French Horn, Trumpet
Ms. Paulina is a freelance hornist and graduate student in the Ann Arbor area. She has performed with the Ann Arbor Symphony, University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra and Band, Baylor Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, and various chamber groups in the Waco, Texas and Ann Arbor areas. An advocate of education, Ms. Paulina has taught privately in the Ann Arbor, Dallas, and Waco areas. She has also lead rehearsals for various high school band programs as well as middle and high school summer band camps at Baylor University. Ms. Paulina is also an advocate for new music and community engagement. During her time in Waco, Texas, she regularly premiered new works by up-and-coming composers, performed as part of local church worship services, and collaborated with local facilities to perform music for those in retirement communities or in hospice care.
Ms. Paulina is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree at the University of Michigan. Prior to her move to Ann Arbor, she obtained her Bachelor of Applied Music degree from Baylor University. Aside from playing her horn, she enjoys running, hiking, reading, and discovering new coffee shops in her local area.
Instructor Bio Coming Soon
Tracy Beauregard bring 25+ years of teaching experience to School for the Arts utilizing updated and revised methods to maximize learning in students ages 6 to adult.
Tracy’s performance experience includes worship team, quartet, and solo performance with orchestral accompaniment. In addition to teaching Tracy also shares her passion for the violin and music as Co-Founder and President of the Livingston County Orchestra and Livingston County Youth Orchestra.
Joe Berry is a multi-disciplinary percussionist, educator, and composer who’s path has seen him work within the marching, orchestral, musical, contemporary, Jazz, and rock fields. As a percussionist, his main goal is to work in as many fields as possible in order to both broaden his horizons as a musician and to bridge the gaps between the different fields of music to show the similarities held by all and bring a greater understanding to his audiences. As an educator, he has taught private students, Birmingham, AL area percussion programs, college Jazz ensembles, and drum set masterclasses for both middle and high school students.
Joe holds a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from Florida State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Alabama. He has played with groups across all genres from Jazz to Classical including The Joe Berry Quartet, The BGB Trio, Sage Monkey, Florida State University Jazz Ensemble 1, University of Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and JaW Percussion. While in Birmingham, Joe was one of the drummers for the Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Andi, Bissett, a graduate of the Madonna University, has honed her baking craft in her home kitchen for 20+ years. Baking has always been a passion for Andi, and over the last few years she has taken classes at Zingerman’s Bakery and Teresa Greenways to perfect her art.
Andi has been married to her college sweetheart since 2003, together they have three children who all LOVE their mama’s baking. A motivated self learner, Andi is always tweaking and perfecting. Her sourdough devotion runs deep.
Brighton + Livonia
Although Cheryl Ann Boc Chidester’s art can be described as eclectic, it shares common themes strongly inspired by nature, her travels and experiences, and by her love of history. These themes are often interconnected in her art, as well as our world. While places, and people and their culture, offer unique perspectives and experiences, there are universal ideals and shared history, knowledge and spirit that transcends time and place. Cheryl strives to touch upon these connections.
After attending Eastern Michigan University and earning a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree (and, later, a Master of Science Degree), Cheryl has held a number of art-related positions – graphic designer, gallery manager, art instructor, muralist, set designer, architectural historian – she currently serve as the curator of the Argus Museum and is the proprietor of Cheryl’s Creative Custom Art & Framing/Inspirecreationsart. Her work has been accepted in juried exhibits throughout the country and has been honored with several awards. She has held solo exhibitions and was awarded a 2021-2022 Michigan Council of the Arts and Cultural Affairs grant.
Cheryl works in a variety of media combining techniques of texture, light and color to convey her impression of a subject matter, place, culture or moment. She appreciates exploring materials, methods and ideas, while staying true to them, as they guide her to a finished piece of art expressing an interpretation and shared experience. One of her joys in life is sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm of art.
Electric Bass, Guitar, Ukulele
Nick Dalbis is a Music Producer/multi instrumentalists/ songwriter and teacher. For over 30 years he has produced, recorded, collaborated and mentored hundreds of songwriters and bands in the Detroit metro area.
Nick started playing guitar at age nine. By age 12, Nick and his brother formed a popular wedding band and entertained at hundreds of events for over a decade. In his teens, he became interested in songwriting, recording and music production. Nick has written and produced a successful series of children’s educational songs
His passion for music and the creative process has evolved into sharing his love of music and sparking that passion in his students. With over ten years experience in teaching students from 8-80, Nick believes pursuing music as a pastime or as a professional, is a fulfilling lifelong quest. Recognizing each student is different, Nick adapts his lessons to the individual’s musical interests and needs to ensure a fun, successful musical journey.
Piano and Voice
Brighton, Livonia, Virtual
Austin is currently finishing his BMA Voice degree at U of M. He has been in love with singing since he was a kid, starting with numerous musical theatre performances and leading to his most recent lead performance with U of M’s Gilbert and Sullivan Society. In high school, he was heavily involved in Choral and Acapella music, and soon discovered his passion for contemporary music with the works of Billy Joel. Throughout his college experience, he began a career as a Dueling Pianist playing at several local bars and continues to regularly sharpen his performance skills. Austin has taught several students in Ann Arbor and online in addition to his work with SFTA. Starting in 2017, he began working with “Beyond Belief” a senior theater group based in Novi, as Musical Director and Vocal Coach/Conductor. Similar to them, his motto is that anyone can learn to sing, and he tries to focus lessons on an environment of FUN!
Drums and Piano
Bio Coming Soon
Rhythm + Music
Marilyn has been teaching piano for more than two decades. She was an inaugural teacher at School for the Arts in 2013. Her goal is to offer innovative, tech-savvy lessons that develop pianists who stick with music for a lifetime. In largely student-led lessons, she uses music apps, dynamic teaching tips, and off-bench activities. Marilyn teaches music theory through chords, composing, and improvisational techniques. No boring workbooks here!
Having taught over 20,000 piano lessons with students ranging in age from 4 to 74, she understands that with each stage comes different goals. Each student has their own musical journey; her goal is to support, teach and mentor at each juncture. She has taught individual, partner/buddy, group, and online lessons. While individual lessons are the mainstay, partner lessons are her favorite. What’s more fun than learning with a friend!
Marilyn studied music at Julliard and holds a certificate from the Richards Institute (Education Through Music – ETM). ETM promotes physical, mental, and social growth through language, song, movement, and interactive play. In recent years, Marilyn has done extensive study in teaching boys and teens, chords, and online piano lessons. She holds a B.S. in Journalism with a minor in voice at the University of Kansas.
Between lessons, she plunks on another keyboard as a freelance writer for a music education app.
On a personal level: Marilyn survived a stroke after childbirth, grew up raising pigs in rural Kansas, and has done mission work in Central America. Winston, a medium Goldendoodle, is her therapy dog partner. Together, they love to offer comfort and confidence to kids in need. She and her husband of 30+ years love to travel and have three extremely creative twenty-something-year-old sons and a daughter in college.
Marilyn can’t wait to help you/your child take their next steps in music!
My story is probably like that of many people who take up the piano. Maybe even yours?
I started playing at age six and took private lessons for about three years. I was no piano superstar. I was spectacularly average. However, the lessons taught me the fundamentals of music and gave me a life-long love of the piano. Growing up, I sang in school choirs and later in community choirs, but my family and my career in accounting kept me busy. There were months—sometimes even years—when I didn’t play the piano at all. But it’s something I’ve always been drawn back to.
Decades passed until I finally decided to get back to taking lessons.
In time, my own teacher began encouraging me to consider teaching. You never realize how much you know—and how much you still have to learn—until you teach. Working with students requires me to look at concepts from all kinds of different angles. They frequently come up with questions I’ve never thought to ask. I meet each student at their own skill level and constantly tailor my approach to how they’ll learn a given concept best. It’s exciting, challenging and not-just-a-little-bit humbling.
Teaching kids is fun; there’s so much energy there! With experience as an adult piano student myself, I also hold a special affinity for teaching adults. I really appreciate the slower, more thoughtful approach most adults have and the agency they take in their learning. I feel like I can be more of a personal tour-guide than an instructor: helping them understand the local language and customs (aka music theory), showing them sights they might not have found on their own (repertoire), and keeping them from unintentionally getting into too much trouble (piano technique).
I’d love to walk with you through your own piano journey!
Drums, Guitar, Piano, Bass
Brighton + Livonia
Brendan started playing the bass at the age of 12 in the praise band at West Highland Christian Academy and quickly became a utility player wherever he went. Brendan quickly picked up guitar, drums, and eventually keys filling in what was needed at any time. Brendan has gone on to play with several worship teams including 2|42 Brighton, Oak Pointe Milford, Canton, and Novi, and filled an interim Music Director role at Highland United Methodist at the age of 19. In addition to performing at church Brendan has performed with numerous cover bands and original artists in the area. Brendan attended the Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME).
Katrina Grace is the Hartland High School feature baton twirler and a JR Olympic gold champion. Coach Katrina started her own baton team Twirling for Grace in 2020, Twirling for Grace is the raining WTA National Championship team. Katrina works with students of all ages in Michigan and Ohio and is excited to offer baton classes at School For The Arts.
Paige Heidrich, soprano, is an Ohio native currently pursuing a MM in Vocal Performance at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University’s Conservatory of Music with undergraduate degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education. Hailed as “brilliant and funny” for her work on stage, Paige has been seen performing throughout the Northeast Ohio area in a variety of venues, including the Fairmount Center for the Arts and Willoughby Fine Arts Association with Resonanz Opera, Rabbit Run Theater, at “The 9” in Cleveland, and in the Baldwin Wallace University Opera mainstage productions. As a soloist, Paige had the privilege of debuting a chamber work by composer Lincoln Sandham titled “29 July, 1856” and has been a featured soloist for Baldwin Wallace’s Treble Choir, as well as the Ashtabula Area Orchestra. Paige has held positions as a general music teacher, vocal coach, and church choir director throughout her time in Ohio. She taught private voice at the Aurora School of Music for almost two years before pursuing graduate study. Paige believes that all people should have the opportunity to experience the joy that music-making brings. She brings her performance skills into the classroom to promote active learning and is able to share real-world performance experiences with students.
Andrew has been playing acoustic and electric guitar for over 35 years. As a teenager he played in different rock bands around the southeast Michigan area and started writing and recording his own instrumental music. Since that time, Andrew has recorded 9 instrumental guitar albums and has played on various other projects by Oak Pointe Church and Ephesus Music. He also continues to play live as a solo instrumentalist at parties, weddings, restaurants, and other events as well as part of the acoustic duo Coty & Andrew and as the lead guitarist for Radio Graffiti. Andrew also plays lead guitar in and is the Team Lead of the 2|42 Community Church Worship band.
Andrew started teaching at School for the Arts in 2014 and enjoys teaching and sharing his passion with students of all ages. He believes in customizing the lesson for the individual student and writes the curriculum based on the goals that the student wants to achieve. Andrew believes in making sure the student knows what they need to know to be a well rounded musician but also that they are having fun during the process. Andrew teaches beginner to advanced acoustic and electric guitar.
Adalus started her musical studies in the renowned musical program “El Sistema” in Venezuela and has performed as a soloist with orchestras all throughout her country. Between 2019 and 2021, she attended the renowned summer festival Center Stage Strings, a music program for emerging young artists held at the University of Michigan. In 2020, she won third place in the Louisiana State University concerto competition, allowing her to perform as a soloist with the university’s orchestra in April of 2021. Adalus obtained her Bachelors of Music in Cello Performance from Louisiana State University in 2021 and is pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of Michigan.
At present she carries out an important activity as a musician that includes both pedagogy and chamber and orchestral music. Adalus was a cello teaching artist at Kids’ Orchestra (an “El Sistema” inspired music program), where she taught music to elementary school children in the Baton Rouge area. Adalus has taught students from elementary to advanced levels.
One of Adalus’ passions is the creation of educational and informative content for social media related to music.
Brighton + Livonia
Paul is currently living in SE Michigan where he is a freelance violinist. He has performed locally with Ann Arbor, Flint, Midland, Saginaw, Oakland, and Rochester Symphonies. He studied at the University of Iowa where he earned Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Violin Performance. Most recently while living in Wisconsin, he performed with the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Waukesha, and Green Bay Symphonies and held the post of Concertmaster for the Racine Symphony from May of 2000 until 2008. In addition to performing, he was a sabbatical replacement at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point (2001) and was adjunct instructor at Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin for 8 years. Formerly, he was a fulltime member of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra from 1992-1999, was on the faculty of Northwestern State University and Centenary College and concertmaster of the Longview (Texas) Symphony. He received critical acclaim as soloist in Longview playing Erich Korngold’s “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra” in 1998.
Clarinetist Lei Min first studied clarinet at the age of 7. Her first public performance was at the age of 8 and by age 11 she won the first prize in the China clarinet youth competition. She achieved her bachelor’s degree in China Conservatory of Music. In 2017, Ms. Min was excited to come to the United States to study clarinet. She is currently a DMA student at Michigan State University, where she also obtained her Master’s degree. Besides clarinet study, she is interested in computer music and music therapy. Ms. Min has premiered her computer music pieces at MSU. She is also pursuing a music therapy major at Western Michigan University. Her major teachers include Mingzhe Wang, Keith Adam Lipson, Yi He, Corrado Giuffredi, Benjamin Lulich, Nicolas Baldeyrou and Donald Montanaro. Lei Min looks forward to helping her students have new and exciting experiences with music.
Dan Pace is the owner operator of Creative Minds Robotics and More and a professional educator of 25 years. As an educator he has worked with multiple age groups, ranging from ages 3 – 18yrs, and multiple subject areas including, core academics, Special Needs, and STEM. He also holds multiple professional licenses in education and Masters in Special Needs and Counseling.
In recent years Dan has been an international teacher working in South America creating STEM programs for multiple schools. In addition to his contributions to the classroom, Dan has also served as coach for sports and robotics teams. His most recent accomplishments as a robotics coach includes leading teams to national and world appearances in First Lego League robotics competitions, in Chile and Peru.
Dan is a passionate life-long learner that started his journey into teaching STEM by accident. As someone who likes to tinker and make things, his curiosity in robotics and CAD caught the eye of others and eventually turned into his day job.
“I imagine some might assume the focus of my classroom is programming and robotics but it’s really about people, teaching our kids how to work as members of a team, accept mistakes as valuable learning opportunities, and most importantly to learn about themselves. The high interest nature of robotics seems to do a good job keeping the kids engaged, sometimes challenging them to manage their frustrations or develop a new perspective applying their creativity to find solutions for the tech hiccups that naturally occur in robotics. Its a wonderful experience seeing a young mind acquire new skills in robotics but to see them develop a better understanding of self and improved problem-solving skills is the ultimate.”
Amy Pacheco has been a dance educator for over 30 years, she has enjoyed working with toddlers through adults. Amy has directed 11 Holiday Showcases and 11 Spring Dance Recitals. Many of her students have gone on to receive college scholarships and pursue professional positions in the art of dance. Amy has certifications through Dance Educators of America and Cecchetti Council of America. She is also a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance. She is a mother of four with children ranging from five years old to twenty-three years old. Amy is excited to join the School for the Arts team!
Marianne started playing the piano at the age of five and studied piano at Rochester College while pursuing her Elementary Teaching degree. She took classes at Schoolcraft College through their Piano Teacher’s Program, when she first began teaching piano. Marianne finds joy in seeing young children master a new skill and develop their musical abilities. She believes piano not only enriches lives, but also is a great teacher of discipline and contributes to higher success in other academic areas as well.
Voice, Guitar, Early Childhood Music
Brighton + Livonia
Dawn Purcell is a graduate of Siena Heights University with a BA in Theatre and Speech Communication. Dawn has been singing ever since she was a toddler, performing for her family, during church services, and throughout her school years in choirs, show choirs, and acapella groups. She has studied voice under Sally Mikat since 2013 and has also studied with Beth Tibbs, Michael Yuen, and Lisa Merte. She has professional credits at The Encore Musical Theatre company, having played Martha in The Secret Garden in 2019 and performed in two concerts the summer of 2021, Some Enchanted Evening (alongside Ali Ewoldt) and Broadway Rocks (alongside Aaron Lavigne). Dawn is a self taught guitarist, is fluent in viola, and enjoys performing for her loved ones. Her favorite musical is Godspell.
Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele
Steven Prevett is an active composer/songwriter, performer and instructor from Flint, Michigan. He graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Music with a focus in composition and classical guitar. As a multi-instrumentalist, he has developed a unique style of playing, ranging anywhere from classical to broadway to popular music. His most recent successes includes the original musical about dogs, “3 Pekes in a Pod,” co-written by Quincy Dobbs. Other works include the original score for Central Michigan University’s production of William Shakespeare’s “Pericles”, music scores for various short films, & original music for live comedy sketch acts in Chicago. His current performance acts are the classical guitar &accordion duo “Everything but the Polka”, the classical guitar group “The Phly Boys” and the husband & wife comedy-duo “Melon 2 Melon”. As an instructor, Steven has had the pleasure working with many wonderful students of all ages. With over five years of teaching, he has had the opportunity to watch students grow and reach their goals as growing musicians. Steven strongly believes in the importance of music education, that music should be explored and shared with everyone.
Hello, my name is Anastasia and I was born with music intertwined within my soul. From the age of 6, I have been playing the piano. It is without a doubt my favorite musical instrument. I immigrated from Russia in 2013, formerly known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. I obtained my Bachelor of Russian Classical Piano and a Master’s Degree in music and Choir Direction, from the State University of Culture while in the USSR. I have been teaching piano for over 20 years in both Russia, and the United States. I have taught students of all ages ranging from ages 5 to 50 years old. I absolutely love to teach piano and to assist my students in developing their musical talents. I also teach my students the discipline of becoming a pianist and performing to the best of their ability. At the same time I hope to create in my student’s a passion for the piano and develop a lifelong desire to continue improving their skills as a pianist.
Amy is a recording artist and worship pastor, originally from Toronto, Ontario, now living in Southeast Michigan. Amy received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph, Ontario, majoring in Music and minoring in English. She has toured throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe with various recording projects and is currently writing her next worship EP.
Bass, Cello, Flute, Guitar, Piano, Trombone, Trumpet, Ukulele, Violin
Brighton + Livonia
Steven “Thor” Sigurdson
Steven Sigurdson received his bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School as one of the final students of the great Leonard Rose. He also pursued conducting at Juilliard as a student of Ronald Braunstein, and as a frequent auditor of the conducting classes of Jorge Mester and Otto Werner Muller. Upon graduation, he was among the first cellists selected by Michael Tilson Thomas to perform in Miami’s celebrated New World Symphony, an ensemble with which he performed and toured internationally for three seasons. He was subsequently hired as Associate Principal Cellist of the Florida Philharmonic, a post he held for 13 years, finishing his tenure as Principal Cellist. Over his 25-year orchestral career, he performed under dozens of legendary maestros, including Leonard Bernstein, Sir Georg Solti, and Seiji Ozawa. As a soloist and chamber musician, he was a finalist in both the National Society of Arts and Letters Cello Competition and the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.
After relocating his family to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his wife is earning a PhD in Anthropology, Sigurdson is excited to finally be pursuing his solo career in earnest. His debut recording of favorite cello solos along with Chicago-based harpist Nichole Young, entitled After a Dream, is now available. In between concerts and recitals, he remains committed to training and inspiring musicians of all ages throughout the greater Detroit area.
Born in Chisinau, Moldova, Larisa Soboleva began her piano studies at the age of five. In 2003, she was accepted into the National Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts in Chisinau. In 2008, Ms. Soboleva received a full scholarship from Rowan University to study with Professor Veda Zuponcic. She was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Miami in 2012, where she completed her doctorate studies.
During her years of study, Larisa has won prizes in National and International Competitions in Moldova, Ukraine, Romania and the US. She has performed with the National Orchestra of Teleradio Moldova and the orchestra of Rowan University. Ms. Soboleva is the holder of two Masters Degrees in Piano Performance, from the Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts and Rowan University, where she graduated with the Jacob Steinway Award, given to the most outstanding pianists graduating. She successfully combines performance activities with piano teaching and looks forward to working with you at SFTA!
Samantha’s goal as an actor is to dive head first into the story and find the truth and heart of the story. She has trained in musical theater for 15+ years, studied under Broadway and movie actors, and has a degree in Theater from Wayne State University, Detroit. Samantha made her acting debut in her childhood church’s theater program and wants to help others find their passion for acting just like her teachers did for her.
Samantha is excited to open up a new world to students with storytelling, asking questions, and performing.
Samantha works as a professional actor at Genitti’s Hole in The Wall in Northville, Michigan. She is also a trained singer with a 4.5 octave vocal range and has placed 3rd internationally in Enkor’s Music competition.
Brighton + Livonia
Rebekah Start is a visual storyteller working in cut-paper collage, mixed and digital media. She has taught a variety of art classes for skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced. Rebekah creates a welcoming and encouraging environment for all of her students and believes that art is meant to be fun for everyone.
She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Storyteller Academy and is currently working on illustrating a picture book.
Rebekah earned her Bachelor of Fine Art and Creative Writing minor from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, where she was on the president’s list and graduated with Honors.
A native of North Canton, OH, Tim initially studied at Zampino’s Drum Shop. While there, he explored rudiments, jazz, rock, funk, fusion, Latin, and Afro-Cuban rhythms, and earned many outstanding ratings in solo and ensemble competition. Over the years, he has played with numerous jazz and worship bands, and he currently drums with the 2|42 band. Tim’s teaching style involves demonstration, discussion, and playing together with the student. He uses books as a reference to communicate established ideas and concepts as a foundation for creativity while holding musicality at the center of rhythmic artistic expression.
Jaclene has been an actor nearly all her life, beginning at the young age of five. Jaclene began by acting in community theater, and continued middle school through high school by performing in every play and musical. Her passion led her to pursue acting as a full time career, Jaclene went on to study Musical Theater at Oakland University where she graduated with a BFA. Shortly after graduation she moved to NYC to gain more opportunities, enhance her career and broaden her acting experiences. While living in NYC, she starred in numerous commercials, independent films, and an off-Broadway production. Since moving back to Michigan, Jaclene began coaching acting privately, and is still auditioning and working as an actor.
Jaclene loves to act and is excited to offer LET’S ACT! at SFTA Brighton!
Bio Coming Soon
Brenda is passionate about offering a variety of artistic offerings to our communities. She believes that artists of all ages should have the opportunity to explore a variety of art forms.
Brenda enjoys working closely with our instructors and families to ensure our students have the opportunity to explore, learn, and grow in their artistic endeavors. Her goal is for beginner to experienced students of the the arts to have a positive and enriching experience while finding a place of belonging at School for the Arts.