Instructors

Urmi Batavia

Urmi Batavia – Owner and Founder of Batavia Music Studios

Batavia Studios was founded by Urmi Batavia, who began teaching music out of her home in 2001. In 2003, she opened the studio to offer more students the opportunity to learn what she loves to teach.

Urmi has been playing the piano since she was 4 years old and started playing violin at age 8. She went on to become a respiratory therapist, but her passion was always in music. She loves working with all the families she gets to teach, and she especially loves that she can share her passion for music with them.

In 2013, Urmi opened Batavia Musical Theater School, which has grown Batavia Studios into a successful studio for musical theater education and production. In 2018, Batavia Art Studios was added as an extension of the studios’ mission of providing young artists with opportunities to explore their creative sides. Batavia Dance Studios opened in 2022, offering dance classes for all ages and skill levels.

Kimberly Baney

Kimberly Baney – Music Instructor

Kimberly Baney has been a music teacher for 22 years. She has had the pleasure of teaching students of every age level from Pre-K through college students. She is a professional pianist and oboist and specializes in piano, woodwind, and vocal music. She is a proud mom to 9 children and in addition to teaching at Batavia Studios is also employed as a music teacher in the Pine Richland school district.

Antonia Botti-Lodovico

Antonia Botti-Lodovico – Voice Instructor, Piano Instructor, Director of Senior and Junior Musical Theater Programs

Lyric Mezzo-Soprano Antonia Botti-Lodovico has been teaching voice and piano with Batavia Studios since 2014. Along with Urmi Batavia, she built Batavia Studio’s Musical Theater Program in 2015. In 2018, they welcomed Susie Sant as choreographer and together, the three have continued to build an education-based performance program.

She has served as Director and Music Director for eighteen shows with Batavia Studios including The Wizard of Oz Young Performer’s Edition (2022), The Little Mermaid (2022), The Addams Family(2021), Batavia Follies(2021), Lion King Jr. (2021), Annie Jr. (2021), The Show Must Go Online (2020) Matilda(2019), Peter Pan Jr.(2019), Beauty and the Beast Jr.(2018), Once Upon A Mattress(2018), James and the Giant Peach Jr.(2017), Kids on Broadway(2016), Into the Woods Jr.(2016), Aladdin Jr.(2015), The Little Mermaid Jr.(2015) and the upcoming Once Upon a Mattress (2023) and Matilda Jr. (2023).

As a performer, Ms. Botti-Lodovico is a Resident Artist Alumna with Pittsburgh Opera. Most recently in the 2019-2020 season she has been seen on stage as Zerlina in Kristine McIntyre’s Film Noir production of Don Giovanni, Ruggiero in Alcina, and DeeDee Reyes in The Last American Hammer where the Wall Street Journal noted her “rich mezzo [bringing] a grounded practicality” to her character while Pittsburgh in the Round has noted her as a “versatile mezzo-soprano…a consummate artist who always makes an excellent impression.” In the 2018-2019 season with Pittsburgh Opera Ms. Botti-Lodovico performed the role of Idamante in afterWARrds: Mozart’s Idomeneo Reimagined with a “smooth, appealingly warm mezzo-soprano voice” (Pittsburgh in the Round). In 2018 she sang the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly as well as a performance of Hansel in Pittsburgh Opera’s Hansel and Gretel. Ms. Botti-Lodovico was a Young Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera in the summers of 2016 and 2017 where she performed the role of Rosette in their Emmy Award winning production of Manon and covered the role of Petra in A Little Night Music. As a crossover artist Ms. Botti-Lodovico performed the role of Franca in The Light In The Piazza with Front Porch Theatricals in 2015 and was described as having a “voice that could fuel a small city” (Pittsburgh City Paper).

As a teacher, Ms. Botti-Lodovico has current and former students at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School as well as top collegiate musical theater programs. She greatly values teaching her students how to find their own unique voices through structure-based technique and connection to the music to make singing not only more enjoyable for her students, but more open, free, and easy. She is proficient in teaching all styles of voice to all age ranges including Musical Theater Crossover/Belt/Mix, Classical, Jazz, and Pop. She also specializes in Audition Techniques for students looking to further their studies at Performing Arts Schools and in other performance spaces.

As a piano instructor, Ms. Botti-Lodovico teaches students of all levels; beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

She currently is the Stage Director and Music Director for Batavia’s Senior and Junior Musical Theater Programs. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Ms. Botti-Lodovico holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Roosevelt University, Chicago College of the Performing Arts.

Dawn Dilliott

Dawn Dilliott – Music Instructor

My name is Dawn Dilliott and I have a degree in music from IUP. My specialty is Strings, Voice, and Woodwinds. I have been teaching private lessons for 6 years and have taught for Summer camps and after school programs. My favorite instrument to play is my Violin.

Holly Puett

Holly Puett – Music Instructor

Holly is a veteran piano teacher, for years she doesn’t care to count! With a degree in piano from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, she went on to a Master of Music in Choral Conducting at the University of Minnesota. Her experience includes private piano lessons, group piano lessons, and conducting stints at the University of Wisconsin Center in Marshfield, WI; Vivace select, prize-winning children’s choir; various church gigs and currently most recently, Music Director at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Saxonburg. She loves children and loves music, and loves to bring children and music together!

Mary Grace Nichol

Mary Grace Nichol – Art Instructor

Mary Grace Nichol is an artist, art teacher, and muralist. She started her love of art at a very young age and began dabbling in oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolor, drawing and colored pencils, scratchboard and more.
She earned the prestigious student of the year award from the Mahoning County Joint Vocational School Commercial Arts Program and a partial scholarship to attend the Art Institutes of Art Programs. Following her education, she worked as a freelance illustrator and muralist before deciding to focus more of her energies on teaching paint parties and private students.

Her goal is to share her love of art with all children through her unique style of instruction. She enjoys seeing how each student develops their own unique style and ability to express themselves through various mediums such as pencils, watercolors, or acrylic paints.

Elliott Ratliff

Elliott Ratliff – Music Instructor

Elliott Ratliff is a native of Pittsburgh, PA and has dedicated his life to music. He received his Bachelor’s in Music Education and Trombone Performance from Edinboro University of PA. He received his Master’s degree in Music Education from New Jersey City University.

For years, he has been a music teacher in different private schools as well as teaching private music lessons in Brass, Strings, Woodwinds, Beginning and Intermediate piano, music composition, and singer-songwriting in various music stores/studios all over Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. He is also the Brass instructor for the Steel City Drum and Bugle Corp and a music teacher for Chatham University Music and Arts Summer Day Camp. He is a member and elected delegate/representative of the Pittsburgh Musicians Union Local 60-471 and a Vice President of the Eastern Conference for the American Federation of Musicians of the US and Canada. As a professional trombonist, he has performed with Harold Betters, Roger Humphries, and Nelson Harrison. He has also performed with various jazz groups like the Bone Forum Big Band and the Jazz in Your Face Big Band in Johnstown, Pa. He is also the band leader/booking manager of the SteelCity Jazz Katts jazz ensemble. He has also performed on the Netflix TV show Archive 81.
He lives by the moto, “Music is not what I do……….It’s who I am.”

Susie Sant

Susie Sant – Musical Theatre Choreographer/Assistant Director

Susie started performing in musicals at the age of 10.  Her love of theater and dance continued all the way through college where she performed in musicals, assisted behind the scenes, and taught dance.  She also received a minor in musical theater dance from Clarion University.  Susie started working at Batavia Studios in 2019 as a choreographer and assistant director thanks to her daughter also sharing her love for the stage.  She loves working with children to help them fall in love with dance and the arts.  Susie thinks the kids are amazing at what they are able to produce at such a young age.

Bekah Sedwick

Bekah Sedwick – Dance Instructor

Bekah Sedwick is thrilled to join the staff at Batavia Studios in the fall of 2022 as a dance instructor. She is a lifelong dancer and lover of theater. From the age of 5, she began studying tap and went on to study ballet, jazz, pointe, and modern at a variety of schools including the Steel City Academy of Dance, Point Park University, the Pittsburgh CLO, and the Dance Alloy.

She holds a degree in Human Resources Management and works in the Professional Development field, but continues to remain active in the artistic community.

Bekah has proudly filled the role of dance captain for her past five Actors and Artists of Fayette County shows including The Hunchback of Notre Dame, All Shook Up, A Christmas Story, Mamma Mia, and Grease. She has performed in a variety of theaters around the Pittsburgh area including South Park Theater, Stage 62, The Grande Theatre, Apple Hill Playhouse, and CCAC South Campus Theater.

In addition to stage experience, Bekah has taught musical theatre workshops, instructed youth ballet and jazz classes, choreographed for various dance showcases and productions (including Peter Pan Jr. and Elf the Musical), and has taught two semesters of introductory jazz at Carnegie Mellon University. She couldn’t be more excited to share her passion for dance with the incoming students!

Todd Seitz

Todd Seitz – Music Instructor

Todd Seitz is a pro-level guitarist and instructor of over ten years. He has worked at numerous studios in both Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. Formerly, Todd was the Music Director at the School of Rock in Wexford, PA. Much of his approach comes from the song-first method, deriving music theory and technique from songs you can relate to.
 
Specializations include neo-classical, shred, and progressive lead guitar techniques. Todd graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in 2009. At Berklee, he studied under many of the best guitar instructors in the country, including renowned guitar virtuoso Joe Stump. Todd’s former recording project, Stygia, featured many talented and well-known musicians from the metal and rock scene, including Mike Mangini (Dream Theater), Vitalij Kuprij (TSO), Chris McCarvill (Dokken), and Mike Vescera (Obsession, Former Loudness, and Yngwie Malmsteen). He has also performed locally with several Pittsburgh bands opening for Devin Townsend, Otep, and Hawthorne Heights.
 
Recent feats include recording a guest solo on Cellador’s “Off the Grid’ album in 2017 and in 2018, recording a guest solo alongside Michael Angelo Batio (Nitro) and Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake, TSO) in Portraits by Candlight’s track ‘Timeless Infinity’. Genres and styles covered in lessons can include Acoustic, Rock, Beginner Jazz, Metal, Pop, Prog, and Neo-Classical music.

Cassidy Spirk

Cassidy Spirk – Dance Instructor

Cassidy Spirk, originally from Cranberry Township, recently spent the past four years earning her BFA in Dance with a Minor in Theatre Arts in Rockford, IL. During her time there, she taught dance for three years at The Studio in Rockford, where she choreographed Madagascar Jr, Descendants, and Elf The Musical. Cassidy performed in The Studio’s productions of Newsies as Katherine, Cyrano De Burger Shack as Roxanne, and in their original production of The Girls of Summer as Georgie. Cassidy has seven years of experience in ballet, tap, and jazz, along with four years of training in modern dance. She also studied Laban Movement Techniques as part of her undergraduate studies along with pedagogy, and numerous psychology and child development courses. Cassidy’s goal is to encourage movement as a creative outlet and learning tool for her students to use. She is eager to provide a safe and non- competitive environment that is welcoming to everyone.

Paul Stamegna

Paul Stamegna – Music and Theater Instructor, Adult and Beginner Musical Theater Program Director

Paul began studying percussion and jazz in elementary school and started classical voice and music theater soon after. He earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Applied Voice with Distinction from the University of Delaware in 2009 and was awarded the Theodore Presser Foundation Scholarship for excellence in academics and music. There, he sang lead roles in the Opera Workshop program, participated in the steel drum and percussion ensembles, and founded the student improv comedy troupe, Riot Act, which has been active for over a decade.

Following school, Paul began directing musicals and facilitating improv workshops for local schools and youth programs in Greater Philadelphia. He worked for Apple as a creative software trainer, using their method of discovery-based learning to teach apps like GarageBand and Final Cut Pro. He performed with many groups and organizations in the area including the Philadelphia Pan Stars Steel Drum Orchestra, The Brandywiners, The Mastersingers of Wilmington, and the Newark Symphony Orchestra. He was a featured performer in the Philly Podcast Festival, competed in Philly’s Phunniest at Helium Comedy Club, and performed sketch and improv comedy at Philly Improv Theater and Good Good Comedy Theatre.

As a freelancer, he edits and produces original music, audio, video, and voiceover.

At Batavia Studios, Paul teaches private voice, percussion, and directs the Adult and Beginner Musical Theater Programs. He helps his students develop healthy techniques, excellent practice habits, and an understanding of music theory by studying the repertoire they are most passionate about. As performers, he challenges them to rely on these skills to make confident choices and informed decisions.

Donna Weber

Donna Weber – Musical Theater Choreographer / Assistant Director

Donna has 45 years dance experience and has appeared in over 500 performances on stage, in stadiums, TV, and film.  Her extensive training includes being Principal Dancer with the East Coast Dance Theatre under Erika Rappa (Stuttgart Ballet), Dartmouth College Dance Ensemble under Pepe and Vickie deChiazza (Royal Ballet), Stanford University under Kristine Elliot (ABT), Zohar Dance Company under Ehud Krauss (Joffrey).  Most recently she has performed with PBT at the Benedum, Point Park University, and Batavia’s very own Adult Musical Program. 

Donna’s musical theatre roles have included Anita in West Side Story, Pirate King in Penzance, Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun, Donna in Mamma Mia, and Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast.  She has been the Choreographer for Aladdin, Frozen, Mamma Mia, and currently Beauty and the Beast.  Past choreography experience includes pieces and productions for Zohar Dance Ensemble, Melbourne Dance Ensemble, Dartmouth College, and MTV.   She has taught ballet, tap, and jazz to ages 3 – 60+.

Donna’s passion is arts and education.  In addition to her role as Choreographer, she serves her community on several Boards and Committees including for PBT, Quantum Theatre, Dartmouth College, and runs the Chess Club program at St. Kilian Parish School.  

Jovana Zaremba

Jovana Zaremba – Full-Lyric Spinto Soprano

Jovana Zaremba, Full-Lyric Spinto Soprano, has been teaching voice and piano at Batavia Studios since 2015. Jovana completed her Master’s Degree in voice performance at Duquesne University and currently studies with Sari Gruber. Most recently, Jovana has been seen singing the soprano solos for Masterworks Chorale’s performance of Mozart’s Coronation Mass December 2017. She also enjoys traveling and performing with the local Serbian women’s group, Carica Milica.
 
Originally from St. Petersburg, Florida, Jovana earned her Bachelor’s Degree in music at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. Since moving to Pittsburgh, Jovana completed her MM, has been teaching a growing studio, and also working in early childhood development. Jovana loves teaching and participating in the Batavia musical productions, as well as actively performing.