Mrs. Sholeen Wuest
Executive Director & Advanced Band Director
Like so many of our music students, Sholeen Wuest grew up in a musical family and joined every band, orchestra, ensemble, and choir she could. She studied at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio majoring in music education and focusing on personal ambitions. It was about that time that Jesus Christ became her personal Lord and Savior and her focus shifted from serving herself to serving Him. And so, instead of playing in the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and directing children in a public school band, she became the music director of a church where she led the congregation in praise and worship and directed a variety of musical groups. A few years after Sholeen and her husband, Mike,
moved to Tennessee, she found herself once again leading praise and worship for a church in Franklin and working on music programs with the children. Her oldest daughter, Hannah, joined Nashville Notes in 2000 and Sholeen became a section leader 2 years later. As her other 3 children joined the band, she continued serving as Beginner Band director for 3 years before becoming director of Nashville Notes. She currently enjoys directing the Advanced Band and serving the other directors and NN families.
Miss Meagan Wuest
Administrator & Worldviews Teacher
Meagan first started with Nashville Notes when she was 10. She played 3 instruments in the band over the next 8 years. After graduating she headed into the corporate world where she discovered her love of event planning as she planned weddings, directed speech and debate tournaments, coordinated the 2010 Do Hard Things Conference, among other projects. Now she brings her God given gifts and developed skills to Nashville Notes as the administrator. Besides the general office work and administrative duties, Meagan is a major part of the weekly rehearsal. A visitor to a Tuesday rehearsal will see her serving in a myriad of ways. Her most recent role at Nashville Notes is as the Music History and Worldviews class teacher. Meagan has always had a passion for history, drawing her to work at the Carnton Plantation as a historical interpreter for over 3 years before becoming the Carnton Wedding Planner. She also studied worldviews at Bryan College. Her training of history and worldviews inspires her to teach the Music History classes a bit differently. Her classes explore the general life, world history, and the cultural worldviews, and how all these affect the music and composers of the era. “I love planning weddings and events but working with Nashville Notes is one of a kind. The opportunity to encourage the kids and build relationships all in an environment of praising the Lord through music is truly a blessing to me. And I love it!”
Mr. David Steffens
Intermediate Band Director
David Steffens received his Bachelor of Music Education from Evangel College in Springfield MO in 1989. He taught public school band and elementary music for three years in Missouri before moving to Nashville in 1992 at which point he got involved in the operations end of the Christian music industry (where he has been ever since). Since his school teaching days he keeps up with his playing and singing in his church’s worship team and choir, and in a small music studio at his home. His oldest of six children graduated from their homeschool and Nashville Notes, while the other five are still playing and singing in NN. David, along with his wife Susan (the string orchestra director), enjoy thoroughly indoctrinating their children in music, and Nashville Notes is happy to help!
Miss Olivia Wuest
Beginner Band & Glory Choir Director
Olivia has had extensive music training from a very early age and has directed Beginner Band since 2013. She has a passion for children, music, and teaching which is clearly and undeniably evident as she directs with amazing energy, grace, and enthusiasm! She has served as section leader for several years and directed a homeschool choir for 2 years before Nashville Notes offered choirs. She also enjoyed coaching the juniors at Ambassador Speech & Debate in Franklin for 3 years. When she’s not immersed in Nashville Notes activities, she can be found performing with local pit orchestras, singing in her church choir, and managing a restaurant in Franklin. In her free time she enjoys perusing the web for the latest singing groups, studying teaching methods, playing piano and other instruments, holding any baby within a 10 foot radius, and always singing whenever possible!
Mr. Brian Biederman
Jazz Band Director
(picture coming soon)
Brian Biederman is originally from Long Island, New York and moved down to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt University in 2006, where he received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in education and music performance. Prior to his acceptance to Vanderbilt, Brian was fortunate to study under some of the greatest living jazz musicians in the world at Manhattan School of Music’s Pre-Collegiate Jazz Program. Through that experience Brian developed a life-long passion for improvisation, and jazz education.
Brian has taught band and choir at the middle and high school levels for public and charter schools in Chicago, New York, and Tennessee. In 2013, Brian co-founded Littlestone Group; a nonprofit organization, headquartered in Nashville, that seeks to provide youth, as well as adults with intellectual disabilities, with opportunities to foster community and personal enrichment. Littlestone Group’s flagship program, Littlestone Summer Music Festival, is a summer music camp that includes many Nashville Notes musicians and he is excited to expand his pedagogy to as many Nashville Notes musicians as he can!
Mr. Jim Cowan
Drum Line Director
A 1988 graduate of the Ball State University School of Music in Muncie, Indiana, Mr. Cowan has an extensive background in orchestral, concert and marching percussion. His orchestral percussion credits include serving as timpanist and/or principal percussionist for symphony orchestras at Purdue University; Ball State University; Kokomo, IN; Elkhart, IN; South Bend, IN; and at E91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, IN. He has served as the marching percussion instructor for Concord High School and Winchester High School in Indiana and has conducted marching percussion camps for Fairfield High School in Indiana and for Frederick High School in Frederick, MD. Mr. Cowan has performed in numerous community bands throughout central and northern Indiana and has been featured as a xylophone or marimba soloist for many of these organizations as well. He and his family currently reside in Murfreesboro, TN and he works in a management capacity for Bridgestone Americas based in Nashville, TN.
Mr. Philip Wilson
Percussion Ensemble Director
(bio coming soon)
Mrs. Leslie Becker
Percussion Ensemble Director
(picture coming soon)
Leslie Becker has loved music since she was a little girl. From playing piano and singing in the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, she progressed to flute in middle school and high school bands. She played percussion in the marching band as well. She graduated with a degree in Commercial Music from Belmont University where she played percussion in both the Jazz Band and Concert Band, and sang with the Jazz vocal ensemble and a madrigal choir. After graduating, she became a full-time elementary music teacher in Metro Nashville Public Schools. During this time, she led recorder groups, taught Orff and Kodaly lessons, co-directed original musical productions and co-directed a touring show choir.
Leslie plays and sings on the Worship Team at her church. In past years on the team, she has traveled overseas to help lead worship for missionaries in Thailand, Poland, and Croatia. She home schools her 3 boys, plays lots of board games with them and her hard-working, fun-loving husband, Jim. Besides music, she loves party-planning, swimming, dancing, scrapbooking, cooking, and baking. She teaches cake-decorating and gluten-free cooking classes at her church as time permits.
Leslie is excited to share her love of music with the Nashville Notes students. Thank you for entrusting them to her!
Worship Band Director
(picture and bio coming soon)
Mrs. Susan Steffens
String Orchestra Director
Susan Steffens started violin at age 9, and music has been a part of her life ever since. She received her bachelor’s of violin performance at Evangel University in 1992 while at the same time playing in the Springfield Mo. Symphony Orchestra and at music shows in Branson Mo. Shortly after receiving her degree, she moved with her husband to Nashville TN. She currently homeschools her 6 children, plays violin in the Trevecca Symphony Orchestra, plays church music, works as a freelance musician, and teaches private students. When not pillaging small villages or singing opera, Susan also enjoys arranging music, reading, gardening, and playing piano, cello, and harp.
Mrs. Emily Mok
String Orchestra & Choir Director
(bio coming soon)
Mrs. Renee’ Chapman
Renee’ Chapman received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Vocal Pedagogy from East Carolina University. After graduating, she taught choral music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels for three years in North Carolina before marrying and moving to Florida, where she continued to teach middle and high school chorus, as well as private voice and piano lessons, for four years. Since then, she has remained active in music through choirs, worship teams, and teaching children’s and youth choirs at her church. She is the mom of two Nashville Notes musicians, and also has a daughter at Union University and a son at Franklin High School. She is thrilled to be a member of the Nashville Notes staff, and excited and blessed to share the gift of music with the talented students that she teaches.
Mrs. Valerie Trantum
Valerie Trantum is the mother of two Nashville Notes musicians and the wife of a faithful music fan. She hails from the northeast, where she earned a bachelors degree in piano performance from Gettysburg College and a masters degree in choral conducting and music education from the University of Hartford Hartt School of Music. Mrs. Trantum thanks God for the many opportunities she has had over the past 20 years to work with musicians of all ages, in church, school and community situations. She feels incredibly blessed to be working with the amazing singers and directors in Nashville Notes.
Bob Gerstenberger (Pastor Bob)
Music Foundations Class
Bob Gerstenberger (also known as Pastor Bob) graduated from Olivet Nazarene University with a B.S. degree in Music Education, and certified to teach General, Instrumental and Vocal music K-12. He began his teaching career at a Christian school in Aurora, Colorado where he taught general music, speech and drama, instrumental music, and directed musicals such as Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, and Sound of Music just to name a few. It was in Aurora that he felt a call to music ministry and after teaching there for 7 years, Pastor Bob went to Madison, Indiana to become a music pastor at Madison First Assembly Church where he was in charge of praise and worship teams, choir, a student instrumental ensemble, and musical productions. In 1994 he expanded his ministry as the Children’s Pastor of Lakeview Christian Center also directing children’s musicals with over 100 children attending the weekly practices. After serving as the Children’s Pastor for 6 years, he helped to pioneer a new church plant from Lakeview and began teaching private instrumental lessons in the public schools as well. In 2006 Pastor Bob and his wife, Debbie, felt a call to plant a family integrated church in Franklin, TN. Coming along with him and his lovely wife, came his gift for teaching music to children. He has been teaching music classes in Spring Hill, at Grace Christian Academy and at Lighthouse Christian Academy as well as serving as pastor at Cross Generations Church in Franklin.
Go to: http://www.homeschoolmusicclasstn.com to find out more about Pastor Bob’s exciting and fun classes!