Blystone, a 2008 graduate of Lebanon Valley College, has a bachelor’s
degree in elementary education with a minor in music. She also holds a
masters in Literacy Education with a Reading Specialist Certificate from Penn
State Harrisburg. Blystone began taking piano lessons at age seven and
violin lessons at age nine. While at LVC, she studied violin under Dr.
Johannes Dietrich, and performed in the LVC Orchestra and with various chamber
groups. In her sophomore year, Blystone performed with the LVC Orchestra
in Salzburg, Graz, Vienna, and Prague. She often plays for weddings and special
music at area churches. Blystone is currently a reading specialist in the
Palmyra Area School District.
Dalinda Bohr, Violin, Viola
Dalinda Bohr, president of the Pennsylvania/Delaware chapter of the American String Teachers Association, is the PMEA District 7 High School Curriculum and Instruction representative. she teaches orchestra, guitar, and introduction to music technology at Central Dauphin East High School.
Bohr, who has studied violin and trumpet, also plays viola. She is a member of the Obligato String Quartet, Cherrywood Ensembles and performs throughout Pennsylvania, including the Dave Stahl Sacred Orchestra.
Bohr earned three degrees from Lebanon Valley College: B.S. in music education, B.A. in music, and M.M.E. in music education. She completed a second master's in music technology from Valley Forge Christian College and earned national certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for Orchestra-Adolescent through Young Adulthood.
Lindsay Bretz, Voice
Lindsay Bretz, who holds a bachelor's degree in musical theatre from Point Park Conservatory, joined the CMI staff in 2008. She has toured nationally and internationally with several shows for Fisher Price and Milestone Productions and has appeared at almost every local theatre including Allenberry Playhouse, Penn State Main Stage, Theatre Harrisburg, Carlisle Theatre, Capitol Dinner Theatre, Little Threatre of Mechanicsburg, Stage on Herr, HCPAC and Oystermill Playhouse. Bretz-Morgan has performed in over 30, her favorite roles being Miss Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls", Sally Bowles in "Cabaret", Janet in "Rocky Horror" and Lola in "Copacabana." She currently lives in Ono, PA with her husband Anthony, who owns Black Grypon in Elizabethtown where she is a full-time manager. Bretz-Morgan is also Assistant House Manager at the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg.
Karen Click, Piano, Voice
Arissa May, Kindermusik
Karen Click, D.M.M., is an active solo performer, freelance accompanist, and adjudicator in the Central Pennsylvania area. She is a graduate of Radford University in Virginia where she earned her bachelor of music and master of arts degrees, majoring in piano performance, with a secondary area of vocal study. She was the first awarded winner of the Radford University freshman music scholarship in 1983.
Also an accomplished vocalist, Click has performed with the Fairfax Chorale, the Washington Chorus, the Cathedral Choral Society, the Frost Chamber Singers at the University of Miami, and the Festival Celebration Series at Shippensburg University.
On returning to central Pa. in 2007, she served on the faculty at Messiah College as an adjunct instructor of piano. In 2008, Click completed the doctor of musical arts degree in piano performance from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, where she studied with Mr. Tian Ying. Currently, she is the artistic director and piano faculty member at the State Street Academy of Music in Harrisburg, Pa.
John Copenhaver, Brass
Johannes Dietrich, Viola, Violin
Copenhaver, a graduate of LVC, is an adjunct instructor of trumpet for the music department. His extensive experience includes studying trumpet with Fred Erdman, Walter Gier, Skip Stine, Lloyd Baddorf, and Dr. Ken Laudermilch. Copenhaver is a frequent performer in a variety of musical venues throughout Central Pennsylvania. He has performed in concert with Andy Williams, Jack Jones, Diane Bish, Bob Newhart, The Manhattan Transfer, the Temptations, the Spinners, Regis Philbin, Petula Clark, Shari Lewis, Tommy Tune, Little Richard, The Four Tops, Bobby Vinton, Clay Aiken, and the Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show. Copenhaver is currently director of elementary bands and chair of the music department for the Lebanon School District. He currently performs with the Lancaster British Brass Band, By Request, and Susquehanna Brass.
Johannes Dietrich, a native of Bozeman, Montana, joined the Lebanon Valley College faculty in 1995. As the Newton and Adelaide Burgner Professor in Instrumental Music, he directs the LVC symphony Orchestra; teaches conducting, string methods, applied violin and viola; and coaches chamber music ensembles. He has studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. Dietrich holds a master of music degree in violin performance and a doctorate in violin performance and conducting, both from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati.
Dietrich began studying violin at the age of five, and shortly thereafter began studying the piano. As a violinist, he has performed concertos with the Billings Symphony, the MSU Chamber Orchestra, the String Orchestra of the Rockies, and the St. Martin Chamber Orchestra in Cincinnati. He is the founding member of the Majore Trio, maintains an active performance schedule with Duo Terlano, and gives frequent solo viiolin recitals. He has released two CDs-"Solo Journeys" which includes the World Premiere of Dr. Scott Eggert's "Adagia" for solo violin, and the Duo Terlano recording, "Whimsies".
His students have been prizewinners and finalists in state and natinal competitions, and have accepted into leading undergraduate and graduate music programs. Many have gone on to become successful teachers in their own right.
Dan Fisher, Voice
Dan Fisher, a graduate of
Annville-Cleona High School, has a music education degree from Penn State. As a
choral singer, he has sung in the PMEA All-State Choir, the Penn State Concert
Choir, and the Lancaster Symphony Chorus. He was a national finalist at
Chanticleer's 2008 auditions in San Francisco. He has appeared in productions
at Penn State, Bucknell University, Hershey Area Playhouse, and Prima Theatre.
Mr. Fisher worked for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts for 15 years,
most recently as the Manager of Resident Entertainment at Hersheypark.
Jenny Huerter, Viola, Violin
Jenny has recently started teaching with the Community Music Institute after earning her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music in Viola Performance and Pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. She has had many years of experience teaching violin and viola both in Baltimore and locally. Jenny has worked with the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra Bridges Program while in Baltimore and performs locally.
Anne Kim, Piano
studied piano performance as her major at Brandon University and the University
of Alberta in Canada where she earned her 2 bachelor of music degrees and a
master of music degree. She also studied
at the Banff Center of Fine Arts with many distinguished teachers and outstanding
concert pianists from all over the world with a full scholarship.
performed many recitals and concerts throughout South Korea, Canada and the
United States, and has received many awards and scholarships from music
teaching career began at the International Bible College in California in 1982
where she taught piano, organ, theory, and music history. After she moved back to Canada, she continued
teaching at the preparatory division of Manitoba University, the conservatory
of Music in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Moody School of Music in Vancouver, B.C.,
and the Toronto Bible College until she moved to Pennsylvania with her family.
been teaching piano at the Community Music Institute of Lebanon Valley College
as adjunct faculty since 1999. She has
been enjoying her busy life as a teacher, a pastor’s wife, a mother of her son,
and also with her involvement in senior community.
Jennifer Lovell, Voice
We are pleased to welcome Jenna Lovell to the CMI staff. Jenna graduated from Brigham Young University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. She has lived and performed all over the United States as a soprano, performing under the direction of Mack Wilberg at BYU, and John Rutter in Carnegie Hall. Jenna is featured as a soloist in Handel's Messiah, Vivaldi's Gloria, Mozart's Requiem, Bach's Christmas Oratorio and Brahms' Requiem. She currently sings with the Lebanon County Choral Society. Jenna has been teaching private lessons since 1997 and enjoys working with students of all ages. She draws upon her repertoire of art songs and musical theater songs to teach basic vocal techniques and applies those techniques to any and all genres of music which are favored by her students.
Jill Marchionne, Oboe, English Horn
Marchionne graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. with both a bachelors and masters in music in oboe performance. She has worked in the greater Harrisburg area for the past 10 years. Additionally Jill has performed and traveled in Spain serving as co-principal oboe with the Royal Symphonic Orchestra of Seville. Jill is currently associated with Messiah College, Dickinson College, Elizabethtown College, Bucknell University, Susquehanna University, and Lebanon Valley College in the woodwind department
Arissa grew up in a musical family, learning to play both
piano and flute at a very young age. Arissa sang in her first professional
production while in elementary school. She has studied voice and performs in community theater productions, choral groups, and as a soloist. Arissa has
sung and recorded original music with a traveling non-profit children’s
educational group in Nashville, TN. Arissa continued working in
entertainment at the Hershey Trolley Works, Hershey’s Chocolate World and as a
soloist upon her return to Pennsulvania. During this time she attained her communications degree from
Harrisburg Community College, as her interests include music, writing, film and
television acting. She currently leads
Sunday morning worship services, and has sings with the Harrisburg Choral Society.
Arissa has always loved working with children, but after the birth
of her three young children; she sought a way to give them a solid musical
upbringing and discovered Kindermusik. It was a natural progression from
excited parent to becoming a licensed Kindermusik instructor. She is passionate about encouraging children’s natural love of music and helping
them to become musical individuals for the rest of their lives.
Jessica Mitchell has been playing and studying the cello from a young age. She previously attended the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University, where she studied with Jeffrey Solow and was a member of the Temple University Symphony Orchestra, as well as several smaller orchestras and chamber ensembles. While at Temple, she received chamber music coaching from David Kim and Sidney Curtis of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Jessica is a graduate of Moravian College with a bachelor degree of music in education. While at Moravian, she won the student concerto competition in 2010 and was a member of the piano trio, baroque ensemble, and section leader of the Moravian College Community Orchestra. In 2011, she created the Strike A Chord Community Orchestra, a summer group in Walnutport, PA, that gives adult students and students with no orchestra programs in their schools the opportunity to play in an ensemble. Currently, Jessica is the orchestra director at Lebanon Middle/High School and cellist with the Lancaster-based quartet, Vivace Strings. She teaches cello privately at the Community Music Institute at Lebanon Valley College in Annville PA and Strike a Chord Music in Walnutport PA. As a private instructor for many years, her specialty is catering each lesson to the individual student. Jessica is in the process of obtaining her M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from Messiah College and is the 2014 recipient of the PADESTA "Outstanding New String Teacher" award.
Joseph D. Mixon, Guitar
Guitarist Joseph D. Mixon, longtime adjunct assistant professor of music at Lebanon Valley College is the 2008 recipient of the College’s highest honor for its adjunct faculty-the Nevelyn J. Knisley Award for Inspirational teaching. Mixon has performed internationally as an artist and clinician doing teacher trainings and musical missions in India, Nepal, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. He has studied guitar with Dennis Sandoli, Vic Juris, Tony Ventura, Frank DiBussolo and Joseph Mays, among others and is the founder of The Big Wahu Caribbean Band. He is also the artist and teacher for TRUEFIRE.COM, an online guitar study site. Joe is also the founder and current director of RPM productions Inc. In addition to his commitments to Lebanon Valley College, Mixon is the guitarist in residence at the Lehigh Valley Charter School for the Arts in Bethlehem and the house guitarist at The Sands Casino in Bethlehem. A graduate of Moravian College, Mixon went on to earn a Master’s in Music from Combs College of Music.
Philip Morgan, Voice
Philip Morgan, professor emeritus of music at Lebanon Valley College, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Pittsburg (Kan.) State University and has since studied and performed in Paris, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Frankfurt, and New York. His professional activities include performance with the Chautauqua Opera Association, Jeunesses Musicales de France, Central City Opera Company, and the Kansas City Lyric Theatre.
He also has conducted numerous seminars in the United States on the care and use of the singing and speaking voice. Morgan appears frequently in solo recitals, oratorios, operas, musical theater, and chamber music programs. He served for 14 years, as vocal coach to the Hersheypark summer productions. Phil Morgan is a judge at the Lancaster Opera Workshop Advanced Vocal competition.
Robert Nowak, Percussion
Robert A. Nowak is a member of the music faculty at Lebanon Valley College. In addition to teaching Introduction to music classes, percussion, and percussion methods, Nowak directs the mallet and percussion ensembles at LVC, and serves as the percussion consultant for the Pottsville Area and Tamaqua Are high schools. He is principal-percussionist of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the Reading Symphony Orchestra. As a busy freelance percussionist, he performs at the F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre; the Scranton Cultural Center, Scranton; the Sovereign Center for the Performing Arts, Giant Center, and Hersheypark, Hershey. He is a graduate of Mansfield State College and the University of Miami.
Nowak has performed with Al Martino, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Natalie Cole, Regis Philbin, Olivia Newton John, and the National Tours of, Chorus Line, Bye, Bye, Birdie, Ragtime, Dream Girls, and Beauty and the Beast
, among others. Despite his very busy schedule, Nowak gives private lesions in his self-designed studio in Shenandoah, Pa., and manufactures mahogany log drums, triangle holders, and goose neck cymbal holders used by major symphony orchestras and music schools around the world. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and the Educational Team of Vic Firth, Inc.
Kim Potocny, Piano
Kim Potocny is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College, where she received a bachelor of music degree in sacred music with a concentration in organ performance. She attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., for graduate studies in musicology/music history.
Her principal instructors have been Robert Grogin, Pierce Getz, and Ruth Killian, organ; Dennis Sweigert, Merl Freeland, and Esther Fortna, piano; Victoria Rose and Jeffrey Riehl, voice.
Since 1976, Potocny has served as organist/pianist in churches of varying denominations. For the past 17 years she has held the position of organist and adult choir and solo accompanist at the Annville United Methodist Church. In the fall of 2005, she assumed the position of adult choir director at the church. As the director, she is responsible for directing and accompanying the choir in the performance of weekly responses and anthems and in the special performances of both an Easter and Christmas cantata. Potocny also has served as the director of the Bells of Glory Handbell Choir at the church since 2000. She brings to the position 17 years of handbell performing experience. The choir’s performing members include herself, her daughter Shannon, church members, and two LVC students.
In addition to her semesters of private organ and piano lessons as well as handbell training, Potocny had several semesters of choral training, and studied voice privately while in college. She was a member of the 60-voice Lebanon Valley College touring concert choir. With the choir, she performed in numerous states and, on one occasion, with the Harrisburg Symphony. She was also selected to sing in an 18-voice touring chamber choir for special performances. She continues her commitment to choral singing as a member of the Lebanon County Choral Society.
Potocny performs as a vocal soloist in a special ensemble that provides special music for summer church services. She also performs as a handbell soloist and is a member of a handbell quartet that provides special prelude and offertory selections for the worship service. She plays handbells to entertain nursing home residents, performs in the handbell festival in the Tabernacle in Mt. Gretna, and in other handbell festivals to benefit local charities and organizations. At Christmastime, she plays two half-hour piano performances at Dutch Wonderland and Hersheypark.
Louise Pouss, Kindermusik and Piano
Louise Pouss, a fully-licensed Kindermusik teacher, received a bachelor of science degree in music education from Gettysburg College. She completed 20 credits in graduate music workshops through Peabody Conservatory of Music.
Before starting a family, she taught classroom and vocal music for several years in Connecticut and in the Harrisburg area. Currently, Pouss teaches piano and is an active member of Salem Lutheran Church, Lebanon, where she sings in the adult choir and leads bell choir. She also directs the junior choir, a position she has held since 1983.
Dina Slechta, Suzuki and Taditional Cello
Dina Slechta is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College with a bachelor of science degree in biology and a minor in music. Other musical studies include the Suzuki Cello Teacher Training program through the Ithaca Suzuki Institute and the American Suzuki Institute at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She is registered with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has taught traditional cello methods since 1983.
Slechta performs with the Reading Pops Orchestra. In recent years, she has enjoyed the wonderful opportunities to perform along with her sons and husband in the Reading Philharmonic Orchestra and in their own family ensemble. She played with the Pottstown Symphony for 19 years.
Additionally she has performed with the Music In The Schools program, LVC Alumni Chorale¹s Chamber Orchestra, Berks Chamber Orchestra, Dave Stahl Sacred Orchestra, and various other ensembles in Southeast and Central Pennsylvania.
Scott Ramirez, Brass
Mr. Ramirez received his BS in music education from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. As a music educator in New York, Mr. Ramirez earned his Masters in Education from the City University of New York/Aaron Copland School of Music and was granted New York State Teacher permanent Certification. Mr. Ramirez was also a Fellow at the University of Illinois from 1993-1997. Mr. Ramirez is presently a member of the Adjunct Music Faculty at Lebanon Valley College and is a member of the Music Ministry at Derry presbyterian Church. Mr. Ramirez has over 33 years experience as a music educator.
Susan Szydlowski, Kindermusik
Susan Szydlowski received a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Colby College and attended Temple University for graduate studies. While in Philadelphia, she became involved with the Madrigal Singers in the Temple University School of Music and continued to participate in choral singing in the Philadelphia area. While spending two years in Virginia with her husband, she sang with the Norfolk Oratorio Society in collaboration with the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of the Lebanon County Choral Society and continues to study voice privately.
A native of New York City, Szydlowski taught music for five years at Jack and Jill Kindergarten and coordinated joint performances with the residents at Oakview Nursing Home. In addition to her involvement with Kindermusik, she has served on the board of directors of Penn Laurel Girl Scout Council. She is currently on the governing board of the Lebanon County Choral Society and the Board of Lebanon Family Health Services. Szydlowski is a fully-licensed Kindermusik educator and has just retired as the director of the Community Music Institute.
Ruth Marie Tierney, Piano
Ruth Marie Tierney received a bachelor of arts degree in piano performance and voice performance. Her voice teachers have been the late Rosina Muto, Sr. Regina Delores, and Virginia Englebright, Dr. Clarence Bawden, and Dr. Dennis Sweigert.
During and after college, Tierney sang many operatic roles with the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company, including Mimi in La Boheme, Miss Silverstein in Mozart’s Impressario, and supporting roles in La Traviata, and Marriage of Figaro, as well as soloist with the Hershey Community Chorus and St. Joan of Arc Church Choir in Hershey, and other area churches.
Tierney has been a concerto soloist with the Harrisburg West Shore Symphony, a recitalist in the Philadelphia and Maryland areas, and has sung or played on a regular schedule, including master recital piano with the Wednesday Club of Harrisburg, where she continues as resident artist, and board member
Since 1950, Tierney has been a choir member, soloist, and organist at St. Joan of Arc in Hershey. She has served the parish as the music director and classroom teacher at St. Joan of Arc School.
Current professional affiliations include active membership in The Music Teachers National Association, the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association, president of the Capital Area Chapter of Pennsylvania Music Teachers from 2004¬–2006, past president of the Wednesday Club, and the Harmonia Music club of Lebanon.
Ibrook Tower, Clarinet and Saxophone
Known internationally as an arranger, conductor, composer, clarinetist, and educator, Ibrook Tower’s diverse background ranges from nightclubs to symphony orchestras. His professional performing career began at age 12 and since then, Tower has held positions in more than 20 orchestras and numerous chamber groups. He has appeared as a guest artist with the Altoona Symphony, New York Woodwind Quintet, Nittany Valley Symphony, American Youth Philharmonic, Peabody Wind Ensemble, and the United States Navy Band.
Tower earned bachelor’s degrees in clarinet and music education at the Peabody Conservatory. A Settlement Music School teaching fellow at Temple University, he completed a master’s degree in clarinet performance. Tower’s principal clarinet teachers were Ronald Baltazar, Harold Wright, Sidney Forrest, Franklin Cohen, Ronald de Kant, and Anthony Gigliotti. He studied saxophone under Baltazar and Rick VanMatre. Tower holds a doctor of musical arts degree in conducting from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under maestro Eugene Migliaro Corporon, and also a conducting diploma from the University of Calgary in Canada. Tower was associate conductor of the Cincinnati Wind Symphony at the start of their celebrated recording series.
Tower has taught students at levels ranging from elementary through college. He directed college bands for 26 years, serving two terms as Pennsylvania chair of the College Band Directors National Association. Juniata College’s students and faculty honored him with the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. He coauthored three volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band.
Karen Umberger, Piano, Kindermusik and Assistant Kindermusik Director
Karen Umberger is the director and founder of “Kindermusik with Karen.” A licensed Kindermusik educator, Umberger holds a bachelor of music degree in sacred music from Lebanon Valley College and has over 20 years of piano, organ, bell choir, and vocal training. She is a professional church musician, currently serving at St. Luke’s UCC in Lititz, where she is responsible for the graded choir program, handbell choir and organ service music. She also accompanies the Lebanon County Choral Society. Umberger has taught piano since 1980 and now teaches at the Lititz Academy of Music.
Cherie Van Zant, Kindermusik, Flute
Cherie Van Zant is a graduate of Lebanon Valley College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in sound recording technology and music composition/theory. Cherie then went on to receive her teacher’s certification in music education, and a master’s degree in music education from Duquesne University. Currently, Cherie is the Graduate and Community Programs Administrator for the Department of Music at Lebanon Valley College. She has worked in the entertainment industry and freelances as a production manager. Cherie has taught flute privately in her own studio and with CMI, and has been a handbell director for a local United Methodist Church.
Sarah Wagner, Violin,
Sarah Wagner is a 2012
graduate of Lebanon Valley College where she earned a Bachelor of Science in
Chemistry degree with a Minor in Music. She began studying piano and
violin in elementary school. While at LVC, she studied violin under Dr.
Johannes Dietrich and organ under Dr. Shelly Moorman Stahlman. She
participated in several LVC music ensembles including the LVC Symphony
Orchestra, where she was concertmistress, Chamber Orchestra, String Quartet,
Concert Choir, and Chamber Choir. One of the highlights of her musical
career at LVC was performing with the Concert Choir on tour in Norway and
Denmark. Sarah is also an active community musician. She frequently
plays piano, violin, and organ for weddings, church events and services, and
Tim Wolfe, Bass
Bassist Tim Wolfe, Jr. keeps a busy schedule as both a performer and educator. Having played all along the eastern seaboard, as well as internationally, Tim performs mostly in the greater Philadelphia area and Central Pennsylvania, performing almost 100 dates a year. In 2008 Tim earned his master's degree in jazz studies from the University of the Arts, setting him on the path to teach. He is an adjunct professor of music at Lebanon Valley College, where he teaches double bass, bass guitar, jazz improvisation and directs small-group jazz combos. Working with students of all ages,Tim also teaches workshops, clinics, and master classes at high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools in Pennsylvania and Maryland, as well as keeping a private teaching studio out of his Bucks County home.