Instructors

Find your muse with one of our instructors. Click on an instructor’s picture for more information.

Piano/Organ

Grammy-nominated pianist, composer, bandleader, and jazz historian Dr. Lewis Porter has appeared on over 30 albums. He has recorded or performed with famed instrumentalists such as Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Wycliffe Gordon, Ravi Coltrane, and many others. Among his many recordings is his celebrated 2018 album Beauty And Mystery which features the biggest names in jazz including John Patitucci, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Tia Fuller.  In addition to his fantastic career as a performer, Dr. Lewis Porter is a well-known jazz educator, researcher, and author, who has written celebrated books on John Coltrane, Lester Young, and Jazz History.  Porter is a long-time former music professor at Rutgers in Newark and has also taught at Tufts University, the New School, The Manhattan School of Music, NYU, William Paterson U, and Brandeis.  He is also an international guest lecturer and private teacher

Award-winning pianist Dr. Monica (Hye-Bin) Song has performed throughout the United States
and abroad since the age of thirteen. Recent highlights include recitals at Carnegie Hall, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, the Alma mater Cultural Center in Korea, and Teatro Auditorium Collegio Vescovile Barbargio in Italy. Song has won many awards at the American Fine Arts International Concerto Competition, the Padova International Virtuoso Competition, and the Grand Prix International Music Competition in Germany, to name a few. For the last several
years, Dr. Song has worked at Duke University, University of Chapel Hill, and Raleigh
Community School as a piano instructor. Dr. Song studied music at The Eastman School of
Music (D.M.A and M.M.) and New England Conservatory of Music (B.M.) under the guidance of some of the most highly regarded piano instructors in the world.

Dr. Brent Nolte serves as the music department chair at Ohio Christian University, where he teaches applied organ, music history, and music theory. Nolte holds a doctorate degree in organ performance from the University of Minnesota as well as degrees from Central Michigan University (MM) and Martin Luther College (BS). Nolte performs frequently at recitals and is a noted church organist.

Vocal

Mezzo-soprano Ashley Mulcahy is a graduate of the Voxtet Program at Yale School of Music (M.M.).  She also has a degree in vocal performance and Italian Language and Literature from The University of Michigan (B.M. and B.A.).  Mulcahy has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus.  She has also performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and ensemble singer with the Bach Collegium Japan, Theater of Voices, New York State Baroque, and The Newberry Consort.  Mulcahy believes that studying music can have a powerful impact on anyone’s life regardless of age, goals, or proficiency level.

Featured on season 10 of American Idol, Devyn Rush originated the role of ANNA at Lincoln Center, in the 2007 Tony Award-winning musical, Spring Awakening. Her trajectory has led her to become an in-demand session vocalist, performer, and songwriter, having her songs featured on TV shows and recorded by artists in Austria, Japan, and Korea. Devyn is the also lead vocalist in the popular show Hefti Plays Hefti. Her debut jazz EP, Out Of The Blues, was released in November 2019 and she is currently in production on her first full-length album of original songs. Devyn teaches a wide variety of styles and bases her teaching off of the 2 vocal techniques of breath & placement. She works with all ages & experience levels, ranging from total beginner all the way to her professional/celebrity students.

Two Time Grammy Award-Winning singer/songwriter/trombonist Saunders Sermons is a highly sought out artist who has toured the world with the greatest in the music industry. Sermons has traveled to over twenty countries in his touring career and won his first Grammy for his work on BLACKSummers’ Night with the recording artist Maxwell. Following his work with Maxwell, Sermons joined the Tedeschi Truck Band as a singer and trombonist, making his mark and winning his second Grammy during his time with the band. He provided invaluable versatility to the group, giving it a soulful voice that resonated with the public. Saunders Sermons is a gem who consistently provides the ingenuity and reliability needed in the high demand industry of music.  Sermons attended Florida A&M University and the New School University, where he studied jazz studies and commercial music.

Fretted Instruments

Jay Sweet is a professional bassist, educator, writer, and researcher. He is also the owner and director of MusicolgyU and Sweet Music Academy. Through his efforts, Sweet and his fantastic staff of highly trained instructors have taught well over 4,000 students. Sweet holds degrees from Berklee College of Music (B.M.) and Rutgers University (M.M.). He also teaches lessons and courses in Jazz History, American Music History, and Music Appreciation at Monmouth University. Additionally, he has also taught several courses at Middlesex College and Rutgers University. Along with teaching, Sweet is an active performer who has worked and recorded with several noted artists in nearly every venue, style, and setting.

Drew Amandola is a guitarist and composer who has performed throughout the country. He holds degrees in classical composition from the Hartt School of Music, and the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Amendola has also studied music at The Julliard School and Berklee College of Music and is currently a doctoral student in the Jazz Performance Program at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Amendola has over twenty years of teaching experience in the area of the guitar, composition, theory, ear training, and jazz history. He is also an active composer and performer.

Classical guitar master Dr. Daniel Quinn has maintained an active performance and teaching career for over thirty years. After earning his doctorate in guitar performance and literature Quinn performed as a soloist throughout the U.S., Canada, and Japan. Quinn currently teaches guitar at St Mary’s and Holy Cross colleges in Notre Dame, as well as the University of Indianapolis. He has also taught at Indiana University, Huntington College, University of St Francis, and Tokyo College of Music. If you are looking specifically to learn classical guitar form a true professional, Dr. Daniel Quinn will definitely motivate you and instruct you on how to get to the next level. 

Percussion

  • Paul Francis has Appeared on 3 Grammy Award-winning albums and has performed/recorded with Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Jon Faddis, and The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He holds a Masters Degree from SUNY Purchase and a Bachelors from The Ohio State University. As a teacher, Paul has taught for over 20 years to students of all ages and levels of experience. From beginner to professional, Paul can help you get your playing to where you want to be.

Strings

Mallory Carnes holds a MM in viola performance from Indiana University and BA from Emory University.  As a performer, Carnes has performed throughout Asia and the US and is an associate member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra.  In addition to performing, Mallory Carnes has successfully prepared her students for college auditions and orchestra auditions.

Award-winning violinist, Dr. Eun-mi Lee is currently a tenured first chair violinist with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Originally from Daegu, Korean, Lee has earned a Doctorate Degree in Violin Performance from The University of Texas as well as degrees from Rice University (M.M) and Temple University (B.M.A).  Dr. Lee’s credits as a performer and teacher are extensive, and she is a fantastic addition to our impressive staff. 

Critically-acclaimed violinist, Frederic Ayala has a long list of impressive credits as a performer.  For the last several years, he has worked as the concertmaster for the North Carolina Bach Festival, the Durham Savoyards Opera, and additionally as a musician-in-residence for the American Dance Festival. As a teacher, Mr. Ayala served as a faculty instructor of Violin and Chamber Music at Duke University and other esteemed teaching institutions. He holds a degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and has a proven track record of successful leadership and collaborative organization. We are very pleased to have him here at MusicologyU, and to recommend him to all our prospective students.

Cello master Deya Deynova has studied cello performance at the University of Miami, Boston University. The University of Central Arkansas, Indiana University, and The State Conservatory of Bulgaria. Deynova has performed as a soloist and as a member of numerous orchestras, including the Orchestra Miami, South Florida Orchestra, Miami Symphony, The Little Rock Chamber Society, Vratza Orchestra (Bulgaria), Alhambra Orchestra and the International String Quartet. In addition to being an awarded soloist, Deya Deynova has worked as a cello instructor at several institutions throughout Miami, Boston, and Baton Rouge.

Jay Sweet is a professional bassist, educator, writer, and researcher. He is also the owner and director of MusicolgyU and Sweet Music Academy. Through his efforts, Sweet and his fantastic staff of highly trained instructors have taught well over 4,000 students. Sweet holds degrees from Berklee College of Music (B.M.) and Rutgers University (M.M.). He also teaches lessons and courses in Jazz History, American Music History, and Music Appreciation at Monmouth University. Additionally, he has also taught several courses at Middlesex College and Rutgers University. Along with teaching, Sweet is an active performer who has worked and recorded with several noted artists in nearly every venue, style, and setting.=

Woodwinds

Ryan Roikola holds degrees in Bassoon Performance from the University of South Carolina (MM), the University of North Carolina (MM) and Lynchburg College (BM).  As a performer, Roikola has toured internationally and has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  In addition to performing, Roikola is an active teacher specializing in preparing bassoonists for County, Region, All-State, and College auditions.

Dr. Tracey Paddock has degrees in clarinet performance from Indiana University (BM), The Royal Academy of Music in London (MA), and Florida State University (DM). For more than 21 years, Paddock toured the continent and recorded with the famed “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. Throughout her career, she has taught clarinet at various institutes such as Florida State and George Mason University. She also works as a lecturer and panelist with the International Clarinet Association.

After graduating from the University of North Texas (B.M.), Haiyang Wang acquired his Master of Music degree in flute performance at Florida State University, where he taught lessons and music classes as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. In addition to teaching, Wang has performed at the Early Music Festival in China and with the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Orchestra. Yang loves sharing his appreciation of music and skills of flute playing and aims to bring out the musicality within each player.

Clarinetist, Bass Clarinetist, and Saxophonist, Raissa Fahlman is a devoted soloist, orchestral, chamber and jazz musician based in New York City. Raissa is a frequent commissioner of new music and performs in a variety of styles, often fusing classical, jazz, electronic, latin, and klezmer styles. Raissa performs regularly as a member of chamber and jazz ensembles and as a featured soloist. She has performed and toured at some of the finest venues all around the world; Canada, China, Europe, and the United States, including Carnegie Hall. Raissa is a Doctoral Candidate at Stony Brook University, and holds a MMus. from Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague, as well as a BMus. from the University of Calgary. While working with all ages and levels, Raissa teaches undergraduate lessons and academic classes such as Rock Music, Introduction to Music, Modern American Music, and Music Theory. Raissa is proud to be an official Wurlitzer Artist. Her incredible skills and positive attitude make her an excellent addition to our award-winning faculty.

Multiple Woodwind artist Erika Friedman holds education and performance degrees from Ithaca College (B.M.) and New Jersey City University (M.M.). Her intensive undergraduate and graduate studies helped her become a versatile performer, allowing her to excel in professional performance settings ranging from classical to jazz and everything in between. She particularly loves theater and performing in pit orchestras. Erika has had the pleasure of touring as the Reed player for the National/International Broadway shows of “Kinky Boots,” “The Bodyguard,” “Annie”, and “The Producers.” Her travels have brought her to 49 US states, 7 Canadian provinces, and parts of Southeast Asia. Friedman meets each student wherever they’re at on their musical journey while emphasizing the importance of fundamentals such as embouchure, breath support, tone, intonation, articulation.

Emily Beare is currently an oboe fellow with the New World Symphony. She holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where she was a student of Nathan Hughes, and received additional instruction from Elaine Douvas, Linda Strommen and Richard Dallessio. An avid orchestral and chamber player, she has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, National Symphony (NSO), Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra and Louisiana Philharmonic. She first performed in Carnegie Hall in 2014 as the Principal Oboist of the New York String Orchestra Seminar and has spent past summers at the Sarasota, Music Academy of the West, Spoleto USA, and Tanglewood festivals. Ms. Beare has also spent three summers playing chamber music at the Marlboro Music Festival, collaborating with Mitsuko Uchida, Jonathan Biss and Leon Fleisher.

Jeremy Lappitt, is a LA studio veteran. Throughout his time there he has performed and recorded with Idina Menzel, Pharrell, The Brian Setzer, Orchestra, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Arturo Sandoval & Pete Christlieb. In the film & TV world, Jeremy has recorded on blockbuster hits “Crazy Rich Asians”, “Minions”, “Dear White People” & “Beverly Hills 90210” reboot. He can be also be seen regularly performing in the house band horn sections on American Idol & The Voice. Jeremy has a passion for performing, recording, composing & arranging, and can help you gain the skills and confidence to take your playing to the next level.

Brass

Dr. Nicole Gillotti enjoys a versatile career as a freelance trumpeter and educator. She currently serves on faculty at Texas A&M International University, teaching applied trumpet, brass ensemble, music appreciation, and brass methods. An active chamber musician, Nicole can be heard performing with Hint of Lime Brass, the University of Illinois Graduate Brass Quintet, and the Illinois State University Faculty Brass Quintet and. As an orchestra musician, she has performed with numerous symphonies across the country, including Laredo Philharmonic, Valley Symphony (McAllen, TX), etc. Dr. Gillotti has presented at conferences, festivals, and competitions throughout the United States and Europe, including National Trumpet Competition and Orvieto Musica Trumpetfest in Orvieto, Italy. Dr. Gillotti holds a D.M.A from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, M.M. from Illinois State University, and B.S.Ed. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Euphonium and low brass specialist, Bijan Daneshvar is a member of the United States Navy Pacific Fleet Band.  Before joining the Fleet Band,  Bijan Daneshvar studied at the Naval School of Music and the University of North Texas, where he earned his Masters in Music Performance and his degree in Music Education. In addition to his heavy performance schedule with the Navy, Band Daneshvar performed with the North Texas Brass Band, The Aerophone community band, and the Manhattan School of Music precollege Symphony orchestra. He has competed at the International Tuba and Euphonium chamber and excerpt competitions and has worked as a public school music teacher.

Brian Nivison holds degrees in Horn Performance and Music Education from the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam (B.M.), as well as a Masters in Music Education while serving as a Graduate Assistant in Conducting at Mansfield State University of Pennsylvania (M.A.). Nivison is an active teacher who specializes in preparing horn students for honor band/orchestra opportunities, and especially County, District, Regional, All-State, and College/University auditions.

Trumpeter, Pete De Siena has worked, recorded and performed with artists and bands like Michael Buble, Muse, Natalie Cole, Engelbert Humperdinck, Paul Anka, Brian Setzer, Luis Miguel, Frank Sinatra Jr., John Tesh, Lou Rawls, Barry Manilow, Wayne Newton, Bill Holman, Johnny Mandel, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Bill Watrous’ and many others. Additionally, De Siena has also performed on multiple live musical reality television shows, including The Voice, American Idol, The X-Factor, and The Superbowl. You may have even heard his trumpet on numerous commercials and featured films such as Ice Age 4, Rush Hour 3, and Parental Guidance. After spending years as a top Los Angeles trumpeter, De Siena relocated back east, where he has been teaching and subbing on many Broadway musicals such as and Kinky Boots, Miss Saigon, Hello Dolly and others. Pete De Siena has a B.M. in Music Education and M.A. from the University of Southern Carolina.

Digital Music and Production

Red Bull 3style USA Champion, Rehab Las Vegas resident DJ, and Chicago Sun Times’ #1 DJ (Sun Times’ #6 in the U.S.), Trentino, has been producing music for just as long as he has been gracing the turntables (since 2000), and playing drums for even longer. In addition to extensive touring across North America, he has headlined internationally in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha, and Shantou (China), Chennai, Goa, and Hyderabad (India), Taipei and Taichung (Taiwan), Bangkok and Pattaya (Thailand), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), Stuttgart (Germany), and Zurich (Switzerland). His traditional musical background, including a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, is a rarity among electronic musicians, and has helped get his original music placed on networks such as MTV, VH1, ESPN, and Style, labels including Firepower Records and Brooklyn Fire, and commercials for Bacardi, Hefty, and Kenmore. While 3style put him on the world stage, his passion for dance music, inspired by his home city of Chicago, is what will keep him there.


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