Our Team

Dr. Robert T. Townsend

Founder/Artistic Director
Robert T. Townsend is a professor in the School of Educational Leadership at Indiana Wesleyan University. He is also a musician and composer/arranger. Dr. Townsend’s duties include teaching, mentoring and supervising pre-service teachers in education and graduate students. His teaching credentials are from Western Michigan University where he majored in music and received the Michigan All Grade license in music and all subjects’ endorsement for grades 7 and 8. After moving to the Indianapolis area, he attended Indiana University-Bloomington and completed the Master of Music Education degree.

Karome Vanessa Walker

Dance Facilitator
Karome Walker began her dance and choreography training at Concord High School, Charleston, SC. Throughout her years of choreographing, traveling, and competing with the dance team association she discovered her passion for dance. Ms. Walker completed her Bachelors of Science degree in Dance Performance and Family Consumer Science. Her high levels of dance training consist of styles in ballet, jazz, modern, tap, hip-hop, liturgical, contemporary and lyrical. During her college years she performed in over 15 Ball State Dance Theatre productions, choreographed over 25 dance masterpieces and created 12 of her own productions and was voted Best Dancer by her peers.

Mark Duerson

Vocal Facilitator
Mark Duerson is a singer, vocal coach, and keyboardist specializing in various genres of choral and piano music. Mark’s musical endeavors includes performing as a vocal soloist, arranging music, conducting, teaching and administrating. A graduate of Broad Ripple High School, Mark studied at Vincennes University focusing on music education with a concentration in vocal and choral music. He studied with Rosemary Bigbee and Nate Trudell at Broad Ripple. At the university, Mark studied with Dr. Dan Miller and Sarah Miller. He has worked with musical ensembles throughout the area including those musical ensembles at Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Amazing Grace Christian

Tiffany Gilliam

Drama Facilitator
Tiffany Gilliam is a professional vocalist and actress born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. She is a graduate of Arsenal Technical High School and Indiana University, where she earned her B.S. in Health Sciences Education. While Tiffany’s journey into theater is not a conventional one, she is very active in the local theater community and is a member of Actor’s Equity Association. She has worked in several theatre companies in the city including, The Indiana Repertory Theatre, Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, Footlite Theatre as well as The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Her recent productions include Symphony on the Prairie’s “Broadway Under the Stars,” Booth Tarkington Civic Theater’s “The Color Purple,” Beef and Board’s, “Beehive,” IRT’s, “The Watsons Go To Birmingham,” and “Elephant and Piggie, “We’re in a Play.” Tiffany can also be seen in several commercials and has had the pleasure of working in film with local independent filmmakers. Tiffany is a wife and mother to 3 children. She enjoys teaching and working with young people to help them realize that their dreams and goals are within their reach.

Erin Gardiner

Instrumental Facilitator
Erin Gardiner is a violinist and music educator from Toledo, Ohio. While here, she had her own private violin studio with students ages 5-16, while studying violin with her own teacher, former professor at Bowling Green State University Vasile Beluska. She had many leadership experiences here, and in 2016 helped to develop a student-led chamber ensemble specializing in performances with some of her colleagues across the northwest OH region, the Toledo Symphony Youth Ensemble. For her undergraduate studies, Erin pursued a double major in music education and violin performance at Butler University in Indianapolis. While here, she studied violin with Professor Larry Shapiro and Dr. Lisa & Davis Brooks. Erin performed in various masterclasses for violin including classes with grammy-nomimated solo violinist Andres Cardenes, as well as composer and violinist Leslie Shank. She participated in many different ensembles including string quartets, modern music groups, and a student-led chamber orchestra. Erin is also actively involved in Butler University’s Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Professor Richard Clark, where she has sat as Concertmaster. Currently, Erin teaches violin and viola through BCAS at Butler University, and works as a freelance musician for weddings and other formal events. Erin will graduate in her areas of study in May of 2023, and is excited to pursue music as a career.

Nia Townsend

Digital Media Coordinator
Nia Townsend is an educator in the MSD of Lawrence Township. In addition, she coaches high school volleyball. Townsend received her degree from Ball State University with a Bachelors in Elementary Education and a concentration in math. Nia has worked with a number of students all ages as an Orientation Leader, Resident Assistant, CO-Director of Ball State University Dance Marathon's Morale Team, and practicum teacher of elementary and middle school aged students. Townsend also has six years of media and digital production experience in various venues including churches, schools and community facilities. Nia Townsend is also a former TPAC student and has now assumed the role of Digital Media Coordinator for The Performing Arts Conservatory, Inc. Nia resides in Indianapolis, IN.