Our Artists

jason_worzbyt

Dr. Jason Worzbyt

Dr. Jason Worzbyt is Professor of Bassoon and Associate Director of Bands at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He holds a B.S. in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Music in wind conducting from the University of North Texas and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in bassoon performance from the University of North Texas. Dr. Worzbyt has studied bassoon with Kathleen Reynolds, principal bassoon of the Dallas Opera Orchestra and professor of bassoon at the University of North Texas; Kristen Wolfe Jensen, professor of bassoon at the University of Texas; and David T. Borst, professor emeritus of bassoon at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His conducting teachers include Jack Stamp, director of band studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Eugene Migliaro Corporon, director of wind studies at the University of North Texas.

Dr. Worzbyt has performed, recorded and has been featured as a soloist with wind ensembles and orchestras all across the country. These ensembles include the Keystone Wind Ensemble, IUP Wind Ensemble, North Texas Wind Symphony, North Texas New Music Ensemble, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Highland Wind Quintet and the IUP Faculty Woodwind Quintet. In 2001, Dr. Worzbyt gave the world premiere of Bruce Yurko’s Concerto for Bassoon and Wind Ensemble with the Keystone Wind Ensemble at the College Band Directors National Association conference. From 2006 to 2009 he was a member of the artist-faculty at the Western Chamber Music Institute hosted by Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. Additional performances include several recitals at meetings of the International Double Reed Society. In March of 2013, Klavier Records released a compact disc recording (Five in the Sun) by the Keystone Chamber Players of which Dr. Worzbyt is a member. Most recently, Dr. Worzbyt premiered and recorded Bruce Yurko’s Concerto No. 2 for Bassoon and Wind Orchestra in October of 2014.

As a guest conductor, Dr. Worzbyt has worked with elementary, junior high, senior high, and professional ensembles in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky. Highlights of these appearances include the Indiana Junior High All State Band, New Jersey All State Symphonic Band, PMEA All State Orchestra, PMEA Western Region State Orchestra, PMEA Region III Band, PMEA Region IV Band, PMEA Region V Band, PMEA District 4 and 6 Orchestras in Johnstown and Westmont, PMEA District 2,3,5 Orchestras in Indiana and Purchase Line, and PMEA District Bands in Pittsburgh, York, Berlin, Johnstown, Harrisburg, Punxsutawney and Philadelphia. From 2007 through 2013, he was music director and conductor of the Westmoreland Symphonic Winds, a professional wind ensemble in residence at Seton Hill Univeristy. Committed to music education in the state of Pennsylvania, Dr. Worzbyt served as President of District 3 of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and continues to serve that organization as an adjudicator, guest conductor and clinician. He has also authored several study guides for the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Middle School Band and Beginning Band series published by GIA. Dr. Worzbyt lives in Indiana, PA with his lovely wife Michelle and very active seven year old, Christian James.

 

eryn_oftEryn Oft

A bassoonist by nature Eryn gravitates toward education and pedagogy of double reeds. Since joining the faculty at Jacksonville State University in 2007, Eryn has developed a double reed studio of 23 students (community and student based) and created the JSU Double Reed Day, an annual event. In 2010 she created Raffe Reeds, internationally sold quality handmade bassoon reeds for players of all levels.

As a performer, Eryn developed an international reputation performing with orchestras and chamber music groups throughout Europe, Mexico, the US and Canada. She has been the recipient of travel grants and artistic residencies, most notably with the Banff Centre for the Arts. Currently, Eryn has been heard performing with the Atlanta Opera, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Ballet, Rome Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

As an educator and clinician Eryn utilizes innovative methods to express artistic concepts, making art accessible and sparking curiosity. Following her work with Harvard Brain Scientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, Eryn revolutionized music history pedagogy, moving away from standard memorization into ideas that unite the right and the left brain, increasing retention and substantially raising students’ national test scores. In all of her endeavors she strives to communicate and connect with audiences of all cultures and demographics.

In her free time Eryn serves as coach for Etowah Youth Orchestra’s Endangered Instruments and the Red Brick Collective Woodwind Quintet. Prior to her work at Jacksonville State University she served as faculty at Snow College and Instructor at Indiana University. Eryn is a graduate Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, receiving her masters and undergraduate degrees in bassoon performance with a minor in early music. Her teachers include Stephane Levesque, Kim Walker and Mark Eubanks.

 

erica_howard

Erica Howard

Erica has taught oboe at ASFA since 2012. She is the Principal Oboist of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and the Columbus, Georgia Symphony Orchestra and also plays English horn with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. She received her Bachelor’s of Music degree from Indiana University, where she was a student of Linda Strommen.

 

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