Jimmy Bilbrey, a Cookeville native, is a multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter who grew up in a musical home. He graduated from Tennessee Tech in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science degree in classical violin. An award-winning songwriter, Jimmy has had songs recorded by national and international artists. Some of Jimmy's gospel songs are played regularly on the radio. He currently performs in his family bluegrass band, The Bilbreys, and has been the Minister of Music at University Heights Baptist Church since 1998. Jimmy has 37 years of teaching experience and currently teaches violin/fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, piano, ukulele, bass, songwriting and harmony singing.
Katherine Peters is a violin teacher and is pursuing a music degree at Tennessee Tech University. She will be graduating in December 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance and a minor in Business. Katherine has studied violin under three teachers at the School of Performing Arts since 2005: Callie Herman, Jimmy Bilbrey, and Katie Brown. While in college she studies under Dr. Wei Tsun Chang and has also studied cello under Professor Dan Allcott.
Katherine’s love for teaching started in 2014, working for Putnam County’s after school program, LEAPs. She has taught a mix of violin and cello during LEAPs for four years. Katherine has also taught private violin and cello lessons to students from ages five to eighteen years for one year before joining the Stevens Street School of Performing Arts in February 2019. Katherine enjoys playing in the Tennessee Tech University Orchestra and Bryan Symphony Orchestra while also playing various seasonal gigs, such as the Live Christmas Tree at Central Baptist Church, and with the Fairfield Glade United Methodist Church cantata.
Katherine’s teaching involves showing love and appreciation for music, the discipline and focus needed to learn an instrument, correct technique, and music theory and history.
When Katherine’s not involved in music, she is out bass and trout fishing, kayaking, and exploring new and exciting places.
Jeanie began playing violin as a child in Putnam County schools in 5th grade. During high school, she studied violin at Blair School of Music in Nashville, Tennessee and played with the Nashville Youth Symphony, spending summers at Sewannee Summer Music Center. She received a bachelor's degree in Music Education from TTU, specializing in stringed instruments. After graduation she taught music in Crossville, Tennessee and was a conductor for the Children of Crossville Chamber Orchestra. She maintained studios in Crossville and Cookeville where she taught private lessons for 28 years before joining the staff of the School of Performing Arts.
Rachel Salter is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee. She graduated from Tennessee Tech University in 2014 with her Bachelor's degree in cello performance. While at Tech, she studied under Dan Allcott. Rachel currently resides in Cookeville and works and plays for the Bryan Symphony Orchestra as well as teaching private lessons at the Stevens Street School of Performing Arts. She became a certified Suzuki cello teacher in 2014 under the instruction of Melissa Kraut. Rachel also manages and plays in The Orfeo String Quartet, which remains very active in Cookeville as well as surrounding cities.