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, Ukulele – Faculty Member Since 2018)
Collin Smith (B.M., Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Ukulele – Faculty Member Since 2022)
Bob Songster (B.A., M.M.,  Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Electric & Upright Bass, Ukulele – Faculty Member Since 2023)

Drums & Percussion

Jeff Lott (B.M., Drums & Percussion – Faculty Member Since 2022)

Piano & Keyboard

Kevin Ayesh (B.M., M.M., D.M.A., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2021)
Richard Riccardi (B.M., M.M.A., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2024)
Anita Robertson (B.M.E., M.D., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2022)
Emily Songster (B.M.E., M.M.E., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2022)

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

Tinder Burris (B.M., M.M.E. Cello – Faculty Member Since 2023)
Jan Daugherty (B.M., Viola/Violin – Faculty Member Since 2013)
Claudia Malchow (B.M. M.M., D.M.A., Viola/Violin – Faculty Member Since 2022)
Eben Mann (A.D. Violin – Faculty Member Since 2018)
Bob Songster (B.A., M.M.,  Double Bass – Faculty Member Since 2023)
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 & Traditional Music

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

Brass & Woodwinds

Emily Songster (B.M.E., M.M.E., Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium – Faculty Member Since 2022)
Leslie Zarnowski (B.M.E., M.Ed., Saxophone, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Flute – Faculty Member Since 2023)

Songwriting

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

Ensemble Directors & Coaches

Jan Daugherty (B.M., String Quartet Coach – Faculty Member Since 2013)
Andrea Jackson (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)
Tracey Mumford (B.M. 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)

Music Together Class Instructor

Emily Vaughn (B.M., B.M.E., M.M., Violin/Viola – Faculty Member Since 2018)

Accompanists

Richard Riccardi (B.M., M.M.A., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2024)
Anita Robertson (B.M.E., M.D., Piano – Faculty Member Since 2022)

Band & Orchestral Instrument Rental

Andrea Jackson (B.MEd. Educational Representative- Faculty Member Since 2016)
Emily Vaughn (B.M., B.M.E., M.M., Customer Service Representative – Faculty Member Since 2018)

Piano Tuning, Maintenance, & Repair

LeVar Stripling (Certified Piano Tuner with Steinway of the Carolinas – Faculty Member Since 2022)

Stringed Instrument Repair

Mike Dunham (Handcrafted Instruments & Repair- Faculty Member Since 2023)

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.