Our Faculty

A defining feature of Gifted Music School is its world-class faculty. Our caring, dedicated, and highly qualified instructors create a culture of excellence, achievement, and inspiration that has characterized Gifted Music School since its founding in 2009. The teaching artists at Gifted Music School are experts in their fields who strive to nurture and challenge each student at their appropriate level.

Our faculty have produced students who have gone on to study at every top music conservatory in the United States, including Juilliard, Curtis, Colburn, New England, Peabody, Cleveland, Bard, Indiana, and San Francisco. Other academically oriented students have been accepted on scholarship to every local university and top academic programs like Stanford, Harvard, Rice, Columbia, and Yale. Students of our faculty have placed at local and national competitions, have been heard on NPR's From the Top, and are frequently awarded national and regional level honors.

 

Founders

Eugene Watanabe, Artistic Director & Co-Founder
Dr. Vera Oussetskaia Watanabe, Co-Founder

 

Brass Area

Dr. Seretta Hart

 

Chamber Music Studies

Dr. LeeAnn Morgan, Director of Chamber Music Studies
Dr. Lauren PoseyPreparatory Chamber Music Coordinator
Dr. Koji Attwood
Anne Francis Bayless *
Dr. April Clayton
Dr. Seretta Hart
Erin Nolan
Dr. Whitney Pizza
Eugene Watanabe

 

Choral Music Studies

Dr. Sarah Houghton, Choir Director

 

Music and Movement

Mira Larson, Dalcroze Eurythmics
Ariel Haubner, Yoga for Musicians

 

Music History

Dr. Koji Attwood
Kimberly Marsden

 

Early Childhood Area

McKenzie Clawson
Brecklyn Ferrin
Jeanne Lancaster
Dr. Lisa Matsuda
Kristina Turner

 

Guitar Area

Sophie Stanley

 

Orchestral Studies

Conner Gray Covington, Conductor
Eugene Watanabe, Conductor
Shenae Anderson
Dr. Lauren Posey

 

Percussion Area

Dr. Tia Harvey, Bucket Drumming

 

Piano Area

Dr. Vera Oussetskaia Watanabe, Piano Area Co-Chair
Dr. Whitney Pizza, Piano Area Co-Chair
Joanna Oshida, Supplemental Piano Coordinator
Dr. Koji Attwood
Yelena Bates
Dr. Alie Yorgason

 

Project GRIT (Growth Resilience Instinct Tenacity)

Rachel H. Taft, GRIT Program Director
Yelena Bates
Jeanne Lancaster

 

String Area

Eugene Watanabe, String Area Chair
Stacy Smith, Suzuki Program Director
Dr. Kate Jones, Suzuki Teacher Trainer-in-Residence

 

Violin
Shenae Anderson
Thomas Baron *
McKenzie Clawson
Kathryn Eberle *
Gerald Elias *
Brecklyn Ferrin
Tina Johnson
Deborah Moench
Rebecca Moench *
David Price
Stacy Smith
Rachel H. Taft
Melissa Thatcher *
Kristina Turner
Brynn Vance
Eugene Watanabe

 

Viola
Emily Brown *
Dr. LeeAnn Morgan
Erin Nolan
Kristina Turner
Alan de Vertich *

 
Cello

 

Double Bass
Hillary Fuller
Dr. Kate Jones
David Yavornitzky *

 

Theory Area

Dr. Michael Chikinda, Theory Area Chair
Dr. Matthew Durrant
Kimberly Marsden
Dr. Whitney Pizza
Dr. Lauren Posey

 

Voice Area

Dr. Sarah Houghton

 

Woodwind Area

Dr. April Clayton, Woodwind Area Chair

Flute
Dr. April Clayton
Nancy Toone

Oboe
James Hall
Susan Swidnicki

Clarinet
Erin Svoboda

Bassoon
Dr. Jennifer Rhodes
 

 

* denotes adjunct faculty
denotes emeritus faculty current and founding board member