MusicWorks Teaching Artists

Rachel Arnold
First Steps in Music – Blackford County
Having participated in violin lessons and music readiness classes at Arts Place, Portland Center, from Pre-K through high school, Rachel is excited to come back and teach for the same program that gave her a start at lifelong musicianship. Rachel teaches K-5 music for the Jay School Corporation.

David Blakley – Violin, Viola
Blackford County & Portland Center Teaching Artist
David is the librarian and principal second principal violinist of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra. David studied music at Eastern Michigan University where he graduated in 1978. He joined the Arts Place Faculty in 2006. g

Ann Clamme-Monroe – Piano
Blackford County Teaching Artist
Ann has a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University in elementary education. She taught piano for 40 years and enjoys playing in churches. Ann is also a registered nurse.

Amy Day – Band Instruments
Blackford County Teaching Artist 
Amy became the Blackford County Arts Center director in June 2015. She received a master’s degree from VanderCook College of Music and taught music for 35 years.

Bonita Frazee- Piano
Blackford County Piano Lab & Portland Center Teaching Artist
Bonita recently retired as an elementary teacher from the Jay School Corporation. She received a master’s degree from Ball State University. Bonita participates in the Eastern Breeze Flute Ensemble and the Jay County Community Band.

Tom Frye – Guitar | Mandolin | Bass | Harmonica
Portland Center Teaching Artist
In addition to teaching at the Arts Place, Tom is on staff as the Worship Pastor at Westchester United Methodist Church in rural Portland.  Additionally, Tom and his three children have toured nationally as the Frye Family Band sharing their own brand of Contemporary Christian Music. For more on Tom visit www.FryeFamilyBand.com 

Emilie Garringer – Band
Instruments
Portland Center Teaching Artist Emilie is a graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Music Education. Emilie first joined Arts Place faculty in 2006.

Margaret Hammond- Piano
Blackford County & Portland Center Teaching Artist
Margaret is an accompanist for Taylor University. She has a performance
degree from Taylor University and is often sought after to perform and accompany in the local area.

Andrew Kern – Guitar
Blackford County & Portland Center Teaching Artist
Andy Kern has been with Arts Place for 5 years and has 26 years of guitar experience playing Rock-n-Roll, Country & Blues.

Melissa Knutson – Viola, Violin, Cello
Portland Center Teaching Artist
Melissa joined the Arts Place faculty in 2016. Graduating from Taylor University with a degree in music, Melissa regularly performs with regional orchestras, in theater productions, and for new composition recitals.

LaVetha Loucks
Portland Center First Steps in Music Teaching Artist

LaVetha received a B.S. in Music Education from Taylor University, a M.A. from Ball State University, and she completed her Orff Levels, Curriculum Certification and First Steps Certification at Anderson University.  She has taught Music Education in the Jay School Corp. for 30 years and First Steps in Music at Arts Place for 5 years.

 

Jan Rittenhouse – Piano, Voice
Portland Center Teaching Artist
Jan joined the Arts Place faculty in 2005. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Indiana University. She currently directs the choral
program at Jay County High School and General Shanks Elementary.

Eric Rogers – Piano, Organ
Portland Center Teaching Artist
Eric has served as Executive Director of Arts Place since 1976. Awarded a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Indiana University, he also studied piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music and organ with Orlando Schmidt at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Eric worked as a church musician for several years.

Kelly Smeltzer – Brass, Brassissimo!
Portland Center Teaching Artist
Kelly joined Arts Place faculty in 2004. He holds a master’s degree in music education from Ball State University. Kelly is the band director for Jay County High School.

Pete Vogler- MusicWorks Faculty Chair, Band Instruments, & Percussion
Portland Center Teaching Artist
Pete holds a Master of Arts in Music Education from Ball State University. Pete is a band director for the Jay School Corporation and has been teaching in public school education for over 30 years.