Kristin Van Cleve

Kristin Van CleveDirector of Music, Violin Professor, Director of Chamber Ensembles

Office: Music Department, Carpenter Hall
Phone: 972-721-5079
E-Mail: kvancleve@udallas.edu

Kristin Van Cleve was recently appointed chairperson of the music department at the University of Dallas, where she has directed the chamber ensemble program since 2007. She is Artistic Director and Principal Violinist of the historical performance ensemble, Texas Camerata and is Principal Second Violin with the Dallas Opera Orchestra. 

Ms. Van Cleve began violin studies in her hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska and later moved to Texas, receiving both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance from the University of North Texas.   As a baroque violinist, she has performed in Boston, Washington, D.C., France, Mexico and throughout the southwest. Ms. Van Cleve is concertmaster of several other historical instrument ensembles, including the Orchestra of New Spain, and has performed with Apollo's Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra.  As a modern violinist, she is a member of the New Hampshire Music Festival, has returned to Alaska as a faculty member of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and in June 2011 traveled to Bolivia to teach and perform. 

Ms. Van Cleve is active as a clinician for violin students of all ages and also maintains a private teaching studio in Dallas. She performs with the Fort Worth Symphony and traveled with that orchestra to Carnegie Hall in 2008.

Andrey Ponochevny

Andrey PonochevnyAdjunct Professor, Piano

Office: Music Studio, Haggar
Phone: 972-721-5079

Andrey Ponochevny graduated from Belarussian Academy of Music where he received his bachelor and master degrees. He also earned his Artist Diploma from TCU in Fort Worth, where he studied with Dr. Tams Ungar. He continued to refine his skills in the Artist Certificate Program at SMU in Dallas with renowned pianist, Juaquin Achucarro. He has appeared with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Des Moines Symphony, Rogue Valley Symphony and the Illinois Symphony, Irving Symphony, Orchester der Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele and Belarusian State Symphony among others.

His concerts have been broadcast on radio stations in Boston, New York, Chicago, Germany, Belarus, Slovenia, Romania, Australia and Denmark. In recent seasons, Mr. Ponochevny has been featured in many venues throughout Europe. Andrey Ponochevny performed at several prestigious festivals such as Ruhr Klavier Festival and the Bonner Herbst, International Keyboard Institute and Festival (IKIF) in New York city, International Ludwigsburg Festival; Serie de los Nuevos Virtuosos in Puerto Rico, Bravissimo Festival in Guatemala city and Changchun International festival, China.

He also holds several prestigious awards from China such as Outstanding Artist in China 2009 and 2011, Honorable professor of Jilin College of Arts and visiting professor at the Beihua University. In his hometown Minsk (Belarus) he was awarded the title "Minskovite of the year 2002".

Jim Higgins

Jim HigginsAdjunct Professor, Music History & Theory

Office: Music Department, Carpenter Hall
Phone: 972-721-5079
E-Mail: jhiggins@udallas.edu

Jim Higgins, born in Indiana, received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Indiana State University, and a Master's Degree in Cello Performance from Ball State University. After 10 years of performing with the Florida Symphony, he moved to Texas to begin a career in education and performing. He now teaches music history and music theory here at the University of Dallas as well as maintaining a private cello studio at his home in Richardson, and teaching cello at Brookhaven and Richland Junior Colleges.

An active free-lance cellist in the metroplex, Mr. Higgins has performed in many churches and with many organizations including The Dallas Opera, Lewisville and Richardson Symphonies. He is a founding member of Timeless Concerts, a dinner/concert series based in Arlington.

In addition to performing and teaching, Mr. Higgins writes arrangements for a variety of ensembles in Texas as well as other states. His arrangements for school orchestras have been published by Kjos and RBC. 

Tara Cunningham

Tara CunninghamAdjunct Professor, Applied Piano

Office: Music Studio, Haggar
Phone: 972-721-5079

Ms. Cunningham graduated from Texas Woman's University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education/Piano Performance. After teaching in the classroom for four years as a general music teacher of K-8, she decided to go completely private about 14 years ago and has a studio of 50 private piano students here in Irving. She was born and raised with her two older brothers on a 300-acre farm in Jasper, Indiana, by two very hardworking Catholic parents. Ms. Cunningham and her husband are the proud parents of two young children and very much enjoy living in Texas although they try to get back to Indiana as much as possible.

Besides teaching privately and working as the music teacher at Mount St. Michael's Catholic School in Dallas, Ms. Cunningham enjoys her church job at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in North Richland Hills where she is the main pianist/organist and plays for four masses on Sundays.

Ms. Cunningham holds a bachelor's degree from Texas Woman's University in Music Education/Piano.  
She is the author of "The Five Fathers of Music" and "NoteSpeed."  She is a piano instructor at the 
University of Dallas in Irving, TX and specializes in teaching beginning through advanced students.  She has maintained a full studio of piano students since 1998.  


Brian Bentley

Director, UD Chorale

Office: Music Department, Carpenter Hall
Phone: 972-721-5079


Former Arlington Lieutenant Becomes UD's First Police Chief

A self-proclaimed Irish-Catholic Yankee and an altar boy starting in second grade, Russell Greene first learned of the University of Dallas upon moving to North Texas in 1994. "I grew up always dreaming of becoming a police officer," said Greene, who began serving in his post earlier this semester as chief of the university's new police department.

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