Listee Features — Music

Patricia Hayes


As a lifelong music educator, Patricia Thornton Hayes gained a passion for music when she was a little girl. She began playing the piano between the ages of 3 and 4 after watching her older sister play. She recalls being put in another room while her sister practiced, and she was forbidden from entering the room and interrupting. When her sister had finished her lesson, Ms. Hayes would enter the room and play exactly what she had heard her sister play. In doing so, she had demonstrated a fantastic ability to play by ear, a talent that few musicians have. Though she does not consider her grasp of musical theory to be strong, Ms. Hayes’ talent as a musician is

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Carol Booth


A talented writer of both songs and freelance features, Carol M. Booth has garnered a laudable reputation alongside many of the most notable luminaries in the fields of art and entertainment. Born in Tennessee, she came of age in Louisiana, and eventually relocated to Texas and Tennessee. During the 1970s and through the mid-1980s, Ms. Booth served as a public relations coordinator for McDonald’s and maintained activity in advertising management and marketing for Liberty Vindicator. Between 1985 and 1989, she owned and operated Carol Marie’s Music, for whom she wrote and published many of her songs, and between 1988 and 1991 worked as country singer Tim McGraw’s talent manager in Nashville, TN. Upon returning to Louisiana, she created her own

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Susan Stanard


Accruing 39 years of industry experience to her credit, Susan Parton Stanard is the director of choral ensembles and vocal studies and a professor of music at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois, since 2002, as well as a performer in operas, concerts and recitals since 1982. She began her professional career as an adjunct professor of music at Jacksonville University in Florida in 1983, remaining in this position for 12 years. During this time, she also directed the chorus and orchestra at Mayport Junior High School, now known as Mayport Coastal Sciences Middle School, in Atlantic Beach, Florida, from 1985 to 1987. Ms. Stanard then taught voice adjunctively at Florida State College at Jacksonville from 1999 to

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Damaris Peters-Pike


Originally intending to be a public school music teacher/choral director, Damaris Porter Peters-Pike became and educator because she wanted them to have a full, well-rounded education, as well as their musical training. She feels they could make a greater impact on our culture if they are intellectually acute, as well as musically proficient. Ms. Peters-Pike taught a sixth-grade class with 80 children on the south side of Chicago, and started a chorus that traveled around and sang at other schools. At their rehearsals, she had a platform she would stand on so they could all see her. When she stepped down for a break, the students could visit with each other, but when she stood back up on the platform

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Originally a musician, Bernice Bell Jordan decided to switch courses and become an educator so she could provide a better life for her daughter. She wanted to lead by example and show her the value of academia. Ms. Jordan proceeded to join the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District as an elementary teacher in 1959. She quickly garnered a reputation for her passion and dedication to her work, and became a beloved member of the community. She remained at the school until her retirement in 1999. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Jordan enjoyed connecting with her peers. She is affiliated with organizations like the National Education Association, the California Elementary Education Association, the California Reading Association until 1997 and the

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Christine Dolinich-Matuska


Coming from a creative family, Christine Dolinich-Matuska, DFA, became involved in her profession because her father was an engineer and taught her to draw in perspective even when she was a little girl prior to starting kindergarten. Her father played music with a band on the side, and her mother studied piano as an adult; they were very much behind their experience in the arts and music. Music and the arts for her go hand-in-hand. Dr. Dolinich-Matuska currently works as a teaching artist, pianist and visual artist, specifically in mixed media. Dr. Dolinich-Matuska began her professional career as the director of the Linden Art and Music Studio in New Jersey in 1983, remaining in this position for four years while

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R. Aileen James


A concert pianist focused on music history and education, with a particular interest in the work of Johannes Brahms, R. Aileen James, DMA, was a child piano prodigy. She recalls growing up and living in a small town in Tennessee, where her father would come home and play hymns on a Chickering Spinet piano. At just 2 years old, she would sit beside him and play the melody portion of the song. By 3 years old, she began playing with both hands. In a nearby town, there was a woman who graduated with a degree in piano. The woman had a class for preschool students and Dr. James’ mother enrolled her in the class. For her first piano recital, the

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A vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Carole J. Seitz became involved in her profession because her mother was a pianist. She and her sister took piano lessons beginning at four years old through the wonderful string program where she grew up in Wichita, Kansas. She started violin in the fourth grade, taking free lessons that were given by the public schools. Ms. Seitz still plays the piano every day and substitutes for the organist at her church when needed. Retiring in 2015, Ms. Seitz is a professor emerita of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, previously joining the school in 1962 as an associate professor of music. Serving in this role for one year, she chaired the Music and Fine Arts Department at

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Janet Lee


Loyal and trustworthy, Rev. Janet A. Lee has led an exemplary career in music education and religion. She started out as a music teacher at Berkley Public Schools and as an assistant in music at the Royal Oak First United Methodist Church in Michigan, and later advanced to become the minister of music and arts at Clawson United Methodist Church and the lifestyle and religion editor of the Hillsdale Daily News. Rev. Lee also used her talents to serve as a consultant in church music and arts. Since 2011, she has continued her efforts through her role as a church musician at the Jonesville United Methodist Church. She plays the piano, organ, and clarinet there. Rev. Lee considers the best

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Serena Ray Pearce


An expert in choral music, Serena Ray Pearce can trace her love for the field back to her father, a church singer. The director of her father’s choir recognized Ms. Pearce’s talent when she was very young, and she worked hard to foster that and improve. She joined a middle school group composed of excellent singers and musicians, who helped her develop a deeper understanding for the pieces she performed. After this, she transferred to a high school known for their choral music program. Ms. Pearce went on to earn a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina in 1973 and a Master of Music from Meredith College in 1987. She also became a licensed music teacher for

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