Buford Faculty

Meet the Buford Music Teachers

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Enter the category for this item: Violin, Viola, Piano
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Anne Anderson, Violin, Viola, Piano
Ms. Anderson always knew that she wanted to teach the violin since the age of 12 and has a love for music. She has been playing since the age of 3 and has intensely studied to teach music. Ms. Anderson also studied at Gwinnett Technical College for a specialized degree. Ms. Anderson primarily draws from the Suzuki approach and integrates music history, international classical studies, music theory and ear training into her teaching. She also incorporates classical repertoire to help students build proper technique but loves to utilize fiddle and ethnic teaching styles wherever possible. While Ms. Anderson specializes in young beginners, she accepts students of all ages. She has taught in the Boston School System and instructed more than 500+ students in their city-wide strings program. Her goal is to teach students strong practice techniques and help them develop a love for music as an art form. Many of her private students have made it into All-state, the EYSO, MYSO, Kendall (GCYS), Lambert (LSO) and the GSYO. Some of her previous students performed before graduating for scholarship at her church and have gone on to college to study music. Ms. Anderson teaches with enthusiasm and passion, qualities that she seeks to instill into every student that she instructs. She has also performed in many orchestras. She currently performs with the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra and the Northeast Atlanta Ballet. She serves as Associate Concertmaster and Concertmaster for certain GSO/NEAB performances. She has also performed live with the Agape Players in Atlanta, Adagio Big Band in Boston Ma. and with a few other bands. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, performing for weddings, and in churches. She also is the lead violinist for the Southern Manor Strings Quartet.
Enter the category for this item: Double Bass, Cello, Guitar, Piano
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Bjorn Anderson, Double Bass, Cello, Guitar, Piano
Mr. Anderson studied at Texas State University in Double Bass Performance with Dwight Shambley and Roger Fraterna of the Dallas Symphony. He also studied Electric Bass Performance at the Atlanta Institute of Music. He has performed with both Florida and New Mexico All-State Orchestras and with the Boston Symphony at the Tanglewood Festival in Lenox, MA. His other professional experience includes hundreds of theatrical performances with 14th Street Playhouse Company in Atlanta, Ga.
Enter the category for this item: Piano, Voice
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Yelena Ayzenberg, Piano, Voice
Ms. Ayzenberg graduated from Rimsky-Korsakova College of Music, Mogilev, Belarus and received the “Diploma o Nepolnom Visshem Obrazovanii”. She also received a Specialist Diploma in Culture and Education from Kult-Prosvet College of Music, Mogilev, Belarus. Ms. Ayzenberg has over 20 years of teaching and performance experience and she joined our faculty in 2005.
Enter the category for this item: Guitar, Bass Guitar, Mandolin
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Eric Denton, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Mandolin
Eric Denton has been a musician all his life. He has been in the Atlanta music scene since 1994 and graduated from the Atlanta Institute of Music in 2001. Mr. Denton has been teaching with New School of Music since 2005. He teaches acoustic and electric guitar; both flatpicking and finger-picking styles, as well as slide guitar. He also teaches Ukelele, Electric Bass, Mandolin, Dobro and Lap-steel style guitar. In his spare time, he builds and plays Denton Music Cigar Box Guitars. His all cigar box guitar CD "Denton Music" is available on iTunes, Google Play and YouTube. Check it out here: ejdmusic.comEric is experienced in teaching all ages and all genres of music, but excels in Blues and Rock and Roll.
Enter the category for this item: Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar
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John Pagano, Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar
John Pagano has received his Bachelor’s degree in Music from Five Towns College in New York. John, also known as JP Blues, has been touring the East Coast for the past 10 years working with various popular artists. He has also been voted one of Truefire.com “Top 100 Guitarists You Should Know.” His latest CD “I Will Not Go Quietly” was rated “Top 100 Blues CD’s of 2011” for radio airplay. John has been teaching music close to 10 years.
Enter the category for this item: Clarinet, Bassoon
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Debra Fulton, Clarinet, Bassoon
Mrs. Fulton received a Bachelor of Music Ministry from Ozark Christian College. She studied clarinet at Pittsburg State University and minored on the piano and bassoon in addition to other woodwinds. She is the associate musician at her church and she actively plays in community groups. She involves her students in recitals and other opportunities to play.
Enter the category for this item: Voice, Piano
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Billy Valentine, Voice, Piano
Billy received a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from Shorter University in 2011. He is an accomplished pianist and vocalist, having performed in many different settings including symphonies, jazz bands, theater, and his church.
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Enter the category for this item: Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Conducting
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Robert Trocina, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Conducting
Mr. Trocina received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Kennesaw State University and completed further studies at Georgia State University. He studied orchestral conducting under Thomas Wubbenhorst, Patricio Cobos, William Fred Scott and Steven Byess, and trumpet/brass performance under Mark Hughes, Jim Thompson and Stephen Winnick. Mr. Trocina is co-founder of New School of Music (1997), Music Director and Conductor of Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra (1997), and Music Director and Conductor for Northeast Atlanta Ballet (2008).
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Enter the category for this item: Piano, Voice, Conducting
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Rick Smith, Piano, Voice, Conducting
Rick received two Bachelors of Music in both Education and in Church Music from Shorter College. He co-founded New School of Music in 1997 and continues to own and operate 3 locations in NE Atlanta. Rick is a music minister at his church and is also the choral conductor of the Gwinnett Symphony Chorus.
Enter the category for this item: Flute, Piano, Piccolo
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Teodora Stoyanova, Flute, Piccolo, Piano
Teddy received a Master’s Degree from the National School of Arts in Varna, Bulgaria. She was a professor at the National Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has been teaching and performing professionally for over 15 years. Teddy believes that music is an integral part of life. Her goal is to make learning/playing engaging, fulfilling, and to help each student reach his or her own potential.
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Enter the category for this item: Piano, Voice
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Jonathan Smith, Piano, Voice
Mr. Smith has a Bachelor of Music in Piano/Theory degree from Georgia State University and a Master of Music Theory degree from Southwestern Seminary. He began piano lessons at age five and has been teaching piano for 25 years, during which time he has been a church pianist and also employed in business. Jonathan is honored and proud to be a member of the Grammy award-winning Atlanta Symphony Chorus, where he has been a member since 1997. He has sung in various choruses at church and throughout high school, college and graduate school. He and his wife Kim live in Snellville GA and have six grown children.
Enter the category for this item: Violin, Viola, Voice
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Cortney Whiting, Violin, Viola, Voice
Cortney studied music at Berry College and has been playing the violin for over twenty years. She has played in both orchestral and contemporary band settings. She uses a custom blend of classical methods catered to what best suits each student. She is also well versed in teaching vocal lessons, having done so for many years. Cortney is also the children’s minister at her church in Flowery Branch.
Enter the category for this item: French Horn, Dulcimer
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Stephen Hanner, French Horn, Dulcimer
Stephen Hanner graduated with bachelor’s degree in music from Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL. A busy multi-instrumentalist who lives by the phrase, “play more things, get more gigs,” he has performed around the country and the world with a variety of concert bands, jazz bands, orchestras, chamber music groups, rock bands, and church groups.
Enter the category for this item: Violin, Mandolin, Guitar, Piano, Fiddle
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Rita Atkinson, Violin, Fiddle, Guitar, Piano, Mandolin
Rita began learning music at a young age, studying classical violin and piano. She then took up guitar and fiddle and was an honors graduate of the Atlanta Institute of Music's guitar program in 2003. In 2013, she returned to the Institute to complete the keyboard program. In addition to studying for a composition degree, she is a performing musician and she also composes music for various media programs and video games. Rita has been teaching for 16 years, and is trained in many styles, including classical, jazz, bluegrass, rock and more. Her lessons focus on music theory in addition to developing good reading skills and technical ability. Through hard work and the reinforcement of good practice habits, students will develop the skills needed to achieve their musical goals
Enter the category for this item: Piano, Banjo, Guitar
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Zane Brock, Piano, Banjo, Guitar
Zane Brock is a retired Gwinnett County elementary school teacher with a B.A. from Furman University, a M.A. from Western Carolina University and a EdS. from Lincoln Memorial University. He specilizes in taking young students from beginning piano to intermediate and advanced stages. Using a classical approach, Zane mixes his lessons with fun in order to keep kids enagaged and make the experience an enjoyable one. In addition to traditional piano teaching, he also instructs students how to play the keyboard in much the same way you would play guitar, by understanding chords, which inversions to use and when, along with playing lead. Vocal accompiantment styles are also taught to adolescents, teenagers and adults who wish to explore contemporary pop music. Zane is also an expert 5-string bano picker and offers instruction from beginner to advanced.
Enter the category for this item: Drums, Percussion
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Shane Driscol, Drums & Percussion
Shane Driscoll graduated from the University of Georgia in 2014 and the Atlanta Institute of Music in 2015. With fourteen years of drum set experience, Shane has performed and recorded with a variety of musical groups ranging from pop to heavy metal. He has been teaching music full time since completing school. In his teaching, Shane looks to inspire his students to tackle new musical challenges without compromising the reason every musician wants picks up their instrument - it’s fun! Shane’s lessons cater to every type of student, whether you’re picking up the sticks for the first time, or you’re an experienced player looking to further your craft. Drum lessons, and the student’s musical journey, should be fun and challenging from start to finish!
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Enter the category for this item: Bassoon
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P.J. Jones, Bassoon
Starting his musical journey in 1990, PJ Jones was destined for his love of music from that point forward. After playing the trumpet for five years, he decided to pick-up playing the bassoon after a summer of the Governor's Honors Program in Valdosta, GA. After playing the bassoon for about two years, he then when to the University of Georgia to study Bassoon Performance under the teachings of Dr. William Davis. While at UGA, PJ played with the University Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, and various chamber groups. He also toured upstate New York with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Robert Boudreau. After graduating college with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance, PJ has played in many gigs in local groups throughout the state of Georgia. Currently you can find him playing 2nd bassoon in the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Fyodor Cherniavsky.
Enter the category for this item: Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, Trumpet
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Don Gardo, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, Trumpet
Don Gardo graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Trombone performance from GA State Univ. and was privileged to study with retired Atlanta Symphony principal trombonist, Harry Maddox, and tubist, Michael Moore. Don has also performed with ASO, Savannah Symphony, Colorado Philharmonic, and Spoleto Festival Orchestra, to mention a few. He was principal trombonist with the Virginia Symphony and Opera Orchestra. Don has almost 30 years of teaching experience and believes that making music is an art form. He balances his artistic musicianship with technical studies that help students achieve their musical goals.
Enter the category for this item: Flute, Piccolo
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Brittany Miller, Flute, Piccolo
Brittany Miller grew up in Powder Springs, GA, and became a flautist at age 11 in 1997. She has participated in various concerts, ensembles, and solo performances in school and church environments. She has traveled nationally and internationally performing with various instrumental groups. Due to her hard work and dedication, Brittany became Piccolo Section Leader with the UWG Marching Band in 2008. Brittany has been a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association since 2005 and has participated in the Music Educator's National Conference ever since. Brittany is a 2009 graduate of the University of West Georgia, holding a BM in Music Education with a Principal in Flute. She is certified to teach P-12 in all music areas, and enjoys watching students grow in music and come to love it as she did.
Enter the category for this item: Saxophone, Piano, Improvisation, Arranging, Composition
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Jeff Simmons, Saxophone, Piano, Improvisation, Arranging, Composition
A native of Gainesville, GA, Jeff earned his Bachelor’s in Music at the University of Georgia, and received his Master’s in Music Performance at the University of South Carolina. Jeff has performed with such diverse artists as Ray Charles, Mary Wilson, The Temptations, Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Savannah Jazz Orchestra, The Carolina Philharmonic, and The North Carolina Symphony. As a teacher he has been an adjunct professor of music at Cape Fear Community College and has been staff arranger for UNC Marching Tar Heels, and the NC State Marching Wolfpack. He is active as a music arranger/composer for numerous music groups throughout the country. He has been a featured musician at the Carolina Opry in Myrtle Beach, SC as well as a production assistant featured as both a saxophonist and as a pianist. He was also Music Director at the Abbey Church in Pawleys Islands, SC. His original compositions and arrangements for bands are published by Arranger’s Publishing Company in Nashville, TN. A proud father of two boys, Hunter and Jacob, Jeff enjoys sharing his music talents with children of all ages both young and “aged”. :) As the great Louis Armstrong said, “There’s only two kinds of music, good and bad.” Music of any kind is always good!
Enter the category for this item: Guitar
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Fausto Ojito, Guitar
Fausto has been a guitar and percussion teacher since 2002. He is a seasoned performer in many styles including Latin, Rock, Blues and World Music among others. Fausto studied Music and Musical Education at Universidad Del Atlantico (Barranquilla, Colombia) and has a Technical Degree in Music performance from Escuela Distrital de Artes E.D.A. (Barranquilla, Colombia). Mr. Ojito has worked as producer, session musician and band member for artists such as: Lizandro Meza, Joe Arroyo, Checo Acosta, Joe Quijano, Juan Carlos Coronel, Juventino Ojito, Francisco Zumaque, Altafulla, Chane Meza, Karen Lizarazo, among others. Two times Latin Grammy Awards nominee.