Our Faculty

Rachel Parfenchuk (soprano) earned a Master of Music in voice from Cleveland Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Music in voice from Ohio Wesleyan University. Parfenchuk studied under the direction of Dr. Mary Schiller and Dr. Jason Hiester, and has coached with John Simmons and Kathryn Brown. Additional areas of study include vocal pedagogy with Dr. Dean Southern, conducting with Dr. Jason Hiester, and stage directing with David Bamberger. 


Miss Parfenchuk has performed both concert and opera repertoire with Opera Columbus, Columbus Dance Theater, Cleveland Institute of Music Opera Theater, Ohio Wesleyan Opera Theater, and the Central Ohio Symphony.  Solo highlights include the role of Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music, Denise in Beatrice and Benedict, Frasquita in Carmen, as well as being a two-time winner of the Ohio Wesleyan Concerto Competition.


Currently, Parfenchuk serves as Director of Music Ministries at Powell United Methodist Church where she conducts the Chancel Choir and integrates both solo and ensemble music into the worship experience.



*Fall Registration Now Open!

Music Theory 1

Online Presenter: Emily Lapisardi

This course provides an overview of the foundational components of music including notation, intervals, key signatures, harmonic analysis and realization, and figured bass. Students will have access to ten weekly lectures on the course material. They will also receive individual feedback from the instructor on tests and quizzes and may contact the instructor as needed by email, phone, or Skype.

Start date: September 30, 2019

History of Sacred Music

Online Presenter: Emily Lapisardi

This course provides a survey of the historical role of music in worship from its roots in the Old Testament to the present day. Landmark repertoire will be explored within the framework of historical turning points in ecclesiastical history. While the class will focus primarily on Christian music in the western world, cross-cultural influences will also be explored. This is a ten-week course comprised of weekly lectures and music listening assignments; students are also required to participate in a minimum of three online discussions and will be evaluated through midterm and final examinations. 

Start date: September 30, 2019

*Also Registering for Organ, Voice, and Cantor Lessons

For more information and to register for any of these fall offerings, send an email to asacredmusic@gmail.com or fill out the contact form on this website.

Registration deadline Friday, September 20, 2019 at 5:00 pm

Make checks payable to Sacred Music Institute of America and send to the following address:

P.O. Box 55

Lewis Center, Ohio 43035

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Faculty and Staff


Dr. Jason J. Keefer, Program Director

Organ/Sacred Music Topics                                

Dr. Rebecca Abbott


Jeremy Bankson


Dr. David Baskeyfield

Organ/Organ Improvisation

Mari Kay Dono

Cantor Program Liaison/Basic Cantor Training

Dr. Richard K. Fitzgerald

Organ/Organ Improvisation

Dr. Jason Hiester


Emily Lapisardi

Music Theory/History of Sacred Music

Steven Nanni


Rachel Parfenchuk


Nicholas John Steltzer


Dr. Jennifer Whitehead


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