Welcome and thank you for your interest in Music studies at East Central University!
The ECU Music Program believes that we have a unique and important role to play in Oklahoma music.  Our graduates can be found throughout the state and beyond employed as band and choral directors, music teachers, performers, composers, and music scholars. Our degree program offers a variety of areas of musical instruction, including concentrations in teacher certification and music business.

ECU Music Program faculty care about their students! We are committed to providing a solid musical foundation for all students as well as offering professional training that will help students achieve success in their musical and academic careers.

"The Music faculty at ECU is extremely approachable. I can't count the number of times I received extra help from professors far outside of the normal instructional day. I was never turned away or spoken down to for not knowing or understanding a concept, but instead praised for stepping up and inquiring." -- Byron, 2005 Grad, Instrumental Teacher Ed. - Saxophone

ECU Offers Musical Opportunities for All Students

All students, regardless of major, can participate in various ensembles including the Pride of Tigerland Marching Band; Symphonic, Jazz, and Pep Bands; Woodwind and Brass Ensembles; ECU Singers; and University Chorale. Students may also audition for Opera and Musical Theatre productions and the ECU Faculty, Students, and Friends Composer Concerts.  Private vocal, instrumental, keyboard and strings lessons are also available along with studies in composition.

Top 10 benefits of choosing a Music Major at ECU!

  • Music Scholarships available throughout student's academic career at ECU.
  • Small class size with nationally and internationally recognized faculty.
  • Free music tutoring for all students in their music studies.
  • Opportunity to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects with students in other School of Fine Arts majors.
  • Music Technology Lab with iMacs and PCs loaded with current music software: Sibelius, Finale, Garage Band, Pyware, and MacGAMUT.
  • Free attendance at professional concerts and performances at the university and many performance opportunities for students.
  • Participation in two student organizations: Kappa Kappa Psi, the National Honorary Band Fraternity, and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). 
  • Modern classrooms in the beautiful Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center with performance center, Ataloa Theatre, and television and audio recording studio.
  • Fun times together--Band and choir tours and special fundraisers. Check out the ECU Chorale's fundraiser "Choraloween" in the ECU Photo Gallery!
  • Travel! ECU Music ensembles and students have recently traveled to Italy; Washington D.C.; Monterey, CA; Chicago; Austin, TX; Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO; and even OKC Thunder games!
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Minor in Music

Minor in Business Administration for Music Majors

Our Faculty and Staff

Music and YOU!!!
We would love to have the chance to visit with you by phone, email, or in person about taking the first steps in becoming a Music Major at East Central University!  If you are interested in learning more about ECU's Music Program or scheduling an on-campus visit, please contact us today. We hope to see you soon!

Instrumental Music: Nathaniel Berman, Music Program Coordinator, Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center 144; 580-559-5356; nberman@ecok.edu

Vocal Music: Nathaniel Berman, Music Program Coordinator, Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center 144; 580-559-5356; nberman@ecok.edu

Piano: Mr. W. T. Skye Garcia, Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center 152; 580-559-5479; wgarcia@ecok.edu

"There is absolutely no way that I would be able to do my full time position today without the valuable classes and lessons learned in my four years studying music. I came into my degree without knowing where middle C was on the piano and graduated being able to play piano, compose music, perform my senior recital, sing with an incredible choir, give vocal and guitar lessons to young students, conduct multiple choirs, the list goes on and on." -- Josey, 2017 Grad, Sacred Music-Voice 

Faculty and Staff

Alan Marshall


Dr. Alan Marshall holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Oklahoma as well as degrees in Choral Conducting from West Texas A&M and Theory and Composition from Wichita State University. He has extensive experience as a professional singer in opera and music theatre, including as vocal captain and performer with the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Dr. Marshall also maintains a career as a church musician specializing in culturally relevant worship in both classical and contemporary musical styles. An accomplished stage director, Dr. Marshall has staged numerous operas including Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

Alexandra Aguirre Alexandra Aguirre
Adjunct Instructor


Alexandra Aguirre is an active soloist and chamber musician, and has appeared at the 17th World Saxophone Congress in Strasburg, France, the Festivales Internacionales de Flautistas in Lima, Peru, the International Clarinet Association, the Oklahoma State University Saxophone Summit, North American Saxophone Alliance National and Regional Conferences, the International Saxophone Symposium, the National Flute Association Conventions, the College Music Society/National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Convention, the Aquila Summer Concert Series, the Las Cruces Friends of Chamber Music Concert Series, and Colorado MahlerFest. She also won the National Flute Association's Jazz Flute Big Band Competition. She has performed with the Las Cruces Symphony, the Midtown Arts Theater Orchestra, and the Southwest Summer Players Wind Ensemble. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Northern Colorado, specializing in flute and chamber music, and has a Bachelors and Masters Degree from New York University. Her teachers include James Hall, Melissa Colgin Abeln, Keith Underwood, Brad Garner, Suzanne Gilchrest, and Gerardo Levy. alexandraaguirre.com

Jace Vickers
Assistant Professor of Music


Dr. Jace Vickers currently serves as Assistant Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at East Central University. At ECU Dr. Vickers teaches applied low brass, conducts the brass choir, basketball pep band, and Symphonic Band, and teaches music courses such as Band Literature.

An active performer and presenter, Dr. Vickers has performed as a soloist with groups such as the Colorado Symphony, the Frontier Brass Band, and the Norman Philharmonic. Dr. Vickers has performed and presented at events such as the MTNA National Conference, the OKMEA Convention, the OMTA Conference, the SCRTEC Conference, and the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference. Dr. Vickers’ writings have appeared in publications such as the Jacques Offenbach Newsletter and New Ways in Teaching from TESOL Press.

https://www.ecok.edu/sites/default/files/employees/Phletcher_Kelby17_1.jpg Kelby Pletcher
Instructor of Music Education and Voice


Proud ECU Alumni

"Once A Tiger, Always A Tiger."

Kirk Palmer
Adjunct Instructor of Jazz and Trumpet/Director of Jazz Ensemble

Melody Baggech Melody Baggech


Melody Baggech holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Millikin University, a Master of Music degree from West Texas A&M University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma. She has been active as a performer in a variety of musical media including opera, oratorio, musical theater, recitals, sacred music, and contemporary music. Melody is active throughout the region and has been featured as a performer at conferences with Texoma Regional NATS and the South Central Chapter of College Music Society. Other performances include guest recitals at West Texas A&M University, Tulsa University and Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Melody has sung in both operatic and concert settings in Austria, Italy, Scotland and in the U.S. She has performed with Amarillo Opera, Rome Festival Opera, Cimarron Circuit Opera, Opera International, and the Washington Savoyards, Ltd. In 2001 she joined the faculty at East Central University where she serves as Opera Director and Associate Professor of Voice.

https://www.ecok.edu/sites/default/files/employees/mirella-gauldin-headshot.jpg Mirella Gable


Mirella Gable, Horn, is a member of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Wichita Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. She also plays for the opera and ballet companies in Oklahoma City, Wichita, and Tulsa.
Before winning the position of third horn in OKC, Mirella performed as a member of several award-winning chamber ensembles including: the Lieurance Woodwind Quintet, Wichita Brass Quintet, and Kanza Horn Quartet. She is a member of the Epic Brass Quintet in Wichita, and Corna Cattiva, an all-female horn quartet based in Oklahoma.
Mirella serves as the Adjunct Professor of Horn at ECU and also maintains a horn studio in the OKC area. Previously, Mirella was on faculty at Bethel College in Newton, KS and worked with the Wichita Youth Orchestras program, as well as other Kansas honor ensembles.
A native of Sewell, NJ, Mirella relocated to the Midwest for postgraduate study. She earned her Masters degree in Horn Performance from Wichita State University (2014), where she was the winner of the 2012 Concerto-Aria Competition. Mirella holds a Bachelors degree in Applied Horn and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music (2010), where she was also awarded a Performer’s Certificate.

Miriam White

https://www.ecok.edu/sites/default/files/employees/bermanNathaniel.png Nathaniel Berman
Assistant Professor, Music Program Coordinator


Nathaniel Berman studied at University of Northern Colorado, specializing in woodwind performance. He received his master’s degree from New York University in saxophone and chamber music. He received a bachelor’s degree in clarinet, saxophone, and flute performance from Michigan State University.

An active performer, he has had recitals at the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, France, numerous North American Saxophone Alliance conferences, the International Saxophone Symposium, the International Clarinet Association, and the National Flute Association, and was featured at the 2015 Festival Internacional de Flautistas in Lima, Peru. He was guest artist on saxophone, flute, and clarinet at the Aspen Music Festival, and on contrabass saxophone at Northwestern University. He plays clarinet with MahlerFest Orchestra. He is a two-time winner of the NFA’s Jazz Flute Big Band competition, and performed with Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians, Jazz Unlimited, the Big Band on the Rio Grande, and the High Society Orchestra.

Teachers include Andrew Dahlke, Paul Cohen, Joseph Lulloff, Kelland Thomas, Ron Blake, Andrew Speight, James Hall, Robert Dick, Richard Sherman, Bil Jackson, Lauren Jacobson, Frank Ell, and Leroy Borchert.

Nathaniel Berman is a Dahlke Mouthpieces artist. He performs on the Virtuoso Series RS model. nathanielberman.com

Nicholaus Meyers
Director of Bands and Percussion


Nicholaus Meyers, a native of Georgia, is currently Director of Bands and Percussion at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. Dr. Meyers directs the ECU marching band, wind ensemble, concert band, percussion ensemble, teaches applied percussion, conducting, and other courses in the music education sequence. Additionally, he organizes a large annual high school marching band competition “Tigerpalooza” at East Central University that brings marching bands from across the state of Oklahoma to compete. Before coming to ECU, he was the Director of Bands, Percussion, and Composition at Valley City State University in Valley City, North Dakota. He was also the Assistant Director of the North Dakota State University “Gold Star Marching Band” who were part of 6 Division I FCS National Championship football seasons, 2011-2015, 2017.  Additionally, he serves as a faculty member at IMC (International Music Camp), a member of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, as well as the drumline arranger for the Northeastern State University “River Hawk” drumline in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Before coming to Oklahoma, Dr. Meyers also taught at Augusta State University, Troy University, and Augusta Technical College and was the assistant band director at Lakeside High School in Evans, Georgia. Other ensembles he has performed with consist of the Augusta Symphony, Augusta Opera, Augusta Players, Augusta Chorale Society, Greater Grand Forks Symphony, Oak Ridge Symphony, and Fort Gordon Dinner Theater. He also performs throughout the year on recitals, masterclasses and adjudicates solo, chamber, and large group contest.  He is also a commissioned composer whose works have been performed throughout the United States and Europe. His latest CD “Stepping Away” was released on September 19, 2016, which features his solo piano music.

He is the Chair of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Composition Committee, past President of the PAS North Dakota Chapter, is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and Percussive Arts Society (PAS). Dr. Meyers is also a Black Swamp Percussion, Vater Sticks and Mallets, Sabian Cymbals, Gon Bops, Aquarian Drumheads, and Yamaha Performing Artist.
He received his degrees from North Dakota State University (DMA), the University of Tennessee (MM), and Augusta State University (BM). He also studied at the University of Georgia and in Oslo, Norway with the Oslo Philharmonic.

Rebecca Little
Adjunct Professor

Rozzie Purdy


Ms. Purdy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from East Central University in instrumental and vocal music and a Master of Music in trumpet performance from the University of Oklahoma. Ms. Purdy is in her 33rd year in public school teaching Music Education; instructing high school, middle school and beginning band; and elementary music. She is also the Director of Music Ministries for the First United Methodist Church of Ada.

Rudy Lupinski
Staff Accompanist


Rudy Lupinski has lived in Ada, Oklahoma most of his life. He received his B.A. in Instrumental Music Education from East Central University (ECU) in 1976. He currently serves as a staff accompanist for the Music Department at ECU.

He is music director and organist/pianist at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ada.

He is on the board for Ada Community Theatre (ACT II, Inc.) since 2005. He he also serves as vice president and music director for most of their musical productions.

In 2005, he formed a musical partnership with Tori Davison in creating sacred choral music. To date, they have completed over 70 compositions, including a large-scale work, Requiem. Currently, Davison-Lupinski are the resident composers for the ECU Chorale and University Singers.

https://www.ecok.edu/sites/default/files/employees/Stephen-Timperley2018_0.jpg Stephen Timperley


Stephen Timperley holds a Bachelor of Science in Instrumental Music from East Central University in percussion and a Master of Music in Percussion Performance from the University of Central Arkansas. Known for his specialty in marimba, Mr. Timperley has performed a wide variety of solo and ensemble works for marimba as well as a variety of percussion instruments and is an active performer in both Oklahoma and Arkansas. Mr. Timperley has performed with distinguished groups such as the UCA Percussion Group, Third Coast Percussion, the Conway Symphony Orchestra, and the Little Rock Wind Symphony, and in 2016 he performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has been a part of numerous premiere performances, including such notable works as The Surface of the Sky by Blake Tyson, The Wind That Turns the World by Blake Tyson, and Cold Light by Benjamin Finley.

Steven Walker
Professor, Adolph Linscheid Distinguished Teaching Professor


J. Steven Walker is the Director of Choral Activities and an Adolph Linscheid Distinguished Teaching Professor at East Central University. He is the conductor of the ECU Singers and the University Chorale. He has been active throughout his career as a choral clinician and adjudicator. He has conducted numerous all-region high school and junior high school choirs as well as judged choral contests at the district and state levels. The University Chorale under the direction of Dr. Walker took first place in the Golden State Choral Trophy International Choral Competition held in Monterey, California in November, 2016. The competition sponsored by Interkultur, included professional and university level choirs from Europe, Asia, South America and the United States. The University Chorale has been invited on five occasions to perform for the Oklahoma Music Educators Association at their state convention. Dr. Walker was chosen as an Exemplary Teacher by the Oklahoma Music Educators Association in 2014. In 2015, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. Dr. Walker has served as an OSSAA District Vocal Contest manager for 32 years. He has been a music educator for 43 years.

Susanne Woolley


Susanne Woolley received a Bachelors in Violin Performance from the University of Tulsa and is completing a Masters in Music Education from Boston University. She teaches String Methods and String Instrumental Instruction within the ECU Music Department.

She has participated with the Juilliard Starling/Delay Symposium for String Music Teachers, is a member of Oklahoma String Music Teachers Association, and is a frequent adjudicator for district and state string contests. Past performances include East Central University productions. Ms. Woolley also performs regularly with the Southern Oklahoma Chamber Ensemble, Pauls Valley Opry, the Billy K Band, and Cowboy Jim Garling. Ms. Woolley teaches private string students beginning age 4 years.

W. T. Skye Garcia W. T. Skye Garcia


W. T. Skye Garcia holds a Master of Music from Hardin-Simmons University, a Master of Church Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Colorado State University. Skye was selected as a 2014 Da Vinci Fellow in recognition of his creative and innovative teaching approaches in Oklahoma higher education; and in 2011, he was awarded the ECU Teaching Excellence Award. He was also honored as a 2010 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Foundation Fellow and is an MTNA Nationally Certified Teacher of Music.
Skye is an internationally renowned composer with over 80 original works for piano published with Alfred Publishing Co. and FJH Publishing, Inc. He was named the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association (OMTA) Commissioned Composer in 2005, and the 2014 Composer of the Year by the Little Rock, Arkansas Music Teachers Association. He is also a four-time ASCAP Composer Award recipient, from 2013 to 2017. In 2006, his Oklahoma Centennial Suite for Band was designated an Official Centennial Project by the State of Oklahoma. Skye serves as the OMTA Commissioned Composer Chair and the National Federation of Music Clubs Regional Composition Chair.

Our Mission

  • To educate students for lives of service and contribution as teachers, performers, composers and scholars;
  • To provide and nurture a nucleus of musical life for the community;
  • To educate the university student population regarding music's intrinsic value as a part of the human experience and its central role in human culture; and
  • To mutually encourage one another in professional growth and attainment. 

East Central University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The requirements for entrance and for graduation are in accordance with the published standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.