Dr. Paul Dease is a native of Dothan, AL. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Choral/Vocal Music from the University of Montevallo (1995), a Master of Music in Choral Conducting with advanced studies in Vocal Pedagogy (1997), and a Ph.D. in Choral Conducting/Choral Music Education from the Florida State University College of Music (2007). His conducting and teaching experience includes Southeastern Louisiana University, Midwestern State University Texas, The Magic City Choral Society, The Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra, members of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Southside Baptist Church Birmingham AL, Red Mountain Theatre Summer Youth Workshop, Opera Birmingham, The University of Alabama, The Florida State University College of Music, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra Chorus, East Carolina University, and The Greenville Choral Society and New Carolina Sinfonia. Dr. Dease has guest conducted across the southeastern and southwestern United States. Dr. Dease has studied with Judy Bowers, Kevin Fenton, Rhonda Fleming, Cliff Madsen, and André Thomas. His early/formative mentors include Kathryn Foster, Judy and Gene Montgomery, and Gilda Wilkerson.
Dr. Matthew Halligan is the Director of Athletic Bands and Instructor of Percussion at Missouri Western State University. His responsibilities include directing the Golden Griffon Marching Band, Pep Band, and Percussion Ensemble, and teaching Applied Lessons and Percussion Methods. He holds a Doctorate in Percussion Performance (D.M.A.) from George Mason University, a Master of Music from Eastern Kentucky University, and a Bachelor of Music Education from University of the Cumberlands.
Dr. Halligan comes to Missouri Western from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he most recently served as Director of the Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, Pep Band Director, and Director of Instrumental Activities. Prior to working at the U.S. Naval Academy, Dr. Halligan taught at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.
As a performer, Dr. Halligan has more than 20 years of professional experience, including six years serving in the Marine Corps as a member of “The Commandant’s Own” Marine Drum and Bugle Corps in Washington, D.C., where he performed nationally and internationally as front ensemble section leader and was a percussion music arranger. He has had the honor of performing with many highly renowned ensembles, including the Capital Wind Symphony, the Virginia Grand Military Band, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Greater Washington, and The IN series at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Dr. Halligan has also served as Principal Percussionist with The American Festival Pops Orchestra and The Piedmont Symphony Orchestra.
Lee Harrelson is Professor of Music at Missouri Western State University. He serves as the Chair of the Department of Music and instructor of low brass and chamber music. Dr. Harrelson attended the University of Southern Mississippi, where he studied music education and music performance before completing his masters and doctorate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.
Dr. Harrelson is the founder of the Fountain City Brass Band and currently serves as its artistic director and principal euphoniumist. The Fountain City Brass Band (FCBB) is one of the America’s premiere brass and percussion ensembles and has been featured throughout the U.S. and Europe in concerts and competitions. The FCBB is the current top ranked brass band in the United States and the reigning U.S. Open and North American Champions. Under Dr. Harrelson’s artistic leadership the band has won six North American Brass Band Association Championships, eight U.S. Open Brass Band Championships and one Scottish Open Brass Band Championship since it began competing in 2004. During his tenure the FCBB has produced four commercial recordings, performed with countless world-class soloists and developed a youth brass program, the Fountain City Youth Brass Academy, that serves over 100 school aged students per year. At the 2011 All England International Brass Band Competition, as a member of the FCBB, Lee was named Best Instrumentalist; a first for an American at an English brass band competition.
Dr. Harrelson can be heard on numerous commercially released recordings and has appeared throughout North America and Europe as a clinician, soloist and chamber musician. Lee Harrelson is a Buffet Group/Besson Performing Artist.
Dr. Elise Hepworth is Professor and Director of Choral Activities and Music Education at Missouri Western State University in Saint Joseph. She teaches choral literature, choral conducting, K-6 and 7-12 music methods courses, and conducts the MWSU Concert Chorale and the MWSU Renaissance/Chamber Singers, recently performing at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference/In-Service in January 2018. She is a member of Kantorei of Kansas City, performing with the ensemble at the 2019 ACDA National Conference in Kansas City, and is the founding director of the Robidoux Chorale, a semi-professional chamber ensemble in Saint Joseph.
Dr. Hepworth is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University (B.S.Ed.), The University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music (M.M.E.), The University of Mississippi (D.A.), and the New Zealand School of Music (G.Dip.). Additionally, she is nationally certified in the pedagogies of Orff Schulwerk and Zoltan Kodaly.
She currently serves as Repertoire and Resources chair for the Missouri Choral Directors Association, as well as the Advancing Music Education Chair and co-chair of the Advocacy Network Council for the Missouri Music Educators Association. She also holds a membership with the National Association for Teachers of Singing.
Dr. Hepworth was recently awarded the Foundation for Teaching Excellence by Missouri Western State University, the Mayor’s Award for Arts Educator of the Year and the Shine On Award for the community of Saint Joseph, and the MCDA Northwest District Outstanding Director for the year 2016. She is serving as Missouri Western State University’s faculty senate president for 2019-2020, and is an avid performer, clinician, and presenter at state, national, and international conventions.
She lives in Saint Joseph with her husband, Matt, and their two cats, Abby and Alex.
Bob Long serves Director of Jazz Studies/Saxophone Studio at Missouri Western State University. Additional duties include teaching woodwind methods, jazz improvisation, overseeing the jazz combos, and assisting with the Golden Griffons Marching Band. He also directs the Missouri Western Jazz Ensemble, the university’s top big band. Prior to Missouri Western Bob taught for twelve years in the West Des Moines Community School District where he was Coordinator of Jazz Studies for Valley High School. During his time at Valley High School the jazz program included five big bands, three for grades 10 through 12 and two at the freshman level, as well as three combos. Major appearances include a sister city exchange tour to Russia in 1994, performing at the 1996 IAJE Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and performing at the 1999 Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Festival at Lincoln Center. The Jazz Orchestra was also an evening finalist seven out of eleven years in the Iowa Jazz Championships. While at Missouri Western, the MWSU Jazz Ensemble has performed at the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival (2005, 2007), was invited to perform at the 2008 North Texas Jazz Festival, and was the featured collegiate jazz ensemble for the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference (2011, 2013).
Bob received his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Arts degrees from Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University). From 1985 to 1988 he pursued further graduate studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, serving as a teaching assistant in saxophone and jazz, with his primary studies being with Professors Tim Timmons, Mike Parkinson and Gary Foster. His other teaching experiences include serving for one year as Instructor of Saxophone for Truman State University, and for five years serving as the Teaching Artist in Saxophone for Drake University. Performance credits include the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, the Des Moines Big Band, Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra, Des Moines Symphony, the Latin jazz group Ashanti as well as performing both the Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey music books. He has also backed up a variety of performers such as Bobby Shew, Clark Terry, Dick Oatts, Peter Erskine, John Pizzarelli, Marilyn Maye, Lou Rawls as well as Manhattan Transfer, The Temptations, The Four Tops, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Bob’s professional affiliations include the Missouri Association for Jazz Education (Past President), the Missouri Bandmasters Association, the Iowa Bandmasters Association, Missouri Music Educators Association, NAfME, Phi Beta Mu, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Locally he serves on the Board of Directors for the Coleman Hawkins Jazz Society and is a member of the St. Joseph Symphony Board.
Dr. Jennifer Oliverio Assistant Professor of Music
Office: Potter Hall 213 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (816) 271-1282
Dr. Jennifer Oliverio is an American cornet and flugelhorn player who holds the positions of principal cornet with the Fountain City Brass Band and flugelhorn with the Athena Brass Band. Jen is currently the Assistant Professor of Music at Missouri Western State University for trumpet and is one of the directors for the Fountain City Youth Brass Academy.
As an orchestral musician, Jen has performed as an extra with the Kansas City Symphony and the Alabama Symphony. She also performed as the second trumpet player with the Colorado MahlerFest Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Jen is a founding member of the Trilogy Brass Trio based out of Kansas City and has performed with Trilogy at the International Women’s Brass Conference on multiple occasions.
As a teacher, Jen has had students accepted as semi-finalists to the National Trumpet Competition, semi-finalists for the International Trumpet Guild solo competitions, and as winners in the North American Brass Band Championships solo and ensemble competitions.
Jen is an avid supporter of new music for cornet and flugelhorn, having commissioned and premiered solo works by Lucy Pankhurst, Dorothy Gates, Kevin Day, Andrea Hobson, Jen Mitchell, and Joel Collier for her premiere solo album Enigma. Her work on Enigma received overwhelmingly positive reviews and was nominated for the 2021 4barsrest Album of the Year and resulted in Jen being nominated for 4barsrest 2021 Player of the Year, and her being named to the 2021 Band of the Year.
Dr. Stacey S. Uthe Instructor of Voice
Vocal Area Coordinator
Office: Potter Hall 111 E-mail: email@example.com Phone: (816) 271-1282
A native of South Dakota, Dr. Uthe earned a B.A. in Music Education from Augustana University and began her professional career as a K-12 Music teacher in her hometown of Sioux Falls, where she honed her conducting skills as the Assistant Choral Director at Washington High School. After six years, a desire to continue her education took her to UMKC. While there she earned a M.M. in Choral Conducting, a M.M. in Vocal Performance, and a D.M.A. in Vocal Performance. While finishing her doctorate, Dr. Uthe began her career as a professional classical singer. The following twenty year period produced a series of professional credits of over thirty operatic roles with professional opera companies and appearances with professional symphony orchestra organizations across the United States, and in Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Bangkok, Thailand.
In addition to her professional singing career, Dr. Uthe has remained passionate about teaching, serving as Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Evansville in Indiana, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Voice at UMKC, Instructor of Voice with the Encore Program at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, KS, and Instructor of Voice for her own thriving private studio of singing students ranging in age from 10 to 60.
Dr. Uthe resides in Kansas City with her husband, Reed, and their two senior cats, Leonardo (Leo) DiCatrio and Maximus (Max) Augustus, and she is looking forward to joining the amazing team at Missouri Western. For more detailed professional information: https://www.vocalartistsmgmt.com/stacey-stofferahn
Shaun Agnew, a St. Joseph native, is an area performer, instructor and director. Shaun is a frequent artist with Robidoux Resident Theatre with significant roles in shows such as Shrek: the Musical, A Streetcar Named Desire, Sondheim on Sondheim, Our Town, The Little Mermaid, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Willy Wonka, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, Forever Plaid, Holiday in Plaid, and South Pacific. He’s also been “behind the baton” having musically directed shows including Next to Normal, Oklahoma, Tarzan, My Fair Lady, Chicago, Hello Dolly, Honk, Forever Plaid, Fiddler on the Roof, Midlife Crisis: The Musical, Bingo: The Musical, and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Shaun has also been a past soloist for the St. Joseph Symphony and the St. Joseph Community Chorus, performing in such works such as Faure’s Requiem, the Saint-Saëns Christmas Oratorio, and Conte’s The Nine Muses.
Shaun returned to Missouri Western State University, where he graduated in 2004 with a vocal music education degree, to join the faculty as an adjunct voice professor where he teaches applied voice. He has previously served as musical director for Missouri Western’s productions including Cabaret, Annie, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Drowsy Chaperone, for which he received a KCACTF Commendation for Musical Direction. Shaun additionally holds a MA in choral conducting from the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music.
Since 2004, Shaun has served as Director of Worship Arts and Web Ministries for Ashland United Methodist Church where he directs and coordinates all worship and music programs as well as the technology and web ministries. He is also an active advocate for the arts in the St. Joseph community having served multiple terms on the RRT board of directors, including two terms as president, as well as being an active participant on the Allied Arts Council.
James Albright holds a B.A. Music degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, which includes coursework in music, audio production and business administration. There, he was a full tuition scholarship winner and outstanding soloist award winner with the university orchestra, big band and small group ensembles. While in Nebraska, he honed his skills as a classical bassist by performing with the Lincoln Symphony and the Omaha Symphony. By the end of his schooling he had begun playing in clubs and halls across the country as a jazz bassist.
He came to Kansas City in 1992 and currently makes his living playing gigs, concerts, events, recording music and audio engineering. James continues to use his classical bass skills through his principal positions with the Northland Symphony and Liberty Symphony in the Kansas City area. He teaches bass at his private studio, at William Jewell College and at Missouri Western State University.
In addition, he performs with a wide variety of groups including, the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, the Knucklebusters, Tim Whitmer, the Terry Hancock Band, Tom Jacobs, the Kansas City Bass Quartet and The Bon Ton Soul Accordion band. He is equally at home in the classical, rock, country, jazz and pop music styles on both upright and electric bass. His on-stage persona makes him as much fun to watch as he is to listen to.
James is also an audio engineer and session producer. He owns and operates a project studio, which interfaces with full scale studios and home studios alike. Live sound engineering is also a regular part of his schedule including everything from club dates to concert halls. Whether generating custom bass tracks, engineering a show or producing large multitrack works, versatility, creativity and great sound are trademarks of Albright productions.
Dr. Fanny (Po Sim Head) is a highly accomplished pianist and musicologist who was born in Hong Kong. She has an impressive educational background, having received her undergraduate degree in Music Composition and Production from Hong Kong Baptist University, her master’s degrees in Piano Performance and Musicology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and her doctorate degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Kansas, where she studied under the renowned Dr. Scott McBride Smith.
Dr. Fanny is a respected figure in academia, frequently presenting at various music conferences and contributing articles to Interlude.hk. Additionally, she has established a website that provides invaluable teaching resources for young piano teachers and students alike.
With over 20 years of teaching experience, Dr. Fanny’s students have become active participants in piano recitals, festivals, and competitions. She is also an active member of local music teacher associations and is frequently invited to judge in local and international competitions.
Despite her busy schedule between school, writing, and teaching, Dr. Fanny still finds time to perform on stage and participate in music events and masterclasses around the world. Her dedication to her craft and her students is truly remarkable and is a testament to her passion for music.
Kathleen Holeman has been a working jazz vocalist, pianist and trombonist in the greater Kansas City area and the Ozarks for over 25 years, performing with many great artists such as Gary Foster, Louie Bellson, Kim Park, and the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra. She has also performed in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Mississippi, Indiana and Georgia for festivals, series and private events. She directs the Ray Alburn Big Band and leads smaller combos in clubs, restaurants and private venues. She has been a judge at several jazz competitions, including the Iowa Vocal Jazz Championship.
Kathleen is Director of Vocal Jazz and Jazz Piano at Missouri Western State University, where she has also taught Aural Skills and served as Music Theater music advisor. She holds a Bachelor of Instrumental Music Education with a vocal certification degree from Missouri Western State College and a Master of Music degree from University of Missouri–Kansas City. She directs the Missouri Western Vocal Jazz Ensemble, formed in 2009.
Kathleen has enjoyed working in many genres of music over the years, including country, salsa, musical theater and rock, and was employed as a director of church music for over 25 years.
Kathleen loves to bring all of this experience and knowledge to her students, helping to create well-rounded musicians and educators at Missouri Western State University.
Dr. Wendy Raines-Grew is currently the adjunct Professor of Oboe and Bassoon at Missouri Western State University. She received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in oboe performance in August 2014 from the University of Memphis, under the direction of Dr. Michelle Vigneau. She was the first person to receive a Doctorate in oboe performance from the University of Memphis; after receiving her Masters of Music in Oboe Performance from Sam Houston State University, and Bachelors in Oboe Performance from Stephen F. Austin State University, under Dr. John Goodall.
While attending the University of Memphis, her specialization was the electro-acoustic abilities of the oboe/English horn and the related compositions. Her doctoral dissertation, “A Guide to Electro-Acoustic Performance for the Acoustic Oboist” focuses on allowing the novice in the field of electronics to feel comfortable performing the new repertoire, whether fixed media, interactive computer, or live electronic processing. She has setup the most extensive database online for oboists looking to find electro-acoustical compositions. Wendy has been invited to present her research twice at the International Festival of Woodwinds in Rio de Janeiro. An advocate of electro-acoustic music, Wendy commissions music for oboe and electronics including a piece for oboe and fixed media commissioned by Dr. Scott Hines. The piece In Memoriam was a needed addition to the repertoire.
Before coming to St. Joseph, Wendy was an adjunct professor at Drury University in Springfield MO teaching Music Appreciation and coaching chamber music groups. While pursuing her Doctorate, she taught Music Appreciation at the University of Memphis. Previously, she taught elementary music K-5 in the Houston Independent School District, having a majority of ESL students. Wendy continues to maintain a vibrant oboe studio of upcoming double reeds since 1996, with students going on to pursue music and oboe in college. Her studio has resided in Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alaska, and Missouri.
Wendy has performed in Buda, Prague, Vienna, Shanghai, Beijing; as well as Alaska, and many other states. She was the principal oboist of the Memphis Repertory Orchestra from its inception until moving from Memphis. During this time she was the English hornist on a CD with MRO featuring Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 available on iTunes. She has been a soloist at Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening Institute of Houston’s “60 Minutes of Minutes” and was the 2010-2011 winner of the Raymond M. Lynch Oboe Award for Outstanding Achievement. Wendy was chosen to perform the Strauss Oboe Concerto at an International Double Reed Society Conference during a masterclass with Eugene Izotov. She has performed in masterclasses for John Mack, Mark Fink, Joseph Robinson, Kevin Vigneau, Mark Ostoich, David McGuire, Jacqueline Leclair, and Tom Boyd. She performed a medley of Hollywood themes with Tom Boyd (oboist of over 1000 Hollywood soundtracks) in concert at the University of Memphis Double Reed Festival. Wendy was a Classical Music Contributor to KCMetropolis.org, Kansas City’s former online journal of the arts
Wendy is on the substitute list for the Memphis, Corinth, Springfield, Paducah, and Jackson Symphonies. She has performed new music with NewEar Contemporary Ensemble in Kansas City. During the summers she is frequently a musician at the SPLICE Workshops in Kalamazoo, MI working with electro-acoustic composers performing new works for the instrument. Before summers at SPLICE, she could be found at the Taneycomo Festival in Branson, Mo. Wendy plays in numerous ensembles in the Kansas City and surrounding areas including new music groups, orchestras, wind ensembles, chamber ensembles, and musicals.
Wendy is a member of the International Double Reed Society, and the Kansas City Alumni Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.
As a versatile guitarist, Jason Riley’s professional experience includes recording, composing, teaching and performing in multiple styles. His education in classical guitar and commercial music included extended study in American styles, the Jazz idiom and improvisation.
As a recording artist, Jason has produced and released four solo CDs, Notes to Self (a compilation of original compositions) , Outtakes (original arrangements of traditional works), Spirit of Things (traditional American spirituals), and Funky Folk (familiar folk melodies and some quiet-time classical). An equally successful and dedicated sideman, his playing has been featured extensively on many albums by other artists.
Riley’s uniquely personal playing style, an improvisation-based approach utilizing “live” looping and tongue-in-cheek technical and technological effects, is demonstrated through his humble stage presence, acclaimed work with acoustic and electric instruments and heart-felt tributes to his many musical influences. His versatility of style, mood and character is seemingly unlimited: he can play soft and subtle, frantic and aggressive, he can swing, he can rock, he can play unaccompanied, with other guitarists or with symphony orchestra. His work on stage not only reflects his understanding of classical form and balance, but shows a highly original combination of this classical/rock/jazz background that very few guitarists can successfully execute in live performance.
Jason has won competitions and reader’s polls in both the rock and country genres and has opened for and performed with national and international artists. He has also made numerous radio and television appearances. When not on tour, Jason serves as adjunct professor of guitar at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS and Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph, MO. He has also served as co-director at the Festival Chartres – an international guitar festival in Chartres, France.