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Teaching Artists

Meet our talented teaching artists who make our year-round programming possible! Our teaching staff are professional musicians, actors, and performers in Milwaukee, private music and voice teachers, general music educators, dance teachers and choreographers, and more.


Teaching brings me joy, because no one can match my energy like a kid who is excited and fascinated by the very same things that I am passionate about. I have lived in Milwaukee my whole life, and I'm well aware of the talent and creativity that exists in this city. All kids should have the opportunity to discover those talents and express their creativity no matter what school they go to, and it thrills me to be a part of that.

Ruari O'Naughton


Abby is a Director, Teacher, Choreographer, and Theater Artist based out of Milwaukee. She is a recent graduate from Wisconsin Lutheran College with a BA in Theatre and Communications. When not onstage, Abby assistant directs at Hamilton High School. She also works at Brio Studios directing, choreographing, teaching show choir, and everything in between. She is a big musical theatre nerd, enjoys spending time on the boat, and loves snuggling her dogs. Abby absolutely loves sharing her passions for acting, singing, and dancing with the next generation of artists!

Abby Bloomquist


Wynter is a Columbia College Chicago graduate with a passion for voice. They release projects falling under the R&B umbrella and play both guitar and piano. Wynter enjoys self producing projects and coordinating songwriting sessions with musicians from around the globe. Outside of music, Wynter cares for their three pet rabbits and enjoys visiting new restaurants in the area.

Wynter Bates


After spending a decade in the Big Apple, Jordan is happy to be back home in Wisconsin. With over 20 years of stage experience, Jordan has performed in national and international tours, regional theaters and on cruise ships. He has also had the opportunity to sing backup for some of New York City's most well-known cabaret artists and Broadway stars. Still an active performer, you can find Jordan singing alongside The Company Men around the country, as well as on cruise ships as a guest entertainer. Jordan holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Having had such a positive experience performing in his youth with Accompany of Kids (AOK), Jordan is excited to share the joy of the arts with the next generation! When not on stage, you can find him curled up with a good movie, or jamming out to one of his favorite artists.

Jordan Ellis


I have always held a huge passion for the arts and think its a very important part of not only children's development, but their overall livelihood. I attended Milwaukee High School of the Arts, and am currently studying Theatre and Art at UW-Milwuakee. The teachers and experiences I’ve had have driven me to see the beauty in the world and how to interact with it. I am so excited to get to pass on my knowledge and experience and help cultivate the next generation of artists.

Elliot White


From the young age of 4, Ashley has always been dancing! She started her background in ballet, jazz and tap. In high school, she was on her school's dance team. In college and thereafter, she immersed herself in learning dances from around the world. Currently, she focuses on salsa, bachata and Brazilian Zouk! Ashley has also been an elementary classroom teacher for over 10 years. Because of her love of music, she started taking vocal lessons as an adult. Ashley loves merging music, dance and academics together to create a holistic and engaging student environment!

Ashley Bednerak


Born in Germany, Marcya is a cross-genre artist who specializes in jazz. Her repertoire of jazz standards, inclusive of select tunes from the Motown era, is the palette she uses to tell stories that celebrate love, offer comfort during moments of loss and remind us of the hilarity that can be found in everyday life.

Marcya's professional singing career began at the age of 15 when her high school choir director hired her to sing at local weddings. While completing a bachelor's degree at Roosevelt University/Chicago Musical College, Marcya worked as a cantor for various parishes in the Chicago area and received her first contract with an opera company. Additionally, Marcya is the recipient of awards/acknowledgements from several music organizations including, Lakeview Music Society, N.A.T.S. (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee.

Marcya is an active performer with her own namesake ensembles, as well as the Milwaukee Jazz Institute Faculty Ensemble. Additionally, she is a member of AAJC (African American Jazz Caucus), CCP(Chicago Cabaret Professionals), JEN (Jazz Education Network).

Marcya McReynolds


Yacob is a classically trained singer and pianist, and more than anything he is a music theory nerd from Milwaukee, WI. He first began performing in high school, with the Wauwatosa East Choirs, Wauwatosa East Players, and in musicals at Sunset Playhouse. Yacob is a passionate teacher who believes in making learning a fun experience for students. He enjoys incorporating his students’ interests into their education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Psychology from Ripon College and has been studying multiple styles of voice and piano for a decade under a variety of teachers. When he’s not teaching voice lessons, you can find him singing in the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus. Yacob loves teaching and he can’t wait to share the joy of music with you!

Yacob Bennett


Baila Weiss was born in the Ukraine and grew up in Australia where she started dancing at 5, quickly understanding that this would be her passion for life. After graduating The Victorian College of the Arts, and dancing at The National, she moved to Los Angeles, performing, teaching, choreographing, and directing musicals for many years. Now in Milwaukee, Baila is excited to impart the beauty of performing arts to the next generation.

Baila Weiss


Aundre is a singer, dancer, and actor based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A native of Milwaukee, he went to Wisconsin Lutheran High School(‘20) and continued his studies at American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City(20-21). After leaving New York, he went back to his hometown and is currently going to The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying Versatile Voice. He loves teaching because as a kid his teachers made a difference in his life by being there, accepting him, and loving him and that is exactly what he wants to do for these children. He also enjoys seeing growth and breakthroughs within children as well. Something Aundre would like the children to know is that he is a cheerleader so he can do all types of flips and tricks.

Aundre Reid


My education is in Early Childhood and Infant/Toddler education through MATC, and Dance through UWM. I have worked in childcare for over 20 years.
I work as a Teaching Artist, helping students express themselves through music and dance. This is also my passion. I have witnessed that children who learn to express themselves through music and theater arts have shown success with balancing their emotions.
Outside of my Teaching Artist profession, I enjoy spending time with my husband Nicholas, whom I’ve been married to for 17 years now. We have three boys who we are raising in Franklin, Wisconsin. Our weekends are filled with soccer, baseball, and all sorts of other extracurricular activities.
I am a Certified Massage Therapist since 1994, specializing in Neuromuscular Therapy for pain relief and Sports Massage for athletes. This trade is very complimentary to me as a dancer, as I am always aware of my own body aches, injuries, etc. Having three boys involved in sports, Massage Therapy has also helped them with their muscle strains, and growing pains.
I also work as the After School Program Coordinator at St. Alphonsus, Franklin. I manage and oversee the after-school program, creating various activities for students, handling student behavioral concerns within the program, and the hiring and management of the staff.
Working with children teaches me patience and compassion as a person. It also reminds me that not one child is like another. We all learn differently. We all grow differently. But, we are all special. We are all unique.

Stacey Pagac


I love an array of things. Some hobbies that are close to my heart are singing, of course, dancing (when no one is watching), cleaning, cooking, love to play tennis, and teaching music. I grew up in Rockford Illinois, That is where I fell in love with music. I grew up in church; growing up in church gave me access to music, that close access was beautiful to me. Although I had access, I wanted more from music; I wanted a deeper understanding. I had to find that on my own. Finding interesting musical influences on my own led me to some amazing artist that crafted my gift and directed my interest. I studied Donald Lawrence, Destiny's Child, James Brown, Ray Charles.
My love of music is very deep, I would even say embedded into my soul. As stated earlier, I love to cook! My favorite meal to make is seafood gumbo! I make a mean dish. Something that makes me laugh is goat scream videos, I don't know why they get me every time, but they do. I hope to meet you all and make wonderful music with you where you all have the ability to share music and joy with the world. Never limit yourself and never limit your gift, it can always grow.

John Stanford

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