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!

Matthew West

Matthew West

Guitar, Piano and Brass Instructor

Matthew West has been with Powell Academy of Music since June 2014. He Graduated from The University of Rio Grande in 2011 with a BA in Music and received the Outstanding Musicianship Award as well as the John Phillip Sousa Award. Matthew has toured along the east coast playing many different genres including rock, bluegrass, country, and metal. He specializes in finger style and classical guitar. Matthew currently fills in with different groups throughout Columbus and also plays with the Columbus Guitar Society‘s Members’ Ensemble.

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.

Tristan L’Heureux

Tristan L’Heureux

Violin & Viola Instructor

Tristan L’Heureux graduated from the University of Alabama in 2014 with his Bachelor’s in Music Performance studying under the violist Dr. Daniel Sweaney. He acted as Assistant Conductor for the Tuscaloosa Youth Orchestra and the Huxford Symphony Orchestra through the University of Alabama School of Music. Tristan has played professionally with the Starkville Symphony in Starkville, Mississippi, the Muscle Shoals Symphony in Florence, Alabama, and currently plays with Central Ohio Symphony in Delaware. He has taught viola and violin privately for more than 10 years and has considerable experience working with kids in the community. Through local youth orchestras in Alabama and Florida, he has given coachings, sectionals, and conducted small and large ensembles.

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 Klautsch

Nora Klautsch

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.

Steffany Blackham

Steffany Blackham

Office Assistant

Steffany was first introduced to the Powell Academy of Music when one of her sons began taking guitar lessons here. She was excited to join the staff as an office assistant. Steffany comes from a musical family. She plays the flute and the piano. Her children sing, and play saxophone, percussion, piano, organ and guitar. In her spare time, Steffany enjoys hiking with her family. Their preferred destinations are the National Parks, with Arches National Park and Mesa Verde as particular favorites. She also likes to read, cook and quilt.

Jeanmarie Strawbridge

Jeanmarie Strawbridge

Piano Instructor

Jeanmarie Strawbridge is a pianist and teacher in Columbus, Ohio. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Piano Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a Master of Arts degree in Piano Pedagogy and a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from The Ohio State University. At Ohio State, Jeanmarie held a full time graduate assistantship and taught undergraduate group piano classes. She also was a winner of the Ohio State University Concerto Competition. In her student-centric teaching, Jeanmarie hopes to foster a love for music, a high musical aptitude, and a sense of achievement in each of her students. In addition to her teaching, Jeanmarie is an accompanist for BalletMet.

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.

Jeffery Hunnicut

Jeffery Hunnicut

Vocal Instructor

Countertenor Jeffrey 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.

More bios coming soon!