COVID-19 Updates • Strategic Planning
At Ottawa University, you will be taught by professional musicians who are committed to working with you take your current musical skills and knowledge to new heights. You will have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of music ensembles that perform throughout the year.
Whether you plan to major in music or simply enjoy performing, there is a place for you at Ottawa University. Our students are taught by acclaimed working professionals who challenge them to rise to the next level in their music careers.
Our Wenger Practice Studios are state-of-the-art and feature a Virtual Acoustic Environment (VAE), which allows you to simulate performing in nine performance environments ranging from a small recital hall to a large cathedral. In addition, your session can be recorded for immediate playback to improve the learning environment and allow you to make adjustments to your performance style for that particular setting.
In 2015, Ottawa University became the first All Steinway School in Kansas. This is an honor that only a few other colleges and universities have achieved. It shows a commitment to excellence for our faculty and all students who take part in the music ensembles.
The Music program promotes an understanding and appreciation of musical expression as part of a liberal arts education. Increase your knowledge of theory and history across diverse musical cultures. Develop your abilities through ear-training, sight-singing, orchestration, composition, conducting and performance.
Bachelor of Arts in Music
Bachelor of Arts in Music - Jazz Studies
Bachelor of Arts in Music - Vocal Performance
Bachelor of Music Education (BME)
Bachelor of Music Education (BME) - PreK-12 Intrumental
Bachelor of Music Education (BME) - PreK-12 Vocal
At Ottawa University, whether you sing or play an instrument, there is a place for you in one of our performance ensembles. Some ensembles are open to all, while others require an audition for membership. Each ensemble has regularly scheduled rehearsals. It is not uncommon for Ottawa University ensembles to perform nationally and internationally.
Learn More about OUKS Performance Arts
Braves Music is looking for new students to join our ensembles! Whether you plan to major in music or something else, scholarships are available for your talent and passion.
Music scholarships are based on music ability and department need. Students are expected to demonstrate satisfactory performance and musicianship skills in the audition through the performance of appropriate repertoir and other audition requirements. The amount of the scholarship award is directly proportionate to the student's level of preparation and the quality of their performance at the time of the audition.
Any repertoire that you have prepared as a soloist for regional or state music festivals is appropriate for your audition. You are strongly encouraged to select an audition piece or pieces that are accompanied and to thoroughly practice with the accompaniment in preparation.
Instrumentalists should prepare a solo, etude or movement from a larger work.
Vocalists should prepare two contrasting songs.
We will offer both face-to-face and virtual options for this event. Be sure to RSVP below.
Our faculty members have performed at locations as far reaching as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Lincoln Center in New York City, the Musikverein Golden Hall in Vienna, and even the National Music Hall in Taipei! They can also be found closer to home in Kansas City jazz clubs and at the helm of orchestras in neighboring locales. Sharing the stage with musicians from the Temptations to Yo-Yo Ma, these professors are also professionals who continue to perfect their craft.
Director of Bands - OUKS
Assistant Professor of Music
Chair, Creative Arts Division
DMA - Percussion - University of Missouri-Kansas City, Conservatory of Music & Dance
MME - Instrumental - University of Misourri-Kansas City, Conservatory of Music & Dance
BS - Instructional Music Education - Northwest Missouri State University
Dr. Kevin Maret is the Director of Bands and coordinator of Instrumental Music Education at Ottawa University. Maret conducts the Wind Ensemble, Pep Band, Drum Line, and Percussion Ensemble. Previously Dr. Maret served as the Fine Arts Coordinator for the Topeka Public School District. In addition Maret taught band in Missouri, instructed courses at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, was adjunct faculty at Grace University, Northwest Missouri State University and was the Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Percussion Studies at McKendree University. His performance credits include the "United States Air Force Heartland of America Band" at Offutt AFB, Principal Percussionist with the Sioux City Symphony, and regular performances with the Kansas City, Omaha and Lincoln Symphonies. His military band Sidewinder has performed on "The Ellen Show", "Entertainment Tonight”, "Fox and Friends”, and at the White House. Maret has performed with Placido Domingo, Patti LuPone, Idina Menzel, and Tommy Tune. His compositions can be heard in commercials, movie trailers and television shows.
Dr. Maret holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Northwest Missouri State University, a Master of Music Education Degree, and a Doctorate in Musical Arts - Percussion Performance Degree from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Director of Music Outreach and Athletic Bands
BS - University of Alabama
MM - University of Alabama
Mr. Eric Bradshaw currently serves as the director of music outreach and athletic bands at Ottawa University (Kansas). He received his Bachelor of Science in music education and Master of Music in tuba performance from the University of Alabama.
Bradshaw’s professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, Kansas Music Educators Association, Kansas Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, and International Tuba Euphonium Association. He is also a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Tau Beta Sigma.
Prior to his current position, Bradshaw served as the director of bands at Topeka High School (Topeka, KS) from 2016-21, director of athletic bands at Valdosta State University (Valdosta, GA) from 2002-16, and taught in the public school system in Carroll County (Georgia) from 1997–2002. Throughout his career, Bradshaw has performed as principal tubist in several regional orchestras, served as a clinician for high school honor bands, and adjudicated high school marching and concert festivals. In 2019-20, he received the “Distinguished Staff Award” for high school teacher from the Topeka Public Schools system and was a district finalist for Kansas Teacher of the Year for 2020-21.
Bradshaw’s hobbies and interests include traveling, spending time with family and friends, riding his motorcycle, boating, playing golf, and enjoying good food. He is married to Dr. Melissa Grady (a music professor at the University of Kansas) and has twin sons, Andrew and Ryan, who are graduates of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA).
Assistant Professor of Music
Director of Choral Music
DMA - Choral Music
MM - Choral Conducting - Colorado State University
BM - Music Education - Miami University
Serena Eichhorn holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she studied with Dr. Ethan Sperry and Dr. William Bausano. She also holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she studied with Dr. James Kim. While at Colorado State University she was the director of the University Chorus and taught music education classes. Eichhorn is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Music from the University of Southern California where studies with Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe, Dr. Nick Strimple, and Dr. Cristian Grases. While taking classes at USC she served as co-conductor of the University Chorus and Festival Coordinator for the Department of Choral and Sacred Music. Her fields of study include Sacred Music, Collegiate Teaching, and Vocal Performance while her dissertation topic focuses on warm-ups in the high school choral classroom.
Eichhorn most recently served as Director of Education for the Young Musicians Foundation Teaching Artist Program where supervised thirty music teachers in Los Angeles area schools and created curriculum and assessment strategies unique to the program. The Teaching Artist Program provides music education opportunities both during and after the school day in schools that do not have a music teacher. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Eichhorn worked for South Tama County School District as the Department Head for Fine Arts and served as Vocal Music Director teaching three choirs, directing musical productions, as well as coaching and judging speech competitions.
A mezzo-soprano, Eichhorn is also an active choral and solo singer.She worked as alto soloist at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Fort Collins, Colorado, performing solos from major choral works while performing with the choirs. As a member of various choral groups, she has toured all over the United States as well as Italy, China, and South Korea. Some of her most memorable performances include singing for conductors James Conlon and Helmuth Rilling as well as back-up vocals for A.R. Rahman, The Rolling Stones, Barry Manilow, and Elton John.
Interim, Director of Jazz Studies
Associate Professor of Music
MA Music Jazz Studies, University of Missouri Kansas City
BS Music Education, University of Mary
BA Instrumental Music Performance, University of Mary
Performer, composer, arranger, educator and arts administrator Dan Thomas has received countless performance awards, and has performed, recorded and presented with some of the most influential jazz artists and pedagogues in nearly every state in the continental US, Canada, and abroad. He emigrated from his native Canada to the United States in 1993.
Thomas is an in-demand performer, guest artist, and lecturer throughout the world. He has spoken on a plethora of topics, from performance practices to music business, performed countless times as guest artist at all levels, as well as made many appearances as guest conductor. In addition to Thomas’ work with his small groups, his pedigree and leadership skills are on display as he leads the Kansas City All Star Big Band which is comprised of the regions most celebrated jazz artists. Along with an elite group of high caliber international musicians, Thomas is signed to the Performing Artist and Educator rosters with both Yamaha and Vandoren. The vice president for education and curriculum development at the Hancock Institute of Jazz describes Thomas as “eminent, experienced and effective.”
Thomas’ CDs, City Scope, Musical Sanctuary and Voyage continue to receive critical acclaim, and acknowledgement on the national airplay charts. His quintet recording featuring Bobby Watson, Curtis Lundy and Voyage is available for immediate release.
Thomas has held previous appointments having served as the Executive Director and CEO of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra. For nearly two decades, he served on the Doctoral faculty and as the co-chair of the Jazz Studies Program at UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance with Bobby Watson. Thomas was the chief architect of a new model for jazz education which garnered national attention for the program, and he led a team of Kansas City Jazz royalty. He has led bands at the Jazz Education Network convention and was acknowledged for outstanding performance as well as the Missouri Music Educator’s Association’s 78th Annual In-Service Workshop/Conference. Thomas' contributions to education have been recognized with inductions into Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers (three times), as well as being awarded the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Excellence in Teaching Award (2017), given to one Conservatory faculty member, and twice recognized by the Missouri Music Educators Association.
Thomas’ students perform throughout the globe and teach at the highest levels. His students have appeared many times at the Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program, Jazz Port Townsend workshops, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and JEN. Students have been recognized in numerous jazz competitions and received many awards, notably in Downbeat, by Thelonious Monk, MTNA, Yamaha, ITG, Nafme, Music for All, Grammy, Bard Summer Jazz Academy (JALCO), the National Youth Orchestra and the Vandoren jazz saxophone competition, among other.
In addition to his long tenure with UMKC, Thomas has taught in Washington, Missouri, and Kansas public schools, and at Kansas City’s Penn Valley Community College and Rockhurst University. He presents master classes, workshops, and performs at high school and university jazz festivals as a featured guest artist around the world.
Thomas holds performing artist/educator endorsements with Yamaha, Vandoren, Locoparasaxo, WeWOOD and Roo Pads.
Adjunct Faculty, Voice
DMA Vocal Performance, University of Kansas
MM Opera Performance, The Boston Conservatory
BM Vocal Performance, minor in Theatre, University of Missouri-Columbia
Mezzo-soprano Tara Curtis is quickly establishing herself as an "impressively full-voiced, dramatic" singer of operatic and concert repertoire. Her "keen, bright mezzo, darkened with raw edges" with its "arresting power and radiant tone" has been hailed as "a natural fit for Verdi."
2019 engagements included Manuel de Falla’s El Amor Brujo with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, a company and role debut with Syracuse Opera as Mrs. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera and the role of Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon with the Opera Company of Middlebury.
2018 began with a return to the role of The Old Lady in Candide with Opera in the Heights. She then made her international debut in Canada with Opera on the Avalon as Hannah After in As One.
In summer 2017 she returned to St. Petersburg Opera as a principal artist in two role debuts: the Voice of Antonia's Mother in Les Contes d'Hoffman and the Witch in Sondheim's Into the Woods. Autumn brought another impressive role and company debut as Marthe Schewertlein in Faust with Tulsa Opera. She returned to her alma mater, the University of Missouri, to be a soloist in their 100th Anniversary concert of Elijah.
Tara sang the 2016-2017 season with Palm Beach Opera as a member of their Benenson Young Artist Program. While there, she sang the roles of Giovanna in Rigoletto and Kate in The Pirates of Penzance and covered Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Maddalena in Rigoletto and Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance.
In the 2015-2016 season Tara sang Mozart’s Requiem with the Staley Chorus Ensemble in Kansas City. She returned to Sarasota Opera as Imelda in La Battaglia di Legnano and covered the role of Amneris in Aïda. She also debuted with Wichita Grand Opera as Ruth in Pirates of Penzance. In the summer of 2016, she was a participant in the Merola Opera program for a second, consecutive year. In the fall of 2016, Tara covered the role of Azucena in Verdi's Il Trovatore.
Other credits include Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Trentino Music Festival, Crested Butte Music Festival, Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center, and numerous roles at the University of Kansas, the Boston Conservatory and the University of Missouri. She has sung Third Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, the title role in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Cornelia in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Mrs. Herring in Britten’s Albert Herring, Mother Marie in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Inez in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Berta in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Der Trommler in Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis. Tara was the alto soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major and Choral Fantasie, Handel's Messiah, Haydn's Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Bach's Mass in B Minor and Cantata 140, Vivaldi's Magnificat, Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes, Elgar’s Sea Pictures, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles.
Tara was a Merola Opera Career Grant winner, Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan National Council Auditions - Midwest Division, Second-Place winner in the art song division of The American Prize: Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award as well as a semi-finalist in the opera division and for the Chicago Oratorio Award, a finalist in the Brava! Opera Theatre James M. Collier Competition and a recipient of the Polsky Award from the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
PhD Candidate - University of Kansas
MA - University of Oregon
BM - Hartt School of Music and SUNY Fredonia
Matthew Ferrandino is currently a PhD candidate in music theory at the University of Kansas where he is completing his dissertation, The Narratology of Music Video. Matthew hold’s degrees in music composition from the Hartt School of Music and SUNY Fredonia, and a Master’s of Arts degree in music theory from the University of Oregon where his thesis explores musical borrowing in the music of Frank Zappa. In 2016, Matthew was a recipient of the KU Chancellor’s Fellowship.
Matthew’s research focuses on the analysis, interpretation, and performance of popular music. In 2017, his article “Voice Leading and Text-Music Relations in David Bowie’s Early Songs” was published in Music Theory Online, and in 2019 he co-authored the SMT-V article “Seeing Stories Hearing Stories in Narrative Music Video” with Brad Osborn. Matthew has presented his research at regional and national conferences, including the Society for Music Theory and the Society for American Music, as well as internationally.
Adjunct Instructor, Trumpet
MM - University of Missouri - Kansas City, Conservatory of Music & Dance
MA - University of Missouri - Kansas City, Conservatory of Music & Dance
BM - Bethel College
Aaron Linscheid is a trumpet performer and educator based in Kansas City and a music faculty member at Ottawa University, where he teaches applied trumpet and horn. He has also directed the Braves Pep Band and taught the course Jazz in America at OU. In addition to his work as an educator, Linscheid is also an accomplished performer. Recent performances include with his own trio, the Diamond Empire Band and performances of original works with Clint Ashlock’s New Jazz Order. Linscheid has also played in the Michael Pagán Big Band. He enjoys teaching younger students in his role as a faculty member at the Village Music Academy in Prairie Village, Kansas.
Linscheid earned a Bachelor in Music degree at Bethel College before completing two master’s degrees – one in trumpet performance and the other in jazz studies – at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Before moving to Kansas City, he spent several summers in the Education Department of the New York Philharmonic. In his free time, Linscheid enjoys spending time with his wife, two sons and two dogs. He loves the vibrant musical community that he has found in Kansas City and is excited to share his passion for music with the student, faculty and alumni of Ottawa University.
Adjunct Instructor, Applied Bass
ME - Northwest Missouri State University
Matt McGrory began his musical journey at the age of 10, playing viola for one year and switching to trumpet the year after. He played trumpet through high school, and began playing electric bass on the side. Changing to double bass in college, McGrory attended Northwest Missouri State University to obtain a degree in music education in 2010, and continued at the University of Missouri Kansas City to receive a degree in double bass performance in 2014. His primary teachers include Robb Aistrup, Larry Williams, and Jeffrey Kail. McGrory has also participated in master classes led by Jeff Bradetich, Alexander Hanna, Scott Pingel, and many others.
He taught for four years in the Spring Hill School District, serving as the assistant band and orchestra director. In 2019, McGrory started at the University of Kansas as a graduate teaching assistant in addition to pursuing a PhD in Music Education.
McGrory is the principal bass of the Saint Joseph Symphony and the Midwest Chamber Ensemble. He subs regularly with the Topeka Symphony and Kansas City Symphony. In his spare time, McGrory enjoys cooking and running, as well as the occasional round of golf.
Adjunt Professor, Trombone
MM - University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC)
BM - University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC)
Brent Mead, a Mason City, IA native, is an enthusiastic performer, educator and supporter of music in the Kansas City area. He joined the Wichita Symphony as principal trombone in 2018. Mead has performed with Orchestra Iowa, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, Fountain City Brass Band, Sunflower Music Festival Orchestra, and many other community and chamber ensembles.
During his master’s degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Brent was a member of the Volker Brass Quintet who won the 2019 American Brass Quintet Brass Prize and was a semifinalist at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in addition to finishing in 3rd place at the 2018 MTNA National Chamber Music Competition. During those two years, Volker Brass was a national finalist and alternates in several other competitions as well.
Mead is also passionate about education and enjoys volunteering his time at schools to share his love of music. He teaches low brass lessons at the Culture House in Olathe, KS. Mead has worked with students at universities, youth symphonies, and the Kansas City Trombone Workshop, in addition to teaching private lessons since 2013.
Adjunct Instructor, Piano
DMA - University of Kansas
Ivy Lu Wang is an active pianist, chamber musician, lecturer, teacher, and founder of the Conero International Piano Festival & Competition and the International Piano Professionals Association (IPPA). A DMA graduate from the University of Kansas, she studied under the guidance of prestigious piano and pedagogy professor Dr. Scott McBride Smith.
As an inspiring lecturer and teacher, Wang is frequently invited to give concerts, masterclasses, and lectures at many different universities and piano schools. She has given online pedagogical lectures which have drawn an audience of thousands of piano teachers. With 14 years of teaching experience, Wang has attracted international students from China, Canada, United States, and Malaysia. Her students have won multiple national and international competitions.
Wang's academic research specialty is injury prevention. She graduated with honors from University of Kansas with her doctoral Dissertation “Applying the Rotation Principle to Avoid Injury in Piano Practice”. Wang was selected to represent the KU MTNA chapter to give a presentation on remote piano teaching methods in 2017 MTNA conference in Baltimore, and also presented at the 2017 KMTA conference. During her masters’ program, she cooperated with medical doctoral students, and created a research program named “How Pianists coexist with tenosynovitis”, which received a research grant and was named as the honored research program at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in 2014.
In her performance career, Wang has won multiple competition prizes, including the first prize in the 2011 Zhong-sin International Music Competition in Singapore, where she was invited to perform in the award ceremony with the jury. In June 2011, she won the first prize in the Second Deutschland and China & Gemeinsam Competition in Sichuan Province. Wang has performed on multiple occasions in China, Singapore, Italy, Israel and the US. She has been invited every year to perform in the PBD international music concert at the University of Kansas, and the Chinese New Year Concert in Kansas City since 2017. In 2021, Wang was invited by CCTV (China Central Television) and KCCA (Kansas City Chinese Association), to perform for the “24-Hour Global Virtual Concert”.
Baroque music and New Music repertoire are her special interests. Wang has performed harpsichord with the KU Baroque Chamber Music recital, and premiered several New Music pieces in the Cortona New Music Festival and KU New Music Concert. As an active chamber musician, she has collaborated frequently with string, flute, clarinet and vocal artists. Wang has played with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra and the Overland Park Orchestra in their concert series.
Adjunct Instructor, Violin
DMA - University of Kansas
MM Candidate - University of Kansas
MM - Beijing Capital Normal University (CNU)
BM - Beijing Capital Normal University (CNU)
Violinist Mandy Wang is the first prize winner of the 2015 MTNA Kansas State and West Central competition, third prize winner of the 2015 Enkor International Chamber Music Competition, honor prize of the 2016 Misbin Memorial Chamber Music Competition. Other competitions she got top prizes include 2010 Shandong Young Artist Competition and Golden Award of the Music Competition in Beijing. She has performed extensively as a soloist and member of the CNU String Quartet throughout Beijing and Shandong. From 2000 to 2006, Dr. Wang was frequently invited to perform in Japan, Korea and Taiwan with the Shandong Youth Philharmonic as a soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster. In the summer of 2017, she performed in Aspen Music Festival under the baton of Ludovic Morlot of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and prominent British conductor Jane Glover, where she studied with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Robert Chen and Cornelia Heard. Dr. Wang was a member of the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico in its inaugural season in 2017 and continues to receive invitations to perform with prestigious ensembles.
Dr. Wang’s talent for music was noticed when she was very young, and she began studying the violin at the age of 5 in Shandong. In 2007, Wang was admitted to the Beijing Capital Normal University (CNU) as a top student. She completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees with the most prestigious scholarships. In 2018 Mandy Wang received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in violin performance from the University of Kansas, where she studied with Dr. Véronique Mathieu and served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the university orchestra. In 2020 she received her Graduate Certificate from the University of Kansas in violin performance under the instruction of David Colwell. Currently, she is working on her Master of Music degree in viola performance and studying with Boris Vayner. Since 2017 Dr. Wang has served as a faculty member at Ottawa University and performer-artist at NAVO Organization. In 2017 Dr. Wang joined the Community School for the Performing Arts in Manhattan, Kansas.