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Instructors


Dr. Cory High: Guest Instructor - Percussion - Marimba

  Dr. Cory J. High maintains a robust career as a performer, educator, and music advocate. He has been featured as a soloist in multiple competition and conference performances, performs with symphony orchestras throughout the Southeastern United States, and is a member of The Wildlight Collective; a chamber ensemble focused on highlighting new and underrepresented percussion works. His current long-standing project involves performing and recording self-transcribed Baroque lute works for marimba.

  Dr. High currently serves as the Director of Percussion Studies at Winthrop University and Newberry College, and has previously held positions at multiple HBCU institutions in South Carolina. He can also be found advocating for music education in panel interviews and as a recording specialist with his company HighSeas Media.

  Dr. High holds degrees from the University of Florida, Lee University, and the University of South Carolina. He is a proud Artist Endorser of Malletech and SABIAN Cymbals.


Zeke David: Guest Instructor - Percussion

  Zeke David is a graduate of the University of Memphis where he earned a bachelors in Music Business. Currently, Zeke is an active writer/arranger/teacher for various high schools, universities, and professional organizations throughout the United States.

  His performance background includes five years with the University of Memphis Mighty Sound of the South, one summer with the Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps, and four summers with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, where they won two High Drum Trophies and one World Championship. Zeke has also been a performing member in professional drumlines with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Milwaukee Bucks.

  Zeke also has experience working with drum and bugle corps, including The Phantom Regiment, Crossmen, and most recently the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps.


Richard Henson: Owner, Instructor - Percussion

  Richard Henson is currently a freelance percussionist, composer, clinician, and owner of Rhythm & Grooves Music Academy in Bartlett, TN. Henson is also the percussion coordinator for Munford Middle and Munford High School in Munford, TN.

  As an active performer and educator, Richard has made appearances as a solo recitalist, clinician, and guest performer with assorted musical organizations across the United States. As an ensemble performer, Henson has made appearances with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Macon Symphony Orchestra, Carrollton Symphony Orchestra, Sewanee Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Mountains, Chattanooga Choral Arts Society, East Tennessee Brass, Cleveland Jazz Quartet, Jamaica Me Happy, Classical Mystery Tour, and Blood, Sweat, & Tears. Henson has presented solo recitals at the University of South Alabama, Ouachita Baptist University, Valdosta State University, the University of Tennessee at Martin, Southern Adventist University, Lee University, and the Amro Music Recital Hall. Richard has presented percussion clinics at the Kentucky State Day of Percussion, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Campbellsville University, Furman University, University of Tennessee at Martin, University of Memphis, University of North Alabama, University of South Carolina, and Tennessee Tech University.

  Richard holds the Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Lee University and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin. His primary teachers include Dr. Andy Harnsberger, Dr. Julie Hill, and Nancy Matheson.

  Richard Henson is a performing artist and clinician for Innovative Percussion, Remo drumheads, and Sabian Cymbals.


Lori Lester-Kovar: Instructor - Piano

  Lori Lester-Kovar is a pianist from Memphis, TN. She studied piano privately with Gina Neupert before attending the University of Memphis where she was classically trained under concert pianist Cathal Breslin. She received the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music talent-based scholarship at the University of Memphis where she graduated with honors with a bachelors degree in International Business and double minored in Japanese and Piano Performance. She has performed in concerts and recitals throughout her community and internationally.

  Lori has an extensive repertoire of solo and chamber music. She was the pianist for her high school choir during her senior year. Throughout her undergrad, she accompanied voice and string students.

  During her free time, Lori is usually reading or hanging out with her husband and their three corgis. She loves to travel and tries to visit a new country every year.


Catherine Joanie Dyer: Instructor - Saxophone, Flute, and Clarinet

  Catherine Joanie Dyer is an active saxophonist, chamber musician, and educator based in the Memphis area. She is currently studying under Dr. Micheal Shults at the University of Memphis, and has obtained her master’s degree in saxophone performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and her bachelor’s degree in saxophone and jazz performance from Shepherd University. During her studies, she has worked directly with saxophonists Nicki Roman, Henning Shroeder, Jeremy P. Koch and Kurtis Adams.

  Catherine has performed both as a soloist and in various ensembles all over the eastern panhandle and greater Milwaukee area. As a soloist, Catherine has performed many masterclasses and solo recitals, and was the state representative for Wisconsin in the 2022 MTNA national competition. For chamber work, Catherine has performed all over the greater Milwaukee area with the Cosmo Reed Quintet. The Cosmo reed quintet has been accepted into conferences like North American Saxophone Alliance, and International Double Reeds Association.

  As a huge proponent for education, Catherine teaches a private studio for reeds and has taught general and digital music in Milwaukee Public Schools. She is able to work one on one with students as well as a large classroom setting to give them a transformative experience through music.


Lacey Peschel: Instructor - Trumpet and French Horn

  Lacey Peschel is an active trumpet performer and teacher based in Memphis, TN. She is currently a second year DMA student at the University of Memphis, holds a Master's in Music from Texas A&M University - Kingsville and a Bachelor of Music from Texas Lutheran University.

 Lacey has performed with many various groups, including the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra. She has performed in jazz groups, brass quintets, and performed in several solo recitals. As a teacher, Lacey has held a private studio for five years, with one student advancing to All-State in Texas.

 During her free time, Lacey enjoys spending time with her two dogs and cat, playing video games, and cooking for family and friends.


Cayce Murphy: Instructor - Voice

 Cayce Murphy is a singer, actress, and certified music educator born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Memphis, studying under Professor Mary Wilson, soprano. Cayce possesses a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance from Marshall University where she studied under Dr. Alexander Lee, tenor. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education (K-12) from the same institution and was awarded the "Overall Student Teacher of the Year" award by the College of Education and Professional Development.

 Alongside being a classically trained soprano with choral and operatic performance background, Cayce has been recognized for her versatility through other styles of singing such as musical theatre, a cappella, and contemporary repertoire. Since relocating to Memphis, Cayce has performed with ensembles such as the University of Memphis Opera, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Opera Memphis, and Rhodes Mastersingers Chorale. She has also served as a staff singer for various denominations of churches.

 In her spare time, Cayce enjoys spending time with her loved ones (including her two calico cats, Bella and Callie), drinking coffee, road tripping, and taking nature walks.


Paul Hayes: Instructor - Percussion

  Paul Hayes is a diverse percussionist, playing in a variety of musical settings including: orchestral, concert band, jazz, percussion ensemble, world percussion and church music. He currently resides in Memphis, TN and is a D.M.A student at the University of Memphis, where he studies with Dr. Bill Shaltis, pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Percussion. He is a current member of the World Percussion Committee for the Percussive Arts Society. He performs as one half of Unfiltered Duo, a percussion and clarinet duet with Amy Humberd, as well as performing various freelance gigs in the Memphis area.

  Formerly, Hayes resided in Knoxville, TN where he was the Percussion Professor at Pellissippi State Community College. While there, he taught percussion lessons and directed the percussion ensemble. He was also an instructor at School of Rock where he taught drum set lessons, directed the Rock 101 performance group, and taught their beginning and intermediate drum set camp.

  Paul has performed with various orchestras throughout North Central Illinois and East Tennessee. He holds both a Masters and Bachelors of Music in Percussion performance from Lee University where he studied with Dr. Andy Harnsberger and Richard Henson. Paul has also studied World Percussion with Yshai Afterman.


Bryson Harding: Instructor - Low Brass

  Bryson Harding is an active tuba player and low brass educator in the Tennesse/Mississippi area. He is currently a second-year DMA student at the University of Memphis; he received a Master's degree from Washington State University and a Bachelor's degree from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His primary instructors include Zack Corpus, Dr. Chris Dickey, Dr. Ian McCollum, Dr. Doug Black, and Aubrey Foard.

  Bryson has performed with various groups, including the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Civic Orchestra, and the Bluff City Brass Quintet. He has performed across the US in states such as North Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, and Washington. He has also performed internationally in Canada and France.

  During his free time, Bryson enjoys spending time with friends, reading, and trying new recipes.


Becca Tank: Instructor - Woodwinds & Piano

  Originally from the Twin Cities area, Becca Tank holds a degree in jazz studies from the University of Memphis. She has experience teaching flute, clarinet, saxophone, and piano, spanning all ages.

  Apart from teaching, her gigs have helped her establish a presence in the scene, involving studio work such as the first Crosstown Arts sync placements in the film industry, as well as other solo and ensemble gig work both inside and outside the tri-state area.


Caroline Davis: Instructor - Voice

  Caroline Davis is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Memphis, where she studies under Professor Paulina Villarreal, soprano. In the spring of 2023, Caroline was awarded the Ethel Taylor Maxwell Vocal Scholarship, which recognizes outstanding music students majoring in voice. She is also thrilled to announce her participation in the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival (HPAF) in June 2024, where she has been offered a role in Claudio Monteverdi's opera, L’incoronazione di Poppea.

  Caroline is actively involved in multiple ensembles at the University of Memphis, including the University Singers, Chamber Choir, Mazi, and the Opera program. Since beginning her degree, she has participated in five operas, with her most notable roles being Karlotta in 'The Cousin From Nowhere' and Mrs. Gobineau in 'The Medium'. Caroline also gained experience in musical theatre during her time at Houston High School in Germantown, TN. Currently, she serves as a staff section leader at St. John’s Episcopal Church and has collaborated with various other churches in the area.

  Caroline enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, listening to new music, and self-care in her free time.

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