Music Faculty

Dr. Gregory D. Zielke - Professor of Music, Music Program Director

Dr. Greg Zielke is Professor of Music and Director of the Music Program at Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska.  He began teaching at Grace University in 1991.  He directs the Grace Chorale, the Masterworks Chorus, and the Women’s Choir. In addition, he teaches conducting, choral methods, church music, and private voice.  Under his direction, Grace choirs have performed across America and taken concert tours to Australia and Europe.  The latest tour to Australia came in 2008.  They have also performed with Soli Deo Gloria Cantorum, the Clarion Chorale, the Omaha Municipal Orchestra and the Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra.  Grace University choirs, under Dr. Zielke’s direction, have performed the Faure Requiem, Amahl and the Night Visitors, the Mozart Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Vivaldi Gloria, the Rutter Gloria and Requiem, and Messiah by Handel.
 
Dr. Zielke has been conductor and Artistic Director for the Omaha Symphonic Chorus since their 2002-03 concert season.  He has prepared the chorus for performances with the Omaha Symphony of Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem for conductor Dr. Steven Zielke, Mass in B minor by Bach and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis for Maestro Victor Yamplosky, Carmina Burana, Those Glorious Hollywood Musicals with conductor Jack Everly, and Porgy and Bess: Concert Version with Maestro Thomas Wilkins and Chorusmaster David Batter.
 
Dr. Zielke’s debut at Carnegie Hall occurred on June 09 as conductor of a performance of the Hadyn “Te deum.”  He conducted a chorus of 160 voices and the New England Symphonic Ensemble.  Participating choirs included Savannah State University Concert Choir, Auburn University Choir, Omaha Christian Academy Ensemble, Omaha Symphonic Chorus, Grace Chorale, Grace University Masterworks Chorus, Marist College Choir, and Emmaus High School Chorale.
 
Dr. Zielke received the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education (BA) from Tabor College, the Master of Music Education (MME) from Wichita State University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting (DMA) from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).  His conducting teachers included Dr. Harrison Boughton and Dr. Eph Ehly. His master classes were with Rene Clausen and Dale Warland.
 
In his role as church musician, Dr. Zielke enjoys conducting choral festivals and leading workshops on music and worship.  He serves as Director of Music and Worship at Community Bible Church in Omaha.  He also serves as chair of the Repertoire & Standards Committee for Music and Worship for the Nebraska ACDA.  In January 2010 he conducted the BOCK Festival Women’s Honor Choir at the Holland Center in Omaha NE.
 
His wife Tamara is an elementary music specialist for Millard Public Schools.

Jeffrey R. James – Director of Bands

Mr. James is an Associate Professor of Music, and has been at Grace since 1994.. Mr. James graduated from the University of Nebraska (B.M.E. in 1978 and M.M. in 1991). He taught high school instrumental music at Yutan Public Schools and later middle school music at Aurora public Schools. The Nebraska State Bandmasters Association has presented Mr. James with the Jack R. Snider Outstanding Young Band Director Award. He is also a recipient of the Outstanding Young Nebraska Band Director, Junior High Division presented by the American School Band Directors Association.

Mr. James teaches music theory, conducting, instrumental methods classes, arranging, applied low brass, and directs Concert Band. He also oversees all other instrumental ensembles, such as the Clarinet Quartet, Brass Ensemble, and Brass Trio.

Mr. James has 30 arrangements published, mostly with Mid-America Music Publishers and some with Light of the World Music. He serves as deacon chairman at Grace Baptist church in Omaha.

Jeff and his wife Pat have four children.

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Joshua Austin - Percussion

Mr. Austin is Director of Bands at Omaha South High School.

 

Mary Bircher – Harp

Mrs. Bircher is a harpist with theOmaha Symphony and teaches privately.

Anne DeVries - Applied Voice

Anne DeVries has sung with the San Diego Opera and Opera Omaha and has appeared on numerous recital series in the United States, England and Poland.  Her concert credits include performances with the symphonies of Phoenix, St. Louis, Lansing, Las Cruces (NM), Omaha, and the Szczezin Philharmonic in Poland.  In addition to her operatic and concert performances, Ms. DeVries is frequently sought out to perform 20th and 21st century music.  She has been a featured soloist at Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music performing the music of Yehudi Wyner and has sung and recorded music by Ellen Zwillich with Ensemble 21.  She has also appeared frequently with Strings in the Mountains Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  Her versatility has led her to perform pops concerts with such noted personalities as conductor-composer Bill Conti and Broadway “Phantom” star Cris Groenendaal.  She has won first and second place in several competitions including the Western Regional Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  
Ms. DeVries has taught voice classes at University of Nebraska at Omaha and Grace University in Omaha, as well as private students.

Judy Hartwig – Adjunct Professor, Elementary Music


Teri Heil – Adjunct Professor, Applied Piano


Rick Hess - Strings and Applied Cello

Mr. Hess teaches cello lessons in Omaha.  His masters in cello performance is from the University of Texas.

Ryan McClure – Adjunct Professor, Worship Leader/Contemporary Music


Oreskovich

Soprano Kristina Oreskovich joined the Grace University faculty in 2010 as an instructor in voice. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Hastings College, and a Master’s of Music degree in vocal performance from University of Nebraska—Omaha. Mrs. Oreskovich has been a finalist in the NATS Nebraska state competitions and has taken part in oratorio credits including Handel’s Messiah. Currently, Mrs. Oreskovich owns Oreskovich Voice Studio, a private voice studio in Omaha, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.


Joyce Reimer - Applied Organ and Piano

Mrs. Reimer is organist at First Presbyterian Church in Omaha.

Mike Rye – Adjunct Professor, Applied Guitar



Rob Temple – Music Technology, Masterworks Chorus

Psalm 108:1 "My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul.

My greatest joy in education is encouraging creativity and helping students discover tools that allow them to explore. More than anything, I desire to help students explore the vast magnitude of God's artistic design and His desire to have us join with Him in the creative process.

Mr. Temple enjoyed teaching high school vocal music at Kansas City Christian High School and Shawnee Mission West High School in the Kansas City area.  As a clinician, he had opportunities to work with choirs at the ACSI National Convention in 2007,  the Paseo Academy for Peforming Arts in Kansas City,  the Olathe Unified School District Middle Schools Honor Chorus, and others.   He, along with his wife, Theresa, have been worship leaders and church musicians in Omaha and Kansas City for nearly two decades.

Some of Mr. Temple’s recent compositions have been performed by the Shawnee Mission East Choraleers & Chamber Singers, the Frontier Trails Middle School Honor Choir in Olathe, Kansas,  the First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence, Kansas, and the Women's Chamber Singers at Grace University. Also, Rob says that he is very honored to be the assistant director of the Grace Masterworks Chorus!

M.M. (1996) UMKC, Conservatory of Music B.M.E. (1983) Hastings College

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