Music students are classically trained in orchestral instruments, saxophone, piano, guitar, and voice. Students receive free private lessons weekly with professional musicians and supplemental training in music technology, music theory, aural development, sight-singing, class piano and music history. Foundational classical music is taught with exposure spanning from Baroque to Contemporary and Jazz.
Ensemble training in orchestra, choir, jazz and chamber music are key components of the curriculum. Professional musicians regularly give master classes and perform for students, allowing them to connect with working artists. ASFA Music Chair, Alexander Fokkens, comes to us from Cape Town, South Africa where he served as the artistic director and CEO of the Free State Symphony Orchestra, conductor of the Free State Youth Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Symphony Choir of Cape Town, music director and conductor of the University of Cape Town String Ensemble and Symphonic Band and resident conductor of the University of Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. The music faculty includes Dr. Robert Janssen, a solo, chamber, orchestral and touring Broadway pit clarinetist; Cathy Spence, opera singer and recording artist; and Dr. Lucy DeSa, an international touring pianist, recording artist and master teacher.
Students perform in ensembles and as soloists across the state and country. They have been winners in local, state, and national competitions such as AMTA (American Music Therapy Association), MTNA (Music Teachers National Association), Lois Pickard Concerto Competition NATS (National Association of Teachers Singing), All-State Orchestra, All-State Jazz, All-State Choir and NPR’s “From the Top”. Both curriculum and faculty prepare students to pursue musical careers and to attend top conservatories and universities including Manhattan School of Music, Eastman School of Music, The Julliard School and Berklee College of Music.
Notable Music Alumni:
- Amari Ansari: Touring musician with bands including Stevie Wonder, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, John Batiste, and Dee Dee Bridgewater
- Thomas Bagwell: Assistant conductor Metropolitan Opera and Washington National opera, recitals with Marilyn Horner, Renee Fleming, Susan Graham and Denyce Graves
- Chip Williams: Musical director and keyboardist for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra
- Kate Taylor Hollingsworth: Singer and musician in the band Deadfingers
- Adam Guthrie: Custom guitar maker and business owner