Amarillo College Music Department Choir Room

The Mission of the Amarillo College Music Department is "to be a center of musical learning and cultural enrichment within the community of Amarillo and the surrounding Panhandle of Texas, by providing a comprehensive two-year musical curriculum for transfer students, elective courses for the non-music major, musical training for younger students, and performance opportunities in various ensembles for students and members of the community."

Amarillo College has been an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music since September 1, 1966.

National Association of Schools of Music
11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21
Reston, VA 20190-5248
703-437-0700 Phone
703-437-6312 Fax

The Amarillo College music building recently underwent a remodel, and we are proud to have the newest technology and state of the art rehearsal spaces in our building.



Contact Us

Amarillo College Music Office

Amarillo College Music Department
PO Box 447
Amarillo, TX 79178

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Music Department Faculty



Camille Day Nies

Music Department Chair
Assistant Professor of Music
Suzuki Program Coordinator
Violin and Viola Instructor


Appointed as Chair of the Music Department in 2016, Camille Day Nies has served as the coordinator of the Amarillo College Suzuki Program since 2000 and teaches private viola students aged 3 to 17 along with group viola classes, ensembles, and parent courses. As faculty of the Amarillo College Music Department, she teaches online Music Appreciation courses and teaches applied music in strings and voice.

Mrs. Nies has been a member of the Amarillo Symphony viola section since she was 15, serves as principal violist in the Amarillo Opera orchestra, and enjoys performing with Chamber Music Amarillo. She founded and performs with the Crystal String quartet, and has played with the Rockford (IL) Symphony, Philharmonia New Mexico and the Symphony of the Southwest, as well as many other regional and community ensembles. Mrs. Nies’ public education experience includes teaching orchestra and choir in Amarillo area schools.

 Also a vocalist, Mrs. Nies has appeared with the Amarillo Opera in many roles and was twice featured as Prince Orlofski in Die Fledermaus. She has performed as soprano soloist in the Mozart Requiem and Haydn Lord Nelson Mass and has been featured as a vocal soloist with the Amarillo Symphony. She is an alumnae of the outdoor music drama TEXAS.

 A true product of the synergy between education and the arts in the Texas Panhandle, Mrs. Nies studied with Harrington Quartet violists Amy Brandfonbrener, Ted Allred, and Joanna Mendoza, and received her Bachelor of Music Business degree and Master of Vocal Performance degree from West Texas A&M University in Canyon. Her pedagogical training includes study with Elizabeth Stuen-Walker, Beverly de la Bretonne, William Preucil, Doris Preucil, Joanne Bath, Stevie Sandven, and Marilyn O'Boyle. She and her husband, Andy, Assistant Superintendent for RRISD, run frantically after their two children, Mackenzie, a Suzuki violinist, and William, a Suzuki cellist.

Please visit her full faculty page for more info.

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Dr. Diego Caetano

 Director of Piano and Faculty Performances


Brazil-born Diego Caetano graduated with a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a Master of Music degree from the University of Wyoming, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Universidade Federal de Goiás (Brazil). Caetano has studied under the guidance of Dr. David Korevaar, Bob Spillman, Dr. Theresa Bogard, Dr. Maria Helena Jayme, and Lílian Carneiro de Mendonça. Dr. Caetano was also able to study with Dr. Nadezhda Eysmont at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, in Russia.

Dr. Caetano performs widely as soloist and chamber musician and has appeared throughout the USA, Brazil, Chile, Europe, Asia and Africa, including performances at New York's Carnegie Hall, Yokohama's Philia Hall, Lisbon's Palacio da Foz, Rio's Sala Cecília Meireles and London's Royal Albert Hall. He has performed Villa- Lobos's Momoprecoce with Orquestra Sinfônica do Conservatório de Tatuí; Chopin's Second Piano Concerto with Orquestra Sinfônica de Goiânia, New York Concert Sinfonietta; Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto with  Boulder Philharmonic; Ronaldo Miranda's Concertino with Orquestra Sinfônica de Barra Mansa; Luigi Nono's Como una Ola de Fuerza y Luz with Orquestra Filarmônica de Goiás. He has worked with conductors such as Paul Hostetter, Neil Thomson, Rodrigo de Carvalho, Joaquim Jayme, Daniel Guedes, and others.  He has been featured in recitals and concerto appearances at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Belo Horizonte's PianoFest, Durango's Conservatory Music of the Mountains, Bangkok's Asia Pacific Saxophone Academy, and Brasília's International Music Festival. An advocate for contemporary music, Dr. Caetano has premiered works by composers Robert Spillman, Anne Guzzo, Marlos Nobre, and Roger Goeb. The current season included performances in the USA, Spain, UK, Romania, Portugal, Serbia, Russia, Brazil, and Switzerland.

Dr. Caetano received the top prizes in more than fifty national and international piano competitions, including: Bucharest Romania International Piano Competition (2018), London's Grand Prix Virtuoso (2016), "Shining Stars" International Concerto Competition (2014), Conservatory Music in the Mountains Concerto Competition (2013), Jefferson Symphony International Piano Competition (2013), Snowy Range Piano Competition (2012), MTNA - Steinway & Sons (2011), "Spartacco Rossi" Piano Competition (2010), "Arnaldo Estrella" Piano Competition (2008) and many more. He has also won special awards including Best Interpreter of Brazilian Composers, Best Interpreter of Spanish Composers, and Prix d'Excellence in Performance. His academic interests include research on famed Brazilian/French pianist Magda Tagliaferro, writing an annotated translation of excerpts from her book of memoirs written in Portuguese and French into English, and research on piano works of renowned Brazilian composer Marlos Nobre.

He maintains an active schedule as an educator having taught courses at the University of Colorado Boulder, University of Wyoming, and Casper College. Currently, he is Assistant Professor of Piano at Amarillo College, where he teaches piano and music history. 

Please visit www.diegocaetanopiano.com for more information.


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Dr. Nathaniel Fryml
 Director of Choral Activities, Amarillo Master Chorale


Nathaniel Fryml is the Director of Choral Activities at Amarillo College and Artistic Director of the Amarillo Master Chorale.  Born in Montreal, Quebec, of Czech and Dutch descent, Dr. Fryml was raised and educated in the United States, the first of his family to pursue a professional career in music.  He recently completed his terminal degree in choral music at the University of Southern California, with dissertation research focused on cantatas by Antonín Dvoák. 

Prior to moving to Amarillo, Dr. Fryml served as assistant conductor of the Angeles Chorale and the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale.  His doctoral studies in music theory at USC were focused primarily on the Schenkerian method of analysis.  A published composer, Dr. Fryml enjoys writing both vocal and instrumental music and has had the privilege of studying with Morten Lauridsen and Mark Kilstofte. 

Holding degrees from Furman University (BM, Piano Performance and Music Theory) and the Cleveland Institute of Music (MM, Piano Performance), Dr. Fryml actively performs as a keyboard soloist and chamber musician.  He has taught piano both in private studio as well as in pre-college programs at Furman University and Presbyterian College and has worked as an accompanist at various institutions, including Clemson University, Presbyterian College, and Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Passionate about music ministry, Dr. Fryml has also served as a church music director, band leader, and keyboardist.  He and his wife Joanne are loving every moment of their daily adventure trying to keep up with their sons, Isaac and Theodore, and they feel very privileged to have joined the thriving arts community of Amarillo.


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Mary Jane Johnson
Artist in Residence-Voice, Amarillo Opera


Ms. Johnson is counted amongst the great dramatic sopranos, and is considered one of opera's premiere interpreters. Her career highlights include the role of Emilia Marty in Janacek's The Makropoulos Case which she sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Lady Macbeth in Verdi's Macbeth as well as Katarina Ismailova in Shostakovitch's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, which she performed at the Opera Bastille of Paris. She has also performed the Shostakovitch as well as Minnie in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West, and Strauss' Salome at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

Ms. Johnson's interpretation of Minnie in La Fanciulla del West has been heard on the world's most important stages including the Teatro Communale in Bologna, the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, on tour in Japan with La Scala, and with the Santa Fe Opera Festival. Mary Jane Johnson is also known for her interpretation of other dramatic roles which were the core of her ‘96-’97 and ‘97-’98 seasons; Salome with La Scala and Puccini’s Turandot with the Welsh National Opera, Edmonton,Winnipeg ,Calgary and Vancouver Opera theaters. To great acclaim, she also sang Turnandot with the Australian Opera Company in Adelaide and Brisbone.  This season, highlights include Tosca at the Teatro San Paulo in Brazil. Salome at the Vancouver Opera, and The Makropoulos Case in her debut with the Prague Opera House and for the Prague Festival in May 1998.  This Prague performance is historical, as it marks the first time a non-Czech artist has ever performed a Czech Opera in the National Theatre.

 Other companies in which Ms. Johnson has appeared include the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, the San Francisco, Netherlands, Washington, Pittsburgh, and Montreal Operas as well as the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Houston Grand Opera. The various roles she performed in these distinguished theaters include Tosca, Ariadne auf Naxos, Salome, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Leonore in Fidelio, Amelia in Un Ballo on Maschera, Desdemona in Otello, Senta in Der Fliegende Hollanderand the Empress in Die Frau Ohne Schatten among many others.

Important highlights of Ms. Johnson's career on the concert stage include performances of Fidelio with Maestro Lorin Maazel and the Pittsburgh Symphony, both in Pittsburgh and at Carnegie Hall and Freia is Das Rheingold with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of  Sir George Solti. Other distinguished orchestral appearances include concerts in Naples with the RAI Orchestra, and in San Francisco with the San Francisco Symphony. Ms. Johnson has been equally successful on the recital stage. She has received extraordinary acclaim for extensively performing in the most distinguished recital halls of North America.  

 Ms. Johnson's career went to the next level when she appeared with Luciano Pavarotti in a televised performance as Musetta in Puccini's La Boheme with the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Other important highlights of Ms. Johnson's television appearances include the nationally televised Pavarotti Plus Gala, Live from Lincoln Center and the CBS "Sunday Morning” with Charles Kuralt.

 Mary Jane Johnson is currently an Artist Professor at Amarillo College, since 2000 and is a native of Pampa, Texas. She currently resides in Amarillo, Texas with her husband David and their two children Taylor and Greer. In addition, she was the staff vocal coach for the Santa Fe Opera from 2001-2005.

Please visit www.maryjanejohnsonsoprano.com for more information. For more information on the Taos Opera Institute, please visit www.taosoiinfo.org


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Dr. Jim Laughlin
Recording Arts, Director of Jazz Bands, Woodwinds


Dr. Jim Laughlin is a tenured professor at Amarillo College who teaches woodwinds, jazz studies and freshman level music theory. He is an active performer, adjudicator and clinician throughout the midwest. Dr. Laughlin has performed with many touring groups such as the Temptations, Rat Pack, Lynn Seaton, Mark Little, and as a student appeared with jazz greats Clark Terry, Urbie Green, Bob Mintzer, Diane Reeves, Steve Wilkerson, and others.

Dr. Laughlin is a member of the Amarillo Symphony on both clarinet and saxophone, performs with Amarillo Opera and leads his own dance orchestra and jazz quartet. He has guest conducted many regional jazz bands as well as the Oklahoma Allstate Jazz band in 2007.

As president of the Amarillo Jazz Society, a 501C non-profit organization, he has organized numerous concerts and educational events. He is also the founder and program director for June Jazz, a favorite community event which began in 1996 at Amarillo College. In 2012 Laughlin was guest lecturer for the Creative Mind lecture series at Amarillo College, his topic was early jazz in New York and Paris. In 2016 he taught Jazz History of Paris to a Global travel class and traveled with AC students to London an Paris.

Dr. Laughlin competed and won many concerto competitions, including with the Oklahoma Philharmonic, Wichita Symphony, and North American Saxophone Alliance. He has debuted original compositions for saxophone and has recorded in numerous cities. Holding degrees from three universities, his PhD in jazz pedagogy was completed in 2001 from The University of North Texas.

Dr. Laughlin enjoys living in Amarillo with his three children, Alex, Nick and Natalie, and wife Tammy.


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Tiffany McDaniel
Music Department and Suzuki Program Administrative Assistant
Suzuki Violin Instructor


Tiffany Jackson McDaniel began playing the violin at age 3 in the Amarillo College Suzuki String Program, founded by the late Suzanne Grooms and Helen Gerald. She earned a Bachelor of Music Business degree form West Texas A&M University. Throughout her career she has studied with Beverly de la Bretonne and Annie Chalex Boyle. She was a member of the TMEA All-State Orchestra for 2 years, a 7 year member of the All-Region Orchestra, a four year winner of the National Orchestra Award (High School Division)  and won 'Outstanding' marks at both the Greater Southwest Music Festival, and UIL Solo Competition for 9 years. Tiffany was also a featured fiddler in "TEXAS:A Musical Drama"/"Texas: Legacies" for 6 years, and a member of the touring branch of the show, "Texas Express". She won the Concerto Competition at West Texas A&M University, and won the first violin spot in the West Texas String Quartet, founded by the Harrington String Quartet. She has played with TransSiberian Orchestra, Tony Bennett, Mary Jane Johnson, John Bayless, Mark O'Connor, Chamber Music Amarillo, Amarillo Opera, the Amarillo String Quartet, Quartet-A-Tete, Crystal String Quartet and has performed for Lady Bird Johnson, Dan Rather, Sherman Helmsly, and the late Rick Husband. She has also performed in numerous musicals and plays in the pit orchestra for Amarillo Little Theater.  In July 2010, she became certified to teach the Mark O'Connor String Method after attending his workshop in New York City, and also had the opportunity to take a heavy metal improvisation class with Rachel Barton Pine. Tiffany had the pleasure of being a guest soloist with the Amarillo College Chamber Orchestra for the West Texas premiere of  Time: Concerto Grosso for String Orchestra by Daniel P. Wade.

Mrs. McDaniel currently teaches Suzuki violin in the Amarillo College Suzuki Program, where she received training from Beverly de la Bretonne. She also plays first violin with the Crystal String Quartet and the Amarillo College String Quartet and performs regularly with the Amarillo Symphony, of which she has been a member since 1998. When she isn't playing or teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Chris, and being a mommy to their daughter, Hazel, who studies cello in the AC Suzuki Program.

Adjunct Faculty

Band, Horn
O 371-5340

O 371-5340

O 371-5340


Music Lab Supervisor, guitar,
Suzuki guitar
MB 201A
O 371-5357 hccampos@actx.edu

Voice, Music Appreciation
O 371-5340

MB 305  
O 371-5342 bjdelabretonne@actx.edu

O 371-5340


Orchestra, Suzuki Orchestra
O 371-5340
Harp, Music Appreciation
O 371-5340

Choral, Master Chorale Accompanist
O 374-2891
Staff Accompanist
MB 307 
O 371-5543

Cello, Suzuki Cello
O 371-5340

O 371-5340

Flute, Music History
O 371-5340


SSC 116
Division Advisor-Liberal Arts
O 371-5212

Amarillo College

Amarillo College, founded in 1929, is a public community college dedicated to providing educational, cultural and community services and resources to enhance the quality of life for the diverse population in its West Texas service area.

Amarillo College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees and certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Amarillo College.

When program accreditation or other reviews are required or advantageous to the College, the administration may require or recommend program or institutional compliance to the prescribed standards as set forth by the accrediting body or any agreed upon entity.

Visit www.actx.edu for more information

Amarillo College Foundation

The Amarillo College Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit and tax-exempt foundation, seeks to promote excellence at Amarillo College. The Foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

The Foundation exists to solicit and administer gifts and grants for the benefit of Amarillo College, its students, faculty and staff, its programs and facilities.

The Foundation accepts gifts from individuals, groups, and businesses. Support may be designated by the donor for specific purposes or for general unrestricted support of College Foundation activities.

The Foundation accepts gifts in the form of cash, stocks, and property upon approval by the Board of Directors. Many donations are made as memorials for friends or relatives. The Foundation invests these contributions in Texas' greatest natural resource – its students.

Donors may derive substantial tax advantages through estate planning, trust funds, bequests, and property conveyances to public foundations such as The Amarillo College Foundation.

For additional Information, contact:

The Amarillo College Foundation
P.O. Box 447
Amarillo, Texas 79178

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Amarillo College Continuing Education

The Continuing Education Division serves the community by offering a wide variety of professional Workforce Training programs, and fun and exciting Personal Enrichment classes.  

To serve the training and seminar needs of the local and regional business and medical communities, the Downtown Campus houses a 215 seat lecture hall, several technology equipped classrooms, a computer training lab, and a large multi-purpose room with a kitchen suitable for delivered catering. Whether you use our site or yours, Amarillo College is the Panhandle's premiere choice for business and professional training. 

For children, adults, and seniors, our Personal Enrichment Department offers fun and exciting leisure classes year-round on several campuses. From Art to Zumba™, there's bound to be a class for you.

Register for Continuing Education