Dr. Richard Thomas, Cello & Bass

Dr. Richard Thomas is Professor of Music at Presbyterian College, where he teaches cello, bass, chamber music, and directs the Presbyterian College Chamber Orchestra. He is also Adjunct Cello Instructor at the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University, Adjunct Cello Instructor at Lander University, and Cello Instructor at the Laurens County Academy of Music.

Thomas is a former faculty member of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, USC-Aiken, the Universidad del Cauca and Universidad del Valle in Colombia, South America; the Conservatorio Nacional of the Dominican Republic); and the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, and the Wilmington Academy of Music. From 1999-2008 he was String Department Head at Camp Encore/Coda in Sweden, Maine.

Thomas held full-time positions in the cello sections of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo, and the Cali Philharmonic in Cali, Colombia. He was Principal Cello of the Wilmington Symphony and Tallis Chamber Orchestra in North Carolina, the Irving Symphony and Garland Symphony in Texas, and the Encore-Coda Chamber Orchestra in Maine. Thomas was Interim Assistant Principal of the South Carolina Philharmonic, Assistant Principal of the East Texas Symphony, and the Dallas Lyric Opera Orchestra.

Dr. Thomas has lectured, taught, and performed in China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Japan, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Venezuela and throughout the United States. He conducted the 2018 Region 1, 11-12 Orchestra at Chesnee High School and the 2020 Region 3, 11-12 Orchestra, at the International School of the Arts at Irmo High School in Irmo, South Carolina.

Thomas studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, DePauw University, Temple University, the University of North Texas and received a Doctor of Music Arts degree from the University of South Carolina.  His cello teachers include Cassel Grubb, Alan Harris, Robert Jesselson, Hirofumi Kano, Robert Newkirk, and Adolfo Odnoposoff.


Ms. Hannah Powell, Piano

From Laurens, SC, Hannah Powell holds both a BM (2017) and MM (2019) in Piano Performance from Converse College, where she studied with Dr. Douglas Weeks, graduating with Distinction in Performance. Hannah has studied at the Brevard Music Center during the summers of 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2019. In November of 2015, Hannah was the winner of the South Carolina Music Teachers Association Young Artist Piano Competition. Hannah was named the 2016 Presser Scholar in recognition of outstanding achievement as a music major at Converse College. Since 2017, Hannah has been pianist/organist at Union Presbyterian Church in Union, South Carolina. In addition to teaching at the LCAM, Hannah teaches at Music & Arts in Spartanburg. Hannah performs in solo piano recitals, church services, weddings, collaborates with other musicians in chamber performances, and has also accompanied choirs and played in bands and orchestras. In her spare time, Hannah enjoys road cycling, bike touring, strong coffee, and reading.

Teaching Philosophy:

I strive to help my students achieve their musical goals by not only providing them a firm foundation in piano technique, music theory, and problem-solving skills, but also encouraging creative thinking to get to the magic behind the music, tapping into the meaning behind the music. I seek to expand my students’ expressive range and inspire them in a pursuit of the lifelong joy of music making

Ashley Horvat, Violin & Viola

ASHLEY HORVAT – we are delighted that Ashely Horvat has joined the string faculty at Presbyterian College. She performed the entire Vivaldi Four Seasons with the PC Chamber Orchestra in 2020. Ashley is Associate Concertmaster and Personnel Manager of the South Carolina Philharmonic in Columbia. She holds a Masters degree in Violin Performance from the University of Akron, a Bachelors degree in Violin Performance from the North Carolina School of the Arts, and attended the North Carolina School of the Arts in high school. Ashely has won many awards including the Young Artists Competition in South Carolina, The Upton Foundation Scholarship, a four-year scholarship program at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and was the North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs state winner for 2000 and 2001. She was a teaching assistant at both University of Akron and North Carolina School of the Arts and taught at Columbia College and the Palmetto Center for the Arts. Presently, she also maintains an exclusive private studio at her home. Ashely is an active solo and chamber musician and gives frequent recitals, masterclasses, and guest appearances.

Michael Matthews, Saxophone & Clarinet

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Mr. Gary Hipp, Bagpipes

GaryHippBS, University of Florida
MA, University of Florida

Gary Hipp teaches the Great Highland Bagpipes at Presbyterian College.  He serves as Pipe Major for the Presbyterian College Pipes and Drums, an ensemble which welcomes musicians from the college and the local community.  In addition, he offers private lessons for new and experienced pipers.  These lessons are available to all PC students as well as members of the local community through the pre-college program.

He is a former member of the Palmetto Pipes and Drums of Columbia, SC, and still teaches for that group.  He pipes solo for weddings, funerals, church services and other events throughout South Carolina.

His training includes annual classes at the North American Academy of Piping with internationally acclaimed pipers such as: Sandy Jones, Colin MacLellan, Ed Neigh, Greg Abbott, Bill Caudill and others.


Ms. Lucie Svatonova-Hughes, Voice (Director)

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 Opera 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 Erskine College, University of South Carolina Upstate, 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 also acts as a Music Director at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, SC.  Ms. Svatonova joined the faculty at Presbyterian College in 2007.


Ms. Hannah Harrington, Guitar

My love for guitar quickly developed once I began private lessons at eight years old. After years of developing my craft with multiple teachers, I started my studies at the University of South Carolina School of Music under the direction of Christopher Berg. During my time at USC, I have had several performance opportunities, both as a soloist and ensemble member. Some of which include several recitals, multiple weddings, various events around Columbia, and twice at Brookgreen Garden’s Nights of a Thousand Candles.

I have now been a Music instructor for approximately 10 years. During this time, I have had the opportunity to teach students of all ages and ability levels; whether beginner or advanced, I strive to help my students achieve their goals. No matter the genre my students choose to play, I always teach them proper technique through practical, achievable, and relevant exercises.  I try to help my students develop problem recognition and solving skills working with their music, and I believe this ability seeps into life outside of music. While I teach any genre my students are interested in, I specialize in fingerstyle and classical guitar styles.

Mathew Tuk, Tuba & Low Brass

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Lucie Hughes | Faculty | Presbyterian College | Clinton SCFor more information, contact:

Mrs. Lucie Svatonova-Hughes, Director of the (Laurens County) Academy of Music at PC

Phone: 864-833-8577

Department of Music
503 South Broad St
Clinton, SC 29235