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.

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 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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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 was involved in many music ensembles growing up and was inspired by his dedicated teachers to continue pursuing music.  Mr. Evers completed his B.M. in oboe performance from the esteemed Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in the suburbs of Chicago in 2016.  There, he was principal oboist for the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra, involved in many chamber groups, a freelance musician, and a new music recording artist for various contemporary composers from the Chicagoland area. He has played across the country, most notably touring southern California with the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra in 2016, where he played at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, home to the Pacific Symphony.  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, Mr. Evers recently completed his M.M. in oboe performance at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.  He studied with renowned oboist and Pittsburgh Symphony member, Scott Bell.  In Pittsburgh, Dylan is a busy freelance musician and teacher and has performed with the Pierce Theatre Players, the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra, guest appeared with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, and recently won the position of principal oboist for the Pittsburgh Philharmonic.  Because of his love for music and mentoring, Dylan is dedicated to helping students experience the unbridled joy of music making by way of finding their own voice, fundamentals, and of course, fun!

Tiffany Howard Tiffany Howard – Beg Piano , Beg-Adv Voice

Tiffany began studying voice and performing in musicals at the age of 10 through WVU’s Community Programs. A native of Washington, PA, she graduated from Trinity High School in 2013 and has performed various roles such as the Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical, Griolet in La Fille de Tambour Major, and Pitti-Sing in the Mikado. While her love is voice, and, more specifically, opera and operetta. She also has prolonged experience playing the viola and piano. She began studying piano in 2009. In 2016 she passed the Piano Proficiency Exam at her Alma Mater, Lee University,  where she graduated with a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance in 2017. After graduating in 2017 Tiffany lived and worked as an au pair in Strasbourg, France, pursuing her other passion, French.

Tiffany has taught private music lessons to students of all ages and all walks of life since 2016. She believes that the voice is the most natural and unique instrument and that everyone has a voice. She is confident that, with classical training, anyone can sing and perform any style of music. This is her first year working at David’s Music House and she is very excited for this new teaching opportunity.

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
Will Brani 2 copy
 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 also works 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.

Barbara Groba – Beginning-Advanced Woodwinds, Beginning-Intermediate Brass

Barbara GrobaBarbara is a Woodwind and Brass teacher at David’s Music House. She has been teaching music since 2001, after graduating from Seton Hill University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education.

While at Seton Hill, Barbara focused on clarinet as her major instrument, with saxophone as a secondary instrument. She is certified to teach PK-12 Music in Pennsylvania and has completed two levels of Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Training at The Ohio State University. Barbara is also an active member of the American Orff-Schulwek Association (AOSA) and is the Treasurer of its local chapter, the Pittsburgh Golden Triangle Orff Association (PGTAOSA).