Current Graduate Students in Music

Jennifer Burgess

Jennifer BurgessJennifer Burgess is specializing in piano performance, studying, and working as a graduate assistant with Dr. Lynn Rice-See. She grew up in Franklin, Tennessee, where she took piano lessons from Bev Carroll and June Warren. She received the Presidential Scholarship at Maryville College and studied piano performance with Dr. Robert Bonham. While there, she received the Davies Fine Arts Award, Oscar Phillip Steele Award, and Sallie Warth Shoen Scholarship, and played the third movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the college orchestra. She also had monthly lessons with Sheila Paige, as well as lessons in Alexander Technique, organ, harpsichord, violin, and voice. She played violin in the college orchestra and sang in the concert choir. She graduated in 2000 with Bachelor of Music degree in Performance. Since then, she has taught at Belmont Academy and St. Cecilia Academy, as well as from her home. She is currently an organist at Hillwood Presbyterian Church in Nashville and a piano teacher at Bev Carroll Studios in Franklin.

Theo CarnavosTheo Carnavos

Theo Carnavos is a bass player and composer from Ellicott City, Maryland. He graduated from Belmont University with a bachelor's degree in commercial music emphasizing composition. While at Belmont he played in numerous ensembles of varying styles and honed a unique style in electric bass.

Michael Catalano

Originally from Stratford, CT, Mike is specializing in Music Education. He earned the bachelors degree in Music Education from Morehead State University (KY) in 1997. Since graduating, he has done everything from part-time music teaching in private schools, teaching in private studios, working as a freelance musician, and serving on the marching staffs of several different high schools . Most recently, he was on staff at Flood Middle School in Stratford as a building substitute and on the marching staff at Bunnell High School as the drill caption head and indoor drumline instructor.

graduate ChuaElizabeth Chua

Elizabeth Chua is specializing in collaborative piano and studying with Dr. Arunesh Nadgir. She also has a graduate assistantship in accompanying. A native of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Elizabeth started her musical journey with the piano at a young age. She completed her undergraduate degree in piano performance at UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur. Her teachers include Son Hui Ling, Chew Beng Lin, and Dr. Nicholas Ong. During her studies, she attended various masterclasses from visiting international pianists. Elizabeth has performed extensively in Kuala Lumpur on the piano and violin. She was a member of UCSI University orchestra and KL Performing Arts Centre Orchestra as violinist. Meanwhile, she frequently accompanied instrumentalists for various public and private performances. She was also a choir member and pianist of the Jesus Caritas Church Choir. Apart from performing, she has taught extensively in various music schools in Kuala Lumpur.

Matthew CurleyMatthew Curley

Matthew Curley is a percussionist from western Connecticut, in the greater New York City area. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Western Connecticut State University. In Connecticut, Matt performed solo at events such as the CT Percussive Arts Society chapter day, the Connecticut Music Educators Conference, and with many community bands and orchestras in the surrounding area. In addition to performing, Matt taught percussion, band, and general music at many Connecticut school marching bands and music programs. At MTSU, Matt is specializing in percussion performance and is a GTA under Professor Lalo Davila.

Briana DeiblerBriana Deibler

Briana is specializing in tuba performance. A native of Pennsylvania, she received a bachelor's degree in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). While attending IUP, the tuba and euphonium studio began its own chapter of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association (ITEA), which Briana served as secretary. Throughout her career at IUP, she served as principal of the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra. She participated in many chamber ensembles including the Tenebrae Brass Quintet, which was selected to be the resident brass quintet for the Frankenwald Brass Festival at the Haus Marteau in Lichtenberg, Germany. She also served as the substitute principal tuba for both the Johnstown Symphony and the Butler Symphony Orchestra in western Pennsylvania. Briana has a graduate teaching assistantship at MTSU, studies and works with Dr. Ben Miles, and assists the orchestra with Dr. Carol Nies. She is currently playing tuba in the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band in Crossville, Tennessee.

Jason Farris

Jason FerrisJason Farris is a Virginia native from the greater Washington Metro area. He began his undergraduate studies in Church Music and Commercial Music at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia, but did not complete the degree there. For a few years, Jason had a varied career, including positions as a restaurant manager, directory assistance operator, and as a trainer of technical support agents for a major wireless carrier. During this time, he also composed music for independent video game projects and produced demo recordings for local rock bands.

Jason resumed his studies at Eastern Kentucky University, earning the Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition in 2013. He has studied piano and organ, but his primary instrument is voice. At MTSU, Jason is specializing in Composition for Contemporary Media.

Tong Keat GohTong Keat Goh 

Born in Malaysia, Goh Tong Keat is currently a full time graduate student at MTSU specialising in violin performance, under the
tutelage of Dr. Andrea Dawson. He is also a graduate assistant to Dr. Felicia Miyakawa.

Before coming to the United States, Tong Keat studied at UCSI University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and earned the bachelor's degree in music. He also holds a Licentiate Diploma (LTCL) of the Trinity Guildhall in violin performance. In his home country, Tong Keat was an active musician. Apart from teaching private violin lessons, he participated in various kinds of performance, ranging from private functions to public concerts and music festivals. Tong Keat also served as concertmaster in a community orchestra in Kuala Lumpur for two years before he decided to continue his study at MTSU.

Jamie HaffnerJamie Haffner

Jamie grew up near Kansas City in the small town of Pleasant Hill. She received her bachelor's degree summa cum laude in music education with a performance emphasis from Missouri Western State University, where she had the privilege to study percussion under Dr. Dennis Rogers, Doug Auwarter, and Dr. Tracy Thomas. Jamie has performed with the St. Joseph Symphony, Kansas City Chiefs Rumble Drumline (2011, 2012), Crossmen Drum Corps (2011), Colts Drum and Bugle Corps (2012), and Gateway Indoor (2013).
At Middle Tennessee, Jamie is specializing in percussion performance and has a graduate teaching assistantship in the percussion department under Professor Lalo Davila.

Allen Kennedy

Allen KennedyC. Allen Kennedy is from Russellville, Kentucky, and is specializing in wind band conducting under the guidance of Dr. Reed Thomas. He holds a graduate teaching assistantship for which he assists with the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Band of Blue, undergraduate conducting courses, and other duties as assigned. He received a Bachelor of Music Education, instrumental and vocal pedagogy, from Western Kentucky University in 2006, where studied conducting with Dr. John Carmichael and was principal trombone in all major ensembles.
Prior to this appointment, Kennedy taught for six years in Kentucky at Hopkinsville Middle School and Logan County High School teaching band, choir, AP Music Theory, instrumental chamber ensembles and guitar classes. During his tenure, Logan County received Kentucky Music Education Association Distinguished Ratings in all areas of high school band performance, including symphonic band, marching band, and chamber ensembles. During his last year, the Logan County High School Symphonic Band earned a Distinguished rating at KMEA State Concert Festival, the first time in the school's twenty-nine-year history.
After the master's program, Kennedy hopes to pursue a doctorate in wind band conducting.

Eridany GonzalezEridany Gonzalez Peregrina

Eridany is a cellist originally from Mexico; the study of the sound represents for her a transcendental research about herself and the surrounding environment.
She received the Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. She also earned the Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance in Italy from the Conservatorio Niccolò Piccini di Bari; in the same institution she started the study of the viola da gamba as her second instrument.
Before beginning graduate studies at MTSU, she was employed as a cellist by the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla in the Symphony Orchestra and as a cello coach for non-majoring cello students. She has played in different ensembles in Mexico and Italy. Her curiosity leads her, as an instrumentalist, to experiment with different musical styles, from early music to jazz.
MTSU awarded her a full graduate assistantship, for which she assists the orchestra program under Dr. Carol Nies.

Anna MorganAnna Morgan

Anna is specializing in piano performance. A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, she graduated summa cum laude with the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Mississippi State University (MSU). While studying with Dr. Rosângela Sebba at MSU, she won first place in the Mississippi State University Concerto Competition and performed with the Starkville Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2011. In addition to accompanying the university choirs and playing keyboard in the jazz band while at MSU, she also served as musical director/accompanist for productions at Tupelo Community Theatre. Before beginning graduate studies at MTSU, she was employed by two churches in the Tupelo area as both pianist and organist. She is a graduate assistant accompanist at MTSU and studies with Dr. Lynn Rice-See.

Rebecca Murphy

Rebecca MurphyRebecca Murphy is specializing in flute performance. She is studying with Dr. Deanna Little and has a full graduate assistantship. She was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. At the age of four, her family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where her father accepted a faculty position at Louisiana State University. Rebecca studied piano and flute throughout junior and senior high. She earned numerous solo and ensemble awards, as well as region and all-state honors. Ms. Murphy received the bachelor of music from Louisiana State University, where she studied with Jeanne and Everett Timm. She was principal flute in the wind ensemble and orchestra and also a concerto winner. Rebecca began her graduate studies at Loyola University in New Orleans, where she was awarded a full assistantship, but after a year in New Orleans her husband was offered a lucrative job, and they moved to San Antonio, Texas.

Rebecca soon established a large studio of young students. She taught weekly master classes in several very respected junior and senior high programs. Many of her students were region, area and all-state winners. Some have gone on to study at Eastman, The University of Texas, and other notable institutions. Besides teaching, she was a regular clinician at the UTSA flute camp, an adjudicator for the Texas all-state bands, and first conductor of the Fiesta Flute Ensemble. While teaching, Rebecca continued to play professionally. She was the principal flute of the San Antonio Wind Symphony and was an extra with the Mid Texas and San Antonio Symphonies.

Rebecca now looks forward to completing her master's degree.

Traci Myatt

Traci MyattTraci Myatt is specializing in collaborative piano with Dr. Arunesh Nadgir. A native of Kentucky, Traci attended Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU; Ohio) where she earned the Bachelor of Arts in piano pedagogy. She also attended Central Ohio Technical College (Newark), earning the Associate of Science degree in nursing. After becoming a Registered Nurse, she simultaneously worked at a regional Children's Hospital in neonatal intensive care and taught private piano in her home. For the last decade, Traci has been a staff accompanist at Kenyon College (Gambier, OH) and an accompanist and adjunct professor at MVNU, collaborating with faculty and undergraduate students in studios, juries, and recitals. She has also accompanied in many other venues, including musicals, solo and ensemble contests, NATS competitions, church functions, and community choirs. Her goal, in pursuing the master's degree, is to continue her love of teaching piano and collaborating with vocalists and instrumentalists.

Traci is the mother of four and currently resides in Hermitage, Tennessee, with her husband and two daughters.

Jonathon Romero

John RomeroHailing from the bayous of Houma, Louisiana, Jonathon Romero, a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, graduated with a bachelor's degree in instrumental music education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. While earning his bachelor's degree, he learned to double on bass trombone. He was in the UL Jazz Band and performed on a concert with Gordon Goodwin in which the ensemble played ten of Goodwin's charts and one by Bob Mintzer. Goodwin's own ensemble, "The Big Phat Band," usually only play ten of his charts per concert because of their difficulty. He also had the honor of performing at the first annual ArTech Fusion Festival, a Festival celebrating the fusion of arts and technology, at which he performed Steven Bryant's "Hummingbrrd," a piece that originally came to be by Bryant testing out new recording equipment. Jonathon is now specializing in euphonium performance and serving as a graduate assistant under Dr. David Loucky.

Brandon Robinson 

Brandon RobinsonA native of the Nashville area, Brandon Robinson is specializing in Music Composition with Dr. Paul Osterfield. He also has a graduate assistantship for which he serves as a music-theory tutor and is employed part-time as a reviewer in an appraisal management company.

Brandon graduated Magna cum laude in 2011 from Lambuth University (Jackson, TN) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment/Music Industry, with a Music Production focus. He studied composition for two years with Dr. Brandon Goff. While at Lambuth, he played trombone in the concert band, jazz band, brass ensemble, and various Music Industry department performances. He also assisted with producing the annual E/MI albums each year, as well as ran the programs Reason and Ableton Live to assist in the live concerts within the E/MI program. He also served as Vice President of Finance and President, respectively, of the Lambuth Chapter of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.

Jesús Santandreu

Jesus SantandreuJesús Santandreu is a composer and a jazz saxophonist (tenor). He was born in Spain in 1970 and grew up in a town close to Valencia city called Carcaixent, where he began his studies in music at the Conservatorio Maestro Vert. In 1996 Santandreu was granted a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music, where he graduated Magna cum laude in 2000 with a Bachelor's Degree in Performance.

Jesús is specializing in conducting under the instruction of Dr. Reed Thomas. He has been granted a full assistantship and in general terms Jesus is assisting the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band and Band of Blue as a conductor, performer or teacher.

He has been commissioned to write for several institutions and for a large variety of ensembles around the world. His symphonic pieces have been played in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Brazil, Colombia and the USA.

Aa a teacher Jesús has been teaching at the Seminario Internacional de Jazz y Música Latina held at Palau de la Música de Valencia for 11 years. Previous appointments were at Universidad de Aveiro (Portugal), Universidad de Algarve (Portugal) and Conservatiorio profesional de JOBRA (Portugal). Jesus has recently worked for the Red de Escuelas de Música de MedellÍn (Colombia).

The MTSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble conducted by Dr. Reed Thomas premiered his piece Sortes Diabolorum in the USA and his piece Escenes de Ses Salines was premiered by the MTSU Symphonic Band conducted by Professor Craig Cornish at the same concert on October 2011.

As a sideman, Jesus Santandreu has participated in more than 30 recordings providing compositions, arrangements, or saxophone solos.

Tisha Simeral

Tisha SimeralTisha Simeral is a bass player specializing in Jazz Studies. She also has a graduate assistantship under the supervision of Professor Jamey Simmons.

A native of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Tisha relocated to Nashville in 2004. Tisha maintains a busy live performance and recording schedule, playing double bass and electric bass with many artists and ensembles in a wide range of styles, including mericana, jazz, folk, country, rock, blues, Latin, musical theater, and classical music. She earned the Bachelor of Music in jazz performance from The Ohio State University, graduating magna cum laude and receiving the College of the Arts Excellence in the Arts Award. Following graduation, Tisha freelanced in the central Ohio area, taught electric bass, double bass, jazz combo, and popular music history at Capital University and was an artist in the Greater Columbus Arts Council's Artists-in-Schools program. Her professional affiliations include the American Federation of Musicians (local 257), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the International Society of Bassists, and Women in Music Columbus.

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