Music Faculty


Cade Amend first began rapping in middle school approximately 14 years ago. In high school he became recognized as a talented rap artist through his performances at various talent shows. He produced three full-length hip-hop albums and has been working on his fourth album titled “Love Now.” In college, Cade produced two rap music videos that are available for viewing on YouTube. In 2004, Cade was awarded $1000 for a song he wrote titled: “If I were President…” Cade is dedicated to creating music that will have an uplifting and encouraging effect on listeners. He is excited to share and teach about this musical genre in order to help others find their voice and thus feel empowered through this highly personalized form of musical expression.



Darol Anger is exceptional among modern fiddlers for his versatility and depth and has helped drive the evolution of the contemporary string band through his involvement with numerous path-breaking ensembles such as his Republic Of Strings, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the David Grisman Quintet, Montreux, the Duo and other ensembles.

Today, Darol can be heard on NPR’s “Car Talk” theme every week, along with Earl Scruggs, David Grisman and Tony Rice. He has recorded and produced scores of important recordings since 1977, is a MacDowell and UCross Fellow, and has received numerous composers’ residencies and grants. He is a featured soloist on dozens of recordings and motion picture soundtracks.



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.


Folk Music:

Richard Crowson have been performing his brand of original and traditional “bluegrassical” music around the Wichita area for over 25 years. He sings, 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.

Along with his wife, Karen, the Crowsons have recorded 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.


Strings and Improv:

Four-time Grammy winner Eugene Friesen is active internationally as a cellist, composer and teacher. He has been featured in concerts all over the world with the Paul Winter Consort, and in his popular CelloMan performances for children and families. Friesen’s composition for Consort, choir, orchestra and narrators, “Grasslands” was performed at Symphony in the Flint Hills in 2006. A pioneer in the teaching of improvisation to classically trained musicians, Eugene has led workshops throughout North America and around the world. His book, Improvisation for Classically Trained Musicians (Berklee Press) was published in June 2012. He is an artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. More information on Eugene can be found online at:



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 or



John Harrison is Concertmaster of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra (WSO) and Chicago Chamber Orchestra. He is also a full-time Engineering Educator at Wichita State University’s (WSU) College of Engineering. Previous positions include Electrical and Computer Engineer at PWI Inc, Director of WSU’s Center for Research in Arts, Technology, Education, and Learning (CRATEL) and Tenured Associate Professor of Violin at Wichita State University’s School of Music.

John is an active performing violinist as well as a practicing Electrical and Computer Engineer. In addition, he creates and collaborates on the design and implementation of interactive new media art installations. A founder of Wichita’s new media artist collective Hack.Art.Lab, John has created and installed new media art in such places as Wichita, Kansas City, Richmond VA, Weimar Germany and Sao Paulo Brazil. John also helped found MakeICT, Wichita’s first Makerspace.

John continues his activities as a violinist. He has recorded for Koch International Classics and New World Records and has been broadcast internationally on Public Radio International. As First Violinist of the Montclaire String Quartet, his touring and performance schedule included internationally televised and recorded concerts. He has also performed as First Violin of the Amernet String Quartet, first-prize winner of the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

As a violin soloist, John has performed with orchestras in major cities internationally. His former leadership positions include Concertmaster of The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and The Vermont Symphony Orchestra. He was also a regular substitute member of The Boston Symphony Orchestra and The Boston Pops Orchestra.

John’s pursued his undergraduate degrees at Eastman School of Music and Cleveland Institute of Music (BM: Violin Performance), as well as Case Western Reserve University and University of Rochester (BS: Computer Science). He holds a Master’s Degree in Media Technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); he pursued his graduate research at the MIT Media Lab.



Susan Mayo is an instructor of cello at Emporia State University. She is also a faculty member at Friends University, and has taught at Bethel College, Wichita State University, Northern Arizona University and in the Wichita Public Schools. She is a member of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Quartetto da Camera, ZHM, Music Theatre of Wichita Orchestra, is principal cellist with the Newton Mid-Kansas Orchestra and performs extensively in the region. She has participated in a variety of summer festivals including, Spoleto, Ameropa, Flagstaff Summer Music Festival, and the Oregon Coast Music Festival.

Mayo studied at the University of the Pacific, the Peabody Conservatory, Wichita State University and is currently pursuing her DMA at the University of Kansas. An active clinician in string and chamber music, she has coached in many regional events as well as the Ameropa Festival in Prague.



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).



Michael Murrell is a math instructor at Emporia State University. He recieved his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Friends University in Wichita, KS in 2010, then continued his education at Emporia State University, earning a Master of Science in Mathematics in 2012 with the help of a Graduate Teaching Assistantship.

While earning his Master’s Degree, Michael studied under Dr. Dawn McConkie on clarinet. Michael was also involved in numerous ensembles, including the clarinet choir, clarinet quartet, saxophone ensemble, saxophone quartet, flute choir, jazz band, marching band, wind ensemble, and pit orchestra. Currently he participates in the clarinet choir, flute choir, and saxophone quartet, and plans on playing in the wind ensemble later this fall.



Emy Phelps does not remember a time when she has not sung. As a member of Brian Ransom’s Ceramic Ensemble from 1980–1987, she toured internationally while conducting research on indigenous music in Peru. Originally from Ashland, Oregon, Emy has performed all around the Pacific Northwest since the late 80′s. Presently, Emy continues her work as a recording artist, core songwriter of “The Furies,” and performs in a duo with fiddler Darol Anger. Her newest recording, “Look Up, Look Down,” features her original songs with a stellar band including Darol Anger and members of the “The Furies.” Past venues include the Northwest String Summit, Wintergrass, Delfest, the Peter Britt Festival, New Music America Festival Philadelphia, North By Northwest, Moab Folk Festival, Oregon Country Fair, John Hartford Memorial Festival, and Northwest Folk Life Festival in Seattle. She has been compared to Lyle Lovett, Gillian Welch, and Emmylou Harris for her American Roots eclectic style of song writing and vocal performance.



Penelope Ann Speedie is a singer of considerable dramatic skill and has appeared in such diverse roles as: Mimi (La Boheme), Susanna (La Nozze di Figaro), Elise (Yeoman of the Guard), Phoebe (Romantic Comedy), Nora (Riders to the Sea), Johanna (Sweeney Todd), and Kate (Kiss Me Kate). A native of Canada, she holds music degrees from the University of Toronto and the Ohio State University. Her talents encompass singing, acting, directing and costuming in opera, oratorio, musical theater and drama. Groups she has worked and performed with include Theater London, the Stratford Festival, the Shaw Festival, the Gaslight Dinner Theater, the Columbus Opera, Courtney Opera, CBC Radio and Television, British Opera Federation, Columbus Light Opera and Emporia Summer Theater. She has served as president for the National Opera association, representing the organization at the International Voice Congress and National NATS conventions. At present she teaches voice and directs opera and musical theater at Emporia State University. She is currently the music director for the upcoming homecoming musical, Guys and Dolls.



Dr. James Starr is a retired faculty member, Professor Emeritus, from Emporia State University. For 34 years he was a member of the faculty, specializing in violin and viola, and taught applied music, various music history classes, worked with the orchestra as upper strings coach and conductor, performed as violin and viola soloist and in chamber ensembles – including many years as a member of the Great Plains Trio (faculty trio in residence), and performed many years as an orchestral musician with Emporia States University, The Topeka Symphony, the Utah Symphony and other orchestras. He is past president of the Kansas Chapter of the American String Teachers Association. He retired from Emporia State University in 2009. He currently continues to perform as Concertmaster of the Emporia Symphony and Principal Violist in the Topeka Symphony and teaches string private students in the Emporia Community.


Music Director/Strings:

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 presently continues to serve as Music Director for the “Joyful Noise: A Music and Prairie Family Camp.” Dr. Starr is also active as a guest conductor and clinician having conducted the Topeka Symphony Orchestra in December 2012 and given 41 clinics to various high school orchestras during his first three years at ESU. 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/viola and directs the Symphony orchestra 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.


Children/Orff & Singing Games:

Elizabeth Gaile Stephens is Assistant Professor of Music Education at Emporia State University. Prior to teaching at Emporia, she taught music in Georgia at a public primary school (grades K-2) where she was nominated as Teacher of the Year in 2001. She then taught at an elementary school (grades 1-5) where she was selected as Teacher of the Year in 2006. Following her interest in elementary music, Stephens has training and experience in the Orff-Schulwerk (Levels I & II) as well as the Dalcroze method and the Kodaly method.

An active scholar in music education, she has presented research and clinical sessions at the local, state, and national levels as well as publishing in journals related to music education. Most recently she presented her research on Singing Perceptions in the General Population at the 2012 National NAfME (National Association of Music Educators) Conference in St. Louis. She also presented at the 2004 National NAfME Conference in Salt Lake City on connections between Music Education and Reading Literacy.

Stephens received her PhD in Music Education at the University of Miami, where she was a teaching assistant for Dr. Joyce Jordan and Dr. Carlos Abril, and her masters at the University of Tennesse, Knoxville where she was a graduate assistant for Dr. Marvelene Moore. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree at Shorter University in Rome, Georgia. She is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Society and the Alpha Chi National Honor Society. Stephens is also a member of the National Association of Music Education and the College of Music Society.



Emilia Vaca is in her second year teaching K-5 general music and 4th and 5th grade strings at William Allen White Elementary School in Emporia. An Emporia native, Emilia is also an Emporia State University alumni, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in music education and was chosen as the 2012 Secondary Education Student of the Year. At ESU, Emilia was involved in various vocal and orchestral ensembles, played a season on the tennis team, and was NAfME chapter president for two years. Outside of school, Emilia is currently a cellist for the Emporia Symphony Orchestra, a member of ESU’s Camerata Women’s Choir, and is a pianist and cantor for Sacred Heart Church.


Folk Music:

Raised on a steady diet of Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley and Tony Rice, this Kentucky native fell asleep many childhood nights with an ear next to the family hi-fi. As a result, Kenny White cinched the Kentucky State Banjo Championship at age 14. At the University of Louisville Music School, Ken studied with the late, great jazz guitar icon Jimmy Raney while continuing to record, perform and tour with bluegrass luminaries such as Vassar Clements and New Tradition. He has written arrangements for and performed with the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra and the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble. After stumbling into the Kansas prairie 16 years ago, he has been a featured performer with many regional groups such as Big Twang, Nouveau Quintet and the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. Over the years, his multi-instrumental prowess can be heard on countless recordings. Most recently, his original compositions, co-written with his wife, Robin Macy, are inspired by the bountiful patch of earth they call home: Bartlett Arboretum in beautiful Belle Plaine, Kansas.



Glenn Woolard is currently a senior at Emporia State University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance. He has performed with many ensembles at ESU including Emporia Marching Hornets, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band, Flute Choir and Emporia Symphony Orchestra. Last year he was one of two students selected to be a soloist with the Emporia Symphony Orchestra, with whom he will be performing in November. Also last year he placed first in ESU’s Honors Scholarship Recital Competition. He has been the Drum Line/Percussion Instructor at Emporia High School for the past four years. He also teaches private lessons and performs with various local bands. Glenn is currently studying percussion with Dr. Tracy Freeze.



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.


Terrisa Ziek (M.M. in Music Performance) has been a member of the music faculty at Emporia State University since 1997, where she teaches the horn studio. Her classroom duties include Music for the Elementary Teacher, Introduction to Music Education and Brass Methods. In addition, she is the coordinator of Basic Music Instruction and assists in the supervision of student teachers.

Ms. Ziek maintains an active performance schedule, both as a soloist and ensemble performer. She is a member of the Flint Hills Brass Quintet, Mid-America Woodwind Quintet and has performed as a recitalist in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. She has studied horn with Jack Scandrett (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), David Bushouse (University of Kansas), and Louis Stout (University of Michigan, Chicago Symphony).

Upon completion of a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Terrisa served as an Elementary Music Specialist with the Derry Area School District (PA) for seven years. In addition, Terrisa performed with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra (PA) as a cellist from 1982 to 1995. After moving to Kansas, she completed her Master of Music from Emporia State University, with applied horn study at the University of Kansas.

A member of the International Horn Society, she serves as the organization’s Kansas Representative. Terrisa is a Conn-Selmer Artist, and performs on a C.G. Conn Vintage 8D horn. Learn more.

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