Dance & Fitness

Kate Webb Berk, Director of Fairmount Dance Company & Dance Faculty

Kate dances professionally with Verb Ballets in Cleveland. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, she danced as a company trainee with Richmond Ballet. She then attended Butler University where she graduated cum laude with a BS in Dance-Arts Administration and high departmental honors. Seeing her students improve is one of her favorite things! She is deeply passionate about helping children experience personal growth by finding their own artistic connections.

Saundra Bohl, Dance Faculty & Spanish Dance Artistic Director

Saundra Bohl studied ballet at the Ballet Arts of Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Company in New York. She has a BA in Math and Music from Oberlin College and a Masters in Education from John Carroll University.

Emily (Dietz) Shepard, Dance Faculty

Emily grew up in California, training at the Western Ballet. As her love for dance grew, Emily attended summer programs with the American Ballet Theatre School, Colorado Ballet and American Ballet Repertory Ballet. She continued her dance education at Butler University, graduating with a BS in Dance Arts Administration. Emily has been dancing professionally with Verb Ballets since 2018.

Kia Jimmy, Dance Faculty

Kia is from Saskatoon, Canada and fell in love with dancing at her local studio. She began her dance training at the age of seven and has done many summer intensives including Royal Winnipeg Ballet. At age 16 she was accepted to Alberta Ballet School’s Professional Division and continued her training in their Post-Graduate Program. Following graduation in 2019, Kia joined US International Ballet as a trainee for two seasons where she had the opportunity to perform Giselle and Alice in Wonderland.  Kia is now an apprentice with Verb Ballets.

Sabrina Lindhout, Dance Faculty

Sabrina began dancing at the age of 4, and was accepted as a member of the pre-professional program, Ashland Regional Ballet, when she was 12. She studied at summer programs with Magnus (Joffrey) Midwest, Orlando Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, and BalletMet in Columbus, OH. She performed as a guest dancer in Ohio Dance Theatre’s and Verb Ballets’ first collaborative production of The Nutcracker and was a guest dancer with Verb for their Heinz Poll repertoire for their 2015-16 season. She then joined Verb Ballets as a trainee for their 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Sabrina is now a Company B member with Inlet Dance Theatre- known for their modern dance technique and non-traditional partnering style.

Libby Lubinger, Recreational Dance Director, Spanish Dance Artistic Director Emeritus

Libby has been part of Fairmount Center since its inception in 1971, sharing her passion and vision for the Spanish Dance program. In addition to Spanish Dance, she has studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Ethnic dance. She holds a BA in English from Brooklyn College in New York City.

Fredrick Moodie, Dance Faculty

When you ask about Kinderdance or Tap Dance at Fairmount, you’ll hear one name again and again: Mr. Moodie. Fredrick teaches tap, ballet and jazz. He has choreographed dance works at East Cleveland Theater, Karamu House, Theatre Ensemble, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Coordinated Arts Program, and in numerous schools.

Ryan Rosinski, Dance Faculty

Ryan Rosinski is a professional dancer that you might have seen on “So You Think You Can Dance” or perhaps from his full dance segment/interview on the hit PBS show “Fashion Style Miami.” Ryan has been featured in numerous online commercials where his dance moves have helped promote energy drinks, clothing, and even LED shoes. His dance skills have been seen all around America from numerous tours and from his YouTube channel and persona: the “Silver Suit Dancer”, where he has more than 2,000,000 views. If you ever see Mr. Ryan in class or at the studio please be sure to say “Hiiii”; he will be the person with the biggest smile on his face and some crazy awesome dance moves!

Ben Shepard, Dance Faculty

Ben began his dancing career in Maryland where he trained with the Ballet Theater of Maryland as well as attended summer programs at The Washington School of Ballet, The Kirov Academy, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Ben continued his training and education at Butler University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Arts Administration and Dance. Ben has danced professionally with Verb Ballets since 2018.

Music

Gregory Berlin, Violin and Viola Faculty

Gregory’s passion for strings began at age seven when he started learning the Suzuki method, which creates a positive, interactive environment for students to learn and grow through music.

Gregory teaches violin and viola and has performed in several local ensembles, including the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. He also teaches at the Great Lakes School of Music and formerly instructed at Mercyhurst College’s Young Arts String Program in Erie, PA.\

A few weeks before former Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster Josef Gingold passed away, he praised Gregory’s skill in a violin master class. “He gave me a wink and said, ‘You did a good job today, young man,’” says Berlin. “I’ll always remember that.”

Liliana Garlisi, Piano Faculty

What does figure skating, painting, swimming, archery and unicycling have to do with Fairmount Piano Faculty? Liliana Garlisi enjoys all of these activities, plus playing and teaching piano! Liliana Garlisi graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance. Previously, she graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Preparatory Department, where she studied piano, music theory, and chamber music and received the Outstanding Theory Award. A winner of many piano competitions, Liliana has performed as a piano concerto soloist with the Kent State University Orchestra, the Bluewater Chamber Orchestra, and the Lakeland Civic Orchestra. Liliana is also a harpist and was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

David Gorski, Guitar, Ukulele & Saxophone Faculty

Beloved music teacher at St. Anselm School, David shares his passion for music teaching guitar, ukulele and saxophone with the Fairmount community. David has a BS in Music Education from Malone University. When he’s not in our community teaching, you may find David hanging out in one of his favorite spots in Ohio – the corner of E. 9th and Carnegie.

Caitlin DiFranco, Voice Faculty

Caitlin DiFranco has been teaching voice lessons since 2016.  She uses voice science and modern pedagogy as a basis for her lesson instruction.  She specializes in classical music, but also enjoys singing and teaching in musical theater and other CCM styles.  

Joseph Rangel, Guitar & Ukulele Faculty

Joseph has been playing guitar and was originally trained by his father, Rey, in classical guitar. He soon began to study pop and rock music, enjoying classic rock as well as other genres like Motown. In 2005, he began studying jazz. This love led him to Tri-C Metro studying jazz performance with a minor in piano. Joseph recently graduated from Cleveland State University and landed at Fairmount sharing his love for music. In addition to guitar, Joseph teaches ukulele and beginner piano students.

Griffith Gentilcore, Piano ,Trumpet, Jazz, & Music Theory Faculty

Griffith Gentilcore is an accomplished trumpet performer with a passion for working with students of all abilities. Griffith has a Masters of Music, as well as an Advanced Music Studies Certificate in Trumpet Performance from Carnegie Mellon University. Griffith also holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree, cum laude, from Baldwin Wallace University, as well as a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance, cum laude, with a Jazz Emphasis. He studied trumpet performance with Jack Sutte, second trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra, Jack Brndiar, former lecturer in trumpet at Baldwin Wallace University, George Vosburgh, former principal
trumpet of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Neal Berntsen, second trumpet of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Gentilcore has taken part in many performances, including The Who’s Moving On Tour and “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Strings Attached Tour. While at Baldwin Wallace University, he participated in the Baldwin Wallace University Wind Ensemble Washington D.C. Tour that included performing at the Kennedy Center. Recently, Mr. Gentilcore has also had the great pleasure of attending virtual music festivals and trumpet summer programs that feature many of the greatest minds of music from around the world.

Griffith has taught students of all levels and engaged with them on understanding the meaning of the music they are playing as a means to strengthen their needed commitment to the technique as well as the art of their performance. His teaching philosophy: “I think of music as a universal language. It inspires us to create. It is an endless journey of past stories and future memories. In order to be truly immersed in music, all different types of music from around the world must be considered and embraced. When performing, we all must learn from the history and the theory of the piece and study the score to fulfill what the composer intended the music to portray. Much like theater and film, music invites us to play a character, with the instrument as our voice. I help my students to find and strengthen that voice.”

Penny Sherman, Piano Faculty

Penny has studied at Cleveland State University under pianist Andreis Kaprevachiz and was awarded music scholarship to study under Artist in Residence, Jerome Rose. She has also studied at Aaron Copland School of Music under pianist Alex Hoc, Faine Wright in Brooklyn, New York, and Geraldo Teissonniere at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Penny is currently a performing member of the Cleveland Music Society, has performed in multiple recitals throughout her career, and has been teaching children and adults of all ages for twenty years.

Abigail Johnson, Violin Faculty

Abigail is a multi-instrumentalist performer and composer who enjoys playing everything from folk to classical to electronic music. Abigail teaches violin, music theory, composition, and electronic music. Abigail was a student of CIM’s preparatory school and suzuki program before earning her Bachelor of Music in Composition from Baldwin Wallace University. She earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental Sound from California Institute of the Arts where she taught music theory and music history courses. Abigail has traveled all over the world for festivals and artist residencies including Alaska, New York City, and France. 

Andrew Dyet, Piano, Trumpet, & Guitar Faculty

Andrew is a multi-instrumentalist performer and composer who specializes in piano, trumpet, music theory, and composition. Andrew plays everything from jazz and classical to experimental music. Andrew earned his Bachelor of Music in Composition from Baldwin Wallace University and his Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental Sound from California Institute of the Arts. Andrew has taught band, music theory, trumpet, and piano to young beginners all the way to undergraduates. Andrew often plays keyboard and guitar for local musical theaters including the Porthouse Theater.

Theatre

Joan Bendix, Music Director of the Youth Theatre Program & Theatre Faculty

Joan studied piano and voice at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Joan has served as music director and performed on the keyboard/piano for musical productions in schools and theaters, including the Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland Public Theater, Chagrin Valley Little Theater, Mercury Theatre Company, Walsh Jesuit High School, and University School. She is currently Music Director at First United Church of Christ in Eastlake.

Joan loves teaching children and helping them find that spark of passion for music. She believes in guiding students to find their own voice and the confidence to participate in the community of theater and musical production.

Merlynne Hancock, Choreography Director of Youth Theatre Program & Theatre Faculty

Merlynne Hancock joined the Fairmount faculty in 1989 as a choreographer for the Youth Theatre and has taught a variety of children’s classes and camps, including Movin’ Together and Kreative Kids. For 35 years, Merlynne has choreographed productions at area schools, from elementary to college level. She started dancing at age 6, and studied under Bea Fried, Noreen Londregan, and Ernst Hillenbran. She graduated from Heidelberg College with a degree in Communication and Theatre Arts and French, with an acting/directing emphasis.

Patti Susman, Director of the Youth Theatre Program & Theatre Faculty

Patti is an honors graduate of Cleveland State University.  She has a degree Dramatic Arts.  She has been with the Fairmount since 1982, where she has directed over 80 productions.  She has also taught dance, art and gymnastics.  Patti was the first Youth Theatre Director at the Solon for the Arts and was also an Assistant Director and instructor for the Heights Youth Theatre. 

Patti trained as a dancer with Dave and Shirley Morganstern.  She was a member of the Morgan Dancers.  She and her sisters performed throughout the Cleveland area.  She began her acting career at the old Musicarnival Theatre, located in Warrensville Hts. Ohio. At age 13, she was selected as one of the youngest apprentices in the theatre’s history.  She spent 3 summers working, in various capacities, on Broadway touring company productions,  concerts and children’s theatre performances.  It was at Musicarnival that Patti was given the opportunity to teach and direct theatre classes to younger students and that is when she decided that arts education was her passion, and she has pursued that passion ever since.

Eric Wayne Coulbourne, Theatre Faculty

Eric Wayne Coulbourne is a graduate of Kent State University’s Theatre Program. He also holds a degree in Library Science from Emporia State University. Eric has long been a part of the theatre community serving in multiple roles including production assistant, stage manager, costumer, props master, characterization coach, director and actor. He is very excited to be joining the Fairmount Center for the Arts Team!

Writing

Claudia Taller, Writing ArtsyoU Faculty

Claudia Taller is a Cleveland-area writer who has written for many local and national publications over the last 25 years and has authored four books. In 2008, she launched Igniting Possibilities, a conduit for helping people realize their creative potential through writing, art, meditation, and yoga. She’s been leading workshops and retreats for over 20 years, many of them at Lakeside, Ohio’s Chautauqua on Lake Erie.

Claudia brings her spirit to Fairmount Center for the Arts to foster people’s voices. Many people would love to write, but don’t know how to get started, and once they trust the process of putting words on paper and find their “voice”, inspiration takes over and there’s no stopping them! One-on-one sessions will begin with Claudia listening to the student’s ideas and responding with projects that make sense for where the person’s at in the creative process. Each session will begin with homework completed since the last meeting. The writing can take any form, and the lessons may involve listening to and reading great poets, essayists, and novelists to learn to read like a writer!

Angela Gartner, Writing ArtsyoU Faculty

Angela Gartner, whose poetry has appeared in “Cabinet of Heed” and Literary Cleveland (online 2020 Writing Prompt). She is also a regular at poetry open mics. Her non-fiction stories, essays and columns have appeared in several magazines; weekly and daily newspapers in Ohio as well as the Chicago Tribune. She is a graduate student at Kent State University in Ohio and the president of the Society of Professional Journalists — Cleveland Pro Chapter.

Visual Arts

Brigitte Fiorille, Director of Visual Arts & Visual Arts Faculty

Brigitte loved teaching her four sons (now awesome adults) about her love of the arts. Growing from those arts lessons, Brigitte was inspired to pursue a degree in Art Education (Kent State University). Brigitte has grown with Fairmount, as an instructor and administrator and wears many hats each day to support the mission of Fairmount. When she’s not in the ceramics studio creating awesome art, you’ll find her with the admin team making the arts happen at Fairmount and in the community.  When she’s not at Fairmount, you’ll find Brigitte playing with her granddaughter, making the world a more beautiful place with her green thumb, or cooking for her awesome family.

Kathy Oravecz, Visual Arts Faculty

Kathy Sabbath Oravecz is a graduate of Ursuline College with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic design/Art education, and a Master of Education in Reading  from John Carroll University.  The National Endowment of the Humanities awarded her two fellowships from Rutgers and Syracuse Universities. Ms. Oravecz is also the recipient of the American Watercolor Society Teacher Scholarship. She is a signature artist with the  Ohio Watercolor Society, the  Hawaii Watercolor Society and the  Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, and Whiskey Painters of America.  The Holden Arboretum selected her for Teacher in Residence.   She taught art for thirty years with the Madison Local Schools, and also was an instructor at Lake Erie College and John Carroll University.  She is the author/illustrator for a children’s picture book entitled “The Frog and the Footbridge”.    Her watercolors are in collections  across the USA and in the Netherlands.

Tara Seibel, Visual Arts Faculty

Tara’s best known for her collaboration with the late Harvey Pekar of American Splendor comics. She worked at American Greetings and spearheaded Tara Seibel Art Gallery in Cleveland. Her editorial cartoons and graphic stories have been published in The Graphic Canons Volumes 2 & 3, Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature, Comics Comics, Mineshaft, Jewish Review of Books, New York Times, LA Times, Cleveland Scene, Austin Chronicle, Chicago Newcity, US Catholic, Heeb, Hippy Comix, and USA Today’s Pop Candy. She teaches at Fairmount Center for the Arts and lives with her husband, Aaron, her three children, and her dog and cat in Pepper Pike, Ohio.

For more on Tara, check out taraseibel.blogspot.com

Amy Shea, Visual Arts Faculty

Amy Shea received a B.A. from Cleveland State University in Visual Arts, licensed to teach grades K – 12. She taught in public schools for four years before having children. Amy continued to teach Art part time at Lakeland Community College in the Community Education Department and also Art History at Breckenridge Village. Then, she taught at Grace Christian Academy for ten years as she homeschooled her two children. Currently, Amy teaches private and group lessons and is involved with the homeschool community in Lake and Geauga County. Amy also enjoys teaching arts and crafts at a community horse camp during the summers. She loves to work with children in a creative manner and pursues her own artistic endeavors as well. Amy lives in Painesville with her husband and has two adult children.

Anne Stottler, Visual Arts Faculty

Anne Marsh Stottler graduated from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio with a degree in Art Education. Anne lived in Maine for 20 years where she taught art in grades K-12, adult aer education, was a floral designer, and owned her own business, silk screening quilt patterns on t-shirts and totes. She has been sewing since she was eight years old. Once she started quilting she couldn’t stop and has been incorporating her
love of gardening into her quilts ever since. Just as in nature’s textures and colors, her quilts honor the patterns and textures of the fabric keeping the designs simple to highlight the true beauty of the material. She loves teaching sewing and continuing the time honored traditions of our ancestors. “Wow ! Look what I made!” is music to her ears!

Mary Lyons, Visual Arts Faculty

Mary Lyons loves taking long walks, a camera or sketchbook in hand, searching for a picture that begs to be captured. The key to bringing a subject to life in a still image is contrast: light and shadow, structure and chaos, ordinary and unusual. The passion for capturing life in this way has catalyzed Mary’s lifelong study of fine arts, and molded her style of realism in nature and in portraiture. She believes that the stories written in the lines of a face tell of truths that few words can express. From watercolor to charcoal, pen and ink to photography, the medium used sets the emotional tone of the piece. It is not the emotion itself that drives Mary’s work, but the desire to kindle within the viewer a corresponding impulse to create something beautiful. As a teacher, it is Mary’s goal to equip her students with the skills to express this beauty through their art.

Jamie Davis

With a love of visual arts, Jamie explored many mediums and then found her true passion playing in mud: Creating her own independent studies in ceramics and Raku in college, she fell in love with clay. After receiving an undergraduate degree in Art Education, Jamie boarded the train called life. She married, had two beautiful energetic girls, and started a new path.

Jamie’s days filled with arts and crafts, flash cards, preschool library times, farm park adventures and even time watching Sesame Street. During this at home-time with her girls, she collected a few little ones along the way as she opened up and shared her home for other kids needing childcare in her community.

Dale Olson, Visual Arts Faculty

Dale has been involved with art ever since he took painting lessons as a child at the Cleveland Museum of art. He attended Ashland University and received a BFA degree in ceramics and a degree to teach art education K-12. After 4 years of teaching, he switched to computers and eventually continued his family’s business in the construction field. He began concentrating his spare time into watercolors because they were easy to transport, fast to complete and he enjoyed the challenge they presented. Dale has been teaching watercolors for about 10 years at Kenston Community Education and had a very successful following. He is also versatile with many other mediums including oil and acrylic paints, all types of pencils, charcoals and pen and ink. He also enjoys plein air painting and his work has been accepted in many art shows in the surrounding area.

Michelle Chiacchiari, Visual Arts Faculty

Michelle has over 10 years of classroom teaching experience and has been a Power of the Pen coach for 5 years. As a parent of two young ladies with husband Mark,  Michelle and her family have been Fairmount Center for the Arts patrons for many years. She has a passion for reading, traveling, teaching, swimming and being in nature. When she is not attending to her family or in the garden, she is painting, making jewelry or writing.

Fitness

Darlene Kelbach, Yoga

Darlene completed her yoga teacher training through Namaste Yoga in 2007 and began teaching shortly there-after. Darlene seeks to blend yoga with her passion for plant-based nutrition and healthy eating and share that with her students. With her dedicated focus, she feels she is now “living her yoga” which in turn, she hopes to inspire others to “Live Their Yoga” so they also can be the creative expression of their own passions and inner truth and live inspired, joyful lives each day!