Community School of the Arts hires only professional faculty with credentials and/or degrees in their chosen fields. We also require our instructors to actively practice their disciplines in the community and to be dedicated to the school’s overall mission. Our faculty donates a significant amount of time and talent to their students throughout the year. Permanent faculty includes two tenured members of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, pianist Carol Zinavage and violinist Lisa Muci.
Ben Maney (piano) discovered the joys of improvisation and composing during his early teens, when he would perform at talent shows and assemblies. Ben studied music at Roane State, Pellissippi State and The University of Tennessee, where he was a Studio Music and Jazz Major. His jobs have included stints with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ Red Unit Band and the Tennessee Shines House Band. He’s been a sideman to numerous bands including RB Morris, Jodie Manross, The Mitch Rutman Group, and Christabel and The Jons. Ben currently performs Wednesday nights at The Old City Entertainment Venue.
Claxyton Moultry (visual arts) is a Knoxville native and a graduate of Austin-East High School. He earned his undergraduate degree from Knoxville College and his Master’s degree in Art Education from the University of Tennessee. His work has been displayed at the Rose Center in Morristown, the Knoxville Museum of Art, and the Oak Ridge Art Center. He has taught visual arts for all levels in the Knox County School system for more than 25 years.
Jessica Watson (guitar) has played guitar for 15 years. She studied classical guitar at Middle Tennessee State University and received her bachelors in Music Industry in 2008. She has recorded songs with New Railroad and Christabel and the Jons, and she is the head songwriter and arranger for the swing folk group The Madelines. They specialize in Andrews Sisters’-style three-part harmonies. Jessica recently took first place in the Listen Up Knoxville Songwriter Showcase Competition held at Relix Variety Theatre.
Carol Zinavage (piano) holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Maryville College and a Master of Music in Piano Accompanying from The College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. Since 1985, she has been Principal Keyboardist with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Knoxville Chamber Orchestra, and has been a featured performer with both. In 2005, she was honored to win the YWCA Tribute to Women in the arts category for her work at the Community School of the Arts.
Greg Horne (guitar, traditional instruments), a 1992 graduate of the College of Wooster in Ohio, is a well-known performer and instructor in the East Tennessee area. He has produced solo albums and has appeared as guest artist on a number of recordings. He is a long-time faculty member of the National Guitar Workshop and has written nine music instruction books published internationally by Alfred Publishing.
Jenn Sudaria (Assistant Director) most recently worked as a Project Assistant for ImagePoint, Inc. During her 6 years with ImagePoint, she administratively supported teams that managed the accounts of DaimlerChrysler and Nissan North America. She was also a member of the planning committee for the Company’s annual United Way fundraising campaign. Ms. Sudaria volunteers for local organizations such as the Knoxville Leadership Foundation and the Emerald Youth Foundation when she has the opportunity. Before moving to Tennessee in 2003, prior administrative experience includes being the Administrative Secretary to the Community Services Director for the City of Delano in Delano, California for 8 years. While living in Delano, she also served on the Board of Directors for Harvest Holiday’s, Inc. and the Filipino Community of Delano, helping to organize and promote community wide celebrations and events.
Cecilia Miller (cello) began playing cello in elementary school, going on to participate in the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra, All-State Orchestra, and Governor’s School for the Arts. Cecilia graduated cum laude from the University of Tennessee, where she studied cello privately with Dr. Wesley Baldwin and participated in the both classical and jazz ensembles. Cecilia has given presentations about string players and improvisation at the Tennessee Cello Workshop and the Tennessee Music Education Association conference. She has recorded cello parts for Los Angeles band Little Red Lung, which was recently featured on the show So You Think You Can Dance, and has recorded and performed with dozens of local bands in a variety of genres including the Lonetones, RB Morris, Senryu, Jack Rentfro, Tim Lee 3, and 10 Years.
Jamie Webster (modern dance) has danced with and choreographed for Circle Modern Dance for over a decade, collaborating with such notables as Mark Lamb, Kimberly Matibag, Karen Duren, Angela Hill, Josh Beach, and Joy Davis. She has also served as visiting artist for many public schools throughout the region through the Tennessee Arts Commission Artists-in-Residence Program, and is a teaching artist for the State of Tennessee’s current 360Arts initiative.
Jennifer Willard (Executive Director), a native of Alaska, was appointed the first Executive Director of the Community School of the Arts in July, 1992. A graduate in music history and voice from the University of Tennessee and a doctoral candidate in music history at the University of Chicago, she began her career in arts management in 1979 with the Music of the Baroque concert series in Chicago. Since then, she has held management positions with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Fort Worth (Tex.) Opera, and the Birmingham (Ala.) Opera Theatre, where she was the company’s first Executive Director. Prior to returning to Knoxville, Willard served as Fine Arts Coordinator for the University of Alabama system, where she oversaw all fine arts and humanities projects for the campuses at Tuscaloosa, Huntsville and Birmingham. She also produced several special events and concerts, including the University’s first Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Concert, featuring James Earl Jones. She is a member of Leadership Knoxville (Class of 1998), was awarded the YWCA Tribute to Women Award in the category of Fine Arts in 2001, and received the Long Haul Award from the Tennessee Alliance for Progress in 2010.