Ben Bowman is a graduate of UMA, holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music with a concentration in performance. He brings 7 years of teaching experience, (Drumset, Hand Percussion, Latin Percussion, Piano, Bass Guitar, Trumpet) in addition to public performing as a member of a number of bands in a variety of venues. He lives in Augusta and is building a small home in Pittston. In his free time, he enjoys home-brewing and building lithium electric vehicles.
Ross Gallagher was born and raised in East Blue Hill, Maine, where he was influenced by the coast, his father’s paintings, his mother’s books, and their collection of music. He began to play the double bass and compose music in high school, and has since studied with Robert Rohe, Mark Helias, Ben Street, Robert Sadin, John Hollenbeck and Andrew Cyrille, played with Bill McHenry, Jorge Rossy, Andrew D’Angelo, Kenny Wollesen, Joe Henry, Marc Ribot, and Hurray for the Riff Raff, and presented his own music at Sunny’s, The Stone, Rockwood Music Hall, and at churches and grange halls along the Eastern Seaboard. He lives in Arrowsic, ME, where he freelances on the bass, guitar, and cello.
Dianne Gorman has provided piano lessons to students of all ages since 1992. Specializing in beginners and young children, she has also had success teaching autistic children. With an earlier career working in public schools, she employs teaching skills learned as an elementary school teacher. She is a member and officer with Central Maine Music Teachers Association as well as with Maine Music Teachers Association. Part of her teaching program involves participation in recitals and concerts held at various public locations with themes such as Patriotic Piano Duets, Jazz and Blues, Christmas Carols, etc.
Betsy Kobayashi Betsy Kobayashi, (Violin) B.A. University of New Hampshire, studied with Shinichi Suzuki for two years and graduated from Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan in 1988. She taught for 10 years with Buffalo Suzuki Strings in Buffalo, NY, founding and organizing the Suzuki viola program and a summer week-long workshop there. She maintains a studio in the Augusta area where she has taught for over 20 years.
Christine Letcher is currently the Assistant Director of Snow Pond Community Music School, teaches private piano, voice, and is the director of the Snow Pond Pantasticks Steel Drum Band. Christine is also an adjunct professor of music at the University of Maine at Augusta. A practitioner of yoga philosophy, Christine shares with her students various techniques for mindful and joyous music-making.
Bill Moseley has studied flute performance with Phil Kaplan and James Pappoutsakis of the Boston Symphony, and Charles Delaney at the University of Illinois. He has performed most of the standard flute/piano literature and has had considerable orchestra experience. Bill’s most recent position has been at the University of Maine at Augusta.
Seth Pillsbury grew up in a musical family; both of his parents played music extensively throughout Maine as he grew up. He graduated from the University of Maine at Augusta with a degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music. He has been playing guitar for 20 years, and teaching for 15. He plays all over the state year round, playing electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and occasionally mandolin
Jeri Pitcher is an Adjunct Theater Professor at the University of Maine at Augusta where she directs and teaches acting. She is also a freelance theater director, playwright, and actor. Jeri worked as a company member and, eventually, Associate Artistic Director of the Theater of Monmouth for 13 years. She has also worked as a teaching artist in Maine schools for the past 25 years, completing over 100 artist residencies in schools from York to Caribou, Bethel to Eastport.
Eileen Ringel is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) in piano. She opened her home studio, Kennebec Piano Studio, in 2008, where she now instructs over 20 students a year in piano practice, performance, technique, theory, and music history. Once a week, she teaches children at the Kennebec Montessori School in Fairfield. Eileen teaches students from beginners through early advanced.
Sarah Sukeforth is an active and prominent trumpet player from Southern Maine. Ms. Sukeforth started studying trumpet privately at age 9 with Alan King. In her developing years as a high school musician, she participated in music festivals including District, Maine All-State, All-New England, and the All-Eastern Honors Band Festival where she placed second chair in 2011. She is also a two-year winner of the John Phillip Sousa Band Award at Falmouth High School.
Shannon has studied at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. She holds a Master’s Degree in Musical Theatre performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, Scotland. Most recently she has been seen as Penelopy Pennywise in the RCS production of Urinetown, and Helena in the original production of Willy’s Bitches at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Jordan Messan Benissan, a native of Togo, West Africa, received a B.A. from the Institut des Sciences Commerciales in Lome, Togo. A member of the Ewe people, he was introduced to music and dance at an early age through ceremonies and rituals. He received his traditional music training from several West African master drummers. He has taught and performed for all levels, from elementary school through college level.
Sojourner Hodges is a composer, pianist, teacher and choir director based in the Midcoast. As a native of rural Florida and Georgia, Sojourner developed an early love of the natural world around her that continues to influence her approach to music. Sojourner received her Master’s degree in Music Composition with a Music-In-Education concentration from New England Conservatory and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in Athens.
Christine Little is our AAS Program Coordinator, she teaches expressive art, creative dance therapy and Christine received her BFA in Dance from the Boston Conservatory and her MA in Dance Movement Therapy from Naropa University. She has taught dance and creative movement to children and adults for over 30 years and still feels joyful and passionate about her art. Christine plays a variety of musical instruments and is a certified Music Mind Games teacher. In addition, she has had extensive training in Recreation Therapy and brings all of this experience to bear when facilitating individual and group creative arts sessions.
As a general music teacher from Maine, Marian Hotopp has traveled all over the world teaching music to come home and share music with her students. Some places she has taught include New York, Alaska, and Australia. Her first year of teaching was spent in Kodiak, Alaska. Marian’s main instrument is the French horn. She has performed in several recitals, a variety of ensembles, and chamber groups. Marian also recently has picked up the ukulele and djembe, which are popular instruments in her music classes. Classes Marian has taught include ukulele, percussion, and music+movement. Marian hopes to continue teaching music in Maine for a long time.
Amy Bley is a senior at the University of Maine at Augusta where she studies Liberal and Fine Arts. She is also a teacher of Jewish studies at the Temple Beth El Hebrew School in Augusta, in addition to teaching theater and art at Snow Pond After School Arts. She was just chosen as one of the Rising Scholars at UMA!! She has a love for children, teaching and makes her programs fun as well as educational.