Faculty & Resident Artists
There is no replacement for experienced, nuturing teachers.
Alexander Kordzaia, a native of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia was, at the age of 24, the youngest conductor appointed to music director of the Georgia State Cappella and assistant conductor of the National Opera, the two most prestigious posts in the nation. Conducting engagements have taken him around the world including appearances throughout the former Soviet Union (Bolshoi Theater, Moscow and Philharmonic Halls, Odessa and St. Petersburg), Europe, Asia and the United States. Since moving to the United States in 1991 and furthering his graduate studies at the Juilliard School of Music and Mannes College of Music, he has served as the music director of several orchestras, presently the University of Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and is in demand as a guest conductor.
Recognized as an artist of exceptional versatility, pianist and harpsichordist Joanne Kong has received critical praise for her "great finesse and flexibility" (The Washington Post), "superb" playing (The Boston Globe), "utmost keyboard sensitivity and variety of tone" (Richmond Times-Dispatch), "remarkable technical ability" (The Oregonian), and "superb artistry" (San Antonio Express-News) for works "sensitively played" (The New York Times). Her versatility includes the distinction of being the first artist to release a harpsichord-piano recording of the Goldberg and Diabelli Variations, on the BRIOSO label.
Dr. Kong has earned numerous honors, including a fellowship to the American Academy of the Arts in Europe and the Grand Prize in the 1985 International Piano Recording Competition. Dr. Kong's concertizing as a soloist has included orchestra performances under William McGlaughlin, Myung-Whun Chung, Samuel Baron, George Manahan, Alexander Kordzaia, Mark Russell Smith, and Steven Smith. Additionally, she is in frequent demand for piano master classes and chamber performances throughout the country.
Joanne Erwin is Professor of Music Education at Oberlin Conservatory. Her Bachelor and Master degrees in Music Education are from University of Illinois (highest honors) and her Ph.D is in string pedagogy from University of North Texas.
At Oberlin, in addition to teaching conducting, string pedagogy and string techniques, she is founder and director of the String Preparatory Program and Artistic Director and Conductor for the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestras. She is principal cellist for the College Community Strings group. Prior to coming to Oberlin, Dr. Erwin taught strings in grades 4-12 in Texas and Illinois. She has served on the faculties of summer Suzuki institutes since 1982 and is an active guest conductor for honor orchestras in several states and foreign countries including Panama, Great Britain and Singapore.
Dr. Erwin has presented at national ASTA conferences, Music Educators conventions and is published in American String Teacher Journal, Suzuki Journal, Teaching Music and has co-authored the text Prelude to Music Education and the string method New Directions for Strings and A Scale in Time.
Jocelyn Anne Kovaleski Swigger is the pianist of the Sunderman Trio and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies in the Sunderman Conservatory. Known for her expressive playing, varied programming, and informative concert lectures, she performs as a solo and collaborative pianist in the United States, Europe, and South America. Principal teachers include Rebecca Penneys, Joseph Schwartz, and Evelyne Brancart. A passionate advocate of new music, Swigger has premiered works by composers including Dennis DeSantis, Payton MacDonald, Gavin Chuck, Aaron Grad, Buzz Jones, Greg Mertl, and Forrest Pierce. Before coming to Gettysburg College, Swigger taught at Fort Lewis College, the Hochstein Music School, CUNY Queensborough, and Adelphi University, and played as a collaborative artist and accompanist for the Manhattan School of Music, the Quartet Program, the Boys Choir of Harlem, and the Juilliard School. She has also regularly appeared as performer and teacher at the Ameropa International Chamber Music Festival in Prague, the Czech Republic, and Madrid, Spain. She spent the summer of 2008 in Asunción, Paraguay, on a Fulbright Scholar Teaching Grant. In addition to performing on the piano, fortepiano, and harpsichord, she also enjoys making music on the accordion and as an enthusiastic choir alto. Swigger can be heard on Con Brio Recordings.