Professors and Colleagues

I first learned to play the piano from my Mother who in her own right is a brilliant pianist. She was a student of Silvio Scionti at North Texas State University where she majored in music. Mom wisely decided to send me to a very fine teacher for my elementary school years, Mr. Paul Bentley. Mr. Bentley was the Organist and Director of Music at Trinity Episcopal Church in Galveston, Texas, where I grew up. He laid the groundwork for my technique and patiently taught me many pieces of the beginner's piano repertoire. All of my teachers and colleagues have been -- and remain -- immensely influential in my work as a teacher, musician and person. Some of them are listed here.

 

Percy Aycock (1931 - 2002)

(No list of my teachers would be complete without including my friend and piano tuner Percy Aycock. Except for one unfortunate incident, no one else tuned my Steinway grands from 1978 through 2001). I learned practically everything I know about pianos from Percy. He was considered a true artist by all of his clients and friends.

from The Washington Post, December 8, 2002: "Until the mid-1990s, shortly before he retired, Aycock tuned the Steinway and other pianos for hundreds of concerts and rehearsals at the Kennedy Center, the White House, the State Department, Library of Congress, the Phillips Gallery, the Cosmos Club and universities throughout the Washington area. There also were scores of pianos he tuned at private homes. He was in such demand that he accumulated about 200,000 miles on his maroon-colored service van in a five-year period, trekking from job to job. As his reputation grew, so too did his professional relationships with many renowned pianists and recording artists who passed through Washington, including Artur Rubenstein, Rudolph Serkin and his son, Peter, Andre Watts, Alfred Brendel, Ann Schein, George Winston, Vladimir Horowitz and Mitsuko Uchida. His wife, Mary, said 'He was happy with his work, but most happy when the musician was happy'."

 

Anthony ChanakaAnthony Chanaka (1917 - 2002)

(I studied piano technique, performance and pedagogy with Tony Chanaka from 1985 to 2002. I was recommended to Tony by Percy Aycock.)

Anthony Chanaka was a piano and voice teacher in Chevy Chase, Washington, D.C. He taught from his private studio there for about 60 years. A native of Washington, D.C., he was a graduate of the Washington College of Music, where he served for a time as a faculty member. He also attended George Washington University and studied with Nadia Boulanger and pianist and editor Edwin Hughes. Mr. Chanaka was the accompanist for and collaborator with the Brazilian soprano Sarita Gloria. They gave recitals in the 1950s and 1960s and recorded a series of Brazilian songs for the RCA Victor label. Mr. Chanaka gave recitals at The Philips Collection and the National Gallery of Art. In 1999 he was recognized for his 50 years of membership in the Music Teacher National Association. He was a prominent member of the Washington Music Teachers Association and the teacher of many of the area's most prominent pianists and piano teachers.

 

Dr Conrad Bernier 1Dr. Conrad Bernier (1904 - 1988)

(After an interview with the organist Dr. Albert RusselI about finding a teacher of classical improvisation, I called Dr. Bernier and requested an interview to see if I could study with him. I had lessons in counterpoint, fugue, composition, classical improvisation and organ performance with him from 1981 until his death in 1988.)

Conrad Bernier was introduced to music by his father Joseph-Arthur Bernier, who taught him  solfège, organ and piano in his native city of Quebec. At the age of 19 he was awarded the Prix d'Europe to study organ in Paris. While at the Conservertoire he studied piano with Sylvia Hérard and Simone Pié-Caussade, music theory with Georges Caussade and organ with Joseph Bonnet. He went on to become Bonnet's assistant at the church of St.-Eustache. Dr. Bernier was the Chair of the Organ Department and on the Composition Faculty at Catholic University for about 50 years. He was the organist of the church of St. Anne in Washington, D.C. from 1935 to 1969, and then became the regular organist at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception where he gave annual recitals for decades. He continued to teach privately until his death in 1988. He composed several works for organ, piano and voice, and published a Method Book for Organ as well as a Traité d'improvisation à l'orgue.

 

Dr. BrBruce Lunkleyuce Lunkley (1929 - 1998)

(I was a student of choral conducting and vocal coaching while at Austin College. I served on the Board of the Sherman Community Series with Dr. Lunkley and was also his recital accompanist. I went with him on four of his European Tours with the Austin College Choir in the 1980s and 1990s as the accompanist for the Choir and as a Featured Performance Artist.)

Bruce Lunkley, an exceptionally gifted voice teacher, came from Minnesota to Austin College in Sherman, Texas. As the Chair of the Music Department, Professor of Singing and the college's A Cappela Choir he modernized the choir and entire music department. Dr. Lunkley held the office of President of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and was named a Master Teacher by NATS in 1991. After his retirement from the faculty of Austin College he went on to Chair the Department of Voice at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

 

 

George Bozeman(1936 - )

(George Bozeman was a student of my maternal Grandmother for 12 years before he attended college. He and I became friends in 1985 when a picture of his "Bach Organ" was featured on the cover of "The American Organist" in February of that year. George has been a colleague, friend and teacher of mine since then.)

A native of the Texas Panhandle, George Bozeman studied piano for 12 years with Gladys Humphreys. He then majored in organ performance at North Texas State University, where he was a student of Dr. Helen Hewitt. As a  Fulbright Scholar, he studied organ performance with Anton Heiller at the Academy of Music in Vienna, Austria. Following an apprenticeship with the organ builder Fritz Noack, George established his own organ building firm in Lowell, Massachusetts, which he later moved to New Hampshire. The firm installed 60 organs across 20 states, including organs at Trinity Church, Wall Street and the State University of New York (the "Bach Organ", now located at Oberlin University). An international solo recital and recording artist, George also collaborated extensively in recitals with flutist Bryan Dyker. They appeared together at the Busch-Reisinger Museum and many other venues before Mr. Dyker's untimely death in 1993.

  

Robert T. AndersonDr. Robert Anderson (1934-2009)

(I studied privately with Robert Anderson at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1975 and 1976; I also attended his Organ History and Literature Classes.)

From 1960 to 1996 Robert T. Anderson was the Professor of Organ and Sacred Music at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Known as an extremely demanding teacher, his roster of brilliant students includes Dr. George Baker, Wolfgang Rübsam, Carole Terry, John Chapell Stowe and many others. He was a Fulbright Scholar and studied organ in Germany with Helmut Walcha. Dr. Anderson was a composition student of Seth Bingham. Anderson was especially influential with regard to the installation of the Fisk organs in Caruth Hall (Southern Methodist University, Dallas) and the Meyerson Symphony Hall in Dallas.