*Mark Bryson, guitar, bass & guitar class instructor
Teaching artist statement:
I’ve had the opportunity to learn under some great teachers, and it’s my goal to bring that same enthusiasm and passion to my students. I love seeing a student’s eyes light up when they discover something they didn’t know before or beam when they play something amazing that they’ve been working on for a long time. Improvisation is key to making music your own, so I guide my lessons towards teaching students how to play, not just what to play.
Teaching & Performing Bio:
I started playing the guitar when I was 9 years old, and bass at 16. Since then I’ve played and recorded with bands and worship teams with many different band arrangements, and these experiences taught me just how versatile an instrument the guitar is. Similarly bass, along with percussion, forms the foundation of modern music. The infinite possibilities of these instruments make it impossible to run out of things to learn.
*Kaye Cariola, guitar instructor
Teacher Artist Statement:
Teaching guitar has become a fulfilling way for me to combine my passion for music and my purpose in helping others. When I first started learning guitar as a struggling teenager, I knew I wanted to channel my energy into something positive that would allow me to express myself. I have found such joy in my guitar and saw how it brought me personal growth and self-confidence. In teaching, I aim to empower students, especially young girls, to use their skills and intuition to find their unique voices and develop their self-expression in creative ways. It’s always a special moment to see their excitement when I’m teaching them the songs that they want to learn or when they realize they can play a passage they thought they wouldn’t have been able to play before.
Kaye has been playing for more than twelve years. Her classical guitar training began during her first year of college, which has ignited within her a passion and ongoing curiosity for the genre. She studied Classical Guitar Performance at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Currently, Kaye is a guitar teacher who specializes in the classical genre and popular music. She holds a private studio and teaches at the International School of Music. Kaye started teaching at CVSM in 2022.
Kaye has studied Classical Guitar Performance at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Kaye has had ample performance experience during her time in college and university, participating in classical and jazz ensembles and in formal and casual recitals. She developed much of her personal performance style through her studies with Dr. Candice Mowbray and her participation in master classes with other female guitarists including Berta Rojas and Meng Su.
*Tresa (Paul) Day, guitar
Tresa is a seasoned performer & songwriter, covering a multitude of genres including rock, soul, blues, and folk. She taught for CVSM from 2002 – 2012, maintaining a strong student base. She conveys her joy & passion for music to her students through personal instruction, group classes, & music camps.
*Stephanie Gemmell, flute, guitar, & ukulele instructor
Teaching Artist Statement
Every developing musician’s artistic voice is inherently unique and valuable. I seek to foster open, collaborative lessons that help musicians express themselves clearly and authentically. My hope is for my students to leave each lesson feeling confident in their own potential and excited to continue their musical growth! As an instructor, I specialize in teaching beginning through advanced flute and piccolo, along with beginning through intermediate ukulele, guitar, and bass guitar. Music is ultimately a form of communication, and I support my students in effectively conveying musical ideas across a variety of genres and musical styles.
Stephanie Gemmell earned her BA from George Washington University in 2021, where she completed pedagogical training and practicum as a peer tutor and led woodwind sectionals within the GW Orchestra. She taught lessons remotely from 2020 to 2022, and is excited to teach in-person lessons while pursuing her MA from Berklee College of Music. As a woodwinds instructor, Stephanie guides students in developing embouchure, breath support, traditional and alternate fingerings, and positive practice habits. She also specializes in teaching extended performance techniques, including double and triple tonguing, harmonics, whisper and wind tones, pitch bends, and other contemporary and jazz flute practices. She enjoys introducing her students to improvisational styles and techniques across instruments. In addition to her Berklee classes, she participates in workshops through Femme House and ASCAP.
Stephanie Gemmell earned her BA from George Washington University in 2021, and she joined CVSM as a teacher in 2022. She is pursuing an interdisciplinary MA from Berklee College of Music, concentrating on music production, composition, and jazz performance. She has performed in the Washington, DC area as a member of the GW Orchestra, the Washington Young Sinfonia, and the National Cathedral Choral Festival Orchestra. She specializes in jazz and rock flute performance, playing with bands locally in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 2020 and 2021 she received music composition awards from SELEF for orchestral and jazz instrumental projects.
*Ben Harlan, guitar, bass, ukulele, drums and beg. 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
*Arnold Helmick, guitar & bass instructor
Arnold Helmick has been a performing and teaching musician for over 35 years specializing in electric and upright bass, and also has in depth experience with six-string guitar as well. He has performed across many genres, including pop, blues, classic rock, big band, and jazz combo. Arnie is one of the most sought-out professionals in the Mid Atlantic music scene; his understanding of music and professionalism is seen as boon for any musical project in need of critical stylistic skills for most genres.
Arnold’s extensive performance resume is too broad to list here in its entirety, but highlights include: Founding Member of the Cumberland, MD Jazz Society, bassist/guitarist for many musicals, bassist for many jazz, blues, and classic rock bands in Western MD, visiting bass player for the Gary Marvel Orchestra and Ray Birely Orchestra; diverse music band Prophets of the Abstract Truth, blues band Stack o Blues, and jazz band the Danny Webber Trio. He also finds time most Sundays to play in the praise band at Cornerstone Community Church.
Teaching artist statement:
Mr. Helmick’s broad range of musical experience provides a strong concept of the key importance of the role of bass and guitar instruments across musical genres. His studio instruction introduces students to the depths of physiological adaptions that must occur in order for a student to develop the successful physical skills necessary to be an effective performer for all genres of music. Arnold also deepens his students’ understanding of the subtleties and demands for musicians for both the guitar and bass across the different genres of music. Arnold’s goal is not just to create a well-rounded instrumentalist, but a musician with a strong understanding as to what the demands of the music are in order to become a successful musician.
*Marie Hershey, piano, piano class, organ, & 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.
*Chuck Krepley, banjo & fiddle instructor
Chuck has been playing banjo in several styles since 1975. His first love was the hard-driving Bluegrass style, exemplified by players the likes of Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, J.D. Crowe, Bill Keith, and other Bluegrass luminaries. Within two years of first picking up the instrument, Chuck was teaching and playing in Pittsburgh-area Bluegrass bands. Within 5 years he was making his living with the banjo, teaching over 20 students a week and playing in bands on the weekends.
Since those early days Chuck has picked up the old-time Clawhammer style common in Appalachian mountain music, and even the earlier Minstrel or Stroke-style playing of the 1840’s and 1850’s. Lately he’s even been exploring the Irish style as played on the 4-string tenor banjo.
These days you’re more likely to hear Chuck performing Celtic music on the fiddle in one of several bands he performs with throughout the Middle Atlantic states, and even into Canada on occasion. He still manages to work the banjo into some of those performances, though.
Chuck loves to teach, and enjoys nurturing his students and watching them grow musically. He prides himself on helping his students discover just what it is they need to work on to improve their skills. He treats each student as an individual with different strengths and weaknesses, and enjoys guiding them along the path to discover the joy to be found in making their own music.
*Frank Maietta, banjo, guitar, hammer dulcimer, ukulele, & mandolin instructor
Teaching Artist statement:
I like teaching music for everyone to be able to play and sing around campfires, in church, or just for their family and friends- just to spread the joy of music with an easily understandable method.
Frank began playing in 1973 and by 1983, after being honorably discharged from USMC, began performing and teaching friends to play banjo. In 2008 Frank began teaching at the Evolution Rock School in Hagerstown, MD teaching banjo, guitar, and ukulele. In 2013 Frank took over the Beginner Banjo Course as well as the Bluegrass Jamming class at Hagerstown Community College where Frank perfected the “Music Made Simple” method.
Frank began performing in 1983 with the Smoky Valley Ramblers playing traditional bluegrass until 2000 when he began performing with the Hangfire bluegrass band covering country and rock in a bluegrass style. In 2010 Frank began working with the Back Creek Valley Boys going back to his first love of traditional bluegrass. Frank has recorded numerous CD’s and has collaborated on several. Frank continue to paly with the Back Creek Valley Boys today.
*Joel Newman, guitar & voice instructor
Teaching Artist statement:
My approach to teaching voice is different from teaching guitar, but in both cases, learning how to study/practice is paramount, as is a sense of self objectivity. That is what I try to teach my students. Each student is unique and I adapt my teaching to them. I teach using the music that the student wants to learn. Rock/Blues/Jazz/Soul/R&B/Funk/Country are my are my strengths on guitar, as well as music theory, improvisation, playing and singing, songwriting and technique. For voice I teach the time honored technique of Bel Canto. Though a classical technique, I am not a classical singer and I know it works for whatever style of music the student applies it to. My main focus when working with voice students is to get them to their biggest best vocal placement and teach them how to properly practice their songs. I love teaching, I love being there when the light bulb turns on. My burning desire is to ignite a spark then light and pass on the torch to any and all open hearts and ears.
I consider myself “street learned” on guitar. I studied plectrum style guitar privately in NYC for many years with some name brand teachers, Allen Hanlon and Pat Martino to name a couple. I also studied music in classes from ‘Sounds of Joy’ studios and from the great bebop master Barry Harris. I studied Voice for nine years in NYC and in New Jersey in master classes and privately with Judy Hages. I find I’m constantly reinventing myself as a teacher, taking on summer youth rock camps, group singing classes as adjunct faculty @ Frederick Community College, and even coaching middle schoolers to sing musicals!
I’ve played and sang at many venues in NYC, (CBGB’s , Spiral, Lion’s Den, Dan Lynch etc.). But mainly was more of a session guitarist collaborating and recording with such old style greats as T.M. Stevens, Dr. John, David Sanborn, Miroslav Vitious, Dick Wagner, to name some. My biggest claim to fame is recording on the actor Tim Curry’s 3rd album for A&M records “Simplicity”, where I co wrote a song on the album. Since relocating to Maryland I’ve played in many bands from variety wedding bands, to R&B and Rock bands. I did a stint in Taipei Taiwan in the “Brown Sugar” house band for several months. Up until recently toured, recorded, co-wrote, and co produced with the now defunct western Maryland favorite Blues band “Moondog Medicine Show.” I still write, record and perform my original music.