Jazz Ensemble Director, Low Brass
Dr. Matthew Buckmaster is Associate Professor of Music and Education at Elon University, where he teaches applied low brass, directs the Elon Jazz Ensemble and low brass ensemble, and teaches music education methods. He also teaches coursework within Elon's General Studies program. Prior to his appointment at Elon, Dr. Buckmaster served as Assistant Director of Athletic Bands at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where he taught undergraduate conducting, directed the brass choir and trombone jazz combo, and assisted with the Herd of Thunder athletic bands. He has also been on faculty at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, where he taught music theory, jazz band, brass techniques, ear training, applied low brass, and directed the brass ensemble. Dr. Buckmaster has taught band and music in both public and private high, middle, and elementary schools.
A Conn-Selmer performing artist, Dr. Buckmaster has extensive performing experience in a diverse array of musical genres, and can be heard on seven recordings to date. He has performed with the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, the Opera Tampa Orchestra, the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, and the Classical Music Festival Orchestra in Eisenstadt, Austria. He performed at Walt Disney World for eight years, and was a regular performer at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as well. He has also appeared with such groups as the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras, the Three Irish Tenors, Sam Rivers, the Sammy Kaye Orchestra, and the Epcot Candlelight Orchestra.
Dr. Buckmaster is a published arranger through Kagarice Brass Editions and Wehr's Music House, and is the staff arranger for the Elon University Fire of the Carolinas Marching Band. He is a member of MENC, CMS, IAJE, NCMEA, the International Trombone Association, Phi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Dr. Buckmaster's book, Successful Teaching Strategies of American College Trombone Professors, is available from VDM Verlag on Amazon.com. He also served as News Editor for the ITA Journal for two years.
A Florida native, Dr. Buckmaster holds the Ph.D. in Music Education and the M.M. in Trombone Performance from the University of South Florida, and the B.M. in Music Performance from Florida Southern College. Dr. Buckmaster currently resides in Gibsonville, North Carolina with his wife, Ana, and daughters, Zoey and Penelope.
"A Star Vibist," as he has been trumpeted by Jazztimes, Jon Metzger has developed an international presence through extensive touring, recording and lecturing. A winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant for Performance, he has appeared at well-known jazz venues across the United States and has led his quartet on tours of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium. He has played for kings and queens, foreign dignitaries and other heads of state while serving as a jazz ambassador to more than 20 countries in Central America, the Near East, and Northern and Sub-Sahara Africa under the auspices of the United States Information Agency's Arts America Program. He has also performed at the Spoleto Festival, both in Spoleto, Italy and Charleston, South Carolina; appeared at the East Coast Jazz Festival in Washington, D.C.; dueled vibes with Lionel Hampton at the Jazzfest Festival in Kingston, Jamaica; performed with Gunther Schuller as part of the American Composers Series at Strathmore Hall Arts Center (Maryland); and been featured in the Martin Williams Jazz Concert Series at the Kennedy Center.
His seven recordings as a leader have received widespread airplay and critical acclaim.The Washington Post called his release Into the Light "music that simultaneously appeals to the head, heart, and feet," while Jazztimes added, "Metzger's musicianship shines," and Cadence concluded, "Metzger is a flawless vibraphonist." On his VSOP releases, Metzger was joined by Fred Hersch, Phil Markowitz, Marc Johnson, Harvie Swartz, Joey Baron, Tony Martucci, Ted Moore, Jack Wilkins, and Allison Miller. He has appeared on dozens of other recordings, including six CDs by vocalist Ronnie Wells (one was a Cadence top ten jazz release choice), two recordings with the John Brown Jazz Orchestra (with Cyrus Chestnut, piano, Brad Leali, alto, Vincent Gardner, trombone, and Herlin Riley, drums), Iris Benjamin's Passing By, the NC Jazz Repertory Orchestra's Benny Goodman Swing Collection, Claire Ritter's Waltzing the Splendor and The Stream of Pearls Project, Jack Wilkins' Blue and Green Project (with Danny Gottlieb, Tom Brantley, Per Danielsson, and Corey Christonson), and Baron Tymas' Insight at Midnight. He was also the first artist chosen to be profiled on the Southern Arts Federation's landmark Jazz South radio program and is now the only artist selected more than once. Metzger has conducted masterclasses from Boston's Berklee College and the University of North Texas to the University of North Florida and CAL Arts and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution. He has also given many clinics at the Percussive Arts Society's International Convention and the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference. He has been endorsed for 24 years by the vibraphone manufacturer, Musser, and now has a signature mallet in the Pro-Mark line.
Both companies offer subsidies for his clinic appearances. His numerous articles have appeared in Percussive Notes, Jazz Player Magazine, and Sticks & Mallets Magazine. His many works for percussion are published by C. Alan Publications, and his 419-page method book, The Art and Language of Jazz Vibes (now in its second edition, EPM), is considered the standard in the industry. Now the Artist in Residence and Professor of Music at Elon University, where he received the coveted Distinguished Scholar Award, he has also served as the Associate Editor of the International Association of Jazz Educators' Journal and was recently presented with the North Carolina Miles Davis Jazz Education Service Award. Metzger also recently completed service as a Cultural Envoy for the US Department of State, working with the music faculty at Haceteppe State University in Ankara, Turkey on the formation of their new Jazz Studies Program, which began in the fall of 2010. Now 53, Metzger holds both Bachelor's and Master's of Music degrees from the North Carolina School of the Arts. Originally from the Washington, D.C., area, he lives with his wife, Linda, and their basset hound in North Carolina. For more on Jon Metzger, visit www.jonmetzger.com.
Saxophone and Clarinet Instruction
Virginia Novine Whittaker has served as instructor of saxophone, oboe and clarinet since 1991.Ms. Novine Whittaker served as instructor of saxophone at SUNY-Potsdam prior to her appointment at Elon University.
An active performer and teacher, Ms. Novine Whittaker has performed with the Greensboro, Salisbury, Tucson, and Lake Charles (LA) symphony orchestras. She has also performed with the Eastern Music Festival Philharmonic and with off-Broadway productions in Tucson, Charlotte and Raleigh.
Ms. Novine Whittaker has toured with the US Air Jazz Orchestra throughout Europe and the United States and has backed up entertainers such as the Temptations, Bob Hope, Dinah Shore and Tony Bennett. She holds degrees in music from SUNY-Potsdam and Northern Illinois University, and has studied saxophone and oboe at the doctoral level at the University of Arizona. Her major teachers have included James Stoltie, Steve Duke, Elizabeth Ervin, Carl Sonik, Marion Pendell and Wayne Sutherland.
Dr. Thomas Erdmann
Hailed as “The Master” by Saxophone Journal magazine and whose articles are described as “Always Insightful” by the International Trumpet Guild Journal, Dr. Thomas R. Erdmann is Director of the Elon University Symphony Orchestra. He holds degrees from The University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign (D.M.A.), Illinois State University (M.M.), and The State University of New York at Fredonia (B.M.P., B.M.E.). Dr. Erdmann has published over 70 articles in journals as diverse as Currents in Musical Thought, Journal of the Conductors Guild, Jazz Player, Women Of Note Quarterly and The International Trumpet Guild Journal, to name a few. In addition, he has published over 200 reviews of compact discs, books and music in a wide variety of journals and magazines.
Currently Dr. Erdmann writes front cover articles for Saxophone Journal magazine, is on the staff of JazzReview.Com and serves as the Jazz Editor of the International Trumpet Guild Journal. Dr. Erdmann is the author of two books (the first, An Annotated Bibliography and Guide To The Published Trumpet Music Of Sigmund Hering, was published in 1997 and his second, Problems and Solutions in Band Conducting, was published in early 2001 and has already gone into a second printing) and the editor of two new books of posthumously published trumpet etudes by Sigmund Hering published by Carl Fischer Inc. in 2004 (Double and Triple Tonguing, A Complete Approach for the Trumpet, and Studies on Ornamentation for Trumpet).
Dr. Erdmann held the position of Principal Trumpet with the Illinois Symphony and Second Trumpet with the Vermont Symphony. He is also a pianist – having worked with Phyllis Diller and Mark Preston – adjudicator/clinician and conductor who has performed and conducted throughout the East and Midwest regions of the United States.