Meet the Music Faculty

 

Dr. Berwin

Dr. Barb Berwin

Dr. Barb Berwin is a Professor of Music at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri, where she teaches World Drumming, Aural Skills, Keyboard Techniques, Applied Piano, and Take Flight (Freshman orientation). She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music and Religion from Dana College in Blair, Nebraska; a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln; and a PHD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Dr. Berwin serves as organist at Calvary Episcopal Church in Columbia, Missouri.

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Dr. DillDr. Patrick Dill

Dr. Patrick Dill is the director of choral activities and assistant professor of choral music education at Central Methodist University, where he directs the Chorale and Conservatory Singers and teaches music education courses. Previously, he served as director of choral activities and coordinator of choral music education at Carroll University (WI) and as the associate director of choral activities and assistant professor of voice at Northwestern State University of Louisiana.  Dr. Dill has extensive experience conducting church and community choirs, most recently as the director of music at First Congregational Church in Wauwatosa (WI) and as the artistic director of Our Voice Milwaukee Men’s Chorus.  Dr. Dill is also a countertenor and founding member of Milwaukee-based early music ensemble, Vox Antiqua , and made his solo debut with the Austin Baroque Orchestra in January 2015.   

Dr. Dill began his career as the assistant choir director at Alief Hastings High School in Houston, Texas.  Two years later, he joined the fine arts faculty at Anderson High School in Austin as director of choirs and coordinator of AP music theory & International Baccalaureate music. During his tenure at Anderson, choirs under his direction performed at the 2004 and 2008 ACDA Southwest division conventions and the 2007 Music Educators National Conference (MENC) Southwest Symposium.  In 2005, he was awarded the Silver Apple Award for excellence in teaching by the CBS affiliate in Austin, KEYE News.  Additionally, he conducted the NSU Lyric Women’s Chorus in their first ever performance as an auditioned choir at the Louisiana state conference of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) in October 2014.

With an active schedule as a clinician and adjudicator, Dr. Dill has presented interest sessions at the Texas Music Educators Association, Louisiana-ACDA, Wisconsin Choral Directors Association, and Southwest MENC conventions and is a sought-after honor choir conductor.  His research in the area of historical choral pedagogy has been presented at the Benjamin Britten at 100: An American Centenary Symposium in November 2013 and the Music of the Americas Choral Symposium in May 2013.  Dr. Dill was the recipient of the Prince Endowed Professorship in Choral & Vocal Music and also the Mildred Hart Bailey Outstanding Faculty Research Award during his time at NSU.  As a composer and arranger, Dr. Dill is currently working on several commissions, and his first published work, Praise to the Lord was released by Choristers Guild in Fall 2013.  

He holds a doctoral degree in choral conducting with a related field in voice performance from the University of North Texas, a master’s degree in choral conducting from Westminster Choir College, and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Millikin University.  Dr. Dill has studied choral conducting with Brad Holmes, Andrew Megill, Joe Miller, Jerry McCoy, and Richard Sparks.

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Johns-Headshot-2.jpgProf. Amy Johns

Soprano Amy Johns has performed roles such as Laurie in Oklahoma!, Anna in The Consul, Madame Thénardier in Les Mis, Mrs. Harcourt in Anything Goes (Maples Summer Rep) and joined the ensembles in productions such as The Corps of Discovery, Grease, The Sound of Music, Godspell, Suor Angelica, and Die Fledermaus. Ms. Johns has also been engaged as a soloist on many occasions, performing the soprano solo in Haydn’sLittle Organ Mass during a tour of Austria and most recently was a guest soloist for the Midwest premier of Considering Matthew Shepherd.

Ms. Johns has an avid interest in vocal pedagogy and is active in conferences, workshops, and professional organizations related to the field, such as the National Association of Teachers of Singing, where she is currently serving as President of the Mid-Missouri NATS chapter. Over the years, students of Ms. Johns have consistently placed in national competitions in classical, musical theater, and spiritual categories, garnered acceptance into and roles in young artist programs such as the Chicago Lyric Summer Opera program and Opera in the Ozarks and been accepted to prestigious graduate schools.

She received both her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music and Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from University of Missouri – Columbia, studying with renowned teachers Ann Harrell and Costanza Cuccaro. Currently, Ms. Johns serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Central Methodist University where she teaches applied voice lessons along with other voice-related courses. Previously, she served as Instructor of Music at Columbia College and has also spent time teaching as an adjunct faculty at Stephens College and Moberly Area Community College. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog and cross-stitching.

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Dr. John Perkins

Dr. John D. Perkins teaches applied trumpet and horn, brass pedagogy, music history, and coaches brass ensembles. Perkins' CMU applied students have won the State Competitions of the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Brass and the Missouri Music Teachers Association Upper and Lower Brass Division competitions. His students are frequent soloists with the CMU Concert Band, and his brass ensembles have performed repeatedly on band concerts and tours. Under his direction, the CMU Trumpet Ensemble was selected and performed at the 2014 International Trumpet Guild Conference at King of Prussia, PA. Adjudicating frequently at MSHSAA solo and ensemble contests, Perkins enjoys working with younger brass players. He organizes and directs the high school trumpet clinics for the biennial CMU Invitational Brass Conference, and offers trumpet lessons and high brass sessions to middle and high school students.

Perkins has held trumpet positions and performed with a multitude of orchestras, most recently the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, Odyssey Chamber Music Series Orchestra, and Columbia Civic Orchestra. He has been a member of/performed with the 9th Street Philharmonic, Missouri Contemporary Ballet Orchestra, Abilene Philharmonic, Johnstown Symphony, York Symphony, Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra, Mid-Texas Symphony, Austin Handel/Haydn Society Orchestra, Kerrville Symphony, St. Cloud Symphony, and the Heartland Symphony. He held the principal trumpet position with the Shippensburg Festival Symphony Orchestra for fifteen years, as well as two seasons with the San Angelo Symphony. He performed several works as world or U.S. premieres with various ensembles.

Regionally in mid-Missouri, Perkins has played lead trumpet in over forty musical productions, including the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, CMU’s Little Theatre, MU’s Summer Rep Theatre, Stephens College, William Woods University, and Video Games Live. Chamber ensembles include the Big Bang Brass, Southside Philharmonic Champion Brass, Odyssey Chamber Music Series, Missouri Consortium Brass, Cumberland Valley Chamber Players, Icehouse Brass, Summit Brass, and several brass quintets and ensembles. He has performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conference and has over fifteen recording reviews articles published in the ITG Journal.

Perkins has made several solo appearances, some of which include the CMU Concert Band, Karl King Band, Marshall Philharmonic, Hagerstown Municipal Band, Grand Sousa Festival Band, Angelo State University Wind Ensemble, Shippensburg University Concert Band, and the St. Cloud State University Concert/Chamber Band. He has played the National Anthem at minor league baseball games, including the Harrisburg Senators, Frederick Keys, and the Hagerstown Suns. He frequently enhances church services through his playing. His primary teachers include Raymond Crisara, John Aley, Albert Moore, and he studied briefly with Frank Kaderabek and Don Jacoby.

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Jonathan-Ray-Headshot.jpgDr. Jonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Central Methodist University, where he teaches Applied Voice, directs Opera Workshop, and conducts the musical theater productions. Hailed for his "very rich, full tenor" (Broadway World), Dr. Ray has performed with such companies as Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, Heartland Opera Theatre, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The Missouri Symphony, Opera in the Rock, The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Opera, Lawrence Opera Theatre, Opera in the Ozarks, Greensboro Opera, and Greensboro Light Opera and Song.

Dr. Ray received the Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting from Louisiana State University where he studied with tenor Robert Grayson and coached with renowned vocal pedagogue Loraine Sims and Metropolitan Opera tenor Paul Groves. He received his Master of Music in Vocal Performance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he studied with Carla LeFevre. He earned his Bachelor of Vocal and Instrumental Music Education from Arkansas Tech University where he studied with Jon Clements and Arlene Biebesheimer and his major instruments were voice and tuba. In 2019, Dr. Ray completed his apprenticeship as the tenor Apprentice Artist with The Lyric Opera of Kansas City where he continued his vocal studies with tenor Vinson Cole.

Known for his "stamina and unrelenting concentration, as well as his lovely singing" (Arktimes), some of Dr. Ray’s operatic highlights include Roméo (Roméo et Juliette), Alfredo (La Traviata), Belfiore (La finta giardiniera), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Lindoro (L’Italiana in Algeri), Ramiro (La Cenerentola), Benedict (Béatrice et Bénédict), Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Belmonte (The Abduction from the Seraglio), Tamino (The Magic Flute), Basilio (Le Nozze di Figaro), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), and the title roles in Albert Herring and Candide, as well as the principal tenor roles in the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas The Gondoliers,The Pirates of Penzance, and Trial by Jury. A lover of musical theater, Dr. Ray has performed leading and supporting roles in She Loves Me, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, West Side Story, Newsies, Into the Woods, Amazing Grace,Hairspray, Sweeney Todd, Assassins, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, South Pacific, and A Little Night Music. Dr. Ray is also an active recitalist, performing such song cycles as Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte, Finzi’s A Young Man’s Exhortation, Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Philip Glass’s Songs from Liquid Days, and several cycles by Benjamin Britten including Les Illuminations, Canticles I, II, and III, Winter Words,On This Island, and Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, as well as many of his folksongs. Some of his concert work includes the tenor solos in Carmina Burana, Stravinsky’s Cantata,Bach BWV 148, and Mozart’s Requiem in D minor and Great Mass in C minor.

Dr. Ray has served on the voice faculties for Northwest Missouri State University, Johnson County Community College, and Music/Arts Institute. He has also served as a church musician for many years, most recently as the vocal music director for Avondale United Methodist Church in North Kansas City, where he directed the chancel and bell choirs. Currently, Dr. Ray serves as the Traditional Music Director at First Baptist Church in Columbia. Voice students of Dr. Ray have earned top prizes in various categories at NATS, as well as other nationally recognized vocal competitions, and his students have been seen performing throughout the Midwest and beyond. He currently serves on the board for Mid-Missouri NATS. 

Dr. Ray is also Co-Founding Artistic Director for Landlocked Opera, Inc. Their full-length opera productions include Trial by Jury, Beatrice and Benedict, The Old Maid and the Thief, and The Magic Flute, which Dr. Ray had the privilege to direct. Recently, Landlocked Opera produced Kirke Mechem’s operatic rendition of Moliere’s Tartuffe in collaboration with the Kansas City Moliere Festival in commemoration of Moliere’s 400th birthday.

When he is not performing or teaching, Dr. Ray enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife Christina, their wonderful daughter Lucy, and their cats Churro and Gravy.

Dr. Jonathan Ray Tenor landlocked opera inc. email

 

Simons-Headshot.jpegDr. Melissa Loehnig Simons

Active as a solo pianist, chamber musician and collaborative performer, Dr. Melissa Loehnig Simons is currently on faculty as Associate Professor of Music in Piano and Theory at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri. She spent five summers employed as a staff pianist at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. She now spends her summers as a part of the piano faculty for the Red Lodge Music Festival, held in Red Lodge, Montana. During the summers while pursuing her degrees, she was chosen from a national field of applicants for the Opera Theatre Music Festival of Lucca (Italy), the Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, and for the highly competitive Songfest Program in Malibu, California. Dr. Simons has performed throughout the United States, including recently with Choral Arts, a semi-professional chorus based in Seattle, with whom she performed the world premiere of William Averitt’s The Dream Keeper, for chorus and piano four hands. Dr. Simons has performed as a guest artist for the Spokane Steinway Gallery, Eastern Oregon University, Anderson University, Clarke University, and the El Paso Summer Music Festival. She has also been invited to do guest artist work with the University of Washington Chamber Singers and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory Singers. She is featured on two recently released CD recordings: Chimera produced by Albany Records and Mornings Like This produced by the Gothic Recording Label. Dr. Simons has had the honor of working with such musicians as Rachel Barton Pine, Warren Jones, Martin Katz, Graham Johnson, Barbara Bonney, Christa Ludwig, Stephanie Blythe, Margo Garrett, Jake Heggie, and many others. Dr. Simons received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance, graduating with honors from Whitman College. She also holds a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano from Florida State University and has completed her Doctor of Music degree in Piano Performance with a focus on collaborative piano from the same institution.

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Prof. VandelichtProf. Roy D. "Skip" Vandelicht

Skip Vandelicht is an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of Bands at Central Methodist University. He was appointed in 2008 after teaching for 31 years in the Fayette R-III School District. Skip received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Methodist College (University) in 1977, and a Master of Education degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1984. The Fayette High School Band earned numerous honors and awards, including playing for the Missouri Music Educators Association Convention four times, under his leadership. Besides his tenure at Fayette, Prof. Vandelicht also served as Adjunct Marching Band Director at CMU from 1983-1995. A native of Fulton, Missouri, he served from 1992-1994 as Chairman of the Missouri All-State Band for the Missouri Bandmasters Association and from 1994-1996 as President of MBA. Prof. Vandelicht is an instrumental music adjudicator trainer for Missouri State High School Activities Association as well as a member of the MSHSAA Prescribed Graded Music List and Sight Reading Committees. Skip also served MMEA Band Vice-President from 2008 – 2010 and College/University Vice-President from 2014-2016. Prof. Vandelicht received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Central Methodist in 1990, the Bandworld Legion of Honor Award in 2004, and the National Federation of High School Activities “Music Educator of the Year Award for Missouri 2008”. Skip was inducted into the Missouri Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame in 2013, received a Gold Chalk Award for excellence in teaching from CMU in 2013 and the Carolyn and Tad Perry Fellow Award from CMU in 2014. Skip was inducted into the Missouri Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in January 2020. Prof. Vandelicht is an active clinician, adjudicator and conductor for bands in Missouri and surrounding states. Skip and his wife Melody reside in Fayette and have two children and five grand children.

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Dr. WaggonerDr. Dori Waggoner

Dr. Dori Waggoner serves as Dean of the Swinney Conservatory of Music and chair of the Fine Arts Division. In addition to administering the division, she enjoys teaching theory courses and mentoring freshmen in the First Year Experience program. Prior to seeking an advanced degree, Dori spent several years directing bands in the public schools of Missouri. Her students experienced success performing solos and chamber works at both the district and state levels. Concurrently, her bands earned numerous superior ratings and were consistently awarded top honors in a variety of music festivals. She remains active as a clinician, presenter, and conductor. Dori has presented music education research and practitioners’ clinics at the conferences of the National Association for Music Educators, the Missouri Music Educators Association, the Missouri Bandmasters Association, the Kansas Music Educators Association, and the Kansas Bandmasters Association. Her research interests include error detection skills and pre-service music teacher training. She has been published in both the Journal for Research in Music Education and The Instrumentalist.

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Dr. Lucas Willsie

Praised for his “accentuated juxtaposition of lyrical lines and passage work” (The Clarinet Online), Lucas Willsie continues to make a name for himself as a soloist and pedagogue. Currently, Dr. Willsie teaches applied clarinet and bassoon and serves as the Fine Arts Coordinator at Central Methodist University’s Swinney Conservatory of Music in Fayette, MO. He completed his DMA in clarinet performance at the University of North Texas where he taught Woodwind Methods for undergraduate music education students. He has performed as a soloist across North America and Europe. Lucas has performed with the North Texas Symphony Orchestra and can be heard on several recordings as a member of the North Texas Wind Symphony including a recording of Gernot Wolfgang’s Three Short Stories as bass clarinet soloist. Lucas is a member of the Hijinx Clarinet Quartet which regularly performs around the United States with the goal of bringing a hybrid of musical experiences to diverse audiences using traditional chamber music, new compositions, multimedia, and more! He has performed with the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, the Sherman Symphony Orchestra, the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, and Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra. He also performed William Bolcom’s Concerto for Clarinet with the Truman State University Symphony Orchestra as a winner of the Gold Medal Concerto Competition. Lucas also holds a master's degree in clarinet performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he was a Graduate Teaching Assistant, and bachelor's degrees in music education and clarinet performance from Truman State University. His primary teachers include Dr. Kimberly Cole Luevano, Dr. Diane Barger, and Dr. Jesse Krebs.

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Witter-Faculty-Photo-Fall-2022.jpgDirector of Music Ministry, Assistant Professor of Music

Dr. David Witter

Dr. David James Witter is a composer, instrumentalist, and educator active in jazz, rock, and new music scenes in Kansas City and Columbia, MO, and he holds a DMA in Music Composition from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. His award-winning music has been performed across the country, and has been recorded by several industry luminaries, including NYC chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound. More recently his activities have included earning prizes and commissions from the Mnemosyne Quartet and the UMKC Wind Symphony. In addition to spending time performing traditional and contemporary praise and worship music at the Crossing and Woodcrest churches in Columbia, and at First Christian and Concord Baptist Churches in Jefferson City, he keeps busy playing electroacoustic trombone and performing conducted improvisation works with various KC ensembles. Dr. Witter is excited by the possibilities for modern praise music in the worship experience. He is blessed to run a program at CMU that is close to one-of-a-kind, in its aim of producing professional contemporary music ministry practitioners, with hearts towards creating meaningful worship through their music. He lives in Columbia with his two kids, Owen and Olivia, and their beagle hound Francesco.

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Adjunct Faculty

 

fragistakos.jpgDr. Alexandros Fragiskatos

Dr. Alexandros Fragiskatos teaches percussion at Central Methodist University. Having developed a passion for contemporary music while studying with the renowned Percussion Group Cincinnati during his undergraduate years, Alex has commissioned and premiered new works in a variety of settings by composers such as Stuart Saunders Smith, Peter Garland, and Tom DeLio. His diverse musical training has led him to performances across Europe, including a 2018 televised solo percussion recital in Athens, Greece and a 2016 tour of Switzerland with the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, collaborating with, and performing new works by, several Swiss and German composers. In the U.S, he has performed at The Noble Snare 25th Anniversary Festival in Akron, Ohio and the Southwest Electronic Music Festival in Phoenix, Arizona in 2017 and the Percussive Arts Society International Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2013. As an orchestral musician, he has performed with the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Missouri Symphony, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Tuscarawas Philharmonic, and the West Valley Symphony. Alex also has extensive experience playing drum set and percussion for musical theater productions.

Alex has been playing steel pan (steel drum) for over fifteen years. As a member of the Grammy-nominated steel band at the University of Akron, he developed a deep appreciation for the instrument and its cultural importance within its birthplace, Trinidad and Tobago. Alex has studied, collaborated, and performed with virtuosos in the field like Cliff Alexis, Ray Holman, Liam Teague, Tom Miller, and Victor Provost. Many of Alex’s steel band arrangements are published and have been performed across the U.S. and internationally. He has been invited to serve as guest artist and lecturer at several institutions including Pacific Lutheran University, the University of Missouri, and Phoenix College. In 2018, he gave a steel pan masterclass and performance in Athens, Greece. Alex’s accomplishments in steel pan have been recognized in ASU’s State Press and by the U.S.-based Steel Pan Collective, in the form of a feature profile.

In the past, Alex has taught at Missouri Valley College, Grand Canyon University, and for the Maricopa Community College District in Phoenix, Arizona. Alex holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music performance from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Akron, respectively. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University, where he also obtained a certificate in music theory pedagogy. For more information and videos of performances, visit

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Prof. Jonelle (Jonie) Loehnig

Jonie began her formal music studies with a church BME music degree from Baker University where her major instrument of study was organ. After Master studies at Eden Seminary, she served in pastoral ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for 25 years. She is an Adjunct Professor of Organ and Accompanist for Central Methodist University, Fayette, Missouri and accompanist for brass at University of Missouri, Columbia. She is Director of Music for St. Peter’s UCC, New Haven, Missouri. Internships were with composer musician, Austin Lovelace and Schudi Pipe Organs, Dallas, TX. She has extensive experiences in church music and organ concerts.

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Lisa ThillProf. Lisa Thill

As a Freelance Performing Artist and Studio Instructor, Lisa Thill Franck has been kicking it in Columbia, Missouri since 1993. Not only does she play standard flute and piccolo, she is also accomplished on 17th Century Traverso (the Baroque Era flute). Ms. Thill established the LTF Flute Studio and has maintained 35 to 55 students in Columbia since she finished her Masters degree in 1995.Prof. Thill joined the team at CMU in 2015 as Adjunct Professor of Flute.

Her musical collaborations include:

  • 1996-present flutist for Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Columbia, MO
  • 1997-2006 flutist for Our Lady of Lourdes in Columbia, MO
  • June 1998 flutist for the Carlos Gomez Orchestra in Belém, Pará, BrazilIntermittently substitute flute/piccolo for Missouri Symphony
  • 1999-2018 Thilman Duo with cellist Mary Manulik
  • 2007-2012 Lirali Trio with violinist Lisbeth Yasuda and pianist Rachel AuBuchon
  • 2010-present Totally Franck with guitarist Gordon Franck and vocalist Teeney Franck
  • 2012-present Lira Duo with pianist Rachel AuBuchon
  • 2013-2015 Lisa & Flute Kings with flutists Steven Geibel and Michael White
  • 2014-2017 White Chocolate with jazz pianist Nancy Geibel

Inspired by Electric Flutist, Melissa Keeling in 2018, Lisa took up amplified flute and now uses loop machines. As a soloist Thill uses a Boss VE20 effects box with a Silver Bullet microphone and Roland Micro Cube amplifier. In collaboration with Totally Franck she uses the Boss RC300 Loop Station.

In her quest to become the Full Spectrum Flutist, Thill now uses the Glissando Headjoint for her jazz improv. In 2018 she started taking Extended Techniques for flute more seriously including beat boxing. Also at that time she finally made a commitment to learning how to Circular Breathe!

Lisa Thill Franck’s formal flute instructors include Marsha Neher and Beth Jensen of Wenatchee, Washington. She earned her Bachelor degree with Hal Ott at Central Washington University (1988-92) and her Masters at MIZZOU with Steven Geibel (1993-95). The aforementioned teachers provided masterclass experiences with Louis Moyse, John Barcellona, Web and Gail Coffee, Felix Schoronek, Roger Martin, Richard Hahn and Sandra Schoebel during her formative years.

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Christina-Ray-Headshot.jpgProf. Christina Ray

Praised for her "velvety mezzo" (OperaWire), Christina Ray is equally at home on the operatic, concert, and musical theatre stages. Recent roles include Mrs. Splinters in Aaron Copland's The Tender Land and Ms. Lark in Mary Poppins with Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Béatrice in Béatrice et Bénédict, with Landlocked Opera, Ramiro in Mozart's La finta giardiniera, Hänsel from Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel, and Maman/la tasse Chinoise/la libellule in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges. 

Ms. Ray is the Founding General Director of boutique opera company, Landlocked Opera. Landlocked Opera is committed to serving the Missouri community with quality performances and serving area artists with quality opportunities. Believing strongly in breaking down the barriers and opera stereotypes, our motto is "Opera for All."

Ms. Ray made her professional debut with Lyric Opera of Kansas City as a chorister in their 2018 season. She has also sung professionally with Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre. In 2016 she was a recipient of an Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, in the Little Rock, AR district. 

Ms. Ray completed an Artist Certificate with Dr. Aidan Soder at UMKC, her Master of Music in Vocal Performance with Dr. Lori Bade at Louisiana State University, and her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from The University of Missouri with Ann Harrell

Ms. Ray maintains a highly successful private voice studio, including students of all ages and experience. Many of her students have placed in national competitions, been accepted to top undergraduate and graduate vocal music programs, and performed leading roles on the opera and musical theatre stages.

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Dr. RobuckDr. Alison Robuck

Dr. Alison Robuck, oboist, teaches at Central Methodist University and for the Missouri Symphony Conservatory, and she performs with the Odyssey Chamber Music Series. She has performed as a member and a soloist for the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, the Heartland Festival Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, the Peoria Bach Festival, and the Baroque Artists of Champaign. She has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Evansville Symphony Orchestra, and with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. As oboe faculty for Ameropa, she has performed solo and chamber concerts in many locations in Prague including several in the Prague Castle, the Brevnov Monastery and in the Rudolfinum's Dvořák Hall. She was selected to attend the Sarasota Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, Texas Music Festival and the Bowdoin Music Festival. She studied oboe with Dr. Nancy Ambrose King, Robert Atherholt, and Dan Willett.

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