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7th Music Medicine Symposium—Unheard Voices: Celebrating Diversity and Community in Music and Medicine

music and medicine

Friday, May 12, 2023

8:45 a.m.–4 p.m.

Creative Arts Center, Schuster Hall
Wright State University

Center Park Blvd.
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Fairborn, OH 45324



Free! A free program and light lunch are available to those who pre-register.

Register Now!

Seating is limited to 150 guests on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

For questions or additional information, please email

Celebrate Diversity and Community in Music and Medicine

Friday, May 12, 2023, Schuster Hall, in the Creative Arts Center, at Wright State University, comes alive with world-renowned musicians performing Paul Laurence Dunbar’s work and more. Come join us, from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., to explore, discuss, and share. This day of special music and medicine is hosted by the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and the School of Fine and Performing Arts.

Acclaimed artists and speakers

Experience captivating performances and insightful talks from acclaimed artists and speakers. Acclaimed artists and speakers include Rodrick Dixon, tenor; Alfreda Burke, soprano; Alvin Waddles, pianist; Vidhya Prakash, M.D.; and Brian Buerkle, trumpeter. There will also be a special keynote from Joseph Godson Amamoo, former Ghanaian Ambassador to Hungary. Other participants include the Boonshoft School of Medicine COVID-19 Education Task Force, Wright State music faculty, and Boonshoft School of Medicine faculty and students.


8:45–9 a.m.

Check In and Welcome

Glen Solomon, M.D., MACP, FRCP (London)
Professor and Chair of Internal Medicine and Neurology

Valerie D. Weber, M.D., M.S., FACP
Dean, Boonshoft School of Medicine

Daniel Lee Zehringer, D.M.A
Professor and Chair, School of Fine and Performing Arts

9:15 a.m.

Why We Are Here Today—The Role of Humanities in Medicine

Valerie D. Weber, M.D., M.S., FACP
Dean, Boonshoft School of Medicine

9:30 a.m.

Racism: A Global Health Problem

Joseph Godson Amamoo
Former Ghanaian Health Minister and Ambassador to Hungary

10:30 a.m.

Fostering a Sense of Community: Conversation with Music, Past and Present

“The Caged Bird Sings, Sympathy Movement,” Paul Laurence Dunbar, text.
Composed by Edward Hart, Dean, School of the Arts, College of Charleston 

“You’ll Never Walk Alone,” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, Carouse

Performed by Rodrick Dixon, tenor; Alfreda Burke, soprano; Alvin Waddles, pianist, singer, composer, musical director;
and Franklin Cox Jr., Ph.D., cellist

Performed by Alfreda Burke, soprano

11 a.m.

A Personal View of Medicine and Music Through Injury and Healing

Brian Buerkle, trumpeter, performing with the Canterbury Brass

11:30 a.m.

Modeling Peer Respect, Gender Inclusion, and Diversity in Our Daily Work

Vidhya Prakash, M.D., CMO
Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs and Population Health
Southern Illinois University Medicine

12:15 a.m.

Light lunch faire will be provided
(pre-registration required)


1 p.m.

The Power of Music: Bringing Cultures Together
Sharing experiences with performance
—special selections

Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke, and Alvin Waddles

2:30 p.m.



2:45 p.m.

Panel Discussion—How to Move Forward:
Q and A


3:30 p.m.

How Wright State Promotes Diversity
through Music

Shelley M. Jagow, Ph.D.
Professor, School of Fine and Performing Arts

3:45 p.m.

Using Music for Healthcare Messaging: A Little Humor in our Midst…

Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
Department of Internal Medicine and Neurology: COVID-19 Educational Task Force

3:55 p.m.

Closing Thoughts

Glen Solomon, M.D., MACP, FRCP

Alvin Waddles

Musicians and Speakers


Valerie D. Weber, M.D., M.S., FACP

Dean, Boonshoft School of Medicine

Valerie Weber, M.D., M.S., FACP, is the eighth dean of the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine (BSOM).  Prior to joining BSOM in 2020, she served as the Senior Vice Dean for Educational Affairs at the Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During her six years at Drexel, she led the implementation of a new M.D. curriculum, “Foundations and Frontiers,” and developed multiple new regional medical campuses, including a four-year regional campus at Tower Health in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Weber is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Her awards and honors include the University of Pennsylvania Community Service Award, the PhillyBiz Best of Healthcare Innovator award and the Dayton Business Journal’s “Bizwomen Power 50 List.” She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha honor societies. Her scholarly interests include medical education innovations and change management and leadership in health care. Recent publications include, “Broadening Diversity in Medicine: Outcomes of the Drexel Pathway to Medical School Postbaccalaureate Medical Science Program” for the Journal of Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity, and “First Into the Lifeboats: Protecting Medical Student Education During the Hahnemann University Hospital Closure” which appeared in Academic Medicine. She has served as President of the Association of Chiefs and Leaders in General Internal Medicine and on the executive board of the Society of General Internal Medicine. She currently serves on the administrative board for the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges.


Joseph Godson Amamoo

Former Ghanaian Health Minister and Ambassador to Hungary

Over more than three quarters of a century, Joseph Godson Amamoo has been a journalist, academic, foreign service worker, and politician. He held the position of Ghana’s first Ambassador to Hungary as well as Deputy Minister for Health and Deputy Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources. A lawyer trained at the Middle Temple in London, Amamoo also served in the Ghanian Parliament for several years. In 1972, when the Busia government was overthrown by the Supreme Military Council, Joseph and other officials were arrested and detained after the coup d’etat by the military government at the time. He was released in 1973. Before his retirement in 2009, he was chairman of the state-owned diamond mine in Ghana. He spent 11 years as a Race Equality Officer in the borough of Hackney, London, England, U.K., and has been a member of the Royal Society of Arts, London, since 1964, where he continues to reside.

Rodrick Dixon


Rodrick Dixon is a renowned American lyric tenor, known for his range, musicianship, and dramatic intensity, and has been engaged by various theaters and orchestras throughout the United States. He has had notable operatic engagements such as Der Zwerg at Los Angeles Opera, Otello with Opera Southwest, and Sportin’ Life (Porgy & Bess) at Virginia Opera, and also notable concert engagements like Orff Carmina Burana, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, and Rachmaninoff The Bells at the Cincinnati May Festival. Dixon was also an original cast member of Ragtime on Broadway and has extensive credits in musical theatre, television, and recordings.

In a performance review of Oedipus Rex at the Cincinnati May Festival, Dixon was praised for his riveting performance as Oedipus, expressing the character’s growing horror effortlessly while navigating the music’s high range without a score. Dixon has also performed in Beethoven Missa Solemnis with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet Séguin, Mozart Requiem with the Florida Orchestra, and Beethoven Symphony No. 9 for the Greensboro Symphony and the Richmond Symphony, among others, including his first contract with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Dixon will be performing again this year at Cincinnati’s May Festival, on May 20, 2023, when Marin Alsop conducts, The Ordering of Moses.


Alfreda Burke


Alfreda Burke is a highly acclaimed soprano known for her “voluptuous, creamy, and luxuriant” vocal artistry. She has performed in various concerts throughout North America and Europe, including her debut at Carnegie and Orchestra Hall in Strauss’ Elektra with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra led by Daniel Barenboim.

Burke has also performed internationally, including at the Royal Philharmonic (U.K.), Prague Philharmonic, and Umbria Music Festival (Italy), as well as at the Miss World events in China, U.K., U.S., and Puerto Rico. She has also appeared at various national events such as the Kennedy Center, Cincinnati Pops Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Opera Theater.

In addition to her performances, Burke has also appeared in various recordings and PBS specials, including the Prague PBS special Hallelujah Broadway with Rodrick Dixon and PBS Great Performances Now Hear This: Florence Price and the American Migration. She has also recorded her own solo CD, From the Heart.

Burke is a double alumna and serves on the Roosevelt University CCPA Advisory Board, as well as the Community Engagement Committee Chair. She was also a Guest Lecturer in Voice at Wheaton College and is honored to be a HistoryMaker and permanent part of their collection at the Library of Congress. Burke dedicates her performances to the memory of her parents, Pastor John H. Burke Jr. and First Lady Mamie R. Burke.

Visit Burke at for her full biography, and follow her on YouTube, Facebook, or on Twitter @AlfredaBurke17.

Alvin Waddles

Pianist, singer, composer, and director

Alvin Waddles has delighted audiences in over a dozen countries with his dazzling technique, fluid versatility, and unique musical style. A native of Detroit and a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of Michigan School of Music, Mr. Waddles is equally at home in the worlds of classical piano, opera, theater, jazz, and gospel. He has performed at the Detroit International Jazz Festival and was named the 2022 Legacy Artist by the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation. He has appeared as piano soloist with the Detroit, Rochester, and Michigan Opera Theater Orchestras, is the featured piano soloist in annual productions of Too Hot to Handel in Detroit and Chicago and can frequently be heard performing his own Fats Waller Revue. He has performed across the country as musical director/pianist for Cook, Dixon, and Young (formerly of the Three Mo’ Tenors) and has been blessed to work with some of the world’s finest musicians, including Robert Shaw, Margaret Hillis, Brazeal Dennard, Minister Thomas Whitfield, Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, George Shirley, Marcus Belgrave, Jack Jones, Stephanie Mills, and Tramaine Hawkins.

Visit for tour dates and more information.

Franklin Cox, Jr., Ph.D.

Professor, School of Fine and Performing Arts

Franklin Cox, Ph.D., a musician and composer, earned his B.M. degrees in cello and composition from Indiana University, followed by composition degrees from Columbia University (M.A.) and the University of California–San Diego (Ph.D.), where he was an adjunct faculty member from 1993 to 1995.

Cox has received fellowships, prizes, and commissions from top institutions and festivals, including the Schloss Solitude, Sacher Stiftung, and Darmstadt Festival. He has performed with many new music groups, including Ensemble Köln, SONOR, and Surplus, and presented his solo recital, The New Cello, over 100 times throughout Europe and North America.

In 2006, he formed the duo C-squared with flautist Lisa Cella, commissioned new works from composers and performed throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Cox joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2002 and Wright State University in 2007. He co-edits the international book series, New Music and Aesthetics in the 21st Century, and his compositions are published by Rugginenti Editions and Sylvia Smith Publications and can be heard on Rusty Classica, Neuma Records, Solitude Edition, and Centaur Records.

Brian Buerkle


Brian Buerkle is one of the most active professional musicians in the Midwest region. Currently, Brian is Principal Trumpet of the Sinfonia Gulf Coast (FL) and has held positions as Acting 4th/Utility Trumpet with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (2006-2007), Acting 2nd/Sub-Principal Trumpet with the West Virginia Symphony (2007-2010), 2nd Trumpet with the Lexington Philharmonic (2000-2001), and 2nd Trumpet with the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra (1999). He performs and records regularly with some of America’s finest orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and Pops, Detroit Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, and Kentucky Symphony. Also an accomplished arranger and conductor, Brian has worked with the Colorado Symphony Brass, Spectrum Brass, Pittsburgh Brass, Canterbury Brass, and Sinfonia Chamber Brass.

Follow Brian Buerkle on Facebook, @buerklebt.

Vidhya Prakash, M.D., CMO

Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs and Population Health, Southern Illinois University Medicine

Dr. Vidhya Prakash is the Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs and Population Health and Chief Medical Officer at SIU Medicine in Springfield, Illinois. She is a Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases faculty. Dr. Prakash graduated from The Ohio State University with a BA in English. She received her M.D. degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She completed her Internal Medicine residency followed by Infectious Diseases fellowship at the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium. After serving as an Infectious Diseases physician in the United States Air Force for 10 years on active duty status, she retired from the military in 2014 and joined SIU School of Medicine. Dr. Prakash is founder and director of SIU Medicine’s Alliance for Women in Medicine and Science (AWIMS). She serves as chair of the Health and Healthcare Committee, Illinois Council on Women and Girls and as chair of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Diversity in Health Care Task Force. Dr. Prakash is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Medical Women’s Association.

She lives in Springfield, Illinois, with her husband, Dr. Eric Black, and their children, Eric Shiva and Ethan Prakash.

Shelley M. Jagow, Ph.D.

Professor, School of Fine and Performing Arts

Shelley M. Jagow, Ph.D., is professor of music (saxophone) at Wright State University and director of the Wind Symphony and the Symphonic Band. She is a Vandoren Regional Artist, as well as a music education clinician for Conn-Selmer, Meredith Music, and GIA Publications. Dr. J, as she is known, enjoys working with school bands and presents clinics, performances, and adjudications and serves as an honor band conductor at state, national, and international events.

Jagow was previously nominated for both the Robert J. Kegerreis Distinguished Professor of Teaching Award and the Brage Golding Distinguished Professor of Research Award. She has published numerous articles in periodicals and is a contributing author to both The Music Director’s Cookbook (Meredith Music) and Teaching Music through Performance in Band (GIA) series. Jagow is the author of several Meredith Music Publication books including Teaching Instrumental Music: Developing the Complete Band Program; Tuning for Wind Instruments: A Roadmap to Successful Intonation; Intermediate Studies for Developing Artists on the Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone and Bassoon; and The Londeix Lectures—a multi-DVD set archiving the historical lectures of Jean-Marie Londeix.

Her website is

Glen Solomon, M.D., MACP, FRCP (London)

Professor and Chair of Internal Medicine and Neurology

Dr. Glen D. Solomon is the Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and Neurology at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and his medical degree from Rush Medical College, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Dr. Solomon completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the US Air Force Medical Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and in Headache Medicine.

Dr. Solomon is a prolific researcher, writer, reviewer, and editor, with more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and 35 book chapters published on the topics of headache and migraine. He has authored two textbooks on headache medicine, Clinician’s Manual on Migraine and Diamond and Dalessio’s The Practicing Physician’s Approach to Headache, 6th ed. Dr. Solomon has also published and presented on the topics of healthcare professionalism and medical cannabis, and has taught over 170 grand rounds and invited lectures.

Dr. Solomon is a Master in the American College of Physicians and a Fellow in the American Headache Society. He has served as treasurer of the Academy for Professionalism in Health Care, councilor for the Association of Professors of Medicine, and vice president of the Ohio chapter of the American College of Physicians. He has been featured in Best Doctors in America, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare.

Daniel Lee Zehringer, D.M.A

Professor and Chair, School of Fine and Performing Arts

Dr. Dan Zehringer is chair of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Wright State University. Previously, he was chair of the School of Music and a full professor of music at the same university. He has served as principal prumpet for various orchestras and has presented master classes and recitals in several countries. His solo classical album was well-received, and he has collaborated with famous artists such as Aretha Franklin and Wynton Marsalis.

Zehringer obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in trumpet performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, his Master of Music degree in performance from the Eastman School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music in music education from Bowling Green State University.

He is an Ohio native and lives in Dayton with his husband, who owns Salt Block Biscuit Company, and their French Bulldog, Sophie. They enjoy renovating their 110-year-old home and vacationing in Northern Michigan.

Last edited on 05/09/2023.