Alumni (2000-Present)


Robert Carney (BM in Piano Performance, 2000) Robert is currently Coordinator of Instruction at a large private music school in the Dallas area. While a student of Peter Collins at Missouri State, Robert won the state Missouri Music Teacher's Association Competition and the music department concerto competition. He was recipient of the Presser Foundation Award and was extremely active as a soloist and collaborative pianist. He successfully completed studies at Brevard Music Center in North Carolina and at the Aspen Music Festival, and in 2002, Robert completed the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at Louisiana State University as a student of former Missouri State music faculty member Jennifer Hayghe. (8/05)

Amanda Cornett (2004) graduated from SMS in May 2004 and is currently pursuing a Masters in Clarinet Performance at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), where she will be graduating in May 2006. She is a graduate assistant in the music department, where she assists in electronic music courses and oversees the music department recording services. (2/05)

Sean Fallen (BA in Opera-Theater) went on to earn an MM in voice from Indiana University in Bloomington in 2002. Sean went to New York City during the 2002-03 season after making his European debut as Borsa (Rigoletto) with Festival Lyrique en Belle Ile en Mer. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in the Bach Magnificat with Mid America Productions in the spring of 2004. For more details on what Sean has been up to, we have posted his full bio. You will need Acrobat Reader to see this file.

Candice Ferguson (BM in Performance, 2005) Candice is working on her masters degree in pan (steel drum) performance at Northern Illinois University. (10/2005)

John A. Kerley, Jr. (BME, 2003) is the Director of Bands and Choir for the Marionville R-9 Schools. John started with a music department of 65 and now in 2005 – 2006 I has 120 in the department. The marching band has performed in the Edward Jones Dome three times since 2003, two times for the State Football Championships and one time at the Greater St. Louis Marching Band Festival. John started a Basketball Pep Band, with 15 members, during his first year at Marionville and increased the membership to 45 players for the 2005-2006 season. In 2004–2005, the Marionville Basketball Band was selected as a Missouri High School Basketball Band and performed at the Class 3A Championship Games. The concert band and choir concerts are also starting to grab the community's attention, and attendance at concerts has increased dramatically. The choir performed at the Exotic Animal Paradise Choir Festival last year and received a Division I Rating. If you would like to see what the Comet Pride Music Department is up to, then take a look at their web site. (Jan. 2006)

Matt Huckabee (BME, 2005) graduated in Dec. 2005. He has been hired by Twin Rivers Elementary in Kansas City MO as a permanent sub for the rest of this school year. The school is a charter school and
Matt is excited about the diversity of experiences he will encounter there. (Jan. 2006)

Brandon Johnson (BME, 2003)
is currently an assistant band director for Truman High School and also serves all three middle schools (Pioneer Ridge, Bingham, and Bridger) as the beginning percussion instructor. Before this, Brandon was the head band director of Fairview Schools in Fairview, Tennessee which is just outside of Nashville. Throughout his time at Southwest Missouri State, now Missouri State, he was a professional musician for the Springfield/Branson area. After graduating, he moved to the Kansas City area and began playing professionally for a couple of years. His gigging calendar has slowed since becoming a band director, but he still actively performs with a community wind ensemble entitled "Northwinds" (aptly named since it meets in North Kansas City) and has started a jazz project with a few friends in Lee's Summit which is where Brandon currently resides with his wife Susan Johnson (formally Brown and also an MSU grad) and their cat Tennessee Ernie (not an MSU grad). (Feb. 2006)

Jody Killingsworth (BM, 2001) spent the year following graduation in Ontario, Canada studying chamber music with members of the Penderecki String Quartet. In 2002, he studied violin and chamber music at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. His tutor was Christopher Rowland, former leader of the Fitzwilliam Quartet, and director of one of the world's largest chamber music programs, and the country's largest chamber music festival. He received a Masters of Philosophy degree from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester England, where his principal tutors included Christopher Rowland (modern violin), Pauline Nobes (baroque violin), and the acclaimed Alban Berg scholar Douglas Jarman (academic advisor). Jody is currently a Doctoral student in early music at Indiana University and artistic director of The Humours, an experimental music ensemble. (1/06)

Erica Kollmeyer (B.M. 2001) was, at last report, a graduate assistant in piano pedagogy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Erica was a student presenter at the Music Teachers National Association National Conference in Cincinnati in March, 2002. (2/03)

Jeffrey Lehman (2003)Jeffrey is currently the Director of Bands at Hunters Lane High School in Nashville, TN. Prior to his arrival in Nashville, he completed his M.M. in Conducting at the University of Memphis. While in Memphis, Jeffrey taught woodwinds at Brighton Middle School and was a frequent conductor of the Memphis Area Youth Wind Ensemble (MAYWE). In the fall of 2006, Jeffrey will begin conducting the first ever Metro Nashville Youth Wind Orchestra. (4/06)

Derek Limback has been teaching at St. James High School since 2003. Derek's innovative music teaching was highlighted in the Winter 2006 issue of School and Community magazine. Students in his "Unusual Percussion" course create their own percussion instruments and Derek composes the music for the class. (Feb. 2006)

Jonathan D. Owen (MM, 2003) After teaching for 18 years in the Springfield, MO area at Conway, Nixa and the last seven at Kickapoo High School, Jonathan is now teaching at Parkway South High School in the St. Louis area. Parkway South, with 2,100 students, is the largest of the four Parkway District high schools. Jonathan, his wife Patty and three children, Garrett, Lauren and Benjamin live in Ballwin, MO. (April 2006)

Lacey Smith (B.M.E 2004) was hired as high school choral director in Gainesville, Florida.Pictured here with her cooperating teacher Vicky Scott at Cowden Elementary.

Michael Steep (BME, 2006) is currently the Asst. Band Director at Crestview Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. He also performs regularly with the Gateway City Big Band and the St. Louis Brass Band. He married Erin Godby (also BME, 2006) in May of 2008. They currently live in O’Fallon, Missouri. (11/08)

Amanda (Terry) Moennig (B.S. in Music Education, 2002) teaches K-6 general music at Jasper Elementary. Along with teaching music, she offers after school guitar tutoring and directs the 4th-6th grade Honor Choir. Amanda will graduate from Pittsburg State University in May 2009 with a Masters of Educational Leadership. She is also the director of the mixed adult choir at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Amanda and her husband, Christopher, enjoy living in Joplin with their dog, Harley. (11/08)