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.
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.
Adam Chaffins is a bassist/vocalist originally from Louisa, Kentucky. Adam graduated from Morehead State University in Kentucky with a bachelor's degree in Music, specializing in jazz studies/bass performance. While at Morehead, Adam was a member of the Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Jazz Guitar Ensemble, MSU Orchestra, MSU Symphonic Band, Jazz II Big Band ensemble (trumpet) and the Jazz I Big Band ensemble, which participated in several nationally recognized jazz festivals such as the Elmhurst Jazz Festival in Elmhurst, Illinois, and the University of Louisville Jazz Festival, at which Adam was awarded an outstanding soloist award as a vocalist. Adam has worked with recording groups such "The Clack Mountain String Band"; and "Glenn and Lisa Ginn."; Also Adam has worked at the Jenny Wiley Theatre in Prestonsburg, KY, as a member of their orchestra during their 2009, 2010 seasons, playing such shows as All Shook Up, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cinderella, and MID-LIFE! The Crisis Musical. Adam specializes in both upright and electric bass for a wide array of genre, including jazz/bluegrass/funk/classical and rock music. Currently Adam is working as a performer in the Nashville area as a bassist and vocalist.
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.
Ricardo is a guitarist originally from Mexico. He graduated from the Conservatory of Music in Puebla with a bachelor's degree in Music, specializing in guitar performance. During his undergraduate work he received 1st Place at the Second National Competition "Isaias Noriega de la Vega."; Ricardo is now specializing in guitar performance under the instruction of Dr. William Yelverton with a half graduate assistantship.
Ricardo studied in Mexico with Selvio Carrizosa and Gerardo Hernandez. He began teaching
when he was a student, five years ago, and worked as a guitar teacher at the Escuela
Superior de Musica Fausto de Andres y Aguirre for three years. As a performer, Ricardo
has played baroque, classical, romantic, modern and contemporary repertoire and has
been part of various chamber music ensembles, with various instruments, performing
works of Mexican and non-Mexican composers.
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.
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 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.
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.
Elizabeth Konopka Goetz
Elizabeth is specializing in Music Education. She recently earned the Bachelor of
Music degree in Instrumental Music Education from Middle Tennessee State University
(MTSU). As an MTSU graduate assistant she has worked with Dr. Reed Thomas and Dr.
Nancy Boone Allsbrook. She also worked with Professor Dewayne Pigg and Dr. Carol Nies
during her undergraduate studies. Currently she works in the Band Office as the Band
Tong Keat Goh
Born in Malaysia, Goh Tong Keat is currently a full time graduate student at MTSU
specialising in violin performance, under the
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.
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 strong 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
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
Andrew Noble is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Middle Tennessee State University. He studies tuba with Daryl Johnson, Louisville Symphony and Gilbert Long, Nashville Symphony. Here he teaches an incoming tuba session under direction of Dr. David Loucky and works with Dr. Reed Thomas' conducting class. He also works with the Band of Blue under direction of Professor Craig Cornish. Andrew is a tuba performance major seeking session work, private students and other professional music opportunities in the Southeast.
Andrew's undergraduate career included time at the University of Southern Mississippi and University of Alabama in Huntsville. There he studied tuba two years with Dr. Richard Perry of the Modern Jazz Tuba Project, Meridian and Gulf Coast Symphonies. Andrew performed with the USM Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Tuba ensemble. He then moved home to Huntsville and participated in the UAH Jazz Band and Combo, Wind Ensemble, Brass Quintet and Huntsville's Brass Band. While in Huntsville he taught at Huntsville and Grissom High, Mountain Gap and Randolph Middle Schools.
He moved from Prattville, AL his Freshman year of high school to Huntsville and attended Virgil I. Grissom High School. There he performed with every instrumental and choral ensemble. His senior year, 2005, he was awarded Outstanding Musician of the Year. He also attended Florida State University's Chamber Winds program during the summers of 2004 and 2005 which included orchestral and solo playing. Here he studied with Paul Ebbers, a direct student of Arnold Jacobs. While in high school he also played in the Huntsville Youth Orchestra.
Andrew has experience on bass and is in the process of recording a jazz album with Richard Smith in Huntsville, AL soon to be released.
Rachel Peters, a native of the Clarksville, TN area, having lived there about 20 years, is currently a non-degree-seeking student. (She is considering specializing in music composition.) Rachel received the bachelor's degree in flute performance in 2011 from Gustavus Adolphus College (Saint Peter, MN). Since graduation, Rachel has been teaching flute lessons and directing a flute ensemble with the Community School of the Arts in Clarksville. Keeping up with her community, she is a regular soloist at Grace Lutheran Church and other local churches. Rachel is also a published composer/arranger, having composed sacred music and arranged music for strings, winds, and chamber orchestra.
Marusia is a graduate assistant, helping Dr. Carol Nies with the MTSU orchestra program.
A 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.
Jesús 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 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.
For more information, please visit: http://www.tishasimeral.com.
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.
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.
She is happy to study at MTSU. After she finishes her graduate studies, she wants
to be a good piano teacher.