Faculty

Making the arts available to the community

The Fine Arts Association’s faculty is one of the most highly qualified collection of instructors in northeast Ohio. Nearly all of our instructors are degreed in their particular craft, and have pursued specialized study in related areas. In addition to unquestionable educational background, many continue to perform in their art, thus bringing a new dimension of vitality and professionalism to the classroom.

Students of all ages continue to take classes in our expansive facility. From preschoolers through senior citizens, thousands of students have experienced the satisfaction of learning a new craft, or the excitement of performing Chopin on the piano.

Art Therapy

Diane Fleisch-Hughes MA, A.T., PC

Art Therapy

Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling, Ursuline College, (2014). Diane has been a visual arts instructor at Fine Arts since 2009 and has been receiving Art Therapy clients since June…

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Diane Meros MA, ATR-BC, ATCS

Diane has developed and conducted art therapy programs for children and adults with disabilities in school, residential and vocational settings. She has been active on state and national art therapy boards and…

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Laurén Skillicorn AT, LPC

Laurén has a Master of Arts in Counseling and Art Therapy from Ursuline College. In addition to working at FAA, Lauren is also a counselor and art therapist at WomenSafe, a nonprofit…

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Sara Wasserman MA, ATR, LPC

Sara Wasserman has a wide range of skills as a Registered Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. She has worked with all types of clients including children, adolescents, adults and families. She…

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Visual Arts

Diane Fleisch-Hughes MA, A.T., PC

Art Therapy

Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling, Ursuline College, (2014). Diane has been a visual arts instructor at Fine Arts since 2009 and has been receiving Art Therapy clients since June…

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Kathy Mercer

Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education and Associate of Applied Business in Graphic Arts, Lakeland Community College. Former Director and Preschool Teacher at St. Felicitas Preschool. Substitute teacher at Lakeland…

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Sandy Patterson

M.A. & B.A. University of Louisville. Attended the Art Institute of Chicago on scholarship for 6 years. Taught at St. Xavier College , Chicago; Beverly Hills Fine Arts Association, Chicago; Rhode Island…

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Hannah Sandham

Ms. Sandham is a freelance design professional with a background in costuming, photography and social media marketing. She has a B.A. in Spanish and History from Grove City College and became a…

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Melissa Sextella

Melissa is a certified visual art teacher licensed to teach Pre-K through 12th grade. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Kent State University in…

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Dianne Stiver-Lang

Dianne Stiver- Lang earned her B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from Cleveland Institute of Art with a major in Ceramics, and a minor in Photography. She also earned an OSTNA (Ohio State…

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Brittany Weisbarth

Brittany Hoose Weisbarth earned her Associate of Arts degree from Lakeland Community College where she learned most of her ceramic craft. Brittany continued her education at Cleveland State University and completed her…

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Dance

Lindsay T. DePenti

Jazz

Lindsay DePenti has been a competitive dancer for around ten years and loves sharing her passion with others. She has been dancing since she was three years old and is very excited…

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Lisa-Marie French

Pre-Ballet/Tap

Lisa-Marie French began her professional career as a ballerina with McGill Danse of Montreal, Que. Upon return to the United States, she was Artistic Director of Ballet at a private studio in…

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Beatrice Hammett-Parker

African Dance, Interpretive Dance, Pre Ballet/Tap

Mrs. Parker’s training includes a multitude of dance forms including jazz, modern, African, and other cultures around the world. She is also involved with The Fine Arts Association’s Sarah Weeden Richardson Minority…

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Ariana (Ari) King

Hip Hop

Ari began her dancing career in the urban/street world of dance and soon after, she discovered the studio the world of dance and has been involved ever since. At FAA, she is…

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Courtney Anne Nelson

Tap

Courtney Anne Nelson holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Kent State University. She has trained diligently to marry the three arts of acting, singing, and of course dancing! Courtney has had…

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Alexia N. Rodriguez

Contemporary

Alexia Rodriguez began dancing at the age of 9. She has experience in hip hop, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, and ballet. She loves to share her love of dance with her students and…

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Janice Smith

As one of our Fine Arts dance instructors for many years, Janice Smith holds an advanced performance and teaching degree from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, London England, including a…

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Howard Washington

Creative Director of Dance

Howard is a graduate from Lake Erie College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree specializing in choreography and minoring in Entrepreneurial Studies. Within his 12 years of being in the Cleveland…

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Brass

Dr. Bryan DePoy

Trumpet, French Horn

Dr. Bryan DePoy, our instructor of trumpet and french horn, is also currently the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lake Erie College before which he was the dean of the…

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Kenneth Hughes

Tuba / Euphonium

M.M. Northwestern University; B.M. Ohio State University. Retired from Conn-Selmer, Inc. and is a member of the Suburban Symphony Orchestra, Lakeland Civic Band and Heights Chamber Orchestra Seasonal Brass.

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Dr. Matthew C. Saunders

Trombone

Dr. Saunders has taught music from kindergarten to college in styles from madrigal to mariachi. Dr. Saunders is Professor of Music and music department chair at Lakeland Community College, where he also directs…

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Music Therapy

Becca Bankert MT-BC

Music Therapy

Becca received her post-Baccalaureate degree in MusicTherapy Equivalency from Baldwin Wallace University in 2016 and her B.S. degree in Music Education with a vocal concentration from Malone University in 2013. Becca is…

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Ellen Mann, MT-BC

Ellen has her Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy from Marywood University. She has been a Board Certified Music Therapist since 2004. Ellen has experience working within the medical setting/hospital; schools; with…

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Emily McDonald MT-BC

Music Therapy

Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Theory and Composition from The University of Akron and post-baccalaureate certification in Music Therapy from Cleveland State University. She became board-certified in October 2016 after completing…

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Danielle E. Musat MT-BC

Music Therapy

B.M in Music Therapy, minor in Psychology, Baldwin-Wallace College in 2000. She spent the first 3 years of her career working as a Music Therapist in a residential treatment facility for children and…

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Ann Marie Raddell MT-BC, NICU MT

Music Therapy

B.M., Music Therapy, University of Dayton. Board Certified Music Therapist, since 2006. Specialized certification in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Music Therapy. Ann Marie joined the Fine Arts Association team as a music…

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Percussion

Evan Mitchell

Percussion

Evan makes his living as a freelance percussionist, playing all styles of music. Evan received his formal musical training at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), where he studied primarily with legendary…

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Piano

Bella Brandelis

Piano, Violin, Suzuki

M.A. Cleveland State University , B. A. Moscow Conservatory. Member of Suburban Symphony Orchestra (violin). Suzuki teacher training in violin and piano. Member of National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Ohio…

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Liliana Garlisi

Harp, Piano

Liliana Garlisi graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. She is honored to be on the faculty at The Fine Arts Association,…

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Alfredo Guerrieri

Piano, Bass Guitar, Upright String Bass, Guitar

An Acoustic/Electric Bassist, Pianist, and Guitarist, Alfredo has toured all over the United States, Australia, and Hong Kong. He has performed and/or recorded with an array of artists such as the Keith…

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Cliff Habian

Piano

The late jazz critic, Leonard Feather of the Los Angeles Times, said that “Cleveland has an engaging eclectic in Habian, everything switches around from cut to cut: the size of the band,…

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Sanni Kearns

Piano, Organ

Sanni Tenkku Kearns is delighted to be part of the Fine Arts tradition, providing a nurturing environment to enhance each individual’s development. As a dedicated piano and organ instructor with over 40…

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Barbara Klonowski

Piano

Graduate Studies, Cleveland Institute of Music; Peabody Conservatory of Music. Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance; four year talent scholarship. Chamber music, Bowdoin College. CIM Preparatory School. Piano studies with David Bean,…

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Feroza LaBonne

Suzuki and Traditional Piano

Piano Teaching Diplomas from both the Royal Schools of Music and the Trinity College of Music, London, UK. Her Masters Degree in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University-Cleveland Institute of Music…

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Darryl Lewis

Piano, Voice

Darryl Lewis is a singer, composer, playwright, actor and educator.  He currently holds a position at Kent State University in the department of Pan African Studies.  He is also the Music Director…

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Maryann Messina

Piano

Bachelor of Music Education, Cleveland State University (duel major in performance and education).  Studied piano with Andrius Kuprevicius and James Savage (Fine Arts founder).  Graduate classes in Piano Pedagogy taken for private…

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Dr. Timothy Minnis

Piano

D.M.A., Ohio State University, M.M., Manhattan School of Music. Has taught at Kenyon College, Ohio State, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, the Metropolitan Music School of New York City, where he was…

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Marge Syroney

Suzuki and Traditional Piano

Marge has her B.M. degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music; and both her B.S. in Education and M.M. degrees in Music Ed.are from the University of Akron. She did her private…

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Joe Wheelock

Guitar

Joe Wheelock began his journey with music on the piano at the age of five with studies in jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms and the thought that music is a language and performing…

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Strings

Bella Brandelis

Piano, Violin, Suzuki

M.A. Cleveland State University , B. A. Moscow Conservatory. Member of Suburban Symphony Orchestra (violin). Suzuki teacher training in violin and piano. Member of National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Ohio…

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Denny Carleton

Guitar, Ukulele, Song Writing

Denny has taught guitar for over 30 years. From beginners to more advanced students, always specializing in the creative aspect of playing, while teaching students the theory behind the instrument. He has…

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Natalia DePoy

Violin

Natalia DePoy, a violin instructor at FAA, has performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (New Orleans), Acadiana Symphony, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, in addition to working as a freelance performer in and…

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Jonathan (Skip) Edwards

Cello

Johnathan (Skip) attended CIM and the Berkeley College of Music. In addition to cello, Skip teaches piano and guitar as well as the upright & electric bass. In addition to teaching at…

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Liliana Garlisi

Harp, Piano

Liliana Garlisi graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. She is honored to be on the faculty at The Fine Arts Association,…

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George Gecik

Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo

Master of Music coursework, Youngstown State University; BA in Music, Kent State University; Classic Guitar Studies with Aaron Shearer, Carlos Barbosa-Lima and Sophocles Pappas. Narciso Yepes Master Classes in Paris, France 1975.…

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Lauren Godfrey

Suzuki and Traditional Violin

Lauren Godfrey is a product of the Fine Arts Association. She studied at the Fine Arts with Maurice Wolfson of the Cleveland Orchestra while she was a student at Mentor High School.…

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Alfredo Guerrieri

Piano, Bass Guitar, Upright String Bass, Guitar

An Acoustic/Electric Bassist, Pianist, and Guitarist, Alfredo has toured all over the United States, Australia, and Hong Kong. He has performed and/or recorded with an array of artists such as the Keith…

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Dr. Carol Linsenmeier

Suzuki and Traditional Violin, Fiddle, Viola, Cello

Dr. Carol Linsenmeier received her Ph.D. in Special Education Research from Kent State University; A Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia; A Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from…

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Suzuki

Bella Brandelis

Piano, Violin, Suzuki

M.A. Cleveland State University , B. A. Moscow Conservatory. Member of Suburban Symphony Orchestra (violin). Suzuki teacher training in violin and piano. Member of National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Ohio…

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Lauren Godfrey

Suzuki and Traditional Violin

Lauren Godfrey is a product of the Fine Arts Association. She studied at the Fine Arts with Maurice Wolfson of the Cleveland Orchestra while she was a student at Mentor High School.…

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Sanni Kearns

Piano, Organ

Sanni Tenkku Kearns is delighted to be part of the Fine Arts tradition, providing a nurturing environment to enhance each individual’s development. As a dedicated piano and organ instructor with over 40…

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Feroza LaBonne

Suzuki and Traditional Piano

Piano Teaching Diplomas from both the Royal Schools of Music and the Trinity College of Music, London, UK. Her Masters Degree in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University-Cleveland Institute of Music…

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Dr. Carol Linsenmeier

Suzuki and Traditional Violin, Fiddle, Viola, Cello

Dr. Carol Linsenmeier received her Ph.D. in Special Education Research from Kent State University; A Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia; A Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from…

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Marge Syroney

Suzuki and Traditional Piano

Marge has her B.M. degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music; and both her B.S. in Education and M.M. degrees in Music Ed.are from the University of Akron. She did her private…

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Voice

Lauren Feola

Lauren M. Feola, a soprano, obtained her Master of Music in Vocal Performance degree at the University of Akron and studied with Dr. Laurie Lashbrook. During her studies at Akron, she performed…

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Bob Godfrey

Voice

Bob Godfrey has been a music educator for over 40 years. During that span, he has found time to continue performing and has appeared in operas and musicals in North Eastern Ohio,…

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Darryl Lewis

Piano, Voice

Darryl Lewis is a singer, composer, playwright, actor and educator.  He currently holds a position at Kent State University in the department of Pan African Studies.  He is also the Music Director…

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Phyllis Speirs

Voice

Phyllis Speirs majored in Vocal Performance at Kent State University and continued her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Cleveland State University. She is a featured soloist of opera, oratorios,…

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Dr. Christopher J. Venesile

As one of our music faculty at FAA, Dr. Christopher J. Venesile’s background in music education serves as a great fit for  private voice lessons! More specifically, those who are interested in…

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Woodwinds

Charles Baker

Clarinet, Saxophone

Charles Baker teaches beginning through the most advanced students of all ages. He obtained his Masters degree in Music from Case Western Reserve University. His Bachelors degree in Music is from the…

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Judith Elias

Flute and piccolo

Judith Elias received her B.M.E. from Youngstown State University and her Graduate study from Kent State University. She studied extensively with Maurice Sharp and Raymond DeMattia. In addition to being a member…

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Melissa Wallace

Oboe, English horn

Melissa Wallace is an oboist and English hornist native to the Cleveland area. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Baldwin Wallace University and a Master’s degree in Music from…

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Theatre

Doriann D'Apice

Doriann is an ELL (English Language Learners) teacher in Mentor Schools, working with kids from 14 different countries in grades kindergarten through fifth. She also teaches Intro to Humanities for adults up…

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Dawn Hill

Dawn Hill has her B.S. degree from Miami University in K-Primary/Elementary Education with a concentration in Dramatic Expression. Her Master’s degree is in Elementary Administration from Cleveland State University.  Dawn has been…

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Sandy Kosovich Peck

Local actress appearing in many area theatre productions. Also directs youth theatre productions as well as instructs youth drama class. FAA Theatre Arts Camp Director, FAA Young Actors Ensemble Director, FAA Chili…

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Darryl Lewis

Piano, Voice

Darryl Lewis is a singer, composer, playwright, actor and educator.  He currently holds a position at Kent State University in the department of Pan African Studies.  He is also the Music Director…

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David Malinowski

B.A. Theatre, with minors in English and Philosophy, Ashland University. Active in Theatre as Actor, Teacher, Director and Stage Manager. Previous experience includes Theatre Teacher and Assistant Director at Stagecrafters Summer Theatre…

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