Our Instructors


Evan Fiehrer
guitar, ukulele
Evan Fiehrer is a guitarist currently located in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated in 2013
with a Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and in 2015 from the Peabody Institute of the
Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Music, also in Guitar Performance. An
accomplished classical guitarist, Evan has played solo and ensemble concerts
throughout the Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana areas, and along the East Coast. Evan is a professor of guitar at Indiana University East in Richmond, IN, and teaches
privately at McCutcheon Music in Centerville and Star City Music in Miamisburg. He
also plays guitar in the five-piece funk band The Johnson Treatment.

Joe Getts
bass guitar
Joe Getts has been involved in music most of his life. His primary instruments are bass guitar and keyboards. He started playing the bass guitar at age 11. After a brief set of formal lessons he developed his own skills on the bass guitar and started playing with several local bands, including the Dayton Christian School Gospel Ensemble known as “The Spirit of Praise” during the mid 1970s. He traveled professionally for three years playing bass guitar with the Gospel Mariners, a regionally known Gospel quartet of that era. During his college years he played in several recording studios in southwest Ohio, specializing as a back-up studio musician on bass guitar. Joe currently owns and plays several bass guitars regularly, including various 4-5-6 and 8 string models. Throughout adulthood he has played bass guitar and keyboards in several praise and worship bands in the churches he attended. For the last two years he has played keyboards with “Vellowcity”, a local jazz-rock instrumental band. Today Joe continues to play the bass guitar at Trinity Church in Miamisburg, where he is the lead pastor. Joe’s educational background placed him at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio where he studied history extensively. He is a graduate of the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Concordia College in Wilmington, Delaware and a Master of Arts in Philosophy and Apologetics from Trinity Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana. He earned his Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from the St. Luke School of Biblical Studies in Hephzibah, Georgia. He also holds certifications in Biblical Counseling and Life Coaching from the Light University of Forest, Virginia. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Joe is currently an adjunct instructor at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and a continuing education seminar presenter for the Central Institute for Educational Advancement in Dayton, Ohio. He and his wife Jeri have been married for over 35 years and reside in Miamisburg, Ohio.

Samee Griffith
piano, Musikgarten
Dr. Samee Griffith received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, her Master of Music degree in piano performance and collaborative piano from Bowling Green State University, and her Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Wright State University, where she graduated summa cum laude. An experienced instructor, Samee has taught piano for more than fifteen years, including at the Penn-Griffin School for the Arts in High Point, North Carolina. Her students regularly place in the top tier of competitors in state level piano competitions and festivals.

Her honors include: the Mary Elizabeth King Brown Teaching Excellence Award (2012), First Place in the Undergraduate Division at the Marjorie Peatee Art Song Competition (2004), and the MTNA Star Award (2002).


Brittany Hausman
violin
Brittany Hausman is a junior at Wright State University studying Violin Performance under Mr. Tom Sobieski. She started playing the violin at the age of five and continued studying abroad in a Russian Music School where she had the opportunity to study with several instructors that enhanced her musical knowledge. After moving to Cincinnati, Ohio in 2007, she studied with Mrs. Sandra Collins for six years, and was a member of the Cincinnati Community Orchestra conducted by Dr. Doan. At Wright State, she performs in the University Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra. She enjoys playing in ensembles, and regularly performs for gigs and other special occasions. Music has been an integral part of her life and she loves the opportunity of conveying her love for music by teaching violin.

Blaine Heeter III
voice, piano
Blaine F. Heeter III received his Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at Wright State University, where he was the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the vocal and choral departments. Currently he is an adjunct Voice Instructor at Sinclair Community College and Stivers School for the Arts. Blaine has been studying and performing music and theater since childhood. His adventure began at the age of nine when he was cast as Tiny Tim in his hometown community theater’s production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The theater served as a playground where Blaine could cultivate his artistic abilities through his youth and young adult life. Some early productions include OliverAnything Goes and Barnum.

Blaine began his collegiate career as a music performance major at Sinclair Community College where he earned his associate’s degree in 2005.  That same year he transferred to Bowling Green State University to begin working towards his bachelor’s in vocal performance. While attending BGSU Blaine was involved in the opera theater’s production of Die Zauberflöte,participated in a vocal master class with Julliard pianist Margo Garrett and in 2007 had the privilege of playing the male lead in Francesco Cavalli’s 1642 opera, La virtù dei strali d’Amore for its North American debut in collaboration with early music musicologist, Paul O’Dette and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

After graduating from BGSU in 2007, Blaine moved back to the Dayton area where he opened a small studio teaching private vocal and piano lessons. Blaine’s students have been accepted into such music performance schools as the Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton and the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Blaine’s students have also received superior ratings in OMEA solo and ensemble adjudicated events in both piano and voice.

In addition to teaching private lessons, Blaine has also served as music director for Richmond Civic Theatre’s Stage One youth theater program in the summers of 2003 and 2004.  In 2009, he also served as music director for the Vandalia Youth Theatre’s production of Les Misérables. Earlier that same year Blaine portrayed the role of Lumière in Richmond Civic Theatre’s Main Stage production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.Blaine performed as a member of the Dayton Opera Chorus for La Traviata, also in 2009, the 2005 production of Tosca and the 50th Anniversary Star Gala in 2011. Other engagements have included numerous events and musical theater productions in the Dayton area.


Debbie Johnson
cello, piano
Debbie Johnson is a junior at Wright State University pursuing her Bachelor’s in Music degree in Cello Performance.

Growing up with six siblings, Debbie taught herself piano at age twelve. When she was fifteen, she started taking piano lessons in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with Dan Taylor. In addition to piano, she learned music theory, singing, and guitar. The summer before she matriculated at Wright State, Debbie took piano lesson with Barbara Leeds, also from Yellow Springs.

As a piano major, Debbie also had a passion for cello, and began to take cello lessons while at Wright State. In her sophomore year, after playing cello for only a year, she changed her concentration to cello performance.

Debbie has sung and performed piano and guitar at the Friends Care Community in Yellow Springs for the past three years. During her time at Wright State she has sung in numerous choirs and playing solo piano at Arts Gala and at the Troy Hayner Cultural Center in Troy, Ohio. She is a member of the University Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra, and is a member of the student trio “Trio Con Brio.” In the summer of 2016 she performed in the A.C. Strings Community Orchestra in Fairborn, Ohio, and will continue to perform with the orchestra during the 2017 season. In 2017 she joined the Giving Strings Orchestra.


Magdalena Kirsch
voice, piano
Magdalena Kirsch earned her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance at Wright State University and her Associate’s degree in Music at Sinclair Community College. Through her performing and teaching, Magdalena wishes to inspire everyone to love and appreciate music and its power.

For the past three seasons, she has been a full-time member of the May Festival Chorus of Cincinnati. In addition to performing with the May Festival, she is currently the Choral Director at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Kettering, Ohio. While in school, Magdalena performed in WSU’s full production of Rodger and Hammerstein’s Pirate of Penzance, and in their Opera Scenes production of excerpts from Sonheim’s Sweeney Todd and Poulenc’s Dialogue of the Carmelites. At Sinclair Community College, her solo appearances in their Opera Scenes production consisted of playing Laurey Williams in scenes from Oklahoma and singing Gartin’s art song The Lilac Tree. Magdalena has also performed with the Wright State University Chorus, and with Sinclair Community College’s Chorus and Women’s Chorale.


Moira Levant
violin, composition
Moira Levant has 26 years experience as a music teacher, teaching students as young as five and as old as 70. Moira has training in the Suzuki method and the Montesorri method of early childhood education. She specializes in Irish Traditional Music. She is a founding member of Blackthorn and Laurel, a Dayton based Irish music band, and is co-founder of COCOA, a living composers group dedicated to providing composers a place to have their music heard and recorded. As a composer she took 2nd prize in the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs senior competition for 2017. She has degrees in music from Wright State University, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Limerick, Limerick Ireland.

Aaron Mood
piano
Aaron Mood received his Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and his Bachelor of the Arts degree in music from Allegheny College, where he graduated magna cum laude. He is the recipient of the Edith Mead Osbourne Memorial Prize for distinguished pianism, the Frederick Marantz Memorial Prize in recognition of marked talent with the piano, and the Mary Elizabeth King Brown Teaching Excellence Award.

In addition to being a Master Teacher of Piano at Star City Music Studios, Aaron holds the positions of Collaborative Pianist at Wright State University, Weekend Host on Discover Classical FM 88.1/89.9, Pianist at Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn, and Choral Accompanist at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Kettering. Previous positions include Staff Accompanist at Winston-Salem State University, Adjunct Instructor of Theory and Music Appreciation at Guilford Technical Community College, and Associate Master Teacher at the Music Academy of North Carolina. He has participated in master classes with Anna Maria Trenchi de Botazzi and Jon Nakamatsu.

Aaron lives in Miamisburg with his wife, Samee Griffith Mood, daughter, Evelyn, and son, Nathaniel.


Ian Mortensen
percussion
Ian Mortensen is a drummer/percussionist from Dayton, Ohio. In May of 2017 he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Dayton. Since then he has worked as a freelance musician in the Dayton area. He has performed with the Dayton Jazz Orchestra, the Jazz Central Big Band, Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers, and the Cincinnati Tradition Drum and Bugle Corps (2017 DCA Class A World Champions), and he currently plays drums with the Sinclair Community Jazz Ensemble. In April of 2017, he released his first jazz recording, Greatest Hits, which features some of his original compositions.

Kaitlyn Nielsen
oboe
Kaitlyn Nielsen, originally from Arlington Heights, Illinois, is a current junior at the University of Dayton pursuing a major in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. She started playing oboe at the age of nine and has also played english horn for the past four years. While attending Wheeling High School, she was the principle oboist three of her four years and attended IMEA District 7 both her junior and senior year and was selected to play at IMEA All-State her senior year on both oboe and English horn. While at University of Dayton, she has been selected to be the principle oboist of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the University Orchestra. Kaitlyn has taught oboe for the past four years and loves the opportunity to teach what she loves to students.

Melissa O'Hara
flute
Melissa O’Hara is a Music Education major at Wright State University, studying with Dr. Christopher Chaffee. Melissa graduated from Bellbrook High School in 2015 with an Honors diploma. While in high school, she participated in many honor bands including the Honors Performance at Carnegie Hall, Wright State Tri-State Honor Band, Sinclair Community Honor Band, and OMEA District 12 Honor Band.
At Wright State, she performs in the Wind Symphony and Chamber Orchestra. Melissa is very active in the marching arts, teaching many local school marching bands, indoor percussion ensembles and an intern for the Mid-East Performance Association. Melissa has taught flute lessons for the past 4 years and is excited to be working with Star City Music Studios!

Peter Schomburg
saxophone, improv
Peter Schomburg attended Indiana University in Bloomington, IN after graduating from Centerville High School. He received his Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Thomas Walsh and Dr. David Baker. Upon completing his undergraduate degree he also received his Masters of Science in Music Education also from the Jacobs School of Music. In 2013, he moved back to the Dayton area and began teaching elementary music for Centerville City Schools as well as working with the marching band, directing jazz ensembles, jazz combos, and teaching privately. Professionally, he has played with the Dayton Jazz Orchestra and is also a member of the Sinclair Community Jazz Ensemble.
Mr. Schomburg is dedicated to teaching all levels of saxophone and believes in the power of improvisation as a tool to help all aspects of musicianship. He is also interested in helping non-saxophone students would like to begin learning about jazz and improvisation.

Jacob Walker
brass
Jacob Walker is a recent graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he studied Music Education with Steven Pride and Douglas Lindsay from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and James Olcott from the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra. At Miami, he was a part of nearly every ensemble a trumpet player could belong , including the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Band, and the Miami University Marching Band, where he was section leader for 2 seasons. In 2012 he traveled to Carnegie Hall in New York City with the Symphony Orchestra and Collegiate Chorale, where he performed as a trumpet player and sang in the Chorale. Jacob also performed actively outside of Miami with a ska band, playing in pubs and other venues in Ohio and Kentucky. He also had the opportunity to march 4 seasons of Drum Corps with Capital Regiment from Columbus, Glassmen from Toledo, and Carolina Crown from Fort Mill, South Carolina. In his age out year with Crown, the group place 2nd out of 39 groups from across the country, winning Best Overall General Effect. He holds membership in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia , the International Trumpet Guild, the National Association for Music Education, and is really excited to be teaching with Star City Music Studios!