MARK BLAIR: Percussion and Theory Departments
Mark Blair has been teaching percussion and music theory with us beginning in the summer of 2015.
SARAH BROWN: Piano and Dance Departments, Stubbs' Music Center Director, Timberlane Arts & Dance Director and Jingle Jam Director.
Sarah Brown has been teaching and choreographing dance for thirteen years. She graduated from FSU in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education. Starting at the age of 4, Sarah began taking dance classes and immediately found one of her passions. She began taking piano lessons at the age of 10 which furthered her love of music and the arts. Upon graduating from college, Sarah taught pre-k, kindergarten, 1st grade and Title 1 and she found another passion in life......working with children. In 2001, Sarah was elected Teacher of the Year in Gadsden County. Today Sarah is doing what she loves most, teaching children the art of dance and music. She specializes in pre-ballet, ballet, tap and Irish step dancing. As a member of Tallahassee Irish Step Dancers, Sarah was featured in the role of The Snow Queen from 2007-2011. She was the Event Chair for 2012 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and is currently a Director on the Stubbs' Education Foundation Board. Sarah is excited to join the Jingle Jam faculty as the Director of Jingle Jam and as an instructor. In addition to Jingle Jam Sarah is a member of the faculty at Stubbs' Music Center as Director of Dance and piano instructor specializing
in 4 - 7 year olds.
KYLE CHERVANIK: Guitar and Theory Department
Kyle Chervanik began teaching at Stubbs' Music Center in the fall of 2009 and currently gives lessons in electric and acoustic guitar, electric bass, ukulele, mandolin and piano. He is a graduate of FSU and is an active musician in the musical community of Tallahassee. He performs with many different local groups all over the southeast, including Stubbs' own faculty jazz band, The Dorian Q.
TAYLOR GIORGIO: Strings Department
Taylor Giorgio is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Violin Performance at Florida State University. She is studying violin with Professor Corinne Stillwell, and is a Graduate Teaching Assistant. An active freelance musician, she performs regularly with the Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Ocala Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, and Panama City Pops. Within Florida State University, she is a member of the Baroque Ensemble, the University Symphony Orchestra, and performs with the New Music Ensemble. Ms. Giorgio has been a violin instructor at Stubbs' Music Center since the summer semester of 2015. She presently has nine private students.
In December 2014, Ms. Giorgio graduated Summa Cum Laude from West Virginia University with a double degree in Music Education and Violin Performance. While at West Virginia University, she maintained an active violin studio of seventeen private students, and conducted the Morgantown Community Orchestra. She also worked as a substitute teacher in the Monogalia County Public School System for one semester. In February 2013, Ms. Giorgio won the WVU Young Artist Concerto Competition and performed a violin solo with the WVU Symphony Orchestra. In April 2014, she performed a solo concerto written by a WVU student composer with the WVU Symphony Orchestra. In April 2014, she performed a solo concerto written by a WVU student composer with the WVU Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Giorgio has performed at prestigious music festivals including Bowdoin International Music Festival in Brunswick, ME, Brevard Music Festival in Brevard, NC, and Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, VT. In 2009, Ms. Giorgio won the Andrew and Amy Vaughn Student Fellowship with the West Virginia Symphony, and performed as a soloist with the West Virginia Symphony in Charleston. Ms. Giorgio began playing the violin at age ten, after finding her great-grandfather's violin in the attic.
Jeff Henry, a composer and jazz pianist is originally from Orlando, FL. He attended The College of Music at Florida State University and has a degree in Composition. He studied composition with John Boda and Ladislav Kubik. He studied piano with Leonidas Lipovetsky and Bill Petersen. While in Orlando he played with the jazz band at Seminole Community College. He now is playing with the jazz ensemble The Dorian Q. They have played at many places in Tallahassee including, Lucy Ho's Bistro, Sharkey's Cafe, Railroad Square Art Park. The FSU University Center, The Brokal-McDougal house plus many other places. He has composed film scores for two award winning films from the FSU Film School. He has composed music for numerous theater productions including, Antigone, Hamlet, Tartuffe, and a Christmas Carol at FSU's Mainstage, Love's Comedy at TCC, Blithe Spirit at Tallahassee Little Theater, and the original play, In the House of the Moles at the Railroad Square Art Park. He has played with many different theater and cabaret ensembles in Tallahassee, Quincy, Miami, Baton Rouge, and Washington D.C. Since 1999 Mr. Henry has been teaching at Stubbs' Music Center and The School of Arts and Sciences.
Elizabeth Rankin: Piano, Dance and Jingle Jam Departments
Elizabeth Rankin has been teaching with us since 2014. She has 16 years of teaching experience in the areas of special education, preschool, piano, preschool church choir director, Jingle Jam music, and dance. After graduating with a Master's Degree in Special Education from Florida State University, she taught elementary and middle-school students for 2 years. Elizabeth began teaching preschool when she moved to Alabama, educating pre-kindergarten students for 11 years. She also directed her church's preschool children's choir and taught Sunday School for 5 years. Elizabeth has been ringing handbells and singing in church choirs for many years as well. Elizabeth began taking dance lessons at the age of 4, learning ballet, tap, jazz and pointe. She began taking piano lessons in elementary school and enjoys teaching piano to students of all ages. She also enjoys teaching Jingle Jam lesson to preschool students in Tallahassee. She is married to Michael and has two children, Meg (14) and Aidan (10).
Since 1989 Barbara Willis has been teaching piano at Stubbs' Music Center. Mrs. Willis received her Piano Performance degree from Florida State University. Mrs. Willis has memberships in Alpha Chi Omega, Sigma Alpha Iota, Music Teachers National Association, Florida Music Teachers Association, Tallahassee Music Teachers Association, National Federation of Music Clubs, and National Guild of Piano Teachers. She has served as pianist and organist at several local churches. Mrs. Willis has been very active in having her students participate within recitals, student competitions and evaluations. She has served as president of the Tallahassee Music Teachers Association.
Stephanie Tassos Wohlsifer, MS MT-BC: Piano, Voice, Music Therapy. Instruction in all styles of piano and voice including classical, jazz, R & B, and other popular genres; improvisation, scat singing, and song writing; music therapy services for groups and individuals of all ages.
Steffi was born in New York City and received her Bachelor of Music from Manhattanville College, New York in 1974. Her first break into New York City's music scene came shortly afterward when she was hired as rehearsal pianist and orchestral pit musician for the Broadway musical The Lieutenant, and afterward for several dance instructors and choreographers including members of the New York City Ballet and the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. She gigged for 20+ years at numerous venues such as Top of the Sixes, The Rainbow Room, and The Golden Nugget (Atlantic City) and was a principle keyboardist/vocalist for Hank Lane Entertainment Agency. In the late 1980s, Steffi settled in Miami where she was contracted for eight years by Marriott to perform nightly at the Biscayne Bay Resort. To nurture a lifelong interest in science and health, she earned a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from FIU, Miami in 1995 after receiving a research scholarship from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Always in pursuit of personal and professional growth, Steffi earned her board certification in music therapy (MT-BC) in 2012 after studying at FSU, Tallahassee.
Steffi has maintained a teaching practice throughout her career and is delighted to be part of Stubbs' Music Center. Her teaching philosophy embraces the nurturing of individual style through development of technique, active listening skills, and improvisation. She encourages all students to explore the unique elements of their musicality while cultivating an objective ear when listening to the performances of others.
As a practicing music therapist, Steffi works with people of all ages. She has a passion for "bringing out the musician" in ways that lead each person toward feeling successful. As a performer she appears regularly with Tallahassee Swing, Hip First!, The Steffi Tassos Trio, and as a solo act at various venues throughout Florida and the southeast. She has produced commercial jingles for regional businesses that air regularly on Freedom 93 and ESPN radio. Steffi is a member of the Tallahassee Music Teachers Association (TMTA), Big Bend Mental Health Coalition, and Broadcast Music, INC. (BMI).
Andrew Wulf : Woodwinds, Piano, Voice and Theory Departments
Andrew has been teaching with SMC since Spring of 2014. Andrew comes from South Dakota. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of South Dakota, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is a woodwind specialist and has played professionally in South Dakota and Iowa. He comes to Tallahassee with his wife, who is pursuing her PhD in Music Theory from FSU. His primary teachers are Mrs. Loretta Thomas, Dr. Jeffrey McCray, Dr. William McMullen, and Dr. John Bailey.