Dr. Bevan Keating — WAMA Artistic Director

Canadian-born conductor and vocal music specialist Dr. Bevan Keating brings extensive experience in teaching and planning music education programs for students ages 6 – 18 to his role as artistic director at Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts (WAMA). Before moving to the United States, he worked as a public school music teacher in his native Ontario. He then completed a master’s and doctoral degree in choral and orchestral conducting at The Ohio State University.

For the past 10 years, Dr. Keating has taught full-time for the Music Department at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), where he directs the choral and conducting programs. His background includes extensive work with community choirs and orchestras, and through his teaching at UALR, he has made significant contributions in training and mentoring the next generation of music teachers in Arkansas.

Dr. Keating also serves as Director of Music and the Arts for Second Presbyterian Church of Little Rock. He is the co-founder and artistic director of Praeclara, a performing arts organization based in west Little Rock now completing its second season. His programming for Praeclara is noted for its creative interpretations of popular masterworks, often blending artistic genres and presenting audience favorites in unexpected ways.

A photo of Daniel Black, WAMA orchestra program directorDaniel Black — WAMA Director of Instrumental Music

“Firm, decisive,” “vital and engaging” and “with a droll sense of humor on the podium,” emerging American conductor Daniel Black attracts attention as a conductor who makes music in a way that is meaningful to today’s audiences.

As assistant conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra, Daniel conducted over 60 concerts in 2014-15. He has also guest-conducted the Alabama All-State Festival Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Rockford Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, South Shore Opera Company, the St. Petersburg Symphony’s “Klassika” chamber ensemble, and the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Daniel completed a successful tenure as conductor of the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra in 2014 and has also served as the Conductor-in-Residence of the International Beethoven Festival and Assistant Conductor of the Peninsula Music Festival. He studied orchestral conducting at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University.

Kiril Laskarov — Instructor of String Instruments

Kiril Laskarov is currently in his 18th season as Concertmaster of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. A native of Bulgaria, he received a Bachelor Arts degree from the State Academy of Music in Sofia and Master’s degree from Southern Illinois University. Laskarov has appeared as a soloist with the Arkansas Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Southern Illinois Symphony, Abilene (TX) Philharmonic, Symphony Irvine (CA) and Texarkana (TX) Symphony.

Dr. Michael Underwood — Instructor of Brass Instruments

Michael Underwood is in his 14th season as Principal Trombone of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and 11th year as Instructor of Music at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Dr. Underwood is the director of the UALR Jazz Ensemble. Since its inception in 2012, the band has been featured at the Dardanelle Jazz Festival and the Arkansas State Jazz Festival. He has also hosted guest artists Steve Owen, Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Oregon, and Nick Finzer, New York city freelance trombonist, who performed with the Ensemble. He has been a regular featured performer at the Afterthought Jazz Club in Little Rock as well as the lead trombonist for the ASO Big Band. Dr. Underwood gave the Arkansas premiere of Christian Lindberg’s Mandrake in the Corner with the Little Rock Wind Symphony. He served in the United States Air Force “Band of the Golden West,” where he was featured soloist with the Top Brass Quintet, the Commanders Jazz Ensemble, and Concert Band. He has been a featured soloist with the Natural State Brass Band, a fellow performer at the Joseph Alessi Trombone Seminar, and principal trombonist in both ASO and USAF Band of the Golden West compact-disc recordings. He has performed in the Tulsa Symphony, Monterrey, Mexico Symphony, and many regional symphonies in California, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas. Master classes include performances for Heinz Fadle, Jay Friedman, John Kitzman, Christian Lindberg, Ralph Sauer, and Ben Van Dyk.

Suzanne Banister — Vocal Coach

Suzanne Banister, soprano, enjoys an active career as a regional soprano. She holds degrees in Vocal Performance from Louisiana College and Loyola University at New Orleans. Suzanne has been a frequent soloist with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, singing multiple performances of 27 different concerts with ASO’s Masterworks, Family, Broadway/Pops, and Chamber Series.

Suzanne has also performed as soloist numerous times with the Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra, Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra, South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Little Rock Wind Symphony, and Conway Symphony Orchestra. Other solo work includes singing with the Lake Charles Messiah Orchestra, Opera Theatre at Wildwood, New Orleans Opera Company, Arkansas Chamber Singers, Arkansas Choral Society, Memphis Vocal Arts Ensemble, Opera in the Rock, and several appearances as a guest artist at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion.

Tatiana Kotcherguina — Instructor of String Instruments

Born and educated in Moscow, Russia, Tatiana Kotcherguina is resident of Little Rock, AR since September 2004. Honors graduate of Moscow State Conservatory, Tatiana also attended Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA; additionally, she is a certified instructor of Russian as a foreign language.
An avid performer and promoter of chamber music, Tatiana has worked as violin and viola instructor and chamber music coach in Russia, Mexico, and the US. Currently, she is an active member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Doppler String Quartet, and the faculty of the University of Central Arkansas (Conway, AR.) During her residence in Arkansas, Tatiana collaborated with many educational and artistic institutions and currently is vice president of Music Teachers Association of Central Arkansas.  Tatiana joined WAMA in 2015 and is loooking dorward to the new exciting season.

Alginates Staskevicius — Instructor of String Instruments

Algimantas Staskevicius, violin, was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, where he began his studies in violin at age seven at the M.K. Ciurlionis School of Fine Arts. He received the Master of Music degree from Lithuanian State Conservatory. Since his arrival in the U.S. in 1999, Mr. Staskevicius has also earned an M.M. degree from Southeastern Louisiana University. He has performed with Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and was principal second violin in the Filarmonica del Bajio in Guanajuato, Mexico and the Nuevo Leon Symphony in Monterrey, Mexico. He has participated in international festivals in Luxembourg, Germany, Spain, Japan and Mexico. In 2008 he has joined the violin section of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Currently, he is an active member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Doppler String Quartet, and the faculty of the Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, AR.)

Ashley Walla — Instructor of Brass Instruments

Born and raised in North Little Rock, Arkansas, Ashley Walla received her Bachelors of Music Education from Ouachita Baptist University in 2007.  Following, she pursued graduate studies at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where she studied with Myron Bloom and Richard Todd.  In 2009, she accepted a Graduate Fellowship at the University of Central Arkansas where she completed her Masters of Music in horn performance in 2015.  Ashley currently holds the position of Assistant Principal Horn with the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas and performs frequently with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Texarkana Symphony Orchestra with previous engagements including the Conway and Pine Bluff Symphonies.  Ms. Walla is in her fifth year of teaching in the public schools, and she also maintains an active private horn studio in the central Arkansas area.  Her private students frequently place in the top All-Region bands, All-State bands, perform with the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra, and have been accepted to the Interlochen Summer Music Festival.  Ms. Walla is on staff with the Wildwood Academy of Music and the Arts during the summer and has also worked with the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  In her free time, she enjoys traveling throughout the U.S. and abroad and playing with her beagle, Charlotte Elizabeth.

Stay tuned as we continue to announce our 2018 Faculty & Guest Artists!

2017 Guest Artists

Joo Won Kang, baritone — WAMA Guest Artist

Joo Won Kang a native of South Korea is consistently establishing himself as one of the most talented baritones today, both with audience and critics. Highlights of Mr. Kang’s 2016-2017 season include his debut at the Wexford Festival, Ireland where he sang the leading role of Corrado in Donizetti’s Maria de Rudenz with great success. Of his performance, Opera News Magazine called his “…The standout voice of this year’s festival…” He will sing the role of Chou-Enlai in John Adam’s Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by the composer. This summer he sings Germont in La Traviata with PORT opera, and in the fall he returns to San Francisco Opera to sing Ping in Turandot, which opens their new season. Additional upcoming debuts include Arizona Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

In 2015-2016 season, Mr. Kang returned to Wolf Trap Opera to sing Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at the Filene Centre, with the National Symphony Orchestra. He also sang the title role in Eugene Onegin with North Carolina Opera, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Fort Worth Opera, and his debut in Les Pecheurs de Perles with Seattle Opera.

His engagements for the 2014-2015 included Marcello in San Francisco Opera’s family performances of La Boheme. He also made debuts as Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutti with Opera Naples, and as Germont in La Traviata with North Carolina Opera. He then went to the Spoleto Festival USA, to sing in the World Premiere of Huang Ruo’s opera Paradise Interrupted, which he repeated in Singapore and at the Lincoln Center Festival.

Mr. Kang made his debut with Korea National Opera in the new opera Soul Mate, and joined the roster of Wolf Trap Opera performing the double role of Le Directeur and Le Gendarme in Les Mamelles de Tiresias as well as Morales in Carmen with the National Symphony Orchestra.

As a member of the 2011 Merola Opera Program, he was invited to join San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Adler Fellowship, where he was a member for two years. Mr. Kang appeared on the stage of San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, in a variety of roles including Captain Gardiner in Heggie’s Moby Dick, which was televised nationally on PBS and released on DVD. With the company, he sang the role of Figaro in San Francisco Opera’s family performances of The Barber of Seville. Prior to his time in San Francisco, Mr. Kang was a member of the Young Artist Program at Floriday Grand Opera, where his roles included Germont in La Traviata.

Mr. Kang has been a Top Prize winner in many important vocal competitions including First Prize Winner in the Gerda Lisper International Competition, Opera Index Vocal Competition, Giulio Gari International Competitions, Palm Beach International Competition, and the Ades Vocal Competition at MSM as well as Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Joo Won Kang is the first prize winner of Fort Worth Opera’s, 2014 MacCammon Vocal Competition, as well as the Audience Favorite prize. As a result of this success, he was invited to present recitals both in Fort Worth and New York City.

Mr. Kang received his Master’s Degree at the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelor’s Degree at Yon-sei University in Korea.

Kyung-Eun Na — Collaborative Pianist & Vocal Coach

Pianist Dr. Kyung-Eun Na has cultivated a multi-faceted international music career not only as a performer, but also as an educator, opera coach, and radio program director. Currently she is serving as an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Prior to her current position at UALR she has served as adjunct faculty at Montclair State University in New Jersey, Seoul Arts High School and Sungshin Women’s University in Korea; worked as a Spectrum Resident Artist Coach and Education Tour Manager at Virginia Opera. Beyond performing and teaching she has served as an assistant program director for The Classical Collection at TBS English FM in Korea.

As a winner of the Marilyn Horne Foundation competition 2007, Dr. Na participated in numerous national recital tour projects and master classes with emerging vocalists including Nadine Sierra (soprano). She has served as a coach in multiple performances at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Opera Theater Center, and International Music Academy in Siena, Italy. At Virginia Opera, Ms. Na worked on the main stage productions of Il Trovatore, Tosca, and The Barber of Seville, playing for staging rehearsals, conducting the off-stage chorus, coaching the cover casts, and conducting outreach tours to approximately one hundred Virginia public schools.

Her collaborative performances include recital tours and concerts with instrumentalists and vocalists at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall, Town Hall and Merkin Hall in New York; Finney Chapel, Oberlin, OH; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; Harrison Opera Center and Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; and Kansas City Convention Center, Kansas City. Internationally, she has performed at St. Agostino Chapel, Siena, Italy; the Korean Embassy, Brasilia and Amazon Theater Opera House, Manaus, Brazil; as well as at the Seoul Arts Center and Sejong Cultural Center, Seoul, among other venues in major Korean cities.

Her chamber music credits include performances with Jasmine Choi (flute) in New York and Seoul, Korea and recital tour in Arkansas state with Matthew Lipman (viola) under auspices of the National Federation of Music Clubs. Committed to new music, she has frequently performed as a member of the New Juilliard Ensemble at the Focus Festival. Highlights of her contemporary music performances include collaboration with John Corigliano on his Sonata for Violin and Piano, and appearance as soloist in the New Juilliard Ensemble’s New York premiere of Mary Finsterer’s Concerto Grosso “NYX.”

Dr. Na is enthusiastic about making the performance and reception of classical music more accessible to groups of greatly varied backgrounds. She continuously strives to reach out to audiences with limited access to public performance venues, especially residents of Alzheimer centers, children’s hospitals and nursing homes. She currently serves on the board of Innovative Bridge (EnoB), a non-profit organization, which specializes in providing outreach concerts for disenfranchised populations. Through the organization, she has created interactive performances at senior centers and K-12 schools in the greater New York area and regionally, she demonstrates her enthusiasm about connecting with all audiences. As Dr. Na is naturally drawn to take an interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and education, presenting music in its broad historical, social, and intellectual contexts, she actively serves as music director for numerous concerts, creating innovative programs, from a concert of vocal chamber music repertoire, to cabaret-themed works.

Dr. Na received her doctorate in accompanying from Manhattan School of Music, a master’s degree in collaborative piano from the Juilliard School, an Artist Diploma from Oberlin Conservatory, and a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Yonsei University in Korea. Dr. Na is a Si-Yo Artist™.

2016 Guest Artists

WindSync

Hailed by the Houston Chronicle as “revolutionary chamber musicians,” WindSync is a fresh and energetic wind quintet internationally recognized for dramatic and engaging interpretations of classical music. The WindSync’s repertoire includes newly commissioned works written for the quintet, as well as a wide array of original arrangements of classical masterworks. These five virtuoso players perform exclusively from memory and specialize in creative concerts that inspire and entertain audiences of all ages.

Curtis Sullivan

Baritone Curtis Sullivan’s repertoire expands from classical to musical theatre. His performances include Count Alamaviva in The Marriage of Figaro for Opera Atelier, and starring roles in Countess Maritza and Lady in the Dark for Toronto Operetta Theatre. He sang Schaunard in La Boheme and starred as the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance at the Kawartha Lakes Playhouse.  Mr. Sullivan has been guest soloist with the Prince George Symphony, Toronto Chamber Society, the Elora Festival, Orchestra London and the Amadeus.

2015 Guest Artists

Tarn Travers

World-class violinist Tarn Travers has performed across the United States, Europe and Japan as a soloist, but is also renowned for his work as a chamber musician and as an orchestral player. He is a winner of the prestigious Heifetz Guarneri auditions and has performed with the New World symphony, at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, and recently completed an Austrian tour of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto. He has served on the faculty of Luther College and AlpenKammerMusik in the Austrian Alps.

The Fourth Wall Ensemble

Founded in 2010, The Fourth Wall Ensemble brings contemporary chamber music to new audiences around the country. The Ensemble consists of a flutist, a trombonist and a percussionist, and together they bring a unique theatricality to their performances. Their name is derived from the theoretical “fourth wall” that separates audiences from the action on stage. “We like to break the fourth wall, which means that we go out into the audience, talk directly to them. Sometimes bring the stage action out there, sometimes bring the audience on stage with us, and try to be as interactive as possible,“ says flautist Hilary Abigana. With a combination of commissioned works and well-known classics, The Fourth Wall Ensemble makes music that literally leaps off the stage.

Spektral Quartet

Also founded in 2010, the Spektral Quartet has quickly risen to prominence as one of the nation’s most contemporary and energetic chamber ensembles. The Quartet has focused on melding classic compositions with works composed in recent years. Often, they take individual movements from classical works and intersperse them with a wide range of musical styles. For their 2014/2015 season, the Quartet balances four new and experimental commissions with the works of Beethoven, Ligeti, Hayden, Dvorak and more.

WAMA Faculty

2017 WAMA Faculty

Bevan Keating – Artistic Director

Daniel Black – WAMA Orchestra Conductor

Joo Won Kang – Vocal Guest Artist

Kyun Eun Na – Vocal Accompanist Guest Artist

Michael Underwood – Advanced Brass Instructor

Barry McVinney – Advanced & Intermediate Woodwind Instructor

Kiril Laskarov – Instrumental Guest Artist and Advanced & Intermediate String Instructor

Alex Seman – Advanced, Intermediate, & Beginner String Instructor

Tatiana Kotcherguina – Advanced & Intermediate String Instructor

Alginates Staskevicius – Advanced & Intermediate String Instructor

Suzanne Banister – Advanced Vocal Instructor

Sarah Dailey – Advanced Vocal Instructor

Shea Williamson – Advanced Vocal Instructor

Ashley Walla – Intermediate Brass Instructor

Kelly Singer – Vocal Guest Artist & Intermediate Vocal Instructor

Angela Collier – Intermediate Vocal Instructor and WILDArts Theatre & Musical Theatre Instructor

Vicki Lind – Beginner Instrumental Instructor – Ukulele

Moriah Patterson – Beginner Instrumental Instructor – Ukulele

Kimberely Lovelace – Beginner Instrumental Instructor – Violin

Linda Austin – Beginner Vocal Instructor

Kira Keating – Beginner Vocal Instructor

Satia Spencer – Beginner Vocal Instructor

Leann Hatley – Vocal Accompanist

Adam Savacool – Vocal Accompanist

Paula Martin – WILDArts Creative Writing Instructor

Sam Pettit – WILDArts Yoga Instructor

Savannah Traylor – WILDArts Visual Arts Instructor

2016 WAMA Faculty

Zinse Agginie – African Drumming

Linda Austin – Voice & Piano Accompaniment

Daniel Black – Orchestra Director
Kara Claybrook – Voice

Angela Collier – Voice & Theatre

Leann Hatley – Piano Accompaniment

Rachel Herman – Strings

Jonathan Kaplan – Visual Arts

Bevan Keating – WAMA Artistic Director

Kira Keating – WILDMusic Choral Director & Voice

Ouida Keck – Piano Accompaniment

Tatiana Kotcherguina – Strings

Lana Langston – Visual Arts

Kiril Laskarov – Strings

Vicki Lind – WILDMusic Ukulele

Kimberely Lovelace – Strings & WILDMusic Violin

Micheal Lowe – Voice

Barry McVinney – Woodwinds

Rachel Miller – Creative Writing

Kyung-Eun Na – Voice & Piano Accompaniment

Satia Spencer – Voice

Amber Uptigrove – Visual Arts

Ashley Walla – Brass

Allyson West – Piano Accompaniment

Shea Williamson – Voice

John Willis – Yoga

2015 WAMA Faculty

Zinse Agginie – WILDMusic African Drumming

Linda Austin – Voice & Piano Accompaniment

Daniel Black – Instrumental Artistic Director

Rachel Bland – Theatre

Angela Collier – Voice & Theatre

Kristin Duckworth – Piano

Sofia Gonzalez – Visual Arts

Leann Hatley – Piano Accompaniment

Bevan Keating – Vocal Artistic Director

Ouida Keck – Piano Accompaniment

Tatiana Kotcherguina – Strings

Audrey Lloyd – Visual Arts

Kimberely Lovelace – WILDMusic Violin

Kyung-Eun Na – Voice & Piano Accompaniment

Satia Spencer – Voice

Ashley Walla – Brass

Allyson West – Piano

John Willis – Yoga

David Winningham – Visual Arts