Guest Artists

Dr. Lance Drege
Professor of Music Percussion
University of Oklahoma

 

An associate professor in the School of Music at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Lance Drege directs the percussion program, teaches applied percussion, conducts the OU Percussion Orchestra, and teaches other percussion related courses. He is presently completing his twenty-second year on the faculty at OU. From 1997-2002, Drege also served as Assistant to the Director for the School of Music. His principal teachers include Dr. Richard C. Gipson and Dr. Cort McClaren.

Prior to coming to OU, Drege taught public school instrumental music in Hobart, OK and Elk City, OK. Drege has been Principal Timpanist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra since 1999 and was a member of the percussion section of the symphony for the previous nine years. He has twice served as the Oklahoma State Chapter President for the Percussive Arts Society, a past recipient of the Presidential Distinguished Educator Award, and is currently an Education Artist/Endorser for the Vic Firth Percussion Company.

Gaye LeBlanc
Visiting Assistant Professor of Harp
University of Oklahoma


 


Gaye LeBlanc Germain, a Texas native, has been principal harpist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic since 1996. She has also played principal harp with various orchestras including the Fort Smith Symphony, Tulsa Symphony and Opera, OK Mozart Amici orchestra and Lawton Philharmonic. Ms. LeBlanc Germain is also enjoying her eighth year as principal harpist with the All Star Orchestra with Arizona Music- Fest under the direction of Robert Moody. Ms. LeBlanc has been Visiting Assistant Professor of Harp at the University of Oklahoma since 1998, harp faculty at Oklahoma City University from 1999 – 2010 and also faculty of the University of North Texas in 2005 – 2006. She also taught harp with the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute from 1999 – 2004, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan and continuing her Harp Oklahoma workshop for the 5th year at the University of Oklahoma next June 2017.

Before making Oklahoma City her home, Ms. LeBlanc was principal harpist in several ensembles in the Dallas regional area: Richardson Symphony, Irving Symphony, Plano Chamber Orchestra, Abilene Philharmonic, Abilene Opera, Turtlecreek Chorale, Dallas Orpheus Chamber Singers, Shreveport (LA) Symphony and Pine Bluff (AR) Symphony.
Ms. LeBlanc was also chosen as principal harpist for a six-week European tour with the North Carolina School of the Arts giving concerts in six countries. She has recorded with the Orpheus Chamber Singers, Octavia Harp Ensemble and recently finished her second Naxxos recording of the William Grant Still symphonies with the Fort Smith Symphony in May 2013.

Ms. LeBlanc received her Bachelor of Music at the University of North Texas where she started harp at the age of 20 after many years of piano, organ and flute. She also received her Masters of Music at Southern Methodist University. More extensive training consisted of two summers at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and five summers at the Salzedo School with Alice Chalifoux, principal harpist with the Cleveland Orchestra for 40 years. Recently married as of June 29, 2016, Gaye enjoys spending time with her husband, Dennis and their dogs Ellie and Luke.

 

 

Lucas Ross
4-Time Emmy Winner &
KFOR Personality


Lucas Ross is an actor/director/comedian from Minco, Oklahoma. The 4-time Emmy winner has appeared in feature films, national television shows and hundreds of regional commercials. Lucas can be seen weekday mornings on Freedom 43’s “Rise and Shine." When he’s not making TV, he’s playing the banjo and over the years has become an ambassador for the American Banjo Museum. In 2016 he joined with the museum for "A Banjo Salute to Steve Martin" highlighting Martin's career with the banjo. Lucas has recently worked on stage with Star Trek Voyager's Robert Picardo in City Rep's "Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." He's opened for "Weird Al" Yankovic and has been featured on several albums providing accordion or banjo. In 2013 he released the bluegrass comedy album "Son of a Beekeeper" inspired by being raised by a family of honey producers.

Erica Thomas
Adjunct Voice Instructor at
Rose State & Langston University


Erica C. Thomas attended the University of Oklahoma where she received the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Erica's voice teacher, the late Thomas Carey, introduced her to the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company where she served as Executive/Artistic Director from 2002 to 2008. Erica performed many roles with the company including Mimi (La Boheme), Cio-Cio San (Madame Butterfly) and the Witch (Hansel and Gretel). She also directed several of CCOC’s productions which include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Toy Shop, and Cosi Fan Tutte. The Black Liberated Arts Center was a part of Erica's earlier years developing her craft. She served as Administrative Assistant for the center as well as actress, singer, dancer, director and in several technical positions. Miss Thomas received a Master of Music in Opera/Music Theatre from Southern Illinois University, study ing with Metropolitan Opera bass-baritone, Richard Best. Miss Thomas was awarded the Marjorie Lawrence Opera Theatre scholarship for two consecutive years at SIU. She also performed in She Loves Me and The Merry Widow and was an ensemble member of the McLeod Summer Playhouse (Carbondale, IL). Erica was a district winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions in Oklahoma and St. Louis. She has worked with The Children's Theatre (OKC), Oklahoma City Arts Council, Sooner Theater in Norman, OK, and other community organizations and theaters in Oklahoma. Erica has received numerous honors and awards including the Know Your Neighbor Award from the Norman Chamber of Commerce for her work in the arts community. Erica has performed with Langston University, Rose State College, Milwaukee Bel Canto Chorus, the Ambassadors Concert Choir, Bellville Philharmonic, Oklahoma Community Orchestra and as an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera. She has been a performer on the touring roster for the Oklahoma Arts Council since 2004. Rev. Thomas is an Ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church. She currently serves as the Associate Pastor of Worship and Communications at Quayle United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City and as an Adjunct Voice Instructor at Rose State College and Langston University.

 

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Conductor

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Dr. Irvin L. Wagner

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