Faculty by Area

Portrait of Amy Porter, Adjunct Faculty, Applied Voice

Office: St. Gregory's Choral Hall, Room 101
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.


Image of Andrea Olsen

Phone: 509-313-6733
Email: olsena@gonzaga.edu

Andrea Olsen is the Director of Ministry at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist and previously served on the music faculty at Gonzaga University from 2002-2009.  she was the music specialist at Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute from 2005-2018, and has served on the voice faculty at Holy Names Music Center since 2005, at North Idaho College since 2009, and Spokane Falls Community College since 2014.  Andrea is a frequent adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor for music festivals in Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana.

Andrea has directed several shows at area high schools and community Colleges including Bonnie & Clyde, Catch Me if You Can, Beauty and the Beast, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Happy Days, Funny Girl, Once Upon a Mattress, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Little Mermaid.

As a soloist, Andrea has sung with the Spokane Symphony, the Bach Festival, Connoisseur Concerts, Cathedral and the Arts, Allegro Royal Fireworks Festival, the Spokane Opera, Spokane Choral Artists, and Spokane Kantorei.

Andrea's notable musical theater roles include "Christine" in Phantom, "Miss Sarah Brown" in Guys & Dolls, "Cathy" in The Last Five Years, "Johanna" in Sweeney Todd, "Florence" in CHESS, "Mabel" in Pirates of Penzance,"Maria" in West Side Story, "Betty" in White Christmas, "Fantine" in Les Misérables, "Witch" in Into the Woods, "Patsy" in Always, Patsy Cline, "Lily" in The Secret Garden, and "Donna" in Mamma Mia!

Andrea holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, and a Master of Arts in Music degree as well as a CCM (Contemporary Commercial Music) Certification. She is currently  pursuing a Doctor of Sacred Music Degree.

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

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

Darnelle Scarbrough Preston graduated from San Francisco State University, Magna Cum Laude, with her B.M. in Music Education, and received her M.M. in Vocal Performance from Boston University. Ms. Preston has appeared with the Utah, Carmel, Washington D.C. Masterworks, Handel & Haydn Society, Muncie, Nashville, and Billings symphonies. Her solo appearances throughout the Northeast have included performances of Bach’s “b minor Mass” and “St. John Passion”, Handel’s “Messiah”, Haydn’s “Creation” and Poulenc’s “Gloria”. In opera, her performances have included the Countess in “Le Nozze di Figaro”, the Cake Box Lady in Argento’s “Postcard from Morocco”, Mimi in “La Boheme”, and Lady Billows in Britten’s “Albert Herring”. Her musical theatre roles have included Madame Thenardier (Les Miserable), Ruth (Pirates of Penzance), Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd), Jack’s Mother (Into the Woods), Mrs. Sowerberry (Oliver), and Mrs. Fairfax (Jane Eyre). She has performed throughout southern France and recorded with the Robert Shaw Choeur d’Atlanta. Locally, Ms. Preston has performed with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Allegro: Baroque and Beyond, Zephyr, Spokane Opera, Connoisseur Concert’s Northwest Bach Festival and Mozart in Manito, Spokane Choral Artists, Coeur d’Alene Summer Theater, and Spokane Valley Summer Theatre. She is currently a member of the Vocal Faculty at Gonzaga University, and teaches Applied Voice, Lyric Diction, and Class Voice.


Office: St. Gregory Choral Hall, Rm. 102
Phone: 509-313-3093
Email: tarver@gonzaga.edu

Jadrian Tarver, a native of Haines City, Florida, has maintained an active roster as a conductor, clinician, composer, and recitalist and has soloed and conducted in many performances. He has performed with Atlanta Opera, Peach State Opera, Capitol City Opera Company, and Michigan State University Opera and Opera Grand Rapids. Operatic roles include Germont in La Traviata, the title role of Gianni Schicchi, Dr. Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, King Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Bonze in Madama Butterfly, and Marcello in La Boheme. Musical Theater roles include Mr. Lindquist in Little Night Music and the Duke/Dr. Carrasco/Night of Mirrors in Man of La Mancha.

In addition to performing, he is an advocate for musicians of color. He established an independent publishing company, Indigo Press LLP, which focuses on publishing the works of underrepresented composers of color. In a similar vein, he curated the Sankofa Recital Series, a vocal artist collaborative that brings awareness to the music of African diasporic composers. While as a doctoral candidate a Michigan State University, he was appointed project manager of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) for the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts and the College of Music. In this joint position as a student leader and project manager, he developed relationships across campus, cultivated programming, and activities important to Michigan State University's community while advancing progress in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Mr. Tarver holds the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Bethune-Cookman University, the Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Georgia State University, and a Doctoral Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance from Michigan State University.


Winds & Percussion

Peter Hamlin

Office: Music Building, Room 26
Phone: (509) 313-6792
Email: hamlin@gonzaga.edu
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Dr. Peter J. Hamlin is Assistant Professor of Music at Gonzaga University where he serves as the Director of Bands and oversees the Music Education degree program. At Gonzaga, Dr. Hamlin directs the Wind Ensemble and teaches coursework in music education and ethnomusicology. He is also the faculty advisor to the Gonzaga University Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education.

Dr. Hamlin is in frequent demand as a conductor, lecturer, and music performance adjudicator. He has given presentations at conferences both nationally and internationally and is published in numerous journals. His research areas explore the constructs of deliberate practice and the development of expertise in addition to music assessment, psychometrics, and quantitative research methodology.

Dr. Hamlin taught high school band in the state of Florida for nine years where he led a very successful program that included multiple concert bands, marching band, jazz ensemble, indoor color guard and percussion, and multiple chamber ensembles. Dr. Hamlin received his Ph.D. and Bachelors degrees in Music Education from the University of Miami in Florida and 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, women’s varsity basketball pep band, and the concert band.

Dr. Hamlin holds memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, International Society for Music Education, Washington Music Educators Association, College Music Society, Society for Ethnomusicology, Society for Music Perception and Cognition, and the International Clarinet Association.

Jennifer Scriggins Brummett, Applied French Horn

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


Jennifer Brummett received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School and a Master of Music degree at Southern Methodist University. She has been Principal Horn of the Spokane Symphony from 2002-14 and a member of the Solstice Quintet 2004-2009. Prior to joining the Spokane Symphony, Jennifer played Assistant Horn in the Fort Worth Symphony 1996-2002 and subbed in the Dallas Symphony, including recordings of Prokofiev's Scythian Suite, Shostakovich's 7th Symphony and Mahler Symphonies 2, 3, and 6.

Jennifer has performed at the Tanglewood Institute, the Chautauqua Festival, the Waterloo Festival, the Spoleto USA Festival, the Music in the Mountains Festival (Durango,CO), and as Principal Horn of the Utah Festival Opera. She performed with the Solstice Quintet at the Orcas Center in June of 2007. Jennifer is on faculty at Gonzaga University and Whitworth University. As a soloist, she has performed the Schumann Konzertstück with the Florida West Coast Symphony, the Mozart Concerto No. 2 with the Spokane Symphony, the Saint-Saens Morceau de Concert with the Spokane Falls Concert Band, the Britten Serenade with the Texas Chamber Orchestra, and many others. Ms. Brummett also played Principal Horn on Frank Sinatra’s Diamond Jubilee International Tour.

Portrait of John Church, Applied Low Bass instructor

Office: Music Hall
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: churchj@gonzaga.edu
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John, a native of the northwest, began his trombone and musical career in the sixth grade, then a year later began taking private lessons with Michael Oft.  Once in high school, John joined the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and subsequently joined the Portland Youth Philharmonic.  After graduating high school in 2011, he began his undergraduate studies at the University of Oregon, studying with Henry Henniger, where he graduated in 2015.  John would then start his professional work as an orchestral trombonist, subbing with multiple orchestras in Oregon, including: Oregon Symphony, Eugene Symphony, Portland Opera, Astoria Music Festival, Newport Symphony, Mozart Players, and Salem Chamber Orchestra.

After his time as an undergraduate, John decided to further his studies as a Master’s student at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, studying with Allen Barnhill. Within his first year, he performed with the Shepherd Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and won his first professional job with the Portland Opera as their principal trombonist. In his second year, John went on to win the Shepherd School of Music concerto competition in the winds/brass/percussion/harp division with the Nino Rota trombone concerto. He will perform the Rota sometime during the 2018-2019 school year.

At the end of Portland Opera’s 2018 season John won the Spokane Symphony one year principal trombone audition. He will start with the symphony in September 2018 and will begin teaching low brass at Gonzaga University.  

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 Erin Foster, MA. Instructor, Applied Bassoon, Gonzaga University Music Department

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

Erin Foster holds a Bachelor of Music in orchestral performance from the University of Idaho and a Master of Arts in performance from Eastern Washington University, where she studied with Lynne Feller-Marshall, principal bassoon with Spokane Symphony.
Image of Colleen McElroy

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

Colleen McElroy is the Piccolo and Second Flute with the Spokane Symphony and Second Flute for the Boise Philharmonic in Idaho. She is also a member of Emissary Quartet, an ensemble of four flutes that performs and teaches across the US. She has been teaching flute privately to students of all ages for over ten years. Colleen holds a Master of Music in Flute Performance from Boston University and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Washington. Her primary teachers are Linda Toote, Donna Shin, Iris Ingram, and Zart Eby. For the past several years, Colleen has specialized in piccolo performance and orchestral playing. She also enjoys playing chamber music and contemporary flute repertoire whenever the opportunity arises. Outside of her career as a flutist, Colleen is an avid runner, backpacker, and skier. She loves to cook and bake for friends and family and enjoys knitting. 

Chip Phillips, Instructor, Applied Clarinet

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

Chip Phillips received his Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music and in addition to teaching Clarinet at Gonzaga, has been Principal Clarinet with the Spokane Symphony since 2000.
Portrait of Andrew Repsold, Instructor, Applied Percussion

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

Andrew Repsold earned a Bachelor of Arts from Whitworth University in 2013 and a Masters in Music from Eastern Washington University in 2016. His awards include Spokane’s Scholar of Fine Arts (2009), Whitworth’s Presser Scholar (2013), Elmhurst Jazz Festival “Outstanding Soloist” (2013) and two-time concerto co-winner (Whitworth, 2013. EWU, 2016). In addition to teaching at Gonzaga, he performs locally in musicals, is a substitute with the Spokane Symphony, teaches a private studio of over twenty students, and is a percussion clinician for local high schools.  

Kenny Sager, Adjunct Faculty,  Applied Percussion

Office: Music Mansion
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: sagerk@gonzaga.edu

An active member of Spokane’s music scene, Kenny Sager performs all over the area.  He has a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Eastern Washington University and did 1 year at University of Montana as a graduate assistant teaching drum set and jazz ensembles.  Kenny also teaches at EWU and Mead High School coaching their drum line in the fall as well as teaching at Music Plus year round.


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 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.

Amanda Howard-Phillips Image

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

Amanda Howard-Phillips has been Principal Second Violinist of the Spokane Symphony since 2008, and has been on the faculty at Gonzaga University since 2011. She also performs as associate concertmaster of the Northwest Bach Festival Orchestra and the Inland Northwest Opera Orchestra, and plays second violin in the Spokane String Quartet.

Originally from Bainbridge Island, Washington, Amanda began studying violin at age four, and made her solo debut with the Bainbridge Orchestra at age 11. She was awarded fellowships to study at the International Festival-Institute at Round Top and the National Repertory Orchestra, and was awarded first prize in the Pacific Chamber Symphony Concerto Competition in San Francisco. Amanda holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and her major teachers include David Updegraff, David Cerone, and the legendary violinist Camilla Wicks.

A passionate chamber musician, Amanda was accepted into the Intensive String Quartet Seminar at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with the Cavani Quartet and Peter Salaff of the Cleveland Quartet. At the San Francisco Conservatory, she studied chamber music with Mark Sokol, Bonnie Hampton, Paul Hersh, and Ian Swensen; and performed in master classes for Robert Mann (Juilliard Quartet), Clive Greensmith (Tokyo Quartet), and Menahem Pressler (Beaux Arts Trio).

As second violinist of the Spokane String Quartet, Amanda can be heard frequently on Spokane Public Radio, and has been featured three times on the national NPR show Performance Today, heard on over 280 radio stations nationwide. The Spokane String Quartet reaches audiences throughout the Northwest, performing, giving master classes, and coaching youth chamber ensembles. A passionate advocate for new music, Amanda has programmed pieces for the SSQ by rising young composers such as Dan Visconti, Mohammed Fairouz, and young American Indian composers studying with renowned composer Jerod Tate at the Chickasaw Arts Academy in Oklahoma. Recently, as part of the Northwest Bach Festival, Amanda performed Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence and Schubert's Quintet in C Major with Grammy-winning cellist Zuill Bailey.

Amanda has appeared as soloist with the Spokane Symphony several times. When she's not performing or teaching, Amanda enjoys camping, hiking, and spending time with her husband and their little son.

Portrait of Jason Moody, D.M.A Music. Instructor, Applied Violin

Office: Music Mansion
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: moodyj@gonzaga.edu

Jason Moody is an active teacher, performer, and conductor based in the Pacific Northwest. He is instructor of violin at Gonzaga University, instructor of music and director of orchestra at Spokane Falls Community College, a member of the Spokane Symphony, and a substitute violinist with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Jason has been featured as soloist with orchestras throughout the Northwest, performed as guest artist and concertmaster at the Northwest Bach Festival, and regularly performs in Cascade Duo with his wife, harpist Earecka Tregenza. He has appeared on public radio several times with performances on “A Prairie Home Companion” and “From the Top” and works as a session musician for movie, television, and video game soundtracks. 

As a conductor and clinician, Jason has worked with numerous university, high school, and festival orchestras, and is the artistic director of the Festival at Sandpoint Summer Camp. Jason has held teaching appointments at the University of Idaho, University of Washington, Edmonds Community College, and Whitworth University. He received music degrees from University of Washington (D.M.A.), Rice University (M.M.), and Seattle Pacific University (B.A.).

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 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

Janet Ahrend holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Idaho and a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Washington. She has been teaching organ at Gonzaga since 1984 and maintains a private studio in her home.
Portrait of Colleen Hunter, DMA. Instructor, Applied Piano

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

Colleen Hunter, DMA, NCTM, teaches applied and class piano at Gonzaga University, Spokane. She maintains a private piano studio in her home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, teaching a wide range of ages and levels from children to adults.

Nationally and state certified with MTNA, Dr. Hunter is an active member of the Spokane Chapter and the North Idaho Chapter and their respective state associations. She is president of SMTA, District VII Vice-President for WSMTA and Immediate Past President of the North Idaho Music Teachers. She has served as chair of the College Faculty Forum and as Adjudicator Chair while on the WSMTA Board of Education. She has served as chair of the Independent Music Teachers Forum (IMTF), and as chair of Adjudications and Musicianship Exams at the local level and assisted in developing the annual Musicianship and Performance Festivals of the NIMTA chapter. Active as an adjudicator, Dr. Hunter also shares her passion for music as a workshop clinician, performer, collaborative artist, church musician, and choir director.

Her interest in providing arts to the community led Dr. Hunter to co-chair the entertainment committee the past several years for Art on the Green, an annual summer arts festival put on by Citizen’s Council for the Arts in Coeur d’Alene where more than thirty groups are scheduled over three days in August. She has co-hosted a winter Music Lecture Series supported by the CCA organization and coordinates home concerts in the Coeur d’Alene area. Additionally, encouraging younger artists by collaborating with them at solo and ensemble and other school events has become a rewarding endeavor. Her own students have been successful in many areas, including honors in the Carol Klotz Composition Competition, WSMTA's Young Composer Project, the Coeur d'Alene Symphony's melody contest, the Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate Program, the Spokane Piano Competition, and MusicFest Northwest.

Dr. Hunter holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and a Master of Music in piano performance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City where she studied with Richard Cass. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Seattle Pacific University where she studied with Marcile Mack. She studied with Margaret Saunders Ott, Spokane, for several years and worked with Dr. Bela Nagy of Boston University while in Sion, Switzerland.

Dr. Colleen Hunter and her husband, Sam Hunter, Ph.D., have two children, Scott, a college graduate, and Abby, a college student. Their home is filled with much music, conversation, laughter, and creative activity.

Portrait of Greg Presley, Instructor, Applied Piano

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

Mr. Presley was a winner of the William Petschek scholarship as well as the competitive piano minor teaching fellowship at Juilliard. He has appeared as soloist with the Spokane Symphony, the Washington-Idaho Symphony, and the Yale Symphony and has performed many concertos with the Spokane Opera Orchestra.

He made a career of working with modern dancers after graduation, first with the Martha Graham Company in New York, and then on the dance faculty of Florida State University. He has premiered a number of composers’ works written especially for dance, revived a great deal of 20th century music used for modern dance and was invited to showcase the piano works of Robert Muczynski at the Music Teacher National Convention in Miami in 1990.

As a composer himself, he has written many works for dance and solo piano. Since his return to Spokane, he has been active as a soloist and accompanist including work for several productions of the Spokane Opera and as part of a duo-piano team with Kendall Feeney.

He served as a member of the piano faculty in the Music department of Eastern Washington University in the spring of 2001 and has been a member of the piano faculty at Gonzaga University since the Fall of 2001. Some of his students have been prize winners in state and local competitions and a number have gone on to have careers in music.

He performs regularly as the principal keyboard player for the Spokane Symphony, as  a chamber musician and as part of two-piano duos. He was selected by Gunther Schuller to play Beethoven's own arrangement of the Grosse Fuga for 4 hands with Christopher O'Reilly in 2010, and recently accompanied Thomas Hampson for the 10th Anniversary Gala of the Fox Theater in Spokane. He accompanied Zuill Bailey in Michael Daugherty's Grammy Award winning new piece, Tales of Hemingway, in December, 2017 and also in the two Haydn cello concertos in the Spokane Bach Festival March 2018.

He has presented many workshops and sessions for WSMTA at state conferences and districts conferences and is a frequent adjudicator and competition judge in Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Portrait of Deborah Rambo Sinn, Instructor, Applied Piano

Office: Music Mansion, Room 25
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: sinn@gonzaga.edu
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Deborah Rambo Sinn’s diverse career has taken her around the world. She has given concerts and masterclasses on four continents and has taught students from more than 14 different countries. She lived in Hamburg Germany for five years where she played concerts and musicals and operated two music studios for coaching and private instruction.

Her performing career includes giving concerts and masterclasses in four major cities with her piano/cello duo by invitation of the government of Mainland China. In addition to a lifetime of playing classical music, she has played for productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Wizard of Oz, and Mikado.

She holds a doctorate from Indiana University, where she studied with Menahem Pressler (Beaux Arts Trio). Before moving to Germany, she served on the music faculty of Angelo State University in Texas and taught one semester at Universität Lüneburg (Germany) as an exchange professor.

Dr. Sinn is the author of Playing Beyond the Notes: A Pianist's Guide to Musical Interpretation, published by Oxford University Press in 2013 (10th+ printing), widely used in university music programs and independent studios across the US, Canada, and Europe.


Image of Mary Trotter

Office: Music Building, Room23
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: trotterm@gonzaga.edu

Known for her lyrical and expressive sound, coach-accompanist Mary J. Trotter has been referred to as a 'poet at the piano.' Equally at home with operatic and concert repertoire, she is in high demand as a collaborative artist. In March 2021, she was featured on the Southwest Baptist University Community Concert series when she presented a lecture-recital entitled, "I Too, Sing America: The Friendship and Collaboration of Margaret Bonds and Langston Hughes." In July 2019, she performed Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe with the internationally-renowned Cantus Vocal Ensemble. In February 2018, she served as guest pianist with the the Spokane-based Kantorei Choir in their program entitled Spokane Mid-Winter, featuring Morten Lauridsen's Mid-Winter Songs as well as the premieres of works by Spokane-area composers.

As a performer, scholar, and educator, Mary is committed to telling stories of our common humanity. Always excited to share about her research discoveries, she has served as guest lecturer across the U.S. at such institutions as Yale University, University of St. Thomas, Gonzaga University, and Southwest Baptist University. Originally from Snohomish, WA, Mary holds a BA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Whitworth University, an MM in Vocal Accompanying from Peabody Conservatory, and a DMA in Collaborative Piano and Coaching from the University of Minnesota.  She is active in the Spokane musical community, serving as adjunct instructor and staff pianist at various institutions, including Gonzaga University, Whitworth University, and Spokane Falls Community College.



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 Riley Gray, Instructor, Applied Jazz Piano

Office: Music Hall, Room 108
Phone: (509) 313-6733
Email: grayr@gonzaga.edu
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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 Cameron LaPlante, Instructor, Applied Saxophone, Applied Jazz Improvisation

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

Cameron La Plante is an accomplished and versatile multi-instrumentalist with more than a decade of experience in the music industry. He performs regularly in a wide variety of local ensembles including The Bob Curnow Big Band, The Spokane Jazz Orchestra, Son Dulce, and Flying Spiders. Numerous arrangements of his have been performed by many local bands including Son Dulce, The Spokane Jazz Orchestra and The Spokane Symphony. In addition to being an avid performer, Cameron is also frequently involved in recording sessions where he has extensive experience recording, tracking, editing, and mixing in the studio setting.



Office: Music Hall, Room 107
Phone: (509) 313-6733

Portrait of Keleren Millham, Instructor, Jazz Voice

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

Keleren is a life-long student of vocal pedagogy across multiple genres and maintains a private studio, as well as balances both an ensemble and solo performing schedule. Her songwriting, arranging, touring and recording career

began as a founding member of the a cappella trio Lotus. Since 1996, Keleren has been writing, touring and performing as a duo with her husband Michael. A veteran of over 10 recording projects, her voice has been heard by

millions in ad campaigns for FOX and NBC.



Portrait of Mellad Abeid, Adjunct Faculty, Guitar Ensemble

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

Mellad graduated from Gonzaga University with a BA in Music Composition in 2002. Since then, he has worked as an adjunct guitar instructor at Gonzaga University and private guitar instructor at St. George's School and Colville High School. Mellad is a patient, yet highly skilled, instructor who is well versed in a variety of musical genres, including Classical, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Commercial, Country, Celtic and Broadway. As an international guitar performer, songwriter and record producer, Mellad is a dynamic instructor who brings a wealth of real-world expertise to the classroom.

For the past several years, Mellad has been fortunate to write and arrange songs for several independent vocal artists. Most recently, Mellad has been writing and performing with Country artist Nicole Lewis and is currently working on her upcoming Nashville-based full-length album. When not on tour or teaching, Mellad enjoys playing guitar for local Jazz ensembles and the live theatre circuit. Mellad has worked as a guitarist at Spokane Civic Theatre for the past 4 seasons and Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre for the past 5 seasons.

Portrait of Paul Grove, Instructor, Applied Guitar

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

Dr. Paul Grove joined the inland northwest music community in 1995 while completing a doctorate degree in Russian music theory and guitar performance at the University of Arizona.  He was invited by his colleague Leon Atkinson to live and work in Spokane, the place where Paul’s teacher Aaron Shearer began his career.  Though he was only going to stay for one year, he has remained and has contributed in the following ways:

He completed a Ph.D. dissertation on the contrapuntal theories of Sergei Ivanovich Taneev while receiving a Jacob Javits research grant.  In addition, he received awards and distinctions in several national and international guitar competitions including the Guitar Foundation of America Competition, the Stotsenberg International Competition, The Great Lakes Guitar Competition, and the Norman Sholin Memorial Competition. 

As a teacher he has mentored students who have received distinctions in several competitions including Guitar Northwest, the Wolff and Shaeffer Competitions at the University of Arizona, and Musicfest Northwest.  Most recently, he was invited to teach 18th-century counterpoint at Gonzaga University, and he teaches at Whitworth University.

As a performer, he has been a featured soloist with the Spokane Symphony, the Couer d’Alene Symphony, the Gonzaga Symphony, the Northwest Bach Festival, the Northwest Sacred Music Chorale, and other regional ensembles.  He has toured throughout the United States, and has performed internationally in Russia, Brazil, India, and Canada.

Paul’s primary guitar instructor was Aaron Shearer; and he studied composition with Jean Eichelberger-Ivey at the Peabody Conservatory where he joined Manuel Barueco as one of the first two guitarists to win the Peabody Conservatory Competition.

His current interest is to promote a dialogue that questions concepts pertaining to the nature, and societal role of Western “classical music.” 

Portrait of Michael Millham, Instructor, Applied Guitar

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

A veteran multi-genre performer, and an in-demand teacher and clinician, Michael maintains studios at Gonzaga and Eastern Washington Universities, as well as nurturing a private studio. He is a regular host/director of the Northwest Guitar Festival, and has been a featured performer for numerous regional festivals including the Northwest Guitar Festival, the Northwest Bach Festival, the Festival at Sandpoint (in concerto work with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra), and Northwest Folklife's guitar showcase in McCaw hall, among others.

Michael has been profiled in the magazine Acoustic Guitar and is a past regular contributor to the same. He has also written for Guitar Teacher and Play Guitar! magazines. Michael has worked as either an alpha/beta testing endorser or performing artist for Elixir strings, Lowden Guitars, Schoenberg Guitars, Hill Guitars, L.R. Baggs electronics and AER amps among other companies. His duo (with his wife, vocalist Keleren Millham) regularly performs at venues ranging from wine bars and house concerts to radio shows, theaters, universities and festivals: over 2,000 performances to date. They have released 3 CDs featuring their own compositions, completed a documentary film soundtrack, and scored the promotional reel soundtrack for author (and GU professor) Shann Ray's American Copper (2016 recording). Michael was recently featured in performance and on record with the Montana choir Dolce Canto (2011 recording) and with Spokane Symphony Cello and Bassoon 1st chairs John and Lynn Marshall (2015 recording). He is a graduate of the Lionel Hampton School of Music-University of Idaho.

Michael's students have won numerous gold and silver medals at Musicfest Northwest, including multiple winners in the young artist concerto division. His students have gone on assistantship to top schools for bachelors and masters degrees, and his former students have themselves been hired to teach at the college level, including Gonzaga and SFCC.

Both an acoustic guitar amplifier (L.R. Baggs A-Ref) and an acoustic guitar pickup (L.R. Baggs M1) designed with/around Michael's input have won MIPA awards (Musikmesse International Press Award; the "Grammy" of the Musical Instrument/ProAudio industry). The M1 pickup, in particular, has been adopted by many players at the pinnacle of the pop/acoustic music industry, including Tom Petty, David Gilmore (Pink Floyd) Cold Play, Jakob Dylan, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Oasis, among others.

In 1999, Michael was one of eight recipients selected nationally for Jim Beam Brand Worldwide's Benefiting Emerging Artists in Music grant.


Music Education

Peter Hamlin

Office: Music Building, Room 26
Phone: (509) 313-6792
Email: hamlin@gonzaga.edu
Visit my website

Dr. Peter J. Hamlin is Associate Professor of Music at Gonzaga University where he serves as the Director of Bands and oversees the Music Education degree program. At Gonzaga, Dr. Hamlin directs the Wind Ensemble and teaches coursework in music education and ethnomusicology. He is also the faculty advisor to the Gonzaga University Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education.

Dr. Hamlin is in frequent demand as a conductor, lecturer, and music performance adjudicator. He has given presentations at conferences both nationally and internationally and is published in numerous journals. His research areas explore the constructs of deliberate practice and the development of expertise in addition to music assessment, psychometrics, and quantitative research methodology.

Dr. Hamlin taught high school band in the state of Florida for nine years where he led a very successful program that included multiple concert bands, marching band, jazz ensemble, indoor color guard and percussion, and multiple chamber ensembles. Dr. Hamlin received his Ph.D. and Bachelors degrees in Music Education from the University of Miami in Florida and 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, women’s varsity basketball pep band, and the concert band.

Dr. Hamlin holds memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, International Society for Music Education, Washington Music Educators Association, College Music Society, Society for Ethnomusicology, Society for Music Perception and Cognition, and the International Clarinet Association.



Image of Shuying Li

Office: Music Building, Room 23
Phone: 509-313-4308
Email: lis@gonzaga.edu
Visit my website or check out music samples Here and Here

After winning a scholarship during her sophomore year at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music to continue her undergraduate studies, Shuying went on to receive her undergraduate degree from The Hartt School, Connecticut.   She earned master's and doctoral degrees in composition at the University of Michigan and is a research faculty member at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.  Shuying is a firm believer that the innate power of music connects people and promotes cultural diversity through shared passions and values. 


Creative Music Lab

Portrait of Robert Spittal, D.M.A.

Office: Music Building, Room 12
Phone: 509-313-6736
Email: spittal@gonzaga.edu

Conductor and award-winning composer Robert Spittal is the director of the Creative Music Lab Ensemble and teaches courses in conducting. Dr. Spittal was Director of Bands from 1992-2019, when he led the Gonzaga Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds, and he directed the Jazz Ensemble from 1992-1998. He maintains an active schedule of composing commissioned works and conducting ensembles regionally and nationally.  Dr. Spittal’s compositions are performed and recorded worldwide by ensembles such as The Bay Brass, Borealis Wind Quintet, Atlanta Chamber Winds, and North Texas Wind Symphony, and they are published by Boosey & Hawkes Co., Maestro and Fox Music. See full bio at www.robertspittal.com

Dr. Spittal’s research on the wind music of Stravinsky and American Pulitzer-winner John Harbision has been published and presented at conducting symposia. Spittal and Harbison collaborated on a well-received session at the national College Band Directors Association conference at the University of Colorado in 1997. Dr. Spittal contributed several research articles for publication in the “Teaching Music Through Performance in Band” series (GIA Publishing) which has reached musicians and music educators throughout the US and Canada.

Dr. Spittal received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and has also studied at Baylor University, The Ohio State University, The University of Michigan, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music and University of Colorado. His conducting teachers include Craig Kirchhoff, Michael Haithcock, and Eugene Corporon.


Music History

Emily Loeffler

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

Emily Loeffler is a PhD candidate in Musicology at the University of Oregon and is writing a dissertation on intersections of Swiss Alpine music with the history of science. Previously, she received M. Music degrees in Collaborative Piano, and Music History at the University of Northern Colorado, as well as a BA in Piano Performance from Humboldt State University. She has worked as an accompanist, piano teacher, for The Journal of Musicological Research, and is collaborating on a database of medieval chant. She has presented new research both regionally and internationally, including at the American Musicological Society national meeting, and the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.  


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Spokane, WA 99258