Our Staff

Joshua Jack, Guitar

Joshua Jack is a 2-time Grammy Award Nominated Music Educator and is frequently noted for his virtuosic skill on the guitar. He has performed all across the United States in Rock Bands, Jazz Bands, Worship Groups, Musical Pit Ensembles, Symphonic Bands, Classical Chamber Ensembles, and as a Solo Classical Guitarist.

As an educator Joshua has taught thousands of students of all ages. Joshua’s students have won the All State category for Guitar in Nevada for several years. Joshua’s students have also won 1st place in the Best in Southern Nevada Guitar Competition for several years as well as a National Mariachi Competition, Battle of the Bands Competitions, and 2 students were finalists in the Dan Stover Instrumental Competition. Joshua’s students have performed at the NAMM Show, a GFA Regional Symposium, the Hard Rock Café Las Vegas, The House of Blues Las Vegas, the Smith Center, the Cannery, the “Extreme Thing” Concert Tour, University of Nevada Reno, and University of Nevada Las Vegas. Several of Joshua’s students have been accepted into universities all over the United States to major in music while many others have begun playing music professionally. Joshua is the owner of Nevada Music Academy and the Music Director at Truth Christian Ministries International. Joshua was also a music teacher with the Clark County School District for 8 years. Joshua has received degrees from the Crane School of Music in the areas of Guitar Performance and Music Education.

Dr. Julie Jack, Violin/Viola/Piano  Julie

Dr. Julie Jack is one of NVMA’s founding members. Dr. Jack is a professional violinist and a full-time orchestra and band director at the Advanced Technologies Academy in the Clark County School District. Dr. Jack has received her Bachelor’s of Music degree in Music Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as well as her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in School Counseling and Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix and Nova Southeastern University. Her violin teachers included Byron Tauchi, Mary Straub, and Oscar Carrescia. She has also studied piano at UNLV under the direction of Jie Bu. In addition to being a certified teacher, Dr. Jack is a certified and licensed school counselor and school administrator.
Dr. Jack has performed in professional classical ensembles, musical pit orchestras, worship groups, all while maintaining a challenging repertoire of solo violin music. She currently plays both piano and violin for Truth Christian Ministries International (TCMI). Dr. Jack has also adjudicated and judged for the Clark County School District’s Orchestra Festival, Honor Orchestra, and the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra. In addition to all of this Dr. Jack currently serves as the Music Director at TCMI. Outside of teaching and performing, she is an avid marathon runner, a certified holistic nutritionist, and a certified personal trainer.

Sean Carbone, Guitar/Electric Bass/Ukulele/Piano

Sean Carbone studied Jazz Guitar Performance at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and graduated in 2017 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. Sean has been greatly influenced by jazz, rock, hip-hop, and funk. His eclectic musical interests have driven him to create a unique playing style that combines the language of jazz with other genres of music. While Sean performs with many groups throughout Las Vegas, Sean’s main performing group is his band, The Lique. The Lique features a funky, jazz-inspired sound accompanied by bold and clever hip-hop vocals. In 2015, The Lique was named the Best New Hip-hop/Jazz Combo by Las Vegas Weekly. In 2016, the band was honored to appear on the cover of the Las Vegas Weekly as One of the 10 Acts To Watch in 2016, as well take part in the Life Is Beautiful Festival. Currently, Sean is gigging, writing, and recording new music.

As a teacher Sean hopes to inspire his students to find their own creative voice.  Sean makes learning to play an instrument fun while also focusing on the fundamentals. Sean structures his lessons in way that encompasses the student’s interests while using solid pedagogy.

Patrick Garcia, Saxophone/Clarinet/Flute

Patrick Garcia is a very talented performer and music educator. His flair for performance on the saxophone and flute have earned him acclaim throughout his career. He is the recipient of multiple scholarships including the Joe William Jazz Scholarship and the UNLV Music Department Scholarship. He also was a regional finalist for the MTNA solo competition. Patrick has recorded five albums which cross both Classical and Jazz genres. All five of his albums have received glowing reviews and widespread acclaim.

Patrick has performed with great artist such as Eric Marienthal, Carl Saunders, Brandon Fields, Wayne Bergeron, Ben Vereen, and Bobby Shew. Patrick has also performed for various shows around Las Vegas, a composers showcase at the Smith Center, frequent appearances on the Zombie Burlesque show at Planet Hollywood and a UNLV sax quartet appearance on The Morning Blend on KTNV channel 13. As an educator Patrick has a passion for bringing attention and awareness to the saxophone and flute. Students taking saxophone lessons or flute lessons with Patrick will be inspired by his passion, while his expertise in performing and his solid pedagogy will help students experience high levels of success.

Devon Zubka, Cello

Devon Zubka is a talented and passionate cellist and music educator. Devon is an active performer in the Las Vegas area. Devon has been featured as a guest soloist in the Henderson Symphony, as well as with the Las Vegas Philharmonic at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Devon also received the rank of principle cellist for the Las Vegas Young Artist’s orchestra, the Nevada All State Orchestra, the Lamont School of Music Summer Festival Orchestra, and the Green Valley Chamber Music Festival Orchestra.

Devon has attended the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University for Music Education and is currently attending University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Devon shares his passion for music with his students while keeping lessons enjoyable. Devon works with students to establish a good foundation in proper technique and good reading ability from the start of instruction.

Stephanie Redman, Piano/Vocal Coach

Stephanie Redman is a graduate of University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she received her B.A. in Music Education and her M.M. in Vocal Performance.  While at UNLV Ms. Redman was a frequent performer in UNLV’s opera theater performing principle roles in such productions as The Magic Flute, Carmen, Old Maid and the Thief, The Telephone, L’enfant de Sortilèges, Suor Angelica, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

Ms. Redman is also a frequent performer in Las Vegas as well.  She is one of the three co-managing Diva’s for Las Vegas’ chapter of Opera on Tap which has regular monthly performances in venues around Las Vegas. Ms. Redman has also performed in choruses for Opera Las Vegas and Sin City Opera for many productions.

In addition to performing Ms. Redman is music teacher for Ruby Duncan Elementary School and teaches private voice and piano.

SerhiySerhiy Labo, Guitar/Ukulele/Electric Bass

Serhiy Labo is a classical guitarist and an instructor. Serhiy is known for his passionate interpretations of classical guitar pieces and for his dedication to music education. He has been active in musical outreach programs in Las Vegas, NV. He has received degrees from Interlochen Arts Academy, MI and the Eastman School of Music NY.

Serhiy has completed three years of graduate work in Music Education at University of Nevada Las Vegas. He has taught guitar classes and one on one lessons at UNLV for over two years. Serhiy has performed solo recitals and chamber music in USA and Ukraine.In addition to music Serhiy is dedicated to promoting well-being through the Aquastretch therapy program at UNLV.

Mark Goodin - DrumsMark Goodin, Drums

Mark Goodin is a professional drummer, instructor, and two-time Las Vegas Rock Hall of Fame inductee specializing in drum set performance (rock and metal), classical snare drum performance, and midi programming. Mark began playing drums at age 8 under the tutelage of professional jazz drummer, Irv Kluger. As a teenager, Mark played percussion in numerous school orchestras, ensembles, and marching bands. After high school, he joined the progressive-rock band Ripside (his first “pro” gig) and hasn’t looked back since.

Mark’s teachers include Wally Snow (colleague of Murray Spivack), Chuck Silverman, and Ritchie Garcia. Mark has worked with a variety of rock and metal bands and is currently working on music and soundtracks for film and television projects with platinum-selling recording artist Mark Slaughter.

Mark’s drumming can be heard on the brand new Mark Slaughter single, “Never Givin Up” released on March 18, 2014 on Amazon, iTunes, and FM and satellite radio stations.

Kasey CarmodyKasey Carmody, Guitar

Kasey Carmody is a professional guitarist, teacher and college instructor with over 20 years of experience. He currently residing on the faculty of the College of Southern Nevada having successfully taught courses in both music appreciation and classroom guitar for 8 consecutive years. He has also maintained a thriving business as a private guitar instructor since 2001 in Las Vegas. Kasey has achieved a presence of being one of the top solo classical guitar performers in Las Vegas performing regularly for corporate events, weddings and private parties at venues such as the Bellagio, Wynn, Paris, Ceasars Palace, The Hard Rock and Lake Las Vegas.

IrynaIryna Volyanyuk Piano/Vocal Coach

Iryna Volyanyuk is a highly talented performer and teacher of both the piano and voice. Iryna has studied and performed music all over the world. Her studies started at an early age and eventually led her to the Music College of Ternopil, Ukraine where she completed a 5 year degree in Piano and Voice Performance as well as Music Education. She also studied and received degrees in Music Education as well as Piano and Voice Performance at the National Music Academy in Kiev, Ukraine.  Additionally she has studied Piano at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Notable instructors include Igor Riybov, Iryna Noumova, Mykola Suk, and Luana DeVoel.

As a performer Iryna has performed in some of the most beautiful concert halls all throughout Europe, South America and America. She has performed in Wagner’s Opera in San Francisco as an Opera singer. Iryna was also the winner of an International Piano Competition at Harkov in Kraiynev. Iryna has also worked as a piano accompanist for hundreds of students at UNLV.

As a teacher Iryna’s passion is to expose children and adults of all ages to the beauty and splendor of Classical music. She has taught thousands of students throughout the world and loves the sense of fulfillment felt when a student of hers’ excels. Iryna believes that every person has the ability to learn music and is an advocate of creating custom goals while keeping lessons fun, interesting and exciting.

Amber Asfour, Piano/Vocal Coach

Amber Asfour has been singing for over 30 years and has been teaching for over 20. Amber has received her degrees from UC Santa Barbara in Music and Dramatic Arts. Growing up in the music business gave Amber experience as an artist, as well as insight into the music business itself. She is a professional performer, with many years of training with some of the industry’s finest instructors. She has performed in many clubs, theaters and events as a professional singer, as well as managed her bands in New York City and Los Angeles. She has performed on such shows as: NBC’s“Showtime at the Apollo,” “The Montel Williams Show” and sang the National Anthem for the Los Angeles Clippers.

After purchasing her home recording studio in the 90’s, Amber worked on producing her demo. She had the opportunity to work with some of the industry’s finest recording engineers, some of whom have worked with such artists as Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette. Working around the clock, she quickly absorbed their techniques and was able to engineer many of her songs herself.

Having a degree in Dramatic Arts, she also coaches her students on performance and delivery of the songs, in addition to the technical aspects of singing. This results in a more well-rounded performer for recording, as well as for stage. Amber’s students’ ages range from as young as 5 years, to adult. Some celebrities’ children who have studied with Amber include: Model Cindy Crawford, Singer Pat Benetar and Soap Opera Actor, A Martinez.

Arturo Hernandez

Arturo Hernandez, Violin/Viola/Piano

Arturo Hernandez was born in Mexico and moved to the U.S., where he began music lessons at an early age. He graduated from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts (LVA), where the focus of his studies were orchestral studies and chamber music. He then attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, specializing in music composition and music education.
Arturo is the founder and artistic director of the Las Vegas-based string quartet, Ides Quartet, where he has played violin 1, violin 2, and currently plays viola and cajon. As a composer and arranger Arturo’s compositions have been premiered at LVA and UNLV, while his arrangements for string quartet, and other chamber ensembles, have been performed around the world notably at the Latino Network of Southern Nevada Forum 2015.

Amy Na, Violin/Viola/Piano

Amy Na is a Korean-American violinist/violist/pianist. She started playing the piano at the young age of 6 years old and later started playing the violin and viola at 10 years old. Before coming to the US, Amy won several music competitions including the Seoul National Competition, the Pyeongtaek District Competition, and the Korean Music and Art Competition. Since moving to the US Amy was a finalist in the Young Artist Music Competition.

Currently, Amy is majoring in Music Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she studies with Wei Wei Le. Amy believes that music is the universal language that has the power to captivate one’s imagination and touch their soul. Amy is a very fun and caring instructor. She emphasizes the development of proper technique and the ability to read music while keeping lessons interesting, enjoyable, and meaningful.

Susan Diane HowellSusan Diane Howell MBA, Vocal Coach/Artist Development Specialist

Susan Diane Howell’s vocal clients have performed in top venues such as the Las Vegas MGM, House of Blues Hollywood and Las Vegas, The Century Club, America’s Got Talent (FOX), Skin Tight (Lead, Tropicana Resort), Motown Hitzville USA, America’s Most Talented Kids (NBC), the U.S. White House, 2002 Winter Olympics, Las Vegas Cashman Field, NASCAR, and also on the Lord of the Rings Soundtrack. KVVU-Fox 5, Las Vegas has also turned to Susan as a trusted vocal consultant and talent judge for “Gimme the Mike” (Mic).

Susan was a columnist for the Las Vegas Callback News and a recognized voice on KPFK’s “For the Record” where she spoke in behalf of singers. Susan was recruited as Producer and Cast Vocal Coach by the Academy of the Performing Arts Japan for the double ticket seasons at the 2,000 seat Niigata Terrsa Theater.

Susan is also a highly sought after instructor for such popular institutions as Musician’s Institute (MI) and Synthesis Performing Company to share her life-study techniques and professional skills in career management.

Susan Diane Howell pursued her own vocal studies at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Music in Rome and the Juilliard School in New York City. She has a BA in Musical Theater from CSU, Northridge, and an MBA from Pepperdine University.


Zuriel Santoyo, Double Bass

Zuriel Santoyo, born and raised in Las Vegas, earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with an emphasis on double bass. He’s been passionate for the bass at the age of 12 and gained an extent of knowledge for classical music. He has played with the UNLV Symphony Orchestra and has had the privilege to play with guest star solo Hillary Han. He studied under the direction of Paul Firak (LVPO Principle bass player) where Firak coached him to perform successful recitals at Dr. Rando Recital Hall. Currently Mr. Santoyo teaches string orchestra at Grant Sawyer Middle School.

Mr. Santoyo’s primary focus features a strong solo playing for students. Usually the bass is seen as the foundation for orchestra yet he believes the bass has a unique tone for audiences to hear. Studying under Mr. Santoyo will develop bass an extent of repertoire for solo playing and a beautiful majestic sound for both solo and classical genre music.


john ficarrotta image

John Ficarotta, Piano

John Ficarrota was born and raised in New York City.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music, Boston, with a Bachelors Degree in Music Composition with a minor in instrumental performance on piano and trumpet. He later earned a Masters Degree in Music Education from Regis University. While at Berklee, John studied composition with John Bavicchi; piano with Emmanuel Zambelli; conducting with George Monseur; and was a private student of music theory with Dr. Hugo Norden at Boston University. After graduation, John played keyboards for Frankie Fontaine and later toured the United States and Europe with The Marshall Hill Band.

In 1976, John was one of the first musicians to introduce and outline jazz as a formal course of study in public school and received the Music Service Award presented by Woody Herman for his contributions to Jazz in public schools. He has performed as a member of The American Symphony at Carnegie Hall and is a long time member of the New York Composers Alliance.

John started teaching piano and music composition at the Stecher & Horowitz School of Music in New York City and after completing his internship at K.O. Knudson MS and the Las Vegas Academy, he joined the staff at Chaparral HS in August of 2008 as the Orchestra Director and Piano Teacher.   John is married to Connie, a teacher and director at Seton Academy and native of Las Vegas, and together they have five children ranging in ages from 20 to 34.

Margaret Raine

Margaret Raine, Violin

Margaret Raine was born and raised in the Chicago area. She began her violin studies at the age of 4, and started piano lessons shortly after. During high school, Margaret was the concert master of a youth symphony and had her first teaching experiences while coaching fellow violinists. During this time, she joined the Fox Valley Academy of Music Performance where she worked with underprivileged and special needs students. Margaret was recognized for her ability to empathize with each student’s needs by creating a custom learning plan to help maximize their ability to learn. Margaret went on to become the coach and conductor of the youth strings ensemble within the Academy, while also actively teaching private violin lessons in the community, and performing with the Fox Valley Philharmonic.

Margaret attended Northern Illinois University for Music Education and Music Performance where she studied under Marie Wang of the Avalon Quartet. She received a music scholarship while at NIU. In 2011, she took and completed the Suzuki teacher training program at the Suzuki Institute in Atlanta Georgia. Her performance experience includes the Fox Valley Philharmonic, Northern Illinois Philharmonic, Denver Philharmonic, and as a wedding and event violinist.

Margaret’s teaching philosophy is that every child can learn music in a nurturing environment. She uses the Suzuki method of teaching, but believes in adjusting her techniques accordingly, as every child’s needs and learning process are different. When Margaret isn’t teaching violin, she enjoys spending time with her son, hiking, and traveling.


Jesse Garcia, Trumpet/Trombone 

Jesse Garcia is a professional trumpet and trombone player in the city of Las Vegas. After touring around the world with The Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra and Celebrity Cruises, Jesse returned to Las Vegas to finish his Bachelors degree in Music performance at UNLV. He currently performs most frequently at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino, repairs brass instruments, and is pursuing a Masters degree in Music Education at UNLV.

As an educator Jesse strives to help each student reach their goals while giving them a solid foundation. Jesse draws from his performing experience to equip his students for success. Jesse keeps lessons enjoyable while challenging his students to succeed.