Academy Arts Directory

Lakyn Arrick

Lakyn Arrick is a graduate of Fairmont State University in the areas of theatre and communication. During her time at Fairmont State, under the mentorship of Dr. Francene Kirk, she participated in the creation and implementation of numerous education outreach projects, education packet for classrooms and acted a touring show for youth. After graduating Lakyn spent a year with Lexington Children's Theatre in Lexington, KY as a teaching artist working with young people ages 4-18 teaching creative drama,saturday classes, after school programs, and directing performance workshops. Locally she has worked with FSU Academy for the Arts, Vintage Theatre Company and Morgantown Theatre Company. Lakyn is excited to return to Fairmont State Academy for the Arts and is ready to imagine and create with her classes this fall.

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. 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

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

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.

Johanna Curry

Johanna Curry graduated with her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Art Education from West Virginia University in 2009, where she focused in Ceramics and studied various 2D and 3D media. She was the Co-President of the WVU Student Chapter of the Art Education Association, member of the WVU Potter’s Guild and Phi Sigma Theta National Honor’s Society Member. She also received the WVAEA Student Achievement Award. Since graduating she has been teaching Art in local public schools, starting in Monongalia County at South Middle School and now Marion County at Barrackville Elementary Middle School. During that time she completed her graduate degree from Fairmont State University, earning her Master’s in Education.

Greg DeVito

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.

Aaron Hostutler

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.

Tyler Kovar

Tyler Kovar graduated from Fairmont State University with a BA in theatre. He was most recently the assistant director and choreographer for the Music Man at Prickets Fort. Tyler has been seen on stage, as well as serving as choreographer, in numerous productions and has taught acting for the academy for over a year.

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.

Benjamin Male

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Loralee Simpson

Loralee is a proud Fairmont State University Alumni. Post graduation, she completed the 2 year Meisner program, The Ruskin School of Acting in Los Angeles. She’s worked with the Vintage Theatre Company as an acting teacher for the youth, and has directed productions such as The Aristocats, Women and Wallace, and House of Yes. Her teaching style is Meisner based, which aids actors to better connect with their scene partners, their songs, and their material. She’s recently been honored with the award for Best Actress for her role as Cindy in Army Stronger at the Cre8tive Differences Theatre Festival of Los Angeles.

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, 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.