Dolores Ciavola, piano

Dolores Ciavola, owner/Director of St Cecilia has lived and breathed music all her life. She began her studies at the Philadelphia Musical Academy studying with Director Allison Drake. Professor Drake was a student of Madame Olga Samaroff who was herself a student of Theodore Leschetitsky. The line continues on up through Carl Czerny all the way up to the incomparable Ludwig van Beethoven. Dolores earned her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance as well as her Bachelor of Music Education at the Philadelphia Musical Academy graduating Summa cum Laude.


She then began teaching in the Conservatory Division at the Philadelphia Musical Academy while earning her Master of Arts degree in Piano Performance at New York University studying with concert artist Eugene List. She has also studied privately with Philadelphia concert pianist Susan Starr.


Dolores has performed at Carnegie Recital Hall and in many recitals in the Philadelphia area. She has also been Music Director/pianist for several Musical Theater productions. She has been accepted into the PhD program at NYU but her heavy teaching schedule has forced her to put that on hold. 

Dolores has adjudicated at the Immaculata Piano Competition and later developed a competition of her own: the Upper Darby Piano Competition, which ran for seven years and attracted students from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The Competition has been renamed the St Cecilia Piano Competition and is now being held right in the school as part of the yearly evaluations. 

Dolores has done extensive work with handicapped and emotionally challenged students. 

She is proud to carry on her musical heritage.  

Jim Hensley, Guitar

We are excited to welcome the newest member of our family, Guitar teacher Jim Hensley. 

We are especially proud because Jim was one of Dolores'  students when he was in college. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the Philadelphia Musical Academy. He's studied Classical Guitar with Jack Leonard, Jazz Guitar with Ed Flanagan, Joe Federico and Steve Giordano. He also has had Suzuki training with Bill Kossler and Finger Style Master Classes with Tommy Emmanuel, Stephen Bennett, Pete Huttlinger, John Goldie and Clive Carroll. 

He's studied Electric Bass with Bill Zinno and Paul Kleinfelter, Classical and Jazz Piano with Dolores Ciavola, Maxine Jaffe, Tom Magill, Wayne Wickham and Mark Valenti. Jim has also studied voice with Caroline Dengler, Russell Faith and James Longacre. In addition to all this, Jim has done Barbershop Vocal Singing with the Mainliners.

Jim has taught at Settlement School, Swarthmore Music, Suburban Music, DeFelice, Holy Family, Nichol's Music and Todaro's Music. 

With this extensive background he has a huge "bag of tools" to fit his teaching to each student's needs. He has taught all ages from 3 to senior and has worked with the blind and people with learning disabilities. 

We are proud to welcome him to our Faculty.


Tabatha Treadway

We are more than delighted to welcome Tabatha Treadway to our St Cecilia family. She brings many talents and will be teaching Art, Clarinet and Creative Writing.

Tabatha Treadway, a professional realism artist holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State University in English and a Minor in American History.

“Art is very personal. It speaks to one’s personal style. So why not customize your own painting? Art can be anything and everything is art.” These are the words that Tabatha lives by when she teaches, especially when she teaches how to paint glass. “Painting glass and liquids are my specialty. The reason is because glass is so easily broken and liquid is so easily changed. They are the most ephemeral objects to possess, but can be turned timeless when translated into art.

As one of her students, this is what you will be learning how to do along with many other art skills. You will be learning how to capture anything and everything you see or hold dear without the use of a camera. To study every color that an object is made of, the refractions of light it throws back, the shadows it casts. The “it” or object might change per lesson, but the real lesson will not. The real lesson is that everything is art when done by your own hand.

After taking one class, mundane objects will start to look like art, even trash in the street will began to transform into its basic colors and mixed paints. “In this world we take the beautiful for granted and the imperfect for worthless, but when you labor over something all becomes beautiful.”

Tabatha has also been playing the clarinet for fifteen years, and will also teach how to paint like the old masters. “What better way to learn history, then to paint one of Leonardo da Vinci works of art, or truly understand the madness of Vincent van Gogh as your brush swirls through The Starry Night.”

If you would like to view some of her completed art works, check out her website here: http://tabmagic.wixsite.com/tabatha-treadway