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Welcome to Music Services!

How can we help?

  • Event Management

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Program Template: Please fill out completely 2 weeks before the recital/concert date and email to

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 Meet Our Staff


Michelle Rosenberg
Coordinator of Music Services

Michelle is a 2012 graduate of the University of Alabama with a bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary art. She joined the Moody Music staff in August 2012 and lends her artistic abilities to designing concert posters and other graphic design projects. She enjoys working with the talented students, staff and alumni of Moody Music.

Phone: 348-1477




Contact Michelle if you have any questions concerning:

  • Venue management
  • Advertising and design
  • Press
  • Contracts and Professional Service Agreements

Trevor Pruitt
Marketing Support Assistant

Phone: 348-1672

Please contact Trevor if you have any questions

  • Scheduling
  • Concert/recital programs
  • Website management
  • Key loan/renewal
  • Tickets



Michael Wilk
Recording and Sound Producer

Michael joined the faculty at the University of Alabama in Fall 2013. Partners and co-producer with John Kay and keyboardist with Steppenwolf, Michael has worked with Boz Scaggs, Mick Fleetwood, Christy McVie, Billy Burnette, Phil Seymour, Danny Hutton (3 Dog Night), Rick Derringer, the Pointer Sisters and jazz/saxophonist Tom Scott. Michael has been a live performer since 1979, touring with Willie Nelson, 3 Dog Night, Deep Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Michael McDonald and Steppenwolf, just to name a few. He has worked on the soundtracks of 1988’s Satisfaction and 1986’s Pretty in Pink and has worked on various television commercials including a Diet Pepsi ad starring Ray Charles and featuring Jerry Lewis, Bo Jackson, Vic Damone, and Charro.

Click here to read his complete bio.



Glen SharpGlenn Sharp
Audio/Visual Technician

Glenn joined the staff at Moody Music at the end of February in 2014. He gained experience with lighting and sound while he was involved in various bands beginning in ’79 and continues to work with bands in Tuscaloosa. He is a business owner and since 2006 he has worked as the sound engineer at First United Methodist Church in the contemporary service.

Phone: 348-1477

Contact Glenn if you have any questions concerning:

  • Audiovisual needs for events
  • Recording
  • Archives


Music Services
8:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. (Lunch 12 p.m.-1 p.m.)
169 Moody Music Building
Box 870366
Tuscaloosa, AL 35478


The University of Alabama – Community Music School

Office: 171 Moody Music Bldg.   Phone: (205)-348-6741


Kindermusik General Information 

  • All classes take place in the Moody Music Building on the UA campus in room 141, off the main lobby.
  • Kindermusik classes are non sequential. Kindermusik classes are designed for a one parent or caregiver per enrolled child experience.   Attendance by more than one adult per child is subject to teacher approval. Due to room size and the need to keep an appropriate teacher to children ratio, attending a different class other than the one enrolled for is subject to teacher approval.
  • Class day/time options are listed on the CMS online enrollment form and the printable CMS enrollment form.  Classes are enrolled on a first come first served basis. Once listed classes are enrolled to capacity (8), additional class options may be opened for enrollment.  There is no proration of session fees for Kindermusik.
  • Tuition fee includes a supply pack for each child to keep.
  • The Fall semester classes begin the last full week of August. If interest exceedes the listed classes, an additional classes will start the week after Labor Day.  Spring Session classes begin the last full week of January. Our 5-week Summer session starts the first full week of June.
  • CMS Kindermusik teachers are Michelle Shumate and Jane Weigel.
  • A free one-time visit to experience a Kindermusik class may be scheduled as spots become available. Please call the CMS office (205-348-6741) to schedule a visit for you and your child to one of our classes.


Kindermusik classes are age-specific. 



Parents singing “Here we go my little one” with Village babies riding along. Summer, 2015

Kindermusik Village (8 weeks)

Ages: Birth to 17 months

Fee: $115

  • Kindermusik Village fosters creativity, social development, and self esteem through exposure to music for infants from birth to 17 months.
  • 45-minute classes for infant and caregiver or parent, offered in 8-week non-sequential semesters.  Summer session is 5-weeks.
  • Many of the class activities and materials can easily be adapted fir the family to use at home.
  • Summer Session is 5 weeks, cost $75 (includes supply pack).

Kindermusik Our Time (15 weeks)

Ages: 18 months to 3 years

Fee: $220

  • Kindermusik Our Time brings the joy of music and movement to the lives of children 18 months to 3 years and is offered in four 15-week non-sequential semesters.
  • Six to eight children, each with an accompanying parent or caregiver, meet weekly with the teacher for a 45-minute class.
  • These lessons also help parents and caregivers become familiar with ways to encourage and facilitate musical development and appreciation.
  • Summer Session is 5 weeks, cost $75 (includes supply pack).

Kindermusik ABC Music And Me (15 weeks)

Ages: 4 to 6 years

Fee: $230

  • This research-based early childhood music program is designed to support the development of the whole child. Activities include singing and playing instruments, dance and creative movement activities, focused listening, and introduction to musical notation.
  • In the first two semesters of this class, learning about the musical families (wind, brass, percussion, strings, voice, keyboards) is the focus thru use of the ABC Music & Me curriculums and additional “musical field trips” within Moody Music Bldg. The children visit faculty who introduce their instrument and demonstrate (play) for them. Parents are always encouraged to come along on these mini fieldtrips.
  • During the third and fourth semesters, woven into the already outstanding ABC Music & Me curriculum, is an introduction to types of large and small music ensembles and styles of music. Some of these may include the concert or marching band, orchestra, string quartet, Jazz ensemble, choir, opera, etc). Students will take “musical field trips” within the School of Music to visit and hear faculty and student groups perform.
  • Summer Session is 5 weeks, cost $75 (includes supply pack).

photo 4[4]ABC santiagoIMG_2072Horn Demo - ABC ClassABC xylophoto 2[1]

Kindermusik Imagine That! (15 weeks)

Ages: 3 ½ to 5 years

Fee: $230

  • Kindermusik Imagine That! Is a two semester non–sequential program focusing on children ages 3 ½ to 5 years.
  • 45 minute lessons will encourage children to participate and expand their potential for creative expression.
  • The class combines activities for children and teacher interaction (first 30 minutes) and those with parent’s direct involvement (last 15 minutes).

Kindermusik Young Child (30 weeks)

Ages: 5 ½ to 7 years

Fee: $425

  • Kindermusik Young Child is the final part of the four-stage Kindermusik curriculum for children 5 ½ to 7 years. Parents are not required to attend.
  • Enrollment does not require prior Kindermusik experience.
  • This class is structured in a two-year sequential curriculum. Each year consists of 30 weeks (August – May) of 60 minutes classes.

Join us on the beautiful University of Alabama campus at the School of Music for a new summer string experience! Improve your ensemble and music reading skills this summer by attending our weeklong camp featuring daily orchestra rehearsals, masterclasses, technique and elective classes, chamber music, and more. Daily snacks provided, students bring a sack lunch. The week culminates with a Friday afternoon performance by the Summer Strings Orchestra.

The Summer String Orchestra registration is open to rising 4th  – 9th  grade string students with prior playing experience. Students must be able to read music on all four strings and play in several keys. Experience with shifting and playing outside of first position is a plus, but not necessary. Teacher recommendation required.

The Summer Chamber Music option is open to rising 10th grade students through rising college freshmen with prior playing experience. Students must be able to fluently read music and play in several keys. Experience with advanced technique (shifting and playing through fourth position, vibrato) is a plus. Teacher recommendation required.

2015 String Camp Enrollment Form

Camp Schedule 2015

Highlights from our 2015 Summer String Camp:


2015 String Camp Students with Conductors Katherine Holaway and Thomas Furlough on stage at Bryant-Jordan Hall.

Musical Scavenger Hunt Game

Musical Scavenger Hunt Game

String Camp Rehearsing in Moody

Rehearsing at Moody Music Bldg. with conductor Thomas Furlough.

StringsCamp Gregoire masterclass Samuel LeeIMG_8708

UA Prof. of Violin, Jenny Gregoire’s Masterclass. Several students played, shown here are Samuel Lee and Elaina Blankenship.

Katie Holaway - String Camp 2015

Conductor Katie Holaway with the Summer String Camp Orchestra at Bryant-Jordan Hall.

Prof. Gesa Kordes - Baroque Violin

UA Prof. Gesa Kordes demonstrating and presenting the Baroque violin and bow. At the conclusion of this masterclass students tried out the older bows.


Joseph Ortiguera in a Trio coaching session.


Preparing the water balloons for the Team building activity.


On break from rehearsals…


Highlights from previous Camps:

Summer String Camp





The Tuscaloosa Youth Orchestra (TYO) is a full orchestra made up of students with advanced abilities under conductor Prof. Blake Richardson, who is Director of Orchestral Studies at the University. TYO members are primarily area high school students, with some advanced middle school students, UA students (degree and non-degree), and a few adult community members. Annual auditions for acceptance and chair placement occur the last Monday of August.  Members enroll for the ensemble in one of two ways: 1) non-credit enrollment (payment to the CMS office) and 2)  for-credit enrollment (MUA 169, 269, 369, 469, section 23, 1 credit hour) with payment to Student Receivables. Please see the TYO syllabus below for details.


Richardson, Blake


My name is Dr. Blake Richardson and have been the conductor of the Tuscaloosa Youth Orchestra since 2013. I’m excited to work with the area’s most talented young musicians.

Throughout the year, we will rehearse weekly, perform concerts together, and explore exciting pieces from the most important composers.

I invite you to take a look at the audition information and hope you will join us for orchestra auditions on the last Monday in August.




Strings: $125/semester (14 reh./concert)

FALL: Aug. 31–Nov. 30.

SPRING: Jan.25–May 2.

Wind/Brass/Perc: $75/semester (7 reh./concert)

FALL: Oct. 12–Nov. 30.

SPRING: Feb 22-May 2.



FALL 2015:

August 24: Auditions for all chairs & seating order 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Sign-in sheet in room 204 (IRR).

August 31: Strings only

September 7, Labor Day. NO REHEARSAL (UA/CMS closed)

September 14, 21, 28: Strings only

October 5, 12, 19: Strings only

October 12 & 19: Winds, Brass, Percussion begin attending (rehearsing wind ensemble work, location tba), Strings rehearse in IRR.

October 26: Full Orchestra

November 2, 9, 16: Full Orchestra

November 23: NO REHEARSAL (Thanksgiving break)

FALL CONCERT: November 30.

Dress Rehearsal 5:30 p.m., Please arrive wearing your concert attire.

Concert 7:00 p.m. (pizza served to TYO between dress rehearsal and concert)


SPRING 2016:

January 25: Strings only

Feb. 1, 8, 15: Strings only

Feb. 22, 29: Wind, Brass, Percussion begin attending (rehearsing wind ens. work, location tba) Strings rehearse in IRR.

March 7: Full Orchestra

March 14: NO REHEARSAL (Spring Break)

March 21, 28: Full Orchestra

April 4, 11, 18, 25: Full Orchestra


Dress rehearsal 5:30 p.m. Please arrive wearing your concert attire.
Concert 7:00 p.m. (pizza served to TYO between dress rehearsal and concert)

Weekly rehearsal updates are posted on Facebook; Like “Tuscaloosa Youth Orchestra” OR online at:

CMS office = 348 – 6741.   Dr. Weigel’s email =

**PLEASE be sure the CMS office has any/all emails you will regularly check for TYO updates.

Youth Orchestra SYLLABUS

2015 Excerpts will be added as they are received from UA School of Music Faculty. If you excerpt is not here, please check back again soon:

2015 Violin

2015 Viola

2015 Cello

2015 French Horn

2015 Tuba

2015 Trombone

2015 Percussion

2015 Flute

2015 Clarinet

2015 Bassoon

  • Winds, Brass, Percussion attend only 7 rehearsals beginning October 12 and ending with the concert on Monday, November 30. Enrollment fee for 7 rehearsals/concert: $75 per semester.  Please see the posted schedule before you audition! With so few rehearsals, attendance is critical.

The following wind/brass/percussion chairs will be filled:

  • I, II flute
  • piccolo/flute III
  • I, II clarinet
  • I, II oboe
  • I, II bassoon
  • I, II, III Trumpet
  • I, II, III Trombone
  • I, II, III, IV Horn
  • I, II, III Trombone
  • Tuba
  • Percussion (3)

Twenty-Eighth Annual


Monday, October 26, 2015

John Ratledge, Clinician
Guest Honor Choir: The Alabama Choir School
Doff Proctor, Conductor



8:00-8:45 AM: Registration in Concert Hall Lobby (Moody Music Building)

9:00 AM-noon:  Rehearsal

9:30 AM-noon:  Auditions for the Honor Choir Scholarship (for those who will be majoring in music in the Fall of 2016)

Noon:  Lunch on your own

1:30-4:30 PM:  Rehearsal

2:00-3:00 PM:  Alabama Choral Participation Award Scholarships Auditions

4:30-6:00 PM:  Dinner on your own

6:45 PM:  Gathering in Concert Hall

7:30 PM:  Concert

Registration will be via email: (after August 22, 2015)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Monday, October 5, 2015

Each new school participating in UA’s Honor Reading Choir can bring a total of eight singers, trying to maintain a balanced ensemble as much as possible (SI SII AI, AII, TI, TII, BI, B2).  If you are a returning school, you may bring as many as 16. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis until the choir is full.

The registration fee of $50 per participant will cover the rehearsals, the cost of the music, a T-shirt, an opportunity to rehearse and perform with University Singers, a Festival Participation Medallion, and the concert. Please make sure that you select the appropriate size of T-shirt for each participating student and for yourself as well. The concert is free and open to the public.

All registration will be via an Excel spreadsheet that is attached to this email, and it can be downloaded at: Honor Choir Registration 2015. Simply download the file, and click the tab in the lower left-hand corner that meets your criteria:

Sheet 1.   Returning schools

Sheet 2.   New schools

Complete the spreadsheet and email it to The registration process is not complete without your school’s payment.

Registration will be available from August 22-October 5, 2015.

Voice lessons are available from the UA School of Music voice faculty for current juniors or seniors who will be, or are considering becoming, music majors in college.

DRESS FOR THE CONCERT:  Your school’s concert attire


A scholarship of up to $2000 will be awarded to a qualified student at the final concert on Monday evening. This award is based upon a superior level of performing ability as evidenced in the student’s audition for the School of Music’s voice faculty.  No additional audition is necessary. The Alabama Honor Choir Scholarship is limited to only those students who will be music majors at Alabama in the Fall of 2016. Receipt of this award requires participation in selected University of Alabama choral ensembles. Students who wish to audition for a scholarship must audition to be a voice major at the School of Music on Monday morning  (October 26) from 9:30 a.m. to Noon. Please go to this link:  YOU MUST APPLY TO THE UNIVERSITY AS WELL AS TO THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC TO AUDITION FOR THIS SCHOLARSHIP.  Contact Dr. Susan Fleming at for further information concerning audition procedures.

These scholarships, in varying amounts, are awarded to incoming students whose standard of performance is commensurate with membership in the University of Alabama concert ensembles (University Singers and University Chorus), and who have a sincere interest in outstanding choral performance. The awards are based upon demonstration of a superior level of performing ability and upon applicants’ aptitude and desire for leadership. Auditions for these non-major scholarships will occur on Monday afternoon. The scholarships, in varying amounts, are awarded for the fall semester with the understanding that the student participates in a choral ensemble. They are allocated based on the respective talent level and needs of the university choirs, are renewable for up to four years, and are available to qualified students regardless of major. The students will be vocalization, pitch memory, and sight-reading in this audition.  These awards are for students who are coming to BAMA in the Fall of 2016, who want to sing in a choir, but who will not be music majors.

Alabama Choir School

Doff ProcterDoff Proctor, Artistic Director/Principal Conductor
 holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Vocal Performance from the University of Alabama and the Cleveland Institute of Music respectively, plus an Artist Diploma in Vocal Performance from the Conservatory of Music in Geneva, Switzerland. Over the last thirty five years he has sung almost ninety leading lyric baritone and tenor roles from opera, operetta and musical theatre on stages across the United States and in nine European countries. Still in demand as a performer, Procter’s most recent appearances have been as the title role in Sweeney Todd, Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, as the baritone soloist for Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and the bass soloist in Bach’s B-Minor Mass. In May of 2015, Procter headlined with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra in a program of all Russian blockbusters along with the Ambassador Choir of the Alabama Choir School. Formerly on the voice faculty of the School of Music of the University of Alabama, he is currently the Director of Music in charge of five choirs at Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Tuscaloosa. In April of 2013, Procter received the 20th Druid Arts Award for the category “Music Educator”. Procter has been conducting with the Alabama Choir School since the year 2000. He now leads three of the five choirs and has taken them all over the world, most recently to Japan for a nine-day tour at the beginning of summer 2015.


The Ambassador Choir grew out of the thirtieth anniversary restructuring of 2014-2015. The music sung by the Ambassador Choir represents composers and folk music from the last five hundred years, including the 21st century. These extremely gifted boys and girls from grades six through eight, work in a highly structured atmosphere with emphasis on building self-discipline, self-esteem, and respect for others, all while having a ton of fun! Mr. and Mrs. Procter, Ms. Powell, and Mr. Given are the teachers for this great group of musicians. In the last decades, members of the Alabama Choir School’s upper-level choirs like the Ambassador Choir performed three times as guests of former President Bush and his wife during holiday tours of the White House, celebrated Mozart’s 250th birthday in Austria and Germany, and presented concerts in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2010 they toured Rome, Florence, Assisi, and Pisa to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Each year, the Ambassador Choir performs with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra in their December Family Christmas Concert and in May of 2015, they participated in the TSO’s May concert of all Russian repertoire. They also sing in our big Winter and Spring Concerts at Moody Concert Hall with all five choirs of the Alabama Choir School. The Ambassador Choir rehearses once a week on Thursdays from 4:00-6:00 PM. In late May of 2015, they traveled with the high school Chamber Choir on our thirtieth anniversary trip to Japan for nine days of fun, music making and collaborating with young Japanese musicians.


The Chamber Choir is the flagship choir of the Alabama Choir School’s five choirs. This group of extraordinary ninth through twelfth grade musicians was formed in 2006 by Mr. and Mrs. Procter and they sing the finest in choral literature for mixed voices. Many members of this choir have come through the ranks of the Alabama Choir School with as many as ten years of singing experience in the younger choirs. In the spring semester each year, they travel to perform in and explore different cities around the country. Their first national tour was to Chicago in 2010 as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of ACS. They have also toured to Savannah, GA, Nashville, TN, Birmingham, AL, and the beaches of Alabama. In the spring of 2013, the Chamber Choir flew to Baltimore, MD for performances and also to explore that beautiful city, its Inner Harbor, fantastic  museums and rich cultural history. In addition to performing in local schools and nursing homes, the Chamber Choir is featured each December in the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra’s Family Christmas Concert, and is always a major part of the Alabama Choir School’s Winter and Spring Concerts at the University of Alabama School of Music’s beautiful Moody Concert Hall with the other five choirs. The Chamber Choir rehearses once a week on Wednesday afternoons from 3:50-5:50 PM and is taught by Mr. and Mrs. Procter, Ms. Powell, and Mr. Given. In May of 2015, the Chamber Choir traveled with the Ambassador Choir on their thirtieth anniversary trip to Japan for music-making, fun and collaborations with young Japanese musicians.



Audition requirements for the BM in Jazz Studies

Note: It is expected that you contact the instructor of your Primary Instrument that you will be auditioning on for any additional requirements to what is listed here.  Their contact information can be found on the Faculty/Staff page of the School of Music website.

Live auditions are expected however; in extenuating circumstances a live-taped audition may be accepted.  Please contact Chris Kozak, Director of Jazz Studies with any questions.

All students auditioning into the Jazz Studies program should be able to satisfy the following:

–       Two classical pieces of varying style (etudes can be used however it is recommended that you consult their viability by contacting the Professor of your Primary Instrument) 

–       Two jazz tunes, i.e. a blues and a jazz standard – Standards can be chosen from and can be found in the Jamey Aebersold catalog of Play-A-Longs or Real Book lead sheets.  The format to follow when performing these pieces is:

  • Play the melody (1 time through)
  • Improvise over the chord changes (minimum 2 choruses)
  • Comp (if applicable) by walking, playing the chord changes, and playing time (minimum 2 choruses) 

–       Basic jazz improvisation – Be able to improvise over a set of chord changes from the above chosen pieces as well as comp if applicable 

–       Sight-reading – Will be provided 

–       Scales: Major & Minor – You may also be asked for additional Scales i.e. Modes of the Major or Minor.  Scales should be a minimum of 2 octaves (ascending and descending to the 9th degree.)  You will also be asked to play the arrpegiation of the asked scale 2 octaves.

–       You may also be asked to do pitch matching as well as note identification on the Piano

**Jazz accompaniment will be provided if the request is made at the time of application**

Instrument specific Details for Jazz Studies Auditions:


Follow the above instructions


Follow the above instructions


All of the above general information including:  Please visit the following link for further info on Guitar auditions  Recommended Classical pieces for the audition: ex. Sor etudes or the Carcassi Melodious and Progressive Studies etudes


All of the above general information including:  Classical pieces should be discussed with the Piano Faculty.  Solo Jazz Pieces may be used for the Jazz requirement i.e. Body and Soul as a Ballad would be acceptable but preferably not a transcription.

Double Bass

Student MUST audition on Double Bass and exhibit skills using Arco technique (bow) on both of the classical selections.  You may also include an additional piece on Electric Bass in addition to the above general information.  Example Classical repertoire: Simandl Etudes, Eccles Sonata, George Vance Progressive Etudes.

Drum Set

–       Be able to play several different styles i.e. Bossa Nova, Samba, Afro-Cuban, Mambo, Calypso, Funk-Groove, Ballad (with and without brushes,) Swing (Slow, Medium, and Fast tempos with Sticks and Brushes.) 

–       Demonstrate trading “4’s & 8’s” on a Blues i.e. Play 4 measures of time, 4 measures of solo, etc. 

–       Exhibit proficiency in basic technique i.e. proper stick technique and grip 

–       Mallet keyboard technique is not required at the audition but if you have some ability in that area, it is highly encouraged. 

–       A play-along minus Drum Set in any of the above mentioned styles is recommended but preferably swing. 

–       One prepared Snare Drum solo or excerpt from a standard method book.

Some General things to consider regarding the overall audition process:

Apply early!  The sooner you get that information in, the sooner you can start preparing!

Be sure you have completed the University of Alabama Application.  Acceptance to the University is required in order to attend the School of Music.  That info can be found here:

–      Main Undergraduate page

–      Undergraduate School of Music application and auditions 

–      University Application  

As this is a formal audition, we recommend you come with a comprehensive C.V. or Resume and dress appropriately.  Arrive at least 1 hour to your scheduled time to allow for sign-in and warm-up.  Auditions can tend to run over so your patience is appreciated. 

Once the audition is complete this is time for Q&A about our program so come with questions.  Read up on our program and its course offerings. That info can be found here:

–      Jazz Studies Main Page and 

–      Course List

Letters of acceptance aren’t sent out until all auditions are complete.  This generally takes until the first week of March. 

Below is a copy of the info our Theory faculty provide to offer assistance for students preparing for the Theory placement exam taken when school begins.  This is different and separate from the one you will be asked to take at your audition.  The exam at the audition is a general diagnostic that give us a general idea of whether or not you are prepared to enter the School of Music as a freshman. 

Preparing for Courses in Music Theory

All freshman music majors are required to enroll for MUS 115 Theory I in their first semester. The theory faculty recommends that students acquire at least the basic musical skills listed below before entering MUS 115.

  1. Using treble and bass clefs, be able to read and write notes on the staff.
  2. Be able to quickly identify and write signatures for all major and minor keys. Know the relative and parallel minor of each major key; know the relative and parallel major of each minor key.
  3. Be able to quickly identify and write all major and minor (natural, harmonic and melodic) scales.
  4. Be able to write and identify major, minor, perfect, augmented, and diminished intervals. Know the inversion of any interval.
  5. Be able to write, clap, and count simple rhythm patterns.
  6. Be able to sing major scales using letter names or scale-degree numbers.
  7. For students who have experience in sight singing and ear training, practice singing and dictating simple diatonic melodies. Practice singing major and minor scales in all keys.
  8. Information regarding note reading, key signatures, scales, and intervals can be found in most theory texts. If you plan to study a theory text to acquire skills beyond those listed above, we recommend Harmony and Voice Leading, 2d ed. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1978) by Edward Aldwell and Carl Schachter.

Sight-reading is a necessity and no professional musician would succeed if they did not show proficiency it this realm.  It is something I recommend students work on daily (a minimum of 20 minutes) to improve and further develop music reading skills.  The piece given will have a variety of rhythms in the Jazz idiom (think 8th note lines and arppegiations.)  The piece will also contain chord changes which you will be expected to comp and solo over.

If you have any questions regarding the above information or about the process, please contact Chris Kozak, Director of Jazz Studies at: or 205.348.6333

We look forward to hearing your audition!

The University of Alabama School of Music and the UA Opera Theatre
is pleased to host the seventh annual

May 18-26, 2016

An intensive opera training and young artists program with
performance opportunity for singers, pianists, and directors.

Paul Houghtaling, Artistic Director

The 2015 Druid City Opera Workshop and Young Artists Training Program was held May 20-28, 2015 with participants from 19 states and Canada.  States included Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia,  Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York,  Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The 2015 program also included two collaborative pianist interns, as well as three stage directing interns, including the 2015 National Opera Association Stage Directing Intern.

27 young artists were selected from over 100 applicants. Thank you to all who applied to Druid City 2015, and we hope you’ll consider our program again next year.

Group shot

2015 Druid City Opera Workshop

Click Here for a video featuring 2013 Druid City artists.

Follow us on Facebook –!/pages/The-Druid-City-Opera-Workshop

See our Facebook page for photos of recent Druid City seasons
and for additional information and periodic updates.

Click Here to see the 2015 Druid City SCHEDULE of classes and events,
including a list of participating young artists.

Click Here to see the 2015 PROGRAM for the Final Druid City performance,
May 28, 2015.


Click Here to see the 2014 Druid City SCHEDULE of classes and events,
including a list of participating young artists.

Click Here to see the 2014 PROGRAM for the Final Druid City performance,
May 29, 2014.



Opportunities and Experience available for singers, apprentice coach/pianists and apprentice stage directors.

  • Performances (with piano) with repertoire selected from:

    Druid City 2015

    • scenes from opera, operetta, and musical theater
    • arias and songs
    • monologues and scenes from plays
    • improvised new works
  • Daily coachings and rehearsals of assigned repertoire
    (carefully selected based on voice type and
    experience level)
  • Daily classes including:
    • improvisation and acting for singers
    • movement (dance, mime)
    • stage combat
    • audition techniques
    • the business of singing
    • master classes
  • Special sessions and classes which may include:
    • body mapping and performance anxiety clinics
    • yoga for singers
    • diction for singers


Collaborative Pianist and Stage Director Interns: The same application procedures should be followed (see below).  Aspiring coach-pianists and stage directors should submit a detailed resume which includes the names and contact information of three references along with recordings (MP3 links, YouTube videos, etc) via email.


Druid City 2015



Minimum Age for Participants: 19 years of age
(having finished the freshman year of college);
no maximum age restriction

2016 Tuition: $700 (limited financial assistance available)

Housing: The cost of campus housing (single rooms) is $400 for the week (9 nights).

This price includes linens and lunch on 6 days of the program.  Housing is a 5-minute walk to the music building, with many restaurants and food options nearby.

NOTE:  On-Campus housing is considered a crucial component of the program and is required of all participants.



2016 Druid City Faculty, Guest Artists, and Clinicians:

The 2016 faculty will be posted in late Fall of 2015.  Check back in with this site!  Thank you.

2015 Druid City Faculty, Guest Artists, and Clinicians:

Paul Houghtaling, Artistic Director

  • Bonita Elissa Bunt – soprano, senior stage directing intern (DMA candidate, UNLV)
  • Kevin T. Chance – pianist and vocal coach (UA; Birmingham-Southern Conservatory)
  • Susan Fleming – mezzo-soprano, masterclasses in diction and repertoire; stage director (UA)
  • Paul Houghtaling – bass-baritone, producer, director, the business of opera  (UA)
  • Taylor Hutchinson – vocal coach/collaborative pianist intern (MM candidate, Eastman School of Music)
  • Amanda Johnston – pianist and vocal coach (University of Mississippi)
  • Richard Masters – pianist and vocal coach (Virginia Tech University)
  • Emily Martin-Moberley – soprano, stage director (Bucknell University)
  • Devon Newburn – vocal coach/collaborative pianist intern (Newburn Studios, Longmont, Colorado)
  • Nicole Pietrangelo – dance instructor/choreographer (Cap 21 Musical Theatre Conservatory, New York; UA Alumna)
  • Stacy Searle – actress, stage director, acting for singers, stage directing intern program (Aurora University)
  • Jen Stephenson – soprano, National Opera Association 2015 Stage Directing Intern (DMA candidate, UA)
  • David Tayloe – tenor, coachings (UA)
  • Matthew von Redlich – stage combat instructor, Society for American Fight Directors (SAFD)
  • Susan Williams – soprano, coachings (UA)


Druid City 2015

Druid City 2015


Application Procedure:

Please send an email to the address below with the following attachments: 1) résumé, 2) headshot (singers), and 3) links to recordings (MP3 files, YouTube videos, etc.) of two selections, at least one of which must be an opera aria in any language. Cover emails must include the names and email addresses of two (2) references.  NOTE:  Incomplete applications will not be accepted.  Two recordings/videos are required; applications with only one selection will be considered incomplete.  Thank you.

Application Deadline: March 15, 2016.

The Druid City Opera Workshop
c/o University of Alabama Opera Theatre
The School of Music
PO Box 870366
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0366

Feel free to call Dr. Houghtaling for further information on the program at (646) 345-5584.

Comments from 2015 Druid City participants:

“I had an incredibly time at Druid City. Everybody – faculty and participants – were kind, supportive, and inspiring and gave 110%. I truly felt that all the faculty wanted to do whatever they could to help us succeed both in the program and in our careers. I highly recommend this summer program to anyone who wants a unique and encouraging learning experience.”  (Maria Caycedo, soprano – University of Virginia)

“Thank you so much for the wonderful experience. Druid City is something I won’t forget and I’ve definitely made lifelong colleagues and friends. It was such a great experience and I know I benefited from it greatly.” (Lane Northcutt, baritone – Murray State University)

Druid City 2015

Druid City 2015

“I’m so grateful for my experience with the Druid City Opera Workshop and cannot believe how much I’ve learned from both my colleagues and the incredibly faculty. Special thanks to Paul Houghtaling for creating such a unique program that addresses every single aspect of what it means to be a successful artist in today’s world.  I now know what it truly means to be an artist and a good colleague. The Druid City faculty and young artists reminded me why it is we as artists do what we do, and I am so very grateful for every moment I spent in Alabama!” (Sarah Forestieri, soprano – University of Toronto)

“This week as been the most enjoyable experience I’ve had in a long time. In the course of a week, Druid City has equipped me with new skills, experiences, and a network of talented friends and colleagues. I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned this week and apply it when I get home.”  (Baylee Stracener, mezzo-soprano – Arkansas State University)

“I’m so happy I got to work with such talented and amazing people. This week I learned so much about movement, singing, and even getting stage-punched in teh face. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of 27 singers from across the U.S. and Canada to grow with for 9 days. And not to mention the incredibly faculty!!! Thank you Paul Houghtaling for this awesome experience.”  (Lauren Nash Silberstein, soprano – Binghamton University, New York)

“And that’s a wrap. Thanks to Paul Houghtaling for a wonderful program, and to Kevin Chance and the rest of the piano and coaching faculty for providing inspiration, guidance, and support this week. It’s been a challenging and motivating week full of great music!” (Devon Newburn, collaborative pianist intern, Colorado)

“I can honestly say that Druid City was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in mu life.  I’ve grown so much as a musician and performer in such a short amount of time and I owe it all to the wonderful faculty and staff at the program as well as my supportive colleagues. I will forever cherish the friendships, the memories, the education, and the overall excellence I experienced at Druid City.”  (Rene Vazquez, tenor – Sam Houston State University, Texas)


Comments from 2014 Druid City participants:

“I want to sincerely thank you for a wonderful experience at Druid City. I came away from the trip as a much better musician, actress, and person. Your kindness will forever be with me.  I loved working with students of all levels of experience and getting to know them on a personal level as well. This program helped me understand what it means to be a well-rounded singer-actor and what it takes to succeed in this business. Druid City gave the confidence, focused mindset, and encouragement I needed to call myself an ‘Opera Singer’.”  (Grace Manley, soprano – University of Nebraska Omaha)

Druid City, 2015

Druid City, 2015


 “Druid City truly was a life changing experience! I learned more than I ever thought possible in just a week’s time and I am amazed at my growth as a musician. I made friendships that I will cherish for a lifetime and through those people I have a renewed sense of purpose in my career choice. Thank you so much for the opportunity to change my life!” (Cori Beasley, soprano – Arkansas State University, Jonesboro)

“Druid City was truly a positive and life-changing experience. Under the direction of Paul Houghtaling I learned three things: be prepared, perform with abandon, and love the people around you and the art itself. I never thought I would perform at this caliber over a year ago.” (Faustino “NJ” Solis, tenor –
University of Nevada Las Vegas)

“After going to The Druid City Opera Workshop 3 different times, I have to say this year was by far the best one yet. It was so refreshing to return to a program I hold close to my heart and meet new, amazing people, learn so much more, and sing better than I ever have. Thank you to everyone who was a part of this special week, especially Paul Houghtaling who has put so much into giving us a life changing experience. You continue to change my life and make me a better person and performer. As sad as I was to leave today, the memories we all made together will be a part of me forever. Thank you for sharing your hearts, talents, and knowledge with me. I love you all more than you’ll ever know! “This is who we are, this is what we do.”  (Courtney Stancil, soprano – Southern Methodist University)
“The Druid City Opera Workshop has by far been the BEST decision I’ve ever made. Being selected to be a part of this great program was a huge blessing to Me! I’ve met some AMAZINGLY, INCREDIBLE young artists, coaches, and directors during this experience.  As well as, gained knowledge and insight on my dream career and what it takes to be successful in this field. Each member of the Druid City company has a special place in my heart, and I am honored to call you all my friends!  (De’Von Smith, baritone – Alcorn State University, Mississippi)


Comments from 2013 Druid City participants:

“I can honestly say, this has been one of the best experiences of my life!!!! Thank you Dr. Houghtaling and everyone at Druid City Opera for everything!! This experience will have a special place in my heart forever.”  (Nick Szoeke, baritone – Sam Houston State University, Texas)

“Druid City Opera Workshop is life-changing. Not only will you be able to own your craft like you never thought possible, but it will give you the tools to become a triple threat.”  (Cheyna Alexander, soprano – University of Nevada Las Vegas)

“I never imagined how much Druid City would change me as a person and, more importantly, as a singer. It gave me back my confidence and inspired me to continue pursuing my career. It reminded me why I love singing so much.” (Cristian Torres, tenor – University of Texas, Brownsville)

“Doing Druid City last week was one of the best experiences of my life, and I am so grateful that it happened.”  (Cornelia Lotito, soprano – Montclair State University, New Jersey)

Druid City 2015

Druid City 2015

“Druid City Opera Workshop is the place to be. I learned so much, not only about my art but about who I am. I’ve never been more confident about my craft and I feel like I’ve been revived.” (Seth J. Stemple, tenor – Glenville State College, West Virginia)

“Compared to other programs I’ve done, Druid City is unparalleled in terms of the amount of individual attention each participant receives. The scenes were carefully chosen to highlight every singer, and the abundance of master classes and coachings provided fantastic opportunities to work with enthusiastic, knowledgeable professionals. The seminars on the business aspects of an operatic career were a wonderful supplement.”  (Rachel Yap, soprano – North Park University, Chicago)

“Thank you so much for such an amazing experience. I learned so much, not only about my voice, but also new skills which will make me a better artist.”  (Rachel Hutzenbiler, soprano – East Carolina University)

“Thanks for allowing me to be part of such a wonderful group! Druid City is such a well-rounded program, with one on one advice from professionals in opera. I feel so much more confident about applying to other summer programs and graduate schools.”  (Briana Fae Raif, mezzo-soprano – University of Mississippi)

“Thank you so much for the opportunity.  Druid City was truly one of the best experiences of my life. I felt like I grew more as a professional and artist over the course of the week. This program is worth every penny, one of the most complete young artist programs out there.”  (Colin Alexander, baritone – Birmingham-Southern College)

Druid City 2015

Druid City 2015

Comments from 2012 Druid City participants:

“Thank you for an amazing program. Those eight days have made me feel extremely confident in my abilities as a performer and on what I have to offer Young Artist Programs. This program was exactly what I needed. I can’t tell you enough how wonderful it was and how much I’ve appreciated all that you’ve done for it.” (Elayne Juten, mezzo-soprano – University of Iowa)

“I learned so many different things in this week I will take them with me for my whole career. This was such a fantastic program with wonderful people.” (Brittany Anderson, soprano – University of Northern Illinois)

“Thanks for such a great experience. I learned so so much, not only about everything involved with opera but about myself as well.” (Aimee Allen, soprano – Simpson College, Iowa)

“This program was just fantastic.  The caliber of the faculty was ASTOUNDING.  Each teacher contributed so much to my growth throughout the week.  Druid City was CLEARLY the right decision.   Your program has re-kindled my love for performing and helped me to realize that I can continue to grow as a singer/actress.  I have never met anyone so devoted to helping young singers succeed.” (Rachel L. Smith, soprano – graduate of University of Northern Colorado)

Comments from 2011 Druid City participants:

“My heart was opened by a group of people I will never forget. Spending the week with such gifted, talented, intelligent, loving people was a tremendous blessing. I can’t wait to return next year.” (Ashley Drake Estes, soprano – New York, NY)

“This week has been the greatest week of my entire life! I miss my Druid City family already.” (Leah Marsella, soprano – Sam Houston State University, Texas)

“I attended this program last year. My excitement for this year’s experience comes from witnessing this program, in one year, growing to become a powerhousse of intense training that I have not yet experienced anywhere else. The faculty fuels the environment for growth and development. I have every intention of continuing to attend this program once a year. I cannot wait to see what Druid City has in store for its participants in the future”  (Katy Green, soprano – recent graduate, Murray State University, Kentucky)

Druid City 2015

Druid City 2015

“My experience with the Druid City Opera Workshop was phenomenal. The “Business of Singing” workshops were especially resourceful because learning how to market yourself is one of the most important aspects of being a performer. I will always remember ‘This is who we are and this is what we do!’ ”
(Vincent Hale, baritone – Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, AL)

“This week has been amazing.”
(Courtney Stancil, soprano – Sam Houston State University, Texas)

Comments from 2010 Druid City participants:

“This was an amazing experience for me! I loved how everything was so organized.  It was truly inspiring to be around such exciting and energetic faculty members. They were helpful, insightful, and critical while maintaining a positive approach to teaching us. I had a blast and I’m already looking forward to returning next summer.” (Katy Green, soprano – Murray State University, KY)

“The experience gave me the opportunity to involve myself in the operatic art form in a way that was more enriching and fulfilling than anything else I’d ever experienced … a friendly, focused, and professional community.” (Jacob Wooten, baritone – University of Alabama-Birmingham, AL)

“The program exceeded my expectations!  Every second was spent honing our craft and growing in the art of opera. ”  (Katelyn Perkins, mezzo-soprano – University of Montevallo, AL)

“I learned a great deal from this program.  I wish it was longer!  The movement and acting classes were tremendously enlightening and helpful.” (Kawika Berthelette, baritone – Colorado State University, Colorado Springs, CO)

“This was an intense program that was reasonably priced. At the end, I felt as if I had grown as a performer. It is really beneficial to have a program like this in the state.” (Marc Anderson, tenor – University of north Alabama, Florence, AL)

“It was fun working with a group of new people with different backgrounds. Everyone was just concerned with doing well and that was quite refreshing.”  (Pete Lake, tenor – University of Mobile, AL)

“This week taught me numerous things I’ll never forget. I’m so thankful to have had Druid City constantly push  me toward my potential … and this week I was pushed!  (Camille Sonnier, soprano – University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL)


Druid City 2015

About UA and Tuscaloosa:

Tuscaloosa is the home of the main campus of The University of Alabama.  (And yes … there is more than football here!)

It’s a beautiful campus and surrounding community, located about an hour away from Birmingham.  We are easily reached from the Birmingham airport (we can arrange ground transportation if you come to Tuscaloosa without  a car … you won’t need one) and there is plenty to do when you’re not busy with the workshop program — restaurants, museums, cultural events, theater and concerts.  We have named our workshop after our city’s nickname — the Druid City.

Additional Information:

Please feel free to email us with any questions regarding this program.  We would be happy to hear from you and to answer any questions you may have.  Thank you for your interest.  We’re looking forward to a great opera workshop experience!

Jury Repertory Sheet for Applied Music
Piano Proficiency Requirement
Sophomore Qualifying Examination
Performance Requirements
Recital Sign-Up Procedures
Concert Attendance Requirements
MM Organ Repertoire (PDF)
DMA Organ Repertoire (PDF)

Jury Hymn-Playing Requirements

Undergraduate Students

In addition to your organ piece(s), please prepare the following:

First Year:

  • Select a hymn and play it as if you are playing for a congregation, use the first stanza.
  • Employing the same hymn, solo the melody in the RH, play the alto and tenor in the LH, and play the bass in the pedal.

Second Year:

  • Select a hymn and play it as if you are playing for a congregation, use the first stanza.
  • Employing the same hymn, solo the melody in the RH, play the alto and tenor in the LH, and play the bass in the pedal.
  • Add passing notes to the hymn by filling in all of the 3rds in the A, T, B.

Third Year:

  • Select a hymn and play it as if you are playing for a congregation, use the first stanza.
  • Add passing notes to the hymn, by filling in all of the 3rds in the A, T, B.
  • Play in 4 parts, but invert the alto and soprano voices.

Fourth Year:

  • Select a hymn and play it as if you are playing for a congregation, use the first stanza.
  • Play in 4 parts, but invert the alto and soprano voices.
  • You will be given another hymn melody, which you are to harmonize in four parts at sight. Your harmonization should be theoretically correct!

Graduate Students

Play an introduction to a hymn:

  • improvise and intrada
  • OR introduce the hymn by playing one voice, 2 voices, 3 voices, 4 voices for each phrase of the hymn,
  • OR create another appropriate introduction

Play one stanza through as written.

Play a stanza with a variation such as:

  • soloing the melody
  • placing the alto on top of the soprano line
  • playing the cantus in the pedal
  • playing a free accompaniment


Piano proficiency examination (MUA 299).

All music majors except piano majors must pass a piano proficiency exam. During the jury examination that marks the completion of required piano study (assuming that a minimum number of hours in piano is a degree requirement), students must demonstrate the ability to sight-read a piece of piano literature appropriate to the level of study, to play a preassigned piece of piano literature, and to harmonize a melody at sight. Students must begin required piano study during the first semester and must remain enrolled until (a) the required number of hours of piano study is accrued, and (b) the piano proficiency exam is passed. A student in a degree program with no piano study requirement may, with the permission of the adviser and principal instructor, elect to take the piano proficiency exam. If the exam is not passed during the first semester, then enrollment in piano study is required until the exam is passed. A student should register for MUA 299 the semester after the exam is passed.

Sophomore qualifying examination

(MUA 199). Music students majoring in performance, music therapy, or music education must pass a sophomore qualifying examination in order to proceed to 300-level applied study. The sophomore qualifying examination may not be taken before the fourth semester of enrollment as a music major. A general description of the requirements for the sophomore qualifying examination is available for freshman and sophomore students. The sophomore qualifying exam may be taken only once in a semester. A student who fails the exam twice in a single major area may not take the exam again in that major area. A student should register for MUA 199 in the semester in which the exam is to be taken.

Concert attendance requirements.

The School of Music presents a regular series of concerts by faculty and students, University ensembles, and guest artists. These are open to the public. Also, the school presents a weekly music convocation to afford students the opportunity to perform before their peers. Any University student enrolled in studio instruction is eligible to perform on convocation. Music majors must satisfactorily complete five semesters of MUA 010 Music Convocation. Music minors must satisfactorily complete four semesters of MUA 010.

Performance requirements.

Music majors in the B.M. in performance program must perform in convocation as follows: once as freshmen (excepting voice majors), twice as sophomores, twice as juniors, and once as seniors. The performed material may not be part of a junior or senior recital. Music majors in the music therapy program must perform in convocation as follows: once as sophomores, twice as juniors, and once as seniors. The performed material
may not be part of a senior recital. Music majors in either of the B.S. in education programs must perform in convocation as follows: once as sophomores and twice as juniors. The performed material may not be part of a senior recital.

A junior recital (25-30 minutes) and a senior recital (45-55 minutes) are required of B.M. performance majors. A senior recital (20 minutes) is required of B.S. in education music majors and music therapy majors. Every student recital is preceded by a pre-hearing for a faculty jury (15-30 days before a junior recital, 21-30 days before a senior recital). The jury may pass, postpone, or cancel the recital. If the jury does not pass the student’s recital on the third attempt in one semester, then the student must wait until the following semester before attempting to pass again.

A student must be enrolled for appropriate applied study during the semester of any recital.

Recital Sign Up Procedures

Students wishing to give a recital, may sign up during the first and second week of school for an appointment time to schedule a recital.

Recitals usually occur on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. or Saturdays and Sundays at 2, 4, 6, or 8 p.m. Times other than those listed, require special permission from The School of Music Director. Home football game days are avoided due to traffic and other problems. A list of available recital dates is sent to all SOM professors at least two weeks prior to the start of classes each semester. We suggest each student select three possible dates. Please consult the list, your schedule, and your teacher’s schedule prior to sign-up.

All recitals take place in the Huey Recital Hall. Only percussionists and organists may give a recital in the Concert Hall.

Amy (Aberg) McLelland (MM ’94) directs the McLelland Piano Institute in Birmingham and works as an assistant teacher at the Taubman International Summer Piano Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

After UA, Brian Alexander (BA 1996) went on to graduate from The University of Georgia with a Master of Social Work degree. His practice has mainly included work with adults with serious mental illnesses. He has lived in Louisville, Kentucky since 2002, where he works in the Homeless Veterans Program through the VA Medical Center. He can be emailed by clicking here.

Leroy Allen (BS ’73) teaches instrumental music (jazz ensemble and concert band) at A.H. Parker HS in Birmingham and has been on the staff at the Sixth Ave. Baptist Church for 22 years. He is active as a studio musician and performs with a jazz trio called Omni Music.

Ernest Allen (BS ’57, MA ’59) retired in 1986 after 29 years as a band director in Alabama and Georgia. He is married to Carol Austin Allen.

Melissa (Allford) Meman (BM ’82, MM ’84) has been in the Washington, D.C., area for 15 years. She performs regularly with the Washington Opera Chorus, the Washington Concert Opera Chorus, and other area ensembles. She is married to jazz saxophonist Jesse Meman, and they have a young son, Benjamin.

David Allinder (BS & MA in Music Ed 1993) is currently band director at Shades Valley High School in Birmingham. He is an active performer in the area and a staff musician at Hunter Street Baptist Church. He lives in McCalla with his wife Jennifer and their son Tanner.

Katie (Alterman) Rosenberg (BM in Music Therapy 1996) has remained at the Weinstein Center in Atlanta for the past 9 years as the center/case manager. She & husband Sammy are expecting their 1st child (a son) in Feb 2006.

Elaine Anderson (D.M.A. 1999) is an associate professor at Mount Union College in Alliance, OH where she teaches, conducts and enjoys subbing in area orchestras.

Elaine Anderson (DMA cello performance 1999) is an associate professor at Mount Union College in Alliance, OH and currently teaches the cellists at the College of Wooster.

Larry M. Archibald (BS ’00) is band director at Pickens County High School in Reform, AL.

Addie (Argo) deHilster (BM- Flute Performance 2000) married Mike deHilster in June 2000 after their graduation from UA. They then moved to Norman, Oklahoma where they spent four years in grad school. She earned a Master’s degree in Flute Performance and Ethnomusicology, and Mike worked on a DMA in Horn. They now live in Long Beach, California, where Addie works as the Development Associate for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (, and Mike is pursuing his writing career.

Susan (Arther) Jarrett (B.S. Music Education 1983) has been National Music Sales Representative for LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville TN for 22 years. She has been married to Jimmy Jarrett for 20 years and resides in Murfreesboro. They have one 4-legged, furry child: their 8-yr-old Black Lab-Legend.

Melinda (Ashworth) Parrish (BM Piano Performance 1986) lives in Nashville, TN with husband Everette and son Russell where she works as an accompanist at the Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University and teaches piano at David Lipscomb Academy of Music. She says that It is still exciting to visit the UA campus for a piano lesson or a football game!

Jeff Atkins (BS 1995) is currently in his 7th year as Director of Bands at Oak Mtn. Middle School. When he is not at school, he hangs out with his wife, Heather (Blanton) Atkins (BM in Music Therapy, 1995), and their 3 children, Hannah, 8; Hayley, 5; and Cole, 3.

Joe Bacchus (BS, MA 1971,1976) is VP of Sales for OPTX International, makers of ScreenWatch Producer software. He is also a percussion instructor at Chico High School and a realtor at Prudential California Realty. He is the drummer for several local groups and has played with Mills Brothers, Ink Spots, Peter Marshall, Larry White, and Bob Green.

Kim Bain (BS ’85, MA ’92, EdS ’99) is band director at R.F. Bumpus Middle School in Hoover. She asks, “Does anyone else remember those terrible long red dresses Dr. Welker made us wear for his first Wind Ensemble?”

Patrick Baran (B.S. Ed. 1989) is the Orchestral Director and Performing Arts Department Head a John Quincy Adams Middle School. He performs regularly with the Tampa Bay Mostly Pops, Concord Chamber Players, and Bay Baroque.

Brad Battles (B.S.E. Music Education 2000) is Director of Bands at Pickens Academy (Carrollton, AL) and Musical Director at the First Presbyterian Church in Aliceville, AL. He is married to Christina Battles, Office Associate at the Community Music School at UA.

J. Howard Baxter (BS ’77, MA ’79) is Supervisor of Music for the Abington (PA) School District, Assistant Conductor of the Old York Road Symphony, and tympanist for the Abington Symphony Orchestra.

David Bearden (B.S. in Music Education (1981); M.A. in School Administration (2000) B.S. (1981); M.A. (2000)) is in his 14th year serving as band director at Oneonta High School, and 26th year of teaching. He and his wife, Kathy, have 2 sons, Ross & Will, and a daughter, Reagan.

After graduation from UA, Mary (Benson) Vaughn (Bachelor of Music (piano/voice) 1961) continued music study, receiving a masters degree from Radford University, in Virginia, along with other post-graduate work at Peabody Conservatory and in New York City. After many years of teaching music, privately, in schools and colleges, and working in music and education with theaters, she is involved now primarily with her own music and event service( Mary welcomes contact from piano students of Roy McAllister, who retired in 1976 from teaching at UA. She is writing articles (which can be read on her website)about significant mentor-teachers, and wishes to pay tribute to Roy McAllister.

After graduating from UA, Chris Bentley (B.A. 1993) continued to follow his interest in recording, composition and performance. He is now owner and head engineer of The Bunker Recording Studio in Baltimore, MD. His wife, Stacy, is an elementary school art teacher. They have two sons, Layne and J.P.

Bill Benton (BS ’63, MA ’67). After 10 years of service as band director in Samson (AL) and Tuscaloosa schools, Bill joined Phifer Wire Products in Tuscaloosa in 1973. Today he serves as Phifer’s Vice-President of Employee Growth and Development. Send him e-mail at

Herb Betts (BS ’02) is now the Assistant Principal at Madras Middle School in Coweta County GA. He married Julie Brock in 2006 and currently resides in Senoia Ga.

Michaela (Bice) Culpepper (B.S.W. and M.S.W. (minor in music) 2000 and 2001) married Brock Culpepper Nov. 2, 2002, and had a beautiful baby girl named Julia Charleston on May 21, 2005. Their second girl was born on February 28, 2007; Her name is Elizabeth Brentlee Culpepper (Ellee). Michaela is a church pianist and is enjoying staying home with the kids. She may be contacted by clicking here.

Jeff Black (BA ’96) was diagnosed with cancer shortly after graduation, but he has just celebrated his fifth year of being in remission. He has been married since December 2001, currently works for Protective Life Insurance in Birmingham, and is pursuing a degree in history at UAB.

Lee Black (BS ’91) spent eight years in the Nashville area, writing songs and leading worship at a church. Now he, wife Melissa (BS Nursing ’86), and four children live in Fairhope, AL. Lee works as song development coordinator at Integrity Music in Mobile and serves part-time on the staff of Church on the Eastern Shore in Fairhope.

Dr. Alan Blackshear (BS Music Ed.’71, MM Composition ’81, DMA Composition ’91) taught in the Altus,OK public schools (band director) from 1975-1978 after serving four years in the US Air Force. He taught at Wallace Community College (Selma) from 1981-1985, and recently retired from Shelton State Community College (Tuscaloosa,AL), where he directed the Shelton Jazz Ensemble and taught Music Theory and other related music courses from 1985 to 2010. He plays trombone in the Shelton Jazz Ensemble and Tuscaloosa Winds, and sings tenor in a local church where his wife (Glinda Blackshear) directs the choir.

Rochelle (Blackstone) Loney (BM ’96) went on to earn an MM in music therapy from FSU. She married husband Christopher in May, 2000, and she is living and teaching music in Olathe, Kansas.

Dr. Frank Blanton (BS ’76, EdD ’94) was Drum Major in the Million Dollar Band from 1973-1976. He graduated with his B.S. from UA in 1976, then earned his M.S. from University of Illinois in 1980, and later earned his Ed. D. from UA in 1994. He was the 1998 recipient of the Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra Teacher Fellowship Award. He has been the Director of Bands/Coordinator of Instrumental Music in Mountain Brook City Schools from 2002-present. He was the Music director and conductor of the Alabama Youth Symphony from 2003-2006. He was the Director of Education for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra from 2003-2005. He is married to Maria Kimetta Portabella Blanton, a native of Guatemala and Spanish teacher at Crestline Elementary School in Mountain Brook.

Stephanie Bolton (BM in Music Therapy 1997) is currently employed as a music therapist for a large nursing home in Rochester, NY. She got married in 2002 and is currently participating in the distance learning music therapy graduate program at St. Mary of the Woods College in Indiana.

Robin Bonner (B.S. in Music Education (piano major) 1980) taught elementary classroom music, private piano, and high school choir at Open Door Christian School in Tuscaloosa for 22 years. She is currently the pianist at Piney Grove Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, where her husband, Larry, is the pastor. She also enjoys singing solos and praise/worship music. They have two children: Laure, who is serving in the US Air Force, stationed at Mildenhall, England, and Barry, who is a music major at Shelton State.

Tom Borden (BS ’64, MA ’67) taught in Montgomery for 15 years but now is a CPA. He plays trumpet occasionally with the Montgomery Symphony and sings tenor in local choral groups.

Keava (Boswell) Jones (BM ’95) married Marlon E. Jones (BS ’99) on July 7, 2001. Keava was graduated from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, MI, in May 2001. Marlon is Minister of Music for the Union Hill Primitive Baptist Church in Huntsville, AL, where the couple resides. Send email to or

Larry Bradford (MM and completing a DMA 2000) is currently Assistant Director of Bands and Instructor of Percussion at Delta State University in Cleveland Mississippi. Email him at

Carol Britt (DMA ’99) is assistant professor of music at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA, where she was recently named the director of the School of Fine Arts. She continues to teach organ privately and to serve as organist/choir director at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Metairie, LA.

Mary Ellen Brooks (B.S. Education 1998) is currently the director at Huntland High School (TN) and proud mom to five year old, John Canaan.

Allison (Brown) Mays (B.A., M.A., Ed.S., J.D. B.A. 1991) is now an assistant principal at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Contact her at

Since graduating from the University, Rhonda (Brown) Dennison (B.S. Music Education 1980) has taught Elementary School Music in Atlanta, GA for five years and now in Huntsville City Schools for almost 20 years. She studied piano with Nancy Wright at UA and still thinks of what a great teacher she was! You may remember her as the girl who always came into convocation soaking wet because my swimming class was right before. She is married to Frank Dennison and they have two sons, ages 15 and 17. Her oldest is probably headed to UA.

Ginger (Bryant) Bennett (BM ’95) and her husband John live in Suwanee, GA. Her music therapy practice (Allegrow! Music, Inc.) provides music therapy services to the greater Atlanta area.

William (Pete) Buckholtz (BM ’65) is currently Minister of Music at the First United Methodist Church, Russellville, Arkansas.

Dr. Richard Byrd (MM 1993) is now the President and CEO of Technical Operations, Inc., a Houston-based provider of information technology services. Ultimately earning a Ph.D. in information sciences, he now keeps his hand in, so to speak, by serving as the music director of The Woodlands Concert Band, a 75 member wind group based north of Houston.

David Caddell (BS in Education 2005) is currently employed by the Tuscaloosa County Schools as band director at Collins-Riverside Middle School and Echols Middle School.

Wayne Cameron (B.S.(1968) M.A. (1970) Ed.D (1979) 1968) has been a Band Director for 25 years including at the following schools: Anniston High School, Anniston, AL; Shaw High School, Mobile, Ass’t Director, Purdue University, Lafayette, In; Samford University, Birmingham, AL. Currently, Airport Manager, Tuscaloosa Regional Airport, Tuscaloosa, AL. He plays Clarinet in the Tuscaloosa Winds, 5th Alabama Regimental Band and Calvary Baptist Orchestra.

Cecelia (Campbell) Trabert (BM 1973) is the High School Band Director as well as the Middle School Band Director at Piper High School in Kansas Ciy, Kansas. She holds that position in addition to the St. Joseph Missouri Symphony Principal Flutist Position and Instructor of Flute at the Mid America Nazarene University. Her son Jake, just landed 3rd Chair French Horn in the Kansas All State Orchestra his first year auditioning! He also distinguished himself at the 2005 Christmas Baseball Camp held at the University of Alabama.

Heather Casson (B.S. in Music Education 2001) taught 5 years at Brooks High School in Killen, AL. She is now the Asst Band Director at Oak Mountain Middle School in Birmingham, AL. She can be reached here.

Michele Champion (Certification in Music Education 1998) completed her doctorate degree in music in July, 2006 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Augusta State University in Augusta, GA.

Trey Champion (Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science 1997, 2006) completed his degree in interior design and art history, and accepted a position with Stanley Beaman and Sears, Architecture and Interiors. His efforts are concentrated on children’s health care facilities. He can be emailed by clicking here.

Wendi (Clark) Grimes (Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy 1995) finished a Master of Science in Political Science from the University of Southern Mississippi (at Long Beach) in Summer 2004. She moved from Gulfport, MS to Dahlgren, VA in July 2004 and is now working as the Continuity of Operations Planner for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Diane Cobern-Kohout (BS ’81), RN, taught piano for several years before earning a BSN in Nursing from Troy State University. Currently, she is working full time and is working on her MSN in Nursing. She has three children, one of whom is also persuing a BSN in Nursing.

Mike Congiardo (MM ’92) teaches band at West Middle School in Jackson, Tennessee. He and wife Suzanne Martin Congiardo have two dogs named Count Basie and Lady Day.

While working on a DMA in conducting at Michigan State University, Bill Crabtree (BM ’90, MM ’92) completed his teaching certification. Currently he lives in Phoenix, AZ, and works as a band director for the Peoria Unified School District.

Cheryl (Crider) Clarke (BS ’77) is married to Gene Clarke (MA ’76) and resides in Grove Hill, AL, where she has been as band director at Wilson Hall Middle School for 26 years. Gene retired from high school band directing after 25 years and now teaches music appreciation for the local junior college and computer applications for Catholic Social Services. Both of their daughters attend the University of Alabama.

Brock Culpepper (Music Administration & Religious Studies 1997) married Michaela Bice in November 2002. Their first child, Julia Charleston Culpepper, was born on May 21, 2005. Elizabeth Brentlee Culpepper was born on February 28, 2007. Brock works at Motion Industries in Irondale, AL and sings with Birmingham, Alabama’s Steel City Quartet.

David Curren (master of music education 1988) has been band director of the middle school and high school at Springville High School in St. Clair County for the past 15 years. He is married and has a son who will graduate from high school next year.

Stanley Curtis (BM ’86) has been a member of the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C. for the past 4 years (along with wife, Melissa Bishop, who plays clarinet in the Navy Band). He also plays Baroque trumpet and cornetto throughout the country with such groups as Apollo’s Fire, Milwaukee Baroque, the Washington Bach Consort, the Violins of LaFayette, the Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble, and the Orchestra of the 17th Century.

Eric Daffron (BA in English and French, music minor ’89) is not only Associate Professor of English, Mississippi University for Women, but also Organist and Choir Director at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Columbus, MS.

Ronald Davis (BM ’68, MM ’70) has been teaching elementary music for 16 years in the Corunna (MI) Public Schools. He and wife Glenda have three grown children, Matthew, Abby, and Isaac, and they would enjoy hearing from alumni of their era (send email here).

Ronald & Glenda (Myers) Davis (Ronald (BM, 1968; MM 1970 in Organ Performance) Glenda (BM, 1967; MM, 1969 in piano performance) have lived in Owosso, Michigan for the past 35 years. They taught at John Wesley College in Owosso until 1979. Ronald taught public school music in Corunna, Michigan until his retirement in 2004. They have maintained a private music studio as well as being involved in the local music scene as performers. The Davises also plan and implement the music at their local church. They have three grown children (two sons and a daughter) and one grandson. They enjoy caring for their grandson who promises to be be a very fine musician in his own right. The music training at UA was top of the line and has proven their musical worth for the past 38 years. They would enjoy hearing via email from classmates from the 1964-1970 era.

Deborah Deming-Galloway (BM ’93) followed her music therapy degree with a master of music degree in voice performance from Georgia State University. Currently she is choir director at St. John’s Methodist Church in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Nicole DeWeese-Helm (BS in Music Education 2003) is the elementary music specialist at Meadow View Elementary in Radcliff, Ky. She lives in Elizabethtown, KY with her husband, Derrick. They are expecting their first child in February, 2005

Colin Dorman (BM Horn Performance 2004) received his MM in Horn Performance from the University of Louisville, in Louisville, KY. He currently lives there and freelances and maintains a private studio. He is engaged to Jessica Litwiniec and they will be getting married in November.

Laura Dunn (BM ’01) will marry William McGill in June, 2001. She has just returned to Tuscaloosa and is music therapist at RISE – The Stallings Center.

Timothy Durbin (BM ’79) is Director of String Studies, Director of the University Orchestra. and violin Professor at Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles, California. He does about 30 clinics and workshops each year, many of them being Suzuki workshops and Institutes. He is working on my doctorate in conducting at Claremont Graduate University; you may contact him via email at

Jon Durkovic (MM ’94) is the manager of the Historic Grand Theatre in Fitzgerald, Georgia and organist at Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church in Albany, Georgia. The Grand Theatre is the new home for a recently restored 1926 Barton Theater organ which is played before films and live shows as well as in concert.

Casey Elliott (Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy 2002) is now a Board Certified Music Therapist at an acute inpatient psychiatric hospital in South Carolina. She has her own private piano studio with six beginning students, and is the Assistant Music Director for two children’s choirs (ages 5-11) at church.

Mary Ellen Emmons (BS ’98) is on sabbatical from Flintville (TN) Junior High, complete her master’s degree. She and husband Tim have a one year-old son, Canaan.

Ryan England (MME 2003) currently serves as Band Director at Echols Middle School in Northport, Alabama.

Robin (Ethridge) Pentland (MM – Musicology 2003) is a Ph.D pre-candidate in Musicology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She recently married Ken Pentland of Phoenix and has moved to the Seattle area where Ken will continue with school.

Diane Farhat Snodgrass (MM 1983) earned a DMA in piano from the University of Southern California. She teaches at Mesa College and recently appeared as a soloist with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.

Following graduate studies in music at Indiana and New York Universities, Jason Farrow (BM Music History 1961) spent time working in Europe and wound up as Sony’s Senior Vice President for Public Affairs based in New York. Having retired in 2001, he and his wife Anne live in a small seaside community in Connecticut, where Jason serves as Flotilla Commander and Operations Officer for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in Long Island Sound. Son Ben and twin daughters Catie and Nellie are studying at St Joseph’s University (Philadelphia), Johns Hopkins, and the University of Virginia, respectively. Please get in touch by clicking here.

Kimberly (Felder) Scott (BA in Flute Performance 1997) accepted a position on the music faculty at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. She is currently the incoming Chair of the Department of Music (beginning Fall 2006) at ASFA and where she also teaches applied flute there. She regularly performs concerts and recitals across the US and abroad. In 2000 she married Dennis Scott and we have a 7 month old son named Jaden.

Alise Ferranti (Music Therapy 1998) lives in Jacksonville Florida with her husband, Joe, and their two beautiful daughters, Lauren (12/03) and Darden (12/06). She is a realtor with Fred Miller Group and Joe is a project manager with Apex, an environmental consulting firm.

Lydia Fetner (B.M. Violin Performance 2005) completed her M.M. in Violin Performance at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music this year and is currently working on her D.M.A. in Violin Performance. She currently teaches with the Starling Project Foundation and works under Kurt Sassmannshaus as the Starling Chamber Orchestra Librarian. Lydia also teaches at the Immanuel School of the Arts and at the Seven Hills School as a private violin teacher. She currently has 25 violin students. In addition to her musical studies Lydia is excited about her upcoming wedding this summer.

Les Fillmer (BM ’74) was English horn soloist and personnel manager with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra until taking a full-time teaching position at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in 1981; he was appointed music chair there in 1996. He also serves as music director for Alabama Ballet and the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra. Les asks, “When is the HOLT LOCK AND DAM MUSIC FESTIVAL Revival scheduled to occur?”

Shannon (Forrester) Watt (B.S. MUE 1993) is married to Lewis and they have 2 sons, Lewis Jr. (8) and John (6). They currently reside in Ridgeland, MS and she is teaching k3 music, 6th grade music, HS choir and drama at Madison Ridgeland Academy. She loves to spread the Roll Tide among the Ole Miss and Mississippi State crowd! She is also forever grateful to have studied with Karen White!

Mark Foster (B.S., M.A., Ed.D. 1990, 1996, 2005) has been teaching band in the Birmingham area for 16 years and is currently the band director at Mountain Brook Junior High School.

Randy “Bert” Fowler (BS MA Music Education 1978, 1982) is a composer/arranger in the Muscle Shoals area and has served as Minister of Music at First Baptist Church of Russellville since 1993. He didn’t realize what a great music program UA had until he did graduate work in Ft. Worth, TX. and passed all the placement tests with flying colors. (Thanks Dr. Prentice and Dr. Goosen) He is married to Carole (Norred) and they have two children – both UA grads.

Jorie Franklin (Bachelor of Music in clarinet performance 2002) is married to Chris Franklin (former trumpet player in MDB). They spent 4 years in Denver Colorado where Chris worked for Ball Corp. They now live in Olathe, KS where Chris has gotten a new job. They have 2 beautiful boys, Josh who is 6, and Collin who is 2. Jorie been blessed to be able to stay at home with my boys.

After graduation from UA in 2002 with a Bachelor of Music degree, Monica (Free) Mielke moved to Germany, where she studied clarinet in Osnabrück with Allan Ware, and in Düsseldorf with Ulf Rodenhäuser. She completed a degree in clarinet performance from the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule in 2006. In 2007 she married Falko Mielke. They lived in New York for one year while Falko completed a Master of Laws at NYU, then they returned to Germany, where Monica began teaching music in a German secondary school (Ricarda-Huch-Gymnasium in Gelsenkirchen). Monica is now pursuing a doctoral degree in Musicology at the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule parallel to her job as a music teacher. Falko is a judge in Duisburg.

Melissa (Garner) Koprowski (BM Performance 2006) recently won First Place in the International Clarinet Association Young Artist Competition. She was among 12 people selected to the attend the Semi-Final round held in Austin, TX July 22nd from a large number of applicants in a taped round representing 6 different countries. The Final round was held on July 24th, of which she was the first place recipient winning a prize consisting of $2000 and a new professional clarinet. Melissa studied with Dr. Scott Bridges at the UA for her BM degree. She has since been continuing her education at the University of Southern California, where she is a student of Yehuda Gilad for the duration of her MM, and currently her DMA degree.

Shelley Gilbert-Tomich (Bachelors in Music Education 2003) married Mark Tomich (computer engineer, graduate of AL in 2002) on December 20, 2003. She now teaches elementary band/general music in Alpharetta, GA.

Linda Gill (MM ’91) has been assistant director of music and organist at First United Methodist Church in Montgomery since 1995. She also serves as director of the Montgomery MasterSingers.

David Gill (BS 1986) is married to Joann Stephens Gill (class of 1978) with 8 kids. The oldest is in her 2nd year at Bama (she is in the colorguard) and his latest is 10 months old. (She will be at Bama in 2024). He can be emailed by clicking here.

Frank Godfrey (BS ’69) has been sales representative for DeMoulin Bros. & Co. (provider of uniforms for the Million Dollar Band) since 1972. Frank is married and has 2 children; the older will graduate from UA in 12/02 with a degree in elementary education.

David Allen Grady (BS ’95) received a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University in 1999. He married Susan Allen of Atlanta in September, 2001. Now he is a Probationary Elder in the United Methodist Church and works as Associate Pastor at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, GA.

Fred Grady was in the Million Dollar Band from 1966-1968. He was a music education major until he volunteered for the USMC where he served from 1968-1971. His last eighteen months he played trombone, percussion and piano with the United States Marine Corps Band. Currently, he’s an epidemiologist and State Director of the Division of Epidemiology for the Alabama Department of Public Health. Also, he serves as a Local Pastor for two churches in Russell County for the United Methodist Church. Yes, they are near that other school. His middle son (David Allen Grady), is a graduate of UA in music education and now a Methodist Minister in the Atlanta area. Fred’s youngest daughter is a sophomore at UA majoring in journalism and writes for the CW.

Laura (Grantier) Snavely (BM ’93) was named Assistant Principal Clarinet with the United States Navy Band, Washington, D.C. in January 2001.

Jimmy Greene (BM ’72) received a M.M. in voice from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and undertook doctoral studies at the Manhattan School of Music. He has performed in opera and in concert throughout the USA and abroad and has sung in some of the most important halls in the world. Currently he is Director of the Performing Arts Department at St. John’s Preparatory School, St. John’s University, Queens, NY.

Brian Griffin (B.S. in Education 1996) is the Orchestra Director for Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, FL. His wife, Carol, and he recently celebrated the birth of their son, Max.
Email him.

Chris Griffin (B.A. ’88) is pursuing a master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Montevallo. He is music director and organist for the Lutheran Church of Vestavia Hills in Birmingham and continues to perform throughout the state, alternately as a tenor and as a jazz pianist.

Julie (Griffin) Guier (B.S., Music Ed. 1985) Julie is happily married to Bill Guier. They have two daughters and live near Birmingham. Julie works as a legal secretary for Christian & Small LLP. She enjoys occasional performance opportunities in local churches and weddings, both as a substitute choir member and instrumental soloist.

Lori (Grisham) Bethea (BS in music education 2000) and Britt moved to Mobile in 2003 where Britt is an attorney with Greene and Phillips. Lori just resigned from her job as an elementary music specialist to stay home with their baby boy, Maddox, born on August 4, 2006.

Timothy E. Guenther (MM ’79) has been Director of Music at First English Lutheran Church of Mansfield since 1989, and Adjunct Instructor in Organ and University Organist at Ashland University since 1996. Tim reports that the church is currently renovating its organ, contact him at

Roger Guilian (Bachelor of Arts, Juris Doctor 1995, 1998) serves as General Counsel and Assistant Vice President of Volkert & Associates, Inc., an engineering and environmental consulting services firm headquartered in Mobile, Alabama with more than 20 offices throughout the United States. Roger and his wife Leslie live in Daphne with their 2 year old son, and are expecting a daughter. Roger carries with him the work ethic and attention to detail taught by Dr. Welker to this day.

After graduating from UA, Cecilia Hamilton (B.S. Music Education 2002) received the MM degree in flute performance from the University of North Texas. She has performed with Sherman Symphony and Metropolitan Winds. She is currently principal flutist with the Flower Mound Symphony Orchestra and she conducts the Flower Mound Progressive Orchestra. She performs with Aria Trio and Tin Roof Tango. Cecilia is the flute instructor for Austin College and maintains a studio of about 40 students in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Sam Hamm (BM 1991) completed a PhD in music composition at the University of Florida in 2005. After spending a year as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Sam now holds the position of Assistant Professor of Music at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT. Sam and his wife Kimberly were married in August 2002, and to this point have accumulated more cats than children (4-0). His website is here.

Dacquistoe Hamner completed his post-graduate studies in voice and music education from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Georgia upon completion of a BS in Music Education and MM in Vocal Performance at UA. He also taught choral and music appreciation for the Fulton County School system in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Hamner has returned to his native Tuscaloosa to pursue the Educational Specialist degree from the University of Phoenix, and is expected to graduate in 2016.

Angela Hampton (B.S. ’00) is assistant band director at Discovery Middle School in Madison, Alabama. She is engaged to Chris Neugent, who is currently completing a B.S. degree as well; the wedding date will be June 8, 2002.

Danielle (Hansen) Gray (Equivalency in Music Therapy, ’99) married husband Roger in June, 1999, and moved to Arizona two weeks later. Currently she works in the Phoenix area with children who have various developmental disabilities.

Kim (Haralson) Enderle (BA ’93) works as sales manager and coordinator for a licensing shop in Munich; previously, she worked for a German production company selling television programs to international broadcasters. She and husband Frank live in Ravensburg, Germany, only 30 minutes from the Alps.

Having retired as Assistant Professor of Music Education at Jacksonville State University, Dr. Larry Hardin (Ed.D. in Music Education 1997) is currently serving as Education Director for the Birmingham International Center.

Micah Hardwick (BM Performance 2007) has just accepted the position of battery caption head for the Texas State University marching band. He is also an active teacher/performer in the south central TX area. In addition, he is the snare technician for the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps out of Santa Clara, CA.

Sarah (Harris) Crouch (Bachelor of Music (Theory/Composition) 1972) received a Master of Music at University of Texas at Arlington. She is on Fine Arts faculty at Dallas Baptist University and the theory curriculum writer. Sarah is the author of two books and of numerous articles in professional journals. Additionally, she is a church pianist.

Brett Hawkins (BM in jazz studies/music media 2006) began his masters in Fall 2006 as a GTA in the University of Lousiville jazz program.

Ryan Hebert (B.M. ’97) is professor of music at Oklahoma City Community College, where he conducts two choirs and teaches other courses; see his website at Ryan invites classmates to get in touch (

Adam Heidenreich (BS ’00) will be one of two music specialists at Cedar Hill Elementary School in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He will also be auditioning to perform with the JSU Centerstage World Winter Guard for the 2004 season.

Rebecca (Henley) Parris (BS Social Work ’82) works as a Social Worker with the Health Services Center in Anniston. She am an active member of Southside United Methodist Church in Gadsden where she often has the opportunity to play the flute.

Doug Henry (MA 1973) has taught band in Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina for 37 years and has no immediate plans to retire. He’s played professionally all of this time, touring with various bands in most of the lower 48, and gigs at least 3 nights a week. He’s recorded with Eileen Farrell, Loonis McGlohon, The Four Tops and Jim Stack. Doug is still married to Lucy and they have 2 daughters; the youngest is a voice major at Winthrop U. in South Carolina. They now have a granddaughter, too!

Joel Henson (B.S. Music Education 2003) is currently in his 6th year as Director of Bands at Hueytown High School in Hueytown, Alabama.

Chris Hillman (BA ’98) is finishing medical school at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He’ll receive his M.D. in May 2002 and will pursue a specialty in anesthesiology.

After graduating from UA, Stephen Hiramoto (B.S. Music 1988) attended Louisiana State University and graduated with the Master of Music in Oboe Performance in 1990. His education continued at the University of North Texas where he held the Teaching Fellowship in Oboe and performed in the Teaching Fellow Wind Quintet. These studies culminated in the Doctor of Musical Arts in Oboe Performance in 1996. Since 1997 Stephen has owned and operated North Texas Oboe Reeds and Cane and resides in Dallas and New Orleans.

Lori (Hodge) Corley (BM in Music Therapy 1996) has been Director of Madison Station Senior Center since 2002. Lori was chosen as one of The Tennessean’s Top 40 Under 40 young leaders this year. She and husband Ed were married in 2001.

After serving as a member of the Allied Forces Band (NATO) in Naples, Italy from 2005-2007, Chris Hodges (Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance 1999) is currently a member of Navy Band Mid-South located in Millington TN. He and his wife Amanda have 3 little girls ages 8,5, and 1.

Since graduating, Heather Holtcamp (B.M Organ Performance 1996) has remained in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She is currently the Music Director at Holy Spirit Catholic Church where she enjoys being the organist as well as directing numerous choral and instrumental ensembles. In addition to her position at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Heather has worked as a professional pastry chef and has recently acquired her J.D. degree and has been admitted to the Alabama State Bar. You can email her here.

Leigh (Hood) Neria (B.S. EDU August 2000) currently teaches middle school band at Cypress Middle School for Memphis City schools. Along with teaching the band, she also coaches the girls softball team during the spring. She married Leobardo Neria in September 2003 and currently lives outside of the city limits in Oakland, TN. They have a son, Isaac. She will be completing her master’s degree in School Administration and Supervision in March 2010. She may be emailed by clicking here.

Joseph Hudson (BSE – Music Education 2002) taught choral and general music (6-8) at Brookwood Middle School in the Tuscaloosa County school system for two years before returning to UA in the fall of 2004 to begin a Masters degree in Vocal Performance. He is now the Director of Music at Northport First United Methodist Church where he directs the adult chancel choir, the hand bell choir, and supervises the children’s music program.

Kevin Humphrey (B.M., 1998) currently lives in NYC. He is teaching middle school music in Manhattan. Click here to email him.

Admission into the Graduate School

All courses of graduate music study must meet the general requirements of the Graduate School as seen in the catalog. For the M.M. and D.M.A. degree and individual area requirements see the graduate catalog.


Bachelor of Music degree or its equivalent, including at least the following, 2 Conducting classes; Music History and Literature; Performance–senior standing in a principal medium; Theory and Composition; Diction. Strongly recommended: one year of French or German; a Bachelor of Music degree with major in organ, piano, or voice performance, or music education.

Keyboard and Voice Proficiency

Both keyboard and voice evaluation will be made by the choral faculty during the student’s audition procedures (part two of the audition procedure) to determine if additional study in either area is required.

Audition in Graduate Studies for Choral Conducting

Applicants should submit the following:

  1. A curriculum vita that chronicles conducting experience in public school, college/university work, or in professional settings
  2. Three letters of recommendation
  3. A repertoire list of choral music conducted
  4. An essay which documents the conductor’s career goals and aspirations, as well as the reason for pursuing graduate studies at The University of Alabama.
  5. A DVD and/or videotape consisting of 20-30 minutes of both a rehearsal and a recent performance which includes music of contrasting styles/historical periods
  6. The graduate audition in Choral Conducting is juried and consists of a 20-minute rehearsal with University Singers on literature which will be provided for advance preparation by the applicant. University Singers will be fully prepared so that the student may focus on artistic and musical concepts.
  7. In addition, an interview with Dr. Ratledge, Director of Choral Activities, is required.  Students who areinterested in auditioning for the graduate program (either M.M. or D.M.A. in Choral Conducting should contact Dr. Ratledge to:
    1. Schedule an audition/interview date
    2. Obtain specific information on the music conducted at the audition
  8. At the time of the audition, the applicant’s basic musicianship will be evaluated: sightsinging–singing a melody at sight containing chromaticism and modulation, demonstrating keyboard proficiency, and basic conducting patterns and gestures.


The applicant for doctoral study in choral conducting should have had significant experience as a conductor and teacher, (a minimum of five years teaching/conducting experience recommended), demonstrating a mastery of advanced conducting techniques gained through experience beyond the training level, knowledge of choral literature, and a substantial repertoire of repertoire conducted.

Applicants must  demonstrate knowledge of the choral repertoire from all the stylistic periods  by taking a choral literature placement examination.   This assessment will include not  only historical information but aural recognition of representative choral literature.