Dr. David Belcher
Adjunct - Instructor of Music
Office Phone (940) 696-3137
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Dr. Belcher is a native of Wichita Falls and graduated from MSU with a bachelor's degree in music education in 1992, and soon thereafter he also earned his secondary mathematics teaching certification. While working as a band director and math teacher, he began his graduate studies at Texas State University where he graduated with a Master of Music Degree in woodwind performance in 1998. In 2004 he earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in performance from the University of Oklahoma where he also coached chamber ensembles, and taught Understanding Music and Woodwind Techniques. Dr. Belcher is an active performer and music educator. He was a member of the Texas All-State Band in 1986, founded and performed with his chamber ensemble, Suite Winds since 1988. He conducted the Wichita Falls Chamber Orchestra for four years, and was Conductor/Music Director of the Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra for ten years. Dr. Belcher has played clarinet with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra since 1988, and has been Educator Coordinator for the WFSO where he developed and implemented education concerts. His wife Sandra is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at MSU, and they live in Wichita Falls with their two boys, Griffin and Grady.
Mr. Alan Black
Assistant Professor of Music
Associate Director of Bands, Percussion, Jazz/Rock Music Appreciation, Jazz, Percussion/Steel Pan Ensembles
Office Phone (940) 397-4186
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Joined University in 1987; Education; B.A. Brigham Young University, M.A. Boise State University; Doctoral coursework completed, University of Utah.
Alan Black is the Associate Director of Bands. He is director of the MSU Jazz and Percussion programs, and teaches Applied Percussion, Jazz/Rock Music Appreciation, Percussion Instruments Class, Practicum in Marching Band, World Music Literature, music education courses, along with directing the Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and Steel Pan Ensembles. He is the co-director of the MSU Marching Band and Basketball Pep Band and coordinates the MSU Winterguard, one of the few university-sponsored competitive colorguards in Texas.
Prior to MSU, Mr. Black was the Associate Director of Bands at Northern Michigan University, and taught high school bands in Burley, Idaho and Payson, Utah. Mr. Black was a percussionist in the first McDonald's All-American Marching Band in 1967. He has played professionally with symphonies and wind ensembles in Utah, Idaho, and Michigan, and is now timpanist/principal percussionist with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra. He also plays drums with the Ken Nelson Big Band and Ken Nelson Quartet and plays keyboards in The Black and White Band, a 7 piece classic rock band. Mr. Black is active in the Texas Music Educators' Association, The Texas Bandmasters' Association, the Jazz Education Network, and the Percussive Arts Society.
Mr. Bruce Canafax
Adjunct - Instructor of Music
Office Phone (940) 322-9738
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After completing a bachelor’s in guitar performance at MSU in Wichita Falls, Bruce continued his studies at UNT in Denton earning a master’s degree in guitar performance in 1983. While at Denton, he performed in classes for Oscar Ghiglia, David Russell, Pepe Romero and Peter Segal. He also began performing at various events in the Dallas/Ft Worth region while still a student at UNT. He now performs regularly at locations throughout the states of Texas and Oklahoma.
He has recorded 3 solo guitar CDs. In 2002 he recorded the Segovia edition of 20 Studies by Fernando Sor followed by Soliloquy in 2003 and Il Chittarra Romantico in 2008. In 1998, he founded the guitar program at Rider High School in Wichita Falls where he teaches full time and typically has around 110-120 guitar students each year. The advanced guitar ensemble comprised of 3 and 4 year students perform in the community on average 10 to 20 times a year doing music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century eras.
As the adjunct guitar professor at Midwestern State University, 5 to 7 students study the art of the classical guitar each semester. The students at MSU work specifically on music from the classical repertoire including composers such as Sor, Guiliani, Tarrega, Brouwer, Bach, and Dowland.
In addition to these musical endeavors, Bruce maintains a following of dedicated private students averaging 20 individuals meeting weekly for 30 minutes. Most students taking privately continue lessons on average 3 years. A few continue their studies for 10 years or longer.
Ms. Sandra Cunningham
Student & Ensemble Accompanying
Office phone (940) 397-4267
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Ms. Cunningham currently is an active accompanist and piano teacher in the Wichita Falls area. In addition to accompanying students of Midwestern, she is the principle collaborative pianist for the University Singers, Midwestern Singers & the Oratorio Chorus. Other musical endeavors include, playing for MSU’s opera workshop, various musicals and as a guest artist with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra (WFSO).
Ms. Cunningham joined the Midwestern State University accompanying staff in 1971 and received her bachelor’s of music degree in piano performance from Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. Ms. Cunningham is an active member and secretary for the Wichita Falls Music Teachers Association.
Ms. Judy Diltz
Adjunct - Instructor of Music
Office phone (940) 397-4267
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Ms. Diltz attended Wichita Falls public schools. Ms. Diltz earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Midwestern State University (MSU) and a Masters degree in Vocal performance. During her undergraduate education she studied with Bruce Foote at SMU and Marjorie Lawrence from University of Southern Illinois. Her greatest vocal study was with Dr. Don Maxwell at MSU.
Ms. Diltz has sung with numerous local presentations of oratorio as a soprano soloist. She has sung Lady Thiang in the The King and I, Mimi in La Boheme, Madame Butterfly, Fiona in Brigadoon and Maria in The Sound of Music. Ms. Diltz has taught in the public schools for 18 years teaching Kindergarten and Music and having taught Private Voice for 30 years. She has been an adjunct voice faculty member of Midwestern for 7 years.
Dr. Susan Harvey
Assistant Professor of Music
Music Education, Trumpet/Horn, Class Piano
Office phone (940) 397-4624
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Susan Harvey earned a Bachelor of Music from James Madison University, a Master of Arts in Education from Virginia Tech, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Shenandoah University. Currently she is Assistant Professor of Music at Midwestern State University (MSU) in Wichita Falls, Texas.
At MSU Dr. Harvey teaches music education courses to both general education students and music majors. She teaches music education courses, instructs beginning piano class, maintains a high brass studio, and has directed the Oratorio Chorus. She is Director of the MSU Summer Kodály Institute, which offers graduate music education courses. Dr. Harvey is the Conductor of the Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Harvey collectively taught twenty years of public school music in Buena Vista, Rockbridge County, and Covington, Virginia. She taught elementary music and instrumental and choral music at the secondary level. Her ensembles consistently earned superior ratings at festivals. While at Parry McCluer Middle School in Buena Vista, her students performed at the Virginia Music Educators Association Conference in Norfolk, Virginia and at the Organization of American Kodály Educators National Conference in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Harvey has presented workshops on the topics of assessment in music education, intonation in band, practice strategies for instrumentalists, and implementation of Kodály in the instrumental and elementary classroom. She is an active clinician, guest conductor, judge, and freelance trumpet performer. As a performer, Dr. Harvey was a member of the 2007 National Champion Massanutten Brass Band from Harrisonburg, Virginia and has performed as a member of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra in North Manchester, Indiana.
Dr. Ronald Hough
Professor Emeritus - Adjunct
Office Phone (940) 397-4267
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Dr. Ronald Hough, Professor Emeritus, retired in 2010 after teaching 39 years at MSU. He holds the DMA degree from the University of Illinois, MRE and MSM degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a BA and BM degrees from Wheaton College. While at MSU he taught Organ, Music Theory, Orchestration, Analysis of Form, Strings Instruments Class, and Class Piano.
Dr. Hough has presented many organ recitals throughout the Midwest and South and universities and churches. He is also a cellist and has been a member of the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra for 38 years. He continues in that capacity as well as being organist at First Presbyterian Church for 28 years. Since retiring, Dr. Hough has been Adjunct Instructor teaching Strings Instruments Class and Organ.
Dr. Timothy Justus
Associate Professor of Music & Chair, Department of Music
Office Phone (940) 397-4502
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Tim Justus, a Louisiana native, received the Bachelor of Music degree in Trumpet Performance from Northeast Louisiana University, and the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in trumpet performance and pedagogy from Louisiana State University. Dr. Justus is chair of the Department of Music, and teaches courses in music theory at MSU. Prior to accepting his current position, he was chair of the Department of Music at Dickinson State University, Dickinson, ND, and taught studio trumpet and theory at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, AR, and North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND.
Dr. Justus was a member of the United States Marine Field Band and appeared over 200 times as cornet and trumpet soloist throughout the United States, Canada and the Far East. He has been a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Arkansas Symphony, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, Baton Rouge Symphony, and has performed regularly with many others including the Richmond and New Orleans Symphony Orchestras, and was lead trumpet for Carnival Cruises, Miami, FL. Dr. Justus has performed at the International Trumpet Guild, Maryland Early Brass Institute, the Virginia Early Music Center and Gulf Coast Brass Symposium. His cornet and piano, cornet and band, and band arrangements are published by Eighth Note Publications in Markham, Ontario, Canada and Bandfolio, Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama.
Mr. Gary Lewis
Associate Professor of Music
Piano, Music Appreciation
Office Phone (940) 397-4185
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Joined the University in 1971; Education: B.M., Eastman School of Music; M.M., Michigan State University. Additional study with John Perry and David Renner at University of Texas, Austin.
Awards: Grand prize for his performance of a Twentieth Century Piano Sonata submitted to the Teachers Division-International Recording Competition sponsored by the National Guild of Piano Teachers; Second prize for his performance of a Late Beethoven Piano Sonata submitted to the Teachers Division-International Recording Competition sponsored by the National Guild of Piano Teachers.
Gary Lewis is presently teaching class piano, piano, basic music theory, and music appreciation. Prior to coming to Midwestern, he has taught piano at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas and at Belhaven College, Jackson, Mississippi.
Dr. Matthew Luttrell
Associate Professor of Music
Director of Bands, Low Brass, Instrumental Conducting
Office phone (940) 397-4210
Dr. Matthew D. Luttrell joins the faculty of Midwestern State University as Director of Bands in Summer 2013. His duties include conducting the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, Marching Band, Applied Lessons, Instrumental Conducting, and other various duties. Dr. Luttrell is a freelance drill writer and trombonist in his spare time.
Prior to Midwestern State University, Dr. Luttrell served as Director of Bands at Adams State University, Associate Director of Bands at the University of Texas Arlington and as Assistant Director of Bands at Illinois State University, where his bands have consistently received invitations to perform outside of campus venues, including NFL season and post-season games. He began his teaching career at Durango High School, located in Durango, CO.
During his doctoral work at Arizona State, Dr. Luttrell served as assistant conductor to Gary Hill and Wayne Bailey in the Chamber Winds, Wind Symphony and Wind Ensemble, as well as an instructor for the Sun Devil Marching Band, including arranging and drill writing.
Dr. Luttrell earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University in May 2010, with an emphasis in wind conducting and euphonium performance. He also holds two degrees in music education, from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Luttrell serves as both a clinician and adjudicator across the United States, and his professional affiliations include College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the National Association for Music Education, and is an honorary member of both the Tau Beta Sigma and Kappa Kappa Psi honorary bands fraternities.
Dr. Don Maxwell
Mr. Adam Lynskey
Graduate Student - Special Education and Educational Diagnostics
Marching Band, Percussion
Office Phone (940) 397-4186
Adam Lynskey is a native of Ohio. He is currently enrolled in MSU pursuing a graduate degree in Special Education and Educational Diagnostics. He holds degrees from Miami University (Music Education) and Touro Universtiy (Masters of Teaching and Learning).
His high school groups consistently scored Superior ratings, in both marching and concert settings. He is excited to have the opportunity to work with the students of MSU, bringing his experience working with many age groups and styles to a whole new level.
Professor of Music
Voice, Opera Workshop, Vocal Pedagogy, Diction, & Vocal Performance Class
Office Phone (940) 397-4242
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Dr. Don Maxwell is currently Professor of Voice at Midwestern State University, having taught college level voice and related courses for 46 years. In 2007, he was designated as the MSU Hardin Professor, the highest award bestowed upon faculty members. Dr. Maxwell has directed 30 opera/musicals during his tenure at MSU and his students have been winners of major vocal competitions; several have launched international careers in opera and song.
As a tenor soloist, Dr. Maxwell has been active for more than 50 years. He was the winner of the Oklahoma City Bloch Young Artist Auditions as well as the Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions.
Dr. Maxwell has edited several books and articles for the renowned voice teacher and pedagogue Cornelius L. Reid and compiled the Cornelius L. Reid Archive which resides in the MSU Moffett Library. He has published several articles and a set of CD/DVDs which has world-wide distribution. Dr. Maxwell’s interests include collecting and repairing antique mechanical music items such as spring operated phonographs and music boxes. He is considered an authority on these as well as on the history of recorded music.
Dr. Maxwell joined the university in 1971 and has earned a B.A. in Pre-Med/Zoology from Colgate University, B.M. in Voice with High Honors from Friends University, and at the University of Oklahoma he earned a M.M. in Voice and a D.M.E. in Music Education.
Dr. Ruth Morrow
Professor of Music; Bolin Distinguished Chair of Piano
Piano, Keyboard Literature, Accompanying, Western & World Music
Office Phone (940) 397-4789
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Dr. Ruth E. Morrow, NCTM, holds the Dolores P. Bolin and D. Phil and Aurora S. Bolin Distinguished Chair of Piano at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She currently teaches piano, piano pedagogy, music pedagogy, keyboard literature, western and world music, and has previously taught basic music, class piano, and opera workshop. Additionally, she teaches private students from the Wichita Falls area and judges throughout Texas for various music organizations and festivals.
Dr. Morrow is a consummate solo performer and collaborative pianist, giving numerous concerts annually in the Americas and abroad. With a background spanning most musical styles, she is equally at home with the music of living composers as that of the established masters. She gives master classes and lectures on topics from ragtime to movement in addition to performing, and enjoys working with students to make them more at ease onstage. Gisborne, New Zealand, and the island of Grenada, West Indies, have hosted Dr. Morrow for week-long residencies including performances, master classes, festivals, and workshops.
Dr. Morrow holds degrees from Indiana University (DM, Piano Performance and Pedagogy), the Eastman School of Music (MM, Piano; MA, Musicology), and Whitman College (BA, Music; Philosophy). She teaches at the Indiana University Piano Academy in Bloomington, Indiana, each summer. As avid a student as a teacher, Dr. Morrow consistently looks for avenues of personal and musical growth for both herself and her students; to this end she is a Certified Instructor of the Feldenkrais® Method and pursues research in an exploration of the intersections of classical and vernacular musics. In addition to her numerous musical endeavors, Dr. Morrow is an avid marathon and half-marathon runner. She has finished a marathon in all 50 states and on all seven continents and plans to do the same with half marathons.
Dr. James Schuppener
Ms. Janelle Olson
Adjunct- Instructor of Music Flute Office Phone (940) 613-3903
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In addition to duties as flute instructor at Midwestern State, Ms. Olson performs with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, the Plano Symphony Orchestra and as a freelance artist in the Dallas area. Ms. Olson has been the principal flautist for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Utah Festival Orchestra & the New World Symphony. She received the Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from California State Long Beach and the Master of Music in Flute Performance from the New England Conservatory. She is a member of Phi Kappa Lambda Honorary Music Society.
Professor of Music
Director of Choral Activities, Choral Conducting
Office Phone (940) 397-4268
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Dr. James Schuppener is the Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music at MSU. Dr. Schuppener conducts the University Singers, Midwestern Singers, and the Oratorio Chorus. He also teaches Choral Conducting, Choral Literature, Vocal Diction, and applied voice lessons. Before coming to MSU, Schuppener was Professor of Music at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas for twenty years. Schuppener has also taught on the faculties of Lincoln College, Ripon College, and West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Choirs under his direction have performed in Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New York, and Washington, DC. He has also conducted choirs that have toured Switzerland, Germany, and Austria.
Dr. Schuppener has earned a D.M.A. in Conducting from the University of Arizona, M.M. in Vocal Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University, and B.M.E. from Milton College. He has also done graduate work at the University of Missouri, Kansas City Conservatory of Music, and at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Mrs. Jerri Sparks
Student & Ensemble Accompanying Office Phone (940) 397-4267
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Jerri Holder Sparks is a freelance pianist, vocal coach, and accompanist for vocal and instrumental students. Mrs. Sparks is a native of Wichita Falls, and has a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Midwestern State University. She also studied at Hardin-Simmons University, and in Berlin, Germany.
She has been working with the music department of MSU since 1985. Her previous collaborative piano experiences consist of Houston Baptist University, Rice University and the Dominican Singers Women’s Chorus in Houston. Mrs. Sparks has been the choral assistant and pianist at Wichita Falls High School and Rider High School and has served as pianist and music associate for several churches in Houston, Tomball and Wichita Falls area. Mrs. Sparks currently plays keyboard and piano for the First Baptist Church orchestra and is the pianist for Encore! Women’s Choir.
Mrs. Sparks began her piano career at the age of 6 in the MSU Model Piano Class, a course that is still offered to local students. She is a member of the Wichita Falls Music Teachers Association and continues to be active within the music community. She is married to Gene D. Sparks, and they have four children and eight grandchildren.