Music at the Richland Academy of the Arts-a note from the music director

By Greg Carter

March 28, 2018

Music at the Richland Academy of the Arts


For more than 25 years, the Richland Academy has been inspiring individuals of all ages to pursue their passion for music through vocal and instrumental workshops, classes, private lessons and ensemble training. With a long and celebrated historical connection to Jazz, and Classical Music, the Academy stands as a testament to the rich artistic heritage and vibrant culture of our area. Music lessons at the Academy are enjoyable for people at any level of skill. 

We offer small class sizes with a focus on individual attention, or private music lessons in guitar, voice, piano, strings, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. Over 15 highly accomplished and qualified teachers create a positive and nurturing environment for students. Year round, the opportunities at the Academy are endless. Beyond our teachers, there is the potential for more support of talent through scholarships for children, youth, and adult learners.


New Initiatives

  1.  Arts and Health

The Richland Academy of the Arts and collaborating partner Richland Public Health are dedicated to growing our relationship with the community as we grow in relationship to each other. We are committing significant time and resources to Arts and Health initiatives and have applied for funding through the ArtsNEXT and TeachArtsOhio programs, as well as to the Richland Foundation in maintaining this momentum. 

Additionally, we have received Capacity Grant funding to send 3 participating team members to the 18th Annual Arts in Medicine Summer Intensive Program at the University of Florida, a comprehensive training program for artists, educators, and administrators who wish to explore the roles of the arts in health and community health contexts (July 2018). This experiential learning will be transferred and shared within the context of our outreach activity and serves as yet another example of our commitment to the Arts and Health.


Additional Information on RAA & RPH Collaborative Efforts


Greg Carter has been appointed to the newly created Director of Music position for the Richland Academy of the Arts, a leadership position which requires new thinking and direction to support students, musicians and teachers through the creation of new and sustainable initiatives. A recently retired associate professor of music, he has spent 27 years teaching jazz and contemporary music at the University level. Initial funding for the Director of music position was made possible by a grant from the Richland Foundation.

Julie Chaya is the newly appointed Director of the Community Health & Prevention Science Division of Richland Public Health. She is responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating innovative health education and promotion initiatives that are culturally relevant and age appropriate for community members throughout Richland County. Julie holds a M.A. in Human Development & Family Studies, a M.Ed. in Health Education & Promotion, and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Health Education & Promotion at Kent State University where she has spearheaded a number of state and federally funded health behavior change intervention programs. 



Highlighted collaborative work

Published reviews of the Crystal Bowersox performance/clinic at the Richland Academy of the Arts last November are included with this application and also found at:

Diabetes Success Story:

The provided publications document the success of this collaborative event and highlights Crystal’s natural ability to connect with this specific age group not only as an artist, but someone who has struggled daily with health issues related to Type-I Diabetes. Her performances at the Richland Academy of the Arts received standing ovations and the students in attendance were absolutely spellbound by her music abilities. During the Q&A sessions, students eagerly raised their hands to ask Crystal questions about her personal experiences with music and managing her chronic health condition. Crystal provided each student with heart-felt and authentic responses and took the time to talk with students individually after the concert. We have made application to the Ohio Arts Council to replicate this work next fall.  Superintendents from four area schools have indicated their financial support, Mansfield, Shelby, Galion and Lexington (see ArtsNext Grant narrative).


Arts and Health momentum

Finally, we believe this to be a model for success in presenting programming to students and the general public here in Richland County. We intend to replicate this model using other Arts and Health programming in the months and years to come. Narratives for Ohio Arts Council applications are included with this application and will serve to underscore our commitment to Arts and Health in Richland County.


  1.  Mansfield Jazz Orchestra


A new initiative, the 18 piece Mansfield Jazz Orchestra performed before a sold out crowd in The Richland Academy’s Discovery room on February 12, 2018.  A series of public concerts/clinics are slated for yet this year and next.  The ensembles mandate includes performing new and classic jazz music and assisting with our Jazz Lab education offerings.  We were pleased to feature jazz arranger/bandleader Vaughn Wiester in our first concert.  On May 21, 2018, we will present the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra in a special rehearsal/performance in the Discovery room at the Richland Academy of the Arts.


  1.  Jazz Lab

Richland Academy Jazz Lab experience provides opportunities for student musicians to explore and perform jazz and contemporary styles of written and improvised music.  From the swing of Count Basie to the modal sounds of Miles Davis, students are immersed in the Jazz Styles and Literature of America’s core musical language.  Additionally, students of all levels, will receive instruction from nationally recognized guest artists (instrumentalists and singers). This program is open to students in grades 7 to 12 from North Central Ohio and meets Wednesday evenings (6:30 to 8:30).


  1.  Thursday -Night Music  &  Sunday -Chamber Series

We are exploring funding options for our Thursday Night series of contemporary music concerts and clinics—including the Mansfield Jazz Orchestra and artists like Crystal Bowersox.  Additionally, we will add Sunday Chamber music concerts/clinics to next year’s schedule—presenting local and regional artists and students.


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