ACU’s Department of Music, led by a team of passionate and talented professors, offers several distinct degree options tailored to meet your personal and professional goals.
Samuel Cook is ACU’s Artist in Residence and has performed operatic and solo vocal repertoire throughout the United States and Europe. He attended the Johns Hopkins University Peabody Conservatory of Music and Indiana University and pursued advanced training with Carlo Bergonzi and Renata Tebaldi in Busseto, Italy. Among Cook’s operatic roles are the Duke (Rigoletto), Nemorino (L’Elisior d’Amore), Narciso (Il Turoc in Italia), Count Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Sivilia), Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Alfredo (La traviata) and Don José (Carmen). Along with his operatic roles, Cook has performed internationally as a sensitive song and lieder recitalist whose programs encompass an intriguing and varied repertoire from Bach’s oratorios and passions to Liszt’s romantic Sonetti di Petrarca to a rich and heart rendering solo recital of Negro spirituals.
Jeffery Goolsby is Director of Choral Studies at Abilene Christian University, where he conducts the A Cappella Chorus, University Chorale, and Chamber Singers. He teaches courses in choral conducting and choral methods and supervises the choral music education program. Prior to joining the ACU faculty, he taught for ten years in successful high school choral music programs in the Dallas and Houston areas. He is in demand as a clinician, consultant, and adjudicator throughout the state and has served in numerous regional and state capacities with TMEA, ACDA, and UIL. He holds the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Abilene Christian University, where he was named a University Scholar; the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Louisiana State University; and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from Texas Tech University. Professional affiliations include TMEA, TCDA, ACDA, NCCO, TMAA, and Pi Kappa Lambda.
Dr. Daniel Harbaugh serves as the Associate Director of Bands for Abilene Christian University. He directs the Concert Band, leads the Big Purple Marching Band, teaches courses within the Instrumental Music Education curriculum, and supervises all Instrumental Music Education Clinical Teachers. Dr. Harbaugh received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting from the University of Oklahoma. He holds additional Master’s degrees in Instrumental Conducting and Percussion Performance from Truman State University (MO) and Educational Administration from Lindenwood University (MO), as well as a Bachelor of Science in Instrumental Music Education degree from Northwest Missouri State University. His primary areas of research include wind ensemble literature and pedagogy, conducting technique and pedagogy, and the development of high-quality music education in rural communities. In addition to serving on staff at the University of Oklahoma and Truman State University, Dr. Harbaugh taught in Missouri Public Schools for 13 years. His ensembles consistently received the highest ratings and accolades. He has served as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the Midwest. Dr. Harbaugh is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, National Association for Music Education, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Tau Beta Sigma, and Pi Kappa Lambda.
Rick is a co-founder of the South Dakota Vocal Arts Festival and has directed operas at Stephen F. Austin State University, Houston Baptist University, and the University of South Dakota. He has appeared in leading roles with the Utah Lyric Opera, Center for Contemporary Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Longleaf Opera, El Paso Opera, Opera at Lehigh, Opera Fort Collins, Opera Iowa, Opera North, Amarillo Opera and the Abilene Opera Association. Among his roles are Mozart’s Figaro, Reverend Olin Blitch in Susannah, the title character in The Boor by Argento, Don Fernando in Beethoven’s Fidelio, and Tony in the musical The Most Happy Fella.
Dr. Matt Roberson is Associate Professor of Musicology, Chair of the Music Department, and Cornerstone Director. In addition to this course, he teaches Music History for music majors and Cornerstone, ACU’s freshman seminar. Dr. Roberson has been the editor of the Journal of Faith and the Academy and has written three books since 2007.
Mike Rogers is Assistant Professor of music and serves as the music theory/ear training coordinator as well as the Director of Jazz Studies for the school of music. Rogers holds a PhD in music theory from the University of North Texas, a master’s degree in Music Education/Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Texas Christian University. Rogers has performed with the Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Pete Peterson and the Collection Jazz Orchestra, the Harvey Anderson Big Band among others. Before teaching music theory, Rogers was a Texas UIL Sweepstakes band director, having taught schools throughout central Texas. An active member of the Society for Music Theory and the Texas Society for Music Theory, he has presented papers at various regional music theory conferences across the United States. Dr. Rogers’s research interests include jazz tonality, jazz pedagogy, music theory pedagogy and ear training pedagogy. He serves as chief arranger, editor, and music director for the Acappella “Praise and Harmony” series.
Dr. Greg Straughn has taught music history and theory courses at Abilene Christian University since 2000. He holds a masters and doctorate in Musicology from the University of North Texas. In his professional career, he has performed as a cellist with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra and the Denton and Dallas Bach Societies. His scholarly work has centered on nineteenth-century opera, specifically Wagner’s Parsifal and the ensemble structures in the works of Jules Massenet. Since 2009, he has held a variety of administrative roles at ACU, including Honors Dean, Associate Provost for General Education, Interim Provost, and, currently, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Allen Teel joined the Abilene Christian University music faculty in 1985 and currently serves as professor of percussion and world music. An active performer, he serves as principal timpanist with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra where he performed as co-soloist with Robert Van Sice on the world premiere of Martin Bresnick’s Grace: Concerto for Two Marimbas and Orchestra. He has performed and presented clinics at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, and the Texas Bandmasters Association Convention. Teel teaches applied percussion lessons for majors and non-majors, directs the ACU Percussion Ensemble and Steeldrum Band, teaches percussion methods courses, and works with percussionists in the marching band, wind ensemble, and concert band. He also teaches courses in world music and serves as the director of the instrumental division. Dr. Teel is a graduate of West Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Georgia.
Kristin Ward joined the music faculty of Abilene Christian University in 2006, where she serves as instructor of clarinet and saxophone, and teaches courses in the areas of music theory, music education, jazz voice, and Cornerstone. She also serves as adjunct instructor of clarinet at Hardin Simmons University. Kristin previously taught at Hope College and Alma College in Michigan as well as Eastern Oregon University. She holds a master’s degree in clarinet performance from Michigan State University, and has a bachelor’s degree in music education from Abilene Christian University.
As a clarinetist, she performed with the ACU Wind Ensemble as a soloist in David Maslanka’s Clarinet Concerto at the Texas Music Educators Association convention in February of 2017. She is also the clarinetist of the Key City Winds Woodwind Quintet, which is the ensemble-in residence here at Heavenly Rest. This quintet has performed in several venues in the Big Country as well as the TMEA convention in February of 2018.
Dr. Steven Ward is Professor of Music and Director of Orchestra and Bands at Abilene Christian University, the Music Director/Conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Abilene, and teaches courses in conducting. Prior to his appointment at ACU, he was the Music Director/Conductor of the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra in Kalamazoo, MI, Director of Bands at Hope College in Holland, MI, and Music Director/Conductor of the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra in La Grande, OR where he also served as Instructor of Music at Eastern Oregon University. He has served as conductor for the orchestra and faculty ensembles at the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts in since 2006.