Jonathan Cook – Director

An avid proponent of youth arts education, Jonathan Cook is a freelance musician and teacher based in Lexington, Virginia. Jonathan received his bachelor’s degree in music from Western Michigan University in 2009, and his master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Michigan in 2011. A distinguished classical pianist, Jonathan has been featured as a guest artist at Washington and Lee University, Sweet Briar College, the University of Michigan, and as a “distinguished alumni” at Western Michigan University. He has performed concertos with orchestra under the batons of Elim Chan, Michael Haithcock, Mark Taylor, and Shane Lynch. He serves as organist and music director at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Hot Springs, Virginia, and maintains a teaching schedule of thirty private students. Most recently, Jonathan has shifted focus from classical music to his own electronic music compositions. Last summer he composed the soundtrack for a video game. Now he is working under a new pseudonym, Jonathan Aidan, and is creating solar powered electronic music for yoga. The first Jonathan Aidan album is schedule for release in early September 2017.


Josh Harvey and Ashley Latta – Artist Camp Theatre Teachers & Directors of Musical Theater Production

Josh Harvey

Josh Harvey began his professional accompanying career in church music at the age of 15 and quickly began playing for musical theatre productions from high school onwards. He received his degree in music theory and composition from Washington and Lee University in 2000 and became a lecturer, accompanist, and musical director for his alma mater’s Department of Theatre and Dance and Department of Music. He received his M.A. in the Musical Direction of Musical Theatre from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2012. Josh is currently an instructor, voice teacher, and music director at the Conservatory of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO.

He has played all over the world in churches, theatres, rock, jazz, choral, gospel, symphonic, and performance art settings; for weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, and concerts, including events in Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Cuba, Costa Rica, Norway, Haiti, and Finland.

He and his wife, Ashley Latta, are parents to two precocious children, Sebastian and Isla

Ashley Latta

Ashley Latta graduated with a B.A. in Theatre from Southern Virginia University and earned an H.N.C. (Associate’s Degree) in Music Business/Rock Music Performance from North Glasgow College (now Glasgow Kelvin). Selected favorite roles include Rona Peretti in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Ilse in “Spring Awakening,” Judy Denmark /Ginger delMarco in “Ruthless” (540 Productions); Ross in “Macbeth” (exit, pursued); Ms. Papillion in “Rhinoceros,” Jenny Mae in “The Diviners,” and Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Southern Virginia). She is married to Josh Harvey, with whom she has two precocious children, Sebastian and Isla.

“What does go deeper mean to you, and how will you apply this in your teaching at Summer FAIR?”

(Josh and Ashley chose to answer this question as a team)

The FAIR theme “Going Deeper” applies very directly to the theatrical arts as one has to be more and more in touch with one’s emotions, one’s hopes, dreams and desires, and one’s imagination in performance. Actors must develop the vulnerability to share these feelings with other actors and the audience.

From our classes we want young people to find a better connection to their authentic selves in collaboration with others. But this is achieved not just in performance, which is the end of the journey, but the cultivation of skills, which is the journey itself. Each class requires a different development of skills: acting through song requires “going deeper” into vocal technique and freedom of voice as well as the interaction of music and words; Shakespeare into the language and syntax of our greatest playwright; devised work into our artistic and improvisational selves; and the musical, deeper into discipline and deadlines to create a finished product.


 

Erin Hutchinson – Artist Camp Fiber Arts Teacher

I learned to quilt shortly after my first son was born in 2002. After years of believing that my younger sister had all the creative genes in the family, I was thrilled to discover a creative outlet for myself. My quilting style is traditional and scrappy – I love making something beautiful from whatever I have on hand. I also enjoy upcycling – repurposing a discarded item into something new.   Upon opening The Stitchin’ Post in 2013, I added knitting and crochet to my creative repertoire. Having worked in education for most of my adult life, I enjoy sharing my love of fiber arts with others through teaching. When I’m not creating or teaching, I enjoy reading, board games and spending time outside with my family. I also love riding motorcycles, but I gave mine up once my second son was born in 2005. Believe me – once my boys are grown and out of the house, I’ll be back on a motorcycle, exploring every back road I can find!

“What are you looking forward to about Summer FAIR?”

Every summer, I am amazed at the way FAIR students take my class ideas and run off with them in directions that I never imagined. Teaching FAIR students makes me a better artist by challenging my notions of what is possible. I can’t wait to see what the Fiber Arts students come up with this summer given a bit of cloth and yarn!


Laura Wiseman – Artist’s Camp Art Teacher

Laura Wiseman is a recent graduate of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Laura was born in London, England and lived in both England and Ireland before moving to the United States in 2007. Her artistic interests include analogue photography, printmaking, experimental processes that combine media, and making art accessible to everyone. Laura is teaching photography, printmaking, on-site drawing, and natural arts this summer at Rockbridge FAIR Artists Camp. When she isn’t taking pictures, Laura is practicing calligraphy, exploring different cities and countries, or looking for the next concert to attend. Laura currently lives and works in Lexington, Virginia as an intern for photographer Sally Mann.

“What does go deeper mean to you, and how will you apply this in your teaching at Summer FAIR?”

Art should be accessible and fun! When teaching art I ask myself “why not go deeper?” and push my students to find real life connections in their artwork. When you incorporate your home, people you know, and your personal experiences into the art you create, your art not only becomes more important to you, but to others that share your experiences with you.


Katie Perkins – Artist Camp Music Teacher

My name is Katie Perkins and I am from Southern California. I have been married for about one year and have an adorable three month old puppy named Penelope. I am a junior at Southern Virginia University studying commercial music and working towards getting my Chorale teaching license. I am currently a member of SVU’s premier A Capella group “Accolade”, a member of The Concert Chorale and have been in several other choirs and singing groups throughout my life. I enjoy arranging music for the A Capella group and writing music for myself to sing. I just recently finished being in “The Music Man” at SVU and have been in several other theater productions throughout my life. I also have been involved in live sound mixing and post production sound engineering. While I was in high school my Mom and I taught a children’s performing group called “Sunshine Generation” and I loved working with the kids! I have been singing and performing since I was 3 years old and music is my passion! And I can’t wait to share that passion through teaching these classes!

“What does go deeper mean to you, and how will you apply this in your teaching at Summer FAIR?”

I am so excited to teach at Fair because I love teaching children and I love music! I am really excited about the theme this year “Go Deeper” because I believe that we can always develop new talents and learn new things no matter what age we are. The theme “Go Deeper” allows for us to learn more no matter what level we are at. I am so excited to share my passion for music with these kids no matter what their musical background is or what level they are currently at!


Emma Altenburg – Artist Camp Dance Teacher

I began my love for the arts at Summer FAIR. Alongside my older sister, I grew up in Lexington, participating in the camp. During the school year, I danced with The Studio and Rockbridge Ballet. I was trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, tap, and hip hop. After many years there, I left The Studio and began performing with Washington and Lee University’s Dance Company. This will be my second year teaching dance at camp and my fourth year working for FAIR. I love seeing all of the students enjoy summer FAIR each year. I truly feel my experience has come full circle, being a student and now being a teacher. This fall, I will attend Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I hope to continue dance there. Looking forward to seeing all of the many shining faces of FAIR this summer!

“What does go deeper mean to you, and how will you apply this in your teaching at Summer FAIR?”

I look forward to going deeper into dance. I will teach my students to go past the boundaries of technique and explore emotions through their movement. In jazz and modern class, the students will learn a combination to help with repetition, picking up choreography, and practice. Improv class will allow the students to find their own specific style. Lastly, site-specific choreography will allow the dancers to take in the beauty of nature and architecture to inspire their movement.


Laura Noker – Young Artist Camp Theatre Teacher

I am a Theater major at Washington and Lee, and I will be graduating this December. I have been in love with theater since I played Gretl in The Sound of Music when I was six. I worked as a student director all through high school with age groups ranging from preschool to ninth graders. This year I was in three shows at W&L, and I worked backstage for two dance shows. I know all the words to far too many musicals, if “too many musicals” is even a possibility. I love all things Disney, and I love reading. (Right now I’m particularly enjoying Philippa Gregory’s books about the Wars of the Roses and the Tudor Court.)

“What are you looking forward to about Summer FAIR?”

This is my second year teaching Drama for the first through fourth graders at FAIR, and I’m looking forward to another fun three weeks! We’ll play lots of theater games and maybe even try a scene or two. Come ready to imagine and create, and we’ll have an amazing time making art!


Nadia Forté – Young Artist Camp Art Teacher

I am free spirited 25 year-old. I am a very upbeat and outgoing person, and I have always been a very unique and creative individual. I grew up in Bedford, Virginia, attended school at Virginia Tech, and am currently living in Lexington. I am always searching for fun new activities to keep myself busy. My passions include eating healthy, spending time in nature, animals, and particularly making art! I strive to leave my mark on the world through art. Growing up I was lucky to be encouraged to express myself in imaginative ways because my grandfather is a painter and my mother is a potter. I love to let my abilities run free in painting, drawing, photography, and tie dying. I also have a passion for hula hooping, which I consider an art as well. My days consist of working, writing, and forming art with my large black cat named China by my side. He is also very creative but a little lazier than me!

“What does go deeper mean to you, and how will you apply this in your teaching at Summer FAIR?”

In 2017 where it seems technology has taken over, it feels so exhilarating to create in an organic way. I am very excited to inspire kids to make all sorts of art while encouraging them to step outside of the box and ‘go deeper’, to take a risk and not worry about what other people think! We will be there each day to have fun and express ourselves through different mediums of art without any negativity. I am going to make every day in the classroom a positive experience where creativity rules! I believe that art, as most things in life, is completely subjective and therefore, if it makes you happy, that is all that truly matters!


Elliot Emadian – Young Artist Camp Music Teacher

Elliot Emadian is a 2017 graduate of Washington and Lee University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics. Elliot has been around music all his life, primarily as a dance artist, but with mom playing piano and sister practicing voice, it wasn’t long before Elliot himself was attempting to do the very same. By high school, Elliot developed a rudimentary knowledge of piano, and began toying with Garageband, an electronic music software. Elliot began writing his own songs somewhere in the genre of electro-indie pop and continued through college. His first single, When Stars Aligned, was released in July of 2015, and his first full-length album, selftalk, debuted in November of 2016. Elliot is also a choreographer, dancer, photographer and photo editor, videographer and video editor, and a lover of Netflix. He will pursue a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance this fall at the University of Illinois and is so excited to be teaching at FAIR before he leaves Lexington!

“What does go deeper mean to you, and how will you apply this in your teaching at Summer FAIR?”

“GO DEEPER” has a lot of meanings, but to me, in the context of FAIR, I want to explore exactly where music comes from. Rather than just accepting what music is, I want to dive in with the students to discover the individual pieces and parts of a piece of music that all come together to make something greater. I’m excited to look at beats and rhythms, to play with electronic music, to sing together and feel the power of voices working together, and to collaborate with other artists to expand the students’ ideas of music as an artform!


Kaelan McCabe – Young Artist Camp Dance Teacher

Hey, my name is Kaelan McCabe! I am a Lexington native and I graduated from Rockbridge County High School this May. Since I was four years old, dance has been my number one hobby and passion. Throughout my dance career, I have studied a wide variety of dance genres, including ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, and tap, primarily at the Studio for Dance and the Performing Arts here in Lexington. From 2011 to 2017, I performed with the Rockbridge Ballet Company, where I held lead roles in various productions, such as “the Firebird” in Firebird, “Princess Aurora” in Sleeping Beauty, and “Juliet” in Romeo and Juliet. Furthermore, in 2015 I studied dance for a month at the Virginia Governor’s School for Visual and Performing Arts summer program, where I expanded my knowledge of dance and my love for the art. In the fall, I am thrilled to be attending Washington and Lee University, where I hope to major in Journalism and minor in Dance. When I am not dancing, I love spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and eating anything chocolate! I am so excited to be a part of the FAIR team this summer and teach what I love.

“What does go deeper mean to you, and how will you apply this in your teaching at Summer FAIR?”

As I have been dancing since I was four years old, dance holds a special place in my heart. Through dance, I have learned important life lessons, such as dedication, confidence, compassion, and creativity. These lessons have shaped who I am today not only as an artist, but as a person. Furthermore, as the oldest of four children in my family, I love spending time with children. With this year’s FAIR theme of “Go Deeper,” I aim to take my passion for dance and the wide variety of genres I have studied to encourage young children to find their creative outlet and an art they are passionate about.