AMEA 2019 Clinicians

Kevin Whalen is Director of Jazz Studies and Associate Professor of Music in the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University. Whalen has served as the jazz trumpet chair of The Glenn Miller Orchestra and held a jazz trumpet chair with the Grammy-nominated University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band. Dr. Whalen has presented at the Jazz Education Network Annual Conference, the Annual Conference of the International Trumpet Guild, the International Conference on the Blues and at universities throughout the country, including the Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College, the University of North Texas, and Virginia Tech.

Dr. Meghan Merciers is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of North Alabama (UNA) with an applied focus in larinet and saxophone. Dr. Merciers has given numerous masterclasses throughout the United States and held performer and lecturer residencies at the Conservatoire de Musique de Courbevoie near Paris, and the Conservatoire de Limonest in Lyon, France. Prior to joining UNA in August 2013, Dr. Merciers taught at Albion College and the Flint School of Performing Arts in Michigan.

Mr. Sam Merciers is a visiting assistant professor in Theory and Composition at the University of North Alabama.

Dr. Whitney Farris O’Neal, a native of Jonesboro, Arkansas, is Assistant Professor of Flute at the University of North Alabama. Prior to her appointment as flute instructor at UNA, O’Neal was Instructor of Woodwinds at Stillman College from 2010-2011, and served as Instructor of Flute at Mississippi State University in the fall of 2010.

Dr. Tracy Wiggins is Assistant Director of Bands and coordinator of the percussion program at the University of North Alabama. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the HARTT School, University of Hartford, the Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of New Mexico, and the Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Oklahoma State University, as well as post-master’s work at The Ohio State University.

Art Williams is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Music at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education and M.S. in Education degree from Troy University as well as a Ph.D. degree in music education from Indiana University. With experience teaching at the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels, Williams is a specialist in elementary general music education. He is also actively involved in the field of music education, where he appears as host of “Mr. Art’s Music Room,” the DVD component of Warner Brothers’ and Alfred Publications’ nationally released Music Expressions curriculum.

Gretchen Windt, mezzo soprano, was an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera, Sugar Creek Symphony and Song Festival, and Utah Symphony & Opera. She has performed with Cincinnati Opera, Opera Southwest, Chesapeake Chamber Opera, Opera Idaho, Bowen Park Opera, OperaModa, and DuPage Opera Theatre. She has performed with the Ohio Light Opera for five seasons in works by composers including Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Franz Lehar, and Jacques Offenbach. She graduated from the University of Utah (D. M. A. in vocal performance), the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music (M.M. in voice/opera), and North Park University (B.M.E. in music education/voice). She currently is an Assistant Professor in voice at the University of North Alabama.

Dr. Anne C. Witt teaches Music Education, String Pedagogy and String Literature at the University of Alabama. She taught middle school and high school strings/orchestra in Austin for 15 years and played cello in the Austin Symphony; she was also Director of the University of Texas String Project. Dr. Witt has served as President of the Texas Orchestra Directors Association, President of the Alabama ASTA chapter, and National President of ASTA. Her degrees were earned at the University of Alabama and the University of Texas at Austin. She founded the Adult Strings program in which she teaches classes for adult beginners, cello lessons and the annual Adult Strings Weekend. Dr. Witt has presented educational sessions in many states, at all ASTA national conferences and at the Midwest Clinic. She enjoys guest conducting All State and regional festival orchestras, and is a frequent presenter at AMEA. Dr. Witt is author of A Rhythm a Week, used by school band and orchestra classes nationwide. In 2005, she organized a community initiative to fund the start-up of Strings in Schools – a string program in the Tuscaloosa City Schools. After 13 years, over 1000 students have participated, and groups have won top honors in competitions. Five full time teachers teach daily classes in all the middle schools and high schools. Three graduates of the program have become certified music teachers. She further served the community as President of the Tuscaloosa String Quartet Society. She continues to play cello professionally in a quartet called “Four Strings Attached.” She was an adjudicator for the ASTA National Orchestra Festival and for the first Alabama Orchestra MPA in 2016.

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