The Music Department is pleased to announce the addition of harpist, Dr. Louisa Ellis Woodson, tubist, Dr. Chris Combest, and bassoonist, Matthew Karr to our faculty of musicians.
Louisa Ellis Woodson has been playing the harp since age nine. In May, 2008, she received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in harp from Manhattan School of Music in New York. She also holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Harp Performance from Indiana University, where she studied with Distinguished Professor Susann McDonald. Dr. Woodson has served as the Adjunct Professor of Harp at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. In addition to maintaining a private harp studio, she is the former Principal Harpist with theWaco Symphony Orchestra. She recently participated as a guest faculty member in the Young Artists' Harp Seminar in Rabun's Gap, Georgia. She has appeared in many types of theater productions, including ballet, opera, and musical theater, and has appeared in the New York Musical Theater Festival. She also enjoys performing with other musicians, including combinations with violin, cello, voice, organ, flute, and trumpet, to name a few. Dr. Woodson is also a founding member and proud participant in the Astraios music network.
Matthew Karr has been the Principal Bassoonist of the Louisville Orchestra since 1979. Matthew received his B.M degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (1978), receiving honors as Best Orchestral Performer of his graduating class, and induction into Phi Kappa Lambda, (Honor Society for graduating seniors). Upon graduation, Matthew spent a year in Chicago as Co-Principal bassoon of the Chicago Civic Orchestra (training Orchestra for the Chicago Symphony). In April of 1979, Matthew won the Principal Bassoon job with the Louisville Orchestra. Matthew spent a year at S.U.N.Y. at Stonybrook (New York) and earned his M.M. degree while on leave from the L.O. in 1982-83. Matthew has performed as Associate Principal Bassoon with the Houston Symphony during the 2000-2001 Season, and been an active Chamber musician. His credits include Kentucky Center Chamber Players, Marlboro Music Festival, Tanglewood Festival, Ronen Ensemble, Suzuki and Friends, Music Academy of the West and Interlochen Arts Camp. Matthew is very proud of the many works that he premiered in the United States, including Michael Daugherty's Hells Angels and Simon Bainbridge's Ad Ora Incerta. Matthew made a compact disc, in 1997, A Bassoonists Voice on the Centaur label, that is in its third pressing.
Praised by The Brass Bridge as having a "wonderful sense of musicianship...and virtuosic technique," Chris Combest was appointed as Tubist with the Louisville Orchestra in July of 2012. Previous positions include teaching appointments at The University of Texas at San Antonio, Southern Illinois University and The University of Illinois. A founding member of the American Tuba Quartet and former Principal Tubist with the Victoria Symphony (USA), Dr. Combest has performed with the San Antonio Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, The U.S. Army Field Band, the Illinois Symphony, the Danville Symphony (IL), the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Sinfonia da Camera, the Prairie Ensemble Chamber Orchestra, the Lexington Brass Band, Saxton's Cornet Band, the Illinois Brass Quintet, the University of Evansville Brass Quintet, the University of Louisville Brass Quintet and the Louisville Orchestra Brass Quintet. He can be heard on NPR, the BBC and both the Polyphonic and Mark Custom recording labels. Recent performances include appearances at the U.S. Army Band Tuba Euphonium Conference in Washington D.C. (January 2011), the Midwest Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference (March 2011) and the International Tuba Euphonium Conference held in Linz, Austria (June 2012). Dr. Combest has presented recitals and masterclasses as a guest artist and clinician at various universities throughout the United States. He has adjudicated concerto and solo competitions; most recently, the 2011 Artist and Young Artist Tuba and Euphonium Competitions at the Midwest Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference held at Central Michigan University. As a scholar, Dr. Combest has contributed to the International Tuba Euphonium Association (ITEA) Journal and in the spring of 2010, he was named as a finalist for the prestigious Clifford R. Bevan Excellence in Research Award given by the International Tuba Euphonium Association. Dr. Combest has also authored an instructional video as part of the Power Lessons with the Pros Video Series entitled "Practice Room Strategies" at the invitation of the International Tuba Euphonium Association. Dr. Combest received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois, a Master of Music degree from the University of Louisville and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Eastern Kentucky University. He is a member of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), The College Music Society (CMS) and the International Tuba Euphonium Association (ITEA) where he serves as an Associate Editor for the ITEA Journal.