Music Faculty

  • Robin Attas
    Assistant Professor of Music
    Center for the Arts 239
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-7335
    rattas@elon.edu
    Specialty: Music Theory

    Robin Attas (Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 2011) joined the Department of Music as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2013. Trained primarily as a music theorist, she teaches courses in the Materials of Music and Aural Skills sequences, as well as COR 110: The Global Experience.

    Her main repertoire focus is popular music, with research encompassing a variety of perspectives, including rhythm and meter, form, text-music connections, and the analysis of popular music of other cultures, especially those of Central America and the Caribbean. Current research projects include investigating the relationship between typical rhythmic/metric patterns in popular music and moves on the dance floor; the development of meter in popular music introductions based on groove buildups; and the interaction of lyrics and music in the work of singer-songwriter John K. Samson and his band The Weakerthans. Dr. Attas is also interested more broadly in the inclusion of women composers in music analysis, and in advocating for women in the field of music theory.

    As a teacher, she is interested in pursuing ways to adapt the standard music theory curriculum to include more writing and student engagement activities, and in exploring the use of new technologies both in and out of the classroom. She is also working to expand the traditional repertoire limits of music theory to include the analysis of popular and world music, and music by composers of diverse genders, races, and ethnicities, alongside common-practice art music.

  • Lynn Beck
    Instructor in Music
    Center for the Arts P14
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5627
    lbeck3@elon.edu
    Specialty: Music Theory, Aural Skills, and Horn

    Music Theory, Aural Skills, and Horn - MM

    Lynn Huntzinger Beck is a member of the Greensboro and Winston-Salem Symphonies. Formerly Principal Horn with the Nevada Symphony, she has also performed with the Knoxville, North Carolina, and Charlotte Symphonies, and has appeared as a soloist at the International Horn Society Workshop.

    Before moving to North Carolina, Ms. Beck was the Horn Professor and Music Theory Coordinator at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. As a member of the Sierra Wind Quintet, she toured extensively and was involved with many commission and recording projects. Ms. Beck is featured as a chamber musician on recordings distributed by Equilibrium, Centaur, and Cambria. Also active as a commercial musician in Las Vegas, she traveled internationally with the Frank Sinatra Orchestra.

    At Elon, Ms. Beck teaches music theory, aural skills, and horn. She has also served as a member of the music theory faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Salem College, and as Education Director for the Greensboro Symphony. She holds performance and education degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California, and studied horn with Verne Reynolds, James Decker, and Vincent DeRosa.

     

     

     

     

  • Matt Buckmaster
    Associate Professor of Music and Education
    Global Commons 215
    2675 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5624
    mbuckmaster@elon.edu
    Specialty: Low Brass, Music Education, General Studies

    Dr. Matthew Buckmaster is Associate Professor of Music and Education and Coordinator of the Independent Major at Elon University, where he teaches applied low brass and music education methods, directs the Jazz Ensemble and trombone quartet, and teaches coursework within Elon's General Studies program.  He also served as chair of the music department for four years.  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 ten 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 NAfME, CMS, 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.

  • Todd Coleman
    Associate Professor of Music
    Elon West-406 W. Haggard Ave. 171
    2810 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5679
    tcoleman2@elon.edu
    Specialty: Composition, Bass, Coordinator of Music Production & Recording Arts

    Todd Coleman is a composer and video artist who works in the contemporary "Classical" concert music tradition, but whose works increasingly defy simple categorizations. Recent compositions have incorporated visual elements of multiple projected layers of digital video interwoven with live performers and immersive surround digital audio, blending studio recording and film scoring techniques with prerecorded electronic music and live sound. Coleman has a strong background in technology and the arts, with many commissions and jobs which blur the boundaries between creative disciplines.

    Coleman earned his Bachelor of Music degree in composition from Brigham Young University, winning a number of awards and commissions for his work. He went on to study composition and double bass performance at the famed Eastman School of Music on a prestigious Jackno Fellowship, earning his Doctorate in 2002. His composition teachers included Joseph Schwantner, Christopher Rouse, Augusta Read Thomas and David Liptak, and he studied double bass with James VanDemark. During that time he received awards for his orchestral and chamber music as well as several commissioned works.

    Coleman is an associate professor of music at Elon University in North Carolina where he coordinates the Music Technology program. Prior to coming to Elon, Coleman taught at Grinnell College for four years.

  • Polly Cornelius
    Senior Lecturer in Music
    Center for the Arts 215
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5688
    pcornelius@elon.edu

    POLLY BUTLER CORNELIUS, soprano, is an international performer of opera, oratorio, chamber music, music theatre, and song recitals. In 2008 and 2010, she was invited to  perform recitals of American music at the Universita per Stranieri and San Dominica Auditorium in Umbria, Italy with Victoria Fischer Faw, piano. She has created an niche for herself by performing American Art songs written by living composers. Dr. Cornelius performed a recital of songs by Libby Larsen at the Duffy Composers Institute in June, 2010, and music by Paul Bowles with the Norfolk Chamber Consort in 2011. She has premiered several works by Steve Heitzeg. In June, 2011 she was invited to perform at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. with the Imaginary Friends Ensemble, and most recently performed as a guest artist with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and with Zeitgeist in Minneapolis, MN (2013).  She has previously received awards and recognition from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (Artist Award), the Orpheus Vocal Artist Competition, the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the Fort Worth Opera Company, and Shreveport Opera.  Leading roles have been performed with The Opera Company of North Carolina, Greensboro Opera Company,  the Piedmont Opera Theatre, Brevard Music Festival, and Opera Carolina. She has been a featured soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra, American Institute of Musical Studies Orchestra in Graz, Austria, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival, and in the Duke Chapel. She has sung under the baton of distinguished conductors  Robert Moody, Ted Taylor, Evan Rogister, Valery Ryvkin, Benton Hess, Ricardo Muti, and  Rodney Wynkoop. Her solo cd, WILD SONGS, was released on the Innova label in April, 2012, and has received many accolades from Gramophone and other prestigious classical music journals.

    A dedicated voice teacher, Polly is a Senior Lecturer of music and Coordinator of Vocal Studies at Elon University. Her students are performing leading roles on Broadway, off-Broadway, on the hit-television series Glee, in regional theatres and opera houses, and with National equity and non-equity touring companies.  Her pupils also continuously win national, state, and regional vocal competitions, and are chosen to participate in masterclasses throughout the United States. Other former voice students are performing in professional choirs, singing leading roles with professional opera companies, performing as soloists with regional symphonies, and teaching music in public and private schools throughout the United States.

  • Thomas Erdmann
    Professor of Music
    Center for the Arts 221
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5686
    erdmann@elon.edu
    Specialty: Orchestra, Jazz, Music Theory, Music History, Trumpet

    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.). 

    Erdmann has been featured in two books.  The first is Trumpet Greats: A Biographical Dictionary by David Hickman, Michel Laplace, Edward H. Tarr (published by HME).  The book includes biographies of important trumpeters since 1542 - the date of the invention of the precursor to the modern trumpet.  The book presents only the most significant soloists, orchestra players, jazz musicians, instrument designers and manufacturers, teachers, historians, authors, band and chamber players, studio and freelance artists, etc., from the founding days of the modern trumpet until today.  In all musicians from 64 different countries are represented.  The second is The Mastery of Music, Ten Pathways to True Artistry by Barry Green (published by Broadway - Doubleday Books).  Erdmann, along with fellow trumpeters Doc Severensen (jazz soloist), Clark Terry (jazz soloist), John Copola (studio musician), George Graham, (studio musician), Maria Speziale (Cincinnati Symphony/Rice University), Phil Collins (Cincinnati Symphony), Andrew McCandless (Toronto Symphony/Dallas Symphony), Susan Slaughter (St. Louis Symphony), Barbara Butler (Northwestern University), Vincent Cichowicz (formerly Chicago Symphony), Michael Sachs (Cleveland Orchestra), Charles Schlueter (Boston Symphony), John Wallace (United Kingdom soloist), and John Miller (United Kingdom Manchester School), is a featured interviewee.

    Dr. Erdmann is Elon's most published author with over 250 articles published in journals as diverse as Currents in Musical Thought, Journal of the Conductors Guild, Jazz Player, Saxophone Journal, Women Of Note Quarterly, WomenArts Quarterly Journal, and The International Trumpet Guild Journal, to name a few. In addition, he has published over 300 reviews of compact discs, books and music in a wide variety of journals, magazines and newspapers. Currently Dr. Erdmann writes front cover articles for Saxophone Today, serves as the Jazz Editor of the International Trumpet Guild Journal, and is on the Editorial Board of WomenArts Quarterly Journal.  Dr. Erdmann is the author of four books (the first, An Annotated Bibliography and Guide To The Published Trumpet Music Of Sigmund Hering, was published in 1997, his second, Problems and Solutions in Band Conducting, was published in early 2001 and has already gone into a second printing, his third, How Jazz Trumpeters Understand Their Music, was published in 2010, and his fourth, How Jazz Trumpeters Play Music Today, was published in 2016) and the editor of two books of posthumously published trumpet etudes by Sigmund Hering published by Carl Fischer Inc. (Double and Triple Tonguing, A Complete Approach for the Trumpet, and Studies on Ornamentation for Trumpet).  He is past Jazz CD reviewer for the Monterey County Weekly newspaper in California.

    Dr. Erdmann held the position of Principal Trumpet with the Illinois Symphony and Second Trumpet with the Vermont Symphony. He is also the only two-time Chair of the world's only international trumpet jazz improvisation competition, the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Improvisation Competition. Dr. Erdmann is also a pianist — having worked with Phyllis Diller and Mark Preston — and an adjudicator / clinician and conductor who has performed and conducted throughout the East and Midwest regions of the United States.

  • Vicky Fischer Faw
    Professor of Music
    Center for the Arts 229
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5682
    fischer@elon.edu

     

     

    VICTORIA FISCHER FAW is a pianist, teacher and scholar with a special emphasis on the music of Béla Bartók and the issues that defined his unique and influential style. The history of Dr. Fischer’s fascination with Bartók’s music began in graduate school: As she was completing her dissertation about the sources and performance practice of Bartók’s Fourteen Bagatelles, Op. 6, she attended, and took the first prize, at Radford University’s 1990 Bartók-Kabalevsky International Piano Competition. Dr. Fischer joined the music faculty of Elon University in North Carolina that same year. Through the years her concerts and lectures have taken her around the world and across the country to share her theories and discoveries about the issues that inform performance practice in Bartók’s music. Because of her ongoing specialization in Bartók studies as scholar and performer, she was invited to direct an international Bartók Symposium at Radford in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death. The Radford University Bartók Symposium proved to be a momentous meeting of many of the greatest scholars and performers working in the Bartók world, contributing eventually to  “Bartók Perspectives: Man, Composer, & Ethnomusicologist” edited by Elliott Antokoletz, Victoria Fischer, and Benjamin Suchoff, an Oxford University Press book which included the lectures presented at Radford. Other publications include a chapter contributed to A Bartók Companion (Cambridge University Press) and articles in Studia Musicology and The International Journal of Musicology.

    Dr. Fischer received her musical education at Centenary College of Louisiana (B.M. in piano performance), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (M.A. in musicology), the University of Texas at Austin (M.M. and D.M.A. in piano performance), and the Vienna Conservatory in Vienna, Austria. She has received grants from Rotary Foundation International, Fulbright, and IREX.  She pursues an active career as performer, scholar, teacher and adjudicator, with activities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, Italy, Hungary, England, Greece, Germany, Austria, and Belize. Now in her twenty-fourth year on the music faculty at Elon University, she has also served as Visiting Professor at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and the University of Belize. At Elon she teaches piano, piano pedagogy, and music research. Recipient of a full-year sabbatical leave from Elon 2012 -2013, she is deeply engaged in her present research, which continues to explore the scholarship of performance and pedagogy in the piano music of Bartok. When not at Elon, she lives on a Christmas tree farm in Glade Valley, NC with husband Stephen.

  • Stephen Futrell
    Associate Professor of Music
    Center for the Arts 231
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5681
    sfutrell@elon.edu

    Stephen A. Futrell joined the faculty in 1999 as Director of Choral Activities at Elon University, North Carolina. At Elon, Dr. Futrell teaches conducting, conducts the Elon Camerata, an auditioned choir, and élan, an auditioned a cappella, vocal jazz, commercial/studio ensemble. He was instrumental in developing Elon’s Music Technology degree program. His research of various curricula resulted in establishing a foundational curriculum with an emphasis on the creative process, critical listening and both live and studio techniques. Now entitled Music Production & Recording Arts, the program boasts its own record label, tech lab, and digital recording studio.

    Futrell earned the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music, studying with Dr. Eph Ehly, and the Bachelor and Master degrees in Music Education from Louisiana State University. He studied conducting with Frank Wickes, James Yestadt, Victor Klimash, Kenneth Fulton, Gary Hill and George Skipworth.

    Dr. Futrell made his European conducting debut in June 2002, appearing with the Sinfonia Dell’Arte di Arezzo at the Teatro Petrarca in Arezzo, Italy and has made appearances as a featured vocalist and conductor at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. In 2006, he served as conductor for the National Youth Choir at Carnegie Hall for Field Studies International and appeared as Associate Conductor/Chorus Master for the Aegean Verdi Festival on the Greek island of Lesvos. His modern performance editions of three Classical motets by Anna Amalia von Sachsen (1739-1807) are published and available through Fred Bock Music Publishers.

    Futrell has over twenty-five years experience as a professional live and studio vocalist/trumpeter/writer/arranger/producer and as on-screen talent—performing extensively throughout the gulf coast region, the Kansas City metropolitan area, Chicago, Orlando and Nashville—and has worked internationally as a music producer for Dreamworks~SKG. He co-wrote and co-produced the musical theme and a promotional CD for the Ever Elon campaign with Dr. Todd Coleman, Coordinator of Music Production & Recording Arts at Elon. He has offered professional clinics and presentations on conducting, rehearsal techniques, sound reinforcement, vocal jazz style & technique, vocal jazz ensemble technique and literature and improvisation for state conferences for North Carolina, Louisiana and Arizona ACDA and MEA and has appeared as a guest soloist and clinician at high school and collegiate jazz festivals.

    Dr. Futrell has conducted a variety of instrumental ensembles including jazz ensembles, chamber orchestras, and pit orchestras for musicals and ballet; as well as numerous choral ensembles of all types. He has made appearances in fifteen states and in Europe as guest conductor for district and state honor choirs, and clinician and adjudicator for large and solo & ensemble festivals. With classical and studio experience as an instrumental musician, Futrell has also appeared as adjudicator and clinician for instrumental and festivals and workshops. He has served as Jazz R&S Chair for ACDA Southern Division and is currently serving as Jazz R&S Chair for North Carolina ACDA.

  • Tyson Hankins
    University Accompanist and Instructor in Music
    Center for the Arts P12
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5707
    thankins@elon.edu
    Specialty: Piano Accompanying

    Tyson Hankins holds a B.M. from Jacksonville University in both piano performance and composition & theory studying under Mary Lou-Wesley Krosnick and Dr. William Schirmer, respectively.

    While in Jacksonville, Tyson achieved recognition for his work as pianist and composer attaining such awards as the Delius Composition Award and the Presser Scholar Award from Jacksonville University as well as the Madge Cathcart Gerke Collegiate Artist Award in Piano from Mu Phi Epsilon, an international professional music fraternity.

    It was in Jacksonville that his love for piano transformed into a desire to pursue a career as an accompanist engaging in such activities as accompanying for the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, playing keyboard in Sondheim’s Assassins as well as a steady religious engagement and many collaborative student recitals.

    In 2007, he received his M.M. from UNC-Greensboro in accompanying & chamber music studying under Dr. Andrew Harley. While there, Tyson had extensive opportunities for collaborative recitals covering many different genres of music as well as many different instrumental and vocal types. He also held a graduate assistantship as an audition accompanist for UNC-Greensboro’s School of Music.

    While in Greensboro, he has continued his pursuit of accompanying through such organizations as the American Singer’s Opera Project of North Carolina, the Community Theatre of Greensboro, the Barn Dinner Theatre, North Carolina A&T State University and other community theatre organizations as well as various religious institutions.

    After four years as an adjunct staff accompanist at Elon University, Tyson was hired as a full-time staff accompanist for the Performing Arts and Music Departments at the start of the 2010-11 academic year.

  • Hallie Hogan
    Associate Professor of Music
    Center for the Arts 213
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5692
    hhogan@elon.edu
  • Adam Kehl
    Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands
    Center for the Arts 158
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5700
    akehl@elon.edu

    Dr. Adam Kehl currently serves as the Director of Bands at Elon University where he oversees all aspects of the band program, conducts the wind ensemble, directs the marching band and basketball band, and teaches courses in music education. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Kehl holds Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Education and Percussion Performance from the University of Oregon, a Master of Music in conducting from the University of New Mexico, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in conducting from the University of South Carolina.  Prior to graduate studies, he served five years as Director of Bands at John W. North High School in Riverside, California.

    He is very active as a music arranger for college and high school marching bands across the country, and maintains an active research agenda focusing on the creation of historically accurate critical editions of the wind music of the French Revolution, as well as Laban Movement Analysis and its usage in conducting pedogogy and ensemble rehearsals. 

    Dr. Kehl is active as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator for high school concert and marching bands throughout the United States. Abroad, he has completed two musical tours of China and one of Italy, most recently serving as an associate conductor of the University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble in China, making six conducting appearances in five cities including Beijing and Shanghai.  In 2009 and 2007, respectively, he served as Director for the John W. North High School China tour and Assistant Director for the Riverside Community College All-Stars Italy tour.  Dr. Kehl also served as an Associate Producer for the University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble’s critically acclaimed recording, “Bernstein: The Transcriptions for Wind Band” for Naxos Records.  

    He is a keen advocate for new music and creative programming, as well as inter-arts collaboration including recent performances , "A Little Song and Dance," a collaboration with the Elon Dance Progrma, “Mozart in Popular Culture”, an exploration of the use of Mozart’s “Gran Partita” in television and film. He is a regular participant in consortiums and solo commissions, bringing to life works from composers such as Adrienne Albert, Donald Grantham, Kevin Walcyk, David Clay Mettens, Todd Coleman, and David Garner. Dr. Kehl holds memberships in the College Band Directors Association, the National Band Association, the North Carolina Music Educators Association, the North Carolina Band Director’s Association, and NAfME.

  • Gerald Knight
    Associate Professor of Music
    Center for the Arts 223
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5244
    gknight2@elon.edu

    Gerald Knight, tenor, is a graduate of The Florida State University (Ph.D. in Music Education and Conducting); the University of South Carolina (Master of Music Education and the Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance); and Benedict College (Bachelor of Science in Music Education).  Knight is an Associate  Professor of Music and serves as Coordinator of Music Education, Director of the Elon University Chorale, and Director of the Music in the Village, a successful community outreach project that recently received the Chapter of Excellence Award from the North Carolina Music Educator’s Association.   The project also received the Chapter of Excellence Award form the National Association for Music Education.

    In 2013 Knight sang in master classes during the Mozarteum Internationale Sommerakademie at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria.  In the summer of 2012 Knight appeared in recital for the 2012 season of the Salzburg International Chamber Music Concert Series in Salzburg, Austria.  The recital was dedicated to the works of American and African American composers.  In addition, he has studied voice and vocal pedagogy with renowned opera singer and Kennedy Center Honoree Grace Bumbry for the past five years.  He also continues to coach with distinguished soprano, Louise Toppin, Chair of the Vocal Area at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. 

    Knight’s scholarship focus is the research and performance of music of Black composers, multicultural music, the music of lesser-known or unknown composers, and newly composed music.  His scholarly work also investigates the intersections of race and classical music, for example, examining perceptions of African American musicians as performers and teachers of the Western classical tradition.  Another scholarship focus is vocal pedagogy, an area he has had the opportunity to research and study with Ms. Bumbry.

    Under Knight’s direction, the University Chorale recently gave the world premiere performance of the choral work “Of Dance and Struggle: A Musical Tribute to the Life of Nelson Mandela” composed by Karen Walwyn.  The performance was a multimedia presentation consisting of singing, dance, African drummers, and visual technology.  He has made scholarly presentations in the area of his research interests at national conferences.  Knight, recently presented a lecture presentation The Sacred Works of Margaret Bonds at the national conference “Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972) and the Women of Chicago”, the conference was held on the campuses of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University. 

     

  • Sharon LaRocco
    University Accompanist and Instructor in Music
    Center for the Arts 233
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5687
    larocco@elon.edu

    Sharon Moss LaRocco is in her 24th year on the Music Faculty at Elon University as University Accompanist and Instructor in Music. She is a graduate of the high school and college divisions of The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem where she studied piano with Rebecca Penneys and Cliton Matthews and organ with John Mueller at Salem College. While at UNCSA, she participated in masterclasses with Claude Frank, Erwin Freundlich, Leon Fleischer, and Andre Previn and studied at the NCSA International Summer Program in Siena, Italy as vocalist and organist with The Camerata Singers for concerts in Italy, Switzerland and Austria. She has also toured Spain with the Burlington Boys Choir as pianist, organist and assistant director. Ms. LaRocco previously taught in the public schools and maintained a private piano studio for many years with special interest in teaching individuals with autism and other disabilities.

  • Jon Metzger
    Professor of Music and Artist-In-Residence
    Center for the Arts 242
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5683
    jmetzger@elon.edu
    Specialty: Percussion, Jazz Studies

           'A star vibist” and 'a flawless vibist,” as he has been trumpeted by Jazztimes and Cadence respectively, Jon Metzger has achieved 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 throughout the United States and Europe and has served as a jazz ambassador in more than 20 foreign countries in the Near East, Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America under the auspices of the United States Information Agency's Arts America Program.  A Musser endorsee and clinician for 25 years and a three-time Grammy nominee, Metzger has appeared on more than 35 recordings for the VSOP, Soul Note, Jazz Karma, Summit, Brown Boulevard, and Elon Improvibes labels with artists Fred Hersch, Marc Johnson, Joey Baron, Harvie Swartz, Ron Elliston, Ronnie Wells, Phil Markowitz, Jack Wilkins, Allison Miller, Cyrus Chestnut, Herlin Riley, Vincent Gardner, Tom Brantley, Danny Gottlieb, Neena Freelon, and Tony Martucci, among many others.  The author of The Art and Language of Jazz Vibes (now in its second edition) and an active composer with more than 50 published compositions to his credit, he has served as the Associate Editor of the International Association of Jazz Educators Journal and currently is the Artist in Residence at Elon University, where he was presented with the University Distinguished Scholar Award for 2005.  A recipient of the North Carolina Miles Davis Jazz Education Service Award, Metzger's signature vibraphone mallet was released recently by the Pro-Mark Corporation, and he also recently served as a Cultural Envoy for the US Department of State assisting Haceteppe State University in Ankara, Turkey on the formation of their new Jazz Studies Program.  Metzger has been named to the Jazz Times Critics' Poll (2011) and the Downbeat Magazine Readers' Poll (2012) in the vibes category.

  • Virginia Novine-Whittaker
    Lecturer in Music
    Center for the Arts 240
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5411
    vwhittaker@elon.edu
    Specialty: Instructor of Saxophone, Elon Music Ambassadors Director, Music Education

     

    Virginia Novine Whittaker serves as instructor of saxophone and chamber ensembles at Elon University. In addition, she is founder and director of the Elon Music Ambassaors, a premiere touring ensemble that showcases Elon’s music department  with performances across the country. Prior to her appointment at Elon University in 1992, Virginia served as instructor of saxophone at the State University of New York at Potsdam and the University of Arizona.

    A respected educator and clinician, Virginia’s students perform professionally in classical, jazz, and popular music styles. Many of her students work as freelance musicians in major cities on both coasts, performing in musicals and saxophone quartets, working in the recording industry, and managing, conducting and performing in jazz ensembles. Her students are also very successful at winning positions in military bands and several of her saxophone students have won national and international performance competitions. Those students who wish to teach have been employed by public and private schools at the middle school, high school and university levels.

    An active musician, Virginia 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. She 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.

    Ms. Novine Whittaker 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 Buswell and Wayne Sutherland.

  • Cora Palfy
    Assistant Professor of Music
    No Building Available
    Campus Box Elon, NC 27244

    cpalfy@elon.edu
  • Clay Stevenson
    Lecturer in Music
    Center for the Arts 173
    2800 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
    (336) 278-5704
    cstevenson3@elon.edu
    Specialty: Music Production & Recording Arts
    Clay Stevenson is a songwriter, composer, audio engineer, and producer specializing in pop, pop/rock, and electronic music.  His music has gained notoriety in feature films including Escapee (Voltage Pictures) and Standing Ovation (Kenilworth Film Productions).  Additionally, Stevenson worked for a number of years in the commercial music scene in Los Angeles, extensively with Vision Film and Television Productions composing and designing sound for commercials and corporate videos.  Under the producer name daade, he has collaborated with such artists as DACAV5, El Prezidino, TRev, M:O.R., NPA, and T3.  As daade, Stevenson also presented music in the iStandard Producers Showcase at the ASCAP Expo.  Currently, he is writing and composing for two music production libraries, K.A.P. Music and NOMA Music.