As hundreds of people filed into the West Virginia Culture Center Friday morning, Jan. 16, to pay their final respects to former Governor Arch A. Moore, the WVU Marching Band was part of the ceremony.

Master of Ceremonies Charles Ryan and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin welcomed the audience to the Culture Center and Moore’s son, Arch A. Moore III (known as Kim) spoke on behalf of the family.

According to WVU Director of Bands John Hendricks, it was the family that requested a small representation from the WVU Marching Band, known as “The Pride of West Virginia,” to attend and be a part of the service.

“We had 25 members of the band, under the direction of Jay Drury, playing some of the traditional pregame music as requested for the service, including “Simple Gifts,” “Country Roads,” and the University’s fight songs,” Hendricks said.

Kim Moore joked that his father sang and recorded “Country Roads.”

“That’s what he told me. But when the song became a hit in 1971, the timing couldn’t have been better. We had West Virginia pride. It was a great time.”

Other speakers at Friday’s service included U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and State Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox.

Arch Moore, who was West Virginia’s only three-term governor, died last week at the age of 91. He will also be remembered in services Saturday at 11 a.m. at Simpson United Methodist Church in his hometown of Moundsville.


Virginia Thompson

Virginia Thompson, 59, of Morgantown, passed away January 11, 2015 at her home after a brief illness. For the last 25 years she was Professor of Music at West Virginia University, where she taught horn performance, literature, and pedagogy.

An internationally acclaimed soloist, recitalist and clinician, she performed throughout North America, Europe and Africa. As a leader in the horn community, she held many offices, including the presidency of the International Horn Society. In 2008 Dr. Thompson recorded a collection of dramatic compositions that were written for her: “Colors: Music for Horn” (Mark Masters, 7654-MCD).

Known to legions of students as “Dr. T,” she was an inspirational and beloved teacher who found the time and energy to assist all students. Her pedagogical expertise was matched by her integrity and compassion.

She was born in Davenport, Iowa, the daughter of Julia and Richard Weichman. She is survived by her husband, Paul Scea, who is Director of Jazz Studies at WVU, and three siblings and their families.

Memorial donations may be made to Morgantown Hospice or a hospice program of one’s choosing. Online condolences may be made at

Two faculty members in the WVU School of Music—violin professor Mikylah McTeer and composition professor David Taddie—held residencies at Baylor University and the University of Texas at Austin in the fall, to exchange ideas and perform as part of the Big XII Faculty Fellowship Program.

The project will culminate with an event at the WVU Creative Arts Center in January that will include forums, master classes, and a concert featuring all four of the Big 12 music fellows and their newly written works.

Drs. McTeer and Taddie and their Texas colleagues—flute professor Francesca Arnone of Baylor University (formerly of the WVU School of Music faculty) and composition professor Russell Pinkston of the University of Texas at Austin—will present a concert featuring the new works on Thursday, Jan. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Bloch Learning and Performance Hall (200A) of the Creative Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Works on the program will include: “Vox Clamantis” for flute, violin and MAX (interactive music software) composed by Dr. Pinkston; “REACT” for flute, violin and interactive computer, by Ben Johansen, an alumnus of Baylor University; “Category 5,” by Taddie, a work for flute, piccolo, alto flute, violin and MAX; and “Luminosity,” also by Taddie, a work for flute, alto flute and electronic sounds.

The concert will also feature composer Margaret Schedel from Stony Brook University.

The Big XII Fellowship Program was created by the chief academic officers of the Big XII universities to stimulate scholarly initiatives.

The project by Taddie, McTeer, Pinkston and Arnone was very much a collaboration.

“The four of us proposed a multi-faceted research project centered around the composition, performance and recording of works written for flute, violin and electronic sounds,” McTeer said. “We have been sharing our scholarship through a series of events at each scholar’s respective institution.”

McTeer and Taddie both spent Nov. 9-16 in residence at the University of Texas at Austin, where McTeer rehearsed Pinkston’s “Vox Clamantis” and Taddie participated in a mini-residency and presented classes to Pinkston’s composition studio.

During the week of Nov. 16-21, they were at Baylor University, where Taddie held a mini-residency and presented classes to Scott McAllister’s composition studio and McTeer rehearsed “REACT” by Ben Johansen, who is a Baylor alumnus. She also gave a violin master class to Eka Gogichashvili’s violin studio.

Taddie returned to Austin during the week of Nov. 21-23 where he continued work in Pinkston’s studio.

All of the new compositions that will be performed at WVU in January were premiered at concerts at the University of Texas on Nov. 15 and at Baylor University on Nov. 18.

When all of the fellowship participants come together at the WVU Creative Arts Center in January, Arnone and Pinkston will present forums and master classes for WVU students that will also be open to the public.

David Taddie is professor of Music Theory and Composition and director of the Electronic Music Studio at WVU. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in composition from Cleveland State University and a doctorate in composition from Harvard University. His music has been widely performed in the United States and Europe by many soloists and by ensembles. His awards include the Adelbert W. Sprague, Francis Boott, and Bohemians prizes in composition from Harvard University, the Kaske Fellowship to the Wellesley Composers Conference, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and commissions from the Koussevitzky Foundation and the Fromm Foundation. He was named the Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year in 1995.

Mikylah Myers McTeer is associate professor of violin at WVU and coordinator of the WVU String Area. She was named the WVU College of Creative Art’s “Outstanding Teacher” in August 2014, West Virginia’s Outstanding Studio Teacher of the Year by the West Virginia chapter of the American String Teachers Association for both 2010 and 2009, and received the WVU School of Music’s Outstanding Teaching award in 2008. She received her bachelor of music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and her doctoral and master’s degrees in violin performance from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music. She has performed with the Houston Symphony, the Houston Grand Opera, the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida and the San Juan Symphony, as well as internationally as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

Francesca Arnone is assistant professor of flute at Baylor University. She is an active flute and piccolo soloist, recitalist, and clinician dedicated to promoting new music and engaged musicianship. She earned flute performance degrees from Oberlin, the San Francisco Conservatory, and the University of Miami. She also has many years of orchestral experience, holding the chairs of Principal, Second Flute, and Piccolo in numerous regional orchestras in the United States, Mexico and Spain. A winner of the National Flute Association’s Doctoral Dissertation and Convention Performers competitions, she is a frequent performer and presenter at NFA conventions. Arnone was on the faculty of the WVU School of Music for five years, where she received awards for her outstanding research in 2009 and 2010.

Russell Pinkston is professor of composition and director of the Electronic Music Studios at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds degrees in music composition from Dartmouth College and Columbia University. He has written music in a wide variety of different media, ranging from concert works and sacred anthems to computer-generated tape pieces and live electronic music for dance. His compositions have been played throughout Europe, South America and the United States. Pinkston has received numerous awards for his compositions, including two prizes from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a senior Fulbright Fellowship in Composition and Computer Music to Brazil. His computer music research in the area of real-time performance interfaces for modern dance has recently attracted international attention.

BIG XII Photo Taddie McTeer etc

From left: David Taddie, Francesca Arnone, Russell Pinkston, Ben Johansen, Mikylah McTeer

Arnone & McTeer in concert at Baylor

Francesca Arnone and Mikylah McTeer in concert at Baylor University

David Taddie lecture

David Taddie lectures at the University of Texas Austin

Mikylah McTeer master class

Mikylah McTeer presents a master class at Baylor

Canady Scholarship Winners 2014

Nineteen students studying in the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts have been awarded scholarships from the Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation, one of the most prestigious awards given in the college.

The scholarships are named for Valerie Canady, a Morgantown native and WVU summa cum laude graduate, who was among the 270 people who died in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in Dec. 1988. Canady, who worked for H.J. Heinz Co. in their London office, was an accomplished linguist and artist in different media of expression, especially in piano.

Loulie and William Canady, Valerie’s parents, and long-time residents of the Morgantown community, present the awards annually in December. Loulie Canady is a long-time supporter of the WVU School of Music and Dr. William Canady is professor emeritus of the Department of Biochemistry in the WVU School of Medicine. The Canadys are also the major patrons of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performances at WVU—a series that is named in memory of Valerie.

This year’s Canady scholars include:

Sornsuang Tangsinmonkong, of Thailand, is a doctoral student in piano performance, who won honors in several piano competitions in Bangkok, where she is also a faculty member (currently on leave) at Mahidol University, the largest school of music in Thailand. She has a bachelor’s degree in statistics from Chulalongkorn University, also in Bangkok, and a master’s degree in music performance from Mahidol University. She is fluent in Thai and English and has performed at national and international levels, winning some prestigious honors and awards.

Lucia Zung de Andrade, of Brazil, is an undergraduate student in bassoon performance. She had nearly completed a piano degree in Brazil when an injury to her wrist forced her to switch to the bassoon four years ago. Lucia plays in multiple WVU ensembles, including the WVU Symphony Orchestra and the WVU Wind Symphony. She speaks Portuguese, Spanish and also taught herself English. She previously studied at the Universidade Tecnologica Federal do Parana in Brazil.

Wei Chen (Bruce) Lin, originally of Taiwan, who also spent several years teaching in Vancouver, is currently in his third year of doctoral study in piano performance. He also holds degrees in other schools in the United States and in Canada. He is fluent in Chinese, French and English. He is one of WVU’s outstanding piano performers and is sought after as a teacher for individual lessons.

Tse Wei Chai, of Malaysia, is a doctoral student in piano performance. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Malaysia and a Master of Music from WVU. She is fluent in Malay, Chinese and English. She is a very talented pianist and is also sought after as a teacher for individual lessons. She earned her master’s degree at WVU in 2011, after several years of teaching in Singapore.

Juan Carlos Rios Betancur, of Colombia, is a doctoral student in piano performance. He is fluent in Spanish and English. In addition to his piano studies, Juan works as an assistant to WVU Piano Technician Tim Richards. Juan Carlos studied for years with Blanca Uribe, a prizewinner in the Van Cliburn Competition and probably the most famous teacher in Colombia. Prior to attending WVU, he was a faculty member and staff accompanist at a major university in Medellin, Colombia.

Youna Choi, of Korea, is studying for a doctorate in piano performance. She studied for a master’s degree in Minnesota before coming to WVU. She was the unanimous choice to fill the opera-accompanying assistantship that was vacant at the time of her application to WVU, partly because of her superb audition, and partly because then-opera director Robert Thieme regarded her sight reading to be among the very best he had observed in several decades of teaching. She also studies organ with Dr. William Haller and is fluent in Korean and English.

Bao-Vuong Nguyen, a native of Morgantown, West Virginia, is an undergraduate student in violin performance. He is fluent in Vietnamese, which is his native language, in addition to English. His ultimate career goal is medicine, but he is studying music as an undergrad, while filling his schedule with extra science and “pre-med” courses. He performs in the WVU Symphony Orchestra, where he has quickly become one of the strongest players.

Javier Camacho, of Colombia, is a doctoral student in collaborative piano and is the first recipient of a partial graduate assistantship in choral accompanying. He is an exceptionally strong player, both as a soloist and as a chamber music partner. He had extensive performance experience, both in his native Colombia, and also during his work for a master’s degree at Duquesne University, where he studied with artist-in-residence David Wehr. He is fluent in both Spanish and English.

Tak Chiu Wong, of Hong Kong, is a doctoral student in saxophone performance. He entered WVU with a wealth of professional experience as both a saxophonist and as a teacher. He plays a wide range of styles and has performed in a large number of international venues throughout Asia, Europe and North America. He is a graduate assistant assigned to teaching work in the WVU Saxophone Studio, where he teaches applied lessons to some of the undergraduate student and coaches saxophone quartets. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming.

Diego Gabete-Rodriguez, of Spain, is a doctoral student in violin performance and concertmaster of the WVU Symphony Orchestra. He holds degrees from Musikene-Centro Superior de Musica del Pais Vasco, Spain, and from Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and Columbus State University in Georgia. He was a winner of the 2014 WVU Young Artists Competition. He competed as a soloist at the national MTNA competition in Chicago in 2014, after being named the winner in the Eastern Division’s “Young Artist Performance” category. He also competed in the competition as a member of the WVU Graduate String Quartet. Last December he performed a recital in Spain for the Argentinian consulate, and he is now working with several music schools in Spain to form a partnership with WVU performing faculty.

Sora Lee, of Korea, received WVU’s first Master of Music degree in collaborative piano in 2011 and is currently studying for a doctorate in collaborative piano, as the first student to enter this exciting new doctoral program. She has eagerly worked with wind, string, voice and other piano students in the School of Music and continues to develop her collaborative playing experiences with the choir and other ensembles. She is fluent in Korean and English and also studies organ with Dr. William Haller.

Kirill Tyulkov, of Russia, is studying for a master’s degree in music education. He is fluent in Russian, English and French. He holds a master’s degree in French and also a law degree from Nizhny Novgorod Linguistics University in Russia and received a degree in music technology from California University in Pennsylvania. He is studying both classical and jazz piano at WVU, with pedagogical work in strings, woodwinds, voice, brass, percussion and conducting, and specialized work in music education in the areas of world music and research. He also teaches in the WVU Community Music Program.

Qian Xu, of Laramie, Wyoming, is a doctoral student in piano performance at WVU. She received a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming and initially applied for a second master’s degree at WVU, but the music faculty encouraged her, on the basis of her lovely audition and her completed master’s degree, to enter the doctoral program instead. She is a graduate student of international standard and chose WVU so that she could study with Dr. Peter Amstutz.

Dipendra Sunam, of Nepal, is a doctoral student in piano, who completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance at Berea College and Northern Arizona University. He has studied with music professionals from around the world, and was keyboardist with a Nepali pop band named Nepathya, which released several professional recordings and toured throughout Nepal. He is fluent in four languages—Nepali, Hindi, Urdu and English.

Brandon Isaac Brown, of Charleston, West Virginia, is an undergraduate studying for a bachelor’s degree in violin. While only a sophomore, he has become an important member of the WVU Symphony Orchestra, due to his talent, hard work and enthusiasm for classical music. He is fluent in German, a language he is continuing to study at WVU. He intends to use the Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation Scholarship to study music in Germany.

Christy Oscar, a native of Indonesia, is studying for a master’s degree in cello performance. She is also an excellent pianist and often plays accompaniments for other students. She came to WVU from Universiti Pelitas Haripan, near Jakarta, where one of her teachers included WVU School of Music graduates Dr. Mario Santoso and Dr. Tomislav Dimov. In 2012, she attended the InterHarmony Festival held in Hinterzarten, Scwarzwald, Germany. She is fluent in three languages: Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese and English.

Jocelyn Lee Jia Yin, of Malaysia and Singapore, is an undergraduate with a double major in violin and piano performance at WVU, where she excels on both instruments and is unusually gifted academically as well. She won the 2014 WVU Young Artist Competition on piano, playing the first movement of the Beethoven “Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37.” She is fluent in English and Mandarin, including the Cantonese and Hokkien dialects. She also currently studies German and Japanese.

Mirim Lee, of Korea, is studying for a doctorate in flute performance and is fluent in three languages, English, Korean and Bulgarian. She was a winner of the 2013 Young Artist Concerto Competition at WVU and plays principal flute in both the WVU Symphony Orchestra and the WVU Chamber Winds. She previously earned a bachelor’s degree in music at one of the top conservatories in Bulgaria and completed a master’s degree in flute performance at WVU last spring. She placed second at the 2013 Alexander & Buono International Flute Competition in New York, and was a semi-finalist at the Israeli Haifa International Flute Competition in 2014, and also at the 2014 International Intermusica Woodwinds Competition in Austria.

Elizabeth Rose Fitzgerald, of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Art History with a minor in French. Her language skills and her understanding of French History will make her a leader during the School of Art and Design’s spring 2015 study-travel course to France, where she, along with other art students and faculty, will live in Paris for nine days, taking excursions to Chartres, Troyes and Bourges to study Medieval stained glass in cathedrals, museums and studios. Lizzy plans to use the Valerie Canady Scholarship award for study abroad.

Caption: William and Loulie Canady (in front) with the 2014 Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation Scholarship winners, from left: Dipendra Sunam, Juan Carlos Betancur; Christy Oscar; Tak Chiu Wong; Javier Camacho; Qian Xu; Sornsuang Tangsinmonkong; Kirill Tyulkov; Lucia Zung de Andrade; Elizabeth Fitzgerald; Wei Chen (Bruce) Lin; Brandon Brown; Tse Wei Chai; Bao-Vuong Nguyen; Jocelyn Lee Jia Yin; Diego Gabete-Rodriguez; Mirim Lee; Youna Choi; and Sora Lee.

The audience attending the Nov. 19 WVU Symphony Orchestra Concert at the Creative Arts Center is in for a special treat, as President Gordon Gee joins the orchestra to conduct “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” the evening before the nationally televised football game with Kansas State.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre. Also on the program, conducted by Director of Orchestral Activities Mitchell Arnold, will be the gripping Symphonic Ballade “Voyevoda” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, selections from “Peer Gynt” by Edvard Grieg, and Symphony No. 5 by Jean Sibelius.

Music Professor James Miltenberger’s arrangement of “Country Roads,” orchestrated for the WVU Symphony Orchestra by doctoral music composition student and WVU Symphony Orchestra cellist Christopher Jones, will be conducted by President Gee.

“Even on a program of such exuberantly powerful music, performed by our outstanding students, the WVU conducting debut of President Gordon Gee stands out,” Dr. Arnold said. “Knowing President Gee’s love and support for the arts as a part of the university’s mission, it is a distinct pleasure to have him at the CAC and to conduct on our concert. While ‘Country Roads’ and Gordon’s conducting are only a part of an exciting concert by our talented students, this collaboration will definitely be the highlight of the year for everyone involved!”

Dr. Gee actually has a musical background and developed an appreciation for the arts early in life. He studied piano, oboe and violin, and enjoyed listening to opera as a child in Vernal, Utah.

He firmly believes the arts nourish the soul. For that reason, he supports strong arts and culture programs on campus, and recognizes their importance for students across all academic disciplines. As often as his schedule allows, he enjoys visiting the Creative Arts Center for theatre performances and concerts. His musical interests include jazz, opera, and of course, “Country Roads.”

Gee was on the College of Law faculty and soon to become the youngest-ever president of WVU back in 1980 when John Denver performed the iconic song at the first game played at the new football stadium, then called Mountaineer Field.

“Take Me Home, Country Roads” was already popular around the world by that time. Written in 1970 by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert and John Denver, it soon became one of Denver’s most popular songs. It is still very popular around the world today, as well as around the state of West Virginia. It was adopted as the official state song by the West Virginia Legislature in 2014.

The song has been played by the Mountaineer Marching Band at every WVU home game since 1972 and in recent years it has been played following each Mountaineer football win, with fans encouraged to remain in the stands and sing the song along with the team.

Also, this is not the first time that “Take Me Home, Country Roads” has been performed as a special event at WVU.

Piano Professor James Miltenberger performed the song during the halftime show at the WVU-Texas Christian University football game in 2012. A Steinway Grand Piano was actually carried out onto the field for that occasion, which was to promote the WVU School of Music becoming an All-Steinway School.

It was also James “Doc” Miltenberger—who has been on the music faculty for more than 50 years—who originally wrote the arrangement of “Country Roads” that the WVU Marching Band plays today.

It is especially fitting that Miltenberger’s arrangement of the song will be the one conducted by President Gee.

Tickets for the Nov. 19 WVU Symphony Orchestra Concert are available by calling the WVU Box Office at 304-293-SHOW.

Award-winning conductor George Stelluto, a graduate of the School of Music, will return to the CAC on Nov. 20 to work with WVU conducting students as part of our Alumni-in-Residence Series. What’s your story? Send us a blurb and we’ll try to print it in one of our future newsletters. We’d love to hear from you!

Beyond his conducting interests, Maestro George Stelluto is also involved in cultural advocacy, arts education, and arranging. He has published several co-authored articles on leadership (Leadership Quarterly, 2004) and given presentations about conductors as leadership models for business organizations. He speaks often in the United States and Europe on “Building Cultural Infrastructure”©, a presentation on ensuring the future of the arts.

In addition, George has published numerous articles in the Juilliard Journal on topics ranging from health care to arts funding and his new blog “Stelluto Offstage” has already developed quite a following. His latest blog entry is about meeting and performing with Lyle Lovett! See it here: Stelluto OffStage, or better yet, check him out on his Facebook site or on Twitter @GStelluto.

Lyle Lovett and George Stelluto
George Stelluto color

Award-winning American conductor George Stelluto, a graduate of the WVU School of Music, will visit the Creative Arts Center on Thursday, Nov. 20, to work with conducting students. The visit is part of the “Alumni in Residence Series” in the College of Creative Arts. As Resident Conductor of the Juilliard School, Music Director of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, and Assistant Conductor of the Ravinia Festival, Stelluto has established himself as a versatile conductor comfortable in many styles and genres.

In 2012-2013, he won both the prestigious ASCAP Award and the Illinois Council of Orchestra’s “Orchestra of the Year Award” for the Peoria Symphony Orchestra’s 2011-2012 season of innovative programming and outreach. In 2011-2012, he made critically acclaimed debuts with the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra and the Nordwestduetsche Philharmonie in Germany. Other guest appearances, throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America include The Juilliard Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica del Ecuador, Ukrainian National Orchestra, New York City Ballet, Transylvania State Philharmonic (Romania), Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Nevada Symphony Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Alea III, and Juilliard’s “Beyond the Machine” Festival and AXIOM Ensemble.

He made his Avery Fisher Hall debut with the Juilliard Orchestra in May 2008 and his international debut at the Kiev International Music Festival in 2000 where he gave the Ukrainian premiere of Samuel Barber’s Second Essay for Orchestra. Subsequent acclaimed premieres there include William Schuman’s Symphony #5, Barber’s First Essay, and Ewazen’s Chamber Symphony. He worked extensively with the Central Conservatory Orchestra in Beijing as part of the conducting staff for The Juilliard Orchestra’s 2008 tour of China and for the school’s 100th Anniversary Tours of Europe and America in 2005-2006, premiering Senderovas’ Fanfare at the Berlin Konzerthaus.

From 1998-2007, George Stelluto was Music Director of the Las Vegas Music Festival. He is the founder of the Illinois New Music Festival, which debuted in 2010 and repeats once every several years with unifying themes relating musical expression and society. He has collaborated with solo artists such as Sarah Chang, Hilary Hahn, Edgar Meyer, Heidi Grant Murphy, and Samuel Ramey; actors Kate Mulgrew and Isaac Mizrahi; and many young rising stars such as Veronika Eberle, Benjamin Moser, Anna Lee, Conrad Tao and Sirena Huang. His numerous contemporary premieres include works by Philippe Bodin, Virko Baley, Huang Ruo, Paul Desenne, and Theodore Antoniou.

George Stelluto is Juilliard’s only Artist Diploma recipient in conducting. He also holds two Master’s Degrees (Violin & Conducting) from the Yale School of Music and a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin from West Virginia University, summa cum laude.

During his residency at the Creative Arts Center, Maestro Stelluto will work with undergraduate conducting students during a master class to be held at 9 am in Room 200B. He will work with graduate conducting students at 10 a.m. The events are free and open to the public.

For more information, see Stelluto’s website:

Kim Parrish

As part of the College of Creative Arts Alumni-in-Residence Series, West Virginia native and former Miss West Virginia, Kim Parrish will return to the Creative Arts Center on Thursday, Nov. 6, to work with students.

A 1994 graduate of the WVU School of Theatre & Dance with a BFA in Acting, Kim Parrish, has put her degree to the test while working on national TV for more than two decades. Touted as a shopping goddess by the media, Kim is a familiar face to millions who welcomed her into their homes as a popular host on QVC for eight years, where she logged more than 6,000 hours of live TV.

In 2005, Kim launched the Kim Parrish Collection, her signature line of clothing that struck a chord with women who share the universal dilemma of having a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear. Featured on HSN for six years, her line quickly expanded to QVC-UK, ShopNBC and The Shopping Channel in Canada.

Featured in hundreds of articles from the TV Guide to the New York Times, Kim is a branding expert. She has worked and studied with numerous nationally known designers and stylists as well as celebrity guests and fashion trendsetters including Joan Rivers, Victoria Principal, Kathie Lee Gifford, Carol Alt and Cindy Crawford.

As the President of Kim Parrish, Inc., a champion of numerous philanthropic endeavors, she also leads the Miss America’s teen division which has become one of the leading scholarship programs for teens in the nation that now awards $18 million of in-kind and cash scholarships annually.

Kim will talk with students about her life and her career path after leaving WVU. The event will be held at 3 p.m. in the Vivian Davis Michael Theatre. Kim’s talk will be followed by a Q&A session. All events are free and open to the public.

Meet some of the 'Street Scene' Neighbors!

Stephanie | October 18, 2014

‘Street Scene’ produced by the School of Theatre & Dance in conjunction with the School of Music is in tech this weekend! Meet some of the friendly neighbors residing in the Lower East Side apartment building!

The show is in performance Oct. 23-26 in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre!



2013 Ryan Headshot

Guest Artist, Ryan C. Connelly (Sam Kaplan)

Ryan C. Connelly, tenor, is a 2011 graduate from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Master’s Program. Since that time he has sung with many companies all over the country and the globe, like Kentucky Opera, where he made his professional debut in 2011 as Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro, as well as Remendado in Carmen and Njegus in The Merry Widow. Ryan debuted internationally in 2012 singing the role of Florville in the Rossini opera Il Signor Bruschino  with the CCM Spoleto Festival in Spoleto, Italy. In that same year, Ryan was able to perform in the inaugural production of the Queen City Chamber Opera , which included lead roles in their double bill of Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne  and Der Schauspieldirektor. Ryan recently sang with Virginia Opera for their entire 2013-14 season in the roles of Dr. Cajus in Falstaff, Monostatos in The Magic Flute, and Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos.


Caryn Alexis Crozier (Rose Maurrant)

Caryn Alexis Crozier received both her Bachelor of Music degree and her Master of Music degree from Appalachian State University where she was a Concerto-Aria competition finalist. Since that time she has been seen in such roles as Papagena (Die Zauberflote), Belinda (Dido and Aeneas), Die Mutter (Hansel und Gretel), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), and Giannetta (l’Elisir d’Amore). Caryn was involved in an opera outreach program (Quintessential!) that brought opera scenes to local schools, as well as, with an early music ensemble, Collegium Musicum, where she was able to perform as a soloist in Mozart’s Mass in C, Faure’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium, and Handel’s Messiah. She was recently given the opportunity to study Early Anglican Church music at Cambridge University. Caryn is currently pursuing her DMA degree at WVU and is studying with the incredible, Dr. Hope Koehler. Fun fact: She is terrified of clowns and spiders, and once auditioned for a role in O Brother, Where Art Thou.... she had to sing “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” with a Southern accent.

Faith Snyderman's STREET SCENE Headshot crop

Faith Snyderman (Anna Maurrant)

Faith Snyderman, a junior Vocal Performance major, Theatre minor from Washington, D.C., is thrilled and honored to be playing the role of Anna Maurrant in her third main stage production here at West Virginia University. Credits also include Gypsy-smuggler in George Bizet’s Carmen and featured female ensemble in Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret. She would like to sincerely thank Bryce Britton and Maestro Cormio for believing in her, pushing her to be the best she can be and for giving her the phenomenal opportunity to play the role of a lifetime in her undergraduate collegiate career. Faith would also like to thank Dr. Hope Koehler, Jackie Merrill, the Artistic Team, the cast, and crew for all of their hard work and encouragement. Lastly, she extends a huge thank you to her friends and family for their unconditional love and support.

Dallas 1

Dallas Wright (Frank Maurrant)

Dallas Wright is a senior bass-baritone studying under Dr. William Koehler. He was last seen as the Speaker in Mozart’s The Magic Flute produced by WVU’s School of Music in the spring of 2014. His opera scene performances include Koko in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado, and Drunken Poet in Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. Dallas’ Clay Theatre performances include Sailor in WVU’s School of Theatre & Dance production of Cabaret, and as a smuggler and chorus member in Bizet’s opera Carmen. This semester marks his seventh with the University Singers, with whom he has been a soloist. Dallas has also appeared as a soloist with the WVU Steel Band singing the “tro-lo-lo” song.


Mallory Robson (Mrs. Jones)

Mallory Robson is a sophomore in the Theatre program at West Virginia University, and is pursuing a minor in Vocal Performance. This is her first main stage production, and she’s very excited to be a part of her first operetta. This is also her first time working with a dog on stage, and she’s thrilled that it got to be Warren. She is a member of University Singers, along with many of the other students in the cast. Mallory would like to thank everyone involved in the production of Street Scene for all being wonderfully supportive and caring throughout the entire process of the show. And of course, she would like to thank her parents for being incredibly supportive and loving as always.


Joe Ryan (Mr. Jones)

Joe Ryan is a sophomore Vocal Performance major at West Virginia University studying with Professor of Voice, Dr. William Koehler. Joe was cast as a freshman in Cabaret, Dance Now!, and The Magic Flute. Joe would like to thank Bryce Britton, Maestro Marcello Cormio, and General Hambrick for making Street Scene possible.


Margaret Dransfield (May Jones)

Margaret Dransfield is a 20-year-old junior in the BFA acting program. She is thrilled to be back on the Clay stage dancing and providing that ever so necessary comedic relief. She was previously seen in DANCE NOW! 2012 and 2013, Carmen as part of the ensemble, and Cabaret as Fraulein Kost. Margaret has been heavily involved in musical theatre since age 10 but has recently found a love for straight theatre. She would like to thank the School of Theatre and Dance for the ability to thrive in her position at school and her family for always loving and caring for her even when it isn’t easy. -Dreams can NEVER be too big- love and peace-


Woody Pond (Vincent Jones)

Woody Pond will be playing the role of Vince Jones in the WVU College of Creative Arts’s production of Street Scene. He is a sophomore in the Theater program and this is his first main stage performance at WVU. He has had a blast working on this show with a very talented cast, crew, and director. He would like to thank his parents, sister, friends, and his acting mentors Bill Cornforth and Tim Thompson for supporting him as an actor and a person.


Warren Koon (Queenie)

Warren Koon is making his stage debut as “Queenie.” He is excited to take on the role of a female dog, and he is not afraid of the challenge it presents. Warren would like thank Mallory for being such a great acting partner and Glen Koon for taking care of him when he’s not on the stage! He hopes you enjoy the show tonight because it’s been a real treat for him to be a part of!


Rachel C. Taylor (Mrs. Fiorentino)

Rachel C Taylor is a first-year graduate student at West Virginia University. A native of Miamisburg, Ohio, Rachel received her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Asbury University, where she was also the Peniston Honor’s winner for Voice. In addition to school performances, Rachel has been involved in community work both chorally as a member of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus and in putting on concerts to benefit charities and senior citizen groups. In 2010, she studied at AIMS in Gratz, Austria. Her most recent opera role at Asbury was YumYum in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado. Rachel is excited to make her WVU debut as Greta Fiorentino in Kurt Weil’s Street Scene.


Robert Rowley (Mr. Fiorentino)

Robert Rowley, Tenor, is a young artist pursuing his B.M. in Vocal Performance at West Virginia University under the instruction of Dr. Hope Koehler. Originally from Sturgis, Kentucky, Robert first became exposed to performing when he had the opportunity to be a chorister in West Virginia University’s production of Carmen in 2012. Since then Robert has appeared most notably as Monostatos in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Robert has also performed scenes as Alfred in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus and Dr. Caius in Verdi’s Falstaff with WVU Opera Theatre. Robert is excited to bring to life LippovFiorentino, the feisty Italian husband of Greta Fiorentino whose love for her is only matched by his love for ice cream.


Vincent Pelligrino (Harry Easter/Dick McGann)

Vincent Pelligrino is an actor and musical theatre performer from Detroit, Michigan. This is his third year in the MFA Acting program. Previous shows at WVU include The Cherry Orchard, Cabaret and Henry IV. Professionally he’s worked with The Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre, The National Theatre for Children and Shakespeare in Detroit. He is looking forward to a career as theatre practitioner, teaching and performing.


Madilyn Carothers (Mrs. Hildebrand)

Madilyn Carothers is so excited to be a part of such an exciting production! Madilyn is a sophomore Vocal Performance major with a Theater minor. She has always been heavily involved in music and theater and is definitely not a stranger to the stage. She has participated in multiple musicals including Once on this Island, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and 42nd Street. But this is one of her first main stage productions with West Virginia University, with the exception of last semesters production of The Magic Flute as a chorus member. Madilyn is ecstatic to share with the audience the intense and hectic atmosphere that Street Scene provides. Welcome to the street, you might be able to take my place! Charlie!


Janine Ernsting (Jennie Hildebrand)

Janine Ernsting is a junior Vocal Performance major at West Virginia University. This year, Janine will also be performing the role of Silverpael in an excerpt of Mozart’s The Impressario presented by the WVU Opera Theatre. In previous years, Janine has played the role of a Cigarette Girl in Bizet’s Carmen, Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, and First Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. She is a member of the University Singers and is currently the Secretary of the WVU Student Chapter of American Choral Director’s Association. Janine competed in the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition and won first place two years in a row; she plans on competing again this fall. Finally, Janine would like to thank her parents, colleagues, mentors, and voice teacher, Dr. Hope Koehler, for believing in her and supporting her every step of the way. Janine cannot wait to see what her future has to offer.


Meg Baker (Mrs. Olson)

Meg Baker is excited to play her first operatic role as Olga Olsen in Street Scene. Meg performed in the ensemble as a Cigarette Girl in WVU’s production of Carmen in 2013. She graduated as an Industrial Engineer from WVU last spring, and is returning to complete her second degree in Multidisciplinary Studies. The MDS degree combines three minors, so Meg currently studies Vocal Performance, Theater, and Music Technology minors. As part of her capstone project, she is the acting dramaturge for this production of Street Scene. Meg would like to thank her parents and her friends for letting her follow her crazy dreams, and supporting her even when it doesn’t make any sense.


John T.K. Scherch (Mr. Olson)

John T.K. Scherch, bass, is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and in his final year of Vocal Performance studies at WVU. In Street Scene, he will be portraying Swedish neighbor Carl Olsen, his second full role in a WVU opera production. Other roles he has portrayed are Prince Gremin and Zaretsky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Russian Opera Workshop, coached by faculty of Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts, and Sarastro in WVU’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. T.K. has also done scene work in a variety of roles, and can be seen in an upcoming performance as Sparafucile from Verdi’s Rigoletto and Don Alfonso from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. He is also the director of the classical music show on U92-FM, WVU’s college radio station, and regularly features WVU students and faculty on air.


Steven Michael Patrick (Mr. Buchanan)

Steven Michael Patrick – Tenor, is in his fourth year of study at West Virginia University. He currently studies with Dr.Nicholas Perna. He spent last fall in Edinburgh, Scotland where he attended The University of Edinburgh Napier. While there he worked with Taylor Wilson of the Scottish National Opera. He is excited to be performing the role of Daniel Buchanan. His past performances with the WVU Opera Theatre include Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Monostatos) and Bizet’s Carmen.


Alec Tincher (Officer Murphy)

Alec Tincher is a junior Vocal Performance Studies major studying under Dr. William Koehler.
He is currently working on a scene from Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief in opera theatre. This past summer he performed Missa Criolla with the University of Rome and the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Rome, Italy. He is the former keyboardist for the group The Corey Brooks Band which won album of the year and vocal group of the year at 2013’s Artist Music Guild Heritage Awards in Charlotte, North Carolina This is his first major production.

What's Your Story?

Charlene | October 6, 2014

Alumni Spotlight: Bobby & Betty Ann Spiers (both received a master’s degree in music in 1970)
Bobby sent us this email in late August, which we want to share with you. What’s your story? Send us a blurb and we’ll try to put it on our blog and print it in one of our future newsletters. We’d love to hear from you!

This has been an exciting summer for the Spiers clan. I went “solo” on my first trip to Europe which was “A London Rhapsody” with American Public Media’s host of “Performance Today,” Fred Child on NPR. While I was on this trip, my wife Betty Ann was chasing the musical sons of J.S. Bach in Greensboro (University of North Carolina) while I was chasing Handel in London with Fred. I was one of three Virginia travelers, out of a tour of 50, which left the first week of June. As a result of this, I made three home websites on Facebook: Performance Today, Shenandoah University, and most recently, WCVE Public Radio here in Richmond, which broadcasts Fred’s show on weekday mornings. The exciting thing that happened at the Heathrow airport after I cleared security was the CBS reality show, “The Amazing Race” making their first stop on their quest. I DID SEND a contribution today for the “Pride of West Virginia.” I hope they do well in Atlanta! Thank you for the emails which Betty Ann and I receive from WVU. We think of you guys often, are still quite active in the community, and our church. Have a great new year!!

Bobby Spiers
1970 WVU MM
Lifetime member of WVU Music Alumni Association
P.S. Our punch bowl from Morgantown Glass (1970) is still used at receptions – it’s not broken yet!!!!!

Bobby & Betty Ann
Bobby and Betty Ann Spiers at WCVE Public Radio in Richmond, Va.

#30 Fred with Bobby outside of Handel Museum
Fred Child and Bobby Spiers outside the Handel Museum in London