Music Department Faculty

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.

Adjunct Instructor, Piano

Artist's Certificate - University of Missouri Kansas City
MA - University of New Mexico
BA - Adams State University

Charles Dickinson is originally from Houston, where he studied piano as a pre-college student at Rice University. From there, Charles earned a BA in Piano Performance from Adams State University in Colorado, an MA from the University of New Mexico, and most recently, an Artist's Certificate from UMKC. His primary teachers have included Dariusz Pawlas, William Lipke, Falko Steinbach, and Karen Kushner, and he has participated in masterclasses with Leon Fleisher, Anthony de Mare, and Eugene Pridonoff.

As a soloist, he has performed recitals across the United States and Germany. Having a particular focus on contemporary music, Charles has been honored to work with prominent composers like John Corigliano, Martin Scherzinger, and Konrad Boehmer.

Assistant Professor of Music
Director of Choral Music

Phone: 785-248-2523
MM - Colorado State University
BME - 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.

Instructor in Music
Director of Music Program Outreach

Phone: 785-248-2342
PhD - University of Kansas (in progress)
MM - Kansas State University
BM - Kansas State University
Following graduating from Kansas State University in 2010, Jessie began teaching private lessons as an independent contractor for the Kansas City Vocal Institute.  In 2013, Jessie began her doctoral studies and is currently writing her dissertation on the women’s music movement. 

Jessie’s research focuses on gender and identity in music, and she has two pending publications for the Global Music Encyclopedia on the careers of Charlie Parker and Suzanna Owiyo.  She presented papers at the University of Kansas Research Competition in 2015 and 2016.  In the spring of 2016, Jessie was a panelist for the University of Kansas Honors Program series Perspectives: Faces of Feminism in Pop Culture. Jessie performs regularly throughout the Kansas City area.  Most notably she has made several appearances at the Gaslight Grill in Leawood, KS.

Adjunct Instructor, Cello

DMA - University of Missouri Kansas City, Conservatory of Music & Dance
MA - Marshall University
Turkish cellist, Ezgi Karakus began her cello education at the age of eleven with Prof. Caglayan Unal SUMER, and attended Dokuz Eylul University State Conservatory in her native Izmir, Turkey. While attending the conservatory she thrice won the concerto competition and before arriving in the U.S., joined several festivals including the Bremen Youth Symphony Orchestra in Bremen, Germany.
Ezgi completed her Master of Arts at Marshall University under Dr. Solen Dikener’s mentorship, where she was awarded first price in the Belle and Lynum Jackson Balshaw Music Competition, and the Marshall University Concerto Competition.
She gave the world premiere of the Suite for Violoncello and Live electronics by Mark Zanter and performed for the Society of Composers, Inc. 2013 National Conference at the Ohio State University School of Music. She also performed with several orchestras in the past including Dokuz Eylul Symphony, Ohio Valley Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Medical Arts Symphony (acted principal), Spire Chamber Ensemble and Kansas City Jazz Orchestra.
Currently, Ezgi is a teaching artist at the Harmony Project Kansas City, UMKC Academy, a section cellist at the Topeka Symphony, a substitute cellist at the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas and Kansas City Symphony.

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, Percussion

Coming Soon.
Coming Soon.

Director of Bands - OUKS
Assistant Professor of Music

DMA - University of Missouri-Kansas City, Conservatory of Music & Dance
MME - University of Misourri-Kansas City, Conservatory of Music & Dance
BME - 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.

Associate Professor of Music
Chair, Department of Music

Phone: 785-248-2521
DMus, Northwestern University
MA - Kent State University
BM - Kent State University 
Michael Pagán is Associate Professor of Music and serves as Chair of the Music Department at Ottawa University. He received his Doctor of Music degree in composition from Northwestern University; his Master of Arts in composition and Bachelor of Music in Music Education were earned at Kent State University.

Dr. Pagán teaches courses in theory, composition, arranging and piano in classical and jazz contexts. He also directs the University’s vocal jazz ensemble, Bravo! He has performed as a jazz pianist for nearly forty years throughout the United States and in Europe with a long list of notable jazz musicians, has recorded ten CDs as a leader and appears as a sideman on numerous others.

While a graduate student at Kent State University, he won first prize in the New Music For Young Ensembles composer’s competition, which included a Carnegie Hall premiere. Doctoral work in composition at Northwestern followed, and soon Pagán was playing the jazz clubs of Chicago and was mentioned in Downbeat as a musician “deserving wider recognition.” He has also performed on the historic steamer Delta Queen on the Mississippi River. He performs regularly at numerous venues in Kansas City and surrounding regions, including a regular weekly solo piano engagement at Café Trio, where he is in his ninth year, and, since 2014, periodic appearances of the Mike Pagán Big Band.

He has held faculty positions at Olivet College, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and UMKC. Michael Pagán's recorded music appears on the Cadence, Capri, Dutch Music Partners, Tapestry and Artists Recording Collective labels and his music is published by Dutch Music Partners of The Netherlands and UNC Jazz Press.

Adjunct Instructor, Trumbone


MM - DePaul University
BM - University of Kansas


Brian Scarborough has been steadily developing his own voice and style as a trombonist, composer, improviser, and educator.  Born in a suburb of Chicago and raised in Kansas City, his career has led him to work and studies in both cities.  He can be seen performing around Kansas City with his own ensemble, the Brian Scarborough Quintet, and with the People’s Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City and the Boulevard Big Band.  Additionally, Brian can be seen working with musical theatre companies throughout the metropolitan area, having performed for 36 different productions with New Theatre Restaurant, Owen/Cox Dance Group, Spinning Tree Theatre, Musical Theatre Heritage, The Chestnut Theatre, and Music Theater Kansas City, among others.  Brian also served as the lead trombonist for the 2014 Disneyland All-American College Band at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. 
Brian was recently named one of three finalists for the International Trombone Association’s J.J. Johnson Jazz Trombone Competition.  This June he will travel to Redlands, California to participate in the live finals round at the 2017 International Trombone Festival.  Brian also performed at the 2015 American Trombone Workshop hosted by the U.S. Army Band at Ft. Myer, VA and won the National Solo Jazz Competition.  In addition, Brian was named a Luminarts Fellow of Jazz Improvisation in 2014 through the Luminarts Cultural Foundation at The Union League Club of Chicago.  During his undergraduate studies, he was a finalist for the Gilberto Gagliardi competition at the International Trombone Festival and received two Outstanding Performance awards in Downbeat Magazine’s Student Music Awards.
As an educator, Brian has presented workshops and masterclasses at the University of Kansas and Johnson County Community College, and has worked with public schools throughout the area.  He served as an Artist-in-Residence at Washburn University in 2016, performing as a member of the faculty brass quintet.  Additionally, he has served on the faculty for the University of Kansas Jazz Workshop, the Kansas City Jazz Camp, and as a Teaching Assistant for the 2015 Brevard Jazz Institute. 
Brian has studied jazz with Tim Coffman, Tom Matta, Dana Hall, Matt Otto, Danny Embrey, and Dan Gailey, and has studied trombone with Dr. Michael Davidson and Dave Cooper.  He has received additional coaching from Bill Reichenbach, Michael Dease, Andy Martin, Alex Iles, John Fedchock, Elliot Mason, Ingrid Jensen, Luis Bonilla, and Peter Epstein. 
In addition to tenor trombone, Brian also teaches bass trombone, euphonium, and tuba.
For more information, visit

Adjunct Instructor, Guitar

BM - University of North Texas
Originally from the Kansas City, Missouri area, Jeff Shirley started studying music at seven years of age and found guitar at the age of twelve. His specialties are composing jazz and playing jazz guitar. A graduate of University of North Texas with a jazz performance degree, he has since been growing in the Kansas City thriving jazz scene. From traditional to modern, he is always trying to create and innovate, while honoring the tradition. Currently he is playing weekly at places including the historic Mutual Musician's Foundation, YJ's Snack Bar every Sunday from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., the Blue Room, and many more. His latest album is Point Of The Story, and features Roger Wilder, Bob Bowman, Matt Leifer and Ryan Theilman.
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