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NEW FACULTY


John Elam

Dr. John Elam
John Elam

John Elam joins the opera faculty at Texas State University in Spring 2021.

Dr. John Elam has worked at opera houses and served on music staffs all over the country, including San Francisco Opera, Michigan Opera, Opera Memphis, Baltimore Concert Opera, Opera Delaware, and Austin Opera.  Recent performances and engagements include Everest at Austin Opera, along with recitals of Wolf’s complete Italienisches Liederbuch and Schubert’s song cycle Die Winterreise.  After spending a summer at the Merola Opera Program, Dr. Elam was awarded the prestigious Adler Fellowship with San Francisco Opera.  During his time there, he served on music staff for La Traviata, Pagliacci, and the West Coast premiere of Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life.  He has served as assistant conductor and chorus master for productions of La Traviata, Hansel und Gretel, Eugene Onegin, La Cenerentola, Ravel’s L’heure Espagnol, and Philip Glass’s Hydrogen Jukebox, and Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsberg.  He has also been the official pianist for Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions in the Detroit and Memphis districts.

In demand as a chamber musician, Dr. Elam has performed in the United States, Canada, and Europe.  He made his Kennedy Center debut in 2012 and has performed at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, Bass Performance Hall, Meyerson Symphony Center, Michigan Opera House, and Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.

Dr. Elam received his MM and DMA in collaborative piano at the University of Michigan, as a student of Martin Katz. He received his BM and MM degrees in solo piano performance from Baylor University.

Alec D. Scherer

Alec D. Scherer
Alec D. Scherer

Alec D. Scherer joins the music education faculty at Texas State University in Fall 2020.

He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and Performance (trumpet) from Lawrence University and a Master of Music degree in Performance from Boise State University. He began his teaching career in central Wisconsin, where he taught a comprehensive 6-12 band program. He is currently completing a PhD in Music Education at the University of Missouri, where his dissertation research focuses on democratic education in concert band. At the University of Missouri, he has taught courses in the music education curriculum, supervised music student teachers, co-directed the University Concert Band, and assisted with Marching Mizzou.

Scherer’s research interests include democratic education in music, instrumental rehearsal techniques, instrumental conducting, and preservice teacher preparation. He has presented music education research at state and national venues. Recent presentations have included the Society for Music Teacher Education conference in Greensboro, North Carolina (2019) and the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference (2020). His research is published in the Journal of Music Teacher Education and the Missouri Journal of Research in Music Education. A co-authored presentation is scheduled to be presented at the 34th International Society for Music Education World Conference in Helsinki, Finland in 2020.


Ron Wilkins

Ron Wilkins playing trombone with a plunger mute
Ron Wilkins

Ron Wilkins joins the music education faculty at Texas State University in Fall 2020.

New York City based musician Ron Wilkins has been performing on tenor and bass trombones, euphonium, tuba, bass trumpet and vocals for over forty years. He has performed at the highest levels touring around the world with his own groups as well as premiere artists. Ron is a member of the Birdland Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, and runs his own New York City big band alongside trombonist Rebecca Patterson which features their writing and includes some of New York City's premiere musicians.

Ron’s uncanny musicianship has led him to perform in many diverse musical genres. He has performed with artists such as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Rosemary Clooney, Lena Horne, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Dizzy Gilespie, The Count Basie Orchestra, Mingus Big Band,  The Temptations, Johnny Mathis, Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Eddie Daniels, Randy Brecker, Wycliffe Gordon, and groups such as The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Jimmy Heath Big Band, Arturo O' Farrill and his Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band and Small Group, Chris Potter Big Band, Ed Palermo Big Band, Affinity Brass Quintet, Uptown Brass Quintet, Livio Almeida Brazilian Dectet, Memo Acevedo's Building Bridges Band, San Antonio Brass, Capitol of Texas Brass Quintet, San Antonio Symphony and Festival Orchestra, Austin Symphony and Austin Pops, Mid-Texas Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Temple Symphony, and the Flint Symphony where he was twice guest artist for their summer pops concert series.

Ron has performed with many theatrical productions including The Big Apple Circus, Ringling Brothers, touring Broadway shows, including "Frozen", "West Side Story", "Wicked", "The Lion King", Showboat", "The Producers", "Kinky Boots", "Book Of Mormon", "Shuffle Along" "Motown", and many others. He is currently a sub on the Broadway shows Wicked and Frozen. 

He was a featured artist on bass and tenor trombones at the International Trombone Festival in 2002 at the University of North Texas.

Ron is a veteran of the USAF Band of the West at Lackland AFB in San Antonio.

Ron also has an extensive background as an educator. He has performed as a guest artist at from the elementary to university levels, jazz festivals, and has maintained his own private studio for decades. He has held positions at several colleges including the University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Incarnate Ward, Texas State University, Texas Lutheran University, Northwest Vista College, St. Mary’s University, teaching low brass, jazz studies, and vocals.

Ron has two CDs as a leader, "A Tribute To The Masters" (2000) and "The Bundee Brothers Bone Band" (2005) with former Ringling Brothers lead trombonist, Bill Gibson. As of October 2012, he was featured on a live recording with the Frank Wilkins trio (Boston, MA) at the Fishmonger Café in Cape Cod, MA. Before coming to Texas State, Ron maintained a private teaching studio and worked with the New York Jazz Academy.


Ron is a Shires trombone artist and plays Giddings mouthpieces. He has worked with Ivan Giddings to create his own signature line of mouthpieces.