Jeffrey S Wilson, D.M.A.
Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, Concert Choir, Pacific Chamber Singers, Women’s Chorale and Men’s Chorus
Jeffrey S. Wilson (D.M.A., M.Mus., University of Illinois; B.Mus., Augustana College) is currently professor of music and director of choral activities at Fresno Pacific University where he oversees the choral program and teaches aural skills. Previously, he taught K-12 vocal music in Iowa and Illinois, and served for over twenty years as director of choral studies at Greenville University (Greenville, IL). Choirs under his direction have toured throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Europe and performed with the American Kantorei, the Boston Camerata, and the Kingsbury Ensemble. Professor Wilson’s choirs have also been invited to sing at multiple Illinois Music Educators Association State Conventions and American Choral Directors Association Central Region Conferences as well as the Calvin Symposium on Worship (Grand Rapids, MI).
Dr. Wilson studied conducting and choral music with Chet Alwes, Louis Halsey, Donald Morrison, Helmuth Rilling, Fred Stoltzfus, Paul Vermel, and David Willcocks. He also has extensive experience as organist and church musician and has traveled throughout the Midwestern and Northwestern United States as well as Western and Eastern Europe as a concert vocalist and accompanist. Wilson lived and studied in Hungary while on sabbatical in 2004 and served as visiting professor at Hope Africa University in Bujumbura, Burundi during spring semester, 2012. Professor Wilson is a life member of the American Choral Directors Association having served on the Illinois ACDA board for a number of years, most recently as President in 2019-2020. He and his wife, Pam, have three children.
George Dougherty, D.M.A.
Director of Bands
Coordinator of Instrumental Music
George Dougherty is the Director of Bands and Coordinator of Instrumental Music at Fresno Pacific University where he directs the Symphonic Band, coaches chamber ensembles, and provides performance study instruction for brass instruments. Dr. Dougherty is the founder and Artistic Director of Artisans in Brass, a brass quintet of Christian professionals www.artisansinbrass.com . They have released two recordings, and toured throughout the US. As a trumpet artist, Dougherty has performed with Orchestra Iowa, Vivo Chamber Players, the Winston-Salem and Greensboro Symphonies, Arturo Sandoval with the Piedmont Wind Symphony, the Grandview University Brass, Market Street Brass, Stratford Brass, and others. George has over thirty years of experience in higher education, having taught on the faculties of Piedmont Bible College (now Carolina University), Guilford College, Faith Baptist Bible College, and Simpson College. At PBC and FBBC, he founded their instrumental ensembles which toured the Midwest and Southeast multiple times, producing six recordings. Dr. D, as his students know him, enjoys arranging music to fit the needs of ensembles under his direction, and has a growing catalog of works that can be found on his website, www.georgedougherty.com. These include settings for student and church groups, as well as professional level works performed by Artisans in Brass.
Dr. Dougherty studied conducting under Joan Winner and David Kish, trumpet with Karl Kassner, Ray Mase, and Ed Bach, music education with Randy Kohlenberg, church music with Jack Alexander, composition with Eddie Bass, and chamber music with Ed Bach, and received additional mentorship in chamber music and music business from Robert Nagel. His degrees are from Piedmont Bible College and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with additional study at North Carolina School of the Arts. George has served three churches as Minister of Music, and enjoys presenting sacred concerts as requested. He is certified in the Kodaly methodology, levels I and II, has adjudicated for a number of fine arts festivals in the Midwest and Northeast, and been the featured clinician for Seminario Batista's Music Conference in Crato, Ceara, Brazil. Other international appearances have included Kezmarok, Slovakia, and Bangui, Central African Republic.
Christa Pehl Evans, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Music
Scholar and performer Christa Pehl Evans enjoys a colorful life that combines her varied interests. A lover of book history, her research centers on musicians and their manuscripts in late-18th-century Pennsylvania and has recently been published in Current Musicology. As a Baroque flutist, she has performed across the United States with early music groups, including Tempesta di Mare, Fuma Sacra, the Kingsbury Ensemble, and Newton Baroque. Christa earned a PhD from Princeton University in historical musicology with a certificate in women’s studies and completed her undergraduate degree summa cum laude in flute performance and early music studies at Northwestern University. A mother of three, Christa enjoys gardening, cooking, yoga, and riding horses.
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.
Micah Davison, M.A.
Mr. Micah Davison holds his Master of Arts degree in Music – Instrumental Performance in the area of percussion from California State University Fresno under Dr. Matthew Darling. Mr. Davison is section percussionist with the Wind Symphony of Clovis, a professional wind ensemble composed of performers and educators throughout the Fresno County area. He is also an active freelance percussionist throughout the San Joaquin Valley, having performed with the Fresno Philharmonic, Sequoia Symphony, and Bakersfield Symphony. In addition, Mr. Davison is also a committee member of the Region 9 Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion, which is responsible for organizing a competition and percussion festival every year.
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.
Chris Golden, M.A.
Chris Golden enjoys an active career teaching and performing in California’s Central Valley. Chris performs regularly with a variety of ensembles, including the Sequoia Symphony in Visalia and Opera Modesto. He has also performed with the Fresno Philharmonic, Fresno Grand Opera, California Opera, Jazz Composer’s Orchestra in Fresno, Merced Symphony, Kings Symphony, Wind Symphony of Clovis, and the Yosemite Wind Ensemble on tour in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Australia. Chris is also active as a chamber musician and has performed with Moment Musical, Fresno Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Fresno Brass Quintet, and Sequoia Brass.
In addition to performing, Chris maintains a busy teaching schedule working with Horn players of all ages. Currently, he serves as adjunct faculty at California State University, Stanislaus, Fresno Pacific University, and College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. He also coaches the Horn sections at Central High School in Fresno and the Clovis North Educational Center. In 2017, Chris founded Golden Horn Studio, where he teaches private lessons to students from Fresno, Clovis, Sanger, Visalia, Turlock, and Modesto. His students are regular participants in county and state-level honor ensembles, including the FMCMEA Honor Band and Orchestra, CODA Honor Orchestra, CMEA Honor Orchestra, and CBDA Honor Band. Chris’s students also receive high ratings each year at both regional and state-level Solo/Ensemble Festivals.
Chris earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Horn Performance from Northwestern University and a Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His primary Horn teachers include Gail Williams, Bill Barnewitz, Bill Bernatis, and Jennie Blomster. Chris currently resides in his hometown of Fresno, CA with his wife Ali, who is also a musician, and their two dogs, Max and Maple.
Matthew Horton, M.A.
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, Fresno City College, and Porterville Community College. Horton currently serves Fresno Pacific University as accompanist for Concert Choir, Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorale, Crosswind, Opera at Pacific, and the Theater Department.
Scott Horton, M.A.
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, M.F.A.
Chris Janzen is a guitarist, visual artist, and composer. His multimedia projects and oil paintings have been exhibited throughout the US including west coast institutions such as the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Alphonse Berber Gallery, Electric Works, Fresno Art Museum, and Arte Americas. Janzen is Assistant Professor of Art and Adjunct Instructor of Music at Fresno Pacific University where he teaches painting, drawing, 2D/3D Design, and jazz guitar.
Tim Johnson, M.A.
Tim Johnson earned his M.A. in Music Education with an emphasis on violin performance at California State University-Fresno, and a B.A. in Business Management - and management of music artists - from St Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. Johnson studied violin performance and music theory with Betty Iacovetti for many years, attended Bob Jones University in Greenville SC, and performed with both the Fresno Philharmonic and the Sequoia Symphony. Johnson has directed orchestra in both public and private schools at the secondary and community college levels including Monte Vista Christian School and Merced Community College.
From 2000-2007, Johnson was the fiddler for the “Sons of the San Joaquin” and was inducted into the Western Music Hall of Fame. In 2006, he founded and directed the Merced Community College Chamber Orchestra and was voted instrumentalist of the year by the Western Music Association. Johnson is also an experienced church music director/arranger, studio musician, and songwriter with five studio albums to his credit. Currently, Johnson maintains a private instruction studio and is also the mariachi, guitar, and orchestra instructor for the Farmersville Unified School District.
Otto Lee, D.M.A.
Otto Lee is a saxophonist, educator, and composer. Otto has completed a B.A. in Instrumental Jazz Performance (2010) and a M.A. in Music Performance (2012) at California State University Fresno, and a D.M.A. in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy (2017) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Otto is maintaining a successful private studio and is working as a freelance musician throughout the Central Valley and the Bay area. He has performed with a vast array of musicians including Rufus Reid, Art Lande, Ernie Watts, Oscar Hernandez, and many others. Otto has held faculty positions at California State University Fresno, the University of Colorado, Boulder, Clovis Community College, Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop, and is currently working at University of California, Davis and Fresno Pacific University as a member of the adjunct faculty.
Karen Madden, M.A.
Director of Keyboard Studies
Karen Madden holds a M.A. in Piano Performance (CSU, Fresno) and a B.A. in Piano Performance and minor in Audio Production (Fresno Pacific University), studying with Andreas Werz and Dr. Larry Warkentin, respectively. Masterclasses include Angela Hewitt, Joseph Kalichstein, and Paul Badura-Skoda, and study and participation at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival and Institute (Italy). Karen has enjoyed solo and collaborative performances throughout the United States and Europe, has been featured on KVPR’s Young Artist Spotlight, and received the Alpha Chi National Honor Society’s 2002 H.Y. Benedict Fellowship for her multimedia performance of Ravel’s Jeux d’eau. Her extensive collaborative piano background includes performances with the Fresno Grand Opera Chorus, FGO Orchestra, Central California Children’s Choir, vocal groups at Fresno City College and FPU, and a chamber performance for Fresno Pacific’s Pacific Artist Series. Karen has maintained a private piano studio for two decades, with students going on to professional piano and teaching careers. An active member of the Music Teachers’ Association of California, she serves in committee and adjudications, and was founding chair of the MTAC Fresno’s Central CA Baroque Festival. She is delighted to serve as FPU’s instructor of piano and director of Keyboard Studies.
Melita Mudri-Zubacz holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in theology (St. Paul University, Ottawa) as well as bachelor's and master's degrees in music with a concentration in choral conducting (University of Manitoba, Winnipeg). Her thesis in theology explored the historical evaluation of congregational singing in the Eastern Christian liturgical traditions. Her graduate work at the University of Manitoba combined choral conducting with an 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 Eastern Christian church music. At Fresno Pacific University she directs Crosswind, a contemporary Christian ensemble, and teaches Music Appreciation.
Laura Porter is well known to Central California audiences as a recitalist, collaborative harpist, and as an orchestral musician. For thirty years, she has held the position of Principal Harp with the Fresno Philharmonic, often traveling throughout California to perform in other orchestras. She appears regularly with many diverse organizations, such as Moment Musical, the Wind Symphony of Clovis, the Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale and Coro Piccolo, Soli Deo Gloria, Stageworks Fresno, and many others. She is a founding member of two chamber groups, Due Cantilena (flute and harp), and the Figarden Trio (flue, bassoon, and harp).
A dedicated teacher, Ms. Porter also maintains a prominent harp studio, teaching lessons in Fresno, for both adults and children. Her students may be seen performing in the Youth Orchestras of Fresno groups, the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra, or with their school orchestras and concert bands. Her students have won national and regional competitions, including the AHS National Competitions, ASTA (local and state), Young Artist's Harp Competition, and been awarded honors such as the Jack Kent Cooke Award, the Presidential Scholar Award, and All-State Band and Orchestra positions. In past years, her students have gone on to attend schools such as the Juilliard School, Carnegie Mellon University, the Thornton School of Music at USC, as well as UC Berkeley, and UC Davis, and of course, Fresno Pacific University.
She is also on the faculty with University High school, Youth Orchestras of Fresno and the intensive summer orchestral training program, FOOSA, as Harp Instructor. Ms. Porter leads an adult Harp Circle group for local harp enthusiasts.
Barb Shinaver, M.M.
Barb Shinaver is a trombonist native to the Fresno area. She is now the Director of Jazz Bands at the Buchanan Educational Center in Clovis, CA and the Festival Director for the San Joaquin Valley Jazz Festival (sjvjazz.org). Barb was previously the Jazz Director at Bullard High School and an elementary music teacher in Fresno Unified. She holds a B.A. in Music Education from Fresno State and an M.M. in Trombone Performance from the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. Barb is excited to continue pursuing her career in both classical and jazz performance while maintaining an active teaching schedule.
Alyson Shirk, D.M.A.
Voice and Vocal Pedagogy
Alyson Shirk, D.M.A. comes to Pacific Fresno University having served as Director of Arts for the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore. Earning her doctorate in vocal performance from Shenandoah Conservatory in 2009, Alyson, lyric soprano, was awarded the Dean’s Graduate Scholar Award for excellence in scholarship for her dissertation “Mad Women in Opera: An Investigation of Madness and Selected Mad Scenes for Soprano”. In 2009, Alyson taught master classes and performed the Brahms’ Requiem with the Ho Chi Minh Symphony Orchestra in Vietnam. In 2010, she traveled to Buenos Aires to research and perform the music of Argentine composer Carlos Guastavino. Her Bryn Mawr and Children’s Chorus choirs have performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, The US State Department, and The Blair House. Alyson’s choirs performed at the International Kodály Symposium in Budapest and Kecskemét, Hungary in 2013. In addition to her work as a regional choral clinician and adjudicator, Alyson served as the founder and Artistic Director of the American Kodály Children’s Chorus. Alyson is the choir director of University High School in Fresno, California.
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.