LC Academy of Music
Sharon Cook’s musical career began at the age of 16 as both a church pianist and a teacher. While completing her degree in piano performance at Bob Jones University, she enjoyed teaching, accompanying vocalists and instrumentalists, and performing. Her current occupations are mom to two amazing and crazy kiddos, staff accompanist for Spartanburg Repertory Opera and Presbyterian College, and owner of Moonlight Piano Studios. Sharon has been a piano teacher for over 20 years, and her teaching continues to evolve as she learns from her greatest teachers; her students! She focuses strongly on proper postural elements based on the Taubman technique while teaching improvisation, transposition, and ear training. Her goal is to combine each student’s unique individuality with beautiful technique and a thorough understanding of music theory in order to create a life-long love for music.
BM, University of South Carolina
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.
Sharalynn Hicks is excited to join the Laurens County Academy of Music for the Fall 2016 semester!
Ms. Hicks, MMus, BMus, ARCT (piano performance), is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM). Additional training in early childhood music and in the Suzuki method for piano and violin, has enabled her to further expand her expertise. As a solo pianist and accompanist, she welcomes opportunities to share the joy of music with others.
Ms. Hicks is committed to encouraging student musicians in their quest for artistic growth. A comprehensive study of repertoire with technical development and integrated applied theory enables her students to become active musicians in the community, as they apply their skills and develop their musical individuality. Her studio’s accomplishments include scholarship awards, NFMC Best Performer distinctions, and acceptance to the South Carolina Governor’s School.
Ms. Hicks’ teaching experience includes individualized piano instruction on the college and pre-college levels, and college courses with subjects such as theory, music appreciation, pedagogy, piano skills, and composing/arranging. Currently an adjunct instructor in the Petrie School of Music, Converse College, and Lawson Academy faculty member, Ms. Hicks welcomes the opportunity to join the Laurens County Academy of Music for the upcoming academic year. She is also active as an accompanist and as Director of Music and pianist for a local church.
For the past 15 years guitarist, Andy Jurik has taught a variety of students of varying ages, stylistic interests, and skill levels, from complete basics to beginners to classical repertoire to collegiate graduate students. Andy recently finished his D.M.A. at the University of South Carolina where he served as a full-time graduate teaching assistant, performed on the ASCAP award-winning Southern Exposure concert series, and received the graduate school’s Creative Performance Award in 2013 and 2015.
As an educator, Andy values the opportunity to explore the guitar with students beyond the basic mechanics of the instrument. In addition to reading and basic technique, he will often discuss harmony, scales, and chord relationships as they apply to the musical material at hand, approaching the music from a multi-faceted approach rather than simply learning individual songs. Comfortable in a variety of musical styles, he has applied his pedagogical approach to students pursuing basic, classical, rock, jazz, and functional guitar. In addition to the Laurens County Academy of Music, Andy also teaches privately in Asheville, NC and at the Hendersonville Community Music Center in Hendersonville, NC.
A performing artist/clinician for the S. E. Shires Co. and former Director of Jazz Studiesand Brass Studies at Brevard College, Stephen 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 also teaches applied trombone and jazz at the University of South Carolina.
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.
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.
Violinist Catherine Culp Hazan holds a bachelor’s degree from Converse College and a master’s from The Catholic University of America under Robert Gerle, as well as a performance certificate from the University of South Carolina under William Terwilliger. She received further instruction from David Kim (Philadelphia Orchestra) and Joey Corpus (New York City), as well as Paul Kantor (Cleveland Institute of Music) at the Aspen Music Festival.
Ms. Hazan has played under such conductors as Kurt Masur, Mendi Rodin, and David Zinman, and performed in master classes by Eugene Fodor, Vadim Gluzman, and Rachel Barton Pine. She was a full-time member of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra for six years and premiered a number of Brazilian solo and chamber works while residing in Rio de Janeiro. Her solo career includes concerto performances with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, the Spartanburg Symphony, and the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, as well as a featured soloist appearance on the CD “Baroque Christmas” by the Rio Strings Chamber Ensemble.
Her teaching background of almost thirty years is extensive, including a professor of violin appointment at Trinity College in Washington, DC, as well as serving as an instructor at the Northeast Arts Academy and the Riverland Hills Music Studios in Columbia, SC. She is a tenured member of the Greenville Symphony, SC Philharmonic, and Symphony Orchestra Augusta (assistant principal second violin), as well as a regular section violinist in the Charleston Symphony. Catherine Hazan plays on a Georges Chanot violin from 1856.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Leigh Fleury has worked as a professional musician and music instructor, helping beginning to advanced students achieve their musical potential. In addition to teaching at the Laurens County Academy of Music, he works full-time at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Clinton as the Director of Music and Youth ministries.
Leigh holds DMA and MM degrees from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music in organ performance and sacred music. He also holds a BA in music from the Ohio State University. Notable teachers include: Dr. David Mulbury, Janet Linker, and Telarc recording artist Michael Murray.
Prior to moving to Clinton in 2006, Leigh served as the Director of Music for First Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, NC. Since the age of 15, Leigh has held playing and directing positions in several churches, including: St. Joseph’s Cathedral (Columbus, OH), St. John’s Church (Cincinnati, OH), Seton Parish (Pickerington, OH), and St. Matthew’s Church (Gahanna, OH).
Leigh has been teaching piano and organ students since 1990. While living in Cincinnati, he maintained a studio averaging forty students per semester. Appreciative of many styles of music, Leigh seeks to instill a love for a variety of musical genres in his students. Leigh also likes to challenge his students to become the best musician they can possibly be, but balances that with making sure they have fun in the process.
BS, University of Florida
MA, University of Florida
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.
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.
Tacy Fleury joined the PC music faculty as an 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.
BA Honours Music, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Certificate in Education/Secondary Music, Nottingham Trent University
Ms. Abigail Sease received her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Presbyterian College in 2014. While attending PC, she studied Horn and Voice in private lessons. Since graduating from Presbyterian College, Ms. Sease has played with the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra (2014-2015) and the Columbia Community Concert Band (2015-present). She has also performed various programs with local churches. Ms. Sease is currently teaching music at Johnston Elementary in Edgefield County. While working at Johnston Elementary, she has directed students in performing music and dance for Veterans Day, Christmas programs, fine Arts Festivals, and Arts Alive. Ms. Sease has an active chorus program which rehearses two afternoons a week and has participated in a variety of community events.
For additional Department of Music questions, contact Beverly Davis at 864.833.8470