Executive Director

Amy Taylor

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Amy’s professional experience boasts over 10 years of fundraising, marketing and leadership roles including notable nonprofit work at TIRR Foundation in Houston, TX where she managed several initiatives and marketing campaigns to potential and existing donors, and created supporting awareness programs, like Volunteer Day! at Moran Camp Xtreme to open direct involvement with the organization and ultimately capture additional fundraising opportunities.

Amy has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and holds a certificate in grant writing from the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University. 

Amy is proud to give back to the surrounding community and especially enjoys serving through Highland Lakes Creative Arts, Texas Exes-Highland Lakes Chapter and Women’s Symphony League of Austin. Amy and her husband, John, have one son, Emmit (2), and one dog, Charlie (5). 

Creative Director

Rebecca Carmack

Rebecca is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, and lyrical. She is a former member of the Orange Jazz Company of Orange, Texas. She has studied under many diverse choreographers throughout the country. Rebecca has also competed in various events throughout Texas and Louisiana.

Pointe, Ballet, Creative

Amy Evans

Amy Evans has trained in dance at Harmony School for over 10 years.  She has studied Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz, and Tap, with ballet and pointe as her main focus of study.  Amy has also spent many summers taking classes at different studios and with companies in Texas as well as Ballet Magnificat! in Mississippi.  Amy loves to share her passion for dance and movement through teaching and helping develop young dancers.  

Ballroom & Two-Step

Taylor Grey

Ballet, Modern

Kristi Stere

Kristi Marie Stere - Originally from California, Kristi has been teaching Ballet and Pointe for over 25 years. She joined the teaching staff of Dancers Workshop in Austin, Texas in 1995. Ms. Stere is a certified Ballet Examiner and active member of the Texas Association Teachers of Dancing, Inc., and has served on the organization’s board of directors.  An award winning student at W.G. Enloe Magnet Arts High School, she received professional training from programs at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the Atlanta Ballet, and the Raleigh School of Ballet where she also began teaching. She performed with the Raleigh Dance Theatre (Carolina Ballet) under founding director Ann Vorus.  Ms. Stere has also appeared with the Raleigh Civic Ballet, Kinesis Dancetheater, Ballet East, Slavin-Nadal Ballet, Third Coast Jazz, and as a guest principal with Mesquite Repertory Ballet. She received a full merit scholarship to Ballet Austin, where she apprenticed with costume designer Chip Seibert. Kristi now designs costumes, scenery, and props for the ballet company Ovation, which she co-directs with Libby Lovejoy and Inga Lujerenko.

Adult Ballet

Chandra Irvin

          Chandra has been teaching dance of various styles and levels at Harmony School of Creative Arts for many years and is currently teaching Adult Ballet with the intention of growing an adult ballet program.  An Evening at the Barre is for adults who want to learn ballet and improve to take higher levels of technique, if desired, as the student’s technique advances in the program.

 Chandra is also a Family Nurse Practitioner and practices full time in the Marble Falls area.  She has a passion for dance and is particularly interested in the latest health research that shows that dancing has many health benefits for adults, to include decreasing the risk for dementia, while improving strength and flexibility.

  Above all, Chandra believes that dance should be fun and accessible for all and desires to teach the art in a nurturing and supportive environment that is conducive to adult learning styles.

Piano Instructor

Lynda Freeman

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Lynda has been part of the Harmony music faculty since 2011.  Her love of piano was influenced by her grandmother, a music conservatory graduate, who was still teaching piano lessons when at  the age of 103.  Lynda inherited her grandmother's students in 1979, upon her grandmother's retirement. Lynda enjoys working with piano students and especially loves to see the  smile when they enjoy playing a song.  She graduated from Concordia University  with a bachelor of business .  Her studies at Concordia also included music coursework in piano, organ, and guitar. Lynda has also earned master degrees with an emphasis in accounting, marketing, and clinical mental health. She is  pursuing a doctorate in clinical mental health, with an emphasis in music therapy as she believes that  music heals the soul.


Lisa Niswander

Lisa Niswander has been teaching elementary music in the public classroom for the past 9 years. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education with a Choral/Vocal emphasis from the University of North Texas, one of the top rated music schools in the country. Lisa has completed all three Kodály Training Levels, and has training and experience in the Orff Approach as well.

Lisa has a passion for teaching all ages how to improve their vocal skills, helping them become confident in their own singing and performance ability. Lisa also has a heart for directing children’s choirs and small performance ensembles. 


Mark Ramsey

I knew early on in life that I wanted to play music more than anything else. I grew up in Austin, Texas and I did the standard piano lesson thing as a kid. As a teenager I played keys and drums in several Austin bands, while also playing in my high school band and the All-City Jazz Band. My high school marching drum section played my original cadences, and I think they still do today.

I studied Piano, and Theory & Composition at the University of Texas. I have been able to develop skills in arranging, producing, and playing multiple instruments. I have played in several cover bands in the Central Texas area. Like a lot of musicians, I made the pilgrimage to Nashville a few times and did some showcases up there.

These days, along with playing, I teach private lessons and workshops for Christian bands. I also produce recording projects for local songwriters and musicians.

More importantly though, I'm still married to the same girl I met in the high school drum section, and together, Brenda and I have raised four kids. So far we have ten grandchildren. Grandkids are the coolest thing.

Voice Instructor

Robert Schneider

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Robert L. Schneider bass

BA at Eastern Michigan University in Music Ed.

Masters in voice at U. of Michian

Doctoral work at U of Texas


Sang in German Opera Houses for over 20 years

Contracts with Luebeck, Detmold and Bremerhaven Operas

On board of Directors at Gilbert and Sullivan Austin

Sings with Austin Opera

Teacher of private voice and guitar at Harmony School of Arts since 2005

Flute & Piano Instructor

Dorothy Gremillion

Dorothy was born in Louisiana and lived there for fifty-six years before relocating to Austin, TX so I could attend the Seminary of the Southwest.  After receiving a Master of Divinity in 2000, she was ordained in the Episcopal Church.  She served churches in Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas before retiring.   

With an undergraduate degree in music, she taught piano and flute for 25 years before attending seminary.   She is excited to now return to her love of music and teaching again. Dorothy loves working with younger students as well and loves sharing her experience with another generation. 

As part of her elective classes during her pursuit for a BA in Music, she studied how to avoid injuries sustained in playing musical instruments.  This is particularly important in piano and organ to avoid unnecessary pain due to incorrect body posture. 

Dorothy has a great love for Christian hymns and the deep faith that the hymn writers expressed in their poems-set-to-music.  She was awarded a Visiting Fellowship to the Seminary of the Southwest in the 1980’s to research their life stories.  There are many hymns that we share across our several denominations, and I love presenting these stories to ecumenical gatherings.   


Joyce Weaver

Joyce started teaching guitar again for Harmony School in January 2019, relocating to our main campus when the Burnet satellite campus was discontinued.  She is currently a worship leader and bass guitar player for Genesis Lutheran Church's Praise Band in Buchanan Dam.  She retired from the Austin music scene about 20 years ago after playing in many bands, moved to the Hill Country and became involved in the local music scene as well as teaching guitar.  A self-proclaimed rhythm player, Joyce is passionate about teaching music and guitar to the next generation.  Her college degree from University of Houston may be in sociology & psychology, but her music training is all from the School of Hard Knocks.  There is so much more to playing and learning guitar than just the notes.  The guitar is the perfect instrument for expression, improvisation, and creativity.   This summer Joyce will lead "Creative Kiddos" classes to teach infants & toddlers and parents about music, dance, coordination and will be the leader for Harmony's future "Music Together" classes.

Violin Instructor

Linda McArthur

Linda McArthur began her violin studies at the age of seven. After serving as Concert Master of her High School Orchestra and the Theatre Musical Productions, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Violin & Viola Performance. She began her graduate degree program at the University of North Texas with Professor Philip Lewis, Maestro Anshel Brusilow, Dr. George Papich and many more outstanding educators. Mrs. McArthur consistently won a Competitive Orchestra Scholarship during her graduate work at UNT and was a principal player of both the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra. She was awarded her Master of Music Degree in Violin & Viola Performance.

Mrs. McArthur has extensive experience with teaching the Suzuki Method of string pedagogy. She has been a member of the Suzuki Association of America and has attended many hours of professional development with this “talent education” method. Her knowledge extends to all book levels for violin and viola as well as cello, string bass and guitar.

Linda McArthur is an exceptional music educator. She has twenty years classroom teaching experience with Austin ISD as a Middle School Orchestra Director. Her Orchestras were consistently awarded top scores at UIL Concert & Sight Reading Competition. With her guidance, her students achieved success at the Texas Music Educators All Region Orchestra Auditions as well as top scores for Solo & Ensemble Competitions often winning “Best in Class” recognition.

Not only is Mrs. McArthur a classically trained musician, she is also very fond of Traditional Music. She enjoys playing Irish Reels & Gigs, Celtic Tunes and Texas Bluegrass with her friends and colleagues.

Mrs. McArthur is well equipped to motivate and inspire string players on many levels and can teach many styles and methods that suit each of her students. She is looking forward to working with you to show you your own talent.

Woodwinds, Brass, Music Composition

Michael "Bear" Schwartz

Michael first attended college at Fullerton Community College and graduated with his Associate of Arts degree in Music, Michael attended California State University, Long Beach. It was here that he studied orchestration with Dr. Bruce Miller.
Michael received his first major opportunity to write when he was commissioned to co-compose
the first original soundtrack for the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament show. This music found its
way into several venues across the country. This soundtrack employeed a full orchestra.

During his tenure at MSU, Michael studied compositon under Dr. John Prescott. Michael’s Master’s Thesis, “Suite for Jazz Band and Strings”, was the first jazz composiiton used for a Master’s Thesis in Missouri State University’s history.   

Michael has now turned his musical focus towards composition. His compositions and arrangements included a commissioned fanfare for Evangel University, band arrangements for James River Assembly of God, horn arrangments for local bands including Ego Magnet and Bringers of the Dawn, and a Trumpet Sonata performed by Tim Wooten.

He is proficient in Orchestra, Trumpet, Solo Trumpet and Piano, Two Trumpets/Drums/Synth.  He does Classical, Electro Accoustic, Jazz and Soundtrack.


  May 2021  
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