Faculty Information

Faculty Information

Bruce Southard

Department Chair/Director of Choral Activities

Bruce SouthardBruce Southard is currently the Department Chair and Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Dickinson State University and has more than twenty years of experience working with choirs of all ages in California, Kentucky, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota. He has studied conducting with William Dehning, Kenneth Davis, Michael Weber and JoAnn Miller. Dr. Southard has also worked directly with Howard Swan, Eph Ehly, and Alfred Mann in choral workshops and consultations.

Growing up near the San Francisco Bay area of California, Dr. Southard was given many opportunities for musical growth and performance. As a vocalist, he has performed with leading names in the entertainment industry including the late Bob Hope and has maintained a private voice studio for many years. He has served on the staff of Pacific Music Camp, taught music at the elementary and high school levels and has been a clinician for church music conferences in Montana and California. Dr. Southard regularly serves as a clinician and adjudicator in middle schools and high schools throughout the North Central and Northwest regions.

Currently, Dr. Southard serves as the Repertoire and Standards Chair of College/University Choirs for the North Dakota chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. He has presented “Pillars of Professionalism” nationally and was awarded Outstanding Teacher of the Year in the College of Arts and Sciences in 2013.

Bruce Southard received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of the Pacific, his Master of Music degree from Western Kentucky University and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Music from North Dakota State University.  

Office Phone: 701-483-2307  Email: bruce.southard@dickinsonstate.edu

Southard CV


Carolyn Burns

Assistant Professor of Music Education

Carolyn Burns

Dr. Carolyn Burns, Assistant Professor of Music Education, taught elementary music education in Shelby, MT for several years before pursuing a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Montana State University – Bozeman in 2009. She was actively involved in Montana Music Educators Association and was honored with a Distinguished Service in Music Education. She brings her expertise and experience to the DSU students in music education and as a soprano soloist, she also brings her vocal/choral abilities. She adjudicates district music festivals in Montana and North Dakota and has conducted the Women’s Chorus for the Northern Plains Music Festival and the children’s choir for the NCACDA Surround the State in Song. Dr. Burns is a frequent presenter at various conferences and in-services for music educators in Montana and North Dakota.

With her interest in multicultural music, Dr. Burns has conducted research in South Africa with Xhosa children’s singing games, documenting freedom songs that women used during the struggle against the apartheid system and most recently creating a connection between a sixth grade class in Dickinson and a sixth grade class in South Africa using different technologies. Dr. Burns has presented papers on her research conducted in South Africa at the South African Musicological Society at North-West University in Potchefstroom; the international conference of Cultural Diversity in Music Education in Seattle; the International Society for Music Education in Bologna, Italy; the International Music Society/South African Society for Research in Music in Stellenbosch, South Africa; and the South African Music Teacher Society, Rhodes University in Grahamstown.  She has been the recipient of an Internationalizing the Curriculum Project Grant and an Innovative Teaching Project Grant from DSU.

Dr. Burns teaches Elementary Music Methods to music majors and elementary education majors, Music Appreciation, Introduction to World Music, Lyric Diction, and Freshman Seminar.

Office Phone: (701) 483-2879   Email: Carolyn.Burns@dickinsonstate.edu


Erin Oberlander

Adjunct Faculty of Music

Erin Oberlander

Erin Oberlander is an adjunct voice instructor at Dickinson State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in voice from Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN and a master’s degree and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from North Dakota State University. She has appeared as Zerbina in La Serva Padrona and as Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring with the NDSU Opera Theatre and as a soloist with the Fargo Moorhead Chamber Chorale and the Minnesota State University at Moorhead University Symphony Orchestra. In the fall of 2012, Oberlander sang and was a guest actor on the Dakota Air Radio Show. She has sung in master classes for Marilyn Mims, Suzanne Rhodes Draayer, Cynthia Lawrence, and composer, Frank Ticheli. Dr. Oberlander’s article “Premenstrual Syndrome and Its Effects on Laryngeal Functionality” was published in the Journal of Singing in 2010. Previous to her employment at DSU, Oberlander taught at Bemidji State University, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, and NDSU. She maintains a private piano and voice studio and does accompanying work. Dr. Oberlander also serves as a church musician and has recently been a presenter at DSU’ North Plains Music Festival. She focuses her frequent performances in the area on programs of new music by living composers and music on agricultural and rural subjects. Oberlander is developing a collaborative project with other musical and visual artists to perform recitals with multi-media content in small, country churches in the region.

Office Phone: (701) 483-2337   Email: Erin.Oberlander@dickinsonstate.edu


Joel Walters

Instructor of Music

Joel Walters

Joel Walters, a native of North Dakota, is an active educator and performer throughout the upper Midwest, and regularly serves as adjudicator and clinician around the region. Performing frequently as piano and vocal soloist, Joel also works as a vocal coach and collaborative pianist and has performed and toured with award winning soloists and choirs for national competitions and recitals around the United States and Canada. With over fifteen years of experience in sacred music, Joel continues to serve as music and choral director for local churches. Joel also worked as instructor and music curriculum designer for Master’s Baptist College in Fargo, North Dakota, and serves as an instructor of voice and musical theatre at the International Music Camp at the International Peace Gardens. Joel is the Instructor of Music and Piano at Dickinson State University where he is the head of the piano program, conducts the joint community and university Choral Union ensemble, and teaches Applied Piano, Aural Skills & Sight-singing, Piano Pedagogy, Piano Class, and Music Appreciation. Joel also maintains a large private music studio where he teaches piano and voice lessons to students of all ages.

Joel received Bachelor of Arts degrees in music and communications from Dickinson State University in Dickinson, North Dakota, and a Master of Music degree in piano performance from North Dakota State University School of Music in Fargo, North Dakota.

Office Phone: (701) 483-2034   Email: joel.walters@dickinsonstate.edu


Jeremy Wohletz

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

Jeremy Wohletz

Dr. Jeremy Wohletz currently serves as Visiting Assistant Professor of Woodwinds at Dickinson State University. He enjoys a diverse musical life as both a performer and educator. As a performer, he is a large advocate for new music, both performing and commissioning new compositions. One of these commissions was recently chosen to premiere at the 2014 International Clarinet Association convention, involving solo clarinet with electronics. Another piece was commissioned and premiered at the 2012 ICA convention by his guitar and clarinet duo, Pararo. This performance was described by The Clarinet journal as "a soothing blend of guitar and clarinet that washed through the ears to the soul." As a solo recitalist, he has presented performances and masterclasses, including a guest artist at Central College (IA), Iowa Clarinet Day, and many high schools and colleges throughout the Midwest.

As an educator, Dr. Wohletz has taught a variety of courses such as woodwind pedagogy, music theory, along with private lessons. He has also been asked to guest lecture numerous times on topics ranging from extended techniques for clarinet to Balinese gamelan. In addition to regular classroom teaching, he was publishing in the National Association of Collegiate Wind and Percussion Instructors Journal and was asked to present at the 2013 Kansas Music Educator Association convention.

Jeremy Wohletz received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Baker University, where he was named music performer of the year multiple years. He was also appointed principal clarinet in the 2004 Kansas Intercollegiate Band, performed with the National Wind Ensemble at Carnegie Hall in New York, and performed in the Small Intercollegiate Band at the Lincoln Center in New York. Dr. Wohletz received his Master of Music from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where he won the 2007 Wind Ensemble Concerto competition and served as principle clarinetist in both the orchestra and wind ensemble. While pursuing his doctorate degree from the University of Kansas, he was the recipient of several grants that allowed him to travel to Bali, Indonesia where he studied Balinese gamelan firsthand from a gamelan master. His teachers include Dr. JD Parr, Dr. Eric Mandat, and Dr. Stephanie Zelnick.

Office Phone: (701) 483-2308  Email: Jeremy.Wohletz@dickinsonstate.edu