Professor of Music -- Worship Arts
Speak Baby, Speak
Jen Edwards is a small-town, Nebraska girl who has recently returned to Northwest Arkansas and to JBU. Since graduating from JBU, Jen has been involved in church planting and worship ministry throughout the Colorado and Wyoming Front Range. She completed her Master's degree at Denver Seminary, and is very excited to partner in ministry with JBU students, faculty, and staff. In her spare time, she can be found writing in one of her many Moleskin notebooks, singing in any coffee shop that will have her, cooking with her husband, Brad, or kicking the soccer ball with her young sons, Reece and Mason.
Instructor of Voice, Interim Director of Cathedral Choir
Die Stille Liederkries Op. 39
Jacob Funk is serving as the sabbatical replacement for Mr. Paul Smith during the 2011-2012 school year at John Brown University. Since graduating with his Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia, Jacob has conducted various groups and taught vocal music in Kansas. He has served as choir director for University of Arkansas’ Donna Voce, University of British Columbia's Choral Union and Chamber Singers, and currently serves as the Assistant Choir Master at Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs, AR. When he is not singing or in rehearsal, Jacob keeps busy by playing frisbee, reading a book, sipping on coffee, or just enjoying the company of good friends.
Mrs. Donna Rollene
Instructor of Music,
Director of Music Theater / Opera,
Artist in Residence
My Sweet Little Jesus Boy
Donna Rollene has been teaching voice and directing the musicals and operas at JBU for 8 years. A JBU grad herself, she continued vocal and opera study at Northwestern University, Lyric Opera of Chicago, American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS in Graz, Austria), and with Diane Forlano (Chicago) and Maestro Martin Rich (Met). Donna has performed in many operas, concerts, operettas, concerts and musicals.
While teaching, she continues her study through graduate courses at the University of Arkansas and through music workshops. She is a member of NATS, and loves to take a few students every year to the NATS competition. Donna also loves to compose, read, watch great movies, go boating, play table games, eat, and goof off with her toy poodle, Hobbes, who has a perpetual smile because of a large under bite!
Mr. Paul B. Smith
Professor of Music -- Voice / Cathedral Choir
"Come Away, Come Away Death"
Paul Smith is in his 25th year at JBU. A native Californian, Mr. Smith loves small town life in Siloam Springs and his wonderful life as a professor of voice and choral music. Paul credits much of his career to the incredible mentors that shaped his early life in music and helped him learn the value of striving for excellence. Mr. Smith holds a masters degree in vocal performance from Wichita State University and has enjoyed a fine career as a professional soloist, collegiate voice instructor and choral conductor for 31 years. He is married to his Tabor College sweetheart of 36 years and enjoys a family of four boys and is soon to welcome his first grandchild. Paul loves the world of sports and has been an avid golfer and fan for most of his life. He is so thankful for the opportunity the Lord has granted him to help shape the talents and abilities of college students and to enjoy the great camaraderie of students and faculty.
Dr. Paul Whitley
Professor of Music -- Piano
Brahms F Minor Sonata Finale
Paul Whitley recently received his Doctor of Music degree from Northwestern University; he also holds degrees from New England Conservatory of Music and Wheaton College. Before coming to Siloam Springs, Dr. Whitley taught at Wheaton College for 6 years, and also served for one year as a sabbatical replacement at Northwestern College. In addition to solo performances, he also enjoys playing with various choirs and orchestras. You will find him practicing in his studio most of the time when his schedule says “office hours,” but he welcomes your interruptions for any questions or interesting trivia you may provide. When he’s not teaching or practicing, Dr. Whitley enjoys landscaping, reading long Russian novels (translated into English), and watching British television.
Dr. Jan Helmut Wubbena
Professor of Music -- Theory
"Finale", Vierne's First Organ Symphony in D minor (MP3, 7.9MB)
Jan Helmut Wubbena’s hometown is the capital of the first state to ratify the constitution. If you cannot identify, he would encourage you to do some research. He is a lover of history and historical detail, so it should come as no surprise that at JBU he teaches music history and literature. In high school he was a strong math-science type, so it should come as no surprise that he teaches music theory and analysis. He began piano lessons in third grade, children’s church choir in fourth grade, and organ lessons in the ninth grade. Again, no surprise: he has been an employed church musician from the age of 16 to the present day. His doctorate is from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and he is a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists. He has been a member of the JBU music faculty and organist-choirmaster at Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs since 1977. Dr. Wubbena was unattached at that time; three years later he married one of his colleagues in the music department. They have two children: Rob, a captain in the U.S. Army, to be deployed to Afghanistan this Fall, and Mary, who will be returning around the same time from two years of service in the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa. In his spare time Dr. Wubbena enjoys travel in the U.S. and abroad (Togo this past summer), classic cinema, and culinary art. He also practices yoga – his double pigeon pose is truly awesome.