Joan Epstein

Joan O. Epstein

Professor of Music, Music Discipline Coordinator,Instructor in Trumpet


  • M.M., Yale University
  • Adv. Grad. Cert., University of South Florida

Contact Info

Professional Interests

“Prof E.,” a member of the Eckerd faculty since 1981, offers a wide variety of music and interdisciplinary arts courses including Myths & Music, American Musical Landscapes, Sound Design, Modern Music, Tonal Theory, Song Writing and Trumpet Performance. She also teaches The Human Experience and the popular Autumn Term course Icarus Ascending. A composer, American music scholar and trumpeter, Epstein grew up in St. Petersburg and earned degrees from Smith College, the Yale U. School of Music and the U. of South Florida.

Brent Douglas

Brent Douglas

Choral Director, Instructor in Piano, Staff Accompanist


  • Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, University of South Florida
  • Curriculum Vitae

Contact Info

Professional Interests

Mr. Douglas has taught piano and accompanied the choir and faculty since 2010 and assumed leadership of the Eckerd Concert Choir in 2014. Sought after as a pianist and coach, Douglas performs with The Florida Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Opera. He studied piano in Missouri before earning his piano degree at the U. of South Florida where he recently completed a master’s degree in orchestral conducting.

Brian Jones

Assistant Professor of Music, Instructor in Bass


  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, M.A.
  • Brigham Young University, B.M., University of Utah

Contact Info

Professional Interests

Prof. Jones joined the Eckerd faculty in the Fall of 2015. A native of Utah who earned degrees in music education, performance and musicology at the U. of Utah and Bingham Young U., Jones has spent the last few years in North Carolina where he earned his Ph.D. (UNC – Chapel Hill) and continued to perform on bass and work in recording studios. An expert on American popular and folk music as well as in classical and world music traditions, Jones teaches the Musical Ecology of New Orleans, World Music, Tonal Theory and private lessons on bass.

Applied Music Instructors

In addition to Professors Epstein and Jones listed above, Eckerd College offers a variety of musical instruction from experts available to students wishing to learn an instrument or improve their skills. Direct contact information is given below for teachers who are on campus several days a week

Zachary Bornheimer
Instructor in Saxophone
B.A. & M.M., University of South Florida

Instructor Bornheimer is an emerging force in the Florida jazz scene as a saxophonist, composer, arranger and big band director. His diverse interests and broad musical skills equip him especially well to connect with Eckerd’s diverse student saxophonists. He teaches private lessons, coaches a saxophone ensemble and offers private tutorials in jazz theory. Visit his website to gain a full sense of his many projects and breadth of expertise.

Joe Braccio

Joe Braccio
Instructor in Classical Guitar
B.A., Eckerd College

Joe Braccio is a respected teacher and performer in  several styles of acoustic guitar, playing over a hundred engagements a year in top  venues. He is also a noted coach of steel drum ensembles and is director of the  Tampa Bay Steel Orchestra. In addition to teaching at Eckerd, Braccio is on the  faculties of St. Petersburg College and several magnet arts programs in the Pinellas  County Public Schools. Joe’s recordings are posted to the Buscarino Guitars website  and available for download on iTunes. Braccio studied locally before pursuing advanced instruction at the Scuola Cresciani di  Roma Conservatory.

Max Bygrave
Instructor in French Horn
M.E. and B.S, University of South Florida

Instructor Bygrave is a respected performer and teacher on horn on Florida’s West Coast as well as the band director at Azalea Middle School in St. Petersburg. He also assists with the New Horizons adult band program based at Eckerd College.

Amy Collins
Instructor in Oboe
B.A., University of South Florida

Instructor Collins is an accomplished teacher and performer who has played oboe and English horn for all the area’s major orchestras. She teaches at the U. of South Florida and several other area institutions in addition to Eckerd.

Dawne Eubanks

Dawne Eubanks
Instructor in Voice
B.A., Florida State University

Instructor Eubanks is well-known as a teacher and performer in the Tampa Bay Area and beyond. In addition to her duties at Eckerd, she teaches voice at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts and taught for many years at Hillsborough Community College. A graduate of Florida State University, Eubanks is also an active church musician.

Alfred Gratta

Alfred “Fred” Gratta
Instructor in Cello
B.M., Cleveland Institute of Music
M.M., University of Southern California
Roberts Music Center 105

A long-time member of The Florida Orchestra, St. Petersburg Opera Orchestra and of summer festival orchestras in Eisenstadt, Austria and at Washington’s Bellingham Festival of Music, Mr. Gratta also teaches at the State College of Florida. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music and his Master of Music degree at the University of Southern California.

Kurt Grissom

Kurt Grissom
Instructor in Percussion
B.M., University of Tampa

Instructor Grissom is a versatile, long-time percussionist with The Florida Orchestra who teaches not only at Eckerd but also for many other local institutions including the Pinellas County Center for the Arts and the Pinellas Youth Symphony. He also taught for many years at Hillsborough Community College. He holds a B.M. degree from the University of Tampa.

Thomas Hall

Thomas Hall
Instructor in Organ
B.A., Eckerd College
M.M., Florida State University

Instructor Hall earned his B.A. from Eckerd College and his M.M. from Florida State University. In addition to teaching at Eckerd and concertizing, he is Director of Music at Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Petersburg and an active member of the American Guild of Organists. Students with basic keyboard skills should take advantage of lessons on one of the college’s remarkable Flentrop tracker organs, more notably the instrument in Wireman Chapel.

Janet Harris

Janet Harris
Instructor in Bassoon
B.M., The Harid Conservatory (Lynn University)

Instructor Harris has played with the Sarasota Orchestra, the Naples Philharmonic and the Florida Orchestra as well as many chamber ensembles in the region. She has taught at St. Petersburg College in addition to Eckerd.

Alison Heydt is a long-time violist in The Florida Orchestra and respected teacher. In addition to teaching at Eckerd, Heydt is an instructor at the Patel Conservatory in Tampa and has a private studio. She studied at Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

David Manson

David Manson
Instructor in Low Brass
D.M.A., College Conservatory, University of Cincinnati

Instructor Manson teaches and coaches at St. Petersburg College in addition to working with students at Eckerd. He is also a composer and well-known performer of avant garde and jazz trombone music.

Stacey McColley

Stacey McColley
Instructor in Clarinet
B.M., University of South Florida
M.M., University of California – San Diego

Instructor McColley earned her B.M. degree from the University of South Florida, pursued graduate studies at the University of Southern California, then completed her M.M. degree at the University of California – San Diego. She has played clarinet and/or bass clarinet in most of the region’s professional orchestras including the Sarasota and Port Charlotte Orchestras and the Sarasota Opera Orchestra. She is also an active chamber musician and soloist, often promoting new compositions for the clarinet. In addition to teaching at Eckerd, McColley teaches at Florida Southern College and Southeastern College in Lakeland and at St. Petersburg College.

Barbara Prescott

Barbara Prescott
Instructor in Flute
B.M., University of Wisconsin

Instructor Prescott, previous principal flute of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, is an acclaimed area soloist, ensemblist, chamber music coach and teacher. She teaches at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts, St. Petersburg College and the University of Tampa in addition to Eckerd.

Dolly Roberts

Dolly Roberts
Instructor in Harp
M.M., University of South Florida
B.A., Rollins College

Instructor Roberts teaches at the University of Tampa, Florida Southern College and Clearwater Christian College in addition to Eckerd and performs with a number of local symphony orchestras and as a featured soloist throughout the state.

Rebecca Zapen
Instructor in Violin and Viola
B.S. & B.A, Florida State University

Instructor Zapen is a teacher, performer and composer with expertise across genres: classical, jazz, world and folk. She teaches private lessons in violin and viola and also coaches Eckerd’s string orchestra and chamber ensembles. To learn more about her many recordings and performances, visit her website.


Marion Smith
Professor Emeritus of Music