Additional Music Instructors – Asbury University
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Sue Ellen Ballard, Lecturer in Music Education – Director of Women’s Choir

Beyond her responsibilities at Asbury, Dr. Ballard serves as pianist and organist at Central Baptist Church in Paris, Kentucky, and as co-conductor of the Kentucky Baptist Convention Youth Choir and the KBC Women’s Chorale. She received a doctorate from the University of Kentucky and has twenty-five years of teaching and conducting experience, having served at Eastern Kentucky University, Transylvania University, Georgetown College, and in public school systems in Mississippi and Kentucky prior to joining the faculty at Asbury University.

Degrees

DMA, Choral Conducting, University of Kentucky

MM, Music Education, Mississippi College

BME, Music Education, University of Southern Mississippi

Contact

Email: sueellen.ballard@asbury.edu

Jeffrey Barrington, Lecturer in Brass – Instructor of Trumpet

Dr. Jeffrey Barrington currently serves as the newly appointed Lecturer of Brass at Asbury University as well as the Trumpet Instructor at Campbellsville University. With an extensive background in Salvation Army brass banding, Jeffrey previously held positions as the Divisional Music & Arts Director for The Salvation Army both in the Texas and New Jersey Divisions. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Asbury University in 2002, his Master’s Degree from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music in 2004, and most recently, his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Kentucky in 2020. Besides teaching, Jeffrey is the principal cornet of Lexington Brass Band and has performed and recorded extensively with The Salvation Army’s New York Staff Band and the Southern Territorial Band. Jeffrey currently resides in Georgetown, Kentucky with his wife, Janette, and four children.

Degrees

DMA, University of Kentucky

MM, State University of New York, Purchase Conservatory

BA, Asbury University

Contact

Email: jeff.barrington@asbury.edu

Marie-France Duclos, Vocal Area Coordinator – Lecturer in Voice

Soprano Marie-France Duclos began her career in Canada and built a vast repertoire of sacred music as well as opera. Her roles include Despina (UK Opera Theatre), Belinda in (Bourbon Baroque’s 2015 production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Gretel, Musetta, Cendrillon and Monica. Dr. Duclos was particularly prolific in Baroque music and performed with renowned Canadian orchestras and ensembles which included a broadcast of Bach’s motets by the BBC public radio. Since moving to Kentucky with her family in 2010, she has been a repetitive soloist with The Kentucky Bach Choir, the UK Opera Theater, the UK Orchestra, the Bourbon Baroque early music ensemble, and The Lexington Singers. Throughout her career, she was awarded several prizes including the First Prize of the Audrey Rooney Kentucky Bach Choir Competition in 2014, a fellowship to attend the Canadian Institute of Vocal Arts, and an Alltech scholarship in 2016. Dr. Duclos has a master’s degree from the University of Montreal and earned a DMA in voice performance from the University of Kentucky in 2019. She loves her role as a pedagogue as much as performing and is excited to be teaching Voice, Vocal Diction and Vocal Pedagogy at Asbury University.

Degrees

DMA, Vocal Performance, University of Kentucky

MM, Vocal Performance, University of Montreal

Contact

Email: mariefrance.duclos@asbury.edu

Clyde Beavers, Instructor of Cello

Professor Beavers, a resident of Lexington, Kentucky, is Adjunct Professor of violoncello at Asbury University and Transylvania University. He serves as the Assistant Principal cellist of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. Chamber music ensembles in which he performs include the Ashland Trio, the Beavers-Cooper Duo, and the Beavers-Kiekenapp Duo. In 1997, with the encouragement and assistance of several friends, he founded the one-week summer music camp Festival of Strings.

Professor Beavers has recorded Marcel Dupré’s Sonata in A minor, Op. 60 for cello and organ, the Trio, Op. 55 for violin, cello and organ, and the Quartet, Op. 52 for violin, viola, cello and organ on the Naxos label.

Clyde Beavers performs on a cello made by the American maker, Timothy J. Jansma. He frequently collaborates with pianist David Cooper in the Bluegrass area. In addition to his work in music, he enjoys growing, showing and hybridizing roses.

Degrees

DMA, University of Kentucky

MM, BM, Julliard

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Al Beers, Instructor of Guitar

Al Beers is Asbury University’s Instructor of Guitar and Director of the Guitar Ensemble. In addition to his studio at Asbury University, Mr. Beers teaches guitar at Asbury Theological Seminary and is director of the Childbloom Guitar Program of Lexington, Kentucky, which is licensed by the national program based in Austin, Texas. Mr. Beers has won several national awards from Childbloom, including Teacher of the Year.

Degrees

M.Div, Asbury Theological Seminary

BM, Guitar Performance, University of South Alabama

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Bob Bryant, Instructor of Bass and Jazz Theory

Bob Bryant serves as Instructor of Bass as well as Jazz Theory (when offered). He also offers Independent Studies in Jazz Performance for interested students. Mr. Bryant received his BA in music from the University of Kentucky and a Masters degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Mr. Bryant retains an extensive list of collaborations with such well-known performers as Bela Fleck, Jack Wilkins, Jerry Douglas, and Alex Acuna. Mr.Bryant has also performed on over 500 LP’s and CD’s, and composed/produced over 1000 commercial jingles.

Degrees

MM, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

BA, University of Kentucky

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Clark Cranfill, Instructor of Percussion

Mr. Cranfill teaches percussion lessons and percussion methods courses at Asbury. In addition, Clark currently works as the high school and junior high band director at Lexington Christian Academy, Volunteer Recruiter at The New Life Day Center, and Director of Artruism Inc. (a new non-profit altruistic arts organization). He is also active as a composer.

Degree

BME, Music Education, University of Kentucky

MA, Digital Storytelling, Asbury University

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Johnie Dean, Instructor of Composition

Dr. Johnie Dean lives in Lexington, Kentucky, where he is actively involved in educational and church music. He teaches applied lessons in composition and serves as the coordinator of Graduate Studies in the School of Communication Arts. In addition, he is the Assistant Conductor of The Lexington Singers and works with area local churches and their music leadership.

Dr. Dean received his Bachelor of Music degree in church music from Campbellsville College in Campbellsville, Kentucky, and his Master of Church Music degree in composition from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. His Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition was granted by the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Winner of numerous awards in both writing and performance, Dr. Dean is well-represented in sacred catalogs with having over 200 works published for piano, adult and children’s choirs, handbells, orchestra, and instrumental ensembles. He also serves as a frequent choral adjudicator, vocal coach, vocal soloist, accompanist, and guest conductor.

A Kentucky native, he has been composing and arranging music for over 40 years and has more than 200 published works. His recent published work, The Pirates of Penzance Medley, National Music Publishers, was performed by the Florida All-State High School TTBB Chorus in 2012 and by the Texas All-State Men’s High School TTBB Choir in 2013. Other recent published works include three piano collections published by FJH Music Publishing Company in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, a solo piano CD of his arrangements titled I Need Thee Every Hour, and numbers included on The American Spiritual Ensemble’s Christmas CD. Dr. Dean arranges and orchestrates commissioned numbers throughout the year.

Degrees

DMA, University of Kentucky

MM, Southern Seminary

BM, Campbellsville College

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Doug Drewek, Instructor of Saxophone and Clarinet

A native of Raleigh, NC, Dr. Drewek has performed with the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra and the US Air Jazz Orchestra featuring Ben E. King. In 1996 Dr. Drewek traveled with the Leon Jordan Continentals on a weeklong tour of northern England. In 2002 he was featured with the East Carolina Jazz Ensemble at the JVC Jazz Festival and the Birdland jazz club in New York City. While in Kentucky, he has played with a variety of ensembles including DiMartino-Osland Jazz Orchestra, The Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra, The Lexington Philharmonic, the Temptations, and Aretha Franklin. Dr. Drewek has also recorded extensively. He can be heard on the Osland Saxophone Quartet’s recording, Commission Impossible, the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra’s Quotient, and the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra’s Flying Home. Other recordings include the world premiere of Bob Mintzer’s Rhythm of the Americas with the Osland Saxophone Quartet and the University of Kentucky Wind Ensemble, as well as the University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble’s Self Contained which was recommended for a Grammy nomination in 2006. In 2015, Dr. Drewek served as director for the Kentucky Intercollegiate Jazz Ensemble.

Degrees

DMA, Saxophone Performance, University of Kentucky

MM, Saxophone Performance, East Carolina University

BM, Saxophone Performance, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

 

Merrilee Elliott, Instructor of Flute

Merrilee Elliott, a native Kentuckian, enjoys a varied career as a flutist. In addition to playing in the Lexington Philharmonic, she performs regularly throughout Kentucky and the South with The Ashland Trio (Flute, Viola, Cello), The Jefferson Duo (Flute, Harp), The Elliott/Fogler Duo (Flute, Guitar) and The Lexington Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet. Merrilee is in demand as a soloist and chamber musician and has played concerts in Greece, Italy, Austria, and Germany.

Degree

BM, Flute Performance, University of Kentucky

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Kim Heersche, Instructor of Oboe

Kim Heersche is the instructor of oboe at Asbury University. She received a B.M.in Music Education from the University of South Carolina, where she studied with Rebecca Nagel, and an M.M. in Oboe Performance from the University of Kentucky, where she studied with Nancy Clauter. In addition to her work at Asbury, Ms. Heersche is the adjunct instructor of oboe at Transylvania University and maintains an active performing and teaching schedule in the Bluegrass area.

Degrees

MM, Oboe Performance, University of Kentucky

BME, Music Education, University of South Carolina

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Brad Keesler, Instructor of Trombone and Euphonium

Dr. Bradley J. Keesler serves as the instructor of trombone and euphonium at Asbury University, and is also an adjunct instructor of music at Eastern Kentucky University and Midway University. He also manages and teaches private lessons through the Bluegrass Low Brass Studio comprised of middle and high school students in Central Kentucky. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, a Master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Doctoral degree from the University of South Carolina. His primary teachers have been Dale Warren, David Loucky, and Brad Edwards. He performs as a freelance musician throughout Kentucky and Ohio, and is the principal trombonist with the Lexington Brass Band. Originally from South Carolina, he currently lives in Cynthiana, Kentucky with his wife, Emily.

Degrees

DMA, Trombone Performance, University of South Carolina

MA, Music Performance, Middle Tennessee State University

BM, Music Performance, University of Kentucky

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Sherri Phelps, Instructor of Voice

Mezzo-Soprano Sherri Phelps, is an active soloist throughout the Southeast. Her credits include: two roles from Puccini’s Il trittico– La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica and Zita in Gianni Schicchi, Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and the title character in The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Madame Pernelle in Kirke Mecham’s Tartuffe, and Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music. She performed with the Aspen Opera Center singing the role of Myrtle in Still Life. She has performed the mezzo-soprano solos in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah with the Lexington Philharmonic, and the role of Emilia in Otello with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. She often concertizes in Northern California singing the world premiere of Craig Bohmler’s song Keys as well as the rest of his song cycle Songs of Loss with the Mission Chamber Orchestra of San Jose under the baton of Emily Ray.

Ms. Phelps’s other appearances include several performances with Fremont, California’s Music at the Mission Concert Series which have included Chaplin in Concert, Stravinsky’s L’histoire du Soldat with Roscoe Lee Brown, and Existentialist Poetry, Zen Buddhism & the American Song. Ms. Phelps has sung under the renown Jonathan Wilcox, and Sir Neville Marinner and has recorded a role in Aaron Copeland’s Tenderland with Kirk Trevor. Currently, she is specializing in the songs of composer John Jacob Niles and performing the multimedia recital of his music Written in the Stars with pianist Dr. Rachel Taylor. She is also an active teacher and currently teaches voice at Eastern Kentucky University and Asbury University, where she also directs the Opera Workshop.

A native of Morgantown, KY she currently resides in Lexington, KY where she has completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kentucky as a student of Gail Robinson after having received her Masters in Voice from the Juilliard School, and her Bachelor of Music degree from Western Kentucky University.

Degrees

DMA, University of Kentucky
Principal Teachers: Professor Gail Robinson

MM, The Juilliard School
Principal Teacher: Professor Beverly Johnson

BM, Western Kentucky University
Principal Teacher: Professor Elizabeth Volkman

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Linda Pickerill, Instructor of Piano

Linda Pickerill serves as an instructor of piano at Asbury University in addition to maintaining a private piano teaching studio. She has held the position of accompanist for Asbury University, Asbury Theological Seminary, and Wingate University in North Carolina. Professor Pickerill has studied piano at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Kentucky. She and pianist Julie Tennent form a piano four-hands duo and have recently performed works by Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Dvorak.

Degrees

BS, Education, University of Cincinnati

MA, Education, The Ohio State University

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Arlene Rector, Instructor of Harp

In addition to teaching at Asbury, Arlene performs extensively and is a member of the Jefferson duo with Asbury’s flute instructor, Merrilee Elliott.

Degree

BM, Harp Performance, Eastman School of Music

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Meg Saunders, Instructor of Violin and Viola

Meg Saunders holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Virginia. She completed a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching degree at Eastern Kentucky University. Saunders has been on the music faculty of Centre College since 2003 and is also currently serving on the faculty at Eastern Kentucky University as violin/viola instructor. She teaches over 70 young students with the Heritage Area String Program in Danville.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Saunders is a regular performer with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. She performs regularly on solo and chamber music recitals and maintains a large studio of Central Kentucky students ages 4-18. During summers she serves on the faculty of the Stephen Foster Music Camps and performs with the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra in Virginia.

Degrees

MAT, Music Education, Eastern Kentucky University

MM, Violin Performance, Eastern Kentucky University

BM, Violin Performance, University of Virginia

BA, Psychology, University of Virginia

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Cheryl Schell, Instructor of Handbells

Professor Cheryl Schell, Instructor of Handbells, graduated from Asbury University with a degree in Music Education. She is the wife of Music Department Chair, Dr. Mark Schell, and the mother of Hannah and Adam. Mrs. Schell also stays busy as the Minister of Children at the Wilmore Free Methodist Church. She has rung handbells since college and continues to do so both at the college and church, enjoying reading and cross-stitching in her spare time.

Degree

MM, University of Kentucky

BS, Music Education, Asbury University

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu

Chris Weiss, Chamber Ensemble Coach

Chris Weiss is a guitarist/singer-songwriter from Lexington, KY who is constantly exploring the sounds of steel-string guitar and the voice both in word and scat.  Chris first picked up a guitar and began to teach himself at age 10.  Inspired by songwriting legends like Paul Simon, John Denver, and Billy Joel, and later by iconic fingerstyle guitarists like Pierre Bensusan, Phil Keaggy, and Tommy Emmanuel, Chris began to carve his mark in the world of acoustic music.  Since then, he has won the recognition of many and shared the stage with greats like Michael Chapdelaine and Ben Lacy.  His music has been featured on the airwaves from Kentucky to Michigan and across the country on Red Barn Radio.

Degree

BA, Music, Asbury University

Contact

Email: musicdept@asbury.edu