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Preparatory & Continuing Studies Faculty


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.


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.


Joanna Reeder

Pianist Joanna Evelyn Reeder is a graduate of Furman University (2015, magna cum laude) with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance. She has performed in numerous masterclasses, solo recitals, and has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Furman Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestras, and the Union Symphony of Orchestra of Wingate, North Carolina. Reeder teaches private and group piano at the University of Houston, is a faculty artist for the American Festival for the Arts outreach programs, conducts pedagogy workshop masterclasses, and serves as president of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) student chapter at the University of Houston. She has presented her research at the MTNA Collegiate Chapters Pedagogy Symposium in Columbia, South Carolina and at the Graduate Association of Musicologists und Theorists (GAMuT) at the University of North Texas. Reeder is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Houston, where she studies with Nancy Weems and Dr. Courtney Crappell.

Nathanael Gross

A native of Prescott Valley, Arizona, Nathanael Gross made his orchestral debut with the Prescott Pops orchestra and Yavapai College Master Chorale performing Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Op. 80 in November of 2014. He is now pursuing his master of music degree in piano performance and pedagogy with Nancy Weems and Courtney Crappell at the University of Houston, where he is also a teaching assistant for music theory and aural skills. Nathanael loves sharing music with students, and this year will be teaching class piano at a local elementary school for children who otherwise have no music classes. Nathanael completed his undergraduate work at the University of Arizona, studying piano with Tannis Gibson. During his undergraduate career, he twice earned the “Outstanding Undergraduate Performer” award in the school’s annual piano competition. He also developed a strong affection for the choral arts while at Arizona, singing in—and accompanying for—multiple choirs. He graduated magna cum laude with degrees in mechanical engineering and piano performance.

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