School of Music Instructor Bios

Brass

 

Jason Smith

Trumpet

Jason Smith obtained his Bachelor of Music from Michigan State University and his Master of Music from the University of Michigan. Smith was previously the associate director of bands at Walled Lake Central. He is currently the director of bands at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor. He has taught at Marshall Music for two years.

Brandon Bowker

Trumpet

Brandon Bowker is a trumpeter from Wixom, Michigan. He received a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, where he studied trumpet performance. He studied under Dr. Neil Mueller (trumpet) and Rob Smith (jazz performance). While at CMU, he worked his way up to second trumpet in the prestigious Jazz Lab One, as well as second trumpet in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. He is currently working at Marshall Music in West Bloomfield as the school of music coordinator. Other than working at Marshall Music, Bowker also performs with multiple jazz groups, as well as the cover band, Cosmic Groove. Before he moved to Wixom, he founded the band Filmloom with his friend Eric Tempelaere, where he co-wrote music, performed at major venues, and even shot a music video which aired on MTV and VH1. You can find Filmloom on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube. When Bowker is not practicing his trumpet, he is on his computer editing videos and graphic designing. Bowker currently lives in Wixom with his wife, Julia

Jessica Cates

Trombone

Jessica Cates currently holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Trombone Performance. She is working on her Doctoral dissertation from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in trombone performance as well. During the past decade, spanning over 5 states, she has held principal positions with the Amherst Symphony Orchestra (Amherst, MA), The Litha Symphony Orchestra (NYC), The Adelphi Orchestra (Ridgewood, NJ) and is currently playing bass trombone with the Spectrum Orchestra in Birmingham, MI. In addition to her orchestral work, she has performed with several theatre companies in Michigan and the East Coast. She also performed with Josh Groban during his Boston tour dates in 2013 as well as assisting trombone for the Boston Philharmonic.

Karl Stein

Trombone, Euphonium, & Tuba

Karl Stein is the director of bands at Orchard Lake Middle School and associate band director at Abbott Middle School in West Bloomfield. Stein is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti with a Bachelor of Music Education degree and is currently pursuing his master's degree in education leadership at Grand Valley State University. While at EMU, he performed with the EMU Wind Symphony, university choir, jazz choir, euphonium-tuba choir, and marching band. During his time in the EMU Marching Band, he served three years as drum major and one year as equipment manager. Stein comes to West Bloomfield after spending three years as band director at Gladewater Middle School and assistant director at Gladewater High School in Gladewater, Texas. While in Texas, his ensembles received excellent ratings at concert and sight reading contests. His students have qualified for all-region band each year at the middle school and all-area band at the high school. During his tenure at OLMS, his bands have received superior ratings at the MSBOA concert and sight reading festival, and each year his students qualify for the MSBOA Middle School All-State Honors Band.

Stein has held professional affiliations with Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band fraternity, the National Association of Military Marching Bands, the Texas Music Educators’ Association, the Texas Bandmasters’ Association, the Association of Texas Small School Bands, the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, and the Michigan Competing Band Association.

Bugs Beddow

Trombone, Euphonium, & Tuba

Bugs Beddow is a husband, father, trombonist, flutist, vocalist, bandleader, and music educator. While taking lessons with Mr. Beddow, your child’s skill level will improve quickly. At the same time, they will have more fun playing their instruments.  While in third grade, Beddow attended a pep assembly and noticed that while all the other musicians seemed to be in a stationary position, the trombone player’s arm was quickly moving back and forth. “That guy looked like he was really doing something! That was the instrument for me!” Beddow graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Music Education and earned a Master of Music Education with credits at Madonna University and the University of California-Bakerfield. He has taught everything from band, orchestra, choir, and elementary music in the years that followed and is currently with the West Bloomfield School District, where he teaches Middle School Band and K–5 elementary music. He also teaches private lessons at Marshall Music and performs occasionally at his church. While educating by day, Beddow has dedicated many nights to performing, having participated briefly in the big bands of Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Don Ellis, and Stan Kenton. After leaving college and playing with prominent local groups, he started his own jazz group. Beddow was inducted into the Detroit Jazz Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1992, after performing in the movie Hoffa with Jack Nicholson, he changed musical direction and began recording rock and soul music, winning dozens of accolades from the Detroit Music Awards.

In addition to his duties as principal trombonist and vice president of the Orchard Lake Philharmonic, he leads an award winning Detroit area rock and soul band, bugs Beddow & the Good STuFF. Bugs likes spending his spare time with his family, taking long walks with Zeke, the family dog, and playing his trombone and flute.

Jamey Bostek

Trumpet & Horn

Jamey Bostek has been performing and teaching professionally for over 25 years. Active in all forms of music, Bostek performs at venues throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He is a founding member of Lava/Atlantic recording artists The Atomic Fireballs and has been in numerous television appearances. Their music can be heard on the soundtracks of American Pie and Scooby-Doo. Bostek is tenured as second trumpet with the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra and performs lead and solo duties with the Henry Ford College Big Band. He also performs with the Luddites, Detroit Soul Revue, Blue Water Kings, and The Nighthawk Jazz Orchestra.

Bostek studied music at Aquinas College, San Jose University, and Wayne State University. His mentors include Ed Nuccilli, David Jennings, Marcus Belgrave, Leonard Allman, Dan Kovatz, James Olcott, James Dooley, Kevin Good, and William Lucas.

Bostek is a member and alumnus of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps. He is greatly sought after in southeastern Michigan for his expertise in clinics, sectionals, master classes, and guest performances. He is currently Brass Caption Head for the Ferndale High School Marching Band, which has won nine state championships. Bostek works with students of all levels and musical styles. He keeps the student’s goals in mind when developing an individualized approach to teaching that will ensure the development of good habits and strong fundamentals. All of his students are encouraged to participate in the solo and ensemble festival. Bostek has found lifelong enrichment through teaching and mentoring in music.

David Schultz

Trumpet, French Horn, & Low Brass

David Schultz is a performer, composer, and music educator in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has studied music education, performance, and composition at Western Michigan University and received a Master of Music degree in performance from the Hartt School in West Hartford, Connecticut. Schultz’s students have earned first chair positions and membership into honors and All-State ensembles. Schultz is an active clinician who works with schools in the area, and he also composes film scores, video game soundtracks, and chamber music.

Mike Shannon

Trombone, Baritone, Euphonium, & Tuba

Mike Shannon studied music education at Western Michigan University. He currently performs with several ensembles, playing tuba with the Battle Creek Symphony, bass trombone with the Southwest Michigan Symphony, tuba and euphonium with the St. Joseph Municipal Band, tuba with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, and tuba with the Kalamazoo Brass. Shannon joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2010.

Josh Barrett

Trumpet

Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts - Music Education; University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 1996

 

As an educator, Josh has taught 5th grade band in the Whitewater (Wisconsin) School District and middle-school band and general music in the Janesville School District. He also co-taught middle school band and general music in the Eau Claire Area School District. Before this, he maintained a private studio in the Milwaukee area.

 

As a performer, Josh has played trumpet with the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra, UWW Community Wind Ensemble, LGSO Swing Band, LGSO Brass Quintet, Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Chippewa Valley Wind Ensemble. Josh has also performed numerous times for church services and school musical productions in his former hometown of Whitewater, Wisconsin.

 

Outside of music, Josh’s hobbies involve silent sports including: bicycling, running, hiking, skiing, sailing, backpacking and more.

 

Josh has recently relocated to Kalamazoo with his wife, Carrie and is happy to be part of the great team of Educators at The Marshall School of Music.

David Klein

Trumpet & Horn

Trumpet, cornet, and horn instructor David Klein received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Connecticut and Master of Music degree in trumpet performance from Michigan State University. His teachers have included Richard Green, Mel Broiles, Daniel Patrilak, Ross Beacraft, Arnold Jacobs, and Rich Illman.


Klein performs in many genres including jazz, klezmer, and vaudeville, as well as many ensembles, from concert wind groups to orchestras. His klezmer band, Heartland Klezmorim, has performed throughout Michigan and Indiana at venues including the Great Lakes Folk Festival, the East Lansing Arts Festival, the Meridian Historical Village Summer Concert Series, the Wheatland Traditional Arts, and The Ark. He has released two klezmer recordings with his klezmer band. He teaches beginning to advanced students in classical, jazz, klezmer, and world music.


Klein describes his approach to teaching as “a combination of understanding an individual student’s needs and being methodical. Being a former college trumpet instructor, I am able to guide a student to the highest of levels.”​

Stefan Stolarchuk

Low Brass

Bass trombonist Stefan Stolarchuk is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Bowling Green State University, a master’s degree in trombone performance from the University of Michigan, and is currently pursuing his doctorate in trombone at Michigan State University. His primary teachers include Bill Mathis, Timothy Olt, Garth Simmons, David Jackson, and Ava Ordman. Stolarchuk began teaching at Marshall Music in 2013. He also teaches low brass at the Community Music School of Ann Arbor, and maintains his own private studio. He has taught clinics and sectionals at various high schools in Southeast Michigan.


Stolarchuk is in high demand throughout the state as a freelance bass trombonist. He has appeared with the Saginaw Bay, Flint, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Detroit Chamber Winds. He is a frequent jazz performer, and serves as the bass trombonist of the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra, based in Detroit.


Stolarchuk’s experience with a wide range of musical styles and his time working with a large number of teachers has given him the ability to work with students of any age, fifth grade through high school and beyond.

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Woodwinds

 

Sonja Schultz-Fryer

Flute, Clarinet & Saxophone

Sonja Schultz-Fryer is a graduate of Rogers HS and Alma College. She studied piano under Dr. Paul Russell and Miriam Bellville and woodwinds under Dr. Jack Bowman. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education with a minor in theatre. She has been a teacher in Grand Rapids Public Schools for over 30 years and is passionate about teaching music to students. She has won grants for teaching music and musical theatre from the Grand Rapids Foundation, the SPLC foundation, and the Michael Jordan Foundation. Her students have participated in MSBOA Solo & Ensemble festivals and received division I ratings. Throughout her career, she has been a member of community bands and directed adult and high school choirs and hand-bell choirs. Schultz-Fryer has also accompanied middle, high school, and church choirs. She is currently the director of bands at Burton Middle School in Grand Rapids and the department chair for instrumental music in Grand Rapids Public Schools. “Research proves that learning music makes you smarter and I am excited to teach at Marshall Music.”

David Pendock

Saxophone & Bassoon

David Pendock graduated with his master’s degree in bassoon performance in 2017, studying with the renowned scholar Dr. Jeffrey Lyman at the University of Michigan.

His instrumental music education began with the saxophone in school band. After seeing a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, he wanted to play in an orchestra, but was dismayed to realize that orchestras don't have saxophones! He sought out the instruction of Alayne Rever at Oakland University, who taught him both bassoon in addition to the saxophone. She helped him work his way into the Oakland Youth Orchestras, Detroit Civic Youth Orchestras, and MSBOA All-State Orchestra, inspiring him to become a music educator. He has been teaching privately since 2009.

Before his fellowship at the University of Michigan, Pendock earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Grand Valley State University where he studied bassoon, saxophone, composition, and audio technology. His research interests include the role of the saxophone in orchestra, electro-acoustic enhancements to the bassoon, and the Morceaux de Concours, a body of literature commissioned annually by the Paris Conservatory as graduation exams which greatly expanded the repertoire and virtuosity of both instruments.

Carl Gippert

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, & Saxophone

Carl Gippert is a retired band and orchestra director who has taught elementary through college and adult private lessons for 50 years. He has a bachelor and master’s degree in music education from Central Michigan University where he was the first saxophone performance minor. Some of his teachers include Dr. Larry Teal, Bob Barris, and Norm Dietz. He founded the Roscommon Chamber Orchestra, taught at Saginaw Valley State College, taught 17 years with the 5–12 grade bands at Hemlock Public Schools, 17 years with the 9–12 grade bands and orchestras at North Farmington High School, and 8 years at St. Clair County Community College. The Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association recognized him as a finalist for outstanding band director, and he was also voted Outstanding Orchestra Director of the year. His bands and orchestras have received many district, state, national, and international awards. He taught at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for many years and was selected as the international band director for three years. He presently teaches and conducts the New Horizons Orchestras in Port Huron. Gippert is very active as an adjudicator for MSBOA District/State Band/Orchestra and Solo/Ensemble Festivals and often serves as a clinician for schools. He presents a very positive approach to music education.

Michelle Pascoe

Piccolo & Flute

Michelle Pascoe’s passion for the flute led her to obtain a Bachelor of Music in flute performance from Hope College. While there, she studied flute with Julie Sooy and piccolo with Robert “Gabe” Southard.  She was also chosen as the winner of Hope's annual Concerto/Aria competition. That same year, Pascoe also won the DeVos Musical Showcase Competition where she had the opportunity to perform on the DeVos stage in Grand Rapids. Pascoe is currently working on her master’s in flute performance at Oakland University. She is currently taking lessons with Jefferey Zook (piccolo, Detroit Symphony Orchestra). She shares her passion for the flute with her students, young and old. Marshall Music welcomes Michelle Pascoe to the teaching staff.

Jason Rodriguez

Saxophone

Jason Rodriguez is currently completing his bachelor's degree in music education at Oakland University. He has been playing the saxophone for over 11 years. At Oakland, Rodriquez studied with both Dan Graser and Jeffery Heisler. He performed as a member of the Oakland University Symphonic Band and wind symphony, holding principal positions. Jason also performed with the award-winning saxophone quartet, We Three and She. On his weekends, he coached members of the Oakland Area Saxophone Ensemble, a group comprised of high school saxophonists from the Rochester and Metro Detroit areas. Over the summer, Rodriguez spends his time teaching at local band camps such as Port Huron Northern High School and Roseville High School. As a teacher, he believes in helping and encouraging students to reach their musical potential, while providing a creative outlet to explore music.

Sam Martin

Clarinet

Sam Martin is a professional clarinet and saxophone performer, experienced on all instruments of the clarinet and saxophone families. He is currently the principal clarinetist of the Midland Symphony Orchestra and the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, as well as second clarinetist of the Warren Symphony. He has performed with most of the orchestras in southern Michigan including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, the Flint Symphony, and the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra. He has performed on both clarinet and saxophone with theater orchestras at the Fox and Fisher Theaters in Detroit. He also performs with his wife, flutist Kassia Martin, as the Martin Wind Duo.

Mr. Martin has been teaching privately for over 20 years. His students regularly receive first division ratings at solo and ensemble and perform with youth orchestras including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Civic Ensembles. Many of his students have been awarded scholarships, including awards to study music at the university level. In the past, Mr. Martin has been a member of the Augusta Symphony Orchestra in Georgia, the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra, the Central City (CO) Opera Orchestra, and the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra. He has also served as a faculty member at the Rocky Ridge Summer Music Camp in Estes Park, Colorado. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Mark Tarabusi

Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Saxophone

Mark Tarabusi holds a Master’s Degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, both as Woodwind Specialist. He has been performing professionally for over 30 years in various musical theater orchestras, symphony and opera orchestras, bands and small ensembles around the United States and for 9 years in Europe. Theater productions include Disney’s world premiere of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in Berlin, “CATS” under the supervision of Andrew Lloyd Weber in Berlin, and the pre-Broadway production of “Victor/Victoria” starring Julie Andrews in Chicago.

 

Mr. Tarabusi has been teaching woodwinds to both children and adults at all levels for over 15 years. Several of his students have won competitions and performed in honors and youth orchestras around Michigan and in the Chicago area. Notable student accomplishments include first chair in the Detroit Symphony Civic Youth Orchestra on bassoon, first prize in the Birmingham Musicale Solo Competition on alto saxophone, and Concerto Competition finalist on clarinet at Troy Athens High School. A few of his students have even gone on to pursue music studies in college.

Alex Ensing

Saxophone

Alex Ensing earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in multimedia arts technology. Ensing has been playing saxophone since 2007 and has gained a wealth of performance experience through his involvement in a variety of musical endeavors, including pit orchestra performances, the Kalamazoo Concert Band, the WMU Concert Band, the WMU Jazz Lab Band, the WMU Pep Band, and his high school and college marching bands. During his time with the WMU Marching Band, he was a featured soloist at the 2017 Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Ensing has acquired teaching experience through his time as a section leader of the Bronco Marching Band, as well as through private lessons and instruction at various high school band camps. Ensing joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2018.

Bobbi Lukowski

Bassoon

Bobbi Lukowski earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Central Michigan University as a bassoon major with a theory and composition minor. Her performance experience includes playing with the Alma Symphony, Kent Philharmonia, Sturgis Wind Symphony, Kalamazoo College and Community Orchestra, Kalamazoo Concert Band, and various local pit orchestras. Lukowski joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2011.

Conor Sprunger

Clarinet

Conor Sprunger received his Bachelor of Music in Education from Western Michigan University. He is currently pursuing his Master of Music in clarinet performance at WMU. Originally from Jackson, Sprunger has lived in the Kalamazoo area for the past six years and has performed extensively on clarinet and bass clarinet with the WMU Symphonic Band and Orchestra, Kalamazoo Philharmonia, Holland Symphony Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphonic Band. Sprunger joined the Marshall Music staff in 2018.

Luke Conklin

Oboe

Luke Conklin studied oboe and flute at the Juilliard School, where he earned an M.M. in historical performance (2011). He is currently completing a D.M.A. in historical performance at Case Western Reserve University. He has performed nationally and internationally with major early music groups such as Apollo’s Fire, Trinity Wall Street, and The American Bach Soloists. His diverse musical tastes range from the French baroque to early Bebop as well as Celtic and world music. Conklin joined the Marshall Music Staff in 2019.

Katherine Beier

Flute & Saxophone

Katherine Beier is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and holds a Bachelor of Music Performance degree. Beier also holds a Master of Music degree in flute performance from Wisconsin. She is currently the associate principal flutist for the Northport Concert Band, a master class instructor and soloist, and a woodwind quintet and flute choir member.

 

“My teaching style was developed to enhance every individual and help students reach their goals. Commitment, competitiveness, and a love of music are qualities that I encourage and develop in my teaching of music as a universal language.”

Bryan Guarnuccio

Flute

Bryan Guarnuccio holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University in flute performance. He also holds master’s degrees in flute and music theory from Bowling Green State University. At both schools, he was principal flute of the premier ensembles while also teaching applied flute lessons, flute methods, and music theory. Additionally, he studied piano and accompanied lessons and recitals throughout his education.


Guarnuccio currently performs as second flutist in the Lansing Symphony and can be seen in orchestras around Michigan, including the Kalamazoo, Jackson, and Traverse City Symphonies. He has also advanced in the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition and the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition. In 2012, he made his Carnegie Hall Debut after winning a solo competition sponsored by MSU and Manhattan Concert Productions.


He teaches flute to all ages and abilities. He also has experience teaching private and class piano to older beginners and adults returning to the piano. Currently, he is on faculty at St. Xavier University where he teaches theory, aural skills, and is an accompanist. He also teaches flute at the Flint Institute of Music. Guarnuccio strives to have all of his students meet their goals, whether educational or recreational.

Nick Schumacher

Clarinet & Saxophone

Nick Schumacher is currently working toward his Master of Music Performance degree at Michigan State University. He received his Bachelor of Music Performance degree from the University of Northern Iowa. His performing career has given him the opportunity to perform in wind ensembles, orchestras, and a wide variety of chamber groups in both the United States and Italy.

In 2016, Schumacher was the winner of the University of Northern Iowa Performance Competition and was a three-time featured soloist with the Northern Iowa Wind Symphony. He is a National Presser Scholar and is an active member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. His principal teachers include Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr and Amanda McCandless. In addition to clarinet and saxophone, his other musical interests are diverse and encompass a variety of areas, such as composition, music theory, and piano.

Schumacher teaches clarinet and saxophone to students of all ages (he has taught students anywhere between the ages of 10 and 82) and enjoys helping students to develop their own unique sound, whether classical or jazz. His goal with any student is to work with the technical and musical aspects of performing, as he believes that both are key to a rewarding experience in music.

Bronnie Brown

Saxophone, Clarinet, & Flute

Bronnie Brown holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music from Florida Atlantic University, where he studied music education and woodwind performance. He began his music career with the U.S. Air Force Bands, followed by two years touring nationally with the Walter Scott Show. Since then, he has performed and recorded with a variety of ensembles including big bands, theater pit orchestras, Latin, Haitian, and Jamaican bands, and a wide array of commercial groups. He has also worked as a freelance sideman backing national and international recording artists and comedians in Florida and Michigan.


Currently, Brown is performing with Life Support, J&J Sounds, El Kabong, and working as a member of various pit orchestras in local theater. He has been teaching and performing since 1974 and has been with Marshall Music since 1985. He teaches saxophone, clarinet, and flute, and works with students of all ages provided their physical size is adequate for the instrument. He teaches classical, jazz, rock, pop, and improvisation. All skill levels are welcome.

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Cookie Kennedy Eby

Flute, Clarinet, & Saxophone

Cookie Eby is an alumna of the University of Michigan, Madonna University, and Baker College. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in music, a degree in piano pedagogy, a State of Michigan Dual Teacher Certification in music education and general education, and also holds two degrees in engineering/technology. She is a two time Summa Cum Laude alumna. Eby is a classically trained musician and has privately studied piano, guitar, flute, drums, clarinet, bass guitar, saxophone, and accordion. She has been teaching at Marshall Music since 2016.

Kelsi Gautz

Flute & Piccolo

Kelsi Gautz earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Bowling Green University. She has been a private music instructor since 2007 and has prepared flute choirs for competition in solo and ensemble festivals. Gautz is also the flute choir director at the Southeast Michigan Flute Association. She has been with Marshall Music since 2014.

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Orchestral Strings

Megan Anderson

Violin & Viola

Megan Anderson is an undergraduate student in music education at Eastern Michigan University, studying under Dan Foster, and a current member of the university’s symphony orchestra. She has been playing the violin for nine years and has maintained her passion for playing and teaching ever since she started learning in the sixth grade. Anderson grew up in the Upper Peninsula where she was given violin lessons from her private instructor, Ann Wood. During this time, she was concert mistress for the Upper Peninsula Youth Orchestra. Anderson has a strong focus on creating and managing skills that improve the students’ practice time, basic music theory, and musicianship.

Matthew Mayes

Cello & Double Bass

Matthew Mayes graduated from Hope College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Music in instrumental music education. Since then, he has been teaching in a variety of settings, including private instruction and in classrooms at public schools. He has been playing cello for 24 years, and has performed with many groups including the Holland Symphony Orchestra. He has also been teaching cello privately for the past 10 years.

Stephen Bollinger

Cello

Stephen Bollinger teaches orchestra and music theory in Grand Rapids Public Schools. A graduate of Central Michigan University, he holds a bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education and a minor in leadership studies. He primarily plays cello and focuses his time on string instruments, but started music with piano lessons at an early age. He also has percussion experience playing in competitive world class ensembles.

 

At Central Michigan University, Bollinger studied cello with Dr. Jamie Fiste and conducting with Dr. Jose-Luise Maurtua. He has assisted with the CMU Symphony Orchestra, spent four years assisting with the beginning strings classes in Mt. Pleasant Public Schools, and served as the music director of Vintage String, an adult community orchestra in Alma, Michigan, during their inaugural season. Bollinger is excited to share his passion with cello students at Marshall Music!

Josh Zallar

Violin & Viola

Josh Zallar came to West Michigan in the fall of 2016 to accept a position as the assistant orchestra director for Jenison Public Schools. Prior to coming to Jenison, he taught orchestra for eight years in Wisconsin, most recently as director of orchestras at West Bend High School, where he oversaw the program’s growth to become the largest high school orchestra in Wisconsin.


Zallar started violin at the age of four, learning primarily through the Suzuki method for the first several years. He received his professional training and degree in music education from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Zallar has enjoyed performing as a violinist with the West Michigan Symphony and the Holland Symphony. He is excited to be teaching at Marshall Music and is looking forward to helping his students reach their full musical potential through a fun and engaging method of instruction tailored to each individual student’s needs.

Melinda Slater

Violin & Viola

Melinda Slater has been teaching private lessons since 2003. She has experience in the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, CMU Orchestra, and currently performs with the Calvin Community Symphony. Slater enjoys playing at weddings, retirement homes, and local events. She has also had the opportunity to judge at a solo & ensemble festivals. She has experience teaching beginning to advanced students, in a wide range of ages and has had the pleasure of teaching at multiple music academies in Michigan. Slater has had opportunities to work with many different learning styles, and adapts to what fits the student best.

 

Slater got her start with music at age 5 with piano, and started playing violin at age 10. Music has been a central part of her life since middle school, and she participated in as many musical opportunities as she could. This includes attending Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Seminar at Western, and helping to start the Wolverine String Camp. She is excited to share her love and passion for music with others!

Erin Thomas

Violin

Erin Thomas studied violin performance at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. She also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Western Michigan University and is currently pursuing another degree from WMU.

Thomas is the substitute violinist for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. In addition to the symphonies listed, she plays with the Kalamazoo Philharmonia and has given concerts all over the world. She has also played in master classes for PBS broadcasts with Mark O’Connor and Arnold Steinhardt.

Thomas has competed nationally and internationally, coming in third place in the international IBLA competition. She was awarded the Wienawski award at the International IBLA Carnegie Hall competition and has soloed with numerous symphonies, including the Kalamazoo Symphony, Rochester Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra. She has also performed with Natalie McMaster, Mark Wood, Gil Shazam, Hilary Hahn, The Getty’s, Regin Guttesin, and many others. In addition to concerts, Thomas had the privilege of being part of two movies – a short film and a feature-length film – recording and being on screen for both. She joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2001.

Sava Velkoff

Viola

Sava Velkoff is currently an undergraduate student studying Viola Performance at Western Michigan University. She grew up in Kalamazoo and attended Kalamazoo Public Schools, taking part in their growing music programs. Sava has performed solo works with multiple orchestras including the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed abroad in Italy, Austria and participates in International Music Festivals. Besides solo repertoire, Sava enjoys playing chamber and orchestral music, and loves performing around the community.

Christine Williams

Cello, Fiddle, & Beginning Violin

Christine Williams received a BA in music from Western Michigan University. In 1983 she became a registered Suzuki instructor. Williams has earned an elementary endorsement and a master’s degree from Grand Valley State University in gifted and talented education. She has taught music in various schools including Northwestern Michigan College and the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. She has created Baker’s Dozen Music Books for teaching fiddle tunes to students with different playing abilities. Williams’ mission is to strengthen families and build community through shared musical enjoyment, quality instruction, and customized support materials.

Margaret O'Leary

Violin & Viola

Margaret O'Leary is a Traverse City native who has enjoyed playing viola for the past eight years. She recently graduated from Traverse City West Senior High School in 2017 and is currently attending Northwestern Michigan College. She plans to continue her education to achieve a degree in occupational therapy and music therapy. O’Leary enjoys playing with the Benzie Area Symphony Orchestra. She teaches with the Suzuki method for beginning violinists and violists.

Isoa Chapman

Violin & Viola

Isoa Chapman is a recent graduate of the Michigan State University College of Music, where he received his Doctorate of Musical Arts. During his studies, he was also a member of the MSU Symphony Orchestra and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with many orchestras and ensembles internationally, including performing and touring with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. In 2000, Chapman was invited by Dr. Hugh Maguire to perform with the Britten-Pears Orchestra at the Aldeburgh Festival in England. He has performed in masterclasses with Gyorgy Pauk, Bruno Giuranna, Mauricio Fuks, and Isabelle Faust, among others.


Chapman began teaching the violin in 1993 at the North Canterbury Academy of Music in New Zealand, where he prepared students for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (London) examinations. He spent two years teaching and performing throughout Ireland before coming to the United States as a graduate assistant to Professor I-Fu Wang at Michigan State University. Since teaching in Michigan, he has placed students in music programs throughout the country, including the Manhattan School of Music and the Yale University School of Music.

Tigran Shiganyan

Violin

Tigran Shiganyan has won awards in numerous national and international competitions, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Concerto Competition, the William C. Byrd Young International Artists Competition (Flint), the Five Towns Music Art Foundation Competition (New York), the International Competition, “Palma D’Oro” (Italy), and the International Violin Competition (Kazakhstan).


In 1982, Shiganyan entered the Uspensky Music School, the Tashkent State Conservatoire, where he earned his “Red Diploma,” BM, his MM (1998), and his DMA (2002). He also graduated from Duquesne University with an AD (2001) and MM (2003). In 2009, Shiganyan received his doctorate from the College of Music at Michigan State University.


His teachers were N.Pagarelova, N. Mendelssohn, and B.Kurbanov, C.Stegeman, R. Kelly, E. Borok and D.Berlinsky. Shiganyan has been invited to perform at such prestigious festivals as the International Festival of Contemporary Music, Moscow Autumn, the International Festival of Contemporary Music, Ilkhom-XX, the Hot Summer Night Music Festival, and the Utah Festival Opera.


Shiganyan has performed with the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Theater, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, New York Broadway, and Mannheim Steamroller. His first solo CD of Alfred Schnittke’s violin music was released on the Blue Griffin Recording label in 2011.

Megan Wixom

Violin

Megan Wixom is a student at Michigan State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in violin performance. She received her first music lessons on the piano and began studying violin shortly after, continuing with both instruments until late high school when she chose to specialize on the violin. She currently studies with Dmitri Berlinsky, and past teachers include Sonia Lee, former principal violinist of the Toronto Symphony, and Pat Gurin of the Detroit Symphony.

Wixom began teaching private lessons to young students in the school orchestra program in her hometown of Oxford, Michigan several years prior to her studies at Michigan State University. Before attending MSU, she was honored in several regional competitions for both the violin and piano, including winning first prize in the Avanti MusicFest concerto competition, resulting in a performance in Detroit’s Orchestra Hall.

Wixom has also enjoyed collaborating with other musicians, performing in the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra and participating in several music festivals. In 2013 and 2016, she was a student at Meadowmount School of Music where she studied chamber music with Kikuei Ikeda and Patricia McCarty. She also studied solo repertoire with Sally Thomas and Ann Setzer.

Jinhyun Kim

Cello

Jinhyun Kim from South Korea, began her studies on the cello at the age of eight. She received a Bachelor of Music from Ewha Women University and a Master of Music from Michigan State University. Kim is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Music in cello performance at Michigan State University with Suren Bagratuni. She worked as a graduate teaching assistant at MSU from 2013-2016.

She had a debut concert in Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, Korea 2011. On November 2013, Kim played in a master class with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the Fairchild Theater at MSU. In 2013 she was the winner of the Michigan State University honors competition and performed as a concerto soloist with MSU Symphony Orchestra on March 2014 at the Wharton Center. This performance was radio broadcasted with WKAR 90.5 several times. On May 2016, she played in American Protege International Piano and Strings Competition 2016 Winners Recital at Carnegie Hall, New York. She came back to Carnegie hall on March 2020 to perform as a first winner prize of Golden Classical music awards.

She was one of the participants of the National Orchestral Institute Festival 2016 at the University of Maryland. Recently, Naxos records released the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic recordings in which Kim participated. One of her collaboration was serving as a cello principal with Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings in a performance of Richard Einhorn’s “Voices of light” at the Detroit Institute of Arts on March 2018. Kim is currently the Adjunct Cello Professor at Spring Arbor University , a cello instructor at  Marshall Music in Lansing and a cellist with ConTempus Initiative Ensemble, Midland Symphony, Jackson Symphony, Flint symphony and Lansing Symphony Orchestra.  

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Guitar & Percussion

 

Tim Teal

Guitar, Mandolin, & Ukulele

Tim Teal started playing guitar at the age of seven. He is the grandson of world renowned saxophonist, Larry Teal Sr. At the age of 12, Teal began to study jazz and classical guitar with the world famous Joe Fava, who was also a professor of the guitar at Wayne State University. Studying with Fava for four years, Teal spent this time exploring the concepts of music theory and technique for the guitar.

At the age of 18, Teal went to New York with his rock band Kristen Quick, recording with Atlantic Records. He then began working in Los Angeles with Wally Heider Studios as a full time studio musician for two years. Upon returning to Detroit, he began traveling the road, touring with the Motown groups the Drifters, the Platters, the Coasters, and the Shirells. Coming back off the road after two years, Teal started his three piece rock band, Homework, and signed a record contract with MCA Records.

Teal has spent the last 23 years performing with many successful local bands, as well as continuing studio session work with his own production company. He has 10 CDs to his credit and continues to teach the guitar, bass guitar, and ukulele at Marshall Music, which he has done for the past eight years.

Jonathan Edwards

Guitar

Jonathan Edwards attended Indiana University's School of Music for classical guitar performance where he studied with internationally acclaimed guitarist and EMI recording artist Ernesto Bitwetti and Yugoslavian guitarist Petar Jankovic. He completed a Bachelor of Music degree from Eastern Michigan University in 2011 and is currently pursuing a master's degree in music performance from EMU.  Edwards has studied many styles of music on guitar for 21 years, performing in numerous groups ranging from jazz ensembles to touring rock bands. He recorded two albums with the Detroit rock band The Silent Years, voted Spin magazine's Underground Artist of the Year. While a member of The Silent Years, he co-wrote several songs that appeared on major network television shows such as Men in Trees on ABC and The RealWorld/Road Rules Challenge on MTV. He has since written and recorded two albums with the Ann Arbor based band Skeleton Birds and more recently completed an album of solo music under the name Keeper of the Peace. With the exception of the drums, he played all instruments from piano to bass guitar. He is currently teaching at Eastern Michigan University in the guitar department and at Siena Heights University, in addition to Marshall Music Co. in West Bloomfield, Michigan

Jake Matthews

Drum Set & Percussion

Jake Matthews has been professionally performing since the age of sixteen years old. He has a Bachelor of Music, concentrating in jazz drum set, from Wayne State University’s College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts, Jake has studied as well as worked with some of Detroit’s finest musicians, including Russ Miller, Edward Gooch, and David Taylor, among others. Over the past few years, Jake has been frequently performing throughout the greater Metro-Detroit area, playing in all genres as well as various venues such as Cliff Bell’s, Meadowbrook Theatre, The Dirty Dog Jazz Café, The Cube at Orchestra Hall, and Royal Oak’s Arts, Beats, and Eats, just to name a few. Additionally, Jake is also a freelance recording session drummer and has played on multiple local artists’ albums.

 

Immediately after graduating from high school in 2013, Jake began his teaching career. From giving private lessons to master classes, working as an instructor at various music camps, as well as being the drum line instructor at Notre Dame Preparatory High School, Jake has taught a very wide range of students as well as genres of music. Specifically, Jake teaches drum set, marching percussion, concert percussion, pitched percussion, and hand percussion instruments.

 

Being so heavily involved in a variety of musical situations, there is no doubt that Jake truly has a passion for music! Whether he is performing or teaching, Jake always strives to inspire those who are around him. Having the ability to share his knowledge of music and see the progression of his students is one of the most rewarding feelings for Jake. A student’s musical development not only brings him joy, but it also motivates him to become the best musician and teacher that he can be in order for any student to reach their fullest potential.

Rudy Alcala

Guitar, Electric Bass, & Ukulele

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