Faculty

Diane L. Havrilla

Diane Havrilla graduated from College Misericordia with a bachelor of music in music therapy. She has a teaching certification from Lycoming College and a master of music degree from Mansfield University. In addition to her private teaching experience, she has taught general music, music theory, music appreciation, and directed choirs and shows at the elementary and junior high levels.

Mrs. Havrilla is currently the organist at First United Methodist Church in Williamsport, where she also volunteers with the youth ministry program (grades 6-12). She is available to teach piano and organ to all ages and abilities.

Pamela J. Hess

Pamela Hess graduated from Geneva College with a bachelor of music degree. She is available to teach traditional piano from ages 6 through adult. She is also available to teach chord instruction from chord sheets and lead sheets to accompany Contemporary Worship Teams.

In addition to her 20+ years of private piano instruction experience, she is currently involved in CHEF Co-op teaching piano and hand bells. Mrs. Hess has also provided piano, organ and keyboard accompaniment for Co-op musicals, church services and worship teams, and she has led children's musicals at various churches.

A long-time member of the S.O.T.A. family, her six children have all been or are currently involved with the S.O.T.A. dance program.

Lea Frymire

Students learning piano by ear learn to develop a naturally acquired skill of musical active listening.

The student memorizes a process uniquely adapted to the student’s age and ability. The process is a technique enabling the student to decipher tones forming melodic patterns. He/she learns to combine concordant tones forming adaptable chord progressions. The student then forms chords to go with the melodic patterns. Varied rhythmic techniques are taught to coordinate chord progressions with melodies.

Playing piano by ear, applicable for children and adults, can be an activity engaged in and/or expanded upon for personal enjoyment; or, it can be used in ensemble work like worship teams and other performing/ministering opportunities.

Sarah K. Decker

Sarah Decker, soprano, enjoys sharing her love of singing as both performer and teacher. Operatic credits include Die Fledermaus (Adele), Mozart’s Impresario (Frau Silberklang), and the title role in Susanna. Musical theater roles include Guys and Dolls (Sarah Brown) and The Music Man (Marian Paroo) at our local Community Theatre League.

Additional solo endeavors include singing with the Rochester Symphony and locally with the Williamsport Civic Chorus, vocal competitions, and recitals in the Williamsport and State College areas. A member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Mrs. Decker has led studio vocal classes and has taught voice privately for 14 years.

She is a recipient of the 2018 Joan Frey Boytim Award for Independent Teachers, a fellowship awarded to voice teachers who are NATS members in order to assist with their attendance at the biennial NATS National Conference.

Mrs. Decker is an honors graduate of the Houghton College School of Music in Houghton, New York, where she earned a bachelor of music in vocal performance and was inducted into the national music honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda.

She has studied voice with Shirley Close (former leading dramatic soprano of the Mannheim Opera House) and with Marc Lewis (former stage director of New York’s Metropolitan Opera) and she is currently studying with Dr. Susan Boardman, professor emeritus at Penn State University.

Anne J. Keely

Anne Keely has been a member of the advisory board and flute instructor at Saint John’s School of the Arts since it opened in 1996.

She was the SOTA director for nearly 18 years, until her resignation in September 1, 2018. Mrs. Keely holds a B.A. degree from Lycoming College. She studied flute privately under Dr. Claire Polin of the Rutgers University faculty.

She has been a flute instructor to persons of all ages and ability levels and has performed solo, duet and ensemble work in community venues and at Saint John’s-Newberry United Methodist Church.

Her students often participate in studio workshops, where they enjoy the experience of playing in ensembles. She is also available to help prepare students for district band auditions.

Philip W. Herfort

Philip “Flip” Herfort holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Wilkes College and has done graduate work at SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Fredonia, and Penn State University.

He has full time instrumental music teaching experience in New York state (Franklin Central and Union Springs Central districts) and has been a substitute teacher in and around Lycoming County. Mr. Herfort taught general music at St. Boniface, St. Joseph’s, and Immaculate Conception and is now retired from public and parochial school teaching.

He currently plays in the Lycoming College Community Orchestra and the Central Pennsylvania Community Band, along with the Billtown Brass, the Repasz Band, the Windjammers Unlimited Circus Band, and the local New Horizon Band. Other performance venues include the Liberty Community Band Festival, the Association of Concert Bands, and many other local groups and churches. Mr. Herfort was inducted into the “Who’s Who in American Education.”

Laura Schreckengast

Laura Schreckengast holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Mansfield University and a Master’s Equivalency in Education with graduate work at Penn State University and Wilkes University.

She was a full-time teacher of Choral Music, Instrumental, and Marching at Southern Columbia Schools, and also at South Williamsport Schools where she was responsible for the 1st-4th year instrumental program & Marching Bands.

She continues at South part-time, teaching beginners & 2nd year students. Current & past ensemble performances include the Repasz Band, Penn Central Wind Band, Williamsport. Chamber Choir, the Liberty Community Band Festival, and others, and she is a counselor for Bugling and Music badges with the Boy Scouts of America.

Laura has a variety of experience teaching differently-abled students. She teaches beginners on all wind instruments up through advanced woodwinds, and especially loves working with beginners, focusing on setting a solid foundation of technical skills and excellent music-reading skills, and building confident, excited, lifelong musicians.

Jason Paulhamus

Jason Paulhamus earned a B.A. in fine arts with an illustration concentration from Messiah College. Currently a freelance illustrator, you can see many examples of his work on his website (www.jasonpaulhamus.com). He has worked with many clients on a wide variety of projects, including illustrations for numerous books.

Mr. Paulhamus specializes in children’s books as well as cartoons and comic book-styled artwork. He taught basic art classes at the School of the Arts for ten years and currently offers private instruction in art to all ages at S.O.T.A..

He has offered bonsai classes since 2011. Mr. Paulhamus also runs a home business, Bug Eaters and Stony Gap Bonsai, where he sells carnivorous plants, bonsai, cactus, succulents, and air plants at local markets (see details at facebook.com/bugeatersandstonygapbonsai). Bonsai classes are offered in the spring, summer, and early fall at SOTA.

Theresa Kendall

Mrs. Kendall holds B.A. and M.Ed. degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has studied extensively with Dr. Jane Dakak, protégé of Alwin Nicholais and Murray Louis. Mrs. Kendall has been a performer and choreographer of Modern Dance and Ballet for 38 years. She is actively involved in community collaborations with Dr. William Ciabattari of the Lycoming College Music Department, brining live music and dance to the Community Arts Center for the last six years. Substitute teachers are Rose Troisi, Trisha Patterson, and Kate Welsh.

Bonnie & Gary Glidewell

Gary and Bonnie Glidewell are well-known and respected in the local ballroom dance community. They are registered Social Dance Instructors with USA Dance (formerly US Amateur Ballroom Dance Association). Teaching venues have included East Lycoming School District, Tokishi Center in Wellsboro, and River Valley YMCA. They have performed demonstrations for nursing homes and non-profit organizations and have appeared numerous times on WVIA TV’s ballroom dancing show.