Dr. Kevin Ayesh has performed concerts and presented master classes in all 50 states of the United States, as well as in Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong. Dr. Ayesh has been the head of the Music Department at Blue Ridge Community College (an all-Steinway School) in Flat Rock, North Carolina since 1992. As a North Carolina Visiting Artist for four years, he appeared before thousands across that state, performing as many as 50 recitals in a season. He is the recipient of many prizes, including the Naftzger Piano Award and Baltimore Music Club Award. A finalist in several national and international competitions, he was awarded Second Prize at the Wideman International Piano Competition, and both Third Prize and Composer's Prize at the New Orleans International Piano Competition. He has performed concertos with a number of orchestras, and is in frequent demand as recitalist, adjudicator, and clinician.
Anna Lee Smith received her BA in Music Education from Weber State University, which she attended on a full-tuition orchestral scholarship. She recently completed her MA in Music Education at Southern Utah University. Anna has been the orchestra director at Layton High School and Central Davis Junior High for 13 years. Her performing ensembles consistently receive top honors and qualify for state orchestra festivals. She has presented to fellow music educators at UMEA and Utah ASTA. She currently serves on the UMEA orchestra committee and adjudication committee. Anna enjoys performing as the cellist with the professional string quartet “Strings of Elegance.” She lives in North Salt Lake, Utah with her husband Doug and two children, Alice and Peter. In addition to music, she enjoys cooking and will make her television cooking debut in April of 2019 on the new family cooking show, “Dinner Takes All.”
Taerra Pence is a native of Richmond, Virginia, currently pursuing her opera career in New York City. The second of eight children born to a rather eclectically talented family, all of whom sing. Taerra earned her B.A. in Music from Southern Virginia University and her Master's of Music degree at Brigham Young University, teaching group voice classes and private voice lessons. She then worked as an adjunct instructor at SVU teaching voice, music literature, and music fundamentals. She also trained with Richard Crittendon's Opera Workshop in Washington, DC and Valentin Peytchinov’s master course in Sofia Bulgaria. In 2017, she performed the role of Violetta in Regina Opera's production of La Traviata; in 2018, the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madam Butterfly.
Guitarist and Composer Craig Green's unique vision and constant exploration has spanned the last 2 decades, through a wide and diverse constellation of artistic projects from jazz, contemporary classical, electronica and world music. With teaching, collaboration and improvisation as the focus, Craig has scored music for stage, film, ballet and chamber ensembles in addition to a continuous output of recorded projects. Craig studied at the prestigious Conservatory Von Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and has been a student of both Jazz legend Pat Martino and French guitarist Pierre Bensusan. In addition to concerts throughout the United States and Europe, Craig has done music research projects in Southern Spain, India and the African Diaspora with the intent of combining traditional music styles to contemporary music and teaching.
Rebecca Parkinson has been teaching organ at Brigham Young University-Idaho for 32 years! With a degree in organ and composition from Utah State University, she is a published composer in both print & audio. She has been an organist with the Idaho Falls Symphony, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and Ricks College (now BYU-I) Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Northern Utah Choral Society, USU Singers, Idaho Falls Symphony Chorale, Idaho Falls Opera Theater, Sounds Choir of Idaho Falls, and presently, for The Eastern Idaho Chorale. She is a guest organist at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, and has participated as an accompanist and organist in the Temple Square Concert Series. She also maintains a private studio of organ and piano students.
Janet Erickson holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, Provo with emphasis in vocal, choral and children’s music. She has taught private voice and children’s music performance, theory and composition for 25 years. She adores choral singing and conducting. Janet has spent time on the stage her entire life as a director, music director, performer and costumer, participating in over 25 musical theater and drama productions. When her family (Hubby and 7 children) isn’t running their small ranch in Bedford, WY, they love to push all the furniture back to the walls and dance for hours on the hickory floors.
Luke Kratz has been teaching music to students for more than 15 years. With degrees in Music from Missouri State University and Idaho State University, he both teaches, performs, and composes in the school setting, as well as privately and collaboratively. He currently teaches music (guitar, voice, keyboard and orchestra) in Lincoln County School District and maintains a private studio for piano and guitar.
Alexis McBroom is an Idaho Falls native and a graduate of Idaho State University, where she received her Bachelor's of Music in Piano Performance. She studied there with Dr. Kori Bond. She has established herself as an accompanist and collaborator at ISU, where she has accompanied for multiple senior recitals, auditions, choirs and a rehearsal pianist for a musical. She has a passion for collaborative music, and recently performed Brahm's Piano Quartet in C Minor with a chamber ensemble. She has a growing private piano studio, and enjoys teaching all ages! She has had the privilege of working in star valley for the youth opera, and is excited to be back!
James Arbizu earned a degree in Music Education from Weber State University and a Master of Music in instrumental conducting from Brigham Young University where he guest conducted the BYU Symphony Orchestra and Co-Conducted for a "Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts Grant" for New Chamber Music. He has conducted many youth and community orchestras, including the Lincoln Youth Symphony, the Nebo Youth Philharmonic, the Star Valley Messiah Orchestra & Choir, and the Evanston Community Orchestra. He currently holds the post of Orchestral Director for the Salt River Symphony Chorus. He directed the Star Valley High School Bluegrass Band. James has performed with various groups both classic and bluegrass, and as lead fiddle of the famous Bar-T-5 Band.
Dr. Dallin Hansen, Professor of Violin, joined the faculty of Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2004 where he teaches string pedagogy, chamber music, and directs the BYU-Idaho Sinfonietta (chamber orchestra). He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University, studying with Dr. Kathryn McLin and additional work with Arnold Steinhardt, Ida Kavafian, Mark Steinberg, and Eckhardt Sellheim. He also holds degrees in Music Education and Orchestral Conducting from BYU. He is first violinist of the Serenata Strings faculty quartet at BYU-Idaho, performs frequently with the University Baroque Ensemble, has performed with the Utah Symphony, and is currently a section violinist with Vivaldi Virtuosi and Sinfonia Salt Lake.
Annette Pack Colledge received degrees in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from Utah State University where she studied with Irene Peery-Fox and Gary Amano. She received several awards including Outstanding Pianist and was the winner of two concerto competitions. She has taught piano lessons for almost 40 years, and her students regularly place or win in local piano competitions. In her spare time she enjoys writing instrumental music arrangements and creating slide shows/videos set to music for weddings and other events. She currently resides in Providence, UT with her husband and has a studio with over 60 private students.
Taerra Pence is a native of Richmond, Virginia, currently pursuing her opera career in New York City. The second of eight children born to a rather eclectically talented family, all of whom sing. Taerra earned her B.A. in Music from Southern Virginia University and her Master's of Music degree at Brigham Young University, teaching group voice classes and private voice lessons. She then worked as an adjunct instructor at SVU teaching voice, music literature, and music fundamentals. She also trained with Richard Crittendon's Opera Workshop in Washington, DC and Valentin Peytchinov’s master course in Sofia Bulgaria. This fall, she performed the role of Violetta in Regina Opera's production of La Traviata, and is currently performing the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madam Butterfly.
Dr. Kevin Brower is a graduate of Utah State University, Brigham Young University, and Arizona State University.
In his sixteenth year at Brigham Young University-Idaho, Dr. Brower serves as Dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts and conductor of the BYU-Idaho Men's Choir. Dr. Brower previously served as Director of Choral Activities at BYU-Idaho and conducted Collegiate Singers, Vocal Union, Concert Chorale and Women's Choir. Before his appointment at BYU-Idaho, he taught music in the public schools.
Dr. Brower's choral groups have received national recognition and performed at many regional and national ACDA and MENC events. His groups are frequently involved in national and international performances tours including recent trips to Canada, Brazil and Chile.
Dr. Brower has been a featured conductor with the acclaimed Mormon Tabernacle Choir on five different occasions.
Professor Kathleen Lane joined the Idaho State University voice faculty in 1993, after teaching singing for five years at the Yale University School of Drama. At ISU she currently serves as Vocal Coordinator and head of Opera ISU, while appearing as a singer and actress throughout the region and maintaining an active and successful voice studio. This past winter she was featured in the title role of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium at the Old Town Actors Studio in Pocatello Idaho. As general director of Opera ISU since 1996, Prof. Lane has revitalized the program, mounting major productions ranging from Johann Strauss and Franz Lehar, to Mozart and Puccini. In 2016 she collaborated with Theatre ISU as music director for Frank Loesser’s popular musical, Guys and Dolls and Ned Rorem’s opera version of Our Town is scheduled for spring of 2018. Well-known as a choral conductor, Prof. Lane founded and directs the ISU Women’s Choir. Ever dedicated to artistic outreach and education, she offers clinics and master classes throughout the Northwest; most recently speaking at the All Northwest Music Educators Convention this past February, in Bellevue Washington.
Professor Lane earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree at the University of Montana, followed by post-graduate studies in choral conducting at Portland State University. After winning the 1986 district Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the mezzo-soprano was recruited into the Yale University Opera Program, where she earned her Master of Music degree in 1988, along with the Yale School of Music Alumni Prize.
Pam Drews Phillips has played in many Broadway shows, including "Cats", "City of Angels", "Les Miserables", and "Secret Garden". She was the featured solo pianist on the film "Crossing Delancey" and has performed with the American Symphony, New York City Ballet Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, American Theater Orchestra, and the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra. Her jazz credits include Lainie Kazan, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Betty Buckley, and The Manhattan Rhythm Kings. She composed the music to "Charlotte and Shaw", a musical that was performed at Musical Theater Works in New York City, and "Petticoat Rules” with writer and composer Mary Murfitt, which was performed in Jackson, Wyoming at the new Center For the Arts Theater. She has conducted the Broadway companies of "Crazy For You" and "Jerome Robbins' Broadway", the National company of "On Your Toes", and the National and Scandinavian companies of "Evita". Pam also composed and recorded a CD of solo piano pieces entitled, "Open Country"and most recently a jazz CD entitled “Play, Piano, Play”. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music with a BM in piano performance.
Originally from Holland, Michigan, Jennifer (Lenters) Lyford began her Suzuki violin studies at the age of 7 with Ellen Rizner. She began teaching in Laramie, Wyoming in 1995 after graduating with a Bachelors of Music in Music Education from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and while completing her Masters of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Wyoming. Currently, Jennifer is teaching general music at Indian Paintbrush Elementary School and private and group violin and viola lessons with the String Academy of Wyoming. She is also a member of the Cheyenne Symphony, and has performed with the Wyoming Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, and the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra. Jennifer enjoys calling Wyoming home now, where she finds time to run, bike, ski, and camp with her family and dogs.
Rebecca Parkinson is beginning her 30th year of teaching organ at Brigham Young University-Idaho. She completed her degree in organ and composition from Utah State University and has been active in the organ world ever since. Rebecca is a published composer and has been published in recordings as well. She has been an organist with the Idaho Falls Symphony, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and Ricks College (now BYU-I) Symphony Orchestra. She has been an accompanist/organist for the Northern Utah Choral Society, USU Singers, Idaho Falls Symphony Chorale, Idaho Falls Opera Theater, Sounds Choir of Idaho Falls, and presently, for The Eastern Idaho Chorale. Rebecca has been listed in “Who’s Who in America,” and is a founding member of the Easter Idaho Chapter of the American Guild of Organist, and is a guest organist at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. She has participated as an accompanist and organist as part of Temple Square Concert Series. Rebecca has been an employee of Chesbro Music Co. in Idaho Falls for twelve years and is presently librarian of Idaho Falls Symphony and Idaho Falls Youth Symphony. She also maintains a private studio of organ and piano students.
Janet Erickson holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Brigham Young University, Provo, with an emphasis in children's and vocal music. She has performed and taught classical voice for 20 years. In those 20 years, her students have emerged skilled and confident, some receiving music scholarships. Janet also teaches children's music to families in their homes using the Kodaly Method. While at BYU, Janet studied conducting with Dr. Mack Wilberg (Current Music Director of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir). She loves conducting and the process of shaping the performance of a choir into a beautiful, interesting and meaningful message. Janet feels strongly that making music is a journey that involves the whole soul of the being, unifying body, mind and spirit in a deeply sublime and uplifting experience. When individuals collaborate in the blending of musical and spiritual elements, the creation is powerful and complete. Conducting is an incredibly beautiful experience that involves not only leading musicians to perform as a unit, but inspiring the greatest musicality and meaning possible within the framework of the composer's intention.
Hyrum attended Snow College and graduated with a Music Education degree from Utah State University where he studied under the Fry Street Quartet and Anne Francis Bayless. During his time at USU, Hyrum performed in three recitals - one of which featured his own compositions for cello quartet and piano solo. He taught orchestras with the Mountain West String Academy and USU. Hyrum has been teaching 5th and 6th grade orchestras in Star Valley for the last three years. His original works have been performed by 5th, 6th and 7th grade orchestras. In the 2017-18 school year, Hyrum will teach orchestra grades 6-12 in New Richmond, Wisconsin. Although sad to leave Star Valley, he is excited for this new opportunity!
Alexis Walker is an Idaho Falls native and a recent graduate of Idaho State University, where she received her Bachelor's of Music in Piano Performance. She studied there with Dr. Kori Bond. She has established herself as an accompanist and collaborator at ISU, where she has accompanied for multiple senior recitals, auditions, and a rehearsal pianist for a musical. She has a passion for collaborative music, and recently performed Brahm's Piano Quartet in C Minor with a chamber ensemble. She has a growing private piano studio, and enjoys teaching all ages! She returns for a 2nd year to help coordinate and accompany rehearsals and performance of the Youth Opera.