CENTER FOR CREATIVE ARTS

The Otis Redding Center for Creative Arts is a multipurpose space open to students of ages 5-18 who have a desire to explore their interest in all elements of music. The Center is staffed with Macon’s finest musicians offering lessons in areas such as piano, audio engineering, strings, and more. Students are encouraged to go beyond and tap into their best effort. The Center believes in the vitality of music and the arts and continues to develop those avenues for youth. Partnerships with the Mercer University, Middle Georgia State, Macon Pops, and more, help make these efforts possible for our students.

Otis Redding Center for Creative Arts provides a safe environment for instruction. There is videotape surveillance throughout the Center; parents and guardians have the opportunity to view the lessons.

PRIVATE LESSONS

Students taking private lessons will gain knowledge in music theory and develop a repertoire to study for the semester in preparation to perform at a recital at the end of every semester. Private lessons are one on one sessions for students ages five and up. Lesson durations are offered for 30-minute and 60-minute sessions every week. Parents and students have the opportunity to communicate with instructors to create a schedule that works best for them.

PIANO  |  PERCUSSION  |  AUDIO ENGINEERING  |  VOICE  |  VIOLIN  | VIOLA | CELLO  |  GUITAR  |  PERFORMANCE  |  MUSIC THEORY

CALL (478) 742-5737 or email joiterius@otisreddingfoundation.org  for more info.

WORKSHOPS 

“We Write the Songs” is a three-week workshop designed for students ages 12-18 in efforts to equip them with the tools necessary to strengthen their songwriting skills. This workshop explores songwriting techniques, basic music theory, and encourages students to express themselves through music. We Write the Songs intends to enlarge the student’s creative writing journey, opening their minds to go beyond the surface of songwriting, and having the ability to dissect and interpret lyrics and melodies. 

THE DREAM CHOIR 

The DREAM Choir is comprised of vocalists ages 12-18, performing a mixture of classics, soul, and pop. They have performed across the country from the White House to Nashville’s Ryman Theatre and Princess Cruises, and are available for special events. For more information, email foundation@otisreddingfoundation.org

MEET THE INSTRUCTORS

BRIAN OLSON

BRIAN OLSON

GUITAR

Brian Olson has been playing the guitar since he was 16 years old. He received formal music training at the College of Charleston for two years in jazz guitar studies, before deciding to move back to Atlanta. Brian is self-taught on banjo, mandolin, and fingerstyle guitar, and is perfectly comfortable with all three. Since moving to Macon, Brian has played in the orchestra for multiple Theater Macon shows, and has played in venues around town with his wife, Georgia Olson. It is a privilege to be able to share his musical talents with the community in Macon. Brian instructs guitar. 

KIMBERLY EPPS

KIMBERLY EPPS

VOCAL PERFORMANCE

Kimberly Epps is a Louisiana native. She began singing at the age of 3 with her mother. Finding her true passion early on, she began performing all over the state. After moving to Georgia, Epps had the opportunity to begin musical theater work. She starred in Annie, The Wiz, The Civil War, Fences, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Nunsense, and was in Freedom Theatre’s production of Sparkle. Epps has also written and recorded with Randy Jackson, Tim and Bob, Daryll Simmons, High Rock Entertainment group and Danish producer, Troels Neilson. Kimberly instructs stage and vocal performances.

JARIS TOBLER

JARIS TOBLER

VIOLIN, VIOLA & CELLO

Jaris Tobler is the current orchestral director at Central High School. He recently graduated from Columbus State University with a Bachelor of Art Degree in Music Education with a concentration in String Instruments. He has been playing violin since the age 10 and has added in studies with viola, cello, contrabass, piano, and voice. Jaris teaches violin, viola, and cello.

VINSON MUHAMMAD

VINSON MUHAMMAD

ENGINEERING & PRODUCTION

Vinson Muhammad was born and raised in Macon. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and an award-winning artist, composer, and host. He has been featured by All Def Music, Sofar Sounds, the Grammy Museum, and the Final Call. He has opened up for and worked with KRS-One, Vic Mensa, Erykah Badu, Bootsy Collins, and Snoop Dogg. He is executive director of The Collab Project in Santa Ana, Ca. and the Real Talk Hip Hop Summit in Macon. Vinson teaches engineering and production. 

TYLER K. ROGERS

TYLER K. ROGERS

PIANO

Tyler K. Rogers, born and reared in Baxley, Appling County, Georgia, received his education and graduated from Appling County High School in 2016.  For long as he can remember, music has been an integral part of his life. His passion for music developed from influences of musicianship from his father, grandfather, and uncle. All who served as multi-genre musicians. His expedition into learning an instrument himself and further clarity into music came when he started playing drums at the age of 3 and piano around the age of 7 years old. Rogers music journey continued by being active in the church music ministry and joining the Appling Applause Choral Society at Appling County High School. There he developed his musical taste and interest, and not too long afterward, he decided to pursue a degree in Music. Rogers is currently a junior at Middle Georgia State University with a degree concentration in Contemporary Musicianship. He is an active Baritone in the Middle Georgia State University’s Chambers  Singers. For over 11 years, Tyler has served as a church organist for Harper Chapel United Methodist Church, and Saint Matthew Baptist Church, both of Baxley, Ga. Currently, he is the Worship & Arts Director of The Healing Experience Ministries of Macon, GA. Tyler teaches piano. 

ISHMAEL MUHAMMAD

ISHMAEL MUHAMMAD

PIANO

Ishmael Muhammad has been studying piano since he was four years of age. In 2010, at the Armstrong Atlantic State University Piano Fest, he was invited as a participant in the Master Class Division to be critiqued by advanced piano teachers. In 2011, at the Georgia College Junior Olympics, Ishmael won second place in the middle school division. He then returned to Armstrong Atlantic State University Piano Fest in 2012 and won first place in the piano competition. In 2013, Ishmael was then selected to play in the Piano Honors Recital of the Macon Music Teachers Association. Ishmael has been a Six-Year National Winner of the Piano Guild. He has received excellent reviews from top teachers and judges and has performed on many occasions and at many special events in the community. He is currently a Pre-law Junior at Mercer University and is also a lead musician at the church, “Temple New Life Worship Center. Ishmael teaches piano. 

REBECCA LANNING

REBECCA LANNING

VOCAL PERFORMANCE

Rebecca Lanning is noted for her rich, distinctive sound. She has performed in recital, opera, and oratorio throughout the U.S. and in France. Symphonic appearances include the Central Florida Symphony, Valdosta Symphony, Georgia Symphony, Albany Symphony and Macon Symphony. Devoted to modern music, she performed the world premiere of McNair’s Judas Wind with the Macon Symphony Orchestra and the Georgia premiere of Einhorn’s The Spires, the City, the Field with the Albany Symphony Orchestra. She was named Young Artist of the Year by the Gretchen Bunche Endowed Recital Series and received the Irvin Bushman Award at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Auditions. As a member of Robert Shaw’s Chamber Singers and Festival Singers, she has performed several times at Carnegie Hall.

A versatile musician, Dr. Lanning received degrees in Voice and continued with graduate studies in Music History at Ohio University. Her doctorate focused on the relationship between the arts and public policy. Dr. Lanning is the leading scholar of American composer, Kathleen Lockhart Manning. For her research of Ms. Manning, she received the John Houk, Research Grant. She is currently writing the first official biography of Ms. Manning, using primary documents entrusted to her by Manning’s family. Other research areas include private/public artistic partnerships and music entrepreneurship.

An active choral conductor, Dr. Lanning has presented choral master classes and clinics throughout Georgia. She is a Professor and Coordinator of Music at Middle Georgia State University. Dr. Lanning teaches vocal performance.