Frank Gorgo, Piano

       

Frank Gorgo  is an award winning songwriter and producer.  As owner of Radio Active Music of New Jersey, Frank has earned the reputation as a premiere creative talent by combining his songwriting, producing, and marketing skills to create some of most recognized songs used in commercials in the Greater Philadelphia region and the Northeastern United States. 

     As a musician who specializes in piano and keyboards, Frank toured the United States with various performers throughout his career until purchasing a private recording studio in New Jersey. 

In 2010 Frank moved his studio to Harrisburg Pa. which he uses for songwriting, scoring, arranging for original artists, client music production and teaching.

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Sophia “Sophie” Grace Thompson, Voice



Soprano, Sophia “Sophie” Grace Thompson earned a B.A. in Theatre with a concentration in Musical Theatre and a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from East Stroudsburg University. Sophie had recently obtained an M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Prior to pursuing her education, Sophie had over 15 years of performing experience. Her experience includes performing in choirs, operas, musical theatre, and vocal competitions throughout the Central Pennsylvania region as well as Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

Sophie is excited for the opportunity to work with Melody Place Studios as a voice teacher. She has experience singing a variety of styles such as classical, musical theatre, jazz, and ensemble music. She has experience teaching musical theatre and classical music. She hopes to share her love of all things voice and music with the students and families at Melody Place Studios. 

Martha Jane Atkins, Piano


Hello, my name is Martha Jane. I started playing piano at the age of 4, and I have been playing ever since. I remember when I was little how my Dad used to sit at the Piano with me while I practiced. Now I get to sit with others and share my passion for music with them. I love all different types of music and enjoy sharing that with others.

My background is in classical music with an emphasis on sight-reading and piano theory. While I was in high school I studied with Jim Sempeles. I have performed both as a soloist and as an accompanist. I have been teaching private lessons for some time now and I'm so excited to be joining Melody Place where I was once a student. One of the things I love the most about teaching is that every student is unique and learns differently. The fun is in learning how to teach each student individually however it is that they learn best. In the end, I learn as much from my students as they learn from me.




Jordan Williams, Guitar

Jordan Williams has lived in Central PA his entire life. Graduating from the Lower Dauphin District, Jordan also attended CASA, focusing on guitar.

Jordan has been professionally playing guitar for over 15 years and is proficient in many different styles. He continues to play at various venues including, wedding receptions, ensemble programs, parties, and church services.

Jordan assists in leading alternative worship bands at a handful of the local churches.

With a strong passion for music, Jordan is well-prepared and excited to help you reach your musical goals!

Jessica Phillips-Rife, Voice/piano


Lyric soprano Jessica Phillips-Rife has enjoyed successful runs starring in local opera productions over the past several years.  Most recently, she performed the leading roles of Violetta (La Traviata) in 2016, and Mimi (La Boheme) in 2017 with Capitol Opera Harrisburg.  She has also performed with the Sylvan Chorale and Center Stage Opera.  As a soprano who also possesses a lush and rich middle and lower register, Jessica was chosen to be the alto soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Sylvan Chorale in 2015, to great acclaim.


Born and raised in Central Pennsylvania, Jessica studied privately starting in the 1990’s with a complete focus on opera.  She also studied piano privately.  At the age of 17, she started her onstage operatic experience auditioning for the chorus of Harrisburg Opera but ultimately landing small roles with the company.  Growing up, Jessica shared her love of opera with her father and he too acquired a passion for it and specifically, Verdi’s music.  Jessica even had the opportunity to teach her father how to sing opera and together they would visit area retirement communities and sing Verdi’s famous “father/daughter” duets as real-life father and daughter.


In addition to her operatic stage experience, Jessica has performed several independent vocal recitals, taught voice privately, directed church choirs, and directed opera choruses.  Her choral directorial style focuses on producing the most blended and excellent sound possible from any group she leads.   


She currently resides in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with her husband, Rusty and cat, Oliver.  Jessica is also a gifted pianist, arranger of hymns, and composer of songs.  When not performing on the stage, Jessica enjoys preparing and arranging music for upcoming events.

 

Emily Hoffman, Woodwinds, Brass, Guitar, Violin and Piano


Emily Hoffman has lived in Central Pennsylvania her entire life, graduating from Lower Dauphin High School before attending Millersville University for music education with a focus in saxophone and music theory. A student of Dr. Christy Banks, Emily was second chair alto saxophone in the university wind ensemble for four years, first chair in the saxophone choir, and a member of the clarinet choir, graduating with her Bachelor’s degree and PA teaching certification in 2014. She has also performed in numerous master classes, recitals, and other ensembles throughout her college and post-college career. Emily has experience ranging from private lessons to leading a sixty-person marching and concert band. Whether it is classical, pop, or anything in between, Emily is ready to show you what the music world has to offer!

Bennett Williams, Guitar


Bennett Williams is an accomplished guitar and piano player.

He has been playing and performing in bands throughout Pennsylvania for over 40 years. He is the Director of Music at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Middletown Pa. He is also the Director of the Contemporary Worship at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Harrisburg Pa. He plays guitar in the band Class Act Featuring Rita. 

Bennett was a youth director for many years and loves working with all ages, especially sharing musical knowledge with them.  He is well versed in many different styles of music and guitar.  You will learn songs from any genre that interest you. You will learn chords and single note theory in a very easy to understand method. Bennett believes “You play the guitar; you do not work the guitar.”  Lessons will be fun, enjoyable and easy to understand.

Christine Mann, Cello, strings

Chris Mann has played cello for 40 years, and taught cello for 35 years.  She graduated from the University of Oregon School of Music in 1991, and has taught beginning to advanced strings in California, Oregon, Idaho, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  Chris has been an active freelance cellist in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, and Principal Cellist of the Idaho Falls Symphony and the Snake River Chamber Ensemble.  She has worked in backup ensembles for Kenny Rogers and Amy Grant, and done private performances for Bruce Willis, Adam West, Clint Eastwood, and other members of the Sun Valley Music Club.  Since moving to Pennsylvania, Chris has played with the Hershey Symphony and worked with Mr. Daniel Gaisford.  Chris makes her home in Susquehanna Township.




Joe Shattls, Drums /percussion


Joe Shattls has been playing drums professionally since the age of 13. He has studied

with many locally and nationally acclaimed teachers and artists.  While attending the University

of the Arts in Philadelphia, Joe was a member\ of the Downbeat award winning “Z” Big Band for

two consecutive years.

Joe has played with various local and national artists throughout his 20 years of

playing¨ as well as giving clinics and performing drum tech duties for various artists. He

attended Lebanon Valley College and graduated from The University of the Arts in 2014.

Susannah Woodruff, Mezzo soprano/piano


Mezzo soprano Susannah Woodruff from Carlisle, PA recently received a Master of Music inVocal Performance at Florida State University where she was awarded a graduate teaching

assistantship and was the recipient of the Edith S. Joel Fellowship in Opera.  At FSU she studied

with Chuck Chandler and has previously studied with Molly Fillmore Linda Di Fiore and Jonathan Hays. Upcoming engagements include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the

Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and a song recital of contemporary music featuring poetry by Lucy Miller Murray at the Susquehanna Art Museum. She was recently awarded an Honorable Mention in the St.Petersburg Opera Guild Competition. This summer, Susannah sang the role of

Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Miam Music Festival. While at FSU, Susannah sang the roles of Bradamante in Handel’s Alcina and Anna in the U.S. Premiere of

Michael F.Williams’, The Prodigal Child. She also sang the role of Angelina in a children’s version of La Cenerentola for elementary schools in North Florida with FSU Opera Outreac.

She received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas where she sang the roles of Dorabella (Così fan tutte) ,Giulietta (Les contes d’Hoffman) and

Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi). In 2013. Susannah made her European debut singing Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro with the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival. In addition to performing she enjoys teaching voice and piano to all ages and is currently teaching at Melody Place Studios in Harrisburg. Her website may be viewed at www.susannahwoodruff.com .

T.J Cole, Drums/Percussion


T.J. has been playing drums for over 15 years. He was classically trained in music from early childhood into late high school. He played in high school jazz, marching, and concert bands. He continued teaching himself in drumming and playing throughout college. After graduating from Messiah College in 2016, T.J. began joining bands and making connections with the local music scene, as well as taking additional lessons that introduced him to a different approach to drumming. He also worked with Seventh Wave Studios and Springwood Productions to create a series of five drum cover videos as a means to market himself and expand his creative outlet.

Currently, T.J. plays drums in 3 bands: Wayward Giants (Alt./Punk/Jazz), Hot Jam Factory (Indie/ Art Rock), and a wedding band. He has done session recording for St. John's Dilemma (Indie/ Dixieland) and John Garcia and the Hopeless Romantics (Pop/Rock) and will continue to do more. T.J. also plays drums for Colonial Park United Church of Christ, as well as various musicals and freelance projects. He is very excited to take a new step in his career as he begins teaching from his unique muiscal experience.