Morgan Stewart

Morgan Stewart, having been raised by four professional musicians, showed early signs of her musical interest. When she turned 7, she was trained in hand percussion, specializing in West African Djembe. As she grew into a preteen, she was able to occasionally join her mother’s band on stage as a percussionist.

Morgan grew to love the stage and by age 14, taught herself guitar and started writing her own music. By age 16 she was playing her own shows as a solo act with a mixture of her originals and popular covers.

In 2011 Morgan was accepted and attended Berklee College of Music for 4 semesters. She majored in Professional Music, specializing in songwriting, music business, and performance.
She moved back to Richmond, VA in 2013 to start her solo career and attend Virginia Commonwealth University. Morgan graduated from VCU with a Bachelors of Arts in Music.  

Morgan now plays up and down the east coast every weekend with her musical groups while teaching private music lessons during the week. As a teacher, she endeavors to help her students grow in both skill and music appreciation.

Kayla Tilghman

Kayla Tilghman is a classically trained violinist with 10 years of experience performing in ensembles. She is a senior at VCU, studying Violin Performance, and has been teaching violin and viola for a year and a half. A former member of the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School’s orchestra and jazz band, Kayla is currently principle second violin in VCU’s Symphony.

Before attending VCU, Kayla studied at the University of Mary Washington for a year with Johanna Beaver. During that year, Kayla performed in solo recitals and in the first violin section of the UMW Philharmonic alongside world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman in a sold out performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto.

Teaching is Kayla’s passion, and she is overjoyed when her students share their love of music with her, no matter the genre. She believes music is an important part of all of our lives and seeks to help build her students’ skills, appreciation, and love for the art.

Mike Abbott

Mike Abbott has been drumming for almost 20 years and performing live with bands for over 10 years. He has an associate’s degree in Music Performance and he is currently attending VCU for Music Education. Mike has played in symphonic settings as well as in various rock venues throughout the Richmond area as a rock/metal drummer.

As a teacher, Mike caters to the needs of the student by teaching the songs and material that interests them. While following this method, they will learn to read music, play by ear, and gain all the tools they need to keep advancing as a beginner or an experienced drummer.

Jeff Price

Jeff Price began playing trombone at age 11, and added other brass instruments in his teenage years. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education as a euphonium major from Michigan State University, where he studied with the euphonium virtuoso, Leonard Falcone.

After graduation, Jeff served as a member and euphonium soloist with the United States Marine Band (“The President’s Own”), then he returned to Michigan State where he earned a Master’s degree in bass trombone performance. Later, he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in tenor trombone performance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Jeff spent many years as a college brass teacher and band director, in addition to working as a professional musician performing on trombone, euphonium and tuba. He has performed with a number of orchestras, including the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Lansing Symphony, and the Salem Philharmonic. His background also includes performing in big bands, musical theater, concert bands, and chamber music.

Having taught all brass instruments since he was a teenager, Jeff believes in helping students develop all aspects of technique while imparting an understanding and feeling for musical expression and interpretation. He wants his students to have fun while also experiencing the satisfaction of progressing toward excellence in performance.

Gabriel De Los Santos

Gabriel De Los Santos is a percussionist based out of Northern Virginia. Early on in his career, Gabriel built a name for himself by gigging with jazz combos in the DC and Fairfax area as well as instructing students in the local communities in drum set and rudimental/marching snare drum. Interested in new experiences as a percussionist and drummer, Gabriel sought out a musical career in the Army. As a bandsman his responsibilities include concert percussion, ceremonial percussion (marching band), as well as playing drum set in rock, jazz, and orchestra groups. His experiences as a military musician have been valuable in expanding his repertoire in the field of percussion and music. The eclectic nature of performing in an environment where a working knowledge of many different styles of music is paramount has greatly expanded Gabriel’s ability to execute his craft in many different forms. This knowledge has also contributed to his performances in the many groups that he records and plays with across Virginia. With over 10 years of experience in the field, Gabriel continues to seek new opportunities to perform with, teach, and learn from other musicians and students.

Gabriel’s primary focus is drum set, but he also teaches the fundamentals of rudimental snare drumming. Lessons include a structure that is tailored to fit their needs and desires. Such lesson plans may include developing a solid foundation in varying musical styles on the instrument (rock, jazz, Latin, funk, etc.), developing coordination and limb independence, rudiment studies and their application on the drum set, as well as in-depth technique studies, reading sheet music, and performance techniques. Aside from drum set, Gabriel is able to teach auxiliary percussion, timpani, orchestral snare drum, bass drum, and cymbals. Gabriel’s style of instruction is relaxed, yet focused, and he has worked with students of all skill levels. From those just beginning to explore the instrument to regular performers, anyone who is eager to learn or experiment with the percussive arts will stand to gain from experiences with his instruction.

Aubrey Smalls

Aubrey Smalls started playing the saxophone in 1995. After he graduated from high school he knew he wanted to pursue music at Virginia Commonwealth University but wasn’t sure what his area of study was going to be. He did not get accepted the first audition nor the second. With time and determination he finally was accepted on his third audition. From 2004 to 2007 he studied music performance. In 2007 Aubrey decided to transfer to Berklee College of Music where he was accepted on his first audition. Once he was accepted he decided to major in music education and graduated in 2011.

Aubrey currently works in Chesterfield County Public Schools teaching elementary music and has been with the county for five years. He has also worked with the Monacan High School marching band and played in the musical Spamalot. Aubrey is also a current member of The Waller Family Band and Will Hamblen and the Troublemakers.

Aubrey’s philosophy is that music isn’t just a part of life, it is life. He would like to share his love and passion for music with whomever has the desire to learn.

Art Hodges

Art Hodges is a professional guitarist with over 17 years of teaching experience. He recently relocated back to Richmond, after spending 6 years living and working in Tokyo, Japan. While in Japan, Art performed extensively and recorded a critically acclaimed album of jazz standards for solo guitar.

Art has been playing the guitar for over 30 years and has studied and performed in a variety of guitar styles and genres including rock, jazz, and classical. Art attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied both classical guitar performance and jazz. He was a private student of John Patykula, Corey Blake, Mike Ess, and Tim Reynolds.

Art is a creative, resourceful teacher and focuses on keeping students engaged and motivated. Not only does he balance fun with fundamentals, but Art encourages students to find their own “voice” and expand their musical horizons.

Reyna Pannell

Reyna Pannell is a classically trained violinist and vocalist. She currently studies music at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she received the 4-Year Nettie Gordon Scholarship. She did not come from a musical background, but her family both appreciated and supported the arts.

Reyna began taking violin lessons at the age of five, where she was taught using the Suzuki Method. She continued her violin studies throughout Elementary and Middle School and went on to attend Baltimore School for the Arts in 2008. There, Reyna studied theory, music history, and ensembles – including choirs. During her time there, she participated in three of the annual Side-by-Sides with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Reyna was also an assistant teacher at the time in an Inner City Program at Baltimore School for the Arts called T.W.I.G.S. where she gained experience with teaching beginner piano classes, music literature, ensembles, and private lessons.

Since February 2015 Reyna has been teaching private lessons professionally, with teaching styles varying from classical to jazz to pop/rock music. She performs jazz, rock, contemporary, and pop around the Maryland, D.C and Virginia Area.

Reyna believes that every student has a vision and a goal. She wants to help them achieve it using technique and theory, but keep the students’ interest by customizing each lesson for each individual student.

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith has been playing the piano since he was 4 years old. From there, he continued learning and is now formally educated in flute, piano, percussion, and vocal performance. Anthony has won several regional and national competitions on each of his primary instruments and has also had the privilege of studying with and participating in masterclasses led by some of the the top artists in the world, including Ransom Wilson, Michael Parloff, and Evelyn Glennie.

Anthony has worked as pianist, vocal coach, musical director, and orchestrator for several professional theater companies across the country. He has enjoyed a long collaboration with Virginia Repertory Theatre, where his credits include: The Color Purple, Nunsense, Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas, Always Patsy Cline, The Producers, The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, and several others. Outside of VaRep, his most recent regional and educational credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch – RTCC Nomination (Best Musical Direction) [TheatreLab RVA], Carrie – RTCC Nomination (Best Musical Direction) [5th Wall Theatre], Trojan Women: A Love Story, Spring Awakening [University of Richmond], and Threepenny Opera [College of William and Mary]. In addition to his professional theater credits, Anthony has lent his talents to high school productions of Sweeney Todd, Phantom of the Opera, Gypsy, Into the Woods, Schoolhouse Rock: Live!, and several others.

Anthony teaches piano (classical, jazz, and gospel), flute, voice, and percussion (keyboard and classical). Former students of his have gone on to study at Vanderbilt University, University of North Texas, Arizona State University, James Madison University, the Eastman School of Music, and many others.

Anthony’s teaching philosophy is simple: to help his students meet their short and long term goals through education, support, and performance. 

Amy Fox

Amy Fox began playing music at age 8 when she started piano and vocal lessons. After mastering the basics, she continued to excel year after year in piano recitals and vocal competitions, making her way to All-District Chorus and All-State Chorus and becoming the lead jazz keyboardist in her high school’s jazz band. It was the amazing music instructors in Amy’s life (specifically L’Rese Morris, Dea Atkinson and Christopher Booth) who cultivated her love for music at a young age and who were attentive to her ever-changing needs as a student, something that Amy has adopted in her own curriculum as well. She went on to graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University where she composed music and developed sound design for various films.

Amy currently works as a piano instructor and Special Needs Caregiver with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, behavioral problems and other disabilities. She has found and harnessed the powerful effect of alternative therapies such as music, art, and animals on children and adults. Amy also enjoys singing harmonies and playing piano at local venues and open mic nights in Virginia with her sister, Christy, with whom she also writes music.

Amy remembers the challenges one can face in the early years of lessons, trying to understand and master complicated rhythms and fingering. These challenges have helped shaped the way Amy teaches children, young adults and middle-age adults who are just starting out. Amy specializes in teaching children and adults Classical/Romantic (Chopin, Schubert, Beethoven) as well as popular music (Muse, Adele, Coldplay, Copeland). She also specializes in general music theory and improvisation, and loves teaching students personal composition – how to write your own music! Her mission is to harness the excitement of the student by teaching in a fun and interactive way that is not just about sitting at the piano! 

Silas Fernandes

Silas Fernandes began playing guitar as a teenager in Brazil, immersing himself in the music of Randy Rhoads, Steve Vai, and Judas Priest. He soon mastered guitar shredding techniques and jumped into the legendary metal scene in São Paolo by playing in a band named Esfinge alongside Andreas Kisser, who would later become the guitarist for Sepultura.

During his 27 year career, Silas developed his skills through various opportunities which include positions as a guitar instructor at IG&T (Guitar institute of Technology Brazil), guitar technician, producer, business consultant, workshop clinician, and finally as a guitarist who has worked with many names in the Brazilian music industry. As a solo artist, Silas has released five instrumental albums as well as a DVD entitled Live for Real in December 2011. He also wrote a guitar tech book called Set Up which later became a course at EM&T (School of Music and Technology) in Brazil.

In 2013, Silas was invited by popular online Brazilian music magazine Território da Música to co-produce and present the Youtube Show Setup On Fire, which showcases his expertise on electric guitar gear in addition to music production tips. Every Thursday night, a new episode goes live on YouTube via the Território da Música channel. From the success of this YouTube show, Silas began his own channel in March 2014 called Rig on Fire.

Silas is eager to start fresh here in Virginia as a guitar instructor. He is deeply passionate about his craft and wants to share his knowledge, experience, and skills with a new set of aspiring guitarists looking to exceed their own potential.

Brandi LoDolce

Brandi LoDolce grew up studying music and participating in musical theater programs in Milwaukee, WI. She began concert band in elementary school and went on to study clarinet and voice with Bettina Bussateri. Since then she has worked under directors Doreen Rao, Weston Noble, Markus Compton, and the late Thomas Williams.

While in college at UW-Green Bay, Brandi studied music education with a focus in vocal performance. After moving to Richmond in the early 2000s, she worked for a few years as a children’s choir director at Westover Baptist Church.

Brandi is passionate and enthusiastic about teaching, as she aspires to help her students flourish beyond their potential as musicians.