PRIVATE LESSONS ~ PERFORMANCE ENSEMBLES
INSTRUCTORS: QUALIFIED, EXPERIENCED AND DIVERSE
Enthusiastic, professional, experienced, highly qualified: These characteristics describe the most important asset at Forte Music Studios -- our teachers. As musicians, they recognize and appreciate the need to constantly learn and share ideas. Our unique setting at Forte fosters excellent networking opportunities for both instructors and students.
The instructors at Forte -- who were born and grew up in places as varied as Virginia, California, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Great Britain and Hong Kong -- reflect that same variety in their wide range of musical specialties. From flute to French horn, violin to voice, lessons at Forte are taught by gifted musicians with diverse backgrounds.
We invite you to scroll lower on the page, where you will be able to review the biographies of all Forte instructors. Individually and collectively, their achievements and interests are impressive. We are fortunate that they have chosen to share their talents as musicians and educators with you -- or someone in your family -- when you enroll for lessons at Forte Music Studios.
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Teaches at Forte: Clarinet, Oboe
Lessons on: Tuesday
(ALPHABETICAL BY LAST NAME)
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Teaches at Forte: Bass, Guitar, Music Theory, Introductory Cello
Lessons on: Wednesday
Birthplace: Crawfordsville, Indiana
Teaches at Forte: Viola, Violin
Lessons on: Tuesday, Thursday
Birthplace: LaVale, Maryland
Teaches at Forte: French Horn, Music Theory, Piano, Trumpet
Lessons on: Monday
Birthplace: LeMars, Iowa
Teaches at Forte: Clarinet, Saxophone, Introductory Piano and Guitar
Lessons on: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Birthplace: San Francisco, California
Teaches at Forte: Clarinet, Saxophone, Introductory Flute
Lessons on: Monday
Birthplace: Lexington, North Carolina
Teaches at Forte: Guitar
Lessons on: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Teaches at Forte: Cello, Violin
Lessons on: Monday
Forte Founder, Virginia Cello Ensembles Director
D. Wesley Hockaday
Birthplace: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Teaches at Forte: Piano, Voice
Lessons on: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Lisa Leung Dobyns
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia
Teaches at Forte: Viola, Violin
Lessons on: Monday
Brian Donnelly, who was raised in Hong Kong and in Durham, N.C., is a versatile woodwind musician and performs in the Fredericksburg area in rock, jazz, classical and contemporary praise genres. He has played with the Psalm 150 orchestra, Fredericksburg Big Band, Rappahannock Pops, Fredericksburg Saxophone Ensemble, Total Praise and Sounds of Praise, as well as freelancing. He teaches beginning through advanced saxophone (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone), clarinet, flute, and electronic wind instruments (EWI or WX5). Mr. Donnelly incorporates a computer into his lessons to give students an interactive ensemble experience. Even more than creating better technicians out of his students, Mr. Donnelly is excited by developing a true love for music and teaching his students to be self reliant, dedicated and disciplined in their practice routines. "Practice does not make perfect," he says, "only perfect practice does!" Mr. Donnelly adds: "I am driven to motivate students to develop a lifelong passion to perform music. It's more than learning to play a particular instrument -- more like finding your musical inner voice. The musician must go beyond playing in school band and be motivated by bringing joy to others through performance. One of my memorable experiences goes back to high school and receiving a spontaneous standing ovation after a solo. It's not the ovation, but the happiness I was able to bring to a room of strangers that makes me want to perform."
Damien Bollino's interest in music was influenced by his grandmother, a classical pianist. He earmed a Bachelor of Music in performance at West Virginia University, where he received a full tuition scholarship and studied with Dr. Virginia Thompson. He also studied with William (Bill) Caballero at Duquesne University. There he earned a Master of Music in performance/pedagogy and was awarded a John Hunter endowment and assistantship. He taught two years of musianship/theory at Duquesne and was an active clinician and adjudicator. He participated in the Duquesne Wind Symphony -- including a performance at Carnegie Hall -- as well as the Symphony Orchestra, Contemporary Ensemble and Chamber Ensemble. At WVU he performed with the Horn Choir, the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Winds Ensemble and Jazz Band. Mr. Bollino also played with the International Horn Society Collegiate Horn Choir, Potomac Concert Band, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Seneca Chamber Winds and Arion Band. He has performed with the Mary Washington Orchestra, the Spotswood Community Orchestra, the Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra and the Fairfax Symphony. On various occasions he has taken part in performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Mr. Bollino is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony, St. George's Chamber Ensemble, Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra and the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra. He is principal horn with the Washington Sinfonietta and performs regularly with the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Bollino auditioned with performers from around the nation and was selected to play principal horn with the American Musical Ambassadors European Concert Tour. During six weeks with the tour, he took part in concerts in London, Paris, Milan, Venice, Belgium and other parts of Europe. "A favorite quote to sum up my philosophy," says Mr. Bollino, is: 'In a moment of crisis, you will not rise to the challenge. Rather, you will default to your level of preparation.' I'm not sure who said it, but I love it." As a teacher, he adds: "I focus on simplicity and drill the fundamentals, because if you learn to master the instrument and everything it can do, making music with it is easy!"
Young Devereaux grew up in Northern Virginia, where he took an early interest in music. His father, now also his business partner at Forte, remembers: "One Sunday when Young was still in junior high, he marched up to the front of the sanctuary at Fairfax Methodist Church and played a flawless saxophone solo that surprised everyone -- especially his mom and me. After that, we stopped complaining about the cost of music lessons." Later he went on to study saxophone with Rick Parrell of the United States Army Band and with Doug Gately, a former member and featured soloist with the USAF's Airmen of Note. Since 1996, Mr. Devereaux has been teaching privately and performing professionally. He taught band at Fredericksburg Academy from 2005 to 2007, and he has performed with the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony. Mr. Devereaux has studied at James Madison University and at the University of Mary Washington. In 2011 he assumed day-to-day management responsibilities as the co-owner of Forte Music Studios. Mr. Devereaux believes: "Music education is extremely valuable to any individual. The language of music crosses all cultural and linguistic boundaries. The study of music reinforces and develops both math and language skills. Music gives an individual an unparalleled sense of accomplishment and a solid grasp of teamwork."
Lisa Leung Dobyns, Orchestra Director at Freedom Middle School in Spotsylvania County, is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in music. She received two UMW awards in 2011 -- the award for Excellence in Student Teaching and the Making the Difference Award. She is a member of the American String Teachers Association and the National Association for Music Education. She performs with the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra and with the praise team at her church. About teaching, Ms. Leung Dobyns says: "I most enjoy getting to know my students and watching them develop as musicians and as individuals. In sharing music, I see students acquire self-confidence, poise and strength. One principal value I hold, and have always been taught, is that music is a gift which must be shared. So perform, teach, practice ... whatever you do, make sure you share the gift."
Ron Barricklow, a teacher for 17 years in Stafford County schools, is now Orchestra Director at Brooke Point High School and Stafford Middle School. He is a violinist with the Fredericksburg String Quartet and was a founding director of the Rappahannock Youth Symphony (1996-2008). Mr. Barricklow earned a Bachelor's degree in music performance from Shenandoah College and Conservatory and a Master's degree in music education from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford. "What I like best about teaching," he says, is "working with students over the course of years and watching them mature as unique individuals and musicians."
Monika Turner-Rice grew up in the Fredericksburg area where she began playing the clarinet in middle school and continued her studies through high school and college. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of Mary Washington. There she participated in the clarinet ensemble, sang in the MWC chorus, and studied both choral and orchestral conducting. Ms. Turner-Rice sang as a member of the Maranatha Touring Choir throughout high and college and later with The Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg. She also taught at H.H. Poole Middle School where she was an assistant band director for five years. She currently enjoys singing in her church choir, teaching clarinet and oboe at Forte Music Studios, and directing the Maranatha Gospel Choir. "What I like best about teaching is that I get to share my passion and excitement for music," states Ms. Turner-Rice. "There is nothing that I enjoy more than seeing the light in my student's eyes when they finally master a piece of music that they have been working on for weeks or maybe even months, or they conquer their nerves and do well at an audition. If I can teach a student that there is not only joy in mastering a skill, but in the challenge itself, then I feel that I have done my job. By doing this, I feel that I have contributed in some small way to the world."
Wesley Hockaday performs regularly with several local opera companies, both as vocalist and conductor. He graduated with Highest Distinction from the University of Mary Washington, earning a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in music. He is Assistant Conductor of the UMW Fredericksburg Singers, Assistant to the Music Director of Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill (Episcopal) in Alexandria and piano substitute with the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra. His passion for teaching has resulted in inspiring several students to pursue music studies in higher education. He describes his mission in these words: "To inspire in others a love for the art of creating music, to build musical foundations in young musicians, and to encourage students to take responsibility in their musical practice, studies and ensemble participation."
Viola / Violin
Lisa Leung Dobyns
Lane Drum received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he participated in Master Class with Eliot Fisk. Mr. Drum later studied jazz performance at Berklee College of Music, after which he lived and performed solo classical, jazz, rock and blues in New York for six years. He also privately taught more than 100 students in New York. He studied with Mike Stern, Peter Bernstein, Adam Rafferty and Joe Giglio. In the Fredericksburg area, Mr. Drum teaches more than 100 private students. His areas of instructional focus include classical, jazz, blues, rock and contemporary. He is the guitar instructor for Fredericksburg Area Young Musicians, a local home school music program, and he instructs jazz and classical guitar ensembles at Forte Music Studios. His teaching emphasizes music theory, improvisation, ear training and sight reading. Mr. Drum has a passion for music that is evident in his teaching. His own excitement and enthusiasm for music and instruction are demonstrated in his love for teaching. Many of his former students have gone on to study music in the college setting, including at Berklee College of Music. Mr. Drum gigs with local groups in the Fredericksburg area in all musical styles.
Brittany Frompovich is a well-respected bassist, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter and music educator who has performed in the Mid-Atlantic region for 20 years. In addition to free-lance ensemble work as a bassist, she actively explores cutting edge bass concepts such as solo bass performance and looping. Mike Dimin, bassist, educator and author of The Art of Solo Bass and The Chordal Approach, says of Ms. Frompovich: "Brittany is a consummate musician and educator. Her commitment to the art and her students is unparalleled! The dedication she shows to her students as well as the bass community has set an example for many others to follow." Ms. Frompovich graduated Cum Laude from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in applied double-bass and audio recording. During a break from playing double bass due to a repetitive stress injury, she discovered the electric bass. It was the perfect medium to reconcile her backgrounds as a working guitarist and classically trained double bassist. She rapidly moved from fretted four string to playing fretless (successfully defretting the instrument herself), then to fretted four string. After healing, she gradually returned to the double bass as well. Ms. Frompovich has a gift for community building. She was instrumental in creating the Virginia Bass Forum, an organization that hosts events to build the local bass community and assist bass players in improving their craft. The Forum has hosted artists such as Stu Hamm, Bryan Beller, Adam Nitti, Michael Dimin, Kevin Walker, Steve Lawson and Dr. Donovan Stokes. She hosts, promotes and organizes every Forum event and teaches at least two Bass Forum clinics per year. Ms. Frompovich is the founder of "Kids Jamming For Kids," a yearly benefit concert raising donations for Guitars Not Guns and the Fredericksburg Food Bank. Ms. Frompovich is an exceptional teacher, her students wholeheartedly recommending her. She successfully teaches a range of students -- beginners, recreational music makers, teenagers who compete in regional or state orchestral competitions, adult "weekend warriors" who perform in bands, and serious students who become career musicians. She is a productive writer, blogging for the Music Teacher's Helper blog site (used by teachers internationally) and her own blog site at ladybassmusic.net. She has been published in Songwriter’s Monthly, Bassics and Bass Frontiers Magazine. She performs gigs on guitar, vocals, double bass and electric bass, covering genres that include solo bass, classical, Celtic rock, funk, Latin, classic and modern rock, adult acoustic alternative, folk, traditional Celtic, big band jazz, Renaissance music and pit work for musicals. In 2011, she performed an opening set for the legendary solo bassist Steve Lawson at his Virginia Bass Forum appearance. Her clients call her a consummate professional. Her band mates describe her playing as "highly creative," "solid" and "beautiful." Jazz luminary Gerald Veasley introduced her to bassist Jimmy Haslip as “a beautiful player on both electric bass and double bass.” She has performed and given clinics at NAMM, Gerald Veasley's Bass BootCamp, the Richmond “Girls Rock!” Camp, the Bass Coalition's Summer Bass Workshop at Shenandoah University, the Rappahannock Music Summer Camp, Alpha Music, the Virginia Bass Forum, house concerts and other events. Ms. Frompovich describes herself as being "passionate about music, music education and the bass," while always advancing her "creative journey as a musician and an educator." (To access Ms. Frompovich's website, ladybassmusic.net, click on the link beside her picture.)
Cellist and Founder of Forte Music Studios, Christine Hartigan has been an active musician in the greater Fredericksburg area for more than 20 years. In addition to performing with the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra, the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra, the St. George's Chamber Series Program and other chamber ensembles throughout the region, Ms. Hartigan volunteers on a regular basis as a visiting consultant providing music clinics in various schools in Fredericksburg and the surrounding region. Alongside her teaching and performance experience, Ms. Hartigan taught strings at Fredericksburg Christian Schools, has worked with the Rappahannock Youth Symphony, served on numerous boards and committees, and has performed with the Spotswood Community Orchestra, University of Mary Washington Community Orchestra, Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra and the Chamber Chorale of Fredericksburg, of which she is a founding member. Ms. Hartigan teaches cello and violin at Forte Music Studios, where she is also Artistic Director.
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Birthplace: Warrenton, Virginia
Teaches at Forte: Guitar, Violin, Viola, Chapman Stick, Bass
Lessons on: Wednesday
Luke Gray, who attended George Mason University and Germanna Community College, has served as principal second violinist and assistant concertmaster for the Senior Regional Orchestra and principal second violinist for the George Mason University Symphony. Mr. Gray is lead violinist at Bethel Reformed Presbyterian Church and has performed in master classes by Elizabeth Pitcairn, Ricardo Cyncynates, Laura Kobayashi, Barry Green and Glenn Dewey. He has participated in the Rappahannock POPs Orchestra, the Spotswood Community Orchestra, junior and senior regionals, the All-Virginia Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra, the Virginia Medical Musical, the Winchester Symphony, the Rappahannock Summer Music Camp, the UMW Philharmonic and Fredericksburg Area Young Musicians. In addition to his violin and guitar proficiency, Mr. Gray is among a very limited group of musicians who play the Chapman Stick, which he describes as "a rare and wonderful instrument." The Chapman Stick, he adds, "has helped me expand my horizons and musicality from different genres, ranging from classical and Celtic to jazz and funk. I have expanded this exploration to my work on violin and bass, and hope to try and help expand the knowledge of my students not only with their particular instrument and genre, but with all music in general. I believe a great musician is immersed in other areas of music, not just in their own specialized field."
Birthplace: Burnt Hills, New York
Teaches at Forte: Bass, Piano, Introductory Cello
Lessons on: Friday
Joanna Smith, originally from upstate New York, is currently working as a professional bassist in and around Fredericksburg. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of Mary Washington in 2012, where she played upright and electric bass for the UMW Philharmonic and Jazz Band. Ms. Smith was first introduced to music on piano at the age of seven. After studying piano privately for 10 years in grade school, she picked up the bass in her fourth grade orchestra and hasn't put it down since. A strong background in music theory and orchestral and jazz performance allows Ms. Smith to play in a wide variety of styles. She regularly performs with pit orchestras at UMW and Riverside Dinner Theater, local jazz and bluegrass groups, the glam rock group, The Kingbolts, and her own jazz trio, Smith Party of Three. She believes music is a fundamental part of being human and loves sharing her knowledge and experiences.
Teaches at Forte: Viola, Violin
Lessons on: Monday, Wednesday
Lisa Maroney grew up in Northern Virginia, where she studied under National Symphony members Edwin Johonnott, Luis Hasa and Shelton Lampert. She went on to study with Jan White while attending Mary Washington College. There she earned her degree in music performance and certificate in music education. Since that time, she has stayed active in the local musical community by participating in various ensembles, playing in pit orchestras, and conducting a small homeschool string ensemble. In 2011 Ms. Maroney was the concertmaster for the UMW Philharmonic's Christmas/New Year tour of Italy, and in 2012 she had the honor of performing with The Muir String Quartet and Friends as part of the Fredericksburg Festival of the Arts. She was a charter member of the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra, in which she was principal violist for 15 years, as well as serving as a member of their Artistic Committee. In addition to teaching, she is associate concertmaster of the UMW Philharmonic, a violist in the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra, and an apprentice at Wm. Mason's Violin Shop, where she is thrilled to be learning the art of making violins. Ms. Maroney's goal as a teacher is to provide her students with the knowledge and skills they will need to make beautiful music that will be a joy to both themselves and to others for a lifetime. Her focus is primarily classical with a bit of exploration into other musical styles.
Birthplace: Watford, England
Teaches at Forte: Viola, Violin, Piano
Lessons on: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
Alison Rolf hails from the South East of England. She studied music at Clare College, Cambridge, and subsequently pursued a postgraduate diploma in violin performance at the Royal Academy of Music. There, as a student of Lydia Mordkovitch, she was a recipient of the Dip RAM -- the conservatory's premier prix for outstanding final recital. She was a founding member of the London-based Elgin Piano Trio, giving concerts throughout the United Kingdom and abroad, including a residency at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. In 2002, Ms. Rolf moved to St. Louis, where she taught violin, viola and piano at Dayspring School of the Arts and was also adjunct faculty at Webster, St. Louis and Missouri Baptist universities. While in St. Louis, she was involved in a number of chamber groups, including the Webster Faculty String Quartet and the Crusell Quartet, with which she released a CD on the Centaur label. In addition, she freelanced extensively, serving as concertmaster of a number of ensembles, including the Webster University Orchestra. She also performed on a regular basis with Union Avenue Opera, as well as at the Fox Theatre, Peabody Opera House and the St. Louis Muny. While still a teenager, Ms. Rolf had the opportunity to work with such prestigious and world-famour artists as Sir Yehudi Menuhin and Sir Colin Davis. In recent years, she appeared on stage with Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Bernadette Peters, Amy Grant and Johnny Mathis. Ms. Rolf moved to the Fredericksburg area with her husband and four-year-old daughter in August 2016. She currently is orchestra director at Riverbend High School and Ni River Middle School. She has always been passionate about teaching and believes that "the opportunity to learn a string instrument should be made available to all." This philosophy prompted her to pursue a K-12 instrumental certification in 2014, enabling her to teach in the public school system. In addition to her orchestra classes, she reports that she is "very excited to be teaching private students at Forte," and loves to work with individual students.
Birthplace: Medway, Massachusetts
Teaches at Forte: Violin, Viola
Lessons on: Wednesday, Thursday
Cynthia Dement grew up in the greater Boston area, where she started playing the violin at age six and the viola at age ten. She quickly grew to love the viola, and it is now her primary instrument. Ms. Dement is an alumna of Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, and she still enjoys playing with the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra. She also plays with the Lynchburg Symphony. She has been teaching viola and violin lessons in the Fredericksburg area since 2012. Ms. Dement formerly served as a staff member and instructor at South Stafford Christian School.
Birthplace: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Teaches at Forte: Piano
Lessons on: Monday, Thursday
Mary Engbert, a Fredericksburg native, began taking lessons at age seven. Later she was a part of the first group of students to enroll when Forte Music Studios opened in 2005. She continued as a Forte student -- taking piano and then cello lessons -- until her graduation from high school in 2014. She has participated in the Rappahannock Youth Symphony, the Richmond Youth Orchestra, and the former Forte Youth Orchestra. Ms. Engbert is finishing work to earn her bachelor's degree in music from Mary Washington University. She has taught piano lessons to a variety of students since 2013. "I have really enjoyed it," says Ms. Engbert, adding that she looks forward to continuing "my music teaching career at Forte, where I also learned."
Where Route 3 Meets Highway 1 in Fredericksburg
Jackie Fahringer has served as worship leader on the staff of a variety of churches over the last ten years, most recently at Sunbury Bible Church in central Pennsylvania, before returning to the Fredericksburg area with her husband. She has also enjoyed playing a wide range of events over the years, from weddings to many kinds of informal gatherings. She loves the collaborative process and the connections between musicians during rehearsal and "go time." Ms. Fahringer holds a bachelor's degree in world religion from the University of Mary Washington. She studied music performance, theory and composition under private tutors for 12 years. At only 15 years of age she began teaching private lessons to other students in her home school community group. She believes strongly in teaching the "why" behind the music, and she truly desires of foster a deep love and appreciation for music in her students. Her favorite students are those who are receptive to learning something old, in order to create something new. Ms. Fahringer believes that music is art and should be both fun and meaningful. As an instructor, she strives to cultivate such an atmosphere.
Birthplace: Kokomo, Indiana
Teaches at Forte: Piano
Lessons on: Thursday