*Marlin Barnes, percussion instructor
B.S. Music Education from IUP. Directed the string program in the Tuscarora School District and retired after 34 years in public schools. Performs with the Shippensburg Festival Orchestra, Altoona Symphony, Mercersburg Area Community Chorus and Orchestra, Hagerstown Municipal Band, and Ritma-Cordia, a cello-marimba duo. Former experience includes the Cumberland Valley Chamber Players, Maryland Symphony Orchestra and the Maryland Lyric Opera. He also does marimba programs for banquets, Civil War drumming, musical shows, and percussion demonstrations. He has taught privately for over 30 years.
*Keric Ellis, percussion instructor
Teaching Artist Statement:
Being a percussionist means being the heartbeat of the music. You keep the rhythm of the ensemble, you enunciate impactful moments in the piece, and you express these feats with a wide range of instruments. I enjoy meeting a student where they’re at in their musical journey and push them to try new things as well as hone their current knowledge. I enjoy teaching people not just to help them learn more about the things that I love, but to push me to improve in my own places where I can improve. Music is a universal language and is so important for freedom of expression. Whether a beginner, an intermediate, or an advanced player, I would be happy to work with you to improve in your skills as a percussionist!
Keric Ellis obtained his bachelor’s degree in Writing from Shippensburg University. While there, Keric also had a minor in music and was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, an honorary band service fraternity. He began teaching at CVSM in 2023 and has taught two years for the Chambersburg High School Marching Band Front Ensemble during their band camps.
Keric was a member of many ensembles during his time at Shippensburg including Marching Band, Concert Band, Pep Band, and Concert Choir. Outside of school bands, Keric has performed with grandfather in the local band Top Dead Center as well as a band that performs at the Franklin County Senior Center. Outside of percussion, he performs with the Chambersburg Community Theater and continues to perform with the Shippensburg University Community Choir. He currently is writing a musical and learning to compose music alongside his personal writing projects.
*Ben Harlan, guitar, bass, drums and piano instructor
Teaching Artist Statement:
Music is a universal language that has the power to connect people of all backgrounds. As a result, music can break down barriers and bring people together. There is no greater feeling in the world that coming together as one voice and sharing the feelings and emotions that music brings. The joy that playing and teaching music brings to me is why I have been involved with music on many different platforms for 30 years. The lifelong connections I have made as a result of musical involvement is something that I cherish. I love to see my students grow and succeed over time and come to love music the way that I do!
Pennsylvania native, Benjamin Lawrence Harlan has been playing and teaching throughout the New England Region for 25 years. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Music and a minor in Music Technology from the University of Valley Forge. His primary instruments in college were Classical Guitar and Piano. He plays 7 different instruments and has strong roots in music theory. He also spent many years working with individuals and groups in churches to help train musicians and build sound systems. Benjamin joined CVSM in the fall of 2022.
Pennsylvania native, Benjamin Lawrence Harlan has been playing and teaching throughout the New England Region for 25 years. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Music and a minor in Music Technology from the University of Valley Forge. His primary instruments in college were Classical Guitar and Piano. He plays 7 different instruments and has strong roots in music theory. While at the University of Valley Forge, Benjamin was part of two traveling musical groups that spent time in the Northeast Region promoting the University. This was an audition/scholarship leadership role. The musical groups played in large arenas, churches, special events, and coffee houses. He was a four-year winner of the music departments performance scholarship program. Currently he plays multiple instruments at his local church. Benjamin joined CVSM in the fall of 2022
*Sam Hepfer, percussion instructor
Sam currently performs with the CVSM Jazz Quartet, Samz @ 7 (formerly the Tresa Day Trio), Reprize (pop, R&B, light rock), the Capital Dixieland Band, and First UMC’s Praise Team. He has also performed with the Slideshow, Stephey’s Kitchen, The Towne Singers, Antrim BIC concerts, and accompanies tenor, Corey Rotz for his local concerts. Sam has performed in pit orchestras for area theater productions including Totem Pole Playhouse and Chambersburg Community Theater. Sam has appeared as a percussionist with the Shippensburg Festival Orchestra, Musica Ritma, and other local events.
*Edgar Myers, snare drum instructor, rudiments, theory and multiple drum set styles
Edgar studied theory and basic composition with Virginia Rienoke, snare drum and rhythm reading with John Crocken, and private lessons with Dennis Chambers and Larry Bright. Edgar has been playing professionally in the mid-Atlantic region for more than 35 years with popular rock, jazz and variety acts, and had stints with blues legend James Cotton, and jazz great Cyrus Chestnut. In recent years Edgar has performed with local notables such as Maurice Arenas and Howard Burns, and currently performs with Beat Jazz Society, River Knot, and The Danny Webber Trio. Edgar Myers has a four part video series on youtube, entitled In The Moment, and is working on original music for a CD release in the future.
*Jeffrey Sievers, drum instructor
Teaching Artist Statement (in paragraph form)
For me, performing in the marching arts has made a substantial impact on my music education and became the foundation for me as a teacher. Marching band, drum corps, and indoor percussion challenged me to be a better person and musician. I want my students to understand that music does not come without perseverance, teamwork, breaking out of your comfort zone, and goal setting. I want my students to perform in an artistic way that provides an outlet for creative expression and that enables them to be hard-working, creative, and life-long musicians. Becoming a student is the first step in a musical journey to accept criticism and learn from your mistakes. I look forward to meeting my future students and helping them through their own musical journey.
Teaching Bio (in paragraph form)
Jeffrey Sievers has been teaching in the Maryland Public School System for 8 years and is currently the Band Director at South Hagerstown High School. He has taught in Baltimore and Washington Counties teaching elementary general music, elementary band, and high school band. He has his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and his Masters Degree in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum from Drexel University. His primary instrument is percussion and focuses primarily in rudimental drumming and 4-mallet performance. He has a strong passion and love for the marching arts and enjoys teaching winter percussion and marching band. This is Jeffrey’s first year at CVSM and is looking forward to providing private percussion instruction to his students.
Performance Bio (in paragraph form)
Jeffrey Sievers has been teaching in the Maryland Public School System for 8 years and is currently the Band Director at South Hagerstown High School. He has taught in Baltimore and Washington Counties teaching elementary general music, elementary band, and high school band. He has his Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and his Masters Degree in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum from Drexel University. Jeffrey has performed with the DCA Drum and Bugle Corps, Hawthorne Caballeros from Hawthorne, NJ as a 4-mallet marimba performer. In addition, he has performed with The Hagerstown Municipal Band from Hagerstown, MD. This is Jeffrey’s first year at CVSM and is looking forward to providing private percussion instruction to his students.