Strings Teacher Agnieszka was born in Warsaw, Poland and has been playing the violin for 21 years. She was trained in Classical violin and is finishing her Master’s Degree in Violin Performance at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music where she held the position a Principle 2nd Violin and Concertmaster. She has been part of the Young Peoples Symphony Youth Orchestra, Berkeley Youth Orchestra, Oakland Youth Orchestra and the University Symphony Orchestra at CSU Long Beach. She has traveled with orchestras and played all over the world including Italy, Poland, Greece, China, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and South Korea. Agnieszka teaches violin to people of all ages, at schools and privately, and is the conductor of the Long Beach Chamber Music Group. She performs with the La Mirada Symphony and the Plaza String Quartet in addition to focusing on her contemporary violin endeavors with the Vicious Kinids. She also plays with the Celtic band Craic in the Stone.
Theatre Rachel was born and raised in Los Angeles County, California. She moved to Orange County to attend Southern California College (now Vanguard University). She has been singing and playing the keyboard and piano for churches since she was a teenager. She also teaches piano lessons and has taught vocal workshops. Rachel has directed youth choirs, church music teams, and various bands. She is currently singing every week for one of the groups that meet at Cottonwood Church in Los Alamitos.
Director Ryan Fredericks has been directing and teaching all over Orange County for the last 6 years. Some of his credits include Addams Family, High School Musical Jr, Alice Jr and Singing in the Rain Jr. He also just came off directing Shrek this past spring/early summer. Besides directing, he also is a seasoned performer with over 75 credits to his name. He graduated from AMDA LA with a Bachelor’s Degree in Acting. Directing and teaching have become a huge passion of his. He loves to help people of all ages find a love for acting and to come alongside and help people find their characters in an authentic and truthful way. He is so excited to be a part of ALC and can’t wait to see what’s in store!
Band Instructor Andrew was born and raised in corona where he started on trumpet in elementary school. For high school he went to Santiago High School. There, he performed at Carnegie Hall and The Rose Parade. He also made various honor bands like SCSBOA's All Southern and All State. He eventually went to college at California State University of Fullerton as a Music Education major studying under Sycil Mathai who is a Juilliard Alumni. Currently, he is still working towards his bachelors degree. Andrew mainly focuses on Classical music playing pieces like, Hummel Concerto, Grand Russian Fantasia, and many more. But he as well has a fair amount of experience with jazz and improvisation. He has many years with trumpet but currently his main focus is on conducting. He found his love for conducting after conducting a quartet and hasn't stopped since. He is currently studying under Kimo Furumoto for conducting.
Theatre Cynthia Hamidi is a talented Moroccan and Native American actress and acting coach from the east coast. Her love of theatre began in high school plays, such as playing Mimi in RENT, at Cushing Academy and took her to Loyola Marymount University where she graduated with a BA in Theatre Arts. Cynthia spent time in Russia doing Chekhov plays and studying Stanislavski’s method at the prestigious Moscow Art Theatre School. She also did another play, Virago Alala, abroad while studying acting in Germany. Her television appearances include CBS’ FBI where she guest starred as Amira Zidan. Her film appearances include a supporting role in DC’s Legion of Super-Heroes where she enjoyed playing Native American superhero Dawnstar. Cynthia loves teaching and sharing her passion for acting with the next generations of artists. In her free time Cynthia enjoys figure skating, watching A24 films, taking long walks in nature, and spending time with her two labradoodles, friends, and family.
Director Elizabeth Hayashi is an actor and director, recently graduated from the Vanguard University Theatre Department. Elizabeth remembers when the theatre first inspired her as a child. And now, having acted in several short films and theatre roles, Elizabeth loves sharing her passions with other young students. Elizabeth is big into laughter, creative thinking, and impossible dreams. And the theatre is where stuff like that happens! So she is super excited to partner with Arts and Learning Conservatory to bring theatre to the schools of Orange County and keep the impossible happening!
Katie Grace Hennen
Theatre Katie Grace Hennen is an educator and actor who has performed on stages across the country since early childhood. She studied acting at Drake University and graduated with her degree in English Literature with an emphasis on Elizabethan theatre from Augsburg University in her hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Alongside her acting, Katie Grace is also a trained singer and dancer and has produced and directed several stage productions. She has served as Assistant Executive Director and marketing and recruitment coordinator for other international nonprofit organizations, as well. Teaching is her biggest passion, and she is thrilled to be bringing the arts to students in Newport Mesa schools.
Strings Instructor Mary Lieblang has been playing the violin since the age of nine and recently graduated from Chapman University’s Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance with departmental honors. She was designated a Musco Scholar, enabling her to study violin with Professor William Fitzpatrick and viola with Professor Robert Becker. Through the Musishare Young Artist Program directed by Professor Fitzpatrick, and Chapman University, she has played in masterclasses for Ronald Copes, Paul Kantor, Cho-Liang Lin, Kurt Sassmannshaus, Cornelia Heard, Bettina Mussumeli, Nicholas Mann, Dennis Kim, Harvey de Souza, and Phillip Setzer. In January 2020, Mary participated in making a Strings@Chapman video. Recently she also had the pleasure of studying privately with Professor Robert Becker at the Cremona International Music Festival. In the summer of 2018, she attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, studying privately with Cornelia Heard and receiving chamber music coaching from Renata Arado. She has also participated in several chamber music festivals in Southern California. Mary lives in Huntington Beach, California. Her hobbies include reading and rollerblading.
Theatre Tommy Linehan is very excited to be joining Arts & Learning Conservatory as an Assistant Performing Arts Teacher. He has performed in over 30 shows all across the Orange County area including his roles as Shrek in Shrek the Musical, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Ren McCormack in Footloose the musical just to name a few. He has also assistant directed 4 shows as well as led in acting out bible stories during VBS at his church for many years. Tommy loves performing and he understands really well how to include fun as well as hard work into every lesson he teaches. He loves working with kids because he feels they really bring out the joy in everything and he just wants to see them all turn into stars on stage!
Band Teacher Edwin was born and raised in Orange County California. He started playing trumpet at the age of 12 and immediately fell in love. He attended Cal State Fullerton for a degree in music performance in trumpet and music education. While there, he won the Rodger Vaughn award – a yearly award given to the best musician that came with a small scholarship. He studied mainly under Barry Perkins, the principal trumpet player of the Pacific Symphony. He has also played in the La Mirada Community Orchestra and played in the Tournament of Roses Parade for 9 years in a row. He was featured on KTLA morning news a few times playing herald trumpet with Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, where he worked part time for 11 years, and even unveiled the “Welcome to Orange County” sign off the 5 Freeway with a trumpet fanfare for the OC Register. He has been teaching music for over 7 years now. Along with Arts & Learning, he teaches music at Waldorf School of Orange County at the middle school and high school level. He has also done brass coaching for high school marching bands and given trumpet ensemble classes to high schools. Currently, he plays in a cumbia/salsa band in Orange and LA County on a weekly to semi-weekly basis.
Theatre Tatiana is a recent graduate from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. She has a passion for theatre, music, and dance education and hopes to spark a joy for the arts in her students, as teachers have done for her. Tatiana is trained in dancing, singing, and acting, as well as being a musician. Some of her favorite performance credits have been Ado Annie (Oklahoma!), Little Red (Into the Woods), and most recently River (In Pieces). Aside from performing and teaching, she is a director, choreographer, and stage manager for local community theaters. Tatiana’s favorite credits on the creative team have been The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Moana Jr., and Frozen Jr. She is a big believer in making the arts accessible for all, and is excited to bring the magic of theatre into classrooms!
Vocal Director Susan Mattoon has been the Choir Director for Buena Terra Elementary for 16 years now (A show style choir.) She was also an Instructor for Centralia Education Foundation Choral Program for 3 years. Susan has been teaching “Vocals for Kids” classes with the Kids College Program at Cypress College for 5 years and is also a private Voice/Piano Instructor throughout Orange County.
Theatre Savannah May is a theater teacher for the ALC. She hopes to inspire anyone she can, to open themselves up to the magical world of theater. She recently finished working as the PA on a production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (The Chance Theater). She is a graduate from California State Fullerton, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater. She was the assistant director of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, alongside Jim Taulli (The Hallberg Theater, CSUF). She was also the assistant director alongside Stacy Castiglione for the 2019-2020 season (PAC, Los Alamitos High School) where she received The show Must Go On Jrays award
Strings Instructor Namiah Miller attends CSU Long Beach where he performs in the symphony orchestra, baroque ensemble, and a string quartet. Outside of school, he is a member of the American Youth Symphony and Symphony Irvine. Namiah has also taught string students both privately and in group settings for over three years. Namiah currently teaches string classes in the Fountain Valley School District, works as a string coach for the Prelude Youth String Ensembles, and is a private violin, viola, and piano teacher at the Belmont Music Studio in Long Beach.
Theatre Amber Morales has always had a love and passion for the stage and the performing arts since she can remember. Morales began her journey in the prestigious arts at The Wooden Floor, previously known as Saint Joseph Ballet. The Wooden Floor is a non-profit organization that reaches out to underprivileged Latinx/Hispanic communities in Santa Ana. The Wooden Floor provided Morales with the opportunity to become involved in the arts, train under industry professionals, and receive the same training as those in white, high-income spaces. Training at The Wooden Floor exposed her to the arts and the possible career paths she could take after high school graduation. Morales began her college education at Orange Coast College, where she received an AA in Liberal Arts. After completing her studies at OCC, she received a BA in Dance and Theatre Arts from California State University, Long Beach. During her time at CSULB, she was given the opportunity to dance professionally as a WNBA Dancer for the Los Angeles Sparks. During her time as a WNBA Dancer, she was chosen to perform with TLC, Bell Biv DeVoe, and Anthony Lewis. She has toured and performed with several pop artists such as Diplo and Zedd, at world famous events and performance venues. Since 2018, she has been an official company member with AkomiDance and JAMZ Cheer & Dance. In 2019, she was chosen to choreograph and represent the CSULB Department of Dance at the American College Dance Association, Baja Conference, held at UC Irvine. After completing her undergraduate studies at CSULB, she began working in entertainment at Knott’s Berry Farm, and also began a career in fitness and personal training with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Orangetheory Fitness, My Vinyasa Practice, POP Cycle 2.0, and Zumba. During the initial lockdown in March of 2020, she was chosen to choreograph for the Blaktinx Dance Festival - Dancing on the Edge - An online video performance that addressed the setbacks and hardships of the Corona Virus Pandemic and Social Injustice. In 2021, she received an AA in Music, with a focus in Voice, from Santa Ana College and during that same time was accepted into The Groundlings Theatre & School in Los Angeles. She just recently received an MFA in Dance and an MFA in Acting from University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Morales continues to explore and share her passion for the performing with those in her community. She hopes to one day begin her own performing arts program like Arts & Learning Conservatory and provide children with the opportunity to learn and grow within their own personal gifts. Amber Morales looks forward to her future with Arts & Learning Conservatory and is excited to continue her journey with emerging artists!
Band Teacher I’m Julie Morimoto and my main instrument is the trumpet. I have worked with schools pretty much my whole life. I play with different big jazz bands and orchestras playing the trumpet. I am finishing up my education at CSU Long Beach where I am getting a music education and music performance double major then my credential. I enjoy teaching and watching more musicians take to their instruments. I look forward to working with my new students.
Director/Vocals Maddy Nickless is thrilled to join the Arts and Learning team directing their summer production of Frozen Kids! She is a senior at Vanguard University, and will be graduating with a minor in directing, stage managing, and production design for the stage. She is so excited to share her love of theater and teaching with the students and is excited to provide such a fun experience "In Summer" with everyone!
Theatre Toni Pelayo is a wife of 25 years, mother of three and longtime lover of the arts. As a young adult, I loved to perform and participate in theater productions, and I often express this passion through my enthusiasm for karaoke. I currently am a leader in the Long Beach faith community as pastoral support, as a speaker, and as a leader in Women's and Youth ministries. I have experience in educating and caring for special needs children as both a mother and teacher. In all these roles, I work to build inclusive communities filled with compassion, laughter, and learning.
Show Choir Morgan Powers is delighted to join the Arts & Learning Conservatory team as a Glee/Show Choir Director at Plavan Elementary, Fountain Valley. She is a lyric soprano with an extensive choral singing background, a soft spot for musical theatre, and a passion for teaching young students. Specializing in audition techniques, she is currently on staff at Musika Studio Costa Mesa, a private music instructor in voice, piano, and music theory for her small business, Songbird Studio, and a soon-to-be Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Vanguard University. She was the recipient of the VU’s Music Department’s Award of Excellence in Music Theory in 2022 as well as an Honors Recitalist in 2022 and 2023. Morgan is a semi-professional singer who has performed in venues such as Segerstrom Center for the Arts, The Muckenthaler Center for the Arts, Mariners Church in Irvine, and most recently Musical Theatre Orange County. Favorite roles include: Maria (West Side Story), Clopin Troulliefou (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Miss Andrew (Mary Poppins), Arista/Princess (The Little Mermaid). Coram Deo.
Musical Director Erik Przytulski, an alumnus of Berklee College of Music, is a songwriter/producer for mainstream and musical theatre. He has worked with Stephen Schwartz and Andrew Lippa, had several shows produced in NYC and LA, and recently released a cast recording for his latest musical which is published through Musical Theatre International (MTI). Erik music directs for several high schools in the Newport Mesa Unified School district and is happy to be working again with the Arts & Learning Conservatory.
Theatre Avi has been performing since he was very young, and loves everything that involves the arts. He graduated with his Theatre Degree at Cal State Fullerton in the spring of 2022, and he is working towards getting his teaching credential in elementary education. He just started working for Arts and learning conservatory this past fall semester and looks forward to bringing the magic of theatre back to these after school programs. In his spare time he loves to write scripts, sing, and go running.
Teacher Daisy Swanson is a third year studying viola at California State University of Long Beach's Bob Cole Conservatory of Music with Jason Bonham. Currently, they are the principal violist in the American Youth Symphony and recently won a fellowship with the California Young Artists' Symphony. Daisy has performed in masterclasses for Felix Schwartz, Solomiya Ivakhiv, Domenic Salerni, and Kimberly Sparr. They are also a volunteer with Through the Staff and a teaching artist for American Youth Symphony's Share-a-Stand program. Outside of music, Daisy is passionate about marine science and conservation