Our Music Teacher Faculty
Our music lesson instructors include decorated recitalists, nationally recognized composers, members of the Columbus Symphony and many of Columbus’s top performers. Our teachers have received their education from prestigious institutions such as the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, The Berklee College of Music, Oberlin College and Conservatory, The Ohio State University, Capital University and many others.
In addition to their credentials, our teachers have warm personalities, are extremely friendly and strive to get to know each student and their parents on a personal level.
Citing his family as his biggest musical influence, and coming from 4 generations of professional musicians, Chad started his musical education at 3 years old. He began his college training at the age of 16, in Jazz Studies as a Pianist and has also studied under Jazz legend Tony Monaco. In addition to his training in Jazz piano he has studied classical technique in the Taubman Method and is one of only a handful of pianists in Ohio that teach the technique. As a member of the National Piano Guild and the Music Teachers National Association he is dedicated to providing high quality music education in a fun environment.
Flute, Clarinet & Piano Instructor
Elizabeth Reeves received her B.M. in music performance from Wright State University in 2012,
where she studied with Dr. Christopher Chaffee. While at WSU, she was a winner of the 2010 School of Music Concerto Competition, for which she performed as a soloist with the University Symphony Orchestra. In 2009 and 2010, Elizabeth was also a finalist in the Collegiate Division of the Central Ohio Flute Association Competition. She was honored to receive the 2010 Agnes Fowler Scholarship from the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs, and the Robert Stofer Music Award in 2011 from Wright State University. In 2012, Elizabeth moved to Phoenix to pursue her Master’s degree in music performance at Arizona State University, where she studied with Dr. Elizabeth Buck. At ASU, she performed regularly with the ASU Symphony Orchestra, the ASU
Flute Choir, and the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) before receiving her degree in 2014. A native of Southwest Ohio, she and her husband moved to Columbus in 2015. They enjoy cooking, spending time with their friends and family, and being outside with their
Isaac Cowden began learning about music at the age of 4. He and his older brother being the only musicians in the family began playing at their church soon after. After wanting to go the college for music and also theology, He applied and was the recipient of a Worship Studies scholarship at Indiana Bible College where he spent the next 4 years recording 5 albums and going in nine tours across the US. After completing his Bachelors in Worship Studies and Music Technology the with a minor in Theology, he moved to Columbus Ohio. He now serves as the Creative Director as well as Band Director, for Calvary Apostolic Church. He also works with various studios and artists in the U.S and writes songs in his free time, whenever he can manage.
Drum and Piano Instructor
As a drummer and percussionist, Kyle has performed with Vic Juris, Todd Coolman, Pete Malinverni, Jon Faddis, Wessell "Warmdaddy" Anderson, Tony Monaco, Rick Depofi, Radam Schwartz, Cameron Brown, and James Weidman. He also has a master’s degree in Jazz Studies from Purchase College in New York. He has composed music for theatre, television, and film. Television shows include Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, Sins & Secrets, Disappeared, Fatal Attraction. He also scored films for Magic Dog Productions, B12 Productions, Killer Goose Films, and Wildlife Productions.
As an educator he has taught as an adjunct professor at William Paterson University, Purchase College SUNY, The Thurnauer School of Music, and The School of Rock.
Voice, Piano, Guitar Instructor
Samantha Stiner is a Contralto hailing from Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. She is currently pursing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at The Ohio State University in Columbus. Previously she has received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Wyoming. With a large, rich voice, Samantha’s repertoire is diverse, though she has a strong focus on contemporary works. Recent operatic roles performed include Florence Pike in Albert Herring, Marcellina in the Marriage of Figaro, and R.N. in Bluebeard’s Waiting Room. In 2016 Samantha received the Young Artist Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Denver, Colorado. Her concert repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder among many others. Samantha has also created a name for herself as a recitalist in contemporary music. Her recital, “Hot off the Press”, has toured nationally and allowed her to create contacts with many American composers. Most recently she has been in master classes with composers Lori Laitman, Jake Heggie, and Libby Larsen. In addition, Samantha has been teaching private lessons in voice, piano, and guitar for almost decade. Prior students have gone on to become professional rock and folk artists, music educators, scholarship recipients, and church musicians.
Guitar, Bass, Piano Instructor
Jack Walbridge earned a Bachelors degree in music from Susquehanna University in 2012. Jack has taught guitar, bass, upright bass, and piano for over twelve years. In addition to teaching, Jack has worked as an Off-Broadway pit musician in New York and as a Session musician in Los Angeles. Jack has also worked as a freelance composer where his music was featured on television and movies.
Professionally trained with a B.A. in percussion from McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul Minnesota, Alex has been practicing the art of drumming for over 20 years. Throughout his musical journey Alex has studied and performed a range of musical styles including rock, blues, jazz, fusion, hip-hop, country, funk, disco, R&B and Latin from studio settings to music festivals. Along with stylistic methods Alex has also had the opportunity to study rhythmic methods and conceptual approaches with renowned drummers such as Gordy Knudston, Marve Dahlgren, David Stanoch and Michael Bland.
As a teacher, Alex utilizes a variety of coordination methods, techniques, applications, and pedagogy to accommodate any skill level and strives to provide a creative positive learning environment that fosters confidence and encourages each student to reach his or her full potential. With many years spent honing his craft and gaining musical experiences from touring and performing live across country to working in the studio and collaborating with artists, Alex is ready to guide you through creative musical pathways and improve your performance. Alex Vaughn has been teaching at the Powell Academy of music since April 2018.
Piano and Violin Instructor
Mercedes began studying violin at age 8 after learning about the different orchestral instruments during a school assembly - a surprise to her family, considering there isn’t a musical bone in their lineage. After studying primarily classical music, Mercedes discovered her love for contemporary performance and moved to Boston where she received her Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Writing and Production from Berklee College of Music. During her time at Berklee she studied Jazz under Mimi Rabson, traditional Middle Eastern music under Simon Shaheen, and Contemporary / Pop under Mike Block.
After graduation, she relocated to New York where she performed and managed projects for commercial advertisements with Antfood, a renowned music & sound design studio. In April of 2018 she self released a collection of violin and vocal based compositions titled “Nothing To Show” under the moniker Meche. Outside of teaching, Mercedes spends her time experimenting with various loop & effects pedals in a constant quest to create new textures and evolve her sound.
Voice & Piano Instructor
Rachel Parfenchuk earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Ohio Wesleyan University (2014) and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Cleveland Institute of Music (2017). Parfenchuk has performed with Ohio Wesleyan Opera Theater, Columbus Dance Theater, Cleveland Institute of Music Opera Theater, and Opera Columbus. Her performance highlights include the role of Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music, Denise in Beatrice and Benedict, Frasquita in Carmen, as well as being a two-time winner of the Ohio Wesleyan concerto competition. Ms. Parfenchuk’s passion for performance carries over to her love of teaching, as she has taught both voice and piano since 2012. During her education she studied pedagogy extensively with both Dr. Jason Hiester and Dr. Dean Southern and continues to seek the most efficient and engaging ways to cultivate skill and confidence in students of all ages.
Voice & Piano Instructor
Soprano Jessica Vargo has over 13 years of experience teaching voice and piano. She received her Bachelor‘s degree from Otterbein University in Vocal Performance under the instruction of Janet Proodian, DMA, and Helen Allen, DMA. Otterbein solidified her love of classical music and she has traveled and performed nationally and in Europe, including Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. She is one of the founding members of Opera Project Columbus and performed in their inaugural performance, Puccini’s Suor Angelica under the baton of Alessandro Siciliani. Jessica is dedicated to inspiring musicians of all ages and levels to embrace the freedom in stylistic diversity that classical training can provide. She specializes in maintaining vocal health, incorporating the Alexander and Bel Canto Techniques in her voice lessons.
Axl is truly excited to be joining the Lewis Center Music Academy! Along with serving as an office assistant, he is a freelance oboist. He has had the opportunity to perform with groups such as the Columbus Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Muncie Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Long Bay Symphony, Cleveland Opera Theater and Queen City Opera. He also has been invited on numerous occasions to perform at the famed Broadway dinner club, Feinstein’s/54 Below, performing for current Broadway performers. He has earned a Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Axl has a passion for the future of music and its impact in children’s lives, and looks forward to seeing the creative growth of all the students at LCMA. Outside of music, he enjoys time with family and friends, binge-watching the latest trending TV show (Game of Thrones and House of Cards are current favorites), and attending a lot of Broadway theater!!
Voice, Piano, Brass Instructor
Julie received a Bachelor of Music from Eastern Illinois University in 2012. While in attendance, she sang with the University Mixed Choir and Concert Choir, played horn in the Concert Band and played trumpet and mellophone in the Panther Marching Band and Pep Band. She took voice, piano and horn lessons at the college level. Julie loves to travel, and she gained international teaching experience during the summer of 2013, when she taught English to elementary students in Shanghai, China. Julie sings soprano in her church choir in Worthington.
For the past five years, Julie has taught general music, band, and chorus at a junior high in southern Illinois. Her favorite part of the job was the extracurricular activities, which included competitive marching band, pep band, select chorus and an annual spring musical. She loves making connections with her students and watching them grow as musicians and people. Julie fondly remembers years of private lessons at the middle school, high school and college level, and she knows how influential a great music educator can be. She is thrilled to be providing private lessons through the Lewis Center Music Academy!
Voice, Piano Instructor
Lili Sanner is a 2018 Berklee College of Music graduate who majored in Songwriting. She has been composing songs for over 10 years, and producing her own music for more than 5. She has experience teaching private/group voice lessons, piano, songwriting, music theory, as well as directing musical theater productions. She coaches students of all ages and experience levels to sing to the best of their ability while educating them in vocal health, expanding their repertoires, and building their confidence on, and off stage.
Drum and Piano Instructor
Seth Alexander was raised in Columbus, OH within a family of drummers and musicians alike. After graduating a Valedictorian of Reynoldsburg High School and being awarded the John
Philip Sousa Award, he was accepted into the Ohio University School of Music. Seth completed his Bachelor’s of Music in 2016, studying percussion with Professor Roger Braun and teaching locally in the Athens Community Music School. He was then offered a Graduate Assistantship at Ohio University, in which Seth pursued the high-level study of jazz, drum set, composition, and contemporary music. In 2018, he completed his master’s degree and moved home to Columbus, Ohio.
Seth maintains a strong performing and teaching career with the community. His latest endeavors are with Julia Neville, the Largemouth Brass Band, and Wolfmen- all Ohio-native bands that perform regularly throughout the state. Seth performs and studies several styles of
music, including rock, jazz, pop, country, latin, hip-hop, funk, and fusion; he also composes new music that can be found through Ohio Percussion Publishing. He is excited to join the Lewis Center Music Academy and begin molding music minds!
Piano, Guitar & Voice Instructor
Brennan Harris is a musician who received his M.M. in Choral Conducting from The Ohio State University. As a pianist, he has accompanied choirs at OSU, Capital University, and many middle and high schools throughout the Columbus area. As a vocalist, he has performed with OSU’s top traditional choirs, as well as the Statesmen, a select a cappella ensemble. He is a singer and guitarist in the folk duo Two Can Tell. He is also a published composer and arranger versed in both classical and pop styles.
Violin and Piano Teacher
Helen Cates began studying the violin at age 5 at the Staedtische Musikschule Aalen, Germany. Her primary teachers include Liviu Bogdan, Jonathan Thomas and Gabriele Turck in Stuttgart, Germany. At a young age she performed with orchestras such as the Aalener Sinfonieorchester, the Kammerorchester Rosenstein and the Junge Philharmonie Ostwuerttemberg. With them she has travelled throughout Europe, including Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, France and Austria. She has performed as a soloist with the Kammerorchester Rosenstein in 2010 and the Indiana University South Bend Philharmonic in 2013. In 2011 and 2012 Ms Cates participated in the MasterWorks Festival.
She has completed a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University South Bend studying under Jameson Cooper. In addition she holds a Masters in Music degree from Bowling Green State University, where she was a member of the Graduate String Quartet. Ms. Cates enjoys teaching and inspiring young musicians toward excellence. She continues to be passionate performer of chamber and orchestral music.
Piano & Guitar Instructor
John‘s interest in music came about rather late as he started guitar and piano at ages 13 and 14 respectively. However, he was dedicated and was accepted at Bowling Green State University as a Piano Performance major 4 years later. Later he received his Master’s in Piano Performance from the University of Iowa where he was also awarded a Teaching Assistantship. While John‘s own interest in piano is primarily classical, he is comfortable teaching and playing many styles. On guitar, John enjoys playing rock, blues, finger-style, and other genres. John’s teaching philosophy focuses on helping students genuinely understand the concepts in whatever they are learning. He believes that it is also important to help students develop their own passion for music and learning. John moved to Ohio in 2017 with his wife and daughter from Texas where he lived and taught music for 4 years.
Jacob Campbell is a Columbus, Ohio based pianist, composer, arranger, and educator. Originally from Mansfield, Ohio, Jacob started music at a young age and continues his work on technique and style.
While studying in Capital University’s Jazz Studies program, Jacob had the privilege to play in the Capital University Big Band, and Jazz Consort - Capital’s top jazz combo. He won several awards for his performances most notably - Outstanding Musicianship Award at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, St. Louis Jazz Festival, and the Capital University Jazz Festival.
Jacob’s jazz instructors at Capital include Mark Flugge, Erik Augis, and Dr. Lou Fischer. To continue to elevate skills and accelerate growth, Jacob took private lessons from Lynn Arriale, Dave Powers, Martin Wind, Luke Gillespie & Jon Eshelman. Jacob studied classical piano with Seymour Fink, and Dr. Orlay Alonso.
Dr. Yuway Chan-Basel
Yuway's a classically trained pianist and began learning piano when she was four years old. She graduated with a Bachelor's in Piano Performance in Malaysia where she grew up. Her passion for music and learning brought her to study in the States and she later recieved her Master's from Bowling Green State University and a Doctorate in Piano Pedagoy from Texas Texh University. Yuway has been teaching piano for more than 10 years. She has taught students ranging from ages 4 and up, from the elementary level to the collegiate level when she was a teaching assistant at Texas Tech where she received the Helen Devitt Jones Exellence on Teaching Award. She is comfortable speaking English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
Yuway primarily enjoys playing classical music like works by Chopin, Liszt and Beethoven. However, she is also fond of other styles and comfortable playing and teaching them as well. Yuway believes that music learning can be an enjoyable process and that music at every level can be expressive, and fun. While every student learns differently, they all can benefit from studying piano, by learning to be persistent and disciplined, and how to work efficiently. Yuway lives in Columbus with her husband and energetic 2 year old daughter.
Sarah Dudley is a soprano originally from the Columbus, Ohio area. She recently graduated from The Ohio State University with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. She also graduated Cum Laude with a duel Bachelors in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Bowling Green State University.
Her performance repertoire includes opera, musical theatre, and concert works. Her most recent roles include Magda de Civry in La Rondine, Dido in Dido; Aeneas, and Beggar Woman (cover) in Sweeney Todd with The Ohio State University Opera and Lyric Theatre. She also sang the role of The Fairy Godmother/Step Mother in Cinderella and Jack’s Mother/The Giant’s Wife in Jack and the Beanstalk with Opera Columbus’s “Opera Goes to School.” Other performance credits include The Figaro Project: Scènes de la Beaumarchais (La Contessa), The Heist (Mrs.Westbrook), Dido and Aeneas (First Witch), and La bohème (Chorus). Her concert works include soprano soloist for Link Up! The Orchestra Rocks with The Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and Verdi’s Requiem with Dayton Opera.
Sarah has taught private voice lessons for over six years to students of all ages and levels. She has experience teaching various genres such as classical, musical theatre, pop, and jazz. It is her passion to perform for audiences, as well as help students discover their own voice and unlock their own passion for the stage.
Voice and Piano Instructor
Meg Linebaugh is a singer and educator based in Columbus, Ohio. Ms. Linebaugh earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2015 and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Cleveland Institute of Music in 2018. She is passionate about classical vocal music, musical theater and opera. She has performed with Ohio Wesleyan Opera Theater, Ohio Wesleyan Choral Arts Society, Columbus Dance Theater, Ohio Song Project, Cleveland Institute of Music Opera Theater, and Opera Columbus. Her performance highlights include Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Neris in Medea, La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica, Carmen in scenes from Carmen, and Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music.
Her teaching experiences include student teaching placements in middle and high school choir in Delaware City Schools, substitute teaching for elementary general music (and various other subjects), and teaching voice and piano lessons. She is constantly working to find new ways to help her students grow into technically accurate and dynamic musicians and performers. Ms. Linebaugh is passionate about performing and teaching students of all ages. She strives to inspire her students to embrace their unique talents and to enjoy the process and experiences of making music.
Brass and Piano Instructor
From a young age, Chris found his passions to be in music and education. Having earned a B.M. in music education from Capital University (2017) and possessing an Ohio teaching license, Chris is a highly-qualified music teacher.
In 2015 Chris studied at the Kodály Institute of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. At the Kodály institute, Chris studied Hungarian techniques in music education through piano, voice, music theory, music history, solfege and score study. Doing research, while abroad, on the Kodály method’s connection to brass playing, Chris was selected to be a presenter at the National Council on Undergraduate Research in Asheville, North Carolina (2016).
Chris has played jazz trombone with the Rick Brunetto Big Band and Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra. He has played baritone and euphonium with the Dublin Silver Band, the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, and the world champion Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps.
A brass pedagogue, Chris will gleefully teach beginner to advanced brass students. With training in voice, piano and woodwind pedagogy, Chris can accommodate any person who has a desire to make music!