Theory and Composition


Courtenay Harter

[B.F.A., Carnegie Mellon University; M.M., Northwestern University; Ph.D., University of Connecticut]

Dr. Courtenay Harter teaches music theory, oboe and English horn and coaches chamber music. Her previous teaching appointments include Georgia State University, Oberlin College′s Conservatory of Music, and the University of Connecticut.

 Of her many research interests, Dr. Harter is particularly attracted to the pedagogy of music theory; her dissertation study, entitled "Phrase Structure in Prokofiev′s Piano Sonatas," uses familiar terminology to describe formal procedures within the context of neoclassic characteristics. She has presented papers at national and regional meetings of the Society for Music Theory and the College Music Society. Her more recent publications include "Bridging Common Practice and the Twentieth Century: Cadences in Prokofiev′s Piano Sonatas" (in Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy) and "Theory through Ferling and Excerpts: A Winning Combination" (in The Double Reed: Journal of the International Double Reed Society). Her current research projects include an anthology of instrument-specific excerpts for theoretical studies, as well as sketchbook studies with the Serge Prokofiev Archive in London, England.

Dr. Harter is a faculty consultant for the Advanced Placement Music Theory Exam and also published teaching materials and resources through the College Board (in the 2007 AP® Teacher′s Guide in Music Theory and in the "Teachers′ Resource Catalog," on the AP® Central website). She has also been on the test development committee for othe CLEP Humanities Exam.

Dr. Harter continues to be an active performer; these experiences aid in bridging the gap between the analysis and the performance of music for the students. Read about Dr. Harter′s theory class from the student′s perspective:  Dr. Harter Cultivates Musicianship


Thomas Bryant

received his B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Georgia, and completed his D.M. degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Dr. Bryant lists his piano teachers and mentors to include Despy Karlas, Jane Douglas, Hans Petermandl, Maria Regina Seidlhofer-Luponi, and Donald Isaak. He has studied accompanying with Laurence Davis and Erik Werba.

Dr. Bryant has earned an impressive reputation both as a solo pianist as well as an artistic accompanist. He is active throughout the region as a concert artist, and is in high demand as a recital accompanist. In addition to his rigorous performing activity locally, he travels nationally and internationally in his piano performance.

Dr. Bryant teaches piano, accompanying, and music appreciation at Rhodes College.

David Shotsberger

[B.M. and M.M, Pennsylvania State University; D.M.A, University of Memphis]

Dr. David Shotsberger joined the Rhodes faculty in 2014 where he teaches music technology and composition. Previous teaching position and appointments include the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Memphis.

Dr. Shotsberger is an active composer, arranger and songwriter with domestic and international performances of his orchestral works by the Atlanta, Memphis, and Charleston Symphonies as well as chamber works performed by Relache (Philadelphia, PA) and the Ensemble Eclipse (Beijing, China). Recent recording credits include collaborations with Grammy- and Dove-award winner Bruce Carroll, A Band of Thieves, and This Glorious Cause.

As a teacher, Dr. Shotsberger is known for a no-nonsense, practical pedagogical approach in which he strives to help his students find their unique creative “voice” through the coalescence of the “Three T’s”: theory, technique and talent. This practical approach permeates all aspects of his musical career, including his position as the Minister of Music at Advent Presbyterian Church in Cordova, TN.


Michael Cox

[B.M., Oklahoma Baptist University; M.M., University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; D.M., Florida State University]

Michael Cox has recently retired, after nineteen years, as professor of Music Theory and Composition at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.  At Southwestern Seminary, he directed the Men’s Chorus from 1993-2003 and the Southwestern Singers from 2006-2009.  Prior to joining the faculty at Southwestern, Cox was an associate professor of music at Oklahoma Baptist University teaching conducting, music theory and serving as director of the Bison Glee Club for thirteen years.  He is currently Director of the Chancel Choir and Composer in Residence at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth.  As an adjunct faculty member at Dallas Baptist University, he has taught orchestration, counterpoint, advanced analysis, choral arranging, composition  and music theory. This is his first year to serve as adjunct professor of composition at Rhodes College.

Cox received the Bachelor of Music degree with honors in piano performance from Oklahoma Baptist University, the Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the Doctor of Music degree in composition from Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Dr. Cox has composed and published numerous sacred choral and instrumental works for use in the church.  His seventh keyboard collection, titled All Glory, Laud and Honor, was published by Shawnee Press.  More recently, his compositional efforts have focused upon larger works for festival size choir and orchestra.  His Deo Gratias was recorded by the Southwestern Seminary Oratorio Chorus and Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra.  His latest effort in this genre is an eight-movement work for tenor soloist, choir, and orchestra titled Symphonic Psalms.  In the Fall of 2005 Dr. Cox was invited to be a guest composer for the New Music and Art Festival at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio where his new work, I Sought the Lord, was performed by the 150-voice B.G.S.U. Men’s Chorus under the direction of Dr. William Skoog.

Dr. Cox is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers and has received their Standard Award every year since 1987.  Dr. Cox’s international ministry opportunities as guest composer and conductor have included trips to Seoul, Korea, Vitoria and Sao Paulo, Brazil.