"...let the children of Zion
rejoice in their King.
Let them praise His name with
dancing with drums and harp, let them make music
to Him..."

Tehillim 149:2

Faculty

Anna Najoom - Anna Najoom leads a diverse musical career performing and teaching throughout the Midwest. She is a member of the Sapphire Woodwind Quintet, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and Chicago Clarinet Ensemble. She performs regularly with area orchestras including Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Rockford Symphony, Chicago Philharmonic, and Chicago Folks Operetta. Najoom is on faculty at the Kinor Child Resource Center, Merit School of Music, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Summer Academy at University of Illinois at Chicago, and maintains a large private studio across Chicago metropolitan area. Najoom holds a Bachelor of Music from Lawrence University, and Master of Music from University of Minnesota where she studied with Burt Hara, principal of the Minnesota Orchestra.

Kim Fleuchaus - has been heard on commercials, radio, and several albums in a wide range of styles. As an orchestral musician, she has performed with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Philharmonic, the CUBE Ensemble, and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, among others. She has appeared as soloist with the South Carolina Philharmonic, New Millennium Orchestra, Colorado Springs Youth Symphony, and the Millennium Chamber Players. In 2003 she won first prize winner in the Chicago Flute Clubs Orchestra Excerpts Competition. A dedicated chamber musician, she performs with guitarists, harpists, string players, and The Sapphire Winds Woodwind Quintet. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Flute Performance with honors from Northwestern University, where she studied with Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians Walfrid Kujala and Richard Graef. She also holds a Masters Degree in Ethnomusicology with an emphasis in Middle Eastern Music from Bethel University. (St. Paul, MN). Ms. Sopata is adjunct professor of flute and World Music at Trinity College and maintains a large private studio in Evanston. In 2011 she won first prize in the Blocki Flute Method Teacher’s Competition. She is a frequent adjudicator for flute competitions in the area and has contributed articles to Flute Talk Magazine and the Chicago Flute Club Pipeline.

Alyssa Marcy - private guitar instructor. Originally from Upstate New York, Alyssa has played classical guitar since the age of ten. She studied at the Hochstein and Eastman Schools of Music in Rochester, NY before moving to Chicago to attend DePaul University as Classical Guitar Performance Major. Currently, Alyssa is involved with the DePaul Guitar Ensemble, Concert Choir, and African Ensemble and also gives guitar and vocal lessons. In addition to working as full-time student, she oversees a student-run Soundscape Ecology group called Chicago Wildsounds that focuses on interdisciplinary conversation between art and science. Her teaching methods, in addition to the Suzuki method, concentrate on discovering the way in which each individual can learn efficiently while finding joy in their instrument.

Michelle Horvath - private harp instructor, is a classically trained harpist of over sixteen years. She has studied under acclaimed performers at the University of Michigan, and the California Institute of the Arts. Striving for versatility and creative innovation, Michelle pursued the study of Jazz and Improvisation. Michelle was a member of the Creative Arts Orchestra during her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, and Vinny Golia’s Big Band during her graduate studies at CalArts. She is currently a dedicated performer and teacher of harp, music theory, and improvisation to her expanding Chicago studio. In her teaching, Ms.Horvath emphasizes nurturing the individuality of each student and celebrating every accomplishment.

Michelle Ferguson - private piano/djembe/guitar instructor – In addition to teaching privately, Michelle is the early childhood music teacher and leader of the World Music Drumming club for 1st – 4th graders at Roycemore School in Evanston, IL. She is also the stage management mentor for student stage managers in the theatre department at New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL. Originally from Houston, TX, her passion for music began as a child and she has always been fascinated with its ability to heal and lower stress levels. While in TX, she received a bachelor of arts in theatre with secondary certification in both Theatre and English and then had a brief career as an Equity Stage Manager. Michelle lives in Skokie, IL with her husband and two young children and is currently pursuing a degree in music education at Northeastern Illinois University. As the Service Coordinator for NEIU’s chapter of the National Association for Music Educators, she tries to uncover ways that the chapter can give back to the community. She loves teaching and hopes to help her students find the same joy and solace she has found in music.


Daniel Crane - group / private drum insstructor, Daniel began playing drums at age 11. At 18 he toured Europe with The Mellowtones playing the prestigious Montreaux and Umbria Jazz festivals. He studied at Lawrence University under a music scholarship to learn with Dane Richeson, one of the foremost world percussion instructors. Here he studied Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian, and West-African rhythms. Daniel started playing professionally at 18 in Chicago. He also spent time in Sao Paulo, Brazil where he studied Brazilian drumming with several masters. Daniel has performed on national tours with bands Hugo, Ode, and Eyes Manouche. Since 2001, Daniel has performed extensively in the Chicago—area with award winning bands. He started and plays in the New York Times acclaimed band Eyes Manouche that won a national film contest for cultural diversity through a short film documentary. Currently he teaches at multiple community music centers including Kinor Center and Connely Studio Pro. among others. His approach in teaching focuses on finding a way to engage each child by making the learning experience fun.

Zhanna Bullock  - private violin / viola instructor. Was born and raised in ST.-Petersburg, Russia, where she graduated from Rimsky-Korsakov St.-Petersburg State Conservatory. She has worked with the St.-Petersburg State Conservatory Opera and Ballet Theatre and performed with various chamber and symphony orchestras. Being passionate about chamber music, Zhanna has worked with various ensembles such as the Nevsky Piano Trio, Baltic String Quartet, Astoria String Quartet, Violet String Quartet. For the past 10 years she had been working with “Zazerkalie” State Opera Theatre. In December of 2010 Zhanna moved to Chicago. Currently works with Redtwist Theatre (2012 Joseph Jefferson Award for achievements in Artistic Specialization as Music Coach), Chicago Music Academy, Kinor Resource Center , Upbeat Music School as a violin/viola teacher.