Faculty

Our outstanding and experienced faculty helps every student discover the joy of playing music so they’re motivated to learn. Our individual lessons offer personalized attention from instructors who are flexible and creative in working with all students from beginner to advanced, young child to adult.

Administration

MICHELLE WALLICK
Owner, Director

Michelle Wallick founded Cyprus School of Music and the Arts to provide exceptional offerings and instruction in the fine arts and sciences to the general community and to provide a place that offers excellence in instruction to train up-and-coming, talented musicians and artists. She envisions a place where students of all ages can learn fundamentals and enhance their learning, but also where highly talented individuals can receive proper instruction in the arts at their individual ability level and pace. Michelle is certified through the University of Minnesota in Talent Development and Gifted Education and has guided gifted and talented students to reach their full potential, with excellent results for over twelve years. She is the Owner and Director of Cyprus Classical Montessori preschool, Founder and CEO of Cyprus Classical Academy, an ability-based, not-for-profit school for gifted and talented elementary students, and Owner/Director of Cyprus School of Music and the Arts.

MERRY SAWDEY
Kindermusik Coordinator, Kindermusik

Merry Obrecht Sawdey has loved and participated in music in one form or another almost all of her life, including playing piano since she was in second grade and being a percussionist in her high school band. “When in doubt, burst into song” is her motto. Her family was involved in Kindermusik from the time her son was 3 months old. Because of their family’s fun and supportive experience in Kindermusik she decided she wanted to share this joy with others. She has been a licensed Kindermusik educator since July 2009 and worked on two curriculum projects for Kindermusik International. For 3 years, she helped to organize, run, and staff the Episcopal Creative Arts day camp. Currently, she volunteers as the Dog Division Manager for Pet Haven where she and her family also foster dogs. She is also a spiritual director, book artist, and writer and sings with the multigenerational choir of the Northfield Youth Choirs.


JOHN BRUNO
Music Manager, Drums, Guitar, Keyboard, Bands


John Bruno is an accomplished drummer with a passion for education and the contemporary music scene. John began teaching at Cyprus School of Music in September of 2016, and works with private students as well as assisting with our pop/rock bands for kids. He has a strong knowledge of teaching methods and strong technical skills that he is able to pass on to his students. He is a creative, patient teacher who clearly loves working with and developing the abilities of young musicians.
John also serves as CSMA's manager, and is in charge of music, instruments, equipment, sound, keeping everything in order and running smoothly.

Guitar/Ukulele

MAYA RATSEY
Guitar, Piano - All styles

Maya Ratsey was raised in Vero Beach Florida, and began playing guitar at age 10. He graduated from the Schumann School for the Visual and Performing Arts, part of the Indian River Charter High School system. There afterward Maya moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota to attend McNally Smith College of Music where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance in 2015. He has been teaching guitar, bass, and piano for 10 years at in home and studio locations. Maya is also a professional guitar player in the Twin Cities, playing and touring with numerous bands and artists. For more info visit: mayaratsey.com..

TINA EGLI
Kindermusik, Pre-Piano Class, Ukulele

Tina Egli was first introduced to Kindermusik in the mid '90s while living in Newport, RI. She taught for three years with her dear friend Maria Anthon. She loved teaching and sharing the love of music with children and their families. After moving back to the Midwest, Tina was able to experience Kindermusik once again as a mother with both of her sons through the Kindermusik of the Valley program. Now that they have graduated from Kindermusik, she enjoys teaching again in Minnesota at Cyprus School of Music and the Arts. She loves sharing music with children and their families, encouraging self confidence and growth and adding joy to other people’s lives through this incredible program. Tina also teaches the prepiano program, Play a Story, which is a beautiful transition from Kindermusik to learning and exploring musical story telling on the piano. Tina currently lives in Elko, MN with her husband Nate and sons Zachary (16) and Kyle (13). She loves watching her children continue their own journey’s with music.

DYLAN ROWINSKI
Guitar, Ukulele

Dylan picked up the electric guitar around age 10, and since then has not stopped expanding the skill-sets in music that he wants to obtain. He has been teaching guitar and ukulele for almost two years now, and greatly enjoys working with his students on a variety of topics. Currently, he also plays classical guitar, cello, and piano, along with some drums and bass guitar.
In the Fall of 2017, Dylan enlisted into the Minnesota Army National Guard as a 42R (musician). After having completed ten weeks of Basic Training and ten weeks of his individualized training at the US Army School of Music, he now enjoys serving in the 34th Infantry Division “Red Bull” Band, centered out of Rosemount, MN. In this unit, he performs guitar in missions with their rock band, as well as percussion in their concert band.
Along with private teaching and his part-time Army career, he is currently pursuing a degree in Music Therapy at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Before this, he was a student for two years at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, MN. He was part of their Bachelor’s Program for Guitar Performance, and studied under teachers including Tim Lyles, Chris Olson, Joe Elliot, and Dr. Eva Beneke. Dylan is a very diversely-skilled musician, and enjoys teaching and performing in various styles, including Pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Classical, Reggae, Funk, R&B, Folk, Afro-Latin, and Improv.

KYLE SIMMONS BAKER
Guitar, Ukulele

Kyle Simons Baker is a freelance guitarist and instructor in the Twin Cities. He has over a decade of performing experience currently as a pit musician with a special passion for Bluegrass and Jazz. In the Twin Cities, Kyle has been heard at various theaters including the Old Log Theatre, Yellow Tree Theatre, History Theatre, and Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Additionally, he performs regularly for services at Community of Hope church.

Kyle is a passionate educator and has taught many students all over the Twin Cities. He has been a staple of institutions such as the Rogers School of Music and Guitar Center. In addition to guitar, he also teaches Mandolin and Bass.

Kyle hold’s both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Guitar Performance from Denison University and McNally Smith College of Music respectively. He is originally from Granville, Ohio.

JOHN BRUNO
Music Manager, Drums, Guitar, Keyboard, Bands

John Bruno is an accomplished drummer with a passion for education and the contemporary music scene. John began teaching at Cyprus School of Music in September of 2016, and works with private students as well as assisting with our pop/rock bands for kids. He has a strong knowledge of teaching methods and strong technical skills that he is able to pass on to his students. He is a creative, patient teacher who clearly loves working with and developing the abilities of young musicians.
John also serves as CSMA's manager, and is in charge of music, instruments, equipment, sound, keeping everything in order and running smoothly.

HAYLEY NELSON
Cello, Violin, Viola, Guitar, Ukulele

Hayley is a full time freelance cellist and string teacher. She has been teaching cello, violin, viola, guitar and ensembles at Cyprus since 2012. Her students range from age 4 through adult, beginner through advanced.

As a teacher, Hayley is welcoming, engaging and caring of her students. Whether a student dreams of being a career musician, wants to join their school orchestra, or just would like to explore the many enriching benefits of playing an instrument, Hayley enjoys helping every student along their own unique musical journey.

Hayley believes it is important to establish a strong technical foundation from the very first lesson. She teaches a combination of Suzuki and traditional methods, incorporating scale studies, sight-reading development, etudes, popular music, and any other materials which might benefit the student’s path. Hayley’s students frequently participate in youth orchestras, chamber groups, semi-annual CSMA recitals and the annual AVMTA Festival.

Hayley earned her Master of Music degree in cello performance from the University of Minnesota, where she studied with Tanya Remenikova. She has served as principal cellist of the Lirica Chamber Ensemble, associate principal cellist of the Kenwood Symphony, and performed as multi-instrumentalist with a variety of folk and rock groups. Hayley is currently a member of the Twin Cities Symphony and founder/cellist of the Alcott String Quartet.

Piano

DANIEL ERAS
Piano - Beginner to advanced

Having garnered numerous prizes and recognitions for his performances in his native Costa Rica, Europe, the United States, and Russia, including 6 performances in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, as well as advancing to the top 9 of the e-Piano International Junior Competition, pianist Daniel Eras left Costa Rica to finish his college education and continue his pianistic career at the University of Minnesota under the instruction of Dr. Alexander Braginsky.

Success has continued for Daniel, as he won First Prize in the Schubert Club Scholarship Competition in 2015 and in 2018, first in the high school division, and later in the college division. In 2015, he won the highly coveted First Prize and the Chopin Prize for the best performance of a Frederic Chopin work at the MTNA National Senior Piano Competition in Las Vegas. Other acknowledgements include the third prize in The 4th International Piano Competition of Slavic Music in Paris, the second prize in the 33rd Ithaca College Piano Competition, 6th prize and “National Heritage” special prize at New York Piano Festival and Competition, etc.

Daniel has been honored to perform in masterclasses with such renowned artists as Jan Michiels, pianist and professor at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, Dr. Ana Maria Trenchi Botazzi, pianist and professor of The Botazzi School of Music, Dr. Bruno Botazzi, pianist and professor of The Botazzi School of Music, Dr. Victoria Mushkatkol, pianist and professor of the Juilliard School, and Professor Ala Bendoraitiene from Ciurlionis National Academy of Music.

MAX RADLOFF
Piano - Beginner to advanced

Max holds a D.M.A. Piano Performance awarded in December 1984. Studied under Paul Freed, University of Minnesota.
Teaching Experience: Dr. Martin Luther College, piano instructor University of Minnesota, Teaching Assistant in Music Theory and Piano Concordia University, adjunct Piano Instructor Piano Instructor: The Studio Grand, Fanfare Music Studios, MN Valley Academy of Music, independent home studio

STEVEN ZUBICH
Piano - Beginner to advanced

Steven Zubich is an alumnus of the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, Minnesota. He earned a B.A. in music and a minor in art history from the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he studied solo and collaborative piano with Tracy Lipke-Perry. At UMD, he received extensive musical training through supplemental elective coursework in piano pedagogy, musicology, music theory and composition. He was highlighted with the UMD Symphony orchestra as the winner of UMD’s 12th Annual Concerto and Aria competition. He received his Master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he studied with Venezuelan concert pianists Elena Abend and Judith Jaimes. His studies in piano pedagogy at UWM was led by Margaret Otwell.

STEPHANIE HENRY
Piano

Stephanie Henry is a classically trained pianist and composer from Minneapolis, MN. Sharing her love of music through teaching brings her great joy! Before relocating to the Burnsville area Stephanie maintained a thriving piano studio for people of all ages. She has performed with classical and theatrical ensembles, as well as with rock bands. She composed original works for film, musical theater, orchestras, quartets, and solo piano. Her music has been applauded for its originality and charismatic charm. She studied music at St. Olaf College and received her Master's from Hamline University. In 2015, Stephanie participated in the Nautilus Music Theater’s Composer-Librettist Studio as a composer, and performed a variety of music including her original works at the New Griots Festival.

 

TINA EGLI
Kindermusik, Pre-Piano Class, Ukulele

Tina Egli was first introduced to Kindermusik in the mid '90s while living in Newport, RI. She taught for three years with her dear friend Maria Anthon. She loved teaching and sharing the love of music with children and their families. After moving back to the Midwest, Tina was able to experience Kindermusik once again as a mother with both of her sons through the Kindermusik of the Valley program. Now that they have graduated from Kindermusik, she enjoys teaching again in Minnesota at Cyprus School of Music and the Arts. She loves sharing music with children and their families, encouraging self confidence and growth and adding joy to other people’s lives through this incredible program. Tina also teaches the prepiano program, Play a Story, which is a beautiful transition from Kindermusik to learning and exploring musical story telling on the piano. Tina currently lives in Elko, MN with her husband Nate and sons Zachary (16) and Kyle (13). She loves watching her children continue their own journey’s with music.

String

ANN BUR
Violin, Viola, Suzuki violin

Ann Bur is a graduate of Lawrence University's Conservatory of Music, and has been teaching for over 20 years. Two years were spent teaching in the Maywood, IL orchestra program. In the remaining years, Ann has used the Suzuki method in various community education music programs throughout the Twin Cities. Ann acts as principal violist of the Kenwood Symphony, The Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company and MNKINO orchestras. Sight Reading and performing chamber music is one of her favorite hobbies. Ann really enjoys sharing her performance insights with her students. She takes each student's temperament and needs into account, and encourages her students to analyze their own practice and performance skills.

HAYLEY NELSON
Cello, Violin, Viola, Guitar, Ukulele

Hayley is a full time freelance cellist and string teacher. She has been teaching cello, violin, viola, guitar and ensembles at Cyprus since 2012. Her students range from age 4 through adult, beginner through advanced.

As a teacher, Hayley is welcoming, engaging and caring of her students. Whether a student dreams of being a career musician, wants to join their school orchestra, or just would like to explore the many enriching benefits of playing an instrument, Hayley enjoys helping every student along their own unique musical journey.

Hayley believes it is important to establish a strong technical foundation from the very first lesson. She teaches a combination of Suzuki and traditional methods, incorporating scale studies, sight-reading development, etudes, popular music, and any other materials which might benefit the student’s path. Hayley’s students frequently participate in youth orchestras, chamber groups, semi-annual CSMA recitals and the annual AVMTA Festival.

Hayley earned her Master of Music degree in cello performance from the University of Minnesota, where she studied with Tanya Remenikova. She has served as principal cellist of the Lirica Chamber Ensemble, associate principal cellist of the Kenwood Symphony, and performed as multi-instrumentalist with a variety of folk and rock groups. Hayley is currently a member of the Twin Cities Symphony and founder/cellist of the Alcott String Quartet.

NINA WESTBROOK
Cello, Suzuki Cello & Violin

Nina Westbrook has a BA degree in Music Education from Mansfield University of Mansfield, PA. She has done advanced work at Eastman School of Music, the University of Iowa and the University of South Dakota. Nina is a freelance cellist in the Twin Cities.
Nina received Suzuki Violin Training at the Stevens Point, WI Suzuki Institute, Suzuki Violin Training with Mark Bjork at MacPhail and with Bette Johnson in Minneapolis. She received Suzuki Cello training from Tanya Carey in Chicago, IL. Nina teaches Suzuki Cello books one through nine, and Violin books one through four through advanced levels.

JAMES ZABAWA-MARTINEZ
VIolin

MAUREEN HOWELL
Violin, Suzuki violin

Maureen Howell began studying violin at age 8. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota, while studying under renowned pedagogue Sally O’Reilly, and a Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, studying with the Dallas Symphony’s Associate Concertmaster Jan Mark Sloman. Her musical career has taken her to concert halls throughout the US, Europe and China. Ms. Nilsen has performed in symphony orchestras such as the South Dakota Symphony, the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, East Texas Symphony Orchestra, the Abilene Philharmonic, the South Arkansas Symphony, the Mankato Symphony and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra. She also has a passion for other styles such as jazz, big band, musicals, and popular music, and has performed as a background musician with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Amy Grant and Michael Bolton. As a teacher, Ms. Nilsen aims to guide her students to become the best violinists they can be, in a nurturing and fun environment. She works to develop confidence and a love of music in her students that will last a lifetime

Voice

 
 
 

Kindermusik

TINA EGLI
Kindermusik, Pre-Piano Class

Tina Egli was first introduced to Kindermusik in the mid '90s while living in Newport, RI. She taught for three years with her dear friend Maria Anthon. She loved teaching and sharing the love of music with children and their families. After moving back to the Midwest, Tina was able to experience Kindermusik once again as a mother with both of her sons through the Kindermusik of the Valley program. Now that they have graduated from Kindermusik, she enjoys teaching again in Minnesota at Cyprus School of Music and the Arts. She loves sharing music with children and their families, encouraging self confidence and growth and adding joy to other people’s lives through this incredible program. Tina also teaches the prepiano program, Play a Story, which is a beautiful transition from Kindermusik to learning and exploring musical story telling on the piano. Tina currently lives in Elko, MN with her husband Nate and sons Zachary (16) and Kyle (13). She loves watching her children continue their own journey’s with music.

ROBIN LAMOREAUX
Kindermusik

Robin joined the Kindermusik of the Valley staff in 2003 after directing Kindermusik With Robin for 8 years. Robin holds a BS degree in Home Economics Education and studied piano for 14 years. Along with Kindermusik, Robin also teaches piano. At church she is active as a worship pianist, preschool children’s choir director and AWANA commander along with her husband. Robin and her husband, Wayne, live in Rosemount. She has two grown children (Aaron, Stephanie with husband Tony and Jason) and Collin (17) A Quote From Robin “I love Kindermusik! I decided to teach Kindermusik when my daughter was 3 because I was so impressed with what she was learning when she went to class with Helen. It is a privilege for me to work with so many great kids and parents each week and share the joy of music with them. Their enthusiasm, laughter, hugs and smiles make my day complete”.

MERRY SAWDAY
Kindermusik Coordinator, Kindermusik

Merry Obrecht Sawdey has loved and participated in music in one form or another almost all of her life, including playing piano since she was in second grade and being a percussionist in her high school band. “When in doubt, burst into song” is her motto. Her family was involved in Kindermusik from the time her son was 3 months old. Because of their family’s fun and supportive experience in Kindermusik she decided she wanted to share this joy with others. She has been a licensed Kindermusik educator since July 2009 and worked on two curriculum projects for Kindermusik International. For 3 years, she helped to organize, run, and staff the Episcopal Creative Arts day camp. Currently, she volunteers as the Dog Division Manager for Pet Haven where she and her family also foster dogs. She is also a spiritual director, book artist, and writer and sings with the multigenerational choir of the Northfield Youth Choirs.

SUMMER JOTHEN
Kindermusik

Summer Jothen has been a member of the Kindermusik of the Valley family since her son James (now 11) was just a baby! Not only is she a gifted educator for our team but Summer also brings us the unique viewpoint of a parent who is currently participating in Kindermusik with her daughter Charlotte! We always check with her to make sure we are “on-target” when creating offerings for todays young and busy families. Summer has participated in several Ultimate Hikes raising funds on behalf of Cure Search for Children’s Cancer. Contributing and hiking in honor and memory of their son Aaron. Summer lives in Farmington with her husband Mike, son James, (11) and daughter Charlotte (4).

HELEN PETERSON
Piano, Group piano - Simply music, Kindermusik

Helen Peterson holds a BS Degree in Music Education from the University of Minnesota and is a licensed and award winning Kindermusik educator. She has been sharing the gift of Kindermusik with families for nearly 30 years. Helen also teaches piano lessons in private or group settings using the SIMPLY MUSIC method. As former director of River School of Music she has had the privilege and joy of seeing thousands of people, from infants to adults, learn to love and make music a meaningful part of their lives.
Helen lives in Spring Park with her husband Trygve and their dog Dinah. They love to bike ride, garden, and cook together. She also has 4 grown children who are educators, musicians and wonderful people.


 

Bands

KATE ANDERSEN
Assistant Director, Piano, Vocal, Bands

Kate Andersen has taught at CSMA for over six years. She is the director of our pop/rock bands for kids, and brought iKids, and Electrik bands to performance venues such as The Garage in Burnsville, and Hard Rock Cafe in the Mall of America. She directed a cast of 9-14 year olds in the first act of Hamilton the Musical, and continues to direct high-level musical theater at CSMA.
Kate teaches piano, voice, and bass guitar to beginning music students. Her strengths are relating to kids of all ages , challenging students to use their talent as musicians, and guiding them to develop their individual style and musicianship.
Kate has played guitar, piano, bass, and has been a vocalist in various bands. She also has led the children's and teen music worship program at Trinity Church in Lakeville. Kate has a bachelor's degree in math, and is a member of the faculty of Cyprus Classical Academy.

JOHN BRUNO
Music Manager, Drums, Guitar, Keyboard, Bands

John Bruno is an accomplished drummer with a passion for education and the contemporary music scene. John began teaching at Cyprus School of Music in September of 2016, and works with private students as well as assisting with our pop/rock bands for kids. He has a strong knowledge of teaching methods and strong technical skills that he is able to pass on to his students. He is a creative, patient teacher who clearly loves working with and developing the abilities of young musicians.
John also serves as CSMA's manager, and is in charge of music, instruments, equipment, sound, keeping everything in order and running smoothly.