Christian Higher Education Since 1892

Music Education Major

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Meet the Faculty

Jeff Wilson

Dr. Jeff Wilson

Music Department Chair, Professor of Music
jeff.wilson@greenville.edu

What's your favorite thing about working at Greenville College?

I love the various music-making, teaching and mentoring opportunities that I have with students from nearly every discipline at GC. I work with three choirs on a regular basis, and enjoy learning, teaching and performing in a variety of choral and instrumental musical styles both on and off campus. Our College Choir and Chamber Singers tour each year, both inside the US and overseas. I also teach voice, conducting, choral techniques and worship arts classes. These interactions with students (oftentimes from their freshmen through their senior years) allow me to assist them develop as young men and women of faith during a critical time in their lives. Watching them graduate from GC and go on to graduate schools, careers and oftentimes unique ministries around the world never ceases to amaze me. I regard working at Greenville College as a high calling and a unique privilege.

What attracted you to the Music Department, and how do you use it outside of the classroom?

My music instructors asked me to accompany choirs at both church and school, and at age 13 I became the church organist and adult choir accompanist. I also played sports throughout my high school years, but when I attended college I decided to try music as a major. After experimenting with several areas of study (i.e. organ, voice, piano, composition and accompanying) I eventually discovered that I particularly enjoyed conducting choirs since it allowed me to pursue my diverse musical interests while working with groups of people.
In addition to having served as a musician and worship leader in a local church during most of my lifetime, I enjoy teaching voice, organ and piano lessons to community members of various ages. I have been asked to be a guest conductor, teacher, vocalist and accompanist for music festivals and conferences in the US. I've also been blessed to travel in Europe on a number of music and missions trips.

 

 

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Louise Weiss

Louise Weiss

Associate Professor of Music
louise.weiss@greenville.edu

What's your favorite thing about working at Greenville College?

I love working with theory students, but my passion is watching my music education students progress through 4 years of training and then go out to influence music students in the public schools.

What attracted you to the Music Department, and how do you use it outside of the classroom?

After graduating from SIUE in 1979 with a bachelor of music education degree, I taught band and choir for 2 years in Greenfield Illinois. I moved to the Greenville area in 1981 to teach music in the Mulberry Grove school district and began adjunct teaching at Greenville College in 1984.
I have taught private lessons, adjudicated music contests, served in church music, and served as a clinician in school districts in addition to my formal classroom teaching.

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Will Fairbanks

Will Fairbanks

Director of Band Programs
will.fairbanks@greenville.edu

What's your favorite thing about working at Greenville College?

My favorite aspect of this job is taking a group of individuals and bringing them together to accomplish a goal and create a performance, whether on the field in a marching band show or in a parade or in the stands or on the stage. I help students learn to breathe life into a two dimensional page of lines and dots and recreating what the composers intended with their music. Music is created in the soul then written on lifeless paper. When students can breathe into that lifeless paper giving it its soul back, if you will, then they will experience the connection with that composer. Watching and being a part of a group that learns how to make those connections, expresses themselves through music and takes ownership in that process, that is what makes this an exciting job.

What attracted you to the Music Department, and how do you use it outside of the classroom?

I have enjoyed music for as long as I can remember, from singing to playing recorder and snare drum to ukulele and trumpet. I participated in various groups in junior and senior high school as well as in college. I started a Christian acting and performing group at the Wesley Foundation on campus and directed a college handbell group while in college. I have always enjoyed performing but when I took my first conducting class, well, that was it! I knew what I wanted to do - conduct bands: marching bands, symphonic bands, swing and jazz bands.


I am active as a performer with bands, orchestras and on stage as a singer, dancer, actor, instrumentalist and comedian. I have organized church wind bands and orchestras and write arrangements utilizing whatever instrumentation is available in that church. I perform frequently in churches. I serve as a clinician for marching, concert and jazz bands and have judged those groups as well as solo and ensemble, all state, sight-reading and various other competitions.

 

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Debra Marsch

Associate Professor of Vocal Music
debra.marsch@greenville.edu

 

What's your favorite thing about working at Greenville College?

Cue ‘70s Coca-Cola jingle: "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony . . . ." I LOVE to sing and act, and I get an even bigger kick teaching others to develop their own individual gift of expression. Witnessing dramatic progress in each lesson is always a thrill, and I share that enthusiasm with my students. I think everyone should study voice because it helps an individual reconcile all facets of their being (spiritual, physical and emotional). Regardless of the type of repertoire, what we are studying is an act of worship to God.

 

What attracted you to the Music Department, and how do you use it outside of the classroom?

When I was 18 years old, I was hooked by the greasepaint and applause during the start of my career while performing in the opera chorus of Springfield Regional Opera in MO. I performed there every summer during my undergraduate studies. During graduate studies, I held Soloist/Section Leader positions in Presbyterian and Episcopalian denominations while ministering in various Assembly of God churches.

Currently, I am finishing my D.M.A. (Doctorate of Musical Arts) in Literature and Voice Performance with a minor in Theatre (directing) from U.I.U.C. (University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign). I perform for music department concerts, faculty recitals, church and doctoral recitals at UIUC. I adjudicate NATS auditions (National Association of Teachers of Singing) for the Greater St. Louis area bi-annually both musical theater and art song/aria genres.

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Chris Woods

Dr. Chris Woods

Associate Professor of Music
chris.woods@greenville.edu

What's your favorite thing about working at Greenville College?

There is nothing more satisfying than the "Ah-ha!" moment of teaching. Whether it's the result of a lecture or tutoring or a casual conversation, when a connection and understanding blossoms, it makes my day!

What attracted you to the Music Department, and how do you use it outside of the classroom?

I was raised in a musical family - everybody played some kind of instrument. A performance degree in college seemed to be my "stepping stone" to a playing career in an orchestra. While in college I discovered other aspects of music beyond playing the bass trombone. Music theory interested me more and more as did the application of theory to arranging and composing.


I continue to perform, write and conduct throughout the year. Since 1992 I've traveled to Germany during the summer to co-lead and play in the brass ensemble "eurobrass - music that goes beyond". Also during the summer I direct the Greenville Municipal Band. During the school year, I'm the bass trombonist with the St. Louis Wind Symphony. Occasionally I'm commissioned to compose music for a "Posaunenchor" - a German brass choir.

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Kathryn Taylor

Dr. Kathryn Taylor

Assistant Professor of Teacher Education & Certification Officer
kathy.taylor@greenville.edu
Lisa Amundson

Lisa Amundson

Instructor of Special Education
lisa.amundson@greenville.edu

What's your favorite thing about working at Greenville College?

My favorite thing about Greenville is the students. I love how engaged and excited they are about learning. How they seek out new experiences and ideas to wrestle with as they develop into people with a heart for God.

What attracted you to Education?

I love the learning process, so I only ever wanted to become a teacher. Now that I get to teach teachers... I feel I am the luckiest girl in the world.

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Karlene Johnson

Dr. Karlene Johnson

Associate Professor of Math/Science Education, Co-Director of the Traditional Teacher Education Program
karlene.johnson@greenville.edu

What's your favorite thing about working at Greenville College?

As an alum, GC has always held a special place in my heart. When I was initially hired on the faculty one of the first things I experienced was the faculty coming together in prayer over the existing/new students and their families. When I was a student here, I hadn't really contemplated that I was entering a community that was already in prayer and expectation over me. Community isn't merely a place to us; it is a way of being with one another.

What attracted you to Education, and how do you use it outside of the classroom?

I was originally interested in entering Medicine. After a practicum experience with a doctor, I felt strongly that God was leading me in another direction. After some time of seeking, I realized that the great pleasure I felt from the experiences I had as a Teaching Assistant (during grad school) and a Lab Assistant (at GC) was an indicator that Education was the path I should take. I have never regretted this decision! I love that I get the opportunity to engage with young people for at least a year, building relationships that equip and empower them for future action. The field of Education has also been very good to me. I have had opportunities to teach in day and boarding schools, in the U.S. and overseas.

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Teresa Blue Holden

Dr. Teresa Blue Holden

Assistant Professor of History/Political Science and French
teresa.holden@greenville.edu

Career Opportunities

 

  • Elementary Music Teacher
  • High School Music Teacher
  • Private Lessons Instructor
  • Choir Director
  • Band Director