Kalamazoo School of Music Instructors

INTEREST FORM

 

Brass

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.

Janet Channells

Horn

Janet Channells attended Western Michigan University for music education. Her performance experience includes playing in the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra and the Kalamazoo Concert Band. Channels joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2007.

Craig Freeman

Trombone & Bass Trombone

Bass trombonist Craig Freeman is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Bowling Green State University, and a master’s degree in trombone performance from Western Michigan University.

Freeman has been an active freelance musician in Southwest Michigan, performing with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and Battle Creek Symphony. He also enjoys playing in non-classical settings, having performed and recorded with bands such as the Go Rounds, the Macpods, and Last Gasp Collective, as well as artist Aretha Franklin. When he’s not playing or teaching, Freeman enjoys bicycle riding in the beautiful Kalamazoo countryside.

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.

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Woodwinds

​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.

Rebekah Cain

Flute & Piccolo

Rebekah Cain is a freelance musician and has been playing flute since she was 10 years old. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in flute performance, as well as her Bachelor of English degree in literature, from Western Michigan University. She has been teaching private lessons for more than seven years.

Over the course of her professional playing career, she has given a multitude of solo recitals, and has been invited to perform in other musicians’ recitals. She has also performed at various churches and wedding ceremonies, multiple musicals and professional theatre productions, the WMU Symphony Orchestra, the WMU concert and symphonic band, the university flute choir, the WMU Pep Band, and the WMU Bronco Marching Band. During her time with the BMB, she taught as a section leader for three years and served on the conducting staff for her final year. She has also taught at multiple high school marching band camps for more than five years as a music and marching staff member. Cain joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2018.

Jolene Cron

Flute

Jolene Cron earned a Bachelor of Music in music education and music theory, as well as a Master of Education in early childhood education from Western Michigan University. She performs with the Kalamazoo Concert Band, Silver Triad Flute Choir, Western Michigan University Flute Choir, and WMU Chamber Choir. She has also played with the Arioso String Quartet & Trio, the Kalamazoo Philharmonia, and the Calvary Bible Church Orchestra, in addition to being a freelance musician.

Cron is originally from Sand Creek. She was an elementary general music teacher for 15 years in the Kalamazoo Public Schools system and has taught private lessons for 35 years. Cron joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2013.

Dawn Garrett

Clarinet

Dawn Garrett earned a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in clarinet performance from Western Michigan University. She has gained performance experience playing in the Southwest Michigan Symphony and the hand bell choir at her church. Garrett is originally from Vicksburg and has taught private clarinet lessons for over 20 years. She joined the Marshall Music staff in 2006.

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.

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.

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.

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Orchestral Strings

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.

Negar Afazel

Violin

Negar Afazel is from Tehran, Iran. She studied violin performance in Germany-Hannover and at the Tehran University of Fine Arts. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree at Western Michigan University, majoring in violin performance. She was the first violinist in Quartet du Monde, is a KSO Artist Scholar, and is a diverse performer with extensive experience performing chamber music and solo works. Afazel is also a frequent performer of new music and contemporary styles, such as jazz and multimedia works.

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.

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Guitar & Percussion

Dave Van Haren

Percussion

Dave Van Haren earned a Bachelor of Arts in biology and a Master of Music in jazz drum set from Western Michigan University. Van Haren has performed with the DUH quartet, Elliot Bilo 4tet, Dan Willenberg Trio, the Western Michigan University Dance Department as an accompanist, and the Unity of Kalamazoo Music Team. In the past, he has also performed with Fusion, Base, Gold Company, and the Western Michigan University Jazz Orchestra. Van Haren joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2016.

Geoff Stockton

Guitar

Geoff Stockton is a working guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger, and producer who works in nearly all modern styles of music, as well as many traditional styles. With nearly 30 years of musical experience, Stockton has shared stages and bills with several nationally and internationally recognized artists and bands. He has taught guitar lessons for 15 years and has authored and self-published The Big Serious Guitar Book, a 500-page guitar/music theory tome. The two maxims that govern his approach to teaching are "knowledge is power" and "learning is fun.” He currently performs as a solo guitarist and as a member of Pillar to Post and the Marci Linn Band in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Mark Morris

Guitar, Songwriting, & Arranging

Mark Morris earned a Bachelor of Arts in music and recording from Western Michigan University and studied art at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Mark performs in his band Glowfriends, as well as with his family band. He teaches a variety of styles including rock, indie rock, blues, folk, finger picking, metal, jazz, country, and classical. Morris joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2004.

Alex Ensing

Guitar

Alex Ensing earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in multimedia arts technology. Ensing has been playing guitar since 2010 and has gained a wealth of performance experience through his involvement in a variety of musical endeavors, including the Kalamazoo Concert Band, the WMU Concert Band, the WMU Jazz Lab Band, and other ensembles. He has played guitar in many pit orchestras, various bands, and has many hours of recording experience through Western Sound Studios. Ensing enjoys playing and teaching genres such as classical, jazz, folk, rock, and even progressive metal! He 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.

Tim Brouhard

Bass Guitar, Harmonica, Ukulele, Digeridoo, & Arranging

Tim Brouhard earned a Bachelor of Arts from Western Michigan University with a major in environmental studies and Spanish. Brouhard’s performance experience includes playing with the Out of Favor Boys (blues band), Geoff Brouhard Jazz Quartet (weddings and banquets), Bell Kula (funk/reggae), Flying Blind (rock/pop), Bill Clements Group, Jacob Root, Geoff Stockton program, and Adam Child. He teaches styles ranging from funk, blues, and jazz to Latin, samba, and punk. Brouhard joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2005.

Phil Barry

Guitar, Sonwriting, & Arranging

Phil Barry is a professional guitarist who has played thousands of shows, toured Europe, Canada, and the United States. He has toured with Ryan Adams and Ray Lamontagne. His music has been licensed by the VH1, MTV, Showtime, and Oxygen networks. Barry has been teaching at Marshall Music since 2003.

Luis Yzquierdo

Guitar and Bass

Luis Yzquierdo is originally from from Lima, Peru. He currently lives outside of Three Rivers, Michigan. His first contact with the guitar was at age 14, when his parents bought him his first acoustic guitar for his birthday. Though a teacher was not readily available, he used the internet to help him learn, and then when he was 15, his parents give me an electric guitar. He fell in love with it and realized that he wanted to study music and dedicate himself to the profession of guitar performance. This is also when Yzquierdo started to teach private guitar lessons. After high school, Yzquierdo played in several local bands in Peru. He was able to participate in many amateur and professional recordings, where he played a variety of styles from pop, rock, hard rock, heavy metal, grunge, all the way to alternative rock. Soon after, he had the opportunity to study formally at a music institute in Surco, Peru called Master Music. After finishing his studies, Yzquierdo met his wife, a vocalist. In 2018 they moved to Cusco, the most tourist based city in Peru. There, they worked offering yoga classes with live music, and playing in different bars and hotels in the city. A month before they moved, Yzquierdo was able to record his first professional single. Now in Michigan, Yzquierdo is dedicated to pursuing his greatest passions; producing music and giving music lessons.

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Piano & Voice

Judy Bayer

Piano, Organ, Keyboard, & Accordion

Judy Bayer earned a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Western Michigan University and studied at the Chicago Music Conservatory. She has extensive experience performing at weddings, receptions, parties, nursing homes, and as a church accompanist. Bayer has taught for nearly 55 years and teaches virtually every style of music. She also performs at nursing homes around the area every month. Bayer joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2002.

Carmen Bell

Voice & Songwriting

Carmen Bell earned a Bachelor of Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education from Western Michigan University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in vocal performance at Northeastern Illinois University. She gained performance experience in the WMU Opera Workshop, Grand Chorus, Collegiate Singers, Women’s Chorus, and Northeastern Illinois University’s Chorus and Operas.

Originally from Battle Creek, Bell has been a teacher’s assistant in the Kellogg Community College Upward Bound program, as well as the Kazoo School. She joined the Marshall Music staff in 2002.

Jeff Dallavalle

Piano, Organ, & Keyboard

Jeff Dallavalle holds a degree in piano performance from Western Michigan University. He has extensive experience performing in restaurants, as well as in clubs with his bands Left Turn Blues Band and The Edge. He is also the music director for his church. Dallavalle has a wealth of teaching and management experience in the areas of piano, organ, and keyboard instruments. He joined the Marshall Music staff in 2003.

Shelby O'Brien

Voice

Shelby O’Brien graduated with high honors from Michigan State University and holds her bachelor’s degree in secondary education and Spanish. She has been working in both classroom and one-on-one teaching environments for over 10 years.

O’Brien first started studying music when she joined choir at the age of six. She took private vocal lessons throughout high school and college. At MSU, she was president of an award-winning a cappella group, Capital Green, as well as a member of the Women’s Chamber Choir with the MSU College of Music.

After college, O’Brien lived abroad in Peru for four years, where she gained further experience performing in concerts and at private events, as well as teaching lessons both in Spanish and English.

 

O’Brien is currently working on writing, recording, and performing her original music around Michigan. She is also a yoga teacher and yoga retreat business owner. She combines her knowledge of breathwork, movement, vocal techniques, and mind-body awareness in her vocal coaching to build her students’ confidence and guide them on the path to successful singing.

Jalynda Smith

Piano

Jalynda Smith is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music education and speech pathology from Western Michigan University. She has played piano for the last 16 years. Smith has assisted and participated at some summer music programs at Marshall Music over the years. She has assisted with piano classes at the Gilmore as a Gilmore Fellow. Smith loves to help students grow to be wonderful musicians. She joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2018.

Jessi Wallace

Piano

Jessi Wallace has been playing piano since she was six years old. Her first job, when she was 14, was playing piano for weekly services at her home church. Since then, she has graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy and Western Michigan University with a degree in instrumental music education. She has been teaching private lessons since 2014 and loves to work one-on-one with students. Contrasting to teaching privately, Wallace also works with many of the surrounding public school music programs, filling in for long-term sub positions and recently being hired as an elementary music teacher for Kalamazoo Public Schools. Her summers are spent teaching marching band camps for various schools throughout Michigan. Wallace not only enjoys teaching, but also performing. After her freshman year of high school, she traveled to Europe with the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp International Exchange Program. She continued to play in various ensembles throughout her collegiate career. Her most notable performance venues include the Lincoln Center, Harris Theatre, DeVos Hall, Constitution Hall, Fisher Hall, and Carnegie Hall. Wallace joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2017.

Tamara Whitley-Sterlini

Piano & Voice

Tamara Whitley-Sterlini earned a Bachelor of Arts in vocal performance from Eastern Michigan University, a Bachelor of Music Education from EMU, and an Associate of Liberal Arts with a piano teacher certification from Schoolcraft Community College.

Whitley-Sterlini is a freelance pop, jazz, and classical vocalist with performance experience, having played at a variety of venues on the circuit, including nightclubs, private functions, recitals, church solos, weddings, and funerals. She has also toured Europe.

As a piano accompanist, she has accompanied classical, jazz, and Broadway acts; pop choirs; and soloists. She has also performed with the S’cool Jazz Vocal Ensemble of the Michigan Opera Theater, as a Disney World vocalist and dancer for the Kids of the Kingdom (primary characters: Ariel and Belle), aboard the Celebrity/Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and with Vox Lines – an all-female, a cappella vocal ensemble. She also performs as a magician’s assistant and as Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen.

Whitley-Sterlini is extremely versatile in her teaching and joined the Marshall Music teaching staff in 2016.

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