Faculty

Faculty2018-08-02T18:25:25+00:00

ROBIN DONICA WOLAVER

CO-DIRECTOR OF THE CONSERVATORY OF ANNIE MOSES

STAGECOACH/DRAMA/MASTER CLASS

Robin Wolaver holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Oklahoma City University. She is an author/speaker/songwriter living in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and fellow composer, Bill Wolaver, and their seven children.

Robin travels with her family in a group called the Annie Moses Band and her book, “The Song of Annie Moses,” published by Guideposts Books, chronicles the family’s story from the cotton fields of depression era Texas to the halls of the Juilliard School and on to world renown stages.

An award winning lyricist, Robin has been twice nominated for a Dove Award in both the Song of the Year and Best Children’s Musical categories. She has been awarded the honor of Gospel Song of the Year by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, (ASCAP), as well as the Nashville Songwriters Association. Robin, in collaboration with her husband, Bill, has had numerous musicals and choral works published by foremost Christian publishers.

Because of her leadership in arts education, and her work developing extraordinary excellence in the musical skill of her family, Robin has become a leading voice on nurturing artistic success in children. She believes we are losing the battle for the hearts and minds of this generation primarily through the influence of the arts.

In order to counter this trend, Robin began the Annie Moses Foundation to equip parents and communities in raising up a new generation of young, highly-skilled musicians. Together with her family, she teaches at the Conservatory of Annie Moses and also directs an annual arts event, the “Annie Moses Summer Music Festival.” These are the flagship efforts of the Foundation and have helped groom hundreds of young people from across the United States and around the world to be confident performers and to achieve excellence in the arts for the glory of God.

ANNIE WOLAVER DUPRE

CO-DIRECTOR OF THE CONSERVATORY OF ANNIE MOSES

VIOLIN/MASTERCLASS/FUNDAMENTAL MUSICALITY/ORCHESTRA/ENSEMBLE

Annie Wolaver Dupre is one of the pre-eminent violinists and vocalists working today. In 2002, she began touring as lead singer and first violinist with the Annie Moses Band, a group comprised of her six siblings. Since that time, she has starred in multiple PBS specials including the Telly-nominated Art of the Love Song, released by Warner Classics, and has recorded over a dozen albums including the chart-topping American Rhapsody and This Glorious Christmas. She has toured extensively, performing in many world-class venues.

A classical prodigy, Annie won numerous state and national competitions from an early age. At 18 she was awarded a scholarship to the Juilliard School’s collegiate program.

Annie carries a passion for educating young people in music and the arts. For over fifteen years, she had co-directed the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival, a week-long arts event that culminates in multiple professionally produced shows, all featuring young artists. In 2013, together with her Mother, Robin, she launched the Annie Moses Foundation, a non-profit that exists to promote Christian values and musical excellence.

Annie currently lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and three children, and, when she is not on the road performing, teaches at the Conservatory of Annie Moses, the “motherhouse” of the Foundation’s weekly arts program based in historic Franklin, TN.

BENJAMIN WOLAVER

CELLO/PHILOSOPHY OF ART

Benjamin Wolaver has studied cello from a young age, beginning at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. At the age of 10 he auditioned and was accepted to the Juilliard Pre-college Program where he studied under Ann Alton. He tours professionally as a cellist with the Annie Moses Band, performing 80+ concerts annually. The Annie Moses Band has recorded numerous albums including the chart-topping “American Rhapsody” and “This Glorious Christmas” as well as two PBS specials including the Telly-nominated “The Art of the Love Song”. With the Annie Moses Band, Benjamin has also performed at Carnegie Hall and been a frequent guest at the Grand Ole Opry.

A writer and speaker, Benjamin is a graduate of the University of London’s English Literature Distance Program, where he earned the Academic Achievement Award for his essays in Renaissance Comedy. He is currently studying for his MA in Theology. The author of an original children’s musical “The Flight of the Fiery Chariot”, Benjamin is currently writing a historical novel with published poet Samuel Stephens. The Director of Development for the Annie Moses Foundation, he oversees the Annie Moses Foundation’s Summer Music Festival.

ALEX WOLAVER

VIOLA

Alex Wolaver is a performer/songwriter/producer living in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife, Berklee, and their children, Audrey, Evangeline, and Anna.  He travels as a violist and vocalist with the Annie Moses Band and is a central creative force behind the Band’s successful presence on PBS and LeSea Broadcasting, as well as multiple Christian channels and online outlets.

As Creative Manager of Man Alive Studios, a video/audio/livestream facility in Franklin, TN., Alex oversees artist development and show production.

A Juilliard alumnus, Alex has won prodigious competitions such as the Curb Concerto Competition and has performed solo with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and as principal violist of both the Juilliard Symphony and the Disney Young Musician’s Symphony Orchestra. He has produced award-winning albums, including ‘Through the Looking Glass’, ‘This Glorious Christmas’ —reaching top ten on Billboard Magazine’s classical crossover chart— and ‘Pilgrims & Prodigals.

BILL WOLAVER

COMPOSING/ARRANGING/THEORY

Bill Wolaver received his BM in piano performance from Oklahoma City University.  He is a prolific and renowned composer and arranger in Nashville, TN, working with multiple publishing companies.  He and his wife, Robin, have been involved with Christian music over 20 years, with songs, musicals, and arrangements published by a number of leading Christian publishers.  Together, they composed Make His Praise Glorious, recorded by Sandi Patty and nominated for Dove Award for ‘Song of the Year.’ In addition, they have received an ASCAP Award for ‘Inspirational Song of the Year.’  He is also the pianist/composer/arranger for the Annie Moses Band.

JAMES DASILVA

GUITAR/BASS/ARRANGING/THEORY

James DaSilva is a recent graduate of Belmont University. While in school, James played electric guitar in the top music ensembles under the direction of Dr. Jeff Kirk (Maynard Ferguson and the Eagles) and Rahsaan Barber (Aretha Franklin) and has studied guitar privately with Mario DaSilva, Paul Abrams, Shane Roberts, Matthew Von Doran, and Stan Lassiter.  Since 2008, James has been an instructor at The Jam Advanced Summer Music Camp and the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival, two major music events in Nashville, TN. He has experience teaching private guitar students and group courses involving the subjects of music theory, jazz improvisation, and arranging.

Over the course of his young career, James has had the opportunity to perform/record with some of the greatest musicians and artists in the world: Dr. Lonnie Smith, Rodney Whittaker, Earth Wind and Fire, Phil Keaggy, Rod McGaha, Pete Christlieb, Shannon Forest, Jeff Coffin, The McCrary Sisters, Vince Gill, Tommy Sims, Phil Lassiter, Mark Letteri, Rahsaan Barber and Everyday Magic, El Movimiento, the Annie Moses Band, and many others. James is an in-demand performing and studio guitarist in Nashville, TN and beyond.

GRETCHEN WOLAVER

MANDOLIN/VIOLIN

Gretchen Wolaver is a multi-talented professional musician, performing as a violinist, mandolinist, guitarist, and singer. As a member of the Annie Moses Band, she has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Grand Ole Opry House.  At the age of four, she began her studies in violin at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. After her family moved to Connecticut, she continued her studies at The School For Strings in Manhattan. At the age of twelve, she began touring the country professionally.

Gretchen has been featured in two PBS specials including the Emmy-nominated The Art of the Love Song. As a member of the Annie Moses Band, she performs over 80 concerts a year.

JOSHUA CARSWELL

VOICE

Joshua Carswell is an accomplished vocalist and frequent performer of opera, oratorio, musical theatre and commercial music.  A native of North Carolina, Mr. Carswell graduated from Elon University in 2010 with a Bachelors in Vocal Performance, garnering the university’s prestigious Presser Music Scholar award.  He has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium as a guest soloist with the Annie Moses Band and the New American Choir and Orchestra and made appearances with the Greensboro Opera and Symphony as well as the North Carolina Symphony.  His recent roles include Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte (American Singers Opera Project), Rinuccio in Gianni Schicci (Elon) and soloist on “Generations” in Children of Eden (Elon).

Mr. Carswell’s exceptional interpretive skill has garnered national attention.  He recently won the 2012 Grand Prize in the prestigious American Traditions Competition in Savannah, GA, and was recently a guest soloist with the Savannah Philharmonic. He is a winner of state and regional levels of NATS for Classical and Musical Theatre.

BERKLEE WOLAVER

DANCE/MOVEMENT/CHOREOGRAPHY

Berklee Wolaver is a Nashville choreographer and the head dance instructor for the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival. She is fluent in a variety of styles from classical ballet, tap, jazz, modern, as well as musical theater.

A native of Raleigh, NC, Berklee excelled at an early age, leading her tap company as dance captain and studying at several prestigious dance schools in North Carolina. During her formative years she trained in multiple workshops in New York City including the Radio City Rockettes Workshop and STEPS on Broadway.

Berklee has performed in numerous stage productions over the last decade and choreographed multiple musicals. Her extraordinary creativity includes not only dance but fine art and graphic design. She has illustrated two children’s books and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls.

MARIO DASILVA

GUITAR/BASS

Mr. DaSilva received a Master of Church Music from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary School of Music in Louisville, KY and a Bachelor of Arts from Belmont College in Nashville, TN. A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Mr. DaSilva has established himself in the United States as a teacher and performer. Early in his educational career Mr. DaSilva studied theory and composition with the Brazilian veteran Maestro Leo Peracchi and classical guitar with Edmar Fenicio. In America, Mr. DaSilva studied commercial composition and arrangement with William Pursell and guitar with John Pell and Douglas Jones. As a teacher, he was a former guitar instructor at the University of Louisville, and concurrently teaches at both Indiana University Southeast (since 1989), and Belmont University (since 1995).

As a performer, Mr. DaSilva maintains a busy schedule both in Louisville and Nashville areas with live appearances and recording sessions. He is heard nightly on the nationally syndicated FM radio talk show ‘Delilah after Dark’ based in Seattle, Washington and the ‘Joe Arnold Show’ on WHAS 84 AM. Mr. DaSilva’s performance credits include the Ballet Espanol, a flamenco dance company based in Louisville, KY, ESPN, ‘Shop at Home’ television networks and many appearances on local TV. He has worked closely with the likes of flamenco guitarist Pedro Cortes, drummers Rod Murgenstein (Dixie Dregs) and Chester Thompson (Phil Collins), and singer-songwriter Lari White. He has released two recordings; ‘Meet Mario’ and ‘Christmas, Love and Light’ by Rainbow at Midnight Records available in music stores in the Louisville and Nashville areas, and at www.meetmario.com.

CAMILLE DASILVA

PIANO/HARP

Camille DaSilva is a harpist, pianist, and B3 player living in Nashville, TN.  She travels professionally as a member of the Annie Moses Band. The group has released numerous albums including the chart-topping American Rhapsody and This Glorious Christmas as well as two PBS specials including the Emmy-nominated The Art of the Love Song.  Camille made her debut with the Annie Moses Band at Carnegie Hall and the Grand Ole Opry.

Camille has won multiple awards and accolades for classical piano and harp.  She has studied with master pedagogues: on harp, Emily Mitchell (Eastman School of Music), Licia Jaskunas (Indiana University, Eastman School of Music), and Marian Shaffer (Memphis State University) of Vanderbilt University and, on piano, Amy Dorfman (Indiana University School of Music), Dr Jerome Reed (Catholic University of America; Middle Tennessee State University); Viktoria Mushkatkol (Kiev Music School, St Petersburg Conservatory, University of Illinois) of the Juilliard School of Music in NYC.

WILLIAM ALEXSON

PIANO/THEORY/COMPOSITION

William Alexson’s music education began at the age of seven with a foundation in the classical piano repertoire, and grew to include jazz improvisation around age fifteen.  He began his formal jazz piano studies at Belmont University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a B.M. in Commercial Music.

Alexson recently completed an MM in Jazz Studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he is the recipient of the Presidential Distinction Award.  His private teachers at the conservatory have included pianists Frank Carlberg and Jason Moran.

In 2013 he was the recipient of the Belmont University Dean’s Advisory Council Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music.  In 2016 he was awarded Second Place in the historic Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition. In 2017 he was awarded the Bösendorfer Silver Award at the American Jazz Pianist Competition.

As a music educator, Alexson has had the privilege of teaching piano, music theory, and improvisation at several high schools and music camps, including Ensworth High School, Chattanooga Christian School, and the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival.

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