♪ Andrew Getman (guitar) is a guitarist originally from Huntsville, currently studying music at UAB. He is a member of the jazz ensembles at UAB, and has studied classically under Maria Bitran and Phil Weaver. Andrew has also studied with jazz guitarist and composer Rotem Sivan from New York. He also has experience teaching privately.Through UAB he was able to participate in a three week long tour of Europe playing in the big band and jazz combos through Germany, Italy, and Austria. Andrew looks forward to learning more about music every day, and is excited to bring that passion to each lesson. His hope is to pass along the joy of playing the guitar to each of his students, and to have it be a lifelong passion for them.
♪ Anna Warner (guitar, ukulele, voice, piano) is a Music Education student at UAB, studying voice and choral music. She has been teaching guitar, ukulele, voice, piano, and mallets since 2014 around the Birmingham area. She currently instructs for multiple marching and concert bands around Alabama including Pelham, Moody, and Leeds, teaching front ensemble, drumline, and visual. She is a classically trained vocalist and has been playing piano since she was a child. She has performed with Iron Giant Percussion multiple times and plays percussion, guitar, ukulele, and piano with many different ensembles at UAB. She is the first marimba and section leader of the Marching Blazers and is also a section leader and committee member in the top choir at UAB. She has a passion for teaching and loves getting to play music with people of all ages and walks of life.
♪ Blake Franklin
(guitar) is a guitar teacher and a Board Certified Music Therapist. He has been teaching guitar at VHUM’s Conservatory of the Arts since 2014. He received his Bachelors in Music with a focus in Music Therapy from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2013. While in school, Blake studied piano for four and a half years under Dr. Noel Engebretson and learned and studied guitar for four years within the music therapy program. At the end of his schooling, he completed a six month internship at the hospice Four Seasons Compassion for Life in Flat Rock, North Carolina. Blake is a contract music therapist throughout the greater Birmingham & Tuscaloosa area while also providing guitar lessons, adaptive music lessons, and music therapy at the Vestavia Hills United Methodist Conservatory of the Arts. He works with populations ranging from older adults, adults with developmental disabilities, and children with developmental disabilities.
♪ Brett Huffman (percussion), originally from Huntsville, has been performing percussion in Birmingham since 2006. While he currently plays drumset for multiple local groups, he has also studied classical percussion under Dr. Laura Noah and Dr. Gene Fambrough while attending UAB. Huffman was part of ensembles such as the Jazz Combo and Big Band, Wind Symphony, Marching Band and Percussion Ensemble. He is a member of local chamber music quartet, Iron Giant Percussion, which has performed recently with Grammy award-winning Third Coast Percussion and Wilco's Glenn Kotche. He has performed previously with Virginia Samford Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and Red Mountain Theatre Company. Huffman has been a choir member at Highlands United Methodist Church since 2009, and has been a drum instructor at Vestavia Hills Conservatory of the Arts since 2012.
♪ Carolyn Munchus
(piano) began college piano study at Talladega College under Thomas J. Flagg. After selection as an exchange student to the University of Iowa in her junior year, she transferred to continue study there and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance. She also received a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. She taught music in public schools and college and also worked as music and audiovisual materials cataloger in UAB Libraries. Throughout her career, she continued her involvement with piano teaching and selected performances at weddings, receptions, and special church events. She volunteers with UAB Arts in Medicine performing in the Kirklin Clinic Atrium at selected times during the year. She has contributed book and score reviews to the publication, American Music Teacher. Her philosophy of teaching piano is to provide an opportunity for musical creative expression through piano study and to encourage the joy of making music. Member: Music Teachers National Association, Alabama Music Teachers Association, Birmingham Music Teachers Association, Birmingham Metro Music Forum.
♪ Cathy Shelton (piano) has degrees in piano and organ performance from the University of Alabama (undergraduate) and Northwestern University (masters). She has studied piano with William Henderson, Amanda Penick, and Laurence Davis, and organ with Warren Hutton. She has been a High School, Middle School, and Junior High School choral teacher in Alabama for 34 years. Cathy was at Hoover High School from 2001-2015, where, in addition to choral directing and teaching IB Music, she developed and taught classes in the Piano Keyboard Technology Lab. Cathy is the organist at First United Methodist Church in Birmingham.
♪ Chloe Smith (violin) Chloe Smith is a violin instructor and a recent graduate from Yale University, where she earned her Masters in Music History. She graduated from Samford University in 2019 with a double major in History and Music, where she studied violin and played in both the Samford Orchestra and the Samford Collegiate String Quartet. During her time at Samford, Chloe taught violin privately and in programs throughout Birmingham. She is a member of the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra, and she has previously interned with the Etowah Youth Symphony Orchestra program as a string teacher and administrative assistant.
♪ Christian Cowart (trumpet) is currently studying music education at UAB. He performs trumpet often, playing regularly with the Wind Symphony, the Marching Blazers, and the Brass Quintet at UAB, among other trumpet ensembles. He spent a summer marching mellophone in drum and bugle corps. He has been teaching privately and with school groups for the throughout college.
♪ Darcy Walker (art) is an artist, art instructor and freelance apparel designer. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Design from Philadelphia University. She worked as a corporate womenswear designer for ten years developing apparel through sketching, designing prints, creating color pallets and developing lines. She has worked as a freelance designer for the past seven years. Darcy has been an artist for over twenty years specializing in acrylics. She has taught drawing and painting in elementary summer camps for three years, art classes at Lakeside Baptist Church Kindergarten for four years, and painting classes for several local senior living facilities for five years. Darcy is married with four children ranging from eight to eighteen.
♪ Ginger Zingara (flute, music theory & composition) has previously served as Director of Bands at Birmingham Southern College and Adjunct Professor of Music Education at the University of Alabama Birmingham. Before that, she was Professor of Instrumental Music and Director of Bands at Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kansas, music education instructor at Troy University in Troy, Alabama and taught middle school and high school bands and orchestras in Georgia and Alabama. Mrs. Zingara received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees with honors from Troy State University and was selected as their “The Most Outstanding Music Graduate”in 1985. She began her career in north Georgia and metro Atlanta teaching middle and high school bands.
♪ Jada Cato (voice, showstoppers) is a native of Ellenwood, GA, where she began studying voice at the age of ten under the direction of international recording artist, Tameko Star. From 2005 to 2013, Jada studied songwriting and opera, pop, musical theatre, jazz, and various other vocal styles while stepping into the world of theatre, earning statewide and national acclaim. She also spent two years performing with Clovers and Company, a Georgia 4-H performing arts group with alum such as Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. Graduating with a BA in Theatre from Birmingham-Southern College in 2017, Jada then worked as a Featured Singer for Royal Caribbean. Back on land, Jada continues to perform and now leads worship at Riverchase UMC. She also began teaching classes for Virginia Samford Theatre's STARS Camp and school like Voice and Movement, Improv, and Acting Through Song. As a 200 Hour RYT Yoga teacher, Jada also offers health and wellness courses for artists, singers, and performers to better enhance their physical bodies, mental health, and spiritual awareness. While she has spent much of her time with middle and high school aged students, Jada is happy to receive any student with an open heart and mind!
♪ John Allen Bankson (piano), a Birmingham native and graduate of Samford University, studied voice with Randall Richardson and piano with Don Sanders. He received his master's degree in conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he also studied composition with Luigi Zaninelli. John Allen has served as Music Director for productions at Birmingham Festival Theatre, Birmingham Children's Theatre, Terrific New Theatre, and Homewood Theatre. He is the Director of Music for the First Christian Church of Birmingham, Artistic Director of the Montevallo Community Chorale, and Conductor of Southern Vocal Collective, a professional choral ensemble.
♪ June Clark (piano) has taught private piano and voice lessons in the Birmingham area for over 15 years. She serves as Director of Music at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church and accompanist and soloist at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. June teaches Music and P.E. at Ascension Episcopal Kindergarten and Vestavia Hills Baptist Church Child Development Center. She holds a B.A. in Music and Communication Studies from Furman University and a Master’s in Mass Communication from the University of Florida. June sings with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra Chorus and has an extensive background in musical theatre performance. She lives in Vestavia Hills with her husband and three children and is an active leader in the community, currently serving as President of the Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest Foundation Board of Directors and Junior League of Birmingham Director of Internal Communications.
♪ Karen Krekelberg (piano, organ) is currently on staff at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church as the Associate Director of Music Ministry and Organist. Karen earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Montevallo with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy. While there, she studied piano with Robert Cowan and organ with Betty Louise Lumby. Karen has enjoyed teaching private piano as well as group classes to students of all ages in many places, including ArtPlay, Samford Preparatory School of Music, and her own home. Karen is a member of BMTA, AMTA, AGO, and the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. A mother of two grown children, she can often be found accompanying for various music groups and theatre productions around Birmingham.
♪ Karyn Watts (piano) has been teaching private piano lessons for over 18 years in Texas, South Carolina, Georgia and currently in Vestavia Hills, Al. She is also a certified Kindermusik teacher and teaches morning classes at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. Karyn obtained her Bachelor's degree in Music Education at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and her Master's degree at University of South Carolina - Columbia. Karyn's husband, Marty, is the Minister of Music at Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. Karyn has a lifelong love of music and also plays the flute and handbells. She is an active member of the Sanctuary Choir at VHBC. Karyn and Marty have a four year-old son named Duncan.
♪ Lisa Coleman (piano, writing), a Birmingham-Southern College graduate, with a degree in Music Education and a 28 year successful career in public education, is excited to be a part of the staff of the Conservatory of the Arts. She began taking piano lessons at age nine, and by the time she turned fifteen, she was accompanying for churches, school choirs, weddings, and more. During college, she taught private piano lessons while earning her degree as a music educator. Although teaching in public schools has kept her busy, she has managed to teach and accompany for several local children’s theatre camps and has filled in as pianist and choir director for local churches. Throughout her career, Lisa has written, taught, conducted, and performed songs, plays, and poetry for schools, churches, theatres, festivals, workshops, and camps. Combined with piano and vocal skills, she has spent a lifetime bringing the arts to students and audiences of all ages. Most recently, she has written and published two devotional books. Lisa is looking forward to teaching beginning piano and offering a beginning writing class through the COA.
♪ Maria Bitran (guitar) was born in Santiago, Chile. She is an Adjunct Professor of classical guitar at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Maria began playing guitar at age 8 and 4 years later enrolled in the Conservatory of Music at the University of Chile. She then obtained a degree in Guitar Performance from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Currently finishing her Master Certificate in Guitar at Berklee College of Music through their on-line school. Maria keeps a very active teaching schedule. She has taught for several years at Cherokee Bend Elementary, N.E. Miles Jewish Day School, Brookwood Forest Elementary, and also has a private studio. Maria has developed a special guitar method for teaching younger children 4 to 7 years old. Maria has travelled all over the world with her guitar, attending and performing in master classes in Spain, Italy, France, Baltimore, Columbus, Miami, and New York, and has studied with world renowned guitarists: David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Roland Dyens, Andrew Zohn, Lorenzo Michellim, Mateo Mella, and others. Maria’s passion is teaching guitar to any age group, from as young as 4 and as old as 90.
♪ Nadya Bogdan (piano) was born in Samara, Russia in 1978. She began her musical studies in the preparatory program of the Chita Musical College. After moving with her family to Engels, Nadya continued her artistic education, first at the Musical School of Arts, then the Saratov Musical College and finally, the Saratov State Conservatory where she gave her two solo concerts. While still a student and after her graduation, Nadya was working as Piano Instructor and Concertmaster of the Musical School of Arts. During this time she worked and perform with a wide variety of instrumentalists, choir and ballet studio as accompanist and chamber collaborator. She performed for 7 years in a Violin – Piano duo. In 2005, Nadya participated in performances with Michael Fernandez (Viola) and Lucina Horner (Viola), the great musicians from Alabama Symphony Orchestra. They gave 2 concerts in University of Alabama and UAB. At present, Nadya lives with her family in Birmingham and enjoys teaching students through private lessons.
♪ Quint Harris, DMA (voice, conducting) is the Director of Music & Arts Ministries at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church in Birmingham, AL where he directs the Chancel Choir, Bell Choir, and Youth Choir as well as supervises the music staff. Prior to Vestavia Hills UMC he was the Director of Music Ministries at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church in Phoenix, AZ. He has a Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s in Music Education from the University of Alabama. Throughout his career Quint has directed on the Middle School and High School levels as well as part-time and full-time church music ministry. Quint is a member of AVA (Alabama Vocal Association, ACDA (American Choral Directors Association and FUMMWA (The Fellowship of the United Methodist Church in Music and Worship Arts) where he has served as the Handbell Committee Chair and the Membership Committee Chair. Quint is married to Paige Pittman Harris, CPA, and the have three wonderfully active children, Colin (19), Sarah Beth (16), and Nate (14).
♪ Rebecca Rehorst (piano) has been playing piano for 33 years and teaching piano for 15 years. She holds a BA in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from Carthage College, Kenosha, WI. She holds a K-12 General Music Certification and 6-12 Choral Certification from UW- Milwaukee. She taught in the Pewaukee School District from 1998-2006 general music and choir. She spent four years living in Colorado and taught in the Eagle County School District in the Vail Valley from 2006-2010 teaching K-5 general music and 9-12 choir, drama and steel drums. Currently Rebecca is in the Oconomowoc School District teaching 5th/6th grade general music at Silver Lake Intermediate School and K/1 general music at Ixonia Elementary School. Rebecca has been playing and performing classical, traditional, popular, jazz and other styles of music since age 4. She has a traditional approach to teaching piano with strong emphasis on notation and rhythmic reading literacy as well as exposing her students to a wide variety of musical styles including classical, traditional, popular and many others. Focusing on music theory and the ability to create songs when learning music theory concepts, scales and composition techniques are incorporated in Rebecca’s lessons.
♪ Rebekah Perry (piano) graduated from Pensacola Christian College, May of 2017, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education, with an emphasis in piano pedagogy. Rebekah has had a desire to share her knowledge of music ever since she was young, and that desire has only grown, leading her to pursue a degree in music education. While studying at PCC, she had the privilege of teaching an elementary choir, theory class, and piano lessons. Her passion is to open the eyes of children to the wonders of music by breaking down complex concepts into simpler forms suited to children. To accomplish that and enhance her lessons, she enjoys using captivating illustrations and visuals. Rebekah’s goal is that each of her students would not only learn to appreciate music, but to fall in love with it, and above all discover ways to glorify God and minister to others with their talent, as they grow in their musical ability.
♪ Robin Belk (piano) holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy and a Master of Music Education from the University of Montevallo. She is also certified in Orff Schulwerk having completed Levels 1-3 and Master Class. Robin has taught elementary music in Jefferson County schools for 30 years, specializing in general music for grades K-5 and elementary choir. She has composed music and served as a conductor for the Jefferson County Annual Music Festival All County Elementary Choir, taught summer music camps and offered private piano lessons after school. Prior to beginning her career as an elementary music specialist, Robin taught private piano at the University of Montevallo Preparatory Department, Samford University Predatory School of Music, Jefferson State Community College, Trussville School of Music and in her home. She is currently very involved with the music program of Founders Place at Home, a respite care program for those with memory loss at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church.
♪ John Mark "Rowdy" Giles
(tuba) is a low brass instructor with a Master's Degree in Music from The University of Alabama. A native of Hoover, AL, Rowdy attended Spain Park High School and is an active member of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church and the church choir. He studied tuba under Dr. Demondrae Thurman, as well as tuba and euphonium with Dr. Jeremy Crawford, at The University of Alabama where he completed both a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree. After graduation, Rowdy began teaching privately and sectionals at schools such as Pizitz Middle School, Spain Park High School, and Tuscaloosa's Hillcrest Highschool while seeking performance opportunities. Rowdy is currently studying for a real estate license while continuing to engage in private lesson tutoring.
♪ Zoe Wirt (voice, theatre) is a graduate of the Music Department at Birmingham-Southern College. She has studied at summer programs such as the musical theatre intensive, Open Jar Institute, in New York City, and the College-Conservatory of Music Summer Opera Studio at the University of Cincinnati. Previously, Zoe was the soprano section leader in the St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir and the Children’s Choir Director at Avondale United Methodist Church. Zoe can frequently be found acting on stage around Birmingham and music directing at Birmingham Children's Theatre, as well as singing in the Chancel Choir and serving as COA Administrator and Music & Arts Coordinator at VHUMC.