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The extraordinary experience and artistry of the Community Music School Faculty provides the critical foundation for students’ musical journeys. Our goals are to awaken and inspire the imaginative self within our students, to help students gain a profound appreciation of art and creation, to support each student in the quest to connect with music in a meaningful way, and to provide students with a vision of their inherent potential and the tools required to realize that potential.

“The point is to develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition and to guide the child over to important fields for society. Such a school demands from the teacher that he be a kind of artist in his province.”

Albert Einstein

DJ A-MinorDJ A-minor | DJ

Originally from East Orange, NJ, DJ A-Minor is the official DJ for the Charlotte Hornets, South Carolina Gamecocks Football and is artist in residence at UNC-CH. Specializing in Top40, Hip Hop, Funk, Dance Music, Classics, Electronic, and more, DJ A-Minor has won an array of awards. Some of those awards are 3rd place in the 2010 Thre3Style Charlotte Regional (on only four hours notice!), Best Club DJ of the Triangle (RDU) in 2009, and, most recently, in 2014 he was chosen to represent Next Level USA (U.S. State Department). Other highlights from DJ A-Minor’s illustrious career include the NBA Paris Game (Hornets/Bucks) in January 2020, the NBA All-Star 2019 game (official DJ), and the Next Level USA – Bangladesh diplomatic education program.

Vera Le Bris | Piano

B.M. Piano and Flute Performance, Chamber Music, Theory, Harmony, Music History, Folklore, Marching Band and Baroque Flutes. UCLA Professor James Newton Ph.D.: Flute, University of California at Los Angeles. UCLA Professor Robert Winter: Music History. UCLA Professor Mary Ann: Da Camera Society: Chamber Music. Professor Alonso Aníbal da Fonseca Ph.D.: Piano concerto. MS Biology.

Vera Le Bris moved to North Carolina in 2017, previously she taught at her music studio in Paris, France, and Florida, USA, for over 25 years. Vera’s students perform at Carnegie Hall for the Honors Series, along with orchestras at various international summer festivals in Europe and South America. Students have also been selected to perform at prestigious national music summer programs like Julliard and Tanglewood; they also participate at All-State, Solo and Ensemble Competitions, Piano Guild Auditions, Piano-a-thonMusic Scholarship Fundraising, Auditions for Concerto competitions, Orchestra practice and Master Classes abroad. Vera leads educational trips to Japan and promotes Master Classes/Concerts, with nationally and internationally renowned artists, for her students and her community. (Not teaching Spring 2021)

Rachel DespardRachel Despard | Songwriting

Rachel Despard is a singer-songwriter from Durham, NC. Rachel holds a B.A. in Vocal Performance from UNC-Chapel Hill. At UNC, she studied classical vocal technique and completed a thesis on how recorded music boosts community collaboration, affects visibility for vulnerable populations, and addresses systematic inequalities. Throughout her time in undergrad, Rachel taught voice with Musical Empowerment while also teaching private lessons. She has worked in the Engagement Office at Carolina Performing Arts and as management assistant for Five Head Entertainment. Rachel has received state-wide and regional recognition at NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Student Auditions, The Nelson Delgado Latin Jazz Award, and two Mayo Undergraduate Research grants. Rachel and her band perform regularly in venues around the Triangle, including Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro Music Festival, Local 506, and more.

Inessa Fishbeyn-Reeve | Early Childhood

Inessa Fishbeyn-Reeve graduated with an M.A. in music education and early child development from Kazan University in 1985. She worked as a music teacher in Kazan and Kiev and, for 23 years, at Bnai Shalom Jewish Day School in Greensboro, N.C., where she created and taught the music curriculum for children from PS-2 to 8th grade. She holds an N.C. teaching license. She has taught piano privately and served as choral director of intergenerational and children’s choruses. She is interested in opera and music literature, has been an active member of folk and Israeli dancing groups, and has implemented a school folk dance program. She has two grown-up daughters, both UNC graduates, and lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, C.D.C. Reeve, a UNC philosophy professor. (Not teaching Spring 2021)

Justin FrankenyJustin Frankeny | Student-Teacher of Clarinet and Saxophone

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Justin received his B.M. in composition and music history at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music. At BW he studied composition with Clint Needham and Jonathan Sokol and clarinet with Daniel McKelway, assistant principal clarinetist of The Cleveland Orchestra. As a performer, Justin has taken a special interest in classical music written in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, having performed solo works by Claude Debussy, Darius Milhaud, Donald Martino, and John Corigliano, as well as numerous works in close collaboration with young, up-and-coming composers. He continues to be an active performer of new music in the Triangle. As a teacher, Justin has taught students at a wide range of ages and ability levels, from elementary school beginners, to his oldest private student being in his eighties. Justin is currently a PhD student in musicology at UNC-Chapel Hill, where his experience in performing, composing, and teaching continues to inform his research on accessibility, inclusion, and pedagogy of composition in 1950’s-70’s U.S. American colleges and universities.

Carter HodgeCarter Hodge | Bluegrass Guitar and Mandolin

Carter is a graduate of UNC’s music department and was a three-year member of the Carolina Bluegrass Band. They began learning bluegrass mandolin and guitar in college, though have been playing guitar since childhood. Under the guidance of career bluegrass player Russel Johnson, Carter learned about bluegrass style playing and the roles of guitar and mandolin in a bluegrass band. Carter is excited to share this with students who have any interest in bluegrass or styles that rely on similar techniques, including folk, country and pop. When away from UNC, Carter plays in their band Dissimilar South, as a solo project, and with the Carrboro Beer and Banjos Allstars.

Emily Hynes | Student-Teacher of VoEmily Ann Hynesice

Emily Hynes earned her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance (cum laude) from St. Olaf College. Currently, Emily is a graduate student in the Musicology program at UNC, and she has research interests in 20th-century American folk song collecting and operatic performance practice. She has been teaching voice since her penultimate semester at St. Olaf and also has served as a piano tutor for the last two years. Emily has fifteen years of performance experience in musical theater but has also been performing classical voice literature for seven years. Her philosophy of teaching revolves around working with each individual singer to foster sustainable vocal techniques through knowledge of anatomy and voice production. She also hopes to help students cultivate their joy in singing and performing. A Minnesota native, Emily moved to Chapel Hill in 2018.

Joseph LatternerJoseph Latterner | Beatmaking

A full bio for Mr. Latterner is available on the UNC-CH Department of Music Faculty page.

Aleen Pocock | PianoPocock, A. Web

Aleen Pocock holds the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano performance. She has studied with Larry Graham and C. Curtis Smith, as well as James Dick at the Round Top Festival in Texas and with Anthony de Bonaventura at Colby College in Maine. Mrs. Pocock has served as staff accompanist for Butler University and the Forest Ridge School in Bellevue, Washington. She has also performed as concerto soloist with the Capriccio Chamber Orchestra, the Boise Philharmonic, and the Kalamazoo Symphony, where she also was principal pianist. Mrs. Pocock is currently on the faculty at North Carolina Central University serving as staff accompanist and the accompanies for the UNC Women’s Glee Club.

Kevin "Rowdy" RowseyKevin “Rowdy” Rowsey | MC

Educator based in the North Carolina Triangle Area. He has been featured on BET, NPR, and PBS Kids, in addition to giving a TEDX talk on the importance of Hip Hop Culture. On stage Rowdy is a part of the national collective No9to5 Music, and plays with a live Jazz Band (J) Rowdy & The Night Shift, which was nominated for a 2017 Carolina Music Award. They’ve been able to share the stage with the likes of Busta Rhymes, Rakim, Ari Lennox, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, and many more. Aside from his work on the stage, rowdy holds the position of a U.S. Hip Hop Ambassador through the U.S. Department of State and the Next Level Hip Hop Program, as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching (UNC Greensboro). His passion for Hip Hop Culture radiates through his creation of two Triangle Area cyphers — The Unc Cypher (UNC-CH) and the Med City Cypher (Downtown Durham), and his involvement with the Downtown Durham — Afrofuturist Teen Center Blackspace as the Program Director. Whether it’s performing, educational workshops, or curating a Hip Hop Cultural environment, Rowdy continues his mission to spread Southern Hip Hop at a national and international level.

Lucas ScalamognaLucas Scalamongna | Viola, Violin

Violinist Lucas Scalamogna has performed extensively throughout the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia. He has appeared in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Teatro Colón. Dr. Scalamogna has also performed at numerous international music festivals, including the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Salzburg Festival, Great Mountains Music Festival, and Spoleto Festival USA.

Dr. Scalamogna is currently the associate principal second violin of the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, and the Savannah Philharmonic. In addition to his active performance schedule, Dr. Scalamogna serves as the violin and viola faculty of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Other regular teaching engagements include guest artist masterclasses at colleges and universities as well as faculty positions at music festivals and workshops both in the United States and abroad. Dr. Scalamogna holds degrees from the University of North Texas and the University of Georgia. His major professors include Julia Bushkova and Levon Ambartsumian.

Billy Stewart | Guitar

Stewart WebA full bio for Mr. Stewart is available on the UNC-CH Department of Music Faculty page.

Sierriana Terry | Student-Teacher of Piano

A native of North Carolina, Sierriana Terry is a graduate musicology student in the music department, who received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from North Carolina Central University (Summa Cum Laude). Her research interests include issues of musical characterization in Japanese Anime and American Cartoons. Her secondary interests include contemporary African American studies in Broadway, musical theater and popular music, and protest culture within music festivals held by people of color in South America, similar to America’s very own AfroPunk festival. Her Master’s Thesis focuses on the explorations of blackness and the construction of a black sonic aesthetic in Donald Glover’s most recent television series Atlanta. Sierriana looks forward to contributing to the burgeoning field of public musicology and engaging the public in discussions about popular music.