VOICE INSTRUCTORS

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RONAN DOWLING

Piano | Voice

DENVER STUDIO & ONLINE

Ronan Dowling began playing music in Minnesota when he was 6 years old. Piano was his first instrument but he came to love singing in high school. Since then, he knew music was his ultimate passion, and attended the University of Colorado Denver to pursue a degree in Songwriting and Music Business. Ronan has written over 50 original songs and plays out with local Denver bands Fresh Fruit!, Messenger Music Collective, and Grace Divine. With only a couple years of teaching under his belt, there's still much to learn as a music educator, but he's excited for the challenge and has absolutely loved teaching up to this point. He's a firm believer that music is all about self expression. Technique and repetition are obviously important, but how does music make you feel, when your fingers touch the instrument to when the first note is played, it's all about feel and creativity.

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ANDY WHITEHEAD

Piano | Guitar | Bass | Voice | Ukulele

DENVER STUDIO & ONLINE

Andy is a guitarist and songwriter in Denver with his Bachelor's degree in Jazz Guitar Performance from the University of Northern Colorado. He has performed throughout Colorado with his band, Strange Heavens, and under his own name. He has enjoyed teaching local and online lessons to all ages for over ten years now. In addition, his articles have been featured in Classical Guitar Magazine and other online publications. Instruments he teaches include guitar, piano, voice, songwriting, bass, and ukulele.

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JENNY LELEK

Piano | Voice | Ukulele

DENVER STUDIO & ONLINE

Jenny Lelek is ecstatic about being a voice, piano, and ukulele instructor at Pirisen! She has been teaching lessons for 3 years and enjoys seeing students grow overtime by achieving their goals. Jenny is a graduate of Iowa State University, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Music Education (K-12). One of Jenny’s philosophies as a teacher is to meet each student at their level, wherever they start at, and to grow from there. She wants each of her students to enjoy learning and playing music. In her spare time, you can find Jenny hiking in the mountains, playing with her dog, or spending time with friends and family. She’s excited to meet you! 

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BENITA WANDEL

Voice

CENTENNIAL STUDIO

Benita Wandel recently moved to the Denver area from Chicago, where she was a singer, voice teacher and coach.  Ms. Wandel graduated from Northwestern University with both a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, and a Master of Music in Voice Performance.  She was a recipient of the Frederick A. Chramer Award for Excellence in Opera, and studied in Vienna, Austria at the Hochschule for Musik.

 

She was a Grand Prize winner of the Bel Canto Foundation competition, Metropolitan Opera Regional Finalist, and Lyric Opera of Chicago Center for American Artists finalist.

 

Ms. Wandel studied with Arthur Schoep at the National Opera Workshop, and was a Des Moines Metro Opera apprentice artist, performing the role of Echo in the production of “Ariadne Auf Naxos”.

 

She was a soloist in the Merrill Lynch Great Performers Series, and has performed with the Jackson Symphony, Joffrey Ballet as a vocal soloist, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Waukegan Symphony, Manchester Choral Society and Orchestra, Des Moines Metro Opera Festival, Light Opera Works, Opera Midwest and Music of the Baroque.

 

Ms. Wandel was a professional member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Music of the Baroque, Grant Park Music Festival and the Ravinia Music Festival.


 

She performed with The Broadway Review, and traveled with the group around the country singing in Industrial shows.  She also was active in the commercial jingle business.

 

Ms. Wandel has managed a private studio for many years, taught voice at New Trier HS, Winnetka, IL, and Deerfield HS, Deerfield IL where she worked until her move to this area in the spring of 2020. Past students have been accepted at classical, jazz and music theater programs at Michigan, Indiana, Northwestern, Syracuse, AMDA, Illinois, Oklahoma City, NYU, Belmont, U. of Miami, Western Michigan, Illinois Wesleyan, Oberlin and the U. of the Arts In Philadelphia.

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NATALIE GALEY*

Voice | Piano | Guitar | Littletunes | Group Piano | Group Voice

ONLINE, LITTLETON STUDIO & CENTENNIAL STUDIO

Natalie Galey is a vocalist, guitarist, pianist and educator based in Denver, Colorado. She has performed and collaborated with numerous top-name performers and ensembles, including New York Voices founding members Peter Eldridge and Darmon Meader, and studied with jazz heavy-weights Theo Bleckmann, Dave Liebman, and Jim McNeely. She has performed in both the Chicago and New York jazz and pop scene, in venues such as Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field. She uses her background in jazz, blues, and rock to bring creativity and spontaneity into her classes and believes that music should be fun first and foremost. She carries her love of music into the classroom, and encourages play, growth, and creative exploration with every song, and strives to build community and friendships through song.

 

Natalie has an equal passion for educating and performing. She received her Master of Music in Jazz Performance degree in 2011 and her Master of Music Education at Columbia University in 2013. She has had the opportunity to study under Kurt Elling, Jane Monheit, Gretchen Parlato, Rodney Whitaker, and Sunny Wilkinson. Natalie was raised in a rich musical environment, playing guitar, piano, singing, and songwriting from an early age. Her compositions are an eclectic fusion of jazz, blues, rock, and soul. As a singer of wide-ranging styles, she has established a reputation as a flexible and talented soloist, as well as a creative and reflective educator. She relocated to the Denver area and joined the Pirisen Family in July 2019.

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BRAD FURLOW

Piano  l  Violin  l  Viola | Voice | Saxophone | Flute | Clarinet | French Horn | Trumpet | Oboe | Bassoon

ONLINE & DENVER STUDIO

Brad Furlow teaches piano, voice and all band and orchestral instruments. He began studying music at the age of 5 on the piano. He began his study of instrumental music at 8 years of old on the saxophone in 3rd grade eventually expanding to include all instruments of the woodwind and brass families in his hometown of Mulkeytown, Illinois. Brad continued his study of music at the university level at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2002, he also pursued advanced study at the university level in instrumental conducting, brass pedagogy and music theory/composition. Brad continues to perform professionally as the Principal Tubist with the Aurora Symphony Orchestra and Denver Concert Band. Brad is also involved with the Denver University Pioneer Pep Band and other regional bands and orchestra on a freelance basis. Brad’s philosophy of music is that every person can be musical, it’s just finding the right instrument to bring it out. He enjoys working with students of all ages. When not teaching, performing or composing, Brad enjoys traveling with his partner, and spending time with their three Siberian Husky “kids”.

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JESSE MACLAINE

Piano | Voice

ONLINE

Jesse Maclaine Holt is a renowned mezzo soprano, pianist, composer, songwriter, producer, and instructor. In her youth, she studied classical voice, piano, musical theatre, pop, jazz, blues and world music with professionals from the Julliard School, NYU, FSU, UNO, Tulane University, Oxford University, CU Boulder and many others. She began writing songs at age 17, fell in love with jazz while studying at FSU, moved to New Orleans at age 20 to study jazz immersively and begin working full time in the music business. By age 24, she had assembled a stellar quintet, written two dozen original songs and begun recording and producing her first full length CD in collaboration with friends at RCA studios in Nashville. Jesse has dedicated her life to performing, creating music, and sharing the gift of music with students of all ages.

 

Decades of experience as a working musician combined with her extensive background in music, dance and theatre allow Jesse to craft every lesson to suit the unique interests, strengths and weaknesses of each student. Her personal experience with TMJ, anxiety, and disability issues provide unique insight for assisting students facing similar challenges. Her teaching method focuses on music fundamentals, proper form and technique as well as expanding creativity to support a healthy practice and encourage a lifelong relationship with music. She believes constructive criticism and positive reinforcement are crucial to making learning fun and ensuring music education is enjoyable for everyone!

*Denotes teachers that donate lessons for our Scholarship Program.