Description: 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

Description: 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. Currently she is studying voice with Elizabeth Wotring-Nelson.

Ms. Bolyard is the Director of the Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts & the Music Preparatory Department. Leigh Anne has been teaching voice and beginning piano with the department since January 2009. Along with her work at Fairmont State, Ms. Bolyard is employed with the Marion County Board of Education as a substitute teacher. Her other activities include participation in local musical theatre productions at Fairmont State University, and worship leading at her church.

Marie Borillo

Marie Borillo received her DMA in Piano Performance from West Virginia University. A student of James Miltenberger, she has also studied with Penelope Cecchini, John Couch, James Douthat, Tim Shafer, and Christine Kefferstan. She currently teaches as a senior faculty member with the West Virginia University Community Music Program and is an assistant pianist with St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Morgantown, WV.

Brianna Busch

Brianna Busch is currently an undergraduate student at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia working towards a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. Prior to her studies at WVU, Brianna was a devoted student in the Department of Music at North Point High School in Waldorf, Maryland. During her career at North Point, she was President of both the instrumental Music program and the Tri-M National Music Honor Society. At North Point, she was also seen as not only the Principal Flutist/Piccolo player of the Symphonic Band and Orchestra, but she also seen performing as a pianist, violist, percussionist, and vocalist. In 2013, Brianna was named the winner of the High School Artist Competition at the International Flute Symposium in Morgantown, West Virginia. Brianna has also been seen competing for the Rochester Flute Association in Rochester, New York and the West Virginia Music Teacher’s National Association. As a Music Education major at WVU, Brianna is President of the WVU Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education and is the Treasurer of the Kappa Lambda chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.  In addition to being an instructor for the Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts, Brianna is also a Residential Assistant for the International Flute Symposium in Morgantown, West Virginia and a teacher at the Flute Magic! Camp in Waldorf, Maryland. Brianna’s major teachers include Lucy Snell (US Air Force Band Retired) and Nina Assimakopoulos (West Virginia University).

Nicoletta Ciampa

Description: Nicoletta Ciampa is a recent WVU School of Music Graduate, and is thrilled to join the faculty at Fairmont State University's Academy for the Arts.  As a student, she studied with Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Koehler and performed with the WVU University Singers, WVU Choral Union, WVU Opera Scenes, and with WVU’s School of Theatre & Dance. Some of her favorite roles include: “Mercedes” in Bizet’s opera Carmen, “Second Lady” in Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute, female ensemble in Cabaret, and “Sarah” in Ragtime with Morgantown Theatre Company.  She will be returning to West Virginia University in the Fall of 2015 to pursue a M.A. in Elementary Education.  

Nicoletta enjoys teaching private voice lessons in Morgantown at the Monongalia Arts Center (MAC), at Morgantown Theatre Company (MTC), and privately in her home studio.  She has directed several youth plays for elementary aged students at MTC in the Studio Drama, Fun with Drama, and Intermediate Drama classes which she also instructed. As a music director, Ms. Ciampa has recently directed "Willy Wonka Jr.", and "Seussical Jr.", and has vocal coached "Little Shop of Horrors", and "Into the Woods" with MTC. She is honored to see all of her students grow onstage and off, and cannot wait to begin her adventure at FSU's Academy for the Arts!

Ms. Ciampa is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

Christian Cox

Description: Christian 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 plans to implement his wealth of theatre experience and vast performance skills to teach classes for the FSU Academy.

Greg DeVito

Description: I am a 2007 Graduate of West Liberty State College in West Liberty, WV. While there I performed with multiple ensembles, studied composition, and graduated Magna Cum Laude.  I graduated with a B.A. in Music Education, PreK- Adult, with an emphasis in Choral Music.

I am also a 2003 Graduate of East Fairmont High School in Fairmont, WV. Currently, I am the Music Specialist at Rivesville Elementary/Middle School in Marion County, WV.  I teach all music classes Kindergarden through 8th Grade, as well as Middle School Choir.

Previously I taught in Doddridge County, starting in January of 2008. I have helped raise their SSAC Band Adjudication score from a IV to a II. I have grown the choir from AB-2 part singing, into a 4 part-SATB a cappella singing ensemble. I have also been fortunate to help grow and expand our Marching Band program.

Courtney Grant

Courtney Grant is excited to be joining the staff at the Academy for the Arts at Fairmont State University. Currently she is pursuing her DMA at West Virginia  University. Ms. Grant received her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Performance from The Pennsylvania State University and her Master of Music degree in Music Performance from the University of Delaware. She has also studied at the Peabody Conservatory while pursuing a Graduate Performance Diploma. Her teachers have included Dr. Timothy Deighton, Andrea Preister Houde, and Richard Field. As an orchestral musician Ms. Grant has performed with the Lancaster Symphony, Pottstown Symphony and has served as principal violist for the Trinity Chamber Orchestra for the past two years. In addition she has performed at the Endless Mountain Music Festival and the Masterworks Music Festival. As a chamber musician Ms. Grant has been a founding member of both the Graduate String Quartet at the University of Delaware and the Black Cat String Trio. She has played in master classes for many top chamber musicians including Peter Wiley, David Finckle, the Brooklyn Rider String Quartet and the Serafin String Quartet. Ms. Grant is also passionate about teaching and educating our next generation of musicians. She has held a private studio for the past 10 years in many locations including Pittsburgh, PA; State College, PA; Newark, DE; and Baltimore, MD.

Currently she lives in Morgantown, WV with her husband, who is also a DMA student at WVU in the percussion department, and their cats.

Aaron Hostutler

Description: Aaron Hostutler is a local musician that performs in various groups based in Fairmont. He holds a B.A. in Music from Fairmont State University and has eight years of experience in guitar performance, music composition and arrangement, as well as possessing the self-accompaniment skills needed to be a singer-songwriter. He is a versatile musician in that he is classically trained and plays various stringed instruments, piano, and percussion. Aaron is pleased to have this opportunity to share his love of music with others.

Nick LeJeune

Nick received 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 in Electronic Art at the School of Fine Arts at Fairmont State. In this capacity, he has also been assisting in the development of curriculum in the Department of Art’s Studio Art track that focuses on Crossmedia. He finds it fascinating that his installation art pieces sometimes conclude in mathematical patterns that contain the elements of fractal image.


Josh Lucas

Description: Josh Lucas has been an active part of West Virginia’s music community for over ten years, first taking guitar lessons at age eleven from John Vaughan at Fairmont State’s then-active Community Music Program. As he grew into adolescence as an aspiring guitarist his musical tastes and interests diversified. In college he earned his undergrad in English, and continued exploring the guitar by taking classical guitar studies under Dr. Patrick Joyce whilst rounding out his musicianship as a music minor.



Benjamin Male

Description: Benjamin Male is a native of Lumberport, WV. He graduated from Lincoln High School in the spring of 2011.  After competition of high school, he decided to continue his musical growth and education at Fairmont State University.  Benjamin’s journey as a music major began in the fall of 2011.  As of spring 2014, he has nearly completed his bachelors in art and has decided add an additional degree in business administration.



Cheryl Melfi

Description: Cheryl Melfi has served as principal clarinetist in the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Catalina Chamber Orchestra, and the Michigan Pops Orchestra.  She is a past member of Quadrivium, the Crosswinds Ensemble, the Arizona-based wind quintet Fünf, and the contemporary music quartet THUD.  She has also performed with contemporary music groups including the Contemporary Directions Ensemble, the Prime Directive, and the Nova Chamber Players, and has collaborated with numerous composers on new works for the clarinet.  She is a frequent collaborator with the Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance.  With Quadrivium, she was a featured artist at the 2010 Electro-Acoustic Juke Joint and the 2011 Thailand International Composition Festival.  Dr. Melfi has appeared as a guest artist and clinician at the University of Central Oklahoma and the Music/Arts Institute, and her performance at the 2008 International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest was called “excellent” and “exotic.”  Other festival performances include Electronic Music Midwest, SEAMUS, the KMTA/MMTA Joint Conference, and the University of Central Missouri’s new music festival.

From 2008–2011 Dr. Melfi was Assistant Director and Instructor of Clarinet at the Community Music and Dance Academy at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance in Kansas City, Missouri.  In that capacity she expanded the Academy’s clarinet studio, founded a faculty recital series, and collaborated with outstanding artists and educators on the creation of new and innovative arts programs.

Dr. Melfi holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona, the Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, and the Bachelor of Music degree from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music.  Her clarinet teachers include Jerry Kirkbride, E. Fred Ormand, and David Bell.

John Morrison

Description: 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

Description: Jason Noland is a native of Parkersburg, WV.  He is a 2009 graduate of Fairmont State University with a degree in Music Education.  He is currently a Music teacher in Harrison County.  He is the 2009 recipient of the Fairmont State University MENC (now NAFME) Outstanding Music Educator Award, as well as the 2010 recipient of the Southern Division American Choral Directors Association Colleen Kirk Award.

Celi Oliveto

Description: Celi Oliveto holds an MLitt/MFA from Mary Baldwin College and graduated from Fairmont State University with a double major in secondary education and French. During her MFA year, Celi served as the education director for Rogue Shakespeare and played the role of Lady Macbeth in its touring education production. Currently, she works as an English/French and co-theatre teacher at North Marion High School. She moonlights as the troupe director of the Rustic Mechanicals, West Virginia’s only professional Shakespeare touring troupe under the umbrella of Bridgeport’s The Vintage Theatre Company LLC.

Briana Pudsell

Briana Pudsell is currently an undergraduate student at Fairmont State University studying music education with a specialization in voice. She performed Carmina Burana alongside the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and other University choirs, and was a featured solo performer at Fairmont State University’s 2013 Department of Music Spring Gala, the music department’s Fête de Nöel concert, and a concert at Noteworthy Sweets in Fairmont. She is also a singer at the Christ Episcopal Church and was named Outstanding Freshman at the Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts Annual Awards Ceremony in 2013 and Outstanding Performer in 2014.

Rayme Pullen

Rayme Pullen is a 2012 graduate of Liberty University. She was an active member of the music department and performed in the marching band, wind ensemble, symphony orchestra, brass quintet, and she also accompanied voice and instrumental students during all four years of undergraduate study. She obtained her B.M. in piano performance and studied under the tutelage of Mr. David Ehrman.

Rayme is currently in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Fairmont State University. She hopes to eventually teach beginning band and beginning choir after she receives her Master’s Degree.  Her other activities include participating in the Simpson Creek Baptist Church choir, directing music for the MCAC theater productions in Doddridge County, and accompanying fellow musicians whenever she has the opportunity.

Michael Robinson

Description: 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.

Sarah Rowan

Description: Sarah Rowan is from Morgantown, WV and has spent the last six years working as a producer, administrator, director and actor with many nationally recognized theatre companies including Imagination Stage (Washington, DC), Aurora Theatre (Lawrenceville, GA), Plays for Presidents Festival (national), and The Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts (Atlanta, GA). She also worked for the Tony Award winning theatre companies Actors Theatre of Louisville (Louisville, KY) and The Lost Colony (Manteo, NC). She recently produced a show in Edinburgh, Scotland that went on to have a West End run in London at the St. James Theatre and an Off-Broadway run in New York City at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Her theatre work is focused on civic service, social justice, and arts education. Locally she has worked with West Virginia Public Theatre Company, The Vintage Theatre Company, The Metropolitan Theatre, and Fairmont State University.

Upon returning to West Virginia, Sarah has signed on with West Virginia Radio Corporation where she produces and hosts various shows, commercials, and special programming. You can catch the “Magic Midday Show with Sarah Rowan” every weekday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Magic 106.5. Locally, Sarah also works with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations including the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Morgantown, The Hoss Foundation, CreateWV, Special Olympics WV, and many more; for which the Governor awarded her a Commendation for Volunteer Service to the State of West Virginia.

Sarah is very excited to be bringing her professional theatre experience and passion for teaching to the students at Fairmont State University’s Academy for the Arts.

John Schneider

Description: John Schneider, of Fairmont, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Fairmont State University. While at FSU he was a member of the Marching Band and the Jazz, Wind, Percussion, and African Drum and Dance Ensembles. He has played lead trumpet in FSU productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Seussical the Musical, Scrooge! The Musical, and  Once upon a Mattress. Mr. Schneider has been teaching through the Music Preparatory Department since June 2009. John is currently the Band Director at Barrackville and Fairview Middle Schools.

Liz Urse

Liz Urse graduated from Fairmont State University in 2006 with a Bachelor in Art Education.  During her time at Fairmont State she focused her artistic abilities into ceramics and pottery.  She worked in the ceramic shop as an assistant where she learned how to mix glazes, clay, and fire the kilns. Currently she works for the Marion County Board of Education.  She has been teaching art at East Dale Elementary to 1st-6th graders for the past seven years.  During that time she has worked two years to specialize her study in art education through the National Boards for Professional Teaching Standards.  While working to achieve National Boards she has hosted an Art and Science night at her school, had an Art Auction to raise funds to purchase a kiln, and worked to self evaluate her teaching strategies to improve her students' learning and skills in art and across the curriculum.  Currently she is producing watercolors that combine black and white portraiture with color backgrounds.  She also enjoys creating collaborative art with her 5 year old daughter.




Abigail Watson

Abigail Watson, of Fairmont W.V., is currently pursuing her B.M. in violin performance from WVU where she studies under Dr. Mikylah McTeer. She is a violinist in the WVU Symphony Orchestra. She began studying the violin when she was 6 years old under WVU Assistant Professor Carol Jenkins. In high school, she served as concertmaster for several semesters for the Morgantown Community Arts Orchestra under Maestro John Ashton. When she is not practicing or preforming, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family. 


FSUNow Stories

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Fairmont State University Department of Music is announces its 2015-2016 Music on the Hill concert season, featuring four performances on the Fairmont State campus and at First Presbyterian Church in Fairmont.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

The Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts announces the cast of its second Youth Company production, “Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.” 

“Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.” will run Nov. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. in the Wallman Hall Theatre on the main campus.

Cast members for the show are as follows: Paige Krcek, Billy Tobin, Jocelyn Maxwell, Sophia Flower, Trenda Ridgeway, Jasper Brown, Rileigh Fortney, Sidney Apanowicz, Sara Campbell, Miranda Koch, Sydney King, Caroline Maxwell, Marianna Jones, Bella Smith, Franchesca Aloi. 

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced on Sept. 16 the awarding of $763,044 in grant funds to support and build the arts in community and statewide programs across West Virginia.

Fairmont State University was awarded a $6,206 grant in support of bringing the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra to the Fairmont campus for two performances. Dr. Christina Lavorata, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Robert Mild, Interim Dean of the School of Fine Arts, attended the event in Charleston to officially receive the grant award.

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