Mr. Jammin

Ben MartinBen Jammin loves teaching people who think they have no musical talent. He graduated with a degree in music from Sierra Nevada College. Ben has performed with legends Kenny Loggins and Mike Love of the Beach Boys. He currently plays acoustic guitar in the After Eights, bass guitar with the Emily Tessmer Band and acoustic guitar with Angele and the Wildwood Band.   He is the founder and Director of the non-profit Tahoe School of Music and runs the music program at the Sierra Expeditionary Learning School Academy in Truckee.

Emily Tessmer

Emily TessmerEmily has enjoyed working with many world-class musicians and magicians. She has headlined at the Veenhoop Festival (Holland), played Los Angeles’s Troubadour, and opened for diverse artists including Gilby Clarke (Supernova), and Blue Oyster Cult. Emily sang the National Anthem for the San Diego Padres twice at PETCO Park.   Additionally Emily was commissioned by Kristen and Mike Klink (Guns N’ Roses) to write an original song for their foundation, A Song of My Own, a charity enabling singer songwriters to connect with terminally ill children. Emily wrote Annie’s song and Annie went into remission from leukemia shortly thereafter. She considers that song and her experience with Annie as being “the true healing power of music and the reason why I am here.” 

Angele M. Thibodeau

Angele M. ThibodeauAngele started her musical career as a little girl singing in the back woods of Maine.  After moving to Connecticut at the age of 9 she pursued chorus and private vocal lessons.  She has had numerous adventures with her music including choir camp, performing with her High school chorus in Disney World, and interacting with a wide variety of talented artists.  She loves to pass on her lifelong passion for music to her students and equip them with whatever skills they require to pursue their own dreams.  Angele strongly believes in the power of music to enrich the mind, and help people learn.  She also sees music as a great tool for healing and navigating life's challenges.  

Crystal Boutelle

crystalCrystal has been singing since she was 9 years old.  She has sung in many different musical groups from Church Choirs and musicals to the UC Davis a capella Latin baroque choir and even sung the national anthem at her college graduation.  She currently sings in an acoustic duo called the After Eights accompanied by Ben Martin on the acoustic guitar.  She started playing the flute at the age of 8 and continued through college, playing and performing in flute quartets.   Her passion has always been singing and harmonizing with others.  She enjoys sharing her love of singing with those who are excited about learning and exploring their own unique voice.

Gwendalyn Gilliam


Gwendalyn has been playing the fiddle since 1963. Largely self-taught, she has gleaned the best techniques from the masters who've crossed her path and uses them to accelerate her students' success. She loves helping students of all ages grow their skills.
In 1985 she learned most of the Celtic music she plays in two days busking on the streets of Berkeley with a flutist and mandolin. 

She has performed in many venues in Manhattan, including the Eye Gallery, the Kitchen and Danceteria, in the Bay Area with the Wildcat Canyon Band (country), Front Porch Ministry (rock), and with Tahoe's Ziva! (kirtan with Emily Tessmer) and Groove Foundry (funk). 
She currently specializes in weddings and parties with a troubadour approach - entering and circling the guests while playing 1-2 songs - and enjoys singing (soloing with Sierra Nevada College Choir), playing the piano, and has recently fallen in love with the cello, which is swiftly teaching itself to her.


Darcy Kathleen


Darcy loves all styles of music especially those that include good lyrics and tasteful melody. Living out her chapters in San Francisco, New York, Florence, and Cheltenham she is delighted to return to the Reno/Tahoe area. Darcy has always seemed to find great places to sing and amazing musicians to perform with. Through her travels she has trained, schooled/degreed, and careered in interior architecture & design and Montessori education, while singing all along.

Darcy tailors each lesson for the age and ability level of her students, with exercises in breathing, vocal stretching, tone control, and developing range and pitch. She covers a range of topics including history, exposure to great singers, lyric analysis/memorization, rhythm and movement, microphone technique, and Music Theory. Darcy exposes a wide variety of musical genres and aids students in developing their singing voice within their best range.



Kerry Andras

KerryKerry has been playing music for over 20 years. He plays and teaches acoustic guitar, upright bass, and mandolin. His focus as a performer has mainly been on roots music and jazz, and he has played upright bass in successful bands for the last 9 years including The Rusty Strings and Sneaky Creatures.  He has been teaching music lessons for several years.  He has an easy-going and friendly style of teaching, and always strives to find the balance of teaching the fundamentals of music theory, the technical aspects of the instrument, and focusing on what the student wants to learn. He holds a certificate in Professional Music from Portland Community College.


Shauna Gilberti Righellis

ShaunaShauna teaches woodwind, brass, percussion, voice and piano and has over 9 years of teaching experience, including three years at North Tahoe Middle School. Her experience includes teaching general music, band, choir, and jazz band as well as working at various music camps. Shauna has performed clarinet with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Reno Philharmonic, and the Nevada Opera. She also served as principal clarinet for the Reno Wind Symphony and the Reno Pops Orchestra. Shauna is an active board member of the California Music Educators Association’s Northern Section, and holds a master’s degree in Music Education.

Stephanie Weatherford
piano/guitar/clarinet/voice/ukulele & beginning wind instruments


Music has been a major factor in Stephanie’s life since the age of 2 and has crossed just about every path she’s taken since then.  A series of piano lessons at age six got her feet wet in reading music, and allowed her to expand into numerous musical endeavors.  She picked up the clarinet in 6th grade and for the next 6 years performed in orchestra, jazz band and marching band.  She enjoys working professionally both as a singer and instrumentalist.  She covered Dan Fogelberg nationally.  She is currently one half of the folk duo, Green Weather, which has enabled her to embark on her greatest musical journey, leading her to believe, that our truest connection is to project what is most pleasing to the ear. She encourages you to enjoy YOUR journey!

Stephanie Fountaine

Stephanie studied under Carleen Graff at Plymouth University with a focus in Performance and Pedagogy graduating in 2001. She has been teaching privately since 1996 and enjoys young beginners through intermediate students and adults. Stephanie tailors lessons to individual style, taste and learning abilities.  She will provide weekly instruction in theory, musicianship and technical training. Stephanie is a Simply Music certified teacher and also serves as the accompanist for the Institute.

Joaquin Fioresi


Poet,Performer and Singer Songwriter.
Joaquin got his start in 2002 as a poet/performer with an improvisational funk/rock band, Sol Bridge. They performed regularly in and around the Sacramento area for seven years and release two CDs.
Joaquin then went solo and began playing and performing his original songs becoming a regular performer in the El Dorado County wine and river communities.
Since moving to North Lake Tahoe mid 2015 Joaquin is becoming a local fixture performing at venues in and around the Tahoe basin.
Joaquin's approach to music is much like his approach to teaching, heart centered and open-minded, meeting each student where their needs are.

Sam Ravenna

EllenSam Ravenna is a bassist/ producer/ songwriter based in North Lake Tahoe, California. He holds a degree of Professional Music from the Berklee College of Music. As a bass player, he has toured nationally with a number of groups, playing many genres. Ravenna's experience as a recording and mix engineer, multi-instrumentalist, and arranger allow him to bring a passion and focus to music production in the studio. Ravenna has written multiple albums, from Jazz inspired dub reggae records by Astrothought to the hard-hitting power funk LP "Good for You" by Rapplesauce.
Ravenna currently tours and collaborates with artists Cas Haley, Tubby Love, Peter Joseph Burtt and the King Tide. The self-titled album "Sam Ravenna" is due to come out mid 2016, and contains his finest work in the realm of Electro-Funk and Classic Soul.  Ravenna is also nearing completion of the third installment of his "Samily Man" roots reggae record series.  
Ravenna runs a full capacity recording studio in Truckee. He performs Solo Acoustic, and as a DJ for events and parties in the Tahoe region and beyond.

Brad Perry


Brad Perry teaches voice, piano & guitar and is the Director of the Tahoe Truckee Children’s Chorus.  He is a Lyric Tenor with the Toccata Symphony Orchestra.   Brad performs regularly for Tahoe Music Professionals and is very active in many different charitable and business groups in the Tahoe area including Rotary, ICBA Board, North Tahoe Chamber/CVB/Resort Association, Chamber Ambassadors, Red White and Tahoe Blue and NTBA.  Originally from the Northwest Brad began playing Piano and Trumpet with the Couer d’Alene Symphony Orchestra when he was 15.   He served as Executive Director of the Coeur d’Alene Music festival, Music Director for the Spokane Children’s Theater, Spokane Civic Theater, Modern Theater, Lake City playhouse and Coeur d’Alene High School’s Drama Productions. (Totaling over  200 productions). Brad founded Accapella Choirs at both Coeur d’Alene and Lake City high Schools and has 15 years of teaching experience.

Jonathan Hennion


Born and raised in the New York City area, Jonathan became passionate about music at an early age.  He began playing the guitar, saxophone, percussion and singing while in Elementary School.  As a young adult, Jonathan sang/played varying genres of music including blues, jazz, soul, funk, and rock.  

Establishing himself as a solo artist and working full-time as a musician in the competitive NY music market, he also partnered with numerous world-class players, performing in New York’s most iconic venues.  

While on a tour of the U.S. in 2011, Jonathan decided to take a break from NY and make a move to the Lake Tahoe area.  

He is honored to be a part of the Tahoe Truckee School of Music and to have the opportunity to share his experiences with up and coming musicians.    


Chris Perry


Chris has been playing drums for 26 years, starting at the age of 7 when his father handed down a vintage Camco drumset and taught him the “basic rock beat.” This introduction spawned a lifelong interest in all types of percussive exploration. He has performed with numerous rock bands in the Los Angeles/Hollywood area, jazz bands, wind and percussion ensembles. He was center snare and drum captain for the state champion Thousand Oaks High School Lancer Marching Band.
Chris has taught percussion for 15 years, working with both Thousand Oaks and Westlake High Schools in Southern California, in addition to his work on staff with the Shenandoah Sound Drum and Bugle Corps and Sound United Indoor Drumline. He also teaches drums and marching percussion.
Chris’ teaching philosophy is centered on understanding the place of percussion in any form of ensemble or band. All of his students attain a firm grip on rudimental drumming, a solid basis for reading and understanding music, and how to approach drums in a way that economizes learning and maximizes the enjoyment a student gets from their craft.


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