Former Graduate Students in Music

Claire Brewer 

Claire Brewer began piano lessons with Patricia Ward at the age of eight. She studied with Dr. Mark Hussong at Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, TN, graduating Cum Laude in May 2008 with a Batchelor of Arts Degree in Piano Performance. During her four years at C-N, Claire served as Treasurer and President of Delta Omicron Music Fraternity and was an active member of the A Cappella Choir directed by Dr. Eric Thorson. Claire had the opportunity to spend May term of her junior year studying and traveling in Germany and Austria, and she was privileged to travel to Israel and Jordan with the A Cappella Choir who performed in Nazareth, Jerusalem, and Amman as well as in Bethlehem Square on Christmas Eve of 2007. Claire was employed by First Baptist Church, Dandridge, TN as the accompanist for the Youth Choir and director of the Children's Handbell Choir. After graduation, Claire returned to this area to attend graduate school at MTSU where she is currently studying under Dr. Leopoldo Erice to earn her degree in Collaborative Piano. In addition to her accompaniment opportunities at MTSU and in the community, Claire is the Youth Choir Director, First Baptist Church Murfreesboro where she also teaches piano lessons at First Baptist Fine Arts Academy. Claire is a member of the Middle Tennessee Music Teachers Association and is employed in the business office at Demos Restaurant, Murfreesboro.   

Jonathan Copeland

copelandJonathan Copeland is a clarinetist who specialized in Performance. He received the Bachelor of Music degree from Middle Tennessee State University. He graduated high school from Roane County High in Kingston, TN. While in high school, he was the principal clarinetist in the Knoxville Youth Orchestra and the Tennessee Music Educator's Association All-State Orchestra and had the privilege to study privately with Roann Romines. During his undergraduate work he received an award for Outstanding Clarinet Performance and he participated in the International Clarinet Association's Young Artist Competition. Jonathan was also a soloist with the MTSU Chamber Orchestra during his sophomore year, performing the 3rd movement of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. Jonathan is an active McNair Scholar and has received two $2600 stipends toward his research. He presented "The American Perspective of French Clarinet Performance Styles"; in the summer of 2008 at the McNair Symposium and "Tools for the Advancing Clarinetist: Recordings of Significant Pedagogical Works"; in the summer of 2009, which he hopes to turn into a book available to the public. Jonathan has also composed numerous works including compositions for clarinet choir, which were premiered by the MTSU Clarinet Choir. Jonathan also studied abroad in the summer of 2008 at the Belgium Clarinet Academy where he studied with the world-famous clarinetists Eddy Vanoosthuyse and Robert Spring.

Jonathan is currently working with Onks Woodwind Specialist as a clarinet repair technician in Smyrna, TN, and also was active as a graduate assistant to Dr. Todd Waldecker, Associate Professor of Clarinet at MTSU. Jonathan's goal in life is to glorify Christ in his clarinet abilities and to lead others to Christ through his God-given talents.

DJ Creech 

DJ is a trumpet player specializing in performance. From Atlanta, Georgia, He recently received his bachelor's degree from Georgia State University. While at Georgia State, DJ was principal trumpet of the school's Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. He was also an honors recital winner, University Scholar Assistantship recipient, and winner of the Dave Cady Memorial Scholarship. Outside of school, DJ has played lead trumpet in Spirit drum and bugle corps and Carolina Crown drum and bugle corps, as well as other groups such as the Gwinnett Ballet, Peach State Summer Theatre, College Light Opera Company, and Delta Brass Quintet. DJ's principal teachers include Yvonne Toll, Amanda Pepping, and Michael Arndt. DJ has also studied in master classes with Phil Smith and Mark Hughes. 


Hailey Darnell 

A native of Guntersville, Alabama, Hailey is specializing in Collaborative Piano. She received the Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Furman University, where she also spent a semester studying music and culture at the Accademia dell'Arte in Arezzo, Italy. Hailey has worked as a staff pianist at Furman and has been a part of more than a dozen stage productions with the Greenville Light Opera Works, Furman Pauper Players, & Whole Backstage Theater. She is a graduate assistant accompanist at MTSU and studies with Dr. Arunesh Nadgir. She is also a member of Pi Kappa Lambda and an alumni member of Sigma Alpha Iota Women's Music Fraternity. 

Beth Delk 

Beth is specializing in Music Education. Since 2006, she has taught general music and choir in Sparta, TN, at White County Middle School. She has seen the choir grow in numbers; she now has an auditioned choir of 45 7th and 8th graders.

She received the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Tennessee Technological University in 2005 and is certified to teach K-12 Instrumental Music. While at TTU, Beth studied clarinet with Dr. Anne Thurmond and was principal clarinetist of the TTU Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble and was a member of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra.

Beth is also a member of the Music Educator's National Conference, Middle Tennessee Vocal Association, and the International Clarinet Association. She is excited about studying under the faculty at MTSU and hopes the knowledge she gains here will help her future students reach their potential. 

Chris Dunn

dunnChris Dunn, a native of Albertville, AL, is an electric/upright bassist who specialized in Music Education. He received the Bachelor of Music degree in Commercial Music with a Composition and Arranging Emphasis from Belmont University in 2008. While at Belmont, he studied electric and upright bass with Roy Vogt, composition with Dr. Bryan Clark, and arranging with Dr. Jeff Kirk. Chris also performed in numerous jazz and commercial music ensembles.

When not performing and recording with local artists and bands, Chris works part-time as an audio book editor.  

Katie Frazier

frazierKatie specialized in Music Education. The 2009-2010 school year was Katie's third year teaching music in Murfreesboro. She has taught 5th -12th grade bands and elementary general music classes at Middle Tennessee Christian School for two years, and previously taught band and general music in Bradford, Arkansas. 

She received the Bachelor of Arts degree in Instrumental Music Education from Harding University in 2006 and then was certified to teach K-12 Instrumental Music after completing Praxis III requirements in Arkansas. Katie's major instrument is oboe. In college she was principal oboist in the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, and also served as drum major for the Harding University Thundering Herd. Katie was a member of the Arkansas Intercollegiate Band in 2005. In 2006, Katie was named Outstanding Music Major of the Year as well as Secondary Education Student of the Year. More recently, Katie's fellow faculty members at Middle Tennessee Christian voted her 2008-2009 Junior High Teacher of the Year. 

Katie began playing in Tennessee Valley Winds in January of 2008 and has enjoyed getting to know fellow musicians in the Middle Tennessee area since then. She believes that sharing music can develop a h3 community, and strives to develop this in all of her classes.

Shawn Frazier

shawnShawn specialized in Choral Conducting. 2009-2010 marks Shawn's third year of teaching at Middle Tennessee Christian School. He teaches High School Chorus, Junior High Chorus, Junior High Music, 4th Grade Music and Recorders, 3rd Grade Music, 11th Grade Bible, and assists the Elementary Bands and Chorus. 

Shawn received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Music Education from Harding University in 2007 and was certified to teach K-12 Vocal Music. Shawn's accomplishments include All-State Chorus (4 yrs), 1st Place in NATS and Solo Competitions, 1st Ratings in Solo / Ensemble, Harding Spring Sing Host (3 yrs), chorus in Babes in Arms, Mr. Harling in My Antonia, Rocky in D. Yankees, Jeff in The Curious Savage, Curly in Oklahoma, quartet in The Music Man, chorus in Kismet, and Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast. 

Leslie Freeman 

Leslie is specializing in vocal performance. In 2010 she placed 3rd in the graduate student category of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Tennessee chapter, competition; performed as the Countess in MTSU's production of The Marriage of Figaro; and performed in the chorus of the Nashville Opera's production of Le Nozze di Figaro. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. She has been a public and private school music and drama teacher for over fifteen years and also sings with her husband, Ronnie, who is a professional singer-songwriter in the Nashville area. Ms. Freeman resides in Nolensville, Tennessee with her husband and three children.

Amanda Funderburk

funderburkAmanda, better known as Mandy, is a double-bass player who specialed in Music Education. She was a graduate assistant to Dr. Jamilla McWhirter in the Music Education department and worked as an orchestra assistant for Dr. Carol Nies. In addition to being a full time student, she taught private music lessons and worked as a substitute teacher in music and special education.

Mandy grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD, and began her musical career on flute. In middle school she added bass guitar, then officially switched from flute to double bass as her primary instrument during her first year of college. She received the Bachelor of Science degree and teaching certification in K-12 Music Education magna cum laude from Towson University.

In her spare time, Mandy is an avid knitter and occasionally plays with her keyboard-based band from Baltimore, Karmella's Game.  

Jeffrey Gross

grossJeffrey Gross, a native of Paducah, Kentucky, is a recent graduate from the University of Alabama in Huntsville with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and obtained a Masters degree in trombone performance at MTSU under Dr. David Loucky. While in Huntsville, Jeff performed with the UAH wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, and brass quintet as well as the Theater Huntsville Orchestra, Renaissance Theatre Orchestra, and the Rocket City Jazz Orchestra. Prior to living in Huntsville, Jeff attended the University of Missouri-Rolla, where he performed in the university's wind ensemble, concert band, symphony orchestra, marching band, athletic band, Renaissance chamber ensemble, and brass ensemble. He was the founder and director of the UMR trombone quartet and the founding president of the UMR colony of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Jeff's principle teachers have been Reece King, Dr. Donald Bowyer, and Kevin Bounds.

Karla Grove  

groveKarla specialized in Collaborative Piano. She grew up in Georgia and received her B.S. in Music from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. She continued her studies through the Trinity College of Music in London and received her Performer's Certificate and Associate's Degree in Solo Piano. After taking some time off from the academic world to raise a family, she came to MTSU to pursue her master's degree. Since arriving, she has worked as a graduate assistant under the supervision of Dr. Leopoldo Erice. She now performs regularly in Tennessee. With a h3 interest in performing, teaching and writing, she also is considering doctoral programs in Collaborative Piano. 

Aurora Hernandez 

Aurora is a native of Mexico and a violinist specializing in Performance. She received her bachelor's degree in Music from the Universidad de las Americas Puebla, graduating Cum Laude in 2006. Aurora is now working on her masters degree under the instruction of Dr. Andrea Dawson. She has a half graduate assistantship for which she helps Dr. Dawson and assists the Orchestra Program under the supervision of Dr. Carol Nies.

During the years prior to beginning her graduate studies, Aurora studied with Fernando Aguirre, worked as a violin teacher at the Conservatory of Puebla, and performed with several ensembles and orchestras in Mexico. With a h3 interest in working with children she also started a certification as a Violin Suzuki Instructor.

Aurora is now a full time student and is grateful to be part of the School of Music at MTSU. 

Elizabeth has performed in the MTSU Band of Blue, the Symphonic Band, the Concert Band, University Orchestra and other small ensembles. 

William Hickok 

William Hickok grew up in Auburn, Alabama where he later attended Auburn University. There he majored in music education with a specialization in percussion. During the summer, William has been employed by Auburn Athletics with the grounds crew as well as teaching numerous band camps. William is an Eagle Scout, has been a two-time finalist in the Alabama solo competition, and has received many performance scholarships through his undergraduate career. William is now pursuing a masters degree in percussion performance at MTSU. He is a graduate teaching assistant with Professor Lalo Davila.

Luke Hill 

Luke is specializing in Music Education. A native of Middle Tennessee, he attended MTSU as an undergraduate in 2003 studying music education with his primary instrument being piano. After graduating cum laude, Luke began working for the local Murfreesboro city school system, specifically at Bradley Academy as an instrumental music teacher. He has continued to teach African drumming, Orff techniques, keyboard labs, and guitars to Kindergarten through sixth grade students. He also teaches the fifth and sixth grade bands. In his first year of teaching at Bradley, he was awarded "Teacher of the Year" by the Tennessee Arts Commission. He is specializing in Music Education to further his abilities to successfully teach and assess the students he serves, as well as to develop his own study of music and music pedagogy. 

Kevin Isbell

Kevin is a lyric tenor who specialized in Performance. A native of Jackson, Tennessee, he attended Union University there and received the Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Voice Performance with high honors. While at Union, he studied voice with Dr. Stan Warren. In summer 2008, Kevin attended the New York Summer Music Festival and studied with Dora Ohrenstein and Jon Frederic West of the Metropolitan Opera. Throughout his undergraduate career, he placed in several divisional and regional NATS competitions within the state of Tennessee and, in the spring of 2009, received Union's Award for Excellence in Music Performance.

At MTSU, Kevin studied with Dr. Christine Isley-Farmer and was involved in both the Schola Cantorum and Opera Workshop.

Yoon-Joong Jeong

jeongYoon-Joong specialized in Music Composition for Contemporary Media; Dr. Paul West-Osterfield was his primary professor. Yoon-Joong was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. He has been interested in music, especially piano, since he was five-years-old and decided to become a composer when he was a junior in middle school. He was admitted to Seoul National University College of Music, the best music college in Korea, and earned the Bachelor of Music degree in 2006. Thereafter, he served in the ROK (Republic of Korea) Air Force Orchestra for two years as a top arranger. He has produced two CDs in Korea. 

Matthew Joy

joyMatthew Joy hails from Boston, MA, where he earned the Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music. After finishing college he began vigorously composing and arranging for solo nylon and 12-string guitar while playing venues around Boston and New York. He later went on to form the group "Orchestra of This,"; an acoustic world-fusion jazz quartet performing his original compositions. In addition he played lead guitar with the soulful singer "Jesse Dee," with whom he recorded two studio albums. Having shared the stage with some of Boston's finest musicians, as well as Los Lobos, Preston Reed, and Etta James, Matthew has also performed festivals and venues in the U.S., Canada, the U.K, and Europe. On top of all this, he has been teaching the art of guitar playing for over ten years.   

Melissa Gensler Keeling

genslerMelissa Gensler Keeling, flutist, was a graduate assistant under Dr. Deanna Little, and specialized in perrformance. A native of southern Kentucky, she received the bachelor's degree in Music Education from Western Kentucky University in 2010. She is currently involved in an avant-garde experimental electronic flute project, forming the band sonyq, with which she created an original album and music video. Melissa has studied in master classes with Michel Debost, Mary Kay Fink, and with Rhonda Larson abroad in Italy. 

Brad Keesler

keeslerBrad Keesler received Master's degree in Music Performance at MTSU and is very active as a trombone player and educator. He worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the band program. His primary teachers included Dr. David Loucky, Dr. Reed Thomas, and Prof. Craig Cornish. Recently, Brad worked for Carnival Cruise Lines as a showband musician, playing production shows and lounge music.

Brad graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2009 with a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance (Cum Laude), where he studied trombone under Prof. Dale Warren. While at the University of Kentucky, Brad played in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, Trombone Choir, Trombone Quartet, and served as a Drum Major for the Wildcat Marching Band. He also played in the Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors (BAJA) and the Asbury College Salvation Army Brass Band, and was a sub for the DiMartino Osland Jazz Orchestra (DOJO). Brad can be heard on the University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble CD "GO! The Music of Bob Mintzer"; under Mark Records. Brad is an alumni member of Phi Mu Alpha - Sinfonia.

Brad was born and raised in South Carolina, and attended high school in Louisville, Kentucky. His family currently resides in South Carolina.

Aaron King 

Aaron is specializing in conducting, studying primarily under Dr. Reed Thomas. King graduated from North Side High School in Fort Wayne Indiana. During high school King earned outstanding jazz trombonist awards at Ball State, ISU, Western Michigan, Northrop High School, and Snider High School jazz festivals. King was also named to the Indiana All State Jazz Band his senior year. King attended Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne where he received his bachelor's degree in instrumental music education. During his undergraduate King was twice named to the IMEA All-State Collegiate Honor Band. King was named an IPFW Concerto Aria Contest winner in 2003. King began playing professionally as a contract musician in 2003 with The Fort Wayne Philharmonic during that time he shared the stage with notable artists such as The Beach Boys, BJ Thomas, and countless others. King has been a member of The New Millennium Jazz Orchestra based out of Fort Wayne Indiana for the past ten years. During his time with The New Millennium Jazz Orchestra King has shared the stage with notable jazz figures such as Butch Miles, Frank Mantooth, Michael Davis, Byron Stripling, Jamey Abersold, Bobby Shew, and Roger Ingram. From 2006-2011 King was the Director of Bands at East Noble High School in Kendallville Indiana. During his time at East Noble he was able to double the size of the band program. During King's tenure, East Noble received Indiana State Music Association gold ratings in all areas of high school band performance including jazz band, symphonic band, and marching band. 

Tara Kloostra

kloostraTara specialized in Horn Performance and studies with Professor Angela DeBoer. She worked as a graduate assistant for the horn studio and the brass program under the supervision of Professor DeBoer and Dr. David Loucky.

Originally from Hudsonville, Michigan, Tara attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan for her first two years of undergraduate study. She studied under Richard Britsch, of the Grand Rapids Symphony. Tara also performed several times with the Grand Rapids Symphonic Band. From there, she moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University, where she studied under Radu Rusu, of the Nashville Symphony. She graduated magna cum laude in 2010, receiving a Bachelors of Music degree with a Minor in Music Business.

Along with her studies in horn at MTSU, Tara worked to develop her skills as an arranger and composer. She also worked as a freelance music editor in Nashville, doing mostly print music editing, engraving, and transcribing. In her spare time, Tara enjoys volunteering with junior high students at her church in downtown Nashville. 

Kaylina Madison

madisonKaylina Madison specialized in piano performance. She earned her Bachelor of Music in May 2010 from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi, she participated in the Mississippi MTA auditions and the Mississippi Valley State University Piano Festival. Since coming to Fisk, she has earned Superior ratings in the Nashville Area Music Teachers Association Collegiate Piano Auditions. In Spring 2008, she was awarded Honorable Mention and Outstanding Musical Performance at the James A. Hefner HBCU Piano Competition at Tennessee State University. She is currently the Chapel Organist of the Fisk Memorial Chapel in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a UNCF/Mellon Undergraduate Fellow where her research topic was Native Music: Recognizing the School of African-American Piano Composition during the 1940s. Her research was presented at the William Grant Still Conference in November 2009. She was a co-presenter at the 2009 Tennessee Music Teachers Association State Conference in a session titled Teaching the Piano Music of African-American Composers. Ms. Madison studies piano with Dr. Philip Autry and organ with Dr. Anthony Williams. Before coming to Fisk, she studied with Joan B. Henderson-Leese, and she has received coaching from Ms. Valija Mellins-Bumbulis, Dr. Anthony Pattin, and Dr. William H. Chapman Nyaho. 

Kate Maxwell

maxwellKate specialized in Musicology. A native of Readyville, Tennessee, she had a full graduate assistantship, for which she helped Dr. Trevor Harvey in his Introduction to Music (MUS 1030) classes and assisted Dr. Felicia Miyakawa with her musicological research. Before coming to MTSU, Kate graduated summa cum laude and as co-valedictorian from Lipscomb University in 2008, receiving the Bachelor of Music Education (Vocal/General).

At Lipscomb, Kate, a vocalist, studied with Bart Lefan and Jean Miller. She also participated in several ensembles, including the Early Music Consort under Dr. Gerald Moore and the Jazz Ensemble under Dr. Gary Wilson. She attended and performed (with the Lipscomb A Cappella Singers) at The Ascending Voice Symposium at Pepperdine University, as well as at the Early Music Mountain Collegium at Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, North Carolina). 

Kara Reynolds McLeland 

Kara is specializing in Musicology. Originally from Gillette, Wyoming, she graduated magna cum laude from Belmont University in 2009 with a degree in Commercial Music (voice) and an emphasis in Composition and Arranging. In addition to her studies at MTSU, Kara enjoys songwriting, playing piano and performing. During her senior year at Belmont she wrote, produced and recorded her first album. She studied voice with Kate Paradise and performed with the University Singers and the Oratorio Chorus. She also performed with and arranged music for Session, Belmont's a cappella women's ensemble. She is a member of the Alpha Chi honor society, the Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society and P.E.O. She has also served as a volunteer at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in the Music Therapy program. 

Sarah McVey

mcveySarah is a flutist specializing in Performance. Originally from Dyersburg, Tennessee, she returned to MTSU to pursue the master's degree after being awarded the Bachelor of Music summa cum laude in Instrumental Music Education in 2006. Her primary flute instructors have been Dr. Deanna Little, Dr. Andrea Graves and Elaine Harris. She is in her third year as band director for Dibrell, Centertown and Morrison Elementary Schools in McMinnville, Tennessee, and serves as assistant band director to the Warren County High School Band. 

Sarah teaches flute privately in Coffee and Warren counties and has conducted the MTSU Flute Choir, as well as flute choirs for the Mid-South Flute Association and the MTSU Flute Festival. She also performs frequently as a freelance musician in southern Middle Tennessee. 

She is married to MTSU School of Music alumnus Jason McVey (B.Mus., '05; M.A., '08). In her spare time she enjoys gardening, playing piano, cooking, and reading, reading, reading. She also loves spending time with her baby, Bella the Bloodhound!

Ryan Middagh

middaghRyan Middagh is one of the up and coming composers and arrangers in the jazz scene today. His music has been performed around the world, receiving commissions from colleges and high schools in both jazz ensemble and wind ensemble writing. He received a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Northern Iowa before pursuing graduate studies at Middle Tennessee State University. Residing in Nashville, Ryan is also active as a saxophonist, leading his own octet and playing as a sideman. Select compositions are available through UNC Jazz Press. 

Richard Mraz

mrazRichard is a woodwind doubler who specialized in Jazz Studies and worked as a graduate assistant in the Jazz Studies program under the supervision of Professor Don Aliquo. 

A native of Sacramento, California, Richard began studying flute in the 7th Grade. After completing high school, he moved to Massachusetts to attend the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which awarded him the Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Flute Performance and Music Education. While at UMass, Richard studied flute with Christopher Krueger and jazz with Adam Kolker, David Sporny and Arturo O'Farrill. 

During the seven years prior to coming to MTSU, Richard worked throughout New England as a teacher and free-lance musician, performing with artists such as Ernie Watts, Yusef Lateef, Arturo O'Farrill, Pete Yellin, Ali Ryerson and others. During the 2006 and 2007 summer seasons, he served on the staff of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan, as a flutist and instructor. And immediately prior to beginning his graduate studies, he was employed by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a ship musician. 

Richard is a member of several professional organizations, including the Greater Boston Flute Association, to whose publication, The Gazette, he is a contributing writer.

Amy Painter

painterAmy is a vocalist who specialized in Performance. She studies with Dr. Christine Isley-Farmer and works as a graduate assistant to the MTSU Vocal program under Isley-Farmer's supervision. 

Originally from Louisa, Kentucky, Amy received the Bachelor of Music degree in Voice with honors from Morehead State University (Kentucky) in 2009.

Marusia Pola-Mayorga 

Marusia is a Mexican cellist specializing in performance. She obtained her bachelors degree in Music from the Universidad de las Americas Puebla in 2008. During the years previous to beginning her graduate studies, she work at the symphony of the Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, studied cello with Dr. Eduardo Carpinteyro, taught cello in several private institutions, and performed several times with a chamber orchestra and different ensembles.

Marusia is a graduate assistant, helping Dr. Carol Nies with the MTSU orchestra program.  

Jonathan Hart Price

Jonathan is an electric bassist who specialized in Jazz Studies. A native of Charleston, West Virginia, Jonathan moved to Boston in 1998 to attend the Berklee College of Music. In 2003 he was awarded a dual Bachelor of Music degree cum laude in Film Scoring and Jazz Composition. While at Berklee, he earned a reputation as an innovative and sophisticated composer. His work has been featured at the Regattabar Spring Jazz Festival, the Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston Center for the Arts, Berklee Performance Center and in Los Angeles at Steamer's and the Jazz Bakery. He has had works premiered through student and faculty events at Bridgewater State College, Dartmouth University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Recordings of his compositions have appeared on "Jazz with Eric in the Evening"; on WGBH 89.7 FM, hosted by Eric Jackson, as well as on National Public Radio's "Here & Now."; They have been mentioned in such publications as The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, Improper Bostonian, Boston Magazine and ArtsBoston, among others. Such notable recording artists as Walter Beasley and Hiromi Uehara have performed his arrangements. Following graduation from Berklee Jonathan co-founded Modern Art Movement: The Boston School, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts production firm, aimed at producing socially relevant arts events in the Boston area. 

In 2006 Jonathan relocated to Nashville, where he is active as a freelance musician, averaging over 100 performances per year. He also is intimately involved in music education, both as a volunteer at W. O. Smith Community Music School and as a graduate teaching assistant at MTSU during academic year 2008-09. 

Carl Roberts III

CarlCarl is a drummer who specialized in Jazz Studies. 

A native Arkansan, he attended Arkansas State University (Jonesboro), graduating in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science of Music Education in Instrumental Music. During his time at ASU, he studied percussion with Craig Collison. Carl's training as a percussionist enabled him to take part in a number of playing situations. He was captain of the ASU Drumline, principal percussionist with the Wind Ensemble, drummer for The Tribe (ASU's top jazz band), and a member of the ASU Percussion Ensemble. Socially, he was a member of the Omicron Omega chapter of Phi Mu Alpha. 

Upon graduating, Carl moved to Nashville to pursue a performance career. Currently, you can find Carl performing in the Nashville area with his instrumental trio, Überphonics. The group maintains an active performance schedule and has been featured in the Nashville Scene and Relix Magazine. 

As an educator, Carl has taught private lessons in drumset and classical percussion for a number of years. He also has instructed high school drumlines and assisted with percussion ensembles. In addition, he has attended master classes with esteemed Jazz drummers/educators, including Joe Morello, Ed Soph, Jim Chapin, Stanton Moore, and John Riley. 

Carl is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and Hudson Music's Teacher Integration Program.

Kallie Rogers

rogersKallie Rogers received a Master's degree in flute performance from MTSU. She was one of the flute graduate assistants at under the supervision of Dr. Deanna Little. A Kentucky native, she received her Bachelor's degree in instrumental music education from Western Kentucky University, graduating magna cum laude in May 2010. In the summer of 2010, she was employed as a counselor and flute sectional teacher at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan, and during the summer of 2009, she traveled to Sayalonga, Spain to participate in a flute course by contemporary Dutch flutist, Wil Offermans. Her primary teachers include Dr. Heidi Pintner and Dr. Deanna Little. 

Lindsay Seagroves

seagrovesLindsay specialized in Music Education and was a graduate assistant with the Band program under the supervision of Professor Craig Cornish 

She received the Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music Education cum laude from Middle Tennessee State University in 2008. While an undergraduate, Lindsay performed with the Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic Band, the Symphony Orchestra and many chamber groups. A flutist, she studied with Dr. Deanna Little and was awarded the MTSU Outstanding Woodwind Performance Award in 2007. Other primary flute teachers include Shelley Binder and Norma Rogers. An aspiring conductor, Lindsay also studied with Drs. Reed Thomas and Carol Nies and participated in workshops with noted conductors Jack Stamp, Timothy Mahr and John Whitwell. 

Prior to beginning graduate study, Lindsay taught one year in the Rutherford County School System as an assistant middle-school band director and elementary general-music teacher.

Alan Shikoh

Alan is a guitarist and composer specializing in performance with Dr. William Yelverton. Alan graduated from UT Chattanooga magna cum laude in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Music degree in classical guitar performance under Mario Abril. He also studied composition with Jonathan McNair. While in Chattanooga, Alan was selected as a winner of the 2008 UTC Concerto Competition and was also awarded the Authors and Artists Club Scholarship.

As a graduate of The McCallie School, Alan was part of the first class in the school's classical guitar program directed by Charles Evans and was the recipient of the Director's Award in guitar on three occasions. He was also named a McCallie Honors Musician for his selection and performance on NPR's From The Top radio program hosted by pianist Christopher O'Riley, which showcases America's top young musicians.

Aside from music, Alan dabbles in Astronomy and is an avid fan of the Kentucky Wildcats.

Kadie Smith

smithKadie specialized in Piano Performance. She received a B.A. in German (with a minor in Music) and another in Music Academy Management from Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. She also earned an M.Ed. in School Administration from Vanderbilt University in Nashville. 

Having lived in seven US states, as well as Germany and Austria, Kadie has a diverse background. She is also bilingual, speaking both English and German. She began to study piano when she was 4-years-old and has performed ever since. As an undergraduate, she expanded her musical studies to include harp and violin. She has taught music for the past 16 years in the USA and overseas, as both a private instructor and a school teacher. 

Kadie is studying with Dr. Lynn Rice-See.

Micah Snow 

Micah is specializing in collaborative piano at MTSU. A native of Big Sandy, Tennessee, Micah attended Union University in Jackson (TN). He graduated magna cum laude in May 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and a minor in History. While at Union, Micah studied piano under Dr. David Dennis and accompanied several choral ensembles, including Union's public relations choir, The Voices of Proclamation. He received Union's award for Music Excellence in the spring of 2010 and is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, Alpha Chi, and Phi-Alpha Theta.

After receiving his undergraduate degree, Micah remained at Union University for a year, serving as staff pianist and freelancing as an accompanist throughout West Tennessee, where he was in demand for high school choral and musical theater performances.

Micah's love for accompanying and collaboration with other musicians led him to MTSU, where he now studies under Dr. Arunesh Nadgir and serves as a graduate assistant accompanying vocal and instrumental students. He is excited about the opportunity to study with MTSU's renowned faculty and perform with fellow students. Micah hopes to continue work in collaborative piano at the doctoral level.

In his spare time, Micah enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, going to concerts, and occasionally playing with local rock'n'roll, country, and jazz bands.

Cayce Stephens

stephensCayce specialized in Music Education and works as a graduate assistant for the Music Education program under the supervision of Drs. Nancy Boone Allsbrook and Jamila McWhirter. 

She received the Bachelor of Music degree magna cum laude in Vocal/General Music Education from MTSU in 2007. Cayce then taught elementary music for one year at Trousdale County Elementary School (Tennessee). She enjoys teaching and looks forward to completing her master's degree in 2010. 

Cayce sings with the Nashville Chamber Singers and is a member of the choir at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Murfreesboro.

Otto A. Stoy III

Otto is a classical guitarist who specialized in Performance. 

Having spent almost his entire life around Atlanta, Georgia, Otto began classical guitar studies at the University of Georgia, but withdrew to study for a summer at the Porto Alegre School of Music in Brazil. Upon returning to the USA, he taught private lessons for two years before continuing his formal studies at Kennessaw State University (Georgia), from which he received the Bachelor of Music in Music Performance in 2008. 

Currently he teaches classes at the Nashville Jazz Workshop and performs with the Brazilian ensemble Trio Guinga in Nashville and the Flamenco group Vecinos del Mundo in Atlanta.

James Tschannen

JamesJames is a classical guitarist who specialized in Performance. He studied with Dr. William Yelverton and worked as a graduate assistant to the MTSU Guitar program under Yelverton's supervision. 

Born and raised in central Florida, James graduated magna cum laude in 2009 from Stetson University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Guitar. At Stetson, James studied with Stephen Robinson and participated in master classes with Roland Dyens, Andrew Zohn, Lily Afshar and Denis Azabagic. He also was awarded the William E. Duckwitz Talent Scholarship and received the Outstanding Freshman and Outstanding Sophomore awards.

Yifei Wang

Yifei specialized in Piano Performance and Collaborative Piano and worked as a graduate assistant under the supervision of Dr. Rice-See.

As a native of Hangzhou, which is the capital city of Zhejiang Province and the most beautiful city in China, Yifei began to study piano when she was 4-year-old and has performed in public and taken part in many different piano competitions ever since. She had her solo and joint recitals in AY 2004, 2008, and especially performed a lot during the senior year in MTSU playing with the MTSU Symphony Orchestra, MTSU Wind Ensemble, and some singers and instrumental musicians. In the winter of 2010, Yifei and the Chinese violinist Yifei Zhong, the graduate student of School of Music as well, had a Chinese Music Recital in MTSU Hinton Music Hall and got high praise.

Yifei got her Bachelor Degree in Hangzhou Normal University in the major of Music Education. During the four years, she received double 1st and 2nd scholarship prize every semester. In fall 2007, she won the 2nd price in the competition of Teachers' Basic Skills for normal universities in Hangzhou, specializing in Piano Performance and Collaborative Piano. She got the highest GPA among over 180 students on her grade and was awarded "Honors Graduate" at graduation. In addition, she was the accompanist of three Social Choirs (the Choir of Green Town, the Choir of Returned Overseas Chinese Union, and the Choir of Senior Citizens ) in Hangzhou and a private piano instructor before she came to the US. During her senior year, the AY 2009, Yifei came to MTSU as an exchange student from HNU.

Jonathan Wires

wiresJonathan is a double-bassist and composer who specialized in Jazz Studies. 

A native of New Hampshire, he first learned music from the few local musicians he could find. In 1993 he moved to Memphis, eventually earning the Bachelor of Arts degree in Commercial Music from the University of Memphis and learning and studying with musicians such as Gene Rush, Tim Goodwin, Herman Green, John Chiego, Calvin Newborn, Alvin Fielder, Jim Spake and others. His many years of experience have included performances with some of Memphis's best known and unknown musicians. 

He has recorded with world renowned opera soprano Kallen Esperian, Swedish songstress Louise Hoffsten, jazz percussionist Chad Anderson, pop-rocker Ross Rice, jazz singer Joyce Cobb, saxophonists Don Aliquo and Jeff Coffin and jazz pianist Michael Jefry Steven, among others. His development as a skillful improviser has placed him in performances with Frank Lowe, Billy Bang, Henry P. Warner, Michael Marcus, Rhonda Richmond, master percussionist Alvin Fielder and the infamous Cassandra Wilson. Jonathan also contributed to the soundtrack of the film Black Snake Moan (2006), directed by Craig Brewer (see and, and has performed throughout the South in various venues, including the Memphis in May Music Festival, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the Zeitgeist Festival, as well as performing at Lincoln Center in 2003 with Memphis-based jazz vocalist Kelley Hurt. 

He also is active in educational activities and organizations such as Peanut Butter & Jam Sessions, Memphis Arts Council and the Vermont Jazz Center. In addition, he has several years' teaching experience as a private instructor.

Alexis Yatuzis-Derryberry

AlexisAlexis specialized in Music Education. The 2009-2010 school year was Alexis's eighth year teaching music in Rutherford County Tennessee. She has taught 6th-8th grade general-music and choir at Siegel Middle School for seven years and spent a year teaching in interim music positions at Kittrel K-8 and LaVergne Primary PK-2. 

She received the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from MTSU in 2001 and then was certified to teach K-12 Instrumental Music and K-12 Vocal/General Music. Alexis's major instrument is percussion. In 1999 she was a front-ensemble member of the Cadets of Bergen County Drum and Bugle Corps and was awarded first place in the Percussive Arts Society international college marimba competition. Alexis also marched with Music City Mystique Independent Winter Drumline in 1995 and 1996 and spent three months in Europe performing with the Sound of America Wind Ensemble during the summer of 1996. 

In 2004 the Tennessee Association of Middle Schools awarded Alexis and Ms. Dawn Barnett of Siegel the "Team Teachers of the Year" award for their collaboration in the music and history classroom. Together they worked on such projects as "The American Revolution and Music,"; "The Music and Culture of Africa,"; and "Spirituals and the Underground Railroad."; Alexis also has received several grants to enhance the learning of her students at Siegel Middle. In 2002 she was awarded $12,000 from the Richard Siegel Grant to purchase guitars, world drums, and Orff instruments for the music classroom. In 2007 she was awarded a $500 BEP Mini Grant, which was used to purchase digital recorders for the classroom; this will allow students to record and edit music projects. Alexis's fellow faculty members at Siegel Middle voted her 2007-2008 Teacher of the Year. And she was recently named Rutherford County Teacher of the Year for the Middle School Level. 

Alexis is certified in Orff-Schulwerk. She completed Level I at Belmont University and Level II at the University of Memphis. Alexis also attended the week-long Tennessee Arts Academy at Belmont University during summers 2004 and 2008 and presented an interlude session about drumming in general music classes at the 2009 Academy. 

Alexis is also a certified Yoga instructor and enjoys giving free yoga classes to the faculty and staff at Siegel Middle as well as sharing Yoga with the gym students when she collaborates with the P.E. department. 

Jason Yeary 

Jason is specializing in Music Education. After receiving the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Industry (with a concentration in jazz guitar) from MTSU in 2006, Jason took two years off from school and soon found himself substitute-teaching in Rutherford County (Tennessee). The experience was so enjoyable he decided to return to MTSU to work toward a teaching license and pursue the master's degree. He also completed Orff-Schulwerk Level I certification this year (2009) at Belmont University. 

Jason performs regularly all over the Southeast. In his spare time he enjoys songwriting and teaching private guitar. 

Yifei Zhong

YifeiYifei is a violinist who specialized in performance and worked for the Orchestra program as a graduate assistant under the supervision of Dr. Carol Nies. 

A native of the People's Republic of China, Yifei was born in Hangzhou, which is the capital of Zhejiang Province, a beautiful city in the southeastern part of the country. 

Yifei writes: "I started playing violin when I was 7 years old. Later, I was the concertmaster of the Youth Orchestra in my city. During my 15 years of violin training, I had many opportunities to perform, both in my country and in other countries. In the winter of 2002, I had solo performances in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. In the summer of 2005, I played in Japan, and, in the fall of the same year, the famous band 'Secret Garden' came to my city and I was one of only three students chosen to play with them on stage. In the summer of 2006, I received 2nd prize in the 1st International Competition of Chinese Music, the western instruments professional adults division. I was also the concertmaster of Hangzhou Normal University Symphony Orchestra. Being a member of the orchestra, we performed in most of the universities in Zhejiang Province. I had the honor of being the soloist on a movement from the most famous Chinese violin concerto, 'The Butterfly Lovers,' for the 100th anniversary of my university." 

Yifei majored in Music Education in the School of Music at Hangzhou Normal University, where she received the 1st or 2nd scholarship prize every semester. Because of her numerous performances in her city and province, she was awarded the title "Honors Graduate" at graduation. During AY 2008-2009, her senior year, she came to MTSU as an exchange student. 

Again, Yifei writes: "I learned so much from my professors here, including Dr. Nies, the conductor of MTSU Symphony Orchestra, and Dr. Dawson, the violin professor, that I felt very lucky to be part of the MTSU School of Music. I had many performance opportunities in the past year, including MTSU Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra Concerts, String Chamber Recitals, String Studio Recitals, Women's Chorale Concert (playing as a solo violin and accompanist), Tennessee Music Education Association and my Senior Recital. I learned works by many different composers, including De Beriot, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. I learned a lot here, not only in violin playing, but also in string literature and pedagogy. I had so many positive experiences as a string student at MTSU in the past year that I decided to pursue my Master's degree here as well, as a major in Music Performance. . . . . . . . 

"I like studying here, living here, and being ONE at MTSU!"

Xiaoshu Zhou 

Xiaoshu is a pianist specializing in performance; Dr. Rice-See is her present professor. She was born in Hangzhou, China. She finished her undergraduate studies in Hangzhou Normal University and received her Bachelor of music with an emphasis in Music Education there. Xiaoshu worked as a private piano teacher when she was an undergraduate student. She received high praise from her students or students' parents because of her patience and responsibility. During her undergraduate study period, she attended several kinds of piano competitions and won many awards.

She is happy to study at MTSU. After she finishes her graduate studies, she wants to be a good piano teacher.