Music for Youth in Cincinnati

The MYCincinnati Family

Annie Darlin Gordon, Winds Teaching Artist, Volunteer Coordinator & Firehouse Manager

As an educator, Annie is passionate about the cross-section between music education and social justice and all that music has to offer to the young mind. Annie earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Flute Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University, respectively. As a flutist, Annie loves performing all types of music related to the classical genre. She can be found performing in the orchestra for Queen City Opera and in the Cincinnati-based woodwind quintet Wayside Winds.

Ben Sloan, Pre-Orchestra & Percussion Teaching Artist
Ben Sloan is a musician, producer, teacher, and (occasional) builder of things. As a teaching artist at MYCincinnati, Ben leads the pre-orchestra percussionistas, and the MYC Percussion Ensemble. Most recently, Ben was awarded a People's Liberty Project Grant, resulting in the construction and installation of the Percussion Park, a collection of colorful outdoor musical instruments, in East Price Hill. Always in collaboration, Ben has worked with a wide variety of local and national artists including WHY?, A Delicate Motor, Lazy Heart, Elese Daniel,
Napoleon Maddox, Nate Brenner, and Fresh Funk.
Bernardo López, Communications/Administrative Coordinator & Teaching Assistant
Bernardo López is a multi-instrumentalist performing artist , composer, educator and an advocate for equality.  Bernardo is a graduate of The College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Music Education and a specialization in Jazz Studies. Following college, Bernardo spent his time sharing the stage with multiple local, national and international musical artists where he developed a passion for being a performing artist.  Following a national tour Bernardo found an opportunity to teach in the public school system where he fell in love with teaching.  Bernardo continues to perform as a singer, bassist, guitarist, saxophonist, percussionist, and piano player in the tri-state area and continues sharing all of his experiences with his students. 

Carroll Wallace, Strings Teaching Artist

Carroll Wallace is a firm believer in interdisciplinary education and the arts as a progressive and instrumental tool in society.  She studied Art, Music (viola) and English at Denison University and served as a Rural Health and Sanitation Volunteer with the United States Peace Corps.  
At MYCincinnati she teaches String Orchestra/Sectionals, Pre-Orchestra as well as Mixed Media Arts and Step Team. Additionally, she assists with providing the staff with educational tools and with homework hour.
Her work and on-going curiosity include: Expression. Ethics. Creativity. Thinking. Politics. Laughing. Movement. Arts. Sciences. Culture. Environment. Research & Development. Studying. Food. Learning. Innovation and History.
She is excited to work with you, exchange knowledge, help you meet your goals and create memories. [habla espanol] 

Diana Flores, Strings Teaching Artist
Diana Flores is a cellist and music educator based in Cincinnati. She holds and Undergraduate and Masters Degree in music performance from the Longy School of Music and Chicago College of Performing Arts, respectively. Diana has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, Japan and her home country of Costa Rica. She has been a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center and Pacific Music Festival, among other ensembles. Currently, Diana is part of the Diversity Fellowship program with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and an Artist Diploma candidate at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of music. She is an advocate for music education as a tool for social change and is proud to be a Teaching Artist at MYCincinnati. 

Eddy Kwon, Director

Eddy Kwon is a composer-performer and community-based teaching artist living in Price Hill, Cincinnati. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of music, where he studied both classical violin and jazz improvisation. In 2014, Eddy founded the acclaimed Ambassador Ensemble Program at MYCincinnati, organically combining social justice practice with experimental chamber music performance. Eddy is Founding Director of the Price Hill Creative Community Festival, an annual arts & neighborhood festival that uses collaborative performing arts as a tool to build a more creative and inclusive community. 
Eddy is a City of Cincinnati Art Ambassador Fellow, a Cincinnatus Presidential Scholar, a University of Cincinnati Distinguished Young Alumni, and a 2016 United States Artists Ford Fellow

Ian Saunders, Double Bass Teaching Artist (CSO Fellow)

A multi-faceted musician, Ian Saunders enjoys an exciting career as a sought-after bassist and educator. The Virginia native began his studies with Christopher White, principal bassist of the Virginia Symphony. Saunders completed his bachelor’s degree under the tutelage of renowned bassist Robert Nairn at the Pennsylvania State University. As an educator, Saunders recently served as the interim double bass professor at Penn State. In addition, he has taught classes at the University of Maryland, Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Currently, Mr. Saunders plays with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as a Diversity Fellow. 

*Made possible through a partnership with the CSO

Isaac Selya, Strings Teaching Artist

A musician of remarkable versatility, Isaac Selya is highly sought-after as a conductor, pianist, vocal coach, cellist and entrepreneur. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Queen City Opera, where he has won recognition from Musical America for his work. His guest conducting engagements include the Dayton Philharmonic, Pacific Opera Project, the National Symphony of Guatemala, and the Xiamen Philharmonic in China. He has served as Assistant Conductor to both Cincinnati Opera and the Glimmerglass festival, where he coached and conducted the first-ever reading of the revised version of Philip Glass’s Appomattox, with the composer present. He holds a BA from Yale College, an MM in conducting from Mannes College, and a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. He has two cats, named Tosca and Aida. 

Jordana Greenberg, Visiting Strings Teaching Artist
Jordana Greenberg is a multi-genre musician who has performed on five continents as a violinist and singer. Dubbed "one of the finest lyricists in the Americana world" (No Surf Review), Jordana is the primary songwriter and founder of the internationally touring chamberfolk trio Harpeth Rising, and one half of the Price Hill Duo. She studied violin performance with Miriam Fried at both Indiana University and New England Conservatory in Boston. Jordana once won first place in her age division at a really hilly 5k race in Bedford, Indiana.  She loves animals, cooking and outdoory stuff. 
Kalla Ervin, Citizen Artist Fellow & Site Coordinator
Kalla Ervin is a violinist, poet, and mixed media artist. She is a recent graduate of Cincinnati's School for the Creative and Performing Arts, where she studied instrumental music. Kalla was one of MYCincinnati's original 11 students, and is a founding member of MYCincinnati's Ambassador Ensemble, a chamber group that explores social justice through composition and performance. She has collaborated with musicians from diverse backgrounds, including Jens Lekman, Awadagin Pratt, Napoleon Maddox, and more. She has performed throughout Cincinnati and the Midwest, including Carnegie Mellon University and Case Western Reserve's Social Justice Institute, where she also sat on panels discussing social justice and the arts. In 2014, Kalla was selected to participate in a leadership institute hosted by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Kalla is MYCincinnati's first Citizen Artist Fellow. In this role, she will work to increase student leadership and power within the program.

Laura Jekel, Founder and Price Hill Will Artist in Residence

Cincinnati-based cellist Laura Jekel is committed to building and empowering community through music. As Artist in Residence at the Community Development Corporation Price Hill Will, her work explores the overlap of the arts with housing, economic development, and community engagement. She was one of 10 people chosen to take part in the 2010-2011 Sistema Fellows Program at New England Conservatory in Boston, where she studied Venezuela's "El Sistema" program, a renowned model for creative youth development. She is the founder of MYCincinnati, Cincinnati’s first El Sistema-inspired program, and was director from 2011 until 2015. Previously, Laura has performed and taught throughout Latin America and the United States, including performing as soloist with orchestras in Ecuador. She has degrees in cello performance from Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, and Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to teaching at MYCincinnati, she leads a free adult beginner orchestra called the Price Hillharmonic, and spends every Wednesday afternoon playing cello and talking to her neighbors at the local grocery store. She also plays in a violin-cello duo called the Price Hill Duo, and subs with local and regional orchestras.

Samantha Lane, Director of Development

A native Cincinnatian, Samantha fell in love with nonprofit work early and has worked in fund development in Cincinnati for the last five years. Resolved to make this community a better place for all, she pursued and received a BA in English Literary & Cultural Studies with a Certificate in International Human Rights from the University of Cincinnati.

Samantha believes that investing in our community, and in our children, is the greatest work we can do together. She is called to encourage that investment to make our community the warmest, safest, most joyful place it can be.

Stephen Patota, Guitar Teaching Artist

Stephen Patota is a multi-instrumentalist and dedicated teacher living in Cincinnati, Ohio. For nearly a decade, Stephen has divided his time between collaborating in original projects, teaching over 50 different students, and working as a freelance musician in Cincinnati and throughout the country. At MYCincinnati, he leads the Guitarmy, an ensemble that shreds beyond traditional methods of guitar education. Stephen has had the privilege of recording or touring with bands such as Naytronix, Lazy Heart, The Happy Maladies, A Delicate Motor, SHADOWRAPTR, Aaron Collins, Comprador, and Gorges.

Vijeta Sathyaraj, Violin Teaching Artist (CSO Fellow)

Born in Macau, Vijeta Sathyaraj began her violin studies in the Philippines at the age of 3.  By age 6, she was featured on the Philippine National Broadcast and was studying with Basilio Manalo.  She earned a BM and a BA from Oberlin Conservatory and a MM and PPC from Lynn Conservatory, studying under Carol Cole. Ms. Sathyaraj has performed solo recitals in Denmark, India, Hong Kong, and the United States.  She is currently in her second year of the CCM/CSO Diversity Fellowship, where she plays in the Cincinnati Symphony while pursuing an Artist Diploma at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under Timothy Lees.

*Made possible through a partnership with the CSO

Wendy VanderMolen, Viola Teaching Artist (CCO)

Wendy has been a member of the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra since 1978, a member of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra since 1987 and Principal Violist of the Blue Ash/Montgomery Symphony since 1998. She is the violist for Cincinnati’s Hawthorne String Quartet, and has enjoyed the camaraderie of this ensemble for fifteen years. Ms. VanderMolen teaches viola and violin at her home studio in College Hill, where she lives with her husband Terry Donohue and her son Ryan.