Larry Campbell , Division Chair, Instructor of Low Brass and Horn
Harry Blake, Director of Bands 979-830-4652
Karen Lambert Blake- Color Guard Director/Woodwind Instructor
Dr. Sarah Burke, Assistant Band Director, Dir. of Percussion Studies
Jill Stewart , Assistant Director of Bands, Instructor of Clarinet, Woodwinds, Aural Music
Brian Klekar, Sax and Sax Ensemble
Elizabeth Byrd-Shipsey,Voice and Musical Theater
Jason Phillips, Director of Choral Studies, Voice and Community Chorus
Dr. Craig Garrett , Director of Jazz Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, and Instructor of Trumpet
John Dujka , Instructor of Piano/Group Piano/Music Theory
John McCroskey , Instructor of Trombone, Trombone Ensemble
Todd Quinlan, -
Vicki Sue Wehmeyer - voice instructor & Music Fundamentals
John Vovroch, -
Marie McElroy, Instructor of Flute, Flute Ensemble
LARRY CAMPBELL, Division Chair, Instructor of Low Brass. Additional duties include administration of the annual Buccaneer Marching Band Festival and Music Meet Events for concert bands which are preliminary contests for U.I.L. and also introductory contests for younger groups.
Office Location: Music Building (979) 830-4260
Mr. Campbell received his Bachelor of Music Education (1967) and Master of Music in Tuba Performance (1973) from the University of Houston Moores School of Music where he studied with Bill Rose, Houston Symphony, retired. Mr. Campbell has been Director of Bands at Blinn College since 1973 and Fine Arts Division Chair since 1994. Mr. Campbell is member of the Brazos Valley Brass Quintet and the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra. Professional organizations include: Texas Music Educator's Assn., Texas Band Master's Assn., Texas Community College Teacher's Assn., ITEA -international tuba euphonium association and is a member of Phi Beta Mu.
Harry D. Blake / Director of Bands, Instructor of Horn Office Location: Music Building/Band Hall (979) 830-4652 Harry D. Blake, is a former director of bands at DeSoto High School in DeSoto, Texas, North Salem High School in Salem, Oregon and MacArthur High in San Antonio, Texas. The 2005 DeSoto Wind Symphony was a featured band at the Bands of American National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana, the 2007 Southeastern United States Band Clinic in Troy, Alabama, in and the 40th Annual Western Michigan Wind and Percussion Clinic in April of 2008. The MacArthur High School band of San Antonio, which Mr. Blake directed from 1994-1999 was the winner of 26 consecutive UIL sweepstakes awards, placed 5th at the 1998 Bands of America Southwest Regional, was a featured band at the National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis in 1997, finished 8th in the 5A honor band competition in 1996 and 11th in the 1997 state marching contest. Mr. Blake also conducted the Killeen High School band program from 1990-1994, one of the outstanding 5A bands in Central Texas. Prior to coming to Texas to teach high school, Harry Blake served as Director of bands at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma; University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV); and Frostburg State College in Frostburg, Maryland.
Before entering the collegiate ranks of teaching, Mr. Blake directed the renowned Fort Hunt High School band from Fairfax County, Virginia. The Fort Hunt band toured extensively and performed at the Mid-East Music and the Mid-West Music Conventions. Prior to teaching at Fort Hunt, Mr. Blake was the director of the outstanding Sturgis High School Band in Sturgis, Michigan. Mr. Blake is a past State Chairman of the National Band Association and College Band Directors National Association. He is currently a member of TMEA, TBA, Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Academic Fraternity and Kappa PSI National Band Fraternity.
SARAH M. BURKE, DMA Assistant Director of Bands, Director of Percussion Studies, Music Building (979) 830-4015.
Sara Burke, DMA is currently Director of Percussion Studies and Assistant Director of Bands at Blinn College in Brenham, TX. Additionally, she serves as Principal Percussionist with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with the Lubbock and Big Spring Symphonies. Sarah was also on the substitute list for the New World Symphony from 2005 – 2007.
She has performed as a featured soloist with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, Blinn College Band, the Rutgers University Orchestra, and the Texas Tech University Orchestra, and has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, St. Bartholomew’s and St. Thomas’s (NYC). She has also been a guest artist/clinician at Texas Tech University, The University of Arkansas, a College Station (TX) Night of Percussion, and Clements High School (TX).
A founding member of Spindrift Percussion Group, Burke has promoted contemporary percussion music through the commissioning of several new works for percussion quartet including works by Kevin Bobo, Dave Skidmore, Blake Tyson, and Steven Bryant. Additionally she helped to coordinate a commissioning project at Blinn College that resulted in the work Remembrance by Michael Burritt.
Sarah’s teachers have included Alan Abel – percussion emeritus Philadelphia Orchestra, Bob Becker – NEXUS percussion ensemble, Dr. Lisa Rogers – President of the Percussive Arts Society, Alan Shinn, and She-eWu – renowned marimbas and Innovative and Dynasty Percussion Artist.
JILL STEWART , Instructor of Clarinet, Woodwinds, Aural Music. Office Location: Music Building (979) 830-4262.
A member of the Blinn College Music Faculty since 1997, Mrs. Stewart received both the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Texas Tech University where she studied with Dr. Robert Walzel. While at Texas Tech, she received numerous honors and was the Assistant coordinator of ClarinetFest '97. She was a member of the Lubbock Symphony from 1993-1997 and is currently Principle Clarinetist with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra. Mrs. Stewart has also performed with the Abilene Philharmonic, The Roswell Symphony, the San Angelo Symphony, and the Big Spring Symphony.
BRIAN KLEKAR, Saxophone Instructor, Saxophone Ensemble, Assistant Director of Jazz Studies, Introduction to Music, and History of Rock and Popular Music.
Office Location: Music Building (979)830-4674
Brian Klekar earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree and Master of Music degree in Saxophone Performance from Sam Houston State University, where he studied under Dr. Scott Plugge.
A member of Blinn College Faculty since 2006, Mr. Klekar is also the on call Principal Saxophonist with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance, Texas Music Educators Association, and honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi fraternity. Mr. Klekar is a performer of a variety of styles including classical, jazz, pop, and Czech folk music. He is also well known across Texas and nationally for his performances and award nominated recordings of Czech folk music with the Czechaholics band.
ELIZABETH BYRD-SHIPSEY – Assistant Choral Director, Director Musical Theatre, Voice Instructor - Office Location: Schmidt Building (979) 830-4197.
Elizabeth Byrd holds a B.A. in Music and Music Theatre with a minor in Piano and Dance from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Winchester, VA and a M.A. in Dramatic Communications from Regent University in VA. Beach, VA. In addition, she interned under the direction of Executive Director, Carolyn Rossi-Copeland at the Lamb’s Theatre in New York City, NY.
As a performer, she toured extensively with the National Broadway touring company of MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and was a company member with the AD Players in Houston, TX. She has been seen on the stages of; The Palace Theatre in NH, The Wortham Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Stages Repertory Theatre, Unity Theatre, Theatre Lab Houston and Main Street Theatre.
She has choreographed for the Houston Children’s Chorus, Unity Theatre, Interactive Theatre, Applause Theatre, AD Players, Regent University, Fort Bend Baptist Schools, St. Anne’s Catholic School, and many others.
Elizabeth also has extensive training in On-Camera and Voiceover performance and has numerous TV/Film, Commercials, Industrials and Voiceovers to her credit.
CRAIG GARRETT, DMA, Director of Jazz Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, and Instructor of Trumpet. Office Location: Music Building (979) 830-4261
CRAIG GARRETT, DMA, Coordinator of Jazz Studies, Brass Ensemble, and Instructor of Trumpet. Office Location: Machat Music Facility (979) 830-4261
Dr. Garrett earned his Bachelor and Master Degrees at the University of North Texas, studying trumpet with John Haynie and Leonard Candelaria and developing his jazz skills in the North Texas Lab Band program. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree with a major in trumpet performance and pedagogy from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he began his college-level teaching career. His principal teachers pursuant to the doctorate were Allan Cox (Vanderbilt University) and Michael Tunnell (University of Louisville-KY). He has been a member of the Jackson Symphony (MS), Meridian Symphony (MS), Gulf Coast Symphony (MS), Pensacola Symphony (FL), and the Brazos Valley Symphony, and was a founding member of the Dallas Wind Symphony. Dr. Garrett has taught at Cedar Valley College (Dallas), Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and Lamar University (Beaumont). He toured as a member of Contemporary Christian recording group Truth during 1978, performing on the album "Departure" which was noted in Billboard magazine as the first direct-to-disc gospel recording--and again in 1985, throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
A member of the Blinn College faculty since 1994, Dr. Garrett also teaches privately in the Brenham area and is also a member of the Brazos Valley Brass Quintet. His command and versatility allow him to work in virtually all performance styles, from early music to modern, classical as well as jazz, popular and sacred. Dr. Garrett is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the International Trumpet Guild, the Texas Music Educators Association, and the Texas Jazz Educators Association. He serves regularly as an adjudicator in a number of capacities, and in February 2001 he was elected chairman of the Jazz Division of the Texas Community College All-State selection process by the Texas Community College Band Directors Association. He is the founder (1995) and host of the Blinn College Buckin'Ear Jazzfest held on the Brenham campus each March. A father of four children, he resides with his wife Teresa on a small farm in nearby Waller County.
JOHN DUJKA , Instructor of Piano/Group Piano/Music Theory.
Office Location: Music Building (979) 830-4249
John Dujka earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Music Performance at the University of Houston Moores School of Music where he studied with Albert Hirsh, Ruth Tomfohrde and Abbey Simon. A member of the Blinn College faculty since 1990, Mr. Dujka is active recitalist and collaborative pianist and also maintains a private piano studio in Brenham. He is a member of the Brenham Area Music Teachers Association and regularly serves as an adjudicator for the National Guild of Piano Teachers auditions and Houston Gold Cup event. Mr. Dujka is also the founder of the Blinn College Young Pianists Competition.
Along with solo recitals, he has performed on KUHF Radio's "Front Row", and has been featured soloist with the Blinn College Symphonic Band performing Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" and Grieg's "Piano Concerto in A minor". Mr. Dujka is a versatile musician who is at home performing classical repertoire, Czech and German folk music, Hebrew music, and jazz/pop styles.
JOHN McCROSKEY , Instructor of Trombone, Trombone Ensemble. Office Location: Music Building (979) 830-4260
John McCroskey joined us in the spring of 2002 as a part-time instructor of trombone and trombone ensemble. Recently retired after 27 years as co-principal trombone with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and two years with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra early in his career, Mr. McCroskey now resides in Brenham and is a wonderful addition to the faculty and brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise from the perspective of a professional trombonist.
Vicki Sue Wehmeyer - part-time voice instructor & Music Fundamentals
Vicki has been employed at Blinn College since 2009 and teaches private vocal lessons and Introduction to Music 1301. Vicki holds an Associate of Arts from Blinn College in 1973, a BMEd from Sam Houston State University in 1976, and a MMEd from Sam Houston State University in 1977.
Prior to coming to Blinn, Vicki taught for Brenham Independent School District and retired after 30 years of teaching Kindergarten through High School. In her last 5 years of teaching, she was the Brenham High School and Brenham Junior High School Choir Director. During this time, her choirs received several Superior (I) Ratings at U.I.L. Competitions. Her students also competed in the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Process, where some were chosen for the All-State Choir.
Vicki is also the Music Director at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brenham.
Todd Quinlan – Part-Time instructor of Percussion and General Music (MM): Faculty since 2010 on both the Brenham and Bryan Campuses, Todd teaches a variety of general music courses and is involved in all aspects of the percussion program. Todd earned his Bachelors Degree in Percussion Performance, Magna Cum Laude, from Boston University, where he studied percussion with Tim Genis (Principal Timpanist – Boston Symphony) and Richard Flanagan (Boston Pops, Boston Ballet). His Masters Degree, also in Percussion Performance, is from Rutgers University, where he studied with Chris Deviney (Principal Percussion – Philadelphia Orchestra), Alan Abel (Percussion Emeritus – Philadelphia Orchestra), Markus Rhoten (Principal Timpanist – New York Philharmonic), and She-e Wu (currently Professor of Percussion, Northwestern University).
Todd has performed with various orchestras across the country, including the New World Symphony, Binghamton Symphony, and the Brazos Valley Symphony as a member of the percussion section. Todd’s playing can be heard on the NAXOS label CD “Strange Humors” with the Rutgers University Wind Ensemble; William Berz, Conductor. He is the featured timpani soloist on Michael Daugherty’s work Raise the Roof.
Additionally, Todd serves as a frequent adjudicator and a dedicated educator for the surrounding area public schools. He also has introduced his own line of hand crafted timpani mallets, Quinlan Percussion (www.quinlanpercussion.com).
John Vavroch - Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.
Education:Bachelor of Music in Choral and Vocal Music from the Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor Michigan. Master of Arts in Choral and Vocal Music from Ohio State Univ. Columbus, Ohio.
Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary. Fort Wayne, IN.
Berea College – Berea, Kentucky, 3 yrs. Instructor of Voice, Choir and Music History.
D.W. Carter High School – Dallas, Tx. 3yrs. Choir Director
Blinn College – part-time faculty since 1997
Marie McElroy, instructor of flute and flute ensemble since 2006, received her Bachelor of Music Education from Texas State University. She attended graduate school at the University of Houston and studied flute with Byron Hester, former principal flutist of the Houston Symphony.
Ms. McElroy was co-founder and principal flute of the Houston Symphonic Band for twenty-five years, with performances throughout Texas, Washington, D.C., many European venues and the People’s Republic of China. She has performed with the HSB Woodwind Quintet, the Katy Wind Symphony, and as a guest with the Orquestra de Camera of the University of Yucatan in Merida, Mexico.
Ms. McElroy currently performs with the Brazos Breeze, a professional flute choir in College Station. In addition to her duties at Blinn, she maintains an active flute studio in Brenham and Bellville and is a freelance performer in the Houston area.
Robert McElroy’s career spans four decades of conducting bands, choirs and orchestras including the Band of the People’s Liberation Army (People’s Republic of China), the Orquestra de Camara of the University of Yucatan in Merida, Mexico, the combined bands of the Queen’s Royal Army at Kneller Hall (London, England), the Texas Community College All-State Band (twice), the Texas Private and Parochial School All-State Band (twice) and numerous High School and Junior High School All-Region bands in Texas and nationwide. He also served as the conductor of Houston’s only professional wind ensemble-The Katy Wind Symphony.
McElroy began studying piano at age 8, served as church pianist/organist as early as age 12. His piano accompanying duties began when he was in junior high school and continued through college (SHSU) as well as throughout his teaching career.
McElroy and his wife, Marie (flute instructor, Blinn College) founded the Houston Symphonic Band in 1984. They concluded their 25-year tenure with the band this past year.
McElroy’s most recent teaching position was as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Instrumental Activities for Houston Baptist University. His latest musical activities during “retirement” are as staff piano accompanist for Blinn College (Brenham) and as conductor for the “Brazos Breeze” – a professional flute ensemble in College Station, Texas.
Karen Lambert Blake, Color Guard Director/Woodwind Instructor A native of Falls Church, VA, Mrs. Blake earned her Bachelors of Music Education (1973) degree from the Julius Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford and her Masters in Flute Performance (1991) from Texas Tech University. She has also studied flute with James Pappoutsakis and George Madsen of the Boston Symphony, Joseph Mariano at Eastman and William Montgomery at the University of Maryland. As a freelance artist, Karen Blake has performed throughout the US and has served as principal flute of the Lawton Philharmonic (OK), as a member of the Harker Heights Concert Band, San Antonio Municipal Band, and the Lone Star Wind Orchestra (Dallas).
Karen Blake's 38 years of teaching include serving as flute instructor, color guard and band director at numerous colleges and public schools, including DeSoto HS (2009 WGI Scholastic A Finalist-7th place), McNary HS (Keizer, OR), James Madison HS (San Antonio) and Killeen HS. She has also instructed the flute studio at Cameron University, Lawton, OK and Frostburg State College, MD, as well as the color guard at UNLV. Currently, Mrs. Blake is the Contest Administrator for the Texas Color Guard Circuit.