2024 Faculty

Guest Artist

Richard Blanco, Guest Artist

Miami, Florida & Bethel, Maine

Selected by President Obama as the fifth Presidential Inaugural Poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco was the youngest, the first Latinx, immigrant, and gay person to serve in that role. In 2023, Blanco was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Biden from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami in a working-class family, Blanco’s personal negotiation of cultural identity and the universal themes of place and belonging characterize Blanco’s many collections of poetry, including his most recent, Homeland of My Body, which reassess traditional notions of home as strictly a geographical, tangible place that merely exist outside us, but rather, within us. He has also authored the memoirs For All Of Us: One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey and The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Chldhood. Blanco has received numerous awards, including the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize, the PEN American Beyond Margins Award, the Patterson Prize, and a Lambda Prize for memoir. He was Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary degrees. Currently, he serves as Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets and is an Associate Professor at Florida International University. In April 2022, Blanco was appointed the first-ever Poet Laureate of Miami-Dade County.


Soul Rep Theatre Company, Guest Artist

Dallas, Texas

Soul Rep Theatre Company was founded in 1995 by Dallas/Fort Worth natives Guinea Bennett-Price, Anyika McMillan-Herod, and Tonya Holloway. They shared a tremendous desire to establish a theater company in Dallas dedicated to the Black experience. They proceed to cultivate the next generation of theatre artists and patrons by establishing an institution committed to quality theatre and arts education.​ Soul Rep Theatre exists to protect and progress the Black Theatre experience through enlightening entertainment.​ 
Over the years, Soul Rep blossomed from a small community theater into Dallas' celebrated professional theater company. For many years, Soul Rep produced a season of plays that included three main stage productions, in addition to an Annual New Play Festival and Cafe/Negro Arts Series, a collaboration with Cara Mia Theater Company. They are finishing out the season with THUNDER KNOCKING ON THE DOOR running June 13th-30th. 



Damian D. Lewis, Acting Instructor

Los Angeles, California

Damian Darnell Lewis is a graduate of The Juilliard School, and has been a working actor, director, and coach for over 34 years. He currently serves as the co-head of B.F.A. Acting at the California Institute of the Arts where he heads the speech department and is a regular director of the programs main stage productions. Lewis also provides private coaching to various actors, artists, public speakers, debate teams, slam poets, and rappers from around the world under his company's label, Reflect the Text. Through it, he has been able to provide voice, speech, acting, dialect, and text analysis support to various theatrical and cinematic productions, such as Blues for an Alabama Sky, directed by Phylicia Rashad at the Mark Taper Forum; and STEW at the Pasadena Playhouse, directed by Tyler Thomas. His most recent film projects include Netflix specials Mea Culpa and 6888, both directed by Tyler Perry. 

Hanifa L. Jackson, Movement Coach

Las Vegas, Nevada

Hanifa  L. Jackson is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native. Her formal dance training includes Philadanco!, Pennsylvania Ballet, Alvin Ailey and she holds a B.F.A. from The Juilliard School. She was last seen in Las Vegas dancing in MYSTERE by Cirque Du Soleil as a principal character, and on Broadway performing with The Lion King. Xtend Barre is her latest film project where streaming videos are available. Jackson has taught at major universities as well as dance studios across the country, and has choreographed for acro gymnastics as well as trained rhythmic gymnast ballet. Jaxan’s Twinkle Toes: “The Big Day” is her first children’s book as a published author. Silver Swans, a wellness ballet/movement based fitness class created by Jackson for 50+ adults is now taking place at hospitals in the Clark County area of Las Vegas and she is happy to serve the community!



Michael Barrett, Chorus Conductor

Pretoria, South Africa

Michael Joseph Barrett, who was awarded a D.Mus. (Performing Arts) in Choral Performance by the University of Pretoria in 2017, is currently the conductor of the University’s (Tuks) Camerata choir and a senior lecturer in choral conducting in the Department of Music. He has received a Y2 rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF). Barrett's choirs have won numerous national and international awards and he is in demand as a choral clinician, a lecturer and an adjudicator both locally and abroad. He is an active composer and arranger, and 40 of his compositions have been published internationally by Santa Barbara Music Publishers and Walton Music (USA). Barrett is the executive director and co-producer of Capital Singers, South Africa's largest community choir project.


Richard Carrillo, Section Faculty

Miami, Florida

Dr. Richard Anthony Carrillo is Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Originally from Texas, Carrillo is a former member of the GRAMMY® award-winning Houston Chamber Choir and served as the Associate Conducting Fellow with GRAMMY® nominated professional choir, Seraphic Fire during his doctoral studies. Dr. Carrillo is also a recipient of the Tinker Field Research Grant, which funded research in Mexico City to aid in his mounting of Frank La Rocca's Mass of the Americas. Prior to graduate studies, Carrillo taught at Providence Academy in Plymouth, MN, which included performances for the 2016 Minnesota Music Educators Association Convention and the 2018 Midwest ACDA Regional Convention. Dr. Carrillo holds degrees from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music (D.M.A. in choral conducting), Missouri State University (M.M. in choral conducting) and the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston (B.M. in music education).

Gabrielle Pierle, Section Faculty

Springfield, Missouri

Gabrielle “GG” Pierle is a conductor and educator. She holds a M.M. in choral conducting from Missouri State University and a B.M. from Murray State University. Pierle was the director at West Anchorage High School in Anchorage, Alaska from 2016-2022 where she received the Block Foundation’s Exceptional Teacher Award. Pierle was Artistic Director and Conductor of the Alaska Chamber Singers (2021-2022). Additionally, she sang with the Alaska Chamber Singers for five seasons and was frequently heard as a soloist in various concerts including Mozart’s Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, and others. At Missouri State University, Pierle performed at the 2023 National American Choral Directors Association Conference, 2023 National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference, 2023 Missouri Music Educators Association Conference, toured Canada, South Korea, Chile, and Argentina. Originally from Fenton, Missouri, she received her earliest music training with the St. Louis Children’s Choirs, performing in New York City, Scotland, and Australia.

Jim Wilson, Collaborative Musician

Plano, Texas

Jim Wilson is an active member of the North Texas music community. He currently serves as pianist at Christ United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas, and is the accompanist for the choral programs at Plano Senior HS, Wylie East HS, the Greater Dallas Choral Society, the Ken Davis Chorale, and numerous other vocal and instrumental ensembles. Wilson has been the pianist for a variety of nationally recognized events and groups and is the only pianist to have accompanied all four Texas All-State Choirs in consecutive years. He plays keyboards for the band Boomtown, performs with several jazz combos, and works nationally as a pianist with vocalists and instrumentalists. Wilson received a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Christian University and a Master of Science degree from the University of Arizona. He and his wife Amy are proud parents of two daughters and reside in Plano, Texas.

Creative Writing

Tobias Wray, Creative Writing Instructor

Edmond, Oklahoma

Tobias Wray’s "No Doubt I Will Return a Different Man" won the Lighthouse Poetry Series Competition. His work has been published in Blackbird, Poem-a-Day, Impossible Archetype, Hunger Mountain, and The Georgia Review. Poems also appear in Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology (Autumn House Press) and Poetry Is Bread (Nirala Press). In 2022, he was a fellow at the Arteles Creative Center in Finland, and in 2023, he was awarded a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship. He currently serves as director of the creative writing programs at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he teaches creative writing with research interests in experimental poetics, queer and speculative literatures, and literary translation. He is currently working on a new manuscript of poems and a prose project on the sublime. 



Andrew Palermo, Dance Instructor

Los Angeles, California

Highlights include Allegiance (Broadway/Longacre Theatre), Nickel Mines (ACT of CT, The Duke on 42nd St), Myths and Hymns (PBS/AllArts), The Mikado, Iolanthe, Babes In Toyland, Of Thee, I Sing, Let ‘Em Eat Cake!, Kristin Chenoweth (Carnegie Hall), The Frank Loesser Songbook/New York Philharmonic (Lincoln Center), Ace (The Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theater of St. Louis), Let Go (Moscow State Theatre, ‘Gzhel’), and The Aluminum Show (international tour), and others. As performer: Original Broadway companies of Wicked and Annie Get Your Gun (Bernadette Peters revival), the closing company of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Matthew Broderick revival), national/international tours of West Side Story, Little Fish and many more. Palermo is the founder of Creatively Able, a movement workshop for individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as a professor of drama at University of California, Irvine. He lives in Los Angeles with his rescue dogs, Henry and Steve.  


Mary Carpenter

Mary Carpenter, Ballet & Pilates Instructor

Latham, New York

Mary Carpenter trained at CCM/Cincinnati Ballet Company, David Howard Dance Center, and graduted from Butler University with a B.A. with high honors. She danced for The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Ohio Dance Theatre, Granite State Ballet, Maryland Ballet, Lexington Ballet, Charleston Ballet, and in off-Broadway productions. Holding dual certifications in pilates and progressing ballet technique she served as faculty at Broadway Dance Center, Ballet Hispanico School, Barnard College, and The New School University. She currently teaches at Steps on Broadway. Carpenter directed ten ballet classroom music recordings and three instructional videos. A master pointe shoe fitter, she fit dancers in ABT, The Royal Ballet, NYCB, and has been a guest lecturer at prestigious summer programs for ABT/JKO and DTH. She was a panelist on pointe shoes alongside Misty Copeland and coached Julia Stiles for her role in the movie Save the Last Dance. You can stream her ballet classes on Dancio.com, and find her pointe shoe advice on DancewithmaryNYC on Youtube.


Drawing & Painting

Daphne Arthur, Drawing & Painting Instructor

New York, New York

Daphne Arthur (b. 1984, Caracas, Venezuela) is a Venezuelan multidisciplinary artist whose work mobilizes unconventional materials and processes to transform the ephemeral into something concrete. Fluctuating between the experimental and methodical, she combines painting, sculpture, and drawing with smoke, paint, and clay to compose realist and surrealist scenes that investigate individual and collective history, language, symbolism, and memory. She is the recipient of the Anne Critz fellowship, The Ald Held Fellowship at the American Academy of Rome, The Alma B. C. Schapiro Residency, the Vermont Studio Center’s Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship and The NYFA Queens Art Fund: New Work Grant. Arthur is currently based in New York, where she also teaches at York College, Brooklyn College and Columbia University. 


Film & Video

Jennifer Peepas, Film & Video Instructor

Chicago, Illinois

Jennifer Peepas is a writer and filmmaker with more than 12 years of teaching experience at Columbia College Chicago, The Second City, and Chicago Filmmakers. Her specialty is introducing advanced beginners and intermediate filmmakers of all ages to high-impact, low-budget production techniques, crafting stories with a strong personal point of view, and fostering collaboration and community. Her students have gone on to work in sketch comedy, feature films, and television, with writing and crew credits at HBO, Amazon Studios, Netflix, Marvel Studios, Nickelodeon, Funny or Die, and BuzzFeed Video. A prolific essayist and live-lit performer, Peepas is also the creator of a popular advice blog and an expert in using social media to build audiences and crowdfund support for independent creators. She's been a full-time writer since 2018 and her first book will be published by St. Martin's Press in 2025.

Alan Novey, Technician

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Alan Novey is a filmmaker and owner of Bigcat Media based in Oklahoma City. Novey graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1999 with a B.F.A. in film & photography. Novey has worked as a cinematographer on documentary and narrative projects, most notably Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo (HBO) which premiered at SXSW. He also works on commercials, music videos, and films, including Okie Noodling II (PBS), Rainbow Around the Sun, and The Flaming Lips concert film UFOs at the Zoo (Warner Bros.). He has been part of the Quartz Mountain Magic since 2010 and is happy to be back for another exciting year.

Shannon O'Shea, Editor

Orange, California

Shannon O'Shea is a film and video editor, sound designer, and current M.F.A. student at Chapman University, where she also works as a teaching assistant for the graduate film editing program. She has studied directing and screenwriting as well and has made a variety of short films and written several feature screenplays. She also has experience in the development and production sides of the industry, having worked in roles such as script coverage and background acting. O'Shea received her bachelor's degree in performing and media arts from Cornell University in 2022.


Kimcherie Lloyd, Orchestra Conductor

Louisville, Kentucky

Kimcherie Lloyd is currently the Director of Orchestral Studies and Opera in the School of Music at the University of Louisville where she holds the Moritz von Bomhard Chair of Music Theatre and serves as the Director of Undergraduate Studies. She is a national past president of the College Orchestra Directors Association (2020-2022). In addition to orchestra and opera, Lloyd teaches instrumental graduate and advanced undergraduate conducting. She has guest conducted in Vienna, Austria, Lyon, France, Katowice, Poland, San Jose, Costa Rica and Recife, Brazil, and Loja, Ecuador and her former conducting students hold major positions in Ecuador, Brazil, Korea, Germany, and the US. Additionally, Lloyd is an active researcher in comparative humanities. Her current research focus pertains to the historical erasure of women in classical music in 19th and 20th century America. Currently, she is writing a biography of the international conducting pedagogue, Elizabeth A. H. Green.

Min-Jeong Koh, Violin

Buffalo, New York

Praised for her “extreme versatility” and “simply unbeatable beauty of tone” (Berliner Zeitung), Min-Jeong Koh maintains a busy schedule as a concert artist and educator. As first violinist of the Cecilia String Quartet, Koh won First Prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition, 2nd Prize at the Osaka International Music Competition, and the Prix de la Sacem at the Bordeaux String Quartet Competition. Their latest recording was chosen as Gramophone Magazine’s “Editor’s Choice,” “Top 10 Mendelssohn Recordings,” and was nominated for a JUNO Award for Best Classical Album. Koh has performed across Europe, Asia, and North America at such celebrated stages as London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus, Beethoven-haus, Prague’s Rudolfinum, Library of Congress, La Jolla Music Society, Stanford Live, among others. A passionate educator, she serves on the faculty at The Glenn Gould School and the Taylor Academy for Young Artists at The Royal Conservatory.


Ramiro Miranda, Violin

Pittsburg, Kansas

Ramiro Miranda is currently on faculty at Pittsburg State University and leads the Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra. He recently held the orchestra and upper strings position at Emporia State University from 2015 to 2023. A dedicated educator, he founded the Emporia State University String Camp and Stringfully, both projects that serve K-12 students in the Emporia area. As a violinist and chamber musician, Miranda has given solo recitals in the United States, Latin America, and China. He is a member of the Jopara Ensemble, Switchgrass String Quartet, and String Daze Trio. He is the recipient of many awards and honors, including a grant to attend the prestigious European American Musical Alliance’s Nadia Boulanger Institute at the historic Schola Cantorum in Paris. A native of Asunción, Paraguay, Miranda came to the United States to pursue a bachelor's degree in violin performance at Pittsburg State University. Miranda also holds master's degrees from Illinois State University in violin performance and orchestral conducting, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in orchestral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Tze-Ying Wu, Viola

Lexington, Kentucky

Dr. Tze-Ying Wu is a violist, educator, and director. She is the Assistant Professor of Viola and String Education at the University of Kentucky and directs the UK String Project. She also serves on the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts faculty for instrumental music. Before coming to Kentucky, she was the founding director of the Sturgis Music Academy of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. An active performer, Dr. Wu has played with the Lexington Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. In addition, as a member of the Formosa Trio (va/fl/hp), she has given performances in the US, China, and Taiwan. Dr. Wu received her Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University. She studied with Atar Arad and was an instructor for the IU String Academy, working closely with its director Mimi Zweig.

Katherine Decker, Cello

Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Katherine Decker enthralls audiences with her “positively delightful performances” and “…intense concentration and confidence,” (Fanfare Magazine). She performs as a solo, chamber and orchestral artist with recent appearances in AL, WI, NM, TN and GA. A member of the award-winning ensemble, enhake, she has recorded works by Piazzolla, Brahms, Uhm, Ravel, Knight and more on several CDs with the MSR Classics label to rave review. She has also released the first of three premiere recordings of the cello works of Georg Goltermann, with a second volume of sonatas to be released this summer. She is the Associate Professor of Cello at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, performs with the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, Weidner Philharmonic and Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra and is Director for the annual Clearing Chamber Music Workshop in Door County, WI, an intensive string quartet residency for advanced adult amateurs. 


Christine Craddock, Double Bass

Dallas, Texas

Dr. Christine Craddock is a double bassist and music educator
working primarily in Oklahoma and North Texas. She is a member
of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Tulsa Symphony and the
Monterey Symphony in California. She also acts as associate
principal bass for the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. Dr.
Craddock has taught at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma
Baptist University and is on the faculty of the Oklahoma Bass Bash
each summer. She has taught masterclasses and presented papers
at conferences throughout the region. Dr. Craddock holds degrees
from the University of Michigan and the University of Oklahoma and
studied with Jeff Bradetich, Diana Gannett and Anthony Stoops.


Karen Large, Flute

Tallahassee, Florida

Karen Large is Assistant Professor of Flute at the Florida State University College of Music. She is a passionate flutist whose varied musical experiences have included performances as a concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber player, orchestral flutist, and piccoloist. She is principal flutist with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and performs regularly with AGLOW trio, Florida Flute Orchestra, and Traverso Colore: Baroque Flute Ensemble. She has enjoyed guest artist appearances throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Thailand. Her playing can be heard on the albums The Light is the Same with AGLOW trio, Wanderlust: The Flute Music of David Amram, and String to Silver: Flute Transcriptions of Works in the Romantic Tradition. Beyond solo, chamber, and orchestral performance, Dr. Large’s research interests also include creation of the world’s first Virtual Flute Choirs, Baroque flute performance practice, and translating textile weaving code into music. 


Lani Kelly, Oboe

Memphis, Tennessee

Lani Kelly plays with Memphis Symphony Orchestra, where she performs principal oboe duties and provides artistic leadership throughout the community. Prior to joining the MSO, Kelly served as principal oboe in the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, in addition to recent appearances with the Nashville, Fort Worth and St Louis Symphony Orchestras. She loves working with young musicians and has served as faculty at Alma College and Michigan State University, where she directed several courses and maintained a private studio. Kelly received her bachelor’s degree from New England Conservatory and her master's from Michigan State University, where she was awarded the prestigious University Distinguished Fellowship. She was a prizewinner at the Sphinx Orchestral Partners Competition in 2023, and a recipient of a fellowship from the Pittsburgh Symphony in 2007. In her free time, she enjoys jigsaw puzzles, reading, and a nascent skill in carpentry. 

Catherine Hudgins, Clarinet

Boston, Massachusetts

Clarinetist Catherine Hudgins began her career in Caracas, Venezuela with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Caracas, later Sinfonica Municipal de Caracas, Charleston Symphony, and Boise Philharmonic. She has performed on five continents. Currently principal clarinetist with the Plymouth Philharmonic and Eb clarinetist for the Portland Symphony, she frequently performs as an extra with the Boston Symphony. As a duo-soloist with William Hudgins she most recently presented Daniel Crozier’s Spirit premier, written for them. Chamber music includes Assisi Performing Arts, Spoleto, Rockport, and Scotia Festivals, Ensemble Chamarré, and West Stockbridge Chamber Players. Highlights in Japan include Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra, Tokyo Opera Nomori, and Mito Chamber Orchestra, led by Seiji Ozawa. As principal clarinetist for the 75th anniversary tour of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, she toured much of the eastern half of the United States. Her recordings on Chandos, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, and BSO Classics labels, include 3 Grammy winners.


Benjamin Coelho, Bassoon

Iowa City, Iowa

Originally from Brazil, Benjamin Coelho began his bassoon journey at the Tatuí Conservatory at age ten. He holds a B.F.A. from the Purchase Conservatory of Music and an M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music. Coelho is a sought-after musician, teacher, and recording artist performing on five continents. He finds great joy and fulfillment as a teacher and pedagogue. His students have successfully gained positions at public schools, universities, colleges, orchestras, and in the music industry. Coelho is a passionate champion of contemporary music, actively commissioning, performing, and recording compositions from composers worldwide. He has released seven acclaimed CDs as a recording artist, earning national and international recognition. Currently, he is the Professor of Bassoon at the University of Iowa and the principal bassoonist with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. He resides in Iowa City with his wife, Karen, and is a proud father of Liliana and Julia.


Amanda Collins, Horn

Columbia, Missouri

Described as “impressively solid” by the Dallas Morning News, Amanda Collins has quickly become a highly sought after performer and educator across the US and abroad. Collins is third horn with the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and second horn with the American Studio Orchestra. She has performed with several notable ensembles including the Seattle Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Kansas Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony, Opera Memphis, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Brass Quintet. Collins is a passionate educator and is currently Assistant Professor of French Horn at the University of Missouri. A dedicated chamber musician, she is a member of the Missouri Quintet and the University of Missouri Faculty Brass Quintet. A strong supporter of diversity and inclusion in the arts, many of Collins’ students hail from under-served and underrepresented communities.


Robert Waugh, Trumpet

Clarksville, Tennessee

Dr. Robert Waugh is the Professor of Trumpet at Austin Peay State University, is the principal trumpet with Gateway Chamber Orchestra, and frequently performs with Orchestra Kentucky and the Paducah Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he has performed tours throughout China, Thailand, Hungary, Austria, and Croatia with the Ambassador Brass Quintet. The group has held residencies at the Liszt Academy, Shenyang Conservatory, and Zagreb Conservatory. Dr. Waugh is a founding member of the Altus Trumpet Ensemble. Altus promotes new works for trumpet and has given recitals throughout the United States. He is also an active commercial musician playing popular music with artists in Nashville, TN. Dr. Waugh earned his Doctor of Music from Indiana University, a Master of Music from the Univ. of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Mus. Ed. from Capital Univ. His teachers include John Rommel, Dr. Karl Sievers, Dr. James Stokes, Jim Reed, and William Adam.

John Gruber, Low Brass

Oberlin, Ohio

John Gruber is Visiting Assistant Professor of Trombone at the Oberlin Conservatory. His teaching career has included posts at Ohio State University, Siena Heights University, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Youth Ensembles, and the public school system in Barnesville, Ohio, where he served as band director. In addition to teaching, Gruber maintains an active performing career as principal trombonist in the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, as well as second trombone in the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. Gruber was the National First Prize winner in the Brass Division of the 2010 Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition. Born and raised in Bowling Green, Ohio, he earned a B.M.E. in instrumental music education at Bowling Green State University. He added an M.M. and D.M.A. in trombone performance at the University of Michigan, where he also completed a cognate in wind conducting. John Gruber is an Edwards Artist.


Joe W. Moore III, Percussion

Fort Worth, Texas

Joe W. Moore III is a percussionist, educator, and composer residing in the DFW Metroplex. He currently serves on faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington. He has also served on music faculties at the University of Louisiana Monroe, Benedict College, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the University of Texas at Brownsville. Active as a soloist and chamber musician, Dr. Moore performs as a member of the Omojo Percussion Duo, the Ninkasi Percussion Group, and Dead Resonance. As a composer, Dr. Moore's works have been performed and heard across the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia. Dr. Moore’s works are published by C. Alan Publications, Alea Publishing and Recording, Percussion Music Europe, and Musicon Publications. He also self-publishes many of his own manuscripts which can be found on his website. Dr. Moore's sponsors include Pearl Drums/Adams Musical Instruments, REMO Drumheads, SABIAN Cymbals, Black Swamp Percussion, and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.



Janelle Lynch, Photography Instructor

New York, New York

Janelle Lynch is an artist whose work reveals an inquiry into themes of connection, presence, and transcendence. Her photographs and cyanotypes have been shown worldwide, including at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museo Archivo de la Fotografía, and the Shanghai Center of Photography. Her work is in many collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography, and the Denver Art Museum. She has three monographs published by Radius Books: Los Jardines de México (2010); Barcelona (2013); and Another Way of Looking at Love (2018), which was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet in 2019. Lynch is the subject of the short documentary film by Mia Allen, Janelle Lynch: Endless Forms Most Beautiful, which will premiere in New York in 2024. She is a faculty member at the International Center of Photography and is represented by Flowers Gallery.


Ben Long

Ben Long, Digital Technician

San Francisco, California

Ben Long is a San Francisco-based photographer, writer, and teacher. The author of over two dozen books on digital photography and digital video, he is also the author of several best-selling LinkedInLearning.com photography courses. His photography clients have included 20th Century Fox, Blue Note Records, Global Business Network, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, the Pickle Family Circus, and Grammy-nominated jazz musicians Don Byron and Dafnis Prieto. He has taught and lectured on photography around the world, including workshops at the Santa Reparata International School of the Arts in Florence and a class for imaging engineers at Apple, Inc. He occasionally dabbles in computer programming and has written image editing utilities that are used by National Geographic, the British Museum, and the White House. Long was an OSAI acting student in 1985.


Kellyann Petry, Teaching & Studio Assistant

Brooklyn, New York

Kellyann Petry is a New Jersey born, Brooklyn based photographer. She has been freelancing and making personal work since graduating undergrad from SUNY Purchase in 2012. Her most recent clients include The Wall Street Journal, The Globe and Mail, Wired Magazine, and Architectural Digest. She also works as an alternative process printer for artists and galleries. 


Community Lab

Nani Agbeli, Community Lab Instructor

Los Angeles, California

Nani Agbeli is a highly acknowledged, accomplished traditional Ghanaian West African artist who excels in drumming, dancing, history, and culture. He has led the award-winning cultural troupe Sankofa Roots II, served as the principal instructor of Ghanaian tradition at Dagbe Cultural Center, and taught at prestigious universities, including Tufts University, CalArts, Harvard University, and Berklee College of Music. Agbeli currently holds the position of Director of Ghanaian, West African Music and Dance at Pomona College and Lawrence University, where he imparts his extensive knowledge of traditional African music and history to students. He also provides in-person or online private lessons and organizes study tours to Ghana. Besides his traditional expertise, Agbeli is a multi-talented artist, excelling in textiles, painting, web design, and computer graphics. His mastery in these areas showcases his talent and demonstrates his passion for creativity and commitment to unifying traditional Ghanaian music, history, diversity, and arts.


Monique Thompson, Community Lab Assistant

Pasadena, California

Monique Thompson was born and raised in Pasadena, CA. She graduated from Cal State Northridge with a degree in psychology. She began her dance journey learning Nigerian style dancing around the age of six, under her first instructor Baba Onochie Chukwurah. Wanting to explore more in the African culture, she started participating in community classes all over the Los Angeles area, learning Mali, Senegalese, and Guinea style West African dancing, drumming, and singing. She has an upbringing in hip hop and recently expanded her repertoire in Latin style dances. She has moderate experience teaching jazz and house. In the last four years, she has been training and studying underneath Nani Agbeli learning Ghanaian drumming, dancing, and singing. Thompson is now a member of Agbeli’s group, Volta, and has been performing with his group around the Los Angeles county.