MEET OUR TEACHERS
Bill Adams – Acoustic blues
Bill was taught the basics of the Piedmont blues guitar style as a boy growing up in Arlington in the 1960s and has continued to pursue the style throughout his life. He earned an Associate of Arts degree from Northern Virginia Community College where he majored in music theory and classical guitar. Over the years he has worked in various country, Western swing, and old time string bands, and currently performs around Central Virginia as a soloist bringing a mix of Piedmont, Texas and delta blues, his own ragtime and fiddle tune arrangements for guitar, and various good old songs from the late 19th early 20th century Americana repertory. He can also be heard over WTJU radio every Sunday night at 9:00pm as the host of Walkin’ Blues bringing the earliest recorded blues, jug band and string band music to the airwaves and Internet.
Marty Collin – Beginner Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin
With a borrowed guitar from a neighbor down the road and a library card, twelve-year-old Marty Collin taught himself how to play guitar, and his life long journey in acoustic music never faded. A life devoted to teaching, university and high school English instructor, theatre director, published playwright, that musical spark accompanied him on his journey from Cleveland, Ohio, to Haverhill, Massachusetts, to Durham, New Hampshire, to College Park, Maryland, to Amenia, New York, and to Hagerstown, Maryland. Newly transplanted to Charlottesville, Virginia, he has recently taught weekly mandolin, banjo, and guitar lessons and was the faculty advisor to the folk music club at Saint James School in Maryland.
From the 2017 Saint James School yearbook, his former mandolin student, Martin McGuigan, Class of 2017, writes:
And of course, who could think of Mr. Collin and not immediately hear music? He is by no means shy in sharing his love of music. As he integrates his passion into almost every facet of Saint James life, he shows the true extent to which he is a member of this community. Whether playing banjo as a crossing guard for home cross country meets, playing guitar in his classes, or playing mandolin with me and the rest of our Blue Chair bluegrass group every Tuesday, his dedication to music knows no bounds.
Jack Dunlap – Mandolin, Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Jack began playing music at the age of 12. Shortly after starting on mandolin, Jack picked up the guitar and the bass and has played consistently since. An ambassador of the music, Jack has made a bee-line for success. When he is not playing onstage, he is playing offstage. Jack is an award winning musician, winning countless instrumental competitions up and down the east coast, including the Watermelon Park mandolin and guitar competitions in Berryville, VA, the Fiddler’s Grove guitar competition in Union Grove, NC, the Loudoun Bluegrass Festival guitar competition in Leesburg, VA and he has placed in prestigious competitions like The Galax Old Time Fiddler’s Convention and the Mount Airy Fiddler’s Convention. Although he is only 22, Jack plays for Wammie nominated group Bud’s Collective, is Wammie nominated himself for his album Chop, Shred & Split, is already endorsed by Fairbuilt Guitars, Carey Mandolins and Eastman Guitars, is a hand- chosen apprentice to the legendary Danny Knicely, a mandolin and guitar teacher at Blue Ridge Community College and a guitar teacher at Divinum Auxilium Academy. He teaches privately all around the Shenandoah Valley. Always forging ahead, Jack blazes his trail with the aid of the influences from Sam Bush, Adam Steffey, Danny Knicely, Frank Solivan, and other bluegrass greats.
Malia Furtado – Bluegrass Fiddle, Classical Violin
Hailing from the Northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, Malia comes from a large family of musicians. Malia’s musical journey began at the age of 3 with classical violin lessons and took a turn, for better or for worse, with the discovery of bluegrass at age 7 when she attended her first festival, Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention. Since then, Malia has performed with a number of different groups, taken home a range of prizes, and graced the stage of numerous venues up and down the East Coast. Malia has given private lessons in both bluegrass and classical since 2006. Other teaching ventures include appearances on two Murphy Method instructional DVD’s and leading fiddle workshops at various festivals. She currently teaches adult continued education courses in bluegrass fiddle at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyer’s Cave, VA.
Jesse Harper – Songwriting, Guitar
Jesse Harper, founding member and lead singer of Old School Freight Train and current member of 80’s bluegrass super-group, Love Canon. He has toured and played with many of his musical heroes including David Grisman, Madeleine Peyroux, Josh Ritter and Ricky Skaggs. An active songwriter, Jesse splits his time between touring with Love Canon and writing and performing his original material.
Corey Harris – Blues Guitar
Patrick Keese – Classical Violin, Bluegrass & Old Time Fiddle
Patrick Keese is a classically trained violinist and traditional fiddle player who grew up in the heartlands of Virginia beneath the Blue Ridge Mountains. Patrick started playing violin at the early age of four, learning the instrument through traditional bluegrass and old-time fiddle tunes, and transitioned to classical study at the age of ten. Throughout high school he studied under Suzuki instructor Julie Wilkinson, and went on to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Patrick has played in many ensembles both classical and traditional, most notably the Castleton Festival Orchestra under the direction of the late Loren Maazel of the New York Philharmonic, the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra, and the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, among others. Today he lives in Charlottesville, where he is training in pedagogy with his former Suzuki teacher and volunteers to teach with the Charlottesville High School Orchestra, and continues to work towards sharing his passion for music with others through one-on-one instruction and community involvement.
Chris Leva – Guitar
christopherleva.com Christopher Leva has enjoyed teaching guitar for 20 years in a variety of styles. He performs regularly in the area with Ragged Mountain String Band and Faster Than Walking, two of Charlottesville’s classic old-time bands. He also plays flatpick bluegrass and acoustic swing in GreenHouse and electric guitar with several dance bands.Focusing on the basics while introducing subtler aspects of musicianship and ensemble playing are the keystones in his class series, “New Old-time Guitar.”
Molly Murphy – Voice, Guitar
Molly’s love of music came at an early age, singing in choirs from age 4, participating in all the school musicals, and making music with her family for as long as she can remember. She attended Stuart Hall School in Staunton VA as a music student in the Visual and Performing Arts program from 1999-2003, and attended James Madison University where she continued to study music.
Her performing career in music began with her first band, The Bourbon Specials, based out of Charlottesville, VA in 2005. A few years later, she and a group of friends formed The Judy Chops, and have been performing regionally, as well as up and down the east coast since 2007. “Molly’s solid musicianship and dedication have been the background for the band’s solid arrangements.” She plays rhythm guitar, sings, writes, and arranges. Molly also performs in a duo ensemble, The Marvelous Murphy Sisters with her sister Sally Murphy, in which their mother (Lorie Lichtenwalner) and younger sister also occasionally join.
In September 2016, Molly opened her teaching studio Queen City Music Studios- A school of music for learning by ear. She offers private lessons in voice, and beginner guitar and piano, as well as Musikgarten from birth to age 5, and after-school aural music classes for elementary and middle school aged students in her Staunton studio. Molly also offers workshops for teens and adults in harmony singing, rounds singing, shape-note singing, jamming with other musicians, and live sound set-up through Queen City Music Studios.
She has performed and/or recorded with several musicians including Michael Glabicky of Rusted Root, Midnight Spaghetti and the Chocolate G-strings, Acme Swing Mfg. Co, Pete Stallings, Lost Indian, Sally Rose Band, Sarah Lynna and the Misfit Toys, Brian Patrick Band, Ludwell Joseph, and Den Fruman. She loves to share in making music as a jam host in Staunton, as well as in old time/ neo-trad gatherings such as at the Appalachian String Band Festival, and will be attending the Swannanoa Gathering as a camp counselor for the children’s camp for the first time this year.
Molly is thrilled to be extending her reach to Charlottesville with Front Porch, and continuing to share her love of music.
Ayoyinka (TJ) Oriola – Voice
Tucker Rogers – Slide Guitar
Tucker Rogers grew up in Rappahannock County, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, then moved on to the College of William and Mary, studying the histories of Jazz, Western Classical, and American Popular Music armed with his guitar and a love of all types of music Since moving to Charlottesville in 1999, Tucker maintained a solid schedule of live performance and recording with the acoustic and electric guitar, playing everything from everything from folk to hip hop, and forming a deep and honest connection with his instrument.
He’s shared the stage with numerous local and national traveling acts. In the Spring of 2017, Tucker most recently starting teaching slide guitar technique at the Front Porch.
Darrell Rose – Percussion
Percussionist, painter, and Charlottesville institution, Darrell is renowned for teaching many thousands of children over a long career in public and private schools in Virginia. As a drummer, he has been an Artist in Residence for the Virginia Commission for the Arts and performs in many rock, jazz, african, latin, and reggae configurations. He led Charlottesville’s Afrikan Drum Fest for many years. Darrell has shared the stage with many of the greatest musicians of our times, including Corey Harris, The Wailers, Greg Howard, Matthew Willner, The Wonderband (with Houston Ross and Johnny Gilmore), John D’earth, Bobby Read, and Jamal Millner.
Beverly Seng – Ukulele, Dance, Voice
Beverly Seng literally wrote the book on teaching ukulele to children: Ukulele Oh! is being used by elementary music educators both locally and along the East coast. Her book contains 150 folk songs, along with singing games, folk dances, and the songs’ “back stories.” She has taught ukulele and folk dance at intergenerational folk camps, homeschoolers’ gatherings, and teachers’ institutes. She has taught a folk dance P.E. course at Mary Baldwin College. She is currently teaching ukulele at Yancey Elementary. She has directed the choir at Charlottesville’s Sojourners’ Church for over 20 years. She also directs JABA’s “Hallelujah Singers” (gospel and freedom songs), as well as an informal roots choir that sings international folk songs in four-part harmonies. Beverly is certified to provide healing music at the bedside for those who are sick or in pain. She plays fiddle for contra dances and plays folk harp for herself and her friends. Her ukulele books are available from her website, ukuleleoh.com.
John Spangler – Bluegrass Banjo
John took up the banjo at age 13, focusing on the hard-driving 3-finger style of masters such as Earl Scruggs and Sammy Shelor, as well as the melodic ideas of Bobby Thompson, Bill Keith and Tony Trischka. While traditional bluegrass has always been a passion, he also enjoys taking the banjo into genres where it is less well known. Over the years he has played with many bluegrass/americana bands most recently in Pennsylvania and Virginia, and previously in Europe where he performed in various countries and taught banjo at the ETM École des Musiques Actuelles in Geneva Switzerland. He has been in opening acts for Tim O’Brien, Frank Wakefield, the Jerry Douglas Band, Béla Fleck, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops among others. Lately he has been onstage with the Staunton and Charlottesville bands Bourbon Barrel Congress, the Will Overman Band, and Gallatin Canyon.
Devon Sproule – Songwriting, Guitar, Performance
Devon Sproule grew up at Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, VA. She moved to Charlottesville as a teenager, busking on the downtown mall and making friends within the local music world. Now a professional touring musician, Sproule plays regularly in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Her releases have garnered praise from Village Voice, New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Observer, Guardian, and have featured collaborations with (among others) fellow Virginians Mary Chapin Carpenter and the late Jesse Winchester. As a teacher, Devon’s specialty is one-on-one “musical mentoring,” helping people young and old improve their playing and singing while learning to process life’s joys and pains creatively, through songwriting. She also offers guidance in performance and music business, if desired. In general, Devon’s approach is intuitive and revolving around ear and feel, with a dash of basic music theory. The 34-year-old, in addition to being a musician, is a bird enthusiast, doula, and a student of Deaf Culture and sign language. She has been married to producer / videographer Paul Curreri for 11 years.
Gina Sobel – Flute, Sax, Guitar, Voice, Songwriting, Jazz Studies
Gina Sobel is a genre chameleon and a devoted multi-instrumentalist on flute, voice, sax and guitar. She has taught music in the Charlottesville area for seven years on all of these instruments, as well as improvisation and songwriting. Gina’s composition takes two main directions; she writes songs with piercing lyrics and expansive vocal melodies, as well as jazz tunes that bring in elements of funk, modal jams and found sounds. She pulls these two sides together with her rock band Gina Sobel and the Mighty Fine. Gina also leads a jazz quartet (the Sobel 4tet) and plays as a solo artist and in a number of other groups, really, as many as she can. Playing in different kinds of bands keeps things fresh – and every genre informs every other one.
Andy Thacker – Mandolin and Guitar
Andy is an accomplished and flexible strings musician. He has played the mandolin in a variety of different musical styles from traditional Bluegrass and Old Time to Jazz and Rock. Andy has performed with Love Canon, Walker’s Run, Irish guitarist Ryan McGiver, and in many other lineups over the years. Andy understands the musical roots of the mandolin, but challenges the instrument in a wide range of genres. He also likes beer, beaches, and delicious foods.
Pete Vigour – Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar, and Clawhammer banjo
vigourmusic.com Pete is a familiar face at jam sessions, concerts, and music classes around central Virginia; if string music is on the menu, you’ll probably find Pete nearby, serving up a tune on the fiddle, banjo, or guitar. He also enjoys making music on other instruments, and regularly teaches mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, mandolin, and ukulele. Pete first taught music as a teenager in Waynesboro more than forty years ago, and now teaches full time, including guitar and string band classes at several local schools. He keeps a busy performing schedule as well, with the bands Uncle Henry’s Favorites, Zuzu’s Hot 5, the Lovell Coleman Band, the Hintonaires, and in a duo with his wife Ellen, a fine mandolinist and dance caller.
Larry White – Bluegrass Banjo
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Larry has performed and recorded with some great bands over the years whose members included: Stacy Phillips, Lou Martin, John Cadley and Rick Shubb. Larry has also appeared on the NBC Today Show with his former Portland-based band “Dr. Corn’s Bluegrass Remedy.” Locally, he has been a member of the Crozet-based “Grit City Grass” band and now takes joy in teaching bluegrass banjo to beginning through advanced students.