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The Music Department of The Renaissance Center employs a variety of instructors to meet the diverse needs of students through both private and group instrumental and vocal instruction. Most instruments are offered covering a variety of styles including classical, jazz and improvisation.
Chris Greene (Choir Director). Choir will resume in the Fall.
Chris Greene has been the Choral Director at the Renaissance Center since 2008. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education from Austin Peay State University and holds a license to teach K-12 Music in the State of Tennessee. Chris is a native of Dickson and he was the Minister of Music and Youth at Dickson First United Methodist Church for nearly 15 years. During that time, Chris directed up to 8 different musical groups. Of those groups, his Sanctuary Choir and Youth Choirs toured and travelled in over 15 states, Canada, and Italy. Chris conducted his choirs in some of the greatest Cathedrals and churches in the world including St. Patrick's Cathedral and St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City, St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco, and the Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, and for a Papal Audience at the Vatican .
Chris teaches 4 choirs at the Renaissance Center including the Training Choir for 1st and 2nd graders, The Children's Choir for 3rd-7th graders, The Adult Community Choir, and The Adult Chamber Choir. Since he has been with the center, he has taken the Adult Choirs to England and New York.
Chris Greene's full time employment is as the Director of the Dickson and Cheatham County Divisions of the Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity. In this position, Chris oversees all aspects of Habitat's program and employees in both counties. He is married to Cherie Greene and they have 2 children, Charlie and Chase.
Dennis Barnes (Band Director). Band will resume in the Fall.
Dennis is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, and received his Masters Degree in Administration from Trevecca University. He has judged many marching contests, solo and ensemble festivals, mid-state tryouts, and all of the state placement auditions. He was a marching clinician during summer band camps for the last 20 years and has played in the Clarksville Community Band, the Renaissance Center Community Band and the Tennessee Valley Winds.
Dennis was director of bands at Cheatham County Central High School from 1969 to 2003. During that time, the program included marching band, jazz band, concert band , and chamber groups, with all of the performing groups making 1’s. The marching band received many first place trophies and four Sweepstakes Awards.
Dennis is presently employed at the Music Stop Music Store; where he is a road representative visiting band directors across Middle Tennessee.
Mary Johnson (Strings: Violin, Viola & Cello) Mary comes to Tennessee from a teaching studio of more than 50 students in northwest Ohio. She has taught violin, viola, and cello students for 30 years in private and school settings. She won a scholarship in 1980 to attend the Congress of Strings held in Cincinnati, Ohio, after which she went to Bowling Green State University majoring in Music Education with a violin major and viola minor. As a private string teacher, Mary has taught beginning to advanced students traditional violin and fiddle and had two performing groups covering many styles including classical, old-time, and celtic music. She has also performed with a folk-rock band and soloed in many different venues.
Mary was fill-in principal violist and section violinist of the Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra and Co-Concert Master of the Bowling Green Symphony Orchestra. Mary also taught class string lessons and string camps for the Findlay City School District and taught beginning strings in the Perrysburg school system.
Over the past 30 years Mary has developed a personal approach to teaching since no two students are the same. Blending aural skills training and music reading each student learns at the pace that is best suited for their learning style and the time commitment they are willing to make. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Nathan W. Brown (Voice and Music Theatre) has given private voice lessons to almost 40 students in Dickson and Houston Counties over the past few years. A native of Sterling, IL, Nathan is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance.As Resident Music Director for The Renaissance Center, Nathan has worked on more than 30 productions, including Anything Goes, A Chorus Line, Cats, Oklahoma!, Annie, The Music Man, Children of Eden, Smoke on the Mountain and Once Upon a Mattress. Nathan's other favorite Music Directing credits include All Shook Up, Seussical, Pirates of Penzance, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Will Rogers Follies, Forever Plaid and Jekyll & Hyde, at theatres including Bigfork Summer Playhouse (MT), The Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres (IN), Stage Door Theatre (FL), Bearcreek Farms Resort (IN) and Illinois Wesleyan University (IL). Email:
Watch video of Nathan in "Babes in Hollywood: The Music of Garland and Rooney" - a Gaslight Dinner Theatre production, Feb 14 - March 10, 2012. Click here...
Melody Perrin (Voice), MT-BC, NMT received her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy, and Minor in Psychology from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. She has a specialized certification in Neurologic Music Therapy, NMT (renewal pending) from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Melody has been a long-time songwriter/composer. As a voice principal, she describes her music education as ‘… learning to sing opera in six languages.’ She graduated Summa Cum Laude, was inducted into Alpha Chi (National Collegiate Academic Honor Society), and is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda (National Collegiate Music Honor Society).
Ms. Perrin teaches vocal expertise from the perspective that each individual voice student should not be content – until they find their OWN voice. She has a passion for assisting her students to be comfortable and persistent in their quest to reach their personal vocal goals – whether it is for the ‘lime light’, or personal enjoyment. She uses a number of techniques to make that happen, so one may expect to be willing to stretch (sometimes) out of their comfort zone of what ‘normal’ learning entails. Along with the tried and true… you could say that she takes great delight in trying new ways of teaching voice.
Marilyn Fair (Voice) Marilyn Fair is a regular at the center, having appeared in many Gaslight Dinner Theatre and Renaissance Players productions. We are thrilled that she is back to teach voice lennons this semester!
Currently Marilyn is in the Gaslight production of The Spitfire Grill (June 6 - 29, 2013). You may remember her from 9 to 5 The Musical (Violet), Church Basement Ladies (Vivian), Over The River and Through The Woods (Aida), Driving Miss Daisy (Daisy), Steel Magnolias (M’Lynn), Married Alive! (Dianne) and Smoke On The Mountain Homecoming (Vera Sanders). In 2011 she won a Jimmy Award for her performance as Dolly Levi in the Renaissance Player’s production of Hello, Dolly! Other shows with the Renaissance Players include Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), Annie (Miss Hannigan), Oliver! (Widow Corney) and Bye, Bye Birdie (Mae Peterson).
Marilyn came to Tennessee straight from the original Off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks in NYC's Greenwich Village. Other Off-Broadway credits include Give My Regards To Broadway and Sail On! Regional credits include: Crimes Of The Heart, The Boys Next Door, The Chopin Playoffs, Dial M For Murder, Winner Lose All, Christy The Musical, Chicago, A Chorus Line, My Fair Lady, Brigadoon and about 30 other musicals. Marilyn lives in Fairview with her singer/songwriter husband, Joe Fair, and their 15 year old son, Nick, who is also very active in theatre and music.
Whitney Petty (Piano) Whitney Petty is from White Bluff, TN. She graduated from Belmont University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. While a student at Belmont, she appeared in three productions of Christmas at Belmont, a nationally televised concert that airs annually on PBS. She has played the piano since she was six years old, and she was a student of Dr. Robert Marler (the pianist for the Nashville Symphony). She has taken part in choir tours in China (vocalist, Belmont Chorale, 2007) and England (accompanist, The Renaissance Center Community Choir, 2010). Also, in 2008 she traveled to central Europe to complete a study abroad program in music history. Her involvement at The Renaissance Center has been extensive since she began there in 2009; in addition to teaching piano lessons, she accompanies theater productions, has sung with the Community Choir and Chamber Choir and has been a guest accompanist, and has taught arts and crafts at Camp Renaissance. She has also accompanied theater and choral productions for Houston County Community Theater, Cheatham County Community Theater, Harpeth High School and Creek Wood High School. In addition to accompanying for theaters, you can occasionally find her as a part of the cast or crew in theatrical productions at The Renaissance Center. Her professional memberships include NAfME (National Association for Music Education), Kappa Delta Pi (International Honor Society in Education), Tennesseans for the Arts, and she is a 2011 graduate of the Tennessee Arts Academy. She also has completed graduate courses in Kodály (a Hungarian approach to music education) Levels I and II from Belmont University, and graduate courses in Classroom Guitar Teaching Level I from Duquesne University. She holds a Tennessee teaching license and is endorsed in K-12 general/vocal music and 7-12 mathematics. Currently, she is an organist/pianist at Dickson First United Methodist Church, and she is also the general music teacher and choir director at Charlotte Middle School.
You can visit her website at www.whitneypetty.com. Email:
Glenn Woodland (Harmonica) Not available for the 2013 Summer Semester.
Glenn Woodland (harmonica) also known in the entertainment field as Wailin Wood, has been playing harmonica for over 35 years. Glenn grew up in a seaside town in Southern New Jersey called Cape May. It was there he learned how to play the harmonica. In 1985 he decided to move to Nashville. Glenn has been utilized as a side man in many playing situations, but also performs many of his own concerts, including several at The Renaissance Center. He has shared the same stage at many festivals throughout the Southern Appalachian Region with artist such as Ricky Skaggs, Doc Watson, Raymond Fairchild, Ralph Stanley, Earl Scruggs, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Doyle Lawson and Quilcksilver and the late John Hartford. Other venues include, church functions, schools, conventions and community events. He has also participated in many benefit concerts. A few being for the American Cancer Society, with The Knoxville Symphony and John Rice Irwin, the founder and director of The Museum of Appalachia, in Norris, TN. Glenn has gone on to win many awards for his skill as a harmonica player, some which include 3 time national champion, 10 time state championships in 4 different states, also with many other awards. He is versatile in styles which range from novelty tunes, gospel, blues, classical, Irish, country, and bluegrass. He has recorded 4 CDs, one which he performed and recorded live at the Renaissance Center in 2003. Glenn has been teaching at the Renaissance Center for approximately 10 years. He appreciates teaching all ages along with the different styles and interest his students may have.
Check out this video of Glenn (AKA Wailin Wood)
Evan Rogers (Guitar, Bass, Mandolin) Evan Rogers teaches guitar (electric, acoustic, and classical), bass (electric), and mandolin. He began playing guitar at 8 years old and has performed heavily in Texas since entering junior high with occasional spots on his local TV station. More recently he has begun performing and teaching in Tennessee. He is a senior at Belmont University expected to graduate in the spring of 2014 with bachelor’s degrees in Commercial Music Performance and Music Business. Evan Rogers has been teaching privately for seven years and is joining the Renaissance’s staff this summer. He has taught children and adults of all ages and skill levels. His lessons are based on the performance goals each student wants to accomplish.
Lisa Zimdars (Piano) Not available for the 2013 Summer Semester.
Lisa Glass Zimdars grew up in the Dickson community and studied piano for 9 years with the late Mrs. Kate Weakley, a graduate of the New York Conservatory of Music (currently known as Julliard). At the age of 11, Lisa began to play piano at her church, and by the age 13, was the full time organist. At Dickson County High School, Lisa served as an accompanist to Ms. Cindy Freeman in all the choirs and was privileged to sing in the All-State Choir her senior year.
Lisa graduated from Central Bible College in Springfield, MO in 1986 with a B.A. in Sacred Music (with an emphasis in choral conducting).
Lisa has taught privately in her studios, in churches, and music stores over the past 25 years. She also served as the music director in several Assemblies of God churches in Wisconsin, and Middle Tennessee.
In 2006, Lisa received her license to teach, and her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. (M.Ed) from Tennessee State University. She has also been involved in local theater in Harpeth and Houston county as a band member, and a vocal director, and has served as the Christian Education Director at Dickson First Assembly
Lisa began teaching at the Ren Center in early 2011. She enjoys students of all ages, and is very individuatlistic in her approach to each piano student.
Outside of the Ren Center, Mrs. Zimdars (Mrs. Z) is the choral director, piano lab instructor, and Theater I teacher at Creek Wood High School. For more information contact Lisa: (615) 739-8812,
Leo Cantu (Drums)
Sharon Taylor (Piano)
Sharon Taylor makes her home in the Charlotte, Tennessee area. Originally from Oklahoma, much of Sharon's childhood was spent either fishing at the farm pond or wading knee deep into 45’s and 8 tracks learning to sing along with recordings of Karen Carpenter, Marie Osmond or Sandi Patty. Practicing the piano since age six was, and is, a regular part of her daily life.
Sharon holds a Bachelor's of Music Education degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, studying under Mrs. Betty Wintle (vocal) and Dr. Mary Ann Craige (piano). Sharon has been a public school teacher, and has many years of private piano/voice instruction experience. She is a current a member of the Nashville Symphony Chorus and has been active in demo and session work while living in Tennessee, since 1995. Sharon also enjoys arranging, and songwriting. She aspires to someday find the time to score/arrange music for the film industry. Mrs. Taylor also owns a business which serves as a creative outlet for her gifts in visual and computer arts, digital photography, graphic design and website development.
Her teaching style can be as individualized as the needs of her student. Being classically trained, Sharon easily employs traditional techniques and printed methods in her instruction but is also able to teach to play by ear as well. She is very excited about teaching at the Renaissance Center and can’t wait to meet you!
David McMullan (Trumpet). David McMullan has been playing trumpet since he put his eyes on an old beat-up cornet in 6th grade. He took it home and during the summer learned all the TV sit-com themes by ear (Hogan’s Heroes, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, My Three Sons, Mary Tyler Moore, and countless others). Then he had to actually learn how to read music !!! It wasn’t too difficult after growing up in a musical family who sang all four parts at church.
David wants to pass this love of music along to a new generation - taking new students, building their confidence and watching many of them rise to the top chairs on their own. For more advanced students David’s specialty is “improvisation”- if someone wants to learn to “play by ear” while intelligently following the chord progressions.
Other Brass students welcomed – Beginning Baritone, French horn or any more advanced instrumentalists who know their instrument well enough to embark on “improvisation”.
Education and Involvements: BA, Belmont University in Commercial Music (composition and arranging emphasis), studio session leader and producer, published songwriter. Trumpet Instruction at Shuff’s Music in Franklin, TN, Private Instruction in Franklin, Spring Hill, Brentwood, and Dixon. Member of 5 Points Swing Band (Sponsored by the Williamson County REC Center), The CHILL Band and former member of Williamson County Community Band. David lives with wife, Dawn, and son, Jared (an excellent drummer) in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee.
David Boisvert (Saxophone & Clarinet), is an Edmonton Alberta Canada native who grew up in California playing many instruments from an early age, including drums, harmonica, clarinet and finally settling on the Alto Sax while in the 8th grade. At age 14, David was the solo performer at the California Chiropractic Association's Inauguration of State Officers. He also attended NAU's summer music program for 4 years with an emphasis on Jazz improvisation, and was the youngest musician to be invited to join the Santa Maria, CA big band the Starlighters.
A musician with over 30 years of music experience in a wide variety of styles including Rock, Pop, Blues, Classical, Celtic, Big Band, Bluegrass and more, David has shared the stage with such greats as Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), Eric Struthers (Aaron Neville/Neville Brothers), Ric Olsen (Berlin), J.D. Blair (Shania Twain), Tom Roady (Ricky Skaggs, James Brown), Anthony Wellington and Bob Hemenger (Victor Wooten Band), has been recorded on 3 CDs and is currently working on a fourth.
In 2005, David moved to Nashville, TN to continue his musical journey and currently plays with bands 3.5 Men, Los Lazy Boys, and Big Wheels (Eldon Huff) as well as guest appearances with the Amy Hart Band. David also volunteers and assists with workshops and classes at the Victor Wooten’s Center for Music and Nature.
A native of Illinois, and a graduate of Millikin University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and Dance minor, Bryan has been involved with the Renaissance Center's Theatre Department since 2005. He has directed several shows here, including Bye Bye Birdie, Hello, Dolly!, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Once Upon a Mattress, Night of the Living Dead and Annie Jr. Bryan has choreographed and performed in over 35 productions for the Theatre Department. Favorites include A Chorus Line (Bobby), A Grand Night for Singing (Martin), Cats (Mistoffelees), and Babes in Hollywood (Man 2). He has directed, choreographed and performed in shows for regional theatres around the United States, including Bigfork Summer Playhouse (MT), Round Barn Theatre (IN), Lees-McRae Summer Theatre (NC), Bearcreek Farms Resort (IN), Tweetsie Railroad (NC) and McLeod Summer Playhouse (IL). Bryan has taught theatre and dance classes for the Renaissance Center since 2006, and is a licensed Zumba instructor.
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