A native of East-Berlin, Dr. Eva Beneke is an unstoppable performer. Highlights of her career include appearances with the German Symphony Orchestra under Kent Nagano, invitations to international festivals in Perú, Germany, Lithuania, the U.S. and Canada and a live performance with Carrie Underwood at the 2010 American Country Music Awards. Beneke’s debut CD, Coming Home, was released to wide critical acclaim in 2010. Her performances have been broadcasted internationally and her arrangements for guitar ensemble are gaining international recognition. The American publishing-house Clearnote Music published two of her guitar compositions in 2009.
Beneke began her studies at the Berlin University of Arts with Martin Rennert. She then received the prestigious solo artist diploma at the Franz Liszt Hochschule in Weimar where she trained extensively with Thomas Müller-Pering, one of Germany’s most influential guitarists. In 2012, Beneke received a doctorate with honors from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, after having studied with Grammy® winning guitarist Scott Tennant and jazz-guitar legend Bruce Forman. In the Fall of 2012, Eva Beneke joined the faculty at McNally Smith College of Music.
If you are interested in studying classical guitar with Dr. Eva Beneke, please click here to learn more about McNally Smith's Master of Music in Performance degree.
Department Head, Guitar
Joe Elliott has spent 30 years playing professionally in Los Angeles as sideman, musical director and composer in a variety of music settings including network TV, movie soundtrack, studio, concert and club venues. His teaching experience includes 23 years at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA for the G.I.T. and Baccalaureate programs and various clinics throughout the U.S.
Joe has also written and edited courses for MI's G.I.T. and baccalaureate programs. He spent 3 years as GIT Department Head and 9 years as Vice President and Director of Education at Musicians Institute. In addition, Joe served as president of the Theatre of Arts acting school in Hollywood, CA and on the board of directors for the L.A. Music Academy in Pasadena, CA.
Joe has authored two instructional books published by Hal Leonard: An Introduction to Jazz "Guitar Soloing" and "Ear Training" (co-author). Joe has also released guitar instrumental CDs entitled "Joe's Place" and "Truth Serum." Learn more at: www.joeelliottguitar.
Having studied under guitar greats Bill Leavitt, Mike Ihde, and Larry Baione, Paul toured eight years with various shows and rock bands throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has also played with the Chanhassen Dinner Theater Pit Orchestra for the musicals Oklahoma, Cats, Mamma Mia, and The Full Monty.
Tim's career includes a wide range of accomplishments in television production, recording studio session work, producing, arranging, engineering, studio management, and multi-instrumental live performance. Having studied with Memphis area sessionmen and Bill Bresnahan in Boston, his university studies culminated in working with artist-in-residence, Aaron Copland, and visiting artists, Gunther Schuller and electronic music pioneer, Vladimir Ussachevsky. Tim has toured nationally in a 14-piece horn band and shared the stage with Carole King, The Beach Boys, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Merle Haggard, Ann Margaret, and many more. He also maintains a long-running contingent of private guitar students.
An experienced performer as a soloist and with a wide variety of musicians, Chris Olson holds an M.M. degree in Jazz Studies/Performance from the University of North Texas and a B.M. degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Chris is on the board of directors of the Minnesota Guitar Society, and teaches at guitar and jazz camps in Shell Lake, Wisconsin and here at McNally Smith. Chris has been a performer and clinician at camps and festivals from Green Bay, WI to Cordoba, Argentina.
Mike Salow is a graduate of McNally Smith College of Music and received a B.M. in Guitar Performance with a Music Business Minor (Cum Laude). He’s played with various acts, with genres ranging from jazz/fusion to hip-hop; metal to country.
Mike has toured throughout the Midwest over the years, most recently with rock quartet, Chester Bay. The band has been featured in magazines such as Rolling Stone and Relix, they’ve had national radio airplay, and have had their music placed in television and film. Additionally they’ve shared the stage with national acts like Candlebox, Los Lobos, Fitz and the Tantrums, Great White, and The Avett Brothers. Chester Bay has recorded and released two full length albums; “Get Free” and the most recent, “Changes with the Midwest Moon”.
Outside of McNally Smith, Mike teaches at several other schools throughout the greater Twin Cities area as well as having a number of private students. He also makes monthly video tutorials for InfiniteGuitar.com.
Mike has been featured on TruthInShredding.com, received an Outstanding Solo award at the Elmhurst Jazz festival with the Kirkwood Community College Big Band, and has also had success in online guitar competitions, placing 1st in one, and was a finalist in two others.
David Singley is a professional guitarist who has shared the stage with such jazz luminaries as Bob Brookmeyer, George Shearing, James Moody, Bob Mintzer, Phil Woods, Ernestine Anderson, Paquito d'Rivera, Bob Florence, Tal Farlow, and Buddy DeFranco. His work as a professional guitarist has also taken him across North America appearing with Perry Como, Debbie Gibson, Gene Pitney, Mary Wells, Debbie Reynolds, Shari Lewis & Lambchop, and many others. He has worked in the orchestra pit of many a touring Broadway musical including, most notably, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond, The Lion King, Chicago, and Sweet Charity. He has also performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera, and has appeared on National Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion. His playing has graced countless commercial jingles, and he has appeared on over a dozen jazz recordings produced in the Twin Cities, including his debut recording as a leader, How My Heart Sings. David is also a published composer and arranger with pieces for Jazz Ensemble available in the catalogs of the Neil A. Kjos Music Co., Increase Music, and reallygoodmusic.com.
David Singley also holds the position of Lecturer of Music at Carleton College in Northfield, MN where he teaches Jazz Guitar and Jazz Improvisation and also directs the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos. When he’s not making music, David is also an avid long-distance runner.