Lecturer

Amy Birdsong is a professor in the School of Music at James Madison University. Mrs. Birdsong completed her undergraduate work at James Madison University as a music education major, graduating Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Music and a minor in jazz studies and later earned a master's degree in music education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently in the process of completing her Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting at James Madison University.

Prof. Birdsong began her professional career in Henrico County at Varina High School. She received Henrico County Public School’s "First Year Teacher Award" for Varina High School. Subsequently she started the band program at Hanover High School (HHS) in its inaugural year. Her concert ensembles consistently received Superior ratings at Assessment, and combined with successful seasons in marching band, earned multiple Virginia Honor Band designations. In 2016 she was named “Teacher of the Year” for Hanover High School.

In addition to her responsibilities at HHS, Prof. Birdsong was also the director of the Richmond Symphony Youth Concert Orchestra, performing semi-annually at the Carpenter Theater at CenterStage.  Prof. Birdsong was a founding and performing member of the Commonwealth Winds in Central VA, and currently performs with the Valley Wind Ensemble. Prof. Birdsong is the Professional Development Coordinator of the annual Virginia Music Educator Association conference, and co-chair of the annual VMEA All-VA Jazz Ensemble event. Prof. Birdsong is a member of CBDNA, the Alpha Chi chapter of the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, is a Conn-Selmer VIP Educator, and an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma, Kappa Kappa Psi and Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternities. In 2020 Prof. Birdsong was named The Breeze’s “JMU Professor of the Year.” In 2022 she selected as JMU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts Outstanding Junior Faculty Award recipient, as well as the honor of receiving the Madison Vision Teaching Award.   

Prior to taking on her role as a lecturer in Music Education at JMU, Prof. Birdsong was the Assistant Director of Bands of her alma mater, working with the Marching Royal Dukes and Pep Band. Prof. Birdsong resides in Rockingham County with her husband Steve and sons Jack and Finn.

Music Education Professors and Instructors

Lisa Maynard

Lisa M. Maynard
Associate Professor, String Music Education,
Coordinator of Music Education
maynarlm@jmu.edu
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William M. Dabback

William Dabback
Professor, Director of Graduate Studies and Admissions
dabbacwm@jmu.edu
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hayes

W. Bryce Hayes
Associate Professor, Associate Director of Choral Activities
hayeswb@jmu.edu
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Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy

Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy
Associate Professor, Director of Choral Activities, Coordinator of Voice Area
vanderjx@jmu.edu
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David Stringham

David Stringham
Director of Research, Entrepreneurship, and Engagement in the College of Visual and Performing Arts
stringda@jmu.edu
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Benjamin Guerrero
Preparing Future Faculty Fellow, Instructor
guerrebj@jmu.edu
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Scott Zane Smith
Coordinator, Supervisor, Instructor
smithsz@jmu.edu
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Rhonda Stees

Rhonda Stees
Instructor
steesrl@jmu.edu
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Ensemble Directors

Stephen Bolstad

Stephen P. Bolstad
Professor, Director of Bands
Ensemble Area Coordinator
bolstasp@jmu.edu
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Foster Beyers
Assistant Professor
Director of Orchestras
beyersfj@jmu.edu
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Chuck Dotas

Chuck Dotas
Professor, Director of Jazz Studies
dotascj@jmu.edu
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Bryce Hayes

W. Bryce Hayes
Associate Professor, Associate Director of Choral Activities
hayeswb@jmu.edu
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Scott Rikkers

Scott Rikkers
Director of the Marching Royal Dukes, Assistant Director of Bands
rikkersd@jmu.edu
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Kevin Stees

Kevin J. Stees
Professor, Conductor of the JMU Brass Band
steeskj@jmu.edu
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Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy

Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy
Associate Professor, Director of Choral Activities, Coordinator of Voice Area
vanderjx@jmu.edu
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Nieves Villaseñor
Assistant Director of Athletic Bands
Director of Pep Band
villasnx@jmu.edu

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