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 Faculty, Voice

Education
MM - University of Missouri-Kansas City, Conservatory of Music & Dance
BA - Augustana University
Soprano Alyssa Toepfer has been praised as a performer with "unbridled dexterity" (Kansas
City Star) and a "marvelous, soaring tone" (KC Metropolis).

Currently, Toepfer teaches voice at Ottawa University and Benedictine College, is the
choral assistant at Olathe North High School, sings as an outreach artist with The Lyric Opera
of Kansas City, and is a member of the Grammy award-winning Kansas City Chorale.

Stage credits include Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Barbarina (Le nozze di
Figaro), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Princess/#1 (Transformations), Wanda (The Grand Duchess
of Gerolstein), Aline (The Sorcerer), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi),
Gretel (Hӓnsel und Gretel), Adina (l’Elisir d’amore), and Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte).

In 2014, Toepfer earned international acclaim in her first pants role as Jemmy in Wichita
Grand Opera’s production of "Guillaume Tell." Opera News called her “a convincing Jemmy both
musically and dramatically” while a reviewer from the German Rossini Society praised her as “a
superb Jemmy… she acted as well as she sang.”

Toepfer was a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Born and
raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree at Augustana University and a Master of Music in Voice degree at The University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.

For more information, please visit alyssatoepfer.com.

Associate Professor of Music
Director of Jazz Studies

Phone: 785-248-2524
Email: todd.wilkinson@ottawa.edu
Education
DMA - University of Kansas
MA - Stephen F. Austin State University
BM - Arizona State University
Todd is a native of Kansas City and has been performing professionally since 1983. He graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in 1978, and got his start playing in rock bands and working with an early version of Mike Smith’s Moo-town Sound. Then after eleven years away at college he returned to the area. From 1990-1994 he performed in the house-band at Michael Harvey’s Tuba, with the K.C. Bottoms Band. Forming his own group, Bokomaru, he performed in the house band at his own nightclub, the Drum Room, from 1994-1997. This group produced an acclaimed CD Dreamland in 2000 on FunPro Records.
 
From 1999-2005 he was the Director of Jazz Studies and Instructor of Saxophone at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. Then he was an adjunct instructor at the University of Kansas until 2010; it was there in 2007 that he completed the Doctor of Arts in Saxophone Performance. In 2010 he began his current position as the Director of Jazz Studies at Ottawa University in Ottawa, KS.
 
Todd also holds a B.M. in Jazz Studies from Arizona State University and an M.A. in Music Theory and Composition from Stephen F. Austin State University. He finished the coursework on a D.A. in Saxophone Performance/Pedagogy with a Secondary Emphasis in Jazz Studies at the University of Northern Colorado, before spending 18 months as an Artist-In-Residence at the South Australian College of Advanced Education in Adelaide, South Australia. He was also the President of the Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors in 1992 and 1993, the Artistic Director of the Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival in Topeka, in 2005-and 2006.
 
Todd has directed honors jazz ensembles throughout the Midwest, and served as a clinician, adjudicator, and performer at countless jazz festivals around the world. Todd is particularly proud that several of his former students have finished their doctoral studies and are now well-respected professional educators and performers.
 
Todd’s latest recording projects include: The Goombahles: On Ice in Kansas City, and The Goombahles: On the Lamb, which feature his original compositions and several excellent Kansas City jazz musicians. He has also just finished a recording of his saxophone quartets compositions entitled Conical Boar.  Todd is also performing every Friday with the Tim Whitmer Quartet at the Green Lady Lounge in Kansas City, MO, and plays lead alto with the Sax Pistols at B.B.’s Lawnside Barbeque.
 
Wilkinson’s publications include: The Kansas City Jazz and Blues Nightlife Survival Kit -1992; Premier Quatour, Op. 53 Jean-Baptiste Singelee (1812-1875) an Analytical Overview of the First S.A.T.B. Saxophone Quartet – 2004; William P. Latham’s Sisyphus 1971: An Analysis Using Common Tone Networks – 2005; and Frank Trumbauer’s Saxophone Studies and Modern Solos for Saxophone: Compositions by the Hot Jazz Virtuoso and Their Place within the American Saxophone Tradition - 2006. He is currently working on an outline of Practical Assessments for Young Musicians for use in the Music Business course at Ottawa University.
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