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Music Department Faculty/Staff Bios

John Planer has been teaching courses in music and the humanities at Manchester University since 1969. Dr. Planer holds a Ph.D. and Masters are from the University of Michigan and his Bachelors Degree is from Knox College. A true lover of the liberal arts, Dr. Planer has interests in many areas. His most notorious journal article deals with the function of popular music; the article is entitled Function in Tight Fitting Jeans. Dr. Planer is co-President of the Guild of Temple Musicians and is a recognized national speaker on Jewish liturgical music.

Debra Lynn, is in her sixteenth year at Manchester University where she serves as Director of Choral Organizations and Vocal Studies.  She teaches applied voice, conducting, vocal pedagogy, opera workshop, and music for stage & film.  Choral ensembles under her direction include the A Cappella Choir, Chamber Singers, and Manchester Symphony Chorus.  Her ensembles have performed at various locations throughout the U.S. including Carnegie Hall in New York, Sacred Heart Basilica at Notre Dame University, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  Her A Cappella Choir has traveled to Italy, Austria, and London.  Whether domestic or international, her tours carry a theme of world peace.  Debra holds a Doctor of Arts in Music degree with an emphasis in choral conducting and voice performance from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.  Prior degrees from Truman State University and William Jewell College include emphases in choral conducting, voice performance, and music education. Before moving to North Manchester, Dr. Lynn has held teaching and conducting positions at Northeast Missouri State University, William Jewell College, and Mid-America Nazarene College.  She has worked with Metropolitan Opera singers Nicholas DiVirgilio and Mignon Dunn as opera chorus director for Illinois Opera Theatre – based at University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.  Dr. Lynn has studied conducting under the tutelage of maestros Paul Vermel, Douglas Amman, Fred Stoltzfus, Paul Crabb, and Arnold Epley.  As a composer, Dr. Lynn writes both instrumental and vocal music, and has received several commissions including Lily and Plowshares Foundation requests.  She is in demand as a guest conductor and clinician for various composer forums, choral festivals, and voice and conducting master classes.  She is married to cellist & tubist, Robert Lynn.  They reside in North Manchester with their four daughters, Bethany, Abby, and twins: Emily and Eryn.

Tim Reed, MU Music Department Chair, graduated with a B.A. in Creative Music Technologies from LaGrange College in 1999 and subsequently attended the Dallas Sound Lab School for the Recording Arts in the Fall of 2000. Tim completed his M.M. in composition/theory at Illinois State University in 2004 and his PhD in composition at the University of Florida in 2008. Tim has received awards in the Goliard Ensemble Composition Competition, the LaGrange Symphony Young Artist Composition Competition, and the 2004 Pedrick-Hutson Guitar Duo Commission Contest. Tim's compositions have been performed at various festivals including Music '04 (Cincinnati Conservatory), the 2005 Nong Project, The Kentucky New Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, Electroacoustic Juke Joint, SEAMUS and by the string orchestra, R20 in Wroclaw, Poland. His music has also been featured on radio programs including No Pigeonholes, Difficult Listening, Futhernoise Radio and Foldover. In October of 2003, Tim composed a score for the WIP Studios film, "Prison-a-Go-Go!", which has received several awards including "Best Feature Film" in the Backseat Film Festival. His compositions have been published by Trevco Music and by Lonely Whistle.

Scott Humphries is a native of Alleghany County, Virginia. He received a Bachelor of Music Education from James Madison University and a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at Boston University. While in Virginia, Humphries directed bands at both the middle school and high school levels. He worked with the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra for ten years and taught as a lecturer in music history for Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. He taught at the Virginia Tech Summer Music Camp from 1994-2009, listed as one of the top 200 summer youth activities in the country.

Humphries has presented research at the Virginia Music Educators Association Convention, the Music Educators National Conference Convention, and has published research in the international journal Psychology of Music. He is also a published composer of music for concert band and wind ensemble. His compositions have been published by MSB Publishing and Stephen Melillo. He is currently an assistant professor at Manchester University in Indiana, where he is the Director of Instrumental Studies and Music Education, conducting the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and MU Symphonic Band, teaches all music education classes, and is also the saxophone professor. In 2011, he was appointed as the principal conductor for the Fort Wayne Area Community Band, and continues to serve in this capacity. He is a member of MENC, IMEA, CBDNA, the College Music Society and the Indiana Bandmasters Association. Humphries remains in demand as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the United States.

Alan Chambers holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Keyboard Performance from DePauw University and a Master of Arts in Music from Ball State University. He has professional experience as conductor, musical director, singer, keyboardist, actor, arranger and teacher. He sang in Chicago with the 16-voice chamber ensemble Fleur de Lys, toured Germany and Austria with the James Chorale, and performed in the vocal jazz quartet Creme de Menthe, who sang on WFMT's "Midnight Special" and were interviewed by the legendary Studds Terkel. Mr. Chambers has been a soloist in the Faure Requiem and the Mozart Missa Brevis in D, and appeared in Puccini's Turandot at the Lyric Opera as an illustrious supernumerary (i.e., a banner carrier!). He has worked for many professional theatres in Indiana and Illinois including the Wagon Wheel Playhouse, Enchanted Hills, Round Barn at Amish Acres, Canterbury and Indiana Repertory. At Manchester University Mr. Chambers has taught applied piano, applied voice, and music theory, has directed the Manchester Choral Society, Cantabile and Chamber Singers, has accompanied the A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers on many tours and concerts, and frequently performs with the Manchester Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he is Director of Music Ministry and Organist at Warsaw First United Methodist Church where he also leads their praise band, and he has traveled with the Indiana Ambassadors of Music Concert Choir three times to Europe as Assistant Conductor and Accompanist. 

Jiyoung Jeoung, born in South Korea, completed a Doctoral degree and a Master’s degree in Piano Performance from Ball State University studying with Robert Palmer. Her dissertation was an analysis of the solo keyboard works of the distinguished American composer Joan Tower. In 1998, she completed a Master of Arts degree in piano performance at Ewha Woman’s University, Seoul, South Korea. In 1995, she completed her bachelor of music education in piano performance at the Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Korea. Also, she was an invited Young Pianist by the Gwangju Piano Academy and Gwangju Music Institute. Jiyoung is an active presenter at conferences throughout the United States.  She has performed concerts in locations across the world, including the United States,

Joel Froomkin, received his undergrad and masters from the University of Southern California.  Previously Joel has taught dialects and speech at New York University’s musical theatre program, CAP21. Six years ago Joel and his partner Richard Najuch moved from NY to Huntington to renovate a 100 year old vaudeville theatre and create a professional theatrical company.  While renovating the main auditorium they created The Supper Club, a cabaret venue which has welcomed 17,000 patrons and presented 24 original productions.  They were named Main Street Indiana Business of the year in 2012.  Joel won the 2006 award for Outstanding Director at the NY Fringe Festival.  He staged a 400th anniversary production of "The Tempest" starring Anthony Stewart Head, Giles of “Buffy" fame.  For over two years he worked on the Broadway By the Year Series at NYC’s famed Town Hall.  There, he also directed Broadway By the Year 1928 with Tony-winner Bob Martin and the Broadway Rising Stars of 2007.  He directed Kathie Lee Gifford in Rupert Holmes “Thumbs” at the Cape Playhouse and worked again with Mr. Holmes developing the musical “Dorian” starring Tom Hewitt.  Joel directed Judy Kuhn and ‘The Nanny’ star Charles Shaugnessy in “The Unexpected Man” for the Bermuda Festival.  He directed Alan Tudyk and Molly Ringwald in the workshop production of ‘White’s Lies’ and Patrick Paige and Carolee Carmello in the development of “You’re My Boy” at the Actor’s Studio.  As an assistant director, Joel has worked at Northshore and Papermill Playhouse.  He was the A.D. of the original NY production of John Cariani’s ‘Almost Maine’, now one of the most produced plays in the US.  He directed original NY productions of “Life Science” and “The Fastest Woman Alive”, now both in print.  He was the assistant director on Encore’s “Tenderloin" (Walter Bobbie), David Zippel’s Lincoln Center songbook starring Barbara Cook, and the West End production of “Delicate Balance” starring Dames Eileen Atkins and Maggie Smith.   He has also assisted Broadway director’s Sheryl Kaller (‘Last Fall’) and Marcia Dodge (‘Ragtime’).

Scott Avery earned his degrees in music from Northern Michigan and Ball State Universities, studying with the distinguished Dr. Douglas Amman in both locations.  With 36 years of choral music experience, Mr. Avery recently retired as choir director and head of the Fine Arts Department at Warsaw Community High School.   He has also served as President of the Indiana Choral Directors Association.  Mr. Avery’s choirs have toured to Canada and New York City, where they sang in St. Patrick's Cathedral.  His high school groups have also sung with The Lettermen and placed twice among Indiana's Top 10 high school choirs (ISSMA).  Mr. Avery served as Choral Conductor for the Indiana Ambassadors of Music, who tour Europe every two years with selected high school and college singers from all over Indiana.  He has been a baritone soloist with the Bay de Noc Choral Society, Marquette Choral Society, Muncie Symphony Orchestra, and Warsaw Community Choir.  Mr. Avery is a frequent clinician at choral festivals, and directs the Sanctuary Choir and the Ginn Handbells at First United Methodist Church of Warsaw.    


Ann Donner, flute instructor at Manchester University, was a member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic for 21 years. In January 1990 she was one of the three soloists in the Bach Brandnburg Concerto No. 4 with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. She left the orchestra in 1997 to pursue her interests in chamber music and teaching. 

She has performed in chamber music recitals in the eastern and midwestern United States, England, Germany, and Ethiopia. She is a member of Flutes and More (flute duos/flute and accordion), the Civil War Trio (as narrator, fife player, and flutist), and Music Eleganza (recorders and Baroque flute), an early music group. Her Bachelor of Music and MM degrees are from New England Conservatory of Music. She studied in Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship from 1968 to 1969. Flute teachers Gerald Carey, Sam Baron, James Pappoutsakis, Fritz Demmler, Marzio Conti, Stephen Preston, and Liisa Ruoho have all influenced her playing and teaching.

Inspired by hearing flute choirs at a National Flute Association Convention in the early 1990s, Mrs. Donner has developed a special interest in flute choirs. She has conducted flute ensembles at both Taylor and IPFW Universities. She has taken the IPFW Community Flute Choir to Toledo University flute choir symposiums in 1994 and 1995 and to the Chicago Flute Club Fair on May 2, 1998. She performed as a member of the Professional Flute Choir at the August 16, 2000 at the National Flute Association Convention in Columbus, Ohio. At present she conducts the IPFW Community Flute Choir and conducts and performs with the SAI Flute Ensemble.

Cynthia Greider a Fort Wayne native, has played clarinet with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic since 1987. Currently second clarinet, she also plays piano and alto saxophone and has been playing since age 10. She is a Philharmonic Mentor in the IPFW Department of Music, a private clarinet instructor, a founding director of Kindermusik of Fort Wayne from 1996 to 2009, and currently a Kindermusik instructor. Greider has a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University and a Master of Music and Artist Diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music. A member of Sigma Alpha Iota Alumni Chapter, she also is a licensed Kindermusik instructor and a certified Montessori instructor. Greider’s hobbies include gardening and a love of animals, especially dogs. She has a black Lab named Sadie.

Douglas E. Hofherr has taught middle school instrumental music for a total of 26 years.  During his teaching career, he has assisted with the Huntington North High School marching band trumpets for 12 years and taught middle level general music for 16 years.  IIn addition, he currently teaching elementary general music for a total of 7 years. He has been a contributing artist to the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Muncie Symphony and the Anderson Symphony. Mr. Hofherr also plays Eb Cornet with the Old Crown Brass Band.  

Michael Flanagin has served as the Director of Bands and Instrumental Music at Indiana Wesleyan University since 2001.  He directs the IWU Wind Ensemble and the IWU Jazz Ensemble.  Other duties include private instruction in French horn at both IWU and Manchester University, courses in computer applications and conducting, student teacher supervision, as well as teaching various courses in music education.  Flanagin’s ensembles have been featured at the Indiana Music Educators Convention in Indianapolis, and they have performed in 21 different states over the past 9 years, and have recorded five compact discs.

Prior to his service at IWU, Flanagin taught instrumental and vocal music in secondary public schools in Illinois and Indiana.  He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Indiana University and his Master of Arts in Music degree from Ball State University.  Mr. Flanagin has directed music at various churches in Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri and is active as a soloist, guest conductor and clinician.  Flanagin holds memberships in the National Association for Music Education (MENC), National Band Association (NBA), College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) and Indiana Bandmasters Association (IBA).  He resides in Marion, Indiana with his wife Sarah, and two sons, Nash and Mark.


Robert Lynn has appeared as soloist with the Liberty Symphony Orchestra, the Brass Choir and Wind Symphony at Truman State University , the William Jewell College Symphonic Band, the Symphony Band and Concert Choir at Ball State University , the Concert Band and A Cappela Chior at Manchester University, and the Manchester Civic Band. Particularly interested in performing new works, Dr. Lynn has premiered two works written for him: in 1998, Three Songs by Jody Nagel, and in 1996, Italian Dance Suite by Debra Lynn. In 1995, he performed Images for Solo Tuba, Brass, and Percussion, by David Sargent, with Musica Nova of Kansas City during a symposium featuring Sargent as guest composer. 

Dr. Lynn received the Doctor of Arts degree in Tuba Performance with a cognate in Music Theory from Ball State University, where he served as a Doctoral Teaching Assistant for three years, teaching applied low brass and ear training classes. He holds a Master of Arts degree from Truman State University (Kirksville , Missouri ), and a Bachelor of Science in Music degree (with performance emphasis in both tuba and cello) from William Jewell College (Liberty, Missouri).

Linda Kummermuss received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Conservatory of Music at Capital University, where she studied violin with Andrew Lisko. Linda has taught in the Chillicothe, Ohio and the Prince George's County, Maryland public schools. She has taught private lessons for Capital University's pre-college division, for the Miami School for the Musical Arts, in Miami, Florida, for the Magnet School for the Arts at Suitland High School in Maryland, and for the Wayne Center for the Arts in Wooster, Ohio. She was president of the Ohio Suzuki Association from 1991-1994.  That would have been from about 1991-1994. In addition to running the Suzuki Violin Program at Manchester University, she is currently on staff with The Fort Wayne Suzuki Talent Education program, and runs a small Suzuki program in Auburn.

Linda has performed with the following symphonies: Hicksville Symphony and Merrick Symphony in Long Island, NY; the North Miami Symphony and the Broward Symphony in Florida; the Prince George's Philharmonic and the Tuesday Morning Music Group Symphony in Washington D.C.; The Ohio Valley Symphony and the Tuscarawras Symphony in Ohio. Linda was also principal second violin for the Wooster Symphony in Ohio for six years. Linda currently plays with the Manchester Symphony, the Elkhart Symphon,y and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Linda has also been a member of the Secrest Quartet. In addition, Linda has performed as a freelance musician including performances with Peggy Lee, John Byner, Ann Murray and Manheim Steamroller.

Brad Kuhns is a Fort Wayne, Indiana-based bassist who plays many genres.  In addition to jazz combo work, including the IPFW Faculty Jazz Combo, he can be seen playing big band with the New Millennium Jazz Orchestra; original roots-rock with guitarist David Todoran; pop/oldies with the 7-piece Dan Heath and the Paradise Band; numerous weeks per season with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic; and a wide variety of concerts backing the Heartland Chamber Chorale.  He has toured frequently throughout the Midwest and South, and appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. A graduate of the Ball State University School of Music, Brad serves as an Artist in Residence at Memorial Park Middle School, a fine arts magnet, in Fort Wayne.  He also serves on faculty at Manchester University and Huntington University.


Phil Schurger is a guitarist/composer residing in the Fort Wayne area. His musical expressions draw from diverse corners and blend as cohesive sounds that speak their own unique story.His primary group is an explosive collective of Chicago musicians. The music draws strong influence from the jazz tradition while striving forward and leaves no stone unturned in pursuit of the expansion of its voice. Inspiration is drawn from 20th century composers, trance music, balinese and brazilian music, and several diverse sources as they arise in its persistent explorations of motion and lyricism. Schurger's music is intent on elevating the listeners' perceptions with a panorama of sonic landscapes and grooves, ranging from the linear stream of consciousness "scorpio" to the delicate chordal lyricism of "inclusion". In 2007, the Phil Schurger Group released two albums; "Motion", and "the Black Hat". 

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