Academics

Ensemble Directors

 

Robyn Wilkes Robyn Bell is the Director of Instrumental Studies. She conducts SCF's Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, and teaches classes in music appreciation. In addition to her responsibilities at SCF, Bell is the conductor of the Pops Orchestra, former conductor of the Sarasota Orchestra Youth Symphony, and performs at area churches on trumpet and percussion. She received her Bachelor's of Science in Music Education, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga in 1997 and attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as a graduate assistant for the "Pride of the Southland" Marching Band, earning a Master's degree in Instrumental Conducting in 1999. She has a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Boston University.

Bell is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, College Band Directors National Association, Florida Music Educators Association, Florida Bandmasters Association, Florida Orchestra Association, Women Band Directors International, and the National Band Association. She served as Treasurer for the Seventh District of the Georgia Music Educators Association for five years and is President of the Women Band Directors International. She has received the Silver Baton Award from that organization and has been recognized by GMEA for her outstanding contributions to music education in 2004 and 2006. In 2007, Bell was awarded the Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association in recognition of her band's performance at the University of Georgia's annual Janfest event and in 2012 was awarded Honorary Membership to Tau Beta Sigma,  a national band sorority dedicated to serving college band programs.

Prior to coming to SCF, Bell was the band director at Ridgeland High School in Walker County, Georgia where her bands won numerous regional, state, and national marching and concert band competitions. During the 2008-2009 school year, she served as Instructor of Music at Covenant College on Lookout Mountain, Georgia where she conducted the jazz band and chamber orchestra and taught classes in music history, music appreciation and symphonic literature.

Visit Dr. Bell’s website at www.robynbell.net


 

Rex WillisRex Willis teaches Classical Guitar, Composition, Music Theory, Music History, Music Appreciation, and Guitar Ensemble. He holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music  from Florida State University and while there, participated in composition master classes/readings with visiting composer Aaron Copland. Willis studied guitar with Bruce Holzman and participated in Guitar Master Classes with Christopher Parkening and Pepe Romero.

A published composer, Willis has had his music performed all over the world. Willis's original music has been reviewed in the top classical guitar publications as  "accessible . . . skillful . . . powerful . . . seductive . . . an absolute gem of a piece . . . highly desirable". Willis received a world premiere for Guitar Octet in June 2014 at the prestigious GFA Annual Convention at Cal State University Fullerton. He has composed the film scores for several award winning independent movies including two for One Day Films of Tampa. He composed the score for the musical ¡Ybor! and wrote the book, lyrics, and music for a new musical Something for Nothing.

Willis has been a featured performer with the Florida String Quartet (Sarasota Orchestra affiliation), Sarasota Pops, Artist Series of Sarasota, North Port Orchestra, Florida State Music Teachers Association State Convention, Miami International Guitar Festival, Brno International Guitar Festival (Czech), the Gwinnett Philharmonic Association Concert Series (Atlanta), and the Sarasota Orchestra. Willis performed with Gloria Musicae, a professional choral group, in December 2013 along-side world famous harpist Ann Hobson-Pilot. Willis also released three CD's featuring his original classical guitar compositions.

Willis's professional and collegiate music directing and conducting credits include: ¡Ybor!, The Gondoliers, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Boy Friend, Into the Woods, Bye Bye Birdie, Children of Eden, The Music Man, West Side Story (Fall 2014), the guitar orchestras at The Stetson Guitar Workshop, the Brno International Guitar Festival, the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) State Festival, and the Florida Community Music College Symposium where he was the site coordinator of the guitar ensemble division for multiple years, and again in 2015. In May 2012, Willis was the featured composer in residence at Glendale Community College (Arizona) where he conducted a concert of his guitar ensemble music that included the world premiere of a newly commissioned/now published work for the occasion. He was the featured conductor for the 2014 FMEA Guitar All-State event in January and followed that in April conducting an all-day Guitar Ensemble Festival at Harrison School of the Arts in Lakeland.

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