Faculty

Susan Eernisse : Director

Susan Eernisse

Director

Susan Eernisse joined the staff of First Baptist Church as Associate Music Minister and Director of the Performing Arts Academy in January 2022. She previously served on the staff of First Baptist Church, Carrollton, GA as Director of Children’s Music and Christian Education. Susan was also Editor of The Chorister, the journal for church musicians published by Choristers Guild. Susan earned degrees from Anderson University (SC) — Associate of Fine Arts in Music — and Berry College (Rome, GA) — Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Education.  She completed all three Orff levels: Shorter University – Level I; University of Kentucky – Levels II and III. She has taught public and private school music, directed children’s choirs in schools and churches, and taught college courses in music education. She is a veteran writer of children’s music curriculum published by LifeWay Music, Growing in Grace, and Hal Leonard’s Sing and Celebrate Series. Susan has also served as editor on several projects for Choristers Guild. She is a respected children’s choir clinician and has been a faculty member of children’s music camps and festivals for many years. Susan is married to Dr. Glenn Eernisse, who is also Associate Music Minister at First Baptist.

Andrea Barnard : Vocal Instructor

Andrea Barnard

Vocal Instructor

Andrea Barnard is a music educator, published composer, clinician, and session singer. She holds degrees in both vocal performance and education.  She serves on the voice faculty at Truett McConnell University, as the Fine Arts Director at Trinity Classical School, and teaches voice and piano here at the Performing Arts Academy (PAA). When not in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her family and serving the church and community. Over the years, she has taught music at the college-level, in the classroom from pre-k to 12th grade, and worked with numerous choirs & productions. She loves sharing the joy of music with others and helping them to develop their skills and abilities.

Lisa Delgado : Piano Instructor

Lisa Delgado

Piano Instructor

Lisa Delgado is in her twenty-fifth year of teaching private piano lessons.  She holds a master's degree in church music from Pensacola Christian College, and an undergraduate degree in sacred music from Clearwater Christian College. She is a former homeschool mom and Navy wife, and has spent the last 20 years keeping the homefires burning during her husband's multiple deployments, while also running a vibrant and joyful home studio.  Lisa has done extensive work as a collaborative pianist, has been involved in musical theater, is a former member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, and currently serves as staff pianist at Northlake Baptist Church in Gainesville.

Lisa incorporates music theory, history, arranging, composing, ear-training, and hymn playing into lessons as appropriate. She is a fan of the classical education model and loves to incorporate the five common topics into lessons.

Masayo Ogawa : Piano Instructor

Masayo Ogawa

Piano Instructor

Masayo Ogawa, a native of Japan, graduated from Brenau University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance. She has taught piano to young musicians for over 10 years at Brenau University’s Preparatory Music, 5678 Dance studio, as well as her private piano studio. Masayo also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology, and a Master of Business Administration degree.  She currently works as a software consultant for SAP. Masayo loves playing piano and is passionate about teaching piano to children.

 

 

Miriam Pendrey : Violin Instructor

Miriam Pendrey

Violin Instructor

Miriam Pendrey is in her twenty-third year as a string educator. She held the position of adjunct professor of violin at Reinhardt University from 2012-2015, where she taught music performance majors, performed as a member of a faculty ensemble, and coached the university orchestra. Miriam holds a graduate degree in violin performance from Lee University, and undergraduate degrees in violin performance and music education from Reinhardt University. As a string educator, she has coached string students in the Cherokee and Hall County school systems and has served as an adjudicator for GMEA district auditions. 

Mrs. Pendrey currently teaches private violin students as part of the First Baptist Performing Arts Academy, and manages the string ensemble HeartStrings, which specializes in wedding music. As a freelance violinist, she performs with regional ensembles such as the Rome and Toccoa Symphony Orchestras.

Gretchen Welch : Woodwinds Instructor

Gretchen Welch

Woodwinds Instructor

Gretchen Welch is a musician and educator who is a member of First Baptist Church in Gainesville. She plays the flute in the church orchestra as well as for the Living Christmas Tree and plays in the Sanctuary Ringers hand bell group.  

Mrs. Welch graduated with degrees in elementary education and elementary music education from Western Kentucky University.  She was the principal flutist for both the university’s Symphonic Band and Orchestra.  After graduation, she taught at elementary and middle schools in Kentucky, South Carolina, and Georgia. Her Master’s Degree in Education is from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee where she also studied flute at the Blair School of Music.  She was named school Teacher of the Year three times and was a finalist for the Richmond County Teacher of the Year and the Georgia Science Teacher of the Year.  She held certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. 

Most recently, Mrs. Welch has been the Music Specialist for Wauka Mountain Multiple Intelligences Academy in Gainesville, Georgia.  While there she lead a music curriculum that brought group piano lessons to all kindergarten and first grade students.  She directed several musical theater productions and taught choral music. Developing a public-school strings program was a joyful part of teaching at Wauka.  Mrs. Welch managed the Hall County Strings Workshop for several years before retiring in 2019.

Mrs. Welch now teaches piano, violin, and flute lessons.  She continues her ministry with young musicians as the conductor of the Student Orchestra at the First Baptist which she began in 2007.  

Gretchen and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter.  They love to travel and are always involved in projects around their home.

Linda Williams : Strings Instructor

Linda Williams

Strings Instructor

Linda Williams graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Theory and Composition.  She grew up laying with the orchestra at First Baptist Church Atlanta and now plays with the orchestra at First Baptist Church Gainesville.  She taught middle school and high school orchestra in Gwinnett County and then owned a private music school in Lawrenceville for seven years.  Mrs. Williams served as the concertmaster of the Gwinnett Symphony and has played with the Atlanta Pops, Gainesville, Rome, LaGrange, and Augusts Symphonies, the Capitol City Opera, the Atlanta Passion Play orchestra and has freelanced for the past 34 years and taught privately for over 30 years.  She holds additional certifications from Musikgarten as well as the Suzuki Association of the Americas.  She currently directs a violin program at McEver Arts Academy, teaches at the First Baptist Church Gainesville Performing Arts Academy, and is violinist and Associate Music Director of the Gainesville String Orchestra.