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.
Tuesday-Thursday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Friday 2:00pm-5:30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm
David Orr (piano)
A New England native, received a Bachelor of Arts in both Piano Performance and Music Theory from the University of New Hampshire, and holds a Masters of Music in Composition from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has studied and performed internationally with concert pianists from the top music schools in the country, including New England Conservatory and Juilliard. He has also received awards from several prestigious piano competitions, including the American Fine Arts Festival (held in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall). In addition to performance, David is an active composer for film, television, and video games, with dozens of clients including HBO and Activison. His video game music has been performed internationally, with a 2015 performance at the Dutch Game Music concert in the Netherlands. With extensive academic training in the art of composition, he also regularly composes concert music. He completed his first symphony The Alchemist in 2014, which was recorded by the The University of Massachusetts, Amherst Symphony Orchestra. David brings his diverse musical experience to his lessons, providing students with a well-rounded education in performance, theory, and analysis. Having taught in a variety of private and group settings -- from preschool lessons to university lectures -- He draws from all of these environments to provide a comfortable, relevant, and engaging environment for his students. You can find out more about David and his work at www.davidorr.net
Monday-Thursday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Friday 2:00pm-5:30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 9am-12pm
Gary Blumer (piano, composition)
Holds a masters degree in Composition from Wayne State University, he's been performing at the piano for over 35 years in jazz, classical and pop genres. Band leader, freelance pianist, composer/arranger and educator - having taught at WSU for 13 years - are all areas in which Gary has many years of experience. www.myspace.com/garyblumerjazzpiano
Tuesday, Thursday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Saturday 9am-6pm (Arcadia);
Monday, Wednesday 11am-8:30pm (Burbank)
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
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.
Thursday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday (Monterey Park) 3pm-7pm
Dr. Kristin Caliendo (flute, piano, voice, children's fundamentals)
Earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts from Claremont Graduate University in 2016, Master’s of Music in flute performance from Arizona State University in 2005, and her Bachelor’s of Arts from Grand Canyon University in 2003 where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. The winner of the Bay View Music Festival concerto competition and two-time winner of the Maricopa Community College “Outstanding Performers Instrumental Competition,” Kristin is currently teaching at Neighborhood Music School and at her home in San Dimas, CA. She also performs with her husband, composer and guitarist Christopher Caliendo at a variety of local and national events. Kristin strives to provide her students with instruction and experience to develop musical proficiency in both music performance and knowledge in an encouraging, positive, and enjoyable atmosphere.
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
Olivia Breidenthal (violin)
Earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance from DePaul University. While there, she spent four years under the tutelage of world-renowned soloist Ilya Kaler. She has spent her life immersed in music, having both parents as musicians of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and she has studied the violin since she was 5 years old. She is also an alumnus of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. During the last ten years, she has performed in Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony Center, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Olivia is passionate about teaching music. As a graduate of music school, she feels strongly about the effect that music has on youth and the academic community.
Thursday 2:30pm-8:30pm, additional availability upon request.
Suzanne Inwood (violin)
A USC music school graduate, Suzanne has taught for over 30 years. Accomplishments include performing in the Indiana University Symphony, South Bend Symphony, USC Symphony, among others and teaching at the South Bend Community Schools Summer Clinic, the Idylwild Summer Music School, the Irvine Conservatory of Music, the USC Community School of Performing Arts. She is a creative teacher committed to excellence, providing good fundamentals for the beginner and coaching advanced students as they prepare for auditions, performances, and contests. Suzanne is also offering a 10% discount on lessons for senior adults ages 70+.
Monday 3:00pm-8:30pm Tuesday 1:30pm-8:30pm, Wednesday 3:00pm-8:30pm, Thursdays 1:30-8:30, Saturday 1pm-5pm, additional availability upon request.
Yao Wang (cello)
was born in Xinjiang, China, and began cello study at the age of five with his father. After attending Shanghai Conservatory in China from 2004- 2005, he completed his Performer’s Certificate at La Sierra University in Riverside, received a full scholarship to the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California, and received his Master Degree in music performance from Azusa Pacific University. In 2000 Yao was awarded 2nd Prize in the National Competition and top prize in the Central Conservatory String Competition in China. In 2002 he received a full scholarship to the Itzhak Perlman Music Program, and performed with Perlman in that year. Also in 2002, Yao was featured soloist in a performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto with Xinjiang Philharmonic. Yao won 1st Prize in the American String Teachers' Association competition in Redlands Los Angeles, and received a full scholarship to the International Cello Master Program Gregor Piatigorshy Seminar that year. In 2008, he became one of winners in Sigma Alpha Iota Competition. Yao served as principal cellist of the Corona Symphony Orchestra from 2008-2010 and continues to solo in the Los Angeles area. Fluent in Mandarin.
Friday 4pm-6:30pm, available upon request
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.
Perfecto De Castro (guitar, electric bass)
Is a multi-awarded guitarist proficient in Classical, Flamenco and Electric Rock Guitar Styles. He is an active performer, having given concerts and recitals in Southern California, SF Bay Area, Portland OR, Chicago, New Jersey, Connecticut and the Philippines. Highly in demand as a teacher, Perfecto’s instruction involves modern methods in music theory, ear training, positioning and proper muscular movement, tone production, and sound design and manipulation. Fluent in Tagalog. www.perfdecastro.com
Monday / Wednesday 3:30pm-8:30pm
Dr. Angelo Dibello (guitar,bass,drums)
was born in Monopoli, Italy. He is a singer, songwriter and a multi-instrumentalist. He spent more than 10 years learning the music composition, audio engineering and performing live. He earned is Bachelor degree in Guitar and his Master degree in Modern Guitar and Live Performance from Guitar CPM Music Institute in Milano, Lombardia. Angelo has also worked as music composer for Dolce & Gabbana making original soudtracks for their website during the fashion weeks seasons. In addition, he played guitar for Jack Daniel's commercial radio spot. When Angelo was young he was a member of Monopoli Youth Orchestra as percussionist. Between 1994-2007 he has performed many concerts in the most popular live venues in Italy. He moved to Los Angeles in 2013 were he started touring as guitarist for a worldwide Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band. He performed in Japan, South Korea, Mexico and all over America. Currently he performs drums with Steelwitch a Heavy Metal Band that has been played shows in the most famous venues in Los Angeles area like Viper Room, Rainbow Bar And Grill and The Study in Hollywood. He plays also Jazz, Swing, Funky and Rockabilly Drums as freelance Drummer.
Wednesday 1:30-8:30, Fri 1:30pm-8:30pm, Sunday 9:00am-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
Joan Quinto (percussion, drumset)
Is a passionate drummer, percussionist, and teacher. She plays any genre and performs regularly all over Southern California. She also performed with Gwen Stefani on television shows including Saturday Night Live, Good Morning America, David Letterman, MTV TRL, and the Ellen Show. Joan earned her Bachelors of Music in Percussion Performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU Long Beach. Some of the teachers she studied with are Lynn Vartan, Michael Packer, Brad Dutz, Ricky Lawson, and Mike Shapiro.
Monday 4:00pm-8:30pm, Wednesday 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
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:
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
Dr. I-Ting Huang (violin, viola, piano)
A passionate musician, the top winner of all instrumental concerto competition at the Taipei National University of the Arts and awarded second and first prize in National Viola and Chamber Competitions in Taiwan. I-Ting started the piano at age 3, the violin at age 9, the Er Hu (the Chinese two string instrument) at age 13, and majored at the piano performance until she switched to viola performance for her bachelors degree. As a full scholarship recipient, she earned her masters degree and professional studies diploma at Mannes College of Music and The New School University, New York. She is currently working on her doctorate in music from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Her students have been selected to Hunter College-High School orchestra in New York. She has a long list of performances to her credit including being selected by the Chamber Music Society at the Lincoln Center, the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival touring concerts in Europe, and the Prague Spring opening concert in Smetana Hall. Fluent in Mandarin.
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