Andrea Aldrich holds a B. Mus in Flute performance from Cairn University having studied under both Margaret Claudin and Dr. Angela Mcbrearty. She has had experience performing various styles with groups such as the Cairn University Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz band. She serves regularly on the Grace Point Baptist Church Worship Band in Newtown PA as a solo improve flutist, and has previous experience performing with the Crystal City Flute Choir in Corning NY. Andrea also currently works for Cairn University as the Administrative Assistant for the Office of Admissions.
Violin Instructor (CURRENTLY ON SABBATICAL)
JoAnna Basta began her violin studies at the age of two as a Suzuki student. In high school, she studied under Julliard graduate Lee Snyder and was concertmistress of the Neshaminy High School Orchestra, the Bucks County Youth Orchestra and the Philadelphia Young Artist Orchestra. JoAnna was also a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra performing in concert halls around the world including Tchaikovsky Hall in Russia and the Ancient Ruins of Jerash in Jordan.
In 2000, JoAnna earned her B.Mus. in Violin Performance from Temple University. She studied under William DePasquale, a former concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra and graduate of the Curtis Institute. While attending Temple, JoAnna studied abroad at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. JoAnna continued her education by earning her M.M. in Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from the University of Maryland in 2004, while studying under Ronda Cole.
After graduation, JoAnna became a faculty member at the Suzuki School for Strings in Kingston, PA, where she had 32 students of various levels, four group classes and coached a chamber ensemble. JoAnna has taught at the Greater Washington Suzuki Institute and the Lehigh Valley Suzuki Strings workshop. Beginning in 2009 JoAnna taught at Moravian College for two years before taking time off to have her son. Presently JoAnna lives is Pennsburg with her husband, Brian, and their two children.
Graeme Burgan is a passionate and versatile pianist working within opera, chamber music, musical theatre and jazz. He has performed in collaboration with artists Alan Held, Margaret Cusack, Timothy Bentch, Steven Condy, Robin Massie, Nick Parnell and Samuel Hsu, with composers Morten Lauridsen and Rollo Dilworth, and at events including the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Bundaleer Forest Weekend, and Woodend Winter Arts Festival. Graeme has also appeared at the Philadelphia Lieder Society, the Melbourne Recital Center, the Resonate Concert Series at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Friday Musicale in Jacksonville, Florida. Piano teachers have included Samuel Hsu, James Correnti, Graham Williams, JJ Penna, Daniel Beckwith and Dalton Baldwin.
Graeme has worked with the State Opera of South Australia, University of Adelaide, University of South Australia and Westminster Opera Theater where he assisted Daniel Beckwith as chorus master. As a chorister, Graeme has performed with the Adelaide Chamber Singers, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, singing under the batons of Carl Crossin, Paul Hillier, Joe Miller, Arvo Volmer, Christoph Eschenbach and Ton Koopman. Graeme has played for the the voice studios of Sharon Sweet, Laura Brooks Rice, Sally Wolf, Scott McCoy, Amy Zorn, Carolann Page, Claudia Catania, Katherine Johnson and Nova Thomas. He is also the director of music at Hilltown Baptist Church.
Chair of Piano (CURRENTLY ON SABBATICAL)
Karen P. Burgman, pianist, teacher, conductor, and composer, graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory in May 2005 with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance. An award-winning chamber musician and accompanist, she has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist in the USA, Canada and Europe in notable venues including Carnegie Hall, NYC, Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall, Boston, Center for the Performing Arts, Toronto, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Karen is the founding pianist of the nationally touring and recorded Credo Trio, and she also regularly performs with other instrumentalists including performers from the Philadelphia Orchestra and faculty from Oberlin and Juilliard. She is certified in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, and she serves on the faculty at internationally-recognized Credo Chamber Music Festival in Oberlin, OH. Karen is the artistic director of Sola Gratia Musicians Choirs, based in Hatfield, PA, and a Fellow in Cairn University’s Choral Collective. She has contributed as an arranger and composer for the musical, Amazing Grace: A New Musical, and she has two solo piano CD’s released on her own label, Lifespring Music, LLC. Karen resides in Fountainville with her husband, Michael, and their two daughters.
Drums and Percussion Instructor
Ryan Carson, from Springfield, Pennsylvania, began his musical studies with piano at age 8 and began percussion at age 9. Before that time, all he knew of percussion was rock and jazz drumming, but his education began with concert percussion and he quickly came to enjoy playing in school ensembles. In high school, he played in youth orchestras and festivals, wherein he first encountered great works from the orchestral repertoire. From then on, his love as a performer has been for orchestral percussion.
As he continued to discover music’s ability to communicate deeply with the human spirit he desired to compose his own music. He believes that musical beauty, in imitation of God’s own creation, can bring listeners to consider the things that dwell outside their own perceived reality, that is, the divine. Therefore he strives, by God’s own grace, to use music for the proclamation of God’s truth.
Ryan received a Bachelor of Science in Bible and Bachelor of Music in composition as a percussion student of William Priebe. He has studied composition with Timothy Shaw and Ron Thomas, and currently studies with Kile Smith. He joined the faculty of Csehy Summer School of Music in 2010. Notable performances include Creston’s Concertino for Marimba and Orchestra and Milhaud’s Concerto for Marimba and Vibraphone with the Cairn symphony orchestra and Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion and Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat with Cairn faculty ensembles.
Mary Claire Jensen
Mary Claire Jensen began studying the piano at the age of 5, and the violin at the age of 9. She received a BMus in Piano Performance from Houghton College (Houghton, NY 2006), an associate diploma with the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (ARCT) in Piano Performance (Toronto, ON 2006), a graduate certificate in Piano Pedagogy Research from the University of Ottawa (Ottawa, ON 2008), and has just completed an MA in piano pedagogy research, also from Ottawa (2016).
Mary Claire also has a grade 8 Violin Performance diploma with the RCM, and pedagogy training in Suzuki piano (Books 1A and 1B), Music for Young Children, Inc., and The Music Class, Inc. Recently, Mary Claire designed and taught music curriculum for day camps across Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Mary Claire has been teaching both the piano and violin for sixteen years, from her home studio in Kingston, ON, to Buck’s Rock Performing Arts Camp in New Milford, CT, to private studios and conservatories in Houghton NY, and Philadelphia and region, PA, and Ottawa, ON. She has extensive accompanying experience and has played the violin with the Houghton College Symphony Orchestra and with various chamber ensembles.
Mary Claire and her husband, Greg, welcomed son Henry in 2015, and have returned from Canada to settle in the Doylestown area.
Theatre Arts and Writing Instructor
Chris Koch has had a passion for drama for as long as she can remember. She began her career in directing at the tender age of six, charging her family and neighbors 5 cents to come and see various original shows. One of her first works as a writer was an unfinished novella entitled What is God?, written at age 9, as she searched to truly know Him and His awesomeness. What a tremendous thing when God revealed to her that a love for drama and communication could be enriched by His ultimate purpose for us—to know Him.
Whether writing, speaking or acting, Mrs. Koch envisions her role as one who strives to help students use their gifts to tell both character and story through the lens of God’s truth. As students examine the heart of character and story and seek to interpret them truthfully, they find the ultimate heart of God’s eternal story played out in each. Communication provides the opportunity to articulate the truths learned through students’ physical and spiritual voices.
Mrs. Koch has been privileged to work with students for over 15 years, acting, writing and directing over 100 shows for middle and high school programs. Over the years, she and her drama groups have received over 60 awards and trophies in theatre competitions for acting and production, and she has personally received awards in playwriting and directing. Last summer, she and one of her groups had the opportunity to become the first drama team to perform at Revelation Generation. Any success or good that has come to the programs and to her is a direct result of the goodness of God and his blessings. May our lives and our pursuit of excellence in the arts ultimately bring glory to Him!
Esther Kulp holds a Bachelor and Masters of Applied Music and Voice Performance from the renowned Eastman School of Music. She was awarded the Rotary Foundation International Fellowship for post graduate study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland. She also holds a MAR from Westminster Theological Seminary.
Esther has a long list of performing credits and has presented in a number of international venues including Albert Hall in London and Beijing University. In addition to teaching private voice lessons at the Academy. She has served on faculty of Shenzhen University (People’s Republic of China), Pinebrook Junior College, the American Academy and the Wilberforce School. Miss Kulp also serves as Director of Music at Trinity Orthodox Presbyterian Church. She is an artist in residence at Emory University and is a visiting artist and lecturer at “Fire on the Mountain,” an annual conference in Queensland, Australia.
Abbie Mulhern is a multi-faceted musician who brings a broad range of experiences to her studio. As a pianist, vocalist, and conductor, Abbie has performed and accompanied in masterclasses, sung in various choirs and as a soloist, conducted various instrumental and vocal ensembles including the Princeton Area Homeschool Choir Kindred Singers, and teaches piano and voice privately. Abbie is finishing a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Bachelor of Science in Bible at Cairn University. In addition to her studies and teaching responsibilities Abbie works full-time at Cairn University as the Music Recruitment and Events Coordinator in the School of Music.
Hilary J. Orlando holds degrees in Sacred Music (organ/conducting) from Westminster Choir College of Rider University and Cairn University where she received awards such as Who’s Who in America and Outstanding Music Student. Her primary teachers in organ have been Robert Carwithen, Christopher Garven and Matthew Lewis.
Hilary is also an active pianist both as a recitalist, accompanist and church musician. She has performed recitals in retirement homes and churches such as Langhorne Gardens of Langhorne, PA, Pennswood Village of Langhorne, PA, First Baptist Church of Bristol, PA and Readington Reformed Church in NJ. She also accompanies singers in recitals around the NY/NJ/PA area, such as vocalists Robin Massie and Steven Condy as well as vocal students from PA and NJ colleges. As another part of her vocation as accompanist, Hilary has recently played for Coro Lirico in Chatham, NJ, Opera Workshop performances at Cairn University, and the flute ensemble Flutacious in Readington, NJ.
In 2006 and 2002, Hilary traveled to Europe and was given the opportunity to play on pipe organs in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland, including the organ at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Wroclaw, which is the largest organ in Poland.
Hilary has performed in masterclasses with professional organists and pianists such as Samuel Hsu, Ken Borrmann, Robert Carwithen, Mathew Lewis and Mme. Marie-Louise Langlais, wife of the famous composer, Jean Langlais.
In the past few years, Hilary has held teaching positions at schools such as Philadelphia Christian Center in Bensalem, PA, North Branch Reformed Church Preschool in Bridgewater, NJ, and Philadelphia Biblical University in Langhorne, PA.
Choral Conducting is one of Hilary’s other musical vocations. She began as a senior in highschool by directing and conducting the Christmas musical, Three Wisemen and a Baby at her local church. As an adult, she has conducted choirs at First Baptist Church of Bristol, PA, held the position of Music Director/Organist at Readington Reformed Church of NJ, and has also conducted the esteemed Westminster Mastersingers in Princeton, NJ. For several years she directed weekly sing-a-longs at Langhorne Gardens in Langhorne, PA and led the handbell choir as a faculty member of the Csehy Summer School of Music (then in Langhorne, PA) of Houghton, NY.
Hilary is currently the organ instructor at Cairn University, where she also accompanies and coaches the Opera Theatre and the Community Chorus, as well as private students. She also accompanies some of the vocal groups in the Princeton Area Homeschool Choir of NJ.
From humble beginnings in Santa Clara, Cuba, God blessed Erikson Rojas with musical talents that flourished for the beauty of His glory with a performing career throughout the world, highlighted by six appearances at Carnegie Hall, New York. Concert tours and festivals have presented him in solo and chamber-music performances in European nations such as France, Italy, Germany, Hungary and Austria, as well as in the Latin-American countries of Mexico and Cuba. He has also been featured as soloist with various orchestras, most recently with the Ocean City Pops Orchestra and the Vienna International Orchestra. Mr. Rojas is honored to have been one of five Americans and the only Hispanic in 30 pianists selected world-wide to participate at the Cleveland International Piano Competition. Through the aegis of Princess Cecilia de Medici, Mr. Rojas was a Fellow at numerous La Gesse Foundation Festivals. He won his first competition at the age of nine, and went on to receive various awards and honors, including First Prize in Cuba’s Amadeo Roldán and UNEAC Competitions. As a child prodigy, Mr. Rojas was featured on CNN, as well as on several international radio and television broadcasts. In Pennsylvania, he won the Ambler Symphony Orchestra Competition and the Outstanding Young Christian Artists Competition (three consecutive years), among others.
A scholarship student of Min Kwon and Juilliard’s Martin Canin, Mr. Rojas is a candidate in the Doctor of Musical Arts program at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, where he received the Saldarini Award, a Graduate Internship, and a Departmental Assistantship. As a 5-year pupil of the legendary Leon Fleisher, Mr. Rojas completed the Master of Music degree and the Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Conservatory. There he also holds a candidacy for the Artist Diploma, the school’s highest distinction in performance offering a full-tuition scholarship. Along with his studies in piano, he has also taken conducting lessons from Gustav Meier. Prior to Peabody, he studied piano and music history with Distinguished Professor Dr. Samuel Hsu at Cairn University, where he received his Bachelor degrees in Music/Piano Performance and in Science/Bible. At Cairn, Mr. Rojas also learned organ from Robert Carwithen. Earlier musical studies took place at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music under Madame Eleanor Sokoloff, and at Cuba’s A.G. Caturla Conservatory under Virginia de la Osa. Additional private instruction was received from renowned pianists Susan Starr, Charles Abramovic, and Paul Hoffmann. Other lessons and masterclasses were with Claude Frank, Gary Graffman, Seymour Lipkin, and Jorge Luis Prats, among others.
Mr. Rojas performs regularly on the east coast of the United States. He teaches piano privately, and is on the faculty of Eastern University/Esperanza College, Cairn University/Creative Arts Academy, Settlement Music School, and Csehy Summer School of Music. He is also Organist and Music Minister at First Baptist Church of Lansdale and at United Methodist Church of the Redeemer in Philadelphia, PA, where he resides with his wife Diandra.
Ephraim Schäfli is a graduate of Cairn University where he earned a B.Mus. in Piano Performance and B. S. in Bible. His studies at Cairn were with Dr. Samuel Hsu. Ephraim collaborated with Dr. Hsu in duet concerts and lectures, including pre-concert lectures to the Rittenhouse Square Committee of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Ephraim has completed a music internship at the Library of Congress and was featured as soloist with the Cairn University Wind Ensemble in Igor Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds. He has premiered works by composers Joshua Devine, Ryan Carson and Raoul Pleskow and performed in Master Classes with Samuel Adler and Charles Abramovic.
Ephraim is currently pursuing an M.M. in Music History at Temple University.
Wendy Schettig grew up in rural Pennsylvania sharing a guitar with her three sisters. She wrote her first song at age 9, and from the age of 15 taught folk guitar lessons from her home. After moving to Camden, Maine in her late teens, she washed dishes, played guitar and sang for passengers on the Windjammer schooners that sailed from the harbor until starting her own folk music shop in town where she continued playing and teaching guitar. It was there she became part of the local folk music scene, learned Irish, Celtic, blues & ragtime styles of music and performed in festivals, pubs, concert halls, and schools. Wendy moved back to Pennsylvania eight years later after a number of circumstances led her to seek a closer relationship with God. She found salvation in Christ and learned about performing as a Christian musician with a bluegrass gospel band named Sunnyside. In the meantime she began writing her own Christian music. Wendy eventually set out on her own teaching guitar, giving her testimony and playing for churches, weddings, festivals, libraries, restaurants, and prisons… wherever she could find an audience that was willing to listen. Wendy’s first CD of original Christian music came out in Dec. 2000 and a second one was released in April 2012. She led a praise and worship team at her church for seven years. Currently Wendy continues to perform in coffeehouses, churches and festivals as a soloist, as a duo, or with a four piece band. Wendy enjoys teaching guitar and passing down the songs and styles she has learned over the years. She teaches beginner to advanced fingerpicking styles, mentors students who are interested in writing their own music, encourages those who are seeking to grow their skills with a worship team or a band, and works hard to design her lessons around each student’s goals.
Suzanne Schmidt brings a love of teaching, a pursuit of excellence, and a wealth of experience to her classroom and studio. As a graduate of The University of Michigan, she received her Bachelor of Music Degree (BM) with a double major in performance and music education and a double minor in music history and music theory. In addition to earning her Kodály certification, Mrs. Schmidt received her Master of Music Education Degree (MMEd), with distinction, from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She has taught all levels of music in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in both public and Christian schools, served as a choral director/theory instructor at the Csehy Summer School of Music, and taught as an adjunct and online music theory instructor in Rider University’s Educational Opportunity Program, where she also co-authored an online music fundamentals course.
Mrs. Schmidt developed and taught a composition based, four level program in music theory at Pennsbury High School, Fairless Hills, PA, for over 22 years. Her program received national recognition as the Middle States Regional recipient of the 2013-2014 College Board Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts, the first music theory program to ever receive this prestigious award. As a Faculty Consultant for the Educational Testing Service, Mrs. Schmidt has been involved in the grading of Advanced Placement Music Theory Exams since 2002 and currently serves in AP Leadership as the Assistant to the Chief Reader. Mrs. Schmidt helped establish the NAfME (MENC) National Standard No. 4 for music composing and arranging as a contributing teacher. She has also presented music theory and aural skills workshops at local, state, and national levels. In addition to being selected to the 2002 USA TODAY All-USA Teacher Team, Mrs. Schmidt is a faculty member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, Teacher Division of the American College of Musicians, and is a popular adjudicator for piano auditions in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Cello and Voice Instructor
Daniel Taylor, tenor and cellist, and native of Lansdale, PA, has accumulated a great deal of experience across many areas, including chamber music, orchestral ensembles, choral repertoire, opera, and early music. While at Peabody, he delved into the world of early music, taking part in a number of classes and ensembles both as a vocalist and instrumentalist on period instruments such as baroque cello and viola da gamba. As a member of Peabody’s Baltimore Baroque Band, he performed as the tenor soloist in the group’s productions of Bach’s cantata BVW 61, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, and the Johannes-Passion. He was a founding member of the small ensemble, Charm City Baroque, which performed extensively in the greater Baltimore area on programs such as the Homewood House Recital Series and at the Walters Art Gallery, among others. As an operatic tenor, he has recently studied and performed a number of roles with organizations such as the Temple University Opera Theater, Opera Libera, and Children’s Opera Box. Roles include Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème, Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Nemorino in Doniztti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, and Gonzalve in Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole. He is currently a chorus member at Opera Philadelphia, and teaches cello and voice privately through the Cairn Community Arts Academy. Otherwise he lives with his lovely wife in Hatboro, PA and enjoys writing and photography.
Rebekah Waggoner began her formal musical training at the age of three with Suzuki violin and then with traditional piano at age five, studying under Joyce Odens Goodwin. Growing up as a homeschooler in Bucks County, she enjoyed many musical opportunities including performing with the Bucks County Symphony and playing at The Academy of Music in Philadelphia.
Rebekah earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Bob Jones University in Piano Performance, graduating Magna Cum Laude. While in college, she studied under Alice Gingery (Taubman Institute) and David Lehman. A sought-after collaborative pianist, Rebekah performed in many recitals, rehearsals and competitions and won a scholarship for accompanying.
Continuing her training with the Suzuki Association of the Americas (Katherine Monsour Barley, Nightengale Chen & Sue Bakshi), she is now the Co-President and accompanist of the Greater Philadelphia Suzuki Association (GPSA). She is also Kindermusik certified. Rebekah lived in Wyoming for a year, running a private piano studio and accompanying in a Christian School.
She has maintained a full piano studio in her Telford home since moving to Pennsylvania ten years ago. Rebekah collaborates with numerous area teachers in violin, viola, cello and voice juries, competitions and performances.
A dedicated church musician, Rebekah frequently accompanies for worship services, coordinates special musical events and performs solos, in ensembles and as an accompanist. She also teaches hymn playing and arranging.
Rebekah enjoys performing pieces by living composers and giving home concerts with her musical family. Her husband, Joseph, is a vocalist and conductor and their three children play piano, guitar and violin.
Debbie Lynn Wolf, Professor of music and faculty member since 1989, chairs the music education program and teaches private piano and class piano. Wolf received her B. Mus. and B.R.E. from Baptist Bible College and her M. A. in piano performance from The College of New Jersey. In 2003 she received her Ph.D. in music education from Temple University. She teaches at Temple University, and serves as a consultant and chief reader for PRAXIS Music Tests, teacher certification exams, at Educational Testing Services (ETS). She presents workshops and research on music education, music development and assessment, and music and brain research internationally. Recent presentations include the American Orff-Schulwerk Association national conferences, International Society for Music Education (ISME) world conferences and ISME Research Commissions, SIMCAM Conference – Brazil, and the Lithuanian International Early Childhood Music Conference. Wolf directs the Cairn Community School of Music School for ages pre-school through adult.