Core Group

Jessica French

Jessica French graduated from Columbus State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, concentrating on music education, viola, and instrument repair. Her passion for music has taken her all over the U.S. with competitions, recording projects, and performances as a soloist and ensemble member. Recently Jessica has recorded in Nashville and Franklin, TN for several country music artists, performed with the Lagrange Symphony Orchestra, and worked with the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus as associate conductor, string instructor, and mentor for the violin ensemble. She has also worked with the Columbus Symphony and other organizations as a violin instructor for the Empowered Youth of Columbus program. Jessica is the owner of Columbus Music Academy, which offers music lessons in the Columbus region. She teaches violin, viola, cello, guitar, bass guitar, piano, mandolin, and voice.

Julian Chalon has been playing guitar for over 25 years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the University of North Texas.  He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in guitar performance at Columbus State University where he also serves as an adjunct professor of guitar.  As a classical guitarist he has performed in the Southwest U.S., Italy, Croatia, and Spain, and received first place in the Mountain View Guitar Festival and Competition. In his downtime, he enjoys writing music for both classical and electric guitar.

Julian Chalon
Shellie DeBruyn

Shellie Murphy DeBruyn is an extremely versatile, award-winning singer with advanced degrees from the Eastman School of Music. She teaches voice at the Schwob School, and is known for her collaborative efforts as a singer in contemporary music. She is a certified Yoga instructor who focuses on musicians’ health and wellness, and she also has some mighty chops on the piano.

Matthew McCabe is currently Assistant Professor of Audio Technology at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of Florida, with other degrees from Bowling Green State University, and the University of Richmond. He has an extensive list of credits as a recording engineer of primarily concert hall music, and teaches audio engineering and production as well as composition and popular music courses at CSU. He is also a student of the Irish Language and has participated in immersion programs and coursework for the last several years, earning A1 and A2 TEG certifications.

Matthew McCabe
Caroline Richards

Caroline Richards is a percussion performance doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin. She completed her master’s degree at Columbus State University, where she also earned her undergraduate music degree. She enjoys teaching in a wide range of settings including musical theater, private lessons, and marching band.  Caroline has played with many groups, including the CSU Percussion Ensemble, Philharmonic, and Wind Ensemble. She has also been a part of many stage productions as an orchestra member, including Fiddler on the Roof, The Nutcracker, and Cinderella. Outside of CSU, she has played with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra as a percussionist, and the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra as a timpanist.

Chris Walton has been learning tin whistle since his trip to Ireland in 2018. A trumpet player by trade, he holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music from James Madison University. He is the Interim Executive Director of the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus and continues playing trumpet as a Sergeant with the National Guard. Outside of music, he has a passion for running and regularly competes in races up to 50K in length. He is a new father to a beautiful little girl and loving every moment.

Chris Walton

Frequent Collaborators

Jeremy Bass

Jeremy Bass, a graduate of Columbus State University (MM, 2013) and the University of Kentucky (DMA, 2017), Jeremy Bass recently returned to Columbus to direct the guitar program at Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts. As a classical guitarist he has focused on chamber music and works by living composers. He has performed throughout the eastern United States, as well as in Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and Ecuador. He began playing traditional Irish music as a teenager in the Washington, DC area, winning the Mid-Atlantic Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann competition twice on DADGAD guitar. He also plays mandolin and octave mandolin.  Jeremy is currently in Spain on a Fulbright Scholarship, studying Spanish guitar music and working with composers.  His solo album of music by David Del Puerto was released in 2019.

Justin Belew, a graduate of Point University, Justin holds a B.S. degree in Music Philosophy with a minor in piano performance. Justin has worked over twenty-five years as a professional musician for schools and churches. He has a full music production studio that he operates where he specializes in recording professional voice overs and jingles, “demos”, and boutique album projects of various budget sizes. Justin has recorded and performed with commercial and independent musicians alike. He is known for his ability to teach, play, and arrange for many different types of instruments. He resides in Columbus, GA with his wife, Jenna and recently began teaching at his alma mater as the instructor of audio production. (

Justin Belew
Bryan Canonigo

Bryan Canonigo is a versatile and award-winning saxophonist/woodwind specialist, educator, and recording artist.  He holds a degree in Jazz Studies from Humber College in Toronto, and earned a Masters Degree and Artist Diploma from Columbus State University where he was the Graduate Assistant in Jazz Studies.  For ten years, Bryan worked as a Musical Director and musician for Carnival Cruise Lines where he performed with and managed a multitude of bands across many genres.  His bands opened for popular acts on private chartered cruises such as John Mayer, New Kids On the Block, Lyle Lovett, Bernard Purdie, The Barenaked Ladies and Patti LaBelle. Bryan is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Jazz at the University of Nebraska.