Professors

Music Professors

Dr. Christopher Ellis - Choir and Voice

Dr. Ellis is the chair of the Music Department at Faith and the director of the Faith Chorale. Since 2003, he has served as music director at Ankeny Baptist Church, and was formerly the artistic director of the Canticum Novum Music Association.

Dr. Ellis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sacred Music from Faith Baptist Bible College, a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from Faith Baptist Theological Seminary, a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from St. Cloud State University, and a Doctor of Arts degree in Choral Conducting and Music Education from Ball State University. He has studied conducting with R. Irving Van Hooser, Lee Nelson, and Andrew Crow, and has had experience teaching music at Faith, Des Moines Area Community College, and Ball State University. He has conducted a variety of choral groups, and has made conducting appearances at Ball State University, Ohio State University, Morehouse College in Atlanta, and has led ensembles on tours in the United States and Germany.

Mrs. Sherri Nicholson - Piano

Sherri Nicholson completed her Bachelor’s degree in Music with an emphasis in piano performance from Pillsbury Baptist Bible College. She earned a Masters of Arts from Bob Jones University in Piano Pedagogy. Her experience includes teaching at Musical Impressions, Northwestern Music Academy, and operating her own studio, Discovery Piano Studio, as a Nationally Certified Teacher.

Throughout her career, she has actively served as a musician in churches, conferences, and presented in her local Des Moines Piano Teacher chapter. She is an active adjudicator for Des Moines, The National Federation of Music Teachers, MAACS Fine Arts, St. Paul Piano Teachers, and MTNA. Her volunteer roles include Vice President of the St. Paul Piano Teachers and the editor for the Iowa Music Teachers Magazine.

She has studied piano with many distinguished pianists such as Dr. Kenon Renfrow, Dr. Paul Wirth, Dr. Alan Huckleberry, and Dr. Rene Lecuona. Her hobbies include hiking, jogging, traveling, and spending time with her husband and four daughters.

Mr. Jim Goodwin - Clarinet/Saxophone


Mr. James Goodwin recently retired from Des Moines Public Schools after 38 years of teaching band in Michigan, Germany, and Iowa. He received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Eastern Michigan University and a Masters Degree in Music Education from Drake University.

Mr. Goodwin has composed numerous instrumental compositions for bands and various small ensembles. Mr. Goodwin served in Army bands in Maryland, Germany, Michigan, and Iowa. He was the Bandmaster of the 34th Army Band, Iowa National Guard, until 2010 when he retired with 29 years of service. He is a recipient of the Army Meritorious Service Award and the Legion of Merit Award. Presently Mr. Goodwin conducts the Iowa Military Veterans Band, an ensemble made up of 80 veteran musicians. He has been married to his wife, Janice, for 46 years. Their three children are all accomplished musicians.

Mrs. Jennifer Tylavsky - Brass


Jennifer Tylavsky
 received both her Bachelor of Music and Masters of Education (Instrumental Music emphasis) from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. She also received her Masters of Arts in Religious Studies from Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary. While at Truman she held the position of principal hornist for the orchestra, wind ensemble and brass choir for three years. She has also performed with various ensembles throughout the years including the Faith Baptist Bible College Community Orchestra, the Des Moines Community Orchestra and the Paradox Woodwind Quintet

Jennifer has taught instrumental music for 30 years in both public and Christian Schools. She currently teaches ninth grade band in Johnston, Iowa where she teaches 2 sections of band and is responsible for individual and small group lessons. She is also an adjunct professor at FBBC where she teaches instrumental music education classes and serves as the Music Education Program Coordinator. Jennifer loves the Lord and enjoys training the next generation to serve in their field and to serve and glorify the Lord.

Miss. Emma Pedersen - Voice


Music enthusiast, Emma Pedersen, has been teaching private music lessons for over nine years. She graduated from Faith Baptist Bible College, earning a degree in K-12 Music Education with an emphasis in Vocal Performance. While at Faith, Emma taught at the Faith Music Academy, performed in all vocal ensembles, and traveled to represent the school as part of a small traveling music team. Emma has also traveled with several music teams since leaving college and has had the opportunity to be a soloist for different events across the country, including singing for Vice President Mike Pence.

Currently, Emma is teaching as a K-12 Music Teacher in Southeast Iowa and has a thriving studio where she offers private voice, piano, and music lessons. Emma is passionate about mentoring young people to use their talents for the Lord by uplifting others through music.

Miss. Dori Linscott - Violin

Dori Linscott began studying music in first grade when her parents enrolled her in private piano and violin lessons. In third grade, she was enrolled in a public school orchestra, and in fourth grade, she was enrolled in the band, where she began to learn the trumpet. Over the years, she has been able to use her musical abilities in ministry settings (church, camps, nursing homes, and conferences) and various local, state, and Christian competitions. Dori is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in the Music Education program with an instrumental emphasis. Her primary instrument is the violin and she thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to teach private lessons and play in the orchestra at FBBC.

When she is able, Dori enjoys time with family and friends, hiking, podcasts, recreational sports, reading, and making music. She has a strong desire to serve the Lord and envisions using her musical skills in a ministry, education, or studio setting in the future.

Ms. Amy Vaughn - Strings

Amy Vaughn holds degrees in Christian Education and Music as well as Elementary Education from Faith Baptist Bible College. In the past, Amy has been the Central Iowa Symphony Young Artist Competition Winner, the Music Academy of St. Paul’s Young Artist Winner, and was a Highschool Festival Winner at Bob Jones University. Amy also won the State and National Competitions in Talents for Christ.
Currently, Amy performs regularly with Simpson Opera and was concertmaster for their performances of The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute. Amy has recorded three solo CDs. She enjoys serving the Lord at her local church and currently teaches weekly group violin classes to the children there.
Amy also operates a large studio in Ankeny where she teaches both piano and violin privately.
Amy also loves playing the Mountain Dulcimer and Hammered Dulcimer and has a great love for folk music. She loves gardening, canning, studying American History, and raising her menagerie of chickens and cats.

Drama Instructors

Sue Fisher - Drama


Mrs. Sue Fisher has always loved music and drama. Her high school band director encouraged her to become a music teacher, so that is what she pursued in college – being a band director. She graduated from Bob Jones University with a BS in music education, but it was also through the operas and plays that were produced on campus that her love for drama grew. Her first teaching jobs were in music and English, but she pursued every drama seminar and conference and class that she could take. She first started teaching drama and speech as well as directing the plays at Grandview Park Baptist school (now Grand View Christian School) in 1993 and have been doing that ever since. (she officially retired from teaching in 2022) They have done a plethora of melodramas, radio plays and plays as well as some well-known musicals including: Music Man, Pirates of Penzance, Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, and Newsies (this year). Both Fiddler on the Roof and Music Man received Outstanding Performance from the Iowa High School Music Award Program and were invited to do a short portion on the Civic Center stage. Every aspect of drama including lighting, sound, make-up, painting, props, and set design add to the overall production, and she is looking forward to teaching a smattering of everything at the drama camp this year.

Schedule

Monday:
1:00 pm    Registration — Domokos Welcome Center
1:30 pm    Welcome Session
2:30 pm    Ensemble Rehearsals

  • Piano — Domokos 150
  • Brass — Nettleton 105
  • Strings — Nettleton 103
  • Voice — Nettleton 108
  • Drama — Nettleton Gym

3:30 pm Group Rehearsals

  • Choir — Nettleton 108
  • Instrumental — Nettleton 105
  • Drama — Nettleton Gym

4:30 pm Track Classes

  • Piano — Nettleton 103
  • Instrumental — Nettleton 105
  • Voice — Nettleton 108
  • Drama — Nettleton Gym

5:30 pm Dinner
6:30 pm Activity — Student Center
8:00 pm Practice Time
9:30 pm Snacks & Devotions — Student Center
10:30 pm Curfew

 

Tuesday:
8:30 am Breakfast
9:30 am Lessons & Practice
11:30 am Ensemble Rehearsals

  • Piano — Domokos 150
  • Brass — Nettleton 105
  • Strings — Nettleton 103
  • Voice — Nettleton 108
  • Drama — Nettleton Gym

12:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Lessons & Practice
3:30 pm Group Rehearsals

  • Choir — Nettleton 108
  • Instrumental — Nettleton 105
  • Drama — Nettleton Stage

4:30 pm Track Classes
5:30 pm Dinner
6:30 pm Activity — Student Center
8:00 pm Practice Time
9:30 pm Snacks & Devotions
10:30 pm Curfew

 

Wednesday:
8:30 am Breakfast
9:30 am Lessons & Practice
11:30 am Ensemble Rehearsals

  • Piano — Domokos 150
  • Brass — Nettleton 105
  • Strings — Nettleton 103
  • Voice — Nettleton 108
  • Drama — Nettleton Gym

12:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Lessons & Practice
3:30 pm Group Rehearsals

  • Choir — Nettleton 108
  • Instrumental — Nettleton 105
  • Drama — Nettleton Stage

4:30 pm Track Classes
5:30 pm Dinner —Admissions
6:30 pm Activity — Student Center
8:00 pm Practice Time
9:30 pm Snacks & Devotions
10:30 pm Curfew

 

Thursday:
8:30 am Breakfast
9:30 am Lessons & Practice
11:30 am Ensemble Rehearsals

  • Piano — Domokos 150
  • Brass — Nettleton 105
  • Strings — Nettleton 103
  • Voice — Nettleton 108
  • Drama — Nettleton Gym

12:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Lessons & Practice
3:30 pm Group Rehearsals

  • Choir — Nettleton 108
  • Instrumental — Nettleton 105
  • Drama — Nettleton Stage

4:30 pm Track Classes
5:30 pm Dinner
6:30 pm Activity — Student Center
8:00 pm Practice Time
9:30 pm Snacks & Devotions
10:30 pm Curfew

 

Friday:
8:30 am Breakfast
9:30 am Camp Photo
10:00 am Concert Rehearsal
12:30 am Lunch
1:30 am Pack up / Clean up
2:30 am Meet for Concert
3:00 am Concert
4:30 am Dessert Reception

To Register for the Music & Drama Camp

 For Questions? Contact Dr. Christopher Ellis

Email: ellisc@faith.edu