Carolann Futej – Violin/Guitar/Ukelele/Piano/Voice
Carolann is no stranger to strings – whether they’re guitar strings, ukulele strings, violin strings, piano strings, cello strings or even double bass strings. (And, actually, do vocal cords count too?) Carolann’s first instrument was the guitar, which she received as a gift in elementary school, but it wasn’t long before she was also participating in the school choir, taking voice lessons, studying viola, and playing in the school orchestra and jazz band. When it was time for college, she attended Susquehanna University and majored in Music with a Music Technology minor. There, Carolann participated in the string pedagogy program, teaching weekly seminars in addition to being paired with private students. All the while, Carolann continued to study viola, hone her guitar, piano and vocal skills, and teach group music classes. Her educational experience doesn’t end there; she received her Masters of Education degree from Eastern University, was trained in The New Teacher Project's (TNTP) Teaching Fellows Program, and has taught in various school programs. A recent highlight was a stint at Community Academy of Philadelphia as a Creative Expression Teacher. Carolann brings her musical and educational knowledge to the Meridee Winters School of Music as a teacher on violin, guitar, viola, piano and ukulele.
Nikki Fritts – Piano/Voice
Nikki’s voice has taken her all over – in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to the Rio Grande. Her journey started in Tennessee, though, where Nikki began piano lessons at a very young age. (Ever the eager toddler, a teacher agreed to take her on as soon as she could “count to five and tell black from white.”) In elementary school, Nikki joined a community choir, and upon graduating from that started an a capella group with some industrious friends. She added private voice lessons to her studies, and continued to study both that and piano through college. For her undergraduate degree, Nikki received an academic scholarship to Union University in Jackson, TN where she earned her BA in Philosophy with a minor in Music and Honors Studies, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She has experience teaching both piano and voice, and is currently working on her music education certification at Eastern University. Nikki has performed in numerous choirs and operas throughout her life, was the female lead in Mozart's Bastienne and Bastianna, and even plays harp. When Nikki isn’t making music, she enjoys hiking and camping (and could give you a few tips on how to build a yurt.) She teaches piano and voice for the school.
Sam Borrello - guitar, piano
Sam may already be a familiar name – he’s a guitarist for the Philadelphia based band, ILL Doots. The band is known for uniting different perspectives and people to create fun music, as well as teaching young children about working together through their “I Love Learning” workshops. In addition, the group has received one of Philadelphia’s top honors, a Barrymore Award for “Best Original Music.” Sam’s music career started long before this, though. He was exposed to music early and took up piano lessons at the age of 8, continuing to study it into high school. A few years after beginning his piano studies, Sam took up the violin and clarinet and joined the Vermont Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. By high school, he was also hooked on the guitar, and began exploring rock and jazz repertoire. Deciding to continue his music studies in college, Sam graduated with honors from the University of the Arts with a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance and began teaching, producing and gigging locally and nationally. Sam enjoys a variety of music including jazz, hip-hop, classical and rock and has performed locally at Ardmore Music Hall and World Cafe Live. He teaches guitar and piano for the school.
Rachael Lipson – piano, voice
Rachael has loved singing since her childhood (falling in love with music when her parents took her to touring Broadway shows). This led to an early start in her music education: she began piano lessons at age eight, and joined her first choir just a few years after. She continued private lessons throughout her youth, which led her to Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. While there, Rachael was three-time Rider Scholar, whose recipients are in the top 1% of their class, as well as the winner of the annual Voice Scholarship Competition. She also had the opportunity to perform at the Kimmel Center, Lincoln Center and world-famous Carnegie Hall before graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music Degree. Rachael then went on to earn her Master’s of Music degree from the University of Delaware in May 2016, and continues to study music privately today. She keeps busy – she is also a Choral Scholar/Singing Mentor at the Cathedral Choir School of Delaware in Wilmington, DE, and an active gigging and auditioning professional vocalist in the Tri-State area. When not teaching or performing, Rachael likes to read, bake, snuggle her cat, David, and watch “a whole lot of Grey's Anatomy.” She teaches piano and voice for the school.
Selina Seymore - piano, voice
People often say they’ve been a music lover “since birth,” but for Selina it’s the literal truth: as an infant, piano music was often the only thing to get her to sleep. Within a few years, she was enrolled in lessons (and wide awake), which she continued through college. Much of her youth was dedicated to music. In addition to her piano studies, Selina was a member of her school choir, drum line, marching band and concert band. She followed her musical path to Lebanon Valley College, where she was a member of the dean’s list and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in music education. There, she also won several awards and scholarships for her musicianship, took vocal lessons, and participated in the percussion ensemble, marching band, concert band, wind ensemble and choir. Her musical expertise is not limited to piano – Selina is also a vocalist and is proficient in brass, woodwinds, percussion and keyboard percussion. When not making or studying music, Selina enjoys reading, bird watching and catching up on her Netflix queue. She teaches piano and voice for the school.
Peter Horst - piano, voice
Inspiration comes in all forms, and for Peter it came from the jealousy of watching his peers learn piano. Luckily, it didn’t take long for him to begin his own private lessons at the age of 8 and fall in love with playing music for its own sake. The piano has been part of his life ever since, as he continued lessons through college, learning classical technique, theory and musical composition along the way. Piano isn’t Peter’s only instrument – he also played trumpet and baritone with the band, jazz band, and orchestras in middle school and high school and was a member of his high school choir and Eastern University Choir. From Eastern, he had the opportunity to study abroad in Uganda, received an award for academic excellence, and graduated Summa Cum Laude. As a final senior hurrah, he successfully organized a vocal quartet to perform a self-composed piece titled As Kingfishers Catch Fire, based on a poem of the same name. These days, Peter keeps busy developing software for non-profits, playing piano his West Philadelphia church and baking (he especially enjoys sourdough bread). He teaches piano and voice for Meridee Winters.
Kaitlin Borden – piano, voice
Kaitlin is a dedicated musician, as demonstrated by her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College and her Master’s of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her interest in playing and singing began in her youth, but the decision to pursue it as a career came while performing with the Texas All State Choir in High School. This led her to Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, where she studied both voice and piano formally, and received a presidential scholarship. At the Cleveland Institute, she continued her studies, earning the Max Berman prize – the school’s largest award for a vocalist, as well as trying her hand at stage-managing. Kaitlin is no stranger to teaching music; for the completion of her Music Education degree, she taught at New Hope High School and Middle School, teaching students grades 6-12. During this time she worked with a large number of choirs, as well as the middle school cast of Grease, and gave both class and private music instruction to students grades 6-12. Her other teaching experiences include teaching music as a volunteer at the Cleveland School of the Arts, the Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility, and at several elementary and middle schools. As a performer, she’s landed some impressive roles, including Alice Ford in Verdi's Falstaff, Béatrice in Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict, Antonia in Les Contes du Hoffmann, and the title role in Handel's Alcina. Kaitlin teaches piano and voice for the school.
Emily Rosebush - piano
According to her mother, Emily’s first career aspiration was to be a “singing dentist.” The passion for molars may have faded, but the passion for music continued to grow, and Emily began formal piano lessons with a professor at Syracuse University at the age of five, which she continued into college. In high school, she also was active in her school choir, and was awarded the National Choral Award for her “demonstrated leadership, volunteerism, and dedication to the musical arts.” This award was the push Emily needed to pursue music for her higher education, and Emily graduated Magna Cum Laude from Elmira College in upstate New York with a double major of Psychology and Music, with a specialization in Music History and Classical Theory. While there, Emily was a Founder’s Scholar, made the dean’s list, and also held the position of President in four clubs: Chamber Singers, Psi Chi, Student Alumni Council, and Jazz Band. During her down time, Emily enjoys reading, hiking the local leg of Appalachian Trail, pursuing her equestrian habits, and cuddling with her puppy. She teaches piano for the school, and also works in the school’s office as an administrator.
Nelson Remetz - guitar, piano, voice, ukulele, bass
It’s very likely that music was the first thing Nelson ever heard. He was born into a whole family of musicians and it’s been a way of life ever since. Nelson learned harmonica and ukulele at an early age, and had also picked up the saxophone by the end of grade school. Not long after, he joined the school choir and his additional music lessons allowed him to conquer guitar, piano and several other instruments. While completing his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Maryland, he joined the acappella group Faux Paz. Performing with this group fueled Nelson’s love of song and won him the ICCA (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella) Mid-Atlantic Semifinals in 2015. Currently, Nelson plays blues/rock with his Philly based band, SHKRS. He’s always up for sharing his love of creative songwriting and the mindful experience of music with others. He loves studying the Beatles and White Stripes for songwriting inspiration and teaches guitar, piano, voice, ukulele and bass for the school.
Kaylee Sabatino - piano
Kaylee graduated from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts with a bachelor’s degree in Music Business, Technology and Entrepreneurship, but her passion for music started long before. Perhaps influenced by her father (who had worked as a professional musician performing in clubs), Kaylee was singing from her earliest days, and composing her own songs at five years old. Her parents recognized her affinity for music, and quickly signed her up for piano lessons. After auditioning at a local school, the studio owner decided to take Kaylee on as her own protégé, rather than assign her to another teacher, and Kaylee continued lessons through high school. Within that time, she also attended chamber music camp at Westminster Choir College, where she was coached by accomplished classical musicians, and played for small performances and master classes. In high school, she pursued music with fervor: she studied music technology and composition, accompanied her school choirs, and performed at local coffee houses. She decided to continue her musical studies at James Madison University, but Philadelphia soon called, and Kaylee completed her degree at the University of the Arts. There, she continued to pursue her instrument while studying music technology, mixing, recording, and music business. While not teaching, Kaylee composes and records for her solo project called "Cheeky," handling the vocals, synthesizers, keyboards and drum pads all on her own. Kaylee teaches piano for the school.
Erin Alcorn – voice, piano
Erin’s musical studies have taken her all over the globe – reaching as far as Austria with the American Institute of Music and Italy with the “Oberlin in Italy” Opera Theater. A childhood love of music and singing led her to pursue musical studies in college, and she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio and her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas. Erin wasn’t afraid of extra-curricular activity — she was also part of the University of North Texas 2016 Young Artist Professional Development Program, The Dallas Opera and The University of North Texas Orchestra. Despite her opera background, Erin enjoys teaching both piano and voice in a variety of styles, including her favorites: classical, musical theater, and jazz. For voice lessons, she aims to teach “healthy, classical vocal technique that may be applied to all styles of music.” Her teaching experience includes over seven years of private instruction, as well as vocal pedagogy courses and seminars at both the Oberlin Conservatory and UNT. She also has several notable accomplishments in her trophy case, including First Place at the Tuesday Musical Association in Ohio, Second Place in the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition and the Women's Voice Award from The Women's Chorus of Dallas. Currently, Erin is a soprano chorus member with Opera Philadelphia. She teaches voice and piano for the school.
Sean Conlon - guitar, bass, drums, piano, ukulele, voice, songwriting, violin, cello, trumpet
Sean’s love of performing began as imaginative play: pantomiming the instruments to Beatles songs and playing “intense air-guitar solos” to Led Zepellin tunes as a young boy. This passion was quickly applied to actual instruments, though, and over the course of his youth he learned to play the drums, guitar, bass and piano. He was hungry to learn even more, so began to explore audio recording and mixing, overdubbing himself playing all the different instrumental parts to songs that he loved and applying effects to the tracks. Sean then found himself longing to understand more of the theory behind the music, and decided to sign up for every music class his high school offered. He joined the concert band on trumpet, the wind ensemble on double bass, jazz band and pit orchestra on guitar, and also sang with the a cappella group and studied AP Music Theory. It’s no surprise that Sean elected to study music in college, where he attended the University of the Arts. There, he demonstrated the same ambition he’d shown throughout his youth, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance and his Master’s Degree in Music Education, as well as earning the guitar faculty award. Sean is also a seasoned music instructor — he taught private lessons on various instruments for seven years, in addition to student teaching during his music education studies. In his spare time, Sean performs with three different bands, and plays guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, and ukulele for various musicals. Sean teaches guitar, bass, drums, piano, ukulele, voice, cello, trumpet and violin for the school.
Tyler Meil – piano, violin
Tyler is a seasoned pianist and string musician whose lifelong love of music (along with an inspirational orchestra teacher) led him to pursue a degree in music education. He earned this degree at Chestnut College, where he also minored in special education, made the Dean’s list, and was accepted into the Kappa Delta Epsilon honors society. While his primary instruments are violin and piano, he also boasts skills on the cello, viola and bass. In addition to his educational accomplishments, Tyler received recognition from the Westminster Choir College of Rider University for creating an original piano composition, and received a certificate of recognition for his violin performance at the sixteenth annual SEPCHE (Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education) Honors Conference at Gwynedd Mercy University. His performance experiences range from classical to quirky – ranging from pit orchestras and the Chestnut Hill College string ensemble to a unique gig at Dorney Park’s Halloween Haunt playing violin in a haunted quartet and “scaring the guests.” Currently, Tyler performs in a duet known as Double Treble, a piano and violin duo, and is also a member of Sound Post, a contemporary and classical and the concert master for the Philadelphia Doctors Orchestra. In his spare ti
Taylor Kelly - piano, voice, songwriting, trumpet
Taylor studied music and participated in ensembles throughout her childhood (her award-winning high school choir was even the subject of the BBC documentary "Gleeful: The Real Show Choirs of America"). This led her to SUNY Fredonia where she studied classical voice and music education. It wasn’t long before she transferred to the world-renowned Berklee College of Music, though, where she studied with accomplished vocalists and graduated with a Professional Music degree. At Berklee, Taylor also had the chance to sing background vocals in big productions, write her own music, and even form her own nine-piece band. Following graduation, Taylor began teaching private lessons, and has instructed students aged 5 to 65 on piano, voice and trumpet. She has experience working with students on their songwriting, building their repertoire, building their technique, and “most importantly, building their confidence and their passion.” Currently, Taylor performs with a number of groups, perhaps most notably as the front-woman and trumpet player for Jay-Z/Beyonce cover band For the Record, who even earned a spot opening for Salt N’ Pepa at Boston's ThrowABBQ Night. When not teaching or performing, Taylor enjoys traveling and the outdoors. She teaches piano, voice and trumpet for the school.
Paul Giess - piano, trumpet, composition
Paul’s dedication to music has been present his whole life: he played piano and trumpet throughout his childhood, before moving on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Industry from James Madison University and Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from Louisiana State University. In college, he further proved his dedication by regularly making the trek from JMU in Harrisonburg, VA to Charlottesville, where he studied with jazz great John D’Earth. (D’Earth’s talents can be found on albums ranging from the Dave Matthews Band to Bruce Hornsby.) No stranger to achievement, Paul graduated from James Madison University cum laude, and received a talent scholarship while at LSU, as well as having an original composition included in the Do Duesche German Arts Festival and earning a spot as a finalist in the North American Brass Band Association Competition. While he holds a soft spot for jazz, he teaches both piano and trumpet in a variety of styles. His performance groups are also eclectic, ranging from a wedding cover band to a funk jazz fusion group to a 1920’s swing band. Paul teaches piano and trumpet for the school.
Grace Lee - piano
Grace received her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition in Korea before heading to the US to pursue higher education in music. While initially an English major, she followed her heart, switched her focus to music, and has been going full steam ahead ever since. She has studied composition and organ performance, and earned her Master of Music degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. She received the Dean’s Award and scholarships for academic excellence during her undergraduate studies, and was a student staff accompanist for vocal and conducting department at SWBTS. These successes were a long time in the making – Grace, an experienced church accompanist for over 20 years, began playing piano at age seven. Her list of musical abilities is a long one: she has studied music theory, composition, piano, violin, ocarina, recorder, Danso (Korean flute), and organ. She has also taught music extensively in both Korea and the US. Grace loves kids and travel, and teaches piano for the school.
Jared Scheetz - piano, guitar, bass, violin, cello
Jared first picked up the guitar in the 8th grade, and years of practice and self-instruction led him to advanced studies and a Music Education degree from West Chester University, and even to an opening spot for the hit band, Dawes. At West Chester, Jared studied not only guitar, but also aural skills, orchestral strings, advanced music theory, double bass and piano. He also performed with the West Chester University Classical Guitar Ensemble. Currently, he plays in an acoustic duo called Salient Roots. They play country, bluegrass and blues and are best known for their vocal harmonies. When not teaching, Jared is an avid woodworker, and has been teaching himself string instrument luthiery in his home wood shop. He teaches guitar, bass, piano, violin and cello for the school.
Chris Panico - piano, guitar
A graduate of University of the Arts, Chris is a multi-talented songwriter, composer, and creative writer with experience working with students of all ages, from toddlers to adults. Raised on Paul Simon and The Beatles, their influence shines through in the music he writes. At UArts, Chris received his degree in Music Composition, and has had several vocal arrangements performed in the area, most notably at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. While in school, Chris worked with every possible artistic medium, creating compositions and improvisations for films such as “A Rose For Amethyst” by Ashley Akunna and “Waves and Sand” by Marcus O'Leary, animations such as “Gary Gets a Job” and “The Adventures of Pencilman” by Maria DelBuono. When not teaching for Meridee Winters, Chris spends his time writing his own songs, favoring piano-driven electronic arrangements, although his experiences also include an impromptu tin whistle performance at the Renaissance Faire. He also spends time with his tiny Pekingese named Bobmur (after the dwarf in the Hobbit, of course). He teaches piano and guitar for the school.
Beatrice Osborne – piano, voice
While Beatrice has had a number of notable performances, her a cappella group’s 2014 performance at the White House for President Obama definitely ranks among the most memorable. (It even included a presidential handshake and photo op.) Ever since her family plopped her in front of the piano at age five, she has been attuned to her musical calling. Most recently she studied classical piano at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music and received her Bachelor of Music degree from Temple University, where she was honored to receive the Esther M. Schulz award for choral excellence. Beatrice has performed with a number of ensembles, and boasts an impressive musical theater and acting resume – she’s landed leading roles in productions like West Side Story, Into the Woods, The King and I and a (very) long list of others. She has also enjoyed working with children as part of the Fulton Opera House children's camp. Beatrice is excited to be bringing music to mainline homes in her next adventure and will be sure to share stories of playing with her cat, Crumpet and her dog, Daisy, too. She teaches voice and piano for the school.
Logan Roth – piano, drums, voice
Logan’s resume reads a bit like a “Who’s Who” of music and education. His musical accomplishments have included performing for the Queen of Jordan and opening for Oprah (the queen of talk), complemented by a degree from Princeton University. He grew up playing classical piano at the Oak Brook Academy of Music and Art in Illinois, and by his teen years was taking lessons with Chicago boogie-woogie/blues legend, Erwin Helfer and studying classical piano and composition with film composer Oscar Jasso. (Along the way he also took drum lessons, attended the Eastman School of Music Summer Jazz Program, and was hired for the Jazz Institute of Chicago's Jazz Ambassadors Program.) All of this hard work led him to Princeton University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in music and where he participated in numerous ensembles. Logan’s musical adventures have taken him all over the world: he was chosen as one of four Americans high-schoolers to perform as part of a global arts conference in Amman, Jordan (performing for the aforementioned queen), he has toured Japan with a blues band and Estonia with a Princeton ensemble. His educational experience is equally global. He taught music lessons at the Unwind Center in Chennai, India and established a music program for “Give and Surf”, a volunteer educational organization for indigenous and impoverished youth in Panama. In addition to music, Logan loves cartoons, chocolate and his giant orange tabby cat named Sophocles. He teaches piano, drums and voice for the school.
Sarah Caleb - piano, ukulele
Having an original fanfare performed by the Philadelphia Classical Symphony is quite an accomplishment. Having that AND another composition (this time an "Adolescent Lullaby" for clarinet, violin and cello) performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, all by the time Sarah left for college – well, that's unheard of. Her musical tastes and accomplishments aren't limited to classical music, though. From heading up a step dance team to working on a positively messaged hip-hop/rap album to studying the music of Indonesia, Sarah's musical interests are diverse. She has studied at the Settlement School of Music, Bryn Mawr Conservatory, the Curtis Institute of Music, and Oberlin College, from which she received her Bachelors Degree. Sarah has been working with kids for years as a camp counselor, and her energy and rapport with campers earned her the title of "counselor of the year" several times. Her position at MW School of Music is a perfect way to combine all of her many talents. Recently, Sarah has spent two years teaching piano and English as a second language in a primary school in Granada, Spain. We are pleased to have her rejoin the Meridee Winters team after her years teaching abroad. Sarah is a piano and ukulele teacher for the school.
Rebekah Fernandez - voice, piano, guitar, musical theater
Rebekah fell in love with music and acting at a young age, and followed that passion as it led her through music lessons and school theater all the way to professional productions and spots on commercials and TV sitcoms. The musical leg of her journey began with piano lessons, later adding voice and flute. Rebekah also picked up the guitar so that she could sing and accompany herself. Her acting experience is extensive – she has worked for professional theaters in Denver, Dallas, Virginia and PA and toured as an MC with the Radio Disney Road Crew. Rebekah graduated summa cum laude from Abilene Christian University with a BFA in acting and musical theater. While there, she was a presidential scholar, received a theater scholarship and studied abroad in Uruguay. While not teaching or performing, Rebekah loves to play with her cats, Mischief and Echo, and enjoys nature, biking, reading and painting. She teaches voice, musical theater, piano, guitar and works in the front office as the Vision Keeper for the school.
David Snyder – voice, piano, guitar
A born performer, David has graced the stage of many well-known Tri-State area theaters, including the Walnut Street Theater and the Arden Theater in Philadelphia and Candlelight Theater in Delaware. His stage credits have even taken him abroad to places like Edinburgh, Scotland and Beijing, China. David studied music throughout his youth – beginning with the saxophone and voice, and soon adding on the piano and the guitar. His love of music and the performing arts led him to Syracuse University, where he earned his BFA in Drama. (He also has extensive training in the Linklater voice method.) David has several years of music direction under his belt in various local school and music theater programs, and is currently serving as the music director for the Wolf Performing Arts Center. While his musical theater experience is extensive, David enjoys and teaches many genres, including jazz, rock, folk, classical and recording programs like Logic and MainStage. He teaches piano, guitar and voice for the school.
Patrick D’Amato – piano, composition, musical theater, vocal coaching
Patrick's musical path has led him everywhere from orchestra pits to rock battles – he recently accompanied two different groups for a battle of the bands, managing to snag both first and third place. In the musical theater realm, Patrick has graced the stage (and the orchestra pit) in many local theaters including the Media Theater, Lansdowne Celebration Theater and Hedgerow Theater. Patrick earned his Bachelor's of Music Degree from Hillsdale College, with a dual focus in both Piano Performance and Composition. He has also served as a substitute teacher for two local school districts, where he has had the chance to work with kids in grades K-12. Beyond the classroom, Patrick has also served as the musical director for two different children’s theater camps with the Media Theater. He recently began focusing on a musical pursuit of a different variety – composing original music for video games. When he’s not participating in a musical or competing on stage, Patrick loves reading, watching really good TV and movies, and hanging out with both two legged and four legged friends. (He has two dogs Abby, a Saint Bernard and Ernie a Mastiff.) Patrick teaches piano and voice for the school.
Nick Salcido - piano, guitar, bass
Nick’s interest in music began during his elementary school commute, when he would sing along to old Motown and 50’s songs on the radio. This interest led to guitar lessons, and later, the bass. His musical studies continued when he attended Bates College, where he earned a BA in Music, with Honors in Composition. By the time he completed his degree, he had already compiled almost 200 hours of student teaching in music as well as physical education classes. He later taught in smaller, private studios in Northeast Philadelphia and Washington, DC. In addition to private lessons, Nick has worked with kids, helping them form bands and prepare to compete in statewide “Battle of the Bands” performances. He currently plays in several ensembles in the Philadelphia area, earning the title of “Philly Band of the Year” at the 2012 Tri-State Indie Awards and performing at the Peach Music Festival, run by the iconic Allman Brothers. Nick has also toured with the Kalob Griffin Band and performed with a member of a popular funk-jazz group, Soulive. Nick loves to travel the US and explore the local flavor wherever he finds himself. Always looking to explore his neighborhood and discover new restaurants, he loves finding new foods that he never thought he would like.
Willie Nelson – piano, guitar, bass and drums
For Willie, music has never been a choice – it has been a necessity. His life has always involved music from his fascination with the bagpipes as a child to playing in punk bands in his teens and now as a student of music therapy. The arts, musical theater, chorale groups, jazz and marching bands played big role in his adolescence and they have helped shape his education and career paths. Today, Willie is studying Music Therapy and Piano Performance at Immaculata University. He was awarded a scholarship by the music department and more recently was elected president of the Immaculata Chorale. Prior to embarking on a musical education journey, Willie was trained as a professional photographer at Hallmark Institute of Photography. Willie taught private music lessons on his own before joining the MW Team and has also served as a Boy Scout camp counselor. Willie plays with several bands in Philadelphia including a wedding band and an original funk band. He performs his own original music under the stage name Crills Wilson and has played with the popular indie-rock band Cheers Elephant on many occasions. When he isn’t playing music, Willie enjoys working on home improvement projects. He teaches piano, guitar, bass and drums for the school.
David Trum - piano, guitar, voice, bass, drums
David has always had a strong interest in music and art. After seeing the iconic performance of “Johnny B. Goode” in the film Back to the Future, he was inspired to pick up the guitar, and began lessons at 7 years old. David later took up percussion and bass and played in rock bands, concert bands, jazz bands, marching bands and choruses throughout school. He's also no stranger to teaching – he began teaching lessons when he was a freshman in high school and has since worked in his own private studio and as the music director at Easter Seals' Camp Carefree. At Camp Carefree, he directed, instructed and wrote the curriculum for children with special needs. While in college, David studied composition privately with composers such as Robert Maggio, Adam Silverman and Michael Fiday. He graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Theory and Composition and from University of Cincinnati with a Master’s Degree in Music Composition. David genuinely loves and embraces a wide range of music styles from the Beatles to Beyonce, Bob Dylan and Luciano Berio. When he’s not busy studying the craftsmanship of all things musical, he keeps himself busy listening to podcasts about science, philosophy and the arts. David teaches guitar, bass, piano, percussion and voice.
Sarah Connelly – piano, flute
A certified teacher and lifelong musician, Sarah began piano lessons at five years old, and of all her childhood interests, music is the one that “stuck.” It stuck quite well, apparently, as she continued lessons through college, adding flute to her studies along the way. Growing up, she was active in many musical groups, participating in District Band, All-Catholic Band, and the Archdiocesan Band throughout high school, even performing twice at the Kimmel Center. Her dedication and talent led her to West Chester University’s music program, where she successfully auditioned on both of her instruments, piano and flute, opting to be a piano major. A natural teacher, Sarah studied Music Education and taught private lessons through WCU’s Community Music Program before graduating Cum Laude, and going on to receive her teaching certification for grades K-12. Beyond teaching, Sarah loves working with kids through volunteering: she is a unit leader and climbing facilitator at a Girl Scout camp, and runs a Girl Scout troop in Lansdowne through the school year. Sarah teaches piano for the school.
Rachel Woodward – piano, voice
A lifelong musician, Rachel has been singing as long as she can remember, and specifically recalls falling in love with the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack. After spending her school years taking voice lessons, singing in the choir, and tackling solos at church and school, Rachel found herself at the University of Oklahoma, studying vocal music education. With her eyes on the East Coast, she decided to move to the Main Line area, where she enthusiastically studied piano, voice, and guitar lessons, adding rock and pop vocal styles to her classical and Broadway repertoire. After receiving a music scholarship, she attended West Chester University, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a vocal and chorus emphasis. Rachel was also awarded an internship conducting with the Kennett Symphony Children’s Chorus. Over the years, she has used her certification as a K-12 music educator everywhere from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Philadelphia. When she’s not imparting her love of music (including creativity and songwriting) onto her students, she likes to collect interesting instruments, with a recent infatuation with world percussion. Rachel is known to keep a kite in her car "for emergencies" and teaches voice and piano for the school.
Andrew Fagan - guitar, piano, vocals, bass
Andrew graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Sound Design. Andrew writes, records, and produces music as part of The Skyline Industry, whose music has been featured on Philadelphia radio station WXPN as well as many internet stations and blogs. As a solo artist, Andrew writes and performs under the moniker The Dragons Were Numbers as well as his given name. When he is not immersed in his music, he can be found around town hosting a music night at a local venue, performing at a fancy dinner party or wedding reception downtown, or helping his students record their own songs and albums. Andrew’s other hobbies and interests include graphic design, camping, gardening, and movies. His hope is to inspire the potential and encourage the talent in each of his students. Andrew has been teaching piano and guitar with the Meridee Winters School of Music since 2005.
Brendan Fullam - piano, guitar, voice
Brendan grew up loving and listening to his Dad’s records. What he heard inspired him, so he started guitar lessons, formed a band with some friends, and began writing his own songs. Brendan followed this musical path to college, earning his Bachelor’s degree in Music Recording Technology from Lebanon Valley College where he studied both guitar and voice. Though he has a passion for jazz, Brendan loves playing in all different styles – rock, R&B, blues, progressive, and folk. His band, Johnny Action Figure, has performed at top venues in Philadelphia, Nashville and New York, alongside great bands like Wilco, the Get Up Kids, and Apollo Sunshine. Their music has been featured in television shows and commercials on MTV, VH1, and Comedy Central. Outside of music, Brendan is a big Philadelphia sports supporter. He teaches guitar, piano and voice for MW.
Meg Moyer - piano, voice, songwriting
A lifelong advocate for the arts, Meg has been playing music since the age of 4, and writing her own for nearly as long. Meg attended West Chester University, where she majored in both Early Childhood Education, and Music. She is now a notable singer/songwriter in the Philadelphia area and has been featured on NBC 10’s Singing Sensations songwriting competition, played live on The Key sessions on WXPN radio, and is currently working with notable producers on her first studio album. Throughout her career, she has lent her skills to many albums and recording projects – co-writing, producing and providing vocals/instrumentation. Meg is extremely passionate about creativity and the arts, and can often be seen out and about performing at various charity events, community shows and area coffee houses. In addition to writing, teaching, and cooking, Meg is constantly working to expand her instrumentation, which includes the piano, guitar, ukulele, drums, and whatever else she can tackle next. Meg believes in the power of musical expression and strives to empower children and adults in finding positive ways to do so. She teaches piano, voice and songwriting for the school, and works with Meridee as a Creative Consultant.
Pia Ercole - piano, voice
From an early age, it was quite clear that Pia was in love with music. Whenever music was playing – whether it was a Beatles song or a Chopin Nocturne – Pia would dance and sing. Her parents noticed, and quickly signed the 4-year-old up for piano lessons. She continued to study piano and voice at nearby SUNY Purchase, while also performing in jazz ensembles, snagging the lead roles in her school musicals, and heading off to prestigious performing arts programs at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and the Lee Strasberg Institute. These early successes led her to study music at Boston University’s School for the Arts, later transferring to The Juilliard School after being specially recruited. At Juilliard, she coached other vocalists and pianists, and received numerous awards for her outstanding musicianship. Pia's performance and recording career have also taken off – she is featured on three tracks on King Britt's newest electronic album, which has received much critical acclaim. Pia's recent performance highlights include performing at New York's Museum of Modern Art as part of the "Moondance" event, and a spot at the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit in Asheville, NC. Besides her performing and recording career, Pia is a songwriter, producer and deejay. She teaches voice and piano for the school.
Maura Blanchard - piano, cello
Maura graduated from Temple University with a degree in music education. She began studying classical piano at age 7, and since then, her love of music has grown and matured. In her early years, she played in any ensemble she could, including jazz band, orchestra (on cello), and various choirs. During high school, she studied at the Bryn Mawr Conservatory of music with Diana Dodbiba. Since 2006, she has been performing in community concerts, recitals, and other solo venues, playing both classical and jazz piano. In that time, she has also taught piano at the Georgia E. Gregory School of Music summer camp as well as the First Philadelphia Charter School. In 2011, she joined the melodic rock driven band Whitewater Pass and has been performing with them in and beyond the Philadelphia area. She currently teaches general music at Immanuel Lutheran School in North East Philadelphia. She's been with the Meridee Winters School of Music since 2009, and teaches piano and cello.
Mary Kate Howard - piano
Mary Kate holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Haverford College and a dual Masters Degree from Bryn Mawr College in Social Work and Law & Social Policy. She has over a decade of experience working with children and families, and has been a teacher with Meridee Winters since 2009. In addition to piano, Mary Kate also plays the French horn. She is currently employed as a social work supervisor in Delaware County, working with children in the child welfare system. She feels blessed by the many opportunities and experiences that music has provided her, and is excited to share her love of music with her students. As for her own musical goals, she is working on teaching herself the acoustic guitar. Mary Kate loves to run, read, and spend time with her two amazing children.
Michael Campanile - piano, guitar
Mike graduated from Temple University’s Ester Boyer College of Music and Dance with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. He has performed and composed for a wide range of musical genres, including jazz, punk, ballet, fusion, classical, metal, and electronic music. He cherishes the classical repertoire, yet at the same time incorporates much of the experiences he has had with modern popular musical styles to infuse an educated and refined approach. His diverse musical ability and interests have allowed him to perform at an equally diverse range of venues from the second stage of the Warped Tour to center stage at the Kimmel Center. Through his years as a musician he has studied and played piano, clarinet, saxophone, guitar, and bass, as well as recorded and produced in studios on the east and west coast. Currently, Mike is working with several groups/projects, ranging from metal to rap to electronic music, and is creating a solo album from which all the proceeds will be donated to cancer research. When he's not playing or writing, Michael enjoys low budget movies, and classic novels. He has been teaching for the MW School of Music since 2009 and teaches piano, guitar, and bass.
Danielle Simon – piano, voice
Two of Danielle’s passions are music and helping people, and it’s these passions that have led her to study music therapy and start her own community outreach program. In 2013, she founded MendedNOTE, Inc., which uses music to engage and reach at-risk youth and their families. Danielle’s love of music began at an early age – she started piano lessons at 6, flute at 10, and voice lessons at 12. She was classically trained and developed her skills by playing and singing in various bands and choirs, even competing nationally at NAACP’s ACT-SO competition for instrumental contemporary music composition and vocal composition. At Temple University, she earned her Bachelor of Music degree in jazz studies and vocal performance, going on to study music therapy at Drexel University. Danielle currently works as a social worker and is involved in many community events, after-school programs and local churches. When she’s not using her musical gifts to make the world a better place, she enjoys producing and composing for independent labels, performing at local venues, and singing/playing in a soul and jazz-influence band. Danielle teaches voice and piano for the school.
Abhi Taranath - piano, guitar, bass, ukulele
Veteran teacher Abhi Taranath is no stranger to music. His musical resume includes performances at Philadelphia's Theater of Living Arts and opening for the Sugarhill Gang as part of "The Ernest Goodlife Band." In addition, he is currently pursuing a degree in Media & Technology at Villanova University that he will use to explore the fields of music, recording and digital audio. This passion for music began long ago; as a toddler, his father would play Beatles and Ravi Shankar albums "endlessly" on repeat, and Abhi credits that as when his lifelong love of music began. In his youth, he received high honors for his saxophone playing and, looking to expand his musical skills, also began his studies on guitar, which has continued to study and master. Throughout his life, he has been exposed to a great variety of music genres and instruments – his expertise ranges from guitar, saxophone and piano to the Indian tabla. With a strong understanding of the traditional guitar approach, Abhi is also well versed with the more unconventional uses of guitar sound (such as soundscaping, looping and noise), and he is happy to explore all genres and approaches with his students. In his spare time, Abhi is working on his debut solo album and enjoys raising his two children. He teaches guitar, bass, ukulele and piano for the school.