The faculty of the Center for Musical Excellence are comprised of some of the most sought-after and experienced instructors in the area. Most teachers have achieved advanced degrees in music and all of them share a love for teaching others the joy of making music. Many of the instructors also teach at the collegiate level at Salem College and other local institutions. They have been involved in numerous recordings, significant educational projects, and performances around the world. Many are members of local, state, and national organizations, which allow them to keep abreast of the newest pedagogies and involve their students in music festivals and competitions.
Dr. Thomas Swenson, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the Center for Musical Excellence at Salem College, has distinguished himself as a national leader in the field of piano pedagogy. He is published in book form and has several articles in prominent music journals on teaching adults (andragogy). He has presented nationally at the Music Teachers National Association Conference, the Music Educators National Conference, the World Music Symposium and at numerous state and local conferences and workshops. As a leader in adult piano teaching he has had the fortunate opportunity to teach Recreational Music Making courses throughout the world. Thomas is currently the President-Elect for the North Carolina Music Teachers Association. Dr. Swenson holds degrees from Minnesota State University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the University of Oklahoma. He can be heard on numerous CDs as a soloist, accompanist, arranger, and producer.
Glenna Poindexter. Glenna Elam Poindexter of Winston-Salem, N.C. is an experienced piano instructor, having taught both in her home studio and on the Adjunct Piano Faculty of Wake Forest University Department of Music. She taught music at Jefferson Academy and was a Piano Instructor at the UNCG Summer Music Camp. Ms. Poindexter holds a Masters in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her Bachelor of Arts degree is from Wake Forest University where she majored in both Music and Elementary Education. She graduated with Honors in Music, and was a winner of the WFU Giles-Harris Piano Competition. Ms. Poindexter is President of the Winston-Salem Piano Teachers’ Association, of which she is a long-time member. As a Faculty Member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, she is a Guild Adjudicator. She is a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs and judges for Festivals.
- Jesse MacKenzie is a recent graduate of Salem College with a degree in music and a professional certificate in Well-Coordinated, Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique. From 2009-2012 she has been a teaching assistant to Barbara Lister-Sink at seven Wingsound International Intensive Technique Training Workshops. She is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and received the 2010 Bright and Annie Lee Fitzgerald Sink Award for Excellence in Piano and the 2012 President's Prize in Music from Salem College. Ms. MacKenzie is from the Erie, Pennsylvania area and now resides in Winston-Salem.
- Carmine Mann (BM, Salem College; MM, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
- Ann Listokin (BM, Mannes College The New School for Music; MM, The University of North Carolina School of the Arts)
- Irma Goldberg (BM, Salem College; MM, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
- Louise Wall (BME, High Point University)
- Susan Bates (BM Salem College; MMA and MM; Yale School of Music)
- Joy Rushton, Salem Academy Director of Music (BS, West Chester University)
- Jeffrey Carlson (BM, The University of St. Thomas; MM, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
- Carol Roan has a B.M. in vocal pedagogy and an M.M. in vocal performance from Indiana University, as well as an M.D.P.E. from Columbia University. She began performing professionally as a singer at eighteen. She later developed a method for teaching others how to communicate with an audience, and taught the first stage presence course in the country at the New School of Music in Philadelphia. Her interest in the physiology of the voice led to extensive work with those who had been classified as “tone deaf.” Her former students include the coloratura soprano, Amanda Pabyan, the singer/songwriter Ryan Tennis, and the indie rock band, The Cobbs. She is also a writer, with four published books, including Speak Up: The Public Speaking Primer.
- Samuel Taylor (Guitar & Ukulele) (BM and MM, The University of North Carolina School of the Arts)
- Maureen Michels (Viola & Violin) (BM, Indiana Univiversity; MM, Rice University)
- Dr. Donna Rothrock (Brass) (BME, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; MME, The University of Colorado; PhD, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
- Sharon Fogarty (Flute)
- Pat Pence-Sokoloff (Harp)
- Eric Schwartz (Composition, Classes and Workshops)
- Anne Sellitti (Cello)
- Christy Stauffer (Suzuki Violin)