Academic Program at Centre College
Larry Bitensky is W. George Matton Professor of Music at Centre where he teaches composition, music theory, musicianship, and world music. He was named a Centre Scholar in 2012, and has served as chair of the music program.
Known for music described as “extraordinarily sensitive and beautiful” and “speaking directly to the heart,” composer and pianist Bitensky has been hailed for works that are satisfying for performers and communicative to audiences. With their emotional intensity, directness, lyrical and sinuous melodies, and funky, polyrhythmic grooves, his works range from wistfully nostalgic, deeply sad, and evocative, to exuberant, playful, and ecstatic.
Educated at Skidmore College, the New England Conservatory of Music, Ithaca College, and Cornell University, Bitensky’s musical personality is rooted in a range of influences. He often seeks to merge the complex structures and expressive range of the classical masters and the innovations of the 20th-century greats with the melodic and rhythmic invention and improvisatory flow of musical traditions from India, Indonesia, the Islamic and Jewish worlds, jazz, and the Grateful Dead. His travels as part of the College’s study abroad program have also allowed him to explore the musical cultures of Morocco, Spain, Turkey, and Bali.
Bitensky first came to national and international attention with a series of works inspired by Jewish musical tradition and culture. In these he developed a free, quasi-improvisatory lyricism and melodic richness that has become one of his signatures. These works include the award-winning Mishb’rey Yam, a song cycle based on Hebrew texts of the great medieval poet Yehudah Halevi; “…a perfect rest,” an orchestral rhapsody based on the traditional Jewish memorial chant; Awake, You Sleepers!, a concerto for trumpet and wind ensemble based on the sounds of the shofar; and Rapture, a piano work based on Chasidic folk melodies.
He has also received attention for works based on his long association with world-renowned trumpeter Vince DiMartino. These include Awake, You Sleepers!, described as “one of the finest additions to the trumpet and wind ensemble repertoire to date;” the polyrhythmic, jazz-infused “From those beginning notes of yearning,” for trumpet and piano; and the comic and macabre The Other Side, for trumpet and chamber ensemble.
A pianist since the age of six, Bitensky’s music is rooted in his sense of what is gratifying for a performer. He regularly returns to the piano as a source of renewal, and he has made numerous contributions to the contemporary piano literature. These include the brooding and melancholy The Alchemy of Solitude, the colorful and varied From the Corner Room, the poetic Scent of the World We Gave Up, Rapture, Shouts and Murmurs, and others.
Bitensky’s works have been recognized by numerous foundations and institutions: the Fromm Foundation, the Omaha Symphony, the New England Philharmonic, the Saint Mary’s University Kaplan Commissioning Project, the Big Ten Band Commission, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, the Columbia Orchestra, Jabez Press, the ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Award, the Kentucky Arts Council, the Music Teachers National Association, the Kentucky Music Teachers Association, the American Music Center, the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation, the Friends and Enemies of New Music, the International Trumpet Guild, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the Modern Chamber Players, the Harrid Conservatory, the Society of Composers, Inc., Duquesne University New Music Ensemble, Ensemble X, and the ASCAP Foundation Young Composers Competition.
Recorded on Mark Records and Sea Breeze Vista records, Bitensky’s music has been performed by numerous ensembles and at various festivals around North America, Europe, and Asia. His music is published by Silly Black Dog Music.
File last updated: 10/16/13
Robert Seebacher joined the Centre College faculty as assistant professor of music and director of instrumental programs in 2017 and also teaches applied horn.
Seebacher is music director and conductor of the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra in Tennessee and assistant conductor for the National Chorale in New York. He has appeared with the Lexington Philharmonic, Youngstown Symphony, Warren Philharmonic and Mobile Symphony orchestras. Seebacher’s previously held positions include director of orchestras and conductor of opera at the University of South Alabama, music director and conductor of the Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra, assistant conductor with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre, and the Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Seebacher served on the faculty of the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts until its elimination by the Department of Education. While in residence there, he conducted opera and taught conducting, music theory and history, as well as French horn. He has conducted numerous all-state and honors orchestras in Kentucky, West Virginia and Alabama. His guest artist collaborations have included those with Chee-Yun, Béla Fleck, Mark O’Connor, Midori, the Canadian Brass, Bella Hristova, Pablo Sainz Villegas, The Harlem Quartet, Arlo Guthrie, and Lynn Harrell.
Seebacher has participated in training workshops at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan. He conducted the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as part of their inaugural conducting symposium. His teachers include William B. Slocum, Stephen L. Gage, John Nardolillo, Emily Freeman Brown and Gustav Meier.
Seebacher earned a B.A. in music education from Youngstown State University; an M.M. in orchestral conducting from Bowling Green State University; and a D.M.A. in orchestral conducting from the University of Kentucky.
File last updated: 06/01/18
Johann Van Niekerk joined Centre’s faculty in 2015 as assistant professor of music. He is an active conductor, pianist, educator, writer and collaborative artist, originally from South Africa.
He earned his DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, his M.M. from Temple University and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He hails originally from the Republic of South Africa and has lived in the United States since 2009.
File last updated: 9/28/15
He has graced the most prominent stages across the globe. The London Times has hailed him as “one of the brightest natural talents to have emerged from the United States in recent years.” And now, world-renowned American tenor and Metropolitan Opera veteran Gregory Turay will share his talents at Centre College as the Alltech Artist-in-Residence.
Over the coming year, Turay will give a recital, offer vocal workshops and collaborate with Centre’s choral conductor Johann Van Niekerk. Turay will also teach an opera workshop during the three-week CentreTerm in January and collaborate with Centre Associate Professor Nathan Link, who specializes in 18th-century opera, on a team-taught course. And for a fortunate few, Turay will also offer private voice lessons.
The appointment exemplifies not only Alltech’s on-going support of the arts but also its continuing partnership with Centre. President John A. Roush could not be more pleased.
“Anything we do with Alltech occurs at the highest level, including our most recent partnership that brought the Vienna Philharmonic to the stage of the Norton Center for the Arts,” says Roush. “We remain grateful for Dr. and Mrs. Lyons’ vision and generosity, which benefits our students and entire campus community, not to mention the commonwealth and our region.”
Pearse Lyons is the founder and president of Alltech and was responsible for bringing the Vienna Philharmonic and talented Venezuelan virtuoso conductor Gustavo Dudamel to Centre as part of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™.
“Alltech’s continuing support of such endeavors,” Roush adds, “exemplifies how successful corporations can have a direct, immediate and positive impact for good in the lives of young people. Pearse and Deirdre’s commitment to Kentucky and the region is legendary.”
This type of support should come as no surprise. In 2012, Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, honored Alltech as one of the Top 10 Companies Supporting the Arts in America.
A Lexington resident and alumnus of the University of Kentucky, Turay began his meteoric rise in 1995 when, at the age of 21, he won the Metropolitan Opera National Councils Auditions. After training in the Met’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, Turay made his Met debut in “Ariadne auf Naxos” conducted by James Levine. He has since appeared on the Metropolitan Opera stage for 10 consecutive seasons.
Turay’s impressive resume includes engagements with notable companies like the San Francisco Opera, Deutsche Opera, Santa Fe Opera and Boston Lyric Opera, and he has also performed with leading orchestras and prominent conductors such as Seiji Ozawa.
Since returning to Lexington, Turay has developed a long and deep relationship with Alltech through the School of Music at his alma mater. Highlights include performances at Alltech’s 25th anniversary of its presence in China and entertaining at Alltech’s annual dinner in Dublin, which honors members of Ireland’s diplomatic corps, including consuls general, ambassadors and other dignitaries representing more than 70 countries.
Zachary Klobnak is Centre’s Organist and Instructor of Organ, Harpsichord, and Piano. He is also Director of Music and Organist at the Presbyterian Church of Danville, where he directs the music program, administers the “Music on Main Street” concert series, and plays the church’s Taylor & Boody pipe organ.
A native of Iowa, Klobnak holds degrees from Luther College (B.A.), the University of Florida (M.M.), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (D.M.A.), where he held the Brownson Fellowship for organ studies. His principal organ teachers include Dana Robinson, Laura Ellis, and Gregory Peterson; he has also studied harpsichord with Kathryn Reed and choral conducting with Donald Nally, Fred Stoltzfus, and Timothy Peter.
Klobnak is an active recitalist, a member of the American Guild of Organists and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, and studied French organ literature and design in Paris and in the Alps region of France. He has held church music positions in Illinois, Florida, and Iowa.
File last updated: 8/24/17
APPLIED MUSIC ADJUNCT FACULTY
Bratton’s performing, producing, and recording career spans over 100 CDs/albums, and numerous TV, radio, and concert appearances. His resume includes percussion work for legendary rock producer Chris Kimsey (The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Cliff); co-producing, recording, and performing with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic, Talking Heads); and recording with Grammy Award winner Bela Fleck. He has performed with Ghanaian master drummer Gideon Alorwoyie and his Afrikania Cultural Troupe, including a special 1993 Chicago performance for Nelson Mandela. He has also been involved with Catawampus Universe and the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. Other performances and studies have taken him abroad to Ghana and Suriname.
BOB BRYANT received his B.A. in music from the University of Kentucky, and master’s degree from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He has previously served on the faculty of Eastern Kentucky University as instructor of bass, tuba, jazz improvisation, and co-director of the Jazz Ensemble. Bryant also served on the faculty of Morehead State University as Professor of Bass and Lecturer in Music. Currently, and in addition to Centre College, Mr. Bryant is Professor of Bass and Jazz Theory/Improvisation at Asbury University.
Professor Bryant established his professional career as a studio musician with a discography of over 500 LPs and CDs, and composed/produced over 1000 commercial productions in the form of jingles, cues, and corporate marketing film scores. As a current performer, Bryant can be viewed on PBS (and worldwide) as the house bass player for the Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, and duo partner with guitar virtuoso, Ben Lacy (opening acts include Tower of Power, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Victor Wooten). An abridged list of past collaborations with other known performers include the Smothers Brothers, Bela Fleck, Alex Acuna, and Jerry Douglas.
Dr. YOONIE CHOI, a Korean born cellist, began her musical journey at the age of five and then moved to New York City at the age of 13 with an invitation to study with one of the professors, Marion Feldman, at the Manhattan School of Music (Preparatory Division). She accepted a full scholarship to attend the Oberlin Conservatory of Music for her bachelor’s degree. During her undergraduate studies with Professor Peter Rejto, Choi was a founding member of Trio Casalmaggiore, a piano trio ensemble that was formed and named after an international summer music festival in Italy. The group performed throughout Europe, the U.S., and Canada. During that time, she was one of the founding members of the Valley Lutheran School of Performing Arts (now known as Chagrin Valley Music Academy) and also was the Executive Director for the Chagrin Valley Chamber Music Concert Series.
Choi then accepted a position to become the teaching assistant to Miró Quartet cellist, Joshua Gindele, at Kent State University, where she received her master’s degree in music. While earning her degree, Choi was a member of Akron Symphony Orchestra and was a substitute cellist for Canton Symphony Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and Erie Symphony Orchestra. She continued her education at the University of Kentucky where she received her doctoral degree in cello performance under the guidance of Benjamin Karp. While studying at U.K., Choi was in the Niles String Quartet, the resident string quartet, as well as a member of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra.
To broaden her scope beyond classical music, Choi joined the International Broadway Tour of Aida in 2008, which lasted for six months in China. Upon returning to Lexington, Ky., she was the permanent cellist of the Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour. She was also a member of Orchestra Kentucky Bowling Green, as well as a faculty member at the Bowling Green String Academy and an adjunct faculty member at Kentucky State University. Currently, Choi is a member of the Louisville Masters Chorale as well as being the resident cellist for the Lexington Theater Company. She frequently performs with the Louisville Ballet and Kentucky Opera, as well as subs for the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Huntington Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra Kentucky Bowling Green. She also performed on Rick Sowash’s World Enough and Time: Rhapsody and Michael Jonathan’s CD Front Porch.
Choi also has a love of animals that led her to start a company, International Bloodstock Associates, LLC, that trades Kentucky Thoroughbreds to her native country of South Korea. She has been involved in this for a decade now and has found a balance for her passions in life as a mother, musician, educator, and business woman.
Choi plays a Giuseppe Sgarbi cello made in 1889.
ELAINE HUMPHREYS COOK, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra principal harpist, has appeared as soloist with the LPO, the Louisville Orchestra, Evansville Philharmonic, and with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. She has played with orchestras in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Columbus, California, and Aspen having worked with conductors including James Levine, Eugene Ormandy, Seiji Ozawa, and Gunther Schuller. As acting principal harp with the Louisville Orchestra for three years, she performed at Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center.
Cook appears on the Pro Organo label with the Christ Church Girls Choir in works by John Rutter and Benjamin Britten. Cook performed Voices of Ancient Children by George Crumb with the New York Chamber Ensemble, Jan & Francesca DeGiatani, and worked with a New Music Ensemble in San Francisco directed by Jon Adams. Cook holds a bachelor of music degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and master of music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Deatherage is a versatile performer based in Lexington, Ky. He has a very active career as a freelance percussionist, currently holding the drum set chair for the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra, the Osland/Dailey Jazztet, the Raleigh Dailey Trio, the Ross Whitaker Trio, the Walnut Street Ramblers, and Sound Foundry jazz quartet.
Deatherage leads a varied teaching career, working with students at middle school, high school, and college levels. He currently teaches applied percussion lessons at Centre College. Deatherage also teaches drum set at the University of Kentucky and is on percussion staff at Lafayette High School Band, a 19-time marching band state champion. In addition, he maintains a private teaching studio at Don Wilson Music in Lexington.
Deatherage earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Education at Tennessee Technological University in 2005, then his Masters of Music in Percussion Performance in 2009. His teachers include: James Campbell, Bill Bachman, Eric Willie, John Willmarth, and Joseph Rasmussen.
Over the years Deatherage has had opportunities to share the stage with such noted artists as Joe Lovano, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Wycliffe Gordon, Jeff Coffin, Doc Severinsen, Bob Mintzer, Allen Vizzutti, Arlo Guthrie, Jens Lindemann, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Howard Levy, Jim Snidero, Zach Brock, Mario Pavone, Dave Ballou, Denis DiBlasio, Greg Abate, Roberto Sion, Ellen Rowe, Al Hood, Ron McCurdy, Vince Dimartino, Dan Moore, Miles Osland, and Raleigh Dailey.
Saxophonist, composer, and educator, DOUG DREWEK directs Centre Jazz in addition to teaching students in saxophone and clarinet. He has taught courses including private lessons, saxophone quartets, jazz ensembles, and jazz history at East Carolina University, Chowan Community College, and the University of Kentucky. A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, he has performed with the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra and the US Air Jazz Orchestra featuring Ben E. King.
In 1996, Drewek traveled with the Leon Jordan Continentals on a weeklong tour of northern England. In 2002 he was featured with the East Carolina Jazz Ensemble at the JVC Jazz Festival and the Birdland jazz club in New York City. While in Kentucky, Drewek has played with a variety of ensembles including DiMartino-Osland Jazz Orchestra, The Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra, The Lexington Philharmonic, the Temptations, and Aretha Franklin. He can be heard most recently on the Osland Saxophone Quartet’s recording, Commission Impossible, the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra’s Quotient, and the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra’s Flying Home. Other recordings include the world premier of Bob Mintzer’s Rhythm of the Americas with the Osland Saxophone Quartet and the University of Kentucky Wind Ensemble, as well as the University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble’s Self Contained which was recommended for a Grammy nomination in 2006.
Soprano MARIE-FRANCE DUCLOS has built a vast repertoire of solo performances with renowned conductors and orchestras throughout Canada. She has sung under the baton of conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Boris Brott, Jean-François Rivest, and André Bernard. She was recently feature as Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Bourbon Baroque. She was also the soprano soloist in Bach’s Saint John’s Passion with the Kentucky Bach Choir. She is the first prize winner of the Audrey Rooney Kentucky Bach Choir Competititon 2014.
Her talent for sacred music has led her to sing in many concerts such as Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiem, Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, Exultate Jubilate, Poulenc’s Gloria and Fauré’s Requiem. She was broadcasted by the public radio CBC in a concert of The Motets by J.S. Bach. She also toured in Canada as Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel presented by Les Jeunesses Musicales of Canada. She performed in such roles as Musetta, Cendrillon, and Monica. Marie-France earned a Master’s degree in Voice Performance from the University of Montreal where she was awarded a merit scholarship as well as a George-Cedric Ferguson scholarship. She’s received a fellowship to attend the Canadian Institute of Vocal Arts. Along side of her teaching and performing, Marie-France is working towards her D.M.A. in Voice Performance at the University of Kentucky under the guidance of Dr. Noemi Lugo.
In the 1970s and ’80s, Harrod played with a number of bands including the Progress Red Hot String Band, the Bill Livers String Ensemble, and the Gray Eagle Band that re-introduced traditional musicians such as Bill Livers and Lily May Ledford to Kentucky audiences. During this time he also worked for three years as a Kentucky Arts Council folk artist-in-residence in Wolfe, Estill, and Trimble Counties.
Along with Mark Wilson and Guthrie Meade, Harrod has produced a series of field recordings of Kentucky fiddle and banjo players that is available on Rounder Records. His extensive field recordings are housed at both the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music at Morehead and Berea College. He has taught fiddle and conducted workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center, the American Festival of Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington, the Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music, and the Cowan Creek Mountain Music School. He continues to perform with Kentucky Wild Horse, a band that highlights the connections between traditional music and bluegrass. In 2004, Harrod received the Folk Heritage Award of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts for his work in traditional music.
KIM HEERSCHE has a Bachelor Degree of Music in Music Education with Performer’s Certificate from the University of South Carolina, and a Master of Music in Oboe Performance from the University of Kentucky. She has over 18 years of performance experience as a contracted and volunteer musician in a variety of musical styles and venues. She has performed with the Lexington Philharmonic and Community Orchestras, Handel Festival Orchestra, Long Bay Symphony, Central Kentucky Concert Band, Lexington Bach Choir & Consort, and Tano Venti Woodwind Quintet, among others. She is also a private instructor and has appeared at the Rochester Bach Festival.
Dr. ZACHARY KLOBNAK is College Organist and Instructor of Organ, Harpsichord, and Piano at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He is also Director of Music and Organist at the Presbyterian Church of Danville, where he directs the music program, administers the “Music on Main Street” concert series, and plays the church’s Taylor & Boody pipe organ.
A native of Iowa, Klobnak holds degrees from Luther College (B.A.), the University of Florida (M.M.), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (D.M.A.), where he held the Brownson Fellowship for organ studies. His principal organ teachers include Dana Robinson, Laura Ellis, and Gregory Peterson; he has also studied harpsichord with Kathryn Reed and choral conducting with Donald Nally, Fred Stoltzfus, and Timothy Peter. Klobnak is an active recitalist, a member of the American Guild of Organists and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, and studied French organ literature and design in Paris and in the Alps region of France. He has held church music positions in Illinois, Florida, and Iowa.
TIM LAKE is a singer-songwriter, composer, performer, and teacher who was born in Manhattan, New York and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. Playing banjo and guitar, Lake has been a professional musician for over 20 years, has released ten albums of original songs, and has performed internationally and across the United States with his group The Little Big Band.
Lake received a doctorate in music in 1991 from the University of Kentucky. In 1993, he performed and recorded the world premiere of his doctoral work, “An American Concerto For 5-String Banjo And Orchestra,” with the Atlanta-Emory Orchestra in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1995, his concerto was awarded Kentucky’s prestigious Al Smith Fellowship for music composition and he has also received recognition as a composer from ASCAP’s Standard and Popular Awards panel from 1994 through 2011.
Rounder Records released Lake’s first recording entitled Same Old Roadside Inn and in 1993, Lake started his own company, Padraig Records LLC, which has since released six compact disc/cassette recordings.
PERSONAL WEBSITE: TimLake.com
CACEY NARDOLILLO, soprano, lauded by The New York Times for her “exquisite” singing, is a frequent concert soloist, appearing at Carnegie Hall, and with the Toledo Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, Evansville Philharmonic, Lexington Philharmonic, Owensboro Symphony, Orchestra Sinfonica dell’International in Rome, Natchez Festival of Music, the National Youth Choir, Nebraska Choral Works, Limestone Chorale, Huntington Choral Society in New York, and the Middletown Chorale in Connecticut. She recently sang Mahler’s Rückert Lieder with the Johnson City Symphony in Tennessee.
She has also appeared in operas with the Aspen Opera Theater Center, the Colorado Lyric Theater, Chautauqua Music Festival, Operafestival di Roma, Dicapo Opera, the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, and the University of Colorado Opera. Some other favorite opera roles include, Alice Ford in Falstaff, both Mimi and Musetta in La Bohème, Elizabeth in God Bless Us Everyone, Violetta in La Traviata, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro, and Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte. She has been a prizewinner in the Rocky Mountain District Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition, the American Traditions Competition in Savannah, Georgia, and the Alltech Opera Scholarship Competition in Lexington, Kentucky. She has recorded two albums with Albany Records, including the original cast recording of God Bless Us Everyone and the soprano solos in Thomas Pasatieri’s Symphony Number Two.
Dr. Nardolillo has toured extensively, performing throughout the United States, and in Europe. A native of Maysville, Kentucky, Dr. Nardolillo received her B.M. at the University of Kentucky in 1996, her M.M. from the University of Colorado in 1999, and a D.M.A. from the University of Kentucky in 2013. Dr. Nardolillo has taught at the Downing Academy for Performing Arts, UK, Berea College, and was the director of the Vocal Area in the inaugural season of Prague Summer Nights Music Festival. She currently teaches voice at Centre College and maintains a private studio in Lexington, Kentucky.
Receiving his Bachelor’s in Music from the University of Kentucky, and Master’s in Jazz from the Manhattan School of Music, COLBY NORTON started his playing career with multiple big bands including the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra, The MetroGnomes, and the Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors. Almost simultaneously, he was a regular member of the Lexington Brass Band and Lexington Philharmonic. Norton has presented multiple recitals throughout the nation and has had the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and as part of Jazz at the Lincoln Center.
Throughout his career, Norton has appeared and recorded with many artists including Arlo Guthrie, Gil Shaham, Lynn Harrell, Bob Mintzer, Bob Lark, Laura Bell Bundy, David Liebman, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Candido, Paquito D’Rivera, and Wycliffe Gordon. 2008 was a special year for Norton as he made his recording debut with Thomas Pasateri’s opera, The Hotel Casablanca. That same year, he recorded the premier of George Frederick McKay’s Epoch – An American Dance Symphony. Since then, he can be heard on Two Two’s with the Two O’Clock Lab Band, and Lab 2014 with the One O’Clock Lab Band. Norton has won multiple Downbeat Awards and has received recognition for his original compositions for the bass trombone. He has been asked to audition for multiple Premier Military bands including the Army Jazz Ambassadors and the Airmen of Note.
Norton is currently completing his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas where he writing his dissertation World’s Beyond: The Music of Daniel Schnyder. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Toyota Alumni Fund from the Kentucky Center to aide in his research of the music of Daniel Schnyder. He frequently composes/premiers new works for the bass trombone with multiple ensembles as well as teaches privately throughout Kentucky while continuing to perform in both jazz and classical settings.
PAUL REICH is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music where he received bachelor’s and professional studies degrees in double bass performance. While in school, he attended prestigious music festivals such as the Pacific Music Festival, Scotia Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, and spent two summers as a fellowship student at the Tanglewood Music Center where he had the privilege of performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was a member of the Akron Symphony and frequent sub for the Canton, Erie, Rochester, and Youngstown symphonies.
After completing school, Paul’s love for being a “doubler” on bass guitar helped send him on a solid 10 year journey around the world (and all 50 states) playing Broadway shows such as Rent, Jekyll & Hyde, Miss Saigon, Grease, The Who’s Tommy, Cats, Disney’s High School Musical, and Aida.
Moving to Lexington to be with his wife, Paul now is a member of Orchestra Kentucky Bowling Green and principal bass for the Cave Run Symphony. He is a sub for the Lexington, West Virginia, Huntington, and Louisville orchestras. He also performs with the Louisville Ballet and Kentucky Opera as well as being the house bass player for the Lexington Theater Company. For 3 years, Paul was one of the founding teachers at CKYO North Limestone Music Works and is currently an adjunct professor of double bass at Eastern Kentucky University.
MEG SAUNDERS holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Virginia. She completed a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching degree at Eastern Kentucky University. Saunders has been on the music faculty of Centre College since 2003, and is also currently serving on the faculty at Eastern Kentucky University as violin/viola instructor. She teaches over 70 young students with the Heritage Area String Program in Danville.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Saunders is a regular performer with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. She performs regularly on solo and chamber music recitals and maintains a large studio of Central Kentucky students ages 4-18. During summers she serves on the faculty of the Stephen Foster Music Camps and performs with the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra in Virginia.
HOLLY SMITH spent part of her childhood in Mesa, AZ and the rest in southwestern South Dakota where her family raises beef cattle. After high school, she served in the United States Marine Corps as a musician. This job gave her the opportunity to travel and also to begin her college career at the University of Hawaii–Manoa where she studied vocal performance. After leaving the USMC, she continued her college education at the University of Kentucky. She graduated in 2013 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music Education and Music Performance, bassoon.
She jumped right into graduate studies and completed her Master of Education degree in Music Education in 2014, then moved to Louisville to teach music at Ascension School. She has completed the Dalcroze Pedagogy Certificate and National Certification in Dalcroze Eurhythmics as well as Rank 1 in Music Education, all from the University of Kentucky.
Smith has performed with Arlo Guthrie at Carnegie Hall, at a world premier with Thomas Pasatieri, and with Itzhak Pearlman, Lang Lang, Marvin Hamlisch, Pink Martini, as well as served as Principal Bassoonist for the Prague Summer Nights Music Festival twice. She has also presented professional music education workshops at the state and regional level.
JONATHAN STITES has solidly defined himself as an exceptional performer and musician. His orchestral experience includes holding positions in the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, acting principal trumpet of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, principal trumpet of the Ash Lawn Opera, principal trumpet of the American Academy of Conducting Orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and American Wind Symphony Orchestra. A three-time finalist at the National Trumpet Competition (2nd place in 2001, 3rd place in 2008 and 2009) and winner of the Tennessee Trumpet Competition, Jonathan’s dynamic playing has garnered solo appearances with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra and the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra.
Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree from Florida State University, completed the coursework for a D.M.A. at Stony Brook University, and attended the Aspen Music Festival and School three times. Jonathan is a Conn-Selmer Vincent Bach performing artist.
GINNY TUTTON is much in demand as a teacher, performer, and adjudicator. Tutton is formerly second flute in the IWASH symphony and has performed with the Chattanooga Symphony and the Cadek Community Orchestra. She is an expert in flute pedagogy and is also interested in acoustics, pedagogy of music theory, and extended techniques such as flute beatboxing. Tutton holds degrees from the University of Idaho and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and is currently earning her D.M.A. at the University of Kentucky in Lexington where she lives with her husband and cat.
KASEY WEBB was raised in Burgin, Ky and now resides in the hills of Forkland with his wife, Melissa, and daughter, Polly. He was introduced to old time music at the age of four by the late Bill Brashear and Russ Moore. He fondly recalls hearing “Pretty Polly” on the mandolin and claw hammer banjo, which began his interest in old time music. As a young teen, he began playing the guitar and has added mandolin, banjo, fiddle, and upright bass to his list. Webb has been a member of a few local bluegrass bands playing at local coffee shops, art galleries, and festivals. Since meeting his wife he has had the opportunity to play old time music at weddings around Kentucky, including his own as he played Margeret’s Waltz as his bride walked down the aisle. Webb enjoys playing for and with the local community to encourage interest and cultural experience in old time music. He enjoys playing a variety of bluegrass instruments, but spends most of his time on the mandolin, fiddle, and banjo.
Wolfe revels in helping students to grow into the artistry and expressiveness of creating music on this beautiful instrument. The depth of beauty within the literature for piano is vast and greatly varied, endless in detail, creativity, and inspiration. Developing one’s mind, ear and hands is an exciting process through which the pianist can infuse his own unique personality and musical ideas to convey sounds and moods that move the listener’s heart and mind.
In the last 10 or so years Worley has built and run two recording studios; produced, recorded and/or mastered more CDs than he can remember, including two with his former band CityGoat; and has taught composition and electronic music at U of M. He currently teaches orchestration and composition at University of Louisville as well as guitar, digital music, and composition at Centre College. Worley can often be seen playing dobro with the Kentucky Music Ensemble.