Instructors

INSTRUCTORS


Diana D. Thomas, Owner

Diana Thomas has a B.A. degree Magna Cum Laude in Music from Campbell University and has taught piano and organ to students of all ages and levels for over 25 years.  She serves as a church musician and accompanist for area musicians and groups.  As past President of Raleigh Piano Teachers Association (RPTA) and active member, she is also a member of Music Teachers National Association, North Carolina Music Teachers Association, American College of Musicians, and American Guild of Organists.  She serves as an adjudicator for the National Federation of Music Clubs Festival.  Students may participate in Fall, Spring and Ensemble Recitals.  RPTA, MTNA Auditions and Ensemble Recitals (Meredith College) also give opportunities to perform.  She encourages students to share their music in local ways such as group classes, school, church, and community events.  Her desire is to teach students to achieve their goals in learning to enjoy and make beautiful music. 


Julie Frederick

As a flutist of 38 years, Julie Frederick has a Bachelor of Music degree from Syracuse University and a Masters in Music from the New England Conservatory.  She has taught flute and piccolo for 23 years in the Boston area and since 1988 in the Cary area.  Julie has vast experience performing in orchestra, band, chamber music and solo concerts.  Currently she free-lances regularly with Florian Music.  She is an active member of the Raleigh Area Flute Association and is a member of the National Flute Association Performance opportunities will be available through the year including performance classes and a studio recital in May.  Students are encouraged to participate in local contests and music ensembles.  Julie’s greatest joy is teaching and sharing the magic of music with her students, which is a treasure that will last them a lifetime.

 

 Jacob Groff

Jacob Groff received his Bachelor of Music in Composition from the University of Oregon and his Masters in Music Composition from Westminster Choir College of Rider University.  Mr. Groff taught piano in Northern New Jersey for six years, where he was proud to have a student perform one of his solo piano works in recital.  Mr. Groff is sought after for his vocal, choral, and chamber writing and his works have been performed in venues across the country.  In the summer of 2007 he released his first professional recording of songs for voice, flute and piano.  He won the 2088 “Children’s Aid Society Chorus” Competition in New York City.  Mr. Groff is published through Santa Barbara Music.  Mr. Groff specializes in teaching beginner and intermediate level piano students and all levels of Theory and Composition.  He encourages all students to take advantage of performance opportunities that are available throughout the year.

Elyse Johnson

As an artist and educator, Elyse Johnson believes that everyone can be an artist. Whether taught or innate, she is convinced that anyone can achieve creativity and express themselves in an artistic way, thus her motto, “Dream big and inspire greatness.” After graduating from Meredith College with a Bachelors of Arts in Studio Art and Art Education, Elyse worked for the Wake County School System for several years teaching art. While Elyse was pursuing her career in education, her then-fiancé was starting an adventure that would take them across the globe to New Zealand. The supposed one year adventure lead to a five years adventure; Elyse believes that this once in a life experience molded her in so many ways as a person and as an artist within this different culture. Upon returning to the United States a couple of years ago, Elyse focused on starting her own business that would allow her to sell her works of art as well as provide private to semi-private art lessons to her students.

Pam Linke

Pam Linke has a bachelor of arts in Theatre Arts Performance and Speech Communications and a K-12 teaching certification as well from Mars Hill College.  She also earned K-12 certification with a concentration in Vocal Performance in Music from Meredith College.  Pam teaches voice and is also drama coach at Joyful Sounds.  She has taught for ten years in the Wake County system where she was nominated for Cary Teacher of the Year and the Disney National Teacher of the Year award.  Pam has had leading roles in many plays, sung professionally for many years, performing in musical theatre, repertory theatre, community theatre, opera, and for churches in addition to directing various theatrical and choral performances.  She is currently Minister of Music at Holland’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh.


Hailey McCulloch

Hailey McCulloch graduated Summa Cum Laude from Campbell University with a B.A. in Comprehensive Music. She has taught violin for five years and has studied under the tutelage of NC Symphony members Ms. Lisa Malcolm and Ms. Lucy Greenleaf-Carter, as well as master classes from the late Stephen Clapp, former Dean of the Juilliard School. During her studies at Campbell she served as first chair in the Campbell University String Ensemble and premiered many compositions for strings. Experienced in both classical and fiddle styles, Hailey has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Grand Ole Opry. Her approach to teaching involves a holistic approach to the violin, incorporating music theory and sight-reading, with an emphasis on healthy, sustainable technique.

Rebecca Morgan

Rebecca Morgan earned a Bachelor of Science in Music, from Radford University, with concentrations in voice and piano and additional studies in organ performance, dance and music therapy. During her time at Radford she discovered her passion for collaborative piano and accompanying. She was a highly sought-after accompanist in Radford and Blacksburg, Virginia, where she collaborated in over 100 concerts and recitals before the completion of her degree in 1997. Ms. Morgan continued her studies

through the pursuit of a Master of Science in Music with advanced work in choral conducting studying under the tutelage of Dr. James Daughtery.

In 1999 Ms. Morgan moved to North Carolina where she served as Pre-kindergarten – 5th grade music teacher with the Forsyth County Public Schools and Forsyth Country Day School in Winston-Salem. Additionally, Ms. Morgan earned her Kindermusik certification and also served as Assistant Director/Accompanist for the Winston Salem Children’s Chorus where she traveled to London with the chorus for the International Children’s Choir Festival.

After moving to the Raleigh area in 2005, Ms. Morgan served as full time Minister of Music at Aversboro Road Baptist Church. It was there she call to develop and launch Contemporary worship services. She carried her experience to serve Holland’s United Methodist Church and Macedonia United Methodist in the same way. During this time, she collaborated with Point of Grace and Natalie Grant; coordinating a community choir for local performances. She has also served as Music Director for Garner Towne Players’ Youth Summer musicals.

Rebecca’s most important job is being mom to three very spirited girls ages 17, 14 & 2 who share their mom’s lifelong love of music.


William Simkiss

William Simkiss has taught for over 30 years, and has a wide range of performance, touring and recording experience in many varied styles.  With a B.A. in Music Education from Malone College, Canton, Ohio, and a Master’s from Fullers, he plays 17 instruments as well as being a vocal soloist.  He teaches Guitar, Piano, Voice, Bass Guitar, Mandolin, Octave Mandolin, Hammered and Mountain Dulcimer, Banjo, Trumpet, Baritone, Tuba and Beginning Percussion.  He coaches individuals in songwriting and Musical Groups in Performance Technique.  He also teaches Musicianship, Sight Reading and Music Theory for any instrument.


Dori Staehle

Dori Staehle is an experienced percussionist and drum teacher who lives right here in Fuquay-Varina. Dori’s specialty is working with beginners, helping them transition from the drum pad and snare to the full kit.
 
In addition to playing percussion on the praise and worship team at New Horizon’s Fellowship in Apex for the past 10 years, Dori is often seen playing backup percussion for local artists. Dori loves sharing the joy of drumming and helping both kids and adults find their groove.
 
Dori also has specialized training with the internationally-known organizations Drums and Disabilities and HealthRhythms, which is a division of Remo, Inc. 

 

Mike Stewart

Over 20 years teaching experience with a B.S. in Education, from University of South Carolina and NC Certified for special needs students.  He is an original member of The String Project Program, USC, instructor of Wake County Magnet Strings Programs (Grades 3-12), and a Suzuki Program Teacher, at Rocky Mount, NC.  Mike is also a member of ASTA (American String Teacher’s Association).  Performance Experience includes various orchestras and string groups including The Raleigh Symphony.  The Durham Symphony, and the Fayetteville Symphony.