This term brings in a few changes for the school–a couple of new teachers, a few new classes, and a new executive director!

First, we’re excited to welcome into the teaching ranks Charlie Fisher and Adam Bern!

Charlie has been performing as a drummer since he was eleven and playing the bass since he was 13. As the son of Eryk Fisher, he is quite literally already a member of the FHS family!

Adam is an award-winning violinist whom some of you may recognize from the annual Rialto’s Atlanta Celtic Christmas. He is currently in Boston studying at the Berklee College of Music. Check the website for their amazing full bios!

Charlie will be teaching a new class for the school, Beginning Bass. Adam’s class is the Jazz Manouche Violin class, also known as “Gypsy Jazz.”

The other new classes are Beginning Bluegrass Banjo, taught by Payton Scott (“Foggy Mountain Breakdown, anyone?) and Beyond the Songbook, taught by Clark Brown (think 70s pop folk!).

All four of these classes will give students the opportunity to try new things and spread those creative wings!

As for the new director, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about myself.

Although I’ve had quite a few quite different careers, from sales and sales manager to Naval Reserves photographer to teacher to program coordinator and various part-time jobs, the one constant in my life has been music.

I grew up in Cincinnati, which is one of the most musically inclined cities I have lived in. I started piano at five, violin at seven. I don’t remember not being in a choir of some sort. I took it for granted that all families had the same view of music as I had. Singing in parts while cleaning the kitchen was not unheard of in my mother’s house. And that casual, every day music became the biggest influence of my musician-self.

I majored in music at Emory University at a time when there were less than twenty-five music majors, so to watch how that program has exploded since my graduation has been wonderful. But, like many people who love music, I didn’t see myself eventually making a living in the field. I kept my music a hobby.

Over the years, as I tried on a collection of career hats, music remained a steady part of my life. I met my husband in choir, and music was naturally infused into our growing family. When you find your children discussing the devil’s triad at the dinner table, you know that music has become a major factor in their lives as well!

To have found the Frank Hamilton School after the kids had all left the nest was excellent. It got me back into playing the violin (only now it’s a fiddle!) and enjoying making music with like-minded people again. The biggest thing I miss during this COVID mess is the camaraderie.

Donning the mantle of Executive Director is the perfect way to pay back the pure joy that the school has given me and which I hopefully will be able to pay forward to our students.

Come out and play with us!

~ Maura Nicholson