Fairfield County Strings & Keyboards
Our Music Teachers

lady sitting at table holding an award
MARY ANNE THELLER

has been involved in music her entire life. She attended Ohio University as an Education Major. Whenever possible, she would enroll in music courses that would enhance her playing and teaching skills. In 2006, she recognized a lack of orchestral string opportunities in our area and created Fairfield County Strings & Keyboards, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit outreach dedicated to providing string education to students of all ages. In recognition of her efforts, she was awarded the Red Cross Education Hero of the Year in 2014.

Currently, Mrs. Theller enjoys teaching beginning piano and violin to the youngest students served by FCS&K and she provides her violin students their first ensemble opportunities in the Popsicle Players.

lady holding a violin
VIOLINIST ELAINE SWINNEY

maintains an active freelancing and private violin studio teaching career. A graduate of Baldwin-Wallace University Conservatory of Music, Ms. Swinney has extensive orchestral, recording and chamber music backgrounds and has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the prestigious Constitution Hall both in Washington D.C., and Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio among many other venues. Ms. Swinney joined Fairfield County Strings and Keyboards in January 2016 as conductor and coach for the Chamber Players ensemble. Currently Ms. Swinney serves as an associate musician with the Columbus Symphony, Assistant Concertmaster of the Newark Granville Symphony, and a section violinist with Ohio Valley Symphony in Gallipolis, Ohio and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra in Lancaster, Ohio. A native of Steubenville, Ohio, Ms. Swinney resided in Norfolk and Williamsburg, Virginia for 18 years while serving as a section violinist with the Virginia Symphony, the Virginia Opera, Principal Second with the Williamsburg Symphonia and past co-owner of Arte Musicale Ensemble, playing engagements for a variety of events including special programing for Queen Noor of Jordan at the beautiful Chrysler Museum and Nancy Reagan during the commissioning of the USS Ronald Reagan, both in Norfolk, Virginia before moving back to Ohio in 2006. Other orchestral affiliations have included South Eastern Ohio Symphony, Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Westerville (OH) Symphony, Fort Wayne (IN) Philharmonic, Mansfield (OH) Symphony, Canton, Akron, Youngstown (OH) Symphonies, West Virginia Symphony, Richmond (VA) Symphony, Lakeside (OH) Summer Symphony, Wheeling (WV) Symphony, and Huntington (WV) Symphony. Other projects include recordings with the Virginia Symphony, NPR, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, and the Columbus Symphony, in addition to numerous performances with a variety of touring artists including Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Josh Groban, YES, Renee Fleming, Andrea Bocelli, Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, Moody Blues and others. Ms. Swinney is a member of The Federation of Musicians, Local 103 and The American String Teachers Association. Ms. Swinney resides in Vinton County (Creola, Ohio) since January 2014 and enjoys the tranquil setting of home, tending to the garden, and riding the ATV around the property.

lady smiling
LYNNE THELLER-KITCHEN

has been involved in music since the young age of 5. She began her musical journey under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Lisko of Capital University and Elaine Davies, instructor of The Suzuki Teaching Methods at Capital University. Upon completing the Suzuki program she moved forward to study with Mrs. Ruth Jean of Dennison University.

During her childhood years she auditioned for and performed with the Columbus Cadet Symphony and the Columbus Youth Symphony, under the direction of Dr. Robert Culver. At that time Lynne was the youngest member in the Columbus Cadet Symphony’s history. She also studied privately with Dr. Robert Culver of The Ohio State University and Dr. Howard Beebe of Ohio University.

In addition to private studies, she participated in many workshops, including the Samuel Applebaum clinics, regional orchestras, Ohio State Summer Music Workshop and music camps. In 1979, Ms. Theller-Kitchen performed on stage at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall with America’s Youth in Concert. A.Y.C. auditioned students from all over the United States, only selecting two per state to perform. After performing at Carnegie Hall, the orchestra spent 30 days touring Europe.   

As an adult, Lynne has performed with string chamber groups, pit orchestras for recording artists and played in two country music bands. In 2009 Ms. Theller-Kitchen began teaching private lessons with Fairfield County Strings & Keyboards in addition to playing with the chamber strings. She also coaches a performance quartet.

lady smiling
DR. CINDA THOMAS

, born and raised in Fairfield County, and a life-long musician, singer, and voice teacher, has been teaching voice in academia or in the private studio for the past forty years.  She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Master of Music in Vocal Performance from The Ohio University and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from The University of Georgia.  A highly respected and expert voice instructor, vocal Pedagogue, and musical theater and opera director, Dr. Thomas has held positions with The Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR, Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA, and in Baltimore, MD - The Peabody Preparatory, The Morgan Sate University, and The University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Dr. Thomas is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, teaching Alexander Technique for the past seventeen years - private lessons as well as onsite workshops.  She has presented many Alexander Technique workshops for many college and university music and theater departments, as well as conservatories and music organizations across the U.S.

For the past 20 years Dr. Thomas has maintained a private studio, first in Baltimore, MD, then Santa Crus, CA and presently in Bremen, OH: The Bremen Voice Studio: Sing Healthy-Your Potential-Your Best.  Dr. Thomas specializes in teaching a healthy vocal technique applicable to a variety of singing styles.  She teaches beginning to advanced students as well as amateur and professional singers.  She has helped numerous students prepare for a variety of performances-recitals, concerts, opera and musical theater roles, as well as auditions and competitions.  A seasoned performer, Dr. Thomas has spent a career performing in recitals, concerts, operas, and musicals.

SHEILA COCHRAN

is an adult piano student with Mary Anne Theller.  She retired from teaching special education after thirty-five years with Heath City Schools.  She now volunteers her experience and time writing grants, fundraising, cataloging and filing music in the Fairfield County String Music Library, and an assortment of activities to help Fairfield County Strings and Keyboards.  Sheila loves all kinds of music, kids, dogs, and art.