College of Arts and Architecture announces new faculty

September 24, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State's College of Arts and Architecture has announced six new faculty members for the 2020-21 academic year.

The new faculty are Kathryn Hylton, School of Music; Patricia Phillips, School of Theatre; Tyler McKenzie, School of Theatre; Stephen Frausto, School of Theatre; Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin, School of Music; and Andreas Oeste, School of Music.

Kathryn Hylton is joining the School of Music as the associate director of choral activities. She will be leading Oriana Singers and Campus Choir, co-directing the jazz ensemble Vocal Dimensions and teaching courses in conducting, choral methodology and choral literature.

She comes to Penn State from the University of Maryland where she received her doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting. Her past teaching and conducting positions include director of music at Holy Family Church and choral music teacher at St. Thomas More Academy, both in Maryland; and director of choral music at Blair Academy in New Jersey. In addition to her work as a music educator, Hylton is an active composer, arranger and Dalcroze practitioner.

Patricia Phillips has altered the history of American Broadway theatre, twice. Phillips is the first woman of color to portray the Tony Award-winning role of “Carlotta” in the longest-running show in Broadway history, “The Phantom of the Opera.” She is also the only woman of color to appear in “Kinky Boots” on Broadway.

Trained at Carnegie Mellon University, Phillips’ other New York credits include the Emmy Award-winning Live at Lincoln Center production of “Sweeny Todd,” “Jerry Springer the Opera,” “Baz Luhrmann’s La Boheme,” “The Secret Garden” and “The Sound of Music.”

Phillips can be heard on three original cast recordings on DreamWorks, Columbia and RCA. Her television credits include “Billy on the Street,” “Shades of Blue,” and The Tony Awards. Her film credits include “Everybody’s Fine” with Robert De Niro.

Phillips has soloed with The Pittsburgh Symphony, The Baltimore Symphony, The Minnesota Orchestra, The Indianapolis Symphony and many others.

She comes to Penn State after teaching at The New York Film Academy and New Jersey City University, Carnegie Mellon University and NYU Tisch New Studio on Broadway.

Tyler McKenzie is performer, director, choreographer and educator who was last seen in “Hamilton.” He is the founder of Tyler McKenzie Creative Studio, an online musical theatre training space.

McKenzie is a Long Island, New York native with a bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theatre from Western Carolina University, where he studied with three-time Tony Award nominee Terrence Mann and Charlotte d’Amboise, a two-time Tony nominee. 

He has since performed regionally and in the Broadway and national tour productions of “Mamma Mia,” “Matilda” and “Hamilton.” In 2019, McKenzie received the Western Carolina University Young Alumni Award celebrating his level of distinction in his field of work, his commitment to the service of others and his potential for future leadership/distinction.

McKenzie also recently received honorary acknowledgement and membership from the National Society of Leadership and Success. He has a major passion for education and has worked with young artists all over the country and online.

Stephen Frausto is joining the School of Theatre as the associate technical director. Frausto comes to Penn State from Purdue University where he received his master of fine arts degree in technical direction.

Frausto has served as a technical designer for Adirondack Studios, technical director at Dorset Theatre Festival, and was the resident assistant technical director at North Carolina State University for several years. He has also served as a carpenter and welder at numerous theatres.

Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin is joining the School of Music as director of wind band studies and assistant professor of music. In addition to conducting the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, overseeing the graduate wind conducting program, teaching courses in wind band literature and wind conducting, she will oversee the concert band programs at the University.

Her Penn State appointment follows three years as assistant director of bands and associate director of athletic bands at the University of South Carolina. Prior to her tenure at South Carolina, Mitchell-Spradlin taught at Valdosta State University as director of athletic bands and was director of bands at Chamblee High School in Chamblee, Georgia.

Andreas Oeste is joining the School of Music as a lecturer of oboe. In that capacity, he will teach undergraduate and graduate oboists in private lessons and reed-making classes, teach orchestral literature and chamber literature courses to upperclassmen and graduate students, and coach student chamber ensembles. In addition to his teaching duties, he will perform with the resident faculty chamber ensemble, the Pennsylvania Quintet.

Oeste is coming to Penn State from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was an adjunct assistant professor of oboe.

Oeste graduated with a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Michigan where he also earned master of music degrees in oboe performance and chamber music. He earned his bachelor’s degrees in oboe performance and oboe composition from the University of Central Arkansas.

Last Updated September 24, 2020