Ms. Amy Patton Weckesser
Amy Patton Weckesser was born to Tom and Lenore Patton in Philadelphia in 1962. She first picked up violin at the tender age of 3 and began lessons with her mother at 4 years old. Her star has been rising ever since! She is a multi-faceted, professional musician whose experiences allow her to bring a wealth of knowledge and talent to each of her musical endeavors.
As a professional violinist, Amy has played in the Trenton Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Bridgeton/Bay Atlantic Symphony, Del-Val Symphony, Newtown Symphony, as well as the Kennett Symphony. She has also played on tour with such star performers as Smokey Robinson, Paul Anka, The Moody Blues, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra Jr., Jimmy Roselli, and Donna Summers. In addition, Amy has played the Musical Christmas Tree at the Philadelphia Gallery, as well as 1st violin in multiple pit orchestras for various theatrical productions. Currently Amy plays 1st violin in the Shrewsbury String Quartet, the Ambler Symphony, as well as the Alamay String Quartet.
As a conductor, she has had the privilege of Thomas Patton, Jack Moore, and Joseph Primavera as conducting mentors. Over the years, she has gained a bountiful knowledge of conducting a wide variety of musical groups, ranging from aspiring musicians to individuals at the top professional level. Her conducting experience includes having conducted the Saint Saens No. 1, Shostakovich No. 1, Dvorak, Haydn C and D cello concertos alongside Bob Cafaro of the Philadelphia Symphony. In addition, she serves as String Conductor and Concert Mistress for Cris Macchio. At present, she not only holds the position of Assistant Conductor and Concert Mistress of the Olney Symphony, but has also guest-conducted the South Jersey Pops for their March 2017 concert.
In addition to her many professional accomplishments, perhaps her most shining achievement is the impact she has on future generations of musicians. Miss Amy has a great passion for teaching and engendering musical excellence in children. In 1992 as an extension of her private teaching studio, she founded and currently serves as Conductor of the South Jersey Youth Orchestra and Friends, a learning orchestra where aspiring student musicians play and learn alongside seasoned musical mentor ‘friends’. She has had several students of hers successfully audition for and gain acceptance into the All South Jersey Orchestra. Miss Amy takes a personal interest in each of her students, working tirelessly so that each may achieve his or her own personal best. Miss Amy is admired and loved by all who have had the privilege to be taught by, work with, or play under her baton.
Mrs. Bethany Harshaw Bantle
Bethany Harshaw Bantle enjoys playing flute and teaching a love of music to children of all ages. After studying flute with Dr. Dent Williamson at the College of New Jersey, she joined the Wind Symphony of Southern New Jersey, where she has enjoyed performing in concerts all over the region for the past 20 years. Mrs. Bantle has been a music and marching instructor for the Haddon Heights Marching Band for over 20 years. Her “day job” is homeschooling her three kids and teaching at various cooperatives in the South Jersey area. She also enjoys developing musicality in kids as a director of two local elementary color guards and a local middle school band.
Mrs. Susan Landis Eley
Susan Landis Eley is an operatic soprano and experienced professional church, solo, instrumental and choral musician. Mrs. Eley has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The College of New Jersey and Master of Music coursework from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Mrs. Eley taught for over 10 years at Hillside Elementary School in Mt. Laurel, NJ before resigning to homeschool her 3 boys.
Mrs. Eley also teaches private voice and instrumental lessons out of her home. Most recently, Mrs. Eley has served as an adjudicator at the ACSI high school and middle school fine arts festivals at Messiah College and music director for several shows with Triple Threat Theater Productions. She loves being a part of the Mid Atlantic Music Academy staff and looks forward to sharing her love of music with your children!
Mrs. Kathleen Hall Colletti
Mrs. Kathleen Hall Colletti completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and Music Therapy at Elizabethtown College and went on to teach the 5th and 6th grade bands, choruses, and vocal music classes in the Bayville Township School District. From there, she was a Music Therapy Intern in Tallahassee, Florida and then the high school and middle school Vocal Music Teacher and Musical Director in the Willingboro Township Public School District.
Mrs. Colletti has taught private instrumental and vocal lessons, sung with the Greater South Jersey Chorus, and she has been an adjudicator for the New Jersey Honors Jazz Choir and the New Jersey Fine Arts Festival for a number of years. She used her music therapy skills as she taught music at the LADACIN Network in Lakewood over the summers until she resigned to be a stay-at- home mom. She has been homeschooling her children for the past 6 years and is excited to join the Mid Atlantic Music Academy staff this year.