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Talented Music

The Talented Music Program strives to foster the student’s ability to achieve personal goals in music as developed between teacher, student, and parent.  The program aims to develop the student’s recognition, understanding, and application of music theory in relation to, and in the performance of, his or her chosen instrument.  Students will explore concepts of harmony, as well as composition and arranging, improvisation, ear training, melodic dictation, transcription, electronic media and recording, music history and culture, and marketing in the music industry.


Talented Music Faculty


Timothy McFatter
graduated from the University of New Orleans with a B. A. in music with a concentration in jazz performance. He also studied music composition at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He has performed at numerous festivals and concert venues around the world and recorded or performed with many artists including Zac Brown Band, Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck, CeeLo Green, Mark Ronson, Mystikal, Earth Wind & Fire, Kid Rock and Dr. John. Previously, Timothy served as an assistant instructor at the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Prior to teaching in Lafayette Parish, Mr. McFatter taught in St. John the Baptist Parish. 


Christopher French graduated from the University of Louisiana with B.A. degrees in Music Media and Jazz Studies and also earned a performance certification from the Berklee College of Music. Mr. French has performed in many international festivals and competitions, including: the Hollywood Bowl, the Heineken Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, and South by Southwest, City Stages, and DCI (Phantom Regiment). Mr. French has published two music method books and has performed on numerous album recordings, television features, and radio broadcasts with world class musicians such as Sonny Landreth, Jimmy Buffett, Stanton Moore, Marcia Ball, Marc Broussard, Wayne Toups, Roddie Romero, The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, and many others. Mr. French also serves as the music director for the Acadiana School of the Arts and as the Youth Programs Coordinator for the Tipitina’s Foundation.


Timothy Gaffga
studied String Education at Loyola University in New Orleans. He is also a registered Suzuki instructor.   For over ten years, he served as orchestra director of elementary, middle and high school programs in Nevada and Virginia. During that time, Mr. Gaffga performed in semi-professional and regional orchestras including the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Arlington Philharmonic and the Washington Conservatory Orchestra. Mr. Gaffga attends national music educator conferences, and currently performs with the Acadiana Symphony, the Lake Charles Symphony and the Rapides Symphony.


Paul Tassin earned two Bachelor of Music degrees with concentrations in piano pedagogy and jazz studies/percussion from McNeese State University in Lake Charles. He completed a Masters of Music in jazz/piano from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Mr. Tassin is a freelance musician and has performed and recorded across the state and regionally. His accomplishments have been noted in Downbeat and Percussive Notes publications. He also has considerable experience as a private music instructor, music director, and choir director working with both adults and children. Prior to teaching in Lafayette parish, Mr. Tassin taught in Iberia, Calcasieu, St. Martin, Evangeline, Vermillion and Natchitoches parishes.


Chad Viator graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a B.A. in music with concentrations in classical guitar performance and electronic media.  Mr. Viator has participated in various guitar competitions and won the Pine Belt Guitar Symposium and Lamson Guitar competition in 1998.  Mr. Viator continues to travel across the United States and abroad as a rock/jazz/blues guitarist performing in many festivals. He has shared the stage with accomplished musicians such as Sonny Landreth, Jimmy Buffett, Buckwheat Zydeco, Michael Doucet, Roddie Romero and others.  He is currently directing several guitar ensembles at Lafayette High School and teaching guitar at the Acadiana School of the Arts. In addition to teaching and performing, Mr. Viator has published a method book for guitar and founded the Louisiana Guitar Society.