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Jay Wilkinson

Prof. Jay Wilkinson

Coordinator of Jazz Studies

Office: Catlett Music Center 212

Jay Wilkinson received his BME and MM in trumpet performance from the University of Oklahoma. As a student he received numerous awards for trumpet performance in jazz and classical, and received a citation for jazz piano. Following his graduate degree, he studied at the University of North Texas and worked with Rodney Booth, Mike Steinel, Steve Wiest, and Keith Johnson.

Wilkinson is now the Coordinator of Jazz Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He has also taught privately at the Norman Music Institute, Infinity Music, and Imagine Music and Arts. His students have been accepted in honor bands, prestigious graduate programs like IU and UNT, professional touring shows, touring big bands, as well as local dance bands and concert groups. One student performed on the David Letterman Show as the bassist for John Fulbright. During his time at OU he was integral to the establishment of the Joni Rice Memorial Jazz Education Fund, the creation of the BMA and BA degrees with jazz emphases, the substantial increase in guest artists, and the general growth of jazz study within the school of music. He has also broadened his students’ experiences through collaborative efforts with the schools of music theatre, dance, and art. Notably, his top jazz ensemble will be a featured group at the 2020 OkMEA Convention. In addition, Wilkinson has participated at various local jazz festivals as a judge, clinician, and artist. He has been a featured performer at the Oklahoma Music Educator’s National Conference and has judged at the National Trumpet Competition in the jazz and middle school divisions in trumpet performance. Wilkinson also presented a lecture titled, “Jazz, an American Art Form,” at the Norman Public Library and presented at a regional ITG conference demonstrating the most effective ways to practice and develop jazz improvisation.

Wilkinson has completed written works as well. He created a jazz improvisation methods book for his students, he wrote a letter of tribute for the previous jazz director at OU, Mr. John Williams, which was included in the local musician union’s newsletter, and he has contributed an article on the life of Chet Baker to “The Great Plains Encyclopedia.” As a composer he has written countless original works and arrangements. He is sought after by local musicians, music educators and other professionals to write various styles of music, like Danny White of Danny’s Blues Saloon Revue who was featured in a national blues magazine and has recorded numerous albums. He has written music for big band, jazz combo, New Orleans style street band, basketball band, string quartet, ska band, trumpet ensemble, brass quintet, and symphonic band. In 2018 the OU Trumpet Ensemble won first place at the National Trumpet Competition in the trumpet ensemble division performing his arrangement of “Cherokee.” In addition he has composed many original works. Many of these, like his tune, “Reality,” his originals set to the poetry of Langston Hughes, the music of Boyd Street Brass, his brass quintet works and his trumpet ensemble piece, “Cherokee, A Tribute,” have been recorded or performed at reputable events like the DJango Festival on Whidbey Island and Jazz in June in Norman, OK.

More than his work as an educator and composer, Wilkinson has excelled as a performer. Jay has performed at various locations across the U.S. as a vocalist and trumpet player and is a major performer in the Oklahoma City metro area. He is a member of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and was once featured as a vocalist during a pops concert. His connection with the Philharmonic has allowed him the opportunity to perform with artists like Ray Charles, Mercedes Ellington, Al Jerreau, Manhattan Transfer, Byron Stripling, Chris Botti, Kristin Chenoweth, Renee Fleming, and Kelli O’Hara. He is a member of the Lyric Theatre Orchestra and often plays for traveling shows through Celebrity Attractions which feature some of this country’s finest Broadway performers. Wilkinson is also a trumpeter for the OKC Jazz Orchestra which has performed with Doc Severinsen, Bob Mintzer, Ben Patterson, and Tony Monaco. Jay has performed and toured with other smaller outfits like Boyd Street Brass, The Hot Club of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Brass Quintet. Boyd Street Brass performs at festivals and schools throughout Oklahoma and Texas and has completed two albums titled, “S’up Sucka,” and “Are You Ready for Me.” In August of 2018 BSB was the featured group with the Norman Philharmonic. The Hot Club of Oklahoma, for which Jay played trumpet and sang, performed at the Django Fest on Whidbey Island and the Django Fest held in Kittery, Maine. The Oklahoma Brass Quintet toured for several years visiting sites in Florida, Kentucky, Massachusettes, Texas, and Kansas. Wilkinson has also performed in Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, Arkansas and Seattle.


Lonnie Easter

Dr. Lonnie Easter II

Lecturer of Music
(Music Education and Jazz Studies)

Office: Catlett Music Center 228

Dr. Lonnie Easter II, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, earned his PhD in Music Education from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Central Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Arts Education with a concentration in Music Education from Langston University.

Dr. Easter began teaching at the University of Oklahoma in the Fall of 2020. He previously served as Director of Bands/Instructor of Music Education at Langston University (OK), and additionally served as a public-school band director in the Omaha (NE) and Oklahoma City (OK) school districts. As a public-school music educator, he had the privilege of providing a quality music education to students in multiple low socio-economic status music programs. He earned a reputation for effective teaching and leadership as his programs, both traditional and jazz, flourished. He remains a frequent director and clinician in and is particularly interested in the cross-pollination of research and practice in instrumental music education.

Dr. Easters' primary research interests are in jazz education. He is particularly interested in developing methodologies and pedagogy that will significantly raise students' ability, self-efficacy, and practice room efficiency in jazz improvisation, primarily at the beginner level. Additionally, his research demonstrates the critical need to improve the ways music education teacher preparation programs teach jazz pedagogy to undergraduate music education students. His work has been published in multiple journals including Jazz Education in Research and Practice and he has presented at research and professional development conferences across the United States.

  • PhD Music Education - University of Oklahoma
  • MM Jazz Studies - University of Central Oklahoma
  • BA Education (Music Education) - Langston University


Richard Zielinski

Dr. Richard Zielinski

Director of Choral Activities
Head of Graduate Choral Studies
Professor of Music (Choral)

Office: Catlett Music Center 127 G
Phone: (405) 325-4182

American conductor, Richard Zielinski, is known for his innovative programming and versatility as both an orchestral and choral conductor. Richard serves as Director of Choral Activities on the music faculty at the University of Oklahoma. A passionate and compelling communicator, with an extensive knowledge of classical and contemporary repertoire, he has premiered performances of Die Schöpfung and Carmina Burana choreographed for ballet as well as numerous stage productions for musical theater.

A champion of new music, Richard Zielinski has worked with numerous composers and regularly leads the choirs at OU and the Norman Philharmonic in performances of contemporary works from composers like Libby Larsen, John Mackey, and Michael Daugherty. His professional vocal ensemble, the Richard Zielinski Singers, has also recorded works by Norman Dello Joio, Libby Larsen, Stephen Paulus, Eleanor Daley, David Del Tredici, Alice Parker, and Eric Whitacre among others.

Richard Zielinski begins his seventh year as artistic director and conductor of the 40-year-old Classical Music Festival Eisenstädter Sommerakademie; and serves as Music Director and Artistic Director for the Norman Philharmonic. He has conducted extensively both in the United States and abroad including The Florida Orchestra, Tampa Bay Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Elgin Symphony, Danville Symphony Orchestra, and Poland’s Szczecin Philaharmonic Orchestra. He has also held several positions abroad including artistic director and conductor for Chor Akademicki Politechniki Szczecinskiej, In Terra Pax, and the International Festival of Choral Song in Poland.

Throughout his career, Richard Zielinski has devoted time to working with students and young artists. In addition to creating and leading outreach programs with the Norman Philharmonic, he also has worked with students at numerous music festivals in the United States and abroad. Zielinski also serves as Director of Music Ministries at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman, Oklahoma.


Larry Hammett

Prof. Larry Hammett

Associate Professor of Music (Guitar)

Office: Reynolds Performing Arts Center 2250

Professor Larry Hammett, director of guitar studies, is a recognized expert in both classical and jazz guitar. He has a master's degree in Guitar Performance and has been teaching guitar at the college level since 1982. At OU, Mr. Hammett heads one of the most successful guitar programs in the country with a full undergraduate and graduate studio and over 150 non-major guitarists each semester.

Mr. Hammett's recordings are aired worldwide and he gives over sixty performances annually both as a classical soloist and with his jazz trio. He has performed and/or given master-classes in France, Mexico, Argentina, and the United States. With his diversity, Mr. Hammett has performed Joaquin Rodrigo’s famous "Concerto de Aranjuez" with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic followed by a late night jazz session in the same evening. He also participates regularly as a Lutenist with Dr. Gene Enrico’s Collegium Musicum and accompanies the Flamenco Dance class for the OUSchool of Dance.

Mr. Hammett recently published two volumes of an innovative elementary classroom guitar book through MIDI FOR KIDS which is being used in after school programs throughout the United States. Larry Hammett is truly a renaissance man of guitar and one of a few guitarists today who is able to successfully balance such diversity.

  • MM - Texas Tech University
  • BM - Texas Tech University


Dr. William Lang

Prof. William Lang

Interim Instructor of Trombone

Office: Catlett Music Center 216
Personal Website:
Loadbang Website:

Originally from Long Island, Trombonist William Lang is an active performer and improviser in New York and Boston. The New York Times has called his playing “fiercely, virtuosic”, and he has been hailed for his “superb performance” by the Boston Globe, William is dedicated to the art of playing trombone and moving the art form forward while still honoring tradition. To date he has premiered around 1400 pieces involving trombone alongside numerous historic transcriptions from every era and works from the trombone canon.

He has performed solo recitals around the USA as well as Europe, with a special attention being paid to some ofNew York City's premiere concert venues, such as Bargemusic, the Dimenna Center, the Stone, and Spectrum, among many others. He has also appeared as a concerto soloist with the Janacek Philharmonia in an acclaimed performance of Iannis Xenakis' trombone concerto: Trookh, and with the Ostrava New Orchestra in both Prague and Ostrava, with the Fredonia Wind Ensemble on a tour of New York State; the Brooklyn Community Orchestra, and the Broadway Bach Ensemble. He has been a featured guest soloist with the Brentano String Quartet, Talujon Percussion, Ekmeles, Ensemble Pi, Mivos String Quartet, and the Rhythm Method. He has also been a featured guest at the International Trombone Festival both as a soloist and chamber musician multiple times.

As a chamber musician William is a founding member of: loadbang, the groundbreaking ensemble consisting of Baritone Voice, Bass Clarinet, Trumpet, and Trombone, hailed as “inventive” by the New York Times and “cultivated” by the New Yorker. William is a member of the SEM Ensemble, Ostravska Banda, TILT Brass, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, So Wrong It's Right, and the Boston Microtonal Society’s premier ensemble: Notariotous, where he works alongside like minded composers and performers on the definition of pitch. He has also appeared as a guest artist with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Signal, Wet Ink, TACTUS, Ensemble Echappe, Sound Icon, and Talea. William also was a founding member of two now defunct groups, the Guidonian Hand, a trombone quartet hailed by the New York Times for their "expertly played, with meaty low brass textures" performance, and Occasional Noise, a trio of Trombone, Piano, and Percussion, which were active in commissioning original and exciting works for their instrumental combinations by many leading composers.

As a recording and commercial musician William has appeared on albums with such luminaries as David Byrne and St. Vincent (their album Love This Giant,) and Jonsi (from Sigur Ros,) on his solo album Go. You can also hear him on Bryce Dessner, Sufjan Stevens, and Nico Muhly’s collaboration Planetarium. He can also be heard on many classical releases, such as TILT Brass' debut recording, to TILT vol. 1 and as a recording soloist for John Cage's Ryoanji with the Avant Media Festival. He has also recorded commercial music for Philip Glass, the TV Show Lois & Clark, and also the soundtrack for a Matthew Barny film, the River Fundament. In addition to recording credits, William has been heard as the house trombonist for Rockefeller Center's Christmas Music Spectacular, featuring the Rockettes!, as well as on numerous on and off-Broadway shows.

Mr. Lang is also an accomplished Orchestral and Opera musician as well, appearing with many ensembles throughout New York, such as the American Ballet Theatre, the Orchestra Now!, Dicapo Opera, Musicra Sacra, the Little Orchestra Society, and the Manhattan Chamber Symphony. In addition he has played with the Orchestra of the SEM Ensemble, the Janacek Philharmonic, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, and the Eroica Ensemble.

William has also performed in such venues as the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie’s Isaac Stern and Zankel Halls, le Poisson Rouge, Radio City Music Hall, the Winter Garden, St. Paul’s Church in Boston, St John the Divine’s in New York City, Paul Hall, Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre, Issue Project Room, and St. Peter’s in New York City. As a curator alongside trumpeter Andrew Kozar, William founded and ran a weekly concert series, "Power Concerts", at Manhattan School of Music. Featuring guest performers every week and a dedication to new music, Will and Andy hosted 42 concerts, which built up a steady following and featured the premieres of over 50 new works during their tenure, and which continues to exist at Manhattan School of Music to this day.

William received his Masters Degree from Manhattan School of Music, and his Bachelors Degree from SUNY Fredonia. He is also a frequent teaching artist for the New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers program and has also given masterclasses and lectures at over 45 different Universities and Colleges throughout the United States.

William is the Interim Instructor of Trombone at the University of Oklahoma, and also on faculty at the Longy School of Music in Boston, where he teaches lessons in trombone and the nature of being a 21st century musician. He is also an artist both for Stephens Horns, who made his instrument, and Long Island Brass Co. which created his unique mouthpiece.