Faculty and Staff
Office Location: Rockville Campus, TA 124
BiographyAlvin Trask earned a Bachelor of Music from Louisiana State University and a Master of Music from Howard University. Prof. Trask is currently Department Chair of the Performing Arts at Montgomery College. Previously, he chaired the Performing Arts Department at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School, where he also taught music theory and composition and conducted the full spectrum of bands: symphonic, jazz, and pep, as well as ensembles and chamber orchestras. He was also Adjunct Professor of Music at Trinity College, Associate Conductor for the Pan American Symphony Big Band, and Jazz Instructor at Georgetown Preparatory School.
Office Location: Rockville Campus, MU 207
BiographyMohawk composer, cellist, vocalist, educator, and Grammy-nominated performer Dawn Avery has worked with musical luminaries from Luciano Pavarotti to Sting. She spent years honing her musical talents, collaborating, and performing in all genres of music and working with John Cale, John Cage, Sussan Deyhim, Ustad Sultan Kahn, Mischa Maisky, R. Carlos Nakai, and Joanne Shenandoah. Dawn Avery has performed at the Montreux, Copenhagen, Helsinki, and Banlieu Bleu jazz festivals in Europe. She’s played uptown at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as in New York’s thriving downtown music stages like the Knitting Factory and La Mama. Recently establishing herself in the D.C. metropolitan area, Dawn Avery has performed at the Kennedy Center and this is her third season as part of the Smithsonian’s Classical Native Program. She specializes in the performance of contemporary Native American music with her own ensemble OKENTI and as a soloist as part of the NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN CELLO PROJECT. As an educator, she helps to nurture future generations of musicians as Professor of Music at Montgomery College, where she has produced an annual World Arts Festival now in its seventh year. Her compositions span from orchestral to chamber. She has collected awards for her works from the American Dance Festival at Duke University, New York University, Meet the Composer, the Maryland Flute Association and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County in Maryland, the Ford Foundation, and the First Nations Composer Initiative, which is part of the American Composers Forum. Her music can be heard on a new film released by Rich Heape Films, entitled Our Spirits Don't Speak English: Indian Boarding Schools, which was selected as the feature film at this year’s NAMA (Native American Music Awards). Dawn Avery was recently elected to the board of the national organization American Composers Forum -- First Nations Composer Initiative. She is currently a doctoral student in the ethnomusicology department at the University of Maryland.”
Office Location: Rockville Campus, MU 104
BiographyJustin Boyer (b.1978) is a composer, pianist, organist, and teacher in the Rockville/Bethesda area. Born and raised in western Maryland, Prof. Boyer began composing and playing piano at age 9, coming under the tutelage of Dr. Clair Johanssen, a local organist and composer. In 1995, Prof. Boyer entered the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, majoring in composition and earning several awards and commendations while studying with Mr. Moshe Cotel. Upon receiving a master's degree in 2000, Prof. Boyer became organist and music director at St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baltimore (later, from 2008-2010, he was organist at Trinity Lutheran in Bethesda). Beginning in 2002, he taught theory and composition at the Peabody Conservatory. In 2007, Prof. Boyer became professor of music theory and composition at Montgomery College in Rockville. In his music, whether composed or improvised, Boyer strives for a fluent and consistent blending of various styles and techniques. He believes that a composer should master many musical languages, yet never be too self-conscious of using them - in other words, fluency is liberation from technique. As a teacher, Prof. Boyer strives to instill this musical fluency in his students so that they may come to a deeper understanding of the building blocks of music. Courses taught: Music Theory 2, 3, 4; Ear Training/Sight Singing 2, 3, 4; weekday mornings. Boyer is also available to teach applied composition students for credit.
Office Location: Rockville Campus, MU 204
Pianist Jay Crowder holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland; a Master of Music from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; and a Bachelor of Music from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Dr. Crowder has held teaching positions at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Levine School of Music in Washington D.C., and Hochstein School of Music in Rochester, New York. He is currently the chair of the Department of Music.
Winner of many piano competitions including the Music Teachers National Association Piano Competition and the National Federation of Music Clubs Piano Competition, Dr. Crowder has recently performed for the District of Columbia Federation of Music Clubs, the Levine School of Music, the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in D.C., the Arkansas Federation of Music Clubs State Convention, the National Society of Arts and Letters, Vermont Public Radio, the Adamant School of Music, the Kennedy Center Open House, the Washington D.C. Mayor’s Awards, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, the Dacor Bacon House-Cloyce K. Huston Musicales, the Washington Arts Club, KLRE - National Public Radio, the Maryland Handel Festival, and the Northwestern University Alumni Recital Series.
Musical direction at Montgomery College includes You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; A Grand Night for Singing; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; A Year With Frog and Toad; Urinetown; Little Shop of Horrors; Showtune; Oliver; Footloose; The World Goes ’Round; Working; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Hair; Once On This Island; The Fantasticks; Into the Woods; Big River; Guys and Dolls; and Jesus Christ, Superstar. Dr. Crowder serves as the music director of Overtures, a summer training program for young musical theater actors sponsored by Signature Theater and held at the Kennedy Center.
Musical TheatreMusic Director for Musical Theater and Television at The Kennedy Center: 2009 Kennedy Center Honors, Young Frankenstein, Mary Poppins, The Color Purple; Ragtime; Legally Blonde; 2008 Kennedy Center Honors; Broadway: The 3 Generations Concert;and The Lion King. Musical Direction: Urinetown (2006 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Musical Direction); Hedwig and the Angry Itch; A Christmas Carol Rag; and Side Show (2001 Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Musical Direction) at Signature Theatre; The Civil War at Ford's Theatre; Goodnight Moon at Atlas/Adventure Theatre; A Year With Frog and Toad at Roundhouse Theatre; A New Brain at Studio Theatre; Starting Here, Starting Now at Metro Stage; Twice Upon a Time at Imagination Stage; and Schoolhouse Rock at Break a Leg Theatre. Associate Musical Direction: Mame; Company; and Passion at The Kennedy Center. Keyboard for National Tours: My Fair Lady; Martin Guerre; James Joyce's The Dead; Bounce; The Producers; The Phantom of the Opera; The Paul Taylor Dance Company; and the Dance Theater of Harlem at The Kennedy Center; and Mamma Mia at National Theatre. Cabaret: The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, The Smithsonian, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Source Theatre, Metro Stage, and the Corcoran Gallery Series. Musical Arranging: Marvin Hamlisch’s Halloween Bash, dance arrangements for Marvin Hamlisch's concert at The Kennedy Center, conducted by Marvin Hamlisch;Christmas Carol Rag at Signature Theatre; Twice Upon a Time at Imagination Stage; and Goodnight Moon at Atlas/Adventure Theatre.
Office Location: Rockville Campus, MU 205
Mezzo-soprano Molly Donnelly has sung in many of the major concert halls in New York, Paris, Berlin, London, and Washington, D.C., including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Boetcher Concert Hall, The Barbican, and the Meyerhoff Hall. She has performed as a soloist with Musica Sacra, The Oratorio Society of New York, The Minnesota Orchestra, The National Symphony, The Baltimore Symphony, The Berlin Philharmonic, The Bethlehem Bach Festival, The Washington Bach Society, The Cathedral Choral Society, The Maryland Handel Festival, The Maryland Chorus, The Washington Opera, The Cincinnati Opera, The Oratorio Society of Washington, The Masterworks Chorus, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, The Denver Symphony, The Boulder Philharmonic, The Ohio Light Opera, The Washington Savoyards, and many other notable ensembles. Dr. Donnelly is a Fulbright Scholar and holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland, a Master of Music from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Colorado. As a scholar, Dr. Donnelly is the author of the article on the 18th-century singer, Susannah Cibber, in the Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
As Tolomeo, in the premiere of the North American production of Handel's opera Tolomeo, Andrew Porter, reviewing for The New Yorker wrote: "Her voice has character--an elusive quality, God-given, not acquirable, that makes people listen. Her countenance is clear and candid, her presence lithe and honest, her expressiveness sterling."
Dr. Donnelly has been a member of the music faculty at Baldwin Music in Cincinnati, Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, and George Mason University. She has taught at Montgomery College since 1997, where she teaches voice and directs the Chamber Singers and the College Chorus. She is an active adjudicator serving the National Association of Teachers of Singing, The National Symphony Young Artists Award, The Friday Morning Music Club Awards, and MCPS choral festivals. Dr. Donnelly is the co-director of the annual National Philharmonic Chorale's Summer Choral Institute held at Montgomery College and is the vocal consultant for the National Philharmonic Chorale.
Office Location: Rockville Campus, MU 105
BiographyWard Harris is an enthusiastic and talented musician and educator whose classes are popular with the students at Montgomery College. He has an extensive background in classical, pop/rock, and jazz music, both as a performer and teacher. Prof. Harris earned his bachelor’s degree in general studies at the University of Maryland and his master’s degree in music theory at The George Washington University. In addition, he studied harmony and counterpoint at the Royal Guild Hall in London. He has studied theory and composition with Leo Kraft and Robert Parris. Prof. Harris has served as the principal double bassist with the Prince George’s Philharmonic and the Prince George’s Symphony. He has also played bass with a variety of recording artists, such as Shirley Jones, Maureen McGovern, Toni Tenille, Leslie Gore, Pat Boone, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, and Martha and the Vandellas. Prof. Harris was the conductor of the Montgomery College Jazz Ensemble from 2000 through 2005. He performs regularly in the Washington area with the hard bop jazz quintet, The Big Beat. Prof. Harris has been a member of the Montgomery College Department of Music faculty since 1989. He has also served on the faculty at The George Washington University, American University, and Howard Community College. He earned outstanding faculty awards at American University and Howard Community College. At Montgomery College, he has taught classes in American popular music, the history of jazz, and survey courses in music literature.
Office Location: Rockville Campus, TA 132
R. Scott Hengen (Technical Theatre Professor/Production Coordinator) earned an MFA in Theatre with an emphasis in Scenic Design from the University of Maryland, College Park. Before earning the MFA, he taught technical theatre at Suitland High School, the Prince George’s County Magnet High School for the Performing Arts. He earned a BS in Secondary Education and a BA in Theatre with a minor in Shakespeare from the Penn State University. Professor Hengen serves as Production Coordinator and archivist for the Theatre Department at Montgomery College (MC). He designs scenery, properties, and projections for Montgomery College. He has created scenic designs professionally for Catholic University (City of Angels), Quotidian Theatre (Maytag Virgin), Carroll Community College (Into the Woods), Forum Theatre/ Next Stop Theatre (Gidion’s Knot). He is also a member of the Maryland Area Community College Performing Arts Collective (MACCPAC), the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) – Chesapeake Section.
Office Location: Rockville Campus, MU 106
BiographyJeff Mangels (b. 1969) has composed music in a variety of genres, including a piano concerto, works for orchestra, winds, brass, strings, percussion, piano, voice, chorus, guitar, and electronics. His music has been performed in the United States and Europe by various ensembles and performers, including the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, The Covington String Quartet, The Chamber Ensemble at the Conductor’s Institute of South Carolina, The James Madison Chorale and Chamber Orchestra, The Montgomery College Symphony, and several chamber groups and soloists at various universities. In addition, his works have been read by the New River Valley Symphony and The James Madison Orchestra. Dr. Mangels has been recognized for distinction in composition by noted composers including Lowell Liebermann and Chen Yi. He holds the D.M.A. in composition from The University of South Carolina, the M.M. in composition from James Madison University, and the B.A. in music theory and composition from Virginia Tech.
Office Location: Rockville Campus, TA 130
KenYatta Rogers, an alum of Clark Atlanta University and the University of Pittsburgh, serves as collegewide coordinator for the Theatre Discipline at Montgomery College as well as producer and director for several co-curricular programs such as the collegewide Shakespeare Festival, the annual Poetry Slam, Power Plays (lecture and workshop series), and the College Performing Arts Series. He was named the 2014 Maryland Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and in 2015 he was a WRC-TV NBC 4 Black History Month Honoree. Mr. Rogers has produced several community-based arts programs and has served on numerous grants panels and theatre panel discussions concerning equity, diversity, and inclusion in local and national arts programming.
Mr. Rogers has directed for Mosaic Theatre, Everyman Theatre - Community CompanyAlly Theatre, New Galaxy Theatre, InSeries, Tribute Productions, African Continuum Theatre, Touchstone Theatre, and Young Playwrights’ Theatre. Mr. Rogers college directing credits include Our National Museum of the Unforeseen Tragedy, MR. BURNS; a post-electric play, Conference of the Birds, The Untouchables, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mr. Marmalade, Heaven, ANTHEMS: Culture Clash in the District, As Bees in Honey Drown, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Montgomery College), Hamlet (Howard University), The Colored Museum (Pitt Theatre and Point Park Conservatory), and Late Bus to Mecca (Pitt Theatre).
As an actor, Mr. Rogers has performed in over 40 professional theatre productions with companies such as the Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Arena Stage, Shakespeare & Company, Round House Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Forum Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co., Olney Theatre Center, Folger Theatre, Everyman Theatre, African Continuum Theatre, and other regional theatres across the US. In addition to his stage work, he has performed in over 50 commercials, live industrials and industrial films, and voiceovers.
Mr. Rogers has been a guest artist/guest instructor for Georgetown University, Clemson University, University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, United States Naval Academy, Hood College, Educational Theatre Company, African American Theatre Company, Everyman Theatre, Maryland High School Theatre Festival, Bullis Summer Programs, Southeastern Theatre Conference, and Freedom to Act (Alexander Technique National Conference) and an adjudicator/respondent for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, the Folger Secondary Theatre Festival, and the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics. Most recently, Mr. Rogers served as board president for The Welders Playwrights’ Collective and is currently a contributing member of Galvanize, a DMV-based network of Artists of Color, who are mission-driven mentors, supporters, promoters, and educators of and for other DMV-based Artists of Color.
Office Location: Rockville Campus, MU 202
BiographyConductor Pablo Saelzer made his first Washington, D.C, conducting appearance in 2005 in the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, with the orchestra of the venerable Friday Morning Music Club (fmmc.org). As the FMMC orchestra’s Music Director and Conductor since then, he directs all its concerts in the metropolitan area, including its yearly Kennedy Center performance. In demand in both the United States and South America, Mr. Saelzer guest conducted at the Music on the Mountains Festival in Poços de Caldas in Brazil; the Orquesta Clásica in Santiago, Chile; and the Mississippi All-State Orchestra, all in 2008.
Throughout his career, Mr. Saelzer has been active in music education as well as in orchestral and chamber music performance. He currently conducts the Sinfonia of the Maryland Classical Youth Orchestras (mcyo.org) and is Music Director of the Mississippi Symphony’s Premier Orchestra Institute. In addition he is a faculty member at The Levine School of Music. An accomplished violinist and violist, he performs with diverse professional ensembles in the D.C./Baltimore area, including the National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Concert Artists of Baltimore.
Mr. Saelzer made his conducting debut with the Symphony Orchestra of Concepción, in his native Chile. He also served on the faculty of the Music Conservatory of the Universidad Austral in Valdivia, where he taught violin and viola. In the United States he has been Music Director and Conductor of the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra in Jackson, Mississippi, and guest conductor with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra; the Southeastern Music Center Orchestra in Columbus, Georgia; and the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Symphony Orchestra. He also served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra program and taught chamber music and conducting at USM. In 2004 Mr. Saelzer conducted Mozart’s The Magic Flute throughout the state of Mississippi as the guest Music Director of the Southern Opera and Music Theatre. As Assistant Conductor of the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in Hattiesburg, he premiered a number of works and had the honor of collaborating with such distinguished musicians as Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Jean-Pierre Rampal, and Ray Charles, among others. During Mr. Saelzer’s time in Mississippi, many of his performances were broadcast on Mississippi Public Radio.
Mr. Saelzer studied at the Music Conservatory in Valdivia, Chile, and at the Kantorei St. Martini in Bremen, Germany. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Universidad Austral de Chile and a Master of Music degree from Columbus State University in Georgia.
Office Location: Rockville Campus, TA 141
BiographyPeter Zakutansky taught for 10 years at Howard University and established himself as a freelance costumer and designer in the Baltimore Washington area at the Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Kennedy Center, and other venues, before joining the faculty at Montgomery College in 1995. He designs the costumes, hair, and makeup for all student stage productions and dance concerts at Montgomery College.
BiographyHarry Appelman has performed on concert stages on five continents, most recently at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in July 2009. He has been chosen three times to participate in U.S. State Department’s overseas music tours to South and Central America, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Cyprus, and South Asia. He also performed in Egypt in 2008 with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Prof. Appelman has toured the United States and Canada with the Woody Herman Orchestra and the Artie Shaw Orchestra. He was a finalist in the 1987 and 1988 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano competitions (finishing second in 1988) and one of three prize winners in the 1989 Great American Jazz Piano Competition. Prof. Appelman has performed in numerous small ensembles, including groups led by Eddie Daniels, Gary Thomas, George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Jim Snidero, Valery Ponomarev, Brian Lynch, Don Braden, Vincent Herring, Jack Wilkins, and Walt Weiskopf. Prof. Appelman was named in Washingtonian magazine's February 2003 "Great Music" issue as one of the D.C. area's best jazz artists. He currently performs in the area at Blues Alley, the Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Twins, and other popular jazz venues. He is a member of two Latin jazz groups, the Duende Quartet and Afro Bop Alliance, and plays frequently with Palmetto recording artists Rumba Club.
BiographySoprano Lisa Carrier Baker is a crossover musical theater/opera performing artist and vocal instructor. Prof. Carrier Baker was artist in residence from 1993-1996 in opera performance at the North Carolina School of the Arts’ Fletcher Opera Institute (formerly National Opera Company). Favorite operatic roles include Elvira in The Italian Girl in Algiers, Ernestina in Monsieur Choufleuri, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi with Metropolitan Opera tenor Nico Castel. National tours include Musetta in La Bohème, Anne Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Adina in L’elisir d’amore. Other favorites are Hero in Beatrice and Benedict and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, both with the North Carolina Symphony; and Margot in The Desert Song and Gretel Columbus in the American premiere of Christopher Columbus, both with the Ohio Light Opera. Solo and featured concert works include performances with the North Carolina, Alabama, Indianapolis, Raleigh, and Greensboro symphony orchestras. Favorite musical theater roles include Mona Kent in Dames At Sea (directed by her teacher and mentor, the original Broadway Mona, Tamara Long), Trina is Falsettos with Ganymede Arts, and Zelda Zanders in Singin’ in the Rain with Tony Award-nominee Lara Teeter. Local performances include The Nightingale (world premiere and first national tour) and The Emperor's New Clothes, both at The Kennedy Center; Yum Yum in The Mikado and Valencienne in The Merry Widow, both with the Washington Savoyards; Nina in Dear World with American Century Theatre; the title role in Tussaud at Round House Theatre’s Kitchen; and Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music at Toby's Dinner Theatre. Prof. Carrier Baker is also a member of the music faculty at American University in Washington, D.C., and the Musical Theater Center in Rockville.
Lisa completed 3 seasons as an Artist in Residence with the Fletcher Opera Institute at North Carolina School of the Arts (formerly National Opera Company) She was a stage director of SDT productions from 2000-2004 and has directed 10 main stage productions for Montgomery College. She was the Director of Education at the Musical Theatre Center (now Adventure Theatre MTC) from 2009-2011, and also was their Director of Ensembles from 2001-2014. National Tours: La Boheme (Musetta), L’Elisir D’Amore (Adina), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Anne), and L’Italiana in Algeri (Elvira). Ohio Light Opera: Margot in The Desert Song, Gretel in Christopher Columbus (OLO Premiere). In concert: Alabama, North Carolina, Raleigh, and Greensboro Symphony Orchestras, as well as 3 seasons with the Indianapolis Symphony’s “Yuletide Celebration” under the baton of Jack Everly (National Symphony Orchestra/Baltimore Pops). Favorite musical theatre roles include: Lyric Theatre: Young Sally in Follies, Zelda Zanders in Singin' In The Rain (with Tony Award nominee Lara Teeter), and Mona in Dames at Sea directed by original Broadway Mona, Tamara Long. Washington DC area: Hairspray with the Baltimore Symphony alongside John Waters and George Wendt, Strathmore Music Center and Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The Kennedy Center, created the role of The Narrator in the world premiere (cast recording) and national tours of The Nightingale, Reyalto in The Emperor’s New Clothes. American Century Theatre: Nina in Dear World, Washington Savoyards: The Mikado (Yum Yum), The Merry Widow (Valencienne) Toby’s Dinner Theatre: The Sound of Music (Mother Abbess). Trina in Falsetto’s at Ganymede Arts, Alice Beineke in the DC area premiere of The Addams Family at Kensington Arts Theatre (14 WATCH Award nominations), and most recently, Jacqueline in La Cage Aux Folles at ArtsCentric. Lisa is an adjunct professor of voice at American University and Montgomery College. Her students can be heard on Broadway stages, national tours, and are local Helen Hayes award winners and nominees. Though theatre is her profession, Lisa’s passion is animal activism. With the help of Bernadette Peters and Broadway Cares producer Scott Stevens, in 2012 she founded DC Actors for Animals, Inc. (a 501c3 organization). Their adoption event, “Beltway Barks”, joins forces with area professional theaters and artists to generate education, advocacy, and rescue for animals in need. To date, DCa4a has helped over 200 animals find forever homes. DC Actors for Animals
BiographyA native of Taiwan, Hanyin Chen won top prizes in various young artist competitions and appeared in solo concerts and with orchestras. She continued her musical training in the United States at the Indiana University School of Music, where she studied with Menahem Pressler, Distinguished Professor and the legendary founder of the highly esteemed Beaux Arts Trio. At Indiana she was a featured soloist in the Mozart Festival commemorating the bicentennial of Mozart’s death. In only five years she graduated, with the Highest Distinction, from Indiana with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In addition to a doctorate in piano performance, she holds a master’s degree in computer science. Since relocating in the D.C. area, she has been an active performer, teacher, and professional accompanist. She has been a Solo Performance Member of the Friday Morning Music Club since 2004. Performing extensively in solo recitals and in FMMC concert series, both as solo pianist and in chamber groups, she recently performed J.S. Bach’s monumental Goldberg Variations. Other performance highlights include major solo, duo, and trio works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Debussy, and Shostakovich. As an avid teacher she operates a private piano studio in Gaithersburg and serves on the faculty of Montgomery College and the Maryland Talent Education Center.
BiographyStephen Churchill has played saxophone, oboe, clarinet, and flute in The Kennedy Center’s Opera House and show orchestras, National Theatre’s Orchestra, national tours of Broadway musicals, and network television shows. He has performed with artists as diverse as Ray Charles, Nat Adderly, Eugene Fodor, Loretta Lynn, Steve Lawrence, Jerry Lewis, Johnny Mathis, Sam Moore, Kenny Rogers, and the Bolshoi Ballet. He has played principal oboe in the Maryland Symphony and at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition, he has taught at Catholic University and Howard County Community College and has been on the faculty at Montgomery College since 1984.
BiographyLincoln Cobbins is a performer and an educator. His performances have included such venues as the Sheldon Concert Hall and Fox Morning News in Saint Louis; the Mansion at Strathmore Arts Center, Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, and the Sandy Spring Museum in Maryland; the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C.; and the Lyceum in Virginia. With degrees in piano performance and music education, he is a graduate of Saint Louis University, the University of Maryland at College Park, and the Peabody Conservatory of Music at the Johns Hopkins University. Additional studies include summer piano study at the Aspen Music Festival and School and certification in Orff-Schulwerk pedagogy (Levels I and II) at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. His piano teachers have included Thomas Schumacher, Cleveland Page, Gregory Sioles, and Brian Ganz. In addition to teaching at Montgomery College, Mr. Cobbins is on the piano faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts and teaches full time at Wheaton High School in Montgomery County Public Schools.
BiographyJonathan Cresci is instructor of recording technology at Montgomery College. He also teaches music history courses both in the classroom and online. Dr. Cresci has performed with orchestras in Tennessee, Michigan, Louisiana, and Maryland. He also provides professional recording services via his company Fundamental Sounds.
BiographyMarc Dinitz is the principal percussionist in the United States Air Force Concert Band in Washington, D.C., a group he has performed with since 1999. He is also a founding member of the Attacca Percussion Group, a percussion chamber trio that has performed featured concerts for music schools and chamber music series throughout the country. He has also performed with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra. Prof. Dinitz maintains a busy freelance schedule in the D.C. area and is an artist/educational endorser for Pearl Drums, Adams Musical Instruments, and Vic Firth, Inc.
BiographyA self-taught natural, Scott Giambusso has been performing in musical groups in public since the age of 12. Mastering acoustic and electric bass, tuba, and guitar, he is well known among musicians in many different musical styles. Prof. Giambusso has performed with jazz greats Charlie Byrd, Keely Smith, Chris Vadala, and Gene Bertoncini. Equally comfortable in jazz and rock, he has been performing at Wolf Trap and Strathmore’s Concert Hall with his rock trio Gigahertz, which was chosen to represent the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Woodstock Tribute Show in August 2009.
As Artistic Director of Summer Dinner Theatre where she is dedicated to continuing
the strong traditions of SDT helping the pre-professional artist learn and grow into
a thriving and successful artist. Having started with the SDT program in 2001 right
out of college as an assistant director, she quickly moved into choreographing and
directing many shows, including Les Miserables, The Wiz, Hairspray, Aida, Crazy for You, All Shook Up, Beauty and the Beast, 42nd Street, South Pacific, and Me & My Girl. As Artistic Director, she has worked closely with Lisa Baker and Dennis Mulligan
to solidify the program's position as one of the top summer pre-professional program
in the greater D.C. area. They have continued building SDT by expanding the mentoring
and internship program and also adding an intensive master class program that brings
top professionals to work with the students in both the technical and performance
areas. In addition to her work with SDT, Pauline is the Dance Coordinator at The
Catholic University of America where she is a driving force behind the Musical Theatre’s
dance program where students are given an intense training in a conservatory-like
music program alongside a strong foundation in dance so they are able to compete in
the professional world of musical theatre. She has also taught for Signature Theatre’s
Stage One and Overture programs where she has instructed students in musical theatre
dance, has choreographed for the Theatre Lab’s School for the Dramatic Arts Summer
Musical Theatre Institute for Teens, and directed for Adventure Theatre MTC.
Additional professional credits include: IMAGINATION STAGE: Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast; SIGNATURE: Gypsy (Assist. Choreo. to Karma Camp); FORDS: The Widow Lincoln; OLNEY THEATRE: Guys and Dolls (Assist. Choreo. to Michael Bobbitt);BUSCH GARDENS: Deck the Halls (Assist. Choreo. Karma Camp); CONSTELLATION THEATRE: Journey to the West; ADVENTURE THEATER: Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer; 1ST STAGE: Bat Boy; NO RULES THEATRE COMPANY: The Stephen Schwartz Project, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown; WASHINGTON SAVOYARDS: Treemonisha, Iolanthe, The Pirates of Penzance, Babes in Toyland, Merry Widow, Patience; AMERICAN CENTURY THEATER: Dear World; KENNEDY CENTER MILLENNIUM STAGE: The Music of Lenorad Bernstein (in collaboration with Arena Stage), Start Spreading the News: The Music of Kander and Ebb, Heart and Soul: The Music of Frank Leosser, An Evening With Marvin Hamlisch, Songs of Cy Colman, Age of Dreams: The JFK Inaugural Celebration; CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA: The Threepenny Opera, City of Angels, Carousel, Most Happy Fella, Godspell, Finnian’s Rainbow (Assist. Dir/Choreo Parker Esse), On the Town, Man of La Mancha; Thoroughly Modern Millie; MONTGOMERY COLLEGE: Curtains, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Hair; ADVENTURE THEATRE MTC: Anything Goes; THEATRE LAB: Ragtime, On The Town, Rags; CONCERTS:Award Winning Country Superstar, Pam Tillis in Concert; The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington: An Evening with Barbra Cook at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; AWARDS: Broadway World’s Award for Best Washington DC Choreographer for her work on No Rules Theatre Companies production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
Pauline studied at Boston University’s Summer Theatre Institute, was the assistant to Dr. Jean McCullough who was the head of the Dance Department at the University of Tennessee, and received her BA in Drama from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
BiographyDan Hovey is a versatile guitarist and music teacher. In 2012 he played both Come Fly Away and The Addams Family at the Kennedy Center and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s pops concerts at Strathmore and Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. He has been living and working in the D.C. area for about 8 years, and before that spent 14 years living in New York City, playing in Broadway shows (Swing, Mamma Mia, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Aida, The Full Monte, etc.) He also did extensive studio work in New York in TV and radio ads, film scores, and albums. He also worked in nightclubs playing blues, swing, and rock. Mr. Hovey is currently teaching guitar at Montgomery College. He was also a mentor in Strathmore’s Artist in Residence program. He is active in the D.C. live music scene and in recording studios. His guitar playing can be heard every Sunday with the Mary Ann Redmond Band at the Harp and Fiddle in Bethesda.
BiographyProfessor Alice Howes is a dance artist and educator who is director of Trajectory Dance Project, a Baltimore-based modern dance ensemble. She is currently on faculty at Montgomery College and The Washington Ballet at THEARC. She has held full-time faculty positions at universities including Coppin State University, UNC Charlotte, and Lamar University. In addition, she served from 1995 to 2004 as artistic director and resident choreographer of Washington, D.C.’s Sister’s Trousers Dance Company, a modern dance ensemble based in the D.C. area. Sarah Kaufman of The Washington Post described Howes’ performance as “riveting, thrilling and deeply mysterious”. Howes’ choreography has appeared in selective showcases at venues such as D.C.’s Dance Place, The Booth Theater in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater and Millennium Stage. She holds an MA in dance from American University and an MFA in dance from Sam Houston State University. Howes also has earned a Certificate of Movement Analysis (CMA) from the Laban Institute of Movement Studies in New York City.
Casey Kaleba has worked professionally for opera, television, music videos, and more
than five hundred productions with professional, community, and academic theatres.
That work includes the Guthrie Theatre, Spoleto Festival USA, Ford's Theatre, Folger
Theatre, Signature Theatre, Round House Theatre, and the Washington National Opera.
A company member with Rorschach Theatre and Brave Spirits Theatre, he has also served
as an audition choreographer for Marvel Universe Live and smashed things with swords
on the YouTube show Men At Arms: Reforged. He holds an MA in Theatre History from
the University of Maryland and is a Certified Teacher and Fight Director with the
Society of American Fight Directors. A two-time Helen Hayes nominee and host and
creative contributor to the two time Emmy Award-winning Experiencing Shakespeare through
the Folger Library and Alabama Public Television, he has taught at graduate programs
including the Peabody Institute and Catholic University, as well as the University
of Mary Washington, Shepherd University, and the University of Maryland in both College
Park and Baltimore County. Casey has been a guest instructor for Fight Directors
Canada and the Nordic Stage Fight Society, and at the Paddy Crean Workshop - the largest
international stage combat workshop. He is a proud member of the Stage Directors
and Choreographers Society (SDC).
Mark is a theatre director and teacher based out of the DC area. Since moving to the DC area, he has worked with The Source Festival, Molotov Theatre Group, Peter’s Alley Theatre and Adventure Theatre MTC. He was nominated for Best Director of a Professional Production by Broadway World DC.
Mark earned an MFA in Directing from Indiana University. While in graduate school, he directed/worked with Indiana Repertory Theatre, The Jewish Theatre of Bloomington and Bloomington Playwrights Project. Prior to graduate school, he acted and directed in Chicago for nine years.
Mark has taught theatre, fine and performing arts and public speaking at Carrol Community
College, Community College of Baltimore County and Montgomery College. As an assistant
editor, he helped put together Scenes and Monologues from Steinberg/ATCA New Play
Award Finalists, 2008-2012.
BiographyA native of South Korea, Sungah Kim-Medwin studied at Seoul National University before coming to the United States. She received her master’s and doctorate in piano performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she was also awarded a Performer's Certificate. Her teachers include Thomas Schumacher, Natalya Antonova, Phiroze Mehta, and Mary Ann Covert. Prior to her teaching activities at Montgomery College and the Academy of Fine Arts in Gaithersburg, Dr. Kim-Medwin served on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
BiographySteve Larrance has been a performing drummer since 1960. His experience runs the gamut from night clubs and society gigs to shows and concerts. Prof. Larrance has taught jazz percussion at Montgomery College since 1993. He has toured South Africa and Europe with Albert Hammond; the United States with Patti Dahlstrom for Twentieth Century Records; the Caribbean on the Love Boat; the Caribbean on the SS Rotterdam, and the United States with Waylon Flowers. In addition he has performed with Ike and Tina Turner, Little Feat, Bernadette Peters, Sandy Duncan, Raquel Welch, Chita Rivera, Willie Bobo, Charlie Ventura, Gene Harris, Lorna Luft, The Coasters, The Drifters, Spirit, The Diamonds, and Bob Newhart.
BiographyDr. Jennifer Lee has concertized throughout Germany, Russia, Holland, Switzerland, Lithuania, Slovenia, Armenia, Japan,South Korea, and Mexico under the direction of conductors Christoph von Dohnanyi and Christoph Eschenbach. She has also performed at the Artosphere Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Pacific Music Festival, collaborating with soloists Frank Peter Zimmerman and Jonathan Biss, among others. In 2010, she completed a 21-city, 23-concert United States and Canada tour with pianist Lang Lang, performing in venues such as Carnegie Hall. From 2011-2016, she held the associate principal second chair for the Fairfax Symphony. She has also recorded for Naxos with the Post Classical Ensemble and Hansler Classic of Germany with Rolf Beck. Jennifer was a teaching artist for the Midori and Friends Foundation in New York City and Brooklyn College’s Preparatory Division. In 2011, she was on the violin faculty for Ithaca College’s Summer Music Academy. She is currently a violin coach for the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras, plays with the National Philharmonic, and is a substitute violinist for the Annapolis and Baltimore symphonies.
Laura Esti Miller is a dramaturg, writer, director, literary manager, and educator to students from preschool through college. She has taught at The Catholic University of America, George Mason University, Montgomery College, Northern Virginia Community College, and The University of Mary Washington, as well as in theatre programs in both primary and secondary schools all over the DC area.
She has been the literary manager at 1st Stage in Tysons, Virginia since 2015, programming productions such as Jesus Hopped the “A” Train (2017), Fly by Night (2018), and The Brothers Size (2019). Some favorite work in the DC area includes the better part of fourteen seasons with Forum Theatre, including productions such as All Things Seen (2004), bobrauschenbergamerica (2011), and Passion Play (2015), and five seasons with The Inkwell - a company created for new play development. In 2012 and 2013, she produced a two-part collaborative dance-theatre piece inspired by Mark Twain’s Joan of Arc with interdisciplinary company Urban Garden Performing Arts. Laura is the former Creative Development Director of the off-Broadway company Electric Pear Productions, and has worked with The Public Theater, The Kennedy Center, and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, among others. She has a BA from James Madison University and an MFA from Brooklyn College.
BiographyPraised for her “uniquely subtle gradation of tone,” Carolyn Hyun Ha Oh, former principal flutist of the Washington Symphony Orchestra, enjoys an active career as a performer and educator in the Washington DC area. As soloist, she has toured the U.S., England and South Africa with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. She has also appeared as soloist with the Washington Symphony Orchestra, Montgomery College Orchestra and the Southeastern Music Center Orchestra. As an orchestral musician, she has played principal flute at Carnegie Hall under the baton of John Rutter, as well as with the Washington Summer Opera Orchestra and the Washington Korean Symphony Orchestra, among others. She has also performed with the Chamber Orchestra of America, The Landon Symphonette and the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra. A prize winner of the Flute Society of Washington’s Young Artist Competition, Dr. Oh was a recipient of several awards and prizes, including the Yamaha Prize at the Julius Baker International Master Class. In addition to being an active solo and chamber music recitalist, Dr. Oh currently serves as director of the MCYO (Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras) Junior Flute Choir and serves as adjudicator for several competitions and festivals.
BiographyVincent Patterson came to Washington, D.C., in 1974 as a career Marine Bandsman (ret. ’91). During that time he completed advanced degrees, studying at Catholic University with conducting luminaries Frederick Fennell and Dr. Robert Garofalo. From 1970-73 Sgt. Patterson taught woodwinds, band, and music theory at the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia. While on active duty in The President’s Own, Dr. Patterson founded and conducted the professional chamber ensemble MusicCrafters, which performed for more than a decade at Library of Congress-sponsored concerts. He is currently director of Montgomery College’s Wind Ensemble. Previously, he taught music at the Barrie School and Sandy Spring Friends School.
Professor Simester has been a theatre, dance, movement and natural health educator for over 40 years. She was first educated at Emerson College in Boston and CW Post, Long Island University, and then the New School, NYC where she majored in drama and psychology. Early roles included Emily in Our Town, Aphrodite in Hippolytus, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, and Gladys Hotchkiss in The Pajama Game. Along with theatre, her early devotion to ballet and modern dance led her to study with Anna Sokolov of the New York City Ballet and Merce Cunningham, an innovative force in the modern dance world. Around this time she and her family moved to Portugal where she began studying yoga. After the revolution in Portugal in 1974, she moved to London where she continued to dance and where she completed a 3 year Teachers Diploma with the British Wheel of Yoga. At this time in London she also studied the Alexander Technique. Professor Simester choreographed, directed and performed ‘ Yoga Ballet ‘ at various festivals around the UK. She then joined a theatre dance company performing ancient temple dances and dramas to music created for the company by the London Symphony Orchestra also at venues such as Westminster Hall, Royal Court Theatre and St. John’s Smith Square and BBCTV. At this time her interest in integrating creative expression and mindfulness led her to a post graduate diploma in Humanistic Counseling at the Roehampton Institute, University of Surrey, England and, ultimately, to write a few books on Mind Body and Spirit. Her last book, The Natural Health Bible was published in 2007 by Quadrille Publishing, UK. Since returning to the US she has come full circle to her first loves – theatre, dance, and history. She has recently been working with a talent manager in Hollywood who was a very active agent some years ago. She has been helping prepare a few of her actors for auditions with monologue and scene studies. She has been very happy teaching theatre and dance at the Montgomery College Germantown campus these last 7 years. She also continues to teach yoga in Jefferson County, WV where she is currently living.
BiographyCheryl Tobler is currently a University Fellow completing her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland at College Park. She has presented her research at conferences throughout the United States and in England, Scotland, and South Africa. Professor Tobler has taught at various institutions in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and South Korea. She is teaching ethnomusicology as part of the Montgomery Scholars program at Montgomery College’s Rockville campus. She recently co-authored a book on music tourism in Southwest Virginia while working at the National Council for the Traditional Arts in Silver Spring, Maryland. She also has performed as a classical flutist in North America, Europe, and Asia and is a member of the Irish traditional ensemble Shen Fine, where she performs on flute, whistles, fiddle, and Celtic harp.
BiographyTzi-Ming Yang has devoted herself to both teaching and performing. She currently is an instructor for Class Piano and Applied Piano at Montgomery College. She also serves as an adjudicator for National Guild of Piano Teachers (NGPT) auditions and regional piano competitions. In addition, Dr. Yang operates a private piano studio in Gaithersburg, teaching students with a wide range of ages and abilities. She was given honors in teaching, including induction to NGPT's Hall of Fame, and has been on NGPT's Honor Roll since 1998. Dr. Yang has made appearances at Strathmore's Concert Hall and at the BlackRock Center for the Arts. She particularly enjoys performing chamber music for charity causes, including the Heartsongs Gala held by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, at the special event “In Honor of America’s Heroes Back from Iraq”; at several local nursing homes; and also at fundraising concerts in the greater metropolitan D.C. area. She feels honored to have opportunities to contribute and give back to society through music.
Office Location: Rockville Campus, TA 137
BiographyRoger has been a full-time staff member at Montgomery College since February 2009. Scenic designs for MC’s academic productions include The Water Engine, Big Love, HONK!, Avenue Q, and The Compleat Female Stage Beauty. He was a scenic carpenter at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC from 2007-2009. Prior to that he was the Technical Director at Raleigh Little Theatre (2002–2007) in Raleigh, NC where he also designed scenery for 11 productions.
Office Location: Rockville Campus, TA 137
BiographyAn accomplished actor as well as theatre production specialist, Dennis Mulligan holds an AA degree from Montgomery College. He has served as technical director for Summer Dinner Theatre since 1999 and has worked as a director at area high schools. Currently, Dennis assists in all aspects of the theatre productions for Montgomery College.
This department is part of MC's Visual, Media, and Performing Arts Instructional area.