Arts Academy Faculty

Emily AsKew

Lexington Youth Chorus Artistic Director and Instructor

Emily AsKew is the chorus teacher at Ledford Middle School in Thomasville, NC. Prior
to teaching at LMS, she started the music program at Union Day School in Waxhaw, NC
and has taught private voice and piano off and on since beginning her teaching career.
Mrs. AsKew received her BM from UNCG in 2017 with a focus in Secondary Choral and
General Music Education, and is currently pursuing a MM in Music Education program
at UNCG. She is a soprano section leader in the choir at Centenary United Methodist
Church in downtown Winston-Salem and loves performing in the Greensboro
Symphony Master Chorale. Mrs. AsKew is an active member of the North Carolina
Music Educators Association (NCMEA) and the North Carolina chapter of the American
Choral Directors Association (ACDA). She serves as a Member-At-Large for the
NCMEA Middle School Chorus board, and enjoys providing opportunities for her
students to participate in various choral events throughout the year including NC-
ACDA’s MiddleFest, All-County, All-State, Honors Chorus, etc. Her singers have
received Superior ratings at MPA and enjoy performing the National Anthem for
community sports events. She lives in Winston-Salem with her husband, Alex, who is a
band director in Kernersville. In her down time, she enjoys playing frisbee golf, piano,
and ukulele. Mrs. AsKew is thrilled to be the director of the Lexington Youth Chorus!

Mike Caruso

Guitar Instructor

Mike is a graduate of High Point University.  He has been teaching guitar in the triad area for 20 yrs.  Mike performs on multiple instruments, primarily guitar and saxophone. He has taught a variety of musical instruments over the years. He currently has an active band program.  His bands are comprised of guitar, bass and drum combos and perform mostly rock and blues music.

Helen Rifas

Harp Instructor

Helen earned degrees in music from Reed College and the University of Oregon School of Music.  She is principal harpist of the Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Salisbury Symphonies.  She has performed with the Piedmont Chamber Singers, Hickory Choral Society, Piedmont Opera, Greensboro Opera and Roanoke Opera and has served as guest accompanist for many church choirs throughout the area. Ms. Rifas is adjunct harp instructor at Wake Forest University and harp clinician at Reynolds High School.  In studios in the Winston-Salem and Statesville area, she provides Suzuki and traditional harp lessons to students of all ages.  

Luci White

Violin and Viola Instructor

Luci was born in St. Louis, Missouri, where she began studying Suzuki violin at age 8. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University, where she studied with Almita and Roland Vamos. Luci has completed Suzuki teacher training through Book 8 at the Chicago Suzuki institute and the American Suzuki Institute. She performs with the Greensboro Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, and Salisbury Symphony. Luci teaches at the Music Center of Greensboro and the Arts Academy at Grace. (

Bobbie Wright

Piano Instructor

Bobbie is a graduate of James Madison University where she earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree with a piano major. She taught music in elementary and middle schools in Lynchburg, Virginia and at Lake Norman Charter Middle and High Schools in Huntersville, NC where she was the choral director and accompanist. Mrs. Wright is a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers and has taught piano lessons to students of all ages in Virginia and North Carolina for over 30 years. She currently serves as pianist and choir director for the contemporary service at Macedonia United Methodist Church in Southmont.

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