins (BM 2006, MM 2008) won first prize at the Music Academy of North Carolina Guitar Competition on November 14.
This is the third straight year that an ECU alumnus has won the competition. Previous winners were Armin Abdihodzic (MM 2009), November 2009 and Adam Kossler (BM 2006), November 2008. ECU guitar students and alumni have won a total of six prizes at this competition.

Travis Alford (’05, BM Theory-Composition – concentration in Composition) is a recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award. Named in memory of eminent composer and conductor Morton Gould, who was ASCAP's President from 1986 to 1994, the award encourages developing music creators during the earliest stages of their careers.

"This recognition by ASCAP is quite a distinction; few are granted each year, and receiving an ASCAP award signifies a that a young composer has already established the elements of a unique, significant, and accomplished voice," said Ed Jacobs, ECU professor of theory and composition. “Travis is a very fine young composer with several distinguished experiences under his belt, from being a fellow at the Wellesley Composers Conference and June In Buffalo, to his recent hire on the faculty of the Boston-area Gordon College.”

RaSheeda Waddell, MM vocal performance, won 2010 Miss Black North Carolina USA contest.

Meredith Harris won the 2009 Shinichi Suzuki/American Suzuki Foundation Teacher Training Scholarship.  She took the Viola Supplemental Course and Viola Practicum, taught by Betsy Stuen-Walker.

Armin Abdihodzic, who graduated April, 2009 with an MM in guitar and is currently pursuing doctoral studies at UNT, has won first prize in guitar competitions at the Mississippi Guitar Festival in Hattiesburg, and at the Music Academy of North Carolina in Greensboro. In Greensboro the other finalists were from Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, and Columbus State University. This is the second year in a row that a recent ECU alum has won this competition, and the third year in a row that either current ECU students or alums have won prizes in the MANC competition. Abdihodzic was a student of Dr. Elliot Frank.

AMTA is proud to announce the 2009 Arthur Flagler Fultz Research Grant winner:Michael Silverman, PhD, MT-BC. Dr. Silverman will receive a $15,000 Grant to fund his research project titled: "The effect of family-based educational music therapy on depression, satisfaction with life, and service utilization: A randomized effectiveness study with three month follow-up." Congratulations Dr. Silverman!

School of Music Alumnus Dr. Roger McVey (B.M. ’94, Piano Performance) has just released his first CD, “American Journey."  The new recording consists entirely of music for piano by living American composers, and provides a diverse sampling of contemporary American music. Included are pieces by John Adams, Emma Lou Diemer, Marc Mellits, Lori Laitman. Earl wild, Bonnie Kiksch, and Phillip Glass. Mc Vey was a student of Dr. Henry Doskey while at ECU, and is a winner of several NC-area competitions, including the NCMTA Young Artists Competition and the Raleigh Symphony Competition.  He has also won several other prizes in European competitions. His Master’s degree is from Indiana University and his Doctorate was completed at the University of Kansas. He is on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin – River falls. Read more at <>  .

ECU voice students win North Carolina NATS awards

ECU's participants in the North Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Auditions were
very successful this weekend! Congratulations to the following winners:

Cera Finney -- 1st place, Senior Women
Caroline Vaughan -- 1st place, Sophomore Women
Emily Tucker -- 2nd place, Senior Women
Michelle Lerch -- 2nd place, Sophomore Women
Allison Gross -- 3rd place, Junior Women
Ashton Humphrey -- 3rd place, Junior Men
Jerenae Raeford -- 3rd place, Freshmen Women

In addition to the six prize winners, the following students earned scores that were high enough to enable them to participate in the Regional Auditions in April at the College of Charleston:
Julia Becker (Sophomore Women)
Scott Willis (Graduate Men)