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Music Department – About Us

Meet the Faculty & Staff

Brass & Bands

Dr. Andrew Necessary

Dr. Andrew Necessary

Chair, Music Department / Director of Bands

Andrew Necessary received his Ph. D and Masters’s in Music Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Elon University. Dr. Necessary taught middle and high school bands in NC, VA, and WV for several years. For 10 years Dr. Necessary was a Professor of Music Education, and Director of Bands, at Concord University in Athens WV.  Dr. Necessary directed the Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and taught trombone, euphonium, and tuba, along with courses in band literature, jazz improvisation, brass methods, conducting, and music education. In 2002, Dr. Necessary was chosen by the Student Government Association at Concord University, to receive the Joseph Friedl Outstanding Faculty Award.

Dr. Necessary is currently Chair of the Music Department and Director of Bands at Bluefield University. A trombonist, Andy has performed with luminaries such as Ray Charles, Guy Lombardo Band, Jimmy Dorsey Band, Ringling Brothers, and Barnum Bailey Band. Dr. Necessary frequently serves as an adjudicator for marching and concert band festivals, a clinician for trombone workshops, and a conductor for all county band events. Dr. Necessary lives in Tazewell VA.

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Church Music & Choirs

Dr. Mark Milberger

Dr. Mark Milberger

Assistant Professor of Church Music and Worship Arts

Dr. Milberger serves as the Director for the Center of Worship Arts, directs the Variations chamber ensemble, Masterworks community choir, chapel band, and will teach church music and other music courses.

Dr. Milberger has worked as an educator and church music director for a large portion of his career. He is a committed Christian who has had a great experience in Worship Arts, both in traditional and contemporary music settings. He has taught at Southern Virginia University for over sixteen years, where he taught music courses and developed a successful composition and commercial music concentration. As a conductor, he has directed and managed multiple ensembles and staff in large music ministry programs, such as graded instrumental/choral ensembles, worship, and tech teams, with great success in transcendent intentional worship experiences. He has conducted works such as Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah.

He has worked in recording studios towards the production of Christian music and developed technology systems for modern worship arts experiences.

Additionally, he has composed multiple choral and instrumental works which have been performed by groups such as The Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir, members of the National Symphony, members of the Roanoke Symphony, The Abington Symphony Orchestra, The Cave Spring Chancel Choir, and The Ritenour New Music Ensemble.

He has been married to Amy—a talented artist and fund-raising professional—for over 30 years. They have two wonderful children, Heather and Jonathan, who are working musicians in Boston and New York City. His favorite activity is hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

Dr. Milberger has earned a bachelor’s in Music from Duquesne University, a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College, and a Doctorate of Sacred Music from The Graduate Theological Foundation.

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Guitar

Vince Lewis

Vince Lewis

Adjunct Professor of Music and Guitar

Vince Lewis is a veteran jazz performer, composer, and recording artist. He has been a headliner on Jazz Festivals with Dave Brubeck, B.B. King, Ellis Marsalis, Lou Rawls, Mundell Lowe, John Pizzarelli, and Melissa Manchester. Vince has been a featured performer in concert at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as well as two performances at the Smithsonian Institute Jazz Bar. He also has served as Staff Guitarist at the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Palm Beach FL and at The Greenbrier Resort in WV. Jim Carlton, in Conversations with Great Jazz and Studio Guitarists, says “His playing is indicative of the rarified air of true mastery. He routinely creates engaging and excellent music.” Vince was the cover picture and feature interview in the Feb 2014 issue of Just Jazz Guitar Magazine and has been noted as “One of the leading active Jazz Artists” in the Jazz Guitar category each year since 2002 by Jazz Improv Magazine. He is also currently in the “In The Wings” category and has been notified of his future induction into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.

Vince is included in the 2014 Scott Yanow book “ The Great Jazz Guitarists…The Ultimate Guide.” He has recorded 20 CDs as a leader and sideman, and each has received excellent critical acclaim in virtually every major Jazz publication. In addition, he is a Heritage Guitar Inc, Benedetto Guitar, Eastman Guitar, Breedlove Guitar, SIT Strings, and Redstone Audio performing Artist, and has a Vince Lewis signature archtop guitar available built by Richard Ralston, a noted New Zealand luthier. Vince also developed and directed the Classical and Jazz Guitar programs at the University of Charleston, Marshall University, Palm Beach University, Liberty University, and Bluefield University. He has taught at the post-secondary level for 48 years, conducted Jazz Guitar workshops, and created courses in improvisation and other jazz-related subjects at the University level. His chord melody arrangements for solo guitar appeared regularly in Just Jazz Guitar Magazine. He is also a regular contributor to Jazz Guitar Today online magazine. Vince currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Music and Guitar at Bluefield University in Bluefield, VA, and Appalachian Bible College in Oak Hill, WV.

Piano

Melissa Yowell

Melissa Yowell

Adjunct Professor - Music and Piano

Melissa Yowell is the piano instructor in the Department of Music at Bluefield University. She teaches private piano, music theory, and related piano courses. She holds a Master of Music Education degree with a concentration in Piano Pedagogy. In addition to teaching at BU, Melissa also serves on the music faculty as an instructor and the Administrative Assistant to the Music Chair at Appalachian Bible College.

In 1995, Melissa co-founded a private music studio, Eighty-Eight Keys, where she has taught for 27 years. For the last five years, she has also taught at the college level while maintaining her private studio for select students. Her passion for teaching piano is evident in her commitment to building an individualized plan for success for her students as they pursue their musical goals.

Although Melissa is devoted to education, she is skilled and experienced as a collaborative pianist. While residing in Illinois, she was the collaborative pianist for the Stockton High School choir, Elizabeth High School choir, and many soloists and ensembles for regional and national events. Melissa was also active in her local church and community, collaborating with her husband, Jeremy, a talented performer, composer, and educator. Currently, she is the collaborative pianist for the Appalachian Bible College chorale and a guest collaborator with the Blue Ridge Vocal Connection.

Melissa is an active member of The College Music Society, which promotes music teaching and learning, musical creativity and expression, research, and dialogue for the college educator.

Percussion

Nick Hinkle

Nick Hinkle

Adjunct Professor - Music and Percussion

Nick Hinkle is a 2016 graduate of Bluefield University and is the Director of Bands at Bluefield High School in Bluefield, WV. At Bluefield High, Mr. Hinkle leads the Beaver Marching Band, Concert Band, and a variety of Jazz Ensembles. His ensembles routinely perform across the state of West Virginia including numerous competition awards for their marching achievements and consistent concert assessment performances. Mr. Hinkle also serves as the chair of Instrumental Music for Mercer County Schools and is the organizer for the Mercer County Honor Bands Festival. His students have achieved high success as members of the West Virginia All-State Band and Orchestra, as well as multiple Collegiate Honors Ensembles.

As a performer, Mr. Hinkle has won multiple performance awards for marching, timpani, and drumset achievements. He served four years as the featured percussionist for the West Virginia All-State Honors Chorus on a variety of percussion instruments. He has performed for multiple staged productions including the Princeton Senior High School Madrigal Singers, Centerstage Show Choir Ensemble, Girls Ensemble, and Bluefield University’s production of Big River. Mr. Hinkle also performed as a percussionist for the East River Mountain Town Band for five years. During the summer months, Mr. Hinkle has worked for nearly twenty years at church youth camps, serving as a musical leader and director at camps in Tazewell, VA, and Blowing Rock, NC.

Voice

Jordan Stadvec

Jordan Stadvec

Adjunct Professor - Music and Voice

West Virginian soprano Jordan Stadvec has been hailed as a “riveting” “natural scene stealer” with “crystal clear high notes” and an “attractive, bright timbre.” She was most recently heard singing the title character in Virginia Tech’s production of Pelléas and Mélisande. While attending Concord University, she was afforded the opportunity to participate in the CCM Spoleto Festival in Italy as a Studio Artist. She then trained as an Apprentice Artist at the Miami Music Festival, where she sang Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Musetta in La Bohème, and Noémie in Cendrillon. She continued her training as an Artist Diploma student at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where she also earned her Masters’s Degree. While at CCM, she was given the opportunity to perform Mařenka in The Bartered Bride, where the Cincinnati Business Courier described her as “richly lyrical” and wrote that her aria was “spellbinding.” She also sang Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Ms. Julian in Owen Wingrave and the Voix d’en Haute in a concert version of Verdi’s Don Carlos.

Ms. Stadvec is a gifted actress embodying characters from the “spunky and sassy” to the “passionate and expressive.” She enjoys singing a great variety of repertoire and genres. She was a featured soloist as Maria from West Side Story in the Songfest Sings America: Celebrating Leonard Bernstein concert, and has starred in many musicals including The Fantasticks, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. She has been a soloist in Bernstein’s Songfest, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. She is also featured on a professional recording of John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music. She did a season of opera outreach with ROKCincy as Rosina in a children’s production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

Ms. Stadvec was a Quarter-Finalist in the 2020 American Traditions Competition, in which contestants are required to sing in 9 different genres. She was also the recipient of the Jacqueline Polk Young Artist Award at the 2018 Orpheus Competition, the winner of the North Carolina District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2018, and a Finalist for the Classical Singer Competition in 2017.

Also an accomplished pianist, she enjoys collaborating with both instrumentalists and vocalists. She was the vocal coach and collaborative pianist for the West Virginia Governor’s School of the Arts in 2019 and has played for many students in auditions, competitions, and recitals. She has played Keyboard for several shows including Rocket Boys: The Musical, Songs for a New World, Bat Boy: The Musical, and Snoopy! Her work has led her to serve as the Music Director, organist, and pianist for several churches leading several ensembles, including choirs and praise teams.

Ms. Stadvec has been an instructor at Concord University and Bluefield University, as well as teaching in the public school system. She has taught private lessons for nearly 15 years, instructing in both voice and piano. She believes in exploring singing through many styles, and that healthy vocal technique can be achieved through all. She has taught many students of various ages and enjoys inspiring and encouraging their musical pursuits.

Woodwinds

Brittani McInturff

Brittani McInturff

Adjunct Professor - Music and Woodwinds

Brittani McInturff is a native of Mount Carmel, Tennessee, and began studying music very early in life. Mrs. McInturff graduated from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee, with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education. She played in various ensembles and quartets during her time at Tennessee Tech and was awarded the Charles Coker Fine Arts Scholarship. She then graduated from Kent State University with a Master’s in Music Education. Mrs. McInturff taught high school band for two years and then taught general music for Johnson City Schools. She served as the Music Director at Mount Carmel United Methodist Church from 2009-2021.

She resides in Kingsport with her husband, Dr. Trey McInturff, and their two children. Her areas of interest include woodwind pedagogy, early childhood music education, and training future music educators.

Music Department Audition Requirements

If you’re planning to apply to the Music program, it’s best to start early. Learn more about BU’s audition requirements below

Brass

  • Two contrasting selections of the student’s choice: one lyrical and one technical.

Guitar

  • Two contrasting selections of the student’s choice. Options may include musical theatre and contemporary music.

Percussion

  • Students should be prepared to audition on two of the three instrument choices: snare drum, mallets, or timpani.
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