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JILL ADOUE, Lafargue Music School Director

Jill earned a degree in Music Education with a piano emphasis from the University of Southern Mississippi and then pursued graduate studies in Music Education with a conducting emphasis at Loyola University in New Orleans. She taught general music to students in grades Prekindergarten through eighth grade for seven years and has been teaching private piano lessons to students ranging in age from four to seventy-five since 1992. Jill is an active member of the National Federation of Music Clubs, and has served as a judge for the Federation’s Jr. Festivals held throughout south Louisiana. She is also an active member of the Music Teachers National Association, and her students routinely participate in both clubs’ many activities. Most recently, Jill began teaching the Yamaha Music Education System and the Musical Moments curriculum while directing the music school at Lafargue Pianos.

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Camilla Boles, VOICE

Camilla was raised in the culturally rich and diverse performing arts scene of Southern Oregon where she learned to love music and art in all of its forms! She has been singing and playing the piano since the age of 5. She grew up performing in choirs, theater productions and church groups and writing her own music.

Camilla graduated from Brigham Young University in Utah in 2011 with a BM in Commercial Voice. During her university studies, Camilla performed in several choirs, including an elite 8-part jazz vocal group, toured in a musical theater production and studied jazz piano with Dr. Steve Call. She also performed as a solo artist and released an album of some of her original music.

Since graduating college, Camilla has maintained a private voice and piano studio based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and developed a teaching curriculum that balances music theory and fun activities in a way that sustains a healthy excitement for learning! She also taught preschool music classes while raising two small boys at home and graduating as a pastry chef from a culinary arts program.

Camilla is thrilled to be teaching here in New Orleans and experiencing this unique and vibrant music scene! She loves working with children, teenagers and adults of all ages. She believes music should be fun and strives to instill a love and passion for music in all her students!

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ELENA BOWES, Piano

Elena Bowes was born and raised in Russia where she studied at the Zheleznodorozhniy Music School in Moscow for seven years. She currently holds a MBA degree from Moscow and a Bachelor’s degree in piano from the University of New Orleans. For the last fifteen years, she has been instructing students of all ages and levels in piano. She can assess student’s skills and musical knowledge during the initial meeting and provide appropriate instruction in music theory and instrument technique so that students can progress toward their musical goals. Elena Bowes actively participates in recitals, concerts, and works with several music directors in religious organizations in the area. She is a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs and the Music Teachers National Association.

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SYLVIA FERRERA, Violin, Music Together

Sylvia Ferrera has been studying violin since the age of 7, and playing professionally since 1991. She began her Music Education study at Loyola University and later finished at the University of New Orleans. She played on many recordings and around town with artists here in New Orleans, as well as Las Vegas and Denver during her time living in those areas. Those recordings are mainly of the rock and roll variety but also include some classical. Currently her performing is mainly limited to private chamber and solo gigs. Most recently, Sylvia has become a certified Music Together instructor and is enjoying working with the early childhood students and their caregivers. She believes music education builds a foundation of happiness and fulfillment in our lives and strives to provide that for all her students,

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ROBERT HARGROVE, Guitar

Robert is originally from South Carolina and earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree with a primary emphasis in voice and a secondary emphasis in piano from the University in South Carolina. Since graduation in 2000, Robert has divided his time between teaching and professional ministry. He has taught both in the public school system and private lessons. Robert has lived in south Louisiana since 2007 where he has taught music at Northlake Christian School in Covington and Celebration School of Fine Arts in Metairie. Robert teaches primarily guitar but is also a skilled instructor of bass guitar, voice and beginning piano.

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JEANNE-MARIE HARRIS, Piano, Voice

Jeanne-Marie Harris has been singing since the age of 7, taking private voice lessons. She was a member of various choirs, including the New Orleans Children’s Choir and the Louisiana All-State Children’s Choir. As a member of Louisiana Kids, she performed and competed at the regional, state & national level, as well as at numerous fairs, festivals, weddings, and other events around New Orleans.

Jeanne-Marie is a recent graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she received a Bachelors of Music degree in Commercial Voice with an emphasis in Music Business. She has been trained in both classical and commercial vocal styles, and can teach proper vocal techniques for all types of music. After gaining her degree, Jeanne-Marie stayed in Nashville to follow opportunities in the music industry. She worked at a music publishing company and an entertainment based PR firm, where she explored her own songwriting skills and learned more about the music business and the art of developing the sound, image, and stage presence of new artists.

Jeanne-Marie recently moved back to New Orleans and is merging into the music scene as a local singer & performer. She teaches voice and beginner piano at Lafargue Pianos and is extremely eager to share what she has learned about music with her own students. She strives to leave them with the joy, confidence, and love she has found in music.

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KRISTEN HATTEN, Yamaha Music School

Kristen Hatten, although born in New Orleans, grew up in Ruston, north Louisiana, where she began taking piano lessons at the age of nine. Originally begun at the desire of her parents, piano lessons quickly captivated Kristen and she knew that music was something she wanted to pursue. Kristen has been playing the piano and making music ever since. While still in high school, Kristen began teaching her own private students and discovered a new passion – teaching music. In addition to running her own studio, Kristen actively competed on the local and state level throughout her school years, served as a church musician, played for college graduations and weddings, and was a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs and Music Teachers National Association.

Kristen attended Louisiana Tech University on a piano scholarship where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance. While there, Kristen accompanied the Louisiana Tech Concert Choir and Chamber singers and performed with them in Austria at the International Mozart Festival.

Kristen returned to New Orleans in 2012 and is currently serving as the church organist at All Saints Catholic Church in Algiers, teaching private students, and is a member of the New Orleans Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association. Kristen is excited to join the LaFargue team as a Yamaha instructor and share her 15 years of teaching experience and love of music with new students.

Lisa Hooper, CELLO

Lisa Hooper has been playing cello and studying music since she was nine years old. After picking up her instrument in public grade school, Lisa quickly began studying with the principal cellist of the Hartford Symphony, Jeffrey Krieger and later with Laura Kane, faculty member at the University of Hartford. She studied cello with Kim Cook at Penn State where she received her BA in cello performance. Lisa then went on to complete her master's degree in musicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign followed by a master of library science with a specialization in music librarianship at Indiana University. Over the course of her academic and professional career, Lisa has embraced musical education as a way of life and has worked to fulfill this belief through teaching cello, guest lecturing, and ensuring researchers and performers have physical and intellectual access to musical resources. Lisa is also the music librarian at Tulane University and serves on the boards of Birdfoot Festival and the New Orleans Chamber Orchestra.

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BONNIE KNOWLES, Voice

Bonnie Knowles attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where she received Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in vocal performance. Ms. Knowles is a member of the the National Association of Teachers of Singing (Southern Region), the Metairie Music Club (affiliated with the National Federation of Music Clubs) and the American Guild of Musical Artists.

She has sung with the New Orleans Opera Chorus since 1985 and has performed leading roles in musical theatre at many New Orleans area venues including Le Petit Theatre and Rivertown Repertory Theatre. In 2001, she founded Shoestring Players, a touring company that presents original children’s theatre production in parishes throughout southern and central Louisiana.

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DR CHIA-HSING LIN, Piano

Dr. Chia-Hsing Lin has received his Doctor of Musical Arts from University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Currently, he is a piano instructor at Lafargue Music School and a Piano Faculty member at the University of New Orleans Music Department.

Dr. Lin is the winner of the International Arlington Competition, the OMTA Piano competition, the Taipei Philharmonic Piano Competition, the First Taiwan Concerto Competition, and the Taiwan National Piano Competitions.

Dr. Lin’s recent performance activities include Moisés Kaufman's"33 Variations", a Broadway Hit and recipient of 2014 New Orleans Big Easy Awards. In addition, a fundraising concert for Blackwater Methodist Church Choir to perform at the Lincoln Center in New York, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art performance, French Quarter Festival, Bach Around the Clock Marathon Concert at Trinity Church, the Saint Louis Cathedral performance, Deutsches Haus performance, Snug Harbor performance, WWLTV (CBS affiliates) performance, an opening concert of the autumn season in the Arlington Philharmonic Concert Series, Music 2007 Festival, Grandin Festivals, Chicago Flute Club Competition, Indiana State University 43rd Contemporary Music festival (Midwest premier of a new Piano Concerto by Judith L. Zaimont, Composer and Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient), 2011 CCM Bassoon Concerto Competitions as well as the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, broadcast live on WFMT. He has performed as soloist with the Central Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing, the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, the National Institute of the Arts Chamber Orchestra, the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra, and Indiana State University Music Band.

As an advocate of contemporary music, Dr. Lin has collaborated on both chamber and vocal works by Samuel Zyman, Christopher Mayo, Michael Ippolito, Laurie Anderson, Lee Hoiby, Jake Heggie, and others. In 2006, he was recognized as the best accompanist in the Grandin Festival. He has performed in master classes for leading musicians such as Alan Chow, Barry Snyder, James Tocco, Les Noumov, William Winstead, Kenneth Griffiths, Donna Loewy, Warren Jones, Jake Heggie, and Sergio Fiorentino. His past teachers include Sung-Jen Hsu (A renowned conductor, pianist and musicologist in Taiwan), Mei-Ling Wang, Boris Lvov, Sergio Fiorentino, William Black, and Frank Weinstock (2010-2011, Dean of University of Cincinnati, CCM)

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STUART MCNAIR, Piano, Guitar

Stuart McNair began taking formal piano lessons at the age of eight. He studied and performed throughout High School in Church and school competitions, then went on to study piano, voice, trumpet, and music theory at the University of Alabama.

After college, Stuart spent many years traveling around America and Europe as a performer. He moved to New Orleans in 2013 and now studies and performs traditional jazz full time, while also providing sacred music for a local churches.

Stuart has taught students of all ages at school and workshops around the country, and has developed a unique technique for teaching piano. He enjoys finding fun and engaging ways to teach music theory, the amazing framework that underlies all music, along the way.

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ERIC MERCHANT, Guitar

Eric began teaching himself the guitar as a teenager. He earned a Bachelor degree in Music Technology at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where he developed a love for jazz and continued his studies both in and out of school. He received his Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans, and continues to perform and teach in New Orleans.

Eric is a gifted and patient teacher with a thorough knowledge of the guitar and its role in all styles of music. As an avid lover of diverse styles of music, he encourages students to cultivate their own unique interests. Eric believes in the importance of understanding and appreciating music through listening and thinking, and helps students apply this knowledge to the guitar.

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John Noel, Violin

John earned his degree in music performance from Loyola University in New Orleans with a focus in viola and violin. Along with teaching string orchestra and violin classes in the New Orleans charter school system and working with youth orchestras in Louisiana and Virginia, he has been teaching private lessons for eight years with students from five years old to students in their senior years. He has also participated in music events and festivals across the east coast such as the Philadelphia International Music Festival and Brevard Music Festival. Originally from Virginia, John has studied American and Celtic styles of playing along with classical and is an avid proponent of incorporating multiple genres and styles of music to educate, encourage, and inspire his students.

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MATT OCCHIPINTI, Piano

A life long student of music, Matt began his studies at the age of 10. Since then he has formed a heart felt connection with music that will stay with him for life. Matt holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree from the University of Texas at Arlington where he graduated Magna cum Laude and a Master of Music degree from the University of New Orleans. At UTA Matt performed in various Latin, jazz, and big band ensembles on both piano and drum set. While completing his Associates of Arts degree in music from Collin College in Texas, Matt gained experience performing on drum set in small group jazz combos and several vocal ensembles. While at UNO he taught group piano classes for freshman music majors and also held a full accompanying schedule. He is the recipient of numerous scholastic and performance based awards, has over 10 years of performing experience, and has 5 years of teaching experience. Most recently, Matt has begun teaching the Musical Moments curriculum to adult beginners on piano at Lafargue Music School.

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Leonardo Santos, PIANO

Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Mr. Santos is a dedicated and accomplished musician and teacher. He holds Bachelor's degrees in theology and piano performance as well as Master degrees for arts in music, piano performance, piano pedagogy, and church music. He has studied at the Seminario Teologico Betel and Universidade Federal do Estado in Rio de Janeiro as well as Campbellsville University, the University of Louisville, and the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Currently, Mr. Santos is a DMA student at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as well as a private piano instructor. He has been teaching both private and class piano since 2001.

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WILL THOMPSON, Piano, Guitar

Will Thompson is a professional pianist and composer, performing mainly as a jazz pianist in recent years. He is a certified music teacher and has taught in various public school districts as the music and choir director. For the past 12 years, Will has also been a private and group piano instructor. His philosophy of piano instruction emphasizes a personal approach to each student’s skill level, desire, and learning style. He strongly employs reading, theory and ear training in all lessons. Will has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Jazz Studies, Piano Performance, and a Master’s degree from the University of New Orleans.

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MERYL ZIMMERMAN, Music Together

Meryl is a singer from Long Island, NY. After living in New York City for 7 years, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of moving to New Orleans in the summer of 2012. Meryl earned her M.M. in Jazz Voice from Manhattan School of Music in 2009. She enjoys singing many styles of music, and currently gigs around town with her traditional jazz band, The Reboppers. Meryl has worked with children for many years, and currently serves as the religious school director at Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation in Metairie. She taught Music Together off and on in NYC from 2005-2011, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach this amazing program again in her new adopted city.