James Madison University School of Music

Ensemble Faculty

STEPHEN BOLSTAD, Professor; Director of Bands

Stephen P. Bolstad has served as the Director of Bands and Professor of Wind Conducting at James Madison University since Fall 2007. In addition to overseeing the University’s comprehensive band program, his specific duties include conducting the JMU Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band, teaching courses in wind literature/conducting, and leading the Masters and Doctoral program in Wind Conducting. Under Dr. Bolstad’s direction the JMU band program has hosted a number of guest composer residencies and received accolades from composers David Maslanka, John Mackey, Don Freund, Michael Daugherty, Joel Puckett, Daniel McCarthy and Brian Balmages. Recently Dr. Bolstad has lead consortium premieres of Maslanka’s Symphony No. 8, Puckett’s The Shadows of Sirius, and Anthony Plog’s Concerto 2010.

From 1994-2007, Dr. Bolstad was the Director of Bands at The University of Montana.  Under his direction the Symphonic Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the College Band Directors National Association’s Northwest/Western Divisional Conference in 1996 and 2006, and the MENC Northwest Conference in 2001 (Spokane, WA) and 2005 (Bellevue, WA).  In 2004 Dr. Bolstad was named the University of Montana School of Fine Arts Distinguished Faculty Awardee.  Prior to Montana, Dr. Bolstad held similar positions in Alabama at both The University of Montevallo and Livingston University, and he was the Director of Bands at St. Marys Area High School in St. Marys, Pennsylvania.

Steve Bolstad holds the Doctor of Music Arts degree in Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin, the Master of Music degree from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.  He has studied conducting with Jerry Junkin (Texas), Rodney Winther (Ithaca), and Stanley Michalski (Clarion).

Dr. Bolstad is very active as a guest conductor having conducted district, regional and all-state festivals throughout the United States and Canada.  In addition, he has conducted bands at summer events such as MusiCamp Alberta and Red Lodge Music Festival.   He also maintains a very active schedule as an adjudicator and clinician.  Dr. Bolstad is a Past-President of the Montana Bandmasters Association and is currently the state president of the Virginia Chapter of the College Band Directors National Association.  Dr. Bolstad is a member of VMEA, MENC, CBDNA and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles.

Office: 540.568.6035
Email: bolstasp@jmu.edu

Visit the Wind Symphony Web Page

CHARLES DOTAS, Professor; Conductor of the JMU Jazz Ensemble

B.M., University of Wisconsin at Green Bay; M.M., Eastman School of Music; D.A., University of Northern Colorado. He comes to JMU from Montreal, Quebec, where he was professor of jazz studies at McGill University. He also taught in the Wisconsin public schools for six years. He studied composition and jazz arranging with Ray Wright, Manny Albam, Bill Dobbins, Fred Sturm and Samuel Adler. His music has been performed in Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and throughout the United States by artists such as Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Phil Woods and Steve Kuhn. His music is published through UNC Jazz Press and Margun Music.

Office: 540.568.6180
Email: dotascj@jmu.edu

BRYCE HAYES, Assistant Professor

W. Bryce Hayes maintains an active career as a conductor, teacher, church musician, pianist, accompanist and singer. He has recently been appointed assistant professor at in choral activities and choral music education at James Madison University where he conducts the Treble Chamber Choir, University Men's Chorus and the combined University Choruses. Dr. Hayes recently completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from The University of Minnesota where he studied Choral Conducting with Kathy Romey and Matthew Mehaffey and Instrumental Conducting with Craig Kirchhoff. During his time at the University of Minnesota he was founding director of the ensemble, Campus Singers. He received a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Temple University and a Bachelor of Music degree in music education summa cum laude from Westminster Choir College. Dr. Hayes recently led the acclaimed ensemble One Voice Mixed Chorus as a Guest Conductor for the fall 2010 season. Formerly, Dr. Hayes served as a Director with the The Princeton Girlchoir and the Director of Upper School Choral Music at Princeton Day School in Princeton, New Jersey.

Office: 540.568.5052
Email: hayeswb@jmu.edu

ROBERT MCCASHIN, Professor; Director of Orchestras

Dr. Robert McCashin is currently the Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting and Violin at James Madison University where he serves as Music Director/Conductor for the JMU Symphony, the JMU Chamber Orchestra, the JMU Opera/Theater Orchestra, and the select Camerata Strings. In addition, Dr. McCashin teaches orchestral conducting at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Prior to his position at James Madison, Dr. McCashin was Director of Orchestral Studies and Professor of Violin at the University of Texas at Arlington, and preceding that, at Texas Wesleyan University. During his tenure in Texas he performed with the Fort Worth Symphony, Fort Worth Opera Orchestra, Wichita Falls Symphony, Gallery String Quartet, and the University Piano Trio, and performed extensively as a free-lance violinist throughout the North Texas region. He was the founder and Conductor of the Arlington Youth Symphony, and conductor for the Trinity Symphony and the Arlington Opera Association. In addition, he was Associate Conductor of the Youth Orchestras of Greater Fort Worth, and maintained a substantial private violin studio of students at all levels.

His experience as a professional violinist began in 1964 when he auditioned for and won a position with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra at age 16. Dr. McCashin received his first training on the violin from Jerrie Cadek Luctenburg and earned both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance from Louisiana State University, where he studied with Dinos Constantinides. He later completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting, with a minor in violin performance and chamber music, from the University of Arizona, where he studied conducting with Leonard Perlman and violin with John Ferrell, a student of Galamian. Dr. McCashin has participated in violin masterclasses with the late Henryk Szerying and conducting symposiums and masterclasses with such renowned conductors as Maurice Abravanel, Gunther Herbig and Leonard Slatkin.

Dr. McCashin's expertise in conducting pedagogy and violin performance physiology have made him a popular guest speaker for seminars, master classes and presentations to gatherings of professional teachers/conductors throughout the U.S. His conducting schedule has included appearances with regional level professional orchestras as well as district, region and all-state honor orchestras. In addition, his more than 50 published compositions and arrangements for string orchestra, offered by FJH Music Company and Tempo Press, are favorites with string teachers and orchestra directors alike. He is co-author of a new classroom heterogeneous string method, New Directions for Strings, two volumes released by FJH Music Co. in 2006 and 2008, as well as a co-author for A Scale in Time, a new classroom scale/warm-up publication.

Dr. McCashin was the Founding President of the College Orchestra Directors association, serving two terms as the first President of that national conductors organization. He is a member of VMEA, NAfME, ASTA, Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and serves as the Faculty Advisor for the James Madison University Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

Office: 540.568.6654
Email: mccashrd@jmu.edu

Click here for information about Spring String Thing.

WILLIAM POSEY, Director of Concert & Support Services; Part-time Instructor

William G. Posey received his Bachelor of Music Degree from James Madison University, where he served as drill instructor and drum major. Mr. Posey was a clinician for United Music Enterprises, teaching drill, music, drum majors, marching and maneuvering, and leadership classes all across the United States and Canada. He has also served as clinician for Bands of America in both the U.S. and Great Britain. While in England, Mr. Posey served as a marching instructor for one of the top British drum and bugle corps.

Mr. Posey is currently Assistant Director of the Marching Royal Dukes, directs the University Band, and is Director of the Concert and Support Services for the School of Music. He actively participates as an adjudicator for both marching and concert band festivals. Mr. Posey is a member of the VA Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Conference, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, and the North American Brass Band Association. Mr. Posey serves as Director of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Concert Band, and he performs as a member of the Massanutten Brass Band and Just Jazzin’.

Office: 540.568.6863
Email: poseywg@jmu.edu

DON RIERSON, Associate Professor; Director of Opera and Music Theatre

A native of North Carolina, Dr. Rierson received his undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, and an MM in Opera Production and Ph.D. from the Florida State University. He has directed and served on professional production teams at The Florida State Opera, The Spoleto Festival, The Ash Lawn Summer Festival, Central City Opera and Indianapolis Opera. As Director of Opera and Music Theater at The University of Northern Iowa, he received state recognition for his 1997 production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro as well as acclaim for the 2001 production of The Magic Flute, the inaugural main stage production for the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. The same year, he received the Jean S. Schwartz Memorial Endowment to begin a Music Theater training program for the Gallagher Center and establish a regional company to serve the University and the Cedar Valley.

As Head of International Studies at the American College of Switzerland, he directed Greek Theater and operettas in the Romand region while coordinating study abroad programs for student artists from American Universities. He also lectured on site on topics related to Opera and Art History in Florence, Rome, Venice, Paris and London.

Office: 540.568.4164
Email: riersodg@jmu.edu

SCOTT RIKKERS, Instructor | Director of the Marching Royal Dukes
Assistant Director of Bands

Scott Rikkers is the Director of the Marching Royal Dukes, and the Assistant Director of the School of Music at James Madison University. A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, he received his Bachelor of Music Education from Western Michigan University and Masters of Music in Education from James Madison University. Prior to his appointment at JMU, Mr. Rikkers was the Director of Athletic Bands at The University of Montana where he coordinated the athletic band program as well as conducted the University Concert Band and assisted with the Music Education curriculum. He has held an assistantship with the James Madison University band program prior to which he taught k-12 music in Michigan, holding positions in General Music and Middle/High School band.

Mr. Rikkers is a member of Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Delta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda and an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma. In addition, he holds affiliation with the Virginia Music Education Association, Virginia Band and Orchestra Association, Collegiate Band Directors National Association, International Conductor’s Guild, College Music Society, and the Music Educators National Conference. He has been a clinician in Michigan, Montana, South Carolina, and Virginia. Mr. Rikkers continues his work in the field of Music Education as an active clinician for both marching and concert venues.

Office: 540.568.6033
Email: rikkersd@jmu.edu

Visit the Marching Royal Dukes Web Site

Assistant Professor, Director of Choral Activities

James Madison University Director of Choral Activities DR. JO-ANNE VAN DER VAT-CHROMY is a former Maryland native who hails most recently from Tallahassee, Florida. While in Tallahassee, she completed her doctoral studies in choral music education/choral conducting at Florida State University, with Drs. André Thomas, Kevin Fenton, Judy Bowers and Clifford K. Madsen. Dr. van der Vat-Chromy also served as vocal music director at Tallahassee Community College, conducting the seventy-voice Tallahassee Civic Chorale and the TCC Select Ensemble Illuminare.

Formerly on the music staff of The International School of Brussels, Belgium, Jo-Anne most recently served as the Vocal Music Director at the American School of The Hague, in The Netherlands. Her work at ASH included directing six choirs and co-directing two concert bands, as well as teaching Rock Music History, Musical Theatre and directing the fifty-five-voice ASH Community Choir. Jo-Anne was also the founder/music director of Het Davidkoor, a subsidized thirty voice Dutch women's choir who, for over eighteen years, has focused on the integration of choral music and holistic music making.

In addition to her doctoral degree in Music Education/Choral Conducting from Florida State, Dr. van der Vat-Chromy holds Teacher Certification from the University of Michigan, a MM in Horn Performance from Bowling Green State University, and BA in Music from St. Mary's College of Maryland. Her research interests include the kinesthetic connections in conducting pedagogy, choral acoustic music measurement, curriculum/assessment strategies for middle and high school choirs, and the sociological impact of choral cultures on student learning.

As Director of Choral Activities at James Madison University, Dr. van der Vat-Chromy directs the Madison Singers, the JMU Chorale and the University Women's Chorus. Her academic responsibilities include graduate thesis supervision, undergraduate and graduate choral conducting, high school choral methods, graduate choral literature and student teacher supervision. “Dr. V.” is also a delighted member of the Board of Directors of the JMU Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence, where her work is coordinating musical activities and embedded choral teaching opportunities into the Gandhi Center programs for global non-violence, peace and consciousness.

Office: 540.568.5803
Email: vanderjx@jmu.edu

Click here to visit the Choirs Web Site.
Click here to purchase a JMU Choral CD!