Accent Music Academy is dedicated to the musical education and instruction
of our community's students. As such, we are proud of our staff of superbly trained, experienced professionals who represent the diversity of the Pittsburgh musical scene. Our instructors can be seen and heard regularly in the Pittsburgh area and beyond, in rock and jazz clubs, on the musical theater stage, and in classical concert halls. They bring real-world experience and knowledge to Accent Music Academy's studios, and are committed to excellence in teaching.
Sean Alan (woodwinds, saxophone) is a graduate of Seton Hill University where he studied music education with a concentration on saxophone. During college, he discovered his great passion for jazz music while performing in the Seton Hill University Jazz Ensemble led by Mr. Kevin McManus. Sean served as the jazz ensemble’s lead alto saxophone for two years and was the second chair alto saxophonist in the Westmoreland Symphonic Winds. Also during this time, he studied classical saxophone under Miss Kathleen Campbell (Seton Hill University) and jazz saxophone/improvisation under Mr. Eric DeFade (Carnegie Mellon University). He has had the opportunity to perform for the Westmoreland Jazz Society opening for Harold Better’s most recent Birthday Concert, and alongside local jazz great Benny Benack II.
John Arrigo-Nelson (composition and theory, guitar, piano) has taught music in both the private and university setting for over 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Guitar Performance from Rhode Island College, as well as a Ph.D. in Composition from Stony Brook University. Performing in both popular and classical styles, he has appeared with a variety of ensembles, and is currently a member of the contemporary music collective Alia Musica Pittsburgh. John’s compositions have been performed and broadcast throughout the United States and in Europe and he has received numerous awards and recognition, including Fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Wellesley Composers Conference. John has served on the adjunct faculty at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University South Bend, Suffolk County Community College, and Stony Brook University teaching theory, analysis, and composition. To learn more about John's work, visit arrigomusic.com.
David Cooke (voice, piano) has been featured in main stage productions with Pittsburgh Opera and Opera Theater of Pittsburgh in addition to performing in outreach programs for children. Past roles have included Little Bat in Susannah, Belfiore in La Finta Giardiniera, Edgar in Wuthering Heights and Lechmere in Owen Wingrave. Having held soloist positions in several area churches, he has performed a varied repertoire of sacred and secular music. Mr. Cooke earned his undergraduate degree in vocal performance from Duquesne University, holds Master’s in Arts Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, and has completed the equivalent of a Master’s in Vocal Performance. With over twenty years of experience as a singer and educator, he has developed a unique approach to teaching that allows him to apply classical vocal technique to a wide variety of styles. David has served as music director for hundreds of area youth in a multitude of fully staged productions, recitals and concert presentations.
Nick DeAngelo (percussion) brings nearly two decades of experience and practice to Accent Music Academy. With training in various genres, Nick is skilled in teaching multiple idioms, such as rock and pop styles, as well as marching band and school ensemble music. Formerly, he has served as a percussion section leader and Drum Captain. Professionally, he has written, produced and recorded on numerous independent albums and EPs. An avid performer, he has previously been featured with groups such as Red Team Blue Team, The Olympians and Thistle Town. Currently, Nick works with the groups Grand Piano, A Lot and A Lot and Round Black all of which released records this past year. This fall will see the release of a recording with another group, Barons, in addition to two more recordings in 2014. Notable local performances have included the Northside’s Deutschtown Music Festival, Lawrenceville’s RANT festival and a prime time mainstage performance at the Three Rivers Arts Festival this past summer.
Kalee George (voice, acting) is excited to join the Accent team! As a former Accent student herself, theatre has long been a part of her life. She recently graduated from Niagara University with a BFA in Theatre Performance with minors in Theatre Design/Technology and English. At NU she was afforded the opportunity to study abroad in London where she studied and performed Shakespeare. She is also a certified actor combatant through the FDC (Fight Directors Canada), certified in unarmed, single sword, and quarter staff. Kalee is also a musician, primarily playing trumpet, she also plays guitar and ukulele. She is very excited to share her knowledge with the students and help grow their love of theatre.
Lindsay Espeseth (voice, piano) grew up in central Minnesota. She graduated from Bemidji State University in May 2019 where she received a dual degree in K-12 vocal music education and piano performance and pedagogy. During her time at Bemidji State, Lindsay was an active member in the music program and participated in many of the performing ensembles on campus such as, The Bemidji Choir, Chamber Singers, and Wind Ensemble. She also sang in the Bemidji State Opera program for three years. Her past roles include, Spirit 2, Die Zauberflöte, Billie, Speed Dating Tonight, and Edith from Pirates of Penzance. In 2019, Lindsay completed her student-teaching in the at Stillwater Area High School. Post graduation, Lindsay was selected as an apprentice for the Northern Lights Music Festival where she was in the chorus for La Traviata and performed in their opera scenes recital. Now residing in Pittsburgh with her husband, Levi, and their dog, Sasha, Lindsay is enjoying teaching piano and voice lessons as well as accompanying and studying voice.
Rocky Youhon (piano, strings) has been making music for as long as he can remember. He began his studies with his mother, who gave him his first piano lessons. In elementary school he picked up the violin and has not put it down since. As Rocky grew up, his musical inspiration led him to study the bass at Duquesne University with a regimen of jazz and contemporary styles. Currently Rocky can be found performing through Pittsburgh as a violinist with the blue grass group Shelf Life String Band and as a bassist with The Hitmen on the Gateway Clipper Fleet.