About Us

FAME Performing Arts is a locally-owned studio striving to create an inclusive environment for students to attend music lessons, performing arts classes, instrument lessons, and summer camps to become confident, self-aware, and comfortable in their own skin.

Scroll down to get to know the amazing team of teachers working to make that happen! 

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JEN BLANTON

Founder, Voice & Piano Teacher

Our studio owner is a down to earth voice and piano teacher ready to take focused students to the next level!

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Tommy Hettrick

Voice, Guitar, Ukulele, & Acting Teacher

Thomas "Tommy" Hettrick is a New York City-trained actor and teacher based in Charleston. His kind and gentle approach to teaching is a great fit for a young beginner. His professional experience makes him a great fit for a teen student looking for a teacher with current professional experience. 

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Emily Lanter

Dance Teacher

Emily is an enthusiastic dance instructor bringing several years of experience teaching all ages, and years of intense study in all styles. Emily teaches our Troupe dance classes. 

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HEATHER HAMMOND CAFFAREL

Pop Glee Director

Heather Hammond Caffarel is an award winning teacher in her tenth year as co-director of the Charleston School of the Arts Vocal Program. New to FAME, Heather will be directing the Pop Glee group classes! 

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MELANIE GRACE MORTON

Voice, Beginning Piano, & Ukulele Teacher

Melanie is outgoing and friendly and loves to talk about all things music, theatre, and dance. She has an extensive background in performance and pedagogy. 

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SHANELLE WOODS

Virtual Voice Teacher

She's back! Shanelle was on staff at FAME for 5 years before moving to NYC to pursue her career. She is currently offering online lessons. 

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ED BLANTON

Guitar, Bass, & Ukulele Teacher

Troupe Tech Director

Ed Blanton is a Charleston-based live sound engineer and professional guitar player. His love for guitar started as a teen and grew in to a life long passion. He is kind and patient with young players. Ed's goal as a teacher is to foster a love of music and guitar in his students that will stay with them for a lifetime, as it has for him.

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Amelia Beilke

Rising Stars Director/Beginning Piano Teacher

Amelia is a FAME graduate returning to continue her journey as a teacher. As a 3rd grade teacher at a local elementary school, Amelia loves to work with children in many ways, in and outside of the classroom. Amelia is energetic, friendly, and passionate about providing a comfortable space for children to explore their potential. 

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CHELSEA LOEW

Piano & Music Theory Teacher

Chelsea is an extremely accomplished young composer with high expectations for her talented students. 

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LAUREN CRAWFORD

Voice & Beginning Piano Teacher

Lauren has a diverse vocal background and is passionate about teaching healthy vocal techniques that will last a lifetime and can be applied to any genre. She loves working with singers of all ages and strives to create an encouraging environment where students can really grow and build confidence.

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NIKKI FREEMAN

Troupe Director

Ms. Nikki fell in love with Shakespeare at 12 years old while watching Kenneth Branagh’s “Much Ado About Nothing” and, fifteen years later, got the chance to play her heroine, Beatrice! She encourages her students to “play” and teaches them that theatre – even the classics – can be accessible for everyone! Ms. Nikki teaches the Troupe acting classes. 

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JESSE SMITH

Virtual Voice/Acting Teacher

Jesse's love for music began in High School when he was encouraged by his chorus teacher to pursue a career in performing - a choice he will never regret.