Theatre Keenah was a Broadway actress, musical theatre professor, choreographer, and director. She is now a Success Coach for spiritual-aligned, professional performing artists and the creator of the Thriving Artist Method. Keenah specializes in teaches her clients how to transform their subconscious identity, create clarity & vision, and build brand equity so that they can design a career on their terms while living their desired lifestyle offstage.
Theatre 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 on stage at Teatro Martini on the weekends, an OC-based dinner theater of which she is an original cast member. If anything matches her passion for the performing arts, it is being able to share that passion with her students. Jennifer has been teaching since 2008-everything from ballet to hip hop to voice to musical theater. Arts education is incredibly important, and Jennifer can attest to the huge role performing arts has played in her development, confidence, and happiness. She is thrilled to be able to share that passion and joy with her students!
Theatre Alison Bassett is a recent graduate from Vanguard University and has been performing in musicals for over 10 years and has been teaching musical theatre for over 5 years. She has grown up participating in multiple youth theatre programs and loved every minute of it. She has experience in teaching jazz, tap, musical theater camps, and choreographing full musical productions. Alison is so excited to be a part of the Arts and Learning Team and provide kids with the resources to participate in high-quality performances!
Theatre 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.
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.
College Audition Instructor Drew Boudreau is the founder of College Audition Pros. Since founding the company, he’s been featured in Playbill, Broadway News, Broadway.com and many more. His students have been accepted to Pace, Boston Conservatory, Point Park, Baldwin Wallace and many others. He’s an also an actor and comedian with credits including Off-Broadway, national tours & regional.
World Percussionist Eddie Drayton is originally from Bayonne N.J. and was a snare drummer for seven years with the 3-time DCI champions Bayonne Bridgemen drumline. Relocating to Los Angeles in 1987, Eddie taught high school and college percussion in addition to his position as the Pit Percussion Arranger/Instructor for the Velvet Knights Drum Corps, Anaheim, CA for several years. Eddie began working in the LA music scene, his work ranging from radio voiceover commercials, drum and dance ensembles, animated kid shows for Saban Entertainment (Battle Tech, Power Rangers, and the Mouse and The Monster), and playing in several of the best house bands in town. His work includes performing and/or recording with such artists and producers as Gerald LeVert, David Rudder, Calypso Rose, Maxx Benitt, Rick James, Gap Band, Ivan Neville, Preston Smith, Robert Grenich, Jeff Kashiwa, Antonio Banderas, Ricky Martin, Charo, Jackie DeShannon, Beth Hart, Antigone Rising, Oliver Leiber, Desmond Childs, and Jerry Goldsmith Eddie continues to record and perform, recently recording music for MBC comedy “Super Store” and is percussionist on the latest Fdeluxe recording “Am Static” produced by Oliver Leiber. He is also a percussionist for World Ensemble “Panjive”. Eddie is currently the Director of Percussion at Saddleback High School in Santa Ana, CA.
Director Ethan is making his Arts & Learning debut and is blessed to be doing so. He is nearly a college graduate from Vanguard University majoring in theatre and film. He would like to thank everyone at Arts & Learning Conservatory for giving him this amazing opportunity to direct such amazing children. Big shout out to his entire team, Gabrielle (who also happens to be his beautiful fiance), Ali, Zach, Kelly, and Art! God bless.
Band Teacher 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.
Brianne Pantalone Civitillo
Theatre Originally from Glenville, New York, Brianne is a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University and Westminster Choir College of Rider University. During her time at Westminster, Brianne was a member of the GRAMMY nominated Williamson Voices and the world renown Westminster Symphonic Choir. She has performed around the globe including legendary locations such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kimmel Center, and Oxford University where she made her international solo debut. While living in New York City, Brianne taught Special Education and worked with children with Autism at the Center for Opportunities and Outcomes for People with Disabilities as an instructor for the Chinatown Project. She is a former member of the Manhattan Choral Ensemble and a current active artist with The Same Stream Choir. Brianne recently performed as Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, Urleen in Footloose, and Sophie in Annie. She also recently directed Frozen Jr. and Seussical Jr., and did the music direction for Addams Family Jr., Spamalot, and Peter Pan. Brianne currently teaches elementary special education in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District and fills her free time by training for marathons, working on her photography, traveling, and researching how students with disabilities can use music as a means for communication.
Theatre Gabrielle is thrilled to join the ALC team this season! She has been involved in theatre since she fell in love with the craft at the age of seven. She is an alumnus of Vanguard University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts, concentrating in Musical Theatre. She has previously had the joy of choreographing and heading workshops for American Coast Children’s Theater. Gabrielle is so excited to bring theatre to young people and teach them the value of the arts!
Theatre 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.
Strings Teacher As an aspiring musician, Claire Eggers has been involved in music her whole life. She began taking violin lessons at a young age, and joined Prelude Chamber Strings by junior high. She also completed several semesters of music theory at the Colburn Community School, and created a strong background in harmony and musicianship. Claire earned her Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance from California State University, Northridge with honors, and continues to study under Dr. Lorenz Gamma in pursuit of her Master’s degree. She studies a wide range of repertoire, including works for orchestra, chamber, and solo. She has also been involved in several musicals and operas including Cinderella, Sweeney Todd, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario), and Xerxes. Additionally, Claire participated in the CSU Summer Arts and Borromeo Music Festivals, which focused on solo pieces and chamber collaborations. She also teaches group string classes, and private violin and viola lessons to students of all ages.
Theatre/Film 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.
Voice Roz graduated the Mannes College of Music in New York City as a voice major and went on to sing professionally as a soloist and background singer for national TV and radio commercials, including, I Love New York, which she sang with the late Luther Vandross. Her voice and original songs have been featured on national TV, on the Lifetime channel, in daytime drama and in Off-Broadway productions. Studying with the top vocal coaches in New York City gave Roz a deep understanding of how sound is produced and how to break through our inhibitions and allow our “true voice” to emerge. She’s been teaching children and adults, both privately and in schools and centers, for 30+ years. While still living in New York City, she coordinated the music program at The Jewish Guild for the Blind and The Bridge, a halfway house for adults with mental challenges. After moving to Los Angeles in 1998, Roz became the music teacher at the Frances Blend School for visually challenged elementary children. Roz approaches everything with enthusiasm, encouragement and patience. She believes that self-expression is vital to us all, and can be easily accessed in a safe supportive space. Roz’s songs have been featured on The Young and The Restless, the Lifetime channel, in daytime drama and in Off-Broadway productions. Roz’s original musical, Living Over the Rainbow, was a Semi Finalist in the 2018 Eugene O’Neill Nation Musical Theatre Conference and is currently being produced by a two-time Tony-nominated Broadway producer.
Theatre Miss Maggie has always loved both partaking in theatre and teaching it for many years. She has had notable performances in Legally Blonde, Beauty and The Beast, and Hairspray. She has been an elementary school classroom assistant for several years and taught theatre camps for three years. She is so excited to be meeting all of you and teaching you all about theatre.
Theatre Katie Kelly is a Bay Area native who graduated in May of 2018 from California State University, Northridge as a Deaf Theater Major and Musical Theater Minor. Katie fell in love with Theater since her first performance at the age of 7. Since graduation Katie has directed performances across Orange County. Her most recent credits include Afflicted, Merry Wives of Windsor, and Lion King. Katie has had the opportunity to work with Broadway actors and actresses with her involvement with ASL Cabaret. Katie is thrilled to continue her journey with Arts and Learning and would like to thank the entire Arts and Learning team.
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 John McGinty has performed on Broadway (Children of a Lesser God, King Lear), off-Broadway, (Fêtes de la Nuit, World Premiere of Samuel D. Hunter’s The Healing, Veritas, Movement of the Soul), and regionally (Levity, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tribes, Pippin). His film credits include Wonderstruck, Sign, and The First Purge. He has appeared on television in New Amsterdam, Lisey’s Story, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, This Close, High Maintenance, Don’t Shoot the Messenger, and Able.
Theatre/Voice/Piano Art Ortiz has 21 years of experience traveling as a full-time recording artist/evangelist with more than 4000 performances. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Azusa Pacific University. Moreover, he has produced, choreographed, and directed over 100 drama and musical productions. A well-respected former teacher/director at Eldorado Emerson Private school. He is presently at Arts and Learning Conservatory, Orange County Children’s Theatre, McCormick Music Lessons, Take Lessons, Wyzant and Virtuoso Music. Mr. Art also has over 40 private students. Additionally, he is the lead Worship Leader and Accompanist at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in San Clemente. Notably, he is a recording artist in his own right with 10 recordings, traveling across country nationally and in 13 countries internationally
Voice Kathryn Pitts is a professional soprano currently located in Orange County, CA. Her extensive choral experience has taken her to prestigious performance spaces including Walt Disney Concert Hall, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Hall, Staples Center, Hollywood Bowl, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater and Nokia Theater. She has performed with Pacific Symphony, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Musica Angelica, and Andrea Bocelli. She made her European debut in summer 2014 at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria as a member of the Opera Studio with her husband, pianist Daniel Pitts. She was named a semi-finalist for both the Chicago Oratorio Award and The American Prize in Voice in 2014. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and K-12 Music Teaching Credential from California State University, Fullerton in 2012. Katie is currently the high school choral director at the Waldorf School if Orange County. She is currently performing with Pacific Chorale and Pacific Symphony, and frequently performs in the area and is excited to be part of the Arts & Learning Conservatory team.
Theatre Lauren began her training in classical ballet at the age of 4. At age 13, she joined a local competition team and added lyrical and jazz to her performance styles. During her time with the company, Lauren guest performed at several locations throughout Southern California including Disneyland/California Adventure, The Orange County Fair, The White House in Anaheim, and internationally at the Barcelona Grand Pri. At the age 14, Lauren began choreographing for her dance studio, and a year later, started assistant choreographing for musical theater. During her high school years, she contributed additional choreography to over 10 musicals for The La Habra Depot, BC Playhouse, and Orange County Children’s Theater. Once in college, Lauren began to branch out in her performance styles, eventually picking up most swing, latin, and ballroom styles. She also returned to Orange County Children’s Theater as an assistant choreographer for Cinderella, under the direction of Kaitlyn Tice, and her high school, BCHS to choreograph productions of Music Man, Godspell, and Sound of Music. In summer of 2013, Lauren spent time training with the Radio City Rockettes and went on to audition for the company in 2015. Lauren graduated from CSULB in 2015 with her BA in Liberal Studies/Special Education and now works as a choreographer, model, and Event Coordinator at Hotel Irvine. She has choreographed for various theaters in the Orange and LA county areas including: OCCT, YaYa’s Performance Academy, and the Attic Theater. Lauren continues to train weekly at Atomic Ballroom in Irvine, practicing her ballroom, latin, and swing dancing. She is so excited to finally work along Jenny Moon-Shaw and join the Arts & Learning Family!
Theatre Meriam Shams is a recent graduate from the University of Redlands with a BA in Collaborative Performing Arts: Voice, Acting, and Analysis. She is currently enrolled in the University’s Masters of Arts in Learning and Teaching. Meriam has sung in choral settings for 7 years and has been in musicals ranging from Amelie to Mamma Mia!
Theatre Jenny started performing professionally at the age of six and had a long and wonderful childhood in the world of professional theatre. From this experience she developed a passion for introducing kids into the theatrical experience. She studied Drama and Theatre Arts at Birmingham University, England and trained 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 and was awarded the county position of ‘Advanced Skills teacher’. She moved to California in 2012 and resumed her performance career in professional theatre. She now works as a freelance actress, teaching artist, director and choreographer and is mom to a 5 year old. In California, Jenny has enjoyed directing and choreographing an array of shows at a range of wonderful venues including Segerstrom Centre for the Arts. She also works as a Teaching Artist for Segerstrom Center for the Arts and directs and choreographs for multiple High Schools in Orange County. Jenny has had a fabulous time directing and choreographing for Arts and Learning and has created numerous productions for them including ‘Into the Woods’, ‘Annie’, ‘The Addams Family’ and ‘Mary Poppins’.
Music Director Bret Simmons has credits within the music industry as a Composer, Producer, Arranger, and Musical Director. His versatile talents have been showcased as the on-camera Bandleader and Keyboardist for TV’s The Megan Mullally Show on NBC. His work has been featured in hundreds of live shows and special events for clients ranging from The Walt Disney Company to the Olympics. During his career, he has served as Staff Music Director for Disney and Staff Songwriter for a variety of music publishers, including EMI Music Publishing and Famous Music Corp. His recordings have been released on CBS/SONY records and Walt Disney Records. He is the composer of the musical Lucky Star (Phoenix Theatre), as well as the Off Broadway musical Falling for Eve, written with David Howard and Joe DiPietro. It’s licensed at Theatrical Rights Worldwide along with Changing Minds, and The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig.