New Woodwind & Jazz Instructor Andrew Allen

Andrew Allen - Woodwind & Jazz Instructor
In the fall of 2013, Andrew J. Allen will begin an appointment as a tenure-track instructor of music at Valley City State University, teaching woodwinds and music history, and directing the VCSU Jazz Ensemble. Mr. Allen has previously served on the faculty of Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina and is a summer instructor for Tennessee Technological University's Southeast Chamber Music Institute. He holds the Bachelor of Music degree in instrumental music education from Tennessee Technological University and the Master of Music degree in performance from Central Michigan University where he studied with Phil Barham and John Nichol, respectively. He is currently completing the DMA at the University of South Carolina, where he is a student of Dr. Clifford Leaman. Mr. Allen has pursued additional studies with Joseph Lulloff at the Brevard Music Center.

As an advocate of new music, Mr. Allen has premiered works by Yoomi Paick, Greg Simon, Annie Neikirk, Matthew Fink, Michael Mikulka, Andrew Francis, Robert Bradshaw, Lee Michael Flatt, Justin Rito, and Nathan Prillaman, and has been intensely involved with the composers of the Melos Music Collective. He has performed as a saxophonist with the South Carolina Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, the Midland (MI) Symphony, and the Bryan Symphony Orchestra; and has appeared at the Sixteenth World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland; national and regional conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance; and the College Music Society National Convention. As a chamber musician, Mr. Allen holds the distinction of being a quarterfinalist in both the 2008 and 2009 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competitions, and, in the commercial music field, he has accompanied Ronnie Milsap, James Torme, and Jeff Coffin, among others. As a scholar and pedagogue, Mr. Allen's educational and critical writings on music have appeared in The Instrumentalist, School Band and Orchestra Magazine and the North American Saxophone Alliance Update, and he has presented research on the history of the saxophone quartet at the Michigan Music Conference.

New Piano Instructor Geraldine Ong

Dr. Geraldine Ong
Dr. Geraldine Ong recently received a tenure-track position at Valley City State University as an Assistant Professor of Applied and Collaborative Piano. Her duties will include teaching applied and class piano, collaborating on faculty and student recitals, accompanying vocal ensembles, and co-teaching piano pedagogy courses. Dr. Ong recently served as adjunct faculty at Houston Community College and University of Houston.

She received a Doctor of Musical Arts from University of Houston Moores School of Music studying with renowned pedagogue Nancy Weems. She was a recipient of the University of Houston Presidential Graduate Fellowship, awarded to students of exceptional caliber who represent extraordinary academic credentials. Prior to doctoral studies, she received Master's and Bachelor's degrees from Northwestern University and Missouri State University. Her past principal teachers include Alan Chow, Wei-Han Su and Chong Lim Ng.

Born in Seremban, Malaysia, pianist Dr. Ong was surrounded by music from an early age. Growing up, Geraldine studied piano because she loved playing for fun, but when the opportunity arose to pursue piano performance in the United States for college, she became serious about piano as a career. 

An accomplished concert pianist, Dr. Ong has been featured playing Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the Houston Symphony and Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, Ravel’s Left Hand Concerto with Houston Civic Symphony, and Mozart’s C-Major Piano Concerto K. 467 with New Orleans Civic Symphony. She has performed internationally, with concerts in Asia, Europe, and the United States, including a debut at the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C., and Parc de Bel Ebat in France, where Ravel’s Piano Trio was premiered.

In the past two years, she has been performing solo and chamber recitals regularly with the Da Camera of Houston Young Artist and Greenbriar Consortium. She has also collaborated with the Houston Grand Opera Co. and AURA Contemporary Ensemble. In addition, her performances have been featured on Fox Television Network KRIV Channel-26 and KUHA 91.7 FM radio The Front Row. Her recent accolades include special recognition at the San Antonio International Piano Competition, fourth place and audience prize at the Ima Hogg National Concerto Competition, first place at the New Orleans Piano Institute Concerto Competition, and third place at the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition.