INTRODUCTION TO MUSIC, ELEMENTARY and SUZUKI FACULTY
Bass: Marty Quinn
Cello: Brent Charran
Drum set: Ryan Hecker
Guitar: Oliver Foote
Jazz Band: Jack Brandfield
Movement: Vivian Torres
Musical Theater: Amanda Ribnick
Orchestra: Adrian Gordon
Piano: Alex Sancho
Piano: Hugh Gonglewski
Piano: Inesa Gegprifti
Rock Band: Oliver Foote
Saxophone: Jack Brandfield
Suzuki Violin: Olivia Smith
Suzuki Violin: Addie Deppa
Suzuki Violin: Aileen Robertson
Violin, Viola, Creative Movement: Vivian Torres
Voice: Daniel Arciniegas
Winds: Oliver Diez
Marty Quinn is a bassist who actively tours and performs locally across multiple genres. Originally from Chicago, Marty completed his master's in Jazz Pedagogy from the Frost School of Music. He teaches and works equally on upright bass as well as electric. Marty has had the pleasure of performing with artists such as Arturo Sandoval, Adam Rogers, Shelly Berg, Nicole Yarling, and more.
Brent Charran is a cellist from Miami, Florida. An active member of the Miami music community, Brent has performed and recorded across the Classical, Jazz, R&B, Latin, Modern, and Rock genres. Brent won the NWSA Concerto Competition with the Dvorak Cello Concerto (2007) and also received a full scholarship to the Aspen Music Festival (2009). Recent collaborations include a solo performance for the corporate reveal of Ralph Lauren's Love fragrance line and an appearance with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Miami during their Lost Christmas Eve concert tour.
Ryan Hecker is a resident of South Florida who has been an active performer in the tri-county area for over fifteen years. Ryan is a graduate of Florida International University with a B.A. in Jazz Performance and the University of Miami with a M.M. in Jazz Performance. Ryan can most often be heard in the theatre, with recent performances including Titanic at the Broward Center of Performing Arts, Sweeney Todd and In the Heights at the Arsht Center of Performing Arts and Mamma Mia! and On Your Feet! at the Actors' Playhouse. Ryan spent his pre-college career as a member of the Florida Youth Orchestra and continued playing with the Sunrise Symphonic Pops Orchestra throughout college. This experience combined with his schooling in jazz has shaped Ryan's goal for his music career, which is to expand and redefine the definition of what a "Drummer" can and is expected to perform. Currently, Ryan is the percussion and jazz drum instructor at the Ransom Everglades School and actively performs clinics, masterclasses and coaching in middle and high schools throughout the tri-county area.
Oliver Foote is a NYC-based singer, guitarist, and keyboardist studying Modern Artist Development and Entrepreneurship at the Frost School of Music. From the first few months of learning music, he has always loved helping his peers to understand what music is all about. This has resulted in a long history of tutoring, especially in music theory, instruments, improvisation, playing with others, and production. He is always brainstorming new ways to better explain the fundamental concepts in music. Over the years, what started as a desire to help classmates has become a passion for teaching students of all ages.
A native of New York City, tenor saxophonist Jack Brandfield is currently a scholarship recipient from The UM Frost School of Music where he is completing his Master's degree in Studio Music and Jazz. A serious performer, who has shared the stage with jazz luminaries such as John Pizzarelli, Rodney Whitaker, Bill Cunliffe, and Harry Allen, Jack is also a talented educator who has a special knack of reaching jazz students from elementary ages through high school.
Born and raised in Miami, FL, Vivian is a freelance professional violist, President of Friends of Collegiate Music, a 501 C3 dedicated to raising music scholarships for college students. Vivian is also the founder of Share the Music, Inc., a music education organization that donates a percentage of its proceeds to local arts nonprofits.
In May 2020, Vivian will be completing her teacher training certification in the Alexander Technique in Philadelphia. She will be the only certified teacher and musician in all of South Florida. Through her training, she intends to help performers rehabilitate from and prevent performance-related injuries, manage performance anxiety, improve stage presence and increase awareness of body alignment in performers.
Vivian has been a music educator for over 15 years and is currently a faculty member at Westminster Christian School, Gulliver Academy, NWSA's ViolaFest and UM Frost School of Music's Young Musicians Camp. She is an alumni of New World School of the Arts High School, the FIU School of Music, where she received her Bachelors & Masters degrees in Music Performance, and the UM Frost School of Music where she received her Artist Diploma in Music Performance. She has studied under the direction of Juilliard graduates Richard Fleischman, Paul Coletti, and Michael Klotz. She performs regularly with chamber ensembles and orchestras throughout Florida.
Amanda Ribnick is a writer and performer earning her BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Miami in the Spring of 2022. She has appeared on stage at the U in various roles including Theresa in "Circle Mirror Transformation," and Fraulein Kost in "Cabaret." Most recently was the Teaching Assistant to the Head of the Musical Theatre Department at the University of Miami. Also an accomplished writer, her original musical, "The True Story of Stars" was selected for the University of Miami's Theatre Action Group's staged reading series in December of 2019. Furthermore, her original web series, "Underground" was selected as a Knight New Work Award Winner in December of 2020. Watch the trailer for "Underground" on Instagram @undergroundwebseries and contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adrian Gordon is an active performer, composer, and music educator living in Miami, FL. Mr. Gordon currently serves as the orchestra director at Westminster Christian School, in Palmetto Bay, FL. He received his B.A. in music from the University of Miami, and his Masters degree in Music Education at Florida International University. In addition to teaching, Mr. Gordon is the founder of Leap Year Music Publishing which, publishes string music for elementary, middle, and high school ensembles. Mr. Gordon's compositions appear on the Texas, Florida and Georgia Orchestra Association Music Performance Assessment Lists. His compositions are distributed through JW Pepper and have been performed throughout the United States. Adrian resides in Miami with his wife Kelly and their two sons.
Alexander Sancho was born of Filipino descent on February 18, 1989. Raised in Miami, he started playing piano at the age of 12 and was self-taught in theory/music history.Though having a late start, Alex was determined to pursue a music career. He had played with many different orchestras/ensembles across South Florida. Some awards won are 1st Prize in Florida Federation of Music Clubs (Composition), 2nd Prize in the FIU Concerto Competition, 2009 and 2011, the Undergraduate Performance award from the FIU School of Music, 2011, as well as the Teaching Assistant position in Piano. In 2012, he was awarded the Philippine Consulate of South Florida Leadership Distinction Award for Outstanding Achievement and Performance in Music. Though coming from a classical background, Alex takes a musically-eclectic approach in his endeavors, with influences from Hip-Hop to Electronica that help shape his understanding of music. Alex plays regularly for Dr. Rosenberg, President of Florida International University, and graduated from FIU with his B.M. (2011) and M.M. (2013) in Piano Performance, under Professor Kemal Gekic and Dr. Jose Lopez. He is currently a piano instructor at SharpMinds Music Academy where he teaches piano and composition.
Hugh Gonglewski is a pianist and instructor in the Miami area. He received his Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance from the Philadelphia college of the Performing Arts where he studied with Susan Starr and his Masters in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern University. He taught piano and jazz history at Lake Forest College where he also directed the jazz and blues ensembles. He played for ten years in the Chicago area with his own trio and septet before coming to the University of Miami for his Doctoral work. He is instructor of the University of Miami's Computer/Keyboards & Music courses and teaches jazz, theory, and piano ensembles for the university's Piano Preparatory programs as well as improvisation, jazz ensembles and advanced theory for the university's young Musician's Camp. He has played with such diverse artists as Sugar Blue, Sandra Bernhardt, Tom McCormick, Nicole Yarling and Mark Colby. He frequently performs in the Miami area as a solo pianist and with the eclectic group LEGM. His private piano students have received numerous prizes and awards from such groups as Ars Flores, Music Teachers National Association, and Florida Federation of Music Teachers.
Pianist Inesa Gegprifti was born in Tirana, Albania, where she began her piano studies at the National Arts School "Jordan Misja" under the guidance of Valbona Kasaj. She left her home country in 2006 to continue her studies abroad. Over the years, Dr. Gegprifti has pursued her piano studies under the guidance of Dario de Rosa, Maureen Jones, Alberto Miodini, Igor Cognolato, Max Levinson, Evelyne Brancart, Santiago Rodriguez, and Naoko Takao. A graduate of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee (B.M.) and Jacobs School of Music - Indiana University (M.M.), she completed her D.M.A. at the Frost School of Music - University of Miami in 2017.
As a soloist and chamber musician Dr. Gegprifti has appeared in concerts across the U.S.A., Europe, and South America. Of note are the performances with the National Radio Television Orchestra of Albania and the Indian Hill Orchestra, chamber concerts in Italy, Slovenia, and Puerto Rico, as well as artist residencies at the "Vivace Vilnius International Summer Festival," International Portogruaro Festival "A tempo," the Conservatory of Cuenca, and the Museo de Arte Contempor√°neo in Ecuador. Dr. Gegprifti has also appeared as a guest speaker at the University of North Texas, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Conservatorio de M√∫sica de Puerto Rico - San Juan, and Heidelberg University - Ohio. Most recently, her performance of Michael Coleman's Four Bagatelles was selected by RMN Classics for production and release in their upcoming collection Modern Music for Piano 4.
Dr. Gegprifti is one of the founding members and current president of Kaleidoscope MusArt, a non-profit organization based in Miami, dedicated to bridging the gap between canonical classical music and rarely heard or recently composed works while prominently featuring living composers and emerging artists. She is on the faculty of the Frost Preparatory Program, the Frost Young Musicians Camp, and an Adjunct Faculty member for the Keyboard Department at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami.
Addie Deppa received both her bachelor's and Professional Studies degrees in music performance from Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland Ohio. Ms. Deppa is a certified Suzuki teacher and previously lived and taught in Cleveland Ohio for 5 years at private schools as well as El Sistema after school programs. She has been teaching in NYC for the past year at various schools both in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In addition to the violin and viola, she also teaches music theory. Dr. Suzuki's quote "Beautiful tone, beautiful heart" has always been a cornerstone in her teaching. She believes children are so sensitive and once they are exposed to beauty, they will never forget and whatever they decide to do with their lives, they will always strive to make it beautiful!
Aileen Robertson was born in New York to a musical family. She and her sisters all played violin - Aileen started playing Suzuki violin at 3 years old - and her father provided piano accompaniment for impromptu family performances. These early experiences, along with later ensemble playing in orchestras and Suzuki group classes, instilled a lifelong love of music. Aileen's goal as music teacher is to inspire this same joy and appreciation in young children and their families.
Aileen attended the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where she studied music education and vocal jazz performance. After graduation she began her career with the New York City Department of Education, teaching music in the South Bronx to underprivileged youth. Aileen and her husband later relocated to Miami, where she decided to focus her skills on early childhood music education. She became a registered Suzuki and Music Together instructor and opened her own Miami Suzuki School. Aileen had long dreamed of bringing Suzuki to a wider audience, she was thrilled when the Frost Prep Team asked her to join the program as Manager of Early Childhood Music in 2016, with the mission of developing a nurturing yet challenging program for students as young as a few months. She serves on the Board of the Suzuki Association of South Florida and is active in the national Suzuki community.
Aileen performs as a vocalist with local jazz ensembles and has recorded for various commercials and movies with 10k Islands Music House.
Daniel Arciniegas is a musician of many facets. Born and raised in Costa Rica, he began his musical formation through classical piano and being a self-taught producer. Now based in Miami, he is a 2021 alum of the Frost School of Music's contemporary music program, where he further advanced his skills in songwriting, performance, production, music business, and entrepreneurship. During his time at UM, he released original music all written and produced by himself, performed at many local events on- and off-campus, and had a 3-year run as music director for Tufaan, UM's premier fusion a cappella group. He has worked with the Frost Prep program and the Young Musicians Camp since 2019 and 2021, respectively.
Oliver Diez was born and raised Miami, FL where he graduated from Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School. He earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Music Education from Florida International University. He is currently in his 23rd year at Palmetto Elementary where he teaches General Music to students in grades K-5 and is also director of bands and chorus. In 1999 he was voted as Palmetto Elementary' s "Rookie Teacher of the Year" and in 2002 as "Teacher of the Year". In 2019 he was selected as the 2020 Miami-Dade County Public Schools District Teacher of the year. Mr. Diez has been nominated twice for the "Grammy Music Educator Award" and has been a "Who's Who in Education" nominee. He directed the Superintendent's Honors Recorder Ensemble in 2007 and again in 2018. He also received a proclamation on June 7th, 2011 by the mayor of Pinecrest declaring that date "Oliver Diez Day". In October of 2021 he would receive the Key to the City of Miami from Mayor Francis Suarez.
Mr. Diez has established an active music program at Palmetto Elementary which consists of a Beginning Band, Concert Band, Jazz Combo, a Drumline, a Chorus, and two levels of String Orchestra. All this being accomplished before and after school hours. He has had fourth and fifth graders chosen for both All-State Elementary Chorus and All-State Orff Ensemble (2006-2022) as well as for Superintendent's Honors Festival in Chorus, Bell Ensemble, Recorder Ensemble, Middle School Concert band, and Orchestra. His groups have received 1st and 2nd place along with Choral / Instrumental Grand Champions at Orlando's Music U.S.A. Festival since 2002. They have also received various Superior ratings in Concert Choir, Concert Band, Show Choir, Jazz Band at the Music U.S.A. Festival. In 2017 his elementary concert band performed alongside the F.I.U. Wind Ensemble. His groups have also performed at Miami Marlins and Miami Heat games as well as various performance around the community. His concert band and chorus students were honored in 2019 when invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Mr. Diez has been playing baritone saxophone in the Miami Wind Symphony since its inaugural season in 2011. He directed the "Young Sousas" in the Greater Miami Youth Symphony for nearly ten years. He is a member of the Florida Music Educators Association, Florida Elementary Music Educators Association and Florida Bandmasters Association and in 2017 was chosen as an FMEA Emerging Leader.
Mr. Diez has been married for 15 years to his wife Alina and they have two sons, Oliver (14) and Matthew (10).