top logo

Current Instructors

David Betts (recorder, trumpet, trombone, beginning piano and keyboard). MM, Case Western Reserve University; BM, Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music. A long-time faculty member at BSMA, Mr. Betts is also on the faculties of the Community Arts School at Baldwin Wallace University and Cuyahoga Community College. An accomplished musician with performances at Severance Hall, the Cleveland Play House and Playhouse Square, he performs in the "Music for 2" Ensemble specializing in recorder duets from all eras and in the BW Alumni Brass Ensemble. He also appears in a variety of ensembles in performances throughout Northeast Ohio, including for many community theater performances.   


Reginald Bowens (piano, voice, beginning flute). MM, Indiana University; BM Howard University. After completion of his undergraduate degree at Howard University in 2011, he appeared on season three of NBC’s hit a cappella television show “The Sing-Off” as a vocal bass contestant, arranger, and music director with Afro-Blue (now Traces of Blue). The group placed fourth out of sixteen a cappella groups from across the globe. Over the years, he has worked with accomplished artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Smokie Robinson, Kenny Loggins, and Kim Nazarian.  After receiving his master of music degree at Indiana University, Reggie became a faculty member of the Jazz Studies program at Tri-C where he was the primary voice instructor, and taught courses in traditional and jazz piano studies, as well. In 2019, he joined the faculty at Cleveland State University's (CSU) School of Music as the instructor of jazz voice. He has also taught at The Music Settlement. In 2013 he founded his annual summer A Cappella Camp. He is also, an instructor in the East Cleveland Community Arts and Mentorship Program (E.C.C.A.M.P.).


Johnny Cochran, Jr. (saxophone, beginning flute and clarinet) A native of Cleveland's southwest side, saxophonist Johnny Cochran was a music lover at an early age. Through his music, he aims to share his life story growing up in Cleveland. As a child Johnny was active in gospel music playing drums in church and singing in the choir. Later, he started playing saxophone in elementary school, which opened the door for learning about jazz. He attended Cleveland School of the Arts and Cuyahoga Community College simultaneously during high school, studying saxophone with the legendry Ernie Krivda and finding mentorship in many other local Cleveland players. While furthing his training at the Oberlin Conservatory, he has remained an active professional performing in the Cleveland area with bands such as, Mojo: The Generations Big Band, The Jazz Heritage Orchestra, Erine Krivda's Fat Tuesday Big Band, and The Swing City Big Band. He has had the opportunity to perform with world-renowned artists such as Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Sean Jones, and many others. He is also currently a member of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Ohio native, Sean Jones. Johnny studied with Gary Bartz at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and graduated in May of 2013. In addition to the saxophone, his primary instrument, he is proficient at the piano, drums, and various woodwind instruments. In his music, Johnny creates a sound that is all his own blending modern ideas with the sounds of his upbringing.

Dwayne Dixon (drum corps, drums and percussion). Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, Cleveland State University; Bachelor's in Music Education, West Virginia University. Since 1992, Mr. Dixon has been a music teacher at Oliver H. Perry Elementary School (CMSD) in Cleveland, where he also conducts the school's Choir and Instrumental Band, and leads the Drum Corp and Drill Team. He has taught music to children in many other venues throughout the city, including at U.M.A.D.A.O.P (where he is currently Drumline Instructor), Boy's and Girl's Clubs, Fatima Center, Nottingham Branch of Cleveland Public Library and others. He was a musician and Ensemble Director at Shiloh Baptist Church, currently plays drums and keyboard at Elizabeth Baptist Church, and enjoys composing and recording songs in his home recording studio.


Dwight Fleming (voice). Currently completing coursework at Cuyahoga Community College. Mr. Fleming was a voice student of Barbara Mattox at the Cleveland Music School Settlement, Helen Baker at Cleveland Institute of Music's Preparatory Division, and John Fleming, and African-American singer who had a successful opera career in Sweden. Mr. Fleming has performed as a tenor soloist throughout the region in operas, musicals and recitals. He has performed with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Festival Chorus, Near West Side Chorale Singers, Mount Pleasant Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Opera, Duffy Liturgical Dance Company, Blossom Music Festival Chorus, and the Shaker Civic Orchestra. He was a recipient of the Albert Rees Davis Vocal Scholarship from The Singer's Club of Cleveland. Mr. Fleming has been on the faculty of the Music Settlement, St. Vitus School and the Rainey Institute.


Mark Kmit (keyboard, piano, synthesizer, guitar). Studied organ, flute and classical guitar at Cuyahoga Community College before majoring in music theory and harmony; studied composition, advanced harmony, counterpoint and orchestration at Cleveland State University. He has been a composer and musical director in the film industry. Mr. Kmit has produced film soundtracks for The Hoods (1981) and other feature films as well as CDs Another Listen is in Order (1989) and Clearing the Air (1990). He has taught at Beck Center for the Arts, the Bedford Schools and Cuyahoga Community College.


Agnieszka Kotlarsic  (Eurhythmics). Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Master’s degree from Radziwillowiczowa Teacher’s College #1, Warsaw, Poland. Her education includes studies in Orff, Kodaly and Dalcroze Eurhythmics. She also earned an instructor’s degree through the National Institution of Culture in Warsaw, Poland. She has completed extensive studies in folk dance, and choreography. Ms. Kotlarsic performed with several Folk Song and Dance Ensembles in Poland; in Cleveland she is choreographer for "Piast", the Artistic Folk Song and Dance Ensemble of the Alliance of Poles in America. Through BSMA, she teaches Eurhythmics classes at Villa Head Start (CEOGC) and for several child care centers, and has also conducted a variety of after-school music classes for young children at University Settlement.



Shayna Rhodes (violin, viola, cello). MM, Violin Performance, Cleveland State University; BM (cum laude), Violin Performance, West Virginia University; AA, Early Childhood Education, Santa Fe Community College, Gainesville, FLA. Ms. Rhodes' has extensive experience in both music and early childhood education, which come together to shape her expertise as a music educator for young children and beginning string players. Her music teaching background includes: Director of the Suzuki Strings Program, and a private and group music instructor, at Cornerstone Music Conservatory in Los Angeles; instructor of string players in the Mentor High School Orchestra Program; instructor of Musicianship and Music Appreciation classes at Cleveland State University; and private teaching in violin, viola, cello and piano since 1987. She has performed with the Youngstown and West Virginia Symphony Orchestras, among many others.


Meredith Ruble (visual art). BA in Fine Arts, with a Studio Art concentration, Kent State University. Ms. Ruble has worked as an artist-in-residence in Cleveland Metropolitan School Distric K-8 schools through Young Audiences (now Center for Arts Inspired Learning), International House of Blues Action for the Arts Initiatives, Art House, Inc. and Progressive Arts Alliance. She has also taught art enrichment classes through KidzArt in schools in Lakewood and Westlake, OH. She was Program Coordinator with the International House of Blues Foundation (Cleveland, OH), Education Coordinator at Art House, Inc. and Outreach Coordinator for BSMA. She teaches visual art in BSMA's after-school arts program at University Settlement.  


Christine Ruppe Hill (visual art). MA in Art Therapy Counseling, Ursuline College; BA Psychology, magna cum laude, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Hill has worked as a Head Start teacher in Appalachia, and as an art therapy intern with both Shaker City Schools and Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya, she helped to implement public health programs in HIV and Malaria prevention. She is currently a mental health therapist and certified trauma practitioner at Ravenwood Health in Chardon, working with individuals aged preK through adult. Through BSMA, she conducts visual art classes for preK children at Villa Head Start (CEOGC).


Gina Washington (visual art). MFA in Photography, Ohio University; BA, University of Rochester. Ms. Washington considers herself “a child of the Universe” and has traveled to many places collecting images and connecting artists. She has won many awards for portraiture and creates art “by any means necessary” as she combines many different mediums. As a master collaborator she co-created an exhibition at the Ingenuity Fest Cleveland in 2010 where she showcased poetry, storytelling, music and visual arts. She has exhibited her work at Lakeland Community College, the Riffe Gallery (Columbus, OH), Cleveland Public Library, and in the Westmoreland Art Nationals (Greensburg, PA). In 2010 she was an apprentice with the Creative Filmmakers Association, and she has been a featured artist several times on WCPN's Around Noon show. In 2007 she was an artist in residence at the Global Arts Village in New Delhi, India.

Her goal is to make art accessible to all people and to connect the world globally by bringing more international artist to Cleveland, Ohio.  She teaches at Rainey Institute, and through BSMA she teaches art to after-school students at University Settlement.




Home > About us > Instructors