Faculty Bios

Strings

Cello

Carol Critelli,cellist, has music degrees from the University of Montana and the Eastman School of Music. She is also a composer and arranger and has had a number of musical compositions published. Carol performed regularly with the Yellowstone Chamber Players and was principal cellist with the Billings Symphony and Rimrock Opera Orchestra for many years. She retired from teaching at Montana State University-Billings and now maintains a private cello teaching studio. Carol also plays violin in the Canyon Creek String Ensemble of Billings.

Mary E. McCullough is originally from Billings, Montana. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music from Montana State University-Bozeman and her Masters of Music Performance from the University of Wyoming. She studied cello with Linda Kuhn & Barbara Theim and piano with Leslie Jones & Theresa Bogard. After college graduation, Mary spent many years moving to different states, performing and teaching. Mary was principal cellist with the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra and the La Crosse Symphony in Wisconsin. She currently plays with the Billings & Helena Symphonies, Yellowstone Chamber Players & Rimrock Opera. She has performed with orchestras in Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana and Calgary, Canada and currently maintains a private cello studio.

Celtic Fiddle

Lindsey Selman grew up in the Yellowstone Valley and has loved music since she was a little girl. She started playing the piano at five, and began lessons on the violin at eleven. She began her orchestra career by playing with the Billings Honor and Honor Chamber orchestras in middle school and the Billings Symphony Orchestra in high school. Lindsey attended Heartland Baptist College in Oklahoma, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Church Music, with an emphasis on violin performance and education. Lindsey lives in Billings with her husband Robert, who is a violinist and drummer. Lindsey maintains a full studio of violin and piano students, plays with the Billings Symphony, with the Meadowlark String Quartet, and with various other musical groups that come her way. She is Concert Orchestra director for the Billings Youth Orchestra.

Double Bass

Parker Brown specializes in double bass, electric bass and guitar, Parker Brown is a private instructor, songwriter, and a freelance and studio musician. He grew up surrounded by music, spending many hours around his father’s bands and extensive record collection. Now, a private instructor and freelance musician for eight years, Parker runs a studio of thirty students with skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced. He teaches at Allied Music in Billings, MT, as well as at Sheridan College in Sheridan, WY and Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT.

As a freelance musician Parker has performed with jazz musicians Jeff Hamilton, Ronnie Bedford, Jack Walrath, and Nick Mancini. As a studio musician Parker has recorded as a bassist and guitarist on over twenty albums, working almost primarily with Base Camp Studio in Bozeman, MT. Currently, Parker released his first solo album, We Were Young, a work comprised of songs that Parker has composed, arranged, and written lyrics for.

Ryan Hennessey is a native of Billings, where he began playing the string bass at age 10. Ryan attended the University of Montana for a degree in music education and currently teaches orchestra at Ben Steele Middle School. He lives in Billings with his wife and two children. Ryan is a member of the String Orchestra of the Rockies, Helena Symphony, and plays with the Yellowstone Chamber Players and subs in many other orchestras across the state. Although classical music is his mainstay, Ryan also enjoys delving into many different styles of music and instruments, playing the mandolin, violin, cello, guitar, ukulele, and harmonica. Along-side his orchestras at Ben Steele, Ryan also instructs the guitar club and "Rock Band Camp."

Fiddling Fundamentals

Barb Kirk grew up immersed in music, surrounded by violin, piano, cello, chamber and symphony music. By ninth grade, Barb was playing with the Billings Symphony and attended Allstate Orchestra and All Northwest. During high school and college, she studied with master violin teacher Creech Reynolds at MSU and played in the Bozeman Symphony. Professionally, Barb has played in the backup orchestras for Red Skelton, Glen Campbell, Boots Randolph, Chet Atkins, Floyd Kramer, Jimmy Dean, Tom Jones, Doc Severinsen, Moody Blues, Wynonna Judd, America, Kansas, Jo Dee Messina, and Mannheim Steamroller. She has performed with Yo Yo Ma, Itzaak Perlman, Midori, Joshua Bell, and Evelyn Glennie.

Barb has a bachelor’s degree in music education from MSUB and a master’s degree in teaching from Grand Canyon University. She has attended several Suzuki workshops, including one with Dr. Suzuki in 1984. Since 1970, she has taught private violin, and more recently became certified to teach Musikgarten to babies and toddlers. Barb teaches at MMI and plays in the Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Casper, and Powell symphonies. She has been the orchestra director for Preludios in Billings Youth Orchestra for eight years.

Orchestra

Vikki Payne, violinist and cellist, is a native of Great Falls, MT. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of Northern Colorado and a Masters Degree in Music Administration and Conducting from the University of Montana. She also has extensive training and teaching experience in the Suzuki “Mother Tongue” method. Before becoming a mother, Vikki taught orchestra at Lewis and Clark Middle School for eight years during which time the orchestra was selected to perform at the All Northwest Music Educator’s Conference. Vikki maintains a private Suzuki studio and is a member of the Billings Symphony.

Viola

Diane Fossen, violinist and violist, earned a degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She taught orchestra for many years in the Billings Public Schools and also taught violin at Eastern Montana College and Rocky Mt. College. She plays viola in the Billings Symphony, violin in the Rimrock Opera Orchestra, and has a private violin and viola studio in her home.

Heidi Martin, violinist and violist, received her Undergraduate and Masters Degrees in Violin Performance and Suzuki pedagogy from the University of Denver where she studied with James Maurer. Heidi is currently the director of the Missoula Suzuki String Program at the University of Montana. She organizes the Suzuki Group Classes and Summer Institute as well as maintaining her private teaching studio.

Violin

Laura Dalbey is a native Montanan. She received her bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Wheaton College Conservatory, and her Masters degree in Education from MSU Billings. Violin teachers she has studied with include Dr. Nancy Critelli, Vikki Payne, Randy Tracy, Mary LaMonaca, Johan Jonsson, Dr. Lee Joiner, and many other Suzuki and violin pedagogy workshops. She has taught violin and viola for two years at the Community School of the Arts in Wheaton, IL and in her own studio in Billings for over 15 years. Along with teaching, she also performs with the Billings Symphony, Yellowstone Chamber Players, Stillwater String Quartet, and other ensembles in the Central MT/Northern WY regions

Diane Fossen, violinist and violist, earned a degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She taught orchestra for many years in the Billings Public Schools and also taught violin at Eastern Montana College and Rocky Mt. College. She plays viola in the Billings Symphony, violin in the Rimrock Opera Orchestra, and has a private violin and viola studio in her home.

Barb Kirk grew up immersed in music, surrounded by violin, piano, cello, chamber and symphony music. By ninth grade, Barb was playing with the Billings Symphony and attended Allstate Orchestra and All Northwest. During high school and college, she studied with master violin teacher Creech Reynolds at MSU and played in the Bozeman Symphony. Professionally, Barb has played in the backup orchestras for Red Skelton, Glen Campbell, Boots Randolph, Chet Atkins, Floyd Kramer, Jimmy Dean, Tom Jones, Doc Severinsen, Moody Blues, Wynonna Judd, America, Kansas, Jo Dee Messina, and Mannheim Steamroller. She has performed with Yo Yo Ma, Itzaak Perlman, Midori, Joshua Bell, and Evelyn Glennie.

Barb has a bachelor’s degree in music education from MSUB and a master’s degree in teaching from Grand Canyon University. She has attended several Suzuki workshops, including one with Dr. Suzuki in 1984. Since 1970, she has taught private violin, and more recently became certified to teach Musikgarten to babies and toddlers. Barb teaches at MMI and plays in the Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Casper, and Powell symphonies. She has been the orchestra director for Preludios in Billings Youth Orchestra for eight years.

Heidi Martin, violinist and violist, received her Undergraduate and Masters Degrees in Violin Performance and Suzuki pedagogy from the University of Denver where she studied with James Maurer. Heidi is currently the director of the Missoula Suzuki String Program at the University of Montana. She organizes the Suzuki Group Classes and Summer Institute as well as maintaining her private teaching studio.

Vikki Payne, violinist and cellist, is a native of Great Falls, MT. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of Northern Colorado and a Masters Degree in Music Administration and Conducting from the University of Montana. She also has extensive training and teaching experience in the Suzuki “Mother Tongue” method. Before becoming a mother, Vikki taught orchestra at Lewis and Clark Middle School for eight years during which time the orchestra was selected to perform at the All Northwest Music Educator’s Conference. Vikki maintains a private Suzuki studio and is a member of the Billings Symphony.

Lindsey Selman grew up in the Yellowstone Valley and has loved music since she was a little girl. She started playing the piano at five, and began lessons on the violin at eleven. She began her orchestra career by playing with the Billings Honor and Honor Chamber orchestras in middle school and the Billings Symphony Orchestra in high school. Lindsey attended Heartland Baptist College in Oklahoma, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Church Music, with an emphasis on violin performance and education. Lindsey lives in Billings with her husband Robert, who is a violinist and drummer. Lindsey maintains a full studio of violin and piano students, plays with the Billings Symphony, with the Meadowlark String Quartet, and with various other musical groups that come her way. She is Concert Orchestra director for the Billings Youth Orchestra.

Piano

Prep for (Piano) Performance

Molly Morrison is an active pianist and master teacher. Her degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Montana concentrated on piano performance, pedagogy and accompanying. As a member of the UM faculty she taught applied piano, piano pedagogy and group piano class. In addition, she was staff accompanist. Currently she has a thriving independent studio in Missoula, Montana where she teaches private students of all ages and enjoys success with her many adult students. She instructed at the University of Montana High School Piano Camp for ten summers and has taught at MMI for over ten years at the Montana Music Institute in Billings. Molly is often invited as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the Northwest. As an active member of both the Montana State Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association she has served as state president and on the National Certification Board of MTNA. She happily collaborates with a wide variety of instrumental and vocal soloists and chamber groups. She is an official accompanist for the Montana Suzuki String Institute. In addition to her musical life, Molly has a deep connection to the Montana outdoors and to her garden where dahlias play a leading role.

Joy of (Piano) Duets

Molly Morrison is an active pianist and master teacher. Her degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Montana concentrated on piano performance, pedagogy and accompanying. As a member of the UM faculty she taught applied piano, piano pedagogy and group piano class. In addition, she was staff accompanist. Currently she has a thriving independent studio in Missoula, Montana where she teaches private students of all ages and enjoys success with her many adult students. She instructed at the University of Montana High School Piano Camp for ten summers and has taught at MMI for over ten years at the Montana Music Institute in Billings. Molly is often invited as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the Northwest. As an active member of both the Montana State Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association she has served as state president and on the National Certification Board of MTNA. She happily collaborates with a wide variety of instrumental and vocal soloists and chamber groups. She is an official accompanist for the Montana Suzuki String Institute. In addition to her musical life, Molly has a deep connection to the Montana outdoors and to her garden where dahlias play a leading role.

Piano

Cynthia Kaelberer, pianist, has an AA degree in Applied Piano from Northwest College in Powell, WY. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association and works with her daughter Elizabeth Fernandez at Rocky Mountain School of the Arts in Powell. The school offers private and group piano instruction to all ages, private voice lessons, private and group dance instruction in ballet, modern, tap, hip hop, and jazz for ages 3 through adult. Cynthia believes the time and energy invested in music education will have a profound “pay-back” in a student’s whole life in many large and small, subtle ways. Some will be seen obviously, and many will be unseen, but the impact will always be positive and never regretted.

Molly Morrison is an active pianist and master teacher. Her degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Montana concentrated on piano performance, pedagogy and accompanying. As a member of the UM faculty she taught applied piano, piano pedagogy and group piano class. In addition, she was staff accompanist. Currently she has a thriving independent studio in Missoula, Montana where she teaches private students of all ages and enjoys success with her many adult students. She instructed at the University of Montana High School Piano Camp for ten summers and has taught at MMI for over ten years at the Montana Music Institute in Billings. Molly is often invited as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the Northwest. As an active member of both the Montana State Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association she has served as state president and on the National Certification Board of MTNA. She happily collaborates with a wide variety of instrumental and vocal soloists and chamber groups. She is an official accompanist for the Montana Suzuki String Institute. In addition to her musical life, Molly has a deep connection to the Montana outdoors and to her garden where dahlias play a leading role.

Tammie Nelson studied piano through high school before attending Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota where she pursued collegiate music on her clarinet. She graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Tammie is a member of the Music Teachers National Association and recently served a two year term as President of the Billings Music Teachers Association. She has a private piano studio in the Heights where students of all ages are encouraged to begin their musical journey.

Charlene Waddingham, pianist, graduated from Moorhead State University with a B.S. in music education and a minor in piano pedagogy. She taught music education in Medina and Stanton, North Dakota. Prior to moving to Billings in 1998, Charlene was the manager of Eckroth Music in Bismarck, North Dakota. In the fall of 1999, she opened “Char’s Music Studio” in the Billings Heights. She is a member of the Billings Music Teachers Association, and has been teaching at MMI since 2002. An active outdoor enthusiast, Char’s favorite activities include bike riding, power walking, kayaking, camping and hiking in the mountains.

Sharon Marble earned her Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree from the University of Minnesota, and her Master’s Degree from Eastern Montana College in Music Education with a Piano Pedagogy emphasis. She has been an independent piano teacher in Billings for nearly four decades. Her studio includes students age six through adult. She is an active member of the Music Teachers’ Association and is the organist at First Church of Christian, Scientist. Besides music, she loves golfing, knitting, crafting, and our Montana outdoors.

Voice/Chorus

Musical Theatre Ensemble

Myra Nurre has been heavily involved in the Billings theatre community, specifically children’s theatre, for the over ten years. Since her first position as teacher with the Rimrock Opera Company, to Youth Director at NOVA (Venture) Theatre, to her current position as drama teacher at West High School, Myra has impacted the youth scene in town through drama and music alike. She graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Music Performance as well as Theatre. In her spare time she is currently getting her masters from MSU-Billings. Her strongest passion is bringing musical theatre to life. “Music and dance tell a story in a way words can’t, but when you combine all three forces the result is nothing short of magical.”

Voice/Chorus

Amy Logan is a frequent performer in the community. Amy sings with the High Plains Chamber Singers and has been a soloist with the Billings Symphony and Messiah Festivals in Billings and Missoula. She has been seen on stage with Rimrock Opera, NOVA, Venture Theatre, and Prince Theatre. Amy is also a music educator, serving in the 11th year as the Director of Choirs at Billings Skyview High School. Amy earned degrees in Clarinet Performance and Musical Education from the University of Montana and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree. She recently became a certified member of the Voice Care Network. She is the director of the Billings Youth Orchestra Choralaires. Amy is proudly raising two budding musicians of her own! She loves the Billings community and the opportunity to live, work, perform, and raise a family here.

Erin Small is a middle school choir teacher and an elementary general music teacher in Billings, MT. She is also the director for the Cantate Chorale with the Billings Youth Orchestra and Chorale. She earned both her master’s and bachelor degrees from Montana State University in Bozeman, and is a certified member of the VoiceCare Network. She has had the fortunate opportunity to be a guest conductor for festivals across the state, and also directed the Rimrock Opera Chorus for Kids for three years. Mrs. Small maintains a private voice studio and enjoys adjudicating both choirs and vocalists of all ages. She performs in various venues throughout the community and is a member of the High Plains Chamber Singers. Mrs. Small continually aspires to create quality experiences for all students, and truly believes there is nothing better than teaching music.

Other Instruments/Electives

Acoustic Guitar

Parker Brown specializes in double bass, electric bass and guitar, Parker Brown is a private instructor, songwriter, and a freelance and studio musician. He grew up surrounded by music, spending many hours around his father’s bands and extensive record collection. Now, a private instructor and freelance musician for eight years, Parker runs a studio of thirty students with skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced. He teaches at Allied Music in Billings, MT, as well as at Sheridan College in Sheridan, WY and Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT.

As a freelance musician Parker has performed with jazz musicians Jeff Hamilton, Ronnie Bedford, Jack Walrath, and Nick Mancini. As a studio musician Parker has recorded as a bassist and guitarist on over twenty albums, working almost primarily with Base Camp Studio in Bozeman, MT. Currently, Parker released his first solo album, We Were Young, a work comprised of songs that Parker has composed, arranged, and written lyrics for.

Phillip Griffin is a freelance guitarist, bassist, and vocalist born and raised in Billings. His involvement in music started with Kindermusik classes when he was a youngster and continued through high school in class and garage alike. After earning a double degree in English Literature and Philosophy at the University of Montana in 2015, he returned to his hometown and worked as an assistant in a law office for about a year before deciding to fully dedicate his time to music study and performance. He now maintains a studio of students at Allied Music and gigs regularly around town in various groups.

African Drum Circle

Amy Logan is a frequent performer in the community. Amy sings with the High Plains Chamber Singers and has been a soloist with the Billings Symphony and Messiah Festivals in Billings and Missoula. She has been seen on stage with Rimrock Opera, NOVA, Venture Theatre, and Prince Theatre. Amy is also a music educator, serving in the 11th year as the Director of Choirs at Billings Skyview High School. Amy earned degrees in Clarinet Performance and Musical Education from the University of Montana and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree. She recently became a certified member of the Voice Care Network. She is the director of the Billings Youth Orchestra Choralaires. Amy is proudly raising two budding musicians of her own! She loves the Billings community and the opportunity to live, work, perform, and raise a family here.

Erin Small is a middle school choir teacher and an elementary general music teacher in Billings, MT. She is also the director for the Cantate Chorale with the Billings Youth Orchestra and Chorale. She earned both her master’s and bachelor degrees from Montana State University in Bozeman, and is a certified member of the VoiceCare Network. She has had the fortunate opportunity to be a guest conductor for festivals across the state, and also directed the Rimrock Opera Chorus for Kids for three years. Mrs. Small maintains a private voice studio and enjoys adjudicating both choirs and vocalists of all ages. She performs in various venues throughout the community and is a member of the High Plains Chamber Singers. Mrs. Small continually aspires to create quality experiences for all students, and truly believes there is nothing better than teaching music.

Chess

Mo Bain moved to Montana, in 2007, after 20 years of living in Denver, Colorado, to live a more enhanced life and spend less time stuck in traffic jams. Moving to Montana was one of the best decisions of his life; it has provided adventure. Since moving to Montana, he started a catering company that specializes in French crepes. He finds meaning in teaching chess, experiencing the great outdoors with his wife, trying new food with friends, and rolling on the floor with his children. He fell in love chess as a young child. He played tournament chess for 11 years and won the Montana state open in 2009 and 2013.

Harp

Amanda Olson currently teaches general music to K-5th graders in the Billings Public School District and private harp lessons. She is a licensed music educator and a board-certified music therapist. Before joining the school district in 2007, Amanda had a large piano and harp studio. Amanda’s main instrument has always been the piano, but, in 2001, she pursued a dream to become a harpist. As a young girl, each time her family’s’ missionary friends came to the United States on furlough, their daughter would bring her Paraguayan harp. Amanda was completed fascinated, but growing up in Sheridan, WY, it never occurred to her that she could learn to play the harp. Then in 2001, she decided to pursue her dream. Since she was an accomplished pianist, the harp was a smooth but humbling transition. “I was born to be a harpist; it just took a long time to realize it.” Amanda has brought her passion for harp to MMI for the last several years.

Musical Brain Games

Laura Dalbey is a native Montanan. She received her bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Wheaton College Conservatory, and her Masters degree in Education from MSU Billings. Violin teachers she has studied with include Dr. Nancy Critelli, Vikki Payne, Randy Tracy, Mary LaMonaca, Johan Jonsson, Dr. Lee Joiner, and many other Suzuki and violin pedagogy workshops. She has taught violin and viola for two years at the Community School of the Arts in Wheaton, IL, and in her own studio in Billings for over 15 years. Along with teaching, she also performs with the Billings Symphony, Yellowstone Chamber Players, Stillwater String Quartet, and other ensembles in the Central MT/Northern WY regions.

Katie Krumdieck graduated in 2005 from Eastern Washington University with a BA in Music Education. She also has certification in early childhood music from MusikGarten and First Steps in Music. She has taught string orchestra, general music, and early childhood music for over 13 years. After starting the orchestra program and teaching general music at Blue Creek School for 7 years, she accepted a position at Apostles Lutheran Church and Preschool. She currently teaches preschool music and piano lessons, and an early childhood music class called Joyful Noises at Apostles Lutheran Church and Preschool here in Billings, Montana. Katie also enjoys the opportunity to play the viola in the Billings Symphony.

Ukulele

Parker Brown lives in Billings, Montana, and plays in many different groups around the greater Montana area. His main focus is playing original and cover music, solo (and with guests) on guitar and double/electric bass in an original jazz project named “Tiny Trio.” Parker’s first instrumental writing collaboration was with local guitarist Alex Nauman. Parker also teaches guitar lessons at Hansen Music and with Alex at Allied Music. You can find out more about his at his website pbrownsound.com.

Ryan Hennessey is a native of Billings, where he began playing the string bass at age 10. Ryan attended the University of Montana for a degree in music education and currently teaches orchestra at Ben Steele Middle School. He lives in Billings with his wife and two children. Ryan is a member of the String Orchestra of the Rockies, Helena Symphony, and plays with the Yellowstone Chamber Players and subs in many other orchestras across the state. Although classical music is his mainstay, Ryan also enjoys delving into many different styles of music and instruments, playing the mandolin, violin, cello, guitar, ukulele, and harmonica. Along-side his orchestras at Ben Steele, Ryan also instructs the guitar club and "Rock Band Camp."

Yoga

Pam Kemmick has been practicing yoga for many years and has received guidance and wisdom from many great teaches during that time. She has a dedicated daily practice and continues to learn from others. She is married and has five children, and they have been some of her best teachers. Pam has chosen to combine her love of yoga and her love of and dedication to children by becoming a Certified YogaKids Facilitator. To achieve such certification requires successfully completing three phases of training, or more than 300 hours. Pam is qualified to teach toddlers to teens as well as children with special needs, and she is committed to empowering all children by leading them toward health, peace, creativity and love. Pam offers a complete curriculum using the YogaKids way of peace, health and education, which can be practiced by the children on their own to bring them to a place of balance, contentment, fun and creativity.

Mini-Camp

Mini-Camp

Angie Langeliers refined her singing skills in high school under the direction of John Haughey and Rosalie Foster. She earned a degree in music education with an emphasis in choral and vocal performance from MSU. While at the university she studied in Italy, sang in the MSU Chorale and the Montanans, and had parts in several operas. She was also a Madrigal scholarsip recipient, an Evensong Choral Scholar and a NATS award winner every year in college. Angie has taught all grade levels, as well as elementary general music, theory, guitar, beginning band, rock band, and all types of choirs. Angie was administrator and music teacher at Grace Montessori Academy, directed a choir for Rimrock Opera Chorus for Kids (ROCK), and now teaches for Billings Public Schools.

Janell McKenney received a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Montana. There she studied voice with Creighton James and was active in the opera and choral department. She also performed in the chorus with Montana Lyric Opera. She also received a bachelor's degree in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Montana, where she studied with Steven Hesla. She taught elementary music, middle school choir, high school choir, and jazz choir at Manhattan Public Schools (near Bozeman, MT) for three years. While in the Gallatin Valley, she took voice lessons from Elizabeth Croy at Montana State University. She also was sang with the Bozeman Symphony Chorale and performed in productions at the Shane Lalani Center for the Arts. The past two years, she has taught elementary music for Billings Public Schools and has served as the Height Girls Honor Choir accompanist. She also enjoys her students in her private piano and voice studio.