Kathy is a voice teacher, coach, and vocologist who has been trained to teach singers, actors, and public speakers. She specializes in teen, adult, and professional voices – male and female – and teaches the various CCM (contemporary commercial music), musical theatre, pop/rock, and classical/opera styles. She has a Certificate in Vocology, a BA in theatre, a BBA and a Masters in Solo Voice Performance with a specialization in Vocal Pedagogy. She has worked with labels and some big bands readying them for recording and tours. As well, her students have been on national voice shows, international charts, and accepted to top music and theater schools in the country. Current students are anything from church choristers to leads on tours around the world.
Leslie Carey retains a strong focus on the discipline and determination necessary to conquer classical piano. With more than 10 years of teaching experience, she focuses on technique and is exceptional in helping students tackle the most challenging pieces. A hard working touring and recording musician, Leslie headlines the Leslie Carey Band.
Jean Dougherty has been teaching piano for over 35 years, having begun her own studies at age 6. She recently spent four years teaching piano at the Family Music Center in Las Vegas, before returning to Wilmington. Jean is a graduate of St. Olaf College and has a Bachelor of Music degree with pipe organ as her performing instrument. This prepared her for a life-long career as a church musician/choir director and complements her love for teaching piano students. "Music is my life."
Guitar/Beginner Bass/Music Theory
Shaun Dougherty was born into a family of talented musicians: father John Dougherty, recognized among the world's fastest guitarists during the 1970s and '80s, and mother Jean Dougherty, a classically trained organist. Shaun is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, and is experienced in producing, songwriting, teaching, and performing. He has performed with several rock bands, jazz bands, celebrated musicians including George Benson, and at Caesar's Casino in Las Vegas with headliner Matt Goss. Shaun has recordings by The John Dougherty Jazz Guitar Duo, The Pretty Babies, Janke, Unforgiven Lullabies, and Lockdown, among others.
Chris Gordon has been recording, touring and teaching for more than twenty-five years. He has worked with countless artists, including Ted Neely, Arturo Sandoval, David Bromberg, Ian Anderson and Joe Stump. He has released his own instrumental recordings and toured with Nashville acts and theatre productions, including his own troupe known as the Shred Chamber. He currently performs locally with Best Kept Secret and tours with Celebrating Queen. Chris has studied under Mike Rubin, Pat Martino, Robert Aslanian and Greg Howe. His teaching focuses on technique, modal theory, sight reading and ear training. His playing and composing is rooted deeply in classical with harmonic interplay and jazz/fusion improvisation. Chris is endorsed by Shoreline Pickups and Rockett Pedals.
A professional instructor, producer, arranger, composer, and performer, Dwight joined the Arts Academy faculty in 2006. His extensive knowledge of music was gained at an early age and led him to a remarkable ability for self-expression through music. His talents cover Reggae, Soca, Calypso, R&B, and smooth jazz. Dwight has toured with renowned artists: Arrow, Sparrow, Becket & Shadow; and performed with a variety of bands including Island Vibes, Final Cut, Flex, New Direction, Caribbean Authentics, Steel Kings, and Open Minds. He attended the Royal School of Music and Trinity College of London, and achieved certificates of honor and merit from Jazz Mobile in New York.
An accomplished studio and touring musician, Chris has recorded in such renowned studios as Studio 4 and Sigma Sound (Philadelphia), Chelsea (NYC), Warner Brothers (Nashville) and Target. A composer of music, nationally touring drummer and experienced drum instructor, Chris has a needs-based approach to his long-term following of students. He has performed extensively along the East Coast (most notably with Jill Sobule and George Thorogood), and brings a jazz and rock influence to his teaching methods.
Having the good fortune to have grown up in Harlem, Harry spent his formative years in jam sessions with Al Foster, Eddie Gomez, Billy Gardinier, and Charles Tolliver. His earliest formal lessons were at age 8 when he began studying the clarinet. Later, he switched to alto saxophone before attending theory and ear training classes at the Manhattan School of Music with legendary jazz pianist Lenny Tristano. During the 1970s, Mr. Spencer performed with the Sun Ra Arkestra for two years, recording the Magic City album with the ensemble. Since his move to Wilmington in the 1980s, he has worked extensively throughout the Mid-Atlantic region both as a sideman and bandleader. Performances include appearances at Caesar's Palace in Atlantic City and with Dizzy Gillespie at the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. His ability to perform multiple styles has allowed him to work not only in jazz but with Latin music, Calypso, and heavy metal rock bands. He has recorded music for commercials in addition to his own albums.
Al Turner (“The Burner”) is currently Musical Director for jazz great Earl Klugh and R&B/soul singer KEM. A bassist since the age of 12, he has performed with some of the brightest luminaries in the business. His clever and meticulous bass lines can be heard on recordings by Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Ron Isley, Bob James, Gladys Knight, and many others. His artistry transcends category and has been featured on numerous recordings, worldwide tours, television shows, TV and radio commercials, and at several White House performances. Driven by artistic mastery, Al is an A-list sideman, songwriter, and producer. His latest album, Simply Amazing, features all-star collaborations and skillfully blends jazz, funk, and R&B to create an eclectic, melodic statement.