Sam Merrill

Originally from Connecticut, Sam is a versatile trumpeter with a strong foundation in classical playing and a B.M. in Jazz Studies (Trumpet). Sam played lead trumpet in his university’s premiere Jazz Orchestra for his 8 semesters at Belmont and has also played lead trumpet with the 2018 Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra under the direction of jazz vibraphonist (and multi-instrumentalist) Warren Wolf. In Nashville, Sam is working as a freelance musician, playing in a variety of musical settings.

 

Rielly Sanders

Rielly Sanders is a vocalist from the Chicagoland area. She has been performing for over 17 years and teaching for seven years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Music from Illinois State University. Some of her most notable performances include singing at Carnegie Hall, opening up for American Idol’s Chris Medina, and performing at the Country Tonite theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Lessons with Rielly will be both fun and insightful.

 

Nick Schafer

Nick Schafer has been playing violin for 15 years and electric violin for 9 years. While at Belmont as a Commercial Violin Performance major (later graduating), he immersed himself in many genres of music ranging from classical to jazz to fiddle to rock, under the guidance of his teachers Elisabeth Small and Billy Contreras. Outside of Belmont, Nick has worked with and learned from world renowned violinists like Rachel Barton Pine, Tracy Silverman, Mark Wood, and David Wallace among others.

As a teacher, Nick has taught private lessons to students ranging from 5 year olds to adults, coached small groups with the Music City Youth Orchestra, and led sectionals with high school orchestras. Nick has developed a hands on approach to teaching and focuses on solidifying left and right hand technique, intonation, and rhythm.

Isaac Velasquez

Born into a family of musicians, Isaac Velasquez grew up in the music world. He began his education under the guidance of his father, Venezuelan drummer icon Ivan Velasquez. He attended Los Teques Music Conservatory and studied orchestral percussion, where he was part of the Youth Symphony orchestra.

At age 17, he moved to Miami with his family. He began working professionally at the age of 19, and since then, he has been a full time musician working on tours and recording sessions for various artists in a wide range of music genres. Isaac has become a well-respected drummer in the Miami music scene and recently moved to Nashville to further his music career.

 

Duane Smith

Duane started playing drums at the age of ten when his father bought him his first drum kit. Later, he graduated college and began working as a professional touring drummer. In 1985, he began touring around the United States with Nashville recording artist, Little David Wilkins. Along the way, Duane made special appearances with the Nashville acts such as John Conlee, The Whites (appearing on the Grand Ole Opry with both acts), and Billy Joe Royal.

In 1990, Duane accepted a job with Grammy Award Winner, Shelby Lynne and toured the U.S. through 1992. In May of 2018, Duane moved to Nashville to pursue musical interests in the city and to teach locally.

 

Collin Felter

Collin Felter is currently pursuing a degree in Commercial Music at Belmont University in Trombone Performance. Collin has earned top chair in multiple Belmont ensembles such as the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band 1, and more. He has been making a name for himself in the Nashville music scene through extensive studio and live work on both trombone and guitar. Collin has worked with both up-and-coming and nationally established artists ranging from Lacy Cavalier to Sheryl Crow. Collin plans on pursuing a Doctorate in Jazz studies to become a jazz professor. Having acquired experience in all genres of music, Collin wants to pass on his knowledge of trombone, all low brass instruments, guitar, music theory, jazz studies, and improvisation.

 

Chris Collier

Chris teaches beginner-advanced guitar as well as beginner-intermediate bass guitar and mandolin. In May of 2018, Chris earned a BM in Commercial Music from Belmont University. His collegiate study has given him a strong foundation in theory, composition, sight-reading, and more. In addition to his academic background, he has gained practical know-how by forming relationships and working with country bands (Doug McCormick, Branch and Dean), pit orchestras in musicals, and recording artists (Grace Gonzalez, Caleb Long, Jaye Madison) here in town. Chris is passionate about getting students to think for themselves on their instruments so that they can continue to grow every time that they pick up their instrument, leading to a long-lasting relationship with music.

 

Anthony Milan

Anthony J. Milan is an independent composer, producer and teacher who released his debut EP, To Grow, last year. He graduated from Belmont University with a bachelor’s degree in Commercial Music for Voice. He has studied both classical and contemporary styles of music, as well as songwriting, and led Belmont’s only all-male a cappella group, Pitchmen, for several years. His teaching style incorporates music theory and ear training to help cultivate well-rounded musicians. He teaches voice, songwriting, and ukulele. 

 

MarVelous Brown

MarVelous began his musical journey at the age of 14 at Whitehaven High School. He pursued his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at Tennessee State University. While at TSU, MarVelous had the opportunity to be a part of the internationally known Aristocrat of Bands and Jazz Collegians. Being a part of those organizations opened many doors including touring Columbia, South America and performing at the 2013 Medellian Flower Festival. In addition, MarVelous has had the opportunity to performing in our nation’s capital at the Kennedy Center and the White House at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. He served as the President of the Eta Xi Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity of America where he pushed the motto “Advancing Music in America”.

Matthew Lee

Matthew Lee has been playing and teaching music for almost 25 years. His diverse and extensive background in many styles, which ranges from Country to Hard Rock and everything in between, has landed him several touring gigs throughout the country and in Europe. He has two Bachelors degrees in Music Recording and Music Business from the University of Wisconsin. He has lived in Nashville for a decade playing on records, performing live and teaching. Matthew’s playing has been featured on network tv including ABC’s “Nashville” and several times on the Grand Ole’ Opry.

Tysa Goodrich

Piano/Beginning Ukulele/Beginning Gutiar/Music Theory/Songwriting, Tysa Goodrich began performing in coffee houses at age fifteen. She pursued a bachelor’s in music theory and composition at Ohio State, then went out on tour as a keyboardist-singer-songwriter, traveling through 26 states and Canada with rock band “Blue Max” and show group “Little Rock.” After six years on the road, including studio work in Nashville, she moved to Los Angeles, where she continued her career, performing at noted events such as Jerry Brown campaign rallies, “March of the Animals” in Washington DC, the Troubadour and other Hollywood showcase rooms, and sang Star Spangled Banner at Dodger Stadium. She has composed music for films, including end-credit songs, and produced two instrumental CDs. Tysa has returned to the midwest after 30 years on the West Coast, and is currently recording a singer/songwriter album.

David Fisher

Since beginning his teaching career in 1974 David has taught over 7000 people how to play guitar! Some aspiring only to play at home for fun and others to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. David Fisher has also taught advanced guitar and music theory to several professional musicians who already play other instruments fluently including Oscar nominee Scott Rogness, who co-wrote and performed the songs featured in the movie That Thing You Do.
College and 40 years of professional teaching have equipped David for all kinds of students and all kinds of music. Including theory and improvisation. If your serious about learning you owe it to yourself to study with David.