Faculty for 2016-2017

Jeffrey Jones

Chair of the Music Department

P | 434-381-6121
E | jjones@sbc.edu

Music Department
Sweet Briar College
Sweet Briar, VA 24595


Anna Grazhdanova Billias

Assistant Professor of Music

P | 434-381-6491
E | abillias@sbc.edu
O | Babcock Fine Arts Center | First Floor, 124

B.A. | Donetsk National University
M.A., Piano Instruction, Chamber Ensemble Performance and Accompanying | Donetsk State Academy of Music
M.A., Donetsk State University of Management

Anna Billias was trained as a concert pianist at the Prokofiev State Academy of Music in Donetsk, Ukraine (formerly the Prokofiev Conservatory of Music), graduating with advanced degrees in performance and instruction for piano. A featured soloist in the school’s symphony orchestra, she also served as an accompanist throughout the Donetsk Oblast. In 1995, she was a prizewinner in the Prokofiev International Piano Competition and in fall 1997, she was invited to perform in Paris at the International Music Forum. Billias is now pursuing her D.M.A. in piano performance at Shenandoah Conservatory.

Billias has performed in numerous concerts at Sweet Briar, Hampden-Sydney, Lynchburg and Randolph College; at Liberty and James Madison University; in London, Partenit and Donetsk, Ukraine; and in local fundraising events for the Forte Chamber Music Festival and the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra. She has been invited to judge CVMTA competitions and is a frequent jurist for musical competitions in Amherst, Lynchburg and Charlottesville. In 2010, she premiered a performance of Joelle Wallach’s “Daughters of Silence.”

At Sweet Briar, Billias is the director of piano studies and collaborative performance. In her spare time, she serves as music director at a local church and runs a growing private piano studio. She is also the proud mother of three musically gifted children and a supportive, but not musically talented husband!

Billias teaches Rudiments of Music, Applied Piano, Vocal Performance Technique, Senior Seminar, Concert/Chamber Choir and recital classes.


Joshua Harris

Assistant Professor of Music

P | 434-381-6115
E | jkharris@sbc.edu
O | Babcock Fine Arts Center | First Floor, 123

B.M., Instrumental Music Education, Music Performance | Appalachian State University
M.M., Music Composition | Brigham Young University
Ph.D., Composition | University of North Texas

Professor Harris teaches music composition and theory, conducts the SBC Chamber Orchestra and directs the SArPA Studio. Prior to his appointment at Sweet Briar, he taught at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He has also taught music in middle and high schools.

His original music is grounded in a fascination with visual art, textures, sound spectra, non-linear narratives and extreme temporal manipulations, and has been heavily influenced by studio techniques of electroacoustic composers. He has been commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition and the Nova Ensemble, and has won awards from the American Composers Forum, among others. His music has been performed throughout the United States and South Korea, and is available on the SEAMUS record label. When he is not composing, he enjoys writing about art and music, traveling with his wife and two daughters, and thinking about the formal structure of sitcoms.


Jeffrey A. Jones

Associate Professor of Music

P | 434-381-6121
E | jjones@sbc.edu
O | Babcock Fine Arts Center | First Floor, 125

B.M., Instrumental Music Education, Music Performance | Appalachian State University
M.M., Performance/Percussion | Appalachian State University
Ph.D., Musicology, Florida State University

Jeffrey A. Jones is an active scholar, composer and performer. His research has been published in a variety of media and he has presented papers at regional, national and international conferences. Jones’s work as a composer and arranger has been featured in concert tours of Japan, Russia, Trinidad and Australia, as well as in theatrical productions and a television commercial. As a conductor and percussionist, Jones has performed throughout the United States and internationally with a diverse group of artists and ensembles, including Skiffle Steel Orchestra, III MEF U.S. Marine Corps Field Band and blues artists The King Bees.

At Sweet Briar, Jeff directs Skiffle USA Steel Orchestra and teaches the musicology-oriented courses.


Marcia Thom-Kaley

Marcia Thom-KaleyAssistant Professor of Music

P | 434-381-6221
E | mthom@sbc.edu
O | Babcock Fine Arts Center | First Floor, 126

B.A., Liberal Arts and Sciences | Virginia Tech
M.A., Visual and Performing Arts | Hollins University

Marcia Thom-Kaley teaches Applied Voice and directs the choral and vocal program, conducting both the concert and chamber choirs. Sweet Briar choral students often partner with neighboring colleges and/or participate in the Virginia State Collegiate Choir hosted by the Richmond Symphony Orchestra.

A classical singer, Thom-Kaley has enjoyed a 30-year professional career on the operatic and musical theater stages and has sung with the Nashville Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Roanoke Symphony and the Lynchburg Symphony. Her repertoire encompasses roles from Verdi to Mozart and, as a prolific soloist, includes performances at national and local events. A native of Lynchburg, she has served on the Lynchburg Symphony Board of Directors, and the founding board of Opera on the James. In addition, she served on the YWCA Board of Directors as an advocate for women’s rights and has worked as a volunteer for United Way of Central Virginia.

Thom-Kaley has been a Sweet Briar College faculty member since 2005. In 2009 and in 2015 she received the Connie Burwell White Excellence in Teaching Award by the Student Government Association. In 2015, she was unanimously elected to serve on the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors.