Salem Fine Arts Academy Faculty
Ashley Kotz - Artistic Director; Piano & Voice Instructor
Ashley received her undergraduate degree in Music from Methodist University and holds a Masters of Art in Teaching from East Carolina University. She has taught in the elementary classroom and has over 9 years of private voice and piano studio experience. Ashley’s solo performances include roles in opera and musical theatre, as well as choral work with the Opera Company of North Carolina and the Cumberland Oratorio Singers.
Currently, Ashley is the Music Director for Salem United Methodist Church where she directs the Chancel Choir, Ladies Ensemble, and Childrens Choir. Ashley also directs the women's chorus, "Treble Tones" at Methodist University. As Artistic Director for Salem Fine Arts Academy, she teaches voice and piano and facilitates the programs growth and mission within the community. Ashley resides in Eastover, NC.
Dedra Culbreth - Music for Little Mozarts, Piano Instructor
Dedra received a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy from East Carolina University. She also holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Methodist University. She is a private piano instructor with over 20 years of experience, some being as a classroom instructor in the public school system. Dedra has also served 15 years in Music Ministry as a church pianist and organist with various churches across Cumberland County. Her goal is to provide quality instruction in a Christ centered environment by sharing the joy of music with others. She resides in Eastover, NC with her husband David, daughter Savannah, and son Maxwell.
Ryan McPhail – Percussion (snare, marimba, xylophone, bells, drum set)
Ryan received his Bachelor of Music in music education from East Carolina University in 1994. His teaching experience began as he worked with drumlines and private students from Greenville area high schools, Beargrass High School in Martin County, Plymouth High School, and Oldham County High
School in Buckner Kentucky while he was a student at ECU. He has taught in NC public schools for 17 years and has had numerous private students. Ryan currently teaches at Reid Ross Classical School in Fayetteville, NC and resides in Eastover. As a lifelong member of Salem UMC and Eastover native Ryan is excited to join the team at SFAA and hopes to see it continue to grow in the future.
Jessica Powell - Voice & Piano Instructor
Jessica Powell is a Suma Cum Laud graduate of Missouri State University's BFA Musical Theatre program. She finished her degree in 2008 and has been working professionally all over the country since. Jessica began working in educational theatre in 2009 when she joined the National Touring company of Calculus The Musical at the Know Theatre of Cincinnati. She, along with her husband Sean toured the country visiting numerous high schools, colleges and teaching conventions, teaching audience members the principles of calculus through singing and dance. In 2011, Jessica relocated to Fayetteville North Carolina to join Cape Fear Regional Theatre as their summer drama camp director. She recently accepted CFRT's Director of Education and Outreach position. She is more than excited to join Salem UMC's fine arts program and is excited to see what the future holds!
Sean Powell - Voice, Piano, & Guitar Instructor
Sean Powell received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Missouri State University. He is the theatre teacher at Seventy First High's, School of the Arts. Sean has performed professionally in musical theatre and opera. He has been formally trained in Voice, Piano, Guitar and Bass guitar.