Our Music Teacher Faculty

Our music lessons instructors includes decorated recitalists, nationally recognized composers, including members of the Columbus Symphony and many of Columbus’s top performers.  Our teachers have received their education from prestigious institutions such as the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, The Berklee College of Music, Oberlin College and Conservatory, The Ohio State University, Capital University and many others.

Aimee Wetenkamp

Aimee Wetenkamp

Voice Instructor

Aimee Wetenkamp received her B.F.A. in vocal performance from UW-Parkside in 2008. During her time at UW-Parkside she founded the Original Music Festival on campus, encouraging other students to write and perform their own music. She has been the leading lady in productions such as The Wizard of Oz, Aida, A Chorus Line, Cabaret and The Last Five Years. She has performed with the Milwaukee Opera Theater, Racine Concert Band and worked as the musical director for the Milwaukee Repertoire Theatre. While Aimee is classically trained, her true love is musical theatre and popular music. Aimee has been teaching since 2008 and loves watching her students grow into strong musicians!

Tracy Lipscomb

Tracy Lipscomb

Violin, Viola and Cello Instructor

As a graduate of Ohio University, Tracy Lipscomb has been teaching string instruments for thirteen years. Ms. Lipscomb has performed with professional orchestras since high school when she was accepted into the West Virginia Symphony apprentice program. In 2001 she joined the American Federation of Musicians and has since performed with orchestras such as the North Carolina Symphony, Ohio Valley Symphony and the Huntington Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Lipscomb’s teaching philosophy is centered around the concept that every student learns in different ways, thus lessons are structured around the students individual learning style in a way to help broaden the students musical abilities while also having fun.

Chad Ebert

Chad Ebert

School Director

Citing his family as his biggest musical influence, and coming from 4 generations of professional musicians, Chad started his musical education at 3 years old. He began his college training at the age of 16, in Jazz Studies as a Pianist and has also studied under Jazz legend Tony Monaco. In addition to his training in Jazz piano he has studied classical technique in the Taubman Method and is one of only a handful of pianists in Ohio that teach the technique. As a member of the National Piano Guild and the Music Teachers National Association he is dedicated to providing high quality music education in a fun environment.

Katrina Cortes

Katrina Cortes

Piano Instructor

Katrina Cortes is a pianist and teacher from Hilliard, Ohio. She began taking piano lessons at the age of 5 and was performing, teaching, and collaborating by the time she reached high school. She received her Bachelor‘s degree in Piano Performance from Cedarville University in 2011. During her time there she won first place in the University’s concerto competition and performed with the school orchestra. She also received the Charles and Margaret Clevenger scholarship for exemplary musical stewardship and character, and was published in Musical Offerings, the University‘s Journal of Musicology. Katrina later studied Collaborative Piano under Dr. Allison Gagnon at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is currently the music director at Whitehall United Methodist Church and is pursuing her certification in the Suzuki teaching method. When she isn’t playing piano, Katrina enjoys taking bike rides with her husband and two children, reading, and salsa dancing.

Nora Ramey

Nora Ramey

Office Manager

Nora moved to Ohio from Idaho to pursue her B.A. at The Ohio State University. After graduation in 2013, she gained administrative experience as a Production Coordinator for some of Columbus‘ largest live events. Having played piano for 10 years, Nora was drawn to the Academy’s mission of fostering confidence and creativity through music. She joined PAoM in 2015 and strives to provide an outstanding customer experience for all students and parents.

James Cahalin

James Cahalin

Guitar Instructor

James has over 20 years experience and is a versatile guitarist, proficient in many styles of music. Formally trained at the renowned G.I.T. in Los Angeles he has studied with such greats as Scott Henderson and Paul Gilbert. His training and extensive knowledge of jazz, blues, rock, country, slide guitar, classical and more, make him an ideal music teacher for those with broad musical tastes. His teaching emphasizes music theory, reading standard notation and guitar tablature, overall musicianship, building repertoire and playing for pure enjoyment. James teaches ages 6+ and can accommodate groups of 2.

Tim Davis

Tim Davis

Piano and Trumpet Instructor

Currently choir director and worship accompanist at New California Church. Worship accompanist at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Powell, Ohio. Over 30 years of teaching and performance experience, including 16 years as music director for The Ink Spots. First call keyboardist for Broadway touring shows in Columbus and Dayton, performing over 40 Broadway tours. Band leader or pianist for Bob Newhart, Buddy DeFranco, Doc Severinson, The Four Aces, The Four Lads, The Drifters, The Coasters, The Platters, John Lithgow, Hal Linden, Jim Nabors, Don Knotts, The Dorsey Brothers, The Four Freshman, The Columbus Symphony Orchestra, World tour of The Zelda Symphony Symphony, many cruise lines, and most notably, Andrea Bocelli, and Il Divo.

Certified instructor of The Yamaha Music Education System. Local teaching experience includes five years as Adjunct Instructor of Piano at Denison University, and many years of instruction at Coyle Music Centers, Hauer Music, Columbus Music Academy, and others. I have also served as a church accompanist for as long as I can remember, and have been signed to a major record label (Curb Records) in Nashville.

Helen Cates

Helen Cates

Violin and Piano Teacher

Helen Cates began studying the violin at age 5 at the Staedtische Musikschule Aalen, Germany. Her primary teachers include Liviu Bogdan, Jonathan Thomas and Gabriele Turck in Stuttgart, Germany. At a young age she performed with orchestras such as the Aalener Sinfonieorchester, the Kammerorchester Rosenstein and the Junge Philharmonie Ostwuerttemberg. With them she has travelled throughout Europe, including Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, France and Austria. She has performed as a soloist with the Kammerorchester Rosenstein in 2010 and the Indiana University South Bend Philharmonic in 2013. In 2011 and 2012 Ms Cates participated in the MasterWorks Festival.

She has completed a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University South Bend studying under Jameson Cooper. In addition she holds a Masters in Music degree from Bowling Green State University, where she was a member of the Graduate String Quartet. Ms. Cates enjoys teaching and inspiring young musicians toward excellence. She continues to be passionate performer of chamber and orchestral music.

Issac Cowden

Issac Cowden

Piano Instructor

Isaac Cowden began learning about music at the age of 4. He and his older brother being the only musicians in the family began playing at their church soon after. After wanting to go the college for music and also theology, He applied and was the recipient of a Worship Studies scholarship at Indiana Bible College where he spent the next 4 years recording 5 albums and going in nine tours across the US. After completing his Bachelors in Worship Studies and Music Technology the with a minor in Theology, he moved to Columbus Ohio. He now serves as the Creative Director as well as Band Director, for Calvary Apostolic Church. He also works with various studios and artists in the U.S and writes songs in his free time, whenever he can manage.

Kyle Rowland

Kyle Rowland

Drum and Piano Instructor

As a drummer and percussionist, Kyle has performed with Vic Juris, Todd Coolman, Pete Malinverni, Jon Faddis, Wessell "Warmdaddy" Anderson, Tony Monaco, Rick Depofi, Radam Schwartz, Cameron Brown, and James Weidman. He also has a master’s degree in Jazz Studies from Purchase College in New York. He has composed music for theatre, television, and film. Television shows include Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, Sins & Secrets, Disappeared, Fatal Attraction. He also scored films for Magic Dog Productions, B12 Productions, Killer Goose Films, and Wildlife Productions.

As an educator he has taught as an adjunct professor at William Paterson University, Purchase College SUNY, The Thurnauer School of Music, and The School of Rock.

Bryan Percoco

Bryan Percoco

Piano and Guitar Instructor

Bryan Anthony Percoco received a MM in music composition and a BM in classical guitar performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He also holds a certificate in performance and composition from the Upbeat International Music School in Milna, Croatia. Additional studies include lectures and private lessons at two summer courses in Italy with music faculty from institutions such as Princeton, Yale, Eastman, Peabody, Oberlin and Italian conservatories.

Bryan’s compositions have been performed and recorded throughout the United States and Europe. His orchestra music has been recorded in the Czech Republic by the Janacek Philharmonic and the Brno Philharmonic. His orchestra music has been selected to be released worldwide on the ABLAZE records label release "Orchestral Masters Vol. 4". His most recent orchestra composition was selected as a finalist in the American Prize competition. He was selected to write music for the renowned Italian string quartet, Quartetto Indaco, which premiered in Italy at the HighSCORE festival. In addition to composing, Bryan is a focused and dedicated, multi-faceted instrumentalist with years of professional performance experience on both piano and guitar, and can teach and perform styles ranging from jazz, classical, rock and many other popular styles.

Tom Martin

Tom Martin

Piano, Brass and Cello Instructor

Graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Tom has been studying and playing music his entire life. He has played in ensembles ranging from symphonic orchestra and big band to jazz blues and rock. He has performed and traveled extensively throughout the United States. He has also worked as a producer and arranger in the studio, working with recording artists and also doing commercials for radio and tv. He has been teaching music in central Ohio for over twenty years.
Tom is currently the director of the strings program at Union Scioto schools in Ross County and music director for the Contemporary Worship Service at Ascension LutheranChurch in Columbus.

Mollie Rausch

Mollie Rausch

Suzuki Piano Instructor

Mollie grew up in a musical family on a 126 acre full functioning farm with five siblings and lots of farm animals...think sound of music meets old MacDonald. She has been playing, composing and arranging music for church and small ensembles which includes several stints as full time pianist for the last several years at various local churches. She has taught piano lessons for fourteen years and has experience teaching students ages 3 -70. Mollie has extensive experience with learning disabilities and is familiar with many different learning styles and methods. Her creative approach to piano education, and fierce love of working with children gives her an enthusiastic edge in the world of young pianists.

Jeanmarie Strawbridge

Jeanmarie Strawbridge

Piano Instructor

Jeanmarie Strawbridge has been teaching at the Powell Academy of Music since 2016. She has earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Piano Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as two Masters degrees in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy, both from The Ohio State University. During her time at Ohio State, Jeanmarie held a full-time associateship, teaching undergraduate group piano classes, for which she was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Associate Award. Jeanmarie also was a winner of the Ohio State Concerto Competition and performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the university symphony. Additionally, she has presented lecture recitals on teaching and performing topics at state conferences and is involved in Music Teachers National Association and Ohio Music Teachers Association events. In her student-centric teaching, Jeanmarie hopes to foster a love for music, superior technique, a high musical aptitude, and a sense of achievement in each of her students. Jeanmarie has had the privilege of studying with esteemed professors including Steven Glaser, Maria Staeblein, and Elena Abend. She has also studied at the Corsi Internazionali di Musica in Urbino, Italy. Beyond her teaching, Jeanmarie has served as a pianist for the Columbus Ballet (BalletMet) and has worked with members of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, as well as Opera Columbus.

Zach Koors

Zach Koors

Drums & Piano Instructor

Zach Koors is a freelancing composer, percussionist and educator in the Columbus, Ohio area. He has performed with groups such as the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, the Westerville Symphony Orchestra, and the MacConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra. He plays drums and keys in the worship bands at Veritas Community Church while also maintaining a studio of percussion, drums, and piano students. Koors’ percussion works are published by Per-Mus Publications though he has also written for various instruments and ensembles. Holding a Bachelor of Music Degree from Ohio State University, he studied percussion with Susan Powell and Joe Krygier, and composition with Jan Radzynski.

Rachel Miller

Rachel Miller

Clarinet & Saxophone Instructor

Originating from Bushkill, PA, Rachel has been playing the clarinet since she was nine and the saxophone since she was thirteen. While in high school, she had the experience of playing with the United States Air Force Band. She studied Music Ministry at Messiah College where she focused on woodwind instruments under the instruction of Elisabeth Stimpert, DMA. During college and after graduation, Rachel has taught private lessons in various places and has participated in multiple worship bands.She moved to Ohio in 2015 to work at an Outdoor Education Facility, but has since gotten back into teaching private music lessons.
Rachel likes to play a wide variety of musical styles, but takes a liking to more modern music styles, particularly pieces that require a unique "electronic" sound.

Jenna Hunnicut

Jenna Hunnicut

Vocal Instructor

Jenna Hunnicutt has had a lucrative start to what promises to be an exciting opera career. Recent performance highlights include Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, and Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice. Hunnicutt’s voice has been called “one of the most beautiful I’ve known” by Dr. Scott McCoy, author of Your Voice: An Inside View. Touring with national choirs has led to performances from the Denali range in Alaska to the esteemed Carnegie Hall in New York City. Hunnicutt received a music degree from Ball State University and is pursuing an MA in Voice Pedagogy from the Ohio State University, where they just received The Swank Voice Lab Award for Excellence in Voice Pedagogy.

Rachel Parfenchuk

Rachel Parfenchuk

Voice & Piano Instructor

Rachel Parfenchuk earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Ohio Wesleyan University (2014) and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Cleveland Institute of Music (2017). Parfenchuk has performed with Ohio Wesleyan Opera Theater, Columbus Dance Theater, Cleveland Institute of Music Opera Theater, and Opera Columbus. Her performance highlights include the role of Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music, Denise in Beatrice and Benedict, Frasquita in Carmen, as well as being a two-time winner of the Ohio Wesleyan concerto competition. Ms. Parfenchuk’s passion for performance carries over to her love of teaching, as she has taught both voice and piano since 2012. During her education she studied pedagogy extensively with both Dr. Jason Hiester and Dr. Dean Southern and continues to seek the most efficient and engaging ways to cultivate skill and confidence in students of all ages.

Jacob Campbell

Jacob Campbell

Piano Instructor

Jacob Campbell is a Columbus, Ohio based pianist, composer, arranger, and educator. Originally from Mansfield, Ohio, Jacob started music at a young age and continues his work on technique and style.

While studying in Capital University’s Jazz Studies program, Jacob had the privilege to play in the Capital University Big Band, and Jazz Consort - Capital’s top jazz combo. He won several awards for his performances most notably - Outstanding Musicianship Award at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, St. Louis Jazz Festival, and the Capital University Jazz Festival.

Jacob’s jazz instructors at Capital include Mark Flugge, Erik Augis, and Dr. Lou Fischer. To continue to elevate skills and accelerate growth, Jacob took private lessons from Lynn Arriale, Dave Powers, Martin Wind, Luke Gillespie & Jon Eshelman. Jacob studied classical piano with Seymour Fink, and Dr. Orlay Alonso.

Alex Vaughn

Alex Vaughn

Drum Instructor

Professionally trained with a B.A. in percussion from McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul Minnesota, Alex has been practicing the art of drumming for over 20 years. Throughout his musical journey Alex has studied and performed a range of musical styles including rock, blues, jazz, fusion, hip-hop, country, funk, disco, R&B and Latin from studio settings to music festivals. Along with stylistic methods Alex has also had the opportunity to study rhythmic methods and conceptual approaches with renowned drummers such as Gordy Knudston, Marve Dahlgren, David Stanoch and Michael Bland.

As a teacher, Alex utilizes a variety of coordination methods, techniques, applications, and pedagogy to accommodate any skill level and strives to provide a creative positive learning environment that fosters confidence and encourages each student to reach his or her full potential. With many years spent honing his craft and gaining musical experiences from touring and performing live across country to working in the studio and collaborating with artists, Alex is ready to guide you through creative musical pathways and improve your performance. Alex Vaughn has been teaching at the Powell Academy of music since April 2018.

John Paul Fretwell

Violin & Viola Instructor

John Paul Fretwell is a violinist and violist originally from Anderson, South Carolina. He is the Onsite Manager of the Chamber Music Connection in Worthington, Ohio and is on the violin/viola faculty of the Powell Academy of Music. He has a Bachelors in Violin Performance from Appalachian State University, and a Master of Music from Ohio University where he served as the Ensembles Division Graduate Administrative Assistant along with being the orchestral assistant for OU’s Symphony Director, Steven Huang. During his time at Ohio University, he taught private lessons on violin and viola for Athens Community Music School. John Paul Fretwell is a member of the Ohio Valley Symphony Orchestra and has worked with other organizations such as the Huntington Symphony, and Johnson City Symphony Orchestra. He studied violin with Dr. Nancy Bargerstock, and Dr. Dawn Wohn, and viola with Dr. Eric Koontz, and Stephanie Price-Wong.

Mercedes Aviles

Piano & Violin Instructor

Mercedes began studying violin at age 8 after learning about the different orchestral instruments during a school assembly - a surprise to her family, considering there isn’t a musical bone in their lineage. After studying primarily classical music, Mercedes discovered her love for contemporary performance and moved to Boston where she received her Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Writing and Production from Berklee College of Music. During her time at Berklee she studied Jazz under Mimi Rabson, traditional Middle Eastern music under Simon Shaheen, and Contemporary / Pop under Mike Block.

After graduation, she relocated to New York where she performed and managed projects for commercial advertisements with Antfood, a renowned music & sound design studio. In April of 2018 she self released a collection of violin and vocal based compositions titled “Nothing To Show” under the moniker Meche. Outside of teaching, Mercedes spends her time experimenting with various loop & effects pedals in a constant quest to create new textures and evolve her sound.

Matthew Michalski

Guitar Instructor

Matt Michalski is an instructor, guitarist and composer whose early influences include many of classic rock’s greatest bands such as Kiss, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones to name a few. Further studies of these types of acts brought Matt to the conclusion that many guitarists came to, “The Blues had a baby, and they called it Rock and Roll.” With the late teenage discovery of what is now called Alternative rock, the world of music opened up for Matt, and his life long love of music blossomed. Matt is primarily self taught, but has studied classical guitar with Paul Reiley at Ball State University, where he learned basic classical guitar repertoire, and how to read music. He has also had lessons with many of Columbus, Ohio’s finest players. Including Stan Smith at Capital University, and David Friedlander, Local Blues Master.
Matt has been teaching guitar to students of all ages for over a decade. Matt is also an Audio profession, having sold audio solutions, and provided both live and recorded sound for performers for over two decades.
Matt is a 30+-year veteran of the Columbus music scene.
He currently plays with the Instrumental Surf band, The Bastard Sons of Neptune, his own quartet Match, and also is beginning to play solo throughout Central Ohio. He looks forward to helping you achieve your musical goals!

Jack Walbridge

Guitar, Bass & Piano Instructor

Jack Walbridge earned a Bachelors degree in music from Susquehanna University in 2012. Jack has taught guitar, bass, upright bass, and piano for over twelve years. In addition to teaching, Jack has worked as an Off-Broadway pit musician in New York and as a Session musician in Los Angeles. Jack has also worked as a freelance composer where his music was featured on television and movies.

Bo Pang

Piano Instructor

As a child, Pang Bo learned to play the piano from her father. Showing talent for music, she entered the school attached to the very selective Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. When she left China, Bo was enrolled with the highest scholarship possible in Piano Performance at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (University of Cincinnati). Upon finishing her study, Bo served as visiting professor of piano and artist-in-residence for Alfred University and performed actively in New York state for universities as well as local choirs. Since 2017, Bo was invited to join the West Chester Academy as their faculty to teach students across the tri-state region (Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky). As a piano faculty, Bo has experience in teaching all ages and skill levels from beginners to advanced. She particularly enjoys coaching students in preparation for piano examinations and competitions.