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Faculty

Dance

Ann Burkot

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Ann Burkot, Director of Dance Department, is a Kutztown University graduate with her BA in Dance Production and Management, and a minor in Psychology. At Kutztown, Ann was on the Lenhart Dance Company as...
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Kristina Dennis

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Kristina Dennis is a teacher in dance, preschool movement, and the Neighborhood Bridges Program. She attended Cedar Crest College and earned her BA in Dance. She was the President of the Cedar Crest College...
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Laura Gaydos

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Laura Gaydos began her training in Maryland at Cecil Dance Center and went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Upon graduation...
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Holly James

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Holly James is an original member of Berks Ballet Theatre. She has an extensive background as a performing ballerina, dancer, and instructor. She has studied at Point Park University, and received her BFA in Dance /...
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Leigh Grant

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Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Leigh Grant began dancing at age five. Her training took her to New York City at age 10, studying at Broadway Dance Center and training with Madame Gabriella Darvash, Finis...
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Music

Susan Gish Forry

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Susan Gish Forry teaches piano for ages 4 to adult. She has studied with Dr. Malvina Leshock, internationally acclaimed concert pianist and composer. In addition to private lessons and introductory classes to young children,...
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Tara (Reber) Bernstel

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Tara (Reber) Bernstel currently teaches music classes and private voice and piano lessons at Yocum Institute. Tara is a graduate of Kutztown University with degrees in Music Education and Music Performance. She is currently...
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Liza Gallen

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Liza Gallen is a recent graduate of Lycoming College. Over her lifetime she has had a love for the arts which led her to study vocal performance, as well as Communications, in college. Liza...
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Steven Holgate

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Steven Holgate is a graduate of Indiana University of PA, with a degree in Music Education and a degree in Music Performance from Illinois State University. Steven teaches brass instruction and many of the...
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Danny Phillips

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Danny Phillips teaches guitar, bass, mandolin, ukelele and other stringed instruments at the Yocum Institute and has been studying and playing guitar for over 40 years. He has performed in numerous local and regional...
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James Neher

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James Neher teaches piano, theory, and composition, and is the director of our Piano Ensemble program. He is a former student at Manhattan School of Music, and has a BA in Music from SUNY...
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Kate Uhler

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Kate Uhler earned her BS in Music Education, cum laude, from Millersville University, with a concentration in clarinet. She is a certified music teacher in the state of Pennsylvania and has taught band, chorus,...
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Jarred Miller


Mary Grace Harris


Theater

Beverly Houck

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Beverly Houck, Theater Department Head, since 2005 she has produced and directed for Yocum Institute for Arts Education’s Primary Stages Productions. In 2012, Houck was asked by the Berks County Parks & Recreation Dept....
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Samantha Clarke

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Samantha Clarke is a writer, director, actor, and theatre educator. She attended Philadelphia’s University of the Arts (BFA Acting) graduating first in her class and London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (MA Text and...
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Joel Gori

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Joel Gori earned his BFA in Theater from Daemon College and his Masters in Theater from Penn State University. He is the instructor in the Neighborhood Bridges Program, a play director, and workshop leader.
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Nate Rothermel

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Nate Rothermel is a theatre artist from Reading, PA who has a passion for empowering others with art. Nate has trained with NY-based artists during the Artist as Citizen Conference at Juliard, and is...
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Debbi Silas

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Debbi Silas is the director of Broadway Junior Camp, the Without Limits Dance instructor, and teacher of various theatre classes. She attended West Chester University to receive a degree in Elementary/Special Education, and Penn...
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Jerry Walsh

Jerry Walsh has been a professional actor and member of the Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG/AFTRA) for 25 years. He has appeared in movies such as “War of the...

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Garrett Solomon

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Garrett Solomon is a theatre artist and activist focused on dramaturgy, improv, acting, and playwriting. His training began at the Freehold Performing Arts Center in New Jersey and he continues to study theatre at...
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Visual Arts

Phylis Moser

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Phylis Moser, Visual Arts Department Head is a visual artist (specializing in acrylics and mixed media), calligrapher, and designer. As Director of Visual Arts for the Yocum Institute, she oversees program design and development....
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Thomas Dareneau

Thomas Dareneau is a drawing and contemporary art teacher. He has his degree from Kutztown University and his Masters from Gratz University. Thomas is an Art21 Educator.

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Shawna Hansberry

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Shawna Hansberry attended Kutztown University and University of the Arts for her teaching degree. At Yocum, she is the visual arts mixed media teacher with school-age students. Her passion and love for art shows...
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Rebecca Kline

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Rebecca Kline graduated Kutztown University in May 2017, with the major Bachelors of Science in Art Education and a concentration in Painting. She has a range of experience working with pre-K-12 youth and adults...
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Kyle LePera

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Kyle LePera puts a unique twist on his classes by combining studio art (primarily drawing and painting) with art history. He received a BS in Art Education, a BFA in Painting (Art History, Minor),...
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Tammy Updegrove

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Tammy Updegrove is an accomplished artist in multiple mediums including, but not limited, to charcoals, collage, and acrylics. She has painted hundreds of murals in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. She is a published illustrator...
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Danielle Wynen

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Danielle Wynen recently returned to the city of Reading after a 15 year period in the Eastern Sierra Mountains of California. While in CA, she started a family, pursued an Associates Degree in Liberal...
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