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, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs and Music Teacher's National Association, where she serves on the board for the Ohio Southwest district as President-Elect.
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 is currently completing 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. An active performer throughout the Midwest, Mr. Seil enjoys both collaborative and solo performances.
Richard began teaching piano at the Baldwin-Wallace College Preparatory Department and as a student 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
o in America in 2002. Further musical interests include conducting and violin.
ABBY SPARKS (voice), is a native of Fort Thomas and a recent graduate from Highlands High School in 2014. She participated in music and theatre throughout elementary and middle school, singing in various All-State and Honor Choirs, and has had a burning passion for music since. At Highlands High School she sang in the Chamber Choir, both A Cappella groups, and participated in drama and musical theatre. She is now entering her third year at Northern Kentucky University and is studying to attain her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education.
At Northern Kentucky University, Abby is continuing into her second year as a Teacher's Assistant for the NKU Preparatory Vocal Corps Program, as well as a Vocal Instructor. This is also her second year volunteering to co-direct the Grandview Elementary Choir Program in Bellevue, KY. She is a soprano soloist and sectional leader at a local church as well. During her time at NKU she has been in the internationally recognized Chamber Choir, as well as the Women's Ensemble and Chorale.
Abby has studied music abroad for the past two summers in Europe, first performing with the "Cincinnati Singers" through the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music and later with NKU's Chamber Choir during their 2016 Summer Canadian Tour. She recently returned from the KIIS Salzburg Program after studying music and performing in Salzburg, Austria for two months. Abby is honored to become a part of the Slater Music Academy and share her musical knowledge and experience with the voice students.
CAILEEN TALLANT (piano/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 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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