We’re celebrating Make Music Day 2021 by putting on our educator hats and giving lessons to local students. In partnership with Make Music Philly, Pepper is drawing on the expertise of its employees to offer free lessons to school-age children, with the option to take a lesson on flute, clarinet, sax, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, guitar, cello, bass, piano, percussion, voice, or accordion. Lessons can be taken online or students can visit the Pepper HQ where all available conference rooms and meeting spaces have been devoted to an afternoon of teaching music. Read on for an introduction to the twelve staff members who are stepping away from their desks and picking up their instruments.
David Ballam has worked at J.W. Pepper since 2017 and serves as the Catalog Production Coordinator. He holds undergraduate music degrees from Wheaton College, Illinois, and graduate degrees in music from Northwestern University and The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to coming to J.W. Pepper, he taught music at the college level for four years in Alabama. Past orchestra experience includes performances with a variety of regional orchestras in central Texas, Alabama, and Georgia, as well as local performances in the suburban Philadelphia area with the Main Line Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Concordia, Amici Strings, and the Chesco Pops. David has also been an active private teacher for students at all levels for over ten years. Challenging students and giving them inspiration to reach higher musical goals is at the heart of David’s teaching. He’s enthusiastic about developing the next generation of young musicians.
Frank Dolfe is the Marketing Operations Manager at J.W. Pepper. He has a degree in music education and studied percussion performance with Nancy Smith, Les Harris, Jr. and Gary Chaffee. Frank has performed throughout the New England Seacoast and the greater Philadelphia area and enjoys playing jazz, fusion, and supporting the original music of local songwriters.
“I’ve always loved teaching private lessons. Through teaching, both the student and the teacher grow – it’s multiplicative. Watching a student develop in musicianship and as a person is one of the most rewarding aspects of music. It’s a privilege to be a part of those moments when a student really gets it.”
Kathy Fernandes is Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for J.W. Pepper. Kathy has a background as a school band director, studio teacher, and performing flutist. She continues to be involved in education through work with students at her church and in music ministry. Kathy advocates for a healthy musical culture, serving on the board of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education Roundtable, the Support Music Coalition, and on the Pastoral Council at her church. Previous memberships includes the board of the Music Publishers Association of the United States, the Key Executive Group for the greater Philadelphia area, and the Forbes Communication Council.
“Music brings people together like nothing else. The synergy of sound when everything comes together displays the beauty of humans working toward a common goal. It’s important to give back on Make Music Day because every person in my family has had their lives enriched by having music in their life. In fact, my husband and I met through college marching band. Music is not just for listening to – make it!”
Ian McLoughlin is the Marketing Director at J.W. Pepper. Ian starting playing trumpet in fourth grade and was a singer and piano player until focusing solely on trumpet in college. He has two performance degrees from Penn State.
“Music has been my life and has taken me all over the world performing. I met my wife through music and have three wonderful children. I am looking forward to giving back and showing how much fun music can be and how it can help build life skills including teamwork, listening skills, and compassion.”
Andrea Pelloquin is the Events Manager at Pepper. She is a former band director and has taught private flute and piano lessons for over 20 years. She has played in pit orchestras for many years, and has been a church musician for longer than she can remember. Andrea feels strongly about giving back to the community, and loves the idea of giving lessons with her co-workers. She is new to the Exton area, and is looking forward to meeting new students!
John Borkowski is responsible for account management and customer service at J.W. Pepper. Since high school, John has played accordion and keyboards and worked as a sound engineer for several ethnic and wedding-style bands throughout the Midwest and East Coast. After obtaining an associate’s degree in music and then a BA, John worked in the music business in management for a CD manufacturing company.
“Since music has always been a big part of my life, my position at J.W. Pepper is a dream job! Music, in any form – performing, recording, producing, writing, arranging, sound reinforcement – gave me the opportunity to do many things and meet people who became lifelong friends. I would love to give other people the same opportunity!”
John likes to help students learn piano, accordion, sound engineering, and music theory.
Elizabeth Tozer works as a Cut Time consultant after having taught music in the public school system for over eighteen years in grades K-12 as well as at the university level. When not working at Pepper, she enjoys working at a local performing arts organization where she gets to share the joy of music and theater with a wide range of people.
“Music is a way to express my thoughts, feelings, and words. It sometimes goes beyond words when you get to share that feeling with others and teach them how to express it for themselves.”
Faris Beshara is the Band Editor at J.W. Pepper. He gets to decide which concert band and jazz ensemble pieces to promote and helps people to find great music for their bands. Faris studied music education at Penn State and earned his master’s degree in trombone performance from Towson University. He taught for ten years at different levels but spent most of his time as a high school band director in the Harrisburg area. Performing and making music with other people is always one of the things that makes him happy, and he enjoys being able to pass on that love of music to students.
Jennifer Moorhatch is the School Choral Editor at J.W. Pepper. After earning a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Arts degree, she taught choral, general, and instrumental music for 19 years. She also taught chamber music and handbell ensembles, taking her groups on several international tours as well as local appearances. Serving as the head of a local conservatory, she worked as the musical director for numerous musical theater productions and built a large private studio for voice and piano students. She continues to perform as a soloist and accompanist.
“My life has been all about music, and I am so appreciative of the many individuals who built music into my life through their instruction. I love to pay it forward by teaching voice and piano lessons. It is such a joy to watch young people discover music and grow as musicians.”
Nick Buddock is the Vice President of Operations at J.W. Pepper. In this capacity, he oversees our Atlanta and Salt Lake City Distribution Centers as well as our Media Department. 2021 marks his 20th year with Pepper. Nick played in the percussion section of the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 1998 and 1999. He has taught at various high schools and is currently in his 13th year of teaching battery percussion for the West Chester University Golden Rams Marching Band.
“Music has shaped my life and taught me so many valuable lessons about life. I have always felt that I need to create the same opportunities for other students to be able to obtain the same life lessons that I was taught.”
Dan Fullman is the Digital Asset Associate at Pepper, uploading product preview images and digital product files to the J.W. Pepper website. Dan graduated from West Chester University in Pennsylvania with a degree in music theory and composition and a minor in music production. Dan was involved in the marching arts throughout high school and college and continued to be active in drum and bugle corps after college. Currently Dan is also composing music which he self-publishes with J.W. Pepper’s My Score service. Music has always played an important role in Dan’s life, and he sees it as a great way to bring a group of people together while inspiring them to be creative and explore music and art.
Frank Guardino is J.W. Pepper’s Creative Director. “The arts have always been a large part of my life – as a child I loved to draw and sketch. This obsession with the arts has guided me through life and has been the main focus in choosing a career.” He has a bachelor’s degree in animation from the Art Institute of Philadelphia and a master’s in Digital Design from Philadelphia University. Frank started playing guitar at age 12 and, along with his brother on drums, played in many bands throughout the years.
“Music has been and is still a constant in my life. There is no better feeling than playing music with others. Music teaches far more than just learning an instrument. It inspires creativity and teaches you to communicate differently . It’s a wonderfully fulfilling part of my life.”
Make Music Day is celebrated every year on June 21st. This free global celebration of music is sponsored in the U.S. by the NAMM Foundation. Pepper is delighted to participate this year and hopes to make lessons for the community an annual tradition.