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.

 

Mary Beth Hansley

Mrs. Hansley is a Meredith College graduate and a Licensed K-12 Art Educator.  She recently retired from teaching art in the public school system where several of her students have won awards at the NC State Fair, Home Builders’ Association; Marbles Kids’ Museum; The Women’s Club; Visual Art Exchange and Wake Education Partnership.  She taught the first studio art classes at Joyful Sounds Academy of Music and Art and has designed art courses for Arts Together and Fuquay Parks and Recreation.  Her philosophy is “growth and skills through hands-on fun!”

 

Katie LaCour

Katie LaCour has a B.A. in Piano Pedagogy at Campbell University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2010 after maintaining a 4.0 GPA.  Katie is the protégé of Diana Thomas and an outstanding former student.  She was named the winner of the Alma Dark Howard Memorial Music Scholarship Competition in April 2010, in which she won a scholarship to pursue graduate level music studies.  A member of both the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and Raleigh Piano Teachers Association (RPTA).  Katie has been teaching at Joyful Sounds for 7 years.  Recital opportunities will be offered throughout the year.


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.


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.