Born in Overland Park, KS, Adam began playing drums and percussion at the age of 12, studying with Keith Larson. In addition to playing in the top performance ensembles in high school, he was one of five percussionists accepted into the Kansas City Youth Symphony from 1996-1998. One of his highlights with the ensemble was performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City; before the age of 18! In 1998 (his senior year in high school), Adam was selected as “Kansas All-State Timpanist” for the KMEA All-State Orchestra to perform at the close of the ’98 KMEA Festival in Wichita, KS.
In 2003, Adam graduated from Washburn University with a Bachelor’s in Music Education. While at Washburn, he studied with Dr. Tom Morgan, Dr. Kirt Saville, Dr. Luis Millán, Todd Wilkinson, Chuck Tumlinson, and the late Frank Mantooth. He also found time to study with drummers such as Todd Strait, Matt Wilson, John Riley, and Tim Jepson, timpanist of the Kansas City Symphony. In 2008, Adam accepted the position of General Music teacher at Munson Primary in the Mulvane School District; a position he still holds today. In 2014, he graduated from Wichita State University with a Master’s in Elementary Music Education. Throughout the 2010s, Adam has played with local bands including Big Fat Fun, 90 Proof Project, and helping out with the Youth Program of the Wichita Blues Society. He also records and releases his own music when his schedule allows.
Adam is excited to be a part of the great staff of Air House Music Academy! For a more in-depth bio, as well as how to hear his music, please visit http://adamdeanmusic.com
Alex Nordine graduated from Friends University in 2007 with Bachelor’s degrees in Music Performance and Spanish. He has spent many years performing in the Wichita area as a guitarist and bassist in a variety of genres, including: Rock, Blues, Jazz, Classical, Christian, Bluegrass, R&B, and Reggae. From 2003-2009 he taught approximately 40 weekly guitar & bass lessons, before moving to Puerto Rico in 2009 to pursue a Master’s degree in Translation. As a group leader, his Maple Street Trio performed all over the Wichita area. He has also performed with The Calyptones, The Project H, Matt Maholland, Lisa Hittle, David Lord, and Lisa Blake, among others. Teaching has long been an inspiration for Alex. He prides himself on being able to relate to students and adapt to all styles of music.
As the daughter of a piano teacher, Allison Wall grew up in Wichita and she also grew up in music, playing piano and singing from a young age. In high school, she performed in choir and musicals, and attended Interlochen Arts Camp as a member of the World Youth Honors Choir.
Allison received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Music with a Vocal Music emphasis from Friends University. While at Friends, Allison began teaching private music lessons and participated in a number of musicals and choirs, including the Singing Quakers, and sang the lead in Bizet’s one-act opera Doctor Miracle.
After college, Allison enjoyed singing with the Wichita Chamber Chorale. She moved to the Twin Cities for two years to study in a graduate program, where she continued to teach voice and piano lessons. She is excited to be teaching in Wichita again!
Allison believes that learning should be a process of discovery and play, a collaboration between teacher and students in which students are encouraged to ask questions and experiment. She loves exploring music with growing voice and piano students, as they become mature musicians and artists, and ultimately, people.
Amy Hoffman has been on the faculty at Friends University since 1995 where she is adjunct flute professor and flute choir director. She also instructs a performance anxiety class. Amy is a member of the faculty quintet (Tower Wind Quintet) and the pit orchestra for Music Theatre of Wichita. She frequently performs in the Wichita area and has played with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra.
Amy maintains a large private flute studio for students of all ages at 3 locations: home in NW Wichita, Musical Offerings in Derby, and beginning in August 2017 at Air House Music Academy East.
Amy has chaired the George B. Tack Memorial Flute Committee for the last 11 years which administers the use of professional flutes to young students who have need of a better instrument and sponsors a flute festival and competition.
In addition to teaching clarinet and saxophone lessons Bill also helps direct the Air House Jazz Ensembles. We are lucky to have someone of Bill’s caliber teaching with us. Bill has been a professional music educator and a professional musician for more than 40 years after completing a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University (1969 ) and a Master of Music degree from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln (1977).
Bill spent his first eleven years of teaching in Nebraska High schools and his last 29 years teaching in Kansas. He served as band director in Manhattan, Newton, and as a woodwind and jazz specialist for the Maize school district. During his career, his marching, concert and jazz bands have won many state and national awards. His school bands have performed in official functions for three United States Presidents. He has served as an adjunct instructor in clarinet performance and jazz improvisation at various colleges and universities including The University of Nebraska, Kansas State University and Friends University.
Originally trained as a classical clarinetist, he has performed with many artists including Clark Terry, Mel Torme, Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Ray Charles, Louie Bellson, Ed Shaunessy, various symphony orchestras and big bands including the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. During his teaching tenure at the Maize Kansas school district, Bill and his teaching partner Randy Crow enjoyed national prominence with the Maize 6th grade jazz band and it’s alums including performances in New York for the International Association for Jazz Education and most recently performing with Bobby McFerrin. Mr. Harshbarger has been very actively involved with The Kansas Music Educator’s Association. He has served in various leadership capacities for KMEA including District President, District Band Chairman, and State Jazz Chairperson. Bill has enjoyed two terms as President for the Kansas unit of The International Association for Jazz Education. He also served on the Jazz Educator’s association’s international curriculum resource team. He is a member of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. He is in demand as a music judge and clinician throughout the Midwest.
In 2003, Bill was honored by KMEA as the outstanding elementary music educator for south-central Kansas. In the fall of 2005, Bill was honored by the Wichita Arts Council and the City of Wichita as the Arts Educator of the year.
He has just recently retired from public school teaching. Bill has recently been serving as an Adjunct Instructor in Jazz Studies at Hutchinson Community College. He is active with his private jazz studio at Air House Music Academy, his professional playing, and continues to be an arts activist.
Brandon Morse is a saxophone, flute and jazz instructor in the Wichita area. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Friends University in Wichita. His teaching experience includes:
At the beginning of 2011, Brandon formed the jazz combo, Air Traffic, with students between the ages of 12-14. In the first six months, Air Traffic received superior ratings at the Pioneer League Festival and the Wichita Jazz Festival. The group was accepted by audition to perform at the 2012 Kansas Music Educators Association annual convention and the 2012 Wichita River Festival. As a performer, Brandon has performed in concert bands, jazz bands, orchestras, rock bands, saxophone quartets, pit orchestras, a guest soloist for a high school concert band, and praise and worship groups.
Currently, Brandon is a member of the Metro Jazz Orchestra (formerly known as the Jazz Friends Community Big Band) and Second Time Around, an oldies rock band based out of Newton. To date he has been a member of 6 different saxophone quartets. Most notably he was a member of the Mid-Kansas Saxophone Quartet, a professional group based in Wichita with whom he traveled to Atlanta to premiere a composition written for the group. He also directed and performed in The Morse Code Saxophone Quartet, a group consisting of his own students. Together the group recorded a CD entitled Morse Code Saxophone Quartet. He is leading his student group, The Stand Benders Saxophone Quintet.
As a composer, Brandon has two albums of computer generated music known as Story of Life and As We Move.
Charisse has 15 years of experience as a piano and clarinet instructor. A native of Kansas, she participated in many of the local music ensembles and events that are still active today, including the Wichita Youth Symphony and the KMEA All State Orchestra. An Anderson Concerto Competition winner on two separate occasions, Charisse has also appeared as a soloist with the Hutchinson Symphony on both piano and clarinet.
Charisse holds a bachelor of clarinet performance degree from Wichita State University, and a master of clarinet performance degree from the prestigious New England Conservatory in Boston.
Charisse has attended many of the world’s foremost summer music festivals, including Interlochen Arts Camp, Aspen Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, and Tanglewood Music Center, where she performed alongside and studied with members of the Boston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Colorado Symphony and other major symphony orchestras.
Charisse has extensive experience in orchestral, chamber music, and solo performance. Other honors include being a prize winner at the International Clarinet Association solo competition, being named a Yamaha Young Performing Artist, and performing with the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.
In more recent years, Charisse has enjoyed running piano and clarinet studios of various sizes, successfully guiding students through auditions and competitions, and holding studio recitals so all of her students can perform in a welcome and safe setting. She has had numerous students receive outstanding ratings at regional and state level solo contests, earn a seat in the district and all state ensembles, and win such honors as first prize in the Anderson Concerto Competition.
When she isn’t teaching or accompanying, Charisse stays busy at home in west Wichita with her husband and seven children, who have all provided her with great insight into how to teach different personalities and temperaments and how to fit studying a musical instrument into the daily rigors of family life.
David is the owner and manager of Air House Music Academy and Air House Studios. He has been teaching guitar for the last 15 years. David has his B.A. in Music Performance from Friends University. From 2008-2011, David was the guitar professor at Friends University, teaching guitar lessons, directing guitar ensembles, directing jazz combos and teaching guitar class. David has performed extensively in the Wichita area as a jazz and classical guitarist, performing at countless restaurants, events, shows, concerts and weddings. He is also a prolific composer and creative guitar player.
In 2005, he released his first album with his original band, Solagget. He performed extensively with Solagget from 2003 through 2011, playing venues and festivals throughout the midwest and west coast. David has been heavily involved with the creative music scene in Wichita, performing at events such as Knob New Music Festival, Fisch Haus Jazz Series, ICT Fest, LIV Fest and the Wichita Creative Music Society Concert Series.
David is also currently pursuing recording engineering and is one of the assistant engineers at Air House Studios. David is a founding partner of Air House Records, an independent record label that releases music from the Wichita area. David is constantly writing, recording and producing his own music. He is currently releasing solo guitar music under the name Francis Moss, playing in an experimental jazz trio called Elemental Trio and is one of the main creative forces of the music and art collective, The Wonder Revolution. All of Davids albums are released on Air House Records.
Dawn Moore is a professional Music Teacher with over 15 years’ experience teaching students of all ages in piano and voice. Currently, she is the Music Teacher at a local Wichita Kanas private school. She teaches in the private sector, piano and voice. She has been a professional musician for several churches locally as well as the Musical Coordinator of a National Non-Profit Organization here in Wichita, KS.
Originally from New York, she received her B.A and her Master’s Degree in Music from Syracuse University. As a professional vocalist, Dawn was on tour as a vocalist with the late great National Recording Artist, Luther Vandross.
She teaches a vast range of music genres from Classical to Contemporary, performance vocals, fundamentals of music, etc.
When Dawn is not teaching, she enjoys camping and fishing and one day, she would really love to catch, “the big one that got away!!”
Eric has enjoyed over 20 years behind the piano. He began his piano studies at a young age, studying 11 years with locally renowned concert pianist and teacher, Dr. Mary Frantz, winning awards in multiple piano festival competitions. Eric continued his piano studies at Friends University, under the esteemed pianist and professor, Dr. Jamie Knight. Since then, Eric has taught piano lessons for three years, while serving as choir accompanist and pianist at two churches. He has performed at many different venues, events, and maintains an active social media presence.
Eric’s students are guided along an individual piano-based educational journey, customized to emphasize each student’s unique personalities and gifts. All facets of piano and performance will be explored: theory and technique, sight-reading and improvisation, memorization, accompanying, and music history. Students can reap the rewards of self-motivation and independence, through the discipline of practice. Eric believes that the love of music is an essential part of experiencing life as a human, to be shared and passed on, from teacher to student.
Eric Whetmore’s Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/EricWhetmore
Eric Whetmore’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EWhetmore
Grant Young has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Wichita State University. He has taught privately for more than 25 years and has had students in all of the areas honor bands: Kansas Music Educators Association state band, Kansas Music Educators Association state jazz band, Wichita Wind, Youth Symphony, and the Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble. He is the leader and lead trumpeter of the Air Capital Big Band which has been featured at the River Festival and the Sedgwick County Zoo summer series of concerts. He heads the Latin jazz ensemble Sol Y Sombra which also has been featured at the River Festival, the Sedgwick County Zoo summer series of concerts, and the Bradley Fair summer series of concerts. He has worked several years as a jazz adjudicator and clinician at the Wichita Jazz Festival. He has played for a variety of musical groups including: Ray Charles, Ice Capades, Ringling Brother’s Circus, The Temptations, Shrine Circus, Patti Page, Music Theatre of Wichita, Marilyn May, National Pro Rodeo, and the Fabulous Flippers. He has played the last 8 years for the band Lotus, the house band at Margarita’s Cantina. Lotus has been voted by the Wichita Eagle Wichita’s best live band and best house band.
Holly Schmidt has her music degree in Percussion Performance from Wichita State University, specializing in drumset and mallet percussion. She is an active member of Wichita Caledonian Pipes and Drums and Cessna Jazz Band, and performs regularly for churches in the Wichita area.
Holly has over six years of professional teaching experience in school classroom, ensemble, and private lesson settings. She incorporates a variety of styles into her lessons, including jazz, rock, classical, salsa, and other genres of World percussion.
Jenny first held a violin and took a lesson at age 2. At thirty, she cannot remember ever NOT playing the violin. In addition to Air House, she also teaches at Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts and at her home studio in north Wichita. She enjoys the challenge of passing on her knowledge to students with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests, no matter their age or goals! A frequent performer, she can be heard playing with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Wichita Grand Opera, Prairie Rose Rangers band at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon, string ensembles ICTrio and Wichita Collaborative String Quartet, fiddle jams around town, and the Moonrabbits and Home Rangers bands. Favorite musical experiences of the past include performing the fiddle role in “Always…Patsy Cline” at Roxy’s, Sweeney Todd and White Christmas at Crown Uptown, fiddling in Colorado around a campfire for a pack goat rendezvous, being a featured performer at the Walnut Valley Festival, playing with the WoodFest orchestra in the Flint Hills, performing with the Celtic Women, entertaining at Silver Dollar City, and gigging while performing lively Scottish music as part of a fiddle-cello duo at breweries, festivals and farmer’s markets. In 2017, she won the Kansas Fiddling Championships. She’s excited to be part of AirHouse and to see if she is a good fit to assist YOU!
Joel studied Jazz Guitar at Wichita State University and received both his Bachelors in Music and Masters in Music from there. He plays a variety of styles including classical, jazz, rock and pop music. Joel has been teaching since 2006 and has experience working with students of all ages. He is also a composer and has written music for jazz combo’s, string quartets and small chamber music ensembles. He was recently involved in the Wichita Jazz Festival and edited the monthly newsletter. His passion for music and teaching inspire his students to develop into sensitive, inspired musicians.
Justin graduated from Friends University with a B.A. in Music in 2016. While attending Friends, he participated in Singing Quakers, Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Chamber Choir, and Keyboard Ensemble. He also received four years of instruction in classical piano and vocal technique. Along with his studies in piano and voice, Justin plays trumpet, french horn, and acoustic guitar.
Since his graduation from Friends University, Justin has been actively involved in making music in Wichita. From 2012-2016, he performed and recorded two albums with the folk rock band, Commonfolk. Both albums were recorded and mixed at Air House Studios. As an active member and Bass section leader of the Church of the Savior Chamber Choir, he has performed a wide range of sacred works by master composers such as W.A. Mozart and Francis Poulenc. He is currently exploring the songwriting process and hopes to begin sharing his music at local venues this year.
Justin has been teaching piano lessons for the past 2 years. He has taught various styles and genres including classical, pop, folk, jazz, and ragtime. While Justin teaches classical and popular musical technique, he also encourages his students to engage in music creatively through composition and improvisation. He believes that creativity is vitally important to the learning process and that anyone interested in music should feel free to explore its many wonders.
A native of Kansas, Kim has been teaching and playing professionally for the past 10 years. She began to study music privately, then in her middle school and high school band and jazz band program, and went on to study percussion and composition at Wichita State University. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with her double bachelor’s in Percussion performance and Music Composition, and her Masters in Music Composition. During her graduate studies, she served as GTA for the Jazz department and instructed the Steel Drum and Salsa Band ensembles. She has studied with such drum greats as John Riley, Joe Morello, Matt Wilson, Steve Houghton, Michael Spiro, and Allison Miller.
A native of Kansas, she moved to New York City in March of 2006 to pursue performance and education. She served as a teaching artist for the organizations Education Through Music and The New York Jazz Academy. Since moving to NYC, she has played nationally, with highlights including the JEN Festival, Lollapalooza, The Smithsonian Art Museum, and the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. Regular Performances at NYC venues include The Garage, Cleopatra’s Needle, and Cornelia St. Café. The accompaniment of legendary jazz masters such as Junior Mance, Don Braden, and Tim Price are highlights of her time on the East Coast.
Kim recently moved back to the Midwest, and is looking forward to becoming re-established in the wonderful community she considers home.
Marial Mortimer is a recent Friends University graduate and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a Vocal Performance emphasis. Music is an essential part of her life, faith and connection to the world.
Her inspiration is drawn from a variety of experiences. At Friends University she performed vocally as a member of the Singing Quakers, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and was involved in Musical Theatre and Opera. She also performed as a violinist in the Chamber and Community orchestras. She has traveled to Germany for opera chorus work and was also able travel to Cost Rica with the Singing Quakers. She loves connecting with people and helping them learn, which is why she is teaching. She seeks to foster a love for singing through growing students as healthy singers and as artists.
Marjean Harshbarger has 38 years of experience in teaching vocal music from Kindergarten to 12th grade in Nebraska and Kansas public schools. She has her Bachelors of Music Education from Nebraska Wesleyan University and her Masters of Music Education from Kansas State University. In addition to public and private teaching, Marjean has served as the director of Newton Community Children’s Music Theatre, directed Adult and Children’s Church Choirs and has been an Adjudicator for District and State Vocal Music Contest. She is currently a member of the Kansas Music Educators Association.
Mary Beth “Izzy” Byers is a Kansas-based vocalist, trumpet player, and composer, with experience in guitar and piano as well. She started singing as soon as she could talk and found her passion for songwriting as a freckle-faced youngster. Miss Byers has had many experiences, including the opportunity to open for the Pentatonix, perform at the New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp, and share the stage with many stars in jazz, including Connaitre Miller of Afro Blue. After starting her local music career, she decided to go on the World Race, an organization that allowed her to volunteer in 11 countries over 11 months. Little did she know how many passionate musicians she would meet. Eventually, she uncovered a fresh love of music, performing on 3 different continents, numerous countries, and rediscovering joy for her career path. Mary Beth (who writes and performs music under the psuedo-name Izzy), has also performed onstage during the Panama Jazz Festival (in Panama City, Panama) and for numerous events during her times of travel. She has also instructed numerous students with language barriers, health challenges, and other challenges, but has successfully learned ways to teach musicians from many different backgrounds and cultures all around the world. Currently, she releasing a new album in 2019 entitled “Discovering Home.” This album will highlight her travels, experiences, and growth as a woman and a musician. Miss Byers is thankful and honored to join the Air House family and is looking forward to sharing her gifts and passions with all students.
Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mary Cooley has been playing the violin for almost thirty years and teaching violin lessons for nearly twenty years. Mary teaches music in the Wichita Public School system and played in the Friends Community orchestra. She currently performs in the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra. Mary enjoys all types of music and teaches the fundamentals of violin while tailoring lessons to each individuals skills and desires.
As a young musician, Michaela Tubbs decided that she wanted to teach private music lessons. In high school, she volunteered to be a teacher’s assistant for the 5th grade band. She also helped instruct the middle school students as they prepared for solo and ensemble contest.
Michaela Tubbs is a recent graduate of Friends University, where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Music. While she was at Friends, she participated in Singing Quakers, Kansas Choral Director’s Association, Mu Phi Epsilon, Opera Workshop, and Concert Choir. She played a chorus role in the musical Good News, and played Alice in the musical Bye Bye Birdie. During the Summer of 2016, Michaela spent three weeks touring in Germany with Opera Classica Europa, a local Opera Company. Friends University’s Singing Quakers also commissioned Michaela to do an arrangement for their Symphony of Spring. She was a Mu Phi Epsilon Scholarship award recipient for her musical compositions.
Michaela is currently performing professionally with the Wichita Grand Opera Chorus. She is the Alto Soloist and Section Leader at East Heights United Methodist Church here in Wichita. Michaela believes in the power music can give one student, and hopes that she can spread the joy it gave her to her students.
A life-long resident of Wichita, KS, Randy Fields has been playing guitar since age 6 and bass since age 9. While at Derby High school he played in the Wichita Youth Symphony and then attended Wichita State University, where he graduated with honors in Music, minors in psychology and German.
During College, Randy studied at the University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, Alsace, France. Another highlight was spending 3 months in Canada serving as sound Technician for a Kansas based group at the Worlds Fair in Vancouver, BC in 1986.
Randy has taught private lessons for over 26 years on the west side of Wichita, also teaching for Friends University as an Adjunct Music Instructor in 1999-2001.
As a Performer, Randy has had the opportunity to share the stage with a wonderful variety of musicians. In recent years, he has played Jazz with Bill Caldwell, Jerry Hahn, Bill Harshbarger, Steve Hatfield, Tim Henry, Lisa Hittle, Beau Jarvis, Clarence King, Roger Lewis, David Lord, Jim Pisano, Clark Terry, Donna Tucker and Randy Zellers. He has performed blues with Rachelle Coba, Jeff Corbett, Cliff Major, Pat McJimsey, John Salem, Craig Steward and Matt Walsh. Randy has also played Rock and Pop gigs with Blue Eyed Soul and The Source, along with Music Theater productions for the Crown Uptown, Gridiron, MTFYP, Stage One and Wichita East High school with Tim Raymond, Doug Riney, Steve Rue and Jesse Warkentin.
Randy served with the Central Community Church Orchestra for over 20 years and is currently with the Wichita Jazz Orchestra, Elvis tribute artist – Marshall Matthews and the Valley Center FUMC Contemporary Praise and Worship band. He has also been involved at events with Pathway and Eastside Community Church.
Randy brings a wealth of knowledge to his teaching, incorporating multiple playing techniques, foundational music theory, and a combination repertoire of Rock, Pop Jazz, blues and contemporary genres. He has a great desire for each student to reach their potential as a Musician, no matter their age!
Making his home in Wichita, Kansas, Steve Hatfield is one of the most in demand musicians in the Midwest. For over 25 years, he has performed in almost every musical setting imaginable. Everything from various Rock and Jazz groups to the Wichita Symphony and Music Theatre of Wichita. Steve has logged countless hours in recording studios performing on numerous albums and commercial jingles. Recently, he released his first album as a leader, “Just Be Wally” on Digital Boy Records.
Strongly dedicated to education, Steve serves on the faculty of Wichita State University and Butler County Community College and maintains private studios at Midwest Drum & Percussion and Air House Music Academy. As an endorser for Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, and Aquarian Drumheads, he has performed clinics and master classes throughout the Midwest as well as Canada and Mexico City.