312-780-0823 info@chicagosma.com

Our Instructors

Liza Micelli

Catalogued by her peers as a young visionary and promising artist, Chicago pianist/composer/producer Liza Micelli has been the principle keyboardist for Jussie Smollett, Terrence Howard and celebrity guest artists on 20th Century Fox’s hit television show Empire since its inception of 2015.

Fabio Barros

Fabio Barros started his career in Brazil as a dancer in 1992. Born in Pernambuco, his dedication for developing his art throughout Brazil was huge. He is very versatile in his styles of dance including, but not limited to Folk Brazilian Dances, Latin Ballroom, Belly Dance, Ballet, Jazz, Gypsy, and Flamenco.

Since 2009, Fabio has been traveling the US teaching dance classes, dance workshops and performing as a dancer and choreographer. Fabio has had the honor of presenting the Flemenco Fever (2012-13), Brazilian Carnival (2009-18) and LambaZouk workshops (2015-2018) at the worldwide Zumba Instructor Convention (2009-18) and at the LA Zumba Conference (2012-13). He was part of two Zumba Gold DVDs and participated in the Zumba Instructor Convention “Flavors” DVD

Hannah Barton

Violinist Hannah Barton moves easily between the worlds of classical, rock, and contemporary music. A native Chicagoan, Ms. Barton is an active performer on violin, viola, and electric “viper” violin.

Ms. Barton began studying violin at age two with her sister Rachel Barton Pine. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Violin Performance from the Peabody Conservatory and a Masters Degree from the Lamont School of Music. Her teachers include Pamela Frank, Desiree Ruhstrat, Yumi Hwang-Williams, and David Taylor

Chris Winters

Besides leading his own band, Chris has worked with several Chicago blues artists. Chris toured the U.S. with soul great Otis Clay . He recorded 3 albums with Mississippi Heat and toured with them throughout Europe and Canada. His original instrumental slow blues entitled “Early Morning Blues “ popular with live audiences, was released on Mississippi Heats “ Handyman “ special CD release edition. On Mississippi Heats “Footprints on the Ceiling” release, Chris had the pleasure of recording with the legendary Billy Boy Arnold. He also played Chicago Bluesfest with Mississippi Heat and with The Aron Burton Blues Band. His steady gig with blues diva Liz Mandeville Greeson led to a recording with her on the Earwig record label.

In 2004 Chris released “Impressions” on the Chicago “Blujazz” label. This was an instrumental album as well and more jazz oriented. The recording received quite a bit of airplay and garnered many favorable reviews.

Brandon K. Taylor Sides

Brandon Taylor Sides is a Chicago native and graduate of Columbia College Chicago concentrating in Music Composition for Film and Contemporary Classical Music. He is a freelance composer and music educator. Brandon has passion for music and motivating people. His primary instruments are Piano, Voice and Oboe. He has expertise in many different genres such as Jazz, Rock, Choral, Classical, Pop, R&B, and Gospel.

Kirsten Leslie

Kirsten Leslie, originally from the Chicago area has performed nationally and internationally as both singer and actress. Her repertoire is quite diverse: operatic roles such as Gilda in Rigoletto, the “Flier” (or Amelia Earhart) in Daron Hagen’s Amelia and Orquidea in Daniel Catan’s Salsipuedes; musical theatre roles such as Anne in A Little Night Music and Carrie in Carousel; and straight theatre roles such as Imogen in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. She recently gave her solo debut with the Houston Symphony and has soloed several times in New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

John Agno

John Agno is currently a student at Northeastern Illinois University earning his Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. He currently teaches at Mayfair School of Music and has performed in various ensembles in school and in the city. Equally passionate about teaching and performing, John takes great pride in ensuring his students understand music in a way that is meaningful to them.

Teaching Approach:
John strives to draw connections between life’s challenges and the process of creating music. He values each student’s individuality and crafts lessons that build upon their abilities. By constantly receiving and applying feedback, students and teacher develop strategies to overcome challenges. As a team, teacher and student explore how to develop artistry and musical expression through performance.

Susie Miller

Susie is a versatile musician and educator in the Chicagoland area. She holds her Master’s Degree in Music from DePaul University. She has toured with classical ensembles throughout London, Prague, Rome, and Los Angeles, and has performed at prestigious venues including the Walt Disney Concert Hall and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, and at festivals including Lollapalooza and Ravinia. With over 10 years of experience teaching violin in both group and private lessons, Susie is passionate about sharing her love of music with her students.

Rossman Palfrey

Chicago-based classical guitarist Rossman Palfrey (b. 1984) has been praised for his “deep musicality and expression” (Ithaca, NY, D’Addario Guitar Competition). He has performed in concerts, masterclasses, and guitar festivals internationally and throughout the US since 2000. Rossman is currently faculty at Roosevelt University, The People’s Music School, Chicago School of Musical Arts, and Fox River Music Academy.When he was just 8 years old, Rossman begged to play guitar, just like his rock’n’roll heroes. He found himself playing classical guitar, cello, and piano. In a short time, Rossman added classical musicians to his list of musical heroes. Much of his musical studies and passions have since been dedicated to the “classical” repertoire.

Rossman has taught students ranging from pre-K children to post-retirement adults. His specialty is classical and Spanish guitar music written from 1400 to the present. Rossman’s teaching draws from multiple methods/philosophies; however, each student and each class is different—the curriculum and approach changes with the needs, abilities, and interests of the students.

In 2014, Rossman earned his doctorate in guitar performance (DMA) from Northwestern University. He has been teaching, performing, and travelling the world ever since.

For more information please visit his website at ross.palfrey.us.

Anna Najoom

Clarinetist Anna Najoom of Chicago maintains a diverse performing and teaching career. She performs frequently with orchestras throughout Chicagoland area and the Midwest including the Chicago Philharmonic, Rockford Symphony and Skylight Opera. Najoom is a member of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic having appeared at some of the most prominent venues in Chicago including Symphony Center, Auditorium Theater, and Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. With the Sapphire Woodwind Quintet, Najoom performed a live recital on WFMT 98.7 FM as part of the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series. Najoom is a passionate music educator serving on the faculty of the Merit School of Music and maintaining a private teaching studio. She earned a Master of Music in Clarinet Performance from the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI.

Amanda Grimm

Violinist and violist Amanda Grimm enjoys a versatile career as a freelance artist in the greater Chicago area. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University she has performed as a soloist, recitalist, and concertmaster in both the United States and abroad. Making her concerto debut at age fifteen with the Parma Symphony Orchestra, she has also soloed with the Baldwin Wallace Youth Orchestra, the Blue Lake European Orchestra, the Carnegie Mellon Baroque Ensemble, and the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic as the winner of its concerto competition. Also an active chamber musician, she has been a member of the Cerberus Piano Trio, the Logan Square Chamber Players, the Silberman award winning Faure Piano Quintet, and the Petar Jankovic Ensemble. In 2017, she became the violist of the KAIA String Quartet, a group that advocates for the music of Latin America and tours the US and abroad.

Michael Scott

Michael has been studying and performing music for nearly 20 years. Playing many styles ranging from classical to jazz, funk to folk, and Puerto Rican jibaro to Brazilian choro, Michael is a versatile and compassionate artist. Beginning his professional career at age 16, Michael has performed throughout the United States in various touring bands, which has also included mandolin orchestra performances in Providence, Rhode Island; Lawrence, Kansas; and Santa Cruz, California. Michael is the recipient of the Hibbard Perry Mandolin Scholarship (2003) and the Mandolin Symposium Scholarship (2009). After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business with a concentration in classical guitar from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (2006), Michael moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he held the position of Finance Coordinator at Sony Music Entertainment. In 2008, Michael relocated to Chicago to continue performing in various ensembles and, in 2016, received a masters degree in Jazz Studies under the tutelage of virtuoso guitarist Fareed Haque, at Northern Illinois University. Michael currently holds teaching positions at Forevermore Dance and Theatre Arts (ukulele, ukulele ensemble, and guitar), The Saint Nicholas School of the Arts (guitar and rock ensemble), The People’s School of Music (substitute guitar instructor), and has his own teaching studio, Michael Scott Music Studio, in Rogers Park neighborhood, Chicago, IL. Michael continues to strengthen his commitment to the music community, as-well-as having a meaningful impact on his student’s musical development, through his unwavering passion for music education and performance.

Amaia Gabantxo

Amaia Gabantxo is a writer and a singer of classical and flamenco music. She attended the J.C. Arriaga Conservatory in Bilbao, where she was trained in the Spanish and Basque classical repertoires, and studied flamenco in Andalusia under the tutelage of singers like Segundo Falcón, El Lebrijano, Ismael de la Rosa, Sara Holgado and Fita Heredia, among others. Having moved to the US in 2011, she currently teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago, and performs regularly in venues all over the city. Born in Spain to a family of musicians, she has previously lived in England and Ireland, and sung all over the British islands with the formations Zimali (flamenco quartet) and Santosueño (classical duo). She has performed in venues like London’s Royal Festival Hall, and at the Edinburgh, Manchester, Belfast and Dublin’s Festivals, and also at every Chicago Flamenco Festival since 2014—which has earned her an artist-in-residence position at the Cervantes Institute in Chicago with her classical-flamenco ensemble Kantuz. She is writing a novel “in flamenco form.”

Henry Zheng

Violinist Henry Zheng holds a Bachelors of Music degree in Violin Performance from DePaul University. His primary teachers include Janet Sung and Raymond B. Sidoti, he has also had additional studies with Desirée Ruhstrat, Mathias Tacke, Robert Hanford, and Anne Shih, as well as having participated in master classes for Midori Goto and Almita Vamos. His career has taken him around the world with performances in China, Mexico, Italy, and across the United States. An in demand orchestral musician, Henry has performed with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Arts Orchestra, Oistrakh Sympony of Chicago, and many more. Henry has accompanied internationally acclaimed artists Andrea Bocelli, Il Divo, Pete Townshend (The Who), Eddie Vedder (Pearljam), Billy Idol, and has collaborated with Flint, Michigan based rock band King 810. Currently Henry is the violinist for Chicago based ensemble Lakeshore Rush. He resides with his girlfriend and his beloved cat, Tommy.

As a teacher Henry encourages his students to give the highest level of excellence possible, while maintaining a fun and positive learning environment.

Greg Fundis

Greg Fundis is a highly sought-after Chicago-based drummer known for bringing energy, groove and chops to his live performances spanning a multitude of musical genres.

Greg has been recognized in Downbeat Magazine as a notable jazz alumnus holding a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies from DePaul University in Chicago and a Bachelors from Millikin University. While at Millikin, Fundis became an internationally published percussion composer at the age of 19 with his book of compositions, “Contemporary Audition Solos for Percussion”(Studio 4 Music/MostlyMarimba).

In addition to relentless performing, Fundis is a music educator, ensemble director and clinician in the Chicago area where he has held positions at Roosevelt and DePaul universities and currently teaches percussion classes at Whitney Young High School and coordinates world percussion activities for over 3,000 area youth with JCC of Chicago.

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ABOUT US

Our mission is to share our love of music with every student. We believe that every child has the potential to develop their musical skills and become happier and more confident. We strive to serve students of all backgrounds and skill levels.

IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

We partner with schools to create customized programs. We send our teachers to your school – your space, your neighborhood – in order to create a comfortable, fun and rewarding learning experience.

SIGN UP FOR EMAIL

Discover what we’re up to and keep current on class offerings. Never miss an update. Sign up to be on our mailing list.

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

We are dedicated to serving our students and the communities they live in by providing superior programs, excellent teachers, and high quality instruction.

©Chicago School of Musical Arts

We are a music school dedicated to growing the talents and skills of all students through fun, engaging programs.

ABOUT US

Our mission is to share our love of music with every student. We believe that every child has the potential to develop their musical skills and become happier and more confident. We strive to serve students of all backgrounds and skill levels.

IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

We partner with schools to create customized programs. We send our teachers to your school – your space, your neighborhood – in order to create a comfortable, fun and rewarding learning experience.

SIGN UP FOR EMAIL

Discover what we’re up to and keep current on class offerings. Never miss an update. Sign up to be on our mailing list.

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

We are dedicated to serving our students and the communities they live in by providing superior programs, excellent teachers, and high quality instruction.

Our goal is to make music accessible and affordable.

How do we make that possible? We partner with your school to create on-site lessons and send our teachers to your child’s environment.

What we do.

We provide excellent musical instruction. Our small-group sessions allow students to pursue their musical interests, at their level, in a fun and comfortable setting. In addition to small-group and semi-private sessions, we also offer one-on-one traditional instruction.

What we offer.

All materials, including instruments, are included.

  • Violin
  • Cello
  • Voice
  • Piano
  • Guitar
  • Ukulele
  • Rock Band
  • Flute
  • Percussion
  • Expressive Dance

Community Partners

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©Chicago School of Musical Arts