Our Faculty

Coleman Smith
Music Director

Coleman started playing the violin at 3 years old. In his youth Coleman traveled across the country studying various styles of fiddle music and competing in some of the nation’s most prestigious fiddle contests. Coleman was awarded a Presidential scholarship to the music department at Marywood University where he studied music performance and minored in music pedagogy. Coleman has a unique style that fuses Gypsy Swing, Jazz, Celtic, Bluegrass and Texas Fiddle, all from a classical perspective. 

Buena Vista, Colorado Faculty

All of our faculty are experienced teachers and elite performers on their respected instruments.

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Coleman Smith

Violin, Mandolin, Guitar & Bass

Coleman’s love affair with the violin, started at the tender age of 3 at which time he began studying the Suzuki Violin Method. His mother Karen, a professional ballerina says Coleman has been responding to music since before he was born. Fostering his love of music, his parents bought him his first violin at the tender age of 3 at which time he began studying the Suzuki Violin Method. During his formidable years in the Suzuki Program, Coleman became one of the youngest people ever accepted to the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra, eventually having solo performances with the Dallas Fort Worth Pops Orchestra. Coleman was awarded a full Presidential scholarship to the music department at Marywood University where he studied music performance and minored in music pedagogy graduating Cum Laude.

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Alex Johnstone

Mandolin & Guitar

Alex started playing professionally while living in Crested Butte and it was here when he began rising to the top of the Colorado Mandolin scene. Alex toured with the high-intensity, progressive bluegrass band Spring Creek for over a decade before joining Colorado-based bluegrass group, Rapidgrass in 2014. Together with his band, Alex performs both nationally and internationally, headlining some of Europes largest Bluegrass Festivals. In addition, Alex has over a decade of experience leading both Mandolin and Guitar workshops for students of all ages. When Alex is not performing he enjoys teaching private lessons at Coletrain Music Academy and shredding trails on both his skis and mountain bike. 

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Bonnie Culpepper

Ukulele, Voice & Beginning Piano

Bonnie Lea Culpepper has a trained background in the classical styles of piano and voice. She also has a great love for Ukulele, which she taught herself to play at the age of 7. In school, her passion was performing Operatic pieces in many different languages and time periods. Her love of music has led her to become a touring singer/song writer in the styles of contemporary rock, folk, Americana, jam, bluegrass, jazz, and blues. As a passionate professional musician, Bonnie places utmost importance on creative musical freedom. She strives to bring the skills and knowledge to her students to provide a foundation for FUN with music.