Meet the Faculty
To find out more about our faculty, please click on the arrow to view each short biography.
Leslie Beers (Traditional and Suzuki Violin and Piano)click on arrow to expand
Leslie Beers (Traditional and Suzuki Violin and Piano) is delighted to return to Centre Co., Pa., where she introduced Suzuki Piano in 1978 and was director of Suzuki strings and piano for many years. Later, she started her own studio, Suzuki Friends. Leslie received a Music Education degree from Susquehanna University and studied in the Masters program for Suzuki String Technique at University of Tennessee with William Starr. Author of the teaching manual, the Suzuki Violinist, Mr.Starr lived for years in Japan, studying with Suzuki. Leslie creates an intimate yet professional studio, encouraging friendships through ensembles, theory games and reading in group classes. She is certified in the Mark O’Connor American music method, adding fiddle tunes to her teaching.
Evelyn Bookhammer (Traditional and Suzuki Cello)click on arrow to expand
Tom Cody (Guitar and Bass Guitar)click on arrow to expand
Tom Cody (Guitar and Bass Guitar) maintains a busy performing schedule working as a pit musician for shows (guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele), accompanist, freelance musician, and arranger. He also performs as part of horn/guitar duo with his wife, Sarah Schouten. Tom is on the music theory faculty at Penn State University teaching freshman and sophomore music theory and aural skills—a position he has held since 2001. Tom holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Guitar Performance and a Master of Music degree in Music Theory/Composition from Youngstown State University. He is currently completing the requirements for the Ph.D. in Music Theory from The Ohio State University.
Betha Christopher (Early Childhood Classes) click on arrow to expand
Betha Christopher (Early Childhood Classes) is a fully licensed Musikgarten teacher, was a National Musikgarten Teacher Trainer and a Level I Certified ECMMA member. She earned a Bachelor of Music from DePauw University in Indiana, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Boston University. "Because I can see the wonderful benefits of music in my own children, I am delighted to offer Musikgarten & Music Together programs to families at The Music Academy! I bring over 20 years of experience with young children, as a children's choir director, nanny, nursery director, preschool music teacher, and mother. I hope that your family will join me soon to sing, dance and experience music together." Betha is also the Early Childhood Coordinator.
Bonnie Cutsforth-Huber (Voice)click on arrow to expand
Bonnie Cutsforth-Huber (Voice) mezzo soprano, enjoys an active performing career in oratorio, cantata, and operatic circuits. As a concert artist, she has performed in prestigious venues across the world, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul, Turkey, Strasbourg Cathedral, and Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral. She is also in frequent demand as a recitalist and concert performer of new works. She has several world premieres to her credit, including song cycles and concert works by Robert S. Cohen, Martha Hill Duncan, and Timothy Melbinger. Ms. Cutsforth-Huber is also an active teacher; she has been the recipient of the Emerging Leaders Award from the National Association of Teachers of Singing and Penn State Altoona’s Athleen Steer Award for Outstanding Teaching and Mentorship. She currently serves as Professor of Music at Penn State Altoona.
Brandy Davis (Clarinet, Saxophone) click on arrow to expand
Brandy Davis (Clarinet, Saxophone) holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the Pennsylvania State University. She has been teaching clarinet and saxophone lessons for 14 years. Brandy is also an active freelance musician with experience in performing a wide variety of music with various groups. Some of these groups include the Nittany Valley and Altoona Symphonies, FUSE Productions, Singing Onstage Studios, Penn State Centre Stage, Chicago the Musical tour, P & J Productions, Moshannon Valley YMCA Student Youth Theatre Program, Bavarian Stompers, and the State College Area Municipal Band.
Brooke Greybush (Piano)click on arrow to expand
Brooke Greybush (Piano) is delighted to teach piano at The Music Academy. She welcomes students of all ages to take individual piano lessons or group piano lessons. Brooke holds dual B.A. degrees in Music and Psychology from Susquehanna University and her Masters in Music in Piano Pedagogy from Temple University. Teaching positions include Susquehanna University’s preparatory program, Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, and The Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts in Clearwater, Florida. Since 2010, Brooke has enjoyed teaching individual piano lessons, group piano and early childhood music classes at the Music Academy. Brooke has an interactive teaching method and adapts to each student’s learning style. She encourages families to be involved with their child’s musical journey. Piano lessons focus on technique, sound, theory, analysis, memorization and creativity. Brooke looks forward to exploring the world of music with her students while enhancing their everyday lives with creativity, discipline, and joy.
Cathy Herrera (Flute, Baroque Flute, World Flutes, Recorder) click on arrow to expand
Cathy Herrera (Flute, Baroque Flute, World Flutes, Recorder) Flutist Cathy Collinge Herrera enjoys an international performing and teaching career spanning four continents and several decades. Her Doctorate in Flute Performance and Certificate in World Music have led her down many unique as well as traditional orchestral and chamber music paths. She has served on university and conservatory faculties in Australia, Peru and the U.S. While a Fulbright scholar to Peru, she was principal flute of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional and a founder of the Latin American Flute Festival scene. In recent years she has added new age improvisation, composing and interdisciplinary arts collaboration to her list of musical passions. An artistic ambassador for U.S. Embassies, Cathy has premiered multiple works, including her own compositions in the U.S. and abroad as soloist at music festivals, such as the Bournemouth (England) Music Festival; Música Para Todos festival in La Paz, Bolivia; Festivales Internacionales de Flautistas in Peru and El Centro del Mundo Quito, Ecuador; the Mesoamerica tour with the Cornell University Men’s Glee Club; as well as throughout the Americas with the Herrera-Register flute and guitar duo; Camerata Amistad trio; and the TrioArts Project, a collaboration of music, dance and the spoken word. Founder of The Flutopia Initiative charitable organization with the motto ¨flutists inspiring musicians to change the world, one concert at a time¨, she has worked locally to benefit hometown residents with ¨Play it Forward¨ concerts and the ¨Flutopia 5k!¨ featuring musicians along the route. In the U.S. she organizes Flutopia Initiative benefit concerts for a local charity in the host city of each National Flute Association convention, and on an international level has raised funds and provided musical instruments for music students in Guatemala, Haiti and Peru, as well as funds for Doctors Without Borders. Cathy is a Rostered Artist for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, flutist and piccoloist with the Penns Woods, Altoona and Nittany Valley, Symphony Orchestras, and is the Flute Lecturer at Juniata College. Her compositions are published by ALRY and her book, “It’s Performance Day! Success in the Spotlight” by Theodore Presser.
Mary Krohn-Smith (Traditional and Suzuki Violin)click on arrow to expand
Mary Krohn-Smith (traditional and Suzuki Violin) has been teaching in State College since 1987. She was a Suzuki teacher with the State College Suzuki Program for many years and an instrumental string teacher with Bellefonte Area School District and State College Area School District. She received her Music Education degree from SUNY Fredonia and a Master degree from Southern Illinois University in the Suzuki Program with Mr. John Kendall. Mr. Kendall was one of the founders of the Suzuki method in the USA, having studied the method with Dr. Suzuki. Mary loves to teach children and give them the joy of music.
Mark Minnich (Suzuki Violin)click on arrow to expand
Mark Minnich (Suzuki Violin) holds a B.M. in Violin Performance from Bowling Green State University, as well as an M.M. in Violin Performance and an M.A. in Music Theory and History from Penn State. Mark has performed in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Poland, China, Greece, and Tanzania, and has played as soloist with the Toledo Youth Orchestra, the Toledo International Youth Orchestra, the Firelands Symphony, and the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra. An enthusiast of diverse musical styles, he has participated in jazz combos, Latin rock bands, new music ensembles, string quartets, and fiddle camps, as well as with the Mannheim Steamroller orchestra, the world tour of Chicago: The Musical, and Grammy award winning pianist Billy Childs. Mark performs as concertmaster with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra and with his wife in the innovative violin duo Revamped. He holds positions teaching violin, viola, chamber ensembles, and group classes at the State College Suzuki Program and the Grier School.
Sally Williams Minnich (Suzuki/Traditional Violin)click on arrow to expand
Sally Williams Minnich (Suzuki/Traditional Violin) is an avid freelance performer, music educator, arranger, and composer. She has appeared as a soloist at the Electronic Music Midwest Festival, the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, the Altoona Symphony, The Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra. She is a founding member of the internationally-known violin duo, Revamped, and has invented extended techniques for the violin. Williams Minnich is also the first violinist and founding member of the Allegria String Quartet which most notably performed with Grammy Award-winning artist Billy Childs. Williams Minnich studied as a preparatory student at the Cleveland Institute of Music and holds bachelor's degrees in violin performance/music composition and a master’s degree in violin performance from Bowling Green State University. She also holds a master's degree in music education from Pennsylvania State University. She has had the privilege of studying with violin pedagogues David Russell, Vasile Beluska, and James Lyon.
Victoria Petrosky (Piano, Music theory, Solfege, Accompaniment)click on arrow to expand
Victoria Petrosky (Piano, Music theory, Solfege, Accompaniment) was trained as a child at The Moscow Children's Music School #36, with her beloved piano teacher who was a student of Vladimir Sofronitsky. Victoria is a graduate of the College of Music of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory , with a B.A. in music theory, and of Gnessin's Russian Academy of Music in Moscow, where she obtained a Master 's degree in music theory and piano pedagogy. At the Gnessin Academy Victoria studied piano performance with Galina Turkina (of the Turkiny piano duo). Victoria has been teaching for over twenty years, first at the Moscow Children's Music School and later at the Main Line Music Academy near Philadelphia. She has been active as an accompanist, including the Bolshoi Theater Choreography College in Moscow, church and concert choirs in State College, musical theater productions in State College. Victoria teaches piano to students of all ages, beginner through advanced levels. She is an active member of the Central Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association, where she serves as a co-chair for the Phyllis Triolo Music Competition.
Lisa Raymond (Traditional Violin and Viola)click on arrow to expand
Lisa Raymond (Traditional violin and viola) has violin performance degrees from The Juilliard School and Yale University. She has performed with many orchestras in the United States, among them are The Albany Symphony, The Syracuse Symphony, The Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra, The Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, The Nittany Valley Symphony, The Penns Woods Festival, and The Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra. She has been guest concertmaster with The Nittany Valley Symphony and The Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra as well as principal 2nd violin with The Nittany Valley Symphony. She has given many recitals and has been a member of numerous chamber ensembles, and was a founding member of The Ithaca Trio. Lisa has been a violin and viola teacher for over 35 years, and tailors her instruction to each student and their unique needs. The emphasis is on building technique, while at the same time fostering a love of music and the desire to be the best musician that each student can be.
Cathy Scafidi (Piano) click on arrow to expand
Cathy Scafidi (Piano) holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She has been teaching individual piano lessons for over thirty years to students that are beginner through advanced levels. Ms. Scafidi has been teaching at The Music Academy since 2000 and also teaches at Juniata College.
Dan Shevock (Percussion, Marimba, Drum-Set, Jazz)click on arrow to expand
Dan Shevock (Percussion, Marimba, Drum-Set, Jazz) is a creative musician, percussionist, and philosopher. As a musician, he was the primary drummer for the Ray Ryan Jazz Band in Pittsburgh, PA for a decade, performing 20-30 engagements each year at festivals, parades, parks, and events. Since 2012 he has performed primarily as a vibraphonist in Central, PA. Dan was a jazz artist in residence at Penn State Altoona, where he continues to teach, and he performs, writes, and arranges music with a focus on ecological jazz and free improvision. Dan has also performed as a poet since 2020. As an author, his books focus on the intersection of music and ecology. In his free time, Dan enjoys gardening, hiking, running, and swimming. Dan has degrees from Clarion University of Pennsylvania (BSEd), Towson University (MS), and Penn State (PhD).
Kevin Sims (Percussion, Piano)click on arrow to expand
Kevin Sims (Percussion, Piano) has been teaching piano and percussion to students of all ages since 2005. While studying classical percussion at Manhattan School of Music in New York City, he began to focus on contemporary and experimental music, working closely with composers and helping to form Red Light New Music. While studying at the Musikhochschule Freiburg in southwestern Germany, he had the opportunity to travel to music festivals in Switzerland, Korea, Russia and Ukraine. Kevin's experiences with new and experimental work, improvisation, and various approaches to composition, are big influences on his teaching. He is currently an active performer as a soloist, with the duo Moth Bucket, and in the Open Music Ensemble (which he also directs), as well as other occasional projects in the area.
Anna Skrupky (French Horn and Trumpet)click on arrow to expand
Dr. Anna Skrupky (French Horn and Trumpet) is a horn teacher and performer currently located in State College, Pennsylvania. She has previously taught at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Lawrence University’s Conservatory of Music, the University of Wisconsin-Rock County, and in many community music school programs. She is also the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra.
Trevor Thompson (Suzuki/Traditional Violin)click on arrow to expand
Trevor Thompson has an active career as a freelance violinist and music educator. Trevor performs in concert halls throughout the country, performing with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, California Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana, and the Ohio Valley Symphony. A passionate chamber musician, Trevor has performed in concert alongside violinist Ariana Kim, Berlin Philharmonic violist Matthew Hunter, and cellist Andres Diaz. As an educator, Trevor has a passion working with a wide array of students and levels, taking inspiration from the pedagogies of Suzuki and Paul Rolland. Trevor has served as a faculty member of The Crowden School in Berkeley, CA, and as the Senior Coordinator and Lead Strings Instructor at California Symphony’s Sound Minds music program. Trevor has coached and given masterclasses as a Chamber Fellow at the Palo Alto Chamber Music Summer Camp and served as the Assistant Coordinator and Violin Instructor with the Illinois String Academy, where he taught violinists of all levels and coached chamber music at the Pre-College Chamber Music program. Trevor received a B.M. in Violin Performance from Vanderbilt University, and an M.M. and Artist Diploma in Violin Performance from the University of Illinois.
Hudson Webber (Traditional and Suzuki Cello)click on arrow to expand
Hudson Webber (Traditional and Suzuki Cello) has played cello since he was ten years old. Hudson achieved his undergraduate degree in cello performance from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, graduating in 2018. While at Drake University, Hudson was principal cellist of the Drake University Symphony Orchestra for his senior year, and also served as a musical ambassador for the University, playing concerts in Iowa and Kansas to promote the arts. He has his master’s degree in cello performance from Penn State, studying with Kim Cook, and is currently studying for his master’s in music theory. Hudson has taken Suzuki teacher training through the Suzuki Association of the Americas.