Community Partnerships

Making Music Education Accessible to All!

Community Partnerships


Meet the Team of Faculty Artists and Administrators supporting our Community Partnership Programs!

Help your students build team and social skills by collaborating with classmates and making new friends through music. Faculty artists from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music direct ensemble students in choir, band, orchestra, jazz combos, rock bands, and chamber music. Programs include classroom instruction, rehearsal, and public performance opportunities.

 

Faculty Artists Administrators

Eliana Alcocer

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, Percussion Performance | University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Background

  • Joined the WCM team in 2020.
  • Instructs, collaborates, and performs in a variety of settings.
  • Teaches through Ravinia’s Reach, Teach, Play program.
  • Received the Percussive Arts Societies’ Ludwig Industries Scholarship.
  • Was a soloist for the 2018 Wisconsin Days of Percussion.
  • Was a featured recitalist for the BMO noon concert series at UW-Parkside.

Jena Bliss

Education

  • Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education – Lawrence University

Background

  • Joined the WCM team in 2023 
  • Gained a teaching license in General and Choral Music in 2021 
  • Has been teaching for 2 years in K-12 public education in a variety of subject areas, including General Music K4-5th Grade and Middle School Choir 
  • Developed Choral virtual learning tools during the 2020-21 school year 
  • Taught private and small group voice lessons from 2019-2021 
  • Roles performed include Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Giovanna in Rigoletto and a Street Singer in Bernstein’s Mass. 
  • Worked as a Choral Section Leader at Neenah Presbyterian Church from 2018-2021 
  • Worked as a Counselor at UW-Madison’s Summer Music Clinic in 2018 and 2022
  • Believes that a quality music education is a fundamental human right, as music allows us to connect with and understand ourselves and the world around us. 

Laura Blumer

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Music | Maranatha Baptist University
Level 1 Certification | Early Childhood Music and Movement Association
Nationally Certified Teacher of Music | Music Teachers National Association

 

Background

Why did you choose to work at WCM?

I loved the opportunity to teach private lessons, early childhood, and in local schools.

Describe a musical experience or teacher that had a positive impact on you.

I didn’t want to be a teacher until I met Dr. Rick Townsend who taught me during my freshman and sophomore years of college. He inspired me to start teaching after he demonstrated the impact we can have on our students’ lives and the lives of their families.

What year did you start working at WCM?

2023

Jennifer Rodriguez Burke

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Music Education | Ball State University
  • Master of Arts (in progress), Flute Performance | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Background

  • Spent the past 5+ years teaching woodwind sectionals, flute sectionals, and private flute lessons at a variety of schools in the greater Indianapolis area.
  • Worked as the Community Programs Assistant for Classical Music Indy 2018-2019 and as Assistant Education Coordinator for the Muncie Symphony Orchestra in Spring 2018.
  • Worked as an Education Intern for the Chicago based not-for-profit, Fifth House Ensemble, in 2017.
  • Acted as inaugural secretary for the Flute Guild at Ball State University in 2017.
  • Performed Density 21.5 in Summer 2017 at the Milwaukee Art Museum through the Fresh Inc. Festival.
  • Sings with her band EKRUTEAK.
  • Spends her summers working as Program Coordinator for Music for the Sake of Music, a music not-for-profit providing free lessons and music ensembles in Green Bay, WI.

Alec Burke

Education

B.S.  PreK – 12 Instrumental / General Music Education | Ball State University
M.M.  Trumpet Performance, Secondary Concentration in Chamber Music | UW-Milwaukee

 

Background

Why did you choose to work at WCM?

I chose to work at WCM to connect with the amazing and talented faculty, help enrich the experiences of music students through diverse program offerings, and get involved in the greater Milwaukee community.

Describe a musical experience or teacher that had a positive impact on you.

When I was in 6th grade, the Dallas Brass came to do a week long residency and side-by-side concert with our band program. Seeing these spectacular performers live and getting to interact with them on a personal level influenced my desire to pursue music as a career. I wanted to do what they did – bring accessible, high level musical performances to people of all backgrounds. Through my work with other non-profit organizations, performing and commissioning music by under-represented and living composers, and collaborating with artists of diverse backgrounds, I hope to continue giving back to my community through music.

What year did you start working at WCM?

2019

 

Website

www.alecburkemusic.com

Elise Cismesia

Education

Bachelor of Music, Vocal Performance | Eastman School of Music in Rochester New York

Background

  • An Illinois native, dynamic soprano and music educator Elise Cismesia has extensive knowledge and dexterity in opera, art song, and musical theater.
  • She is a versatile classically trained soprano with comprehensive performing experience throughout a vast milieu of works and genres from early to new music.
  • During her time at Eastman, she sang in the Eastman Treble Choir, Eastman Repertory Singers, and the Eastman Chorale under the baton’s of Dr. William Wiehart and Dr. Phillip Silvey, and she has studied in the studio of renowned Mezzo- soprano and pedagogue Kathryn Cowdrick.
  • In the Rochester community, Elise was the Choral Section Leader and Cantor at Church of the Ascension for three years.
  • Some highlights from Elise’s time performing with the Eastman Opera Theater include the roles of “Ms. Higgins/Chorus” in Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor and “Featured Ensemble/Chorus” in Sondheim’s Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
  • Notably, Elise performed in a filmed green-screened virtual production of Dominick Argento’s surrealist contemporary opera Postcard from Morocco singing the role of “Person with Old Luggage/Puppet #1/ Operetta Singer”.
  • In addition to her passion for singing, Elise is a committed educator having instructed voice and piano lessons at the Allegro Dance and Music Academy in Lemont Illinois.
  • She has a deep and strong enthusiasm to provide equitable, inclusive and accessible music education to all.
  • In addition to being on faculty at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Elise is a chorister in the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus.

Kathryn Craney-Welch

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, Music Therapy/Voice | University of Evansville, Evansville, IN
  • Current Board Certification Cycle, initiated 2021 | Certification Board of Music Therapy

Background

  • Currently serving as a home hospice music therapist.
  • Specializes in working with adults 18+ with memory impairments.
  • Provided music education to elementary students through WCM partnership.
  • University-level music therapy educator through classroom and fieldwork experiences.
  • Presenter for community-based groups on topics including music relaxation, music appreciation, and diagnosis-focused music therapy.

Marcya Daneille

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Voice Performance | Roosevelt University (Chicago Musical College)
  • Graduate Level Vocal Training | University of Iowa

Background

  • Joined the Vocal Arts faculty at the Conservatory in 2017.
  • Is a cross-genre singer that is classically trained, jazz influenced, and soul inspired.
  • Has taught private voice to students of all levels for thirty years, which includes more than a decade in New York.
  • Began her career singing career as a soprano and has sung with Lincoln Opera Chicago, the Lyric Theater of Illinois and the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee.
  • Has gradually transitioned from singing classical music exclusively to performing an eclectic repertoire of music.
  • Has performed alongside a diverse group of critically acclaimed artists such as Simon Estes, Wycliffe Gordon, BeBe Winans, Vanessa Williams, Laurel Masse and Gerald Levert.

Anna Desfor

Education

B.M.- University of Illinois at Chicago
M.M.- Stephen F. Austin State University

Background

Why did you choose to work at WCM?

I wanted to work with teachers and students that would push my own levels of creativity and musicality.

Describe a musical experience that had a positive impact on you:

While at UIC, Dr. Jose Riojas always took the time to connect with students and see everyone as an individual; this made him an incredible leader in front of ensembles and a trusted friend off the podium.

What year did you start working at WCM?

2023.

 

Megan Devine

Education

B.M Music Performance – Millikin University
M.A. Percussion Performance – Truman State University

Background

When did you start at WCM?

2023

Why did you choose WCM?

I’ve always wanted to teach music, and I love giving back to the community. The Conservatory seemed like the perfect place to do both!

Describe a musical experience that has had a positive impact on you?

My private lesson teacher through middle and high school is one of the best people I’ve ever met. He’s an amazing teacher, and makes sure to keep in touch with us even years after we left.

Deonte Ellis

Background

Born in Milwaukee, Wi, Deonte is a young up-and-coming percussionist setting an example for his peers and the next generation, by trailblazing the Milwaukee music scene.

Deonte currently teaches and is a part of a few ensembles and bands, all while maintaining his own business ventures.

Deonte has been most recently involved with the Milwaukee Bucks Drumline, coaches his high school drumline at Riverside, and is the drummer for bands “Nwa Na Agbe,” and “The Urbanites,” to name a few.

Adam Fisher

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Music Education | University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
  • Master of Music, Trumpet Performance | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Background

  • Joined the Conservatory faculty in 2017.
  • Plays with groups such as the Wisconsin and Milwaukee Philharmonics and the Lake County Symphony Orchestra.
  • Premiered new music with Present Music and DIY Chamber Ensemble.
  • Plays in the pit orchestras of dozens of musicals around Wisconsin.
  • Taught master classes throughout the Midwest.

Mauricio Franco

Education

B.M. – University of Houston

Background

Why did you choose to work at WCM?

I was excited to be a part of the musical community of Milwaukee and become a fellow of teaching artistry.

Describe a musical experience that had a positive impact on you:

My first college professor was and still is my greatest influence. He has a positivity that is unparalleled and will always prioritize the success of those he teaches, and even those he does not.

What year did you start working at WCM?

2023.

 

Danielle Gedemer

Education

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music, Vocal Performance | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Background

  • Joined the Conservatory faculty in December 2021.
  • Has taught singing in various forms since 2013.
  • Composes and co-directs an annual musical for the West Bend Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Has attended two National Association of Teacher of Singing conferences and completed the Estill Singing workshops.
  • Enjoys singing at St. Paul’s Episcopal and throughout the Milwaukee community.
  • Wrote a libretto for the Florentine Opera for Kids program.

Benjamin Haimann

Chair – Woodwinds, Brass & Percussion

Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree, Music Education, Music Performance | Ohio State University
  • Master’s Degree, Music Performance | University of South Carolina

Background

  • Began his musical studies at age nine, playing drum set and taking private percussion lessons.
  • Coached the percussion ensemble and spent time conducting the wind ensemble as a Teaching Assistant and Counselor for the Instrumental Music Program at The North Carolina Governor’s School East(summers of 2014-2015).
  • Was the Front Ensemble Instructor with the Grove City High School Marching Band, including a trip to the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California (2016-2017).
  • Received the prestigious Presser Foundation Scholarship while studying at Ohio State.
  • Worked as a Graduate Assistant for the University of South Carolina percussion studio and was the percussionist for the Spark Collective, a graduate quintet focusing on community engagement through music.
  • Won the concerto competition at the University of South Carolina in 2018 and performed Kevin Puts’ Marimba Concerto No. 1 with the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra in 2019.
  • Enjoys practicing marimba, making coffee, and hanging out with his dog, Lila.

Alec Henry

Education

  • Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance – Butler University
  • Master’s degree in Performance – University of Oklahoma (where he expanded upon his ever-growing musical repertoire with Doctor Anthony Stoops)
  • Alec’s first private teacher was Laura Snyder, a prominent bassist in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, with whom he studied in high school in Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • Studied under Professor David Murray, internationally renowned solo bassist and educator

Background

  • Joined WCM in 2023
  • Alec Henry is a multifaceted bassist and teacher
  • Born and raised in West Allis, Wisconsin, he is currently an instructor for the Connections program at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • He also maintains a private studio for various string students throughout Southeastern Wisconsin
  • Before settling down again in Milwaukee, Alec was the String Bass Graduate Assistant at the University of Oklahoma
  • He played in various local orchestras throughout the Midwest, serving as principal bass in both the Hendricks Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis
  • During his youth, Alec spent eight years with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • His Indiana summers were spent teaching for the various youth music camps led by the Butler Community Arts School on campus
  • Specifically, Alec specializes in the teaching and performance of 21st Century solo bass literature, euro-classical music, and modern jazz compositions on both the upright and electric bass.
  • In addition to his teaching at the Wisconsin Conservatory, Alec likes to stay involved with the string bass community by attending the biannual International Society of Bassists Conventions as well as volunteering with the Richard Davis Foundation for Young Bassists in Madison, Wisconsin

Kaisa Herrmann

Freya Irani

Background

Born in Albuquerque NM, Freya Irani began to play the violin at age 4 and the viola at the age of 13. Her string quartet at the New England Conservatory garnered recognition as a 2017-18 Honors Ensemble, where they made their Jordan Hall recital debut in May 2018. Additionally, as a chamber musician, she won the Bronze Medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition Junior Division 2016, the 2nd Prize Laureate in the inaugural M-Prize Chamber Music Competition Junior Division 2016, and 2nd place at the A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Chamber Competition with Quartet Vibrante. With Quartet Étoile, she has been named the Overall Winner and Strings and Piano category winner of the 2015 Midwest Young Artist’s Discover National Chamber Competition. She has also won 1st place at the Rembrandt Chamber Players High School Chamber Music Competition and has received recognition as a Rembrandt Young Artist 2015. In addition, her group placed as a Semifinalist in the Junior Division of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition 2015 and got invited to perform at Pianoforte’s “Playful Talk” with pianist Yana Reznik. They performed as guest artists with the Northbrook Symphony in their 2015-16 season.
She has been named a 2017 National YoungArts Honorable Mention Winner. As a soloist, she has received honorable mention from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Stars of Tommorrow Competition, MSO Bolz Young Artist Competition, and the WCO Young Artists Competition, and has been named a High School Showcase Scholarship Award Winner in the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee Competition of 2015.

Freya has had the honor to concertize in esteemed venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center, Northwestern University’s Pick Staiger Hall, Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, and Chicago’s PianoForte Studios, among others. She has been privileged to participate in masterclasses with Ettore Causa, Robert deMaine, Yizhak Schotten, Helen Callus, Tom Rosenberg, Stephen Wyrczynski, Peter Slowik, James Dunham, and the Ying Quartet. Additionally, she has received instruction from members of the Cleveland, Orpheus, Ariel, Borromeo, Parker, Dover, Cavani, Tokyo, and Vermeer Quartets. Her greatest inspiration outside of music is nature and the outdoors. She has performed in the Czech Republic, Mexico, United States, and Germany. Freya completed her Bachelor of Music degree with Prof. Hartmut Rohde at the University of Arts in Berlin.

Currently, Freya is a violist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, among other orchestras. She believes that being involved in musical communities brings joy to young  people’s lives, allowing them to express themselves, make close friends, and form lasting connections. Learning music at a young age provides children with experiences they will never forget. It also teaches vital life skills such as self-discipline, collaboration, and dedication.

Mikhail Johnson

Education

D.M.A.- Texas Tech University (Piano)
M.M.- Bowling Green State University (Piano)
M.M.- Bowling Green State University (Composition)
Piano Grade 8 Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM)

Background

Why did you choose WCM?

I chose to work at WCM because of the mandate and commitment to serving disenfranchised schools with excellent music teaching and resources. Thus, fostering a more holistic and well-rounded arts appreciative community by making music accessible to all.

Describe a musical experience that had a positive impact on you:

I have had many music experiences in my lifetime. However, one I will forever cherish was when I was 18 and I thought it was too late to make music a career and I basically gave up music. A teacher by the name of Kimberly Cann showed me through her teaching that my dream of having music a career could be a reality. I haven’t looked back since and it also pushed me to share that knowledge and inspiration with others.

What year did you start working at WCM?

2023.

Kari Johnson

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance | St. Olaf College
  • Master of Music, Piano Performance/Pedagogy | University of Wisconsin-Madison

Background

  • Joined the WCM faculty in 2019 with 18 years of experience teaching private lessons as well as group piano.
  • Studied under Catherine Kautsky, Jessica Johnson, and Kenneth Graber.
  • Enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels, and her students have regularly participated in WMTA Auditions and the NFMC Festival.
  • Has served as an adjudicator for piano festivals and competitions.
  • Worked as a faculty member at community schools in the Boston, MA and Madison, WI areas.
  • Is a collaborative pianist for instrumental and vocal soloists and choirs.

Sofia Mattson

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Psychology (Summa Cum Laude) | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Background

  • Sofia has been playing the harp since she was six years old.
  • She achieved several music honors and awards in high school, such as earning first place in the senior division of the Northern Illinois University Community School Talent Scholarship, and playing as principal harpist for the ILMEA Honors All-State Band in 2017.
  • Despite her success in music, she chose to complete a psychology degree over a music degree with the goal of becoming a clinical psychologist, while taking harp lessons at UWM and playing for various UWM ensembles to build her repertoire.
  • Sofia worked as a Child Research Technician for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study at UWM, and authored two publications for research in working memory appearing in Biological Psychology (2021) and Frontiers in Psychology (2022).
  • Since graduating, she has been focusing on returning to her musical, creative roots by working towards making harp music, and music education in general, more accessible to her community.
  • Sofia is thrilled to join the WCM team and the Smart Start program, fulfilling her background in cognitive neuroscience and passion for promoting music accessibility.

Laura Mintz

Education

  • Bachelor of Music | Indiana University
  • Master of Music | University of Michigan

Background

  • Joined the Conservatory in 2018.
  • Received Suzuki Teacher Training with Mimi Zweig and Judy Offman.
  • Has taught students of all ages and levels for 25 years.
  • Created and directed Suzuki and traditional instrumental programs in schools in New York, Texas, Wisconsin, and London.
  • Has enjoyed a varied career as an orchestral violinist and freelance chamber musician, performing in the US and Europe with the New World Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Bayou City Chamber Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra.
  • Chosen by Isaac Stern and Sir Georg Solti to perform and record as a member of the Solti Orchestra Project at Carnegie Hall.
  • Received first prize in the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition.

Elizabeth Notestine

Education

  • St. Francis Xavier University (Nova Scotia)
  • A Cappella, Vocal Jazz | Phil Mattson’s School for Music Vocations (Iowa)

Background

  • Elizabeth Notestine is a vocalist with an eclectic set of experiences that shapes how she approaches music.
  • Played with the Creative Music Lab Ensemble, headed by her late mentor Jerry Granelli.
  • Practices mindfulness as a form of honest discipline, and deepens the relationship to her craft.
  • Elizabeth began sharing her passion by being a music teacher while she continued to perform and tour.
  • Elizabeth has lived in both Chicago and Los Angeles exploring the creative process as an actor.
  • She is proud to not only pass on the traditions of music like jazz, but also to inspire curiosity and joy through learning it.

Elise Pennington

Chair – Early Childhood

Education

Bachelor of Music, Minor in Psychology | DePauw University in Greencastle, IN

Background

  • Joined the WCM faculty in 2005.
  • Taught preschoolers at the Tutor Time Child Care/Learning Center while attending DePauw University.
  • Worked as a music teacher for Little People’s Music. Inc and at the Academy of Learning and Leadership for three years as a preschool teacher of two- and four-year-olds.
  • Received training in the Kodaly Concept, completed coursework at the Community Coordinated Child Care Center, and is certified as a lead Early Childhood Teacher.
  • Teaches in the Early Childhood Program at WCM and also taught music to children in grades K4 – 8.

Anna Rasmussen

WCM Board Faculty Representative

Education

  • Bachelor of Music Education with a Strings Emphasis | Baylor University
  • Master of Music in Violin Performance | University of North Carolina

Background

  • Violin and Viola faculty at the Conservatory since 2016.
  • Completed Suzuki Teacher Training with Julia Hardie, Mark Mutter, Doris Preucil, Ann Smelser, Nancy Jackson, and Kathleen Spring and Sarah Bylander Montzka, and long-term training with Allen Lieb at the School for Strings in New York City.
  • Over 11 years of teaching experience in Suzuki, traditional, and El Sistema-inspired schools in Wisconsin, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Texas.
  • Plays Baroque violin in Early Music ensembles in Beloit, Madison, and Milwaukee.
  • Performed in the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, Western Piedmont Symphony, Raleigh Symphony Orchestra, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, and the Waco Symphony Orchestra.
  • In 2016 recorded tracks for Grammy award winning Broadway composer, Paul Bogaev.

Emmy Rozanski

Education

  • Doctor of Musical Arts, Trombone Performance | Arizona State University

Background

  • Emmy Rozanski is an enthusiastic music educator and active freelance trombonist in the Milwaukee and Chicago areas.
  • Adjunct music faculty at Alverno College, teaching artist for Sistema Ravinia, and low brass instructor at Highland Park High School.
  • Traveled to El Salvador in the summers of 2019 and 2018 as a teaching artist with MusAid, leading classes in technique and ensemble skills, as well as teaching private lessons.
  • Currently the principal trombonist for the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra (Skokie, IL) and has recently performed with the International Women’s Music Festival Orchestra (Madison) Summit Brass (Denver), the Powder River Symphony (Wyoming), and the Billings Symphony (Montana).
  • Toured Switzerland performing with the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble.
  • She is researching motivation and growth mindset as they pertain to musicians and educators and presented on these topics at the 2019 International Trombone Festival and International Women’s Brass Conference.
  • As part of her doctoral project she wrote and illustrated a children’s book about the trombone, Mr. Fitch Joins the Band.

Joshua Sevigny

Education

  • Bachelor’s in Music Performance | Crane School of Music
  • Master’s in Music Performance | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Background

  • Holds principal positions with the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra and the Lake County Symphony Orchestra.
  • Has performed with the Southwestern Suburban Symphony Orchestra, Present Music Milwaukee, Northern Symphonic Winds, Racine Symphony, Wisconsin Philharmonic, Antioch Brass Quintet, and The Big Top Circus Band, and is on numerous sub lists in both Wisconsin and Illinois.
  • Performs with a number of local jazz and rock groups in the Milwaukee area.
  • Runs a large, successful low brass studio.
  • Has placed in and won numerous national and international competitions.
  • Does recitals and masterclasses at universities and solos with orchestras in the area, like the Lake County Symphony Orchestra this season.

Dana Sherman

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Music Performance and Mathematics | University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Master of Music, Music Performance | Northwestern University

Background

  • Started at the Conservatory in the Fall of 2018.
  • Is currently Principal Horn of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Third Horn of the Wisconsin Philharmonic, and a member of Alloy Horn Quartet, which was the Featured Guest Artist at the 2018 International Horn Symposium and featured soloists with the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra and Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.
  • Is a substitute musician with Lyric Opera, Milwaukee Symphony, Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony.
  • Held positions in Omaha Symphony (Acting Associate Principal Horn) and New Mexico Philharmonic (3rd Horn).
  • Served as Brass Instructor and Associate Band Director with the El Sistema inspired program at Ravinia.
  • Taught horn at the Merit School of Music in Chicago, Glendale Community College in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Omaha Conservatory of Music.
  • Played at several summer music festivals, including Peninsula Music Festival (in Door County, WI), Grand Teton Music Festival (in Jackson Hole, WY), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Sarasota Music Festival (Sarasota, FL), and Aspen Music Festival (Aspen, CO).

Felipe Rocha Luiz Vianna

Education

  • Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance – Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)
  • Master of Music in Viola Performance – Louisiana State University (LSU)

Background

  • Born in Vassouras/RJ – Brazil, Felipe Vianna started his music studies at PIM – Programa de Integração pela Música, a social project based on El-Sistema Music Education, having violin lessons with Daniel Andrade, and participating actively in Suzuki masterclasses with Suray Soren Doyle and Paulo Bosisio. Later, became violin, viola, and music theory teacher at the project from 2007 to 2009.
  • After migrating to viola, pursued his studies at Federal University of Pernambuco, where played actively as principal and section viola at UFPE Symphony Orchestra and “Sonoro Ofício”, a historically informed chamber orchestra, from 2010 to 2016.
  • Finalist at Paulo Bosisio National String Competition in Juiz de Fora/ MG – Brazil, adult division in 2013.
  • Co-principal viola at Orquestra Sinfônica da Paraíba, in João Pessoa/PB – Brazil, during 2015 season.
  • Received the Graduate School Tuition Award (GSTA) from Louisiana State University in 2017.
  • Worked as violin and viola teacher at Kid’s Orchestra in Baton Rouge, academic year 2019-2020.
  • Major viola professors (in chronological order): Dr. Savio Santoro (UFPE), Dr. Elias Goldstein (LSU) and Paul Cortese.
  • Participated in festivals in Brazil, US, and Italy, under the tutelage of many great violists, such as Emmerson diBiaggi, Leonardo Piermartini, Carlos Aleixo, Marcelo Jaffé, Alexandre Razera, Gabriel Marin, Nobuko Imai, Bruno Giuranna, Carol Rodland, Michelle LaCourse, Phillip Ying, Paul Newbauer, Raimi Solomonov, Karen Dreyfous, Susan Dubois, Wenting Kang, Hella Frank, Daphne Gerling and Glêsse Collet.

Annemarie Weyer

Education

B.M. Music Education | UW-Eau Claire
Kodaly Certificate | Silver Lake College
M.M. Music Education | Silver Lake College
Smart Start | Royal Conservatory of Music

 

Background

Why did you choose to work at WCM?

After many years of full-time General Music teaching in public schools, the community partnerships program [at WCM] became the right fit for me and my family.

Describe a musical experience or teacher that had a positive impact on you.

Hearing little ones sing for the first time in a Smart Start class is as rewarding as directing an advanced choir. It gives me immense joy to make music with our youngest musicians at WCM.

What year did you start working at WCM?

2017

 

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music Piano faculty member, Annemarie Weyer, demonstrates an Early Childhood sample lesson.

John Bragle

Director of Community Partnerships

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, Music Education (Graduated Cum Laude) | Michigan State University,
  • Master of Music, Choral Conducting | Michigan State University
  • Doctor of Musical Arts, Music Education | Boston University

Background

  • Dr. John Bragle is a passionate music educator, singer, researcher, and arts advocate with more than 20 years of teaching experience in public and private school music programs, higher education, and community-based music settings.
  • Most recently, Bragle served as the Director of Choirs and Instructor of Voice at the Interlochen Arts Academy, a premiere boarding arts school in Michigan.
  • While at Interlochen, choirs under his direction have performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Traverse Symphony Orchestra, and Interlochen’s World Youth Symphony Orchestra in venues such as Lincoln Center, DAR Constitution Hall, and Detroit’s Orchestra Hall.
  • In addition to establishing partnerships that connected Interlochen to the community through performance and collaborative learning, Bragle also led efforts to increase the diversity of curricular materials and highlight more inclusive best practices for faculty.

Nora Cahill

Community Partnerships Associate

Education

B.A. in English and Psychology | Washington University in St. Louis

 

Background

Why did you choose to work at WCM?

I chose to work at WCM because I wanted to join the vibrant music community and contribute to making music education more accessible in the Milwaukee area.

Describe a musical experience or teacher that had a positive impact on you.

My first harp teacher was very encouraging of me learning the instrument at an “older” age, and without her support I probably would have stuck with playing piano only and missed out on some amazing experiences in the harp world.

What year did you start working at WCM?

2022

 

 

Teresa Drews

Director, Education

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, cum laude, Piano Performance | Northwestern University
  • Master of Music, Piano Performance | Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University

Background

  • WCM faculty member since 2003, Piano Department chair since 2005, Director of Education since 2018.
  • Member of Pi Kappa Lambda, MTNA, WMTA and MMTA.
  • In her 23 years of teaching, she has taught group and private piano lessons at the Conservatory, as well as coached chamber music.
  • Through Conservatory Connections she has taught general music and piano to students throughout Milwaukee and most recently taught our Music Counts curriculum at St. Joseph Academy of Early Learning.
  • An active performer in the Milwaukee area, Ms. Drews often collaborates with WCM faculty and MSO musicians.
  • She also performs annually with the Washington Island Music Festival in Door County.
  • Has studied with Sylvia Wang, Ann Schein and Seth Knopp, and performed in master classes by David Burge and Menahem Pressler.
  • Prior to moving to Milwaukee, she taught piano in Baltimore, Maryland at the Friends School of Baltimore and the Music Workshop.

Krystal Esty

Associate Director, Education

Education

  • BM in Music Education | UW-Whitewater
  • MM | UW-Milwaukee.

Rachel Fritz

Chief Operations Officer

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, magna cum laude | University of Central Missouri
  • Master of Music | University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Background

  • Has served as the Chief Operations Officer at the Conservatory since 2014 after previously managing the Student Services department for four years.
  • Has been a member of the WCM Piano Faculty since 2007, specializing in instructing young pianists.
  • Certified as a teaching artist by the International Piano Teaching Federation.
  • Participated in the 2017 Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI).
  • Taught group piano at Des Moines Symphony Academy and maintained private studios in Lincoln, NE, and Warrensburg, MO.
  • Has been an active member of the Music Teacher National Association.
  • Serves as President for the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association.
  • Serves as pianist at Redemption Lutheran Church.

Eric Tillich

President, Chief Executive Officer

Education

BA from UW-Madison and his MA in Organization, Leadership, and Quality from Marian University

Background

Eric brings more than 20 years of experience working in an executive leadership capacity at several leading non-profit organizations, including the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, where he increased corporate giving by 25%, doubled contributions to the annual fund, and helped secure numerous seven figure gifts; the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, where under his leadership the organization reached new heights in annual fund contributions and donors; and Marian University where he led the first comprehensive capital campaign raising record amounts.  Recently, Eric has led his own consulting firm where he advised such clients as the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, and the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin in strategic planning, fund development, and board capacity.

His extensive experience driving record-setting revenue growth, his expansive leadership expertise and his ability to generate positive change and to build organizational consensus have been trademarks of Eric’s career.   Eric has served on several non-profit boards in the Milwaukee area including the Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin and Future Milwaukee.