Master Instructor (Guitar, Ukulele)
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 bicentennial concert.
He lives in Fort Smith, Arkansas with his wife Kara (a sculptor and painter) and daughter Kalliope (a Muse).
Junior Instructor (Ukulele)
Melissa Ree holds a Bachelor of Vocal Music Education degree from Arkansas Tech University, and an English as a Second Language license endorsement from Henderson State University. While at ATU, she was selected to perform as a member of the Southwest American Choral Directors Collegiate Honor Choir.
Ree has been a music educator in her home state of Arkansas for the past 10 years teaching elementary music, choir, and ukulele. Her choirs have consistently received Superior Division I ratings in Choral Performance and Sight Reading. During her time with the Greenwood School District, Melissa served as a committee member on the Fine Arts Council of Educators and started the class ukulele program. Ree strives to ignite the passion of music within all of her students.
Junior Instructor (Mandolin)
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.