In its fourth year, the Arts Academy @ Younts Center has faculty from all over the country who are passionate in their field. Here is a sampling of who you will learn from at our academy:
John Dukes (guitar): John is serving in his first year as the guitar teacher for the Arts Academy @ Younts Center. Since coming to Fountain Inn with his wife and children six years ago, John has taken the role of worship pastor at Capstone Church and spreads his love of music by teaching the guitar. John is an experienced teacher comfortable teaching both beginner and intermediate students.
Mackensie Pelicano (Elementary Theater)- Mackensie is an acomplished writer, performer and comic who studied at Converse College, Columbia College and Second City in Chicago. She has appeared in many FIRE productions at the Younts Center including playing Corie Bratter in Barefoot in the Park, Truvy in Steel Magnolias and a plethora of female roles in various FIREside Radio productions. This is her third year on staff.
Michelle Hyer (The Art Haven): Michelle came to South Carolina in 1996 and opened The Art Haven, School of Art in Simpsonville in 1997. She is now a free-lance Artist and Teacher serving the greater Greenville community. She has a wealth of expertise spanning over a 25 years and a true passion for teaching art. Experienced in all mediums: graphite, pastels, oils, acrylics, watercolors, ink, hand-built clay and the potter’s wheel she provides a variety of instruction in an open classroom setting for children, teens and adults. This is her fourth year on staff.
Diana Jensen (piano & flute): Diana has a love for playing and teaching music. She recently relocated from California where she taught piano and flute in her home. She is active in the Fountain Inn Orchestra. This is her third year on staff.
Simone Little (violin): Simone is passionate about the violin; she has played for 14 years, and enjoys many different styles of playing. She studied most recently under Nancy Molleson, retired of the Greenville Symphony. She has been concertmaster of Greenville County Youth Orchestra’s Philharmonic. This is her fourth year on staff.
Ruth McDaniel (piano & voice): As an active educator and artist Ruth holds a Master’s Degree, Vocal Performance from Winthrop University, Rock Hill S.C., Bachelor’s Degree, Music Education, Vocal Performance from Converse College, Spartanburg, S.C., and Completion of Kodály Certificate in 1991at Converse College, Spartanburg S.C. She has Memberships in NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and Life member of Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity. This is her fourth year on staff.
Cindy Overfield (voice): After over 20 years teaching singing, piano, show choir, group classes and conducting church choir in Nashville, Tennessee, Cindy Overfield has moved to Greenville, South Carolina and will be teaching at the Arts Academy at Younts Center. Cindy holds her Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Mars Hill College and moved from her hometown of Asheville, North Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue teaching, singing and songwriting. Cindy has worked with professional vocalists from locations across the US and Canada including recording artists, Kenny Chesney, Jeff Carson, Jump 5, PurNRG, Rick Heil of Sonic Flood, Miss Indiana and many other professional singers and songwriters. As a teacher, Cindy's goal is to enhance your talent by first assessing your voice and then creating the proper techniques and skills to enhance your singing ability. Also, she wants to encourage you to learn to sing with the songs and styles that you like. She also teaches group classes, workshops and show choirs to improve harmonizing skills, stage presence, overall singing techniques, songwriting and preparing for auditions. In addition, Cindy has studied various teaching methods to enhance her teaching skills. She started out working in artist management and worked with the artists on their stage performance, singing live and in the studio and maintaining their voices while on tour. Cindy performs regularly in bands and in the studio and has received several publishing deals as a songwriter. She has also coached artists and songwriters in the recording studio and been a backup singer in bands and in the studio. Cindy feels that all of these experiences make her a better teacher!
For more detailed information on Cindy's services, you can review her website;
Zac Pelicano (Teen & Adult Theater): Zac is a graduate of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and of the Stella Adler School of Acting. His acting credits include Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer, Paul Bratter in Barefoot in the Park and George Bailey in A Wonderful Life. He is currently the artistic director of the Younts Center and responsible for all of the theatrical productions by both FIRE and FIREside Radio. This is his fourth year on staff.
Susan Wilson (The Art Haven): Susan came to South Carolina in 1996 and opened The Art Haven, School of Art in Simpsonville in 1997. She is now a free-lance Artist and Teacher serving the greater Greenville community. She has a wealth of expertise spanning over a 25 years and a true passion for teaching art. Experienced in all mediums: graphite, pastels, oils, acrylics, watercolors, ink, and hand-built clay she provides a variety of instruction in an open classroom setting for children, teens and adults. This is her fourth year on staff.