Meet Our Teachers

 

Guitar

Lionel Mootoo (Guitar)

LionelMootoo Meet Our TeachersAfter seeing the Jackson 5 perform on American Band Stand back in the 70’s (for those of you who remember) Lionel knew he wanted to be in the music world. When Lionel was about 10 years old, his dad gave him an old mandolin that he had picked up overseas in WW II and for the next 3 years Lionel learned to play it by ear. At that time his mandolin repertoire consisted of the Brady Bunch theme, a few Stevie Wonder tunes and every cartoon theme imaginable, his favorite being the Flintstones theme. For his 13th Birthday Lionel asked his mother for a guitar. Being an over protective nurse from the West Indies she was completely against Lionel playing music, but she bought him one any way (probably to shut him up). For the Next five years Lionel spent every day after school and every weekend either practicing or jamming with friends. By the time Lionel was eighteen he was performing at clubs throughout the New York/New Jersey area and had established a reputation as a skilled lead guitar player able to easily cover Hendrix, Van Halen, Clapton and many others. At that time Lionel became interested in classical guitar and studied classical technique for the next two years while also completing his BA at William Paterson University and earning honors in Humanities. After studying classical guitar, Lionel became heavily influenced by jazz and studied jazz guitar for the next few years with Jimmy Brown, Jeff Peretz and the legendary Vic Cenicola. Today Lionel continues to teach as well as write and perform music. In addition Lionel has earned his MBA which has helped him with maneuvering the business side of the music industry. His students have included professional musicians on Broadway, public school music teachers, retirees who want to rock and kids of all ages who have been bitten by the music bug just as he was when he was their age.
Lionel’s philosophy for learning the guitar revolves around a few simple rules:
  1. Practice regularly. Schedule it and stick to it.
  2. Don’t spend too much time on things you are good at. Focus your efforts on the weak points in your playing. This way you are always improving!
  3. Learn to listen. As a musician (and as a human being) your ears are the most powerful tool you have.
  4. Always work with yourself, not against yourself, be patient.

Greg Kokus (Guitar)

GregKokus Meet Our TeachersFor more than 25 years Greg has taught music and performed over 3,500 shows running the gamut from Broadway shows to corporate events, to opening for National Acts. Performances have taken him to locations such as Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Mexico, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and to his home home in South Florida. Greg has worked with Julius and Felix Pastorius, Jim Bailey, avante garde legend, Karl Berger, Joey Gilmore, Rob Whitlock, Kenny Millions, Bill Hicks, Bobby Thomas Jr. and Ziarah Washington.

Greg has also taught guitar, bass guitar, jazz pop piano and voice lessons at North Broward Prep, Florida Youth Orchestra, Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Palm Beach Day Academy, and Georges Music.

 

Strings

Alice Naegele (Strings, Beginning Piano)

AliceNaegele1 Meet Our TeachersAlice Naegele received her Bachelor’s Degree from Stetson University, her Master’s from Southern Methodist University, and her Doctorate in Music Composition from Ohio State University. While working on her Bachelor’s, she participated in the Study Abroad program in Freiburg, Germany. She began her piano lessons at age 6, and violin at age 12. After graduation, she began teaching private and group lessons at The Language and Music School in Oak Park, IL. She is currently working as an adjunct professor at Palm Beach State College and in the MacArthur School of Leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University, teaching Music Appreciation. She continues to teach private piano and violin at her home and at MusicMan, Inc. She instructs group violin lessons at King’s Academy (5th and 1st grade group violin classes at Egret Lakes and Grove Park Elementary schools. She is also the pianist at Lighthouse Baptist Church.

Carmen Del Valle Ruiz (Violin, Viola, Cello)

CarmenDelValleRuiz Meet Our TeachersCarmen was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico and her family moved to the United States when she was 2 years old. She started playing violin at the age of 11 and piano at the age of 15. After graduating from high school, Carmen attended Augusta State University on an academic scholarship and multiple music scholarships where she majored in music education. She was very involved throughout the campus and received many honors as a music major. In April 2008, she won the concerto competition and was a featured soloist for the university’s orchestra. Carmen graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in December 2008 and the following Fall, started her Masters degree at Florida State University. During her Masters degree, she was an active performer and teacher. She graduated in April 2011 and became an orchestra director at a high school in Atlanta, GA. Last July, Carmen married Juan Acevedo and moved to West Palm Beach, FL. Currently, she is a local musician and a music educator

 

Woodwinds/Brass

Paul Magersuppe (Woodwinds, Brass)

PaulMagersuppe 300x300 Meet Our TeachersPaul is a Danbury, Connecticut native who came to Palm Beach County in 1972. Upon graduation from Atlantic High School, he attended Palm Beach Junior College and then went on to earn a Bachelor of Music Education from Florida State University. Since returning to South Florida in 1982, Mr. Magersuppe has enjoyed a musically diverse career, performing professionally on the saxophones, clarinet and flute. Some of the performers he has worked with include Robert Goulet, Al Martino, Carol Channing, Eddie Fisher, Perry Como, George Burns, Rich Little, Aretha Franklin, Dick Johnson, Dudley Moore, Eartha Kitt, Duffy Jackson, The Temptations, the Four Tops, the Platters, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, the Marshall Grant Orchestra, the Palm Beach County Chamber Ensemble, the Israeli Chamber Orchestra, and the Palm Beach County Woodwind Quintet. A member of the former International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE), the Music Educator’s National Conference (MENC), and the Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA), Paul has been a band director at Palm Springs Middle School (formerly known as Jefferson Davis Middle School) for the past 22 years. His bands have earned straight superior ratings at district festivals for the past 17 years. His jazz ensembles and symphonic bands have been very busy performing all over the county, including the South Florida Fair and Sunfest. In addition, he has served as instructor of saxophone at Palm Beach Community College and has performed with the PBCC Tuesday Night Jazz Ensemble. He is now the woodwind instructor at several high schools in Palm Beach County and assists at Palm Beach State College. In addition, he has a roster of private students ranging in level from beginning to advanced.

Sara Lynch (Oboe)

SaraLynch Meet Our TeachersSara received her Master’s Degree from Lynn Conservatory of Music and played in the Lynn Philharmonia. There she studied with former New York Philharmonic principal oboist, Joseph Robinson. A native of North Carolina, she became a student of John Ellis at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she earned her high school diploma. She has been both principal and second oboe of the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute. Ms. Lynch received her Bachelor of Music degree in 2010 from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) with Mark Ostoich. While studying at CCM, she became an enthusiast for new music and premiered many works for the conservatory’s composition department. In 2008, she performed with the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy as principal oboe and English horn. Ms. Lynch received scholarships to attend several prestigious music festivals including Eastern Music Festival and Interlochen Arts Camp. Ms. Lynch is currently principal oboe of the Palm Beach Atlantic Orchestra and frequently performs with the Palm Beach Pops. She has been guest principal oboe at Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra and has made appearances with the Miami Symphony and Symphony of the Americas in Fort Lauderdale. Ms. Lynch is currently professor of Oboe at Palm Beach Atlantic University and works with young woodwind students at the Youth Orchestra of Palm Beach County.

Kristopher Ferranti (Woodwinds)

Kristopher Ferranti is a native of New Jersey and reloacted to Palm Beach County in 2007.  Upon graduating high school in New Jersey, Mr. Ferranti attended the University of Delaware in 2005 and earned a Bachelors degree in Music Education certified to teach K-12.   Throughout his diverse career Mr. Ferranti has performed, conducted and educated up and down the east coast.

Some performances include Steve Salo’s Big Band, Orquesta de la Playa, The Tuesday Night Band and Sid Parkers Jazz Band.  Mr. Ferranti taught 3 years in New Jersey prior to teaching at Atlantic Community High School for 7 years.  He also had the honor of being the guest clinician at Lee County Schools for their district Jazz Band.  Mr. Ferranti has worked with several Palm Beach County District ensembles, conducted all district concert bands, and worked with the United States Marine Corps Band in Paris Island.

 

Piano

Carlos Mota (Piano, Drums, World Percussion)

CarlosMota Meet Our TeachersCarlos started his professional music career at the age of 13 at the local venues in his native Dominican Republic. His first break was with the Anibal Brabo and Tipica Dominicana which opened the doors to travel and New York City’s Merengue and Salsa scene of the late 80’s. Since then work for some of the top Latin acts Wilfrido Vargas, the Moreno Brothers and Milie Quesada. Later transition to Latin Jazz and performed with Mario Rivera, Ray Vega, The Banda Brothers, Steve Turre, John Santos, Bobby Sanabria, Leah Babatunde to name a few. Since moving to Florida study music at Palm Beach State College, and Jazz Performance at Florida Atlantic University under the mentoring of Dr. Tim Walters.

Alice Naegele (Strings, Beginning Piano)

AliceNaegele1 Meet Our Teachers

Alice Naegele received her Bachelor’s Degree from Stetson University, her Master’s from Southern Methodist University, and her Doctorate in Music Composition from Ohio State University. While working on her Bachelor’s, she participated in the Study Abroad program in Freiburg, Germany. She began her piano lessons at age 6, and violin at age 12. After graduation, she began teaching private and group lessons at The Language and Music School in Oak Park, IL. She is currently working as an adjunct professor at Palm Beach State College and in the MacArthur School of Leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University, teaching Music Appreciation. She continues to teach private piano and violin at her home and at MusicMan, Inc. She instructs group violin lessons at King’s Academy (5th and 1st grade group violin classes at Egret Lakes and Grove Park Elementary schools. She is also the pianist at Lighthouse Baptist Church.

 

Drums/Percussion

Frank Derrick (Drums, Percussion)

FrankDerrick Meet Our Teachers

Drummer, Frank Derrick, has led a multifaceted national and international music career. He is a virtuoso performer, composer, and educator. In addition to his many theatrical credits, he has performed with numerous legends including Eubie Blake, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Benny Carter, Hank Jones, Ann Hampton Calloway, Keely Smith, and The Louis Armstrong Legacy Band to name a few. He toured worldwide with Cab Calloway for 10 years and was the drummer for “The David Letterman Show” on NBC. Currently he is the drummer, assistant conductor and personnel manager for the Palm Beach Pops and drummer and conductor for the Bob Hoose Orchestra. He is the respected author of FOCUS ON TECHNIQUE FOR DRUMMERS, Drumset Editor for Percussive Notes, and makes guest appearances following the recent release of his new jazz-chart busting CD, THE BEAT GOES ON on the Jazzed Media label.

Carlos Mota (Piano, Drums, World Percussion)

CarlosMota Meet Our TeachersCarlos started his professional music career at the age of 13 at the local venues in his native Dominican Republic. His first break was with the Anibal Brabo and Tipica Dominicana which opened the doors to travel and New York City’s Merengue and Salsa scene of the late 80’s. Since then work for some of the top Latin acts Wilfrido Vargas, the Moreno Brothers and Milie Quesada. Later transition to Latin Jazz and performed with Mario Rivera, Ray Vega, The Banda Brothers, Steve Turre, John Santos, Bobby Sanabria, Leah Babatunde to name a few. Since moving to Florida study music at Palm Beach State College, and Jazz Performance at Florida Atlantic University under the mentoring of Dr. Tim Walters.

Myron Steward (Drums)

myronstewart Meet Our TeachersAt about the age of 9, Myron Stewart saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show and knew that he wanted to be a drummer for the rest of his life. For the next 4 years, he drove his mom crazy stealing her pots and pans, arranging them in a semi-circle around him and denting them while playing along with anything that came on the radio. Finally at 13, his mom broke down and bought Myron his first drum set from a family friend. It was blue and sparkly and although it only cost a few dollars it was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Through junior high and high school Myron continued to progress, acing his auditions for school band and achieving 1st chair in drum ensemble, while also sparking interest from the local music scene. By the time Myron was 16, he was playing professionally in the local clubs and busy establishing a reputation as a solid drummer with the ability to play anything from Beatles to Deep Purple and everything in between.

Following high school, Myron toured extensively across the US and Canada. He played in several groups who opened for many household names, including Jerry Reed, The Bellamy Brothers, Eddie Money, The Dixie Dregs and Bob Seger.

Myron is a lifelong dedicated performer who enjoys the rewards years of experience have brought him. He derives a great deal of personal gratification from teaching drums and percussion to people of all ages. Also, Myron has helped many of his students prepare for and achieve entrance into the prestigious Bak School for the Performing Arts as well as giving many adults the opportunity to explore their musical curiosity and achieve their lifelong dream of playing the drums. Myron’s approach to teaching is an individualized approach that focuses upon counting, keeping time and mastering the basics. He also believes in constantly challenging yourself with different types of beats, rhythms and musical styles.

Today Myron focuses 100% of his time on teaching, performing and creating music. His passion for drumming and music in general is both overwhelming and contagious. He serves as both a supporter and inspiration to all that cross his path musically and devotes his time and energy to helping others pursue their musical dreams, goals and aspirations.

 

Vocals

Roberta Rehner

robertarehner Meet Our Teachers

Roberta Rehner has been studying voice, dance, piano, and theater since she was a very young girl. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Thiel College. Roberta has worked as a radio personality. Since 2002, she is a cantor at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. She is also a cantor and vocalist at Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida since 2008. Roberta also teaches private voice lessons (Bel-Canto) to children and adults since 2007 at Jupiter Academy of Music (JAM) and out of her home.

She prides herself on being quite diversified in her singing styles. Roberta Rehner not only sings classical art songs and arias, but performs sacred, musical theater, jazz, rock, and madrigal styles. She has even performed with a three-part A Cappella group “The Caroling Company” of Broward County. Roberta gives many cabaret and classical concerts around Palm Beach County as well. Roberta Rehner was a guest vocalist for the Palm Beach Gardens Concert Band at the, Eissey Theater at Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens. She was honored to perform for the 82nd Airborne Corp. Division.

Currently, Roberta is a student at Palm Beach Atlantic University, where she is obtaining her second Bachelor degree in Music, as a vocal performance major. Roberta has future aspirations to obtain her Master’s Degree in voice. She also studies under Marilyn Mims, a soprano and former Metropolitan Opera singer. Additionally, Roberta has studied with Richard Adler, Broadway composer and lyricist of “The Pajama Game” and “Damn Yankees.”

“Swing 8n’t All,” Roberta Rehner is also the featured vocalist for hottest swing band in Palm Beach County. Since 2009, the band has played at many local venues, like the Lake Worth Playhouse in Lake Worth, Florida, and Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

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