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
Adjunct Instructor of Voice
After twenty years of extensive performing with the Boston Opera Company, Wolftrap Opera, Carnegie Hall and many other companies, I now really love giving back to my students. Performing on stage is such a wonderful way of expressing not only your talent but your inner soul. It is my goal to have each student experience the joy and the freedom of that wonderfully unique experience. Several of my former students are now performing on Broadway and in major opera companies. Their successes are my joy. Family, traveling and tennis are also high on my list.
M.M., Boston Conservatory of Music
Adjunct Instructor of Harp
M.Mus., University of Toronto; D.A., Ball State University
Adjunct Instructor of Horn
When not playing, teaching, or studying music, Damien (on the left) can most often be found somewhere reading whilst probably eating ridiculous amounts of popcorn, a favorite for anyone who may need to get on his good side! He has the distinct pleasure of being married to a musician, Annamarie (process of elimination: the one on the right), who also happens to be a horn player (yes, it’s possible) and who (besides influencing music education in the state) keeps him on his toes playing-wise! Together they enjoy traveling, supporting everything musical, graciously being allowed to live in a house they pay for by the two mischievous yet lovable cats they are attempting to raise, and food, lots of good foods! Not necessarily preparing, just eating!
M.M. Duquesne University
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.
Adjunct Instructor of Percussion
Adjunct Instructor of Voice
Dr. Choi cares very much about his students’ well-being, not just their vocal abilities. He was trained voice at Yonsei University in Korea, the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, and Indiana University.
His former students perform in major opera houses in Europe, Asia, South America, Canada and USA (including the Metropolitan Opera House).
ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR OF CELLO
M.M., George Mason University
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, Michael Dimin, and Edo Castro. When Ms. Frompovich is not working, she is usually found practicing or writing music, blogging, working on videos, creating jewelry out of used instrument strings, building bass guitars, kayaking, biking, hiking, gardening, cooking vegetarian meals or practicing photography. More at www.ladybassmusic.com
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 www.douggately.com
M.A., George Mason University
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.”
Adjunct Instructor of Trumpet
M.M., State University of New York at Purchase
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 a horn player, but is more likely to be sitting in the audience than on stage.
M.A., Ph.D. Cornell University
Adjunct Instructor of Guitar
Michael is a Fredericksburg native. He is the principal oboe in the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra, and performs regularly in the region. If the weather is warm enough, he can be found tubing down the Rappahannock river.
Interim Director of the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra
Adjunct Instructor of Music Studies
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
Adjunct Instructor of Trombone
M.M., Ithaca College
Adjunct instructor of voice & music studies
D.M.A., University of Maryland
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
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
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