Wisconsin’s Leading Community Music School
An Education That Lasts A Lifetime
The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music is the largest non-profit music school in Wisconsin, consisting of world-renowned teachers and musicians eager to provide you or your child with the quality music education you desire. Whether you are beginning to play an instrument at age 5 or 95, returning to your instrument or need coaching for auditions, we can help guide you to what you need.
Styles & Genres
African Percussion / Afro Caribbean / Blues / Broadway / Classical / Contemporary / Fingerstyle / Flamenco / Jazz / Orchestral Percussion / Pop / Rock / World Drumming
IN-PERSON & ONLINE MUSIC LESSONS MUSIC CLASS DIRECTORY
In-Person & Online Music Lessons
$205 for six 30-minute lessons
Online music lessons use easy-to-use Zoom Video Conferencing and give you access to more than 90 skilled faculty members for any instrument and genre. Join a community of more than 10,000 students and schedule your first lessons today!
Meet our Teachers
Aaron GardnerSaxophone, Flute, Jazz & Contemporary Music, Jazz & Contemporary Music Faculty Band
Chair – Woodwinds, Brass & PercussionPercussion, Community Partnerships, Band
Hannah JohnsonPercussion, Jazz & Contemporary Music, Choir, Jazz & Contemporary Music Faculty Band
Chair, Jazz & Contemporary MusicPercussion, Jazz & Contemporary Music, Jazz & Contemporary Music Faculty Band
- Bachelor of Arts in English – University of Wisconsin Madison
- Completed a graduate program specializing in composition for motion pictures and television – University of Southern California
- Joined the Piano Faculty at the Conservatory in 2023
- Dave Adler is a musician based in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. After cutting his teeth in Madison playing with Clyde Stubblefield and ComedySportz, he worked for Second City, The Annoyance Theater, and ImprovOlympic in Chicago
- He performed at the Dublin Theater Festival, scored the cult-classic Fatty Drives The Bus (Troma), and toured Iceland with Sugar Cubes drummer Siggi Baldursson.
- Scored the first season of Comedy Central’s Upright Citizens Brigade in New York
- Next he joined lounge savant Richard Cheese as music director and arranger, appearing on MTV, NBC, CNN, and headlining regularly in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
- He contributed to the soundtracks for Dawn Of The Dead and Any Given Sunday, and released a self-produced Jewish dance-music CD entitled Let My People Go-Go. His original score was featured in Chicago Boricua, which received national distribution upon its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival.
- He wrote a book, The Total Keyboard Player (Hal Leonard), and composed the music for a few hundred commercials.
- He was also music director and keyboardist for The Gomers, whose popular live-band karaoke show, Rock Star Gomeroke, ran weekly for 12 years and was featured on NPR.
- In 2022 he released Mazel Tunes, a collection of Hebrew songs arranged for solo piano (“…a soulful, contemporary spin on some classic Hebrew melodies.” – The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle).
- Dave’s clients include Apple, Google, HBO, Mattel, and Discovery Channel. He’s co-leader of Steely Dane, a member of the Willy Porter Band, and plays frequently throughout the Midwest.
- Bachelor of Music, Percussion Performance | University of Wisconsin-Parkside
- 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.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts, Versatile Voice | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
- Tenor vocalist with training in opera, art song, musical theatre, and CCM such as jazz, funk, and Motown.
- Sings as a tenor section leader at First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa.
- Front-of-House Staff at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
- Performed as the lead in The Who’s Tommy at the International School of Stuttgart.
- Graduate Diploma | The Juilliard School
- Bachelor of Chamber Music | San Francisco Conservatory of Music
- Master of Chamber Music | San Francisco Conservatory of Music
- Holds the Dorothea C. Mayer Principal Cello Chair with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
- Has appeared as Guest Principal Cello with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
- Performed solos with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Century Chamber Orchestra, and the Princeton Symphony.
- Gave the East Coast premiere with Symphony in C of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Colored Field for Cello and Orchestra.
- Performed as cellist with the Cavani String Quartet on the Detroit Chamber Music Society series and at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
- While in Milwaukee she has performed on the Frankly Music series and with the Philomusica String Quartet.
- Participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, and the Yellow Barn Music Festival
- Master of Music | Cleveland Institute of Music
- Bachelor of Music | Oberlin Conservatory
- Member of the viola section in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
- Member of the viola section in the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.
- Was a member of the San Antonio Symphony, and is currently a substitute with the Saint Louis Symphony and Houston Symphony.
- Performs with the 414 Quartet and the Prospect Quartet.
- Performer at festivals such as the Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, Kneisel Hall, and The Round Top Festival Institute.
- Has also performed as a soloist with the Cleveland Institute of Music, National Repertory Orchestra and the New World Symphony.
- Primary teachers include Robert Vernon (Cleveland) and Peter Slowik (Oberlin).
- Bachelor of Science, Instrumental/General Music Education | Ball State University
- Master of Music, Trumpet Performance | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Performer’s Certificate (in progress) | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Is on faculty as a brass instructor with several organizations in the Milwaukee area.
- Served as the Muncie Symphony Orchestra’s Education Coordinator.
- Performed as the 2017 Concerto Soloist with the Music for the Sake of Music Symphony Orchestra, a chamber musician for Classical Music Indy and the Muncie Symphony, and as a lead trumpet player for numerous musicals and shows across Central Indiana.
- Has a breadth of experience teaching both in and out of the classroom including traditional public school ensembles, clinics and masterclasses, general music and PreK, and managing his own private studio.
- Performs in his contemporary chamber ensemble Microcosm and with his acoustic pop duo Ekruteak with his fiancé, Jennifer Rodriguez.
- Alec Burke YouTube: https://bit.ly/Subscribe_AlecBurkeMusic
- Ekruteak YouTube: https://bit.ly/Subscribe_Ekruteak
- Ekruteak Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ekruteakband/
- Ekruteak Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EkruteakBand/
- Personal Website: https://alecburkemusic.weebly.com/
Jennifer Rodriguez Burke
- Bachelor of Science, Music Education | Ball State University
- Master of Arts (in progress), Flute Performance | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- 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.
- Bachelor of Music, Music Therapy/Voice | University of Evansville, Evansville, IN
- Current Board Certification Cycle, initiated 2021 | Certification Board of Music Therapy
- 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.
- Seattle born Ben Dameron picked up the guitar at age 11 and never put it down.
- Received two degrees in classical guitar performance.
- An active performer and teacher in the greater Milwaukee area, making a name for himself as a versatile and prolific performer in classical music, jazz and gypsy jazz.
- An enthusiastic teacher, Dameron has been on staff with the Latino Arts Strings program since 2017 as a classical guitar instructor, producing several prize winning students in the process.
- Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Voice Performance | Roosevelt University (Chicago Musical College)
- Graduate Level Vocal Training | University of Iowa
- 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.
- Bachelor of Arts, Music – University of Nebraska-Kearney
- Master of Music – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- WCM faculty member since 2002.
- Chosen at the age of 13 to participate in a solo concert with the Orchestra of the Conservatory of Music in Bogota, Colombia to play the Haydn Concerto in F.
- Trained broadly in accompanying for instrumental and vocal ensembles and soloists.
- Appeared as a recitalist at the University of Nebraska and the Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango Concert Hall and Olav Roots Auditorium in Bogota, Colombia.
- Appeared at several opera productions with the UWM voice students, as well as several voice faculty recitals here at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.
- Studied under Harold Martina, Blanca Uribe, James Cook, Jeffrey Peterson, Katjia Phillambaum, and Judit Jaimes.
Maria Valentina Delgado
- Piano Performance Degree – Escuela de Música Manuel A. Lopez (Venezuela)
- Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Master of Music in Piano Performance – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Joined the Piano faculty at the Conservatory in 2010.
- Has worked with a full range of students, from beginner to musicians at the university level, since she began teaching in 2001.
- Has taught several individual and group lessons at UWM.
- Debuted as a soloist at the age of 11 with the Caracas Municipal Symphony Orchestra.
- Has performed with all the major symphony orchestras and theaters throughout Venezuela.
- Won first prize in three piano competitions, the Harriet Serr Competition in 1994, the MoisésMoleiro National Competitions in 1996, and the McDowell Club of Milwaukee in 2005.
- Was awarded the highest honor to a Venezuelan young artist, the Medal of the Third Grade Order, by President Dr. Rafael Caldera in 1997.
- Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy – Lawrence University
- Bachelor of Arts in Spanish – Lawrence University
- Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy – University of Colorado-Boulder
- Joined the Piano faculty at the Conservatory in 2015.
- Has been teaching since 2009 and enjoys teaching students of all ages and abilities.
- Has presented on creativity, studio development, and Recreational Music Making (RMM) for the Music Teachers National Association national conferences (2017 Baltimore, 2016 San Antonio, 2015 Las Vegas).
- Adjudicates for piano festivals, auditions, and competitions.
- Serves as a board member of the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association.
- Actively performs and collaborates with WCM faculty, students, and other musicians in the area.
- Bachelor of Music, cum laude, Piano Performance | Northwestern University
- Master of Music, Piano Performance | Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University
- 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.
- Bachelor of Science, Music Education | University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
- Master of Music, Trumpet Performance | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
- 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.
- Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance and Composition | Wheaton College (IL)
- Master of Music, Composition | Ithaca College
- Joined WCM in 2022.
- Has performed with Milwaukee groups including Camerata Milwaukee, Milwaukee Children’s Choir, and Festival City Symphony.
- Has accompanied professional singers at NATS conferences and performed piano repertoire at MTNA and NCKP.
- Won Wheaton College Alumni Composition Prize in 2012.
- Compositions have been played by the Milwaukee Philharmonic and Tontine Ensemble.
- Has performed a lecture-recital of Charles Ives’s Concord Sonata in Milwaukee, New York, Chicago, and Toronto.
Chief Operations Officer
- Bachelor of Music, magna cum laude | University of Central Missouri
- Master of Music | University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- 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.
- Berklee College of Music
- WCM faculty member since 2005.
- Moved back to his roots in Milwaukee after 10 years of living in New York and touring and recording with the band ulu.
- Has played and recorded with many bands and artists, including De La Buena, Choir Fight, Jamie Breiwick, Steve Peplin, The Static Chicken, Tristan Royalty Squad, The Extra Crispy Brass Band, The Soul Trio, The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Eric Bennet.
- Bachelor of Music with Honors, Percussion Performance and Jazz Studies | University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana
Multi-instrumentalist, educator, songwriter, record producer, and touring/session musician with 20+ years of experience, Darren studied percussion with Glenn Kotche (Wilco), Michael Zerang, William Moersch, and Ricardo Flores.
Released a variety of solo albums and has produced music for Daniel Rodriguez (Elephant Revival), The Lumineers, Emma Rose (Big Richard), Nathaniel Riley, Paper Arrows, and Daniel and the Lion among others.
Performed locally at Colectivo Backroom, Turner Hall Ballroom, Shank Hall, Riverside Theater, Meyer Theatre, Lawrence Memorial Chapel, Majestic Theater, High Noon Saloon, Mile of Music, Bradley Center, Leach Amphitheater, Monroe Arts Center, and Summerfest.
Additional performance highlights include the Ryman Auditorium, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Ravinia, New York Central Park, Chicago Pritzker Pavilion, San Francisco Golden Gate Park, The Gorge, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Levon Helm Studios, Coors Field Denver, and Germany’s Rockpalast.
- As a drummer/percussionist Darren has worked with artists Daniel Rodriguez, Shook Twins, Elephant Revival, Courtney Hartman, Lindsay Lou, Sandra Bernhard, Steve Poltz, John Craigie, Danny Barnes, Cameron McGill & What Army, Danny Burns, Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons, Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts, Daniel and the Lion, and Chicago Farmer.
- Darren lives in the Milwaukee area with his wife and two daughters. Learn more at www.DarrenGarvey.com
- Master of Music in Music Theatre Vocal Pedagogy | Carthage College
- Bachelor of Arts in Music Theatre with a Dance Minor | Carthage College
- Academic focus on Functional Voice Training, Cross-Training, and the effects of Religious Trauma on Vocalists
- Joined the WCM team in 2021.
- Milwaukee Based Actor, Voice Specialist, Choreographer, Dance and Theatre Instructor.
- Has taught through Kindermusik with Emilie (Kenosha, WI), Character Kids Theatre Program (Frankin, WI), and The Boys and Girls Club (Kenosha, WI).
- International travels include an Educational tour of Seussical in China (Shanghai, Xi’an, Beijing); Choreographer for The Lion King Jr. at Kwan Kwan Theatre School (Jinan, China); Member of the 2019 Carthage Choir, winners of the Spittal International Choral competition, under the direction of Dr. Garcia-Novelli.
- Studied under Dr. Corinne Ness, Jeremy Ryan Mossman, Lorain Schwaber, and Peg Cleveland.
- Believes that teachers are the guides to help bring agency, creativity, and inspiration to their students. Through their curriculum, teachers have an obligation to teach humanistic values as well, such as empathy, honesty, and responsibility.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music, Vocal Performance | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- 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.
Chair – Vocal Arts
- Bachelor of Music, Choral Education | Lawrence University
- Master of Music, Voice Performance | University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
- WCM faculty member since 2002.
- Soprano soloist with the chamber group Great Lakes Baroque.
- Also served as principal soprano soloist with Ensemble Musical Offering, where she worked with Stanley Ritchie, Marion Verbruggen, Joshua Rifkin, and other Baroque specialists.
- Has appeared as a soloist with Present Music, Bach Chamber Choir, Racine Symphony, and Skylight Opera, where she performed in a cycle of Monteverdi operas directed by Stephen Wadsworth.
- A founding member of the a cappella group Polyhymnia, and director of contemporary music at St. Boniface Episcopal Church in Mequon.
- Taught voice at Alverno College, as well as general music at New World Montessori, 81st Street School, and in the Whitefish Bay Public Schools.
Chair – Woodwinds, Brass & Percussion
- Bachelor’s Degree, Music Education, Music Performance | Ohio State University
- Master’s Degree, Music Performance | University of South Carolina
- 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.
- Bachelor of Music, Music Education | Oberlin Conservatory of Music
- Master of Music, Horn Performance | Cleveland Institute of Music
- Has served on the horn faculty of the Conservatory since 2017.
- For over 30 years, she has taught a wide range of students from beginners to professionals that have gone on to attend prestigious universities and win positions in professional orchestras.
- Featured as a concerto soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, she has also held the 3rdHorn position since 2003, and is the founder of the Milwaukee Brass Quintet.
- Principal Horn with both the Akron and Canton Symphonies in Ohio,and Associate Principal Horn with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.
- In addition to serving as Principal Horn for three summers with the Breckenridge Musical Festival, she has toured Asia with the Cincinnati Pops, as well as Europe with the Cleveland Orchestra.
- Master of Music in Opera Performance | Boston Conservatory at Berklee
- Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance | Lawrence University
- Joined the WCM team in 2022.
- Milwaukee-based soprano with experience performing roles within the operatic and musical theatre genres as well as soloist work in oratorio repertoire. Currently performs locally.
- National and international roles performed include Younger Alyce in Glory Denied, Miss Jessel in Turn of the Screw, Anna Gomez in The Consul, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Despina in Cosí fan tutte, and Isolier in Le Comte Ory.
- Oratorio soloist work includes soprano soloist in The Messiah, Schumann’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem and Mozart’s Mass in C Major.
- Studied under renowned voice professors and coaches such as Joanne Bozeman, Victor Jannett, Delores Ziegler, Bonnie Koestner, Michael Strauss, Louise Pelletier, and Andrew Altenbach.
- Has been teaching private voice and piano lessons for over 3 years and also teaches k-8 choir and general music.
- Believes that singing is an act that should be free of judgment and produced through healthy technique and mindset, hard work and practice, and a willingness to be vulnerable.
- Bachelor of Music – Eastman School of Music
- Master of Music – The Juilliard School of Music
- Re-joined the Conservatory Faculty in 2019, and has been a member of the Milwaukee Symphony since 1980.
- Has worked with many other orchestras, including Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Cleveland, Ravinia Festival, Santa Fe Opera and Rochester.
- Has also been a member of the contemporary ensemble Present Music since the group’s inception.
- As a founding member of Musaik, a consortium of Milwaukee musicians, attends the Washington Island Music Festival in the summers.
- Gave the North American premiere of John Adams’ clarinet concerto, Gnarly Buttons,with the composer conducting, and the world premiere of James Grant’s Concerto for Bass Clarinet.
- Numerous premiere recordings of solo and chamber music, including compositions by Roberto Sierra, James Grant, Kamran Ince, Jerome Kitzke, and others.
- Has been a member of the Portland-based Westwood Wind Quintet, participating in many of their recordings for Crystal Records.
- Recently, William has enjoyed regular engagements with the Little Lake Stompers, a traditional jazz group.
- 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
- 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
Juan Pablo Horcasitas
• Bachelor of Music | Manhattan School of Music
• Master of Music | Manhattan School of Music
- Horcasitas is an active collaborative artist, chamber musician, conductor, and teacher.
- Since his solo debut at Carnegie Hall in NYC in 2009, Mr. Horcasitas has been actively performing and collaborating with many artists around the world, performing in the main concert halls in Mexico as well as recitals in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
- Has participated at several international festivals such as the Suolahti International Music Festival in Finland, the Latino Music Festival in Chicago, The Latin American Cultural Week in New York, and the International Festival of Symphonic Music in Algiers.
- For two years he was Music Director for Opera Hispánica, an opera company focused on Latin American and Spanish opera, and in January of 2012, he served as Music Director for the musical “La Llorona” –composed by Héctor Armienta- in its New York City premiere.
- Since October 2009 he has been a faculty member at the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School- a school for the visually impaired.
- In 2015 he received the Excellence in Classical Music Award at the Mexican Music Awards in New York City.
- Was invited by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to present a lecture/recital on Mexican concert music from the 19th, 20th, and 21st. centuries.
- Released his second studio recording, “Prelude,” in April 2021.
- Bachelor of Music, Vocal Performance | Lawrence University
- Graduate Studies in Vocal Performance | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Served as a young artist for the Skylight, Glimmerglass Opera and Seattle Opera, where she gave a notable performance as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro.
- A district winner and third place regional award winner at the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions.
- Recently appeared as Jane in Thank you, Next, Alto Soloist in Songs from the Uproar, Historian in Clara and Alto Soloist in The Poe Requiem.
- Performed solos from Schubert’s Mass in G, Vivaldi’s Gloria, John Rutter’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Pauken Messe, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
- Sang the first full US performance of Carl Jenkin’s Mass for the Armed Man at St. John’s Cathedral in Milwaukee.
- Member of the voice faculties of Carthage College and Parkside University, where she teaches both classical and music theater students of all ages and abilities.
Doctor of Musical Arts, Piano Performance | Texas Tech University (May 2020)
- Started studying piano at the age of seven in his native country of Romania, where he pursued intensive music classes all throughout high school.
- Attended an impressive number of national and international piano competitions at that time, and scored in the top three at all of them.
- Came to the United States in 2013 to continue his education in music by enrolling in a master’s degree program in collaborative piano and chamber music at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, under the coordination of Dr. Ilonka Rus.
- Traveled and performed in the US as well as Europe and South America in countries including Colombia, Romania, Italy, and Germany.
- Started his doctoral degree in 2016 under the guidance of the well-renowned pianist and pedagogue Dr. William Westney.
- Served as a teaching assistant at the TTU School of Music and was one of the main piano accompanists for the voice and instrumental departments, chamber groups, and large ensembles.
- Won the TTU 2019 Piano Concerto Competition, for which he was scheduled to perform Franz Liszt’s “Totentanz” in Fall 2020 with the TTU University Symphony Orchestra.
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.
- Bachelor of Arts in Music, Magna cum laude – Harvard University
- Master of Music, with highest distinction in Piano Performance – Indiana University
- Joined the WCM Piano faculty in 1987.
- Focuses on the areas of educating an array of students and chamber music.
- Received the Milwaukee Civic Music Association’s award for Excellence in Studio Teaching.
- Enjoys being an active musician in the Prometheus Trio, and participating in the Washington Island Music Festival.
- Made her solo debut with the Boston Pops at age 17, and her Carnegie Hall debut in 1984.
- Twice awarded Second Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and received Indiana University’s Leo Weiner Prize for Chamber Music.
- Has soloed with both the Milwaukee Symphony and the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra.
- Recorded for the Arundax, CRI, Fleur de Son, Equilibrium, and the Wisconsin Conservatory labels.
- Received WCM’s “Teacher of the Year” honor in 2017.
- Bachelor of Music, Guitar Performance | Cleveland Institute of Music
- Master of Music, Guitar Performance and Pedagogy | Peabody Institute
- Began to play Suzuki classical guitar at age six and Suzuki cello at age eight.
- Received prizes at Guitar Foundation of America (4th place youth 2012), Indiana International Guitar competition (2nd place youth 2011), All Ohio Stroud Competition (4th place 2014), East Carolina Guitar competition, Louisville Guitar competition, and others.
- As an avid flamenco guitarist, accompanies Peabody Preparatory’s flamenco dance class.
- Wishes to bring this tradition back into the classical realm by commissioning new pieces that incorporate elements of flamenco as well as performing solo works of flamenco guitarists.
- Has played in halls such as Mixon Hall in Cleveland, OH, Lutkin Hall Evanston, IL, Hatch Recital in Rochester, NY and Comstock Concert Hall in Louisville, KY.
- Certified to teach Suzuki Guitar Book 1 and 2, and studied teaching under Travis Marcum, Jeremy Osborne, and Matt Hinsley.
- Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies | Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
- Joined the Conservatory faculty in January 2019.
- Teaches and plays various styles of music on the drum set, specializing in jazz.
- Plays with her modern jazz quartet in the Milwaukee area.
- Featured as an instructor for the Vic Firth video series “Inside the Teaching Studio” entitled How to Sound Like Elvin Jones.
- Has played with musicians such as Leni Stern, Ingrid Jensen, and Jamie Baum.
- Enjoys teaching the bucket drumming and world percussion classes through the Conservatory Connections program, as well as private percussion lessons.
- Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance | St. Olaf College
- Master of Music, Piano Performance/Pedagogy | University of Wisconsin-Madison
- 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.
Cecilio Negron Jr.
- WCM Conservatory Connections faculty since 2005.
- Comes from a family of musicians and performers whose lineage can be traced to Puerto Rico and further back to Africa and Spain; during his childhood, both his father and uncle played major roles in the Midwest music scene as musicians, promoters, and bandleaders.
- Started his music studies at the age of five at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.
- Studied in the high school music program and learned to read music, music theory, play drum-set and concert percussion, earning him top honors in solo and state competitions.
- Began playing professionally by the age of 16, and at 21, embarked on his solo career, working to develop himself as an artist and teacher.
- Started working with Milwaukee Public Theatre in 2000, teaching arts residencies, drumming, and touring in several theatre productions.
- Can now be found performing with many successful local and national acts, with an extensive resume of performances at local and national community centers, schools, businesses, arenas, clubs, music venues, and private events.
- Currently designs, manages, and facilitates his own musical ensembles, drumming workshops, drum circles, drum and dance residencies, drum making workshops, educational presentations, and musical performances.
- Bachelor of Music, Percussion Performance | Manhattan School of Music
- Master of Music | DePaul University
- Performance Certificate | DePaul University
- Has been teaching at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music since 2014.
- Teaching a wide range of students, special areas of training include concert snare drum, xylophone, marimba, timpani, and drum set.
- Performs extensively with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with tours to Carnegie Hall, Grant Park Festival Orchestra, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
- Began as Principal Percussion of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra in the 2017/18 season.
- While a student at DePaul University, he participated in the Music Academy of the West festival in Santa Barbara, CA, as well as the Pacific Music Festival held in Sapporo, Japan.
- He has also recorded percussion and drum set for the Fireside Theater’s (Ft. Atkinson, WI) production of Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, It’s A Wonderful Life, Peter Pan and Sister Act as well as for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s production of The Color Purple and Dreamgirls.
- Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance | Northwestern University
- Master of Music, Piano Performance and Pedagogy | Northwestern University
- WCM faculty member since 2008.
- Member of MTNA and WMTA.
- Has been teaching private piano lessons since 1995.
- Adjudicated for piano auditions and competitions.
- Taught Early Childhood classes.
- Collaborative pianist with WCM string, voice, and woodwind students.
- From 2002-2008, she taught piano and held an administrative position at the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts in Ann Arbor, Michigan (now known as Community Music School of Ann Arbor).
- Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- Master of Music, Jazz Pedagogy | University of Northern Iowa
- Professional Educators License | Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago
- Based in the Midwest, Sean Koga’s interest in music started very young.
- Surrounded by a musical family, Sean started piano lessons at age eight and switched to tenor saxophone by age nine.
- By age 11, Sean began his journey as a jazz saxophonist refining his sound and approach to improvisation.
- Through junior high and high school Sean performed in wind ensembles, jazz bands, jazz combos, and high school productions.
- In 2012, Sean began performing all over the world aboard major cruise lines.
- Sean has always been serious about doubling on reeds and has worked in many orchestras for professional productions.
- In December of 2018, under the direction of Julio Awad, Sean performed in the orchestra of Spain’s world premiere of Sunset Boulevard at the Auditorio de Tenerife in Santa Cruz, Spain.
- Sean is now teaching music at River Trail Elementary School in Milwaukee while continuing to perform professionally, and is excited to be teaching at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.
- Bachelor of Music Performance, emphasis in Piano Pedagogy | Viterbo University
- Graduated Magna Cum Laude and member of the Viterbo University Honors Program.
- Has been teaching since 2006 and enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities.
- Her students have participated in recitals, community music events, and Wisconsin Music Teachers Association (WMTA) district and state competitions.
- She has served as adjudicator for the WMTA District Auditions
- Her personal study of the Alexander Technique has been influential in her teaching and she has attended 13 summer workshops since 2006, working with teachers such as Michael Frederick, Martha Hansen Fertman, and Carol Boggs among many others.
- Volunteered as WMTA Judges Coordinator, has enjoyed attending multiple WMTA state conferences, and most recently, the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Conference in Lake Buena Vista, FL in 2018.
- She continues to serve on a local music worship team and has volunteered in several churches as main pianist and solo/ensemble vocalist since 2014.
- Bachelor of Music
- Master of Music
- Doctor of Musical Arts, Piano Performance – University of Kansas
- A piano teacher at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music since September 2013, and the Milwaukee High School of the Arts since November 2013.
- His musical interests have taken him throughout the United States as well as to Europe and Asia.
- Heinzel performs regularly at the Milwaukee Veterans Affairs Clinic, David Barnette’s Art Gallery, Alexian Village, St. John’s on the Lake and Chai Point.
- Many of his current students participate in annual events such as WSMA, the Federation Festival, Wisconsin Music Teachers Association Auditions and the Wisconsin Conservatory’s Piano Festival.
- In addition, they perform twice every year in fall and spring studio recitals held at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.
- His students span a wide range of age, ability and interest.
- Bachelor of Music (Cum Laude), Piano Performance | University of Wisconsin Whitewater
- Master of Music, Piano Collaboration (Member of Pi Kappa Lambda) | Illinois State University
- Emily has provided both individual lessons, as well as group piano lessons.
- During her time at Illinois State University, she served as a graduate assistant teaching group piano to both music majors and non-music majors.
- She began teaching private lessons in 2017 and has continued since, offering lessons to students of all ages.
- Beyond her teaching, she has also collaborated with many musicians in performances, including accompanying choirs at both University of Wisconsin Whitewater and Illinois State University, accompanying private studio lessons for vocalists and instrumentalists, and performing with theatre and opera productions.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts | Carnegie Mellon University
- Master of Music | Yale University
- Artist Diploma | Yale University
- Doctor of Musical Arts | University of Wisconsin – Madison
- Joined the WCM violin and chamber faculty in 2003.
- Has taught worldwide with 35 years of teaching experience, ranging from beginners to graduate school and professional level musicians.
- Has performed worldwide in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Avery Fisher, Auditório Manuel de Falla, and Memorial of Latin America.
- Has shared the stage with eminent artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Mathieu Dufour, Eric Friedman, Sidney Harth, Caio Pagano, Frank Morelli, Wang Jian, Amit Peled, Susan Babini and Aldo Parisot.
- Has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician, recording artist, pedagogue, adjudicator, and conductor.
- Founding member of the critically acclaimed Philomusica Quartet.
- Concertmaster of the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra and Racine Symphony Orchestra, and Assistant
- Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra/Milwaukee Musaik.
- Has performed at Chamber Music Milwaukee, Frankly Music, Fine Arts at First, Sunday Live from the Chazen, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series; to name a few.
- Has appeared under conductors such as Eleazar De Carvalho, Gunther Herbig, Robert Shaw, Claudio Santoro and Isaac Karabtchevsky.
- Studied with violinists Sidney Harth, Erick Friedman, Robert McDuffie, and Vartan Manoogian; as well as conductors Eleazar de Carvalho, David Stern, David Becker, James Smith; and members of the Tokyo, Yale, and the Paganini string quartet
- Recipient of the prestigious Ivan Galamian Award, Carnegie Tradition Award, Yale Alumni Prize and the Miles Prize.
- Bachelor of Science, Psychology (Summa Cum Laude) | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
- 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.
- Piano Pedagogy Professional Training Program – New School for Music Study
- Western Carolina University
- WCM faculty member since 2005.
- While at the New School, studied with founder Frances Clark and co-founder Louise Goss, as well as renowned pedagogue Richard Chronister, composer David Kraehenbuehl, and author and composer Elvina Pearce.
- After graduating, Ms. Medford became a supervisor in the professional department and served as a clinician in teacher workshops across the US.
She also taught piano at the New School for Music Study, in Chicago and at an American school in Germany.
- Was also the National Representative for Summy-Birchard Music Publishing Company.
She is the founder of Piano Arts, a National Concerto and Solo Competition.
- Following her move to Milwaukee, was appointed by the Milwaukee Symphony as the Director of Education and Education Concert Manager, positions she held for 23 years.
- Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance | Lviv National Music Academy
- Master of Music in Violin Performance | Lviv National Music Academy
- Joined the Violin faculty of the Conservatory in 2005.
- Previous teachers include Alexander Tatarinzew, Eleonor Stanlis, and Mark Zinger.
- Received Suzuki violin training for levels 1-7 from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Deerfield Trinity University.
- An avid musician, Tatiana began her musical career performing in the Lviv Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, touring to countries such as Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, and Estonia.
- Has also performed with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, the American Polish Orchestra, and the Chicago University Orchestra.
- Had the great privilege in performing with astounding musicians, including Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, and Doc Severinsen.
- Has worked with artists such as Rachel Barton Pine, Regina Carter, and Almita Vamos in numerous workshops.
- Previously taught at the Rockford College Music Academy.
- Bachelor of Music | Indiana University
- Master of Music | University of Michigan
- 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.
Bachelor of Music, Performance, Minor in Piano Pedagogy | Lawrence University
- Joined the WCM Piano and General Music Faculty in 2018.
- Earned her Bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University in the studio of Professor Anthony Padilla, graduating magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
- Has performed in several competitions and masterclasses, playing for musicians such as internationally-renowned pianist Jeremy Denk and pianist and harpsichordist Lorna Peters.
- Enjoys exploring the arts of all kinds and holds an additional degree in English.
- Continues to collaborate with instrumentalists and choirs.
- Johnny Padilla is currently leading his group in support of his recording “Bright Morning” on the BP Music label.
- Johnny has been a touring musician for Jimmy Buffett, Mongo Santamaria and Angela Carrasco.
- Since moving to Milwaukee, he has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.
- Johnny has been a featured artist for:
- “Jazz in Cutler Park” Waukesha, WI
- “ Third Ward Jazz Festival” Milwaukee, WI
- “Starry Nights” Wilson Center Brookfield, WI
- The Towers Concert” Narragansett, RI
- “Arts Concert” Vero Beach, FL
- “The Miami Latin Jazz Festival” Miami, FL
- “The Dade County Youth Fair” Miami, FL
- “The Dade County Book Fair” Miami, FL
- “Tropical Nights” Hollywood, FL
- “Artwalk” Hollywood, FL
- “Riverwalk Sunday Brunch” Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- “The Hispanic Heritage Festival” Miami, FL;
- “The Beaux Arts Festival of Art” Miami, FL
- “The Art Council’s Concert” Key West, FL
- Pleasure Island @ Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL.
- Johnny has toured as a musician to the countries of Austria, The Bahamas, Canada, Colombia, England, France, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and throughout the United States of America.
Co-Chair – Strings
- Bachelor of Music | Northern Illinois University
- Master of Music | Northern Illinois University
- Performer’s Certificate | Northern Illinois University
- Member of the Conservatory String Faculty since 2018
- Studied with international soloist Shmuel Ashkenasi and trained with the Grammy Award-winning Vermeer Quartet as a member of NIU’s Graduate String Quartet In-Residence
- Received numerous awards and scholarships, including graduate fellowships, from both the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the NIU Graduate School to pursue violin studies.
- Performs as Associate Principal Second Violin of Camerata Chicago, is on the substitute list for the Minnesota Orchestra, and has touredboth nationally and internationally in chamber music festivals, including the Zeister Musiekdagen Chamber Music Festivalin the Netherlands.
- As first violinist of the Ethereal Shima Quartet, her chamber music interpretations have been called “remarkably sensitive and mature” by John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune.
- Performance credits include the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (Concertmaster, Emmy Award-winning recording), Chicago’s Symphony Center, and at acclaimed venues throughout the world with renowned artists including the incomparable fiddler Mark O’Connor and jazz Vocalist Kurt Elling.
- Pavia’s students have won numerous concerto competitions and have gone on to pursue classical and contemporary violin performance at universities such as the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Berklee School of Music.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts, Music and Theatre | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Master of Music, Opera | University of Wisconsin-Madison
- WCM faculty member since 1994.
- Studied with Karlos Moser, Kammersanger Jean Cox, Anna Reynolds, Mimmi Fulmer, Lenore Lynde Horsman and Richard Winter.
- One of only eleven people chosen nationwide to participate in “Masterclasses in the Art of Singing Wagner.”
- Has sung major operatic and oratorio roles throughout Wisconsin, and has recorded for Wisconsin Public Radio and The Symposium for Church Composers.
- Directing credits include extensive work with children’s theatre and many opera company productions.
Chair – Early Childhood
Bachelor of Music, Minor in Psychology | DePauw University in Greencastle, IN
- 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.
- Lawrence University Conservatory of Music
- Bowling Green State University
- Ruben Piirainen is a Milwaukee-based pianist, music director, vocal coach, composer, and local restaurant owner.
- Was on the music staff of the Florentine Opera for six seasons where he coached and accompanied the Studio Artist Program.
- During his time with the Florentine Opera, Ruben was also involved with music preparation for all mainstage productions, played in the pit orchestra, presented a recital of new operatic works at the National Opera Center in New York, and performed solo recitals with opera stars Alyson Cambridge and Noah Stewart.
- He has also worked extensively with Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, Present Music, Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, Festival City Symphony, Theatre Gigante, Sunset Playhouse, Music by the Lake, and Opera for the Young.
- His original one act children’s opera A BUSY BEE was commissioned and premiered by the Florentine, and received subsequent performances by Opera Carolina.
- A Hal Leonard Corporation recording artist, and has been on the faculties of Interlochen Arts Camp, Bluffton University, and Bowling Green State University.
- Has also received commissions for compositions from Skylight Music Theatre and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
- Undergraduate Degree | Ohio State University
- Masters Degree | Music and Community Partnership – University of South Carolina
- Sabrina Raber is a performer, educator, and entrepreneur based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- Fellow for the Global Leaders Program, where she earned an Executive Graduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, Teaching Artistry, and Organizational Management in 2019.
- As a student at the University of South Carolina, Sabrina developed a program entitled, Find Your Beat, a recycled instrumental music education program for underserved children.
- Has performed with ensembles including the Long Bay Symphony, Aiken Symphony, Columbia Choral Society, the Spark Chamber Ensemble, and the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra where she performed as soloist.
- Was a top finalist for the National Flute Association’s C.R.E.A.T.E Entrepreneurship competition, a two-time Masterclass winner of the South Carolina Flute Society Competition, and a winner of the University of South Carolina Concerto Competition.
- Led masterclasses in both the United States and in Chile, where she was a guest artist for the international Peñalolén Flute Festival.
- She has also presented research on the impact of music education on under-resourced children through the use of alternative music education techniques.
- Outside of the music world, Sabrina is an avid photographer, a self-identified foodie, sports fan, and lover of all things wonderful.
- Bachelor of Music Education with a Strings Emphasis | Baylor University
- Master of Music in Violin Performance | University of North Carolina
- 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.
Co-Chair – Strings
- Bachelor of Arts in Music | Luther College
- Master of Music in Cello Performance | University of North Carolina – Greensboro
- Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Music Theory | University of North Carolina – Greensboro
- Certificate in Suzuki Pedagogy | The University of Denver
- Suzuki cello instructor at the Conservatory since 2016.
- Trained by the Suzuki Association of the Americas to teach Suzuki Cello Units 1-10, and provides lessons for a full range of students.
- Studied the Suzuki Method with Carol Tarr.
- Active as a modern cellist, baroque cellist, and viola da gambist performing with the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble and Sonata à Quattro.
- Was the guest artist for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Cello Fest Clinic in May 2018.
- Has served as the principal cellist with the Danville Symphony Orchestra (VA) and the Madison Bach Musicians.
- Previously performed with the Vitali Ensemble, the New York Continuo Collective, the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra (CT), and the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra (NC).
- His solo CD, 11 Capricci by Joseph Dall’Abaco,was released by Centaur Records in July 2018.
- He has recorded tracks for Grammy Award Winning Broadway composer, Paul Bogaev.
- Bachelor of Music | Wisconsin College – Conservatory
- Master of Music | Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
- Wisconsin D.P.I. Certification in General Music, Adaptive Music, and Choral Education | Alverno College
- Has been a member of the Piano faculty at the Conservatory for over 30 years.
- Provides lessons for beginners and continuing students of all ages.
- Served as the music specialist with Milwaukee Public Schools for 25 years, retiring in 2014.
- Specializes in songwriting, arranging for choral ensembles, and early childhood education, and enjoys contemporary piano styles including jazz, blues, pop, and rock.
- Performs for various events throughout Wisconsin, in high demand as both a piano soloist and member of a jazz trio: Recent engagements have included Greendale Gazebo Village Nights, Wilson Center for the Arts, Alexian Village, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, and the Ovation Jewish Home.
- Stays active in the community by being the Children’s Program Notes Host for the Festival City Symphony.
- Took part in summer studies at the KodályMusic Institute, which serves to promote professional development for music educators.
Bachelor of Fine Arts, with honors, Guitar Performance | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
- WCM Faculty member since 1992.
- Milwaukee based WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) winning guitarist who is equally at home on acoustic or electric guitar.
- As a fingerstyle guitarist, studied under John Stropes, and graduated with a performance degree in American fingerstyle guitar.
- Has performed in America and Canada, been featured on local television and radio, and can be heard on the CD compilation American Finger-Style Guitar circa 1999.
- Is the Artistic Director for the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s annual Guitar Weekend Workshop and Interlochen College of Creative Arts’ Fingerstyle Guitar Workshop.
- Performs acoustically as a soloist, in a duo with vocalist Lynda Lee, and with the trio La Guitarra.
- As a rock guitarist, performed extensively throughout the Midwest with Blackfish, Pet Engine, Steve Grimm and the Thrill Cats, and Jamie Jess, and the WAMI-award winning Barbeez.
- Is featured instructor on the Hal Leonard DVDs Acoustic Guitar Licks Goldmine and Rock Guitar Licks Goldmine, which were released in Spring 2011.
Violin & Viola
- Yale School of Music
- Northwestern University School of Music
- A member of the First Violin section in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
- Summer performances include the First Violin sections of both the Bellingham (WA) and Peninsula (WI) Music Festivals
- As a chamber musician, she has performed at New York’s Bargemusic, and for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, and can be heard on numerous series in the Milwaukee area, including Frankly Music and Present Music.
- Soloist with the Milwaukee, Berkeley, and Oakland East Bay Symphonies
- Performs as a member of the Arcas String Quartet and the violin/viola duo Bowing Rogue.
- Bachelor’s in Music Performance | Crane School of Music
- Master’s in Music Performance | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
- 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.
- Bachelor of Arts, Music Performance and Mathematics | University of Wisconsin – Madison
- Master of Music, Music Performance | Northwestern University
- 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).
- Bachelor of Music Degree (Cum Laude) | Seoul National University
- Master of Music Degree | Boston University
- Doctor of Musical Arts | Boston University
- From professional musical engagements to educational activities and community service at various settings, Haeshin’s international and multi-cultural experience helped her develop a unique insight into the universal value of music education.
- Native of South Korea, she has appeared in solo recitals, concerts, and festivals throughout the US, Russia, UK, Luxemburg, Belgium, Puerto Rico, China, and Korea.
- During the recent seasons she has performed at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts (Seoul, Korea), Stern Auditorium, Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall) and Tsai Performance Center (Boston), as well as at Harvard, the Moscow Conservatory, among others.
- Haeshin is the founder and Artistic Director of the Medtner Society of Korea, and joined the Conservatory faculty in the fall of 2019.
- Haeshin’s performance in the 75th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein Piano Recital at Lenox Library (2018) was broadcast on CTSB, the public channel in the Berkshires, MA.
- She won 1st prize at American Protégé Concerto Competition, 1st prize at American Protégé Romantic Music Competition, 2nd prize at Richmond Piano Competition
- As a collaborative pianist, she was granted a fellowship at Garth Newel Music Center with her piano quartet, and recently went on concert tours in Washington, D.C. including the White House Holiday Performance Talent, Ireland, UK, and Spain with Boston College High School Concert Choir.
Chair, Jazz & Contemporary Music
- Bachelor of Music, Emphasis in Jazz Studies | Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
- Performer’s Certificate for Senior Recital
- WCM faculty member since 2016.
- Began playing drums at age eight and has been studying percussion since age nine.
- Co-leads tour-de-force fusion group, “Match Stick,” which released a self-titled album in 2019.
- Released his debut CD, “FLY!”, in 2014, which invites listeners on a musical journey of original compositions and out-of-the-box arrangements for 20-piece big band.
- Featured clinician for the 2015 Summerfest Big Band Camp, along with Curt Hanrahan and Mike Steinel.
- Conducted masterclasses at UW-Parkside, University of Indianapolis, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Park Tudor School, and Nicolet High School.
- Teaches percussion at several Milwaukee public schools through the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s Conservatory Connections program.
- Bachelor of Music | University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Master of Music | Juilliard School
- Cello instructor at the Conservatory since 2018.
- Past cello teachers include Timothy Eddy, Parry Karp, and Uri Vardi.
- Has been a featured soloist with multiple orchestras, including the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo, Antonín Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme.
- In addition to his solo playing, Taylor is an avid orchestral musician, and has performed several times at both Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
- Most recent orchestral appointments include the assistant principal cellist of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra (2010-2011), co-principal and section cellist of The Juilliard Orchestra (2013-2015), and co-principal cellist of The Orchestra Now (2015-2016).
- Former cellist of the University of Wisconsin’s Perlman Piano Trio (2010-2013).
- Has been teaching the cello privately for over a decade.
Shaddai Amor Solidum
- Bachelor of Arts, Vocal Music – Korea National University of Arts
- Master of Music. Vocal Performance – University of Wisconsin – Madison
- Professional Certificate in Music, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
- Diploma in Creative and Performing Musical Arts, University of the Philippines
- Shaddai joined the Vocal Arts Faculty in July 2019.
- Has appeared in operatic roles such as Mimi in La Bohème at Wisconsin Union Theater, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte in Hong Kong, Rosina in Il Barbiere diSiviglia, and Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites.
- In concerts, she sang as Soprano soloist for Handel’s Messiah, and Vivaldi’s Gloria in Korea and the Philippines.
- With emphasis on classical voice, Shaddai also teaches voice in different genres such as CCM, Broadway musical, and jazz.
• Undergraduate Degree, Church Music and Pastoral Studies | Maranatha Baptist University (MBU)
• Master of Music, Viola Performance and String Pedagogy | University of Louisville, Kentucky (UofL)
- As a teacher, Joseph is known for his hard work ethic, caring spirit, and analytical mind, believing each student has potential and should be taught to express their own thoughts and ideas through music.
- Taught private violin and viola lessons, as well as weekly group and theory classes, to a variety of ages for the Maranatha Music Prep School.
- In 2018, Joseph won the Fine Arts Commencement Competition at MBU and received the Musicianship Award for the most outstanding musician upon graduation.
- At UofL, Joseph received the E.M. Aldrich Scholarship in his first year and in his second year, received the viola graduate string quartet position.
- As a GTA at UofL, Joseph taught private secondary viola lessons, coached undergraduate chamber music, co-taught string methods, coached for the UofL String Academy, and worked as the administrative assistant for the UofL String Academy.
- He has had the privilege of performing in chamber music groups throughout much of his undergraduate and graduate degrees, and in his first year at UofL, his string quartet placed third in the Macauley Competition.
- During the 2018-2019 season, Mr. Taylor will make his role debut in the title role in Roméo et Juliette with the Hawaii Opera Theatre.
- He returns to Theater St. Gallen, Switzerland for a role debut as Pollione in Norma, and joins the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta.
- Concert engagements include Cassio in Otello with Austin Lyric Opera, and Don José in Carmen with the Plano Symphony Orchestra.
- Notable engagements of recent seasons include Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly for his house debut with Oper Leipzig, Macduff in Macbeth with New Orleans Opera, a return to Theater und Konzert, St. Gallen for Cavaradossi in Tosca and Walter in Catalani’s Loreley, and a role debut as Calaf in Turandot with Virginia Opera.
- Additional appearances include performances with Theater Würzburg, Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen, Theater Mönchengladbach, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Baltimore Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, Virginia Opera, and Manitoba Opera, among others.
- Bachelor of Music, Cello Performance | Northern Arizona University
- Master of Music, Cello Performance | Chicago College of Performing Arts
- Studied at the Chicago College of Performing Arts under renowned pedagogue and former Suzuki Association of the Americas President, Dr. Tanya Carey.
- Completed his training through Book 8 in the Suzuki Method and looks forward to completing all 10 books in the next year.
- As an accomplished performer, has held principal seats in numerous orchestras, including the CCPA Symphony and NAU Symphony Orchestra, as well a cello section member of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra.
- Received numerous performing arts awards, including the Nadene Bean Cello Scholarship.
- Enjoys performing and teaching in a variety of styles, and takes special interest in performing contemporary works for the cello.
- Is always looking for new ways to play and teach, and enjoys the fusion of traditional and Suzuki methods, with an additional interest in making contemporary music accessible to beginners.
- His students have won numerous regional competitions, as well as placing in regional and All-State programs.
Chair – Guitar
- Bachelor Degree | Baldwin – Wallace College Conservatory of Music
- Master Degree | Peabody Conservatory of Music of The John Hopkins University
- Conservatory faculty since 2015.
- Widely recognized as a virtuoso classical and flamenco guitarist, vocalist, conductor, and former dancer.
- Has been featured with the Baltimore and Calgary Symphonies, as well as in guitar festivals in Asunción, Paraguay, New York City, and The GFA International Guitar Festival and Competition.
- Has had the privilege to perform for many dignitaries, such as the former Spanish Ambassador, Don Jaime de Ojeda; the former Crown Prince of Spain; and former Vice President Al Gore.
- Had the honor of having two works for guitar and orchestra written for her, Tango Fantasy and Concierto del Fuego, by Loris Chobanian.
- Has been a guest artist with the Zac Brown Band, provided music for a GE Capital/Taylor Guitar national television commercial, and performed in a flamenco documentary.
- Known for her educational programs such as “Flamenco Amazement” and her “Flamenco Communication” workshop for guitarists, singers, and dancers, which was featured for 10 years in the International Festival Flamenco at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
Felipe Rocha Luiz Vianna
- Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance – Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)
- Master of Music in Viola Performance – Louisiana State University (LSU)
- 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.
Rosemary McGee Walzer
- Bachelor of Music | Heidelberg University
- Master of Music, Instrumental Conducting | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Music educator and saxophonist Rosemary McGee Walzer is Director of the UWM Youth Jazz Ensemble, and Director of Bands at Maple Dale Elementary School.
- During her time at UW-Milwaukee, she studied conducting with Dr. John Climer, saxophone with Curt Hanrahan, served as a graduate conducting associate with both the University Band and the Youth Wind Ensemble program, and assisted with the overall administration of the university band program.
- Additionally, she served as music director for Pankratz Arts Exchange in Mount Calvary, WI for five seasons.
- In addition to her regular teaching gigs, Rosemary has served as a guest lecturer, clinician, and music camp instructor.
- Is a regular clinician with the Woody Herman Jazz Festival, and has been invited to work with many instrumental ensembles throughout Southeast Wisconsin.
- As a performer, Rosemary was one of the winners of the Heidelberg University Concerto Competition in 2003, and received the Arthur Bean Award there in 2005.
- Freelances in the Milwaukee area and has been in several instrumental ensembles, including the funk/soul band Montage, the East Side Jazz Orchestra, the Kicks Big Band, and the Milwaukee Jazz Orchestra.
- Bachelor of Arts in Music, Percussion Performance, Composition and Jazz Studies | University of Wisconsin-Parkside
- Paul Westfahl is an active performer and educator in Southeast Wisconsin.
- Paul has worked with many Milwaukee organizations including The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s ACE program, UWM Dance Department, Danceworks, Young Dance Academy and The Milwaukee Children’s Choir to name a few.
- In addition to working with dancers and maintaining a demanding freelance performing schedule as a drummer and percussionist, Paul leads and composes for several of his own projects.
- Is also involved as a sideman and co-conspirator/performer/composer with dozens of ensembles throughout the Milwaukee area.
- Since 2015, Paul has dedicated himself to studying tabla and is a disciple of Pandit Hindole Majumdar.
- Bachelor of Music Education | UW-Eau Claire
- Kodaly Certificate Completion | Silver Lake College
- Masters in Music Education | Silver Lake College
- Has over 15 years of experience in K-8 vocal music teaching and Liturgical music coordinating.
- Has worked for the Milwaukee Children’s Choir as an Associate Director and taught for Silver Lake College’s Music for Tots program.
- Has held office positions in the Wisconsin chapter for Kodaly music education, AWAKE, and is an active cantor and accompanist with her church.
- Loves singing, playing the piano, and being with children.
- Lives in Oak Creek with her husband and twin baby daughters.
- Bachelor Degree | Michigan State University
- Master Degree, Jazz Studies | Florida State University
- Performs professionally in a wide variety of musical styles, as a leader and as a sideman, on upright bass and electric bass.
- Studied with world- renowned bassist, Rodney Whitaker while at Michigan State University.
- Studied classically with the Assistant Principal of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Robert Goodlett
- Taught alongside Robert Goodlett at the Quattro String Academy in Indianapolis, IN.
- Currently serves as the Bass Instructor at Eastern Illinois University.
- As a seasoned teacher, enjoys working with students with experience ranging from beginners to professionals.
- B.M. & M.M., Classical Guitar, Conducting and Music Education|Kiev State University of Art and Music, Ukraine
- Joined the Conservatory faculty in 2022.
- Began teaching guitar in prominent music schools in Kyiv.
- Certified Suzuki instructor, registered with the Suzuki Association of the Americas since 2011.
- Active performer and member of the “Serenata” duo with a mandolin virtuoso Misha Litvin.
- Co-founder of the Milwaukee Classical Guitar Society.
- Director of the Milwaukee Classical Guitar Society orchestra.
Music Education For The Community
Does your school, church, early childhood center, public library, senior center, or community organization have a need for quality music education programs in the Milwaukee area? The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music offers community programs to match your need!