Bradley Allen, BM, BME
Director, Voice/Singing, Piano
Brad began studying piano at age five, singing at church by age eight, and playing trumpet and singing in high school musicals at age eleven. He participated in marching band, show choir, concert choir, musicals, jazz band, 4-H Band, recitals, and the garage band Identity Crisis. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education from The Ohio State University, where he studied with professors Dr. Loretta Robinson and Dr. Robin Rice. While attending OSU he participated and had solos in University Choir, Symphonic Choir, Men’s Glee Club, Chorale and University Repertoire Band. He was active in the OSU theatre department as an actor, stage crew hand, workshop tech, soundboard operator, sound designer and assistant stage manager. He also studied with vocal pedagogue Dr. Paul Kiesgan from Indiana University. He has national and international performance experience and has performed professionally locally with Columbus Light Opera, Weathervane Playhouse, and the Cantari Singers. His experiences range from teaching German diction in Sevilla, Spain to singing the world premiere of a new vocal work in Columbus. Teaching trumpet, piano, and voice since 1997, Brad has loved music for as long as he can remember and believes that learning is fun, music is universal and love is contagious! Brad is happily married to Dr. Helen Allen and has four children- Graham, Christopher, Hannah, and William. He has been a teacher at Encore Music Studios since 2011 and Director since 2016.
Helen Allen, DMA
Soprano, Helen Allen, a native of Yellow Springs, OH, is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where she earned a BM, MM and DMA in vocal performance. Dr. Allen has worked with such noted artists as Shirlee Emmons, Warren Jones, Håkan Hagegård, Mark Rucker and Martina Arroyo. Some of her title roles include those in Die Zauberflöte, Mavra, Gianni Schicchi, La Cenerentola, Don Giovanni and Fidelio. Locally, Dr. Allen has appeared with Columbus Light Opera, Opera Columbus Outreach, Westerville Symphony Orchestra, and Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra. She has made numerous appearances as a soloist in such works as Messiah, Poulenc’s Gloria,Laud to the Nativity, Carmina Burana, and Benedicite. Dr. Allen has received awards for her participation in both state and national competitions and has adjudicated competitions for young singers as well. Recently, she appeared in a series of recitals with Dr. Allen McCullough, premiering the composer’s new works via a NEA grant in corroboration with Chamber Music Yellow Springs, performing around Central Ohio. Additional collaborative recitals and premieres ensued at Mercer University and Purdue University. Dr. Allen currently serves as a member of the voice faculty at Otterbein University, a position she has held since 2001. She resides in Columbus, OH, with her husband and four children.
Eliana Abraham comes to Columbus from Dallas, TX where she has attended SMU for undergrad. Her favorite past-time is going to any live music event, whether that be at a major concert venue or at a jazz hall. She has played the acoustic guitar for seven years and especially enjoys Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and country artists. Eliana led SMU’s tradition programming organization as President during her senior year, organizing vendors, contracts, checks, and other administrative duties. She most recently worked as a Front Desk Receptionist at a local fitness studio. Eliana is incredibly excited to be a part of the Encore Music Studios team!
Anita, MM, DMA
Violin, Collaborative Piano
Violinist and Pianist Yi Chieh Anita Chiu is a native of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. At age 4 she began studying the piano and the violin. She served as concertmaster at the National FHSH symphony orchestra, NTUA symphony orchestra, and BGSU Philharmonia. Ms. Chiu is currently pursuing a DMA degree in Violin Performance at The Ohio State University where she studies with Dr. Kia-Hui Tan.
Ms. Chiu holds Masters degrees in Violin Performance and Collaborative Piano from Bowling Green State University where she studied with Dr. Penny Kruse and Dr. Solungga Liu. A recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Studio and Creative Arts Award at BGSU, Ms. Chiu won the first prize in the graduate division in the 2015 Douglas Wayland Chamber Music Competition.
Ms. Chiu performs regularly with Springfield Symphony Orchestra and Lima Symphony Orchestra where she serves as assistant concertmaster. She was also hired as a violin mentor for the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra during the 2016-17 season. Ms. Chiu has many experiences working in orchestras as well as in chamber ensemble. She was awarded the graduate string quartet assistantship at Bowling Green State University. She also joined a piano trio as a violinist and a euphonium and tuba trio as a pianist during her time in Bowling Green, Ohio. Her participation and performances in the new music ensemble were also highly recognized by faculties and guest composers. Ms. Chiu is currently a doctoral candidate at the Ohio State University. Besides teaching private lessons, she also serves as the concertmaster at the Ohio State University Symphony Orchestra playing solos when needed.
Suzuki Piano, Voice/Singing
Mary's interest and career in vocal music began under the instruction of Larry Weaver and Michele Horsefield-Carney of Central Ohio. Originally from Grandview, OH, Mary performed with the Grandview Singers and won notoriety for her solo performance of "Swinging on a Star", that she bravely performed while swinging on a large star suspended 20 feet above the audience. Mary received her Bachelors of General Studies in Musical Theater and Masters in Communication with focus on Radio Television Production and the Performing Arts from Ohio University in Athens, OH. Mary put together the Daley-Moore Singers who performed at local and national events such as America Sings. She completed her Suzuki Piano Pedagogy with Mary Craig Powell of Capital University. Mary has received a teacher enrichment grant from OMTA to study special needs and learning styles and serves as a faculty coach for CMC of Worthington, OH. She is the music specialist at Central Ohio Christian Academy and Preschool and has served as judge for Scale Olympics and Indiana Show Choir Festivals.
Wei-Yi Sun, a native of Taichung, Taiwan, was Awarded her Doctorate in Piano Performance at The Ohio State University School of Music studying under Professor Steven Glaser. She earned her Master of Music degree from Indiana University. As an active performer, Wei-Yi has performed worldwide including solo recitals in Taiwan (National Taichung Theatre), the United States, and at many international music festivals in Italy and France. Wei-Yi is not only a solo and collaborative artist but a dedicated teacher. She was a Graduate Teaching Associate in the School of Music where she taught both music and non-music majors for three years and continues to teach private lessons. Recently, she has won many prizes including the first prize in the Women in Music Scholarship Competition, first prize in the OhioMTA Graves Piano Competition, and gold medal winner in the Forte International Music Competition at Carnegie Hall, New York.
Guitar, Bass Guitar
Ricky Feria began playing the guitar at age 10. He began his performing experience when he was a young teenager playing in various groups as both a guitarist and drummer. He is a versatile guitarist and specializes in blues and rock guitar. Ricky also plays the drum set, bass guitar, piano and sings. He has a very extensive touring experience having performed on the same bills as some very well known national acts such as The Marcus King Band, Matisyahu, Les Claypool and many more. This has earned Ricky a string endorsement with string manufacturer Black Diamond Strings as well as a big recognition in the regional music scene. Ricky started teaching guitar 6 years ago and has had over 200 students ranging from beginner to advanced levels, including working with children in Dublin and Worthington City Schools, and at The Boys and Girls Club of Columbus. Ricky has been a music producer for over 7 years and has recorded several albums and EPs. Ricky is very passionate about music and enjoys sharing that passion with his students.
Voice/Singing, Vocal Pedagogy
Fitzgerald St Louis is a Baritone born on the Island of Dominica. He obtained his undergraduate degree in vocal performance at the Middle Tennessee State University and continued on to get his graduate degree at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University under the tutelage of William Sharp and Dr. Stanley Cornett. As a soloist, he's performed in Switzerland with the Lucern Festival Orchestra under the Baton of Sir Simon Rattle, Italy and Austria. At Peabody he was the recipient of the prestigious Raymond G Ziegler Endowed Scholarship.
Guitar, Bass, Ukulele
Olivia Conley is a guitarist from Cleveland, Ohio. She began her journey at Lakeland Community where she completed high school credit as a college student. During this time, she immersed herself into folk, country-jazz, and blues music with a developed emphasis on acoustic fingerpicking. Olivia is now a senior at Otterbein University studying to receive a Bachelors of Music with a concentration in jazz guitar. Her jazz studies have allowed her to blossom as a solo guitarist as she combines her love of fingerstyle guitar and jazz harmony into creative chord melodies in both electric and acoustic guitar. Olivia also performs in the Otterbein jazz band where she continues to expand her big band repertoire. Beyond guitar, she loves music theory and composition and combines the two interests by composing her own digital music. She believes that music has no limitations and is passionate about helping students along their musical journey. Olivia’s teaching style aims to build a student’s confidence by creating a fun and supportive learning environment.
Laura began playing piano at age 7, singing in choirs at age 11, and playing the pipe organ for her local church at age 13. After catching the music bug through dedicated high school music instructors, she majored in music at Concordia University Nebraska and has since pursued a career in church music and music instruction. She is a prizewinner in pipe organ competitions in 2014, 2015, and 2017 and is an accomplished vocalist and pianist. Laura has a special interest in global music. She is currently studying Hindustani classical music and plans to move to South Asia one day. Having experienced firsthand the transformative power of encouraging, knowledgeable music instruction, Laura desires to empower every student to know that they are musical and have unique gifts to bring to the world.
Piano Performance, Music Theory
Evan McAuley is a recent graduate of Ohio University School of Music, where he received his Masters of Music in Music History and Literature. He received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Capital University in 2018, and his Masters of Music in Piano Pedagogy/ Performance from OU in 2020.
Evan is active in applied research, evident from his presentations at Capital’s Undergraduate Research Symposium in 2018 (titled “Teaching Music in the 21st Century: The Implementation of Technology into Popular Music Pedagogy Methods”) and at the MTNA Piano Pedagogy Symposium in 2020 (titled “What I Learned About Group Piano Teaching from Playing Video Games: Teaching Takeaways from MMORPGs”). Additionally, his most recent Masters in Music History and Literature focused on the piano works of Bulgarian composer Pancho Vladigerov, in the hopes of bringing his multifaceted piano pieces to the forefront of advanced and collegiate repertoire. During his time at OU, he was an active member of OU’s MTNA collegiate chapter, serving as their Treasurer for two years.
Brass, Piano, Voice
Chris Hines is a Columbus-based educator, performer and arranger. A versatile educator, he has taught band, choir and Advanced Placement music theory. He is also on the brass education team at the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps in Casper, Wyoming. In addition to working with several marching bands in the Columbus area, Chris enjoys an exciting performing career. As a jazz trombonist Chris has shared the stage with such players as Jiggs Whigham, Bill Watrous and Paul Ferguson and has been an arranger for Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra. Chris is also a member of the Largemouth Brass Band and the Brooklyn Ludlow Future Jazz Project. As a Euphonium player, Chris is a member of the first section NABBA champions, the Dublin Silver Band.
Chris is a graduate of Capital University where he attained a degree in Music Education. A firm believer in Kodály pedagogy, he has studied at the Kodály School of the Franz Liszt Academy of music in Kesckemét, Hungary. After doing extensive research on the positive effects the Kodály philosophy has on brass players, his research was selected to be presented at the Nation Conference on Undergraduate Research in 2015. Highly engaged in the realm of drum corps and marching band from an early age, Hines’ marching experiences include one year with the Glassmen and three years with the world champion Bluecoats.
Dasha started piano lessons when she just turned five, studying under Nina Polonsky. By 6, Dasha began to show interest in composition and composed many piano pieces throughout her childhood and teenage years. She also began to sing at church at 3 years old. She never took formal training for her vocal skills but performed with many different choirs growing up. Starting in high school, at Gahanna Lincoln Dasha participated in the theatre program, performed in the freshman choir and concert choir, at the same time she once more began her piano studies with another teacher. Marina Arishina helped Dasha to build up a repertoire to audition at Otterbein and make it into the music program. Through her years at Otterbein, studying under Dr. Nick Ross for piano, Dr. Jennifer Merkowitz for composition and Dr. Suzanne Newcombe for chamber, Dasha participated in an avante-garde music group, Concert Choir, Women's Chorale, an a cappella pop and jazz choral group, featured with the orchestra, multiple chamber groups, and collaborated with many different groups of people and styles for her compositions.
Starting her second year at Otterbein, Dasha began to teach her own piano students. Following her graduation, Dasha mainly turned her attention towards building up the musical repertoire and caliber at her own church with her youth group and her piano students. She has been able to use what she has learned to arrange and teach basic choral skills to improve the overall sound. Music has held an important part in Dasha's life and teaching is one of the ways Dasha is able to share that with others. Dasha tries to instill discipline and effort into all of her students, mixed with wonder towards the music they may be playing or creating themselves. She enjoys seeing the excitement her students show and hold towards their own studies and seeing them grow in their own skills and personally.
Drums, Guitar, Piano
A New York native, Jake began playing drums at the age of five. He quickly took to school jazz bands and eventually solidified his seat in county and state-wide jazz ensembles. He went on to study jazz percussion under Jim Rupp at The Ohio State University School of Music, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts. He has been teaching privately since 2016.
Throughout his professional career, Jake has studied under the direction of various world-class musicians including Andy Farber, Charles Starling, and Michael Davis, and has performed on various notable stages including Eastman Theatre, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and The Tilles Center. He is now performing locally with neo-soul groups Honey and Blue and The Ghosts' Isle, as well as the KRBC Worship Team.
Acoustic, Electric, Classical Guitar, Ukulele
Matt first started playing guitar at 12 years old. He quickly fell in love with the instrument and would spend hours each day practicing. After a few years of playing, Matt had the opportunity to attend Appomattox Regional Governors School for the Arts and Technology. While there he started studying music theory and played in a small jazz ensemble. He then continued his education at Liberty University, where he earned a Bachelors of Science in Music and Worship. Throughout his time as a musician, Matt has always loved playing in and directing local church bands. Matt is recently married and new to the Columbus area.
Kylie BME, BM in progress
Flute, Voice, Piano
Kylie Stadler, originally from Mount Vernon, OH, is currently studying at Otterbein University to complete degrees in Music Education and Flute Performance. Kylie began playing flute in middle school, developing a love for teaching and music throughout high school. While in high school, Kylie was the principal chair for the Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra for two years while studying with MVNU professor, Jenny Packard. At Otterbein University, Kylie has been a member of a variety of Otterbein’s ensembles, playing flute and piccolo in the wind ensemble, jazz band, marching band, pep band, and flute ensemble. Kylie has had the opportunity to perform solo repertoire for the annual Canal Winchester Concert in 2022 and at the concert honoring Otterbein’s Vernon Pack Scholar in Residence and American composer, Libby Larsen. Kylie has had the honor of receiving both the Olive S. Cook award and the Ellen M. Jones Memorial award regarding her work in the music department. Kylie is the current president elect of the Otterbein chapter of the Ohio Collegiate Music Educators Association as well as the Director of Musical Activities for the Otterbein chapter of Delta Omicron, a music service fraternity.
Voice being her secondary instrument, Kylie is a soprano, singing in Otterbein University’s Concert Choir and studying with Dr. Helen Allen. Prior to college, Kylie was largely involved in her high school theatre and choir and briefly studied with Elizabeth Barret. While at Otterbein, Kylie has been invited on two occasions to perform as a vocalist for Otterbein University Jazz Band. Outside of school, she is a substitute flautist for the Westerville Symphony Orchestra. In her spare time, Kylie enjoys sketching, gardening, and spending time with the people she loves.
Saxophone, Piano, Voice
Olayemi is a Saxophonist, Composer and Educator. Born in Oyo state, Olayemi was raised in Oyo town, an inland state in south-western Nigeria. Born into a musically prone family, he was exposed to various styles of music from a very early age beginning with the church choir and initiated into classical singing by his father who is an organist in a Methodist Church. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano and Saxophone Performance, Dip Music in classical saxophone performance. The traditional music across Nigeria and jazz has been a major influence and process to finding his own voice after being exposed to learning African musical instruments such as Dundun, Agbe, Bata drum, Sakara drum, Gudugudu, Agogo, Omele bata, Bembe and Saworo. He belongs to the category of musicians whose sound can be traced to the spiritual conceptualization of music, and always seek to reflect the possibilities that transcend beyond the earthly realm.
Many describe Olayemi as genuine and passionate. He has a youthful, energetic teaching style that works well with most students. Olayemi’s creativity and patience allow him to help his students grasp tough concepts and improve at a faster rate than they would on their own. He is currently concluding his Masters degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance at Longy School of Music in Boston under the tutelage of Noah Preminger and Eric Hofbauer. He founded a quartet and looking forward to record his debut album.
Bass Guitar, Guitar, Voice, Piano, Saxophone
David began playing piano at 12 years old in his father's church. His passion for music was so great, he took lessons from his brother and started learning different instruments. At age 17, a missionary sent David to Paris, France to learn the theory of music. Five years later he joined a traveling band called "Ram" where he played bass guitar. He traveled to England, France, The United States, Haiti, and other countries playing guitar for the group Fasil as well. At age 30, David moved from Haiti to the United States and began playing at a Country Cafe in Bozeman, Montana. He later joined the Church of New Revelation in Miami, Florida where he was music director. At age 38, David moved to Columbus, Ohio where he became music director of House of Safety Church and gave guitar, piano, and voice lessons. David now produces music from home and helps others in his free time.
Dr. Alexander Sanso holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts from The Ohio State University. He received his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music where he double majored in music education and performance, along with a minor in jazz studies. After attending Potsdam, Sanso went on to receive his master’s degree from Bowling Green State University in music performance. Alexander has had the pleasure of studying with Dr. James Madeja (Crane School of Music), Charles Saenz (Bowling Green State University), Timothy Leasure (The Ohio State University), Byron Stripling (The Ohio State University), and Dr. John Charles Thomas (Assistant Principal trumpet, Hartford Symphony).
Sanso has performed with the Columbus (Ohio), Lima (Ohio), and Adrian (Michigan) symphony orchestras and can be heard on the Bowling Green Wind Symphony’s 2018 album as a section and principal player. While at Bowling Green, Sanso was a member of the Graduate Brass Quintet, coached by Dr. Andrew Pelletier. Beginning in the Fall of 2021 Sanso joined the faculty of Bowling Green State University as an adjunct professor of trumpet.
Natalie, BA in progress
Piano, Violin, Composition
Natalie Hu, a Westerville, OH native, is a pianist, violinist, and composer. She began studying piano at age 4, violin at age 9, and writing music at age 14. Throughout high school, she participated in the string orchestra playing violin, and in the pit orchestra playing piano.
Natalie is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music at Otterbein University with a concentration in piano. She currently studies piano under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Ross, violin with Dr. Juan Carlos Ortega Paredes, and composition with Dr. Jennifer Merkowitz. At Otterbein, Natalie is a member of a string quintet, a piano chamber ensemble, and the OtterCap orchestra. She is a recipient of the Frances Harris Memorial Endowed award for pianists in Otterbein's Music Department. Natalie has also had the opportunity of working with Otterbein’s 2022 Vernon Pack Scholar in Residence and American composer, Libby Larsen.
Drums, Marimba, Xylophone
LingLing has more than 15 years of teaching experience for percussion in several music studios and universities in Taiwan and the US. She was a teaching/graduate assistant at Ohio University and Morehead State University from 2011-2017. Not only has she taught solo techniques and percussion ensemble skills for percussion-majored students, but she also has experience with teaching non-percussion major students the basic knowledge and techniques of percussion. In addition, she believes that it is important to build a strong fundamental foundation in order to develop advanced techniques for future playing.