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Faculty

Mr. Matthew C. Jones, percussion

MatthewJonesBM, University of South Carolina

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.

Email: rthomas@presby.edu

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

Dr. Giovani Briguente, flute

Giovani Estéfano Briguente, a native of Brazil, holds an impressive number of degrees from respected institutions in both Brazil and the United States. In Brazil, Dr. Briguente earned degrees in flute performance, orchestral conducting, and wind band conducting from the Conservatory of Tatuí — one of the most important music schools in Latin America — along with a degree in flute performance from the Technical School of Arts of the State of São Paulo. During his time in the United States, Dr. Briguente earned a Master of Music in wind band conducting from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with emphasis on wind band conducting from the acclaimed University of Michigan. Furthermore, Dr. Briguente is deeply interested in the study of history, holding a bachelor’s degree in history with emphasis on cultural history from the University of Sorocaba (Brazil).

As a conductor, Dr. Briguente’s knowledge and practical experience is comprised of work with various college and professional wind ensembles, athletic bands, percussion ensembles, chamber ensembles, string orchestras, symphony orchestras, and choruses. This includes the Symphonic Band of the Conservatory of Tatuí (Brazil), the University of Minnesota Duluth Wind Ensemble and Concert Band, Twin Ports Wind Orchestra, the University of Michigan Symphony Band, Chamber Winds, Concert Band, and Maize Band, the Symphonic Youth Wind Ensemble of Baden-Württemberg (Germany), among others. In addition, in 2019, Dr. Briguente was invited to conduct the United States Air Force Concert Band in Washington D.C. under the mentorship of the legendary Robert Reynolds. His conducting mentors also include Dario Sotelo, Mark Whitlock, and Michael Haithcock. Dr. Briguente’s career as a conductor includes work both on and off the podium. Since 2012, Dr. Briguente has founded and developed three ensembles: Camerata Corelli (independent semi-professional orchestra in Brazil), Youth Symphonic Band of the Conservatory of Tatuí (Brazil), and St. Thomas the Apostle School Band (Ann Arbor, MI). Given Dr. Briguente’s dedication to community service and engagement, an important component of all three ensembles has been a focus on reaching and inspiring new audiences and revitalizing those already present. Dr. Briguente is also an accomplished flutist and piccoloist, having performed with professional orchestras, wind bands, jazz bands, and early music ensembles. His tenure as the professional piccoloist of the Symphonic Band of the Conservatory of Tatuí (Brazil) is certainly one of the highlights of his performance career. Other highlights include performing in more than 10 international music festivals with emphasis on Brazilian popular music and early music performance practice and performing in flute masterclasses for renowned flutists, such as Ian Clarke, Emmanuel Pahud, and Jill Felber. In addition to his professional assignments as a flutist and piccoloist, Dr. Briguente has also served his church communities over the years. He played for 8 years at the Immaculate Conception Church in Tatuí, his hometown, and for 3 years at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Ann Arbor, MI.

Over the years, Dr. Briguente has extended his musicianship to include composition as well. He is a winner of the 2014 National Composition Contest for Wind Band in Brazil in the professional ensemble category and has composed several works for his students recently. Dr. Briguente also has a number of transcriptions being successfully performed, including transcriptions for band of “Vedrai Carino” (Don Giovanni, W.A. Mozart), Mattinata (Ruggiero Leoncavallo), and transcriptions for string orchestra of three works by the Brazilian composer Bimbo Azevedo: Primavera, Pica-Pau, and Dirce.

Dr. Briguente is currently the Director of Bands and Flute Instructor at Presbyterian College, and Flute Instructor at Laurens County Academy of Music.

Ms. Ashley Horvat, violin

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.

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.

Email: ghipp@presby.edu

Ms. Lucie Svatonova-Hughes, voice

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.

Email: lasvatono@presby.edu

Dr. Matthew Castner, single reeds

Saxophonist and educator Matthew Castner is currently a DMA Candidate at the University of South Carolina, where he serves as an instructor in the Music History Department, teaching MUSC 110: Introduction to Music. He also holds adjunct faculty positions at South Carolina State University and Presbyterian College, teaching applied saxophone and clarinet lessons. Previously, he was the Saxophone Teaching Assistant for Dr. Clifford Leaman.

Recent performance highlights include a trip to Moscow, Russia to perform James Whitbourn’s Son of God Masswith the Ex Oriente Lux Chamber Choir, a collaborative performance with inmates at the Lee Correctional Institute, and a saxophone quartet tour of Helsinki, Finland. He is also a regular performer at North American Saxophone Alliance conferences, as well as the International Saxophone Symposium.

Active as a chamber musician, Matthew has previously held positions in the Parea, Orphic and Ingeniare Saxophone Quartets, as well as the Spark Collective. In competition the groups have advanced to the semi-finals of the NASA Quartet Competition, the finals of the Coltman Chamber Music Competition and were selected as the winners for Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition in the state of Texas.

As winner of the Case Western Reserve University Concerto Competition, he performed Paul Creston’s Concerto for Alto Saxophonewith the University Circle Wind Ensemble. A 2018 attendee of the Frederick L. Hemke Saxophone Institute, he worked closely with Dr. Hemke, Dr. John Sampen, Dr. Nathan Nabb, Dr. Gail Levinsky, Dr. Jan Berry-Baker, and Dr. Sean Hurlburt. He has also performed in masterclasses for Jean-Marie Londeix, Phil Woods, Dr. Frederick Hemke, Dr. Stephen Page, Taimur Sullivan, Philippe Geiss and the Masato Kumoi Saxophone Quartet.

Matthew completed his Master of Music Degree in Saxophone Performance at Stephen F. Austin State University, and dual undergraduate degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Music at Case Western Reserve University where he utilized the joint program with the Cleveland Institute of Music. His primary instructors include Dr. Clifford Leaman, Dr. Nathan Nabb, Greg Banaszak and Jeremy Williamson.

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.

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

Mrs. Lucie Svatonova-Hughes, Director of the (Laurens County) Academy of Music at PC
Email: lasvatono@presby.edu

Phone: 864-833-8577

Department of Music
503 South Broad St
Clinton, SC 29235