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MEET TEAM JOY

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DAVID BURGEST

Studio Manager

Piano Instructor

David Burgest has been a musician for many years.  He is a native of Savannah, Ga and developed a love and passion for music at a young age.  David received a Bachelor Of Business Administration Degree from Georgia Southern University and A Master of Arts in Teaching Degree from National University. David also is a National Board Certified Teacher.  He has been teaching Business Education and piano for 18 years. David has dedicated his life to music and teaching students the joys of developing their musical gifts. David enjoys playing the piano and producing music.  He has been married to Marcia Burgest for 18 years and they are raising three children who are all musicians. His desire is that students would develop an internal love and passion for music as they become the professionals and leaders of tomorrow.

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ELIZABETH BURGOS

Piano Instructor

Elizabeth attended Northwest School of the Arts from 8th - 12th grade, where she was able to hone in and expand on my musicianship. Throughout her time there, she participated in many recitals and piano festivals, did accompaniment for choirs, played in small ensembles, and performed in pit orchestras for high school musicals Chicago, West Side Story, and The Color Purple.

 

After graduating high school, she attended Central Piedmont Community College, where she earned her Associate Degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Piano in 2015. From there, she transferred to Winthrop University, where she completed her Bachelor's Degree in Music (Piano Performance) in 2018.

 

Elizabeth has a passion for teaching and helping students discover their potential through music. When she’s not teaching, Elizabeth likes to spend time improvising, learning new music, and discovering new ways to make music interesting. She has also done some composing and orchestrating during her studies. Although she is primarily classically trained, Elizabeth enjoys and has experience with other genres such as contemporary, pop, jazz, and church music.
 


 

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JOVAN ADAMS

Vocal and Piano Instructor

Jovan is a Charlotte native who actively performs and teaches in the area. He received both his bachelors and masters degree in Music Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Jovan is currently teaching with Charlotte Mecklenburg schools and is currently the Choral Director at West Charlotte High School. Jovan is an active musician/singer/conductor in the charlotte area when he is not teaching voice and piano.

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SAIJEAN FRENCH

Guitar and Piano Instructor

Saijean French has been passionate about music from an early age. Always surrounded by music and growing up with a grandfather that had  his own locally known jazz band fueled her love and interest in playing guitar at the age of nine. Saijean has been playing guitar for many years. Additionally, she has gained experience and music theory knowledge through private lessons and teaching beginners through intermediate guitar  lessons. Saijean also enjoys the piano and teaches piano lessons. She a dedicated guitar and piano instructor and is a passionate musician. Saijean's goal is to grow as a musician and share her knowledge, skill, and experience with others. Saijean has experience in styles such as Jazz, Country, Rock, Blues, and Pop and more.

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Sudeshna Sen

Bollywood Hip Hop and Zumba Instructor

Sudeshna Sen is a native of Kolkata, West Bengal, India. She is one of the most well-received and highly reviewed Bollywood fitness Instructors in the Charlotte area. She will keep students motivated towards staying fit and finesse with fun in an awesome environment. Students in her class will learn dances and be educated on Indian arts and culture.

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WILSON TOCTO

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Drums, and Piano

Wilson Tocto is a native of Ecuador
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He is an intuitive and passionate musician from New Jersey. 
He has been playing guitar, both acoustic and electric for fourteen years as well as piano, bass guitar, ukulele, and drums.
He is awesome at working with kids and adults. 
He has worked with young students for the last five years and he has a wide variety of teaching methods to keep young students engaged and with a constant curiosity for the innovative world of music. 

His thirst for music has allowed Wilson’s performing skills to be exposed in a wide variety of venues starting from churches, to bars, to open field festivals 

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Michael Saxton

Saxophone, Clarinet, Drums, Percussion, Trumpet, Trombone, and other Band Instruments

Michael Saxton is an educator and musician from the town of Cheraw, SC.  He received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of South Carolina in Columbia.  Mr. Saxton studied under many well renowned professors, such as Dr. Clifford Leaman (saxophone), Dr. Cormac Cannon (conducting), Dr. Amanda Schlegel (instrumental music education), and Dr. Wendy Valerio (elementary music education). Mr. Saxton has a great deal of performance experience, mostly during his time as a student at UofSC.  This experience included large ensembles like Symphonic Winds, University Band, University Choir, and the Carolina Marching Band; as well as smaller ensembles and solo work.  Mr. Saxton is the current general music teacher at Kings Town Elementary School in Fort Mill, SC. Micheal enjoys teaching saxophone, clarinet, drums, percussion and other band instruments.

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MALIK JOHNSON

Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano Instructor

Malik is a Violist that earned his B.M. in Music Education at UNC Charlotte. Malik has experience teaching violin, viola, and cello through his music education coursework, as well as teaching private students. 
He has played viola for 13 years and was the principal violist for the UNC Charlotte Chamber Orchestra for three years. His passion for music has led him to play in orchestras in South Carolina, and has performed in places such as Montreal and Vancouver, Canada, as well as Tel Aviv, Israel. He believes music is an inclusive subject and has the power to bridge gaps words cannot do on their own. Music also strengthens our capacity to accept other cultures, make connections to other subjects, and expose students to new experiences. 

 

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JORDAN OWEN

Clarinet, Bass clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Ukulele, Piano, and Vocal Instructor

Jordan Owen graduated from Appalachian State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Instrumental Music Education. She grew up in Salisbury, NC where she started singing from a very early age. One of her first memories is singing the national anthem at a Kannapolis Intimidators game when she was only 4 years old. Jordan is a soprano and started taking voice lessons when she was 6 years old.

While she was at Appalachian, Jordan continued to grow in her musical ability, earning high placements in top ensembles. She is multi-talented and plays a variety of instruments from across the band including clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, saxophone, ukulele, and piano. She also has experience composing and arranging music for chamber ensembles.

Jordan is experienced in a variety of styles including classical, jazz, opera, pop, and rock and has 16 years of vocal training and 12 years of instrumental training. She is passionate about helping her students strive for the highest in music and in life.

 

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LA-TISHA HEMINGWAY

Dance Instructor

La-Tisha is a passionate and experience dance instructor.  She is eager to guide students through the twenty-first century using a unique combination of education, experience, and a love for dancing.  La-Tisha is also a Language Arts instructor and has a passion for writing.  She received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education from the University of North Carolina- Charlotte.  La-Tisha also received a Bachelor of Science Business Administration; Management & Marketing degree from the University of South Carolina. Some of her professional dance experience includes:

USC Dance Team Member 1999-2002

Philadelphia 76ers Dancer (NBA) 2002

Areas of Study: Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Tap, African, Capoeira, Hip Hop, Ballroom, Contemporary, Irish, Latin

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Alejandro Bermudez

Violin Instructor

Alejandro Bermudez is an awesome violinist from Puerto Rico. He enjoys teaching children and adults.  The violin has been a part of his life from an early age.  Teaching students according to their goals and learning styles is very important to Alejandro.  If students want to learn a piece of music, become professional musicians, or want to increase their understanding of the violin, Alejandro is ready to teach and cultivate his students. His desire is to invest into his students to help them reach all of their goals.

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AVERY JACOBS

Drums, Percussion, Xylophone, and Bells

Music Production

During his time in undergrad, Avery was involved in various musical ensembles such as marching band, jazz band, pep band and percussion. Out of these ensembles, his time and experiences as a member of the Virginia State University Trojan Explosion Marching Band was deeply treasured and impactful. During the four years in the band program, he performed on the drumline for two years playing sextuplet drums. He then auditioned and was selected as the Head Drum Major for two years, serving as a student leader of the largest student organization on campus. In addition to his participation in musical ensembles, Avery is a brother of Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity Inc. This Greek organization specializes in promoting and providing dedicated service to college and university band programs. These two organizations have provided opportunities that allowed him to establish lifelong relationships with fellow musicians across the nation. In his studies, Avery has learned and practiced techniques to play instruments of all families including brass, woodwinds and strings. He also studied music production and audio recording for two years. Over time, production and recording has become a therapeutic hobby for Avery, which has established him to become an experienced music producer and recording engineer.
Soon after graduation, Avery accepted his first music teaching position at James Martin Middle School in Charlotte, NC, where he served as the Band Director for three years from 2017 to 2020. He performs locally as a freelance drummer and bassist for various events, groups and vocal artist throughout the area. Avery believes that his experience of performances throughout his career are what makes him unique. He has traveled to and performed in nearly every state on the east coast from New York to Florida. His involvement in ensembles from grade school through college has allowed him vast opportunities to grow, perform, travel, and meet other like-minded musicians along the way.

 

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THOMAS SAUNDERS

Drums, Percussion, Xylophone, and Bells

Music Production

Thomas S. has been playing the piano for over 25 years. He has taught numerous styles using different techniques and approaches for over 20 years. His writing/playing styles span from Blues, Rock, Jazz, Folk, Pop, R&B, Classical to Latin. This artist is a self taught guitarist, composer and writer, who mainly works in Charlotte, NC. Thomas’s performance and compositional belt notches were derived from his appearances and performances playing with bands in NYC like The Albatross and Velvet Soul from 2000-2002. He has also played with soulful folkish bands like Eddie Kane and Melodic from 2010-2011. He was a regular on local TV shows in Charlotte such as The Modern Renaissance Man and The Johnny Millwater Show on Access 21 TV. He was also invited to play The Harvard Alumni Club in the summer of 2011. In his earlier years he played in various school plays from 2004-2005.  Thomas’s passion for the arts has proven to be a worthwhile adversary to his list of students over the years. His unique methods of reaching his audience no matter what culture or age range is a God Given gift. Those who have opened their hearts and minds have allowed themselves to experience a teacher who has dedicated his mind, body and soul to each individual person.

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Ethan Regan

Guitar Instructor Instructor

Ethan has a passion for teaching and spreading music along to those who wish to learn. He has been playing guitar for 10 years and currently has 3 studio albums of all original music released on Spotify and Apple Music. He is familiar with and can teach a wide variety of music from Hip-Hop to Funk, to Country and Folk. Recognized for his original music, he was invited to the Cape May singer-songwriter festival, where he traveled to New Jersey to attend panels given by Grammy Award winning artists and successful music producers. When not teaching, Ethan plays shows at local venues around the Charlotte area.

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