Adjunct Music Faculty A-K

Nicholas BidelerNicholas Bideler, Adjunct Professor of Collaborative Piano is a native of Fort Smith, Arkansas.  In 2004 Nicholas was appointed as Principal Organist at Visitation Catholic Church in Kansas City, Missouri where he also started a Royal School of Church Music program.  He received the BM in organ performance from the University of Kansas in 2008 and an MM at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2010.  His primary teachers have been Dr. James Higdon, Dr. Michael Bauer and Dr. Roberta Gary respectively. He is currently working on his doctorate of musical arts degree at the University of Kansas.  Nicholas won 1st place in the Strader International Organ Competition in March 2008.  In 2008 he was appointed as the Associate Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati where he played for both the Cathedral Choir and Cathedral Choir of Boys and Girls.  In the fall of 2010, Nicholas returned to Visitation Church to direct the RSCM choir of boys and girls.  Nicholas was a competitor in the 2011 Dublin International Organ Competition and the 2011 Canadian International Organ Competition.  He now works as the Assistant Organist and Choirmaster at The Church of Saint Michael and Saint George in Clayton.

Melissa BishopMelissa Bishop, Adjunct Professor of Music Theory. Professor Bishop received the Bachelor of Music in Composition from Webster University where she studied with Bob Chamberlin and Kim Portnoy.  She received her Master of Music in Theory and Composition at Kansas State University where she studied with Hanley Jackson. Since 2002, her duties at Webster have included teaching varying levels of Theory and Musicianship  as well as songwriting.  She currently serves as the director for School of the Arts in St. Louis County and writes for Six Hour Drive Publishing, a subsidiary of Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing. Her first cut was in the country market for an independent label entitled, “Wishing You Were Home.” She has had continued success in the Christian market in various genres including CCM/AC, Southern Gospel and print.

Dave BlackDave Black, Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies. Professor Black teaches guitar and courses in popular music and jazz studies at Webster and is a modern dance accompanist at Washington University and the Center of Contemporary Arts. He received the Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Webster and was voted “Best Acoustic Guitarist” (1996, 1997) and “Best Solo Artist (1996) in the St. Louis Music Awards. Professor Black is a very active free-lance performer, teacher, and arranger. He regularly performs as a solo artist and with Dangerous Kitchen and Brilliant Corners in St. Louis. He has also performed with artists including Fareed Haque, Richard “Groove” Holmes, and Bucky Pizzarelli. He has two compact discs,  “Alone & Together” and “Spirals,” both features Paul DeMarinis on saxophones. Professor Black has also written works for several Mel Bay Publications.

Kathryn BowersKathryn Smith Bowers, Emerita Professor of Music.  During a 24-year-tenure Dr. Bowers led the Webster Chorale and Choral Society, in addition to the highly regarded St. Louis Summer Sings series. She served Webster as Director of Music Education and Sacred Music, and continues to teach various courses in her very active retirement.  Dr. Bowers has published articles and presented papers and workshops in Finland, Hungary, England, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the United States. She has also directed choral festivals in Washington, DC and the St. Louis area. Her research interests cover a broad range of historical and contemporary topics, including commissioned works for children's choirs, the American shaped-note tradition, Jacobean verse anthems, and the sacred vocal music of John Jenkins. Other musical activities include transcribing, editing, and composing choral music. Dr. Bowers received degrees in music education and choral music from Northwestern University (BME), the University of Oregon (MA), and the University of Illinois (DMA). Her conducting teachers have included Margaret Hillis, Helmuth Rilling, and Milko Kolarov.

Christopher Braig, Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studie>s.  Christopher Braig holds a Bachelors Degree in music education from Webster University and has studied jazz saxophone at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Rick VanMatre.  He has been a professional musician for more than twenty years working for Disney, Carnival Cruise Lines, The Shoji Tabuchi Show and Bahama Breeze.  Christopher is the director of the Webster Mini Big Band and is a faculty member at the Webster Summer Jazz Camp.  He performs all over St. Louis on saxophone and steel pans with his Caribbean Bebop Band and teaches at Chaminade College Preparatory School.

Duane Bridges, Adjunct Professor of Music Composition.  Duane Bridges is an adjunct professor of music at Webster University where he directs the New Music Ensemble. In addition, he teaches music classes in Piano, Composition, Music Theory, and Topics in Popular Music at Nerinx Hall where he is also the accompanist for their choral program and musical productions. In addition he is the organist and music director at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Glen Carbon, Illinois, and has worked as composer, accompanist, and musical director for the Insight Theatre Company.  Duane holds a B.M., and M.M., in Music Composition from Webster University. He has written numerous works in a variety of idioms including instrumental and vocal music, experimental music, electronic music, film scores, rock music, and much more. He is a frequent performer of his own music. His works have been performed throughout the United States and in Europe. In 2012, his choral work, “Loretto Poets Suite,” was performed as part of the Loretto Jubilee, celebrating 200 years of the Sisters of Loretto. The Nerinx Hall Select Chorus as part of the Heritage Festivals also performed the piece at the Riverside Church in New York City. Recent works include music for Insight Theater Company productions of Twelfth Night and The Belle of Amherst, as well as a piece for the Knox College Wind Ensemble entitled “Winter, Plague, and Pestilence.”

Tom ByrneTom Byrne, Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies.  An active performer, educator, and composer in the St. Louis region for over 30 years, Tom is considered to be among the city's premiere jazz guitarists. He is currently a member of the Jazz Faculty at Webster University where he has taught since 1998. He received both his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Jazz Performancefrom Webster University and teaches Jazz Guitar, Jazz Combo, Jazz Theory, and Improvisation. During his undergraduate coursework he had the opportunity to study with guitar greats John Scofield, Lenny Breau, Gene Bertoncini, and Mick Goodrick, thus gaining valuable musical insights which he eagerly shares with his students. His performance credits include working with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the MUNY Orchestra as well as leading his own ensembles in concerts at the St. Louis Jazz Festival, the Whittaker Concert Series (Missouri Botanical Gardens), the Webster University Concert Series, Jazz at Holmes Lounge (Washington University), the Sheldon Concert Hall, Jazz at the Bistro, and the Wildey Theater. Recording credits include the Tom Byrne Trio, the Yule Vibe Trio, Reggie & Mardra Thomas, and the Kim Portnoy Jazz Orchestra. Tom continues to perform in the St. Louis region with his duos & trios, his group Have U Heard (dedicated to performing the music of Pat Metheny), and as a solo guitarist. 

Rosemarie CereghinoRosemarie Cereghino, Adjunct Professor of Voice.  Soprano Rosemarie Cereghino is a 15-year adjunct member of the voice faculty.  She has devoted her career to music and education.  Ms. Cereghino earned the B.A. in Music (piano performance) from Washington University, where she also took the M.A. Ed.  She received her M.M. in Vocal Performance in 1995 from Webster University.  A lifelong learner, she has continued her education, studying vocal pedagogy methods with Richard Miller and Oren Brown, the McClosky method, and popular style with Lisa Popeil.  Most recently she received certification in Somatic Voicework (TM)--The LoVetri Method, a highly-recognized method of teaching contemporary commercial music vocal technique.  Ms. Cereghino has accumulated more than 40 hours in speech and language pathology and spent a year in the clinical doctoral program in audiology at Washington University School of Medicine, thereby garnering a solid understanding of anatomy and physiology of the speech and hearing mechanisms.

Patricia Eastman, Adjunct Professor of Piano & Musicianship.  Patricia Eastman joined the piano and musicianship faculties of Webster University in 1997. She holds a BM in Piano Performance from the North Carolina School of the Arts and MM in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Webster University with additional graduate studies at the St. Louis Conservatory of Music.  She is a founder and co-director of the Piano Ensemble Festival and the Classical Piano Camps for intermediate and advanced students.  Her interest in piano ensemble playing led to the formation of ‘Duo Albireo' – a two-piano duo with colleague Donna Bowen Vince. Pat maintains a successful private teaching studio, and is a former Vice President of the St Louis Area Music Teachers  Association, a founding board member of  Pianos for People, a non-profit organization that ‘connects people who need pianos with pianos that need people', and the developer of, a website that teaches pre-college music theory live online.

Erin Elstner, Adjunct Professor of Percussion.  Erin Elstner is an experienced percussion and drum set instructorShe also teaches privately through the Webster University Community Music School and is the conductor of the CMS Percussion Ensemble and a member of the adjunct faculty at Maryville University. She received her B.M. in Percussion Performance at Mannes College of Music in New York (The New School University) and her Music Education certification from the University of Missouri-St.Louis where she graduated summa cum laude. She has taught at the St. Louis Symphony Community Music School, the Third Street Music Settlement and Carnegie Hall in New York, the Taichung School of Arts and Music in Taiwan, The Strike Institute and The Erin Elstner Percussion Studio.  As a freelance performer, Ms. Elstner's numerous performance achievements include playing percussion at the International Women's Brass Conference, an American tour led by Susan Slaughter and Principal orchestral players, percussionist for the new music ensemble Synchronia, member of the Brazilian groups The Sambistas and the Sambanditos,“The True Heart” performance with Glen Velez, the VH-1 Fashion Awards with the group De La Guarda, playing percussion for Peter Cetera of Chicago, "Bright Lights, Broadway" Asian tour and the Joffrey Ballet. She has also been the percussionist/drummer for blues, rock and pop bands, including vibraphonist for Champale and drummer for Hazmat Modine and RED, played with artists such as David Garza and recorded/played on many records including those of Clem Snide and Kill Henry Sugar.

Tim Garcia, Adjunct Professor of Music Software Applications. A native of St. Louis, Tim Garcia has been a Webster University faculty member since 1996 teaching music notation classes. He received the BM in Theory/Composition and the MM in Jazz Studies- Theory/Composition from Webster. He is an active free-lance performer, educator, clinician and arranger, with works performed and recorded for radio, TV and concert halls.  He has performed in the St. Louis area for twenty-five years as a soloist and with groups such as the Genesis Jazz Project, an 18-piece big band. Currently, he leads the Tim Garcia Trio, a group that performs frequently in region and he operates a piano studio in Kirkwood.  Tim is also on the faculty at Maryville University and St. Louis Community College-Forest Park. Visit his website:

Jeanine York-GarescheJeanine York-Garesche, Adjunct Professor of Clarinet. Professor Garesche holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Master of Music from the St. Louis Conservatory of Music. Her major teaches include George Silfies and Robert Coleman. Professor Garesche has performed with Quintessence-St. Louis, Opera Theatre Saint Louis, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Synchronia New Music Ensemble, and the Webster University Symphony Orchestra. She has served on the staff and faculty of the Tidewater Music Festival in Maryland, attended the Johanneson International School of the Arts in Canada, and served as clarinetist-in-residence for the Kneisal Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine. Professor Garesche is a member of the Webster Wind Quintet, and a replacement player with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and is a faculty member at the Community Music School of Webster University.

Kevin GianinoKevin Gianino, Adjunct Professor of Jazz Percussion. A native of St. Louis, Professor Gianino attended St. Louis Community College-Meramec, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Webster University. He has served as a faculty member for the International Summer Jazz Academy in Poland and for the Webster Summer Jazz Combo Camp, and the Jim Widner Summer Jazz Camps. He is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and performer on a national basis. He is a member of the Webster Faculty Jazz Ensemble, Brilliant Corners, the Sessions Big Band, and the Hard Bop Heritage Quintet. Among the numerous artists with whom he has performed are Toshiko Akiyoshi, Nick Brignola, Richie Cole, Buddy De Franco, Jon Faddis, Terry Gibbs, Al Grey, Rob McConnell, Bobby Shew, Marvin Stamm, Clark Terry, and Nancy Wilson. He is an artist endorser for the Pearl Drum Company. He has toured the U.S., Canada, and Mexico with the Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice Shows 1979-1983 featuring Peggy Fleming. He appeared on the NBC Television special: Highlights of Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice starring Tony Randall. He is the leader of the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra and has made numerous appearances at jazz festivals as adjudicator, guest artist and clinician. Gianino is an instructor at Fred Pierce's Drum Shop & Studio, and Greenville College in Illinois.

Erik Harris, Adjunct Professor of Bass.  Born in New York City and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Erik Harris began his musical studies on guitar at age 5 and switched to double bass at age 13.  Erik attended the Juilliard School on a full scholarship, where he studied with noted double bass pedagogue Homer Mensch. While at Juilliard he won the double bass concerto competition and performed as soloist with the Juilliard Symphony. He went on to receive both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Juilliard, and, in 2005, was recognized as one their 100 most notable alumni in honor of the school's 100th anniversary.   Upon graduation, Erik served as Principal Bass with the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida during its inaugural season in 1988. The following year, at age 23, he was invited by Sir Georg Solti to join the Chicago Symphony. In 1993, Erik was appointed Principal Double Bass of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.  Since coming to St. Louis, he has performed in chamber music concerts at Sheldon Hall, the Innsbrook Institute and at the Strings Festival in Steamboat Springs, Co.  In 2011, he performed as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony, Nicholas McGegen conducting.  An avid teacher, Erik has taught master classes at the Manhattan School of Music, New World Symphony and the Juilliard School and has taught at Webster University since 2010.

Aurelia Hartenberger, Adjunct Professor of Music Education.  Dr. Aurelia Hartenberger is a doctoral graduate of Washington University, with graduate and under graduate work at Univ of Mississippi, Univ of Miami, Coral Gables Fla, and Southeast Missouri State Univ. Formerly, Dr. Hartenberger served as Music Coordinator for the Lindbergh School District from 2007-2010, Curriculum Director of the Mehlville School District from 1990-2006, and was a member of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Fine Arts Task Force (1990-2006). Presently she serves as MMEA Advancing Music Education Chair, a member of AMIS (American Musical Instrument Society) National Governing Advisory Board, and is the creator of the web-based “Curriculum SUCCESS Tool” for Dr. Hartenberger is Past President of MENC Southwest Division, Past President of MMEA, and Past President of the St. Louis Suburban Music Educators. She has served as a member of the MENC Benchmark Committee for National Standard 2, and the MENC National “Model Music School” Program. She has also been cited five times as “Teacher of the Year” at the local, district, and state levels, and was inducted into Missouri Music Educators Association "Hall of Fame" in 2010.Dr. Hartenberger's most recent research work has been published in the GIA Publication: Symposium Proceedings of the 2007 Symposium on Assessment in Music Education – “Connecting Standards to Assessment through Core Conceptual Competencies," and she is cited in "The Music and Literacy Connection," 2003MENC Publication. In 2009, she presented at the “Learning and Brain” Conference in Washington, D.C. She has also been published in many educational journals throughout the USA and has presented clinics and workshops on Neuroscience Research and Learning in ten states.

Willem von HombrachtWillem von Hombracht, Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies.  Willem von Hombracht teaches bass, directs combos and a bass ensemble, and performs with the faculty jazz ensemble. He studied at the Arnhem Conservatory of Music in the Netherlands, and privately with Buell Neidlinger and Charlie Haden. He has performed in orchestras, chamber groups, jazz, rock and blues bands. Willem has over 30 years of experience in all jazz styles, and is in great demand as a bassist with groups ranging from traditional, to bebop, to free form improvisation. His performing credits include Billy Higgins, Andrew Hill, John Hicks, Howard Johnson, Herb Jeffries, Richie Cole, Bobby Shew, and Don Preston. He is an inventive composer, drawing on a variety of elements in his works. He directs bass master classes and jazz/improvisation workshops in the USA and in Europe, and has been on the faculty of the International Summer Jazz Academy in Poland since 2001, where he was named Artistic Director in 2008.

Jay Hungerford, Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies. Professor Hungerford is the “top call” freelance bassist in the St. Louis region. He tours regularly with numerous artists, performing at festivals and for clinics across the country and internationally. He has served for more than twenty years as a member of the Webster jazz faculty and teaches for the Community Music School of Webster University. He received the Bachelor of Music Education from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Professor Hungerford has been acknowledged as “Best Local Bassist” by Riverfront Times. His compact disc, “Keys to the City,” features the outstanding jazz pianists of the St. Louis region, including several Webster University colleagues and alumni. Visit Jay's website:

Michael Karpowicz, Adjunct Professor of Woodwinds & Chamber Music. Professor Karpowicz, Saxophone and Woodwinds, received the Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Performance from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, where he received a Downbeat Award as Outstanding Jazz Soloist. He has performed with the Sessions Big Band, Kim Portnoy Big Band, St. Louis Jazz Orchestra, Jim Widner Big Band, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He has been a member of the Fox Theatre Orchestra and the MUNY Opera Orchestra for more than twenty years, and for the St. Louis Repertory Theatre at Webster University. He has performed with Louie Bellson, Jon Faddis, Rob McConnell, Clark Terry, Lew Tabackin, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Nick Brignola, Bobby Shew, Mel Torme, Michel LeGrand, Dave Pietro, and Conrad Herwig. He has also performed with artists such as Henry Mancini, Johnny Mathis, Lou Rawls, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Manhattan Transfer, Sammy Davis Jr., Natalie Cole, Barry Manilow, Bernadette Peters, Julie Andrews, Tony Bennett and Aretha Franklin. He has served as a faculty member for the International Summer Jazz Academy in Poland, the Webster Summer Jazz Camp, the Southern Illinois University Summer Jazz Camp, and the Musicians Association of St. Louis Summer Music Workshop. He has appeared on many commercial recordings and two nationally televised ABC Television Specials. He is Director of Bands at DeSmet Jesuit High School.

Paula KasicaPaula Kasica, Adjunct Professor of Flute. Professor Kasica received her Bachelor of Music from the Saint Louis Conservatory of Music. Her teachers have included Jacob Berg, Julius Baker, and Gerald Carey. Paula plays as an extra with the Saint Louis Symphony and has performed with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Ballet Orchestra of St. Louis, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Bach at the Seminary Series. Since 1997, Ms Kasica has been on the faculty of the Christian Performing Arts Festival. In addition to teaching flute at Webster University, she teaches at Missouri Baptist University. She is a member of the Equinox Chamber Players and the Webster Symphony Orchestra. Paula, along with her husband John, acting Principal percussionist with the Saint Louis Symphony, perform around the country as WINDFIRE: Flute and Percussion Spectacular. In August of 2006, WINDFIRE won the National Flute Association Chamber Music Competition in Pittsburgh. She and John have three children.

Merry KellerMerry Keller, Adjunct Professor of Music is a singer and artistic director in the St. Louis area. With majors in voice and piano, Merry received a BS degree from West Chester University in Pennsylvania. Merry continued with graduate studies in vocal performance and choral conducting at West Chester before moving to St. Louis.  She continues her vocal studies with Christine Armistead at Washington University in St. Louis, and collaborates with pianist Neal Richardson. Merry Keller's local performance experience most recently includes a solo concert, Wade In the Water, at The Chapel; the role of Mrs. Charlton in Union Avenue Opera's Dead Man Walking; and a solo cabaret show, Love In Four Seasons, at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Merry was Artistic Director of CHARIS, St. Louis Women's Chorus from 1999 - 2004, and full-time Artistic Director of Gateway Men's Chorus from 2001-2007. Currently Merry Keller is the Artistic Director of the St. Louis County Community Chorus, a chorus of over a hundred singers. In addition to her singing and directing, Merry Keller maintains a private teaching studio for voice and piano students in University City.

Karl Koesterer, Adjunct Professor of Piano. Professor Koesterer received the Bachelor of Music in Piano from Southern Illinois University/Carbondale, and the Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Webster University. His major professors included Dr. Gail Delente and as a scholarship student of Dr. W. Kent Werner. Professor Koesterer is the piano department faculty coordinator for the Community Music School of Webster University and is a member of the Music Teachers National Association.

Ken KulosaKen Kulosa, Adjunct Professor of Cello. A native of Albuquerque, Kenneth Kulosa moved to St.Louis thirteen years ago at the invitation of the St. Louis Symphony. Kenneth came to St. Louis from Chicago where he played with the Chicago Symphony, the Grant Park Symphony, and the Chicago Chamber Musicians.  At the same time, he held the post of principal cellist for both the South Bend and Northwest Indiana Symphonies. A graduate of the New England Conservatory and the University of Houston, Kenneth studied with Laurence Lesser and Hans Jorgen Jensen, later becoming Mr. Jensen's assistant at Northwestern University. An active pedagogue as well as performer, Kenneth is in great demand as a private teacher and in 2003 the Missouri Chapter of the American String Teachers Association named him their Artist/Teacher of the Year. He is active as a chamber musician throughout the St. Louis area with the Saint Louis Symphony's Community Partnership program, the Pulitzer Foundation, and as a member of the Sheldon Concert Hall's education series resident piano trio. Passionate about period performance, Kenneth is currently a member of the Kingsbury Early Music Ensemble and frequently performs music from the baroque and classical period on period instruments.