Faculty

Mr. Ray DeForest

Electric and Upright Bass
Ray started playing electric bass in 1968. He has since studied as an Upright Bass major at Cuyahoga Community College, taking private lessons with Harry Barnoff, principal Bassist, Cleveland Orchestra. He has played with a variety of local bands as well as national acts including Clark Terry (trumpet), Odean Pope (Sax Choir), and Johnny Johnson
(pianist with Chuck Berry).

Ms. Ann Marie Falcone

Clarinet, Piano and Voice – MMus: University of Arizona and BMus: Northwestern University
Ms. Falcone is originally from Bethlehem, PA, where she took piano, clarinet, and voice lessons while growing up. She was selected to sing in the Children’s Bach Choir and was cast in various musicals as a kid. In Cleveland, Ann Marie sang as a chorister for Opera Circle and as a soprano soloist and section leader at Euclid Avenue Congregational Church. She regularly participates in special choral projects and composes her own art songs. On clarinet, she performed with the Catalina Chamber Orchestra (now the TCO) and Youngstown Symphonies. She’s been teaching since 1994. Her students’ accomplishments include being accepted to the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphonies, the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, the Cleveland Music School Settlement Orchestra, and two have won a Cleveland Heights High School senior solo. Students also participate in studio recitals and OMEA contests. Voice students sing in musicals and plays at Heights Youth Theatre, Beachwood Theater, and the Beck Center along with their school productions and have participated in The Singing Angels, also. Please see the personal website https://www.falconecreationsinthemaking.com for more information about her creative activities.

Mr. David Hector

Trombone
Hailing from Chicago, David Hector is currently pursuing his Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Peter Sullivan and Randall Hawes. Past teachers have included Massimo La Rosa and Timothy Riordan. He has much experience across a variety of styles, from orchestral playing, jazz big bands, chamber music, and solo performance.

Mr. Kyle Leuszler

Drum instructor
Kyle Leuszler, holds a BS in Middle Childhood Education and works as a teacher for students on the autism spectrum at STEPS Academy at Willow Farms during the day and at night rock ‘n rolls with his band Hamilton Handshake. He began drumming at the age of ten and over the past 19 years has played with many bands in Cleveland, taught high school drumlines, and even marched with Matrix Independent Marching Percussion Ensemble. Kyle’s students will learn how to read music and appreciate rudimental drumming as well as learn how to care for their equipment properly while having fun rocking out to their favorite songs.

Mr. Michael McNamara

Guitars – BM: Cleveland State University
Michael McNamara is a guitarist, educator, and composer, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music/Classical Guitar Performance in 2009. He has made appearances on radio and television both locally and abroad, and works with many groups in Cleveland. More recently, Michael has been working in the pit for multiple musical productions. His recorded output is represented on the following albums: Kokolo-100 Fevers (2017), Daddy Longleg’s Homegrown Revival-Return Of The Sun (2017), Muamin Collective-Dig (2016), The Petty Thefts-Smoke and Mirrors (2011). Michael has maintained a studio at the Fairmount School Of Music since 2006.

Ms. Machelle McNeal

Piano – BA in Psychology and Philosophy: Cleveland State
With a solid background in classical piano, Machelle branched out and performed with her own jazz group for ten years. All of her students play on the Fairmount Music recitals and are encouraged to memorize every piece.

Ms. Morgan Mecaskey

Guitar, Piano and Music Theory
Morgan Mecaskey is a musical artist, performer, and educator based in Cleveland, Ohio. Since studying guitar, piano, and musical composition at Cleveland State University, Mecaskey can be found regularly performing, teaching, and collaborating musically in the region. With a particular penchant for original composition and individualized instruction, Mecaskey caters to students’ distinct musical tastes and sensibilities, while grounding them in the fundamentals of technique, ear training, practical music theory, skill appropriate repertoire, and a general love and appreciation for music. Mecaskey has released two recordings of original music, “Righteous Kind” in 2012 and “Lover Less Wild” in 2014, alongside a single and some holiday songs. All recordings can be found on streaming services (iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, ect.) or pick up a CD at a local show. Upcoming performances and more information can be found at www.morganmecaskey.com.

Mr. Logan Nelson

Cello & Double Bass
Logan Nelson began his musical journey in Denver, Colorado at the age of four. He began as a promising cellist and took part in many youth orchestras throughout Denver. Throughout his years as a cellist Logan has studied with many United States renown cellists including Silver Ainomae, former principal of the Colorado Symphony and current associate principal of the Minnesota Orchestra, and Richard Slavich, faculty emeritus of the University of Denver and former student of pedagogue Janos Starker. In Logan’s mid-teens he began playing the double bass. While his love for cello will never be diminished, Logan’s main musical focus shifted to the double bass. In just three years of learning the instrument he claimed principal positions in many of Colorado’s premiere youth ensembles and has even performed with the Colorado Symphony. During his time in Colorado he had the opportunities to study with many of the Colorado Symphony’s finest bass players including; Susan Cahill, Karl Fenner, Nick Recuber, and Steve Metcalf. Logan graduated high school and was offered a full scholarship to attend Azusa Pacific University where he studied with Nathan Farrington, current principal of the Los Angeles Opera. In addition to his studies at APU Logan was a section bassist of the American Youth Orchestra, one of the finest youth orchestras in the United States. Most recently Logan was accepted into the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Cleveland Orchestra bassist Derek Zadinsky. Logan takes part in many musical events within CIM and the greater Cleveland area, including duo and chamber music, symphonic orchestra, local theater productions, and even the Case Western Reserve jazz band.

Mrs. Inna Saakova Onofrei

Piano – MMUs: Cleveland State University and BMus: Russian State College of Music
Inna G. Onofrei (b.1980) is an Armenian-American composer and pianist. Born in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan and raised in the small town of Nevinnomyssck, Russia, she began her music education at a local music school where she studied piano, music theory, and composition. Between 1994 – 2000, Ms. Onofrei’s original compositions won several prizes and awards in the
Stavropol State Competition for Young Composers. One of her songs, written in 1997 about her hometown Nevinnomyssk, was adopted as the town’s anthem.
Ms. Onofrei continued her musical studies at the Stavropol State College of Arts where in 2002, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Theory and Composition. That year, along with her family, she moved to the United States. In 2011, Ms. Onofrei earned her Master’s of Music degree in Piano Performance from Cleveland State University, where she studied piano with 2007 Grammy Award Winning pianist, Angelin Chang. In 2018, Ms. Onofrei earned her Master’s of Music degree in Composition from Cleveland State University, where she studied with Dr. Andrew Rindfleisch and Dr. Greg D’Alessio

Mr. Kevin Richards

Kevin Richards, Executive Director

Guitars – BMus: Cleveland State University
Kevin is the founder and Executive Director of The Fairmount School of Music. Passionate about bringing American Roots Music into the Cleveland schools, he is the founder of Roots of American Music, a non-profit organization that teaches American history through the Blues, Bluegrass, Folk and Jazz. He also teaches private guitar lessons in all styles.

Mr. Gary Siperko

Guitars, Bass, Mandolin, Ukelele
BMus: Berklee College of Music
Gary Siperko is a professional touring/recording guitarist and composer most notably associated with PERE UBU, ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS AND THE LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS. Mr. Siperko has over 30 years of experience teaching and performing. He teaches Contemporary and Classical Guitar as well as Bass, Mandolin and Ukulele. Beginning lessons focus on fundamentals as well as playing basic songs. Intermediate to advanced lessons focus on the application of Music Theory to the instrument to help students acquire strong compositional and songwriting skills, knowledge of chord construction, the ability to play scales proficiently, and gain necessary skills needed for solo improvisation, as well as sight-reading skills. 
 
In addition to a wealth of teaching experience, Gary has earned a reputation as a virtuosic live performer and highly sought after professional guitar instructor. In 2011, he joined Rocket from the Tombs for the USA ‘Barfly’ Tour, replacing Richard Lloyd(Television) in Peter Laughners’ former guitar position in the band. He has since toured regularly with Rocket From The Tombs throughout the United States and Europe, as well as co-writing and recording songs for ‘Black Record’ (2015, Fire Records). In 2016, he joined Pere Ubu and toured on the ‘Coed Jail’ Tour, followed by co-writing, recording and touring as a member of PERE UBU in support the ’20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo’ album (Cherry Red 2017). In 2017, he joined the Legendary Shack Shakers and toured in support of their release “After You’ve gone” and appears in the official video for the song “Sing a worried song” from the album. In 2018, he toured world-wide with JD Wilkes and THE LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS in support of the release “Fire Dream”, in addition to more touring in Europe with PERE UBU. Some highlights include performing at the Centre Pompidou Modern Art Museum in Paris, France with Rocket From the Tombs, and recording live at Sun Studios in Memphis,TN with The Legendary Shack Shakers.

Ms Lyudmyla Sonewald

Piano and Voice – BMUS: Lviv State College of Music, Lviv, Ukraine
Ms Sonewald has been a piano teacher since 1986, teaching in the Municipal School of Music #1 in Lviv. She now is the choir conductor at the Ukrainian School in Parma, Ohio and is a singer at Holy Trinity Church in North Royalton. She also directs the Youth Choir at Holy Trinity Church and has directed the Adult Choir at St. Stephan Church in Brunswick. Ms Sonewald earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano performance from the Lviv State College of Music.

Mr. Christopher Stolle

Drums & Kids Drum Class – AA: Musician’s Institute
Christopher Stolle graduated from Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California in 2005, he majored in Percussion Performance. It was during his time at MI that he began facilitating for The Rhythmic Arts Project, a program that uses Drums and Percussion Instruments to empower people with developmental disabilities to succeed in the world. After relocating to Cleveland Heights in 2006, Chris adapted the TRAP program to suit the needs of younger “typical” developing children for his Drum Class at Fairmount School of Music, soon after he began teaching private drum lessons at FSM as well. In addition to his teaching credentials, Chris has performed with numerous Musical Ensembles, as both a Recording and Stage Artist, and is about to complete his Bachelors Degree in Music Production at Full Sail University.

Ms. Deborah Van Kleef

Deborah has taught guitar at Fairmount since 1995, and ukulele since 2008, working with beginners aged 4 to 80. Her first instrument was flute, which she studied with members of the Cleveland Orchestra, and in the wind performance program at York University in Toronto, where she earned a B.A. in English. A lifelong student of folk music, she began playing guitar in her twenties along with Appalachian dulcimer and pennywhistle. Her song, “The Great Fast Food Strike,” was performed by Pete Seeger, at the historic Carnegie Hall concert marking the fiftieth anniversary of Smithsonian Folkways Records. She and the song were featured in WCPN’s documentary, “Woody Guthrie: Hard Travelin’,” which aired on 160 stations across the country. She released a CD, “Work in Progress,” in 2008.

Mr. Stuart Vokes

Guitar – MMus: Cleveland Institute of Music and BMus: University of North Texas
Stuart has been teaching classical and flamenco guitar to students of all ages for nine years. He is a member of The Fairmount Spanish Dancers where he sings and accompanies the troupe.

Ms. Ann Yu

Praised for her “full-bodied, rich and warm tone” (Cleveland.com), twenty-three year old violinist Ann Yu has captivated audiences with her beautiful sound, sensitive musicality, and engaging performances, drawing inspiration from her faith and her surroundings. An avid chamber musician, Ann has collaborated with some of the world’s leading artists such as Janine Jansen, Franklin Cohen, and Mate Szucs, and has attended top programs such as the Thy Festival in Denmark, Kneisel Hall, Perlman Music Program Workshop, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. She currently serves as faculty at the Credo Chamber Music Festival, the Fairmount School of Music, and manages her own private studio. Her greatest passion is using her creative gifts to serve the community, as she has received grants from the Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and the Center for Performance and Civic Practice to use music to create community-centered work. She is also a founding member of Renovare Music, a nonprofit string ensemble that uses music and conversation to bridge dived communities in Cleveland. Ms. Yu is a recent graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, receiving her master’s and bachelor’s degree in violin performance studying with Jaime Laredo, Jan Sloman, and William Preucil.