Phi Faculty

DR. BRET SERRIN

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, PIANO FACULTY

Dr. Bret Serrin is widely recognized as one of the United States’ most brilliant young teachers and pianists. Born in Virginia, he began studying the piano at the age of five and gave his first public concert at the age of six. His talent soon attracted attention and while still a student, he won the prestigious Presser Music Scholarship, as well as numerous other awards. During this time, he attended the Adamant International Summer Music Festival in Vermont, where he was invited to perform a live concert broadcast on NPR (National Public Radio).

In 1997, Dr. Serrin pursued his graduate studies at the University of North Texas, completing his MM and DMA degrees in piano performance under the guidance of the eminent pedagogue, Joseph Banowetz. He has also had extensive summer coaching with the legendary American pianist, Earl Wild. Wild described him as a musician possessing a “rare pianistic ability”, one who is “totally dedicated to his art and…worthy of attention”.

Dr. Serrin is the recipient of gold medals in several international piano competitions, including the Los Angeles Liszt Competition, the Hubbard Solo and Chamber Music Competition (Dallas, Texas) and the Symphony Orchestra of Albuquerque Concerto Competition (New Mexico). Other highlights of his career include a silver medal at the National Society of Arts and Letters Competition in San Antonio, and a prize in the Steinway Society’s Career Grant Competition. Most recently, during the Hubedni Festival in the Czech Republic, he was awarded the silver medal in the prestigious Vysocina International Piano Competition.

In September 2003, Dr. Serrin embarked on a three-week concert tour of the People’s Republic of China, giving recitals and master classes in such cities as Guangzhou, Hejuan, Zhongshan, and Shenzhen. At the conclusion of the tour, he was invited back for further recitals, including concerts with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra. His most recent concert schedule has included performances with the Bohúslàv Martinú Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic, guest artist/ chamber music recitals at Oklahoma City University, the University of Texas at Austin, Del Mar College (Corpus Christi), the TMTA convention in San Antonio, as well as appearances at the National Guild of Piano Technicians Annual Convention (Phoenix), the Basically Beethoven Festival (Dallas), the International Double Reed Conference (Greensboro, North Carolina), performances with the Symphony Orchestra of Albuquerque, and radio broadcasts in California. He has also performed chamber music recitals with members of the Dallas and Chicago Symphony Orchestras.

Dr. Serrin is currently the chair of the piano department at the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas, in addition to being on the adjunct faculty of the keyboard division at the University of North Texas.

 

PHALA TRACY, HARP FACULTY

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Phala Tracy teaches Suzuki harp at Studio Fidicina in Minneapolis, MN and she is adjunct faculty at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN.  She teaches harp and music theory at Suzuki institutes across the country and she is a Suzuki Harp Teacher Trainer.  Phala holds degrees in Harp Performance and Music History from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (BM) and degrees in Harp Performance and Composition from the California Institute for the Arts (MFA).  Her teachers include Alice Chalifoux, Yolanda Kondonasss, Judy Loman, Susan Allen, Mary Kay Waddington (harp) and James Tenney (composition.) She has recorded a childrens™ CD of Critter Songs and is working toward publishing her curriculum of Music Theory in Song and Rhyme and her collection of Songs for Sight Reading.  She is an active arranger, composer, improviser and freelance musician.

 

 

DIANA GALINDO, PIANO FACULTY

Diana Galindo has garnered international recognition as a pianist, singer and master teacher in 4 continents, including Australia, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Puerto Rico and Peru and has appeared in numerous piano and vocal performances across Europe and the U.S. Principal piano teachers include Andrew Mihalso, Paul Parmelee and master class instruction with Larry Graham. She continued graduate studies with Miquel Farré of Barcelona. At the local level, as well as in International competition, she generates gold medal winners in piano. Former faculty of Northern Arizona University as Instructor in Piano, Galindo currently teaches through her studio in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Since receiving a B.Music in Piano Performance and a minor in Voice from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Ms. Galindo has been a featured presenter at conferences world-wide on diverse topics, which include Motivating Students to Efficient Practice, presented at the Colorado Suzuki Institute, Beaver Creek, CO and to the Australian Teacher’s Association in Melbourne. Singing Tone: Creating and Teaching Elegance at the Piano, presented to the Denver Suzuki Teacher’s Association, Beautiful Minds: Teaching and Parenting the Gifted Child, presented in Lima, Peru. She was elected to the National Board of Directors of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and was the SAA Piano Conference Coordinator in 2002 in Minneapolis.

 

DR. CARL VAN WYK,  ENRICHMENT FACULTY

Carl van Wyk, born in Cape Town, South Africa,  graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1964 and completed his Master of Music degree in 1965 from the University of Cape Town. His compositions have won many competitions and awards including, the composer’s competition of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the Manson, and West awards for composition. He spent a year studying with British composer Alan Bush at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and returned to South Africa and worked toward his Doctorate of Music degree.  After an initial appointment at the University of Port Elizabeth, Dr. van Wyk joined the staff of the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 1976 as Senior Lecturer in Music Theory. In 1991 he was appointed Head of the University’s School of Music, serving in this capacity through 1996.

He has subsequently been involved in arranging music for a variety of student-based ensembles. The works are designed for the enrichment of the Suzuki environment and includes several World Music offerings. Carl van Wyk has served as accompanist at a number of Suzuki workshops and presents computer-driven composition and theory classes at the Colorado Suzuki Workshop in Beaver Creek, Colorado, DFW WOW, Texas, and other institutes.