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Performing Arts

The Performing Arts Program is a cornerstone of the Arts and Medicine Institute.

The program enhances the environment and Cleveland Clinic experience for patients and caregivers. Listeners are provided an opportunity to engage high quality performances by local and world renowned musicians, dancers, thespians, ensembles, troupes and companies.

Artists and groups who have provided their talent include:

  • Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Dancing Wheels Company & School (Integrated Dance Company)
  • Cleveland Music School Settlement (School and Community Organization)
  • Members of The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Travis Caudle (Singer/Songwriter)
  • Karamu House (Theater Company)
  • Umberto Clerici (Cellist)
  • Giovanni Solima (Cellist)
  • Roots of American Music (School and Community Organization)
  • Credo Chamber Music
  • Tim Janis (Composer/Pianist)
  • Oberlin Conservatory Opera Department

If you, your ensemble, or your organization is interested in performing for the benefit of those at Cleveland Clinic, contact us at performingarts@ccf.org.

Musicians-in-Residence

The Musicians-in-Residence program brings some of the most talented local musicians into public spaces to provide engaging, entertaining, and educational programs for patients, families, and employees. 

Learn more about our musicians below.

Lisa Bell Benedetto

Lisa Bell Benedetto, Grammy-nominated pianist/recording artist, Lisa is a graduate of The University of Southern California. During her college years she spent a summer at the world renowned Aspen Music Festival, where her focus was music composition. While remaining on the West coast for fifteen years, Lisa performed, regularly, at all the top hotels and restaurants in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Aspen, Colorado. In addition, she released three CDs. Her first CD, “Soulscapes,” aired on over 700 radio stations nation-wide, earning her the Grammy nomination. She also had an opportunity to score music for “The Stonecutter,” which debuted at The Santa Barbara Film Festival. Since returning to her hometown, Lisa has created and performed shows at Tower City Center, accompanied many youth musical productions, taught piano, and performed for many private events. Lisa is the accompanist for The Renaissance Unity band and choir every Sunday morning. In addition, for over twenty years Lisa has been performing for the non-profit organization, Access to the Arts and ArtsConnect whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for the elderly. “Playing for Seniors has been a most rewarding experience. When I see their faces light up…nothing can replace that feeling!” Lisa finds that working in a healthcare environment is a mutually healing experience.

Lee Bush

Lee Bush received his degrees from both Baldwin-Wallace College and the University of Missouri. He was a composer, arranger, and producer with Frank Gari Productions for eight years, recording commercial music in New York City. Lee is a music educator with years at Youngstown State University, Tri-C Jass Studies Program and Cleveland State University. He has appeared as a guest artist at Severance Hall, Tri-C Jass Fest, Shoreby Club, WCPN Radio, Progressive Field, Cleveland Museum of Art and many other venues. Lee has authored books on guitar sight reading, fingerboard understanding and comprehensive guitar instructional method.

Ariel Clayton

Since graduating with her masters’ degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2011, violinist Ariel Clayton enjoys an active life teaching and performing throughout northeast Ohio. She appears frequently at the Cleveland Clinic as a soloist, in various ensembles, and in collaboration with guest artists. Aside from the dozens of private events for which she performs yearly, Ms. Clayton has performed with CityMusic Cleveland, currently serves as guest concertmaster of the Suburban Symphony Orchestra, and has held that seat in numerous other area ensembles. Her chamber ensemble, Opus 216, performed on Tremont’s A.R.T concert series in 2011, and gave the inaugural public performance at the first evening event in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s new atrium in the fall of 2012. Committed to bringing classical music to new audiences, Ms. Clayton also performs monthly with Classical Revolution Cleveland, a collective of musicians committed to bringing music to unconventional Cleveland venues. Ms. Clayton maintains a large independent violin studio of students throughout the Cleveland area. Her students perform in area youth orchestras, and participate in multiple outreach projects each year. Ariel adores the versatile, thriving musical climate in Cleveland, and loves opportunities to reach new audiences in new ways.

Kent Collier

Kent Collier has enjoyed being a member Cleveland's freelance musician community for 35 years.He received his bachelors and masters degrees from the Eastman School of Music. A native Clevelander, Kent has been principal cellist for Cleveland Opera, Cleveland Ballet, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, and Lyric Opera for over twenty years. Most recently he has served as principal cellist with Red an Orchestra, Blossom Festival Orchestra, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Opera Circle, and Blue Water Chamber Orchestra. He has been a cello instructor at Allegheny College, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, and the Cleveland Music School Settlement. He has also spent many summers playing with the Cullowhee Music Festival and the North Carolina Symphony. Apart from music Kent enjoys teaching math, playing racquetball, and skiing. Kent was happy to be named one of Cleveland Magazine's "Most Interesting People".

Virginia Crabtree

Flutist Virginia Crabtree is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music where she received her Masters degree studying with Mary Kay Fink and Joshua Smith. Holding a Bachelor of Music Degree from Northwestern University, Virginia graduated Magna Cum Laude with Woodwind Departmental Honors in 2007. With performances ranging from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia to concerts for the Seminari Musicali Internazionali in Prato, Italy, Virginia has performed extensively on both flute and piccolo. In addition to these instruments, in 2009 Virginia performed the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 on Baroque flute with the Case Western Early Music Ensemble. A native of San Diego, Virginia has been a member of the California Young Artist Guild since 2003 and in 2006 was a finalist for the Northwestern Concerto Competition. In March, 2008 Virginia was also a finalist for the piccolo position of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and won second place in the National Flute Association Piccolo Artist Competition. Virginia is also an avid teacher and enjoys positions on the flute faculty for the Interlochen Arts Camp and the Cleveland Music Settlement.

Gayle Getts

Gayle Getts graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree from Baldwin-Wallace College, studying with William Hebert, piccoloist of The Cleveland Orchestra. She then earned her Master's degree in flute performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying with internationally renowned flutist Alexander Murray, former principal flutist of the London Symphony Orchestra. Since that time she has been an active freelance musician, recitalist, clinician, and private flute instructor throughout Northeast Ohio.
Gayle has performed concerts at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center with Yanni, the Moddy Blues, and Il Divo, among others. She has been principal flutist of the Cleveland Symphonic Winds, Lakewood Hometown Band, and the Sounds of Sousa Band. Since 2008, Gayle has served as flute instructor for the Aurora School of Music, presently teaching 35 students. Having taught private flute lessons for over 35 years, her students have ranged from beginners to advanced national award-winners.

Marshall Griffith

Marshall Griffith is on the Faculty of The Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) where he teaches Theory and Jazz Improvisation. He received Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in composition from CIM, as well as a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University. He studied composition with Eugene O'Brien, Donald Erb and John Eaton, and was the recipient of The Music Teachers National Association Award in composition in 1976. His works have been published by Theodore Presser and Belle Press, and recorded on Crystal Records. He served as chairman of the Cleveland Composers Guild from 1991 until 1995. His music has been performed by the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Amici, Bel Arte and Coleridge String Quartets, the 20th Century Consort and the Black Earth Percussion Group. Active as a jazz and classical pianist, he has also been soloist with the Canton Symphony, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Pops, Suburban Symphony, CIM Orchestra, CIM Woodwind Ensemble, Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony and the Case Jazz Band. He performed in a professional two-piano team, the Fine Arts Duo, from 1980 until 1990.

Larry Hunsicker

Larry Hunsicker attended Florida Technological University, now UCF, from September 1976 to July 1979 as a Double Bass performance major. He was a Navy musician for four years starting in 1968. Free-lancing in Akron after his discharge before moving to Orlando, Florida to work at Disney World from 1974-1988. He also studied bass at FTU during that time. He has worked with the Don Lamond big band and backed Nancy Martinez, Totie Fields, Shields and Yarnell and Tommy Edwards. He played pops concerts with the Florida Symphony Orchestra, and he did recordings for Tupperware and local Orlando commercials. He has played with The Swing Machine, NEOJO big band and the Akron Pops Orchestra; and he is currently subbing with the Cleveland TOPS big band. He is also currently playing with the Stow Orchestra, Gene Fiocca Group and the Nice Jazz Trio.

Thomas Olson

Thomas Olson, Classical and eclectic guitarist who started playing classical guitar in high school in Twinsburg, Ohio. He was primarily a rock and folk guitarist, and also dabbled in jazz fusion. He attended The University of Akron and earned a Bachelor's degree in Music at the Firestone Conservatory. He later move to Cleveland to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He briefly toured on the Ohio Arts Councils Ohio Touring Artist program. In the late 80s, he built a teaching studio in Cleveland, Ohio, Shaker Square area. He has played at many venues in the Cleveland and Akron area. He is the guitarist in the band Blue Spruce Cats. Olson currently teaches at the Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood, Ohio.

Alan Petersen

Alan received his degree from Kent State University with post-graduate work completed at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Cleveland State University. For twenty-eight years, he served as a High School Music Director and also led the male vocal ensemble Quartific. He is a vibraphone specialist in large and small groups performing at Blossom Music Center, Playhouse Square, WEWS Television, Back Center For The Arts, NightTown, and many other locations. He is an experienced piano technician, church music director, and music group performance tour consultant.

Sean Snapp

Sean Snapp is a freelance flutist in the Cleveland area, where her serves as principal flute with the Opera Circle Orchestra and second flute with the Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as maintaining a private teaching studio. Sean is also interested in the connection between music and medicine and has recently completed an internship in music therapy at the MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute of Ohio as the final step towards becoming a board certified in music therapy. Sean holds bachelor's and master's degrees in performance from the Cleveland institute of Music, where he studied with Joshua Smith and Mary Kay Fink.

Joshua Stauffer

Joshua Stauffer, Guitarist who enjoys a diverse career performing classical, jazz, and improvised music. He is a founding member and executive director of Time Canvas, a Cleveland-based trio performing new, early, and improvised music. He also is a member of the new music ensemble Five One Experimental Orchestra. In addition to his work with various ensembles, Joshua performs extensively as a freelance guitarist throughout northeast Ohio. He is currently a student of Jason Vieaux at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he is pursuing a Masters of Music. He graduated with honors from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a bachelor’s degree in jazz performance. He has performed throughout the Northeastern United States, in both Asia and Europe, and has worked on cruise ships in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. He has also performed live on the Cleveland radio station WCLV. Joshua holds a faculty position at the Aurora School of Music, and lives in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife, violinist Chiara Fasani.

Susan Strasek

Susan Strasek is a soloist, chamber musician, and freelance harpist. She is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music where she earned her Bachelor's of Music Degree in Harp Performance. Susan completed additional studies at the Salzedo School Summer Harp Colony of America. Performances with various orchestras including the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony, and The Cleveland Orchestra. She served as Principal harp for both Lyric Opera Cleveland and the Youngstown Symphony. Guest appearances include the Arkansas Opera Theater and the Metropolitan Opera. Susan has performed under such notable conductors as Louis Lane, Mathias Bamert, James Levine, and Lorin Maazel. Her credits include twenty-three years as Principal Harp for Blossom Music Center's Blossom Festival Concert Band and their Special Attractions. She has also been a member of the Playhouse Square Orchestra in Cleveland, Ohio. Not limited exclusively to classical repertoire, Susan has performed diverse styles with well known artists including Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Julie Andrews, Burt Bacharach, Aretha Franklin, Perry Como, Henry Mancini, Rosemary Clooney, David Sanborn, Barry Manilow, Linda Ronstadt, and Mannheim Steamroller. She was featured with the international Irish Group, The Chieftains. Susan served as a harp teacher in the Preparatory Department of the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is a protege of Alice Chalifoux.

Doug Wood

Doug Wood has been composing original guitar music for over 25 years. His songs combine elements of New Age, Jazz, Classical, and Folk music into a diverse blend of instrumental music. He has performed his music for audiences throughout the country at hundreds of theaters, festivals, and colleges. He has 5 CDs to his credit, which have been featured on over 700 radio stations nationwide. Locally, Doug has performed live on the PBS show "Applause," and he's been featured on Channels 3, 8, and 19. From 2010-2011, Doug was asked to play guitar for the Nashville-based band Eclectica, which featured 5X Grammy-winning drummer Roy "Futureman" Wooten, from Bela Fleck & The Flecktones. Doug enjoys performing for the patients and patrons of the Clinic. He performs solo, or with members of his trio "Cellocentric."

Performing Arts Program Application


Dear Performing Artist,

Thank you for your interest in providing performing arts for our patients, family members, visitors, and employees. All individuals seeking consideration for participation in the Performing Arts Program should complete the application form. You will be contacted only if the Performing Arts Program wishes to engage in a performance.

Complete Performing Arts Program Application