B.S. Counseling with Vocal Minor – Southern University, MMUS Performance – London College of Music, PhD Music Performance (1st year candidate) – University of Nottingham
A native of Baton Rouge, LA, Kim grew up 45 minutes north of New Orleans and her childhood musical experiences have been a positive influence on the way she approaches and interacts through music. Kim sang her first public vocal performance at age 5 and started piano lessons at age 7. She received her earliest training from her mom, a gospel vocalist/organist/pianist and musical director. Kim has over 21 years professional experience as a performing and recording vocalist, lyricist and songwriter. She has sung as lead vocalist and/or background vocalist, nationally and internationally, in several r&b, jazz, and rock bands featured at festivals, clubs, theaters, cruises, workshops, private and corporate events. She and her husband, Steve (guitarist/ composer/producer), co-founded their original soul/rock/jazz fusion band called Days Ahead, and they wrote, recorded and released their debut cd Turning Point to glowing reviews and award nominations. Kim tours the US and Europe, and has toured South Africa performing as well as presenting music clinics. Days Ahead has also been featured live on several broadcast networks including ZBC Zimbabwe TV, BET Jazz Soul Sessions, CBS Better Mornings, and TBS Storyline Soundstage. Kim’s music can be heard and purchased through her official website, www.daysaheadmusic.com, or iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.
Kim has over 11 years experience teaching vocal and piano lessons to ages 7 to 67. She enjoys teaching contemporary styles of music; jazz, pop, r&b, rock, gospel, and country. She also has a special place in her heart for teaching those children or adults with learning and developmental disabilities. Her educational and performance background as a Rehabilitation Counselor and using Music as Therapy includes working with students with Autism and ADHD. Kim tailors her teaching methods to suit a student’s individual strengths, helping students build confidence and a sense of well- being through the use of music.
Ryan O’Leary, tenor, is a fun, dynamic teacher who delights in teaching material in a way that fascinates students. His background in vocal performance and piano performance extends back to his youth, where he performed in countless recitals and productions. Ryan has played the piano since age 7, and started singing even earlier. His favorite theater roles include Jean Valjean, Sweeney Todd, and Lieutenant Cioffi. In the classical realm of singing, Ryan is what’s known as a lyric tenor – thus, his voice is a sweet, light instrument at it’s best in the works of Rossini and Handel.
Ryan has earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Vocal Performance, and his minor in piano performance at Shorter College and the University of Kentucky, respectively. While attending these schools, he received piano instruction from Dr. Peter Dewitt, Dr. Rebecca Miller, and MaryAnn Knight. His vocal instructors included Dr. Linda Lister, author of several vocal pedagogy books, Dr. Rebecca Salter, esteemed soprano soloist, and Metropolitan Opera star Cynthia Lawrence, often referred to as Pavarotti’s favorite soprano.
Ryan is entering his 7th year of pedagogy – over the years, he has sent multiple students off to college on full ride music scholarships. His students have also declared victory in music competitions locally and regionally, and the singers have enjoyed success in landing lead roles in musicals and theater productions. In these higher intensity performance situations, students are able to draw upon the nerve-busting techniques Ryan teaches to everyone in his studio.
Unique about Ryan is his ability to impart instruction on multiple levels simultaneously – he plays the long game with students, encouraging them to retain a lifelong love of music. As such, he ensures that their technical instruction is sound, and that his students can take away a piece of each lesson to keep forever. He is expert in setting an atmosphere for learning – focused, excited, and happy. For many students, lessons become a highlight of each week – get started now!
While earning her Bachelor’s degree in Music with Elective Studies in Business from the University of West Georgia, Rebecca had the opportunity to perform with the UWG Choir, UWG Jazz Band, and various gigs with “Shades of Red”, a trio which she co-founded. She also spent time singing at St. Oliver’s Catholic Church as part of the Life Teen Band, and is currently cantoring with the band at St. Jude Catholic Church for the Life Teen contemporary service. Performing music from a variety of genres allowed her to gain passion for classical, contemporary, musical theater, and jazz works.
Additionally, Rebecca worked behind the scenes in the music and entertainment industry. Some of her experience includes stage managing, event production, and booking agent for Driven Entertainment Group, and working as a production assistant for “The Voice.”
Music has an amazing impact on Rebecca’s life, and she is excited to be a part of Sandy Springs Music to help nurture a love for music in others!
Jennifer Christie, mezzo-soprano, holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Millikin University. She completed her Master of Music degree at Georgia State University in December 2007, and is in the voice studio of Kathryn Hartgrove. Jennifer was recently seen performing the roles of Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffman and Harry in Albert Herring at Georgia State University. She has also performed roles in scenes from Hansel and Gretel, Saint of Bleecker Street, Louise, Wolfy, Cold Sassy Tree, Cosi fan Tutte, Ballad of Baby Doe, Sir John in Love, Alcina, Falstaff, and Marriage of Figaro.
Jennifer attended the Blas International Summer School of Irish Traditional Music and Dance in Limerick, Ireland during the summer of 2000. In the summer of 2002, she participated in La Musica Lirica Opera Festival in Urbania, Italy. She also performed in the Harrower Opera Workshop during the summers of 2006 and 2007.
Jennifer is currently a staff singer at Peachtree Presbyterian Church. Prior to living in Atlanta, she sang under the direction of Paul French with the Mount Carmel Church Choir, and William Ferris Chorale in Chicago, IL. Jennifer has taught private voice and beginning piano to both children and adults, and classroom general music to students in grades K-8.
I Got the Sun in the Morning – Annie Get Your Gun
Voi che sapete – Marriage of Figaro