Stiefel Theatre Music Classes

The Mike Finnigan School of Music
Classes available in:
Guitar, Voice, Piano, Ukulele, and Hammond B3

Spring classes have officially started. If you are a late enrollee, please contact the Stiefel box office for assistance.

Mike Finnigan was a beloved musician, often called a "musician's musician." He loved music, was passionate about education, loved playing at the Stiefel, and loved Kansas. Mike Finnigan was a keyboardist, vocalist, and session musician who performed with an impressive array of artists including Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Jimi Hendrix. We are grateful that we are able to celebrate his legacy with this school named in his honor.


Scholarships are available for students in need.  If registering for a workshop is beyond your financial means, please call (785)827-1998 for a scholarship application or print out the application here.

Hammond B-3

30 minute individual lessons
Class times and dates will be individually determined between student and instructor
Enrollment ClOSED
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Basic Ukulele

5 week class, Tuesdays, Mar 5-Apr 2 Watson Room
Enrollment ClOSED
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Beginning Guitar

Tuesdays, 4:00 PM Feb 6- Apr 2 (No class spring break- March 12) Watson Room
Enrollment ClOSED
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Intermediate Guitar

Tuesdays, 5:00 PM Feb 6- Apr 2 (No class spring break- March 12) Watson Room
Enrollment ClOSED
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Advanced Guitar

Tuesdays- 6:00 PM Feb 6- Apr 2 (No class spring break- March 12) Watson Room
Enrollment ClOSED
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Intermediate Piano

Tuesdays, 4:00- 4:50 PM, Feb 6- Apr 2 (No class spring break- March 12) Green Room
Enrollment ClOSED
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Piano for Beginners

Tuesdays, 5:00-5:50 PM, Feb 6- Apr 2 (No class spring break- March 12) Green Room
Enrollment ClOSED
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Adult Piano

Tuesdays, 6:00-6:50 PM Feb 6- Apr 2 (No class spring break- March 12) Green Room
Enrollment ClOSED
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Voice

Tuesdays, 5:30 PM Feb 6- Apr 2 (No class spring break- March 12) Stiefel Stage
Enrollment ClOSED
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Class Information & Donations

Class Offerings

Beginning Guitar: February 6 through April 2- 4:00 to 4:50 PM (No class March 12)
Intermediate Guitar:
February 6 through April 2- 5:00 to 5:50 PM (No class March 12)
Advanced Guitar:
February 6 through April 2- 6:00 to 6:50 PM (No class March 12)
Intermediate Piano: February 6 through April 2- 4:00 to 4:50 PM (No class March 12)
Piano for Beginners:
February 6 through April 2- 5:00 to 5:50 PM (No class March 12)
Adult Piano: February 6 through April 2- 6:00 to 6:50 PM (No class March 12)
Voice: February 6 through April 2- 5:30 to 6:30 PM (No class March 12)
Basic Ukulele: March 5 through April 2- 7:00 to 7:50 PM
Hammond B-3: Individual lessons, dates and times will vary

Attendance Policy:

Classes missed by the student for any reason cannot be made up, nor will a tuition refund be given. However, the teacher may allow the student to attend another class at their discretion. In the event of a class being canceled due to the instructor’s absence, or if the school must be closed because of inclement weather, either a make-up class will be offered, or a partial tuition refund will be issued. Class registration is non-refundable

If a student attending classes on a scholarship has 3 or more unexcused absences, they will not be allowed to apply for a scholarship for the next semester of classes. Please contact the instructors or the box office with any questions on this policy.
The Phantom Blues Band Album Dedicated to Mike Finnigan Available for purchase!
All proceeds from the sale of "Blues for Breakfast" will be going to the Mike Finnigan School of Music. The album can be purchased at www.thephantombluesband.com

For questions Please contact:

Jane Gates
jgates@stiefeltheatre.org
(785)827-1998

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose The Mike Finnigan School of Music?

When you enroll, you receive the very best instruction from the most qualified instructors in the area.

Music is a collaborative art form - Playing together is essential to becoming a good musician and the group lesson format provides that opportunity while also giving students plenty of individual feedback.

Each class will include essential learning objectives that will be assessed by the instructor to help focus instruction and aid students in their practicing.

Students are learning in one of the nation’s premier performance venues and will receive a chance to perform on the Stiefel stage.  The Stiefel’s work in bringing in the nation’s top performing artists may also bring chances for students to work with some of America’s greatest musicians or chances to see a live concert at the Stiefel while enrolled.
How are your classes structured?
‍‍

• All lessons will be taught in a group format.

• 50 minute classes offered in 12 week sessions plus a short informal concert/recital or open house at the Stiefel at the conclusion of each session.

• A minimum number of students must be signed up to offer the class.  Each class also has a maximum number of participants so sign up soon!

• Classes will meet in the Watson Room / Green Room of the Stiefel Theatre.

• Tuition is due upon enrollment, but payment plans are available. Scholarships are available if class enrollment is beyond your financial means. Contact the box office to discuss payment options.

Meet our Instructors

Our Instructors

Paul Draper

For years, Paul has been stealing the limelight with his exceptional Hammond Organ skills and captivating stage presence. He earned the nickname "The Wildman" due to his boundless energy and vibrant spirit.

Paul Draper, a talented Hammond B3 artist, has dedicated his life to being a supporting musician on numerous recordings and tours. His journey began in 1964 when he signed with a Chicago-based label during his junior year of high school, playing with the band the Impacts. In the early 70s, he stood out as member of the Shampells, a funk/show band inspired by Parliament-style music. In 1976, Paul resided in North Brookfield, Mass., where the newly established Long View Farms studio was located. Interestingly, this studio was later utilized by the Rolling Stones as a rehearsal space.

Throughout the early 1980s, Paul showcased his talent as a pianist, Hammond B3 player, and Rhodes musician in Midnight Flyer. The band experienced regional success and was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame in 2020. In 2001, Paul embarked on a new musical journey as the organist for internationally renowned blues artist Jimmie Bratcher. Together, they collaborated on five albums, embarked on multiple US tours, and achieved chart success in Contemporary Blues international Radio on multiple occasions.

Today, Paul continues to share his musical expertise alongside his son Brandon in the Draper Family Band. Additionally, he holds the prestigious position of being one of the inaugural teachers of Hammond B3 at the Mike Finnigan School of Music in Salina KS.

Brian Pekarek

Guitar Instructor

Dr. Brian Pekarek is the Senior Class School Counselor at Salina Central High School, and has over 35 years of experience in playing guitar.  He currently plays guitar, mandolin, violin, and harmonica for his church worship team at Emanuel Church in Abilene, KS.  He will be teaching tactics and methods of playing both the acoustic guitar and the electric guitar during his workshops.  In addition to teaching guitar ingroup sessions, Dr. Pekarek may play other instruments (mandolin, violin, and harmonica) at times during the group guitar lessons to provide “a melody line” during group guitar chord progressions sessions.  This exposure to other instruments will show how playing guitar chords fits into the larger “band” in various ways.  Participants are encouraged to bring their guitars with them for the sessions.        

Matt Gerry

Guitar Instructor

Matt Gerry has been a music teacher and guitar instructor at Salina South Middle School for 19 years. Through various grants from organizations like the Salina Education Foundation, the Greater Salina Community Foundation, Donorschoose.org, the Give a Note Foundation, and the Country Music Association he has built a guitar program in the Salina public school system from the ground up. At Salina South Middle School where he currently teaches, over 200 students enroll in his guitar classes every year. He is a Salina South High School graduate who obtained his Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Wichita State University, and a Master degree in Teacher Leadership from Kansas State University. His training also includes instruction from the GAMA Teaching Guitar Workshops and the National Science Foundation’s STEM Guitar Building Project. Mr. Gerry’s work has been featured in various publications including InTune magazine, Music Inc. magazine, and his middle school guitar program was featured as the Kansas representative in NAMEs - Guitar Class in 50 States. His students have gained national attention by winning the “Making Wishes with Weezer” contest in 2010, appearing on a commercial aired on the Disney Channel, and were also highlighted on the Radio Disney Music Awards. His teaching accolades include Salina Teacher of the Year in 2011, the Music Teacher of Excellence Award from the Country Music Association Foundation in 2017, and was a “Hero for Change” recipient from Radio Disney that same year. Gerry is a member of the board of directors at the Stiefel Theatre. Matt is married to his wife, Stephanie who are both proud parents to Adele (16) and Lydia (14) who attend Salina South schools. He enjoys singing and playing guitar at First Covenant Church, and the hobby of collecting vinyl records.

Lori (Johnson) Persigehl

Piano Instructor

Lori (Johnson) Persigehl is excited to share her passion for piano with her students. She is an experienced music educator with a bachelor’s degree from Bethany College and a master’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University in music education.  During her 20 years of teaching Lori has taught piano, voice, and general music in public schools, community colleges, music studios, recreation centers, and churches. Outside of her professional life, Lori cherishes her role as wife to David, a local farmer, and takes pride in being a parent to their adult children, Paul and Emma.

Bill Tuzicka

Vocal Instructor

William “Bill” Tuzicka is currently in his twelfth year as the conductor and music director of the Salina Chorale.  He serves as the Technical Director and Director of Operations for the Stiefel Theatre.  Mr. Tuzicka taught choral music for 37 years at Southeast of Saline Jr/Sr High School and holds a bachelor’s of music degree from Bethany College and a masters of music education degree from Wichita State University. Bill has many years of “hands on” experience working with performers.

Anna Pauscher Morawitz

Ukulele Instructor

Anna Pauscher Morawitz is a multidisciplinary artist and arts administrator. Anna's passion for the arts was ignited at a young age through music, playing a variety of stringed instruments. She enjoys songwriting on the ukulele and is inspired by traditional pop music.

Ann Zimmerman

school manager

Ann Zimmerman has sung across the Great Plains and beyond—in New York, Seattle, Boston, Texas, Minnesota, Alaska – turning each audience into her backup choir.  She sings songs old and new and has written her own award-winning songs. She has four independent recordings. Ann sings annually at the Land Institute’s Prairie Festival near Salina and in recent years has been performing at the Walnut Valley Festival, Winfield, Kansas. She entertains nationally at festivals, farmers markets, fancy theaters, conferences and backyards. Pre-pandemic, she played about a hundred dates a year. Ann sings for thousands of students each year in Salina Public Schools through the Salina Arts & Humanities “Arts Infusion” program. “Meadowlark,” the title song from her album of children’s music, was chosen as a finalist in the folk / Americana category of The Great American Song contest.  Ann was voted the "People's Choice" winner in the Wildflower! Festival song contest near Dallas with songs from her “Blue Wild Indigo” album. She is a long-standing member of the juried “Kansas Arts on Tour” and Mid-America Arts Alliance rosters. She was nominated for a “grass-roots Grammy” in the Just Plain Folks national song contest. Ann is from Salina, an attorney and mediator with degrees from K-State and Harvard, and is an elected member of the Salina school board.