Michelle Mastin - Violin/Orchestra
Michelle has a professional studies diploma from the San Francisco Conservatory, and a masters degree from the Eastman School of Music. In addition, she has completed 5 units of Suzuki training and earned a certificate of training in the Sassmannshaus violin method. Her interest in pedagogy has taken her around the country attending institutes, symposiums, and workshops, including two summers as a teaching fellow at the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra’s summer program in Santa Cruz. After nearly a decade of teaching children from 3 years old and up both privately and in schools, Michelle took a few years off to build her own family. Her favorite thing about working with HPBA is being able to bring the same high level musical experience to kids who could not afford to pay for music education. Her extraordinary energy, enthusiasm and creativity make her a natural musical leader.
Rebecca Reed-Lunn - Violin/orchestra
Rebecca Reed-Lunn has 16 years of teaching experience and a Bachelor of Music with High Distinction as well as a Performer Diploma from Indiana University School of Music, where she studied pedagogy with Mimi Zweig and Brenda Brenner. Before moving to the Bay Area her previous teaching positions have included viola professor and pre-college violin and viola instructor at Western Kentucky University and Assistant to the Director and violin and viola instructor at Suzuki Maui. She also performed with a professional touring bluegrass group. Rebecca combines Suzuki and Paul Rolland methods and believes strongly in the Suzuki principle that every child can learn to play at a high level. Rebecca also teaches in the Preparatory Music Program at Holy Names University in Oakland.
Misha Khalikulov – Cello
Misha was born in the former U.S.S.R. republic of Uzbekistan and raised in San Francisco. He holds a degree in Classical Cello Performance from UCLA. During his time in Los Angeles, Misha taught cello at two inner city schools, where he gained a passion for music education. In 2009, he joined the world music group Rupa and the April Fishes, which has taken him on tour to 25 countries in the past four years. They have performed on international festival stages and released a new album, Build, in 2012. He is also a member of the groups Blind Willies, StringQuake, and The Congress, with whom he has recorded four albums. Misha teaches private students as well. His patience and dedication have overcome the challenges of teaching classes of rambunctious young cellists.
Grisell Báez - Singing/Musicianship
Grisell Báez, Singer and Music Teacher, was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance at Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music and a certification in the Despertal Musical concept, a special program of the Conservatory. Grisell has been teaching vocal technique and elementary music education since 2004. Her love of singing and teaching brought her to California in 2010 to complete her Master’s Degree in Music Education with emphasis in Kodály Method at Holy Names University, Oakland. Recently she completed Level II of Orff Schulwerk, Certification Program from San Francisco School. Grisell enjoys developing both curriculums utilizing traditional English and Spanish folk songs with singing games, rhymes, dances, percussions instruments, and music concepts.
Gina Niblack – Violin
Gina Niblack completed a Bachelor's degree in violin performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Passionate about excellence in teaching, she is committed to teaching at inner city schools, including Kipp Academy Middle School and Starr King elementary School. She also teaches violin students of all ages at her studio.
Gina has been teaching with us for 5 years, and is a master of classroom management. She teaches a group of up to 15 beginners, and develops a strong, affectionate bond with the children while holding them to the highest standards.
Sarah Lee - Violin
Sarah has a Master's of Music degree from San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she studied with Jodi Levitz, and a Bachelor’s of Music degree from Indiana University where she received high awards: Premier Young Artist Award, and Recipient of SFCM Phyllis Wattis Scholarship.
Sarah is known for her patience, warmth, and enthusiasm as a teacher. She has certification using Suzuki violin/viola training with students as young as 5 years old. Students are first taught about physical awareness and building a firm foundation from the ground up to establish great technique, which allows musical freedom. Sarah also performs as a free-lance violist in many Bay Area ensembles.
ERIK ANDERSEN - CELLO
Erik Andersen is a graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music at the City University of New York where he completed studies in modern cello under the direction of Marcy Rosen and additional studies in historical performance with Lisa Terry. He knows first-hand the impact programs like Harmony Project can have on our children's lives, as he was dependent on free outreach programs like Borough-Wide Orchestra, All-City Orchestra, and the InterSchool Orchestras of New York. Such programs also paved the way for him to grow into the teacher he is today, when at age 16 he was invited to participate in a teaching internship program through the InterSchool Orchestras of New York.
Erik has since served as a music teacher and coach for students ranging in ages from 4 to 64 years old. As a current MA of Teaching candidate at the University of San Francisco, he is committed to facilitate the learning of all students and to promoting harmony and good-will in this world through teaching and music-making.
julie michael - violin/cello
A Suzuki-trained teacher and a certified Global Leader of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Julie has taught at the University of Panama as well as at a number of El Sistema-inspired programs in North America, including 2 years at System Montreal. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan (B.M.) and McGill University (M.M., Graduate Diploma), where her principal teachers were Yizhak Schotten and André Roy. She is excellent at the lively art of teaching a classroom of children.
Julie strives to bring the same spirit of sincerity to the performance of music of all eras. She can be heard performing with a variety of Bay Area ensembles ranging from sfSound to the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. Her passion for new music has led her to collaborate with many composers. As the newest member of the Amaranth String Quartet, Julie looks forward to juxtaposing world premieres with the classic string quartet repertoire.