Piano, Violin, Theory
A Kansas City native, Alex’s formative years were spent in his music-filled household where his passion for music began. However, another passion arose simultaneously: basketball. While a skilled and astute basketball player, being shorter than many of his counterparts made it difficult to see basketball as a likely possible profession. While basketball remained a hobby, Alex realized he had much more of a penchant for music. While studying percussion and drum set in public school, Alex also took after another musician in the family, his father. Alex’s father is a guitarist who helped shape Alex’s desire to listen, learn, and practice as much music as he could all while having the benefit of molding a drummer he could later practice and perform with.
Not long after beginning to play drum set at home with his father, he began his formal training as a percussionist. While studying percussion and drum set all throughout grade school, he was also performing and collaborating with local musicians. His passion for music led him to the University of Kansas’s School of Music where he studied and performed with many of Kansas City’s most accomplished musicians. During his college tenure, teaching also became a calling. He began teaching private lessons, group classes, rock and jazz bands, as well as conducting clinics and masterclasses.
After graduating with various accolades, including the Dick Wright Jazz Award, from the University of Kansas, he moved to the DFW area to pursue his career in music and music education. Performance continues to be one of his passions as he performs with various groups throughout DFW. Now on his 9th consecutive year teaching music, he considers it an honor to pass on his passion for music to his students.
Alex currently resides in East Dallas near White Rock Lake with his girlfriend Tara who is a Homepage/Social Producer for the Dallas Morning News. He continues to play basketball as a hobby and enjoys running, collecting drums, and adventures with Tara and their pug, Stanley.
Kaye Yu-Ho Chang Chilton
Cello and Piano
Born in Poland. She graduated from The Frederic Chopin University of Music in Warsaw where she received her B.M. and M.M. in viola performance along with a pedagogical diploma. As an Erazmus scholar, she studied with Vladimir Bukac (Talich String Quartet) in Germany at the Hochschule fur Musik Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden.
She improved her viola playing skills under the watchful eye of pedagogues such as: Stefan Kamasa, Piotr Reichert, Ryszard Duz, Danilo Rossi from La Scala, Italy, Vladimir Bukac from the Talich String Quartet, Dresden University of Music, Rivka Golani from Trinity College of Music in London, Christoph Schiller from University of Music in Zurich, Zbigniew Czarnota, Wiesław Rekucki from the Academy of Music in Oviedo, Spain, Bartosz Bryla, Gudny Gudmundsdottir from Iceland Academy of Arts, Stephan Pätzold from Staatskapelle Dresden, Katarzyna Budnik-Galazka from Symphony Varsovia, Scharoun Ensemble from Berliner Philharmoniker, Julia Gartemann from Berliner Philharmoniker, Camerata Quartet and others.
As an orchestral musician, Monika has performed in several concert halls and venues around the world including: the Opera Allianz in Buenos Aires, Carnegie Hall in New York City, Boston Symphony Hall, Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington D.C., Chicago Symphony Center Orchestra Hall, Adrienne Arsht Center Kinght Concert Hall in Miami and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. Eglise Notre Dame in Bordeaux, Basilique Fourvière in Lyon, Theatre Du Jeu de Paume in Aix en Provence, Salle Gaveau in Paris, Halle aux Grains in Toulouse, Auditiorio Nacional Madrid, Auditiorio Miguel Delibes in Valladolid, Euskalduna in Bilbao, Tatro Gayarre in Pamplona, Kursaal in San Sebastian, Opera Berlioz in Montpellier, Witold Lutoslawski Philharmony in Wroclaw, Poland, National Radio Symphony Orchestra Hall in Katowice, Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, Semperoper Dresden and many others.
She played viola in the Wratislavia Chamber Orchestra, Santander Orchestra (under the baton of Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki and John Axlerod), and with the Gorzów Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2015, together with Scharoun Ensemble from Berliner Philharmoniker, she performed during the Emanacje III International Music Festival at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Center for Music in Luslawice, Poland. Currently she is a DMA viola performance student at University of North Texas where she is studying with Dr. Susan Dubois. .
Born and raised in Mauritius. I speak fluently English and French. I started studying the piano at age 7 and played classical music. I have studied and achieved certification with the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) I have been teaching as a private tutor for over 20 years and my students age groups between 5 -16 years.
I have performed in some concerts in my home country- I recently moved to Plano, Texas. In 2015, I joined the Conservatoire de Musique in Mauritius as piano teacher.
During my free time, I enjoy practicing sports. I like playing Volleyball, Swimming, Zumba, Yoga and Tai Chi. I also enjoy cooking and traveling .
Stejara started playing the piano when she was 6, and then picked up the violin in a strings class a couple of years later. She loved playing music and was a member of her school’s orchestra throughout lower school, middle school, and high school. In fifth grade, she tried out for the TPSMEA All-Region orchestra and was chosen by audition to participate in the orchestra all four years of her middle school career. In high school, Stejara tried out for the TPSMEA All-State orchestra her freshman year and received the spot of first alternate. Over the next three years, she participated in the TPSMEA All-Region High School Orchestra and played in the first violin section. Furthermore, Stejara played solos for judges in the TPSMEA Solo and Ensemble violin competitions during her first three years of high school. She received Superior ratings for all three years and qualified to play at the state level during her freshman and junior years. She received the Superior medal at the state level both years as well.
In piano, she has played solos in the Sonatina and American Festivals each year, receiving only superior ribbons. She has received the PMTA Studio Award for receiving superior ribbons in four consecutive years for both the Sonatina and American Festivals. Furthermore, she has taken music theory exams and received silver medals. Stejara has also participated in the TPSMEA Solo and Ensemble piano competitions for two years, receiving superior ratings for both years and qualifying for State in her junior year. She received the superior rating at State as well. Stejara loved competing with both violin and piano, but she enjoyed playing for the public more. Therefore, her freshman year of high school, Stejara started an instrumental ensemble that performed at the annual Romanian Food Festival in Colleyville, weddings for friends, and other events at her church. This ensemble started with two violins, a piano, and a cello in its first year and expanded to include over 11 different instruments in its fourth year, including the saxophone and the clarinet.
Stejara, is a graduate of our holistic educational approach. She has been studying with Ms. Tatiana Glava for several years, who is an advocate of holistic education. Ms. Dinulescu, has also worked on a musical book project with Mrs. Gorpin. Mrs. Gorpin wrote an educational music book for preschoolers and Ms. Dinulescu drew the paintings for the book.
During her free time, Stejara enjoys drawing, painting, and teaching horseback riding camp for kids between the ages of 8-14. She loves teaching because she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others and seeing her students achieve their goals and succeed at what they love to do.
Nabeel began his classical guitar training in 1989 at the national conservatory of Syria in his hometown of Damascas, graduating in 1997. After graduating from high school in 2000, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Environmental and Applied Geology in 2005 from the University of Jordan, Amman, and won the Moyen-Guitare lère mèdaille ascendante (the first medal of the middle stage in guitar performance) from both the National Conservatory of Jordan, Amman, and Conservatoire National de Region Ville de Boulogne-Billancourt, France. Nabeel has been a classical guitar teacher and performer since 2003. Currently, he is working on a Master's degree in classical guitar performance at the University of North Texas, Denton. Nabeel is currently conducting the first computer-based survey specifically investigating the musculoskeletal pain and performance anxiety experienced by classical guitarists. He hopes his study will form the base for future studies that are interested in classical guitar playing-related injuries.
Piano and Theory
Ryan Bledsoe is a music educator and certified teacher. As an elementary general music teacher, Ryan taught in public schools in Arizona and Florida. Since moving to Texas, she has worked with infants through early adolescents. Ryan’s teaching philosophy is strongly rooted in child creativity, with children at the center of the music curriculum. As an advocate for creativity in education, she organized the first Arizona Composition Festival for K-12 students. Ryan uses aspects of many teaching approaches with children, which include the Orff-Schulwerk and Kodaly approaches. Not limiting herself to these approaches, she incorporates child-centered strategies and project-based learning, facilitating musical experiences where children learn about themselves as musical beings connected to their culture and the world.
As a doctoral student in music education at Arizona State University, Ryan taught university courses to future educators. She has presented numerous times at education conferences on composition, music technology, and the Maker Culture in music. Ryan is currently working on her dissertation in music education, which is about young children as creators of their own electronic instruments. Ryan has articles published in General Music Today and The Arizona Music News. Her most recent publication is a chapter in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Technology and Music Education.
As an accomplished saxophonist, Ryan played with the Helios Saxophone Quartet, which won the Fischoff and Coleman Chamber Music competitions. She has also been involved with commissions and premiers of many works for the saxophone. Ryan enjoys playing the flute and singing, which she did for the minimalist group Integers Are For Counting. As a contemporary music enthusiast, she performed with the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble and Crossing 32nd Street.
In her spare time, Ryan enjoys knitting, weaving, cooking, reading, and playing videogames. She especially enjoys embedding sound and lights into her fabric creations and sharing them with others.
Mrs. Kaye Yu-Ho Chang Chilton started her musical training in her native Taiwan, first on the piano at the age of five, then three years later, on the cello. She earned a Bachelor of Music Performance degree at Taiwan’s Fu Jen Catholic University, a Master of Music degree and a Graduate Artist Certificate at the University of North Texas. Currently, she is pursuing Doctor of Music Arts in performance with a teaching fellowship at UNT under the tutelage of Nikola Ruzevic. From 2011 to 2013, she performed frequently as a member of Nova string quartet in UNT. Winner of several prestigious national music competitions in Taiwan, Kaye has performed numerous solo recitals as well as chamber music concerts, including on tours of California and Southeast Asia.
Unkyoung Kim began violin lessons at the age twelve. She attended in Germany at the Hochschule in Hannover, and completed “Kunstlerishe Reufeprufung” at the Detmold Musik Hoschschule and at the Franz Liszt Weimar Musikhochschule where she studied with Norbert Brainin (Amadeus Quartet) for Aufbaustudium. She came USA in 1998 and finished her master degree on violin and viola at the TCU and ASU. Also, she served as assistant concertmaster in NC. She was a faculty member of the Cannon Music Camp in North Carolina and received Doctor Degree on 2014 from University of Illinois Champain Urbana.
She has been appeared many music festival in Europe such as Tibor Varga, Verbier, Holland, Zagan string festival with rekowned artist Ida Handel, Ivry Gitlis, Herman Krebber, Ruggiero Ricci, and Tibor Varga. She was a winner of international competition in London and finalist in Vienna. In 2005, her recital in North Carolina was broadcast on NC radio and T.V.
In 2006, her recital was broadcast on Louisiana Radio Station and Boston T.V station, and she was awarded for N Y debut recital by Artist International Management. Last year, she received Vienna International Competition and produced her solo CD and DVD in Vienna, Austria, (www.perrenoud-foundation.com) and received on “Honorary Membership Award” in Contemporary Record Society in Philadelphia. (www.crsnews.org). Her US debut recording will release in 2009 with CRS label. She is directing Global Artist Society (www.globalartistsociety.com), and she had opening Peace concert of “Son KeeChung” (www.marathon1936.com) at the Parliament in Seoul, Korea. Also, she conducted for recording production with Chopin Academy Chamber Orchestra in 2008, Poland. She was expressed as strong expression performer in German newspaper. She has been performed actively in USA and Europe. In 2009, she received Award from Son KeeChung foundation for Peace concert Project. She is currently a faculty at the Tulane University.
Yuan Wu grew up in Taiwan and began her music education at the age of six. Throughout her youth, she participated numbers of the music festival and won prizes at local competitions. In 2008, Yuan came to the United States to attend Michigan State University as a piano performance major student, studied under Dr. Derek Polischuk, who was a pupil of renowned piano pedagogue Daniel Pollack.
In the fall of 2013, Yuan joined the Master of Music program at Arizona State University and studied under the internationally respected pianist, Robert Hamilton. During her master study, Yuan participated and performed at PianoSummer, New Paltz, where she studied under well-renowned pianists. Paul Ostrovsky, Robert Roux, Susan Starr, Philip Kawin, Alexander Korsantia and three of the XV international Tchaikovsky competition jury, Vladimir Feltsman, Alexander Toradze, and Vladimir Ovchinnikov. Over the years, Yuan also performed in several master classes, which held by world-class pianists, Ruei-Bin Chen, Kathryn Brown and Eugene Alcalay.
Currently, Yuan is working towards a Doctorate of Music Arts degree in piano performance at the University of North Texas, studies under Vladimir Viardo, the gold medalist of the IV Van Cliburn International Competition. Besides performing on stage, Yuan is also passion in piano pedagogy. In her senior year at Michigan State University, she learned how to be a piano teacher at the community music school to teach group lessons once a week. During her master studies, she has been a piano teacher to teach private lessons on weekly basis. Yuan had extensive experience teaching on both private piano and group piano lessons of all ages and levels.Type your paragraph here.
Violin and Viola Instructor
Born in Penang, Malaysia, Ashley started playing the piano at the age of 5. Under instructions of Catherine Lee, she obtained her Grade 8 certificate from the Associated Board of Royal Academy of Music at 14, then Performers' Certificate and Grade 8 violin from Trinity College Examination Board a year later. In 2005, she was awarded full scholarship to study solo piano performance at National Taiwan University of Arts in Taipei, during which she had studied with Yueh-Ling Lee, Tamás Vásáry, Oxana Yablonskaya, Gustavo Romero and Joseph Banowetz. She graduated from NTUA in 2009 with first prize and was awarded Outstanding International Student Award. In December 2009, she was awarded Birmingham Conservatoire Piano Department Bursary and has completed her Master of Music degree studies under tutelage of Simon Nicholls, Malcolm Wilson, and John Thwaites.
Ashley has, upon graduation, established a promising career as a collaborative artist in the United Kingdom. She has performed in numerous festivals and concerts working with UK's leading music figures and associations including Helen Field, Justin Lavender, Dennis O'neil, Jane Samuels, Simone Rebello, Christopher Warren Green, Dante String Quartet, School of Theatre Excellence, Arts Educational Schools London, leading to an offer as resident opera repetiteur and vocal coach at Wales International Academy of Voice in May 2014.
Ashley is currently pursuing her Doctoral of Musical Arts studies with emphases in Collaborative Piano at University of North Texas.
Early Childhood Music Educator
Saxophone and Flute Instructor
Jana Kmodras has earned her Piano, Violin and Theory degrees at the Music Conservatory in the Czech Republic, along with 25 years of performing experience as an accomplished violinist. Jana is a former member of the CBC Orchestra, Vancouver Opera, Ottawa Civic Orchestra, Hull Chamber Orchestra and the National Opera Theatre in the Czech Republic. Jana has also recorded an Individual Profile Recording and Concert sponsored by CBC Radio Canada. Jana has 25 years of Piano, Violin and Theory teaching experience in Canada and Europe, without limitations on students age, musical style or level.
Victoria Gorpin attended a professional music school for gifted students since she was five years old in her native country Moldova. Coming from a family of professional musicians, Mrs. Gorpin was encouraged by her parents to purse her career in violin performance and piano. After moving to the states at the age of 17, Victoria was accepted with full scholarship at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance. Victoria performed both as a soloist and orchestra member in numerous cities throughout Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Austria, Moscow, NYC, Colorado, Florida, and Texas. While performing with symphony orchestras and playing solo recitals, she discovered her love for teaching. This led Victoria to work intensively on building her own studio. In addition to her studio, Victoria was invited to teach privately in middle schools, high schools, and one private music school. Meanwhile, Mrs. Gorpin has developed a music summer camp program for children who have not yet had a chance to play an instrument. The purpose of the camp was to encourage children to find an instrument that best suited their interest and improve the arts in the society.
Victoria has earned her Masters Degree in Music Education and k-12 Teacher Certification from Teachers College at Columbia University. There she became inspired about holistic education. Victoria's interest in educating the whole child has evolved into a dream to opening her own holistic music school "Edelweiss School of Music" in Plano, Texas. She is dedicated to share her passion with other teachers, who can educate our community and students about the benefits of holistic education.
In her free time, Victoria enjoys cooking, researching innovative teaching strategies, traveling, and most importantly spending time with her family.