Serving Southwest Florida Music Students since 1991

The Music Foundation of Southwest Florida, Inc.

2016 Summer Camps Faculty and Staff

Camp Director & Recreation/Break Coordinator-Erin Gisse

Band - Matthew Murrell 

Matthew Murrell earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Florida International University in Miami. He has been the band director at Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School for the past 6 years. He also performs professipnally in the community
as a trombonist.

Jazz Band - Tony Castillo & Patrick Neuman

Rodolfo “Tony” Castillo is the director of bands at the Canterbury School in Ft. Myers and the Florida Southwestern College. Mr. Castillo holds a M.M. degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and it's currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Music Education degree at the University of South Florida. As an active trumpet player, Mr.Castillo performs regularly with many local and regional music ensembles. 

Guitar - Tommy Ferlazzo - Erin Cantwell

Tommy Ferlazzo received his Bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Miami where he studied classical Guitar with Juan Mercadal. Prior to that, he studied Jazz and Classical Guitar with Paul Guma. Over the years, Tommy has taught guitar
at Edison College and has been a band director at Immokalee High School, Riverdale High School, Alva Middle School, and Mariner Middle School. He is currently the band director at Three Oaks Middle and is on staff at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Piano - Betsy Randoph

Betsy Randolph received her Bachelor's Degree from Stetson University and is certified in both the Florida State and National Music Teachers Associations. She is currently vice president of the Southwest Florida Music Teachers Association. She has operated a private piano studio in Fort Myers for over 30 years and has worked for several local churches as pianist and children's choir director. She is certified by Choristers Guild National to teach Young Voices in addition to teaching basic music education at
local preschools for Gulf Coast Symphony's Early Gateways to the Arts Program.

String Orchestra - Nadia Bangash

Nadia Bangash started to play the cello in the 5th grade and has now been playing for over 20 years. After high school she received her Bachelor's degree in Music Education form The Ohio State .University in 2006. Shortly after graduating, she moved to Florida to pursue her career in Music Education and become a Music Teacher at various schools in Polk, Hillsborough and Orange Counties. While holding a full time teaching position for OCPS, Nadia was accepted into the Graduate Program at the University of Central Florida in 2010. She studied Music Education and graduated with her Masters in Music in 2013. Currently she is the Orchestra Director and Music Theory Teacher at North Fort Myers High School, Center for the Arts and Media. She also teaches privately and performs locally.

Vocal Arts - Erin Cantwell

Erin Cantwell received her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Western Kentucky University where she studied classical voice, theater and guitar. Over the years, Erin has taught Arts and Humanities and Drama at Bluegrass Middle School in Kentucky.
She taught seven years at Gateway Charter High School, teaching Advanced and Show Choir, String Techniques and Guitar. She is currently the music teacher and choir director at Heights Elementary School.

Elementary Music - Dorothy Yarty & Kristen Beattie

Ukulele - Sandy Lantz & Lisa Pennington

Sandy Lantz, a national board certified teacher, has been teaching in Lee County Schools since 1982.  For the past 25 years, she has been teaching music at Edison Park Creative & Expressive Arts Elementary.  In addition to her regular music classes, Sandy also teaches chorus, Drum Group, Handbells, Boys ‘n Black and Ukulele Club.  During the summers Sandy co-teaches Level I teacher training at Univ. of Central Florida.  Sandy co-authored “Western Trails”, which earned the Univ. of New Hampshire’s Playwriting Award.  In 2016, Sandy co-directed the first FMEA All-State Orff Ensemble.  She and Gretchen Wahlberg have written the books “Drum It Up” and “Creative Bits with Children’s Lit”. 

Percussion - Todd Betz

One-Act Theater - Michael Lynch

Michael Lynch has been a theatre educator in Ft. Myers for 7 years at Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School. He has been involved in various aspects of theatre since he was a twelve year old student at Caloosa Middle School. He has d.irected various shows
ranging from the classical Medea and Le Farce de Pierre Patelin, to musicals such as Alice @ Wonderland and Phantom of the Soap Opera. He currently sponsors an active Junior Thespian Troupe which has scored Superior ratings at the state level since starting the troupe five years ago. He is excited to bring his love of theatre to this year's Summer Arts Camp and looks forward to the growth of his students.

Dance - Kerri Peters

Visual Arts: Collage/Painting & Mixed Media - Kellen Beck Mills

Kellen Beck Mills received her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is National Board Certified in Art Education and has an endorsement in Gifted Education. She exhibits her work in galleries and arts organizations in and out of town and recently won Best in Show in the Alliance for the Arts "All Florida Juried Show".

Visual Arts: Sculpture and Digital Arts - Nikki Bizak

Nicole Bizjak, M.S.T., currently teaches Art and E.L.A. at the Alva School. She has a Master's degree in Teaching with an Art concentration from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. She also has undergraduate degrees in Interior/Architectural Design and Art History. She previously pursued a career designing kitchens and baths. She was awarded 2nd Place in the nation in Elkay's Kitchens of the 21 st Century.

Visual Arts: Offbeat Art Explorations - Patricia Collins

Patricia Collins, born & raised in Massachusetts, earned a BFA in Communications Design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Life in NYC, energized by artists, street art and a DIY gallery scene, influenced her creative approach to materials and art making,
which she enjoys sharing in activities with young artists. Collins has done art workshops & presentations through the Lee County public schools and the Lee County library summer program, and taught Sets & Props, and Visual Arts classes at the Alliance of the
Arts Summer Camp. She recently completed murals for Habitat for Humanity's ReStore, North Ft. Myers, FL, and the Kappa Development Foundation, Ft Myers, FL, which both included participation by area students. Since moving to Ft. Myers her work
has been exhibited twice at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL; Verge, Miami Beach 2010; Scope Miami 2011, the Florida Museum for Women Artists in Deland, FL and other venues. Solo shows include the Collier County Museum of the
Everglades, and Howl Gallery, Ft. Myers, FL. Her limited edition artist book, Urban Anxieties is in MaMA Queens Artists' Books collection. 

Digital Design - Vincent Lewis

Vincent Lewis is from Moore Haven Florida. He obtained his BS degree in sports business from Hampton University in Virginia. He also obtained his teaching certification and masters in educational leadership from FGCU. He is certified in Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Adobe Photoshop. He has been teaching for 11 years for the Lee County School District all at Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School.  He currently teaches 6th thru 8th grade Computer Applications 1 & 2, Computing for College and Careers, Business Keyboarding, and Fundamentals of Web and Software Development.

Angles in the Arts - Tia Paul

Culinary Arts - Tia Paul

Creative Writing - Chris Balzano

Screen Writing - Chris Balzano

In addition:

Zach Deeter received his Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.' He has taught for 6 years, all in Lee County, and is currently the band director at Island Coast High School in Cape Coral. Additionally, he performs professionally as a woodwind specialist for various theater companies, including the Naples Players, Theatrezone, and Creative Theater Workshop.

Samantha Connors started dance when she was 5 years old and was a competition dancer until she was 18. Teaching various styles of dance to all ages between elementary and high school, she wanted to continue doing what she loved. She was the dance
of her sorority for 5 years and she now teaches mathematics in Lee County.

Lisa James-Pennington has been teaching violin at Edison Park CEA Elementary for 11 years. She earned her degree from Florida State University and taught privately at Cavatina Music Studios in Tallahassee, Florida for 6 years. She also has taught and currently subs for Family Music Time, early childhood music education. She was the recipient for the subject area teacher of the year in music for the 2014-15 school year.

Executive Director-Ruth Christman