PRIVATE LESSON TEACHERS
DANIEL CHRISMAN - BASSOON
Growing up amidst a family of musicians, Daniel developed an appreciation for a variety of musical genres as well as for natural, cultural, and social phenomena which continue to inspire his playing. He studied piano, trumpet, and voice until he attended the University of Kentucky where he began studies on the instrument he always wanted to play, the bassoon. After four years of demanding yet supportive instruction from Professor Peter Simpson, Chrisman graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2003. He continued his studies at the University of Louisville for one year with Matthew Karr before relocating to Philadelphia to study with the principal bassoonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Daniel Matsukawa. Mr. Chrisman received his Master’s degree in music performance from Temple University in 2006. Daniel has soloed with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, playing the Concerto in F Major by Carl Maria von Weber. He has also soloed with the Temple University Symphony Orchestra, performing von Weber’s Andante and Hungarian Rondo.
In September of 2005, Daniel attained the contrabassoon position in the Haddonfield Symphony (now Symphony in C) in New Jersey. In September of 2008, Daniel moved to Austin where he plays contrabassoon and bassoon in the Austin Symphony Orchestra. He began teaching middle and high school bassoon lessons that very month and teaching soon became a co-passion along with performing. 2015 was his first year of employ at Southwestern University where he serves as Professor of Bassoon.
NICHOLAS COUNCILOR - CLARINET & BASS CLARINET
Dr. Nicholas Councilor is Lecturer of Clarinet at The University of Texas at San Antonio. He previously held teaching positions at Texas A&M University—Kingsville and The University of Texas at Austin. He also maintains a large private studio in Austin, where his students frequently make the TMEA All-State ensembles and earn top accolades in solo competitions. As a clinician for the D’Addario Woodwind Method Program, Dr. Councilor has taught nearly 100 clinics to students of all ages throughout Central Texas.
Dr. Councilor is a versatile freelance musician with an active schedule of solo, orchestral, and chamber music performances. He has performed as a featured soloist with the Austin Symphonic Band, the Waterloo Wind Band, and performed John Corigliano’s Concerto with the University of Texas Wind Ensemble in a premiere performance of a new wind band transcription by Craig B. Davis. Nicholas is a member of the Central Texas Philharmonic and regularly performs with the San Antonio Symphony, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and other regional orchestras across the state. He has also appeared as guest principal clarinetist with the San Antonio Symphony and the Dallas Winds. He can be heard as principal clarinetist in the UT Wind Ensemble recording Wine Dark Sea. As an avid chamber musician, Dr. Councilor has earned the silver medal at the prestigious Fischoff Competition and is a prizewinner of the Coleman and Plowman chamber music competitions, as well as the American Prize. He is also a skilled woodwind doubler and has performed for dozens of musical theater productions.
Dr. Councilor earned his Doctoral of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Eastern Michigan University.
OSWALDO GARZA - SAXAPHONE
Oswaldo De Jesús Garza is a Mexican-American concert saxophonist and educator from Houston, Texas who is currently based out of Austin, Texas. In addition to his private teaching, Oswaldo maintains an active performing career as a soloist and chamber musician. Past engagements include an interdisciplinary collaboration and performance of Felipe Lara’s “Vocalise II” at the Blanton Museum of Art for the “Words / Matter” series, an art exhibit which features Latin American Art and Language, as well as collaborations with the UT percussion studio for performances of Steven Mackey’s “Blue Notes & Other Clashes”. Upcoming collaborations include Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Duo Sonata”, originally for two bassoons and repurposed for one bassoon and one baritone saxophone, date TBD.
Oswaldo graduated from The University of Texas at Austin (MM ‘19), where he studied with Dr. Stephen Page, and most recently served on the faculty at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he completed his undergraduate studies with Dr. Nathan Nabb (BM ‘17).
Oswaldo is currently an Applied Private Instructor at the Austin, Dripping Springs and Eanes Independent School Districts, where he maintains a private Saxophone studio averaging 60 students, and will be returning to SFASU as Adjunct Professor of Saxophone in Fall of 2020
JIM DEBTH - TRUMPET
Mr. Debth received his Master of Musical Arts degree in trumpet from Yale University and his Bachelor of Music Education and Applied Trumpet from the University of Louisville. His performance career includes Principal Trumpet in the Cedar Rapids Symphony, second trumpet in the Louisville Orchestra as well as playing with the New Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury Symphonies in Connecticut. He founded the Cedar Rapids Chamber Brass that toured the Midwest and has also given numerous solo recitals.His teaching includes the University of Iowa (Interim Professor), Coe College and Cornell College. While in Iowa he had a private teaching studio and had over 100 All-State trumpet students. Mr. Debth began trumpet instruction in Austin in 2010 and he now teaches at Westlake, Bowie, LASA and Dripping Springs High Schools, as well as Gorzycki Middle School, where his students have been 1st chair in the wind ensembles. His students have been selected to be in the Texas All-State band and Orchestra and they have also received numerous division 1 ratings in the State Solo and Ensemble contest.
DR DAVID SAAD - PERCUSSION
David Saad, a native of Austin, TX, is an active performer and educator, giving master-classes, private lessons, and performances throughout Texas and the United States. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with such groups as So Percussion, Line Upon Line Percussion, and the Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company.
Dr. Saad holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music from Northwestern University and earned his Master’s and Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin. His former teachers include Dr. Thomas Burritt, Tony Edwards, Michael Burritt, She-e Wu, Robert Dillon, and James Ross.
In 2015, Dr. Saad joined La Follia Austin Baroque and the Austin Baroque Orchestra, ensembles dedicated to performing works from the Baroque era on period instruments. As a member of these ensembles, he has performed all over Texas and Louisiana and accompanied performers such as Brian Shaw, Keith Womer, Go Yamamoto, and Anton Nel.
In Austin, TX, Dr. Saad manages a thriving studio of more than thirty percussionists, with students consistently earning placement in Region and All-State performing ensembles. Former students have studied or are currently pursuing degrees in percussion at Northwestern University, Texas Tech University, the Juilliard School, The University of North Texas, The University of Texas at Austin, and the Eastman School of Music.
Dr. Saad has performed all over the United States as well as in Japan, Taiwan, China, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, he has performed at the North-Central CBDNA Conference, Texas Music Educators Association Convention, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention on multiple occasions. He is also a sponsored artist with Innovative Percussion.
BEN ARMENI - PERCUSSION
Ben Armeni is a percussion performer, arranger, and educator hailing from Flowery Branch, Georgia. Ben received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas, and recently earned a master's degree in Percussion Performance at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His primary musical instructors include Dave Hall, Christopher Deane, Paul Rennick, Mark Ford, Ed Smith, Jose Aponte, and Poovalur Sriji. Ben has years of experience teaching percussionists of all ages and backgrounds, from elementary school to college music major.
Ben was a part of the front ensembles at Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps (2014) and the Santa Clara Vanguard (2015-2017) where he earned the Fred Sanford award for High Percussion in 2016 and 2017. He and has since taught at the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps (2019-2021) and is now on the percussion staff at the Bluecoats.
Ben regularly commissions and works with new composers on percussion music to help broaden the repertoire of a young art form in both chamber and pedagogical music. He can work with students in areas of music theory, composition, arranging, and improvisation