Severinsen Concert Includes All-Star Alumni, Faculty, and Student Musicians

Posted on 9/10/2014 11:50:46 AM

Musicians consisting of some of IUP’s finest music alumni, faculty, and students will be on stage with Doc Severinsen for his concert on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. Starting at 8:00 p.m., it will be performed in Fisher Auditorium in the IUP Performing Arts Center.

The two ensembles, gathered specifically for this musical extravaganza, include 19 instrumentalists and 21 singers assembled by music faculty members Kevin Eisensmith and Ryan Beeken. The concert also includes one of Severinsen’s favorite singers and recording artists, Vanessa Thomas.

The Keystone Big Band


Christopher Barrick serves as department head of Music and Theatre and is the James and Ann Bumpass Distinguished Chair of Music at the University of Arkansas—Fort Smith (UAFS). As associate professor of Music, he directs the UAFS Jazz Band and teaches various music courses. Prior to his appointment at UAFS, Barrick was on the music faculty at West Liberty University for six years, including serving as chair of the Department of Music and Theater from 2013–14. Barrick has performed professionally with nationally known acts such as the Omaha Symphony, Johnny Mathis, the Legends of Swing, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Sonny Turner and the Platters, the Crystals, the Coasters, Wayne Newton, Rick K and the All Nighters, the Harry James Orchestra, and the Temptations. Originally from New Jersey, Barrick holds music degrees from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (DMA), the University of Tennessee (MM), and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (BA and BS).

Currently a senior at IUP, Rick Firestone is an active performer both on and off campus. At IUP he performs as a member of the wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, pit orchestra, saxophone ensemble, and various student-run combos, chamber groups, and jam bands. Additionally, Rick has performed with groups outside of IUP, such as the Wally Gingers Big Band (tenor, alto, clarinet), Ohio Light Opera (bari sax, bass clarinet, alto sax, clarinet), and most recently the Hersheypark Band at Hersheypark, under Windish Productions (alto sax). In addition to performing for fun, Rick also has had some success in competitions, winning the Delta Omicron Solo Competition as a freshman and placing second in the Johnstown Symphony Concerto Competition as a sophomore. Rick hopes to pursue a master’s degree in saxophone performance.

Roy Mitchell attended Duquesne University as a jazz performance major. There, he studied arranging and jazz piano with John Wilson and Bobby Cardillo, respectively. Continuing his musical education, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with arrangers John Morris and Sal Scarpa. Over the past 35 yeas, Mitchell’s compositions and arrangements have been performed worldwide by colleges, high schools, and professional groups. In addition to owning Chartmeister Music Publishing, Roy is in high demand as a writer and clinician. He currently resides in Corry, Pa.

Ben Saylor majored in jazz studies at William Paterson University in New Jersey before graduating from IUP with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. He was hired in 2010 as the director of Bands at United Jr./Sr. High School in Armagh, Pa. He resides in Indiana with his wife, Lauren (IUP 2010, Music Education), and his two children, Phineas and Libby.

Keith Young is professor of Music at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches saxophone performance studies and directs the IUP Jazz Band and musical pit orchestras. In 1998, he retired as the principal saxophonist with the U.S. Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. Young has a solo compact disc with Crystal Records entitled Saxophone Voices from Five Countries, sold on Amazon. Young received music degrees from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, the Catholic University of America, and the University of Maryland (DMA.).


Kevin Eisensmith is professor of Trumpet at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has worked with a diverse group of artists, including Bernadette Peters, Roberta Flack, Marvin Hamlisch, Frankie Valli, the Moody Blues, and many others. He is currently the principal trumpeter with the Altoona Symphony. Eisensmith was the president for the International Trumpet Guild from 2009 to 2011 and has held many other positions within this organization. He presents numerous clinics and guest appearances annually throughout the eastern and mid-western states, and he has also performed and taught in Australia, Japan, Costa Rica, China, Italy, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

David Ferguson is presently the assistant dean of the College of Fine Arts at IUP. From 2001 to 2012, he taught in the Music Department as an adjunct associate professor, where he primarily taught trumpet lessons and courses in music education. Ferguson earned a BM from Millikin University and an MME and EdD from the University of Illinois. He is a member of the HoodleBug Brass quintet and Dad Band (where he plays bass), and his compositions for brass are published through Eighth Note Publications. He and his wife, Laura, have two children, Ella and Xavier.

Joshua Hillard is an instrumental music specialist for the Altoona Area School District and is director of the Elementary Jazz Band. Recent venues include performances at an Altoona Curve game and a “Cool Schools” segment on WTAJTV’s Central Pa Live. Hillard performs with Jazz in Your Face, the Groove Gathering, the Randy Jackson Band, Blair County Brasswerks, and the Keystone Winds and substitutes with Flood City Brass, the Uptown Band, and both Altoona and Johnstown symphony orchestras. His trumpet students have gone on to hold university positions and in “The Commandant’s Own” Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.

William Stowman is chair of the Department of Music at Messiah College, where he teachers trumpet, JazzONE, and Trumpet Ensemble. In addition to a bachelor’s degree from IUP, he holds degrees from Eastern Kentucky University (master’s) and the University of North Texas (DMA). Bill is on the board of directors of the International Trumpet Guild and serves as competition coordinator for the National Trumpet Competition. He performs regularly with Tromba Mundi, the Messiah College Faculty Brass Quintet, BrassCross, and the Keystone Wind Ensemble. His solo CD, A Matter of Seconds, is available through MarkCustom Recording. Stowman is an active soloist, clinician, and guest conductor.

A 2013 graduate of IUP, Michael Wertz is currently in the process of obtaining his master’s degree in trumpet performance at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.


Christian Dickinson has taught at IUP since 1985. He holds the Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from Florida State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Catholic University of America. His principal teachers have been William Cramer, Matty Shiner, and Milton Stevens on trombone and Philip Spurgeon and Istvan Jaray for conducting. In addition to his trombone duties, he also teaches theory and brass methods and conducts the Brass Ensemble and Trombone Choir. As a member of the Keystone Wind Ensemble, Dickinson has recorded 12 CDs featuring all styles of wind music. He is the trombonist with the HoodleBug Brass, the faculty brass quintet at IUP. The HoodleBug Brass has recorded three CDs, the latest being a commercial recording of Christmas favorites. In October 2012, he toured Russia with the HoodleBug Brass, performing in venues in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Geoffrey Durbin is currently on the faculty at Murray State University as instructor of low brass and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Memphis. He enjoys a diverse career as a soloist, teacher, conductor, clinician, and ensemble performer. He is regularly featured as a guest artist and soloist, including most recently at the United States Army Band Tuba and Euphonium Conference. His recent competitive successes include the gold medal at the prestigious Leonard Falcone Euphonium Competition. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and has earned degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the University of North Texas.

Bear Irwin began teaching instrumental music in 1970 and, since 2003, has taught at Mill River Union High School. He presently teaches trombone at Middlebury College in Vermont. Irwin served on the Vermont Music Educators Association Executive Board as president from July 2001 to June 2009, and served as vice president (1990–95) and president (1995–98) of the International Association of Jazz Educators Vermont Unit. He has been director of the Lakes Region Youth Orchestra Concert Band since 2000. Irwin organized, manages, and plays lead trombone for the Vermont Jazz Ensemble (since 1976) and also performs with other ensembles throughout Vermont.

Matthew Morse is a doctoral conducting associate at the University of North Texas, where he assists with all aspects of the Wind Studies program and studies with Eugene Migliaro Corporon. He holds a BA in Music from Thomas Edison State College and a Master of Arts in Instrumental Conducting Performance from IUP. Morse served for 25 years as a musician in the United States Army, retiring in 2011 as a chief warrant officer four from his final position as the associate bandmaster of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, N.Y. He has deployed with bands to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq.

Rhythm Section

Nick Adams, bass, is a native of Johnstown and started his musical studies with Nathan Santos. He continued his education with Professor Santos and Jeffery Grubbs at IUP, where he is pursuing dual degrees in Music Education and Music Performance. He is a member of the Johnstown Symphony as well as a regular in Mike Bodolosky's band Jazz in Your Face. After spending a semester studying with Nikša Bobetko at the Academy of Music in Zagreb, Croatia, Nick is student teaching and will finish his studies at IUP in December 2014.

Michael Kingan, drums, is professor of Music and director of Percussion Studies at IUP. He conducts the IUP Percussion Ensemble, which can be heard on their CD Opus Pocus. He holds degrees from the University of North Texas, University of Cincinnati, and Ohio State University. Prior to this appointment, he held positions at LSU and TCU. He was also the percussion specialist at J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas, and a high school band director in Harlingen, Texas. Kingan freelanced as a drummer and percussionist in the Columbus, Cincinnati, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Baton Rouge/New Orleans areas. He is endorsed by the Yamaha Corporation and Innovative Percussion.

Alex Price, guitar, is currently a junior at IUP studying for a degree in Music Education with an instrumental concentration in both guitar and viola. At IUP, he participates in the jazz ensemble, plays first violin in the university orchestra, and is involved in numerous other ensembles on guitar and violin/viola. In addition to playing in IUP ensembles, he is a member of the viola section and teaches guitar classes at the Indiana Community Music School. When Alex is home in Reading, he plays guitar for Genesius Theatre Company and fills in as a substitute worship leader at Allegheny Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Jack Stamp, percussion, is professor of Music and director of Band Studies at IUP, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and teaches courses in undergraduate and graduate conducting. Now in his 25th year as an IUP faculty member, he received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree from IUP, a master’s in Percussion Performance from East Carolina University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from Michigan State University, where he studied with Eugene Corporon. In 1996, he received the Orpheus Award from the Zeta Tau Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha for service to music and was named a Distinguished Alumnus of IUP. In 1999, he received the Citation of Excellence from the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association. In 2000, he was inducted into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. He was awarded the title of University Professor for the 2008–09 academic year at IUP, the highest award the university gives to a professor. He is founder and conductor of the Keystone Winds, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of American band music.

Also performing in the ensemble is John Burgh, rhythm section/piano.

Selected Members of the IUP Chorale

  • Alyssa Boxer
  • Wesley Caulkins
  • Jay Clinton
  • Ed Dorner
  • Riley Droney
  • Mariana Gonzalez
  • Lydia Hassell
  • Afton Herring
  • Nick Hudak
  • Amber Leitsch
  • Tyler Morgan
  • Katie Smith
  • Kelly Snyder
  • Mason Stiver
  • Lucas Sweeney
  • Nicole Tyger
  • Devon Vaow
  • Anna Very
  • Mackenzie Watkins
  • Hanna Wilson
  • Jessica Zelenack

The Lively Arts


DSeverinsen_With Vanessa_200

Doc Severinsen

September 16, 2014
8:00 p.m.

Fisher Auditorium, IUP Performing Arts Center

Headlining and opening the season will be the return of trumpet master and entertainment icon Doc Severinsen. Severinsen first performed at IUP in 1995 as that year’s Helwig Distinguished Artist following his 30-year stint as music director with Johnny Carson and NBC’s The Tonight Show.

This event is over.

For more information, visit Doc Severinsen, e-mail , or call 724-357-2787.