Kristen Farr grew up in Hoover, Alabama, and began studying piano at the age of 8. Throughout her fifteen years of studying piano, Kristen has participated in several piano festivals and competitions, earning numerous awards. In 2011, Kristen graduated cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with specialized coursework in music theory, piano performance, piano pedagogy, and voice. While at Birmingham-Southern, Kristen sang in the Concert Choir and was president of the Southern Chorale. She also volunteered with the NorthStar Youth Ministries as a piano teacher and tutored several beginning piano students at the college. Upon graduation from Birmingham-Southern, Kristen began teaching piano lessons in the Birmingham area. She currently sings in her church choir and helps lead children’s worship on Sundays. Kristen has an enthusiasm for piano and loves bringing joy to others through music.
Mercedes Calcaño is a multi-gifted native of Venezuela. She graduated with honors in 2000 with a Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance from the University Institute of Musical Studies in Caracas, Venezuela. She directed the comprehensive training of pianists of all ages at the Manuel Alberto López School of Music and the College of the Andes. She taught at the Colegio Integral El Avila, a bilingual private school that integrates the artistic, sports, socio-emotional, scientific, and technological development of its students. Mercedes served on the faculty of the Conservatoire National Youth Orchestra, known world-wide through the "El Sistema" music advocacy initiative which uses music to impact Venezuela's impoverished youth. Mercedes is also an accomplished visual artist. Her illustrations are published in award-winning books, and her paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in South American museums. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and French. Mercedes is pursuing a Masters Degree in Piano Pedagogy from Samford University, where she is a student of Dr. Kathryn Fouse.
Kindermusik educator, Kelly Alligood, grew up in Northport, Alabama, where she took piano lessons as a child and sang in church with her family and friends. She developed a love for singing, which carried over into college where she sang in college choir. More recently she has lent her voice to the choir, various ensembles, and praise team at her church. She teaches Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and other children's classes at church. She is married and has two aspiring young musicians, Hannah and Avery. Having children of her own has given her a passion for the positive growth and development of the next generation. Kindermusik provides her the opportunity to bring joy into the lives of children and their families through a fun and exciting music and movement experience.
Chris Smith holds a Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance from Samford University in Birmingham, AL. While at Samford, Chris performed with the Samford University Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Jazz Band, University Chorale, A Cappella Choir, Percussion Ensemble, Steel Drum Band, and Guitar Ensemble. Since his graduation in 2005, he has been teaching, playing music professionally, and recording in the Birmingham area. Chris teaches guitar to students of all ages. His fun and practical approach to the guitar instruction builds foundational skills in the student, giving them the flexibility to play many styles. Chris teaches the value of consistent practice and reading music, and encourages students to develop a lifelong love of music. Chris teaches lessons at the School of the Arts on Thursday afternoons.
Elizabeth Berg is a current student at Samford University. She is pursuing dual degrees in Music and Psychology. Elizabeth is a Bessie G. Talford Scholar and Presidential Scholar. Elizabeth is from Hoover, Alabama and has played the French horn for 10 years. She currently studies with Kevin Kozak of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. She participates in many ensembles at Samford University including serving as Principal Horn in the Samford Wind Ensemble and Samford Orchestra. Elizabeth grew up in a musical family and believes that music offers opportunities to serve God and others, allows for personal expression and fulfillment, teaches time management and organization, and helps develop self discipline and self confidence.