Faculty

Michael Lehtinen

Michael Lehtinen

Director of Southern Park Music School, Instructor of Piano

DMA and MM from the Eastman School of Music; BM from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Dr. Lehtinen has been teaching at Southern Park Music School since 1995 and has been the Director since 2006. His students participate in festivals and competitions throughout Charlotte and North Carolina. In addition to teaching piano students of all ages, Dr. Lehtinen is the Organist at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church.

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Mario Barragan

Mario Barragan

Instructor of Guitar

BMus from Queens University. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Mario’s musical journey began with playing traditional Colombian music at the age of 14. Mario has over 10 years of performing experience including performances at the Cundinamarca State Government and the Bogota D.C. City Hall, both located in Colombia.  Mario is currently a member of Queens University Guitar Ensemble, and loves performing all kinds of guitar music!

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Mark Catoe

Mark Catoe

Instructor of Saxophone and Clarinet

BMusEd from Winthrop University.  Multi-instrumentalist Mark Catoe has been working in the area as a musician for than six years, working as a musician on a cruise ship for two years prior to that. Notable performances include engagements with the Charlotte Symphony, The Temptations, and The Four Tops. In addition to teaching saxophone and clarinet, Mark frequently performs as a jazz pianist for weddings, private parties, and corporate events.

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Vasily Gorkovoy

Vasily Gorkovoy

Instructor of Violin and Viola

Artist Certificate from Southern Methodist University; MM from Texas Christian University; BMus from Rostov on Don State Conservatory (Don, Russia). Vasily performs regularly with the Hilton Head and Charlotte Symphonies.  He is a member of the Bechtler Ensemble and particularly enjoys chamber music. Vasily likes to include theory in his lessons along with teaching the fundamentals of playing string instruments.

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Amy Harris

Amy Harris

Instructor of Piano

DMA from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, MM and BMus from University of Georgia.  Dr. Harris has taught private piano lessons since 2005 at Queens University of Charlotte where she also teaches Music Theory.  She has taught at Southern Park Music School since 2018 where she teaches students of all ages and skill levels.  Her goal as a piano instructor is to teach her students every skill they will need to confidently perform, understand, and value the music they play.  She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, a Registered Suzuki Piano Teacher, and a member of MTNA and the Charlotte Piano Teachers Forum.  Most of all, Dr. Harris enjoys teaching her students and sharing in the joys of their musical growth and endeavors.

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Taddes Korris

Taddes Korris

Instructor of String Bass

MM and BMus from Manhattan School of Music.  Taddes is a dynamic orchestral, chamber and solo performer of the double bass, performing regularly with the Charlotte Symphony and the Edmonton (Canada) Symphony. Born to a Lithuanian family in Canada, his unique cultural roots have inspired him to seek out and perform lesser-known Eastern European works along with the standard repertoire.  Taddes was the 2012 recipient of the Homer Mensch Award for excellence in double bass performance and study.

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Alasondro Linney

Alasondro Linney

Instructor of Violin and Viola

BMus from North Carolina School of the Arts. Alasondro teaches mostly traditionally with the Suzuki method incorporated.  He has performed with the Charlotte Symphony and the Alabama Symphony.  He enjoys performing in the Charlotte area, and enjoys sharing his experience with his students. 

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Victoria McLaughlin

Victoria McLaughlin

Instructor of Cello

BA from the University of Manizales, in Colombia, South America, and certified Suzuki teacher.  Since her arrival in Charlotte, Victoria has performed with the Charlotte Philharmonic, Charlotte Civic Orchestra, Charlotte Cello Choir, Vivace Quartet, and other groups.  Victoria’s students successfully participate in recitals, festivals, and regional orchestral auditions.  Besides having a contagious enthusiasm for her instrument, Victoria blends her more than 10 years of cello teaching experience with high standards and the conviction that, yes, "Every child - and adult – can!"

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Charles J. Michael

Charles J. Michael

Instructor of Brass

BMusEd from Appalachian State University.  CJ teaches lessons on all brass instruments in all styles. His specialties include concert band and orchestral repertoire as well as small ensemble music. His students have consistently placed well in the All-District bands and county band competitions. With the belief that exposure to many different  styles creates well-rounded players,  CJ encourages his students to search for music that they enjoy playing while instilling firm technical ability, high levels of musicality, and efficient practicing techniques. CJ regularly performs Principal Horn for the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, Charlotte Concert Band, and the Charlotte Pride Band.

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Nicole Niederer

Nicole Niederer

Instructor of Piano

BMus from Wheaton Conservatory of Music. Nicole has returned to her hometown of Charlotte after 31 years in Houston, where she had an active career as a piano teacher, church musician, and accompanist.  While in Texas she held a staff pianist position at the University of Houston and collaborated with members of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and also performed in the pit orchestra for the George Theater.  She has toured the United States and Europe as both a keyboardist and vocalist.  Nicole is happy to back in the Queen City!

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Gay Pappin

Gay Pappin

Administrative Assistant

DMA and MM from Louisiana State University.  BMusEd from Ouachita Baptist University.  Gay has taught piano, organ, theory, and music appreciation in several universities.  She has been a church pianist or organist for most of her life.  Gay especially enjoys working with the families at Southern Park Music School.

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Candace Schmitt

Candace Schmitt

Instructor of Oboe

BA, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; BM, Appalachian State University. Candace plays the oboe, flute, and English horn.  She is an Adjunct Instructor of Music at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs. Candace enjoys performing with the Charlotte Civic Orchestra and with the Charlotte Flute Choir. She is especially thrilled when a student catches her passion for the oboe!

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Lydia Sharrad

Lydia Sharrad

Instructor of Flute

MMus from Melbourne, BMus from Elder Conservatorium. An Australian freelance flautist and teacher, Lydia has had a varied performing career touring as a soloist and with orchestras across Europe, China, and Australasia. She has participated in flute workshops throughout Europe, in both modern and Historically Informed Performance.  Lydia has taught the flute since 2006, and over the years, she has taught music history, aural training, music theory and piano, as well as the flute. Since moving to Charlotte in 2021, she looks forward to meeting new students and helping them achieve their musical goals! 

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Sharon Stricklin

Sharon Stricklin

Instructor of Piano

MM and BMus from Michigan State University.  Sharon has 40 years of piano teaching experience.  She has previously taught middle school and high school choral music, AP Music Theory, and AP Music History.  In addition to teaching, Sharon has been a church music director and accompanist.   Sharon enjoys teaching beginners very much as well as students who are more advanced.

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Gregory  Thompson

Gregory Thompson

Instructor of Piano

DMA from University of South Carolina. Dr. Thompson has been a recitalist and collaborative pianist in concert halls and colleges and universities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He enjoys sharing his joy for the piano with students of all ages and ability levels.  

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Margaret Tyler

Margaret Tyler

Instructor of Musikgarten

MA, Gordon-Conwell Seminary; BM, Texas Christian University.  Margaret is a soprano who enjoys singing with the Opera Carolina Chorus as well as in various church choirs in the Charlotte area.  She is a member of "In The Mood" trio, which performs in the area.  Margaret loves teaching music to the babies and toddlers in the Musikgarten class! 

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Janice Williams

Janice Williams

Instructor of Voice and Piano

MM from St. Louis Conservatory of Music; BMus from Tulsa University.  Janice has enjoyed teaching students of all ages for over 20 years.  She has performed with Opera Carolina for the last 12 years as a chorus member and in small roles.  She frequently sings at churches in the Charlotte area.  Janice has recently helped form  "In The Mood" trio which performs in the area.

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Stephanie Wilson

Stephanie Wilson

Instructor of Drums and Percussion

BMus from Appalachian State University.  Stephanie regularly works in schools and churches in and around the Charlotte metropolitan area. She is the percussionist with the Western Piedmont Symphony as well as the Principal Timpanist for the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra.  Stephanie enjoys teaching students of all ages!

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