Meet Team MSL
Dr. Marci Major is the Founder and Director of Music Service Learning. Currently, she serves as Chair and Associate Professor of Music Education and Music Therapy at West Chester University, and she also directs the Bel Canto Ensemble with the Kennett Symphony Children’s Chorus. Before these roles, Dr. Major was formerly Assistant Professor of Music Education and Assistant Director of Choral Activities at the University of Missouri, Artistic Director for the community choir Columbia Chorale, and co-director for the Choristers ensemble of the St. Louis Children’s Chorus. She also taught middle and high school choir in Michigan and later served as a graduate teaching associate at The Ohio State University.
As an active researcher, Dr. Major’s primary interests encompass the economics of music education in today’s public schools and choral music in the middle levels. Her research appears in many journals, including Arts Education Policy Review, Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Journal of Research in Music Education, Research Studies in Music Education, and the Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education. Beyond publication, Dr. Major presents at many research conferences, including NAfME (National Association for Music Educators), AERA (American Educational Research Association), ISME (International Society for Music Education), and Suncoast Music Education Research Symposium. She co-authored the e-book Choral Connections: Enhancing Choral Experience from a Distance (published through F-flat Books).
Dr. Major balances her research interests with the roles of clinician, adjudicator, and conductor by giving teacher preparation workshops and conducting honors choirs locally and nationwide. Notably, Bel Canto has performed at Eastern Division conferences for both NJMEA (New Jersey Music Educators’ Association) and NAfME. In addition, she has conducted various middle and high school honors choirs in Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Her recent practitioner work includes sessions at Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Michigan State Conferences, the Northeast Division of ACDA (American Choral Directors’ Association), and a canceled session at the Podium Conference in Toronto (because of COVID-19).
Dr. Major earned her B.S. in music education from West Chester University, her M.M. in choral conducting from Michigan State University, and her Ph.D. in music education from The Ohio State University. She resides in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with her husband, son, and daughter.
Professor Adam J. Gumble is the Associate Director of Music Service Learning and the Director of Athletic Bands at West Chester University. At West Chester, Prof. Gumble’s primary responsibilities include directing the 324-member Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band, Sixth Man Basketball Band, and WCU Concert Band. In 2018, his WCU Marching Band performed in a Featured Exhibition at the Bands of America Grand National Championships and was named the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Sudler Trophy.
Prior to his appointment at West Chester, Prof. Gumble taught for 13 years in public schools as the Director of Bands at Hempfield High School (Landisville, Pennsylvania) and Associate Director of Bands at Quakertown Community High School. He is an active guest conductor, clinician, producer, and presenter at professional development conferences across the Northeastern United States. He has served as the Band Content Representative on the Pennsylvania Music Educators’ Association’s (PMEA’s) State Professional Development Council and has contributed original articles for PMEA Magazine. He has also been a quarter-finalist for the GRAMMY Foundation’s Music Award and has been nominated for “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” as well as multiple “Teacher Impact Awards” through WGAL, Central Pennsylvania’s NBC affiliate.
Prof. Gumble graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Music Education in 2005, Master of Music Education from Boston in 2007, and Master of Music in Wind Conducting in 2016. He is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Policy, Planning, and Administration at West Chester. In addition, he is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA), Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Tau Beta Sigma.
Ms. Lauren Ryals is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and now resides in Philadelphia. She has spent the majority of her teaching career as a secondary instrumental and general music director.
Currently, she is a PhD student and Teaching Assistant in Music Education at Temple University; she focuses her research on trauma-informed music classrooms, music teacher identity, and arts-based teaching and research-based practices.
Ms. Ryals earned her BS in Music at the University of Colorado and her M.M. in Music Education at the VanderCook College of Music.
Ms. Aubree Windish is a music educator and firm believer in arts education. Currently, she is on faculty at West Chester University as an adjunct professor in the Music Education and Therapy Department, where she teaches courses in arts integration for elementary education majors and supervises music student teaches in the field; she entered these positions after a 15-year career in public education, specializing in general music courses including technology, world music, and piano and percussion instruction. Her choral groups were recognized regionally through various festivals and adjudications, and she has directed a number of musical theater productions.
In addition to her educational career, Ms. Windish has actively participated in fostering musical community in West Chester, PA. She owns and operates Tot Rock Early Childhood Musical Classes, which she built with the focus of making music together as a family and community. Additionally, she helped to found Windish Music and Productions. Through this company, she performed, directed, and liaised show productions, music arrangements, and held administrative responsibilities with clients in the entertainment industry. Ms. Windish also performs piano and percussion in regional orchestras, theater pits, and bands within the community.
Ms. Windish received her B.S. and M.M. in Music Education at West Chester University of PA.
Dr. Craig Denison is the Associate Director of Music Education and Choral Music at the Indiana University of PA (IUP). Prior to his role at IUP, he taught and conducted youth and children’s choirs for nearly 30 years. Dr. Denison prepared his choirs for numerous international orchestras, opera companies, and premieres of new works. He spent much of his career conducting the American Boychoir, Colorado Children’s Chorale, and Florida’s Singing Sons. In addition, he founded the Schola Cantorum at Westminster Choir College as Assistant Professor of Conducting, and served as Director of Vocal Music for Saint Mark’s Episcopal School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Dr. Denison earned his bachelor’s of music degree at Houghton College (Houghton, NY), his master of music degree from Rider University’s Westminster Choir College (Lawrence, NJ), and his PhD in music education from the University of Miami (FL).
Spencer Camacho is a 2020 music education graduate from West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCU). His minor in music production inspired his current study as a music technology graduate student at New York University.
WCU provided Spencer many opportunities to grow as an educator, musician, producer, and overall creator. His involvement with the Honors College led him to create the Rams Songwriting Program at the Oscar Lasko YMCA in 2018 and travel as a WCU Honors Ambassador to South Africa, completing research and service in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Spencer found the opportunity as music director for WCU’s Under A Rest A Cappella group to be essential to his growth in his undergraduate years. As music director of the ensemble from 2016 to 2020, Spencer led musical rehearsals, arranged 30 works, and produced 3 albums, and more.
Spencer enjoyed his time student teaching at the Downingtown STEM Academy in 2020 and has taught piano, vocal, production, and songwriting lessons for 8 years. While pursuing his master’s degree, Spencer appreciates the opportunity to engage in music education through Music Service Learning in this next chapter of his life.
For more information on Spencer Camacho, visit: www.camachocreates.com
For over a decade, Dr. Sarah Gulish has taught secondary music at Lower Moreland High School (PA); she also currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Music Education at Buffalo State University and Temple University. Her teaching centers on creativity and improvisation in courses focused on new music learners.
In addition to her teaching roles, Dr. Gulish is an active researcher, writer, presenter, and clinician at the state, national, and international levels. She serves as the United States Representative for the International Society of Music Education’s Popular Music Special Interest Group and is a pat member of National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME’s) IN-ovations Council.
Dr. Gulish regularly tours and records as a rock musician with a variety of groups. Her experience as a popular musician has influenced her curricula and philosophy as a music educator; she details this process in her book Creativity in the Classroom: An Innovative Approach to Integrate Arts Education. She works to provide authentic learning and performing experiences for adolescents both inside and outside the classroom setting.
Dr. Gulish’s research interests include informal learning, creativity, popular music pedagogy and student autonomy. She has contributed to numerous publications in the music education field, including chapters in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Music Education and The Learner-Centered Music Classroom: Models and Possiblities; and she has also written various articles and book reviews. In addition, she co-founded the organization F-flat books, which seeks to provide an author-centric company that donates to the communities its authors serve.
Dr. Gulish obtained her PhD in Music Education from Temple University.
Dr. David Hedgecoth is the Associate Director and Chair of Undergraduate Studies, as well as an Associate Professor in Music Education, at The Ohio State University School of Music. He leads courses in graduate and undergraduate methods, conducts the Collegiate Winds, and serves as Resident Director of the Brazilian Experience Education Abroad Program.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities at Ohio State, Dr. Hedgecoth serves as a mentor for the Sophomore Transformational Experience Program (STEP) and as faculty advisor for the Collegiate Winds, Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and the Ohio State of Mind a cappella ensemble. He also serves on the educational and outreach committees for Chamber Music Columbus and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.
Dr. Hedgecoth’s research centers on charter schools, educational policy and change, and international education. His research has been published in the Music Educators Journal, Research and Issues in Music Education, Arts Education Policy Review, Philosophy of Music Education Review, Contributions to Music Education, TRIAD, and Southwestern Musician.
Dr. Hedgecoth earned his BME and MA in Music Education at Florida State University-Tallahassee, and he obtained his PhD in Music Education from The Ohio State University.
Ms. Hannah Knauss is the Choral Director at Interboro High School, where she teaches piano, theory and choral classes in addition to directing the teacher program. She was selected as the recipient of the 2017 Pennsylvania Music Educators’ Association (PMEA) Outstanding Young Music Educator Award.
In addition to her teaching roles, Ms. Knauss serves as PMEA’s District 12 Treasurer and has conducted and performed with various choirs in the Philadelphia area. She co-authored the e-book Choral Connections: Enhancing Choral Experience from a Distance(published through F-flat Books).
Ms. Knauss earned her B.M. in Music Education from West Chester University and her M.Ed. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Cabrini University (Radnor, PA).
Mrs. Rachael Urquhart is the Band Director at Strayer Middle School in Quakertown, PA, where she oversees three concert ensembles and a jazz ensemble in addition to serving as assistant director of the QCHS Panther Marching Band.
Mrs. Urquhart earned both her BM in Music Education and MM in Wind Conducting at West Chester University (PA).
Dr. Philip A. Woodmore, a St. Louis native, has been an active member of his city’s music community for many years. He received two bachelor’s degrees (in business marketing and music vocal performance) from Saint Louis University and his Master’s in Music Education from Webster University and recently graduated with his PhD in Music Education from the University of Missouri. He mainly researches vocal pedagogy and the changing voice, and he wrote his dissertation on the transformative power of choral music using the auditioned choir in the off-Broadway run of Antigone in Ferguson.
As a music educator, Dr. Woodmore has held a variety of positions. He taught one year at Ferguson and Berkley Middle Schools in the Ferguson-Florissant School District and went on to become the choir director at Crestview Middle School in the Rockwood School District, where he taught for 12 years. Along with his work at Rockwood, he was the Coordinator of the Voice Program at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) and the artist director of the Allegro Music Company from 2008 to 2017. He has served as the director of the Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department Choir since 2009 and previously served as director of the Northern Arizona Gospel Choir from 2014-2017. Additionally, he was Artist-in-Residency for Arizona from 2016-2018, Minister of Music at Trinity Community Church from 1992-2018, and vocal coach to many in the St. Louis and New York areas.
In August 2016, Dr. Woodmore was asked to compose an original score for Antigone in Ferguson, a recent translation of the well-known Greek play Antigone. The play premiered internationally in Athens, Greece, in 2016; and it has toured nationwide for four years, visiting an off-Broadway theater in New York for five weeks (as a workshop) in 2018 and running for 10 weeks at St. Ann and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, New York.
Since the success of Antigone in Ferguson, Dr. Woodmore has written an original score for “The Drum Major Instinct,” the last sermon of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and for one of Frederick Douglass’s speeches. In 2018, The Drum Major Instinct premiered in Athens, Greece, and was performed on several college campuses during the 2018-2019 school year.
Dr. Woodmore will be involved in several exciting projects in the near future. This summer, he accepted a position as the Music Director for Muny Kids, a community outreach in St. Louis, and he is looking forward a great partnership with the organization. In addition, his production company P. Woodmore Music LLC will be a producing partner for a 2021 production of the classic musical Pirates of Penzance.
For more information on Dr. Woodmore, please visit www.philipawoodmore.com