Music Faculty

Our faculty are expert teacher-scholars in the fields of performance, music theory, musicology, ethnomusicology, composition, music journalism, and ensemble direction. They are active as practitioners, researchers, and freelance artists engaging in innovative and socially conscious work. The studio faculty are drawn from some of the top ensembles of the nation's capital such as the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera, and "The President's Own" US Marine Band. Through close mentorship with AU professors, students are immersed in a vibrant and inclusive world of music.

Program Director

Ann Kang Program Director for Music CAS - Performing Arts

Dr. Ann T. Kang is Director of the Music Program. She teaches piano, chamber music, music theory and musicianship. She has been called a pianist of “admirable polish and sensitivity” by the Baltimore

  (202) 885-3859

Please see faculty grouped by area, or further below for all faculty alphabetically:


All Faculty

Last name starts with A

Daniel Abraham Professor and Department Chair, Performing Arts CAS - Performing Arts

Choral/orchestral conductor and musicologist; specialist in 17th- and 18th-century music. As a conductor and scholar, Abraham has often sought out works previously unknown to present-day audiences and

  (202) 885-3427

Benjamin Albright Adjunct Professorial Lect

Originally from Niagara Falls, New York, Benjamin recently moved to the DC metro area after winning a trumpet position with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. Dr. Albright completed his

Linda Allison Musician in Residence CAS - Performing Arts

Linda Allison, mezzo-soprano is the Musician in Residence for Voice at American University. Ms. Allison’s students perform a wide range of vocal styles from classical and contemporary Art Song, Concer

  (202) 885-3416

Last name starts with B

Todd Baldwin Adjunct Instructor

Todd Baldwin served with The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” from 1984-2016 and was most recently the Element Leader for The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band. Previous positions include Trombone Section Lead

Jonathan Baumgarten Musician in Residence

Jonathan Baumgarten is a flute instructor in the applied music program. He holds a MM from Juilliard where he was a scholarship student of Samuel Baron. He studied with Thomas Nyfenger on a National E

Joshua Bayer Musician in Residence

Jazz guitarist, bassist, composer, and director Joshua Bayer has performed at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Detroit Opera House, Blues Alley, The Harlem Renaissance Festival, The Wor

Fernando Benadon Professor CAS - Performing Arts

I am a composer/theorist originally from Buenos Aires. I have released two albums, written a score for an indie feature film shown at Cannes, and been praised by The New York Times for my music’s “ear

  (202) 885-3452

William Brent Assoc Professor CAS - Performing Arts

William Brent is a computer musician and Associate Professor of Audio Technology at American University in Washington DC. In collaboration with internationally recognized composers and performers, he

  (202) 885-1488

Matthew Brown Professorial Lecturer CAS - Performing Arts

Orchestra/Symphonic Band/Songwriters' Hub Matthew Brown has worked with musicians of all ages and levels ranging from elementary school string ensembles to professional orchestras. He currently is the

  (202) 885-3433

Last name starts with C

Scott Cameron Adjunct Instructor

A native of Ashton, Maryland, Mr. Cameron is a member of The United States Army Field Band, stationed at Ft. Meade Maryland, and has performed in all 50 states. As a freelance tubist, Mr. Cameron has

Casey Cook Chorus Director in Residence CAS - Performing Arts

Dr. Casey Cook is a dynamic choral musician and educator, moving fluently between the fields of conducting, composition, and vocal performance. He is increasingly sought after as an adjudicator, clini

  (202) 885-3425

Last name starts with D

Paul DeNola Adjunct Instructor

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul DeNola joined the National Symphony Orchestra's bass section in July of 2006. Before moving to Washington, D.C., Paul spent three seasons as a member of th

Eric Dircksen Adjunct Professorial Lect

Eric Dircksen is a bassoon instructor in the applied music program. Eric Dircksen studied saxophone and bassoon at Indiana University in Bloomington and at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He

Last name starts with E

William Esterling Adjunct Instructor

William Esterling is the director of the AU Pep Band. He is an advocate for music as both a performer and educator. As a conductor, Will also serves as the assistant conductor at the New Orchestra of

Last name starts with F

Larry Ferguson Adjunct Instructor

Larry Ferguson is the drum set teacher in the applied music program. Mr Ferguson is a native of Kentucky and in addition to drum set, has a very diverse background in the areas of percussion including

Last name starts with G

Noah Getz Musician in Residence

Dr. Noah Getz is a saxophone instructor in the applied music program. He made his Carnegie Hall debut as the recipient of the National Alliance for Excellence Grand Prize and has presented solo recita

Yuliya Gorenman Musician in Residence CAS - Performing Arts

A piano instructor in the applied music program, award-winning Russian-born American pianist Yuliya Gorenman has been called a "pianist without fear." Now firmly established in her performing career,

  (202) 885-3435

Last name starts with H

Shawn Hagen Adjunct Instructor

Shawn Hagen is a hornist in The United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own”. When not in uniform, Hagen performs with the National Chamber Winds and has been a frequent substitute with The Kennedy Cente

Jennifer Hamady Adjunct Instructor

Jennifer Hamady is the author of The Art of Singing series, as well as a voice teacher, performance coach, and a board-certified therapist specializing in technical and emotional issues that interfere

Sean Heely Adjunct Instructor

Multi-Genre violinist/fiddler Seán Heely is one of the most creatively versatile and captivating young artists of his generation. He is a US National Scottish Fiddle Champion as well as an award-winni

Barbara Hollinshead Adjunct Instructor

Barbara Hollinshead is a voice instructor in the applied music program. A mezzo-soprano, she has studied in NY, Washington and with Max van Egmond in the Netherlands. Career highlights include singing

Last name starts with J

Last name starts with K

Ann Kang Program Director for Music CAS - Performing Arts

Dr. Ann T. Kang is Director of the Music Program. She teaches piano, chamber music, music theory and musicianship. She has been called a pianist of “admirable polish and sensitivity” by the Baltimore

  (202) 885-3859

Osman Kivrak Musician in Residence

Osman Kivrak, violist, was a winner of the National Scholarship Competition in Turkey, the Baltimore Chamber Music Awards, the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards, the Culver (Califor

Alicia Kopfstein Adjunct Professorial Lect

Alicia Kopfstein, Ph.D., is an enthusiastic postmodernist who has taught musicianship, guitar, music history, and general education courses at American since 1998, and musicianship for the Washington

Last name starts with L

Theresa Lazar Musician in Residence

Teri Lazar, violinist, has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Dr. Lazar performs with the Sunrise Quartet and the National Gallery of Art Str

Last name starts with M

Nobue Matsuoka Assoc Librarian University Library

Nobue, a native of Japan, moved from New Orleans in 2006 to become the Music/Performing Arts librarian at American University. As the head of the music library in Katzen, Nobue is responsible for the

  (202) 885-3465

Marc Medwin Asst Professor CAS - Performing Arts

Marc Medwin received his undergraduate degree in English literature from Ithaca College in New York. He went on to earn a MA and PhD in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

  (202) 885-3446

JP Merz Professorial Lecturer CAS - Performing Arts

JP Merz is a composer, sound artist, and educator. His work, both instrumental and electronic, interrogates the materiality of sound through experimental uses of technology—from networked algorithms t

Last name starts with O

Paul Oehlers Assoc Professor CAS - Performing Arts

Paul A. Oehlers is most recognized for his "extraordinarily evocative" (Variety) film scores. Films incorporating his music have screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Philadelphia Fe

  (202) 885-2746

Jon Ozment Adjunct Instructor

Jon has been working in and around the DC area for twenty years as a performer, producer, composer, and arranger. He has produced and arranged recordings by local jazz artists Imani, Maryann Redmond,

Last name starts with R

Katherine Riddle Adjunct Instructor

Katherine is an award winning interpreter of musical theater and crossover repertoire, Katherine Riddle is making her mark with her “crystal clear soprano” and “strong acting chops”. Performing in the

Last name starts with S

Kendra Salois Asst Professor CAS - Performing Arts

Kendra Salois received the Ph.D. in Music from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2013. Prior to joining the Department of Performing Arts at AU, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the

  (202) 885-3431

Alex Salser Adjunct Instructor

Alex Salser is a guitarist, songwriter, and educator based in the DC area with a background in bluegrass, jazz, blues, R&B and soul music.  He has toured extensively, performing in the last year at 9:

Rolando Sanz Adjunct Instructor

Rolando Sanz is a visionary performing arts executive who works at the crossroads of the industry, bridging arts administration, production, education, and performance. With over two decades of experi

Jerzy Sapieyevski Prof Emeritus

A composer/pianist and innovator, Sapieyevski brings a new approach to piano performance blending popular and classical styles. His commissions and performances include the Kennedy Center, Library of

Sterling Scroggins Adjunct Assoc Prof

Sterling Scroggins, voice instructor, baritone, has performed, directed, and taught in the Washington, D.C. area since the mid-1980s. His favorite roles include Papageno (The Magic Flute) Mephistophel

Sylstea Sledge Musician in Residence Kay Spiritual Ctr

Choral director, arranger and composer and specialist in American Gospel Music Tradition. Vocal music instructor in public schools of Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County Public School System.<

  (202) 885-3320

Kelly Smith Jones Adjunct Instructor

Kelly Smith Jones has performed in a wide variety of musical styles. She has performed with Wolf Trap Opera Company, New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, Washington Concert Opera, Summer Opera Theat

Nancy Snider Hurst Sr Prof Lecturer CAS - Performing Arts

Cellist and educator Nancy Jo Snider performs regularly in a variety of chamber and period instrument ensembles in venues ranging from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Jazz at Linco

  (202) 885-3872

Charles Sonoda Adjunct Instructor

A Southern California native, Chaz Sonoda began his clarinet studies at the age of 9. He has performed with the National Repertory Orchestra, Quartz Mountain Music Festival Orchestra, Alexandria Symph

Last name starts with V

Matthew Van Hoose Musician in Residence

Hailed by the Baltimore Sun for his “spirited and polished playing,” Matthew Van Hoose has established himself as one of the most sought-after pianists in the Baltimore-Washington area. Dr. Van Hoose

Last name starts with W

Ethan Watermeier Adjunct Instructor

Ethan Watermeier is Musician-In-Residence and the Coordinator of Vocal Studies at American University. Professor Watermeier is an interdisciplinary teaching artist, voice and speech educator and pract

William Wielgus Adjunct Professorial Lect

Oboe professor William Wielgus was a member of the oboe section of the National Symphony Orchestra from 1990 to 2017 upon appointment by Mstislav Rostropovich.  Prior to his appointment with the NSO h