*Jaranell Fritts, piano instructor
My earliest memory of the piano is at age 5 when my mother gave me piano lessons. From that beginning, joy and opportunity followed. That’s what I want for my student: joy and opportunity. I have accompanied high school operetta, a traveling college choir, vocal soloists and groups, and congregational singing. Joy also comes from playing the piano in the privacy of my own home. Music is at my fingertips anytime. Patience is one of my strengths and so I enjoy working with beginning students, whether children or adult. When a student has finished the fourth grade level, I encourage them to continue with a more advanced teacher at CVSM. Teaching piano is my joy and opportunity. It is a true joy when a student says, “Is my time up already?”
As a preacher’s kid, Jaranell has been especially involved in church music. After graduating from Dallas Christian College, she began giving private piano lessons and has continued to do so far many years. Married to a preacher she worked with church music in several different states and has student who are now church pianists. Jaranell also gave piano and voice lessons at Eastern Christian College. She has taught at CVSM since 2004.
Jaranell played in high school for the Operetta HMS Pinafore. She studied piano pedagogy with Mrs. Bruce, choir of the Indiana Piano Association. Jaranell was accompanist for both the Dallas Christian College Choir and the Eastern Christian College Choir. Her work with churches has included directing cantatas and being the pianist or organist. She is presently the pianist with the Cornerstone Church of Christ in Chambersburg.
*Jerod Harris, piano instructor
I have worked with students ranging from 4 years of age to early adulthood—including some with attention difficulties. I have experience teaching beginners, intermediate students, and some students who have already had numerous years of experience. My students will be encouraged to put in practice time and work each week based on their specific goals concerning what they would like to accomplish with the piano. I welcome parents who are engaged with the student’s progress and will partner with the teacher in home practice and accountability. My teaching style incorporates patience, clarity in step-by-step assignments (for the student & parents if need be), and a naturally gentle demeanor. I am open to using different books, arrangements, or previous material provided by the students.
Graduated in 2013 from Great Lakes Christian College with a Minor, BS degree in music with a focus on piano. I have experience teaching piano to students ages 4 through adulthood. I’ve been teaching in a private studio since 2012, in Lansing, MI; Indianapolis, IN; and now in Chambersburg, PA since January 2017.
Minor, BS in Music from Great Lakes Christian College. Has been with CVSM since 2017. Performed in many recitals throughout five years in college, including one capstone recital featuring several pieces. Also accompanied for the college choir for five years.
*Brian Helman, piano instructor
B.M. & M.M. in Piano Performance/Pedagogy and Music Therapy (MT- BC) from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Va. Post Master’s studies from: Shenandoah University, Shippensburg University and University of Phoenix. Performed in the national touring companies of: The Secret Garden and Jesus Christ Superstar; performed in various NYC venues including: The Schubert Theatre, The Gershwin Theatre, Circle in the Square and St. James Theatre and performed in many cabarets throughout the four state area including: Don’t Tell Mama’s and Archie’s Place, both in NYC. In 2002, accompanied Tony Award winner Gretha Boston at CVSM’s Benefit Gala and performs often with Washington Opera Tenor, Corey Rotz. In October 2011, performed with Rotz for the Supreme Court Justices in Washington, DC. Professional memberships include: National Music Teachers Association, PA Music Teachers Association, National Federation of Music Clubs and American Music Therapy Association.
*Marie Hershey, piano, piano class, & accordion instructor,
I consider myself to be a nurturing and relational teacher and especially enjoy beginner to intermediate students. My love for children motivated me to be a teacher. I have taught piano, organ and accordion; 5th grade; and college ESL in Nanjing, China. Now, much of my time is spent with piano students, both in classes and privately. The love I have for my students helps me to gain great satisfaction in seeing their success. My goal is for them to develop a love and joy for music with enough basic understanding to take with them into any other area of music.
I have a B.S. from Liberty Un. with a concentration in music, teaching certification from Wilson College in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Wilkes Un. I also had a year of Applied Piano and Pedagogy from Shenandoah Music Conservatory. Although piano is my first love, I also had training as a certified Yamaha organ instructor and taught classes at Keyboard World at the Chambersburg Mall for 7 years. One of my greatest joys there was to have my classes, children and adults, perform in center court twice a year. At Cumberland Valley Christian School, I taught private piano for 15 years and 5th grade for 10 years. For 5 years I taught ESL in Nanjing, China. I have been at CVSM since 2000 teaching privately and classes, both children and adults. Presently, I am also taking training to be a certified Musikgarten instructor for children’s classes ages 6-9.
I have a B.S. from Liberty Un. with a concentration in music, teaching certification from Wilson College in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Wilkes Un. I also had a year of Applied Piano and Pedagogy from Shenandoah Music Conservatory. I have been teaching at CVSM since 2000. I became a church organist at age 15 and have played for many weddings, receptions, and other special events including playing accordion for a Chinese choir who performed Christmas concerts in Chinese hotel restaurants and also on the sidewalk in front of the hotel. I have recorded 2 CD’s. One is all accordion featuring polkas and oldies while the other one has more organ than accordion and is sacred music. I especially enjoy teaching classes at CVSM and seeing my students perform well.
*Gloria Kelly McCauley, piano & trumpet instructor
B.S. Mu Ed Lebanon Valley College. Has taught music in the public school system, elementary through Jr. High. She has been organist and pianist in various churches and is former Director of Music, Trinity Lutheran Church. Currently serves as pianist at Chambersburg Brethren in Christ Church. Gloria has served as musical director for many CCT productions, has played piano, trumpet, and/or string bass in pit orchestras, and is the former accompanist for the Towne Singers, who have made five European tours.
*Valerie Merriman, piano instructor
Teaching Artist Statement:
Teaching piano for me is a wonderful way to connect with others over a shared interest. I believe that making that connection, whether with a brand new beginner or an established, older student, is vital to the success of my piano lessons. Each student has a unique personality and learning style that presents an opportunity for me to grow and develop as a teacher. Finding just the right teaching method or music that really energizes a student is very rewarding. I am now teaching my first ‘second-generation’ student; looking back at and remembering the many students that have entered my studio since I first began teaching at CVSM is a source of great joy to me.
I received my B.A. from Wellesley College in 1992. I began teaching here at CVSM in the summer of 1992. Over the years I have taught students of all ages and ability levels, including several Merit Award- winning students.
Accompanying, whether groups or individuals, is a great passion for me. My first accompanying ‘gig’ was in the 6th grade, when my chorus teacher asked me to play for the group. I was immediately hooked, and have accompanied ever since. I accompany many groups and individuals here at CVSM on a regular basis, and have performed extensively throughout the area as a soloist and accompanist. Musical theatre is another of my passions. I have accompanied theatrical productions at Totem Pole Playhouse, Shippensburg University, with Chambersburg Community Theatre, and for various local high schools. I currently serve as the accompanist for the Towne Singers, a choral group who performs throughout the local area and have toured in Europe and Canada.
*Jeffrey Noll, piano instructor, Cumberbunds & Voice and Drama Camp director
Bachelor of Sacred Music, Baptist Bible College. Further study at Towson State, Md. Accompanist for many area instrumental and vocal soloists. Served as musical director for various children’s musical productions at CVSM and is the Minister of Music at Hagerstown Bible Church.
*Diana Reinert, piano instructor
Teaching Artist Statement:
Music is an expression of our deepest selves. As a teacher, I love to get to know my students. What motivates them? What else do they love to do that I can pull word pictures from in my instructions to them? What are their unique reasons for learning to play? My goal is to give them the tools they need to express themselves through music, developing the next generation of musicians. Note reading, musicality, proper technique, and developing good practice habits are priorities in my teaching.
My BA in both Elementary Education and Church music at Olivet Nazarene University gave me a strong foundation in teaching principles and developmental needs of different ages of children. I taught 4th grade for three years, homeschooled my daughter, and presently teach General Music for grades 1-8, private piano, guitar, and violin at Montessori Academy where I have been since 2010. I have directed children’s choirs at church and CVSM. I began teaching piano at CVSM in 1991. It has been a joy to see some of my early students pursuing music as a career.
For 25 years, I have been involved in church music as a worship leader, soloist, and accompanist for traditional and contemporary worship. Presently, I serve at Antrim Brethren in Christ Church in their worship ministry. In addition, I accompany a home-school choir, Penn National Harmony Singers, and the Cumberbunds at CVSM. Free lance work includes piano and vocal work for weddings, funerals, and community events, as well as accompanying area vocalists and instrumentalists.
*David Shearer, piano & voice instructor
Teaching Artist Statement:
Consistent, daily practice leads to success in learning to play the piano. The pursuit of learning to play the piano should include a well rounded approach to the study of music theory and technique. Understanding the how and why of music theory and technique helps the student learn to play and read faster and easier. I encourage all my students to perform in front of an audience as often as the opportunity presents itself, (recitals, church and community activities) because it gives the student something to work toward, a goal with a deadline, and in turn, helps develop self discipline to practice consistently. Successful performances also build confidence and boost student ego. In addition, students who attend recitals are exposed to different types of music, performed by students at all levels of proficiency on piano, solo instruments, and vocal.
B.A. Mus Ed, Pasadena College, Pasadena, CA & Point Loma College, San Diego, CA. David has been teaching piano and voice for CVSM in Chambersburg and Waynesboro since 2000.
B.A. Mus Ed, Pasadena College, Pasadena, CA& Point Loma College, San Diego, CA. Joined the faculty in 2000 after serving in the US Navy for over 24 years. Sang in school choirs since 5th grade, lead in school musicals beginning in 7th grade. Lead in The Mikado and Trial by Jury in high school. First chair trombone in high school band. First place winner in church district teen talent competition and first place in Los Angles area Sunday School Association competition for piano solo and vocal ensemble. Sang tenor in A Cappella choir in college, played lower brass and percussion in college wind ensemble, and trombone in college stage band. Lead in Trial by Jury, and sang tenor and played guitar, piano and bass in traveling college trio/quartet for three years, visiting dozens of church camps and over 200 churches throughout California, Arizona and New Mexico. Music and choir director in four churches, church pianist and organist since 1963. Once, accompanied Pat Boone on piano. Studied voice for three years with Dr Tom DeGraff in Virginia Beach, VA. Choir member of a large church choir and soloist and lead parts in Christmas and Easter productions over a 15 year period. Sang tenor in the Virginia Symphony Chorus for three years, a by audition only chorus of 100 voices under the baton of Joann Faletta. Performed numerous gigs through CVSM, playing solo piano, accompanying vocalists or singing tenor in vocal ensembles. David has served as choir director and organist at Calvary United Methodist Church, Fayetteville, PA since 2000. He has also been tuning and repairing pianos since 2004. www.DavidShearerPiano.com
*Marsha Stine, piano instructor
B.S. in Piano Performance from Frostburg State University. A private piano instructor since 1980 in Pennsylvania and Maryland. She has taught grades 1-12 music classes, served as a choir and dinner theatre director at several private schools. She has been a piano accompanist for various soloists including an alumni performance at Frostburg State in 2004. She has toured as a singer with Festival of Praise Singers and Band andhas served as a church musician as accompanist, vocalist, choir director, praise team leader at various churches for 30 years.
*Suzanne Sweigart, piano & voice instructor
B.M. Piano Performance, Houghton College. M.M. in Voice Performance, Westminster Choir College of Ryder University. Solo performing experience in voice in the greater NY, Phila. and Gettysburg areas. Recently sang the Mother role in Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck) with Center Stage Opera. Has performed with the Westminster Choir at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center under conductors Leonard Bernstein and Richardo Muti. Also teaches voice and piano at Mt. St. Mary’s University in Maryland. Experienced teaching all ages, emphasizing the fundamentals as a springboard for advancement.
*Deborah Weihl, piano & voice instructor
BS in Music Education, Piano and Voice Major and French horn Minor, Towson University, MS in Curriculum and Instruction, McDaniel College, holds a current Advanced Professional Maryland Educator Certificate, a retired Choral and Instrumental music teacher in the Washington County Public Schools. Recently retired after 23 years from Performance Learning Systems where she taught graduate level education courses for McDaniel and Wilkes University, including Differentiated Instruction for Today’s Classroom, Purposeful Learning through the Multiple Intelligences, and Classroom Management: Orchestrating a Community of Learners. She also taught PLS online courses including Effective Classroom Management, Multiple Intelligence, and Infusing Arts across the Curriculum for Drexel and Wilkes U, Marygrove & Rockford Colleges (IL), and The College of New Jersey. She has also directed 2 local UMC church choirs and teaches private lessons in piano, voice, trumpet, and French horn.