BANDS  |  PERCUSSION  |  GUITAR

CONCERT & SYMPHONIC BAND DIRECTOR 

David Skinner              d.skinner@nashvillenotes.org

Since earning his Bachelor of Science degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 1987, David Skinner has spent more than thirty years sharing his passion for musical and personal excellence with students, and honing his craft as a musician, educator and arranger.  During that span of time he has served as an elementary, middle and high school band director, as well as a community band conductor.  His award-winning symphonic and jazz bands were consistently rated at the highest levels.  During more than three decades, David maintained a private trumpet studio and regularly taught brass master classes for over twenty-five South Florida middle and high school band programs.  He has an extensive background in the marching band arena, having worked as an arranger and/or winds caption supervisor for some of Florida’s finest marching bands, including multiple state finalists, two 5A state champions and Bands of America Super Regional finalists.

 

His professional affiliations have included membership in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA), the Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA), the International Association of Jazz Education (IAJE) and the Jazz Education Network (JEN). 

Prior to relocating to Middle Tennessee, David was a lifelong resident of Florida, where for twenty years, he was privileged to serve as pastor of a church founded by his father.  He and his wife, Lisa, are blessed to be the parents of five children, all of whom are wonderful musicians and performers themselves.

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ASSISTANT BAND DIRECTOR 

Olivia Wuest             o.wuest@nashvillenotes.org

Olivia, a homeschool graduate, has been in the Nashville Notes community for over 15 years.  She's had extensive music training from a very early age and has directed Beginner Band since 2013 and Glory Choir since 2015.  She has a passion for children, music, and teaching which is clearly and undeniably evident as she directs with amazing energy, grace, and enthusiasm while imparting musical gems to her students!  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 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, and always singing whenever possible!

 

JAZZ BAND DIRECTOR
BRASS ESSENTIALS & TECHNIQUES

Brass Private Instruction

Roland Barber                 r.barber@nashvillenotes.org

Roland Barber has performed with an impressively diverse list of artists including Chaka Khan, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, Kirk Whalum, the Wooten Brothers, the Chico O’Farill Orchestra, Robin Thicke, the Temptations, Manny Oquendo y Libre and the NBC Saturday Night Live Band. He’s performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Birdland, the Blue Note, the Beacon Theater, Lincoln Center, the Copacabana, the Kennedy Center, and Madison Square Garden.

 

His jazz style is greatly influenced by jazz master J. J. Johnson, Steve Turre, and Al Grey. Also having a deep impact on Roland’s style is the joy of connecting to listeners through a vocal concept to the instrument, embodied by masters such as Clark Terry and Al Grey. Roland believes in drawing on the strength of an ensemble and community to create music, modeled by Duke, Count, Blakey, and so many of the great soloist-infused big bands and small groups of the post Bop era.

 

Roland has also gained much acclaim as a composer and arranger, as well as producing the album "Twinnovation" with his twin brother, which put the Barber Brothers on the map of the national jazz scene.  

 

Motivated by a love to teach, Roland has attended virtually every major jazz educational classroom in the country. Roland has taught private study of trombone, jazz history, big band, and jazz improvisation in Manhattan School of Music’s Pre-College Program for NY area’s talented youngsters.  When he's not teaching at Nashville Notes on Tuesdays, he can be found teaching at Vanderbilt and at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.

 

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PERCUSSION DIRECTOR;

PERCUSSION ESSENTIALS & TECHNIQUES

Chris Nelsen            chris.n@nashvillenotes.org

Mr. Nelsen began his percussion studies at the age of eight. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance, both from the University of Colorado where he performed with the Colorado Springs Symphony. Mr. Nelsen holds a master’s degree in percussion performance from Austin Peay State University, with honors, and has done graduate work at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

 

Mr. Nelsen is a frequent guest percussionist and timpanist with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, as well as several other orchestras throughout the southeast.  He is a member of the Nashville Opera Orchestra and the timpanist for The Nashville Praise Symphony, and has worked with a diverse range of artists including Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Louise Bellson, Glen Campbell, Pink Martinis, Bernadette Peters, Bill and Gloria Gaither, Peter Noone, and Jose Feliciano to name a few.

 

Teaching privately and in class settings for more than 30 years has been one of his greatest joys.  Chris taught class percussion at Pope John Paul ll High school for 11 years and serves as Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Lipscomb University, where he has taught for 12 years now.  He is Visiting  Assistant Professor of Percussion at The University of the South in Sewanee.  He also teaches drum set and percussion at Sam Ash Music.  Many of his former students enjoy careers in the music industry.

 

A resident of Nashville, Mr. Nelsen’s hobbies include crossword puzzles, home renovation, and gold panning.

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Abby Cowan                  a.cowan@nashvillenotes.org

Abby Cowan was born and raised in Indiana.  A love of music was discovered early on which ultimately led to a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Music Therapy from Indiana-Purdue University.  Reliance in her God given passion for music, teaching, and helping others has been the guiding force in her life’s journey.  She began her employed years as a therapist working in both residential and psychiatric facilities, helping children with developmental disabilities and as a hearing impaired sign language interpreter in the public school system.  While homeschooling 4 beautiful daughters, she has taught private flute and sign language lessons, participated in hand bell choirs and currently enjoys spending time volunteering with special needs children and assisting with church music programs.

Her hobbies include reading, church choir, and playing her flute.  The Cowan family has been a part of Nashville Notes since 2010, with Abby joining the staff in 2011.

FLUTES ESSENTIALS & TECHNIQUES; RECORDERS

Flute Private Instruction

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REEDS ESSENTIALS & TECHNIQUES; 
Clarinet & Sax Private Instruction

Simon Yeh                        simon.y@nashvillenotes.org

Originally from California MD, Simon Yeh is a Nashville based saxophonist, woodwind doubler, arranger, composer, and producer. Simon is currently the saxophonist for artist Danny Gokey, and has worked alongside many other artists/groups including Michael W. SmithChris TomlinToby MacMandisaT. Grahm BrownDenver and the Mile High OrchestraJasmin MurrayEvan CraftRedimi2Coby James, and many more. Simon is also saxophonist/horn arranger for Nashville Based super band UNIVERSAL CRUSH as well as an active member of several other Nashville based show bands.

In addition to working with artists/bands in a live setting, Simon can be found in the studio recording for various artists in many different genres from classical to jazz to pop, and much more. Examples While in the studio, Simon has had the chance to play along side and learn from some of the worlds best horn players and session musicians. Simon is one of the co-founders of Nashville based horn section, BNA Horns.

While Simon keeps a very busy performance schedule, he also spends a lot of his time in Music Education with over 10 yrs of teaching experience. Simon is currently on faculty at Lipscomb University where he teaches saxophone, woodwind doubling, jazz ensemble, as well as various music classes. 

WORSHIP BAND
ACOUSTIC GUITAR
Guitar Private Instruction

Steve Reed                  steve.r@nashvillenotes.org

Singer, songwriter, author, conference speaker, and multi-instrumentalist, Steven Reed, has been leading worship for decades. He got his start singing and playing acoustic guitar around the youth group camp fire, moments that ignited (pardon the appropriate pun) a lifelong passion to help people experience the life transforming presence of God. Over the years, Steve has served as a worship team member and leader at several churches. He has overseen youth bands, was a youth pastor for many years, and has traveled extensively with his wife, Shawn, teaching and training churches of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.

 

In addition to providing musical and team training, Steve has a technological gifting for sound production and recording that has taken on many applications over the course of his life; from recording his teenage sappy love songs into a tape recorder, to running sound for live events, to recording professional level albums for himself and a host of other clients.  Some of his music can be found by searching for Steve & Shawn on your favorite music platform. In addition to writing and recording music, Steve also authored two books: 72% Cocoa: A Practical Guide For Intense Worship  and The Shift: How A Professional Doer Learned To Delegate.

 

Steve and Shawn produce and host the “Worship Leader Podcast” for Worship Leader Magazine, in which they interview many of today’s top leaders and influencers in the world of worship. Steve also has a calling to do all the afore mentioned ministry activities in both English and Spanish. Steve and Shawn have recorded several Spanish albums and regularly lead worship and minister in Spanish. You can check out more of their music and worship training materials at steveandshawn.com and musicandministry.co.

 

Steve is an avid learner and a teacher by nature. He has taught people of all ages how to play acoustic and electric guitar throughout his professional life and loves to help people flourish and grow into all God has called them to be. Steve loves to play sports as well as spend time pursuing new interests. He and his wife, Shawn, have two boys who also love to play music and sports.