The Music Center
The Music Center

community music school

Community Music School drum class
cms battle creek faculty


Jodine Bandlow (piano) Jodine has a Bachelor of Science in sacred music, piano and voice from North Central University, a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Miller College, and is pursuing a masters degree in education from Cornerstone University.  A skilled accompanist, she also directs kids’ worship at First Wesleyan Church in Battle Creek. Jodine has been a vocalist for singing groups touring the US and Canada, and a children's choir and musical productions director. She teaches general music at Climax-Scotts Elementary School.

Holly Bolthouse (piano) Holly has studied with Nancy Erickson, Kathryn Mix, and Daniel Longhin, and received musical training from Kellogg Community College and Aquinas College. She has accompanied soloists and church choirs, is the accompanist for the Battle Creek Boychoir and Battle Creek Girls Chorus and been a member of Battle Creek Area Music Teachers Association. Holly is particularly skilled in working with young children.

Bryan Borders (trombone, euphonium, tuba) Bryan holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Olivet College. He is currently Director of Jazz and Assistant Director of Bands for Harper Creek Community Schools. He has been a choir director, assisted with musicals, and a member of honors bands. Bryan was first chair trombonist for the Wind Band at Olivet College.

Justin Budzynski (voice, guitar, and bucket drumming) Justin holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Western Michigan University. He has worked in classroom and individual settings and been a music program director at the YMCA of Kalamazoo and a member of Early Music Michigan. Justin is currently Assistant Director for the Battle Creek Boychoir and Battle Creek Girls Chorus and directs the Ragazzi ensemble.

Jaclyn Burke (violin) studied violin performance at Grand Valley State University with Gregory Maytan, concert master of the Battle Creek Symphony. She plans to continue her studies at Western Michigan University with Renata Knific, and to pursue certification in the Suzuki method.  Jaclyn is an alumni of the Battle Creek Youth Orchestra and the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony. She has attended Meadowmount School of Music, and toured with the Grand Valley State University Chamber Orchestra.

Dennis Downing (percussion) has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Michigan State University.  He is currently completing his Master's degree in Occupational Therapy at Western Michigan University.  He has been drumline instructor for Maple Valley High School in Vermontville and Lakewood High School in Lake Odessa.  He has performed in over 30 pit orchestras for musical theatre productions in the community.  His interests include computers and exploring how music can help in the world of medicine.

Jeff Hale (percussion) holds a Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Writing and Production from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.  Jeff is a professional drummer as well as composer and arranger.  He specializes in private drum set instruction with and without written music; classical and rudimental etudes, ensemble performance, double bass drum techniques, correct technique to avoid injury, and overall focus on a rewarding experience with the drum set.  Jeff works with musicians of any age, experience, and skill level.

Paula Harris (piano) Paula holds an Associates in Arts degree from Kellogg Community College and a Bachelors in Worship Arts, piano concentration, from Spring Arbor University. Her instructors have included Phyllis Rappeport and Lori Sims (Western Michigan University), Susan Lawrence, and Audrajean Heydenburg (Spring Arbor University). Paula teaches piano and accompanies choirs, classes, and musicals at Kellogg Community College.

Laura Hirleman (Concert Band) Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in music and is currently pursuing a masters degree in conducting, both from Western Michigan University. Laura directed the middle and high school bands for Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools for several years.  She is adjunct faculty at Kellogg Community College and has performed as clarinetist with pit orchestras and bands throughout the area.

Joan King (piano) Joan holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Western Michigan University and studied privately with Curtis Smith. She is organist and accompanist at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Battle Creek. Joan plays for weddings, vocalists, and musical groups and performs two-piano recitals with Paul Harris, also of Community Music School.

Teri Noaeill (Music First, General Music)
Teri holds a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in elementary education from Western Michigan University. She is also certified as a Highly Qualified Early Childhood Specialist. She has taught at Arbor Academy and Riverside Elementary School. Teri was a member of the Bronco Marching Band while at WMU, and has coached at summer camps and for Girls on the Run.

Cindy Rose (piano) Cindy holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering from Michigan State University and has done graduate work in linguistics at the University of Texas. She is church pianist at Cornerstone Community Church in Battle Creek, and has taught English in China. Cindy studied with Winnifred Sherburn in East Lansing and Dr. William Phemister at Wheaton College.

Craig Suhusky (clarinet, saxophone) Craig holds a Bachelor of Music in music education from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Music in clarinet performance from Michigan State University. He has been principal clarinetist of the Battle Creek Symphony since 1980. Craig has extensive chamber music and music theater orchestra experience, and has played saxophone in Phoenix Big Band.

Ed Swarthout (guitar and bass guitar) Ed received musical training at Hannibal School of Music and studied with John Ruthere at State University of New York at New Paltz. He performed for ten years with Reflection, a band based in Syracuse, New York. Ed has performed in Kellogg Community College and Civic Theater productions, and currently performs with Sweet Geek, along with fellow Community Music School faculty, and Pirates and Wenches,  a Renaissance band. He enjoys and performs a variety of music including rock, jazz, and blues.

Wendy Wheeler (voice and piano) Wendy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Saginaw Valley State University and a Master of Music in Education and Vocal Performance from Western Michigan University.  She is a skilled performer in all genres, from classical to musical theater.  Wendy has served a Director of Worship Music, Piano Lab instructor for Gilmore Educational Programming, and Music Director/Artistic Director for many Michigan theaters and schools.  She has been a private voice teacher for more than two decades, and is able to teach beginning students as well as prepare students for competitions and undergraduate college auditions.  She focuses on vocal technique; Italian, French, and German diction; song, oratorio, and opera literature.




The Community Music School's main location is inside of the Davidson Building on the campus of Kellogg Community College. We are located on the south end of campus, behind Fremont School near Emmett Street.

The address of the building is: 450 North Avenue, Battle Creek, MI

Click here for maps to our locations

Community Music School

Fall 2016
September 6-December 9

Winter 2017
January 9-May 27
Registration starts November 21, 2016

Summer 2017
June 5-August 25
Registration starts May 1, 2017

Registration page


Registration open all semester

For registration and start up dates of each program please check out the pages for private lessons, Music First,and the Registration page.

CMS financial aid is available to families with under $50,000 in annual income. Other aid is available to qualifying families from area foundations and organizations. For more information, please contact the Music Center.

Some of the financial aid options are need based while others are not. Please call today to find out how we are able to keep music learning accessible and affordable for our community.

Tuition only covers a portion of the cost of Music Center programs. Click here to donate online.



Trombone player

Did you know that the Community Music School is a program of The Music Center of South Central Michigan? Click here for information on all of the classes and ensembles we have to offer.