Andrew Cummings - Sax
Andrew Cummings is a saxophonist and conductor based in Jacksonville, FL.  A versatile performer, he has appeared professionally as a soloist, chamber musician, clinician, and member of concert and jazz ensembles throughout the Southeast in venues ranging from Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park to Daytona International Speedway.
Mr. Cummings holds a M.M. degree in Orchestral Conducting from Florida State University, where he also earned a B.M. in Saxophone Performance.  He studied saxophone with Patrick Meighan and Dane Whipkey and conducting with Alexander Jiménez and Laszlo Marosi.  He has participated in workshops with leading conductors and instrumentalists, including Marin Alsop, Louis Lane, Kate Tamarkin, Donald Portnoy, the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, the New Century Saxophone Quartet, and James Houlik.
Recordings of cellist Pablo Casals and saxophone pioneer Sigurd Raschèr inspired Cummings early in his development as a musician.  He prefers mostly vintage horns and plays classical saxophone on large chamber mouthpieces that are similar in design to the original invention of Adolphe Sax.

Angela Muller - Flute
Angela Muller - Flute:

Angela Muller holds a Masters degree in wind conducting from the University of Denver as well as a Bachelors of Music Education with an emphasis in flute performance from the University of Northern Colorado. Mrs. Muller has eight years teaching experience as a high school band director, middle school band director, and an elementary music teacher in the public school systems in Florida and Colorado. She has been teaching privately for twelve years.
Mrs. Muller has studied conducting under Joseph Martin, Lawrence Golan, Richard Mayne, Kenneth Singleton, Eric Whitacre, Mallory Thompson, Kevin Sedatole, Eugene Corporon, and James Jordan.
Past flute teachers of Mrs. Muller include Pamela Endsley, Sylvia Greenfield, Julie Duncan-Thornton, and Michelle Stanley. She has also participated in a Masterclass with Marcos Granados.
Angela Muller has placed in the top three of the Hugh McMillen Conducting Competition and the Glenn Miller Scholarship Competition. She has participated in the Michigan State Conducting Symposium as well as the University of Northern Colorado Conducting Workshop.
Mrs. Muller has held the following teaching positions: Assistant Director of the Lamont Wind Ensemble, coach for the Fabulous Four Flute Quartet, Band/Choir director at Edward H. White High School, Band Director at Clear Creek Middle/High School, and Woodwind Instructor at the following schools: Northglenn High School, Centaurus High School, Walt Clark Middle School, and Angevine Middle School.
Angela Muller has played flute and piccolo with the First Coast Wind Ensemble, the Lamont Wind Ensemble, the Lamont Symphony Orchestra, the Cow Boy Band, the Aurora Symphony Orchestra, and the 101st Army National Guard Band of Colorado. Mrs. Muller is an active soloist with the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Mrs. Muller has been a member of the Florida Flute Association, the National Flute Association, the Colorado Flute Association, the Florida Bandmasters Association, Music Educators National Conference, Colorado Music Educators Association, the Florida Music Educators Association, and the National Band Association.

Annie Frehn - Piano

Annie Frehn - Piano

Anna (Annie) Frehn was born and raised in Normal, IL.  Inspired by her Elementary Music Teacher, Mrs. Patricia Weer, Annie chose to pursue a Music Education degree.  In 1988, she graduated from Millikin University in Decatur, IL with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education, Choral emphasis.

Upon graduation, Annie moved to St. Petersburg, FL where she taught Elementary Music at Lakewood Elementary, Blanton Elementary, and Cross Bayou Deaf Education Center.  In 1989, Annie moved to Tallahassee where she taught Music in Leon County schools as well as private piano lessons.

From 2006-2012 she served as Music Director for The School of Arts and Sciences, a charter public school, where she taught General Music for Kindergarten through fifth grade; fourth and fifth grade Chorus;  Middle School Chorus; Beginning Band before school; and Musical Theater for Middle School.  In addition to Band and Chorus concerts, Annie also directed grade level performances in which the children were an active part in creating costumes and set design as well as memorizing their scripts and songs.

Spring musicals were an annual event prepared and produced by the Middle School Chorus and Musical Theater students.  We successfully performed Broadway Junior Musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof, The Jungle Book, Willy Wonka, and Beauty and the Beast.  In 2010, for the 10th Anniversary of The School of Arts and Sciences, the Middle School students, under the guidance of Annie Frehn and Kate Taluga, were guided through musical composition and lyric writing to create and produce an original musical about the school's history.

With piano being her first love, she began teaching private  lessons while in college and continues to share her passion of this beautiful instrument with children and adults.

Ariadna Perez – Cello
ARIADNA PEREZ – cello – graduated from Vocational School of the Arts in Matanzas, Cuba, received Middle Superior Education at the National School of the Arts in Havana, Cuba. She studied at the Superior School of Music in Santander Spain with Natalia Shakhovskaya. Ariadna continues to study toward a degree in Cello Performance at University of North Florida.

Ms Perez has performed with the Symphony Orchestra of Matanzas (Cuba), National Symphony Orchestra (Dominican Republic) and National Philharmonic Orchestra of Cibao (Dominican Republic) and she was cello instructor in the Orchestra System of the Presidential Council of the Dominican Republic

Brent Bevis - Guitar

Brent is an accomplished classical musician who began his musical life with a nine year study of the piano. His interest in guitar began in high school and continued at the FSU School of Music, where he was fortunate to study with the renowned guitar pedagogue, Bruce Holzman and received his Bachelor’s degree in music.

Brent spent 10 years in Tallahassee teaching and playing guitar professionally. Since being in Jacksonville Brent has served on the staffs of Celebration Episcopal Church and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church as Music Associate for Contemporary Worship. While at St. Mark’s, Brent transcribed for guitar the Taize sourcebook Songs and Prayers from Taize, a collection of 50 chorales used for contemplative worship.

Brent has also transcribed and recorded a collection of 11 songs by the rock group Pink Floyd for finger style guitar, and has recently completed an anthology of 36 pieces arranged for guitar quartet with 4 sections, each representing one of the four pre-modern musical periods. Brent is a founding member of the Riverside Guitar Quartet, and performs regularly as a soloist. He also serves as an adjunct professor for classical guitar at Jacksonville University.

Bernie Vaughn - Violin
Bernie Vaughn - Violin

Bernie is currently pursuing his DM in violin performance at the Florida State University in Tallahassee, having received his BM in violin performance from the same institution, and a MM in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music.  He has studied violin with Linda Cerone, Ellen dePasquale, and Eliot Chapo, and is working currently with Ben Sung at FSU.  Bernie plays regularly with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and is performing as a core member of the orchestra for the 2013 - 2014 season.
Prior to his recent move to Florida, Bernie was a member of the Opera Cleveland Orchestra, the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra of Cleveland, the Akron Symphony Orchestra, and the Erie Philharmonic, and played regularly with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, OH, and the Slee Sinfonietta in Buffalo, NY.  He is an active teacher, having maintained a private violin studio in his Shaker Heights, Ohio home for 5 years, and last year, served as a graduate teaching assistant and chamber music coach in the College of Music at the Florida State University.
During the summers, Bernie performs with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra (Ohio), and has played as a member of the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra, the Missouri Symphony, and Blossom Festival Orchestra (Ohio).  He lives with his wife, Jenny Lee, also a violinist, in Jacksonville, FL, and enjoys playing golf, traveling, running, cooking, and watching movies when he is not busy with his violin.

Cliff Newton - Trumpet
Cliff Newton, trumpet, retired from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra after being the Principal Trumpet for 32 years. As Principal trumpet, Mr. Newton has had the opportunity to perform many solos with his symphony colleagues in a variety of classical and jazz styles.

Mr. Newton began his studies of the trumpet at the age of 12 in the public school of his small home town in central Florida. He went on to receive Bachelors degrees in Music Performance and Music Education from the University of South Florida. Mr. Newton later received a Masters in Trumpet Performance with an emphasis on college-level teaching from the University of Northern Colorado.

Other performance experience includes the NORAD Band in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and he currently performs as a soloist with the Belle Fleur String Quartet and the Palm Court Society Orchestra in Jacksonville, Florida.

In addition to an active performance career, Mr. Newton has been an instructor of trumpet at the Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada, as well as Jacksonville University and University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida.

In addition to “Classical Music”, his favorite musical styles include early jazz, Argentine tango and American Civil War era brass band music. He is the Co-founder of the Ancient City Brass Band.

Don Reynolds – Trumpet
Don Reynolds taught band in Nassau County for 35 years. As the director of the West Nassau High School band, his Marching and Concert Bands were awarded Superior for 21consecutive years at District Music Performance Assessments and were highly recognized on the State and National Level. Among his many achievements as a band director his band were awarded the Bob Lampi Award, and the Otto Krausharr Award. He was a 2010 recipient of the prestigious Oliver Hobbs Award by the Florida Bandmasters Association for his achievements and contribution to the FBA. He is a current member of FBA, MENC, FMTA, and ASBDA.

As a trumpet player he has performed with the Jacksonville Symphony (1973-1978), Holiday on Ice, Ringling Bros. Circus, and several off Broadway Productions in the North Florida area. Mr. Reynolds is currently employed as an adjunct professor of Brass Studies at Jacksonville University and is the Principal Trumpet of the First Coast Wind Ensemble. Performances of Mr. Reynolds as a soloist with the First Coast Winds can be found on You Tube under Don Reynolds – Trumpet

Under Mr. Reynolds private instruction several of his students have been placed by audition in the Florida All-State Middle School Band, High School Band, and Orchestra.

Glynda Newton - Violin
Glynda Newton grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, where she started violin in the school orchestra and later playing in the Jacksonville Youth Orchestra. After Robert E. Lee High School, Glynda studied at the University of South Florida and Univ. of Northern Colo.

While studying in Tampa, she began performing professionally in the Fla. Gulf Coast, which has since changed its name to the Florida Orchestra. Her travels around the world has allowed her to hear many different types of performance styles and afforded her the opportunity to work with many fine musicians.

Raising two beginning musicians and helping them become professionals has giving her a very clear vision of the effort and rewards that musical study can offer. Her approach will be just as when she sits with the young violinists in the JSO’s Major Minor Concert, a warm smile, gentle guidance and encouragement.

Janet Gilmer-Piano\Voice

Janet Gilmer-Piano\Voice

A Virginia native, lyric soprano- Janet Gilmer, received her undergraduate BME degree from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.  She continued graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory of the JHU, Baltimore, MD, under the tutelage of Martiel Singer, head of the opera department of the Curtis Institute of Music.  She received her Masters of Music Degree in vocal performance at WVU, Morgantown, WV, studying under Metropolitan Opera tenor Jon Crain.  Ms. Gilmer continued post-graduate studies at Westminister Choir College, Princeton, NJ.

She was voice faculty at Fairmont State University, Fairmont, WV.  While there she taught Voice, Repertoire/Diction, Music Appreciation, and was faculty in the Community Music Program teaching voice and piano.

Ms. Gilmer has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Charleston Symphony, and the Fairmont University Orchestra.  She has had starring roles in such operas as Amahl and the Night Visitor, The Marriage of Figaro, Susannah, and many others; also oratorios, such as The Messiah and Elijah.

Currently, Ms. Gilmer is singing with the St. Augustine Community Chorus, occasionally as a soloist, and the North Florida Women’s Chorale, a touring choir.

Jerry Gilmer - Piano

Jerry Gilmer - Piano

Dr. Gilmer, a native of Staunton, VA, has degrees in piano performance:  a Bachelor of Music from West Virigina University,  a Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University where he studied piano with Amos Allen and Dean Boal (past Dean of the Conservatory), and a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree from WVU.  He has studied piano with concert pianists Jerome Lowenthal and Herman Godes (WVU).

He has taught at Mt. Olive College, NC, and for thirty-three years at Fairmont State University (Fairmont, WV), where he taught piano and was head of the piano department.

He has given solo recitals, performed for annual Scholarship Gala Drives,  and has performed concertos with the FSU Community Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Orchestra.  He has been active in professional music organizations, having served as President for the WV Music Teachers Association, and has adjudicated for MTNA in both WV and Florida, as well as the Fl Federation of Music Clubs.

Dr. Gilmer is a certified piano teacher by the National Music Teachers Association, and is currently semi-retired, living in St. Augustine, Fl.  He is a substitute organist for churches and currently is a pianist for the St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in St. Augustine.  He also sings in the St. Augustine Community Chorus.

His wife is Janet Gilmer, lyric soprano with a Master’s in vocal performance, is also teaching voice and piano at the Northeast Florida Conservatory.  They have a daughter, Melissa of Valrico, also with a Master’s Degree in vocal performance, who teaches at Fl Southern College.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds - Theater

Justin A. Reynolds has dedicated himself to the stage and art of theatre. Born and raised in Jacksonville,he is a native to many of Duval and Nassau County community theaters. In 2009 he was accepted into Kean University’s Department of Performing and Fine Arts where he subsequently earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre.

Justin possesses a wide array of theatrical knowledge, as well as, extensive project experience from development to implementation—performing/working on over 200 individual and unique performances. Some of Justin’s credits include: Grease, The Pillowman, Mud, Chicago, Romeo and Juliet, Our Town, Titanic, As Is, Sweeny Todd, and many more.

Recently, Justin was seen at The Manhattan Rep Theatre in the role of Norm in Daniel Gover’s play, Bodhisattva of Broadway. Also, he was privileged to be chosen as a professional reading artist for the 2012 International Emmy Award in N.Y.C.
On a personal note, Justin is thrilled to offer Theatre and Performing Arts this summer and cannot wait to begin.
Jennifer Christensen - Saxophone
Jennifer Christensen recently graduated from Florida State University’s College of Music, cum laude, with a bachelor’s in Music Education. While in college she studied saxophone with Joseph Yorio and Patrick Meighan and was very active in Sigma Alpha Iota, international music fraternity for women, as the Beta Alpha chapter Sergeant at Arms. Jennifer was also Head Student Coordinator of the College of Music Board of Advisors program and in the university’s marching band the Marching Chiefs for two years.

During her internship for her degree Jennifer taught at two different elementary schools in Jacksonville Beach. At one of the schools Jennifer directed a musical with the entire second grade including rehearsals and three performances in addition to regular teaching duties. 

Jennifer is certified in Orff-Schulwerk Level 1 and an active member of several music organizations including the Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity Alumnae Association, Music Educators National Conference (MENC), Florida Bandmaster’s Association (FBA) and the Florida Elementary Music Educator’s Association (FEMEA).

Joseph Hanson - Guitar

Joseph Hanson - Guitar

Born and raised in Jacksonville, Joseph Hanson picked up a guitar for the first time at the age of 14 and since then has never put it down. With over 20 years of teaching experience and a primary focus on jazz, Joseph has played and taught many styles of music including rock, blues, country and ethnic music. A graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, where he learned to sharpen his skills under Don Casper, Joseph then went on to study with Gary Starling at Jacksonville University privately while attending Florida State college for jazz guitar.

Joseph maintains a private teaching business with 25-30 students every week as well as continues to attend University of Phoenix for a business management degree.

“While, I love to perform live music with my ensembles, I truly have a passion for educating others how to play the guitar.”

Kamila Shahtakhtinski - Piano
Kamila Shahtakhtinski, holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in teaching, accompaniment, solo and chamber ensemble performance from Azerbaijan State Conservatory (now Baku Music Academy). She served as Associate Professor of Piano department since 1987 and toured as soloist, member of chamber group and accompanist to major cities of former Soviet Union, as well as Italy and US. She also performed concerti with Azerbaijan State Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and recorded for Azerbaijan State Radio. Several of her students successfully graduated from BMA with Bachelor’s in Piano and participated in local and regional competitions.

Kamila moved to US in 1997. She was faculty member at the Amelia Arts Academy /Fernandina Beach, FL/ in 1998-2010. Kamila teaches privately in Jacksonville (FL) and continues to perform in US as soloist and accompanist; she serves as a Music Director at St. George Episcopal Church (Jacksonville, FL) since 2006. She recorded album of piano selections “Dedication” in 2007 with Twenty-First Century Studios, Jacksonville

Kamila Shahtakhtinski is member of NFMC and MTNA. Many of her students participate in local festivals and competitions , she has several Florida State winners and one participant on international level with great reviews from jurors.

Kayo Ishimaru - Harp
Kayo Ishimaru is enjoying her 22nd season as principal harpist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. A native of Osaka, Japan, Ms. Ishimaru began her musical studies on piano at age three, and transferred to harp at age ten. She continued her formal study at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. With a scholarship from the French government, she studied at the renowned Paris Conservatory, where she was awarded the coveted Premier Prix.

Ms. Ishimaru serves as principal harpist with Chicago’s Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 1991. She has performed with many orchestras in the United States, Japan, France and Mexico, including the St. Louis Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo) and the Tokyo Philharmonic.

In 2005 she participated in The Peace Concert, performing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 2006 she performed with the Escher String Quartet at the Aspen Music Festival and she has appeared in concertos and solo recitals in France, Italy and Japan and the United States. She can also be heard on a recording of the music of J.S. Bach with JSO hornist Aaron Brask, available at

Ms. Ishimaru has written extensive duo harp arrangements with her husband, harpist Dickie Fleisher and together they give recitals in the U.S. and Japan. They also enjoy collecting harps, one of which is a prized harp that belonged to Harpo Marx and was featured in his movies.

Kristin Pfeifer - Violin

Kristin Pfeifer recently graduated with her Doctor of Music in violin performance from the Florida State University under the tutelage of Eliot Chapo. As an active orchestral musician, Kristin currently performs with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfonia Gulf Coast.

As a music educator, Kristin is a registered Suzuki instructor and has worked with notable Suzuki teachers such as Hiroko Driver-Lippman, Joanne Bath, Ed Kreitman, Nancy Lokken, Susan Baer, and Terry Durbin.

Kristin has also worked as an instructor at the University of Kentucky String Project and is currently a Master Teacher at The Character Center, an afterschool enrichment program geared towards grade school students in Tallahassee, in addition to maintaining a full private studio. Summer studies have included the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Chautauqua, Brevard, and Domaine Forget.

Former instructors and mentors include Daniel Mason, Margaret Karp, Benjamin Karp, Michael Davis, Carol Hughes, Sherry Hoffmeister, Hiroko Driver-Lippman, and Almita Vamos.

Laura Ingalls - Violin
Laura Ingalls - Violin:


Violinist Laura E. Ingalls grew up in Jacksonville, FL. She was privileged to take private violin lessons from age five and to be in strong children’s choir and graded orchestra programs at her church. She won a music scholarship to study violin at University of North Florida and earned the Bachelor of Arts in Education, Music Education (Magna Cum Laude). Laura went on to win another music scholarship to study at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where she earned the degree Master of Church Music. Laura loves to play violin, as a soloist, in chamber groups and in orchestras.

For ten years she lived in North Carolina where she played with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra, Durham Symphony Orchestra, Brevard Music Festival orchestras, North Carolina Symphony, Durham Savoyards, White Iris Opera Co, Raleigh Flute Choir, pit orchestras for stage musicals, solo performances at SECU House in Chapel Hill, several recitals, churches and many weddings. In the months since moving back to Florida, Laura has played with Coastal Symphony of Georgia, Jacksonville University Orchestra, several churches and The String Group LLC. She has also practiced improvisation styles from Bluegrass, to early Baroque, to contemporary Christian in church bands. Laura loves to teach music.

Since 1997 she has taught private violin, viola and cello lessons, mixed strings classes, general music classes and children’s choirs. She has taught students aged four to seventy-four. Currently Laura teaches an after school violin class through NFC, and she has private violin students in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. As a strings teacher she combines traditional and Suzuki methods and materials. Laura teaches with enthusiasm, kindness and patience.

Lou Henningsen - Bagpipes
About the Piper – Lou Henningsen

A 12-year-old paperboy hears the eerie skirl of bagpipes in the distance and follows the sound to a park, finding a dozen pipers and drummers practicing. Two years later, thanks to his tutor's great patience, Lou became the youngest member of the Phoenix Scottish Pipe Band.

In the decade that followed, Lou became the Pipe Sergeant, then Pipe Major. He played with two other Arizona-based pipe bands, taught piping in his home, and offered bagpipe classes at the local college. He played for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, funerals, parades, for those in hospitals, in prison, and at private parties. He even played for the opening of the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City. He was once pictured in Playboy magazine, bunny ears on, when he played at the elite Phoenix club one St. Patrick's Day. He has played with other bands as his Military career saw transfers around the states. Recently, Lou served as Pipe Major and Instructor for Jacksonville (FL) Pipes and Drums, playing for Prince Edward, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rod Stewart, and countless others.

Lou has earned piping awards at Highland Games in Florida, Georgia, Arizona, California, Idaho and Washington. He attended two summers at Glasgow's College of Piping, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, extension campus and one summer at the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming in North Carolina. Lou completed a summer exchange program in Ireland, England, and Scotland. While there, he competed in the world famous Cowal Gathering in Dunoon, Scotland. Memberships: Southern U.S. Pipe Band Association, Eastern U.S. Pipe Band Association, International Fellowship of Christian Pipers and Drummers, Jacksonville Pipes & Drums, US Coast Guard Pipe Band

Dr. Marc Dickman - Euphonium

Dr. Marc Dickman, from Valdosta, Georgia, is a founding member of the acclaimed jazz studies program at the University of North Florida. Dr. Dickman earned degrees from  Troy State University, McNeese State University, and the University of North Texas.

His versatility on euphonium, trombone, bass-trombone, and tuba in the classical and jazz styles places him in much demand in the United States. At UNF he teaches applied low brass and jazz ensemble. He is a winner of the artist division of the International Leonard Falcone Competition. His students have won awards in the jazz and classical areas. Dr. Dickman was a featured jazz artist at the 2000 International Tuba Euphonium  Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, the 2001 ITEC in Lahti, Finland, the 2002 ITEC in Greenville, NC, and the 2004 ITEC in Budapest, Hungary, and the 2005 and 2008 US Army Tuba Euphonium Conference.
Dr. Dickman is a founding member of the groundbreaking jazz ensemble, the Modern Jazz Tuba Project. The MJT Project has two  critically acclaimed releases; Live From the Bottom Line, and Favorite Things. Marc’s CD, A Weaver of Dreams, is available at and It is the first jazz euphonium recording to be available through popular services such as iTunes
and Real Networks. Dr. Dickman hosted the 2013 SERTEC at the University of North Florida on March 8-9.
Dr. Dickman has performed in the following countries: USA, Japan, Hungary, Paraguay, Uruguay, Canada, Honduras and Columbia.
Dr. Marc Dickman is a Besson performing artist.

Michael Dell - Piano/Organ
Born in Jacksonville in 1959, Michael Dell received his Bachelor in Church Music degree from Stetson University (DeLand, FL) and a Master of Church Music degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX). Additional studies were with Dr. Gerre Hancock at St. Thomas (Episcopal) Church in New York City, as well as numerous workshops and conferences. He has served churches in Texas, Alabama, and Florida, and has the good fortune of currently being Organist/Director of Music at South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church, which also serves as the rehearsal home of his recently established mixed community choral group, The Heritage Singers of Jacksonville. Michael is also returning this Fall to his previous appointment as the Director of The Friday Musicale Chorus. The Friday Musicale is the oldest musical organization in Florida, and the second oldest in the nation.

As a professional accompanist, Michael greatly enjoys his work with Producer Jim Goodell’s Bella Voce Cabaret. In addition to playing piano, organ, and other keyboards, and conducting church (traditional and contemporary) and community groups, Michael enjoys teaching piano and organ, and writing both music and texts as needs and opportunities arise. He is a published hymn writer and composer of organ music, and has also composed choral compositions. He has presented recitals and appeared as organ soloist with both the Huntsville (AL) Symphony Orchestra and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. He also enjoys collaborating with his colleague and friend, Andrew Clarke, in performing duo-jazz piano improvisations.

Michael is the proud father of Christopher (now in his second year at Michael’s Alma Mater, Stetson), and is also richly blessed with four wonderful stepchildren: Brad, Katie, Justin, and Jessica, through his recent marriage to his collaborative partner, Debbie. Debbie’s gregarious personality and considerable marketing and organizational skills have contributed profoundly to The Heritage Singers of Jacksonville.

Nadia Zarembo - Guitar/Domra/Piano
Nadia Zarembo (guitar, mandolin, and organ) of Russia has a Master degree from Russia in string folk instruments and instrumental conducting. She also has Master of Music degree from SUNY (Binghamton) in choral conducting with minor in organ. 15 years of experience teaching in Children’s music schools and at a music college in Russia. In USA she has been a private instructor, taught beginning piano at SUNY (Binghamton), and as a student conductor worked with University and Community Choir. She moved to Florida in summer 2007 from New York state.

Nick Curry - Cello
Dr. Nick Curry - cello - was recently appointed as the cello professor at the University of North Florida. At UNF, he plays in Trio Florida with violinist Simon Shiao and pianist Gary Smart. Before this appointment, he was the professor of cello and the cellist in the Rawlins Piano Trio at the University of South Dakota. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, where he studied cello with David Starkweather from the University of Georgia. Nick received his bachelors of music from Vanderbilt, where he studied with Grace Mihi Bahng. While at Vanderbilt, he served as Professor Bahng's teaching assistant, and was the recipient of the Jean Keller Heard Award for Excellence in string playing.

Nick then served as Hans Jorgen Jensen’s teaching assistant for five years at Northwestern University, where he earned his masters degree and doctoral degree. He also was the teaching assistant to Professor Jensen at the Meadowmount School of Music for four summers. While at Northwestern, Nick soloed with the Northwestern Philharmonic Orchestra and won the Northwestern Chamber Music Competition. Nick has played in master classes for Lynn Harrell, Ralph Kirschbaum, Paul Katz, David Geber, the Emerson String Quartet, the Pacifica String Quartet, and the Blair String Quartet. Private studies have also included Harvey Shapiro, David Finckel, and John Kochanowski.

Nick has played concerts in Taiwan and all over the US. He has judged many contests including South Dakota and Florida All State and parts of the MTNA and ASTA string competitions. He has presented at the CMS National Conference as well as MTNA. He is currently in charge of special projects for Florida ASTA. In April of 2006, he performed as a soloist on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion where he played the King Amati cello. The performance was heard by over 4,000 people live and by approximately 4 million on radio. The performance can be found on the Prairie Home Companion website.

Philip Pan - Violin
Philip Pan, violinist, has been Concertmaster of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra since 1984. He regularly solos with the JSO and has also made concerto appearances with the Albany Symphony, Schenectady Symphony, Gainesville Chamber, Boston Pops and Bach Aria Festival orchestras.

He has performed in recital at Alice Tully Hall, the Aspen Music Festival, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Madison Chamber Music festival, the Homestake Opera House (Lead, SD) and in many other venues throughout the U.S. He and his wife, JSO flutist Rhonda Cassano, are founders of the Bach and Beyond! series, Synergy and Sound Effects at MOCA Jacksonville.

Mr. Pan has also served as Visiting Lecturer at the University of Florida. He was one of the last protégés of William Kroll and received his BM and MM from the Juilliard School where he studied with Dorothy DeLay and Felix Galimir.

In addition to classical, Philip enjoys playing various styles of fiddle music, jazz and rock, especially on his 7-string, electric Viper violin.

Reinaldo Perez - Oboe
Reinaldo Perez - Oboe:
Reinaldo Perez has performed as a soloist with the major orchestras of Cuba, including the National Symphony Orchestra. He started his solo career in 1972, having offered numerous recitals, as well as in collaboration with several chamber groups. Some of these groups include “ Siglo XX” and the wind Quintet of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

He has also performed in countries such as Bulgaria, Russia, Czechoslovakia, U.S.A (New York), Nicaragua, and Dominican Republic. Several composers have written music for him, including Federico Smith, who wrote an oboe concerto for him. Reinaldo Perez founded the woodwind trio “Federico Smith.” The trio has performed extensively in Cuba, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua with excellent press reviews.

He has worked as oboe professor at the Vocational School in Matanzas, at the Professional Developing Center, and at the Superior Institute of Art in Havana, Cuba. He also taught at the National Conservatory of Music in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as well as at the ’Elila Mena” Music School where he developed a program for elementary students.

His work and experience as a juvenile Orchestra Conductor, with the National Orchestra System in Dominican Republic was outstanding. During his time living in U.S he has appeared as soloist as well as in other chamber music groups presentations from 2011 through present.

Regina Torres - Voice
A Jacksonville native, mezzo-soprano Regina Torres began her vocal studies at the University of Florida and finished her graduate work at the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Currently, she teaches private voice through the St. Johns County School of the Arts, incorporating breathing technique with performance practice in both classical and musical theatre styles.

Described as a “tour de force of vocal virtuosity married to a fabulous stage presence” (Captain Classics – WFCF, St. Augustine), Ms. Torres wields her voice with equal acclaim in opera and musical theatre. Her powerful and beautiful sound has thrilled audiences in her portrayals of such vastly different roles as the gypsy Azucena in Verdi’s Il trovatore and Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music. As a comedienne, Ms. Torres has brought down the house as the “rapping” Witch in Into the Woods and gingerbread-gobbling Witch in Hansel and Gretel. She is also a Gilbert and Sullivan favorite and appeared in recital in 2011 at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. With Central Florida Lyric Opera (Orlando), Ms. Torres was best known for her reinterpretations of familiar roles - transforming Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro) into a glamorous desperate housewife and the rosy Little Buttercup (H.M.S. Pinafore) into a true gypsy. In her debut with the St. Petersburg Opera as Madame Armfeldt (A Little Night Music), the St. Petersburg Times hailed her performance, noting her “delicious inflection to her commentary about on the fools around her.” She was most recently seen as Pitti-Sing in The Mikado with Greenville (S.C.) Light Opera Works and will be returning to the Space Coast Symphony to reprise the Duchess of Plaza-Toro (The Gondoliers) in April 2012.

She has also appeared as a soloist in performances of Dvořák’s Requiem (Space Coast Symphony), Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and St. John Passion, and a debut in the Bob Carr Auditorium in Handel’s The Messiah. In March 2012, she will be appearing with Deborah Voigt and the Space Coast Symphony in Verdi’s Requiem.

She is a frequent recitalist and enjoys creating unusual programs for her audiences. In 2011, she created an informance highlighting performance practice for the EMMA Lecture Series (St. Augustine). For the last three seasons, First Coast Opera (St. Augustine) asked her to design programs for their cabaret series including the upcoming Viva Espana. She is a member of the Jacksonville based Bella Voce Cabaret and a founding member of Mezzolicious.

Richard Dickson-Conductor

Richard A. Dickson is conductor, performer and educator with degrees from Stetson University (BME) and University of Florida (MM and PhD-completed except for dissertation) in music, music education and curriculum and instruction.

After serving for twelve years as Executive Director for Amelia Arts Academy (community school of the arts) and Music Director/Organist at Amelia Plantation Chapel on Amelia Island, Richard and his wife, Janet moved (returned) to Jacksonville to be near three adult children and six grandchildren. Richard is former member and District Chair for Florida Bandmasters Association, Southeast Representative for the National Band Directors Association and Chair for Southern Division/National Guild Community Schools of the Arts.

He has served as Music Director for community choruses and community bands (Gainesville Community Band/Gainesville Civic Chorus and Orchestra and Fernandina Beach Amelia Island Chorale) and in Jacksonville: Director Don Thompson Chorale; he has taught (band director) for Atlanta and Jacksonville high schools as well as music education professor at  JU, FSCJ and University of Florida. Richard also played French horn in the Jacksonville Symphony, owned and operated a national agency for musicians (Lutton Music Personnel Service Inc.) and was Producer and Artistic Director for the Richard Dickson Dinner Theatre in Gainesville FL.

Ruth Greene - Percussion
Ruth Greene – Snare drum & Drum set - Over 25 years experience as a drum set and snare drum instructor teaching rudiments, technique, reading and drum set independence studies.

Performance experience includes playing with community concert bands in New Jersey and professionally with many small combos. Upon moving to Florida, Ruth has performed with the St. Augustine Community Orchestra and accompanied the North Florida Women’s Chorale.

In her teaching Ruth has been successful in using a unique warm up exercise that she learned while a drum student of the legendary Sonny Igoe (Woody Herman, Benny Goodman & the CBS and NBC orchestra fame).

Several of Ruth’s students have gone on to study at Berklee School of Music and continued on to play professionally. More recently several of Ruth’s students have been accepted into high school drum lines.

Sarah Lee - Saxophone


Sarah began her saxophone studies in the heavily jazz influenced area of southern NJ and Philadelphia.  She was a member of the NJ all-state jazz ensemble, won numerous soloist awards, and led her high school ensemble to the NJ NAJE championship.  Her performances since that time have included a wide range of groups including jazz, blues, and pop bands as well as various wind ensembles.  She has also led various adult volunteer groups including a saxophone quartet, praise band and worship team, and concert band.

Recently she returned to school full-time at Jacksonville University under the direction of John Ricci.  She will receive her B.A. Music in jazz performance in December, 2014.   Her  previous expertise  and work experience in Information Technology integrates well with the performance, composition, and teaching aspects of music.

Sarah currently performs with various groups in the Jacksonville area including First Coast Wind Ensemble (baritone sax), various jazz quartets (alto and soprano), big bands (alto and tenor), various pop bands, worship and praise bands, as well as her own jazz group, Blue Muse, which focuses on jazz vespers and community jazz worship services.

Vernon Humbert-Orchestra

Cellist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra for the past 30 years.

Teaches cello students privately in his home One of the founders for the Prelude Chamber Music Camp.

Conductor for the Jacksonville Youth Orchestra 2000-2002 Conductor for the Coastal Symphony of Georgia from 2004-2013 Presently serves as Choirmaster at Orange Park Presbyterian Church.

Will Robinson - Trombone
Bio Coming Soon...

Yolanda Olmstead - Theatre
Yolanda Olmstead comes to the Northeast Florida Conservatory with her educational background in performing arts and early childhood education.

She has taught multiple years of summer theater camps for kids, performed in numerous children’s theater productions, acted in productions with local and out of state community theatres, and continues to work in childcare for preschool age children as a music resource teacher as well as manage a locally owned mobile dance company teaching beginning ballet and tap to young children.

Yolanda has experience in directing, stage managing, and tour managing in the world of theater for both adults and children. Her favorite roles include, Sister Mary Regina in “Nunsense”, Portia in “Cinderella”, Templeton in “Charlotte’s Web”, Rumpelstiltskin in “Rumpelstiltskin”, Sister Sophia in “The Sound of Music”, Nettie Fowler in “Carousel”, Maude Dunlop in “The Music Man”, Mammy in “Wiley and the Hairy Man”, and Mama Mae Peterson in “Bye, Bye Birdie

A Community School of the Arts

Watch Our Promo Video

Summer Band Camp

• WHO? – Ages 8-16 Students
• WHEN?-JULY 21-26 (Mon-Sat) See Schedule Below
• WHERE?-11363 San Jose Blvd,Bldg 200
• WHY?-Play your Band Instrument with others in the community – Sectionals/Theory/Concert/Fund & Games!

Home School Special

Because many of our teachers are available in the early afternoon and morning hours, we are offering YOU and your home-schooled friends a ValentineSpecial!

All home-school children and families:

$25 Registration Fee (gone!)

for new students who are schooled at home

AND any of our current home-schoolers who are responsible for a new student signing up with the Conservatory during February receive a FREE LESSON! in March.

This Valentine Special! is good Only in February 2014! So hurry, sign up your home-schooled friends and receive a Free Lesson in March! (They have to mention your name when they register!) plus They Receive a discount of $25 in February (No Registration Fee!).

Letter from the Director:

Well, what a way to finish up our Conservatory Holiday
performances! With almost 8,000 children receiving gifts
(some said it was first time they EVER received a gift!)
and 700 volunteers, our JAZZ BAND serenaded the
Christmas celebration : City of Jacksonville Children’s
Christmas Party on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at
10am! It was a wonderful experience..even the
grouchiest scrooges had twinkles in their eyes as they
played and watched the children and parents filling the
Prime Osborne Conference Center. The rest of us, who
can’t get enough shepherds and angels and glitter at
this time of year, were thrilled to be part of this annual
celebration and tribute to the goodwill of our community.

Thank you, JAZZ Band, for your patience and good music.
I hope you think it was worth it…the season is a little
brighter this year because of YOU.


Richard Dickson, Director

Wish List

  • The Conservatory ‘Wish List’ really works! Over
    the past year we have additional volunteers, music
    stands and best of all, a grand piano (through a
    grant from Hall-Halliburton Foundation!)…so,
    what’s needed now:
  • More music stands! (new or used)…Yes, we’ve
    added players to Band, Orchestra and Jazz Band
  • More volunteers!...So many more student and
    classes create a lot of extra office work and details
    that a few hours daily by a few people
    would really help!
  • Big need!: a vehicle!  Something in which we can
    transport timpani, stands, drums, chimes, etc. to the
    several places the ensembles will be performing!
    A Van would be ideal (new or used)
    …any and all suggestions welcomed!


NFC Partners with Music-Time!

Read More..

  • All instruments
  • For all ages
  • Free music theory
  • High quality faculty
  • Conservatory approach
  • Band & Orchestra
  • Competitive rates

NFC Flyer

Conservatory Jazz Band at the Avenues Mall

Watch Video

Recital Photos


  • The Conservatory ‘Wish List’ really works! Over the past year we have additional volunteers, music stands and best of all, a grand piano (through a grant from Hall-Halliburton Foundation!)…so, what’s needed now:
  • More music stands! (new or used)…Yes, we’ve added players to Band, Orchestra and Jazz Band
  • More volunteers!...So many more student and classes create a lot of extra office work and details that a few hours daily by a few people would really help!
  • Big need!: a vehicle!  Something in which we can transport timpani, stands, drums, chimes, etc. to the several places the ensembles will be performing! A Van would be ideal (new or used)…any and all suggestions welcomed!

Tax Deductible donation values  – the Conservatory is a non-profit IRS (501C3) corporation

Music stands

Grand piano - Got it! - Thanks to grant from Hall/Halliburton Foundation

Volunteers wanted

Regular Office Volunteers are needed at the Conservatory Office Monday-Thursday from 1:30 to 5:30 every week to answer phone, greet visitors, do typical front-office duties. If interested, please call 374-8639 Tues or Thurs between 3 and 5 pm.  Prefer adults (any age) and/or Community Service points offered to senior high school students (if qualified and eligible).

Conservatory Shirts

– beautiful blue (with collar) shirts with NFC insignia are available; varied sizes; $15 – for students, faculty, parents, band/orchestra members, etc.




Private Lessons

Musically interested students of all ages: play and study privately for ‘fun’ with professional artists. Audition for performance opportunities.

Professional Private Lessons for serious, advanced students - with professional artists from Jacksonville Symphony and/or university professors with regular opportunities for performance.


Non Profit


Did you know…?

The Northeast Florida Conservatory Philanthropic Outreach Project is LAURA’S FRIENDS which provides musical experiences at DanielKids, GirlsInc, Children’s Home Society, and The Bridge!

More than 10% of students enrolled at the Conservatory are on scholarship assistance!


Scholarship/Financial assistance available.
Donations are tax-deductible. 
501 (C) (3) Corporation - IRS EIN: 80-0479923

We are also a member of the Home Education Resources & Information Group



  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Drums
  • Violin
  • Bass
  • Bagpipe
  • Flute
  • Cello
  • Domra
  • Organ
  • Harp
  • Horn
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone
  • Low Brass
  • String Bass
  • Trumpet
  • Voice



Northeast Florida Conservatory Inc
11363 San Jose Blvd., Bldg. 200
Jacksonville, FL - 32223
Phone: (904) 374-8639

Click Here for Map


Who's Online

We have 3 guests online