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Encore Music Studios Faculty




Bradley Allen, Director

Voice, Piano, Trumpet

Encore's "Music & . . ." Academy Enrichment Series Teacher and Coordinator

 Brad began studying piano at age five with Sandra Krumm, trumpet at age eleven with Peter Griselli, and singing in high school musicals by age eleven. He holds a BME and BM in vocal performance from The Ohio State University where he studied voice with Dr. Loretta Robinson and Dr. Robin Rice.  He has both national and international performance experience and has been teaching music since 1997. Brad has loved music for as long as he can remember, and believes that learning is fun, music is universal, and love is contagious! Brad is happily married and has four children.


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Sean Klopfenstein

Suzuki and Traditional Violin, Viola

Violin Classes

 Sean began studying violin at age four, beginning with Susan Locke at the Suzuki program at Capital University. He went on to study advanced violin technique with David Edge, a member of the Columbus Symphony, and has earned a BM degree in violin performance from College-Conservatory of Music, UC, in the studio of Dr. Won-Bin Yim. Sean has performed both solo and in ensembles across the country, and has obtained Suzuki Teacher Certification.  Sean believes in encouraging creativity, positivity, and a love for music. 



Kitty Laurich, Director Emeritus

Suzuki Violin

Kitty began violin lessons at age 10 in Warren Pa., studying with Peter Fahlbush of the Buffalo Symphony and later with Alexandro Caravachi. A graduate of Mount Union College in Alliance, Oh., Kitty earned her Suzuki certifications at Capital University Suzuki Institute, and at St. Stevens (WI) Suzuki Institute.  Kitty was first associated with Encore in 1980 when the studio opened and her children began instruction. She soon began answering phones and scheduling students, worked as office manager for two owners, and has been the Director since 2003. Kitty specializes in beginning Suzuki Violin students and especially likes teaching the younger students.  In addition to teaching violin, Kitty is also the Director of Children's Choirs at her church.


  Rachael Keplin

Traditional and Suzuki Viola, Violin

Violin Class, String Pedagogue

Rachael Keplin is a violist, violinist and string pedagogue in Columbus, Ohio. She holds a Master of Arts in string pedagogy from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Music in viola performance from Kennesaw State University. Rachael is the viola artist for Chamber Brews and performs with local orchestras such as the Central Ohio Symphony, McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra, Westerville Symphony, and Newark Granville Symphony. She is passionate about youth outreach and serves as an orchestral coach for the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra and local Columbus schools. When she is not teaching, performing or practicing she is writing on pedagogy in her blog, Raising the Bottom Line.


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Ian Harrah

Guitar, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Piano

Encore's "Music & . . ." Academy Enrichment Series Teacher

 Ian graduated from Miami University with a BM in Music Education. He began playing trumpet at age 8 and studied with James Olcott, Professor Emeritus at Miami University, as well as Steve Pride and Douglas Lindsay, members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Ian also performs on guitar and piano, and serves as Pianist at the American Baptist Church of Westerville. Ian loves to teach music and believes it should be exciting, enriching, and fun. 



Dr. Helen T. Allen

Voice, Piano, Accompanist

Soprano, Helen Allen, a native of Yellow Springs, OH, is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where she earned a BM, MM and DMA in vocal performance.  Dr. Allen has worked with such noted artists as Shirlee Emmons, Warren Jones, Håkan Hagegård, Mark Rucker and Martina Arroyo.  Some of her title roles include those in Die Zauberflöte, Mavra, Gianni Schicchi, La Cenerentola, Don Giovanni and Fidelio. Locally, Dr. Allen has appeared with Columbus Light Opera, Opera Columbus Outreach, Westerville Symphony Orchestra, and Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra.  She has made numerous appearances as a soloist in such works as Messiah, Poulenc’s Gloria, Laud to the Nativity, Carmina Burana, and Benedicite.  Dr. Allen has received awards for her participation in both state and national competitions and has adjudicated competitions for young singers as well.  Recently, she appeared in a series of recitals with Dr. Allen McCullough, premiering the composer’s new works via a NEA grant in corroboration with Chamber Music Yellow Springs, performing around Central Ohio.  Additional collaborative recitals and premieres ensued at Mercer University and Purdue University.  Dr. Allen currently serves as a member of the voice faculty at Otterbein University, a position she has held since 2001.  She resides in Columbus, OH, with her husband and four children.  

Ben Crowder

Trombone, Beginning Guitar, Beginning Piano

Benjamin graduated from The Ohio State University with a BA in Psychology and a minor in music. While at Ohio State, he was a member and squad leader in the Ohio State Marching Band, the OSU Jazz Ensemble, Art Blakey Jazz Combo, Symphonic Band and several other groups in the OSU School of Music. He has been playing trombone since age 11, studying trombone technique privately with Columbus teacher Alex Brough, Joe Duchi of the Columbus Symphony, and Jim Masters of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. During his time at Ohio State, Benjamin studied jazz improvisation with Professor Shawn Wallace (Director of Jazz Studies), local tenor saxophonist Bryan Olshesky and trumpeter Anthony Stanco. He regularly subs as a trombonist in the likes of Vaughn Weister’s Famous Jazz Orchestra and the Rick Brunetto Big Band, and is a member of several Columbus acts. Benjamin has also been playing piano and guitar from an early age, and is currently studying with pianist Megan Rainey and guitarist Doug Neel.

Music has always been a staple of human civilization, and Benjamin believes that everyone is capable of understanding and creating music, especially as a means of self-expression. He hopes to instill in his students a can-do attitude when it comes to learning to play music of all kinds!