Faculty

  • Michael Ridenour

 

Music Academy faculty members are selected from the finest area music teachers and performers.  All of our faculty members hold advanced degrees in their field of study (over 67% hold a Masters or Doctorate degree), have decades of teaching and performing experience, and teach all styles of music.   In addition to their teaching credentials, our faculty members have warm personalities, are extremely friendly, and dedicated to teaching you the style of music that you want to learn in your music lesson.

Please select an instructor from the drop-down “Faculty” menu above or the list below to read their biography.

Administration

Michael Ridenour (B.S., M.M., Director – Faculty Member Since 1997)

Guitar, Bass & Ukulele

Michael Ridenour (B.S., M.M., Electric, Acoustic, Classical Guitar, Ukulele – Faculty Member Since 1997)
Andrew Thelston (B.A., Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Electric Bass – Faculty Member Since 2018

Drums & Percussion

Joshua Dunn (B.MEd., M.M., Drums & Percussion – Faculty Member Since 2017)
Will Miller (B.M., Drums & Percussion – Faculty Member Since 2021)
Kent Spillman (B.S., Drums & Percussion – Faculty Member Since 2022)

Piano & Keyboard

Laura Thiel (B.M., M.M., D.M.A., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2019)
Elizabeth Churchya (B.M., M.M., D.M.A., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2022)
Kevin Ayesh (B.M., M.M., D.M.A., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2021)

Voice

Joanna Boyd Best (B.A., M.M., Voice & Choral Conducting – Faculty Member Since 2021)
Angela Hayes (B.M., M.M., Voice  – Faculty Member Since 2022)

Orchestral Strings

Jamie Leigh Bennett (B.M.T., M.M., Cello – Faculty Member Since 2015)
Jan Daugherty (B.M., Viola/Violin – Faculty Member Since 2013)
Eben Mann (A.D. Violin – Faculty Member Since 2018)
Matthew Pierce (B.M., M.M. Cello – Faculty Member Since 2019)
Rhona Reagen (B.M., M.S., Violin/Viola – Faculty Member Since 2021)
Carolyn Tackett (B.MEd., Violin – Faculty Member Since 2012)
Emily Vaughn (B.M., B.M.E., M.M., Violin/Viola – Faculty Member Since 2018)

Folk Music Program

Jan Daugherty (B.M., Fiddle – Faculty Member Since 2013)
Rhona Reagen (B.M., M.S., Mark O’Connor Fiddle Method – Faculty Member Since 2021)
Carolyn Tackett (B.MEd., Mark O’Connor Fiddle Method – Faculty Member Since 2012)

Brass & Woodwinds

Jamie Leigh Bennett (B.M.T., M.M., Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe – Faculty Member Since 2015)
Emily Songster (B.M.E., M.M.E., Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium – Faculty Member Since 2022)

Songwriting

Michael Ridenour (B.S., M.M., Songwriting – Faculty Member Since 1997)

Ensemble Directors & Coaches

Jamie Leigh Bennett (B.M.T., M.M., Woodwinds Ensemble – Faculty Member Since 2015)
Jan Daugherty (B.M., String Quartet Coach – Faculty Member Since 2013)
Andrea Dennis (B.MEd. Strings Ensemble Conductor- Faculty Member Since 2016)
Joanna Boyd Best (B.A., M.M., Serenata Chorale – Faculty Member Since 2021)
Amanda Tant (B.MEd. Strings Ensemble Conductor – Faculty Member Since 2019
Amy Turlington (B.MEd. Strings Ensemble Conductor – Faculty Member Since 2019)
Michael Ridenour (B.S., M.M., Fusion/Rock Band Coach – Faculty Member Since 1997)
Michael Ridenour (B.S., M.M., Guitar Ensemble Director- Faculty Member Since 1997)

Elementary & Middle School Music Class Development & Instructor

Rhona Reagen (B.M., M.S., Violin/Viola – Faculty Member Since 2021)

Music Together Class Instructor

Jamie Leigh Bennett (B.M.T., M.M., Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe – Faculty Member Since 2015)

Accompanists

Laura Thiel (B.M., M.M., D.M.A., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2019)
Elizabeth Churchya (B.M., M.M., D.M.A., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2022)
Kevin Ayesh (B.M., M.M., D.M.A., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2021)

Band & Orchestral Instrument Rental

Jamie Leigh Bennett (B.M.T., M.M., Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe – Faculty Member Since 2015)

Give us a call at 828-693-3726 to schedule your FREE introductory consultation to meet perspective faculty members, tour our facility, ad discuss your musical direction before you commit to private lessons.