In 1985, Raymond established Absolute Music, a commercial music studio, where he wrote and produced TV and radio spots for McDonald’s, US Banks, Volvo, the MN State Lottery and others. He has produced musical entertainments for Shell Oil, the NFL, Buffalo Wild Wings, AARP and Great Clips Int’l, while working with Jay Leno, Dana Carvey, Debbie Reynolds and Mickey Rooney. He has recorded 2 CDs of original compositions and several pieces for orchestra with live storytelling narration.
Since 2004, Raymond has served as resident musical director at the Ordway Center, where he conducts and performs regularly. He received the 2007 Ivey Award for Musical Direction for his work on the Ordway production of "Love, Janis." That same year he was awarded the Mpls. Star Tribune’s “Best Musical Director” award. Other local credits include Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, History Theatre, Mixed Blood, Illusion, Troupe America, Hey City Stage and Brave New Workshop.
Raymond’s arrangements are published by Music Theatre International and the R & H Library. His arrangements for Sisters of Swing have been produced at 43 theaters around the U.S. and Germany. At Hey City, Raymond created Nat King Cole, Music and Mystique for local singer Dennis Spears.
As an educator, Raymond served as residency composer for the Minnesota Opera in 45 schools around the state. From 2002 to 2005, he was a MN State Arts Board residency artist. In 2005, Raymond was hired to teach and lead the development of performing arts curriculum for the new Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, a charter high school. Through 2010 he chaired the music department and fostered the creation of SPCPA’s musical theater department.
Raymond studied with composer-in-residence Phillip Rhodes while he earned his BA in English Literature at Carleton College.
Gary has been a professional musician for 45+ years, working throughout the industry as a performer, composer, arranger and programmer. He studied piano with Lorna Michelson, Herb Wigley, Manfredo Fest, and Jill Dawe; Organ with Stephen Gabrielsen and Peter Hendrickson; and Guitar and Viola with True Sackrison and Ewa Bujak. Gary has performed with Tony Sandler, Marilyn McCoo, Robert Robinson, Brian Duncan, Ernie Watts, Othello Molineaux, Tim Ries, and the Minnesota Vikings Band. He continues to perform regularly with Marv Dahlgren, Yolanda Bruce, Cynthia Johnson, Judi Donaghy, the Sevilles, The Sleepers, his own band and others. As a composer/ synthesist with Herb Pilhofer Music, Gary composed music and designed sounds for numerous national TV ads including spots for Coca Cola, Discover Card, Target, and Porsche. He also performed on the soundtrack for the movie “Beautiful Girls” and coached the lead actor, Timothy Hutton, in piano technique. Gary hols a B.A. in Music from Augsburg College and a M.M. in Music Education from Boston University.
Liz Kuivinen holds a Master of Liberal Studies degree from the University of Minnesota and a B.M. degree in Piano Performance from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Liz began her career as a professional musician in New York City where she performed with artists Patti LaBelle, Loretta Devine (star of the hit Broadway musical Dreamgirls), Maurice Hines, Andy Warhol, John Sex, Pete Morgan’s Big Band, Sandra Caldwell, L.E. Howell, and Tina Cinero. Liz also performed at such Manhattan venues as The Palladium, Studio 54, The Cat Club and Dancetarea. Liz has worked extensively with jazz greats Frank Mantooth and Bob Mintzer. While in New York, Liz also worked in the theater, scored a feature film (Czechs and Balances), and operated her own production company.
Dr. Dan Musselman is a talented keyboardist, composer and educator. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Composition from the University of Minnesota, and a B.M. in Piano Performance from McNally Smith College of Music. Musselman has released three albums of original compositions and arrangements: Ruminations (2008); which contains all original improvised material on the piano and has over 200,000 plays on internet radio, Devotion (2013); a jazz trio/quartet album which has aired on over 240 radio stations internationally and features a suite of pieces that reflect the Bible, and A Modern Christmas; his dissertation project which contains “recompositions” of sacred Christmas hymns.
Musselman has led his own ensembles at several major venues in the Twin Cities, including the Artists’ Quarter and the Dakota Jazz Club, and performs annually at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. He is a keyboardist for River Valley Church, one of the largest and fastest growing churches in the country, and also plays regularly for Wooddale Church. Musselman has written two books: Ear Training for the Modern Musician, Book 1 and 2 — both of which are in use at McNally Smith (Book 3 is nearing completion). Additionally, he has received many commissions for compositions/arrangements from organizations such as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the University of Minnesota, and the men’s chorus Cantus.
Dan has been teaching piano lessons since age 16 and became a faculty member at McNally Smith in 2009.
Peter began playing piano and drums at the age of eight. The music collection of his older brother, which included records by artists like B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Hendrix, and the Beatles, provided his earliest rock influences. By the age of twelve he was playing boogie-woogie and blues piano, while singing with his older brother’s blues band. After sitting in on vocals, keyboards and drums with bands throughout his teens, Peter’s first professional gig was with the New Psychenauts.
He went on to be lead singer for the Swingin’ Combo; both bands were part of the early MPLS rock scene that launched the Replacements and Husker Du. It was about this time that he played his first professional rock gigs on keyboard, most notably with Hammond organ with blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite at the Blue Max on Maui. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and a scholarship to the Banff Arts Centre. Peter has also studied classical piano with James D. Johnson and Gary Kirkpatrick of the Verdehr Trio. He studied jazz piano with Brazilian pianist Manfredo Fest, Jim McNeely and Memphis born Harold Mabern.
Over the years Peter has either toured, performed or recorded with, among others, Iffy, Likehell, Art Farmer, Tom Harrell, Fareed Haque, Mark Murphy (co-produced “The Latin Porter” for Ben Sidran’s Go Jazz label, Julee Cruise of “Twin Peaks”, El Buho, Jeff Sipe, Victor Wooten, Estaire Godinez, Rita Coolidge and many more. Most recently, Peter has recorded a live concert with saxophonist Jerry Bergonzie that will be released on DVD as well as collaboration with Marcos Casal to be released on the label Universal Spain. He is also singing, playing and composing for his own new solo project that is currently in production.
Department Head, Keyboard
Sean Turner’s compositions and orchestrations have been utilized by Sony, Oprah Winfrey, Lifetime Network, Discovery Channel, American Express, Target, Chicken Soup For The Soul, and he has been a featured artist for Getty Images among many others. He has authored two instructional texts and written and produced three albums — one of which received a “Parent’s Choice Award” for children’s music.
Turner began his professional music career performing as a vocal soloist with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera soprano Lucy Shelton in the world premier of twentieth century composer George Crumb’s “Ancient Voices of Children.” He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance from Arizona State University and was awarded a Jazz Study Grant from the National Endowment For The Arts to study in New York with JoAnne Brackeen.
Arranging Courses Program Director
Israeli-born composer, arranger and pianist Adi Yeshaya is internationally renowned for his arranging and orchestration work. His recording credentials include some of the world’s top artists, such as Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, Burt Bacharach and Roberta Flack. He has also arranged music for live performances by Whitney Houston, Donny Osmond, Michael Bolton, Jack McDuff, Doc Severinsen, The Minnesota Orchestra and The Milwaukee Symphony. In the Twin Cities music scene, Yeshaya is active as a jazz pianist and arranger and has produced many recording projects, including releases by Debbie Duncan, Bruce Henry, Prudence Johnson, Irv Williams, Beth Yeshaya, Cookie Coleman, Lifescapes, as well as the Adi Yeshaya Big Band.
Yeshaya has a special passion for music education. His 20 years experience in teaching include four years as an associate professor of contemporary writing and production at Berklee College of Music in Boston, three years of instruction at The University Of Minnesota School Of Music and thirteen years at McNally Smith.