Instructor – Voice
AA, General Education, Sacramento City College; BA, Vocal Performance, Mary Baldwin University
Madeline Abel-Kerns is a classically trained singer, actor, and artist instructor of voice for the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University and a member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA. Her robust resumé includes oratorio and opera performances at Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Heidelberg Opera, Sacramento Opera and San Francisco Opera, as well as musicals, concert, and cabaret appearances in New York, California, Oregon and Germany. Ms. Abel-Kerns has taught voice, breath, acting and physical conditioning at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Hebrew Union College, Holy Names College, James Madison University, Mary Baldwin University and New York University, and has presented master classes and workshops throughout the country, in the Bahamas and abroad. As stage director and producer, she has presented over thirty musicals, operettas and operas in fully-staged productions, concerts, and dinner theatre. Madeline has a BA in Vocal Performance, summa cum laude, from Mary Baldwin University.
OCA Division Manager/Music Program Asst.
BA English, Pacific University
Kim Andresen has a variety of talents and unique experience in higher education, corporations, and non-profit organizations. She has served in a variety of capacities at Pacific University, The Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology (now part of OHSU), WebArtists.biz, Livestock of the World, Inc., The Andresen Group, and a variety of tech companies across Oregon. Kim is also the Southern Oregon Polar Plunge Coordinator for Special Olympics and she and her husband John have 4 children, and enjoy gardening, music (she plays cello), and raising alpacas.
Professor of Music – Saxophone, Clarinet, Chamber Music
BM, Iowa State University; MM and DMusA, Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia
Dr. Bender teaches saxophone performance, music theory, graduate research and chamber music at SOU. He directs the Ashland Chamber Music Workshop and leads the Siskiyou Saxophone Orchestra. Bender is soprano saxophonist with the Globe Saxophone Quartet, a member of the JitaZax Duo, a guest artist-teacher at the Sichuan Conservatory of Classical Music (China) and visiting professor at the College of Arts of Yantai University (China). Bender is the Region 1 Director of the Saxophone Alliance and a Yamaha Performing Artist.
Instructor, Music Theory
BM, University of Nebraska-Omaha; MM Music Performance, Southern Oregon University
Mr. Brown is an enthusiastic performer, composer, and educator specializing in percussion, music theory, improvisation, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Jared has performed and taught for multiple organizations in the area including the Rogue Valley Symphony, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Ashland High School, Grants Pass High School, and the Crater Renaissance Academy of Arts and Sciences. An avid proponent of aesthetic exploration in contemporary performance, he curates the Oregon Fringe Festival.
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
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. . Ensembles under his direction have performed to acclaim across the west coast, and internationally at music festivals in the Czech Republic, Germany, and Mexico. He has conducted for many leading musical organizations, including Rogue Opera, Jefferson Baroque Orchestra, Northwest Bach Ensemble, Chelan Bach Festival, and the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra. . He is a former president of American Choral Directors Association, Oregon, and has conducted for numerous professional ensembles, at honor choirs across the west coast, and on “West Coast Live” for an estimated one million households nationally and internationally.
BM, Piano Performance, Oberlin College Conservatory; MM, Piano Performance, University of Washington; DMA, Piano Performance, University of Washington; Alexander Technique International Certification, Alexander Technique Training and Performance Studio (Seattle).
Dr. Goodrich is an active soloist, chamber musician, and theatrical performer. Performances in 2018 include collaborations with Expanse Ensemble (with Christine Eggert) in Ashland and Fairbanks, the Harrington-Goodrich Piano Duo in all-Debussy concerts in Boulder and Berkeley, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for his fifth season, as well as solo performances with the Willamette Valley Symphony and in recital in Seattle, Syracuse, Ashland, and the Oregon Coast. Goodrich was a national finalist in the Music Teachers National Association (Young Artists Division) and Young Keyboard Artist Association competitions. He is founder/director of Kinetic Muse Studio, a center for integrative Alexander Technique and performance training.
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
Ms. Hunter is the 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, Music Education.
BA, California State University Fullerton; MM, University of California San Diego; DMA, University of Colorado
Dr. Hutton is Artistic Director and Conductor of Youth Symphony and Youth Orchestra of Southern Oregon. She is a member of the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra 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 recognizing outstanding service to the University.
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.
Percussion/History/World Music, Director of the SOU Raider Band
BA, Music Performance and Music Education, Southern Oregon University; MM, Percussion Performance, California State University (Sacramento)
Mr. Jeffs’ diverse musical experience ranging from rock, pop, folk, classical and experimental contemporary music inform the wide variety of classes he has designed and facilitates at SOU. As Director of the SOU Raider Band he works to bring excitement and passionate energy to the campus community. Mr. Jeffs also teaches music at Rogue Community College where he serves as the Music Department Coordinator.
Instructor – Bassoon
BA, Music, University of Puget Sound
Mr. 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.
Director of Bands, Trumpet
BM, Trumpet Performance, University of Oregon; MMUS, Trumpet Performance, University of British Columbia
Mr. Kocurek is the lead trumpet in the world-renowned Dallas Brass, and has 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
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)
Dr. 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
Dr. Majkut is in his 2nd season as Music Director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra (NY), which performs in multiple locations for the most ethnically diverse community in the world. Majkut is in his 8th season as Music Director of the Rogue Valley Symphony (Ashland, OR). Last year’s celebration of the RVS’s 50 th season, with five world premieres and a star-studded line-up of soloists, earned him an invitation to the League of American Orchestras conference as a featured presenter in the Frontiers: Risk + Reward session. Majkut returns in spring of 2019 to the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia to conduct a special program on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the school.
Adjunct Faculty- Voice
BA, Music, Eastern Michigan University; MM, Vocal Performance, University of Southern California
Mr. Matthews is the morning voice of classical music on Jefferson Public Radio and has been a member of the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers since 1998. He has also been a guest soloist with both the Rogue Valley Chorale and the Siskiyou Singers. Mr. Matthews has also appeared in numerous Rogue Valley productions, including South Pacific and Kiss Me, Kate with Rogue Music Theatre; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Fantasticks with Oregon Stage Works; and Man of La Mancha, Sweeney Todd, The Sound of Music, and Spamalot, the Musical with Camelot Theatre.
Faculty- Electric & Acoustic Bass
BA, University of Sioux Falls (SD); MFA, University of Iowa, studied with Eldon Obrecht
Mr. Miller is the Principal Bassist with the University Orchestra in the Cedar Rapids Symphony at the University of Iowa Center for New Music. He is also the Principal Bassist with South Dakota Symphony, and has performed with the Dakota Quartet. David has studied with James Clute, Associate Principal Bass of the Minnesota Orchestra and has performed in Chicago with Lyric Opera, the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of Illinois, and Lake Forest Symphony. Took bass lessons, master classes and/or clinics with Warren Benfield (Chicago Symphony), J B Van Demark (Eastman), and Jeff Braditech (North Texas State). Here in the Rogue Valley, David is the Principal Bassist with Rogue Valley Symphony, Rogue Valley Opera, Jefferson Baroque Orchestra, and performs at the Shakespeare Festival, Camelot Theater, Rogue Music Theater, Cabaret Theater, plus Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, and Rogue Valley Chorale. David also is the creator of the the Rogue Elephants, a double bass ensemble and has performed with Thor Polson Trio, Latin Jazz Quartet, Southern Oregon Jazz Orchestra, Salsa Brava, and others. He is currently a Bass instructor at University of Iowa, Augustana College (SD).
Instructor – Percussion
BM, Music Performance, California State University (Northridge)
Ms. McCoy 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
Ellie Holt-Murray, a magna cum laude graduate from San Francisco State University, was a finalist in both the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Auditions and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the San Francisco region. She has performed leading roles with numerous opera and musical theater companies. She has had the pleasure of performing as the guest artist with many symphony orchestras as well. Ms. Holt-Murray has been a vocal instructor at Southern Oregon University for 23 years and has a private voice studio. In addition, she was the singing instructor for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 5 seasons and was the singing coach for many musicals at the Camelot Theater in Talent. She co-founded SING IT! SAY IT! DANCE IT!, an annual intensive two week musical theater summer workshop for children based in Ashland.
Instructor – Cello
BM, Cello Performance, Manhattan School of Music
Mr. Palzewicz is the principal cellist of the Rogue Valley Symphony and is the 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
MM, 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. Received 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.
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 is a Professor of Music and before that an Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Purslow has more than 30 years of teaching and administrative experience at the university, community college, high school, and middle school levels. Purslow earned a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in Music Education with a minor in Higher Education Administration from University of the Pacific and a Master of Arts in Music Education from CSU Sacramento, and Bachelor of Music from the University of Pacific. Purslow is also a professional saxophonist who has performed with The Four Tops, The Temptations, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Motown’s Funk Brothers, Bobby Shew, Maynard Ferguson, Stan Mark, Joe Williams, Morgan James, Mel Torme, the Rogue Valley Symphony, and Britt Festival Orchestra. Purslow has toured internationally with the Mazama Saxophone Quartet, performing in China, England, and Scotland. Purslow is a published arranger of music for saxophone ensembles. Her research interests include access to the arts for children in rural communities and community music organizations for youths. Purslow is distinctive for her research on guitarist Joseph “Smilin’ Joe” Bruhl and Youth of America on Stage.
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 29 year tenure, he conducted the select St. Norbert Wind Ensemble and the adult St. Norbert Community Band. Dr. Schmidt served as the principal clarinetist with the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra and the Pamiro Opera Company. He can be heard performing as the principal clarinetist on two compact disc recordings featuring the American Promenade Orchestra under the Klavier Records International label.
Instructor – Flute
BS, Music Education, The Ohio State University; MA, Music Education/Flute Performance, The Ohio State University
Mrs. Schmidt serves as the principal flutist with the Rogue Valley Symphonic Band, in the past with the Green Bay Symphony, and can be heard playing principal flute on two recordings with the American Promenade Orchestra. She has been a featured soloist with many groups. Mrs. Schmidt also taught General Music to pre-school age through 8th grade and has written original music and the libretto for several children’s musicals.
Director of Concert Choir
BS, Music, Southern Oregon University; MA, Teaching, Southern Oregon University
Ms. Taylor is Director of Choirs at North Medford High School. Her choirs have performed with Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, Siskiyou Singers, and the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon. She has performed with Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, Siskiyou Singers, Rogue Valley Symphony Chorus, Rogue Opera, Camelot Theatre, Livia Genise Productions, and Randall Theatre.
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.
Ms. 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.