Tuacahn Team


Katie Higbee, Academy Director Musical Theatre (TCA)
Katie made her performing debut at 7 years old in The Music Man (unless you count the Sunday evening concerts on the fire place hearth). She participated in musical theater consistently all through her childhood, studied dance and gymnastics, and started voice lessons at 14. She attended BYU majoring in Music Dance Theater and has performed in community and professional theaters throughout Utah and California. Katie discovered early on in her career that she had a knack for teaching and choreographing. Katie has choreographed for numerous high schools and junior high schools, as well as community and professional theatre companies throughout the west. She has also taught dance and choreographed for singing groups at The Academy of Ballet, Encore and Center Stage, where she directed all of the vocal companies from 1997-2000. Katie has choreographed for Lagoon under the direction of Mark Huffman and has also had the opportunity to be on production teams for large events like the Pioneer Sesquicentennial Celebration at the LaVell Edwards Stadium and the Newport Beach Temple Youth Celebration featuring 4,000 youth from 16 different Southern California LDS Stakes. Katie’s students have gone on to star in feature films, perform in lead roles on Broadway, in National Broadway tours, and in professional theaters all over the world as well as on TV’s Dancing With the Stars, So you think you can Dance, and Dance Wars. Katie has also used her talents to serve her community and church as Stake Arts Council Chair an starting an Arts Council in Saratoga Springs Utah. Katie thrives on helping students grow as artists and people and finds great joy in their accomplishments – both personal and professional.

Mimi Knell, MDT Academy Director (TCA)
Mimi has her BFA from BYU where she majored in the Music Dance Theater program. During her time at BYU she performed as a Young Ambassador as well as performed in many musicals and plays. Her favorite role she played at BYU was Jo, in Little Women. Mimi has continued her performing career at places such as Tuacahn (2006 summer), Hale Center Theater Orem, SGMT, Brighams Playhouse, and Hurricane theatrical company where her some of her favorite roles have been, Kathy Seldon in “Singing in the Rain” Janet Vandegraff in “The Drowsy Chaperone” and Lily in “The Secret Garden”. As well as performing, she enjoys choreographing and teaching voice lessons. She has taught voice for over4 years and has choreographed many Musicals at High schools, community theaters and professional companies. Mimi has learned many things from Music Dance Theater and it not only holds a special place in heart but she truly believes it can change lives. She is excited to work with C.O.P.A. and do just that.


Annie Lewis, MDT Voice Faculty (TCA)
Bio coming soon…

Tamera Merkley, MDT Faculty (TCA)
Tamera has a lifetime of performance experience in Music, Theatre, and Dance. She has performed in over 50 stage productions, on multiple dance companies, as well as singing in venues stretching from Utah to New York City. Tamera received a full ride performance scholarship to Western Wyoming College for Musical Theatre and also attended Utah Valley University for Modern Dance. She has been teaching studio dance for 7 years and private voice for 4 years. She has directed and choreographed multiple Southern Utah theatre productions, including her turn as director and choreographer of Forever Plaid at Brigham’s Playhouse. Tamera has also enjoyed teaching and choreographing many children’s theatre camps in Wyoming, Utah County and St George. Favorite performing roles include Jane in Jane Eyre, Christine Colgate in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Marguerite in The Scarlet Pimpernel. Tamera recently returned to Southern Utah from her last few years of performing in New York City and is thrilled to join the COPA team! She is excited to share her passion for Music Dance Theatre with the next generation of performing artists.

Brayden Morgan, MDT Choreo Faculty (TCA)
Bio coming soon…

Whitney Morgan, MDT Choreo Faculty (TCA)
Bio coming soon…

Pam Osorio, MDT Faculty (TCA)
Pam Osorio has been teaching vocals for over thirty years. She is very experienced in the industry as she owned and operated Showtime Junction USA in Utah, Northern &Southern California and Florida. Her students included Mindy Smoot and Katie Farnsworth who now operate COPA.She has trained hundreds of vocalists and several used their skills to perform on Broadway and Disney. Pam loves to participate in the teaching of students and watching them grow and progress as they develop self-esteem. She is the mother of 5 successful children and believes there is nothing more important than involving your children in worthwhile instruction so they can find their passion.

Brittani Terry, MDT Faculty (TCA)
Brittani returns home to St. George after living in Manti for 11 years. In Manti, Brittani founded Manti Music & Dance, a children’s performing arts company, where she taught classes in musical theatre, jazz, ballet, tap, and voice. Under Brittani’s direction, students from Manti Music and Dance have been accepted into BYUs MDT and Dance programs as freshmen, as well as performed on BYUs prestigious Folk dance team. While in Manti, Brittani also was the choreographer for Manti High Schools musical theater productions, which included Juanito Bandito, Happy Days, Singing in the Rain, Cinderella, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Most recently she was asked to choreograph for the Mormon Miracle Pageant. Brittani started performing when she was five years old and has never stopped. She was one of the original 7 cast members of Twistin’ the Night Away. Other shows include, Lost on Route 66, It’s Showtime, and Christmas Spectacular all at the Bumbleberry Theater in Zion National Park. Brittani has an Associate of Science degree with an emphasis in Music from Dixie State University and has taken several workshops with instructors from Juilliard, Broadway Dance, Joffrey Ballet, and Odyssey Dance. She is married to Joshua Terry who says he is “married to a musical”. Brittani and Josh have five daughters all who love to sing and dance and provide the ensemble for Brittani’s “musical” called life.