LC Academy of Music
BM, University of South Carolina
Dr. Richard Thomas is Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of String Studies at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, where he teaches cello, bass, chamber music, and directs the Presbyterian College Chamber Orchestra. He is also on the faculty of the Laurens County Academy of Music and is Adjunct Instructor of Cello at Lander University in Greenwood, SC. Thomas has lectured, taught, and performed in China, Japan, Taiwan, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and throughout the United States.
He is a former faculty member of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, the University of South Carolina Aiken, the Universidad del Cauca and Universidad del Valle (Colombia, South America), the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica (Santo Domingo, DR), 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 positions in the cello sections of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Colombia (Bogotá, Colombia), the Orquesta Sinfónica del Valle (Cali, Colombia), and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Santo Domingo, DR). He was Principal Cellist of the Wilmington Symphony and Tallis Chamber Orchestra in North Carolina, the Irving Symphony and Garland Symphony in Texas, the Encore-Coda Chamber Orchestra in Maine, and was Assistant Principal of the South Carolina Philharmonic, the East Texas Symphony, and played in the Dallas Lyric Opera Orchestra. Thomas was also a member of Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium (GAMAC) in Anderson, SC and played double bass in the Anderson Symphony.
Dr. Thomas studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, DePauw University, Temple University, the University of North Texas, and received a Doctor of Musical 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.
Andrew Sheffield, director of the Laurens County Academy of Music and adjunct instructor at Presbyterian College and Newberry College, received his bachelor of music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and his master of music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His principal teachers include Frank Weinstock and Robert Weirich, with additional studies with Eteri Andjapridze and Maurice Hinson and collaborative coaching from Donna Loewy. Having made his concerto debut at age 16 with the Macon Symphony Orchestra, Andrew has performed extensively as both a soloist and a collaborator, including at the International Festival-Institute at Round Top (TX), the Kansas City Cello Clinic, and the International Clarinet Society’s ClarinetFest; in masterclasses with renowned pianists Richard Goode and David Korevaar; and as a featured artist of the St. Louis Artist Presentation Society. In addition to his work at PC and Newberry, Andrew accompanies the Laurens County Chorale.
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.
Nyamka Odsuren is a violinist and conductor from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. A prizewinner of the National Youth Strings Competition, he participated at music festivals in Istanbul, Moscow, and Tianjin at an early age. After graduating from the Mongolian State Conservatory, Nyamka attended the United World College of the Adriatic in Duino, Italy as a music scholar and he has given tour concerts around Austria, Slovenia, and Italy during his time at UWCAd.
Nyamka received UWC Davis Scholarship to study in the United States and he received the Willam C. Gates Music Award while attending Methodist University. He studied with Ara Gregorian at East Carolina University for his Master of Music degree. While his time at ECU, he was a regular participant of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival – during which he got to work with world renowned artists and present tour concerts throughout North Carolina.
Currently Nyamka is finishing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of South Carolina School of Music. He served as Concertmaster of the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra and is an active freelance violinist – member of the Augusta Symphony and South Carolina Philharmonic. He is former Assistant Conductor and Youth Symphony Conductor of the Long Bay Symphony.
BS, 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.
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.
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.
Tad Riddle is a retired music teacher having taught band and elementary music for 25 years. Tad is a freelance trombone performer in and around the Greenville area and is the director of the Presbyterian College Wind Ensemble and Pep Band, in addition to serving as the director of the Upstate Senior Concert Band and the orchestra at Taylors First Baptist Church.
Tad holds an ME in Education Technology from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, a BA in Music Education from Lander University in Greenwood and attended Furman University. He has studied with Dan Ellis, Larry Cook and Mark Britt.
Tad’s performing experiences include: Pit orchestras: Greenville Light Opera Works Orchestra (GLOW), Greenville Little Theater, S.C. Children’s Theatre, Fountain Inn Repertory Experience (F.I.R.E.) and Greenwood Community Theatre; Orchestras: Anderson Symphony Orchestra; Foothills Philharmonic Orchestra; Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra; Jazz groups: Spartanburg Jazz Ensemble, Electric City Jazz (Anderson); also various churches, concert bands and ensembles; former handbell director at Taylors First Baptist Church; a member of the Furman Lakeside Band since 1970. Tad is also a member of the Palmetto Posaunen, a trombone ensemble made up of professional trombonists from a 5-state region. The Posaunenhave performed in Chicago, Washington, DC, Savannah, GA, Spoleto in Charleston and most recently at the 2011 International Trombone Festival in Nashville, TN.
Teresa Moore earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Evangel University where she studied with Dr. June Kean, and a Master of Education degree from the University of South Carolina. She has taught in the public school system, maintained a private studio, freelanced as an accompanist, and served as a church musician.
Student Instructors are undergraduate music majors at PC who have met certain Presbyterian College Department of Music requirements and have been approved by the Director to teach in the LCAM.