STRINGS

NORMAN BERNAL was born in Lima, Peru.  He attended the National Conservatory of Music studying violin with Harold Franken.  His musical studies continued at Southern College, Andrews University, Michigan, Ball State University, Indiana, and Leslie University, Massachusetts.  He has toured South America, Central America, Europe and the United States as a violinist and conductor.  After a successful tour of Leningrad, he recorded with the Leningrad Radio and Television Orchestra and the Leningrad Classic Orchestra.   For ten years he was the Director of the Chamber Music Program of the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program.  Mr. Bernal has taught at Pacific Union College in California and Gwinnett County Public Schools.  As a performer, he was Concertmaster of the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra, and a Founding Member of the Atlantis String Quartet.  Presently, he is Music Director and Conductor of DaSalo Solisti Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta, Georgia.

GEORGE BUTLER is a graduate of the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and studied at the Westminster Choir College. 

While a student at the famed College-Conservatory he was principal cellist of conservatory orchestras for three years. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Performing Arts degree at the College-Conservatory, studying with renowned cellists Arthur Bowen and Lynn Harrell. In addition, he received instruction in chamber music from members of the distinguished LaSalle Quartet. 

George is retired as Director of Private Lessons for The Lovett School in Atlanta.  Besides performing as a cellist for the Kazanetti String Quartet, he is the Minister of Music at St. John United Methodist Church in Atlanta where he directs the St. John Sunday Concert Series.



WOODWINDS

COURTNEY WHITLOCK  has been playing and studying music since she was 7 years old. Over the years she has had numerous experiences going to All-State choir, District Band on flute and All-State band on flute. In addition to flute and voice she has also studied piano, saxophone, drum set and guitar. She graduated with a Bachelor in Music Education from Reinhardt University. She has also been teaching private music lessons and music classes since 2009. She is passionate about fostering the joy of learning in students of all ages. She values the emotional and cognitive benefits of learning music and loves being able to provide the opportunity for that type of growth to others.

 

JAMES EXCELL received his Bachelor of Music Performance in Flute, Music Education and his Master in Music Education from Reinhardt University in Waleska, GA. graduating Cum Laude. He was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda in 2012, The National Music Honor Society. He taught in the Gwinnett County Public Schools as a music teacher substitute and was on staff at the Newton County Theme School serving as the Middle School Band Director.  In addition, he sings tenor in the St. Brigid Traditional Choir, plays Tenor Saxophone in the Georgia Wind Symphony and was previously a member of the Johns Creek Pit Orchestra as a woodwind player. Mr. Excell aspires to be a great teacher, as well as an arranger/composer in the Atlanta area.


HANNAH HATHORN loves sharing the joy of music with others. She graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, AL in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance. While there, she performed with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Huxford Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Wind Ensemble, and the “Alabama’s Million Dollar Band.” Hannah began teaching music lessons in 2015 and is excited to be teaching now at the FRC Conservatory!






BRASS

ANNELISE EVANS  graduated from Georgia State University in 2009 with a Bachelor in Music Education. She has studied French horn with Julie Spencer, Jay Hanselman, Tom Witte, Mike Wells, and Kathy Wood. She is an active performer in the community, playing at churches and other venues. Most recently she performed in a production of “Titanic: A New Musical,” as well as a horn soloist with the Georgia State University Men’s Choir. Annelise has attended several workshops and clinics including the 2012 Conn Selmer Institute and the 2016 GMEA Conference. She currently teaches elementary music at River Eves Elementary and is a clinician at local school.


DAWN HAYDEN  is a graduate of Oral Roberts University with a Bachelor Degree in Music Education. Mrs. Hayden has been giving music lessons for piano and band instruments for over 20 years and has always enjoyed sharing her love of music with her students. She is a co-founder of Christian Fine Arts of Forsyth, in addition to being an instructor at Horizon Christian Academy and the Music Conservatory at First Redeemer. Mrs. Hayden has students perform in Georgia’s Allstate Band and Chorus, as well as her piano students receiving superior ratings in the GMEA and FRC Piano Festivals. “I enjoy all of the aspects of music education and love to see my students succeed and be challenged to be the best they can be.”




PERCUSSION

STEPHEN CLARK  knew he wanted to one day be a drummer.  He began taking piano lessons at age 8 and drum lessons through high school.  His fascination with music increased and he decided to major in Percussion Performance at Reinhardt University. A 2015 graduate, Stephen gained classical percussion experience through various school ensembles and he furthered his drum set studies through jazz band and jazz combo. In addition, he has taught local high school marching band’s front line percussion.A full-time musician in the Atlanta area, Stephen plays gigs regularly with local bands, ensembles, and churches, and he runs a Youtube channel centered around helping drummers around the world grow in their art. Playing drums is his passion and he seeks to inspire and motivate anyone who shares the same musical interest in drums or percussion.


TIM HOWARD  currently serves as Band Director at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia and has over 25 years experience in the field of percussion education.  Mr. Howard attended Jacksonville State University.  After moving to Atlanta, he continued his career at Georgia State University where he studied percussion with Jack Bell, Paul Yancich, Robbie Coleman and numerous others.

Mr. Howard has worked as an independent percussion consultant.  He maintains a private teaching studio, and teaches clinics and master classes at numerous schools throughout north Georgia.  Mr. Howard is an active member of First Redeemer Church where he currently serves as timpanist and general percussionist in the church orchestra.  He is also the founder and current CEO of Percussion Technologies Inc., a regional percussion design and consultation firm. His professional affiliations include MENC, GMEA, and PAS.

KT ASH  was born in Tacoma, Washington, then lived the life of an Army brat until college. Moving around so much, family and music seemed to be the only two constants in her life.She loved singing and playing the guitar.  In college, she learned the drums and piano.She joined numerous ensembles, worship teams and is the worship leader at Dahlonega Assembly of God.  In 2013, Mrs. Ash graduated from the University of North Georgia with a degree in music with an emphasis in voice.She teaches private lessons for guitar, voice, bass, drums and beginner piano.  She is excited to create and teach wonderful music at the First Redeemer Church Conservatory of Music & Fine Arts.

1 Timothy 4:12-13 is her life’s motto and what she strives to accomplish. She believes that if you have God by your side, seek Him in wisdom and prayer and surround yourself with fellow believers who are wise, you’ve got all you need for success.


GUITAR

KT ASH  was born in Tacoma, Washington, then lived the life of an Army brat until college. Moving around so much, family and music seemed to be the only two constants in her life.She loved singing and playing the guitar.  In college, she learned the drums and piano.She joined numerous ensembles, worship teams and is the worship leader at Dahlonega Assembly of God.  In 2013, Mrs. Ash graduated from the University of North Georgia with a degree in music with an emphasis in voice.She teaches private lessons for guitar, voice, bass, drums and beginner piano.  She is excited to create and teach wonderful music at the First Redeemer Church Conservatory of Music & Fine Arts.

1 Timothy 4:12-13 is her life’s motto and what she strives to accomplish. She believes that if you have God by your side, seek Him in wisdom and prayer and surround yourself with fellow believers who are wise, you’ve got all you need for success.

RYAN ATKINSON graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with distinction; he then attended the Hollywood Musicians Institute, where he received a degree in Bass Performance from the Bass Institute of Technology. From 2003–2008 he toured nationally with indie band Zero Theory and Dove Award-winning and Grammy-nominated band RED. He has shared the stage with the likes of Switchfoot, Project 86, Emery, Thousand Foot Krutch, Pillar, Kutless, and Family Force Five and performed at numerous festivals around the nation. Ryan’s credits include performances with Dove Award-winning artists Aaron Shust, Candi Pearson Shelton, Jonathan Shelton and Seth Condrey, vocalists Chris Cauley and Mathai from Season 2 of NBC’s The Voice, as well as working with Dove Award-winning engineer and Grammy-nominated producer Robert Venable.


TAYLOR JARVIS was born in Cumming GA, and took up classical guitar at a very young age. He continued his interest and learning until he became interested in the electric guitar around middle school, and from high school onward he began actively playing music and leading worship at First Redeemer Church and other local churches. Today, he plays guitar for First Redeemer’s Contemporary service, mentors with the student worship ministry, and is doing light work in production and songwriting as well. Taylor is passionate about equipping young musicians for a path in music and creativity.




PIANO

BETHANY ATKINSON is a graduate of Piedmont College, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s in Church Music and a Master’s of Art in Music Education. She majored in voice, studying with Dr. Barbara Steinhaus, and minored in piano, studying with Dr. Phillip Hayner. She has taught both in the classroom and privately in the metro Atlanta area for 15 years.

She has played music around the country with some incredible talent, such as contestants on The Voice, American Idol, and Grammy and Dove award winning artists to name a few. She and her husband Ryan play music across the Southeast with their acoustic duo.

Bethany teaches the fundamentals of music in a fun way that helps students learn on their own instead of merely listening and repeating. She teaches a wide variety of genres and focuses both on reading music and developing listening skills.

BECKY BULLA  studied in the Music Conservatory of Biola University in California majoring in piano pedagogy and a minor in voice. She began teaching piano while in high school. Becky has taught piano in California, Colorado and Kansas City, as well as traveled with national and international music groups, singing and playing both piano, and organ.

She has been a church musician since her teens in the capacity of both piano and organ and has also directed children’s choirs and women’s ensembles. She thoroughly enjoys teaching piano and desires to inspire her students to appreciate their gift of piano playing, increase their desire to learn and encourage them to become the best they can be as a musician.


LYNETTE EDWARDS developed a love of music at a very early age by learning to carry the tune of “Jesus Loves Me” before learning to talk  After taking private piano lessons from age 7 through high school, she received a piano scholarship to attend Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia.  There she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a double major in music and business.  Piano was her primary instrument with voice as secondary.

After teaching several years of piano and volunteering in the children’s music ministry at church, she accepted the position of FRC is Children’s Music Director.at First Redeemer Church.  She has served at First Redeemer for 20 years.  Lynette’s passion is developing the love of music in the hearts of children. 

 
DAWN HAYDEN  is a graduate of Oral Roberts University with a Bachelor Degree in Music Education. Mrs. Hayden has been giving music lessons for piano and band instruments for over 20 years and has always enjoyed sharing her love of music with her students. She is a co-founder of Christian Fine Arts of Forsyth, in addition to being an instructor at Horizon Christian Academy and the Music Conservatory at First Redeemer. Mrs. Hayden has students perform in Georgia’s Allstate Band and Chorus, as well as her piano students receiving superior ratings in the GMEA and FRC Piano Festivals. “I enjoy all of the aspects of music education and love to see my students succeed and be challenged to be the best they can be.”


JILL HACKNEY teaches music so that songs and the art of singing and playing them will be passed down to the next generation. As her parents before her, she believes it is important to do this with care, love, and skill. She graduated from Cal State Fullerton earning a Bachelor of Music in piano performance, all the while teaching piano in the greater Orange County area.  In addition, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and began teaching for Forsyth County Schools in 2006. While teaching elementary music and directing chorus, she continued her studies at Boston University and earned a Master of Music in Music Education. She went on to complete trainings in Orff and Kodaly. Jill is currently teaching Group Piano Class, Private Piano Lessons, as well as Children and Youth Choruses at FRC Conservatory.

JULIE SANSALONE  specializes in customizing a piano program for each student based on his or her individual musical interests and abilities. Julie received a Bachelor of Art degree in Music Education from Coastal Carolina University where she was an assistant music professor. She was an executive board member of the NCMTA and a member of the North Fulton Music Teachers Association. Julie has over 22 years teaching experience and teaches all ages.

Julie is classically trained, but wants students to enjoy what they play.Specific pieces may be taught at the student’s request. Her objective is to teach students how to practice correctly while introducing elements such as theory and practice techniques with a variety of different styles of music.   

COURTNEY WHITLOCK  has been playing and studying music since she was 7 years old. Over the years she has had numerous experiences going to All-State choir, District Band on flute and All-State band on flute. In addition to flute and voice she has also studied piano, saxophone, drum set and guitar. She graduated with a Bachelor in Music Education from Reinhardt University. She has also been teaching private music lessons and music classes since 2009. She is passionate about fostering the joy of learning in students of all ages. She values the emotional and cognitive benefits of learning music and loves being able to provide the opportunity for that type of growth to others.


  Abbey Sellers began her musical journey as a young child taking lessons right here at the FRC Conservatory. She eventually went on to pursue music ministry as her full-time calling and received her Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in Contemporary Worship from Truett-McConnell University. Over the years, Abbey has had the opportunity to share the stage and/or travel with various people in the Christian music industry such as Matt Papa, Lauren Daigle, John Waller, Keith & Kristen Getty, and several others. Music ministry is her passion and joy, and it is her honor to teach students some of the things that she has learned along the way about the unique talents that God has given each person, and how to use them to magnify the name of Jesus Christ! Abbey has taught music in the classroom as well as private lessons since 2016, and will be teaching private voice and private piano lessons at the FRC Conservatory.

HANNAH HATHORN  loves sharing the joy of music with others. She graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, AL in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance. While there, she performed with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Huxford Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Wind Ensemble, and the “Alabama’s Million Dollar Band.” Hannah began teaching music lessons in 2015 and is excited to be teaching now at the FRC Conservatory! 





STUDENT PIANO LAB

Jill Hackney teaches music so that songs and the art of singing and playing them will be passed down to the next generation. As her parents before her, she believes it is important to do this with care, love, and skill. She graduated from Cal State Fullerton earning a Bachelor of Music in piano performance, all the while teaching piano in the greater Orange County area.  In addition, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and began teaching for Forsyth County Schools in 2006. While teaching elementary music and directing chorus, she continued her studies at Boston University and earned a Master of Music in Music Education. She went on to complete trainings in Orff and Kodaly. Jill is currently teaching Group Piano Class, Private Piano Lessons, as well as Children and Youth Choruses at FRC Conservatory.


VOICE


KRISTANECIA KING  has been singing from an early age. Her love and passion for music is expressed through various genres such as jazz, classical, and gospel/inspirational music. She graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Science in Music Management.Ms. King was the winner of Georgia State Idol in 2007, a featured soloist for the Georgia State University Big Band and she was also invited to sing for and with Mr. Joey Sommerville, a national recording trumpet artist, at the Sambuca Jazz Cafe.  She has had the honor of performing for Recording Artists and several State government officials. She has been the featured songstress for the Fragile Kids Foundation and Childkind, Inc. and has had the wonderful honor to sing at the Fox Theater for the kids at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.


BETHANY ATKINSON is a graduate of Piedmont College, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s in Church Music and a Master’s of Art in Music Education. She majored in voice, studying with Dr. Barbara Steinhaus, and minored in piano, studying with Dr. Phillip Hayner. She has taught both in the classroom and privately in the metro Atlanta area for 15 years.

She has played music around the country with some incredible talent, such as contestants on The Voice, American Idol, and Grammy and Dove award winning artists to name a few. She and her husband Ryan play music across the Southeast with their acoustic duo.

Bethany teaches the fundamentals of music in a fun way that helps students learn on their own instead of merely listening and repeating. She teaches a wide variety of genres and focuses both on reading music and developing listening skills.

KT ASH  was born in Tacoma, Washington, then lived the life of an Army brat until college. Moving around so much, family and music seemed to be the only two constants in her life.She loved singing and playing the guitar.  In college, she learned the drums and piano.She joined numerous ensembles, worship teams and is the worship leader at Dahlonega Assembly of God.  In 2013, Mrs. Ash graduated from the University of North Georgia with a degree in music with an emphasis in voice.She teaches private lessons for guitar, voice, bass, drums and beginner piano.  She is excited to create and teach wonderful music at the First Redeemer Church Conservatory of Music & Fine Arts.

1 Timothy 4:12-13 is her life’s motto and what she strives to accomplish. She believes that if you have God by your side, seek Him in wisdom and prayer and surround yourself with fellow believers who are wise, you’ve got all you need for success.

 
Abbey Sellers
began her musical journey as a young child taking lessons right here at the FRC Conservatory. She eventually went on to pursue music ministry as her full-time calling and received her Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in Contemporary Worship from Truett-McConnell University. Over the years, Abbey has had the opportunity to share the stage and/or travel with various people in the Christian music industry such as Matt Papa, Lauren Daigle, John Waller, Keith & Kristen Getty, and several others. Music ministry is her passion and joy, and it is her honor to teach students some of the things that she has learned along the way about the unique talents that God has given each person, and how to use them to magnify the name of Jesus Christ! Abbey has taught music in the classroom as well as private lessons since 2016, and will be teaching private voice and private piano lessons at the FRC Conservatory.

COURTNEY WHITLOCK  has been playing and studying music since she was 7 years old. Over the years she has had numerous experiences going to All-State choir, District Band on flute and All-State band on flute. In addition to flute and voice she has also studied piano, saxophone, drum set and guitar. She graduated with a Bachelor in Music Education from Reinhardt University. She has also been teaching private music lessons and music classes since 2009. She is passionate about fostering the joy of learning in students of all ages. She values the emotional and cognitive benefits of learning music and loves being able to provide the opportunity for that type of growth to others.



CONSERVATORY CHORUS

Jill Hackney teaches music so that songs and the art of singing and playing them will be passed down to the next generation. As her parents before her, she believes it is important to do this with care, love, and skill. She graduated from Cal State Fullerton earning a Bachelor of Music in piano performance, all the while teaching piano in the greater Orange County area.  In addition, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and began teaching for Forsyth County Schools in 2006. While teaching elementary music and directing chorus, she continued her studies at Boston University and earned a Master of Music in Music Education. She went on to complete trainings in Orff and Kodaly. Jill is currently teaching Group Piano Class, Private Piano Lessons, as well as Children and Youth Choruses at FRC Conservatory.




DRAMA

KATY COOK began teaching the Acting Up Drama Troupe in 2013. Katy graduated from the University of North Georgia in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. She has over 25 years of experience teaching and directing both children and adults in church and community theatre. She is also a gifted costume designer and enjoys the creative process. She especially has a passion for teaching children, and instilling in them more than just head knowledge, but reaching their hearts with a message of who they are in Christ, how they are fearfully and wonderfully made with unique gifts and talents, and that they CAN do hard things.  She believes that being part of a drama production family can and should be a positive, life-changing process for children and adults, and strives to give every person under her ministry that experience. Every Sunday for the past 12 years, you could find Katy following her passion and her love for children-  teaching Bible in the First Redeemer Kids Worship Service. It has been the joy of her heart to serve your children. 

 

LIBBY COLON started her drama journey in high school. Thanks to an older brother, she was picked as a townsperson in the production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and went on to have bit roles through high school. God put her in the path of a talented youth minster’s wife by the name of Christy Upton. She took Libby under her wing teaching her the art of directing, script writing and various back stage duties. Libby saw God’s hand of opportunity again when she came to First Redeemer Church and has been embraced from the beginning. She is driven to share her gifts and talents with those who wish to learn. The arts are a celebration of many things, unfortunately God is being pushed out of them. Libby has a mission  to put God back into the arts!



KIM NORTON  began her career as a choreographer in 1995 working with high school and college marching bands throughout Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, & Massachusetts. For 15 years she wrote and adjudicated half time shows for marching bands, drill teams, and color guards, as well as competitive indoor winter guard programs. She also served as choreographer, chairman, and adjudicator for the Tennessee Junior Miss scholarship programs. In 2010, she joined the FRC Conservatory as choreographer for the drama department. She also spent several years as a competitive cheerleading coach and is the current Flames Cheer choreographer. Kim is also a local musical theater performer with The Historic Holly Theater in Dahlonega and The Cumming Playhouse. She also enjoys background acting for feature films and television shows where she can be seen on the Hallmark Channel and Sony Pictures.

KATHERINE COOK is a junior at the University of North Georgia. She is majoring in communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in theatre. She has been part of the “Acting Up” Drama Ministry for over seven years and is honored to be a part of the creative team staff.