Faculty & Staff
Dylan Blackwood is an Arkansas based performer with a background in classical ballet, theatrical jazz, acting, and voice.
Dylan earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Ouachita Baptist University. Some of his credits include Featured Dancer/Joseph P Murphy in The Stephen Foster Story(Stephen Foster Drama Association), Neleus/Featured Dancer in Mary Poppins (Stephen Foster Drama Association), Ensemble in Guys and Dolls (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre), Featured Dancer/ Dance Captain in Mary Poppins (Murry’s Dinner Playhouse), Wikersham in Seussical (Ouachita Baptist University), Featured Dancer/Dance Captain in Fiddler on the Roof (OBU) and Sheldon Potts/Dance Captain in Junie B. Jones The Musical(OBU). Dylan placed Second in the regional NATS Upper Division Musical Theatre Competition. For his role as Sheldon in Junie B Jones he received the Irene Ryan Nomination for acting.
Alli has studied cello and classically trained since she was very young. She was the Principal Cellist at All Region while at Southside High School. Alli is best known for her professional career as a touring artist in a rock band. She is a founding member of the band called The Violet Hour or TVH which has gained her international recognition for her songs and music videos. Prior to forming TVH, Alli performed with Untold Story, a Christian Rock band that toured Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Alli sings vocals and plays both acoustic cello and electric cello in TVH. The band has released five studio albums and numerous singles and is endorsed by several companies including Raze Energy and Dovetail Strings. They have shared the stage with iconic artists including Mark Mendoza and members of Thin Lizzy, Saving Abel, and others. The band is a family friendly rock group and has a platform which brings awareness to the seriousness of such areas as domestic violence and child abuse. Their video Toxicutie which brings to light the devastation that comes with domestic violence, won First Place in the International Film Festival in Tagore.
Alli teaches cello to students of all ages and levels as well as beginning piano and guitar. She loves working with young people. She also coaches and serves as a mentor to bands and musicians in their performance, stage-presence, and songwriting. Alli holds a Master of Arts degree in Forensic Psychology.
Hachya is passionate about two things: people and percussion! She is the owner of Faithfully Fit, a.unique mobile fitness studio serving the Arkansas River Valley, and a percussion instructor for the Community School of the Arts in Fort Smith, AR.
Hachya enjoys teaching private percussion lessons, creating Drums Alive programming, facilitating large drumming experiences, and certifying new Drums Alive instructors. Hachya travels as a Master Trainer and presenter for Drums Alive North America and Remo, Inc.
Coupled with her experience as a Music Therapist and Silversneakers FLEX Instructor, Hachya’s interactive teaching skills—which have been described as “contagiously enthusiastic”—are in demand especially among senior care facilities, elementary schools, and special needs programs. Hachya serves as a consultant and provides continuing education to music and PE educators as well as music and recreation therapists. Her partnership with Tivity, Inc. was instrumental in adding the Drums Alive Golden Beats format to the approved list of SilverSneakers FLEX classes. Hachya utilizes the healing properties of music, drumming, and active music-making to create group fitness experiences which are engaging, effective, and fun for all ages and abilities!
Hello! My name is Christopher Jones. I am a music teacher in the Greenwood Public Schools and graduated with my Bachelor’s of Music Education from the University of Arkansas Fort Smith in May 2019.
My principle instrument is trombone but have had many experiences in both vocal and instrumental music. I was born and raised in Fort Smith and graduated from Northside High School in 2014.
I married to my wonderful fiancee, Aleyah Youngblood in October 2019. I also have two older brothers, Kenneth and Daniel, as well as an identical twin brother, Christian. I have a passion for music, technology, and cats.
Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba
Shalon started her professional music career in Taiwan where she was an instructor of classical and pop piano methods at Hsin-Kuo University of Management, To-Tzu Music House, Luyuti Music House, and Yaio Music House.
Shalon then moved to Oklahoma City where she received both her Bachelors and Masters Degree in piano performance from OCU while under the instruction of Amy I-Lin Cheng and Sergio Monteiro. Shalon was one of the top performers at the OSI Performance Management International competition in Tulsa and also at the Ladies Music Club Scholarship Competition at OCU, and has performed for the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Hinterzarten/Schwarzwald, Germany.
During her time at OCU, Shalon was a sought-after accompanist and pianist; she also played in many Honor’s Recitals and Competitions. Shalon has been an accompanist and adjunct instructor of piano at University of Central Oklahoma. She also accompanied for Canterbury Youth Choruses under the direction of Judith Willoughby. Shalon enjoys accompanying and serving with her husband at Heritage Church where they serve as the
George A. Mann obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Church Music and Vocal Performance from Ouachita Baptist University, and a Master’s Degree in Sacred Music from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. The years that followed have seen additional post-graduate study in voice, piano, organ, and the German language.
Mr. Mann is Choirmaster/Organist at Goddard United Methodist Church in Fort Smith. He is also on the adjunct faculty of the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, where he teaches Music Appreciation, and does supplementary accompanying for faculty and student studio work and recital. Recent years have seen Mr. Mann heavily involved in regional musical theater, when he generally provides accompaniment for local productions, as well as serving as musical director. He has served as musical director for the productions of the Fort Smith Little Theatre for the last 24 seasons. Mr. Mann also maintains a studio of private voice students.
Mr. Mann is an experienced accompanist, having concertized in various venues with sopranos Marilyn Mims of West Palm Beach Florida, Christine Donahue of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Barbara Tucker of Houston, Texas. These venues have included operatic repertoire, as well as spiritual, gospel, and inspirational music, and have taken place in several churches and concert halls around the US and in Europe.
Mr. Mann’s choirs provide for weekly worship at Goddard, but have also been able to travel to perform in Vienna, Austria, Coventry England, and in various churches and locations throughout the Southwestern US.
Recently retired, William Ratcliff served as the Director of Bands at Alma HS in Alma Arkansas, where his program was recognized nationally for its excellence during his 16-year tenure. Previously he taught at Northside HS in Fort Smith AR, Kimmons Junior High School in Fort Smith AR and at Jonesboro HS in Arkansas. Mr. Ratcliff also served for a number of years as the Trumpet Instructor at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Mr. Ratcliff is a frequent guest clinician and adjudicator in Arkansas and surrounding states.
Currently he serves as an adjunct band faculty member for the Fort Smith Arkansas Public Schools and Charleston Arkansas Public Schools. Additionally, he currently serves as the Music Director of the Arkansas MusicWorks Brass Band and the 2018 U.S. Open Brass Band Grand Champion Ensemble. As a professional musician he has performed with the North Arkansas Symphony, Fort Smith Symphony, Ozark Mountain British Brass Band, Arkansas Musicworks Brass Band, the Western Arkansas Jazz Orchestra, and The Marshals of Swing Big Band. He has also performed with The Temptations, The Four Tops, Marvin Hamlisch, the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, and other touring groups.
Mr. Ratcliff’s professional affiliations include the Arkansas Bandmaster’s Association, Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association, National Band Association, Texas Bandmaster’s Association, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster’s Fraternity, American School Band Director’s Association, the International Trumpet Guild, and was included in the 2002, 2004, and 2006 editions of “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” William Ratcliff holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Music from the University of Arkansas. He resides in Van Buren Arkansas with his wife Cheryl and their two German Shepherd dogs, Freyja and Karma.
Trumpet, French Horn, Theory/Composition, Conducting
Shannon Stoddard began her love of all things performing arts at an early age. She began dance lessons at age 6 and has been performing ever since! She holds her Masters in Theatre Education from New York University and her Bachelors in Theatre from Centenary College of Shreveport, LA.
Shannon is the Director of Theatre with the Community School of the Arts – where she works with children in Preschool through High School. She directs the Youth Theatre Company (grades 7-12), the Children’s Theatre Company (grades 3-6) and the Kids Theatre Company (grades K-2). She also teaches the Preschool Drama classes (ages 3-5). Shannon teaches residencies at Harvest Time and FAITH Homeschool. She also hosts a “LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! Creative Storytime with the Fort Smith Public Library where she uses Creative Drama to bring stories to life for kids.
Shannon has worked most extensively with the UAFS Academy of the Arts where she directed and taught nearly 50 productions and camps in 6 years. While there, many of her shows and actors were nominated and won several National Youth Arts Awards — including winning Best Ensemble for “Mary Poppins” and a nomination for Outstanding Director and Outstanding Production for “The Addams Family.” While at the Academy of the Arts, she earned “Teacher of the Year” in both 2011 and 2016.
While in New York, Shannon worked with Dance.Laugh.Learn and Fresh Theatre Arts as well as the NYU Youth Ensemble. Shannon also enjoyed teaching with the Ocean Beach Youth Group on Fire Island where she was awarded “Director of the Summer” in 2017!
Shannon has a great passion for teaching students about theater and loves watching them grow not only as performers but; also watching them grow in self-confidence! She looks forward to working with many new students in the future!
Director of Theatre, Acting
Mady Turman is a graduate of the Greenwood High School in 2009. During her public school education, she participated in band since 2000, held a JH Drum Major position, and a HS Drum Major position, as well as section leader responsibilities. She began her Instrumental Music Education studies at the Arkansas Tech University in August of 2009, and graduated with her Bachelor’s in Music Education in December of 2013. During her studies, she participated in the Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, various Woodwind and Clarinet Ensembles, as well as joined the Service Sorority, Tau Beta Sigma. She held numerous leadership roles, including Section Leader in both the Marching Band and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Drum Major of the Marching Band of Distinction in 2012, sequentially held the Vice President and President positions of the Tau Beta Sigma Beta Nu chapter, as well as Assisting Clinician at the All-State Music Conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas in February 2010. Her primary instrument is clarinet.
After her collegiate studies, Mady has been given the opportunity to clinic at the ATU Clarinet Day twice, in 2014 and 2020. She has also taught private lessons off and on since 2015, including the schools Cabot Freshmen Academy and Little Rock Christian Academy. She held a K-12 Music position in Hartford, Arkansas, for the 2014-2015 school year. In 2016, she attended classes at the Arkansas Tech University, and participated in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Clarinet ensembles. Since 2018, she has been residing in the Greenwood, Arkansas area, and has been a Band Adjunct for various schools in the area, including Trinity JH, Greenwood Schools, Fort Smith Schools, Waldron schools, and Hackett Schools. Her main adjunct duties include private and group clarinet lessons during band classes-teaching band repertoire and helping with All-Region and All-State prep, assisting with beginning clarinet groups, and Marching Band prep.
Mady married James Turman, of Greenwood, in 2013. They welcomed their first son, Ian, in 2018, and are welcoming their second son, Milo, in September of 2020.
Eric Williams has studied all forms of dance and attended various workshops across the country. He has taken classes at some of the most prestigious schools in the nation such as the Edge Performing Arts Centre. He trained under Michael Tidwell at the Center for the Dansarts and was a principle dancer in the Tidwell Project.
Eric’s performance credits include not only local pageants and competitions, but also work with several major companies including: LA Culture Shock, a Nike Sponsored Hip-Hop Dance Team in Los Angeles, California and Nathan Burton’s Comedy Magic Show in Osaka, Japan.
His teaching credits include: The Showbiz Convention as master teacher for “The Class”, instructor and dance coach for the Hot Springs School District, hip-hop instructor for North Little Rock School of Dance, teacher for Miss Sharon’s in Jacksonville, AR, and Jazz/Hip Hop Instructor for Western Arkansas Ballet.
He also choreographs award-winning pieces for dance studios all over the country. Eric currently tours with Showbiz National Talent as one its Show Directors and has also toured in production with Star systems Dance Competition. He enjoys giving back to the community while sharing his talents with the local Boys and Girls Club.
Ms. Rachel Burgos is a Board-Certified Music Therapist who is passionate about her work.
She specializes in treatment of children and adolescents who have developmental and psychiatric needs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Therapy from Indiana Wesleyan University and has a host of work experiences in developmental and psychiatric therapy. Rachel is certified through the Certification Board for
She has worked as a music therapist in clinics at both Oral Roberts University and Indiana Wesleyan University, the Headstart Preschool in Marion, Indiana, and as a Case Management Rehab Specialist at Integrity Pathways in Oklahoma. She has also worked in various orphanages and nursing home facilities. Most recently, Rachel began her own practice called Harmonic Haven Music Therapy.
Wendy Dane began performing violin & guitar at the early age of 12 in a variety band with her two brothers. Graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Music, she continued her education obtaining Kindergarten through Grade 12 Instrumental Music Certification. Wendy has completed Suzuki Association of the Americas registered teacher training for Violin Books 1-8. She has been referred to as a ‘Master Teacher’ by one of the East Coast’s leading advocates for childhood education. Wendy has initiated string programs in public and private schools, has taught students from preschool through college levels, and is in high demand as a guest clinician at various string workshops.
As a freelance musician, Wendy performs numerous musical styles including classical, jazz, bluegrass and Celtic. Ms. Dane won her division of the Minnesota State Old Time Fiddle Contest in 2000 and 2007. She maintains an active playing schedule.
Moving from Wisconsin, Wendy and her husband Peter are excited to be living and working in Arkansas along with their three big dogs: D’Artagnon, Brownie-Red and Jeep-Wrangler.
Director of Strings
& Suzuki Instructor
Guitarist David Holland hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he works as a performer, teacher, and composer. He holds a B.A. in Jazz Studies from the University of Arkansas Fort Smith; and a M.M. in Guitar Performance from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where he studied jazz guitar with Dr. James Greeson and Mr. Ben Harris. He has also studied classical guitar with maestros Juan Mercadal and Rene Gonzalez at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.
David teaches jazz and classical guitar as adjunct instructor at The University of Arkansas Fort Smith and at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. David performs regionally with his jazz trio The Unit, The Tabitha Graves Quartet, and his bluegrass band The Crumbs.
David debuted as a classical composer in 2016 with a performance of his setting of Ruth Krauss’s children’s book, The Carrot Seed, for string quartet and narrator, presented by the Fort Smith Symphony’s Story Book Strings. In April 2018, The Crumbs appeared as guest artists with the Fort Smith Symphony, performing a score David orchestrated especially for Fort Smith’s
He lives in Fort Smith, Arkansas with his wife Kara (a sculptor and painter) and daughter Kalliope (a Muse).
Guitar, Ukulele, Composition/Theory
Sherry Roe Jones, a native of Harrison, Arkansas has been drawing since she can remember. Her architect father always kept his children entertained at his office with mounds of scrap blueprints and his large carousel of Prismacolors in every color imaginable! At the age of fifteen, Sherry began oil-painting under the guidance of Gene Brantley of The Gallery in Harrison. From the start, oils were an easy and enjoyable medium for her.
Taking a more practical route, Sherry majored in nutrition and is a registered dietitian but she continued her art studies during college and beyond, taking art classes at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, as well as drawing classes at the Arkansas Arts Center.
She has won recognition in regional art competitions and recently had a gallery showing at the Center for Art and Education in Van Buren. Sherry’s specialty is portraiture and she works in oil, charcoal, graphite and pastel. Sherry is a member of the Greenwood Art Guild and she resides in Dayton, Arkansas with her husband, Kevin Jones, and daughters Karly and Katy Grace.
Sean Lewis' musical career began in his hometown’s school Orchestra program as a cellist before switching to Double Bass. As Seam got older and more experienced, he sought out dozens of ensembles and playing opportunities.
After graduating from high school in Kansas City, Sean began studying with Barron Weir at Harding University. At Harding, he found himself trying to play with every ensemble and Orchestra possible before graduating as Distinguished Music Major of the Year for his work in Music Education.
Now, Sean is the Orchestra teacher at Ramsey Junior High in Fort Smith. When he is not teaching or playing, he is usually with his amazing wife Julie and their troublemaker cat.
Sheila McKinney Mann has been in music education for over thirty-five years. A native of North Carolina, she earned the Bachelor of Music in vocal music education from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Her love of sacred music led her to attain the Master of Church Music in vocal pedagogy from Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
Her first school position was as adjunct vocal instructor at Gardner-Webb College in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, where she taught private voice, music appreciation, and music education for elementary teachers. Following that, she was music and choir teacher at Whitefield Academy in Louisville, Kentucky. She served as the Greenwood High School choir director for 27 years before retiring in 2012. Mrs. Mann was the music director for many musicals during her tenure at GHS, including The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, Annie Get Your Gun, Footloose, The Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls, Aladdin Jr., and Annie Jr. She most recently served as the music teacher at St. Boniface Catholic School, directing two musicals each year in addition to her other duties.
Mrs. Mann has served as Director of Music in several churches including Fallston Baptist Church in North Carolina, Fern Creek Methodist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and Greenwood United Methodist Church in Greenwood, Arkansas. Currently she is the Director of Music at Central Presbyterian Church in Fort Smith, where she has served since 1988. Her responsibilities include the direction of the Chancel Choir and Chancel Handbells.
Sheila has been with the Community School of the Arts since the beginning and at the UAFS Academy of the Arts since 2012, teaching private voice and children’s choirs, as well as serving as music director for musical theatre productions for 3rd-12th graders. She met her husband, George, while they were both in graduate school in Louisville and they have been married since 1979.
Gunner Stewart is a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. While at UAFS, he studied and performed as a percussionist under the tutelage of professors such as Dr. Tommy Dobbs, Dr. Alexandra Zacharella, Dr. Andrew DeBoer, Mr. Don Bailey, and many other esteemed faculty members. Gunner Stewart also participated in many different ensembles while at UAFS, such as the UAFS percussion Ensemble, UAFS wind ensemble, and the Jazz Catz.
Gunner Stewart also has had lots of performance and teaching experience outside of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. Other ensembles outside of UAFS that Gunner has performed in include the Arkansas Intercollegiate Band in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and the Collegiate Band Directors National Association Wind Ensemble, held in Norman, Oklahoma. Gunner Stewart has also competed in several highly-esteemed solo competitions, such as the Great Plains International Marimba Competition held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the Modern Snare Drum Competition held at the Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, Ohio, and the PASIC Collegiate Marimba Competition held in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Some of the schools that Gunner Stewart has taught in include Booneville High School and Junior High, Greenwood High School, Southside and Northside High School, Ramsey Junior High, and Westwood Elementary in Greenwood, Arkansas.
Rilla Stone earned her Bachelor of Music in Piano from Oklahoma State University in 2017. While at Oklahoma State, she studied piano with Dr. Thomas Lanners and piano pedagogy with Professor Heather Lanners. During this time, she actively performed as a soloist and collaborated with many vocalists.
Rilla furthered her education at Wichita State University, where she graduated with a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy in 2019. While at Wichita State, she studied piano with Dr. Julie Bees and piano pedagogy with Dr. Justine Sasanfar. She was awarded a graduate teaching assistantship where she taught class piano for music majors and private lessons for elective college students. Rilla had many opportunities to perform as a soloist in recitals and masterclasses. She also accompanied the Wichita State University A Cappella Choir and Women’s Glee Club. During this time, she also served as a church musician.
Rilla is passionate about teaching piano. She strives to inspire a love of music in her students through creative expression and holistic musicianship.
Cody is an Arkansas based actor who holds his Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Ouachita Baptist University.
Previously, Cody has toured the country with Bright Star Touring Theatre performing roles such as Velveteen in The Velveteen Rabbit. Other roles include Nicely Nicely in Guys and Dolls(Arkansas Shakespeare) Don Jon in Much Ado About Nothing (Arkansas Shakespeare), The Park Keeper/Dance Captain in Mary Poppins (Murry’s Dinner Playhouse), and Dickon in The Secret Garden (Ouachita Baptist University).
Cody would like to thank his family and friends for their love and support!
Cory Winters began his musical studies as a violin student with the public school orchestra program in his hometown of Fort Smith, Arkansas. He went on to attend the University of Central Arkansas, where he studied violin, viola, and composition. His composition teacher at UCA was Dr. Paul Dickinson.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Music in 2010, Mr. Winters continued his education at Belmont University. He studied composition with Dr. William Pursell and Dr. Mark Volker, earning an Master of Music in 2012. Cory’s musical influences include Irish and American folk music, shape-note singing, blues, country, and a variety of art music.
He currently resides in Van Buren, Arkansas, and teaches violin, viola, and composition lessons at the Community School of the Arts Fort Smith. In addition to his musical interests, Mr. Winters is an avid reader and enjoys studying history, musicology, and astronomy.
Composition, Violin, Viola, Mandolin
Jennifer Woodside Anderson has been a professional dance instructor for more than 25 years. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Dance Management graduating cum laude from Oklahoma City University, the leading University of American Tap and Jazz Dance.
Mrs. Jennifer has taught, choreographed, & performed in churches around the world; including China, Israel, California, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, Oklahoma & Arkansas. She has had students from the age of 3 to 93 in various dance arts including ballet, jazz, tap, ballroom, creative movement, healthy living, and worship.
Mrs. Jennifer’s background also includes managing dance studios, ticket and house management, specific work with non-profit performing arts organizations, and a variety of business management experience.
As an instructor, Mrs. Jennifer feels strongly that learning dance should be fun and entertaining. She’s been known to have a few “stand-up” routines in frustrating moments on the dance floor!