Music  
 

Faculty

 
Full-Time Faculty
Barbara Witham McCargar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Witham McCargar - Chairperson
Director of Vocal Studies
Phone: (616) 632-2417
Office: AMC 126
E-mail: mccarbar@aquinas.edu

Barbara began teaching on the campus of Aquinas College in 1987 and is currently an Associate Professor of Music, with course assignments including Voice Techniques, Private Voice, Vocal Pedagogy and Literature, Opera Workshop and Music Appreciation classes. As a soloist, she has given many recitals in concert halls and churches in addition to having been a featured singer in Grand Rapids Symphony Pops Concerts, with the Kalamazoo and Calvin College Oratorio Societies, the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys, St. Cecilia Music Society (now SCM Center), the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, at Lake Michigan College, Western Michigan University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the College Music Society.


Her performing career has spanned over four decades, from Art Song to Musical Theater, opera productions to Summer music camp recitals. Lansing Lyric Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, 18 productions for Youth Opera USA with composer Sanford Jones, Circle Theater, Spectrum Theater, Summerfest at the GR Civic Theater, the Summer Cooler Series at Frederik Meijer Gardens, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the Dominican Center at Marywood, and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts are just some of the regional venues where her soprano voice has been heard in performance.  Ms. McCargar toured in Austria and Hungary, recorded a CD, and performed in several concerts as a member and soloist with the Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids. Ms. McCargar has recorded a CD, Women’s Works for soprano and piano, through River City Studios, Ltd. which evolved out of annual lecture recitals with her colleagues on the campus of Aquinas during Women's History Month. The 2005 CD includes songs for solo voice and piano by Larsen, Price, Moore, Beach, Glickman, and King. Fellow faculty members performing on the CD are accompanist and piano soloist, Mary Hurd, and pianist, Catherine Williams, O.P., playing extended works by Rhene Jaque and Lili Boulanger, respectively.


In the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Barbara is a sought after cantor, clinician and speaker on vocal technique, leader of workshops for the church cantor, and is the director of the St. Stephen Church Choir in East Grand Rapids.  A long time member and past president of the GR Chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM), she most recently was a presenter at the Eastern Regional NPM Convention in 2008.  As a founding member of the vocal chant trio, Vox Angelica, she recorded "Hildegard von Bingen - Chants of Heaven and Earth", performed in concerts for mid-west regional conventions of NPM, been an Artist in Residence at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, and toured Spain and Portugal as the featured artists in 2005 with the Diocesan Choir of Grand Rapids, under the direction of Dr. Brandon Spence. Recent recordings featuring Ms. McCargar are of her singing the work of Morton Feldman (Wind) which debuted on air in May of 2010 through Ogre Ogress, Marc Chan’s I Sail'd Out To Sea (2009) for 3 voices and instruments, on the POSTCAGE project also for Ogre Ogress now in post-production, and on the soon-to-be-released CD called "Songs from the Abbey" featuring Linn Maxwell Keller as Hildegard von Bingen with The Hildegard Singers, recorded by River City Studios, Ltd.

 

Associate Professor McCargar holds a Master of Music in Voice, with secondary emphasis in Opera from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with further study at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and with Mr. Stanley Kolk. She received the BM in Vocal Performance from Aquinas. She is a 25 year member of the Michigan (board member since 2005) and National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), her students having received awards at both the State and Regional Auditions.  Prof. McCargar’s other professional activities include: chairing the Classical Music area for the GR Festival of the Arts, being an active member of the Education Sub-committee of the Board of Opera Grand Rapids, studying WEM - What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body from Andover Educators - www.bodymap.org and Alexander Technique, performing the music of Women Composers and Contemporary Americans, and attending the performances of her former and present students around the country. She instructs Voice Techniques I and II, Vocal Pedagogy and Literature, and Diction for Singers.
 
Paul S. Brewer Dr. Paul S. Brewer - Director of Instrumental Music
Phone: (616) 632-2416
Office: AMC 119
E-mail: brewepau@aquinas.edu
Dr. Paul Brewer, Associate Professor and Director of Instrumental Music at Aquinas College holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Music Composition and Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Brewer also holds a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Music Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. In addition to his teaching duties, Dr. Brewer has been active as a professional trombonist since 1970. While jazz is his main musical endeavor, Dr. Brewer has also played in a variety of musical ensembles including everything from orchestral groups to rock and roll bands. His many years as a trombonist in musical theater productions gave Dr. Brewer the opportunity to work with celebrities such as Mickey Rooney, Ann Miller, Richard Harris, Robert Goulet, and many others.

As a jazz performer Dr. Brewer has performed with such greats as J.J. Johnson, Max Roach, Urbie Green, Mel Torme, Randy Brecker, and many others. Among his many contributions to the field of jazz education, Dr. Brewer has been chosen three times to lecture at the prestigious International Association for Jazz Education annual conference (twice in New York City and once in Toronto). Dr. Brewer is also called upon each year to adjudicate jazz festivals and to perform as a guest soloist on public school jazz band concerts. Along with his tenure at Aquinas College and as a Jazz Artist sponsored by the Yamaha Corporation, Dr. Brewer is also on the jazz faculty at the Interlochen Arts Camp held each summer in Interlochen, Michigan.

At Interlochen, Dr. Brewer has taught many wonderful students from all over the world among them, five-time Grammy Award winner Norah Jones and Dr. Brewer's son, Matthew Brewer, an upright bassist currently performing with the great alto saxophonist and Blue Note recording artist, Greg Osby. At Aquinas College Dr. Brewer is the Director of Bands, concert and jazz. Dr. Brewer also teaches instrumental conducting, instrumentation and orchestration, jazz improvisation, studio trombone, History of Popular Music, jazz piano applications and techniques, band and orchestra literature and interpretation.

 
Mary Hurd Mary Hurd - Piano, Piano Techniques I and II, Piano Literature, Piano Pedagogy, MCAP Coordinator
Phone: (616) 632-2419
E-mail: hurdmar@aquinas.edu

 

Mary Hurd has a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern University, a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the American Conservatory of Music and a Diploma in Church Music, specializing in Piano Performance, from Moody Bible Institute.

 

 Since beginning to teach piano in 1972, Ms. Hurd continues to teach privately, managing an extensive list of private students across the entire age spectrum. She has taught courses in piano, piano pedagogy and music theory at Aquinas College, Grand Valley State Colleges, Grace Bible College and Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music. She has been with Aquinas College, teaching courses in piano, piano pedagogy, piano literature, and music theory, since 1994.

 

 Ms. Hurd has been active both as a soloist as well as an accompanist, giving solo performances for music conferences and faculty recitals, and collaborating with many vocalists and instrumentalists for concerts in Western Michigan.  As an accompanist, Ms. Hurd has travelled with choirs in both the United States and Europe.    In addition to performing on live concerts, Ms. Hurd has recorded a CD of Women’s Works, along with Soprano, Barbara Witham McCargar, and Pianist, Catherine Williams, O.P., including accompanying the vocal works, and contributing solo repertoire written by Rhene Jaque.

 
Sr. Catherine Williams

Sr. Catherine Williams (Emeritus) - Piano, Music Theory, Basics of Music, Music Appreciation, Liturgical Music, Piano Techniques I, Sight Singing and Ear Training, Elementary Student Teaching Supervisor
Phone: (616) 632-2414
Office: AMC 111
E-mail: willicat@aquinas.edu

Sister Catherine Williams is an alumna of Aquinas College earning both her Master of Arts in Religious Studies and her Bachelor of Music and Music Education at Aquinas, she also holds a Master of Music Education from Vandercook College and a permanent teaching certificate.
Her further advanced studies are quite extensive, including Michigan State University, Early Childhood Music Conference, Organ Seminar with Gerre Hancock, ongoing private instruction in voice, piano and organ, and participation in relevant conferences, workshops and lectures in the areas of campus ministry, liturgy, music and ecumenism. Her impressive employment history includes teacher of private lessons in piano, organ, voice and guitar; music teacher K-12; director of liturgy and music at Guardian Angels Parish; Campus Minister at Aquinas College Choir Director of St. Sebastian Church in Byron Center, MI; and full-time member of the Music Department at Aquinas.
 
Part-Time Faculty
Mark Webb

Dr. Mark Webb - College Chorus, Conducting Fundamentals, Choral Literature and Interpretation, Secondary Vocal Methods and Materials, Secondary Student Teaching Supervisor, MCEN Coordintaor

 

Dr. Webb earned his B.M. and M.M. in Music Education and Choral Conducting from the University of Michigan; and his D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University.  Dr. Webb was a high school choral director for 33 years, most recently serving as Director of Choral Activities and Music Department Chair at East Grand Rapids High School.  Dr. Webb is also the director of the Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids, and the Chancel Choir at Mayflower Congregational Church (Grand Rapids).  He served as the Choral/Opera Coordinator for the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and directed the camp's International Choir from 2004-2009. In 2003, Dr. Webb was recognized as "Teacher of the Year" by the Michigan School Vocal Music Association, and "Arts Educator of the Year" by ArtServe of Michigan.  Dr. Webb returns to Aquinas College this Fall 2011 where he has taught for several years, after teaching as a Visiting Professor at Albion College from 2009-2011. 

 
Adjunct Instructors
Gregory Alley - Trumpet
 
Steve Anzivino Steve Anzivino - Percussion, New Dimensions Percussion Group, Pep Band
Mr. Anzivino earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in Music Business / Music Performance in 1989. While attending college, Anzivino studied percussion with New England Conservatory faculty member and Boston Pops percussionist, Fred Buda. He also studied jazz vibes with Neil Grover, Boston Symphony Orchestra percussionist, and Ed Saindon, Berklee College of Music faculty. After college, he began his nearly 13-year career with Yamaha Corporation of America - Band and Orchestral where he worked in national percussion marketing in various specialist and management positions.
He has been leading his own musical groups for over 25 years playing at festivals, concerts, private receptions, business events, restaurants, churches and schools. One especially successful event was World Party 2000 - a Millennium New Year's Eve celebration organized by Daybreak Community Church, and held at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids - that attracted 10,000 spectators. Anzivino was the live musical director of an 11-piece band that he assembled, rehearsed and performed with for the event. In recent years, he has been a leading groups in the Jazz in the Schools program throughout area middle schools (features a live jazz quartet). Other performance experience includes the top wind ensemble, jazz ensemble and percussion ensemble in college, Boston and Grand Rapids area theatre companies – pit percussion and show work, sub percussionist for the Grand Rapids Symphony, several area churches, as well as, countless performances with top-notch musicians for over 20 years in West Michigan.

Anzivino has over 20 years of teaching experience that started in college when he was assigned by faculty to be a private percussion instructor for fellow college percussionists. After college, he began teaching privately in his home studio, at public schools and various music stores in Ada, Forest Hills and Grand Rapids, as well as, Cornerstone University in 2004/2005. During his musical career he has presented dozens of educational sessions and clinics full of energy and learning, written ensemble pieces for percussion, and arranged percussion music for high schools, as well as, professional percussionists.
 
Andrew Bergeron Andrew Bergeron - Guitar, Guitar Ensemble, Group Guitar
Andrew Bergeron is instructor of guitar and music theory at Grand Rapids Community College and Aquinas College. He is the founder of the Suzuki guitar program at Grand Rapids Community College where is has taught since 2002. Mr. Bergeron has been on staff as a church musician, co-director, and composer at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, MI since 2003.  Bergeron also performs with Folias, a nationally touring flute and guitar duo that specializes in original compositions and Latin American music that he co-founded with his wife flutist Carmen Maret in 2004.
Andrew is a founding performer and composer with the Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet which performs Mr. Bergeron’s new works and arrangements throughout West Michigan. Andrew Bergeron has been a Blue Griffin Recording artist since 2004 and released his third CD with Folias in 2008.
Andrew received his Bachelor of Arts in Music and Philosophy from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. with a focus on guitar performance, music composition and Chinese philosophy. Mr. Bergeron received his Master of Music in composition at Michigan State University School of Music where he was recipient of the “Paul Harder Composition Scholarship.”
Mr. Bergeron’s music has been performed by the contemporary music ensemble at Michigan State University Musique 21 including his chamber work Once More (2003) and his prize winning guitar concerto Big Bend (2005) which placed first in the Michigan State University Concert Competition in 2004 and was premiered by Andrew Bergeron on solo guitar with Musique 21. Andrew Bergeron’s electronic music work, “Coming Home” was chosen to be played at the Electronic Music Midwest Festival on October 21, 2005 . His tango arrangements of Piazzolla’s Milonga del angel for solo flute, solo guitar and strings was premiered by Folias with the Alma Symphony in February 2007. Andrew Bergeron’s most recent premier was his setting of the Passion of Christ According to St. Luke which was performed by Folias and a chamber ensemble in Grand Rapids, MI on April 1, 2007 at Bethlehem Church.
Andrew Bergeron’s main guitar teacher was Brian Morris at Grand Valley State University. He also studied with Nicholas Goluses and Scott Tennant while at the Eastman Guitar Festival. Andrew’s main composition teachers were Charles Ruggiero and Bob Schechtman and he studied theory with Sherman Van Solkema. >>More
 
 
Larry Biser Larry Biser - Music History, Chamber Choir, Organ, Music Appreciation

Mr. Biser is a graduate of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton , N.J. While a student there, he sang under notable conductors of the day and toured with the world famous Westminster Choir. His major instrument was in organ, while minoring in voice. Mr. Biser completed his Master of Church Music in the summer of 2002 at Concordia University in River Forest , Ill. His vocal studies began in high school and continued through college. Mr. Biser studied voice with Robert Simpson and Raymond Kyser at Westminster Choir College . Since that time Mr. Biser has studied privately with Stanley Kolk in Grand Rapids and has also served as studio accompanist for Mr. Kolk.

Mr. Biser is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music on the Aquinas faculty. Mr. Biser studied conducting under Paul Boepple, Elaine Brown and George Lynn. His organ studies have been with Eugene Roan and Joan Lippincott at Westminster Choir College and Dr. Steven Wente at Concordia University. He has served churches in Arlington and Norfolk , Va. before coming to East Congregational United Church of Christ in 1969. From 1982-2008, Mr. Biser was the Music Director and Conductor of the Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids. He has recorded three CDs and toured Austria and Hungary with the Chamber Choir. In 1995 Mr. Biser was invited to take the Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids to Salt Lake City where they performed with the world famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Mr. Biser was afforded the unique privilege of conducting the combined choirs for their national Sunday morning broadcast. In June of 1999, Mr. Biser and the Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids went to St. Petersburg , Russia , as part of a cultural exchange program with the St. Petersburg Conservatoire. The choir also performed in Finland and Estonia while on this tour. From 1969 to 2009, Larry Biser was Minister of Music in the East Congregational United Church of Christ. With his wife, Diane, they maintained a program of six singing choirs and three ringing choirs. Mr. Biser is listed in the International Edition of "Who's Who in Music?"
 
Linda Blakemore- Music Methods
 
Brendan Bohnhorst- Tuba
 
Suzy Bratton- Clarinet
 
Robin Connell - Jazz Pianist, Composer/Arranger
Robin Connell currently teaches part time at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids and at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. She regularly conducts clinics, adjudicates and concertizes at schools, festivals and clubs. Originally from Detroit and an alumnus of Grand Valley State University, Robin was a full-time musician in NYC for twelve years before moving to Colorado in 1991. Her commissions include compositions for jazz band, wind ensemble, choir, vocal jazz and film. As a composer/performer she has received several grants from the Colorado Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is also the recipient of a 2001 ArtServe Michigan grant in conjunction with the Michigan Council for Arts and Culture. Robin completed her Doctorate of Arts in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Northern Colorado in 1999.
 
Barbara Corbato- Viola
 
Tom Erickson- Bass
 
Kathy Gibson- Contemporary Vocals
 
Mary Hillyard- Chamber Strings
 
Mike Hyde - Jazz Guitar
 
Vincent Karamanov- Bassoon
 
Tom Lockwood - Jazz Bass, Saxophone, Woodwind Techniques I
 
Roger MacNaughton - Piano, Midi Music Publishing, Introduction to Songwriting

Following his 1973 graduation from Michigan State University, Roger MacNaughton embarked on a full-time music career.  Along with teaching and an active performance schedule, Roger writes and produces music for commercial broadcast and video underscoring through his company Acoustic Arts Custom Music Production LLC.  Roger has also penned and produced CDs for the opening of the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden in Grand Rapids and the Christian Reformed Church “Walk With Me” series.

Other credits include being named Composer of the Year in 2000 by the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts and winning Third Place, Finalist and (3) Honorable Mention in the 2006 Great Lakes Songwriting Competition.  Roger’s original music CDs in the Acoustic Arts catalogue presently total four; an instrumental CD “Summer Dance,”  Jazz Trio CD “Blue Muse,” piano and cello CD “Winter Canvas,” and solo piano CD “Cold-Hearted Orb.”

 
Carmen Maret

Carmen Maret - Flute

Carmen Maret, is a freelance performer, composer, and concert organizer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is an endorsed Pearl Flute artist, Blue Griffin Recording artist and tours internationally with Folias, the flute and guitar duo that she co-founded with her husband Andrew Bergeron in 2002. She also manages Folias music, the blog and publishing company promoting new original works for flute and guitar.

 

Ms. Maret is the co-music director and choir conductor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, MI and is the founder/director of the MAJIC (Musical Arts for Justice in the Community) Concert Series that provides donation based classical, jazz and world music concerts to the community to raise money for social justice organizations throughout West Michigan. In 2009, Carmen Maret also founded the early childhood music center Heartside Music Together at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

 

Carmen received her Bachelor of Music in flute performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and her Master of Music in flute performance from Michigan State University School of Music. She also received a second Master of Music degree in ethnomusicology at Michigan State University with a focus on Argentine tango music and dance. Carmen Maret is co-founder of the Grand Rapids Tango Community where she works as a tango dance teacher and tango musician.

 

Carmen Maret’s primary teachers are Mary Posses and Richard Sherman. She attended the Eastern Music Festival in 1999 and also studied with Peter Lloyd at his summer flute seminar in St. Andrew’s, Scotland in 2000. Carmen has performed in with William Bennett and Julia Bogorad and attended master classes with Carol Wincenc, James Galway, and Emmanuel Pahud. Carmen’s jazz teachers include Bobby Watson and Ron Blake. She also studied tango music with bassist Pablo Aslan.

 
Christopher Martin- Violin
 
Stephen Redmon - Cello, Chamber Strings, High and Low Strings Techniques
Cellist Stephen Redmon received his Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University. He earned a Master of Music degree in cello performance from the University of Massachusetts. Upon moving to Grand Rapids, he has been active as a chamber musician and teacher. He has served as cello instructor at Hope College, Cornerstone College and Grand Valley State University. He also earned his teaching certificate in Music Education from the University of Michigan and taught orchestra in the public schools for several years. He is married to violinist Nursun Redmon and has a son, Daniel, who is almost two.
 
Mark Rehl - Studio Recording I and II
 
Joel Schekman- Clarinet
 
Ellen Sherman- Oboe
 
Luis Sinigos, Jr.- Music Methods
 
Richard Streng - Directed Teaching Supervisor, Instrumental
 
Forrest Wakeman- Piano and Music Theory
 
Greg Wells- Music Methods
 
Stephanie Wiltse - Valenti Handbell Choir
Stephanie Wiltse has been director of the Valenti Handbell Ensemble of Aquinas College since 1998. She was named director of the Calvin College Handbell Ensemble in the fall of 2001. She has held positions directing church handbell ensembles since 1992, including South Congregational Church, UCC, and Park Congregational Church, UCC. She was recently appointed Director of Handbells for LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church, where she oversees a program of three choirs ranging in ages from fifth grade to adult. Stephanie is a founding member of the professional community handbell ensemble Embellish and has served as Music Director of the group since the fall of 1999.
For the past several years, she has chaired the Grand Rapids District of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR), organizing several mass rings and directors' sessions, and helping to serve as a resource to other handbell directors in the area. She is also a handbell soloist and a choral singer and vocal soloist, performing frequently in the greater Grand Rapids area.