Meet the Team at Bedford Youth Performing Company
Our faculty members are passionate about teaching. All were chosen based on technical expertise and a strong desire and ability to teach students of all ages and skill levels. The BYPC faculty members also bring real-world knowledge and experience to their lessons and classes. They communicate practical skills and performance norms to students for the purpose of developing informed emerging artists. And most importantly, our BYPC faculty members inspire and encourage students to achieve their personal best and impart an appreciation for the arts that benefits students for a lifetime.
Browse this page to get to know all of the outstanding faculty who are dedicated to teaching music, dance, and theatre at our Bedford, NH performing arts school.
Set Designer and Preschool Aide
Martine Archambault grew up near Montreal in a French Canadian family. Martine received a doctorate in optometry from the University of Montreal in 1989, and she practiced optometry for 12 years in Aylmer, Quebec. She lived in Texas from 2000 to 2011 before moving to New Hampshire in 2011. Martine has two beautiful daughters, and she has been actively volunteering in their schools from 2000 to today. She has also been a substitute teacher for the Bedford School District since 2013. Since 2011, Martine has been the scenic artist for theatre productions of Bedford High School and BYPC.
Janet Armstrong has studied with Boston Ballet and The Boston Conservatory, as well as with ballet masters including David Howard, Joseph Giocobbi and Fred Knecht. Janet was invited on two occasions to dance in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and Moscow in the former Soviet Union; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Warsaw, Poland as part of an international dance festival. She owned and operated a dance school in the New England area for 18 years, and after selling her business, she taught ballet workshops at DCTB Boston and in ballet classes throughout the area. Janet's former students include numerous dancers on cruise ships, in regional theatre productions, and members of national touring productions of White Christmas, A Chorus Line, Movin' Out – and one former student is dancing in NYC at Radio City Music Hall as a Rockette.
Voice, Preschool Chorus, and Beginner Piano Instructor
Lauren Cook graduated summa cum laude from Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance. She has also been certified in Musikgarten, trained in Dalcroze-Eurhythmics at the Longy School of Music of Bard College's summer Dalcroze Institute, and attended a summer session at McClosky Institute of Voice. As well as working with prestigious teachers, coaches, conductors, and directors, Lauren's experience includes performances with New School of Music, MetroWest Choral Artists, Opera del West, NEC Summer Opera Studio, Crittenden Opera Studio, Greater Worcester Opera, and SongFest. She also has liturgical experience as soprano soloist and section leader at College of the Holy Cross Chapel and as Cantor in Blessed Sacrament Parish, both in Worcester, MA. Besides teaching at BYPC, Lauren is also a music teacher at Blue Hill Montessori School in Canton, MA, as well as a voice faculty member, early childhood music and movement faculty member, and program director at New School of Music in Cambridge, MA.
Assistant Music Director, Guitar and Percussion Instructor, and Ensemble Director
David Couture started taking music lessons at age 12. He trained at Berklee College of Music and at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Band Director Academy, as well as learned through lessons and clinics with prominent teachers and musicians. He has over 30 years of performance experience including appearances with Annie and the Orphans and NOTEable DECADES. He is currently the Director of Blue Soul. David has 25 years of teaching experience on guitar, bass guitar, drums, and small group ensembles. He specializes in developing each students' individual lesson style weaving together traditional music lessons with modern approaches using Finale music programs and Protools recording software.
Associate Preschool Teacher and Outdoor Curriculum Specialist
Marylou Couture joined the staff of BYPC in 2001. She received an associate degree from the University of New Hampshire Manchester. Mary has studied early childhood education in several intensive courses, focusing on developmentally appropriate practices, curriculum models, math curriculums and environmental education, and she continues to pursue ongoing professional development by taking classes at NHAEYC. Mary's focus in the preschool program is in teaching the math curriculum and on special gardening projects and building environmental awareness.
Mike Crutcher’s career shows that he is a quintessential guitarist and teacher. His 20+ year career includes training at Berklee College of Music and University of Massachusetts Lowell, as well as collaborations with diverse artists such as Soul City, Dave Anthony Orchestra, The Mike Fritz Band, Flipside, Unity, Soul Inspiration, Gary And The Gang, Gumbo Diablo, Mojo Mambo, and his own New Orleans funk tribute project Trick Bag. Mike continues to work around the New England area freelance, playing funk, blues, reggae, latin, rock, and jazz styles.
Music Director, Piano & Voice Instructor
Jeff Davison, with wife Ann, co-founded BYPC in 1996. A lifelong pianist, he studied at New England Conservatory, Music School at Rivers (Rivers School Conservatory), Syracuse University, Berklee College of Music, and is a former student of David Beyer, George Pappastavrou, Neil Olmstead, Bill Davies, and is fortunate to have been one of the last students of the renowned Dorothy Taubman in New York. He has attended Jazz at Lincoln Center's Band Director Academy, Taubman Institute at Julliard, Piano Teachers Institute at Berklee, and Boston Conservatory Vocal Pedagogy Institute. Jeff has taught piano and voice for over 30 years; many of his students have pursued professional music careers. Since age 14, he has broad professional experience performing as a solo pianist, and as keyboardist and vocalist with rock, jazz and pop music groups on stage and in the recording studio, and over 30 years experience as music director for community and youth musical theatre productions. He has recorded with Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter Linda Chorney and is featured on the latest recording from the blue-grass band Damn Tall Buildings. He is currently a member of the reggae band Dell Smart & Exit/In which has opened for Jimmy Buffett, performed with blues great, Ronnie Earl, and released two CDs, Sure ‘Ya Right! and Party Time.
Music Instructor and Choreographer
Jessica Davison, daughter of Jeff and Ann, received her BFA in dance from Boston Conservatory and has trained at Rock School of Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, STEPS, Broadway Dance Center, College Concierge, Leap 'N Learn, and is an alumni of BYPC. Jessica also trained with Mary Illes and Sara Goldstein for voice and with Peter Carey and Sarah Skinner for acting. As a member of the Rockettes, Jessica has appeared in two years of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and in one year at the Grand Ole Opry, as well as in America's Got Talent and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC.
Ballet, Jazz, and Tap Instructor
Melissa Desrosiers received a BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, and she is trained in all forms of classical dance. Her earliest training was with Patricia Rousseau in Merrimack, NH. As a student, she performed locally with Granite State Ballet in Nashua, NH and later with Jennie & Company in Fitchburg, MA. She has been teaching and choreographing in Southern New Hampshire since 1993 at various schools including Kathy Blake Dance Studios, Southern NH Dance Theater, and Dimensions in Dance, as well as Bedford Youth Performing Company. Melissa choreographed and staged the Battle Scene of the Nutcracker at the Palace Theatre for over 10 years. She has choreographed many modern dance works and assisted in the creation of the Fairy Houses Ballet for Southern NH Youth Ballet. Melissa also currently studies aerial circus arts with Heather Murphy at Bare Knuckle Murphy's Boxing Gym in Manchester where she teaches dance classes as cross-training.
Preschool Director and Teacher
Maryrose Donohue received an associate degree in early childhood education from Hesser College, and she has been teaching and caring for young children since 1988. She operated her own licensed child care program for 11 years prior to joining BYPC in 2000. Maryrose has a special interest in art, puppetry, and music. In addition to teaching in and directing the Creative Kids Preschool, Maryrose is an advisor and teacher in the Circle of Giving program.
Office Manager and Preschool Teacher
Nancy Huseman not only manages our office and welcomes BYPC family members to our Bedford, NH studios, but she is also a creative and loving member of our Creative Kids faculty. In our Creative Kids Preschool, Nancy brings years of early childhood and childcare experience to our program.
Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acro, Angelina Ballerina™, and Leap 'N Learn Instructor
Allyson Yennaco is a choreographer and dance educator with more than 18 years of teaching experience in all major forms of dance. Dancing since age three, she began assisting classes at 12 and teaching at 16. After graduating high school, she moved to NYC to train with industry professionals at the Broadway Dance Center and studied the Zena Rommett Floor Barre Technique for corrective body alignment and injury prevention at Broadway Dance Center and at STEPS on Broadway. Allyson is most influenced by her modern training under artists from the former Dance Space Center in SoHo (currently known as Dance New Amsterdam) where she also studied anatomy and kinesthetic body awareness.
Allyson successfully owned and operated Artistic Ballet and Creative Dance in Hampstead, NH for 8 years before marrying her husband and raising their two daughters. She is currently on staff at Phantom Gymnastics in Hampstead, NH where she coaches dance and choreographs competitive floor routines for NH State Champion gymnasts training in USAG Junior Olympic Program. Allyson is a graduate of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston Dance Education Training Course, a member of American Alliance and New Hampshire Alliance for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD and NHAHPERD), and the National Dance Association (NDA). She was certified in Leap 'N Learn in 2012. Allyson continues her own dance training by attending classes in NY and Boston, as well as dance conventions and professional educator seminars across the Northeast. Her creative ideas and choreographic style have earned numerous gold medals, overall high score awards, and special judges awards.
Marketing and Front Desk
Mel Kraus' son attended BYPC’s Creative Kids Preschool where he thrived both academically, socially, and emotionally, so when the opportunity arose to be a part of the BYPC team, she was thrilled to join. Prior to starting a family, Mel studied English and professional writing at Framingham State College. Her career took her from customer service to sales and marketing and in both insurance financial services and the bio medical industry. She took some time out of the workplace to raise her family at which time she volunteered in her children’s schools and became active in many ministries in her church community. She places a high value on great communication as well as building and maintaining relationships.
Michael Murphy studied piano for 10 years with Patrick Hebert at Highland Piano Studios. For six years, he served as pianist at the Trinity Full Gospel Church, and he has provided accompaniment and music arrangements for holiday and special celebrations at schools in southern New Hampshire.
Marketing and Front Desk
Pamela O’Connell received an associate degree in hospitality management and did a college study program at Walt Disney World. Pamela's work experience includes being a guest service agent at Harrison Convention Services and a sales and manager on duty at Weston Racquet Club, and her volunteer experience includes being a CCD teacher at St. Elizabeth Seton, a coordinator of school yearbooks and various elementary school art projects, and organizer of area wide Catholic Schools Field Day in Illinois. Pamela's kids have taken classes at Creative Kids Preschool and BYPC, and she is especially grateful to have found music instructors that work with her daughter's visual and hearing impairments. She's proud to work at a place that has instructors that will and happily want to work with all kids regardless of any challenges they face.
Tanya T. Roberts
Story Book Theatre
Leap N Learn Ballet
Tanya is a master teacher who holds a BA from The University of New Hampshire in the performing arts. Tanya teaches all genres of drama and dance specializing in creative dance and pre-ballet for children, having taught the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus. She is also a pre-school teacher, having studied Early Childhood Education at the College of Life Long Learning in Nashua, NH and is an assistant children’s librarian at the Wadleigh Memorial Library in Milford, NH. Tanya is a writer of children’s literature and theatrical scripts and after years of studying and teaching Tanya has developed her own unique creative dance curriculum which incorporates bringing picture books to life through music, dance, props, play and the imagination now being offered as Story Book Theater.
Tanya has directed her own theater troupe and dance troupe and has choreographed for several prestigious theater companies, as well as, directed over 50 performances during her 25 years of teaching having taught professionally for The Cynthia Merrill School of Performing Arts in Fresno, CA, Bullard Talent Elementary/Middle School in Fresno, CA, The Dance Center in Ashburnham, MA, Hypaxis in Wilton, NH, Kathy Blake Dance Studios in Amherst, NH, Dimensions in Dance in Manchester, NH, The Village Pre-School in Amherst, NH, and The Sonshine Inn also in Amherst. Her experience in dance and choreography makes her a wonderful asset to our Leap N Learn Ballet program.
Tanya’s classes reflect her expertise, enthusiasm and creativity and she is thrilled to be teaching once again at BYPC!
Sarah Skinner began her career as Director of Investigations for a Boston detective agency. She soon transitioned into acting studying with acclaimed Broadway casting director Michael Shurtleff, a major casting director for producers David Merrick, Bob Fosse, and Andrew Lloyd Weber. After relocating to California in 1997, Sarah worked in the motion picture and television industries both as an actor and casting director. Her credits include projects for Disney, Nickelodeon, and Porchlight Entertainment. In 2004, Sarah decided that teaching acting is her first love and joined Edgemar Center for the Arts in Edgemar, CA, teaching acting, improv, and on-camera audition classes for children and adults. In her classes, Sara uses her keen observation skills, honed while working as an investigator, to offer her students the tools to dissect each character and identify the qualities which make that character true and enticing to watch.
Acting Instructor, Circle of Giving Instructor, and Preschool Enrichment Teacher
Anna Smith has been teaching at BYPC since January 2011. She graduated cum laude with a BA in theatre arts with concentrations in acting and dramatic writing from Plymouth State University in December 2012. Since then she has expanded her craft in teaching, publishing plays, directing shows, and having shows directed in the Greater Boston and New York City areas, acting freelance onstage and on camera in Greater Boston, NYC, and overseas in the UK, and writing freelance for various theatre and Broadway companies with the objective of integrating dramatic arts into the classroom curriculum. Anna completed an acting intensive in July 2013 at the Maggie Flanigan Studio in NYC, selected as one of 18 students to attend one of the country’s top five acting intensive programs. The conservatory-style school specializes in Meisner Technique, which is one of nine main methods Anna enjoys introducing as “actors tools” in the classroom and onstage. She also attended the NHAEYC Spring Conference.
Jared Steer received his BA in music from Plymouth State College in 2000. Jared has been a student of Bob Moses, Eric Hughes, Bob Gullottie, Roberto Vizciano Guillot, Tom Gillmore, and Craig Fahey. He has performed with Plymouth State College Percussion Ensemble and the Jazz combos during his four years at the school. Jared has played in bands and ensembles performing jazz, folk, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and rock, and he continues working as a freelance professional who plays throughout New England and beyond. Jared’s work is included in Ben Rudnick’s award wining Album “Fun n’ Games,” a 1999 Best of Boston Jazz Compilation, and several albums for children. Jared has almost 20 years of experience in teaching percussion. In addition to teaching percussion at BYPC, Jared teaches at the Music Clinic in Belmont, NH and is a former instructor at Timberlane Regional Schools.
Nicole Stroumbos is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, and instructor. She has been dancing since the age of three and grew up training primarily at The Carlene Nazarian Dance Center in Salem, NH. There she was exposed to various genres of dance, although she feels most passionately about lyrical, jazz, and contemporary movement. She also became well immersed in the competitive dance world, as part of a group, solo performer, and eventually a choreographer. She has taught master classes and been a guest choreographer at The Carlene Nazarian Dance Center, The Dance Works, Salem Dance Network, A Dance Vision by Nicole, Thornton Academy, and Portland Youth Dance Company. She has worked for The University of New Hampshire's summer dance intensive too. She has trained in both Leap 'N Learn and Angelina Ballerina™ Dance Academey early childhood dance programs. Nicole is a graduate of Maine College of Art where she obtained a B.F.A. in painting. She is currently a performer and member of Collective Motion Dance Company in Portland, ME, while teaching at The Studio of Dance Arts in Methuen, MA and The Dance Works in Haverhill, MA. Nicole enjoys working at Bedford Youth Performing Company and is grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented and passionate individuals.
Sergey Tarayan has broad experience as a professional concert master and pianist in the former USSR. A graduate of Sumgait Music College in Baku, USSR, Sergey was an esteemed professional pianist throughout the 1970s and 1980s playing at prestigious artistic gymnastics events in Moscow and other cities in the former USSR.
Strings, Piano, and Chorus Instructor
Sarah Young received a BA in music performance and pedagogy from Plymouth State University and is currently enrolled in Lesley University's masters program for music therapy with a specialization in mental health counseling. Sarah has performed with various symphonies in New Hampshire including the Nashua Symphony and the Granite State Symphony Orchestra, and she performed with the Trans Siberian Orchestra in 2009. Sarah has acted with various community theatres in New Hampshire, and she was nominated for best supporting actress for the New Hampshire Theatre Awards in. 2011. Sarah began working at BYPC in 2007.