Marylhurst faculty received "excellence and innovation" grants supporting work in business, interior design, art, sustainability and music therapy.
Dr. Betsy Cook Weber
University of Houston
Betsy Weber is the Director of Choral Activities at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston. She holds the Bachelor of Music from North Texas State University, the Master of Music from Westminster Choir College, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Houston. In addition to overseeing the varied activities of the Moores School choral area, Dr. Weber directs the top large choral ensemble, the Moores School Concert Chorale, and also directs the University Women's Chorus. In addition she teaches various courses in conducting, choral literature, and rehearsal techniques.
Dr. Weber is highly active as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator and presenter internationally. Under her direction, Concert Chorale has sung for the national American Choral Directors' Association convention in Miami (2007), two Texas Music Educators Association conventions (2005, 2008), and for the prestigious Eesteddfod in Wales at which event Chorale won or placed in every category in which they entered (Chamber Choir/first place, Mixed Choir/second place, Youth Choir/third place).
Dr. Steven Zielke
Oregon State University
Steven Zielke, director of choral studies at Oregon State University, directs the OSU Chamber Choir and teaches choral conducting and choral music pedagogy. He earned his doctoral and master's degrees in choral conducting from Florida State University.
Zielke is a frequent clinician and guest conductor and has recently worked in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Nebraska, Missouri, Nevada and Kansas. He also guest conducted the Academic Orchestra of the University of Stuttgart and the University of Tübingen Chamber Singers in Tübingen, Germany. Choirs under his direction have appeared at state, regional and national conferences, as well as the Festival of Light in Bulgaria and the Prague Musica Ecumenica concert series.
Dr. Justin Smith
Justin Smith is Director of Choral Activities at Marylhurst University, where he conducts the Marylhurst Chorale and the Marylhurst Choral Union, and teaches courses in music history, aural skills and vocal technique. Before taking up his present position, he served as visiting assistant professor at the University of Houston Moores School of Music, where he conducted the Concert Women's Chorus and the University Men's Chorus. Prior to that, he served as director of music at St. Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston, where he conducted and supervised four ensembles, including the well-regarded St. Philip Choir, and oversaw a thriving music program. In the summer of 2010, he founded the Houston Cecilia Chamber Choir, a select ensemble of 38 accomplished singers already garnering acclaim for its excellence. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in April 2012, conducting the Fauré Requiem for MidAmerica Productions.
He holds the DMA in Choral Conducting from the Moores School of Music. He is a noted scholar of American choral music of the 20th century, having been published twice in Choral Journal on neglected choral works of Marc Blitzstein and Vincent Persichetti. Smith is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and the Oregon Music Educators Association. He serves as collegiate chair on the board of the Oregon ACDA chapter.
Marylhurst University/University of Portland
Jill Soltero, soprano, has had extensive experience both on the opera stage and in the concert hall. She made her operatic debut with Connecticut Opera as Anna in Nabucco, where she also sang Mimi in La Boheme, Barbarina in the Marriage of Figaro and Papagena in The Magic Flute. Additional roles include Nedda in I Pagliacci, Micaela in Carmen and Lady Billows in Albert Herring. Jill also has performed with several regional opera companies, including Arkansas Opera Theatre, Berkshire Opera and Sarasota Opera. In addition to her operatic credits, she has sung the soprano solos in the Requiem by Mozart, Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi and Te Deum by Antonin Dvorak.
Polly Hancock is a member of Vivace Voices and Fireside Carolers, as well as a former member of the Oregon Repertory Singers. She has performed in solo recitals in the western United States and Canada, and is a former director of several church choirs. Polly became a Certified Andover Educator in 2002, joining a network of teachers working to save, secure and enhance musical careers with accurate information about the body in movement.
Maya Story, MS, MT-BC, FAMI
Clinical Coordinator, Marylhurst University Music Therapy Program
Maya Story is the clinical coordinator for music therapy in the Marylhurst Department of Music. Maya's research and areas of interest are in guided imagery and music as a means of clinical support and inner transformation, and concepts related to social media and technology. She also was a research intervener on an NIH grant study on music video and adolescent resilience during transplants (study conducted by J. Haase, S. Robb, K. Amer, D. Burns, V. Ferguson, P. Haut and E.A. Kitner).
Dr. John Paul
The Joseph Naumes Endowed Chair in Music,
Marylhurst University Department of Music
John Paul's music was heard at the Oregon Sesquicentennial Film Festival in May 2009,
where his original score to F.W. Murnau's 1930 silent film City Girl was premiered
with live accompaniment.
John's compositions have been heard at the International Festival of Experimental Music (Bourges, France), Ernst Bloch Music Festival (Newport, Oregon), New Music and Art Festival (Bowling Green, Ohio), June-in-Buffalo New Music Festival (New York) and Composers, Inc. recital series (San Francisco). His choral works have been performed by Choral Arts Ensemble (Portland) and Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble (Seattle). His piano work Sojourn has been performed by Alan Chow (Northwestern University) and Cindy Cox (UC-Berkeley). His solo violin piece Intarsia has been performed by János Négyesy (San Diego), Nathan Rubin (San Francisco) and Karen Bentley (Palo Alto). Former composer and audio group manager of Atari Games, John's video game credits include the music scores for Gauntlet Legends, Maximum Force, and Pit-fighter, and sound-design for Wayne Gretzky's 3-D Hockey.