Bill Briggs is the founder and director of the Faith Center for the Arts. He received his undergraduate degree in Music from Eastern Nazarene College, and his Masters work in Performance took place at Penn State University. He was a scholarship student of Abe Torchinsky at the Aspen Music Festival for three years.
Bill is serving as a Pastor of Music and Worship at the Sparta Evangelical Free Church, is a member of the music faculty at County College of Morris teaching brass, and the Principle Director of the College Wind Ensemble.
He is an accomplished tubist and ensemble director, having appeared with a variety of performing groups throughout the Northeast, as well as in Brazil, Canada, Jamaica and Norway. He is currently performing regularly with a brass quintet. In addition, Bill leads a variety of ensembles at his church, including choir, orchestra and praise band, where he also plays bass.
Mr. Briggs is also the founder and chairman of Living Worship, a coalition of pastors and worship leaders who meet to study biblical worship. Bill is serving on the Board of Directors of PowerSurge Worship Ministries, is a co-writer of the Worship 101 curriculum and the "Why Do We Gather Bible Study", and has developed curriculum for teaching introductory recorder as a way of helping missionaries use music to build impactful relationships in their communities.
Lori Briggs received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Ma. She also has graduate studies in " Teaching to the Different Learning Styles: Ryder University/Westminster Choir College. She was a scholarship student of Nadine Asin ,of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, at the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen Colorado, where she had the distinct privilege of flute master classes and performances with James Galway.
She has also performed in"An Evening of Mozart" in Carnegie Hall. Lori is adjunct faculty at County College of Morris as Flute Instructor. She is a member of the Music Educators National Conference and The National Flute Association. Although her principle instrument is flute, Lori has vocal training as well. Her teaching experience includes 25+ years of teaching instrumental and vocal music in the New Jersey public and private school systems. Lori has been on the FAITH Center staff for 16 years .
Her FAITH Center duties include teaching Flute/Reeds, Vocal Music, and the CODA Large Ensemble. Lori's FAITH Center Flute Ensembles and Girls Quartet(GQ4) have performed in The New Jersey Teen Arts Festival at both the county and state levels where they received superior ratings. Lori continues to teach and perform in the Morris and Sussex County area. In addition, her private flute students continue to place in the Area Bands, Region Bands and the New Jersey Youth Symphony
Barbara Cook completed her degree at Messiah College and has extensive experience directing handbell choirs. She has served as a church pianist and organist and also as an accompanist for various performing groups. Her experiences include solo ringing and small ensemble work. In addition, she has regularly given individual instruction on piano. Barbara resides in northern NJ with her family and attends the Sparta Evangelical Free Church.
Chris Pomante has had a passion for music since he was a child. His lifes direction has now turned to teaching on a professional level. He completed his Bachelor of Music in Music Performance, specializing in classical guitar at William Paterson University of New Jersey where he studied with Seth Himmelhoch. He has performed at numerous events including master class performances with Jorge Morel, Jerry Willard, Mak Grgic, and Carlos Barbosa-Lima and in the annual guitarfest at the Hobart Manor. When he is not teaching at Faith-Center, he plays for the Worship Team at the Sparta Evangelical Free Church, and enjoys jamming with his friends.
Alyssa Gaul graduated from Gordon College with a B.A. in Music and is also a FAITH Center alum. She mentored with the Sussex County Youth Orchestra and toured and performed with them on several occasions overseas. She also has participated in missions trips to Brazil and Germany performing and teaching music. Alyssa has been studying Suzuki and performing violin since the age of 6 and now teaches group and private lessons in both the Sparta and Randolph locations.
Jennifer O'Leary completed her BA in Music at Skidmore College, has a New Jersey certificate as a teacher of music, and graduate training from Westminster Choir College. She has taught in the New Jersey public school system where her choirs have received gold ratings, and her students have been honored in the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star awards for high school musical theater. Jennifer and has performed in, directed, and choreographed theatrical productions. She also teaches private voice.
Diann Parkas received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance from Bennington College and her Master of Arts in Dance from New York University. She is a private dance instructor as well as a choreographer and performer of Biblical dances at conferences and churches. She also taught
dance in the U.S. Virgin Islands as a VISTA volunteer.
Roberta Granzen received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado State University. She has taught art in public schools in several states and is the owner/developer of EyeGate Art Studio. She is a computer art and graphic design instructor.
Christine Segale received her undergraduate degree in Visual Arts from State University of New York at New Paltz and has done graduate work in Graphic Arts at New York University.
Mrs. Segale teaches in various schools and visual arts programs with students ranging in age from 3 to 93!
Alec Stevens attended the Kubert School as well as the Art Students League of New York City and the New School (a division of Parsons School of Design).
Mr. Stevens has worked as a professional illustrator since 1985 for such clients as The New York Times Book Review and The New Yorker magazine as well as for the Reader's Digest Corp., AT&T, Tower Records, and United Features Syndicate among others.
Since 1992 he has been teaching college art classes at The Kubert School, and currently illustrates and publishes Christian books and graphic novels under his own Calvary Comics imprint which have sold in the thousands across the world.
He began at the F.A.I.T.H. Center initially as an instructor for the guitar classes in 1999, then set up the curriculum for the first art classes, presently teaching the upper level students (Art 1, Art 2, Art 3, and Advanced Art). Mr. Stevens is also a guitarist for the music ministry at Times Square Church in Manhattan.
Berline Stockton was educated in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, graduating from College Marie-Ann. She has a Certificate in Graphic Arts and Illustration from the Center for Media Arts in New York City. She has varied arts experiences including charcoal portraits and photo finishing.
Greg Whiddon received his Bachelor of Science degree and his Masters Degree in MusicEducation from Bob Jones University. Mr. Whiddon performs with various groups and teaches private music instruction on the piano and percussion.
Jessica Whiddon received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance from Bob Jones University. In addition Mrs. Whiddon has studied under Juilliard performing artist Sondra Tammam and under Francis McLaren of Carnegie Mellon University. She was chosen as a Master Class participant in Dorothy Taubman’s Seminar hosted by the Juilliard School. She performs privately, works as her church pianist, and gives private instruction on the piano.
Glenn Zervas has written over 200 songs for the guitar. He has an Associate Degree from County College of Morris. Glenn teaches in various schools, is a private guitar instructor, and has recorded several CDs. He has also written a comprehensive curriculum for learning the guitar.
Biography to come, please check back to this page
Reena Kirspel received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from NYU with a concentration in Drama. She pursued a professional career in theater/film for several years, prior to going into full-time ministry. She held numerous posts within Christian Herald's Kids With A Promise and spent close to a decade working with inner-city youth.
Reena is currently the drama coordinator at Mendham Hills Community Church, where she writes, directs and acts in various productions. She is very excited to be working at FAITH Center for the Arts where she can combine her love for children with her love of drama!
Jesse Lerch recieved his BA from Connecticut College where he double majored in Art and Architectural Studies. Outside of Faith Center Jesse is a resident artist/studio manager at Peters Valley Craft Center and Adjunct Professor at Sussex County Community College where he teaches in the Graphic Design and Continuing Education programs. Outside of the classroom Jesse works as a theatrical set designer, designing for Faith Center summer camp performances and musicals at Sussex County Community College, and as a graphic designer/illustrator at B-Train Films in Manhattan, NY in 2011 and as a freelancer. He continues to round out his creative palette as a Painter, and Artist in Encaustic, Glass, and various drawing media.
Biography to come, please check back to this page
Eve Yee received a B.A. degree in Music from CSE with Hightest Honors and also with Music Department Honors. She was the recipient of numerous academic scholarships including the Outsanding Alumnae Award in Music, the Earl Hartmann Award and the Owen Walters Music for a Better World Award. She has persevered in a teaching career with her students already winning awards. She was the member of the Music Education Delegation to South Africa in 2010. She is currently a NJ certified Music teacher. She is also an active memeber of the National Association for Music Education and Music Educators Association of NJ.
Aimee Morrill Briant graduated with a BA degree in violin
performance from the Hartt School of Music (Hartford, CT). She completed her
long-term teacher training from the Suzuki pedagogy program at Hartt, where she
was a student of Linda Fiore, Teri Einfeldt, and Brian Lewis. She has taken additional Suzuki teacher
training with Ronda Cole, Michele George, and Carrie Reuning. A Maine native and "Suzuki kid" herself,
Aimee began violin at age three with Clorinda Noyes. She started her first violin studio in
Bangor, ME in 1996 and has taught in East Hartford, CT, and at the Suzuki
School of Newton in Newton, MA (2001-2006).
She moved to Randolph, NJ in 2006, where she started the Crescendo
Suzuki Studio, now in Mine Hill. She is
a former assistant director for the Massachusetts Suzuki Festival, former
coordinator for the Portland String Quartet Workshop at Colby College, and most
recently the director for the New Jersey Suzuki Workshop. She recently assisted in rebuilding the
Suzuki violin department at Westminster Conservatory in Princeton. She is an energetic chamber musician and
freelances as an orchestral, chamber, and English folk dance musician.
Rebeccah received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and in History from Nyack College in Nyack, New York in May 2011. There she studied piano and harp privately; tutored music theory, ear training, and sight singing; was trained in piano pedagogy; and participated in the annual Carol and Candlelight Tours as a member of the Handbell Choir and accompanist to the Women's Choir. Rebeccah currently teaches piano privately and plays regularly at her home church, EFC of Blairstown, where she is blessed to serve as a music intern.
Victor has been a Professional Guitar Teacher for the past 17 years ... He graduated College with his Associates Degree in 1989. He has been teaching children in and around Sussex County NJ since 1995...He has been successful in sending some of his students to college , where they have earned a degree in music.
Victor also plays solo live and also with a 3 piece Improvisational Jam, Blues ,Jazz.. He has recorded multiple Cd's , most recently a Solo project with Country. Bluegrass feel..
Rev. John Kalis, in addition to serving in ministry positions over the past 25 years, began his musical studies at the age of four in a Yamaha Studio piano class taught by Mrs. English. At six, he took up studies in piano and music theory (Richter method) with Professor John F. Noge of New York University. At age eight, John began his work in the church setting by serving as pianist at Emmanuel Church in Elizabeth, NJ, a position he held until 1993. Not to be lost in Johns musical development was his proficiency as a brass player, picking up trumpet in the fourth grade, euphonium in grade five, trombone in the sixth grade, and tuba in grade eight.
At age twelve he continued his pursuit of keyboard excellence with Dr. Renan DeCamp of the Curtis Institute. Margaret Leech of Julliard furthered Johns piano skills and musicianship during his final two years in high school preparing him for his pursuit of a degree in piano performance at The Kings College in Briarcliff Manor, NY.
While there, John studied with Teresa Compos-Falk of Julliard and Thomas Biggens of the Manhattan School of Music. Most notably, John was given opportunity to provide music for the ministry of the late Dr. Robert A. Cook, traveling with him as he ministered.
In addition to being a faculty member at Faith Center for the Arts, John also serves as a Board member for FCA; serves as a Staff Accompanist at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ; and is the Senior Pastor at Washington Valley Chapel of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Morristown, NJ for the past fifteen years.
During the last three summers, John hosted a Music and Worship Workshop at the Chapel for youth.
Carrie graduated from Concordia University Chicago with a bachelors degree in music education in 2008. She played principle horn with the wind ensemble and orchestra. She also performed with the touring brass quintet, jazz band, chapel choir, worship band and handbell choirs. She has had the opportunity to travel all around the United States, Europe and China with various performing groups. She is a certified teacher of music in both Illinois and New Jersey.
As of this coming summer, Justin Louie will have completed an Associate's Degree in Music from the County College of Morris. Upon graduation he will continue on to a four-year University where he will major in Music Education. Mr. Louie has been studying the cello for 14 years and has studied and performed with numerous professional musicians including: Liz Cabrera, Marnie Keller, Yuka Yanagi, Lawrence Ferrara, PhD, and Jose Bevia, Phd. He is currently studying with Gloria Kim, cello professor for County College of Morris. In the past, Mr. Louie has performed with the University of Arizona Symphonic Orchestra, Delbarton Abbey and Young Abbey Orchestras, and is currently studying conducting under Bill Briggs.
Mr. Louie currently teaches all levels of cello, electric bass, and double bass for FAITH Center for the Arts.
Bethany Damato is a graduate of the County College of Morris with an Associate's Degree in Music. She plans to continue on to a four-year University where she will major in Music Education. Ms. Damato has been studying the flute for 14 years, and has appeared with a variety of performing groups throughout the Northeast, as well as in Brazil, Canada, Jamaica, and Norway. She currently teaches all levels of flute for FAITH Center for the Arts.