Meet Our Staff
The instructors at Lifeline Christian Fine Arts Academy are highly qualified Christian instructors. Each instructor has signed a Statement of Faith, met LCFAA qualifications as a 'highly qualified instructor,' and has passed a limited criminal history check with the State of Indiana. Each instructor has a passionate desire to use their talents for the Glory of God and to instruct their students in a way where their potential will be met.
Mike Linville II
Performing Arts Instructor
(Instrumental/Vocal Music, Oral Presentation, Drama)
I was born in Columbus, Indiana, on July 13, 1982. I am the first of 4 children to Mike and Connie Linville. I was raised in a Pastor’s home full of musicians. My dad is a professional pianist and has been a Pastor for most of my life. He gave me his name making me Michael Joe Linville II. My mother, a certified cook and home maker, is also a talented musician. My three younger sisters all have musical talent with their voices and instrumental capabilities.
Ministry and music have been a part of my life since the recognition of my first memories. My parents utilized all of their children in the ministry through the gift of music. I remember as a small child when my parents bought me a small drum set to play in church. They prepared me to play on one song during the service but could not get me to play on cue until they realized I had gum in my mouth. I had been told not to do anything with gum in my mouth. Apparently I was a very obedient child, maybe a little too obedient. Supposedly, upon the removal of the gum by my mother, I did an acceptable job on my debut as a musician. I remember getting a toy trumpet and people telling me one day I would be playing my horn with my dad on his trombone. I remember learning my first piano piece, “Here we go, up the road, to a birthday party.” I remember the first time I ever preached a sermon in church. These special moments in my life were the start of something God was preparing me to do.
As I got older, I started to develop my musical abilities for the purpose of glorifying God. In High School, I joined the Indianapolis Symphony Youth Orchestra where I had the opportunity to play 1st trumpet and also be a section leader in the violins. In college I was the student Pep Band Director under the direction of Professor Thomas McCauley. I had the opportunity as a college student to participate in a conducting workshop under Jerry Junkin. During my college tenure, I took extended classes beyond the requirements of my Music Education degree. I took an emphasis in Jazz studies and improvisation, Jazz Piano, Jazz arranging/composition, Music composition, and Music techniques.
I started being given ministry leadership positions by my church and District church camp, even as a teenager. In 2000 I was given the first ever “Truth, Trust, and Treasure” awarded by my church district given to a teenager who “demonstrates leadership, spiritual guidance, and overall recognition of Christ likeness.” During my college years my church district requested that I start a group called “Faithfully His.” This group, made up of a select group of High School teenagers I invited to participate, traveled around to churches within the district where we ministered through music, drama, testimonies, and preaching.
My professional career started in 2007, after graduating from Indiana Wesleyan in December of 2006 with a degree in Music Education. Receiving my license to teach any music subject/content area and in any grade level gave me great possibilities. I taught band and choir, grades 6-12, for 5 years. My highlights include, but are not limited to, being Department Chair of the music programs, having indoor percussion groups advancing to the State competition and having my marching band place in a top 10 finish at the Indiana State Fair on Band day. I had several concert groups advance well in ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) contests. I was able to be the Drama Club director and a coach in the Fine Arts Academic teams. Being asked to be the Head Huddle Coach for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in the school system was a great honor for me as well. I was also a Youth Pastor/Minister of Music during my years of teaching music. I have had the opportunity to be a guest speaker in revivals and youth camps.
I can’t thank God enough for how He used those years to mold and shape me not only with my gifts of ministry and music, but spiritually as well. I have felt a sense of growing closer to Him as each day passes by. Still, my involvement in ministry and music education are not the most important parts of my journey in this life. The most important area of my life is my relationship with Jesus Christ. I love him with all my heart. I have no doubt that God has a plan and desire for each of our lives. I know for a fact that God has a purpose for me, and it includes using ministry and music education as a means to advance the gospel and fulfill the Great Commission. I have a passion for the youth of today, music, education, and the ministry. I believe ‘The Arts’ can be used by God in a powerful and effective way. As a result, in 2013, I founded the Lifeline Christian Fine Arts Academy in an effort to “Link the Arts for Christ.”
-Mike Linville II
Piano Instructor, Administrative Assistant
Greetings prospective students and visitors! My name is Hallie Thyr, and I am a piano instructor for Lifeline Christian Fine Arts Academy. My own musical history is an exciting collection of experiences, and it is my desire to pass on that excitement to my students.
Piano lessons began when I was six years old. Even from a young age, I was blessed to have parents who involved me in opportunities to serve in the church. Under the encouragement of my parents and the wonderful woman who was married to our pastor, I started playing for special music. Eventually I became a regular church pianist, playing and serving for about 8 years now, and even serving as a music director for brief times. Playing music in church has been a fundamental part of my musical life, and I intend to continue serving wherever I can for as long as I am able. I have also enjoyed performing music with my very talented musical family.
I have performed many solos and duets in recitals. As a soloist, I have entered competitions and received 1st and 2nd place awards for my efforts in the Indiana State Fair Young Hoosier State Piano Competition. I have also accompanied a High School Choir during their state competition. Talk about more exciting group experiences! I found each opportunity had its challenges, but I am grateful for each experience.
In the year 2013 I completed my college studies and received my BA in Music from Thomas Edison State College. During my music studies, I discovered the joy of composing, and learning music theory in addition to the emphasis on piano pedagogy.
It is my hope that my students will discover what interests them the most in music, and find the same joy and satisfaction in reaching those goals as I did. I also hope to pass on the attitude of service that my teachers, parents, and other mentors have instilled in me. Music is a gift from God, and like all gifts, I hope to see it used by my students for His glory!
Flute/Woodwind, Piano, Vocal Instructor, Kinder Music Teacher
Being a musician has been a major part of my life since I began taking piano lessons at the age of 7. Although those lessons gave me a good musical foundation, I didn't really fall in love with musit until age 11 when I began taking flute lessons. I quickly started ministering in my church and at 15 I joined the orchestra at a local Christian College. I began traveling all over the Us to accompany their college choir. I continued my flute lessons clear through college and graduated from Hobe Sound Bible College with a degree in Music Education.
Science tells us that learning to play an instrument strengthens our minds, reduces anxiety, and increases focus and dexterity. But its' much more that that; Music is a powerful tool in ministry. Its' ability to bring together so many different people from different cultural backgrounds and faiths is why I chose a career in music. I'm excited to be able to share my love of the flute and it's ministry with my students.
Piano/Vocal Instructor/Kinder Music Teacher
Hello, my name is Adrian Martin. When I was 8 years old, my father was working in a school that was getting rid of a piano. They asked if he wanted it. He said, "sure!" They said if you want it you have to pick it up and move it now. He came back a few minutes later to pick it up and drive it home.
My parents knew that the Lord had given the piano to our family because someone in our home was supposed to play it. That someone was me. My fourth grade teacher at my Christian school was my first piano teacher. After learning for a few years , the Lord called my family to move to Indiana for my father to go to Bible College and prepare of Ministry. Even though we didn't have much, my parents knew that they were supposed to prepare me to play for church, but did not know why.
It was difficult to find a piano tacher that taught church music. They did find teachers for me, and about the time I could play congregationals my father was asked to fill in at a church over a period of months. They had no piano player in the evening, and at 11 years of age I was able to be a blessing in a church service. A few years later my father became a Pastor. The church we came to didn't have a piano player for over three years.
At the age of 13 I became the church pianist. As a teenager I had to learn to play for a wedding, funeral, memorial service, revival, church service, and special music. The Lord also opened opportunities for me to accompany and work with homeschool choirs and school competitions. I am thankful for the teachers who have prepared me, and the Lord has given me a burden to teach and prepare young people for music.
I am currenty a student at Heritage Baptist College in Franklin, IN., and I am pursuing a degree in Music Education with a minor in Preschool Education. I am also an accompanist and teaching assistant at Woodridge Music Academy. As a piano and voice teacher I want to emphasize and cultivate good musicianship. I want to sharpen each student's God-given talens so that they may glorify Him to the best of their abilities with their talents. I am so excited to be a part of LCFAA and can't wait to watch how the Lord uses this Academy.
Piano Instructor, Kinder Music Teacher
Music has been a part of my life since I was 4 years old. My mother signed me up for piano lessons and thus began the journey of a lifetime. I was born into a preacher's home and money was never plenteous, but my parents spared no expense when it came to my musical career. My mom's dedication is the reason I am here today, for which I should be forever grateful. I would sit at the piano and play for hours. Songs like "Jesus Is All the World To Me" became some of my favorites and admittedly, sometimes took the place of classical repertoire during my practice times. But I had wonderful piano teachers who were faithful to establish a strong classical background as well as in theory and sight reading. I participated in home school competitions, MDML (Metropolitan Detroit Musicians League), Federations and more. I was privileged to participate in an Accelerated Christian Education competition in high school and win 1st place at an international level in Music Arranging.
Piano teaching has been one of my greatest passions since a young age. By the age of 15, I was running my own piano studio in my local church with up to 14 piano students. While I was in school, I took on a position as the pianist for a local church choir, as well as instrumentalists. My dad, being a pastor, led to many opportunities in our church for me musically. My dad is also a sacred vocalist, and I have accompanied him in many churches since about the age of 13.
I went on to God's Bible College in Cincinnati, OH where I was awarded a full scholarship in Music Education. While there, I was able to maintain a piano studio and teach up to 14 people. One of the opportunities musically I can't ever forget was getting to travel to Port Au Prince, Haiti and teach in a music seminar there. Translation proved a challenging feat, but the Lord helped in wonderful ways, and the Haitian natives were so receptive to our teaching.
A young man came along in my teenage years and swept me off my feet, and we were married in the summer of 2012. My husband plays the trumpet and we had the wonderful opportunity to travel with the college choir at Union Bible College in Westfield, IN together as a married couple.
We now have a son and Lifeline Christian Fine Arts Academy is an answer to prayer in my life. My greatest priority right now is my family, but I haven't been able to give up that nagging passion for teaching piano. LCFAA is giving me this opportunity to do what I love and God has amazing things in store.
Bill Cole recently retired after 37 successful years in public school music education. Ensembles he directed included marching band, jazz band, concert band, drum ensemble, concert choir and solo and ensemble participants in grades 4-12. He also has 25 years of experience with church choirs and as a coordinator of praise bands for church. His wife, Janelle, sings in choir and is a gifted flautist. His son is a percussionist with drum set and vibe awards and his daughter holds a music teaching degree from the State of Indiana. Additionally, the entire family has participated in community and school theatre for many productions.
Percussionist & Piano Instructor
American percussionist Logan Fox is establishing himself as a rising star in the solo percussion world. As the winner of the prestigious 2018 Aeolian Classics Emerging Artist Award, as well as being one of the First Prize winner’s of the CCPA Concerto Competition, Mr. Fox can be heard performing the 2015 edition of Emmanuel Séjourné’s “Concerto for Marimba and Strings,” accompanied by his colleagues in the CCPA String Ensemble on his solo album, “Wood, Metal & Skin.” Mr. Fox feels at equally at home in a broad array of musical genres, from Afro-Cuban to Jazz to orchestral playing, and his instrumental fluency varies widely, spanning repertoire for congas, timpani, xylophone, marimba, and snare and tenor drums, among others.
A veteran of the concert stage, Mr. Fox also has experience as a music researcher and lecture presenter. He was a member of the University of Indianapolis Summer Research Institute, through which he researched and presented findings on the African drum diaspora and its effect on the western world. He was also a part of the inaugural Uindy Arts Spectrum in which he performed the virtuosic "Merlin" for solo marimba accompanied by a multi-media slideshow.
Logan recently finished his M.M. Degree in percussion performance under the tutelage of Vadim Karpinos and Ed Harrison at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where he graduated with a 3.85 cumulative GPA. He holds a B.M. in music performance from the University of Indianapolis, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and won the UIndy 2016-2017 Concerto Competition.
Guitar/Piano Instructor, Kinder Music Teacher
I am Carissa Rahman and I was raised in a Pastor's home. I was saved in 2008 and live to bring Him glory through my life.
I graduated from God's Bible School and College. I was raised in a musical family and listen and play music all of the time. I play piano, alto saxophone, bass guitar, and guitar. Guitar has become my favorite instrument, bass being a close second.
I sang in a choir all through High School and played the alto saxophone in band my last two years. I then went and sang in the GBSC choir for two years and played my also saxophone in the college's Symphonic Wind and String Ensemble.
The guitar has become my biggest tool of worship and not once have I regretted picking up the guitar. I look forward to teaching guitar to the students of LCFAA.
Sarah Cain is a lifeling artist and was mainly self taught through childhood. She studied at Saint Joseph's College where she earned her bachelor's degree in the Arts in 2016 and ran the art festival workshops. She specializes in mixed media, and has a deep understanding of the classics, along with understanding of modern art and techniques. She is excited to teach her students how art shapes the world around them. She loves working with children and is eager in helping them with their own artistic aspirations. Sarah emphasizes teaching that the basics are very important and the students should have fun while they learn. She currently lives in Greenwood and is looking forward to working with Lifeline Christian Fine Arts Academy.
Cello and Theory/Composition Instructor
Zander Faidley graduated with cum laude honors from Lipscomb University in May of 2015 with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Composition. While enrolled there, he received composition lessons from Dr. Sally Reid, PhD, ASCAP and Dr. Jerome Reed, DMA and cello lessons from Sari Reist. He has also played the cello in chamber ensembles and orchestras since he was in the fifth grade and continued throughout his college years. While attending Lipscomb, he entered into the MTNA Composition competition three times, and received awards for entry: Tennessee State Winner in 2012 with Trio Ramose, Tennessee State Honorable Mention in 2013 with String Quartet No. 1; l. Andantino, and Tennessee State Honorable Mention in 2014 with Manic Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano. He also received awards from the University. The first was for winning his section of the 2015 Student Scholars Symposium held annually during the spring semester; the second was for being 2013-2014 Composition Student of the Year. In 2015, Zander was chosen by Lipscomb University to be included on their list of Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges for the national collection. Since Zander has returned home from Lipscomb in Nashville, he has fully reengaged with his church community. He has been a regular attender of Southeaster Church of Christ since his birth and now organizes communion and is part of the planning committee for the New Adults group. This opportunity to partner with fellow Christians to create an environment conducive for the arts in his hometown was too great to miss and is looking forward to helping other Christians find their calling in Christ.
Voice/Piano/Music Instructor, Kinder Music Teacher
Hi, I'm Mandy Wingate. For most of my life, I have always been involved with music. Even as a young child, I sang solos at church. I began taking piano when I was 9. during Junior High, I began to play congregational hymns during youth night at church. In High School, I played for my church choir, high school choir, and a traveling ministry ensemble. I continued to do this at college. In 2007, I graduated from Indiana Baptist College with a degree in Music Education. I spent the next 5 years teaching (K3-12th grade) general music, choir, and private lessons in a Christian School. My first year teaching high school choir, they placed 1st at State! I've had piano students place 1st at state and advance to national levels of competition! Competitions are fun and have their place; but my goal in private instruction has always been to train the next generation of church musicians, while simultaneously allowing them to enjoy personal styles of musical development. I look forward to growing with LCFAA!
Piano, Flute, and Visual Art Instructor
Childhood fun and activities can truly lead a person toward finding their path to God's calling for their lives. As early as I can remember holding a crayon or pencil, I knew I was called to the world of art. My art teachers were constantly challenging me to explore different media and learn new techniques. There has never been a time in my life that I have not been involved in creating some sort of artwork or craft for myself, or someone else. Throughout my school years, I learned many techniques of drawing, pastels, charcoal, colored pencil, painting including oil and acrylic, stained glass, calligraphy and airbrush. I was blessed with art teachers who recognized my talent and encouraged me to discover new skills. I went on to Purdue University and majored in a new field called Technical Graphics. While at Purdue, I studied 2 Dimensional and 3 Dimensional drawing, perspective, pen and ink illustration, interior and exterior illustration of architecture, airbrush illustration, 3D rendering and also drafting. I was also trained with computer skills to master Photoshop and Illustrator computer illustration as well as CADD design and book publishing design. My education at Purdue exposed me to learning about the world of print media and design as well as a huge number of illustration skills thatt I still use today in my freelance graphics business. I now specialize in designing printed media and airbrushing on all types of surfaces. I also enjoy creating craft projects such as, wood painting and carving and illustrations featuring calligraphy. Throughout the years, I have enjoyed sharing my skills with children teaching crafts at Vacation Bible School, and giving private lessons.
The other area of my life was music. Early in my childhood, I recall having a great desire to learn to play the piano and flute. I began taking lessons on the piano in second grade and continued through the end of high school. I enjoyed being able to play popular music in addition to classical and Christian music. I played numerous solos at my home church growing up. While in school, I learned the flute and played with my school's band. As an adult, I continue to share my music by participating on our worship team, playing flute and piano for Harmony Christian Church for the last 11 years. I have independently taught piano and flute lessons to children and adults for 10 years. I feel a great desire to pass on this important life skill to others who have the desire to learn. God's greatest blessing is to nurture others in discovering a talent that they have been blessed with. I enjoy being His instrument in helping others discover their potential.
Abigail Crouch Acosta
Music and Harp Instructor, Kinder Musick Teacher
Abigail Crouch Acosta is a very active harp teacher and performer in the greater Indianapolis area. With advanced degrees in Harp Performance and Teaching (LRSM) through the associated Board of the Royal Schools in England, Ms. Acosta brings the expectations and quality standards of the British music system. She works with competition and collegiate prep students at the harp and has coached a variety of other instruments and ensembles. Abigail Acosta lives in Zionsville with her husband Javier, an amateur musician. They enjoy traveling, eating international cuisine, and playing music together.
Bill Shotton is an award winning composr and song-writer. While earning his Bachelor's and Master's in Music Theory and Composition from Southern Illinois University, he played in marching band, pep band, jazz bands and combos, sang in the choir, studied improvisation, and was the assistant conductor of the Southern Illinois Flute Choir. Prior to earning his music degree he graduated from Northeast Missouri Bible College with a degree in Biblical Studies. He has been teaching music in private schools in Indianapolis for four years. He lives in Greenwood with his wife and daughter.
My name is Cassondra Linville, and I have been involved in teaching and ministry most of my life due to growing up in a pastor's home. I have a passion for ministry and music. I sing and play the drums, alto saxophone, piano, and violin. I sang in a High School choir and played the alto saxophone in an advanced band my junior and senior year of High School. I attended God's Bible School and College and earned my Associates Degree in General Studies. During college I sang in the college choir for two years and played the alto saxophone for two years as well in the Symphonic Wind and String Ensemble. I play the drums in the worship team at my church, and I love it. I'm very excited to share my passion for music and worship through teaching.
Music Instructor/Area Representative
I'm excited to be a part of this ministry! God has been working on my heart to use my Spiritual Gifts to promote music education, provide an outlet for home-schooled students to participate with others, and explore ways to stir creativity through the arts. I was searching for a way to start the ministry when my path crossed with Mike. His ideas and goals just happened to be right where God was pointing me!
Music has been my passion all my life. I started at a young age teaching myself music. I developed a passion and started to learn every instrument I could get my hands on. Through this passion, I started to be able to contribute to multiple musical genres. I attended the University of Louisville (UofL) and graduated with High Honors with a Bachelor degree in Music (clarinet) Performance. In that journey, I have achieved honors such as KY All-State Band, KY Governor's School for the Arts recipient, numerous high school Honors Band top chair awards, John Philip Sousa award at North Hardin High School, Principal (first chair) clarinetist in UofL symphonic band, orchestra, and clarinet choir. My biggest achievement at the collegiate level was principal clarinet at the Kentucky intercollegiate Band (made up of the top musicians in colleges all over the State of Kentucky). I have also played in a few different worship teams on guitar, bass, keyboard, and various wind instruments. I have experience in jazz and stage bands, jazz combos, and 50s through 70s style bands. I have arranged music for small ensembles, full orchestra, and band.
Since I came to know Christ, it has been an even bigger passion to do work for the church. I am currently the contemporary worship leader and accompanist at my church in Elwood, Indiana. My goal in this ministry is not only to promote music, or just to teach music to the community, but also to help enrich and grow the bigger picture of the arts through the lens of Christian fellowship.