Blake Holmes – Guitar (Cleveland)
Blake Holmes started at the age of 5 playing Bluegrass. He has since learned and progressed in many styles, and has toured with artists such as Chas Collins, Jessie Kohut and others. Blake studied at The Altanta Institute Music and then spent 7 years in Nashville, Tn. Now he is back in Cleveland to share his musical knowledge. He is very excited to be part of the MIS team!
Sisa Watkins comes to Music Instruction Studio with over 16 years of piano education and 4 years of teaching experience. During high school, she had several opportunities that grew her love for music and pushed her to become a better pianist. She served on her home church’s worship team, accompanied for her high school choir, accompanied for several musical productions, and was chosen to be one of the ten pianists for Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts.
Sisa graduated from Boyce College with a B.S. in Worship and Music Studies – concentration in piano. During this time, she received piano instruction from Dr. Sandra Turner and Dr. Maurice Hinson. During her time at Boyce, she met her husband, Christain Watkins. They are now approaching 3 years of marriage. Before they moved from Louisville, KY to Cleveland, TN, she was the pianist for their church and taught piano lessons at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to teaching and serving, she enjoys playing for weddings, conferences, composing her own works, etc. She has always had a love for music and children. She hopes that her students would grow to love music as much as she has, and that they would seek to glorify the Lord through these gifts.
Amy is originally from Mechanicsville, Virginia, and began playing piano at age 4. At 12 years old, she began studying the clarinet, and later at age 16 began playing guitar. She sang and played at church all throughout her childhood, and has followed in her mother’s footsteps as a church musician and private instructor. She has a Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy from Longwood University in Farmville, VA, and was involved with several groups while attending college, including Wind and Jazz Ensembles, Camerata and Chamber singers, and she is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, the Professional Music Fraternity for Women. Amy has been teaching and performing in Cleveland and the surrounding areas since 2010 and is currently the pianist/organist at McDonald United Methodist Church. She also plays clarinet with the Greater Cleveland Concert Band, and is the pianist for The Inman Street Band, a jazz ensemble also based out of Cleveland.
Adrienne grew up studying music of all shapes and sizes, in a home where music was the lifestyle. From the piano to the violin at age 6; the flute to the guitar from ages 11-18, and later found her self on the stage of her church leading worship. She studies Voice and Piano with an emphasis on Church music and Theology at Lee University, and stands as a Senior, graduating December 2017. She has had the opportunity of playing violin, piano and leading in many churches in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and many more. She has also had the opportunity to record with a few bands and co-write songs for albums of those that came from Lee. In the past six years, she has traveled to Hungary, Germany, Guatemala, and London leading worship with Campus Choir, and directing her church choir for different cultural services. Her hearts desire is to invest and lead others in the art of music and the ability to encourage others to carry excellence in their talents. She is extremely blessed to call MIS a musical home, where all who enter will walk in confidence and become better musicians in their instruments.“You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there is something else besides us in this universe; harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even the stars.” -August Rush
Samantha has played violin for 12 years. She began playing when she was 8 years old, under the tutelage of Barbara Blommers, Concert Master for the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra in Montgomery, Al. From age 13 to 19, she was instructed by Carol Hayes, Principle Violist for the White House Chamber Orchestra, Washington, D.C. In conjunction with private lessons, Samantha has played for Northwest Florida Youth Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Liz Aylor, from 2009-2013. Samantha joined the Sinfonia Youth Orchestra (SYO) in 2013 when it was established. She traveled with her ensembles to Orlando, Fl. multiple times to perform in Universal Studios, Disney’s EPCOT, and Disney’s Magic Kingdom. From 2009-2013 She also played for High Voltage, an electric string ensemble conducted by Liz Aylor. From 2012-2013 she was its Concert Master. High Voltage was invited to perform at the American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA) Conference Competition which sponsored “Barrage,” an international string ensemble based in Alberta, Canada. After high school graduation, Samantha taught private violin lessons, instructing nine student who have continued violin studies. Currently Samantha is a sophomore at Lee University studying violin under Mrs. Weiyi Yu. Mrs. Yu graduated from Eastman University and has performed in the United States as well as in China. Samantha is a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Studies Major, with an emphasis in violin studies. She plays in two musical ensembles at Lee University’s School of Music: Chamber Strings and the Lee University Symphony Orchestra. The Symphony has played multiple concerts at the University under the direction of Maestro Robert Bernhardt. Chamber Strings is a small string ensemble directed by Dr. Xiaoxing Yu. Samantha aspires to have her own private violin studio someday in order to inspire young children to love all types of music.
Caleb Dykes is a versatile and experienced guitarist and teacher who has been playing since he was 11 years old. He has traveled extensively and recorded with his former band, Controlling Evolution as well as his father, finger style guitarist Doyle Dykes. Caleb has been a featured musician for Guild guitars and Rivera amplifiers. He teaches both acoustic and electric guitar and enjoys a variety of playing styles from rock and metal to jazz and blues.