Instructor – Voice
AA General Education – Sacramento City College, BA Vocal Performance – Mary Baldwin College
Ms. Abel-Kerns has a robust resumé in the performing arts, including leading roles in Aida, Albert Herring, Die Walker, Der Rosenkavalier, Siegfried, Tosca, and Madam Butterfly with the San Francisco Opera, Sacramento Opera, Frankfurt Alte Opera and Heidelberg Opera. Madeline has a BA in Vocal Performance from Mary Baldwin College.
Professor of Music – Saxophone, Clarinet, Chamber Music
Dr. Bender teaches graduate and undergraduate saxophone performance and chamber music at Southern Oregon University. He directs the Ashland Chamber Music Workshop and the Siskiyou Saxophone Workshop, and is guest artist-teacher at the Sichuan Conservatory of Classical Music (China) and visiting professor at the College of Arts of Yantai University (China).
Instructor – Jazz Ensemble, Saxophone
BM Saxophone Performance – University of Oregon, MM Saxophone Performance – Arizona State University
Mr. Davidson has performed with jazz greats Peter Erskine, John Faddis, T.S. Monk, Mel Martin, and Frank Vignola. Davidson teaches Jazz Performance at Southern Oregon University and performs regularly with his band The Steve Davidson Group.
Instructor – Guitar, Bass Guitar
BM Jazz Performance/Composition – Rutgers University
Mr. Dunsavage has performed at many venues and festivals in the Pacific Northwest, including the Upper Sacramento River Jazz Festival, Southern Oregon Music Festival (formerly Medford Jazz Festival), Newport Oregon Jazz Festival, Britt Festivals, Craterian Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Jazz Project in Bellingham, Washington, among others.
Instructor – Music Theory/History, Collaborative Piano
ARCT – Royal Conservatory of Music, BMUS – University of Alberta, MMUS – University of British Columbia
Ms. Eggert debuted on CBC radio as a piano soloist at age 16, and she has since performed across Canada and internationally in the United States, Austria, and Ireland. Ms. Eggert conducted collaborative piano studies at the Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien, Austria, under the world’s foremost lieder specialists.
Instructor – Staff Pianist
BA – Southern Oregon University
Ms. French serves as staff accompanist and teacher of class piano at Southern Oregon University, maintains a private teaching studio, and holds a position as church organist. She has performed with nearly every musical organization in the region, including Rogue Valley Chorale, Siskiyou Singers, Rogue Music Theatre, Rogue Valley Symphony, Rogue Opera, and Southern Oregon Repertory Singers.
Professor of Music – Director of Choral Studies/Vocal Studies, Music History, Music Program Co-Chair Undergraduate Studies
BA – University of California Berkeley, MM – University of Southern California, DMA – University of Southern California
Dr. French is the Director of choral/vocal studies at Southern Oregon University and artistic director/conductor of the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers. He has conducted for leading musical organizations, including Rogue Opera, Jefferson Baroque Orchestra, Northwest Bach Ensemble, Chelan Bach Festival, and the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra.
Director of the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University
BME and Certificate in Flute – Florida State University, MME and Master’s in Educational Administration – Florida State University, PhD in Opera Production/Music Education – Florida State University
Dr. Humphrey has served in leadership and consulting roles at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Metropolitan Opera, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Opera, Corcoran Museum of Art, Museum of Performance & Design, California Center for the Arts in Escondido, and Washington Bach Consort.
Instructor – Voice
BA Piano Performance – University of Winnipeg, MM Piano Accompanying – The Juilliard School
Conductor of the Rogue Valley Chorale, she is also conductor, pianist, and vocal coach for the Brava! Opera Theater and James M. Collier Young Artist Program. A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School in New York, Ms. Hunter has performed internationally as a collaborative pianist.
Music Program Chair, Undergraduate Studies – Horn, Director of Bands
BA – California State University Fullerton, MM – University of California San Diego, PhD – University of Colorado
Dr. Hutton has served as conductor of Youth Symphony and Youth Orchestra since 1995. Currently a member of the Rogue Valley Symphony and RVSO Brass Quintet, Dr. Hutton is a recipient of the Alteria M. Bryant Award honoring women in the arts, as well as SOU’s Elmo Stevenson Presidential Award.
Instructor – Trombone, Composition
BA – Western Illinois University, MMus – Northwestern University, DMus – Northwestern University
Dr. Jacobs is principal trombone in the Rogue Valley Symphony. He is also regularly the trombonist in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He played in THE WIZ! (2016), Guys and Dolls (2015), The Music Man (2009), Pirates of Penzance (2011), and Animal Crackers (2012). In 2014, Dr. Jacobs completed a tour of concerts near Basel, Switzerland, featuring his recent compositions for band.
Instructor – Percussion, Director of the SOU Raider Band
BA – Music Performance/BA in Music Education – Southern Oregon University, MM – Percussion Performance – -California State University Sacramento
Currently, Mr. Jeffs serves as the Music Department coordinator at Rogue Community College, where he teaches a variety of music courses and directs the RCC Hand Drum Ensemble. In his role as artist instructor at Southern Oregon University, he teaches percussion and world music as well as assisting in the direction of the SOU Percussion Ensemble.
Instructor – Bassoon
BA Music – University of Puget Sound
Walker Kermode has been principal chair in the Maui and Redding Symphonies, and he currently enjoys performing with the Rogue Valley Symphony. Mr. Kermode is in demand as a chamber bassoonist and concerto soloist. Currently living in Ashland, Oregon, he is known as an inspiring music educator and performer. Mr. Kermode brings nearly two decades of experience teaching in the private setting and a dozen years of experience teaching band, choir, and general music in the public classroom. He has been the bassoon instructor at Southern Oregon University from 1995 until present.
Instructor – Oboe
BM Oboe Performance – Indiana University, MM Oboe Performance – Indiana University
Ms. Kessler plays oboe and English horn with the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra, Rogue Opera, and the Ashland City Band. She has also performed with the Rogue Valley Symphonic Band, Rogue Music Theater, SyZyGy, and other ensembles in the Rogue Valley. Prior to moving to the Rogue Valley in 2001 Kessler played professionally in several musical organizations in Indiana and Kentucky.
Senior Instructor of Music – Trumpet, Music Theory, Choirs
BM Trumpet Performance – University of Oregon, MMUS Trumpet Performance – University of British Columbia
As lead trumpet in the world-renowned Dallas Brass, Mr. Kocurek performed throughout North America before audiences numbering to over 10,000 people. Mr. Kocurek is currently the Artistic Director of the Rogue Valley Symphonic Band and the SOU Concert Choir. He is past Artistic Director of the Vancouver Peace Choir and the Elgar String Orchestra.
Professor of Music – Director of Percussion Studies, Music Graduate Coordinator, Co-Chair of Music Program
BS in Business Administration: Computer Applications and Systems – California State University Fresno, BM in Percussion Performance – California State University Sacramento, MA in Contemporary Music Performance – University of California San Diego, DMA in Contemporary Music Performance – University of California San Diego
Terry Longshore is a percussionist whose genre-crossing work exhibits the artistry of the concert stage, the spontaneity of jazz, and the energy of a rock club. He performs nationally and internationally as a soloist and ensemble member, collaborates with artists working in diverse media, and has premiered and recorded numerous works.
Instructor – History, Conducting
DMA in Conducting Fulbright Scholar – University of Arizona, PhD in Conducting Academy of Performing Arts – Bratislava Slovakia, Studied Accademia Musicale Chigiana – Siena Italy, Studied Wiener Meisterkurse – Vienna Austria
Born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (present-day Slovakia), Dr. Majkut graduated from the State Conservatory in orchestral conducting and piano performance. He served as assistant conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic (the first assistant in over 20 years) while working on his PhD in conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts.
Instructor – Voice
BA Music – Eastern Michigan University, MM Vocal Performance – University of Southern California
Mr. Matthews performed with many ensembles, including the Los Angeles Master Chorale. While a student at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, he met his most influential teacher, the great French baritone Martial Singher, with whom he studied for nearly 10 years.
Instructor – Percussion
BM – Music Performance, California State University, Northridge
Theresa began her career in Los Angeles performing in a variety of ensembles including premieres for Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music America, jazz drummer for Maiden Voyage, studio percussionist for a number of movie soundtracks, and percussionist for several L.A. area orchestras and musical theaters. She is currently Principal Timpanist with the Rogue Valley Symphony, Extra Percussion with the Britt Festival Orchestra, Conguera for Salsa Brava, percussionist for Sonido Alegre, and drummer for Opus 3.
Instructor – Voice
BM San Francisco State University
Ms. Murray is currently the vocal coach with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Brava! Opera Theatre. She performs regularly as a section leader with the acclaimed Southern Oregon Repertory Singers.
Instructor – Cello
BM Cello Performance – Manhattan School of Music
Principal Cellist of the Rogue Valley Symphony, Mr. Palzewicz is a founding member of the Elsner String Quartet.After winning the European Young Concert Artists Competition in Leipzig, the Elsner Quartet was enthusiastically invited to the Manhattan School of Music for a full scholarship.
Instructor – Violin/Viola
Master’s in Music Teaching and Performance, Kazakhstan University
Ms. Podolnaya was a violin teacher for the Almaty State Conservatory in Kazakhstan, the head conductor for the award-winning ensemble of violinists, “Haian Nabi,” as well as being the Dean of the String Department at the Prokofiev Music School. She was the recipient of many prestigious awards before coming to the U.S. including the Excellence of Teaching Medal from the government of Kazakhstan and the Soviet Union Laureate Teacher of the Year award. Ms. Podolanya has served since 2000 as Associate Conductor of the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon.
Dr. Vicki Purslow
Professor of Music – Music Education
BM Music Education – University of the Pacific, MA Music Education – California State University Sacramento, EdD Music Education – University of the Pacific
Dr. Purslow has played with Mel Tormé, Joe Williams, The Four Tops, The Temptations,Mary Wilson, The Funk Brothers, Stan Mark, Bobby Shew, and many other bands. She performs with the Rogue Valley Symphony and Britt Festival Orchestra.
Instructor – Guitar
Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) – University of Southern California Thornton School of Music
Dr. Wenjun Qi is a versatile classical guitarist who has dedicated her career to performing solo and chamber guitar music and teaching. Wenjun has successfully combined classical guitar with voice, saxophone, violin, flute, viola, piano and percussion instruments. In guitar pedagogy, Wenjun focuses on cultivating students’ music appreciation through guitar performance. She is also interested in transforming Chinese music characteristics into classical guitar performance.
Dr. Fred Schmidt
Instructor – Clarinet
BSEd Music Education – The Ohio State University, MA Woodwind Pedagogy – The Ohio State University, PhD Music Education/Clarinet Performance – The Ohio State University
Dr. Schmidt is a professor emeritus of music at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. During his tenure there, Dr. Schmidt conducted the select St. Norbert College Wind Ensemble and various woodwind ensembles. He can be heard playing principal clarinet on two compact disc recordings featuring the American Promenade Orchestra under the Klavier Records International label.
Professor of Music – Director of Keyboard Studies, Artist in Residence
BA – Minsk College of Music, MA – Belarusian State Conservatory of Music, MA – University of North Texas, DMA – Belarusian Academy of Music
Dr. Tutunov is a First Prize winner of the Belarusian National Piano Competition and winner of the Russian National Piano Competition. His recording of the Abeliovich Piano Concerto was featured as part of the Emmy Award–winning soundtrack for The History Channel documentary Russia: Land of the Tsars. Dr. Tutunov is the artistic director of the SOU International Piano Institute and was recently named the principal guest artist of the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra.
Christine Williams is an actor, singer, and artist instructor on the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU voice faculty. Her credits include many seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as well as productions at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Aspen Music Festival,American Opera Projects in NYC, and the Barbican Centre in London.