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Instrument Lessons

We offer private lessons in a variety of instruments including brass, woodwinds, strings and percussion.  Our knowledgeable faculty are committed to providing students of all ages and skill levels with professional and comfortable learning experience. 

What are you waiting for? Give us a call at 419-522-8224 to schedule your lesson today!

Damian Boyd
(Trombone & all Brass Instruments, Percussion, Music Theory & Composition, Community Big Band)

Damian Boyd is a professional performing trombonist with a passion for swing music and the great American songbook. He maintains a rigorous performance schedule with the duo Damian & Dane and is also director of the Shawshank Jazz Orchestra, an ensemble that combines the styles of swing and cool jazz. Damian studied trombone with the legendary Dick Johnson of "Airmen of Note" fame and with James Masters at the Ohio State University. Possessing a zeal for perpetuating the art form through education, as an educator, Boyd is on faculty at the Richland Academy of the Arts, where he is the Director of the Mansfield Youth Jazz Orchestra. He is also the director of bands at Foundation Academy of Mansfield. Damian plays the WESSEX PB4501 PREMIER TROMBONE.


Chesley Talisse'
(Clarinet, Flute, & Piano)

Chesley received her BME from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music where she received her licensure to teach general music. She began her teaching career as a K through 8th grade General Music Teacher and Band Director at Brice Christian Academy-Columbus. Currently she is the K-8 general music teacher at Richland School of Academic Arts and also directs the A ‘capella choir and Rock Ensemble. Chesley is currently the Director of Reynoldsburg Community Band, and is affiliated with New Horizons Band. She is certified Music Play and Drama Kids. Chesley is currently studying to receive her Masters Degree from Capital University.


Wyatt Boggs


Wyatt is a recent graduate of Clearfork High School and will be attending BGSU this fall. He is a member of the marching band and the Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has studied privately with Jim Smith, a former instructor of Richland Academy. Wyatt is currently in a Jazz Combo and performs regularly around the Mansfield area.  

Wyatt was recently accepted to Bowling Green State University to study percussion, and music composition. He has won several awards nationally for his compositions. 



Michelle Quimby

Guitar Department Chair

Michelle is a guitar, piano, theory, and ensemble instructor with over 12 years of teaching experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in music performance with classical guitar and a focus on music business from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.  In the early years of her career, Michelle taught under the guidance of Andy Rega at Music Academy of Chelmsford in Massachusetts.  She is a recent transplant to Richland County from Knoxville, TN where she has been teaching at Knoxville Academy of Music (KAM) since 2007.  During her time at KAM, she developed an infant and toddler music program of her own, taught all ages of students in a variety of instruments and music styles, and directed an advanced youth classical guitar performance group called Knoxville Bella Corda.  She has also received several nominations for Best Music Teacher by CityView magazine.  Being in music education since 2005 has given Michelle a passion for instruction. She believes successful teaching comes from an understanding of not just the subject, but of the student. Michelle works with each student individually to discover what learning style works best and adjusts her teaching style to accommodate the needs of the student. Through patience, knowledge, and humor, Michelle helps her students build a love for learning and for music.


Helga Rein

(Violin, Viola, Beginner Piano, Beginner Cello)

Helga Rein holds three university degrees in the Arts and Education.  Her journey began in elementary school, shortly after she was introduced to the English language.  She studied violin with Edward Matey, a first violinist in the Cleveland Orchestra, for several years.  Helga earned a full music scholarship and graduated from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor of Music Degree.  She majored in Music Education and Violin Performance.  Helga also minored in Piano Performance, as well as Political Science, Biology, and Psychology.  She continued her studies at Baldwin-Wallace College, where she earned a Master of Arts in Education Degree, as well as a Bachelor of Arts Degree, with a major in German.  Helga teaches students of all ages from six to sixty and all levels from beginner to advanced.  Helga was educated in the United States and Germany, and has taught in both countries.  She is currently teaching music and German in the State of Ohio.  Helga also performs as a soloist for weddings, funerals, memorial services, and other special occasions.Helga received her Bachelor's of Music in 2000 from Cleveland State University and went on to receive her Master's in Arts Education in 2005 from Baldwin-Wallace College. During this time, she received several honors and awards and was involved in numerous orchestras including the Cleveland Philharmonic.
She has been a private music instructor since 1978 and has taught at several schools and colleges throughout Ohio including Wooster and Lexington school districts, Cuyahoga Community College, and Cleveland State University. 


Ricky Mitchell


Ricky is a guitarist, singer/songwriter, producer, and audio engineer from Knoxville, Tennessee. Leaving high school early to hit the stage in 2010, he has produced dozens of tracks and performed hundreds of shows at venues up and down the eastern United States, and developed an appreciation for what it takes to grow musically along the way. He specializes in teaching contemporary electric and acoustic music, and believes teaching, when specialized for each student’s wants and needs, can instill a lifelong passion. Whether the goal is sitting in at the local blues jam, finger-picking through a library of folk songs, mastering techniques and modes, outlining chords, or just strumming around the camp fire, every style can find a place.



Paul Martin (Bass-Upright & Electric)

Paul Martin teaches upright and electric bass.  Paul is an active bandleader, bassist, saxophonist, and composer/arranger.  Paul studied jazz bass with Doug Richeson (bassist for Tony Bennett), jazz saxophone with Tom Reed (Ashland University), and jazz arranging with Vaughn Wiester (bass trombonist and arranger for Woody Herman).  He leads the Artistic Jazz Orchestra (a 19 piece big band), the Stardust Dance Band (an 8 piece jazz band), and the Paul Martin Jazz Quartet; in addition, he leads a Beatles/Pink Floyd band called Glass Onion.  Paul is the owner of Paul Martin Music, a publisher of Jazz Ensemble music, and is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).  Paul also serves as the president for the American Federation of Musicians, Local 159.


Darrin Thurber

(Classical Guitar)

Darrin Thurber has over ten years of experience in teaching guitar to individuals of various ages and skill levels. Completing his BA in Guitar Performance at Pacific Union College and his MA in Guitar Performance from San Francisco State University, Darrin is primarily trained in classical and finger-style guitar. Darrin is also proficient in other music styles (e.g. folk, music, jazz, etc.) and  has a passion for helping students become better guitarists while having fun at the same time! 




The staff at the Richland Academy shares in your desire for all to have an exceptional experience with the arts. The best way to see if the programs currently offered at the Academy are a fit for you is to request information »

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