The board of directors of the Joy of Music School is comprised of individuals who support and sustain the mission of the organization. They give of their time and resources in order to preserve a healthy future for the School, and utilize their networks to create and maintain beneficial relationships for this institution. Oversight and advancement are central to their volunteer work.
Fay Adams retired as Associate Professor Emeritus at the UT School of Music where she was coordinator of the keyboard area teaching piano, pedagogy, and Suzuki pedagogy. She has won the Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, and MTNA National Teacher of the Year. Fay teaches privately and still works with MTNA, the Suzuki Association, and the Suzuki Piano School of Knoxville.
Harold A. Black is the James F. Smith Jr. Professor of Finance (emeritus) at the University of Tennessee. He served on the initial board of the National Credit Union Administration. He has held faculty positions at the University of Florida, UNC Chapel Hill, Howard University and American University. He is past chairman of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank – Nashville Branch.
Susan Brackney, a UT Knoxville grad, has been volunteering since 1961 when she joined the Junior League. She was Dogwood Arts Chair, organizing their first House and Garden Show. Susan has served UTK on their Alumnae Committee, Women’s Council, Pan-Hellenic, and Chi Omega boards. She serves on the Old Gray Cemetery board, and was State Pres. for the Nat’l Society of Colonial Dames of America. Susan chaired our Holiday Sparkles & Spirits from 2010 to 2018.
Robert R. “Rick” Carl is a lawyer with Baker, Donelson PC and is an active musician performing on the trumpet frequently with local bands. He is a former school music teacher, having led the music department at the Webb School of Knoxville.
Trey Coleman is the regional president for HomeTrust Bank in Knoxville, Tenn. He is a past Joy of Music School board president. Prior to joining the board Trey served as a volunteer guitar instructor at the School. He enjoys mountain biking and fly fishing.
F. Michael Combs is Professor Emeritus of Music (retired) at the University of Tennessee and associate principal timpanist with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. He was founding board president of the Joy of Music School, helping establish the organization with its founder, James Dick. Mike currently chairs the development committee.
Sarah M. Davis, a retired Knox County Schools music teacher, is now a substitute teacher, and church music director. She is a singer and board member in the Knoxville Choral Society. Currently, she chairs the Joy of Music School’s board governance committee.
Harold Duckett is retired from 35 years practicing architecture and design. He continues his 37 year career as writer, critic and observer of visual and performing arts and architecture in the area. He has written for national arts publications and journals, currently writing for KnoxTnToday. Harold is an art collector and appraiser. When not involved in the arts, or pro bono professional services, he enjoys gardening.
Jack Fellers, Board President, is an emeritus professor of engineering at the University of Tennessee. He has been a volunteer piano teacher at the Joy of Music School since 2013, plays trumpet in the Tellico Village Top Notes, and hits a lot of golf balls. He has served on the board marketing/PR committee in the past, and focuses his work on potential expansion plans for the School.
Rachel Ford is Executive Director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. She serves on the boards of the Arts & Culture Alliance, Knoxville Rotary Club, and is a member of the Executive Women’s Association. Rachel has a piano performance degree from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of the League of American Orchestras’ Management Fellowship Program. She is a Leadership Knoxville graduate, and was a 2013 YWCA Tribute to Women honoree.
Lynnez Gray-Thompson, a Louisiana native, is a morning show producer at WVLT-TV News. Currently, Lynnez serves on the Joy of Music School special events committee. She is also secretary for Knoxville’s Youth Outreach STEM board, and is a member of the Alliance House Community Coalition planning committee. In her spare time Lynnez enjoys singing lead vocals in her band and featuring in different bands around the city.
Julia Hamilton, a Rome, GA native, operates an executive search firm specializing in the furniture industry. She has been actively involved with the Knoxville Garden Club, Junior League of Knoxville, University of the South (Sewanee), Webb School of Knoxville and HABIT. Her son, Parker, has been a guitar teacher at the Joy of Music School for several years.
Marsha Hollingsworth has extensive community involvement including Fantasy of Trees, and the Red Cross. A former Clinton Jaycees Woman of the Year she has served on the Knoxville Opera, Baptist Health Foundation, Pellissippi State CC Foundation, and the Bijou Theatre boards. She now serves on the boards of the Museum of Appalachia and the Sertoma Home. She also sponsors programs for Junior Achievement of East Tennessee, including BizTown.
Cathy Leach, Board Secretary, is Professor of Trumpet at the UT School of Music, where she has also served as Associate Director of both Graduate Studies and Undergraduate Studies. She played Principal Trumpet with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra for 31 years and is currently President of the International Trumpet Guild. She happily offers her musical and administrative experience to JoMS.
Rob Masengill, is a Senior VP at Pinnacle Bank in Knoxville. In addition to the Joy of Music board role, Rob leads the Latin American Missions Ministry at Two Rivers Church. A long time drummer, Rob has served on other community focused boards and committees including the Boy & Girls Club of East Tennessee Advisory Board, Morristown Chamber Board, the MATS Homeless shelter and United Way of Hamblen County.
Robin Moon is an HR Total Rewards Specialist at Pilot Flying J. Robin worked for twenty years with nonprofit, grant-funded early education agencies in management and as a consultant. She served on the early education advisory boards of two Tennessee community colleges as well, is a current board member of her homeowners association, a longtime member of her church choir and is a classically trained pianist.
Mick Reed is executive director of Random Acts of Flowers and has been a teacher, banker, and sales manager. Mick has been involved with other local non-profits, having served as past President of Friends of Literacy. Mick has been playing music since elementary school. His current musical efforts involve playing guitar and trying to “get the band back together!”
Darren Seay, Board Treasurer, is the Director of Business Intelligence at Pilot Flying J. In addition to working in accounting and data analytics, he has been a professional jazz musician and music instructor. He has served as a United Way Loaned Executive and is currently the treasurer for both Atomic Rowing and Oak Ridge Sister City Support Organization. Darren serves on the JoMS finance committee.
Ben Smith is a music enthusiast. He works in production and fan and event engagement with AC Entertainment. He hosts the Indie Aisle – the experimental and independent music radio show on WUTK. He founded and runs Gezellig Records – a small record label with artists from across the globe. Ben serves on the special events committee for the Joy of Music School
Blake Stevens is a reporter for WATE 6 On Your Side. He’s a graduate of UT Martin and a native of West Tennessee but now proudly calls Knoxville home. Previously Blake reported at WPSD-TV in Paducah, KY. While not a musician himself, he serves the School because he believes in the mission of providing opportunities to young people. Blake is the Marketing/Public Relations Committee Chairman and hopes to spread the mission of the Joy of Music School to everyone in the area.
Elizabeth Swilley is a Clinical OnBoarding Liaison with TeamHealth. She has been an active volunteer with several other nonprofit organizations such as Race for the Cure, Sequoyah Elementary Foundation, Webb School of Knoxville, and Junior League of Knoxville. She serves on the Joy of Music School on both the Finance Committee and the Special Events Committee.
Joyce Thames is the mother of one current and three former JoMS students. She has been a homeschool mom for over 20 years and is now educating the last of her six children. She organizes a variety of social and educational events for her church, and has organized and produced homeschool events. Joyce also served as a volunteer for Children’s Hospital events and as a 4-H leader.
Frank Venable is a U.T. graduate with a degree in Finance. He has been in the investment business since 1986. Frank is a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley. He and his wife Lisha have three kids and two grandsons. Frank has a love for the outdoors, and has served on various charity boards for many years. He loves to cook and travel with his family. Frank has been involved with the Joy of Music School since 2006.
Erica White, Board President-Elect, is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and has had a career in the meeting planning industry for over 20 years. Currently, she is the Sourcing and Procurement Manager for MCI USA, sourcing and contracting hotels for meetings and events. She is applying her experience as chair of the board’s Special Events Committee. She and her two teenage children all play piano.
Past Members of the Board of Directors
These are community members who have served on the board in years past, and worked to bring The Joy of Music School to its current level of success.
William Davis, Sr.
Mary Ann Fennell
John F. Fisher
James R. Martin
L.L. Montgomery, III
R.L. “Bunny” Oakes
Sammie Lynn Puett
Murphy Strong, Sr.
James L. Clayton
Betty Sue Sparks
Bill Davis, Jr.
Sandra Powell Emond