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Faculty

Preparatory & Continuing Studies Faculty

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Rhona Brink
Faculty, Kodály Institute of Houston

Rhona Brink has 26 years of experience in music education, serving 23 of those years in the elementary music classroom. She has provided many staff development workshops for various Texas school districts and has presented workshops on early childhood and elementary music for several regional, state and national conferences for music teachers. A contributing writer for the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill series, Spotlight on Music, Ms. Brink holds a BM from the University of Houston, and an MM from Sam Houston State University. In conjunction with PCS at the Moores School of Music, she is currently working in early childhood music programs at the University of Houston Child Care Center.

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Julie Richards Carlson
Suzuki violin/traditional violin (professional)

BA, MidAmerica Nazarene University; MM Wichita State University; DMA Violin Performance UH. While at Wichita State, she was a member of the Graduate String Quartet and was a winner in WSU's Concerto-Aria Competition in 1998. She was the Instrumental Award winner in the Naftzger Young Artist Competition in 1999. Ms. Carlson was a member of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and maintained an active private studio in Wichita from 1997 to 2005.

Currently, Ms. Carlson is an active member of HASSA (Houston Area Suzuki Strings Association) for which she has chaired a Chamber Music Workshop for the past 2 years.  She is concertmaster of the Clear Lake Symphony, and teaches at San Jacinto College, South Campus.

Chien-Jung Chen
Senior Piano Faculty, Honors Piano Program

BM, Piano Performance, Oberlin Conservatory; MM Piano Performance, New England Conservatory; DMA (in progress) Piano Performance, UH. Ms. Chen has performed several solo recitals, chamber pieces and concertos with such organizations in South Africa as the Gauteng Youth Symphony Orchestra, the National, and the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestras. Ms. Chen is currently a Teaching Assistant at the Moores School of Music, and is a member of the Forum Music Teacher's Association.

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Michael Clark
Piano (junior faculty)

Michael Clark is a pianist, teacher, and scholar currently pursuing a master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy at the University of Houston in the studio of Nancy Weems. Clark earned his bachelor’s degree in piano performance at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. While at Ithaca, Clark was the recipient of the Peggy Ryan Williams Award for Academic and Community Leadership and the James J. Whalen Talented Young Artist Award, a full-tuition scholarship given to the incoming freshman with the highest academic and musical rating. His primary teachers include Jennifer Hayghe, Craig Nies, and Melinda Smashey Jones. Clark is a native of Bolivar, Missouri, and began studying piano at the age of 7. Clark has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Ozarks Festival Orchestra and the May Day Orchestra. His music research has been published in Nota Bene: Canadian Undergraduate Journal of Musicology. Clark is an active member of Music Teachers National Association. He served as the president of the Ithaca College Chapter of MTNA for two years and recently presented at the New York State Music Teachers Association Conference.

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Wesley Landry
Baritone (professional)

Wesley Landry, baritone, has been a Studio Artist with Opera New Jersey for the past three summers, understudying Cascada in The Merry Widow, Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, Masetto in Don Giovanni, and appearing on the mainstage this past summer as the Notary in Don Pasquale. Mr. Landry received his Masters degree studying with Joseph Evans at the University of Houston where he took on the roles of Starveling (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), and Mr. Beebe (A Room with a View). His portrayal of Mr. Beebe in Robert Nelson's opera is available on DVD from Newport Classics. An active musician in the Houston area, Wes made his solo debut at Houston Grand Opera in 2006 as the Customs Guard in La bohème. Most recently, he created the role of Trevor in Houston Grand Opera's world premiere of Courtside. He has sung with the HGO Chorus since 2005. Stepping in on one week's notice, Wes sang the role of Bob in Kingwood College's production of The Old Maid and the Thief. Concert appearances include performances of Mozart's Requiem and Solemn Vespers with Chorale Acadienne in Lafayette, Louisiana. Mr. Landry is a soloist at St. Mark's UMC in Houston's historic Heights neighborhood.

Phuong Nguyen
piano (junior faculty)

Phuong Nguyen is a pianist and piano teacher. After graduating with high distinction with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory (HCMCons), Vietnam, she is pursuing her Master in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Houston – Moores School of Music under the guidance of renowned pedagogues Prof. Nancy Weems and Dr. Courtney Crappell. Past principle teachers include her father, Meritorious Artist Nguyen Son Hai and Prof. Le Ho Hai.  Winner of numerous awards and prizes, Phuong Nguyen has performed in many concerts and recitals in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Houston, Texas. She has also learned and absorbed many teaching skills and techniques by participating in many masterclasses with such well-respected pedagogues as Abbey Simon, Dang Thai Son, Hinrich Alpers, Boris Kraljevic, David Korevaar, etc.  Phuong Nguyen is currently a Teaching Assistant for Group Piano at the University of Houston – Moores School of Music. She has been a private piano teacher since 2010. Previously, she served as a piano teacher for Soul Music Academy, HCMCons. With a huge desire of providing the best knowledge, Phuong Nguyen focuses on each student’s needs, abilities and adapts each lesson accordingly. With the professional response, she teaches beginners to professionals.

Kisa Parker
Voice (professional)

BM, Vocal Performance, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; MM, Vocal Performance, Moores School of Music, University of Houston. Ms. Parker is a creative and talented performer and teacher in the Houston area. Her operatic performing credits include leading roles with Stoughton Opera Company, Atlantic Coast Opera Festival, and Moores School of Music. Upcoming performances include Jo in Little Women with Orlando Opera. Also active in sacred music and oratorio, she has performed in numerous Houston venues and is currently a soloist at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church. An enthusiastic and encouraging teacher, her studio includes talented high school students in the top choral programs in the area, musical theatre professionals, local opera singers, and adults looking for performing success or musical fulfillment.

Gengyun Qiu
Cello (professional)

B.A., Cello Performance, Renmin University of China, School of Arts, Beijing, China; M.A., Cello Performance, Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China; M.M., Cello Pedagogy, University of Houston Moores School of Music; DMA, Cello Performance, University of Houston, Moores School of Music (in progress). Ms. Qiu has extensive teaching experience, having taught privately for 6+ years. Shes is a member of the AURA Comtemporary Ensemble and is the principal cello for the symphony orchestra at the Moores School of Music.

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Mary Neeley Stevens
Faculty, Kodály Institute of Houston

Mrs. Stevens has been an Elementary Music Specialist in Aldine ISD for 29 years. She is currently a Music Specialist at Carter Academy for the Performing Arts in Aldine ISD. Ms. Stevens received her Bachelor of Music Education from Morningside College, and her Master of Music in Music Education with Kodály Emphasis from Holy Names University.

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Kris Walters
Senior Piano Faculty, Honors Piano Program

Kris Walters is a highly sought after private piano teacher in the Houston area and has served on the faculty of the University of Houston Moores School of Music Preparatory and Continuing Studies Honors Piano Program since 2007 where his students perform with great distinction.  They routinely earn top prizes in numerous competitions and festivals throughout the area, including the university's own Olshan Young Artist Contest and Houston Forum Young Artists Competition.  A number of his students have been invited to perform in masterclasses with renowned international artists including Constance Carroll, Igor Resnianski, and Catherine Rollin, and many are regular participants in summer music camps and festivals throughout the United States.  Each summer, Mr. Walters teaches on the private lessons faculty of the Texas Music Festival's Intermediate Piano Camp.  A leader in the professional community, he is a member of Music Teachers National Association, Texas Music Teachers Association, and the immediate past president of Forum Music Teachers Association where he has also served as vice president, theory chairman, and young artists contest chairman.  His students participate and have won top prizes and high scores in virtually all of FMTA's performance events.  Active as a judge, guest artist, and clinician, Mr. Walters has been invited to judge competitions and festivals for local associations throughout the area as well as the Texas Music Teachers Association State Performance Contest.  A native of South Carolina, he completed his secondary education at the state's prestigious Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.  In 2007, Mr. Walters completed a Master of Music with Nancy Weems at the Moores School of Music, with whom he also earned a Bachelor of Music two years prior. 

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