Update from the 2023 KMEA Conference

Every year, the University of Kentucky School of Music shines with outstanding presenters and performers representing all aspects of our award-winning programs.
From Dr. Elizabeth Arnold, Associate Professor in voice and Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts.

During the week of February 8th-11th, 2023, the University of Kentucky had numerous faculty members, students, and alum attend and participate in the annual Kentucky Music Educators Conference in Louisville.  After Covid and an ice-storm during last year’s conference, the tone of a “normal” conference was full of joy and hope for a bright future of new generations sharing the healing gifts of the arts.

Image of School of Music faculty in the lobby of the KY Arts Center
School of Music faculty at the 2023 KMEA Conference

Faculty and alums offered their teaching and research expertise through engaging presentations as well as moving performances that brought the audiences to tears. Our faculty and alumni demonstrated a selfless and servant leadership to the young musicians in our state as true ambassadors of our School of Music. We had conductors leading ensembles, applied faculty coaching young musicians in the All-State Orchestra, Band, and Jazz ensembles, students participating in multiple groups, and pianists who accompanied the All-State Choirs. It took a village to showcase our School of Music at the exhibition hall and alumni reception. Special thanks to Laurie Flewwellin, Storey Free, Jennifer Sciantarelli and her team for their hard work to make us look good and to those faculty and TAs that talked to students as they came to visit us.

KMEA is a visible event that showcases the many talents of the present and past members of our UK School of Music community which, in turn, attracts Kentucky students to our programs. It was an honor to witness our students and colleagues contributing to the overall excitement and energy of the conference as well as seeing all the generations of our students supporting each other. 

Congratulations to all!

2023 College of Fine Arts KMEA Participants


• UK Men’s Choir, February 10, 2023

Jeff Johnson, Conductor,
Guest Conductor: Joshua Golden, current DMA
Student Pianists: Cade Dundon, Adam Zoolalian
Student Percussionist: Chris Lucero

Student Soloists: Trey Darnell, Justin Felix, Mason Franklin, Warren Naberhaus, Mason O’Brien, Jake Parritt, Drew Pungratz, Elijah Garret, Harrison Hancock, Samuel Powless, Ethan Neal

• KY Intercollegiate Jazz Ensemble, February 10, 2023

Miles Osland, Conductor



• Elizabeth Wilson (DMA 2022 in Choral Conducting), February 9, 2023

• Martina Vasil, February 11, 2023

Current Students:

• David Docken, PhD Music Education, UK, February 10 and 11, 2023

• Mary Elizabeth Henton, Phd Music Education, Model Laboratory School, EKU, February 9 and 10, 2023

Kentucky Intercollegiate Band:

• Cody Birdwell and Josh Smith assisted with Kentucky Intercollegiate Band auditions and chair placement

• Josh Smith served as Percussion Coordinator for the KIB

All-State Coaches Orchestra:

• Margie Karp, Violin auditions for Commonwealth and Symphony, coach for first violins Symphony Orchestra

• Ben Karp, Cello auditions for Commonwealth and Symphony, coach for both orchestras

• Paul Reich, Bass auditions for Commonwealth and Symphony, coach for both orchestras

• Tze-Ying Wu, coach for Commonwealth and Symphony Violists



• Benjamin Karp: outgoing President of Kentucky ASTA (American String Teachers Association) presided over the annual luncheon where he welcomed attendees and introduced the guest AllState conductors.

• Dr Tze-Ying Wu: presented her String Project research.

• Margie Karp: discussed her upcoming ASTA joint presentation with colleague Professor Daniel Mason.

KYACDA: President Elect: Elizabeth Wilson

All-State Pianists:

• Karina Johnson, UK Choristers

• Brock Terry, UK Women’s Choir


• Beth Arnold

• Cody Birdwell

• Lori Hetzel

• Daniel Wesley


Caitlin Flemm, Winner KMEA Collegiate Composition Contest
Caitlin Flemm, conductor
Ford Smith, percussion

Student Choir:

Jonathan Adkins
Jake Ballard
Katie Bishop
Ellie Cooke
Hannah Douglas
Justin Felix
Addi Flynn
Larkin Gensheimer
Devin Miracle
Ashley Rodriguez
Katelyn Rose
Adam Sparks
Emily Sparks
Hailey Wells

Kentucky Intercollegiate Band, conducted by Col. Michael Colburn, United States Marine Band (retired)
Student Participants

Elizabeth King
Mark Gaddie
Emily Maxey
Chasity Thompson
Annaliese Adams
Carson Kitts
Ben Humphries
Ariel Arney
Drew Reynolds
Trace Denton
Andrew Waters
Kamilo Davila
William Middleton
Ellen Lee
Ed Carter

KY Intercollegiate Jazz Ensemble
Student Participants

Nick Foster
Dalton Stanland
Trumpets: Austin Stunkard
Nate Stombaugh & Clifton Grady
Bass trombone: Sam Nagel
Drums: Jacob Davidson



  • Dr. Kevin Callihan (DMA - Band Conducting), Director of Bands, Louisville Youth Performing Arts School, YPAS Wind Ensemble, Performance Ensemble, February 9, 2023.
  • Dr. Corey Bonds (DMA – Band Conducting), Director of Bands, Campbellsville University, CU Wind Ensemble, Performance Ensemble, February 10, 2023.
  • William “Bill” Kite (BME), Director of Bands, Henry Clay High School, HCHS Wind Symphony, Performance Ensemble, February 9, 2023.
  • David Jaggie (BME), Director of Bands, Madison Central High School, MCHS Wind Ensemble, Performance Ensemble, February 10, 2023.
  • Jonathan Stites (BM Trumpet Performance), Soloist with SCAPA Middle School Band KMEA Concert, February 9, 2023
  • Dr. Colby Norton (BM Trombone Performance), Soloist with SCAPA Middle School, February 9, 2023.
  • Dr. Chris Strange (DMA Saxophone Performance), Director, Lafayette High School Jazz Ensemble KMEA Performance Ensemble February 9, 2023.


  • Adam and Stacy French, (BMME, violin), Grayson County High School Chamber Orchestra, Jimmy Mattingly (with guest fiddler for Garth Brooks), Performance Ensemble, February 9, 2023
  • Madison Ebel (BMME), new teacher in attendance, Morton Middle and Cassidy Elementary Schools
  • Amanda Markley Millburn (BMME and MME) representing Winburn Middle, Ashland Elementary, and Coventry Oak Elementary. 
  • UK String Alumni were well represented at the ASTA luncheon and KMEA conference


  • Raye Hurley, BME, Franklin County High School, District 7 Teacher of the Year
  • Kris Olson, (MME) Clark County High School, Presenter, February 9, 2023.
  • Taylor Strickland, (BME) Woodford County High School, BME, Presenter, February 9, 2023   
  • Dee-Mason Walker (BME) East Jessamine High School, Performance Ensemble, February 9, 2023. Assistant: Will Mason-Walker, (BME), East Jessamine Middle School
  • Daniel Wesley (BME), Lexington Children’s Choir Advanced Choir, Performance Ensemble, February 10, 2023. Guest Conductor, Devin Miracle, current BME
Created 02/17/2023
Last Updated 02/17/2023