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 Christina Hutzelman
Piano, Music Theory

Ms. Hutzelman earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University. She began piano when she was six years old and at age 15 started teaching group lessons at the elementary schools along with private lessons. Christina has assisted in organizing the bi-annual recitals for many years. She teaches mostly intermediate and advanced students.  She has been teaching over 15 years and enjoys mentoring her  advanced students who are interested in teaching.

Elijah Smoot
Piano, Voice, Theory

Mr. Smoot is a pianist & baritone from Great Mills Maryland. A graduate from Champion Christian College in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Elijah is classically trained in both piano and vocal technique. An award-winning pianist and vocalist, Elijah is an enthusiastic teacher and is excited to be able to share his passion and love for music teaching students of all ages and levels.  His genres of expertise include jazz, classical, religious, and modern styles. Elijah's personality and strong emphasis on technique is used to demonstrate that music is both fun and rewarding. 

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Bill Johnson
Guitar, Violin, Mandolin, Banjo,Ukulele

Mr. Johnson started playing guitar at six years old.  His Conservatory mom and Bluegrass-loving Mandolin playing dad were very supportive.  Bill studied Jazz with nationally recognized Dayton guitarist Terry Bradds and California violinist Laur Risk.  At 12 years old he was invited to play in a local folk group because of his improvising skills.  He continued to play in solo, group and orchestral ensembles all through high school and college.  Bill continues to teach, write, record, perform and enjoys teaching all levels of students.  He has taught thousands of students and has played thousands of shows.​​​

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Cheryl Eslinger
Piano, Accompanist

Ms. Eslinger graduated from Indiana State University and has been a teacher and trainer all her adult life. Her musical background includes a lifelong love and study of music as a classically trained pianist. She has accompanied students for competitions; played piano with a worship band in a large church for over 15 years. She has developed a love for all kinds of music including contemporary worship and jazz. Cheryl is experienced and passionate about helping people reach their goals and potential.

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Leah Yackanech
Piano, Voice

Leah Yackanech is the College Connects President and Podcast Manager for the National Opera Teens Program of OPERA America. She studies Voice Performance at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She participated in the Kennedy Center Young Associates Program, the Washington National Opera Summer Opera Institute, and the Belcanto Bootcamp program. Last winter, she earned first place in the King's Peak International Music Competition. Additionally, she has placed in NATS, CS Music Competition, the Schmidt Vocal Arts Competition, and the American Music Talent International Competition. This year she was in the CCM Opera d'arte program. She performed in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. She holds certificates in Elementary and Intermediate Piano from the Peabody School of Music and teaches beginner and intermediate voice and piano students.

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Phillip Burkhead
Piano, Music Theory, Improv, Music Technology, Composition

Louisville, KY native Phillip Lee Burkhead began teaching himself to play piano at the age of eight by emulating pop and jazz artists. Mr. Burkhead received an Honors Scholarship in the Jazz and Studio Music program at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He received many awards for both academic and performance achievement including Best Keyboard Artist by Cincinnati Magazine. Mr. Burkhead earned a Vocational Teaching License and a Masters of Education from Wright State University.
Mr. Burkhead has been studying and performing Jazz since 1981. He has performed with many local bands including The Blue Wisp Big Band, The Dayton Jazz Orchestra, The Coasters, and The Shirelles.
Mr. Burkhead has taught at Miami University, Central State University, the CCM College Preparatory Program, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He has taught Piano, Theory/Composition, Improvisation, Arranging, Music Technology, Jazz Ensemble. He has been included in the Who’s Who of American Teacher’s three times. 
Adjunct Professor of Jazz Piano at The University of Dayton, Mr. Burkhead is also the accompanist and a praise band member at Redeemer Church in Hamilton Ohio. He enjoys teaching all levels of piano

Matt Averdick

Matt Averdick graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a Spanish degree, but during his time at NKU traveled to the French Alps performing and teaching jazz music.  A musician based out of Cincinnati, OH, he can be found all across town in a variety of musical settings. He studied both Jazz and Classical guitar during his time at NKU, and spent many nights as a teenager engrossed in the work of popular rock guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen and Angus Young. More recently, Averdick has become a fan of jazz legends such as the great Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, and Joe Pass. You can find him on a typical day methodically teaching students the guitar, transcribing jazz guitar solos for his company 'Let’s Transcribe,' pursuing multiple solo projects in his home recording studio, and taking care of his clients through his advertising business 'Zestful 360.'"   

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