Athena began her art career at the age of 7 under the guidance of California artist, and author, Aaron Lambert. He encouraged her to work toward perfecting her craft through participation in many local and state wide artistic competitions. This practice motivated Athena to enter multiple Congressional art exhibits during her teenage years. She was fortunate to be chosen to have her artwork displayed at our Nations Capitol as well as meeting President George W. Bush. Meeting the President inspired Athena to join the US Army where she continued to take every opportunity to showcase her art. During her military service, Athena taught art lessons to service members, military dependents, and within local school districts. Athena has completed over 100 murals at Military bases across the county. She has been commissioned to complete international murals in Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Isreal, Germany and Thailand. After her military service, she completed her degree in teaching at Leeward College as well as her Bachelors in Studio Arts at the University of Hawaii. Athena has apprenticed under multiple internationally known artists such as Lebanese artist Reem Bassous, Hawaii surf artist Michael Harada and New Jersey artist Sandra Murchison. She has also trained with nationally recognized artists Wendy Kawabatta, Debra Drexler, Shelbia Hatten and Devin Greer. Athena enjoys offering her knowledge in the arts to our local Veteran and elderly communities, as well as providing art lessons for multiple homeschool organizations.
Katie Hilliard comes to Time to Shine with a wealth of arts experience and training and music has always been a part of her life. Not only was she a charter member of Time to Shine as a dancer and company member receiving training here for many years, she is an accomplished musician on many levels. She is a graduate of Pace High School and a student at UWF, pursuing a degree in Music Instruction. While at Pace High School, she was the Drum Major for their award-winning marching band, and also performed with their wind ensemble, symphonic band and concert choir. She also obtained numerous honors including all-state choir, honor band, among others, and was also named Homecoming Queen! She has trained in piano since the age of five under the tutelage of Edward Varela and has had five consecutive years of superior ratings. The summer before senior year, she led classes to prepare students for all.state auditions, helping the Pace High Choir double the number of students who made it. Katie loves helping people become better musicians while sharing her love and passion for music. She is delighted to be sharing her expertise and love of the arts at her home studio.
Soprano Lisa Hilliard has performed and recorded with legendary conductor Robert Shaw throughout Europe and at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and Atlanta Symphony Hall. She has also performed with the New York Philharmonic and the New York Choral Society and has been a featured soloist in concerts at the Washington National Cathedral and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. Lisa has enjoyed the unique opportunity of singing the soprano solos in the world premiere of two newly-commissioned Requiems performed in Atlanta. A native of Atlanta now living in Santa Rosa County, Miss Lisa was honored to sing the National Anthem for President Bush’s first appearance at the Pensacola Civic Center. Locally, she has performed with Pensacola Opera and as a soloist with the Pensacola Choral Society and the Gulf Coast Chorale. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, where she attended on voice and piano scholarships.
Miss Virginia has a wealth of piano and music experience. She began piano lessons at the age of 6, played the saxophone in the band and accompanied chorus and began playing for church at the age of 11. Graduating from Livingston University (University of West Alabama) with a Bachelor’s in Music Education with a major in Piano and minor in Organ and Voice, she also performed in several choral groups and accompanied the concert choir. Her teaching career began in LaGrange, Georgia, took her to Baton Rouge and then to Milton where she taught chorus at Hobbs Middle School. She recently retired after over 40 years of teaching middle school. We are delighted to have Miss Virginia bring her love of music to the students at Time to Shine!
Kayla Neely is a gifted musician who has been playing piano since the age of five and singing in choir since the age of ten. She is a military kid who was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin and lived in Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri and Florida, but loves Florida the best. While only a senior at Pace High School, she has many accomplishments including All-County Choir every year since the sixth grade, All-State Choir since eighth grade and All-State Sight-reading Choir since tenth grade.
She studies piano at UWF under Professor Cheng and Riley. We are delighted to have her shining presence with us at Time to Shine.
Charity Pence is currently a senior music education major with an emphasis in violin at Pensacola Christian College. She has played violin for 13 years and has played with various orchestras including Panama City Symphony, Eastern Mennonite University and Pensacola Christian College as well as taught Suzuki violin in her hometown of Broadway, Virginia. Charity grew up in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia and in her free time enjoys baking, finding new music to listen to, learning about music production, and enjoying a good cup of coffee with friends. She is excited to teach at Time to Shine and to develop her student's love for music!
Dylan Williams has been playing guitar for over 12 years and been a performing musician for 8. As a professional musician, he has performed extensively from Denver to Atlanta, including two years of performing in the Big Easy of New Orleans in several jazz groups. A native Pensacolian, Dylan holds a degree in Music and Classical Guitar from Pensacola State College. Mr. Dylan currently plays in a local bluegrass band named The Gator Boys. Dylan is excited to be a part of the staff of Time to Shine!