Heather Buchman, Chair, Professor of Music

B.M., Eastman School of Music; M.M., University of Michigan; Professional Studies in Conducting, The Julliard School
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Areas of expertise: Orchestral repertoire and conducting, ballet and opera conducting, trombone and low brass, solo performance, 20th- and 21st-century music

Heather Buchman is director of the Hamilton College Orchestra and the Chamber Music program. She also serves as Education and Outreach Conductor for Symphoria, Syracuse’s professional orchestra. With Symphoria she has developed several innovative programs for the Education and Spark series. Buchman’s work in regional arts advocacy was recognized by the Society for New Music in 2013 and Civic Morning Musicals in 2014. In 2012 she received Hamilton College’s Class of 1963 Award for Outstanding Teaching. Buchman was Principal Trombonist of the San Diego Symphony for nine years. She won prizes at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Germany and the New York Philharmonic Young Artists Concerto Competition. A longtime student of movement, she recently began studying ballet. She explores the parallels between music and dance in her teaching and performance. Other interests include sound art, as well as the connections between music/sound and other art forms.

Ryan Carter, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

B.Mus., Oberlin College Conservatory of Music; M.A., Stony Brook University; Ph.D., New York University
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Areas of expertise: acoustic and electro-acoustic composition, post-tonal analysis, audio programming, algorithmic composition, and mobile platform development of audio applications

Ryan Carter's music has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, the National Flute Association, the MATA Festival, the Metropolis Ensemble, Present Music, The Milwaukee Children's Choir and the Calder Quartet. Besides composing acoustic music, Carter is an avid computer musician and programmer. His iMonkeypants app, which is available for download, is an album of algorithmically generated, listener-interactive electronica synthesized in real time from code in the RTcmix audio programming language. Carter previously taught at New York University and Virginia Tech. Carter earned his bachelor's degree in music composition from Oberlin Conservatory and his master's from Stony Brook University. He received his doctorate in music composition from New York University.

Lydia Hamessley, Professor of Music

B.Mus.Ed., Texas Lutheran College; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Minnesota
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Areas of expertise: American folk and traditional musics, banjo, music and film, Medieval and Renaissance music, music and gender

Lydia Hamessley has published numerous articles and is the coeditor of Audible Traces: Gender, Identity, and Music. She is working on a project about Dolly Parton and preparing an article on the music for Paul Green's symphonic drama The Lost Colony (1937). She plays the clawhammer banjo. Hamessley was coordinator for the conference “Feminist Theory and Music: Toward a Common Language,” in Minneapolis, in 1991. She received her doctorate from the University of Minnesota and has won several teaching awards and fellowships.

Robert Hopkins, Associate Professor of Music

B.A., Oberlin College; M.A. University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
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Areas of expertise: closure in music, codas and their function in sonata-form movements, musical parameters and the perception of musical form, critical and structural analysis of the music of Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Mahler; barbershop quartet music and style

Robert Hopkins' research interests include the evolution of the barbershop quartet style of singing, analysis of codas in the works of 19th-century composers and changes in sonata form in instrumental works during the 19th century. Hopkins is very active in the Barbershop Harmony Society and served as president in 2004-2005. He performs in a barbershop quartet and directs a barbershop chorus. Several of his arrangements have been published by the Barbershop Harmony Society. Hopkins earned his master's degree and doctorate in music history and theory from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation provided the basis for his book, Closure and Mahler's Music.

G. Roberts Kolb, the Marjorie and Robert W. McEwen Professor of Music

A.B., Occidental College; M.A., California State University; D.M.A., University of Illinois
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Areas of expertise: conducting techniques, choral literature, French Baroque music, Guillaume Bouzignac and Brahms vocal ensemble music

G. Roberts Kolb is director of choral activities at Hamilton and conductor of the Hamilton College Masterworks Chorale. He also conducts Tapestry, the All-Centuries Singers, and is past conductor of the Syracuse Vocal Ensemble and the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble. Kolb is a contributing author to Up Front: Becoming the Complete Choral Conductor and Six Centuries of Choral Music. He formerly held the Christian A. Johnson Excellence in Teaching Chair and the Marjorie and Robert W. McEwen Chair at Hamilton. He earned a master's at California State University at Fullerton and a D.M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Samuel Pellman, the James L. Ferguson Professor of Music

B.Mus., Miami University; A.M. and D.M.A., Cornell University
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Areas of expertise: theory and composition, digital music techniques

Many of Sam Pellman's works can be heard on recordings by the Musical Heritage Society, Move Records, innova recordings, and Ravello Records. Recently his music has been presented at festivals and conferences in Melbourne, Paris, Basel, Vienna, Montreal, New York City, Beijing, Capetown, Buenos Aires, Hsinchu, Perth, and Prague. He has been commissioned to compose music for traditional instruments and ensembles, music for electroacoustic media, and mixed media. Pellman is also the author of An Introduction to the Creation of Electroacoustic Music, a highly-regarded textbook. Further information about his music can be found at: http://www.musicfromspace.com. He received his doctorate in musical composition from Cornell University.

Michael Woods, the Leonard C. Ferguson Professor of Music

B.A., University of Akron; M.A., Indiana University; D.M.A., University of Oklahoma
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Areas of expertise: jazz, composition, inspiring student growth and revealing music's secrets

“Doctuh" Michael Woods has written more than 700 compositions in styles that include choral, orchestral and chamber works, and jazz combo and big-band charts. His works have been performed by the Albany Symphony, the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Central New York Jazz Orchestra, the Tulsa Philharmonic, the Salt City Jazz Collective and the central New York Jazz Orchestra. Woods is director and bassist for the Zoe Jazz Band, and bassist for the Omniverse jazz ensemble. Both groups perform his compositions. He majored in composition and minored in string bass at Indiana University (M.M.), and the University of Oklahoma (D.M.A.) and was the first African-American to receive a doctorate in composition from Oklahoma.

Rick Balestra, Lecturer in Music (Jazz Guitar)

B.A., Syracuse University; M.A., Ithaca College

Suzanne Beevers, Lecturer in Music (Violoncello)


Stephen Best, Lecturer in Music (Keyboard and Organ; Keyboard Harmony)

B.A. and M.Mus., Syracuse University

Stephen Best has taught at Hamilton since 1970. He is organist at the First Presbyterian Church in Utica, N.Y., and dean of the Central New York Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He is a composer of organ music whose works may be found at http://www.evensongmusic.net. Best’s recent research about French organist Henri Mulet and Utica musician Albert L. Barnes helped lead to the rediscovery and recording of some of their music. He has acquired one of the largest collections of organist autograph materials in the country.

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