2017-18 Guest Artists
C. B. Wilson is Associate Provost for Academic Personnel at West Virginia University, where he is the Provost’s principal deputy in all matters involving faculty evaluation, appointment, promotion, and tenure. He is also responsible for matters relating to university faculty awards, sabbatical leaves, and a variety of professional development programs.
He was Chairman of the WVU Division of Music from 1977 to 1993. He has served as interim dean of the College of Creative Arts at WVU, was assistant dean of the Cleveland Institute of Music, and held other teaching positions at Case Western Reserve University and Northwestern University.
Professor Wilson holds the degrees of B.M.E. (with highest distinction) and M.M. from Northwestern University, and the Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University.
As a Professor of Music at WVU, he periodically teaches courses in Nineteenth Century Music, the History of Orchestration, and about his special research interest, Hector Berlioz. He has provided program notes on the works of Berlioz for the Cleveland Orchestra and contributed to the New Berlioz Edition of Symphonie fantastique.
He is Music Director and Conductor of the Morgantown Municipal Band, and is a past president of the West Virginia College Music Educators Association.
As a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician Karen Johnson's playing has been applauded for its "balance and precision," as well as her "enthusiastic showmanship of impressive energy and accuracy" (Washington Post) and her performances hailed as "virtuosically energized and broadly lyrical" (Richmond Times-Dispatch). In a review of a solo CD (Brioso Records) with pianist Joanne Kong, the American Record Guide stated, "It is a real pleasure to discover a violinist of the caliber of Karen Johnson... Her tone is broad and pure, her attacks are flawlessly incisive, her vibrato nicely modulated, and her intonation infallible..."
Ms. Johnson has performed in concerts throughout the United States and Europe and has worked with a variety of renowned conductors and musicians, such as James DePriest, Sergiu Commissiona, Yuri Temirkanov, Victor Yampolsky, Gerard Schwarz, and Joseph Silverstein. From 2002-2011, Karen was Concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she was invited as a guest concertmaster with orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, and the Oregon Symphony. Ms. Johnson was recently featured as soloist at WCVE's celebration of Robert Schumann's bicentennial.
Ms. Johnson began her musical studies in her hometown of Gilbert, AZ, at the age of 4. At age 10, she became the pupil of Dr. William Magers at Arizona State University and under his tutelage won such competitions as the Corpus Christi International Young Artist Competition, the Midland-Odessa National Young Artist Competition, the National MTNA Yamaha String Competition. Ms. Johnson earned her Bachelor of Music degree at the Juilliard School as the pupil of Joel Smirnoff and was the first prize winner of several local and national competitions, including the Juilliard Sibelius Violin Concerto Competition. She completed her Masters degree at the University of Maryland - College Park studying with William Preucil, Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra and former first violinist of the Cleveland Quartet.
Currently, Ms. Johnson is a regular performer in the Washington DC area, currently as Concertmaster of the White House Orchestra and also as a soloist and as a chamber musician. She is a founding member of the Phillips Camerata, presenting chamber music concerts both at the Phillips Collection as well as the National Gallery of Art. Karen resides in Stafford, VA,with husband Karl Johnson and their five children.
Charles Staples is one of Richmond's most in-demand pianists. "Forceful...but unforced, as natural as breathing," music critic Clarke Bustard said of his playing. He is on the music faculties of the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University and is the director of music ministries at Trinity United Methodist Church in Richmond, Va.
A native of Alabama and an honors graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts, Charles received his early training under Witold Turkiewicz. After winning the Van Cliburn full-tuition scholarship to Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, he entered college after his junior year of high school on an early admission program and began his studies with internationally acclaimed pianist David Bar-Illan. While in Cincinnati he played with the CCM Concert Orchestra twice — with the Congress of Strings under Milton Katims and the North Carolina Symphony. He won prizes in the MTNA Southern Division Competition and the Bryan Young Artist Competition, as well as competitions at the conservatory. He also made several appearances as soloist and accompanist on Cincinnati’s public radio station, WGUC.
Upon graduating magna cum laude, he was given an assistantship to study piano with Martin Canin at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and received his master’s and doctoral degrees there, winning prizes in the Five Towns and Sunwood competitions. He also represented Stony Brook on WQXR radio in a series on New York’s top-five music schools. After graduation, he was chosen to open the 1984 Select Debut Series in New York City’s historic Town Hall. Since coming to Richmond, he has played numerous recitals and has appeared in chamber music, orchestral concerts and over public radio on WCVE. He has also held the position of visiting assistant professor of music at the University of Richmond.
Staples has held teaching and church music positions in Alabama, New York, and Texas. In addition to working at Trinity United Methodist church and local universities, he practices martial arts as a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Staples has performed as soloist with both the Richmond Symphony in Liszt’s “Totentanz” and the Richmond Philharmonic in Beethoven’s “Emperor Concerto,” Rachmaninoff’s “2nd Piano Concerto” and in Tchaikovsky’s “1st Concerto.” After his first recital in Richmond, Richmond News Leader music critic Francis Church wrote that Staples “is a pianist of prodigious talent, fire and thunder, blood and guts … this was no metronomic key-banging. It was piano playing that reached to the listeners’ emotional jugular veins!”
Patrick Sheridan is one of the most celebrated tuba soloists in his instrument’s history. He has performed more than 3,000 concerts in over 50 countries in venues ranging from the White House to NBA half-time shows to the Hollywood Bowl. At 20 years of age, Patrick became a member of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. Since then, he has gone on to become an incredibly diverse artist with concert performances transcending stylistic genres and building fans around the world for his instrument, the tuba. He has been featured in television and radio broadcasts on four continents including appearances most recently on NBC’s “Today Show” and NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Performance Today.”
Beyond his busy performing life, Patrick’s commitment to education is extensive. His wind students occupy principal positions in major international ensembles including orchestras in Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Paris, Madrid, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and many others. He has served on the music faculties at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, The Rotterdam Conservatory, The Royal Northern College of Music and The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Most recently, Patrick served on the music faculty at the University of California – Los Angeles where he was the Director of the UCLA Wind Ensemble, the UCLA Brass Ensemble and taught tuba and euphonium. In the Phoenix community, Patrick is the Music Director of The Salt River Brass. He also frequently works across the United States as a guest conductor with university bands and orchestras as well as high school and middle school all-state and regional honor bands and orchestras.
Along with Sam Pilafian, Patrick is the co-author of the world’s best-selling breathing method for instrumental improvement, The Breathing Gym, which was awarded the 2009 EMMY® Award for Instructional/ Informational Video Production. As a composer and arranger, his music and arrangements have been performed internationally by symphony orchestras, concert bands, marching bands, jazz bands and drum corps. Patrick’s music, arrangements, CDs, DVDs, and books are published by Focus on Music, GIA Publications, De Haske Music, Carl Fischer, Mythen Hollanda and Dillon Music Publishing.
Patrick has over 20 years of experience in the music industry as a design consultant. Instruments influenced by his designs are played in hundreds of professional orchestras, military bands and chamber ensembles around the world. Thousands of university, high school, middle school and elementary school students play on instruments in which Patrick has been involved in the design process. He currently works as the Chief Design Consultant for XO Brass, Jupiter Band Instruments, and Hercules Stands.
Patrick is a member of ASCAP, an Honorary Member of Kappa Kappa Psi, and the Founder of The Band Director Academy, a continuing education program for music educators. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in finance and marketing from the University of Michigan and spends his free time with his family hiking and camping in beautiful Arizona.