The Nashville International Piano Competition Committee
Steinway Artist Marilyn Shields-Wiltsie is the founding President of The Steinway Society of Nashville. Ms. Shields-Wiltsie’s concert tours have included solo recitals or concerto performances in Germany, Russia, Armenia, France, Switzerland, and Mexico, as well as in the United States. In 1989, she received the honorary title, “Ambassador of Armenian Music to the U.S.,” in ceremonies at the Khatchaturian Museum in Yerevan as a result of earthquake relief concerts she presented there. In 1990, she was invited by the Tchaikovsky Competition Committee to Moscow as its guest for the competition. As part of the 2000 Bayreuth Festival, she presented a solo recital on Wagner’s 1876 American Steinway at Villa Wahnfried, Richard Wagner’s home and now the Richard Wagner Museum, in Bayreuth, Germany. Ms. Shields-Wiltsie holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Peabody College, a School of Vanderbilt University, with post-graduate study with Leon Fleisher. She served in the past as a Senior Artist-Teacher of Piano at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University.
Steve Hyman, M.D., an anesthesiologist at Vanderbilt and Skyline Hospitals, has studied piano from the age of five, first with Valeria Howard and Catherine Hiatt in Converse, Ind., and then at Ball State University with Charles Kuhn, at Indiana Wesleyan University with Carolyn Pocock Kindley, at the Blair School of Music with Marilyn Shields-Wiltsie and at Belmont University with Robert Marler. Recently, he received a Master of Music in Piano Performance degree from Belmont University. He also has been awarded the Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and the Doctor of Medicine degree from Indiana University. He did his residency in anesthesiology at Vanderbilt.
Dr. Hyman was the first place winner in the annual concerto competition with the Marion, Ind., Philharmonic in 1972, and has performed many recitals at the Blair School of Music. He has played on numerous occasions for the Steinway Society; for the “Symposium 2000” Albert Schweitzer tribute; the Concourse des Grands Amateurs de Piano in Paris, France; and in the Van Cliburn Amateur’s Competition.
Jerome Reed, D.M.A., Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Piano, is Professor of Music and Music Division Chair, Governor’s School for the Arts at Lipscomb University. Jerry performs throughout the U.S. and the world. He has given recitals in England, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Japan, Taiwan, Uruguay and at the Orvieto Musica festival in Italy.
Dr. Reed has championed the music of 20th and 21st century American composers from Charles Ives to contemporary composers, such as Elizabeth Austin and N. Lincoln Hanks. He has recorded for Capstone Records and recently released a recording of North American sonatas for flute and piano with Dr. Deanna Little.
Dr. Reed’s students have attended some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the country and are now chairs of divisions in the music departments at schools, such as Vanderbilt and Pepperdine University. He has taught for 25 years at the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts and has served as Chair of the Music Division for the past eight years.
Dr. Reed is a Past President of both the Tennessee Music Teachers Association and the Southern Division of Music Teachers National Association. He is also the former music critic for The Tennessean. He is the recipient of the Avalon Award, the highest honor given by Lipscomb University in the arts.
Dr. Reed holds the Doctor of Music Arts degree in piano performance from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he was a student of Béla Böszörményi-Nagy.
Daniel Landes, D.M.A., is Professor of Piano and Coordinator of the Keyboard Department at Belmont University. His students have participated in concerts and competitions, and many are now actively working as professionals in the fields of Church Music, Music Education, Music Business, and Piano Pedagogy.
Dr. Landes, who has lived in Nashville since 1983, was co-author of The Electronic Encyclopedia of Hymnology and his original hymn tunes appear in The Faith We Sing with The United Methodist Publishing House. Other publications include original music (Sonata for Trombone and Piano) and instructional textbooks (Class Piano Resource Materials).
A native of West Virginia, Dr. Landes received his Doctor of Music Arts at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was a student of Maruice Hinson and served as his graduate assistant for two years. In addition, he has a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Winchester, Virginia. He has been President of the Nashville Area Music Teachers Association (NAMTA) and recently served on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Music Teachers Association (TMTA) where he was Coordinator of the Junior High School Division.
Heather Connor Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Steinway Artist Dr. Heather Conner is the Chancellor’s Chair of Pre-College Piano at the Blair School of Music. Prior to this appointment, she was Professor of Piano at The University of Utah School of Music where she served on the faculty for fourteen years.
As a recitalist, she has performed in many prestigious venues in New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New Haven, Moscow, Salzburg, Niagara-on-the-Lake (Canada), Greenville (SC and NC), Stillwater and Oklahoma City, (OK), Tuscaloosa, (AL), Montgomery (AL), Murfreesboro (TN) and Salt Lake City. In 2010, she performed a solo recital at the Zwischen den Jahren festival in Antweiler, Germany. In 2006, she appeared as recitalist and artist teacher at several venues in Seoul, South Korea. Heather has won Grand Prizes at several international and national competitions including the First Hilton Head Island International Piano Competition and the Kingsville International Young Performers Competition, and has performed on numerous occasions as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has also appeared as soloist with the Lancaster (PA), Lansdowne (PA), Corpus Christi (TX), Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, Haddonfield Symphony (NJ), Altoona Symphony (PA), Hilton Head Island Symphony Orchestra (SC), Midland-Odessa Symphony (TX), Warminster Symphony (PA), Yale Philharmonia (CT), Norwalk Symphony (CT), New American Symphony (UT) and the Salt Lake Symphony (UT).
Heather has recorded commercially for the Naxos, Centaur and Acis Productions labels and has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, WQED in Pittsburgh, WFLN in Philadelphia, and KCSC in Oklahoma City. Her performances can also be heard on the web at instantencore.com. An avid chamber musician, Heather has appeared in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall and at the Glenn Gould Studios in Toronto. She holds degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music, Yale School of Music, and Manhattan School of Music.
Brandon Herrenbruck is the Vice President and one of the owners of the Steinway Piano Gallery of Nashville, Tennessee and Alabama Piano Gallery in Birmingham, AL. After being an educator for 7 years, he joined the family business in June 2007. Mr. Herrenbruck grew up in Evansville, Indiana and received the Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education in Theatre from Indiana University in Bloomington. Upon graduation, he taught high school in Greenville, South Carolina, until he and his wife relocated to Nashville in 2000. At Franklin Road Academy, he taught middle and upper school technology classes, managed all theatre events, and was on the IT staff for five years. He holds a Masters of Education in Administration and Supervision.
Patricia Shelton McPherson is a classically-trained pianist who studied with Amelie Throne in Nashville and with Dr. Karol Liszniewski at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. She holds a Certificate in Piano from the College-Conservatory and a B.S. degree in Music Education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.
Mrs. McPherson has been working as a professional fund-raising consultant for the past 27 years and has been owner of the consulting firm for 17 years. Among the services that the firm provides for nonprofit organizations are the following: conducting Feasibility and Assessment Studies, implementing and ensuring the success of Capital Campaigns, managing Annual Giving Programs, implementing Endowment and Planned Giving Campaigns, assisting with Board development and organizing special events.
Prior to her professional career as a Development Consultant, Mrs. McPherson served as President of the Nashville Symphony Guild, President of Fannie Battle Day Home, President of Community Concerts Association, and President of the Nashville Children’s Theatre. She served on the Board of Directors of the Nashville Symphony Association, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera Guild and the March of Dimes. Her volunteer fund raising experience included Christmas Carol Chairman for Fannie Battle Day Home, Chair of the Mother’s Walk for the March of Dimes, Chairman of the Italian Street Fair and Chair of Ticket Sales for Community Concerts.
Helen Charuhas Gleason, a native of Washington, D.C. and adjunct instructor of piano at Belmont Academy, Belmont University, is a noted teacher, pianist, and adjudicator. Her academic work includes positions with Columbia State Community College and Northern Virginia Community College, and she has held positions with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, and she currently is Director of Events at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. Mrs. Gleason serves as chair of the Nashville Piano Achievement Competition, associate director of Belmont University’s Young Artist Piano Invitational, member of Belmont’s Academy’s steering committee, and board member of Nashville Area Music Teachers Association. She has the B.M., piano performance, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.; M.M., piano performance, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, Nashville, Tenn.; and holds membership in music honor fraternities Sigma Alpha Iota and Pi Kappa Lambda.
Mrs. Gleason’s students achieve top rankings at local and state competitions and earn scholarships for additional study, recently winning awards from the Tennessee Music Teachers Association; Nashville Area Music Teachers Association; Nashville’s Young Artist Achievement Awards; Clavierfest, Nashville Piano Achievement Competition; Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music; Belmont Academy; Lead Belly Foundation; Nashville Symphony Orchestra League; and the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. The Nashville Area Music Teachers Association and Tennessee Music Teachers Association named Helen 2008 Teacher of the Year.
Advisory Committee Members
David Northington, D.M.A.
Professor of Piano
UT Knoxville (retired)
Chih-Long Hu, D.M.A.
Associate Professor of Music
Elaine Harriss, Ph.D.
Department Chair – Applied Piano