2012 Summer Music Academy Faculty

Junior Academy Choir

Garth Starr is a music teacher for Flushing Community Schools, where he teaches elementary music and choral music.  Previously he was the choral director at Lapeer East High School and at Burton Glenn Charter Academy.  Choirs under Garth’s direction have been invited performers by various groups on several occasions.  Garth is also the Music Director at Davison Assembly of God where he directs the choir and serves as pianist, and the conductor of the Lapeer County Concert Choir.

Garth earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Michigan-Flint, a Master of Education from Marygrove College, and a Master in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University.

Garth had worked at the University of Michigan-Flint Summer Academy of music for 13 years in various capacities, most recently serving as conductor for the Junior Academy Choirs and he is very proud to once again work with such talented singers.  For 10 years he sang with the Carolyn Mawby Chorale, where he not only had the privilege to sing under a master director, but also had the honor to be a guest conductor and soloist.


Vocal Technique (Jr./Sr.)

Julie Anne Carr holds a Master of Music degree in Opera Performance from Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of Michigan-Flint.  Ms. Carr is pleased to be entering her sixth year as a Lecturer of Music at UM-Flint and has been seen on the stage and as a soloist throughout the Midwest. She is active as a vocal clinician, teaching the specialized pedagogical technique of organic imagery.  In the Kearsley High School Department of Fine Arts, she serves as director of theatrical productions.  Ms. Carr also maintains a competitive private vocal studio focusing on talented youth from the mid-Michigan area.  As a graduate of the Summer Academy of Music, Ms. Carr is delighted to be part of the faculty for her fifth year.

Percussion Ensemble (Jr./Sr.) 

Ben Schlatter graduated from the University Of Michigan-Flint in 2009 with a double major:  the Bachelor of Science in Music Performance and Bachelor of Music Education degrees.  He currently teaches percussion at Mott Middle College, has taught at Kearsley Middle School, and worked at the Boys and Girls Club of Flint mentoring youths in hip-hop production.  Mr. Schlatter also teaches privately and maintains a busy performing schedule playing drum set, vibraphone, and steel drums with bands throughout the state.

Recorder (Jr.)

Tricia Wittbrodt  is studying music education at the University of Michigan-Flint, where she has been a member of the Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and Flute Ensemble. She also participates in the Lapeer Civic Orchestra. Tricia has been playing the flute since she was ten. She is excited to share her love for music and looks forward to being a music teacher. This fall, Tricia will be starting her student teaching in the Flint area public school system.

Art Class (Jr.)

Elizabeth Sevick graduated from The University of Michigan Flint with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts with a concentration in painting.  She has taught art and music classes for the past 6 years.  She is currently working as a guitar teacher at Hanson’s Pro Music in Port Huron.

Dance  (Jr./Sr.)

Emma Davis is a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and founder of the Flint Dance Collaborative, a site-specific modern dance troupe. She currently performs for Flint pop-singer Tunde Olaniran and has danced with companies that include Vertical Ambition Dance Co. and Ann Arbor Dance Works. Ms. Davis is a lecturer for the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan-Flint where she instructs courses in modern, jazz, tap, and hip hop. She also teaches youth recreational and competitive dance at area studios. Ms. Davis holds a B.A. English with a specialization in writing, B.A. Journalism, and minor in dance from UM-Flint.

Senior Academy Choir and Senior Academy Men's Ensemble

Alex Sutton is a Michigan native and associate music director of the Boychoir of Ann Arbor (BAA), where he directs the Preparatory Choir and assists with the Performing Choir. He holds a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he studied under the direction of Dr. Jerry Blackstone. While completing his masters program, Alex worked with the the School of Music, Theater and Dance Orpheus Singers, Residential College Singers, and Arts Chorale. Prior to graduate studies, Alex served as music director of the Michigan Pops Orchestra and taught choral/general music in public schools in Ypsilanti, Taylor, and Dearborn Heights. Alex earned his BM in music education also from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Senior Academy Women’s Ensemble

Dr. Gabriela Hristova is the Director of Choral Activities in the Department of Music at the University of Michigan-Flint and Director of the 2011 Summer Academy of Music. She is an Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at University of Michigan – Flint, where she directs the University Chorale and Chamber Singers, and teaches courses in conducting and music performance.  Dr. Hristova holds a bachelor’s degree in Choral Conducting and Music Education from the State Academy of Music in her native Bulgaria.  She earned a master’s degree in Conducting and holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting degree from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where she studied under the direction of Jerry Blackstone and Theodor Morrison.


Theory/ Composition (Sr.)

Patrick Prouty is a bassist and composer from Detroit, MI. He has performed with many national jazz and blues artists including Terence Blanchard, Jimmy Cobb, Geri Allen, Bill Heid and Johnnie Bassett. From 2000 until 2007, he was the bassist for soul legend Bettye Lavette. During his tenure with Lavette he toured all over North America, Europe and Japan including performances at Bonaroo and The North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam.

 Patrick’s 2007 CD, The Charmed Life, won the Detroit Music Award for Best Jazz Recording. The title tack was recently featured in AMC’s television show, Breaking Bad. New American Daydream, Patrick’s fourth CD as a leader was released in November 2012 and is nominated for the Detroit Music Award for Best Jazz Recording.