Dr. James Buckland (Strings: 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

Dr. Karen Buckland (Piano & History)


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.

Dr. Ron Davis (Department Chair, Organ, PC Choir, Handbells)

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.

Ms. Beverly Davis (Administrative Assistant)


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

Dr. Christian Elser (Baritone, Opera/Musical Theatre Workshop, Cantare!)


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
Email Dr. Elser

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, Theory, LCAM Director)

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: 864-833-7144
Email Ms. 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. 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. Catherine Culp Hazan (Strings: 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.

Ms. Sharalynn Hicks (Piano, Collaborative Piano, Theory, Music Appreciation)

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.

Mr. Gary Hipp (Pipe Major & PC Pipers)

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. 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

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.

Ms. Lucie Svatonova (Mezzo-Soprano, Bella Voce)

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.

Dr. Richard Thomas (Cello & Chamber Orchestra)


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 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.