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Faculty Bios by Instrument

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flute & piccolo --- clarinet --- saxophone --- trumpet & cornet --- french horn --- trombone, baritone & euphonium --- piano --- drums & percussion --- violin --- viola --- cello -- guitar----bass


Here are just a few of the recent performances, awards, and professional activities
of our faculty members...

... ... ..... ...

Christopher Burge (saxophone) has again performed music segments for American Greetings' e-greeting cards.

Kathie Stewart,, (flute) toured England and Italy in August with Apollo's Fire, The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, performing for the BBC Proms and in the Tuscan city of San Querico where she was featured in the Bach Brandenberg Concerto #5

Jason Simon (piano) also performed in Todi, Italy this summer for the Todi International Music Masters Festival.

flute:

Kathie Lynn Stewart, flute and recorder, earned her masters degree at the Manhattan School of Music and completed her doctoral coursework at the Cincinnati Conservatory. She has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and China with such ensembles as the Cleveland Orchestra, Apollo's Fire, Oberlin Baroque Ensemble, Cleveland Opera, ARTEK, Taffelmusik, and Cleveland Lyric Opera. Ms. Stewart is currently Teacher of Baroque Flute at Case Western Reserve and maintains a private flute and piano studio in Wellington, OH. She is a founding member of Apollo's Fire: the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra and has been featured with the ensemble in concerts around the world and on recordings. Kathie's website is www.kathiestewart.com

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clarinet:

Tom Tweedle received his B.A. in saxophone performance and Master's Degree in Clarinet Performance from Cleveland State University, where he studied with Ted Johnson (Cleveland Orchestra-retired) and Sheldon Hendershott. He also studied jazz with Phil Rizzo. As a performer he has appeared in many settings: on recordings, television and radio, in recitals, and a variety of groups, including twenty-five years as a member of the Blossom Festival Concert Band. He has been a band director for private schools and the Cleveland Municipal Schools, an adjudicator for contest, and has taught privately since 1969.

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saxophone:

Christopher Burge began his musical career in Columbus, Ohio, where he attended The Ohio State University, graduating in 1997 with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance. During his time at OSU he performed with Barry White, Louie Bellson, and The Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show, and toured Europe and Thailand. Since settling in Cleveland in 1998, Christopher has performed with Mavis Staples, Ronnie Spector, David Sanborn, "Little" Jimmy Scott, and Nancy Wilson. Christopher also records saxophone, flute, and clarinet for American Greetings, and is heard on the theme song of the WVIZ-PBS show "Applause". Christopher performs with the award-winning blues group Blue Lunch and the Jazz Heritage Orchestra. Chris has been teaching privately since 1993.

Allison Denham received her Master's in Saxophone Performance at Cleveland State University and Bachelor's Degree in Music from the University of Toledo. An adjunct faculty member at Lorain Community College, Allie also coaches woodwinds and assists with area marching bands. She performs in a variety of wind, jazz, and saxophone ensembles, including the Lake Erie Saxophone Quartert. She has been teaching since 2010.

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trumpet & cornet:

Rich Pokrywka is pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts from Ohio State University. He received his Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from University of Georgia. He received his Bachelor of Trumpet Performance from Baldwin Wallace College. Rich is an adjunct instructor in the Preparatory Departments at Cleveland Institute of Music and Baldwin Wallace College. He was an adjunct professor of trumpet at Piedmont College in Georgia. He has studied with James Darling, Fred Mills, Roy Poper, John Brndiar, Larry Black and Timothy Leasure.

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french horn

Matt Ashton is a freelance hornist in the Greater Cleveland region, performing locally and teaching a studio of young musicians. He has performed in and around Detroit, Toledo, and Pittsburgh. Matt recently graduated from Duquesne University with a Master’s Degree while studying with Zachary Smith of the Pittsburgh Symphony. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree at Bowling Green State University with Dr. Andrew Pelletier, and has had additional studies with Hans Clebsch of the Cleveland Orchestra and Aaron Brandt of the Dayton Philharmonic.

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trombone, baritone & euphonium:

Leland Matsumura received his Master's Degree in Trombone Performance from Western Michigan University, where he studied under Dr.Steve Wolfinbarger. He has performed as a soloist, in orchestras, and in brass ensembles throughout his career, and he has taught trombone, euphonium, and tuba to grade school, high school, college, and adult students. In addition, he coaches brass ensembles , has been a music teacher in public school programs, and taught applied trombone at the college level.

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piano:

Jason Simon is pursuing his Doctorate in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Antonio Pompa-Baldi. He received his Master's from CIM, and his B.M. in Piano Performance from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW).He has appeared as a soloist with multiple orchestras  and given chamber and solo recitals, including appearances in Germany at the Saarburg Serenaden International Music Festival. He has taught students of all levels for over eight years.

McKenzie Marsh is completing her Music degree at Cleveland State University She has studied piano with Sebastian Birch, and is currently a student of Nancy Bachus. She has been teaching private students of all ages since 2010.

Jill Cornell received a B.A. in Music Management and a B.A. in Business Management from Baldwin-Wallace where she studied percussion with Josh Ryan and piano with Robert Mayerovitch. Currently, she is attending Ashland University to work on an MBA. She has been teaching private music lessons since 1997 to students as young as 3 on piano as well as many avenues of percussion from drum set, marching drumline, hand drums, and mallets. She has been the percussion advisor and assistant band director for Columbia Local Schools since 2003 and ihas been a member of and featured soloist with the Patriots Band in Elyria since 2014

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drums & percussion:

Jill Cornell received a B.A. in Music Management and a B.A. in Business Management from Baldwin-Wallace where she studied percussion with Josh Ryan and piano with Robert Mayerovitch. Currently, she is attending Ashland University to work on an MBA. She has been teaching private music lessons since 1997 to students as young as 3 on piano as well as many avenues of percussion from drum set, marching drumline, hand drums, and mallets. She has been the percussion advisor and assistant band director for Columbia Local Schools since 2003 and ihas been a member of and featured soloist with the Patriots Band in Elyria since 2014

Tim Miller is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and of the Los Angeles College of Music. He has been playing drums for over 20 years and teaching for over five. He spent the last several years playing for the Philadelphia band Modern Bliss, performing in hundreds of weddings, clubs, and private parties up and down the east coast and in Ohio and Canada. In 2015, Tim relocated to Cleveland to continue his studies at Cleveland State University. Tim’s forte lies in funk and rock, but he is also well versed in jazz, Afrocuban and Brazilian drumming.

Paul Stranahan received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Capitol University and studied with Jim Chapin, Ed Soph, and Bob Moses, among others. He teaches drum set in all styles, snare drum, congas, and mallet instruments. Stranahan has been a band leader since 1999. He plays drums, composes and leads the progressive fusion group PSI- Paul Stranahan’s Insomnia and the modern jazz group the Paul Stranahan Trio. He has played drums on and written songs for two CDs of the experimental band Broadview Collective. He also performs solo marimba. His Trio and Red Side Visible (an avant/metal group Paul plays drums in and composes for) performed in Belfort, France at FIMU (Festival International de Musique Universitaire) in 2010. He has recently released a double CD, Gong and Singing Bowl Improvisations. His main drumming influences are Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, John Bonham and Bill Bruford. He has been teaching privately since 1987. Paul's website is www.paulstranahan.com

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guitar:

Michael Barna has been teaching guitar in the Cleveland area since 1997. He graduated with honors from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Music Composition, and then went on to receive a Master of Music in Composition from Cleveland State University. He is proficient in rock, pop, jazz, classical, and folk music. Mike has performed locally as a solo artist, with Jeff Charmek as an acoustic guitar duo, with Broadview Collective (a rock/fusion/ experimental ensemble featuring fellow Skyline Music faculty member Paul Stranahan on drums), and various other groups. As a recording artist he has independently produced numerous albums including solo and duo guitar music, various ensembles, multitracked experimental pieces, and a CD with Broadview Collective. Mike has also composed music for full orchestra, chamber groups, and soloists, with many performances of his works.

Cheryl Fitiak received her Master of Music in classical guitar performance at the University of Akron, where she studied with Stephen Aron. She received her B.A. from Kent State University with studies in communications and music. Cheryl has also studied jazz arranging, theory, applied harmony, and improvisation with Cleveland jazz pro Ralph Russo (dec). Her teaching qualifications include classical guitar, contemporary styles, jazz studies, and theory and analysis. She directed and arranged music for the “ Arlington Road Classical Guitar Ensemble “, has coached students for jazz band, pit bands, and religious ensembles, and has prepared students for recitals and auditions. Cheryl currently performs as a classical guitar soloist in NE Ohio, accompaniest and with the classical duo “Going for Baroque”. She began her performing career with the pop dance band “Changes". She was a featured soloist on the 2005 and 2007 cd’s "Guitar at Akron” sponsored by the University of Akron. She has been teaching on Cleveland’s west side since the mid 70’s and has been a member of Skyline’s faculty since its opening in 1987.

Brian Gaudino received his Master of Music in Guitar Performance from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, studying with Dr. Jeffrey George. He went on to become an Adjunct Faculty member there, teaching courses, coaching ensembles, and giving private lessons. His teaching expanded to additional programs in Louisiana, where he taught students of all ages and levels. In addition to his solo classical guitar performances, Brian also performs in jazz and popular music settings. He works with his students in all aspects of guitar playing.

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bass:

Aidan Plank enjoys performing a diverse range of music throughout Northern Ohio. He has studied with bassist-composer David Morgan as well as with Kevin Switalski of the Cleveland Orchestra, and is a graduate of Cleveland State University. His performances range from collaborations with Dan Wall, Joe Lovano, Judi Silvano, Joe Maneri, Janis Siegel, and Frankie Avalon to the modern period-instrument premiere of Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer's Le Pouvoir de l'Amour (1743) at Oberlin College and the world premiere of Randall Woolf and Robin Stranahan's 'pop-up' opera, Frozen Community, produced by Real Time Opera in 2013. In addition to his work with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Aidan can currently be heard exploring duo improvisation with guitarist Daniel Lippel of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

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violin:

After moving to the States at the age of thirteen, Saki Kurose began her violin studies in Washington D.C. with members of the National Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Kurose is an active solo, chamber, and professional orchestral musician, and has given performances at many prestigious venues, including the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. She holds a degree from Rice University, and earned her Master’s Degree from Cleveland State, where she studied with the Cleveland Orchestra's First Associate Concertmaster Peter Otto. Ms. Kurose currently holds the position of principal second violin in the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, and is a section member of the Canton Symphony. Ms. Kurose is deeply passionate about sharing both the invaluable instruction she has received and personal insight as a professional musician with enthusiastic students of any level.

Samantha McNamara received her Bachelor of Music performance degree from Butler University in Indiana, where she also studied violin pedagogy. There she also played in the Anderson, Evansville, and Marion Symphony Orchestras, coached middle school orchestra strings, and taught a studio of over 40 students for several years. She became a certified Suzuki violin and viola instructor in the summer of 2010. Samantha has played many different styles of folk music and specializes in traditional Irish music. She has performed in Indianapolis with her band Edge of Erin, and also with the popular Indy based band Ennis Clare. On Irish fiddle she has competed with the Indianapolis Ceili band in the 2011 and the 2012 Midwest Fleadh Cheoil. In 2011 she traveled to Ireland to attend the South Sligo Summer School to further her knowledge of Irish music. Samantha's website is http://mcnamarastrings.com/home.cfm

Shannon Williams received her Bachelor of Violin Performance Degree from Baldwin-Wallace College. She has studied with Gary Kosloski, Wei-Shu Co, and Julian Ross. She has been teaching private and small group lessons since 1990. In addition to teaching, she has played fiddle in the local Irish band Turn the Corner, Scottish band Next In Line, and violin with the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra.

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viola:

Samantha McNamara received her Bachelor of Music performance degree from Butler University in Indiana, where she also studied violin pedagogy. There she also played in the Anderson, Evansville, and Marion Symphony Orchestras, coached middle school orchestra strings, and taught a studio of over 40 students for several years. She became a certified Suzuki violin and viola instructor in the summer of 2010. Samantha has played many different styles of folk music and specializes in traditional Irish music. She has performed in Indianapolis with her band Edge of Erin, and also with the popular Indy based band Ennis Clare. On Irish fiddle she has competed with the Indianapolis Ceili band in the 2011 and the 2012 Midwest Fleadh Cheoil. In 2011 she traveled to Ireland to attend the South Sligo Summer School to further her knowledge of Irish music. Samantha's website is http://mcnamarastrings.com/home.cfm

Geneva Claflin received her bachelors of music in viola performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2015 where she studied with Stanley Konopka of the Cleveland Orchestra. While at CIM she also studied Suzuki pedagogy and has taught students of all levels over the past three years. Claflin has attended summer festivals both in the United States and the United Kingdom and has given several chamber and solo recitals. She currently continuing her viola  studies with Csaba Erdéyli.

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cello:

Katie Holaway holds Bachelor and Master degrees in Cello Performance from the University of Alabama and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of South Carolina. In addition to maintaining a private studio, Mrs. Holaway teaches strings for the Avon Lake City School District. Prior to moving to Ohio, she taught strings for the Fairfield County School District (SC), and also served as Assistant Director for the award-winning University of South Carolina String Project. Mrs. Holaway taught with the University of Alabama's Community Music School and the University of Montevallo's Community School of Music. She is an active member of the National Association for Music Education and the American String Teachers Association.

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Matt Ashton, horn
Mike Barna, guitar
Christopher Burge, saxophone
Geneva Claflin, viola
Jill Cornell, piano, percussion
Allison Denham, saxophone
Cheryl Fitiak, guitar
Katie Holaway, cello
Val Kent, percussion
Saki Kurose, violin
Leland Matsumura, trombone
McKenzie Marsh, piano
Samantha McNamara, violin
Tim Miller, percussion
Aidan Plank, bass
Rich Pokrywyka, trumpet
Brian Gaudino, guitar
Jason Simon, piano
Kathie Lynn Stewart,flute, recorder
Paul Stranahan, percussion
Tom Tweedle, clarinet
Shannon Williams, violin

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