Our Instructors:

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Dave Lawson

Director of Bands ( Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced/Elite and Woodwinds


Dave Lawson graduated from Reinhardt College (University) with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and another Bachelor’s degree in Clarinet Performance. He was hired to create the band program at Cherokee Christian School in Woodstock, GA in 2011. During his tenure from 2011-2016, his groups regularly performed above their grade level and performed for community events throughout Cherokee and Cobb counties. During his last year at CCS, 60% of his top band made either District or All-State.

Mr. Lawson is a woodwind specialist and teaches in the North Georgia area. Mr. Lawson joined the Milton Marching Band staff in 2019 as the summer band camp clarinet instructor and the woodwind instructor for the regular season. Since graduating college in 2009, Mr. Lawson has worked with multiple BOA and WGI groups including Creekview High School, Sequoyah High School, Denmark High School, Etowah High School, River Ridge High School, and Milton High School earning 5 Grand championships and numerous class and division championships. He has worked as a woodwind clinician for many local middle and high schools including Milton High School, Northgate High School, Etowah High School, Cartersville High School, Woodland High School, Appalachee High School, Sequoyah High School, Cherokee High School, Woodland middle school, Northwestern Middle School, and Creekland Middle School. His private students regularly make All-State and District bands and his graduated students regularly receive scholarships to play at their college or university.

                Mr. Lawson owns Dr. Dave’s Instrument Repair and has worked on thousands of woodwind instruments. Being a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) since 2005, Mr. Lawson has presented 6 sessions in the past 4 years on instrument repair for GMEA, AMEA (Alabama), and TNMEA (Tennessee).

                Mr. Lawson is very passionate about teaching music, with a focus on single reeds. His website, www.woodwindmaster.com, contains beginner level videos that take the player through both the Essential Elements and the Standard of Excellence books. His advanced level videos take the player through the method books he uses with his high school students, and he regularly makes recordings for clarinet and bass clarinet GMEA All-State etudes. 

                Mr. Lawson is an avid performer and frequently performs on clarinet, sax, bassoon, and flute. He is currently a member of the American Patriot Winds. He has performed with the Tara Winds at GMEA and performed as well as conducted with them at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Mr. Lawson has also performed with The Sounds of Sawnee Community Band, Alpharetta City Band, and the Dalton Whitfield Community Band. He has performed in the pit orchestra for multiple musicals for the Academy Street Theatre Group and for Reinhardt University including, Little Shop of Horrors, Wizard of Oz, and Newsies.

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Ukulele Instructor

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Stephanie Holland

Itty Bitty and Joyful Noisemaker Instructor

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Bethany Ross

Choir Director

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James Palestrini

Guitar Instructor

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Katheryn Pearsall

Strings Orchestra Conductor

Katheryn Pearsall is a native of Michigan and graduate of Michigan State University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, certified Prek-12.  She studied viola performance with renown violist Mr. Robert Dan, a former professor at Julliard School of Music and close friend and colleague of Jascha Heifetz, viola performance and stage fright management techniques with Cesar Suarez, and violin jazz improvisation with Diego Rivera. She also studied conducting with Patrick Flynn, the former conductor and director of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, Professors John Madden and Wesley Broadnax at Michigan State University.  She had the honor to perform with Dr. Raphael Jimenez (currently the head music director at Oberlin College and Conservatory’s School of Music) and Mr. Leon Gregorian at Michigan State’s College of Music Program.  She is accomplished on all band and orchestra instruments, voice, piano, beginning classical guitar, ukulele, and harpcicle.  She has over 26 years of experience teaching private lessons, public school orchestra and band (including marching band assistant), and conductor of her high school orchestra pit production of Les Miserables in 2006 (complete and original music), and co-founder of the Saginaw Bay Youth Symphony Orchestra.  Ms. Pearsall has been a music director in Michigan and Georgia public schools- and is proud to announce her new position as orchestra director at Joyful Noise Homeschool Academy Of The Arts for the 2021-2022 school year!  She also teaches private lessons on all instruments, utilizing traditional solo music books, including Suzuki Book (not the original methodology of aural memory only; students do need to learn how to read traditional music notation, understand music theory concepts, and know the historical background of their pieces), and teaches an international baccalaureate program with Trinity College of London (piano only). 

Ms. Pearsall has participated and assisted clinicians at Large Group Performance Evaluations in Georgia, receiving superior rating and teacher of the year nominations (but did not win due to being “too new” as a director).  While she only was teaching private lessons she continued to help Fulton County public school ensembles during their concerts, LGPE competitions, and volunteering at various public schools in Fulton and DeKalb counties (elementary, middle, and high school levels). In the past year, she has grown her private studio to over 70 students and performances with several symphony orchestras (and band ensembles) and continued to expand and evolve her teaching method. She has two current students in her studio that have their own students, using her teaching methodology. Five students graduated in the last two school years and have been accepted into various music programs in Georgia and New York.  What an honor!  She has coached several students on violin, cello, double bass, and trumpet for their college auditions in 2021-2022 year. By the way, they all made it!  She is very proud of her students’ hard work and dedication to make their dreams become reality.

Ms. Pearsall’s broad performance experience covers classical repertoire and alternative styles such as hip-hop, pop, jazz, fiddle, and rock ‘n roll. She also solo improvises on violin, viola, cello, and piano.  She has performed in Carnegie Hall in New York City (live on television at age 15), Washington D.C., and New Orleans, Louisiana. She performed live at the 2009 July Festival in Norcross, Georgia on fiddle, covering country tunes from Vince Gill, Gretchen Wilson, and Zac Brown Band to name a few. She has performed in the Midland Symphony, Southern Crescent Symphony Orchestras, Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra, North Atlantic Ballet Symphony Orchestra (2006-2019). She is also a free-lance violinist, violist, and cellist in the Greater Atlanta area, performing with orchestra projects, private events, and live celebrations.  Her most recent live performance was at the Fox Theatre on July 18, 2021. 

In 2011, Ms. Pearsall was coaching Bailee Madison violin on set of a film called Parental Guidance. Bailee Madison is a young American actress who has starred in major motion picture films such as Just Go With It, Brothers, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Conviction, and The Bridge to Terabithia. Parental Guidance was released Christmas Day 2012.  Since then she has been called to work on other various film and commercial projects, coaching actors to look as if they are playing an instrument correctly while having a stunt double. 

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David McCord

Pennywhistle Class Instructor

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Sara Hydo

Recorder Instructor

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Tara Scavelli

Music Theory


James Palestrini has a Bachelors in Classical Guitar Performance from UGA and a Bachelors in Music Education from Kennesaw State University.  He has served ar the Atlanta Director for Camp Jam.  


He currently teaches at Roswell High School where he has done the following:

Developed curriculum for all grades at Roswell High School
-Led beginning guitar classes with an emphasis on rock, pop, folk, and blues music
-Instructed advanced classes with an emphasis on classical guitar
-Taught music theory and history within the context of the guitar classes at all levels
-Created an optimal learning environment for all students with varying levels of musical aptitude
-Managed classes with up to 35 students at a time
-Sponsored Roswell High School Guitar Club for 6 years, which gave students more access to instruction outside of class
-Within 2 years guitar classes became the most requested elective at Roswell High School

Bethany Ross pursued a minor in Vocal Performance from Covenant College where she enjoyed singing in multiple choirs, ensembles, and many solo opportunities.  She majored in history and received a minor in secondary education. She is passionate about sharing her love for choral music and using excellent pedagogy to develop student's abilities to use their voices well. Bethany now works for the Home School Players as Musical Theater Director. 

Bethany has participated in and led church worship teams for years at Christ Church (Normal, IL), 7 Hills Presbyterian (Rome, GA) and Highland Springs Community Church (Cartersville, GA).  Working in children’s worship ministry, she has led and supported children's choirs for almost 30 years. Bethany directed the Bloomington-Normal Area Homeschool Choirs (BACHS) Junior High/High School Cantate Choir for three years.  She is passionate about helping children develop a love of music and singing, and loves working with developing voices. 

With an extensive background in education, Bethany realizes the potential of choral music to connect the disparate disciplines of literature and poetry, geography and cultures, spiritual growth and development, history and social justice.  Music has the ability to connect people from many different cultures, languages, and walks of life in a healing process of creating beauty together.

Within the choral genre, Bethany enjoys all types of repertoire, and her singing experience runs the gamut from worship music to medieval madrigals to musical theater. Bethany is passionate about raising up a new generation of singers and believes, from experience, that every child can be taught to sing well. She is thrilled about her new role, directing Joyful Noise's Treble and Cantate Choirs, beginning in the fall of 2021.

Sara Hydo has taught private flute lessons since 1996. She has worked with public and private schools teaching band camps, sectionals, and all state masterclasses. She has preformed in large and small ensembles within the metro Atlanta area. 


Mrs. Hydo began teaching recorder, in addition to flute, so she could help her own children begin with an instrument. Having taught flute for many years, she formed a beginner recorder class. She uses a curriculum and techniques that incorporate movement and singing to engage students in multiple ways. 


Currently Mrs. Hydo plays in a woodwind quintet in Acworth, teaches flute lessons, and homeschools her 8 and 10 year old kids. She has a degree in flute performance from Georgia State University. 

Tara is a homeschooling mom of seven, ages 5 to 19, six of whom have at one point been in JNB.  She has BA in Music (as well as Communications) and has been engaged in music as a Church Musician in various director and accompanist capacities for the past 20+ years.  Her primary instrument is piano, though I also played the violin for 11 years and previously sang (I have a diagnosed vocal node).  


Here's what she says: In the various roles I've played, I've always sought to give my ensemble members, most of whom were volunteers with little formal music training, a basic understanding of the music they were providing.  I have always thought it important to have a least some background knowledge in order to add depth and breadth to the music - even in the non-professional worship setting. It took me a little while to fully trust that God was calling me to offer Music theory at Joyful Noise, but now here I am!!  I do believe that understanding the larger “language” of music is an integral part of being a well-rounded musician.  I’m excited to have the opportunity to help form future musicians!!!

Growing up in a multicultural household that loved to entertain, she had the opportunity to experience many new things. Stephanie has always wanted to travel the world; having been to to a few countries and many states, she continues to “travel” via food, art, books, and music. Stephanie and her husband Chris have six children whom they have homeschooled for twenty years so far. They enjoyed taking their children to “mom and me” music classes. “I had two wonderful mentors who instilled in me connecting music to the five senses and a gentle way of introducing music education.” Stephanie has taught children in many capacities and locations over the years, been room mom at Joyfulnoise and has taught the Itty Bitty class since 2018. She is looking forward to introducing your children to the world of music as the Itty Bitty and Noisemakers teacher.