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MUSIC FACULTY

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Jesse Atkinson

Guitar, Drums, Ukulele, Bass Guitar, Rhythm Class

Originally from Florida, Jesse Atkinson now lives in Tennessee.  He has played guitar since age 7, and counts as mentors Mitchell Stevens, Alan Brandell, Mario DaSilva, and James DaSilva.  His skills have been shaped by influences ranging from Led Zeppelin to his home church worship pastor, David Grimm.  He has played at illustrious venues such as the Grand Ole' Opry and the Bluebird Cafe.  He has attended various music camps including performing in and working at the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival, often performing original music.

Olivia Atkinson

Voice, Musical Theater, Handbells, Music Classes

Olivia Atkinson is a homeschool graduate and is blessed to have been teaching at Peachtree for 8  years,  She is a certified Family Herbalist through Vintage Remedies, has formally studied photography, and has a professional photography business. She has studied piano, theater, and voice over the last 10 years with the Annie Moses Conservatory, and has furthered her classical vocal career with Melissa Shippen Burrows.   Olivia has participated in a number of shows through the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival and Conservatory, taking her to Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole’ Opry, and a roles in the premieres of  “Merry Christmas, Uncle Scrooge!” and "Tom Sawyer", as well as a drama masterclass with acting legend John Rhys-Davies.  Olivia was a member of Peachtree’s bell and vocal choirs from their beginning through her graduation. She loves working with young children and helping develop their creativity, and is thankful for the opportunity to share her interests with children while encouraging them to develop their talents to use for God’s glory.

Mario DaSilva

Theory, Improvisation, Bluegrass Band

Mr. Mario DaSilva offers lessons in advanced jazz, improvisation, & classical guitar.  Mario DaSilva comes to Peachtree with degrees in Commercial Guitar, Composition & Arranging as well as a Masters Degree in Church Music & Classical Guitar from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Mario has played extensively around the country in a variety of genres and with artists ranging from Little Big Town, Lari White, Michael O’Brien, Felipe Delarossa, and various Chamber Orchestras. He has also arranged & composed for many artists including Josh Turner, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Frist Visual Arts Center, and Barbara Mandrell.  He has taught at the University of Louisville, Jefferson Community College, and currently at Indiana University Southeast and Belmont University.  He is thrilled to offer both intermediate and advanced classes and lessons to students and adults here in the Peachtree community! 

Lucy Knowles

Music Classes, Ear Training, Songwriting, and Charting

Lucy is a 2018 homeschool graduate of Daniel 1 Academy. She first came to Peachtree as a student over 10 years ago and has been a part of the handbells program since its inception. Since then she has taught Handbells, Music 1 and 2, Ear Training and Songwriting. 

Lucy is a classically and commercially trained pianist, having studied over 15 years, currently under Camille DaSilva of the Annie Moses Band. She is a national member of the Piano Guild Auditions, scoring Superior Plus for three consecutive years until she completed the program in 2018. 

Lucy is a prolific composer, songwriter, and arranger. She has composed scores for short films, underscores for live shows, and in 2021 she was selected as a finalist in the Christian Worldview Film Festival scoring competition. She has written a Broadway-style musical and often arranges music for her classes and Peachtree shows. 

Lucy has a passion for musical excellence and the development of disciplined skill. Since music is a gift we carry into eternity, she believes it is crucial to cultivate it to the glory of God. She is excited to share this vision with Peachtree families.

Sarah Merritt

Violin, Mandolin, Strings

Sarah is a violinist and mandolinist. She has been classically trained at the Conservatory of Annie Moses, where she is now a faculty member. Alongside her classical repertoire and skills on both instruments she has studied fiddle and folk music extensively.  She regularly writes her own music, often collaborating with her singer-songwriter sister, Olivia.

As a student of the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival, she has performed on the stages of the Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall, and the Bluegrass Underground. She was in the orchestra for the Annie Moses Band’s PBS show “The Art of the Love Song."  She has recorded with local orchestras/groups, published a solo EP of Appalachian music in 2016, and came out with a classical music video in 2019 which can be found on her FaceBook page @SarahMerrittMusic.  

 

Sarah has taught at Peachtree Learning Center since 2012, and was excited to formally help organize Peachtree’s strings program in 2017. She is certified in the Annie Moses Method and in the Suzuki Method through level 2. She believes that the pursuit of excellence in music is a powerful tool in the Kingdom of God that can give the young and old alike a platform for spreading the Gospel of Christ.  Her favorite part of teaching is to see the potential in a child and partner with their family to help train and bring out the most in them, garnering musical and life skills.

Jennifer Poore

Voice, Choir, Classical Guitar

​Jennifer Poore recently graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a dual B.M. in Guitar Performance and Vocal/General Music Education. She has played classical guitar for nine years and has sung for over six, and she is thrilled to be offering private instruction in both guitar and voice. Jennifer believes that music is a gift of God to be cultivated, enjoyed, and used to serve those around us. She believes that through seeking to excel in our musical pursuits, we not only worship God but learn more about what it means to be His creatures, created in His image.