Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music Community Music School
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Faculty

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Lily Afshar, Guitar

lilyLily Afshar, Professor of Guitar, is the recipient of the University of Memphis 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award, the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston Conservatory, the 2000 Board of Visitors Eminent Faculty Award, the 2000 Orville H. Gibson Award for Best Female Classical Guitarist and recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Recording Award. Chosen as "Artistic Ambassador" for the United States Information Agency to Africa, she was the winner of the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Annual "Premier Guitarist" awards presented by the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. She has taught master classes and performed concerts world-wide in prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall in London, the Salle Cortot in Paris, the Jerash Festival of Arts in Amman, Jordan, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, and the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming. A recipient of numerous state, national, and international honors, she has toured and performed new works in North, Central and South America, Denmark, Poland, England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Iran, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Africa. Dr. Afshar is the first woman in the world to receive a Doctorate of Music in classical guitar. She received that degree from Florida State University, a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music from the Boston Conservatory. She also received 3 Diplomas of Merit from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. Dr. Afshar's articles on Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Goya are published multi-lingually. She is the author of "Five Popular Persian Ballads" and has recorded seven CD's. They are "24 Caprichos de Goya, OP. 195" "A Jug of Wine and Thou," "Possession,", "Hemispheres," which was number seven on Billboard's Classical Album Chart, "One Thousand and One Nights", her first chamber music CD, "Musica da Camera", and her most recent CD "Bach on Fire". Her book "Essential Bach Arranged for the Guitar" and her DVD "Virtuoso Guitar" are published by Mel Bay. She has released two volumes of instructional DVDs called "Classical Guitar Secrets" with GuitarControl.

Davy Bennett, Guitar

Davy Ray Bennett has been a songwriter since he was 13 years old. He has written, recorded, and performed songs ever since.  Davy fronts a band that plays all original music, called The Davy Ray Trio. In addition to this band, he has played guitar, bass, drums, or saxophone in Chinook, Transit, Rae-Ray, Blessed Possum, The Misti Rae Band, and Los Albinos. 

Academically, Davy holds a Bachelors of Music degree in Instrumental Performance with emphasis on the Classical Guitar, received from The University Of Memphis. He has studied with Dr. William Yelverton at MTSU and Dr. Lily Afshar at The U of M. He has taken Master classes with William Kanengiser, Dorius Do Lat Shahi, Steven Robinson, and Carlos Perez. Recently, Davy was certified to teach the Suzuki method for Guitar at The Andrea Canon Guitar Studio in Spring Texas.

As an instructor, Davy strives to expose the student to all aspects of music, including many genres, technique, rhythm, theory and professionalism.

Sofya Bravver, Suzuki Piano

Ms. Sofya Bravver, Suzuki Piano Instructor (Community Music School). Ms Bravver graduated with honors from the Samara School of Music, Russia with a Professional Degree (Master's level) in piano pedagogy and music theory pedagogy. In 1993, she completed the Suzuki training program at the University of Memphis and has been teaching Suzuki Piano at the Community Music School since 1992. Ms. Bravver has over 30 years of teaching experience including teaching piano, music theory, and music history for 19 years at the Samara School of Music. She served as faculty at the Rhodes College Music Academy for 8 years and holds memberships in the Suzuki National Association, MTNA, GMMTA, and Piano Basics Foundation.

Valetta Brinson Voice

valettaA native of Memphis, Valetta Reneé Brinson is an adjunct voice instructor at the University of Memphis Community Music School and Southwest TN Community College.  She is currently pursuing the Doctorate of Musical Arts in performance at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music where she is a Hohenberg-Scheidt Scholar.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Morris Brown College and her Master of Arts degree from Middle Tennessee State University.  She is a former middle school music teacher and currently teaches English as a Second Language at Messick Adult Center in Memphis, TN, the only adult school in the Memphis City School System.  She studies voice with Dr. Randal Rushing at the University of Memphis.  Valetta has performed with the Nashville Opera Association, Mississippi Opera Association and Opera Memphis in such productions as Strauss' Der Rosenkavelier, Puccini's Madama butterfly and Gianni Schicchi, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Verdi's Falstaff and Niccolai's Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor.  In 2004, she debuted the role of Coretta Scott King in the opera, The Promise, by Dr. John Baur, about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  She has performed in concert and recitals in the UK and Japan and has placed in several vocal competitions, namely the Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Competition, National Association of Teachers of Singing and Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Cindy Browne, Violin

cindy browneCynthia (Cindy) Browne, originally from Montana, began her study of violin at the age of 11 and early on was very involved with the Glacier Symphony, as well as performing in several master classes and recitals. She completed her last year of high school by attending Interlochen Arts Academy, where she studied violin with Paul Sonner. For her bachelor's in violin performance, Mrs. Browne attended The University of Memphis under the instruction of Soh-Hyun Altino, completing her degree in 2009. Also through the University, she received training in Suzuki books one through four under Libby Armour. Mrs. Browne is married to cellist Griffin, and they both enjoy playing music, teaching, and raising their son Matthew. 

Griffin Browne, Cello

griffin browneGriffin Browne holds degrees in Cello Performance from Stetson University in Florida (B.Mus.2006) and the University of Memphis (M.M. 2008). He has performed in orchestras throughout the Mid-South area and has taught cello privately both in Florida and Tennessee. Griffin is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Cello Performance at the University of Memphis and currently resides in Memphis with his wife, Cindy, and their son, Matthew.

 

Irene Chang Buchanan, Piano, Suzuki Piano

Irene Chang Buchanan, a native of Hong Kong, earned her BM and MM in Piano Performance from The University of Memphis. Ms. Buchanan studied Suzuki Pedagogy, and has successfully incorporated Suzuki and Traditional methods for students of all ages. Ms. Buchanan is a member of Music Teachers National Association, National Guild of Piano Teachers (Teacher Division of American College of Musicians), and Suzuki Association of Americas. In recent years, one of the activities that Ms. Buchanan enjoys is learning to play the viola. She finds it challenging and rewarding to perform with the Germantown Symphony Orchestra.

Michael Caffee, Saxophone

Michael Caffee is a Junior Music Education Major at the University of Memphis. His primary instrument is the Alto Saxophone. He is a student of Allen Rippe, assistant professor of saxophone at the U of M. He is a graduate of Burkburnett

high school in Burkburnett, Texas. He has experience teaching in beginning band classes and will be working with the Center Hill High School Band this fall. He has been teaching private lessons since last spring with the Community Music School and is looking forward to having new students!

Joyce Cobb, Voice

Ms. Joyce Cobb, Adjunct Faculty, has enjoyed a long and varied singing career. Ms. Cobb first began working in the radio and television industry in the early 1970s. Working with Stax Records and Shoe Productions, she began to compose and released her first single. After her first years in the industry, she released a solo album with RCA Records that went to #11 on the Billboard Top 40 chart. Ms. Cobb has opened for performers Taj Mahal, the Temptations, Muddy Waters, Al Jarreau, and has toured Europe with Otis Clay. As a soloist, Ms. Cobb performs regularly with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and tours with the Memphis Beale Street Blues Company. She has won numerous awards including four Premiere Player Awards for best female singer from the Memphis chapter of NARAS. When Joyce Cobb's on Beale opened in 1992, it was the first club on historic Beale Street to be named for a woman.

Zachary A. Corpus, Tuba

zachA native of Kansas, Zack Corpus is a doctoral student of Dr. Kevin Sanders and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Memphis. He is also on the faculty at the University of Arkansas at Monticello as Adjunct Instructor of Tuba and Euphonium. Zack holds a Bachelor's degree from Kansas State University and a Master's degree from the University of North Texas.

Zack has performed around the United States and internationally, including Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. He has received numerous accolades for his playing, including being named an honorable mention winner in the Artist Solo Division Competition at the 2011 University of Central Arkansas Low Brass Festival. An avid supporter of chamber music, Zack is tubist with The Memphis Graduate Brass Quintet and is founder of Thor and the Thundergods Tuba Quartet, which was selected as first alternate in the 2010 International Tuba Euphonium Conference Quartet Competition. Zack is in demand as an educator and adjudicator, teaching and judging low brass in school districts across the Memphis and Dallas/Fort Worth metroplexes. He currently serves as tuba and euphonium instructor at Arlington High School in the Shelby County (TN) School District. Zack has studied privately with Phillip Black, Wichita Symphony Orchestra; Dr. Steven Maxwell, Kansas State University; Donald Little and Dr. Brian Bowman, University of North Texas; and Dr. Kevin Sanders, University of Memphis.

Zack's professional affiliations include the International Tuba Euphonium Association, Music Educators' National Conference, and Music Teachers' National Association. He is an alumnus of both Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Kappa Kappa Psi fraternities and a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. He can be heard on various recordings with the GIA and Klavier labels, performing with the North Texas Symphonic Band and North Texas Wind Symphony under the batons of Dennis W. Fisher and Eugene Migliaro Corporon.

Matthew Cummings, Suzuki Piano Group Teacher

Mr. Cummings earned his B.M.E. from Loyola University and his M.M.E. from the University of Memphis. He has completed all 3 levels of Orff training and Master Class. Mr. Cummings is the Orff Music Specialist at South Park Elementary and Director of Music at St. Michael’s Catholic Church.

Saundra D’Amato, Suzuki Piano, Musicianship

Saundra D’Amato has taught Suzuki piano, group piano classes and musicianship classes at The University of Memphis Community Music School for 18 years.  After graduating from Yale University (with a B.A. and a M.M.), she played oboe in the Boston area, and taught Suzuki piano and Providence, RI.  After a two-year stint with the Colorado Symphony, she taught in Springfield, MA before moving to Memphis in 1992.  She is also the second oboist in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the Memphis Symphony Woodwind Quintet.

Maria Debacco, Suzuki Piano, Piano

Maria DeBacco, Suzuki Piano Coordinator, began teaching in the Suzuki Program when the method was first introduced to the Memphis area in the early '70s. She was on the Suzuki Piano faculty here at the University of Memphis from 1976 to 1986. For 18 years she lived in many cities and small towns in the South.  She and her husband owned and operated a radio station in Georgetown, SC for seven years. While living in Tallahassee, FL Maria studied with the Hungarian Pianist Edward Kilenyi. She was a part of the music faculty at several schools in the Macon, Georgia area; Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA, and Macon State College and Wesleyan College in Macon, GA.  Maria holds a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Memphis and studied with Samuel Viviano.

Geoffrey Durbin, Euphonuim/Trombone

durbinGeoff Durbin currently teaches Low Brass at Murray State University and is a Doctoral Candidate in Euphonium Performance at the University of Memphis.  He has been a member of the Bluff City Bones, the University of North Texas Wind Symphony, the Southern Comfort Jazz Orchestra, Avenue C Brass, Fat-Bottomed Brass, the Keystone Winds, and subs with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Lone Star Wind Orchestra.  He has been invited to tour with the Euphonix Tuba-Euphonium Quartet and to teach and perform in summer workshops including the Messiah College Conductor's Symposium, the North Texas Conductor's Collegium, and the North Texas Opera Workshop.  This past year, he reached the final round of the most recent audition for the United States Air Force Band.  Geoff has been accepted to a number of solo competitions, including the Leonard Falcone Euphonium Competition at which he won the first-place gold medal in 2013, the silver medal in 2010 and was a semi-finalist in the ITEC Euphonium Competition in the same summer.  This past year, he won the First Prize at the South Central Regional Tuba and Euphonium Competition in the Euphonium Artist division.  He has studied with Dr. Brian Bowman, Dr. John Mueller, Dr. Gary Bird, Dr. Jeff Baker, Kyle Mullins, and Grant Moore III and has earned degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Bachelor of Science in Music Education) and the University of North Texas (Master in Music: Euphonium Performance).

James Gholson, Clarinet

Professor Gholson is on the faculty of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. He serves as principal clarinet of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Gholson holds the B.M. from Michigan State University, the M.M. and D.M.A. from Catholic University. He is a former member and frequent soloist with the U.S. Navy Band and a member of the Memphis Woodwind Quintet. Dr. Gholson is the author of “Unitus” BBS and website (http://unitus.org.) as well as “Windscapes,” a videotaped series of clarinet primers.

Lora Geteva Gubanov, Suzuki piano & traditional piano

gubanovLora Gubanov is pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance at the University of Memphis. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2009. As an enthusiastic educator, Lora is currently teaching students of all ages and levels. Some of her distinguished awards include 1st place winner of Tennessee's MTNA State Piano Competition in 2006, University of Tennessee Concerto Competition winner in 2007 and is a recepient of Full Assistanship in teaching Class Piano at University of Memphis. Some of the summer programs she has attended include Bosendorfer Piano Festival in Vienna, Austria in the summer of 2008 and InterHarmony Music Festival in Birklehof, Germany in 2010.

 Mary Love Himebook, Flute

mary loveMary Love Himebook is a sophomore studying flute performance at the University of Memphis. She has played flute with Georgia All District and All State Bands, the National Flute Association High School and Collegiate flute choirs, the Balmoral Chamber Orchestra, principle flute with the Memphis Repertory Orchestra, as well as various community and church ensembles.

 

 

Scott Hines, Composition

Dr. Scott L. Hines is Visiting Professor of Theory at the School of Music. In addition to the main music building, he is responsible for music events in the Communication and Fine Arts Building, Psychology Auditorium and at three facilities on the Park Avenue Campus. Dr. Hines received his Doctor of Musical Arts in 2008 from The University of Memphis where he studied with composition professors John Baur, Kamran Ince, and James Richens. He received his B.M. in music education and music theory/composition and M.M. in composition from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Dr. Hines serves on the faculty of the Community Music School. He has received commissions and performances by Ballet Memphis and the Chicago Chamber Orchestra among others. He was named Composer of the Year in 2005 by the Greater Memphis Music Teachers Association and was nominated for the 2005 Tennessee Composer of the Year. In addition to his career in music, Dr. Hines worked in television and radio broadcasting and newspaper publishing.

Anna Khokhlova, Suzuki Piano

Ms. Anna Khokhlova, a native of Russia, holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance and Music Education from the College of Music, and a Master of Music degree in Piano performance and Pedagogy from Minsk State Conservatoire in Belarus. Ms. Khokhlova brings 35 years of teaching and performing experience to her teaching work at The University of Memphis Community Music School. Her private instruction is based on high professionalism and extensive knowledge. Ms. Khokhlova's students regularly participate in local and state competitions, receiving high evaluations and compliments. Ms. Khokhlova is active member of Music Teacher National Association of America since 1994, GMMTA and Suzuki Association of America.

Chenpei (Cindy) Lin, Suzuki Piano

Chenpei Chen Lin was born in Taiwan and came to The United States of America in 1984 for further study of music. She received her Bachelor of Arts in piano performance from The Chinese Culture University in Taiwan and received a Master of Arts in piano performance from The University of Memphis. While working on her Master degree, she also completed the courses for Suzuki Piano Pedagogy and was certified as a Suzuki Piano instructor through The Suzuki Association of America. She has been teaching Suzuki Piano at The University of Memphis Community Music School since 1985. Not only does she enjoy working with children while teaching piano, but loves being in their company altogether.

 Danielle Rae McKay, Voice

danielleDanielle Rae McKay, soprano, is currently studying voice with Evan Jones while pursuing her masters in Vocal Performance at the University of Memphis. Native of Buffalo, NY, she received her B. Mus. Education (pre K-12) at Buffalo State: State University of New York while stydying voice under Dr. Holly Bewlay.  She taught at the Pro Music Center of Amherst, NY for the past two years as well as privately.  A diverse history of performance experience has allowed Danielle to acquire a taste for many styles of music; she enjoys singing classical, jazz, the blues, indie-rock, and musical theater.  Past performances with Artpark & Co. of Lewiston, NY include Joseph and the Amazine Technicolor Dream Coat, All Shook Up, and Fame.  She has performed in Hair (Jeanie), the Cadenze workshop of Buffalo, NY for two summers, attended the Vocal Pedagogy workshop at the Eastman School of Music, and the Vocal Careers Seminar at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern.  She has also sung solos while performing and working for the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus over the past two years.  She looks forward to singing each day, teaching, and learning from her students of all ages, backgrounds and experiences.

Tracy Montgomery, Suzuki Piano

Ms. Montgomery holds the B.M. and M.M. from the University of Memphis in piano pedagogy and Suzuki piano pedagogy. She is certified in level 1 of Orff-Schulwerk from the University of Memphis. Ms. Montgomery began teaching piano in 1989 and became a Suzuki Piano teacher in 1993. During the academic years from 1999-2002, she served as interim Suzuki Piano coordinator. She has taught Suzuki piano group and adult group classes and has extensive experience in working with very young children in educational and musical settings. Ms. Montgomery is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda national honor music fraternity, Suzuki Association of the Americas and is an alumna of Sigma Alpha Iota national music fraternity for women.

Melodie Moore, Harp

Ms. Moore is currently majoring in Music History at the University of Memphis.  She serves as the harpist for the University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic and University Bands, Opera Orchestra, Memphis Repertory Orchestra, Kirby Woods Orchestra, and ensembles throughout the community.

She recently returned from studying in Shanghai, China where she performed various pieces, including the Boieldieu Concerto for Harp and Orchestra with the Conservatory and GPACYS Orchestras.  She has also performed as featured soloist with the University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra.  In 2010, Melodie performed in Carnegie Hall with Grammy winner and saxophonist, Kirk Whalum, and the Overton Wind Ensemble.  A few of her honors include 4th place in the American Harp Society’s 16th National Competition, PEO Star, 2010 Memphis Outstanding Student, 2009 and 2010 Orpheum Star Search finalist, and 2008 Outstanding Young Women of Memphis.  As a soloist, she entertained in the 2009 Memphis Little Summer Music concert series and 2007 USA International Harp Competition opening reception.  A few celebrities she has entertained include Queen Noor of Jordan, Naomi Judd, former First Lady Barbara Bush, Canadian Consul General, human rights advocate and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi Tutu, and Oprah Winfrey.

Melodie achieved Distinction, Level 8, following intense testing through London’s Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM).  She has been featured in national and international media and has been chosen by audition to perform in numerous master classes in the United States, Canada, and Europe.  She studied at the Los Angeles Idyllwild Arts Program on full scholarship with the final concert performed in Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Since beginning harp, Melodie has performed more than 200 orchestral pieces in numerous groups under the direction of over 15 conductors.   Each year, she volunteers extensively for non-profits and community outreach programs.  Her harp music serenades visitors in the Cannon Center’s east lobby prior to Memphis Symphony Orchestra concerts.  Melodie is a harp instructor and performs as a recording session musician.

Greg Morris, Suzuki Violin, GPAC Suzuki String Coordinator

Originally from Jamestown, New York, Greg Morris received a Bachelor of Music degree from State University of New York at Albany and his Master of Music degree in violin pedagogy from the University of Memphis. He studied Suzuki Pedagogy in Matsumoto, Japan, as well as studying with John Kendall, Allen Lieb and Yuko Honda.

Greg has been a member of the Memphis Symphony since 1979 and has been an instructor of Suzuki violin at the University of Memphis since 1980. He is currently the coordinator of the GPAC Suzuki String Program. Greg is also a violinist with the Summer Symphony at Lakeside, Ohio, where he has played since 1984. Greg also performs on both violin and viola in chamber music ensembles. In 1996, he was a guest musician at the Prague International Music Festival and concertmaster of the Ameropa Chamber Orchestra at that festival in the Czech Republic.

John Mueller, Trombone

Dr. John Mueller is Assistant Professor of Trombone and Euphonium at The Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. He is trombonist with the Memphis Brass Quintet and The Birth of the Cool faculty jazz ensemble. He joined the faculty at the University of Memphis in 2001 after a 21-year career with The U.S. Army Band in Washington, D.C., where he was euphonium section leader and soloist. Dr. Mueller has performed on both trombone and euphonium with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the Jazz Orchestra of the Delta, and the Kennedy Center Theatre Chamber Players. As a soloist, clinician, and adjudicator, he has appeared throughout the U.S., Japan, Australia, and Europe. Dr. Mueller earned his Bachelors degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his Masters and Doctoral degrees in Trombone Performance from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In 1999 he released his debut solo recording, Euphonic Sounds. Dr. Mueller has served on the faculty of The Catholic University of America and the executive committee of the International Tuba Euphonium Association (formerly T.U.B.A.). He is a Meinl-Weston artist/clinician. Dr. Mueller's principal teachers include Milton Stevens, Robert Gray, Daniel Perantoni, and Brian Bowman.

Edward Murray, Percussion

Mr. Murray holds the B.M. from New England Conservatory. He has studied with Vic Firth, Buster Bailey, and Allen Abel. Mr. Murray is a member of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and serves as adjunct instructor at Rhodes College. He performs in the salsa band, “Caliente” and frequently for Broadway touring productions at the Orpheum Theatre.

Anna Palazola, Piano

anna palazolaBorn and raised in Russia, Anna Palazola at the age of three, began to play the piano. She later pursued her gift for piano by attending the University of Memphis, where she graduated with honors. During her studies at the University she attended many workshops, that has enabled her to become a more effective musician and educator. She has studied with the accomplished pianist in US and Europe. Some of whom were: Samuel Viviano, Daniel Fletcher, Samuel Sidhom, Victor Asuncion and Bertrand Giraud from the United States. Palazola has over eight years of teaching experience in the USA, and three years in Russia. She loves teaching music to children. Her passion to music and the arts is limitless.

Alex Somervell Perry III, Suzuki Violin, Viola

Mr. Perry, is a specialist in early childhood education and music instruction. He is a doctoral candidate in educational psychology at the University of Memphis as well as a Master’s candidate in Montessori education at Loyola College of Maryland. Mr. Perry currently teaches at the Lipman School, a laboratory school on the University of Memphis campus, where he will implement the expansion of the Montessori program to include elementary education. He administers and teaches in the Suzuki violin and viola program he founded in Jackson, TN. He performs with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi.

Dan Phillips, French Horn

Mr. Dan Phillips, Associate Professor of Horn and Theory, joined The University of Memphis faculty in the fall of 1999. In addition to teaching duties, he plays in the Memphis Brass Quintet, the Memphis Woodwind Quintet and the Birth of the Cool Ensemble, all faculty ensembles in residence at the University. He holds degrees in horn performance from Michigan State University and the University of Notre Dame and has done additional graduate study at Indiana University.

His background as a hornist includes extensive experience in solo, chamber ensemble, symphonic, studio and operatic idioms throughout the US and in Europe, Brazil and Japan. Mr. Phillips has a broad background as a conductor, arranger, and teacher. He served three terms as Visiting Professor at Southern Illinois University's campus in Nakajo, Japan; and in the spring of 1992, he was an Artist-in-Residence at the Latvian Music Academy in Riga. He is webmaster for The Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music and for the International Horn Society.

Samuel Sidhom, CMS Director, Suzuki Piano

Mr. Samuel Sidhom, Suzuki Piano Coordinator and Director of the Community Music School, has been teaching private and group piano lessons since 1982. He has maintained a private studio for over 25 years. While earning his B.A. in engineering at the University of Cairo, he studied music theory and composition by correspondence from Trinity College of Music in London. He earned his M.M. in sacred music from Cincinnati Christian University and has done post-master’s work at The University of Memphis in piano, Suzuki pedagogy and Orff-Schulwerk. He has completed all three levels and the master class in Orff training under Konnie Saliba and Jos Wuytak. Mr. Sidhom received his Suzuki teacher training under Doris Koppelman, Nehama Patkin, Yasuko Joichi and Doris Harrell. He is registered with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and is an active member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts.

Katie Slemp, Percussion

Katie Slemp is a Senior Music Performance and Music Education Major at the University of Memphis. Her primary instrument is percussion. She began studying percussion at age 10.  She is a student of Dr. Frank Shaffer, Associate Professor of Percussion at the U of M. She previously studied Music Performance and Education at East Tennessee State University for three years under Dr. Rande Sanderbeck, Professor of Percussion. She is a graduate of Tennessee High School in Bristol, Tennessee. She has experience teaching beginner to intermediate students in marching percussion as well as concert percussion. She has been teaching privately with the Community Music School since Spring of 2011.

Ann Spurbeck, Violin, Suzuki Violin

Ms. Spurbeck holds the B.Mus. in violin from the University of Miami, FL, and the M.MEd. from Indiana University, Bloomington. Ms. Spurbeck completed her Suzuki Training at the University of Memphis with David Becker and participated in workshops conducted by Rhonda Cole, Craig Timmerman, John Kendall, Marge Aber, Alice Joy Lewis, Kimberly Meier-Sims, Yuko Honda, Lorraine Fink and Susan Kempter.

Gerald Stephens, Piano

Mr. Stephens is a pianist/keyboardist and music teacher in the Memphis area. He is a graduate of Southaven High School and the University of Memphis. He has worked as a freelance pianist in Memphis since 1994 and has been a part of many local groups, including the New Memphis Hepcats. He has performed on four locally released CD’s, including the Hepcats’ “Live at the Hi-Tone” and “Singopoly” and has taught piano at the Germantown Baptist Conservatory of Music since 1997. Mr. Stephens has been on the CMS faculty since 2002.

Kathryn Stimson, Piano

Ms. Stimson holds a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Memphis, and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major in Music History from Hollins College. She has taught piano at the Community Music School since 2003 and at Rhodes College since 1993.  Ms. Stimson was awarded the Tennessee Music Teachers Association Distinguished Service Award in 2011.  She is currently President-Elect of TMTA.  Ms. Stimson was President of the Greater Memphis Music Teachers Association from 2007-2009 and was named GMMTA Teacher of the Year for 2010.  She has served as Competitions Coordinator for the Tennessee Music Teachers Association and for the Music Teachers National Association in Tennessee.  Ms. Stimson serves on the board of the Tennessee Music Teachers Association and is a member of the American Matthay Society, the American Guild of Piano Teachers and Pi Kappa Lambda.

Rocky Tejada, Memphis Area Choral Society Conductor

rockyMr. Tejada joined the Memphis community this summer as the Director of Music Ministries at St. Luke's United Methodist Church. He has maintained an active career as a choral conductor, baritone soloist, music minister, and educator. Mr. Tejada received his Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Alabama, and his Bachelor degree in vocal performance and theater from Jacksonville State University. At the University of Alabama, he studied conducting under Dr. John Ratledge, with whom he was given the opportunities to teach the University Chorus and travel on national and international choir tours to New York City's Carnegie Hall and South Korea. In addition to his work in music ministry and teaching, Mr. Tejada has worked as musical director in theaters throughout the state of Alabama, and most recently conducted Sondheim's Sweeney Todd with the Actor's Charitable Theater in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He has worked as chorus master for the Alabama Opera Theater, as well as the Jacksonville Opera Theater, where he also performed leading operatic roles, and solo performances by Mozart, Donizetti, and Gilbert &Sullivan. His choral conducting credits include major works by Vivaldi, Handel, Bernstein, Britten, and Rutter. Rocky is excited about his new adventure in Memphis and hopes to become an active, longtime member of this great musical community.

Irene Wade, Suzuki Viola

Irene Wade has been a violist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra since 1979. She was Principal violist in the Lincoln (NE) Symphony, and has played with the Jackson Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, Winston-Salem Symphony, and Roanoke Symphony orchestras. She graduated from the Eastman School of Music with distinction, attended Oberlin Conservatory and College, and received a diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts. Ms. Wade was a graduate teaching assistant at Memphis State University and also at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she earned the Master of Music degree. Other academic awards include the National Honor Society and a four year National Merit Scholarship.

Ms. Wade teaches violin and viola in the Suzuki String Program at the University of Memphis Community Music School, and has maintained a private studio since 1995. She has been recognized as an Outstanding Teacher by the faculty and students of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts.

Lecolion Washington, bassoon

Mr. Lecolion Washington, Bassoon, received a BM in Music Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, MM in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and Artist Certificate Studies at Southern Methodist University. His principal teachers were Kristin Wolfe Jensen, Frank Morelli, and Wilfred Roberts. Washington has performed with the Austin Civic Chorus Orchestra, New Texas Festival Orchestra, Mid-Texas Symphony, Garland/Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, and as Principal Bassoonist with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra. He also performed with the Riverside Symphony Orchestra and as Principal Basoonist and with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. He won orchestral auditions with the Houston Grand Opera and Shanghai Broadcasting Orchestra, performed with the Memphis Symphony and Iris Chamber Orchestra, and currently serves as Co-Principal Bassoon of the Missouri Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Professor Washington performed with the Circadia Wind Quintet, New York Chamber Ensemble, and with principal players from orchestras including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, and the New York Philharmonic. In 2004, The Orchestral Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music invited him to perform on a chamber music concert of Distinguished Alumni. He has attended the Texas Music Festival, Cape May Music Festival, and the International Festival Institute at Round Top. He won concerto competitions at the Round Top Music Festival and Southern Methodist University, and performed the Weber Andante and Rondo with the Columbia Civic Orchestra. Professor Washington has given recitals and master classes at The University of North Texas, Baylor University, and The University of Texas at Austin. He served as the Assistant Professor of Bassoon at the University of Missouri-Columbia and bassoonist for the Missouri Wind Quintet, before joining the Memphis Woodwind Quintet and faculty of The Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music in 2004.

Pamela Wilensky, Suzuki Violin

Pamela Wilensky has been a String Specialist for Memphis City Schools for 12 years, teaching at the elementary, middle and high school levels. She is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Music Education.  She has had extensive Suzuki Teacher Training and has taught in the University of Memphis Suzuki Program since 1995. She is also an active performer in Memphis and with the Germantown and Jackson, TN Symphony Orchestras. She is a co-director of the Memphis Music Camp and was co-director of the Chamber Music Camp at Rhodes College for many years.

Maria DeBacco, Suzuki Piano Coordinator, began teaching in the Suzuki Program when the method was first introduced to the Memphis area in the early ‘70s. She was on the Suzuki Piano faculty here at the University of Memphis from 1976 to 1986. For 18 years she lived in many cities and small towns in the South.  She and her husband owned and operated a radio station in Georgetown, SC for seven years. While living in Tallahassee, FL Maria studied with the Hungarian Pianist Edward Kilenyi. She was a part of the music faculty at several schools in the Macon, Georgia area; Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA, and Macon State College and Wesleyan College in Macon, GA.  Maria holds a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Memphis and studied with Samuel Viviano. 

COMMUNITY MUSIC SCHOOL HOME

cms@memphis.edu
Phone: 901-678-4244,
Room 124 – Music Building
Fax: 901-678-1392
Samuel Sidhom, Director
Carolyn Farris, Office Manager

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