LeeU Composer’s Forum – Devoted to the expression of creative musical ideas

More than just a club, LeeU Composer’s Forum (LUCF) is a community of creatives that gather to share and critique their art. If you join one of their meetings, you’ll find an environment welcoming anyone to come and grow as a musician – fostering a safe place for the growth of creativity.

Designed to be a resource for composers, songwriters, and lovers of music, LUCF is a respectful space to exchange and cultivate creative ideas. When asked to describe the club Caleb Hinton, who is the president of the Forum, said:

“Our goal is to provide our members the opportunities to deepen their knowledge and love for music all kinds, as well as to showcase and receive constructive feedback on their own compositions.”

The Composer’s Forum will be hosting an event next week with Dr. Wykoff in their masterclass. Dr Wykoff will be presenting two new contrasting musical compositions which will include:

“The Virtuous Soul” – a song to be performed by Nathaniel Olson and Jonathan Jung &

“Petite Picaresque”

After these songs, he will do a workshop with a couple of students and will wrap up the evening in a Q & A time with the audience.  The event will be on February 24, 2021 at 7 p.m. in room 118 of the music building and is free for anyone who wishes to attend.

Anyone interested in learning more or getting involved can follow the LeeU Composer’s Form instagram account and/or email Hinton @ chinto00@leeu.edu

A Masterclass with Dr Wykoff:

February 24th @ 7p.m.

Faculty Highlight: Dr. ChoEun Lee

Q: Tell us a little about yourself – Such as where you’re from, your educational background/musical experience, etc

A: I am from Ulsan, South Korea (Ulsan is where Hyundai started their first car production). I finished my undergraduate in Korea and obtained a solo piano degree. I came to the States in 2005 to pursue a Master’s degree in collaborative piano from the University of Cincinnati. Afterwards I went to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles for my doctoral degree. I taught at California State University San Bernardino for 4 years, then I finally arrived to Lee in 2016. In the meantime, I have engaged in several prestigious music festivals such as Tanglewood Music Festival and also the Aspen Music Festival where I worked with renowned musicians including Stephanie Blythe, Jake Heggie, Martin Katz, Anne Sofie von Otter, Christine Schäffer, Dawn Upshaw, and Linda Watson, and performed in Korea, the United States, Austria, Australia, Italy, Taiwan, and New Zealand.

Q: How did you hear about Lee University, and what classes do you teach here?

A: When I found Lee University was seeking applicants for assistant professor of collaborative piano and vocal coaching, I liked the name because my last name is also Lee, so I thought perhaps this my destination!

I teach Collaborative Piano, Vocal Coaching, Chamber Music, Applied Piano, Opera courses, and I also play for Lee Chorale.

Q: In regards to the Collab Music event… Can you tell us a little more about it and what it means to you?

A: LeeU Collab Music is a day-long workshop focusing on musical collaboration. We aim to 1) encourage and guide young musicians who are interested in collaboration, 2) enrich their knowledge related to the collaborative arts field, and 3) empower their skills to become successful collaborators in making music together. We welcome all musicians (pianists, vocalists, and instrumentalists) from pre-collegiate, collegiate, and teaching professionals.

Through this LeeU Collect music, there are a few things I wish to accomplish. One is promoting a culture in the university of musical collaboration. Specifically we seek to encourage young musicians to collaborate with their partners while developing their instrument techniques since their music is intertwined with their partners.

I also hope to have more people made aware of how active and vibrant our music program is here at Lee University. We had two successful events in the fall and spring with 60-70 participants joining us for each event from 14 different states and Canada, and had our own faculty and visiting faculty from other schools providing lectures and workshops via Zoom. After the Covid situation improves, we plan to host a live event on our campus (or hybrid) and continue this collaboration journey.

Q: How does your religion impact your life in the industry?

A: I was born and raised Catholic and with two nuns in my family. My mother’s hope was that I would learn to play beautiful music during Mass, and that expectation worked out well for me! One of the Christian virtues I learned is loving and helping others which forms a big part of my faith and music. It is also helpful in being a collaborative pianist because, if one wishes to be a good collaborator, they must be willing to love and support others.

Q: Any favorite memories of your music career?

A: There are a lot! But there are two in particular: Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, MA, and my Carnegie Hall debut in 2015. When you are invited to the Tanglewood Music Festival (summer home of Boston Symphony Orchestra), they provide everything you need to focus on music-making. I was so fortunate to attend the event for 2 summers, and I worked with great musicians from the world. Every day we would talk about music and, for a musician, it was like heaven.

Performing in Carnegie Hall is the dream for many musicians, and one of my aspirations since I was young. I made my Carnegie debut in Weill Recital Hall and I was alongside my two dear friends, a soprano and saxophonist. We gave a recital including a few commissioned pieces written for us. My parents flew out from Korea to attend my concert and it was very special and memorable.

Q: Do you have any advice to pass along to music students? 

A: When I was a student, I didn’t recognize how important practicing was in music-making and in developing my musicality. Good practice is building up the right muscle memory with critical thinking; so when musicians get on stage for a concert, they can fully engage in the music and communicate with the audience.

I would also like to emphasize the importance of good time-management. Organizing a schedule, prioritizing tasks, and allocating time for each task is important; it is crucial to balance between study and practice. Also, utilizing a 15-minute time slot for several activities including breaks provides a great opportunity to accomplish a lot of things.

Lastly, I really want to encourage students to take challenges that push them outside of their comfort zones and explore new musical experiences. (Probably after Covid) attending live concerts, participating in the national and international music festivals, and connecting with musicians outside of Lee will help in expanding one’s perspectives in music and enrich their lives.

Student Spotlight: April Richmond

Meet our February Spotlight: April Richmond!

Q: Introduce yourself! Where are you from, and what are you studying here at Lee?

A: Hi, my name’s April Richmond! I’m from Cleveland, TN and I am double majoring in Music Education and Music Business!

Q: So, what brought you to Lee?

A: I came to Lee because I felt drawn to the atmosphere of the campus! I had offers to other schools, and as I was contemplating and praying about where God wanted me, I knew deep down this was where I was meant to be! I knew I could obtain the right education I needed to succeed, but more importantly to grow in Christ! 

Q: What ensembles are you involved in?

A: I’m involved in Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Small Jazz Ensemble! 

Q: If you had to list just one thing, what would be your favorite things about the School of Music?

A: My favorite thing about the school of music is hearing the variety of talent among students! Everyone presents something different to the table! 

Q: Any advice for prospective students who are auditioning for the school?

A: My advice for future flames who are auditioning would be to stay authentic and enjoy the moments between you and the music during the audition! One of the best things you can do is be yourself and be one with the music. Regardless of who’s in the room, just know it’s your time to shine! 

Newest Events In Percussion at Lee University

Percussion at Lee University goes beyond the classroom and offers students the ability to find themselves learning from the best in the business, such as the one and only Andy Harnsberger.

Praised by Percussive Notes Journal as “A Master of Musical Nuance”, Dr. Harnsberger enjoys a versatile career as a performer, composer, and educator here on campus where he most recently worked on a series with a School of Music (SOM) masters alum, Dr. Caitlin Jones.

A brand new recording of one of Dr. Harnsberger’s most recent compositions, is recorded and performed by our own SOM professor, Dr Caitlin Jones titled “The Long Road.”

Watch the video above to hear “The Long Road” written by Andy Harnsberger, performed by Caitlin Jones.

“The Long Road” came about during the beginning of the quarantine period in 2020… The work stems from journeying down a long road – times when life gets tough, when it seems you will never be able to conquer any given situation, when the journey seems to stall and there is no end goal or finality in sight. It’s these times where endurance, perseverance, faith, and an unwavering support system come together to get you through. No matter what, there is always an end to a long road.

Quote from Dr. Caitlin Jones, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4h_wjQLYcw

Fellow students, Alex Loftin, Jacob Schwartz, and Tyler Whitehead worked with both professors in this recording effort with GreenHaus Productions. Learn more about the production company here > https://www.greenhausproductions.com/

Studying music at Lee University’s School of Music is much more than meets the eye, and with opportunities such as this and more the possibilities to further your music profession and hone your skills extends beyond your imagination.

In addition to this new release, Dr. Harnsberger recently published a new CD titled “Unbreakable” which can be located in the link below or on any major music platform.


Interested in Lee University Percussion? Keep up with the latest news and events on their website > https://www.leeupercussion.com/

LeeU Collab Music Spring 2021

Here is more of what is in store during this event!

  • Learn from Lee University professor Dr. Mark Bailey as he discusses his collaboration experience through his many years in the music industry.

  • Dr. Andrea Dismukes will be hosting a workshop on diction:

One thing that sets singers apart from other musicians is that we get to use words! It is wonderful that we have song texts and poetry settings to help us communicate emotions, character, and even tone color. But with this comes responsibility. Great musicians are expressive musicians. With words we have an added gift and we have an added challenge. This session will introduce you to the basics of good diction, including the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to further enhance your singing in English as well as other languages, and the common challenges found in singing with authenticity and integrity in languages other than your own. We will also look at how vocal problems can be corrected and vocal quality can be enhanced through simple adjustments to pronunciation and articulation.

Dr. Mark Bailey

Mark Bailey, conductor of the Lee University Symphonic Band, is Professor of Music at Lee University and holds the doctorate in Music Education from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Bailey is presently in his 21st year as conductor of Symphonic Band. Bailey combines his advanced training with the nation’s best wind conductors (Eugene Corporon, North Texas University, Myron Welch, University of Iowa, and Terrance Milligan, The University of Cincinnati) with his knowledge of how to utilize music for worship and praise to develop a unique combination of outstanding wind literature with arrangements that truly point the listener to Christ. Bailey’s expertise in this area is evidenced by his election as president of the Christian Instrumentalists and Directors Association in 2002. He served as the director of the Lee University Campus Choir during the 2007-2008 school year, while still conducting the Symphonic Band, after the untimely death of Dr. David Horton, who had successfully directed that ensemble for 25 years. Bailey teaches graduate courses, instrumental music education methods classes, applied conducting, church music, and music theory. He is also the former part time worship arts pastor at Mt. Olive Ministries in Cleveland, Tenn., where he supervised a 50-voice choir, 20-piece church orchestra, and worship leaders and musicians. Bailey is presently in this 23rd year of teaching at Lee University.

Dr. Andrea Dismukes

Andrea Dismukes has made numerous appearances in opera, oratorio, chamber music and traditional solo recital venues. With the Opera Theatre of the University of Alabama, Dismukes performed the roles of Madame Flora (Baba) in Menotti’s The Medium, Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen, the second dame in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther. As winner of the Concerto/Aria Competition, she performed with the Huxford Symphony Orchestra of the University of Alabama. She has performed in master classes for mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson and Metropolitan Opera soprano Wendy White.

Actively involved in music in the area, Dismukes performs regularly with the Choral Arts of Chattanooga, recently having performed the role of Mary in Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity. She sings with the Jeff Rouéche Chorale of Chattanooga, performing solos in the Christmas Eve Mass held at First Cumberland Presbyterian of Chattanooga each Christmas.

Her choral and solo experience includes performances of Durufle’s Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah, as well as numerous Bach cantatas and Mozart masses. Highlights include a performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Bulgarian Radio Symphony in Sofia, Bulgaria and spending part of a summer with the Berkshire Choral Festival, rehearsing daily and performing at the Canterbury and Rochester Cathedrals. In the fall of 2005, Dismukes and colleague Tony Deaton premiered David Holsinger’s Songs of This War, a chamber piece for mezzo-soprano and baritone, conducted by the composer.

Dismukes has worked with such reputable conductors as John Rutter, Dr. Sandra Willetts, Dr. Gerald Welker, Dr. George Mabry, Dr. Lonnie McCalister, Dr. David Holsinger and Dr. William R. Green.

Dismukes received her Bachelor of Music Education from Lee, having studied privately with Virginia Horton, soprano. At Austin Peay State University, she studied with Dr. Sharon Mabry, mezzo-soprano, a featured writer for the NATS Journal. While attending the University of Alabama, Dismukes studied voice with Dr. Susan Fleming, mezzo-soprano.

Equally comfortable performing repertoire from the musical theater, jazz, and gospel traditions, she was one of six finalists in the American Traditions Competition for Singers at the Savannah Onstage International Arts Festival and was featured on Georgia Public Television. The Dismukes-Deaton duo performed a concert entitled “Best of Broadway” and raised over $3000 to benefit the local Habitat for Humanity.

Dismukes has served in Lee University’s School of Music since 1992. From 1993-1999, she conducted the women’s chorus Ladies of Lee, which toured Israel, five Abaco Islands of the Bahamas and 27 states of the U.S., as well as produced four recordings. The Ladies of Lee performed annually for the Biltmore Estate Candlelight Christmas Evenings in Asheville, N.C.

Serving as chair of the Department of Vocal Music from 2001-2005, Dismukes was responsible for building a highly qualified and experienced voice faculty. She assisted in the development of two new performance degree programs—the Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and the Master of Music in Vocal Performance. She also assisted in the preparation of the NASM review and site visit (2003-2004) that resulted in the full accreditation of the School of Music. She served as the chair of the Department of Music Performance for the 2013-2014 school year.

Dismukes currently teaches diction for voice majors (English, Italian, German, French), maintains a sizable private voice studio, and continues to pursue performance and ministry opportunities.

Register now by clicking HERE!