Although a piano student and tap dancer, Marci considered education, rather than the arts, to be her calling. She received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education. Following five years of teaching at Prince of Peace Christian School, Marci chose to stay at home with her newborn, Melanie, and later her second daughter, Emily. While raising and homeschooling her two girls, Marci instilled her passion for the arts in their hearts as they were active in music lessons and dance.
In addition to her role as director, she has a part-time private tutoring business and serves as the women's minister at her church.
Megan Aguilar is a Prince of Peace Christian School alumni who has been teaching art for three years. She is currently teaching K-12 art at POPCS. Having studied at the Art Institute of Dallas, Megan is resourceful and imaginative and is trained in a wide array of art mediums. Her goals as an art teacher are instilling art appreciation and promoting creativity and open-mindedness in and outside the classroom. Her top priority is offering individual support, providing positive encouragement and an imaginative atmosphere to ensure that each child succeeds in the art room.
A native of West Virginia, Nicholas Bragg began his DMA study at the University of North Texas in the Fall of 2018, and can be seen performing with the UNT Wind Symphony, Concert Orchestra, and Baroque Orchestra. Before moving to Texas, Nicholas earned both his B.F.A. in Music Performance and M.A. in Music at Marshall University, located in Huntington, WV. While at Marshall University he served as Concertmaster of the Wind Symphony as well as principal horn of the Symphony Orchestra.
Nicholas has also been a Guest Artist for West Virginia State University’s Jazz Band, as well as for Marshall University’s 12 o’clock Big Band. Before moving to Texas, he served as Third horn/Assistant principal of the Charleston Chamber Orchestra, as well as the staff horn for A.R.T.s, H.E.A.R.T., and other theatre companies in Southern West Virginia and Southern Ohio.
As a freelance musician in the DFW area, Nicholas has been able to perform with the Mansfield Philharmonic, the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, as well as in many chamber settings. Nicholas currently serves as Adjunct Faculty for Southern WV Community and Technical College and BridgeValley Community and Technical College teaching general music courses to non-music majors, in addition to maintaining an active studio in the DFW area.
Nicholas uses a fun recipe in private study - E.A.T. a recipe for horn-hash! Lessons focus on the fundamentals of wind playing, but with attention to the appropriate type of energy the music wishes to convey. Nicholas also uses his speciality in natural horn performance as a pedagogical tool for stude
Jami Calatozzo has been teaching choir and musical theatre for 20 years at POPCS. She has a Masters of Music from Southern Methodist University and has worked with the Genesis Children’s Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, NTPA and more. In her career, she has directed over 200 children’s theatre productions.
Samantha is the Executive & Artistic Director of Plague Mask Players, a DFW non-profit theater company, as well as a professional actress with 8 years of experience. She has performed with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Dallas, and even The Walt Disney Company. A POPCS alum, she has a bachelor's degree in theater and a recently earned her MBA from Southern Methodist University.
Barbara has been playing the piano since she was six years old. She studied piano at the Institute of Music in St. Louis, MO. In middle school and high school, she was the accompanist for all the choirs at her schools. She received her degree from Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, IL where she majored in Music Education.
Barbara has taught piano lessons for over twenty years. During that time, she was also the Assistant Director of Music (six years) and Director of Music (two years) at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in West Dundee, IL, Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Dallas, TX, (five years) and Crown of Life Lutheran Church in Colleyville, TX (fifteen years). She has worked with children, teenagers, and adults in choirs, praise teams, solo and instrumental ensembles, and musicals.
Barbara enjoys spending time with her husband, three children and their spouses, and her four grandsons.
Joel Dittmer is the beginning guitar teacher at the Arts School. He has played the guitar since high school and has taught guitar lessons to students of all ages for over twenty years. Joel has an elementary education degree and a master’s degree in educational administration. He taught at Prince of Peace Christian School for twelve years and led the student ministry before moving to the Information Technology field. He currently serves as IT Director for Prince of Peace.
One of Joel’s desires for beginning guitar students is to create an encouraging environment that fosters a love for music and correct basic skills. He has the patience to work with the most basic students, and he always incorporates proper technique and beginning music theory. He integrates a variety of music styles and encourages students to recommend music that they enjoy so that it can be included in the program.
Joel's background in guitar centers on his involvement with leading worship for children and youth groups. He loves to include worship and praise music in his lessons and has a special emphasis on leading group singing. It is a special joy for him to develop guitar players who can use their skills in ministry to others. Though his day-to-day job at POPCS involves supporting the technology program, you can still find him around campus leading singing for a chapel service or classroom group.
Joel is a proud father of two girls and loves his Arts School boss! (His wife, Marci, serves as the Director of the Arts School.) In his spare time, Joel enjoys coffee, sports, music, and anything technology related.
Kimberly Doreck earned her bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Philadelphia College of Bible (’91 -now known as Cairn University) and her master’s degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from Baylor University (’93). Kim has teaching experience in the studio and classroom (Kim was the music teacher for Galveston Catholic Elementary school [’95-96], and the music teacher for Saint Mark’s Catholic School, Plano [’96-‘00]). Kim also has experience teaching in the individual and group instruction settings (Kimberly had the privilege of being a Teacher’s Assistant at Baylor University and taught many of the group piano classes while she was a student at Baylor). Over the years, Kim has had the privilege of teaching private piano instruction to both children and adults.
Kimberly has been a member of the Carrollton Music Teachers Association (CMTA) since 2000. During this time Kim has had the opportunity to serve in many capacities including Secretary, President, Immediate Past President, Theory Co-Chair, Yearbook Chair, and Yearbook Advertisements Chair. Currently Kimberly maintains the role of Website Administrator for the organization, where she helps to facilitate the many events that CMTA holds throughout the school year. Many of Kimberly’s students participate and perform in the local events offered through CMTA, often earning the highest ratings and awards for their performances. During her membership with CMTA, Kim has been bestowed the honor of “Teacher of the Year” three times (2005-2006, 2009-2010, and 2017-2018).
Over the years, Kimberly has had the opportunity to use her talents in other areas locally as well. Kim has accompanied both instrumental and vocal students from various local middle schools and high schools for the annual UIL Solo and Ensemble contests. She has also given of her time and talents to her local church by directing and co-directing the children’s choir as well as being a leader in their VBS week.
Kimberly considers teaching a calling and has had the blessing of teaching many children and adults over the last 30 plus years. While she encourages all her students to achieve the very best for themselves, she also strives to meet each one of her students right where they are at any given time in their lives. Kimberly’s favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 1:11-12, which reminds her that God is the Master Conductor, whom she strives to live for each day.
Michelle Griffin has been at POPCS since 1989. She came when the school added sixth grade. She has taught sixth grade, fourth grade, first grade, and has been the lowerschool Librarian since 2007. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with a minor in music, along with a Master’s Degree in Education. She has been teaching piano lessons on and off for over 30 years. She loves connecting with the students whether it’s watching their excitement as they select a library book or play a piano piece really well! She also loves green and frogs!
Eugene LeBeaux has been working professionally as a Musician, Arranger, Composer and teacher for many years and re-located to the Dallas area from Los Angeles. He is an excellent private teacher in all brass instruments for students of all ages. LeBeaux teaches Trombone, Tuba, Euphonium, Trumpet and Tuba.
LeBeaux’s illustrious resume gigs include: The Benny Goodman Tribute Orchestra, The Dukes of Dixieland, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Joe Darensburg, Grover Washington Jr., Bonnie Raitt, John Fogerty, Tower of Power, Steven Stills, Kenny Rogers, Sammy Davis Jr. the Spike Jones' Review and more during his two decades with Los Angeles as his home. His on-screen credits include: "The Frank Sinatra Story" CBS movie, "The Deep End" ABC series, and Hollywood films "Tap" with Gregory Hines and "Police Academy 6". Radio airplay of his original compositions have made him a long-standing member of ASCAP and have taken him world-wide to the concert venues of New York, Boston, Santa Monica, New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, Los Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Honolulu and abroad: Paris, Rome, Munich, Florence, Vancouver, and Moscow.
LeBeaux worked for ten years as Musical Director for American Hawaii Cruises. During this stint, he had complete responsibility for all arrangements, original material, conducting and rehearsing the name acts and New York shows performed on board the cruise line. He was educated at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music, Berkley School of Music in Boston and the noted Dick Grove School of Music in Studio City, CA.
LeBeaux is an accomplished composer and arranger of note with his album originals and arrangements having been performed by the Denver Symphony, the Queen City Jazz Band, the Whiskey River Band, Los Angeles Sass Band, NBC's People's Choice Awards, L.A. Share Show. His studio work on commercials and films include the Sunset Boulevard Studio, Sunburst Studio, Western Studio, RCA Studio, That Studio, Salty Dog Studio, Capitol and numerous network sound stages. Each year he returns to his hometown of Denver to perform for the Evergreen Jazz Festival with The Bob Cooke Celebration Band and at the icon Jazz Club, "Bull and Bush" where he launched his career. Though he calls Denver home, there is no denying that his playing style and family roots go back to New Orleans.
Now making his home in Dallas, he composes, plays, tours and teaches with his wife, Gleni Tai, (world renowned commercial jingle singer and pro-pianist) by his side.
Jieun Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea and began piano studies at theage of six. She entered Sunhwa Arts Middle and High School in South Korea and made her orchestral debut at the age of 14 with the Gangdong Symphony Orchestra in Seoul.
During her undergraduate studies at Chugye University for the Arts, she received an honors scholarship for outstanding academic performance and has performed at the Ewon Cultural Center, the Seoul Economic Daily Cheju Winter Festival, the J & R Music Festival, the 15th Annual Concert of Chugye University,and the Concertos night of Chugye University.
After moving to the United States in 2013, she won first prize at the Isabel Scionti competition, the Rose Petroff Foundation Piano Competition. In summer 2019, she won first prize at the Golden Classical International Music Competition and also won second prizes and Granados special mention at the IBLA International Competition and Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Competition in Ragusa, Italy. She was a recipient of the Korean American Foundation Scholarship, Academic Achievement scholarship, and the Dean’s Camerata scholarship from the University of North Texas. She has performed at the Carnegie Hall, the Dallas Public Library, the Piano Texas International Piano Festival in Fort-Worth and International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York. She has also participated in the master classes of Jerome Rose, Victor Rosenbaum, Sean Chen, Tamás Ungár, Andrey Ponochevny, Billy Eidi, Herve Billaut, Massimo Somenzi and the Baumer String Quartet.
Ms. Lee received her Masters degree from the University of North Texas in 2015. She is currently the pianist at Martin United Methodist Church while pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at UNT with Gustavo Romero.
Samantha Lee was born and grew up in Seoul, South Korea. She attended the Kaywon high school of art and received her bachelor’s degree in voice performance from Hanyang University in Seoul. She earned her master’s degree in voice performance from University of North Texas in 2012; she is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in voice performance at UNT.
She is currently teaching at the Lebanon Trail high school, Wakeland High school, Cobb middle school, and Griffin middle school in Frisco.
Pianist, composer, arranger and saxophonist James Moore began his musical training at age nine and by the age of 11 was composing and arranging for ensembles as large as 15 pieces. As a scholarship recipient at the famed Berklee School of Music he studied composition with John Laporta and his original music was performed under the direction of Herb Pomeroi. Later, while attending the University of North Texas his compositions were recorded and performed internationally by the renowned One O’clock Jazz Band of which he was later a member.
While living and performing regularly in New Orleans with his all-star group, The Urbanites, James was fortunate to have studied piano privately with the great Ellis Marsalis and also with John Murphy of Loyola University. During his years living in New York City he studied with the great Larry Goldings.
Today James draws on years of experience working with some of the greatest names in the world of entertainment. Luminaries such as Rosemary Clooney, Bobby Darin, Doc Severinsen, Al Hirt, Allen Toussaint, Professor Longhair and Eddy Harris are among only a few of the many artists he has had the pleasure of performing and recording with.
Those who choose to study Piano, Theory, Arranging, Composition or Improvisation with James will reap the benefits of this experience. They will also have the benefit of his more than 10 years of experience as a private instructor and can be assured their personal learning needs and interests will be the focus of the lessons.
Kirstyn Norris Alarcon is a professional percussionist in the DFW area, and the Assistant Band Director/Percussion Director at Prince of Peace School of Arts. She completed her undergraduate degree in Percussion Performance at Kansas State University. At KSU, she participated in many ensembles, including serving as the principal timpanist of the orchestra for 3 years. She also traveled to Havana, Cuba to participate in a student transfer program at the National Conservatory studying classical and popular Cuban music. In addition to her schoolwork, she participated in both the WGI and DCI arenas when she was a member of Gateway Indoor Percussion and Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. At KSU, she performed in both chamber ensembles and large groups who performed across the United States, including Carnegie Hall.
Norris Alarcon completed her Masters of Music in Percussion Performance at Southern Methodist University, and studied with Drew Lang, Ed Smith, and Jamal Mohammed. Throughout her Masters degree, she focused primarily on jazz improvisation and jazz vibraphone, as well as world percussion techniques. During this time she was also the principal timpanist for the Meadows Wind Ensemble and the Meadows Symphony Orchestra, participating in concerts at the Meyerson Symphony Center with the latter. Since 2017, Norris Alarcon has also been active in the community orchestras in DFW, and is currently the assistant principal percussionist for the New Texas Symphony Orchestra. Most recently she participated in the Community Concerto and Aria Competition, put on by an association of community orchestras in North Texas, and received first place with her rendition of Emmanuel Sejourne’s Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra.
Since moving to DFW, Norris Alarcon has also taught both marching band and DCI groups. During the 2017 and 2018 DCI seasons she worked as the front ensemble manager and technician for the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps in Mobile, Alabama. In Texas, Norris Alarcon has worked with the RISD marching bands, teaching consistently at both Richardson High School and Lake Highlands High School. She has also provided private lessons for both of these schools’ students since the 2017-2018 school year. In her lessons, she devotes herself to teaching students critical thinking skills such as problem solving, pattern recognition, and finding creative solutions to problems to encourage students to take ownership of their music learning and develop their own ideas. She pairs this critical thinking approach with creating fundamental percussion techniques and encouraging students to listen carefully and analyze the sounds that they create, always striving to make the best sound possible.
Katie Seale attended Texas Christian University where she received a bachelor’s degree in music education with an instrumental emphasis. During her time at TCU she studied flute under Helen Blackburn and was a member of the TCU Horned Frog marching band and TCU symphonic band, as well as a member of Pi Kappa Lambda.
Katie went on to receive her master’s degree in worship leadership from Dallas Baptist University. During her time attending DBU, she was a middle school band director and area private lesson instructor. In September of 2009 Katie joined the staff of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and has since served in a variety of roles there. She is currently the Director of Worship at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and enjoys conducting the church orchestra, vocal ensemble and handbells, as well as leading music with the worship band weekly.
Andrea Martinson-Venincasa has taught Suzuki violin and viola in the DFW area for ten years. She is married with four children, all of whom studied music – violin, piano, and cello. She has a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Minnesota State University – Mankato. She won the MSU Concerto Competition, held a teaching assistantship, and was awarded a four year Mankato Symphony Scholarship.
Andrea received a Master of Music in Suzuki Pedagogy from East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina, where she studied with Joanne Bath. She was a graduate assistant for Ms. Bath during her Masters course. While pursuing her graduate studies at ECU, she received a Suzuki Association of the Americas scholarship.
Andrea was awarded a second Master of Music degree in Violin Performance by the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, CT. While at the Hartt School of Music, she studied with Brian Lewis and Linda Fiore.
In addition to the all of the violin books, Andrea has completed Suzuki coursework in group lessons, advanced group lessons, the works of Fritz Kreisler, Bach Violin Sonatas and Partitas, Bowing Technique, and child development. She has been certified in Suzuki viola books 1-6, viola book 8, and supplemental viola literature. She studied viola with Susan DuBois at University of North Texas.
Ms. Venincasa has taught at the New Ulm Suzuki School, Mankato Suzuki School, the Hartt School of Music Community Division, and the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas. She has performed with the Mankato Symphony for eight years, as well as the St. Cloud Symphony and the Tar River (NC) Symphony.
Gio Washington-Wright holds degrees in English & Psychology (with Honors) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Bachelor Of Arts in Music (with Jazz Emphasis) from the University Of North Texas, where he studied under James Riggs, and performed with the world-renowned One O'Clock and Two O'Clock Lab Bands. He also holds a Masters degree from Fort Hays State University, where he was also a doctoral candidate, and has done post-graduate work at Columbia and Harvard universities. Outside of academia, he is an in-demand performer, composer, and arranger and has worked and/or performed with music legends such as Gladys Knight, Mary Wilson (of the Supremes), and Meghan Trainor. Gio is also a Grammy Award nominee and 3-time Grammy Educator Award nominee. Gio is currently the Director of Bands at Prince Of Peace. Prior to POP, he taught in Wylie ISD for 6 years and Carroll ISD (Southlake) for 16 years.