Core Faculty

Bethany Alvey, D.M.A.

Assistant Professor of Music
D.M.A. University of Miami, Frost School of Music
Director of Choral Activities, Concert Choir, Women’s Chorale and Men’s Chorus, Music Appreciation

A native of Southern Maryland, Dr. Alvey is a conductor and music educator committed to building vibrant communities through positive interaction. At the Frost School of Music, she established the student chapter of ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) as well as The Equalizers, a men's choral group from Everglades Correctional Institution. During this time she also directed Cantilena, an undergraduate women's ensemble, and was an instructor for the Frost School's Experiential Music Curriculum. Prior to her graduate studies, Alvey taught for four years at Great Mills High School in Southern Maryland. Her choirs have performed in Williamsburg, Baltimore, and New York City, and were a visible presence in their own home community. Alvey has also acted as both an invited guest clinician and as an honor choir guest conductor, working with both middle and elementary school students. Alvey joined the faculty of Fresno Pacific University in 2016.


Erik Leung, D.M.A.

Assistant Professor of Music
Director of Bands and Coordinator of Instrumental Music
Program Director, Music
D.M.A., Northwestern
Symphonic Band, Pacific Brass and Wind Quintet Director, Conducting, Music Education

Erik Leung recently completed his doctoral degree in wind conducting from Northwestern University. He has earned degrees from the University of Toronto and the University of Calgary. His primary teachers include Mallory Thompson, Glenn Price, Gillian Mackay, and Mark Hopkins. Prior to his graduate studies, Leung was a high school band and choir director in Calgary, Alberta. During his tenure as a teacher, he was nominated for the Edwin Parr Teaching Award and was a semi-finalist for the Alberta Excellence in Teaching Award. Along with his role as Program Director for the FPU Music Department, Leung oversees all instrumental ensembles, plus teaches courses in conducting, music education, and private tuba. He conducts the FPU Symphonic Band, Pacific Brass and No Strings Attached Wind Quintet.


Deborah Sauer-Ferrand

Associate Professor of Music
D.M.A. Candidate, University of Illinois
M.A., California State University Fresno
Voice, Lyric Diction, Opera Workshop, Vocal Pedagogy

As a professional singer, Sauer-Ferrand has studied and performed with opera companies and orchestras across the United States and in Europe, and also loves to sing "Big Band" and Jazz whenever possible. She holds the Master's Degree in Voice from California State University Fresno, and taught music at Fresno City College and at CSUF. Additionally, Sauer-Ferrand has taught drama, coached and directed numerous operas and musicals, and maintains a private music studio. Before coming to Fresno Pacific University, she spent six years with Sierra Chamber Opera, giving over 1,000 performances in schools around the Central Valley. At FPU, she teaches private voice, lyric diction, vocal pedagogy, American Popular Music and directs Opera at Pacific.


Walter Saul, D.M.A.

Professor of Music
D.M.A., Eastman School of Music
Composition, Theory, Music Appreciation, Piano, History

Composer and pianist Walter Saul holds degrees from Duke and Eastman School of Music. His many composition honors include 24 ASCAP awards from 1990-2014, as well as "Composer of the Year" commissions from North Carolina Music Teachers Association (1986) and Oregon Music Teachers Association (1990). Performances of his works have occurred in 24 states and six nations. His composition, Kiev 2014: Rhapsody for Oboe and Orchestra, was performed in October 2015 by the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra. All of Saul’s orchestral works have been recorded on the Naxos label with Theodore Kuchar conducting the National Symphony of Ukraine. As a pianist, Saul has performed extensively, presented at clinics, has been heard on radio in four states and has served as clinician and adjudicator throughout the Carolinas, Oregon and California. In a tribute to Bach, he completed From Alpha to Omega, his own volume of 24 preludes and fugues in all major and minor keys -- three preludes and fugues from this work have been performed in Carnegie Hall (2004 and 2009). Saul has released six CD’s of his works, two in 2015 -- Kiev 2014 and a DVD entitled Quiltings featuring Saul’s music with fabric art by artist Ann Harwell. At Fresno Pacific University, Saul teaches piano, theory, composition, music history, and music appreciation. His mission as a composer is to create musical icons, windows of sonic light, that usher listeners into the presence of Jesus Christ and reveal a little of His heavenly glory to us.


Dieter Wulfhorst, D.M.A.

Associate Professor of Music
D.M.A., University of Maryland, College Park
Musica Pacifica Orchestra & University String Quartet Director, Music History, Cello

Cellist Dieter Wulfhorst has performed extensively as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral performer in more than twenty states in the United States, as well as in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In September 2003, Wulfhorst was invited to represent the City of Santa Fe, NM at the 6th Tsuyama International All-Round Music Festival in Japan. He is currently a member of the Santa Rosa (CA) Symphony, acting co-principal of the Bakersfield Symphony, and performs regularly with the professional orchestras of Monterey, Fresno, and Stockton. He also regularly collaborates with the professional vocal ensemble “Conspirare”. Wulfhorst joined the faculty of Fresno Pacific University in 2007, where he teaches the scholarship string quartet, orchestra, cello, music history and research.

He received his degrees from the Musikhochschule in Hannover, Germany, and the University of Maryland at College Park where he studied with David Soyer, Evelyn Elsing and the Guarneri Quartet. Wulfhorst plays a cello crafted by Giovanni Battista Rogeri (Brescia, 1693). For further information on his recordings, concerts, and other activities, visit his web site at: http://wulfhorst.tripod.com.

Adjunct Faculty

Rachel Aldrich

Oboe

An oboist with the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra and an active member of the Fresno musical community, Aldrich holds an M.A. in music from UC Riverside and has completed D.M.A. coursework at the University of Oregon. She has performed in orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout California and Oregon, most notably the Riverside Symphony Orchestra, the Clarion Woodwind Quintet, The Oregon Mozart Players, Eugene Opera!, and The Oregon Bach Festival. Aldrich is a private instructor of oboe and piano, lecturer in oboe at CSU Fresno, and has served as a board member of the Fresno Musical Club. She has performed with numerous local organizations including the Fresno Lyric Opera and Orpheus, and is a founding member of the chamber ensembles Moment Musical and Winds of the San Joaquin.


Dan Bishop

San Joaquin Chorale Director

Dan Bishop is the new director of San Joaquin Chorale, founded by Dr. Roy Klassen. In his day job, he serves the Clovis Unified School District as the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator/Administrator. Bishop is the former choir director at Clovis East High School, Clovis Community College, Madera High School, Washington Intermediate, and Immanuel High School. Church choral experiences include directorships at Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church, University Presbyterian Church, Kingsburg Community Church and Kingsburg EV Free. Bishop received his B.A. in vocal and instrumental music education from Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas, and his M.A./M.M. degrees from the University of Missouri, Kansas City Conservatory of Music. Bishop is active with national and location choral organizations including the American Choral Directors Association where he currently serves as the National Repertoire & Standards Chair for Senior High School choirs. He was past President, VP, and Choir Representative to the Fresno Madera Counties Music Educators Association serving this organization for 13 years. Bishop’s high school choirs have performed at many state, regional, and national conventions for CMEA, CASMEC and ACDA. He has conducted honor groups and festivals/competitions in Kansas, Missouri, South Carolina, and California, and regularly judges for Music in the Parks throughout Northern California.


Patrica Cota

Pacific Bronze Director

For over 30 years Patti Cota has taught music in private and public schools and churches, from elementary through college/adult levels. Her experience includes 12 years as the choral assistant/ accompanist at Hoover High School, Fresno, California. She also was the accompanist for choir and orchestra, and the handbell director at Peoples Church in Fresno for 23 years. She enjoys arranging music for her groups and has over 100 published arrangements. Cota holds a B.A. and California teaching credential in music from Bethany Bible College, Santa Cruz, California, and an M.A. in Music Education from California State University Fresno. She teaches handbell classes at Fresno Pacific University, and handbells and piano through Inspire One Foundation in Fresno.


Susan Doering, D.M.A.

Violin/Viola

Violinist Susan Doering has performed throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Far East as a soloist, recitalist, orchestral, and chamber musician.  Her many television and public radio broadcasts include featured performances on NPR's "Performance Today" and satellite broadcasts from China. Doering serves the Tulare County Symphony Orchestra as concertmaster and plays in the Fresno Philharmonic, Monterey Symphony, San Juan Symphony, and Santa Rosa Symphony. She has been a member of the Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, performing on both modern and period instruments, and has performed with the National Chamber Orchestra, Toledo Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and San Diego Chamber Orchestra. She is also a founding member of the Kansas City Camerata. Doering holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan and her Doctorate degree from the University of Maryland. Her principal teachers include Alice Schoenfeld, Camilla Wicks, and the Guarneri Quartet. Doering had been teaching violin and viola at Fresno Pacific University since 2001. She is also a board-certified music therapist and maintains a private violin/viola studio and music therapy practice in Central California. Doering plays a 1995 copy of a 1742 Guarnerius del Gesu, made for her by Robert Clemens in St Louis, Missouri.


Michael Downing

Percussion

Michael Downing is section percussionist with the Sacramento Philharmonic and the Stockton Symphony, as well as the founder of Impetus Percussion group. He holds Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees from California State University, Fresno. An active freelance musician, he also plays with the Fresno Philharmonic, Bakersfield Symphony, Tulare County Symphony, Merced Symphony, and many other orchestras throughout California. He has been featured soloist with the Tulare County Symphony, Phoenix Symphony and Stockton Symphony. Downing also enjoys teaching private lessons and offering clinics for local schools.  For the last decade, he has been a faculty member for percussion and music theory at the Lake Sequoia Symphonic Music Camp. Studying primarily with Jim Babor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Dr. Matthew Darling of California State University, Fresno, Downing has taken lessons with such notable percussionists as Tom Freer, Richard Weiner, Trey Wyatt, Michael Rosen, and Rick Kvistad. An Orchestral Endorser for Pro-Mark and a member of the Blackswamp Percussion Educator Network, Downing enjoys playing on his Marimba One with “Enhanced Voicing” and “Basso Bravo” resonators. At FPU he directs the Percussion Ensemble and teaches private percussion lessons.


Alan Durst, D.M.A.

Saxophone, Clarinet, Jazz studies

Alan Durst is a performer and educator with appearances throughout North and Central America, Asia, and Europe. He has appeared in numerous concert halls including Panama City Anita Villalaz, the John F. Kennedy Center, Los Angeles Disney Hall, Los Angeles Ford Amphitheatre, Oxnard Performing Arts Center, Countrywide Performing Arts Center, Santa Barbara Arlington Theatre, Fresno Saroyan Theatre, Wadsworth Theatre, and Cleveland Masonic Temple. Durst has performed with the New West Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Symphony, Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale, Gang Nam Symphony Orchestra, Korean-American Symphony, Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, Opera Pasadena, and Ohio Light Opera. As a jazz saxophonist, he has performed with the Benny Goodman Orchestra led by Fred Sturm, the Panama International Jazz Festival, Holland America Cruise Lines, Cleveland Playhouse Square Jazz on the Circle series. He has performed in numerous musicals and has been heard on radio and television broadcasts such as NPR, WB, BRAVO, CBS, and WAO (Panama). Durst is currently the co-founder/soprano saxophonist of the Panama International Saxophone Quartet which actively tours Central America. His formal studies include a D.M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, an M.M. from the University of Miami School of Music, and a B.M. and B.M.E. Cum Laude graduate of the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music. He has been fortunate to have studied with world-class saxophonists Douglas Masek, Gary Kellerand Greg Banaszak, as well as Arno Bornkamp and Angelo Fortini. At FPU, Durst directs the Jazz Ensemble and Perfect Fourths Sax Quartet and teaches clarinet and saxophone.


Janette Erickson

Flute

Janette Erickson is the Principal Flutist of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Fresno Grande Opera. She is the Founder/Flutist of the chamber ensemble, Moment Musical and Director of Les Flutes Enchanteés and La Forza. Erickson graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in flute performance and received her Master of Arts in music theory from California State University, Fresno. Her teachers include Russell S. Howland, Lloyd Gowen, Roger Stevens, Ray Fabrizio and Julius Baker. Erickson has studied with Doriot A. Dwyer at the Tanglewood Institute and Walfrid Kujala at Northwestern University. She is also a pianist and has studied conducting with Nicola Iacovetti. She serves Fresno Pacific University as adjunct faculty teaching flute. Eleven flute choir pieces have been edited by Erickson and published from the Russell S. Howland Flute Choir Library. One of the editions she published was awarded Best New Flute Choir Publication of 1995 by the N.F.A. As a flutist, Erickson has performed three times for the National Flute Association’s annual convention.


Larry Gardner

Bassoon

Larry Gardner is Principal Bassoonist with the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Fresno Lyric Opera, and bassoonist with the California Woodwind Quintet. Gardner is also an active performer with the chamber music group, Moment Musical. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree with honors at the University of Louisville and a Master of Music degree in Bassoon Performance at Indiana University. Gardner has performed as principal bassoonist with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, the Evansville Philharmonic, and the Louisville Bach Society. His teachers include John Miller, Per Hannevold, Mordechai Rechtman, Stephen Paulsen, Leonard Sharrow, George Goslee, Dan Welcher, and Russell Hinkle. In addition, Gardner is a Registered Piano Technician member of the Piano Technician's Guild. Gardner teaches private bassoon at FPU.


Matthew Horton

Accompanist

Pianist Matthew Horton has accompanied performing ensembles throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Born and raised in Tulare, CA, Horton earned a B.A. and an M.A. in Piano Performance from California State University, Fresno. He has taught at CSU Fresno and Porterville Community College. Horton currently serves Fresno Pacific University as accompanist for Concert Choir, Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorale, Crosswind, and Opera at Pacific. He also plays for the Sierra Chamber Opera.


Scott Horton

Organ, Harpsichord

Scott Horton received the bachelor of arts degree with honors in organ performance from Fresno Pacific University while studying with Laurell Huber, and a master’s degree in organ performance from California State University, Fresno, studying with teachers Dr. Robert Judd, Samuel Schwartz (Redlands University), and James Walker (Occidental University and All Saints Church, Pasadena). He has also studied with Ladd Thomas (USC), Gerre Hancock (St. Thomas Church, NYC), and William Johnson of Tulare. In addition to teaching organ and harpsichord at Fresno Pacific University, Horton teaches Pipe Organ Studies at California State University, Fresno, and serves as Music Director/Organist at First Congregational Church of Fresno and Organist at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Tulare.


Chris Janzen

Jazz Guitar

An active painter with many gallery exhibitions to his credit, FPU art instructor Christ Janzen earned an M.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of South Dakota. Multi-talented, Janzen also teaches jazz guitar at FPU.


Christine Keenan

Music Education, Athletic Band Director

Christine Keenan earned her B.A. in Music Education and M.A. in Instrumental Conducting at California State University, Fresno. She has taught music at all levels at schools throughout the valley -- from first grade through college, including Hoover High School, Sanger Academy, Kastner Intermediate and College of the Sequoias. At Fresno Pacific University, Keenan teaches music in the classroom and oversees FPU athletic bands. She is also the director of the Reedley College Community Band and teaches music theory and ear training. She has been a featured soloist and guest conductor for the Clovis Community Band where she serves as principal alto saxophonist. Keenan is the founder/conductor of Summer Band at the Shaghoian.


Audra Loveland

Horn

Audra Loveland completed her Master's Degree at Northwestern University where her primary teachers were Gail Williams and Jonathan Boen. While at Northwestern, Loveland performed in the Contemporary Music Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, as well as in many opera and musical pits. Her passion for chamber music led her to many performances throughout the North Shore of Chicago with her brass quintet, a woodwind quintet, a horn quartet, as well as a violin, piano, and horn trio. She also gained wide experience as a freelance horn player with numerous notable orchestras and ensembles in Illinois and Iowa. Loveland is currently the Artist Liaison at the San Francisco Symphony. She continues to perform and sub with orchestras in the Bay Area, including the San Francisco Symphony and Oakland Symphony. At FPU, Loveland directs ‘No Strings Attached’ Woodwind Quintet and teaches horn.


Callan Milani

Low Brass

A native of California, Callan Milani received his master’s degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. His teachers include Michael Mulcahy, Randall Hawes, Tim Higgins, and Peter Ellefson. Milani’s studies began with his dear friend and mentor, Don Kennelly of the San Francisco Opera. In 2007, he joined the first class of brass musicians at the Colburn Conservatory of Music where he studied with Mark Lawrence and John Engelkes, the Retired Principal Trombonist and Bass Trombonist respectively with the San Francisco Symphony. Performing widely in the Los Angeles Area, he was principal bass trombone of the American Youth Orchestra, a position he held for three years.

Milani has performed at many major music festivals in the United States and abroad, including the Music Academy of the West, Spoleto Festival USA, National Repertory Orchestra, American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Escola Comarcal de Musica del Comtat in Spain, and an orchestral tour of Germany and the Czech Republic. He has performed with many well-known artists and conductors including Michael Giacchino, Dr. Mallory Thompson, and James Conlon. Milani teaches low brass at Fresno Pacific University.


Melita Mudri-Zubacz

Crosswind Director, Music Appreciation

Melita Mudri-Zubacz holds both a bachelor and masters degree in theology (St. Paul University, Ottawa) as well as bachelor and master degrees in music with a concentration in choral conducting (University of Manitoba, Winnipeg). Her thesis in theology explored historical evaluation of congregational singing in the Eastern Christian liturgical traditions. Her graduate work at University of Manitoba combined choral conducting with a historico-cultural Ukrainian study. Mudri-Zubacz has always been active in her work with music and liturgical studies, working extensively with community and church choirs, as well as publishing studies related to the Eastern Christian church music. At Fresno Pacific University she directs Crosswind, a contemporary Christian ensemble, and teaches Music Appreciation.


Laura Porter

Harp

Hailed as the leading harpist in the region, Laura Porter is Principal Harp with the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra and co-principal for both the Bakersfield and Modesto Symphonies. She performs on a Camac Atlantide Prestige, built in France in 2007. As a soloist, and a chamber musician, Porter has appeared in concerts throughout California. She enjoys a growing schedule of private studio teaching and is on the faculty at Fresno Pacific University as harp instructor. Her award-winning students have received national recognition in competitions, with fellowships, and with a prestigious invitation to perform at the 2011 World Harp Congress in Vancouver. Porter received degrees from Mills College (BA), the University of Southern California (MM, and post-graduate work), as well as studies in Paris, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute. Drawing on her varied experience, Porter also performs regularly at social and corporate events of all types. Visit www.fresnoharpmusic.com for more information.


Nathan Sobieralski, D.M.A.

Trumpet, Brass Techniques

Nathan Sobieralski is a lecturer of music at California State University, Fresno, where he serves as the trumpet studio teacher. He also teaches private trumpet to Fresno Pacific University musicians. An active performer and educator in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia, Sobieralski has taught all levels of public music education from first grade through high school. He has performed with the Vancouver Island Symphony, Okanagan Symphony, Prince George Symphony, Kamloops Symphony, British Columbia Chamber Orchestra, Gold Country Chamber Orchestra, Merced Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Fresno Grand Opera, Kings Symphony, Tulare County Symphony, and others. He has appeared as guest soloist with the Merced Symphony, Tulare County Symphony, Kings Symphony, Tule British Brass Band, Kingsburg Summer Band, and performed with the Debut Symphony in Los Angeles in a special performance for composer John Williams. He has recorded for radio and television broadcasts in the US and Canada, most notably as part of the soundtrack for “Hockey Night in Canada” for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Sobieralski holds degrees from CSU Fresno (B.A. 2002), University of British Columbia (M.M. 2004), and UCLA (D.M.A 2007). He has studied with Jens Lindeman, Larry Knopp, W. Ritchie Clendenin, Paul Shaghoian, Brian Recht, and Jim Kusserow.


Arlene Steffen

Piano, Piano Pedagogy

Arlene Steffen, M.M., teaches piano and piano pedagogy at Fresno Pacific University and maintains an active private studio. She performs regularly as both soloist and collaborative pianist and chairs the committee for Independent Music Teachers for National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. She has served the Fresno County Branch of MTAC as president, secretary and festival chair. Steffen has published articles in Keyboard Companion, Clavier Companion and Pacific Journal. Her students have won accolades through competitions and festivals and have gone on to significant careers in music.


Corey Whitehead

Guitar

Corey Whitehead is one of the fastest-rising stars in the nylon-string guitar world having performed both classical and flamenco guitar extensively in concert with the world's finest performers. He currently performs regularly as a member of The Jesus Montoya Flamenco Company and has previously enjoyed success in the classical-crossover genres with saxophonist Alan Durst. His schedule has included classical and flamenco guitar performances in festivals, on television and radio in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Italy, France, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Yemen. He has performed on numerous occasions at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington D.C. Douze Cordes, Whitehead’s duo with guitarist Michael Bard, has performed in the Middle East, North Africa, Italy and Chile on three tours as Cultural Ambassadors of the U.S. Department of State. Whitehead teaches guitar performance at CSU Fresno and Fresno Pacific University. In 2008, his guitar method book, co-authored with Juan Serrano, entitled The Flamenco/Classical Guitar Tradition was released worldwide on Mel Bay Publications. Whitehead earned his Doctor of Musical Arts, Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in guitar performance from the University of Arizona where he studied with Thomas Patterson, John Ingwerson, Steven Saulls and Andrea Förderreuther.