Who are our Instructors?
The SPA employs a wide variety of studio instructors. Instructors are chosen for their background of education in their area of instruction as well as their performance experience.
James Graff, a native of Fort Morgan, is the founder and current administrator of The School for the Performing Arts. He first took an interest in music in middle school and went on to develop and refine his talent in high school and college. A classically trained baritone, James performed in several ensembles, choirs, musicals, and madrigals, as well as solo recitals throughout his education. He is best remembered in Fort Morgan for his role as Tevya in the high school musical production of "The Fiddler on the Roof." More recently, he was the male soloist in the April 2009 Glenn Miller music recording which is available on CD.
James earned his Bachelor of Arts in vocal music at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska. At Hastings, he was assigned to his accompanist, Letty, whom he married. They have four children. James is the owner of Graff's Turf Farms, Inc. and leads worship at The Sanctuary church in Fort Morgan.
Letty Graff was raised in Bertrand, Nebraska, and has played the piano for almost 30 years. She attended Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance degree. Letty accompanied various vocal and instrumental ensembles and soloists, including her husband, James Graff, and accompanied numerous concert and recitals. She performed in 3 solo recitals of her own, even mastering Ravel's piano concerto.
James & Letty have four children, and she is worship leader and keyboardist at The Sanctuary. She is also the primary accompanist for the MCC Morgan County Chorale. Letty taught piano lessons in high school and college, then took a sabbatical after her first child was born. She is excited to be teaching for the fourth season at the School for the Performing Arts.
Tertia Cain graduated from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln with a degree in Vocal performance. She has been in several operas, musicals, and stage readings performing a number of roles ranging from Mozart’s enraged “Queen of the Night”, to the comical “Wardrobe” in Beauty and the Beast, to the belting “Frances” in the premier reading of The Burnt Part Boys. She has received numerous honors and awards including two from the Metropolitan Opera Council auditions and 14 from the musical theatre and classical divisions in the National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions. She is an active soloist in community concerts and performances as well as a leader and member of worship team at her church.
In 2011 and 2012 she was a finalist in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition. She is also Director of the Morgan County Chorale and is a member of NATS.
Tertia is extremely excited to be sharing her love of music with her students at The School for the Performing Arts. She is teaching voice and piano lessons to students of all ages. Tertia is married to Michael, and they have a two daughters, Lynden and Daphne.
Jacob Bieber, tenor, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in vocal
music in 2001 from Colorado University in Boulder. As a student, he
sang oratorio and in various choirs, one which took him abroad to
Italy to sing in the balcony of St Mark’s, Venice, a very rare
occurrence for those not in the clergy. His love of music inspired him
to learn guitar and then move to Los Angeles to pursue his passion. As a semiprofessional musician in Los Angeles, he was the lead vocalist and guitarist in his own blues-based band which played various gigs throughout the greater Los Angeles area. He also co-hosted an open blues jam band in Riverside, CA and during that time he cut his first full length, all original CD Standing Still.
He currently lives in
Fort Morgan with his wonderful wife Vassi and two beautiful daughters,
Stella and Zoe, and works for 21st Century Equipment. He has been
playing guitar for over 14 years in a number of styles on both
electric and acoustic guitar and has some studio and computer recording experience. He has been teaching guitar, theory, and computer recording since 2006.
Matthew Price holds a BA in Music from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, with emphases in classical guitar performance and music ministry. He teaches acoustic, electric, and classical guitar. His musical background includes playing rock shows in clubs on Sunset Strip in Hollywood, providing music for weddings and receptions, participating in worship leadership in churches in California, Washington, Edinburgh Scotland, and Colorado, and of course teaching guitar. Matt has worked with all ages as both a teacher and a band leader. His lesson approach in all genres emphasizes solid rhythm, musical sensitivity, and beautiful tone. He also teaches drums.
Matthew is married to Dr. Jenevieve Price who is a veterinarian at the Fort Morgan Veterinary Clinic. They have a five year old son who loves both music and animals.
Karl teaches drama, speech, staging, puppetry, costuming, and other theatre courses. Karl has coached speech, drama and debate in the past- taking students to national competitions. Karl has been on the radio and TV and has played in a number of theatrical productions, including Arsenic and Old Lace, Dracula, Butterflies are Free, Faust, Hot L Baltimore, Waltz of the Toreadors, and more. Karl has toured with several musical drama groups and enjoys seeing what we can do differently! In his spare time, Karl is the Regional Director for Centennial Mental Health Center. Karl and his wife Melissa live in Morgan County with their three kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats and 32 chickens.
Victoria has been playing violin for 20 years. She started at a Suzuki School for String instruments in Northwest Indiana and has also had several years of private tutoring. She has done many recitals at church, been in productions for school as well as pep band in high school. She has played 1st Violin section in the Northwest Indiana Youth Symphony Orchestra for 3 years and has played with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra in Chicago. Victoria has studied at Suzuki, theory, bluegrass and other workshops as well as attending Blue Lake Music camp. Victoria now plays at the Sanctuary in Fort Morgan, Colorado on most Sunday mornings and enjoys playing violin for fun.
where she received 1 out of 6 scholarships. After high school, Liz attended the University of Colorado, where she received a dance scholarship and was a member of the CU Express Dance Team.
Since college, Liz has taught and taken dance class at Cherry Creek Dance. She was the Spirit Coordinator at the University of Colorado, heading up the Cheerleaders, Dancers, and Mascots. Since having children, Liz stepped out of the coordinator position to focus on coaching the CU Express Dance Team, and raising her two young daughters. She will begin her 7th year at CU this fall. Liz was also a member of the professional dance company, 7dancers for one season. Her dance career culminated with a stint as a member of the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders for two seasons until a neck injury sidelined her
professional dance career. She also was the dance director for the All Star Dance Team at Cheer Central Suns in Broomfield, CO. Liz has extensive training, and has coached dancers to compete at local and national levels. In addition to her coaching, teaching, and parenting duties, Liz also works as a hair stylist in both Denver and Fort Morgan.
Liz is married to Reid Kahl, also a Fort Morgan native. Liz resides in Arvada, CO with her husband, step-children Kalen and Ryen, and daughters Hayden and Landry.