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  • Steve Benne

    Position: Adjunct Instructor of Music - String Bass

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3328

    Campus Box: 72048

    Mr. Steve Benne is currently principal double bassist with the Knoxville Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. Before coming to Knoxville, he performed across the United States and Europe as the principal double bassist for the New American Chamber Orchestra (NACO), based first in Detroit and then in Granada, Spain. With NACO, Mr. Benne performed at many major European music festivals, including the Grec Festival (Barcelona), the Korsholm Music Festival (Vassa, Finland), the Priory of Chirens Chamber Music Festival (near Voiron, France), and the Uppsala Festival (Uppsala, Sweden), as well as performing at the Philharmonic Hall in Berlin and Salle Pleyel in Paris. In the U.S., Mr. Benne has performed with the Florida International Festival, the L.A. Philharmonic Institute, the Aspen Music Festival, the Grand Teton Music Festival, and the Spoleto Festival (Charleston, SC). As a recitalist, he has played in Granada, Spain, Asheville, NC, and Knoxville, TN. 

    Mr. Benne has studied with such noted teachers as Lawrence Hurst, Stuart Sankey, Murray Grodner, Eldon Obrecht, and Audrey Bush. He plays a Cremonese bass made in 1683 by Aegidius Barzellini and is the founder of the Knoxville Chamber Music Festival and Bass Workshop. In addition to his love to mountain bike and play tennis, he has discovered yoga since coming to Knoxville. He likes working on his old Volvo, and enjoys construction having remodeled and added a second story to the 1921 bungalow he and his wife share.


  • Pat Bivens

    Position: Assistant Professor of Music - Trombone/Euphonium; Director of Bands

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3496

    Campus Box: 72048

    Email: pbivens@cn.edu

    Professor Pat Bivens is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Carson-Newman University. She currently directs the Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and the Marching Eagles and is co-director of the Wind Ensemble. In addition, she is a free lance trombonist in East Tennessee. She is a native of Dublin, Maryland, graduated from North Harford High School in 1980, holds the Bachelor of Arts in trombone from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a Masters in Music Education from Texas Christian University (TCU).

    Upon graduation from TCU in 1986, Mrs. Bivens entered the United States Air Force Band Program and was assigned for the next four years to the 590th AF Band at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey. After completing her tour of active duty, Mrs. Bivens enlisted in the Tennessee Air National Guard, where for the next eighteen years she performed on trombone, euphonium and as a vocalist with the 572 AF Band at McGhee-Tyson Air Base in Knoxville, Tennessee. She served as the Music Librarian, Unit Deployment Manager and Non-Commissioned Officer-in-Charge (NCOIC) of Logistics for the 572 AF Band until she retired at the rank of Master Sergeant in October 2008.

    Professor Bivens has traveled and performed as a member of various musical organizations in Romania, the former Soviet Union, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Canada, Alaska, and all over the United States. Her professional affiliations include the International Trombone Association, International Tuba-Euphonium Association, Music Educators National Conference, Tennessee Music Educators Association and the East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association. She currently resides in Morristown, Tennessee.


  • Caitlin Bolden

    Position: Adjunct Professor of Music - Voice

    Email: cbolden@cn.edu

    Caitlin Bolden earned her Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from the University of Tennessee, where she was a member of the Knoxville Opera Studio and performed several roles with the University of Tennessee Opera Theatre, including title role in The Medium, La zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, and Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro. Caitlin was the alto soloist in the University of Tennessee Symphony’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Tennessee Theater in Knoxville. A native of Akron, Ohio, Caitlin received her Bachelor of Music degree from The Ohio State University, where she sang Mrs. Herring in Albert Herring, and performed in several operatic scene programs. Caitlin studied opera at the Brevard Music Center, where she performed in productions of the Merry Widow, Falstaff, and in the world premiere of Speed Dating Tonight!. She also studied art song at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria in 2010. Caitlin is a member of the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and of Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society.


  • John Brock

    Position: Adjunct Instructor of Music - Organ

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3328

    Campus Box: 72048

    Mr. John Brock is Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he continues to teach organ and harpsichord in addition to teaching organ at Carson-Newman University. During his career, he has developed a wide reputation as an outstanding organ teacher and performer. He has presented concerts and workshops for conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society, and the Organ Historical Society, as well as for A.G.O. chapters, churches, colleges, and universities. He has also performed on historic and modern organs in Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany, and France.

    Mr. Brock is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where he was an organ student of Warren Hutton. He is the author of an organ method, Introduction to Organ Playing in 17th and 18th Century Style (Wayne Leupold Editions). His recordings include two volumes of A Tennessee Organ Tour (Raven Recordings), on which he performs on several interesting mechanical action organs in Tennessee, and the complete organ works of Hugo Distler (Calcante Recordings, Ltd.).

    Mr Brock is Assistant Organist at Church of the Ascension, Knoxville, Tennessee. He also performs on the harpsichord as both solo and chamber musician and serves as a pipe organ consultant for churches. He is an active member of the American Guild of Organists, the Organ Historical Society, the Music Teachers National Association, and a past-President of the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society.


  • Andrew Bryenton

    Position: Adjunct Instructor of Music - Cello

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3412

    Campus Box: 72048

    Email: bachbuster@bellsouth.net

    Mr. Andy Bryenton has been a member of the core ensemble of the Knoxville Symphony since 1986, and Principal Cellist since 1999. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt School of Music, where he was a student of David Wells. His graduate studies were at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, studying with Walter Despalj and Leopold Teraspulsky, where he performed as a member of the Langdon Piano Quartet. Mr. Bryenton also has been a member of the Lake George Opera Festival in upstate New York and the Des Moines Metro Opera. He has summered with such festivals as Yellow Barn, Music Mountain, Hampden-Sydney, New Hampshire, Orford and Spoleto. Formerly Principal Cellist with the Oak Ridge Symphony, he has a busy teaching schedule as well, with a private studio at home and as adjunct faculty at Carson-Newman University. In addition to his classical output, he is cellist with the Johnson Swingtet, a local gypsy jazz ensemble which is unique worldwide in its instrumentation and scope. He has also appeared on recordings by several local pop artists.


  • Jeremy J. Buckner

    Position: Chair, Department of Music; Director or Music Education

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3328

    Campus Box: 72048

    Email: jbuckner@cn.edu

    Dr. Jeremy J. Buckner serves as the Chair for the Department of Music and the Director of Music Education at Carson-Newman University. His primary teaching responsibilities include music teaching methods courses for music education and elementary education majors, and supervising student teachers. In April of 2011, Dr. Buckner became a fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar participating in a 3 day seminar with contributors from around the world discussing the important and positive role of music for social change. Dr. Buckner moved to Tennessee from Texas in the fall of 2008.

    Dr. Buckner earned his Bachelor of Music from Texas Tech University in 1997. After teaching general music for five years as an Elementary Music Specialist in Plano and Round Rock, TX, he returned to school and earned a Master in Music Education (2005) and a Ph. D. in Fine Arts - Music Education (2008) also from Texas Tech University. Additionally, he holds a Lifetime All-Level Music Teaching Certificate from the State of Texas and has completed three levels of Kodaly training and certification with some additional graduate work at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX and further Kodaly training at Portland State University in Portland, OR. Dr. Buckner is a member of PI KAPPA LAMBDA, National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Tenneesee Music Education Association, Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE), Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), and Organization of Kodaly Educators (OAKE). He also enjoys the honor of D.O. Patron in DELTA OMICRON, ALPHA GAMMA chapter at Carson-Newman.


  • Glenda Cloutier

    Position: Adjunct Instructor of Music - Trumpet

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3329

    Campus Box: 72048

    Ms. Glenda Cloutier’s performing credits include some of our nation’s finest professional orchestras. She performed frequently with both the Minnesota and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestras in addition to other fine ensembles such as the Joffrey Ballet and the Houston Grand Opera. While living in the Pittsburgh area, her performing experiences included regular touring with the River City Brass Band and with the Pittsburgh Symphony as an extra.

    A native of East Tennessee, Ms. Cloutier has also performed with Knoxville Symphony, the University of Tennessee Brasswind Quintet, the Knoxville Wind Symphony, and the Clarence Brown Theatre orchestra. While studying at Northwestern University, her teachers included Vincent Cichowicz, Adolf Herseth, and Arnold Jacobs of the Chicago Symphony. A summer of study at Banff included study with Armando Ghitalla, formerly of the Boston Symphony. In the years following undergraduate work, Ms. Cloutier sought out teachers including Manny Laureano, Minnesota Orchestra; Gary Bordner, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Susan Slaughter, St. Louis Symphony; James Thompson, formerly the Atlanta Symphony, now at the Eastman School of Music; and Barbara Butler, currently of Northwestern University. To prepare for college teaching, Ms. Cloutier studied with Dr. Cathy Leach of the Knoxville Symphony at the University of Tennessee.

    Ms. Cloutier now resides with her husband and son in Anderson County, Tennessee. She and her husband coach, as well as a judge at the invitational level, the Sounds of Music Event for her son's middle school Science Olympiad team. In 2012, the team competed in the National Tournament for the first time. 


  • Carol Crutchley

    Position: Staff Accompanist

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3328

    Campus Box: 72048

    Mrs. Crutchley is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University, Trinity College, and Royal Schools of Music. Mrs. Crutchley earned a degree in Elementary Education as well as two licentiates in music and piano. She also taught piano for ten years. For fourteen years she was a missionary in South Africa.


  • Ryan Fogg

    Position: Associate Professor of Music - Piano; Director of Keyboard Studies

    Campus Phone: 865.471.2057

    Campus Box: 72067

    Email: rfogg@cn.edu

    Personal Website: http://ryanfogg.weebly.com/

    Dr. Ryan Fogg is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Keyboard Studies at Carson-Newman. A native Texan, he holds degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston, and East Texas Baptist University. Dr. Fogg maintains an active performing schedule, presenting solo recitals regularly throughout the United States. In addition, he has collaborated with the Blair String Quartet, appeared as concerto soloist with the Knoxville Wind Symphony, and recorded new works by American composers through Albany Records.

    Dr. Fogg currently serves as the President-Elect of the Tennessee Music Teachers Association and is also a member of the College Music Society and Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society. A dedicated teacher, he has been recognized by Carson-Newman University with the Teaching Excellence and Leadership Award (2010) and the Faculty Creativity Award (2008, 2012), and he was named the 2009-2010 Teacher of the Year by the Knoxville Music Teachers Association. He has written articles for Clavier Companion and Piano Pedagogy Forum and has previously served on the faculties of Northwest Missouri State University and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. His major teachers include Gregory Allen, Danielle Martin, Robert Brownlee and Dr. Randall Sulton. He resides in Jefferson City, Tennessee with his wife, Nicki, and their daughter, Cora.


  • Mark Harrell

    Position: Adjunct Instructor of Music - Horn

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3331

    Campus Box: 72048

    Mr. W. Mark Harrell is adjunct horn professor at Carson-Newman University. He is a seventh generation native of Anderson County in East Tennessee. After graduation from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1988 with a degree in music performance, Mr. Harrell spent several years in Boston continuing his studies with Charles Kavalovski of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. While in New England he performed widely as an orchestral musician and also came in contact with the music of composers John Harbison in Boston and Chris DiBlasio in New York.

    As a composer Mr. Harrell is primarily self-taught, learning the craft of structure and orchestration from study and practical experience as an active performer. “The language of music is spoken most fluently by those composers who immerse themselves within it, the accent being developed by the composer as his alone. His voice must be comprehensible without being overly simplistic.” Mr. Harrell’s works have been performed widely by a variety of artists. Recent commissions and performances have been given by ensembles such as: Appalachian Ballet, Brasswind Quintet, Carson-Newman University Symphonic Band, East Tennessee State University Wind Ensemble, East Tennessee Youth Wind Ensemble, Knoxville Chamber Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Mountain Empire Wind Ensemble, Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, Olympia Symphony Orchestra, Partes Choir of Obninsk (Russia), Slovak State Philharmonic of Kosice (Slovakia), Tennessee Secondary Schools Band Directors Association.

    Mr. Harrell lives in Knoxville, Tennessee and serves as the third hornist with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Harrell holds a Tennessee teacher’s license and teaches instrumental music in the public schools of Sevier County. He has also taught at East Tennessee State University and Maryville College.


  • Angela Holder

    Position: Associate Professor of Music - Voice and Small Choral Ensemble

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3409

    Campus Box: 71987

    Email: aholder@cn.edu

    Dr. Angela Easterday Holder, Associate Professor of Music, joined the Carson-Newman Music Faculty in 2003. She taught for eight years at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky before this appointment. Originally from the Knoxville area, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Carson-Newman, a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Tennessee, and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, where she holds the office of Tennessee NATS Secretary/Treasurer and Tennessee Music Educators Association.

    Dr. Holder has been a soprano soloist on a number of occasions, most recently in Saint Saens’ Christmas Oratorio, Rutter’s Magnificat, Haydn’s Missa Brevis, Mozart’s Missa Solemnis, and with the C-N choirs, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore, Garber’s Magnificat, Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, and Handel’s Messiah. She is also a member of the Knoxville Choral Society, having performed as soloist in the Beethoven Mass in C, K. Lee Scott's Requiem, and Rutter's Feel the Spirit.

    As a member of the voice faculty at Carson-Newman, she teaches private voice, diction, song literature, class voice, and is the director of Redemption, the Christian Contemporary group sponsored by the music department.


  • Mark Hussung

    Position: Interim Dean, School of Fine Arts; Associate Professor of Music - Piano

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3406

    Campus Box: 71947

    Email: mhussung@cn.edu

    Dr. Mark E. Hussung is currently serving his nineteenth year as a member of the Carson-Newman Music Department Faculty, and is serving this year as Interim Dean for the School of Fine Arts. A native of Murray, Kentucky, Dr. Hussung earned degrees in piano performance from The University of Louisville, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, and The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He did additional study for two summers at The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara California. His principal teachers have included Dr. David Kaiserman, Piano Department Chair of The Northwestern University School of Music, Paul Schenly, Piano Department Chair of The Cleveland Institute of Music, and Eugene Pridonoff, Artist-in-Residence at The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has performed with the Knoxville Chamber Orchestra and solo and chamber music works for the Tennessee Music Teachers Associate State Convention. In 2005 he recorded J. Ryan Garber’s Resonances for release through Capstone Records. He is a member of the East Tennessee Chamber Players and is a frequent adjudicator for various piano competitions and festivals. In addition to his duties in the Carson-Newman Music Department, Hussung served from 2000-2010 as Director of the Carson-Newman Honors Program.


  • Ann Jones

    Position: Professor of Music - Voice; Director Voice Studies

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3408

    Campus Box: 71886

    Email: ajones@cn.edu

    Mrs. Ann Jones is the Director of Voice Studies of Carson-Newman University, where she is the director of Women Singers and teaches applied voice. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance at Carson-Newman University, and holds a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy from Indiana University with some additional doctoral work in Vocal Pedagogy. In addition, Mrs. Jones has completed summer studies at Westminster College in Choral Conducting and further studies in Vocal Pedagogy at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Belmont University.

    Mrs. Jones has been recognized as a Distinquished Professor at Carson-Newman University. In addition to teaching, she is the chapter advisor for the international music fraternity Delta Omicron, Alpha Gamma Chapter at C-N. Under her direction, the Alpha Gamma Chapter has won the Chapter Excellence Award for over 40 consecutive years. She is a member of the national music groups: Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honors Fraternity, American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Music Educators National Conference (MENC), East Tennessee Vocal Association, Professional Fraternity Association, Tennessee Music Educators Association (TMEA).

    Mrs. Jones is a well-respected individual as she has presented vocal solos all through-out the South and Southeast since 1965, including the Knoxville Choral Society having also served as president and as a vocal soloist for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. She is a frequent clinician and presents master classes for the Knoxville Music Teachers Association at several colleges and universities in the South. She has also served as adjudicator for NATS.


  • Elissa Keck Hodge

    Position: Adjunct Professor of Music

    Email: ekeckhodge@cn.edu

    Elissa Keck Hodge, joined the Carson-Newman Music Department in 2013. Prior to this appointment, she taught at Walters State Community College in Morristown, TN. Originally from the East Tennessee area, she received a Bachelor of Music in Music Theory with an emphasis in voice and extensive study in composition from Carson-Newman. She also holds a Master of Music degree in Musicology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  She is currently in pursuit of the Ph.D. in Christian Worship from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

    As a composer, Ms. Keck Hodge has written works for student composition competitions at Carson-Newman, one of which led to her selection as first-prize winner, and has also had the privilege of being commissioned by outside sources.  Her two most recent commissions include, a four-part vocal arrangement of “O, The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” (2013) and an original collaborative work for Easter featuring choir and piano, entitled “The Third Gift” (2012). As an historical musicologist, she has published one book, Orientalism and the Continuation of the English Oratorio: Representation in William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast (2011).

    As a member of the department, her teaching responsibilities have included Applied Voice, Class Voice, Music Appreciation, and Women Singers.


  • Keith McClelland

    Position: Adjunct Instructor of Music - Bassoon

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3412

    Campus Box: 72048


  • Clark Measels , Dr.

    Position: Professor of Music - Church Music; Director of the Ball Institute of Church Music

    Campus Phone: 865-471-3480

    Campus Box: 72048

    Email: cmeasels@cn.edu

    Dr. Clark Measels serves as Director of the Ball Institute for Church Music. He has served as a State and Regional Governor for the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Additional service was done on the national Bylaws and Membership Committees. As a performer, Dr. Measels sang widely in the South and in Britian including performances at Baylor University, East Tennessee State University, Milligan College, Centre College, Walter State Community College, the Tennessee Governors School of the Arts, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly, and with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

    From his time at William Carey (College) until 1994 he served as a full-time, part-time, or interim Minister of Music in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky. For four years he was Editor of Publications for the Baptist Church Music Conference. He also served as an educational representative for that organization for four years. Recently, he has been a member of the Text and Tunes Committee for the hymnal Celebrating Grace by Mercer Press. His book, Music Ministry: A Guidebook, was published by Smyth & Helwys Publishers.

    His studies include degrees in musicology, church music, and vocal performance from East Central Junior College, William Carey College, and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a fellow of the Salzburg Seminars where he studied the future of the classical music of countries from around the world. He has served as an accrediting visitor for the National Association of Schools of Music for 20 institutions of higher education, as well as being a member of the Nominating Committee, organizing sessions, and giving presentations at the annual meeting. Additional service has been rendered as a consultant for two institutions.


  • Thomas Milligan

    Position: Professor of Music - Theory/History

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3405

    Campus Box: 71915

    Email: tmilligan@cn.edu

    A member of the music faculty for 32 years, Dr. Milligan has a Bachelor's degree from Carson-Newman and a Master's and PhD from the Eastman School of Music. He was a Fulbright scholar in Vienna, and he has published two books. With a primary teaching area in music history, he also teaches theory and piano.


  • Joseph North

    Position: Staff Accompanist

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3328

    Campus Box: 72048

    Email: jnorth@cn.edu

    Mr. North began his position as staff accompanist at Carson-Newman University in the fall of 2005. He attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he received his Bachelors in Piano Performance and has also done extensive work in studio jazz under the training of Donald Brown. Mr. North is the recipient of several music awards including 1st place winner of the 2000 High School Senior division in the Tennessee Music Teachers Association Piano Competition, winner of the MACCO Concerto Competition, and 2nd place winner in the University of Tennessee full tuition scholarship competition. In 1999, he was selected to attend the Governor's School for the Arts as a high school junior.

    He is a member of Mill Springs Baptist Church where he serves as pianist, and resides in Morristown, TN with his wife, Michelle.


  • Edward Pulgar

    Position: Adjunct Instructor of Music - Strings

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3423

    Campus Box: 72048

    Email: epulgar@cn.edu

    Born in Caracas, Edward Pulgar is a violinist and conductor from the National Youth Orchestra System of Venezuela. He began his musical studies at age eight in solfège, percussion and violin at the Youth Orchestra’s Academy and city of Coro’s School of Music. At thirteen years old, he won his first violin competition at the V National Violin Competition in Venezuela. While continuing his studies in violin, he also began studies in orchestral conducting in the city of Maracaibo. He then moved to Caracas where he continued his studies in violin and conducting at the Simon Bolivar Conservatory of El Sistema, and the Latin-American Violin Academy under the guidance of the eminent Venezuelan pedagogue José Francisco del Castillo.

    He made his debut as a conductor at age twenty with the Zulia Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela. In 1999, he obtained a scholarship to study violin in the U.S., and earned an Artist Diploma and a Masters in Music Performance from the Universities of Duquesne and Michigan State.

    Mr. Pulgar has appeared as a soloist and concertmaster with Symphonic Orchestras in Venezuela and South America, and more recently with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra at important concert halls such as Complejo Cultural Teresa Carreño of Caracas, Panama’s National Theatre, Beethovensaal of Stuttgart and Bonn, Teatro Colón of Bogota, the PNC Recital Hall and Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Greenville, TN and the Knoxville Civic Auditorium, among others.

    Currently, Mr. Pulgar is the Principal Second Violin of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the Knoxville Symphony’s Principal String Quartet, appearing throughout East Tennessee in recitals, concerts and radio and television appearances. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Strings at Carson-Newman University, and married to violinist Mary Pulgar and a proud parent of two daughters, Ana and Claudia. He eagerly continues to pursue solo and chamber music in the U.S. and Latin America along with guest appearances as conductor.


  • Mary Pulgar

    Position: Adjunct Instructor of Music - Strings

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3423

    Campus Box: 72048

    Email: mpulgar@cn.edu

    Ms. Mary Pulgar is currently a member of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Adjunct Professor of Strings at Carson-Newman University and Walters State Community College. Prior to moving to Tennessee, she played with several professional orchestras including Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra , Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra and Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. She also played on a regular basis with Greater Lansing, Saginaw, Altoona and Youngstown Symphony Orchestras.

    Ms. Pulgar has served as Assistant Principal Second Violin of Battle Creek Symphony and Principal Second Violin with the Southwest Michigan Symphony. She spends her summers performing at music festivals. She has also been a member of the Ohio Light Opera Orchestra where she was Principal Second Violin for several productions. In 2002, she attended National Orchestral Institute where she worked under such eminent conductors as Gerard Schwartz, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and Michael Stern. She has also been a member of the Crested Butte Music Festival Orchestra and participated in chamber music at Sunflower Music Festival in Kansas.

    Ms. Pulgar completed her Masters Degree in Violin Performance at Michigan State University in 2005. She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from Duquesne University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2002.


  • Richard Scruggs

    Position: Associate Professor of Music - Saxophone/Theory/Chamber Winds

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3435

    Campus Box: 71934

    Email: rscruggs@cn.edu

    Personal Website: http://www.garberscruggsduo.com/

    Dr. Richard Scruggs is a Tennessee native and received his first saxophone instruction in the public schools of Huntsville, Alabama. For several years a student of the eminent saxophone soloist and pedagogue Sigurd Raschèr. He later earned the Doctor of Music Degree in Saxophone Performance at The Florida State University (1992). He enjoyed an 8-year tenure on the faculty of the Tübinger Musikschule in Germany before returning to America in 2001.

    At Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, his duties include teaching saxophone and music theory. As a teacher, Dr. Scruggs has been highly successful in Europe and America, including seven national prizewinners in Germanys prestigious Jugend-Musiziert performance competition. He has served on the faculties of The Florida State University and the University of Southern Mississippi. As a writer, he has authored biographies of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Duke Ellington for the Open Ear 20th Century Resource Project, a school music curriculum project funded by the Florida Department of State. He has performed widely in America, Germany, Sweden, and Poland as soloist and chamber musician on a number of CDs and in well-known concert venues and festivals, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (New York City), the Alte Oper (Frankfurt), Sophiensaal (Munich), the Internationale-Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Darmstadt), and the Festival der Seltenen Besetzungen (Ludwigsburg).


  • Tara Scruggs

    Position: Adjunct Instructor of Music - Clarinet/Theory

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3423

    Campus Box: 71934

    Email: tscruggs@cn.edu

    Dr. Tara Scruggs earned the Doctor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from The Florida State University, and also performs as pianist. She studied for two years as a grant recipient at the Vienna Conservatory in the class of Professor Roger Salander (former Vienna Philharmonic clarinetist). She has served as principal clarinet in several orchestras, including the the Tübinger Sinfonietta (Germany), the arcademia sinfonica (Germany), and the Vienna Conservatory Orchestra (Austria). She has extensive solo and chamber music experience as both performer and coach in Austria, Germany, and America. In 1994, she was a guest artist at the residence of the American Ambassador to Austria. She can be heard in recordings of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (GA) and the arcademia sinfonica (Germany). Her students have been notably successful, winning numerous competitions in Germany and America. In school years 2002-03 and 2003-04, 70% of her clarinet section at Leon High School in Tallahassee, Florida were members of Florida All-State Bands and Orchestras. Originally from Illinois.

    Dr. Scruggs earned Bachelors and Masters degrees from Western Illinois University and also studied at the University of Illinois. From 1993-2001 she taught clarinet and chamber music at the music school in Mössingen, Germany. In fall 2004, Dr. Scruggs joined the music faculty at Carson-Newman University as Instructor of Clarinet and Music Theory.


  • Jacob See

    Position: Adjunct Instructor of Music - Tuba

    Email: jsee@cn.edu

    Mr. Jacob See is a graduate of the University of Tennessee - Knoxville where he received a M.M. in Tuba Performance. Jacob received his B.M. in Music Education and Tuba Performance from Carson-Newman College. As an active performer, Mr. See can be seen with the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band in Crossville, TN as Principal B-flat bass. Additionally, he performs with the Black Oak Brass Quintet, based in Knoxville, TN. Jacob's primary instructors include Dr. Kelly Thomas, Sande MacMorran, and Dr. Sean Greene. Currently, Mr. See is an active private tuba and euphonium instructor in the Knoxville region, while serving as Adjunct Instructor of Tuba on the faculty at Carson-Newman University.


  • Sue Swilley

    Position: Professor Emerita - Flute

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3331

    Campus Box: 72048

    Email: sswilley@cn.edu


  • Eric Thorson

    Position: Professor of Music - Choral/Conducting/Education

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3422

    Campus Box: 71909

    Email: ethorson@cn.edu

    Personal Website: http://www.knoxvillechoralsociety.org/?id=10&mp=5

    Dr. Eric Thorson is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Carson-Newman University, where he conducts A Cappella Choir, Men’s Chorus, and Oratorio Chorus. In 2003, Thorson was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Award, the highest award given to faculty at Carson-Newman. A native of Iowa, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Buena Vista College and both his Master of Music and Doctor of Education degrees from Arizona State University. Dr. Thorson’s professional music education career spans more than two decades and includes teaching at the elementary, secondary, college, and university levels.

    In addition to his choirs at Carson-Newman, Dr. Thorson also directs the Knoxville Choral Society. His choirs have given honor performances at divisional conventions and have toured both nationally and internationally, performing with orchestras in Atlanta, Phoenix, New Orleans, and Knoxville. In the summer of 2002, the Knoxville Choral Society appeared with orchestras in Prague, Czech Republic; Bratislava, Slovak Republic; and Cottbus, Germany. His Carson-Newman singers also toured Brazil, and A Cappella Choir and the Knoxville Choral Society, under his direction, were invited to perform in Israel and Jordan as part of a peace initiative between the Israeli and Palestinian governments. Concerts were held in Amman, Jerusalem, and Nazareth, and the tour culiminated with a concert in Manger Square in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve 2007.

    Dr. Thorson has prepared choirs for such notable conductors as Eduardo Mata, Douglas McEwen, Robert Page, John Rutter, Gregg Smith, Noel Tredinnick, and, in Knoxville, Kirk Trevor and Lucas Richman. He has participated in divisional conventions, served on the advisory board of the American Choral Directors Association, and produced five professional recordings with his choruses. He has served as president of the Tennessee chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and is a member of the advisory board for the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts.

    Also an active church musician, Dr. Thorson is the current minister of music at West Hills Baptist Church in Knoxville, having served there since April 1995


  • Matt Weyer

    Position: Adjunct Instructor - Percussion

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3328

    Campus Box: 72048

    Email: mweyer@cn.edu

    Personal Website: http://www.contemporarypercussionconcepts.com/index.html

    Mr. Matt Weyer directs the percussion studio at Carson-Newman University with responsibilities including private studio instruction, directing the percussion ensemble, assisting with the Carson-Newman marching band, and teaching the percussion methods course for music education majors. In addition to these duties, Matt is the founder of Contemporary Percussion Concepts, a consulting and educational activity specializing in percussion lessons, clinics, arranging, group instruction, and program consulting.

    From 2005 - 2008, Mr. Weyer served as the percussion director at Plano West Senior High School in Plano, Texas, a position which involved teaching and supervision of percussion at six schools in the “west cluster” of Plano ISD. Matt’s duties in Plano included directing multiple percussion ensembles, leading the steel band, directing and arranging for the multiple drumlines, coaching the multiple concert band and orchestra percussion sections, and teaching 40 – 50 private lessons per week. During this period of time, the percussion groups under Mr. Weyer’s direction received high ratings and were recognized in the area for their excellence.

    Mr. Weyer has also held the positions of assistant band director/percussion director at Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee, and assistant band director at Gatesville High School in Gatesville, Texas. Matt holds the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Music degree in Music Performance from the University of Georgia, where he also completed course work toward the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Performance. Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, Matt is a proud alumnus of the 1999 Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps of Toledo, Ohio, and lives in Knoxville with his wife, Missi.


  • Julie Wright

    Position: Dept. Administrative Assistant, Music Librarian & Coordinator, and Director Preparatory Department

    Campus Phone: 865.471.3328

    Campus Box: 72048

    Email: jwright@cn.edu

    A 1993 music education Carson-Newman graduate, Mrs. Julie Hensley Wright returned to Carson-Newman as its Director of the Preparatory School of Music in 1998 and became Music Librarian in August, 2007. In 2012, her duties were broadened to include the role of academic administrative assistant in the music department.  

    Mrs. Wright is a private piano teacher and has maintained a studio in Jefferson City since 1998. As a member of the Music Teachers National Association, she obtained national certification in piano pedagogy in December, 2001.

     Mrs. Wright resides in Talbott, TN. She and her husband, Tom, are members of First Baptist Church, Morristown.


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