Lissie Shanahan ~ Flute

Education/Experience Teaching:

Lissie is the Principal Flutist of the Asheville Symphony, the Piccoloist of the Winston-Salem Symphony, a member of the Western Piedmont Symphony, and the Adjunct Instructor of Flute at Lenoir-Rhyne University. In addition to holding these posts, she has held the position of Principal Flute with the Asheville Lyric Opera and has performed with the New World Symphony (FL), Salisbury Symphony (NC), the Symphony of the Mountains (TN), National Repertory Orchestra (CO), and the Sarasota Music Festival (FL). She also has served as Guest Instructor at the Long Island Conservatory and at The Juilliard School Pre-College.

Lissie received her Master of Music from The Juilliard School in 2008 and her Bachelor of Music in 2006 from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She has presented recitals at High Point University, Davidson College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, and St. Mary’s Music Academy in High Point. Lissie has performed as soloist with the Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony (MI), the Blue Lake Festival Orchestra (MI), and the Asheville Symphony. Her other honors include First Prize in the 2003 Detroit Bohemian Concerto Competition, Third Prize in the 2011 Myrna Brown Artist Competition, and a performance with the New York Woodwind Quintet.

Quote or Special Message: "If music be the food of love, play on!" ~Shakespeare

What do you like about teaching/Why did you choose to teach?: My favorite part about teaching is having the opportunity to meet so many new students and watching them grow as both musicians and people.

Kania Mills ~ Clarinet and Saxophone

Education/Experience: Master of Music Degree in Clarinet Performance from UNCSA. Private Clarinet/Saxophone teacher. Marching Band Woodwind Director at North Stokes High School.

Skills: Teaching private lessons, conducting, Chamber Music Coaching, Woodwind Orchestral Repertoire Coaching.

Shannon Mackenzie ~ Violin

Michelle Clontz ~ Violin, Viola, Cello

Education/ Experience: Masters of Music Degree from UNCG. 21 years of teaching private/nonprivate lessons. Orchestra teacher at Hanes Middle School & East Forsyth Middle School. Band teacher at K.B. Glenn High School. Also a color guard coach for Atkin's High School Marching Band.

Other: Member of Greensboro Philharmonic Orchestra

Debbie Couch ~ Piano

Education/Teaching Experience: Bachelor of Music from Piedmont Bible College (Major in Piano, minor in Organ). Debbie has been teaching local piano students for over thirty years and is a member of the Winston-Salem Piano Teachers Association.

Doug Rowe ~ Drums and Percussion

Educational Background: Mr. Rowe is currently pursuing his Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance at UNC School of the Arts located in Winston-Salem, NC. Previously, he received his Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Wingate University located in Wingate, NC. Mr. Rowe’s primary teachers include Mr. John R. Beck, David Markgraf, Matthew Decker, and Rick Cline.

Teaching Experience:

  • Instructor of Percussion (North Forsyth High School)
  • Percussion Mentor (the Union Symphony Youth Orchestra)
  • Instructor of Percussion (The Hernandez Conservatory of Music)
  • Instructor of Percussion (Triple Threat Dance Studios)
  • Substitute Teacher (Union County Public Schools)
  • Student Teacher (Cuthbertson Middle and High Schools)
  • Percussion Ensemble Coach (Cuthbertson Middle School)
  • Percussion Technician (Cuthbertson High School)
  • Music Theory Tutor (Wingate University)
  • Percussion Instructor (Piedmont High School)
  • Percussion Consultant (Hickory High School)
  • Private Lessons (Hickory and Wingate, NC)

Specialties: classical percussion, marching percussion, and drum set Genre Preferences: classical and jazz

Nicholas "Bruce" Brewster ~ French Horn

Bruce Brewster is a third-year undergraduate music student at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He enjoys playing in the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Nutcracker Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, Horn Ensemble, and the Cornichon Wind Quintet. He has been teaching horn at Separk Music since September 2016. His primary horn teacher is Dr. Maria Serkin, and his favorite performance so far was Beauty and The Beast with the Lexington Youth Theater.

Joni Hanna ~ Voice and Piano

Joni Hanna received both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill. She studied piano and voice at Salem College before transferring to UNC as a junior undergraduate. Joni's love for accompanying has led to performances playing for musicals, choirs in concerts and festivals, and she has served as pianist for Composer Showcase events. A lifelong church musician, plays for choirs at Ardmore Baptist and Sedge Garden United Methodist. She is a founding member of the UNC Loreleis acappella group and has appeared as soloist with the Piedmont Chamber singers as well as other ensembles. A passionate teacher and coach, Joni's goal is to instill and cultivate the love of music in her students. She strives for excellence with her teaching which includes having fun and experiencing joy in the process.

Gustavo Antoniacomi ~ Cello

Gustavo Antoniacomi engages in chamber music projects across the U.S and abroad. In the summer of 2017 Gustavo joined the Tempest Trio, and went through an extensive tour in Germany and Austria performing works from the Piano Trio repertoire as well as from the Cello and Piano literature. He was described as a “sensitive cellist” of the “virtuosic young trio” by the Greiz Newspaper. In the fall of 2017, Gustavo collaborated in a choreography project with the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Dance Studio, performing one of Bach’s Suites for Unaccompanied Cello. He “played Bach live on stage sublimely” –Winston Salem Journal.

Currently Gustavo is a senior cello major at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He is part of Dr. Brooks Whitehouse’s studio and a recipient of financial awards such as the Music Dean’s Scholarship and the Watson Endowed Fletcher Scholarship. Gustavo has performed and participated in masterclasses given by renowned artists such as David Finckel, Amid Peled, Tim Eddy, Paul Watkins, Beiliang Zhu among others. In 2016 Gustavo collaborated with the Chrysalis String Quartet, and played for a string quartet symposium in Lincoln Center (NYC), where they were coached by the Escher String Quartet. Gustavo has played in competitions and attended music festivals in North and South America and he was recently a student at the Heifetz International Music Institute.

Sarah Kissinger ~ Violin

A recent graduate of Macalester College studying violin with Mary Budd Horozaniecki, Sarah Kissinger was concertmaster of the Macalester Symphony Orchestra and winner of the 2017-18 Macalester Concerto Competition. Sarah has participated in master classes with musicians including Osmo Vänskä, Paul Watkins, Chad Hoopes, and Harumi Rhodes, and is currently pursuing her Masters of Music in Violin Performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, studying with Professor Kevin Lawrence.