Piano & Voice Faculty

REBECCA SLATER (piano/voice and Academy director), is an active teacher, singer, collaborative pianist, choral director, organist and liturgical musician. She graduated magna cum laude from Ball State University in choral and general music education with concentrations in both piano and vocal performance. There she received numerous awards, including Outstanding Senior Woman, Outstanding Piano Accompanist, Outstanding Choral Student, and Concerto Competition Winner in piano. Ms. Slater received her master’s degree from University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music in piano accompanying, where she studied with Dr. William Black and Kenneth Griffiths. At CCM she received a graduate assistantship to accompany vocal students and sang in the prestigious Renaissance Consort under the direction of Dr. Earl Rivers.


Ms. Slater has ample experience teaching music at literally every age level. She has taught preschool music and movement, Kindergarten through eighth grade general music, home school music classes, high school choral music, and piano at Xavier University, where she served as an adjunct professor of piano and accompanied and coached student and faculty recitals.  She has taught private piano and voice for over 25 years. Her students have excelled in various competitions and festivals; several have studied music in college and are currently active performers and teachers.


Mrs. Slater is currently the music director at St. Pius X Church in Edgewood, where she plans and provides music for liturgical celebrations and conducts several choirs. Ms. Slater holds teaching certifications in K-12 choral and general music, Orff-Schulwerk Levels I and II, Kindermusik© and Music Together©. She is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, a professional music fraternity, Music Teachers National Association, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs.



RAE JEAN AUTERSON (voice/piano), has over 30 years experience in the music industry in the areas of performing, musical theatre, music education, musical directing and private teaching. She has traveled the world extensively, singing and dancing on cruise ships, cabaret shows, tour groups and theatre.  She has lived in New York, Orlando, and various cities in California, and also has worked as a model and musical director.


Rae Jean has a music degree from Eastern Kentucky University in vocal music performance and is working toward her master’s degree in music. Rae Jean was awarded EKU’s best vocalist in 2004, was inducted into “Who’s Who among American Teachers” in 2007, and is a member of several national scholar and honor societies. Rae Jean has also studied voice, performance, acting, and piano under well- known directors, teachers and college professors, and professional entertainment businesses, all adding to her knowledge

and experience.


Rae Jean has worked for 5 years at Slater Music Academy and has students performing in schools (such as

All-State Choruses, musicals and show choirs), academies, professional theatres, musical theatres, colleges; some have signed with various talent agencies.  Rae Jean is thrilled to be working at Slater Music Academy

and loves teaching both voice and piano.  She hopes to bring her knowledge of music to the many students

who desire to learn and to experience all the wonderful things that music has to offer.



EVELINA KONANIAH (piano), has been teaching for over ten years with students ranging from children to adults.  She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Piano Performance, and has studied organ, harpsichord, violin, voice, and conducting.  She has participated in competitions, master classes, recordings, and radio broadcasts.  Some of her students have gone to schools such as Berklee College of Music and Duke University while maintaining active musical lives. Her students have participated in competitions, festivals, and auditions, with excellent results. She is also on the piano faculty at the Preparatory Department of University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music.



JOSHUA S. NEMITH (piano), completed his doctorate in piano performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in June of 2004. Dr. Nemith has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad as

a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral keyboardist; he is also an active recording artist. Currently, he is the principal keyboardist with the IRIS chamber orchestra in Germantown, Tennessee, under the direction of conductor Michael Stern.


Dr. Nemith performs regularly at professional venues in and around Cincinnati and has been teaching at the Academy since 2002. He is an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin and the Eastman School of Music and he has held fellowship positions with the New World Symphony and the Aspen Music Festival. He has held several teaching appointments at UC-CCM, including a graduate seminar course on 20th-century piano repertoire in 2004. His teachers include James Tocco, Nancy Garrett, Fernando Laires, and David Burge.



RICHARD SEIL (Suzuki and traditional method piano), has been teaching privately and at the collegiate level for over 15 years. A graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College and Indiana University, he completed his DMA coursework and solo recitals for his DMA at the University of Cincinnati. Mr. Seil's former teachers include Menahem Pressler, Karen Shaw, James Tocco, Richard Fields, Eugene Pridonoff, Elizabeth Pridonoff and Robert Mayerovitch. He has performed extensively as a soloist and colloborative pianist throughout the Midwest and is currently anactive performer at his student recitals and at churches in the area, Mr. Seil enjoys both collaborative and solo performances.


Richard began teaching piano at the Baldwin-Wallace College Preparatory Department and continued as a graduate student/teacher at Indiana University and the University of Cincinnati. He also taught in Michigan and Kentucky at the collegiate level and Cleveland and Cincinnati as a private teacher. He has judged competitions in Michigan and Ohio and participated in the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in 1998, 2000 and 2002. Membership in teaching organizations includes the College Music Society, MTNA, MMTA, OMTA and KMTA. He was listed in Who's Who in America in 2002. Further musical interests include conducting and violin and he is also an avid jogger/fitness enthusiast.



ABBY SPARKS (voice) is a native of Fort Thomas and graduated from Highlands High School in 2014. She was highly involved in the arts during her time in the Fort Thomas School District, having sung in various All-State and Honor Choirs, the high school Chamber Choir and a Cappella groups, and participated in drama and musical theatre.


Abby will graduate from Northern Kentucky University in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. There she served as a Teacher's Assistant and a Private Voice Instructor for the NKU Preparatory Vocal Corps Program. She also volunteered to direct the after-school choral program at Grandview Elementary in Bellevue, KY for two years. Additionally, Abby worked as a Private Voice Instructor at Conner Middle School in Hebron, KY. During her time at NKU, she performed as soprano in the internationally recognized Chamber Choir, as well as the Women's Ensemble and Chorale.


Abby has extensive international experience, first touring with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s "Cincinnati Singers" in Austria, Hungary, and France in 2015. Later, she performed with NKU's Chamber Choir during their 2016 Summer Canadian Tour. She also attended the Kentucky Institute for International Studies Salzburg Program, where she studied music and performed in Austria for six weeks. Recently, Abby returned from completing her elementary student teaching in Querétaro, México for two months at the prestigious Instituto de Thomas Jefferson.


In August 2018, Abby will continue her studies at the University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music to pursue a Master of Music in Music Education. Abby is honored to be a part of Slater Music Academy.



CAILEEN TALLANT (piano and voice) is a recent graduate from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX with a B.M in music composition and a B.A. in chemistry. Throughout undergraduate, she was involved in several extracurricular activities including the Trinity University Chamber Singers, Trinity AcaBellas, and undergraduate research. During her time at Trinity, she studied under the Zachary Ridgway, Carolyn True, and Deborah Rhine for private piano as well as participated in several featured choruses with the San Antonio Symphony. She was also featured in several piano master classes with Douglas Humphreys, James Dick, Alan Chow, and Jane Magrath.


Caileen has several years of experience for teaching private piano with all ages as well as leading choral workshops and rehearsals on her own compositional works, one of which, In the Bleak Midwinter, is soon to be released as a featured work on the Trinity University Chamber Singers’ Christmas album.  Caileen has had several compositional premieres including her first Symphony as well as a solo piano work, Searching, which was featured at the Celebration of Women’s Voices concert. As an undergraduate she also tutored Music theory, Math, and Science, and she is currently pending publication with the American Chemical Society Journal of Organic Chemistry.


Caileen recently moved to the Cincinnati area to begin her Masters of Music in Music Composition at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music where she will continue her passion for choral composition as well as broaden her horizons in other varieties of composition. Caileen also plans to continue her own piano study and choir while at the conservatory.



Slater Music Academy

143 N. Ft. Thomas Avenue

Fort Thomas KY  41075


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