Community Arts

Community Arts

Bryan College Community Music School

The Bryan College Community Music School is a consortium of qualified teachers in the Rhea County, TN, area. BCCMS teachers have earned a degree in music or have achieved a mastery of their instrument through years of study. While other genres of music are explored, members of our faculty teach primarily from a classical perspective. Since its founding in 1985, BCCMS has served as a practicum for rising teachers who are studying music at Bryan College. Student teachers are approved by Dr. Olivia Ellis.

Chattanooga Symphony Concert Feature

Interested in lessons?

Request lessons online or call us at 423-775-7498.

Upcoming Events
Event Date & Time Location
“Imagination in Music”

with CSO concertmaster

Thurs, Sept. 3, 5:00 pm Online by invite
Outdoor Movie Night Fri, Sept. 25, 7:30 pm BC Outdoors - TBA
Christmas Recitals Thurs, Dec. 10, 6:30 pm Online
Master Class Sat., Feb. 27, 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm (virtual) Online
Theory Exams Apr 12, 4:00 pm & Apr 17, 11:00 am Rudd Auditorium
Community Music Festival Fri.-Sat, April 23 & 24 Rudd, Art Crafters (1:00 pm)
Spring Recitals Tues, April 27 and Thurs, April 29 (6:30 pm & 7:45 pm on both days) Rudd Auditorium
Teacher Instrument Phone
Dr. Zeb Balentine Electric guitar, Acoustic guitar, Bass guitar, Songwriting 870.820.4436
Mary Blackburn piano, voice

(virtual lessons only)

Ms. Mary Brown Harp/Piano 423.326.7812
Dr. Nicole Doran Composition/Woodwinds/Piano/Voice 423.509.3799
Dr. Olivia Ellis


Piano 423.775.7282
Mrs. Linda Barger Piano 423.775.0758


Mr. Roy Barger Classical Guitar 423.775.0758
Mrs. Jane Barnett Piano 423.618.3750
Mr. Randy Bright Voice 865.809.0737
Mrs. Allison Hall Piano 423.413.9232
Mrs. Rachel Jones Piano 423.779.8240
Ms. Grace McCready, student-teacher Piano 410.231.4325
Mr. Isaac Mullet, student-teacher Voice 540.214.6259
Ms. Laura Neff, student-teacher

Student Pedagogy Intern

Piano 423.653.3136
Ms. Katelyn Novak, student-teacher Piano 859.481.3692
Ms. Ally Underwood Flute 423.605.2134
Ms. Kristen Underwood Gfeller Violin 423.326.7477
Teacher Biographies

Dr. Zeb Balentine

Dr. Zeb Balentine is Assistant Professor of Worship Arts at Bryan College where he teaches worship leading, songwriting, electric guitar, and directs various worship teams. He holds a Doctorate and Master of Arts in Worship Studies from Liberty University. Before coming to Bryan in 2018, he was a worship pastor in Arkansas. Dr. Balentine has spent 25 years playing guitar, writing songs, and performing in various venues, settings, and genres.

Mrs. Linda Barger

Mrs. Linda Barger has been teaching piano students for 40 years. She studied piano and organ with Dr. J. James Greasby, receiving her Bachelor of Music in organ performance from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1989. Linda is staff accompanist for the Bryan College Music Department.  She lives with her husband, Roy, and their children.  

Mrs. Jane Barnett

Mrs. Barnett has taught piano for over 30 years. While in high school, she was the chosen accompanist for the tri-cities chorus festival in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and she attended the Iowa Governor’s School for the Arts at Drake University. She has accompanied choirs and played for churches nearly her whole life. She was Director of BCCMS from 2004-2009. Mrs. Barnett teaches piano at all levels. Her students consistently place at area competitions. She is married and has three adult children and ten grandchildren.

Mr. Randy Bright

Randy Bright holds a B.S. in Vocal Music Education from Bryan College and a Masters of Music: Performance with a concentration in Choral Conducting from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He formerly directed the Bryan College Community Youth Choir and was the Graduate Conductor of the UTC Chamber Singers. While at Bryan College, Randy played leading roles in several Opera Theater productions, including in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. Currently, Randy is the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church of Dayton, TN.

Mary Blackburn

Mary Blackburn has been teaching in the Chattanooga area for almost 20 years.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Pedagogy and has participated in and led various ensembles and choirs as well as leading music (piano and vocal) at church.  She has taught students from just about every age and stage of life!  Mary has a passion for music and loves passing that knowledge on to others, working with students to develop a solid musical foundation as well as having fun with music.  Her favorite thing about teaching is when students have those “aha” moments!

Ms. Mary Brown

Mary Brown is a graduate of Bryan College, earning degrees in Harp Performance (BS) and Business Administration (MBA), and has received formal instruction in harp and piano since the age of five. She performs in weddings, church services, and with various ensembles and orchestras. She enjoys instilling a love of music into the lives of her students.

Dr. Nicole Doran

Dr. Nicole Doran has loved music from a young age and enjoys musical adventures with her students. Every day she finds ways to connect a singing tone to work with pianist, singers and other woodwind performers. She studied bassoon performance, music education classes, woodwind and vocal techniques at the University of Miami with Luciano Magnanini and completed her studies in performance, music history, and music composition at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory on a full scholarship with William Winstead and Allan Sapp. When her family settled in Tennessee she served as adjunct music faculty with Bryan College. She has worked as an assistant children’s choir director at North Shore Fellowship and sung in their choir.  She has maintained a private teaching studio for 29 years.

Dr. Olivia Ellis

Dr. Olivia Ellis is Associate Professor of Music at Bryan College where she teaches piano, music theory, and pedagogy and directs the Piano Ensemble. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma, MM from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), and BM from Carson-Newman University. Before coming to Bryan in fall of 2014, she taught piano and theory at Randall University. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music through MTNA and teaches a small studio of pre-college pianists in addition to her faculty duties.

Mrs. Allison Hall

Mrs. Allison Hall has been teaching private piano lessons for over twelve years. She graduated from Bryan College with a piano pedagogy degree in 2008 and has taught piano since high school. Allison loves teaching a variety of ages and levels, and her students have ranged from kindergarten through adult age. Allison and her husband Josh have three little blessings - Elliott, Gemma and Oliver.

Mrs. Rachel Jones

Mrs. Rachel Jones has taught piano lessons for seven years and studied piano under several teachers for 15 years. She teaches private piano lessons for beginning, elementary, and intermediate students of all ages using a combination of Suzuki and traditional methods. Rachel is a member of the Chattanooga Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association. She graduated from Bryan College with a B.A. in English Literature in 2010. She lives with her husband, Keith, and their two children.

Ms. Grace McCready

Grace McCready is a senior at Bryan College who has completed the Methods of Teaching Piano course under Dr. Ellis. She has taught piano lessons for two years. Grace has played the piano for 15 years and has performed in a number of recitals. She has also helped lead worship on the piano and has played for offertory and the youth choir. She offers lessons to beginning, elementary, and early intermediate students.

Mr. Isaac Mullet

Isaac Mullet is currently completing a degree in vocal music, focusing both in education and performance. Isaac performs with both the Bryan College Chamber Singers and Chorale and has performed solos in Handel's Messiah and Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, in addition to winning both solo and concerto competitions at Bryan. Issac has also held roles in productions at Bryan such as Freddy in My Fair Lady and Figaro in the Marriage of Figaro. Isaac is excited to be able to help young students learn the love of singing.

Ms. Laura Neff

Laura Neff is currently a junior Piano Pedagogy major at Bryan College. She has been a pianist for fifteen years and is a member of both the Bryan College Piano Ensemble and Community Orchestra. She has been blessed with many different opportunities to grow as a musician, from performances and conducting experience, to attending an international piano festival in South Korea. Laura also serves as an officer of the MTNA collegiate chapter at Bryan. She greatly enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels. As a music teacher, her goal is to instill a love and appreciation of music as well as a desire to serve the Lord in all her students.

Ms. Katelyn Novak

Ms. Katelyn Novak has been involved in music from a young age, both in piano and voice. She has been privileged with opportunities to serve for many years as church pianist, choir accompanist, rehearsal assistant, and student director, as well as organize many informal music programs in her community. She strives for excellence in music to the glory of the Lord, maintaining the motto, “To bless, not impress.” Ms. Novak currently studies music education with a focus in voice at Bryan College. She also directs the Grace Bible Youth Ensemble in Dayton, TN.

Ms. Ally Underwood

Ms. Ally Underwood holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Bryan College in 2010 and has been teaching private flute lessons for 15 years. In the past, she directed the Bryan College Flute Ensemble, the Bryan College Community Children's Choir, and was the Band Director for Bledsoe County Schools. She has performed with the Cadek Flute Choir, the Carluke Primrose Orchestral Flutes in Carluke, Scotland, the Chattanooga Youth Symphony, the Bryan College Flute Ensemble, the Bryan College Chorale and Chamber Singers, and a variety of other orchestras, choirs, community bands, pit orchestras, church ensembles, weddings, and solos.

Ms. Kristen Underwood Gfeller

Ms. Kristen Underwood Gfeller is a May 2012 graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Music Administration. She began playing the violin at age seven and has participated in the music ministries of several churches, the Chattanooga Symphony, and Opera Youth Orchestras, as well as many of Bryan’s musicals and showcases. She has also performed with the Benedict Trio, a bluegrass/jazz group, and Cannon Creek Bluegrass Band.