The following is a listing of the currently active members of the CFAMC.
To be listed as an active member, we ask only that you:
NOTE: If your name does not appear on this page, it means that you have not made an annual membership contribution for more than a year.
John Akins, DMA
John R. Akins (b. 1939), a Michigan native, received his B.M. and M.M. in theory/composition from Southern Methodist University and a D.M.A. in composition from the University of Texas, Austin, studying at the latter with Hunter Johnson and Kent Kennan. He has taught at Texas Lutheran College, at the University of Maine at Machias, and from 1977-2010 at Evangel University, Springfield, MO, where he hosted the 2003 CFAMC Mid-Central Regional conference. He has received commissions from the Missouri Music Teachers Association twice, as well as from the Machias Bay (Maine) Community Concerts Association, the Springfield (MO) Symphony Orchestra, and tenor Ron Brendel. Besides CFAMC, he also has membership in Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI) and Society for Electro Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) and has had numerous performances at their regional and national conferences.
I subscribe to what the Assemblies of God publishes as their “Four Cardinal Doctrines,” as well as their “16 Fundamental Truths”* of which the “cardinal doctrines”" are a part. These four are stated as follows:
- Salvation through Jesus Christ who provided the supreme sacrifice for sin (John 3:3,16,17; Romans 10:13; Ephesians 2:8,9);
- Divine healing for the sick as provided in Christ's death (James 5:14-16);
- The second coming of Christ as He returns for those who have accepted Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; 1 Corinthians 15:51,52);
- Baptism in the Holy Spirit for empowering believers (Acts 1:8; 2:4,17,18,38,39). I have personally experienced salvation, baptism in the Holy Spirit and divine healing in my own life and I carry the personal hope of Christ's bodily second return to the Earth. Further, I strive to "grow in grace," and to be Christ's hand extended to others in need, whether spiritual or physical.
* One can find the full listing of these 16 truths at the following link: http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Statement_of_Fundamental_Truths/sft_short.cfm
Michael Anderson, B.M. in Music Composition
Christopher Ashbaugh, Graduate Assistant
Jesse Ayers (b.1951) has twice had his music selected to represent the United States at the ISCM World Music Days (Slovenia 2003 and Warsaw 1992). His most recent work, "Jericho," a large-scale surround-sound composition for wind symphony, choir, and narrator, was recently performed in nine cities across the southern and mid-western United States. Ayers' other surround-sound work, "...and they gathered on Mount Carmel" (Elijah and the prophets of Baal) has been performed by a number of collegiate bands and has been recorded by the Valparaiso University Chamber Concert Band. His work for solo tuba and synthesized tape, "The Dancing King," (David dancing before the Lord) has been performed on four continents and released on two CDs.
Dr. Ayers has been a guest composer on the campuses of California State University Bakersfield, Heidelberg College (Ohio), Valparaiso University (Indiana), Virginia Tech, and Carson-Newman College (Tennessee) and has held a fellowship at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Ayers earned the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Composition from the University of Tennessee where he studied composition with David Van Vactor, John Anthony Lennon, Guy Bachman, and Allen Johnson; choral conducting with Donald Neuen; and percussion with F. Michael Combs. He also holds the the Doctorate of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Kentucky where he studied composition with Joseph Baber and aural skills pedagogy with Kate Covington. He has had master classes with composers Karel Husa, Norman Dello Joio, and Vaclav Nelhybel. Ayers maintains a full teaching schedule at Malone College in Canton, Ohio, where he serves as Professor of Music. In 2001, he was awarded the college's Distinguished Faculty Award for Scholarship/Creative Expression by his peers. He has received 15 awards from ASCAP, and grants from Meet the Composer and the American Music Center.
Jason Bahr, DMA, Asst. Professor
Jason Bahr (b. 1972, Kansas City, KS) B.M. University of Missouri-Kansas City; including study at Kingston University in London, England; M.M., D.M., Indiana University-Bloomington. He has studied with Samuel Adler, Claude Baker, David Dzubay, Eugene O'Brien, Don Freund, Kevin Jones, James Mobberley and Gerald Kemner. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Florida Gulf Coast University. Bahr has also served on the faculties of Ohio Wesleyan University, Mississippi State University, Cottey College and the University of Oklahoma.
Bahr has received over 250 performances of his works, including performances in 34 states and twelve foreign countries. He was a finalist for the 2nd International Frank Ticheli Composition Contest for band music (2009) for Anderson's Animals, a recipient of a MacDowell Colony Residency (2006), a Fromm Foundation commission (2005), has won the Northridge Prize for Orchestral Composition (2005) for Golgotha, third prize in the Renee B. Fischer Piano Competition (2003), Region V winner in the SCI/ASCAP Competition (2002), the Cambridge Madrigal Singers Choral Composition Competition (1999) with Psaume 1, and annual ASCAP awards since 1998.
Commissions include Mysteries of Light (violin and piano) for the Fromm Foundation, Brevard Invocation (timpani and horn) for the Mountain Chamber Players, Soliloquy (English horn) for Krista Riggs, When We Are Going (treble choir, violin and organ) for Theresa Spencer, Strikes and Resonance (marimba) for Grant Braddock, and Tipping Point (alto sax and piano) for the Mississippi Music Teachers Association. When not composing, Bahr frets over his student loan debt and the fate of the Kansas City Royals. SDG
Joel Balzun, MMusic Student: Composer, Baritone
Baritone and composer Joel Balzun (b. 1990, Calgary, AB) is establishing himself as a mature new voice in the future of music. His multi-faceted career has led him to work with some of the world's most respected musicians and ensembles.
Joel composes music for a variety of media and ensembles, inspired by the stories and experiences of himself and others. His "haunting and beautiful" music has received international recognition. His accolades include winning the Dallas Wind Symphony's 9th annual "Call for Fanfares", as well as winning first prize in the Classical Marimba League International Composition Competition. In 2010, Joel was also a prize-winner in the National Broadcast Orchestra's Galaxie Rising Star Composers' Competition, winning both the Young Composers Prize and the Grand Prize. He was also a guest presenter and composer at the CBDNA 2013 National Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina. Notably, Joel was recently named a finalist for the prestigious 2014 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards.
Praised as "a composer to watch" by the Calgary Herald, Joel has been the recipient of numerous commissions. His music has been performed across Canada, the United States, Costa Rica, and Italy, by ensembles such as Alberta Winds, Calgary Civic Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Dallas Wind Symphony, the National Broadcast Orchestra of Canada, La Orquestra Vientos de Costa Rica, Standing Wave Ensemble, and Windago. His music has been broadcast on CBC Radio 2 and Espace Musique in Canada. A selection of Joel's music is currently published by C. Alan Publications and Lovebird Music. Joel is also a member of ASCAP, CFAMC and SOCAN.
As a baritone, he has appeared with California International Theatre Festival, Cowtown Opera Company, La Mirada Vocal Arts, and the Rochester Oratorio Society, among others. His roles include Count Ceprano/Marullo (Rigoletto), Fiorello (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Schaunard (La bohe`me), John Brooke (Little Women - M. Adamo), Marquis de la Force/Le Gaoler (Dialogues des Carme?lites), as well as starring in the premiere of Peter Michael von der Nahmer's award-winning opera, El Canguro. Additionally, he has performed excerpts from Carmen, Die Zauberfo?te, The Medium, Les pe^cheurs de perles, and Turandot. In concert, Joel has appeared as a soloist on multiple occasions, singing Bach's Cantata BWV 4 and Johannes-Passion, Peter Maxwell Davies' virtuosic Eight Songs for a Mad King, Dvorak's Te Deum, and Haydn's The Creation. Recently, Joel made his Kennedy Centre debut, representing the Eastman School of Music as a part of the Conservatory Project. Currently, Joel is a Roster Artist with Cowtown Opera Company, with whom he performs in numerous recitals, pop-up performances, and other corporate and media events.
Joel studied music composition at University of Calgary before earning a Bachelor's of Music Degree in Music Composition from Biola University. He has studied composition with Robert Denham, David Eagle, Laurie Radford, and Christopher Wills. He has also studied voice with William Lock and Michelle Minke, and piano with George Boespfug, Charles Foreman, and Vladimir Levtov. Joel has continued his studies in composition at the Vancouver International Song Institute's Art Song Lab with Imant Raminsh, and will participate in the Atlantic Music Festival Institute Composition Program in July 2014. He is currently pursuing a Master's of Music Degree in Vocal Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Jan Opalach.
Charles (Chuck) Beck
Born in February, 1954. Reborn in late July, 1973. Mr. Beck has a Master of Music degree in Music Composition from Bowling Green State University, 1991. While there, he studied with Dr. Donald Wilson, who encouraged him to join the CFAMC. Currently, Mr. Beck is residing near Columbus, OH, where he enjoys an unofficial status as “composer in residence” at Centenary United Methodist Church in Granville, OH.
Mr. Beck is somewhat eclectic as a composer, with works ranging from pop/contemporary praise & worship in style to more classically oriented. He has written children's Vacation Bible School music, choral works, symphonic pieces, and other works that defy classification. His works have been performed both across the United States and internationally.
God rescued me from myself when I was 19 years old. Even after that, he has had a lot of cleanup to do in my life, and He does a pretty good job when I'm not getting in the way. He alone knows why He bothers, because it is still pretty much a mystery to me. I think it is His nature as a God who is Love.
Nonetheless, the most important thing in my life for most of life now has been my relationship with Abba. I really don't have the words to adequately describe what that means to me. Yes, I believe that correct doctrine is important, and I am definitely what might be loosely termed an "orthodox fundamentalist", in that I believe that the Bible is inerrant as originally given, and that we can—and must—let it be our sole guide for living and relating with God and others. But that only begins to convey what my relationship with God is really all about.
As a composer among composers here, I view us as I do the flowers of creation. Some are common. Some are exotic and delicate. Some are tiny, almost unnoticeable. Some are huge and splashy and attention-grabbing. Some are colorful. Some are drab. All are beautiful, created by God both for His purposes and His/our enjoyment.
Out of the imagination of award-winning American composer and pianist Kris Becker (Kris with a K) come barrier-smashing concepts and a deeply meaningful performance entertainment experience that electrify the audience with inspirational appeal and trailblazing excitement.
This artistic vision has earned Kris major recent recognition: highest-scoring composer 2013 IBLA European Grand Prize for Composers and winner of the 2012 National Federation of Music Clubs Beyer Composition Award for his Piano Sonata No.1, National Association of Composers USA Young Composers Competition 2013 honoree, Texas Music Teachers Association Commissioned Composer 2013, and twice ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards finalist.
Revered authority on piano music Maurice Hinson, who calls Mr. Becker's sonorities "spellbinding", offers that "Becker is a musician who has something important to say and knows how to say it." In Kris' creativity and communication, technical craft is matched by a vibe that has far-reaching audience appeal, classically structured yet flowing with the undercurrents of classical, jazz, and rock. This talent has been further recognized in the International Songwriting Competition and the ASCAP Lotte Lehmann Art Song Composition Competition, while Kris has performed his original works and the classic repertoire in venues and cities including Carnegie Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, Andrea Clearfield's Salon in Philadelphia, and on Houston's Impulse Artist Series. Becker holds performance degrees from the University of Illinois (BMus.) and Rice University's Shepher d School of Music (MMus.).
Igniting enthusiasm in both musicians and music listeners, Kris' solo and ensemble music for piano, voice, and other instruments is being played and recorded by professionals and students across the USA while he is commissioned regularly to create yet more. Recent commissions and premieres include saxophonist Scott Sandberg for the World Saxophone Congress and music for 2 Piano 8 Hands for Michigan's Stella Royce Piano Camp.
A powerful pianist and performer, Becker has amassed many honors including winner Lee Biennial Int'l, Int'l Chopin of Texas, Artist Presentation Society, Shepherd School of Music Concerto, and Yamaha Young Performing Artist competitions; semi-finalist Young Concert Artists Int'l Auditions and finalist Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition New York. Concerto credits include orchestras worldwide. A formidable rock musician, the cross-genre Becker creates the music for and fronts the fusion rock band Kris Becker & The Frozen Heat while he has worked with David Bowie's pianist Mike Garson and appeared with members of The Temptations.
Rooted in tradition and innovating all at once, the self-described "nu-classical" music of Kris Becker is winning instantaneous fans everywhere it's heard. Scorching kinetic energy, unrelenting passion, blazing virtuosity, and a powerfully expressive beauty-this is the Kris Becker experience. krisbeckermusic.com
A believer by the grace of God alone in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, by His will and not by any action or will of my own. John 1:13 "Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Always seeking the proper distinction between Law & Gospel, the crux of our faith, and sharing this saving truth with the world.
Jeremy Begbie, Honorary member
Thomas Beverly, Composer
Tom Beverly, born in 1988, is native of Bellville, Texas. He is a junior music composition major at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Before arriving at Trinity University, Beverly did not have any formal music education, just an old guitar, a few little riffs and tunes, and a lot of lofty ideas. At Trinity, he chose to pursue music composition and has studied with Dr. Timothy Kramer, Dr. David Heuser, Jack W. Stamps, and Brian Nelson. His primary instrument is the organ, and he is currently taking lessons with Dr. David Heller. Beverly studied abroad in fall 2008 in Prague, Czech Republic where he studied composition with the Czech composer Michal Rataj and researched contemporary Czech music. His piece "Melos I" for solo flute was recently selected to be performed at the Society of Composers, Inc. Region VI conference, hosted at Oklahoma City University. At this time he is an active member of the Trinity University Chamber Ensemble (TUCHÉ), which will perform throughout the Trinity and San Antonio community.
Susan Meredith Beyer
Allen Brings, Professor emeritus
A native of New York City, Allen Brings received a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Queens College and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University, where he was a Mosenthal Fellow and a student of Otto Luening, and a doctorate in theory and composition from Boston University, where he was a teaching fellow and a student of Gardner Read. In 1962 he was a Naumburg Fellow at Princeton University, where he studied with Roger Sessions. He has twice served as chairman of the eastern region of the American Society of University Composers and is currently vice-president of Connecticut Composers. His published compositions, which include works for orchestra, band, chorus, a wide variety of chamber ensembles, piano, organ, harpsichord, guitar, and voice, have been recorded for Navona Records, Capstone, Centaur, Grenadilla, Contemporary Record Society, North/South Consonance, Arizona University Recordings, and Vienna Modern Ma sters.
A pianist as well as a composer, Brings has performed extensively both here and abroad especially in programs of music for piano, four-hands, with Genevieve Chinn, with whom he has recorded for Orion, CRI, and Centaur. He is also co-author of A New Approach to Keyboard Harmony, published by W. W. Norton, and has contributed articles to College Music Symposium, College Music Society Newsletter, Contemporary Music Newsletter, Society of Composers Newsletter, New Music Connoisseur, New Oxford Review, ComposerUSA, sounding board, and Adoremus Bulletin. He is Professor Emeritus of Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College of the City University of New York, where he was co-ordinator of the theory and ear training program, and is a director of the Weston Music Center and School of the Performing Arts in Weston, Connecticut, where he teaches piano and theory.
I am a Christian, whether as composer or anything else, by reason of my baptism as a infant and my confirmation as an emerging adult. This status I further affirm as I recite with my fellow Christians the Nicene creed each Sunday and as I began to do when I first learned the Apostles’ Creed as a child. How well I behave as a Christian I will learn when, trembling, I see God face to face and plead for His mercy, knowing that I have not earned union with Him and that I would be presumptuous if I believed I had. Although I have never hidden the fact that I am a Christian—composing From Psalterium Davidicum or a setting of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin and Greek or signing off every piece with the inscription “Ad maiorem gloriam Dei” is not something likely to be done by one not a Christian—I have also not gone out of my way to broadcast the fact. My reasons are compelling, at least to me: for one thing, I am keenly aware that I am more sinner than saint; for another, I do not believe that I ought to brag about a grace which I received at baptism through no effort of my own. I also believe that proclaiming the “good news” can be more effectively done by demonstrating how the “good life” is lived than by telling Christians and non-Christians alike how it is to be done. Maybe I prefer to identify myself more with the publican than with the Pharisee, although saying this might itself be an affectation. “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.”
Douglas Brown, Publisher and Composer
Composer, educator, and church musician Douglas Brown (b. 1970) recived his master’s degree in Composition from Houghton College and a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Music Theory & Composition from Wayland Baptist University. At Wayland, he served three terms as president of the Wayland student chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc. and is proud to have studied under the tutelage of composers Gary D. Belshaw, David H. Davies, and Sun Mi Ro.
Mr. Brown is an adjunct professor of music at Wayland Baptist University and is currently seeking a place to study for his DMA in Composition.
He has been married for over ten years to Jennifer Berryman Brown, who has a master’s degree in music from Stephen F. Austin State University and teaches music classes for Wayland Baptist University’s Virtual Campus, plus private voice and piano in the community.
Donald Bryson, Rev.
I am soon to have a BM in Music Composition from Ohio Northern University this coming May. I look forward to serving God and his people in what ever way I can. Aside from performing in several academic ensembles, I enjoy leading worship at my campus' services. Besides composing in various styles, I am a pianist, guitarist, drummer, double bassist/electric bassist, singer, song writer, and worship leader. I enjoy serving the Lord with my hands, my mind, my worship, and realization of how much I need Him.
I believe in God the Father who created the Heavens and the Earth. He is the ruler above all things [the living and the dead]. Jesus Christ, who is my personal Savior, was sent to the world to fulfill the message of the prophets and teach humans how to love each other [and ultimately serve the Lord]. Jesus’ purpose was to die on the cross as an ultimate sacrifice for the sins of everyone in the entire world. The Holy Spirit is my internal guide to all of my earthly trials and struggles [and much more].
“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” ~Romans 8:6
By believing in Jesus Christ, accepting Him as my personal Savior, and following his footsteps on a daily basis, I am able to catch glimpses of Christ and his beauty.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” ~ John 14:6
As a Christian, I am called to use my hands to serve my fellow brothers and sisters. Whether they are in need of my time, advice, or a glass of water, I must serve them honestly and wholeheartedly.
“Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” ~John 12:26
Whatever I do, I must always rememeber... “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” ~John 3:30
David DeBoor Canfield was born in 1950 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Early music studies were undertaken with his father, John Clair Canfield, a music educator for many years in Florida. Canfield graduated in 1972 from Covenant College as the first composition major of that institution. In 1979, he obtained his MM from Indiana University and his DM from the same institution in 1984. His primary teacher there was John Eaton, but he also studied with Bernhard Heiden and Frederick Fox. Not wishing to pursue teaching composition as his career, Canfield began Ars Antiqua in 1978, a business devoted to selling classical records by mail to customers around the world. This business quickly grew to the largest of its kind in the world, but he retired from active retail sales in 2005, continuing at the present time in record sales only as a wholesaler. He has continued to compose, however, and the approximately 70 works in his official catalog have been performed by a number of orchestras and ensembles in Indiana (including the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra) and abroad (most recently the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra and the US Navy Band). In 2001, a three-day festival of his music was given by faculty and students of the University of Central Oklahoma, and his music has been recorded on the Crystal, Enharmonic and Recherché labels, among others. All of the above, however, Canfield considers “loss” compared to the riches of knowing Christ (Phil. 3:7). His most important work currently for the kingdom of God is serving as an elder at Church of the Good Shepherd, Bloomington, IN, teaching biblical theology and Church history at ClearNote Pastors College (also in Bloomington), and the mentoring he does with young men with sexual addictions. He describes his musical style as “free tonality.”
Richard Cerchia has been composing for some 40 years for various ensembles in varied styles. Having worked as a professional music engraver for a major publisher, he is now "retired" (whatever that means), and working independently as an engraver (Cerchia Music Productions) for clients on both the East and West coast of the country. (Praise the Lord for technology and the Internet…) He has also been directing musicals in the West Michigan area - both High School and community theatre.
Haosi Howard Chen, Composer, performer, teacher
Soo Jin Cho
Soo Jin Cho (b.1977, Seoul Korea) earned her BM in Music Composition at Yonsei University (Korea). She continued her studies at Florida State University under the direction of Ladislav Kubik and received MM in Music Composition and continued to study at the doctoral level. While pursuing her degrees, she worked as gradate teaching assistant for undergraduate theory and aural skills courses, and in 2005, she was nominated for the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. Recently, she completed her dissertation, Road to Damascus for piano and orchestra and will graduate in spring 2008. Her compositions have been performed at the Festival of New Music (2005, 2007), New Music Ensemble Concert (2005) presented by Florida State University and also in several chamber recitals. She was a participant of CASMI (Czech-American Summer Music Institute) program held in Prague, in the year 2003. At present, she is a member of SCI (Society of Composers Inc) and CMS (College Music Society).
Alan Cross served as a music director at Lutheran Church of the Cross for five years after attending Concordia University, where he was involved heavily in the music program while receiving a degree in biology. Currently, Alan is a full-time composer and piano teacher and is applying to San Jose State for their Master’s Program in Composition. To date, Alan has written scores for solo piano, chamber music, musical theatre, contemporary pop, and Christian worship. Some of his music can be sampled at www.AlanCrossMusic.com.
David Davies, Dr., Vice President
David Horace Davies received a DMA in composition from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami (UM), where he studied with Dennis Kam, John Van der Slice and Robert Gower. Prior to his time at UM, he studied composition and conducting with Mark Hijleh at the Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College. Davies’ music has been performed across the United States and in Puerto Rico and in the Great Hall at Cooper Union in NYC. His most recent work, Shout the Glad Tidings, was premiered by over 200 musicians in a three-city concert tour of Buffalo, Houghton, and Rochester, NY. His piano suite The Wordless Book was recently selected for performance at the 2013 CMS International Conference in Buenos Aires. Davies was a finalist for the Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and his works have received awards from the College Music Society and the International Arts Movement. He has also received numerous commissions from colleges and churches in New York, Illinois and Florida.
Davies joined the faculty of the Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College, in 2011 as Assistant Professor of Composition and Music Theory. Prior to Houghton he has served on the faculties of Augustana College (IL) and Miami Dade College, and as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Miami. In addition to his work as an educator, he is an active conductor and organist. In 2010 he served as Conference Host for the Region V of the Society of Composers, Inc., and for several years he has been an active member of SCI and the College Music Society. Davies has been a member of the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers since 2002 and has served on CFAMC’s Executive Advisory Committee since 2007. The Davies live in Houghton, NY and have four (exceptionally) beautiful children.
Following ten years at Disney World as a performing trombonist with Gabriel’s Brass, Ken returned to school to complete two master’s degrees. Finishing his M.A. in Trombone Performance at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN and an M.M. in Music Composition at the University of Colorado at Boulder, he returned to full-time composition.A commission to provide a choral/organ work for the American Guild of Organists Convention in Denver in 1998 set the stage for his God, The Artist Of Creation. Who Will Separate Us (from the Love of God) and If You Will Serve Him were new additions to his vocal church music repertoire. Ken’s Let All Mortal Flesh, Easter Call to Worship, Wedding Processional, Concert Piece for Brass Quintet and Organ and Quietudes for Organ (recorded in 2006 by organist Christopher Wicks of Oregon) have been widely performed. A three-movement work for solo piano, Sapphire Kaleidoscope, had its premiere performance at the National Conference of the Society of Composers in Greensboro, NC. All music is published by Kenvad Music (ASCAP) with CD’s on the Pattisan label. Soundclips, further details and new releases are available on his website. Ken also performs regularly with the Gulf Coast Brass Quintet and maintains an active studio teaching brass, keyboard and guitar.
Clive Davis received his Bachelor of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory in 1989 and his Doctorate of Musical Arts from Boston University in 1994. His compositions have been performed by the Boston University Symphony Orchestra, the Berkshire Children’s Chorus, Convergence, the Arcadian Winds, and the Peabody Opera Institute, to name a few. He has received a number of awards and commissions for his compositions, including two ASCAP prizes. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Electronic Music at Simon’s Rock College and the Director of Music at Berkshire School.
Gail Davis, Professor and Composer
Christ is my redeemer.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Robert Denham holds a DMA in composition from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) where he studied with Michael Fiday, Joel Hoffman, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. His other degrees are from UCLA (MA Composition) where he studied with Roger Bourland, Ian Krouse, and the late Jerry Goldsmith, and Biola University (BM, Trumpet Performance). Dr. Denham managed the annual new music festival MusicX for four years, and currently teaches Theory and Composition at Biola University in La Mirada California. Denham’s music includes works of every genre and has been performed across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. He has won numerous competitions, including the Hvar International Composition Competition (Croatia), the CCM Philharmonia Composition Competition, the Gluck Brass Quintet Composition Competition, and was the 1998 recipient of the coveted Stanley Wilson Composer’s Award (UCLA). He has received annual awards from ASCAP since 2005. A member of ASCAP, CFAMC, and SCI, Denham's music is published by Falls House Press, GIA Publishing, Imagine Music Publishing, Pelican Music Publishing, and Tuba Euphonium Press.
David DeVasto, Ph.D.
Frank Felice, Ph.D
I am an eclectic composer who writes with a postmodern mischievousness: pieces can be comedic/ironic, simple/complex, or humble/reverent. My recent projects have taken a turn toward turn towards the sweeter side, exploring a consonant adiatonicism.
Much of what I've previously written as a spiritual statement still holds: I know that I love Jesus, and that the less I make of myself, the more the Holy Spirit is able to mold me into something God can use for his glory. As a composer I do not write a lot of strictly sacred music, but everything I write comes from a deep seated knowledge, conviction and acceptance that I have been bought, and this life of mine is no longer my own: it is Christ's.
Having said that however, I find that much of my recent music is Biblical in topic, or based in my own working-out-of-faith issues, both good and bad. I guess that I'm becoming more comfortable writing sacred music, which is perhaps a more honest reflection of the first sentence of this paragraph than when I originally wrote it! It's good to be working with the knowledge of Christ's hand as creator and the gifts of the spirit in everything, informed by my relationship with the triune God through Christ, consciously and unconsciously.
Even if I wished to do otherwise (and I do NOT!), I don't think I could write anything without Him being a part of the whole creative process. J.R.R. Tolkien describes these creative roles under God as Sub-Creation I believe that to be an apt label. Hopefully all that I do will honor Christ, and then I might be found to be worthy of being called Sub-creator.
David Fuentes, Professor of Composition and Theory
David Fuentes is Professor of Composition and Theory at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he composes music for worship, television, the concert stage, theater, and dance. He is the author of Figuring Out Melody, a comprehensive, multimedia, user-friendly book that presents a way of thinking about melodic figures and metric placement that is helpful in inventing and processing musical ideas. The book is available as a .PDF file from his website.
Jonah Gallagher, Composition Student
I am currently studying with Professors William Vollinger and Joan Mallory for a double BA in Music Composition and Music Education. I have been formally studying music for four years after an 11-year career in house painting. I will organize my first full-length performance of original works in Spring of 2013. My recent influences are Hugo Distler, Morten Lauridsen, Igor Stravinsky, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Gian Carlo Menotti, and Benjamin Britten. Past influences are Contemporary Christian music, German folk music, German and English Christmas music, 70’s Jesus music, and pop rock.
Brian Gillikin, Grad student, composer
Warren Gooch’s music has been widely performed throughout North America, as well as Europe, Asia and Latin America. His work has been recognized by the National Federation of Music Clubs, Minnesota Orchestra, American Choral Directors Association, Music Teachers National Association, Percussive Arts Society, International Trumpet Guild, College Music Society, Music Educators National Conference, the Composers Guild, Composers and Songwriters International, Collegiate Band Directors National Association, American Composers Forum and numerous other organizations. He has been the recipient of over thirty composition awards and paid commissions. Approximately thirty of his works are published by Southern, Dorn, Kjos, Alliance, Flammer, Ensemble, Plymouth, and other publishers. Clockwork for orchestra will soon be available on compact disk, recorded by the Slovak Radio Orchestra under the direction of the late Robert Black (PAR MA Recordings).
A native of Duluth, Minnesota, Gooch received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. He studied with Stephen Dembski, Joel Naumann, Thomas Wegren, Mary Mageau, Eric Stokes and others, representing the varied aesthetic philosophies and stylistic positions of composers such as George Crumb, Milton Babbitt, Howard Hansen, and Nadia Boulenger. This broad background has informed Gooch’s own diverse and comprehensive style.
Gooch’s work as music theorist has been recognized by the College Music Society, and Gooch has authored a manual in the Benward/White Music in Theory and Practice textbook series published by McGraw-Hill. Professional affiliations include BMI, Society of Composers, American Composers Forum, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, College Music Society, Music Theory Midwest, Macro Analysis Creative Research Organization, Music Teachers National Association, Music Educators National Conference, Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers, Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, Iowa Composers Forum and others.
Gooch chairs the Theory-Composition Area and coordinates the Master of Arts in Music program at Truman State University. In 2012, he was named the Truman State University Educator of the Year. He is also actively involved in church music.
I was raised in a Christian home and took that blessing for granted until, as a teenager, I realized that “God has no grandchildren” and committed my life to Christ. Shortly after that, I began my career as an educator, and have been one for over three decades. Nothing I have taught to a student compares with what God has been teaching me over the years. God has continually impressed upon this slow and often reluctant learner many great and rather obvious truths. Three of them are:
- God is always right, and he knows the correct path for my life. As I reflect on the course of events that has led me to where I am, I can see that God and Yorz Trooly often agreed on where I should be, but often disagreed on how I should get there. God has carefully planned each major event in my life so that it would inevitably lead me to the next major event. The path God has set for my life has often been circuitous and difficult, but it is clearly the right path. “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:3)
- God’s grace is infinite. In recent years, I have lost most of my family. Yet, through these difficult times, God has always provided for my emotional and spiritual needs. I rejoice that some day, I will be part of a wonderful family reunion in Heaven. “And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
- God’s love, mercy and patience are limitless. As a father, I have a taste of what unconditional love is—I would do anything for my son. It is incredible for me to ponder what God’s love for me must be like—a love that would cause Him to offer His own Son as a sacrifice for my sins. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
Whatever musical ability I might have is a gift from God and I hope always to use that gift in ways that are pleasing and honorable to Him.
N. Lincoln Hanks, Professor of Music
A professional singer and composer, N. Lincoln Hanks thrives in the outer regions of the music spectrum. He studied composition at Indiana University with Don Freund, Frederick Fox, and Claude Baker, and he studied with John Harbison at the Aspen Music Festival. Among his many recognitions and awards, Lincoln has won the Contemporary Choral Composition Competition from The Roger Wagner Center for Choral Studies and an ASCAP award, and he was recently honored as a finalist in the Lilly Fellows Program Arlin G. Meyer Prize for his oratorio, Tegel Passion. His music has been described by the New York Times as "energetic" and full of "musical twists." Many distinguished performing artists and groups, including pianist Paul Barnes, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Cypress String Quartet, and the Dale Warland Singers, have performed his music. Recently his works have been featured on North/South Concerts, the Cutting Edge New Music Festival, the Boston New Music Initiative concert series, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival.
Studying early music performance practice with Thomas Binkley and Paul Hillier at Indiana University's Early Music Institute, Lincoln was a cofounder of The Concord Ensemble, an a cappella group that won the first annual Grand Prize in the Early Music America/Dorian Records Competition. He now directs Alchymey, a vocal ensemble based in Los Angeles, and he co-directs The Ascending Voice, a triennial sacred a cappella music festival and symposium at Pepperdine University.
I am a Christian, and what a blessing it is to have a creative life in consonance with the reality of the Imago Dei.
AJ Harbison (born 1985) is a composer and singer/songwriter living with his lovely wife and baby daughter in Kansas City. He graduated in May 2007 with a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from California State University, Fullerton, where his principal teachers were Pamela Madsen, Lloyd Rodgers, and Ken Walicki. He was one of the first three recipients of the Alan A. Mannason Scholarship in Composition at the university, and the faculty of the music department chose him to be the student speaker representing the department at the College of the Arts commencement ceremony. His senior composition recital, produced in April 2007, included five of his compositions and utilized more than thirty performers. He received his first paid commission in 2009, for the Hutchins Consort, a Newport Beach, California-based string ensemble. In December of that year, he became a published composer when Kallisti Music Press in Philadelphia published his art song New Hope. In December 2010, he released a CD of original pop music entitled Songs From My Shelf, which he wrote, recorded and produced himself. Among his most recent concert music works are Lentfor chamber orchestra and drum set, composed in 2013 during private studies with Ken Walicki; Ad Lib(er Abaci) for solo horn; Voices Rising United for SSAA chorus and piano, composed for Michael Patch and the Kansas City Women's Chorus; and Shards for string orchestra, composed during studies with Chen Yi. AJ is currently pursuing a graduate degree in composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Bruce Heacock, Resident Composer
Graduate of State University of New York at Fredonia. Composition under Dr. Robert Marvel. High School Band director 28 years, U.S. Air Force 4 years. Graduate studies at University of Colorado, with Dr. Cecil Effinger and Dr. George Crumb. Travelled all over New York State with my Gospel Family, Joyce, Laura, Jennifer singing in churches, camp meetings, conventions our original music. Now living in Port Charlotte, FL.
We believe in the Gospels and that we are saved by Grace and the blood of Christ. We have "free will" and and believe all creative things are the Fruit of the Spirit.
Ronald Hess, Director of Music
After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Quantitative Business Analysis from Penn State, Ron began a full-time, 25-year career working to improve the operation of the United States Government. Outside of work, Ron pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Composition from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (2000) and a Master of Music Degree in Music Composition from the University of Maryland at College Park (2007). He is published in Perspectives of New Music and Percussive Notes.
Regarding composing, Ron strives to write custom made music: with each form uniquely evolved, speaking to our ethos, and steeped in listening to successively approximate what the inner ear wants to hear. He describes composing this way as sitting on the inflection point of a graph - you are never quite sure which way the sounds will turn.
Ron and his wife, Becky, have four children (ages 6 through 15). They live in Severn, MD.
Mark Hijleh, President Emeritus
Mark Hijleh holds degrees in composition, conducting and world music from the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Sheffield (UK), Ithaca College and William Jewell College. His composition teachers included such noted artists as Karel Husa, Morris Moshe Cotel, Barney Childs, James Mobberly, and Thomas Benjamin. Dr. Hijleh has received composition awards from NATS, Kappa Gamma Psi, T.U.B.A., Loyola College of Maryland, and ASCAP. His works have been performed professionally by the Rochester and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestras, at Washington's Kennedy Center, ResMusicAmerica in Baltimore, and Oxford University, and by major ensembles of colleges and conservatories across the US. Hijleh is author of The Music of Jesus: From Composition to Koinonia, and the forthcoming Towards a Global Music Theory: Practical Concepts and Methods for the Analysis of Music Across Cultures.
Mark Hijleh lives with his wife, soprano Kelley Hijleh, daughter Hannah, and son Noah in Houghton, New York, where he serves as Professor of Music and Associate Dean for Academic Administration at Houghton College.
Jesus Christ is Lord of the universe and of my life. He is the radiance of God's glory and the perfect representation of His being. God the Father, Son and Spirit is the deepest Lover of our souls. Jesus is the most creative person who has ever lived, and teaches us that all artistic acts should be acts of love.
Barbara Holm, Secretary, Membership Coordinator
Barbara Anne Koenen Holm has received a BA in mathematics from the University of Minnesota in 1975, and a MM in flute performance from The Boston Conservatory in 1990.
She became interested in composition later in life, beginning studies with Larry Bell while in Boston. Upon moving back to Minneapolis, she studied with Chris Granias, and she is currently studying with Carol Barnett. Her compositions and arrangements are self-published by Holm Legacy Publishing. They are available on-line (www.HolmLegacyPublishing.com), at Flute World, and a few stores in Minneapolis and Chicago.
She continues to be an active participant in a wide variety of musical groups, having served as associate principal flute of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony of Boston, second flute of the St. Paul Civic Symphony, flutist in The Legacy Ensemble and many other chamber groups. She has also sung in many church choirs, most notably the chamber choir at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado.
Her philosophy of music is that a composition should offer a meaningful experience to both the performer and listener.
I believe that through Jesus Christ we can be born from above, and participate in God's purpose. It is my desire to serve God with all that I do.
Amanda Husberg, Director of Music
Director of Music at St. John’s Church for 47 years. Organ and Education major at Concordia Teachers College, Seward, Neb. Have been writing hymn tunes since 1993, will have approximately 190 tunes published by summer of 2012, in hymnals in Canada, China, Brazil, and the U.S. Have several choral pieces published as well as a 35-minute Resurrection Requiem (text by Richard Leach) which will be published by CPH in 2012. We use my liturgical setting of the mass at my Brooklyn church. I am a member of the Hymn Society of the US and Canada, and the American Composers Forum.
I’m a member of a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church; however, I am more open to sharing ideas and worship than some of the more conservative congregations in our Synod.
David Janssen, DMA
David C. Janssen received his D.M.A. in composition from Boston University, M. M. in Composition from Manhattan School of Music and B. M. in Composition from Oklahoma City University.
David’s list of works include a wide variety of genres such as solo, operatic, chamber and orchestral music with performances in Prague, NYC, Boston and Oklahoma. He has recently finished working on Symphony No. 1. The third movement titled The Return of the Son of Man was a semi-finalist in the professional division of the national competition “The American Prize in Composition”.
David’s work is largely inspired from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His influences range from György Ligeti to the common practice period. David is currently working on a commission for the Canterbury Choral Society.
I believe in God the creator of all things from whom all things were created; there is nothing that has been made that has not been made by Him. As Psalm 24:1 states “The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”.
I believe in the historical fall of man which has brought death and sin into the world and from which we are darkened in our minds and our bodies subject to weakness, but through Christ we have overcome.
I believe in Jesus Christ, the unique Son of God, born from the Virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit, sent to save us from sin by his death on the cross. I believe that on the third day Jesus rose from the dead, imperishable and physical yet new. I believe he is currently at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. I believe these to be historical, and verifiable events. I believe he will return to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the forgiveness of sins, the physical resurrection of the body, the universal church, invisible and visible. I believe in eternal life, given freely by God the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ is my Lord and His seal is on me. This, I state by faith in the assurance of His Word John 3:14.
Bonnie Johansen-Werner is a composer, performer, and teacher residing in Joliet, Illinois. She is organist at First United Methodist Church in Lockport, Illinois; is on the music faculty at the University of St. Francis, teaching music theory and composition; and manages her own private studio in Joliet. She also serves as Diaconal Minister of Music associated with Grace United Methodist Church (Naperville) in the ministry of organ and composition. Her music has been performed in the United States, Canada, Russia, and Europe.
Bonnie's music combines techniques from ancient sources with contemporary rhythms, shifting tonalities, and vibrant melodies. Mysticism and spirituality play an important role in her music, with a focus on the presence of the holy in all of life. Themes for her music range from hope and expectancy to pointed encounters with death, AIDS, and drought.
Ms. Johansen-Werner holds music degrees from Augustana College and Concordia University with theological study at Garrett Theological Seminary, the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, and Methesco. She is the former McCosh Assistant Professor of Music at Upper Iowa University. With her husband, Duane Werner, they have five children and eight grandchildren.
I am a Christian who is called to act on my faith in all aspects of my life. My music is composed as an expression of my faith and as a response to the greatness of God. In my teaching, I am aware of my call to see each student through the eyes of Christ, to attempt to see what is the best I have to offer them individually, and to help elicit the best from each of them.
Brice Johnson, DMA Student
Brice L Johnson (b. Greencastle, IN, April 18 1989) began playing piano at the age of 7. After finding a passion for music in his early elementary years he took up percussion and eventually started composing. Brice attended Indiana Wesleyan University where he studied Music Composition and Percussion Performance. While attending IWU he received multiple honors such as the Jerry Franks Memorial Scholarship, Ruth Moshier Scholarship, IWU Music Scholarship (composition), and an IWU Music Service Grant He attended Butler University in pursuit of his Masters in Composition. At Butler he was awarded a tuition stipend as Graduate Assistant for the Composition Department. He is now attending Arizona State University in pursuit of his DMA. Brice's primary instructors have been: Michael Schelle, Frank Felice, Craig Hetrick, Marc Wooldridge, Todd Syswerda. Brice is also an avid percussionist, having performed with many small and large ensembles incl uding: The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, The Marion Philharmonic Orchestra, The Jordan College of the Arts Composers Orchestra, the Butler Graduate Percussion Quartet, The Indiana Wesleyan University Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and the IWU Percussion Ensemble. As a musician Brice has strived to relate the enduring relationships of life and faith, to his music. He is focused on committing to his calling and has found that trust is vital in truly expressing himself and the art form that he wishes to convey. Creativity, in his opinion, is a gift that should not be squandered, but should be nurtured and brought to its full potential. Brice spends much of his spare time with his loving Wife, Samantha, friends, and family.
I am a follower of Christ. I believe that we live in a fallen world and that I am born again in faith through Jesus. I know that I will fall astray but that the Lord has laid my iniquities onto Christ, and that when He died for my sins I was forgiven. I live my life according to this principle and hope to show my music in the same way!
Tim M. Kucij is an engineer, minister and musician. He earned his BA in Music (specializing in piano and composition) from the California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly) at Pomona in 1978. In addition, Tim studied through the Sherwood Music Conservatory of Chicago and under numerous distinguished organ, piano, conducting and composition teachers and artists in Los Angeles and Minneapolis. He also holds a MA degree in Biblical Studies. Tim has over 30 years experience in quality systems engineering and management. He is also active in the preaching, teaching and music ministries at his local church. Tim is a nationally recognized composer and pianist having composed scores of piano solos in various styles. He has concertized extensively and has released two CDs (A Place Somewhere and LifeSongs) of his music to date. His music (score books and recordings) is housed in many of the nation's libraries. Tim holds membership in The American Society for Quality, The American Composer's Forum, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), Founders Ministries and The Creation Research Society. In 1989 he was named Distinguished Alumnus by Cal Poly Pomona. He is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.
Michael Landers, Composer/Publisher
FRANK LA ROCCA (b. 1951, Newark, New Jersey) earned his B.A. in Music from Yale University, and the M.A. and Ph.D in composition from the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. LaRocca has been a leading figure in the San Francisco Bay Area new music scene as a founding member and Artistic Director of COMPOSERS, INC. as well as in his work as a composer and teacher. Since my 1998 choral work "Exaudi," all my music has been settings of sacred texts or has been focussed on the contemplation of God's grace and mercy. Like most composers, I have often thought about the significance (if any) of my work. Though all too often this question is still framed in terms of my own status as a composer in the world at large, I pray that I can more consistently keep the focus on Him from whom all creation and creativity flows.
James MacMillan, Honorary member
Lansing McLoskey, Professor
Lansing McLoskey has been described as "a major talent and a deep thinker with a great ear" by the American Composers Orchestra, "an engaging, gifted composer writing smart, compelling and fascinating music" by Gramophone Magazine, and "a distinctive voice in American music." His music has an emotional intensity that appeals to academic and amateur alike, defying traditional stylistic pigeonholes.
McLoskey's music has been performed in sixteen countries on six continents, and has won more than two dozen national and international awards, including the prestigious Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the inaugural International Joint Wind Quintet Project Commission Competition, and most recently the 2014 Red Note Festival Composition Competition and an Aaron Copland Recording Grant. In 2009 he became the only composer in the 45 year history of the ISU New Music Festival to win both the chamber music and orchestral composition awards; both blind-juried national competitions with two independent panels. Recent performances include concerts in Finland, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, the UK, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Miami and performances at twelve music festivals in the past year alone. Recent commissions include a concerto for Triton Brass and a consortium of wind ensembles, and new works for the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble, the newEar Ensemble for their 20th anniversary season, Chatham Baroque, the JWQP consortium of wind quintets, the soundSCAPE Festival in Maccagno, Italy (where he was the 2011 Composer-in-Residence), Berlin PianoPercussion, and ensemberlino vocale.
Professor at the University of Miami, Frost School of Music, his music is released on Albany Records, Wergo Schallplatten, Capstone, Tantara, and Beauport Classics. 2013 saw the release of three new CDs, including Specific Gravity: Chamber Works by Lansing McLoskey and The Unheard Music, including his multi-award-winning concerto What We Do Is Secret for brass and wind ensemble.
I believe the act of composition is divine and sacred. I draw little distinction between "sacred" and "secular" composition, and approach every piece as though it were sacred.
Whatever talent I happened to have is a gift from God, and I'm grateful for the opportunities I have to write music.
Jan Mittelstaedt holds Bachelor degrees in education and music from Bucknell University and Marylhurst University and a MM in composition from The University of Portland. She studied composition with Sister Ann Cecil Daigle at Marylhurst and Dr. Walter B. Saul II at the University of Portland and Warner Pacific College. She continues to study with Dr. Saul who is now at Fresno Pacific Univ.
In 1993, Ms. Mittelstaedt participated in the Ernest Bloch Composers Symposium, and in 1994,she was chosen Composer of the Year by the Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA). She has also won ASCAP special awards since 1994, and her biography is included in Who's Who of American Women and Who's Who in America. Currently, she is President of Cascadia Composers (NACUSA). Her music has been published by Boston Music (Music Sales USA), Schaum Publications, and Alberti Publications.
A teacher of piano and composition, Jan Mittelstaedt has an active studio in Portland, Oregon. A member of the OMTA piano syllabus adjudicating staff, she is an honorary lifetime member of Portland District OMTA.
She and her husband have two sons, one daughter, and eight grandchildren.
Lawrence Mumford, Dr.
Lawrence Mumford (D.M.A., Composition, University of Southern California) is an ASCAP composer with music published by 8 different companies. His catalogue includes works for orchestra, chamber groups, choral, film, and song. Two of his original orchestral themes play daily on Christian radio stations in many cities nationwide; he has received symphonic performances in several states; and he has had a song included on a Billboard number 1 album. In 2004 he chaired the first California conference of CFAMC. He has taught theory, composition, and other music courses at several universities in the Los Angeles area since 1992, and currently teaches at Biola University in La Mirada.
I became a born-again Christian at the age of 28. I have been married to Donna since 1996.
American composer Brian J. Nelson was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and received his Bachelor of Composition degree from the University of Michigan in 1990. There he studied with William Bolcom, William Albright, and Nick Thorne. He completed a master’s degree in composition at the University of Wisconsin in May, 2000.
A committed Catholic, Brian is a prolific composer of sacred music as well as chamber and orchestral works. His growing catalogue of works includes his Elegiac Folk Song for French Horn and Pianocommissioned by hornist Alice Codiek (premiered by Ms. Codiek and Ellen Bottorff, piano); Ballade for Violin and Piano; Capriccio for Flute, Oboe and Piano; Responsorial Psalms for Advent and Christmas, a collection of responsories based on the Catholic lectionary, and more.
To date, Brian Nelson’s music is represented on two CDs: Responsorial Psalms for Advent and Christmas (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/BrianJNelson, November, 2009), featuring a sampling from the collection just mentioned; and Vocalise Instrumental & Vocal Music of Brian J. Nelson (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/BrianJNelson1, 2010), which features a complete representation of Brian’s output from instrumental to chamber to choral to sacred music. Brian’s music is characterized by a strong melodic sense and an original tonalityhis work is deeply engaging, and in each piece he clearly demonstrates his mastery of form, structure and powerful expression. He continues to compose both commissioned and non-commissioned works across a wide variety of genres and forms.
Greg Nelson, Honorary member
Shawn Okpebholo, DMA, Assistant Professor
The music of Shawn E. Okpebholo has been performed all across the United States of America, and in Canada, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Distinguished venues and festivals include: The Kennedy Center and the National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.), Monte Music Festival (Goa, India); CBDNA National Conference (Seattle, WA), MusicX Contemporary Music Festival (Cincinnati, OH); PRIZM Ensemble Concert Series (Memphis, TN); and the state music festivals of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Texas. As a frequently invited guest lecturer and composer, Dr. Okpebholo has appeared at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro New Music Festival, the University of Benin (Benin City, Nigeria), Biola University Conservatory of Music (Los Angeles, CA), Boise State University (Boise, ID), among others.
Dr. Okpebholo has received numerous commissions from noted soloists, universities, and organizations, including: the International Tuba and Euphonium Association, the United States Air Force Band of Mid America, the Ohio Music Education Association and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Okpebholo received his B.A. in composition and music history from Asbury College and his M.M. and D.M.A. in composition and theory from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music—with additional study in film scoring at New York University. His primary teachers were James Curnow, Joel Hoffman, Ronald Holz, and Michael Fiday. He was a recipient of the Union University Pew Research Grant and a select participant at the National Bandmaster's Association Young Composers Mentor Project. Awards include: first prizes in the Accent06 International Composition Competition, KMEA All-Collegiate Composition Contest, and Peniston Honors in Composition and has been an annual recipient of the ASCAPlus awards since 2004. He was also one of eighteen featured composers in Volume IV of the book series, Composers on Composing for Band, edited by Mark Camphouse.
In 2010, Dr. Okpebholo joined the faculty of Wheaton College Conservatory of Music as Assistant Professor of Theory and Composition. He previously taught at Union University, Northern Kentucky University, and the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. He currently lives in Wheaton, IL, with his beautiful wife Dorthy (violist) and beautiful daughter Eva.
Jason Palamara was born and raised in rural Howell, NJ; razed in Chicago, IL; and born again in Indianapolis, IN. From early on he was called to compose and perform on the violin and guitar. He has been a student and friend of Michael Schelle and Frank Felice. Currently he is finishing his B.S. at Butler University and plans to move on to his M.S. in the near future. His compositions have been performed by Jordan College of Fine Arts Composer's Orchestra, the Belzer Middle School Orchestra, and the Indianapolis Musician's Widows Ladies Auxiliary Marching Band and Turnover Service. Recently, Jason came to Christ through the ministry of Bill Hybels at Willow Creek and through John Koppitch at Fairview Presbyterian but mostly through the Divine Hand of God Himself. Jason's chief musical influences are Guillaume de Machaut and Elvis Costello. His interests are varied but mainly revolve around Music, Music History, History, Astrophysics, Politics, Religion, and comic books. He endorses and uses Finale and Digidesign software almost exclusively. Jason lives in Broadripple Village, Indianapolis with his wife, Lorbi and their beagle, Spunky.
Jim Puckett, Worship Arts Pastor; Adj. Prof.
Jim is a career church musician and Pastor of Worship Arts. He has composed and arranged for a variety of settings including chamber works, accompaniment orchestrations, orchestral and choral works, as well as works for musical theatre. Jim has received recognition in 2011 and 2010 from the National Academy of Music and awarded performances at the Society of Composers, Inc. 2012 Region VI Conference, 2010 National Conference, New Music Festival IX (Univ. of Nebraska, Kearney), the 2010 Southeastern Composers League Conference, and the Society of Composers, Inc. 2010 Region VI Conference.
His most recent works include In the Gardens (Piano), Meditation on “Evening” (Soprano/Piano), Danse de Cirque (Trombone/Piano), Okra and Morning Glories (Wind Quintet), Somethin’s Gone Wrong Deep Within, a commissioned trumpet work echoing the American spiritual and based on Romans 7:14-20; Introit for Advent (strings), That’s Why He Came, a choral/orchestral work for Christmas; Countdown, a numerical based work for 7 instruments; and Nocturne (for Tenor Sax and Piano), which was recently featured as part of Access Contemporary Music’s Weekly Reading program in Chicago.
Jim is an active member of the Society of Composers. Inc., the Southeastern Composer’s League, and a Composer member of Access Contemporary Music. Jim has studied with Frank Wiley, Peter Fischer, Leslie Dutton, Richard Meek, and Rick Brunetto. He holds a M.M. in Composition from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, and a B.A. in Music Performance from Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, Mt. Vernon, Ohio.
John Richard, DMA
Pablo Samonta was born in 1982 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied electric and classical guitar with maestro Ricardo Liezer from the age of 11. As a teenager, Pablo was a member of the worship team at his local church, Iglesia Cristiana y Missionera de la Alianza in Olivos, Buenos Aires. He was also a member of Somos between 2004 and 2010, a rock band of friends with who was able to release their second album Entre tu cielo. In 2005, Pablo started his piano studies and also enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and Musical Sciences at UCA University towards a Music Composition degree. In 2008, he was named music director at ACMA church in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The following year, Pablo started working as a composer for different purposes and media, mostly for the advertising industry; this happened to be his dawn as a music producer. A year later in 2010, he released his first production Piezas Meridionales, a solo project with compositions for classical guitar. After composing in many varieties of styles, from classical to contemporary and for many different organics; solo instrument works, full orchestras, and more, in 2011, after 5 years at UCA University, Pablo obtained his degree in Music Composition. Since leaving the music school, Pablo has been continuously composing, recording, and producing projects of his own and other music for different purposes. This led him to the creation of his own music production studio, Nautilus Leaf Music. In 2012, Pablo Samonta moved to the Coachella Valley in California, where he presently lives and works. Pablo's recent accomplishments include the release of his new album From The Earth's Secret Diary... (January 2014) and being finalist at the Lake George Composition Competition in New York with his trio Eternity Hanging by a Thread in May 2014.)
I'm a follower of Jesus Christ, and it is my passion to learn each day more about his word and experience his life in me through the Holy Spirit. As a composer, I'm totally amazed and in total admiration of His creation. He is the biggest composer of all, the maker of everything that exists, the maker of life. God is wonderful!
Donald Sanborn III, Composer/Lyricist/Arranger/Trumpeter
Donald H. Sanborn III is at work on a musical and a Christmas piece. Recent premieres include an Easter duet for trumpet and organ, “Peter’s Salvation;” a brass quintet, “Fanfare for Caitlin’s Castle” (inspired by the composer’s goddaughter, the piece also exists as a duet for trumpet and organ); and an SAB anthem, “Of the Holy Trinity.” His solo organ and choral works have been performed by members of the American Guild of Organists in worship and concert settings. Mr. Sanborn’s favorite of his compositions is “Jubilate Fanfare,” a duet for trumpet and organ. Written with his wife, Jennifer Leach Sanborn, the piece was premiered at their wedding.
Andrew Sauerwein, President
Phil Shackleton, Director of Music Theory/Composition
Dawn Sonntag, DMA
Praised as “a composer/performer of rare depth and versatility,” (Schaumburg-Lippe Landeszeitung, June, 2009), Dawn Sonntag is a composer of vocal, choral, chamber, dance, and theater music. Her choral works have been performed across the US and in Germany, France, and Norway by numerous college, community, and church choirs. A finalist in the American Composers’ Forum Faith Partners competition, Sonntag has received numerous commissions, including the 2008 Leif Eriksson International Festival in Minneapolis; and Luther Seminary’s 25th annual Reformation Festival, for which Sonntag’s choral-orchestral setting of Gracia Grindal’s translation of Paul Gerhardt’s “Befiehl du deine Wege” was premiered by the Augsburg College Choir. Sonntag contributed music to the documentary films “Action Arts,” a community collaborative arts documentary, and “Voice to Vision,” a film featuring immigrant genocide victims, both of which were aired on PBS. In November, 2010, she will premiere her settings of Christina Rossetti’s poetry for voice, oboe, cello, and piano, at the OMTA convention as MTNA-Ohio’s Composer of the Year. Sonntag is also an active vocalist, pianist, and conductor, and has received numerous performance awards, including the Inge Pitler prize for both voice performance and lied accompanying in Heidelberg Germany. As winner of the Kenwood Symphony Masters Aria and Concerto competition, Sonntag performed Grieg orchestral songs and was awarded a FLAS fellowship to Norway to study advanced Norwegian in order to further her interest in Norwegian vocal music, which she developed as director of music at the Norwegian Memorial Lutheran Church from 2005 – 2008. Dr. Sonntag holds graduate degrees in music from the University of Minnesota, the Ohio State University, Antioch University’s McGregor School of the Arts in Tübingen, Germany, and the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik, Heidelberg. Currently she is Assistant Professor of Music at Hiram College, where she teaches music theory and composition, general and interdisciplinary music courses, applied voice, and conducts the choirs.
Adam Sovkoplas, DMA (abd)
Adam Sovkoplas is completing his DMA in Composition at the University of Kentucky under the instruction of Joe Baber. His previous composition instructors include Richard Urbis, Trent Hanna, and Thomas Couvillon.
Sovkoplas’s awards include the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers scholarship, the 2nd Annual SHSU Phi Mu Alpha/Fisher Tull Composition Contest, recognition as the College Music Society South Central Chapter Outstanding Student Composer in 2006, and the Symphony of the Mountains “Magnum Opus: A New Composer’s Competition” in 2012. His works have been performed nationally and internationally at various conferences and festivals including the 2nd Annual Festival of New Organ Music, London, England (2007), the OrvietoMusica Festival in Italy (2008), the 2010 International Computer Music Conference in New York, and the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the College Music Society Regional Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia (2012). In 2012, Sovkoplas was invited to give a lecture and write a new composition to be premiered at the International Summer Arts Institute in Perugia and Rome, Italy.
In 2007, Sovkoplas founded the Central Kentucky Student Chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc. and has since organized the 1st through the 5th annual Kentucky New Music Festivals. In 2009, Sovkoplas began pursing his interest in becoming a playwright and studied with Herman D. Farrell, III at the University of Kentucky. His one-act plays Melodious Murder on the BG Express and Bloodshed on a Bluegrass Boxcar were produced and staged by the Bluegrass Mystery Theatre of Lexington, KY in 2011. Dana Edison of Bluegrass Mystery Theatre has commissioned Sovkoplas to write a new play to be presented in the summer of 2012.
Please visit: http://www.societyofcomposers.org/members/AdamSovkoplas/
David Squires, Dean, School of the Arts, Media, and Culture
Dr. David Squires is Professor of Music and Dean of the School of the Arts, Media + Culture at Trinity Western University. A long-time university professor, mentor, and composer, he has also served as a worship pastor for several churches across Canada. He has an extensive catalogue of chamber, choral, and orchestral music, and is equally at home writing for amateurs and students as for professional musicians. Recent important premieres include Deep Peace (Jon Washburn and the Vancouver Chamber Choir in May 2014), the harp concerto, Wave After Wave, and the violin concerto, Where Angels Dance (both written for senior student performers), and a double choir and orchestra setting of the Magnificat (TWU Choirs, Vancouver in December 2012). David and his wife Colette have four children and seven grandchildren, and make their home in Abbotsford, BC, Canada.
He is a long-time student of Celtic spirituality, and has twice spent time on the island of Iona in Scotland's Inner Hebrides, whose Celtic Christian roots go back to the sixth century. "When I create something, I feel I am most like the Creator. I am coming into contact in a fully embodied way with the one who made all things, and who in turn made me to make things. This is a mystery-one which nourishes."
Andrew William Steinbeck
Andrew William Steinbeck was born in 1991, and grew up in Canton, Missouri with a great interest in music. Though his most basic compositions began early in childhood, he began composing music on a regular basis in junior high, and was the pianist at his church from 2003 to 2009. Steinbeck played flute, piano, trombone, and tuba with his high school music program. His piece, "2009" was featured at his high school graduation ceremony. Steinbeck is a student of music composition as an undergraduate at Truman State University, where he serves God through the Baptist Student Union and his local church. He has been composing for local churches and schools since 2010, and is the arranger for the Truman Statesmen marching band. When not composing, he is likely enjoying the wonders of God's creation in or around Kirksville, Mo., where he currently resides. It is his primary goal with music to praise and glorify God, noted on all of his music with the initials TGG, To the Glory of God.
I grew up attending Baptist churches in Northeast Missouri, accepting Christ's salvation at age 6. As I began to grow from child to adult, problems began to arise for me both spiritually and personally, which continued until the date I now celebrate as my spiritual birthday, March 19, 2010, when I understood the true depth of God's love and His deliverance at a new level. God began to put into very active roles in my life Christian men and women who would stand by me, and gave me a renewed love for His Word. Since then, I seek to grow in Him in all I do, and to carry forth my testimony so that through it He may continue to change lives.
Joshua Robbie is currently living in Houghton, NY and pursuing his MM in Composition at the Greatbatch School of Music. He earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Spanish and Music for Kutztown University in Kutztown, PA. He is originally from Lancaster, PA, but claims that he does not really have a home...yet.
Hugh Sung, Honorary member
Dr. R. Christopher Teichler has been an active musician for over 20 years as composer, conductor, performer, and teacher. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees in Composition from Northwestern University. As a gifted composer, Dr. Teichler has received awards from Wheaton College, the Elmhurst Jazz Festival, WFMT 98.7 FM Chicago, and the National Band Association. His works are published by R.T. Legacy, Pelican Music Publishing, Kjos Music, TRN Music and BRS Music. As an accomplished conductor, Dr. Teichler has directed numerous ensembles including orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz band, choir, musical theatre, and opera for Wheaton College, Trinity International University, the Round Lake Area Community Band, and West Suburban Community Church. As a respected teacher, he has taught composition, conducting, aural skills, trumpet, and piano, and his experience includes teaching at Wheaton, Trinity, Northwestern University and DePaul University, as well as privately. He is a member of the American Composers Forum, the Society for Music Theory, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Dr. Teichler is currently Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX). He lives in Fort Worth with his wife and their four beautiful children.
George Tsontakis, Honorary member
The music of William Vollinger has been performed by the Gregg Smith Singers and NY Vocal Arts Ensemble., whose performance of “Three Songs About the Resurrection” won first prize at the Geneva International Competition. “Violinist in the Mall” won the 2005 Friends and Enemies of New Music competition. His music has been performed and broadcast worldwide, published by Abingdon, API, Heritage, Kjos, Lawson-Gould, and Laurendale. Five works have been editor’s choices in the J.W. Pepper Catalogue. The New Orleans ensemble Musaica commissioned and premiered “Duck Girl” in January 2010. Navona Recordings will be releasing two new works for narrator in 2011.
I was raised in a Lutheran church of which I am still a member, I had a lot of problems growing up. (It’s good to grow up!) While God was working both before and after 1974, in that year both my wife and I prayed to receive Jesus at a Kathryn Kuhlman miracle service, and something clearly changed in our hearts. My mind is still being renewed. For me the central teaching of the Bible is to move out of self and into Christ. I thank God for CFAMC. Composing is a calling, but only God gives me an identity.
Michael A. Wiktor, Composer
Wiktor is a lifetime musician. His background includes training in brass, percussion, and stringed instruments. His history also contains numerous group performances and writing exposure in the modern pop genre.
Always acknowledging God as true inspiration, Wiktor's theoretical studies began under professors Mildred B. Trevvett & Jan Holly in Frederick Maryland at FCC. His orchestration and score practice continued with Phoenix-based composer and professor Karl W. Schindler. Currently, Wiktor is now revising score material with composer Andrew McKenna Lee.
His work, Canopy, was performed in July of 2006 by the Russian State Symphony Cinema Orchestra; and recorded in the Mosfilm Recording Studio.
I thank God for the talent He has given me. I pray for His wisdom and guidance.
Benjamin Williams, DMA,Asst.Prof.Executive Board Member
Benjamin Williams is a composer in central Mississippi and an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Mississippi College. He is married to violinist Emily Williams.
A native of Chicago, Donald M. Wilson studied composition with Karel Husa and Robert Palmer at Cornell University and with Gunther Schuller at the Berkshire Music Center (Tanglewood). In 1965 Wilson became the first music director of the educational FM station in Philadelphia now known as WHYY-FM. Now a professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University, Wilson joined the BGSU music faculty in 1967, taught music theory, analysis and composition for 31 years and chaired the Music Composition/History Department for two four-year terms (1973-77; 1994-98). From 1983 to 1995 Wilson produced over 80 one-hour programs in the annual "New Music Festival" radio series for national distribution. Since 1967 Wilson has been a member of the American Composers Alliance and since 1995 a member of the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers. In 1998 he was elected to the latter organization's Board of Directors.
Steven Winteregg, Dean, School of Humanities
Norman was born in Tallahassee, Florida in 1944, attended 13 different schools in 12 years, and ended up at the University of Texas, graduating with a B.S. in Music degree in 1966. After a stint in the Army and a couple of years in graduate school (also at UT) he began many years of pursuing music as a sideline (playing cello and directing church choirs) while maintaining a day job as a computer systems analyst. Norman began composing a few years ago, at first on his own, then as a private student of Dr. James Sclater, and presently as a student at Mississippi College with Dr. Ben Williams. He has been choir director (and a member) at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church since 1981 and has written much liturgical music for the Orthodox Church. Over the last few years he has written instrumental music for ensembles ranging from full orchestra and band to solo piano. He lives in Clinton, Mississippi, and this year celebrates the 40th anniversary of his marriage to his wife Leslie, a professional violist and Latin teacher. They have 6 children and 6 grandchildren.
I have been a member of the holy Orthodox Church since 1981 and subscribe to all of its teachings. I realize that such a statement sounds very perfunctory, but it is not. Anything more, however, would require a book, or at least a small pamphlet.
Dr. Marc Wooldridge, Treasurer
Dr. Marc Wooldridge serves as Director of Percussion Activities at Indiana Wesleyan University, in addition to teaching courses in music theory and composition. He has performed and presented for a variety of notable organizations such as the Lincoln Center Institute, the Percussive Arts Society, and the Charles Ives Center for New Music. He was a founding member of the Maelstrom Percussion Ensemble, a group whose artistic excellence was recognized through a prestigious three-year Residency Grant from Chamber Music America. His solo touring recital, Journeys: Multimedia Percussion, combines live percussion with recorded electronic sounds, visual art, and film. This innovative program has been presented at colleges, high schools, and PAS Day of Percussion events throughout the US. Wooldridge also performs regularly as Principal Percussionist with the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra and is the President of the Indiana Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.
As a composer, Dr. Wooldridge has written thirteen works for percussion including Diamond Hill, a marimba duo published by Honey Rock. In 2003, he began a commissioning project that has enabled him to premiere eight solo percussion works and two marimba concerti. He also currently serves as Treasurer and Board Member with the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers and host of their bi-annual national conferences.
"Thomas B. Yee's home environment is the orchestra, having performed and written for the orchestra since his elementary school years. His orchestrated film scores and concert music alike have captured the hearts and minds of audiences, receiving praise recognition from both film and classical spheres for its clarity, color, and pristine fusion of sound and scene. As the most versatile instrument of all, Thomas uses the orchestra to adapt and exemplify an innumerable variety of different genres and moods—from action and suspense to tender and emotional, from feelings of horror to the heights of inspiration. If orchestra is the name of the game, Thomas B. Yee is sure to deliver stunning results. Possessing a solid musical foundation with a strong background in classical composition, Thomas has received multiple honors and featured performances while pursuing his B.A. in composition at Pepperdine University under the instruction Dr. Lincoln Hanks. He was selected as a Pickford Composer during his Senior Year and received the "Outstanding Graduate and Service Award in Music" from the Pepperdine Music Department upon his graduation. Specializing in Percussion and Large Instrumental Ensemble compositions, Thomas continues to add works of concert music to his collection and welcomes any and all interest in performing his works. "
"It is the unique privilege of composers and other artists of all disciplines and stripes to participate in God's unfolding act of creation, albeit only as a shadow to His magnificent creative Act. I take this privilege seriously as a duty and as a vision of what is to come. To me, art in general and music in particular is a foreshadowing and revelation of the sheer indescribable beauty of Heaven itself. Ever since the days of Israel and the Tabernacle in the wilderness, music performers and creators have served an instrumental role (pun intended) in the worship of the one true God—and continue to do so today. As our pastors and scholars instruct the world in the knowledge of God, so we as composers strive to reflect His beauty that cannot be put into words alone. As an individual, I continually seek to grow in my knowledge of God both through studies and research as well as personal and intimate interaction with His Spirit. I recall a time when I strove to write music solely because I enjoyed doing so—I thought it was a "cool" thing to do, and it was as good a thing to devote my time to as any. Then, as I discovered that composing was something I was actually good at, I began to be motivated by the all-too-common desires for success and fame. Though I cannot say (and probably will never be able to) that I have completely shaken free of these selfish desires, I know that the Lord in His goodness has been strongly drawing me back and showing me that whatever we do—whether in word, deed, or song—is to be done for the glory of Him alone. In all things, Soli Deo Gloria."