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.
Picking up a guitar for the first at the age of 16, Billy had no idea that learning the theories and expressions of music would soon become much more than a hobby. It only took a couple years of exploring the possibilities of songwriting to decide to study music at the university level. Now he’s a Friends graduate with a myriad of instrumental, vocal, and compositional skills.
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.
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.
Ellen Johnson Mosley joined the Air House Music Academy faculty in 2013 and also serves on the music faculty at Butler Community College and Wichita Collegiate School. Dr. Mosley holds flute performance degrees from Florida State University (D.M.), the University of Texas at Austin (M.M.) and Wichita State University (B.M.).
An award winning flutist and certified Suzuki flute instructor, Dr. Mosley welcomes enthusiastic flutists of all ages and levels in her private flute studio at Air House Music Academy. (Her students range from age four to age thirty.) Some students are beginners and some are professionals, but all are encouraged to explore their potential as artists and musicians. Having fun in lessons is the key!
Throughout the year Ellen performs across the United States and is the Chair of the Career and Artistic Development Committee for the National Flute Association. Schools that have welcomed her as a Guest Artist/Clinician include Emporia State University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Kansas State University, and the University of Texas at Austin. She is also the Principal Flutist of the Delano Chamber Orchestra in Wichita, KS and a Baroque Flutist in the Kansas City Baroque Consortium.
Emily Strom was raised in a musical family, learning to sing and play piano from a young age. Classically trained as a young child, Emily switched over to jazz upon entering college. From jazz bands to a folk rock duet to the all-encompassing cover band, Annie Up, Emily has explored many different genres of music.
Emily considers one of her greatest creative outputs to date to be composing and conducting the Wichita State University Jazz Arts big band at the Wichita Jazz Festival. Within the same year, Emily won the talent preliminary, taking both the Margene Savage Memorial Top Vocalist Award and the Debra Dene Barnes Outsanding Instrumentalist Scholarship at Miss Kansas, singing and playing jazz piano. After spending a year traveling the state and country as Miss Kansas 2008, Emily went back to WSU, graduating with a jazz piano degree.
Upon graduating, Emily took a couple years to explore a television career but decided music was where her heart had been all along. She is currently pursuing a career as a full-time musician and working on creating a debut (due to be released October 2014) comprised of original songs. She leads two bands, the Emily Strom Trio, an original jazz band, and Emily Strom & The Ladybyrds, an all-girls cover band. She also plays jazz and classical shows upon request.
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
Glenn recently graduated from Friends University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a minor in Business Administration. In addition to a thriving teaching studio, Glenn performs as a singer/songwriter and provides music for New Covenant UMC & Woodland UMC in Wichita, KS. Glenn enjoys teaching many styles of guitar, including pop, rock, worship, country, acoustic fingerstyle and blues. In addition to playing guitar, Glenn also sings and plays bass, piano, saxophone and percussion.
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.
Hailey Hatcher has been playing music for over 15 years. She received her masters in music performance from Wichita State University and her bachelors in music performance from Texas Tech University. She has performed at music festivals around the country, such as the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, VT and the Castleman Quartet Program in Boulder, CO. Teaching and learning are two of her most prized passions and she hopes to spread the joy and importance of the arts to the youth community of Wichita. Hailey currently teaches privately and manages/performs with the Musical Elegance String Quartet.
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.
Raised in a musical family, Jamie quickly grew to love singing. Harmonizing with her family around the dinner table she would fantasize of being immersed in music forever. Not a year has gone by since that she wasn’t in a choir, musical group or providing some form of child care.
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.
Kendall Wohaska is a local guitarist, composer, and teacher in Wichita where he has performed with his own band, The Luna Copii Trio, as well as The Bodo Ensemble, The Small Container Ensemble, Agave Democracy, and Allison Miller. Primarily interested in noise rock and avant-garde music, Wohaska continues to pursue aural textures as an essential part of composition and improvisation. Wohaska graduated from Wichita State University with a degree in Music Performance.
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.
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.
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.
Megan Taylor Gilstrap is a multifaceted vocalist, with experience in Jazz, Classical, Musical Theatre, Pop, and Folk. She is finishing up her B.A. in Music at Friends University. In her years at Friends, she has participated in various ensembles including Women’s Chorus, Singing Quakers, Chamber Ensemble, Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Concert Band, and Opera Workshop. As a member of the Friends University Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Megan has sung with Carmen Bradford, Connaitre Miller, participated in a workshop with the New York Voices, performed at the Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference, and most recently opened for the Pentatonix as a part of the American Choral Directors Association conference. She has received awards from Wichita Music Club, placed at National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) in musical theatre, first place in the Miller Solo Competition, played the role of Berenice in Rossini’s L’occasione f ail ladro at Friends, and currently performs in the Wichita community with her most recent project, a jazz quintet called Things That Go ZOT! Megan has directed and assisted with many choral groups including Wichita Community Children’s Choir, Cole Family Music Festival Choir, and Legacy Camp Gospel Choir.
She has taught private lessons for the past two years and loves it. Music has always been an important part of her life, and now as an adult she looks to invite as many people as she can into a deeper understanding, passion, and relationship with singing.
Michael Engdahl is a guitarist, composer, arranger, and teacher based out of Wichita, KS. He recently graduated from Wichita State University with a B.M. in Jazz Studies where he had the opportunity to play with Jazz Arts I Big Band, Guitar Ensemble, and lead multiple jazz combos.
Outside of school he has performed in multiple different musical settings. He has been a part of the pit orchestra for Music Theater for Young People and Wichita State University for multiple productions as well as high school variety shows. Michael has performed with a number of local acts and original bands around town, ranging from country to metal. He has been a part of multiple recording sessions as a band member and studio musician in Wichita and Kansas City.
He has been teaching privately for over 5 years and enjoys working with aspiring guitarists and musicians.
Today, Michael can be found performing around town with the alternative rock band, Coriander, his own jazz trio, ME3, and other musical projects.
Michael will be returning to Wichita State this fall in pursuit of a Master’s in Music Performance degree.
Dr. Paul Brodene Smith has performed in more than ten countries. His concert and operatic career has brought him to important venues including engagements at the Her Majesty’s Theatre (London), the Deutsches Nationaltheater (Weimar), Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Düsseldorf), the Prague State Opera, Théâtre des Arts Opera de Normandie (Rouen), and the Cairo Opera (Egypt). Comfortable on the musical stage as well, he performed Piangi in both the London and Hamburg productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.
Students of Dr. Smith perform throughout the world in musical theater, cruise lines, popular music and opera. In addition to teaching voice, Dr. Smith teaches beginning Clarinet and saxophone.
Dr. Smith holds degrees from Roosevelt University in Chicago and the University of Illinois Champaign –Urbana. Prior to accepting the position, the South Haven instrumental music teacher Dr. Smith has taught at Friends University, Wichita State University, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Blackburn College, Prairie State College and the Stella Musical Academy in Hamburg Germany.
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.