307-350-0373 | wentzj2@winthrop.edu

world class faculty at cola-music

Joshua Wentz, B.A., M.A., M.M.


Josh has been teaching and performing for more than 10 years throughout the United States and Europe. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Muskingum University and his Masters in Music Performance degree from Winthrop University. Additionally, he holds a Masters of Science from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Joshua performs with various local organizations such as Opera Carolina, University of South Carolina opera department, Oratorio Singers of Charlotte, and is frequently invited to sing at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston. He has sung and played piano for various companies throughout the United States and Europe. His musical work has taken him to places such as Miami, Cleveland, Rome, Stockholm, Helsinki, Paris, London, and many other major cities. Josh loves teaching, coaching, and developing students to pursue their dreams and make careers in music.

Teaching Philosophy


Using my own methods to teach breathing, support, relaxation (relaxed sound), tone placement, delivery, I focus on intervals and pitch accuracy to give the student an introduction to aural skills/ear training in the younger years and floor/wall breathing exercises are encouraged. In piano lessons, I spend a little time each week on essentials: scales, arpeggios, chords and inversions, ear training, intervals, etc. I do not feel that these should be exhaustive and hope to only expose the young learner to these techniques and relate them to the lesson and music being learned.


Making individualized lesson plans for each student with weekly progress, assigning technical practices for improvement, and incorporating these into the assigned music. Although I will direct students towards a “Classical” path, I will utilize their own interests (Broadway, pop, jazz, etc.) to keep them interested and engaged in weekly progress.

Paul Robinson, B.M.E., M.Ed, Ed.D.



Dr. Paul Robinson, instructor of piano and organ, received his Ed.D. in Music and English Education correlated with music from Columbia University Teachers College, where he studied piano with Thomas Richner.  Previously at the University of Florida where he received the M.Ed., he studied piano with Russell Danburg and continued post-masters work in organ with Willis Bodine.  In addition to his academic degrees, he holds the Colleague Certificate of the American Guild of Organists.

He has published four volumes for organ and played organ concerts across the country at UCLA, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, the University of Colorado in Boulder, St. Thomas Church in New York, the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, and a number of other churches and universities.  For twenty-five years until 2007 he was organist for Rockland United Methodist Church in Kansas City and continues as requested as a guest organist for various churches.  He has composed music for numerous productions for various theater companies across the United States, compositions for which he has received annual awards every year since 1999 from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.

Samantha Nahra, B.M., M.M.


Soprano Samantha’s Nahra’s operatic repertoire includes Laetitia in Opera at USC’s production of Old Maid and the Theif, and Bianca (La Rondine), and most recently, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni). She has also played the role of Cinea in L’Egisto as part of Oberlin in Italy. She has been in the chorus of Cleveland Orchestra’s production of Peer Gynt at Severance Hall conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy. She was a recipient of Oberlin’s Conservatory Dean’s Scholarship and was a semi-finalist at the Orpheus National Music Competition in 2011. Miss Nahra is currently earning her Master in Music degree at the University of South Carolina School of Music where she is a graduate assistant in the opera department. She earned her Bachelor of Music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.


Teaching Philosophy


I teach for the student; meaning I believe every student is different thus everyone learns differently and I try my best to cater to a student’s way of learning. I teach primarily classic voice with an emphasis on Alexander technique.

Brandon Coprich, B.S., B.A.


Brandon earned a Bachelor’s in Science degree from Western Carolina University in Biology before going on to earn a second Bachlor’s degree in Music from Winthrop University. He is currently taking classes in Biomedical Sciences at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Brandon has been playing violin and the strings since he was seven. In elementary school, he picked up many band instruments and has played flute, piccolo, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and several other instruments in various bands during prep school, high school, and college. He continues to play and perform on flute (specifically piccolo), saxophone, and voice. His primary instrument voice at Winthrop and made much progress as a low bass, portraying roles such as Osmin in Die Entfuhuring aus dem Serail and Sarastro in The Magic Flute. Brandon is also a conductor and administrator for Cola-Music.


Personal Quote


“I may not know exactly where I’m going or how I’m going to get there but I know I’m gonna make it. My passions in life are music and medicine. And where those two meet, is where I truly begin.”

Jeff Pitts, B.A.


Jeff Pitts is an experienced performer – guitar player first and vocalist second. Since 1999, he has played live in front of audiences doing rock and folk/pop music. While regularly playing electrically and acoustically, Jeff has released numerous recordings with his rock band Deleveled and the acoustic duo Prettier than Matt. With two national tours and hundreds of shows, Jeff thrives on performance and songwriting. Jeff studied Mass Communication and Political Science at Francis Marion University. He has also spent the past few years teaching private lessons and now, looks forward to working with Cola-Music.

Teaching Philosophy


I teach guitar by incorporating fun first, while the rest follows. I want to first learn the direction the student wants to take, and from there, do what I can to have him/her achieve personal goals. At the beginning of a student’s guitar journey, I believe it’s important to make him or her look forward to picking up the instrument again. It must be something you enjoy, and if you like what you’re doing, we’ll break it down into more specific theory and understanding behind it, one step at a time. I never want the student to be bored and feel obligated to run through scales and chord progressions. I want the student to be playing something that entertains as soon as possible. In the beginning, I stress finger exercises to build strength, and chord progressions the student will recognize and look forward to playing for friends and family. Music is fun, and lessons should be no different.

Luke Nemitz, B.M., M.M.


Luke Nemitz earned his M.M. in Music Composition from the University of South Carolina and previously his B.M. in Instrumental Music from Liberty University. Involved in choirs and bands since he was a kid growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Luke understands the importance and enjoyment of being involved in music be it a hobby, an after school activity, a class, or just having a jam session with friends. He enjoys playing different instruments including trombone, clarinet, guitar, and piano. Luke also specializes in writing music and has gained recent performances in Virgina, Florida, South Carolina, and New York City.


Luke was a member, and principal trombone in 2009, of the Liberty University Symphony Orchestra from 2006-2010, a member of the Virginia CBDNA Intercollegiate Band in 2009, was leader and member of the Liberty University Brass Quintet II from 2008-2010, member of the Liberty University Concert Choir (including performances with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra; Brahms and Mozart Requiems from 2008-2010, a member of the Roanoke Symphony Chorus; Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in 2011, the Liberty University Wind Ensemble from 2007-2009 which was selected to perform at the CBDNA Southern Division Convention in 2008, Liberty University Tuba/Euphonium Quartet “Eutub” in 2007, the Liberty University Spirit of the Mountain Marching Band in 2007, and the Northpointe Christian H.S. Concert Band and Jazz Band.

Lydia Burrage-Goodwin, B.M.E.


Lydia has been playing the violin for over 12 years, and has been teaching privately for 6. She has been part of many orchestras and choirs throughout her life, and believes it to be something everyone should explore in one way or another throughout their lives. She enjoys learning and playing many other instruments including flute, clarinet, viola, string bass and her current endeavor, the cello. Originally from Massachusetts, she has had the opportunity to play with the Boston Civic Symphony, Wellesley Symphony, and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She has worked closely with the Boston String Quartet and the Colorado String Quartet, and performed in master classes for Rebecca MacLeod (Violin Professor at UNC Greensboro), Diane Chaplin (original cellist of the Colorado String Quartet) and David Kim (concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra).


She is currently earning her Bachelors’ degree in Music Education from The University of South Carolina in Columbia. Miss B-G currently performs with quite a few major orchestras including the Brevard Philharmonic, the Long Bay Symphony, as well as local ensembles in and around Columbia.

Teaching music has been her passion since she can remember. As a child, she remembers her unbound excitement before orchestra rehearsals. Her teachers and conductors were not only educators, but guides and mentors she looked up to. As a teacher herself, she aspires to pass on the joy in music that they taught her.  For many people, music is an outlet, a coping-mechanism or relief from a hectic workday. She believes that music is different from most school subjects in that there is no set curriculum and it is so much more personal. Every student progresses at their own pace, and appreciates it in their own unique way. Miss B-G has grown to have such a huge appreciation for all genres of music and hopes to share that love and appreciation with her future students!

803-771-4777 | Info@Cola-Music.com

Serving Columbia, SC and the Midlands