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Our Instructor Bios

Colorado School of Music Staff 2013

Alison Albright – piano and brass instruments In addition to her experience as a performer, Alison has been teaching for eight years, with experience as a private instructor and also as a band director for grades five through twelve. She has been playing the piano for 19 years and the euphonium for 16 years, having studied both privately from elementaryschool through college. Alison received her Bachelor of Music degreein Music Education from St. Olaf College in 2007 and has recently received her Masters degree in Euphonium Performance from the Lamont School of Music, University of Denver. Teaching with the Colorado School of Music since 2009, Allison works with students of all ages and emphasizes note reading and musicality.

Ashley Brandin – violin and viola Ashley Brandin has been studying the violin for seventeen years. A Colorado native, Ashley studied in Boulder Suzuki Strings with Sue Levine and William Starr. Beginning in 2005, she attended the University of Northern Colorado, where she studied with Richard Fuch and graduated Summa cum Laude with her Music Education degree in 2009. While at UNC, Ashley participated in several music ensembles, including: String Trio, String Quartet, Concert Choir, and University Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, where she acted as co-concertmaster in 2008-2009. Ashley was the winner of the 2009 University of Northern Colorado Concerto Competition, performing the Shostakovich First Violin Concerto. While participating in UNC ensembles, Ashley was able to tour to Spain with the University Symphony Orchestra in 2005 and to Colombia with Juventus Choir in 2007. Ashley has taught students of all the elementary, secondary, and college level. She instructed beginning violinists with Boulder Suzuki Strings and teaches the String Methods course for undergraduate students at the University of Denver. Ashley is currently the orchestra director at Platt Middle School, Douglas Elementary, Creekside Elementary, Heatherwood Elementary and Eisenhower Elementary and is simultaneously pursuing her Masters in Music Education at the University of Colorado.

Dean Cutinelli – guitar, bass guitar, ukulele Dean has been a musician for over 30 years and has been performing professionally since the age of 15. Dean studied music at Columbia College and Harper College in Chicago, and earned a degree from the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles. Over the last 25 years, Dean has had extensive personal and teaching experience in music theory, composition, improvisation, and performance, and specializes in modern styles including Blues, Jazz, Rock, Folk, Pop, Funk, Metal, Country, and R&B. Dean co-founded the Colorado School of Music in 2007 and continues to compose and play professionally. Dean’s band, ‘Red Line Radio’, performs in Colorado on a weekly basis.

Travis Daudert – piano and guitar Travis Daudert graduated with a Masters degree in Jazz Studies from San Diego State University in 2010 after earning an Associates’ Degree in Classical Guitar Performance from Grossmont College and a Bachelor’s from San Diego State University, Summa Cum Laude. An experienced professional freelance musician and instructor, Travis teaches all styles of music as well as music theory, standard notation, tablature, songs and songwriting. ‘I strive to communicate my enthusiasm for music and to help students gain the skills required to become a successful musician.’

Sydney Heptig – piano Sydney has extensive experience in teaching private music lessons and in bi-lingual education, including time spent teaching piano in Costa Rica! She studied piano for 11 years under concert pianist Alfred Teltschik and later under Dr. Bruce Murray at Brevard College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a minor in Spanish. Sydney joined the Colorado School of Music in 2010. Experienced with students of all ages and ability levels, Sydney emphasizes proper form and technique, and specializes in classical piano.

Kirk Vollack – vocal music and piano A graduate of the University of Colorado, Kirk was performing professionally at the age of fifteen and has spent most of his life on stage, including over ten years of full-time professional experience. Kirk has worked in many capacities in the music business and enjoys helping young performers get their start. He teaches voice to students of all ages, specializing in Broadway and modern styles with an emphasis on stage singing and performance. His piano instruction focuses on enjoyment, specializing in modern styles, theory and improvisation. Kirk also offers voice coaching for audition preparation. Since co-founding the Colorado School of Music in 2007, Kirk has been teaching full-time and writing.

Jeremy Wendelin – saxophone, clarinet and flute Jeremy was a concerto contest winner at the University of Puget Sound, where he shared the stage with greats such as Art Farmer, Poncho Sanchez, and Ray Brown. He has been a featured soloist with the Jefferson Symphony and the Evergreen Chamber Orchestra. He performs regularly with his quartet at clubs and festivals and is in demand as a freelance player throughout the Rocky Mountain West for concerts, shows, and events. He is also active as a composer, arranger, and teacher.

Zach West – drums and percussion instruments Zach has been playing music for over twenty years and works as a professional musician in the Denver area. With thirteen years of teaching experience, Zach’s instruction focuses on jazz, rock and Latin music styles. For advanced students, Zach teaches more sophisticated styles including: Afro-Cuban, funk, hip-hop, odd-time signature beats and linear drumming. Zach teaches drum set, mallet percussion, rudimental exercises, and hand drumming and focuses his instruction on the development of musical performance. Zach earned a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies from Metropolitan State College of Denver, and has been with the Colorado School of Music since 2009. ‘I believe that music can be a powerful tool to increase intelligence and cultivate creativity.’

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