Meet Our DirectorsYears of experience and a passion for music
Susan H. Brown
Susan Brown is the co-founder and current director at SoliMusica Academy, a music education program for homeschooled students. She also serves as Master Teacher for the Kennesaw State University String Project, a university/community outreach for music education majors and beginning string students. Mrs. Brown served as orchestra director at Hightower Trail Middle School in Cobb County, Georgia, from 1993 to 2014. Previously, she held positions at Cobb County’s Lassiter High School and Mabry Middle School, and the New Hanover County School District (Wilmington, NC), where she taught elementary, middle and high school orchestra.
While under Mrs. Brown’s direction, the Hightower Trail Orchestra performed at the GMEA In-Service Conference in 2003 and 2013. In 2004, the orchestra was invited to perform at the prestigious Midwest International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago. Mrs. Brown blended alternative styles with the traditional curriculum in her classroom, forming the student fiddle group Strings unCAGED, and hosting musicians such as Barrage, Mark Wood, Von Grey and Rushad Eggleston.
Mrs. Brown helped establish the Cobb County Sixth Grade String Jamboree and a county-wide middle school honor orchestra. She also served on the ASTA Editorial Committee, as well as GMEA District 12 Orchestra Chair, and organizer for the Georgia All State Middle School Orchestra.
Mrs. Brown attended East Carolina University (BME) and Georgia State University (MM). She currently holds memberships in the American String Teachers’ Association (ASTA), Georgia Music Educators’ Association (GMEA), Georgia Home Education Association, and is on staff with the Cobb County Upbeat! Strings Camp.
April O’Keefe is co-founder and current Associate Director of SoliMusica Academy. She graduated from Georgia State University in 2002 with a Bachelor in Music Performance with a focus on cello performance. She taught at East Cobb Middle School from 2004 until 2014.
While teaching at East Cobb Middle School, the orchestra program grew from 120 students to over 275 students. Under her direction, the orchestras consistently received superior ratings at local and regional Large Group Performance Evaluations. Many of her students participated in select ensembles such as the Cobb County Middle School Honor Orchestra, Georgia All-State Orchestra and the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra. Mrs. O’Keefe has been actively involved in the Georgia Music Educators Association serving as District Twelve Honor Orchestra Chair and District Twelve All-State Audition Chair. She also actively serves and clinician and adjudicator throughout the metro-Atlanta area.
Since 2008, April O’Keefe has served as music education assistant for Kennesaw United Methodist Church. While in this position, she has worked with and organized children’s choir, children’s handbells, and various summer camps. She also created a barbershop ensemble, taught an adult violin class, and served as interim Music Minister directing adult choirs and adult handbell groups.
Mrs. O’Keefe lives in Kennesaw with her husband, Paul, five-year-old Carson, and two-year-old twins, Logan and Molly. Paul is a violinist, Carson is just beginning his musical journey on violin and the twins are enjoying watching-for now.