Dr. Sonny Burnette, Professor

Phone: 502-863-8112

Appointed in 1990

Sonny Burnette is professor of music and teaches courses in music theory, MIDI computer music, history of rock music, applied saxophone; and digital audio and video technology (graduate level).  He holds the Doctor of Arts degree from Ball State University (1985), Master of Music degree from Northwestern University (1975), and the Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida (1974).  Prior to joining the GC faculty, he was a studio musician and arranger with the PTL Television Network for nine years, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Burnette is an accomplished composer and arranger, and was selected as the Kentucky Music Teachers Association (KMTA) 2001 Commissioned Composer.  He has also won the James Madison University flute choir composition competition three times, and was the composer of the opening fanfare for the National Flute Association 25th anniversary convention, Chicago, 1997.  He has published works for flute choir, flute and piano, flute quartet, saxophone and piano, saxophone quartet, brass quintet, trumpet choir, string quartet, piano trio, and wind ensemble.  His works have been performed around the world–Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and South Africa.  In Spring 2003, Burnette was awarded the Georgetown College Rollie Graves Faculty Technology Award.  In Spring 2006, he was awarded the inaugural Curry Award for Faculty Excellence.

As a performer, Burnette has played over a dozen shows with both The Temptations and The Four Tops, and has also performed with entertainers and musicians including:  Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, Ed McMahon, Red Skelton, Pat Boone, Ben E. King, Lou Rawls, Jerry Van Dyke, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Andrae Crouch, Amy Grant, Sandi Patty and many others.  He has performed with the Lexington Philharmonic, Charlotte Symphony, Muncie Symphony, Florida Gulf Coast and Northwest Indiana Symphony orchestras.

Burnette has published articles in such journals as:  Down Beat, The Instrumentalist, Saxophone Journal, The Saxophone Symposium, STV Magazine, Flute Talk, Flutewise (England) and The Church Musician.

SBandGatorDuring a January 2002 visit to his hometown–Orlando, Florida–SB was able to realize a lifelong dream.

Sonny Burnette is also active in the region as a film actor.


Dr. Peter LaRue, Professor of Music


Appointed in 1993

(Click here for proof that Dr. LaRue does occasionally work.)

Peter J. LaRue was raised on a farm in south central Ohio and received his undergraduate education at the Capital University Conservatory of Music (1979). His master’s (1980) and doctoral (1986) degrees are from the University of Illinois, where he specialized in the study of instrumental music education, bands and the trombone. His teachers and mentors have included Paul Young, Richard Suddendorf, Robert Gray, Charles Leonhard and E. Wayne Pressley.

Dr. LaRue serves as Director of the Tiger Bands and Coordinator of Music Education at Georgetown College. Starting in 1994 and continuing through 2009, LaRue also served as Director of Summer Programs and Camps [SP&C] at Georgetown College overseeing the growth, development and daily management of this extensive unit. Starting in 2010, he became the Executive Director for SP&C. Prior to his move to Kentucky in 1993, he served for seven years as Director of Bands at Mars Hill College in western North Carolina. Previous to this appointment, he was Director of Music for the Bloom Carroll local school district in central Ohio, where he directed the award winning “Marching Bulldog” band for four years. In the past, he has also served as low brass specialist with the Cavalier and Blue Knight Drum and Bugle Corps.

In addition to his duties at Georgetown College, since 1994 LaRue has served as the Music Director and Conductor of the Central Kentucky Concert Band in Lexington, Kentucky. He has adjudicated marching and concert band festivals in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and Nevada, and serves as clinician/conductor throughout the southeast.

In 2005, LaRue received the prestigious Cawthorne Excellence in Teaching Award – the highest honor Georgetown College may bestow upon a faculty member. He also has received the Lindsey Apple Student Life Award [2010], the Milton “Shorty” Price – Tiger Athletics Hall of Fame Award [2010], the Rollie Graves Technology Award [2000] and was honored with the John Walker Manning Distinguished Mentor and Teacher Award in 1998. LaRue was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in 2003.

From 2002-2004, LaRue served on the Board of Directors for KMEA [Kentucky Music Educators Association] and chaired the Public Relations and Advocacy Committee. In the past he has also served as both “Coordinator” of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Band [1997-1999] and “Co-Coordinator” [2001, 2003 & 2007] that performs each year at the KMEA In-Service Conference in Louisville. In 1998, LaRue was also made an honorary “Kentucky Colonel” by Governor Paul Patton. LaRue is an active author, being frequently published in state and regional periodicals and was honored in 2001 as he was selected to be a contributing author to the MENC text “Spotlight on Teaching Band”. Additionally, he has played trombone with several regional orchestras across the south, and from 1987-95 was a member of the Appalachian Brass Quintet with whom he performed regularly at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. LaRue continues to be an active performer on his beloved trombone across the Commonwealth and is currently a member of the Kentucky Ballet Theater Orchestra and the Bluegrass Brass Trio.

LaRue served as the Faculty Advisor [High Pi] for the Georgetown College chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha for seven years and was named the Outstanding Fraternity Advisor in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. He currently serves as the Academic Advisor for the Brotherhood. International study/performance trips have taken him abroad twice, where he has performed in both Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Click here if you wish to visit Dr. LaRue’s Web-World menu–the doorway to his various, notoriously hip sites, such as ScholarNet (where he bends the minds of those students who, by chance or providence, sign up for his 8:00 a.m. Music Appreciation class), Recorder World, Conducting World and much more!

We at Georgetown College are proud of Dr. LaRue’s “Ma” article series that has appeared in Bluegrass Music News. The October 2002 issue marked the appearance of the third of five “Ma” articles with “Ma, I’m Gonna Go Work at Wendy’s.”  It was even referenced on the cover of the publication.  See below!

Dr. Peter LaRue, Professor of Music, Director of the Tiger Bands, Music Education and Low Brass
Office: 502.863.8054









Ryland Pope, Adjunct Instructor of Voice



Ryland Pope, a native of Kentucky, has been a proud member of Georgetown College faculty since the Fall of 2013.  He received his Master of Music degree at the University of Tennessee and his Bachelor of Arts degree at Georgetown College.  He has had the privilege of working with and studying under great teachers such as David L. Jones (New York), Gregory Brooks (Texas Tech University), Andrew Wentzel (University of Tennessee), and Dr. Rebecca Miller (Georgetown College).  Ryland has worked with many groups and organizations throughout the southeast: Knoxville Opera, Highland Light Opera, Maskraters, Pleasant Mt. Performing Arts and Artist Association, The Staunton Music Festival, and Lexington Singers.  He has performed multiple roles on stage including Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance, Conte Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Sid in Albert Herring, Mr. Gobineau in the Medium, Peter in Hansel and Gretel, Conte Robinson in Il matrimonio segreto, Georg Nowack in She Loves Me, Marchese O’bigny in La Traviata, Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Le Duc in Roméo et Juliette.


Jana Pope Flygstad • Adjunct Instructor, Flute

Mrs. Flygstad earned her Masters in Music Performance from Northwestern University, where she studied flute and piccolo with Walfrid Kujala. Flygstad received her B.M.M.E from the University of Kentucky and studied with Gordon Cole. In January of 2007, she won First Prize in the Flute Society of Kentucky Young Artist Competition. Currently, she teaches applied flute at Centre College and Georgetown College as well as individual students in Danville, Georgetown, Lawrenceburg, and Louisville. She performs in weddings and also substitutes in the Louisville Orchestra and the Lexington Philharmonic. She is a member of the National Flute Association, Louisville Musicians Union, Flute Society of Kentucky, and Kentucky Music Educators Association.


Mark Tate

Mr. Tate has been a member of the percussion sections of the Louisville Orchestra, the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra, and other regional orchestras.  He has taught at Indiana University Southeast, Bellarmine College and the University of Kentucky.  He holds the following degrees:  Master of Music in Performance, Washington University; Bachelor of Music in Performance, University of Kentucky.

Katy Simpson, Staff Accompanist