Roots & Wings
Taking Music Where It's Needed Most


Access to music education can change the course of a life, a neighborhood, and an entire community.  Roots & Wings is The Front Porch’s comprehensive music education program designed to build musicians from the inside out. We partner with organizations committed to serving children in challenging circumstances to offer group music classes and individualized musical mentorships in locations throughout the community. Roots & Wings focuses on the importance of creating trusting relationships in order to open the creative musical potential of children.

See the impact

Outreach Teaching Artists

Lillie Williams, West African dancer

Lillie is a West African dance instructor with 20 years of experience. She is the director of Charlottesville’s Chihamba Dance Troupe.

Theo Herrin headshot

Theo Herrin, singer/songwriter, guitarist

Theo is a Charlottesville native who studied music at William and Mary. He returned to Charlottesville in 2020 to start teaching for The Front Porch and pursue a music career. 

Erynn Mcleod

Erynn McLeod, singer/songwriter, guitarist

Erynn is a singer-songwriter at the crossroads of folk and Broadway. She has a special talent for working with young children, and is currently writing and recording an original children’s album. 


Emily Ellis Headshot

Emily Ellis, pianist

Emily is an accomplished early-childhood educator with a love of musical theater and all things music! She grew up in Greene County and began learning piano when she was five years old.

Head shot of Jack Tierney

Jack Tierney, singer/songwriter, guitarist

Jack recently moved to Charlottesville from Richmond. He is currently writing and recording an original album, in addition to teaching for The Front Porch.

Mark Williams

Clara George, hospice musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter

Clara moved from San Francisco to Charlottesville in 2020. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and has been singing with hospice and memory care patients since 2010.

headshot of teacher Joseph Nichols

Joseph Nichols, bassist, producer, teacher

Joseph is a jazz bass player/music producer with a bachelor’s degree in music from James Madison University. He currently performs, teaches, and freelances in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg, VA.

see what other folks have to say:

“(Roots & Wings) has boosted her confidence. Lila’s love language is music and dance, but she claims to have stage fright in front of an audience. Hometown Choir exposed her to new genres of music, introduced her to new friends, and boosted her confidence. Roots and Wings gave her the opportunity to overcome that fear of performing.”
-Karol Lester Kozak

“I believe in the power of music, not only on the mind, but as an outlet for expression. The students look forward to learning different instruments, working with Matt on music composition, and creating their own collaborative jam sessions. This has been a vital addition to our program and I hope it continues to grow so students have different outlets of expression and the chance to build positive friendships through music.
-Tanner Boyle, Principal, Blue Ridge Detention Center

“We are so grateful. Hometown choir brought our family together with families that we don’t always have the chance to get to know. We are so grateful for the beautiful music our kids learned and performed, as well as for the friendships we built and relationships we forged with people from different backgrounds and cultures.”
– Kristin Clarens

Roots and Wings Locations



Performing Artists Hired

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221 Water St E
Charlottesville, VA 22902


New Location

Open now!!

Join us at our second location at 508 Dale Avenue, Charlottesville VA 22902

Right behind Bodos on Preston!

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