Faculty

 

Voice

 
  • Private Voice Lessons

  • Diction/Performance Class

Yvonne Marmolejo

Yvonne Marmolejo began her career at the age of 18, singing the role of Cio Cio San in an El Paso Civic Opera production of Madama Butterfly. Her travels led her to performances throughout Argentina, Northern Mexico, Syria, and Spain. Today, El Paso audiences have acclaimed her performances with El Paso Opera, including the title role in the company's 1994 premiere performance of Tosca. El Paso Opera welcomed her back as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Micaela in Carmen, and Liu in Turandot.  Most recently, she performed the role of Musetta with El Paso Opera. Opera New stated that "Yvonne revealed in the lyricism of Micaela's music". Some of her other roles include Mimi, Countess Almaviva, Susanna, Violetta, and Santuzza. El Paso audiences have also heard her performances with the El Paso Symphony, El Paso Chorale, and El Paso Zarzuela.  Around her busy teaching schedule, she has performed in recitals including performances at the Dallas Meyerson Symphony Hall and the Houston Opera Wortham Theatre.

 

Ms. Marmolejo, a past 10-year faculty member at El Paso Community College, was the Music Director of VIVA El Paso for seven years, and has been the music theater teacher at St. Joseph's School for 18 years.  Ms. Marmolejo also was a conductor and board member of the El Paso Youth Choir for two years, and in 2005 began as Music Director and Conductor of the El Paso Choral Society Youth Choirs.  Her choirs have performed with the El Paso Symphony, El Paso Opera, Las Cruces Symphony and other regional music organizations.  The Young Ladies Choir has toured Italy, Canada, New York, and this year Santa Fe, New Mexico. Next year they will sing in Austria.  This group of young singers has been featured on NPR's From The Top and have performed with the American Boy Choir and the Tucson Boys Choir.

Ms. Marmolejo has a B.M. and M.M. in voice from the University of Texas at El Paso and doctoral work at the University of North Texas.

  • Private Voice Lessons

  • Sightreading Class

Prentice Loftin

J. Prentice Loftin has been changing the music scene in El Paso since returning to his home-town in 1981.  During his eleven years as Director of Choirs and Assistant Professor of Voice at UTEP, his choirs won international performance awards in Europe on three separate occasions.  His private voice students have been heard on the world's greatest stages including The Met, Chicago Lyric, and San Francisco Opera. As a musician, Mr. Loftin began his career as a singer, performing many of the lyric tenor operatic and oratorio roles.

 

In 1993, Prentice Loftin and a new board of directors formed El Paso Opera, now in its twenty-seven seasons. As General Director, he guided the new arts organization to the forefront of the El Paso Arts Music scene. His productions gained an excellent reputation around the U.S., being favorably reviewed by Opera News many times. In the same year, 1993, he became the Music Director and Conductor of the El Paso Chorale, and the 24 voice professional singing ensemble, the El Paso Chamber Choir. His organization performed regularly with the El Paso Symphony, El Paso Opera, as well as recent performances with the Chihuahua Symphony, Flickinger Center, and Zarzuela El Paso. 

 

Mr. Loftin has a B.M. from the University of Texas at El Paso, a Master of Church Music at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and doctoral work in voice at the University of North Texas and doctoral work in conducting at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. In 2004, Mr. Loftin and his wife Yvonne organized and began the El Paso Conservatory of Music.

 
Heather Dials

The native Santa Fean was most recently named an El Paso Opera Resident Artist. Ms. Dials has sung across the U.S. and Europe in the roles of Rosina, Micaela, Cio Cio San, Contessa, Gretel, Ann Trulove, Dido, Musetta, Mimi and many more. Ms. Dials toured Europe with the European Opera center as Micaela, and in the United States as Rosina with the San Francisco Opera.

 

Ms. Dials has won many vocal competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions in New York and has been nominated for the prestigious Richard Tucker Career grant. Ms. Dials teaches voice in Las Cruces, and at the El Paso Conservatory of Music, and she is a member of the El Paso Chamber Choir.

  • Private Voice Lessons

 
  • Private Voice Lessons

  • Choir Conductor

Kellie Rumba

Kellie Rumba has been praised for the quality, flexibility, and dramatic capabilities of her voice. Critics have honored her “nimble voice and charismatic stage presence,” her voice has been hailed for its “emotional depth and clear vocal brilliance” (ClevelandClassical.com), and her singing for its “expressive urgency and finesse” (The Plain Dealer). Kellie holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, from Ball State University, in Muncie, IN. During her time at Ball State, she had the opportunity to study the Spanish language in Valdivia, Chile, at the Universidad Austral de Chile. She also traveled to Madrid, Spain to attend the music festival “Interpretación de la Canción Española y Latinoamericana,” in cooperation with the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid. She completed graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music (Cleveland, OH) and holds a Master of Music degree, as well as an Artist Diploma, in Vocal Performance. She has furthered her studies by attending the “Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute” (BASOTI) in San Fransisco, CA, USA, and a dual program of language and music in Ischia, Italy, “La Festa Lirica Italiana.” Currently, Ms Rumba resides in Santa Teresa, NM, and performs opera and recitals locally and regionally, and teaches in the Texas/New Mexico/Mexico region.

Piano

 
  • Private Piano Lessons

  • Private Organ Lessons

  • Piano Group Class

Aina Olonade

Hailing from Nigeria in West Africa, Aina Olonade began his musical journey as a choir boy at All Saints Anglican Church in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He later developed an interest in playing the piano and was enrolled in a basic music school under the tutelage of Mr. Lekan Taiwo. Aina was admitted into the Music Society of the Nigeria Diploma School in 2008, where he studied with Ms. Maria Asseeva, a renowned Russian pianist, and graduated in 2010 with a diploma in music. 

 

In 2013, Aina began studying at the University of Central Missouri with Dr. Mia Hynes, graduating in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Music degree and a badged Master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2018 studying with Dr. Dena Jones.

 

Aina’s love for church music has made him a church organist for various denominations, he currently serves as organist at Western Hills United Methodist Church of El Paso, Texas. He enjoyed playing duets with friends and collaborating with other musicians.

  • Private Piano Lessons

  • Early Childhood Music

Mario Monteros

Born in Argentina, Mario started his music studies in the city of Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, at the age of thirteen. He obtained his first degree in Piano Performance from Luis Gianneo Conservatory of Music in 2008. From 2003 to 2009, he studied privately with the renowned Italian-Argentinian pedagogue Antonio De Raco in Buenos Aires.

 

As a performing artist, Mario has played in many venues both in Argentina and abroad, including performances at summer academies of piano and chamber music directed by the pianist and orchestra conductor Paul Trein in Rheinland Pfalz, Germany in 2010.

In 2012 he was selected as a semifinalist of the international piano course and competition  "Teachers del Norte - Pianists del Sur" held in Buenos Aires working with famous pedagogues from Eastman School of Music and Juilliard School of Music, such as Douglas Humpherys and Julian Martin. In 2015 he was selected as a semifinalist in the piano competition International Keyboard Odyssiad & Festival, U.S.A. (Fort Collins, Colorado).

 

In December 2016 he received a Master's Degree in Piano Performance from UTEP.

He is currently the music director and pianist of the chapel at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Fort Bliss. He continues working with the renowned Argentinian pianist and pedagogue Sylvia Kersenbaum (Professor Emeritus from Western Kentucky University).  

  • Private Piano Lessons

  • Theory

  • Composition

  • Orchestration

Enrique Ponce

Enrique is an award-winning composer whose music has been featured in numerous film and video game projects both in the United States and abroad. Enrique holds a M.M. in Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games from the Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain. He has had several opportunities to record and conduct his music with renowned film orchestras in the U.K., Hungary, Macedonia, and Spain.

 

Recognized for its compositional creativity and orchestral zest, Enrique’s music has been nominated and won awards in film festivals throughout the United States; most notably, he was awarded Best Original Score at the Los Angeles CineFest for his score to the animated short, “Twilight Prophecy,” in 2017.

 

After completing his studies in Europe, Enrique has returned to his hometown of El Paso and is actively scoring new projects. His local collaborations include projects with PBS Digital Studios, Bored Film Studios, and Inmerssion - El Paso’s first and only video game production studio.

Enrique is currently the lead composer of Black Portal Productions, Inc., an audio production company specializing in film and video game music. You may listen to some of Enrique’s music by searching him on Spotify or by visiting his website, www.enriqueponcemusic.com.

 

Violin/Viola

 
  • Private Violin/Viola Lessons

Michael Goldman

Michael Goldman began studying the violin at age 7 with Robert Semon, and at age 17 began studying with Abraham Chavez, Jr. at Texas Western College and graduated from Texas Western (now UTEP) with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and minoring in Music.

 

Mr. Goldman was a violinist in the Cleveland Orchestra for 7 years under George Szell and Lorin Maazel. He was the concertmaster of the El Paso Symphony for 4 years under Orlando Barrera and associate concertmaster under Abraham Chavez, Jr., Gurer Aykal, and Sarah Ioanides. Also, he was the concertmaster of the Las Cruces Symphony under Lonnie Klein, El Paso Opera under Raymond Harvey, and El Paso Pro-Musica under Bruce Nehring.

 

Michael Goldman has done an extensive private violin instruction and was also an orchestra teacher in the El Paso Public Schools for 2 years.

Cello

 
  • Private Cello Lessons

Nathan Black

Nathan Black has studied and performed at numerous locations across the country and around the globe. Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Mr. Black began his cello studies at the age of twelve where he studied under Richard Lang, Gerald Fowkes and Loran Stephenson. He traveled to El Paso in 2010, where he completed his studies at The University of Texas at El Paso under the instruction of world-renowned cellist and Grammy award winner, Zuill Bailey.

 

Mr. Black has appeared as a performer at The Fredericksburg Festival of the Arts where he was a three-time finalist in the Annual Young Artists Competition and The Kennedy Center Summer Music Institute where he performed and presented orchestral and chamber works by Antonin Dvorak. During his undergraduate work, Mr. Black was the winner of the 2010 UTEP Concerto and Aria Competition which led to his solo performance of Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with the UTEP Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Dr. Lowell Graham. In 2013, Mr. Black traveled to Brunswick, Maine to study and perform at The Bowdoin International Music Festival. There he presented works by Brahms and Kodaly while studying under David Ying, cellist of the Ying Quartet. Mr. Black was the winner of UTEP’s Concerto Competition once again in 2016 where he performed Sergei Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante. As of 2017 Mr. Black is the host of 88.5 FM KTEP’s El Paso Symphony Orchestra Broadcast.

 

Mr. Black’s music has also led him to the other side of the globe. In 2013, along with UTEP faculty and students, he traveled to the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan to perform the first ever opera that would be heard in that country. Their performance of G.F. Handel’s Acis and Galatea would capture world-wide attention and earn recognition from several global educational organizations including the Smithsonian Institute.

 

Mr. Black is a conductor for the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras and is a section cellist in the El Paso Symphony Orchestra. His primary passion is public school education and he is an orchestra director within the El Paso Independent School District as well as the cello instructor at the El Paso Conservatory of Music.

Percussion & Drums

 

Percussion & Drums

  • Private Violin/Viola Lessons

  • Private Drums Lessons

  • Private Percussion Lessons

Ricky Malichi

Ricky Malichi was born in Riverside, California and grew up in El Paso, Texas.  His love of music was evident very early. The journey of a lifetime commenced when he began private percussion studies at eight years of age.    


Achieving multiple music honors in both High School and College, he studied Special Education at the University of Texas at El Paso while continuing his musical studies and activities in the Fine Arts Department.  He fueled his thirst for musical knowledge outside the classroom as well to travel back East to study privately with legendary drum great Alan Dawson and others. 


   Ricky’s early jazz performing began in college when he joined a Quartet alongside the Jazz great and mentor Trumpeter Gerald Hunter.  During that period and after, he worked with many jazz greats, including Jack Sheldon, Joe Newman, Tommy Newsome, and Charlie Rouse. One of Ricky’s highlights was when he subbed a night for the legendary Shelly Mann with Herb Ellis and Monty Budwig, after that performance he worked with them several times. His career has progressed since then throughout the United States and Europe, performing places such as the A – Trane International Jazz Club in Berlin, Germany and The Philharmonic Concert Hall in Lviv, Ukraine, and the International Jazz Festival in Sydney, Australia.  In 2016 he toured with The Juarez/Chihuahua Symphony, performing pieces arranged for Jazz Quartet and Orchestra and many Jazz Festivals through out Mexico. Ricky has shared the stage or recorded with David “Fathead” Newman, Herbie Mann, Mose Allison, Chris Calloway (Cab’s Daughter), Richie Cole, Anita O’ Day, Ernie Watts, Bobby Shew, Bud Shank, Bobby Hutcherson, Regina Carter, Tia Fuller, Majic Fontuna (Trpt.) from Poland, Chuck Berry and the list goes on.   


   This year Ricky will be performing across the country and abroad.  He has been invited back to play the 13th Annual Roswell Jazz Festival where in 2015 he was named the Guest of Honor (www.roswelljazzfestival.org). For years he has performed many prestigious Jazz Festivals and Parties with Internationally known musicians such as, Dan Barrett, Chuck Redd, Houston Person, Eddie Erickson, Frank Tate, Allen Vache, Scott Robinson,  Randy Sandke, Rebecca Kilgore, Harry Allen, Nicki Parrott, Rossano Sportiello, Howard Alden, Howard, Elkins, Dr. Roger Dickerson, Ehud Asherie, Randy Reinhart and more.

 
   There are two musical groups Ricky is always excited about.  He helped established “New Impressions” and  “EP Jazz Quartet.”  Recording and touring across the country, Mexico, and Europe has been a joy. Working with Erik Unsworth (Bass), Curt Warren (Guitar), Mack Goldsbury (Sax), Shaun Mahoney (Guitar), and the late great Vince Genova has been a wonderful journey.  Keeping the Art form of Latin music alive he was co-founder of the award winning Latin Jazz Quartet (Yoboso) appearing on B.E.T.  program “Jazz Central”.  Ricky has been a part of a rhythm section with a great Latin Jazz/ Salsa Ensemble “Spice of Life” under the direction of pianist and longtime friend Michael Francis.   


   With such richly musical experience and commitment to being a “team player”, Ricky is equipped to consistently contribute outstanding, stylistically authentic performances to any ensemble, regardless of the genre.   

         
   Malichi’s accomplishments are substantial in the field of music education.  He takes his talents into public schools and universities as a clinician, and as an adjudicator in and out of the country.  Ricky has had the privilege to perform at the Chautauqua Jazz Party but, was one of the clinicians at the (Traditional Jazz Workshop).  In Poznan, Poland he was honored to teach at The I. J. Paderewski Academy of Music (International Jazz Workshop), La Universidad Automa De Aguascalientes in Mexico, and workshops and performances in Australia to name a few places abroad.  He is the President for Southwest Arts Alliance, Inc. and is on staff (Percussion Instructor) with the El Paso Music Conservatory.   

 

    Ricky has been named to the Spaun Drum Co. artist roster (www.spaundrums.com) and plays Spaun drums exclusively.  Brian Spaun and his staff create wonderful, custom-hand crafted drums featured during his performances, clinics, and recordings.
    

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(915) 833-0263

Address

801 N Mesa St

El Paso, TX 79902