Meet our new faculty for fall 2013

new faculty

Brett Clement is the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the Ball State University School of Music. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music Theory from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in Music Theory from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. He has previously taught at Stephen F. Austin State University and the University of Cincinnati.

Dr. Clement's research focuses on post-tonal music, with an emphasis on repertoires that fuse elements of popular and art music. He has presented papers at numerous conferences, including meetings of the Society for Music Theory, Music Theory Midwest, Music Theory Southeast, the Texas Society for Music Theory, and the Rocky Mountain Society for Music Theory. His article on the music of Frank Zappa is forthcoming in Music Theory Spectrum. In the fall, he will present on the large-scale works of the band Yes at the 2013 meeting of the Society for Music Theory.

new faculty

Braham Dembar joins the Ball State University School of Music faculty as Instructor of Percussion. He is currently the Principal Percussionist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) and has been a Music Lecturer at Marian University since 2007. Before joining the ISO, Braham was Principal Percussionist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic from 1986-2006 and a Continuing Lecturer in Percussion at Indiana University/Purdue University Fort Wayne where he maintained an active teaching studio and percussion ensemble program. While in Fort Wayne, Braham performed regularly as a soloist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and as an extra with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Blossom Band, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Braham was born in New York City and grew up in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. He began studying percussion in middle school, after having played piano and clarinet. He attended the Juilliard Pre-College, where he concentrated his efforts on orchestral percussion and went on to receive a Bachelor of Music in Performance degree from Boston University and a Masters of Music in Performance degree from the New England Conservatory. His major teachers have included Charles Smith, Thomas Gauger, and Vic Firth, members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Alan Abel of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

While a student in Boston, Braham performed regularly as an extra with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops Orchestra, was timpanist of the Handel and Haydn Society, and performed with many other orchestras in the Boston area. He attended the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, spent two summers as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and participated in the Spoleto Festival in Spoleto, Italy.

As an active performer and clinician throughout the Midwest, Braham has given clinics for PASIC, Indiana PAS-Day of Percussion, Music for All, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and Indiana University/Purdue University in Fort Wayne. He has also recorded with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Burning River Brass, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and Hal Leonard Publishing.


new faculty

Douglas Droste is the newly appointed Artistic Director of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and Director of Orchestras at Ball State University. Most recently, Droste served as Director of Orchestral Studies at Oklahoma State University and Principal Guest Conductor of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.

An advocate of youth orchestras and music education, Droste regularly conducts all-state and regional orchestras throughout the country and serves as a clinician and adjudicator for school orchestras and festivals. He also established a Young People's Concert series with the Oklahoma State University Orchestra.

Droste studied conducting at the Pierre Monteux School, the Oregon Bach Festival with Helmuth Rilling, and at other prominent conducting seminars. His primary conducting mentors include Gary Lewis, Larry Rachleff, Michael Jinbo, David Lockington, and Jose-Luis Novo.

On violin, Droste has performed with the orchestras of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Nashville, Memphis, Lubbock, and the Lancaster Festival. He studied with John Gilbert and the late Michael Davis. Droste is also proficient on viola and trumpet, and has sung in a variety of choral ensembles. Droste holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Texas Tech University.



new faculty

Ball State alumna Susan Finger joins the School of Music faculty this fall as Instructor of Music Education. A native of Endicott, New York Susan graduated cum laude receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and Master of Music degree in Church Music and Organ Performance from Ball State University.Mrs. Finger is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Anderson Area Children’s Choir and Youth Chorale. She taught middle school band and choir for 34 years in the Anderson Community Schools and won numerous awards during her tenure including the Outstanding Alumnus Award from Ball State University’s School of Music, Outstanding Middle School Teacher in Anderson Community Schools, Outstanding Middle School Teacher from the Indiana Middle School Association, Outstanding Middle School Music Teacher from the Indiana Music Educators Association, and Finalist for Teacher of the Year in Indiana.

Under Mrs. Finger’s direction, the Anderson Area Youth Chorale performed twice at the IMEA State Convention, while the East Side Symphonic Band performed three times at the IMEA State Convention, the North Central Division of the Music Educators National Conference, and the prestigious Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic. The East Side Chorale performed at the IMEA Convention in 2008, 2004 and 2000.

Mrs. Finger is the Director of Music for Traditional Worship and Organist at First United Methodist Church in Anderson where she conducts the Sanctuary Choir, Wesley Chorale, King’s Men, and oversees all music for the traditional worship service.

In 2012, 2010 and 2008, Mrs. Finger served as the Choral Conductor for the Indiana Ambassadors of Music on their European tour where the choir performed in England, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy.

In January of 2012, Mrs. Finger was the Conductor of the Indiana All State Middle School Honor Choir at the Indiana Music Educators Professional Conference. The following year, she was guest conductor at the Hillsborough Public School All County Music Festival in Tampa, Florida.

Recently, Mrs. Finger served as the Interim Executive Director for the Indiana Music Educators Association and as the 2013 Conference Chair for the state wide professional conference for music teachers in Indiana. Prior to that, Susan served for twelve years on the Indiana Music Educators Association Board of Directors. She was President for two years and Conference Chair for three years. She continues to serve IMEA as the State Chair for Beginning and Developing Music Teacher Workshops.

Mrs. Finger has served as a classroom supervisor to more than forty student teachers and has worked with many more field teachers and participants in pre-service teacher training. She is frequently called upon to give presentations and clinics to music education students at various universities.

Mrs. Finger has been married to her husband Mark for 37 years and has three grown children.

new faculty

New to Ball State University as of 2013, Assistant Professor of Trumpet Brittany Hendricks maintains an active schedule as a recitalist, guest artist, and clinician. Recent invitations have taken her to Missouri, Colorado, Arizona, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, and Michigan, where she gave the world premiere of Jim Stephenson’s L’esprit de la trompette at the 2012 Grand Valley State University International Trumpet Seminar. She has previously been named as second-prize winner in the International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition, a finalist in the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Young Artists Competition, and a semifinalist in the William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition. In keeping with her commitment to foster outstanding teachers as well as players, she also maintains, a website and blog designed to assist non-collegiate trumpet instructors and their students.

Dr. Hendricks holds degrees in performance from Northwestern University (B.M., 2007), Arizona State University (M.M., 2009), and The University of Alabama (D.M.A., 2013). Her teachers have included Eric Yates, David Hickman, Barbara Butler, Charles Geyer, Richard Giangiulio, and Christopher Martin. She has also indirectly benefitted from the pedagogy of Vincent Cichowicz, whose methodology is the subject of her doctoral research.



new faculty

Violist Katrin Meidell is the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Viola at Ball State University. During the 2012-2013 season, Dr. Meidell was the Visiting Assistant Professor of Viola at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, she began playing violin at age 5. Shortly thereafter, her family moved to the greater Boston area, where she continued her musical studies with Geda Khatutskaya. Dr. Meidell received her Bachelor of Music degree, Magna cum laude, from Boston University, where she studied violin and viola performance with Dana Mazurkevich and Michelle LaCourse. She earned her Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with and served as Teaching Assistant to violist Carol Rodland. In addition, she has worked with many notable violists including Kim Kashkashian, Garth Knox, Jeffrey Irvine, Paul Coletti, and Ellen Rose. She has performed with the Boston Philharmonic and the Fort Worth Symphony, as well as with freelance orchestras throughout Texas and Oklahoma. During the 2012-2013 season, she served as Principal Violist of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. In addition to orchestral playing, Dr. Meidell’s interest in chamber and contemporary music has led to several collaborations, including a chamber music tour of Finland in 2008 with the group Elara Ensemble, of which she is a founding member. She has recorded several new works, and was, until recently, violist with the Lubbock-based Botticelli string quartet.

While studying at Boston University, Dr. Meidell also received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Pursuing this interest, she worked for six years at Harvard Medical School under renowned neuroscientist Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, studying the brains of musicians. These experiences led to her studies with Dr. Kris Chesky at the Texas Center for Music and Medicine, where she worked on finding a comprehensive answer to why string players are prone to injury. She has presented her research at College Music Society and Performing Arts Medicine Association conferences. She is an active member of both societies.

Dr. Meidell earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the University of North Texas, where she studied viola performance with Dr. Susan Dubois and music and medicine with Dr. Kris Chesky. When she is not teaching or performing, Dr. Meidell enjoys an active lifestyle, regularly running, rock climbing, and otherwise appreciating the outdoors. She also likes to read, to cook, and to knit Amigurumi.



Porter, Daniel

Ball State alumnus Daniel Porter is the newly appointed Instructor of Music Media Production. Porter graduated cum laude from Ball State with a Bachelor of Music degree focused in music media technology, composition, and percussion performance. Upon graduation, he relocated to Canada where he worked as the Senior Audio Associate for the recording studios and performance venues of The Banff Centre for the Arts. After returning to the U.S. he founded DP Sonics, a web based, freelance audio production business that focuses on music mastering and audio repair. Daniel has experience in private music instruction, high school ensemble direction, and undergraduate teaching. He holds a Master of Science in Music Technology from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. Post graduate school, he worked as an Application Specialist and Regional Manager for Auralex Acoustics, Inc. where he acoustically designed hundreds of recording studios, performance venues, corporate facilities, and public spaces as well as managed a network of national sales representatives. Currently, Daniel is an active multi-instrumentalist in the Indianapolis area and continues to engineer recordings for his own projects as well as his international client base. 


new faculty

Raúl Prieto Ramírez joins the Ball State School of Music faculty as Instructor of Organ. His career as an artist of international stature was confirmed when he was appointed at age 27 as the first Organist-in-Residence at the Auditorio Nacional de Musica in Madrid, Spain's national concert hall. Within the first six months of his appointment he increased attendance at the hall's organ recitals by a multiple of 20, and critics hailed him as one of the most exciting talents in the music scene in Spain. He is now a full time concert organist with a busy global schedule which takes him to major festivals and concert halls, including the Mariinsky Theater and Moscow Concert Hall in Russia, Spivey Hall, Kotzschmar Organ Series, Methuen Memorial Music Hall and the American Guild of Organist’s (AGO) 2012 National Convention in the USA. In addition, he has presented lectures for Indiana University, Ball State University, AGO Indianapolis, AGO Shreveport, the Celebrity Series in Huntsville, juries at International Organ Competitions including the Alexander Goedicke in Moscow, as well as collaborations in summer academies and recitals in Spain and throughout Europe. Raúl's special appeal to audiences and critics alike owes much to his thrilling performances given entirely from memory, which combine dazzling virtuosity with great expressive power. At his annual recital on the largest organ in Catalonia, at the Basilica in Mataro, Spain, he regularly draws an audience of over a thousand.

At age 11, Raúl became fascinated by the sound of the organ and for the next five years taught himself to play. When he enrolled at Salamanca University to study philosophy, he came across the ideas of the great conductor Sergiu Celibidache, and decided to devote his life to music. Raúl studied piano with Leonid Sintsev at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, and organ with Ludgar Lohmann at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart (solistenklass). He has participated in master classes with Marie-Claire Alain, Guy Bovet, Lionel Rogg, Eric Lebrun, Szigmon Szathmáry, and L. F. Tagliavini among others.

In addition to his solo performances, Raúl has appeared with the Spanish National Orchestra, the National Spanish Choir and many other major Spanish Symphony Orchestras under international conductors. In 2008, he was the organist for and an actor in a movie featured at over 300 film festivals throughout the world. His first two compact disc releases on the Brilliant Classics label in 2011 were recorded at the Milan Cathedral in Italy (Liszt, Reger, Franck and Saint-Saëns) and at the famous modernist Palau de la Musica in Barcelona (featuring Duo MusArt in piano & organ duets).


new faculty

Robert Willey comes to Ball State University after ten years at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he was Coordinator of the Music Media Division and engaged in the unique musical culture of that region. He has published method books on Louisiana Creole fiddle and Brazilian piano, and is currently writing a music technology textbook and arranging the player piano Studies of Conlon Nancarrow. Other interests include keyboard performance, composition, music visualization, hearing conservation, and time management. Willey will assume the position of Director of Music Media Production and Industry at Ball State, teaching music business and songwriting, and supervising senior projects.