Amy Johnson, M.M.

Amy Johnson

Assistant Professor of Music

Area of Instruction: Voice


Amy C. Johnson, originally from Indianapolis, IN has been teaching voice for many years, working with students of all ages in both classical and musical theatre styles. Her students have performed in opera and musical theatre productions, given successful recitals, and been finalists in various competitions. Amy has also worked extensively as a musical director, teaching artist, and accompanist. She created curriculum for elementary and middle school musical theatre classes, composing music for several productions. She directed and produced the Nebraska premiere of J. Eyre, a new musical by Paige Scott.

As a performer, Amy is equally at home on the opera, recital, and musical theatre stage. She performed regularly with Cleveland Opera, appearing in The Magic Flute (Papagena, Queen of the Night), Elixir of Love (Adina), The Barber of Seville (Rosina), The Pirates of Penzance (Mabel), and Die Fledermaus (Adele). Other favorite roles include Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Kate in Kiss Me, Kate!, and Sophie DePalma in Masterclass. She has been the featured soloist in many concerts and recitals. Due to her love of new music, Amy recently made the North American premiere of Six chants d’amour by Nicolas Chevereau and Chants d’amour by Nicolas Bacri.

Amy has Bachelor’s degrees in Choral Music Education and Vocal Performance with continued graduate studies in Voice at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Currently at ABD status, she is pursuing a PhD in Vocal Pedagogy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research on acoustics in singing with emotions was presented at the International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS) and at the The International Congress of Voice Teachers (ICVT) in Vienna, Austria. Her dissertation research on singing and acting has been accepted for presentation at conferences with both the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) in Austin, TX and at the ISPS in Warsaw, Poland.

Melinda Leoce, M.M.

Melinda Leoce

Assistant Professor

Area of Instruction: Percussion and Music Business


Melinda Leoce, MM, is Assistant Professor of Percussion at Adams State University. Before joining the faculty at A.S.U., she served as the Instructor of Percussion at Graceland University in Iowa. She is also an active performer who has appeared with groups including the Des Moines Symphony, Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, and at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention.

As an educator, Professor Leoce’s passions include percussion chamber ensemble performance and pedagogy, marching percussion, Brazilian music, steel pan, and pop music culture. As a music educator, she believes in respecting and cultivating her students’ past and present musical endeavors while also exposing them to new genres, instruments, and experiences that illuminate future paths of study. Professor Leoce believes that the music classroom should be vibrant, collaborative, and diverse.

Melinda is working towards the completion of her Doctorate in Percussion Performance at Indiana University, where she achieved A.B.D. status in July of 2019. Prior to that, she studied Percussion Performance at Florida State University and Music Education and Percussion at the University of Central Florida.

Professor Leoce is thrilled to be teaching in the beautiful San Luis Valley where she can pursue two of her favorite hobbies, skiing and hiking with her dog.

James Lind, D.M.A.

Dr. James Lind

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

Area of Instruction: Director of Bands, Horn and Brass


A Colorado transplant, James M. Lind currently serves as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music/Director of Bands and Brass at Adams State University. He coordinates all activities for the University Wind Band and Chamber Music studies, teaches applied music for all brass
instruments, Brass Methods, Conducting Methods, and general music classes. Previously, Lind served as Lead Music Faculty at Otero College in La Junta, Colorado. There, he guided the development of a growing, multi-faceted and comprehensive music program. A passionate
educator committed to student success, Lind devotes one-on-one attention to meet the needs of each individual student and help each grow as a learner and musician.
As a performer, Lind enjoys a varied career as a trumpet player and music director. Currently, he performs with the Pueblo Symphony as Principal Trumpet and free-lances with various chamber groups throughout Colorado. Previous performance credits include, the Dallas Opera Orchestra (banda musician, on-/-off stage roles), North Texas Chamber Orchestra (principal trumpet), the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra (second trumpet), Holy Moly (country/cowpunk band), the Lab Bands at the University of North Texas. In addition to performing, Lind served as Associate Conductor of the Greater Fort Worth Community Band in Texas.
Lind graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Texas Wesleyan University. He pursued graduate studies at the world-renowned University of North Texas College of Music, earning both the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Trumpet Performance. His primary teachers include John Holt and Keith Johnson (classical trumpet), Jay Saunders and Rodney Booth (jazz trumpet). He studied conducting at the University of North Texas with Dennis Fisher (Faculty Emeritus) and Eugene Corporon (Director of Wind Studies and Regents Professor of Music). He has undertaken additional studies with John Haynie (Faculty Emeritus, University of North Texas), Ronald Romm (Founding Member of the Canadian Brass), and Nicholas Althouse (Baroque Trumpet).
Lind is a Trumpet Artist for S.E. Shires Co., Custom Brass Instruments (Holliston, MA).Adjunct Instructors

William Lipke, D.M.A

Professor of Music

Area of Instruction: Piano, Orchestra


Pianist William Lipke, Professor of Music, has been on the faculty of Adams State University since 2001.  He has performed with musicians of international stature such as the Ying Quartet (four different seasons) and international opera baritone Håkan Hagegård.  He regularly performs solo recitals in the U.S. and in Europe, including recitals in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Serbia, and his appearances with orchestra include the Liszt Concerto in A Major, which was broadcast on public radio.

His early teacher was a graduate of the Royal College of Music in London and he first appeared as a concerto soloist with a youth orchestra at the age of twelve.  He studied privately with Ozan Marsh (who studied with Liszt pupil Emil von Sauer and had lessons with Horowitz and Rachmaninoff), with Walter Hautzig, and in master class with Menahem Pressler and chamber music with the LaSalle Quartet and Dorothy Delay (the teacher of Itzhak Perlmen and Sarah Chang).  Lipke holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a doctoral cognate in music history, which informs his performances and lectures.  He has given numerous presentations at state, national and international conventions.

Lipke has built a thriving piano studio at Adams State and has experience teaching at all levels.  He mentors each student to reach their career goals.  In addition to teaching piano lessons, he also teaches Piano Literature and Pedagogy and Accompanying Practicum, with students actively performing in the community.  One of his students performed as a soloist with the Honolulu Symphony.  Lipke also taught for ten years at the Northern Arizona University Summer Music Camp.  He maintains an active schedule as a teacher, composer and performer, teaching and performing on a Steinway grand piano he was privileged to select at the New York factory, as well as a 21-rank pipe organ and a Franco-Flemish double manual harpsichord.

Brooke Miller, D.M.A.

Dr. Brooke Miller

Assistant Professor

Area of Instruction: Woodwinds and Music Education


An accomplished performer and educator, Brooke Miller currently serves as Assistant Professor of Woodwinds and Music Education at Adams State University in Alamosa, CO. Previous to her appointment, she worked at the University of North Texas where she established a new virtual lesson program that provides high quality private music instruction to underserved communities in the DFW Metroplex.

As a music educator, Dr. Miller continually maintains a vibrant private studio. She has also had the privilege of mentoring young educators as the instructor for woodwind methods at the University of North Texas and the instructor for clarinet methods at Ithaca College.

An advocate for new music, Brooke has been involved with many composer premieres, projects, and recordings. Her passionate performances of works related to underrepresented topics and composers have been presented throughout the nation.

Brooke received her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in clarinet at The University of North Texas. She holds a Master of Music degree in clarinet performance from Ithaca College where she worked as a graduate assistant and a Professional Performance Certificate and Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Pennsylvania State University. Her teachers include Phillip Paglialonga, Richard MacDowell, and Anthony Costa.

Beth Robison, D.M.

Beth Robison Professor/Dir of Choral Activities/ Dept Chair

Department Co-Chair, Professor of Music

Area of Instruction: Director of Choral Activities


Dr. Beth Robison has been an active performer and choral music educator as Professor of Music at Adams State University, where she serves as department chair and Director of Choral Activities.  In addition to conducting the Adams State choirs and teaching choral conducting and education classes, Beth has also directed numerous honor choirs throughout the region, including the annual Adams State University “Top of the Nation” Honor Choir Festival, and has been an active member of the American Choral Directors Association.  In 2013, Beth was a recipient of the Adams State Presidential Teaching Award.

Prior to teaching at Adams State, Beth was a professional musician in the New York City metropolitan area for sixteen years where she performed and recorded a wide variety of ensemble and solo repertoire, including oratorio and opera.  She has appeared numerous times at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and other major concert venues with various professional ensembles including Musica Sacra, the Gregg Smith Singers, Voices of Ascension, and the New York Virtuoso Singers.

Beth has toured both nationally and internationally premiering solo and chamber works by American composers.  She has also worked with Dave Brubeck, Chanticleer, Ward Swingle, Garrison Keillor, Marilyn Horne and Ned Rorem.  Some of Beth’s more diverse experiences in New York included recording for
the World Wrestling Federation and appearing as a back-up singer for Andrea Bocelli on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Beth received her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance and Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting from Ohio University.  She earned her DMA with honors in Choral Conducting from the University of Kansas where she conducted the early music ensemble, Collegium Musicum.

Matthew Schildt, Ph.D.

Matthew Schildt, Ph.D. Professor of MusicDepartment Co-Chair, Professor of Music, Director of Master of Arts in Music Education

Area of Instruction: Music Theory, Composition, Music Recording and Technology


My name is Matthew Schildt and I have been teaching music theory, composition, music technology, and recording at Adams State University since 2005. Before teaching at Adams State, I taught at Kent State University, Hiram College, and the University of Akron. I received my Ph.D. in music theory and composition from Kent State University and my bachelor’s degree in music recording technology and composition from Lebanon Valley College.

My compositions have been performed at various conferences and festivals, including the Tutti New Music Festival, University of Alabama Huntsville New Music Festival, Colorado Composers Concerts, College Music Society conferences, and numerous Society of Composers conferences.

In 2016 my album This Little Light was released on Heart Dance Records and was in the top 50 albums on the Zone Music Reporter for five months, was listed among the “best of 2016” on the radio program Audiosyncracy, was listed as the #2 album on Gaia Prime Radio, and has been featured on radio stations in ten countries. Music of mine has been used in various animations, videos, and advertisements on youtube, including animations based on the popular video game Five Nights at Freddy’s, with videos using my music receiving over 80 million views. My compositions have also been heard in several films and theater productions, including the documentary A Shared Space: Learning from the Mustard Seed School. In 2006 and 2008, I performed piano on two PBS documentary soundtracks by songwriter Don Richmond.

I have presented on diverse topics at various music conferences, including the International Conference on Twentieth-Century Music in Brighton, UK. My favorite bands are Marillion and Radiohead and I enjoy going to concerts and listening to all sorts of podcasts.

Adjunct Instructors

  • Mr. Marc Eaton | Area of Instruction: Guitar
  • Ms. Kate Matthews | Area of Instruction: Double Bass
  • Dr. Chelsea Oden | Area of Instruction: Clarinet, Woodwind Methods
  • Ms. Veronica Starcher | Area of Instruction: Music Education

Ensemble Directors

  • Director of Choral Activities | Dr. Beth Robison
  • Director of Bands |Dr. James Lind
  • Jazz Ensemble and Combo | Prof. Melinda Leoce
  • Mariachi | Mr. Dean Swift
  • Orchestra | Dr. William Lipke