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Faculty

Jessica Bryant, CIFA Administrator

Professor Jim Armstrong (Percussion, Drums, Low Brass)— M.M. University of Mississippi.  Assistant Professor of Music at WCU. Has extensive experience in both vocal and instrumental music education. His experience leading a community based school of the arts makes him an ideal teaching faculty member for CIFA.

Elaine Byrd (piano)— Assistant Professor of Music, at WCU has many years of teaching and performing experience.  M.M. (music education) Mississippi State University; B.M. (music education) Mississippi University for Women.  Her students do well at a variety of festivals and competitions. Professor Byrd’s enthusiasm for music and having fun at the piano makes her a much sought after teacher.

Wes Cameron (woodwinds, brass)— M.M. (conducting) University of Southern Mississippi. Adjunct instructor at WCU in World Music, Music Technology, Music Literature, and Methods Classes including woodwind, brass, percussion, and strings. Director of the WCU Instrumental Ensemble. Organist, Heritage United Methodist Church, Hattiesburg.

Josephine D'Arpa (voice)—B.M. (church music and music education) WCU; M.M. (church music, vocal performance emphasis) Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Music director, Court Street United Methodist Church, Hattiesburg. Former professor of music at WCU.

Mary Ellis (strings)— B.M. (music education) University of Southern Mississippi.  As a Lumberton high school music teacher, she built a strings program with encouragement from the community. Her enthusiastic teaching style makes her a favorite among students.

Dr. Rudy Gatlin (voice)—Adjunct Instructor of Voice and Music Education at WCU. Ph.D. (music education) University of Southern Mississippi; M.M (vocal performance and pedagogy) University of Southern Mississippi; B.M. (music education) WCU; A.A. (Jones County Junior College). Adjunct faculty at Pearl River Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi. Adult choir and Praise and Worship Leader, Mt. Vernon Congregational Methodist Church.

LeMorris Hunt (piano) —MM (piano performance) Southeastern Louisiana University. Adjunct Instructor of piano at WCU in piano, piano pedagogy, and accompanying; Mr. Hunt is not only a gifted performer, he has a passion for teaching musicians of all levels.

Dr. Howard Keever (composition, theory, piano)—Professor of Music Theory and Composition, and Program Advisor of the Winters School of Music at WCU. B.M. (music theory) Eastman School of Music; M.M. (composition) and Ph.D. (music theory) Florida State University.

Sarah Mabary (voice)—B.A. (German) and B.M. (voice) University of Southern Mississippi; M.M. (voice) Indiana University; Doctoral studies (voice) University of Southern Mississippi. Former music instructor, National Music Teachers Association, and gifted education teacher at Purvis High School.

Dr. Don Odom (voice)—Dean of the Winters School of Music. B.M. (church music) and M.M (music history) from WCU; D.M.A. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Former chair of the music and worship division at Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, FL.

Dr. Connie Roberts (voice)—Professor of Music at WCU. B.M. and M.M. from Louisiana State University; D.M.A. University of Southern Mississippi. Degrees in vocal performance with special studies in choral conducting and opera. Former faculty, Louisiana State University, Belhaven College, Jackson Preparatory Academy, A.P.A.C. Performing Arts High School in Jackson.

Kathy Vail (organ)—Associate Professor of Music at WCU. B.M. and M.M. (organ performance) from Mississippi College. Director of the Carey Carillon (handbell ensemble) and Carpenter's Wood (contemporary Christian vocal ensemble) at WCU. Organist, First United Methodist Church, Laurel.