Centennial Instructors

Shirene D: (Special Education, Voice, Piano)

Graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder with dual degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education.  With 15+ years’ experience teaching both privately and in the public schools, Shirene is an award-winning educator who insists on making music FUN for all! Confident with singing and teaching a variety of styles, her energy and enthusiasm is appreciated by students and parents alike.

What students are saying about Shirene and her classes:

  •  “The best part of my day.” – Eric, age 14
  •  “When I first heard her sing, I cried. Then, I had an epiphany: I want to be able to inspire such emotions with my own voice. I want to learn with her, to study with her, and to continue being inspired by her.”  – Hannah, age 14
  •  The best teacher around and the highlight of students’ school experience.” – Aya, age 13
  • “She helped me realize that you’re never too old to pursue your passion.” – Steve, age 52
  • “I didn’t know how fun music could be until I took her class.” – Aiden, age 14
  • “She makes everyone smile, no matter what.” – Sydney, age 12

A passionate musician dedicated to intelligent artistry, Shirene brings a new vibrancy to the music scene by telling stories with tenacity and advanced technical skill. In addition to musical expertise, Shirene also has much experience and talent in mentoring her students.

Catherine F: (Flute, Piccolo)

Catherine studied at Kennesaw State University-Kennesaw, GA with a Bachelor of Music in flute performance, 2010-2014 Cum Laude.  Currently studying at Lamont School of Music, University of Denver–Denver, CO Masters of Music in flute performance, 2015–present. Catherine believes that in order to reach an aspired goal, we need to continually progress and encourage ourselves towards it. Learning an instrument is a constant progression of creating music and developing a mature sound.
 Performance Experience (Flute & Piccolo)
  • American Patriot Winds
    Woodstock, GA 2015
  • Georgia Symphony Orchestra
    Marietta, GA 2013–2014
  • KSU Orchestra & Wind Ensemble
    Kennesaw, GA 2010–2014
  • Lamont Symphony Orchestra
    Denver, CO 2015
  • Lamont Wind Ensemble
    Denver, CO 2015
Practicing helps improve our musical skill with new challenges every day; we simply get better each time. Motivation is a source of inspirational encouragement from a variety of sources whether it is an orchestra, jazz group, or even our teachers.

Harry G: (Woodwinds & Flute)

Graduated from the University of Denver on a swimming scholarship as an Accounting Major and Music Minor.  1st clarinet in the 1st Infantry Army Band at Ft Meade, Maryland and toured Europe as first chair flute in the 3rd Army Band based in Wurzburg, Germany.  Started teaching and playing professionally during college and have done so ever since.

  • Performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO) on Clarinet & Saxophone
  • Performed with Central City Opera
  • Soloist for the Littleton & Jefferson Symphony Orchestra on Clarinet & Saxophone
  • Performed woodwinds for Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Arvada Center for the Arts, Humanities & Denver Municipal Band

Harry plays many styles of music professionally which consist of: Jazz, Blues, Pop, Ethnic, Klezmer & Polkas.  He has been featured on many CD’s for various artist such as:  Mary Stribling, Georgeann Low, Neil Haverstick, Big Junior, Scott Smith, Martha Yordy and Ben Cohen.

Tim K: (Brass, Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Cello, Piano)

Tim K Bio Pic

An accomplished Brass player, Tim entered the educational sector in 2013, expanding his skills with performing groups has taken him far beyond his Brass beginnings to a myriad of instruments allowing him to implement them in his teaching.

  • Performed Carnegie Hall (3 Times)
  • Professional Jazz Festivals from Montreux to Umbra to Sacramento

While Tim has always had a great passion for the LCMA and Sound of the Rockies Barber Shop Chorus along with many other Denver Brass ensembles, his true love is teaching.  There is no single end goal in music, only the joy of moving forward with our passion.

Steve L: (Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Violin/Viola, Mandolin)

Steve L Bio Pic

Steve graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Video Game Scoring. He has been teaching music lessons for the past 7 years with a focus on guitar, bass, violin, composition, music theory and production. Steve currently resides in Littleton, CO, gigs regularly with two Denver bands, and works as a freelance musician/producer on Fiverr in his spare time. Fun is the number one philosophy Steve follows in his lessons plans, as having fun while learning helps students get the most out of music! He writes/records/plays in a variety of genres from Hip Hop, Classical, Rock, Metal, Blues, Film Music, Jazz, Reggae and more.

Dutch M: (Voice, Guitar, Ukulele, Piano)

Received his degree in Piano Performance from Loretto Heights College (now Regis University).  Dutch has acted as Music Director of numerous local productions including:  The Christmas Carol (Aurora Fox), Scarlet Letter the Musical (Aurora Fox), Secret Garden (Lone Tree Arts Center).  Long-time Music Director of The Original Dickens Carolers.  Dutch is a versatile and patient instructor.

  • Voice- audition preparation a specialty; vocal coach for pop, opera, and music theatre
  • Guitar – (acoustic only) country, pop, bluegrass, and classical. Flat pick and finger picking.
  • Piano –classical teaching methods and chord theory get the student into the type of music they want to play
  • Adults Students – a good number of Dutch’s students are adults
  • Music Theory always included

Singer/Actor/player – Opera Colorado (more than 20 productions), soloist with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pirates of Penzance, Cool Shooz A Cappella (named Best of Denver), Cut to the Chase, Blue Moon Bluegrass and many more.

Dutch has enjoyed numerous years as music director at St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, St. George’s Episcopal Church, and First Plymouth Congregational Church.  He believes the human voice is the greatest instrument of all and in harmony as a way of life.  Dutch lives in Golden with his wife Nancy, two children, and a Labradoodle name Jordan.

Chelsea M: (Violin, Viola, Fiddle, Guitar, Piano)

Chelsea holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Denver and has studied with prominent musicians throughout Colorado and California including: Jeri Jorgensen of the Da Vinci String Quartet, Yumi Hwang Williams of the Colorado Symphony, and  Dr. Cindy Moyer, Susan Twomey, Marilyn Page, and Sam McNeil.

  • Soloist with California’s North State Symphony and the Eureka Symphony
  • Appeared as associate concertmaster with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra during her time at DU.
  • Plays locally in a number of ensembles and styles, specializing in Celtic, Classical, and rock. Chelsea’s ensembles include: Irish traditional music group Avourneen, alternative styles string quartet, Cheza Strings, and the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra

Chelsea’s past teaching experience and training includes completion of Book 4 level Suzuki teacher training with Kathleen Spring at the University of Denver and 4 years as a group and private violin and piano teacher at Suzuki Summer Academy in Trinidad, CA. In teaching, Chelsea strives to give each student a highly individualized experience that caters to their personal interests and learning style and develops a lifelong love of music.

David O: (Guitar, Bass, Ukulele)

Born in El Paso, Texas and raised in Phoenix, Arizona David Ochoa is an up and coming guitarist well­–versed in a variety of styles. Formative musical experiences early on in Rock and Blues groups led to an increased interest in the jazz tradition. Following this passion has led David to study with educators such as Steve Kovalcheck, Jim White, Eric Rasmussen, and Jeff Libman. These educational environments combined with the playing experience provided to him at schools such as the University of North Texas and the University of Northern Colorado allowed him additional experiences to grown and develop as a musician. He currently maintains a busy schedule teaching and performing in the Colorado area.

Nataliya Oswalt: (Classical Piano)

Originally from Russia, she got her education in Ukraine and graduated Musical College and Pedagogical University in Krivoy Rog.  In Ukraine, Nataliya  worked many years as a piano teacher at the Musical College with beginner level students. Before moving to the USA, Nataliya was working in Krivoy Rog State Pedagogical University as a piano instructor while writing her dissertation on pedagogical principles for college students.

  • Classically trained piano instructor with almost 30 years of piano teaching experience
  • Began studying piano at the age of 8 and working with students since she was 16years old
  • Studied in Ukraine at Pedagogical University in Kirvoy Rog
  • Worked at “My Music Skool” since 2009
  •  One of the most experienced and knowledgeable instructors at the school

Nataliya has instructed children, trained advanced level piano students as well as adults who were just starting or wanted to come back to piano lessons.  Dedicated to musical and classical piano education, she is a serious instructor with the belief in home practice and self-discipline that is helping to achieve greater results and goals specifically tailored for each student individually.

Ben P: (Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Clarinet)

Ben graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor Degree in Jazz Performance 2015.  Originally from the Seattle area, I got started on clarinet and guitar at an early age through playing in school jazz and marching bands.

  • Member of the Denver jazz scene
  • Playing at clubs and churches

Mentoring everyone from children to adults is my passion and I take it very seriously. With that being said, having fun while learning is one of my top priorities! My students are encouraged to work on material that they enjoy, explore individuality and creativity, and listen to new music in order to push their skills to the next level. Let us cultivate an exciting musical experience together!”

Mike S: (Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Ukulele, Piano)

Mike attended Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA Graduated with a Professional Music Degree, and on the Deans list in December 2012.  Drummer in the first ever Berklee metal ensemble, good friend Matt Gartska, now plays with a band that is a worldwide musical phenomenon, “Animals as Leaders”.  The second metal ensemble, renamed the Berklee Original Metal Ensemble, was the first ever Berklee ensemble to record original music at a studio outside of the school.

  • Drummer in the “Berklee Metal Ensemble”
  • Music producer – released 3 albums and one single under the alias, “The Glow Within”
  • Formed Progressive Metal band “Seren” in Boston in 2012, relocated the band to Denver, CO in September 2013 and has had lots of success

Pat S: (Guitar, Bass, Ukulele)

Vince V: (Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano)

Vince has 10+ years of teaching experience.  His primary teacher was Jerry Epstein (ret- Los Angeles Philharmonic) and he has studied with teachers from USC, Colburn School, Northwestern University, Juilliard, and Yale.  Throughout his studies, he was a scholarship recipient and held principal positions in orchestras and honors chamber ensembles.

  • His former students have won regional competitions, auditions, and gained admissions to USC Thorton, UCLA (Music), UC Berkeley, Stanford University, John Hopkins University Peabody Institute, and The San Francisco Conservatory, among other schools
  • Volunteer member of The Arapahoe Philharmonic (prefers teaching over performance)
  • His favorite composers to play are J.S. Bach, and Eugene Ysaye

Through his violin and viola teachers, he is the great-grand student of Eugene Ysaye, who taught many of the great teachers of recent time.  Mr. Ysaye was also a Bach fanatic.  In his spare time he enjoys playing StarCraft II and tennis, reading about Physics and Economics, and practicing violin & viola.

Frank W: (Drums, Percussion)

Frank W Bio Pic

Plays in “Owleye” just recorded at 37 Studios with Craig Owens
Also plays shows with other musicians throughout Colorado
Began playing at the age of 8
Proficient in metal, punk, rock, alternative, jazz, and 8 Bit + nintendocore 😛
Favorite quote (currently): “Life is a lot like jazz, it’s best when you improvise

Ashley Y: (Voice, Piano)

Ashley graduated from Colorado Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a vocal emphasis.  Ashley grew up in the Denver area and continues to love living in Denver.  Ashley began playing piano at the age of 4 and has continued to play ever since.

  • Member of MTNA, the Music Teachers National Association
  • Played professionally and sang professionally around the Denver area as well

Ashley has been teaching for a few years and enjoys the creativity and problem solving involved in teaching. She teaches piano and voice lessons, working to meet each individual students unique needs. While challenging and pushing her students she is sure to let them take direction in their own learning as well.

 

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