*Nathaniel Byers, piano instructor
Teaching artist statement
Teaching is about cultivating a curiosity for the world and expounding upon a primordial understanding of it. As it pertains to music, a good teacher invites their students into a whole new world, that cognitively challenges and aesthetically enriches. Teaching music is about understanding both the objective intangibles of a concept, and nurturing the curiosity to be creative with it. The piano is the ultimate template for musical exploration. It functions as the bedrock for our understanding of notation, and has the versatility to function expressively on its own. As a piano teacher, I look to invest in a student holistically, encouraging their musical growth in both the concrete objectives and the exploratory subjectives. In this way, students can go beyond the book, in a way that satisfies their musical curiosity.
Nathaniel Byers has always been passionate about music. During his musical studies, he developed a deep love for the piano and composition in particular, boasting a repertoire of original music for both solo piano and various other ensembles. He has released two original piano albums entitled “Moods” and “Soundscapes” available on all digital streaming platforms. Nathaniel also has teaching experience under his belt, giving both piano and voice lessons privately throughout his high school and college years. Several students of his have gone on to form musical groups and participate in college theatre productions at such institutions as Belmont University and Lehigh University. Nathaniel completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition from Cairn University in 2019 and is currently serving as the music and worship director at Faith United Methodist Church in Waynesboro PA.
Nathaniel Byers has performed for various functions throughout his musical career. He has been a piano and vocal soloist in college recitals, has starred in numerous theatrical productions, both on the stage and in the orchestra pit. Some of these include, Lumiere the Candlestick in Beauty and the Beast, and the pianist for Shippensburg Area High School presentations of “Bye Bye Birdie,” and “Legally Blonde.” Nathaniel has additionally performed in group contexts, as both a choral singer and accompanist. He represented Shippensburg Area High School as a vocalist in the PMEA All-State chorus in 2012 and 2013, and was the accompanist for the Cumberland County Chorus in 2012 and 2013. Nathaniel has additionally provided music for wedding services, receptions and social events as both a pianist and a vocalist.
*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.
*Kevin Gorman, piano instructor
Kevin Gorman began his musical education at the Cumberland Valley School of Music at the age of four. His higher education began at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York. There, he received numerous scholarships and distinguished honors in the Performance Area. Continuing his studies, Kevin earned his masters degree at the Univéristé de Montréal, and is currently pursuing his doctorate at Shenandoah University.
Kevin has returned to Chambersburg following the accident of Brian Helman, his former teacher who prepared him for a life and career in music. Kevin also works closely with another former CVSM instructor, composer William Bland. Bridge Records will be releasing a CD of two sonatas composed by William Bland in Spring 2021, performed by Kevin.
Kevin has participated in several national and international competitions. His most notable placements include 2nd prize in the Marian Garcia International Piano Competition in Pennsylvania, and Grand Lauréat (1st prize) in the Festival de Musique de Royaume in Saguenay, Québec.
*Ben Harlan, guitar, bass, drums and beg./int. 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
*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.
*Bailey Hovermale, piano instructor
Teaching Artist Statement
Teaching piano is an opportunity to connect over the beauty and life that music embraces. As I introduce students to the piano, I want to help show them how exciting it can be! I want to be their biggest cheerleader; to celebrate with them when they figure things out, and help encourage them when they get stuck. Above all, I want them to know that they’re allowed to make mistakes, and that there’s always a story to tell. Especially in education, music is crucial, inspiring empathy, imagination, and confidence. The piano is involved in every chapter of my life to some extent, and through teaching, I hope to put others’ musical journeys in motion – specifically students new/newly returning to the piano; beginning and intermediate musicians.
Bailey Hovermale is an actor, singer and pianist from Smithsburg, Maryland. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from SUNY Cortland, where she received her BA in musical theatre with a minor in music. She began studying piano with Ruthy Stenger when she was 6, and then continued her studies with Stephen Pompa and Dr. Marina Gorelaya. Bailey began teaching private piano lessons in 2017, and started teaching with CVSM in 2022. She also led the “Summer Arts Adventure” camp through the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation, taught workshops with Gettysburg Community Theatre, and substitute taught in Washington County. Additionally, Bailey is a Virtual Interactive Performer with Virtual Babysitters Club, LLC, where she hosts music studio sessions for 3-6 year olds.
Bailey Hovermale is an actor, singer and musician from Smithsburg, Maryland. She received her BA from SUNY Cortland, after attending Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. Throughout her younger years, Bailey performed at the MMEA Solo and Ensemble Festival and received superior ratings. At Cortland, she performed in faculty piano recitals and local music festivals, assistant music directed many shows, and became the church pianist for Cortland’s Church of the Redeemer (2017-2019). Bailey has music directed children’s productions with the BISFA Summer Musical Theatre Intensive on multiple occasions, and played in the pit for WASHS’s production of “9 to 5.” Bailey’s recent acting credits include The Sound of Music (Totem Pole Playhouse), A Christmas Carol (Totem Pole Playhouse), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Maryland Entertainment Group). baileyhovermale.com.
*Beth Martin, piano instructor
My musical journey started around 7 years of age when I began piano studies with a Peabody Conservatory graduate and experienced teacher in the classical tradition. I also studied, and became proficient in, flute and harp before graduating high school. From a young age, both sacred and classical music have been a crucial part of my musical experience. Having been a church pianist for much of my life, I have years of experience in accompanying both vocalists and instrumentalists.
On the undergraduate level, I continued my studies at Hood College with Dr. Noel Lester, earning a degree in music with a concentration in piano pedagogy. Through my years of teaching piano, I have taught beginners young and adult as well as students that have transferred from other teachers. I believe that music is an important part of a child’s education and that even students who aren’t musically gifted can be proficient in music. Since I have had the benefit of excellent instructors, I endeavor to pass on what they have taught me and give my students a foundation of solid technique, performance skills, and a general appreciation for the beauty and structure of music.
*Susan Matson, Suzuki piano & Music Together instructor
B. M. Piano Performance, Peabody Conservatory. Suzuki teacher training with Haruko Kataoka, co-founder of the Suzuki piano method, and others. Additional training in early childhood musical development at the Center for Music & Young Children. Graduate studies in Dalcroze Eurhythmics at the Marta Sanchez Dalcroze Training Center, Carnegie Melon University. Guest clinician at Suzuki workshops, directed Greater Washington Suzuki Piano Institute 2003-2013. Has taught music in private schools K-12, directed children’s & youth choirs, and taught traditional piano. Performance experience includes chamber music, instrumental & vocal accompanying, & solo performances. What is the Suzuki Method?
*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.
* Katrina Neyman, piano & French horn instructor
Teaching Artist Statement:
Teaching music has been a lifelong passion of mine. Music is so much more than notes and rhythm – it’s storytelling through sound. Communicating an idea or emotion through sound to an audience is both a challenge and a gift, both of which can be fostered with patience, empathy, listening, and grit. But most importantly, music should be fun! Infusing humor, analogies, and funny stories throughout my teaching helps students to understand concepts in new ways and to enjoy the process of learning.
Born and raised in North Central Pennsylvania, Katrina Neyman has been performing and teaching in Maryland and Pennsylvania for 6 years. After completing her Bachelor’s in Music Education from Messiah University, Katrina went on to teach 3rd – 5th grade band and strings in Anne Arundel County Maryland. She then worked at Cameron County School District teaching general music, 5th-12th grade chorus, and 5th-12th grade band, including marching band. She currently teaches 5th and 6th grade band and jazz band at Shippensburg Area School District. She’s working to attain her Master’s in Education.
Katrina has performed with the Anne Arundel Community College Wind Ensemble, the Shippensburg University Orchestra, and has played in pit orchestras for musicals over the years. She has accompanied choirs for neighboring school districts and has played piano and horn for churches. For the Keith Lance Kuhlman Competition, held at Messiah University in 2016, Katrina earned runner-up and honorable mention for her performance of Laudatio, by Bernard Krol.
*Jeffrey Noll, piano instructor, Children’s Choir & 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
*Diana Reinert, piano and violin 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 taught General Music for grades 1-8 at Montessori Academy from 2010-2019. 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 30 years, I have been involved in church music as a worship leader, soloist, and accompanist for traditional and contemporary worship. Presently, I serve as Minister of Music at West Side Brethren in Christ. I have accompanied a home-school choir, Penn National Harmony Singers, and Cumberbunds children’s choir. Freelance work includes piano and vocal work for weddings, funerals, and community events, as well as accompanying area vocalists and instrumentalists. I also participate in the CVSM Community Orchestra as a violinist.
*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.