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EVA ROBINSON, DIRECTOR

 

 

 

 

Rachel Hinz, ART TEACHER/INSTRuctor

Hi! I’m Rachel Hinz, and I joined the School of the Arts staff in January 2022 as the first visual art instructor. Art has always been a huge passion of mine from a young age, and it’s a joy to now work with youth in a setting I know I would have loved as a kid.

I majored in Art Education at Concordia University- Ann Arbor with an emphasis in painting. From there, I went on to teach both middle school and high school art in Michigan and Arkansas. When not teaching, I try to stay active painting and have entered local, national, and international art exhibitions.

Picasso said that “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” I believe this is true because I believe every person is made in the image of Our Creator; therefore, we are all creative! It’s a gift for me to encourage young artists to see the beauty of the world around them and to communicate that in a new way.

Justin Guldalian, drums & percussion

Hi! My name is Justin Guldalian and I am a charter member of the School of the Arts staff. I have been playing percussion since 1993, and have played in every kind of band/ensemble you can think of.

Throughout grade school, I performed with the Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Marching Band (snare), and Percussion Ensemble. I received a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance from Drake University in 2005, and while there performed as principal percussionist in the Wind Symphony, drumline section leader in the Marching Band, and as timpanist for the Symphony Orchestra.

In the non-academic world, I have played drumset in bands of all kinds, from classic rock to punk, to Indy rock, to blues, performing both covers and original work. I have been playing in praise bands of various kinds since 2002. Currently, I play and tour nationwide with a theatrical percussion group called stikyard (stikyard.com). As an instructor, I enjoy teaching about all facets of music (yes, even music theory). I do my best to set my students up with real-world percussion skills and musical knowledge so they will meet with success in all of their playing endeavors.

Julie Kern, Piano

I agree with Martin Luther who said, “Next to the word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” Music stirs the soul, that’s for sure.  I am a huge advocate for any kind of musical training because it will be with you for life. It is great therapy and can be useful in so many different ways. I began piano lessons in the 1st grade. I still remember my first piano teacher, Elsie Hoteling, who taught me for about 6 years. I then took organ lessons in 6th grade and ended up playing for my hometown Lutheran church services until I left for college. I studied fashion merchandising and art at the University of Missouri, Columbia.  I missed the piano so much I would often go to the studio rooms on campus and play at night. When my 3 children attended St. John Lutheran School, I became the pianist for the school choirs and worked as a 4th-grade teachers’ aid. After a few years, I became the 6th-8th grade art teacher, school choir director, and music teacher for 1st through 8th grades. I was in charge of at least 20 musicals over 10 years. I was also a choir member and often played for services. What a joy and blessing! I am currently the choir director for Meramec Bluffs Singers at the Lutheran Senior Services Center in Valley Park. Needless to say, those piano lessons served me well as this wonderful hobby has turned into a career! Now I am finally teaching piano and I hope to bless your children with this incredible joy that lives inside me!

Katie Klevorn, Piano

This is my first year as an instructor for the School of the Arts and I am extremely excited to be blessed with this opportunity! I started piano lessons when I was seven and continued to study formally throughout high school. I attended grade school at St. John School and Lutheran South for high school.

During middle school, I got the opportunity to play during worship services and have done so periodically ever since. Though I love classical music, (Beethoven is my favorite composer), my love for music covers many genres and time periods. I continuously work to further my knowledge of piano and music in general. The piano is one of my greatest passions and I am so excited to share my love of music with others!

Michele Youngberg, piano

My name is Michele Youngberg and I thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to teach piano here at the School of the Arts!

With my mom being a music teacher and choir director/pianist and organist at our church, I grew up with a strong musical background. I began playing piano when I was in first grade and eventually accompanied our church choir and small groups in the church. I began playing piano in our church’s worship team six years ago and love playing anything from old hymns to the newest Christian music out there.

My husband and I have been married for almost 30 years and have four daughters. We are originally from Nebraska but have become loyal fans of the Cardinals and Blues since moving to St. Louis. I now spend parts of my days as a nanny, as my own girls are pretty much grown, and love to interact with and teach children any way that I can. Teaching piano is a way that I can continue to do that in a musical sense.

Tom Watkins, guitar (Acoustic, Bass, electric), ukUlele, & Piano

My interest in music developed during church. When I was in elementary school, I would stare at the guitar player’s hand throughout the whole service, and move my fingers on the pew trying to mimic the shapes I saw. I began writing songs when I was around twelve years old and told my close friends to buy instruments so we could start a band. I was heavily influenced by punk and rock music, being self-taught, I found this style easiest to play and write. I was in a variety of groups during middle and high school, always writing, recording, and playing music throughout St. Louis.

In college, the rock group I was in toured the midwest and released two albums before I moved to Los Angeles to study vocal performance at Musicians Institute. After studying for two years I returned to St. Louis because LA is an expensive place to live. I enrolled at Webster University and earned my BA in music during the fall of 2017. My teaching career began in 2015 while I was studying at Webster. I have experience working with local, national, and international teaching organizations including, St. Louis Rock School, School of Arts, Coeur Academy, Camp Jam, Music and Arts, and Shane English School. In 2019, I spent an extensive year abroad teaching K-12 English. This gave me first-hand experience of the similarities between learning music and learning a language. Music is a language that everyone has the capability of learning. Writing music is truly a cathartic experience for me. It’s a pleasure to be able to teach and inspire students who share a similar passion.

Brendan Falsetto – Guitar (Acoustic, Bass, Electric)

Hi, I’m Brendan and I am unreservedly in love with music. I’ve been playing for 17 years now and recording music for 15. I’m also handy with bass, drums, piano and singing, but I have poured most of my time and energy into studying the guitar. I graduated from Webster University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and I run a small recording studio in South City.

In my teaching, I emphasize fundamentals like scales, ear-training, metronome work, and some theory so that students can truly understand the guitar. As early as possible, I like to get students playing music that they like listening to, since this keeps them interested and more invested. My ultimate goal is to build skilled musicians, not just more guitar players. I’m truly passionate about what I do and I look forward to working with all of my students towards their musical goals!

Andrew Larson, voice

Hello, everyone! I’m a native St. Louis singer and actor. I earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Missouri Baptist University. Over the years, I have participated in choirs, solo voice competitions, bell ringers, vocal jazz ensembles, a Capella groups, plays, musicals, and both amateur and professional opera productions including credits with Winter Opera St. Louis. I’m delighted to be a part of this group of accomplished musicians and to help the young artists we teach to grow their talents into lifelong skills and to foster an enduring love of music according to the blessings that God has given me in that same regard.

 

SOLOMON HOWARD

I started playing drums at the age of 8, and I fell in love instantly! I developed a passion for the instrument while attending the church that I grew up in. All of the instruments that I played in church growing up included Organ, Piano, Electric Guitar, and Bass Guitar. In 4th grade, I played in concert band and jazz band. While in high school, I also had the honor of marching on the drum line, playing some mallet instruments like bells and the Marimba. I attended SIUE and studied jazz before going to seminary. In recent years, I’ve had the honor and privilege of touring and playing for different artists and churches across the United States.

Greg Dallas

Greg started playing guitar at age 11. Soon after discovering his love for the guitar, he began performing frequently at local venues. Like many young guitarists, he was inspired by such greats as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jimmy Page. During high school, he found himself attracted to the virtuosity of jazz guitarists, which eventually drew him to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music.
Upon arriving at Berklee, Greg was confident that such a diverse and talented community was the perfect place to continue to grow and learn. At Berklee, he was afforded the rare opportunity to study under the tutelage of some of the world’s greatest musicians and professors. His time at Berklee was formative and life changing in many ways, beyond just his musical development. After years of hard and rewarding work, he graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Performance for guitar.
Soon after graduating Berklee, Greg moved to New York and was an active member of the New York jazz community, as a freelance musician, and leading his own band. Greg recently moved back to St. Louis, where he continues to make music of all kinds!
“I believe that absolutely anyone can learn to play music if they truly want to! As a teacher, my job is to guide the student towards greatness and I love being a part of that process.”

Still have questions about the School of the Arts?

Please email Rachel Hinz, Interim-Director of School of the Arts, at [email protected] or call her at 636-779-2386.