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.
Luke Nolan received his bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University under Matthew Slotkin, and his master’s degree from the University of South Carolina under Christopher Berg. At Bloomsburg, he received the School of Music’s Award for Outstanding Performance. He is currently pursuing a DMA in classical guitar performance at the University of South Carolina.
As a graduate assistant at the University of South Carolina, Luke teaches individual lessons to undergraduate students enrolled at the university. He lectures and performs as a soloist, namely in a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in D Major, RV 93 with the University of South Carolina Campus Orchestra conducted by Nisan Ak.
Luke teaches a variety of guitar styles, including classical, contemporary acoustic, and electric.
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.
Heather McNeely received her BM in trumpet performance from Bob Jones University in 1996, her MMus degree in musicology from Converse College in 1999, and her DMA in music education from Boston University in 2013. She began teaching private trumpet lessons as an undergraduate student at BJU, giving her roughly 20 years of teaching experience, both in the classroom and privately.
Currently, in addition to maintaining her trumpet studio, Heather performs regularly in local churches, community groups, and as a member of the Impact of Brass, a local brass quintet. As a classroom teacher and scholar, Heather specializes in quantitative research in music education and music appreciation pedagogy, and she greatly enjoys teaching music appreciation courses at Greenville Technical College. Prior to this, she was an assistant professor of music at Bob Jones University for 13 years, where she taught music history courses and private trumpet lessons to students from middle school to university age.
Heather loves connecting with students and helping them gain confidence and solve problems. She wants to inspire in her students a love for beautiful playing and for music in general.
Violinist Essena Setaro enjoys a varied career as an orchestral musician, chamber musician, and educator. She performs with the Greenville, Asheville, Augusta, and Charleston Symphonies and often serves as Acting Associate Concertmaster and Acting Principal Second of the Hilton Head Symphony. Dr. Setaro has also been a member of the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Hillman Opera, and Fredonia Chamber Players in NY, was Senior Associate Concertmaster of the SC Philharmonic for 4 seasons, and has served as Guest Concertmaster of several ensembles including the Long Bay and Hendersonville Symphonies.
Festival appearances include full fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival and the Brevard Music Center where she was student Associate Concertmaster of BMCO under David Effron. In 2010, Dr. Setaro was chosen to serve as Associate Concertmaster of the Castleton Festival Orchestra under the baton of renowned conductor Lorin Maazel. She has shared the stage with many soloists including Yo-Yo Ma, Midori, Joshua Bell, Jeremy Denk, Emanuel Ax, David Kim, Peter Serkin, Mark O’Connor, Rachel Barton Pine, Edgar Meyer, Sharon Isbin, Garrick Ohlsson, and Vadim Gluzman. Her diverse collaborations cut across musical styles and she has also worked with many musicians and ensembles from outside the classical genre such as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller, Art Garfunkel, America, Air Supply, Doc Severinsen, Wynton Marsalis, and Wynonna Judd.
As a member of the Armoni Quartet, Dr. Setaro worked closely with William Preucil, David Salness, and members of the Miami Quartet at the Brevard Music Center. She also performed on both viola and violin in the USC Graduate String Quartet and with numerous other chamber ensembles.
A passionately devoted teacher, Dr. Setaro has taught privately since 2002 and was formerly an instructor at Bard College, Dutchess Community College, Stringendo Orchestra School, and Columbia International University. Dr. Setaro had the honor of serving as Dr. William Terwilliger’s Teaching Assistant at USC for 5 years and is an active member of the American String Teachers Association. For over 20 years, she has explored the art of performing and teaching free improvisation with mentors from the organization Music for People including Dr. David Rudge and cellist David Darling. She also presents special solo and quartet programs at schools throughout South Carolina as part of Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra’s Musical Bridges program.
Dr. Setaro earned her B.M. from SUNY Fredonia where she studied with Dr. Cornelius Dufallo and Dr. David Rudge. She pursued graduate studies at University of Maryland where she was coached by members of the Guarneri Quartet, studied viola with Michael Tree and Katherine Murdock, and violin with James Stern, Arnold Steinhardt, and John Dalley. Dr. Setaro received both her M.M. and D.M.A. in Violin Performance from USC as a student of Dr. William Terwilliger. Further study was with David Russell at his Mountaintop Mastercourse in Keene, NY and with Connie Heard and Sylvia Rosenberg at the Aspen Music Festival.
Dr. Setaro is an avid performer of new music, especially works inspired by folk music from around the world. She is especially fascinated by East European fiddle, Roma (Gypsy) music, and Klezmer. Her dissertation Solo Violin Works Influenced by Romanian Lăutari Music is available through ProQuest and she has designed and performed several innovative multimedia recitals based on her research.
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.
Harris Banks is a music major at Presbyterian College. He studies cello under Dr. Richard Thomas, is principle cello of the PC Chamber Orchestra, and is a member of the PC String Quartet and PC Ringers handbell ensemble. In 2017, Harris was awarded Freshman of the Year by the Music Department for doing the most performances out of any student in the 2016-2017 school year. He has performed in masterclasses for world-renowned cello teachers Dr. Robert Jesselson and Irene Sharp.
Harris is from Lexington, South Carolina where he studied cello under Jacqueline Taylor Hendricks and attended Lexington High School where he played in the high school orchestra under Johanna Wilson. He performed in the South Carolina Philharmonic Youth Orchestra where he was the principle cello for two seasons from 2014-2016. Harris was also a member of the South Carolina All-State Orchestra from 2014-2016.
Crysta Gurga, Soprano, is excited to join the LCAM staff this fall as a Student Instructor. Crysta is entering her third year of vocal study with Dr. Christian Elser at Presbyterian College. Crysta is a Music Major, with a minor in both Biology and Psychology. She has performed in many of the ensembles at PC, including Bella Voce, PC choir, Handbell choir, and Opera Workshop. She has participated in Opera Workshop for two years, in which she has performed the roles of “Bartender” in the original production “Songs of the Jazz Age” as well as “Squirrel 1” and “Dog” in “Elephant and Piggie’s ‘We are in a play!'”
Paul Peart II is a Junior at Presbyterian College where he is majoring in Music and Political Science. Paul is Concertmaster of the PC Chamber Orchestra and 1st Violin in the PC String Quartet. In addition to teaching for the Laurens Academy of Music he works for PC Administration and Admissions and is a member of the PC Sterlings. Paul is from Summerville, South Carolina where he was concertmaster of the Cane Bay High School Orchestra where he received All-State Violin 2013-2016, the Orchestra Leadership Award 2010-2011, and National Honors Society 2012-2014. He was on the Cane Bay High School Football Team and was awarded Most Valuable Player 2016, and received Varsity Letters in Golf, Wrestling and Football – he was also a member of the PC Football Team during his Freshman year and currently referees Inter-varsity sports at PC. Before coming to PC Paul held Internships as a Computer Tech Assistant for Berkeley County School District and for Advanced Technology International (ATI) in the Compliance and Procurement areas.
Jenna Seubarran is a Junior at Presbyterian College where she is majoring in Biology and Music with a minor in Chemistry, with the goal of going to Medical School. Jenna is a member of the viola section of the PC Chamber Orchestra. She began playing viola in 2008 at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, SC. Over her years of playing the viola she participated in the Mark Wood Concert, Regional Orchestra as well as participating in her middle and high school string orchestra and symphony. She is going on her third year as a voice student of Dr. Christian Elser at Presbyterian College. She has performed with the PC Pep Band, Percussion Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble, and PC Choir. Jenna was also honored with the PC Music Freshman of the Year award for the 2017-2018 school year and is the current Vice President of the Delta Omicron Honors Music Society.
Jarvernique Tinsley, violin, is a Junior at Presbyterian College where he is a Music major and a Psychology minor. He is Principal 2nd Violin in the PC Chamber Orchestra and 2nd Violinist in the PC String Quartet. Jarvernique is from Columbia, South Carolina where he attended Dreher High School. He was Concertmaster of the DHS Orchestra, played tenor sax in the Wind Ensemble, and sang in the DHS Choir. In the summer of 2018 Jarvernique was a Counselor at the famous Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan where he played violin in the Festival Orchestra. Jarvernique referees Intramural sports at Presbyterian College and is also active as a freelance musician in the Midlands and Upstate of South Carolina.
For additional Department of Music questions, contact Beverly Davis at 864.833.8470