Private Lesson Staff
Phone: (970) 691-7449
Catherine Moree is a San Antonio based flutist and educator. Currently she teaches private lessons and master classes, plays with Fiesta Flutes and the San Antonio Wind Symphony, repairs flutes, and enjoys playing chamber music regularly with colleagues and friends. As an educator Ms. Moree has taught students ranging from kindergarten to college undergraduates. Ms. Moree loves teaching about the flute in any setting, however, she particularly enjoys being able to watch students make rapid progress when they take private lessons.
Ms. Moree graduated from Florida State University in 2017 with a Masters of Music in flute performance. Prior to that she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Northern Colorado with Bachelors degrees in music education and flute performance. Her primary teachers include Eva Amsler and Dr. James Hall.
Maleah Martin attended California State University, Northridge where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance and Music Education under the instruction of Dr. Julia Heinen. During her time in college, Maleah earned the principal clarinet position with both the Wind Symphony and the Wind Ensemble. She also coached chamber music and helped teach undergraduate lessons. At the 2011 ClarinetFest, hosted by California State University, Northridge, she was named concertmaster for the Wind Ensemble’s prestigious concert series where she performed alongside Alexander Fiterstein, Bob Spring, Hakan Rosengren, Julian Bliss and the Vendome Quartet. Maleah has over 15 years of experience and currently teaches clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone, flute, and piano. Most recently, she has been instructing students from beginner to high school levels in San Antonio, Texas and performing regularly with the Prickly Pear Clarinet Ensemble and the Heart of Texas Concert Band. Maleah performed with the Prickly Pear Clarinet Ensemble at ClarinetFest in Orlando in 2017 and Knoxville in 2019. Her private studio has produced several state musicians and future music majors.
Phone: (512) 773-8180
Sara Braisted has been teaching master classes and private lessons on all forms of clarinet in San Antonio since 2009, as well as lessons on piano, sax, and flute. Miss Braisted began her musical vocation playing piano at the age of seven before adding the clarinet in 5th grade. During her time at The Woodlands High School, Miss Braisted expanded her clarinet knowledge with the inclusion of the Eb clarinet, an instrument she would continue playing while at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). Miss Braisted received her Bachelor of Music with honors in Music Studies -Instrumental (Emphasis: Clarinet), and acquired an all-level teaching certificate for music education. In addition to the program’s requisite studies, Miss Braisted sought out supplementary coursework in conducting and all woodwind instruments, becoming a woodwind specialist. This background has enabled her to expand her teaching capabilities. While at UT, she played in numerous ensembles, including the Longhorn Band. Since graduation, Miss Braisted continues to be active in the music community. Her performance list includes the San Antonio Symphony, numerous private events as both a soloist and part of an ensemble, and as a proud member of the Longhorn Alumni Band. She has been a judge for various musical competitions and assists at local instrument drives. Her students regularly make region band and beyond. Miss Braisted hosts recitals twice a year for her students. She is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, attending their convention annually so she can implement the latest advancements and innovations in the music education field. Sara Braisted is passionate about music and improving the lives of her students.
Donna L. Higby
Instead of working at the mall or delivering newspapers in high school, Donna was already teaching private lessons to kids in her neighborhood while also volunteering with an elementary school band. She graduated from Chantilly HS in Fairfax, VA in 2002. Throughout high school Donna auditioned and won spots in district, state, and national honor bands on saxophone and clarinet. She went on to study music performance at Duquesne Univ. in Pittsburgh, PA then transferred to George Mason Univ. in Fairfax, VA; graduating in 2007 with a BM in music performance on saxophone. Out of college Donna was fortunate to revitalize a music program at St. Agnes Catholic School in Arlington, VA from 2007-2010. She taught classroom music (K-8), assisted with the band (4-8), and directed the choir (3-8). She also introduced a music curriculum at Cedar Creek School - San Antonio Campus, grades 3-8 for the 2013-2014 school year.
Saxophone (classical and jazz) is Donna’s main instrument and is a “triple threat” with flute and clarinet; piano is her secondary instrument. She has performed with concert, rock, and jazz bands, including saxophone quartets at public functions such as wedding ceremonies and receptions, birthdays, and charity events. Her past teachers have included: Cynthia Abernathy (MM from George Mason; piano); Gordon Shaffer (The United States Army “Pershing’s Own”; saxophone, flute, and clarinet), James Houlik and Stephen Pollock (Duquesne University; saxophone), Dale Underwood, Rick Parrell, and Jim Carroll (George Mason University; saxophone), and Joe Eckert (Shenandoah Conservatory; saxophone).
Currently Donna teaches throughout NISD, NEISD, and at her home studio. She stays active on her instruments by playing with the Helotes Area Community Band and is the founding member of Sonora Dolce Saxophone Quartet.
Harmon is a graduate of Southern Methodist University where he earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Education. Harmon was born and raised in South Texas and began playing the trumpet at age 12. Like most, he got his start in beginning band.
Harmon’s music career began in Corpus Christi, Texas where he maintained a private studio prior to moving to Dallas. Harmon became the principal trumpet of the Corpus Christi Area Youth Orchestra at just 14 years old and had the opportunity to perform major works at a young age. He performed regularly with brass quintets, church orchestras, the Corpus Christi Municipal Band, and the Corpus Christi Chamber Orchestra. During this time, he studied with Dr. Mary Thornton and had the opportunity to study with her for the next four years, eventually becoming a member of her studio at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for a one year period.
Harmon attended Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi for one year and transferred to Southern Methodist University – Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, Texas following a successful audition. While at SMU, he was a student of Professor Tom Booth Ryan Anthony, and Kevin Finamore. (All members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra). At SMU, Harmon was a member of the Meadows Wind Ensemble and the Meadows Symphony Orchestra where he was afforded the opportunity to play principal parts on numerous occasions. He has been able to perform in several of the world’s finest hall’s including the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center and the Winspear Opera House. He is a frequent freelancer in the DFW Metroplex and has been able to perform beside and collaborate with world class musicians. Since the Fall of 2016, Harmon has been involved in a music outreach program known as Bridge the Gap Chamber Players and is a member of their brass quintet.
Harmon moved to San Antonio in May of 2019 where he will continue to spread his passion for teaching and performing music.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Justin Gonzales started playing the horn at age 10. Throughout middle school and high school, he was active in statewide competitions and won a top spot in the highest All-State band in 2005. After receiving a music scholarship to attend the Baylor University School of Music, he pursued a degree in music performance (BM) and graduated in 2009. In 2010, he enrolled in a Masters of Music performance program at the University of North Texas and completed his degree in 2013.
Justin has performed with groups throughout Texas including the San Antonio Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, and is currently 3rd horn with the Symphony of the Hills. He is currently finishing his doctorate at the University of North Texas. Since 2016, he has been an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Music at Trinity University. The faculty position includes teaching music majors, music minors, and non-major students in horn performance. In addition to his duties at Trinity University, Justin regularly teaches master classes and private lessons throughout the greater San Antonio area.
Trombonist and Educator Robert Soto is a native of El Paso, Texas. He has performed and taught across the United States, Mexico, Canada, England and Brazil. He has worked with such artists as Sir Neville Marriner, Dave Taylor, Gary Foster, Brad Leali, Bill Reichenbach, Tito Puente Jr and jazz legend Dave Brubeck as well as composers Alan Silvestri, Eric Nathan and Frank Ticheli. Robert has also recorded/performed with a variety of groups including the El Paso Wind Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Golden State Pops Symphony Orchestra, Clare Fischer/Brent Fischer Jazz Group, Elliot Deutsch Big Band, Conjunto Oye and on the IFC series Comedy Bang, Bang! He has performed with the Yale Philharmonia at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Hungarian Revolution at Carnegie Hall in NYC, Birmingham and Wigan Jazz Festivals in England, the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) convention, the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) convention and the Music for All National Festival and Summer Symposium sponsored by Yamaha.
Euphonium soloist and conductor John Caputo is a sixteen-year veteran of the US Air Force Bands Program, where he built an international reputation for excellence as a performer and educator. As a chamber musician and clinician for the Air Force, he traveled to top university programs throughout the US with the USAF Reserve Brass Quintet. The quintet is featured on Firepower, which has played on NPR’s Performance Today over forty times in the last ten years.
John is a seasoned soloist, having performed numerous times in front of both the Band of the USAF Reserve and the USAF Band of the West, including a premiere performance of Eric Frank’s Watercolors at the International Euphonium Institute. John was also a critical member of the Georgia Brass Band, where he performed as their Solo Euphoniumist from 2003-2010. He was featured as a soloist with that band many times, including a performance at the 2011 Southeast Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference. John has given additional solo performances at the Great American Brass Band Festival, the Mid West and Southwest Regional Tuba Euphonium Conferences, and the Northwest Big Brass Bash.
Since retiring from active duty in 2015, John has become an active teacher and clinician throughout South Central Texas and Louisiana. He is currently the Music Director for the Austin Brass Band and the British Brass Band of Louisiana. John plays Solo Euphonium for the San Antonio Brass Band, and is in demand as a soloist and clinician throughout the US. He currently resides in San Antonio with his wife Elizabeth Jones and their cat Lily.
Luis is an educator and clinician in the San Antonio area. He is currently the Percussion Instructor and Private Lesson teacher for William H. Taft High School among other schools in Northside ISD. His duties include instructing the drumline, teaching private lessons, and leading masterclasses.
Luis is originally from San Antonio, where he was a member of the Revolution Percussion Ensemble, and an active educator for many schools across the area. He attended San Antonio College, as well as the University of North Texas where he was a member of the UNT Green Brigade marching band. He studied under Paul Rennick, Chris McWilliams, Jayce Clemons, Matthew Ryan Kilgore, Alice Gomez, and many others.
Prior to his employment at Taft HS, Luis taught in Houston, Texas. He was most recently the Percussion Director and Coordinator for C. E. King High School and its feeders in Sheldon ISD. His duties included instructing and arranging for the marching band, indoor drumline, and percussion ensembles. He was also on staff at Mayde Creek High School, and North Shore Senior High School, where he helped North Shore lead them to the State Marching Band Contest along with earning 3rd Place TCGC Championships in Scholastic Marching World Class.
Luis is also a staff member with the 2019 WGI Finalist, Violet Crown Independent.