music teacher bios
Chris Parker, an accomplished drummer and percussionist for over 40 years, graduated from Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music (now Shenandoah University) and has since applied his music studies across a wide variety of styles and venues — playing drum set, conga, vibes, steel drum, timpani, and other percussion. Currently, he is the drummer/percussionist with Susan Greenbaum, and the Susan Greenbaum Band. He has also performed with the WEAG adult worship band, Barksdale Theater, and Swift Creek Mill Playhouse.
Chris has taught private lessons since 1998 and has been a drum and percussion instructor at the Music Academy since its opening in 2000. He has also been the drum and percussion instructor for the Hermitage High School band camp since 2007. He enjoys teaching drummers, and aspiring drummers and percussionists, of all ages, from elementary-schoolers to adults. Chris focuses on the fundamentals of music in a welcoming and motivating environment.
Instrument Requirements: In most cases, students may begin with a practice pad, sticks, and a book.
Chad Inch began playing the piano as a young boy in 1986, later building upon his initial training with 16 years of classical instruction. This included studying under Ms. Betty McClure, Dr. Glenn Utsch, and Dr. Nanette Solomon. In 2002, Chad was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Therapy, with an emphasis in piano and a minor in psychology including studies in choir, voice and theatre from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. He began teaching private piano lessons in 2000, joining the staff of weMUSIC Academy in Spring 2014.
An accomplished musician and performer, Chad has been the pianist for various churches since 1992 and currently plays piano, leads worship and directs choral groups in various churches in the Richmond area. Having diverse experience in the arts, he also plays the cello, sings in choral groups, performs various roles in film and most recently had the lead role in the 2022 movie: “The New Norm”. Chad has also performed in lead and supporting vocal and dramatic roles in Glorious Christmas Nights 2012 through 2020, most memorably appearing as “The Penguin” in Sincerely Yours (GCN 2015) “Ted” in Angels and Kings (GCN 2018) Mr. Chappeau in Hold on to Hope (GCN 2019). He served as music Rehearsal Director for Glorious Christmas Nights 2014-2020 and has written and directed Holiday programs for various venues locally.
Instrument Requirements: Students must have a piano or keyboard. Chad will be happy to advise the student/their parent(s) or guardian(s) regarding choice of instrument.
George Moore graduated from Susquehanna University where he enjoyed musical coursework and singing in university choirs and small chamber ensembles. George also sang with the select Susquehanna University Alumni Choir at Carnegie Hall for the retirement of his musical mentor, Maestro Cyril Stretanksy. After college, George sang professionally with the national touring group, “Re-Creation” where he performed in over 600 concerts nationwide in multiple venues. Singing for our nation’s military heroes in 160 of our nation’s Veterans’ hospitals was his favorite and most meaningful concert experience. After his time on the road, George completed his masters’ and post masters’ work in Rehabilitation Counseling and Teacher Education at VCU.
While he and his wife, Stephanie were raising their three boys, George held many Glorious Christmas Nights leading roles and founded and directed the A.M. Davis Elementary Show Choir, “The Voices of Davis”. Currently, George is a Special Education Teacher at Chesterfield’s Virtual School and a Voice and Piano teacher here at the Academy. His music students perform two recitals a year. Watching his music students demonstrate their performance growth at his annual spring recital at the beautiful Roslyn Center Chapel is truly a highlight of his year. Currently, George sings baritone with James River Singers, a Richmond-based, select choral ensemble devoted to increasing public awareness of choral music as art.
Eric Bylund has been playing the guitar for over 50 years and teaching for over 30 years. In addition to eight years of training at VCU in classical and jazz guitar, he has also received training in both classical and jazz theory and ear training. Eric regularly uses his gifts in ministry outreach performance and playing in praise and worship bands. Other experience includes Richmond area studio work, and performances with local bands.
Eric has been on the Music Academy teaching staff for 22 years. He teaches guitar, bass guitar, and ukulele.
Instrument Requirements: Students must have an instrument for lessons and practicing between lessons. Eric will be happy to advise the student/their parent(s) or guardian(s) regarding choice of instrument.
Charles Stout is in his fifth year on the teaching staff of weMUSIC Academy, and currently teaches both strings and piano to students of all ages. Charles graduated from James Madison University in 2006 with a BA in Music. He has been playing violin for 20 years, has played 1st violin with the Richmond Philharmonic for several years, teaches music in the public school system and directs the Sanctuary Choir at his home church. Charles, also an accomplished pianist who appreciates a broad spectrum of musical styles, encourages his students to explore many varieties of string music, including classical, jazz, fiddle, and contemporary Christian.
Instrument Requirements: Private strings students should bring their instrument of choice and a pencil to each class. Charles will be happy to advise the student/their parent(s) or guardian(s) regarding choice and sizing of instrument.
Melissa Wakefield has been involved in and passionate about music ever since she was in the kids’ choir at WEAG. She has played clarinet and percussion instruments with the Richmond Concert Band and has started playing clarinet with the Commonwealth Winds. In her free time, she enjoys learning new songs on the piano. Melissa attended Christopher Newport University and Virginia Commonwealth University where she received a Bachelor’s in Music Education. After college, Melissa has been teaching general music at Broad Rock Elementary School for 5 years.