Artists. Performers. Teachers.

Department of Music faculty are active artist/teachers who exemplify extraordinary teaching in classrooms, studios, rehearsal halls, and performance venues. Faculty members work daily with students in classes, rehearsals, seminars, and lessons. Our full-time faculty members are augmented by practicing professionals drawn from the deep pool of talent in the St. Louis area.

Meet our Faculty

Jeffrey Carter, D.M.A.

Jeffrey Carter, D.M.A.

Professor of Music, Director of Music Direction for Musical Theatre

jeffreycarter67@webster.edu

Visit Dr. Carter's personal website
Visit Dr. Carter's Webster blog
Visit Dr. Carter's voice-teaching blog

Professor of Music
Director of Music Direction for Musical Theatre
Voice, music theory, musical direction for musical theatre

Jeffrey Richard Carter is Professor & Director of Music Direction for Musical Theatre at Webster University in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Carter is a native Missourian, with roots in the Kansas City area and a long history of being a student, teacher, and conductor in that area.

Carter has gained success with university ensembles, amateur choral groups, show choirs, volunteer church choirs, and festival choruses alike. His performance experience and training ranges through nearly 1000 years of the Western musical tradition, with performing and educational endeavors taking him to the continents of Asia, South America, and Europe, in addition to the continental United States.

He is Music Director and Composer for Circus Harmony in Saint Louis, and Chorus Director for Variety Children's Charity of Saint Louis.

As a choral conductor, Carter was Artistic Director of the Gateway Men's Chorus of Saint Louis for three seasons through 2011. He led the chorus in artistic renewal, audience and budget growth, and a stronger place in the community. Two CD recordings from Dr. Carter's tenure - I want to fly and Love Changes Everything - are available in iTunes.

Carter was Resident Music Director for New Line Theatre in Saint Louis (2014-2017). He won the Saint Louis Theatre Critics Circle 2015 award as Best Musical Director for his New Line work on Bonnie & Clyde. The Riverfront Times named Carter as Best Musical Director for his recent theatrical endeavors in their "Best of" Awards 2015. He was nominated by the Theatre Critics Circle again in 2016 as Best Musical Director. Recent shows include The Sweet Smell of Success and The Threepenny Opera. Carter led musical preparation for 2016 shows at The Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis, and at New Jewish Theatre. He is program director for the new Bachelor of Music degree in Music Direction for Musical Theatre.

Carter led Ball State University Singers from 2000 until 2008, during which time the group performed on both US coasts and released a new CD recording. Ball State University Singers toured throughout the People's Republic of China in May 2005, garnering rave reviews and standing-room-only audiences at several venues in Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Deyang, and Shanghai. He led the Missouri All-State Show Choir in July 2006, the Alabama All-State Show Choir in January 2007, and the Alabama All-State Men's Choir in March 2008.

Carter's previous choral directorships include the Jacomo Chorale, a community chorus based in Blue Springs, Missouri. During his decade as Musical Director and Conductor, he led that group to substantial successes in audience growth and annual fund contributions. Carter rejuvenated the University of Kansas Men's Glee Club, and brought renewed vigor to the flagship Chamber Choir at Ball State University. Carter has served as choirmaster and organist for several Episcopal churches as well, including parishes in Muncie, Indiana; Anderson, Indiana; and Blue Springs, Missouri, among other professional church appointments. He has led all-district festival choirs in Indiana, Missouri, and Alaska. Choirs under his direction have appeared in performance in Alaska, California, Virginia, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Washington, D.C. His choirs have appeared on three different state and divisional choral conventions.

From 2005–2010, Dr. Carter was the national chairman of the Youth and Student Activities Repertoire and Standards Committee for the American Choral Directors Association. He also served until 2012 on the board of the Conductors Guild, Inc. Carter was Artistic Director for the 2010 Saint Louis International Choral Festival. Carter is the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus for the University of Central Missouri Department of Music, and a 2014 inductee into the Lee's Summit High School Hall of Fame. He is President of the Missouri Association of Departments and Schools of Music.

In May 2006 he led sixteen Ball State students on a three-week East Asia Studies Program immersion experience to China, having previously served at Shanghai Normal University in November 2005 as visiting professor. Dr. Carter was a founding board member of the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, Inc. He was a recipient of a Webster University research grant for 2012-13, with a focus on creating a performing edition of excerpts from American operetta of 1910s and 1920s; and a 2016-17 research grant to create and record settings of Brian Andreas' poetry. Further research projects include an oral history of Herbert Howells, discussions with musical theatre artists on singing for the stage, and a brief book on vocal exercises and etudes. Dr. Carter received the Wilma and Roswell Messing, Jr. Faculty Award in 2018 in support of curriculum and program development in Vienna.

Under Dr. Carter's guidance, the Ball State University ACDA chapter was named the 2005 Collegiate Chapter of the Year by the national ACDA organization. Previous activities while at Ball State include adjudication and master class teaching at the 21 Century International Choral Festival in Malaysia (2003), service as overall program chair of the Central Division ACDA convention (2004), leadership of a week-long composer residency program at Ball State University featuring American composer Gwyneth Walker (2003), and leadership of a conductor residency featuring Simon Carrington at Ball State (2004). In April 2005, Dr. Carter was named Ball State University's Outstanding Organization Advisor for the academic year, in recognition of his work with the student ACDA Chapter.

Prior to the year 2000, Carter's previous academic engagements include Kentucky Wesleyan College, the University of Kansas, Graceland University in Iowa, the University of Central Missouri, the Metropolitan Community Colleges in Kansas City, and Music/Arts Institute, a community school for the arts in Independence, Missouri. In addition to university teaching duties, Dr. Carter continues a schedule of clinics, adjudications, and workshops throughout the country, and teaches private voice lessons through his own studio. He regularly leads students in field-study experiences, most recently to Italy, Germany, France, Greece, and the Czech Republic.

A recipient of the inaugural Opus Award from the Missouri Choral Directors Association for his composition "Phos Hilaron," Dr. Carter is an active composer, with recent commissions from choirs from Kansas City to New York City. His "Storypeople Songs" for voice and piano premiered in 2015. In addition to many other organizations, he is a member of the Vaughan Williams Society, the Herbert Howells Society, and the Edward Elgar Society - all reminders of Dr. Carter's interest in British choral music.

He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Kansas, and the Master of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Central Missouri. His professional debut in 1989 was as a singer with the Kansas City Lyric Opera; as a conductor; in 1990 with the Jacomo Chorale. Dr. Carter participated in a month-long exchange program to Brazil in 2001. He is listed in the 2005 edition of Who's Who in Education, the 2006 Who's Who in America, the 2007 Who's Who in the World, and the 2009 and 2015 editions of Who's Who in America. Dr. Carter is especially proud that his students have held and continue to hold in prominent positions in such various places as the male ensemble Chanticleer, on Broadway and in national tours, and on various college and university faculties.

WEBSTER TODAY articles

Connect with Dr. Carter
Listen to Dr. Carter's interview about musical direction for musical theatre.
Watch the Gateway Men's Chorus under Dr. Carter's direction.
Watch Dr. Carter conduct the Ball State University Chamber Choir.
Listen to the premiere performance of Dr. Carter's Where Angels Sing.
Listen to Dr. Carter lead a performance of There Will Be Rest by Frank Ticheli.
Watch Dr. Carter conduct the Alabama All-State Men's Choir in 2008.
Listen to Dr. Carter (baritone) and David White (tenor) sing Lily's Eyes.

Carla Colletti, Ph.D.

Carla Colletti, Ph.D.

Chair and Associate Professor, Director of Music Theory

Chair and Associate Professor
Director of Music Theory
Music theory, musicianship

Dr. Carla R. Colletti is Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, and Director of Music Theory at Webster University in Saint Louis. As an educator and scholar, Dr. Colletti’s interests focus on the scholarship of teaching and learning and how to empower students to own their education, both in the classroom and outside of it. Current projects include teaching students to ask better questions, emphasizing growth mindset characteristics and goal setting in the music theory classroom, and assessing student learning in meaningful ways. She has shared her research at local, regional, and national conferences including the Association of American Colleges and Universities General Education and Assessment Conference. Her work is also available in Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy and Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy.

Dr. Colletti’s additional research interests include the music of Francis Poulenc; connections between music, literature, and art; film music; and nineteenth-century chromaticism. Her dissertation, An Interdisciplinary Approach to Selected Works by Francis Poulenc, explores how methods of inquiry derived from surrealism are applicable to three works by Francis Poulenc. She also served as Assistant Editor for The Cambridge Verdi Encyclopedia, published in 2014.

Dr. Colletti also remains active as an oboist, and she has performed with a variety of ensembles in the St. Louis area and beyond. Outside of music, she enjoys exercising, spending time with her family, and watching Masterpiece Mystery on PBS.

Dr. Colletti holds a Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Iowa, an M.A. in Music Performance and Composition from Western Illinois University, and a B.M. in Music Performance from Millikin University. Prior to joining the Webster faculty, she was on faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Melissa Coppola

Melissa Coppola

Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano, Director of Keyboard Studies

Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano
Director of Keyboard Studies
Piano, piano pedagogy

Melissa Lee Coppola (she/they) is a queer, biracial Asian-American pianist, educator, and arts leader with a passion for cultivating community and collaboration. An experienced pedagogue, she has taught group piano classes and applied lessons at the University of Michigan, Detroit Institute of Music Education, Metropolitan State University, Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts, and Piano School of New York.

Melissa leads a versatile career as a soloist, collaborative musician, multi-instrumentalist, and interdisciplinary artist, and is passionate about the synthesis of multimedia and narrative with live performance. She is the recipient of multiple awards and grants for her concert series, [perspective], which re-envisions the traditional piano recital as an immersive, multisensory experience. Her most recent production, Lights in the Sky: a virtual concert inspired by the cosmos, was created in collaboration with the University of Michigan Planetarium & Dome Theater and will be premiered by the U-M Museum of Natural History in Summer 2021.

Coppola’s DMA dissertation, Young People’s Perspective: Exploring Experiential Benefits of Interdisciplinary Performance for Adolescent Pianists, focuses on researching innovative ways of conducting group piano classes by fostering cross-modal understanding of music and involving students directly in the concert planning process. In this effort, she hopes to help develop students' artistic identity and creative individuality on stage. Her research is sponsored by a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards granted by U-M Rackham Graduate School. Melissa has presented at conferences hosted by the International Society of Music Education (ISME), College Music Society (CMS), the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) at the collegiate, state, national, and international levels.

An experienced arts administrator, Coppola is a Co-founder and former Executive Director of Girls Rock Detroit, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering creative expression, positive self-esteem, and community awareness for girls, women, gender expansive, and transgender people through music education and performance. She is currently a member of the Nominating Committee of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance and has traveled around the country to volunteer as a teacher and band coach at camps in Chicago, Iowa City, and Durham, NC. Melissa is committed to supporting young musicians in finding their unique career paths. At the University of Michigan, she mentored music, theatre, and dance students in her role as a Program Assistant for five years at the Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Career Empowerment, & Leadership (EXCEL) Lab.

Additionally, a self-taught drummer and singer, Melissa is half of the rock duo Junglefowl. Her songs with the band have been licensed for sync placements in various commercials and campaigns. Most notably, in March 2021, Junglefowl’s song Frontline was placed in the Take a Stand Against Hate campaign by video-streaming service Hulu, which prompted a call to action against anti-AAPI racism.

Melissa received her MM in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan and her BM in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Currently a DMA candidate in Piano Pedagogy & Performance at the University of Michigan, she will defend her dissertation in August 2021. Her teachers include Logan Skelton, Jeffrey Cohen, Kenneth Cooper, and John Ellis.

www.melissacoppola.com
www.girlsrockdetroit.org

Paul Davis

Paul Davis, D.M.A.

Associate Professor of Music, Director of Instrumental Studies

Associate Professor of Music
Director of Instrumental Studies
Conducting, music literature, instrumental studies

Paul G. Davis comes to the podium with an extensive professional background that spans both the classical and jazz idioms in conducting, performance and teaching.

As a conductor and clinician, his musical activities have taken him throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, including numerous Regional and All-State concerts and a highly acclaimed concert with the Grand Orchestre d'Harmonie des Guides of Brussels, Belgium. Dr. Davis holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Texas at Austin.

Prior to his appointment at Webster, Dr. Davis served as a member of the conducting faculties at the University of Alabama School of Music, the Petrie School of Music at Converse College in South Carolina, Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia and at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He has conducted celebrated performances of the Huxford Symphony Orchestra, OperAlaBama, the Alabama Wind Ensemble and the Alabama Chamber Winds, as well as being Founder and Music Director of the Rhodes Chamber Players in Memphis.

As a supporter of new music, he led a commissioning project to produce Donald Grantham's From "An Alabama Songbook," and recently collaborated with Ballet Memphis in a full stage production of Michael Whalen's Shadows of October. His diverse experience as a performer ranges from appearances with the Memphis Symphony to the Amy Grant NBC Christmas telecast and includes the Spokane Symphony Orchestra and the Montana Summer Symphony.

In his capacity as conductor and performer, he has worked with such artists as Awadagin Pratt, Sandra Wolf-Meei Cameron, Byron Stripling, Kevin Mahogany, Bob Mintzer of the Yellowjackets, Doc Severinsen, Maynard Ferguson and Ernie Watts. Other conducting activities include work with Fred Mills of the Canadian Brass, the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Empire Brass and the Monarch Brass.

Dr. Davis also serves as conductor of the Forte Chamber Orchestra of St. Louis. He will be conductor of the 2019 St. Louis Metro 8 Orchestra, and the 2021 Florida All-State Orchestra.

Paul DeMarinis

Paul DeMarinis, M.M.

Professor of Music, Director of Jazz Studies

Professor of Music
Director of Jazz Studies
Jazz studies, jazz performance, saxophone

Paul DeMarinis is a native of St. Louis. His early musical training included private study as a clarinetist with St. Louis Symphony members Carlos Camancho, Robert Coleman, and Leland Munger. He then attended Indiana University and studied jazz improvisation extensively with the well known jazz education pioneer David Baker while playing lead alto saxophone in the IU big band. During this time he also studied improvisation with famed saxophonist/educator Jamey Aebersold. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Jazz Studies from Webster University in 1982 and 1987.

He began teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Webster in 1980. By 1988 he was the full-time Director of the Jazz Studies Program, a position he still holds. At Webster he teaches saxophone, jazz improvisation and jazz history, oversees the ensemble and academic jazz program, coordinates the faculty jazz ensemble, and directs the Webster Jazz Series and the Webster Summer Jazz Camp.

He is a well known performer, educator, and clinician and has been active in the St. Louis jazz scene for thirty-five years. He was cofounder of the original music cooperative Brilliant Corners which recorded for the MAX JAZZ label in 1997, and has written extensively for his own trio, quartet, and sextet. A CD of his original jazz compositions, The Sun...The Stars featuring his sextet and vocalist Debby Lennon was released in 2009. He enjoys long term musical relationships with the Kim Portnoy Jazz Orchestra and the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra and was a faculty member of Jamey Aebersold's Summer Jazz Workshops for ten years. He has also been a faculty member of the International Summer Jazz Academy in Poland.

Prof. DeMarinis has a long association as a saxophonist with the St. Louis Symphony; in addition to many performances at Powell Hall he has performed with the SLSO overseas and at New York's Carnegie Hall. He has performed with many jazz notables including Count Basie Orchestra, Dave Liebman, Louie Bellson, Gary Foster, and Bobby Shew. In a supportive role he has been a member of ensembles accompanying a wide range of popular artists including Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Nancy Wilson, Doc Severinson, Johnny Mathis, Sammy Davis Jr., Gladys Knight, the Temptations, and the Four Tops.

Listen to Paul's music, from the 2009 CD release The Sun . . . The Stars (words and music by Paul DeMarinis): Hope

Martha J. Hart

Martha J. Hart, M.M.

Professor of Voice, Director of Vocal Studies

Professor of Voice
Director of Vocal Studies
Voice, vocal pedagogy

Warmth, richness and clarity of tone coupled with sincere, expressive communication of text distinguish the artistry of mezzo-soprano Martha J. Hart. Known for her stylistic interpretation of music spanning the Baroque to contemporary, Ms. Hart has sung to critical acclaim throughout North America and France. Highly regarded for her performances of oratorio, art song and chamber music, Martha has sung with the symphony orchestras of Montreal, Atlanta, Lansing, Phoenix, Grand Rapids, Omaha and St. Louis, the Florida Orchestra, the Orchestra at Temple Square and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. Conductors with whom Ms. Hart has worked include Helmuth Rilling, Simon Preston, Craig Jessop, and the late Robert Shaw. With Mr. Shaw she performed Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Mozart's Requiem, Berlioz' L'enfance du Christ, and Copland's In the Beginning. She recorded solos of the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers and is a featured soloist on Schubert Songs for Male Chorus with the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, both on the Telarc label. Other recordings include music of Charles Ives with the St. Olaf Choir, Linn Records, and a solo CD with pianist J.J. Penna titled Summer Journey: Songs of Darius Milhaud. In March of 2005, she made her solo debut performance at New York's Carnegie Hall singing the Duruflé Requiem and returned in 2017 to sing the Schubert Mass in A-flat major.

As a recitalist, Ms. Hart is known for her imaginative programs combining poetry reading and art song around a central theme. As one critic writes: "The program was charming, touching, and engaging, both in content and presentation." A versatile singer, Martha was part of the ensemble Three for the Road, a trio dedicated to the performance of American popular music from the 1930s and '40s. She continues to sing solo programs from the Great American Songbook.

In addition to her performance credits, Martha is a respected vocal pedagogue and is invited to present masterclasses at colleges and universities. She has served on the faculties of Graceland University, The Ohio State University and the Bay View Music Festival and is currently Professor of Voice and Director of Vocal Studies at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Stuart Chapman Hill

Stuart Chapman Hill, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Music Education

Assistant Professor of Music
Director of Music Education
Choral music education

Stuart Chapman Hill, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Music Education at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he teaches courses in music education and conducts the treble-voice ensemble, Aurelia.

Prior to joining the Webster faculty, he completed his doctoral studies at Michigan State University, where he studied music education and choral conducting and taught courses in music education foundations and songwriting. While at Michigan State, he received the Excellence-in-Teaching Citation, a university-wide award given annually to six graduate students in recognition of their work in the undergraduate classroom. In his dissertation, he employed ethnographic techniques to examine the teaching and learning practices of professional songwriters in Nashville, TN, with the intent of informing the classroom practice of music educators who teach songwriting in formal settings. His other scholarly interests include music teacher identity and music education philosophy. His scholarship appears in the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Philosophy of Music Education Review, and Research Studies in Music Education. Dr. Hill holds Master of Education and Bachelor of Music degrees from Vanderbilt University. Before to returning to graduate school, he taught middle school chorus in Greensboro, North Carolina, and he continues to interact with high school students each summer through his work as a member of the choral music faculty of the Governor's School of North Carolina (East campus).

Dr. Hill also serves as Artistic Director of CHARIS, the St. Louis Women's Chorus and maintains an active schedule as a choral composer and conductor. His choral compositions are published by Hinshaw Music and G. Schirmer. Recent guest conducting engagements include the North Carolina Middle School All State Chorus in Greensboro, NC; the New York State School Music Association Zone 2 All State in Batavia, NY; and the Middle East South Asia Conference Senior Arts Festival in New Delhi, India.

WEBSTER TODAY articles

Jacob Lassetter

Jacob Lassetter, D.M.A.

Professor and Associate Chair for Recruiting and Events Management, Director of Opera Studio

Professor and Associate Chair for Recruiting and Events Management
Director of Opera Studio
Voice

With his powerful voice and commanding stage presence, baritone Jacob Lassetter enjoys an exciting and vibrant career on both the operatic and concert stage. Critics have praised his dignified characterizations, his soaring high range, and his deep, rich tone quality. His voice students frequently attend prestigious graduate schools such as the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Michigan, the University of North Texas, Boston University, and the University of Minnesota. His students have become apprentice artists at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Bach Society of Saint Louis, have sung small roles and chorus at Cincinnati Opera, Union Avenue Opera, Winter Opera Saint Louis, and Mill City Opera, and have sung in various theatre productions on Broadway, in national tours, and at regional theatres.

In June 2021 Dr. Lassetter makes his company and role debut as Scarpia in Tosca with Marble City Opera. Later in 2021 Dr. Lassetter makes another company debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Painted Sky Opera, and sings a solo recital of British composers (date TBA.) He will return to Painted Sky Opera in 2022 to sing his first Tonio in I pagliacci. Earlier in the 2020–2021 season he sang benefit concerts for both Winter Opera Saint Louis and Union Avenue Opera. Dr. Lassetter was scheduled to make his role and company debut as the title role in Der fliegende Holländer with Mid Ohio Opera, as well as a return to Italy for performances of the title role in Elijah, as soloist for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, and various other concerts. These engagements were all unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19.

In the 2019–2020 season Dr. Lassetter sang Sonora in La fanciulla del West with Winter Opera Saint Louis, and both Schubert’s Winterreise and Argento’s The Andrée Expedition in recital. In the 2018–2019 season he sang Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus with Winter Opera Saint Louis, Carmina Burana with the Washington University Symphony Orchestra, Verdi’s Requiem and A Symphony of Toys with The Missouri Symphony, Dick Deadeye in H.M.S. Pinafore and Il Gran Sacerdote in Nabucco with Union Avenue Opera, and a series of three recitals with St. Louis Art Song.

Opera audiences have recently seen Dr. Lassetter as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Annapolis Opera, Wolfram in Tannhäuser with Apotheosis Opera (New York City,) Peter in Hänsel und Gretel with Union Avenue Opera, and Rodrigo in the world premiere of Borgia Infami with Winter Opera Saint Louis. Concert performances include Schubert’s Mass in A-Flat at Carnegie Hall, Mendelssohn’s Elijah in Robbiate, Italy, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Bach Chamber Players of Saint Paul, Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Rochester Choral Arts Ensemble, and a recital on the Shepley Concert Series at Christ Church Cathedral (Saint Louis.)

Dr. Lassetter’s additional operatic credits include Germont in La traviata (including his Italian debut in Castelfranco Veneto,) Michele in Il tabarro, the title roles in Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Horace Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, and Griswold in Argento’s The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe. Other concert credits include Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Bach’s St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion. He has earned critical acclaim for Orff’s Carmina Burana, including a performance at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, where he also sang Fauré’s Requiem. A frequent recitalist, he made his debut at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 2008 alongside his wife, soprano Karen Kanakis.

A recent Finalist in the National Opera Association Vocal Competition, Dr. Lassetter has been a Semi-finalist in the Marguerite McCammon Voice Competition, a Regional Finalist in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award Competition, and received the Encouragement Award from the Southern Ohio District of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He is an alumnus of the Young Artist Programs of Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Utah Festival Opera.

Dr. Lassetter holds a Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, from Louisiana State University, the Master of Music degree from The University of North Texas, and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has served on the faculties of Luther College, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, The University of North Texas, Lutheran Summer Music, and the Bassi Brugnatelli International Conducting and Singing Symposium. He currently serves as Associate Professor of Voice and Director of Opera Studio at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Trent Patterson

Trent Patterson, D.M.A.

Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral Studies

Associate Professor of Music
Director of Choral Studies
Conducting, music literature, choral studies, music education

Dr. Trent Patterson is an active conductor, choral clinician, adjudicator, and presenter. Under his leadership, choral ensembles have been selected by jury for the Missouri Music Educators Association conference, Southwestern American Choral Directors Association conference, and most recently as one of ten choirs for the National Collegiate Choral Association conference.

Creative projects include Beginnings, a CD of live concert performances and How to Make a Good Choir Sound Great, a choral pedagogy DVD featuring two university ensembles he conducts. Patterson has prepared choruses for collaborations with the Boston Camerata, Josh Groban, Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Patterson is passionate about training the next generation of conductors and ensemble singers. His former students have received notable recognition, including an ensemble director position with The St. Louis Children's Choirs, first place in the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association undergraduate conducting competition, and an assistant conductor appointment with the Bach Society of Saint Louis.

Dr. Patterson holds the B.M.E. in Choral Music Education from The Florida State University, the M.A. in Choral Conducting from San José State University, and the D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University. For the past decade, he has happily served as Director of Choral Studies at Webster University where he has built a vibrant program of three choirs and more than 100 student singers. Recordings of Webster University's Aurelia, Chamber Singers, and Chorale may be found on the Webster University Choral Ensembles YouTube channel.

Matt Pickart

Matt Pickart, M.M.

Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Chamber Music

Assistant Professor of Music
Director of Chamber Music
Strings, improvisation, music entrepreneurship

Matt Pickart, director and co-founder of Clazz International Music Festival, holds a varied career as a violinist, violist, and pedagogue in multiple styles. He has the distinct honor and privilege of having been able to perform at both Jazz at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Music Hall's Weill Recital Hall. Other career highlights include performances with The Who, Barry Manilow on tour, Bernadette Peters, the Vogues, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the Beatles Love Album Tribute Tour, Premier Swingtett at the B-flat in Berlin, Ritmo Flamenco in Toronto, and the Swingadje Ensemble as featured soloist on three German tours 2013-2015. His recordings have been broadcast on Milwaukee's WMSE, Pittsburgh's WQED, Lansing's WKAR, and National Russian Radio. In 2018 he was named an honorary artist of the Global Music Partnership.

As a soloist, he has appeared with orchestras in the USA, Italy, and the Netherlands. During the 2018-2019 season, he opened Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra's 65th Season as guest soloist for the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto; performed Dittersdorf's Sinfonia Concertante for Double Bass and Viola with Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra's principal bassist Erik Harris and the Webster University Orchestra; made his conducting debut while performing Telemann Viola Concerto with the Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra; and performed alongside Grammy-nominated jazz violin wizard Jeremy Cohen, in the premiere of his piece Arcidosso Blues in Arcidosso, Italy. The upcoming year holds concerto appearances in Saint Louis and Toronto.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Pickart studied with members of the Pro Arte Quartet, the Verdehr Trio, and the Fine Arts Quartet. He currently performs as violist of the Clazz String Quartet and as violinist and violist in the Beloit Duo. He has performed as a guest with Grammy nominated Quartet San Francisco, Chamber Project Saint Louis, Pittsburgh Classical Revolution, and in collaboration with members of the Saint Louis and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. He has been featured in chamber music programs at Cremona Summer Music Festival, Tennessee Governor School for the Arts, Lansing Symphony Chamber Music Series, Absolute Chamber Series, Renova Music Festival, and the Interharmony International Music Festival. This year he will give two recitals as part of Webster University Signature Series: Vieuxtemps: A Life in Music with pianist Daniel Schene, and a Retrospective of E.C. Schirmer Publishing with pianist Mieko Hironaka Bergt; as well as several other collaborative performances at Webster University. In the spring of 2020, he will join the Esterhazy Quartet as a guest violist in performances of Beethoven's String Quintet in C major at the University of Missouri and Webster University, in celebration of his 250th year.

Pickart has performed with many orchestras as a leader, including as concertmaster of Pittsburgh Philharmonic and principal viola of the International Chamber Soloists. As a student he was concertmaster and or principal violist at all three of his alma maters: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Duquesne University, and Michigan State University. In 2013, he performed as principal violist of the Shirley Givens Alumni Orchestra at Julliard's Paul Hall.

As a section player, he has played with premiere ensembles, including the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. In addition to classical music, Pickart has performed and recorded in multiple genres including jazz, blues, bluegrass, choro, mariachi, punk, folk, rock, tango, hip hop, flamenco, country, indie rock, and celtic. He believes that it's important for all musicians to be diverse and to know how to improvise and navigate in different styles of music. Outside of his classical playing, he is most at home with jazz though. He was the violinist and vocalist of the Hot Club of Pittsburgh and a founding member of the Pittsburgh classical/jazz project, the Groove Aesthetic and genre-bending group, the Matt Murchison Mutiny. He has also been critically acclaimed for his performances throughout Germany with the Swingadje Ensemble and the Premier Swingtett. In 2013, Mr. Pickart was a featured artist at Jazzstadt Stuttgart. He has also participated in several masterclasses and performances with some of the greatest jazz string players of our time. In the Spring 2020, he will premiere his new group, the Hot Club of Webster.

In 2016, Mr. Pickart created the Clazz International Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy, as an opportunity for classically trained musicians to learn how to improvise through the context of jazz. Now approaching its fifth summer, Clazz has evolved into a fifteen-day summer educational program, integrating classical and jazz music, and incorporating both internationally recognized jazz and classical faculty including Grammy award winners, top crossover artists, soloists, and leading orchestral players. More information can be accessed at: www.clazzmusicfestival.com.

Also active in new music, Mr. Pickart has worked closely with leading composers such as David Stock, Ivette Herryman-Rodriguez, Daniel Perttu, David Werfelmann, Kim Portnoy, and Zhou Tian. In the spring of 2017, he performed as viola soloist for Steven Mackey's 2007 concerto Groundswell with the Michigan State University's new music ensemble, Musique 21.

Mr. Pickart is lucky to count some of the great luminaries of the music world, among his teachers, such as: Sidney Harth (legendary American concertmaster); Yuri Gandelsman (former principal violist of Israel Philharmonic); and Rodney Whitaker (former bassist of Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.) Other former teachers include Walter Verdehr, Charles Stegeman, Tyrone Greive, Eugene Purdue, Alison Jewer, and Tom Moore on violin; and Marylène Gingras-Roy on viola. He has taken additional lessons with Noah Bendix-Balgley, Choong-Jin Chang, Charles Pikler, and Jacques Israelievitch among others; and has played in masterclasses for a wide variety of artists including Midori, Joan Tower, and Christian Howes. Mr. Pickart is Assistant Professor of Music at Webster University in Saint Louis, where he teaches violin, viola, improvisation, and music entrepreneurship. He also serves on faculty of the Webster University Community Music School. During the summers, Pickart is busy teaching at University of Wisconsin-Madison's Summer Music Clinic, Webster University Community Music School Chamber Music Encounter, Missouri Chamber Music Festival Pro-Am Intensive, as well as his own Clazz International Music Festival.

Prior to coming to Webster University, he served on the faculty of Beloit College, Michigan State University Community Music School, and Duquesne University's City Music Center, among numerous other programs. As a testament to Professor Pickart's pedagogy, several of his former students, have entered the profession, teaching and playing. For further information please go to www.mattpickart.com

WEBSTER TODAY articles

Kim Portnoy

Kim Portnoy, M.A.

Associate Professor of Music, Director of Composition

Associate Professor of Music
Director of Composition
Composition, orchestration, jazz studies

Kim Portnoy received the Bachelor's and Masters degrees in Composition from Washington University.

Professor Portnoy teaches classes in jazz theory, composition, and orchestration. He performs with the Webster Faculty Jazz Ensemble and frequently as a pianist with his own trio and big band.

He is recognized as a versatile composer in classical and jazz idioms. He has received commissions from numerous institutions, including the Arts & Education Council, the McDonnell Planetarium, Temple Emanuel, the Parkway School District, Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Missouri Arts Council. The St. Louis Children's Choirs, The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Space Coast Philharmonic, and others have performed his compositions and arrangements. His composition, most this amazing day, ten songs on texts by e. e. cummings was performed by the Webster Jazz Singers at the 2000 International Association of Jazz Educators Convention in New Orleans. The Webster University Symphony Orchestra recently premiered Bluework, a concerto for piano and orchestra with pianist Carolbeth True as soloist.

Professor Portnoy has also appeared on recordings including “The Keys to the City” by Jay Hungerford and “All in Good Time” with Asa Harris. One of Portnoy's songs, sitting in a tree, can be heard on singer Christine Hitt's album You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To. The album Wash Away the Dust of Everyday Life, released in 1998, features the Kim Portnoy Jazz Orchestra performing his works.

A compact disc recorded by Portnoy's trio, Brand New Day, was issued in 2004.

David Werfelmann

David Werfelmann, D.M.A.

Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Curriculum and Assessment, Director of Bachelor of Arts in Music

Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Curriculum and Assessment
Director of Bachelor of Arts in Music
Music theory, music composition

David Werfelmann is an award-winning American composer of instrumental, vocal, and electronic music whose works are widely performed and recorded by ensembles and soloists throughout the United States. His orchestral music has been performed by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra as well as the major orchestras of the USC Thornton School of Music, IU Jacobs School of Music, and the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. David’s Arclight Alley, commissioned and premiered by the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, has also been performed by the wind ensembles of USC Thornton School of Music, CSU Stanislaus, and the SCSBOA Honors Band. Among the many saxophone quartets that perform his work Hypercolor are the Zzyzx, Red Rock, Lawrence University, and Georgia Southern University Quartets, as well as the Fischoff Award-winning Barkada Saxophone Quartet.

David’s music is heard frequently at conferences, festivals, and recitals around the United States and Europe, including the NOW HEAR Festival, NACUSA and SCI conferences, North American Saxophone Alliance conferences, the Society of Electroacoustic Music in the United States convention, the CSU Fullerton New Music Festival, the Berkeley Arts Festival, the Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, the Los Angeles Composers Project, the Zeltsman Marimba Festival, the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, and at concerts in Bologna and Ravenna, Italy. Among the many honors David’s works have received, his orchestral work The Mad Machine won the BMI Student Composer Award in 2011.

David has received commissions from the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association, saxophonists Kim Reese, Sara Kind, Andrew Harrison, and Alex Sellers, pianist Rafael Liebich, Slipstream, the HOCKET piano duo, the Hear Now Ensemble, and recently a consortium of college wind ensembles in the US. David’s works have been professionally recorded by the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, the Now Hear Ensemble, the Barkada Quartet, and Slipstream. Additionally, his works have been broadcasted by the public radio stations of Los Angeles (KUSC), Wisconsin (WPR), and New York (WCNY), and by the online radio station Kinetics Radio.

Originally, from Portland, Oregon, David has received degrees from USC (DMA), Indiana University (MM), and Lawrence University (BM). In addition to writing music, David is a percussionist and committed educator having held teaching positions at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and USC Thornton School of Music. David is currently Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the B.A. in Music Program at Webster University in St. Louis.

Links to performances and scores of Dr. Werfelmann

Suite à l'antique for solo piano
Suite à l'antique score

Hypercolor for saxophone quartet
Hypercolor score

WEBSTER TODAY articles

Faculty by Discipline

Kim Portnoy
Associate Professor and Director of Composition

David Werfelmann
Associate Professor and Director of Bachelor of Arts in Music

Melissa Bishop, songwriting
Adjunct Professor of Music Theory

Melissa Bishop received a 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.

Erin Bode, songwriting

Paul G. Davis
Associate Professor and Director of Instrumental Studies

Trent Patterson
Associate Professor and Director of Choral Studies

Stuart Chapman Hill
Assistant Professor and Director of Music Education

Duane Bridges, New Music Ensemble
Adjunct Professor of Music Composition

Duane Bridges is an adjunct professor of music at Webster University where he directs the New Music Ensemble. He is also the director of the instrumental program at Nerinx Hall High School in St. Louis where, in addition to directing the orchestra, he teaches courses in music theory, music composition, and humanities. From 2014-2016 he worked as coordinator, director and coach for Alarm Will Sound's Music Today program with the Community Music School of Webster University. For over 25 years he has been organist and music director at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Glen Carbon, Illinois.

He holds a BM and MM in Music Composition from Webster University. He has composed music in a variety of idioms, including instrumental and vocal music, experimental music, electronic music, ambient music, film scores, and much more. He is a frequent performer of his own music. His music is equally at home in the concert hall or art gallery as it is in the garden. Recent performances and works have utilized plants as collaborators in musical creation. This work was featured in St. Louis Magazinein 2017. Recent works, including Plant Music, Three Songs from The Imaginary World, Lasst Uns Erfreuen, and Four Sound Poems for Synthesizer Quartet have been performed at Flood Plain Gallery, Granite City Art and Design District, Gaslight Studio, and at Webster University. Duane also maintains a small record label, Dulad Music Curators, specializing in recordings of his own compositions in addition to other musical projects.

Jacob Lassetter
Professor and Director of Opera Studio

Debby Lennon, Webster Jazz Singers
Adjunct Professor of Voice

A member of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus for 32 seasons, Debby Lennon made her solo debut with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in the 1992 Carnegie Hall premiere of William Bolcom's "Songs of Innocence and Experience." The Boston Globe called her "brassily irresistible." From 1992-1999, she recorded and performed with the nationally known a cappella group, Pieces of 8, of which she was a founding member.

Lennon is active in the St. Louis opera scene having performed in Winter Opera's 2012 production of La Boheme, and with Union Avenue Opera (UAO) in their productions of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera and Puccini's Madama Butterfly. She played Annina in La Traviata and Giovanna in Rigoletto, directed by Tim Ocel, and Mrs. Mullen in Carousel, directed by Ken Page at UAO. She made her Opera Theatre of Saint Louis debut in the ensemble of Dialogues of the Carmelites.

She has been a featured soloist in performances of Mendelsohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream Vaughan Williams "Serenade to Music," "A July 4th Patriotic Celebration under the Gateway Arch" and " Disney Goes To The Movies, The Last 20 Years" with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Lennon has performed several seasons at The Muny and most recently was a part of the 100th season, playing the role of Dora Baily in Singing In The Rain. She starred in Max and Louie's critically acclaimed 2016 production of Grey Gardens and won the Judy Award and Broadway World Award (St. Louis Division).  She won back-to-back St. Louis Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Musical in 2016 for Grey Gardens and for Best Actress in a Comedy in 2017 for her portral of Florence Foster Jenkins in Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins. Most recently, she was seen in Max & Louie's one-woman show, Love, Linda, The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter, directed by Ken Page. 

Lennon has performed with Stages St. Louis and Insight Theater Company, as well as performances in Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Powell Symphony Hall. She has been a featured soloist on many concert series events and recitals at The Sheldon, The Pulitzer, The Touhill, Jazz at the Bistro, Finale Music and Dining, and The Old Webster Jazz and Blues Festival. Her solo CD, "I'm All Smiles" was released in November 2005 to sold-out audiences at Finale Music and Dining. Lennon is celebrating her 20th year as adjunct voice professor and director of the vocal jazz program and the Webster University Jazz Singers at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. she also serves at St. Joseph's Academy as vocal coach and maintains a private voice studio.

John McClellan, Guitar Ensemble
Adjunct Professor of Guitar

John McClellan is director of the classical guitar program at Webster University and Coordinator of Guitar Studies for the Community Music School of Webster University. In addition, he serves on the boards of Mel Bay Publications and the St. Louis Symphony, and is executive director of the St. Louis Guitar Consortium, Inc. He published a volume on the guitar technique of Chet Atkins, published by Mel Bay, Inc, with a DVD/CD on Atkins that was issued in 2005.

McClellan received a Master of Music degree at the St. Louis Conservatory of Music. Further studies followed at Yale University with guitarist Benjamin Verdery, Brazilian cellist Aldo Parisot, and with Bach scholar and harpsichordist Anthony Newman. McClellan performed with Luciana Pavarotti during his 1999 World Tour, and has done major tours of the United States and Australia. He has issued several discs as a soloist and as a duo performer with Kirt Hanser.

Eric Ring, Woodwind Chamber Groups
Adjunct Professor of Music Theory and Ensembles

Dr. Ring undertook his undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa, where he graduated with a BA in History and a BM in bassoon performance. His graduate education includes an MA degree in Bassoon Performance from Western Illinois University, and a DMA in Bassoon Performance and Pedagogy (with a Music Theory Pedagogy Minor) from the University of Iowa. His major professors include Ronald Tyree, Douglas Huff, and Benjamin Coelho. Prior to his arrival at Webster, Dr. Ring was the third bassoonist/contrabassoonist with the Cedar Rapids Symphony. He has also performed with the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, and the Nova Singers, and is a former member of the Beaufort Chamber Orchestra and the Parris Island Marine Band.

Dan Smith, Jazz Collective
Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies

Dan Smith hold a Bachelor of Music from the University of Missouri at St. Louis and has done post-graduate work at Indiana University at Bloomington and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Smith has enjoyed an extensive career as a freelance trumpet player. He has played with various artists, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Barry Manilow, Natalie Cole, Manhattan Transfer, Sammy Davis Jr., Rosemary Clooney, and Bernadette Peters, to name but a few. He has also performed at The Fox Theatre, St. Louis Repertory Theatre and The Muny, and toured with with the Glenn Miller and Russ Morgan Orchestras. He has taught privately for the past 20 years, and can be heard playing piano around the St. Louis area.

Willem von Hombracht, Bass Ensemble
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.

Von Hombracht 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 United States and 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.

Stuart Chapman Hill
Assistant Professor and Director of Music Education

Paul G. Davis
Associate Professor and Director of Instrumental Studies

Trent Patterson
Associate Professor and Director of Choral Studies

Erin Elstner, percussion methods
Adjunct Professor of Percussion

Erin Elstner, conductor, is an experienced percussion and drum set instructor who is currently the head of the Webster University percussion department. She teaches with both the Webster University Department of Music and the Community Music Schoool. Erin is the conductor of both the CMS Percussion Ensemble and the Webster University Percussion Ensemble. 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 in Manhattan and Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Taichung School of Arts and Music in Taiwan, The Strike Institute and The Erin Elstner Percussion Studio. Erin is also an active adjudicator and clinician in both Missouri and Illinois and has toured Europe with the Missouri Ambassadors of Music.

As a freelance performer, Ms. Elstner’s numerous performance achievements include playing drums and percussion for the International Women’s Brass Conference, the Joffrey Ballet, Cabaret at the Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Company at the Edison Theater at Washington University, percussion with Peter Cetera of Chicago, the Grateful Dead reunion tour at the Fox Theater, “The True Heart” performance with Glen Velez, the VH-1 Fashion Awards with the group De La Guarda and the "Bright Lights, Broadway" Asian tour. She has been a member of the Brazilian groups The Sambistas and the Sambanditos, the new music ensemble Synchronia, the Swing of Hearts Jazz Orchestra, the Bach Society, and been the percussionist/drummer for blues, rock and pop bands, including vibraphonist for Champale and drummer for Hazmat Modine and RED.  Erin has performed live with artists such as David Garza and Pizzicato Five, and recorded/played on many records including those of Champale, Clem Snide and Kill Henry Sugar.

Michael Karpowicz, woodwind methods
Adjunct Professor of Woodwinds & Chamber Music

Michael 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.

James Martin, brass methods
Adjunct Professor of Low Brass

James Martin received undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Music Education from St. Louis University and the Master of Music in Trombone Performance from the Eastman School of Music, with additional study at the doctoral level. His major professors include John Marcellus, Edward Kleinhammer, Arnold Jacobs, and Jeffrey Reynolds.

Martin is the Director of the Webster Wind Ensemble and Big Band and is a member of the Webster Brass Quintet. He teaches tuba and trombone and courses in brass methods and music literature. He was the bass trombonist with the Buddy Rich Big Band between 1985-87 and with the Orchestra del Maggio Musical of Florence, Italy under Zubin Mehta in 1989 and 1990. Martin has played bass and contrabass trombone as an extra performer with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, including several performances at Carnegie Hall and the 1995 tour of Japan. He has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the Saint Louis Pops Orchestra. He performs regularly at the Fox Theater and the Muny, and is a member of the St. Louis Brass Ensemble.

Heather McKenzie Patterson, vocal music education practicum
Adjunct Professor of Voice

Soprano Heather McKenzie Patterson is one of Saint Louis' respected performing artists and teachers. Since arriving in 2010, she has appeared with a wide range of Saint Louis ensembles, including the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, the Bach Society of Saint Louis, Webster University Symphony Orchestra, The Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis, Christ Church Cathedral Choir and Manchester United Methodist Choirs and Orchestra.

Operatic engagements include Emily in The Ballad of Baby Doe (Winter Opera Saint Louis), Yum-Yum in The Mikado (Saint Louis Beacon), Musetta in La Bohème (Arbor Opera Theater), Frasquita in Carmen (Arbor Opera Theater), and Nella in Gianni Schicchi (Michigan State Opera Theatre). As a 2011 Emerging Artist with Arbor Opera Theater, Ms. Patterson performed scenes in Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna), Der Rosenkavalier (Sophie), Giulio Cesare (Cleopatra), and the title role of Manon.

Ms. Patterson has enjoyed performing works by composers such as Lori Laitman, Juan Orrego-Salas, and the late Lee Hoiby in recital as well as in concert with the chamber orchestra Musique21, conducted by Raphael Jimènez. Ms. Patterson has covered the soprano solos in the Saint Louis Symphony’s performances of Handel’s Messiah as well as performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana, under the baton of Maestro David Robertson. Previous solo engagements include Orff’s Carmina Burana (Webster University); the Fauré Requiem (Manchester United Methodist Choirs and Orchestra), Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem (Webster University Symphony Orchestra; Eastern Michigan University Symphony Orchestra), and Haydn’s "Lord Nelson" Mass (The Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis; Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra).

Ms. Patterson received Bachelor of Arts degrees in music and psychology from Furman University and a Master of Music in vocal performance from Michigan State University, where she studied with soprano Melanie Helton and coached with Marie-France Lefebvre. Ms. Patterson participated in V.O.I.C.Experience: “Sherrill Milnes & Friends,” where she worked with Patricia McCaffrey, Sherrill Milnes, Jorge Parodi and Joachim Schamberger. Ms. Patterson currently studies with Christine Armistead. She has performed in master classes with Sherrill Milnes, Scott Schoonover and Mary Ann Hart and worked extensively with Carol Vaness, Robert Swedberg, Shawn McDonald and George Shirley during her apprenticeship with Arbor Opera Theater.

Ms. Patterson teaches vocal arts to music majors at Webster University. Previously, she served on the music faculties at University of Missouri (Columbia, Mo.), Principia College (Ill.), Haslett High School (Mich.), Grand Ledge High School (Mich.), and Winter Park High School (Fla.). She frequently enjoys leading master classes in high schools and adjudicating various talent competitions. As Owner and Voice Instructor at Saint Louis Vocal Arts Institute, Ms. Patterson is pleased to offer numerous performance and study opportunities for aspiring vocal artists. She regularly presents audition & vocal training workshops and master classes to area music organizations and school districts throughout the Saint Louis region.

Sara Wichard, elementary music education methods
Adjunct Professor of Music Education

Sara Wichard is currently a general music teacher, the elementary music coordinator, and co-chair of the Professional Development Committee in the Webster Groves School District. She teaches students in grades K-5.

Dr. Wichard has been teaching general music for 20 years, in both the Saint Louis and Chicago areas. She received her undergraduate degree from DePaul University, her master's degree from Lindenwood University, and doctoral degree from Maryville University. The focus of her dissertation was applying the philosophy of constructivism to her classrooms to provide for more student voice and choice in the learning that occurs in a general music classroom.

Dr. Wichard co-teaches Elementary Music EducationMethods along with Dr. Stuart Chapman Hill, working to bring Webster University students into the music classroom to learn with and alongside elementary students.

Carla Colletti
Chair and Associate Professor, Director of Music Theory

David Werfelmann
Associate Professor and Director of Bachelor of Arts in Music

Melissa Bishop, theory
Adjunct Professor of Music Theory

Melissa 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.

Leslie Allnatt Mallory, theory and musicianship
Adjunct Professor of Music Theory

Leslie Allnatt Mallory, soprano, has most recently been heard performing in oratorios such as Handel's Messiah, Dubois's Seven Last Words, and Dan Forrest's Requiem for the Living. Other past oratorio credits include Saint-Saens's Christmas Oratorio, Vivaldi's Gloria, and Faure's Requiem. She has also sung the roles of Frasquita in Bizet's Carmen, Barbarina in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, and Mrs. Gleaton in Floyd's Susanna. She is also an experienced teacher, having taught Music History, Music Theory, Voice Lessons, and Vocal Pedagogy and Literature at several universities in the St. Louis area. She continues to teach at Lindenwood University, University of Missouri-St.Louis, and has recently joined the adjunct faculty at Webster University. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Morehead State University, a Master of Music degree from the University of Louisville, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Iowa.

Heather Nehre, history
Adjunct Professor of Music History

Heather Nehre graduated with a BM in piano performance from Wartburg College (Iowa) and completed her graduate work at Washington University in St. Louis. While at Washington University, Nehre was active in student government where she served as co-president of the Graduate Student Senate, the student governing body of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. She was also named the student chair of the National Conference on Graduate Student Leadership, which was held in St. Louis and later presented the findings of this conference at the national meeting of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students.

Nehre's research focuses on American Music of the 19th and early-20th Centuries and includes an in-progress dissertation on the music of Amy Beach.

Matthew Pace, theory and musicianship
Music theory, musicianship

Matt Pace is a composer, performer, and educator deeply rooted in the St. Louis arts community. As co-founder and lead composer for the Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra, his music has accompanied and supported narrative art in historical silent films, theatrical productions, museum installations, and contemporary video since 2006.

Matt has taught musicianship, music theory, and counterpoint as an adjunct at Webster and other local colleges and universities since he received his Ph.D. from Washington University in 2012. As a teacher, Matt prefers a dynamic, interactive classroom where students are encouraged to develop their skills in a constructive environment conducive to the growth of critical skills and lifelong learning patterns.

Eric Ring, theory and musicianship
Adjunct Professor of Music Theory and Ensembles

Dr. Ring undertook his undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa, where he graduated with a BA in History and a BM in bassoon performance. His graduate education includes an MA degree in Bassoon Performance from Western Illinois University, and a DMA in Bassoon Performance and Pedagogy (with a Music Theory Pedagogy Minor) from the University of Iowa. His major professors include Ronald Tyree, Douglas Huff, and Benjamin Coelho. Prior to his arrival at Webster, Dr. Ring was the third bassoonist/contrabassoonist with the Cedar Rapids Symphony. He has also performed with the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, and the Nova Singers, and is a former member of the Beaufort Chamber Orchestra and the Parris Island Marine Band.

Kirsten Santos Rutschman, theory and musicianship
Adjunct Professor, theory and musicianship

Kirsten Santos Rutschman holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in musicology from Duke University; an M.A. in Language and Culture in Europe from Linköping University, Sweden; and a B.A. (with Distinction) in German Studies from Stanford University. Her research on nineteenth-century Swedish music and nationalism has been supported by grants from Fulbright, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and the Lois Roth Endowment, and she has presented her work at local, national and international conferences across the US, the UK, and Scandinavia.

A church organist, choral singer, and Scandinavian fiddler, Dr. Santos Rutschman maintains an active life as a music-maker. In her musicianship classes at Webster, she equips her students to do the same, helping students build solid foundational and advanced skills in music literacy, sensitivity to musical sound, and fluency with musical vocabulary that will serve them well in their careers at Webster and in the wider musical world.

John Thomas, theory and musicianship
Adjunct Professor of Music Theory

John Thomas received the Master of Music in Horn and Music Theory from the University of Missouri–Columbia and the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He is principal horn of the St. Louis Philharmonic; solo tenor horn, St. Louis Brass Band; and a member of the Clarion Brass Quintet, Webster University, and Gateway Festival Orchestra. He has served as a soloist with the Kirkwood Symphony and Musical Diversion Society. His published works include pieces for horn octet, woodwind quintet, brass quintet, and wind ensemble. His Symphony No. 1 was premiered in April 2000 by University City Symphony, with a number of his orchestrations and arrangements also performed by St. Louis Philharmonic and St. Louis Brass Band.

Ben Wheeler, jazz history
Adjunct Professor of Jazz & Music History

Ben Wheeler has been a freelance bass player and teacher for over a decade. Having played in the orchestra and jazz band in high school, Wheeler went on to study classical bass at Truman State University. After his freshmen year, Wheeler joined the group "Swing Cat Swing," a cover band that performed around the St. Louis area during the retro-swing fad of the late 90s. The group performed the theme for Fox 2 News, along with several promotional clips that aired regularly. Wheeler transferred to Webster University to finish his bachelor's degree and study jazz with bassists Jay Hungerford and Dan Eubanks. His undergraduate experience included a trip to Poland to assist with Webster's Summer Jazz Academy in Krakow.

After graduating from Webster University, Wheeler began playing with some of the top jazz musicians in St. Louis. His regular gigs included backing the legendary saxophonists Willie Akins and Dave Stone, along with performing with piano virtuoso Ptah Williams. He was a member of the Jeff Lash Trio which got several positive reviews in the Riverfront Times for their jazz interpretations of rock standards. Wheeler also got the opportunity to perform in other cities with jazz guitarist Corey Christiansen (featuring drummer Danny Gottlieb) and the rock band "Perry Went Home."

An opportunity for a teaching assistantship at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and the chance to study with the spectacular bass player Tom Kennedy prompted Wheeler to go to graduate school. He had taught private lessons, but classroom teaching was a new and exciting prospect. It ended up helping him discover an enjoyable “day job” for a musician and an outlet for sharing his love of music with others.

Wheeler currently teaches at St. Louis Community College, Webster University, Washington University and Jefferson College. He has recently received the Teacher to Teacher award at STLCC-Wildwood, along with a teaching award from the Wildwood Rotary Club. He continues to work as a freelance bass player, recording and performing concerts with vibraphonist Peter Schlamb, saxophonist Paul DeMarinis and many others. Wheeler is also the proud parent of a two year old daughter, Zooey Simone, who is currently enrolled in toddler music class.

Paul G. Davis
Associate Professor and Director of Instrumental Studies

Brass and Percussion

Erin Elstner, percussion
Adjunct Professor of Percussion

Erin Elstner, conductor, is an experienced percussion and drum set instructor who is currently the head of the Webster University percussion department. She teaches with both the Webster University Department of Music and the Community Music Schoool. Erin is the conductor of both the CMS Percussion Ensemble and the Webster University Percussion Ensemble. 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 in Manhattan and Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Taichung School of Arts and Music in Taiwan, The Strike Institute and The Erin Elstner Percussion Studio. Erin is also an active adjudicator and clinician in both Missouri and Illinois and has toured Europe with the Missouri Ambassadors of Music.

As a freelance performer, Ms. Elstner’s numerous performance achievements include playing drums and percussion for the International Women’s Brass Conference, the Joffrey Ballet, Cabaret at the Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Company at the Edison Theater at Washington University, percussion with Peter Cetera of Chicago, the Grateful Dead reunion tour at the Fox Theater, “The True Heart” performance with Glen Velez, the VH-1 Fashion Awards with the group De La Guarda and the "Bright Lights, Broadway" Asian tour. She has been a member of the Brazilian groups The Sambistas and the Sambanditos, the new music ensemble Synchronia, the Swing of Hearts Jazz Orchestra, the Bach Society, and been the percussionist/drummer for blues, rock and pop bands, including vibraphonist for Champale and drummer for Hazmat Modine and RED.  Erin has performed live with artists such as David Garza and Pizzicato Five, and recorded/played on many records including those of Champale, Clem Snide and Kill Henry Sugar.

Tricia Jöestlein, horn
Adjunct Professor of Horn

Tricia Jöstlein is the Adjunct Professor of Horn at Webster University in Saint Louis. She previously held posts as Principal Horn of the Omaha Symphony and the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra, as well as positions with the Honolulu and Richmond Symphony Orchestras. For the past several years, she has performed as Principal Horn of the Heartland Festival Orchestra in Washington, Ill.

Locally, Ms. Jöstlein frequently plays as an extra musician with the St. Louis Symphony. She has also appeared with Chamber Project St. Louis, Winter Opera, the Webster Symphony and Webster Chamber Orchestra, and as a soloist with the Alton Symphony. She has played at the Tanglewood, Sarasota, National Repertory Orchestra, AIMS in Graz, and Pierre Monteoux Music Festivals. For the past 8 summers she and her husband, Thomas, have performed with the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon.

Ms. Jöstlein studied with William VerMeulen at Rice University, earning a Bachelor of Music degree (cum laude), followed by graduate studies at the University of Michigan.

James Martin, low brass
Adjunct Professor of Low Brass

James Martin received undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Music Education from St. Louis University and the Master of Music in Trombone Performance from the Eastman School of Music, with additional study at the doctoral level. His major professors include John Marcellus, Edward Kleinhammer, Arnold Jacobs, and Jeffrey Reynolds.

Martin is the Director of the Webster Wind Ensemble and Big Band and is a member of the Webster Brass Quintet. He teaches tuba and trombone and courses in brass methods and music literature. He was the bass trombonist with the Buddy Rich Big Band between 1985-87 and with the Orchestra del Maggio Musical of Florence, Italy under Zubin Mehta in 1989 and 1990. Martin has played bass and contrabass trombone as an extra performer with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, including several performances at Carnegie Hall and the 1995 tour of Japan. He has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the Saint Louis Pops Orchestra. He performs regularly at the Fox Theater and the Muny, and is a member of the St. Louis Brass Ensemble.

Strings

Matt Pickart
Assistant Professor and Director of Chamber Music

Nicolae Bica, violin
Adjunct Professor of Violin

Born into a family of musicians, Romanian violinist Nicolae Lucian Bica started his violin studies in his native town, Brasov, at the age of six with Ilarion I. Galati. In 1988 he continued his studies at the George Enescu Music High School in Bucharest with Carmen Runceanu and Stefan Gheorgiu.

Bica won first prize in several major youth competitions in Romania. In 1990, he won Fourth Prize at the Kloster Schontal International Violin Competition (Germany), with a special award for performing a virtuoso piece. In 1992, he won the First Prize at the Romania International Violin Competition. He was also awarded a scholarship at the summer music festival in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

During the 1991–92 season, Bica performed extensively as soloist with major orchestras and in solo recitals in Romania. During the 1992–93 academic year he was awarded a scholarship to study with Joseph Fuchs at the Juilliard School of Music.

Bica has been a top prize winner at the 1996 National Society of Arts and Letters Violin Competition, the Boca Symphonic Pops scholarship awards and semifinalist in the 1996 Tunbridge Wells International Young Concert Artist Competition (England). He appeared twice as soloist with the Harid Philarmonia as winner of the Harid Concerto Competition.

During the summers of 1995 and 1996, Bica performed with national orchestras in Romania and Austria, including appearances as soloist with the Romanian National Radio Orchestra, the George Dima Philharmonic in Brasov, and a solo recital organized and hosted by the President of Romania, Ion Iliescu.

After receiving his Bachelor of Music degree and the Professional Studies diploma from the Harid Conservatory, Bica was awarded a scholarship from the Budder Foundation to continue his studies at Webster University under the watchful eyes of the Concertmaster and the Principal Second Violin of the St. Louis Symphony, David Halen and Alison Harney, respectively.

Since the 2001 season, Nicolae Bica has been a full-time member of the St. Louis Symphony and part of the Webster University Department of Music faculty since 2013.

Erik Harris, bass
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. Harris 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, Harris served as Principal Bass with the New World Symphony in Miami, Fla. during its inaugural season in 1988. The following year, at age 23, Harris was invited by Sir Georg Solti to join the Chicago Symphony.

In 1993, Harris was appointed Principal Double Bass of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra by Music Director Leonard Slatkin. As soloist, he performed the Vanhal Bass Concerto with the SLSO in 2011 with Nicholas McGegan conducting and, in 2015 he gave the American premiere of Tan Dun's Concerto for Contrabass and Orchestra "The Wolf" with Music Director David Robertson conducting. Harris regularly performs in chamber music groups throughout the St. Louis region and has performed at the Missouri Chamber Music Festival, the Innsbrook Festival, the Missouri River Festival of the Arts, and with the Arianna String Quartet. An avid teacher, he has taught master classes at the Manhattan School of Music, New World Symphony and the Juilliard School, and currently serves on the faculty of Webster University.

In whatever spare time he has, Harris enjoys cooking, gardening, and home remodeling, and recently earned his black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

He performs on a double bass made by Johannes Gagliano in 1804.

Ken Kulosa, cello
Adjunct Professor of Cello

A native of Albuquerque, Ken Kulosa moved to St.Louis thirteen years ago at the invitation of the St. Louis Symphony. Kulosa 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, Kulsoa studied with Laurence Lesser and Hans Jorgen Jensen, later becoming Mr. Jensen's assistant at Northwestern University. An active pedagogue as well as performer, Kulosa 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, Kulosa is currently a member of the Kingsbury Early Music Ensemble and frequently performs music from the baroque and classical period on period instruments.

John McClellan, guitar
Adjunct Professor of Guitar

John McClellan is director of the classical guitar program at Webster University and Coordinator of Guitar Studies for the Community Music School of Webster University. In addition, he serves on the boards of Mel Bay Publications and the St. Louis Symphony, and is executive director of the St. Louis guitar Consortium, Inc. He published a volume on the guitar technique of Chet Atkins, published by Mel Bay, Inc, with a DVD/CD on Atkins that was issued in 2005.

McClellan received the Master of Music degree at the St. Louis Conservatory of Music. Further studies followed at Yale University with guitarist Benjamin Verdery, Brazilian cellist Aldo Parisot, and with Bach scholar and harpsichordist Anthony Newman. McClellan performed with Luciana Pavarotti during his 1999 World Tour, and has done major tours of the United States and Australia. He has issued several discs as a soloist and as a duo performer with Kirt Hanser.

Megan Stout, harp
Adjunct Professor of Harp

Megan Stout hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She appears regularly with the St. Louis Symphony and is passionate about chamber music, performing with the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, Chamber Project St. Louis, and Kingsbury Ensemble. She also plays with the major opera companies in St. Louis, including Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Winter Opera, and Union Avenue Opera. Megan was named the harpist for the MUNY orchestra in 2018. She also regularly performs with many ensembles throughout St. Louis and the area including the Bach Society of St. Louis, Masterworks Chorale (Illinois), and Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis.

Megan is a graduate with both a Bachelor and Master's Degree in Harp performance from the renowned Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where she studied with Susann McDonald. She has performed at major halls across the U.S. including Carnegie Hall, Powell Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and more. She can be heard on the St. Louis Symphony's Grammy Award-winning CD, City Noir.

Megan is on faculty at Washington University in St. Louis and Webster University. She maintains a thriving private teaching studio.

Woodwinds

Jeanine York-Garesche, clarinet
Adjunct Professor of Clarinet

Jeanine York-Garesche, clarinetist, holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received her Master of Music performance degree from the St. Louis Conservatory.

Ms. Garesche plays professionally with Union Avenue Opera, the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis, the Fox Theatre Orchestra, the Bach Society of St. Louis, the Masterworks Chorale, the Salem Chamber Orchestra, the Equinox Chamber Players and Trio Bella as well as serving as a replacement player with the St. Louis Symphony and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

Former professional engagements include the Fort Wayne Philharmonic (Indiana), the Illinois Symphony (Springfield), Quintessence Woodwind Quintet and Synchronia contemporary chamber music ensemble.

She has served on the staff and faculty of Tidewater Music Festival (Maryland), served as clarinetist in residence for the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival (Maine) and performed at the 2008 International Clarinet Convention. She is a member of the Ladies Friday Musical Club, ACME (the Artists, Composers, Musicologists, and Educators branch of Mu Phi Epsilon) and received the Owen Miller Award from the Musician's Association of St. Louis in 2014. Jeanine is also a pianist and serves as a substitute keyboard player for area churches.

Jeanine is known throughout the Midwest as a private instructor, chamber music coach and clinician. Her students have won top honors in Missouri's District and State competitions, honor bands and orchestras. A sought-after chamber musician and recitalist, she also serves on the faculties of Webster University, the Community Music School of Webster University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Originally from the family farm in northeast Nebraska, Jeanine makes her home in University City with her husband, Tom and their cat, Oliver.

Michael Karpowicz, saxophone
Adjunct Professor of Woodwinds & Chamber Music

Michael 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.

Eric Ring, bassoon
Adjunct Professor of Music Theory and Ensembles

Dr. Ring undertook his undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa, where he graduated with a BA in History and a BM in bassoon performance. His graduate education includes an MA degree in Bassoon Performance from Western Illinois University, and a DMA in Bassoon Performance and Pedagogy (with a Music Theory Pedagogy Minor) from the University of Iowa. His major professors include Ronald Tyree, Douglas Huff, and Benjamin Coelho. Prior to his arrival at Webster, Dr. Ring was the third bassoonist/contrabassoonist with the Cedar Rapids Symphony. He has also performed with the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, and the Nova Singers, and is a former member of the Beaufort Chamber Orchestra and the Parris Island Marine Band.

Cathy Woelbling-Paul, oboe
Adjunct Professor of Oboe

Cathy Woelbling-Paul received her Bachelor of Music Education and Performance degree from Lindenwood University and her Masters of Music degree from Northern Illinois University. Currently she is an adjunct oboe professor at Webster University and Lindenwood University. She also teaches at the Webster University Community Music School and is an applied instructor in the Mehlville School District.

For several years, she has been the double reed judge for the All District High School Band competition. Cathy has presented a double reed seminar at several schools in the St. Louis area and at the University of Louisiana at Hammond. Cathy currently performs with the Alton (Illinois) Symphony, Gateway Festival Orchestra of St. Louis, St. Louis Wind Symphony, University City Symphony, Webster Symphony Orchestra and the Ballet Orchestra of St. Louis and is an active freelance musician having recently performed for Idena Menzel in the newly renovated Peabody Opera House in St. Louis.

Her professional experience has included principal oboe and soloist with the Haydn Festival Orchestra in Eisenstaedt, Austria performing throughout Austria and Hungary, American Wind Symphony of Pittsburgh, PA, the Rockford (Illinois) Symphony, Illinois Chamber Orchestra, Illinois Symphony (Springfield), Mighty Mississippi Concert Band of St. Louis, Union Avenue Opera Orchestra, Winter Opera Orchestra, American Cantorei and the Bach Society of St. Louis and as a substitute player with the St. Louis Symphony, Fox Theater and Muny Opera orchestras. She performs chamber music with The Metro Piano Trio (oboe, bassoon, and piano) and A Fifth Above Woodwind Quintet. In addition to her performance and teaching activities, Cathy is District Director for Mu Phi Epsilon, a professional music fraternity, serves on the Board of Directors for Gateway Festival Orchestra, is the personnel director for the Alton Symphony and is a successful grant writer for several of her performing groups.

Paul DeMarinis
Professor and Director of Jazz Studies

Kim Portnoy
Associate Professor and Director of Composition

Dave Black, jazz guitar, combo
Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies

Dave 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. 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. Black has also written works for several Mel Bay Publications.

Tom Byrne, jazz guitar, combo
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 Performance from 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.

Visit Tom's personal website

Kevin Gianino, jazz drums
Adjunct Professor of Jazz Percussion

A native of St. Louis, MO, Kevin attended St. Louis Community College, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Webster University. He has served as a faculty member for the International Summer Jazz Academy in Poland, the Webster Summer Jazz Combo Camp, the Strike Institute, and the Jim Widner Summer Jazz Camps. He has toured internationally, and is in demand as guest artist, clinician, festival adjudicator, and performer.

In addition to being on the Webster University Jazz Faculty, he is also a member of the St. Charles Community College Jazz Faculty, Brilliant Corners, The Dave Dickey Big Band, Jazz St. Louis Big Band, and The Hard Bop Heritage Quintet.

Among the numerous artists and organizations with whom he has performed with are Michael Buble, Nancy Wilson, Diane Schuur, Idina Menzel, Christine Ebersole, Billy Stritch, Chris Potter, Billy Childs, Jon Faddis, Terry Gibbs, Rob McConnell, Bobby Shew, Clark Terry, Bob Newhart, Jay Leno, Don Rickles, The St. Louis Municipal Opera (Muny), and The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Debby Lennon, jazz voice, Webster Jazz Singers
Adjunct Professor of Voice

A member of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus for thirty-two seasons, Debby Lennon made her solo debut with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in the 1992 Carnegie Hall premiere of William Bolcom's "Songs of Innocence and Experience." The Boston Globe called her "brassily irresistible." From 1992-1999, Ms. Lennon recorded and performed with the nationally known a cappella group "Pieces of 8" of which she was a founding member.

Ms. Lennon is active in the St. Louis opera scene having performed in Winter Opera's 2012 production of La Boheme, and with Union Avenue Opera (UAO) in their productions of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera and Puccini's Madama Butterfly. She played Annina in La Traviata and Giovanna in Rigoletto directed by Tim Ocel, and Mrs. Mullen in Carousel directed by Ken Page at UAO. She made her Opera Theater of St. Louis debut in the ensemble of Dialogues of the Carmelites.

She has been a featured soloist in performances of Mendelsohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream Vaughan Williams "Serenade to Music," "A July 4th Patriotic Celebration under the Gateway Arch" and " Disney Goes To The Movies, The Last 20 Years" with the St. Louis Symphony.

Ms. Lennon has performed several seasons at The Muny and most recently was a part of the 100th season playing the role of Dora Baily in Singing In The Rain. Ms. Lennon starred in Max and Louie's critically acclaimed 2016 production of Grey Gardens and won the Judy Award and Broadway World Award (St. Louis Division).  She won back-to-back St. Louis Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Musical in 2016 for Grey Gardens and for Best Actress in a Comedy in 2017 for her portral of Florence Foster Jenkins in Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins. Most recently, Ms. Lennon was seen in Max & Louie's one woman show, Love, Linda, The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter, directed by Ken Page. 

Ms. Lennon has performed with Stages St. Louis, Insight Theater Company as well as performances in Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Powell Symphony Hall.  She has been a featured soloist on many concert series events and recitals at The Sheldon, The Pulitzer, The Touhill, Jazz at the Bistro, Finale Music and Dining, and The Old Webster Jazz and Blues Festival. Her solo CD, "I'm All Smiles" was released in November 2005 to sold out audiences at Finale Music and Dining. Ms. Lennon is celebrating her 20th year as adjunct voice professor and director of he vocal jazz program and he Webster University Jazz Singers at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. Ms. Lennon also serves at St. Joseph's Academy as vocal coach and maintains a private voice studio.

Nick Savage, High School Jazz Ensemble, combo
Director of High School Jazz Ensemble 

Having performed most of his life, Nick Savage seems to be effortlessly skilled as a drummer, keyboardist, singer, and songwriter.

Nick has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with great performers, such as, John Scofield, Joshua Redman, Lou Donaldson, Lonnie Smith, Jeff Coffin, Victor Goines, Joe Lavano, and many more reputable artists. His notable performances in St. Louis, nationally, and internationally have led him to a mastery of the elements of good music. In addition, this has developed him into one of St. Louis’ strongest composers, arrangers, educators, and clinicians from behind the drum kit and the soundboard. Nick received his Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Music in Jazz Performance from Webster University. To date, Nick has played, performed, and/or produced on over 100 recordings.

To date Nick serves in the following positions: lead singer and drummer for St. Louis band Fresh Heir, percussion and drum kit instrumentalist at Salem United Methodist Church, the Program Director and Lead Instructor for LINC to Music, LLC, The Music Director at Sacred Heart School in Valley Park, the Lead Drum Instructor at Kirkwood Music Institute, the drum kit and percussion instructor at De Smet Jesuit College Prep High School and the Lead Consultant for Diamond Empire Band St. Louis.

Dan Smith, Jazz Collective
Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies

Dan Smith hold a Bachelors of Music from the University of Missouri at St. Louis and has done post graduate work at Indiana University at Bloomington and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Dan has enjoyed an extensive career as a freelance trumpet player. He has played with various artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Barry Manilow, Natalie Cole, Manhattan Transfer, Sammy Davis Jr., Rose Mary Clooney, Bernadette Peters to name but a few.  He has also performed at The Fox Theatre, St. Louis Repertory Theatre and The Muny. He has also done some touring with with the Glenn Miller and Russ Morgan Orchestras. He has been teaching privately for the past 20 years and also can be heard playing piano around the St. Louis area.

Carolbeth True, jazz piano
Adjunct Professor of Piano

Carolbeth True has been a very active member of the St. Louis musical community for many years. She is adjunct faculty at Webster University, teaching jazz and classical piano, accompanying Webster Jazz Singers, maintaining an extensive applied lesson student roster. She performs with Two Times True with son Dave True on drums, Larry Johnson (saxophones), Glen Smith (bass); The Carolbeth Group; The Randy Holmes Quintet; The Oikos Ensemble led by Reverend Cliff Aerie (saxophones); and Wind of the Spirit Praise Band at Webster Groves Christian Church.

Carolbeth and Randy Holmes are original cast members of "The Jazz Story", a 1-hour overview of jazz history at the Sheldon, now in its 22nd season. Carolbeth has been the pianist for the MCDA All State Jazz Vocal ensemble for nine years, and rehearsal and orchestra pianist for Variety Children's Theatre's world-class fall musical production for ten years.

Carolbeth received the Excellence in the Arts Award from the Arts and Education Council; the Riverfront Times and St. Louis Magazine's Best Jazz Artist Award; and the Citizen of the Year Award for Rock Hill, her home community. Two Times True has recently released "True Christmas," jazz stylings of traditional Christmas carols. She is heard on several CDs: "True," "Two Times True," Larry Johnson's "Circles" and "I'm Just Sayin'," and "I'm All Smiles" with vocalist Debby Lennon.

Visit Carolbeth's personal website

Willem von Hombracht, combo, jazz bass
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.

Ben Wheeler, combo
Adjunct Professor of Jazz & Music History

Ben Wheeler has been a freelance bass player and teacher for over a decade. Having played in the orchestra and jazz band in high school, Wheeler went on to study classical bass at Truman State University. After his freshmen year, Wheeler joined the group "Swing Cat Swing," a cover band that performed around the St. Louis area during the retro-swing fad of the late 90s. The group performed the theme for Fox 2 News, along with several promotional clips that aired regularly. Wheeler transferred to Webster University to finish his bachelor's degree and study jazz with bassists Jay Hungerford and Dan Eubanks. His undergraduate experience included a trip to Poland to assist with Webster's Summer Jazz Academy in Krakow.

After graduating from Webster University, Wheeler began playing with some of the top jazz musicians in St. Louis. His regular gigs included backing the legendary saxophonists Willie Akins and Dave Stone, along with performing with piano virtuoso Ptah Williams. He was a member of the Jeff Lash Trio which got several positive reviews in the Riverfront Times for their jazz interpretations of rock standards. Wheeler also got the opportunity to perform in other cities with jazz guitarist Corey Christiansen (featuring drummer Danny Gottlieb) and the rock band "Perry Went Home."

An opportunity for a teaching assistantship at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and the chance to study with the spectacular bass player Tom Kennedy prompted Wheeler to go to graduate school. He had taught private lessons, but classroom teaching was a new and exciting prospect. It ended up helping him discover an enjoyable “day job” for a musician and an outlet for sharing his love of music with others.

Wheeler currently teaches at St. Louis Community College, Webster University, Washington University and Jefferson College. He has recently received the Teacher to Teacher award at STLCC-Wildwood, along with a teaching award from the Wildwood Rotary Club. He continues to work as a freelance bass player, recording and performing concerts with vibraphonist Peter Schlamb, saxophonist Paul DeMarinis and many others. Wheeler is also the proud parent of a two year old daughter, Zooey Simone, who is currently enrolled in toddler music class.

Jeffrey Richard Carter
Professor and Director of Music Direction for Musical Theatre

Michael Horsley, piano
Adjunct Professor of Piano

Michael Horsley began his studies as a concert pianist studying in Louisville throughout his young adult life. He attended the prestigious summer Tanglewood Festival and continued his studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He worked in San Francisco as rehearsal pianist, vocal coach, musical director, and conductor.

In 1994, he began working as a music director at the Muny, where he conducted more than 50 productions. He was appointed music supervisor in 2013 and continues his work there every summer.

Michael is also on staff at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music working within the opera department where he musical directs the Broadway show each semester.

On Broadway he has played keyboards in the pit for several productions and conducted Chicago after touring the first national tour with Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen.

Among his other notable national tours are White Christmas (for the past 10 years), Thoroughly Modern Millie, 42nd Street, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, and Cinderella.

Solo concerts include music directing and playing piano for Lee Roy Reams, Judy Kaye, Luci Arnaz, Shirley Jones, Karen Mason, and Tovah Feldshuh.

Vocal direction credits include Christmas Concert Series for the Detroit Symphony, National Symphony, and Birmingham Symphony Orchestras with maestro Jack Everly.

Nationally his work as a music director includes Kansas City Starlight, Theatrezone (Naples, Florida), Pioneer Theatre (Salt Lake City), Music Theatre Wichita, North Carolina Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse (Milburn, New Jersey), Guthrie Theatre (Minneapolis), and Theatre Under The Stars (Houston).

He spent six months in Tokyo creating and music directing the dance musical Bryant Park which played in Tokyo and Kobe.

Tali Allen, musical theatre coach/accompanist

Lisa Campbell Albert, musical theatre coach/accompanist

Joseph Clegg, collaborative piano

Nina Ferrigno, piano
Adjunct Professor of Piano

Nina Ferrigno is a collaborative artist at home in a multitude of diverse musical settings.  Her playing is said to be, “...always precise with superb accentuation and warmth of feeling...” (Classical Voice of North Carolina).  Nina is the pianist of the Calyx Piano Trio which excites audiences throughout the United States with expressive ensemble playing and brilliant virtuosity.  Recipient of Chamber Music America’s 2013 Classical Commissioning Grant, the Calyx Piano Trio shows a commitment to expanding repertoire and bringing classical music to new audiences. Nina has appeared in major concert venues throughout North America.  As an orchestral keyboardist and chamber musician, she has toured with such ensembles as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), with whom she was a core member since its inception until 2007.   The New Music Connoisseur has said of her, “pianist Nina Ferrigno [brings] out the inherent horizontal logic...all the while imparting sonic beauty from end to end.”

During her tenure as Principal Keyboard for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Nina recorded extensively on the BMOP Sound label.  As an Orchestral Keyboardist, she has recorded with The Boston Symphony Orchestra for Deutsche Gramophone, and with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for Nonesuch Records. Her chamber music recording of Lansing McLoskey’s “Tinted” was released by Albany Records in 2008. Her concerto recording of Elliott Schwartz’s Chamber Concerto III:  Another View (BMOP Sound) was described as “wonderfully musical” by Fanfare magazine.  

Nina’s festival appearances include those at Tanglewood, Banff, Norfolk, and the Skaneateles Festival.  She also appears at the Carolina Chamber Music Festival and Missouri Chamber Music Festival where the Calyx Piano Trio holds residencies.  Ms. Ferrigno is a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music, where she received degrees with distinction.  Her principal teachers were Wha Kyung Byun and Randall Hodgkinson.  

Sandra Geary, coach/accompanist

A native of Ireland, Sandra Geary received piano performance diplomas from the Royal College of Music; Trinity College, London, England; the Cork School of Music, Ireland; and a Bachelor's Degree in Music from the Saint Louis Conservatory of Music where she studied with Joseph Kalichstein.

Ms. Geary is a member of the piano faculty of Washington University where she also accompanies the Chamber and Concert Choirs. She is a piano faculty member of Webster University's Community Music School and is the accompanist for the Bach Society of Saint Louis. She frequently accompanies for recitals, competitions and auditions and also for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Winter Opera and Union Avenue Opera.

Mieko Hironaka Bergt, collaborative piano
Adjunct Professor of Piano, collaborative piano

Mieko Hironaka Bergt, a native of Japan, graduated from Toho Gakuen Music in Tokyo. She continued advanced studies in France, under the direction and encouragement of Jean-Yves Thibaudet. While studying in Paris, Ms. Hionaka Bergt was awarded the Prize of Virtuosity, and the Premier Prix at the Conservatoire National de Region de Rueil-Malmaison and at the Conservatoire Superieur de Paris-CNR. Her teachers in France: L. Descaves, B. Rigutto, O. Gardon, and E. Heidsieck made a lasting impression on her stylistic development.

Ms. Hironaka Bergt received numerous prizes during her stay in France, including first prize at the Claude Kan Piano Competition, the Maurice Ravel Medal at the Academie Internationale M. Ravel in voice accompaniment, and the Prize from the France Lions Club's Competition of Music Interpretation.  Significant performances included Moments Musicaux: at the Chateau de Champs, organized by the French Ministry of Culture. 

Since moving to St. Louis, she has received an award from Artist Presentation Society.  She has also appeared as a soloist with orchestras, in recitals, and has collaborated with Kurt Baldwin, Erik Harris, Julia Sakharova, Nicolae Bica and the Arianna String Quartet.  During the season 2018-2019, Mieko collaborated in Japan in recital with Takashi Aoki, the former concertmaster of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.

She is currently a collaborative pianist for the Departments of Music at the University of Missouri St. Louis and Webster University, serving on the piano faculty. 

Caroline Hixson, piano
Adjunct Professor of Piano

Caroline Hixson holds a BM in Piano Performance, Webster University (2004) and an MM in Piano Pedagogy and Performance Studies, University of Idaho (2008). Caroline previously lived in New Orleans where she worked at Loyola University, accompanying college and preparatory ballet classes and teaching private and class piano in the preparatory piano division. 

Caroline joined the piano faculty at Webster University in 2014 and serves an an applied piano instructor and collaborative pianist. She is also an active collaborative pianist in the Saint Louis area and maintains a private studio. 

Visit the Hixson Piano website

Michael Horsley, piano
Adjunct Professor of Piano

Michael Horsley began his studies as a concert pianist studying in Louisville throughout his young adult life. He attended the prestigious summer Tanglewood Festival and continued his studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He worked in San Francisco as rehearsal pianist, vocal coach, musical director, and conductor.

In 1994, he began working as a music director at the Muny, where he conducted more than 50 productions. He was appointed music supervisor in 2013 and continues his work there every summer.

Michael is also on staff at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music working within the opera department where he musical directs the Broadway show each semester.

On Broadway he has played keyboards in the pit for several productions and conducted Chicago after touring the first national tour with Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen.

Among his other notable national tours are White Christmas (for the past 10 years), Thoroughly Modern Millie, 42nd Street, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, and Cinderella.

Solo concerts include music directing and playing piano for Lee Roy Reams, Judy Kaye, Luci Arnaz, Shirley Jones, Karen Mason, and Tovah Feldshuh.

Vocal direction credits include Christmas Concert Series for the Detroit Symphony, National Symphony, and Birmingham Symphony Orchestras with maestro Jack Everly.

Nationally his work as a music director includes Kansas City Starlight, Theatrezone (Naples, Florida), Pioneer Theatre (Salt Lake City), Music Theatre Wichita, North Carolina Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse (Milburn, New Jersey), Guthrie Theatre (Minneapolis), and Theatre Under The Stars (Houston).

He spent six months in Tokyo creating and music directing the dance musical Bryant Park which played in Tokyo and Kobe.

Susan Martin, piano
Adjunct Professor of Piano

Susan Martin joined the piano faculty of Webster University in 1990. She teaches Applied Piano, Beginning Class Piano and Intermediate Class Piano. She is also on the faculty of the Webster University Summer Classical Piano Camp.

As an undergraduate, Ms. Martin studied piano with Professor Mary Mottl at Saint Louis University, earning the Bachelor of Arts in Music. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Master of Music in Piano Performance. Her teachers there included Kenneth Drake and Ian Hobson.

Professional affiliations include the Music Teachers National Association, the St. Louis Area Music Teachers Association, the National Federation of Music Clubs, and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

Ms. Martin maintains a private piano studio for children and adult learners, is an Adjunct Professor of Piano at Saint Louis University and is Director of Wedding Music and Pianist at St. Francis Xavier College Church.

Nancy Mayo, piano, collaborative piano
Adjunct Professor of Piano and Collaborative Piano

Nancy Mayo is a collaborative and solo pianist. She has been a prize winner in several solo competitions, including the South Carolina Music Teachers Association (SCMTA), Music Teachers Southern Region Association, the Clara Wells Competition in Pittsburgh, and the Columbia (S.C.) Philharmonic Young Artist Competition, which included a performance with the Columbia Philharmonic. After graduating summa cum laude with a BA and MA in piano performance from Bob Jones University, she worked as a repetiteur at the Columbia (S.C.) Lyric Opera and Hamburgische Staatsoper (Germany), and also served as ballet and orchestral pianist at the Staatsoper and Hamburgische Philharmonic.

Mrs. Mayo has taught at Newberry College, Columbia College, and Columbia International University. In St. Louis, she has served as pianist for the Saint Louis Women's Chorale, Sheldon Chorale, and as an extra keyboardist with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. She is a vocal coach in the Opera Theatre of St. Louis Artists-in-Training program and repetiteur for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis Festival, Union Avenue Opera and Winter Opera St. Louis. In addition she serves as chorus master for Winter Opera St. Louis and rehearsal pianist for the Muny. Mrs. Mayo also maintains a private piano studio, and enjoys an active schedule as a coah, soloist, and collaborator.

Ron McGowan, collaborative piano, musical theatre
Adjunct Professor of Collaborative Piano

Ron McGowan has a BA (cum laude) in Music History and Performance from Pomona College, Claremont and has studied with Peter Hewitt and Alan Boehmer in Los Angeles and with Stephen Sondheim in New York. Ron has returned to his hometown of St. Louis after thirty years in Los Angeles, where he served as an accompanist for singers including Joanna Gleason, Dale Kristien, Susan Egan, and John Raitt. He was resident accompanist for Musical Theater West, Fullerton Civic Light Opera, Remsen Bird Hillside Theater, South Coast Repertory Theater and the Pasadena Boys Choir and served as faculty instructor, staff accompanist and vocal coach for Cal State–Los Angeles, Occidental College, UC–Irvine, and Pomona College, Claremont.

Ron is currently a vocal coach for the Webster University Conservatory of Theater Arts and staff accompanist for the Webster University Department of Dance, as well as for the Center for Creative Arts (COCA) and Dance St. Louis. He also teaches piano at the Community Music School of Webster University and throughout the St. Louis area.

Matt Pankratz, piano
Adjunct Professor of Piano

A native of St. Louis, Matt Pankratz began his studies at the Community Music School of Webster University under recently-retired Karl Koesterer. He continued his studies at Webster University under Daniel Schene obtaining his B.M. (summa cum laude) in Piano Performance and completed his M.M. in Piano Performance at Louisiana State University, studying with Gregory Sioles and Michael Gurt. Mr. Pankratz has also studied with reputable teachers Gail Delante, Michael Chertok, and Norman Krieger. He is the winner of numerous performance scholarships, including the Buder Foundation and Jack Guerry Foundation, and competitions, including Webster University Concerto Competition and Louisiana State Concerto Competition. Recent performances include appearing as soloist with the Forte Chamber Orchestra and giving a guest recital and masterclass at the Webster University Piano Camp.

Mr. Pankratz is most widely known in the area for his large and successful studio and his skilled accompaniment of professional and student musicians. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at both Webster University and the Community Music School of Webster University and previously served as adjunct faculty at Louisiana State University. He is the lead accompanist of the Suzuki Strings Program at Webster University and appears as a pianist in major concert events around the area. Mr. Pankratz is co-director of the Chamber Music Encounter at the Community Music School of Webster University, for beginner and intermediate chamber musicians. As an instructor, Mr. Pankratz focuses on a healthy piano technique, applying years of experience studying the Taubman Method.

William (Pat) Partridge, organ
Adjunct Professor of Organ

William Partridge, MM, FCCM, is the Canon Precentor Organist and Choirmaster of Christ Church Cathedral, University Organist at Washington University and a member of the faculties at Webster University and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. In addition to teaching at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Mr. Partridge has served on the faculties of American University, Washington, D.C., the School of Music at Converse College, Spartanburg, S.C., and the Catholic University of Puerto Rico on a U.S. State Department project. Partridge is a Fellow of the College of Church Musicians at the Washington National Cathedral, where he also received his Master's in Church Music under Leo Sowerby and Paul Callaway. Additional studies were with George Thalben-Ball at the Temple Church, London, Sir William McKie of Westminster Abbey, and Dr. Gerald Knight at the Royal School of Church Music in England. For the past ten years, Mr. Partridge has served on the Board of Directors for the Hesse Scholarship Foundation. From 1996–1998 he served as Dean of the St. Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Ruth Price, piano, piano literature
Adjunct Professor of Piano

Ruth Price received her doctorate in piano performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a master's degree from Indiana University under the tutelage of Lee Luvisi, Gyorgy Sebok, and Gilbert Kalish.

A writer and lecturer on the subject of performers' analysis, Dr. Price is the author of the book Right Before Your Eyes: A Fresh Approach to Interpreting a Piano Score (Hal Leonard Corporation, 2014). Her work on the book led to a presentation at the 2013 Illinois State Music Teachers Association Conference, and to articles in Clavier Companion and Piano Australia magazines. In recent years she has also created interdisciplinary art experiences, pairing piano music with children's books, and collaborating with painters, art historians, and jazz musicians, as well as chefs. Ruth plays chamber music with members of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and teaches piano privately. She has been teaching at Webster University since 1996.

Carol Schmidt, piano
Adjunct Professor of Piano

Carol Schmidt, Adjunct Professor of Piano at Webster University, is a graduate of Webster University, having completed the MM in Jazz Studies/Piano Performance and the BM in Theory/Composition. At Webster University, she teaches classical piano and other music related courses, and she maintains a very active life as an educator, composer and musical director. Schmidt has served as director of the Webster Jazz Singers, and as a faculty member for the International Summer Jazz Academy in Krakow, Poland. As a current faculty member of the Webster University Jazz Camp, she conducts piano master classes, performs with the Webster University Jazz faculty, and directs a six person combo. 

Most recently, Schmidt was the creative and musical director/performer for the “The French Connection: Impressionist Music and Jazz,” as part of the Jazz at Webster concert series. The performances highlighted the influence of French Impressionist music on American Jazz composition, and featured six Webster pianists, including Daniel Schene and Kim Portnoy.

Schmidt is particularly interested in the music of Thelonious Monk, and has transcribed many of Monk's compositions and solos. Her composition, “Joie de Vivre,” composed as a homage to Thelonious Monk, was performed by Ms. Schmidt and her jazz trio, as part of the Concert Series, “The Faculty Composers Concert.” She was also featured on the Webster University Jazz CD, “Jazz Spoken Here, Volume Two” where she recorded “Four in One,” a Monk composition, as a duet with Paul DeMarinis, saxophonist and Director of Jazz Studies.

Schmidt is very active in the St. Louis jazz and cabaret scenes, serving frequently as both musical director and musician/performer/composer. For many years, she was the performer/composer and co-leader of the award winning nationally touring group, Jasmine.

Carolbeth True, piano
Adjunct Professor of Piano

Carolbeth True has been a very active member of the St. Louis musical community for many years. She is adjunct faculty at Webster University, teaching jazz and classical piano, accompanying Webster Jazz Singers, maintaining an extensive applied lesson student roster. She performs with Two Times True with son Dave True on drums, Larry Johnson (saxophones), Glen Smith (bass); The Carolbeth Group; The Randy Holmes Quintet; The Oikos Ensemble led by Reverend Cliff Aerie (saxophones); and Wind of the Spirit Praise Band at Webster Groves Christian Church.

Carolbeth and Randy Holmes are original cast members of "The Jazz Story", a 1-hour overview of jazz history at the Sheldon, now in its 22nd season. Carolbeth has been the pianist for the MCDA All State Jazz Vocal ensemble for nine years, and rehearsal and orchestra pianist for Variety Children's Theatre's world-class fall musical production for ten years.

Carolbeth received the Excellence in the Arts Award from the Arts and Education Council; the Riverfront Times and St. Louis Magazine's Best Jazz Artist Award; and the Citizen of the Year Award for Rock Hill, her home community. Two Times True has recently released "True Christmas," jazz stylings of traditional Christmas carols. She is heard on several CDs: "True," "Two Times True," Larry Johnson's "Circles" and "I'm Just Sayin'," and "I'm All Smiles" with vocalist Debby Lennon.

Visit Carolbeth's personal website

Nicolas Valdez, collaborative piano

Originally born and raised in Northern California, Nicolas Valdez is now a St. Louis based music director and performer.

As a music director, he has worked for several professional theatre companies in St. Louis including New Line Theatre, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Metro Theater Company, and Webster University Conservatory of Theatre arts. Additionally, he has worked at The Clinton Showboat in Clinton, Iowa; Falcon's Eye Theatre at Folsom Lake College in Folsom, California; and The Starlight Playhouse in Starlight, Pennsylvania.

As an accompanist, he has accompanied masterclasses for Broadway's Adam Pascal, Grammy Award-winning soprano Christine Brewer, and nationally acclaimed voice pedagogue Dr. Matt Edwards. Some of his national credits include accompanying choirs at The Festival of Gold in Nashville, Tennessee and The National School Board Association in San Antonio, Texas.

He currently serves as the Director of Music at Samuel United Church of Christ and holds positions at both STAGES Performing Arts Academy and Center of Creative Arts (COCA). He proudly holds a BM in Music Direction for Musical Theatre from Webster University.

Visit Nicolas' personal website

Donna Bowen Vince, piano
Adjunct Professor of Piano

Donna Bowen Vince joined the piano faculty at Webster University in 1981 after returning from a year of study at L'ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France. Her love of French music was influenced by former teacher Gail Delente at Webster University, but was sealed by Jules Gentil at L'ecole Normale. Through the Institute for Advanced Vocal Studies in Paris, France, Ms. Vince has also coached with highly esteemed vocal accompanists Noel Lee, Irene Aitoff, and Dalton Baldwin. Acceptance to the 2010 Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy offered Ms. Vince the opportunity for private coachings and master classes with internationally renowned artists Luiz de Moura Castro, John Perry, and Logan Skelton. Recent doctoral studies at the University of Kansas included work with Steven Spooner and Richard Reber.

Ms. Vince currently teaches piano, class piano, piano pedagogy, and is collaborative pianist for the vocal and instrumental programs at Webster University. In 2000, Ms. Vince formed the professional piano duo, Duo Albireo, with colleague Patricia Eastman. They perform regularly in and around the St. Louis area. Together they direct the Webster University Summer Classical Piano Camps, and Autumn Piano Ensemble Festival.

Additional collaborative performances have included concerts at The Sheldon, KFUO radio broadcasts “Live from the Garden”, the Webster University Symphony Orchestra, the Webster University Concert Series, The Art Song Festival (Springfield, MO), the St. Louis Alliance Française Fête de la Musique, and Salle Cortot (Paris, France).

In demand as a teacher, Ms. Vince maintains a private studio of all ages. Her students are often recipients of prestigious awards, and are regularly accepted to leading university music programs. Many are currently building successful careers in music. Professional affiliations include the Music Teachers National Association, the St. Louis Area Music Teachers Association (currently serving as Vice President of Programs), and The National Federation of Music Clubs. Ms. Vince has presented workshops in Missouri and Illinois covering a broad range of topics in piano pedagogy, and is a regular adjudicator for competitions and festivals.

Ms. Vince holds a Bachelor and Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Webster University. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) through the Music Teachers National Association.

Martha J. Hart
Professor and Director of Vocal Studies

Jeffrey Richard Carter
Professor and Director of Music Direction for Musical Theatre

Jacob Lassetter
Professor and Director of Opera Studio

Robert Allyon, vocal coach, vocal literature, diction

Eric Dalbey, voice

Elizabeth Ducey-Moss, voice
Adjunct Professor of Voice

Dr. Elizabeth Ducey Moss is an experienced voice teacher with over fifteen years of teaching experience. She is adept in a variety of singing styles and techniques including classical, musical theater, and commercial styles. Elizabeth is dedicated to helping students reach their vocal potential. Originally from Canada, Elizabeth began her musical studies at Acadia University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music. She holds the Master of Music degree from Binghamton University and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois. Committed to training the 21st century singer, Elizabeth completed additional training in 2017 at the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University. In addition to her role at Webster University, Elizabeth serves in the Commercial Voice Program at Missouri Baptist University and previously served five years as Assistant Professor of Voice at McMurry University.

Performance credits include leading roles in The Magic Flute, Così Fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Hänsel und Gretel, The King and I, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Brahm's Ein Deutches Requiem, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Mozart's Requiem. Elizabeth has been a national semi-finalist in the NATSA Competition, the Louis Alba Aria Competition, and a finalist in the American Prize in Voice. She has been a featured artist presenter in the Heavenly Rest Chamber Music Concert Series, the Rocky Mountain Region College Music Society Conference, and in the Artist Series of the Texoma Region National Association of Teachers of Singing Conference. She performs regularly with the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus and continually seeks to expand and diversify her repertoire by performing a variety of programs from new music to chamber and oratorio works. Elizabeth is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and an honorary member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity.

Debby Lennon, voice, Webster Jazz Singers
Adjunct Professor of Voice

A member of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus for thirty-two seasons, Debby Lennon made her solo debut with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in the 1992 Carnegie Hall premiere of William Bolcom's "Songs of Innocence and Experience." The Boston Globe called her "brassily irresistible." From 1992-1999, Ms. Lennon recorded and performed with the nationally known a cappella group "Pieces of 8" of which she was a founding member.

Ms. Lennon is active in the St. Louis opera scene having performed in Winter Opera's 2012 production of La Boheme, and with Union Avenue Opera (UAO) in their productions of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera and Puccini's Madama Butterfly. She played Annina in La Traviata and Giovanna in Rigoletto directed by Tim Ocel, and Mrs. Mullen in Carousel directed by Ken Page at UAO. She made her Opera Theater of St. Louis debut in the ensemble of Dialogues of the Carmelites.

She has been a featured soloist in performances of Mendelsohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream Vaughan Williams "Serenade to Music," "A July 4th Patriotic Celebration under the Gateway Arch" and " Disney Goes To The Movies, The Last 20 Years" with the St. Louis Symphony.

Ms. Lennon has performed several seasons at The Muny and most recently was a part of the 100th season playing the role of Dora Baily in Singing In The Rain. Ms. Lennon starred in Max and Louie's critically acclaimed 2016 production of Grey Gardens and won the Judy Award and Broadway World Award (St. Louis Division).  She won back-to-back St. Louis Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Musical in 2016 for Grey Gardens and for Best Actress in a Comedy in 2017 for her portral of Florence Foster Jenkins in Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins. Most recently, Ms. Lennon was seen in Max & Louie's one woman show, Love, Linda, The Life of Mrs. Cole Porter, directed by Ken Page. 

Ms. Lennon has performed with Stages St. Louis, Insight Theater Company as well as performances in Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Powell Symphony Hall.  She has been a featured soloist on many concert series events and recitals at The Sheldon, The Pulitzer, The Touhill, Jazz at the Bistro, Finale Music and Dining, and The Old Webster Jazz and Blues Festival. Her solo CD, "I'm All Smiles" was released in November 2005 to sold out audiences at Finale Music and Dining. Ms. Lennon is celebrating her 20th year as adjunct voice professor and director of he vocal jazz program and he Webster University Jazz Singers at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. Ms. Lennon also serves at St. Joseph's Academy as vocal coach and maintains a private voice studio.

Heather McKenzie Patterson, voice
Adjunct Professor of Voice

Soprano Heather McKenzie Patterson is one of Saint Louis' respected performing artists and teachers. Since arriving in 2010, she has appeared with a wide range of Saint Louis ensembles, including the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, the Bach Society of Saint Louis, Webster University Symphony Orchestra, The Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis, Christ Church Cathedral Choir and Manchester United Methodist Choirs and Orchestra.

Operatic engagements include Emily in The Ballad of Baby Doe (Winter Opera Saint Louis), Yum-Yum in The Mikado (Saint Louis Beacon), Musetta in La Bohème (Arbor Opera Theater), Frasquita in Carmen (Arbor Opera Theater), and Nella in Gianni Schicchi (Michigan State Opera Theatre). As a 2011 Emerging Artist with Arbor Opera Theater, Ms. Patterson performed scenes in Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna), Der Rosenkavalier (Sophie), Giulio Cesare (Cleopatra), and the title role of Manon.

Ms. Patterson has enjoyed performing works by composers such as Lori Laitman, Juan Orrego-Salas, and the late Lee Hoiby in recital as well as in concert with the chamber orchestra Musique21, conducted by Raphael Jimènez. Ms. Patterson has covered the soprano solos in the Saint Louis Symphony’s performances of Handel’s Messiah as well as performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana, under the baton of Maestro David Robertson. Previous solo engagements include Orff’s Carmina Burana (Webster University); the Fauré Requiem (Manchester United Methodist Choirs and Orchestra), Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem (Webster University Symphony Orchestra; Eastern Michigan University Symphony Orchestra), and Haydn’s "Lord Nelson" Mass (The Metropolitan Orchestra of Saint Louis; Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra).

Ms. Patterson received Bachelor of Arts degrees in music and psychology from Furman University and a Master of Music in vocal performance from Michigan State University, where she studied with soprano Melanie Helton and coached with Marie-France Lefebvre. Ms. Patterson participated in V.O.I.C.Experience: “Sherrill Milnes & Friends,” where she worked with Patricia McCaffrey, Sherrill Milnes, Jorge Parodi and Joachim Schamberger. Ms. Patterson currently studies with Christine Armistead. She has performed in master classes with Sherrill Milnes, Scott Schoonover and Mary Ann Hart and worked extensively with Carol Vaness, Robert Swedberg, Shawn McDonald and George Shirley during her apprenticeship with Arbor Opera Theater.

Ms. Patterson teaches vocal arts to music majors at Webster University. Previously, she served on the music faculties at University of Missouri (Columbia, Mo.), Principia College (Ill.), Haslett High School (Mich.), Grand Ledge High School (Mich.), and Winter Park High School (Fla.). She frequently enjoys leading master classes in high schools and adjudicating various talent competitions. As Owner and Voice Instructor at Saint Louis Vocal Arts Institute, Ms. Patterson is pleased to offer numerous performance and study opportunities for aspiring vocal artists. She regularly presents audition & vocal training workshops and master classes to area music organizations and school districts throughout the Saint Louis region.

Leann Schuering, voice
Adjunct Professor of Voice

"Blessed with a voice that is lovely and rich" (St. Louis Post Dispatch), soprano Leann Schuering was highly praised for her 2018 turn as leading lady Josephine in Union Avenue Opera's H.M.S. Pinafore, a production that was "highlighted by [her] magnificent soprano" (Ladue News). Leann has charmed audiences in a wide range of roles from Don Giovanni's Zerlina, in which she "sailed through a refined performance with ease" (Ann Arbor News), to Zerbinetta in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, in which she "consciously acted every single note she sang, finding some sort of meaning in each coloratura run written in the score. Her showstopper aria was astounding" ([art]seen).

Recent career highlights have included Vivaldi's Gloria with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nicholas McGegan; Miss Wordsworth in Union Avenue Opera's acclaimed 2017 production of Albert Herring starring Christine Brewer, for which Leann was applauded for her "splendid work" (KDHX); Händel's Messiah with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, and others; and two solo concerts at LOFTRecital in Minneapolis. Additional stage credits include The Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), The Fairy Godmother (Cendrillon), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Yum-Yum (The Mikado), Monica (The Medium), and Laurey (Oklahoma!).

In 2009, Leann was awarded a Stern Fellowship to attend SongFest, the nation's premier art song festival, where she studied and performed with pianists Martin Katz, Margo Garrett, Graham Johnson; and American composers Lori Laitman, Tom Cipullo, John Musto, and Jake Heggie. In 2017 she was one of ten singers from across the country chosen to attend the Art Song Festival at Baldwin Wallace, and she continues to champion the performance of art song in her own community.

Leann is a two-time District Winner and Third Place Regional Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In 2013 she was awarded Third Place at the International Czech and Slovak Singing Competition in Montréal, and in 2014 she was an International Semi-Finalist at the Hans Gabor Belvedere Opera Competition in Düsseldorf.

Dr. Schuering has over eight years of teaching experience at the collegiate level, including Applied Voice, Opera Workshop, Diction, and Vocal Literature. She has taught at Millikin University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois. Leann enjoys teaching all styles of Applied Voice, including classical, musical theater, and commercial music. She has a Level I certification in Somatic Voicework and is a certified yoga instructor through the National Exercise Trainer's Association, and her teaching reflects a holistic, whole body approach. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Chicago, an MM in Voice from the University of Illinois, and a DMA in Voice from the University of Michigan.

Visit Leann's personal website
Bachianas Brasileras No. 5 "Cantilena"
Joseph Marx "Nocturne"

Amanda Taylor, voice

Glen Bauer
Emeritus Professor of Music

Glen Bauer holds the Bachelor of Music degree in Music History from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and the PhD in Musicology from Washington University in St. Louis. His dissertation is titled A Contextual Approach to Schoenberg's Atonal Works: Self-Expression, Religion and Music Theory. In addition to the music of Schoenberg, his specialties include twentieth century music and the history of opera.

Dr. Bauer was the conference coordinator of the1998 International Janacek Conference and Festival held at Washington University. He is an editor of Janacek and Czech Music Proceedings of the International Conference, published by Pendragon Press. Dr. Bauer has written programs notes and given lectures for several series of concerts of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. He is the program annotator for the Webster University Symphony Orchestra. He is active in educational programs for the Opera Theatre Saint Louis, and gives lectures for the Union Avenue Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

He is a member of the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory.

Dr. Bauer is the recipient of the 2015 Kemper Award for Teaching Excellence at Webster University.

Bob Chamberlin
Emeritus Professor of Music Theory and Composition

A member of the Webster University faculty since 1973, he has also served as the Director of Academic Advising, Director of the London campus, and as Acting Dean of Students. In 1974 he coordinated a festival of microtonal music, held at Webster University. Professor Chamberlin earned degrees in theory and composition from St. Olaf College and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and completed additional studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His principal composition instructors include Arthur Campbell, W. Alan Oldfield, Ben Johnston, and Salvatore Martirano.

Prof. Chamberlin teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in composition and music theory. He is the senior faculty member in the department.

His compositions include works for orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber ensembles, organ, chorus, dance, and incidental music for theatrical productions. He has received commissions from the Webster University Symphony Orchestra, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Mid America Dance Company, Tapsichore, Metro Theatre Company and the Band of Mid-America at Scott Air Force Base. In 1991, he was awarded a Creative Artists Project Grant from the Missouri Arts Council. Professor Chamberlin has collaborated with artists including the University of Illinois Contemporary Chamber Players, Jerry Young, John McClellan, Jaroslav Vajda, Peter Mayer, and Charles Glenn. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in the Netherlands and Poland.

An active member of the American Guild of Organists, he is organist for Gethsemane Lutheran Church.

Prof. Chamberlin retired in May 2016.

Carole Gaspar
Emerita Professor of Voice

Professor Carole Gaspar is a graduate of Baylor University and Washington University. Her principal teachers were Leslie Chabay and Jennie Tourel.

Throughout her career, she has won many awards including the G.B. Dealy competition, the Irene Jordan scholarship, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra competition, the Southwest and Midwest Regional Metropolitan Opera auditions, the St. Louis Artist Presentation award, the St. Louis Philharmonic competition, and the National Society of Arts and Letters award in Chicago. Following six months of study at the International Opera Studio in Zurich, Switzerland, she performed with the Essen (Germany) Opera Company, making her professional debut as Marcellina in Fidelio. Since joining the Webster faculty in 1975, Professor Gaspar has earned seven diplomas from conservatories in Salzburg, Nice, and Geneva for studies in the poetry and music of the German lied and the French melodie. Her teachers have included Erik Werba, Kim Borg, Dalton Baldwin, and Gerard Souzay.

Professor Gaspar has given numerous, highly acclaimed concerts in the St. Louis area and frequently collaborates with composers in premiering new works for solo voice. With a broad repertoire of 19th and 20th century songs, she has made an intensive study of the works of Brahms, Schoenberg, and other Viennese composers.

She collaborated with Allen Carl Larson in many performances of works for voice and orchestra, and enjoyed an extensive career as a recitalist with pianist Daniel Schene. In 1990, she founded the Institute for Advanced Vocal Studies in Paris, a summer program for professional level singers and pianists dedicated to studies of French vocal chamber music.

In the fall of 2002, she organized a weeklong workshop devoted to French vocal literature and the writings of Victor Hugo, bringing an international faculty of specialists to St. Louis.

Allen Carl Larson
Emeritus Professor & Conductor of the Webster University Symphony Orchestra

Emeritus Conductor of the Webster University Symphony Orchestra and Professor Emeritus of Music

Dr. Larson received his undergraduate degree at Park University in Kansas City, with his masters and doctoral degrees from Indiana University. His doctoral mentor was the renowned Bach scholar and score studies expert, Dr. Julius Herford.

Dr. Larson has held posts with the St. Joseph Symphony, the St. Joseph Youth Symphony and Nova Choralis, the Indiana University Choral Union and Chamber Singers, the Northland Symphony, and the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus. Dr. Larson for nine years was director of the choir at the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis. As a guest conductor, he has led performances with the Saint Louis Symphony, the Webster Chamber Winds, the Saint Louis Symphony chamber Ensemble, the Washington University Wind Ensemble, and the Kansas City (KS) Civic Symphony. He has conducted performances with the Webster Opera Studio and Conservatory Theatre of The Magic Flute, Dido and Aeneas, The Marriage of Figaro, Fiddler on the Roof, Brigadoon, Carousel, and others.

In 1996 he conducted the world premiere of Andrew York's concerto for two classical guitars and chamber orchestra, Word, at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Dr. Larson has conducted instrumental and vocal ensemble performances for the KFUO "Live from the Garden" series.  he has presented clinics and workshops for high schools, colleges, and churches, and has served as the pre-concert lecturer for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Twice during his tenure at Webster, he has served as chair of the Department of Music. Dr. Larson recently founded a new chorus in Saint Louis, the Sheldon Chorale. His final concerts with the Webster Symphony Orchestra were during the 2008–2009 school year.

Daniel Schene
Emeritus Professor of Keyboard Studies

Pianist Daniel Schene has long been known as a consummate artist and a superlative teacher. Having performed throughout the United States, Canada, South America, and Asia, concert-goers have come to admire his comprehensive musicianship and formidable technique.

After his debut at age fifteen with the Charlotte Symphony, Mr. Schene studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts with Rebecca Penneys, and subsequently at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with Gyorgy Sebok and Enrica Cavallo-Gulli. While at the University, he received the prestigious Joseph Battista Memorial Scholarship. Thereafter, he continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music with Ms. Penneys.

As a recitalist and concerto soloist, Schene has performed at numerous venues, including the Salle Cortot and the Teatro da Paz. Since 1983, he has given annual solo recitals at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Webster University, where he is currently Director of Piano Studies. He also performs regularly at Indiana University's Summer Music Festival and many other music schools throughout the US. Recent appearances include Louisiana State University and the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

Known for his innovative programming, Mr. Schene is currently offering a recital of the Preludes of both Bach and Chopin and has performed the Chopin op. 25 Etudes with the Liszt Transcendental Etudes, Book II.

With his extensive concerto repertoire, Schene has recently performed the Chopin F minor and Liszt E-Flat Concerti, in honor of their centenaries.

A passionate enthusiast of chamber music, Daniel Schene has collaborated with many fine artists, such as renowned cellist Zara Nelsova, violinist Denes Kovacs, (Director of the Liszt Academy in Budapest), and St. Louis Symphony concertmasters Jacques Israelievitch and David Halen. He has been the duo partner of violinist Eva Szekely of the Esterhazy Quartet for 39 years. From 1988 to 2004, the duo appeared at the Festival Internacional da Musica da Camera do Para in Belem, Brazil and in many other venues throughout the country, most recently in 2008 and 2015. Additionally they have toured under the auspices of the United States Information Service. The Szekely-Schene Duo has also performed in Santiago, Concepcion, Vina del Mar and La Serena, Chile, and throughout the US.

Mr. Schene has also appeared with the Arianna String Quartet and was for many years the pianist of the Trio Americas and the Webster Trio.

Devoted to the music of our time, Schene has played works of Joan Tower, Libby Larsen, James Willey, Andrew List, Roberto Escobar and David Werfelmann, and has premiered and recorded numerous compositions.

In demand as a teacher, Mr. Schene is Professor of Music and Director of Piano Studies at Webster University in St. Louis, where he teaches piano, piano literature, and piano pedagogy. He is a founding faculty member of the Indiana University Summer academy and the Institute of Advanced Vocal Studies in Paris. Additionally, he has given guest master classes in France, Brazil and Taiwan, as well Louisiana State University, the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, among others.

Mr. Schene records for CRI and New World Records.

“A demonstration of exquisite pianism and musicianship.”
~St. Louis Post Dispatch

“More than anything else, it was the integrity of the interpretation that made the performance so outstanding. Rarely has [Schubert] sounded so consistently meaningful”
~St. Louis Post Dispatch

“I consider Daniel Schene to be a splendid pianist, excellent ensemble player, fine teacher and one of the finest all around musicians of [his] generation.”
~Joseph Gingold

Here are three studio performances from January 2012:

Franz Liszt: "Sonetto 104 del Petrarca," from Years of Pilgrimage: Italy
Serge Rachmaninoff: Prelude in B-Flat Major, Op. 23 No. 2
Claude Debussy: "Reflets dans l'eau (Reflections in the Water)" from Images, Book I

Steve Schenkel
Emeritus Professor of Jazz Studies

A native of St. Louis, Steve Schenkel has been the "first call" guitarist in St. Louis for over 20 years. He performs regularly with the St. Louis Symphony, The Fox Theater Orchestra, the Muny Orchestra, and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

Steve is a graduate of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He received the PhD from Washington University, 1980 and the MA in Religion from Webster University.

Dr. Schenkel founded the Jazz Studies program and the Jazz Concert Series at Webster University, where he has taught music, media, and religion since 1980.

His music is heard nationally on the PBS program "Breaking Bread," as well as by millions of visitors each year in the multimedia show under the Gateway Arch. Dr. Schenkel has scored many PBS programs, including "KATY: Stories From the Trail," "Homefront," and "American Tower." Steve also wrote the theme music for the programs "In the Loop" and "StL Biz," as well as the logo music for KETC.

Dr. Schenkel orchestrated the Ken Hensley CD Running Wild, and the children's musical A Modern Day Prodigal Son. He appears on the CD 1-2-3 with pianist Dave Venn, as well as collaborations with Dan Rubright, The Lone Wild Bird, What Wondrous Love, and Whole New Light.

Visit Steve's personal website

Kendall Stallings
Emeritus Professor of Music Theory and Composition

Kendall Stallings holds a doctorate in musical composition and theory from Washington University in St. Louis and has been a member of the music faculty at Webster University since 1967, where he holds the rank of Professor Emeritus and where he has taught a wide range of graduate and undergraduate courses and has held important administrative posts. Employing vocal, instrumental, and electroacoustic media, he has composed concert, film, and theater music ranging from brief pieces for a single performer to much longer works for relatively large forces. His music has been heard in the concert hall, the theater, on radio and television, and at music-friendly eating and drinking establishments.

Christine Brewer
Visiting Professor of Voice

Grammy® Award winning American soprano Christine Brewer's appearances in opera, concert and recital are marked with her own unique timbre, at once warm and brilliant, combined with a vibrant personality and emotional honesty reminiscent of the great sopranos of the past. Her range, golden tone, boundless power, and control make her a favorite of the stage as well as a sought-after recording artist. At Webster University, Ms. Brewer teaches master classes each term, and speaks annually in a popular lecture series.

On the opera stage, Ms. Brewer is highly regarded for her striking portrayal of the title role in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, which she has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Lyon, Théâtre du Châtelet, the Santa Fe Opera, the English National Opera, and the Opera Theater of St. Louis. Garnering critical acclaim with each role, Ms. Brewer has performed Wagner's Tristan und Isolde at the San Francisco Opera, Gluck's Alceste with the Santa Fe Opera, the Dyer's Wife in Strauss's Die Frau Ohne Schatten at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Paris Opera, and Lady Billows in Britten's Albert Herring at the Santa Fe Opera and in San Francisco. She is also celebrated for her work on lesser known operas such as the title roles in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride with the Edinburgh Festival, the Rio de Janeiro Opera, and Madrid Opera and Strauss's Die ägyptische Helena with the Santa Fe Opera.

A stunning recitalist, in addition to her many appearances at Carnegie and Wigmore Halls, Ms. Brewer has graced Lincoln Center's “Art of the Song” series at Alice Tully Hall. Other appearances include the Kennedy Center in Washington. D.C., Spivey Hall in Georgia, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Mondavi Center in California. Her unique voice has been featured at the Gilmore, Ravinia, and Cleveland Art Song festivals.

Visit Christine's personal website

Carla Colletti, Chair and Associate Professor, Director of Music Theory
Jacob Lassetter, Professor and Director of Opera Studio
David Werfelmann, Associate Professor and Director of Bachelor of Arts in Music
Jean Huber, Department Representative
Kim Torrence, Department Assistant

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