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.
Emily Carr (Voice, Musical Theatre, Acting, Piano, Ukulele, Guitar) is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University where she received her B.F.A in Vocal Performance, A.M.S Certificate in Vocal Performance, and Pk-12 Music Education Certificate. During her time at Carnegie Mellon, Emily studied the Bel Canto method of singing with Daniel Teadt and Mildred Miller Posvar. In her search to become an effective studio teacher, she also sought out training in vocal pedagogy and methodology under the tutelage of Jennifer Aylmer. Emily has also studied additional instruments such as piano, ukulele and guitar, makeing her a very well rounded musician. While pursuing her music studies, Emily also completed extensive acting training with Carnegie Mellon School of Drama professors Tony McKay and Greg Lehane. Comfortable and well versed in both opera and musical theatre, she can be seen in performances throughout the Pittsburgh area. Her most recent roles include Tribe Member in PMT’s production of Hair, Suzanna in scenes from Le Nozze di Figaro, Mrs. Peachum in The Beggar’s Opera, and Factory Girl (u/s Fantine) in PMT's production of Les Miserables. Emily also has extensive experience as a musical director and educator. In 2018, she ran the choir program at Montour High School and was the vocal coach for their high school musical. She went on to teach Pk-8 General Music and Choir at Sacred Heart Elementary, where she also directed the musical Peter Pan Jr. Emily spent the summer of 2018 in Denver, Colorado co-writing and directing two original children’s productions, and the summer of 2019 directing Peter Pan Jr. at Chatham Music and Arts Day Camp. In addition to teaching voice and theatre, Emily also has experience teaching piano, guitar and ukulele.
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. David earned his undergraduate degree in vocal performance from Duquesne University, with his minor instrument being piano. In addition he holds a 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 also enjoys applying his knowledge of music theory and piano to teaching keyboard students of all ages. In addition to teaching and performing, David has served as music director for hundreds of area youth in a multitude of fully staged productions, recitals and concert presentations.
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.
JUSTIN GINGRICH, (Drums, Percussion) is Principal Timpanist and Percussionist with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Percussionist with the Johnstown Symphony. Mr. Gingrich has performed on timpani, percussion and drum set with groups across the U.S., including the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh; Fox Valley Symphony (WI); and Canton Symphony (OH), and with other local (Pittsburgh) ensembles; namely, The Brass Roots; NAT28; and Resonance Works. He has worked under the batons of Joel Revzen, David Robertson, Robert Spano, Martin West, and Victor Yampolsky. Mr. Gingrich has shared the stage with Itzhak Perlman, Lucas Meachum, Midori, and singer-songwriter, Seal. In the summers, Gingrich has performed with the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, WI; the Aspen Music Festival; and the Festival Orchestra NAPA | Blackburn Music Academy. Mr. Gingrich completed a Master’s of Music at Carnegie Mellon University and Bachelor’s of Music at Lawrence University. His primary teachers were Christopher Allen, Jeremy Branson, and Paul Evans. While a member of the Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble (LUPÉ), the group earned a Downbeat Student Music Award for Best Latin Jazz Ensemble Performance and a Percussive Arts Society Award for Best World Music Ensemble. He has taught for over a decade. Past posts include: Associate Lecturer of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Fox Cities Campus; and Director of Percussion for the Xavier Catholic School System.
Daniela Jofré Arroyo (violin, viola) began her violin lessons at the age of 9 at the University of Talca- Music Conservatory in Chile. Years later, she would continue her undergraduate studies in the same institution, graduating as the best student of her generation. In 2018 Miss Jofré traveled to the USA as a recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to continue her graduate studies at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville where she earned a master’s degree in music performance with an Eephasis in Suzuki Pedagogy. She also served as concertmaster in SIUE Symphony Orchestra. In 2020, Daniela traveled to Pittsburgh to start an Artist Diploma Program at Duquesne University. There she studies with well known local violinist Charles Stegeman. Miss Jofre has taught violin both in Chile and the US to students from 3 to 55 years old. She teaches the Suzuki method, having certification from Early Childhood through Book 8.
Sarah Richards (Voice, Piano) is an active vocalist in the Pittsburgh area and holds a Master’s degree in Early Music Vocal Performance from the IU Jacobs School of Music, where she studied baroque and renaissance vocal repertoire with Steven Rickards and Dana Marsh, as well as piano, harpsichord and organ. She actively collaborates with instrumentalists on recording projects and has performed opera roles such as Ms. Pinkerton in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief at West Virginia University, where she received her Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance in 2017, and roles in operas by Cavalli and Monteverdi at Amherst Early Music Festival and International Baroque Academy in Oberaudorf, Germany. While at WVU, Sarah studied piano pedagogy with Julianna Contreras in addition to her vocal studies. Currently, she sings in the newly formed vocal trio, Halcyon Voices, and teaches voice and piano to students of all ages, as well as accompanying for student recitals. Sarah strives to inspire confidence in all students and to help them reach their own unique goals as musicians.
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.