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.
Suzuki and Traditional Viola, Violin
Abby Wagner is a violist based in Columbus, Ohio. She received a Master of Music in viola performance from The Ohio State University, where she served as a Graduate Teaching Associate. She holds a Bachelor of Music in viola performance and music education from Lawrence University of Wisconsin. Before moving to Columbus, she taught English and researched Austrian and Austrian-American folk music as a Fulbright scholar in Vienna. Abby performs with the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra and Columbus Musicians, LLC. She has been teaching violin and viola lessons for nine years to students of all ages. She is active in the Columbus folk music and dance scene as a member of Columbus Folk Dancers and musician for English Country Dancers of Columbus.
Kitty Laurich, Director Emeritus
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.
Piano, Guitar, Trumpet, Beginning French Horn
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.
Trombone, Baritone, 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!
Traditional and Suzuki Piano
Mary's interest and career in vocal music began under the instruction of Larry Weaver and Michele Horsefield-Carney of Central Ohio. Originally from Grandview, OH, Mary performed with the Grandview Singers and won notoriety for her solo performance of "Swinging on a Star", that she bravely performed while swinging on a large star suspended 20 feet above the audience. Mary received her Bachelors of General Studies in Musical Theater and Masters in Communication with focus on Radio Television Production and the Performing Arts from Ohio University in Athens, OH. Mary put together the Daley-Moore Singers who performed at local and national events such as America Sings. She completed her Suzuki Piano Pedagogy with Mary Craig Powell of Capital University. Mary has received a teacher enrichment grant from OMTA to study special needs and learning styles and serves as a faculty coach for CMC of Worthington, OH. She is the music specialist at Central Ohio Christian Academy and Preschool and has served as judge for Scale Olympics and Indiana Show Choir Festivals.
Leslie began studying flute at age 10 as a part of the Hilliard City School District, where she attended high school. She studied privately with Melody Jones for many years, which allowed her to develop the techniques and confidence to become flute section leader in high school. Leslie enjoyed taking this opportunity to teach peers and help them improve and add expression to their playing. She then attended Ashland University where she studied Finance, but remained an active member of the music community. There she picked up bassoon as a secondary instrument and continued to enjoy both flute and piccolo in marching band.
Leslie believes that music education leads to more than just learning to play an instrument. Music helps to develop key skills that one can carry throughout the rest of their life, including time management, organization, patience, coordination, and perseverance.
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar,
Electric Bass Guitar, Ukulele
Harrison Belew grew up in a musical family. Some of his first memories are of his father accompanying his sister on piano as she sang. Both of his paternal grandparents were accomplished pianists as well. Music was just part of life. But when Belew found his first guitar at 8 years old, there was no turning back. Belew studied under the great Scotty Anderson and wrote his own charts for his high school marching band. For college, Belew attended Capital University and studied with Stan Smith, graduating with a degree in jazz studies in 2018. Belew has played with touring bands and performed with numerous Grammy winning artists. You can catch him around town with various local acts, and playing festivals that are staples of Columbus’ eclectic culture. He loves to teach students of all ages and believes that anyone can play a musical instrument at any level they want, if they put their mind to it.