Dr. Karen Buckland (Department Chair, Piano, PC Piano Ensemble)

buckland2

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

Karen Wisser Buckland is the Chair of the Department and Professor of Music at Presbyterian College. Dr. Buckland is the Director of Keyboard Studies and Piano and the artistic director of the annual PC Piano Clinic. She has been at PC since 1999.

Dr. Buckland earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Mansfield University, and a Master of Music degree and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Pedagogy. Her teachers include Raymond Dudley, John Adams, William Goode, and Max Camp. In addition to piano, Dr. Buckland also studied composition with Dr. Dick Goodwin at the University of South Carolina.

Active as a soloist and collaborator, adjudicator, and guest lecturer, Dr. Buckland has performed throughout the Southeast, Pennsylvania, Washington, Alaska, Nevada, and Canada. Her lectures on piano techniques, pedagogy, and composers include “Piano Techniques and Effects in Piano Music: An Historical Approach to Pedaling”, The Musical Score: “Teach an Inch, Learn a Mile”, “The Application of Harmonic Progression and Bass Line Analysis as an Aid to Learning and Memorizing Piano Literature”, and a performance lecture entitled “Isaak-Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870): The Forgotten Pianist Composer and his Etudes, Op. 70a”. Drs. Karen and Jim Buckland are the co-founders and performers of Ludlamshöhle, a chamber ensemble dedicated to nineteenth-century music.

A member and past President of the Piano Division of the South Carolina Music Educators Association, Dr. Buckland is also a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Music Teachers National Association, the South Carolina Music Teacher Association, and the Guild of American Organists. Karen is the organist and pianist at First Presbyterian Church in Clinton, SC.

Dr. Giovani Briguente (Director of Bands, 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).

Dr. Briguente’s passion for music, knowledge, and pedagogy have led him to develop a truly versatile and interdisciplinary career with international impact.

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 years as the professional piccoloist of the Symphonic Band of the Conservatory of Tatuí (Brazil) are 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 renown 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.

Along with his extensive experience as a musician, Dr. Briguente has substantial pedagogical and research experience, having taught music and history courses from middle school to college and conservatory levels. Dr. Briguente has devoted a great deal of time to teaching world history, Brazilian history, music history, and art history, in addition to developing interdisciplinary research encompassing history, philosophy, theology, music, and pedagogy. Among his academic publications are “Memory of the Musicians of Tatuí” and “Influences from Stravinsky on the 21st Century Repertoire for Wind Ensemble” published by The University of Sorocaba History Journal and Ensaio Magazine, respectively. His doctoral dissertation “Three Recitals of Repertoire for Wind Ensembles” was published by ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. Dr. Briguente often gives lectures aimed towards professional musicians and the general public, most recently “Seating Plan: Mastering your Ensemble’s Sonority” at the College Band Directors National Association, “J.S. Bach and the Spirit of a Cantata” and “Alban Berg and the Depths of Wozzeck” in Vienna (Austria) through the University of Michigan Center for Global and Intercultural Studies, and a series of three lectures at the University of Michigan: “What to Listen for in Music,” “Hidden Messages,” and “Sounds from Their Hearts.”

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

Mr. Luke Browder (PC Choir)

Luke Browder joined the music faculty at Presbyterian College in Fall 2022 to lead the PC Choir.
He has been an active musician in South Carolina for nearly 20 years and has worked as a
conductor, performer, voice teacher, and director.

He is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting candidate at the University of
South Carolina, where he most recently led the summer chorus in performances of Durufle’s
“Requiem,” and Britten’s “Rejoice in the Lamb.” He has also prepared the University Chorus and
the USC Opera Chorus for a variety of performances.

A longtime resident of Upstate South Carolina, Browder earned his Bachelor of Music from
Furman University, his Master of Music from Converse College, and has served on the voice
faculties at Clemson University and North Greenville University.

As a choral conductor, Luke has directed church choirs for nearly a decade and is currently the
director of music ministries at John Knox Presbyterian in Greenville, where he directs the
Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir, and Children’s Choir.

He has performed with choral groups in the Upstate, including the Spartanburg Festival Chorus,
the Greenville Chorale, and as a member of the Chorale’s professional Chamber Ensemble.
Browder has served as an adjudicator for the American Choral Directors Association’s Southern
Region Honor Choirs, the S.C. Music Educators Association Solo and Ensemble Festival, National
Association of Teachers of Singing Student Auditions, and the S.C. Thespian Society Festival. He
is a member of the ACDA, NATS, Pi Kappa Lambda, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians,
and is an equity membership candidate with Actors’ Equity Association.

With a specialty in singing for musical theatre, Browder has presented workshops and master
classes at the statewide conventions of the S.C. Theatre Association and the Palmetto Dramatic
Association/SC Thespian Society. His professional stage credits include the Baker in “Into the
Woods,” Father in “Ragtime,” King Arthur in “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” Schaunard in “La
Bohème,” and direction of the musicals “Beauty and the Beast,” “Mary Poppins,” and “Tarzan.”
As a concert soloist, Mr. Browder has sung Mozart’s “Mass in C minor,” Vaughan Williams’
“Mass in G minor,” Dubois’ “Seven Last Words of Christ,” Händel’s “Messiah,” and Haydn’s
“Lord Nelson Mass.”

Dr. James Buckland (Classical Guitar)

BucklandJames
Adjunct Professor of Guitar
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. Christian Elser (Baritone, Opera/Musical Theatre Workshop)

Professor of Music — Director of Choral Activities, Voice, Opera & Musical Theater
DMA, University of Kansas
MM, Northwestern University
BM, University of Wisconsin
Office Phone: 864-833-8466
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Dr. Christian Elser is Professor of Music at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he is Voice Division Director, Director of Choral Activities and Director of the PC Opera & Musical Theatre program. Over the past 25 years he has performed in opera, operetta and musical theatre with a variety of organizations such as the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Lyric Opera Cleveland, and the Augusta Opera.  Dr. Elser can also be heard on several commercially released recordings, including Cedille Records’ world premiere recording of Robert Kurka’s The Good Soldier Schweik, and Centaur Records’ Songs of Sergei Taneyev. Dr. Elser is the co-founder, Executive Director and Music Director of Glow Lyric Theatre in Greenville: South Carolina’s only professional lyric theatre and was recently named a 2021 American Prize for Conducting in Opera finalist.  Over the years many of his talented students have pursued graduate and professional work in music and the arts.

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
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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.

Mrs. Ashley Horvat (Violin and Viola)

Adjunct Faculty

University of Akron
North Carolina School of the Arts

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Ashley Horvat began studying violin
at age three. Mrs. Horvat 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 a high school diploma with a focus on violin performance from the North Carolina School of the Arts. Mrs. Horvat has also studied
chamber music with the Tacaks Quartet and the Mendelssohn Quartet. She has won
many awards in and around the Southeastern United States, including the Young
Artists Competition in South Carolina, The Upton Foundation Scholarship, a fouryear 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 has
also been teaching assistants at both University of Akron and North Carolina
School of the Arts.
Presently, she is Associate Concertmaster of the South Carolina Philharmonic and Acting Principal Second Violin of the Spartanburg Philharmonic. Mrs. Horvat is an adjunct violin and viola teacher at Presbyterian College and the Palmetto
Center for the Arts. She also maintains a very exclusive private studio at her home.
She is a very active solo and chamber musician and gives frequent recitals, masterclasses, and guest appearances throughout the year. When she is not busy with her
music, she loves photography, gardening, sewing, outdoor adventures, and spending time with her husband, Damir and two children, Daphne and Donovan.

Mrs. Amy Link

Amy Link has been teaching public school music for 28 years and currently is an adjunct instructor with the Music Department teaching Music for Teachers. She has also been an adjunct voice instructor with the Music Department and the Laurens County Academy of Music. Mrs. Link holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Presbyterian College and a Master of Music from Converse College.

Mrs. Link began singing and acting growing up in Charlotte, NC. She has sung under the direction of Arpad Darazs and Robert Shaw and currently sings with the Laurens County Chorale as well as with the Sandlapper Singers of Columbia, SC. She has enjoyed performing with community theaters in the area in such roles as the Witch in “Into The Woods,” Sarah in “Guys and Dolls” and Sister Amnesia in “Nunsense.”

Mr. Michael Matthews (Clarinet and Saxophone)

Adjunct Instructor of Clarinet and Saxophone
University of Rochester Eastman School of Music
University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music

Michael Matthews is the Adjunct Instructor of Clarinet and Saxophone at Presbyterian College. He has performed in six countries and seventeen states, and is a proud graduate of University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music and the University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music. Michael was an inaugural member of the Athens Hip-Hop Harmonic while living in Athens, GA, where he also gave the world premiere of Summer; a work involving improvisation and electronics, by Ayako Pederson-Takeda in 2022. In Rochester, NY, Michael performed in the Eastman Saxophone Project and was the baritone saxophonist of Scio Quartet, Bronze Medalists in the Senior Winds Division at the 47th Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2020, and winners of the 2019 MTNA National Young Artist Chamber Competition. Michael won the 2019 Nico Toscano Concerto Competition held by Cordancia Chamber Orchestra (Rochester, NY). Now living in Greer, SC, Michael is an active member of the Upstate Symphonic Winds and offers private lessons to the Upstate community.

Mr. Bradford Parton (Bassoon)

Bradd Parton Music Department Presbyterian CollegeBradd Parton, bassoonist, is certified in music by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He has taught in the public school system since 1997 serving students from first grade through college. Mr. Parton earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Furman University where he served as a Furman Advantage Teaching Assistant and a Master of Music Education degree from the University of South Carolina where he was employed as a Graduate Assistant. Mr. Parton’s primary teachers include William Moody, Leslie Hicken, Robert Chesebro, Jim Copenhaver, and Frank Watson. Students and ensembles under Mr. Parton’s direction have consistently received numerous superior ratings at state music festivals in SC. In addition to his adjunct schedule at PC, Mr. Parton currently teaches orchestra in Laurens School District 55. He is also an active clinician at schools and literary conferences throughout the southeast.

Dr. Bailey Seabury (Percussion)

Dr. Bailey Seabury Music Department Presbyterian College

Dr. Bailey Seabury is a dynamic, multi-faceted percussionist active as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator based in Columbia, SC. He is currently the Adjunct Percussion Instructor/Drumline Instructor at the University of South Carolina, where he coordinates the marching percussion program, teaches applied lessons, and helps to direct the UofSC Percussion Ensemble, winners of the 2021 Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition. He is also the Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC.

As a soloist, chamber musician, and clinician, Bailey maintains an active performance schedule. He has performed with ensembles across the U.S. including the International Contemporary Ensemble, the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Rock Hill Symphony, the Aiken Symphony Orchestra, the Conway Symphony Orchestra, and with members of NEXUS. He has performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention on multiple occasions, including a Showcase Concert with the Troy University Percussion Ensemble in 2012, and a Keyboard Showcase Concert with Andy Harnsberger in 2019, as well as at the American Single Reed Summit. As a solo performer, he was a semi-finalist at the Great Plains International Marimba Competition in 2014.

Together with Andrew Patzig, Bailey founded Duo Plygas, an award-winning percussion duo focused on performing, commissioning, and composing new and exciting works for percussion duo. Duo Plygas was formed in 2012 while Bailey and Andrew were both studying at Troy University with T. Adam Blackstock. The duo has performed across the U.S., including performances at Troy University, the University of Central Arkansas, the University of South Carolina, and Lee University. Duo Plygas was awarded the second-prize at the 2017 Great Plains International Marimba Competition.

Committed to the commissioning of new works, Bailey has worked with and been on the consortium for over 20 new works by composers such as Kevin Bobo, David Skidmore, Lane Harder, Brian Nozny, Adam Silverman, Russell Wharton, Blake Tyson, Jürg Frey and Michael Pisaro, among others.

As an in-demand marching percussion arranger and instructor, he has worked with ensembles across the Southeastern US. His original compositions and arrangements are played by high school and collegiate ensembles throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, including the University of Central Arkansas, Troy University, and the University of South Carolina.

He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Music degree from the University of Central Arkansas, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Troy University. His primary teachers include Dr. Scott Herring, Dr. Blake Tyson, and Dr. T. Adam Blackstock.

Bailey is a proud Malletech Performing Artist.

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

Adjunct 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, 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.

Dr. Stephen Taylor (Collaborative Piano)

Pianist Stephen Taylor is pleased to join the Music Faculty as the collaborative pianist for the department.

As a soloist, Dr. Taylor has performed in recitals and with orchestras in the United States and in Europe. A frequent collaborative performer, he has toured with solo singers, choirs and instrumentalists across the United States and in such diverse places  as Germany, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, Scotland, Greece, and Israel. He lectures frequently for music teacher organizations and has made presentations at state and national conferences sponsored by Music Teachers National Association, National Conference on Piano Pedagogy, and Music Educators National Conference. He enjoys adjudicating auditions, festivals and competitions, and is the author of several articles relating to piano pedagogy. His latest publication is a music review for MTNA’s Music Teacher magazine.

Dr. Taylor served for ten years on the piano and pedagogy faculty at the University of South Carolina School of Music and fifteen years on the faculty of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, South Carolina, where he chaired the music department and taught piano-related lessons and coursework. Dr. Taylor also served on the faculties of the SCGSAH Academy and Discovery programs from their respective inceptions in 1990 and 2004 until 2021. Former students have attended such institutions as The Juilliard School, Northwestern University, Indiana University, UNC School of the Arts, and numerous other schools in the region. Current and former students have been prize winners in the Aloha International Piano Competition in Honolulu and in MTNA sponsored competitions, as well as in many state concerto competitions.

Dr. Taylor holds performance and pedagogy degrees from The Juilliard School, the University of Louisville, and the University of South Carolina, where his major professors included Ania Dorfmann, Lee Luvisi, Max Camp, and Raymond Dudley.

Dr. Richard Thomas (Cello, PC Chamber Orchestra)

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

Thomas is a former faculty member of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, 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 Wilmington Academy of Music and from 1999-2008 was String Department Head at Camp Encore/Coda in Maine.

Thomas held full-time positions in the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of the Dominican Republic. 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 taught and performed in China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Japan, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Venezuela and throughout the US. He conducted the 2018 SC Region 1, 11-12 Orchestra and the 2020 SC Region 3, 11-12 Orchestra.

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

Mr. Mathew Tuk (Tuba and Low Brass)

Instructor of Low Brass

Louisiana State University

Mathew Tuk currently serves as Instructor of Low Brass at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC.
He received his formal training at Louisiana State University where he was awarded his
Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and later his Master’s Degree in Tuba Performance. At
LSU, his primary teachers were Dr. Joe Skillen and Dr. Charles Goodman.
After receiving his undergraduate degree, he served as Director of Bands at Central High
School in Baton Rouge, LA where he ran a comprehensive and successful high school band
program. His bands consistently received Superior ratings at marching and concert festivals.
Afterwards, he returned to LSU as a graduate assistant where he received his Masters degree.
He is currently enrolled at the University of South Carolina as a Graduate Assistant, where he is
pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Tuba Performance.
Mathew is an active freelance musician in the area. He has competed with success as a soloist
and chamber musician in a number of International Tuba and Euphonium Association
competitions. He is also a member of the Backburner Tuba and Euphonium Collective, the
nation’s premiere large tuba-euphonium ensemble consisting of professional musicians from
across the U.S. including 20 collegiate professors. Debut album to be released in 2022. He has
maintained an active private studio with student ages ranging from the primary level through the
collegiate level.
As a native of Charleston, SC, he is happy to be back in South Carolina with his fiance Manda
and cat Ralph at his side.