Meet our Musicians

 

 

Lisa AhrendLois Ahrend is a native of Oxford Michigan. She attended Oral Roberts University where she received her Bachelor of Music in Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education.

She was Assistant Principal Percussion in the Tulsa Philharmonic for 19 years and the Sinfonia / Signature Symphony for 21 years as Principal Percussion / Timpani. Lois is a band director at East Central Junior High School in Tulsa. Lois is also the pianist at Forest Ridge Baptist Church.

Lois and her husband David of 40 years have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. She loves to play fantasy football, go fishing, hunting and plays golf.

 


Christy Andrews has a Bachelors of Music Performance degree from Oral Roberts University and a Master of Music Performance degree from Texas Tech University. She is principal clarinetist in the Signature Symphony and also doubles on saxophone for the Big Band and Pops Concerts. Christy is the instructor of clarinet at Oral Roberts University where she teaches both private lessons and coaches a clarinet quartet. She has taught private lessons since 1993 including masterclasses in both Oklahoma and Texas, hosted music student recitals, has been an adjudicator for the Oklahoma All-State Band Contest, and is the contractor and music librarian for the Tulsa Clarinet Quartet (TCQ) of which she’s been a member since 2000. In the summertime, Christy performs in the Tulsa Starlight Band and hosts a clarinet choir camp for clarinet players in the Tulsa area. Christy is married to Thad Andrews, a Reservoir Engineer at WPX, and they have two children, Chloe and Smith./p>

 


Dale Barnett has been a trombonist in Signature Symphony for the past 10 seasons. He was a member of the Tulsa Philharmonic from 1971 until 1985 ( second then principal ) and a member of the LOOK orchestra for 25 years. He also worked as band director at Sand Springs (1971-’77), Catoosa (’77 – ’83),and Union High School (‘85 – 2007) as he continued to freelance in the Tulsa area and played many orchestral and big band services throughout the area. Circuses, rodeos, Ice Capades , back up orchestras and bands for artists such as Liberace, Wayne Newton, Diana Ross, The Four Freshmen, Frank Sinatra Jr., and many others, as well as Celebrity Attraction Productions of current musical theater. These are among just some of the performances he has done over the past 45 years of professional playing. He is currently the band director at Holland Hall as well as director of the Starlight Band, and bass trombonist for Signature Symphony. He lives in Broken Arrow with his wife of 48 years, Vicki, and has 3 children, Chad, Caysie, and Ceth and 4 grandchildren, Laymon and Tressa (students at OSU) and Allie and Macy ( students at Lincoln Christian).

  • What do you do to help you relax?
    Gardening and landscaping
  • Favorite works featuring your instrument?
    Bozza “Homage a Bach” Hindemith “Sonata” Rimsky-Korsakov “Concerto for Trombone”
  • If you had a full day to do anything you could, what would you do?
    Read a novel
  • Is your family musical?
    Just my youngest son.. none of my parents
  • What was the first tune you learned to play, and where did you play it?
    Mary Had a Little Lamb – in the band program at Chandler, Ok.
  • If you could look into a classical crystal ball, what would you see in the future?
    More contemporary works mixed with the Classics

 

 


Corbin Bodley is the Principal 2nd Violinist for the Signature Symphony. I grew up in a very musical family. Seemingly everyone from my siblings to my great grandpa either played multiple instruments or sang. Music has always been a part of my life and I hope it will continue to be so. Other than the violin, I play piano, viola, guitar, ukulele, and I sing. Outside of the Signature Symphony, I often freelance and am heavily involved in my church’s music program. I have a BM in violin performance from the University of Tulsa.

  • Favorite non classical band and song?
    I don’t have one absolute favorite group, but some of my favorites are Nickle Creek, Allison Krauss and Union Station, David Crowder.
  • What do you do to help you relax?
    I enjoy playing video games. It helps my mind unwind.
  • Favorite works featuring your instrument?
    My favorite all time for the violin is Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The Sibelius Violin concerto would have to be a close second.
  • If you had a day to do anything you could, what would you do?
    I would sit home and relax, probably read a good book.
  • Is your family musical?
    Very much so. Nearly my entire family can play/sing.
  • What was the first tune you learned to play and where?
    Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I was taught by Eric Ryan-Johnson.
  • If you could look into a classical crystal ball, what would you see in the future?
    I think someone will try to merge classical music with rap/pop.

 

 


Sarah Evans (B.M. Oboe, University of Oklahoma and M.M. Oboe, University of Michigan) is a stay-at-home mom, wife, and freelance musician and educator in the Tulsa area. She currently plays with the Signature Symphony, teaches at the Tulsa Community College, and has her own business, Sarah’s Reeds.

  • Favorite non classical band and song?
    Joni Mitchell/Court&Spark
  • What do you do to help you relax?
    Gardening, hiking
  • Favorite works featuring your instrument?
    Tomasi “Evocations”
  • If you had a full day to do anything you could, what would you do?
    Read, crossword puzzles, embroidery
  • Is your family musical?
    Yes, my mother is a church music leader
  • What was the first tune you learned to play, and where did you play it?
    Twinkle, Twinkle on the piano
  • If you could look into a classical crystal ball, what would you see in the future?
    I’m encouraged at the state of the classical music just by playing through this diverse, fascinating season

 

 


James Fellows has been the Principal Bassoon and Manager of the Signature Symphony since its inception with Tulsa Community College in 2000, Fellows affiliation with the orchestra dates to 1984.. Currently teaching bassoon at the University of Tulsa and Tulsa Community College and an active freelance musician in NE Oklahoma, Fellows is also currently Principal Bassoon with the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra and the and has performed with: The Denver Symphony Orchestra, Solisti New York, Central City Opera (CO), Tulsa Philharmonic, Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, San Gabriel Valley Symphony (CA), Boulder Philharmonic and Boulder Chamber Orchestra (CO)

 


Rich Fisher is a graduate of the University of Tulsa with a degree in music performance, with additional studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. An accomplished classical and jazz trombonist, Rich is the principal trombonist with the Signature Symphony, and also performs in a variety of musical settings; from the pit orchestras for Broadway touring musicals, like The Lion King or Book of Mormon to national touring performing artists like Kristen Chenowith, or Frank Sinatra Jr. Over the years, he has performed in musical genres ranging from big band and jazz, to klezmer and salsa. He is the Jazz Director for Tulsa’s summertime Starlight Concert Series, leading an 18 piece big band in a series of free outdoor concerts.

In addition to his musical talents, Rich is the General Manager of Public Radio Tulsa, the local National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate in Tulsa, and is the host of “Studio Tulsa”, a daily public affairs program featuring interviews with local, national and international academics, artists, authors and other newsmakers.

 

 


Dr. Stephen Goforth is an Oklahoma musician who has distinguished himself as a trumpet virtuoso comfortable in any venue – principal trumpet, featured soloist, lead trumpet, jazz soloist, church soloist, conductor, clinician, composer, recording artist, brass quintet and more. He is particularly known for brilliant piccolo trumpet playing and spontaneous exhilarating obbligatos. He holds degrees from OBU, FSU, and OU. He has performed for OKMozart numerous times, toured with the Dallas Brass, played in Europe, with numerous touring artists and for presidents and other dignitaries. His programs stretch from church choral works to full orchestras to the acclaimed Experience Trumpets concert featuring more than 20 instruments. His most recent recordings and compositions are being played on national television networks including Fox, Disney, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, in Europe, Africa, and most recently Asia and Australia

 

 


Flutist Dana Higbee is a person with multiple talents and interests. Dana was educated at Indiana University School of Music, and the University of Washington, where she studied with James Pellerite, Harry Houdeshel, and Felix Skowronek. She has performed as soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony, the Signature Symphony, the Tulsa Philharmonic, and the Bloomington Symphony.
Dana plays Principal Flute with Signature Symphony and the Tulsa Opera Orchestra. She also plays Second Flute and Piccolo with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. She is a former member of the Tulsa Philharmonic. She regularly performs chamber music with Tulsa Camerata, and is a flute instructor at Oral Roberts University. In addition, Dana is a Nurse Practitioner, and works with Good Samaritan Health Services, providing healthcare to the uninsured. Dana and her husband Paul are parents to four children and 4 grandchildren.

 


Cellist Monty Lawson is in his 25th year performing with the Signature Symphony (previously the Oklahoma Sinfonia). Monty is a Stillwater native and a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Music. He is proud to have been a member of the Bartlesville Symphony for many years. His wife Valerie and son Colin are both violinist.
During non-musical hours, Monty is an Electrical Engineer at FlightSafety International in Broken Arrow.

 


Carol Lehman holds both BME and MS degrees from Indiana University as well as National Board Teacher certification. Being a music teacher was her goal as early as elementary school and specializing in strings became her focus in high school. As the head of the string program in the Jenks Public Schools, she directs all of the high school orchestras though previously she has taught choir, band, music theory, and general music. As an educator, her goal is not only to develop students’ personal talents maximally but also to instill an appreciation for classical music so that there is an educated and passionate audience to support it in the future. In addition to playing violin with Signature Symphony, she performs on both violin and viola in small ensembles and has a small number of private students.

  • What do you do to help you relax?
    Reading is the perfect way to relax.
  • Favorite works featuring your instrument?
    Bach Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin
  • Is your family musical?
    Many of my relatives have some musical background and a
    few have been involved semi-professionally.

 

 


Hannah Murray currently serves as the Associate Concertmaster of the Signature Symphony and the Associate Principal Second of the Tulsa Symphony. Additionally, she is a member of the Wichita Symphony, the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and the Tulsa Opera Orchestra and the former Concertmaster of the Oklahoma Baptist and Shawnee Community Orchestra. Ms. Murray is the second violinist of the Tulsa Rock Quartet.

She has performed, recorded, and collaborated with a diverse collection of composers, ensembles, and performers including Amy Grant, Michael Bublé, Michael W. Smith, Jordan Smith, Astronautalis, P.O.S., Me and My Arrow, Junebug, THEMES, Booka B, A Whisper in the Noise, WIVE, Bombee+ Noah Keesecker, Josh Clausen, Elliott Miles Mckinley and Michael Fitch.

She currently works with the Harmony Project of Tulsa, and is a registered Suzuki Method violin teacher, and a faculty member at the Barthelmes Conservatory of Music. Ms. Murray is the former instructor of Violin and Viola, String Chamber Music and Education at Oklahoma Baptist University, and Mid-America Christian University.

  • Favorite non classical band and song?
    Bon Iver (he is a performer with a band) and The XX. I don’t think I have a favorite song at present.
  • What do you do to help you relax?
    I take a bath, do yoga, and read fiction
  • Favorite works featuring your instrument?
    Tzigane by Ravel, Fratres by Arvo Part, Beethoven String Quartet Op. 95, and the Sibelius Violin Concerto
  • If you had a full day to do anything you could, what would you do?
    I would start my day with a hot yoga class and then spend a few hours at the horse barn riding horses and hanging out. Then I would ride my bike to a coffee shop with my favorite book and sip a cappuccino while I read before cooking dinner at home and watching a movie.
  • Is your family musical?
    My father claims to be a jazz saxophone player, but that is a stretch at best (don’t tell him I said that)
  • What was the first tune you learned to play, and where did you play it?
    Probably the Twinkle Variations in Seattle, WA
  • If you could look into a classical crystal ball, what would you see in the future?
    For myself – curating solo recitals and growing my private studio. For classical music – a rejuvenation of interest by the public and more ‘punk’ performances by classical musicians.

 

 


Brett Nichols, a native of Checotah, OK, was the first Boy Scout of Troop 642 to attain the rank of Eagle Scout. He was also a member of the Tulsa Youth Symphony. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, where he studied with Bernard Guzik.

After UCO, Mr. Nichols attended Southern Methodist University in
Dallas, where he studied with Matthew Good of the Dallas Symphony. Brett went on to accept the Graduate Assistantship in Tuba at Bowling Green State University in Ohio under tuba soloist, Velvet Brown, earning a Masters of Music in Tuba Performance.

Afterwards, while attending the Lausanne Conservatory of Music in Switzerland, Brett studied with Roger Bobo, former tubist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as Michel Becquet Professor of tuba Paris Conservatory (Twentieth Century Techniques.) While in Switzerland, he performed with two competitive British brass bands.

Since returning to the US, Brett has remained active in the Oklahoma music scene as both a freelance tubist and low brass clinician. Mr. Nichols lives on a farm near Okemah (hometown of Woody Guthrie) where he is a pecan orchardist and enjoys fishing and wildlife.

 


Maureen O’Boyle is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Tulsa, and Concertmaster of the Signature Symphony at TCC. Ms. O’Boyle enjoys a distinguished career as both a performer and teacher. She has performed as soloist and concertmaster with orchestras in the United States, Europe, Japan, South America, and Poland. As Professor of Violin at University of Tulsa, she is also a member of Trio Tulsa, the University of Tulsa Ensemble in Residence.

Growing up in a musical family, Ms. O’Boyle began her musical studies with her mother, Marilyn O’Boyle, later receiving her Bachelor of Music degree from University of New Mexico, where she studied with Leonard Felberg, and Master of Music degree from Yale University, where she studied with Syoko Aki. As a student at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan, Ms. O’Boyle was Assistant to Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and is now a SAA registered Instructor with Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Ms. O’Boyle has served as Guest Concertmaster with the Symphony Orchestra of Torun, Poland, Associate Concertmaster of the Tulsa Philharmonic, and Concertmaster of the Tulsa Opera Orchestra. She has held positions with Omaha Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, New Haven Symphony, the Grand Teton Music Festival, and the Santa Fe Concert Association. Her latest solo performances include concerts with Signature Symphony and University of Tulsa Symphony Orchestra.

Professor O’Boyle has served as Director of Chamber Music at Tulsafest, Tulsa Community College, Instructor and Chamber Music Coach at Santa Fe Suzuki Institute, Suzuki Instructor at Northeastern State University, Chamber Music Coach at Music Festival of Arkansas, and Director of Missouri Southern Suzuki Academy.

 


Nancy Rath began violin study at age 10 through the string program of Amarillo (TX) Public Schools. Following graduation from High School, she enrolled at West Texas State University, Canyon, TX where she ultimately earned a Bachelor of Music degree. Two years later, she finished a Master’s degree in Performance at the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg.

Her teachers include Theodore Madsen, violinist with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, and Alvero de Grande, Associate Concertmaster of the Cleveland (OH) Orchestra.

Her performance experience includes seasons with the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony, principal and 2nd violin with the USM Faculty String Quartet, the Jackson (MS) Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, Sioux Falls (SD) Symphony, Shreveport (LA) Symphony, Arkansas Symphony (Little Rock), Tulsa Philharmonic, and the Signature Symphony at TCC (Tulsa).

 


Knowlan Randza graduated from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa OK in 1990 with a Bachelors of Music degree. During his college career he served as first call substitute flute with Tulsa Philharmonic and also substituted with Oklahoma Sinfonia and won the concerto competition at Sewanee Summer Music Festival. Knowlan has studied with Susan Klick, Robert Bush, Carl Hall, Jan Gippo and has participated in master classes with Walfrid Kujala, Bernard Goldberg and George Pope. He has worked in IT as a TPF programmer the past 25 years, which moved him to several different states. While living in Atlanta, he performed with Atlanta Concert Band. Knowlan currently lives in Tulsa and is 3rd Flute in Signature Symphony and is also a member of Starlight Concert Band.

  • Favorite non classical band and song?
    Local musician/songwriter Jared Tyler and his album Blue Alleluia
  • What do you do to help you relax?
    Hiking, camping, kayaking, just put me anywhere outdoors and I am happy.
  • Favorite works featuring your instrument?
    J.S. Bach Partita in A minor for solo flute
    Arthur Honegger Danse de la Chèvre
    The many duets written by contemporary flutist/composer Gary Schocker. I particularly enjoy Coffee Nerves from Three Dances for Two Flutes. His works are very difficult, but a tremendous amount of fun for the performers and the audience.
  • If you had a full day to do anything you could, what would you do?
    Backpacking in Gila Wilderness, NM
  • Is your family musical?
    None of my family had musical training, but I grew up with music all around me. My mother was constantly singing as she went about her day. Red River Valley was a particular favorite of hers. My father taught himself to play the guitar and strummed away at Johnny Cash songs on his old beat up guitar in the evening. I remember my grandfather, an immigrant from Italy, playing tunes for me when I was tiny on flutes that he carved from the hollow stems of zucchini plants.
  • What was the first tune you learned to play, and where did you play it?
    The theme to “The Waltons” in my elementary school band concert at Beaver Falls High School auditorium in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
  • If you could look into a classical crystal ball, what would you see in the future?
    I have hope that the current trend of defunding music and the arts in our schools and cities will be reversed and that we, as a society, will realize that we cannot truly live without the arts, we will only survive. If we can grasp that truth, then I believe there will be better support for these programs in our schools and communities.

 

 


James Ruggles, Violin, earned his Masters Degree in Music from Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, and his Bachelor’s in Music Performance Degree from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK.
His teachers include Peter Marsh, Maurice Sklar, and Marc Gottlieb.
James received full scholarships to International Congress of Strings at SMU, Dallas, TX and a full scholarship to the Congress of Strings at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO.
He has been a member of the Tulsa Signature Symphony Orchestra and the Ft. Smith Symphony where he was Co-Concertmaster for the 1996-97 seasons.
James started teaching violin his first summer out of high school and has continued to teach ever since. His styles include Classical, Gypsy, Jazz (Swing), Scottish/Irish, Bluegrass, Broadway show tunes and Pop standards.
He has started a chamber music society entitled Tulsa Friends of Chamber Music, under the auspices of his non-profit corporation, Concerts for Worthy Causes, Inc. Mr. Ruggles joined the Barthelmes Conservatory faculty in Fall of 2006.
James has worked and recorded with artists as diverse as Joesf Glaude, Guitarist and Roger Price, Pianist and Lon De Ada, Flamenco Guitarist. He has been recorded in the Fort Smith Symphony on the NAXOS label for two CD’s, and was in the orchestra for the feature length film festival documentary about the symphony called “Extreme Orchestra! Opening Night”. He has also played in the OK Mozart Festival on occassion.

Favorite Non-Classical band and song:
KANSAS: “Carry on My Wayward Son”.
What do I do to relax:
Chill in front of DVR shows or watch movies, read Classic novels, fishing.
Favorite works featuring violin:
the Mendelssohn Octet and different Bach concertos.
If you had a full day to do anything, what would you do?
Go flyfishing for trout in the snowy mountains or play in a concert.
Is your family musical?
My mother was a church organist, and my father started me out on singing and violin. His main instruments were trumpet and violin, but he learned all of the Classical intruments; he taught intrumental music in the Tulsa Public Schools during its heyday, and taught in other schools for a total of 35 years. My brother and sisters learned Classical instruments as a hobby. They all won music contests in high school.
Dad, by the way, was so good at trumpet by 8th grade, that he could play “Carnival of Venice” by Paganini/Del Stagers and do triple tonguing very well.
The first tune I learned to play in a concert was Minuet in G #3 by Bach. I was 10 years old, and my mom was the pianist accompanist.
If you were to look into a crystal ball and see the future, what would you see?
All Tulsa loving Classical music and all good music!

 


Jeffrey A. Smith holds four degrees in music: a Master of Music (Viola) from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music Education from the University of Tulsa, a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Tulsa (With Honor), and a Bachelor of Music (Viola, With Distinction) from the University of Kansas. Mr. Smith is one of only a few Digidesign (now AVID) Certified HD -7 Pro Tools Operators (Audio Engineering) in the state of Oklahoma, and is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (N.A.R.A.S.). He has taught all instruments (strings, winds, and percussion) at all grade levels since 1979, served as contest judge, clinician, and as the 1992 All-O.M.E.A. (All-State) Orchestra Chairman. Mr. Smith (a founding member of the Tulsa Little Symphony) is currently the Principal Violist of the Signature Symphony Orchestra (Tulsa), the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra, and is the Violist in the Signature String Quartet. He was a member of the Tulsa Philharmonic and Wichita Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Smith is the Past President of the Oklahoma Chapter of the American String Teacher’s Association, and in the summer of 1996, served as the Principal Violist of the Twenty-Fifth International String Orchestra in Graz, Austria. He has taught the Tulsa Community College Tulsafest middle school strings since inception, is an adjunct faculty member for Tulsa Community College, and is President of SongSmith Records, a digital recording facility and record company. He has composed several works for full orchestra and many arrangements for string quartet.

Jeff played “fiddle”, guitar, keyboards, and ran the monitor mix and the light show for Dale Christenson and Prairie Fire for ten years. He also played with the Ray Marshall Band. He has performed with several national touring productions including Camelot, Peter Pan, and Sunset Boulevard. In the fall of 2002, Tulsa Public Schools honored Mr. Smith with an award for excellence. In 2003, the Oklahoma Chapter of the American String Teacher’s Association named him “Teacher of the Year”. In 2007, after twenty- seven years of service, Mr. Smith retired from public school life to concentrate on development of young artists through SongSmith Records. Mr. Smith currently teaches Violin, Viola, and Studio Recording Techniques for Tulsa Community College. Jeff and his wife, Robin, adopted their son, Edik, from Russia in 2010. Mr. Smith is a member of the Signature Symphony Advisory Board, and proudly rides his motorcycle as a Ride Captain with the Oklahoma Patriot Guard Riders.

 


Robin Hock Smith is the Principal Bassist of the Signature Symphony
and the Bartlesville Symphony. She has also performed with the Tulsa Symphony and the Springfield, Illinois Symphony. Internationally, Robin has performed throughout Austria, Poland and Russia as a member of various ensembles.

An educator with over 30 years of experience, Robin is instructor of bass at Oral Roberts University. She has been a performer, bass coach, adjudicator, and guest conductor for many schools and festivals including the Oklahoma Music Educators Association, Northeastern Oklahoma All District String Orchestra, Tulsafest, and OK Mozart.

Robin holds a Master of Music in Bass Performance from the St. Louis Conservatory of Music, a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Tulsa and a Bachelor of Music in Bass Performance from Oral Roberts University.

 


Lisa Wagner is a native of Southern California. She received her B.M. in Oboe Performance from the University of Southern California, and her M.M. from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Lisa and her husband Rick moved to Tulsa from Boulder to play in the Tulsa Philharmonic.

Currently, Lisa the Principal Oboe if Signature Symphony, Oboe teacher at the University of Tulsa and teaches Elementary Music at Eisenhower International School. Lisa has been an employee of TPS for over 20 years. In addition to teaching Elementary School she has been a teacher of Middle School Band and Choir, as well as The Artistic Director for Tulsa Children’s Chorus. Lisa received her Orff levels from Marilyn Wood, Konnie Saliba, and Yos Wuytack. Lisa’s Husband Rick Wagner conducts the Tulsa Youth Symphony and is Orchestra Director at the University of Tulsa.

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Copyright © 2017 Signature Symphony at TCC