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  Our Teachers    

Our faculty offer artist level private instruction in almost all areas of music instruction. Each of our instructors are professional music educators and performers. This incredibly talented group of musicians provide quality student oriented instruction that will help each student become the best they can be and help to grow as musicians to the fullest potential.

Lance Allen
Percussion
AD Business Management and Information Systems Technology, Blue Ridge Community College
Mr. Allen has a deep love for music and feels that every child should have an education in the arts. He has played percussion for over 20 years in many different styles, including rock n roll, jazz, country, and show tunes. He is a highly sought after performer in the Shenandoah Valley and has performed in many local choral productions and musicals. Mr. Allen has taught private percussion lessons at VMA for over 15 years and is also a local drumline instructor.

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John Clark
Guitar, Ukulele, Piano
Music Theory, University of Massachusetts

Mr. Clark joined the faculty of VMA in 2015 and has been teaching privately since 1972.  He has studied with great guitarists such as Sal Salvador (Stan Kenton’s guitarist), Jazz artist Ted Dunbar and Barry Galbraith of the NBC Orchestra.  Mr. Clark is a highly sought performer locally and has performed with various jazz, rock and R&B groups in New York and throughout New England.  John performs regularly throughout the region with his group "Johnny's Blue Locomotive" which includes several VMA instructors

Carolyn Dempsey
Flute, Piano

 

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Sonja Dillard
Violin, Viola, Cello
B.M. in Music, Shenandoah Conservatory;  M.M. in Music, Shenandoah University

Ms. Dillard is an accomplished musician, teacher and performer.  She has taught violin, viola and cello privately, in public schools and at the college level since 1991.   As a performer she has performed with the Shenandoah Symphony, Cumberland Valley Chamber Players, Frederick Symphony, Charlottesville Symphony and more.  In addition to her private studio, Ms. Dillard is a freelance violinist performing regularly throughout the region. 

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Bruce Fox
Trombone, Trumpet, French Horn, Tuba
Bachelor of Music Education, Univ. of Wisconsin; Master of Education, Montana State University

Bruce Fox is a retired middle school/high school band and orchestra director having worked in public schools in Montana, Colorado, Minnesota, and Virginia. He has also taught in private schools in Switzerland and Germany. He has music education degrees from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Montana State University.  Bruce is primarily a trombonist and currently plays locally with the Stonewall Brigade Band and Boxcar Speakeasy traditional jazz combo and also participates in the Drum For Fun African drumming group. Bruce is also a professional tour guide giving historical tours in Staunton as well as in Washington, D.C, Boston, and New York City.

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Andrew Green
Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar
BA in Psychology in Music Cognition and Evolutionary Musicology; Ethnomusicology; Oberlin College

Mr. Green is an accomplished and highly sought musician, performing professionally across the United States on banjo, guitar and bass with a variety of musical groups including Roosevelt Dime and the New York based Red Rooster. In addition to his extensive performing and recording experience, Mr. Green has taught privately for more than ten years. His studio of students are of all ages, from as young as 8 to 74. His instruction and lesson plans are custom tailored to fit the needs of each student. In addition, Mr. Green is a Lead teacher of early childhood music and arts classes at Kids at Work for children ranging from two months to five years of age. Mr. Green's experience both as a performer and teacher make him the perfect choice when looking for banjo instruction in the valley.

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Holly Havis
Piano, Electric Bass

BA in piano (Berklee School of Music); MA in Ethnomusicology (U of Washington in Seattle); PhD in Music Ed (New York University)
Dr. Havis teaches classical and jazz piano, electric bass, improvisation and composition. She plays piano, synthesizer and electric bass for music theater and other venues, and has written several plays for children with music. She teaches all ages and levels using the Socratic method, critical thinking, and programmed learning with the goal of discovering and applying aesthetic principles.  She's been teaching piano since 1991 and moved to Virginia in 2012.

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Dawn Lemasney
Musikgarten, Voice, Piano
Master of Music, Westminster Choir College of Rider University; BS in Music Education, Messiah College

Before returning to her hometown of Waynesboro, Ms. Lemasney provided vocal instruction to children, teens and adults at Westminster Conservatory in Princeton, NJ.  She became an early childhood music instructor Westminster in 2010.  Ms. Lemasney was selected for the prestigious NATS intern program in 2002.  She has participated in the Shenandoah University CCM Vocal Pedagogy Program for commercial vocal music. Dawn plays piano, guitar, recorder, Orff percussion and is a licensed Musikgarten teacher.  She joined the faculty of VMA in the spring of 2016.

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Greg Moody
Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin, Beginning Piano, Recorder, Theory, Arranging and Composition, Director - VMA SuperSax Big Band
B.M. in Jazz Studies, Shenandoah University

Mr. Moody joined VMA's faculty in January 2004. He is a highly skilled performer on both the saxophone and flute as well as an accomplished performer on many other instruments. In recent years, he has used his talents as a theater orchestra performer and soloist aboard several cruise ships. He has taught private woodwind lessons for more than 13 years and is an active member of the Stonewall Brigade Band of Staunton, Virginia and performs with the Vosbein Magee Big Band. Mr. Moody is the director and composer/arranger for the VMA SuperSax Big Band.  Mr. Moody is a published composer and arranger.

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Spencer Moore
Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Clarinet, Saxophone
B.A. in Music, Bridgewater College

Mr. Moore earned his degree from Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA. He has been a member of many different performing ensembles, performing on flute, oboe, and saxophone, as well as voice. He has performed as a soloist for many occasions including weddings, contests, concerts and more, and even performed as a member of the Bridgewater College Chorale in their 2008 international tour in Austria, Hungary, and Germany. Mr. Moore is also an active member of the Stonewall Brigade Band and the Stonewall Flutes of the Shenandoah of Staunton, VA.

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Mary Smith
Voice, Piano
B.A. Music, Emory and Henry College

Mrs. Smith has been a teacher for more than 25 years in the Wise County, Albemarle County and Waynesboro City Schools. She taught voice at Clinch Valley College in Wise, VA and has taught at VMA for five years. Mrs. Smith was Teacher of the Year in 2000 and 2004, and a Dawbarn Award Winner in 2005. She is a charter member of the Schola Cantorum.

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David Tuinenga

Percussion

Professional Musician and Instructor

David has studied with great drummers such as Dave Weckl.  He has been teaching professionally for 18 years offering lessons on all styles of drumset performance. (Rock, Jazz, Latin, R&B, Pop, Country, Progressive, etc...)  Teaching traditional and matched-grip hand techniques (French & German) along with various heel-up and heel-down pedal strategies.   David also offers lessons on Bongo, Cajon, Baoule/Dondo, Djembe, Bodhran, and Asalato/Kashaka.

His curriculum ranges from music theory fundamentals in the time-honored classic "Progressive Steps to Syncopation" to such groundbreaking advanced works as; Rick Latham's "Advanced Funk Studies", Gary Chester's "A New Breed" and John Riley's "The Art of Bop Drumming"

A complete background check is required of all faculty and staff prior to working or teaching at Valley Music Academy.

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