2018 RSMC Faculty and Professional Staff
B.S. Music Education from Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, piano and saxophone. Before moving to Virginia, Amy taught piano and organ at the Mohawk Valley School of Music in Utica, NY. With 23 years teaching experience, she now runs a very active private studio in Spotsylvania, teaching piano, organ, and saxophone. Amy was the Instrumental Music Director for eight years at Holy Cross Academy, Stafford, where she directed the band, strings, piano, and recorder programs. She currently directs FAYM - Fredericksburg Area Young Musicians - band, orchestra, and music classes for more than 300 homeschooled students in the greater Fredericksburg area.
As an accompanist, Amy has accompanied numerous All-County, District, and All-State choral festivals and competitions in Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia. As a pianist and saxophonist, Amy has performed with the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra, Fredericksburg Jazz Ensemble, the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony, the Spotswood Community Orchestra, and played saxophone and keyboards for Alias, a local dance and wedding horn band.
Amy has served as Organist and Choir Director at numerous churches throughout Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia. Some of the positions include the Mountaintop Presbyterian Church in Mountaintop, PA, Griffis Air Force Base in Rome, NY, and Trinity Lutheran Church in Utica, NY. She currently serves as Organist at the Fredericksburg Presbyterian Church.
At the Encore Music Camp of PA, Amy taught piano classes and accompanied several choirs, soloists, and theater groups. She has served as an adjudicator for piano festivals and competitions in both New York state and Virginia. Amy performs regularly as both a soloist and accompanist in the Fredericksburg area.
Erika Batalla, (Spotsylvania), Clarinet, Concert Band, Conducting
Ben Brosche (Spotsylvania), Jazz Piano
Currently, he is a free-lance musician playing multiple solo jazz piano gigs in Pittsburgh area and throughout Virginia. Ben currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA and getting his M.M. In Electronic performance with a concentration in Jazz Studies. Ben studies at Duquesne University with Mike Tomaro, Jeff Bush, and Ron Bickel. Ben, graduated from JMU 15’ with a BM in Jazz performance , he has performed with the top Jazz ensemble there and performed with: John Hollenbeck (famous jazz Composer/Arranger/Drummer), Theo Bleckman (acclaimed Jazz/contemporary vocalist), Bobby Mcferrin (vocalist), in different shows also has played with the Grand Floridian Society Jazz Orchestra in Walt Disney World. Also was the pianist in a workshop masterclass done by Branford Marsalis (Saxophonist). Previously, Ben studied under Nackie Steinbach at Yamaha Music School before college then took classical lessons from Paulo Steinberg and Jazz lessons with Bob Hallahan and now. Ben, is a young but experienced player that is taking the music scene by storm producing in his studio, performing various solo and group gigs, composing and arranging. Ben is excited to be at RSMC this year and is excited to share his passion of music with the camp!
Alexander Charles (Fredericksburg), Bassoon and Low Brass
Caroline Dunmire (Fredericksburg), Violin
Caroline Dunmire graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor's degree in Music Education and Violin Performance. Caroline has performed in many musical ensembles across Virginia. She also is proficient in undergraduate level music theory and is a music history enthusiast. Music, communications and education are three of Caroline’s passions and she is very excited to be a counselor at RSMC. She is looking forward to spending a week with staff, counselors and students who also share a love of these disciplines.
Miles Fellenberg (Boston), Piano
Hailed by Cleveland Classical as performing with “fiery energy,” American pianist Miles Fellenberg is regularly invited as a pianist, conductor, and educator throughout the United States and abroad. Known for his versatility and extensive repertoire, Fellenberg has led a diverse career and is highly sought after by singers, instrumentalists, and pianists.
He has performed at the universities of Harvard, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jersey City, and Scranton and at notable concert venues, including Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher (David Geffen) Hall, Carnegie Hall, Museum of Modern Art, 92nd Street Y, Cleveland Museum of Art and internationally at the Seoul Arts Center (S. Korea), Shenyang Conservatory (China), Las Cámaras (Ecuador), and at numerous venues throughout Tuscany (Italy). He appears on the CD “A place toward other places,” the premiere recording on the Oberlin Music label. He is currently the Music Director of the Parkchester Chorus (Bronx) and previously served as the Assistant Conductor of the Central City Chorus (Manhattan).
Fellenberg has taught, coached, and mentored students across four continents. He is the Founder and Executive/Artistic Director of the New Jersey Young Artist Piano Competition, which offers gifted pre-college pianists the opportunity to attend a series of workshops, masterclasses, and compete for significant cash prizes. In 2016, he was a guest teacher for the National Youth Orchestra of the USA. He has served as a staff pianist/accompanist for the Aspen Music Festival & School, Castleman Quartet Program, New York Summer Music Festival, Delaware Valley Opera, New Hampshire Opera, Oberlin-in-Italy Opera Program, and was a guest artist-in-residence at the Franz Liszt Conservatory in Quito, Ecuador. Fellenberg was on the faculty at Church Street School for Music & Art, Brooklyn Musical Arts, and the Rappahannock Summer Music Camp (VA).
Fellenberg is a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the New England Conservatory. He holds a Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory. His principal teachers have included Jonathan Feldman, Margo Garrett, Robert Shannon, and Dr. Cameron Stowe. Summer studies at Music Academy of the West. Early studies with Dr. Arkady Aronov, May Eng, and Denise Bastanza.
Amber French (Fredericksburg), Chorus, Voice
Amber French earned a bachelor's degree in English Education, with a minor in Music (Voice Proficiency) from Bob Jones University in South Carolina. She then went on to earn a master of arts degree in Fine Arts (Speech and Music) from BJU, which culminated in her graduate project - a one-person show titled "Jenny Lind: Swedish Nightingale" where she acted and sang as the artist Jenny Lind. During her college years she enjoyed participating in many fine arts events including playing a nun and musician in Cyrano de Bergerac, playing percussion in the Symphonic Wind Band, and singing in the University Chorale.
After college Amber began teaching English at Caroline High School here in Virginia. During her seven years there she became the Choral and Theatre Arts Director. Amber enjoyed the many adventures she and her students went on together...singing at District Festival, traveling to NYC, being silly on stage in the classroom, competing at District One-Act Play Festival, and singing together around the piano.
Outside of school Amber participated in the Acts of Faith Theatre Festivals (2012-2014) in Richmond, performing in "Mark Twain's Civil War", "Gettysburg 1963" and “Nothing to Fear” (original plays by Ray Carver). She also performed in Fredericksburg Christian Community Theater’s 2012 summer production of “Oklahoma.” Amber performed and directed at The Riverside Center Dinner Theater for several years as well, beginning as a nun in "The Sound of Music" and participating in various ways at the theater - working as a costume mistress backstage, directing "Charlotte's Web", and performing in "Les Miserables." Most recently she was seen as Mary Hatch in the Riverside’s holiday production of “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.”
Amber is currently directing, performing, and teaching through other venues. She is active in Fredericksburg’s fine arts community participating in events such as CYT Fredericksburg (Christian Youth Theater), The Rude Mechanicals (performance group), Rappahannock Summer Music Camp, and FAYM Chorus Camp (Fredericksburg Area Young Musicians).
This will be Amber's fifth summer participating in the Rappahanock Summer Music Camp and she is looking forward to it!
Luke Gray (Fredericksburg), Violin, Double Bass
Luke Gray has been playing violin for 15 years, playing in all manner of genres for all kinds of ensembles and orchestras including the Rappahannock POPS, GMU Symphony, UMW philharmonic, Winchester Symphony, and All-state orchestra. Luke has studied violin under such teachers as Bill Wassum, Laura Kobayashi and Elizabeth Adams. Along with his private studies, he has had the opportunity to play in master classes for such professionals as Ricardo Cyncynates, Elizabeth Pitcairn and Barry Green. Luke has been teaching violin for 4 years and loves to share his experience not just with classical, but Celtic, jazz and any other genre he can bite into.
Along with his violin studies, Luke also plays upright and electric bass. He has studied with Jordan Medas, Brittany Frompovich and Glenn Dewey. He has played in small ensembles in the Fredericksburg along with the Fredericksburg big band, the GMU pep band and jazz ensemble, and All-Virginia Jazz ensemble.
Finally, Luke has been exploring his newest musical passion in the form of the Chapman Stick. He has had the pleasure of playing along with Rob Martino and Greg Howard, two pioneers and masters of the Stick. Only playing it for 2 years, he knew from the start that all of his previous musical experience and knowledge has lead him to learn and master this instrument. Luke debut album is slated for a Summer 2014 release.
Luke cannot wait to come back to RSMC for his 9th year, and second year as a counselor. See you all for a fantastic, memorable camp week!
Michael Huffman (Fredericksburg), Trumpet
Michael Huffman is the trumpet professor at The University of Mary Washington and a freelance musician in the Fredericksburg area. He has played music professionally for over a decade and has performed in many styles ranging from baroque to jazz. Throughout his career he has performed in multiple national competitions, two international tours, and numerous concerts with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Allen Vizzutti, Steve Turre, Gary Bartz, Terrell Stafford, David Childs, and Richard Sebring to name a few. He completed his undergraduate studies at James Madison University and obtained a Master’s degree from SUNY Purchase under the tutelage of Jon Faddis. He was a featured soloist at the 2015 DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival and has performed at some of the premier jazz clubs in NYC. Alongside an active performance schedule he is very passionate about spreading love and reverence for all genres of music through education.
Sean Jobes (Fredericksburg), Euphonium, Low Brass
Fredericksburg native Sean Jobes has been playing euphonium/trombone for far too many years to keep track of at this point, studying with some of the finest low brass talent America has to offer – Lt. (Dr.) Patrick Sweeten, former Assistant Conductor of the United States Navy Band and, Paul Rawlins, former bass trombonist with the USAF Band's Premier Jazz Ensemble,. Under their tutelage, Sean won several placement as the principal euphonium of the All-VA Band during his high school years alongside several large solo competitions that saw him perform for over 1000 people.
After high school, Sean moved up to the Great White North, formerly known as Wisconsin, to study with euphonium Martin Erickson, principal tubist of the United States Navy Ban(ret.) and trombone with Nick Keelan, Professor of Trombone at Lawrence University(ret.). During his time at LU, Sean had the opportunity to be a featured soloist with the tuba-euphonium ensemble, tour with the Lawrence University Wind Ensemble, co-found and compete with a tuba-euphonium quartet at the Great Plains Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference(taking 2nd place!), along with many other endeavors. After growing tired of the harsh tundra that surrounded him, Sean decided that the best possible move for graduate school would be the significantly warmer(at least in his mind) University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Currently in starting his second year of graduate school at U-M, studying under famed brass pedagoge Professor Fritz Kaenzig, Sean has enjoyed a whirlwind of performance opportunities and educational resources. Some of these include, performing in a masterclass for renowned euphonium soloist Steven Mead, playing principal euphonium in the famous University of Michigan Symphony Band, premiering several new compositions with the band throughout the year. Additionally, Mr. Jobes’ latest venture is co-founding the latest brass sensation of Ann Arbor The Brasshats Brassband. While not flying from performance to next, Sean can be found watching Netflix, or crammed into a practice room somewhere working towards the next audition.
Stephen Kelsey (Prince William), Bass, Guitar
Stephen Kelsey recently received a Bachelors degree in Music Education from West Virginia University where he studied double bass with Dr. Andrew Kohn. During his time at WVU, he actively performed throughout West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. A native of Dumfries, VA, Mr. Kelsey has taught private bass and guitar lessons in Northern Virginia as well as in Morgantown, WV. He has been a substitute teacher for Prince William County Schools and is currently looking to teach music in Northern Virginia.
Tony Moran (Spotsylvania), Clarinet
M.M., Music Education from Virginia Commonwealth University , B.S., Music Education from Greensboro College (NC).
Aaron Noe conducted high school bands in Virginia since 1999 and currently serves as Director of Bands at Riverbend High School in Fredericksburg, VA (Spotsylvania County). Under his direction, ensembles have been recognized with top honors at district, state, and national festivals and have been invited to perform at various civic and public occasions.
In the spring of 2010, Aaron Noe founded the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony. This wind ensemble is comprised of music professionals from throughout the Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia region. The goal of the ensemble is to bring professional level wind band performances to the Fredericksburg area and to promote the American Wind Band tradition through the music performance of classic and contemporary wind band composers.
Aaron Noe is also recognized as a performing artist on trumpet. The Aaron Noe jazz ensembles have performed at clubs and events throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and have backed some of the top performing artists in the business including James Moody and Eric Marienthal. Aaron Noe is also heard regularly in church events performing his own arrangements of Traditional and Contemporary Christian music.
Aaron Noe has taught music at all levels through college, including the University of South Carolina (Jazz T.A., 1997-8) and the University of Mary Washington (Private Trumpet & Class Brass, 2007-10).
Cynthia Ross (Fredericksburg), Violin
Mrs. Ross, a native of New York State, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at the Crane School of Music, State University College at Potsdam, N.Y. She has taught in both New York and Virginia, serving as an orchestra director in Stafford County Public Schools for 13 years. Mrs. Ross also has taken numerous courses in Suzuki pedagogy, operating a Suzuki studio in her home for many years.
She has worked as a guest clinician and orchestra director at Suzuki institutes in both Pennsylvania and Virginia. Mrs. Ross’ philosophy is to strive for musical excellence, while maintaining a nurturing environment which allows each student to achieve personal as well as musical growth. She is delighted to be on staff with the Rappahannock Music Camp this summer!
Mrs. Ross is the proud mom of one daughter, Catherine, a Suzuki violinist and bio-medical engineer. When not teaching music, Mrs. Ross and her husband enjoy their home and garden, their koi pond, and walking on the canal path in Fredericksburg.
Sara Speer (Stafford), Euphonium
Sara Speer graduated from the Honors College in 2013 and holds a degree in Music Education from George Mason University. There, she studied euphonium with Roger Behrend, formerly of the United States Navy Band, and Andrew Hitz, previously of the Boston Brass. In high school, Sara successfully auditioned into the All-Virginia Honor Band for two years on euphonium, twice performed with the United States Navy Band, and has since guest-conducted the Band of America’s Few – a band of Marine musicians. Sara has taught at the Rappahannock Summer Music Camp since 2009 and was selected to be an Instrumental Teaching Scholar, a program which allows selected collegiate music education majors to work with elementary students through the Potomac Arts Academy, for the 2012-2013 school year. She has stayed involved in the band community by working VBODA-sponsored events and by serving on the instructional staff of several high school marching bands. Sara has also worked with other groups, including the Riverbend Brass Ensemble, classes in the music program at the Salvation Army in Fredericksburg, and the Fredericksburg Area Young Musicians. Sara previously performed with the Fairfax Wind Symphony and currently does so with the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony. Additionally, she is an initiated member of Kappa Kappa Psi – a national honorary service fraternity for college band members.
Matthew Zisi (Fredericksburg), Piano and viola
Matthew Zisi, resident of Fredericksburg, VA, has been playing piano for 18 years. In 2012, he won the Mary Smart Scholarship Competition, a state competition sponsored by the Virginia Federation of Music Clubs (VFMC). Matthew also competed for four years in the Rappahannock Music Society (RMS) competition (2011-14), winning first place twice and second place the other two times for his division. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2018, where he double-majored in Music (Piano Performance) and Political Science. At college, he studied under Dr. Stephen Beus, Dr. Ed Gates, Dr. Yingying Su, and Dr. Igor Lipinski. This fall, he will be starting law school at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. For most of his first 14 years of piano, he studied under Jeanine Zisi. Matthew played piano for four years at Northgate Baptist Church in Norman, Oklahoma, and will likely be playing at Temple Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia, over the summer. Piano has always been his favorite instrument, evidenced by the fact that his top two favorite composers are Frederic Chopin and Franz Liszt.
Matthew has other musical interests as well. An avid composer, he has written 11 sonatas, 13 ballades, and numerous other piano pieces. He has also written two orchestral pieces—a symphony (four movements) and a clarinet concerto (three movements). In 2014, he finished second in the VFMC Junior Composers Contest. Matthew also plays organ, having studied at the University of Oklahoma under Dr. Adam Pajan. He has the only recording of the Four Early Pieces for Organ by Rheinberger on YouTube. He also plays viola, having studied in Fredericksburg under Ron Barricklow. He has been a member of the University of Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra (2014-16), the Rappahannock Youth Symphony (2008-11), the Forte Jr. Symphony Orchestra (2009-12), Fredericksburg Area Young Musicians (2010-14), and the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra (2012-14). His first two years in RYS, he was named Most Dedicated after never missing a rehearsal. He was able to represent FAYM in the North Central Virginia Regional Orchestra all four years of his tenure, and in 2014, he represented them in the All-Virginia Orchestra. In Fredericksburg, he has worked with several great conductors, including Amy Shirk, Elizabeth Piller, Brandon Bangle, and Kirk Wilke.
When not playing an instrument, Matthew has many other interests. He is an avid sports fan, even though he never played any. In 2010, he competed in the National Spelling Bee. He enjoys writing children’s mysteries and has thirty-seven books available on Amazon.com, including the Anderson Family Mystery Series. Other passions of his include reading, railroads, and sports cards. He is thrilled to be a staff member at RSMC and looks forward to working with so many talented musicians once again!