Dr. Porter Stokes

christmas porter 2
Barskdale Chair of Music and Chair of the Department, Director of Choral Activities
BS & MM, University of SC
DMA, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Office Phone: 833-8468 (8470) pstokes@presby.edu

Dr. Porter Stokes holds the Barksdale Chair in Music at Presbyterian College where he serves as the Chair of the Department of Music and Coordinator of Choral and Activities.  He holds baccalaureate and masters degrees from The University of South Carolina and earned a DMA in choral conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music of the  University of Cincinnati.  There he studied conducting and choral literature with Earl Rivers, John Leman, and Elmer Thomas and has been coached by others such as Roger Wagner, Robert Page, and Gregg Smith.  During his time at the University of South Carolina, he studied with and was a graduate assistant for Arpad Darazs. As coordinator of the choral program at PC, Dr. Stokes is responsible for the Christmas event, Christmas at PC, and for tours by the college choirs.  He is also the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Augusta (GA) Choral Society where he conducts a 120-voice symphonic chorus that presents an annual subscription series of concerts featuring major works with orchestra.  He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the NAfME (SCMEA), Chorus America, and is the designated representative of the college to the National Association of Schools of Music.

Dr. Christian Elser, baritone


Vocal Studies, Opera, Musical Theater, Music History

AS, Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts
BM, University of Wisconsin
MM, Northwestern University
DMA, University of Kansas
Office Phone: 833-8466 acelser@presby.edu

Dr. Christian Elser is Associate Professor of Music at Presbyterian College where he serves as Voice Division Director, Director of the PC Musical Theatre & Opera, and teaches applied voice, music history, opera workshop and vocal methods. As an educator and singing actor who is equally at home in opera, operetta and musical theater.  Dr. Elser has performed roles with such organizations as the Chicago Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Light Opera Oklahoma, Charleston Chamber Opera, Centre Stage Theatre of South Carolina and at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. Dr. Elser has recorded for Cedille Records where he sang several roles on the world premiere CD of Robert Kurka’s The Good Soldier Schweik.  In broadcast he has performed live in concert on WFMT Chicago’s Live from Studio One and on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Live from the Elvejhem series.  A some-time musicologist, Dr. Elser is a scholar of the music of Gerald Finzi, and recently garnered international attention for his collaborative work with the Milwaukee Art Museum. Dr. Elser is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin (BM, Voice), Full Sail University (AS, Audio Engineering), Northwestern University (MM, Historical Musicology) and University of Kansas (DMA,Voice). Dr. Elser has previously served on the faculties of Prairie State College where he taught voice and music history and at The University of Kansas where he taught voice and singer’s diciton.  He resides in Greenville, SC where he co-founded and serves as General Director of GLOW Lyric Theatre the Southeast’s only professional operetta company.  Dr. Elser is represented by Chicago Concert Artists.

Ms. Tacy Fleury, soprano

Tacy Fleury Music DepartmentVoice, Director, LC Academy of Music at PC

BM, Wichita State University
BME, Wichita State University
MM, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Office Phone: 833-8470 tgfleury@presby.edu

Tacy Fleury joined the PC music faculty as adjunct instructor of voice in 2006. Prior to moving to South Carolina, Mrs. Fleury served as Professor of Vocal Music at Piedmont Baptist College (now Piedmont International University) in Winston-Salem, NC, for six years. There she directed the choirs, instructed group and private voice, and taught conducting, sight-singing, and various other music classes. A native of Kansas, Mrs. Fleury earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and her Bachelor of Music Education from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. She received her master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she studied with notable teachers Barbara Honn and George Gibson. Opera roles include “Pamina” in Die Zauberflöte, both “The Mother” and “Amahl” in “Amahl and the Night Visitors, Rose Maybud in Ruddigore, “Emily” in Help, Help, the Globolinks! and “Barbarina” in The Marriage of Figaro. Mrs. Fleury served as soprano soloist at First Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, has been heard in solo performance with Opera Kansas, the Piedmont Chamber Singers (Winston-Salem), the Greenwood Chorale, the Augusta Choral Society, and in various faculty recitals and performances at Piedmont Baptist College and Presbyterian College.

Ms. Lucie Svatonova, mezzosoprano



BA, Charles Universty, Prague
BM, Academy of Performing Arts, Prague
MM, Converse College
Office Phone: 833-8577  lasvastono@presby.edu

Lucie Svatonova-Hughes, mezzosoprano, is a native of Prague, Czech Republic, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the Academy of Performing Arts.  Ms. Svatonova has been a soloist with the St. James Cathedral Choir and Orchestra and has frequently performed with the Prague Radio Chorus, Vox Pragae, and Opera Mozart throughout Europe.  She came to the U.S. in 1996 and in 1999 received a Master of Music degree from Converse College.  Ms. Svatonova has been a member of Herring Chamber Ensemble and Heritage Chamber Singers in Greenville, SC, and a soloist with The Greenville Symphony and Chorale, Newberry Opera, Greater Spartanburg Philharmonic, Asheville Symphony and Chorus, Hendersonville Chorale, Columbia Choral Society, Augusta Choral Society, Foothills Philharmonic, GLOW Lyric Theatre and Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium.  She also frequently performs in operatic, sacred, and art song recitals.  Ms. Svatonova enjoys working with aspiring young artists and has extensive teaching experience, having worked as an instructor at University of South Carolina Upstate, Erskine College, Dorman High School, Converse Pre-College, Spartanburg Community College, and Le Chateau de Danse.  She has been involved with the highly acclaimed Arts Integration Program through the Metropolitan Arts Council in Greenville and has also worked with several church choirs in the area. Ms. Svatonova joined the faculty at Presbyterian College in 2007.

Dr. Karen Buckland, piano


Piano, Class Piano, Music History

BM, Mansfield University
MM, University of SC
DMA, University of SC
Office Phone: 833-8467 kbuck@presby.edu

Karen Wisser Buckland, pianist, is Professor of Music and the Director of Keyboard Studies at Presbyterian College. Dr. Buckland is the artistic director of the annual PC Piano Clinic held at Presbyterian College and the faculty advisor for the Gamma Omicron chapter of Delta Omicron at Presbyterian College. Karen teaches Applied Piano, the PC Piano Ensemble, Piano Methods, Functional Keyboard Skills, Music of the World’s Cultures, and Music History. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Mansfield University, and earned a Master of Music degree and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Pedagogy from the University of South Carolina. Her teachers include Raymond Dudley, John Adams, William Goode, and Max Camp.

Active as a soloist and collaborator, adjudicator, and guest lecturer, Dr. Buckland has performed throughout the Southeast, Pennsylvania, Washington, Alaska, and Canada. Dr. Buckland adjudicated the 2012 Alaska Piano Competition held at the University of Alaska-Anchorage and presented Piano Techniques and Effects in Piano Music: An Historical Approach to Pedaling at a workshop for the Alaska MusicTeachers Association. She also adjudicated and conducted master classes for the Alaska Music Teachers Association. Dr. Buckland recently presented a performance lecture entitled Isaak-Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870): The Forgotten Pianist Composer and his Etudes, Op. 70a. With her husband, Jim, Karen is co-founder of Ludlamshöhle, a chamber ensemble dedicated to nineteenth-century music. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, the South Carolina Music Teacher Association, and the Greenwood Music Teachers Association. Dr. Buckland is the organist at First Presbyterian Church in Clinton.

Click here to listen to Dr. Buckland!

Dr. Ron Davis, organ


Organ, Theory, Handbells, Men’s Chorus, Composition, Music Theory

BM, Ouachita Baptist University
MM, University of Kansas
DMA, University of Kansas
Office Phone: 833-8422 rdavis@presby.edu

Dr. Ron Davis, Associate Professor of Music, came to Presbyterian College in 2004.  He is Director of Studies in Music Theory and Sacred Music.  His responsibilities also include teaching organ, voice, composition, and occasionally, harpsichord.  Dr. Davis is the conductor of Cantare!, PC’s non-auditioned choir for men, and PC Ringers, Presbyterian College’s outstanding handbell choir.  He is a member of the American Guild of Organists, and Handbell Musicians of America (formerly AGEHR) where he has served as the South Carolina State Chair.

Dr. Davis has been heard in organ performances throughout the US and Great Britain, including a solo performance at Westminster Abbey, London.  He has also been heard recently as tenor soloist with the Augusta Choral Society’s performance of Handel’s Messiah and Greenville Light Opera Works’ production of Amahl and the Night Visitors.

In addition, Dr. Davis accompanies the PC Choir and travels with them as they tour annually.  He has written choral works which have been heard in churches and choral performances in the upstate of SC.

Dr. Richard Thomas

01/26/06 faculty music mozart

String Programs, Cello, Orchestra, Chamber Music

BM, DePauw University
MM, University of North Texas
DMA, University of SC
Office Phone: 833-8469 rthomas@presby.edu 

Dr. Richard Thomas is Associate Professor of Music at Presbyterian College, director of the PC Chamber Orchestra, and Adjunct Instructor of cello at Lander University.  He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, DePauw University, the University of North Texas, and received a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of South Carolina.  Thomas, who currently plays double bass in the Anderson Symphony, is a former member of the cello sections of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Colombia (Bogotá), the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of the Dominican Republic, and United States regional orchestras including the  South Carolina Philharmonic, Augusta Symphony, the East Texas Symphony, Dallas Lyric Opera Orchestra, Wilmington Symphony (NC), and the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium Orchestra (SC).  In addition, he is a former faculty member of the Universidad del Cauca and Universidad del Valle in Colombia, the Conservatorio Nacional of the Dominican Republic, the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and was String Department Head at Camp Encore-Coda in Sweden, Maine from 1999-2008, and Visiting Lecturer of Cello at the University of South Carolina in 2004.  More recently Thomas has performed, lectured, and taught in China, Japan, and Taiwan.  Thomas plays a 2004 Grubaugh and Seifert cello.

Dr. Pawel Kozak

Pawel Kozak picture


BM, Augusta State University
MM. University of Georgia
DMA, University of Georgia pkkozak@presby.edu

Dr. James Buckland



BM, University of Toronto
MM, University of Akron
DMA, University of South Carolina
Office Phone: 833-8470 jpbucklan@presby.edu

James Buckland, guitarist, is Adjunct Professor of Guitar at Presbyterian College. He received his training at the University of Toronto under Eli Kassner (guitar) and Richard Kolb (lute), the University of Akron under Stephen Aron, and the University of South Carolina under Christopher Berg and Michael Cedric Smith.  Dr. Buckland also graduated with honors from the Guitar Institute of Technology jazz program in Hollywood, CA.  Dr. Buckland conducted post-doctoral research on nineteenth-century performance practice in cooperation with Paolo Pugliese, Claudio Maccari, and the Accademia Internazionale della Musica in Milan. Dr. Buckland recently traveled to Italy and performed at the Accademia in Milan.  Jim is co-founder of Ludlamshöhle, a chamber ensemble dedicated to nineteenth-century music.

James is also active as a guest clinician.  He has lectured and/or performed at the Guitar Foundation of America Convention (1999, 2006 & 2012), the Great Lakes Guitar Festival, the Symposium on Guitar and Improvisation, and the Guild of American Luthiers Convention (2008, 2011 & 2014).  Dr. Buckland premiered his reconstruction of the Second Concerto, Op. 36, for Terz Guitar and String Orchestra by Mauro Giuliani with Sinfonia de Camera conducted by Ian Hobson.  The performance was featured in a broadcast on Illinois Public Radio.  Dr. Buckland has performed the concerto on numerous occasions, most recently in Alaska with the University of Alaska-Anchorage Orchestra.

Recent publications featuring Dr. Buckland include an interview in the Guild of American Luthiers quarterly journal American Lutherie (#103, Fall 2010 and #98, Summer 2009), 19th Century Guitar Making Techniques (AL#103 Fall 2010), Review of Three Ancient Lutherie Books (AL#104, Winter, 104), and Pons Guitar Aine, Paris 1825: A History and Blueprint (AL #104).  Jim was also cited in The King’s Guitarist: The life and Times of Marco Aurelio Zani de Ferranti (1801-1878) by Marcus Van de Cruys. Homunculus (Wijnegem, Belgium, 2005).

Unique in his field, Dr. Buckland is also a luthier.  He builds guitars primarily in the nineteenth-century style, using original tools, materials and techniques, following the work of Fabricatore, Guadagnini and Stauffer.  During recent trips to Italy, Dr. Buckland had the opportunity to examine original instruments owned and used by numerous celebrated guitarists.  The findings from his research as a guitar builder allowed Jim to recreate reproductions of these historical instruments.

Dr. Buckland is one of a few guitarists in the world who performs on both the terz guitar and the conventional concert guitar.  His CD, “Sonatas and Fantasias for Guitar” has won critical acclaim… “a rare and exceptional recording…very operative influence with blistering arpeggios and cadenzas. Top notch Highly recommended.” EarlyRomanticGuitar

For a link to video performances, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/Ludlamshöhle/videos

Dr. Richard House, trumpet

Richard House-conductor-11-10

Wind Instrumental Program, Wind Ensemble & Pep Band, Music Education

BM, East Carolina University
MM, Arizona State University
DMA, Arizona State University
Office Phone: 833-8465 rehouse@presby.ed

Dr. Richard House joined the music faculty as Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands in August 2011.  Dr. House has held similar positions at Claflin (SC) University, Augusta (GA) State University, and Bridgewater (VA) College.  Dr. House’s degrees include a Doctor of Musical Arts in Instrumental Music (1998) and Masters in Trumpet Performance (1995), both from Arizona State University, and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (1986) from East Carolina University. Prior to college and university teaching positions, Richard taught middle and high band for a combined seven years at Ligon (Raleigh, NC) Middle School, Enloe (Raleigh, NC) High School, and Chesterfield (SC) High and Middle Schools.

He is an active professional trumpet performer and has over 30 years experience teaching private trumpet.  Professional societies include membership in the College Band Directors National Association, the College Music Society, the National Association for Music Education, and the International Trumpet Guild.

Mr. Stephen Wilson, Low Brass


Low Brass, Brass Quintet

BA, California State University, Hayward
MM, University of SC

Office Phone: 833-8470 pnduncan@presby.edu

A performing artist/clinician for the S. E. Shires Co. and former Director of Jazz Studiesand Brass Studies at Brevard College, Steve Wilson has an extensive career as a professional trombonist beginning as a freelance musician in the San Francisco area, later working as lead/solo trombonist on the house band at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Resort Casino where he performed with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Natalie Cole, George Benson, and Jay Leno, among others. Mr. Wilson currently serves as principle trombone of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and was recently featured on National Public Radio performing the Brubeck Bass Trombone Concerto. He performs with numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles in the southeast and has performed as a featured artist at the International Trombone Association, the Eastern Trombone Workshop, the Midwest Clinic, and at Spoleto USA. His arrangements for trombone ensemble have been performed at many universities, the Southeast Trombone Symposium, and the International Trombone Festival. He was twice awarded best trombone at the world famous Pacific Coast Jazz Festival in Berkeley, CA, and has performed with jazz greats including Wycliffe Gordon, John Faddis, Frank Rosolino, and Bill Watrous. He has performed in pit orchestras of many Broadway touring companies including Wicked, The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Book of Mormon, Pippen, Motown, Matilda, Kinky Boots, Cinderella, etc. Mr. Wilson teaches applied trombone and jazz at Furman University.

Mr. Matthew C. Jones, multiple percussion



BM, University of South Carolina
Office Phone: 833-8470 (general music offices) mcjones@presby.edu

Mr. Tom Wheat, sax, clarinet


Woodwinds & Jazz

BA Honours Music, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Certificate in Education/Secondary Music, Nottingham Trent University
Office Phone: 833-8470 tmwheat@presby.edu

Mr. Gary Hipp, master piper

Gary Hipp 1


BS, University of Florida
MA, University of Florida
Office Phone: 833-8470 ghipp@presby.edu


Dr. Rob Howiler


Music Technology, Theory, Composition

BM, Berklee College of Music
MM, University of SC
DMA, University of SC
Office Phone: 833-8324 rhowiler@presby.edu 

Mr. Alan Rudell

Casual Photo
Private piano instruction

Office Phone: 833-8015 amrudell@presby.edu

Alan Rudell is a DMA Candidate at the University of South Carolina, where he studies with Dr. Joseph Rackers. He holds a Masters Degree in Performance from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelors of Music Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied with Francis Whang and Mayron Tsong.  Since 2009, Mr. Rudell has served on the faculty at Presbyterian College, where he teaches applied lessons, group piano, and continues to oversee Presbyterian College’s community music program. An experienced solo and collaborative performer, he has performed throughout the Carolinas, the Upper Midwest, Southern California, at the Brevard Music Center Summer Institute and Festival, and at the Burgos International Music Festival in Burgos, Spain. He is frequently heard in collaboration with the University of South Carolina Symphony, the USC Wind Ensemble, and the USC Opera Department. Mr. Rudell made his orchestral debut with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra in 2004.

Mrs. Beverly Davis


Departmental Secretary, Recruiting Coordinator, Auditions Coordinator
Office Phone: 833-8470 bdavis@presby.edu