Board and Staff
Dr. Paul Jackson – President
Paul Jackson is an academic, musicologist, conductor and pianist who was, for over 20 years, Director of Music and Performing Arts at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK. His publications include contributions to The New Percy Grainger Companion (2010), to Grainger Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal (2012) and to John Ruskin and Nineteenth-Century Education (2018). He is editor of The Grainger Journal, and is also currently preparing an edition of Percy Grainger’s Round Letters for publication.
Susan Colson – Secretary and Treasurer
Susan Colson is a Trusts and Estates attorney with Lanahan Law, LLC in White Plains, New York. She is dedicated to the arts, community building, and civic engagement through her professional and volunteer work. She is a long time volunteer and docent at the Percy Grainger Home and Studio, most recently organizing the Daffodil Planting Project in Fall, 2021. She worked with the White Plains Beautification Foundation to organize The Great Bloom Out in Spring, 2021 and arranged a collaboration with Westchester Symphonic Winds to celebrate the celebrate Grainger's centennial year in White Plains with a November, 2021 concert.
Bill Garlette – Membership Chair
Major (R) Bill Garlette is the Conductor and Music Director of Chesapeake Bay Wind Ensemble. He retired to the Hampton Roads Virginia area in 2002 after serving over 25 years as an Army Band musician and officer. In his final tour from 1998–2002, he served as Deputy Commander and Associate Conductor at the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, NY.
Chalon Ragsdale – Associate Editor, The Grainger Journal
Chalon Ragsdale is University Professor of Percussion at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and owner of Aux Arcs Music,
a publishing firm responsible for some 30 editions of the music of
Percy Grainger for wind band and Percussion Ensemble. Chal has presented
on the life and music of Percy Grainger for the Midwest Clinic, the
College Band Directors National Association, for the Japan Grainger
Festival in Tokyo, and three times for the Grainger Museum in Melbourne.
In 2003, he was awarded the Grainger Medallion for his contributions
to the music of Percy Grainger.
Marissa Kyser is from Troy, Missouri and studied Music Education and Wind Band Conducting at Missouri State University.
She is the Director of Bands for the Spokane R-VII School District
located in southwest Missouri. In 2019, she wrote a thesis about Percy
Grainger's time living in Springfield, Missouri during the 1940s and
presented her findings at the Percy Grainger House.
Anne Ocone – Museum Coordinator
Anne Ocone, an experienced museum and arts professional, began working with us as Museum Coordinator in 2018. She is a key contact for the organization and is involved in all areas of the society's operation, from collections and facilities to membership and programs.
Emeritus Board Members
Barry Peter Ould – President Emeritus
Barry Peter Ould was, in 1978, co-founder of the Percy Grainger Society (UK) with Professor David Tall. In 1984, Barry took over the editorship of the Grainger Society Journal with Vol. 6. In 1987, he
established the music publishing company, Bardic Edition, and under
this imprint many new Grainger works have been published. He acted as musical consultant to the Chandos Grainger Edition (1998–2003) as well as writing the extensive liner notes.
Matthew McGarrell – Board Emeritus
Matthew McGarrell recently retired as Director of Bands at Brown University, a position he held for thirty-five years. Raised in New Hampshire, he is a graduate of the Loyola University College of Music in New Orleans where he studied trombone with Richard Erb. Since 2002, McGarrell has been performing with and writing music for the Sociedade Filarmónica de Covõesin Coimbra, Portugal. Recent work for the Percy Grainger Society has focused on preserving and cataloguing photographic negatives in the collection at 7 Cromwell Place as well as making photographs and videos for the society.
Dr. Cora Angier Sowa – Board Emerita
Cora Sowa is a native of Los Angeles, with a PhD in Classical Philology from Harvard. Her area of special interest is in oral epic poetry and song, and her thesis on "Traditional Themes in the Homeric Hymns" eventually became a book. Cora became acquainted with the Percy Grainger Society in the 1970s, and joined the board soon after, designing the first web site for the Percy Grainger Society. She now works as an independent scholar, and maintains a web site at www.minervaclassics.com.
Dana Perna – Board Emeritus
Dana Paul Perna is an American composer-musicologist at the forefront of endorsing the music of Percy Grainger through his works for orchestra, concert band and chorus. He was the conductor for the wind ensemble Holzblazer, both in New York and Chicago, and has studied composition with Elie Siegmeister and David Loeb. His music for orchestra, brass, concert band, chorus and chamber music has been played in North America, Europe, and Asia. He hosts the weekly podcast The Dana Paul Perna Powerhouse.
Eric Culver – Board Emeritus
Conductor, pianist, and composer Eric Culver has served on the Percy Grainger Society board since the late 1970s. Studying at Eastman and New England Conservatory, Grainger was a constant happy presence through Frederick Fennell (who introduced his parents) and Frank Battisti. His Grainger-inspired Post-Modern March is dedicated to Dana Perna and the Grainger Society. Recently, he broke the 18-month musical fast with the strings of the Concord Orchestra, opening with Irish Tune from County Derry and rounding off the concert with Mock Morris; none of the musicians had played either before, and all were delighted.