Your Hosts: St. Thomas Faculty Winds

Sarah Carmack, oboe

Sarah Carmack is an active freelance oboist in the Twin Cities and performs regularly with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Sinfonia, Vocalessence, and other local ensembles. Sarah plays solo oboe at several local churches, and frequently gives chamber music recitals. She completed graduate studies at the University of Minnesota after receiving her undergraduate degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. In addition to teaching private studio oboe, Sarah gives masterclasses on performance, reed making, and knife sharpening at high schools and colleges throughout the state. Sarah processes and sells oboe reeds and cane to order, repairs oboe gouging machines, and greatly enjoys teaching other oboists about the art and science of cane, machines, and reed knives.

Peter Douglas, bassoon

Peter Douglas started his professional career in 1977 as a bassoonist with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. Career highlights include 14 years as Assistant Principal and Principal with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra; and performing with the orchestras of Victoria, Vancouver, CBC Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Peter also performed as soloist with the Edmonton Symphony and the Alberta Baroque Ensemble and recorded numerous chamber recitals for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Radio France. Peter organized chamber music series in Edmonton as a member of Take Three Trio. Peter moved to the Twin Cities in 1998 where he freelances, performing frequently in the Twin Cities with groups including the Arius Chamber Ensemble. Peter also works as a web application developer.

Jane Garvin, flute

Jane Garvin, a native of Minnesota, teaches flute at the University of St. Thomas. She completed graduate studies at the New England Conservatory, where she was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and had the opportunity to play under Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. As a freelance musician, Ms. Garvin has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble, the Boston Symphony and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. Jane is a member of Aeolus, a folk duo that plays music on native instruments from China, Africa, Ireland, and several South American countries. Ms. Garvin has served on the faculties of the College of the Holy Cross, Brandeis University, the College of St. Benedict, MacPhail Center for the Arts. She has recorded contemporary music on the Neuma compact disc label with the Holy Cross Chamber Players, and has recorded chamber music on Russian Disc.

Jennifer Gerth, clarinet

Jennifer Gerth is in her 11th year as principal clarinet of the Duluth-Superior Symphony.  An active member of the Twin Cities musical community, she performs regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra, Vocalessence and other freelance orchestras.  Her formal studies were undertaken at St. Olaf College, Northwestern University and The University of Minnesota.   Ms. Gerth has taught at the College of St. Benedict, St. Cloud State University, Concordia College, St. Olaf College and is currently teaching at Augsburg College and the University of St. Thomas.  Ms. Gerth also teaches at Birch Creek Summer Performance Center and plays in the Alexandria Festival of the Lakes Chamber Music Festival.

Dr. Sarah Schmalenberger, horn

Sarah Schmalenberger teaches courses in music history and literature, as well as studio French horn at UST.  Currently, Dr. Schmalenberger is engaged with several areas of research, from published articles on black American women in concert music to new inquiries into music pedagogy and also music and disability.  She is the primary investigator of the Life and Livelihood Study, a national research project on the occupational and medical well-being of musicians after breast cancer.  In addition, Dr. Schmalenberger maintains an active schedule as a freelance hornist, both the modern and the valveless horns.  She is the principal horn of the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra as well as the Early Music Orchestra, and she has recently commissioned a work for horn, percussion, and guitar by composer Albert Biales.

Paul Schulz, clarinet/bass clarinet

Paul Schulz was graduated summa cum laude with music performance degrees in clarinet and horn from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and received his Master of Music degree in horn performance from Arizona State University. He has performed with many local professional and amateur ensembles including the Minnesota Orchestra and the Minnesota Opera. He is also a composer, having written (and premiered) several original works for the bass clarinet.  The principal clarinetist of both the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Sinfonia, he works full-time as an IT professional.

Special Guest Presenters

Dr. Andrew Fleser, piano

Andrew Fleser, pianist and vocal coach, has performed as a soloist and accompanist throughout the United States and Europe. He has served on the faculties of Hamline University, the University of Minnesota, McNally Smith College of Music, and Grand Valley State University. He has worked and studied with such musical luminaries as pianist Dalton Baldwin, vocalists Cynthia Lawrence and Sharon Sweet, and composers Ricky Ian Gordon, John Harbison and Jake Heggie.   Dr. Fleser is also an avid vocal coach and theatrical music director who has worked with the Minnesota Orchestra, Children’s Theatre Company, History Theatre, and Skylark Opera.  Lavender Magazine recognized him as Best Director of 2013 for his work on History Theatre’s This Side of Paradise. 

As a devoted performer of contemporary music, Andrew has performed with Ghostchild and RenegadeEnsemble, and has premièred many chamber works by composers from across the country. His performances can be heard on Minnesota Public Radio and A Prairie Home Companion. Dr. Fleser has degrees from Aquinas College, Westminster Choir College, and the University of Minnesota, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano.

Dr. Gail Olszewski, piano

Gail Olszewski has performed chamber and solo recitals on piano, harpsichord, fortepiano, organ and synthesizer in the US, Canada, Europe, Central America and Australia.  In the Twin Cities she has a varied free-lance career as a collaborative keyboardist and vocal coach.  She plays with members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra and is a member of the period-instrument group The WolfGang, the Stillwater-based chamber ensemble Music St. Croix and Duo Tastiera with harpsichordist Asako Hirabayashi.  She has a BA in Spanish and Music History/Harpsichord from the University of New Hampshire, MMus in Piano Performance from Boston University and DMA in Accompanying /Coaching from the University of Minnesota.  Gail has a private studio and teaches at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis.  Visit for more information.

Kim Ragan Sovell, Marketing & Entrepreneurship

Kim Ragan Sovell began teaching in the Marketing and Entrepreneurship Department in the fall of 2008. She has experience teaching both undergraduate and graduate levels of advertising and promotion, consumer behavior, marketing management, integrated marketing communications, retailing and principles of marketing. 

Sovell graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1986 with a B.B.A. in Marketing. She completed her MBA in Tucson, Arizona, while working as a pharmaceutical representative for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. In 1989, Bristol-Myers Squibb hired her as a hospital representative, then promoted her to associate advertising manager in the marketing department. She continued her career with the marketing department as an assistant to the product manager for the HIV division. 

Sovell began a new career in education in 2000, teaching in the Marketing and Entrepreneurship Department of Wichita State University in the W. Frank Barton School of Business until 2007. While at WSU she also launched two companies: a property management company, Sienna Properties LLC, and a marketing consulting firm, Innovation Marketing LLC. She was nominated for Adjunct Faculty of the Year each year and was named Adjunct Faculty of the Year in 2004.

Dr. Christopher Wilkinson, Author

Christopher Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus of Music History at West Virginia University, was on the faculty of the School of Music from 1976 to 2013, where he taught courses on a variety of subjects including jazz history, the focus of his research beginning in 1988.  For seven years he was the editor of the Black Music Research Journal published by the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago.  In addition to articles and presentations on jazz before World War II, he produced two book-length studies of this period: Jazz on the Road: Don Albert’s Musical Life (2001) and Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942 (2013).

Teaching students to write both persuasively and with a sense of style was a central component of his courses, both undergraduate and graduate.  From “micro-essays” written on one side of a 4”x 6” index card by Freshmen not majoring in music to master’s- and doctoral-level research papers of 100 pages or more, Wilkinson cultivated in his students both an appreciation of good writing and the ability to create it on their own.