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The IU Jacobs School welcomes new faculty

2008-2009 academic year heralds the appointment of distinguished musicians, scholars, and pedagogues

Many of the globe's most prominent music figures have chosen the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as their academic home, amounting to what has been called the single greatest gathering of music faculty anywhere. The Jacobs School is pleased to welcome the latest appointees to this elite roster.


JEREMY ALLEN--Assistant Professor (Jazz Studies: Jazz Bass)

An alumnus of Indiana University and New England Conservatory, Jeremy Allen has served as an adjunct instructor in the Jacobs School's Department of Jazz Studies since 2006. He has given master classes and served as a jazz festival adjudicator/clinician in the U.S. and abroad. Allen can be heard on numerous recordings and has performed with many outstanding jazz artists, including Bob Brookmeyer, Benny Golson, Dave Liebman, George Russell, Kenny Wheeler, Billy Hart, David Baker, and Jamey Aebersold.

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ARTHUR FAGEN--Professor (Instrumental Conducting)

Arthur Fagen is a former assistant conductor to Christoph von Dohnanyi at the Frankfurt Opera and James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera. Since then, his opera conducting activities have been marked by a string of notable international guest appointments. On the orchestral podium, Fagen has appeared with numerous orchestras around the world. From 2002 to 2007, Fagen was the music director of the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dortmund Opera. For the 2008-2009 season, Fagen is the principal guest conductor of the Haydn Orchestra in Bolzano, Italy. He has recorded for BMG, Naxos, CRI, Bayerischer Rundfunk, SFB, and WDR Cologne.

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JANETTE FISHELL--Professor (Organ)

Prior to her appointment at Indiana University, IU alumna Janette Fishell was Distinguished Professor of Music at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. She is a recitalist and teacher of international standing. She has performed in many of the world's greatest concert venues, and has been a featured recitalist and lecturer at five national conventions and five regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists. She is founder and artistic director of the East Carolina Religious Arts Festival, now in its twelfth year. The author of numerous articles and a book on service playing published by Abingdon Press, Fishell is widely recognized as a leading authority on the organ music of Czech composer Petr Eben. She has made numerous recordings, been featured in live radio broadcasts worldwide, and is a frequent adjudicator.

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JEFFREY GERSHMAN--Associate Professor/Associate Director of Bands (Bands/Wind Conducting)

IU alumnus Jeffrey Gershman was the director of instrumental activities at Texas A&M University-Commerce prior to returning to Indiana University. Before that, he served as interim director of bands at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and as co-director of instrumental music at Monroe-Woodbury High School in Central Valley, NY. Gershman is a respected professional conductor and clinician. In addition to his teaching and conducting responsibilities, he has been active in several different areas of research, presenting lectures at numerous clinics and conferences. A committed advocate of new music, Gershman has led or participated in consortia for new works by many composers.

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WILLIAM GRAY--Assistant Professor (Choral Conducting)

IU alumnus William Gray served for three seasons as associate conductor of the Carmel Bach Festival in California, where he prepared and performed major choral/orchestral works in collaboration with internationally renowned conductor Bruno Weil. He served as interim conductor of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, artistic director of the Bach Chorale Singers, and artistic director of the Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra of Washington, DC from 1986 to 1993. He has been assistant conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, and has appeared as guest conductor with the National Chamber Orchestra, the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, and the Handel and Haydn Society. He worked and performed frequently with Robert Shaw, and has appeared as a member of the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in recordings and concerts in France, and in concerts at Carnegie Hall.

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A former concertmaster of the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra (Bulgaria), Kevork Mardirossian performed as concerto soloist and recitalist throughout Bulgaria, the former Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe before moving to Europe, where he developed an impressive solo career. Between 1988 and 1990, Mardirossian was concertmaster of the Baton Rouge Symphony, after which he was appointed artist-in-residence in violin at the University of Central Arkansas. In 1995, he was appointed as violin professor at the College of Music and Drama at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge.A highly respected violin pedagogue, Mardirossian has taught across the globe. He is a member of the Mardirossian-Phillips violin-piano duo and of the Kapelle Piano Trio. He joined the faculty of the International Institute at Round Top, TX, in 2001.

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BRENT WALLARAB--Assistant Professor (Jazz Studies)

Since 1991, Brent Wallarab has been lead trombonist with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra in Washington, DC. Considered one of the leading authorities on historical composition for jazz orchestras, Wallarab was appointed specialist in jazz for the Smithsonian Institution in 1992 and serves as transcriber, researcher, editor, and adviser for the Smithsonian's extensive jazz program. He is in demand for his ability as a composer and arranger in many styles. In addition to teaching at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Wallarab has been a featured clinician and soloist at many jazz festivals around the country and is a performing artist for King trombones, a division of Conn-Selmer. His original compositions and arrangements are available through Really Good Music LLC.

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TODD WILSON--Professor (Organ)

Prior to his appointment at Indiana University, Todd Wilson was director of music and organist at The Church of the Covenant (Presbyterian) in Cleveland, OH. He was also head of the Organ Department at The Cleveland Institute of Music and taught at Capital University in Columbus, OH. He served as organ curator of the E. M. Skinner organ at Severance Hall, home of The Cleveland Orchestra. An active member of the American Guild of Organists, Wilson holds the Fellow and Choirmaster certificates. He has recorded numerous CDs and has been heard in concert in many major cities throughout the world. A sought-after adjudicator, Wilson has been a jury member for numerous national and international playing competitions. An active interest in improvisation has led to his popular improvised accompaniments to classic silent films.

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NEW FULL-TIME VISITING APPOINTMENTS (including full-time sabbatical replacements)

KATHERINE AXTELL--Visiting Assistant Professor (Musicology)

Katherine Axtell is a Ph.D. candidate at the Eastman School of Music, where she also received her master's in Musicology. Axtell has delivered papers on musical theater topics at a national meeting of the Society for American Music, the conference "Sound, Stage, and Screen III" at the City University of New York, and elsewhere. She also has been active as a scholar of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century women composers; her critical edition of two chamber works by the Swedish composer Elfrida Andrée was published as vol. 40 of Recent Researches in Music of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (A-R Editions, 2004).

BLAIR JOHNSTON--Visiting Assistant Professor (Music Theory)

Blair Johnston is completing his Ph.D. in music theory at the University of Michigan, where he has taught courses in tonal analysis, atonal analysis, and musicianship. Also a violinist, he holds a degree in performance from the University of Michigan (1998) and studied chamber and orchestral music at Tanglewood, where he was concertmaster during the Festival of Contemporary Music. Johnston's research interests include the intersection of tonal and non-tonal procedures in music from the first half of the twentieth century and post-Romantic form.

NOKUTHULA NGWENYAMA--Visiting Associate Professor (Viola)

Nokuthula Ngwenyama is recognized as one of the foremost instrumentalists of her generation, winning an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1997. She has performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad. Born in California of Zimbabwean-Japanese parentage, Ngwenyama graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1996. She attended the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris as a Fulbright scholar, and in 2002, received a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard University. Ngwenyama records for EDI.

CASEY ROBARDS--Visiting Assistant Professor (Voice/Collaborative Piano)

Casey Robards maintains a very active musical life as an accompanist, coach, chamber musician, and arranger/transcriber. She accompanies for numerous competitions and auditions, including the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the International Women's Brass Competition, and the Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship. Her awards include the Henri Kohn Memorial Award from the Tanglewood Music Center, the Nancy J. Kennedy Wustman Memorial Accompanying Award, the Fern and John Armstrong Award, and the National Society of Arts and Letters Regional Winner. Robards is a two-time winner of the Bay View Music Festival Concerto Competition, where she just completed her first season as a faculty artist.

ANN SCHEIN--Visiting Professor (Piano)

In 1980, world-renowned pianist Ann Schein presented an entire season of the major Chopin repertoire in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, going through the entire Chopin cycle. From 1980 until 2000, when she retired, she was a member of the piano faculty at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Schein has been an artist-faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 1984 and is a sought-after adjudicator in major international music competitions. During the summer of 2005, she opened the series of the complete Beethoven Sonatas performed by members of the piano faculty. The Washington International Piano Competition has established an award in Schein's and her mother's name.

MICHAEL SPIRO--Visiting Assistant Professor (Percussion)

Michael Spiro is an internationally recognized world percussionist, recording artist, and educator known specifically for his work in the Latin Music field. He has performed on thousands of records, co-produced and played on several instructional videos, and produced seminal recordings in the Latin Music genre. He is a frequent visiting artist at universities worldwide. In addition to the position he held in the Jazz Department at the University of California, Berkeley, Spiro has taught at numerous colleges throughout North America and Europe, and continues to be a presenter at national and statewide conventions of the Percussive Arts Society and the International Association of Jazz Educators.

CHARLES ULLERY--Visiting Lecturer (Bassoon)

Charles Ullery has been principal bassoon of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) since 1975. Prior to joining the SPCO, he was a member of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under conductor Seiji Ozawa, and performed in the Sixth Army Band at the Presidio of San Francisco. He spent the 1987-88 season as a faculty member at Oberlin College, and currently is an affiliate faculty member at the University of Minnesota. Since the summer of 1976, Ullery has been principal bassoon of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra in Jackson, WY, where he has also served as a program commentator.

KEVIN WATSON--Visiting Assistant Professor (Music Education)

As an instrumental music education specialist, Kevin Watson has served as an adjunct lecturer of music education at the Jacobs School of Music and DePauw University, a visiting lecturer in Jazz Studies at the Community College of Rhode Island, and a band director in the public schools of Massachusetts. As a professional saxophonist, Watson has performed with artists ranging from Grammy winner Sandi Patti to Rock & Roll Hall-of-Fame member Bo Diddley, among many others. His current research focuses on the areas of jazz education and music teacher education.

LAURA WEBER--Visiting Assistant Professor (Musicology)

Laura Weber is currently completing her Ph.D. at Yale University, where she received her master's in Musicology. Her research interests include the music of the medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods, with particular focus on the theory of antiquity and the Middle Ages, notational developments, and early opera. She is a contributor to the forthcoming Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages and has presented portions of her dissertation at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI.

NAOKO YOSHINO--Visiting Professor (Harp; Spring 09)

One of the most outstanding harpists on the international platform today, Naoko Yoshino has concertized with the world's top orchestras, as well as being a sought-after recitalist and chamber musician. As an advocate of new repertoire for harp, she has premiered numerous works. Recordings include five releases on Sony Classical, a recording with Yehudi Menuhin on Virgin Classics, four releases on Philips Classics, and one release on Teldec with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Concentus Musicus Wien. Yoshino began to study harp at the age of six with Susann McDonald. She makes her base in Tokyo, Japan, but her engagements regularly take her to various parts of the world.

GIOVANNI ZANOVELLO--Visiting Assistant Professor (Musicology)

Giovanni Zanovello's current research interests include Franco-Flemish singers and composers, music in Renaissance Florence, musical institutions, humanism and music, and sixteenth-century music theory in France. He has recently completed a year as a fellow at Villa I Tatti and has received grants and fellowships from Princeton University, Università degli Studi di Padova (Italy), and C.N.R.S. / Centre d'Études Superieures de la Renaissance in Tours (France). Zanovello has published on various topics, including sixteenth-century Italian madrigal, eighteenth-century clarinet, Heinrich Isaac, humanists and music, and music in Florence and in the Veneto. He has also collaborated on the modern edition of volumes 9 and 11 of Ottaviano Petrucci's frottole (Padova 1997 and 1999).


  • Daniel Arthurs, Adjunct Lecturer (Music Theory)
  • Joshua Bell, Senior Lecturer (Strings)
  • Ben Bolter, Adjunct Lecturer (Instrumental Conducting)
  • Corey Christiansen, Adjunct Lecturer (Jazz Studies: Jazz Guitar)
  • Glen Dimick, Adjunct Lecturer (Brass: Tuba)
  • Aida Huseynova, Adjunct Lecturer (Music in General Studies)
  • Chih Chiang Lin, Adjunct Lecturer (Instrumental Conducting)
  • Peter Lloyd, Adjunct Lecturer (Strings: Double Bass)
  • Wolodymyr Smishkewych, Adjunct Lecturer (Choral Conducting)
  • Vasiliki Tsouva, Adjunct Lecturer (Choral Conducting)
  • Gary Thor Wedow, Adjunct Professor (Choral Conducting/IU Opera Theater)

For a full listing of IU Jacobs School of Music faculty, please click here.