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Don Johns

Founder & Director, CEO

Don Johns is an in-demand percussion performer and educator in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan area. Mr. Johns is principal timpanist of the Apollo Orchestra, and performs with the Soulful Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, Maryland Symphony, Mid-Atlantic Symphony, Bay-Atlantic Symphony, and the American Festival Pops Orchestra.  Additionally, Mr. Johns is a member of the Gateways Festival Orchestra and the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra. 


Mr. Johns is the Director of DMV Percussion Academy,Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Bowie State University, and Percussion Director at Northwestern High School.  


He holds a Master of Music Degree in Percussion Performance and Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from the University of Maryland.


Don Johns is endorsed by Yamaha, Innovative Percussion, and Black Swamp Percussion, and serves on the Education Committee for the Percussive Arts Society.  

Larry Williams

Artistic Director

Hornist Larry Williams has distinguished himself as a multifaceted performing and recording artist, teacher and administrator. Williams is currently Principal Horn of American Studio Orchestra, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the Gateways Festival Orchestra, Gateways Brass Collective, Lyric Brass Quintet, Rooftop Winds, and Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass. 

Williams has performed with the Baltimore Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony,, among others. His wide range of musical styles include: solo & chamber repertoire, orchestral, jazz, contemporary, film, and commercial music.  

Equally passionate about education, he is currently Adjunct Professor of Horn at Washington Adventist University and is Director of DMV Horn Academy.  Mr.  Williams served as Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Johns Hopkins University from 2017-2020, and has served on the faculty of The Peabody Institute, and Florida International University.

Mr. Williams earned a Bachelor of Music Degree and Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Music.

Larry Williams is a Yamaha Performing Artist and Clinician.

Cheryl Nkeba
Education Director

Cheryl Nkeba has distinguished herself as a bassoonist, teacher, and administrator. She has performed extensively as chamber and freelance musician in the greater Washington, D.C. Region. Performances include the American Studio Orchestra, Soulful Symphony, Capitol Wind Symphony, and Prince George’s Philharmonic. She is currently the adjunct professor of bassoon at Washington Adventist University.

Passionate about education, she has served as the Director of Education Programs for the Baltimore Symphony, Prince George’s Philharmonic, and was the founder/director of the Mitchellville Community School of the Arts, Bowie, Maryland. Currently, she teaches woodwind instruments and private lessons, wind chamber ensembles, music history and is the director of the US Jazz Band and Handbell Choirs at the Gilman School in Baltimore, Md.

She holds a GPD, bassoon, from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, a MM from West Virginia University, and BS from Norfolk State University. Cheryl’s teachers include Phillip Kolker, former principal bassoonist of the Baltimore Symphony, John Hunt, and Kim Wangler, West Virginia University.

Don Johns
Larry Williams_edited.jpg
Cheryl Nkeba
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