Dr. Porter Stokes, Chair

christmas porter 2Barskdale Chair of Music and Chair of the Department, Director of Choral Activities
BS & MM, University of South Carolina
DMA, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Office Phone: 864-833-8470
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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 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.

Ms. Beverly Davis, Administrative Assistant


Departmental Secretary, Recruiting Coordinator, Auditions Coordinator
Office Phone: 864-833-8470
Email Ms. Davis


Dr. Christian Elser, Baritone


Associate Professor of Music — 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: 864-833-8466
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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 DepartmentAdjunct Professor of Voice
BM, Wichita State University
BME, Wichita State University
MM, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Office Phone: 864-833-8470
Email Ms. Fleury

Tacy Fleury

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, Greenville Light Opera Works, and in various faculty recitals and performances at Piedmont Baptist College and Presbyterian College. Mrs. Fleury also serves as the director of the Laurens County Academy of Music at PC, a program offering music lessons to both children and adults in the Laurens County community.

Ms. Lucie Svatonova, Mezzo-Soprano

LUCIESVATONOVAAdjunct Professor of Voice
BA, Charles Universty, Prague
BM, Academy of Performing Arts, Prague
MM, Converse College
Office Phone: 864-833-8577
Email Ms. Svatonova

Lucie Svatonova-Hughes, mezzo-soprano, 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.

Piano, Organ

Dr. Karen Buckland, Piano


Professor of Music, Piano, History
BM, Mansfield University
MM, University of South Carolina
DMA, University of South Carolina
Office Phone: 864-833-8467
Email Dr. Buckland

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

Professor of Music, Organ, Handbells, & Theory
BM, Ouachita Baptist University
MM, University of Kansas
DMA, University of Kansas
Office Phone: 864-833-8422
Email Dr. Davis

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.

Mr. Alan Rudell, Piano

Casual Photo
Adjunct Professor of Piano
Office Phone: 864-833-8015
Email Mr. Rudell

Alan Rudell completed his doctorate at the University of South Carolina, where he studied with Dr. Joseph Rackers. He also 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. Dr. Rudell currently serves on the faculties of Presbyterian College, where he teaches applied piano, and South Carolina State University, as music theory instructor and staff pianist. An experienced solo and collaborative performer, he has appeared in venues across the United States and abroad. Highlights from recent engagements include recitals at the Burgos International Music Festival and numerous appearances with the nationally acclaimed University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble in performances at the most important national conferences and on critically acclaimed recordings for the Naxos and Mark labels.

Ms. Sharalynn Hick, Piano

Sharalynn Hicks joined the Presbyterian College music faculty during the summer of 2016. She has served on the piano and pedagogical faculties at Bob Jones University and Piedmont Baptist College and is presently also serving at Converse College in the Petrie School of Music and in the Lawson Academy. Ms. Hicks is also the Director of Music at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, SC.

As a member of college and pre-college faculty, she has developed curriculum, taught private applied lessons in piano, and served as piano class instructor.

Ms. Hicks earned degrees (BM and MM) from Bob Jones University and was an associate with the Royal Conservatory of Music. She is nationally certified in piano with MTNA, licensed for Musikgarten Early Childhood Education, and holds additional licensing in Suzuki Music Education.

Ms. Sharon Elizabeth Cook, Piano

Sharon Cook joined the Presbyterian College music faculty during the summer of 2016. She owns and operates Moonlight Piano Studios and serves as an accompanist with Spartanburg Repertory Opera and Greenville Universalist Unitarian Fellowship. She collaborates across the upstate of South Carolina with many other arts organizations as a pianist and multi-faceted musician, particularly, with the Greenville Concert Band, where she has performed in the flute section.

She holds a BM in Music from Bob Jones University and is a licensed instructor in Musikgarten.


Dr. Richard Thomas, Cello

01/26/06 faculty music mozart

Associate Professor of Music, Cello, Orchestra
BM, DePauw University
MM, University of North Texas
DMA, University of South Carolina
Office Phone: 864-833-8469
Email Dr. Thomas

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.

Ms. Catherine Culp Hazan, Violin, Viola

Adjunct Professor of Violin & Viola
Belk Auditorium Rm. 204

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 is extensive and includes a professor of violin appointment at Trinity College in Washington, DC. 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.

Dr. James Buckland, Guitar

Adjunct Professor ofGuitar
BM, University of Toronto
MM, University of Akron
DMA, University of South Carolina
Office Phone: 864-833-8470
Email Dr. Buckland

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:öhle/videos

Winds, Percussion

Mr. Gary Hipp, Pipe Master

Gary Hipp 1
Adjunct Professor of Bagpipe
BS, University of Florida
MA, University of Florida
Office Phone: 864-833-8470
Email Mr. Hipp

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.

Dr. Richard House, High Brass

Richard House-conductor-11-10
Associate Professor of Music, Band, High Brass
BM, East Carolina University
MM, Arizona State University
DMA, Arizona State University
Office Phone: 864-833-8465
Email Dr. House

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. Matthew C. Jones, Percussion

Adjunct Professor of Percussion
BM, University of South Carolina
Office Phone: 864-833-8470
Email Mr. Jones

Matthew Jones is one of the Southeast’s most prolific and active professional percussionist. Whether playing set for area ensembles and jazz groups and providing services for touring companies or with orchestras both as a tympanist and section percussionist on a variety of instrumentation, Mr. Jones is always on the move. He also coaches SC drum lines for several high school band and teaches collegiate percussion at Columbia College and Presbyterian College. Mr. Jones is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.

Mr. Tom Wheat, Single Reeds


Adjunct Professor of Woodwinds
BA Honours Music, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Certificate in Education/Secondary Music, Nottingham Trent University
Office Phone: 864-833-8470
Email Mr. Wheat

Tom Wheat was born and raised in Nottingham, England and holds Music and Teaching degrees from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and Nottingham Trent University respectively. He has taught in schools at all levels and directed and performed in ensembles throughout Europe and America. Tom combines his teaching at PC with a busy performing schedule and a private studio in Greenville.

Mr. Stephen Wilson, Low Brass

WilsonS_smAdjunct Professor of Low Brass
BA, California State University, Hayward
MM, University of South Carolina
Office Phone: 864-833-8470
Email Mr. Wilson

A performing artist/clinician for the S. E. Shires Co. and former Director of Jazz Studies and 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.

Theory, History

Dr. Karen Buckland, History

Dr. Ron Davis, Theory

Dr. Christian Elser, History

Dr. Rob Howiler, Theory

Assistant Professor of Music, Theory, and Electronic Music
BM, Berklee College of Music
MM, University of South Carolina
DMA, University of South Carolina
Office Phone: 864-833-8324
Email Dr. Howiler


Dr. Ron Davis, Cantare!, Handbells

Mr. Gary Hipp, PC Pipers

Dr. Richard House, Pep Band, Wind Ensemble

Dr. Porter Stokes, Bella Voce, PC Choir

Dr. Richard Thomas, Chamber Orchestra

Mr. Tom Wheat, Jazz Band

(PC also offers chamber music ensembles in piano, percussion, strings, and brass)

LC Academy of Music

Ms. Tacy Fleury, Director

LC Academy of Music Webpage