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Music Faculty

Hallie Wetzell

FSPA Vocal Director, FSPA Academy Director, Instructor of Voice

Hallie Wetzell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Occidental College and Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from New England   Conservatory of Music. As FSPA Vocal Director, Hallie oversees the FSPA Voice program and serves as music director for all ensembles, as well as productions of the Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) and Electric Youth. Hallie was the Vocal Director for the FSPA Children’s Choirs for the professional touring companies of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 2000 and 2005 and Evita in 2004. She has been on FSPA’s Faculty since 1998 and became Vocal Director for FPAC in 1999.    

Timothy Ayres-Kerr

Instructor of Voice and Songwriting

Timothy Ayres-Kerr holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Pedagogy both from New England Conservatory. Tim has performed as a soloist in Opera, Oratorio, and Operetta, often portraying lead tenor roles in the works of Gilbert & Sullivan. Tim founded The Parlour Opera Players to present short operas in non-traditional venues throughout Boston. Tim is also a composer and his second completed work for the stage, A Game of Werewolf, earned him a place in One Ounce Opera’s Fresh Squeezed Ounce of Opera showcase. Tim was also awarded the grand prize in the Lester Levy “Save Our Songs,” competition. Tim joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2019.

Jeffrey DiIorio

Instructor of Guitar, Ukulele, Bass, and Songwriting

Jeffrey DiIorio holds Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Music Performance and Philosophy from Providence College and a Masters in Music Performance with a focus in jazz guitar from the University of Rhode Island. While at PC, Jeffrey performed with their Pep Band, Jazz Band, Funk Ensemble, and Jazz Combo. He has studied with Jay Azzolina, Lyle Brewer, David Riley, Phil Sargent, Julian Lage, Adam Smirnoff, and Bruce Bartlett. Professionally, he has performed with ensembles led by Alex Lee-Clark, John Allmark, and Mark Burney as well as with The Mac Odom Band, The Phunky Autokratz, and Nightshift Entertainment. Jeffrey was the recipient of the Reverend Leo S. Cannon, O.P. Award for Excellent Musicianship as well as Judges’ Choice at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival. Jeffrey joined FSPA's Music Faculty in 2019. 

Irina Fainkichen

Instructor of Violin

Irina Fainkichen studied at Rachmaninoff Music College and St. Petersburg State Conservatory in Russia. She also got her degree from Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel. She is a busy freelance violinist in the Greater Boston area. Irina performed with Broadway on Tour’s “Phantom of the Opera”, and “Hello Dolly” at Boston Opera House, “An American in Paris” at Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. She performed many shows with an amazing legends such as Marni Nixon, Sarah Brightman, Johnny Mathis and “The Who”. Irina is a former longstanding member of Cape Symphony and has an extensive experience playing with many symphony orchestras including New Hampshire, Plymouth, Lexington Symphonies and also Pro-Arte Chamber Orchestra. Irina has been on FSPA Music Faculty since 2009 and has played in the orchestra of many Franklin Performing Arts Company productions including Annie, Sound of Music, Charlie Brown, Peter Pan, Music Man, Spamalot, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, and most recently Legally Blonde, Humbug!, and Sweeney Todd. Irina is a concertmaster for the annual FPAC holiday production of the Nutcracker and a coordinator of THE BLACK BOX Classical Series,    

Ali Funkhouser

Instructor of Piano, Voice, and Repertoire Consultation

Ali Funkhouser has a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theatre from Oklahoma City University. Before attending OCU, Ali was a lifelong FSPA student. Her performing credits include the national tours of Joseph...Dreamcoat and Evita, Legally Blonde (The LEX), Puccini's Suor Angelica (Chelsea Opera NYC), Young Frankenstein, Hairspray, Company, How to Succeed..., and more. She has performed her solo cabaret show "I Only Wanna Laugh" at NYC's Don't Tell Mama. Ali studied improv comedy at Upright Citizens Brigade. In addition to her musical theatre and vocal training at OCU, Ali continued her piano studies in the studio of Professor Claudia Carroll-Phelps. Her performing credits with the Franklin Performing Arts Company include The Drowsy Chaperone, Legally Blonde, Newsies, Joseph…Dreamcoat, Little Shop of Horrors, and many many more. Learn more at Ali joined the FSPA Music, Drama, and Voice faculty in 2020.

Katie Gray

Instructor of Voice

Katie Gray attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) and completed their Musical Theater Conservatory Program. She is also an FSPA Alumni and has been featured in various FPAC productions such as Bea in Something Rotten and Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda. Other professional productions include Grizabella in CATS and Sister Mary Patrick in Sister Act. Katie is based in New York and Massachusetts. In New York she has performed in Broadway's Got Talent - Rising Star at 54 Below, Broadway Belters Live! At The Green Room 42 as well as the Broadway Sessions - Rising Star at The Laurie Beechman Katie is so excited to be joining the voice faculty. @itskatiegray

Richard Labedz

Instructor of Saxophone

Richard Labedz is a highly sought-after freelance performer in the New England area as well as the Director of Bands and Jazz Studies at Newton North High School in Newton, Massachusetts. Prior to his position in Newton, Labedz taught at Dean College and Naropa University. A strong advocate for jazz education in the public schools, Labedz has presented clinics at the International Association for Jazz Educators Conference as well as having been a guest artist for numerous school band programs throughout the United States and Australia. Labedz has served as an adjudicator for district and state festivals in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and is an experienced arts advocate and educational leader having started several honors groups, has successfully implemented several grant projects for music education. Labedz is passionately involved in working with students at all levels and delivers a creative and personalized curriculum in his approach to instruction. In addition to being a dedicated music educator, Labedz has developed a successful career as both a creative artist and commercial performer. Labedz has had the opportunity to perform throughout the United States and internationally working with: John Adams, The Aspen Chamber Symphony, The Boulder Philharmonic, Dave Brubeck, Matt Catingub, Peter Christlieb, Claflin Hill Symphony, Electric Youth and The Boston Show Band, Jon Faddis, Bob Florence, George Garzone, Slide Hampton, The OJ's, Art Lande, Dave Liebman, Keith Lockhart, Bob Mintzer, Bobby Shew, Max Roach, Bobby Rydell, The Ryles Jazz Orchestra, The Thayer Symphony, Robin Eubanks, Jiggs Whigham, The Worcester Jazz Orchestra, and Phil Wilson.

Seungok Lee

Instructor of Piano

Seungok Lee comes to FSPA from several countries. In her native Korea she earned her Bachelors in Music from Youngnam University in Daegu and then became the staff accompanist for the Daegu City Opera Company. She then enrolled in the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, Italy where she spent six years earning a diploma in piano performance and in harpsichord performance. She followed this by enrolling in Oberlin College Conservatory, in Ohio, where she was awarded an Artist Diploma in early music. Moving to Boston, Ms. Lee enrolled in the Longy School of Music and earned a performance diploma and a Masters in Music degree both in early music. She then enrolled in Boston University where she earned a Masters of Music in early music. She has performed numerous recitals in Milan, Ohio, and Boston and she has worked with or accompanied several artists in the Boston area. She is also currently on the faculty of the Boston Arts Academy.  

Kim Rezendes

FSPA Assistant Director, Director of Little Music School and Children's Music, Instructor of Piano

Kim Rezendes graduated magna cum laude from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and from Rhode Island College with a Master’s Degree in Teaching Music. As coordinator of Children’s Music at FSPA, she also serves as Program   Director for the Little Music School and Instructor of Musical Theater. Kim serves as Associate Organist at St. Mary Church in Franklin. One of FSPA’s first students, Kim joined the FSPA faculty in 1997.  

John DiSanto

Instructor of Percussion

John DiSanto holds a Bachelor of Music from Boston’s Berklee College of Music and is a FSPA percussion faculty member. John has over 45 years of drum performance and teaching experience in the greater New England area and touring abroad. John’s early career included owning a music academy and instrument center in Easton, Massachusetts for 25 years, where he provided music education to thousands of students and a creative teaching environment for dozens of instructors. Now, the school has evolved into a piano and antiques center; where John, also a piano technician, restores vintage pianos and offers tuning and repairs together with his wife, Anne, an established singer/songwriter. John's extensive and diverse experience includes performances with Dick Johnson, Mokoto Ozone, Moksha, The Drifters, Coasters, Tom LaMark cabarets and he currently is the drummer for "The Rat Pack is Back", a Las Vegas national touring group and percussionist for the Cape Cod Art Ensemble. As a drummer and recording engineer, he also has multiple recording credits and discography as both a player and producer for projects serving Boston area musicians.

Lizzy Stant

Instructor of Voice

Lizzy Stant (she/her) holds a Bachelors of Art in Neuroscience from Swarthmore College and Masters of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from New England Conservatory of Music. Lizzy has most recently performed in musicals and operas with North End Music and Performing Arts Company (NEMPAC), Miami Music Festival, FPAC, and White Snakes Productions. In the past year, she has dedicated herself to commissioning new works by composers, was a featured soprano soloist with the Commonwealth Chorale, and plays guitar and sings backup vocals with Veronica Robles' All-Female Mariachi Ensemble. She was a Teaching Fellow with New England Conservatory’s Community and Partnerships program, where she partnered with Boston Hope Music Project to bring music lessons to front line health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also teaches a voice science course with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts University. In 2021, she presented her research on vibrato and aging singers at the Pan American Vocology Association (PAVA) Conference. Lizzy loves working with students of all ages and joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 2021.

Rachel S. Webb

Instructor of Voice

Rachel S. Webb holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and an MBA from East Carolina University, as well as a Masters in Vocal Pedagogy from New England Conservatory of Music. She has participated in Oberlin in Italy's Young Artist Program and has performed roles including Polly Peachum in The Beggar's Opera. Her thesis work involved studying the anatomy and function of the breath for singing as well as using yogic techniques to find consistent, easeful posture, and breath. Rachel also continues to perform regularly in the Boston area, singing at many local churches, performing with the Cantata Singers, and was recently seen in FPAC’s production of Sweeney Todd.

Ida Zelman

Instructor of Piano

Ida Zelman has a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the Vilnius Music Conservatory. She is a skilled educator with extensive experience in teaching a wide range of levels and interests, including young beginners, intermediate, advanced students, and avocational adults. Ida has comprehensive coaching experience in chamber music ensemble. She successfully prepares many students for the Royal Conservatory Music Program, who pass with high marks and perform on the stage of Carnegie Hall. Ida joined the FSPA Music Faculty in 1993.   

Jim Hogan

Broadway Faculty - Voice and Acting

Jim Hogan is making his Broadway debut in the original Broadway cast of Kimberly Akimbo!  He has also been seen in the national tours of Waitress, The Phantom of the Opera, and Spring Awakening. His regional credits include The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Broadway at Music Circus), The Circus in Winter (Goodspeed), and Ragtime (Arden Theatre Co.) Jim appeared in The Seagull (dir. Michael Mayer). Workshop credits include The 12 (dir. John Doyle). Jim received his BFA in Musical Theater from Penn State University. He appears as a soloist with Symphony Orchestras across the country and is a member of the viral sensation #T3 whom recently appeared on AGT! @jimhogan220 and @t.3official 

Emily Koch

Broadway Faculty - Voice and Acting

Emily Koch just finished a year and half long run with the Broadway Company and the First National Tour of Waitress. She was also seen on Broadway and on tour as Elphaba in Wicked from 2015-2017. Regional: Little Women (Palo Alto TheatreWorks), ValueVille (NYMF), In The Bones (APAC, World Premiere, and New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play). Workshops: iLLA! A Hip Hop Musical (O’Neil Center), The Tale of Despereaux (Universal Pictures/The Old Globe). Readings: Housewarming (NYMF), Luna (World Premiere), All The Walls (World Premiere), and Luna and the Gold River Docks. Carnegie Mellon Musical Theatre Class of 2013, youngARTS Finalist, and Interlochen Arts Camp and Academy alum.

Kara Lindsay

Broadway Faculty - Voice and Acting

Kara Lindsay has a BFA from Carnegie Mellon. Her Broadway credits include Wicked (Glinda), Newsies (Katherine, Original Cast and Fathom Events Film), and Beautiful (Cynthia Weil). National Tour credits include Wicked (Glinda) and Little House on the Prairie (Laura). Regional credits include Newsies at Paper Mill Playhouse, Little House on the Prairie at The Guthrie, Mary Poppins at North Carolina Theatre, Cinderella at Kansas City Starlight, Cabaret at Kansas City Rep, and Lone Star Love at The 5th Avenue Theatre among others.

Kevin Massey

Broadway Faculty - Voice and Acting

Kevin Massey graduated from UNC Chapel Hill as a Music Major on the Pre-Med track. When a friend convinced him to move to NYC for one crazy year before going off to med school for 8-12 more years, he found himself on the European tour of GREASE! playing Doody and began to imagine a life in the theater. After making his Broadway debut in the Tony Nominated Sign Language Rival of Big River, he decided perhaps this is where his path should go for now. Since then, Kevin’s been in 3 more broadway shows, understudying and playing the leads in the original cast of TARZAN (Tarzan), Memphis (Huey), and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (Monty). He re-created Monty for the 1st National Tour of Gentleman's Guide, toured with Big River, and played Tarzan in german in the Hamburg production of TARZAN.
Kevin has originated lead roles in Bonnie and Clyde (Ted, Asolo Rep), Little House on the Prairie (Almanzo, Guthrie, Paper Mill, 1st National Tour), Three Musketeers (D’Artagnan, Chicago Shakespeare), Bella (Bonny Johnny/Snaggletooth, Playwrights Horizons), Grumpy Old Men (Jacob, Ogunquit), and The Rivals (Jack Absolute, Bristol Riverside Theater).  Check out his resume for a more complete list at

Christopher Rice-Thomson

Broadway Faculty - Voice, Dance, and Marketing

Christopher Rice-Thomson most recently was seen performing in Broadway tour of HAMILTON. Broadway: Pretty Woman, The Book of Mormon. Tours: West Side Story (Baby John, Tony understudy) and White Christmas. His viral #Tappy YouTube videos have received over 10 million views and been featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, The Meredith Vieira Show, On Air with a Ryan Seacrest, and more. Chris has appeared with Franklin Performing Arts Company as Jack Kelly in Newsies and in his own creation: Christopher Rice’s The Tappy Christmas Special: LIVE!  Follow Chris on Instagram & Twitter: @ChrisRiceNY

Clay Rice-Thomson

Broadway Faculty - Voice and Dance

Clay Rice-Thomson is currently performing on Broadway in Moulin Rouge (Ensemble).  He has also performed on Broadway in King Kong (King’s Company), Newsies (Spot Colon), Matilda (Michael Wormwood), and the Broadway National Tours of Wicked (Chistery), West Side Story (A-rab), and Cameron Macintosh’s Oliver. TV credits include: Saturday Night Live, The TONY Awards, MACYS Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Tonight Show, GMA, The Late Show, The View, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and more. Clay has performed at events featuring Shawn Mendes, Harry Styles, and Pharrell Williams. He recently choreographed the Franklin Performing Arts Company production of Matilda and starred in Christopher Rice's The Tappy Christmas Special: LIVE! For more, follow Clay on Instagram and Twitter @claythomson!

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