Donna Blanchard, Executive Director

Donna Blanchard founded Apple Tree Arts in 1989. She has a BA from Connecticut College in Clarinet Performance and is a certified K-12 music teacher. Donna received her Masters degree in Education from Worcester State College and has completed courses of study in Executive Director Management through the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Arts Management in Community Institutions through The National Guild of Community Schools for the Arts, and Choral Conducting at Boston University. Donna is certified in Orff and by the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association.

Theresa Atkinson, Community Chorus accompanist

Theresa holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Berklee College of Music, where she studied saxophone and Film Scoring. She began her piano studies when she was six years old, and has served as an accompanist for soloists and choirs. She has taught private and group lessons on the piano, saxophone and clarinet, and is a certified MusikGarten instructor. You can see her in action accompanying the Apple Tree Arts Community Chorus, and singing and playing the ukulele with Jan Barlow.


Laurie Baker, Theater

Laurie has taught private piano lessons since 1995 and owned and operated Grace Notes, a noted early childhood music program located in Whitinsville from 1999-2008. In the fall of 2008, Apple Tree Arts enfolded Grace Notes in their family tree. In addition to working in the theatre and early childhood departments at Apple Tree, Laurie teaches music to grades K-5 at the Whitinsville Christian School and conducts their 6th grade chorus. She has taught music through grade 8, directed elementary musicals, co-directed and accompanied various children’s choirs, and taught at a school for children with special needs. Laurie is certified in the Musikgarten curriculum and has her Level 1 ECMMA certification.

Jan Barlow, Early Childhood & Keyboard Classes

Jan joined Apple Tree Arts in 1993 overseeing all of our early childhood music programs. Jan carries a passion for educating young children and their families during the informative early childhood years; she shares this passion offering music training for preschool teachers and daycare providers and teaching children from birth through keyboard classes. Jan is trained extensively in the MusikGarten curriculum, has earned an associate’s degree in business management at Dean College is an alumna in Vocal Performance from Berklee College of Music, and is Level 2 certified by the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association.

Alaina Calloway Bolton, Music Education Director, Voice and Piano, Early Childhood

Alaina graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music, and from Longy School of Music, with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. Since then, she has taught private voice and piano lessons to children and adults of all levels in MA and CT, as well as prepared students for recitals, adjudicated events, college auditions, and other events and performances. She has recently moved from Boston to central MA.  

Kayla Cardin, Voice, Flute, Early Childhood

Kayla Cardin is a certified music teacher who received a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Connecticut. Kayla studied flute under Barbara Hopkins who plays for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and studied voice under Natalia DeRezendes. In college, Kayla was the drum major of the UCONN Marching Band. In her free time, Kayla is a competitive ballroom dancer.

Corbin Calloway Bolton, Piano

Corbin Calloway Bolton is a pianist and piano pedagogue who’s passionate about incorporating music theory and history, sight reading skills, and technical development into lessons, and looks for opportunities to introduce students to composition, avant-garde repertoire including extended techniques, and collaborative opportunities. Corbin has a Bachelors in piano performance with minors in piano pedagogy and music theory from Oberlin Conservatory, a Masters and Graduate Diploma in piano performance from New England Conservatory, and over 20 years experience teaching students ranging from young beginners through advanced levels. On Sundays, Corbin can be found playing the piano at the UCC First Congregational Church of Oxford. Corbin has been accompanying student performances at ATA for over a year now and is excited to now be joining the faculty as staff pianist and teacher of our new Piano Immersion Program.

Amy Carroll, Flute

Amy Carroll received her BFA from Boston University where she studied under former Boston Symphony principle flutist, Doriot Dwyer.  She currently teaches at Anna Maria College, Worcester State University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Pakachoag Music School of Greater Worcester.  Amy Carroll plays flute and piccolo with the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra and Claflin Hill Summer Winds.  She also actively freelances as an orchestral and chamber music player in the Worcester area.

Michael Galvin, Violin

Violinist Michael Galvin holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Denver where he was a student of Linda Wang and the recipient of a 2010 Graduate Recital of Distinction Award. He earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of North Texas, where he was a student of Julia Bushkova. His studies have included time at both the Moscow State Conservatoire in the class of Zoria Shikhmurzaeva, and the Moscow State University, which led him to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language from American University in Washington, DC.  Michael is Suzuki certified for Books 1-8, and draws upon a wealth of Russian pedagogy in his lessons.

Tim Gruntman, Guitar & Ukulele

Tim graduated in Spring 2009 from Berklee College of Music with a dual major of Performance and Music Production, and Engineering. Tim has taught private guitar lessons for 10 years, and has performed extensively throughout the area, as well as in Indiana, in jazz, rock, and blues bands.

Kathryn Haddad, Violin & Viola

Kathryn, a certified Suzuki violin instructor, received her BME from the University of New Hampshire in 2010. Her love of playing the violin began at the age of three when she enrolled in Whitinsville Christian School’s Suzuki program for 15 years. Kathryn has participated in the Massachusetts Central District and All State Festivals and has attended Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. In 2006 she received University of New Hampshire’s Young Artist Scholarship Award and was concertmaster of the UNH Symphony Orchestra from 2008-2010. Kathryn has managed the orchestras at The Rivers School Conservatory in Weston, MA and freelanced with many chamber and orchestral ensembles throughout New England. She recently began performing and recording with the Blackstone Valley Quartet and other local artists and currently teaches violin and viola in the Worcester county area.

Russell Jewell, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, & Baritone/ Euphonium, Jam Band

Mr. Jewell attended the University of Illinois and received a Bachelor's of Music from Berklee College of Music. He has studied with Tim Meyers (St Louis Symphony), Dr. Richard Monaco and Don Sanders (Boston Ballet, Boston Pops). In addition, he participated in jazz studies with Jerry Bergonzi, Herb Pomeroy and Phil Wilson. He toured and recorded with Grammy-nominated Either Orchestra and Mighty Sam McClain and is also the co-founder and co-leader of Pan-American chamber group, Grupo Mambique.

Katia Khannanova, Piano

Ms. Khannanova was educated at the Musical College, Ukraine, majoring in Classic Piano. She received her B.M. and awarded the qualifications of Instructor, Ensemble Actor and Accompanist and is pursuing her M.S. in Psychology, Ukraine. Ms. Khannanova enjoys a career as a Piano Instructor and Accompanist through out the Grafton, Holden and Worcester area. She willingly shares her joy of music and teaching with students of many ages and abilities and is loved by them all. She has been teaching with Apple Tree Arts since 2003.

Becky Lightcap, Piano, Early Childhood

Becky Lightcap graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington IN with a Bachelor of Music, with Distinction, in Voice in 1986. She has also completed coursework in Child Development, Early Childhood Curriculum, Children’s Literature, and Art and Music in Early Childhood Settings at Massachusetts Bay Community College, Framingham MA. Becky has taught at the Riverbend School in Natick, the Dana Hall School of Music in Wellesley, as well as at Pincushion Hill Montessori School, Ashland MA as a music specialist.

Matt Mariner, Creative Dramatics Manager, Theater

Matt Mariner graduated from Assumption College with degrees in Theatre/Media Studies and Psychology. Matt has been teaching theatre programs in schools and performing arts centers in Central Massachusetts since 2007. His directorial credits include: The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, You're Good Man, Charlie Brown and more. As a performer, Matt has appeared as Marius in Les Miserables, Perchick in Fiddler on the Roof, The Prince in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella and The King in The King & I. He hopes to continue developing workshops that employ theatre for self-exploration.

Shannon May, Early Childhood, Theater

Shannon May is a certified instructor in the Musikgarten curriculum. She is currently a music director in a Montessori elementary school in East Providence, RI. She has received her Montessori degree and Lead Teacher certification from the New England Montessori Training Education Center (NEMTEC). Shannon also is an assistant to the sensorial professor at NEMTEC, and directs the NEMTEC music program in the summer.

Shannon is a resident of Grafton, where she lives with her daughter, Annie. She also sings, plays her flute and assists with children's choirs at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Holden, MA.

Shannon also has had over 14 years of experience with creating and working children's programs coupled with Red Cross swim lessons as well as assisting the director in summer camps at a local health club. She is very enthusiastic and passionate about music and child development, and is excited to be a part of Apple Tree Arts.

Ingrid Murphy, Early Childhood

Ingrid Murphy has been with Apple Tree Arts since 2003 working in the Early Childhood Department. She teaches at a number of our outreach sites and has serviced our Head Start program from the beginning. She is certified by the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association and has been trained in the Musikgarten curriculum. She enjoys teaching the children new music concepts and watching them discover their musical and creative selves.

Mario Portev, Piano, Cello

Mario currently teaches music in the Princeton public school system, as well as private piano and cello at M. Steinert’s and Sons. He is also a cellist with the Newton Symphony Orchestra and the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra, performing all over New England. Mario has taught throughout central Massachusetts, at many different levels, in both piano and cello.


Bill Roy, Early Childhood

Bill Roy has been teaching, singing with and entertaining children and adults professionally for over 15 years. Playing in daycares, preschools, nursing homes, campgrounds, and restaurants in Massachusetts and Maine. Bill is a registered Music Together teacher. He also has been a worship leader for several churches over the years, as well as playing lead, rhythm and bass guitar for original and cover bands.

Bill also shares his passion for music by teaching guitar privately which he has been doing since 1998.


Stephanie Sarkisian, Voice, Piano

Ms. Sarkisian received a Bachelor of Music from Anna Maria College and an Masters in Education from Lesley University specializing in Creative Arts in Learning.  She has spent the last ten years as Music/Choral specialist in Tantasqua School District. She has a passion for theater and has performed many roles in community theater.

Lisa Scarlett, Theater Arts Director, Theater

A trained voice student and community theatre member, Lisa brings much experience to the stage. She has been involved with numerous theatrical productions at many different levels both on and off the stage since the age of 13. Joining Apple Tree Arts in 2000, she began teaching a variety of early childhood music classes ranging from birth to age five. Since 2004, she has directed and produced over 30 youth theatre productions for Apple Tree Arts. Lisa earned a BA at Tufts University and also holds a MA degree in Education from Elms College.

Paul Surapine, Clarinet, Saxophone

Paul Surapine began clarinet studies at the age of nine in his hometown of Enfield, CT. He graduated from the Hartt School, where he studied with Kalmen Opperman, and continued his studies with Opperman for almost fifteen years.

One of the most active and prolific regional producers of educational and cultural performances, Paul is the founder and Executive Director of The Claflin Hill Music Performance Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to creating cultural events in the Worcester-Metrowest-Boston region and creating performance opportunities for the region's finest resident professional musicians. As Executive Director, Paul produces between 35 and 50 concert presentations each season - providing performance opportunities for over 200 of the finest musicians in the Boston region - and managing numerous professional performance ensembles, such as The Claflin Hill Summer Winds, The Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra, the Paul Surapine Clarinet Ensemble and many other chamber and symphonic ensembles. Claflin Hill also produces Milford's summer concert series, Family Night at the Bandstand, as well as several other educational and chamber music series.

Mr. Surapine is a faculty member at Apple Tree Arts in Grafton, MA, the Rhode Philharmonic School of Music in Providence, and Indian Hill Music Center in Littleton, MA. Paul has resided in Milford with his wife, Susan and two sons, Zachary and Joshua since 1992.

Susan Upham, Theater, Voice, Piano

Susan Upham has been a private voice and drama teacher for the past 20 years. She has been a voice and drama coach for New England Christian Performing Arts Center as well as the co-director of the Whitinsville Christian School Middle-School musical. Prior to moving to the Westborough area two years ago, Susan implemented the DRAVO program both in her church and school and it enjoyed tremendous success with over 40 young girls participating. Susan hold her Master's Degree in vocal performance from Boston University. She lives in Westborough with her 4 children and her husband David.

Kim Webster, Early Childhood

Mr. Kim Webster weaves music and puppetry to entertain and educate young musical minds.

Mr. Kim Webster has entertains thousands of children and adults. His first CD "Musical Child" for which won the 2004 Children's Music Web best new Artist Award features 20 original songs written, arranged and performed by Mr. Kim. His second original works "Children of the Sea" was released in 2005 and third "HUMM" was released in 2008.

Music and education go together for Mr. Kim As a faculty member of the Grafton based non-profit music organization, Apple Tree Arts he contributes to their Early Childhood Music Outreach programs. A certified member of the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association [ECCMA] Mr. Kim's programs incorporate basic musical concepts of rhythm and tonality with fun guided movement activities.

Click here to visit Kim’s Personal Website.