Lonny Benoit, Percussion
Lonny Benoit is Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Percussion Studies at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana where he teaches all courses in percussion performance. Benoit is the director of the McNeese Percussion Ensemble, the McNeese Ragtime Pokes, Steel Drum Band, The Cowboy Bloco, and the Pride of McNeese Drumline.
Benoit was the Front Ensemble Caption Manager of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps from Santa Clara, CA (2007-09) and Percussion Caption Head of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from Rockford, Illinois (2000-2002). Prior to working with Phantom Regiment, Benoit was a staff member for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps (Denver, CO) and is a former member of the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps (Rosemont, IL).
As a performer, Benoit is a member of the percussion group CHAAC. Benoit has appeared with the Lake Charles Symphony, the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Rapides Symphony, the Acadiana Wind Ensemble, and TAD Wind Symphony from Tokyo, Japan. He currently holds the Terrance Mahady Chair for principal timpanist with the Lake Charles Symphony. Benoit regularly presents clinics and master classes throughout the United States and abroad and has also been a featured clinician at several PAS State Days of Percussion.
Lonny Benoit received his Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas under the tutelage of Dr. Dean Gronemeier. Benoit is an artist/clinician for Pearl Drums and Adams Musical Instruments, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth Inc., and Evans drumheads.
Assistant Professor of Percussion
Michael Buckles, Head of the Department of Performing Arts
Michael Buckles is an Associate Professor of Music and Head of the Department of Performing Arts. Previous positions include both Dillard and Xavier Universities. As a violinist, he is active as a recitalist, orchestral musician, and chamber musician with the Aloha Piano Quartet (alohapianoquartet.com). As an educator, his students have graduated with high distinction and have gone on to be successful teachers and performers. Since 2011, Dr. Buckles has directed McNeese State University's National String Project Consortium site (stringprojects.org) with generous funding from the D'Addario foundation.
Head of the Department; Upper Strings; Coordinator of Instrumental B.M.
Skype address: michaelbuckles
Judy Adams Hand, Flute
Judy Adams Hand is Associate Professor of Flute at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where she teaches flute, music history, ear training, and music courses for non-majors. She has held the Bank One/Henry Alexander Endowed Professorship in Music at McNeese, and has also served as Assistant Department Head. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Arkansas, and a Master of Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Flute Performance from Louisiana State University.
Dr. Hand is currently principal flute in the Lake Charles Symphony and the Rapides Symphony in Alexandria, Louisiana. She has soloed with both orchestras on flute and piccolo, and has held positions in the North Arkansas Symphony and the Baton Rouge Symphony. She toured England and Wales with the International Flute Orchestra and was a performer at the William Bennett Flute Course in England, as well as performing a solo recital at St. James Church Piccadilly in London. In master classes she has performed for such greats as Jean-Pierre Rampal, Geoffrey Gilbert, and William Bennett.
She has been awarded numerous arts grants, including the prestigious Louisiana Artist Fellowship, as well as serving on grant adjudication panels. Dr. Hand’s students have consistently won performance competitions, and have gone on to graduate schools both nationally and internationally. Her CD, Judy Hand Plays the Flute Music of Keith Gates, is a world premiere recording on the Summit Record Label. She has performed many times at annual conventions of the National Flute Association, and has had performances aired on National Public Radio. She is the NFA liaison for the Louisiana Flute Society and was Coordinator for the 2011 Louisiana Flute Festival. She has been a presenter at conventions of the Louisiana Bandmasters Association and the Louisiana Music Educators Association, and her articles on pedagogy, performance, and auditioning have been published in The Louisiana Musician, The National Flute Association Journal, and the MENC Journal.
Jay N. Jacobs, Conductor of University Bands
Dr. Jay N. Jacobs is Associate Professor of Music and Conductor of University Bands at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Dr. Jacobs joined the University faculty in 2007. He holds the Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from West Virginia University and earned the Masters of Music in Conducting and Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education degrees from the University of Florida.
Prior to arriving in Lake Charles, he served as director of bands in Kirkland, Illinois, leading middle school and high school instrumental music programs. While at the University of Florida, he conducted all levels of concert ensembles, taught music education courses, worked with undergraduate conductors, and was recognized as the 2007 College of Fine Arts Outstanding Graduate Student.
Dr. Jacobs is the conductor of the McNeese State University Wind Symphony. Additionally, he teaches courses in conducting, administers multiple high school events and camps, and is the director of The Pride of McNeese, The Cowboy Marching Band.
Dr. Jacobs has served as a clinician and adjudicator in West Virginia, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Texas, and as a presenter at several professional conferences. He has performed in or conducted ensembles in England, Scotland, and Singapore, and was most recently honored to conduct a concert with the Lake Charles Symphony Orchestra.
Associate Professor; Conductor of Bands
William Darryl Jones, Director of Choral Activities
William Darryl Jones, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, earned the B.S.E.D. and M.M.E. degrees from Western Carolina University and the Ph.D. degree in Music Education from The Florida State University. Prior to his doctoral studies at Florida State, Dr. Jones served as chairman of the music department and choral director at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky. Following his doctoral studies, he was choral director at Leon High School in Tallahassee, Florida for twelve years. He was also choir director at Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee for fifteen years.
Dr. Jones is currently in his thirteenth year at McNeese State University where he directs the choral program and teaches Choral Conducting, Choral Literature, Elementary Music Methods and Secondary Choral Methods and Materials. He also conducts Concert Chorale, Chamber Singers and Men's and Women's Ensemble. Dr. Jones is the program coordinator for the K-12 vocal music education area.
Dr. Jones serves as the artistic director of the Louisiana Choral Foundation and conducts the Masterworks Chorale. He also conducts the Chancel Choir at University United Methodist Church since 2003. Dr. Jones has conducted Messiah (a university and community project) since 2001. His groups have performed with the Lake Charles Symphony on several projects including a commissioned work by Robert Kapilow to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. Dr. Jones prepared the Louisiana Choral Foundation and McNeese Chamber Singers and conducted the Lake Charles Symphony's production of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana on the 2006-2007 season.
Under Dr. Jones' direction, the McNeese State Chamber Singers have performed on the McNeese Banners Series with the Ethos Percussion Ensemble in a performance of Guido Haazen's Missa Luba and with Kelly Hunt and the McNeese Steel Band in a performance of Glenn McClure's St. Francis in the Americas: A Caribbean Mass. Dr. Jones also prepared Chamber Singers for a Louisiana Public Television Broadcast of Keith Gates' American Requiem with the Voices of London. In addition to performing for the Louisiana Music Educators Fall Conference, Chamber Singers tours and regularly sings in local high schools.
Dr. Jones is an active member in American Choral Director's Association, National Association for Music Education, and Louisiana Music Educators Association. He is also a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Assistant Professor; Director of Choral Activities; Coordinator of Vocal B.M. Ed.
Rod Lauderdale, French horn
Rod Lauderdale has been the professor of French horn at McNeese State University starting back in 1990. A California native, he holds a BA in Music from California State University, Hayward, and a MM in Conducting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. His teachers include Earl Saxton, David Sprung, Joseph Singer, Greg Hustis, and William Scharnberg. He has performed with many groups throughout his career, including the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, Oakland Symphony, American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Young Professional Symphony, Wichita Falls Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, Lake Charles Symphony, the Mobile Symphony, and the Pensacola Opera. Rod currently performs more than 30 orchestral concerts a year, most as principal horn. He plays with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Rapides Symphony, second horn with the Symphony of South-East Texas, and yes even the Lake Charles Symphony as opportunities present themselves. You can hear his playing as principal horn on the early recording of the Dallas Wind Symphony conducted my Howard Dunn.
Rod is also the conductor of the Lake Charles Community Band and lives in Lake Charles with his wife Susan, principal bassoonist with the ASO, and their Barbe student (drum-major/bassoonist) daughter Dallas.
Assistant Professor of French horn
Jeffrey J. Lemke, Conducting and Coordinator of Instrumental Music Education Studies
Jeffrey J. Lemke is Professor of Wind Studies, Conducting and Coordinator of Instrumental Music Education Studies at McNeese State University. Dr. Lemke teaches conducting and instrumental methods and literature, advanced instrumental techniques, historical and philosophical foundations of music education, music supervision and administration. He also supervises instrumental music student teachers and serves on the graduate faculty committee. Dr. Lemke maintains an active schedule as guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and consultant for concert, marching and jazz bands throughout the United States and Canada.
Previously he has served as National Coordinator for State Chairs for the College Band Directors National Association, University and Research Division Chair for the Louisiana Music Educators Association, as well as serving as President of the Louisiana Chapter of Phi Beta Mu. In addition to having been appointed as International Student Membership Chairperson for the International Association of Jazz Educators, he is the former Chair of the International Membership Committee and Past President of the Missouri State Unit. He is co-author of the book, French Music for Low Brass Instruments: An Annotated Bibliography published by Indiana University Press, which has received critical acclaim as "probably the most valuable and complete piece of scholarship ever produced about low brass instruments." Dr. Lemke is a recent recipient of the prestigious national Orpheus Award presented by the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Music Fraternity for "significant and lasting contributions to music in America."
Prior to his appointment at McNeese State University, Dr. Lemke was Associate Director of Bands at the University of Missouri and guided highly successful instrumental music programs at both the high school and junior high school levels in the public schools of Wisconsin and Arizona. Dr. Lemke completed his undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and earned his Master's and Doctoral degrees from the University of Arizona.
Professor; Coordinator of Instrumental B.M. Ed.
Carol Lines, Vocal Arts
Dr. Carol Lines received the Doctor of Musical Arts from Louisiana State University, and the Master of Music and Artist Diploma in Opera from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She is certified in Somatic Voiceworks the Jeanette Lovetri Method of teaching contemporary commercial music and is comfortable teaching classical and musical theatre styles of singing. She has sung a number of operatic roles including Therèse in Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Marie in Smetana's The Bartered Bride and Alice in Verdi's Falstaff. She has been a guest soloist locally with the Lake Charles Symphony and Louisiana Choral Foundation, and with other musical organizations in the State. As a recitalist, she has appeared throughout the United States and in Singapore.
Dr. Lines is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and has made presentations and performed at national and regional levels with this organization ("Songs of Lori Laitman;" "Song Cycles of Keith Gates and Stephen Dankner"). Lines' article, "Songs of Lori Laitman," was published in the NATS Journal of Singing in 2007. She has received several grants through McNeese State University and the Louisiana Division of the Arts for discipline enrichment. Her compact disc recording When Hope Still Had Its Chance: The Songs of Keith Gates was released by Centaur Records in 2012.
Dr. Lines teaches lyric diction, song literature, vocal pedagogy, and applied lessons to vocal and theatre majors.
Assistant Professor of Vocal Arts; Coordinator of B.M. in Vocal Arts
Charles McNeely, Theatre Arts
Charles McNeely begins his 18th year with the McNeese Theatre Program. Mr. Mac, as his students call him, received a B.A. in Theatre Arts from McNeese and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of New Orleans. Mr. Mac teaches our Theatre Appreciation classes for Non-Majors, Introduction to the Theatre classes for Theatre Majors and Minors, our Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Acting classes, Script Analysis and Directing. Mr. Mac served as State Chair from the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival from 2003-2005 and continues to support the festival by participating in the state and regional festival each year. In 2010, Mr. Mac created a live theatre documentary production entitled Our Hurricane Kaleidoscope that shared the stories and comments of people who experienced hurricanes Audrey, Katrina and Rita. This season, Mr. Mac will be directing The Women of Lockerbie by Deborah Brevoort and Almost, Maine by John Cariani. When not working, Mr. Mac treasures his time with his wife and two daughters. Mr. Mac can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (337) 475-5041 or (337) 513-8805.
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts
Lina Morita, Piano
Pianist Lina Morita, a native of São Paulo, Brazil, has performed in various solo and collaborative performances in the US, Brazil, Mexico, France and Czech Republic. Most recently, she has been invited to present recitals in Mexico City at the Museo Mural Diego Rivera and at La Escuela de Musica "Vida y Movimiento" del Centro Cultural Ollin Yoliztli.
Other recent venues in which she has performed include the Music Center at Strathmore in Maryland, Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington DC, National City Christian Church, Church of the Epiphany in Washington DC, Vienna Presbyterian Church in Virginia, and Bertramka House in Prague.
She has performed recitals and taught master classes at various colleges and universities, such as the University of Tennessee, University of North Dakota, Sam Houston State University, University of Southern Mississippi, St. Mary's College, Louisiana State University, Tulane University.
Morita's collaborative performance with soprano Carol Lines can be heard on Centaur Records: "When Hope Still Had Its Chance: The Songs of Keith Gates", which was released in June 2012. Her solo and collaborative performances have been featured on WRKF 89.3FM in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In demand as a concerto soloist, Morita performed Mozart's "Jeunehomme" Concerto and the Chopin F Minor Concerto with the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra in Washington DC and Virginia. Other soloist appearances include the Beethoven Concerto No. 4 with the Lake Charles Symphony in Louisiana and the Washington Sinfonietta in Washington DC.
As an active member of MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) and LMTA (Louisiana Music Teachers Association), Morita has presented at several state conventions and has been invited to teach master classes. Morita often serves as an adjudicator in state and national competitions.
Lina Morita received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music; the Master of Music from Rice University; and the Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. Her primary studies have been with renowned pedagogue Nelita True, pianist Robert Roux, Edmund Battersby, and French pianist Michel Block.
Morita currently teaches as an Assistant Professor of Piano at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana since 2007. At McNeese, her primary duties include teaching private piano, class piano and serve as a collaborative pianist for faculty and students. Prior to this position, she taught at the Levine School of Music in Washington DC.
Assistant Professor of Piano
Joy Pace, Coordinator of Theatre
Joy Pace is the Coordinator of Theatre at McNeese State University, and the Chair of Region 6 for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Joy earned her B.A. from Centenary College of Louisiana, and her M.F.A. in Directing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Though a native Texan, Ms. Pace has lived in various areas of the country. Joy taught as Associate Professor of Theatre at Kentucky Wesleyan College where she was head of theatre and advisor to the Wesleyan Players for five years. She has also taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, and McMurry University.
Joy has worked professionally as an actor, director, vocal coach, instructor, and stage manager. Some of those credits include La Petit Little Theatre/Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans; The Blue Ridge Theatre Festival, Barksdale Theatre, Theatre Gym, and The Neighborhood School of The Arts in Richmond, VA; The Independent Theatre, Region 14 ESC, and Buffalo Gap Historic Village in Abilene, TX; and Theatre Workshop and Riverpark Center in Owensboro, KY. She has worked in Educational Theatre for 14 years and enjoyed teaching every aspect of theatre while directing and finding avenues to continue acting. Her most recent directing credits include "All My Sons", "Pygmalion", "Othello", "Waiting for Godot", "Working: a musical", and "The Long Christmas Ride Home". Her favorite recent acting credits include "Rosa Hart" and "Maggie Dixon" in The Firsts by Carolyn Woosley, "Josie" in A Moon for the Misbegotten, "Sister Aloysius" in Doubt , and "Cornelia Scott" in Something Unspoken. In Educational Theatre she has directed over 30 productions and acted in many. Joy is greatly looking forward to a life filled with theatre, her great passion.
Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts; Coordinator of Theatre
Bryan Proksch, Music Theory; Musicology
Bryan Proksch is assistant professor of music at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he coordinates instruction in musicology, music theory, aural skills. His research centers on the reception and "revival" of Haydn's music in the early twentieth century, though he also works more generally on Viennese Classicism. He has also worked extensively on the history and repertoire of the trumpet. His essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Musicological Society (2011), the Journal of Musicological Research (2009), the Historic Brass Society Journal (2008 & 2011), the International Trumpet Guild Journal (2003, 2007, 2009, & 2011) and elsewhere. His entry on Herb Alpert will be placed in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians in the near future. He has spoken at symposia held by the Haydn Festspiele in Eisenstadt, Austria (2011), by the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna (2006), by York University in Toronto, Canada (2009) and at meetings of the American Musicological Society (2005 & 2008) and the Historic Brass Society (2008 & 2010). In 2007 he received grants from the Avenir Foundation and from McNeese for a month's residence at the Schönberg Center to study that composer's aesthetics and analytic techniques. In 2010 the Historic Brass Society gave him the Joe Utley Foundation Streitwieser Award for his ongoing work on trumpet history. His service includes working as the creator and editor of the International Trumpet Guild Journal's "Repertoire Corner" column, as the newsletter/website editor for the Historic Brass Society, and as the organist and music director at St. John's Lutheran Church in Lake Charles.
Assistant Professor of Music Theory; Musicology
William G. Rose, Low Brass
William G. Rose is presently Associate Professor of Music in the Department of Music at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA, starting his 28th year on faculty. He teaches the low brass studio, music theory, conducts the brass choir, and has served as Musical Director for music theater productions; he also holds the position of Coordinator of the Computer Music Lab and Assistant Department Head. He holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Michigan State University; his principal teachers are Leonhard Rose, Dr. Gerald Grose, Donald Haack, Curtis Olson and Philip Sinder.
He has served as principal trombone/euphonium with the Milwaukee Civic Orchestra, the Milwaukee County Music Under the Stars Orchestra, Concordia Chamber Orchestra, Present Music (Milwaukee, WI, with Artistic Director Kevin Stahlheim), as bass trombonist with Acadiana Symphony; and has performed on alto, tenor and bass trombone, euphonium, vocals and guitar with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Greater Lansing Symphony, and the Detroit Chamber Winds, among others. He has performed with many distinguished musicians including Les Elgart, Slide Hampton, and Skitch Henderson. He currently serves as principal trombonist with the Lake Charles Symphony and the Rapides Symphony, and plays lead trombone with the Lake Charles Jazz Band. He is also Music Director at St. Luke-Simpson United Methodist Church in Lake Charles.
Very active in professional organizations, he is chair of the International Trombone Association Press, and chairs the Instrumental Interest Area of the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts (FUMMWA - The Fellowship). He has presented clinics and performed at the International Trombone Festival (playing multiple times with the William Cramer Trombone Choir), the Big XII Trombone Conference, and has performed at the Eastern Trombone Workshop and the New York Brass Conference, as well as numerous state education conferences. As a composer and arranger, his catalog includes works for band, orchestra, jazz ensemble, choir, handbells and brass solos and ensembles; his publishers include GIA Music, Abingdon Press, Wayne Leupold Editions, Editions BIM, Warwick Music, TAP Music, Kagarice Brass Editions, Gulfwind Music Press, Treble C Music and Fred Bock Music. His composition Joli Blon for eight trombones was the Big XII Trombone Conference Trombone Choir Composition Contest Winner, and was premiered at the 2011 Big XII Trombone Conference in Lubbock, Texas. He has held the Henry Alexander Endowed Professorship in Music at McNeese State University, is a founding member of the LATEX trombone quartet and a Yamaha Performing Artist.
Associate Professor of Low Brass; Assistant Department Head; Coordinator of Technology
David Scott, Trumpet
David Scott, associate professor of music in trumpet, currently holds the Alexander Endowed Professorship in Music. He also served on the faculties of the University of Idaho and Kentucky State University. He received his education at DePauw University, University of Washington, University of Louisville, and the University of Texas. His principal teachers include Leon Rapier, Ray Crisara, Robert Grocock, and Roger Voisin.
Dave Scott has performed as a recitalist/clinician throughout the United States and with such orchestras as the Louisville Orchestra, Palm Beach Opera, Spokane Symphony, Lake Charles Symphony, and the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra, and an artist at the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Sewanee Summer Music Festival. He also is a Voting Member of the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammy Awards), a Yamaha Performing Artist, a Louisiana Touring Artist and a Louisiana Roster Artist.
Jan Fillmore Scott, Woodwinds
Jan Fillmore Scott is a founding member of PASTICHE chamber ensemble. Her recordings with Innova and Centaur Record labels have allowed audience s to hear the clarinet in a new exciting medium. She has performed as a recitalist/clinician throughout the United States and has performed with numerous orchestras including the Louisville Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra, Lake Charles Symphony, Rapides Symphony, Acadiana Symphony and the Symphony of Southeast Texas. Scott has been a performing artist/teacher at the prestigious Sewanee Summer Music Festival. Ms Scott has been an endowed professor of music at McNeese State University. Since 1990, Scott has taught clarinet/double reeds, woodwind techniques and music education at McNeese State University. She currently serves as Assistant Department Chair in the Department of Performing Arts and has recently been named a Pinnacle Award Winner for 2011 with her work on "Integrating Service Learning into the Beginning Woodwind Class". She is a Yamaha Performing Artist, a member of the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences where she votes for the Grammy's, a Louisiana Touring Artist, and she is on the Louisiana Artist Roster.
Assistant Professor of Woodwinds Studies; Assistant Department Head
Patrick Sheng, Director of Jazz Studies and Saxophone
Patrick Sheng is the Director of Jazz Studies and Assistant Professor of Saxophone at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. As an educator, he has taught jazz/saxophone courses at Clark College, Washington State University, and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Patrick received his Bachelors and Masters of Music from Washington State University, under the direction of saxophone greats Greg Yasinitsky, Horace Alexander Young, and David Hagelganz.
As a performer, Patrick has performed all over the world as a professional musician, and has played along jazz greats such as Arturo Sandoval, Wayne Wallace, Fareed Haque, Kevin Mahogany, Matt Finders, Mel Brown, Charlie Argersinger, Greg Yasinitsky, and many others. He has also performed with the Spokane Symphony Pops, Washington-Idaho Symphony, Portland's The Elite Band, Funk Dis, and has been featured on recordings and articles in Jazziz Magazine.
Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies & Saxophone
Bret Smithey, Vocal Arts
Dr. Bret Smithey, bass-baritone from Charlotte, North Carolina, made his Washington Symphony debut in Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony. He has sung with regional opera companies throughout the United States such as the Knoxville Opera, the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, the Natchez Opera Festival, Cartersville Opera, Princeton Opera, the National Opera Company, and the Brevard Music Festival.
Mr. Smithey has sung roles in such operas as Don Giovanni, Street Scene, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Cendrillon, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Consul, Midsummer Nights' Dream, Il Signor Bruschino, The Telephone, L'enfant et les Sortilieges, Orpheus in the Underworld, Il Barbier di Siviglia, La Bohéme, El Capitan, Le Nozze di Figaro, La Périchole, La Serva Padrona, Le Comte Ory, Carmen, Roméo et Juliet, and La Cenerentola. Notable roles include Colline, Bartolo, Raimondo, Balthazar, Magnifico, Figaro, Basilio, Benoit, Alcindoro, Commendatore, and Carl Olsen.
Mr. Smithey has also appeared with many symphonies including the Tallahassee Symphony, the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Symphony, the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, the Lake Charles Symphony and the Pensecola Symphony.
He has sung the bass solo in Bach's Cantata No. 61, the Fauré Requiem, the Duruflé Requiem, Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Mozart's Coronation Mass, and Handel's Messiah. This fall Mr. Smithey will collaborate with choreographer Libby Looney to create a performance art interpretation of Schubert's Winterreise. In February 2013 he will be singing the role of Happy in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West with the Knoxville Opera.
Mr. Smithey received his Bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir College and his Master of Music from the University of Tennessee. He acquired his doctoral degree with a concentration in opera performance from Florida State University. Of principal interest to Mr. Smithey are the works of Richard Wagner. His doctoral dissertation explored family relationships and conflicts as seen through Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Currently on the faculty at McNeese State University Dr. Smithey has also taught at the University of Tennessee, Pellissippi State and Murray State University. He also serves as Director of Music Ministries at First United Methodist Church of Lake Charles, conducting the Chancel Choir and the Asbury Ringers.
Dr. Smithey is represented professionally by Herbert Eckhoff Artist Management.
Assistant Professor of Vocal Arts
Eric Sylvester, Guitar
Eric Sylvester graduated Cum Laude in 1978 from McNeese State University with a B.A. in Music Theory. He then completed the one-year degree program in 1981 at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, California, studying with Howard Roberts, Don Mock, Les Wise, Joe Diorio, Robben Ford, and Ron Eschete, among others.
He has worked as a professional musician from 1968 to the present, performing at concerts, festivals, nightclubs, dances and parties, and on recordings as producer, engineer, arranger, composer, and studio musician. He appeared numerous times in college with the MSU Jazz band, and has performed with the Lake Charles, Rapides and Beaumont Symphony Orchestras, including a concert featuring jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, a production of "Oklahoma", the "Three Phantoms", and most recently the "Tribute to Motown" Summer Pops Concerts. He played in band and orchestra concerts featuring Bob Hope, Eddie Fisher, and Regis Philbin. His local bands have opened for Bob Seger, ZZ Top, Delbert McClinton, and the Association, and have backed Percy Sledge, Miss Molly, and Roscoe Chenier. He is currently performing in the bands Southbound and Josephine Unplugged.
Eric has taught privately since 1974 and is currently teaching full time at McNeese as an instructor with the title "Musician in Residence" after having taught 20 years as a Visiting Lecturer. Courses include beginning and intermediate rhythm, lead, and classical guitar, blues combo, jazz fusion combo, and applied music. He also teaches 25-30 students a week in his private studio. At least five former students are currently teaching guitar for a living after having earned music degrees form McNeese State University. He founded and served as director of the St. Louis Catholic High Show Choir for three years.
In the field of recording, Eric performed on the soundtrack and platinum soundtrack album for the motion picture "Rocky IV". He owns and operates a 24 track digital recording studio and has produced recordings by numerous local artists in various genres including blues, jazz, rock, pop, gospel, country, and Cajun. He has had original songs recorded by other artists, including Darol King, Roscoe Chenier, The Dowers Brothers, and Josephine and the Blues Thang, and has written, produced, and performed on jingles for Rikenjak's Brewpub.
Eric served on the formative committee for the Bayou Blues and Zydeco Festival until the discontinuation of the event. He has also performed at the festival several times with Josephine and the Blues Thang, Roscoe Chenier, and Miss Molly.
Musician in Residence; Guitar Studies
Christy Vogt-Corley, Piano/Piano Pedagogy, Coordinator of the Keyboard Area
Christy Vogt-Corley is Assistant Professor Piano/Piano Pedagogy and Coordinator of the Keyboard Area at McNeese State University. She also directs the piano preparatory program, an outreach to the community which provides teaching experiences for piano majors.
Dr. Vogt-Corley has given masterclasses and pedagogy workshops throughout the region on topics such as 20th Century Piano Literature for the Intermediate-Early Advanced Pianist, Getting Theory Off the Page, and Ideas for Teaching Creative Skills to Elementary Piano Students.
Actively involved in MTNA at the state and local levels, Dr. Vogt-Corley currently serves as President of the Lake Charles Piano Teachers Association and Collegiate Chapters Chair for the Louisiana Music Teachers Association.
Dr. Vogt-Corley received the DMA in Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Miami under Dr. Kenon Renfrow and the Masters in Music Education, Piano Pedagogy, from the University of Oklahoma under Dr. E.L. Lancaster and Dr. Jane Magrath.
Assistant Professor of Piano/Piano Pedagogy; Coordinator of Piano Studies