School of Music (MOSOM)

A Musical Resource for the Whole Community

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The Mount Olivet School of Music develops and encourages musical skill and appreciation in each student, regardless of age or ability. Teachers provide outstanding musical instruction in an artistic and nurturing environment. The Mount Olivet School of Music aims to create unique musical instruction and experiences for every individual student. Whatever your musical abilities may be, Mount Olivet is the supportive, encouraging, and musical place for you.

If you are interested in joining one of the Mount Olivet School of Music programs, please click on one of the buttons below or contact Luke Randall at 612.767.2262 or by email for more information.

 

Private Lessons

The Mount Olivet School of Music aims to encourage the musical advancement of people of all ages and musical backgrounds. Taking private lessons advances the musical development of each student through highly valuable one-on-one instruction from our extraordinary selection of qualified teachers. Lessons are available for an expansive list of instruments, which includes piano, guitar, voice, strings, brass, woodwinds, and many more!!!

Policies

Missed Lessons
If a teacher misses a lesson, he or she is required to make up the lesson or a refund will be issued. If the student misses a lesson, the teacher is not obligated to make up the lesson but will make an effort to do so if possible. The make-up week at the end of the semester can be used for lessons missed by the teacher or the student at the discretion of the teacher. If possible, teachers should be notified of any absence at least 24 hours in advance.

Calendar

Spring Semester
Week of January 28th – Lessons Begin
Tuesday, April 16th through Monday, April 22nd – NO LESSONS
Week of May 13th – Last Week of Spring Semester
Week of May 20th – Recital and Make-Up Week
Week of June 17th – First Week of Summer Session

Piano Teachers

Dana Donnay, Piano
Dana Donnay is a professional oboist and woodwind performer. She studied oboe performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA, and at the University of Minnesota. She has taught young instrumentalists for over a decade and loves the opportunity to share with people of all ages her enjoyment of music. Dana teaches Oboe, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, and Piano. She is experienced in teaching band and early childhood music classes, and is a licensed Kindermusik educator. Dana is also a very active performer. She plays oboe and english horn in many professional orchestras throughout the midwest and is a busy freelance musician in the Twin Cities. She holds the english horn position with the South Dakota Symphony. She also plays in many chamber music ensembles including the Semada Trio, and the Gilded Lily Trio. Dana is a multi-instrumentalist. She performs as a woodwind doubler in musical orchestra pits, in particular with the Bloomington Civic Theater and the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. She enjoys playing a variety of styles which include jazz and world folk music. Dana also has a diploma in instrument repair, and has worked as a repair technician at Midwest Musical Imports.

Lauren Drasler, Piano
Lauren has loved and studied music from a young age- starting with piano lessons at 5-years old and going on to major in Vocal Music at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. After college, Lauren performed in Musical Theater and Opera around the Twin Cities including: The Guthrie Theater, Skylark Opera, Minneapolis Musical Theater and more! She then attended the London Academy for Music and Dramatic Arts for her Masters Degree, moved to LA where she did some Television and Commercial work (including a Guest Star role on ABC’s The Middle). After her daughter Quinn was born, she and her family came back to the lovely Minnesota where she is thrilled to be teaching at Mount Olivet. She is a great beginner voice teacher, as she is energetic and fun with high-standards. Her vocal teaching has a foundation in breath work and efficiently of sound. Lauren is comfortable with a variety of styles: Musical Theater, folk, opera and some pop as well. She stresses the importance of self-awareness and mindfulness in music-making!

Miriam Jensen, Piano
With Over 30 years of teaching experience, Miriam Jensen maintains a large studio both in her home and at Mt. Olivet School of Music. She teaches students from early elementary ages through adults, and enjoys the unique gifts each student brings to the piano, striving to find repertoire that encourages and challenges. Along with a BA in Music and an MS and Piano Pedagogy, Miriam continues to grow through active participation and leadership in local music organizations (APPI, MMTA, MTNA), as well as her role as associate organist/accompanist at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church and as a freelance accompanist/performer throughout the Twin Cities.

Dr. Paul Kovacovic, Piano
Paul Kovacovic enjoys a career that spans both classical and popular styles. He has been the guest soloist with several orchestras as well as the accompanist for artists such as singer-songwriter Ann Reed and Las Vegas entertainer and television host Tony Sandler. Paul has performed concerts across the United States and Czech Republic, and he has won first prizes in the Thursday Musical, Schubert Club, and Indiana University Piano Concerto Competitions.
Paul was an accompanist and coach for the Florida Grand Opera in Miami and has also worked with several theater companies in his home state of Minnesota, including the Minnesota Opera, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and Chanhassen Dinner Theatre.
Paul studied piano at Indiana University with Edward Auer and at the University of Minnesota with Alexander Braginsky. He has also studied composition at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris with students of legendary pedagogue Nadia Boulanger and at film scoring workshops in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Paul loves to teach piano and compose as well as perform. For more information, please visit his website at www.paulkovacovic.com.

Leslie Mallery, Piano & folk instruments
Leslie has been teaching at the Mount Olivet School of Music since 2005. She has a Bachelor‘s Degree in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Minnesota. She has an interest in working with students who have tried lessons with other teachers but haven’t enjoyed the experience. She tailor’s her teaching style to fill the needs and interests of each student. Her primary instrument is piano but she is also proficient in a number of folk instruments including acoustic guitar, 5-string banjo and mandolin. She has a special interest in helping students learn the language of music to compose their own songs and to become comfortable with performing and auditioning.

Emily Nelson, Piano
Emily Nelson is a pianist and entrepreneur who has been teaching private music lessons since 2006. She also works as a freelance accompanist and has a fun part-time gig as a stylist for Stitch Fix. She received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Northwestern–St. Paul, and a Master’s in Music Education with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy from the University of St. Thomas.
Emily helps students develop a genuine love for music and to enjoy making it with excellence. She tailors her approach to the individual’s learning style and helps foster self-expression and independence. She has a classical approach to teaching and learning but this definitely doesn’t mean only “classical” music! Many styles are explored, and lessons typically focus on the following:

• Expressive playing
• Reading and memorization skills
• Technique (so no song is off limits!)
• Music theory (how is music constructed? Aids in learning learning/memorizing pieces quicker and paves the road for skills in composition and improvisation)

Lessons are available for beginner through early advanced students, starting as young as 6 years old. In addition to bi-annual recitals at Mt. Olivet, students have the option of being involved in programs through organizations like MMTF (Minneapolis Music Teachers Forum) and MMTA (Minnesota Music Teachers Association).
Emily lives in St. Paul where she enjoys running along the beautiful lakes and trails. Outside of work you can find her exploring the Twin Cities with friends, studying psychology and personality theory, attempting yoga, and spoiling her cat Lily

Leah Siltberg, Piano
Pianist Leah Siltberg is an active and sought-after performer in several contexts. Based in Minneapolis, Siltberg has performed or recorded with the Weisman Art Museum’s SONIC WAM, the James Sewell Ballet, Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul’s Schubert Club, Thursday Musical, the Chamber Society of Minnesota, and the American Composers’ Forum. In 2010, Siltberg was featured as a solo performer in Jerusalem’s Mozart and Chopin festivals and performed as part of a chamber music tour of the West Bank and the Golan Heights. In 2008, she performed Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with Minneapolis’s Kenwood Symphony. In 2007, she was part of the premier of a Colombian trio at the White House Conference on the Americas. Although Siltberg most often concertizes as a collaborative pianist, she has performed both solo and collaborative recitals in the United States, Canada, Central America, the Middle East, Spain, and New Zealand. Siltberg graduated from Toronto’s Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music with a Performance Diploma, Bachelor of Music, and Artist Diploma under the tutelage of former Leningrad Conservatory piano chair Boris Lysenko and the Duke Trio’s Peter Longworth and completed a M.Mus. and DMA in collaborative piano and coaching at the University of Minnesota with Timothy Lovelace and Noriko Kawai.

Stephen P. Swanson, Piano
Steve Swanson is a pianist based in St. Paul. He is an active freelancer, frequently collaborating with choirs, vocalists, and instrumentalists throughout the Twin Cities. In addition to his accompanying work, he maintains a private piano studio in Minneapolis.
Steve Swanson is a pianist based in St. Paul. He is an active freelancer, frequently collaborating with choirs, vocalists, and instrumentalists throughout the Twin Cities. Choirs he has accompanied include The Singers, VocalPoint, One Voice, and the MMEA All-State Choirs, as well as numerous high-school choirs throughout the metro area. He has premiered works by Jocelyn Hagen and Joshua Shank. In addition to his freelance work, he maintains a private piano studio and holds a position at Central Presbyterian Church. He graduated from Concordia College in 2004, and he obtained a Master’s degree in collaborative piano performance from the University of Minnesota in 2010.

Rie Tanaka, Piano
Japanese pianist Rie Tanaka is a prize winner of international and national competitions in Japan and the U.S. She won top prizes at West Central MTNA Young Artist Competition (Winner), Schubert Club Scholarship Competition (1st Prize), Thursday Musical Young Artist Scholarship Competition (1st Prize), Chautauqua International Piano Competition (Finalist, Best Performance of Commissioned Piece Award), 8th Rosenstock International Piano Competition (Jury Special Award), Kyoto Piano Concours (Bronze), and more.
An active solo and chamber musician, Tanaka performs frequently in the Midwest area. She has appeared in venues such as NHK Osaka hall, Phoenix hall in Osaka Japan, the Ordway Center for the Performing, Landmark Center, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra center, among others. She is a Thursday Musical Artist, as well as regular performer at the Coffee Concert Series at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music.
Tanaka attended the prestigious music special course at the Yuhigaoka High School in Osaka, Japan, which led to the musical tour in Vienna, Austria, performing in Wieber Musikverein. She received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point where she studied under Raffi Besalyan. She was chosen as the winner of the Outstanding Music Major Award 2013 for her excellence in performance and academia. She received a Master’s degree in Piano Performance at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Minnesota under the guidance of Alexander Braginsky.
Tanaka is a piano faculty at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music and Mount Oliver School of Music. She is a frequent guest artist/faculty at the South Beach Chamber Ensemble, Green Lake Chamber Music Camp, and Minnesota International Piano Camp. She has passion in educating musicians about performance injury and prevention, and has been invited to give lectures and lead special wellness sessions.
Please visit the official website www.riepiano.com to see more information.

Sean Wesche, Piano
B.A., Music and Math, St. Olaf College • Northfield, MN

Darian Wohlrabe, Piano
Darian Wohlrabe has been studying music since the age of four, when she first began taking piano lessons. She enjoyed making music throughout her childhood and into high school, where she played in band and jazz band and also accompanied two high school choirs. From seventh grade onward, she competed in Minnesota Music Teachers Association contests every year, as well as local piano competitions.
Darian was then awarded the Ronald W. Reagan Leadership Fellowship at Eureka College, where she began her undergraduate studies in Music Performance and History. While attending Eureka, she studied with Ms. Pamela Bates. A member of the Eureka College Honors Program, Darian presented a thesis entitled The Business of Rejoicing: Dmitri Shostakovich and Soviet Cultural Control Under Joseph Stalin in a lecture-recital in the spring of 2016.
Darian was then awarded a graduate assistantship at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she earned her Master’s of Music in Piano Performance studying under Dr. David Viscoli. There she accompanied for the University Chorale and twelve vocal students per semester. She was also involved with the MSU Theatre & Dance Department, accompanying regular dance classes and auditions, as well as students at the 2018 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Des Moines, Iowa.
Darian currently resides in Andover, Minnesota. She teaches lessons out of her home, as well as at the Mount Olivet School of Music in Minneapolis. She is currently not accepting new students.
Darian is experienced in providing music for weddings, receptions, masses, and other church services. She also enjoys playing in the orchestra for musical theatre productions. She has been in the orchestra for the Eureka College Theatre production of Little Shop of Horrors (2015) and the Minnesota State University Theatre productions of Little Women (2017) and Ragtime (2018), as well as Centenary Church’s summer production of Shrek the Musical (2017).

Mike Wolter, Piano
Since moving to the Twin Cities from Chicago in 2016, guitarist Mike Wolter has established himself as an in-demand leader and sideman on the jazz and improvised music scene. He has collaborated with many of the area’s finest musicians, including Cody McKinney, Cory Healey, Brandon Wozniak, Jay Epstein, Phil Hey, JC Sanford, Javier Santiago, Joan Hutton, Pete Hennig, Josh Granowski, Nathan Hanson, Aaron Hedenstrom, Chris Bates, Omar Abdulkarim, Graydon Peterson, Matt Peterson, Tom Lewis, Chris Olsen, and others. He can be heard playing on a regular basis in the area’s leading venues, such as The Black Dog Cafe, The Ice House, Amsterdam Bar, and The Dakota.
Mike Wolter received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire where he majored in music composition. While a student he performed UWEC’s prestigious Jazz Ensemble I and was a featured soloist on the group’s Downbeat award-winning album, Soul Searching. He went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from DePaul University in Chicago where he studied with leading jazz performers, including drummer Dana Hall, bassist Larry Gray, and pianist Ron Perillo.
Mike has taught at Mt. Olivet School of Music since the fall of 2016 and is proud to be part of its wonderful faculty and staff. He offers lessons in piano, guitar, and bass, as well as in jazz improvisation and techniques.

Dr. Ying Yao, Piano
Dr. Ying Yao received her bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from Sichuan Conservatory of Music in China, and her Master and Doctoral degree in Piano Performance/Piano Pedagogy from
Texas Tech University. For the past 20 years, she has been teaching students in China and United States. Ying’s teaching and professional affiliations: Music Teachers National Association (MTNA),
Minnesota Music Teachers Association (MMTA), Minnesota Music Teachers Forum (MMTF). Ying’s students have participated in numerous competitions, contests, festivals and state piano exam with
outstanding results. Ying’s students have also been winners of MMTA Piano State Contests, Piano Fun Competition and Northwestern University Piano Festival.
Ying believes that each student’s journey is unique and her teaching goal is to give each student the tools necessary to attain his or her highest musical and pianistic potential.

String Teachers

Carolyn Boulay, Violin & Viola
Classically trained, Carolyn Boulay, violin, was Concertmaster of the U of M orchestra and went on to play in the 1st violin section of the San Antonio Symphony for three years. Returning to Minnesota to raise her family, she continued performing as a freelance musician in an increasingly wide variety of settings. Carolyn was a guest soloist for the Dakota Valley Symphony, has opened for Tanya Tucker and Vince Gill. She has played at the White House and a garage sale. While continuing to perform chamber music for various concert series, she tours nationally with Lorie Line and Klezmerica. You can hear Carolyn on several Target Lifescapes recordings, such as Scottish Moors and Celtic Dreams, which feature Carolyn heavily. Carolyn is currently performing at the Guthrie Theatre in their production of “A Winter’s Tale.”

Claire Loudon, Violin & Viola
Claire has taught privately and in group settings since 1998. She has taught for several conservatories and schools of music in MN, OH and the United Kingdom, concurrently maintaining private studios. Claire undertook formal studies of string pedagogy and Dalcroze eurythmics at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester), and a Postgraduate Diploma (International Artist Diploma) from the RNCM with honors. Additional conservatoire training includes viola second study at the RNCM and piano at CIM.
Ms. Loudon is a violin substitute with Minnesota Sinfonia and Minnesota Orchestra. She has appeared in concerts across Europe, the United Kingdom, and North America as a member of prize-winning quartets and as soloist. An active professional orchestral musician, Claire has held several orchestral positions in the US and UK.
Teaching methods depend directly upon the learning style of the student, drawing upon a broad range of proven pedagogical techniques and musical styles. Providing consistency and clarity for students coupled with the goals of continuous development, music appreciation, and pride in achievement comprise her primary teaching objectives.

Diane Loudon, Cello
Diane Loudon earned her Bachelor and Master of Music Cello Performance from the University of Illinois – Urbana. She was a full merit based scholarship recipient for the duration of her studies under the tutelage of Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. Diane began teaching cello privately while still in high school, accepting overflow students from the studio of her own private cello teacher. While in college, Ms. Loudon studied pedagogy extensively and continued to teach privately. Ms. Loudon has been in demand to teach beginner cello courses and orchestra sectionals throughout Minnesota school districts including Edina Public Schools for a number of years. Along with her quartet, the Rosewood String Quartet, Diane has conducted outreach programs and delivered presentations to encourage participation in the performing arts in Bloomington, Moundsview, and Hasting to name a few. Many of Diane’s students fill leadership roles in their school orchestras, earning the principal cellist seat. Diane’s students are frequently featured as soloist with their school orchestras. Other student accomplishments include earning best of site at Solo and Ensemble and String Fest, and successfully auditioning for placement with Minnesota Youth Symphonies and Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. Many students gain a position with the top orchestras in MYS and GTCYS and also hold principal chair positions. Her students have had numerous competition successes and have gained acceptance to esteemed University and College music programs, including Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Diane offers many performance opportunities, hosting multiple studio recitals each year. Students also enjoy collaborating with peers in cello quartets and large cello ensembles as part of their studies, playing a wide range of genres from classical to rock to pop. In addition to a dedication to teaching, Ms. Loudon enjoys an active performing career as both soloist and chamber musician. She has held several orchestral posts throughout the United States.

Jesse Nummelin, Cello
Jesse Nummelin is a native of Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  He started Suzuki cello at age three with the Aber Suzuki Center for the Arts and performed with the Suzuki Chamber Ensemble under Mr. David Becker from 2004-2008.  Jesse later went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in cello performance at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and then a Masters of Music at Arizona State where he worked as Teaching Assistant to Professor Thomas Landschoot.
Jesse is an avid chamber musician and teacher.  He is currently a member of the South Dakota Symphony and has played with orchestras including Phoenix Symphony, Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, Scottsdale Arts Orchestra, Musica Nova, Tucson Pops and the Tucson Symphony.  He has played with the CWSO scholarship quartet, premiered several compositions with string quartet at the Museum of Musical Instruments in Phoenix, AZ and has performed on the UWSP radio broadcast “Acoustic Revival.” He also made a series of Jazz recordings through the Foulger Institute with acclaimed artists Allison Eldredge and Tom Landschoot. Jesse has performed with notable artists including Lang Lang, Andrea Bocelli, Pinchas Zukerman, Anne Akiko Meyers, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Curtis Stigers, the Juilliard String Quartet and John Williams.
He has taught cello to people of all ages and backgrounds through various programs and private studios.  He served as a faculty of cello at the Aber Suzuki Center for the Arts at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 2016.  Jesse currently lives in St. Paul and teaches cello at the St. Paul Conservatory of Music, the Waldorf City of Lakes School and Music Connection in Forest Lake.
Jesse’s teachers include Thomas Landschoot, Tom Rosenberg, Dr. Lawrence Leviton, Dr. Tim Mutschlecner, John Greiner, and Susan Bender.

Rick Widen, Guitar & Ukulele
Rick Widen began teaching guitar at the Mount Olivet School of Music year-one, 2003, when he graduated from the University of Minnesota – Duluth with a BA in Music, minor in Philosophy. He’s been a church choir director, pit orchestra guitarist, DayJams rock band coach, and for six years he was a CCA at Minneapolis Kids Burroughs right across the street! He’s won a Jug Band Trophy (he plays a mean banjo), a French Horn Trophy, and a plaque that reads “Best Musical Act at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.” He keeps a music theory and songwriting statistics vlog called www.tonaltrends.com and also publishes articles with Brooklyn based www.soundfly.com. He’s produced 5 albums of his own songs and played on many other albums in other capacities with many other bands and groups. He’s written the book, music, and lyrics for five musicals and is currently working on his sixth.

Mike Wolter, Guitar
Since moving to the Twin Cities from Chicago in 2016, guitarist Mike Wolter has established himself as an in-demand leader and sideman on the jazz and improvised music scene. He has collaborated with many of the area’s finest musicians, including Cody McKinney, Cory Healey, Brandon Wozniak, Jay Epstein, Phil Hey, JC Sanford, Javier Santiago, Joan Hutton, Pete Hennig, Josh Granowski, Nathan Hanson, Aaron Hedenstrom, Chris Bates, Omar Abdulkarim, Graydon Peterson, Matt Peterson, Tom Lewis, Chris Olsen, and others. He can be heard playing on a regular basis in the area’s leading venues, such as The Black Dog Cafe, The Ice House, Amsterdam Bar, and The Dakota.
Mike Wolter received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire where he majored in music composition. While a student he performed UWEC’s prestigious Jazz Ensemble I and was a featured soloist on the group’s Downbeat award-winning album, Soul Searching. He went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from DePaul University in Chicago where he studied with leading jazz performers, including drummer Dana Hall, bassist Larry Gray, and pianist Ron Perillo.
Mike has taught at Mt. Olivet School of Music since the fall of 2016 and is proud to be part of its wonderful faculty and staff. He offers lessons in piano, guitar, and bass, as well as in jazz improvisation and techniques.

Brass Teachers

Dr. Scott Agster, Low Brass
Dr. Scott Agster has 15 years of experience teaching in higher education including: Assistant Ensemble Department Head at McNally Smith College of Music, Adjunct Professor of Low Brass at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Adjunct Professor of Low Brass and Jazz Band at Concordia University, and Adjunct Professor of Jazz History at Normandale Community College. During this time, Dr. Agster taught college courses in: Applied Low Brass, Improvisation, Ensembles, Arranging, Finale, Conducting, Pedagogy, Ear Training, Keyboard, Jazz History, and Music Appreciation.  He currently teaches private brass lessons at Breck School and Mount Olivet School of Music.
Dr. Scott Agster remains active as a clinician, guest artist, and educational leader.  He most recently held the positions of Jazz Honor Band Site Coordinator for the Minnesota Band Directors Association and MMEA All State Jazz Band as a Section Coach. He has also performed at many educational outreach events as a guest artist, clinician, and adjudicator.  Dr. Agster’s mission is to provide high quality music education to students of all ages and ability levels.
Dr. Scott Agster is also an active performer.  He is currently a full-time member of several bands including: Salsa del Soul, Nooky Jones, Jack Brass Band, Twin Cities Stompers, Snowblind Jazz Quintet, and the Explosion Big Band.  He has had the opportunity to perform and work with many acclaimed artists and groups such as: The Doc Severinsen Orchestra, The One O’clock Lab Band, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The JazzMN Big Band, Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson, Dave Douglas, Phil Woods, Nicholas Payton, Sheila E., Pinetop Perkins, Aaron Neville, Kenny Loggins, Slide Hampton and Trombone Shorty.  Dr. Agster has also participated in pit orchestras at the Ordway Center, Children’s Theater Company, and the History Theater.
Dr. Agster earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Trombone Performance from the University of Minnesota.  He also holds a Master of Music in Trombone Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of North Texas.

Benjamin Bussey, Low Brass
Ben Bussey is a musician, educator, and arranger based in Minneapolis, MN. His work on trombone, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba, and sousaphone cover a wide range of music genres and reflect a keen interest in education at all levels of the music business. His current projects include playing and writing for Jaedyn James and the Hunger (Funk/Soul/Love), the Hennepin County Millionaire’s Club (indie rock ska), Brass & Bodyworks (NOLA brass band), and the Twin Cities Symphony. He is also Professor of Low Brass at Concordia University, St Paul and serves on the faculty of the MacPhail Center for Music as a low brass instructor and ensemble clinician. Ben is an active coach, clinician, adjudicator, and guest artist for music programs in the Twin Cities area, and is a leader in the area of online instruction statewide. His wide range of teaching and performing experiences provide a unique lens for students as they develop their skills as musicians and self-educators. A Minneapolis native, Ben holds degrees from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (BMus Music Ed, 2008) and McNally Smith (MM Trombone, 2015, R.I.P.). He is an avid baseball fan and coffee enthusiast.
Interested in learning more? – visit www.tromboneben.com

Dr. Adam Rossmiller, Trumpet
Dr. Adam Rossmiller is a trumpet performer and music educator in the Twin Cities. Performance credits include: Doc Severinsen Big Band, Glen Miller Big Band, JazzMN Big Band, Bach Society of MN, Orchestra Hall Big Band, Pete Whitman’s X-tet, Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church Brass Quartet, Dr. Mambo’s Combo, Jack Brass Band, and Ronn Easton’s All Star Soul Revue. He has also had the pleasure of performing professionally with: Jason Marsalis, Natalie Cole, Eric Alexander, Mike Stern, Nicholas Payton, Fred Wesley, Diane Schuur, Ernie Watts, Wayne Bergeron, the Hornheads, the Four Tops, Martha & the Vandellas, and Wayne Newton. Adam is also a regular performer in the Twin Cities vibrant musical theatre scene and has been hired for numerous engagements at the Guthrie Theater, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, and the Children’s Theatre. He is currently adjunct faculty at Concordia University St. Paul where he directs the Jazz Ensemble and teaches courses in Jazz Improvisation and Brass Pedagogy. He has also served on the faculty at the University of Minnesota Morris, McNally Smith College of Music, Gustavus Adolphus College, and St. Cloud State University. He directs a beginning band and maintains a private studio at the Mt. Olivet School of Music. His edition of Frank Bencriscutto’s Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble is published through Ars Nova Press.

Dr. Takako Senn, Trumpet
An artist with international credentials, Takako Seimiya Senn won first prize in the prestigious Tokyo Bunkakaikan Hall Competition in 1993, first place in the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra’s Solo Concerto Competition to perform in their 2009-2010 season and 2016-2017 season, and continues to be in demand as a soloist and freelance performer.
Takako was selected for a 2001 tour of Japan and a 2008 tour of New York City with the Minnesota Orchestra and has performed in numerous subscription concerts including several recordings.  She has also performed with the Minnesota Opera and many freelance orchestral and chamber ensembles as well as a 2008 production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and a 2009 production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre. She became a member of the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra from 2015 to the present.
She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in performance and education at Musashino Academia Musicae, Tokyo, Japan and her Master’s and Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance at the University of Minnesota.
Takako is a dedicated teacher who has been teaching scores of students in various high schools and music studios around the Twin Cities.  She is currently an adjunct professor of Trumpet at St. Cloud State University as well as Concordia University –St. Paul.  Her teachers and coaches are Manny Laureano, David Baldwin, Ron Hasselmann, Frank Bencriscutto and Isao Fukui.

Woodwinds Teachers

Dana Donnay, Woodwinds
Dana Donnay is a professional oboist and woodwind performer. She studied oboe performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA, and at the Univeristy of Minnesota. She has taught young instrumentalists for over a decade and loves the opportunity to share with people of all ages her enjoyment of music. Dana teaches Oboe, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, and Piano. She is experienced in teaching band and early childhood music classes, and is a licensed Kindermusik educator. Dana is also a very active performer. She plays oboe and english horn in many professional orchestras throughout the midwest and is a busy freelance musician in the Twin Cities. She holds the english horn position with the South Dakota Symphony. She also plays in many chamber music ensembles including the Semada Trio, and the Gilded Lily Trio. Dana is a multi-instrumentalist. She performs as a woodwind doubler in musical orchestra pits, in particular with the Bloomington Civic Theater and the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. She enjoys playing a variety of styles which include jazz and world folk music. Dana also has a diploma in instrument repair, and has worked as a repair technician at Midwest Musical Imports.

Julie Johnson, Flute
Flutist/composer/improviser Julie Johnson brings her distinct sound and approach to many multi-genre projects, including places where, she’s been told, the flute doesn’t belong.  As a creator and performer of new music, Julie’s work walks the line between composition and songwriting, art music and popular music, between genres as seemingly different as classical and blues.  A finalist for the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians and a winner of grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, American Composers Forum, Lanesboro Arts Center, Springboard for the Arts, MacPhail Center for Music, Knight Foundation, MRAC, and a Banff Centre residency, she plays in many styles, working to bring both the flute and her audiences to music they haven’t been in contact with before.  She performs regularly with her roots/folk trio, Julie Johnson & The No-Accounts, with cellist Jacqueline Ultan in J2J, and with modern dancer/choreographer Tamara Ober.  www.julieflute.net

Jacob Meyer, Clarinet
Jake Meyer is the principal clarinetist of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra and is an active freelancer and teacher in the Twin Cities. Recently, he has performed with the Round Top Festival Orchestra and served as principal clarinetist of the Florida State University Symphony Orchestra and Wind Orchestra. He has also appeared as a soloist with the St. Olaf Orchestra on six occasions, performing the first movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie.
As private instructor, Jake has worked with students of all ages and abilities. He served as a teaching assistant while studying at FSU, teaching private lessons to undergraduate music majors, coaching chamber music and teaching the clarinet methods course. He has also written a guide to inform musicians about health and wellness issues they face on a daily basis.
Jake holds his Bachelor of Music from St. Olaf College and his Master of Music from Florida State University. Away from the clarinet, Jake enjoys reading, swimming, exploring sustainable living, and getting involved in his local St. Paul community. For more information about lessons with Jake, you can check out his website jakemeyerclarinet.com.

Gus Sandberg, Saxophone, Flute, & Clarinet
Gus Sandberg is an educator and performer in the Twin Cities.  He holds a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
He has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, New Orleans Trumpeter James Andrews, and has performed with the Jack Brass Band at Preservation Hall in New Orleans.   He enjoys performing with the Bluewater Kings Band, Jack Brass Band, Bill Simenson Orchestra, and the Explosion Big Band.   Gus believes that music should be fun for all ages and enjoys helping people reach their musical goals.

Voice Teachers

Lauren Drasler, Voice
Lauren has loved and studied music from a young age- starting with piano lessons at 5-years old and going on to major in Vocal Music at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.  After college, Lauren performed in Musical Theater and Opera around the Twin Cities including: The Guthrie Theater, Skylark Opera, Minneapolis Musical Theater and more! She then attended the London Academy for Music and Dramatic Arts for her Masters Degree, moved to LA where she did some Television and Commercial work (including a Guest Star role on ABC’s The Middle). After her daughter Quinn was born, she and her family came back to the lovely Minnesota where she is thrilled to be teaching at Mount Olivet. She is a great beginner voice teacher, as she is energetic and fun with high-standards.  Her vocal teaching has a foundation in breath work and efficiently of sound.  Lauren is comfortable with a variety of styles: Musical Theater, folk, opera and some pop as well.  She stresses the importance of self-awareness and mindfulness in music-making!

Alma Neuhaus, Voice
Alma Neuhaus, mezzo-soprano, has performed on both American and European stages. In the summer of 2018, she sang in the Mill City Summer Opera Chorus in Carmen, and debuted the role of Dritte Dame with the Berlin Opera Academy in Die Zauberflöte. A graduate of St. Olaf College, Alma has performed solo works with the St. Olaf Orchestra, Chamber Singers, and Collegium. Other roles at St. Olaf include Mad Margaret in Ruddigore and Dolly in Der Vampyr. In 2016, she trained with Musica Nelle Marche LLC in Urbino, where she performed in numerous regional concerts, including the Concerto Lirico at Teatro Sanzio. She then studied in Milan, where she sang at Casa Verdi and performed in an original collaborative opera work titled Sogno: Una Pastiche at Teatro Franco Parenti. Other performances include Alto Soloist for Messiah with the Minnetonka Choral Society, the Opernfest Berlin’s Opera Gala at the Mendelssohn Remise, Alto soloist with the Bethlehem Lutheran Church Choir, and a chorus member in the Skylark Opera Theater’s production of Don Giovanni. Alma currently serves as a Choral Scholar with the White Bear Lake United Methodist Church and is a member of the Minnesota Opera Chorus for their production of The Italian Straw Hat.
Alma has taught music for almost 10 years, beginning as a Sunday School and Vacation Bible School music leader at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. She was the music director and orchestra conductor for the Washburn High School production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown! in 2013, as well as a counselor for the Music Theater camp at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in 2015. More recently, she served as the Education Intern with Project Opera at Minnesota Opera in 2018, where she provided musical assistance and coaching for the students in the program. She now teaches voice to singers of all ages using classical training techniques to encourage healthy singing in any style from classical to musical theater and jazz.

Brian Ohnsorg, Voice
Brian Ohnsorg, tenor, is a Mount Olivet member and serves as the assistant director of the Mount Olivet Senior Choir.  Brian has sung with professional ensembles such as The Minnesota Chorale, VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, the Minnesota Bach Society and the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus. In addition to his work as a musician at Mount Olivet, Brian has had a distinguished career as a high school choral director and teaches at Farmington High School. Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Gustavus Adolphus College and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Luke Randall, Voice
Dr. Luke Randall, baritone, is a versatile artist who enraptures audiences with his performances in opera, recital, and oratorio works. He has had the pleasure of collaborating with renowned musicians, conductors, and directors such as Martin Katz, Thomas Hampson, Kathleen Kelly, Simon O’Neill, Timothy Cheek, and Jerry Blackstone. Along with his deep love of performing, he is a passionate educator and scholar. He has taught at the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, and Interlochen Center for the Arts. His scholarly focus centers on researching and performing Scandinavian art song, including works by Edvard Grieg, Wilhelm Stenhammer, Hugo Alfvén, Ture Rangström, and Gustaf Nordqvist. Dr. Randall received his D.M.A. and M.M. in vocal performance from the University of Michigan, and his B.M. in vocal performance from Lawrence University. He is currently the Administrator for the Mount Olivet School of Music.

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Band & Orchestra

Band and Orchestra are offered by the Mount Olivet School of Music in partnership with Burroughs Community School as fun musical after school programs for 4th and 5th graders. Students are comprised of beginner and intermediate musicians, who learn to improve their instrumental playing through sectionals and large groups rehearsals. Instruction includes general music concepts, which are reinforced through creative games and group activities.

Classes are held at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church on Thursdays from 3:45-5:15pm.

Calendar

Thursday, August 23  Meet the Teacher Night
Thursday, September 6 @ 5:30  Curriculum Night for Parents – Media Center at Burroughs Community School
Thursday, September 20 First day of band/orchestra
Thursday, October 18 No band/orchestra
Thursday, November 1 No band/orchestra
Thursday, November 22 No band/orchestra
Thursday, December 27 & January 3
No band/orchestra
Thursday, January 10 Band/orchestra resume
Thursday, January 24  No band/orchestra
Thursday, April 4 No band/orchestra
Thursday, April 18, No band/orchestra
Thursday, April 25 Last day of band/orchestra
Tuesday, April 30 Final concert at 6:30 pm
Burroughs Community School Gymnasium

Teachers

Gold Band:
Director: Ben Bussey
Assistant Director: Lukas Skrove
Blue Band:
Director: Adam Rossmiller
Assistant director:  Gus Sandberg
Assistant director: John Baumgartner
Orchestra:
Director: Olivia Hahn
Assistant director:  April Wickland
Assistant director: Karla Dietmeyer Colahan
Section leaders:
   Jake Meyer

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