School of the Arts Faculty and Staff

Music Academic Studies

Fredrick Tarrant

Fredrick Tarrant

Dean, School of Performing Arts


Music History

B.M. Baylor University
M.M. Baylor University
Ph.D. Indiana University
Professor of Music


Mason Conklin

Assistant Professor of Music


Piano, Class Piano, Theory

B.M. Baylor University
M.M. Baylor University
Ph.D. University of Oklahoma


Alexander Wasserman

Assistant Professor of Music


Piano, Theory, Director of the Reinhardt Piano Festival and Academy

B.M. University of Southern California
M.M. Cleveland Institute of Music
D.M.A. Cleveland Institute of Music

Music Education Studies and Primary Ensemble Conductors

Dr. Kerry Bryant, Director of Instrumental Activities

Kerry Bryant

Assistant Professor of Music


Director of Instrumental Activities

B.M.E. University of Kentucky
M.M.E. University of South Carolina
Ed.S. Lincoln Memorial University
Ed.D. Liberty University

Dr. Kerry Bryant is Director of Instrumental Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Reinhardt
University. Most recently he served as Director of Bands at Young Harris College, and as Adjunct Instructor of
Music Education at Reinhardt University. Prior to his collegiate career, over a period 32 years, Dr. Bryant
served primarily as Director of Bands for several prominent high school band programs in GA, as well as Fine
Arts Coordinator and elementary music teacher. Thus Dr. Bryant’s music education experience spans the
continuum of grade levels, from kindergarten through graduate-level music courses.

Concert ensembles under his direction have been invited to perform at many college and regional band clinics,
conventions and symposia. He has performed at the Mid-West International Band Clinic as a former member of
Tara Winds. He has numerous arrangements, transcriptions and editions of concert band works in various private
and school libraries and catalogs, including Schirmer Rental and Arrangers Publishing. Dr. Bryant maintains an
active travel schedule throughout the southeastern U.S. with guest conducting, evaluation, and clinician services for
many band programs and state music associations.

Dr. Bryant was awarded Music Educator of the Year in 2016 by the Georgia Music Educators Association. He
was also selected as a 2011 Honoree for the Woodruff Arts Center (Atlanta, GA) Salutes Georgia Arts in
Education Leaders. He has been awarded the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence four times. He
is a member of Phi Beta Mu National Honorary Bandmasters, and has served on the editorial board for the
Music Educators Journal. He has served as an instrumental music education standards writer and reviewer for
the Georgia Department of Education.

Dr. Bryant has degrees from the University of Kentucky (BME, 1986), University of South Carolina (MME,
1993), Lincoln Memorial University (Ed.S, Administration and Supervision, 2005) and Liberty University
(Ed.D., Education Leadership, 2012). He lives in Waleska, GA, with his wife Kelly, a professional flutist in the
Atlanta Opera Orchestra and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (on call), and adjunct Professor of Flute at Reinhardt
and Kennesaw State Universities. They have two children: Jack, age 22, a horn performance fellow at the Curtis
Institute of Music, and Helen, age 19, a piano performance major at the University of Michigan.


Martha Shaw

Professor of Music


Director of Choral Activities

B.M.E. Shorter College
M.S. University of Tennessee
D.M.A. University of South Carolina

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Dennis Naughton

Adjunct Professor of Music & Director, Pep Bands & Marching Band


B.S. in Music Education Georgia State University
Masters of Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi

Mr. Dennis Naughton currently serves as a professor of music education at Reinhardt University where he serves as a student teaching supervisor, percussion ensemble, athletic bands, methods classes, and co -conductor of the Reinhardt Wind Symphony. In June of 2020, he retired as the director of bands at Flowery Branch High School in Flowery Branch, Georgia. During his 30 year teaching tenure, he was also director of bands at North Springs High School, Riverwood International Charter School and East Coweta High School. His bands received invitations to perform at the University of Georgia, the University of Alabama, the University of Southern Mississippi, Kennesaw State University, and Georgia state University. In addition to his teaching experience, he has also spent 14 summers as a staff member of the Encore Music Camps in Milledgeville, Georgia, the Spirit U summer Camp, Spirit Camps, and he spent a year as a staff member of the Atlanta Olympic Band.

He received his B.S. in Music Education from Georgia State University in 1990 and his Masters of Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2008.

As an active member of the GMEA, he has served on the instrumental council, served on the GMEA board, hosted the GMEA performance evaluation, honor bands, and numerous all-state auditions. He has also presented clinics and performed at the Georgia Music Educators' in-Service Conference held annually in Savannah, Georgia. He is member of the Phi Beta Mu International School Bandmasters Fraternity and has been awarded the NBA citation of excellence on 5 occasions. Mr. Naughton has worked with the Southern Star Music Festival for 20 years serving as the instrumental coordinator.

Mr. Naughton lives in Woodstock, Georgia with his wife Christy Naughton. She is the band director at Northwestern Middle School in Fulton County.

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Dr. George Blankson

Assistant Professor of Music & Music Education Coordinator


Cell: 662-801-4986

B.M. in Phil., Univ. of Cape Coast, Ghana
M.M.E., Univ. of Cape Coast, Ghana
Ph.D., Univ. of Mississippi

Dr. George Blankson, Assistant Professor of Music, serves as the Coordinator for Music Education at Reinhardt University. He teaches music education courses and supervises student teachers. Prior to joining the faculty at Reinhardt, Dr. Blankson received a Ph.D. in music education from the University of Mississippi. He has over ten years of teaching experience, ranging from the elementary to the postsecondary level. Dr. Blankson actively presents research and workshops at international and national conferences, traveling in U.S. and in countries including Germany, Ghana, and Nigeria. His research interests are in program evaluation, music teaching competencies, multicultural music education. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Blankson also performs as a pianist and directs African drumming and dance ensemble, with her most rewarding roles being a husband to Sarah and father to David.

Applied Keyboard Studies


Marla Bishop


Piano Class

B.A. Kennesaw State University
M.M. Converse College


Mason Conklin

Assistant Professor of Music


Piano, Class Piano, Theory

B.M. Baylor University
M.M. Baylor University
Ph.D. University of Oklahoma


Alexander Wasserman

Assistant Professor of Music


Piano, Theory, Director of the Reinhardt Piano Festival and Academy

B.M. University of Southern California
M.M. Cleveland Institute of Music
D.M.A. Cleveland Institute of Music

Applied Voice Studies


Anne Schantz

Assistant Professor of Music



B.S. Southern Nazarene University
M.M. University of Oklahoma
D.M.A. University of North Texas


Rebecca Salter

Associate Professor of Music



B.M. Oklahoma City University
M.M. Oklahoma City University
D.M.A University of Oklahoma

Dr. Rebecca Salter is an Associate Professor of Music – Applied Voice and Voice Area Coordinator at Reinhardt University. Her former students have appeared on film and television, Broadway, National and International Broadway tours, as well as regional theatres and young artist programs throughout the country. Many students have been selected as winners and finalists at all levels of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Student Auditions. Dr. Salter holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma (DMA) and OCU (MM/BM). In 2016, she was chosen as a teacher participant in W. Stephen Smith’s Naked Voice Institute. Dr. Salter is certified from The Institute for Contemporary Commercial Music in Vocal Pedagogy (The LoVetri Method - Level I) and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (Southeastern Region Governor) and Pi Kappa Lambda.


Cory Schantz

Associate Professor of Music



B.M. Oklahoma Baptist University
M.M. Austin Peay State University
D.M.A. University of Oklahoma


Dr. Cory Schantz has sung principal roles with Atlanta Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Baltimore Opera, among others. Most recently, he made his company debut with Opera Birmingham, singing the role of Capulet in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette.

An active interpreter of oratorio and concert singer, Dr. Schantz made his Carnegie Hall debut in April 2018, singing the baritone solos in Handel’s Messiah. He has also appeared as soloist with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Johns Creek Symphony, Rome Symphony, Billings Messiah Festival, and Brazos Chamber Orchestra. In 2017, Dr. Schantz appeared as baritone soloist on the recording Canciones del Corazon, by the Reinhardt University Chamber Singers.

As a recitalist, Dr. Schantz has performed recitals and presented masterclasses at Austin Peay State University, University of Connecticut, University of South Alabama, and the University of Tennessee. Upcoming recitals include performances at University of Toledo and Florida State University.

Dr. Schantz studied with Marilyn Horne at The University of Oklahoma (where he earned his D.M.A.) and the Académie Musicale de Villecroze (France). He has served on the voice faculty at Ouachita Baptist University, Oklahoma State University, South Dakota State University and is currently on faculty at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia, where he teaches voice and coordinates the opera program.

Instrumental Applied Studies


Herb Buffington

Artist Affiliate, Organ

Herbert Buffington

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Herbert Buffington began his musical career as a treble chorister in the Choir of Men and Boys at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, where he also held the position of Cathedral Sub-Organist for several years before entering undergraduate school. He earned degrees from Duke University (A.B.) and the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University (M.Mus.). European study was at the Vienna International Music Center and the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria. His organ teachers have included Fenner Douglass, Robert Parkins, Peter Planyavsky, and Donald S. Sutherland. Improvisation study has been with Bruce Neswick, David Dahl, and Gerre Hancock.

Nationally recognized for his artistry and skill in organ improvisation, he won Second Prize in the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation in 2010 and he frequently teaches improvisation and service playing master classes. His work has been featured many times on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and American Public Media’s “Pipedreams.” Following a performance at The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, MO, a review in the Kansas City Star praised his improvisation on “Veni creator spiritus” as a “fascinating solo organ fantasy . . . a tour de force.”

Mr. Buffington maintains an active concert schedule and has performed in major venues including Washington National Cathedral, National City Christian Church, the Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia, Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, Indiana, the Cathedral of the Advent, Birmingham, Alabama, the Peabody Conservatory of Music, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the University of Texas at Austin, Duke University Chapel, the Brevard Music Center Summer Festival, Brevard, North Carolina, the Savannah Music Festival, Savannah, Georgia, and the Westobou Festival, Augusta, Georgia. Additionally, he collaborates several times each year with pianist Randall Frieling to present piano and organ duo concerts. Recordings on the Sonare label include works by Bach, Elgar, Franck, Mendelssohn, Reger, Tournemire, and Widor, as well as improvisations.


Mr. Buffington is an Artist Affiliate teaching organ performance at Reinhardt University, and most recently was Artist-in-Residence at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Immediately prior to his appointment at St. Luke’s Church, he was for twenty-five years the Organist and Associate Choir Director at the historic Peachtree Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in midtown Atlanta.


Kelly Bryant

Artist Affiliate, Flute


B.M. University of South Carolina
M.M. University of South Carolina
Atlanta Opera Orchestra


Paul Dickinson

Artist Affiliate, Euphonium and Tuba


Tuba, Euphonium

B.M. Furman University
M.M. Georgia State University
D.M. Florida State University

Gavin photo for RU site (1)

Christina Gavin

Artist Affiliate, Oboe


B.M., Music Performance, Florida St. Univ.

Artist Diploma, San Fransisco Conservatory

Christina Gavin, Oboe, Biography

Christina Gavin is an oboist, English hornist, and educator in Atlanta, Georgia. Christina earned a Bachelor of Music Performance from the Florida State University under Eric Ohlsson, and an Artist’s Diploma in Music Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory under Russ deLuna and Eugene Izotov.

She is the recently appointed Artist Affiliate in Oboe at Reinhardt University in Waleska, GA as well as Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA. Christina has led a private studio composed of students from across the country since 2013, including offering virtual private lessons for non-local students. Christina is a regular clinician at schools in the Atlanta area and has had the honor of being a guest clinician and judge for various high school competitions in both Florida and Georgia.

In addition to her career in education, Christina is an active performer across the United States. She is the Second Oboe and English Horn in the Atlanta Opera, and the Principal Oboe in the Georgia Symphony. Christina regularly performs with numerous orchestras in the Southeast US including the Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Pops Orchestra, and the Orlando Philharmonic. Christina has also performed with several other prestigious orchestras, most notably working as both a guest principal and guest second oboe for the San Francisco Symphony during her time living on the west coast.

Jeanne Heinze

Jeanne Heinze

Artist Affiliate, Clarinet



B.M.E. Louisiana State University
M.M. Manhattan School of Music
Atlanta Opera Orchestra

Hollifield photo for RU site (1)

William Hollifield

Artist Affiliate, Saxophone/Jazz Studies


B.M., University of Denver

M.M., Georgia State University


Saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer William Hollifield was born and raised in Atlanta, GA.  While still early in his career, he has enjoyed a variety of experiences as a performer and composer.  He began his performance career playing at Carnegie Hall and on NPR's From the Top at the age of just 16.  Highlights include domestic and international performances sharing the stage with artists such as Sublime, Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, Nicholas Patyon, Kevin Mahogany, Dave Douglas, Eddie Daniels, Blair Crimmins & the Hookers, The Shadowboxers, Chantae Cann, Algebra, Eric Whitacre, Christopher Martin (Principal Trumpet - Chicago Symphony) and Chris Cauley of The Voice.

William is a member of several of Atlanta's top nationally touring groups spanning many different genres.  As the saxophonist for the singer-songwriter Wesley Cook, William has opened for Santigold, Pat Benatar, and EOTO.  His progressive hip-hop group, Monkier, has opened for Snarky Puppy.  And, with Caitlin Andrews, he has recorded for and performed on Sundance Channel's original series "Red Road".

As a composer, William's works have enjoyed both commercial and artistic success.  He has written and arranged for The Voice, The Shadowboxers, Jean Kelley, Indee Killed the Pop Star, and the Caitlin Andrews Band.  His big band arrangements have been debuted by the Lamont Jazz Orchestra and the ConArtists of Brisbane Australia where he also headlined the Queensland Jazz Festival.

William is one of the most sought after teachers in Georgia. Having taught privately for nearly a decade, he retains a studio of over fifty students and works constantly with Atlanta-area public and private schools leading sectionals and holding master classes and clinics.  His lessons and articles have been featured on blogs and lessons sites including Lessons with Bob Reynolds and Jazz Drummers Resource.  His students routinely rank as some of the top students in the state as members of All State Band, Jazz Band, and Full Orchestra as well as attendees for Governor's Honors Program.

Jon Klausman

Jon Klausman

Artist Affiliate, Trumpet


B.M., Kennesaw St. Univ.
M.M., Univ. of Texas, Austin


Jonathan Klausman is a dynamic trumpet player who recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Master’s in Trumpet Performance. During Jonathan’s last semester of graduate work he served as the Teaching Assistant for the trumpet studio at the Butler School of Music. His role as the Teaching Assistant was to teach the undergraduate freshmen while teaching music studies major to play the trumpet, as well as teach non-music majors trumpet. Mr. Klausman was also charged with helping to organize the studio with four different teachers that were brought for the 2019-2020 academic school year.

Mr. Klausman played as lead trumpet in the UT Jazz Orchestra during the 2018-2019 academic school year, and played in the UT Wind Ensemble under the direction of Jerry Junkin during the 2019-2020 academic school year. Mr. Klausman has been very fortunate to study under some of the best teachers in the trumpet community. His teachers include the following: Marie Speziale, Billy Hunter, David Hickman, Ryan Anthony, Christopher Martin, and Michael Martin, Dr. Douglas Lindsey and Michael Tiscione.

Jonathan is an avid tennis player, whitewater kayaker from Marietta, Georgia and is beyond happy to finally be married to his beautiful wife Damarys.


Mackenzie Newell

Artist Affiliate, Horn


B.M. Boston University
M.M. New England Conservatory of Music

Mackenzie Newell is a French hornist and educator currently based in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Boston University and a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music. While in Boston, Mackenzie performed with groups such as the Boston Pops and the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra. In addition to playing regularly with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, Mackenzie currently teaches horn players from beginner through collegiate levels.


Hollie Lawing Pritchard

Artist Affiliate, Trombone

Cell - 678-492-1130

B.M. Georgia State University
Graduate Studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music

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Justin Iadonisi

Artist Affiliate, Percussion


Sean Thrower

Adjunct Professor of Guitar



B.M., Columbus State Univ.
M.M., Univ. of Massachusetts

Collaborative Pianists


Wanda Cantrell


B.M.E. Berry College


Marcena Kinney


B.M. Shorter College
M.M. Northwestern University


Janelle Martinez


B.M. Reinhardt University

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Kimberly Markham


Collaborative Pianist

B.M. Shorter College


Fabia Smith


B.M. University of Miami at Coral Gables (FL)
M.M. University of Michigan


Melanie Williams


B.M. Georgia State University
M.M. Lee University

Theatre and Musical Theatre Studies


David Nisbet

Associate Professor of Music


Theatre Program Coordinator, Musical Theatre, Theatre

B.A. Millikin University
M.F.A. Illinois State University

Kimberly Markham

Musical Theatre Pianist


Collaborative Pianist

B.M. Shorter College


Morgan Brooks

Adjunct Professor of Theatre


Technical and Operations Manager of the Reinhardt Theatre

B.A. Rhodes College
M.A. Savannah College of Art and Design

Morgan McCrary Brooks (B.A. in Theatre, Rhodes College; M.A. in Performing Arts, Savannah College of Art and Design) serves as Reinhardt University Theatre's Technical and Operations Manager and instructor of technical theatre classes. She also teaches acting classes and summer camps at the Grand Theatre in Cartersville, GA; and works as a freelance designer and director in the Atlanta area theatre community. She is a Metropolitan Atlanta Theatre Award nominee (Into the Woods, Act3 Productions, 2017) and winner (scenic design for Foxfire, StageWorks, Inc., 2013). She is pleased to be a part of Reinhardt University and looks forward to the many exciting things to come in the world of performing arts at Reinhardt.


Jamie McCord

Adjunct Professor of Dance



B.A. Kennesaw State University


Fredrick Tarrant

Fredrick Tarrant

Dean, School of Performing Arts


Music History

B.M. Baylor University
M.M. Baylor University
Ph.D. Indiana University
Professor of Music