Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, she received a Bachelors of Science in Arts Administration at Butler University, Indianapolis, IN. Taking music performance to heart, has attended and worked hundreds of performances with Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University, the Pabst Theater Group in Milwaukee, WI, and stage management at Milwaukee Irish Festival. Since graduation she has worked with The Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee, The Florentine Opera, and Milwaukee Film Festival before moving to Chicago. While in Chicago, she has expanded into teaching ukulele and promoting music education. Always wanting to learn and help, her home is full of instruments and sheet music to share!
Shuyi Guan was born in Shenyang, China; being inspired by great musicians at the time she began her career as a pianist at the Middle School attached to Shenyang Conservatory of Music. As a pianist, she received recognition from fellow musicians as she received the Dean's Talent Award of the Oberlin Conservatory, Thaviu/ Issak Endowed Scholarship, and Eckstein Fund at Northwestern University. In addition, she also received scholarships to further improve her musicianship attending the Banff Centre in 2010, 2011, 2012. She is the winner at KU concerto competition, 2017. Other prizes she gained include the First Prize of the “Schumann Cup” International Juvenile Piano Competition (Asia-Pacific Region), and the Third Prize of the 69 th Steinway Juvenile Piano Competition (Northeast Region). As a soloist, she performed in many different countries putting herself under the scrutiny of various cultural standards; she played in Spain, Germany, China, Canada, U.S. She has also played in the masterclass of Robert McDonald, Nalita True, Julian Martin, Enrico Elisi, Boris Slutsky, Tamás Ungár etc. As an avid chamber musician, Shuyi collaborates regularly in performance with instrumentalists and singers in the United States as well as China.
As a piano teacher, she has taught at Lawrence Piano Studio, Organization of Piano Without Borders under the University of Kansas, Northwestern University and Oberlin Conservatory. She is the recipient of The Carol Nott Piano Pedagogy Prize at Oberlin College, 2013. Shuyi has recently obatined her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the University of Kansas where she studied under the tutelage of Dr. Steven Spooner. Shuyi has also studied with Alan Chow, Angela Cheng, Rosemary Platt, Dan Wen Wei in her past.
Born in Naples, Florida, Kacey has been studying classical guitar from the age of ten. While in Florida, Kacey studied with Rafael Padron and Thomas Koch. In 2013, Kacey moved to the city of Chicago to study with Denis Azabagic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Kacey graduated magna cum laude and was awarded the Music Performance Award. Kacey is now continuing his graduate studies at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, studying under Denis Azabagic. Master classes with notable guitarists and pedagogues such as: Sergio Assad, Eden Stell Duo, Benjamin Verdery, Andrew York, and Margarita Escarpa have cultivated a thorough understanding of the various teaching methods and styles that exist in the guitar repertoire.
Violin / Piano Faculty
Rachel Peters is a violinist whose musical career has taken her to performances in Chicago, Beijing, Shanghai, London, and more. Rachel grow up playing both the violin and the piano! Previously she studied at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music and at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts with a concentration in violin where she received the Artistic Director’s Award for her artistic excellence. Rachel first debuted as a soloist with the SCPA Chamber Orchestra in 2008 and has then gone on to perform with the Northern Kentucky University Preparatory Orchestra and the University of Cincinnati Pre-College Chamber Orchestra along with other ensembles. She has participated in master classes with artists such as Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Leonidas Kavakos, Janet Sung, and Benjamin Zander. She is currently a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and is a co-founder of the Seraphina Ensemble, a contemporary chamber music group that aims to promote the works of living composers. Rachel has completed her Master’s Degree in Music Performance at Northwestern University under the direction of Gerardo Ribeiro.
Piano / Voice Faculty
Joy Yelenosky has been involved in various prestigious international music programs from an early age.
Joy received a full scholarship during her certification in Piano Performance from the “Conservatorio Julian Aguirre” in Argentina, where she took part of summer intensive training and annual examinations. She has been an active participant at the Florence Opera Seminar (Italy), the Torgau International Artist Workshop (Germany), and the Stonybrook International Piano festival of New York (NY) and worked at several professional organizations as a choir soloist/singer, sectional leader, language repetitor and accompanist at the piano. She was selected as a Young Steinway Talent to perform a full piano solo recital at the age of 16. Joy also has a passion for languages and has studied and worked at intensive language schools based in Germany and Paris (France),
Joy is not, however, only tied to one style of music; in high school, Joy was a member of one of the country’s top Vocal Jazz ensembles that traveled to Mexico and many states and participated as a soloist at multiple festivals. Music has connected Joy to people all over the world and she’s looking forward to inspiring her students to reach for their dreams and musical goals as well. Joy is currently working on her Classical Voice Performance degree at the Conservatory of Chicago in the Performing Arts (CCPA).
Originally from China, pianist Yetong Tang is currently pursuing her Doctoral’s degree in Piano Performance at the Bienen School of Music of the Northwestern University, studying with Dr. James Giles. Yetong received her Bachelor’sdegree, Magna cum Laude in Piano Performance at the Ithaca College School of Music in New York State, studying with Dr. Dmitri Novgorodsky and Dr. Jennifer Hayghe. As a dedicated teacher, Yetong has been teaching private piano lessons to intermediate and advanced level collegiate students of the Northwestern University, and she has taught private piano lessons to students in the Teaching Intern Program at Ithaca College, whose ages were between 6 and 60. Her love for music shows in great enthusiasm through her teaching, which she considers as a significantly important component of her musical life. Yetong has won numerous competitions, including the First Prize in the Ithaca College Annual Competition, the First Prize in the Ohio State MTNA Piano Competition, the First Prize in the 3rd Macau – Asia Pacific Piano Competition, the First Prize in the 7th Hong Kong Chinese Arts Festival and Competition, and the Third Prize in the 30th Smetana International Piano Competition. She has performed in masterclasses and been coached by prestigious musicians such as Boris Berman, Sara Davis Buechner, Kenneth Griffiths, Douglas Humpherys, Paul Lewis, Jose Ramon Mendez, and Christian Tetzlaff.
Adult Piano FacultySonya Ur, who is a native of the North Shore area began her classical training in piano at the age of 4 and violin at the age of 9. She did most of her musical training in both piano and violin at the Music Institute Of Chicago in Winnetka. She received her Undergraduate degree for piano performance at the University Of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Masters for piano performance and pedagogy at Northwestern University in Evanston. Her professional memberships include MTNA, CAMTA, and NSMTA. She currently teaches private piano and is the accompanist for the choir program at Niles West High School in Skokie. She also does accompanying for many Suzuki programs and judicates many festivals all over the North Shore. “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Nancy DeHaven has been an active musician and independent piano teacher in the Chicago area for over thirty years. She has a B.A. in Music Theory from DePaul University where she studied classical piano with Melody Lord Lundberg. In addition she studied jazz with Alan Swain in Evanston. She was one of the original staff pianists at Nordstrom Old Orchard when the store opened in 1993 and has extensive experience playing piano in the many hotel lobbies in the greater Chicagoland area, as well as on the cruise ships docked at Navy Pier. She has been a choir director, a worship leader, a camp music director, and continues to compose and arrange music on a regular basis. In a previous life she played guitar and performed solo as a singer-songwriter as well in ensembles performing music as diverse as Balkan and bluegrass.
Harp / Piano Faculty
Autumn Selover is a freelance harpist and teacher based in the Chicagoland area. Her work ranges from solo, traditional orchestral, and chamber to innovative works involving electronic processing, hip-hop, mixed media works, and improvisation. An advocate of education and community outreach, Autumn works with student musicians and composers from both classical and non-classical backgrounds. Autumn has been playing the harp for seventeen years and the piano for nineteen years. She received a BM in Harp Performance from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing her Masters under Lynn Williams, the principal harpist of the Lyric Opera. Autumn is co-founder of both Sonder Trio and deafrabbit duo. Recently, she has performed with the Chicago Composers Orchestra at the Thirsty Ears Street Music Festival, and has toured with Fifth House Ensemble for a live-score performances of the video game, Journey. She has appeared as a guest artist with Zafa Collective and Chicago’s premier conductorless orchestra, Unsupervised. Autumn is also a recording artist with the Voic(ed) Project, an organization promoting new music by new, young, and underrepresented composers.
Brazilian pianist Rodolfo Faistauer has appeared in solo and chamber music recitals in France, Germany, Austria, Brazil and the United States. Rodolfo holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, where he also taught at the pre-college division. He continued his piano studies in France at the Strasbourg Conservatory and in Germany at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich. Rodolfo is now a doctoral student in Piano Performance at Northwestern University where he studies with James Giles.
During his years in Europe, Rodolfo worked actively as a piano teacher with a variety of students. At Northwestern University, he worked closely with the Piano Pedagogy Department as a teacher of the non-major piano program and also collaborating with the Piano Clinic Project with his fellow doctoral students, a project of masterclasses that promotes efficient and productive piano practice for non-majors.
Justin de la Cruz
Piano / Guitar/ Voice and Ukulele Faculty
Justin de la Cruz has been playing piano since the age of nine and has developed into a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist over the course of his musical career. During his high school years is when he began to grow his passion for music and hone in on his skills. As a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, he played cello in orchestra, bass in jazz band, and sang in choir and vocal jazz ensemble. His work as an ensemble singer has led him to the ILMEA honors choir and to Mexico's and several other state's jazz festivals as part of one of the top high school vocal jazz ensembles in the country. You can find him gigging in the Chicagoland area as an R&B and jazz solo artist. Bridging his passion for jazz and contemporary music with his desire to teach, he is currently studying vocal jazz and working towards a Bachelor of Music in music education at DePaul University.
Lam Wong made his debut as a classical pianist with Liszt's 12 Études d'exécution transcendante at the age of fourteen. Since then, he has appeared in concert venues in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chicago, and New York. He is also winner of Lillian Fuchs Competition, Dover Competition, and finalist of MTNA Chamber Music Competition. Wong holds a bachelor’s degree from Manhattan School of Music, and a master’s from Yale School of Music. He is currently pursuing Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance and pedagogy at Northwestern University, studying with James Giles. As a piano performance and pedagogy dual major, Wong also works closely with the Director of Piano Pedagogy, Dr. Marcia Bosits, at Northwestern University, where he teaches precollege students from Northwestern community, conducts lessons for non-major students from the university, and leads group classes at various levels. His other pedagogy works also include Piano Clinics (a master class series focusing on solving pianistic problems), and specialty areas in sight-reading, a topic which he presented at the Collegiate Chapter Poster Session at the ISMTA Conference.
Soloist, Collaborative pianist, Conductor and Composer Qiyun Dai was born in 1991 in China. He began playing piano at the age of 3. In 2012, he participated in the Professional conference on Piano Education in Shanghai. In 2013, he won the second prize in the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Chamber Music Competition with his piano trio. Qiyun has since then completed his Master's degree from Northwestern University under the mentorship of Alan Chow, Dr. Sylvia Wang, Dr. Marcia Bosits, Dr. Stephen Alltop, and Maestro Victor Yampolsky. During his studies, his performance experiences ranged from solo and chamber works to collaborative and orchestral piano playing. He was a prize winner of the Northwestern University Concerto Competition as well as the Thaviu-Issak Scholarship Competition. During his two-year Master's program, he also designed curriculum for and taught piano class for college students and prepared advanced piano students for juries and recitals.
Jesse Lincoln Dunn (b. 1995) is a dual craftsmen in both music composition and piano performance. While studying at the Wheaton College Conservatory, Jesse earned recognition for his solo piano piece, “The Life of an Intel Processor” by taking bronze in the Hal Leonard Piano Composition Competition. He competed twice in the Wheaton College Keyboard Concerto Competition, eventually taking second place with his performance of Samuel Barber’s Piano Concerto, Op. 38, 3rd mvmt. His dedication eventually awarded him The Evalin Endowed Scholarship, awarded to a pianist who displays excellent performance and technical skills. In addition to his dedication to composition and performance, Jesse played string bass in the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra. Jesse is also an active song writer, drawing inspiration from a wide range of songwriters including Cat Stevens, Nick Drake, Phil Collins, Ben Howard and others.
Jesse currently studies classical piano at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and pursues an entrepreneurial career in music collaboration, performance, and pedagogy. In 2017-18, Jesse served as the Naperville Park District Piano Contractor in Naperville, Illinois, heading all group and private lessons.
Yi Ding holds degrees in piano performance from The Juilliard School and New England Conservatory. Yi served as a teaching fellow at the Juilliard Preparatory Division from 2018 to 2020 and coached students through different stages of their musical developments, ranging from their first notes on the piano to their first college auditions. Yi has arranged teaching workshops, masterclass, and community concerts in the US and China through his involvement in the Community Performance & Partnerships Program, which he joined in 2017. As a musician who has worked in communities and conservatories, Yi enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities. Yi is currently a DMA candidate and serving as a teaching assistant at Northwestern University.
Quincy Erickson has been playing trumpet for 10 years and is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in trumpet performance at Northwestern University. Since arriving in Chicago 2 years ago, he has been affiliated with prestigious groups such as the New World Symphony Orchestra and many different groups in the area. He has experience teaching students from all backgrounds and different skill levels.
Julimar Gonzalez started violin at age 7 in Venezuela with Professor Heemath Jahoor under the world-renowned music program, 'El Sistema'. Since then she has participated in many masterclass, recitals, and music festivals all over the world. Her recent accolades include winning the 2019 concerto competition at the Chicago College of Performing Arts and placing first at the Illinois American String Teachers Association Competition, also in 2019. She has a bachelor's degree in violin performance from Roosevelt University and is continuing her studies there for a performance diploma. Julimar has had a passion for teaching since she began instructing others at age 14 and is eager to continue helping others learn.
Violin and Piano Faculty
Gabriela Lara began her music studies at age 8 in the Music Conservatorio Vicente Emilio Sojo, in Venezuela. She later became a member of the Latin American Violin Academy, studying under Jose Francisco del Castillo and Francisco Diaz. She has worked with renowned conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel and Sir Simon Rattel, as well as performed in masterclass for Ilya Kaler and Ray Chen. She was the 2019 concerto competition winner at Roosevelt University, where she is currently studying. She has also performed as a soloist with prestigious groups such as the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and Caracas Symphony Orchestra.
As a seasoned and versatile freelance harpist, Sarah Thompson has performed and taught throughout the Midwest and west coast. Arranging and performing pop and rock songs on the harp is just one of the many ways she likes to push the boundaries of the perception of the harp and harp repertoire. She has performed with The Drama Group, North Shore Chamber Orchestra, and Colorado Wind Ensemble. Sarah began formal music instruction at the age of 5 on the piano and later transitioned to the harp when she was 12. She earned a B.M. in Harp Performance from Northwestern University, where she studied under Elizabeth Cifani. In 2011, she was featured in Chicago Talent Magazine as one of Chicago's top musicians. Until recently, she was the secretary of the Greater Chicago Chapter of American Harp Society and continues to be an active member. Outside of music, Sarah is an LCSW and often includes music as a form of therapy for her clients.
Piano and Voice Faculty
Nora is a vocalist and music teacher with roots in jazz, folk, and contemporary music genres. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Nora spent her formative years attending rock music camps, participating in musicals, and performing vocal jazz competitively. After moving to Chicago, Nora attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts to earn a Bachelor's of Music. Recently she has performed around Chicago including venues like the Jazz Showcase, Fulton Street Collective, Jazz Union League Club, and much more. Her teaching mission is to create a welcoming and expressive environment for her students to grow and learn.
Piano and Voice Faculty
Born and raised in Ukraine, Kyiv, Nazarii was involved in music since the age of nine. First studying classical guitar in local music school then voice training, to joining vocal ensembles, he's loved the craft of performing. Among his early achievements include the Grand Prix 2013 where he was broadcasted on the TV show "Step to the Stars". He next attended the specialized music school named after M.V. Lysenko focusing on music theory and piano, as well as choral conducting and classical voice. Immigrating to the U.S. in 2017, while attending high school, participated in Choir, Jazz Band, and completed A.P. Music Theory with excellence. He was a member of the ILMEA All-State Choir 2018 and participated in Chicago Master Singer Choir under Alan Heatherington. Currently he's studying at Roosevelt University majoring in Music Education with Choral Emphasis and Classical Voice Performance with Mark Crayton.
Born and raised in Madison, WI, Catherine grew up in Seoul, South Korea. She is an active composer, artistic collaborator, and music director currently based in Evanston, IL. She has written for orchestra, chamber ensemble, choir and also electro-acoustic music. Her compositions have been performed at Unheard-of// Ensemble, Either/or Ensemble, New Asia Chamber Music Society, and Sforzando Composers Collective. Catherine completed her Bachelor's degree in Music Composition at the University of Hartford-the Harttt School in West Hartford, Connecticut where she studied composition with Larry Alan Smith and Ken Steen (Computer Music) and piano with David Westfall and Paul Rutman. She graduated from Manhattan School of Music with her Master's Degree in Classical Music Composition where she studied with Richard Danielpour and Reiko Fueting. Catherine will start her Ph.D. in Music Composition and Technology at Northwestern University in Fall 2021.
Han Geul Lee
Han Geul Lee is a pianist, composer, producer and electronics performer. Starting with Piano lessons at the age of fourteen, he has won numerous competitions and performed chamber and solo recitals across the United States and Europe. He received full scholarships to Eastman School of Music and Manhattan School of Music for Piano Performance. Han expresses his curiosity and passion for music in every form - from difficult classical repertoire to exploring sonic capabilities of contemporary and electronic music. An active electroacousic composer, Han's digital output ranges from experimental acousmatic works to hip-hop and dance with everything in between. Currently he's developing a solo set of piano and electronics with immersive VR artist collaborations for mind-opening experiences while simultaneously evolving new and rarely performed music.
Allen Cubit holds a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in vocal performance from BYU-Idaho and has trained with the late, renowned soprano Kristine Ciesinski. He has performed as a featured soloist with The Vermont Philharmonic Orchestra, in concert with Conductor John Weaver, and Composer Daniel Gawthrop. He has been performing and working in multiple choral and theatre productions for over fifteen years. An avid lover of musical theatre, some of Allen's favorite roles to date include - Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance, Matt in the Fantasticks, Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls and Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors.
Allen has been teaching singing and vocal technique to children and adults in multiple capacities for over 10 years. His areas of specialty include classical voice, musical theatre, sacred music and choral singing. For any genre, the basic foundations you learn here will enable you to move forward with more healthy, beautiful singing. Allen's teaching goal is to assist you in making your own self-discoveries as you improve and become the best performer you can be.