Kellis A. Dryer ( Piano), founder of Dryer Music School, has been teaching students of various ages and levels since 1988. She has maintained a studio of over forty students and has taught piano, music theory, and music appreciation courses at the college level. She enjoys teaching beginning level students, advanced students who are studying major concert repertoire, and everyone in between. Several of Kellis's students have gone on to major in music and have become successful piano teachers and performers.
Kellis holds a Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy with a minor in Harpsichord from Illinois Wesleyan University where she studied with celebrated master teachers Dr. R. Bedford Watkins and Dr. Thomas Hecht. Kellis completed Master of Musicology coursework at Ohio University.
Although Kellis plays and teaches many styles of music, she especially enjoys playing music composed by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin. Kellis has an academic interest and fondness for Baroque performance practices, especially in the music of J.S. Bach.
Kellis is a member of Music Teachers National Association, North Carolina Music Teachers Association, Raleigh Piano Teachers Association (RPTA), The American College of Musicians, Th Boston Clavichord Society, and the Historical Keyboard Society of North America. She serves an adjudicator for the National Piano Guild Playing Auditions and various competitions and festivals.
Richard Dryer (Clarinet, Saxophone) earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Butler University, where he studied with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra clarinetist, Achille Rossi. He earned a Master's Degree in Clarinet Performance from Kent State University where he was a pupil of Dr. Dennis Nygren.
Richard is experienced as a soloist and performer of orchestral, wind ensemble, and chamber music. Critics have praised him for his "rich, velvety tone" and "expressive playing." He is a past member of the United States Air Force Band of Flight at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio where he performed in the concert band, clarinet quartet, and also as a soloist and guest conductor.
Richard has been a guest conductor with the Indianapolis Community Band and has performed with the Indianapolis Summer Opera Theater and the Rome Festival Orchestra. Richard studied saxophone with the saxophone virtuoso David Bilger and has performed extensively with jazz bands and German bands throughout the Midwestern and Southern United States. In addition to teaching at Dryer Music School, Richard is the Band Director at Thales Academy in Apex, and performs with the Chapel Hill Philharmonia, the North Carolina Chamber Players and as a soloist in the Triangle area.
Ecki Heins (Violin) was born and grew up in Germany. There he received a thorough classical training. He graduated from Ignatz-Guenther-Gymnasium in Rosenhein, Germany, majoring in violin performance and music theory in a conservatory-equivalent curriculum in 1989. He has played in various orchestras and ensembles, in theatre productions, churches and at private functions. Later, Ecki branched out into the pop fields, playing on several studio productions for an eclectic variety of German bands.
Ecki was a founding member of the critically acclaimed country roots and soul band Cow in Hamburg and toured extensively in Germany and throughout Europe. After moving to North Carolina in 2006 he continued freelance performance and session work in the triangle music community. Ecki is currently performing and touring with his wife Lynn Blakey (of Tres Chicas) as a violin and vocal accompanist. Ecki teaches mainly in the classical tradition but is open to folk and country styles.
Marissa Rose Stygles (Flute) is active as a performer and teacher in
the Raleigh area, in addition to being a Guest Musician with the Charleston
Symphony in Charleston, South Carolina and a substitute musician with The
Cleveland Orchestra. Marissa earned her Master’s degree in Flute Performance
from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Joshua Smith,
Principal Flute of the Cleveland Orchestra. She earned her Bachelor’s
degree from the University of South Carolina. Marissa has over 10 years
of experience in teaching students from the ages of 4-104. For a full bio and more information, please visit her website at marissastygles.weebly.com
Xi Yang (Violin, Viola) began his distinguished music career when he was
a student of Zao Wei Jian at the Conservatory of Music in Beijing,
China where he studied both violin and viola performance. He had his
solo debut when he was 9 years old. By the age of 12 he made an average
of 200 solo appearances a year in China. He won the National Violin
Competition in Shanghai and made his solo debut with the Beijing
Philharmonic Orchestra. He then toured China with the Beijing Youth
Symphony as a soloist and concertmaster.
Upon arriving in the
United States, Mr. Yang won a National Strings Competition in Arkansas
and performed numerous solo recitals, chamber concerts, and has given
master classes to young string players from many public schools and
colleges. A graduate of the Indiana University School of Music, he
studied violin and chamber music under the guidance of James Buswell,
Nelli Shkolnikova, Joseph Gingold, and Rostislav Dubinsky. The
legendary Isaac Stern commented about Yang's performance that he had the
"potential to become one of the greatest solo violinists in the world
Mr. Yang then became the Principal Violist for the
Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, the Florida Grand Opera, and the
Symphony of the Americas. He has performed for two presidents of the
United States, Presidents Clinton and George H. W. Bush. Recently, he
was appointed as one of the judges of the YangTongLiu International
Violin Competition in China.
He is currently the Professor of
Violin and Viola at Meredith College, Concertmaster of the Raleigh
Symphony Orchestra, Principal Viola of the Carolina Philharmonic, and
Artistic Director of the Carolina International Orchestra.
Jenny Zhou (Violin, Viola) began her teaching
career in a highly regarded private performing arts school for children
and young adults in Chengdu, China, soon after she graduated from the
Sichuan Conservatory of Music. There, she taught may students from
5-year old beginners to college-entry high school students. She also
worked in a film recording studio for many years until she came to the
United States in 1990. She then won a scholarship to West Virginia
University where she continued her studies in violin performance and
string pedagogy. She came to North Carolina in 1998 and Raleigh became
her hometown where she began to run a very successful violin teaching
studio. Her students range from 4-years old to adult. In addition to
teaching, she is also a violinist with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra,
Triangle Chamber Orchestra, and the Carolina Philharmonic. (Photo