Our Faculty

A defining feature of Gifted Music School is its world-class faculty. Our dedicated and highly qualified instructors nurture a culture of excellence, achievement, and inspiration. 

Our faculty have produced students who have gone on to study at every top music conservatory in the United States, including Juilliard, Curtis, Colburn, New England, Peabody, Cleveland, Bard, Indiana, and San Francisco. Other academically oriented students have been accepted on scholarship to every local university and top academic programs like Stanford, Harvard, Rice, Columbia, and Yale. Students of our faculty have placed at local and national competitions, have been heard on NPR's From the Top, and are frequently awarded national and regional level honors.



Eugene Watanabe, Artistic Director & Co-Founder
Dr. Vera Oussetskaia Watanabe, Co-Founder

Brass Area

Dr. Seretta Hart

Chamber Music Studies

Dr. LeeAnn Morgan, Director of Chamber Music Studies
Katherine Baird, Preparatory Chamber Music Coordinator

Choral Music Studies

Dr. Sarah Houghton, Choir Director

Music and Movement

Mira Larson, Dalcroze Eurythmics
Ariel Haubner, Yoga for Musicians

Music History

Early Childhood Area

Guitar Area

Orchestral Studies

Conner Gray Covington, Conductor-in-Residence
Eugene Watanabe, Conductor
Shenae Anderson, Conductor

Percussion Area

Dr. Tia Harvey, Bucket Drumming

Piano Area

Dr. Vera Oussetskaia Watanabe, Piano Area Co-Chair
Dr. Whitney Pizza, Piano Area Co-Chair
Joanna Oshida, Supplemental Piano Coordinator
Dr. Koji Attwood
Yelena Bates
Matthew Struthers
Dr. Alie Yorgason

School Partnership Programs

Mountain View Elementary
Rachel H. Taft, GRIT Program Director
Jeanne Lancaster

City Academy
Dr. Sarah Houghton
ab Menon
Sophie Stanley
Dr. Alie Yorgason

The Guadalupe School
Kimberly Marsden
Monica Thiriot

String Area

Eugene Watanabe, String Area Chair
Katherine Baird, Suzuki Program Coordinator
Kristina Turner, Suzuki Program Coordinator
Dr. Kate Jones, Suzuki Teacher Trainer-in-Residence






Double Bass


Theory Area

Dr. Michael Chikinda, Theory Area Chair
Dr. Matthew Durrant
Micah Fleming
Kimberly Marsden
Sebastian Neugebauer

Voice Area

Dr. Sarah Houghton

Woodwind Area

Dr. April Clayton, Woodwind Area Chair





* denotes adjunct faculty
denotes emeritus faculty current and founding board member