Connie Dienner is the the founder and director of the Cavod Academy of the Arts, pulling together 30+ years of involvement in the Theatre Arts both in the United States and abroad, and the desire to foster a setting where creative people are accepted and their gifts nurtured. Connie’s undeniable passion for God, the students, and the community, is shared with a distinct vision of how excellence in the arts can be used to grow and advance the God’s Kingdom. This vision radiates through Cavod as student’s are trained and mentored to use their creative gifts in an inspiring and world-impacting way. Connie’s successful leadership was pivotal in several musicals to include Cavod's own “[Clever Holiday Title]”, and producing Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man”; impacting the local region for years to come. Her submissiveness to God’s direction and call, has revealed a growing Cavod family. “As the student’s and staff grow also in confidence, the achievement of excellence seems almost…..contagious!”
Ashley graduated from Acts International Bible School where she received her Associates Degree in Theology. She is married to Derek Dienner who oversees the media/video of Cavod Academy. She has also been involved in organizing numerous Cavod Academy events. Ashley has always enjoyed working in administration. She has been a great asset to Cavod.
Office Administrator/CDC Manager/Primary Ballet, Creative Movement, Kinder Ballet, and Tap Instructor
Hanna has been a part of the Cavod family for over seven years and is thrilled to be able to work behind the scenes in administration and teach children in various forms of dance. Hanna has studied various forms of dance including Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip-Hop, Modern, and Jazz. She is currently under the professional training of Carolyn Trythall (Lancaster School of Ballet) for her certification in ballet from the Cecchetti Council of America. Her theatrical credits include The Sound of Music, Anne of Green Gables, The Choice, A Mixed Mash Mess of a Tale, [Clever Holiday Title], The Music Man, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, It's a Wonderful Life the Musical, and The Wizard of Oz the Musical, as a dancer. Hanna is dedicated to teaching and leading others to display their gifts in a way that glorifies Jesus Christ.
Tahnya has been dancing at various schools in the region from a very young age. Her passion for dance developed when she traveled and performed across the east coast on a mission trip at 14 years old. It was then that she discovered there was more to dance then looking good onstage… dance is a powerful tool that breaks cultural barriers and reaches the hearts of people without even saying a word. Tahnya has been with Cavod Academy of the Arts since it’s small beginnings. She has taught Hip-Hop, Modern, Worship Dance and Ballet. She is currently focusing on ballet and her roll as Assistant Director/Artistic Director. She has been receiving much guidance from Carolyn Trythall, owner of Lancaster School of Ballet. She has been taught under the professional instruction of Paul Sutherland (Joffrey Ballet), Brunhilda Ruiz (Joffery Ballet), Emily Borthwick (Contra Costa Ballet), Raymond Lukens (American Ballet Theatre), Christopher Hird (Boston Ballet), Franco De Vita (American Ballet Theatre). Tahnya attends the Cecchetti Council of America conference every fall and spring. She is in the process of getting her Grade IV teacher certification from Cecchetti Council of America. She is very excited about the potential Cavod has not only to raise up dancers with beautiful technique but dancers that can dance with excellence and purity unto the Lord. She has a passion to see the Kingdom of God influence the world with dance that is modern and relevant, instead of the world influencing the Kingdom. Tahnya and her husband, Richard reside in New Holland. They have six young children.
Mrs. Trythall (Founder Lancaster School of Ballet) originally studied the Cecchetti Ballet technique with her mother, Ivy Randall, in Washington, D.C. and at the School of the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto. After performing with a variety of regional ballet and modern companies (including L. Fokine's Civic Ballet Company of Washington, D.C.), she obtained her B.A. from Maryland University in Art Education and Dance. Carolyn Trythall completed her teacher's training at the Royal Ballet School in London, England. She has also received a Licentiate from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (in England), is a Fellow and Senior Examiner of the Cecchetti Council of America (CCA), has served as Dance Chairperson of the National Society of Arts and Letters, and has served as Adjunct Professor at Franklin and Marshall College. As a member of the CCA National Examiners' Board, Mrs. Trythall travels widely to evaluate and advise Cecchetti students and teachers. Those of us who work closely with "Mrs. T" are most impressed by her selflessness with students and fellow teachers. Her world-wide dance contacts offer opportunities that most dancers can only dream of. Her caring, respectful, classroom manner is a life lesson to everyone. We are incredibly fortunate to have her instruct at Cavod Academy of the Arts.
Julie has studied dance at the academy for 7 years and started teaching Hip-Hop 5 years ago. She has been involved in productions at Cavod including “The Choice”, “[Clever Holiday Title]”, “The Music Man”, and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”. Julie is currently employed by Shear Miracles Salon as a hair dresser. This past Spring, she choreographed “Seussical” for the Manheim Recreation Center.
Cara has taught numerous classes at Cavod Academy over the past 5 years including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical/Modern, Musical Theater, and Hip-Hop. She has trained under the professional instruction of Carolyn Trythall (Lancaster School of Ballet), Kristin Pontz (Susquehanna Dance Center), Christian Von Howard (Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre), LeAnn King (Cecchetti Council of America), and Lisa Kraus (Trisha Brown Dance Company). She has choreographed various musicals including, "Grease", “Little Shop of Horrors”, "Godspell", “The Choice”, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and "Where's Charley?" . She's is currently receiving her certification in ballet from Cecchetti Council of America. Cara is committed to helping young dancers reach their full potential and to displaying the glory of God in the studio and on stage.
Creative Movement and Non-Syllabus Ballet Instructor
As Cavod Academy of the Arts is celebrating ten years of excellence, Savannah joins with them in celebrating nine of those years. Over those last nine years she has transformed from an offbeat teenybopper to one of Cavod’s own teachers. Trained in Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Physical Theatre, Musical Theatre, Tap, Jazz, and Gymnastics, Savannah joined CDC five years ago seeking to further her God-given talents for His will. For the past for years she has been assisting and training under Cara Dienner for Creative Movement, Primary I, Non-Syllabus Ballet, Cecchetti Grade I and Jazz, as well as Derek Martin for beginner levels in Gymnastics. The 2013/2014 school year is her first year teaching Creative Movement and Non-Syllabus Ballet. Savannah believes that she is fully on her way to glorifying the Lord through her own dance in addition to showing others how wonderful it can be giving the glory back to God.k to God
Derek comes to us with a variety of experience in gymnastics and tumbling. He has had over 20 years of training through Positive Fitness Gymnastics. He taught there for 6 years and has been teaching at Cavod Academy for 4 years. Derek was a stunt coach for Garden Spot Varsity for 1 season. He was also a competitive cheerleader for 2 years and a tumbling coach for Synergy Elite Cheerleading. Derek is currently performing with Cavod Dance Company and is involved in many of the dance classes at Cavod.
Brynn is very excited to begin the journey of exploring the arts with children this year. She has been involved in church ministry as a teacher to children for over twelve years. She has also been a camp counselor with Cavod's summer camps for over four years. Brynn enjoys working with kids and is excited to see them learn different aspects of the arts along with how to worship God in all settings of life.
Johnathan joined the staff of Cavod Academy in the spring of 2010 as a piano and vocal instructor. He received a bachelors degree in vocal performance from the University of Southern Maine, graduating summa cum laude, with a 4.0 GPA. Johnathan was twice selected to perform in the Honors Recital at USM, and has won 1st place three times at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition. Before moving to PA, he performed and taught in Maine, directing shows at Greater Portland Christian School. Johnathan moved to the Lancaster area with his wife Rebecca, to work at Sight & Sound Theatre.
Brielle has been playing violin since the age of seven and has been classically trained in the Suzuki Method for violin. She recently graduated from Millersville University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She looks forward to combining her burning passion for violin with her love of teaching. She is currently a member of the Millersville University Community Orchestra. Brielle is very excited to be helping introduce violin to the Cavod Academy.
Diane has been inspiring young people to pursue their love of music through learning to play the piano since the early 1980s. She was educated through the teacher training program of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and at West Chester University. She is a member of the SAA as well as the Greater Philadelphia Suzuki Association and she participates in continuing education workshops annually or more. Her students are her best teachers. She has operated her studio located in West Brandywine since 1988. Diane has taught Suzuki piano since 1983 and traditional piano since 1995. She is also an assistant teacher at Preschool in the Valley, Malvern, and plays keyboard, sings in and directs Forever Endeavor, a contemporary Christian band which plays at St. James' Episcopal Church, Downingtown, and performs locally with her husband, Tom, in their band, Free Range. Diane takes a special interest in songwriting and improvisation. She has taught music and other subjects at several homeschool co-ops. Diane and Tom have two grown children who homeschooled.
George has been playing drums since 1977. He did bachelor's work in Jazz Studies with a Concentration in Percussion at the University of North Texas from 1983-86. He studied with Colin Bailey (Vince Guaraldi), Gregg Bissonnette (Woody Herman, David Lee Roth), Rick Latham (Quincy Jones), Clyde Lucas (Illinois Jacquette). George also toured as a drummer with Rhythm & Blues artists such as Little Joe Blue & Gregg Smith, and during that time shared the stage with names such as B.B. King, Johnny Taylor, Bobby Blue Bland, and host of others. George has been playing jazz, funk, blues, and sacred music in the Central Pennsylvania area for the past 20 years, working with artists such as Dave Wilson and Robin Work. His current creative musical project is a trio called The Go Particle. George has been playing and teaching guitar, bass, drums & piano for the past 20 years. He is currently the Music Director of Wheatland Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, and an adjunct professor for Lancaster Bible College. George has participated in many music training events both locally and internationally.
Darren Wagner has been pleased to perform in the Lancaster PA area for nearly a decade. Growing up in rural Ohio, he participated in school choirs and clubs like 4-H and FFA, but performing has been in his nature since he can remember. He first performed with a community theater in a production of The Sound of Music and hasn't left the theater since. 12 years and 30 theatrical credits later he counts himself very fortunate to be involved in such a great arts community like Lancaster PA! Darren studied Vocal Music Performance and Biblical Ministry at Lancaster Bible College and has performed with several local groups including Theater of the Seventh Sister, Ephrata Performing Arts Center, Gretna Theater, York Little Theater and the Lancaster Symphony Chorus.
Pic Coming Soon.... Rebecca Achenbach
Rebecca Achenbach is a highly motivated, passionate and goal-oriented professional music teacher & conductor possessing skills to motivate students of all ages towards achieving their highest levels of musicianship. Her professional performing and teaching experiences include all genres and languages rich in diversity throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. A mezzo soloist she has sung with major symphonies, in recitals, recording studio work of all genres: traditional classical, premieres of modern works, Broadway and beyond. Rebecca supports and is an advocate for music and the arts in classrooms. She believes the arts are imperative to the sanctity of a well-rounded education. She hopes her voice will influence parents, students & the public to honor music and art education by respectfully balancing physical and intellectual components of the American education systems consequently producing well educated young citizens. Ms. Achenbach is Artistic Director & Founder of Voices of Cecilia Ensembles, [VoCe] a women’s choir. VoCe promotes an appreciation of performing arts through choral music from around the world.
Stan has been active in theatre since elementary school in Lancaster City. A teacher of some thirty-five years in public education at Penn Manor, Solanco, and Garden Spot, he now continues to teach and direct at Veritas Academy, Teach Homeschool, Garden Spot High School and most recently at Lancaster Bible College in the Worship and Performing Arts Department. He is a graduate of Millersville State Teachers College, and Pasadena Playhouse of Performing Arts in California. Stan also studied voice and acting in England for five summers. Stan has acted locally at the Fulton Theatre and Sight and Sound Theatres. He has directed over 100 shows in his busy career and is still staging productions locally. He also speaks at various fund raisers, banquets, retreats and conventions. Stan is known for his sense of humor, inspiration and enthusiasm in all he does. As Shakespeare states in one of his plays, “All the world’s a stage”, and Stan literally believes that to be true.
Incredible directors throughout Middle and High School gave me a chance on stage and I hope to “pass the chance on” to the kids who attend the Young Actor’s Studio this year. Great Lancaster coaches from The Theater of the 7th Sister, The Fulton Opera House and The Actor’s Company molded me and taught me how to seriously pursue my career. Landing roles at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater and Ephrata Playhouse deepened my passion for excellence in acting. Commercial Acting Classes in LA taught me how to audition for Television and Film, helping me to land a role in Biola University’s film “Forgiven”. Back in PA a local agent found me numerous “B” film jobs. What a blast! Working on all aspects of the production team and backstage crew for numerous Drexel and Temple University productions and studying under incredible writing professors and acting coaches gave me a solid foundation and I graduated with a BA in Communications – Radio/TV/Film emphasis. Also, an internship on Philadelphia’s Pitt/Willis film “12 Monkeys” gave me a ton of “real world” experience! Writing proves to be a constant love, and I have been blessed to write/cast/and direct numerous Vignettes at Calvary Church as well as for other local traveling Drama Troupes. Most recently, I have enjoyed Directing and Stage Managing for several shows and Summer Camps at the Lancaster Academy of the Performing Arts. Working under Stan is a never-ending party and an incredible learning experience! Connie’s heart for Cavod’s kids cannot be matched and I am truly thrilled to be working with such an amazing, humble, Godly team. Our Creator has given us each unique gifts. We can honor Him by giving them back, excellently!
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