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Course Descriptions:

Matt Schaffner Matt Schaffner
Assistant Professor of Music (Music Theory, Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, Instrumental Ensemble, Pop Ensemble, Applied Percussion, Applied Composition)
Office: 1004C
Phone: (307) 382-1746

Matt Schaffner is an active composer, educator, and performer of music. As a composer Matt's music has been performed at a variety of conferences and events, including performances by Art! Art! Barking Dog Dance Company, Moyamo Dance, and the Leopard Percussionists. Matt has taught music at Bellarmine University, the University of Louisville, Kentucky Community and Technical College, Centre College, and Gyeongju University in South Korea. He has served as a music director at various Kentucky churches where he has been a pianist, percussionist, sound technician, and worship leader. Matt has performed as a percussionist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, the Choral Arts Society, Bourbon Baroque period ensemble, Kentucky Opera, and a number of world and popular ensembles, including calypso, reggae, Irish, and Middle Eastern bands. Matt earned a BA in music from the University of Louisville and a Master of Music degree from Louisiana State University.

Eric-Richard de Lora Eric-Richard de Lora
Associate Professor of Musical Theatre/Voice (Applied Voice)
Office: 1004D
Phone: 307-382-1729

Eric has collaborated as director, designer, actor, playwright, music director, vocal coach or accompanist on 180 productions, including over 100 musicals, with theatre companies in California, Iowa, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. He is also a professional choral-orchestral conductor, pianist and singer. He has taught at the University of Iowa, University of Oregon, University of Utah, Eastern Oregon University, Pacific University, Umpqua Community College, Jewish Community High School of the Bay, and Maybeck High School.

His directing credits include the world premiere of Philip Hagemann's opera A Shaw Trilogy, the West Coast premiere of Mary Orr's play The Wisdom of Eve, the Iowa premiere of Francis Poulenc's opera Dialogues des Carmelites, the Oregon premiere of Stephen Sondheim's revue You're Gonna Love Tomorrow, and the Wyoming premiere of Tony Kushner's play A Bright Room Called Day; the musical works The Addams Family, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Gianni Schicchi, Godspell, Jane Eyre, Oh What A Lovely War, The Rake's Progress, and Tosca; and plays by Brecht, Henley, Kaufman, Mamet, Martin, McLure, Moliere, Shakespeare, Shaw, and Stoppard. As an actor, some of his favorite roles include Birdboot (The Real Inspector Hound), Bluntschli (Arms and the Man), Clifford (Deathtrap), Harold (Orphans), Norman (The Star-Spangled Girl), Peaches (The AIDS Show), Stanley (Broadway Bound), and Tartuffe (Tartuffe).

His design credits include A Bright Room Called Day (costumes), The Duck Variations (costumes), Gianni Schicchi (sets, costumes), The Laramie Project (sets, costumes), Macbeth (costumes), The Miss Firecracker Contest (sets, costumes), Passion Poison and Petrifaction (sets, costumes), The Real Inspector Hound (sets, costumes), Sophocles' Antigone (sets, costumes), Talking With (sets, costumes), Tartuffe (costumes), and Wild Oats (costumes). His writing credits include the premiere of his plays Audition, Circus, Elders, Folktales around the World, For Will, Grimm Faerie Tale Theatre, Mastering the Art of French Kissing, The Piano-Player's Song, Portraits, Salt/Box and Words & Music; as well as articles in the ACDA Choral Journal, The Sondheim Review, and publications with the University of Wisconsin Press and

His music directing credits include The Addams Family, Annie, Anything Goes, Chicago, Crazy for You, Fiddler on the Roof, George M, HMS Pinafore, Honk, Into the Woods, The King and I, Medea the Musical, Pippin, Promises Promises, and West Side Story. As a vocal coach and piano accompanist, he has worked with thousands of singers in auditions and performances of songs from the Great American Songbook, four centuries of classical music, and all styles and genres of musical theatre.

He has conducted choral and instrumental ensembles in more than 300 concerts, presenting major works by Bach, Barber, Beethoven, Bernstein, Brahms, Copland, Faure, Handel, Haydn, Honegger, Mozart, Orff, Rutter, Saint-Saens, Schubert, Thompson, Vaughan-Williams, and Vivaldi; performed concerts in England, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Russia, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Texas, and Washington; and sung under the direction of the conductors Jacob Avshalomov, Lane Cheney, John Logan Cobb, John Cooksey, James Dixon, Aleksander Dmitriev, Roberta Hall, William Hatcher, Thomas Iverson, Will Kesling, and Edgar Thompson.

Eric was born in Portland, Oregon, but raised in Los Angeles and Fresno, California. He began acting and singing publicly at age five, studying piano at age seven, and writing and directing at age twelve. In high school, he studied theatre, history, music, and German, and after graduating with honors, lived and worked in southern Germany for two years. He completed two Bachelor's degrees with honors at Eastern Oregon University: one in History and Theatre Arts, with an emphasis in directing, and the other in German and Music, with a double emphasis in piano and voice. He pursued graduate studies in choral-orchestral conducting with Jay Evard Welch at the University of Utah and with Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival. He completed the Master of Fine Arts degree in Music Theatre Stage Direction at the University of Iowa.

Eric and his husband are avid travelers, gourmands, and arts historians, and together have explored America (USA), Austria, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Vatican City, and Vietnam. They have one adult daughter, three adult sons, and ten grandchildren.

Lynette Nelson
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Class Piano, Piano Ensemble, Applied Piano)

A native of Green River, Lynette Nelson has taught piano classes and lessons at Western Wyoming Community College for over two decades. She is well-known in the music community as a concert pianist, collaborator, and accompanist and has played for many ensembles over the years. She teaches piano class, applied piano, piano ensemble and aural theory at WWCC.

Dave Jensen Dave Jensen
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Guitar Class, Guitar Ensemble, Applied Guitar)

For the past 45 years, Dave Jensen has been an asset to the local music community in Sweetwater County. As owner of the largest music store in Wyoming, The Pickin' Palace on North Front St, Dave has taught guitar, bass, mandolin, and banjo for many years. He is also an active performer in the local community with his three bands: Brandi and Sweet Water, Shooter, and 3D. Dave has shown talent in multiple genres over the years, as he's played in multiple groups, including jazz, blues, country/western, swing, Big Band, Classic rock, and several other genres. Dave has been instructor of guitar at WWCC for over 20 years and continues to inspire the lives of young musicians.

Zach Buie Zach Buie
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Jazz Ensemble and Applied Brass)

Zach Buie works as a trumpet performer and educator in Salt Lake City, where he is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The University of Utah. Originally from Texas, Zach has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Central America. He can be heard on numerous recordings in classical, jazz, rock, and funk styles. He performs with the Utah Symphony and freelances throughout the region with various big bands and chamber music ensembles. Zach is a former member of the Round Rock and Waco Symphonies. He has also performed with orchestras in Austin, Brazos Valley, San Antonio, San Salvador, and Longview, as well as The Dallas Winds, Imperial Brass, and Utah Wind Symphony. From 2010 to 2014, Zach toured nationally with Soul Track Mind, garnering praise from the New York Times and The Huffington Post as leaders in the resurgence of soul music. As an educator, Zach has served as a high school band director and maintains a large private teaching studio. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Music from Baylor University.

Julietta Rabens Julietta Rabens
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Music Fundamentals, Introduction to Music, Music History)

Julietta has been teaching music courses online for Western Wyoming Community College since 2008. As an educator, she values a student-centered approach, guiding students through the learning process to reach their individual goals. She resides in New Mexico where she teaches harp, composition, and piano to students of all ages and levels through the New Mexico School of Music. She has experience working with students from diverse backgrounds, including giftedness, developmental delay, autism, brain injury, visual and hearing impairment, arthritis, Cerebral Palsy, anxiety and depression, trauma, and cancer survivors. She currently works as a harpist in the Arts-in-Medicine program through the University of New Mexico. Her philosophy in the arts is focused on using creativity to enable healing and happiness for each individual.

As a performer, she is an enthusiastic advocate for new music, and has performed with a variety of ensembles ranging from orchestral to experimental jazz chamber groups. She is a member of Bellissima with flutist, Cathy Hawthorne. She also has a passion for a variety of folk harp traditions including Celtic, Paraguayan, and Mariachi. She received a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition, minor in Piano Pedagogy from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She received her Master of Music in Harp from Northern Illinois University where she studied harp performance with Liz Cifani, and received training in Healing Harps and special education from Dr. Ron Price.

Marcia L. Petersen Marcia L. Petersen
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Applied Strings)

Marcia moved to Wyoming from Honolulu, Hawaii in 1977, shortly after having met and married a Green River native. They have made their home in Sweetwater County ever since, having raised four daughters here, and with their twelfth grandchild on the way. One of the things Marcia brought with her in the move from Hawaii was her violin. It has been put to good use in the ensuing years playing and teaching in community programs and orchestras. Since 2000, Marcia has played professionally with the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra in Casper, and has enjoyed teaching violin lessons through the Sweetwater BOCES after school strings program from its inception.

Cliff Wittstruck
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Improvisation Strategies, Applied Guitar)

Cliff earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music - Professional Music, Master of Music - Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music, and Doctor of Education - Educational Leadership from Argosy University. Cliff taught at Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts for nine years. He continued his commitment to higher education at McNally Smith College of Music serving in various roles including Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs. Cliff has served as an Evaluator and Region Chair for the National Association of Schools of Music. He is the Past President and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Popular Music Education.

Cliff has played over 4,000 professional gigs including performances with: The Minnesota Orchestra, Art Garfunkel, Bernadette Peters, Jennifer Holliday, Chet Atkins, The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band (the house band on A Prairie Home Companion), The Children's Theatre Company, World Figure Skating Championships, The Rupert's Orchestra, The Casablanca Orchestra, The R-Factor, and the Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra and numerous recording projects including: ads for Best Buy, Callaway Golf Clubs, and Schuler Shoes, and gospel artist Robbie Robinson and Jazz artist Judi Donaghy.

Terry Burns Terry Burns
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Applied Bass)

Terry has been a professional musician for over 40 years. As a recipient of an Individual Study Grant from The National Endowment for the Arts, Terry studied in New York with renowned educator and bass pedagogue, Rufus Reid and in Los Angeles with Bob Magnesson. Terry has worked with and recorded with some of the biggest names in Jazz including: Mike Stern, Gene Harris, Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz, Marlena Shaw, Jane Monheit, Billy Hart, Lenny White, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, David "Fathead" Newman, and many others. Terry has appeared on over 50 recordings and has released 2 solo recordings to rave reviews. He has also appeared in television productions, motion picture productions and performed on many sound track recordings. Mr. Burns is a clinician for JEN (formerly IAJE), MMEA, the University of Minnesota, Eastern New Mexico University, and the University of Iowa. Terry has received nominations for "Bassist of the Year" and "Recording of the Year" from the Minnesota Music Awards.

Terry holds a BA in Music, an MA in Leadership, and is currently completing his doctorate in educational leadership. Terry has written five bass method texts entitled The Bass: A Comprehensive Approach, which are currently in use as Bass Department curriculum at McNally-Smith College and other institutions. For more information about Terry and his music, go to

Rich Manik Rich Manik
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Music Theory, Popular Music Survey, Applied Woodwinds)

Rich is a freelance musician and recording artist living in the Twin Cities area since 1988. He currently performs on all woodwinds and keyboard with many local and national artists in a variety of musical styles from symphonic to contemporary popular music. Some of the pop artists Rich has performed with include, The Temptations, The Four Tops and Kenny Rodgers. Additionally, he has had the opportunity to perform with some well-known jazz musicians such as Clark Terry, Lou Rawls and Jack McDuff. Rich's performance experience also includes touring, recording sessions and arranging. His teaching experience include teaching applied lessons at the postsecondary level since 1997. Rich's education includes earning a B.M. in Jazz Performance from Duquesne University and a Masters of Music Degree from Boston University.

Danielle Forbush Danielle Forbush
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Diction, Collegiate Chorale, Vocal Ensemble, Applied Voice)

As a teacher, clinician and adjudicator, Danielle has worked in Wyoming and Colorado and has coached jazz ensembles and barbershop quartets within those states. Between 2011 and 2016 she directed the women's chorus, ACE and under her direction, they received third at the rocky mountain regional competition in 2014. Danielle has also taught voice for over 15 years. She is an accredited voice teacher with the International Voice Teachers of Mix (IVTOM) and currently serves as the membership director of that organization.

A diverse singer/soloist, Danielle Forbush has appeared singing a wide range of repetiore from opening for the acclaimed jazz groups New York voices and Take 6, to soloing with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra in Powell Wyoming. As a classical singer, she has performed in such operas and opera scenes as Madame Butterfly, Fidelio, L'Elisir d'Amore and The Barber of Seville and has performed as a soloist with the Loveland Opera Theater. As a recitalist, she performs interesting repetiore such as Carlisle Floyd's The Mystery and Carpenter's Gitanjali song cycle.

Ms. Forbush has been singing jazz for over fifteen years recording with the four part women's vocal jazz group Sus4, which received an award for outstanding vocal jazz ensemble by Downbeat Magazine in 2001. She has shared the stage with prominent jazz artists such as, The Real Group, and Sunny Wilkinson. Her Bachelor degree in Music Education and Master degree in Vocal Performance is from the University of Northern Colorado and she lives in Rock Springs Wyoming with her husband and her four children.

Gary Gratz Gary Gratz
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Applied Jazz/Pop Piano)

Gary has been a professional musician for 45+ years, working throughout the industry as a performer, composer, arranger and programmer. He studied piano with Lorna Michelson, Herb Wigley, Manfredo Fest, and Jill Dawe; Organ with Stephen Gabrielsen and Peter Hendrickson; and Guitar and Viola with True Sackrison and Ewa Bujak. Gary has performed with Tony Sandler, Marilyn McCoo, Robert Robinson, Brian Duncan, Ernie Watts, Othello Molineaux, Tim Ries, and the Minnesota Vikings Band. He continues to perform regularly with Marv Dahlgren, Yolanda Bruce, Cynthia Johnson, Judi Donaghy, the Sevilles, The Sleepers, his own band and others. As a composer/ synthesist with Herb Pilhofer Music, Gary composed music and designed sounds for numerous national TV ads including spots for Coca Cola, Discover Card, Target, and Porsche. He also performed on the soundtrack for the movie "Beautiful Girls" and coached the lead actor, Timothy Hutton, in piano technique. Gary holds a B.A. in Music from Augsburg College and a M.M. in Music Education from Boston University.

Michael Weiss Michael Weiss
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Applied Drum Set)

Michael D. Weiss is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, where he double-majored in Drum Set Performance & Music Business Management. During his 30+ years of drumming, Weiss has performed and studied with the drummers backing many notable musicians, including Billy Higgins and Tootie Heath. Growing up, the Rock Springs native was the Wyoming Allstate Jazz Band Drummer and recipient of the Louis Armstrong Award.

Bruce A. Henry Bruce A. Henry
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Voice)

Bruce's award-winning talent and music has taken him to five continents, garnering a large following in France and the Far East. His fans have heard him on the BBC, performing a Worldwide Radio Live Concert, as well as notable movie soundtracks. He has performed on 5 continents in locales such as Manila, Israel, Paris, London, Miami, New York City, Maui, Saipan and Tanzania. His journey has resulted in an eclectic style of world-influenced jazz vocals and composition. Bruce possesses a three and one-half octave range, a pure voice with versatility and depth that few can match.

Vocalist/educator/composer Bruce A. Henry studied voice at The American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and is a former MacPhail Student. Bruce has performed with the likes of Jimmy Jam, Doc Severinsen, The Sounds of Blackness, Bobby McFerrin, Julius Hemphill, Buddy DeFranco and opened for the likes of Roberta Flack, Ramsey Lewis, Chris Botti, Natalie Cole, Stephan Grapelli and Gato Barbieri.

Hwakyung Jang Hwakyung Jang
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Cello)

Cellist Hwakyung Jang, a native of South Korea, has performed throughout the United States of America and Korea. Ms. Jang received a bachelor's and a master's degrees in Music Performance from Manhattan School of Music under the guidance of Professor Marion Feldman with scholarships. She also received doctorate degree of Musical Arts from Boston University under the tutelage of Professor Michael Reynolds.

Dr. Jang was the first prize recipient of Barbara Krakauers Award from Associated Music Teachers League, Inc. Moreover, she won the Young Musician competition and had a privilege of performing at Weill Carnegie Hall in New York City. She played "A Tribute to Pablo Cassals Cello Collaboration" directed by Marta Cassals Istomin and Bonnie Hampton. Dr. Jang also performed under the direction of Richard Aaron, Youngchang Cho, Anita Leuzinger and Richard Tunnicliffe at master classes.

She is not only an internationally renowned soloist, but also an active member in various orchestras. She performed in Haffner Sinfonietta, New England Repertory Orchestra. Dr. Jang also participated in Kurt Masur's conducting seminars and orchestra performances. Dr. Jang is the founder of V.I.E.W foundation (Visual art, Instrumental music, Eye and ears, Witness and testify) that encourages local artists and embraces communities. She has been a cellist of Boston Ensemble Soloists since 2017.

Travis Schilling Travis Schilling
Adjunct Instructor of Music (Electric Bass)

Travis Schilling (born December 7, 1977) is an upright and electric bassist and music educator, born in northern Michigan and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He holds a BA in performance from Mcnally Smith College of music and has studied with world-renowned bassist and bass educator Joe Hubbard, as well as Anthony Cox (Joe Lavano, John Scofield), James Anton (Johnny Lang), Terry Burns and Gary Raynor (Prairie Home Companion). He is accomplished on double bass, 4 and 5 string electric bass and is known for his ability to perform in a multitude of musical styles including, but not exclusive to jazz, rock, country and musical theater.

As an educator Travis provides over 20 years of performance knowledge coupled with the experience of over 30,000 private lessons taught to create a clear cut, no nonsense approach to learning the bass guitar.

Travis currently resides in Stillwater Minnesota with his wife Andrea and son Miles where he currently performs an average of 200 shows per year as a freelance bassist in the twin cities area. Travis was on staff as a bass instructor at Mcnally Smith College of Music for 11 years and currently teaches at both Western Wyoming Community College and Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Christy Lev Christy Lev
Collaborative Pianist/Accompanist

Christy Lev is a collaborative pianist for the Performing Arts at WWCC. She graduated cum laude from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's of Musical Arts degree including a minor of Music/Recording Technology. She studied piano with Dr. Martha Holloway and Dr. Solungga Liu, and music technology with Dr. Elainie Lillios. Christy has had the honor to work with many singers including soloists from Opera New York, and the students from the voice studios of Lauren Mikeal Weber, Joseph West, Christopher Scholl and Myra Merritt. She has also accompanied many local groups like the choirs at Rock Springs High School, Western Wyoming Community College and Rock Springs Jr High School, as well as many musical theatre productions directed by Chris Will, Rob Lauer, and Jamie Young.

Svetlana Martin Svetlana I Martin, MSPIR
Collaborative Pianist/Accompanist

Bachelor's Diplomas in Piano Specialties from two of Russia's acclaimed Institutions (Oktyabrsky College of Music & UFA Institute of Music and Arts). Completion of Continuing Education Symposium Instruction Post Grad Studies in both Russia and USA including Van Cliburn and Los Angeles based Master Classes. Has served in leadership capacities recently as the International Projects Counselor for Tchaikovsky Competition Stars and Special Advisor for the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation, identifying and promoting young musician and artists in public settings. Direction of an International Department Charity Foundation for Development of Culture, Art, and Education.

Svetlana formerly served as the Director of the Children's Art and Music School in Rhaduzhny, Russia providing guidance for 30 teachers and 450 students. Simultaneously has served in both institutional and private instructor roles providing guidance for young pianists development both in USA and abroad. Svetlana has tutored students who have participated in internationally recognized competitions in Russia, California, Colorado, and Texas. Many of her students have been awarded placements in these competitions. Svetlana has been featured as a pianist in several public settings with symphony orchestras, piano soloist, and chamber participant in domestic and foreign arenas.

For more information, contact Matt Schaffner at (307) 382-1746 or
(307) 382-1600 or toll free (800) 226-1181