Skip to Content

NEW FACULTY


Jacob Harrison

Jacob Harrison

ORCHESTRA

Jacob Harrison has accepted an appointment at Texas State University as Associate Professor of Conducting and the new Director of the Texas State Symphony Orchestra. He will also conduct major student opera productions. This begins an exciting new era for orchestral activities in the TXST School of Music.

Dr. Harrison holds both the Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting and the Master of Music Education degree from Arizona State University. He earned his Bachelor of Music Performance degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He comes to Texas State from Iowa State University, where he served as the director of orchestral activities and taught advanced conducting. In 2014, Dr. Harrison received two awards for his teaching at ISU, the Early Achievement in Teaching and the Shakeshaft Master Teacher award.

A sought-after conductor, clinician, and educator, Dr. Harrison is a regular guest conductor with professional orchestras, honor ensembles, and music festivals throughout the country. This past December, Dr. Harrison returned to Phoenix to again lead performances of The Nutcracker with Ballet Arizona and the Phoenix Symphony and has been reengaged to return for December 2018. He has also been repeatedly engaged as a guest conductor with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. In recent years, he has worked with orchestras in Arizona, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. He was regularly invited to clinic high school orchestra programs across the state of Iowa.

Dr. Harrison is equally at home conducting opera and music theater as he is conducting contemporary music and the great symphonic literature. He made his opera conducting debut in Arizona with the Lyric Opera’s production of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle. He has conducted productions of Bernstein’s Candide, Mozart’s Magic Flute, and Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.


Andrew Cheetham

Andrew Cheetham

TRUMPET

Andrew Cheetham joins the Texas State University School of Music as an Assistant Professor of Trumpet. He leaves a position as Associate Professor at Eastern Illinois University, and has taught in trumpet and jazz roles at Oklahoma State University and Nazareth College of Rochester. A native of Columbia, Missouri, Andrew attended the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a bachelor's degree in Music Education, master's degree in Trumpet Performance, and a Performer's Certificate. Andrew also holds a Doctorate in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where he received a Certificate of Excellence in Performance, the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award for his area, and a minor in Music History.

With experience as a band director in the Austin public schools, he has taught trumpet, led jazz ensembles and small groups, and taught various academic courses at all levels for nearly twenty years. He was a trumpeter and ensemble leader in the United States Army, where he was often a featured trumpet soloist, performed in countless ceremonies, concerts and conventions all over the country, and received two Army Achievement medals for his work.

As a classical and jazz trumpeter, Dr. Cheetham has performed in and conducted various ensembles across the United States and in Europe. He has held the principal trumpet position in the Danville (Illinois) Symphony Orchestra, has held principal trumpet positions with the North Arkansas Symphony and the Prairie Ensemble Chamber Orchestra, and performs regularly with a number of regional orchestras across Illinois. He has performed with the Austin Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and the Tulsa Symphony Brass.

As a jazz musician, Andrew is a founding member of the Four Other Brothers Jazz Trumpet Quartet and has collaborated with musicians including Bobby Shew, Slide Hampton, Peter Erskine, Conrad Herwig, Gregg Bissonette, and many others. He is also sought after as an adjudicator and clinician and regularly travels across the country for jazz festivals and other events to speak about practice techniques, jazz improvisation, and performance anxiety. He holds a deep interest in new music in both classical and jazz idioms and regularly supports young composers through individual commissions and consortium projects. Dr. Cheetham is an Artist/Clinician for the Edwards Instrument Company in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.


Daveda Karanas

Daveda Karanas

VOICE

Greek-American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas joins the TXST voice faculty as an assistant professor. She is a winner of the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was an international semi-finalist in the 2007 Neue Stimmen Competition, a recipient of the 2006 Encouragement Award at the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition, and grand-prize winner of the 2005 Arizona Opera League Competition. Ms. Karanas holds a Master of Music degree from Arizona State University. While earning her degree, she performed such roles as Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle, Mère Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites, and the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. She was also a member of the Boston University Opera Institute where she performed the role of Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica and the Lady with a Hat Box in Postcard from Morocco.

As an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera, Ms. Karanas has performed in scenes as Amneris in Aida and Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde, as well as covering the role of Fricka in Das Rheingold conducted by Donald Runnicles. She made her San Francisco Opera debut as Mamka in Boris Godunov as a first-year Adler Fellow. Prior to her residency at San Francisco Opera, she made debuts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Levine in Schönberg’s Moses und Aron as Vierte nackte Jungfrau and the Chicago Opera Theater as Ericlea in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria conducted by Jane Glover. She also performed the role of Tisbe in La Cenerentola with the Merola Opera Program, conducted by Martin Katz.

In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Karanas returned to Arizona Opera in her role debut as Fricka in Das Rheingold and also made her New Orleans Opera debut as Hasbeena in the Burlesque Opera of Tabasco. Last season, Ms. Karanas made her role debut as Ježibaba in Rusalka with Arizona Opera. Recently, she was seen as Liese in The Passenger at both Florida Grand Opera and Michigan Opera Theater following her successful role debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the same role. She made a major role debut as Kundry in Parsifal at the Lyric Opera of Chicago under Sir Andrew Davis. She then debuted at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites and with the Auckland Philharmonia as Brangäne in concert performances of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. She made her German debut at Oper Frankfurt as Marfa in Khovanshchina and debuted at the Canadian Opera Company as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde conducted by Johannes Debus and directed by Peter Sellars. She also joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in their production of the Berlioz masterpiece Les Troyens covering the role of Cassandre in La prise de Troie. Ms. Karanas made an acclaimed European debut at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino as Judith in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle under Zsolt Hamar in the festival’s 75th Anniversary. She also covered the role of Judit in the same production at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan and on tour in China under Seiji Ozawa. She was then seen at Opera Grand Rapids for her role debut as Azucena in Il trovatore. Ms. Karanas sang her first performances of Amneris in Aida at Arizona Opera, followed by Vancouver Opera, Glimmerglass Festival in a new production by Francesca Zambello, and covered the role at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The summer of 2011 saw Ms. Karanas in her first complete Ring Cycle at San Francisco Opera under Donald Runnicles. In Francesca Zambello’s staging, she sang both Waltraute and the 2nd Norn in the new production of Götterdämmerung and Waltraute in Die Walküre. Ms. Karanas also sang Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and covered Amneris in Aida, both under Nicola Luisotti at the San Francisco Opera.


Suzanne Ramo

SUZANNE RAMO

VOICE

Soprano Suzanne Ramo leaves her position as Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of Opera Workshop at West Texas A&M University in Canyon to join the Texas State voice faculty as Assistant Professor of Voice. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin.
 
Lauded by the San Francisco Chronicle for an ease with coloratura that one hears “blazing forth brightly” as well as her “lyrical phrasing sweetly rendered,” Ramo has appeared several times in Amarillo, most recently during the 2017-2018 season with Chamber Music Amarillo in Mahler’s 4th Symphony, and with Amarillo Opera as Violetta in La traviata, a performance that was broadcast on Panhandle PBS. A frequent performer in the state of Texas, she has brought her crystalline soprano to Orff’s Carmina Burana with Ballet Austin, and returned to the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra for the title role of Donizetti’s Rita. As Constance in Les dialogues des Carmélites with Austin Opera, she earned a nomination for an Austin Critics’ Table Award as best singer of the 2008-09 season. Declared “always a highlight of any Austin Opera production she joins” by the Austin American-Statesman, she has previously joined the company as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. She received a second nomination from the Austin Critics’ Table Awards for her performance in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Texas Choral Consort in the 2013-14 season. She also added the soprano solo in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 to her repertoire with a performance with the Laredo Philharmonia.
 
Other roles include Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Berkshire Opera; Musetta in La bohème; Violetta in La traviata, Micaela in Carmen, Madame Mao in Adams’ Nixon in China; and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte. With the San Francisco Opera, she sang the title role of The Ballad of Baby Doe, Der Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte, Woglinde in both Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung, Der Waldvogel in Siegfried in addition to joining the company for its productions of Rigoletto, Falstaff, Der Rosenkavalier, and Semele. Also under the auspices of San Francisco Opera, she sang title role of La Calisto, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, and Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri in California as well as Violetta in La traviata on tour with the Western Opera Theater.
 
A prolific interpreter of oratorio repertoire, she has performed with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for Beethoven’s Christus am Ölberge, Modesto Symphony for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Stanford University as guest soloist for Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Carmina Burana with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Panamá at the Alfredo Saint-Malo Music Festival, as well as the Strata Trio for Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen at Concerts at the Point in Massachusetts. In Texas, she has sung acclaimed performances of Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder and Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ with the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah and Poulenc’s Gloria with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Victoria Symphony, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Brazos Valley Symphony, and Mozart’s Requiem with Musica Ecclesiae in Austin, in addition to concerts of Broadway favorites with the San Antonio Symphony and Victoria Symphony. She has presented recital programs for the Southeastern Festival of Song. Dr. Ramo was an Attaway Scholar at the Centenary College of Lousiana, where she presented her research on the Father-Daughter Relationship in Verdi’s Luisa Miller, Rigoletto and La traviata.
 

Blythe Cates - Voice

Cates

Dr. Blythe Cates currently serves as a lecturer of voice at Texas State University after terms at the University of Texas at El Paso and The University of the Incarnate Word. Originally from Southern California, she received her doctorate in vocal pedagogy at the University of Texas at Austin under Darlene Wiley and Ruth Ann Swenson. She also has a Masters in Opera Performance from UT Austin under the direction of Dr. Robert DeSimone. Dr. Cates began teaching in 2007 and specializes in vocal health, age-appropriate material, musical interpretation and applying classical vocal technique to many genres, including opera, classical, pop, folk and musical theater. An active soloist with many orchestras and ensembles, she has most recently performed with the Inland Master Chorale, Missouri Symphony, Riverside Opera, and the Texas Music Educators Association. She has performed operatic roles in Lakmé, The Old Maid and the Thief, Summer and Smoke, The Rape of Lucretia, The Consul, Der Schauspieldirektor, Die Zauberflöte, Carmen and I Pagliacci and has extensive experience in performing musical theater.


Marc Reynolds

Marc Reynolds

OPERA

Marc Reynolds has accepted an appointment at Texas State University as Assistant Professor and the new Director of the Texas State Opera Theater. A native of Los Angeles, Reynolds received his undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance from Brigham Young University, Master of Music degree with an emphasis in Opera Directing from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with an emphasis in Opera Directing at The University of Texas at Austin. He has held administrative positions including Associate Administrative Director and Resident Stage Director for Utah Lyric Opera, and founding associate director for The University of Texas at Austin’s Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program.

Dr. Reynolds has taught for Westminster College, Utah Valley University, The University of Texas at Austin, The Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program, Brigham Young University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Sparkling City Light Opera’s Vocal Arts workshop, Utah Vocal Arts Academy Workshop, and the Cornish-American Song Institute. He has also given master classes and workshops across the United States and abroad.

As a stage director Marc Reynolds has enjoyed success in directing including The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat for Austin Lyric Opera, Carmen, Falstaff, Die Fledermaus, and The Merry Widow for Utah Lyric Opera, The Mikado, The Old Maid and the Thief, La Cenerentola, The Magic Flute, and Amahl And The Night Visitors for Sparkling City Light Opera, La Serva Padrona for La Follia Austin Baroque, as well as La Curandera, Albert Herring, and Cosi Fan Tutte for the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler Opera Center. His work has received awards, nominations, and acclaim from the press and critics. 
 


Jose M. Garza, Jr.

Jose M. Garza, Jr.

THEORY

Jose M. Garza, Jr. joins the TXST faculty as a Lecturer in Music, teaching music theory and aural skills. He received his bachelor’s degree in Music Studies and Master of Music degree in Music Theory from Texas State University, then attended Florida State University, where he received his Ph.D. in Music Theory. While at FSU, he served as Secretary and Forum Co-Chair for the Music Theory Society. He also performed with the Sekaa Gong Hanuman Agung Balinese Gamelan and FSU Rock Ensemble.

Dr. Garza’s scholarship deals primarily with rhythm, meter, and musical meaning in popular music, particularly metal and punk rock. He implements existing models of analysis and introduces new modes of analysis, as in his dissertation, “Adapt and Prevail: New Applications of Rhythmic and Metric Analysis in Contemporary Metal Music,” examining paradigmatic structures in metalcore, progressive metal, and death metal from the latter half of the 1990s to today. His other research interests include video game music, percussion repertoire, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century art music repertoire. He has presented this work at several regional and national conferences, including Music Theory Southeast, Music and the Moving Image, and Texas Society for Music Theory.


Brian Pardo

Brian Pardo

JAZZ GUITAR

Brian Pardo joins the faculty to teach jazz guitar as a Lecturer in Music. He has held faculty appointments at the University of California Berkeley, California State University East Bay, the California Jazz Conservatory, Mills College, Temple College, Central Texas College, and Diablo Valley College. For 11 years, he was Director of Jazz Studies at the Bentley Upper School in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been a clinician for Sibelius, Yamaha, Brian Moore Guitars, and the Jazz Masters Series, and teaches for Jazz Camp West and the Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop. He has performed or recorded with Jack McDuff, Chuck Israels, John Clayton, Stan Getz, Eddie Harris, Charles McPherson, Arthur Blythe, Barbara Dennerlein, Paul Hanson, Mark Levine, Claudia Gomez, Tony Monaco, Paul McCandless, Bonnie Raitt, Audra McDonald, The Shirelles, Coco Lee, Tom Waits, Train, and many others. He has performed at the Monterey, San Francisco, Russian River, Clearwater, San Jose, Stanford, and JVC jazz festivals. His recent album, It’ll Always Be Home, features members of the Yellowjackets, Santana, Tower of Power, the Roy Hargrove Group, and Kitaro. Dr. Pardo has also composed and produced music for film and television, including Paramount Pictures, PBS, Comedy Central, Apple Computers, Wells Fargo, The Ford Motor Company, Century 21, and Levi’s Apparel.

Pardo holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Guitar Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Arts in Music Composition from Mills College, a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory and Composition from Haverford College, and a teaching credential from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He studied guitar with Pat Martino, Bruce Saunders, Allen Hanlon, Fred Frith, and Tuck Andress, and studied music theory and/or composition with Mark Levine, David Bernstein, Fred Frith, John Mills, Harold Boatrite, Annie Gosfield, Alvin Curran, and John Davison.