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Meet the Fine Arts Faculty


J.D. Frizzell
Director of Fine Arts

Director of Vocal Music


J.D. Frizzell, a composer, conductor, and baritone, is the Director of Fine Arts and Director of Vocal Music at Briarcrest. He earned the double Master's in Music Theory/Composition and Conducting from The University of Southern Mississippi, where he also earned the Bachelor's degree in Music History and Literature.  He is ABD in the Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree in Conducting at The University of Kentucky.

As the Director of the Fine Arts department, Mr. Frizzell is responsible for coordinating all Fine Arts programs (K2-12th grade).  He also serves as an advocate and school liaison for all of our outstanding visual, musical and dramatic arts at Briarcrest.  As the Director of Vocal Music, he teaches the Concert Choir, Honors Chamber Singers, and OneVoice. In addition, he teaches private voice lessons through the Briarcrest Conservatory and is the musical director for the high school musicals.

Mr. Frizzell, winner of the 2007 Intégrales Composition Contest, writes music for choir, orchestra, symphonic band, voice, hand bells, chamber ensembles, and solo instruments.  With music published by many major companies, he has had best-sellers throughout the world.   In 2011, the board of the Tennessee Music Educators Association named him the Outstanding Young Music Educator of the Year.  He was also awarded the Dr. Clair E. Cox Award for Teacher Excellence.  In 2013, he was named one of Memphis' Finest Young Professionals by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for his philanthropic efforts.  He also volunteers as the President of the A Cappella Education Association.

His music can be found at www.cadenzaone.com and www.jdfrizzell.com


Jenna Fergus has been teaching High School Art at Briarcrest Christian School since fall 1999. She went back to college at the University of Memphis to earn a BFA in art education graduating Magna Cum Laude. 

 In the fall of 2011, Jenna received her Masters of Intercultural Studies from Union University. She is an active member of the National Art Educator’s Association. To her art is a not merely a subject to be studied, but a language to use to communicate deeply. She enjoys showing her mixed media works within her community and beyond. See her work on the Instructor's page.


Jenna Fergus 
High School Visual Arts


Melody Weintraub

Middle School Visual Arts/Drama


Melody Weintraub is returning to Briarcrest Middle School where she formerly taught art and drama. She received her Master's of Art Teaching in Secondary Art Education with plans to complete her doctorate in education. Currently she is also an adjunct instructor in Art Education at The University of Memphis.  She has a decade of K-12 classroom art instruction experience in both private and public schools, over 20 years experience in community art instruction and has presented at National Art Education Association and Tennessee Art Education Conferences.

Weintraub has been published in several issues of School Arts Magazine and is the author/illustrator of the children’s book The Little Bluebird (2001) and illustrator of ABC’s for Teachers by Billie McDonald Jeffries (1993). Besides art, Melody’s hobbies also include acting. She can be seen in several television commercials and also appeared as the history teacher in the film, “The Blind Side.” Mrs. Weintraub’s favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 2:10 and she attends First Evangelical Church with her husband, Jeff.   See her work on the Instructor's page.



Elizabeth Parsons serves as the Vocal Music Assistant Director and the Assistant to the Fine Arts Director. Liz received her Bachelors degree in piano performance from the University of Memphis. After graduating in 2002, Liz then served as the staff accompanist for the choral department at the University of Memphis until 2012. She has a strong background in collaborative piano and has accompanied many vocalists and instrumentalists in various performances on the collegiate level and also professional level, as well as accompanying numerous choirs throughout the city. Currently, Liz is the accompanist for the Memphis Symphony Chorus, playing for all rehearsals and assisting in leading rehearsals.

Prior to coming to Briarcrest, Liz served for eight years as the Director of Worship and Liturgy at All Saints Presbyterian Church, in midtown Memphis. She crafted the liturgy for each Sunday, as well as working with talented musicians from the congregation to lead God’s people in worship each week.

In addition to her responsibilities with the choirs at Briarcrest, Liz teaches private lessons through the conservatory. As a collaborative pianist and teacher, Liz’s passion is accompanying and enabling other musicians to make music to the best of his/her ability.


Liz Parsons 
Vocal Assistant Director and Assistant to the Fine Arts Director


Skip Quinn
Middle School Director of Bands 


Henry “Skip” Quinn has been a band director in the Memphis area for 33 years, the past 19 years at White Station Middle School. He feels very blessed to be joining the Briarcrest faculty.  He began his musical career as the Principal Tubist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra while attending Jacksonville University working on his Bachelors of Music Education degree. He earned a Masters of Music Education degree from the University of Memphis. Skip’s bands have consistently received superior ratings at concert festivals all over the United States. They have been heard by some of the finest musicians and performed in some of the best venues in the country.  He is the author of the Memphis City Schools middle school band curriculum.

At Briarcrest, Skip directs the middle school bands and teaches AP Music Theory at the high school.  He keeps the band room open every school day until 4:00 p.m. to provide additional instruction and practice time for all middle school band students and in the summer, he offers individual and group lessons as well as a summer band camp.


Michael Parsons serves as the Director of Bands at Briarcrest Christian School. His responsibilities include directing an overseeing all instrumental music programs at BCHS including  High School Concert and Marching Bands, High School Indoor Drum Line, SoundScape, and the Middle School and High School Praise Bands. Michael holds a Masters of Music Degree in orchestral conducting along with a Bachelors of Music Degree in percussion performance, both from the University of Memphis.

In addition to classical music, Michael has had a very active career in commercial music, performing with artist such as Keith Urban, Booker T and the M.G’s, and with the national/ international touring band, Sound Fuzion. Michael has performed in China, Germany, Venezuela,Scotland and throughout the U.S., including a performance at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York.

Michael has been an instrumental music teacher for 7 years and is also the founding music director & conductor of the Memphis Summer Music Festival hosted by the University of Memphis.


Michael Parsons Director of Instrumental Music


Justin Pepper 
Middle School Vocal Music

Conservatory Director


Justin Pepper joined the staff of Briarcrest Christian School in 2002 as a Vocal Music Instructor. He has been involved with both the middle school and high school, but now all of his time is specifically devoted to the Briarcrest Middle School Chorale and acts as the director of the Briarcrest Fine Arts Conservatory.

He graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Music Education from The University of Mississippi. Justin continued his work at the University to complete his Master's degree in Music with emphasis in conducting and music education. Since moving to Memphis Justin has been involved with the Memphis Symphony Chorus, Second Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir, and is the co-director of the Memphis Children's Choir.

He is a member of MENC, American Choral Directors Association, Tennessee Music Educators Association, and West Tennessee Vocal Music Educators Association.


Tonya Loyd has been at Briarcrest for four years teaching Elementary Art for Pre-K – 5th grade at her alma mater. Tonya discovered early on in her life that she had a God–given gift and a passion for art.

She is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art and worked as a graphic designer at an international chemical company for six years. Tonya has also taught children’s Sunday school at Whitten Memorial Baptist Church and served as Children’s Director and VBS director.

Tonya has done a variety of art in all kinds of media such as oil, acrylic, pastel, clay, paper mache, and pen & ink, but her most recent work is mainly personalized watercolor paintings. She publishes her own work and has several limited edition prints. She has been commissioned by several individuals, Mississippi State University’s Alumni Association, and Briarcrest Christian School.  See her work on the Instructor's page.


Tonya Loyd
Elementary Visual Arts


Amy Hartelust
East Memphis Art Teacher


Amy Hartelust is a native Memphian and received her Bachelor Of Fine Arts degree from the University of Memphis with a concentration in Painting. She has served as an elementary art teacher for five years in both private and public and she is thrilled to now be working with Briarcrest's little artists!

Amy is also a prolific local painter who displays and sells her work throughout the country. She is married to her best friend Jan Michael and they have a beautiful 3-year-old daughter named Lily and two adorable pups; Baxter and Griffin.


Tamatha Holt was formerly the Orff Music Specialist, String Orchestra Director, and CAPA Chorus Director at Rozelle Creative and Performing Arts Elementary School.  Mrs. Holt received formal training in music starting at the age of 5 on violin, eventually added viola and piano. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Louisiana State University, and a Master of Music from Rutgers University.  She is currently a professional musician and performs regularly in the Memphis community and surrounding regions.

Mrs. Holt has performed with the Jackson, Tupelo, Paducah and Corinth Symphonies, and appears frequently in the orchestra for musicals at Playhouse on the Square and Circuit Playhouse. She has been an instructor and musical director for New Day Children’s Theater in Collierville, and the Summer Youth Conservatory through Pl.



Tamatha Holt
Elementary Music



Myra Brindley
East Memphis Music Teacher


Myra Brindley is the East Memphis campus music teacher.   Mrs. Brindley has 23 years’ experience teaching in Shelby County Schools, New Hope Christian Academy, Christ Methodist Daycare as well as private voice and piano lessons.  She has Level I and II Orff Music Certification from the University of Memphis and holds teaching certificates in Tennessee and Mississippi for K-12 Music.  Mrs. Brindley received her Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Delta State University in Cleveland, MS.  

Her Vocal Performing Career began in high school, where she played the lead role in Annie.  While at Delta State, she sang in the Delta Chorale, Madrigal Singers and Opera Theater, where she had lead roles in Captain Lovelock and West Side Story.  After moving to Memphis in 1994, Mrs. Brindley has performed as a soloist with the Memphis Vocal Arts Ensemble, the Divine Spiritualettes Gospel Group and Dinner Theater at Trinity United Methodist Church.  Mrs. Brindley’s family attends Evangel Church where she is frequently a soloist.


Rachel King-Barr directs fall plays, spring musicals and teaches Introduction to Theatre, Honors Acting, Speech Communication and Production Workshop at Briarcrest.

Mrs. King-Barr earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of Central Arkansas and her Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre Directing from The University of Memphis.  She has taught previously at The University of Memphis, Crichton College and Woodland Presbyterian School.  In addition, she served for two years as the Director of Education and Outreach for Germantown Community Theatre.

Mrs. King-Barr has experience directing, teaching and ministering to students of all ages, having served as the Interim Youth Director at Woodland Presbyterian Church as well as the Director of Children’s Ministries at South Highland Presbyterian Church.  Her directing credits include The Velveteen Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland, James and the Giant Peach, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Far Away, The Legend of Lilith and Eye of God, among many others.  She also has adapted and co-written A Will Not His Own.  Her professional experience extends to all aspects of the theatre, including scenic design, stage management, costume construction and property design.  She has also acted in dozens of plays for various companies.



Rachel King-Barr
Theatre and Performing Arts




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6000 Briarcrest Avenue, Memphis, TN 38120
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