Tuba & Piano Concert

Come to the Music Department to see and hear a few of our talented instructors perform!

Jeff Baker is Associate Professor of Tuba & Euphonium at A&M-Commerce. Dr. Baker received music degrees from the University of Oklahoma (BM) and the University of North Texas (MM and DMA). He has served as an adjunct instructor at the University of North Texas and Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, and taught private lessons in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex for almost 20 years.

Dr. Baker is Principal Tuba/Cimbasso for the Dallas Opera Orchestra. As a freelance musician, he has performed with numerous ensembles including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Winds, the Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, and the Wichita Grand Opera. Dr. Baker has also been a part of over twenty recording projects on the Dallas Opera, Ft. Worth Symphony, EPR, Klavier, Mark, and Naxos labels. He has performed as a featured soloist with a variety of groups, most notably the US Army Orchestra (Pershing’s Own) and as a concerto competition winner with the University of North Texas Symphonic Band.

In 2018, Dr. Baker received the H.M. Lafferty Distinguished Faculty Award, the highest research honor offered by A&M-Commerce, and in 2019, he was recognized as a Global Fellow for his teaching, service, and research endeavors in Brazil. He was also awarded a research grant in 2019 in an effort to commission new works for cimbasso and in 2020, he was awarded a research fellowship for his interdisciplinary project Sinfonia Migrante: Musician Networks Forged Through Migration.

Dr. Baker serves as the coordinator for the Commerce, Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Allen, TUBACHRISTMAS events and is the master of ceremonies for the Denton TUBACHRISTMAS. These annual holiday concerts involve over 750 tuba and euphonium players from the North Texas area and total audience attendance numbers in the thousands. He is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, the International Tuba and Euphonium Association, the International Trombone Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Libby Vanatta, a native of Middle Tennessee, joined the music faculty at A&M University-Commerce in 2010 as Instructor of piano. She currently teaches class piano, piano pedagogy, piano literature, and private piano lessons as well as coordinating accompanying serves for the department. An active accompanist in Commerce, Ms. Vanatta has also performed throughout the country at conferences, competitions, and in guest artist recitals. Passionate about chamber music, Ms. Vanatta formed Doppio Movimento in 2011 with her Texas A&M University-Commerce colleague, Dr. Luis Sanchez. The duo gives regular performances and presentations including a presentation at the 2013 Texas Music Teachers Association conference on how to use piano duets to teach other musicianship skills in regular piano lessons.

Prior to her appointment at A&M-Commerce, Ms. Vanatta taught at The University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, MS), Indiana State University (Terre Haute, IN), and Millikin University (Decatur, IL). Her teaching responsibilities have included music theory classes, class piano, and applied lessons. In addition to teaching and accompanying, she also served as coordinator of graduate studies at The University of Southern Mississippi and coordinator of class piano at Millikin University.

Through the various university community outreach programs, Ms. Vanatta has taught Musikgarten classes, private piano lessons, theory/musicianship classes for kids, and beginning group classes for all ages. For eight years, she spent her summers working for Illinois Summer Youth Music camps at the University of Illinois, teaching theory classes, class piano, and music listening classes, and as piano camp instructor. For five of the ten years she spent teaching in the Piano Laboratory Program at the University of Illinois, she served as coordinator of the program, managing its day-to-day activities.

Designated a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music by the Music Teachers National Association, Ms. Vanatta continues to be active in the organization as advisor to the TAMU-C Collegiate Chapter and Treasurer for Hunt County MTA. While in Mississippi, she served on the Mississippi Music Teachers Association board as Certification Chair. She is also a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs, National Guild of Piano Teachers, and Sigma Alpha Iota international music fraternity where she serves as Director for the Graduate Performance Awards.

Ms. Vanatta has served as adjudicator for many events including state solo and ensemble competitions, ensemble festivals, sonata/sonatina festivals, Piano Guild auditions, NFMC festivals, and MTNA state syllabus events. She served as examiner during the summer of 2013 for the International Piano Performance Examination Committee in Taiwan. In addition to administering piano examinations all over Taiwan, Ms. Vanatta also participated in a charity concert given in Tainan.

Ms. Vanatta holds a Bachelor of Science in piano performance from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, and a Master of Music in piano pedagogy from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 6:00pm

Music Building, Finney Concert Hall
1614 State Highway 24, Commerce, TX 75428

Event Type

Arts and Culture, Concerts & Musical Performances


Events for Students, Events for Faculty & Staff, Events for Alumni, Events for General Public, Events for Prospective Students



Contact Name

Jeff Baker

Contact e-mail


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