Our Teachers at the Bel Air Arts Academy
Elizabeth DeVito is an enthusiastic voice teacher who believes that anyone can learn to sing. She graduated from the Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College with a B. M. in Voice Performance, where she studied as a soprano with Professor Matthew Osifchin. In 2017 she studied and performed in Vienna, Austria under the guidance of soprano Donna Robin. Elizabeth has sung as a featured soloist with choirs and orchestras, and placed as the semifinalist in her division of NATS in 2018 and 2015. In musical productions, she has performed as Adina in L’elisir d’amor, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Just Jeanette in Too Many Sopranos, Miss Pinkerton in The Old Maid and the Theif, and Dater #3, #41, and #50 in Speed Dating Tonight!. Elizabeth has also enjoyed performing solo recitals, performing works ranging from baroque arias to world premieres. She believes that all singers can benefit from a strong classical foundation, whether they want to sing classical, musical theater, pop, or jazz.
For over 30 years Chris Defeo has made a passion for music and guitar a daily practice. Influenced early in life by different genres, that led him to focus on finger-style rhythm, complex chord extensions, chord melodies and progressions. Chris writes, performs, and records original music that can be heard on all streaming platforms. He routinely performs locally and enjoys musical camaraderie with other people. When teaching, Chris works to educate through music the student is motivated by while expanding their musical abilities and knowledge. Chris can also play the piano, ukulele and bass guitar. One day he would like to learn to play the harp and drums.
Nathan Hawsey is a performing artist of opera, musical theatre, and classical art song within the East Coast region. Being equally passionate about education and performance, Nathan holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education from Wingate University and a Masters in Vocal Performance from Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute. Nathan was most recently seen as Basilio in La Nozze di Figaro, Prunier in La Rondine, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Jupiter in Semele and Private Sam in the world premiere of Urban Legend. Mr. Hawsey has also appeared as a soloist in major works such as Bach’s St. John Passion and Mozart’s Coronation Mass. As an educator, Mr. Hawsey aims to provide a well-rounded learning experience for students by teaching skills that encourage independent learning, and of course, making music fun! In Nathan’s teaching of both voice and guitar, he encourages a foundational understanding of music through the student’s chosen instrument.
Flutist Megan Natoli is revered as a captivating performer, dedicated educator, and clinician. An active freelance musician, Megan has appeared with The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Maryland Lyric Opera Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Bel Cantanti Opera Orchestra, Syracuse Symphoria, Aternus Chamber Orchestra, The Scheherazade Initiative Orchestra, Hartford Opera Theater, LoftOpera, as a guest soloist with The Hartt Symphony Orchestra, and more. Additionally, Megan has taught for The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program, Young Audiences/Arts for Learning Maryland, The Baltimore School for the Arts TWIGS program, has been a guest flutist and educator for The Annapolis Symphony’s Music Van, and teaches a vibrant private studio in the Baltimore/D.C. area. Megan earned a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance and Music Management and a Graduate Professional Diploma in Flute Performance from The Hartt School, where she was a member of the full scholarship honors chamber music program, Performance 20/20. She earned a Master of Music in Flute Performance from Manhattan School of Music in 2016. Her principal teachers include Janet Arms of the New York City Opera Orchestra and Robert Langevin, Principal Flute of the New York Philharmonic.
Matt began taking fiddle lessons at a young age and has since studied classical violin and music theory with multiple teachers. He has performed in solo recitals, masterclasses, orchestras, small groups, rock bands, and in the recording studio. Matt enjoys creating and replicating sounds on more than just the violin; he can also be heard playing piano, mandolin, and guitar. As a teacher, he believes music is a great vehicle for students to develop self expression, self disclipine, and community.
Gil Rybak is an experienced drummer and percussionist who believes that a solid base of fundamentals can open a vast array of possibilities. Playing drums for over 15 years, Gil has performed at venues from D.C. to New York with various bands, groups, and duets. Originally trained in jazz ensemble, his reggae rock band of over a decade (The Melon Farmers) creates music that can be heard on all streaming platforms and is continually creating and playing music. Having years of experience performing rock, jazz, reggae, hip hop, and punk music, Gil knows how to get aspiring percussionists to the levels they want to achieve. His favorite pastime is performing with either his band or his father.
Born in Toronto, Canada, Alison earned both her Honors Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance and her Masters of Operatic Performance from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, Alison received a Canada Council Grant to study in Vienna, Austria, where she met with success performing as a soprano in many opera productions across Germany and Austria. Alison extended her operatic training at the Atelier Lyrique de L ‘Opera de Montreal. A short operatic career followed before Alison discovered her real passion lay on the teaching side of the Vocal world. She uses classical vocal technique as a basis for teaching that is adaptable to any genre of singing such as musical theatre and Broadway. She also has a working knowledge of French, Italian, and German vocal repertoire. Alison loves teaching beginners, of any age, that are interested in using their voice to sing in the most rewarding way possible.
Her personable approach makes learning fun!