Fine Arts Faculty
Dr. Edward Dixon (Fine Arts Division Chair, Director of Roustabouts, Director of Bands)
Kinzer PAC 130
Dr. Edward Dixon is in his seventeenth year as a member of the NOC faculty. He conducts the NOC Concert Band, Jazz Band, and is the Director of Roustabouts. A native Tennessean, he graduated from Austin Peay State University with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Instrumental Conducting and holds a Doctorate of Music Education degree from Boston University. He is the artistic director of the Evans Children’s Academy of Performing Arts at The Poncan Theatre. Eddie was awarded “Distinguished Faculty” in 2013, 2016, and 2018, and was recognized in 2022 as one of Ponca City Monthly’s “Five Under Forty”. He has served as Director of local choral organization, Casono, and currently serves as organist for the Blackwell Presbyterian Church.
Shannon Varner (Director of Choral Activities, Instructor of Voice, Miss NOC Director)
Kinzer PAC 115
Shannon Varner has taught at NOC for over twenty years as an instructor of voice and conductor of the College Choir and Madrigal Singers. A Presser Scholar and magna cum laude graduate with a Bachelor of Music degree from Cameron University, she received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance with highest honors from Oklahoma City University. Musicals she has directed at Northern include Footloose, 110 in the Shade, and Beauty and the Beast. Her private voice students have performed in national venues and have signed with recording labels. For several years she worked with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra in the Civic Center Chorus. Among her favorite performing roles are Lisette (La Rondine), Amina (La Sonnambula), and Johanna (Sweeney Todd). Ms. Varner is a choir member of Casono, Federated Music Club, NATS, and the New York Metropolitan Opera Guild. Her students have won state competitions in the musical theatre and art song categories.
Chad Anderson (Director of Music Theatre)
Kinzer PAC 134
Chad Anderson is in his tenth year as Northern Oklahoma College Director of Music Theatre and has performed, taught, and directed regionally since 2000. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Music from Oklahoma Christian University, a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Oklahoma City University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre/Directing from the University of Oklahoma. He has taught as an adjunct instructor at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Christian University, and Oklahoma City Community College. Chad has directed shows at several Oklahoma venues, including Sooner Theatre, Oklahoma City Theatre Company, Giving Tree Theatre, the Ponca Playhouse, and Oklahoma Christian University. He has directed many shows during his time at NOC, including Little Shop of Horrors, The Addams Family, Carrie, Shrek, Next to Normal, Legally Blonde, and Sweeney Todd. He is a member of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Pops Chorale and a frequent performer with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, performing roles in shows such as Footloose, Jekyll & Hyde, Tarzan, Les Miserables, Big Fish, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Titanic. Chad’s students have performed and taught all over the country in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City.
Brandon Haynes (Roustabouts Vocal Director & Arranger, Instructor of Voice)
Kinzer PAC 117
Brandon Haynes received his Master of Music degree from University of Central Oklahoma in 2018. He also received his Bachelor of Music degree from Oklahoma City University in 2011 as well as an Associate degree in Music and Arts degree from Northern Oklahoma College in 2007. He began serving as adjunct faculty and staff in 2011 and later full-time faculty for the Fine Arts Music division at Northern Oklahoma College. He serves as professor of voice, piano, choral assistant, vocal director and music compositional arranger for the NOC pop-troupe, the Roustabouts. He has performed in and conducted amassed choirs for 12 years for the annual Festival of Spirituals and has had the honor of directing and producing the 51st and 52nd annual Festival of Spirituals virtual program. He also serves as director of music and worship arts at First United Methodist Church in Tonkawa. He too serves as Artistic Director and choral leader for the Choral Arts Society of Northern Oklahoma. He also performs regularly on weekends at the TS Fork restaurant formerly in Stillwater, currently in Tonkawa where he affords NOC students internships and performance opportunities. He also performs regularly with his band The Guys as keyboardist and vocalist on various and frequent civic occasions. Stage credits include University of Central Oklahoma’s opera production of Starbird as Dog in November of 2017. He also performed as a featured baritone soloist in a production of Carmina Burana with the UCO symphonic band in combined efforts with Edmond community choruses. Other previous stage credits include Northern Oklahoma Colleges’ production of Shrek as Donkey in 2017 and All Shook Up as Earl in 2020, Oklahoma City University’s production of Little Shop of Horrors as Audrey II in 2010 and more recently in a production at Northern Oklahoma College in 2015. He also appeared in an OCU opera production of Pagliacci as Tonio, which placed 1st in the 2010 National Opera Association Competition.
John R. Kuhlmann (Theatre Manager, Technical Director, Designer)
Kinzer PAC 113
John Kuhlmann is in his third year as Technical Director for NOC Performing Arts. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Christian University. Until recently, John has been the Technical Director for Evans Children’s Academy for several years, designing sets, lights and sound to the joy of Ponca City audiences. John has designed and built sets for many shows, including The Lion King Jr., The Little Mermaid, Shrek, Legally Blonde, Little Women, Sweeney Todd, and many more.
Brad Matson (Director of Digital Media Institute)
Brad Matson is the Director of the Digital Media Institute at Northern Oklahoma College. Brad graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1988 where he studied filmmaking and video production. He has worked in the media field for the past 28 years with TV studios, film companies, Digital Tutors, commercial work for The Sultana Documentary, Remington Park, DOD, RI, ATT and Cingular, and has worked and taught at Northern for over 16 years. He has won several awards, including a Telly in 2003 (the equivalent of the Oscars for Education and Broadcast Graphics). Mr. Matson is a DaVinci Fellow 2009 which was awarded by the Oklahoma DaVinci Institute for outstanding creativity in the classroom among Higher Education. Mr. Matson has been honored as an NOC Distinguished Faculty Member 2010, NISOD Excellence Award 2011, and nominated for the Oklahoma Gold Medal for Excellence in Teaching Award 2011, 2012, and 2013. He was also nominated for Digital Tutors Instructor of the Year 2012 and 2013 and a finalist in 2013.
Audrey Schmitz (Director of the Eleanor Hays Art Gallery)
Creative Arts 102
Audrey Schimitz is the Director of the Eleanor Hays Art Gallery and has curated more than 95 exhibits to bring national and local artists to the college since 1996. She instructs three-dimensional arts and art history and maintains a professional art career, specializing in ceramics, sculpture and fine art photography. Earlier this year she was a panelist for a moderated discussion following the Lawrence, Kansas, premiere of the documentary Called to Walls, which features the community mural made in Tonkawa in 2010. Ms. Schmitz was the mural project coordinator for the three-month venture granted to the city by Mid-America Arts Alliance. In 2015, she was one of eleven artists chosen from six states to make new work for Ballad of the Farm: Then, Now, Tomorrow, an exhibition for the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art in David City, Nebraska. In 2014, she received the top award from the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges for her submission to the Great Ideas for Teaching competition. In 2013, two of her signature photo sculptures were selected for a competitive national exhibition sponsored by Wichita Center for the Arts. She has received the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Teaching at a Regional University/Community College from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. She also holds the title of DaVinci Fellow, awarded by the Oklahoma DaVinci Institute to recognize creativity among higher education faculty. Ms. Schmitz is a graduate of the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Leadership Arts program.