SoMMA Faculty & Staff
The University of Southern Maine hires approximately 1 staff member for every 8 participants each year. Staff members are certified music teachers, School of Music faculty, or USM music education alumni.
The University of Southern Maine makes such inquiries as may be necessary to arrive at an appropriate employment decision. All hires are subject to reference checks, criminal history checks, and related matters to comply with legal requirements and public responsibility.
SoMMA Concert Band Conductor
USM Professor of Music, Concert Band and Wind Ensemble Director
Peter Martin is a professor of music at the University of Southern Maine and conductor of the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble and the Casco Bay Concert Band. A native of Bensenville, Illinois, he holds a Ph.D. degree in music education from Northwestern University. His principal teachers include Charles Baker, John Boyd, John Paynter, Bennett Reimer and Alan Stout.
Peter Martin maintains an active conducting schedule and has conducted performances in England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. In London he has appeared at the Barbican Centre and at St. Paul’s Cathedral; in Venice at St. Marks Square; in Innsbruch at the Olympic site; at the Piazza Riforma in Lugano, Switzerland, and roadside at the Tour de France. In the U.S. he has conducted in over 30 states including California, Vermont, Texas, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Indiana, Minnesota, Florida, Colorado, Georgia, and Washington, D.C., as well as throughout his favorite state of Maine.
Peter Martin is a published author in the United States and in England, has edited and arranged compositions for wind band, and appears in Who’s Who in America and the International Who’s Who in Music. He has been cited for excellence as a distinguished educator and was selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and is the recipient of a University of Southern Maine Outstanding Teacher/Scholar Award. He is an awarded member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.
SoMMA Jazz Band Director
USM Artist Faculty in Saxophone
Saxophonist Barry Saunders has played clubs, festivals and concerts throughout The United States, with a few dates in Europe and Asia, with such notable musicians and ensembles as Conte Condoli, Pete Christlieb, OK|OK, Michael McGinnis, Erik Deutsch, Clark Terry, Barry Manilow, Three Dog Night, Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra and the New Hampshire Music Festival Symphony Orchestra. Barryʼs work, with his own ensemble, has been featured on the award winning Maine Public Radio news program "Maine Things Considered." Most recently, he could be heard on "Spinning on Air" with David Garland from the studios of WNYC. He can also be heard on Erik Deutschʼs CD “Hush Money” (hammerandstring.com). He has enjoyed a decorated public school teaching career including winning a Maine Alliance for Arts Educators Fellowship Grant. Barry has spent the last two years teaching for Bennington College while earning an MFA in composition and contemporary improvisation. He also enjoys a thriving saxophone/clarinet and improvisation studio at his house in Gorham Maine. Some notable teachers include Bill Street, Michael Cain, Milford Graves and Bruce Williamson.
Jazz Band Leader
USM Associate Professor of Music/Director of Jazz Studies
Dr. Chris Oberholtzer is the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Southern Maine. He completed his Doctor of Arts degree in Trombone Performance/Pedagogy with a Secondary Emphasis in Jazz Pedagogy at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley. He earned his Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies with a Cognate Field of Trombone Performance from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of Southern Maine, Gorham.
As the director of jazz studies at USM, Chris leads a thriving jazz studies program that is recognized as being one of the leading jazz programs in northern New England. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Chris also enjoys actively serving throughout the country as a guest director and/or guest clinician for numerous high school and university jazz ensembles and combos.
Chris maintains a busy schedule as a professional freelance trombonist. He has performed, toured and recorded throughout the country and abroad with many groups in varying classical, jazz and commercial genres. His playing experience includes touring with the Artie Shaw Orchestra (lead trombone and featured soloist), the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Ringling Brothers Circus, Toni Tenille and numerous cruise ships. Other performing credits include working with artists such as Tony Bennett, Claudio Roditi, Conrad Herwig, Brian Lynch, Donald Harrison, Byron Stripling, Phil Wilson, Wycliff Gordon, Ronie Cuber, Frank Wess, Bob Mintzer, Harry Allen, Herb Pomeroy, Richie Cole, Dick Johnson, the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, the Benny Goodman Orchestra, Aaron Neville, Roberta Flack and the Temptations. As a clinician for the United Musical Instrument/Selmer Corporation, Chris performs on Conn trombones.
Perspectives in Music
USM Instructor of Music: Music Theory and Aural Skills
Alan Kaschub teaches Music Theory, Ear Training and Music Technology at the USM School of Music. He has a Bachelor of Music Degree from USM and a Master of Music from New England Conservatory. As a trumpet player, he is a member of the Norumbega Ensemble, the Maine Chamber Orchestra and has appeared with the Portland and Bangor Symphonies. Mr. Kaschub’s teaching and service have long pushed the use of technology as a facilitator of student creativity. This use of technology has not only been implemented in the USM Theory and Ear Training courses, but also in outreach to Maine’s High Schools and Middle Schools. In particular, Mr. Kaschub has used composition and recording of film scores, rap music and other small forms of music to bridge the gap between student creativity and theoretical knowledge. A 2008 project with high school students at the School of Music’s Summer Music Academy had students compose music for presidential campaign ads. This project was featured on MPBN’s “Maine Things Considered” right before the 2008 election. Mr. Kaschub has also co-taught a perennial Music Technology course during the summer for Graduate Students and Music Teachers. This course explores how technology can be used in music instruction to develop better tools for student creativity, better individual assessment, and better outcomes for student musicianship. He has presented his work with students at the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, the Association of Technology in Music Instruction, Maine Music Educators Association, Maine Arts, Innovation and Creativity, Vermont MIDI Project, and Public Schools in Maine, Vermont and Utah.
USM Artist Faculty in Oboe
Neil Boyer is instructor of oboe at the University of Southern Maine and Principal Oboe in the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Boyer received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Mannes College of Music and then continued his education at the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he was awarded the Master of Music degree. His principal oboe teachers have been Mark Lifschey, Lois Wann, and Ronald Roseman.
Mr. Boyer has served on the faculties of Dartmouth College, Bowdoin College, Bates College, and the University of Vermont, and is the former director of the Green Mountain Summer Music School in Poultney, Vermont. His students are serving in orchestras, as soloists, and as faculty throughout the country.
Mr. Boyer has an extensive performance background. As a soloist he has presented oboe recitals throughout New England and has appeared as soloist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Dartmouth Symphony and the Hanover Chamber Orchestra.
Sax Coach/Instrument Repair
Sean Diette is currently the instrumental music teacher for grades 5-12 in Washburn, Maine. Originally a native of Newport, Vermont, he has lived in Maine since 1999. He and his wife currently live in the town of Woodland, in Aroostook County. Sean graduated from the University of Southern Maine School of Music in 2004 with bachelor's degrees in Music Education and in Saxophone Performance. Sean is also the assistant cross-country running coach and the head track and field coach at Washburn High School.
USM Artist Faculty in Harp
Jara Goodrich is principal harpist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Bangor Symphony Orchestra, Portland Opera Repertory Theatre, Portland Ballet, and Maine Music Society. Jara began her study of the harp at age nine at the Salzedo School in Camden, Maine, studying with Carlos Salzedo until his death. She continued her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music under Alice Chalifoux, then principal harpist with the Cleveland Orchestra. Jara has performed with the North Carolina Symphony, Cleveland Playhouse, Goldovsky Opera Theatre, Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, CBS Sunday Morning, Morning Pro Musica, and Bay Chamber Concerts. She has performed under numerous conductors including James Levine, Hugh Wolf, and Robert Shaw. Jara's current performance venues include solo, chamber music, orchestral, recitals, weddings, receptions, and parties.
Jara is on the faculties of the University of Southern Maine, Bates College, Portland Conservatory, ASTA Summer String Conference, Camp Encore-Coda, and coaches members of the USM/Fleet Youth Ensembles. She has students from age eight adult, from Presque Isle to Kennebunkport. She conducts the Maine Harp Ensembles, and often combines teaching with performing in her travels.
Elizabeth Hasbrouck holds a graduate degree in piano performance from the University of Southern Maine, where she studied with Laura Kargul.
Elizabeth was a winner of the Anne Gannett Scholarship from the Maine Federation of Music Clubs (2005), was the recipient of the A. H. Chatfield, Jr. Piano Prize through Bay Chamber Concerts (2006) and was awarded a prize in the Rossini Club's Wright scholarship competition (2006).
Elizabeth holds a bachelor of music degree in piano performance with pedagogy emphasis from the University of Southern Maine , where she studied piano with Laura Kargul and Annie Antonacos, and piano pedagogy with Christine Kissack.
Upon graduating from USM in 2008, she received the MTNA StAR award and was granted membership into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.
A member of the Maine Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association, Elizabeth maintains a private studio in Cumberland and enjoys accompanying for local concerts and events.
Low Brass Coach
USM Artist Faculty in Tuba and Euphonium
Dan Hunter started his musical education at the University of Southern Maine, where he earned a Bachelor of Music Performance. He then went on to further study at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music where he earned his Master of Music degree. While at the Manhattan School of Music he participated in master classes with Gene Pokorny of the Chicago Symphony and Chris Hall of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Following his graduation from Manhattan School, Mr. Hunter moved to Salem, Mass., where he has become a very active freelance tuba player and teacher. He has performed with such groups as Portland Symphony, Albany Symphony, Vermont Symphony, New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, Cape Cod Symphony, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Hillyerfest Orchestra, and chamber groups such as the Majestic Brass, Brass Connection, Commonwealth Brass, Quintessential Brass, and New England Brass. He has been a member of the Portland Brass Quintet since 2007 and Bala Brass since 2010. This past summer Mr. Hunter was in residence with Bala Brass at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute where he coached tuba, euphonium, and chamber music.
Mr. Hunter has had the privilege of working with many renowned conductors such as Bill Conti, Sir David Wilcox, Philippe Entremont, Joseph Silverstein, and Kenneth Keisler. In addition to his performing responsibilities, Mr. Hunter is the tuba/euphonium and Brass Class instructor at the University of Southern Maine where he also maintains a private teaching studio.
Trumpet Coach / Dorm Counselor
Born in the state of Maine, Matthew Lagarde received his Bachelors of Music Education from the University of Southern Maine, and received his Masters in Trumpet Performance from Boston University. His main teachers included Betty Rines, Trent Austin, and Terry Everson.
Matthew taught as a brass instructor in many districts in the southern Maine area and finished his 10th year as a marching instructor for the South Portland Marching Band. For three years Matthew taught the world class drum and bugle corps, the Boston Crusaders, and is currently starting his third year teaching the open class corps the 7th Regiment. Matthew was assistant to Terry Everson at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and is very happy to say that he is going to start his fourth year as trumpet instructor at SoMMA.
Matthew has participated in masterclasses and lessons with musicians such as Chris Martin, Jon Nelson, Wayne du Maine, Chris Gekker and Ben Wright.
Along with university ensembles at University of Southern Maine, and Boston University, Matthew has performed with groups such as the Portland Jazz Orchestra, Maine State Music Theatre, the New England Brass Band and the Tanglewood Music Center, and has played under the baton of James Levine. He has also performed solo performances in Maine and Massachusetts, and has performed in recitals with Terry Everson. Matthew performs frequently as a member of the Fog Cutters Big Band.
Matthew is currently teaching 6th through 12th grade instrumental music and middle school chorus in Somersworth, New Hampshire. Matthew is still actively performing in New England, and teaches privately in the Southern Maine Area.
Horn Coach / Dorm Counselor
Jeanne MacDonald-Johnson is a native of Old Orchard Beach and has been teaching horn with SoMMA since 2009. She holds a bachelors degree in music education from the University of Southern Maine School of Music, and a master's degree in horn performance from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
She has held active studios in both Maine and Massachusetts, and hopes now that she has settled back in Maine, to teach privately once more. Jeanne has performed with bands, orchestras, and chamber ensembles from both UMass and USM, has traveled to Russia as a cultural exchange with the UMass Graduate Brass Quintet, and has played with professional groups such as the Maine Music Society.
Currently, she teaches K-8 music in Acton, Maine, and is the conductor of the Alumni Band, a community band based in Biddeford.
Flute Coach / Dorm Counselor
Nicole J. Rawding, a musician based out of Portland, Maine is a collaborative artist, a private teacher and an avid performer. She attended the University of Southern Maine's School of Music, where she studied Music Education, Flute Performance and Vocal Education.
Nicole has participated in numerous master classes with world-renowned flutists such as: Emmanuel Pahud, Alexa Still, Ransom Wilson, Robert Dick and the late Louis Moyse. She has performed Cecile Chaminade's Concertino for flute and orchestra with the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra, plays in the Casco Bay Concert Band and maintains a private flute studio. She teaches at the Southern Maine Music Academy (SoMMA) summer camp and has played with the Maine Music Society and the Bangor Symphony.
A versatile musician, Nicole moonlights as a progressive rock flutist. She has played and recorded with local bands The Baltic Sea, Phantom Buffalo, and Sunrunner.
As a Mezzo-Soprano, Nicole is still getting her feet wet. She has played the role of Prince Orlofsky in USM's production of Die Fledermaus and appeared as the alto soloist in Mozart's Requiem - performed with the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra and Northshore Philharmonic. In the summer of 2011, Nicole sang the national anthem at Portland's Hadlock field for the Seadogs.
Other roles include "the Baker's Wife" in Into the Woods at Schoolhouse Center for the Arts and the sultry "Lilly McBain" in Biddeford City Theater's production of Swingtime Canteen!. Nicole has sang with the Casco Bay Concert Band in their 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Current musical endeavors set Nicole on the acoustic scene, dabbling in songwriting and collaborating with local musicians. And, as always, finding friends who will play Jethro Tull and the Moody Blues tunes with her.
Low Brass Coach / Dorm Counselor / Activities Coordinator
Jon Simonoff is the PreK-12 Music Teacher at the Ashland District School teaching band, chorus and general music.
Jon graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a degree in education while also studying the double bass, composition and conducting.
As a bass player Jon has played around the state in pit bands, orchestras, concert bands and other various ensembles.
Jon also specializes in low brass instruments and has played tuba for regional festivals, the Maine All State band and intercollegiate bands made up of colleges in New England.
Jon enjoys writing music and has had pieces performed by the UMPI/Community Band and the UNH band as well. Other pieces of his have been used as audition pieces for the All Aroostook festival.
Bassoonist, Wren Saunders, received a B.M. from the University of Southern Maine and a M.M. from the New England Conservatory of Music in bassoon performance.
While at New England Conservatory she studied with the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s principal bassoonist, Richard Svoboda.
Ms. Saunders is currently a member of the Knoxville Symphony (TN), Orchestra of Indian Hill (MA), and is principal bassoon of the Bangor Symphony (ME). In 2007 she was a concerto soloist with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.
An active freelancer she has played with such orchestras as the Portland Symphony, PORT orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New Hampshire Music Festival, Vermont Symphony, and the ProArte Chamber Orchestra of Boston among others.
Ms. Saunders can be heard playing principal bassoon with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra performing Violin Concerto No. 6 “Old Brass” on Mark O’Connor’s recently released CD “Americana Symphony” on the OMAC label.
Ms. Saunders has a vibrant and successful bassoon studio where her students are regularly accepted into the Maine All-State and District festivals, the Portland Youth Ensembles as well as New England Conservatory’s Youth Orchestras and the Boston Youth Orchestras in Massachusetts.
Head Counselor / Clarinet Coach
Maria Wagner is a performer and private clarinet instructor in the greater Portland, ME area.
She has performed with the Portland Ballet Orchestra, the Maine State Ballet Orchestra, the Portland Chamber Music Festival Orchestra, the Medomak Conductor's Retreat Orchestra, the Longfellow Chorus Orchestra, and the Camden Holiday Pops Orchestra.
As a soloist, she performs at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music's New Music Collective Concerts in New York, the Portland Conservatory of Music's Noonday Concerts, and the Portland Conservatory of Music's Contemporary Music Festivals. She also performed at the University of Southern Maine's presidential inauguration.
Percussion Coach / Dorm Counselor
Will Wohler has been involved in music since he was young, giving him a variety of musical opportunities. After high school, Will studied percussion with Nancy Smith of the PSO at the University of Southern Maine; where he earned his Bachelors of Music degree in Music Education.
Having since taught in the public schools, he playsin various ensembles around the southern Maine area as a freelance percussionist, as well as in his home state of Connecticut. As an active member of the Casco Bay Concert Band percussion section,he also holds the position of Associate Conductor and conducts throughout the concert season.
Will believes strongly in music and it's impact on students as they grow and develop into adults, and advocates for school music programs. Will also is an avid music teacher and strives to give students the best musical experience possible.
This is Mr. Wohler’s third summer with SoMMA as the percussion coach and dorm counselor.