PRIVATE LESSON TEACHERS

Alison Baker

Flute

Becky Curtis

Flute

Jordan Dale

Oboe / English Horn

Jordan Dale grew up in Peachtree City, GA, where he was involved in music at an early age. He began Suzuki piano lessons at the age of nine and sang in the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir from 5th to 12th grade. The importance of listening and singing remains an important part of his pedagogy today. He began playing the oboe in 6th grade and would go on to complete his Bachelors’ Degree in Oboe Performance at Columbus State University. After obtaining his Masters’ Degree from Northwestern University, he moved to Austin to continue studying with Rebecca Henderson and has stayed since 2015. He currently plays 2nd oboe and English horn in the Temple Symphony, has subbed for the Austin Symphony and regional orchestras in College Station and Corpus Christi, and teaches students in the Eanes and Lake Travis School Districts.

Amanda Pierce

Bassoon

Amanda Pierce is a private bassoon teacher in Austin, Texas with over 10 years of teaching experience. She began her bassoon studies in 6th grade at Hill Country Middle School and continued at Westlake High School under the instruction of Austin Symphony Bassoonist, Daris Hale. During her time at Westlake, Amanda was a three-time TMEA All-State Bassoonist, placing second overall in the state during her senior year. Mrs. Pierce received her Bachelor of Music degree in Bassoon Performance from Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with George Sakakeeny. Abroad, she has performed with the Oberlin in Italy Opera Orchestra, University of South Carolina Orchestra and Choir during their tour of Spain, and served as the bassoon instructor for the summer orchestra camp hosted by the Asociación Nacional de Conciertos in Panama City, Panama.

 

In addition, she served as the Education and Outreach Intern for CityMusic Cleveland from during her time at Oberlin.  Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Pierce graduated from Florida State University with her Master͛s Degree in Arts Administration where she continued her bassoon studies with Jeffrey Keesecker. As an arts administrator and fundraiser, Mr. Pierce has worked with the Cleveland Orchestra, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, and the Long Center for the Performing Arts. During the summers Mrs. Pierce serves as an instructor at the Bocal Majority Bassoon Camps. She currently teaches over 40 bassoon students of all ages in EISD, AISD, and LTISD. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Austin Symphonic Band.

Daniel Chrisman

Bassoon

Growing up amidst a family of musicians, Daniel developed an appreciation for a variety of musical genres as well as for natural, cultural, and social phenomena which continue to inspire his playing. He studied piano, trumpet, and voice until he attended the University of Kentucky where he began studies on the instrument he always wanted to play, the bassoon. After four years of demanding yet supportive instruction from Professor Peter Simpson, Chrisman graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2003. He continued his studies at the University of Louisville for one year with Matthew Karr before relocating to Philadelphia to study with the principal bassoonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Daniel Matsukawa. Mr. Chrisman received his Master’s degree in music performance from Temple University in 2006. Daniel has soloed with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, playing the Concerto in F Major by Carl Maria von Weber. He has also soloed with the Temple University Symphony Orchestra, performing von Weber’s Andante and Hungarian Rondo. 

 

In September of 2005, Daniel attained the contrabassoon position in the Haddonfield Symphony (now Symphony in C) in New Jersey. In September of 2008, Daniel moved to Austin where he plays contrabassoon and bassoon in the Austin Symphony Orchestra. He began teaching middle and high school bassoon lessons that very month and teaching soon became a co-passion along with performing.  2015 was his first year of employ at Southwestern University where he serves as Professor of Bassoon.

Nicholas Councilor

Clarinet / Bass Clarinet

Dr. Nicholas Councilor is Lecturer of Clarinet at The University of Texas at San Antonio. He previously held teaching positions at Texas A&M University—Kingsville and The University of Texas at Austin. He also maintains a large private studio in Austin, where his students frequently make the TMEA All-State ensembles and earn top accolades in solo competitions. As a clinician for the D’Addario Woodwind Method Program, Dr. Councilor has taught nearly 100 clinics to students of all ages throughout Central Texas. 

 

Dr. Councilor is a versatile freelance musician with an active schedule of solo, orchestral, and chamber music performances. He has performed as a featured soloist with the Austin Symphonic Band, the Waterloo Wind Band, and performed John Corigliano’s Concerto with the University of Texas Wind Ensemble in a premiere performance of a new wind band transcription by Craig B. Davis. Nicholas is a member of the Central Texas Philharmonic and regularly performs with the San Antonio Symphony, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and other regional orchestras across the state. He has also appeared as guest principal clarinetist with the San Antonio Symphony and the Dallas Winds. He can be heard as principal clarinetist in the UT Wind Ensemble recording Wine Dark Sea. As an avid chamber musician, Dr. Councilor has earned the silver medal at the prestigious Fischoff Competition and is a prizewinner of the Coleman and Plowman chamber music competitions, as well as the American Prize. He is also a skilled woodwind doubler and has performed for dozens of musical theater productions. 

 

Dr. Councilor earned his Doctoral of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Eastern Michigan University. 

Byron Gifford

Clarinet / Bass Clarinet

Mr. Gifford holds a BA in Music Theory from Ohio State University, and has performed in ensembles since graduating in 1975.  He worked in the wholesale clothing business for 25 years prior to moving to Austin, and now lives in the Eanes ISD.  Mr. Gifford has over 20 years of private lesson teaching experience.  This is his 13th year to teach in the Eanes. He currently performs with the Balcones Chamber Orchestra, and Waterloo Wind Band.  He has performed locally with Austin Symphonic Band, Austin Civic Orchestra, Wimberley Starlight Symphony, Georgetown Musical Theater, and the Austin Flute Club.

Oswaldo Garza

Saxophone

Oswaldo De Jesús Garza is a Mexican-American concert saxophonist and educator from Houston, Texas who is currently based out of Austin, Texas. In addition to his private teaching, Oswaldo maintains an active performing career as a soloist and chamber musician. Past engagements include an interdisciplinary collaboration and performance of Felipe Lara’s “Vocalise II” at the Blanton Museum of Art for the “Words / Matter” series, an art exhibit which features Latin American Art and Language, as well as collaborations with the UT percussion studio for performances of Steven Mackey’s “Blue Notes & Other Clashes”. Upcoming collaborations include Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Duo Sonata”, originally for two bassoons and repurposed for one bassoon and one baritone saxophone, date TBD. 

 

Oswaldo graduated from The University of Texas at Austin (MM ‘19), where he studied with Dr. Stephen Page, and most recently served on the faculty at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he completed his undergraduate studies with Dr. Nathan Nabb (BM ‘17).  

 

Oswaldo is currently an Applied Private Instructor at the Austin, Dripping Springs and Eanes Independent School Districts, where he maintains a private Saxophone studio averaging 60 students, and will be returning to SFASU as Adjunct Professor of Saxophone in Fall of 2020

Jess Voigt

Saxophone

Jim Debth

Trumpet

Mr. Debth received his Master of Musical Arts degree in trumpet from Yale University and his Bachelor of Music Education and Applied Trumpet from the University of Louisville.   His performance career includes Principal Trumpet in the Cedar Rapids Symphony, second trumpet in the Louisville Orchestra as well as playing with the New Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury Symphonies in Connecticut. He founded the Cedar Rapids Chamber Brass that toured the Midwest and has also given numerous solo recitals.
His teaching includes the University of Iowa (Interim Professor), Coe College and Cornell College.  While in Iowa he had a private teaching studio and had over 100 All-State trumpet students. Mr. Debth began trumpet instruction in Austin in 2010 and he now teaches at Westlake, Bowie, LASA and Dripping Springs High Schools, as well as Gorzycki Middle School, where his students have been 1st chair in the wind ensembles. His students have been selected to be in the Texas All-State band and Orchestra and they have also received numerous division 1 ratings in the State Solo and Ensemble contest.

Mike Piccione

Trumpet

Mike Piccione is a professional musician and music teacher based out of Austin, TX, who maintains a full trumpet studio of approximately 60 students ranging in ability from beginner to advanced college-ready high school students. His students have consistently achieved success in auditions for All-Region and All-State bands in central Texas in both classical and jazz categories. They also regularly receive superior ratings in local and state Solo and Ensemble contests. His former students have been accepted into highly competitive college music programs including: Juilliard, The University of Texas, DePaul, USC, TCU, UNT, BYU, LSU, and Texas State.

Mike is also an active performer who keeps a busy performance schedule with professional groups of all genres including musical theater, orchestral, jazz, chamber music, etc. He currently holds positions in the Central Texas Philharmonic and Austin City Brass Quintet, and he leads a jazz trio called Cave Dwellers Jazz. He also performs frequently in musical theater productions, usually playing in 5 or 6 shows per year.

Mike also works as a piano accompanist, which gives him a unique insight into the process of preparing for and performing in solo contests and recitals at all levels.

Mike holds music degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Maryland. His teachers include Chris Gekker, Ray Sasaki, Steve Hendrickson, Don Tison, Ed Hoffman, Scott Sharnetzka, and Mark Warfield.

Brett Kroening

French Horn

Brandon Gonzales

Trombone

Alexander Cruz

Trombone

Nicholas Beltchev

Tuba

Nick Beltchev is a tuba performer and teacher based out of Austin, Texas. Nick is a member of the Dallas Winds. Prior to this, Nick held the position of Principal Tuba in the Macon Symphony Orchestra in Macon, Georgia. Nick is currently a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin. He is an alumnus of the University of Georgia (MM) and the University of Michigan (BM). He has studied Charles Villarrubia, David Zerkel, Fritz Kaenzig, Dr. Roy Couch, and Don Little.

Kevin Fenske

Euphonium

Kevin Fenske is a music educator and performer residing in Austin, Texas. A native of Houston, Texas, he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Houston and a Master of Music degree in euphonium performance from the University of Texas at Austin. He maintains a private studio of over 60 euphonium and tuba students in the greater Austin area and is frequently in demand as a clinician and adjudicator. Kevin is the founder and director of the Texas Low Brass Academy, a summer music camp for young low brass musicians centered around the chamber music-making experience in Houston, Texas.  

 

As a performer, Kevin has won prizes at various regional, national, and international euphonium competitions, including the bronze medal at the 2018 Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival and 1st Prize at the 2019 International Tuba Euphonium Conference Mock Military Band Audition. Notable solo and orchestral performances include collaborations with the Houston Symphony, University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Texas Music Festival Orchestra, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Festival Band, the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, University of Houston Symphony Orchestra, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Wind Ensemble, and the University of Texas Symphony Band.  

 

In the genre of marching and pageantry arts, he is a proud alumnus of the 7-time DCI World Champion Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps from Santa Clara, California.  He currently serves on the brass educational staff as a low brass technician for the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps from Canton, Ohio. 

 

His professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, International Tuba Euphonium Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi. 

Dr. David Saad

Percussion

David Saad, a native of Austin, TX, is an active performer and educator, giving master-classes, private lessons, and performances throughout Texas and the United States.  As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with such groups as So Percussion, Line Upon Line Percussion, and the Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company.  

Dr. Saad holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music from Northwestern University and earned his Master’s and Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin.  His former teachers include Dr. Thomas Burritt, Tony Edwards, Michael Burritt, She-e Wu, Robert Dillon, and James Ross.  

In 2015, Dr. Saad joined La Follia Austin Baroque and the Austin Baroque Orchestra, ensembles dedicated to performing works from the Baroque era on period instruments.  As a member of these ensembles, he has performed all over Texas and Louisiana and accompanied performers such as Brian Shaw, Keith Womer, Go Yamamoto, and Anton Nel.

In Austin, TX, Dr. Saad manages a thriving studio of more than thirty percussionists, with students consistently earning placement in Region and All-State performing ensembles. Former students have studied or are currently pursuing degrees in percussion at Northwestern University, Texas Tech University, the Juilliard School, The University of North Texas, The University of Texas at Austin, and the Eastman School of Music.

 

Dr. Saad has performed all over the United States as well as in Japan, Taiwan, China, and the United Kingdom.  Additionally, he has performed at the North-Central CBDNA Conference, Texas Music Educators Association Convention, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention on multiple occasions. He is also a sponsored artist with Innovative Percussion.

John Schexnayder

Marching Percussion

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