Ellena graduated from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA in 2003 with a BM in Music Piano Performance and a BA in Child Psychology. Ellena began her private piano studies at the age of four, and two years later was admitted to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Prep Division. Her first public appearance was at the age of nine, when she placed as a finalist at the Grand Piano Young Artists Showcase in Palo Alto. She went on to win second place at the Bela Bartok Piano Competition the following year. From 1991 to 1998, Ellena studied piano performance with internationally renowned pianist Daniel Glover. During this time, she performed in numerous recitals in the Bay Area and for 4 consecutive years in the San Francisco Russian Festival. Ellena's participation in competitions has yielded her several awards including Third Place in the Piano Concerto Division at the 1998 US Open Piano Competition. After graduating from Notre Dame Ellena earned her MA in Music Therapy at the University of Pacific in 2011. Ellena currently holds a Ph.D. in Health Psychology from Walden University.
Art began playing the piano at the age of six and his dedication to music continued as he pursued his Bachelors at San Jose State University. Art has also proudly served in the 159th Army National Guard Band for two decades, during which he performed at the Pedilium in Los Angeles for a USO show and also taught music overseas in West Germany. For the past six years Art has had the pleasure of teaching at Stockton School of Music. Outside of teaching, Art loves spending quality time with his family. He's been married for 47 years, is blessed with three children, two grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. Art also enjoys running, traveling, and, of course, playing the piano!
Valeria is a second year bio-engineering major with a minor in music at University of the Pacific. She first started her musical journey at the age of 9 when her mother had forced her to be in concert band in the fourth grade. After learning many different instruments such as the oboe, piano, and violin, Valeria realized she wanted to share her love of music and help people see the beauty in it. Therefore, what better goal to set for herself than to teach students of various ages at Stockton School of Music.
Eduardo began his guitar studies at San Joaquin Delta College where he studied with Travis Silvers. Eduardo graduated from Delta College in 2017 with an Associate Degree in Arts. Eduardo holds a Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance from California State University Northridge under the tutelage of Steven Thachuk, and John Dearman. Eduardo has performed in multiple solo and ensemble concerts. Latest performances include a concert with the guitar orchestra and the Texas Guitar Quartet at the Central Valley guitar festival Guitarraganza. A solo performance in the first Guitar Invitational at Modesto Junior College and most recently Eduardo performed his Junior & Senior recital at CSUN.
Richard is a graduate from University of the Pacific c/o 2016 with a BM in performance. He studied piano under Dr. Rex Cooper, Frank Wiens, and Dr. Sonia Leong as well as accompanying with Dr. John Cozza. Richard started taking piano lessons at the age of six at the Gorin School of Music. In 2007 he started taking lessons from Dr. Rex Cooper at University of the Pacific who was his primary teacher until his retirement in 2013. Prior to Pacific, Richard attended San Joaquin Delta college and studied piano with Matt Baer alongside Dr. Cooper. Throughout his time at Pacific, Richard has participated in various master classes and performances including chamber recitals, solo recitals, and the annual Honor's Recital. He was also an active accompanist for students as well as the University Chorus and Pacific Singers. In 2016 he was one of four selected winners of the annual concerto competition and played the first movement of Prokofiev's Concerto No. 2 in G minor with the University Orchestra. Richard has been playing piano for 20+ years and has been teaching for 12 years. He received his master's degree in music therapy in 2023. He believes that music is one of the greatest art forms and that learning music can help develop discipline, problem-solving skills, creativity, and it can be used to express oneself, and most importantly, have fun. One piece of advice he has when learning challenging music is to practice by focusing on and repeating little sections at a time rather than playing a song from beginning to end. When Richard isn't teaching piano, you might find him drawing, cooking, or under the command of his cats.
Jorge has been teaching piano and guitar for 15 years. Currently, he is in the process
of getting his AAT in Music Education from Delta College under the tutelage of Aaron Garner, Dr. Bruce Southard, and Matthew Bear. Jorge's goal is to transfer to a four-year college, preferably University of the Pacific. Jorge is classically trained musician and has performed in recitals from Baroque to 20th/21st century. His favorite classical composer is Chopin.
Andrew Cardwell is a percussionist whose first major performance came with Shania Twain at Arco Arena in Sacramento as a high school senior. In the University of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra he performed Beethoven’s famous 1808 concert in its entirety; in the same year he joined the New Hammer Concert Band under the direction of Eric Hammer. Andrew regularly performs with Stockton Concert Band, Lodi Concert Band, and Valley Concert Band, in addition to his duo, the Wild Cards. Early in his career he was signed to the label Idle Vinyl Records and played drums on one unnamed album. Since then has also been professionally trained in the art of sound engineering. He has studied with Jonathan Latta, Michael Downing, Al Brown and Scot Ney, among others. As a teaching assistant at University of New Mexico he provided instruction for undergraduate music students and taught collegiate classes. Along with teaching drum set he currently gives instruction to local high school percussion ensembles. Andrew received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, and his Master of Music degree from University of New Mexico.
Christian Alexander is an active performing vocalist and guitarist from San Joaquin county. He has performed in most of Delta's vocal ensembles as well as jazz ensembles, and received vocal training from Delta College's Dr. Bruce Southard in addition to attending several Estill Voice Training workshops and seminars from other instructors such as Kelly Burge of Saint Mary's College. As a guitarist and bassist he has performed in pit orchestras, and performed in several groups throughout northern California. Christian attends Delta College, where he studies music composition with a focus on choral composition.
Vincent started playing percussion at the age of 13. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of the Pacific in Percussion Performance and Jazz Studies. He has played in the Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Combo. During his time at UOP, he was a member of the New Hammer Concert Band under the direction of Eric Hammer. He also studied with Jonathan Latta, Michael Downing, and Robert Hamaker on classical percussion, and with Timothy Metz, and Brian Kendrick for Jazz drumming. Vincent also plays piano and studied with Frank Weins for classical and Randy Sandoli for Jazz piano. Currently, Vincent is studying for his Masters degree at UOP in Music Therapy. In his free time he plays piano and drums at two local churches in Stockton.
Karina Ibarra is a trained classical pianist and teacher. Mrs. Ibarra holds a B.A. in Psychology and Music from California State University, Stanislaus. Her principal teachers include Dr. Sarah Chan, Dr. Benjamin Boren, and Robin Knutson. She has also had the pleasure of participating in master classes with world-renowned pianists Joel Fan, John Kamitsuka, and Eduardus Halim. Mrs. Ibarra has performed in various large and small ensembles, including the CSU Stanislaus Wind Ensemble, 20th Century Chamber Ensemble, Piano Duet Chamber Ensemble, as well as in other collaborative capacities. Mrs. Ibarra continues to perform as an accompanist and pianist for her local church, where she supports a chamber choir and provides solo music for worship.
Aubrey started playing the violin at age 8 and is currently studying Music Education at Delta College under the tutelage of Dr. Cottin-Rack. Aubrey also participates in Delta’s Concert Choir and Orchestra ensemble and has performed in their last 5 concerts. She has also participated in the San Joaquin County Honors Orchestra throughout middle and high school before graduating a year early and moving on to Delta. Her future plans include transferring to Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego to further pursue music education.
Daniel started playing guitar at age 9 and grew up playing in garage bands with his brother and
their friends. Currently Daniel is studying at Sacramento State as a Music Education major.
Before transferring to Sacramento State, Daniel studied classical guitar at Delta College with
Travis Silvers and Guy Powell. While attending Delta College Daniel performed solo and with
the Delta Guitar Ensemble at multiple Guitar Invitational Concerts at Modesto Junior College
and Delta College’s Strings Concerts. Daniel loves playing many styles of guitar music and
enjoys sharing his passion for music through teaching.
Starlyn is currently a student at San Joaquin Delta College, studying music education
and vocal performance. She is a classically trained soprano who studies with Dr. Bruce
Southard. Starlyn has performed in many ensembles, including the prestigious Northern
California Regional Honor Choir, San Joaquin County Honor Choir, the Modesto Opera, the
Stockton Chorale, the Stockton Master Chorale and all of the Choirs at Delta. To add, she also
plays clarinet and sings in the Delta Jazz Band and plays bass clarinet in the Stockton
Symphonic Band. Her goal is to teach beyond the voice: ear training, how to read music, and
how to utilize different parts of the voice for various styles of music, whether jazz, classical, or
Ryan Vang is a highly driven Music Educator with an emphasis on voice and wellness. He is a graduate from the University of the Pacific, Class of 2023, with a BM in Music Education. During his time in Pacific, he studied Voice under Burr Phillips and Virginia Kelsey who is also a part of the Grammy-Winning Vocal Band Group called Roomful of Teeth. Earlier in his studies at San Joaquin Delta College, he studied under Dr. Kate Bautch. His background of music stems from his involvement in choral music, pop music, art song and opera. While at Pacific, he has been a part of UOP’s Opera Production of Kurt Weill’s Three Penny Opera and Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. His experiences has also lead him to be part of other various performing ensemble groups which consists of a barbershop quartet, and his current pop group, LessThan3. He is commited to bringing out a musical experience for singers to excel in their goals whether it be for contemporary, pop, musical or classical music. He is also a strong advocate for students to keep a healthy relationship with their own voice and music. Along with his enthusiastic spirit for teaching and performing, he also enjoys writing and producing his own music.
Kristy Wells earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Piano Performance from California State University, Stanislaus, following three years at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, where she studied piano with Frank Wiens. Kristy is a California credentialed music teacher with 10 years classroom experience, and is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma. Currently, she is studying "Education Through Music", which is musical play that is based on current brain research. Kristy is also the former choir director and current organist/pianist for the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Lodi. Kristy’s professional career started early; church organist at 14 and piano teacher at 16. Kristy is a skilled accompanist, church music director, piano and voice teacher, with a great deal of experience directing vocals for musical theater, including Unsung Cole, (5-parts vocal jazz), Godspell with Stockton Civic Theater, and The Fantastik. She also directed the Tracy Community Choir. Kristy performed in two honors recitals at CSUS, is a two time Soroptomist Scholarship award recipient, and earned Command Performance ratings (the highest possible) at California Music Association’s Solo and Ensemble both for her solo piano piece and with a Baroque Chamber Ensemble. Kristy and her husband sang with the Stockton Chorale for a few years and had the privilege of working with director Daniel Hughes. Choral Highlights include Carmina Burana with the Chorale, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at CSUS. Kristy believes that together, her students can achieve anything! With Kristy, think “music lessons” more than “piano lessons;” expect ear training and occasional listening homework. Practice time includes time to create and play with music, in addition to learning to read and play music in the books. Kristy is thrilled to be at Stockton School of Music and looks forward to sharing her love of music with you and your family.