PIANO

 

Amber Blubaugh

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Amber began her music education at the age of eight in Ohio, when her parents surprised her with a new piano. Before they could even save their money to begin lessons, Amber had worked out all of the major and minor scales on her own, as well as creating her first violin by holding a toy guitar on her left shoulder. After enrolling in both piano and viola lessons Amber pursued a classical music education, in high school having the privilege of performing under the tutelage of renowned Boston Pops Orchestra conductor Keith Lockhart.  Amber graduated from Ohio State University School of Music, where she studied viola with Emeritus Professor and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra performer Edward Adelson, as well as working with Robert Gillespie, director of one of the most extensive string pedagogy programs in the nation. After graduation, Amber expanded her musical repertoire to include violin and fiddle, performing in various folk and rock ensembles in Columbus, Ohio and later, in Portland Oregon. Amber has been teaching piano, violin, and viola since 1995 and has been a full-time career music teacher in classroom, ensemble, and private instruction for 13 years. She prides herself on her commitment to developing confidence in young people, understanding music education to be much more than teaching a particular skill. To Amber, teaching a person how to create music opens up a whole world of expression, creativity, and self-esteem that can aid in all aspects of life. She considers each student as a unique individual, with his or her own strengths, interests, experiences, and attitudes. And it is her personal goal to work with each student to help them achieve their personal best every day!

Greg Young

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     Born the son of Award winning musical director, Gerald Young, Greg was immersed in music from the very beginning.  Greg's early childhood through his teen years, were spent taking piano lessons and performing in musical theater productions such as "Gypsy", "Music Man", "The Sound of Music", and was the lead role in the musical "Oliver". He also was part of the junior company of Roger Rocka's Good Company Players in Fresno, California with multiple Tony Award winner, Audra McDonald.  In high school, Greg developed a love for jazz music, as well as classical music, and enrolled in Jazz Band (valve trombone), Concert Band (Euphonium and Tuba), also singing in the Jazz Choir and Concert Choirs.  Greg was selected twice to the CMEA All-State Jazz Choir, took first place in the solo competition of the Reno Jazz Festival, and received the Bank of America Accomplishment in Music and The Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Awards.  After graduating high school, Greg entered college at San Jose State University as a Vocal Jazz Major / Piano Minor, and graduated college at Cal State Northridge, as a classical voice major.  During these years, Greg was fortunate enough to have performed with his college jazz choirs at the Montreaux Jazz Festival and North Sea Jazz Festival, also being asked to join the Grammy nominated Los Angeles Jazz Choir.  He continued his music journey playing keyboards and singing with the band "Runaway Train", Greg then toured extensively around North America, sharing stages with Dolly Parton, John Michael Montgomery, and The Charlie Daniels Band. before ultimately settling down in Central Oregon.  Whether learning how to sing or play classical, jazz, rock, pop, blues, or country, Greg has always felt the importance of learning ways to make music from day 1, which makes learning fun, and tailors his lesson plans to the students requests and needs. Greg has always felt that, "It is important to keep lessons enjoyable and student specific, so that each person might develop their own love of music and not dread having to take lessons. The love of music is a worldwide universal bond, and I look forward to helping you unlock your musical potential".

 

Mariah Priebe

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Mariah was born in Minnesota and moved to Idaho in middle school. She began playing piano in first grade, singing in choirs and playing viola in sixth, and private vocal lessons in ninth. During high school, she worked her way up to be section leader of the Varsity Mixed Ensemble, principle alto in the Varsity Jazz Choir, and student conductor to the Junior Varsity Mixed Ensemble. This music leadership experience led her to attend Whitworth University to pursue a music education degree. However, after a practicum in a kindergarten classroom, she discovered her love of teaching elementary students, and ended up with an elementary education degree and a music minor. After teaching kindergarten for a year in Spokane, this past summer her and her fiancé moved down to Bend. She is excited to start sharing her joy for music with students in the area!

 

Kathi Copans

Kathi has been a musician her whole life, being classically trained as well as versed in pop, rock, and jazz music. In her younger years she wrote, recorded, and performed in clubs in Northern and Southern California, singing and playing piano, flute, and guitar. She has also been involved in Community Theatre musicals, performing in ensembles as well as assisting in music direction. Kathi has taught music for over 25 years, the past 15 years being in the Simi Valley Unified School District (Middle and High School), directing and instructing choral music and beginning guitar.  While there, she taught a variety of genres of music, along with sight singing / reading, and music theory. She loves children and enjoys working with small groups of students as well as teaching /coaching one-on-one. Since retiring from SVUSD, Kathi is passionate about giving back to the community her love and vast knowledge of music. She is dedicated to the total development of the singer/musician.

 

Corry Bolz

(Redmond / Sisters region)

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Corry was born and raised in Germany. She started playing piano at age 5 and studied classical piano for 15 years. She performed her first concerts at age 12 where she played selections from Beethoven, Schubert and other legendary classical composers.

At 20 years of age, after finishing high school in Germany, she worked at Disney World in Florida for 6 months to improve her English and experience life in America. After that, she worked as a flight attendant for Lufthansa for many years and later opened her own shoestore in Frankfurt, Germany..... but never stopped playing and loving piano.

Finally, she ended up following her musical passion and began teaching piano in 2008. She also studied and earned her certificate as a yoga instructor for children and adults.  She taught yoga for children in elementary schools and also taught in yoga studios for all ages.

In June 2016 she married an American who is also musician and followed him to Sisters, Oregon where they live and make music together!

Corry’s teaching style is to combine her classical background in technique and sightreading with the freedom and fun of more contemporary music and improvisation, depending on the interests of the student.

 

Katie "Pinto" LeBrun

Katie grew up in a very musical little area of Wisconsin, and has been surrounded by musicians her entire life.  Her father (a drummer) would bring her along to gigs, put her on stage next to him, and hand her a tambourine. Katie would also sit next to her mother and learn to sing harmonies in church choir.  by the time she was in elementary school, her parents started her in piano lessons, with guitar and voice lessons developing by the time she was in high school.  Katie grew into quite the multi-instrumentalist, playing accordion, keys, and percussion in local orchestra pits, while also directing the Chippewa Valley Boys Choir.  Naturally during college, she pursued Music Education and Performance. In the end, Katie finished her undergraduate degree in Music Liberal Arts (piano and voice) along with fine arts management, later going back to complete her Masters in Business.  Some of her accomplishments included assistant teaching for a middle school band in Washington D.C., presenting at the National Opera Association Convention in Los Angeles, appearing as an artist in residence for high school choirs in the Milwaukee suburbs, teaching lessons locally, and directing a church choir in her home town. 

Post-college, Katie moved to Boston where she developed her love of teaching in other disciplines, completing certifications for Yoga and Hula Hoop Instruction.  She developed these programs into her own company, “Pinto Bella Movement Arts,” and started traveling the country.  For almost three years (and over 100,000 miles) she drove around the United States presenting at libraries, schools, studios and other community organizations.  On the road, she found inspiration to begin writing music again.  She learned many new instruments, making ukulele and hang drum two of her main instruments for writing music and performing.  She joined a small rock band for a couple tours, replacing their lead guitarist with her voice and ukulele.  Katie then started doing daytime performances at nursing homes, sharing her original music and old classics with the residents. 

In October of 2016, her travels then lead to Oregon, and she fell in love with Bend. She decided it was time to create a home base and return her focus to the music that has always been at the heart of her journey. When she returned from a tour in Georgia/Florida in January 2017, she unpacked the suitcases and started calling Bend her home.  

Katie believes that learning should be a side effect of having fun, wanting to help others find the same joy and freedom from music that she has been blessed with during her life.  Let’s make some noise!