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PIANO

 

Miriam Cantwell

Miriam Cantwell holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in music with a voice proficiency from Pensacola Christian College. As a graduate student, Miriam taught group strings classes, voice class, and private voice at the collegiate level. Throughout her collegiate career Miriam accompanied instrumentalists, vocalists, and choirs. She also had opportunity to direct children's choirs and teach voice at Cura çao's Summer Music Camp. As a performer, she has performed and covered many Gilbert and Sullivan soprano roles in fully staged performances of H.M.S. Pinafore , The Mikado , and Pirates of Penzance. Her first truly operatic role was Gianetta in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore . A minor in drama also provided opportunities to perform in such plays as A Midsummer Night's Dream , To Kill a Mockingbird, and Our Hearts Were Young and Gay . Miriam looks forward to opportunities to use her experience and training to help young pianists, singers, and actors reach their goals. Whether those goals are to pursue a career in those fields, to develop a creative outlet, or to just have fun, Miriam has a strong desire to help both children and adults develop a love and appreciation for the arts.

 

Miriam Cantwell's Performance

 

 

 

Elijah Smoot

Elijah Smoot is a pianist and vocalist from Great Mills, Maryland. He attended Champion Christian College in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Worship Leadership and Music Performance. Elijah has been practicing the art of music for twelve years and has won a series of awards and titles in a wide variety of venues. In the year of 2010, he achieved first place in the Sonatina and Sonata Competition of Southern Maryland. That same year he was named State Champion for solo advanced instrumental music and is well versed in accompanying in many different piano styles such as Jazz, Classical, POP, Rock, Country and Religious genres. 

Elijah is experienced in piano and vocal pedagogy for students any age from children as young as 4 to senior citizens. He is known to motivate his students with his enthusiasm and passion for performing and teaching during his coaching. His classroom environment is always fun and filled with high energy. His students enjoy listening to his vocal and piano demonstrations and feed of his fantastic energy.

Elijah is excited to be able to share his passion and love for music through teaching. He has taught students, both voice and piano, from children to adults on many different skill levels. His genres of expertise include jazz, classical, POP, Musical Theatre, Rock, Country, religious, and modern styles. His strong emphasis on technique and his exciting approach to musicality shows his students that music is both fun and rewarding. By choosing dynamic and emotional repertoire, Elijah offers a unique experience that impacts his students in unique ways.

Elijah Smoot's Performance

 

 

 

 

Rafael Soares

Rafael Soares is a Brazilian native from Rio de Janeiro. He first stepped into the world of music when his parents gave him a small piano for his fourth birthday. He began studying piano and music theory a few years later, and at the age of twelve added organ to his repertoire as he performed in recitals and concerts. Rafael began playing regularly at his local church as a pianist/keyboardist at the age of 13, and the church's need of singers woke his desire to develop his voice.

At the age of 17, he started his vocal studies and in 1999 applied for the renowned Escola de Música Villa Lobos in Rio de Janeiro, obtaining second place in the ranking of admission and studying under the internationally known bass-baritone Professor João C. Dittert. Around that time, Rafael opened his first private studio in Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro, where he worked with many voice and piano/keyboard students of different ages, musical styles and backgrounds.  After completing his music studies, Rafael also graduated from Law School in Brazil in 20014, but has always continued working with music alongside.

Rafael came to the United States in 2006 to attend Cincinnati Christian University with a full honors scholarship to obtain his music studies as a double major in voice and piano as part of the concentration of Music and Worship studies for his Master of Divinity. In 2010 he became the administrative director of the ICMM College in Rio de Janeiro where he was also involved as a Music professor of Voice and Piano Performance for the college students.

In 2013, Rafael came back to the United States to attend the College of Law of the University of Cincinnati with a generous honors scholarship. Since then, Rafael has adopted Cincinnati as his new home. He currently works as a law clerk for a subrogation law firm, but still dedicates significant part of his time to his musical passion through teaching and performances.

Rafael has performed all over Brazil and has coordinated productions and recordings of more than 10 albums as a pianist, singer lead and backing vocal, and as an arranger. Rafael recently performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and Cincinnati Music Hall with Cincinnati May Festival Chorus and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as a first tenor, many church choirs as a section leader and many other musical events. His performances range from sacred and classical bel canto to popular folk music as well as jazz, Brazilian bossa nova and musical theatre. Rafael has performed in many different cities in Brazil, the United States and Western Europe. Rafael enjoys traveling and spending time with his family in Downtown Cincinnati.

Rafael Soares' Performance

 

 

 

Josie Lupariello

Josie Lupariello is a graduate of Ohio University, holding a Bachelor's degree in Music. Throughout her time at Ohio University, she was able to use her vocal and instrumental skills in many diverse teaching and performance settings, and is excited to gain new experience with Queen City Music Studio. Josie loves teaching because of the connection that it creates between teacher and student, through what she is most passionate about-music! Her goal is to choose a wide range of fun, challenging music for her students, combined with a strong knowledge of theory and technique. She has extensive experience teaching children, teenagers and adults as well as children with special needs and college students. Her ability to teach students of all ages and skill levels makes her very versatile instructor. Students appreciate Josie's warm personality, adaptability to various student's needs and her creative music instruction. She looks forward to sharing he passion for teaching music, her positive attitude and drive for musical excellence with her students.

Josie comes from a musical family and her love for piano has been cultivated from early age by her grandmother, a long-time pianist. Josie continued her piano education throughout high school and college focusing on classical styles and concepts. In her free time, she enjoys learning and playing chord-based popular music, as well as more complex contemporary piano compositions. Josie hopes to help her students find what type of piano music connects them to the instrument, and to strengthen their musicianship on piano... one of the most versatile instruments!

Josie has been engaged in local performing scene for over 10 years, in a contemporary church band, an alternative rock group, and as a solo act. She has experience performing many different types of music including alternative rock, pop, indie, folk, and jazz. Josie is passionate about sharing her experience and knowledge in order to better guide her students through all the stages of learning piano, from beginner to advanced levels. She enjoys working with her students on any music, and her ultimate goal is to help her students achieve their highest music potential. Her eclectic, diverse music taste will allow her piano students to learn a wide range of piano concepts.

Josie Lupariello's Performance

 

 

 

Maya Brlecic

Born in Zagreb, Croatia, Maya Brlecic joined The Queen City Music Studio in 2014. Her music education began at the age of 6, when she was admitted to the prestigious Vatroslav Lisinski School of Music in Zagreb, Croatia where she received a rigorous music education with a focus on classical piano.  As a young girl, Maya was a frequent performer on a national stage, appearing in countless musical, theatrical and television productions.  She also participated in various Croatian piano competitions playing scales and Etudes, which is her primary specialty.  Maya has performed and taught in both the US and Europe.  Her passion for teaching and helping others started when she was still a high school student; her perspicacity and talent enabled her to assist her peers with preparation for their music theory and piano exams.  Immediately after she graduated from high school in her native Zagreb, she began to teach private piano and music theory lessons to little children, and later on to adults as well.

After extensive touring with various music ensambles around the world, Maja fell in love with the U.S. and enrolled at Northern Kentucky University as an operatic vocalist where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Music (majoring in Vocal Performance), and a Master's degree in English.

During her studies in the US Maya has dedicated the majority of her time exploring how the vocal apparatus actually works and how to properly use it without abusing it.  She has discovered that lots of students at a very early age misuse their vocal instruments as a result of improper guidance, and she has made a commitment after her studies to work with young students to learn how to use their voice properly and how to sing in a good, healthy way.  She has continued her training with various educational events for the voice in the US and abroad, taught for the Clifton Performance Theatre's children's programming, and continued to professionally tutor private piano and vocal students.  She has also participated in American vocal competitions, such as the NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and was a winner in her category in 2012 (Evansville, IN) and 2013 (Louisville, KY).  

Maya's classical music education, professional performance and teaching background, broad International experience, and cultural adaptability have been of significant benefit to the furtherance of her mission in the professional world of music.  Her teaching style is a unique blend of the traditional Western European approach to music education intertwined with a contemporary American style.  Maya is extremely excited to continue her teaching career at the Queen City Music Studio and is eager to introduce the beautiful art of music to all young future intellectuals eager for knowledge.

Maya Brlecic's Performance

 

 

 

Caileen Tallant

Caileen Tallant, pianist and vocalist, is a recent graduate from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX with a B.M in Music Composition and a B.A. in Chemistry. Throughout her Undergraduate studies, she was involved in several extracurricular activities including the Trinity University Chamber Singers, Trinity AcaBellas, and undergraduate research. During her time at Trinity University, she studied piano under the Zachary Ridgway, Carolyn True, and Deborah Rhine as well as participated in several featured choruses with the San Antonio Symphony. She was also featured in several piano master classes with Douglas Humphreys, James Dick, Alan Chow, and Jane Magrath.

Caileen has been teaching private piano and voice lessons to students of all ages and skill levels in Cincinnati and San Antonio areas. She also taught a leading choral workshops and rehearsals based on her own composition works, one of which, In the Bleak Midwinter , is soon to be released as a featured work on the Trinity University Chamber Singers' Christmas album. Caileen has had several compositional premieres including her First Symphony as well as a solo piano work, Searching , which was featured at the Celebration of Women's Voices concert. As an undergraduate student she tutored music theory, math, and science. She has a pending publication with the American Chemical Society Journal of Organic Chemistry.

Caileen recently moved to the Cincinnati area to begin her Masters of Music in Music Composition at the University of Cincinnati- College Conservatory of Music where she will continue her passion for choral composition as well as broaden her horizons in other varieties of composition and to continue piano and choir study while at the University of Cincinnati- College Conservatory of Music.

As an educator, Caileen has experience working with students as young as four all the way to adults and from beginners to advanced. She personalizes her lesson plans for each of her student to meet individual students' needs. Caileen has experience working on all kinds of music genres including classical, pop, jazz, rock, country, Church music and more. Caileen strives to meet each student's interests and achieve their fullest music potential.

Caileen Tallant's Performance

 

 

 

Sarah Gorak

Sarah Gorak (Schmidt) began her musical journey in her elementary school orchestra program in Renton, Washington. She then furthered her interest in private violin lessons with Sara Roark (former Concertmaster of Village Theatre) and Gwendolyn Taylor (Associate Concertmaster of the Tacoma Symphony). In 2013, she graduated from Central Washington University with a Bachelor’s of Music Education and her K-12 teaching certification with specializations in Instrumental, Choral, and General Music. Her primary instrument during her undergraduate studies was the violin and she studied with Carrie Rehkopf Michel and Heather Netz (now staff at Idyllwild).

Sarah has filled many elementary through high school music ensemble instructor roles over the years. She was an active staff member in the CWU Preparatory Strings program and she was nominated as employee of the year in 2012. She student taught with Kara Hunnicutt (principal cellist of the Yakima Symphony and conductor of the Icicle Creek Youth Symphony) for the Ellensburg School District orchestras grades 2-12. She also did a short practicum with Cherrie Adams at Graham Hill Elementary in Seattle.

Her primary passion is interacting and engaging with children, and music is her vessel. She has extended her experience beyond musical instruction and into venues such as the YMCA, day camps, country clubs, church youth programs, afterschool programs, and being a child care provider. While she is passionate about working with children, she also enjoys instructing youthful minds of adults. Her goal for all students is for them to all find their child-like yearning to learn and be creative.

Sarah strongly believes in being a lifelong student so she enjoys pursuing learning other fiddle styles, improvisation, and other instruments. She is currently pursuing studying with renown jazz violinist Christian Howes and cellist Greg Byers. She enjoys collaborating with local Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky musicians in non-classical settings.

Sarah enjoys staying connected to the culture of her birthplace (Hawai’i) through hula dancing - she used to compete with halau Na Hanu ‘O Ku’uleialoha. She also loves spending time with her husband, violist Peter Gorak, and her cat.

QCMS AWARDS 2014-2015
 

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