Meet Our Team
Meet the Arts & Learning Conservatory team.
Founder and CEO
Debora Wondercheck (MFA) is the Founder and CEO of the Arts & Learning Conservatory (A&L), an inspirational arts education program now celebrating 10 years of influential growth in Orange County. Starting with only four performances a year and growing to over 35 county-wide, Debora expanded A&L’s reach in just a decade, from 21 students to over 1,500, and its audiences now extend to 10,000 annually. Debora also currently serves as Director of Music at the Waldorf School of Orange County (unanimously superior rated orchestra of SCSBOA). She is the founding conductor of the Bellagio Strings Youth Orchestra of OC. Debora is an accomplished Master teacher of string pedagogy having taught at Vanguard University, Irvine Unified School District, and Newport Mesa Unified District.
As for awards, on behalf of A&L, Debora is a recent winner of the Outstanding Arts Organization Award from Arts Orange County for the creation of effective arts and education programs to youth. Earlier in 2014, Debora was presented the Distinguished Woman of Substance Award of Orange County. In 2012, Debora received the Links Incorporated Woman of Service Award, for Exemplary Community Service to youth for her After School Arts Programs. Debora has also received the Teacher of Excellence Award from the Newport Mesa Unified District.
Debora embraces her community with participation on various arts commissions like the Cultural Arts Committee for the city of Costa Mesa, the Arts Alliance of California, and the Orange County Music and Arts Administrator Association. Debora always counts it a high privilege to serve children, their families, and our community with inspiring programs that develop confidence and creativity …for life.
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.
Haley Bess has been working in choir and theatre for her whole life, first as a performer, and then as a stage manager and director for the past six years. She loves working with kids, and now that she has one of her own, she hopes that her daughter will love the arts as much as she does. We’re very excited to have her as a part of our Arts & Learning team and you can find Haley teaching our after school theatre classes, bringing her love of theatre and education to the classroom.
Mr. Shaun Carmer is a young and enthusiastic music educator and performer specializing in brass and percussion techniques. He studied music performance and jazz theories at Fullerton College in 2009. Since then, Shaun has been performing on National television for over six years and plays in front of 1,200 people on a nightly basis. He has shared the stage with music greats: Wayne Bergeron, Willie Murillo, Sam Most, Mark Pender, Kye Palmer, Francisco Torres plus many others. Mr. Carmer has performed at the Fullerton Jazz Fest and The Monterey Jazz Festival among other prestigious events. Shaun has received numerous awards including: (both nationally recognized) The Louis Armstrong Jazz award and The John Phillip Sousa Musicianship award. Mr. Carmer has been teaching students for the past six years. He believes in teaching his students how to apply musical concepts in other subjects and how to utilize those skills in real life.
Sukyi Choi-Kim is a private violin teacher, as well as a string instructor in Fountain Valley elementary schools for the Arts and Learning Conservatory. Mrs. Kim studied at the Colburn School of Performing Arts before earning her Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from the Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. She earned a Master of Music in Violin Performance, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Suzuki Teaching, from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.
Mrs. Kim started teaching violin in 2004 through the Rainbow Music Academy, a non-profit organization that brings music to underprivileged children. While there she was awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles for her work. Mrs. Kim has continually taught children of all ages and levels. States Mrs. Kim, “I am in love with teaching young children, and have found it challenging, inspirational, and rewarding.”
Insanely creative artist, Vanessa Evans has worked as “Jack of all Trades” in theatres all over the country, from coast to coast. Her most recent work includes a remount of her 6x MACY award winning production of Hairspray, for Arts & Learning. Vanessa is graduate of the American Musical and Dramatics Academy of New York City. It is there, where she harnessed her skills as performer, and learn to branch out as a director and choreographer. She is happy to be coming up on her 1 year anniversary with Arts and Learning. Weather it’s behind the scenes as a make up artist or up front and center as director/choreographer, Vanessa has been apart of many Arts and Learning productions, including The Wiz, Into the Woods, and Shrek the Musical Jr. Vanessa has also help develop the children’s theatre programs, at other community theatres and schools around Orange County. When not directing, you can you usually find Vanessa on stage performing. Always a performer first, Vanessa has been in many musicals. Some of her favorite roles include Miss Hanningan in Annie, and Motormouth Mabel in Hairspray. Looking forward, Vanessa is excited to be directing the next Arts & Learning production, of Peter and the Star Catcher. In the future, Vanessa plans to continue her thriving career as an actress, and director, but also plans on writing and producing her own Musicals. Defy Gravity!!! You’re Unlimited!!!
Edwin was born and raised in Orange County. He started playing trumpet at the age of 14. He quickly went up through the ranks and was playing in honor bands throughout high school. He went to Cal State Fullerton for a degree in music performance and education. There he won the Rodger Vaughn award, a yearly award given to the best musician. He played in the top wind ensemble, brass ensemble, jazz band, and orchestra there.
He has also played in the La Mirada Community Orchestra and has played trumpet in the Tournament of Roses Parade for the past 7 years. He has been featured on KTLA morning news on trumpet 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 for over a year now and has been teaching privately for 7 years. Last year he started teaching music at Waldorf School of Orange County at the middle school level and this year he will also be teaching the high school level. He looks forward to teaching young students what music has to offer and how fun it can be to play music. He hopes to have a strong music program that the students will enjoy and develop lifelong musical skills.
Art Ortiz has 21 years of experience traveling as a full-time Christian recording artist and evangelist in over 4000 performances. He has a B.A. degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Azusa Pacific University. Moreover, he has produced, choreographed, and directed 50 drama and musical productions; from small intimate venues to expansive state of the art amphitheaters across the U.S. For the past 4 years Mr. Ortiz has been the vocal and theatre director for A&L. He is a composer, soloist, and a gifted pianist, with numerous private vocal and piano students. A well-respected teacher/director for TakeLessons, WyzAnt, Virtuosos Russian Music Academy, Shoreline Academy of the Arts, and Musical Theatre of Orange County. Notably, he is a recording artist in his own right with 10 recordings, traveling across country nationally and in 13 countries internationally.
Jenny studied Drama and Theatre Arts at Birmingham University, England and trained as a Drama teacher at London Central School of Speech and Drama. In England, Jenny worked as Head of Drama, and Director of Performing Arts at a High School for eight years. She moved to California in 2012 and now works as a freelance Actress, Teaching Artist, Director and Choreographer. In California, Jenny has enjoyed directing and choreographing an array of shows at a range of wonderful venues, including local schools, children’s theatre companies and in local professional theatres. Recent work includes choreographing an extract of The Sound of Music as part of Segerstrom’s Season 2015 Preview, originating the choreography in the world premier musical ‘Journey to the West’, directing Les Miserables for Orange County Children’s Theatre Company and working as a Teaching Artist for Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Jenny is a is grateful to Arts & Learning for the opportunity to direct their shows.
Hugo Nogueira won the 2011 American Guitar Society competition in Los Angeles, California. After attending three prestigious conservatories in Brazil, he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Composition in 2007 and a teaching credential in 2010. Hugo continued his studies earning his Master’s Degree in Guitar Performance at Azusa Pacific University. Additionally, he has had masterclasses with world class guitarists such as Ana Vidovic, Jason Vieaux, Scott Tennant, and Marc Teicholz. Hugo has also participated at guitar festivals such as La Guitarra in San Luis Obispo, Sierra Nevada Guitar festival, and New Mexico Guitar Festival. Awarded an assistantship in the fall of 2013, Hugo began to work on his Doctorate in Classical Guitar Performance at UNLV with the internationally renowned concert guitarist, Ricardo Cobo. In 2014 and 2015, Hugo was invited to be part of the guitar competition committee at the Clark County School District, Las Vegas Academy of Arts, and Junior festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. From 2013 to 2017, while working on his terminal degree (DMA), Hugo was teaching group guitar class, theory, private lessons, and guitar ensemble at UNLV. In the last few years, Hugo has been performing in different states across U.S. such as California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Michigan. In May 2017, Hugo graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts.
With over 150 theatrical productions to her credit, Sherry has been involved in the magical world of theater for more than 30 years. In the recent past, she was a theater class instructor for the Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center in the Santa Ana School District and she has also taught classes for Arts & Learning Conservatory. She is overjoyed to now have opportunity to share her passion for the performing arts with children and to watch the children thrive and grow. Proud to be part of the Arts & Learning Conservatory.
Tammy Kanei teaches private lessons and Strings in the Huntington Beach School district. Her main instrument of emphasis is the violin, studying and performing for 17 years. She attended Vanguard University studying music, and lead in the Vanguard University orchestra as the concert master violinist. Tammy has as well played in musicals, churches, and in different parts of the world.
Her hope with music is to be able to pass on her passion, joy, and skills through teaching!
Music and Theatre
Charley Miller began studying piano at the age of 8. He received a BA in music at Oklahoma Baptist University and California State University at Dominguez Hills, and received a degree in Organizational Leadership from Biola University. He is the Music Teacher for Peninsula Heritage School in Rolling Hills Estates, and a private instructor in piano, guitar and ukulele. He has worked as music director or pit musician in over 30 theater productions. Charley is also actively involved in music at Life Covenant Church in Torrance and serves on the board of directors of Loving One by One Ministries, and has traveled several times to Uganda to participate in medical and educational relief efforts. He counts it a joy to be part of the Arts & Learning Conservatory team.
Sarah Yoshiko Tatman
Sarah Tatman is a violist and violinist in Southern California. Sarah received her Bachelor of Music in viola performance at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music where she studied with Hong Mei Xiao. She is a Registered Suzuki Teacher and taught the Suzuki Method to underprivileged children with the Tucson Symphony Women’s Association for nine years.
Sarah has performed with the American Youth Symphony, Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra, Santa Monica Symphony, Lake Tahoe Music Festival, Arizona Symphony, Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Grand Canyon University Orchestra, Tucson Repertory Orchestra, Music in the Mountains Festival and the Bisbee Arizona Women’s Club Series. Sarah has done recordings and EastWest Studios in Hollywood with a chamber orchestra and has also recorded violin with her band Nilu at Henson Studios in Hollywood, California under the management Randy Jackson. She has recorded for bands such as Nilu, The Band Orlina, This Wild Life, The Brevet, and The New Octaves. Sarah is also featured on Laura Warshauer’s album, the Pink Chariot Mixtape, produced by the renowned Thom Panunzio.
Sarah has also studied with violinist and violist Igor Veligan, Professor at University of the Pacific and violist Peter Marsh, Professor at University of Southern California. Presently, Sarah studies with Robert Becker, ex-Principle violist of the Pacific Symphony in Orange County, California.
Lawrence "L.A." Auble
Lawrence “L.A.” Auble has over 27 years experience as an educator, professional jazz musician, band and orchestra director. L.A.’s teaching style and enthusiasm has led to the growth of every program he has been involved with. Many of his students have gone onto professional careers in performance and teaching. L.A. wrote Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) approved Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum for concert and jazz bands as director at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. L.A. successfully transitioned the marching band from Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) to Western Band Association (WBA) earning a slot in championships their first year as well as finishing 1st or 2nd at every marching competition. As Music Program Director at St. Mary’s school L.A. developed and wrote curriculum (band, jazz band, drumline, music appreciation) and implemented instrumental music program. He also hired and supervised the Pre-K – 2nd grade teacher. L.A. studied International Baccalaureate (IB) at the International School of Milan, Italy. He developed and implemented IB music curriculum grades Pre-K – 5 (PYP) & 6-8 (MYP) and co-directed music theater productions and arranged music as well as vocals for jazz band, theater and choir performances.
Some of L.A.’s professional musician accomplishments include recording and producing his own Jazz Compact Disc Straight Ahead, Radio Airplay from KKJZ, KSBR, WDNA, and playing live on KSBR. L.A. has also appeared on MTV. L.A. has performed with the renowned Buddy Collette on multiple occasions as well as many other top professionals. L.A. has a Masters of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration from Argosy University Phoenix, Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Education from Concordia University Irvine and the Single Subject Waiver Program in Music Education from California State University Long Beach. L.A. delivers high quality education and enthusiastically shares his vast multi-instrumental knowledge in a fun and safe environment.
Jennifer graduated from Chapman University in 2012 with a B.A. in English Literature and minors in vocal music and dance. Jennifer has been involved in performing arts from a young age. She began dancing at the age of 3. At 6 she joined the Pacific Chorale children’s chorus program. Around the same time, Jennifer discovered her passion for musical theater by participating in theater summer camps. Jennifer is equally in love with singing, dancing, and acting, so musical theater quickly found a very special place in her heart, and remains a huge part of her life to this day. Stage credits include Oklahoma!, Man of la Mancha, Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, Li’l Abner, and Beauty and the Beast.Additionally, Jennifer has been a member of two dance companies, and has also used her dance skills performing in and choreographing music videos for local LA artists. When Jennifer is not teaching, she can be found onstage at Teatro Martini on the weekends, an OC-based dinner theater of which she is an original cast member.
John Espino teaches acting for the camera from child to adult. Being an actor himself he is just as at home on stage as he is being in front of the camera. He has acted in many stage productions, works on production and sound, video and special effects, and has directed many of youth productions. John has also written and directed several national commercials and automotive how-to television shows. He is also a capable cameraman, recording stage performances and working on independent films.
Shinshin Yuder Tsai
Shinshin Yuder Tsai is a graduate of UCI, with his bachelors in Drama. His emphasis in Directing and Acting has led him to many wonderful productions and profound journeys. The stage has been his home for most of his life and he has met most of his beloved friends from Theatre. To say that Theatre is Shinshin’ passion in life would be an understatement. His recent works at the Long Beach Playhouse include Cowboy vs. Samurai, and LOVE/SICK. His college productions include The Pillowman and Almost, Maine. Theatre has changed, shaped, and shook his world and he is grateful for the opportunity to share said passion with the younger generation. When not in the Theatre, Shinshin finds satisfaction in photography, eating foods familiar and foreign, video games, and finding the next great jacket to add to his collection. Shinshin is a big advocate for arts education as many of the things he loves in the world would not be possible if it were not for the creatives and artists who blazed the path for him. He is eager to help unlock and spark creativity and fervor in the new generation’s hearts and minds.
Hannah Limon is a San Diego native currently based in Orange County. She is a recent graduate from UC Irvine where she received a B.A. in Drama and Film & Media Studies. At UCI, Hannah has studied acting, musical theatre, dance, directing, screenwriting, sound and lighting design, and clowning! Hannah became involved in the performing arts after appearing as a Quartet Member in her school production of The Lion King. In her high school years, Hannah was a participant in The Old Globe Summer Shakespeare Intensive for two summers where she received training in acting, dance, movement, voice, and Shakespeare and also performed in abridged Shakespeare productions at the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. Some of her favorite stage credits include Crab (yes the dog) from The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Susan Harrison from You Could Die Laughing, and neurotransmitter, Dopamine, in an original work, Model Minority Syndrome performed by Theatre Woks at UCI. Hannah has also performed in renowned venues such as the Citizens Business Bank Arena, the Golden 1 Center, and the Microsoft Theater. When not found in the theatre, Hannah continues her love of singing as a choir member in her church: the Iglesia Ni Cristo- Church of Christ in English, a duty that has inspired her love of performing ever since she was 7 years old. She is also a certified Children’s Worship Service teacher in her church. Hannah hopes she can continue to spread the passion of theatre with future generations and teach individuals how they can unlock their multi-talented abilities.