Charles Lewis earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Flute Performance from the University of Tennessee at Martin and a MM in Flute Performance from the University of Memphis. He is currently principal flutist in the Jackson Symphony and performs with the Memphis (TN) and Paducah (KY) Symphonies. He previously served as principal flutist with the Southwest Michigan Symphony and Memphis Repertory Orchestra and performed regularly with the Memphis Eroica Ensemble. He plays flute with the Cooper Young Wind Quintet, UT Martin’s LCD Faculty Woodwind Trio, and University Trio. Lewis is the flute instructor at the University of Tennessee at Martin and has taught previously at The University of Memphis, Bethel University, and Dyersburg State Community College. He was a first prize winner in the Memphis Beethoven Club’s Young Artist Competition and a winner in the Florida Flute Association’s Artist Masterclass Competition and has performed in numerous Masterclasses for some of the world’s leading orchestral flutists. As a member of the LCD Woodwind Trio, Lewis was guest performer at the International Clarinet Fest in Baton Rouge and the International Saxophone Symposium in Washington, D.C. Mr. Lewis maintains a private flute studio in Memphis and Martin. His teachers include Julius Baker, Bruce Erskine and Phyllis Taylor Sparks.
Dr. Jessica Dunnavant is a freelance musician and flute teacher based in the Nashville area. In addition to her work with the Jackson Symphony, she is a member of Music City Baroque and has served as a substitute flute with the Paducah Symphony, the Nashville Symphony, the Tallahassee Symphony, the Central Wisconsin Symphony and several other groups. She manages a large studio of private students, including adjunct positions at Middle Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. Dr. Dunnavant is Past President of the Mid-South Flute Society and she edits the Flute Examiner newsletter. In her spare time, she is an avid vegetable gardener and a member of the choir at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Brentwood.
Jennifer Whitehead is the woodwind instructor at Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia where she teaches Fundamentals of Music, Music Appreciation, all Woodwind private lessons, and coaches flute choir, clarinet choir,saxophone quartet, and woodwind quintet. Jennifer is an active freelance flutist in the Memphis area with a passion for performing, teaching music, and woodwind pedagogy.
Jennifer received a BM (flute performance) from the University of Mississippi,
where she was extremely active in Sigma Alpha Iota, and earned a MM (flute
performance) from the University of Memphis. She is a certified Suzuki Flute and
Orff teacher and has a very large private flute studio consisting of students from
all over the Mid-South area, many of which sit at the top of their
respective bands’ flute sections. Jennifer is an advocate for performing for the
community, and her students have performed at nursing homes all over
Memphis and DeSoto County as well as the Pink Palace and the Baddour
Center. She has served on the board of the Mid-South Flute Society as
Secretary, Program Coordinator, and Exhibits Chair for the annual Mid-South
Flute Festival. Each summer she coordinates the Days of Music Camp
at Northwest Community College to provide students in the area the opportunity
to work with professional musicians.
A sought after woodwind adjudicator, both regionally and nationally, Jennifer has
judged for Desoto County and the West Tennessee School Band and Orchestra
Association. She served as taped round judge for the National Flute Association
High School Soloist Competition in 2009, and in 2011 and 2012, she served as
taped round for the National Flute Association Flute Choir competition. In 2015,
she judged the Music Teacher’s National Conference State Woodwind
Competition Division for Mississippi.
Jennifer has performed at Wildacres Flute Retreat, Brevard Music Center,
Domain Forget in Quebec, and was selected to perform with the National Wind
Ensemble at Carnegie Hall. She has regularly performed with the Jackson
Symphony Orchestra in Tennessee for over ten years, and she has performed
with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra on both piccolo and flute. She
performs regularly in musicals in the Mid-South area, and last fall she performed
on the Legend of Zelda Concert at the Orpheum. She was invited to perform at
the Single Reed Summit at the University of Mississippi in 2014, and in Spring of
2016, Jennifer was invited to perform as the guest soloist with the Northwest
Community College Wind Ensemble. Jennifer was recently the invited guest
artist for Mississippi State University's Music Discovery Day where she
performed, taught a masterclass, and gave a presentation on “Starting A Private
Studio.” She also presented and performed at UT Martin’s annual Woodwind
Day in spring of 2017.
A member of the Jackson Symphony since 2016, Saundra D’Amato grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Yale University (with a B.A. and a M.M.). She played oboe in the Boston area, primarily with the Springfield (MA) Symphony orchestra, and taught Suzuki piano in Boston and Providence, R.I. After a two-year stint with the Colorado Symphony, she taught in Springfield, MA, before moving to Memphis in 1992. She is the second oboist in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, is a member of the Memphis Symphony Woodwind Quintet, and has played in numerous groups in the Memphis area. She also teaches Suzuki piano, and has taught classroom music in both Shelby County Schools and private schools. Since 2015 she has been the Education Coordinator for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. She and her husband, percussionist Michael Karcz, live in Memphis.
Oboist Nathan Nix, an Illinois native, is currently an active member of the Memphis and West Tennessee music scene and has performed with the Jackson Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, South Arkansas Symphony, Paducah Symphony and the Eroica Ensemble. An accomplished Woodwind Specialist, he also has performed(s) in theaters across the United States and Canada with the national touring companies of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Elf- the Musical and in September of 2017, will join the North American touring production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder playing oboe, English horn and bassoon. Performing collectively for over 2 million people throughout the last decade, Nix has performed in most of the United States and Canada’s major live theater performance venues.
Within the Memphis metropolitan area, Nix frequently performs with national touring productions at The Orpheum Theater and Bluesville-Horseshoe Casino in addition to regional productions at Theatre Memphis, Playhouse on the Square and The Desoto Family Playhouse. Recent notable performances include national tours of The Little Mernaid, The Sound of Music, Wicked, Chicago, Young Frankenstein, South Pacific, White Christmas, Cinderella, Mary Poppins, Mannheim Steamroller and Frank Sinatra, Jr., and regional award winning productions of The Color Purple, The Producers, The Addams Family and Beauty and the Beast.
An avid pursuer of chamber music, Nathan is a founding member and oboist of the Memphis based quintet: The Cooper Young Winds, and most recently the inaugural Wind Quintet of the Jackson Symphony.
Mr. Nix is in the final stages (ABD) of completing the Doctorate of Musical Arts in Oboe Performance at the University of Memphis under the guidance of Dr. Michelle Vigneau. Primary teachers include Dr. Michelle Vigneau, Carolyn Hove, Dr. Eric Mandat, Edward Benyas and Dr. Lauren Baker Murray. He maintains memberships in the International Double Reed Society, the International Clarinet Association, and the American Federation of Musicians.
Courtenay Harter is an Associate Professor of Music at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, where she teaches music theory, music cognition, oboe, English horn and chamber music. In addition to being the coordinator of Music Theory, she is an advisor for the interdisciplinary major in Music & Psychology, and teaches courses in the curriculum, including “The Psychology of Music.”
A native of the Chicago metropolitan area, Dr. Harter holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University (B.F.A.), Northwestern University (M.M.) and the University of Connecticut (Ph.D.). Prior to arriving in Memphis, she has held teaching appointments at Georgia State University, the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, the University of Connecticut, and the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.
Of her many research interests, Dr. Harter is particularly attracted to the pedagogy of music theory; her dissertation study, entitled “Phrase Structure in Prokofiev’s Piano Sonatas,” uses familiar terminology to describe formal procedures within the context of neoclassic characteristics. She continues to study the compositional procedures of Serge Prokofiev through manuscript studies and sketchbook analyses with the Prokofiev Archive in London, England. Her more recent research in pedagogy includes instrument-specific excerpts for theoretical studies and new empirical methodologies and pedagoies to complement the Music & Psychology program.
Dr. Harter has presented papers at national and regional meetings of the Society for Music Theory and the College Music Society, international conferences on Music Since 1900 and the Music Analysis Conference, published papers in the Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy and The Double Reed: Journal of the International Double Reed Society, and has been a faculty consultant for the Advanced Placement Music Theory Exam and the CLEP Humanities Exam.
Dr. Harter bridges the gap between the analysis and the performance of music for her students as an active performer: in addition to the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Harter regularly performs solo and chamber music recitals, maintains a private oboe studio, and pursues other freelance opportunities in the mid-south region. In February 2006, Dr. Harter performed the Eastern United States premiere of Night Song, with the composer, Craig Phillips, on organ.