Dr. Wendy Freeland is a Professor of Music at Jacksonville State University. Hailing from West Virginia, she completed her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in piano performance at the University of South Carolina under the tutelage of John Kenneth Adams. Her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance was received from Florida Atlantic University where she studied with Heather Coltman and Judith Burganger. She completed both the academic and performance honors programs, and was named University Scholar.
She enjoys performing as soloist and collaborative artist. She has performed at the Alabama Music Teachers State Conference, the Alabama Music Educators National Conference, and the National Flute Convention, as well as at universities and other venues throughout the country. She was honored to present and perform at the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia in 2011, and has performed in Sweden, Italy, and Korea.
Jacksonville State University has granted her the annual “Faculty Research Award” several times in recognition of her performances and presentations. She offers presentations such as “Technique: A Sound Approach,” organizes the annual Foothills Piano Festival on the campus of JSU, and is a Past President of the Alabama Music Teachers Association. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, a Friend of the Arts in Sigma Alpha Iota, a member of Phi Kappa Lambda, The American Matthay Association, the Music Teachers National Association, and the World Piano Teachers Association.
Estefanía Cuevas Wilcox is a former JSU instructor and currently serves as music teacher at C.E. Hanna Elementary. During her musical training as an undergraduate student in voice at JSU, Mrs. Estefanía became interested in piano pedagogy as a way to explore creative ways to deliver music instruction to young students and older beginners as a basis for sound musicianship. She obtained her Masters of Music in vocal performance from the University of New Mexico, where she served as group piano instructor through the UNM Music Prep School and as rehearsal accompanist for The Farolito Singers. Mrs. Estefanía has performed several leading operatic roles during her training as a classical singer and is interested in Latin American music research as a result of her Colombian roots and her work as the Latin American Music Fellow through the Center for Southwest Research in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She also enjoys teaching her private voice and piano students through the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School and The Donoho School, singing classical and sacred music, and spending time with her growing family. She is a current member of the Alabama Music Teachers Association.
Diane Chong, sought-after violinist and teacher in the region, brings to the JSU Academy a wealth of knowledge and experience. Originating from South Korea, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Violin Performance from Sook Myung Women’s University in Seoul. She has held the position of First Violinist in the Seoul Symphony Orchestra and the Christian Broadcast Orchestra. She currently is the First Violinist and Assistant Concertmaster for the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra, and the First Violinist and Concertmaster for the JSU Community Orchestra. Ms. Chong received her Master of Arts in Music at JSU in 2015, and has been teaching students in the region through the Gadsden Cultural Art Center, the Cheaha Creative Art Center, The Donoho School and Faith Christian School. A highly sought-after teacher, she was awarded the American String Teachers Association Strings Teacher of the Year in 2010, and received the Benjamin Johnson Jr. Award for Distinguished Service to the Etowah Youth Orchestra in 2017.
Mrs. Alicia Probst has been sharing the joy of music-making all over the world, with kids aged 2 – 82 since she was 18 years old. A native of Alamo, Georgia, she earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Berry College in 1999. After college, she served for two years with the International Mission Board, working with teens in South Africa. Thinking a career in missionary work was in her future, she went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2007, only to discover that loving kids through music was her true calling. She has taught music in elementary, middle, high schools and on the college level in the USA, Mexico, Canada, Romania, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Specifically as a band director, Mrs. Probst is now in her tenth year, having taught in both Georgia and Alabama. She is currently the Director of Bands at Rainbow Middle School in Rainbow City, Alabama, where she was named 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year. Her students consistently perform with excellence and enthusiasm, and last year, the Rainbow Middle School Brass Quintet performed here at Alabama Music Educators Association Annual In-Service Convention.
She is married to Dr. Chris Probst, trumpet professor at Jacksonville State University, and has a daughter, Isabelle.
Cellist and EYO Assistant Conductor Bryce Anderson graduated summa cum laude from Jacksonville State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Instrumental Music Education in 2018. Anderson has performed in the cello sections of the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra and the Jacksonville State University/Community Orchestra since 2014. He has also played in the pit orchestra of numerous opera and musical theater productions with the Jacksonville Opera Theatre and Theatre of Gadsden, including “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
Anderson began his performing instruction with the School String Orchestra Program of the Etowah Youth Orchestras under the direction of Roland Lister. He progressed through the program and graduated from the EYO as Principal Cellist of the Etowah Youth Symphony Orchestra. He studied privately with Susan DiBiase throughout high school, and with Alabama Symphony Orchestra cellists Andrew Dunn and Peter Garret at Jacksonville State University. He now maintains an active private cello studio. Anderson’s conducting instructors included Jeremy Stovall and Ken Bodiford.
Bryce Anderson grew up in the Gadsden, Alabama, area, and currently resides in Reece City, Alabama. Anderson enjoys performing at church once a week and at a local nursing home once a month.
Robin Thompson has enjoyed sharing her passion for the piano with students of all ages throughout the southeast. She earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a Master of Music Degree in Piano Pedagogy from Columbus State University in Georgia. During her graduate studies, she served as graduate assistant, piano instructor for the preparatory program, and collaborative pianist. She was a faculty member at the UTC Cadet Conservatory for 18 years and also provided piano instruction to various schools in the Chattanooga area.
Since moving to Anniston, she has enjoyed teaching students at the Donoho School, Ascension Leadership Academy, and Heritage Hall Arts Camp in Talladega. She enjoys collaborating with other musicians, especially in cello and piano performance, as well as worship music.
Mrs. Thompson has additional early childhood music pedagogy training in the Kindermusik and Suzuki methods and is a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs.
Judy Holt Shealy is the music director and vocal coach at the Community Actors Studio Theatre Children’s Program. A long time resident of Calhoun County she received a Bachelor of Arts in Music along with a Bachelor or Science from Jacksonville State University. Mrs. Shealy has performed professionally with Texas Legacies in Palo Duro Canyon and the Storybook Children’s Theatre touring company. She has experience both in classical and musical theatre genres, having performed leading roles in multiple operas and musical theatre productions. Mrs. Shealy has 15 years of experience in teaching and music directing and has a passion for helping young people find their voice and a love of performing.