Music Faculty

Ben Dawley

FBMA Director and Brass/Wind Faculty

Born in Rochester Hills, Pastor Ben is a product of First Baptist Church of Troy and Bethany Christian
School, and he has been involved in choirs and bands from an early age. Ben received both his bachelor
and masters degrees from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina under the instruction of Dr.
Paul Overly, and has also had Dr. Zach Collins (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), David King (Brighouse
and Rastrick Band, UK), and Steven Mead (current primary teacher). Ben has been teaching for 20 years
as a band and choir director and private instructor in South Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, and now
Michigan. Ben has had the opportunity to perform with various ensembles including the Troy Metro
Symphony Orchestra, Chemical City Band, Midland Concert Band, Five Lakes Metro Brass and the United
States Army Field Band. Ben’s desire is to train men and women of all ages to use their talents for the
Lord in the local church. Ben and his wife, Brendee live in Sterling Heights, and they have four children:
Emma, Claire, Liam, and Colin.

 

Angela Wilson

FBMA Administrator, Kindermusik, and Piano Faculty

Angela Wilson discovered her love for music at a very young age when she began piano lessons at the age of 5 and violin lessons at the age of 7. She received her Bachelor of Science in Music Education & Piano Pedagogy from Maranatha Baptist University in 2021, where she studied piano with June Brus and violin with Lewis Rosove. She is currently a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in piano through MTNA, and a certified early childhood music instructor through Kindermusik. Angela teaches beginning through advanced piano to students ranging from kindergarten to adult. When she is not teaching, Angela enjoys kayaking, painting, and spending time with friends and family. 

 

Carla Bayless

Piano Faculty

As a graduate of Bethany Christian School, Carla Bayless works as the elementary music teacher for the school and a piano teacher for the music academy. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education with a Music Minor from Bob Jones University in 1987. Carla has been teaching from college graduation to the present. She specializes in teaching beginning piano, intermediate piano, and hymn playing. 

 

Laurie Beachell

Voice Faculty

Laurie grew up in a home that was surrounded by musicians. Her love for music started very early and many times she and her sister would make music together. One of her fondest memories is her sister sitting at the piano playing songs from Handel's Messiah and Laurie would sing and conduct. Laurie received her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Music (Voice Proficiency). She has worked with choirs and taught voice lessons for many years and was a judge for the North Carolina Association of Christian Schools and an assistant for the North Carolina All-State Choir. She is a mom of 4 adult children.

 

Dee Fitzgerald

Piano Faculty

 

 

Melody Mieczkowski

Cello and Piano Faculty

Melody Mieczkowski began her musical studies at a young age, studying cello with Jui-Chao Wang, Mimi Morris-Kim, and Anthony Elliott, professor at the University of Michigan, piano with Lorie Mieczkowski and Rebecca Harding Mayer, graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, and voice with Laurie Beachell and Candace de Lattre. She has also taken Suzuki registered teacher training at the Chicago Suzuki Institute, Ypsilanti PhoenixPhest, and Memphis Suzuki Institute with trainers Jean Dexter and Carey Cheney (cello), and Caroline Fraser and Rita Hauck (piano). Melody has over a decade of experience, teaching private lessons at FBMA and other schools as well as at her home studio, and currently her studio consists of over 30 cello, piano, and voice students of various levels, ranging in ages from preK to adults. In addition to teaching, she is also very involved in music ministry at her church as well as in the arts community with gigs, accompanying and coaching students for festivals, participating and leading in the Troy Metro Symphony Orchestra, and directing the Orion Chamber Music Society summer string camp. Melody's desire is to use music as a tool to honor God and minister to others. 

 

Brenda Needham

String Faculty

Brenda Needham began studying violin at the age of eight, and started taking her music studies seriously in high school. She got both her bachelors and masters degrees in music from Bob Jones University. She also received Suzuki certification through violin level four. She has been teaching for over thirty years at BCS, giving private lessons and conducting the junior high and high school orchestras. Mrs. Needham is married and has four young adult children. 

 

Mary Cecile Tremper

Wind and Piano Faculty

Mrs. Tremper has a Bachelor of Science in Music Education with proficiencies in Piano and Flute. She has over 30 years of teaching experience both in private and classroom instruction. Much of this experience has been in the elementary, teaching General Classroom Music, Children’s Choirs, Bands, Private Piano and Beginner Band Instruments. Her greatest joy is to see her students, as adults, serving their churches through music. All 3 of Mrs. Tremper’s children are graduates of BCS. She and her husband are members of FBCT where she serves as the Children’s Church Choir Director.

 

Amy Wagner

Piano Faculty

Amy Wagner received her degree in piano pedagogy. She enjoys teaching piano lessons to young children, teens, and adults. Amy has years of teaching experience, and enjoys finding ways to help each student learn. As part of FBMA and BCS music faculty, Amy spends her time working with elementary band sectionals, directing the junior high ladies choir, and the high school handbell choir. 

 

Lucy Young

String Faculty

Lucy Young is a violinist and educator based in metro Detroit. She started violin at the age of five and received her Masters Degree in violin performance from Wayne State University in 2021. Lucy performs all around the metro Detroit area and is a member of the Flint Symphony Orchestra. Besides music, Lucy enjoys hiking, cooking, and writing poetry.