Many of our talented instructors offer private lessons. This is a terrific way to learn how to do your favorite art activity. Lessons are scheduled on a individual basis based on the your calendar, the instructors calendar, and studio space availability.
Call 912-212-2787 and Tony Phillips will assist you in beginning lessons in your chosen area.
We do not require our students to sign any contracts. However, to reserve your regularly scheduled private lesson, you must
pre-pay for four lessons at a time. Also, unless you contact your private lesson instructor of your absence 24 hours in advance of your lesson you will be charged for that lesson.
Dr. Jonathan Aceto (violin & viola) has served as Director of the Statesboro Strings Program since 2004, he is the Conductor of the Statesboro Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Aceto holds performance degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Arizona State University and has extensive training in the Suzuki Method. A committed strings teacher, Dr. Aceto has served on the faculties of Mercer University, the University of South Carolina at Aiken, and Georgia Southern University. He has also taught at several summer strings camps and serves as a regular substitute teacher for the strings program at Savannah Country Day School. Dr. Aceto has participated in several music festivals including the Spoleto Festival held in Italy and in Charleston, and regularly performs in regional orchestras including the Hilton Head and Spartanburg Symphonies and the Augusta Choral Society.
Abby Thompson, (violin) teaches private violin lessons for beginning and intermediate learners. Mrs. Thompson holds a M.A. in Childhood Development and has been teaching violin at the Averitt since 2012. Proud mother of 2 children, Mrs. Thompson seeks to help engage families who desire musical endeavors.
Robert Cottle (guitar, piano, voice) is a graduate of GSU, completing both a BM and MM in music education, as well as a MM in classical guitar performance. He has served as musical director for several Averitt STARS and Youth Theater productions. Some of his favorite productions at the Averitt Center include The King and I, Little Shop of Horrors, Honk!, The Wizard of Oz, Velveteen Rabbit, Oliver the Musical, and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. He recently directed music for Jesus Christ Superstar and 9-5 the Musical with the Collective Face Theater (Savannah, Ga.) as well as The Rocky Horror Show and Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Bay Street Theatre (Savannah, Ga.) He maintains a large studio by teaching piano, voice, and guitar at the Averitt Center.
Rebecca Goines, (piano) received her Bachelor of Music degree in Theory and Composition with Piano Concentration from Georgia Southern University and returned to complete her Master of Education in Music degree. She is a member of the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) and their state affiliate, GMTA (Georgia Music Teachers Association). Over the span of 30 years, she taught General Music and Chorus in several area schools, including Marlow and Guyton Elementary Schools in Effingham County, as well as Willow Hill, Northside, Nevils Elementary, and Mattie Lively Elementary Schools in Bulloch County. She also taught private piano lessons at Bill’s Music Center in Statesboro and in her home during the 1980s and 90s. She is the pianist at Register Baptist Church where she has served since January of 2000. Rebecca enjoys working with students of all ages and is thrilled to offer private piano lessons through the Averitt Center.
Brandi Harvey, (vocals) has been tour de force in the Southeast music scene. With a passion for celebrating local musical talent, she has co-produced the Rising Creek Music Series, written for a variety of publications including Discovering Bulloch magazine, and collaborated on numerous performance and recording projects. She is set to release her debut solo album at the end of the year. The album promises to showcase her versatility as a singer/songwriter. Her performance in One will be a preview of the album and a glimpse into her life as a single mother, writer, and performer.
Kimberly Riner, (ceramics) Director and Instructor, received her Masters of Fine Art from Georgia Southern University in 3D Art with an emphasis in ceramics. Riner has held faculty positions at Georgia Southern University and Ogeechee Technical College. She is actively involved in growing the art scene in the Statesboro area where she has worked with the Migrant Youth Summer Camp, ArtsFest, Summer Studios and Creative Art Studio. Riner was recently recognized as Adjunct Faculty of the Year at Ogeechee Technical College. Her artwork has been exhibited in a national and global scale and held in various private collections. Exhibition venues include: Mason City, IA; Athens, GA; Lake City, SC; Cochran, GA; Sheffield, England, UK.
Melanie Moore, (theater) Artistic Associate, has been working in the Performing Arts for over 20 years. She has earned a BA in Theatre and Performance Studies from Kennesaw State University and an MA in Arts Administration from Goldsmith’s, University of London. Melanie has directed and produced theater for children and adults. She is also a professional portrait photographer and graphic designer. Picasso said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” We solve the problem by teaching theater, which has the power to unlock the child’s inner creativity, making it memorably accessible for the rest of their lives.
Timothy C. VanBeverhoudt, (theater) Artistic Assistant, is a recent graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Performance. He is a native from West Philadelphia, PA and has had the pleasure of being a part of many main stage shows, a couple of student films, and small projects outside and at Penn State. He has worked with directors and actors such as Stephanie Mills, Bill Jolly, Emily Bruni, Charles Dumas, Steve Broadnax and many more. He was a Florida Studio Theatre Acting Apprentice where he had experiences as an actor, Teaching Artist, House Manager, and Box Office Assistant. Two of his favorite roles are “Trebonius” in Julius Caesar at Penn State and “The King” in a modern production of Rumpelstiltskin at Florida Studio Theatre.
Taylor Ellen, (ballet) Artistic Director, Ms. Ellen graduated from Belhaven University with a bachelor of fine arts in dance, with an emphasis in ballet. She originally trained in a variety of techniques, but focused on the Vaganova method while in college, during which time she also took courses in dance pedagogy, choreography, ballet teaching methods, and dance kinesiology. In high school, she was part of a Teacher Training Program under LaGrange School of Ballet’s artistic director, Amy Orr, where she worked as an assistant and student teacher to the lower levels. Prior to serving as interim director of the Statesboro Youth Ballet, she worked for two years as an instructor with the program in ballet, pointe, modern, tap, jazz, contemporary pointe, creative movement, and pre-ballet.
Ashley Casstevens , (ballet) Assistant Ballet Director, was born in North Carolina, and was raised on Hilton Head Island, SC where she began dancing at five years of age. She began her ballet training at Hilton Head Dance School and danced many roles there, most memorably "Odette/Odile" in Swan Lake, "Sugar Plum Fairy" in The Nutcracker, and "Raymonda" in Terpsichore. She received additional training at Charlotte School of Ballet’s summer program. Joining Columbia City Ballet in 2001, she enjoyed roles in Dracula, The Nutcracker, Coppélia, and Beauty and the Beast, which was filmed for South Carolina Public Television. She taught and performed with various schools throughout the southeast, as well as in Massachusetts. She began dancing with Savannah Ballet Theatre (SBT) in 2015 and assumed roles in The Nutcracker in Savannah, as well as the role of "Auntie ‘Em" in the following spring’s Wizard of Oz production.
Tony Phillips, (ballroom) has been teaching ballroom dancing for over 35 years. He has taught for Appalachian State University, Caldwell Community College, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro Bulloch Parks & Recreation, and of course Averitt Center for the Arts. He served a professional dancer in the 2017 cast of Dancing with the Statesboro Stars, a community fund-raiser for Safe Haven, an area battered women’s shelter. As a dancer he has been an opening act for Conway Twitty, The Kendalls, Ricky Skaggs, and has performed on stage at the Grand Ole Opry. Phillips and his wife Diane are the parents to daughter Madison who is married to Garrett Darsey. They all enjoy calling Statesboro home.
Kathy Smith, (ballroom) did not start to take ballroom dance lessons until well after her retirement from teaching. She can now offer basic instruction in East Coast Swing, Cha-cha, Rumba and Waltz. Dancing is one of the best ways to keep your brain young because it combines new learning with exercise, social contact and fun. If you would like to learn enough of any or all of these dances to survive on the dance floor, sign up for private lessons today!