Ben Wiles
Instruments Taught:
  • Guitar  
Bio: Ben has been teaching at Gottschalk Music Center for over 6 years. He started playing piano when he was 8 and later moved on to guitar, bass, and has dabbled in several other instruments including violin and mandolin.

Phone: 559-285-2191

Christina Bellotta

Instruments Taught:
  • Flute
Bio: Christina Bellotta is a classically-trained flutist from California. She has dazzled audiences with her elegant technique and expressive interpretations of well-beloved flute classics.

She has performed with contract orchestras for Fresno Grand Opera and Jackie Evancho, toured internationally with wind ensembles through England, performed in music festivals in New Orleans, Las Vegas, and San Diego, participated in workshops, masterclasses, and clinics in New York City, NY, Long Beach, CA, Fresno, CA, Dunlap, CA, Bakersfield, CA, and Arcata, CA. Masterclass artists have included international artists Alexa Still, Elena Duran, Susan Milan, Nancy Andrew, Dr. John Barcellona, Mary-Karen Clardy, Jill Felber, Keith Underwood, Sato Moughalian, The Quintet Of The Americas, Yamaha Performing Artist Tracy Harris, Carol Wincenc, and world-renowned piccolo artist Nicola Mazzanti.

Ms. Bellotta earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Flute Performance from California State University, Fresno, where she studied with Dr. M. Teresa Beaman. While a student, she performed with the scholarship woodwind quintet The President’s Quintet, the New Music Ensemble, the CSUF Flute Ensemble, and as Principal Flute of the Wind Ensemble, Wind Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, and the Intercollegiate Honor Band in Reno, Nevada. She has also been featured on public radio stations in Fresno and Arcata, California.

Currently, she studies privately with Yamaha Performing Artist and Clinician Tracy Harris, performs regularly with Ms. Harris on The Wyndfall Chamber Music Series, and is a Certified Tracy Harris Flute Boot Camp Instructor for the acclaimed Tracy Harris Flute Boot Camp throughout the United States. Ms. Bellotta maintains an active private flute studio in various locations throughout California.
Phone: 559-907-3391

Elizabeth Rench
Instruments Taught:
  • Piano
Phone: 209-761-0641

Eric Jensen
Instruments Taught:
  • Guitar
Phone: 559-285-5096
Jim Cook
Instruments Taught:
  • Guitar
Bio: Jim has been teaching acoustic/electric guitar and bass guitar for 20 years. Playing throughout the lower 48 states and Canada for the last 25 years. He's comfortable teaching beginners to advanced players and enjoys seeing the progression. Lessons are structured and developed on an individual basis. Jim beleives that everyone is capable of playing with practice and that learning to play should be fun. "When you’re having fun, learning comes easy!" says Jim.

Phone: 559-451-1040
Joshua Jenson
Instruments Taught:
  • Clarinet
Bio: Joshua J. Jensen is a freelance clarinetist, conductor and music educator in the San Francisco Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley. Audiences have commented on his multidimensionality of sounds, leadership, musicianship and high-energy performances. Jensen is honored to have served principal clarinetist with the following organizations and ensembles: San Francisco Wind Ensemble, CBDNA Inter-Collegiate Honor Band, BOA National Honor Band, CBDA All-State Wind Symphony, Fresno Wind Symphony and the Fresno Youth Symphony. He has primarily studied clarinet performance with Tony Striplen of The SF Opera, and Professor Larry Honda of Fresno City College. Jensen has also studied with Professor Gary Gray of The LA Chamber Orchestra and UCLA, and Professor Jean-Enric Lluna of Trinity Laban Conservatory.

Jensen received his Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from San Francisco State University and is currently pursuing his Master of Arts degree in Instrumental Conducting at California State University, Fresno, under the direction of his mentor, Dr. Gary P. Gilroy. Jensen's divergence into the musical realm of conducting was sparked by his relationships with private students, his experience as Drum Major at Buchanan High School under the direction of Key Poulan, and his internal desire to convey his musical ideas on a larger scale. At Fresno State, he is the Graduate Assistant Director of Athletic Bands and is principal clarinetist in the University Wind Orchestra.

In addition to large performance ensembles and conducting, Jensen is also passionate about bringing chamber music to unconventional venues and audiences. His love for chamber music began while he was busking at Castro Street Station in San Francisco and expanded with his collaboration with acclaimed chamber ensembles across the San Francisco Bay Area including The Alexander String Quartet and the Holloway String Quartet. Furthermore, he credits his love and drive as a performance artist to his mother and sister, who are both pop vocalists, and Charlene Harrison, his elementary school band director with whom he also studied privately.

Kelsey Brannon
Instruments Taught:
  • Piano
Bio: Kelsey has been teaching piano lessons since 2006. She graduated from CSU Fresno in 2015 with a BA in Piano Performance. She worked as an accompanist for Fresno and Clovis Unified. Kelsey enjoys teaching all ages and has a great rapport with her students.

Phone: 559-284-9620

Marisa Aoki
Instruments Taught:
  • Trombone
Phone: 559-301-0658
Pete Van Der Paardt
Instruments Taught:
  • Trumpet
Phone: 559-824-6577
Sarah Sherwood
Instruments Taught:
  • Voice
Bio: Sarah Ann Sherwood, soprano. Sarah Ann Sherwood is a classically trained singer who has enjoyed a wide ranged career of  music ensemble and solo performances. Sherwood is currently attending California State  University, Fresno where she is pursuing her Masters Degree in Vocal Performance. In 2009 she  graduated from California State University, Fresno with her Bachelor Degree in Music-Vocal  Performance.

Sherwood has performed with Fresno States Opera Workshop program as Titannia in their  scenes production of A Midsummers Night Dream by Benjamin Britten. She also performed in  Fresno Grand Opera in productions of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, 2013, Giacomo Puccini’s  La Rondine, 2013, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, 2010. She has also  performed as a soloist for Fresno Grand Opera’s concert series’ in Broadway on Van Ness, 2013  and Christmas on Van Ness, 2010. Sherwood has also participated and performed in notable  summer programs. In July 2013, she participated in the Torggler Vocal Summer Institute at  Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA where she worked with Janice Siegel,  founder of The Manhattan Transfer, and soprano, Costanza Cuccaro. She traveled abroad in 2008  to Spain where she performed in the University of South Carolina’s Summer Vocal Institute of  Spanish Music, headed by Dr. Helen Tintes. In addition to her musical experiences, Sherwood  has performed the role of Bianca in the Woodward Shakespeare Festival’s production of The  Taming of the Shrew, 2014 and Minnie Fay in Jerry Herman’s Hello Dolly with Clovis  Community Theatre, 2011. Sherwood has also performed roles such as Lucy in the Fresno State  Opera Workshop production of Giano Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone, 2009, and Nella in  Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, 2008. This fall 2014, Sherwood will be performing in the  upcoming Fresno State Opera Workshop production of the comedic opera, Mushroom Pizza.  In 2009, Sherwood also performed in the Orpheus Concert Series production of Arvo Pärt’s  Sarah was 90 Years Old. She also soloed in local composer Brad Hufft’s The Condition of Music in the 2008 Fresno Rogue Festival.

Sherwood has also enjoyed teaching and coaching voices for various shows as well as giving  voice lessons.
Steve Ono
Instruments Taught:
  • Guitar
Phone: 559-266-4762
Suzanne Phillips
Instruments Taught:
  • Violin
  • Piano
Bio: As a classically trained violinist, violist and pianist with experience playing American old time fiddle, Eastern European gypsy fiddle, and Celtic music, Suzanne Botha Phillips has impressed audiences all over California with her beautiful performances.  With 10 years of Private teaching experience under her belt, Suzanne has also been gaining experience in a classroom setting as a Violin Teacher at the local Accent on Access Violin program at Edison Bethune Charter Academy. A recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education at California State University Bakersfield, Suzanne earned her Associate in Arts degree, Cum Laude, at Antelope Valley College.

Suzanne began her musical career at age 8, taking lessons on and playing violin in the University Park Elementary School Orchestra, where she eventually worked her way into the rank of Concertmaster.  At the age of 11 her family moved to the beautiful mountains of Tehachapi where Suzanne immediately joined the Tehachapi Symphony Orchestra in which she played through junior high, high school and into some of her college years.  In 2008, Suzanne joined the Tehachapi Pops Orchestra as Concertmaster.  She also had the wonderful opportunity to play as Concertmaster of the CSUB Chamber Orchestra for her last two years while earning her degree.

Some of Suzanne’s prestigious teachers have included Mischa Lefkowitz (a world renowned violinist and 1st violinist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic), Gayel Pitchford (Concertmaster of the Tehachapi Symphony and a world renowned fiddler),  and the newly appointed Concertmaster of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Julia Lawson Haney.

Suzanne has enjoyed playing in an eclectic array of quartets, trios and bands. She has played in numerous fiddle bands including "Paint a Rose”, "The Westwind Fiddlers”, and “Djypsy Chix” (an Eastern European Gypsy band), and has won first place in the adult division of "Fiddlin down the tracks", an old-time fiddle contest held annually in Tehachapi.

Phone: 661-972-3034

Will Bollman
Instruments Taught:
  • Guitar
Bio: Will has ten years of teaching experience and is well versed in a variety of musical styles which include rock, blues, bluegrass, country, jazz, fingerstyle, and slide guitar. Many of his students have gone on to form bands and become teachers themselves. He has hundreds of hours of studio session playing under his belt and has toured the country as a professional musician opening for acts such as Peter Frampton and Sublime. He studied music at Fresno City College and Fresno State University. It is his opinion that sharing the gift of music is the best gig he has ever had.

Phone: 559-355-2628

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