Friday, August 29, 2014

College of Music Welcomes New Faculty to Campus

Please join us in welcoming our new visiting faculty members for the 2014-2015 academic year:


Andrew Aziz, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory

Dr. Aziz holds a Ph.D. in music theory from the Eastman School of Music and comes to FSU via Brown University. His Doctoral dissertation focused on sonata forms in Debussy and Ravel; other research interests include formal and transformational analysis of 19th-century music as well as schema theory, key finding, and musical memory.


Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet, Visiting Assistant Professor of Voice

Having commenced her career in Italian opera, Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet has more recently become recognised as a leading force in the German and contemporary music repertoire. In Europe, Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet has appeared on the stages of the Liceu, Opéra National de Paris, De Nederlandse Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro La Fenice, Bregenz Festival and the Teatro Comunale di Firenze.


Nick Finzer, Visiting Assistant Professor of Jazz Trombone

A graduate of Eastman and Juilliard, Nick Finzer has shared the stage with the likes of Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project, Lewis Nash, Frank Kimbrough, Matt Wilson, Terrell Stafford, Ken Peplowski, Lew Tabackin, John Clayton, Jon Faddis, Wycliffe Gordon, Bob Stewart, Walt Weiskopf, Lucas Pino’s Nonet (ft. Colin Stranahan and Glenn Zaleski), the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Nick is Co­Founder and Artistic Director of the Institute for Creative Music (, which is dedicated to the education and dissemination of jazz and creative music across the US.


Leslie Heffner, Visiting Assistant Professor of Voice

Ohio native, Dr. Leslie Heffner, completed her Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, her Master of Music in Vocal Performance at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, and her Doctorate in Vocal Performance and a Certificate in Arts Administration at Florida State University. Leslie has appeared in opera, oratorio and recitals across the United States and in Europe.


Chia-Ching Shen, Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano

Dr. Shen received her Doctorate Degree in Piano Performance from Florida State University in 2011. She has studied with Dr. Heidi Louise Williams (FSU), Victor Rosenbaum (Mannes College, The New School for Music) and Mei-Ling Wang (Taipei National University of the Arts). Dr. Shen has given performances in Europe, Taiwan, and the United States as soloist and collaborative pianist. Her performance venues have included major cities such as Vienna, Salzburg, Taipei, and New York. She has performed in Master Classes for many renowned artists including Vladimir Feltsman, Ann Schein, Boris Bloch, Paul Gulda, and Timothy Eddy and Todd Phillips of the Orion String Quartet.


Jihye Chang Sung, Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy and Music Theory

Pianist Jihye Chang has appeared as soloist and collaborative artist in venues throughout the United States, Canada, Korea, Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras and France. An avid performer of new music, Ms. Chang has been a frequent guest artist of the Studio 2021 Series at Seoul National University, new music festivals at Ball State University and the University of Louisville.

Dr. Chang holds the degrees of Doctor of Music and Master of Music in Piano Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University under the tutelage of György Sebök, Reiko Neriki, and Edward Auer. She also had the privilege to study with Emanuel Ax, Marc Durand, Claude Frank, Pamela Frank, Robert Levin, Yo Yo Ma, Ursula Oppens, and John Perry. She has served on the faculty at Concordia College, MN, North Dakota State University, and Troy University, AL. Ms Chang has also served as the Artistic Director of “Chamber Music ff,” a series in Fergus Falls, MN, and as the Artist in Residency for Rosemary Beach Foundation's "Music In Pictures" supported by Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.


Shannon Thomas, Visiting Assistant Professor of Violin

Dr. Thomas earned the Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Paul Kantor. A Tennessee native, she earned her Bachelor of Music (Magna cum laude) from Vanderbilt University—Blair School of Music, where she studied with Cornelia Heard. After completing her Master of Music at Yale University under the tutelage of Ani Kavafian, Ms. Thomas joined the Herberger String Quartet, the graduate string quartet in residence at Arizona State University, where she also served as a teaching assistant to Jonathan Swartz. An active performer, Ms. Thomas has appeared around the United States as a chamber musician, soloist, and in recital. She has been a soloist with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Chattanooga Youth Symphony Orchestra, Vanderbilt University Orchestra, and Sewanee Festival Orchestra.


Christopher Witulski, Teaching Faculty I - Ethnomusicology/Distance Learning

Christopher Witulski is an ethnomusicologist, educator, and musician. Dr. Witulski received his BA and MM (Music Theory) degrees from SUNY, Potsdam, and the MM (Ethnomusicology) and Ph.D. (Ethnomusicology) degrees from the University of Florida. A Fullbright grant recipient, Chris spent three years in North and West Africa researching the relationship between ethics and aesthetics in popular manifestations of religious music.

Prior to his arrival at FSU, Dr. Witulski served as Music Lab Director for the Hochstein School of Music and Dance in Rochester, NY, and as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Florida. At FSU, Dr. Witulski will teach undergraduate courses in world music and American popular music, both live and online. An active musician, Chris has performed regularly on violin and viola in North Florida with the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra, the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra.