Conservatory Staff


  • Karen Cooksey Piano, Voice and Music Theory Instructor

    Ms. Cooksey received both the Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance (Operatic Concentration) and the Master of Music from The University of Memphis and has completed post-graduate work for her Doctoral Degree at Indiana University.  She has tutored individuals for over twenty years and has seen numerous students go on to have exciting careers in the music industry.  Her accomplishments include numerous vocal scholarships and awards from accredited colleges and universities along with private vocal sponsorships awarded to her during her years of study.  Ms. Cooksey has performed with a wide variety of community theaters, opera houses and churches throughout the country.  Her greatest rewards come from seeing the wonderful advancements made by her students as their musical talents blossom with continued study and practice.  Karen’s life verse is Joshua 1:9.  Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

  • Roxanne Murray Daws Violin and Viola Instructor

    Ms. Daws received the Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Memphis with a double certification in Instrumental Music and Elementary Education and the Master of Music Degree in Viola Performance from The University of Alabama School of Music.  She taught for the Community Music School at the University of Memphis and was the Adjunct violin/viola instructor at Union University where she taught String Methods as well as private lessons.  Ms. Daws plays in many area orchestras including the Jackson Symphony, Delta Symphony and Tupelo Symphony.  Ms. Daws received the “Outstanding Teacher Award” from the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts in 1995 and 1997. According to Ms. Daws, teaching violin and viola has been her "calling & ministry" since 1985.  Her life verse is Phillipians 4:13.  I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

  • Michael Love Acoustic, Electric, Bass Guitar and Banjo Instructor

    Mr. Love received the Bachelor of Science and the Master’s in Administration and Supervision from The University of Memphis.  He taught chemistry for the Memphis City School System for 35 years.  While his education is in the science field his love for music took him in an equally exciting direction.  He has studied with and participated in master classes with Jorge Morel, David Qualey, Michael Hedges, Marcel Dadi, John Knowles, and Leo Kottke.  He is a member of the Guitar Foundation of America, NSAI, CAAS and the American Guitar Congress.  In addition, he was a songwriter for Al Jolson Black and White – BMI from 1996-2000.  Mr. Love shares with everyone, “the Lord has been so good to me.”  His life verse is 2 Corinthians 5:17.  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

  • Corbin Miles Acoustic and Electric Guitar Instructor

    Having taught at The Germantown Baptist Church Conservatory since 1995, Mr. Miles received his Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance from East Carolina University.  He also received his Master of Music in Guitar Performance from The University of Memphis.  He has been a top prizewinner in several competitions and has performed throughout the country as a soloist and ensemble musician. Mr. Miles has released three albums and is currently at work on a fourth release scheduled for later in the year.  His life verse is Corinthians 13:13.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

  • Zeynep Miles Violin, Viola, Piano, Voice and Music Theory Instructor

    Ms. Miles received the Bachelor of Music in Composition, Piano and Viola from the National Conservatory of Turkey and the Master of Music in Composition and Jazz Vocal at the University of Memphis.  She taught music and performed in various ensembles internationally for the last 14 years including several tours throughout Asia and Europe.  Some of her compositions have been played and recorded by orchestras around the world.  Ms. Miles has also appeared in several local productions for Theatre Memphis.  One of her favorite verses is Ephesians 4:2-3.  With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

  • Brittney Patterson Flute Instructor

    Ms. Patterson received the Bachelor of Music in flute performance from The University of Tennessee.  During her time at UTK, she won first prize at the Music Teachers National Association state young artist competition and was a finalist for the annual concerto competition.  She also served as piccoloist in the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble for four years. Following her time at UTK, Brittney held the position of Graduate teaching assistant in flute at the University of Northern Colorado while earning her Master’s degree in flute performance.  While in Colorado, she was a finalist in the Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Southard Scholarship competition, and the Rocky Mountain Concerto Competition.  Ms. Patterson was the principle flute in the University of Northern Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, as well as a performer in the Graduate Woodwind Quintet Ursa Major.  She has performed in masterclasses with Dr. Roger Martin, Dr. Connor Nelson, Lisa Jelle, and Allison Brown-Sincoff, as well as traveling to Montpelier, Vermont to study with French flutist and pedagogue Louis Moyse.  Brittney’s primary teachers include Dr. Nicole Riner, Dr. James Hall, and Dr. Shelley Binder.  Her favorite verse is Psalm 32:8.  I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

  • Verne Powell Piano Instructor

    Ms. Powell has been teaching music for over 47 years, including teaching music in various Memphis City Schools for over 26 years. She received a Bachelor of Music in Piano from Mississippi College and a Master of Arts in Music from Louisiana State University.  She is a member of the Germantown/Collierville Area Piano Teachers Association and Germantown Baptist Church where she teaches a Sunday School Class.  When her mentally handicapped daughter started playing piano at an early age she became certified in Suzuki Piano and now teaches both a combination of Suzuki and Traditional method. She has extensive experience in teaching handicapped children, including her Memphis City Schools classes and that of her own daughter. One of her favorite verses is Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”

  • Andrew Proctor French Horn and Trumpet Instructor

    Mr. Proctor received the Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music Education at Middle Tennessee State University and the Master of Music in Music Education at the University of Memphis.  Mr. Proctor has taught music and has worked with band programs at the University of Memphis, Tipton County Schools and Hardeman County Schools and currently teaches at Whiteville School.  Mr. Proctor’s favorite verse and blessing comes from Philippians 4:7.  May the peace of God which passeth understanding keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and in his son Jesus Christ our Lord and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father Son and Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forever. Amen. 

  • Rob Ramsey Guitar, Piano and Music Theory Instructor

    Mr. Ramsey received a degree in Music and Christian Studies from Union University.  He traveled full-time playing guitar with Ardent Recording Artist Todd Agnew from 2003-2009 and still continues to play various tour dates/camps throughout the year.  Rob works in Worship/Production and Operations Support at Highpoint Church in Memphis, TN.  As a child, Mr. Ramsey took piano lessons from the Germantown Baptist Church Conservatory of Music.  His life verse is Jeremiah 29:11.  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

  • Blake Rhea Bass and Electric Guitar Instructor

    Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Mr. Rhea graduated from Rhodes College with a degree in Urban Studies while also taking courses in Jazz Performance at the University of Memphis.  For the last 15 years, he has enjoyed teaching bass and guitar while also coaching basketball for high school and elementary school students.  Mr. Rhea's career as a bassist and guitarist has crossed several different genres playing rock, soul, funk, blues, jazz, gospel, and hip hop in familiar Memphis bands such as The Gamble Brother's Band, Billy Gibson Band, and Jerome Green and the Voices of Triumph.  Mr. Rhea is also a touring bassist for pop artist Charlie Mars.  His favorite verse is Psalm 33:2.  Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.

  • Becky Thorne Violin and Suzuki Violin Instructor

    Ms. Thorne studied violin through the University of Memphis Suzuki program under the instruction of Greg Morris and Susan Hailey.  While at the University of Memphis, she studied under Tim Shiu.  Ms. Thorne recently received the Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Memphis and is currently working in the University of Memphis Biology lab department.  She is a member of the Germantown Baptist Church Orchestra and the Germantown Symphony Orchestra.  Ms. Thorne’s life verse is Jeremiah 29:11-13.  For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

  • Carole Tidwell Piano Instructor

    Ms. Tidwell has taught privately in her home piano studio as well as at several Memphis-area private Christian schools for over 25 years.  As well, she has been an accompanist for several area churches and theatres for many years.  Presently, she plays piano and keyboard in the orchestra at Germantown Baptist Church, where she is a member.  Ms. Tidwell is also a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Germantown/Collierville Piano Teachers Association.  She is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, where she graduated from Wooddale High School and attended the University of Memphis.  Ms. Tidwell states, "The biggest blessings of my life include my late husband, my two daughters, and my 3 precious grandchildren.  My favorite song is ‘God Will Make A Way’ and one of my favorite Bible verses is 2 Timothy 1:7. For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind."

  • Mark Vail Trombone, Baritone and Tuba Instructor

    Mr. Vail received the Bachelor of Music at  North Texas State University.  He is the principal bass trombonist for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.  In addition, Mr. Vail plays with the Germantown Baptist Church Orchestra, the Germantown Baptist Church Jazz Orchestra and is the brass instructor for the Germantown Baptist Church Youth Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Vail’s favorite verse is Matthew 19:26.  And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

  • Stephen Len White Voice Instructor

    Mr. White received the Bachelor of Music in Opera Performance from The University of Memphis and has performed throughout the country including performing as a member of the traveling company of The Phantom of the Opera, The Music Man, Rigoletto, Merry Widow, Hansel and Gretal, Pagliacci and The Yeoman of the Guard.  He has also performed with the New York Opera in The Barber of Seville, Susannah, the Devil and Daniel Webster, La Boheme and La Fanciulla Del West.  His life verse is Romans 12:2.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

  • Chris Burgess Percussion Instructor

    Mr. Burgess received the Bachelor of Music in Percussion degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, and earned the Master of Music in Percussion Performance degree from The Boston Conservatory. He has toured extensively as a founding member of the Americana/Folk band Harpeth Rising. Mr. Burgess plays with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and freelances with various theaters in Memphis. His favorite verse is Psalm 150:5, “Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!”

  • Naimin Xu-Peppers Piano Instructor

    Ms. Xu-Peppers has been a piano instructor for over two decades teaching students of all ages and ability levels.  She received the Master of Arts in Music (Piano Performance) from the University of Memphis.  As a graduate assistant she studied piano performance with Dr. Jack Guerry at Louisiana State University and studied piano pedagogy with Mr. Samuel Viviano at the University of Memphis.  Many of her students have received college scholarships in music, including a full scholarship in music from Belmont University.  Ms. Xu-Peppers also has a passion for special needs children and has taught in this area for ten years.  As a teacher she desires that her students “sense and care for one another better” and “learn with the purpose to acquire knowledge.”  Her favorite verse is Philippians 2:1-2.  Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and passion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

  • Sheryl Lane Piano Instructor

    Dr. Sheryl Lane earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Memphis, her Masters of Music from the University of Louisiana in Monroe, and her Bachelor of Music Education from Baylor University.  She teaches orchestra and class piano at Kingsbury High School and is the lead piano teacher for the Shelby County Schools.  In addition to teaching school, she conducts the "Little Mozart's" string ensemble for the Germantown Youth Symphony and is the organist and choir director at Collierville Christian Church.  She has been teaching private piano, violin, voice, and guitar for over 30 years and has presented a number of workshops at both the state and local levels focusing on student growth, helping young musicians compose and arrange, and teaching guitar in the public schools. Her favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  Plans for good and not for evil.  Plans to give you a future and a hope.