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department of music The content below is information specific to this academic department's fields of interest.

Adjunct Faculty

James Bock
, Lecturer in tuba and euphonium, was born in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in Cambridge, Ohio. He received the Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from the Ohio State University, where he studied tuba with Robert LeBlanc. He recently retired after 33 years of teaching band for the Cambridge City Schools. He currently performs with Muskingum Valley Brass, the faculty brass quintet at Muskingum, the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra, and the Zanesville Memorial Concert Band.  He is also the choral director for the Unity Presbyterian Church.

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pic of Brian HuppBrian Hupp is a young professional singer based out of the Central Ohio area.  He is a recent graduate of the Ohio State University, where he received the Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance.  While at Ohio State, he performed in productions of Don Giovanni (title role), The Rape of Lucretia (Tarquinius), and City of Angels (Stone).  The last two years he was involved in the Educational Outreach program with Opera Columbus, travelling to elementary schools around the greater Columbus area to introduce opera to children.  He has sung with the Utah Festival Opera where he was a Festival Artist, Opera Columbus, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Opera Project Columbus, Short North Stage, Weathervane Playhouse, the Amherst Symphony Orchestra, and the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra.  While at the Utah Festival this past summer, Brian covered the role of Billy Bigelow in Carousel, Schaunard in La Boheme, and performed the role of John Wingate in a workshop production of a new opera titled Rose in Flames.  Brian also has a large amount of experience in choral music.  He received the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Capital University, where he was a member of the Chapel Choir, as well as the chamber ensemble, and Chordsmen.  He appeared as a soloist numerous times with each ensemble, touring around the country in addition to South Africa and Muskat, Oman.  During his junior year, the Chapel Choir had the opportunity to perform in the World Choir Games.  Brian was featured as a soloist, and the ensemble went on to win multiple gold medals at the games.  He also works with a professional choir in Indianapolis at Aire Born Studios, where he has sung as both a soloist and ensemble member on numerous recordings for Craig Courtney and Beckenhorst Press.  He currently studies voice with Robin Rice.

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katey jahnkeHorn Katelyn Jahnke has played under the direction of many premiere conductors including Neeme Jarvi and Roger Norrington while performing in the Detroit Symphony's Civic Orchestra.  While living in Ann Arbor, MI she was a member of the Ann Arbor Opera Theater and the Vivo Sinfonietta Chamber Orchestra.  She has performed with the Adrian Symphony during their 2010 season as well as playing principal horn with the Perrysburg Symphony and the Heidelberg Symphony from 2008-2011.  Now as a Columbus resident, she performs with the New Albany Symphony, Newark-Granville Symphony, McConnell Arts Center Chamber Players and is a principal member of the xYz Wind Quintet.  She has also recently subbed as principal horn with the Michigan Philharmonic based out of Plymouth, MI.  She pursued her Master's degree in horn performnace at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and previously attended the University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University, receiving her Bachelor's degree in horn performance.  Currently she is on the faculty at Muskingum University and hosts a private studio in Columbus, OH.  As part of her duties as instructor of horn at Muskingum, she is principal horn in the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra and a key member of the Muskingum Valley Brass. 

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picture of sheila jonesSheila Jones is the Concertmaster of the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra, and teaches violin and viola at Muskingum University.  She also teaches students of all ages through the Muskingum University Community Division and maintains private studios in Zanesville and St. Clairsville, Ohio.  She has taught general music in the public schools.

Sheila has performed with the West Virginia Symphony, the Wheeling (WV) Symphony, the River Cities Symphony Orchestra, the Parma Philharmonic, and the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra.  She has also enjoyed playing in many pit orchestras for Broadway style musicals and performing chamber music, primarily in string quartets.  She serves as violinist on the Worhip Team at Harvest Christian Fellowship (Cambridge, OH) playing contemporary christian music.

She is a graduate of Ohio University and has pursued additional graduate studies in string pedagogy at Indiana University, Ohio University, Capital University, and the Ohio State University.  She resides in Old Washington, Ohio with her husband Larry Davis.

E-mail Ms. Jones: or

don kasonDon Kason teaches applied trumpet, jazz improvisation, jazz theory, and is a member of Muskingum Valley Brass, the faculty brass quintet, and the Muskingum Jazz Arts Group.  Mr. is a native of Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, where he began his musical training in the public school system and with members of the Cleveland Orchestra.  He attended Ohio University and earned his BFA degree in Music Education and MFA in Trumpet Performance and Music Theory.  He has recently completed his residency requirement, in pursuit of a DMA degree in Trumpet Performance, at The Ohio State University.  He has taught instrumental music in the Oak Hill (Ohio) and the Coshocton (Ohio) school systems.  Don has been very active in the Coshocton area musical scene for a number of years.  He and his wife Joan are founding members of The Rosco Brass Quintet.  He has served as director of the Sacred Heart Church Choir, and is a long-time member of the Coshocton Community Choir.  He has been a member of the Zanesville Memorial Concert Band, the Dominic Greco Memorial Band, and the Heisey Brass Quintet as well as director of the Coshocton Community Band, Muskingum University Jazz Ensemble and Muskingum University Wind Ensemble.  He is a currect member of the Brass Band of Columbus and the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds.  Don is also a freelance jazz musician in central and northern Ohio.  Locally he is a member of Jerry Weaver's Dixieland Jazz Band and Tim Milligan's Big Fat Dog Blues Band. 

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pic of lucas kaspar Lucas Kaspar joined the music faculty at Muskingum University in the fall of 2013, where he teaches trombone.  Lucas is currently working on a DMA in Trombone Performance at The Ohio State University, where he is the GTA for the trombone studio.  He earned his Masters degree in Bass Trombone Performance from The University of Alabama in May 2013.  While at the University of Alabama, Lucas was a teacher’s assistant for the Million Dollar Marching Band, where he coached the trombonists on their music for each week’s show.  Lucas earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music in Education from Muskingum University in May 2010 and has been fortunate to study with some of the greatest brass pedagogues of today.  His primary teachers include Dr. Jonathan Whitaker, professor of trombone at The University of Alabama, George Curran, bass trombonist of the New York Philharmonic and Andrew Ruetz.  Lucas has had additional studies with Randy Hawes, Joseph Rodriguez, Demondrae Thurman, and James Nova.  An active member of the International Trombone Association, he has received awards in the Donald Yaxley Bass Trombone competition and the Frank Smith Tenor Trombone competition.  He also performed with the University of Alabama Trombone Choir and University of Alabama Trombone Octet at the International Trombone Festival in 2011.  Lucas has attended some of the most prestigious trombone seminars in the United States.  He participanted in Michael Mulcahy’s Summer Trombone Masterclasses at Northwestern University in June of 2015; the Southeast Trombone Symposium in 2011; and attended the Joseph Alessi Seminar in 2009 and 2011.  Lucas was honored to perform Eric Ewazen’s Concerto for Trombone and Wind Band with the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds in 2010.  He has performed with the Columbus Symphony, Wheeling Symphony, Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds, Mobile Symphony (AL), Huxford Symphony (AL), and the Tuscaloosa Symphony (AL).  Lucas resides in Coshocton, Ohio where he lives with his beautiful wife, Taisha and two children, Isaiah and Laina.  He is an active member at Calvary Baptist Church of Coshocton, where he directs the choir and teaches Children’s Choir. 

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pic of Kevin LewisDr. Kevin Lewis seeks to explore the boundaries of creative expression, finding inspiration in repertoire that features graphic notations, expansions of traditional sounds, theatre, and whatever else that endeavors to challenge conventional concepts in the experience of music and art. He has proven to be adept in divergent modes of percussive discourse, discovering himself as a founding member of the progressive Akros Percussion Collective, a section percussionist in the Akron Symphony Orchestra, and a soloist in the elite TROMP International Percussion Competition in Eindhoven, Netherlands. He has performed throughout Europe and North America but also with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Ashland Symphony Orchestra, Ohio Light Opera, Ohio Ballet, the Groundworks Dance Theatre of Cleveland, and numerous other organizations throughout northeast Ohio. Kevin has recorded for Neuma, Equilibrium, 11 West, and Centaur Records and has given the world premieres of works by Philip Corner, Thomas DeLio, Matthias Kaul, Nikolaus Gerszewski, and Stuart Saunders Smith. 

Kevin is also a leading musicologist in the field of percussion music and is committed to broadening the musical community’s perspective by contributing insightful research, which he has frequently been invited to present at international conferences, including those of the Society for American Music, Percussive Arts Society, and Society for Minimalist Music, and at the 2011 Feminist Theory and Music Conference and the 2007 "Roots and Rhizomes: Seventy-Five Years of Percussion Music" conference at the University of California, San Diego. Areas of study include creative notations, topics in minimalism, historical developments in percussion and its literature, and the life and music of the profoundly innovative American composer, Lucia Dlugoszewski. Kevin is co-editor of The Modern Percussion Revolution: Journeys of the Progressive Artist, which is published in the Routledge Research in Music series, and his writings can also be found in the Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments and Percussive Notes. As an active contributor to the Percussive Arts Society’s scholarly mission, Kevin serves as Chair of the PAS Scholarly Research Committee and Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal, Percussive Notes Online Research Edition.

Kevin is currently Lecturer in Percussion at Muskingum University and formerly served on the faculties of Malone University and the University of Akron. He holds degrees in percussion from Millikin University and the University of Akron and a doctoral degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. His principal teachers have included Allen Otte, Jim Culley, Russell Burge, Larry Snider, and Brian Justison.

E-mail Dr. Lewis at:

Mary Schlacks, Coordinator of Applied Winds and Percussion, teaches applied clarinet, clarinet ensemble, Introduction to Music, Woodwind Methods, and Excursions in World Music.  She is principal clarinet in the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra and the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds.  She is also the choir director at St. Benedict's Catholic Church in Cambridge, Ohio.

Ms. Schlacks is a graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne and has a M.M. in clarinet performance from the University of Akron.  She has appeared as a soloist with the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra and the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds and has performed numerous recitals in Akron, New Concord (OH), and Fort Wayne (IN).

E-mail Ms. Schlacks at:

pic of erin torresDr. Erin Helgeson Torres is on the performance faculties of Muskingum University and Ohio Northern University where she teaches applied flute lessons, a flute repertoire/literature course and a music technology course, in addition to coaching small ensembles and flute choir. Erin also teaches core music courses (Intro to Art Music, World Music and American popular music) at Ohio Dominican University and has served as the Assistant Dean of Students at the Brevard Music Center Summer Festival and Institute for the past six years. Recently named Second Flutist/Piccoloist with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and currently the Principal Flutist of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra, Dr. Torres is also an Associate Musician with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Substitute Flutist with the West Virginia and Springfield Symphonies.  She performs regularly in various area orchestras including the Central Ohio, Westerville and Lima Symphonies.  Additionally, she performs in the flute/saxophone duet, Tower Duo, with her husband, Dr. Michael Torres who is also on faculty at Muskingum.  Erin graduated with a Doctorate of Musical Arts and a Masters of Music from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio studying with Professor Katherine Borst Jones.  She received her Bachelor of Music Performance at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida studying with Dr. Jean West.  She recently completed her Artist Diploma at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music under Dr. Bradley Garner.

E-mail Dr. Torres at:

picture of Michael TorresSaxophonist, composer, educator, and curator, Michael Rene Torres, currently serves as Instructor of Saxophone and Composition at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio and Lecturer of Saxophone at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Columbus Ohio Discovery Ensemble (CODE); a contemporary music ensemble that is dedicated to the promotion, performance, and perception of new music in Central Ohio. Additionally, Michael is an Advisory Board member of the Johnstone Fund for New Music which advances the performance of new music for the benefit of the Central Ohio community and is an Executive Committee member of the Society of Composers, Inc. as the Co-Editor for the bimonthly national SCI Newsletter. Michael has presented recitals, clinics, and masterclasses at conferences and universities throughout the USA. As an advocate of contemporary music, Michael has commissioned and premiered several works for the concert saxophone and is an active chamber musician as a member of the Tower Duo with flutist, Erin Helgeson Torres. Tower Duo specializes in creating engaging musical experiences and commissioning new concert works to advance the growing repertoire of the flute and saxophone duet. Michael’s compositional interests are in chamber music that explores the juxtaposition of consonance and dissonance and is often inspired by psychology. He served as Assistant Dean of Students at the Brevard Music Center Festival and Institute (2010-2015), Instructor of Music at Ohio Dominican University (2014-2015), Assistant Event Coordinator for The Ohio State University Contemporary Music Festival (2010-2012), and as the General Manager of the 2013 National Conference of the Society of Composers, Inc. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University (DMA-saxophone, MM-composition), Northwestern University (MM-saxophone), and Stetson University (BME-education). He has studied saxophone with James Bishop, Frederick L. Hemke, James Hill, and Joseph Lulloff and studied composition with Thomas Wells and Kari Juusela. Michael is a Conn-Selmer Endorsing Artist and performs exclusively on Selmer Paris saxophones. For more information, visit Michael’s website:

E-mail Dr. Torres at: