I am so excited to be celebrating our 16th Year of Art and Sol! I started Art and Sol while working as a full time teacher in the Arcadia neighborhood 16 years ago. It started as a small after school class I held once a week. As much as I loved teaching in the classroom, I poured my heart into Art and Sol. I was thrilled that it kept growing year after year, and I made it my full time job while raising my children at home. After 16 years, Art and Sol has grown and flourished across the valley. I am so proud that we have three locations, with six classes, and over 300 children every session. It is the greatest honor to teach children of all ages the love and joy of performing and musical theatre. I feel so blessed to have the BEST JOB EVER! I get to sing, dance, act, and help children SHINE on and off stage through Art and Sol!
“You can’t make a song with just one note.”
My love for teaching began at a very early age when I used to play “school” with my younger brother; he was the student and I was always the teacher. I fell in love with music at age 8 when I started playing the viola and joined my elementary school orchestra. By the time that I graduated high school, I was studying the viola, violin piano and voice and I realized that teaching music was my passion. I have performed with numerous youth and professional orchestras and choirs and have performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, various venues throughout Europe, and even performed on the street corner in Washington D.C.!
I earned my degree in Music Education with a concentration in viola and piano from Marywood University before I moved to Phoenix in 2005. I previously taught general music and choir in the Phoenix Elementary School District for nine years and I am currently choral director and general music teacher at Madison Meadows Middle School.
I’m so blessed to join the Art and Sol team as the newest vocal director. I love working with children everyday and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together!
Art and Sol has become the frosting on the layer cake of my life.
I was born in Minnesota and raised in a house full of instruments – two pianos, two violins, an oboe and a clarinet, not to mention my dad’s many harmonicas and his musical saw! We sang table graces, duetted and quartetted, and generally made a joyful noise.
Piano and violin study continued through my years at Iowa’s Luther College and then at Arizona State University with courses including Piano Accompanying, Chamber Music and Opera, and Jazz and Caribbean styles.
Theater has always been a feature in my life – I tend to recall memories according to which show I was working on at the time. Past gigs have ranged from pit orchestra violinist/pianist to composer/arranger and thanks to Art and Sol’s “Broadway Bound” camp I can add – playwright!
It is my joy to get to do what I love for a living, now in my fifteenth year of teaching elementary music full time. Sharing lessons and activities I have created with other teachers is one of the latest layers on this ever-growing cake. If you would like to see and hear more, go to: www.keyofeflat.com
I am excited to be returning to this outstanding group in the fall as Vocal Director. I am both a singer and conductor, and I currently teach choir and general music in the Central Phoenix area.
I grew up in Orlando, Florida, where I started singing and performing at an early age. My performances took me all throughout the state Florida, to the Disney theme parks and resorts, and even to Carnegie Hall in New York City. I earned a degree in Music Education from Stetson University where I sang in and conducted numerous choirs and performed with the Stetson Opera Theatre program. My goal as a teacher is to share my love of performing with my students and to help them uncover their unique talents and abilities!
My name is Brianna Fallon, but you can just call me Bri!
I’ve had the desire to perform since I was a young child. I had my fill of drama skits at church, playing the cello at school, singing in choirs, acting in plays, making videos with with my friends, and even hitting up the karaoke bars on the weekend with my mom.
As I grew, this love for the arts burned hotter and deeper than I could have ever thought. As a young adult I found my time was spent memorizing lines, reading plays, and attending shows. This was no longer a fun thing of my childhood but a sincere passion given to me by God.
In high school my catch phrase was “I will never be a drama teacher. If you become a teacher, that just means you’ve given up on your dreams!” How immature and naive I was. Through teaching, God has unlocked a new beautiful outlet for me to release His goodness to the future generation. There is nothing like seeing a child active in the art of drama. It kindles joy in my spirit just thinking about it!
Over the past 6 years I have taught theatre to thousands of students of all ages, abilities, and at many locations. Some of my previous experience includes: Experienced Arts School, Musical Instrument Museum, Mesa Arts Center, Childsplay, and CLIMB Theatre. I am also working on completing my degree in Theatre and am hoping to transfer to ASU in Spring of 2019.
Monica Sampson is an award-winning Phoenix-based journalist, actress, and entertainer. Having just graduated summa cum laude from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, in Broadcast Journalism and Theater with a Pre-Law minor; Monica understands the power storytelling has to educate, inspire, and inform and is delighted to join Art and Sol as their newest Assistant Director.
As an Actress, Sampson has acted for local theaters across Arizona and just arrived back in Arizona, after spending the summer acting at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London, where worked on a production of Hamlet. Monica is trained in dialect; the international phonetic alphabet and can’t wait to work on fun accents with a young audience! Some of Monica’s favorite roles have been, Ado Annie, in, ‘Oklahoma’ and William Barfee in, ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,’ where she performed and competed at Disney’s Fullerton College.
Sampson is no stranger to all different types of performances, serving as the former Assistant News Director for KASC Blaze Radio and a co-host of the radio show “Mojo In The Morning.” Monica’s work experience includes NPR, PBS and Cronkite News where she served as a reporter, broadcasting live on the 5pm evening newscast.
Monica is looking forward to sharing her knowledge, and love of theater with a new generation of performers. Outside of her professional life, Monica enjoys musicals, bunny rabbits, and singing along to Barbra Streisand.
I was born in Denver, Colorado but moved to a suburb of Boston at 2 years old. My family then moved to Phoenix when I was in the fifth grade and while it was a hard transition for me to go from New England to the desert, I ended up moving back after getting my B.S. at Brigham Young University and am now happy to be raising two little Phoenicians of my own!
My educational background is in human development and elementary education but after I had my kids and was staying at home I found I wanted a creative outlet and a way to document their lives as they were changing so fast. I come from a creative family, and my mother is a professional artist so I took a page from her book at flexed my photography muscles. What started off with buying my first dslr, reading books on exposure on portraiture, and taking pictures of friends’ kids ended up blossoming into a business.
And now I am lucky enough to join the Art and Sol family. I look forward to documenting these exciting experiences with your families and hope that I am able to capture the joy and magic of the theater, friendship, and childhood that you will be able to keep as treasures forever. For more information on me and to see some examples of my work, please visit rachaelannelewisphotography.com