Instructor of Music
Phone: (712) 722-6202
Although a native of Nova Scotia, Canada, my post-secondary studies have been primarily in the Southern USA. I play the piano and organ, and I've found many opportunities to minister with these instruments in churches. Agreeing with theologians like Augustine and Calvin, I believe music in worship necessitates a heart engagement. Excellence and artistry are wonderful goals, but they are properly pursued as the expression of a heart broken over sin and overjoyed at the redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ.
My classes at Dordt College primarily consist of examining music academically--analytically, historically, and culturally. Considered broadly, my work compliments private voice lessons and orchestra rehearsal by expanding how students understand and communicate about music. In all classes, my goal is to keep topics rooted in useful, real-life experience. For example, in the four-semester music theory sequence students use computer notation programs to compose projects ranging from 12-bar blues to film scores. In music history, students present semester long research projects and perform period compositions. And in our class on non-Western music, students engage the music of China, India, and the African continent in addition to experiences performing a Javanese gamelan.
I believe that pursuing my own research projects strengthens my work in the classroom. My interests include music studied as a liberal art in Antiquity through the Middle Ages, music and media, and the history and philosophy of church music. I've enjoyed opportunities to conduct research in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the New York Philharmonic Archive in New York City, the National Library and Archives of Canada in Ottawa, and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities and Bavarian State Library in Munich, Germany. In all my projects and teaching I hope to model for my students a diligent and honest scholar who constantly asks, "How does this study contribute to Christ-centered renewal in all areas of contemporary life?"
This summer (2013) I've received funding from the Andreas Center for Reformed Scholarship and Service to lead an undergraduate research assistant in exploring "Ninth-Century Music Theory in Context." Together we will examine ninth-century music treatises and parse out connections between them and other philosophical writings of that era such as the works of John Scottus Eriugena.
Ph.D. Candidate, Musicology, Florida State University
M.Mus., Historical Musicology, Florida State University
M.Mus., Sacred Music, Organ Proficiency, Bob Jones University
B.Mus., Piano Performance, Bob Jones University