Georgia College Keynotes

...notes and musings from the Department of Music.

Issue 3 | May 24, 2021

Dana Gorzelany-Mostak, co-editor

Jennifer Flory, co-editor, layout and design coordinator

Note from the editors…

Greetings to all of our alumni, friends of music, fellow faculty, students, parents, and community partners! This note is coming to you at the tail end of a very strange and challenging year, but a year where we still managed to thrive by finding new avenues for our music making. As we compile this third issue of our department newsletter, we have also taken the time to reflect back on the many accomplishments and experiences which make our department unique among music departments. First, even a short glance at our newsletter reveals the robust research activity that is par for the course at Georgia College. Faculty and students alike regularly present at state, national, and international conferences, workshops, and clinics. Several have published their work in the flagship journals of their respective fields. Second, while performance lies at the center of much of our creative output, such activity is often rooted in interdisciplinary inquiry that traverses the traditional fields associated with music. Many of our 2021 graduating students have already accepted teaching appointments, internships, and highly coveted positions in graduate schools. The sheer diversity of our students’ post-graduation plans speaks to the breadth, depth, and transferability of the skill set we cultivate in our department. We are excited to share with you our most recent accomplishments and are looking forward to greeting you in person at one of our many events sometime soon.

Message from the Chair

As we close the spring 2021 semester, the Department of Music has made major strides in our ability to thrive in our new reality with the pandemic. We have adapted and modified our protocols for classes, recitals, rehearsals, and performances in order to take advantage of the technology we acquired from the Office of the Provost and CoAS. With our ability to live stream and pre-record content, access large spaces on and off-campus, and utilize outdoor spaces such as the Bell Hall tent, we have been able to maintain our connection with our students and our audience. The summer months will be spent planning how to incorporate our new technology with the normal delivery of content as we modify our social distancing protocols in accordance with USG/GC policies. We will still be following the protocols recommended by ongoing studies and reports from professional music organizations and performing groups.

Our faculty and staff have continued sharpening their soft skills as producers and multimedia technologists with assistance from Keith Bergeron and Clay Garland (GC Productions Services), Doug Bassett (part-time Music Faculty), and the student assistants. The music faculty have actively pursued their research and various creative projects, and many have received invitations to perform and present nationally this coming year. Recently, Andrew Allen released a CD titled The Avenging Spirit with the SAGA saxophone quartet, and our music therapy faculty, Katie Whipple, Laurie Peebles, and Susan Craig presented at the virtual SER-AMTA conference in March along with some of our current students and alumni of the Music Therapy program.

The Department of Music has hosted over 20 presentations and masterclasses led by both our own faculty and guest artists. Nathaniel Gworek hosted a virtual percussion masterclass with Keith Aleo, Jennifer Piazza Pick hosted a presentation with composer Jenni Brandon titled “Developing a Collaborative Project,” and Lisa Bartholow hosted a flute masterclass with flutist and composer Nicole Chamberlain. Owen Lovell collaborated with Chenny Gan (Associate Professor of Music, Wesleyan College) to host a piano studio masterclass. These activities have provided our students with experiences beyond the performance stage.

Our 2020–21 concert series finished with over 56 performances (live-streamed or pre-recorded with no live audience). The Max Noah Singers, under the direction of Jennifer Flory, were featured in a promotional video as part of the Andalusia Institute’s celebration of Flannery O’Connor’s birthday. JazzFest returned in April in a community format featuring the Faculty Jazz Quartet, student combos, alumni groups, and of course the Jazz Band under the direction of Cliff Towner. We are excited about next year’s series which will feature the return of the Terry Endowed Concert in Spring 2022. You can find information about upcoming concerts and events on our website.

As a unified department, we have continued to pursue community outreach opportunities even during these times. Music therapy students serenaded residents at the Fellowship Home in Merriweather as part of their effort to relieve the isolation many clients experienced during the lockdown. Nathaniel Gworek and Don Parker hosted the Virtual GC Day of Percussion with Kurt Grissom. The Center for Music Education, under the direction of Tina Holmes-Davis, will expand its offerings for the coming year with a student composition competition, and we will also see the return of the Bobcat Keys Project with Wilkinson County Schools.

Hopefully, this newsletter provides a snapshot of the achievements of our students and faculty during these unprecedented times. We look forward to connecting with all of our students, alumni, and Friends of Music in the near future. Please stay in touch, stay safe, and get vaccinated.

Don N. Parker

Chair, Department of Music

Professor of Music

New Faculty

Dr. Bryan Hall will be joining the faculty of the Georgia College Department of Music in Fall 2021 as the new Director of Orchestra and String Coordinator. He holds a bachelor of music degree in Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Hall served on the faculty of the University of Alaska Fairbanks as the violin/viola professor and pedagogy coordinator. He was Concertmaster of the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, conductor of the Northern Lights Symphony Orchestra, and conductor of the Fairbanks Youth Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Hall enjoys playing different styles of music in his Persian Classical/Independent Rock Band Tehranosaurus and actively tours around the United States and abroad.

Click below for 2020-21 events!

Center for Music Education Events

The Center for Music Education is hosting a Student Composition Competition this fall! Student composers (19 and younger) can register their original short compositions here.

Our existing initiatives, such as Violin Club, Bobcat Keys, and professional development workshops are ongoing. You may register for these workshops here.


August 14, 2021,12-3 pm: Intro to Choral Rehearsal Pedagogy with Jeremy Williams

August 21, 2021, 12-3 pm: Resume and Interview Refresher with Dr. Dana Gorzelany-Mostak

August 28, 2021, 12-3 pm: Rock Band in a School Music Program with Brad Weaver

September 4, 2021, 12-3 pm: Meaningful Representation in Music Education with Dr. Chantae Pittman

September 25, 2021, 12-3 pm: Orff Refresher with Mandy Gunter, Milledgeville (In-person)

January 15, 2022, 12-3 pm: Ukelele in a Music Program with Monica Tritto

April 9, 2022, 12-3 pm: Improving Choral Timbre through Vocal Pedagogy with Dr. Jennifer Piazza-Pick

April 16, 2022, 12-3 pm: Instrument Repair with Jim Smelzer (Big Note Music)

*All 21-22 workshops will be virtual, with the exception of the Orff workshop in September.

For more information, please contact Tina Holmes-Davis at

Music Therapy Events

August 19, 2021, 7:30 pm: Music Therapy Welcome Back Orientation (Peabody Auditorium)
November 22, 2021, 6 pm: Creative Expressions Performance
November 12, 2021, 2-5:00 pm: End of Semester Seminar

For more information, please contact Katie Whipple at

GC Music in the News

Area Updates


This semester was busy with two virtual/pre-recorded concerts and one outdoor concert. Max Noah Singers (MNS) presented their traditional Valentine’s Day Rendezvous in February. As usual, we had a variety of vocal solos, duets, small ensembles, and full choral works. We used some videos of past performances to round out the program. MNS also performed “Effervescence,” a setting by Emma Lou Diemer of a Flannery O’Connor essay written while O’Connor was a student at Georgia State College for Women, now Georgia College. We recorded the performance at O’Connor’s home, Andalusia. All three choral ensembles, MNS, University Chorus (UC), and Women’s Ensemble (WE) spent the semester working toward our April 17 concert, Music of the Spheres (video below), which featured songs about our earth and its wonders of life, nature, sun, and stars. A highlight of the semester was the collaboration between UC and the GC Orchestra for two selections for the April concert. Dr. David Johnson prepared the orchestra and played viola in the recording. Dr. Dusty Woodruff joined the collaboration for the finale by playing the guitar solo in “The Lake Isle.” Thank you and best wishes to our MNS and UC assistant director from this year, Avery Garrett.

This semester we have been very fortunate to hold all of our rehearsals and most of our recording sessions in the beautiful and acoustically rewarding sanctuary of First Baptist Church in Milledgeville. We are ever so grateful for the hospitality and assistance of the church, church administrator Madelyn Wright, and Conner Garmon, who is the Director of Music at the church and a bass in both MNS and UC. After we finished our concert recordings, students in Dr. Flory’s advanced choral conducting class worked with the choral ensembles on pieces to be performed at the end of the semester. UC, conducted by Conner Garmon and Torri Harris, performed their pieces during class at the church. MNS, conducted by Megan Ostrat, along with WE, conducted by Madison Golden and Kelley Monahan, performed on Front Campus during the last week of school. WE and MNS performed their a cappella concert selections for a great crowd of students, families, GC employees, and community members. We are hopeful that next year will bring us more normalcy and the chance to sing and be closer together.

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On May 1, Allied Arts and the Georgia College Department of Music teamed up to bring the community Jazz at the Magnolia, a virtual community fundraiser event featuring pianist Tyrone Jackson and his Trio with Karla Harris on vocals as well as the Georgia College Faculty Jazz Quartet (Andrew Allen, Don Parker, Nathaniel Gworek, and Chris Enghauser).

Music Education

Spring 2021 was the last semester of our Bachelor of Music Education degree program and it went out with a successful group of six graduates! Current and future music education students will complete the BA+Music Precertification Minor and M.A.T.: Music Education degrees for initial teacher certification.

The Master of Music Education degree was named the #1 Best Online Master of Music Education program in the nation by Best Value Schools. We had a program record number of 16 MME and 6 MAT graduates in 20-21!

Music History

All GC students are required to enroll in two or three music history courses in order to complete the BA or BMT degrees. While “learning about the past” plays a central role, GC music history courses emphasize the importance of connecting past music cultures to the present day, cultivating a critical eye and ear in order to address the social, political, and cultural trends that shape music production, performance, and consumption. This learning takes many forms. During the spring semester, each student led a presentation exploring a current issue or debate within the classical music landscape. Some topics included labor and musician compensation, cultural appropriation, copyright, canon formation, and the need for diversity within classical music performance and scholarship.

For the third year in a row the students in Music History II conducted interviews with living composers and wrote papers where they examined their composer’s life and work. The “Living Composer Project,” developed by Esther Morgan-Ellis (Associate Professor at the University of North Georgia), offers a great opportunity for the students to hone their ethnographic skills and research skills, while promoting the visibility of living composers, including those from underrepresented communities. Several students are submitting abstracts for the University of North Georgia’s upcoming conference on living composers.

Students in the upper-level American Music course similarly worked to research understudied subjects and figures in music history. Paper topics included the song “Oui Oui Marie” and the representation of women in wartime popular song, the integration of country music and the reception of Charley Pride, music therapy programs for refugees in the greater Atlanta area, Atlanta-based rapper Lil Baby and the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the history of gospel music on the Georgia College campus.

Music Therapy

Music Therapy has had another busy semester, full of clinical work, presentations, and performances! Students continued their clinical training through a variety of platforms. Many of our students earned clinical hours through telehealth sessions, while some were able to return to a few facilities face to face. A few even played in a bubble. The End-of-Semester Virtual Seminar showcased all their clinical work as well as a special presentation by music therapy seniors entitled, “This Includes You! An In-Depth Look at Music Therapy & Inclusivity.”

Music therapy students Avery Garrett, Renata Kuswanto, Abigail Hearn, and Sidney Johnson are four of the six Georgia College students who were selected to present their scholarly work at the Third Annual Posters at the Capitol event this year. This is the second year in a row that music therapy students have represented Georgia College during this prestigious statewide event. Although the event was virtual this year, the students remarked on the value of participating, advocating for music therapy, and sharing their work with others.

Our student organizations were also busy this semester. The Music Therapy Society represented Georgia College at the regional music therapy conference, provided residents at a local nursing home with music, and reconnected with each other through their own music. The society has continued to support students’ academic and clinical pursuits through song shares and by setting up lectures with local music therapists. The Music Therapy Society also held an end-of-year outdoor celebration to help connect music therapy students in all stages of the program. The event featured karaoke, superlatives, and of course… pizza! The Community Drumming Group was also busy. They presented at the Georgia International Leadership Conference in March, led a drumming circle at Comfort Farms in Milledgeville, and took part in the Georgia College International Student Celebration in April. The group has also created a YouTube live stream link in order to meet the needs of students during the COVID-19 pandemic and to spread their message of community through drumming.

The music therapy graduate program also had a successful semester, beginning in January with our spring graduate seminar weekend. Current graduate students Christopher Karow, Halle Josey, Jonathan Moon, and Allie Balducci shared their clinical and professional experiences, which included topics on drum care, campaigning in the Georgia run-off elections, music therapy podcasting, and clinical experiences leadership at the Life Enrichment Center. We also hosted Jennifer Denk, who shared her research on using music therapy to address the psychological needs of long-term caregivers. Finally, the graduate music therapy program began a “Lunch-n-Learn” series, in which graduate students meet once a month to discuss various student-requested topics, such as research, internships, and securing their first job. This series will continue to be offered monthly in the fall.

Music Therapy Internships

Starr Batchelor, Carlyle Place-Navicent Health, Macon, GA, started January 2021

Bess McIntire, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, completed April 2021

Ashley Newkirk, Carlyle Place-Navicent Health, Macon, GA, started April 2021

Amber Patterson, Heart & Harmony Music Therapy, Fort Worth, TX, started April 2021

Annabeth Raffield, Carlyle Place-Navicent Health, Macon, GA, completed March 2021

Madison Smith, Joseph Sams School, Fayetteville, GA, completed May 2021


On February 13, 2021, Georgia College hosted the 3rd Annual GC Day of Percussion, featuring clinics and performances by guest artist Kurt Grissom, percussion with the Florida Orchestra, and Drs. Don Parker and Nathaniel Gworek (Georgia College). This virtual event also featured spotlight performances by GC percussion majors, the GC Community Drumming Ensemble, and the GC Percussion Ensemble. On March 1, 2021 guest percussion artist Mr. Keith A. Aleo presented a virtual percussion performance as well as held a master class for percussion students. Stay tuned for our 3rd Annual Georgia College Jazz Workshop on September 18th and the 3rd Annual Winds & Percussion Workshop in November, date TBA!

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The keyboard area remained quite active in spring 2021, and we congratulate piano majors Jazmin Hunt (BME) and Ethan Grimes (BA) as they graduate from Georgia College, and Charles Pepper (BMT) as he completes his piano requirements and nears the end of his degree. Collaborative piano playing continues to increase in popularity in the piano studio; among the highlights were Sidney Johnson performing in a coached violin, clarinet, and piano trio, and Conner Garmon’s flute and piano recital hour performance, followed by a recital performance with a BMT voice major as the collaborative pianist. Academic achievement and undergraduate research continue to be a hallmarks of the piano studio, with Emily Kirkland, Renata Kuswanto, and Sidney Johnson co-presenting a virtual lecture-demonstration, “Practical Applications of Music Therapy Concepts in Piano Teaching,” at the Music Teachers National Association conference in March, a topic they previously presented at two other state and regional conferences. Two GC piano majors participated as performers in a masterclass with Dr. Chenny Gan (Wesleyan College), which they found extremely helpful in preparation for scholarship auditions. We commemorated a 2020-2021 academic year we’ll never forget (and hopefully never relive) in early May with a cheerful outdoor gathering at Lake Sinclair.

February 25th was “New Piano Day” for the piano studio, marking the long-overdue retirement of a 73-year-old Steinway Model L as the primary practice piano for our piano majors and minors, which was replaced with a brand new, 5’11” Steinway Model O in polished ebony. As a way to commemorate the arrival of this piano (and mimicking the roadie, mover, and technician-signed underside of Vladimir Horowitz’s iconic CD 503 Steinway), piano students, faculty, and office staff signed the pedal lyre before it was attached to the piano by the delivery crew. This piano was immediately put to work, where it will log 1,000 practice hours a year for decades to come, training the next generation of performers, educators, and music therapists at one of Georgia’s few “All-Steinway Schools.” We also welcomed the delivery of a new Kawai ES920 portable stage piano, along with a portable stand, bench, and a custom rolling carrying case. This piano saw regular use this semester during our Music Theatre Scenes class and outdoor Jazz Band rehearsals in the Bell Hall tent, and it will certainly make an appearance during future Music at the Mansion events.

Looking ahead to the upcoming fall, there are already four items worth mentioning: a fall relaunch of the BASF Bobcat Keys after-school outreach program with Wilkinson County Elementary School, featuring the exciting addition of a corporate title sponsor (and prominent employer in Wilkinson County), BASF. This is a symbiotic partnership that trains service-minded Georgia College piano majors to hone their teaching skills in a group environment and provides weekly piano lessons, practice pianos, sheet music, T-shirts, and access to GCSU’s first-rate facilities for 10 elementary school students who might not normally have such an opportunity. The upcoming piano studio recital theme is “Jazz Inspired.” The event is scheduled for September 26th in the Magnolia Ballroom on the historic Burrell Steinway. The elective Piano Literature course meets this fall, with a topic area that includes input from registered students. Finally, we look forward to an elective joint recital from Bachelor of Music Therapy students, Sidney Johnson and Emily Kirkland.


On March 25th the Georgia College Orchestra proudly presented its 2021 Spring Concert, “Tastes of Europe,” which was live-streamed from Russell Auditorium. The online program included music by Italian Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi, Austrian Classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and French Late-Romantic composer Gabriel Fauré. There was also an original world-premiere orchestral transcription (by director Dr. David H. Johnson) of the music of Renaissance Spanish composer Luis de Milán, based on the vihuela, a stringed instrument that preceded the modern guitar. Three students--Katelyn Hale, Nicholas Koebert, and Sara Carr--performed solo parts and led from the podium on the Vivaldi.


During the continuation of the pandemic, the voice area kept the same safety protocols in the spring as in the fall. Although it was difficult to sing in masks and perform via recording, students continued learning skills that helped them become flexible and resilient musical artists. Thankfully, the department provided singer’s masks to the voice majors, and students were able to breathe better while singing.

Most of the events in the voice area were held virtually, including weekly studio class, a masterclass, recital class, student recitals, and voice juries. Voice students had another virtual masterclass with Dr. ChoEun Lee (Lee University), who played for Dr. Youngmi Kim’s recital on March 9th. Congratulations to students Torri Harris, Madison Golden, and Kelley Monahan! On February 16th, award-winning art song composer Juliana Hall talked to voice and composition students about her writing process via Zoom. Recitals were also held virtually, including two live-streamed faculty recitals by Dr. Jennifer Piazza-Pick on February 22nd and Dr. Youngmi Kim on March 9th. Three student recitals were pre-recorded and streamed on Zoom. Congratulations to Katie Eckman, Abby Hearn, and Julia Hufford on their wonderful recitals!

We hope to have some live performances in the fall. The voice honors recital will resume and be held on September 17th, after a one-year hiatus of this special recital during the pandemic. We will continue to have some virtual events via Zoom, including a vocal health clinic with Joseph Kim on August 24th and a musical theater masterclass with Brian DeMaris on September 28th.

Woodwinds and Brass

High school students and directors: Stay tuned for our 3rd Annual Georgia College Jazz Workshop on September 18th and the 3rd Annual Winds & Percussion Workshop in November, date TBA!

The woodwinds and brass area added two new instructors this semester: Mr. Jacob Hill, double reeds, is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in oboe performance at the University of Georgia. Jacob holds a bachelor of music in oboe performance from Baldwin-Wallace University Conservatory of Music and a master of music in oboe performance from Miami University. In the summers, Jacob has performed as the second oboist of the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. He has also toured the United States with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra. In 2018, Jacob traveled to Sachrang, Germany to participate in a weeklong masterclass taught by Hansjörg Schellenberger and Maurice Bourgue.

Dr. Tyler Jones, our trumpet instructor, is a recent graduate of the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, with a DMA in trumpet performance. At the University of Georgia, Dr. Jones studied with Philip Smith, former Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic. While a student at UGA, Dr. Jones worked as the instructor for brass techniques, the trumpet tech for the Marching Redcoats, and provided lessons for both majors and non-majors. In addition, he serves as the Principal Trumpet of the Spartanburg Philharmonic.

Developing a Collaborative Project

On March 18, award-winning composer, conductor, and entrepreneur Jenni Brandon met virtually with our music students and faculty in a workshop entitled “Developing a Collaborative Project.” In this interactive conversation, Brandon introduced practical ideas on creating a collaborative project from start to finish. Ideas on fostering creative collaborations and relationships were discussed as well as the nuts and bolts on getting started to bring a successful project to fruition. Students were given a checklist to help them stay organized on the path to creating their dream projects, which included founding a collaborative music and art therapy practice and creating a social justice film with original musical compositions.


Student Research and Creative Activity

  • Flory, Jennifer, Sarah Clegg, and Meagan (Johnson) McAninch. “American Treble Choral Index: A Concert Building and Listening Session.” Presented at the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference, Athens, GA, January 29, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Garrett, Avery, and Katie Whipple. “Learning with N,” Presented at the 3rd Annual Posters at the Capitol, February 24, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Garrett, Avery. “Why Are Listeners Attracted to Sad Music? The Perception of and Preference for Emotional Content in Vocal Music by Non-Musicians.” Presented at the Southeastern Regional American Music Therapy Association Conference, March 3-6, 2021 (Virtual); and at the Georgia Collegiate Honors Council Conference, 2021.
  • Gorzelany-Mostak, Dana, Sarah Griffin, and Haley Strassburger, Trail Tunes: From Tippecanoe to Trump and Biden Too. Georgia College Alumni Weekend Lecture. Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA, November 3, 2020 (Virtual).
  • Griffin, Sarah, Haley Strassburger, Dana Gorzelany-Mostak, Erin Lamb, Sophia Clark, Richard Guyton, Nathan Whatley. Delightful Tunes from U.S. Presidential Campaigns, 1840–1964. A Constitution Week Concert, Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA, September 17, 2020 (Virtual).
  • Griffin, Sarah, Haley Strassburger, Naomi Graber, and Zack Sheffield,” Trax on the Trail: Researching Music on the U.S. Presidential Campaign Trail.” GC Undergraduate Research Conference, Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA, April 20, 2020 (Virtual).
  • Grimes, Ethan. Senior Piano Recital, Max Noah Recital Hall, Georgia College, April 21, 2021.
  • Hearn, Abigail, and Katie Whipple. “Communicating with C.” Presented at the 3rd Annual Posters at the Capitol, February 24, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Johnson, Sidney, and Katie Whipple. “Middle School Music with O.” Presented at the 3rd Annual Posters at the Capitol, February 24, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Johnson, Sidney, and Laurie Peebles. “Interdisciplinary Collaboration Between Music Therapy and Medical Ethnomusicology: The Perceived Impact on Individuals Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries.” Presented at the Southeastern Regional American Music Therapy Association Conference, March 6, 2021 (Virtual); the Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (GURC), March 27, 2021; and the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges Conference, April 10, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Johnson, Sidney, Emily Kirkland, and Renata Kuswanto. “Music Therapy Adaptations in Piano Pedagogical Settings.” Presented at the Music Teachers National Association Conference, March 13-17, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Karow, Christopher. “Suggested Guidelines for Community Group Drumming.” Percussive Arts Society’s official Blog Rhythm Scene, May 5, 2021.
  • Karow, Christopher, and Meghan Jennings. “Connected Through Drum and Song: Opening Dialogues and Perspectives for Change.” Presented at the Georgia International Leadership Conference (GILC), March 5, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Kirkland, Emily, Renata Kuswanto, and Sidney Johnson. “Music Therapy from a Pedagogical Perspective.” Presented at the Southeastern Regional American Music Therapy Association Conference, March 3-6, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Kuswanto, Renata, and Susan Craig. “Music Therapy Intervention to Improve Articulation.” Presented at the 3rd Annual Posters at the Capitol, February 24, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Pepper, Charles, and Laurie Peebles. “Music Genre’s Impact on Treating GAD Within the Southeastern United States: A Pretest-Posttest Experimental Design.” Presented at the Southeastern Regional American Music Therapy Association Conference, March 3-6, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Strassburger, Haley. “The Noisy or Nice Dichotomy: Taylor Swift’s Evolution from “Good Girl” to Activist Go-Getter in American Politics.” National Council on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), April 13, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Strassburger, Haley. “Fearless Feminist: Taylor Swift’s Evolving Activism and Authorship in American Politics and Pop Music.” GC Student Research Conference, Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA, March 26, 2021 (Virtual).
Four MT majors present posters

Georgia College sends six student researchers to ‘Posters at the Capitol’ exhibit

Student Awards and Other Accolades

  • Sarah Clegg will be teaching general music at Midway Hills Primary School in Milledgeville.
  • Avery Garrett received the Annie Jenkins Jackson Scholarship, Class of 1964 50th Reunion Scholarship and the Class of 1967 50th Reunion Scholarship.
  • Sarah Griffin will be pursuing a Master of Music in saxophone performance at Georgia State University as a graduate assistant.
  • Jazmin Hunt will be teaching general music at Southfield Elementary in Bibb County.
  • Bess McIntire will be joining the George Center Foundation (private practice) in Roswell, GA, working as a music therapist in the practice.
  • Casey O’Neal was a featured soloist in a masterclass with Christine Rall, international saxophone soloist and soprano chair of the Rascher Saxophone Quartet, at the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 6 Conference, hosted virtually in April by the University of Southern Mississippi. Casey will also be pursuing a Master of Music in composition at the University of Georgia as a graduate assistant in the Dancz Center for New Music.
  • Payne Pitts will be pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education at Liberty University in August 2021.
  • Annabeth Raffield will be a music therapist at Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee, Florida.
  • Haley Strassburger will be pursuing a master's degree in Women’s and Gender Studies at Georgia State University as a graduate assistant.
  • Aliyah Walker is the recipient of the National Federation of Music Clubs $1500 Dorothy Dann Bullock Music Therapy Scholarship.

Faculty Research and Creative Activity

  • Allen, Andrew J., M. Tracy, G. Dewhirst, A. Wright, and G. Hicken. (The SAGA Quartet). The Avenging Spirit, CD Recording, Equilibrium Recordings, 2021.
  • Allen, Andrew J. “Middle or Side? Guidelines for Saxophone Placement.” The Instrumentalist, February/March 2021, pp. 18-19.
  • Allen, Andrew J., “The Hidden History of Saxophone Altissimo.” Lecture presented at the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 6 Conference, hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi, April 11, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Allen, Andrew J. Solo recitals presented at the 2021 North American Saxophone Alliance Region 6 Conference, hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi, April 9, 2021 (Virtual); the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 3 Conference, hosted by Hastings College, March 19, 2021 (Virtual); the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 7 Conference, hosted by Winthrop University, March 5, 2021 (Virtual); and the International Conference for Saxophone Performance and Pedagogy, hosted by the University of Florida, February 26, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Allen, Andrew J. Guest masterclass presenter at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, (March 25, 2021 (Virtual); the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 6 Conference, hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi, April 10, 2021 (Virtual); and at Kent State University Saxophone Studio, March 17, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Allen, Andrew J. “The Hidden History of Altissimo.” Lecture presented at the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 3 Conference, hosted by Hastings College, March 19, 2021 (Virtual); and the International Conference for Saxophone Pedagogy and Performance, University of Florida, February 27, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Allen, Andrew J., M. Tracy, G. Dewhirst, and A. Wright. (SAGA Quartet). “Getting It On the Record: Steps for Success In Recording and Releasing Your First Record.” Lecture presented at the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 4 Conference, hosted by the University of Texas-San Antonio, March 12, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Allen, Andrew J., “The Secret History of the Altissimo Register.” Lecture presented at the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 7 Conference, hosted by Winthrop University, March 6, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Allen, Andrew J., C. Leaman, S. Johnson, and N. Postma. (The Carolina Saxophone Quartet). “Go Small to Think Big: Large Ensemble Success Through Chamber Music.” Lecture presented at the Georgia Music Educators Association Conference, January 30, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Gorzelany-Mostak, Dana. Trax on the Trail: A Campaign Music Website,
  • Gorzelany-Mostak, Dana. “Black and White on the Campaign Trail.” Presented at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, January 14, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Gorzelany-Mostak, Dana. “Music on the U.S. Campaign Trail.” Great American Songbook Foundation Digital Lecture and Video, October 22, 2020.
  • Gorzelany-Mostak, Dana. “Analyzing and Creating Playlists,” Trax on the Trail, April 2, 2020.
  • Graber, Naomi, Dana Gorzelany-Mostak, Andrew Fletcher, and Andrew Scotchie. Trax on the Trail, Pt. 9, Andrew Fletcher and Andrew Scotchie on Music’s Place in Progressive Politics. WRGC 88.3FM (aired October 27, 2020).
  • Graber, Naomi, Dana Gorzelany-Mostak, Benjamin Schoening, and Eric Kasper. Trax on the Trail, Pt. 8, Eric Kasper and Benjamin Schoening on Pop Music in the 2016 and 2020 Elections. WRGC 88.3FM (aired August 7, 2020).
  • Kim, Youngmi. “An Exhibition of Heart Full Songs” with Dr. ChoEun Lee, piano, Max Noah Recital Hall, Georgia College, March 9, 2021.
  • Lovell, Owen. “Kawai ES920 - Flagship Slab on a Diet.” Product review in Piano Buyer, Spring 2021.
  • Peebles, Laurie, Jennifer Denk, and Hilary Yip. “Student Supervision: Theory and Strategies for Success.” Presented at the Southeastern Regional Music Therapy Conference, March 6, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Peebles, Laurie. “Personality and the Quality of the Music Therapy Supervisor-Intern Relationship.” Research poster presented at the Southeastern Regional Music Therapy Conference, March 6, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Peebles, Laurie. “Lunch and Learn March 2021 Laurie Peebles.” Concert for a Cause, March 27, 2021.
  • Sena Moore, K., and Laurie Peebles, L. “A Preliminary Overview of Music Therapy Reimbursement Practice in the United States.” Music Therapy Perspectives, 39, no. 1 (2021): 69-77.
  • Piazza-Pick, Jennifer, and Lev Ryabinian. “Anonymous Was a Woman.” Faculty Recital of Women Composers, Max Noah Recital Hall, Georgia College, February 22, 2021.
  • Piazza-Pick, Jennifer. “Celebrating Womanhood: A Conversation about Women Composers.” Lecture presented for Richmond-based voice studios, including virtual performances by students from participating studios, March 12, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Piazza-Pick, Jennifer. Juliana Hall’s Sentiment. Performed at the Music by Women Festival, March 9, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Piazza-Pick, Jennifer. Concert of works by Gwyneth Walker, Joelle Wallach, Ashi Day, Cherise Leiter, and Iris Szeghy with Whistling Hens. Performed at the Music by Women Festival, March 16, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Piazza-Pick, Jennifer. Concert of works by Diana Rosenblum and Iris Szeghy with Whistling Hens. Performed at the Music Marathon of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, March 19, 2021. (Virtual).
  • Piazza-Pick, Jennifer. Concert with Whistling Hens. Virtual Lunch Break Series by the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council, March 23, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Piazza-Pick, Jennifer. Premiere performance of the transcription of Jenni Brandon’s Multitudinous Stars and Spring Waters with Whistling Hens. Performed at the Music by Women Festival, March 24, 2021.
  • Piazza-Pick, Jennifer. Lecture on the art songs of Amy Beach, Ball State University, April 10, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Piazza-Pick, Jennifer. “The Green Child: Writing for Voice and Clarinet” with Whistling Hens and composer Ashi Day, Sam Houston State Art Song Festival, April 19, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Piazza-Pick, Jennifer. Masterclass for high school singers for the Artistry Summit, GreenSpring International Academy of Music, Richmond, VA, April 24, 2021.
  • Piazza-Pick, Jennifer. Featured performance with Whistling Hens. Swiss Female Composers Festival: Portrait Session with Iris Szeghy, April 27, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Whipple, Katie. “Engaging Students in a Virtual Classroom.” Presented at the TiLT Faculty Learning Community, Chancellor’s Learning Scholar Program, February 22, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Whipple, Katie. “Stories, Songs, & Skills: The Use of Storybooks in Music Therapy.” Presented at the Southeastern Regional Music Therapy Conference, March 6, 2021 (Virtual).
  • Whipple, Katie, Laurie Peebles, Susan Craig, and Hilary Yip. “Practicum Supervision in a Virtual World.” Presented at the Southeastern Regional Music Therapy Conference, March 5, 2021 (Virtual).

Making Connections

Creative Expressions

Creative Expressions hosted their first in-person, socially-distanced music therapy performance in over a year on April 29 at New City Church. Performers with disAbilities from the Life Enrichment Center and Georgia College music therapy students came together to perform empowering pop music from the last several decades. “We are Stronger Together,” showcased five music ensembles, including Good Vibrations led by Sidney Johnson and Charles Pepper; the Music Makers led by Moriah Treadwell & Zoe Reddick; The Jungle Royales led by Kassie Dierker and Cassidy Weber; The Harmonettes Vocal Choir led by Abby Hearn; and Music in Motion led by Carrie Hunter and Emily Kirkland. The upbeat and inspiring music was meant to motivate all to move forward through the pandemic and into better times. It also served as a reminder that people are more alike than different and that together we are stronger. For more information about Creative Expressions, click here.

Music Therapy Clinic

The Music Therapy Clinic of Georgia College closed the school year with a virtual showcase of music videos, featuring the talents of K-12 students with disAbilities in the Baldwin County School System. Under the direction of clinic music therapist Caroline Miller, eight different classrooms performed their versions of hit songs such as “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” “Soulja Boy,” “What I Am,“ and the beloved hit “Baby Shark!” Each classroom was served virtually this year through once a week telehealth sessions led by Ms. Miller, and with the assistance of approximately 30 music therapy students, Baldwin County teachers, and paraprofessionals. The MT Clinic provides engaged learning opportunities for music therapy students, while also providing access to music therapy services to those in Milledgeville and surrounding areas.

For more information about the music therapy services at Georgia College, click here

2021 Undergraduate Showcase

Congratulations to our Spring and Summer 2021 Graduates!

Bachelor of Arts in Music

Ethan Purcell Grimes

Casey Michael O'Neal

Angelo Noel Po

Wyatt Kweku Robinson

Bachelor of Music Education

Sarah Grace Clegg

Sarah Berneice Griffin

Jazmin ShaLinda Hunt

William Magee Refuss

Bethany Dianne Severance

Haley Lana Strassburger

Eric Aubry Treco

Bachelor of Music Therapy

Bethany Starr Batchelor

Katherine Olivia Brashear

Brent Koury Goldsmith

Frances Bess McIntire

Anna Elizabeth Raffield

Madison Grace Smith

Master of Arts in Teaching: Music Education

Shikiera M Codrington

Joel Anthony Dukes

Brendan Payne Pitts

Jan Serpan

Jalen Alexander Smith

Master of Music Education

Robert Matthew Davidson

Robert Wayne Groves

Brandon Gardner Hurley

Josey J. Jimenez

Allysa Lauren Larson

Brian Daniel Lonergan

Tiffany Nealy Peoples

Wesley Michael Raines

Austin John Rideout

Bradley Hamilton Wilson Weaver

Class of 2021: Valedictorians honored

Congrats to Music Education Major Haley Strassburger!

Alumni News

Alumni Spotlight: Robyn Rouse (MAT, ’18)

Where are you from?

San Diego, CA

What year did you graduate and what degree did you receive?

2018 Master of Arts in Teaching: Music Education

What have you been up to since your graduation from Georgia College?
I have been teaching general music at L. H. Williams Elementary (Bibb County) for three years now. I also give piano lessons on the weekends and play piano/sax/flute for special occasions.

What is your fondest memory from your time at Georgia College?

Graduation was my fondest memory because it was a life goal I’d been praying for years to reach. Because of helpful and caring people like Dr. Flory and Dr. Holmes-Davis, I was able to complete my degree while pregnant and working two jobs.

In what ways did your time at Georgia College prepare you to achieve your professional goals?
Georgia College did an excellent job of providing me with opportunities to practice teaching with classmates, and helped me become more familiar with a heightened music vocabulary that I would need in the school system, and with music technology and programs that I would need to run an efficient music classroom.

What advice would you give to current music students?

In my experience, students respond best when they can feel your heart shining through while you do what you love. You may not get it perfectly every time, and that’s ok. Students can still feel your passion, and it spills over onto them. Sometimes we may get burnt out teaching after a while with all of the many obstacles life throws at us, but that’s when you revisit your goals and remind yourself why you do what you do. What we do really matters even if others don’t recognize it. Your students reap and KEEP the benefits of all of your hard work. They will show you in small ways throughout the year, and it is all worth it.

What are our alumni up to?

  • Gabriel Banzon (BMT ‘14), John Moon (BMT ‘15), and colleagues, interviewed Ben Folds in their podcast, Clinical BOPulations, April 13, 2021.
  • Lacey Barnes (MME ‘20), Teacher of the Year, Burdell-Hunt Elementary School, Bibb County, May 2021; top five finalists for 2022 Bibb County Teacher of the Year.
  • Kimberly (Williams) Blue (BMT ‘10), Porgy & Bess chorus, Atlanta Opera, 2020.
  • Caroline Buckner (BMT ‘20), Master of Arts degree for Arts Leadership and Management, Wichita State University, May 2021.
  • Amanda (Jernigan) Duncan (BMT ‘16), Master in Health Administration, Medical University of South Carolina, May 2021.
  • Kirk Grizzle (BME ‘98), GMEA In-Service Conference Performance 2018; Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards (Shuler Awards): Direction and Music Direction, 2018.
  • Ronnie Hill (MME ‘11), Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership, Arkansas State University, beginning Summer 2021.
  • Kathryn Mann (BA General ‘13), “Big Grrrl Small World: An Analysis of Rap and R&B Performer Lizzo.” Presented at the Popular Culture Association of the South (PCAS)/American Culture Association of the South (ACAS) Conference, Savannah, GA, 2017.
  • Erlencia Mumphery (BMT ‘13), Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling: Crisis Response and Trauma, Liberty University, May 2021. (pictured above)
  • Kayla Otim (BME ‘14), Master of Music in Music Education, University of Florida, May 2021.
  • Joel Singleton (BME ‘00), Newton County Schools Teacher of the Year, 2017-2018.
  • Bradley Sowell (BME ‘15), performed in Zoom Speed Dating Tonight!, an opera by Michael Ching, University of South Dakota, May 2021; Cincinnati Fusion Ensemble’s 2021 Vocal Institute.
  • Anthony Switala (BMT ‘19), Master of Music Education, SUNY Fredonia, May 2021.
  • Dana (LaValley) Usry (BMT ‘17), Master of Arts in Teaching: Special Education, Liberty University, May 2021.
  • Diane Woodard (BME ‘70), retired in 2018. Nearly fifty years as a music educator/choral director. Multiple performances on the state, national, and international level. Various leadership roles in and significant service to state and national organizations such as American Choral Directors’ Association and Georgia Music Educators’ Association.

Are you an GC alum with a professional achievement or milestone that you would like to share?

If so, we want to hear about it! Please fill out this form to let us know.

Are you a GC alum who is not receiving communication from Georgia College?

If so, please fill out this form to update your contact information: Update Your Contact Info.


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Who are our Friends of Music?

Friends of Music are alumni, members of the community, faculty, staff, and music-lovers from all walks of life who generously support the Department of Music.

Interested in joining our Friends of Music?

Your gift to the Department of Music allows us to offer our students scholarships, fund tours for our ensemble members, and support outreach efforts, such as the Bobcat Keys After-School Piano program.

If you would like to make an online donation, please click here. Once there, choose “Other” in the designation drop-down menu and type whichever designated music area(s) you prefer in the “Other” box.

If you would like to discuss ways your gift might support our endeavors, please feel free to schedule an appointment with us via email ( or by phone at 478-445-8289.

Department of Music Information

2020-2021 Audition Dates

To learn more about auditions for the Department of Music at Georgia College, please visit our website.

Majors, Minors, and Degrees

Bachelor of Arts in Music

Bachelor of Music Therapy

Creative Music Media Minor

Master of Music Education

Master of Arts in Teaching: Music Education

Master of Music Therapy

Music Minor

Music Precertification Minor

To learn more about the degree programs offered by the Department of Music, please visit our website.

Georgia College Department of Music

202 Porter Hall | Campus Box 66

Milledgeville, GA 31061

Fax: (478) 445-1633

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