• Inclusion and Diversity
  • INCLUDE UTM Music Mentors


  • Inclusion and Diversity
  • INCLUDE UTM Music Mentors

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Inclusion and Diversity

It is our goal in the Department of Music to create a welcoming environment where all feel free to learn. Below are some of the action steps the department has taken towards creating a socially safe space for all.


Public Statement Regarding the UTM Department of Music and Racial Concerns/Marginalized populations.

We know that music and the arts have the power to transform and heal communities. While the mission of the UTM Music Department remains to cultivate excellence in musical education, performance, and the liberal arts, we recognize that this is a time in which action is needed more than words and music notes.


UTM Music is committed to taking steps which ensure any and all people associated with our department, as well as any actions carried out on behalf of our department, are both safe and inclusive. Our faculty, staff, and students are committed to working together to make this happen.


As a department of music, we vow to listen more, educate further, and work harder to repair the fractures that, for far too long, have kept us from embracing our common humanity.


Our native state of TN has long been recognized for our contribution to music and culture around the entire world. We are equally proud and recognize the vital role that Black people played in this and celebrate their contribution to our art form and all parts of our department, campus, and community.


Black Art Matters. Black Music Matters. Black Lives Matter.

INCLUDE Utm Music Mission Statement

INCLUDE Utm music is a diverse alliance of UTM Music faculty, staff, students, and alumni who advocate for an environment of diversity, inclusion, equity, and respect within the Department of Music. This alliance strives to attract and support people of diverse backgrounds by adopting inclusive practices. INCLUDE Utm music seeks to collaborate with other groups on campus and in the community.


Research, headed by the INCLUDE UTM Music Council is underway to better understand best practices for creating an inclusive curriculum and environment which includes the collection and analysis of feedback from current students and creating resource lists about diversity AND for minority music students.

In-Service Training for Faculty

UTM Music faculty and staff participated in an in-service training led by Jasmine Fripp as part of the fall 2020 all faculty / staff meeting. The goal was to learn about creating an inclusive curriculum. More training sessions will be scheduled throughout the academic year.

Speakers and Artists

UTM Music is working on identifying minority speakers and artists for our department and has an established track record for helping departments across campus in this regard. UTM Music is also proud to have partnered as a co-sponsor with other departments at UT Martin to create programs that are diverse and inclusive.

Mentorship Program

UTM Music will be implementing a mentorship program for current students, and making sure we’re educating all students about racial issues.


The University of Tennessee at Martin's Department of Music Mentorship Program offers current music students the opportunity to forge professional relationships, receive career and college guidance, and work together with alumni.


Dedicated to the advancement of equal access and justice, this program was founded by the Department of Music's INCLUDE Utm music alliance to ensure all students, regardless of ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation, may achieve their professional aspirations and goals.


Want to give back to your alma mater by becoming a UTM Music Mentor? Fill out our Music Mentorship application today!


INCLUDE Utm music is here to help! Simply submit your question through our Question Box and we'll respond after our next meeting (the third Wednesday of the month).


Student Mentorship Program

Utm Music Student Mentorship Program offers current music students the opportunity to forge professional relationships, receive career and college guidance, and work together with alumni.


Dedicated to the advancement of equal access and justice, this program was founded by the Department of Music's INCLUDE Utm music alliance to ensure all students, regardless of ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation, may achieve their professional aspirations and goals.


Below are dedicated alumni mentors to choose from. Please review their bios below and fill out the UTM Music Mentor Application to get connected with your new mentor!


Dr. Julie Basler

Dr. Julie Basler

Dr. Julie Basler serves as President for Platt College in Aurora, Colorado. Prior to coming to Platt College in 2007, Dr. Basler served as the Coordinator of Fine Arts and Associate Professor of English and Speech Communications at Columbia State Community College in middle Tennessee for nearly a decade.


Dr. Basler earned her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM), a master’s degree in English with a creative writing emphasis from Murray State University and a doctorate in English with a focus on English composition and rhetoric from Middle Tennessee State University. She earned additional graduate hours in business communications from Austin Peay State University. While at UTM, Dr. Basler was actively involved in the music department. She received a music scholarship and was a member of the UTM marching, symphonic, and pep bands. She was a member of the late Dr. Michael Hernon’s horn ensemble and served as President of Sigma Alpha Iota and was named Phi Mu Alpha sweetheart her senior year.


Dr. Basler is the author of three national Pearson writing workbooks, and several national articles. She is well-known across the United States for her expertise in accreditation and compliance practices. She presents self-evaluation processes and how to involve communities of interest in the accreditation process at national conferences.


In 2008, she was appointed to serve on the inaugural national Interim Degree Committee for the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), a committee, now referred to as the Program Review Committee, which she chaired from 2014-2018. On the state level, Dr. Basler advocates for diverse students, specifically students who have attempted college but have not been able to gain entry into the workforce. She serves Colorado organizations that focus on entry-level workforce training.


In 2011, she was named Volunteer of the Year by ACCSC for her work in accreditation practices, training, and review of programs and colleges across the United States. In July 2014, Dr. Basler was appointed to serve a four-year term as an ACCSC commissioner. In 2015 as a second-year commissioner, she was elected to serve in an executive leadership position as Treasurer of the Commission (ACCSC) a position she served for two years. In July 2017, she was elected by her fellow commission colleagues to serve as Chair of the Commission for ACCSC, a position she held during her last appointed term-year.


In September 2016, October 2017, and September 2018, Dr. Basler was awarded the President of the United States' Volunteer Service Award which recognizes, celebrates and holds up as role models Americans who make a positive impact as engaged and deeply committed volunteers. Dr. Basler earned a gold medal for her service to higher education and accreditation practices in her service as a Commissioner.


In her spare time, Dr. Basler enjoys cake decorating, attending Denver Broncos football games, traveling to Disney theme parks all over the world, weight lifting and working out, and you might even catch her at an early, early morning class running or rowing at an Orange Theory Fitness class.


Bridget Cacy

Bridget Cacy

In May of 2018, Bridget Cacy graduated from The University of Tennessee at Martin with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. During her time at Martin she served as Sigma Alpha Iota Choir Director, Recording Secretary, and Vice President-Ritual, as well as a Peer Enabling Program Counselor in 2015. In addition to these responsibilities, Bridget founded the inaugural chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association for UT Martin and was a founding member of the UTM Music Student Council. In her time at UTM, Bridget also received numerous scholarships and awards including: The Brian Simmons Memorial Scholarship, Lauren Witty PEP Scholarship, Russell V. McConnell Memorial Scholarship, and the UTM Death by Voice Competition Aria Winner in 2016.


Since graduation, Bridget has been employed as a substitute teacher in multiple municipalities in the Memphis area. In the 2018-19 school year, she successfully completed three different interim music teaching positions. During the 2019-20 school year, Bridget was a part-time general music teacher at Lakeland Elementary School where she taught kindergarten and first grade general music. Currently, Bridget is the music teacher at a K-8 alternative school in Shelby County. She is teaching 100% virtually and making the best of it.


Kimberly McLemore

Kimberly McLemore

Kimberly Kraft McLemore is a Nashville-based music educator, arts administrator, and arts advocate. Kimberly is currently in her third season with the Nashville Symphony where she serves as the Vice President of Education and Community Engagement. Prior to this role, Kimberly managed the Nashville Symphony’s nationally recognized Accelerando pathway initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with the goal of preparing young musicians from diverse communities to enter the field of classical music.


Prior to joining the Education and Community Engagement team at the Nashville Symphony, Kimberly taught high school choral and theater arts in Metro Nashville Public Schools. She also served as a member of the Fine Arts Standards Writing Committee for the State of Tennessee Board of Education and an ensemble manager for the Tennessee Music Educators Association’s state conference. She is currently in her sixth year as the ensemble manager for the All-National Honor Ensemble for the National Association for Music Education National Conference.


Kimberly earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the Pennsylvania State University.


In addition to her continued work as a local freelance musician and teaching artist, Kimberly also enjoys baking and spending time with her husband and two children.


Ed Sargent

Ed Sargent

Ed joined the ranks of the Queen of Rock and Roll, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts as Tour Manager in the Fall of 2007 and continues to this day. Under the Blackhearts umbrella of touring, Ed has toured with artists such as Aerosmith, Boston, Greenday, The Who, Foo Fighters, Styx, Heart, Cheap Trick, Cyndi Lauper, Def Leppard and others.. In his early jazz days, Sargent worked not only with Ferguson but a variety of Jazz artists, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Dizzy Gillespie, Marlena Shaw, Billy Eckstein and Dianne Schuur. As a producer, Sargent along with Stockton Helbing produced Ferguson’s last recording “The One And Only Maynard Ferguson” from which the Steve Wiest arrangement of “Besame Mucho” was a Grammy Nominated bid. In a variety of production capacities, Executive Producer and Producer, Sargent executed Ferguson’s last 10 projects, including recording projects with Concord Records and Michael Feinstein, video and recording projects with Dianne Schuur.


In the Maynard Ferguson Presents series, Ed also co-produced recording projects with Carl Fischer, long time trumpeter with Billy Joel, French Pianist Christian Jacob, Pittsburg icon trombonist Reggie Watkins and alongside Tim Ries, veteran saxophonist for the Rolling Stones, on the acclaimed double CD project “Stones World”.


In 2000/2001, Ed took a hiatus from touring to become the President of Johnny Rabb Drumstick Company. The company was internationally recognized as one of the fastest-growing music companies in the world, won numerous awards and Most Innovative Sticks from Drum Magazine 2000.

johnnyraBB Drumsticks specialized in the manufacturing of innovative drumsticks and mallets, developed through the integration of nature, science and creativity.

johnnyraBB Drumsticks was the only drumstick company in the world to maintain complete quality control from standing timber to the final product. After negotiating the sale of johnnyraBB drumsticks Co.to DW Drums in Dec. 2001 Ed returned to touring life with the Ferguson band until 2006, when Maynard Ferguson passed.


Sargent’s long musical career came as a direct link from the UTM “Guest Concert Series” when Stan Mark, Lead Trumpeter for Ferguson made a guest appearance with the UTM jazz and concert band in 1980, Ed was the Student liaison for Mr. Mark. This association has forever ingrained a desire to nurture performers from all walks of the arts to come to UTM. Outside of touring, Sargent is dedicated to supporting artists and mentoring young musicians through masterclasses and production workshops.


Greg Billings

Greg Billings

I am retired from public service with 31 years of experience as a teacher and administrator. I hold a Master of Education degree in Leadership and Policy Studies with an Endorsement in K-12 Supervision and Administration in Education (University of Memphis 1997) and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (University of Tennessee at Martin 1988). I am currently working in the private sector as the Principal and Department Head at South Central Correctional Facility. During the past two years I have been working with incarcerated men in an effort to reduce recidivism through education and career technical training. I have served as an administrator in the middle school and high school since 2005 in both rural and urban educational settings. During that time I have improved academic achievement for all students, developed strategies that motivate students to succeed and increase instructional time and opportunities for the arts. Particularly, during my tenure at Lauderdale Middle School, documented student growth, as measured by TVASS scores, was ranked fifth in the state of Tennessee. Additionally, as Principal at Overton High School “School for the Creative and Performing Arts”, I developed teams of collaborators and partnerships with community agencies/leaders, parents, staff, and stakeholders to create a dynamic organization focused on student growth and academic/arts performance. Prior to the beginning of my administrative career, I served 14 years as Band Director at Covington High School-Covington, TN and Memphis Central “The High School” Memphis, TN. As a director of bands in both the rural and urban setting I was able to develop thriving programs to include concert, marching and jazz bands.


&As a school leader/teacher I have analyzed student data to determine student proficiency and progress, managed budgets and contracts focused on student benefit, implemented a dynamic marketing campaign for the Optional School Program, and developed technology innovations and cross-curricular instructional activities. Additionally, my professional evaluations have always noted my strengths as being creative thinking, problem solving, long-range planning, and the ability to communicate with diverse populations.


Perhaps my most important strength is my passion for youth, the arts, technology, and education. I am motivated when I see young people make connections between what they are required to do in the classroom and what they are drawn to in the real world. As an effective administrator I am able to facilitate teachers, students, administrators and parents in achieving the careful balance that leads young people to productive growth. When these components come together in harmony, it is a circumstance where everyone thrives: teachers, administrators, but most importantly, students. This is the type of school I seek to create: one where teachers and administrators want to work, and one where students grow and flourish.


Michaela Johnson

Michaela Johnson

I graduated from UTM Music in December 2019 with a degree in Music Education. During my time at UTM, I played trumpet in the wind ensemble, concert band, jazz band, small combo, trumpet ensemble, marching band, brass band, and brass choir. I also sang in the choir, played in the percussion ensemble, and studied in Dr. Mathenia's composition studio. I went on two travel studies with UTM Music, one travel study was to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic to study chamber music and critical editing of music, and the other travel study was to Ghana to study Bewaa music. While at UTM, I was also a member of Sigma Alpha Iota.


After graduating from UTM, I taught violin, choir, general music, and English for two months at the Hope House Children's Home in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Now, I teach general music at Pleasant Ridge Elementary School in Knoxville, TN.


I love reading, writing, traveling, and being outdoors. I'm also a HUGE Harry Potter nerd!


Delton Davis

Delton Davis

Delton Davis is the founder and director of Kids Drumming where he has developed a unique course curriculum utilizing language and storytelling in conjugation with instruments. Delton also teaches music at KIPP Los Angeles College Preparatory. Graduating with a Bachelors in Percussion Performance from University of TN at Martin he went to Cal State University Long Beach where he was a graduate and teaching assistant. Through Kids Drumming Delton has created a series entitled ‘World Percussion Journey’ which is a series that teaches viewers about the rhythmic world around us.


Kids Drumming has also inspired him to create educational resources and media for not just children but music educators as well. In addition to kids drumming he foster’s cross-cultural awareness through music education. This passion has led him to travel 10 different counties. Philippines being one of the countries where Delton had the opportunity to lead the World Percussion Clinic for Music Educators. At this clinic he was able to introduce Kids Drumming curriculum and world percussion material to music educators. While in the Philippines he also traveled to different schools throughout the country and lead drumming assemblies. Other facilitated workshops include: LAUSD music educators, LA Public Libraries, Down Syndrome Association, First Five L.A., and Violence Intervention Program.


As an artist Delton has performed with the following artists and groups:


Andy Grammar, Take 6, Bradford Marsalis, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, Van Halen, Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corp., Cypress Pops Orchestra, Byron Miller, Ice Beat Factory.


Delton has authored 2 books: Groove Along which was reviewed in Percussive Notes Magazine and his latest multicultural activity book, A Journey to Brazil.


Delton has made the following television appearances includes: Jane the Virgin, Everybody Hates Chris, Girlfriends, Blessed (Jill Scot), Good Morning America and 90210.


As a recording artist, Delton has played on the following recordings: Everybody Hates Chris, Invisible Children Documentary, Poem by Martin Torres, Allegreto by Alison Tucker, E-Thology by Emilio, Spreadin’ the Word by Daniel Doss and Around the World in Groove by Angelique Roberts


Kori Barber

Kori Barber

Kori Barber is a 2012 graduate from The University of Tennessee at Martin with a degree in K-12 Music Education. She is currently the music teacher at Dr. Mary Giella Elementary School in Spring Hill, Florida, a position she has held for the past 8 years. Prior to this position, she briefly taught piano, general music, theory and choir at Brighton High School in Brighton, Tennessee. While at Dr. Mary Giella Elementary, Kori has served as Team Facilitator for the Special Areas Team, behavior committee representative and as a Trauma-Informed Care Campus Champion. She has also worked with The Florida Orchestra for several years to develop lesson plans for their annual youth concert series.


Kori is passionate about helping new and aspiring teachers, particularly those who may be out of their comfort-zone teaching elementary music. She has mentored several new teachers within Pasco County Schools, as well as hosted interns from local universities for their final internships. She is currently enrolled at The University of South Florida in Tampa to pursue a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and hopes to soon become a school administrator.


Kori lives in Wesley Chapel, Florida with her husband, James, and their four cats: Edan, Titan, Atlas and Orion. Kori and James are major Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey fans, attending as many games as possible, and watching on TV when they cannot. They also attend Dave Matthews Band concerts each summer, both in Tampa and West Palm Beach. Kori and James spend much of their free time attending charity and fundraising events as members of The 501st Legion, a Star Wars costuming club, and doing home improvement projects.


Rachel Bjork

Rachel Bjork

Rachel Bjork believes that meaningful music education should be for all children because music changes us and holds us together as a society. She has had a love for teaching children since high school where she first started teaching piano lessons at age fourteen. She received the prestigious Sousa award in her high school band and was first chair percussionist in the All-State Band. She was also a valedictorian of her senior class at Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.


Mrs. Bjork attended the University of Tennessee at Martin on a full academic and music scholarship where she majored in Music Education. In college, she was a member of the Phantom Regiment Drum Corps in 2011 and 2013, and also taught the Union City Front Ensemble her senior year. She was Senator of the Music Department on the UTM Student Council, and she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2014.


She started her teaching career in an inner city, high poverty school where she learned the importance of classroom management and relationships with her students. She created and organized many programs for her students Kindergarten through sixth grade. She now holds a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Middle Tennessee State University and is in her seventh year of teaching elementary music in the Murfreesboro City Schools system.


In 2020, she received the Murfreesboro City Schools Teacher of the Year award. She created and directs the Northfield Drumming Ensemble where inner city students perform drum grooves from around the world in performance venues around the Middle Tennessee area. The program began with fifteen fifth grade students, performing only for their peers at school. But today, the Northfield Drumming Ensemble is a select group of twenty students, out of sixty who audition, who rehearse and perform all over Tennessee. These experiences have expanded community awareness about the arts in elementary school and have expanded performance opportunities for her students. That community awareness and increase in student opportunity have helped the community and students be aware of the limitless ceiling of possibilities. But not only have the performance opportunities impacted her school children, they have changed the “way music is done” across the entire district. Today, three other Murfreesboro City schools have drumming ensembles that have become a “normal” part of student learning in the district.


She was selected to be on the Country Music Hall of Fame’s teacher panel for the Words and Music program which is taught around the country. She is currently the Title One Family Engagement coordinator at her school where she organizes family events to get parents and family members more involved in their child’s education. She holds an Orff Level One certification from Belmont and has a private piano studio which she teaches after school. Rachel views music education as an experience that all students can gain knowledge from. Music is not a self-contained subject but is a catalyst to learn in every area of academic and social achievement.


Benjamin Martin

Benjamin Martin

Benjamin Martin joined the faculty of Huntingdon High School in 2016 as Director of Bands. His primary responsibilities include conducting the Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Choir. In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. Martin is highly active in studio percussion, as well as composing and arranging.


Under Mr. Martin’s direction, the Huntingdon Wind Ensemble has grown in quality and scope. The ensemble has received superior ratings in the Concert Festival and has performed in the TMEA State Concert Festival. The 2020 Ensemble received the ASBDA Award of Distinction in Concert Performance for earning superior ratings in all captions from all concert and sight reading judges.


Prior to his appointment at Huntingdon, Mr. Martin served as Assistant Director of bands and Director of Bands at Liberty Technology Magnet High School in Jackson, TN. The ensemble performed in Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Hawaii.


After growing up in West Tennessee, Mr. Martin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Tennessee at Martin, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Central Arkansas. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, West Tennessee Bands and Orchestra Association, and Tennessee Bandmasters Association. When not involved in music or teaching related activities, Martin enjoys spending time with his family, reading, motorcycling and kettlebell training.


CJ Barrow

CJ Barrow

CJ is a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin, where he earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Education. While at UTM, he was a member of the Music City Mystique front ensemble in 2016 and 2017. After graduating, he served as a band director near Nashville, TN for three years.


He now resides in Bloomington, Indiana with his wife Hannah, where he is pursuing his MM in Music Scoring for Visual Media at Indiana University, while simultaneously working as a music designer with Synced Up Designs and Music City Drum Corps. As a music designer, his reach extends internationally, having worked with different groups around the world as a composer, arranger, and sound designer. Furthermore, he has begun a deep dive into the world of scoring for film, TV, and video games. Check out more of his work at https://cjbarrowmusic.com.


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