Instructors

SOPA

PIANO

GLORIA SUSANNE GILMER, NCTM

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays 

Gloria Susanne Gilmer is a professional pianist, teacher, and composer. She has an extensive background in the performing arts, from directing and acting in musical theatre productions to teaching dance and arranging music for ballets. Susanne’s childhood studies in piano took place at Northwestern University Preparatory Division of Music. She obtained a B.A. in Music from Hope College and M.M. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Southern Methodist University, where she was awarded a teaching fellowship. Her philosophy is that everyone is musical: with encouragement and clear directions, students can develop music skills. Susanne believes that frequent performance activities help children and adults to build self-confidence and poise while they develop their God given talents.

AMANDA HEASLETT

Mondays and Thursdays 

Amanda Heaslett has over 18 years of experience assisting and teaching others music. She has been a church pianist since her junior year of high school as well as an assisted with the church choir.  She graduated from Samford University with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance. While studying there, she participated in the A Capella Choir, accompanied many vocal students, and competed in several competitions statewide. Music is something she is very passionate about and wants to share that passion with others. Her primary goal is for her music to bring glory to God and minister to others.

 

VOICE AND PIANO

SUSANE H. PARSONS

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays

Susane Parsons is the Director of the School of Performing Arts at North Shelby Baptist Church, as well as an award winning vocal instructor. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Samford University, with a double major in Vocal Performance and Church Music. She has been teaching voice and piano for 22 years in a private studio and at local churches. She is an accomplished soprano soloist with the adult choir, singing in several programs throughout the year. In addition, she has competed and won awards locally with ACGMA and nationally with NACMAI. Susane believes that God’s gift to us is music and we must use it to glorify Him. She wants to help others love music for the rest of their lives and have the desire to share their gift with God and others. She wants to help you to learn the confidence to perform in any situation.

 

VIOLIN

BELINDA BUNT

Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays  

Belinda Bunt is a professional violinist and teacher. She began violin studies at the age of five. Belinda received a Bachelor’s Degree of Music Education from Samford University. She studied violin under Jeffrey Flaniken and participated in the Samford University Orchestra and the Samford String Ensemble.  She is a member of the American String Teachers Association, the National Association for Music Education and the Suzuki Association of America. Belinda has been teaching private violin lessons to all ages for over 15 years. She uses the Suzuki method along with other supplementary materials and genres. Belinda has been teaching at North Shelby for 9 years!

 

BETHANY BRACKER

Mondays and Wednesdays

Bethany Bracker began playing the violin at the age of 9.  She studied with Jeffrey Flaniken at Samford University and played with the University Orchestra.  She has been teaching violin for 5 years.  She uses the Suzuki and the Sassmannshaus method books and other supplemental materials in her teaching. She makes lessons fun and does include some music the students enjoy playing as part of the curriculum.

 

GUITAR

MATT JONES

Tuesdays

Matt Jones holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Mississippi and has been teaching general music, choral music and guitar as a classroom teacher for 10 years. Over the course of 4 years at Lafayette Middle School in Oxford, MS, Matt daily taught 3 sections of guitar in a program made up of more than 60 students. Matt has also taught hundreds of private guitar students in his home, at music stores, and in churches for the last 16 years. Matt is currently serving as Minister of Music at Wilsonville Baptist Church in Wilsonville, AL and is entering his third year teaching guitar class at Hope Christian School in Pelham.  He has a passion for sharing his love of the guitar with his students, and longs to see each student realize their potential.

 

BALLET / TAP / JAZZ / RECREATIONAL GYMNASTICS

HOLLY BURROW

Tuesdays  

Holly Burrow has several years of choreography and dance experience and is excited to be joining SOPA. She believes in serving the Lord and bringing him praise through dance. Holly began dancing at age 3 and has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, pointe, modern and ballroom dancing. She was captain and All-Star Dancer on her junior high dance team and was a member of Briarwood Ballet and the Oak Mountain High School Dance Team which won the American All-Star Nationals Competition. While attending Samford University, she was a member of the Samford Dance Team where she choreographed many productions including the Miss Samford Pageant. Holly received her B.A. in Interior Architecture and minor in Art from Samford University. She is currently a licensed Interior Designer with the state of Alabama and works with a local Architecture firm.

 

KATY HALL

Mondays and Thursdays 

Katy Hall is a certified teacher with a degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. After years of teaching in Shelby County Schools, Katy is thrilled to devote her life to teaching dance and taking care of her 2 children. Katy has always loved children and enjoys sharing her talents with them. Katy has 22 years of dance training and experience. She trained in tap, ballet and jazz with a focus on ballet and pointe. She has been in numerous performances and competitions including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. While serving as captain and choreographer of her high school’s dance team, Katy was awarded the title of Universal Dance Association All Star. Katy has choreographed many routines for dance teams, as well as solos for girls participating in pageants. Katy has taught at a local dance studio for the past eleven years. She continues her dance education by attending professional workshops and conventions.  She teaches ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and tumbling. Katy resides in Chelsea with her husband, Nate, and her sons, Nolan and Christian.

 

AMBER MARLOW

Wednesdays   

Amber Marlow has been teaching recreational gymnastics for 2 1/2 years.  Amber began taking gymnastics when she was 6 years old.  She started at a gym called American gymnastics which later became Head Over Heels. She worked her way up to competition level 3 and 4. She took a break for a couple of years and then began taking a gym in Calera named NXS.  She loved NXS because the people were so nice and took the time to share the word of our Heavenly Father as well as the sport to her and everyone else. She was trained to be a coach there and taught for over 2 years.  She is so excited to be teaching gymnastics skills but most importantly the word of God!

 

DRAMA CLASSES

KIT KILLINGSWORTH

Tuesdays

Kit Killingsworth is not a stranger to the stage, on or off.  She considers herself a big kid!  She studied at Auburn University in their Bachelor of Fine Arts Theatre program.  She participated in numerous shows at Auburn and developed a love of performing!  After she left Auburn, she began her own company, “Bubble and Squeak Balloons” where she has been performing and entertaining for 14 years!  You can see her performing shows at libraries and schools all across the southeast.  Her passion for drama centers around the desire to build confidence and performance skills in students, through simple drama games, exercises and exciting performances, our little ones can become the star you always knew they were.  Kit is excited for the opportunity to share her love for the drama/theatre at North Shelby Baptist School of Performing Arts!