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Academy Faculty & Staff

PIANO FACULTY

Alyssa Haffner

Instructor of Piano

Biography

Alyssa Haffner, native of Oklahoma City, began studying the piano at the age of six. In 2018, she was accepted into a master's program at the Royal College of Music in London. Upon the completion of her research project and thesis on how instrumental teachers foster practice strategies, she was awarded an MSc in Performance Science.

She graduated magna cum laude from Oklahoma City University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy. While attending OCU, Alyssa was placed on the President’s Honor Roll and selected for the 2012 “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.” She was also a member of the Delta Epsilon Iota, Phi Theta Kappa, and Blue Key Honor Societies, as well as being an officer in Sigma Alpha Iota.

In 2012, she was accepted into the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria and performed at the Joseph Haydn Konservatorium and the Esterházy Palace. She was later selected as a member of OCU’s 30 under 30 which honors young, successful alumni. Alyssa has taught for more than ten years, teaching many successful students who have won awards and competitions. She also is an experienced accompanist, playing for numerous choirs and soloists in both an education setting and at competitions. Her major teachers included Sergio Monteiro and Sandra Meyer.

Contact Information

Room 308 Fine Arts Center, Oklahoma City University

email: academy@okcu.edu phone: 405.208.5410


Claudia Carroll-Phelps
Adjunct Instructor of Piano
Keyboard
School of Music

Instructor of Piano, Performing Arts Academy

Biography

"I believe performing music involves the whole person, combining the cerebral with trained physical movement and the vulnerability of free expression. This is living art."

Honored in 2004 as Oklahoma City University’s outstanding adjunct faculty member, Claudia Carroll-Phelps joined the faculty in 1993 as adjunct professor of piano.

Professor Carroll-Phelps earned the Associate of Arts degree from Cottey College and completed the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Oklahoma in piano performance. She continued professional study at the University of Iowa, with further study in New York City. Her instructors include Lois Gauger, Digby Bell, Kenneth Amada, and Martin Canin. She was a member and active participant in Pi Kappa Lambda honor society and Sigma Alpha Iota music sorority

Ms. Carroll-Phelps’s accompanying experience includes New York Conservatory of Dance, the American Ballet Theatre School in New York City, Pittsburg Ballet Theatre, and Ballet Oklahoma.

In addition to teaching applied piano at all levels, Professor Carroll-Phelps accompanies vocalists in the studios of Florence Birdwell and Larry Keller. She accompanied ballet classes for Jo Rowan with the American Spirit Dance Company for ten years, making good use of her extensive dance background and dance accompanying experience. Most recently she has performed Paul Schoenfield’s “Café Music” and Stravinsky’s “Les Noces.”

She is a frequent adjudicator of piano competitions, regularly attends state and national conventions, and has served as an artist-in-residence for the State Arts Council, focusing on musicianship through movement and imagery.

Contact Information

Room A309
Bass Center

email: academy@okcu.edu phone: 405.208.5410

VOICE FACULTY

Bart Dawson

Instructor of Voice

Biography

Bart Dawson graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1992 from Murray State University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. He received a Master of Vocal Performance from Oklahoma City University in 1994. Bart has been involved in church music from the age of eleven. For 25 years, Bart has taught private lessons to the students of the Performing Arts Academy at Oklahoma City University.

Contact Information

Room 304 Fine Arts Center, Oklahoma City University

email: academy@okcu.edu phone: 405.208.5410

Jeremy Small

Instructor of Voice

Biography

Jeremy Small is an artist, photographer, songwriter, and performer originally from southern New Mexico. He has a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Eastern New Mexico University and a Master of Music in Music Theater from Wanda L. Bass School of Music - Oklahoma City University. An active performer as well as teacher, Jeremy frequently appears with The City Cabaret in Oklahoma City and is the associate worship leader at Wesley United Methodist Church. Past stage credits include King Arthur (Camelot), Lt. Cable (South Pacific), Jinx (Plaid Tidings), H. T. Carmichael (Floyd Collins) and Bob Cratchit (A Christmas Carol).

Contact Information

Room 309 Fine Arts Center, Oklahoma City University

email: academy@okcu.edu phone: 405.208.5410

Liliana Saffa

Instructor of Voice

Biography

Liliana Saffa, a native of Darien, CT, is currently completing her Master of Music in Opera Performance degree at Oklahoma City University. Here, she studies voice with Dr. Courtney Crouse and has studied voice pedagogy both in OKC and in Ithaca, New York. She received her Bachelor of Music from Ithaca College in 2017 where she studied with Dr. Randie Blooding. Recent performing credits include Mabel (The Zombies of Penzance), Caterina (L'amico Fritz), and Mrs. (Sunday in the Park with George). Saffa is a versatile teacher who believes that a holistic vocal approach will benefit a student's practice, performance, and overall well-being through thoughtful study of music.

Contact Information

Room 303 Fine Arts Center, Oklahoma City University

email: academy@okcu.edu phone: 405.208.5410


STRINGS FACULTY

Karen Khanagov

Instructor of Violin, Viola, Cello

Biography

Karén Khanagov has been teaching the violin for the Performing Arts Academy for over 20 years. He combines both traditional European and Suzuki methods with great success. His students are often winners of State Orchestra League competitions and are on full scholarships in universities across the US.

He holds a double masters degree, performs, composes, publishes and accompanies for all his students. He also teaches viola and cello. Students of this instruments were also winners of competitions and study in many universities.

Armenian by nationality he is from originally from Baku, Azerbaijan where he went to conservatory. Then worked for Azerbaijan State Orchestra as music director until immigration to US as a refugee and settling in Oklahoma.

Contact Information

Room 307 Fine Arts Center, Oklahoma City University

email: academy@okcu.edu phone: 405.208.5410

Isaiah Brabazon

Instructor of Guitar

Biography

Isaiah Brabazon is a masters student at Oklahoma City University studying classical guitar performance under Dr. Stephen Lochbaum. Isaiah previously completed an undergraduate degree in guitar performance at the University of Victoria in British Columbia before moving to Oklahoma to continue his education. In his studies, Isaiah's primary musical interests are in early music and Twentieth Century guitar music but Isaiah a capable player and teacher of popular music styles as well.

Through his musical education and diverse performing experiences, Isaiah has broadly expanded his technical skills and musicality, providing him with opportunities to study with several world renowned guitarists. Isaiah was the national representative guitarist for British Columbia at the 2018 Canadian National Music Festival in Sackville, New Brunswick.

Contact Information

Room 302 Fine Arts Center, Oklahoma City University

email: academy@okcu.edu phone: 405.208.5410