Students enrolled in the First Baptist Jacksonville School of the Arts receive excellent instruction from Christian instructors who are skilled in their respective concentrations. All instructors must also complete a thorough back-ground check before being assigned students.
JIM DANIEL (bassoon, clarinet, flute, French horn, oboe, saxophone, trombone, trumpet and tuba) is widely respected as a musical pedagogue and is among a rare breed of educators that consistently inspires students towards musical excellence. Mr. Daniel comes to us with over twenty years of experience in music education in North East Florida. He has worked as a music educator at Jacksonville University, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, and LaVilla School of the Arts. He served as a Founding Teacher for Landon Middle School of the Arts, Founding Director of the First Coast Community Music School and the Founding Director of the First Baptist Church Academy Band. His students and performing ensembles have consistently received the highest honors on regional, national, and international levels in both classical and jazz genres. Ensemble honors include straight “Superior” ratings for twenty years in the FBA Music Performance Assessments for both Symphonic and Jazz Bands. His private students have been featured as soloists on “From the Top” on National Public Radio and won such awards as the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition and Concerto Competition. As many as twenty of his private students, perform in the FMEA All-State Band, Orchestra, and Jazz Band every year. Many of his students have earned advanced degrees from highly acclaimed Institutions such as The Julliard School and The Eastman School of Music. Mr. Daniel performs weekly in our Chancel Orchestra. He is currently teaching at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. He also serves on the staff of First Baptist Church as High School Orchestra Director and Program Director for our Performing Arts Center. Jim has been an instructor for the First Baptist Jacksonville School of the Arts since 2012.
ASHLEE DAVIS (violin) has been teaching for over 5 years. She teaches both private and group violin lessons. Her students are most influenced by her love for music, the violin and her Savior, Jesus Christ! In each lesson, Ashlee works diligently to bring together violin instruction and music theory, teaching with energy, passion and creativity! At the age of 7, Ashlee began playing with the First Coast Suzuki Players, under the private instruction of Laurie Willwerth. She continued her violin performance / instruction at Jacksonville University, studying with Aaron Krosnick. Ashlee has performed with the Jacksonville University Orchestra, the Coastal Symphony of Georgia and is a current member of the Chancel Orchestra here at First Baptist Church. She also stays busy performing at weddings and events with her company, The String Group. Ashlee has been an instructor for the First Baptist Jacksonville School of the Arts since 2007.
EARLINE EDELSON (piano) has been a piano instructor for over 40 years. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music from Wesleyan College and has completed additional post graduate work in Early Childhood Education at the University of North Florida. Students in her studio have been accepted into programs at both Lavilla School of the Arts and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. Earline has been an instructor for the First Baptist Jacksonville School of the Arts since 2004.
LUANN EIGINGER (piano, theory) earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Samford University and a Master of Music Education degree from Indiana University. During her studies, she received training in the Orff and Kodaly methods, which teach music concepts and develop musicianship in children. Following graduation, she taught general music and choir in the public school systems of Texas and Florida, as well as, serving for 11 years as an accompanist and choir director in the First Baptist Church Children’s Choirs. She has been teaching piano for more than 30 years and is certified in the Suzuki piano teaching method, offering both Suzuki and traditional piano instruction. Luann is an accompanist here at First Baptist Church and also an instructor at Providence Extension Program (PEP) where she teaches drama, chorus, public speaking, and art & music appreciation. She desires to help students develop their talents so that they will be able to use them for God’s glory. Luann has been an instructor at the First Baptist Jacksonville School of the Arts since 2004.
ANNABELLE HUTSON (ballet, tap)
ETHEL JOHNSON (cello & violin) has been a musician and instructor in the First Coast area for more than 30 years. Upon graduating from high school as valedictorian of her senior class, she went on to earn her Bachelor of Music Education from Jacksonville University. In 1985 Ethel and her sister, Laurie Willwerth, started the First Coast Suzuki Players teaching cello & violin lessons. Ethel is a past member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and former teacher in the Duval County Public School System. Her Suzuki training includes Suzuki Cello Books 1-8, Suzuki Violin Books 1-4, as well as several supplemental classes. She has taught as a clinician for the Prelude Chamber Music Camp, The Virginia Suzuki Institute and The Suzuki Strings of Augusta Workshop. Ethel has been an instructor in the First Baptist Jacksonville School of the Arts since its beginning in 1986.
LAURIE WILLWERTH (viola and violin) has been a member of our church's Worship Orchestra since 1978. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music Education. Following graduation, she taught strings in the Sarasota and Duval County public school systems. In 1985 Laurie and her sister, Ethel Johnson, a cellist, started First Coast Suzuki Players and began teaching private violin, viola & cello lessons. Laurie is a past member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and plays professionally in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. She has completed teacher training in Suzuki violin books 1-8 as well as several supplemental training classes at Suzuki Institutes in Chicago, Hartford, Bristol & Emory, Virginia and Greenville, South Carolina. Since 2004 Laurie has attended the biennial Suzuki Conference held in Minneapolis, MN. In 2010 she completed the Suzuki training course "Every Child Can" while attending the Suzuki Conference. She has served as a clinician in Georgia for the Suzuki Strings of Augusta workshop as well as the Virginia Suzuki Institute held at Emory & Henry College, Emory, VA. Laurie has been an instructor for the First Baptist Jacksonville School of the Arts since its inception in 1986.