Music Alumni

To learn about the activities of some of our alums, visit our alumni links page.

(Alums, keep us updated on your activities!)


Music Faculty & Staff

Ernest Brown

Adjunct Instructor of Piano

D.M.A.,  University of Maryland

M.Mus., Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Brown retired top Fredericksbugrg from Norfolk State University, where he was the chair of the music department.  But he’s not ready to give up teaching!

Gary Carper

Gary Carper

Adjunct Instructor of Tuba & Euphonium

Gary Carper (Tuba, Euphonium) still gets a thrill from teaching, even after 40+ years, but live performance is his dominant motivation. At UMW: The Faculty Brass Quintet, Faculty Jazz Sextet and the new Brass Ensemble are his primary focus.  As a free-lance Musician since 1976, Gary has performed in 39 states with a wide variety of ensembles on Tuba, Bass Trombone, Tenor Trombone and Euphonium. A partial list of current ensembles include The Piedmont Symphony Orchestra (Principle Tuba), The Mid Atlantic Wind Symphony (Principle Tuba), The Gangplank Ragtime Band, The Edelweiss Band and his own ensemble: The Washburg Brass Quintet.

Matthew Case

Matthew Case

Adjunct Instructor of Percussion

Katherine Colburn


M.M., George Mason University

Zoe Coppola


M.M.  Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University

Zoe lives in DC and maintains an active freelance career, regularly playing with many ensembles including the Washington Concert Orchestra, Avanti Orchestra, Mid-Atlantic Symphony, Washington Opera Society, Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia, and the In Series. She manages a thriving private studio, teaches harp at the DC Youth Orchestra Program, and is excited to join the department at UMW. Her four-book beginner harp curriculum, Happy Harps, is being carried by major harp music distributors and is hopefully making life easier for lots of teachers. Zoe also holds a BA with a piano concentration from Skidmore College, but these days rarely performs on piano; there’s just not enough string changing, relentless tuning, ramp access needs, and heavy equipment hauling involved.

Zoe is still working out her response to everyone’s favorite comment: “I’ll bet you wish you played the flute!”

Michael Morely

Maxxx Dennis

office manager

Maxxxis a Fredericksburg native.  He is an oboist, performing regularly in the region.  If the weather is warm enough, he can be found tubing down the Rappahannock river.


Brittany Frompovich

Brittany Frompovich

Adjunct instructor of Contrabass

Brittany Frompovich is a highly regarded teacher, clinician, and musician. She has shared the stage with musicians such as Robert Harsen, Ron Holloway, Jason Everett, Micheal Dimin, and Edo Castro. She’s an active contributor for No, one of the fastest growing online magazines for bassists and bass enthusiasts worldwide.  When Ms. Frompovich is not teaching, she is usually found performing solo or with the Ashleigh Chevalier Band, working on tracks in her home studio, creating jewelry out of used instrument strings, building bass guitars, camping, hiking, gardening, cooking vegetarian meals, or practicing photography. More at

Doug Gately

Doug Gately

Senior Lecturer of Music

Doug Gately (Instrumental music, Jazz studies) specializes in woodwinds and jazz piano.  A MaryWash alumnus, he was for many years member of the United States Air Force jazz ensemble Airmen of Note, and has performed with such artists as varied Dizzy Gillespie, Sammy Nestico, Aretha Franklin, Crystal Gayle, Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, and Michael Feinstein.  He maintains an active performance career with solo appearances, chamber groups, and club and orchestra gigs.  Prof. Gately directs the UMW jazz ensemble and concert band.  See
M.A., George Mason University

Cathy Hoskins

Cathy Hoskins


Cathy accompanies the choral ensembles, the group voice workshop and vocal/instrumental students, as well as working with UMW Theatre and Dance.  In addition, she has accompanied and directed musical productions around the community.  In her “spare” time, Cathy is the music teacher at Tree of Life Christian Preparatory School in Fredericksburg for grades K-8, as well as a private vocal coach and piano teacher.  She observes, “Music is such a powerful tool that can connect people from all walks of life. I have built numerous friendships and connections over the years because of music and it is my goal to be not only an accompanist, but a friend.”


Michael Huffman

Michael Huffman

Adjunct Instructor of Trumpet

M.M., State University of New York at Purchase


Brooks Kuykendall

Brooks Kuykendall

Professor of music & department chair

Brooks Kuykendall (musicology) teaches FSEM, music history, and general education music courses, and serves as department chair.  His favorite aspect of teaching is the opportunity to involve students in the long conversation about music, and to get them thinking beyond the lyrics to the music.  As a musician he is an organist and occasionally a horn player, but is more likely to be sitting in the audience than on stage.

Brooks blogs about musical textual issues at  For more of his activities, see 

M.A., Ph.D.,  Cornell University


Bruce Middle

Bruce Middle

Adjunct Instructor of Guitar


Glenn Quader

Director of the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra

M.Mus.  Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University

Katherine Roach

Katherine Roach

Adjunct Instructor of Music Studies

Jarrett Rodriguez

Adjunct Instructor in Woodwinds and Music Entrepreneurship

Jarrett Rodriguez is co-principal bassoon for the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, consulting bassoonist for Jones Double Reeds, and co-owner of Cane Collab. He believes being a musician is more than just playing musical notes, it’s about connecting to people through music and taking on new and creative challenges.  Working in the gig economy, music entrepreneurship is essential to Rodriguez. He embraces both musical creativity and gig economy business with music entrepreneurship. He creatively thrives in situations with new challenges and pushes forward with change. He designed his own unique interdisciplinary academic path in music entrepreneurship by studying bassoon performance, then continuing graduate school to study professional business writing and design thinking.  Rodriguez strives to develop his students into freelance musicians and to foster innovation in the world of music (and beyond). He encourages his students to embrace new ideas and to discover their own musical path.


Chris Ryder

Chris Ryder

Associate Professor of Music & Director of Choral Activities

Chris Ryder was part of the music community in Fredericksburg even before his time as a student at Mary Washington College (’89). Currently, he directs the choral programs at UMW, and teaches class voice, conducting, and general education music courses. When he’s not on campus, he often working as a guest conductor and clinician in schools in Virginia and beyond, making music at Fredericksburg Baptist Church, where he serves as Minister of Music, or riding his bike around town.

M.A., George Mason University; D.M.A., Shenandoah University

Abby Seymour

Adjunct instructor of Voice

Abby Seymour was born and raised in Massachusetts and now resides in Fredericksburg. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Mary Washington. Her studies have been primarily classical, but include other contemporary styles, such as musical theatre, pop, and jazz. Abby has been teaching voice privately in the area for six years, in addition to performing regularly in the Northern Virginia area. When she isn’t teaching or singing, she enjoys being outdoors, reading and spending time with her family.

Ryan Scott

Adjunct Instructor of Horn

Eddie Steenstra

Adjunct Instructor of Trombone

M.M., Ithaca College


Jane Tavernier

Jane Tavernier

Adjunct instructor of voice & music studies

D.M.A., University of Maryland


John Vreeland

John Vreeland

Adjunct Instructor of Organ

Originally from New Jersey, John Vreeland is Director of Music Ministries at historic St. George’s Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg, where he serves as principal organist, directs three choirs, a Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Ensemble.  An accomplished Jazz pianist, bassist, arranger and composer as well, his arrangements and compositions are a regular feature of services at St. George’s.  When he has time to relax, he cooks, bikes around Fredericksburg, memorizes organ music of Max Reger, or plays through the late piano works of Brahms.

M.Mus., University of Buffalo


Bill Wassum

Bill Wassum

Adjunct instructor of violin & Viola

Bill Wassum has over forty years of experience establishing and growing string programs in Texas, West Virginia, South Carolina and Virginia. One of three founders of the Orchestra Program in Spotsylvania County Schools, he teaches studio violin and viola and directs the String Ensemble. The most rewarding aspect of teaching for him has been seeing students he has mentored develop a love of string playing and go on to be accomplished performers and teachers.  He is a Registered Suzuki Violin Teacher and has traveled overseas to Great Britain, Finland, and Australia to receive training in the Colourstrings Method for teaching violin and viola.  Bill loves connecting with students; and especially enjoys that “Aha!” moment when a student finally masters a difficult passage or technique, or grasps a certain musical concept or phrasing.  He also loves collecting musical quotes: “People have often said to me, ‘You’re so relaxed when you play.’ Relaxed my elbow.  It’s practice.” – Benny Goodman.

M.A., Marshall University


Robert Wells

Robert Wells

Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Keyboard Studies

Robert Wells (music theory) teaches theory and aural skills classes ranging from music fundamentals to advanced theory courses for music majors and minors.  As a theorist who is also an active pianist and oboist, he enjoys encouraging students to connect the seemingly abstract world of music theory with tangible principles of performance, composition, teaching, and listening.  Dr. Wells also enjoys exploring the colorful interconnections between music theory and mathematics.

M.M., M.A., Ph.D., Eastman School of Music