Get to know our STAFF!

Felicia Burger Johnston

- INSTRUCTOR -

Felicia Burger Johnston (formerly Burger-Westfall) is a music teacher, performer, editor, and President of Johnston Music and Editing Services, LLC. She was a Teacher of the Year for Upshur County Schools, WV, where she taught elementary general-choral music and beginning strings for over 31 years before retirement. She was West Virginia’s first music National Board Certified Teacher and was selected to receive the WV Music Educators Association’s first General Music Teacher of the Year award and the Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award. She was selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, based on student nominations. She has taught music and education courses at West Virginia Wesleyan College, Marshall University, and the WV Folklife Center of Fairmont State College (now University) and has presented at state music and education conferences.

Felicia earned BA and MA degrees in music education from Marshall University. She has studied Kodály Pedagogy and earned her Orff Pedagogy Certification from George Mason University. She studied strings performance and pedagogy with Patience Brock, Dr. James McWhorter, and Scott Cook. She holds membership in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME); in WV and MD Music Educators Associations; and in the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). She teaches cello, Appalachian dulcimer, guitar, violin, and viola, and performs on voice, cello, and Appalachian dulcimer. She presents music programs and workshops for school, community, and church functions for all ages. She plays cello with a community orchestra, performs in the music ministries of her church and other churches, and has served her local community theater as a board member and a performer. She serves as a volunteer for her local high school strings class and as an elementary school Read Aloud volunteer.

Felicia focuses on providing music teaching that respects the needs, strengths, privacy, and values of students and their families. She has enjoyed teaching private students from ages 7 to 92, helping them to advance in their musicianship and to find joy in music-making.

Savannah Wright

- INSTRUCTOR -

Savannah Wright is a pianist, educator, and songwriter based in Morgantown, WV. As a music scholar at West Virginia Wesleyan College, Savannah served as the primary pianist for the college's Big Band and Afro-Cuban Ensembles, as well as an accompanist for departmental recitals. As an education major, she acquired a deep knowledge of pedagogy and experience working with diverse students on both elementary and secondary levels. In addition to teaching private piano lessons, Savannah is a piano instructor at Writing Rounds Music and roster pianist for A&A Production Studios. She is very excited to join the VAFA community and continue sharing her love of music with students through the virtual platform.

Julia Coler

- INSTRUCTOR -

Julia Coler is a saxophonist, organist, and pianist studying music education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Julia will be completing her Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree in May of 2021. During her time at IUP, she has performed with the university's top instrumental ensembles and competed as a finalist in local competitions. Julia has been teaching saxophone and piano lessons for a few years now and is excited to accept new students.

Jessica
Green

- INSTRUCTOR -

Jessica Green is in her third year of public school teaching. This is her first year at Metz Middle School in Manasses, VA, where she teaches Grade 7 Band, Grade 8 Band, Guitar I, and Music Technology. Prior to Metz, she taught for two years at Benjamin Banneker Elementary School in Loveville, MD, where she taught K-5 General Music, as well as 4th and 5th Grade Band. 

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her primary instrument is clarinet, but she is well-versed in flute and saxophone. Jessica currently resides in Centreville, VA, and is ecstatic to bring together a network of life-long learners that are ready to share their love for music and engage in the creative process. 

Ellizabeth Lahm

- INSTRUCTOR -

Ellie Lahm is a music teacher in the North Hills School District of Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in May 2020, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education, studying voice as her primary instrument. She also received minors in special education and theatre performance studies. Ellie has a deep passion for performance and has participated in over 150 stage productions in her lifetime. She is an avid chorister and has sung in three different professional choirs, travelling around the United States and Europe. She is thrilled that VAFA gives her the opportunity to share music to students virtually. Her primary focus in education is meeting students where they are on an individual basis and providing them with tools, opportunities, and encouragement to excel. Ellie is a life-long learner and hopes to bring a love of music and growth to her students as her private teachers have done for her. 

Philip Summers

- DIRECTOR & INSTRUCTOR -

Philip Summers has been playing music for over 20 years, earning a BA in Music Performance from West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV, and Masters of Arts in Teaching: Music Education from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Throughout his career, Philip has worked with various institutions such as Learning, Inc., The Beckley Art Center, and Fayette County Public Schools to provide quality music instruction to students of all ages. He has also studied with world-class musicians such as Eric Alexander, Larry McKenna, Curtis Johnson, and Frantisek Kop, and is dedicated to sharing his musical experiences with the community. 

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