Our Faculty

Meredith Blecha-Wells, Artistic Director/Founder

Associate Professor of Cello at Oklahoma State University

Praised for her “beautifully full and lyrically strong tone” by Gramophone Magazine, Meredith Blecha-Wells is a sought-after performer and instructor.  She has played throughout much of the United States, as well as Europe, Australia, Central America, and Asia. Currently based in Oklahoma City, Dr. Blecha-Wells performs regularly with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble, the Tulsa Camerata, and the Pangaea Chamber Players. 

As a recording artist, Dr. Blecha-Wells recently released her debut album, Small Storms: A Collection of Short Pieces for Cello and Piano by Bohuslav Martinu.  Released on the Navona Records label, her playing is described as “technically dazzling” (the Whole Note) and is praised for her “lyrical warmth and her powerful athleticism” (Classical Music Discoveries).  Additional recording endeavors include projects for the Lorenz Corporation, as well as live performances on KOSU, KUCO, and KWTU.

Dr. Blecha-Wells is currently the Associate Professor of Cello at Oklahoma State University, where she was awarded the College of Arts and Sciences Junior Faculty Award for Scholarly Excellence.  Her students have won a number of competitions, including prizes in Classics Alive Artists, Enkor International Competition, American Protégé Competition, Ad Astra String Competition, MTNA, Hyechka String Competition, among others.  As a devoted teacher, Dr. Blecha-Wells has seen her students accepted to study at prestigious institutions such as the Eastman School of Music, Rice University, Indiana University, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

Dr. Blecha-Wells received a bachelor's and master's degree in Cello Performance from Indiana University, studying under Janos Starker and Helga Winold. She also holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she served as the teaching assistant to Distinguished Professor Alan Harris. Additional studies include festival participation at the Taos School of Music, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

In addition to performing and teaching, Dr. Blecha-Wells is passionately invested in community engagement.  Most recently, she formed the Global Pedagogy Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing teacher training to students and teachers living in developing countries.  Visit www.globalpedagogyinitiative.com to learn more about this organization.  

Kasia Bugaj

Assistant Professor of String Music Education at Florida State University

Kasia Bugaj is Assistant Professor of String Music Education in the College of Music at The Florida State University. She received her Ph.D. in Music Education from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She also has degrees from Western Michigan University, The Peabody Conservatory, and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy. She has a minor in writing from Johns Hopkins University and pursued a certificate of literary translation at Indiana University.
 
Prior to her appointment at Florida State University, Dr. Bugaj was the director of the Attica Violin Project, a curricular elementary school violin program in Attica, Indiana. She was also the assistant director of the Fairview and Highland Park string programs, and taught violin and viola on the faculty of the Indiana University String Academy. She was adjunct faculty at Valparaiso University, a member of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and also played with the Grand Rapids and Louisville Symphony Orchestras.
 
At FSU, Dr. Bugaj teaches string techniques and methods courses; she also teaches at the FSU Summer Music Camps. Her research interests include string pedagogy, working with underserved populations, and music teacher education. She has presented at state, national, and international conferences and—in addition to academic articles—has published articles about music for the general audience. She is an active translator of Polish musical texts.

David Hart

Trumpet and Jazz: Harker School

David Hart, a native of California, leads an international music career focusing on both education and performance. Hart has taught and performed in the United States, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Passionate about music teaching and learning, David completed a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. In this degree, David has had the unique opportunity to work closely with both the music education and jazz departments while teaching undergraduate courses in jazz improvisation, jazz history, jazz theory, jazz big band, and jazz combo. He has studied performance and improvisation privately with Clay Jenkins, Harold Danko, Bill Dobbins, Dr. Christopher Azzara, and Jeff Campbell. Inspired by Dr. Christopher Azzara and Dr. Richard Grunow, David focuses his education research on ways to improve creativity in the music learning process for all styles of music.

 

In June of 2010, Hart accepted a full time teaching position at the Harker School in San Jose, California.  As one of the largest independent private schools on the West Coast, Harker possesses a strong performing arts program.  Dr. Hart is head of the Middle School Instrumental music program and teaches jazz band, orchestra, and choir.  Hart is also active at both the lower and upper schools as a teacher working with other instructors to create a unified music curriculum. Dr. Hart helped start the Harker Concert Series and is currently a co-artistic director.   

 

After receiving his Masters degree in both Music Education and Jazz Studies from the Eastman School of Music, Hart accepted a position on faculty at Mahidol University, College of Music in Thailand, which maintains an international faculty and offers degrees for pre-college through graduate level students. As a Professor of Music Education and Trumpet Performance, Dr. Hart participated in both the Jazz and Classical Departments working with the wind ensemble, symphonic band, orchestra, and brass choir.  David started the first jazz trumpet studio in Thailand and helped turn the Mahidol Jazz Ensemble into one of the premier groups in Southeast Asia. Dr. Hart also taught graduate level courses in Music Education working with a diverse population of students from Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar, and Malaysia.  He was the advisor for masters level research projects and taught courses on Instrumental Teaching Techniques, Introduction to Music Education, and Measurement and Evaluation. 

 

As a jazz artist, David has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Rochester Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, and Stanford Jazz Festival to name a few.  He has also had the pleasure of performing, teaching, and studying with Gerald Wilson, Anthony Wilson, George Bohannon, Horace Silver, Louis Bellson, Clark Terry, Billy Higgins, Dave Liebman, Kenny Burrell, Arturo Sandoval, Ralph Alessi, Bill Berry, Rufus Reid, Jim Rotundi, Gary Bartz, Garnett Brown, Ingrid Jensen, Marvin Stamm, Dayna Stephens, Taylor Eigsti, Ted Poor, and others. As a classical performer, Dr. Hart has appeared with the Thailand Philharmonic, Malaysian International Festival Orchestra, Panang Symphony, International Trumpet Guild Festival of Trumpets, Eastman OSSIA ensembles, and Emerald Brass Quintet.

David holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UCLA, Master of Music degree and a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman school of music.  Dr. Hart’s principal trumpet teachers include; Clay Jenkins (Eastman School of Music), Doug Prosser (Eastman School of Music), Jens Lindemann (UCLA), and Robert Karon (UCLA).

Leslie Hart

Horn: Santa Clara University

Leslie Hart is an active freelance horn player and music educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is currently the music specialist at the Bing Nursery School at Stanford University, Horn Faculty at Santa Clara University, and the Co-Founder and Director of Noise Lab Creative Music Community. She completed a dual Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Performance and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music in 2011. Leslie has written on cadenza improvisation (Horn Call May 2010 and May 2013) and her dissertation “Improvisation in the Collegiate Horn Studio” (University of Rochester 2011) describes college horn majors learning to improvise in orchestral horn excerpts.

 

She has presented clinics in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and the United States including 2009 and 2011 International Horn Symposiums, Mid-South Horn Workshops, Northeast Horn Workshops, Northwest Horn Symposium, and South Bay Horn Days. Leslie is also a member of Emerald Brass Quintet and Frequency 49 Woodwind Sextet

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Contact

Address:

132 Seretean Center for the Performing Arts

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK 74078

Email: info@globalpedagogyinitiative.com

Phone: (812) 679-9114

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Mission

Global Pedagogy Initiative is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing pedagogical training to music teachers and students.  We work with underserved communities in the United States and with communities in developing countries.   

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