Music Therapy Bachelor of Music
Music Therapy is an allied health profession as well as a field of research. Music therapists use their skills to improve the health of their clients’ physical and/or mental functioning as well as their quality of life. Degree students take classes in, music, psychology, clinical foundations, music therapy, general education, and liberal arts. This degree is approved by NASM (National Association of Schools of Music) and AMTA (American Music Therapy Association)
Candidates completing the 4 year curriculum followed by a 6-month internship will be eligible to sit for the exam for the Music Therapist Certification Board (MT-BC)
Glinsky has appeared on the Discovery Channel, the A&E Network, various National Public Radio programs, and on Canada’s CBC network and England’s BBC Radio. His book, _Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage_, published by the University of Illinois Press, with a foreword by electronic music pioneer Robert Moog, won the 2001 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award.
Albert Glinsky has received critical praise for his music, which has been performed widely, and in such settings as Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the Aspen Music Festival, Wolf Trapp, and throughout Europe and the Far East. Performing organizations as diverse as the Boys Choir of Harlem and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra have premiered his works. Dance has played a large role in Glinsky's musical output. His works have been presented at the Lexington and Wilkes-Barre Ballets, the Merce Cunningham Dance Theatre, Les Grandes Ballets Canadiennes, Marin Ballet and at universities around the country. The Joffrey II Company presented a three-season international tour of his ballet, Flights, which was subsequently filmed for cable television.
Among the awards Glinsky has received are grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Smithsonian Institution, the Jerome Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, Music at La Gesse Foundation, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the Haydn Foundation, and New York State CAPS (Fellowship). The Astral Foundation awarded him a major career grant, and, later, a consortium commission for his piano concerto. Among the prizes Glinsky has received are two awards at the Alienor International Competition in Washington D.C., and a prize in the Composers Guild Choral Competition. He has been a Ucross Foundation resident artist in Wyoming. His music includes vocal, chamber, solo, and symphonic works and is recorded on the RCA Red Seal, Koch International Classics, Centaur, BMG Catalyst, and Leonore labels, and is published by C.F. Peters, E.C. Schirmer, Hinshaw Press, and American Composers Alliance. Performances and commissions of his works have been presented by such groups as the Cavani, Oregon, and Biava String Quartets, Relache, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, and the Erie Philharmonic, and with conductors Walter Hendl, Eiji Oue, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, and Daniel Meyer. Recent works include his Allegheny Quartet, commissioned by the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the city of Pittsburgh, and Sun Chanter, commissioned by the Erie Philharmonic in honor of the orchestra’s 100th Anniversary.
Albert Glinsky is the author of Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage, published by the University of Illinois Press, with a foreword by Robert Moog. Theremin won the prestigious ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in 2001 and received worldwide press acclaim. A gifted lecturer, Glinsky has delivered his multimedia “Termen-ology” presentation (on the life and work of Leon Theremin) across the U.S. and in Europe. He has appeared on the Discovery Channel, the A&E Network, the Science Channel, various National Public Radio programs, and on Canada’s CBC network and England’s BBC Radio. Recently he was featured on an episode of the PBS show, “History Detectives,” and on CBS Sunday Morning. Currently he is writing the authorized biography of synthesizer pioneer, Bob Moog.
Glinsky has served on the faculty of Montclair State University, was BMI Composer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University, and has taught at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Born in New York City, Albert Glinsky studied composition principally with Joan Tower and David Diamond. He holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, and a Ph.D. from New York University. He is a member of the American Composers Alliance and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).
Allen Zurcher has a wide and varied musical experience in his more than thirty-five years as a professional musician, composer, arranger and educator; including holding teaching positions in saxophone and jazz studies at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA, where he was the program director for the Bill Evans jazz festival. Dr. Zurcher has been a saxophonist with the Erie Philharmonic and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra as well as Music Dir. and bandleader for Premier and Princess Cruise Lines. He has performed with notable musicians and entertainers such as The Manhattan Transfer, Bryan Lynch, Conrad Herwig, Clark Terry, Don Menza, Vic Damone, and Diane Carroll. Allen can be heard on recordings Waiting in the Alley (2001) with Andy Nevala, For the Last Time (2001) with the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Lab I, and Armed and Dangerous (2008) with One World Tribe. In addition he maintains an active career as a performer and clinician in the Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York tri-state area Dr. Zurcher currently teaches jazz studies at Mercyhurst University and music appreciation at Gannon University.
Bradley T. Amidon, Adjunct Instructor of Percussion, is also the director of percussion studies at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA. Mr. Amidon holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Edinboro University and an MFA in Percussion Performance from State University of New York at Buffalo. His teachers have included Jan Williams, Lynn Harbold, Cosmo A. Barbaro, Alan Zimmerman, and M’Baye Rama Diagne.
Mr. Amidon currently performs in the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, the Erie Chamber Orchestra, and the Misery Bay Big Band, as well as a host of other small chamber groups in the northwest PA area.
In addition to keeping an active teaching studio at Mercyhurst University and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and to directing the percussion ensemble, Mr. Amidon also maintains a private teaching studio in the northwest PA area. He has also served as assistant marching band director at McDowell High School in the Millcreek Township School District, Erie, PA.
Mr. Amidon is currently ABD in the music theory doctoral program at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.
Brittany Barko, M.M., MT-BC, NMT is a neurologic music therapist native to Erie, who was the first graduate of the Mercyhurst Music Therapy program in 2013. She completed her internship at University Hospital's Case Medical Center in Cleveland, OH, where she gained clinical experience in oncology, hospice, at-risk preschoolers, sickle cell disease, and medical/surgical populations. She completed graduate studies at Western Michigan University in Music Therapy where she gained invaluable research experience and further developed her clinical skills in neurological rehabilitation.
Brittany's passion for music therapy stems from her roots in music ministry and music education. Since 2000, Brittany served as cantor/pianist/organist/choir member for several Erie churches including Our Lady of Mercy Church, Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church, and Mercyhurst's Christ the King Chapel. While completing her Masters, she served as music director for 2 parishes in Three Rivers, MI, accompanying liturgies on piano/organ/guitar, directing the choirs, and planning music for weekend and special liturgies. Brittany has also enjoyed providing private piano/voice/guitar/ukulele lessons over the years to all ages, both in PA and MI.
Now back in her hometown, Brittany is the newest member of Prof. Craig Stevens' private music therapy practice, Lake Erie Music Therapy, and teaches voice and guitar classes for Mercyhurst music therapy students. She is highly motivated to advocate for music therapy services in the Erie community, both through increasing clientele in the private practice and expanding the undergraduate program at Mercyhurst.
Bryan Lewis earned both his Master of Music and his Bachelor of Music degrees from Ithaca College and earned his Music Education Certification from Mercyhurst College. Originally from the Erie area, Bryan graduated from Fairview High School. Music has been a part of his life since he was eight years old and started playing saxophone. Since then, he has become a professional tuba player and has performed in every genre of music from rock to classical. He has performed in many different types of ensembles from symphony orchestras, wind ensembles, concert bands, marching bands, brass quintets, tuba quartets, solo recitals, to jazz and klezmer groups. His music has allowed him to travel to Italy, Ireland, and New York City to perform. He also composes and arranges music and started his own sheet music publishing company called Tubaseal Press. He currently teaches private music lessons in the area on all woodwind and brass instruments.
Carolyn Borland is an Erie native who graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree from Mercyhurst University in 2002. She has played bassoon with The Erie Chamber Orchestra, Erie Opera Theatre, Mercyhurst University Wind Ensemble, and Mercyhurst University Chamber Orchestra. Carolyn also has a sizable private studio with students from seventh grade through the collegiate level. In addition to playing bassoon, Carolyn is an instrumental music teacher at Westlake Middle School in Millcreek Township. She teaches band, orchestra, and general music in grades six through eight.
Christopher Rapier received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and studied with Laura Klock (principal horn with Springfield, MA Symphony) and Ralph Pottle (utility horn with the Boston Symphony) while attending. Chris studied with Richard Solis (principal horn with the Cleveland Orchestra) and Alan DeMattia (2nd horn with the Cleveland Orchestra) after being accepted at Cleveland Institute of Music to work toward a master’s degree in performance. He is principal horn for Erie Philharmonic, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Erie Ballet, Erie Opera Theater, and Beamus Bay Pops Orchestra. Chris has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony, Opera Cleveland, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, Mansfield Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Wheeling Symphony, the former Cleveland Ballet, and with the Praise Team at his church on Sunday mornings. He has toured New England and performed on a live broadcast on Cleveland's classical radio station WCLV with the Metropolitan Brass Quintet (from Cleveland, OH). Mr. Rapier teaches French Horn at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA, the Fine Arts Association in Willoughby, OH, Pfabe’s Music in Painesville, OH, and also maintains a private teaching studio.
Christopher J. Von Volkenburg is currently an adjunct professor of Music Education at Mercyhurst University. Mr. Von Volkenburg is a proud graduate of Mercyhurst earning his Bachelor of Music in 2009, summa cum laude. He also holds a Master of Science in Education from Wilkes University. While at Mercyhurst, he studied String Bass and played in many ensembles including Jazz Band and Orchestra. He was also selected to conduct Mercyhurst’s production of “Sweet Charity.”
Mr. Von Volkenburg is currently teaching music in the Millcreek Township School District at Asbury Elementary School. In 2014, he was honored with the “Golden Apple Award” for his commitment to students in the music classroom. Mr. Von Volkenburg was also an instructor for the McDowell Marching Band.
In addition to teaching, Mr. Von Volkenburg is an active performer in the community. He is a member of the Misery Bay Big Band and the Presque Isle Jazz Orchestra. He also performs at various venues in the Erie area playing acoustic guitar with the band Delaware Gap, a finalist for the 2016 Rock Erie Music Awards. He is an active mentor for the Erie Jr. Philharmonic, working with students in the string section. He hopes to share his passion for teaching with future music educators.
Craig Stevens MA, MT-BC, NMT is the founder and director of the Music Therapy program at Mercyhurst University. His duties include the building and teaching of all the required Music Therapy courses, which offer the students a wide range of theoretical and clinical foundations, as well as application through in-the-field training. He also teaches the Music Technology classes.
During his time at Hamot, Mr. Stevens also forged a working relationship as a Neurologic Music Therapist with Health South Rehabilitation, allowing for a continuum of care from an acute care setting to a neuro-rehabilitation setting for those living with Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Parkinson's Disease. His graduate work focused heavily on Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities as well as Teen Mental Health. Currently, Craig Stevens maintains a part-time private practice with his company Lake Erie Music Therapy Services, which focuses mainly on Neurologic disorders.
Mr. Stevens has a Bachelors degree from the University of Dayton in Journalism and Psychology, a second Bachelors degree in Audio Recording and Music Business from Middle Tennessee State, and holds a Masters Degree in Music Therapy and Counseling from Naropa University in Boulder Colorado. Mr. Stevens also received his certification in Neurologic Music Therapy from Colorado State University. He is a published songwriter/producer and many of his compositions have been licensed into film and television productions around the world. In his spare time, Mr. Stevens like to produce original music in his recording studio, scuba dive, read Music Therapy research journals, and go on adventures with his wife.
James Bobick has enjoyed a versatile career, from leading operatic roles in the works of Donizetti, Verdi, Bizet, and Mozart to those in the contemporary operas of composers including Jake Heggie, Mark Adamo, John Eaton, and David T. Little. Mr. Bobick was seen in over twenty roles at New York City Opera including a Primetime Emmy-winning broadcast of La Bohème. Mr. Bobick has also appeared with companies including Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Portland Opera, Opera Colorado, Connecticut Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Pacific, Opera Delaware, Virginia Opera, Baltimore Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Dayton Opera, Central City Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and the Bard Festival.
James Bobick is regularly praised for the quality of both his singing and his acting. As Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, the Washington Post singled him out for particular praise; “Among the many good things about Virginia Opera’s production of Rossini’s Barber of Seville, the best was baritone James Bobick as Figaro. Bobick was a standout in a strongly cast production. He has a fine voice and his first-act aria ‘Largo al factotum,’ was given a bravura performance. With his good looks, excellent comic timing and strong stage presence, he exuded confidence and joie de vivre. It is a Figaro to remember.” Opera News has noted that in La bohème, “Bobick was an ideal Marcello, singing with comic point, emotionally volatile and vocally splendid in the Act IV duet,” and in a performance with LA Opera that “James Bobick, who sang the role of the Father with manic intensity, presented a disturbing study of the easily-crossed borderline between patriarchalism and vituperative madness.” In The New York Times, Mr. Bobick’s Elmer Gantry garnered the mention, “Many of the vocal performances were impressive, including that of James Bobick as Elmer.” The New York Times has also praised James for his “burnished sound and incisive diction” as the Gambler in Jack Beeson’s Hello Out There, and for his portrayal of Howard in David T. Little’s Dog Days, printing, “The vocal cast is uniformly fine, with particularly moving work from James Bobick as Howard.”
In addition to his work in the standard operatic repertoire, Mr. Bobick has extensive experience performing the new works of contemporary composers. He has bowed as Bendrix in Jake Heggie’s End of the Affair, as Kinesias in Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata, as Dr. Bloom in John Eaton’s micro-tonal operas Pumped Fiction, as Donald Giovanni in P.D.Q. Bach’s The Abduction of Figaro, as Rob Petrie in Paul Salerni’s The Life and Love of Joe Coogan and as Howard in David T. Little’s critically acclaimed Dog Days. He has also performed large contemporary works while in concert, on recording, or as a frequent guest in New York City Opera’s VOX festival. These works include leading roles in Robert Aldrich’s Elmer Gantry, Robert Manno’s Dylan and Caitlin, John Eaton’s The Rev. Jim Jones, Herschel Garfein’s Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Timothy Geller’s Where Silence Reigns, Matt Marks’ Bluetooth Islands, Sergio Cervetti’s Elegy for a Prince and Yum!, Robert Paterson’s A Child Possessed, David T. Little’s Soldier Songs, and Ted Hearne’s Katrina Ballads. Most recently, Mr. Bobick created the role of Moldenhauer in the world premiere of Michael Dellaira’s The Death of Webern.
James Bobick has also been heard frequently as a concert soloist. At Carnegie Hall, he has been heard in Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpurgisnacht, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. He has performed at Avery Fisher Hall in Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Haydn’s Creation and Paukenmesse, Bach's Mass in B minor, and Handel’s Messiah. Internationally, he has performed Messiah in Prague with the Prague Symphony; Carmina Burana and Messiah in San José, Costa Rica with the San José Symphony; Fauré’s Requiem in Paris, Reims, and Chartres, with the Orchestre Pasdeloup; and, Fauré’s Tu es Petrus in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris. Around the country, Mr. Bobick’s performances have included Orff’s Carmina Burana; Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem; Mozart’s Requiem; Bach’s Magnificat and Mass in B minor; Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Messiah, and the title role in Saul; Haydn’s Die Schöpfung and Lord Nelson Mass; Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Five Mystical Songs, and Songs of Travel; and, Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio.
James Bobick can be heard on the original cast recording of David T. Little’s Dog Days, which was released in New York City in October of 2016 and was recently ranked #19 on NPR’s 2016 Top 50 Albums of the Year.
Jared Hancock graduated magna cum laude from Mercyhurst University in May of 2016, where he earned a bachelor's degree in music for vocal performance. During his schooling at the D'Angelo Department of Music, he sang Papageno in Mozart's Magic Flute, and Sharpless in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. He was also a very active soloist and quartet singer in the Mercyhurst Concert and Collegiate Choirs. In the summer of 2015, Jared participated in La Musica Lirica, a young artis program held in Novafeltria, Italy, where he sang Betto in Gianni Schicchi as well as Sharpless for a second time. He is currently working and preparing to go back to school in hopes of earning his master's degree in vocal performance.
Jonathan Moser has loved music ever since childhood when he would sit under the family piano listening as his parents and grandmother played Beethoven, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff. His formal musical education began as a violin student, an education he pursued through a Bachelor of Music in Performance degree from Shenandoah University and a Master of Music in Performance degree from Arizona State University, with additional Doctoral studies in performance. Mr. Moser has enjoyed working with many outstanding teachers including Katie McLin, James Stern, Sergiu Schwartz, Linda Cerone, and Ronda Cole, and he has performed in master classes with Jaime Laredo, Claude Frank, Sylvia Rosenberg, Shlomo Mintz, and Sergiu Luca.
During his studies, Mr. Moser enjoyed minoring in voice, studying viola, and discovering his love of conducting. He has now been directing music programs for many years. This fall Mr. Moser begins a new position as Visiting Instructor of Music at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA. Summers he can be found working as the Orchestra Program and Adjudication Director for the Philadelphia International Music Festival and teaching at other festivals. Recent prior posts include Orchestra Director at Kutztown University and Music Director of the Wilmington Community Orchestra. Before moving to Philadelphia, he was the Director of Orchestras and Instructor of Music at Westminster College and served as adjunct faculty for Grove City College. He has also been the Director of Music at University Presbyterian Church, Providence Presbyterian Church, and Proclamation Presbyterian Church.
An active performer, Mr. Moser regularly concertizes with chamber ensembles, as a recitalist, and with orchestras. He is a member of the Music at Ethical: Concerts on the Square players and the Bay-Atlantic Symphony. For two years he toured extensively with Sandip Burman – an internationally renowned tabla artist. Mr. Moser was also a member of the Wheeling Symphony and the Erie Philharmonic. Mr. Moser has served as concertmaster for Pittsburgh Opera Theater, Music on the Edge, the Erie Philharmonic, and Musica Nova, among others. He has served as principal second with the Bay-Atlantic Symphony and the Wheeling Symphony. Mr. Moser was winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Solo Competition, the Philadelphia College of Bible Solo Competition (2 years), the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association Solo Competition, the Shenandoah University Concerto competition, and was a finalist in the National Symphony Orchestra's Young Soloists Competition. Mr. Moser was a founding member of the Arizona State University’s Katherine K. Herberger Graduate String Quartet. He also enjoys other opportunities to collaborate with ensembles such as the Pittsburgh-based contemporary group and ensemble in residence at the University of Pittsburgh, IONSOUND.
Mr. Moser and his wife are blessed with three children.
Jonathan Nolan, a graduate of the D’Angelo School of Music holds a degree in Music Education and a Masters in Special Education. He has participated in several master classes with guitarists such as William Kannengiser and Adam Holtzman. Along with his passion for classical guitar, Jonathan has played across the country playing Irish folk music, rock, jazz and blues. Since graduating from Mercyhurst, Jonathan has been a music teacher in Erie’s Public Schools, and was a grant recipient from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation in 2014.
Kent Tucker is an adjunct faculty member at Mercyhurst University, serving as the trombone instructor, overseeing the Recital Attendance Requirement, and teaching the core course, Music in Society.
Kent performs frequently throughout the tri-state region as a professional trombonist. He has performed with the Erie Philharmonic, the Erie Chamber Orchestra, the Erie Ballet Orchestra, the Bemus Bay Pops Orchestra, Presque Isle Brass, 7th and Sass Brass, and numerous other ensembles.
As a jazz player, he has performed with the Misery Bay Big Band, the Dave Stevens Big Band, the Dixie Doodlers, the Parade Street Dixieland Jazz Band, Sack of Bones, and many others.
Kent has performed with the Four Freshmen, Bobby Vinton, and the Temptations. He is a member of the award-winning Erie funk band, The Groove.
Kent founded and directs the band program at Villa Maria Elementary School in Erie. In addition, he has an active private lessons studio from which his low brass students have earned many regional and state honors.
Linda Kobler, ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR OF MUSIC APPRECIATION (ONLINE), holds bachelors degrees in Piano and Harpsichord from the Peabody Conservatory, and a Master of Music degree in Piano from the Juilliard School. She has studied musicology at the City University of New York, and has served on the faculty of the Juilliard School, and The New School for Social Research. Currently she teaches online for numerous colleges and universities around the country.
Kobler has been concerto soloist with such ensembles as the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, the Bach Gesellschaft, and New York’s “Y” Chamber Orchestra under Gerard Schwarz. She has been a regular commentator for "National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”":http://www.npr.org/programs/pt/ and has written liner notes for "Sony Classical":http://www.sonymasterworks.com.
Lindsay Riggs is currently an Adjunct Instructor of World Music in the D'Angelo Department of Music.
Lisa Brown began playing cello at a very young age. In 2008, she earned a Masters of Music in cello performance from Carnegie Mellon University where she studied under Anne Martindale Williams, the principal cellist of the Pittsburgh symphony. Previously she earned her Bachelors of Music in cello performance from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford where she studied under Steven Thomas. Lisa also enjoys teaching and has taught students of all ages. In 2009, she completed her Suzuki teacher training at The School for Strings in New York, studying under Pamela Devenport. She has also taught at the Csehy Summer School of Music. Lisa is married to her husband, William, and they have two daughters, Annika and Lydia.
Louisa Jonason, Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of the Opera Program, holds a Bachelor of Music from Morehead State University, and an Master of Music from New York University.
Jonason’s European debut was at L’Opera de Nice. Other international debuts were at the National Theater in Taiwan, in Caracas, Venezuela and Hamilton, Canada. Jonason also sang Queen Isabella for the North American premier of Darius Milhaud’s Christopher Columbus with Madame Milhaud in attendance and created the role of the Queen in the world premiere of Seymour Barab’s Sleeping Beauty.
Jonasons’s New York debut as a stage director was with the American Singers’ Opera Project’s (ASOP). She is currently affiliated with the After Dinner Opera Company of New York City.
Belle Valley Elementary School
Elementary Music Department Chair, 2000-2010
30 years Millcreek Township School District
5 years Oil City School District
Master Music Ed. - Indiana University of PA, 1988
Bachelor Music Ed. - College Misericordia, 1982
Associate in Music – Mount Aloysius, 1980
Citation of Excellence Award/PMEA, 1996
Walmart/Sam’s Club Teacher of Year in PA, 2003
Member of PMEA and Erie Philharmonic Orchestra Education Committee
Erie Philharmonic Award for volunteering, 1995
Adjunct Faculty Member, Mercyhurst University, 2012-present
Melany Myers is currently an Adjunct Instructor of Music Education in the D'Angelo Department of Music.
Nathan R. Barber earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance at Michigan State University, studying percussion with Mark Johnson and piano with Bea Mangino. While at Michigan State University, he also received a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications. He studied composition at Western Michigan University with Ramon Zupko, C. Curtis-Smith, and Jim Schwall, receiving his Master of Music degree in Composition in 1999. His works have been performed by members of the Grand Rapids Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, South Bend Symphony, and the Bergonzi String Quartet, and ensembles including the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, Keweenaw Youth Orchestra, West Michigan Horn Choir, 5% Skill (MTU Percussion Ensemble), and various church choirs.
He is also serves as the Director of Operations, Music Librarian, and Education Coordinator for the Erie Philharmonic.
Nathan Hess has appeared throughout the United States and Europe in solo, chamber, and concerto settings. He has soloed with the Manassas Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Western New York Chamber Orchestra, and York Symphony Orchestra, among others. Recent recital appearances and masterclasses have included the American Liszt Society Festival; The Americas Society in New York City; The Second Sunday Recital Series in Binghamton, NY; The Southwest String Quartet in Tucson, AZ; Duke University; University of Wisconsin Eau Claire; Bowling Green State University; West Chester University; Morgan State University; Buffalo Piano Teachers Forum; and the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Pittsburgh.
Hess holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude, from James Madison University, where he was named a Presser Scholar. He has performed in chamber music settings with members of orchestras such as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and Buffalo Philharmonic. Hess has also acted as orchestral pianist with the Erie Philharmonic.
Dr. Hess is especially interested in twentieth and twenty-first century American music. He presented a lecture-recital on Ned Rorem’s music at the 2014 College Music Society Northeast Regional Conference, and in April 2014 he performed Lukas Foss’s Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird at the Americas Society in New York City. Upcoming recitals and masterclasses include Randolph College, Duquesne University, and the Steinway Society of Western Pennsylvania. For five years Hess chaired the piano program at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts in Erie, teaching piano to some of the state's most talented pre-college students. He performed in and produced a set of recordings for the textbook Harmony in Context, published by McGraw-Hill and written by Miguel Roig-Francoli. In addition to teaching and performing, Dr. Hess is active in Music Teachers National Association and also adjudicates frequently throughout the region and East Coast. He is Chair of the D’Angelo Department of Music and Assistant Professor of Piano at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA. Each August he teaches on the piano faculty at Rocky Ridge Music Center in Estes Park, Colorado. He can be heard on the Centaur label in a recording with flutist Susan Royal and in a recent recording of Bach arias produced by the International Trumpet Guild.
Nina Bell is an active performer and trumpet instructor based in Cleveland, OH. She currently holds the positions of Principal Trumpet of the CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra as well as Second Trumpet in both the Mansfield and Firelands Symphony Orchestras. She has also performed as substitute with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Opera Circle, Ashland Symphony, Canton Symphony, Akron Symphony, and Jackson Symphony Orchestra. In recent summers, Nina has attended prestigious orchestral summer festivals in Colorado, California, and Japan. In addition to her instruction at Mercyhurst University, Nina maintains teaching studios in four districts around Cleveland.
Nina began her formal classical music training at Northwestern University, in Evanston, IL, where she studied with Charlie Geyer and Barbara Butler, and received a Bachelor of Music with Departmental Honors in Trumpet Performance. She went on to earn a Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Cleveland Orchestra Principal Trumpet Michael Sachs. While at CIM, Nina was honored with both the Dr. and Mrs. K.L. Wu Memorial Award and the Dr. Calvin E. Weber Award for Excellence in Trumpet.
Nina enjoys performing chamber music as well, in a brass quintet setting and also with her husband, trombonist Sebastian Bell, in their duo Double Bell Brass.
Rebecca Ryan, Lecturer, Admissions Coordinator and Director of Choirs*, holds a bachelor of arts in Music/Psychology from Mount Holyoke College. Ryan has studied at Boston University, UMass-Amherst, the Tanglewood Institute, and at seminars and workshops throughout the USA. Ryan is a member of Temple Anshe Hesed’s High Holy Day Quartet and often serves as guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator and accompanist for festivals.
Ryan is a member of Music Educators National conference, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing, and the American Choral Directors Association.
Rebecca Wunch graduated from Duquesne University where she studied clarinet performance and minored in saxophone and piano. She received her Master’s degree from Bowling Green University with a dual in Music Theory and Performance. Additionally, while there, she had a teaching assistantship in Music Theory/Aural Skills. As a performer, she has played in various venues, including a composer’s series at Carnegie Hall, the Nutcracker with the Toledo Ballet Company, and a soloist with the Mercyhurst Orchestra. As a teacher, Rebecca developed the curriculum for the Perseus House Charter School of Excellence Middle School music program, where she previously taught. In addition to teaching at Mercyhurst University, she currently works for local after-school music programs, performances with the Misery Bay Big Band, the woodwind trio Reed’m & Weep, and the Presque Isle Sax Quartet.
Dr. Sarah Kahl is a member of the adjunct music faculty at Mercyhurst University and is the accompanist for the college choirs at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, the Young People’s Chorus of Erie, and the Erie Philharmonic Chorus. She was previously on the piano faculties at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and Valley City State University in Valley City, North Dakota. Kahl received her DMA in Piano Performance from the University of Kansas where she studied with Jack Winerock. Her doctoral research into the piano music of Clara Schumann has led to presentations and lecture recitals exploring Schumann’s lesser known works for piano. She received her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Nebraska where she studied piano with Paul Barnes and pedagogy with Brenda Wristen. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and studied under David Worth.
Kahl is an active performer, both as a solo artist and a collaborative pianist. She performed in Vienna, Austria, at the Bösendorfer Piano Academy where she studied with Wolfgang Watzinger and Krassimira Jordan. Kahl tours with tubist, Dean Somerville, and recently released a recording in the fall of 2011 entitled “Straight Ahead”, which features the Brahms Horn Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 40. Dr. Kahl currently collaborates with many music faculty members and students in and around the Erie area.
Scott Meier, Associate Professor of Saxophone and Music Education, began his studies at the University of Wyoming, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in music education. After seven years of teaching instrumental and choral music in the Arizona public schools, he earned his Master of Music in woodwind doubling at the University of Redlands in Redlands, California where he studied saxophone and conducting with Eddie R. Smith. Later, during his doctoral work at The Florida State University he studied conducting with James Croft, Rodney Eichenberger, and Andre Thomas.
Meier is currently an associate professor of music education in the D’Angelo Department of Music. He teaches applied saxophone, conducts the wind and jazz ensembles, teaches music education and technology courses, and is conducting research in multimedia education and the transfer of learning.