All of our instructors are degreed professionals who have experience teaching how to play music, how to read music and how to understand the theory behind it all. We have good success with children and adults.

James Byron
Guitar and Bass Guitar

Mr. Byron is the Asbury School of Music’s guitar instructor. He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, a school renowned for its jazz and modern music studies. He plays solo jazz guitar at various venues throughout the Triangle area. Mr. Byron teaches many styles of guitar playing—from classical to country and bluegrass to rock and jazz. He welcomes every level of student from beginner to advanced—both acoustic and electric guitar players as well as students wishing to learn the bass guitar.

Larry James

Larry James teaches flute, saxophone and clarinet at the Asbury School of Music. He attended North Texas State University, Asbury College and received his bachelor of music degree from the Berklee College of Music. Mr. James has performed with such notables as Natalie Cole, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Bob Hope, Mel Torme and the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Theater, Leon Jordan’s Continentals, Artie Barsamian’s Boston Big Band, and the Ron Rudkin Big Band. He has recorded with Leon Jordan’s Continentals, Artie Barsamian’s Boston Big Band, the Dave Coate Group, and the Asbury College Brass Choir and Stage Band. He appears on the soundtrack of the United Artists Motion Picture “Once Around” starring Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Aiello and Holly Hunter. He performed for 14 years at the New Year’s Eve Ball with Leon Jordan’s Continentals at the Radisson Governor’s Inn (RTP) and performed for 12 years at the North Carolina Symphony’s New Years Ball. He has been in performances for Senator Jesse Helms and has performed in inaugurations for Governors Holhouser, Martin and Easley.Mr. James is currently the director of the Asbury United Methodist Church Orchestra. His students have won scholarships to Appalachian State University, NC School of the Arts and the Berklee College of Music.

Todd Proctor

Mr. Proctor completed his bachelor’s degree in Music Business at East Carolina University. He has over 20 years teaching experience in public and private schools. Mr. Proctor does professional work as a recording studio percussionist and performs regularly in various groups throughout the area. He can be heard regularly on Sunday mornings playing drums for the Asbury United Methodist Church worship band. While attending East Carolina University, Mr. Proctor had the fortunate opportunity to play with some of the world’s finest Jazz musicians: Mulgrew Miller, Christian McBride, Grady Tate, and Maceo Parker. He has opened for many popular artists such as Edwin McCain, The Wailers, Yellowman, Third World, The Derrick Truck’s Band, and Bobby Watson and the New Horizon. I have also shared the stage with The Hartford Symphony, Triangle Chamber Orchestra, Gogi Grant, Amy Grant and Vince Gill (Duke Children’s Classic pit-ensemble), The John Brown Quintet, and The Duke Chorale. His recordings are best represented on the following: Mother Nature, Mother Nature (1995), East Carolina Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Directions 2 (1997), Armand & Bluesology, Everything I Need (1997), Rusty Adams, Windows to the Soul (1997), The Crooked Smile Band, Debut (2000), Van Zant/Palmer, Sessions (2001), Laura Ridgeway, Triple Dog Dare Ya (2002), Dave Youngman Quartet, Usual Suspects (2002), Jim Crew, Shimmy Shack (2002), House Arrest, House Arrest (2002), and Mark Williams, Hold On (2002), Mark Williams, Rainbows: single (2004), Mark Williams, Soldier (2004), Lola Youngman with the Dave Youngman Quartet, This Can’t be Love (2005), James Dunn, Lonely American Dream (2006),and Mark Williams, Freedom (2007).

Karoline Strickland

Karoline Strickland is a 2007 summa cum laude graduate of Campbell University where she was a recipient of the Mary Williams and Marion L. Eakes Scholarship, as well as a recipient of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Scholarship and the 2003 NCHE College Scholarship. She graduated from Campbell with a B.A. in Comprehensive Music, emphasizing performance, and also completed a second major in English. Throughout her high school and college years Karoline has won many musical awards, including solo and concerto honors from the NCFMC, NCMTA, RMC, and RPTA. In 2007 she was chosen to represent Campbell University in the Alma Dark Howard Competition, where she competed against representatives from four other colleges across the southeast, and was awarded second place. She has played in masterclasses for Adam Wibrowski, Mayron Tsong, Tinka Knopf, and John Salmon. Karoline has been teaching since her senior year of college, and teaches all ages and levels. Her students participate in local festivals, competitions and community performances, and have been recognized by awards and superior ratings. She has coached students through successful college auditions as piano majors and piano minors. Karoline is a member of the Raleigh Piano Teachers Association (RPTA) and served two consecutive terms on the board as Secretary for the North Carolina Music Teachers Association (NCMTA). She plays for her church in Raleigh and enjoys volunteering as a substitute announcer at WCPE, 89.7 FM. Karoline joined Asbury School of Music in 2014.

Karen Sultan

Karen has her degree in music from Baylor University.

Beth Philemon
Piano /Voice

Bryan Rawls

Bryan Rawls began violin studies at the age of 5. He began studying with Dr. Sherry Woods in Florence, SC at the age of 8. He was consistently a recipient of the highest award,“Superior”, at regional competitions during his Middle and High-School Years, as well as a regular First-Violinist with the South Carolina All-State Orchestra. He was the inaugural Florence All-City Concerto Competition winner and served as Concertmaster of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts Two and Five week Programs in 1996 and 1997. Mr. Rawls received a BA in Music Performance in 2009, and a Master’s Certificate in Music Performance in 2010, both from the University of South Carolina. He studied violin at the University under Ryan Kho and Dr. Donald Portnoy both Julliard Graduates, and studied viola as a secondary instrument while in Graduate School under Dr. Constance Gee. He received further instruction from renowned violinists Vadim Gluzman and Anne Akiko Meyers. Mr. Rawls has performed as a soloist on numerous occasions in both Florence and Columbia, South Carolina. Mr. Rawls served as Assistant Principal Second Violinist of both the USC Chamber Symphony and Piccolo Spoleto Orchestra in 2009. He currently serves as a professional violinist, and regularly performs with the South Carolina Philharmonic, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, and Long Bay Symphonies. He has been a string instructor since 2007, and operates a private studio in Florence, South Carolina where he currently works alongside former teacher, Dr. Sherry Woods, 2007 SC ASTA teacher of the year.

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