INSPIRED BY AN EXCEPTIONAL FACULTY
St. Francis Music Academy’s faculty members include:
Dr. Alina Voicu
Dr. Voicu is a professional pianist, who has performed with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and won numerous international music performance prizes; a past president of the Birmingham Music Teachers Association and past vice president of the Alabama Music Teachers Association, she formerly served as Director of Instrumental Music at Indian Springs School.
Concertmaster of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra since 1997 and Concertmaster of the Lake Placid (NY) Sinfonietta since 2006, Daniel Szasz has performed across the U.S. and Europe and has won numerous music performance prizes.
Born in Romania, Alexandru Szasz moved to the US with his parents at a very early age. He started playing trumpet at the age of 12, under the direction of John McElroy, former Principal Trumpet of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. In 2015, Alexandru completed his undergraduate studies in Trumpet Performance at McGill University in Montréal, where he studied with Andrew Dunn and Russell DeVuyst. Currently Alexandru is pursuing a Master’s degree in Trumpet Performance at DePaul University in Chicago, under the guidance of professors Bill Denton, Matthew Comerford, Tage Larsen, and Matthew Lee. Over the years, Alexandru has received numerous awards and honors such as the Merit Scholarship at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the Outstanding Brass Scholarship at McGill University, and fellowship at the Atlantic Music Festival. At DePaul, Alexandru performs with the DePaul Symphony and Wind Ensemble as well as in various brass ensembles; he is also involved with the Windy City Winds Community Band. For the last four summers, Alexandru has also performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player with the Sibiu Philharmonic Orchestra in Romania, at the Romanian-American Summer Festival. In his free time, Alexandru enjoys playing chess and basketball.
Principal Cellist of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra since 1986, Warren Samples took his first orchestral position at age 20 as a member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic; he later became Principal Cellist of the Caracas Philharmonic, widely respected at that time as one of the finest orchestras in South America; and he has appeared as a soloist with the Alabama Symphony, the Kennett Square Symphony and the Reading (PA) Symphony.
Barbara Kimber Harrington
Barbara Kimber Harrington, former Principal Flutist of the Orlando Philharmonic, the Evansville (IN) Philharmonic and the Owensboro (KY) Symphony, and member of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, now serves on the music faculty of Samford University; her prior music teaching experience includes All Saints Preschool, St. Luke’s Day School, Shelby County Schools and the University of Montevallo.
Violin and Viola
Zak Enikeev is the Assistant Principal Viola of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and has also performed in the most prestigious concert halls of New York City, including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall; he also teaches at Birmingham-Southern College and the Alabama School of Fine Arts.
Voice, including Jazz Performance
Diane McNaron is a Singer/Director/Vocal Coach who has performed jazz, cabaret, opera and oratorio in the U.S., Europe and Australia and has taught at several universities at home and abroad.
Marsha Gunter is former Faculty Member of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and has performed with the Alabama Symphony, Birmingham Opera Theatre and Town and Gown Theatre.
Tim Shaffer is a Guitar Instructor/Singer/Performing Artist who has played in a wide range of musical settings, from symphony orchestras to rock and bluegrass bands; a former percussionist with the West Shore Youth Symphony, he now picks mandolin, plays guitar and sings lead and harmony vocals for The Beattitudes in a repertoire including bluegrass, folk, gospel, old-time favorites and even some Beatles; as a guitar instructor, he works primarily with students who are relatively new to the instrument, mixing technique and theory to help them learn to play solo or in a group.
Music Together® Family Music Classes
Jenny Damman holds a BA in music from Duke University in North Carolina, an MA in Teaching ESL from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College in NYC, and a certificate in musical theatre from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. She has also completed the MTLLC Complete Teacher Training in early childhood music and movement. She is currently the Youth and Junior Choir Director at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Birmingham and has been a church choir member herself since the age of 6. As a student, she also studied and performed as an instrumentalist on both piano and clarinet. Additionally she has studied dance and formerly taught Zumba dance fitness classes. Jenny lives in Birmingham with husband Tom and is the proud parent of Alex, currently a college musical theater major.
Private instruction in other instruments is available upon request.
Please email Dr. Alina Voicu with your request.
Dr. Alina Voicu, Director of Music
Phone: (205) 988-4371