Dr. John Fletcher
Professor of Music
- B.A. (Music), Oklahoma Christian University
- M.M. (Music Theory), University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music
- D.M.A. (Instrumental Conducting), University of Oklahoma
Dr. Fletcher, Professor of Music and Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts, joined the Oklahoma Christian faculty in 1987. He conducts Music Theater productions, and teaches instrumental conducting, theory, ear training, and orchestration courses. Dr. Fletcher is also an active trombonist in the Oklahoma City area. He and his wife Cynthia have sponsored several of OC's study abroad programs. Additionally, he has taught as a guest music lecturer at International University in Vienna, Austria, and at the University of Southern China in Hengyang, China. Dr. Fletcher served as chair of the Department of Music for several years, was awarded the Gaylord Chair of Distinguished Teaching in 2010, and is a past-president of Oklahoma Christian's Faculty Association.
Instructor of Music
- B.M.E., Harding University
- M.M. (Conducting), Colorado State University
Mr. Colgrove, Instructor of Music, joined the Music Faculty in 2017. He directs the Symphonic Band and Chamber Strings, and teaches music appreciation, brass methods, and applied Trumpet. He began his teaching career at La Junta High School in La Junta, Colorado, and in 2008 became the director of bands at Widefield High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Widefield marching band advanced to state under his leadership, a first for the school and appeared in the quarter finals thereafter. His concert and jazz bands consistently received superior ratings. He helped develop the Widefield Full Orchestra, which received superior ratings in its first appearance at contest. While at Widefield, Mr. Colgrove served as the department chair for six year. He played trumpet in various jazz and wind ensembles in Colorado. Mr. Colgrove is married to Misty Colgrove, who is an adjunct English professor, and they have two boys, Nolan and Connor.
Dr. Paula Hutton
Associate Professor of Music
- B.M., University of New Mexico
- M.M.E., University of Central Oklahoma
- Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
Dr. Hutton, Associate Professor of Music, has taught at Oklahoma Christian since 1988. She teaches theory, private and class piano, music history and music appreciation courses, and is a frequent accompanist for recitals, concerts, and productions.
Dr. Heath Jones
Professor of Music
- B.M.E., Oklahoma Christian University
- M.M., Baylor University
- Ph.D. (Music Education), University of Oklahoma
Dr. Jones, Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music, joined the Oklahoma Christian faculty in 2000. He teaches applied saxophone, music education, music technology, world music, and jazz improvisation, and directs the Jazz Ensemble and Sweat Band. He is an active professional performer in the Oklahoma City area, and is a past-president of the Oklahoma Chapter of the International Association for Jazz Education. Professional performance experience includes: the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Frankie Avalon, Jim Nabors, Leslie Gore, plus numerous others. Dr. Jones is a Cannonball Saxophone Artist, and his webpage can be found at www.heathjones.net.
Dr. Kyle Pullen
Associate Professor of Music
- B.M.E., University of Houston
- M.M. (Conducting), University of Houston
- D.M.A. (Choral and Orchestral Conducting), Claremont Graduate University
Dr. Pullen, Associate Professor of Music, joined the Music Faculty in 2012. He directs the University Chorale and Chamber Singers, and teaches choral conducting, music methods, diction, ear training, and other music courses. He has lived in a suburb of Houston, Texas for most of his life. He graduated from Clear Creek High School in 1991, and began teaching at the same school in 1998. During his high school years, he sang under the direction of his dad, Milton Pullen, and was a two-year member of the Texas All-State choir. His choirs have sung for the 2004 and 2007 TMEA conventions, the 2005 and 2009 ACDA national conventions, and most recently the 2012 SWACDA convention. He also has considerable experience as a clinician and adjudicator. Dr. Pullen has a beautiful wife, Lyndsey and two precious children, Blaine and Lauren.
Music Adjunct Faculty
Violin, Viola, String Methods
Gena Alexander is a graduate of Oklahoma Christian University, where she earned a degree in Instrumental Music Education. Mrs. Alexander currently performs professionally with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, the Norman Philharmonic, the Lawton Philharmonic, and frequently serves as a section violinist in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.
In addition to performing professionally, Mrs. Alexander has taught middle school orchestra in the Putnam City school district, and is currently a conductor with the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras. She is an adjunct violin professor at Oklahoma Christian University where she teaches violin and viola, as well as a string methods class.
When not teaching at the University, she instructs a number of students in a private studio setting. Actively involved in the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Mrs. Alexander participates in Suzuki Institutes and teacher workshops around the country each year. She has completed training under renowned pedagogues in the Suzuki Method including Judy Offman, Ed Kreitman, and Edward Sprunger, and is certified in Volumes 1-4, 9 and 10.
B.M.E.; M.M.E from The University of Central Oklahoma
46 years of teaching experience
Former choral director and private voice teacher.
Have directed or performed in over 100 Broadway Musicals.
Guest conductor and speaker for numerous conventions and workshops in the region.
Adjudicator in Oklahoma and surrounding states.
This is my 5th year at O.C. teaching voice and doing production work.
Laura Rucker Coale has been a vocal instructor at Oklahoma Christian University for over 20 years. She also teaches vocal pedagogy and directs the opera alternate years. Laura graduated from OC with a degree in Theater and also holds a BA in Music and a Masters in Vocal Performance from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Celeste has a bachelors from Oklahoma Christian and a masters from Oklahoma City University. She has a passion for teaching young singers and loves being able to work in an environment where she can mentor and encourage. She is especially drawn to the genre of French and German Art Song and enjoys sharing this with her OC students. Celeste continues to sing herself and can be seen in the Windsong Chamber Choir and also on the recital stage.
Dr. Jack Helsley is a bassist and educator based in Oklahoma City. He is a graduate of The University of North Texas where he was a teaching fellow and bassist with the One O’Clock Lab Band. During the Fall 2014 Semester, he directed the Jazz Bass Department at UNT as sabbatical replacement for Lynn Seaton. After receiving a Bachelors Degree in Music from the University of Louisville, he toured extensively throughout Europe, Africa and the U.S. with the United States Air Force Band. As a freelance bassist, he has been featured on numerous recordings of jazz, pop, rock, and country artists, and has performed with such notable talents as Jamey Aebersold, Lynne Arriale, David Baker, Bob Berg, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Joey Calderazzo, Bob Dorough, Michael Feinstein, Benny Golsen, Ernie Watts, and Jeff Watts. He holds a Doctor of Music in Performance from The University of North Texas, a Masters in Jazz Studies from Indiana University, and has been on faculty at Anderson University, DePauw University, Eastern Illinois University, Marian University, Oklahoma Christian University, University of Indianapolis, Wabash College, and Western Illinois University. Dr. Helsley was a presenter at the 2016 JEN Convention in New Orleans, and his research was presented at the recent Performing Arts Medical Association Symposium in Aspen, CO. He is also formerly the host of the Jazz Radio show “Have You Heard” on WICR-FM.
Tom has been teaching for 43 years, continuing as a beginning brass teacher/horn teacher with the Mustang band program. He has taught 7 years in college at NEO A&M College in Miami, Oklahoma, UCO, Edmond, Oklahoma, and has taught horn 5 years at Oklahoma Christian University, Edmond, Oklahoma. He has taught in Big Cabin, Maud, Crescent, Miami, Mustang, and Bridge Creek schools as head director. He has earned OSSAA Sweepstakes with Miami and Mustang. Mr. Mangus has been recognized as an Exemplary Teacher in 2010 by the Oklahoma Music Educators Association. His ensembles have made superior ratings in marching, concert, jazz, and many in and out of state invitationals. Tom earned a bachelors and masters degrees in music education at UCO. His wife, Jennifer is a retired FACS teacher, son Greg is a band director in Edmond North High School, and second son, Drew, plays second horn with the Westpoint Army Band at the U.S. Military Academy, Greg’s son, Everett, wife is Katie, and Drew’s wife is Rhema.
Leif Nevener is an Oklahoma native. He has a Bachalor of Music in Guitar Performance with a Jazz Studies minor from the University of Central Oklahoma, and a Master of Music in Classical Guitar Performance from the University of Oklahoma. He has performed with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Norman Philharmonic, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Broadway of Oklahoma, Edmond Jazz Orchestra, and Oklahoma City Jazz Orchestra. He resides in Warr Acres with his wife Esther and his son Leif III.
Roger Nunn is in his 5th year of being the Low Brass Instructor at Oklahoma Christian University.
Mr. Nunn received his Bachelors in Music Education and Masters in Music Performance from the University of Oklahoma.
He is a frequent freelance musician in the central Oklahoma area having performed with the Oklahoma Philharmonic Symphony, the Oklahoma City and Edmond Jazz Orchestras, the Lawton Philharmonic, the Enid Symphony, the Lyric Theatre Orchestra, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Orchestra, and the Frontier Brass Band.
He is also in his 36th year of teaching music in Norman Public Schools being the band coordinator for the district.
Jennifer “Jenny” Rucker earned both her Bachelors and Masters of Music Education degrees from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is a member of the Cimarron Wind Quintet, The Edmond Chamber Orchestra, The Lyric Theatre Orchestra, the Pollard Theatre Orchestra and the American Federation of Musicians Local 375-703. She is currently the adjunct clarinet instructor at The University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma Christian University and has a highly successful private clarinet studio at her home in Edmond.
Jenny Rucker has been principal clarinetist with the Oklahoma Community Orchestra since its inception in 1982. She is a frequent substitute for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, playing clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophone. In addition, Jennifer has competed in the International Clarinet Association’s “Clarinetfest” Orchestral Excerpt Competitions, where in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010, was chosen as a semifinalist, and in 2007, won second place in Vancouver, B.C..
Dustin Seay earned the degree Bachelor of Music at Oklahoma City University where he studied bassoon with Betty Johnson and Larry Reed. He continued his studies at the University of Washington where he earned his Master of Music degree under the tutelage of bassoonist Arthur Grossman. While working and taking private lessons in the Big Apple from 2007-2015, Mr. Seay performed chamber music with The New York Kammermusiker and played 2nd Bassoon with The Garden State Philharmonic. Currently, Mr. Seay plays principal bassoon / contrabassoon with the Oklahoma Community Orchestra, Oklahoma Composers Orchestra and Oklahoma Haydn Festival Orchestra.
Natalie Syringis the instructor of flute at Oklahoma Christian University. She is also on the faculty of the University of Central Oklahoma, teaching class piano, and at Herbert Armstrong College, teaching flute. Ms. Syring was principal flutist of The Woodlands Symphony Orchestra in the Houston area for many years and is now a member of the Oklahoma Community Orchestra. She is the flutist of the chamber music group Eclipse, a quartet made up of OC faculty musicians on flute, oboe, clarinet and piano. Ms. Syring performs and teaches the baroque flute with the Brisch Center for Historical Performance. In the spring of 2004, Ms. Syring initiated the Oklahoma Flute Society’s Honor Flute Choirs for students in grades 7-12, and she continues to conduct these groups today, as well as the Oklahoma Adult Flute Choir. Ms. Syring is a member of the National Flute Association and has performed at several of their national conferences including Chicago, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Kansas City. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree (University of S.D) and a Master of Flute Performance degree (Sam Houston State University).
Valorie Tatge - Teacher and regularly performing cellist in the Oklahoma City area for over 25 years. Valorie is currently on faculty at Oklahoma Christian University and Southern Nazarene University. She is a long-time member of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Norman Philharmonic. Valorie has also performed with Plano Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, East Texas Symphony, and Breckenridge Music Festival. Valorie enjoys being active in both local and national touring productions, including favorites; Lion King, The Color Purple, Mary Poppins, Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life, and Cinderella. As chamber musician, Valorie was cellist of New Lyric Quartet from 2002-2007 and occasionally performs as a member of the Everitt Quartet in Cerdanyola, Spain. Valorie has, for 20 years, been a part of the ‘We’ve Got Rhythm’ program, sponsored by the Oklahoma City Orchestra League, introducing young people to string quartet music in the Oklahoma City Public School system. Valorie is a founding teacher of the Oklahoma City Cello Project, working with pre-college students of all ages and has assisted teaching the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Young Strings cello program. Valorie also maintains a studio of young Norman-area students which she teaches in her home.