12th Octave - 217 S. Pennsylvania Avenue - Greensburg, PA 15601

12th Octave Studios

Team Biographies

Our instructors are among the most talented in the industry. It would be our pleasure to put our extensive experience to work for you.

Sharon Bratton, Executive Director (piano, music theory, team-building) (on-line and face to face instruction currently available)

Passion for music and passion for developing individuals to their fullest potential, combined with ambition and drive, Sharon cares deeply about our community, particularly our young adults. A musician from the age of 4, she developed her keyboard skills through private instruction at Duquesne University, and continues to use those skills today through various opportunities of teaching and playing. With a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Masters Certificate in Project Management from Duquesne University, she has enjoyed a career in manufacturing operations and service management where she's had the opportunity to learn good process development, continuous improvement and other management skills. She's been able to develop and challenge individuals, leaders, and other companies to reach their full potential through various performance management avenues. Over the years, she's developed teamwork curriculum used to improve teamwork and communication. She is thrilled to be using those talents to develop people to their fullest potential. Sharon is the Worship Director for Murrysville Alliance Church, and the founder and owner of 12th Octave and currently teaches private piano and music theory lessons and team-building workshops.

I am a musician, an engineer, a mentor; my desire is to leave things better than I found them; I am a sister, daughter, wife, mother, aunt, friend. Suicide breaks my heart; cancer breaks my heart; human trafficking breaks my heart; seeing people make bad life decisions breaks my heart. I am thankful for the One True and Living God who saved me from myself and, through His Son Jesus Christ, has saved me from my sins. I am confidently persistent, boldly creative and passionately determined that I may inspire others to live a life that ultimately matters. --Sharon

Dan Jonczak, Executive Director (guitar / bass)

A lifelong musician, Dan began guitar lessons in fourth grade, but didn’t have a full appreciation of music until he began playing in a band in 7 grade. Throughout high school and college, Dan played in a band, often-times 5-6 nights a week. He has a degree in electrical engineering and has enjoyed a career developing new products along with developing people. Dan has played with various worship bands over the years and recorded CDs with them. In 2019, he partnered with Sharon to become co-owner of 12 Octave, LLC. Dan is excited to be a part of the growing Greensburg culture.

Jake Scheidhauer, Instuctor (guitar) (currently unavailable)

A recent graduate of Waynesburg University, Jake started teaching himself to play guitar when he was about 14 years old. He's been playing ever since. In high school, he was a member of the guitar ensemble and a member of the youth band at Murrysville Alliance Church, where he still leads worship occasionally. He continues to be part of the Vacation Bible School band for Murrysville Alliance Church and is eagerly awaiting our 5th summer of live music. He has collaborated with other musicians to write and record music. Music is a passion of Jake's and he enjoys every opportunity he gets to share it with others.

Anthony Farine (guitar) (on-line and face to face instruction currently available)

Anthony began playing guitar when he was eight years old and over the last 14 years, developed a strong passion for the guitar and music. Inspired early on by rock and blues music, he taught himself to play many songs in addition to taking lessons. He became serious about music in high school, and decided to pursue music as a career. He was interested in the recording and production of music as well as performance, so I decided to pursue a degree in which he could study both. Anthony graduated from Duquesne University in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Technology and Jazz Guitar. While at Duquesne, he studied guitar under Ken Karsh, Mark Koch, and Eric Suseoff and performed with the Duquesne University Jazz Guitar Ensemble and Electronic Ensemble. He is proficient in playing all genres of music and always enjoys learning more about the guitar. Some of his favorite guitarists include: Django Reinhardt, Tony Iommi, Frank Gambale, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and John Petrucci. Teaching guitar has given his the opportunity to help other people develop a passion for music and he looks forward to doing it for a long time to come.

Nick Nutter (Saxophone) (on-line instruction available at present)

Originally from Export, PA, Nick Nutter is a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Music Education. During his time at Penn State he studied saxophone with Dr. David Stambler and jazz improvisation with Marko Marcinko, Dan Yoder, and Rick Hirsch. Nick participated in various ensembles including the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic Band, Centre Dimensions Jazz Ensemble, Inner Dimensions Jazz Ensemble, and numerous jaz...z combos. His time at Penn State also gave him the opportunity to work with world-renowned musicians such as Jon Faddis, Tim Warfield, Denis DiBlasio, George Rabbi, Steve Rudolph, Robert Young, and New York Voices.

Currently, Nick is an active musician in the Pittsburgh area performing in various pit orchestras and an active educator. He is currently on faculty with Newlonsburg Music Academy and marching band staff for North Hills High School. He is also pursuing a Master’s Degree in Performance with a Jazz Emphasis at Duquesne University.

Chris Volpe (Trumpet): (on-line and face to face instruction available)

A lifelong passion for music drives singer / songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Christopher Volpe. Starting his musical career at 15 years old, Chris played trumpet in local dance bands, and continued performing throughout his college years. Studying music education at Saint Vincent College, and music performance at Berklee College of Music, provided a blend of both classical and contemporary musical training. The 70s & 80s disco / funk era, presented the opportunity for Chris to develop skills as an arranger, while and performing with: The Macurdy Brothers, New World Connection, Buddy & The Allstars, and Airtight. After touring with Airtight, Chris joined with former band-mates to form the band Masquerade, where he developed his skills as bassist, guitarist, and vocalist. In 2011, Chris began hosting the Open Mic at the legendary Speal’s Tavern, in New Alexandria Pa. This quickly became a popular performance venue for hundreds of talented musicians, and has become a rich environment for musicians to meet and collaborate. Chris now hosts additional open mics and songwriting clinics, at several other venues as well. He is currently performing as a solo artist, and with his trio; Three Good Reasons, and also performs with Crawdad Joe and The Agway shoplifters.

Colin Childs (percussion) (on-line and face to face instruction available)

Colin has over 10 years of experience as a percussionist, specializing on the Drum Kit. Studying under Pittsburgh Symphony's Jan Fung, Colin has experience performing on Concert Snare, Marimba, and Timpani. While obtaining his degree in Commercial Music Technology from California University, Colin also participated as a percussionist in Guitar Ensemble and Concert Band. Additionally, Colin spends time as a freelance recording and mixing engineer.

Tiffany Bratton (Ukulele) (face to face instruction available)

Tiffany began singing at the age of 5, and shortly after began piano lessons with her mom. Since then, she has picked up ukulele and guitar as well. Tiffany is currently in 9 grade at Franklin Regional High School and teaches beginning Ukulele lessons


.

Cara Rozgonyi (Piano, Flute) (on-line and face-to-face instruction available, both individual and group)

A Pittsburgh native, Cara has been interested in music her whole life. Beginning with the flute at age 9, she took private lessons and played in her school's band and church's orchestra. After beginning the piano in high school, she decided to pursue her passion of music at Grove City College, where she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree of Music in 2011. During college, she played in Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Flute Choir, and Flute Quartet. Upon graduation, Cara began teaching private flute and piano lessons, which she currently teaches, averaging 20-30 students. In the past, she has hosted semi-annual student recitals at churches and nursing homes in the Pittsburgh area.

Beginning in 2013, Cara began her freelance performing career at local nursing homes in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Currently, she performs at 25-30 nursing homes per month including assisted living, dementia care, and independent living facilities. She also performs for Weddings Ceremonies and Cocktail Hours, Funeral/Memorial Services, and Special Events such as Art Shows, Anniversary Dinners, Phipps Conservatory, and Kentuck Knob.Cara is a substitute Flute player for the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra.

Cara also teaches piano, flute, and voice for Duquesne University's City Music Center.

Cara is a member of the Pittsburgh Musicians' Union (Local 60-471).

Her website is: www.StrikingaChord.org

Sara Masters (voice, piano, flute) (both on-line and face to face instruction available)

After begging to play music for a long time, Sara started piano lessons at about 7. Flute followed in fourth grade. She sang and played in church and school assemblies by age 11. She was trained as a board-certified music therapist at Duquesne University and also attended Pitt and CCAC. She worked as an on-line teacher for the Art Institute, Google rater, DB designer, hab-aide, tutor and copy editor. After a dare, Sara began improvising with rock bands, which she continued for decades and now performs with duos as well as a band. She also plays the flute at Norwin Alliance Church. She is also available to play for weddings and other events. We are thrilled to have her as one of our instructors.

Rebecca Harr (piano, flute, clarinet) (face to face instruction available, both individual and group)

Rebecca Harr began studying piano at the age of 5 and the flute at the age of 10, followed by clarinet a short time later. Her music studies began in South Korea, where studying instruments was part of daily academic expectations. While living in Canada, Rebecca continued studying music and competing in local and regional competitions. She attended a small Christian college, majoring in music, but eventually completed her education with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counselling. Rebecca has taught piano, flute, and clarinet privately for 25 years and is excited to bring her love for competition to the 12th Octave. Rebecca is able to work with children and adults and can accommodate learners with emotional, educational or developmental disabilities. She enjoys seeing all students succeed and scales, scaffolds, and paces lessons appropriately to match the needs of the learner. She teaches students in a variety of styles from classical to sacred to jazz and is looking forward to meeting and teaching you or your loved one.

Jim Burger (guitar, ukulele, bass guitar, mandolin, banjo) (on-line instruction available)

Jim has been teaching for over 30 years, and welcomes students of all ages and all levels of playing. His approach is to teach them how to learn how to learn. Since he knows all students learn differently, he does his best to discover individual goals and interests and help students achieve them. He works with students to find the balance between enjoyable experience and reasonable challenge – he teaches playing by note and chord, recognizing that reading music is not necessarily always required to enjoy playing music. Jim teaches multiple instruments and multiple styles of music, and shares our enthusiasm for developing people to their fullest potential!