/learning-center/portfolio_category/richmond/ Richmond | Portfolio Categories | Sam Ash Learning Centers

Amy Drossner

Amy Drossner’s parents gave her a flute for Christmas at 13 years old, and she has been playing the flute ever since. She began taking private flute lessons in junior high school and played in her high school concert and marching bands. She continued on to Florida State University where she was a member of the Florida State University Marching Chiefs and learned much about marching rudiments and techniques.

Amy has been a member of several community concert bands performing throughout the local area. A teacher in the public school system, Amy has been an active supporter of the high school music program at the school where she teaches, helping or sometimes sitting in with the flute section in the concert band and helping the marching band with marching rudiments and techniques on the field. She occasionally is a guest performer with EverWilde Band, playing flute on select southern rock and country songs. She also has recently developed an affinity for playing the ukulele and she enjoys sharing her passion for music with those who wish to learn.

Amy has taught languages in the public school system for many years, and having been a student in a music lesson room herself she understands how students learn. She values the importance of getting to know her students – whether in the classroom or in the lesson room – and helping them to achieve their goals.

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith has been playing the piano since he was 4 years old and has been singing for longer than he can remember! 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 is the Musical Director in Residence for the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Richmond and he holds similar positions at Maggie Walker Governor’s School and the Eastern Virginia School for the Performing Arts (Williamsburg, VA). Mr. Smith is also the Founding Conductor of the Peninsula Youth Wind Ensemble (Newport News, VA) and a member of the Virginia Chorale (Norfolk, VA). Anthony has also 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. Currently, Anthony’s work can be heard at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where he serves as Bass Soloist and Section Leader, Cadence Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Fun Home, and Virginia Repertory Theatre’s upcoming production of Mary Poppins!

Anthony teaches piano (classical, jazz, and gospel), flute, voice, and percussion (keyboard and classical). Former pupils of his have continued their studies at the Manhattan School of Music, 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.

Peggy Weston

Peggy Weston is a vocalist, actress, arts consultant, and educator. She brings her distinct vocal style to a broad repertoire extending from jazz, to R&B, pop and Broadway. Peggy has performed in the U.S. and internationally in clubs and concerts, television and films, on radio and commercials, adding solo vocal recordings. Her television special Peggy Weston at The Brussels Jazz Club has aired several times in Europe. She has often shared the stage with international jazz artists such as Clark Terry, Kai Winding, Bud Freeman, Eddie Harris, Kenny Werner, Stan Getz’s Quartet, and Toots Thielemans. Peggy is as comfortable performing in an intimate jazz club as she is on a large concert stage.

Peggy studied music and theatre arts at Virginia Commonwealth University, later graduating from Union Institute & University Vermont College with a BA in Business Management focusing on Arts Management. She studied voice in Northern Virginia with Dr. Harold Connell and Jane White. Peggy is admired for her versatility in singing. She attributes this to her studies, the broad diversity of her singing experiences, and a desire to learn and to communicate with people of all tastes.

Peggy is a gifted teacher who is highly respected and loved by students, parents and colleagues. She provides her students with excellent vocal and music skills while supporting their individuality and confidence. She carefully designs lessons to suit each student’s needs, whether beginners or professionals. Peggy’s knowledge, skills, and extensive experience in both the creative and business aspects of the performing arts make her a valuable consultant in her business, Weston World Productions, LLC. She seeks opportunities to share what she has learned and continues to learn in a lifetime in the arts.

Jose Pomier

Jose Pomier is a graduate of Norfolk State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Music Education. While attending Norfolk State, Jose spent a lot of his time studying genres such as Classical, Jazz, and Blues.

Since completing his education, Jose has been playing music professionally with many groups in the Virginia area such as Plunky and Oneness, RaJazz, and is currently the Music Director of Legacy Band. Jose has also had the privilege of doing studio work for well known artists such as Rick Ross, Jay-Z, John Legend, and many others.

Jose has a passion for teaching. As a music educator in public schools and in private lessons, his greatest joy comes from watching students succeed.

Erin Cook

Erin Cook has been passionate about music since she can remember: singing as a toddler and starting piano lessons at the age of five. Throughout grade school Erin continued piano lessons and sang whenever she could, including joining a barbershop chorus with her mom while in high school. As a pianist, Erin participated in many festivals, recitals, and technical skills events.

Erin’s love of music led her to a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Piano Performance from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Outside of class Erin filled her time by accompanying choirs at school, playing the piano for various churches, directing student-run a cappella groups, and forming chamber ensembles with friends who played other instruments. Barbershop was also in the mix wherever life took her.

Erin has taught music students of all ages privately, in the public school system, and as the director and/or pianist of community and church choirs. She knows the value of getting to know each of her students and helping them toward their goals. While passionate about teaching music theory and sight-reading, she gets most excited when it comes to teaching musicality and making the music come to life.

Noah Stidham

Noah Stidham has been playing music for over 10 years. His main focus is guitar, mandolin, and piano, but plays a variety of stringed and keyboard instruments. He was the jazz band guitarist and pianist at his high school as well as the choir pianist. He has taken advanced guitar and music theory lessons with Danny Knicely (Furnace Mountain), Pat Donahue (solo guitarist, guest on “A Prairie Home Companion”), Greg Ruby (gypsy jazz guitar virtuoso) and others. He currently manages a local band called “The Mailmen” as well. 

Noah takes a holistic approach to music and music education. He tries to not only help students achieve their musical goals, but to help expose every aspect of musical brilliance in the blossoming student or the well-seasoned player through discographies and music history.


Micah Lee

Micah Lee became an instructor under the strangest of circumstances. He was once a percussionist in middle school that was transitioned to trombone. Then after his 2nd year in high school, he ended up on tuba. Micah had very little experience playing this horn, yet took on the challenge of majoring in Music Education at Virginia State University.

During his years at Virginia State, Micah learned the secrets to unlocking musical potential in students who may not have had a proper foundation. He became a low brass specialist with a concentration on tuba. He performed with many of the university’s band and choral ensembles and grabbed every morsel of knowledge he could so he could give it back to his future students.

Currently, Micah teaches at two middle schools in the Richmond area where he is the band and orchestra director. As director, Micah believes in a strong musical foundation rooted in theory and consistent application. He wants his students to enjoy all aspects of music and have fun learning as much as they can!

Jason Kincy

Jason Kincy is a woodwind doubler on Clarinet and Saxophone originally from a small island in Washington state, who has found himself in the midst of Richmond’s thriving music scene. His incredibly diverse musical background has afforded him the opportunities to perform in a litany of performance scenarios, both as a freelancer, and as a part of a band he co-founded, Simple Minded Symphony. These performances include classical chamber and full-size ensembles, musical theatre, local religious organizations, small jazz ensembles, big bands, rock bands, and many more. The settings of these performances are as varied as the music itself, ranging from nightclubs and venues to music festivals and performance halls.

Jason is currently finishing up his Bachelor’s in Classical Performance at Virginia Commonwealth University, while also pursuing jazz and audio production avenues. His close work with VCU’s world-class faculty has armed him with a diverse and well-rounded understanding of classical and jazz performance, as well as education. His work as a freelancer and band member/leader has also given him a wealth of knowledge on the business side of music, and how to market yourself in the ever-changing, hyper-competitive profession that is the music industry.

Jason believes that with proper guidance, anyone can hone the musicality that we all intrinsically possess. He’s comfortable working with students both young and old, experienced or beginner. His hope is that each student walks away with a clear understanding of their strengths and limitations, and how to exceed and improve on them.

Max Barrett

Max Barrett is a freelance upright and electric bassist based in Richmond, VA. Max has an extensive background in classical, jazz, rock, and bluegrass bass performance. Growing up in Northern Virginia, he began public performance on upright bass at the age of 9.

Max holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from James Madison University. He has Studied with: Millie Martin, Glenn Dewey, Sam Cross, Karine Chapdelaine, Michael Priester, Chunyang Wang. During his academic career at JMU, Max has had the opportunity to perform as the primary bassist with the JMU Jazz Ensemble, the JMU Symphonic Orchestra as principal bassist, The JMU Wind Symphony, and several jazz combos. Through the JMU Jazz ensemble, Max has had the privilege to perform with amazing artists such as: Nate Smith, Jim White, Joe Sullivan, Matt Niess, Bob Hallahan, Chuck Dotas, Andy Connell, David Pope, and John D’earth. In the JMU Symphonic Orchestra, Max was able to perform with Patti LuPone.

Max has taught students with a wide range of backgrounds and styles spanning in age from 9 to 50. He has worked as a camp counselor and clinician for the James Madison University Spring String Thing orchestra camp. Max’s custom approach to each student allows the student to pursue the music that interests them most. From beginners to hobbyists to developing professional musicians, Max will create your individualized path to musical success.

Tom Gascon

Tom Gascon is a positive and encouraging Drum Teacher who will challenge you to become the drummer you desire to be.

From the classroom, to the studio, to the stage, this active recording and touring musician will help you reach your goals. He has been professionally drumming for 15 years and is currently the drummer for Lacey Sturm. His talent has allowed him to share the stage with acts such as Switchfoot, Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach, Sevendust, Newsboys, and many more! From playing small clubs to arenas, as well as a variety of music festivals, including events with the Billy Graham Association, the Shiprocked Cruise, and The Carolina Rebellion; Tom’s extensive live playing experience will help you prepare for your show!

Tom has played a wide variety of music styles such as Rock, Country, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Pop. He also has several years of Jazz, Concert and Marching Band experience. After receiving private drum lessons in college to later giving private drum lessons out of his home, his passion for people and seeing them excel is what inspired him to become a teacher.

All lessons are designed personally for you and your goals. Whether you are looking to play drums as a hobby, want to play in a band, or want to further your education and skills for a career in music, Tom has the knowledge and skills to help get you there!

Michael Bradley

Michael Bradley has been playing saxophone for almost ten years. He is attending Virginia Commonwealth University in pursuit of a degree in Jazz Studies and Performance, where he has been on the Dean’s List every semester and recently received a Jazz Scholarship. Michael is a prominent soloist in the VCU Peppas and performs with the top VCU Jazz Orchestra. He also plays with the alternative rock/fusion band Bonne Chère.

Michael is proficient in both jazz and classical playing styles. He works with students of all ages and skill levels and has experience working with special needs children. Michael believes in making learning fun and exciting for his students. He caters to the needs of each student and comes up with personalized learning strategies for each. He also incorporates goals and milestones into lessons to keep his students excited to learn and for them to have something to set their sights on. Being able to share his passion for music with others and encouraging them to be the best that they can be is of the utmost importance to him.

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.