Bach sometimes expressively improvised hymn arrangements, as a child Martha Alford fell asleep every night listening to her mother play piano. She always found ways to join the music; her green singing bear had to be left behind at concerts because she'd wind him up to participate! Her parents nurtured her love for music as she competed in both flute and piano throughout high school. Since they deemed teaching more practical than performance, Martha earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Houghton College. Later, to prove to herself that she could, she earned a Master of Flute Performance from the University of Idaho.
Once she started teaching, however, pedagogy became a passion. She authored a beginning flute method book and developed a general music theory and history curriculum using handbells as practical application. Martha serves as adjunct professor of Woodwind Methods at Eastern University. She taught muusic history, Basic Experiences in Music and flute at Lancaster Bible College, directed the concert bands at Delaware County Christian School in Newtown Square, PA and the orchestra at The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, PA. She taught general and instrumental music at Westminster Academy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL and in the South Colonie School District in Albany, NY.
Love of performance continued: Martha played principal flute with the Washington Idaho Symphony, the Gold Coast Opera, the Florida Symphonic Pops, the Florida Wind Symphony andthe New York State Band Director's Association Intercollegiate Band. Winning a Northwest collegiate orchestral competition, she soloed with the Spokane Symphony. She studied with Gary Schocker, David Cramer, Kimberly Reighley, Christine Nield, John Oberbrunner, Richard Hahn and Joanna Bassett, and has performed in masterclass with Bonita Boyd and James Galway.
D.M.A., University of Maryland, College Park
M.Mus., Manhattan School of Music
B. S. in Bible & B.Mus., Cairn University
Benjamin Harding serves as Dean of the School of Music at Cairn University. From 2012-2014, Harding served as Associate Professor of Piano at Cairn, Director of Outreach Programs, and Director of the Cairn Community Arts Academy. Prior to being at Cairn, he served on staff at the Hartt School of Music and as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was awarded Distinguished Teaching Assistant by the Graduate Arts and Sciences School.
A proud alum of Cairn University (B.Mus. and B.Sc., 2002), Dr. Harding earned graduate degrees from Manhattan School of Music (M.Mus., 2005; Professional Studies Certificate, 2006) and from the University of Maryland, College Park (D.M.A). Already making a mark at Cairn, Harding was instrumental in the merger of Cairn’s Community School of Music and the Hilltown Creative Arts Academy, forming the Cairn Community Arts Academy – a program serving over 120 students in a variety of arts and music programs. As Director of Outreach programs at Cairn, he initiated a residency with the Ying String Quartet and developed the Cairn Choral Festival alongside the Cairn Choral Music Educators’ Collective.
Benjamin Harding began his study of piano at the age of five, competing in a variety of festivals and competitions from an early age. He completed the performance requirements for the Associateship Degree of the Royal Conservatory of Music while in high school and has appeared on CBC radio. Inhis home province of New Brunswick, Canada, he has been awarded numerous arts awards. He has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and recently in Europe. He has collaborated with cellists Michael Katz and Kangho Lee, violinists Anthea Kreston and Benjamin Shute, and violist Clark Potter. His primary piano teachers include Juanita Spragg, Carol O’Neil, Samuel Hsu, Nina Svetlanova, and Bradford Gowen.
Dr. Harding has a passion for the church and its music. Since 2008, he has been Director of Music Ministries at Evangelical Presbyterian Church (PCA) of Newark, DE. In addition to serving as organist, he oversees the entire music program which includes choirs, bell choirs, worship band and ensemble, an extensive concert series, music ministry internship program and musical educational opportunities for the community. Prior to coming to Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Benjamin served at Grace Church in Hartford, CT, as Director of Music and Youth Pastor.
Benjamin serves on the piano and conducting faculty at the Csehy Summer School of Music. He is a frequent guest conductor and clinician for high school choir, band, and orchestra festivals, as well as a featured conductor at the recent Fanwood Choral Festival. He is married to the former Marji Manz. They have four children: Karsten, Jonathan, Micah, and Clara.
A versatile musician, conductor Adam Potter is the newly appointed Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. He is a PhD candidate (ABD) in choral conducting and music education at the Florida State University College of Music, where he has served as assistant conductor for the University Singers and Women’s Glee Club, tours manager for the University Singers, Chorus Master of Florida State Opera, teaching assistant for undergraduate choral conducting, and accompanist of the Chamber Choir. He is also Director of Music at the First Presbyterian Church of Quincy, Florida. He earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in vocal music education and choral conducting from the Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College in New York, where he was a Presser and Presidential Scholar. His choral music mentors include Judy Bowers, Kevin Fenton, Brandon Johnson, and André Thomas.
Prior to moving to Tallahassee, Mr. Potter was Director of Vocal Music at Dansville (NY) High School, overseeing thriving and growing vocal music curricula. During the summers, he conducts choirs and teaches voice at the Csehy Summer School of Music. He has also taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp, Houghton College, and Genesee Community College, in addition to presenting clinics for Alfred State College, Mansfield University, the Orpheus Chorale of Hornell, the New York State chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and the New York State School Music Association. His research interests include sight-singing pedagogy, music education in rural school settings, group vocal technique, and applications of the servant-leadership model to conducting music ensembles.
Mr. Potter is an active member of ACDA, the Choristers Guild, Chorus America, the Florida Music Educators Association, the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, the National Association for Music Education, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. He is also a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and Pi Kappa Lambda, the American honor society for musicians.
MM - Temple University
BMus - Roberts Wesleyan College
A native of western New York, baritone Floyd Rawleigh received his undergraduate training in music education, voice and piano at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester. He earned a Master of Music from Temple University where he studied voice with Christine Anderson, music education with Edwin Gordon and music theory with Stimson Carrow. Floyd has been a middle school choral director in the Downingtown Area School District for the past 17 years. His program currently includes 450 singers in the sixth through eighth grades. Prior to teaching in Downingtown, he also taught in Lake Luzerne, New York and at Valley Forge Christian College. He has also taught music theory, voice and choral conducting classes at Lancaster Bible College. In addition to his choral responsibilities at Downingtown Middle School, Floyd has been the music director for Downingtown High School’s music theater program and currently is the music director at Faith Reformed Presbyterian Church in Quarryville, PA where he directs the choir and a cappella singers. Floyd is also the artistic director of the Csehy Summer School of Music, a Christian music camp which meets on the campus of Philadelphia Biblical University in Langhorne, PA. There, he teaches voice, music theory and directs the choir. Floyd’s performance credits include numerous appearances as a sacred soloist throughout the Philadelphia area. He has also performed roles in Handel’s Hercules and Messiah as well as Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.
- D.M.A. in Conducting, Eastman School of Music
- M. M. in Trumpet Performance and Literature, Eastman School of Music
- B.S. in Music Education, Roberts Wesleyan College
Dr. Paul Shewan, Professor Conducting and trumpet at Roberts Wesleyan College, conducts the Wind Ensemble and the Orchestra, and teaches trumpet, brass ensembles, and instrumental conducting. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Roberts Wesleyan and a Master’s degree in Trumpet Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music in 1983, where he was a trumpet student of Charles Geyer. He completed the doctoral degree in conducting at the Eastman School of Music in 2004.
At the Eastman school Dr. Shewan studied conducting with Mendi Rodan, Neil Varon, Donald Hunsberger, and Mark Scatterday. He appeared in several concerts conducting the Eastman Wind Orchestra, the Eastman Conducting Orchestra, and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. In the summer of 2004, he conducted the Eastman Wind Ensemble during its four-week tour of Japan, Taiwan and Macau. More recently at Eastman he has served as visiting professor of conducting.
Dr. Shewan has recorded as trumpet soloist, ensemble member, and conductor on several commercial CDs. For Mode Records he may be heard playing principal trumpet with the Opera Sacra Orchestra in Arthur Honegger’s Christoph Columb. He is featured in many recordings on the Albany label, including Stephen Shewan’s Suite for Trumpet and Piano (Troy 349-Albany Records) and Leo Sowerby’s Fantasy for Trumpet and Organ (Troy 238-Albany Records). His most recent recording as conductor features Randall Thompson's Frostiana for chorus and orchestra, and Ron Nelson's Te Deum for chorus and band with the RWC Chorale and Wind Ensemble (Troy 783-Albany Records).
Dr. Shewan is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra trumpet section and is a frequent guest conductor including the orchestra’s inaugural side-by-side concert with community members in February, 2014. In December, 2015, he performed with the RPO as trumpet soloist and conductor. He has also conducted the Varna Philharmonic Orchestra (Bulgaria).
Dr. Shewan has conducted performances for live public radio broadcasts on the Music at Midday series from Roberts Wesleyan College and as soloist and conductor on the Live from Hochstein concert series. He performed J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 with members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He played often with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1985-2002.
Dr. Shewan has guest conducted the Air Force Band of Liberty on three occasions, the Air Force Heritage of America Band, and several High School district music festivals. In May of 2009, he conducted the Syracuse Symphony Youth Orchestra and was the guest conductor for the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in November, 2014. In the Summer of 2012, he conducted the wind ensemble, Concordia Santa Fe (New Mexico). He is also the conductor of the RWC High School Honors Band Festival. He and his wife Joy have four grown children and two grandchildren.