Jon Colston – Guitar (Hixson & E Brainerd)
Jon has been teaching music three decades. His focus is on practical music theory and improvisation. Jon has taught guitar and non guitar students his approach to improv. He has toured professionally throughout the U.S. Has recorded with Michelle Young on her Marked For Madness album and toured with Leah Seawright. Jon is currently the lead guitarist for the band Voodoo Slim. Check out Jon’s website.
Michelle Young – Voice & Songwriting (E Brainerd)
singer/songwriter/musician in the world of Progressive music, having been included in the 1997 book “TheBillboard Guide To Progressive Music” and featured on the cover of various European Progressive music magazines. She performs regularly in Germany with Rudi Buttas of the band “PUR”, and her extensive recording career currently includes two solo
albums, the second being recorded mostly in England, and mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London. She has worked with several outstanding musicians, including Doane Perry (Jethro Tull), Bobby Kimball (Toto), Pete Banks (ex-Yes), John Wetton (Asia, King Crimson), Michael Sadler (Saga), Steve Walsh (Kansas), James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Rudi Buttas (PUR), Peter Freudenthaler (Fools Garden), Jon Colston, Clive Nolan (Arena, Pendragon), Oliver Wakeman, and many others. Michelle uses a contemporary approach in her vocal lessons, incorporating classic vocalises and singing techniques with modern singing
Checkout Michelle’s website.
Katie Talley brings a lifetime of experience, training and passion to her music. A former music teacher at Tennessee Christian Academy she received her B.A. from Lee University School of Music. Katie is also an alumnus of the Lee University Campus Choir, under the direction of Dr. David Horton and Dr. Mark Bailey, Lee University Choral Union, under the direction of Dr. William Green and the vocal studio of Mrs. Virginia Horton. But, her passion for music began long before college. As a child Katie performed regularly in musical theater and performances in both ministry and show choirs through adolescence. Most notably, Katie is an alumnus of various award winning choral ensembles from her home state of Ohio, winning multiple awards for small ensemble, large ensemble and small choir. Specializing in teaching private and group voice, beginning piano, choral music and both private and group music theory lessons, she brings a variety of musical experience to her lessons including classical, sacred, jazz, contemporary genres for both solo and group performance.
As a young person, Rachelle Steele enjoyed playing violin, viola, andcello in various school and church orchestras. She attributesmuch of her ability to concentrate and excel in what she does today to those early music education experiences. For this reason, Rachelle is a passionate and encouraging teacher, with a heart to see every one of her students excel. She began accompanying church and youth choirs at only sixteen years old, while touring much of the West Coast, including outdoor arenas in the beautiful Redwood forests of California, where she was able to hone her acoustic folk guitar skills. After graduating from Biola University in La Mirada, California with a major in Christian Education and a minor in Piano, Rachelle went on to accompany and lead various children’s, youth and adult choirs in California and Colorado. Aside from Tennessee, she has taught music in San Jose, California and Colorado Springs, Colorado, where one of her violin students took first chair in the Children’s Symphony Orchestra. She is currently a member of Abba’s Army, the adult choir at Central Baptist Church of Hixson. One of her passions is to join with other church choir every year in an annual Worship Chattanooga event sponsored by the Nehemiah Project. Rachelle has found this event to be a marvelous way to connect with the community through music dance, and other creative arts.
Jeanni Highlander – Piano, Guitar, Voice, Ukulele and more (Hixson & East Brainerd)
Jeanni earned her BA in Music Education from UTC in 1981 as a clarinet/instrumental music major. In 1982 she began her career with Chattanooga Public Schools and then later with the merged system of Hamilton County. She spent 30 years in Elementary General Music as a certified teacher of grades 1-8 with responsibilities that included teaching beginning band, classroom percussion, Orff instruments, and hand bell ensembles. During this time she has directed numerous musical theater productions and choirs. Jeanni earned her Master of Arts in Education from Tusculum College in 2003. She teaches clarinet, flute, piano, beginning guitar and voice with Music Instruction Studio.
Melissa Griffis – Voice & Piano (East Brainerd)
Melissa is originally from Jackson, TN, and began taking piano lessons at an early age. While in her early teens, she added voice and musical theater to her list of interests.
As an undergraduate student at Birmingham-Southern College, in Birmingham, Alabama, Melissa served as a soprano soloist for a variety of chamber choirs, including The Cathedral of the Advent Episcopal Church, Canterbury Methodist Church, and Temple Beth-El. While working towards her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance, Melissa was a vocal coach and piano accompanist for the students of highly acclaimed performers Andrew Gainey and Mildred Allen. Her duties included providing piano accompaniment for other students’ voice lessons, coaching the opera workshop, and serving as accompanist for senior voice recitals. During her junior and senior years at B-SC, Melissa also taught piano to students at the Birmingham-Southern Conservatory of Music (an extension of the College).
Upon graduating from Birmingham-Southern College, Melissa attended graduate school at San Francisco State University, where she pursued her lifelong strong interest in the music of other cultures. Melissa was teaching assistant to Dr. Sharon Girard, who mentored her throughout her ethnomusicology courses. Melissa completed her Master’s degree at San Francisco State University in the area of traditional Irish music. Other areas of interest include the Javanese gamelan music of Southeast Asia and the vocal music of South America. Melissa’s initial background is performance-based, but teaching is where her true passion lies. Previous engagements include teaching choral music, simultaneously at Happy Valley Elementary School and Stanley Middle School in Lafayette, CA, and at Carondelet High School in Concord, CA. One of Melissa’s favorite teaching roles was that of musical director for the productions of “Annie” and “Wonderland,” for Bay Area Educational Theater Company. Melissa is excited to offer piano and voice instruction at Music Instruction Studio. Her philosophy is that music should be fun, and that music should enhance all aspects of a person’s life.
Paul Porceddu – Violin (Hixson & East Brainerd)
Paul has been teaching violin since 1986. He was Concert Master of an orchestra during the years he lived in Sarasota FL. As a child and early adult he won several state and national level fiddle contests, and appeared with the cast of Hee Haw twice, later he played in different bands of various styles as well. Classical, bluegrass and fiddle music, jazz, blues, folk, improvisation.
Steve Brehm – Guitar & Piano (East Brainerd)
Originally from Chattanooga, has been playing guitar for thirteen years. He recently earned his bachelors degree from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Throughout his life he has studied and performed in a wide range of different styles from rock, jazz, and classical to name a few. He is currently active composing and arranging music for solo nylon string guitar.
Laura Beth Wilkerson is a private piano and voice instructor for the Chattanooga area. A Signal Mountain-native and senior at UTC, she is to receive her BM in Vocal Music Education this December. Miss Wilkerson is trained to sing classically, but has since fallen in love with musical theatre. For more than three years, Miss Wilkerson has worked closely with area high schools, teaching private lessons and directing musicals (including “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Next to Normal,” and “The Addam’s Family Musical”). She has also taught musical theatre workshops, ages ranging from 6-18.
David’s formative years were spent playing and recording rock and pop guitar in various groups around the southeastern United States. Intending to broaden his musical perspective, David enrolled at Chattanooga State Community College to study piano and music theory and quickly fell in love with the classical guitar, studying with Adam Hale. David moved to Baltimore to study with renowned pedagogue Ray Chester at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. He worked with the entire guitar faculty at Peabody, and has had private lessons and ensemble coachings with Serap Bastepe-Gray, as well as performing in master classes for Julian Gray and Manuel Barrueco.
David teaches a wide variety of styles of music and is excited to be a part of Music Instruction Studio. The skills one uses learning and playing music are beneficial to the student the rest of his or her life. Beyond that, music is life-changing and fun!
Jerry Haynes started playing guitar at the age of 8, after receiving an acoustic guitar as a present from his grandfather. Now, at 50, he is an accomplished musician and teacher with a Professional Certification from Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA and a BA degree in Music Composition and Theory from UTC. He has been teaching private lessons for 27 years. He started out teaching guitar and bass, and now teaches piano, drums and ukulele as well.
Ellen Sturgill Cummings – Voice & Piano (E Brainerd)
Ellen Sturgill Cummings is a lyric soprano from Peachtree City, Georgia and currently resides in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Having begun voice lessons in her early teens, she has engaged in an exciting musical career since that time.
Ellen has performed major roles such as Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music, Dorothy in multiple productions of The Wizard of Oz, Lucy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Nancy in Oliver!. She also performed in Tosca as the cover for the Shepherd Boy with the New York Grand Opera. She has performed as soloist for numerous masses, including: Requiem in F minor (Bieber), Requiem (Fauré), Missa Brevis (Haydn), and Mass in G (Schubert). Throughout her collegiate career, Ellen was a member of the nationally known LSU A Cappella Choir under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Fulton. She performed as a soloist with the choir and toured throughout the southeastern United States and Europe.
One of Ellen’s favorite things to do is sing at weddings, which she has done since 2009. She has also been a music consultant for these events since 2013. Additionally, she enjoys volunteering for local productions to help with choreography and music direction. Ellen is also very involved with her church where she taught voice lessons and worked as the Director of Music for Evening Services before moving to Tennessee.
She received her Bachelor’s Degree of Music in Vocal Performance from Louisiana State University, as well as a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication from from the same institution. She has studied under the tutelage of Dr. Franklin Green and Patricia O’Neill, and is currently in the vocal studio of Maria Pia Ugarte.
Anna Park – Cello, Beginning Violin & Piano (E Brainerd)
Anna Park is a senior at Southern Adventist University and her major is Music Education with a Cello Concentration. Miss Park first began her musical path with violin lessons when she was only four years old. A few years later she began taking piano lessons simultaneously with her violin lessons and was completely engulfed in music. Her musical journey really flourished during these four years at Collins Hill High. She was the co-principal cellist for GCYS (Gwinnett County Youth Symphony) 2008-2009 and then became the principal cellist 2009-2010. She then had the opportunity to experience a vast range of repertoire with Dr. Richard Prior in the EYSO (Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra) for two consecutive years, 2009-2011.
Anna Park has been the co-principal cellist in the Southern Adventist Symphony for the past year and is planning on participating until she graduates in May, 2018. Anna has been providing private cello sessions for six years now and has a wide range of experience and perspective of teaching and music education. Each child is different so therefore, it is safe to say that every child will grow into an individual and have a different life compared to their classmates. Education is not only about mastering one’s skill and enlarging one’s knowledge. It is about helping them become the person they want to be and assist them to achieve their goals.
Jordan Kendricks – Guitar (E Brainerd)
More to come