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Teaching Artists

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Zoë Gatz is currently a singer, dancer, and actress working in Southern Wisconsin. She is a senior in Music Theatre at Carthage College, and an alumni of the Kids From Wisconsin organization. She cannot wait to bring you the joy of making music and performing, and hopes that you have as much fun as she does doing it with you! You can catch her as the Head of Audience Development at Citadel Theatre in Lake Forest, IL for this upcoming season.

Zoë Gatz

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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

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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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I am a pianist, arranger, and educator living in the Chicagoland area. I am currently completing my senior year as a Jazz Studies major with a minor in Audio Production at Elmhurst University.
I have had the great honor of performing for two years as a principal member of the Kids From Wisconsin troupe (2018-19). From this experience I have learned the principles and procedures for being a professional level, full-time touring performer.
As a member of the Elmhurst University Jazz Band and under the direction of Doug Beach, I have been given countless great performance opportunities, including but not limited to shows featuring names such as Kurt Elling, Byron Stripling, Ryan Truessdell, Dennis Mackrel and many more.
Outside of school, I perform regularly around the Midwest, performing music in settings ranging from solo piano to salsa bands, jazz trios and with full string orchestras.
Over the past summer, I was given the great opportunity to work as a teaching artist for the Kids From Wisconsin to provide music education for inner city kids in Milwaukee with underfunded arts programs.
Furthermore, with the experience provided from teaching the summer music program through the Kids From Wisconsin, I have been employed by two private piano lesson studios based in the Chicagoland area.

Dan VanZeeland

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Amanda is a music teacher, music director, and actress. She got her degree in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan. Her favorite professional job was as a voiceover actress in a Sega game and for MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch. Amanda loves working with students of all ages to help them reach their potential as performers. She has two teenagers who keep her on her toes, two dogs to snuggle, and a cat who tolerates her existence.

Amanda Satchell

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Julia participated in the 2017 and 2018 Kids from Wisconsin seasons as a band member. She is a versatile musician, an arts advocate, and is currently involved in the Milwaukee creative scene. Whether it’s with pit orchestras for community theater, her rock band Wonderful Bluffer, or recording sessions, Julia is a champion of collaboration. As a musician, she has worked with the Menominee Falls Patio Players, Waukesha Civic Theater, Lakeside Players of Kenosha, Madison College, Off the Square Players, and has worked on various recording projects with artists and musicians in the Milwaukee area. As an arts administrator, she has had the privilege of working with organizations The American Theatre Guild based in Kansas City, the Marcus Performing Arts Center, the Chicago Cultural Alliance, Skylight Music Theatre, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, and Milwaukee Children’s Choir. Along with providing saxophone, flute, and vocals for Wonderful Bluffer, she also has built and maintains their website WonderfulBlufferBand.com.

Julia earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism, Advertising, & Media Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a minor in Music and a certificate in Digital Arts and Culture. She now works full-time as an Advertising Associate for The American Theatre Guild, the largest not-for-profit touring Broadway Presenter in the nation. This organization supports Broadway seasons in fourteen markets across the United States, partnering with Broadway Across America in Kansas City. Along with working full-time, she also instructs beginning guitar, vocals, songwriting, and saxophone at Guitar Center and continues to perform onstage with Wonderful Bluffer and in pit orchestras in Southeastern Wisconsin.

In Fall of 2022, Julia will be attending UW - Parkside to study with trumpet player Russ Johnson and Chicago based saxophone player Chris Madsen to earn a degree in Jazz Studies. Through teaching at Guitar Center, Julia made the decision to go back to school in order to pursue her passion for playing music and to be the most impactful, inspiring teacher she can be. She is so excited to incorporate more teaching into her life and hopes to perform professionally on cruise ships and on Broadway tours someday!

Julia Lewandowski

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Cuauhtli is a Mexican performing artist and dancer. He started his training at the University of Guanajuato, having a multidisciplinary approach, combining contemporary dance and acting techniques. He has trained and performed the work of Mexican choreographers such as Juan Caudillo, Sylvia Salomon, Claudia Badillo, and Selene Aguirre, and with theater directors such as David Eudave and Israel Araujo. He has performed at the International Cervantino Festival (2016) with the multidisciplinary play Todo Puede Ser directed by Horacio Almada, as well as the Guanajuato International Film Festival (2015) with the short film Azul directed by Charlie Zamora. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance Performance and Choreography (spring 2021). During his time in Milwaukee he has performed and collaborated in works of Maria Gillespie, Morgan Williams, Emma Draves, Bernard Brown, Caitlin Mahon, Joe Goode, Mair Culbreth,Amanda Lee, and Danceworks Performance Company.

Cuauhtli Ramirez Castro

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Martilia is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is currently a junior at Marquette University studying Theatre and Psychology. Her favorite activities include singing (basically all the time), acting, drawing, cooking/baking, and spending time with her friends and family! Her favorite drink is chai tea and her favorite food is potatoes! She has had wonderful teachers throughout her life that have shown her the beauty of music, which is why she is excited to share her love of performing and singing with you!

Martilia Marechal