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. Currently he is working to record his first solo project.

As an educator Joshua has taught over 1,000 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/Piano  Julie

Dr. Julie Jack is one of NVMA’s founding members. She 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 and a nutrition enthusiast.

Patrick Garcia, Saxophone/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.

 

Dora Ivanov, Clarinet/Flute/Saxophone

Dora Ivanov is a highly skilled music educator and performer. Dora has received her bachelors degree in clarinet performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dora is a highly versatile as a musician as she not only is a skilled performer on the clarinet, but she also plays flute and saxophone professionally. Dora enjoys performing and teaching all styles of styles of music.

Her passion for teaching began in high school when she helped her peers prepare for NMEA’s solo and ensemble competition as All State and Honor Band auditions. Dora is passionate about music education because she can witness the growth of her students firsthand and she also enjoys instilling a passion for music within her students. When taking clarinet, flute or saxophone lessons with Dora you will be encouraged and inspired to reach new levels of achievement in music.

 

 

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, 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.

 

Army Sgt. Ronald Batula plays "Taps" during a memorial ceremony held June 15, in honor of Airman 1st Class Eric Barnes, who was killed in action while on a convoy mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The ceremony was the second of two held at different locations in Southwest Asia. Airman Barnes was on his second deployment to the 424th Medium Truck Detachment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Raymond Mills)Ron Batula, Trumpet/French Horn/Ukulele

Ron Batula born and raised in Honolulu, HI. Ron earned his Bachelor’s in Music Education from the San Francisco Music Conservatory, Bachelor in Business Administration and Bachelor’s in Human Resources Management while serving with the U.S. Army Band. Ron served as a Trumpet/French Horn/Euphonium Player/Drum Major with the U.S. Army from 1989 – 2009. He has been stationed throughout the United States, Europe, and deployed to Panama and Iraq to support war conflicts in the region.

Ron has performed with various Orchestra’s, Big Bands, Salsa Bands, Brass Quartet and Quintet, and Community Bands and spent time as a studio player. Ron is active with the Nevada Army National Guard as a bugler throughout Nevada. When Ron is not teaching or performing, he can be found instructing Zumba and Boot Camp Training.

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.

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

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.

 

Mark Goodin - Drums

Mark 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.

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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.

 

Kasey Carmody

Kasey 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.

 

 

 

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 husband and son, hiking, and traveling.

 

Ryan-Bobbett Picture

Ryan Bobbett, Guitar/Piano/Voice

Ryan Bobbett was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and has been a musician for over 25 years.  His primary musical experience involves performing musical theatre.  He has also been playing in various bands, singing in choirs, and partaking in a wide variety of musical ventures for almost his entire life.  Ryan earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the University of Nevada, Reno, his Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and his Advanced Studies Certificate in Effective Teaching Strategies from Touro University, Nevada.

His experience covers a wide range of the musical spectrum: Performing, songwriting, recording, music directing, and teaching.  Ryan plays multiple instruments including guitar, piano, voice, and electric bass.  Notable performances include singing in The Best Little Bar and Grill In Texas at the Plaza Casino and singing for the K-9 Research Charity Concert at Green Valley Ranch Casino.  He was also lead singer, guitar player, and bandleader for Little Maestros at Kidville, music director for Christmas Caroling at Lawry’s Restaurant, and has played guitar in the pit orchestra for various musicals.

Ryan’s teaching philosophy focuses primarily on student motivation.  He believes that early and frequent musical success is the key to motivate students to continue improving their musical abilities.  Ryan is a highly qualified voice, piano and guitar teacher.  He is currently the Choir Director at Hyde Park Middle School and sings professionally with Vegas Voices.

 

Iryna

Iryna 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.

Alexandria Pritchard, Violin/Viola/Piano

Alexandria Pritchard is a solo violinist born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Alexandria is currently studying with world-renowned violinist, Wei-Wei Le at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she is where she is majoring in Violin Performance, Piano, and Composition.

Alexandria has been apart of numerous orchestras including the Las Vegas Youth Philharmonic, the Las Vegas Academy Philharmonic, CCSD Honor Orchestra, All-State Orchestra, and is currently one of the UNLV Symphony’s Principal Violinists, as well as Concert Master of the Young Artists Orchestra.

Alexandria has performed in many different places around the world including Poland, Germany, Canada, Hawaii, California, Missouri, Massachusetts, New York, and her hometown Las Vegas, Nevada. In Las Vegas, Alexandria has recently been taking advantage of the entertainment the city has to offer. Big names of artists she has performed alongside include Oliver Dragojević, Arturo Sandoval, Amy Grant, Reik, and Laura Pausini. Alexandria has also made a debut at the 2016 Latin Grammys, and she is the newest member of Bella Electric Strings where she performs all over Las Vegas, frequently.

Bob Logan, Guitar

Bob Logan is a working professional guitarist originally from San Francisco. After majoring in Guitar Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory, Bob immediately took to the field and has been an active performing musician since the 1970’s. Bob performed extensively with Princess Cruise Lines for many years. During his tenure with the Princess Cruise Line Bob performed in showbands, orchestras, and Broadway style musicals. This position required an ability to play all styles of music very well, a great ability to sight read music, and a great ability to improvise.

Bob has also had the opportunity to work in many collaborations with successful artists. Bob has had the opportunity to work with David Garibaldi and Mic Gillette, the drummer and trumpet player from the famous funk and soul band Tower of Power. He also has had the honor of playing with Sheila E. (Escovedo) who was the drummer for Prince for many years.

Aside from being an active performer Bob has taught guitar since college. Bob caters his teaching to each individual student to make lessons more interesting, enjoyable, and meaningful. Bob seeks to empower and inspire each student to become an autonomous lifelong learner.

Barbara Ellis - ViolinBarbara Ellis, Violin

Barbara Ellis grew up just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, and started her musical career performing in the Cobb Symphony Orchestra at age 14. She is an alumna of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Nevada—Las Vegas, with additional studies at the University of Georgia and Berklee College of Music. Her violin teachers included Dr. Piotr Milewski, Jay Christy, and Dr. Laraine Kaizer-Viazovtsev. Barbara has performed in numerous orchestras, chamber music ensembles and festivals, both in the US and in Europe, with orchestral collaborations ranging from The Charlie Daniels Band to Maestro Itzhak Perlman.

Barbara has degrees in both Music and Psychology. Currently, she freelances in the Las Vegas area, including serving as Associate Principal Second Violin of the Henderson Symphony Orchestra. Barbara is passionate about both performing and teaching, and also serves as a clinician for music programs in Utah. Outside of music, Barbara is an avid hiker, and also enjoys traveling, writing, and photography.