Dr. Jeremy Starr is Director of Orchestras and head of string studies at Emporia State University. He was also named the director of the Topeka Symphony Youth Orchestra in fall 2011. Starting in fall 2010, he began and continues to serve as Music Director for the “Joyful Noise: A Music and Prairie Family Camp.” He received the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Arts degrees in orchestral conducting from The University of Iowa studying with mentor Dr. William LaRue Jones. From fall 2006 to spring 2009, he served as Music Director of the St. Ambrose University Community Symphony Orchestra. He received additional conducting instruction in January 2009 from Gustav Meier in Chihuahua, Mexico, and in the summer of 2008 from Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors. He served as Music Director for the Emporia Summer Strings from 2003–2004. During the summer he teaches violin and directs the orchestras at the Music, Arts, Theatre (MAT) Camp in Evanston, Wyoming.
As a violinist he currently performs alongside Dr. Martín Cuéllar (piano) and Susan Mayo (cello) in the Great Plains Trio. He has also twice won university-sponsored concerto competitions and led numerous university and festival orchestras as concertmaster. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Brigham Young University, where he studied violin with Vesna and Igor Gruppman. While in Utah he played in the Orchestra at Temple Square, the performing and recording volunteer orchestra for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, consequently, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He spent 2003–2004 playing in the Wichita Symphony and performed the position of Principal Second Violin in the Dubuque Symphony from 2005–2006.
Sara Coltrane is an Emporia State University graduate with a degree in Music Education and two years teaching experience in a K-6 elementary music classroom. She is the mother of two preschoolers, Clara and Noah. Her Kindermusik certification was completed in the fall of 2008. Learn more.
Karen and Richard Crowson have been performing their brand of original and traditional “bluegrassical” music around the Wichita area for over 25 years. “We love and respect the traditional songs that our parents and grandparents enjoyed and it’s fun putting our own spin on them,” says Karen. “Plus we mix in some contemporary tunes and we play a number of songs that we’ve written ourselves.” Karen’s “day job” is teaching gifted students in Wichita schools.
Karen sings and plays guitar and mandolin. She has been a regular on the Kansas traditional and bluegrass music circuits since 1982. Karen was a member of the progressive/experimental bluegrass trio “The Sons of Rayon” from 1982 until 1986, touring the midwest with that group. She then formed the progressive-bluegrass band “Bazaar Crossing,” along with Richard, and they toured as roster artists with the Kansas Arts Commission. She credits the songs of the Southern Appalachians as a major influence on her style of guitar and mandolin music.
Richard sings also and plays banjo, dobro and guitar. He was born and raised in Tennessee and began his life-long love of bluegrass music there, where he performed with several traditional bands before moving to Kansas in 1985 to work as a political cartoonist at The Wichita Eagle. He has continued to perform here in the Sunflower State as banjoist and dobroist for several bands. Currently he is a member of the jamgrass group “Pop and the Boys” as well as “The Home Rangers,” a cowboy music band.
The Crowsons have recorded on several cds over the years, including one Grammy-nominated project in 1992 called “Music of the Wild West,” where they worked with Marty Stuart and Crystal Gail. They also were featured on the cd “Home on the Range: Songs of the Kansas Pioneers” in the early 90s along with several other Kansas folk musicians. Their work has appeared on the History Channel, the Fox Network and the Nashville Network.
“‘Round Christmastime,” a cd of traditional and some original Christmas music was released in 2010 by the Crowsons. Karen and Richard perform with bassist Phil Burress as “The Crowsons” in the Wichita area. For 13 years they have played once a month at Watermark Books in Wichita.
Richard’s original songs vary from gospel to historical themes to humor and children’s music. His banjo playing is heavily influenced by Earl Scruggs and the traditional styles of bluegrass music. He also plays in the old-timey style known as “clawhammer.” Richard taught banjo while in Tennessee for 6 years. He teaches a class called “Acoustic Jamming 101″ in Wichita at CityArts. He performs as one of the roster artists in the Arts Partners organization, which provides artists for Wichita schools. “I’m half of the program called ‘Pete and Woody: The Big Rock Candy Mountaineers,’ playing the folk songs of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. Lately I have started a new program for students about the history of the banjo.”
Dr. Tracy Freeze, Marimbist and Percussionist, specializes in contemporary and avant-garde marimba and multi-percussion repertoire, including works of composers Meyer Kupferman, Andrew Thomas, Steven Mackey, Eric Ewazen, Barney Childs, Reginald Brindle-Smith, Stewart Saunders Smith and Julie Spencer. Freeze is currently Principal Timpanist with the Wichita Grand Opera Orchestra. Recent orchestral experience includes work with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Opera, Oregon Festival of American Music, Oregon Bach Festival, Oregon Mozart Players, Nevada Festival Ballet, Nevada Opera, Reno Chamber Orchestra, and the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appeared as a guest soloist with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Reno Pops Orchestra, the Reno Percussion Ensemble, the Oregon Percussion Ensemble and various university orchestras.
Recently, Freeze was a featured multiple percussion soloist for the Oregon Bach Festival on their children’s concert series playing Gail Kubik’s Gerald McBoing-Boing and collaborated with contemporary piano duo Quattro Mani for the Music Today Festival in a new work by composer David Crumb. Last Spring Freeze premiered a prominent new Concerto for Wind Ensemble and Percussion Soloist titled, The Big Bang in Eugene Oregon. Freeze can be heard on Art of the States playing percussion on George Crumb’s An Idyll for the Misbegotten and as the marimba soloist with the Oregon Percussion Ensemble on the Soundspells Productions recording of Meyer Kupferman’s Percussion Symphony on the Orchestral Music of Meyer Kupferman Vol. 16, CD135.
Freeze is one of the founding members of the contemporary groups SchlagBlasse and the New Day Ensemble and is the artistic director of the 100th Monkey Ensemble in Eugene, Oregon. Dr. Freeze is an active clinician, giving master-classes, clinics and recitals in Mexico and the United States. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from the University of Nevada at Reno, two Master Degrees from the University of Oregon in the areas of Percussion Performance and Instrumental Conducting, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Oregon under the tutelage of Charles Dowd and Robert Ponto. Dr. Freeze is currently the Professor of Percussion Studies at Emporia State University. Learn more.
Wayne Gottstine is an American rock, country, and bluegrass musician, singer and songwriter. His fusion of rock, punk, jazz and bluegrass styles make his sound unique, whether on the guitar (his main instrument) or the mandolin. Wayne is one of the founding members of the seminal band Scroat Belly. Wayne currently plays with Split Lip Rayfield, a hard-edged, punk influenced bluegrass trio. He tours North America with Split Lip Rayfield, playing festivals like Stagecoach, Telluride, and Wakarusa. He collaborates with many other musicians, namely banjo player deluxe Danny Barnes (formerly of the Bad Livers). Wayne and Danny are currently touring the U.S. as the Split Livers, an experimental collaboration.
Wayne also writes music for television and has had his songs featured in films and documentaries. He has played on more than ten records and his songs receive airplay worldwide. For more information, please go to http://www.splitliprayfield.com/ or http://www.facebook.com/TheSplitLivers
Dr. Dawn McConkie teaches applied clarinet and saxophone, directs the Emporia State University Chamber Winds, Student Woodwind Quintet, clarinet choir, and saxophone ensembles, and is a member of the Mid-America Woodwind Quintet, Kanza Tronada, and MiamiClarinet. She holds Master’s and Doctoral Degrees from the University of Miami, FL, where she studied with clarinetist Dr. Margaret Donaghue Flavin. Other past teachers include John Nichol (saxophone, Central Michigan University) and Linda Bartley (clarinet, Central Michigan University).
She has performed with various professional groups, including the Florida Philharmonic, Miami City Ballet, Florida Grand Opera and the Boca Pops Orchestra. She has held previous teaching positions at the University of Miami as lecturer of clarinet and principal clarinet with the Miami-based Jubilate Orchestra.
Dr. McConkie is a member and faculty advisor for the Emporia State University collegiate chapter of the National Association for Music Education and a patroness of the women’s music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota. She is also a member of International Clarinet Association, the Pi Kappa Lambda national music society, and College Music Society. Her chamber ensemble, MiamiClarinet, was a selected performancer at the 35th Annual Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, premiering pieces written for the ensemble by Scott Stinson and Derek Sherron. She has also been featured with MiamiClarinet during its Festival Miami series.
Other compositions that have been written for Dr. McConkie include Barbara York’s Clarinet Sonata, and Andrew Houchins’ Garden Scenes and Duel for Clarinet and Percussion. Dr. McConkie’s future concert engagements include MiamiClarinet at the International Clarinet Symposium (July 2011, California State University) and with Kanza Tronada at the Rocky Mountain Regional College Music Society (Denver, Colorado).
Dr. Penelope Speedie
Dr. Gary D. Ziek has served as the Director of Bands and Professor of Trumpet at Emporia State University since 1995. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Wind Conducting from Michigan State University in May of 1994, graduating as a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. While attending Michigan State, he served as Principal Trumpet in the Wind Symphony. He received his Master of Arts in Trumpet Performance in 1986 and his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1981.
Dr. Ziek served from 1982 to 1985 in the United States Army and was a member of the Continental Army Band at Fort Monroe, Virginia. He taught in the Greater Latrobe School District in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, from 1987 to 1992. He was the Associate Director of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Marching Band in 1994. Dr. Ziek enjoys performing and conducting a wide variety of music, from classical to jazz, and is active as both an arranger and composer. His compositions and arrangements have been performed throughout the United States, and in Europe and Asia. His music is published by C. Alan Publications. Dr. Ziek has performed and conducted in twenty five states, as well as in France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Canada. Learn more.