Will McCreery - Piano / Guitar
Will McCreery is a piano and guitar instructor beginning his fifth year of teaching at JoySong! His former musical training includes seven years of intense classical piano training and four years of guitar lessons from various specialized teachers. Will has had the opportunity to play the keyboard for a traveling performance group called the International Singers and Dancers, traveling and performing in Israel in the summer of 2013. Will is a church musician, playing in various worship settings. He has also released two piano instrumental CD’s - Loving Eyes and Mountain Spring. Will is a senior in College and will soon graduate with his Business degree. Will, with his wife Mikayla, faithfully attends Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada. Their growing business, Preparation Academy at preparationacademy.com, has enriched many of our JoySong high school students in their preparation for college.
Leanna Aberle - Piano
Leanna Aberle is a homeschool graduate. She studied piano for nine years before enrolling in the music programs at Red Rocks Community College in 2010, and then at Metro State University of Denver in 2012. She has studied piano privately with world- renowned pianists and professors, Olga Dashevskaya, Hsing-ay Hsu Kellogg, and Dr. Tamara Goldstein. Leanna has been instructing piano students for the past seven years. Balanced with her gentle and patient demeanor, Leanna challenges her students with note reading and a high level of artistic excellence and enjoyment. Leanna and her husband Austin serve faithfully in the Denver Metro Christian community where they are involved with different facets of worship ministry. Leanna also enjoys playing and instructing tennis.
Elena Naccarato - Piano
Elena Naccarato is currently a student at Arvada West High School. She began playing piano in Kindergarten and has taken lessons ever since. She has accompanied a school choir, played in a worship band, and has taught private lessons in her home. Piano students are very inspired by Elena's enthusiasm and genuine care over her students. Music has transitioned from a hobby into a lifestyle for Elena. Doing it all for the glory of God, Elena hopes to make teaching piano a permanent part of her future.
Annie White - Guitar
Annie Billings White has been singing ever since she can remember, and has been a worship leader in a variety of church and community settings for over 40 years. She began writing songs after starting to play the piano by ear at age 6. She received a ukulele at age 9, and after some brief instruction from her (very non-musical) mom, Annie taught herself how to play. She switched to a guitar a couple of years later, and continued to learn her instrument from jamming with other musicians and listening to her favorite music for hours and learning to play along with it. She also took 3 years of piano study, and two years of private vocal lessons. Annie sang and acted in community theater and school productions during her school-age years, and began leading worship at her church in 6th grade. Later in high school, she became her church youth group’s worship leader. In college, Annie continued in music and drama, performing in various productions and touring for two summers with Christian bands. She earned her degree in TV, film, and radio production. Upon graduation, Annie worked in a local TV station and began writing and performing in TV and radio jingles and commercials. She also sang and acted in a local Christian theatre company, where she wrote musical scores for a number of their productions. After serving two years in Youth With a Mission where she led teams to the Philippines, Fiji, and Japan, Annie then headed to law school. Upon graduation she spent 13 years in the legal field, working as a federal judicial law clerk, trial attorney, legislative counsel, and lobbyist. She led worship in her local churches throughout that time period. She and her husband, Brady, moved to the Denver area in the fall of 2004, and their son Zach was born in May 2005. The White's began attending Faith Bible Chapel of Arvada where Annie has volunteered in various music ministries since 2006. She has been the worship leader for the church’s middle school ministry for 5 years. Recently, Annie directed the Seeds of Faith youth band for the 2012 Christmas production. Annie has taught private guitar and piano lessons for 5 years, and has been working with JoySong in that capacity for 2 years. She was a teacher and mentor for JoySong’s 2012 music camp. Her passion is to equip young people to develop their musical skills, as well as mentor them in their spiritual growth. She continues to write music, and strives to improve and expand her musical skills and techniques.
Shelli Mandeville - Vocal
RIAA-Gold Certified songwriter? Check. Nashville session vocalist? Check. Recording artist and seasoned vocalist, with over 850 live events under her belt? Check. Inspiring vocal coach and mentor to hundreds in the last five years? Check. Shelli Mandeville doesn't just coach voice students from theory, she empowers them with her experience. And experience makes all the difference. Combining speech-level singing techniques with her equally important psychology of singing, Shelli's students are consistently moved closer to the voice of their dreams. Time after time. She is committed to helping people discover the voice they were created to enjoy, and to share with the world. Whether at a local church, on a studio mic, or commanding the stage, her proven techniques unlock vocal potential.
Desiree Ward - Violin
Desiree Ward is originally from Venezuela. She began violin lessons at 10 years of age. Desiree received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Northern Colorado, and then went on to graduate school at the University of Minnesota. She then won a position as a fellow of the New World Symphony, the leading orchestral academy in the United States. She has been a soloist with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boulder Youth Symphony, as well as the National Repertory Orchestra. Her orchestral experience has taken her to all different parts of the world, from Korea, to Latin America, as well as Europe. In 2004 Mrs. Ward came to Denver, where she has had the privilege of playing with groups like the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra, The Boulder Philharmonic, the Fort Collins Symphony, and the Cheyenne Symphony. In conjunction with enjoying a full performance schedule, Mrs. Ward has always maintained an emphasis on violin pedagogy. Her first experiences started back in 1994 in Greeley, Colorado where she was a part of the University String Project. The String Project is a university course that emphasizes the Suzuki violin training as well as practical music theory. It teaches beginner violin students as well as coaching chamber music students in the Junior High and High School levels. As Mrs. Ward headed to Minnesota, so did her enjoyment of sharing music with young people, where she taught private violin lessons in the Stillwater School District-one of the most well attended and prestigious string programs in the state. In Miami, FL she also taught violin privately in the New World School of the Arts- an arts based high school. Currently in Denver, Ms. Cedeno-Suarez has active studios in the South Denver, Broomfield, and Arvada areas. She also currently coaches orchestral violin sections in several different high schools in the Boulder/Denver/Jefferson School Districts.
Leah Setzer - Cello, Violin, Piano
Leah is a homeschooled high school senior. Her current teaching repertoire includes piano, cello, and violin (with experience in classical and contemporary improvisation). She has taught music lessons for over 5 years and enjoys the opportunity to pass on her passion for music and worship to her students. Leah is deeply involved in church worship team and has a huge heart for worshiping the Lord and encouraging the musical gifts and talents He has specifically given to others. Leah has been privileged to participate in the worship team 3-4 Sundays a month, consistently play at other church events, and play with her worship pastor at outside venues and special events. In the community she has also had the opportunity to participate as the Assistant Musical Director, the only student on a team of professional adults, leading a student production of "Pilgrim's Progress". Her responsibilities included accompanying the production from the piano, transcribing existing music, adding orchestration when needed, and leading the small pit orchestra. Through this production, they were able to share the redemption story of Christ and minister to over 1,300 people in the community. In addition, Leah has a burden for missions and hopes to study global missions in conjunction with her study of music and worship at the collegiate level. She is currently in the process of auditioning for the music and worship programs at some of the finest Christian universities in the nation. Her greatest dream and ambition is to minister to diverse cultures by incorporating music and worship with intercultural missions.
Jeffrey Kennison - Drums
Award winning drummer, performer, arranger and studio musician, Jeffrey, is fluent in many styles of music and adds a solid foundation of rhythm to any band. His drum solos have been a crowd pleasing trademark of his performances, and his stage persona is entertaining. A veteran of 45 years of playing drums, he has played allover the U.S. and the world. He played his first professional jobs in Denver, Colorado where he was always in the top bands and venues. Jeffrey was part of the regular circuit, playing top spots on the West Coast in the early 1980s, specifically in Los Angeles. He performed with and opened for several national artists. Jeffrey has worked with Bo Diddley, The Chiffons, Junior Brantley (Jimmy Vaughan’s keyboardist), Steve Grove (saxophone player for Tower of Power), members of the Tonight Show horn section, Frank Sinatra Junior’s horn section, Commander Cody, Little Anthony, Blood Sweat and Tears, and many other great artists and groups. Back in Denver, Jeffrey has been involved in recording and teaching while still playing in some of the top bands at popular venues including Red Rocks Amphitheater. Jeffrey’s drum students learn to play double bass, Rock, Jazz, Pop, Funk, Core, Techno, Metal, Blast Beats, Drum Line and more. Drum students are equipped for studio drumming, reading music, band form and playing, as well as arranging original songs.
Kelly Bettner - Violin & Viola
Kelly Bettner has enjoyed playing music her whole life. She began playing violin at age four with the Suzuki method, piano at age eight, and viola at age 12. She participated in solo, orchestral, and ensemble work throughout high school and college. Kelly has always enjoyed having music as an outlet for creativity, relaxation, enjoyment, and worship in her life and desires to share this joy with others. She currently still enjoys playing viola in the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra, playing violin with the worship team at Arvada Covenant Church, fiddling informally with her husband (who sings and plays the guitar), and teaching violin to students at many stages of development. In addition to teaching strings, Kelly is a full-time math teacher at Wheat Ridge High School and a new mother to her sweet daughter, Marilyn, born in September of 2013.
Connor Pickner - Guitar
Connor Pickner teaches Guitar, (both Acoustic and Electric) Bass, and Music Theory at all levels. Whether you are beginning or have been playing for years, Connor can help you become a better player. Connor works well with kids as well as teenagers and adults. His methodology includes both standard music theory as well as theoretical lessons in things like The Pitch Axis Theory. Connor Pickner is a professional guitar player who has been playing for 20 years. He is an active session musician as well as plays gigs regularly. Connor is well rounded in all styles from Classical to Progressive Metal which has allowed him to work as a hired player for multiple acts. Connor has done tours with multiple groups both nationally and internationally. In High School he was a founding member of the Modern Music Masters Honor Society at Arvada High School. He also graduated High School with Honors in Music. Connor serves regularly on the Faith Bible Chapel worship teams. He currently travels to Israel yearly with the International Singers and Dancers.
Rachel Wind – Voice, Flute, Piano, Music Appreciation
Rachel Wind believes that anyone can learn to sing! Rachel has taught private voice lessons for over ten years, including previously at Boyce College, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Seminary School for the Arts, and the Louisville Academy of Music, in addition to maintaining her private studio. Rachel studied voice for eleven years, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Northwestern College, St. Paul, Minnesota (1999) and her Master of Music in Voice from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (2003). Rachel’s students also benefit from her extensive performing experience. Rachel has been a soloist in works such Haydn’s Creation, Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, Handel’s Messiah, Puccini’s Tosca, as well as in numerous recitals and church performances. As a member of the Kentucky Opera Chorus, Rachel performed in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Le Nozze Di Figaro, Verdi’s La Traviata and Falstaff, and Bizet’s Carmen. During her years with the Minnesota Chorale (the principal chorus of the Minnesota Orchestra) she performed in multiple major works, including Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and Bach’s B Minor Mass. In addition to her vocal training, Rachel studied flute privately for eleven years, including at the undergraduate level, achieving all-state recognition in Iowa in 1992 and 1993. She also studied piano privately for fourteen years, including at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Rachel is a homeschooling mother of four daughters, Clara Anne, Chloe, Christin, and Charis. Her three oldest were all born in China, where Rachel and her family were missionaries for eight years. Rachel and her husband John moved to Lakewood in 2015 in order for John to begin teaching as Assistant Professor of Theology at Colorado Christian University. Rachel is passionate about music education for all ages, believing that God is glorified by musical excellence offered from a heart of worship.