Meet Our Accomplished Instructors
Chris Allen, Classical Guitar, Ukulele, and Mandolin
Chris has taught music for over 20 years. He earned his doctor of musical arts in classical guitar performance (with a minor in jazz studies) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Chris also holds a master's degree and bachelor's degree in classical guitar performance from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he participated in jazz ensemble and several jazz combos.
Chris is available to teach students five years old and up on Saturday afternoons.
Chuck Evans, Piano
Chuck is a well-known performer and teacher of keyboards, both electric and acoustic. As a teacher with 28 years of experience, he has produced several award-winning students in both classical and pop performance. Chuck's public school teaching experience includes elementary through senior high. His professional work includes several recordings, single performances, bands and vocal performances in Madison and throughout the Midwest. Chuck was also a concert artist for the Hammond Organ Co. Chuck instructs all areas of keyboard music for students of all levels and holds a B.M.E. from Washburn University in Kansas and an M.M.E. from Indiana University.
Shannon Farley, Violin and Viola
Shannon Farley has taught violin and viola privately since 2002, and is Suzuki-trained in Suzuki violin books 1-8 and Suzuki viola books 1-6. Shannon holds an M.M. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied with Professor Tyrone Greive. As an undergraduate, Shannon studied Photography and Violin Performance at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she studied violin with Professor Mark Bjork and Minnesota Orchestra violinist Stephanie Arado. Prior to that, Shannon studied violin and viola at Interlochen Center for the Arts on a Scholarship from the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras. In addition to teaching, Shannon subs with the La Crosse Symphony on violin and viola and performs regularly in the Canzonetta Duo with classical guitarist Chris Allen.
Shannon's studios are currently full.
Ina Georgieva, Violin and Viola
Bulgarian-born violist Ina Georgieva is an experienced teacher, having taught violin and viola privately for over 10 years. She is certified to teach violin and viola in the Suzuki method, and received scholarships from the American Suzuki Institute and the Suzuki Association of the Americas in pursuit of this training. Ina is currently on faculty with WYSO Music Makers and coaches chamber music at WYSO. In addition, she teaches violin and viola at the Bearclaw String Academy and Music con Brio afterschool programs, and at Farley's House of Pianos chamber music program.
Ina is also an accomplished orchestra musician and chamber music performer. Currently a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, she was previously with Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Sofia State Opera (Bulgaria), Theater Erfurt (Germany), and New Symphony Orchestra (Bulgaria). Ina holds degrees in viola performance from the National Academy of Music (Bulgaria), Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar (Germany), and Texas Christian University (United States).
Ina lives on the east side of Madison with her husband, Charlie, and their two dogs, Mika and Cleo.
Kangwoo Jin, Piano
Praised for his "refined tone quality with immensely powerful energy" (Chosun Daily Newspaper), Korean pianist Kangwoo Jin is an accomplished musician who has won prizes in numerous competitions, including the Korea-Herald Newspaper competition and the Eumyoun piano competition. He also performed in the debut concert at the prestigious Sejong Arts Center (Seoul, Korea) in 2005, sponsored by the Chosun Daily Newspaper. He is the recipient of the J. Battista Scholarship for performance excellence at Indiana University and the prestigious Collins Distinguished Fellowship for his doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jin completed his Bachelor of Music degree at Hanyang University in South Korea and earned his Performer Diploma and his Master's of Music at Indiana University where he worked as an associate instructor. Kangwoo is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Piano Performance and Pedagogy under the guidance of Christopher Taylor and Jessica Johnson at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In 2016, Jin was selected as the winner of the UW-Madison Concerto Competition and performed the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.2 in c minor, Op.18 with the UW Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he was a two-time winner of the UW-Madison Beethoven Competition and has given live performances on Wisconsin Public Radio and WORT FM. Recently he was featured on WISC-TV Channel 3000 and in the Wisconsin State Journal.
As a devoted educator, Jin has been teaching for over 15 years and he has taught class piano and applied piano students at Indiana University as an associate instructor. At UW-Madison, he taught Piano Performance Critique and Classical Piano Classes at the Summer Music Program. Jin served as a Vice President of Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Chapter at UW Madison and has presented at international, national, and regional conferences, such as the MTNA Collegiate Pedagogy Symposium, the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia, and the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association. Jin frequently gives master classes in the U.S. and Korea, specializing in working with advanced students.
Jin is currently a faculty member at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Farley's House of Pianos and UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies.
Kangwoo's studios are currently full.
Jason Kutz, Piano
Jason Kutz grew up in a highly musical family in Kiel, Wisconsin, a small town in the countryside. He studied piano and percussion at a young age, and eventually went on to receive his B.M. in Recording Technology/Music Industry from UW Oshkosh and M.M. in Piano Performance from UW Madison, studying both classical and jazz.
He still resides in Madison where he works as a pianist, composer, teacher, arranger, artist, graphic designer, and sound engineer. He performs in an experimental quartet (piano, bass, trombone, drums), which performs original music and, for instance, Stravinsky's Pulcinella. He toured with the Wisconsin Children's Choir from Boston to San Fransisco, premiering his commissioned piece for SSAA and choir, Sun Spots. A recent commission has him composing a suite of six songs for voice, cello, and piano. He tours regularly around the Midwest with Opera for the Young, a professional outreach opera company that performs abridged operas for elementary schools. He is a three-time concerto competition winner, and has recently travelled to Beijing, China to teach a summer program at the Magic Piano Arts Academy.
His musical interests lie wholly within and between the classical and jazz worlds. All music is constructed with the same building blocks, and it's only with small changes in formula that genre and affect differ. His greatest interest is discovering and blending these borders, and using them as fuel for each musical project.
Jason's passion abounds outside of music, in soccer, yoga, interactive media, cleaning, woodworking, traveling, and discovery.
Carol Nuelle, Piano
Carol Nuelle recently moved to Madison from Ann Arbor, MI. In Ann Arbor, she was on the faculty at the Faber Piano Institute, founded by Randall and Nancy Faber, authors of the widely used Piano Adventures piano method books. During her tenure at the Faber Piano Institute she taught private lessons, group lessons and master classes. Carol earned her music degree from Eastern Illinois University and has taught young as well as adult students since January of 2005. She has built thriving piano studios in both Chicago and Ann Arbor. She is committed to making piano enjoyable and customized for each student while training theory and fundamentals. Although Carol has had many performing experiences, her true passions are teaching and the joy of music.
Sarah Prescott, Piano
Sarah Prescott holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Chicago. As an active member of the University of Chicago classical music scene, she gave recitals both on and off campus and accompanied students in the Vocal Program. While in Chicago, Sarah was awarded the Visiting Committee Music Lesson Stipend Award in 2012 and 2013, as well as winning second place in the Illinois State Music Teachers Association (ISMTA) Competition in 2012 and third place in 2013. Committed to bringing music into the lives of the next generation, she has taught piano to young children and accompanied high school choirs on Chicago's South Side. Sarah is motivated by the conviction that music should always be a creative and exciting pursuit, and believes in fostering students' individual creative voices. A Madison native and former Farley's student, Sarah is delighted to be teaching at the place where her love of music began.
Elspeth Stalter-Clouse, Violin
Originally from Iowa, Elspeth Stalter-Clouse moved to Madison in 2012 to begin a master's program studying violin performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Professor David Perry. Since that time, she has been an active teacher and performer in the area. Throughout graduate school, she was a member of the Hunt Quartet, an outreach ensemble affiliated with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. With that ensemble, Elspeth spent countless hours in classrooms around Dane County, bringing the joys of classical music to light for dozens of inquisitive young minds.
Elspeth has been teaching privately since her undergraduate years at Goshen College, a small liberal arts school in Northern Indiana. She has worked with the Community Music Lessons programs at both Goshen College and the University of Wisconsin, and is currently on faculty with Music con Brio, a nonprofit music program operating out of Emerson Elementary School in Madison. She also works with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, coaching burgeoning young chamber groups bright and early on Saturday mornings during the academic year.
As a performer, Elspeth is a violinist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and occasionally plays with the Dubuque Symphony as well. She works as a freelance musician throughout Wisconsin, performing both alone and in pick-up orchestras or chamber groups. She enjoys performing a wide variety of musical styles in diverse venues, from Brahms on the concert stage to U2 on the golf course.
Elspeth is also an avid knitter who loves hiking, reading, and baking (but not necessarily all at the same time).
Jonathan Thornton, Piano
Pianist Jonathan Thornton has been teaching for most of the past decade. He has taught private lessons ranging from the youngest beginners to advanced university students and retired adult students. He has also taught ear training and class piano as part of teaching assistantships during undergraduate and graduate study. In addition to this diverse teaching experience, he has performed solo and collaborative recitals around the United States and in parts of Europe.
Jonathan received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He studied with Christopher Taylor and was a winner of the 2012 UW-Madison Beethoven competition.
Mikko Utevsky, Viola
Born and raised in Madison, Mikko Rankin Utevsky is a conductor, violist, and baritone. A graduate of the UW-Madison School of Music, where he now serves as Music Engagement and Outreach Coordinator, he performed in numerous ensembles and in multiple roles with the University Opera. Since 2013, Mikko has been Music Director of The Studio Orchestra, a Madison-area community ensemble that performs at nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Dane County. He was recently named Artistic Director of the Choral Arts Society Chorale. He also teaches viola and music theory, coaches chamber music, performs with regional orchestras (including the Dubuque and La Crosse Symphonies), and serves as cantorial soloist for Congregation Shaarei Shamayim.
He founded the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra, a summer training orchestra, in 2010, and has served as Music Director for seven years. Heralded as a "remarkable institution" by local critics, the group features local artists and regularly commissions new works from Madison-based composers under his direction. He was named the inaugural recipient of WISC-TV's "First Chair" award for his work with the ensemble in 2013, and performed at the Madison Area Music Awards. He is also active as a critic, a musicologist, and a program annotator.
James Waldo, Cello
A native of Minnesota, Cellist James Waldo leads a musical career marked by diversity and adventure. Waldo, a Suzuki cello student through high school, had the opportunity to play for Yo-Yo Ma at age 11. This inspiring moment convinced Waldo that music can be a powerful force for good, and he has been pursuing ways to live out this dream ever since.
Waldo performs regularly around the U.S. with his wife, pianist Alyona Aksyonova, as A.W.Duo. The duo is ensemble-in-residence for Center City Concerts at St. Peters in Charlotte, NC.
A specialist on baroque cello and viola da gamba, Waldo is a founding member of LeStrange Viols and has collaborated with acclaimed period musicians Monica Huggett and Ron MacFarlane. 2018 marks Waldo’s upcoming debuts with Midsummer’s Music Festival in Door County and the Madison Bach Musicians.
Waldo is a co-founder of Listen Closely, an uptown Manhattan chamber music collective now in its sixth season. The organization has presented over fifty free or low-cost community-friendly concerts in uptown Manhattan.
Having relocated with his wife Alyona and daughter Sofia to Madison, Waldo is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree under the tutelage of Uri Vardi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mead Witter School of Music. He received his Master of Music and Artist Diploma with Timothy Eddy at Mannes College.
Beyond classical music activities, Waldo has always been drawn to folk, popular, and jazz music. A founding member of Spirits of the Red City, Waldo toured and wrote orchestrations for the nine-piece orchestral folk ensemble from 2008-2014. Waldo is currently studying jazz with Les Thimmig, and is in the process of developing genre-specific pedagogical and performance applications for the cello.
Teaching has always been one of Waldo’s primary passions. In addition to serving on the faculty of Mozartina Conservatory in Tarrytown, NY for five years, Waldo has maintained a small but dedicated private studio since the age of sixteen. Waldo’s student Cecilia Hoyt recently accepted a generous scholarship offer to attend undergraduate studies in cello at the Eastman School of Music. Waldo loves cooking, reading, and being outdoors with his family and pets.
Sarah Williams, Piano
Sarah Williams has taught piano privately for over six years out of her studio in Appleton, Wisconsin. She is passionate about making music a fun but stimulating life-changing experience for her students, both young children to adults. At UW-Oshkosh, while studying piano performance with Dr. Eli Kalman, she worked as vice-president of Oshkosh Collegiate Music Teachers’ Association and assisted in different pedagogical events such as Fun for Two, a duet and duo piano workshop open to the community. Since finishing her bachelor’s degree, she is now attending UW-Madison for a master’s in collaborative piano with Martha Fischer. As a performer, she has won competitions such as the UW-Oshkosh Concerto Competition, the UW-Oshkosh Honors Competition, and UW-Oshkosh Celebration of Scholarship. Besides teaching and performing, Sarah has accompanied a wide range of ensembles including Badger State Girls’ Choir, UW-Oshkosh University Choir, UW-Oshkosh Women’s Choir, UW-Oshkosh Opera Theater, UW-Oshkosh Wind Ensemble, as well as all UWO vocal auditions.
Renée Farley can help you choose instruction, and provide scheduling and fee details. Contact her at 608.271.2626 or send an email.