Dr. Joseph Hopkins, professor of music and dean of the School of the Arts at Samford University, holds degrees from Shorter College, Baylor University and Indiana University. He completed a diploma from the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education at Harvard University and was recently named a Fulbright Senior Specialist. Before Samford, Hopkins served as dean of the Petrie School of Music at Converse College and chair of the Department of Music at the University of Evansville. He founded the Harlaxton International Chamber Music Festival and served on the faculty of the Operafestival di Roma (Rome, Italy). Performances include leading opera roles with the Operafestival, the Dallas Lyric Opera, and Wildwood Opera Theatre; soloist with the St. Petersburg State Orchestra, International Chamber Orchestra of Rome, and Moscow State Philharmonic; recitals at St. Martin in the Fields Church of London, on Chinese National Radio, and for the Atelier Chabmer Music Series of Paris; and concerts in the North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Recordings include The Songs of Richard Faith, a collaboration with the composer for Leyerle publications; Canciones, a collection of Spanish songs performed with guitarist Renato Butturi; and contemporary christian recordings with his wife, soprano Suzanne Hopkins. Upcoming events include regional performances and various concerts in Asia and England. He is the proud father of two precocious boys, Joseph and Vance, who make every day more interesting and enjoyable.
Rachel Lim holds the bachelor of music in music education with honors in performance from Samford University and the master of music in music theory from Florida State University. She is a member of Delta Omicron international music fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda national music honor society, and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, from which she received a graduate fellowship in 2005.As an undergraduate student at Samford, Rachel performed with numerous musical ensembles, including the Samford Orchestra, A Cappella Choir, Wind Ensemble, and Bells of Buchanan. At FSU, she served as a graduate teaching assistant for courses in sight singing/ear training and music theory for non-music majors. She also was a committee member for the FSU Music Theory Society’s annual student conference, Music Theory Forum.After five years of service as Arts Recruiter, Rachel became Director of Student Services for the School of the Arts and academic advisor for music majors and minors in fall 2012. She also teaches freshman-level music theory courses.
Dr. Allison Clough holds a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from Drake University (Magna cum Laude) where she studied under Marc Ryser, a master of music degree from Bob Jones University studying under Thomas Grimble, and a doctor of musical arts degree studying under Amanda Penick at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Originally from Duluth, Minnesota, Allison has also lived, studied, and taught in Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama. Beginning piano lessons at age 3 using the Suzuki method, her natural aptitude and diligence created opportunities for working under premiere instructors including Leonidas Lipovetsky at Florida State University. She was winner of the North Florida Concerto Competition, Honorable Mention at the Winter Music Symposium for the Florida Community College Association, received the Gertrude Rowan Scholarship and the President’s Scholarship, a soloist with the Chipola Regional Symphony Orchestra, and has performed in Japan. Dr. Clough has directed large studios of piano students, held the position of Assistant Musical Director for the The University of Alabama Theater Department during the productions of The Threepenny Opera and Side Show, worked as a cocktail pianist for the Ecstasy ship for Carnival Cruise Line, and served on the piano faculty at MississippiState University. In her spare time, Allison enjoys spending time with her husband, John Paul, and her two daughters.
Dr. Philip Copeland is director of choral activities and associate professor. His focus is the A Cappella Choir, conducting and the music education curriculum. He previously led the choral program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for nine years. UAB choirs achieved national recognition through significant performances at conventions of the National Collegiate Choral Organization and American Choral Directors Association. He led the choir in two international choral competitions, the Fleischman International Choral Competition in Cork, Ireland, and the Florlilege Vocal de Tours in Tours, France. The choir won significant awards in both.Copeland holds degrees in music education from the University of Mississippi and Mississippi College and the doctor of musical arts in conducting from Southern Baptist Seminary. He serves as director of music ministries at South Highland Presbyterian Church. Copeland also leads the newly formed Alabama Symphony Chorus in preparation for masterworks with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.
Dr.Grant Dalton is the professor of percussion studies at Samford University where he directs the Samford Percussion Ensemble and Samford Steel, the university’s steel drum band. He is also the assistant athletic band director and teaches several academic courses. He is an extra percussionist with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, and he is the percussionist for the Birmingham Broadway Series and Broadway Across America. Dr. Dalton also periodically performs with the Alabama Ballet, Opera Birmingham, and the Birmingham Art Music Alliance. Before moving to Alabama, he regularly performed with the Springfield (Ohio) Symphony, the Westerville (Ohio) Symphony and the Dayton Philharmonic. He is a graduate of Lipscomb University, where he earned a bachelor of science in instrumental music education and of the Ohio State University, where he earned the degrees master of music and doctor of musical arts. Both of these degrees are in the field of percussion performance. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society, the College Music Society, MENC, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Pi Kappa Lambda. He is the president of the Alabama chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, and he regularly hosts the Alabama Day of Percussion. Dalton is also an endorser of Innovative Percussion Sticks and Mallets. His wife, Jennifer, is an English teacher at Vestavia Hills High School, and they have three children, Beckett, Spencer, and Annika. In his free time, he enjoys traveling with his family and golfing.
Joel Scott Davis is a composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist with a diverse background in music theory, composition, arranging, audio technology, and film scoring. He is an Assistant Professor of Music at Samford University, where he serves as the Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition. He has previously held appointments as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Theory and Composition Studies at The Master’s College, as well as Adjunct Instructorships at Claremont Graduate University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition to teaching at Samford, he also serves as an Instrumental Music Associate on the Worship Arts staff at Shades Mountain Baptist Church.Davis received a Bachelor of Music degree in Theory and Composition with Honors in Double Bass Performance summa cum laude from Samford University before earning his Master of Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Composition at Claremont Graduate University. His teachers include Peter Boyer,Edward Zeliff, James A. Jensen, Rebecca Remley, and Bob Burroughs. He has participated in master classes and seminars with Eric Whitacre, Steven Stucky, and Sam Jones, and he has pursued independent studies in arranging and film scoring with Van Dyke Parks and Bobby Horton. He has performed as a double bassist with the Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and Gadsden Symphony Orchestras, and his conducting appearances include concerts and premieres by various choral and instrumental ensembles at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, The Master’s College, and Samford University.As a composer, orchestrator, arranger, producer, and performer, Davis remains active across a wide array of genres: his commissioned compositions have received premieres at Carnegie Hall, the Great Hall at Harlaxton Manor, and the Palais Ferstel in Vienna; his film scores have been featured in international film festivals, as well as television and internet broadcasts; his orchestration credits include premiere performances by the San Francisco Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Academy Awards Orchestra, and the Grand Rapids Symphony; and his production credits consist of EPs and albums for singer-songwriters, bands, and various vocal and instrumental ensembles. Davis’s scholarly interests include the practice of hymn quotation in American music; the relationship between religious faith and the humanities; the resurgence of tonality among contemporary composers; the far-reaching influence of film and popular music; and the increasing impact of technology upon the arts. His doctoral research culminated in a multidisciplinary D.M.A. paper entitled The Populist Variations: The Role of Hymnody in the Music of Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, and John Adams. He has presented film screenings of his original music scores at the Lilly Fellows Program National Conference, as well as the Christ College Symposium at Valparaiso University. His awards and fellowships include the Lilly Graduate Fellowship in Humanities and the Arts, the Fernandez Prize in Music, and the Grace Hobson-Smith Music Fellowship. Past and present professional memberships include the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, the American Composers Forum, the Society for Music Theory, the American Musicological Society, the College Music Society, Broadcast Music International (Classical and Film/TV), and the honor societies of Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Kappa Phi.Davis is married to Lauren Heerssen Davis, a fellow Samford alum who serves as the Registered Dietitian at Magnolia Creek Treatment Center for Eating Disorders. They have one daughter, Ansley Kate.
James Dorroh has played recitals throughout the United States and has been a featured recitalist for two Regional Conventions of the American Guild of Organists. As an undergraduate student at Birmingham-Southern College where he studied organ with Sam Batt Owens, Dorroh was the winner of ten performance competitions, including regional winner of the AGO Young Artists’ Competition and was a finalist in the National Young Artists’ Competition.He holds the Bachelor of Music degree from Birmingham-Southern, the Master of Music degree from the University of Texas where he studied organ with William Doty, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in historical musicology from Vanderbilt University. He did post-doctoral organ study in Paris with French organist and composer Jean Langlais. Dr. Dorroh has also spent several summers of sabbatical time at Saint John’s College of Cambridge University in England, studying English church music.Dr. Dorroh is Organist and Director of Music for Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham. He has taught organ at the University of Texas (Austin), Birmingham-Southern College, and has been a member of the Faculty of Music at Samford University since January 2008. At Samford, he teaches studio organ, organ literature, organ pedagogy, and service playing. In 2011, he was appointed University Organist.He has served as organ consultant to churches in Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisiana, and particularly in his home state of Alabama.
Angela Marshall Flaniken, a native of Alabama, is an adjunct faculty member at Samford University. She is an active freelance musician, performing regularly with the Alabama Symphony and the Stratford String Quartet. She has been on the roster of many orchestras, including the Cincinnati Symphony, Columbus (Ohio) Symphony, Boston Chamber Orchestra, Handel-Haydn Society, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Orchestra and the Louisville Orchestra. Flaniken received her training from the University of Louisville and Boston University, completing the bachelor and master of music degrees. Her teachers include Walter Trampler, Masao Kawasaki and Eugene Lehner.
Jeffrey Z. Flaniken (violin and music theory) has been a faculty member at Samford University since 1995. He is enjoying a multifaceted vocation as teacher, soloist, recitalist, orchestral player and chamber music performer. He began his performing career by winning a chair in the Louisville Orchestra at the age of seventeen. He has also played with the Alabama, Cincinnati and Atlanta orchestras; the Tanglewood and Aspen Festival orchestras; the Cincinnati Ballet and Opera orchestras; the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and many others. Locally, Flaniken has performed on the Birmingham Chamber Music Society Series, BAMA, Artburst, City Stages, the Festival of Arts and the Gerhart Chamber Music Festival. He studied with Dorothy Delay, Hyo Kang, Masao Kawasaki and Kurt Sassmansshaus at Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts and at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has also studied with Simon Fischer in London. He enjoys playing chamber music with his wife, Angela, and raising their three sons Ian, John and Jim. Tennis is his main hobby.
Dr. Kathryn Fouse is Professor of Music and Associate Dean for the Division of Music at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition to her commitment to education, she continues to maintain an active career as a virtuoso pianist and a professional accompanist. She graduated cum laude from Baylor University with the bachelor of music degree in piano performance and received the master of music degree in piano from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. She earned the doctor of musical arts degree in piano performance at the University of North Texas. Her major teachers include Eugenia O'Reilly, Dr. David Albee and Dr. Ruth Slenczynska. Before joining Samford, Fouse served on the faculties of the University of North Texas (Denton, Texas), Texas Wesleyan University (Fort Worth, Texas), Collin County Community College (Plano, Texas) and Lon Morris College (Jacksonville, Texas). Having developed a strong interest in contemporary music, Fouse frequently presents lecture-recitals in an effort to bring greater understanding of this music to audiences. In 1992, Fouse was the national recipient of the Merle Montgomery Doctoral Grant awarded by Mu Phi Epsilon for her research into the Surrealist movement and its influence on American composers. Her special interest in the study and performance of American piano music of the 20th century has resulted in invitations to present her research in lecture-recitals at such prestigious institutions as the University of Illinois, Baylor University, the Dallas Art Museum, Gothenburg University (Sweden) and the Norwegian State Academy of Music (Oslo).In addition to her solo performances, Fouse is in great demand as a professional accompanist. She has collaborated with such artists as Timofei Dokschidzer, Edward H. Tarr, David Bilger, Ronald Barron, James Thompson, Vincent diMartino, Leonard Candelaria, Andrei Ikov, Steven Mead and Dale Underwood. She has served as staff accompanist for many international competitions and festivals, including conferences of the International Trumpet Guild, the North American Saxophone Alliance, the European Trumpet Days, the Moscow International Trumpet Competition and Festival and the prestigious ARD International Trumpet Competition in Munich, Germany. In 1996, Fouse was awarded the Marian Bowker Davidson Accompanying Award by Mu Phi Epsilon to travel to Saratov, Russia, to participate in the first Vassily Brandt International Trumpet Solo Competition and Festival.
Dr. Larry Hardin has been a professional music educator since 1978. His teaching assignments have included: K-12 general and choral music with Jefferson County, Alabama public schools; choral music, Jefferson State Community College; and Elementary General and Choral Music Education, Jacksonville State University. In addition, Dr. Hardin has held adjunct positions at Samford University, the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and the University of Montevallo. He has served local church choirs in the Birmingham area since 1975, and is currently Director of Music Ministries at the Southminster Presbyterian Church (USA) in Vestavia Hills, a position he has held since 1998.
Ms. Harrington has served on the faculties of Samford University, the University of Montevallo, Alabama School of Fine Arts, University of Evansville, and Innsbruck Music Festival in St. Louis. She maintains a large, selective teaching studio in Birmingham, from which students consistently place into All-County, District, and State Bands, as well as All-State Orchestra, Alabama Youth Symphony, and Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has worked as flute sectional instructor and clinician at many secondary schools in the greater Birmingham area, and has presented chamber music concerts in many local elementary schools. For 10 years before becoming a full-time educator, Ms. Harrington had a successful orchestral career, holding Principal Flute positions with the Orlando Philharmonic, Evansville (IN) Philharmonic, and Owensboro (KY) Symphony, and section positions with the Saint Louis, Alabama, and Brevard (FL) Symphonies. She has worked as a guest musician with many other orchestras, including the Indianapolis Symphony, the Nashville Symphony, and the Florida Orchestra. While a member of the Saint Louis Symphony, Ms. Harrington appeared at Carnegie Hall on tour, and was heard on several radio broadcasts. On scholarship, she has participated in the Aspen, Domaine Forget (Quebec, CA), and Grand Teton music festivals.A native of New York State, Ms. Harrington enjoys teaching music to all ages, from preschool to college. Since 2009, she has held the position of Music and Movement teacher at Saint Luke’s Day School, in Mountain Brook, AL. From 2007-9, she was the Music Specialist for Oak Mountain Intermediate School. Mrs. Harrington lives in Inverness with her husband and two children.
Judy Sullivan Hicks has been the principal harpist of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra since 1981. She received her master of music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where she was a pupil of Eileen Malone. Before that, she attended the Cleveland Institute of Music where she received her bachelor of music degree. She has also studied privately in New York with Pearl Chertok, former harpist with the CBS Orchestra. She is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, Mich..Sullivan Hicks spent nine summers at the Aspen Music Festival as a scholarship student. In addition, with a professional contract, she was principal harpist with the Aspen Chamber Symphony.Sullivan Hicks maintains a busy teaching studio here in Birmingham and has served on the faculties of Vanderbilt University, Samford University and the University of Alabama. She has appeared as a soloist with the ASO and the Tuscaloosa Symphony.
Dr. Kristin Kenning moved to Birmingham from St. Paul, Minnesota, where she worked as a freelance vocalist and stage director. She previously taught voice at Luther College, Iowa, and opera workshop at the University of Minnesota. A soprano, she has a diverse background of experience performing in opera, musical theater, jazz, and concert settings. Recent roles include Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Rose in Street Scene, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. Kenning has performed throughout the Midwest and in New York, Europe, and South Africa – including a recital of art song and musical theater in Żyrardów, Poland, and a Midwest tour of Paul Schoenfield’s Camp Songs. She performs regularly as a church musician. Her voice teachers include Elizabeth Mannion and Jane Giering De Haan.As Director of Opera at Samford, Kenning is passionate about teaching acting to young singers through opera workshop and opera productions. Recent Samford Opera productions include Trouble
in Tahiti, The Telephone, Hansel and Gretel, and The Pirates of Penzance. As a freelance stage director, productions include Mlle. Modiste and The Vagabond King for Skylark Opera, The Match Girl’s Gift on the Minnesota Centennial Showboat, and the premiere of Christopher Gable’s opera The Ladysmith Story at the Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis. She has directed shows for many theaters and festivals in Minneapolis, including: Theatre Unbound, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Artsmosis, and the Minneapolis Short Film Festival. She is a champion of new work and is invited to direct often for the Atlanta Opera’s 24-Hour Opera Project – winning in 2013 with composer Evan Mack’s Beach and Moan. Scholarly activities include working as a research associate for ‘The Future of Opera’ study within the international research project ‘Sustainable Futures for Musical Cultures.’ Their search, led by Dr. John Drummond, University of Otago, New Zealand, looks at ways in which Western Opera is able to sustain itself, grow and flourish in the contemporary world.Special interests include Polish art song, American opera, cabaret, and new music of all kinds. Upcoming projects include directing Amahl and the Night Visitors for Samford Opera, directing The Desert Song for The Birmingham Music Club, and touring a recital of Bolcom, Weill, Musto, Sondheim, and Gershwin with pianist John Robertson.
Stephen Brooks Knight is a pianist, organist, carillonneur and composer from Birmingham, Ala., and has been Samford University’s resident carillonneur for thirty-four years. Knight has received numerous awards and honors, including winner of the City of Mechelen Carillon Composition prize from the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium, and two-year recipient of the Young Blind Composers Award from the National Federation of Music Clubs. He also received the Samuel P. Hayes Award from the Perkins School for the Blind and the Harry R. Wilson Award from Samford University.Knight holds two undergraduate degrees from University of Alabama and graduate degrees from Samford University, Schola Cantorum in Paris, France, and University of Michigan. He received the Final Diploma “With Great Distinction” from the Royal Carillon School in Belgium.Knight participated in the First World Congress of Guild of Carillonneurs in Ammersfoort, Holland, in August 1978. He has been a member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America since 1970 and is also a member the American Guild of Organists, American Federation of Music Clubs and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Kevin Kozak has been a member of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra since 1981. He holds a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music in New York. Mr. Kozak has performed, recorded and toured with the Atlanta Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and the Nashville Symphony. His performances include eight recordings with the Atlanta Symphony and appearances in Carnegie Hall with the Atlanta and St. Louis orchestras. He has performed as a studio musician in Nashville, recording the theme music for CNN, Wimbledon, IMAX theaters and local news, as well as commercial and religious recordings. In 2009 he toured the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia with the Trinity United Methodist Brass Quintet, who performed in churches, schools and public squares throughout the region. Locally Mr. Kozak is a faculty member of Samford University, where he is the instructor of horn, a member of the Samford Faculty Brass Quintet, the director of the Samford Horn Ensemble and a classroom teacher of Symphonic Literature, Music Appreciation and Music Theory.In addition Kozak is the horn instructor of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and director of the Chamber Choir of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Hoover.He and his wife Sophie are the proud parents of two grown sons, Michael and Thomas.
Mark Lackey is a composer and educator with a background in composition, music theory, and theory pedagogy. An Assistant Professor of Music at Samford University's School of the Arts, he teaches music theory, aural skills, form and analysis, and private lessons in composition. Previous teaching appointments include Adjunct Instructorships at Towson University, Johns Hopkins University, and The Peabody Conservatory. Lackey earned the degrees Doctor of Musical Arts in composition, Master of Music in theory pedagogy, and Master of Music in composition from The Peabody Conservatory where his teachers included Christopher Theofanidis, Bruno Amato, and the late Nicholas Maw. He completed his undergraduate studies with majors in clinical psychology and piano performance under Jerome Reed at David Lipscomb College, now Lipscomb University. Lackey’s music has earned him premieres from the Eastman Wind Orchestra, Definiens Ensemble in Los Angeles, and violinist Courtney Orlando. He has received awards including a Johns Hopkins University Arts Innovation Grant and an Encore Grant from the American Composers Forum. A recording of his chamber work Fairy Tale was featured in the inaugural issue (No. 53) of the College Music Society’s Symposium Online: Audio Performance Archive, a peer-reviewed presentation of the work of College Music Society members. Lackey is a member of the American Composers Forum, the College Music Society, the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, and Pi Kappa Lambda national honor society in music. Mark Lackey is married to Jennifer Lackey, an educator in the field of film studies. They have one daughter, Tabitha.
Sarah attended Belhaven University for her Bachelor of Arts degree in
Collaborative Piano and Pedagogy, studying under Dr. Stephen Sachs, and
completed her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at the
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, studying under Dr. Susanna Garcia.
While living in Lafayette, Sarah taught piano privately at the Acadiana
Symphony Conservatory, Iberia Music Academy, and Highland School of
Music; and taught class piano at ULL as an adjunct instructor.
Sarah is a member of MTNA and of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music
Honor Society. She has done extensive work collaborating with other
classical musicians for performances at the university and in the
community, and served as a church pianist for several years in
Louisiana. Sarah has performed in masterclasses for pianist Dr. Courtney
Crappell, harpsichordist John Paul, and flautist Josué Casillas. She is
also a former member of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Sarah teaches class piano at Samford University and accompanies for
students and classes in the music department. In addition, she teaches
privately in the Birmingham area. She and her husband Steven are members
of St. John’s Anglican Church.
Daniel(Dan) Edward Lawhon is a Kentucky native. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from BelmontUniversity, studying organ with Helen Trotter Midkiff. Dan received his Master of Church Music and Doctor of MusicalArts degrees from the School of Church Music at the Southern BaptistTheological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky where he studied organ with BoydM. Jones, II and Donald P. Hustad. Dan also studied improvisation with Donald P. Hustad. He studied conducting with Jerry M. Warrenand W. Irwin Ray, Jr. at Belmont and S. Milburn Price at SBTS. Dan began playing in church at the ageof nine and has served churches throughout the Southeast. Most recently Dan served St. MatthewsBaptist Church and Temple Emanuel B’Rith Shalom in Louisville, KY and FirstBaptist Church Huntsville, AL for nine years as Organist/Music Associate beforeaccepting the post of Organist—Choirmaster at Baptist Church of the Covenant inBirmingham, AL in 2008 . Dan hasserved on the adjunct music faculties for SBTS, the University of Alabama atBirmingham, Oakwood College, the University of Alabama in Huntsville and currentlySamford University. Dan isthe musical director for the Heritage Ringers of Huntsville, an auditionedhandbell choir. He is currentlythe Chair Elect for the Area VI American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. Dan has served as a keyboard clinician, accompanist,recitalist and handbell clinician through much of the United States as well asToronto, Vancouver and Moscow. Hishobbies include water skiing, running and cooking.
Soprano Sharon Leding Lawhon holds degrees from Belmont University (bachelor of music in vocal performance) and Southern Seminary (master of church music and doctor of musical arts). As a part of her doctoral studies, she pursued additional voice instruction at Indiana University, Bloomington, with Virginia Zeani. She recently spent her sabbatical leave in New York studying voice with Bruce Kolb. She is listed in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, Outstanding Young Women in America and most recently, Who's Who Among America's Outstanding Teachers. Additionally, she was awarded Samford’s George Macon Memorial Teaching Award in January 2006. Lawhon performs in solo recitals and with choral and orchestral ensembles in oratorios and operas. Prior to coming to Samford in 1994, she taught on the voice faculties of Southern Seminary, the Kentucky Governor's School in Louisville, Ky., and Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, Ind.. She is a recurrent visiting professor at the Department of the Russian Evangelical Christian Baptists Union Bible College in Moscow, Russia, and for the Chinese Christian Church Music Institutes held in California, Canada, New York and Kentucky. In addition, Lawhon has been associate minister of music at Vestavia Hills Baptist Church, Birmingham, Ala.; minister of music at Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn., and Audubon Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky.; and associate minister of music at St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville. She was a member of the Chorister's Guild Board and was secretary of the Executive Chorister’s Guild Board. Lawhon has published numerous articles and is an active choral director, clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States. She is married to organist, church musician and adjunct organ professor, Daniel E. Lawhon.
Tariq Masri is currently principal bassoonist of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as principal bassoonist of the Hofer Symphoniker in Germany. Tariq has a bachelor of music from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with David McGill for five years. He also completed one year of graduate work at the University of Southern California, studying with Stephen Maxym before leaving to take the position in Germany. Tariq has attended numerous summer festivals including two years at the Spoleto Festival. Tariq Masri is the second bassoon with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony where he performs with various orchestral musicians including members of the San Francisco, Saint Louis and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. As an orchestral musician, Tariq has performed with the San Francisco Symphony as well as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under various conductors including Pierre Boulez, Christoph Eschenbach, Daniel Barenboim, and Jeffrey Kahane.
Eric Mathis believes corporate worship is the most important activity in the Christian church, and he is deeply committed to assisting leaders and congregations exercise wisdom, discernment, and responsibility in their local context. Eric is Assistant Professor of Church Music and Worship Leadership at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music and worship and has recently been named program director of anima: the Forum for Worship and the Arts at Samford University. Before moving to Alabama, Eric taught as an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University and Baylor University. He has maintained an active role in various music ministries, serving congregations in Missouri, Illinois, Texas, California, and is now on the music staff at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church.An ordained minister, Eric holds a Bachelor of Music from Wheaton College (IL), a Master of Music in Church Music from Baylor University, a Master of Divinity from George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Theology (Christian Worship, Preaching) from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, where he has also served as an adjunct faculty member in Worship, Theology, and the Arts. His dissertation, Campaigning in the House of God: How Worship Shaped Southern Baptist Ecclesiology in the Controversy of 1979, examined the relationships of conflict, ritual, and political agenda during the largest denominational split of the twentieth-century.Eric maintains memberships in the American Choral Directors Association, the Academy of Homiletics, Choristers Guild, the North American Academy of Liturgy, and The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada where he has served on the editorial board for The Hymn. Mathis remains active as a speaker, worship leader, and worship consultant with upcoming engagements at the National Convention for the American Choral Directors Association, the Polyphony Fellowship of Pastoral Musicians, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, PASSPORT Camps, Alleluia! Many Voices One Song at Baylor University, and the North American Academy of Liturgy. He is published in The Hymn and Christian Reflections, and he is a regular contributor to Worship Leader Magazine and WorkingPreacher.org. Eric is married to Brittany, a CPA and Coordinator of Tax Reporting for the Energen Corporation. And, perhaps most importantly, Eric is a worshiper himself. To that end, the heart of his vocational calling is to help other worshipers deeply experience the privilege it is to offer worship to God in Christ through the Spirit so that the Kingdom of God may flourish in the world.
Caroline Nordlund is on the violin faculties of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and the Community Music School of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She serves as the President-Elect of the Alabama American String Teachers Association and plays in the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra. Caroline has been on the faculty of the Lutheran Summer Music Festival where she has taught violin and musicianship, and coached chamber music and orchestra sectionals. While at LSM, she was a member of the faculty Omega String Quartet and she performed in a variety of chamber and solo concerts. Caroline earned a Master’s Degree in violin performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University while studying with Gerardo Ribeiro, Stacia Spencer, and Dr. James Kjelland. While on the violin and Kindermusik faculties of the Northwestern University Music Academy, Caroline served as the Assistant Group Director of the Northwestern Strings. She helped lead this premier group of young violinists on a tour of Italy as participants in the American Celebration of Music. Caroline is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda and the Music Teachers National Assocation. Most recently, she was the Director of the Scrollworks Youth Music School in Birmingham. Originally from SC, Caroline graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance as a student of Frits de Jonge.
SAMUEL NORDLUND is an active cellist and teacher. He is on the faculty of Samford University, where he teaches cello and plays with the faculty Samford Quartet. Samuel is also a faculty member at the Lutheran Summer Music Festival, where he teaches cello, coaches chamber music and orchestra, and directs the early music Collegium. Previously, he has served as Music Director of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of Central Alabama, and as Assistant Director of Performance Activities at the Music Institute of Chicago. Samuel is currently pursuing the Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Alabama, where he is a member of the Capstone Quartet, a graduate fellowship ensemble.After earning his Bachelor of Music Degree in Cello Performance, magna cum laude, from The University of Alabama, Samuel moved to Chicago where he earned his Master of Music degree at Northwestern University. His primary instructors have been Carlton McCreery and Hans Jensen. Additionally, Samuel has studied cello with Richard Aaron, Stephen Geber, Alan Stepansky, Jonathan Pegis, Richard Hirschl, and Patricia Pilon. He has attended summer festivals including Music Academy of the West, the Kent/Blossom Festival, Encore School for Strings, Brevard Music Center, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. In the summer of 2006, Samuel was the teaching assistant for Hans Jensen at the Meadowmount School of Music.During his time in Chicago, Samuel began building an active performing and teaching career. He has been a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, along with the Illinois Philharmonic, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has performed with the symphony orchestras of Fort Wayne (IN), Elmhurst (IL), Tupelo, Tuscaloosa and Huntsville. He has also been a substitute player with the Chicago and Milwaukee symphony orchestras. As a soloist, Samuel has performed with the Huntsville Symphony and twice with the Huxford Symphony, as two time winner of the University of Alabama’s concerto and aria competition.Samuel has also been an active chamber and recital musician. He has given performances at Luther College, Gustavus Adolphus College, The Music Institute of Chicago, Sherwood Music Conservatory (Chicago), and the Chicago Cultural Center. In addition, he has collaborated with ensembles such as Bach Week, the Chinese Fine Arts Society of Chicago, and the North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble. Besides performing with the Samford and Capstone String Quartets, Samuel performs with University of Alabama faculty members in the Druid City Piano Quartet.
Vicki Portis is the music specialist at Bluff Park ElementarySchool in Hoover, AL, a K-5 elementary school. Except for an eight-year hiatusin which she worked in a local ministry, Ms. Portis has taught since 1977 inschools in Montgomery, Jefferson County, and Hoover, AL.Ms. Portis received both her bachelor's and master's degree in musiceducation from the University of Montevallo as well as Level 1 Orffcertification under Konnie Saliba. She completed Levels 2-3 Orff certificationand Master Class at Memphis State University under Ms. Saliba and Jos Wuytack. Ms. Portis has conducted workshops forboth music and classroom teachers in addition to serving as a guest elementarychoral conductor and adjudicator. Sheworks with local universities as a cooperating teacher for student interns. Ms. Portis has served theElementary/General division of Alabama Music Educators Association as presidentand district representative. She is also a member of Music Educators NationalConference, American Orff-Schulwerk Association, the Alabama Chapter of AOSA,and the Alabama National Board of Professional Teaching Standards Network.Ms. Portis conducted Hoover and Homewood elementary choral students in theOpening Session performance of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association NationalConference in Birmingham in 2005. She also conducted the Alabama Music EducationAssociation’s first all-state choral performance in 2006. In November 2002, shebecame the first Alabama music teacher to become certified by the NationalBoard of Professional Teaching Standards. She has mentored other teachers inthe National Board process.Ms. Portis has been blessed to travel to many places in the world. Kenya isthe place dearest to her heart. She has made special friends in the Masai Maraarea while doing humanitarian and mission work.
Randall Richardson is a Professor of Voice in the School of the Arts at Samford University and serves as Department Chair of Performance Studies in the Music Division. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from Louisiana State University and the Bachelor of Music degree from Samford University. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Richardson has performed with the Kansas City Lyric Opera, Atlanta Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Pensacola Opera, Alabama Operaworks, Birmingham Civic Opera, Opera Birmingham, Northland Symphony, UAB-Town and Gown Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Red Mountain Orchestra, Birmingham Festival of Arts, and Birmingham Savoyards. He has been a finalist in the Gulf Coast Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions and the National Association of Teachers of Singing "Singer of the Year" regional auditions. He has also recorded two solo albums of sacred music and been a featured soloist in a number of university and church concert series. His book The Audition Sourcebook (co-authored with Don Sandley, Samford University Theatre Department Chair) was published by Heinemann. Dr. Richardson has served as Chair of the Alabama Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing State Vocal Auditions and is an annual presenter at the Southeastern Theatre Conference regional convention. He has had the pleasure of teaching nine Miss Alabama Pageant winners (including Diedre Downs, Miss America 2005, and a first runner-up, third runner-up, and fourth runner-up in Miss America Pageants). In 1993, his student, John Autry, was a national winner in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. In addition to teaching careers, past students have performed in Las Vegas, Disney World (Orlando and Tokyo), cruise ships, national TV commercials, film, Off-Broadway, opera companies, and regional music theatre companies. Dr. Richardson is an avid bicyclist, serving as a Birmingham Bicycle Club ride leader, and is married to Rebecca Richardson, retired Director of the Regional In-Service Center at the University of Montevallo. They have two children, Colin and Eden, and attend Baptist Church of the Covenant.
Dr.Donald Sanders received the bachelor of music degree from the University of South Carolina, the master of music degree from Michigan State University, the master of philosophy degree from the University of Kansas and the doctor of philosophy in musicology from the University of Kansas. He also did graduate work at Northwestern University and chamber music coaching with Samuel Sanders of The Juilliard School. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the American Musicological Society, Music Teachers National Association, Alabama Music Teachers Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He has published articles on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music in both American and British journals and was a contributor to the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He received Samford's Macon Award for teaching in 1995 and the Buchanan Award in 2005. Sanders is married to Ruth Roubicek Sanders. They have three children and four grandchildren. He is a member of the Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Ala.
Dr. Ronald Shinn previously was Dowling Professor of Music at Huntingdon College where he was a member of the music faculty for thirty years. He joined the Samford faculty in 2007.His B.M. in piano performance is from The University of New Mexico (George Robert, teacher), his M.M. from The University of Wisconsin (Madison; Howard Karp) and his D.M.A. from The University of Alabama (Amanda Penick).Shinn’s students have won numerous awards in many events, including MTNA state and regional competitions; AMTA solo and concerto events; Blount-Slawson (Montgomery), Tuscaloosa, Brevard and the Alabama Symphony concerto competitions; and the Alabama Federation and Birmingham music clubs. He has judged many piano competitions throughout the U.S., including the Florida, Georgia and Southwest MTNA collegiate artist competitions.Dr. Shinn was the recipient of the Presidential Scholars’ Teacher Recognition Awardin Washington, D.C., in June, 2007. In 1993, he was awarded the Exemplary Teaching Award for service at Huntingdon College and was also honored as the 1999 recipient of the Alabama Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year award. Shinn is on the faculty for the outstanding summer piano program known as the International Institute for Young Musicians (www.iiym.com), which has included such esteemed piano faculty as Emilio del Rosario, Alan Chow, Jack Winerock, Larry Graham and John Perry.During the past academic years, Shinn’s students have won the MTNA high school competition, MTNA junior high, MTNA honorable mention in southern division, Alabama Symphony concerto competition, the Shoals Symphony concerto competition, the National Yamaha Instrument Competition (in piano) and the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs state Competition.Through Samford University, Shinn continues to direct the successful Samford Piano & Strings Festival for advanced junior and senior high students, a program which Dr. Shinn began at Huntingdon College in 2000. Dr. Shinn's Barbara wife is a pianist and also on the Samford faculty; their son Michael (student of Dr. Shinn from age 4-18) attended Juilliard as a pianist (BM and MM from Juilliard, DMA from CUNY), and is now on the full-time faculty at Juilliard. Daughter Anne also studied piano through High School and currently works in Washington, D. C. Barb and Ron are members of St. Paul's Catholic Cathedral in Birmingham.
Brandon Slocumb, Interim Director of Athletic Bands, has been teaching and playing music professionally for 14 years in Alabama, Texas, and North Carolina. After completing a bachelor's degree in Music Education at Samford University he moved to Texas to complete a master's degree at the University of North Texas. A desire to teach at the college level led Dr. Slocumb to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2009. While at UNCG, he conducted extensive research in music performance anxiety and audition preparation, ultimately publishing a dissertation on the subject of anxiety and how it relates to brass performance. This study has lead to many opportunities teaching master-classes on brass fundamentals and audition preparation. Dr. Slocumb has a long track record of successful students, some of whom are now professional musicians. While in Birmingham, he has been on staff at Vestavia High School, Spain Park High School, Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, and Alabama A&M University. As a trombonist, Dr. Slocumb has been very active in the southeast playing with several big bands and backing up performers such as The Temptations, Wayne Newton, The Irish Tenors, and Natalie Cole.
Chris Smith is a sought after guitarist and guitar teacher in the Birmingham area. Since earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Guitar Performance from Samford in 2005, he has taught guitar for numerous churches and studios, culminating in over 10,000 lessons given. Because of his proficiency in a variety of genres, he is continually in demand for studio recordings and other various performances. His music career has allowed him to perform all over the Southeastern United States.Chris is passionate about church music; ensuring that the best is offered up to our God. He has served at Hunter Street and Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, and is currently the Minister of Music at Cedar Grove Baptist Church. He is married to Rachel Holland Smith, also a Samford graduate, who is the Choral Director at Berry Middle school. They have one daughter, Summerlyn Grace.
James Sullivan has been principal oboe of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra since the rebirth of the orchestra in 1997. Prior to this appointment, he was principal oboe of both the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and the Columbus Symphony. While in Atlanta, Sullivan often performed with the Atlanta Symphony, with whom he recorded Bach's B Minor Mass and Mahler's Sixth Symphony.Sullivan received his master of music degree in oboe performance from the Boston University School for the Arts where he was a scholarship student of Ralph Gomberg. During this time, he served as principal oboe of the Boston Civic Symphony. Sullivan's other principal teachers were Jonathan Dlouhy of the Atlanta Symphony and John Mack of the Cleveland Orchestra. He also studied for two summers at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada where he worked with Richard Killmer and Peter Bowman. Sullivan received his undergraduate degree in music education from the University of Georgia and currently has an active teaching career in oboe. He serves on the faculties of Samford University and the University of Montevallo. In Atlanta, Sullivan was oboe instructor at Clayton State University and DeKalb College. Prior to teaching oboe, Sullivan taught choral music in the public schools for two years and worked closely with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Chorus. In 2001, Sullivan was the featured soloist with both the ASO and the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra, performing "The Flower Clock Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra" by Jean Francaix.
Jaroslaw Szurek has a master's degree in musicology with specialization in early music from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and a master's degree in information science from the University at Albany, SUNY. His research interests include music of the 16th century, early music theory and music metadata. He contributed articles to the Polish Encyclopedia of Music. He is married to Wiesia, and they have two children, Daniel and Anna.
Frederick Teardo is Director of Music and Organist at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to his appointment in 2012, he held a six-year tenure at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City, where he served for most of that time as Associate Organist, preceded by his initial post as Assistant Organist. He is also Adjunct Instructor of Organ at the University of Montevallo, and currently serves as a lecturer at Samford University.Dr. Teardo received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, as well as the Master of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees. At Yale, he studied organ with Thomas Murray and harpsichord with Richard Rephann. During his time at Yale, he held the post of Yale University Chapel Organist, and later served as Assistant Organist at Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green in New Haven, CT. Dr. Teardo received his Bachelor of Music degree with Highest Honors from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he studied organ with David Higgs. His other teachers have included Stephen Roberts and Haskell Thomson. He has also studied improvisation with William Porter and Jeffrey Brillhart. An avid performer, Dr. Teardo has won first prize in numerous competitions and has performed across North America, including such venues as the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Washington National Cathedral, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Trinity Church Copley Square in Boston, Princeton University Chapel, and the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer in Calgary, Alberta. Dr. Teardo’s solo recording is available from JAV Recordings, and features works of Bach, Boyvin and De Grigny on the historic 1741 J.A. Silbermann organ of Saint Thomas Church in Strasbourg, France. He has also been a featured performer at Regional and National Conventions of the American Guild of Organists and Organ Historical Society, on American Public Media’s Pipedreams, BBC Radio 3 and four CD recordings with the Saint Thomas Choir.Dr. Teardo is represented by the Concert Artist Cooperative.
Demondrae Thurman is considered one of the stars of the formidable generation of brass soloists. His euphonium playing has been described as “awe inspiring”, and he is touted as “an amazing musician”. Demondrae has a firm international reputation as a euphonium soloist having performed in Europe, Asia and throughout North America. Many of America's premiere colleges and universities have hosted him as a performer and teacher and he continues to be in high demand. Over the last ten years, Demondrae has been an invited guest artist/clinician at many of the world’s prestigious euphonium festivals including the International Tuba/Euphonium Conference, U.S. Army Band Tuba and Euphonium Conference and the Leonard Falcone Competition. His primary teachers are John Stevens, J. Michael Dunn, James Jenkins, and Daniel Drill.
Clarinetist and conductor Brian Viliunas has given performances in eleven states and Washington D.C., fourteen countries, and on three continents. He has played with orchestras in Houston, Racine, and Alabama, and also the Bergen Philharmonic while living in Norway.
Lyric soprano ChristinaVillaverde, has dazzled audiences with her full rich tone and vivacious stageportrayals. Ms. Villaverde made her professional debut as Rosalinda in DieFledermaus with Light Opera Works in Evanston, Illinois. As a member of theFlorida Grand Opera Young Artist Studio, she made her mainstage debut with thecompany in Massenet’s Manon and alsoportrayed the role of Berta in IlBarbiere di Siviglia. She wonrecognition for her moving interpretation of the title character in CarlisleFloyd’s Susannah for the 50thAnniversary Performance of its debutwiththe Florida State Opera, under direct tutelage of the composer himself. Other major roles include Nedda in IPagliacci, Musetta in Labohème, Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni,Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito, Romilda in Xerxes and Cleopatrain Giulio Cesare. Otherprominent companies include Lyric Opera of Chicago, Asheville Lyric Opera andOpera Nova (San Juan, Costa Rica).A sought-after recitalist, Ms.Villaverde specializes in Spanish repertoire and performed throughout Costa Rica in 2011 as a guestsoloist after being awarded the Costa Rican Intercultural Recital Tour byFlorida State University and Centro Cultural of Costa Rica. Ms. Villaverde was also invited to participate in theBarcelona Festival of Song in the summer of 2009. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from theUniversity of Miami, a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the FloridaState University College of Music and is currently completing Doctorate Degree inVocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy at the Florida State University College ofMusic, where she studies with renowned tenor and eminent scholar StanfordOlsen.During her career, Ms. Villaverde has worked with acclaimed sopranoDiana Soviero, renowned stage directors Bernard Uzan and Tito Capobianco, andhas performed under the direction of Maestros Stewart Robertson, Ivan Törzs andTimothy Myers.(below) As Cleopatra in Handel's Opera, Giulio Cesare (Opera Nova, Costa Rica).(below) In Recital, Spanish and Latin American Song.
Sallie Vines White graduated magnacum laude from Anderson University in 1982, with a B.A. in MusicEducation and Psychology and “with honors” in psychology. In 1985, she receivedher M.M.E. in Music Education from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN whereshe graduated “with distinction”.Sallie is an active performeron all the woodwind instruments. She has played engagements with Stevie Wonder,Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Andy Williams, Joan Rivers, Ray Charles, Linda Eder, theBill Gaither Trio and many others. She has performed as a musician in over 100theatre productions in the state of Alabama. Sallie has played numerousengagements with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra on saxophone. She plays leadalto in the Superjazz Big Band, and tenor saxophone in the Cahaba SaxophoneQuartet. She toured for several years in various groups including Bridge, theBill Gaither Trio, and college groups performing in 47 states and 17 countries.In addition to her performing and her full-time teaching position, Mrs. Whitehas also taught Saxophone and/or Jazz Ensemble part time at several localuniversities including Samford University, Birmingham Southern, UAB, andMontevallo. Sallie Vines White teachesfull-time at Hoover High School in Hoover, Alabama. Mrs. White has beenteaching in the Hoover City School System since 1990. Prior to that time shetaught for 5 years in the Bessemer City School System.She teaches the award-winningHoover High School First Edition Jazz Band, Concert Band 1, and AP Music Theory.She also is an associate director with the marching band. Sallie loves sharing her love of musicon a daily basis with the young people she teaches. In 2003, she was honored byhaving the Hoover High School Yearbook dedicated to her by the students. In2004, she was awarded an Outstanding Jazz Educator Award by the National BandAssociation and received the Outstanding Music Alumni Award for 2004 byAnderson University.Sallie is a member of IAJE, MENC,ABA, AEA, and AFM Local 256-733. Mrs. White is currently the president for theAlabama Chapter of IAJE.Sallie is married to Noah andhas three grown children, and four grandchildren.
Laura S. Byland, who is joining the Samford faculty this fall, has livedand taught in Shawnee, Oklahoma since 1992. In her time at Oklahoma Baptist University she taught, designed, and directed in the theatre department, most recently serving as Associate Professor and Director of Theatre. Byland is most proud of her work in developing the Theatre for Young Audiences that presented quality productions for children at OBU for nearly twenty years. An extension of her passion for children’s theatre can be seen in the Scissor tail Children’s Theatre, an independent children’s theatre in Shawnee, co-founded by Byland andfor which she serves as Artistic Director. Byland has created award-winning scenic and lighting designs for variouscollegiate, community, and commercial theatres. She was honored to light theaward-winning show Your’s Isabel at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival in 2011. Byland has served as the Chair for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region IV Oklahoma State and has received awards including Excellencein Scenic Design, The Director’s Choice Award Region IV, Commendation fordirecting, and the University of Oklahoma’s School of Drama award for Outstanding Lighting Design.Byland’s other creative interests include quilt making and designing andcreating stained glass. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, Dr.David Byland, their three daughters, son-in-law, and grandson.
Mark Castle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, teaching in the areas of acting, directing and design, and is the advisor for the Musical Theatre program. Originally from England, he attended drama school at the Arden School of Theatre in Manchester. He received a B.A. (Honors) degree in Drama from the University of Leeds, focusing on Scenography. During this time he spent a semester at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark., where he met his wife, Starla. Before coming to live in the States, he worked professionally as a designer and stage manager at several theatres in England. He earned his M.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Memphis, Tennessee, in directing, and has worked as an actor, stage manager, director and designer at Greenbrier Valley Theatre in West Virginia. In the Birmingham area Mark has performed with Birmingham Festival Theatre, Muse of Fire & Theatre Downtown. He was the voice of Charles Wesley in the documentary film "A Heart Set Free", and his short play "The Night the Widget Broke" was published by iUniverse, and performed at the Short & Sweet Festival in Sydney, Australia. Mark is also the director of the Praxis Project, a collaborative faculty/alumni theatre company. He has two sons Sean & Charley.
Mr. Glenn joined the theatre faculty in the Fall of 2010 after serving 10 years as the Technical Director of Samford's 2600 seat Wright Center Concert Hall and 2 years as the Technical Director for the School of the Arts. In addition to his work at Samford, he has worked as a project designer for Ozworks and as a consultant to several schools and churches. Before coming to Samford, Mr. Glenn spent 3 seasons as the Technical Director for the Dallas Theater Center. He also served as the Technical Director for Birmingham Summerfest for 3 seasons as well as 2 seasons as Technical Director with Horn in the West outdoor drama. His emphasis in the department is on teaching Stagecraft to the theatre majors and overseeing the construction of the departments productions.
Eric Olson earned his B.A. in 1972 from the University of Montevallo where he majored in business with a minor in theater and philosophy. He went on to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and earned his M.F.A. in stage design in 1974. Olson is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829, New York City: Scenic Design Category.Since receiving the M.F.A., Olson has created scenic, costume and/or lighting designs for more than 200 productions in the worlds of theater, opera, ballet, concert and television, working in venues from London to Las Vegas. Since 1974, he has been faculty designer at Samford University. In the fall of 1993, he served as an assistant in the production offices of London's Royal National Theatre. Olson has also designed scenery for Six Flags over Georgia's music revue This Is America! and designed the main news and weather set for WBRC-TV, Fox 6, in Birmingham, Ala.Olson specializes in scenic, costume and lighting design at Samford University and also teaches theatre appreciation, professional competency reading, set design, costume design, stage management and scenic art and theatre in London."Mr. O" believes the educational process in theatre, especially in the design and technical areas, takes place as much in the backstage and in the scenic studio as the classroom. Skills that students master include more than sculpting, painting and draping. Teamwork, organization, imagination and ingenuity are all part of the process of putting a set on stage and clothing the characters. When lights come up on the finished setting on opening night, everyone who worked to make the visual production a reality can feel a sense of pride.
Don Sandley has built a thirty-year career as a director, actor, playwright and professor. A few of his recent credits include Gidion’s Knot for Birmingham Festival Theatre, The Light in the Piazza for Samford and he co-direction and co-author of the children’s play Alicia en la Loteria for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, and The Light in the Piazza for Samford University. Don has acted professionally on stage and screen, appearing in the feature film October Baby and the sold outproduction of White Christmas for the Wright Center.Don’s recent projects include Theatre Outreach, an arts education ministry designed to bring theatre and dance to underserved populations and the Betterworld Theatre Project, an initiative that use theatre to explore ethics in the professional world. In April, Don will direct the Pulitzer Prize winning play Water by the Spoonful for Birmingham Festival Theatre.
Joseph Cory is an artist and associate professor in the Department of Visual Art. He received a BA from Central College (IA), a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from the University of Chicago. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Cory previously taught as an instructor at the University of Chicago and Carthage College (WI), and full time for seven years in the Department of Art and Design at Judson University (Elgin, IL). While at Judson, he also served as the director of the Draewell Gallery of Art from 2008-2012 and Department Chair in 2013-14. His artwork has been exhibited nationally and he is the recipient of a number of grants and awards, and has participated in a variety of competitive workshops including: "The Whale and Star Summer Workshop in affiliation with the Anderson Ranch" in Miami with the artist Enrique Martinez Celaya (2011), and the "Project R5: A Visual Arts Workshop and Studio in Johannesburg and Cape Town South Africa" (2013). He is scheduled to have a one person exhibition at ROOM406 in Chicago this coming March (2015). When not working in the studio or teaching in the classroom, Cory enjoys spending time with his wife Sara and their four children, cooking, reading, and cheering for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bears.
Dr. Mary Ann Culotta is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to her retirement in 2007 she was Director of Arts Education for the Jefferson County Board of Education supervising Fine Arts programs K-12 in 55 schools. She is currently Visual Artsand Art Education professor at Samford University where she received her undergraduate art degree. Dr. Culotta holds a Masters degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and a PhD from The Florida State University. Dr. Culotta serves on several arts boards, as well as, acting in an advisory capacity to various arts and educational organizations. She has received numerous awards for her work in the areas of arts education, administration and advocacy. She has conducted workshops/lectures at the national, state and local levels. She is an appointed Art and Design Examiner for the International Baccalaureate Organization - Cardiff, Wales. Dr. Culotta is a painter and mixed media artist often using eclectic media as part of the creative process. In her spare time she enjoys travel, cooking,reading and aerobic activities in and outdoors.
A native of Huntsville, Ala., Richard Dendy received his B.F.A. from Auburn University in 1979 and his M.V.A. from Georgia State University in 1983. He began his teaching career at Auburn University in 1982 and taught there for three years before moving to Montevallo. He was a visiting professor at Georgia State University and taught 13 years at the University of Montevallo. Professional experience includes illustration and design for NASA, art direction for Performing Arts magazine of Houston and design for Texas Instruments. Clients and publications featuring his work include: Southern Living, National Forum, Georgia Trend, Southern Living Classics, Christian Single, Cooking Light, Performing Arts , Scope magazine of Houston, Smithsonian, The American Dietetic Association, Southpoint, Life, In Health, Parenting, Sports Illustrated, Oxmoor House, Jackhammer Design, Lewis Advertising, Gillis Advertising and Public Relations and Houston Symphony.
Scott Fisk is a graphic designer, artist, and educator. He graduated first in his class from Memphis College of Art with an M.F.A. in computer art and received his B.F.A. in graphic design from Henderson State University. Fisk’s interests include web design, typography, photography, motion graphics and multimedia. He began his career in graphic design in 1994 at NetM Communications, an interactive agency with customers in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe. Since then, he has lived and worked in the U.S. and Britain. His motion graphic works have been featured on major television networks in the U.S., Australia and Japan. Fisk's work is part of permanent collections in numerous galleries and museums, including the U.S. National Archives. He served as an Army Reserve photojournalist in Iraq, often serving as a combat photographer with U.S. and Iraqi units during combat operations. He was recently selected as a Road Scholar by the Alabama Humanities Organization. Fisk is an active member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and serves as a Birmingham AIGA board member and educational chair. He enjoys traveling with his wife, Timarie, who shares his peculiar interest in broadsides, ephemera and antique printing processes.Website: www.scottfisk.com
Dr. Charles Ford is an Associate Professor in the Department of Interior Architecture, teaching in the areas of Building Systems, Digital Communication, Historic Preservation, and Sustainable Design. Prior to joining Samford University in 2006, he taught eight years in secondary and post-secondary education. Prior to teaching, he worked in various design firms for seven years. He serves on the Bessemer Hall of History’ board of overseers, ADDA International Board of Directors, committee member of Energy/Existing Building/Green/Property Maintenance/Zoning Code Interpretation Committee (ECIC) and participates widely in various industry-related events. He is an active member of IDEC, The International Code Council, and the Southeast Chapter Society of Architectural Historians.Research areas include image-based inquiry, vernacular architecture of Alabama,and sustainable design.
Preston Hite, Associate Professor, earned his Bachelors of Science (1999)degree and his Masters in Architecture (2001) degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and is a Registered Architect. Since 1999, he has practiced in a variety of settings, including traditional design practice, as an owner of a design-build firm, and, most recently, as a preconstruction coordinator for a large construction company. His project experience ranges from small residential additions up to new construction of major hospitals. Included within his project experiences, his projects have won four AIA design awards. His first teaching experience came in 2008, when he taught an architectural theory course at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. In 2009, he taught visual arts, art history, and music at the Tianjin International School in China. He first taught as an Adjunct Instructor at Samford in 2010, teaching design studios courses. Preston is an active member of the American Institute of Architects.
Kathryn Kauffman is an instructor of art and art history and manager of the Warner Foundation. She received a BFA from Birmingham-Southern with a concentration in sculpture and a double-major in art history, and an MA from the Universities of Alabama at Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. A native of Birmingham, Kauffman has previously taught at UAB and Birmingham-Southern College.Her professional areas of focus include Renaissance, Baroque, and American art, as well as museum studies. In her work with the Warner Foundation, she oversees a collection of over 200 works by American artists and craftsmen dating from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Among the collection are works by Marie Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Thomas Cole, the Peales, Gilbert Stuart, and James McNeill Whistler. Outside of class and collection management, Kauffman enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and three dogs, and cooking what is harvested from her garden.
Jeannie Krumdieck, IIDA, Professor and Chair of the Department of Interior Architecture, earned her Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Mississippi State University and her Master of Science in Interior Design from the University of Alabama. She began teaching after14 years of successful professional practice in New Orleans and Birmingham. Prior to joining the faculty at Samford, she was part owner and Director of Design for the Garrison-Barrett Group, Inc., a local architectural and interior design firm. She and her husband own Krumdieck A+I Design, Inc., an architectural and interior design firm where Jeannie continues to serve as a consultant. She has served as president of the state chapter and on the National Board of Directors for IIDA (International Interior Design Association), and remains involved in the architectural and design community. Her collaborative design projects have won numerous awards and recognition from the Design Educator’s National Exhibition, Alabama Chapter of IIDA, Birmingham and Alabama Chapters of the American Institute of Architects, Southern Living Magazine, Southern Accents Magazine,and was the grand-prize recipient of the 2008 Southern Accents /ASID National Residential Interior Design Award.
Robin Snyder received her degrees from University of South Alabama and Florida State University. She has taught art at kindergarten through college level and has also taught workshops, community courses and various art museum programs. as well working as an art therapist in a mental hospital. She is currently the art gallery director at Samford and teaches Foundation Design courses. Her personal art is multimedia and reflects art history as well as the irony and humor found in modern-day life.Browse some of Robin Synder's Work.
Larry Thompson, Professor of Art, has served as Chair of the Art Department since coming to Samford in 2007. A native of El Paso, Texas, Thompson has taught in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas prior to moving to Birmingham. In addition to teaching painting and drawing courses, and chairing the department, Thompson is an artist who has recently exhibited work in China, New York, Texas, California, Alabama, Illinois, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He is an active member of the College Art Association (www.collegeart.org), and has served as Career Mentor for CAA numerous times and will be doing so again, in addition to presenting at the CAA Conference in Chicago in 2014. Thompson holds an MFA in Painting from The University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, and a BFA in Art and Design from The University of Texas at San Antonio, and is represented locally at Space One Eleven Art Space. You can view more of Thompson's work at www.artbylarrythompson.com. Larry also serves on an advisory council creating the Salvador's Deli art event and fundraiser for art supplies for school children in partnership with UAB and The Birmingham Museum of Art, more information can be found at www.salvadorsdeli.org. Leaving LouisianaOil on Wood12”x 24”2010 National Juried ExhibitionSylvia White Gallery, Ventura, Californiawww.sylviawhite.com Reading FriedmanOil on Wood42”x 48”Art of the State Juried Exhibition 2010Tennessee Valley Museum of ArtTuscumbia, AlabamaChasing Blue SkyOil on Wood8”x 18” National Small Oil Painting Juried Exhibition, Juror’s AwardWichita Center for the Fine Arts, Wichita, Kansas A MondayOil on Wood48”x 66”Art of the State Juried Exhibition 2010Tennessee Valley Museum of Art Tuscumbia, Alabama Someone Else Oil on Wood 24” x 48”TKAM 2010Exhibition: An exhibition of works celebrating Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Birmingham, Alabama
Stephen Watson earned a B.A. in Art in 2010 from Williams Baptist College, where he studied painting and Christian ministries. He earned an M.F.A. in Art in 2013 at The University of Alabama, where he transitioned from painting to sculpture. Prior to joining the Samford family in the fall of 2013, he taught part-time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at both Shelton State Community College and The University of Alabama.Stephen creates multi-disciplinary conceptual sculptures, utilizing materials such as spices, tape measures, balloons, and gum wrappers to create theologically rich work. He strives to make work that is both contemporary and faithful, or, as he likes to put it, “I’m devoted to Christ and devoted to Art without adulterating either.”
Mary E. White is a professional artist who has received local, regional and national recognition for her work in photography and oil painting. Her photographic skills lend a special dimension to her landscape paintings; she captures the emotive experience of light and mass. White is a freelance artist and photographer for a wide range of project areas, including portraiture, equine art, promotional and industrial photography, nature and wildlife works. She has been awarded area portrait commissions for public viewing, and her oils are in several state collections. Her work has been included in national magazines and art catalogs. White's entry was among the Top 100 in the National Arts for the Parks competition. Her numerous exhibitions include the Smithsonian Institute and the Birmingham Museum of Art.White has been a faculty member at Samford University since 1989 and concurrently, at the Birmingham Naval and Marine Center for Limestone College, South Carolina. She has also taught gifted high school students in the Alabama Governor's School and has taught numerous private students. White serves as a juror, lecturer consultant for art exhibits in Alabama and assistant professor in the department of art at Samford University.White earned a master of fine arts degree at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Although she obtained her formal education in Alabama institutions, she has continued her lifelong learning experience in Europe as well as in various regions of the United States.