Our Faculty

Adam Chisman, Managing Director
Guitar & Ukulele Teacher
Adam Chisman is a native of Oregon, graduating from Oregon High School in 2008. In 2004, he began his study of guitar with the late John Bauman. From 2006 through 2008, he studied under Sims Delaney-Potthoff of Harmonious Wail, learning the Berklee method of guitar instruction, and also studied Music Theory and Music Composition. In 2007, Adam attended Guitar Sessions at Berklee College of Music and went on to major in Guitar Performance at Berklee. After college, Adam spent six months traveling in New Zealand and participating in the WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) program. Adam worked at the Oregon Public Library from 2009 through 2016. Adam joined the Academy of Sound faculty as a guitar teacher in 2011. He was promoted to Managing Director in December 2016.






Erin Chisman, Executive Director
Piano Teacher (English/Spanish)
Erin Chisman began teaching piano in 1997. In 2003, she opened Erin's Piano Studio, which became Academy of Sound in 2007, in Oregon, WI. Erin studied piano with Margaret McKay, Stoughton. Erin has also been in numerous choirs, and has taken lessons in violin, flute, and voice at the Madison School of Music. Erin teaches piano students at the intermediate and advanced level, in English and Spanish. Erin is a member of the Wisconsin Music Educators Association (WMEA), National College of Musicians, and the National Association of Music Educators (NAfME). She earned her Category A Piano Teacher Certification at the Mayron Cole Music Conservatory in 2006. Erin recorded with Source Studios, Madison as a pianist (on the CD "The Beginning and the End," Showbread), and worked with various studios on the east coast as a back-up vocalist during the early 2000s. Erin competed in the National Piano-Playing Auditions through the American College of Musicians at the district and national levels 1996-1999, and was awarded the Director's Service Award at Oregon High School in 1999. Erin served on the Board of Directors for the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce 2010-2014 (Secretary, Vice President, and President). Erin was appointed to the Oregon Historic Preservation Commission in April 2011 with a term through April 2015. Erin is the founder of the Oregon Youth Center, Inc. Erin is also the President and co-founder of Academy of Sound Foundation, Inc. Erin was named one of InBusiness Magazine's "40 Under 40" in 2014. erinchisman.com



Emma Cifrino, Viola & Violin Teacher
Emma Cifrino is a violist and violinist currently pursuing her DMA at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she studies viola with Sally Chisholm. Originally from central Maine, Emma began her studies with Betsy Kobayashi at the Pineland Suzuki School in Augusta, ME. She holds a B.Mus at Lawrence University, where her principal teacher was Matthew Michelic, and an M.Mus at Bowling Green State University, where she studied with Matthew Daline. At Bowling Green she was a member of the Graduate String Quartet and served as principal viola in the Bowling Green Philharmonia. Other career highlights include appearing on the radio program Live From WFMT in Chicago, and performing at Early Music America's Young Performers Festival with the BGSU Early Music Ensemble. In addition to her active performance career, Emma has almost a decade of experience teaching students of all ages and levels. She believes that her primary duty as a music educator is to produce students who are respectful of the art of music-making. This means instilling students with good practice habits, encouraging participation in chamber ensembles, and modeling a scholarly – but enthusiastic –  approach to performance. Emma joined the Academy of Sound faculty in 2017.






Nancy Cox, Piano Teacher
Nancy Cox has studied piano since the age of 6, with a few years off for other responsibilities, with 35+ years of music, piano, and vocal study. Her most recent piano teacher is Brian Schultz, former student of the late Ellsworth Snyder of Madison. Nancy has performed in many local theater productions at Oregon High School and with Oregon Straw Hat Players, as pianist and backup keyboard accompanist. She has performed as piano soloist and accompanist in a special concert series at First Presbyterian Church. She has taught piano since 2005 both in Stoughton and Oregon, with prior piano teaching experience in Minnesota. She has accompanied choirs and soloists at Oregon High School under two former choral directors: Tom Mielke, presently choral director of Middleton HS; and Candie Douglas, presently associate choral director at Sun Prairie HS. She has accompanied church choirs at First Presbyterian of Oregon and Unity Church of Madison for over 15 years, and is presently employed by First Presbyterian Church. Nancy has sung in many choirs, most recently in the Stoughton Festival Choir. Past vocal experience includes private study with Genevieve Gersbach of Madison, and 15 years singing with the First Unitarian Society choir under Ellsworth Snyder. Nancy's degrees include a Bachelor of Arts from University of Minnesota, major in English, minor in humanities, with coursework in music; and Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Nancy joined Academy of Sound in 2006.




DeLane Doyle, Drum Set Teacher

DeLane Doyle is a composer, percussionist, and educator based in Madison Wisconsin, where he recently received a degree in percussion performance from the Mead-Witter School of Music. He has served as a dance accompanist at Interlochen Center for the Arts since 2015 and at University of Wisconsin-Madison since 2016. DeLane’s compositions have been performed in collaboration with Interlochen Center for the Arts, Traverse City Dance Project, and most recently in a revival of Anna Halprin’s Circle of the Earth, set by Jamie Mchugh.  DeLane’s electro-acoustic compositions feature field recordings of natural objects and voices of the performers. As a performer, DeLane has given concerts in Carnegie Hall, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Beijing, and Shenyang. His performance in Stratford Ontario included the Canadian Premiere of Nebojsa Zivkovic’s Sandy the Hurricane. While in Madison, DeLane has been a recurring performer with Clocks in Motion new music ensemble where he participated in the world premiere performance of works by Ben Davis and a performance of Steve Reich’s Drumming. As a soloist, DeLane has performed in numerous Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion events, won runner up in the 2015 Wyoming Symphony Young Artists Competition, and was a Finalist in the 2014 UW-Madison Concerto Competition. DeLane devotes a large portion of time to studying world music outside the western classical tradition, including musics from Brazil, Cuba, India, and the Middle East. DeLane was recently announced as the grand prize winner of the Square Peg Round Hole remix competition hosted by Spartan Records. DeLane joined the Academy of Sound faculty in 2017.




Elisa Kaether, Musical & Play Director
Elisa Kaether joined the Academy of Sound staff in 2013 as a receptionist. Having grown up around the studios all her life, she chose violin and drums as her primary instruments, while also studying piano, voice and ukulele. Elisa has had roles in several productions, including Jack and the Beanstalk, A Toy Shop Christmas, Aladdin Jr., The Matchmaker, Spaghetti Island, and Once Upon a Mattress. Elisa started and lead the Oregon Youth Center Dance Crew for three years, and started and currently leads the female a capella choir at Oregon High School. She's helped with two children's musicals through Community Ed. Elisa was inducted into the International Thespian Society in 2017. Elisa studies at Oregon High School and plans to major in Music Education in college.










Olivia Podnar, Piano Teacher
Olivia Podnar began working as a receptionist at Academy of Sound in September 2013. Olivia has studied piano with Erin Chisman since 2004. She participated in choir in the Oregon School District for four years, as well as viola for one year. Olivia has had roles in
A Toy Shop Christmas with Academy of Sound, Strega Nona with Children's Theater of Madison, The Emperor's New Clothes, Still Life with Iris with Oregon Straw Hat Players, The Trial of Goldilocks, Madrigal Dinner at Oregon Middle School, and The Drowsy Chaperone with Oregon High School. Olivia received a first rating at solo and ensemble on piano. Olivia has also been competitively figure skating since 2009. Olivia currently studies at Marquette University. Olivia has been teaching piano at Academy of Sound since 2014.









Kirstin Roble, Voice Teacher
Mezzo Soprano Kirstin Roble hails from Southeastern Minnesota. Ms. Roble recently completed her Master of Music degree at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Hailed as a “mellifluous mezzo,” (Mike Fisher, Journal Sentinel,) she is an accomplished performer in opera, musical theatre, and recital. Kirstin has worked with students from ages five through adult. Her patient, enthusiastic manner resonates well with a wide variety of ages and interests. Ms. Roble’s students are placed in top choirs at their schools, singing roles in shows, and have won talent competitions and scholarships. Her students have also won honors at the district and state Solo and Ensemble Competitions. Kirstin teaches
Classical Private Voice and Piano as well as Musical Theatre, Contemporary, Rock, and Introduction to Jazz. Ms. Roble also teaches acting, character building and improvisation. Kirstin has held positions with the Wauwatosa School of Music in Wauwatosa, WI and the Madison Music Foundry. In addition, she has also worked as a group voice and musical theatre instructor at the First Stage Children’s Theatre in Milwaukee. Ms. Roble is also a part-time adjunct instructor of voice at Beloit College in Beloit, WI. She is a member of the Madison Opera chorus and will next be seen in Carmen in November 2017. Ms. Roble maintains professional membership in NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists.) Kirstin joined the faculty at Academy of Sound in 2017.



Irene Verdegan, Piano Teacher
Irene Verdegan is originally from the Philippines. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education with piano emphasis, minor in voice, from the University of Santo Tomas Manila, PH. She also holds a Master's Degree in Music Ministry from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL. Irene has over 10 years of experience instructing students in piano and voice at all ages, levels and skills. She has studied many types of musical genres, musical technique and styles and musical literature. Irene had the opportunity to perform, teach, and conduct choirs around the world, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Dubai, UAE, and most recently at Northeast Iowa School of Music (NISOM). Irene's passion in music motivates her to develop musical talents in learners of all ages and of all skill levels. Irene joined the Academy of Sound faculty in 2016.  "Without music, life would be a mistake." Friedrich Nietzsche