Jiye Hayden

Jiye Hayden, born in South Korea, is a professional pianist, vocalist and music instructor based in the greater Los Angeles area. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from California State University, Northridge, as well as a Piano Teaching Certificate from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea.

Exposed to music from a young age, she received her first piano lessons at age six and later learned multiple instruments, including violin, saxophone and guitar. Over the years, she has performed in various roles as a musician in a variety of venues, including as: saxophonist in the Olympia Hotel in Seoul, bar pianist at Four Seasons Resort in Santa Barbara, pianist/keyboardist in numerous musical theater productions, and chorist at Carnegie Hall and in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Walt Disney Hall. As a freelance collaborative pianist and staff accompanist at CSUN, she also has extensive experience with accompanying instrumentalists and vocalists in recitals and competitions.

Ms. Hayden’s career as a music teacher also began at a relatively young age – over the past twenty years, she has taught over a thousand students. As a result of this extensive teaching experience, she has developed a flexible method that adapts to and nurtures each child’s individual learning abilities, including children with ADHD and autism. Her greatest passion is teaching children and guiding them on their journey to becoming independent musicians and music lovers.

Evan Pouchak

Evan is a professional drummer currently residing in Los Angeles, CA. He has been playing drums for over 20 years. Evan graduated from the University of Louisville in 2006 with a degree in Music Performance, and since 2004 he has taught drum set, classical and rudimental snare drum, and guitar.

While living in Louisville, Evan was a founding member of Louisville groups Paradigm, The Deloreans, and The Pass. While a member of the fusion rock and jazz group Paradigm, Evan toured across the United States and opened for such groups as the Benvento/Russo Duo, Charlie Hunter, Club D’Elf, and the Lee Boys. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2009, Evan has recorded and/or played with The Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra, the Sean Stackpoole Quartet, West LA Fadeaway, Jay Stapleton, and June Aja.

Evan strives to instill the fundamentals of music in his students in a fun, creative, and engaging way. He believes it is important for students to develop the ability to solve musical problems from a place of creativity and positive contribution. If a student can learn to do so early, she can take that ability with her throughout her career.

Dianne Meyer

Dianne Meyer, a southern California native, is an experienced piano instructor, elementary music educator, and church choir director/accompanist; she has also performed in numerous musical theatre productions as music director/pianist. She started playing the piano at age five and cello at age eight. She studied piano with Pierce College professor Rowan Taylor and cello with Edwin Geber, former cellist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Coming from a musical family, she has sung, and played cello and piano, in numerous family concerts, as well as performing piano trios with her mother and brother throughout the Los Angeles area. Dianne has been singing in church and school choirs since age 10. She was recruited to play cello in the West Valley Chamber Orchestra at the age of 13. She began accompanying as a high school student, and accompanied the advanced mixed choir and show choir at El Camino Real High School.

While studying at Brigham Young University, Dianne directed church choirs; she also played cello in the BYU Philharmonic and Mormon Youth Symphony. She has played in two-piano four-hand performances as well as piano duets with several collaborators. She has taught elementary music for 25 years, with an emphasis on vocal instruction and performance. One highlight was a performance with Round Meadow Elementary School chorus students at Carnegie Hall in 2018. She enjoys working with students of all ages, and she has taught students between the ages of 5 and 75. Dianne loves to teach students the artistry of playing the piano as well as the musical knowledge to become independent musicians. She loves to enrich each student’s life with a skill that will last them a lifetime and bring them joy. 

Anzhela Davtyan

Anzhela Davtyan is a pianist, music educator based in Los Angeles. She was born in Yerevan, Armenia, where she received her first piano lessons at age 6. Anzhela made her concerto debut at the age of 9, playing Haydn’s D major piano concerto along with Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C-sharp minor. She went on to complete her musical education at the Arno Babajanyan Musical Pedagogical college in Yerevan, where she obtained a Bachelor degree with honors in solo performance, ensemble performance, accompanying and pedagogy.

After moving to Los Angeles, she continued her piano studies at the California State University of Northridge under the direction of Dr. Dmitry Rachmanov, Professor Edward Francis and engaged in pedagogical activities and ensemble performing. Anzhela holds both Bachelor of music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy and Master degree in piano performance from the California State University of Northridge. Her teaching experience includes maintaining a private piano studio for the past 16 years. She has an extensive experience in performing on stage and teaching classical piano lessons to students of all ages and skill levels. Besides teaching privately, she also has much experience working at the major music studios in Los Angeles, such as Knauer Music School, Musonia Music School, Angeles Music academy.

Gregory Sim

Gregory Sim is a multi-genre pianist residing in Los Angeles, with experience across classical, jazz, pop, rock, and funk. His performance history includes venues such as the Soraya, Gibson Amphitheater, Rose Parade, Vitello’s, and The Baked Potato. He also performs frequently in small group settings, and was featured in a jazz combo in Downbeat magazine. Born November 3rd, 1997 in Jakarta, Indonesia, he moved to the United States with his family in 1999, and began classical piano lessons at 8 years old in 2005. The next year, he began learning the trumpet, and continued to study both instruments until 17, when he decided to focus on piano. Gregory has been teaching since 2015, with an emphasis on jazz piano, music theory, and ear training. From 2018 to 2021, he attended California State University Northridge under the Help Alpert Foundation Scholarship, where he graduated with a BM in Jazz Studies/Piano Performance.

Dana Lewis Howell

Dana Lewis Howell holds degrees in music composition from UCLA (PhD), San Francisco Conservatory of Music (MM) and Carnegie Mellon University (BFA).  His teachers included Leonardo Balada, William Critser, Nancy Galbraith, Paul Chihara, David Conte, Roger Bourland and Ian Krause. He grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and pursued dual degrees in composition and clarinet performance before moving to California to continue studies. 

Dana Howell currently serves as Instrumental Music Director at Highland Hall Waldorf School.  Since coming to Los Angeles in 2004, he has been an active composer, performer, conductor and teacher, previously holding positions as Music Director at St. John Eudes Church and organist at Echo Park United Methodist Church.  He taught composition and theory at the Brevard Music Center summer festival from 2008 to 2012 and studied at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau.

Jiayang (Becky) Zhang

Becky Zhang, born in China, is now a Los Angeles based opera singer, vocal and piano teacher. She received her Bachelor’s of Music Education from China, and is currently in her last year of her Master’s of Vocal Performance program at CSU, Northridge. She also holds Elementary School Music Teaching Qualification Certificate in China.
She started learning the piano at the age of seven, and later began studying vocal and Chinese percussion instruments. Over the years, she has performed in various countries, including China, the United States, Japan, and Spain. Such as solo performances invited by the Madrid City Government, and chorist with LA Symphony. She always has fun when singing operas. Some of her favorite roles she has performed before include: Collette from L’ivrogne corrigé, Musetta from La Boheme, and Pamina from The Magic Flute.
Her teaching career began at a relatively early age. During these years she taught piano, singing and music theory to children of all ages. She always loves to develop different methods with children that allows them to have fun while learning music. Music is full of magic. Becky hopes that all students can feel the beauty of music, gain knowledge and go further and further on their music journey.

Dror Marko

Dror Marko is an international artist, guitarist, arranger, studio musician and musical director. He is a graduate of the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, where he was granted three scholarships and outstanding student award, while taking his bachelor’s degree. During his career, he got the chance to live in Israel, Brazil, and the US, gaining vast experience performing, touring, and co- producing with significant artists such as: Jessica Sanchez (American Idol), hit R&B-band Surface, drummer Marvin Smith (Sting, Tonight Show with Jay Leno band), American Idol-Vocal Coach Peggi Blu, pianist Mahesh Balasooriya (Stanley Clarke, Natalie Cole), Ryan Gallagher (The Voice), and OGR (original world music project) to name a few. Dror had a remarkable experience within the local Filipino music scene in the US and collaborated with top Filipino artists such as Janice Javier (The Voice of the Philippines), Bryan Termulo (Pinoy Pop Superstar), Geneva Cruz, Lani Misalucha and Dessa Salazar. He has performed in distinguished venues such as Aratani Theatre, Envision Center LA, PYLUSD Performing Arts center, Catalina Jazz Club, The Baked Potato, The Blue Whale, Vitello’s, House of Blues and Whisky a Go Go, in addition to major festivals like Levitt Pavilion’s and LACMA’s, and various musicals. Dror also recorded the guitars for the 1st Place winner at the 2019 European Intercontinental Music Awards and his work was covered by countless media platforms including Fox and CBS. Currently, in addition to his work as an educator and arranger, Dror leads his own Jazz-Fusion band, mixing middle eastern music, Brazilian and Jazz, gives original guitar master classes throughout California, and is writing his solo album. He also works as the musical director on the events of the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles, and plays on events organized by InJoy productions, Maagalim, Israeli Wounded Veterans and IAC for the Jewish/Israeli community.

Joey Berrellez

Joey was born in Valencia, California as the youngest of 5 children. At an early age, he showed a creative interest in art and music. With help from his brother and father, Joey began learning the basics of writing and playing his favorite music from movies, television, and video games on the piano. He especially excelled at creating his own unique compositions. At 12, Joey picked up the guitar and challenged himself to mastering the notoriously difficult instrument. At 14, he joined the high school marching band and quickly taught himself how to play the alto saxophone to keep up with his more experienced peers. At the same time, it was required of him to learn to read music and transpose keys. To aid his musical journey, he took an advanced music theory class. At the age of 18, Joey helped form a rock band with several friends as the lead guitarist. After taking a hiatus from school to work, Joey went back and graduated from Los Angeles Pierce College. He found his passion for teaching during community college when multiple friends asked him to teach their children instruments and theory. He later auditioned and was accepted to the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communications at California State University Northridge. During his time there, he gained skills teaching, composing, conducting, performing, and he even took lessons on the violin. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in Commercial and Media Writing, and he continues to follow both his passion for teaching and for composing.
Joey has performed at renowned venues such as the Whisky A Go Go, Disneyland, and even the world-famous Hollywood Bowl.

George Karpasitis

George Karpasitis is a Guitarist, Film Composer, Music Producer and Educator from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, now residing in Los Angeles, California. He is best known for his lyrical Spanish guitar compositions, as demonstrated on his two solo releases, ‘Sounds of Mar Vista’ (2019), and ‘Breakwater’ (2020).

He is also the guitarist for the R&B group Federal Av, and regularly collaborates on projects with film makers, dancers, songwriters and other instrumentalists. He has worked in the music department for over 20 films, and has performed and recorded internationally, including at Abbey Road Studios in London.

His studies include a Master’s Degree in Scoring for Film, TV and Video Games from Berklee College of Music, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance and Production from Middlesex University London.

More recently, George has shifted his focus to songwriting, drawing influence from artists such as Bill Withers, Cat Stevens and The Beatles. His first single as a singer-songwriter, titled, ‘Speaking of Love’ is now available everywhere online.

Agnese Gallenzi

Agnese Gallenzi is an Italian American Soprano. Award-winner of the 2022 District at the Metropolitan Laffont Competition, she made her international debut at Opera Stara Zagora with the role of Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, in April 2022. She started singing at a very young age and she has always performed in choirs since she was 10 years old. She graduated in vocal performance 2016 at Conservatorio G. B Pergolesi di Fermo (ITA) with high honors and pursued her Master of Music at California State University Northridge. At CSUN she performed a variety of lead roles including the role of Mimi’ last March 2023 for which she received much acclaim for her interpretation. Other roles she performed include Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Musetta in La Bohème, Micaela in Carmen, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Fiordiligi in Cosi’ Fan Tutte. Agnese has received many accolades and much critical acclaim for her warm sound, her crystalline clear coloratura, accompanied by soaring high notes and her poignant interpretation of the operatic female characters. Agnese has been a voice teacher since 2016. Her main goal as teacher is on giving her students the instruments to trust their voice and allow them to master it and deploy it to its full potential. She mostly focuses on breathing “grounding” exercises to connect body and voice to allow its full and natural release.

David Ingram

Described as having “a stellar voice” (Hollywood Fringe Festival) David Ingram is a graduate from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance. David has over 15 years of experience performing for audiences, having performed in China, Mexico, and all over the US in recognizable roles such as Belcore, Escamillo, and Marcello. Mr. Ingram has a strong interest in new works, with two world premieres of new operas under his belt as well as several U.S.A. premieres. David is excited to be continuing his education at Cal State University Northridge under Metropolitan Opera singer Dr. Hugo Vera. David most recently performed the role of Escamillo in Lawrence Opera Theater’s production of Bizet’s “Carmen”. David is currently working on the role of Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and is preparing to audition for young artist programs in the spring. Since 2008, David has been studying percussion of various styles. Being a Drum Captain for two years in his high school marching band, as well as being a part of a touring steel drum band, playing steel drum as well as drum set and hand percussion. From 2018-2020 David was also a principle percussionist with the Tucson Pops Orchestra, playing Holst, Elgar, and many contemporary composers.

Marisa Lifquist

Marisa Lifquist is currently a student at California State University, Northridge, pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance. Within the piano department, she has been a student leader as president of the CSUN Piano Club from fall 2021 to spring 2023. She also has been the recipient of multiple CSUN music department scholarships including the Colburn Classical Music Scholarship, Samuel John Swartz Memorial Scholarship, and most recently the Joan Thompson Scholarship. Additionally, she received the award of outstanding piano department student in the spring of 2022. Marisa has had the pleasure studying and performing at summer festivals such as Adamant Music School in 2019 and 2022, and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in July 2023.

Kevin Breeding

Kevin Breeding teaches violin and viola in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas. He teaches all levels. Kevin started playing violin at the age of ten. He has received both his Bachelors and Masters degree from California State University Northridge. He has participated in many competitions. Kevin Breeding has performed in Los Angeles, New York, Switzerland, France, and Italy. In his free time, Kevin enjoys video games after a long day of practicing, teaching, and working.

Christine Lee

Christine Lee is an eclectic composer, a multi-cultural artist currently based in Los Angeles. She composes for unlimited projects in concert music, visual media, and dance. As a professional, classically trained pianist and keyboardist, she has performed at venues in US and Korea and keeps performing various styles of music such as classical, electronic music, rock, jazz, etc. Christine Lee studied composition at University of Oregon (Intermedia Music Technology) and University of California, Riverside

Apostolos Papapostolou

Apostolos Papapostolou started playing imaginary drums at the age of two. His proper musical education started at the age of four, when he was enrolled to the classical conservatory of his hometown in Greece. He studied the violin for nine years and also became the youngest member on the conservatory’s internationally acclaimed children’s choir. During high school, his love for rock music led him to give up the violin and start drum and guitar lessons.
A child of prudent parents, Apostolos had to earn a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering before devoting himself to music. Throughout his university years he took further music lessons with Berklee College of Music alumni and performed throughout Greece with numerous musical acts. As a member of the band, the ViperVikings, he performed in major festivals, sharing the stage with the likes of Offspring, Marky Ramone, the Pet Shop Boys and James Blake among others.
Upon graduating as an engineer, Apostolos earned the European tour scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music, where he studied arranging and vocal performance. His teaching approach has been greatly enriched by his education, as well as his experience, which includes teaching in the Academy of Music for the Blind. 

Ana Paula Farano

Ana Paula Farano is a first-generation Brazilian and Guatemalan mezzo-soprano, and a music education major with an emphasis in choral education at Cal State Northridge. Ana Paula has sung with professional choral ensembles such as the Santa Clarita Master Chorale and Don Brinegar Singers. She is a student member of the American Choral Directors’ Association, has participated in CCDA’s Choral Leadership Academy, and has sung at CASMEC and Monterey Jazz Festival. In addition to choral music, her performance experience includes singing jazz, música brasileira, soul, musical theatre, opera, and liturgy. Ana Paula has extensively worked with university and community outreach ensembles as a music teacher, section leader, director, and administrator. She even contracted a 46-member orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall at 19 years old. Her passion, however, lies in teaching and giving back to her community the beauty of singing through choral music.

Ana Paula is humbled and grateful to have been selected among the second cohort of teaching fellows with Elemental Music. This opportunity to learn and practice the art of teaching with an organization that cares deeply about enriching aspiring teachers while serving the community makes this experience a particularly special one that she is looking forward to. Ana Paula believes the key to being an impactful director is to be humble enough to know we don’t know everything, to continue allowing curiosity to fuel our desire to grow, and most importantly, to care about humanity by listening louder than we sing. As she steps into this fellowship, a saying from one of her mentors sounds in her heart: “Music has far more to teach us, than we have to teach it.”