Faculty by Area

Portrait of Timothy Westerhaus, D.M.A.

Office: Music Building, Room 25
Phone: 509-313-6737
Email: westerhaus@gonzaga.edu
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Timothy Westerhaus is the director of choirs and vocal studies at Gonzaga University. He serves as music director of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and is artistic director for its St. John’s Music Series. He has conducted choral ensembles in the United States, Europe, Colombia, South Korea, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. He chairs collegiate repertoire and resources for the Northwest American Choral Directors Association. As a tenor, he sings in the Oregon Bach Festival Berwick Chorus and has sung under Helmuth Rilling, Matthew Halls, Jeffrey Kahane, and Craig Hella Johnson. He is active as a pianist and leads Baroque performances from the harpsichord.
Portrait of Amy Porter, Adjunct Faculty, Applied Voice

Office: St. Gregory's Choral Hall, Room 102
Phone: 509-313-6763
Email: portera@gonzaga.edu
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Amy R. Porter, a Louisiana native, has appeared in many standard operatic roles, including Königin der Nacht (Die Zauberflöte), Violetta (La Traviata), Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Mimi (La Bohème), Marguerite (Faust), Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro), and Alice (Falstaff). She has performed more contemporary operatic works, including Poulenc’s one woman monodrama La Voix Humaine (Femme), Dinos Constantinides’s psychological one-act opera Rosanna (Angelina), and a partially-televised production of David Amram’s Twelfth Night (Olivia), as well as early music productions, including Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Dido) and the New York City premiere of Hildegard von Bingen’s medieval morality play Ordo Virtutum (Victory). An ardent solo performer of pre-classical repertoire, she was a founding member of the Baton Rouge Early Vocal Ensemble (BREVE). Ms. Porter has performed recitals, concerts, and oratorio repertoire throughout the United States.

In addition to singing and teaching, Ms. Porter enjoys playing the role of operatic stage director, directing productions for LSU Opera and LSU Summer Opera Camp. She has also worked as a conductor, having served as chorus master for Opera Louisiane in Baton Rouge as well as in numerous church music director positions. She teaches applied voice at Gonzaga University and serves as lecturer faculty of Whitworth University, where she teaches applied voice, lyric diction, and song literature.

Portrait of Darnell Preston, Adjunct Faculty, Applied Voice, Class Voice

Office: St. Gregory Choral Hall, Rm. 103
Phone: 313-6889
Email: prestond@gonzaga.edu

Keith Whitlock, adjunct faculty Gonzaga Music Department, Men's Chorus

Office: Music Hall
Phone: 509-313-6733
Email: whitlock@gonzaga.edu


Winds, Brass, & Percussion

Portrait of Robert Spittal, D.M.A.

Office: Music Building, Room 12
Phone: 509-313-6736
Email: spittal@gonzaga.edu
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Conductor and composer Robert Spittal directs the Gonzaga University Wind Symphony and Chamber Winds, and teaches conducting. He is also the conductor of the Clarion Brass Choir, one of the Northwest’s premier professional brass ensembles. Dr. Spittal’s compositions have been performed internationally, and his music has been praised by performers and critics as being “full of musicality” and “brilliantly colorful”. Three works for wind ensemble were recently chosen by Boosey and Hawkes Co. for their prestigious “Windependence” series, and his pieces have been selected by some of the country’s finest ensembles for performances and recordings. Since 2004, Spittal’s works have been performed or recorded by the Wisconsin Wind Orchestra, and ensembles at the countries leading conservatories, including Indiana University, University of Michigan, the Ohio State University, the University of North Texas, Ithaca College and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Portrait of Sheri Jacobson, Instructor, Applied Flute, Gonzaga University Music Department

Office: Music Annex, Room 106
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: jacobsons@gonzaga.edu

Portrait of Shelia Armstrong, Instructor, Applied Oboe at Gonzaga University Music Department

Office: Music Hall, Room 105
(509) 313-6733
Email: armstrongs@gonzaga.edu

Portrait of Gary Plowman, Instructor, Applied Oboe Gonzaga University Music Department

Office: Music Annex, Room 106
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: plowmang@gonzaga.edu

Chip Phillips, Instructor, Applied Clarinet

Office: Music Annex, Room 105 or 106
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: phillipsc@gonzaga.edu

Portrait of Christopher Cook, Instructor, Applied Trumpet

Office: Music Hall, Room 110
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: cookc@gonzaga.edu

Christopher Cook graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music,. He was a longtime member of the Spokane Falls Brass Band, and plays trumpet in the Spokane Symphony. Additionally he teaches music at Gonzaga University.

Portrait of  Ross Holcombe, M. Music. Instructor, Applied Low Brass

Office: Music Hall, Room 110
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: holcombe@gonzaga.edu
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Ross earned his Bachelor's of Music and Master's of Music Degrees in Trombone Performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston. He also received fellowships to attend the Tanglewood Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival, and the National Orchestral Institute. Ross is the principal trombonist of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra and is an instructor at Gonzaga University.

Gonzaga University Music Department

Office: Music Hall, Room 105
Phone: (509) 313-6733

Emily Browne earned her Bachelor of Music at the Eastman School of Music. She is currently pursuing her Master of Music at the University of Southern California. She is an Adjunct Instructor at Gonzaga Univeristy.


Orchestra & Strings

Portrait of Kevin Hekmatpanah, D.M.A.

Office: Music Building, Room 21
Phone: 509-313-6734
Email: hekmatpanah@gonzaga.edu
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A native of Chicago, cellist Kevin Hekmatpanah has presented hundreds of solo and chamber performances throughout the country. He has made over one hundred and twenty solo concerto appearances with various ensembles. Mr. Hekmatpanah has released a compact disc recording containing cello sonatas by Franck, Debussy, and Chopin. Deeply committed to teaching, Mr. Hekmatpanah is a Professor of Music at Gonzaga University, where he has taught since 1994. He recently received an Exemplary Faculty Award for his Academic Citizenship. He is currently a member of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. He has previously served on the faculty of Middle Tennessee State University and has taught cello at the Governor’s School for the Arts. He has served on competition juries, and he has presented master classes and clinics throughout the country. In addition to being the first cellist to earn a DMA from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, he also holds a MM from Indiana University and a BM from the University of Southern California. His teachers have included such nationally renowned pedagogues as Stephen Kates, Fritz Magg, and Gabor Rejto, and he has received coaching from such internationally celebrated artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, and Janos Starker.

As a conductor Kevin Hekmatpanah begins his twenty-fourth year as Music Director of the Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra. In this capacity he has performed a large portion of the standard repertoire for orchestra, as well as premieres of new music. He has also organized and presided over the Young Artists’ Concerto/Aria Competition, which gives the opportunity for young musicians to present a concerto with the ensemble.

Portrait of Jason Bell, Instructor, Applied Violin

Office: Music Hall, Room 107
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: bellj2@gonzaga.edu
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Jason Bell is the Associate Concertmaster of the Spokane Symphony and has played with the group since 2002. Mr. Bell is originally from LaCrosse, Wisconsin and started playing the instrument at the age of 4. He has studied violin with Dorothy Delay, Kurt Sassmannshaus, Piotr Milewski, Doris Preucil, and Margaret Baldridge.

As a student, Mr. Bell attended summer festivals in Aspen, Colorado and Brevard, North Carolina. He studied violin formally at the University of Montana, Missoula and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Mr. Bell has taught and performed violin from coast to coast. He has been an adjudicator for the Simon-Fiset competition in Seattle, a frequent adjudicator for the MTNA competition for both regional and divisional rounds, and an adjudicator for WSMTA festivals held around the state of Washington. He has also been on the faculty at the Brevard Music Festival, playing Principal Second Violin in the BMC Orchestra. He is honored to play with the Seattle Symphony as a substitute violinist.

Portrait of Nick Carper, Instructor, Applied Viola

Phone: (509) 313-5911
Email: carper@gonzaga.edu

Nick Carper graduated from Columbus State and Butler Universities. Nick has performed throughout the U.S. in various capacities, as principal, chamber musician, and soloist. He is currently an instructor at Gonzaga University.

Portrait of Kim Plewniak, M. Music. Instructor, Applied Bass

Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: plewniak@gonzaga.edu

Kim Plewniak holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. Kim instructs at Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, and Whitman College and maintains a private studio.

Portrait of Amanda Howard-Phillips, Instructor, Applied Violin

Office: Music Annex, Room 105
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: howard-phillips@gonzaga.edu

Amanda received her master's degree in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and her bachelor's degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Amanda teaches violin at Gonzaga University and plays second violin with the Spokane String Quartet.

Portrait of Earecka Tregenza Moody, M. Music. Instructor, Applied Harp

Office: Music Mansion, Room 25
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: moody@gonzaga.edu
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Earecka Tregenza earned a Master of Music from Rice University, Shepherd School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She attended the Royal Conservatory of Music, Glenn Gould School. Earecka is an instructor at Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University and Whitworth University.


Piano & Organ

Portrait of Janet Ahrend, DMA. Instructor, Applied Organ

Office: Music Annex, Room 004
Phone: (509) 313-6754
Email: ahrend@gonzaga.edu

Portrait of Colleen Hunter, DMA. Instructor, Applied Piano

Office: Music Annex, Room 006A
Phone: (509) 313-4339
Email: hunterc@gonzaga.edu

Portrait of Greg Presley, Instructor, Applied Piano

Office: Music Hall, Room 108
Phone: (509) 313-5910
Email: presley@gonzaga.edu

Portrait of Margee Webster, Instructor, Applied Piano

Office: Music Annex, Room 006A
Phone: (509) 313-4339
Email: websterm@gonzaga.edu
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Margee Webster has taught piano professionally for more than 25 years. She teaches Class Piano and Piano Proficiency Courses as well as Applied Piano at Gonzaga University. She is on the faculty for the Piano Day Camp at Holy Names Music Center, teaching composition, ensemble and pedagogy. She has taught Piano Pedagogy at Eastern Washington University. She is an adjudicator for the Washington State Music Teachers Association and a judge for the National Guild of Piano Teachers. She adjudicates and gives master classes in Washington, Idaho and Alaska


Portrait of David C. Fague

Office: Music Building, Room 22
Phone: (509) 313-6735
Email: fague@gonzaga.edu
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David Fague is an enthusiastic teacher in his academic courses, ensemble courses, and as director of the Bulldog Band. He is an active performer in several professional music groups in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area including The Spokane Jazz Orchestra (Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Acoustic Bass), The Nicole Lewis Band (Electric and Acoustic Bass, Vocals), The Jesse Weston Blues Band (Tenor Saxophone), The Rhythm Dawgs (Tenor, Alto, and Baritone Saxophones, Flute, Percussion, and Vocals), The Hot Club of Spokane (Tenor Saxophone and Vocals), as well as various smaller jazz ensembles that play around the area. David is a devoted husband and father of three children. When not in a classroom, in a rehearsal hall, on a stage, or in The Kennel, you will find him with his family on a ski hill, in a lake, on a hike, on a beach, in the ocean, on a soccer field, on a baseball field, in church, or in the back yard barbecuing a pork shoulder or brisket.
Portrait of Daniel Cox, Adjunct  Faculty, Music Department

Phone: 509-313-6733
Email: coxd@gonzaga.edu
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Daniel Cox picked up his first pair of drum sticks at the age of 11 and began a lifelong, passionate affair with music. His skill and versatility as a master percussionist mark him as a leading performer in a variety of genres, and styles – Blues shuffles, the meat and potatoes of Classic Rock, Americana and Country back beats, Latin rhythms, Jazz grooves and even orchestral settings.

Daniel splits his time offstage between Gonzaga University and North Idaho College, where he teaches and inspires emerging drummers in all percussion-related classes, Jazz combos, Survey of Music, and Jazz History. He offers private instruction in percussion to a limited number of students.

Portrait of Riley Gray, Instructor, Applied Jazz Piano

Office: Music Hall, Room 108
Phone: (509) 313-6733
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Riley Gray is a sought-after jazz pianist in the Spokane area and has played with the Bob Curnow Big Band and Son Dulce Live Salsa among other ensembles.

He has been featured on Spokane, WA based KPBX radio program Piano Bench.

Portrait of Brian McCann, Adjunct Faculty, Jazz Combos

Office: Music Hall, Room 107
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: mccannb@gonzaga.edu

Portrait of Keleren Millham, Instructor, Jazz Voice

Office: Music Annex, Room 107
Phone: 509-313-6733
Email: millhamk@gonzaga.edu



Portrait of Mellad Abeid, Adjunct Faculty, Guitar Ensemble

Office: Music Hall, Room 103
Phone: 509-313-5943
Email: abeid@gonzaga.edu

Portrait of Paul Grove, Instructor, Applied Guitar

Office: Music Hall, Room 104
Phone: (509) 313-5919
Email: grove@gonzaga.edu

Portrait of Michael Millham, Instructor, Applied Guitar

Office: Music Hall, Room 104
Phone: (509) 313-5919
Email: millham@gonzaga.edu


Music Education

Peter Hamlin

Office: Music Building, Room 26
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: hamlin@gonzaga.edu
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Dr. Peter J. Hamlin is an Assistant Professor of Music at Gonzaga University. In addition to overseeing the music education degree program, he teaches coursework in ear training and world music. He is also the faculty advisor to the Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education.

Dr. Hamlin received his Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Miami in Florida. He was awarded a Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Connecticut. While there he was the Graduate Assistant Director of the marching band, men’s and women’s varsity basketball pep bands, and the UConn concert band. Dr. Hamlin received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of Miami.



Portrait of David Sackman, Instructor Music Technology Gonzaga University Music Department

Office: Music Annex, Room 107
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: sackmann@gonzaga.edu

Portrait of Dawn Sonntag, Ph.D., Lecturer of Music

Office: Music Building, Room 23
Phone: 509-313-4308
Email: sonntagd2@gonzaga.edu