James Madison University School of Music

Music Education


WILLIAM DABBACK, Associate Professor

William Dabback holds degrees in music education from West Chester University (B.S., summa cum laude, 1991) and the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music (M.M., 2000, Ph.D. 2007). Dr. Dabback has supervised student teachers and taught graduate research and foundations courses, instrumental methods courses, brass techniques, and conducting in the James Madison University School of Music since 2005. His collegiate teaching experience also includes dissertation advisement for Boston University and courses at Eastman and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to commencing his doctoral studies, Dr. Dabback was music director at Towanda Area High School in Pennsylvania (1991-2003).

Dr. Dabback has presented papers and workshops on adult music learning, community music, instrumental music pedagogy, and music teacher preparation at international symposia and conferences in the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has contributed chapters to the Oxford Handbook of Music Education and Community Music Today and is published in various academic journals, including the International Journal of Community Music and ACT (Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education). He serves as the 2012-2014 national chair of the NAfME Adult & Community Music Education Special Research Interest Group (ACME SRIG).

Dr. Dabback remains active as a conductor, clinician, and adjudicator for middle and high school students in the eastern United States. He formed the Harrisonburg New Horizons Band in conjunction with the James Madison University Lifelong Learning Institute and has instructed various New Horizons music camps. He continues to freelance on trumpet and perform as a cornet player in the Massanutten Brass, a British-style brass band in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He is a member of the International Society of Music Education, The National Association for Music Education (NAfME), The College Music Society, MayDay Group, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Mu Alpha.

Click here for more information about New Horizons Band.

Email: dabbacwm@jmu.edu
Office: 540.568.3464

BRYCE HAYES, Assistant Professor

W. Bryce Hayes maintains an active career as a conductor, teacher, church musician, pianist, accompanist and singer. He has recently been appointed assistant professor at in choral activities and choral music education at James Madison University where he conducts the Treble Chamber Choir, University Men's Chorus and the combined University Choruses. Dr. Hayes recently completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from The University of Minnesota where he studied Choral Conducting with Kathy Romey and Matthew Mehaffey and Instrumental Conducting with Craig Kirchhoff. During his time at the University of Minnesota he was founding director of the ensemble, Campus Singers. He received a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Temple University and a Bachelor of Music degree in music education summa cum laude from Westminster Choir College. Dr. Hayes recently led the acclaimed ensemble One Voice Mixed Chorus as a Guest Conductor for the fall 2010 season. Formerly, Dr. Hayes served as a Director with the The Princeton Girlchoir and the Director of Upper School Choral Music at Princeton Day School in Princeton, New Jersey.

Office: 540.568.5052
Email: hayeswb@jmu.edu

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LISA MAYNARD, Associate Professor

B.M., University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; M.M. in Music Education, The University of Texas at Austin; Ph.D. in Music Education, The University of Texas at Austin.  

Lisa Maynard is Assistant Professor of String Music Education at James Madison University where she works with music education majors in string technique, instructional methodology, string literature, and introduction to music education classes.  Dr. Maynard also works with graduate students at the masters and doctoral level (both in music education and performance) in music pedagogy in higher education classes, and music education research and psychology classes.   In addition, Maynard serves as a supervisor to students completing their student teaching experience, and for graduate students completing their masters theses and projects.  

Prior to her appointment at JMU, Dr. Maynard served as Assistant Professor of Music Education at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and as a Visiting Instructor of Music Education at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.  Her initial experiences as a music educator involved teaching classroom music and strings in Australia.  She came to the United States in 1989 on a Rotary Graduate Scholarship to study toward a masters degree at The University of Texas at Austin where she was a teacher and conductor in The University of Texas String Project, and studied ‘cello and string pedagogy with Phyllis Young.   Following this,  Maynard taught orchestra in the Eanes Independent School District in Austin, Texas until her decision  to return to UT Austin to pursue doctoral studies. Her dissertation was entitled The Role of Repetition in the Practice Sessions of Artist Teachers and Their Students.

At JMU, Lisa Maynard serves as Director and Master Teacher in the JMU String Project. The String Project is funded in part by a grant from the National String Project Consortium, and provides JMU music education majors with valuable teaching experience through their work teaching string instruments to children from the local Harrisonburg and Rockingham communities.  

Dr. Maynard's articles have appeared in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Teaching Music, Southwestern Musician, Texas Music Education Research, Florida Music Director, and Teaching Music through Performance in Orchestra (Volumes II and III). She is active as a clinician at conferences of music educators at the state and national level, in addition to serving as an adjudicator and conductor for a number of school districts both in Texas and Virginia. Her past professional contributions have included service as Secretary and Membership Chair for the Texas Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, and as a member of the Research Committee for the Texas Music Education Research journal.  More recent professional collaborations include service on the ASTA Research Committee, the Executive Board of the Virginia Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, and the College Advisory Committee of VASTA.

Email: maynarlm@jmu.edu
Office: 540.568.6465

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GARY RITCHER, Professor | Coordinator of Music Education

B.S., University of Illinois; M.A., The Ohio State University; Ed.D., University of Illinois. He taught for 10 years as an elementary music specialist in Colorado. He has made presentations at the state and national conventions of Music Educators National Conference and The American Choral Directors Association. He is director of the JMU Orff/Kodaly Ensemble and holds Level III Orff certification from George Mason University. He has served as a guest clinician of district and state children's choirs and is founder and past director of the Southern Illinois Children's Choir. He is co-author of Horizons, a collection of international children's songs and state adviser for the Collegiate Music Education National Conference.

Email: ritchegk@jmu.edu
Office: 540.568.6753

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DAVID STRINGHAM, Assistant Professor

David Stringham is Assistant Professor of Music Education at James Madison University, where he supervises student teachers and teaches courses in instrumental methods, woodwind techniques, and technology in music education. Dr. Stringham has taught music to students of all ages, in public school, private studio, college, and community settings.

Dr. Stringham’s dissertation, Improvisation and Composition in a High School Instrumental Music Curriculum (2010), describes achievement and perspectives of students in a non-auditioned high school concert band who learn to improvise and compose using a sequential curriculum. He has presented his research in local, state, national, and international venues. Dr. Stringham holds professional memberships in the American Educational Research Association, the Gordon Institute for Music Learning, MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the New York State School Music Association, and the Virginia Music Educators Association, and has served as a composition evaluator and clinician for the New York State School Music Association Composition/Improvisation Committee since 2007.

A Western New York native, Dr. Stringham holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester (BM with Highest Distinction, MM, Ph.D.). Prior to joining the faculty at James Madison University in Fall 2010, he taught high school and middle school instrumental music in the Williamsville (NY) and Greece (NY) Central Schools. His students have been recognized for outstanding performance by state and national organizations, and have performed with guest artists including Carl Allen, Christopher Azzara, Don Harry, Patrick Jones, Lowell Liebermann, and Donald Schleicher.

Email: stringda@jmu.edu
Office: 540.568.5279

Assistant Professor, Director of Choral Activities

James Madison University Director of Choral Activities DR. JO-ANNE VAN DER VAT-CHROMY is a former Maryland native who hails most recently from Tallahassee, Florida. While in Tallahassee, she completed her doctoral studies in choral music education/choral conducting at Florida State University, with Drs. André Thomas, Kevin Fenton, Judy Bowers and Clifford K. Madsen. Dr. van der Vat-Chromy also served as vocal music director at Tallahassee Community College, conducting the seventy-voice Tallahassee Civic Chorale and the TCC Select Ensemble Illuminare.

Formerly on the music staff of The International School of Brussels, Belgium, Jo-Anne most recently served as the Vocal Music Director at the American School of The Hague, in The Netherlands. Her work at ASH included directing six choirs and co-directing two concert bands, as well as teaching Rock Music History, Musical Theatre and directing the fifty-five-voice ASH Community Choir. Jo-Anne was also the founder/music director of Het Davidkoor, a subsidized thirty voice Dutch women's choir who, for over eighteen years, has focused on the integration of choral music and holistic music making.

In addition to her doctoral degree in Music Education/Choral Conducting from Florida State, Dr. van der Vat-Chromy holds Teacher Certification from the University of Michigan, a MM in Horn Performance from Bowling Green State University, and BA in Music from St. Mary's College of Maryland. Her research interests include the kinesthetic connections in conducting pedagogy, choral acoustic music measurement, curriculum/assessment strategies for middle and high school choirs, and the sociological impact of choral cultures on student learning.

As Director of Choral Activities at James Madison University, Dr. van der Vat-Chromy directs the Madison Singers, the JMU Chorale and the University Women's Chorus. Her academic responsibilities include graduate thesis supervision, undergraduate and graduate choral conducting, high school choral methods, graduate choral literature and student teacher supervision. “Dr. V.” is also a delighted member of the Board of Directors of the JMU Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence, where her work is coordinating musical activities and embedded choral teaching opportunities into the Gandhi Center programs for global non-violence, peace and consciousness.

Email: vanderjx@jmu.edu
Office: 540.568.5803



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Quick Links


VMEA - Virginia Music Educators Association; November 19 - 21, 2015
Norfolk, Virginia
Click here for more information.

2015: JMU Kodály website - Click Here

Kodaly Mini Workshop (Music Listening - An Active Art):
July 10 - 12
Kodaly Levels I - III: July 12 - 25