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Schwob School of Music

Schwob School of Music

Alumni activities

Jennifer Wagner is a Kansas City based timpanist, percussionist, educator, and musicologist. Currently, she is working on a DMA in percussion performance and a Master in Musicology at the Conservatory at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Along with pursuing two degrees she is the percussion graduate teaching assistant. Some of Jennifer's teachers include Dr. Paul Vaillancourt, Dr. Jim Snell, Jim Atwood, Tom Freer, Tim Adams, Mark Yancich, Mike Crusoe, and Tom Collier. Jennifer has played with many different groups including the Kansas City Ballet, Fountain City Brass Band, Seattle Minimalist Ensemble, Seattle Peace Choir, Kansas City Art Sounds, and she is the principal timpanist in the Northland Symphony. She holds a bachelor's in percussion performance from Columbus State University and a Master's in percussion performance from UMKC.

Justin Baker received his Music degree in performance from Columbus State University. He completed his Master of Music Performance at Texas Tech University where he was awarded a Teaching Assistant position with the Drumline of the Goin Band, directing the second percussion ensemble, teaching percussion techniques to undergraduate music education majors, as well as teaching lessons to undergraduates within the studio. He has also recently finished his teaching certification at Texas Tech.

Chris Butler is currently pursuing his Master's in Music Performance (Percussion) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His primary professors include both Prof. William Moersch and Prof. Ricardo Flores. In addition, he has also studied Mande drumming with Bolokada Conde and Balinese Gamelan with I Ketut Gede Asnawa.

As a professional musician, he has performed with the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra (CUSO) and Sinfonia da Camera. He also founded the TV Buddha Ensemble and the Ellipsis Percussion Collective which are both dedicated to performing new works from upcoming composers in the Champaign-Urbana community and beyond.

Diana Sharp (BMUS '10) is completing her Masters in performance with Tom Freer of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra at Cleveland State University. She has performed extensively in the area with local orchestras including the Toledo Symphony.

Chris Dye (MME 06) is currently pursuing a doctorate of education in music education at the University of Illinois. He serves as a graduate teaching assistant with the Illinois Bands, conducting the Campus Band and assisting with the Marching Illini and Basketball Bands. He also teaches courses in conducting, field experience, and pedagogy in the music education department. Previously, Chris served as a high school and middle school band director in Frenship ISD in Lubbock, TX. He and his wife Brittany (BME 06) live in Urbana, Illinois and are expecting their second child in May.

Jonathan Spangler is currently serving in the 18th and 62nd US Army band, where he is stationed in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He completed his Masters Degree in Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi under the direction of Dr. John Wooton. While in his studies at Southern Mississippi he performed with artists such as Sandi Patti, Renee Fleming, and Jimmy Buffett. He has also been a member of the Mississippi and Meridian Symphony orchestras.

Alisha Bowden in currently in her fifth year teaching band at Richmond Hill Middle School. She earned a Bachelor's of Music Education from Columbus State University and also received a Master's of Music Education with emphasis in Instrumental Conducting from Columbus State University, where she studied with Dr. Robert W. Rumbelow. Under her direction, the RHMS band has received consistent superior ratings at GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluations and Solo and Ensemble Events. In 2009, 2010, and 2011 the band was a State Level Winner of the National Wind Band Honors. They have performed numerous times at the National Adjudicators Invitational and the Southern Star Music Festivals, receiving superior ratings. The band program was awarded the Exemplary Performance Award from the Georgia Music Educators Association for the 2010-2011 school year. In 2011 the band was featured at the Georgia Music Educators Associations In-service Conference. Alisha Bowden's article "An Analytical and Educational Analysis of Keneth Hesketh's 'Vranjanka'" was published in the Winter 2008 edition of Great Britain's "Wind" journal. She is currently researching the social and academic benefits of performance in instrumental ensembles for students with autism at the middle school level. Alisha Bowden currently resides in Savannah Georgia with her husband and two sons.