Bilinda Lou (piano)
Started playing the piano at the age of five, Bilinda has studied piano, attending the Macao Conservatory in China as a piano performance pre-college student. She then went to Wright State University in Ohio where she received her Bachelors in Music in piano performance and then to the University of Colorado, Boulder where she finished her masters degree also in piano performance. Besides piano, Bilinda also studied orchestral percussion throughout college and has performed in Vienna, Salzburg, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and China. Bilinda enjoys teaching students from beginning to advanced level with musical training of technique, musicianship, theory, and sight-reading. Fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin. Enjoy this amazing piano piece by one of our esteemed teachers Bilinda Lou performing Schumann Vienna Carnival, op 26 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lkD8uhpzKw&feature=youtu.be
Wednesday, Thursday 1:30-8:30, Friday 1:30-6pm, Saturday 10am-3pm, Sunday 1pm-4pm
Lori Richardson (flute, piano)
Earned a Bachelor of Music degree with and emphasis in Performance from California State University Fresno. Lori also studied with Leone Buyse, Jim Walker, and attended Summer Master Class Seminars with the renowned master flutist and teacher, Frances Blaisdell. With over 20 years of performing and teaching experience Lori is passionate about passing on her love of music to her students through a nurturing environment that emphasizes tone production, technique building, ear training and artistry/musicianship. She believes the study of music enhances every aspect of a young persons development, creativity, sense of accomplishment and future success.
Board Member MTAC, Member National Flute Association
Tuesday 1:30pm-6:00pm, Wednesday 1:30-6:30, Mondays upon request
Esther Yi (piano, Kindermusik)
Earned her Bachelor degree from California State University Northridge in Piano Pedagogy. She had been teaching piano for last 22 years, impacting 4 year olds to adults for over 2 decades. Just a few classes short of receiving her Masters in Early Childhood Education from California State University Los Angeles, she brings a wealth knowledge and understanding of children's minds and musical needs. Former member of MTAC for 7 years. Fluent in Korean.
Member MTAC, Kindermusik Educator
Yafei Lin (piano)
is an experienced soloist and collaborative artist with performances in the United States, Taiwan, and on television. Most recently, Yafei worked as a collaborative pianist with numerous Los Angeles-based choirs, including SUUS Choir, Taiwanese Hai-Yun Choir, and Woodland Academy Choir. She serves as a staff accompanist at CSU Northridge, and regularly accompanies for student competitions and evaluations throughout the greater Los Angeles area. As an active member of the Music Teacher‘s Association of California (MTAC), Ms. Lin has developed a reputation as a music educator dedicated to excellence and student success, and her students have been recognized for their outstanding performances in the Certificate of Merit and ABRSM. A native of Taiwan, Yafei began studying piano at the age of seven and continued her education at Shih Chien University, where she studied piano and violin. She holds a Master’s Degree in piano performance from CSU Northridge, with piano studies under Dmitry Rachmanov, and was the recipient of the Etude Music Club Endowment and the Art Council Music Scholarship. Fluent in Mandarin.
Member MTAC, Royal Conservatory
Wednesday 1:30-8:30pm, Saturdays, additional availability upon request
Sean Mulholland (guitar, bass, ukulele)
hailed as an ‘emerging artist’, has been a featured performer throughout the country. He began his studies with Christopher Ladd at the Hartt School, where he later attended for his Bachelor of Music degree. Mulholland now holds a Master of Music degree from the Thornton School of Music, studying under Grammy award-winning LAGQ member Scott Tennant. Through these programs, Mulholland has performed in masterclasses for world renowned musicians such as Pepe Romero, Oscar Ghiglia, Jason Vieaux, Paul Galbraith, and Richard Provost. He has presented solo concerts around the country, including a featured performance at his alma mater’s ‘Hartt School Guitar Festival’. Mulholland has been involved in numerous premieres of new music, such as ‘4 Moods and Coda’ by Roland Dyens and ‘Hemingway’ by Andrew York. In addition to being an accomplished soloist, Mulholland is a founding member of the Orpheo Quartet and the SC Guitar Duo. These ensembles have been featured groups around California including a radio broadcast performance for LACMA's 'Sunday's Live' series at the Bing Theater. Additionally, the Orpheo Quartet was the recipient of the 2016 ‘Classical Guitar Ensemble’ award from the Thornton School.
Weekdays 9am-2pm, Saturday 3:30pm-5:00pm
Dr. Ken Nagatani (guitar)
Received both a Master of Music and a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Manuel Barrueco, and completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Southern California in 2006 as a student of William Kanengiser. While at USC, he was the recipient of the Mary Pickford Foundation Endowed Scholarship in Classical Guitar and the Jack Marshall Memorial Scholarship. Ken has been active as a teacher and performer in Los Angeles area for the past 17 years, and is currently an adjunct instructor at East Los Angeles College, Long Beach City College, and Glendale City College.
Fri 1:30pm-8:30pm, Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm
Joshua Jerome (saxophone, clarinet)
Is featured as the lead tenor saxophonist in the LA Swing Barons as well as member of the classical saxophone quartet Ex Sono. Josh has received numerous awards as a soloist and section player in multiple genres including Outstanding Musicianship awards from the Riverside Jazz Festival and the Fullerton College Jazz Festival as well as winning the state MTNA chamber music competition in California. As a student at California State University Fullerton, Josh played principal saxophone for Symphonic Winds and First Tenor for the Fullerton Jazz Orchestra while studying with Damon Zick and Jeff Ellwood. Josh has performed with artists such as Bob Mintzer, Joe LaBarbera, Francisco Torres, and Scott Robinson. .
Monday, Tuesday, Friday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm
Dr. Caster J. Teoh (trumpet, brass)
Hails from Penang, Malaysia, Caster started playing the violin when he was 6 years old but switched to the trumpet in 1997. Caster was serving as principal trumpet in the Penang Symphony Orchestra from 2000-2002. In 2015, he was appointed Principal Trumpet with Dream Orchestra of Los Angeles and has been performing with this wonderful ensemble since then. Since coming to the United States, Caster has appeared in numerous orchestras, including the American Youth Symphony, Orange County Symphony, Santa Monica Symphony, Quad City Symphony, Cedar Rapids Opera, West Coast Chamber Orchestra etc. While in college, he was one of the finalists in the Maia Quartet competition and was awarded outstanding Pi Kappa Lambda award in 2007. Caster has been performing with many professional ensembles, including the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Malaysia, Kumamoto International Orchestra, etc. under numerous conductors and artists, such as Kees Bakel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kurt Mazur, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, and many more. During the summers, he has performed in many countries, including Brazil, Italy, Japan, Korea, Belgium, Taiwan, Australia, Thailand, Canada, etc. A doctorate graduate from the USC Thornton School of Music, Caster was inducted as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society in 2007 and 2013. While at school, he was also a Fulbright scholarship student and has been awarded 2013 outstanding Brass Chamber Music award. For the past summers, Caster has been performing in many world-class music festivals, including the International Winter Music Festival in Brazil, Alba music festival in Italy, etc. In 2014, he was invited to perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 with West Coast Chamber Orchestra. His primary teachers include Andrew Balio, Boyde Hood, David Greenhoe, John Bourque and William Theis. Aside from being an orchestra musician, Caster has also served as Music Director/ Conductor of the Youth Symphony West Orchestra, Brass Coach at California Summer School for the Arts and Adjunct Professor of Brass at Grace Mission University. Caster is a much sought after teacher of trumpet. His students have won numerous music awards, admitted to credited universities, such as Michigan University, Eastman School of Music, University of California, Los Angeles, Cal state University at Northridge, etc. At the same time, Caster’s students also performed in music festivals, orchestras and competitions throughout the country, including the International Trumpet Guild competition, Colburn Youth Symphony and Jazz Orchestra, Pacific Youth Symphony, Idyllwild Music Academy, Colorado Youth Jazz Ensemble, etc. Fluent in Mandarin.
Wednesday 3pm-6pm, Friday 2:00pm-6:00pm, Saturday 2:00pm-3:30pm
Growing up in Curico Chile, Fer learned to love and appreciate the rhythms of her home country from cumbia, and cueca to salsa and Latin rock/pop. She played and recorded with the Latin Grammy and MTV awards nominated girl band MammaSoul, and toured through Europe and South America with the girl band LaBanda en Flor. Fer moved to LA 4 years ago and her exceptional skill and passion for music has gotten her to perform with artists like Lauren Jauregui from Fifth Harmony (on her South American Tour opening for Halsey), world famous reggaeton artist Becky G., Thalia at the Forum LA, Debbie Gibson on her tour in Chile, Indonesian pop star Inul Daratista, Jorge Blanco, Abraham Laboriel and Oscar Hernandez among others. Fer is currently endorsed by TRX Cymbals, DW Drums, Vic Firth and MEE Audio.
Monday 4:00pm-8:30pm, Tuesday 4:00pm-8:30pm
Kenny Elliott (percussion, drumset)
Kenny’s career as a professional drummer began at age 12 when he performed under the direction of the Red Saunders Orchestra at the Regal Theater. He was the staff drummer for Brunswick Records while teaching at the American Conservatory before moving to Los Angeles. Kenny toured with such greats as Lou Rawls, Aretha Franklin and Natalie Cole and performed with Ella Fitzgerald, Lucy Arnez, Diahann Caroll, Carol Channing, Ray Charles, Al Green, Eddie Harris, Al Jarreau, Chaka Kahn, Cheryl Lynn, Billy Preston, Helen Reddy, Dionne Warwick, and Stevie Wonder among others. He enjoys teaching and working with people.
Monday 1:30pm-5:30pm, Wednesday 1:30pm-5:30pm, Saturday 11:30am-3:30pm, Additional availability upon request
Quentin Dennard (percussion, drumset)
Quentin Dennard was born in Detroit, Michigan, and started his career in the late 1960s as session drummer for Motown Records. In a career spanning more than half a century, he has performed with multitude of music legends including Aretha Franklin, Roy Ayers, Dionne Warwick, B.B. King, Issac Hayes, Lamont Dozier, Jermaine Jackson, The Originals, Billy Mitchell, Keb Mo, and The Temptations. Quentin has also worked as a drummer in musical theatre, performing in the Fullerton Opera’s production of Ain’t Misbehavin, as well as the Ms. California beauty pageant and the world-renowned play Jelly’s Last Jam. Quentin’s mastery of many styles of music helps his students learn to “feel” each style, so that when they are called into a performance or recording session, they are not only ready to sight-read in any style, but to excel and impress.
Jonathan Lacayo (voice, piano, children)
Jonathan, a lyric tenor and San Diego native, studied vocal performance (B.A.) under Dr. John Craig Johnson and vocal coach Ines Irawati at Point Loma Nazarene University. Before finishing his studies, Jonathan had become an accomplished teacher. At the age 18 he began directing his church choir and by the following year had become the Director of Worship Ministries (Centro Cristiano La Palabra.) In the middle of his junior year of college he had been offered a teaching position at the Recreational Music Center in San Diego. There he created a Vocal Arts Summer program and helped create school curriculums through their school site programs, establishing a vocal curriculum at the Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Academy. Furthermore, Jonathan has sung with Diego Opera’s university partnership program Opera Exposed! and outreach program Opera on Track under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Reveles.
Jonathan has had the privilege of being invited to sing throughout the United States and internationally in Mexico. He made his U.S. Debut with Long Beach Opera, March 2016, in the role of “Wissam” in of Heather Raffo & Tobin Stokes’ Fallujah, an opera inspired by the story of U.S. Marine Christian Ellis in the Iraq War. He reprised the role in his debut with New York City Opera November 2016. Jonathan made his international debut with Opera de Tijuana in the role of “Joe” in Gershwin’s Blue Monday October 2015. Other roles include Long Beach Opera as “Man 1” in Robert Xavier’s west coast premier of Frida (2017); Opera Theatre of the Rockies: “Radames” in Verdi’s Aida (2017/scene), “Goro” in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (2017/scene), “Pylade” in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride (2017/scene); Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (2015/Act 1), Don Jose in Bizet’s Carmen (2015/scene); San Diego Opera’s Opera on Track as “Don Ramiro” in Rossini’s Cenerentola 2016/Act 1); Point Loma Opera Theatre: “Parpignol” in Puccini’s La Boheme (2015), “Prince Charment” in Massenet’s Cendrillon (2014), “Beppe” in Donizetti’s Rita (2014), “Giuseppe” in Loesser’s Most Happy Fella (2013), “Aeneas” in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (2012) understudy for “Camile” in Lehar’s Die Lustige Witwe (2012) and “Don Anchise” in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera (2011). Fluent in Spanish.
Jensi Sweatt (voice)
Jensi Sweatt has been studying voice since the age of 14. She began her training under the direction of Laurie Johnson and had the benefit of studying under many great instructors over the years, most recently and notably with Pamela Hicks and Bob Rose. She received her BA in Music with a focus in Vocal Performance from CSU Hayward in 2005. In addition to vocal training and experience, Jensi also has an instrumental music performance background, having played trombone and electric bass for several years. She has also taught at private schools with From the Heart Music, and has toured internationally with both choir and jazz bands. Jensi has experience with a wide range of genres and styles including classical, opera, rock, alternative/punk, gospel, country, and pop.
ALSO AVAILABLE UPON DEMAND:
Jiaxin (Aria) He (piano)
Received her Bachelors of Music in Music Education at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China. She was invited to perform in the highly selective Outstanding Student Graduation Concert of 2013. In 2015, Jiaxin received her Masters of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst on full Scholarship. She has extensive experience working with students of a variety of ages and backgrounds, both in China and the US. While in China, Jiaxin operated her own private studio, with students ranging from preschool ages to adult. During her time at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, she worked with advanced undergraduates to further their technique and mastery of performance. Jiaxin enjoys working with students of all ages, and uses their personal interests and passions to draw connections in music. Fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin.
Dr. Cagdas Soylar (piano)
Cagdas, born in Izmir, Turkey, moved to the capital city of Ankara, at the age of 11 by herself to enroll in the H.U Ankara State Conservatory where she studied the piano for 10 years. After completing her bachelor’s degree in piano performance, she worked as an accompanist at the same conservatory and taught piano at the universities and many private institutions for several years in Turkey. After being awarded “The Geraldine Pickerell Gordon Music Fund Scholarship” toward her graduate studies in piano performance, Soylar traveled to the United States and began studying with Dr. Reena Natenberg at Pittsburg State University in 2009.
In 2009, Soylar was awarded 2nd place in the Collegiate State Artist Competition–Graduate Division. In 2010, she was selected as a soloist by the State Symphony Orchestra and performed in the 2010-2011 season. In the same year, she was nominated for the Pittsburg Area Student Employee of the year by the First Christian Church, where she worked as a pianist for 3 years. In 2011, she was awarded “Excellence in Professional Service” by the Pittsburg State University Department of Music.
Soylar completed her graduate studies with the “Outstanding Student Award” and was granted membership in one of the most prominent national music honor societies in the U.S. created by the Alumni of the Northwestern University School of Music in Chicago, IL in 1918, because of her superior attainment in music and the ‘’personal qualifications pertaining to an outstanding exponent of the arts.” Since then, she has performed as a solo pianist and a collaborative pianist in many countries in Europe, Canada, and China, including China’s National Center for the Performing Arts Hall in Bejing, one of the most prestigious concert halls in the world.
In 2013, she began her doctoral studies in piano performance, studying with Dr. Paolo Susanni at the conservatory in Izmir, Turkey and completed it in 2017. In 2016, she also completed her second master’s at Azusa Pacific University in Keyboard Collaborative Arts, studying with Dr. Joel Clifft. Currently, she is working on her Artist Certificate program in piano performance at APU studying with Dr. Eugene Alcalay, one of the famous Steinway artists. She has been working as an accompanist at APU since 2014 and at First Thai Presbyterian Church in Covina as a pianist since 2015. Fluent in Turkish.
Sunday (Monterey Park) 3pm-7pm
Tany Ling (Soprano)
Is a dedicated singer of contemporary and experimental music, performing repertoire ranging from rock to opera, from the traditional to the avant-garde. She has been a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden, and has performed on stages across North America and Europe, premiering roles in numerous chamber works and operas, including the new operas "22: Taker of the Total Chance" for Long Beach Opera; "HELL" by Michael Webster and punk poet Eileen Myles in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tijuana's CECUT; "What To Wear?" by Richard Foreman and Michael Gordon at REDCAT in Los Angeles; and "Tragedy On the Sea Nymph" at Machine Project. In 2004-2006, she toured nationwide with the multi-platinum winning rock group Trans-Siberian Orchestra, singing a rock version of the "Queen of the Night" aria from Mozart's opera The Magic Flute. She currently is a member of the Industrial Jazz Group singing avant-garde big band party music. Past groups include Ensemble Green, Arcanum, Aulos Saxophone Quartet, CalArts New Century Players and the Robin Cox Ensemble, groups dedicated to modern works, and Eighteen Squared, an ensemble specializing in the minimalist music of Steve Reich. She has been featured in numerous productions with Long Beach Opera as well as the Mircofest microtonal music concert series.
Recordings include the latest Trans-Siberian Orchestra release "Nightcastle" (Atlantic Records); "LEEF" for the Industrial Jazz Group (Evander); song cycle "Black Sky Hates the Moon" by New York composer Max Gitek Duykers; and Arcanum's "Seven Songs of Sorrow" (Black Phone Records) by Alan Lechusza. Film and video include "Avatar" (20th Century Fox) by James Cameron with music by James Horner; "Velvet and Ratskins," a short film by experimental animator Evan James; and a prized non-singing role in a music video for The Mae-Shi.
Tany earned a Bachelor of Music in classical vocal performance from the University of California in Irvine and a M.F.A. in classical vocal performance from California Institute of the Arts. She has previously been on staff with Piedmont Children’s Choirs Summer Camp and Yamaha Music as a voice and music theory teacher and with Power Chord Academy and DayJams as a voice teacher and rock band facilitator.
Margaret Li (piano)
Completed her undergraduate studies with highest honors at the University of Illinois at Campaign Urbana, and obtained her Masters in Music degree from Chinese University of Hong Kong where she minored in musicology. She is a skilled classical and church pianist with over twenty years of musical study and over 12 years teaching experience, ranging from early childhood classes, to university musicology lectures. She brings this versatility into her private and group lessons. Her students thoroughly enjoy music through experiencing her enthusiasm and passion for high standards and enjoyable education. Fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin.
Member ABRSM, MTAC
Monday 12:00pm-3:30pm, Wednesdays 12pm-3:30pm
Susanna Kwon Cervantes (cello)
Began her musical journey at the age of 4 with piano. At the age of 8, Susanna continued her music education by adding cello, as she had studied under her teachers, Rachel Coosaia and Elizabeth Wright. Her undergraduate studies were done with Dr. Marek Szpakiewicz, at Azusa Pacific University, where she acquired her Bachelor's in cello performance and a minor in psychology. She collaborates often with many different artists and groups, where she plays for various private events. Susanna is also the full-time pianist at First Baptist Church of Glendale. While she truly enjoys the art of performance, she has been sharing her passion for the arts with the younger generation for the past six years through private and group lessons. Her other interests include hiking, eating, and singing.
Jeff Pifher (saxophone)
Attended the Eastman School of Music where he studied jazz saxophone with Walt Weiskopf and classical saxophone with Chien-Kwan Lin. After completing his degree, Jeff became a full time production assistant and stage manager at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Returning to academia, he received his master of music degree in jazz performance from the elite Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. While in Miami he studied jazz saxophone with Gary Keller and jazz piano with Whit Sidner. Recently Jeff has been in pursuit of his doctorate in jazz performance (D.M.A.) and has received a certificate in arts entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. Jeff uses music to inspire his students to challenge themselves and make learning a more enjoyable experience.
Monday-Wednesday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Thursday 6:30-8:30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm
Carolyn Iga (President, Piano, Kindermusik)
Grew up teaching herself to play the ukulele at the age of 4, and taking formal piano lessons at the age of 7. She became the lead trumpet in the Hawaii State Junior Orchestra, Concert Band, Marching Band and Jazz Band. Carolyn earned a Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Hawaii and a Masters in Church Music with a major on piano and choral conducting from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Masters in Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. In 2000 she opened Neighborhood Music School, teaching piano to kids in her neighborhood and expanding to studios in Malibu, Santa Clarita, San Gabriel, and Arcadia. She worked with mommy and me classes and has coached beginner students all the way through the advanced level of the Certificate of Merit exam and her students have received 100% music theory awards. Her piano students have been distinguished by their lyrical melody lines. She coaches intermediate students to see the chord structures their music, in order to venture off the piano score and improvise, a technique which is essential in church music. After opening her Arcadia school she began studying Mandarin and has since devoted her life to relief work in China. She coaches piano, vocal, and theory students when she is in town. Fluent in Mandarin.
Member MTAC, accepts new students only upon special request