• Average class size, introductory: 30
  • Average class size, advanced: 7

Full-Time Faculty

Jennifer Dearden, Chair, Associate Professor of Music; B.M., Ithaca College; M.M., Florida State University, D.M.A., University of North Texas, Trumpet, Director of Civic Orchestra, Chair.

Julie Hepler, Assistant Professor of Music; B.M., M.M., Ohio University, Bassoon, Clarinet, Saxophone.

Lowell Hepler, Professor of Music; B.S., Clarion University; M.F.A., Carnegie-Mellon University; Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, Tuba, Piano, Director of Wind Symphony.

Douglas Jurs, Assistant Professor of Music; DMA in Piano Performance with a Minor in Music Theory at University of Wisconsin – Madison; MM in Piano Performance at Cleveland Institute of Music; BS in Piano and English at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

James Niblock, Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities;  B.A., Allegheny College;  M.M., Binghamton University; D.M.A., University of Connecticut, Voice, Director of Choral Activities.

Part-Time Faculty:

Bronwell Bond, M.Mus.Ed., instructor of flute

Kevin Dill, instructor of organ

Christina Brice Dolanc, M.M., instructor of violin & viola

James E. Froman, B.A., instructor of guitar, jazz improvisation, jazz history

Jackson Froman, B.A, instructor of harmonica

Vicki Jamison, B.A., instructor of voice

Claire Jurs, M.M.,  instructor of voice

Tom Leech, instructor of French horn

Carol Niblock, B.A., instructor of voice

Hilary Philipp, M.M., instructor of oboe

Wendy Plyler, B.M., instructor of piano

Susanna Reilly, M.M., instructor of cello

Matt Rush, instructor of percussion

Kelli Shellito, M.M., instructor of piano

Deke Showman, B.A., instructor of bagpipe

Ronald Stitt, Ph.D., instructor of trombone and euphonium, Director of Jazz Band

Thomas White, instructor of string bass

Selected Publications and Achievements

  • All faculty members are active performing artists, both on and off-campus
  • “Some Practical Considerations when Evaluating the Exceptional Adolescent Singing Voice” (article in Learning, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools)
  • “Bach’s St. John Passion-A Look at the Text and a New Numbering System” (article in The Choral Journal)
  • Prize winner at Gina Bachauer, Paloma O’Shea, Affiliate Artists and Sydney International piano competitions
  • Performances at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Ambassador Foundation, Pasaden, California
  • Concerto soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pittsburgh, Atlanta and New Zealand Symphonies, the Hong Kong and Buffalo Philharmonics, and others
  • International concert tours to People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Spain, New Zealand
  • Jury member of Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition
  • Steinway Celebration in Carnegie Hall
  • Pennsylvania State Chair of the College Band Directors National Association and Officer of Pennsylvania Music Educators Association
  • Principal tuba for the Erie Philharmonic and Erie Chamber Orchestras and the Lake Erie Ballet Company
  • Featured in the PBS film Bach to the Future
  • Choral and band directors have served as guest conductors for Pennsylvania All-State Chorus and Pennsylvania All-State Band in addition to other festival ensembles
  • Member of Solo Cornet Section, River City Brass Band