Thomas Bryant, piano
Thomas Bryant received his B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Georgia, and completed his D.M. degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Dr. Bryant lists his piano teachers and mentors to include Despy Karlas, Jane Douglas, Hans Petermandl, Maria Regina Seidlhofer-Luponi, and Donald Isaak. He has studied accompanying with Laurence Davis and Erik Werba.
Dr. Bryant has earned an impressive reputation both as a solo pianist as well as an artistic accompanist. He is active throughout the region as a concert artist, and is in high demand as a recital accompanist. In addition to his rigorous performing activity locally, he travels nationally and internationally in his piano performance.
Dr. Bryant teaches piano, accompanying, and music appreciation at Rhodes College.
Brian Ray, piano
[B.M., University of Tennessee at Martin; M.M., University of Memphis; D.M.A., University of Memphis]
In addition to private piano instruction at Rhodes College, Brian Ray is the departmental collaborative pianist and also teaches piano classes at the University of Memphis. He has been a soloist with the University of Memphis Orchestra and the Memphis Civic Orchestra and has performed extensively as an assisting pianist in voice recitals. His most recent collaborative ventures have included art song recitals of works by Richard Hundley, Samuel Barber, Libby Larsen, and Rebecca Clarke. He has been a student of Allison Nelson, and he currently studies with Joan Gilbert. His areas of research include the piano works of Joseph Marx, piano repertoire of the 20th century, works for piano ensemble, and harpsichord.
Debbie Smith, piano and organ
[B.M., Mississippi College; M.M., University of Memphis; Ph.D. Candidate, University of Memphis]
Debbie Smith, adjunct professor of piano at Rhodes, has been active as a teacher, recitalist, accompanist, singer, and choral director in the Midsouth since 1980. In addition to teaching at Rhodes, Ms. Smith is Director of Music Ministries at Evergreen Presbyterian Church. Ms. Smith received her B.M. in Organ Performance from Mississippi College and her M.M. in Organ Performance from the University of Memphis. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from the University of Memphis.
Kate Stimson, piano
[B.A., Hollins College; M.M., University of Memphis]
Ms. Stimson earned a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Music History from Hollins College, and a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Memphis. She has taught piano at Rhodes College since 1993. Ms. Stimson was awarded the Tennessee Music Teachers Association Distinguished Service Award in 2011. She is currently President-Elect of TMTA. Ms. Stimson was President of the Greater Memphis Music Teachers Association from 2007 to 2009 and was named GMMTA Teacher of the Year for 2010. She has served as Competitions Coordinator for the Tennessee Music Teachers Association and for the Music Teachers National Association in Tennessee. Ms. Stimson serves on the board of the Tennessee Music Teachers Association and is a member of the American Matthay Society, the American Guild of Piano Teachers and Pi Kappa Lambda.
Yukiko Nakane Whitehead, piano
[D.M.A., The University of Memphis]
Yukiko Whitehead, a native of Tokyo, Japan is a Registered Suzuki Piano Teacher and a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music. In Japan, she performed weekly on television and was a Teacher-Trainer and Performer for the YAMAHA Music Foundation. The aspiration to improve her English fluency brought her to the University of Tennessee. It was there that the desire to share her passion for music, and the piano, rekindled her interest in piano pedagogy. As a full time instructor of piano in the Suzuki Piano program at The University of Memphis, a number of her students won prizes and awards from both regional and national competitions, she pursued a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance including minor areas in Chamber Music and Piano Pedagogy where her dissertation was awarded the Graduate Document Award.