Meet Our Teachers

Denise Burcham, Director

Denise has performed and taught professionally for over 30 years.  She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Baylor University and graduate studies in Music Education and Gifted Education from the University of South Carolina and Converse College.  Mrs. Burcham has maintained private violin studios and performed with symphony orchestras in GA, AL, TX, MS, and SC.  She taught strings for grades 6-12 in SC for 10 years.  Mrs. Burcham has taught at Smoke Rise since 2009 and has been Academy Director since 2011.

Greyson Chadwick, Director and Choreographer

Critically-acclaimed actress Greyson Chadwick is a native of Atlanta who attended SRAA as a young stage student. Her film career began with her role as the infamous “Amanda” in Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls, which was followed shortly after by a role in Why Did I Get Married? When she was cast in the leading role in Dance of the Dead, she moved to Los Angeles, where she studied and worked for several years. Chadwick’s recent credits include roles in The ResidentDoom PatrolNashville, and the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Christmas Everlasting. She co-starred in the Los Angeles Intimate Theatre Premiere of 33 Variations for which the cast was nominated for an Ovation Awardfor Best Acting Ensemble and won several awards including Best Play.

Victoria Crosby, Creative Writing

Born and raised in Cheshire, England, Victoria R. Crosby lived for many years on the North Shore of Long Island, New York before moving to the Atlanta area of Georgia in 2021. While living in NY she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.  Victoria was poet laureate of the city of Glen Cove, a parishioner of St John’s of Lattingtown Episcopal Church, and over many years she taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, was a member of the Vestry, a lay minister, and Chairman of the Annual Fall Fair for six years. She was also a member of the board of the Mercer School of Theology, and of the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation.

For over twenty-five years in NY Ms. Crosby hosted a radio show “Oasis” on WHPC 90.3, which featured music for relaxation and her inspirational poetry.

She refers to her work as her “Ministry through Poetry.”

Ivy Kilpatrick, Dance Instructor

Ivy Kilpatrick is a dedicated dance instructor and choreographer with extensive experience in teaching various dance styles including ballet, pointe, contemporary, modern, tap, jazz, hip hop, and yoga. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Movement Studies from Emory University. Since 2018, Ivy has been an integral part of Peachtree Dance, where she teaches a wide range of classes and serves as the company choreographer for all levels. She also has experience teaching at Studio Go and Dance 411, and she is currently teaching at Expression in Motion. Ivy is passionate about fostering creativity and growth in her students, emphasizing positive reinforcement and building genuine connections to help them achieve their goals.

Dr. Francis Leach, Piano and Voice Instructor

Dr. Leach has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in piano performance / pedagogy from The University of Southern Mississippi. He holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts, Piano Performance / Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma. He has taught for 20 years with the Atlanta Public Schools, teaching choral music, general music, and piano classes.  Dr. Leach brings a wealth of experience teaching piano, voice, theory, music literature and general choral music.  Because Dr. Leach has recently retired from Atlanta Public Schools, he has the flexibility to meet our students from early afternoon to early evening.

Lenard Martin, Piano Instructor

Lenard holds a master’s degree in Piano Pedagogy and lives in the Tucker area.  He teaches at various locations and is pianist / Director of Music Ministries at Norcross First Presbyterian Church.  Mr. Martin feels at home at Smoke Rise, as he attended many summer camps here during his school years!  He is excited to be teaching with us and brings a vibrant approach to teaching piano.

“… the goal is not merely to create technicians, but artists. Ultimately, music is an art form and therefore it is important to help facilitate and further a student’s passion. Learning interesting facts, stories and appropriate theory related analysis about the music being studied helps to develop an artistic imagination. Whether a student is just beginning or has been playing for many years, this approach ensures a thorough and meaningful path of growth. “Lenard Martin.

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