First Baptist Newnan's School of the Arts (SOTA) provides all lessons within the safe walls of the First Baptist Church of Newnan, GA. An annual fee ($25 per individual; not to exceed $50 per family) covers administration costs and helps offset the cost of lessons. You won't find a better value for arts instruction and music lessons anywhere else in Newnan, Georgia!
Currently, the School of the Arts offers private instruction in piano, voice, conducting, trumpet, guitar, bass guitar, saxophone, oboe, violin and viola. We also have group classes for strings.
We'd be delighted to clarify how the School of the Arts works or which art disciplines are currently available for private lessons. Please contact SOTA Director Andrea Chitwood at 770-304-3151 or via e-mail.
Our history and Our Mission
The First Baptist School of the Arts is established to be a Christian school for providing quality instruction of the arts in a Christian atmosphere. It is founded in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
More than twenty-five years ago, the vision for a school of the arts for First Baptist Church of Newnan, Georgia, was born in the mind and heart of one of our members, Sandra M. Carter. From a very small but solid beginning, this program grew from a small girl’s ensemble to a comprehensive school with more than two hundred students meeting weekly for private instruction.
The development of such a program was very unique at its inception and has been copied and spread to churches near and far. Untold numbers of Christian musicians are serving today with the education offered through our school of the arts. We see only the tip of the iceberg.
We believe the arts are God-given for the purpose of expression and enrichment of lives. We further believe that all talents are gifts from God. We believe in the stewardship and development of all God-given abilities. We trust every person who shares his or her talents in our school will find a warm welcome and a place that reflects our faith.
SUBJECT AREA: PIANO
Brian Coski is excited to rejoin the teaching staff at First Baptist Newnan’s School of the Arts. He has received degrees from Liberty University (B.M.) and Georgia State University (M.Mus.Ed.). In addition to a long history in religious, educational and theater environments, Brian attributes piano performance studies as an interest that has shaped his career direction and specialty. He has also been privileged to work as an educator, choral director, and technical director in the Atlanta area arts and education community. Brian currently serves Legacy Christian Church in Senoia as their Music and Technical Director.
SUBJECT AREA: VOICE
Andrea Chitwood is the School of the Arts director and private voice instructor as well as Young Musicians Choir director at First Baptist Church Newnan, GA. Andrea has been Sr. High Choir assistant for the past 20 years taking students on annual tours and festivals including destinations across the US, Europe and Japan.
Andrea has served on the Young Musicians Task Force Team for the GA Baptist Convention since 2006 and is a member and soloist of the Jubalheirs, an all women’s choir through the GA Baptist Convention. She has served as Young Musicians clinician for the State Baptist Conventions of GA, SC and NC. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Anderson University, in Anderson, SC and has taught in elementary schools in South Carolina, Texas and Georgia. The Chitwoods have two daughters Ashlee Grace, 13 and Abbey Rose, 9.
SUBJECT AREA: VOICE, CONDUCTING
Rev. Lee Chitwood is a native of Williamston, South Carolina and has been the Minister of Music at First Baptist of Newnan since August of 2000. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina and a Master of Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas with concentration in voice. Lee has extended study with Peter Halverson in voice and Rene Clausen in conducting at Concordia College in Fargo, North Dakota and Anton Armstrong in conducting at St. Olaf College in St. Paul, Minnesota during sabbatical study in 2005.
Rev. Chitwood has performed solo work in the continental United States, Alaska, Russia and Romania. Major works include Handel’s Messiah, Schubert’s Mass in G, Greg Nelson and Bob Farrell’s Saviour and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs. Lee is an advocate for youth choirs hosting the Georgia Baptist Youth Choir Festival in 2004 and served as guest conductor in 2005. Lee has also been featured Youth Choir Clinician at Church Music Georgia for the Georgia Baptist Convention in 2008 and 2009, the Church Music Conference of The Southern Baptist Convention in 2010 and the Tennessee Baptist Convention Church Music Conference in 2011. For the past 20 years Lee has taken youth choirs on annual tours across the United States and abroad to Europe and Japan. Since 2008 Lee has been adjunct professor at Brewton Parker College teaching Church Music and Worship. Lee is a member of two professional choral groups, The Sons of Jubal and the 2000 Grammy nominated male chorus The Century Men and has been soloist in both groups.
Lee and his wife Andrea have two girls, Ashlee Grace and Abbey Rose.
SUBJECT AREA: TRUMPET, TEENY TYKES & TUNES
Erin Fenton has a Bachelor’s degree in Trumpet Performance from Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois. There she studied with former Chicago Symphony Orchestra members such as Vincent Cichowitz and Charles Geyer, and performed with the university orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz band and various small ensembles. Prior to college, she grew up in Fayette County, where she began studying the trumpet at age 10, and went on to participate in regional Honor Bands, Georgia All-State Bands, Solo and Ensemble Festivals, and the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. Currently, Erin performs with the First Baptist Church of Newnan orchestra during weekly worship services. She has also served as the 3-year-old Children’s Choir director since 2008 and loves the opportunity to teach children the fundamentals of music each week.
SUBJECT AREA: AMERICAN GUITAR, RECORDING
Brian Mesler performed contemporary American Blues and Jazz at venues, private, and corporate engagements as a solo, duet, or ensemble from 1990 to 2000 with over 1400 shows.
Brian has served on the faculty at SOTA since 1996 teaching American guitar styles and offering mobile recording for all ages, skills, and genre
with over 25,000 sessions between Newnan and his home studio in McDonough. Brian holds Apple Certified Trainer – Logic Pro X, Apple Certified Support Professional, Apple Certified Technical Coordinator professional certifications.
Brian lives in McDonough with his wife and three children since 1998 and members of Harvest Point United Methodist church in Locus Grove.
SUBJECT AREA: STRINGS - VIOLIN, VIOLA, CELLO, STRINGS, ENSEMBLE, ORCHESTRA
Viola Pike has taught private music lessons in Newnan for over 10 years. She has taught violin to students as young as 3 years old through adult. She has been the substitute director for The Joyful Praise Home School Choir for the past 3 years and has helped with the choir for over 12 years in different capacities, including a violin ensemble. She has taught at the Virtuoso School of Music in Peachtree City, through the Eluminatus and Bridge programs with Eagle’s Nest Christian Home Educators Association, and as a Substitute Music Teacher with Orchard Hills Academy in Newnan. She taught music and directed musicals at Northside Baptist School and served as a choral pianist, voice coach, and substitute pianist in San Antonio, TX.
As a teen, Viola played in the Tarrant County Junior College Youth Symphony Orchestra in Fort Worth, TX. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Bible and Christian Education from Ozark Bible College in Joplin, MO, and completed graduate study in a co-op program with Pittsburg State University to receive teacher certification. She also has a teaching certificate for Elementary Education in Texas. She enjoys teaching students of all ages how to play music, and the beauty of harmony that results from the combination of instruments. Viola is married to Bill Pike, and they have 5 children: William, Kristine, Jennifer, Megan, and Rachel.
SUBJECT AREA: SAXOPHONE
Alex Truitt studied at the Schwob School of Music of Columbus State University where he received his Bachelor’s in Music Education. There he played in the Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and saxophone quartet. He started taking piano lessons in the first grade from Amy Wilson at First Baptist Church of Newnan. In middle school, he started playing the saxophone and continued playing throughout high school and in college. He has been a member of First Baptist Church of Newnan for 15 years.
Please Mail Or Deliver Registration Fee To:
ATTN: Music Office
First Baptist Church Newnan
15 West Washington Street
Newnan, GA 30263