Zach began chasing his passion for music when he was seven years old. Picking out melodies of songs he would hear around the house, he was immediately transfixed and transported by the mysteries and power of music. From an early age, Zach brought jazz and classical pieces to his teachers, begging to learn more. He has always been fascinated by the versatility of sound.
At the age of 13 he met his musical mentor and most influential teacher, Misha Stefanuk. Stefanuk is a fantastic composer and performer, who further cultivated a knowledge and desire to learn the theory behind music, and how it could be written and used creatively. Misha remained Zach’s primary musical direction even through much of college.
Today, Zach works hands on with several artists in the Southeast as a writer, composer, and arranger. He is a multi instrumentalist, specializing in piano. Zach also writes and performs using voice, guitar, ukulele and percussion. He writes and plays often in local studios, working on all types of contemporary music, most notably rock, soul, r&b, pop and jazz. As a studio player he is featured and has written on over 100 records for various artists. He also writes and records his own music. Zach has written hundreds of songs for himself and others. He performs with a band or at jazz clubs weekly, and can be seen recently with touring acts Baby Rose, Sam Burchfield, Chelsea Shag, among others.
With a strong background in theory and performance, and a vigor to inject creativity and individuality in all aspects of music, Zach aims to teach and inspire people to think and play differently. He encourages learning ‘by the book’, as well as learning by ear training and other exercises. There are so many ways to interpret and understand the beautiful complexities of music. Everyone is unique, with different passions and ways or rates of learning. Zach believes that should be celebrated, tapped into, and cultivated. Zach loves the challenges and victories of getting students and musicians to truly understand music and play it creatively, for themselves and others. He looks forward to every individual who walks through the door looking to learn, regardless of level or age.
Cassandra is a native of North Carolina who has spent the last 25 years as a teacher, performer, business owner and professional opera singer. Cassandra’s work has earned her various awards and accolades including an Emmy for her theatre group’s performance of “La Boheme” in 1997. Cassandra has a love of music and teaching that she imparts onto her students and inspires them to strive and achieve greatness in whatever they do! Here are a few more awards Cassandra has received in her years as a performer/teacher. Although her background is in the classical world, Cassandra works with students ages 5-adult in all genre’s and styles.
• Winner of the Gerda Lissner Foundation Scholarship, 1998
• Emmy Award for “Live from Lincoln Center” telebroadcast of LA BOHEME, 1997
• Liederkranz Scholarship Winner, 1997
• NYCO Artist Award Recipient, 1998
• Opera at Florham Guild Award Winner, 1995
• Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Regional Finalist, 1993 and 1988
• Mario Lanza Scholarship Winner, 1992
• National Stewart Awards Finalist and Award Winner, 1990
• McCallister Awards Finalist, 1989
• NATSAA Art Song Competition, NC State Winner, 1989
• National Opera Association Winner, 1988
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.
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