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Woodwind Studios

At UCF, studios are where you study with your private teacher for lessons and masterclasses on your specific instrument. It is also where music majors form a community with others studying the same instrument in an environment that encourages learning from and performing with each other. All music majors study with our world-renowned UCF faculty members with weekly lessons and studio masterclasses.

Each flutist studies directly with Dr. Nora Lee Garcia. The studio studies and records weekly etudes along with solo repertoire, orchestral excerpts, duets, flute choir music and more. Dr. Garcia is an interactive instructor implementing both face-to-face and online teaching with a creative teaching style. Each semester the studio brings in new books and curriculum to expand the learning and understanding of the flute. Each student will have the chance to perform with the Flute Ensemble, Quintets and Flute Quartets. They will also be given opportunities to perform solo or chamber music within our unique Flute Studio Concerts around the State of Florida in addition to area recitals, forums and juries.

Each semester guest artists give masterclasses and past guests include Karl-Heinz Schütz, Philippe Bernold, William Bennett, Bonita Boyd, Carol Wincenc, Celso Woltzenlogel and many others. In addition to performing for guests, we also have great opportunities for performing abroad. Many students have had the opportunity to participate in festivals nationally and abroad like Nice, InterHarmony Music Festival, Tanglewood, Round Top, Brevard, Aria and others. Dr. Garcia has also taken her studio to three Nationals Flute Conventions, Spain Camino Flute Camp and Guatemala. The UCF Flute Studio was also recently invited to the Jeju International Wind Ensemble Festival in South Korea.

Many former students have found great success as musicians and teachers throughout the U.S. Studio alumni have gone on to study in schools such as Curtis, Yale, Indiana University, North Texas University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Michigan State, Louisiana State University, Temple University, University of California Santa Barbara, University of Colorado, University of Houston and Appalachian State. Some students have won competitions such as the Donald Peck International Flute Soloist Competition, RAFA Flute Artist, NFA Alto Flute Artist, Kujala International Piccolo Soloist, International Alto Flute Competition, the UCF and LSU Concerto Competition and Florida Flute Association Young Artist Competitions. They have also gone on to work as flutists in places such as the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, The Metropolitan Four, Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, University of Miami and many others.

Oboe students study directly with Jamie Strefeler, principal oboist of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and are prepared for professional careers in performance or education. Oboe students have opportunities to perform in many of the major ensembles such as the UCF Symphony Orchestra, UCF Wind Ensemble, UCF Symphonic Band and more. There are also opportunities to perform in smaller chamber ensembles such as Chamber Orchestra, Wind Quintet and Oboe Trio. Students will also perform solo recitals, studio recitals and performances in area recitals, forums and juries.

Students studying oboe can expect weekly lessons in addition to attending weekly studio masterclasses and reed-making sessions. UCF has a dedicated reed-room where double reed majors can improve their reed-making with their peers. In lessons, students will learn major solo pieces in the oboe repertoire, orchestral excerpts, etudes and chamber works. The studio also provides a pedagogical experience through clear and constructive feedback from peers.

As a professional performer, Strefeler gives students a model for what it takes to work as a professional musician in the 21st century. She believes that performance and education majors both need to be exceptional musicians and performers in order to teach the next generation of oboists.

In Spring 2020, a member of the oboe studio was a finalist in the Big Arts Scholarship competition. Former students have attended graduate school at Manhattan School of Music, Ohio University and Oberlin Conservatory. A former students was a founding member of the Accidental Music Festival and Alterity Chamber Orchestra in Orlando.

Bassoon students study directly with faculty member, Yoon Joo Hwang, where they will have a unique experience learning fundamental techniques, musicality and interpretation. Students will improve and develop their performance skills, musicianship and pedagogical approaches. Hwang also exposes students to new ideas and teaching methods by bringing guest artists to campus for master classes and recitals.

Hwang recently hosted the International Bassoon Meetup 2020 to provide educational opportunity for all young bassoonists everywhere. Presenters and educators included Whitney Crockett and Shawn Mouser of the L.A. Philharmonic, Kim Laskowski of the New York Philharmonic, Stefan Schweigert of the Berlin Philharmonic, Matthias Racz and Hans Agreda of the Tonhalle Orchestra, Gustavo Nunez and Simon Van Holen of The Royal Concertgebouw and Sophie Dervaux of the Vienna Philharmonic.

Bassoonists can pursue several teaching and performance careers. Some examples include Band Director, Studio Teacher, Orchestra Player and Professor. Each student will define their career goals and they’re Bassoon study at UCF will be specialized for working toward that goal.

Hwang has been invited to teach and perform regionally, nationally and internationally. UCF bassoon students will have the opportunity to perform with Hwang or with classmates in the studio. The studio also does weekly classes in reed-making, performance and ensemble rehearsals. Students can also opt to perform in music festivals, bassoon ensemble and competitions.

Hwang studied in Korea, Germany, Austria and the United States with various teachers and she brings what she learned from these various experiences and teachers to her lessons at UCF. She brings a focus on fundamental techniques (embouchure, breathing/support, articulation, phrasing, voicing, finger skills, vibrato, posture, timbre, etc.) and develops students’ unique musicality and interpretation.

Form bassoon students of Hwang have or are pursuing graduate studies (Master’s and DMA) at music schools such as Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Colorado at Boulder, Mannes School of Music and more. Others are playing in orchestras and freelancing as well as teaching bassoon. Some students have won the MTNA Competition and UCF Concert Competition. Other students studied bassoon while also studying subjects such as English, Computer Science, Aerospace Engineering, Biochemistry and more and are working in those professional fields while also continuing to play bassoon.

Clarinetists study directly with Dr. Keith Koons. The material includes solo repertoire, concertos, sight reading and orchestral excerpts. Etudes are used for overall musical development. Scales and technique material build technical skills in a graduated fashion, eventually including major and minor scales, arpeggios, thirds, whole tone and diminished scales and seventh chords.

Students have performance opportunities through the weekly studio class and also Music Forum. The weekly studio class makes a different focus each semester, such as clarinet maintenance and repair, reed adjustment, jazz clarinetists and duets. Large ensemble opportunities include the UCF Wind Ensemble and UCF Symphony Orchestra, as well as clarinet choir each year.

Emphasis is placed on practicing tools and techniques, and creative problem solving. This prepares the student for a future career in performance or teaching, in which additional learning and development takes place.

Clarinet students have the opportunity to compete in the UCF Concerto Competition, and UCF clarinet students have won as recently as 2015. Students from the clarinet studio have often pursued graduate study in schools such as the Ohio State University, Michigan State University, Louisiana State University, Florida State University and Oklahoma City University.

Saxophone students study directly with faculty member, George Weremchuk, including weekly lessons and studio class. Students receive a comprehensive education in saxophone performance, with a balance of technical exercises (scales, arpeggios, etc.), etude study and performance of the major works for saxophone and piano and saxophone quartet. Weremchuk requires all his students to play in a saxophone quartet, schedule permitting. There is also an emphasis on history of the saxophone through recordings and videos of influential saxophonists in both classic and jazz styles.

Students studying saxophone have a host of ensembles they can participate in including Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, jazz big bands and combos, saxophone quartets and ensembles, the UCF Marching Knights and Jammin’ Knights. Students are encouraged to perform in both classical and jazz ensembles to prepare for becoming teachers or performers. The studio also hosts the Central Florida SaxFest, Florida’s longest running saxophone event, that brings world renowned saxophonists to campus including Eugene Rousseau, Claude Delangle, Branford Marsalis and David Liebman.

Each person’s saxophone curriculum based on each student’s ability level and needs. At the beginning of each semester, students set goals that will help define their studies. Weremchuk bases his teaching style on his experiences with his teachers Eugene Rousseau, Daniel Deffayet and Jerry Bergonzi.

UCF saxophone majors play at the highest level comparable to the top programs in the country. In 2019, the UCF Knights Saxophone Quartet were national finalists in the MTNA Collegiate Chamber Music competition. Since 2010, four saxophonists have been winners of the UCF Concerto Competition.

Former graduates of the saxophone studio have gone on to master’s programs such as Arizona State University, the Peabody Institute and Florida State University. Many teach in the public school in and around Central Florida and others have performed in Orlando-area theme parks. Two former students received their doctorates in music and now teach at the university level while two others are medical doctors who still play the saxophone at a high level.

Click here to learn about studying saxophone in the Jazz Studio.

Alumni Highlights

Alyssa Kimpel ’14
B.M., Music Performance | Flute
Pursuing Music Therapy

Anastasia Cetverkova ’12
B.M., Music Performance | Clarinet
Graduate Assistant, Miami University

Anielka Silva ’12
B.M., Music Performance; BME | Flute
Music Teacher, Koa Elementary, Osceola County

Anthony (Tony) Rivera ’04
BME | Saxophone
Music Teacher, Baltimore County Public Schools

Becky (Gonzalez) Shwartz ’06
BME | Flute
Middle School Band Instructor, OCPS; Grad Assistant, Temple University seeking MME

Brian Nichols ’89 ’05
BME; M.A., Conducting | Clarinet, Conducting
Director of Bands, Smitha Middle School

Caroline Bloom ’06
BME | Bassoon
Teacher, Riverdale Elementary

Daniel Madlonado ’10
B.A., Music | Saxophone
Band Director, South Creek Middle School; Member, Orlando Concert Band

David Jones ’07
B.A., Music | Saxophone
Music Teacher, Forest High School, Ocala

Dietrich Vasquez ’02
BME | Clarinet
Director of Bands, Horizon Middle School, Kissimmee, FL

Elise Davis-Guiles ’08
BME | Clarinet
Teacher, OCPS; Graduate Student, UCF

Elizabeth (Whitney) Rouse
BME | Flute
Teacher, Brevard County

Emily (Scott) Langerholc. ’07
BME; B.M., Music Performance | Bassoon
Band/Choral Director, Lantana Middle School

Heather Mason ’10
B.A., Music | Oboe
Teacher, Primrose Schools

Holly (Kowalski) Baier ’06 ’11
BME; MMEd | Flute
Elementary Music Teacher, Morrison Colorado

Jarrod Koskoski ’01
BME | Saxophone
Director of Bands and Fine Arts Chair; Toledo Christian School

Jennifer Valiquette ’10
B.A., Music | Saxophone
Music Teacher

Jessica Van Dyke ’09
BME | Clarinet
Elementary Music Teacher, West Zephyrhills Elementary

John Stewart ’96
BME | Oboe
Director of Concert Bands, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

Julie (Henderson) Hebert ’99
BME | Clarinet
Music Teacher, Gene Witt Elementary; Master of Educational Leadership, USF

Keith Dodson ’12
BME | Saxophone
Director of Bands, Matanzas High School

Kellie (Morris) Hansen ’13
B.A., Music | Clarinet

Kimberly Zipoli ’12
BME; B.M., Music Performance | Flute

Laura (Font) Keller ’07 ’10
BME; M.A. | Clarinet
Music Teacher, Pleasant Hill Elementary, Osceola County

Laurel (Brase) Fecko ’01
BME | Clarinet
Music Teacher, Lee County

Megan Szymanski ’08
B.M., Music Performance | Flute/Piccolo
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, West Point Band

Michell Williams ’09
BME | Saxophone
Guitar, Piano and Orchestra Director, South Creek Middle School

Michelle (Francis) Chapman ’01
BME | Clarinet
Music Teacher, San Jose Catholic School

Pam (Pammy) (Connaster) Guess ’78
BME | Flute
Band Director, Arbor Ridge School

Sheila (Berg) Underwood ’97
BME | Clarinet
Owner of Underwood Music

Stephen Ekblom ’06
BME | Saxophone
Education Law and Policy

Thomas LaRoca ’11
BME | Saxophone
Music Teacher, John Adams High School; Saxophonist, Brooklyn Wind Symphony

Troy Shimkus ’03
BME | Clarinet, Conducting
Former High School Band Teacher; Owner of Serendipity Technology

Lyndsey (Thornton) Woods ’04
B.M., Music Performance; B.A., Music | Clarinet, Voice
Music History Instructor, FSU