Jennifer Birch was born in Maine and has a deep passion for engaging children in the performing arts. Jen is one of the original founding members of the Belgrade Community Theatre Committee in Belgrade, ME, which for years has brought the Missoula Children’s Theatre to the local primary schools.
For the last ten years, Jen has been involved with the Pineland Suzuki Music School in an effort to make learning string instruments accessible and affordable for every child, regardless of their economic background. Jen’s family, which includes five children have all been involved in the performing arts. It is a natural transition for Jen to be the new Director of the musically driven Snow Pond After School Program and Community Music School in Central Maine.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Marian is an accomplished singer and theatrical artist who brings a versatile background to her work on stage and into the teaching studio. A veteran of national Broadway tours and regional theatre productions, her favorite roles include: Cosette in Les Misérables, Christine in Phantom, Mother in Bright Lights, Big City, Marian in The Music Man, Fleur in Esmeralda (world premiere), Mary Jane Wilkes in Big River and Fiona in Brigadoon.
Hello my name is Aaron Gibbs and I am the steel drum Director here at Snow Pond Community Music School. I am a Student at University of Maine Augusta studying Music Education. I have played the steel pans for 12 years and have a passion for teaching them to Students. As a high school student I assisted my director with younger bands ranging from 3rd to 8th grade. I look forward to working with students of all ages to teach them an art form that I am passionate about.