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.
Napoleon Maddox, Nate Brenner, and Fresh Funk.
Carroll Wallace, Strings Teaching Artist
Eddy Kwon, Director
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.
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.