Meagan Cramm ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Viola, Violin, and Piano
Meagan earned her Bachelor's in Music Performance at Miami University in 2007 and her Masters in Music Performance at University of South Carolina in 2009. She has been teaching privately and freelancing in the Columbus area for about five years. Meagan regularly performs on viola with professional orchestras, including the Newark Granville Symphony Orchestra, the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, and the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra. She also plays in small ensembles for weddings, church functions, and other events, and she enjoys playing her 5-string electric violin in a local band. Meagan enjoys sharing her passion for music with her students and helping them master their instruments. She currently teaches violin, viola, and beginner piano at FCMS.
Liz Fisher ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Violin & Viola
Liz Fisher comes from a musical family of 9 and grew up in Delaware, OH. She began playing violin at the age of 3 through the Suzuki Method and also took several years of piano lessons. In 2014, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Orchestral Performance from The Ohio State University School of Music.
In addition to teaching violin lessons, Ms. Fisher enjoys performing at church services, weddings, special occasions, and in ensembles, such as the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra. In 2017, she completed her teacher training for Suzuki Violin Unit 1. Liz is very passionate about Alternative/Indie genres and Columbus’ local music scene and spends most of her free time performing as the lead-vocalist and guitarist for her Alternative-Rock band, The Cordial Sins. She also enjoys traveling, exploring the outdoors, spending time with friends, family, and her awesome dogs, Charlie and Beck!
Mark Gonzalez ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, and Piano
Mark Gonzalez has been instructing for 17 years and holds a Masters Degree in classical guitar performance and composition. Now in his fifth year with First Choice, he continues to teach a variety of styles and instruments including guitar, piano, bass, and banjo. Originally from California, Mark moved to Columbus after attending California State University, Chico for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. He was awarded Best Guitarist in 2008 by the Chico News and Review.
Ted Royalty ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Drums, Percussion, and Piano
Ted grew up in Worthington, OH and started playing drums at age 8. College took him to California State University, Long Beach where he graduated with a BA in Music. His primary instruments are drums, steel drums, vibraphone and piano. His experience in the Cal State Long Beach Steel Drum Orchestra led him to Trinidad in 2000, where he performed with the band "Starlift" during "Panorama," the country's annual steel drum band competition. He plays styles ranging from Jazz, Rock, Blues, Island, Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Brazilian and New Age. He has been a part of great musical groups such as Utter Space, Cliffside Jam Session, Paul Brown's Science Gravy Orchestra, Ken Messer Phoenix Project, The Procastoenators, Superfez and the Mark Goodwin Quartet. He also leads his own band, Tropical Night, a steel drum Island trio. He sits in with other fine Columbus bands and performs solo. He enjoys performing, composing and teaching. His teaching experiences include teaching drum set lessons at Village Music Haus, in German Village, teaching a kids’ steel drum band/ class at the Whetstone Recreation Center in Columbus, OH from 2004-2006 and teaching at First Choice Music Studio.
Vince Gillotti ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, and Piano
Vince is a saxophonist, and woodwind instrumentalist based in Columbus, Ohio. Vince began his study of music in his fifth grade elementary school band program. In high school, Vince was a member of the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra and he continues his studies, as he is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in Music Performance-Jazz Studies at the Ohio State University, studying under Professor Shawn Wallace. Vince has performed in numerous ensembles and musical genres, ranging from jazz, classical, pit orchestra, salsa, blues, funk, gospel, and liturgical. Vince has performed at the Columbus Jazz and Ribs Fest, The Gahanna Creekside Jazz and Blues Festival, The Southern Theatre, The Elmhurst Jazz Festival, and has shared the stage with musicians such as The Columbus Jazz Orchestra, Tia Fuller, Lewis Nash and others. Vince currently performs with the OSU Jazz Ensemble as the lead alto saxophonist, the Art Blakey Combo, the top small group jazz combo at OSU that performs for many university functions and outreach programs, and he frequently subs for the Rick Brunetto Big Band. Vince aspires to work as a performer, teacher, composer, arranger and supporter of music and musical education.
Cole Kaluger ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Piano
Cole received his bachelors degree in guitar from West Liberty University in Wheeling, WV and then went on to receive his master's degree from the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Graduating in May of 2014, Cole also finished with a Pro Tools certification.
Cole is well versed in performances from ensemble, solo, and orchestral groups, original and cover bands, as well as solo and duet performances for weddings, banquets, and acoustic nights.
Cole’s first love musically is hard rock and metal, but he loves jazz composers such as Barney Kessel, John Pizzarelli, Django Reinhardt, and John Coltrane. In the art music realm he loves composers such as Frederick Chopin, Fernando Sor, Franz Liszt, and Johann Sebastian Bach. Teaching a wide variety of ages, styles, both in public schools and private lessons, Cole continues to practice the craft of teaching music as well as studying music himself.
Wendy Tanner ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Violin, Fiddle, Viola, and Piano
Miss Wendy began teaching violin in 1997 and it’s what she truly loves doing. She has studied violin at Syracuse University, the University of Tennessee and The Ohio State University and completed books 1-4 of Suzuki Teacher Training at The Suzuki Institute at Capital University.
Miss Wendy enjoys playing at her church where a year ago they challenged her to give up sheet music and play by ear which has been a challenging but very rewarding experience!
When not teaching violin or practicing for church, Miss Wendy enjoys spending time with her family and friends and lives with her son and grandson.
April Fenn ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Piano
Born and raised in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, April Fenn began her musical education with piano lessons at the age of six. Throughout grade school and up through high school, April participated in many recitals and performed with school and church choirs and was a sought after accompanist for many instrumental and vocal groups. April continued her musical studies as an undergraduate piano performance major at the University of Utah on a music scholarship and most recently at The Ohio State University where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance. April’s past teachers include: Dr. Caroline Hong, Dr. Heather Conner, Stephanie Smith, Dr. Don Massengale, and Bonnie Griffiths.
Since moving to Ohio, April has continued her accompanying work in playing for vocalists, chamber music groups, and collegiate symphonies and orchestras. She has taught in her private studio for fifteen years and also plays the organ for her local church congregation.
In addition to her musical career, April also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and enjoys racquetball, swimming, reading, writing, and spending time with her husband and three young children.
Alayne Wegner ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Violin, Fiddle, Viola, and Piano
Alayne is a recent graduate from Kenyon College with a dual degree in Music and Sociology. She began playing the violin when she was five years old, and hasn’t put it down since. During her college career, she was a founding member of the Chase Quartet, a four-year member of both the Knox County Symphony conducted by Professor Ben Locke, the New Albany Symphony conducted by Luis Biava, as well as a substitute violinist for the Newark-Granville Symphony. Alayne’s solo repertoire, prepared under the instruction of Ariane Sletner, led her to place into the Kenyon College Angela Waite Recital in both 2014 and 2015, and to win first place in the college division of the Knox County Young Musician’s Competition, performing the First Movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Knox County Symphony in February of 2017. In addition to pursing research on sound and social control as a two-time John W. Adams Summer Socio-Legal Scholar, Alayne has also attended various music festivals during her college career, including the 2014 Philadelphia International Music Festival, and the 2017 Brevard Music Festival and Institute in preparation for a future in violin performance. Upon completion of her Senior Recital and music comprehensive exams, she was awarded Distinction in Music as well as the Thomas B. and Mary M. Greenslade Award in Music Performance. Currently, Alayne resides in Columbus, Ohio working as a freelance musician and arts administrator.
Mariam Bochoradze ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Voice/Singing and Piano
Mariam is from the Republic of Georgia where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Voice (vocal) between 1994-1999 at 1st School of Art in Rustavi. She her Master’s degree in Piano and Voice at Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani Tbilisi State Pedagogical University of Georgia between 2000-2005.
Mariam was performing in Tbilisi’s Opera as a soprano and later worked as a piano and voice teacher in Greece and Germany for 6 years. Mariam has a diverse and rich work experience; in Greece, she worked at the famous music school “Orfeas”. While there, she performed in a Jazz Band in the Saloniki and was the maestro of two kid's choirs.
Mariam moved to Ohio in 2014 and continues to work as private piano and voice teacher. She also works as an early learning music teacher at the Arlington Children’s Center to preschooler and school age children.
Lisa Lotz ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Tuba, Euphonium, and Sousaphone
Lisa is a Tubist and Brass teacher in Columbus, Ohio. Lisa begin playing in 6th grade in Lynchburg, Virginia. In high school, she performed at the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana with the Jefferson Forest High School Wind Symphony. This experience made her want to pursue a career in Music Education.
Lisa is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music Education in the Conservatory of Music at Capital University. She has played in a variety of ensembles while at Capital including Wind Symphony, Tuba Quartet, Brass Quintet, Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, and Trombone Choir.
Lisa is also involved in the Women’s Chorus at Capital as well as the Hand Bell Choir and the Chancel Choir at Christ Lutheran Church.
Nathan Newman ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele, and Piano
Nate Newman is a guitarist, performer and educator in the Columbus area. Nate’s first instruments were the clarinet and saxophone, which he played through middle school before becoming wholly dedicated to the guitar.
After graduating from the University of Cincinnati, Nate moved to Austin, TX to pursue a career in music. In addition to performing and teaching privately, Nate taught after-school classes for ukulele with the Groundwork Music Project.
While in Austin, Nate enrolled in the Music Business, Performance, and Technology program at Austin Community College, where he gained experience in recording, mixing, arranging, and MIDI production. Now in Columbus, Nate is immersing himself in the local music and arts scene. Outside of music, he enjoys yoga, running, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends.
Lyne Padmore ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Flute, Trumpet, Saxophone, Clarinet, Euphonium, Trombone, Violin, & Piano
Lyne received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Susquehanna University in 2016 and her Master of Music degree in Music Performance from Bowling Green State University in 2018. Raised in Northern New Jersey, Ms. Padmore attended performing arts school and performed for the New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts as well as alongside the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Although Ms. Padmore is classically-trained, she has extensive experience in other styles, such as jazz, improvisation, and musical theatre. She believes in being a well-rounded musician and encourages musical versatility in all of her students.
Brianna Walstra ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Voice, Piano, Guitar, & Ukulele
Bri received her Bachelors degree in Music Therapy and a minor in Psychology from Ohio University in May 2018. Voice was her primary instrument in college, placing an emphasis on musical theatre style. She has been singing and playing piano for 15 years, guitar for 8 years, and ukulele for 4 years. Throughout her high school and college years, Bri was involved in musical theatre, show choir, and dance. She currently volunteers for a non-profit group, The Royals Project, who dress up as superheroes and princesses and visit sick kids in hospitals. In her spare time she enjoys watching crime shows, playing with her cat, spending time with family, and adventuring.
Stephen Ball ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Voice, Piano, & Drums
Stephen received his Bachelor’s of Music Education from Capital University. During his time there, he spent time in various university and extra-curricular ensembles including The Chordsmen under the direction of world renowned composer Craig Courtney, as well as sang in the Chapel Choir where he was given many great opportunities to perform across the country including an East Coast tour which included a concert in Carnegie Hall.
Currently, Stephen is singing in various churches as a soloist or in choirs including singing in the Chancel Choir of the Worthington Presbyterian Church.
Stephen enjoys teaching music at any level and watching his students excel. He believes learning music should be exciting and fun!
Diyora Khojirakhimova ASSOCIATE TEACHER
Instructor of Classical Piano & Jazz Piano
Diyora has received her Bachelor's degree in classic and pop music performance from the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan. She started learning piano from music school of Inoyatov, then she went to music college of Niyoziy to continues her musical education.
Diyora has 6 years’ experience in teaching piano, and also, she has been involved as a pianist in a kid’s choir. She shares music and musical knowledge with her students. She guides and teaches her students to music theory, aural skills and practical techniques to play the piano.
She loves spending her spare time with her family and friends.