Dr. Ryan V. Scherber

Assistant Professor of Music Education

Director of Bands

Dr. Ryan V. Scherber is Assistant Professor of Music Education and Director of Bands at Case Western Reserve University as well as Instructor of Tuba and Euphonium within the Joint Music Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music.  His duties include teaching music education coursework at the undergraduate and graduate level, the CWRU Tuba & Euphonium Studio and oversight of the CWRU Bands program.  In addition to his duties with CWRU, Dr. Scherber serves as Assistant Director of the Florida State University Summer Music Camps.  Scherber holds the Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music as well as the Master of Music and Ph.D. in Music Education from Florida State University. Prior to his appointment at CWRU, Dr. Scherber taught music courses at the elementary, middle, and high school levels within the Southeastern Local District in South Charleston, Ohio.  


Dr. Scherber’s research interests include pitch perception, nonverbal behaviors, and teacher effectiveness.  His publications have appeared in Research Perspectives in Music Educationand the Florida Music Director and he has presented research at state, regional and national venues including the NAfME Biennial National Conference, Desert Skies Symposium on Research in Music Education, NAfME Northwest Regional Conference, Ohio Music Educators Association Conference, and the Texas Music Educators Association Conference.  Dr. Scherber has studied conducting with Terrence Milligan, Rodney Winther, Alexander Jímenez, and Richard Clary as well as tuba with Timothy Northcut, William Weikert, Raymond Stewart, and Paul Ebbers.

Dr. Benjamin C. Helton

Assistant Professor of Music Education

Director of the Spartan Marching Band

Benjamin C. Helton is Assistant Professor of Music Education at Case Western Reserve University. His duties include directing the Spartan Marching Band, teaching undergraduate courses in music education, teaching in the SAGES program, and supervising student teachers. Helton holds a Bachelors of Music Education from the University of Illinois, Master of Music from Northern Illinois University, and the Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Illinois. Prior to teaching at CWRU, Dr. Helton was a graduate assistant at U of I where he supervised student teachers, worked with a multitude of undergraduate courses, and participated in various groups in the College of Education specializing in evaluation and cognitive sciences in teaching. At Northern Illinois University, he worked extensively with the Huskie Marching Band and directed the Huskie Pep Band. Before working for NIU, Benjamin taught instrumental music for Bloom District #206 in Chicago Heights, Illinois and before that, at a small rural district in Mendon, Illinois.


Dr. Helton’s research interests include evaluation and licensure for music teachers, teaching instrumental music to adult beginners, and cognitive science approaches to beginning instrumental pedagogy. He has been published in The Instrumentalist and the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band book series. Dr. Helton has presented clinics for the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic, Illinois Music Educators Clinic, and the NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference. Helton remains an active public school music advocate and clinician and spends his summers working as a band coordinator and low brass instructor for Illinois Summer Youth Music camps.

Professor Paul Ferguson

Senior Instructor

Director of Jazz Studies

Paul Ferguson is director of Jazz Studies at CWRU, a position he has held since 1988. As a trombonist, Paul has toured with the Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey Orchestras and currently performs with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, the Canton Symphony, and the High Anxiety Bones.

Active as a composer, Paul is the recipient of the 1995 Gil Evans Fellowship in jazz composition. His works are published by Kendor Music and Sierra Music Publications.

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the University of Akron, Paul resides in Cleveland Heights.

He is an avid golfer. Appointed to CWRU faculty, 1988.

Professor Matthew Larson

Part-time Lecturer

Applied Percussion Instruction

Director, CWRU Percussion Ensemble

Matthew Larson was appointed the director of the Case Western Reserve University Percussion Ensemble in 2014 and has been the Cleveland Institute of Music percussion instructor at CWRU since 2010.  Matthew is the Principal Percussionist of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra where he has performed since 2000.  Matt also performs regularly with the Cleveland Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Blossom Festival Band, and Blossom Festival Orchestra. As an extra with the Cleveland Orchestra, Matt has performed several concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Matt has a Master’s Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where his primary teacher was Cleveland Orchestra Principal Percussionist Richard Weiner.  He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota where he studied with Fernando Meza and Nebojsa Zivkovic.  Matt has also studied with Earl Yowell of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Elliot Fine of the Minnesota Orchestra.  Matt teaches a private percussion studio of 40 students from his home in University Heights.

Department of Music

Haydn Hall, Room 201

10900 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, OH 44106