Academy Arts Directory

Jeremy Batten

Jeremy batten has been teaching privately for 15 years. He teaches guitar, bass, piano, mandoline, and music theory. He formerly  toured with Scott Simons, and was the guitarist for regional act The Ultimatums. Currently he supports Haley Slagle, a regionally touring act in the roots/americana/alternative country vein. He was the music director for RENT: student edition at Fairmont State University. His specialties are jazz/rock/country guitar, bluegrass, intermediate piano, beginning mandoline, advanced bass, songwriting, and music theory.

Leigh Anne Bolyard

Leigh Anne Bolyard of Fairmont, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education with an emphasis in vocal music from Fairmont State University. Ms. Bolyard began studying voice at age 11, and continued through to college where she studied with Dr. Jeffrey Poland. Miss Bolyard is a soprano and has been trained both in classical and contemporary singing techniques.
Ms. Bolyard is the Director of the Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts. Leigh Anne has been teaching voice and beginning piano with the FSU Academy for the Arts music preparatory department since January 2009. Miss Bolyard has produced and music directed the FSU Academy for the Arts Youth Theatre Company productions of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr., Disney’s Winnie the Pooh Kids, James and the Giant Peach Jr., and Seussical Jr. Along with her work at Fairmont State, Ms. Bolyard is employed with the Marion County Board of Education as a substitute music teacher. Her other activities include participation in local musical theatre productions at Fairmont State University, and worship leading at her church. Leigh Anne loves sharing her love of music and performing with her students!

Marie Borillo

Marie Borillo has taught piano in the Morgantown and Fairmont area, both as an instructor with the WVU Community Music Program since 2001, while joining the Fairmont University Academy of the Arts in 2013. She received her DMA in Piano Performance from West Virginia University, studying with James Miltenberger. Her former teachers include Penelope Cecchini, John Couch, James Douthat, Tim Shafer, and Christine Kefferstan. She is an active member of the West Virginia Music Teachers’ Association and has adjudicated area piano competitions and festivals. She also works as an accompanist in Morgantown and Fairmont.

Christian Cox

Christian Cox is a local actor and director. He has been actively involved with various theatres in the Fairmont, Morgantown and Clarksburg area. He is a graduate of Fairmont State University and teaching certified in speech and theatre. Christian is also a local standup comedian and member of WV's only full time professional improv team 'The Fearless Fools'.  He’s original one act play ‘Hyena’ that he wrote, directed and acting in won the 2015 WV Community Theatre Festival and went on to represent WV in the South Eastern Theatre Conference.   He has performed in over 30 main stage productions at Fairmont State alone as well as various venues across the state and has directed numerous shows as well.  He was recently in the production of FSU’s ‘Urinetown’ that went on to perform for the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.   With his wealth of experience and extensive background in theatre, Christian brings his passion for the performing arts to assist students in developing their skills and a love for the theatre.

Greg DeVito

Gregory DeVito is a 2007 graduate of West Liberty State University. He currently serves as Director of Vocal Ensembles at Fairmont Senior High School. In addition to his work with four separate choral ensembles, DeVito also serves as Fine Arts Department Chair. Prior to starting his tenure at FSHS, he worked at other schools in our region teaching general and instrumental music to students grades K-12.
Greg is a tenor, trained in both classical and contemporary singing techniques. He enjoys helping spread his love of music to students of all ages. He loves to sing, play piano, guitar, saxophone, and trumpet.

Aaron Hostutler

Aaron Hostutler is a Music Teacher at East Park Elementary. He has a BA in Music with an emphasis and Master of Arts in Education. He has 15 years of experience playing guitar and many other instruments: including piano and anything with strings. He lives in Fairmont with his wonderful wife and daughter, who also love the arts. He hopes he can share his love of music and song-writing with you.

Nick LeJeune

Nick LeJeune received his Bachelors of Art in Art with concentrations in Graphic Design and Drawing from the McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 2006. He went on to receive his Masters of Fine Arts in Arts and Design with a concentration in Intermedia from West Virginia University in 2011. Since 2010, he has been working as an instructor and developer of the Studio Art: Cross Media track in the School of Fine Arts at Fairmont State University in Fairmont, WV.

John Morrison

John Morrison is an instructor of piano and strings to all ages in the Preparatory Department of Fairmont State University and has taught for seven years in the program. John has also worked as adjunct faculty in the School of Fine Arts of FSU since Fall of 2006, accompanying the Collegiate Singers, accompanying departmental and senior recitals, instructing string class and private lessons, and has instructed music major piano classes.  In collaboration with the FSU theater department John has music directed You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Annie Get Your Gun.  John is the music director and organist at First Presbyterian Church of Fairmont leading both the Chancel and Handbell Choirs.  John is also sought out as an accompanist throughout the area for recital and competition performances.  John received a double Bachelor's degree in Piano Performance and French and Masters Degree in Piano Performance from WVU.

Jason Noland

Dr. Jason Noland holds a B.A in Music Education, M.Ed. In Online Learning, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction for which his dissertation focused on combining music, dance, culture, folk literature, and virtual field trips to enhance understanding of Middle Eastern people and culture. He also holds a certification in the Orff-Schulwerk methodology of music education. He currently serves on the faculty in the School of Education, Health & Human Performance at Fairmont State. He has taught general music, choir, band, and strings at all levels of the public school system and has held leadership roles in the WV Society for General Music, WV Music Educators Association, and the WV All-State Children’s Chorus. In addition to his teaching he remains active in local theatre costuming shows for a variety of schools, organizations, and individuals.

Claire Robertson-Preis

Claire Robertson-Preis is a soprano with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and Russian from the University of Montana. Her passion for music began with piano lessons with her father, and quickly expanded to singing. She has loved performing in church choirs and musicals since age 10. Her roles include Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief and Guilia in The Gondoliers. Sharing her love of music with students has been part of her life for the past three years. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters in Vocal Performance from West Virginia University.-- 

Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson is a native of Fairmont, WV. He attended Fairmont Senior High School and graduated in 2009. Since 2005, he has been studying under Morgantown based percussionist John James. In 2009 he began studying under Matthew Schoonmaker at Fairmont State University, where he is a Music Education major, with a specialization in percussion. In 2010, he tried out for the Bluecoats Drum Corps and really refined his knowledge. He has been teaching for the Music Preparatory Department for a year, and has really learned a lot about teaching. Michael has a vast knowledge of percussion, from Afro-Cuban to swing on drum set, to marimba, timpani, and marching and orchestral snare drum. He has a true passion for percussion, and wishes to impart a fun, beautiful, encouraging learning environment for the young percussionist in all of us.

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith is working towards a doctorate in Vocal Performance at West Virginia University. She holds Master’s degrees in Vocal Performance from the University of Central Missouri, and Romance Languages and Literature (Spanish) from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Michelle has also studied at the Instituto Cultural de Oaxaca, the Universidad Vercruzana, and the Accademia Europea di Firenze. She has performed with Kansas City Metro Opera and Kansas City Civic Opera, given recitals in Italy and Spain, and performed in a variety of other venues. Michelle has been teaching voice and piano for several years in university, college, and community settings in Missouri and West Virginia. Her students have auditioned and been accepted to university programs across the country and have received top rankings in competitions.

Jack Thompson

Jack Thompson is a professionally trained dancer. At the age of 11 he started dance by joining Morgantown Dance Studio's production of The Nutcracker. Shortly after the classical ballet The Nutcracker was finished, he decided to challenge himself to gain as much knowledge about dance as he could. He chose to improve his dancing abilities by adding a wider variety of dance styles other than classical ballet to his repertoire such as Modern, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Contemporary, Russian Folk Dance, and Breakdancing. Shortly after He started dancing Jack began to receive offers to perform as a guest artist in Parkersburg WV, Chambersburg PA, and Winchester VA. Some of Jack's accolades include receiving numerous full ride scholarships to attend summer intensives at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and earning the Jerry Rose Scholarship of excellence for presenting his solo at the state dance festival in Charleston WV. Jack currently resides in Mannington West Virginia and attends Fairmont State University as a Graphics Design Technology major. He can be contacted at

Abigail Watson

Abigail Watson is from Fairmont WV, and she has earned both her BM and MM violin performance degrees from WVU’s School of Music, where she studied under Dr. Mikylah Myers. Abigail began playing the violin at 6 years old and continued private violin lessons all the way through graduation from highschool.  Upon graduation, she knew music was what she wanted to pursue her degrees in. She loves to share her passion for music and the violin through performing and teaching. She has taught a wide demographic and age range. Her teaching philosophy is that music lessons can and should be enjoyed by all personalities and ages. She tailors each lesson specifically to each student’s personality and needs. Currently, she teaches for the Academy for the Arts Program at FSU, the Community Music Program at WVU, and is adjunct faculty at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Elizabeth Wotring-Nelson

Elizabeth Wotring-Nelson graduated from Greenville College with a B.A. in Church Music and received her Master’s in Musical Theatre Performance from The Boston Conservatory. She has since taught private voice lessons for almost 20 years in such capacities as The Boston Arts Academy High School, Greater Minneapolis music programs, Fairmont State University, and her private studios in Preston/Garrett counties. She also teaches private voice for theatre students, musical theatre classes, and communication classes at Fairmont State. She also owns Kindermusik with Miss Lizzie & Friends, which provides music classes for children ages 0-7 and their parents at Fairmont State as well as her studio in Garett County, MD. Aside from these musical endeavors, she also co-founded Children’s Performing Arts in Forest Lake, MN, which now educates and provides 100+ children with quality arts experiences, a feeder program of Youth Performing Arts, for which she was a master teacher and occasional choreographer/director.
She now lives in Aurora, WV with her three children and continues providing arts education and entertainment as a company member and board of directors for Theatre on the Lake and freelance soloist and performer. Elizabeth will be directing her first FSU Academy for the Arts Youth Theatre Company production in the spring of 2018!

Shannon Yost

Shannon Yost has been involved with Fairmont State Theatre in various capacities for the past 13 years. At the age of 9 she began acting in Town and Gown productions and was an original member of the FSU Youth Company. Most recently, she graduated from Fairmont State with her BA in Theatre. She currently teaches creative drama with the Academy for the Arts for ages 3-10 as well as private lessons and has worked previously with the Academy for the Arts as a teaching assistant and stage manager. Shannon will be directing her first FSU Academy for the Arts Youth Theatre Company production in the spring of 2018!