Our Teachers

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Allen Barlow

Allen Barlow is a professional guitarist based in Birmingham, Alabama. He received a Bachelor’s of Music Degree ( Guitar Performance ) from the University of Montevallo in 1996 and after college, studied privately with world renown jazz guitarist David Fiuczynski ( Berklee College of Music, Jack DeJohnette group, Stewart Copeland, Dennis Chambers, Screaming Headless Torsos and Hiromi Sonicbloom ). Allen has been employed as a private guitar instructor since 1992. Before founding Homewood School of Music, he was a guitar instructor at Fretted Instruments of Birmingham from 1996 until 2012.

As a performer, Barlow’s performance credits include The Black Jacket Symphony, Oteil Burbridge and the Psychocats, The Maverick Lounge Series, The Birmingham String Jazz Quartet, The Birmingham Guitar Quartet, The Negotiators, Gabriel Tajeu, Bonus Round, the Peytones, the Chad Fisher Swing Group, the Gary Wheat Jazz Group, the Birmingham Art Music Alliance doing works of Composers Monroe Golden, Bryan Page, and Rusty Banks, the Vann Burchfield Band, Elnora Spencer, Rootdown Jazz Trio, Mart Avant’s Night Flight Big Band, leading worship at various churches in central Alabama, doing theatre productions of Annie, Grease, and The Who's Tommy among others, as well years of performing contemporary rock / pop, classical, jazz, blues and country at weddings and private events throughout the Southeast. Allen is also currently the worship leader at Christ Community Church in Helena, Alabama.

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Rob Gannon

Homewood School of Music co-founder, Rob Gannon has been playing guitar for 32 years. He started taking private lessons as a teenager and began playing with several local bands. He continued music education at Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, CA, and graduated near the top of his class in 1988. While at MI, Rob studied under such guitar greats as; Paul Gilbert, Howard Roberts, Steve Trovato, Scott Henderson, Paul Hanson and many others. Shortly after graduating he moved to Birmingham where he began his teaching career at Bandstand Music, while simultaneously playing in several popular local bands. He started teaching at Fretted Instruments in 1992, where he has established himself as one of Birmingham's leading guitar instructors. Over the past 20 years of teaching at Fretted, Rob has had several students that have gone on to to achieve successful careers in music. Some of his notable students are: country star Sam Hunt, Allen Barlow, Jeffrey Harper (former guitarist for Love and Theft, and currently a member of American Idol winner Scotty McCreery's band), and Matthew Mayfield. Rob also has a background in electronics and is an experienced guitar technician.

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TOMMY Bowen

Tommy is a full-time freelance Trumpet Player located in Birmingham Alabama. Hw was at the top trumpet of every UAB and Samford music ensemble. At Samford University he studied Computer Science and Trumpet Performance then he attained his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he concentrated in Music Technology and Digital Music Production. At UAB he led organizations like Blaze Productions, an organization dedicated to campus entertainment. He orchestrated UAB's first battle of the bands. He booked Grammy Award Winning Snarky Puppy, Seth Meyers, One Republic and more. He was also heavily involved in the Undergraduate Student Government Association and the University Programs Council. While at UAB he worked with the Office of Digital Media where he started doing professional film scoring. He is currently the Sound Designer and Composer for the Facebook Watch documentary series Chasing Corruption, produced by Reckon at AL.com. Tommy has recorded and played trumpet with some of the best musicians in Alabama, including American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks, members of Aerosmith and Trace Adkins’ band, CBDB, Tragic City and The Black Jacket Symphony. Right now his main focus is on his band, Tragic City, while still he still helps other groups push forward by arranging and contracting horns for various groups. Tommy also has a Pro Tools certification from Avid and is even more competent in Logic Pro X

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Aaron Branson

Aaron Branson has been teaching and performing professionally for 15 years. He is trained and proficient in all contemporary genres and styles for both bass and guitar. His training really became serious when he was in music school at UAB, where he earned “most accomplished student” in the area of jazz studies three years in a row, and first earned his shot at teaching by substituting for his instructor in the “jazz combo” ensemble in which he was enrolled. He also taught a summer “jazz improvisation” class at the university one summer and has since maintained a steady routine of private and class instructions. He has been teaching at Highland School for four years as the private guitar and “Rock Band” class instructor. Aaron now looks forward to expanding his reach by joining his friends and colleagues at Homewood School of Music, in order to help make this new and wonderful venue the vehicle of education that only these instructors can. Aaron also enjoys performing and has worked regularly with The Jason Bailey Band, Black Jacket Symphony, Tux Shop Hero, Bonus Round, India Ramey, and many others.

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Joshua Constantine

Joshua Constantine has been studying music for a total of 13 years. He was trained in both classical and jazz music on the clarinet, flute, and saxophone, which is his primary instrument. His musical journey became serious in high school when he started taking lessons from Birmingham's own, Dwight Houston. Dwight taught Josh both classical and jazz and helped him discover that his passion is jazz. Throughout his school years, Josh consistently ranked among the top 3 saxophonists in the state for jazz and classical, during his senior year he was ranked first in the state.  In college, Josh studied with the great Wes “Warm Daddy” Anderson and Tony Dagradi at Loyola University in New Orleans. He performed with the top jazz band at Loyola. Josh is pursuing his bachelor’s degree at UAB where he studies with Dr. Steve Roberts and Professor Gary Wheat. Josh has shared the stage with Jessi Mcbride, Super Jazz, The Loyola Jazz Ensemble where he played at many venues around New Orleans including Jazz Fest. He currently plays with the UAB Jazz Ensemble. One of the special things about Josh is his passion for fostering the love of music among people.

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Holly Gettinger

Holly Gettinger has instructed flute since 1985 and is also a certified Suzuki flute instructor. The Suzuki approach teaches children to hear and play music before learning to read and write it. The child is encouraged to discover his or her own musical expression. Holly has worked with students from ages 4 to 65. Very young children are able to play using a modified flute with a curved head joint.

When Holly is not teaching at the Homewood School of Music or the Alabama Waldorf School, she enjoys playing chamber music with friends in the Birmingham area.

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Michael Glaser

Michael Glaser has taught private drum lessons professionally since 2001, and has played drums professionally since 1992. He started playing drums when “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey was a brand new hit single, so you may do the math on that one. In addition to Homewood School of Music, he also teaches drumset lessons at UAB and at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, and he feels that being a teacher has made him a better performer. Michael has played gigs with nationally and internationally known rock and jazz artists like John P. Strohm, Victor Atkins, Taylor Hicks, and Johnny O’Neal, and has worked with a long list of Birmingham bands and artists in many styles, like String Theory, Glenn & Libba and The Cast, Chad Fisher, The Birmingham Seven, Erin Mitchell, Meteorite, Choko Aiken, Downright, Jason Bailey, The White Oaks, Mark Kimbrell, Mingusphere, and the UAB Jazz Faculty Quintet. He is also a bandleader, transcribing, arranging, and performing the music of his favorite jazz composers and performers. He has played in major music festivals in New York City and Lucerne, Switzerland, and toured Colombia, South America twice with a UAB Jazz faculty group. Michael is a graduate of Davidson College in Davidson, NC.

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Brett Huffman

Originally from Huntsville, AL, Brett Huffman has been performing percussion in Birmingham since 2006. While he currently plays drumset for multiple local groups, he has also studied classical percussion under Dr. Laura Noah and Dr. Gene Fambrough while attending UAB. Huffman was part of university ensembles such as the Jazz Combo and Big Band, Wind Symphony, Marching Band, and Percussion Ensemble. He is a member of local chamber music quartet, Iron Giant Percussion, which has performed recently with Grammy award-winning Third Coast Percussion and Wilco's Glenn Kotche. He has performed previously with Virginia Samford Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and Red Mountain Theatre Company. Huffman is also a choir member at Highlands United Methodist Church since 2009. He is excited to share his love of all things percussion and proud to be teaching at Homewood School of Music!

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michael johnson

Michael Johnson is a teacher, performer, and adjudicator in the low brass world. He began playing euphonium at 17 and has expanded into trombone and tuba as well. He studied euphonium with Mr. John Sizemore while studying at North Greenville University. After his undergraduate degree was complete he attended Samford University for his Master of Music Education where he studied with Dr. Demondrae Thurman and Dr. Brandon Slocumb. Michael has published articles in brass pedagogy in the South Carolina Musician and enjoys finding new ways to teach concepts. He has taught students that have placed in All-State Jazz, Concert Band, and in the Alabama Youth Symphony. Michael continues to play in the area and enjoys performing on both trombone and euphonium. He loves teaching the fundamentals and believes a strong core basics sets the stage for more advanced success.

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William Justice

Instructor William Justice, NCTM, has been performing since the age of 5. Throughout the years, he performed in annual recitals, hymn festivals, Elbert Lingo Competitions, sonata competitions, and Baldwin competitions in the state of Alabama. William is a triple certificated instructor. He is recognized by the Music Teacher's National Association as a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano, a Recreational Music Making Specialist, and a Group Piano Teaching Specialist. In October of 2011, William developed a private practice in his hometown, Dora, Alabama at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church. Since then, he has led the choir of The Aldersgate, performed as church organist multiple times, and taught piano privately in the church's music room. He is the recipient of two performing arts scholarships, as well as a Phi Theta Kappa scholarship with advanced academic endorsement. William began teaching at the Homewood School of Music in January of 2017 and is active on Wednesdays. Music Resume available at www.williamjustice.us.


Educational Background:

William earned his Assc. Degree from Bevill State Community College in Jasper, his BA from Birmingham Southern College in Birmingham, and his MFA from the New York Film Academy in New York City and Los Angeles. He studied with Jane Hudson (M.M. New England Conservatory of Music), William DeVan (M.M. Juilliard School of Music), and John Stallsmith (Ph.D., University of Alabama).

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Brandon Peeples

Brandon Peeples studied music performance at UAB and has been playing bass for more than 20 years. He has toured nationally and internationally for the past 15 years, working with many different artists- and playing several styles of music Including American Idol’s platinum selling artist Taylor Hicks. For the past 5 years Brandon has been on staff at UAB as the bass instructor in the Department of Music. Brandon also manages and plays bass for Emerald Empire Band, the Southeasts premier party band. His main area of expertise is Jazz, but he also musically fluent in Rock, Country, Soul, RnB, Funk, Bluegrass, Top 40 and Christian Rock music. Brandon has been a staple musician in and around the the Southeast and enjoys sharing his knowledge whether you are a beginner or advanced musician.


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Geni Skendo

The Boston Globe calls Geni Skendo a “virtuoso,” creating a unique blend of jazz, free jazz and world music. After a successful performing career in his native Albania, Geni moved to the US in 2003 to raise his jazz playing to a higher level. Studies at the Berklee College of Music and The New England Conservatory (MM) led to a deep, ongoing involvement with the Boston music scene. Geni performs with Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica (Best World Music Act, Boston Phoenix Readers’ Poll, 2012), in both its quartet and big-band incarnations. The quartet utilizes Geni’s full palette, while the big band relies heavily on Geni’s powerful bass flute in its recreation of long-lost arrangements by the legendary Mexican arranger Juan Garcia Esquivel. Geni leads the Albanian/Jazz/Ambience group "Astronauts of Albania" and the free improvised chamber music group, Samurai Jazz Trio, consisting of shakuhachi, bass/shamisen and piano. Geni has released three CDs, most recently Acoustic Cowboy, featuring original compositions and new arrangements of songs from Olivier Messiaen, African pygmies and the Balkans.

Geni has performed with the Violent Femmes • Bob Moses • Matt Marvuglio • Allan Chase, Joe Morris, Jerry Leake, Brian O'Neil, John Lockwood, Bob Gulioti, Bob Nitscke • Felice Pomeranz • Dave Clark • Elena Zoubareva • David Fiuczynski • Mark Walker • Sal Difusco • Joe Hunt • Dave Harris • Jerry Beaudin • NewPoli.

Geni's recording credits include CDs with Joe Morris, Orchestrotica, Dave Fuze, Newpoli, and Elena Zoubareva. As a bandleader, he released two CDs: “Portraits: Contemporary Duets for Shakuhachi & Piano" and “Stella,” a global jazz album.
In 2009, he published an instructional shakuhachi play-along book that teaches traditional Japanese Minyo folk songs, and 2011 he released a woodwind book with exercises derived from Messiaen modes.

Geni currently performs with these groups:

"Astronauts of Albania"
Astronauts of Albania is a groundbreaking project that fuses traditional Albanian folk music with jazz, electronics, and world music for a truly original sound. Don't know anything about Albanian folk music? Now's your chance to find out!

Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica
Referencing the exotica of Martin Denny, Milt Raskin, Tchaikovsky, and Shostakovich among others, Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica—as a vibraphone quartet—presents an original third-stream collection of updated jazz, chamber, and world music reaching towards the South Pacific via Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, and Latin America. Led by multi-percussionist, vibraphonist and composer Brian O’Neill (Mr. Ho) with bass flute/woodwinds (Geni Skendo), percussion (Noriko Terada), and acoustic bass (Jason Davis).

Samurai Jazz Trio.
Shakuhachi , Shamisen, Piano

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Susie Shortt

Susie Shortt has studied under the direction of Katherine Sasaki of The Katherine Sasaki Suzuki Violin School Academy. After her completion of the Academy, she studied with Anne Foreman during her adolescent career.

She is a graduate from The University of Tennessee.

During her professional career she has studied with Jazz Violinist Randy Sabien, Award Winning Fiddle Artists Jimmy Herman and Ben Probus.

Susie is a member of the Local 369 Union in Nevada and Local 256-733 In Birmingham, Alabama. Member of the Suzuki Academy Association and Alabama Bluegrass Music Association.

She's been playing professionally for 30 years. Known in the South as "Susie the Wedding Fiddler." Susie is in high-demand as the wedding fiddler and is a premier artist in the wedding industry.

Susie has been known to fill in for band/orchestras for top Vegas entertainers such as Wayne Newton, Temptations Review and Ronnie Milsap. Has been featured as a guest artist with Devon O’Day on Grand Ole Opry Radio WSM 650 AM. She is an award winning artist and composer.

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Krista Wendle

Krista has been a professional vocalist for over 30 years. She has sung pop, jazz, R&B, rock, country, & metal. She has toured the Eastern United States for 9 years, and the NorthEast for 8 years. She has played The Hard Rock Cafe in the Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Disney Cruise Lines; Universal Studios, Orlando; and opened for David Lee Roth. She studied voice with nationally renowned vocal instructor, Al Cohen (vocal coach for Axl Rose of Guns & Roses, and Matt Kramer of Saigon Kick). TaylorMade Vocal Instruction is designed to teach you exactly what you need to know to improve your singing voice and improve your overall performance. You will learn to smooth the transition from full voice, to head voice, to falsetto. You will also increase your range and your ability to project. We will also work to improve your technique and presentation. You will receive a booklet and warm-up CD at your first lesson at no additional cost. No matter what style of music you want to sing; from R&B, jazz, pop, blues, country, folk, bluegrass, classical, theater, or even metal; this is the place to be.

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tena Wilson

Comfortably at ease with Jazz, Gospel, Pop, Classical and Spirituals, Tena is the ultimate musician’s singer. Ms. Wilson attended Knoxville College where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education. Ms. Wilson then received a wealth of education through experience on stage throughout the United States, as well as, more than seventeen countries. Off-Broadway (NYC), Ms. Wilson portrayed ‘Crystal’ in Little Shop of Horrors. Her roles of ‘Nun’ and ‘Sally’ in Capitol Cakewalk won her an Outer Critic nomination. Tena has toured the US in Journey Into Blackness, Ain’t Love Grand, Harlem Heyday, as well as, Little Shop of Horrors. Internationally she has toured in Mama I Want to Sing, Gershwin Gala/Porgy and Bess and sang with the Black Gospel Pearls. Having extensively toured throughout Europe, Israel and Japan, one of Tena’s greatest achievements was performing her One Woman Cabaret act in the Persian Gulf for over 70,000 troops for five months during Operation Desert Storm. Tena has also appeared on television in Made in New York (WNYW), Spotlight on Theater (Allentown, PA) and ZDF Morgan Magazin (Berlin, Germany). She has recorded several jingles and mastered three vocal parts as the background vocalist for the Kingdom Heirs. Ms. Wilson enjoys performing different types of music and has performed a series of concerts entitled A Musical Potpourri, with internationally acclaimed concert pianist/accompanist, Daniel M. Cason, II. These concerts included classical music (sung in German, Italian and English), as well as, spirituals, jazz, show tunes and gospel music. In addition to several unique duet performances with internationally acclaimed bassist, Cleve Eaton, Tena has performed with the Birmingham Heritage Band, the Montgomery Jazz Orchestra and Combo, and the jazz group Goodfellas. Also, Ms. Wilson performed with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in the concert production of Porgy and Bess. For a number of years Tena has been a feature performer for Jazz In The Park with Godfellas in Birmingham, Alabama. Ms. Wilson has performed locally for countless weddings, receptions, private parties and corporate events. She has been a vocal instructor in Birmingham for about ten years.