Music Teacher Bio Page

brian smith Brian Smith – Beginning to Advanced Guitar & Recording Engineer.

Brian is a 2013 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania’s Commercial Music Technology major. There, he studied guitar performance and jazz theory under Duquesne’s own Ken Karsh, and commercial arranging with Pittsburgh’s Ralph Guzzi. He also studied piano, performed with Cal-U’s guitar ensemble, jazz & big band ensemble, and choir band. As a part of the CMT curriculum, he is fluent in the recording arts, certified in Sibelius 7, and user certified by Avid’s ProTools 11, the industry standard in recording technology. Brian is versatile in a wide variety of genres including: classical & instrumental, blues, jazz, rock, fusion, hard rock, and metal. Brian is very active as a freelance guitarist and recording engineer. He has performed with the Washington Symphony Orchestra, shared the stage with saxophonist Curtis Johnson (Aretha Franklin), interned with Grammy winning engineer Dino DiStefano, recorded at Ocean Ways studio in Nashville, TN; and contributed in musicals, solo performances, and events at Cal-U’s campus. Brian has also recorded a number of independent albums from rap and jazz to blues and metal. He frequently plays shows with his progressive rock band and has performed at many of Pittsburgh’s notable clubs & venues.

Gizel Rodriguez  – Beg to Advanced Vocals & Beg Pianogizel(1)

Gizel Rodriguez  was born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. A naturally talented opera singer, she has extended her repertoire range to an almost all encompassing one which includes musical comedy, french popular songs, latin american boleros, jazz, sacred music, afro-peruvian-style pieces, argentinean tango and mexican folklore, in addition to the standard operatic repertoire. Her artistic qualifications include operatic studies and Masterclasses in highly prestigious universities such as: The Mozarteum Hochschule für Musik (Salzburg, Austria), The Ark Institute for the Performing Arts (San Diego, California), The Conservatory of Music (Tijuana, México) and The University of Baja California. She has  been the recipient of many noteworthy awards including: The University of Fresno Zarzuela Scholarship, and The Metropolitan Opera Encouragement Auditions Award 2003.

Among the many professional achievements throughout her musical career, it is worth to highlight her brilliant performance as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (The Small Opera of San Diego, 2000), Lola, in Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana (2002 – 2003), Serafina, in Enrique Medina’s Serafina and Arcangela (Los Angeles Eutrepe’s Opera Company, 2003), Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel (New York at Lincoln Center National Dance institute 2010). Her Recording catalog includes three solo albums: Cartas de Amor (1998), Passion Tango (2009), and Piensa en mi (2010), as well as many collaborations with world-renowned artists. Today she thrives as one of the most versatile mexican sopranos, performing regularly throughout the United States and internationally.

Rob BrowellRob Browell – Drums & Percussion

Rob is a long-time resident of Peters Township. Growing up in Baldwin, Rob began playing percussion professionally for various musical theater groups and ensembles around the Pittsburgh area at sixteen. He then attended Penn State University for art education and taught for twelve years earning his master’s degree and principal’s certification. He has instructed marching band drumlines and competitive indoor percussion ensembles that have garnished national recognition. Rob’s emphasis is not only on the technical aspects of playing drums, but also to expose students to the universal impact percussion has on music and its diverse implementation in all cultures.

Jon KleinJonathan Klein – Beg to Inter Drums and Percussion, Beg Guitar & Recording Engineer

Jonathan Klein is a freelance musician, is a live and studio audio engineer and music instructor at David’s Music House. A recent graduate of California University of PA’s Commercial Music Technology course, Jon has been involved in music since 1985 when he began taking lessons in trumpet and many other instruments, and has been playing his main instrument, drums and percussion since 1998.

At Cal U he studied drums and percussion under Jan Fung, percussionist with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, as well as commercial arranging under Ralph Guzzi of Pittsburgh. Jonathan has performed with several Cal U ensembles including the jazz and big band, choir and the Young and Gifted Gospel Choir under the direction of Dr. Randy Tillmutt, a Fredrick Douglas Fellow from Jamaica. Jonathan enjoys playing drums in many styles including blues, jazz, rock, hard rock, punk and funk.

jennifer searlesJennifer Searles – Low Brass, Low Woodwinds, Beginning Piano & Voice

Jennifer Searles is excited to be a brass instructor at David’s Music House! As a trombonist primarily, she performed with the Symphony Band, Jazz Ensemble, and the Marching Band at Bethel Park High School. She was also in the Concert Choir and Top 21 audition choir before graduating in 2011. She then attended Duquesne University, where she got her B.S. in Music Education in 2015. While there, she was a part of the Symphony Band, as well as the Jazz Ensemble. She student taught in within the Washington School District doing elementary general music, 4th and 5th grade choir, and the bands for the entire district. She is a member of PMEA and NAfME, and she currently holds her teaching certificate in Music K-12. She is the Assistant Marching Band Director and Low Brass/ Low Woodwind specialist at the Carlynton School District, where she has enjoyed working with the students there since 2013. Jennifer is honored to become part of the DMH family!

Megan HabovickMegan Habovick – Flute, Woodwinds and all brass, Beginning Piano

Megan Habovick is a woodwind, brass, and beginning piano instructor at Dave’s Music House. Megan began her musical instruction at an early age, and received instruction in various instruments throughout her life. Megan graduated from Bethel Park High School in 2011, where she was involved with the school’s marching band, symphonic band, concert band, and jazz ensemble. She graduated from Duquesne University in 2015 with a B.S. in Music Education with flute as her primary instrument. At Duquesne, she received instruction in flute under various Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra members. She also participated in Duquesne’s flute choir, symphonic band, and wind symphony. Megan has also performed in small concerts at local hospitals as part of Duquesne’s community service program. She is currently a member of PMEA and NAfME and holds Pennsylvania certification in K-12th grade music. Megan currently is a freelance musician and teacher within the Pittsburgh area and is excited to teach at David’s Music House!

Justin DouglasJustin Douglas – Beginning to Advanced Voice, and Beginning to Advanced Piano

Justin Douglas is a native of Somerset County, PA. He began formally studying piano at 6 years old under Mrs. Paula Kretchman. At 13 years old Justin began studying voice with her as well. At age 16 he began studying advanced piano under Mr. Don Stoner.

Justin is a 2006 Graduate of Frostburg State University in Frostburg, MD where he studied Piano and Vocal performance. He was also a member of the FSU choir and Chamber Choir. His musical background consists of Classical, Opera, Musical Theatre, and MainStream Pop Music. Justin is also an acoustic songwriter. He is currently working on building his online fan base and social media music to get more exposure in the MainStream Music Industry.  Justin is so excited to start teaching as well as learning at David’s Music House.

Christina pic Christina Ankenbruck – Beginning to Advanced Strings

Christina began playing the viola in the 4th grade and music has been a big part of her life ever since. In 2012, she graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor’s in Music Education. She did her student teaching at Fall Creek Middle School in Indianapolis, IN teaching beginning orchestra, intermediate orchestra, and general music. She moved to Pittsburgh in 2013 and is currently a preschool teacher at Marian Manor Child Development and Learning Center. She played viola in the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra for 3 years. She is also a very active member of The Hills Church’s worship band, playing viola and singing. Christina is excited to be a teacher at David’s Music House and is dedicated to helping her students find a love and appreciation for music!

Junlee Kwon Junlee Kwon – Beginning to Advanced Voice and Piano

Junlee started playing classical piano and singing at age of 7. She is originally from South Korea but grew up in New Brunswick, Canada and went on to pursue her Bachelor degree in Voice Performance at Duquesne University. Junlee was part of World Vision Children’s Choir for several years, New Brunswick Youth Choir, and Pappert Women’s Choral so she loves to sing both as a soloist and as a group! She Studied abroad in Italy and Spain where she had her debut concert in both Rome and Florence in 2015 and got to study with renown opera singers such as Mildred Miller, Claudia Pinza and Fiorenza Cossotto in past four years. She is excited to be part of David’s Music House and get to know all of you!

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 Krissy Penn – Music Theatre

Krissy has been involved with theatre for over half her life. In addition to having degrees in Liberal Arts/Sciences and Theatre, she has also taken several master classes with Broadway actors and directors. She has been on several community theatre boards, is an administrator for Auditions An’at and was the resident youth stage manager for Mon River Arts for six years. Some of Krissy’s most recent performances include: The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy Gale), Electra (Electra), Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Lucy van Pelt), Crimes of the Heart (Babe Botrelle), The Mousetrap (Mollie Ralston), Company (April), Much Ado About Nothing (Hero) and Gilligan’s Island: The Musical (Mary Ann.)


dylan evers Dylan Evers – Beginning to Advanced Woodwinds and Piano

Dylan Evers is a woodwind and piano instructor at David’s Music House.  Originally from Nebraska, he completed his bachelor’s degree in oboe performance from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in the suburbs of Chicago in 2016.  There, he was a freelance musician and new music recording artist for various contemporary composers from the Chicagoland area.  Dylan was also principal oboist of the Classical Symphony Orchestra of Chicago’s 2014 season and continued to guest appear with them, and he was appointed principal oboist of the Wheaton Municipal Band’s summer season of 2016.

Currently, Dylan studies at Duquesne University where he will complete his master’s degree in oboe performance in May 2018. Upon graduation, he wants to pursue a career in music through freelance and teaching. In Pittsburgh, Dylan is a freelance musician and has performed with the Pierce Theatre Players and subbed for the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra.  Because of his love for music and mentoring, Dylan is dedicated to helping students of all ages and levels experience the unbridled joy of music making by way of finding their own voice, fundamentals, and of course, fun!


James Diller James Diller – Beginning to Advanced Guitar

James is a guitarist/composer who graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania as a guitar major. James has been playing the guitar for thirty years and has taught lessons for over twenty. James was a guitar instructor for the Edinboro Prep-Division and was also an instructor for the Edinboro Community Music School, where he taught private and group lessons in public schools to assist incorporating the guitar into their own music programs.

James also has taught lessons as a freelance guitar instructor to individuals and in group settings. James also has experience working with individuals with special needs, as he believes everyone should be able to enjoy making music. Jim has performed solo as a Fingerstyle guitarist, and also has performed in numerous ensembles covering a broad range of musical styles to include Classical, Spanish, Rock, Blues, Folk, and Celtic. Jim is excited to be at DMH to work as a team with the students to create great music and have FUN!

Claudia Quintana – Strings and Piano 

afc8a7aa-5af0-49a9-a234-1f5ee0399ee8Claudia Quintana’s passion for the violin began when she was just seven years old, in her hometown Matanzas, in Cuba. In 2016, she graduated from the University of Arts, in Havana, Cuba. In 2015, she completed an international summer program at University Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Presently,
Claudia plays with both the Washington and Altoona Symphonies.

Claudia has performed as a violin soloist with the Symphony Orchestra of Matanzas, Cuba, and the Orchestra of the Conservatory in Tolima, Colombia. She has received master classes from renowned conductors and soloists such as Walter Reitter, Thomas Hengelbrock, Jorge Rotter, Ronald Zolman, Renaud Capucon, Evelio Tieles, Miriam Fried, and Paul Roczek, She has recordered with prestigious Cuban and international musicians.

Recently, Claudia had the privilege of recording with and accompanying pianist Simone Dinnerstein at the Sony Music Classic. Her work experience includes the Allegro Music Center in Miami, Florida and at the Vocational School of Music in Matanzas, Cuba. Her goal is to ignite others with knowledge and techniques to embody their full potential as musicians. It is her pleasure to be part of David’s Music House
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 Will Brani – Beg – Adv Saxophone

Will began learning to play the saxophone entering middle school. He was born and raised in Marietta Georgia and took private lessons all the way through high school. The passion and dedication from his instructors inspired him to continue with music. He earned a B.M. in Saxophone Performance and Music Theory in 2015 from the University of Arkansas. He then moved to Pittsburgh and attended Duquesne University studying saxophone with James Houlik and assisting the music theory department. In May 2017, he earned his M.M. in Saxophone Performance. Throughout his education in music, Will has accrued a wide experience performing in both classical and jazz ensembles on soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones. He currently works as a music teacher as well as a yoga and aerial yoga instructor. His teaching philosophy combines both passions with the importance of breath and mind-body connection in relation to interpreting and performing music.

Nathan Weese – Beginning Piano 

Nathan Weese is currently a Senior at Canon McMillan High School who is a member of the Big Mac Marching and Concert Band.  He has taken piano lessons for 9 years under Kathryn Zamboky and over 1 year with Justin Douglas at DMH.  By playing “My Tribute” on piano, Nathan became first place winner of Washington’s got Talent competition.  Nathan has served as church pianist for 5 years.  He is a dedicated member of the National Honor Society, where he serves as Canon McMillan Chapter President.  He is a member of the Boy Scouts of America, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in 2017.  Nathan is excited to take advantage of this level 2 position at David’s Music House.