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Opening Night Special Guests

United States Air Force Academy Rampart Winds


As one of ten performing ensembles in The United States Air Force Academy Band, Rampart Winds is a featured woodwind quartet that performs traditional literature. Each member of the ensemble brings to the forefront a wealth of musical knowledge and experience, having performed in numerous orchestras and music festivals around the world. Some of these locations include countries in North America, Central America, Asia, and Europe. By performing a diverse repertoire including original works, standard and contemporary compositions, and patriotic favorites, Rampart Winds superbly supports its missions of community relations, educational outreach, and Air Force recruiting. In addition to these missions, this exquisitely polished and refined ensemble is in high demand for diplomatic and military protocol events throughout the country. These events have included the First Ladies’ Dinner hosted by former President Clinton in Denver, the opening of the D-Day Museum in New Orleans, and ceremonies for numerous U.S. and foreign dignitaries. The quintet’s engaging approach to clinics and workshops makes it a favorite in academic circles, benefiting students of all ages. Upholding one of the core values of The USAF Academy Band, Rampart Winds exemplifies the highest standards of musical excellence. In recent years, members of the Rampart Winds have performed for the National Flute Association, the International Clarinet Association, and the International Double Reed Society conventions. The music of Rampart Winds has been broadcast on National Public Radio, PBS, and television stations worldwide. 


Guest Collegiate Ensemble

The Order of the Flying Purple Funk (Zeta Theta)



The Order of the Flying Purple Funk is the official funk horn band of the Zeta Theta Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon, and is comprised solely of students from the Lynchburg College Music Department. While most of the members have a classical upbringing (or have classical training) in music, they pride themselves in representing multiple areas (facets/genres) of music through this band and with their members who are gigging with working bands in rock, R&B, funk, country and jazz to name a few.

Purple Funk was the brain child of Madison Wares (chorister) and Josh Barling (general member). The idea was to create a group apart from studies to remind the students why they got into music. BECAUSE IT’S FUN! The band works in cooperation with their fundraising committee, and gains recognition on campus by playing, dancing, and singing for other sororities and fraternities. The most rewarding partnership though, is with the SERV committee, where they do things like help acquire donations to fund instrument rentals for young musicians in the area who would otherwise not have the means and raise money to donate towards other non-profit organizations who share in the values and purposes of Mu Phi Epsilon.

They have a committee called “The Management Firm,” that is comprised of Alyssa Cannaday (producer), Jacob Sharp (manager), Chris Young (booking agent), and Thomas Cass (public relations agent). These four plus Josh Barling (chair) use this opportunity to learn the skills that go into running a band and working with venues, while ensuring the long term successful leadership of the band. The manager and producer positions work with the performers to add choreography, make a clean show, organize rehearsals, and arrange music for the use of the band. The booking agent makes connections with places, people, and festivals who wish to have live music, while the public relations agent runs all social media and works to connect the band to the community.

“We recently performed for our district conference and are very excited to go share our passions with our brothers and sisters in Denver, Colorado at the International Conference.  See you there with your dancing shoes on!” 




Guest Speaker

Deborah Jordy, Executive Director

Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD)


A native of Colorado, Deborah Jordy has played a prominent role on the arts and cultural scene for the past 30 years.  In December 2016, Deborah joined the SCFD. Prior she was the Executive Director of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA).


Deborah was Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Denver Art Museum and for the past 16 years has served as the Executive Director at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Cherokee Ranch and Castle Foundation and currently at CBCA.


Deborah served on the boards of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, Arts for Colorado, Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund. For 8 years she served as a Commissioner for Denver Arts & Venues and co-chaired the Create Denver Advisory Council. In 2011 she was appointed to the national Board of Directors of Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America and for 3 years chaired Americans for the Arts Private Sector Council. Deborah is also a trustee of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.


Deborah shares presentations regarding the arts and economic development to local, national and international audiences. Deborah has received the Denver Art Museum’s 2014 DAM Key award.  Mu Phi Epsilon is proud to welcome Deborah to our conference.

Guest Conductor

The 2017 Guest Conductor of the Convention Chorus is Zachariah (Zack) Carlson (Zeta Lambda).  Zach is a native of the far northwest corner of Minnesota. He earned his Bachelor of Music from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a concentration on vocal music education.  Zack became a member of Mu Phi Epsilon while studying at Waldorf College, Forest City, Iowa before transferring to the University of Minnesota-Duluth.  While at Duluth, Zack co-founded the Zeta Rho chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon and became president of the chapter.    Zack also was the founding Artistic Director of Split Rock Men’s Chorus, President of University Singers, American Choral Director’s Association Student Group, and was the School of Fine Arts’ Music Peer advisor. 

Outside of school, Zack enjoys hiking, cooking, running and being with friends.  One of his favorite hobbies is traveling.  Zack studied Norwegian and Choral Conducting in Oslo, Norway, partially funded by a scholarship received from the Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation.  Zack has traveled through the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and the United Kingdom, experiencing choral groups throughout Europe.  Zack currently teaches 6-12 Choir in St. Ansgar, Iowa.  



Workshop Presenters


Matthew Hoch (Lambda)


Becoming a college professor of music is not for the faint of heart! Securing positions in higher education has never been more competitive, requiring advanced degrees, a willingness to move virtually anywhere for employment opportunities, and great perseverance and patience. In addition to these qualities, one soon finds that he or she must wear several hats as a professor: it is not enough to simply be a master of your subject and an excellent teacher; one must also find a way to practice and stay in shape as an artist, opportunities to get away to perform on a regular basis, and time to develop a research portfolio that will resonate with administrators. This presentation will provide a blueprint for success geared toward music students considering a career in higher education. How does one decide on the “right” graduate school? Does a “big name” school matter? Does one really need a doctorate? What are the differences between private liberal arts colleges, state teaching colleges, and large research universities? What does tenure-track mean? Do I need to sing or play as well as a professional? What happens at an interview? These questions and more will be discussed and answered in this presentation




Rona Commins (Alpha Delta)


Rona Commins’ Multi-Media Presentation will demonstrate the life and music of the castrati of the 18th-19th centuries when they were the darlings of the operatic stage.  For over two centuries they enjoyed the adulation of European society, were patronized by royalty, were showered with gifts, and were the pop stars of their era.


How did the phenomenon come about?  Ms. Commins will discuss and demonstrate with slides and musical examples their social origins, their rigorous training, their brilliant careers and their often lonely and poverty stricken old age.



Rebecca (Kappa) & Allegra Sorley (Beta Psi)


Pianists Rebecca and Allegra Sorley present a lecture/recital program of works by women for solo and duet along with commentary about the composers.  Dr. Rebecca Sorley, Professor of Piano at the University of Indianapolis, has performed the music of women composers for many years for audiences around the country.  Rebecca will perform selections from Fanny Mendelssohn’s Das Jahr featuring pieces named for each month of the year, as well as Hoosier Rag by Julia Niebergall. Allegra Sorley, Board-Certified Music Therapist and pianist, will present solo selections by Amy Beach as well as Troubled Water by Margaret Bonds.  The pianists join forces on duets including Summer Dreams by Amy Beach and selections from Judith Lang Zaimont’s jazzy Snazzy Sonata.



Jon Williams Bauer (Alpha Kappa)


Where is inspiration found?  Can it be induced?  How?  The good and bad news about pain and sorrow.  What are those voices I hear and where are they trying to lead me?  Why do I thank my instrument, my teachers, my muse, the universe every day?


Jon will share an exploration of his own journey into composition and offer relevant passages from his works.  Everyone is encouraged to participate with comments, stories, and questions throughout the presentation.



Aaron Larget-Caplan (Beta)


This session addresses key issues that arise at the initiation of the creative process: Starting a new music project;

  •  Defining the project, setting goals and assessing outcomes, artistic and professional;
  •  Choosing collaborators;
  •  Technical details regarding contacts and expectations.

The creation, design and implementation of a commissioning project need not be difficult for either the performers or the composers. Asking the right questions, creating a viable plan, and finding supporters will allow the project to fulfill its musical mission and add artistic value to one’s personal and professional career in a musically satisfying way for all: artists, composers and listeners.


Encouraging young artists to continue the tradition of creating new works to define one’s individual musical character and contribute to the greater musical good is possible and rewarding.   The presentation includes the California premiere of ‘Seeketh Not Its Own’(2016) for solo guitar by Ian Wiese (Lambda, 2015; Current Beta President).



Music Delegates



Kristin Jonina Taylor (Alpha Kappa)

Dr. Kristín Jónína Taylor is an Icelandic-American pianist who has been enthusiastically received for her performances of Nordic piano works, including the North American premiere of Jón Nordal’s Piano Concerto in 2003 and programs by invitation in Washington D.C. for the Ambassador of Iceland and President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. She has performed widely in the U.S. as well as in Iceland, France, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, and Serbia.

As a foreign student in Iceland when she was 16, Kristín studied piano with Halldór Haraldsson. At the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, her mentors were Joanne Baker and Richard Cass. In June 2006, Kristín received the Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where she studied with Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff. She has also studied in Europe with Diane Andersen, Daniel Blumenthal, Jacques Lagarde, Perfecto Garcia Chornet, Vit Gregor, and Einar-Steen Nokleberg.

Her debut CD recording The Well-Tempered Pianist: The solo piano works of Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson was released by the Iceland Music Information Centre in November 2010. Her second album, which is self-titled, was released by Pólarfónía Records in March 2011.

Dr. Taylor is an Associate Professor of Piano and Keyboard Area Coordinator at Waldorf University. In the fall, she will be moving to the piano faculty of the University of Nebraska, Omaha, serving as an Associate Professor and Keyboard Area Coordinator.



Aaron Larget-Caplan (Beta)

Aaron Larget-Caplan is a recording and touring World–Classical Guitarist who has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, Russia and the USA. He has premiered over 65 compositions including works with string quartet, choir, cello, violin and voice, and by such composers as Ken Ueno, Thomas L. Read, Vineet Shende, Francine Trester, Scott Wheeler and many more. His recordings are issued on Albany, Navona and Stone Records. His arrangement of John Cage is published by Edition Peters. A graduate of the New England Conservatory, he is a former Beta Chapter President and is currently affiliated with the Boston Alumni. He has held appointments at the Boston Conservatory and Cambridge New School of Music, and is currently on faculty at the University of Massachusetts Boston.



Tamara Maddaford (Phi Mu) 

Tamara Maddaford, a native of Iowa, started her musical career on the piano. She discovered her natural talent and love for the flute at age 8 through her mother, flutist Joanne Chadima. As an outstanding flutist in high school she received many awards including the John Philip Sousa Award and Best of Center Awards at the Iowa State Solo and Ensemble Contests.


She went on to study with Isabelle Chapuis Starr at San Jose State University in San Jose, CA. Ms. Maddaford received her M.M. magna cum laude in Flute Performance from the University of Iowa where she studied with acclaimed soloist and clinician, Dr. Tadeu Coelho. Her other studies include the Boxwood Music Festival in Rotorua, New Zealand and the University of California at Santa Barbara with Jill Felber.


Ms. Maddaford has performed at the 2005, 2007 and 2009 National Flute Conventions and as a soloist with the Golden State Pops Orchestra and the Palos Verdes Regional Orchestra. Her previous positions include principal flute of the Golden State Pops Orchestra and Los Angeles Chamber Players, as well as Professor of Flute at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA. She also taught in the Palos Verdes Schools as a flute specialist and K-3 general music instructor.


Tamara spent six years with the flute chamber ensemble Areon Flutes. With Areon, she toured the country giving masterclasses and performances at universities and flute festivals including their 2007 debut concert at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Maddaford’s recordings with Areon are available on iTunes.



Matthew Hoch (Lambda) 

Matthew Hoch is Associate Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Voice Studies at Auburn University. He is the author of several books, including A Dictionary for the Modern Singer (2014), Welcome to Church Music & The Hymnal 1982 (2015), and Voice Secrets: 100 Performance Strategies for the Advanced Singer (2016), coauthored with Linda Lister. He is the 2016 winner of the Van L. Lawrence Fellowship, awarded by the Voice Foundation and NATS.


Dr. Hoch was indicated into the Lambda Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon at Ithaca College in 1995 and has maintained a long and proud association with the fraternity.






Ruth Carver (Alpha Kappa) 

Known for her bold characterizations and powerful voice, Denver native Ruth L. Carver is quickly gaining recognition as a soprano on the rise. Her voice is especially suited to Italian and German repertoire, and after a concert with the Elysium Between Two Continents festival in Bernried, Germany, the regional newspaper Münchner Merkur praised her "dark, romantic voice." On a program of Liszt lieder, her performance was singled out for "truly rich and variegated tone" (
Ms. Carver appeared with New York Lyric Opera Theater in their spring 2015 reduced Ring Cycle. She won over audiences with the dynamic recital program "Ich bin dein, Du bist mein" in the 2014 season, and was pleased to perform in concert at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York in Fall 2015. Ruth received a 2015 Allied Arts, Inc. career development grant, and has made recent solo appearances with numerous choral groups in Colorado. In 2016, she joined the Central City Opera ensemble in previewing excerpts from Tosca and Later the Same Evening, and recently made her role debut as Donna Anna with Boulder Opera's Don Giovanni.
An avid arts advocate, Carver also writes about classical music for online music journals and has created out-of-the-box opera programs for Opera on Tap and other groups.



Mary Matthews (Mu Phi)

Mary Matthews enjoys an active and international career as a contemporary flutist, new music advocate, pedagogue, and entrepreneur. She has dedicated her career not only to commissioning and performing new music, but also to bringing new life to lesser-known composers and works of the past. She has premiered over 30 new compositions including multimedia collaborations and choreographed chamber works.  She is currently based in Boulder, CO.


As a specialist in the fields of Musical Entrepreneurship, the Flute Music of Women Composers, and Flute Pedagogy, Dr. Matthews has been invited to speak at The Peabody Institute Career Development Series, the College Music Society National Conference and Regional Conference, the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, the congress of the International Alliance for Women in Music, the Music by Women Festival, The Hartt School Music and Performing Arts Management Department, and the Rochester Flute Association Annual Conference, among others. Her doctoral thesis is titled "The Flute Music of Anna Bon di Venezia in the Context of Eighteenth-Century Flute Repertoire" and provides a theoretical, historical, and pedagogical analysis of the composer's compositions for flute.
She began her formal flute studies in the Eastman School of Music's Preparatory Program where she graduated with distinction in performance. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from The Hartt School, a Master of Music Degree from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory.  Her principal teachers include Janet Arms, Emily Skala, Laurie Sokoloff, George Pope, and Jan Angus.  Dr. Matthews is a member of the National Flute Association, The Flute New Music Consortium, the College Music Society, Chamber Music America, the International Alliance for Women in Music, and Mu Phi Epsilon. 



Lenore Ford Brown (Epsilon Mu) & Heather Thompson Smits 

Lenora Ford Brown is a master teacher, concert pianist, recording artist, arranger, and composer. She has won first place in international piano competitions, has performed at Carnegie Hall, and Steinway Hall in New York, has performed extensively in the Far East and the United States, is a winner of the Utah Arts Council Performing Tour, the Best of State award, and was a performer at the 2002 Winter Olympics. She has been soloist with the Utah Symphony several times and has been guest pianist at numerous conventions, concert series and recitals. Professor Brown is a Steinway Artist, a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, a member of ACME (internationally acclaimed Artists, Composers, Musicologists and Educators), and a certified Music Teachers National Association teacher. She has authored several piano arrangement books and CD’s that are marketed worldwide.


Lenora will be joined by her daughter, Heather.  She has been teaching piano in her private studio since 1992. She was classically trained by her mother. Heather received her bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in psychology. She is currently working on her pedagogy diploma in piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music and was awarded the San Jose Certificate of Excellence in 2016. Heather is a member of the Music Teachers' Association of California and serves on the board in various positions. She is also a member of the Music Teachers' National Association. Heather has extensive performing experience, including a concerto performance with BYU's Chamber Orchestra and concerts at Cabrillo College, The University of Utah and Temple Square. She has placed in several Utah piano competitions, including Summer Arts and Young Chang.




Peak Duo

Amanda Setlik (Alpha Alpha) & Mei Mey Segura-Wang

Amanda Setlik and Mei Mey Segura-Wang formed Peak Duo in the fall of 2015.  They work together at the Center for Musical Arts in Lafayette, Colorado, both as Suzuki instructors on their respective instruments.


Amanda studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in piano performance under the guidance of husband-and-wife team Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff.  During her time at CCM, Amanda attended piano master class programs in Belgium and the Czech Republic as well as an opera program in Lucca, Italy.  Amanda graduated Cum Laude with her Bachelor’s degree from CCM and moved to Boulder, Colorado to study at CU with Professor Doris Pridonoff Lehnert, earning her Masters and DMA in Piano Performance.


Amanda specializes in new music and in particular the music of Emma Lou Diemer.  Diemer wrote a solo piano piece for Amanda in 2012, Toccata for Amanda, which she premiered on her final solo DMA recital.  She performs regularly throughout the Denver area as a soloist and as part of Peak Duo.  Amanda is a trained Suzuki teacher and has been teaching privately since age 17.  She currently teaches piano privately at her home studio in Lafayette, CO.


Mei-Mey graduated with her Master’s degree in Music Performance at Northern Illinois University under Mathias Tacke and her Bachelor’s in Music in 2011, Summa Cum Laude, as a student of John McGrosso and the Arianna String Quartet at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. She has performed in master classes for Shmuel Ashkenasi, Jorja Fleezanis, Miriam Fried, Paul Zafer, Philip Quint, Ida Kavafian, Lucie Robert, Kevork Mardirosian, Paul Kantor, and has studied chamber music with members of the Biava, Takács, Cavani, Vermeer and Pacifica String Quartets. Mei-Mey has taught privately since age 17 and holds a Suzuki certification from the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Actively involved in chamber music, her quartet was invited to participate in January 2010 at the International Music Festival in Santa Catarina, Brazil. Both of her duos, Ausart Violin and Viola Duo and Peak Violin and Piano Duo actively perform throughout the Colorado area.



Deon Nielsen Price (Gamma) & Victoria Rodriguez

To the Children of War is a song cycle composed by Deon Nielsen Price based on the poetry of Maya Angelou and writings from the Los Angeles Times.  


Deon earned her Bachelor of Arts and Gold Medal Piano Award-Brigham Young University; Master of Music in piano performance and composition-University of Michigan, Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance with Honors in Accompanying-University of Southern California) is a prize-winning pianist, commissioned composer, choral and orchestra conductor, recording artist, veteran educator and published author.  Dr. Price serves on the Boards as  president and past-president of the National Association of Composers, USA (NACUSA) and the International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM).  She also has been an officer in Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Fraternity (MPE) and the International Congress on Women in Music (ICWM) and is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Victoria received her bachelors of Music at the University of North Texas and her Masters degree from New York University.  She currently lives in New York City and is a production assistant at MPAP. 

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