Studio Director and Piano
DC Pianist Molly Orlando is nationally recognized as a soloist, collaborator, teacher, and adjudicator. Praised by the Washington Post for her ‘great style’ and performances that are ‘searching’ and ‘edgy’, Molly is equally at home in traditional and brand-new repertoire.
An advocate for new music, Molly has premiered numerous works, including a performance as the soloist in the world premiere of Daniel Felsenfeld’s piano concerto The Curse of Sophistication. She has also premiered works by Douglas Boyce, Timothy Dusenbury, John Elmquist, Matt Curlee, and Nathan Lincoln-DeCusatis.... read more
Spanish-born pianist Julia Aguayo began her career at age 16 at the prestigious Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid in 2005, as one of five candidates selected from a field of over 100 candidates.Following her success in Spain, Julia moved on to The Netherlands to pursue her Master's degree. In 2010 she placed in multiple competitions, one of them resulting in a seven-performance tour around The Netherlands that culminated with a performance in the De Doulen hall in Rotterdam – one of the country’s most prestigious performances venues. That same year, she won the chance to participate in a professional recording with Peter Arts... read more
Guitar, Mandolin, and Ukulele
Benjamin Altman is an active concertizer, chamber musician, and concert soloist, having played with the Macon Symphony Orchestra, the Ocmulgee Symphony, the Colorado Guitar Quartet, and the Arvada Center Chorale.
In addition to his activities as a performer, Mr. Altman has been a dedicated teacher for nearly 10 years. Having served on faculty at Nazareth College, the Eastman Community Music School, and the Rocky Ridge Music Center, he now teaches guitar for Arlington Public Schools and teaches privately across the Washington, D.C. area. As a graduate assistant at... read more
Woodwinds, Piano, and Jazz
Kristian Baarsvik is a leading saxophonist, pianist, multi-instrumentalist, educator, and arranger based in the Washington, DC. area, who has established himself on the national and international stage. He was appointed the lead alto saxophonist with the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force, the “Airmen of Note” in 2019 and has recorded and performed with jazz luminaries Chris Potter, Christian McBride, Randy Brecker, John Fedchock, Diane Schuur, Sean Jones, Ted Nash, and Peter Bernstein. In addition to performing, Kristian is an award-winning arranger of big-band music, and is passionate about... read more
Mezzo-soprano Hannah Baslee has been an active consort singer, soloist, and music educator in the DC area since 2015. She holds a BA in Music from Concordia University Texas where she focused her repertoire studies on concert works. Her master’s degree is in Vocal Performance from the University of Texas at El Paso, where teaching, conducting, and vocal pedagogy became a passion.
With almost ten years of private studio experience, Hannah is equally at home teaching a variety of vocal styles including classical, opera, musical theater, belt, and pop. In addition to voice lessons, she lectures weekly at the College of Southern Maryland for Ear Training and... read more
Carol Anne Bosco
Drawing influence from all kinds of music, DC-based cellist Carol Anne Bosco plays with a style that is eclectic and diverse.
As a classical player, she has performed in orchestras including the Tysons-McLean Orchestra, Arlington Symphony, Apollo Chamber Orchestra, Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra, and Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. Her studies in chamber playing have taken Carol Anne as far as France, participating in festivals including the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, Duxbury Music Festival, and the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau... read more
Noted for her “dynamic and graceful” performances imbued with “virtuosity” and “truly lyrical expression,” American pianist Iris Shepherd Cheng has given performances across the United States and Canada and has garnered numerous awards. An avid soloist and chamber musician, Iris is a founding member of the Cheng-MacLean Duo and she regularly collaborates with a wide variety of outstanding instrumentalists and singers including violist Marina Thibeault, cellist Julie Trudeau, pianist Heidi Louise Williams, the Florida State University Singers, and the National Children’s Chorus. In 2022, the Cheng-MacLean Duo gave their New York debut in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, performing works from the 20th and 21st century, including a commissioned piece by Kyle W. Brown... read more
Piano and Voice
Marianne has over twelve years of experience teaching music to students with wide range of styles, abilities, and ages. Her passion for student-centered, holistic teaching overarches everything she does, from teaching private lessons, directing community choirs, and coaching professional artists. As a vocalist, pianist, studio tech, arranger, and director, Marianne brings a passion for lifelong learning to the Opal Music family. With a keen sense of technique and an emphasis on progress over perfection, Marianne believes anyone... read more
Violin, Viola, and Suzuki Violin/Viola
Kate is a violist and violinist who grew up in northern Virginia. She returned to the area in November of 2019 and enjoyed playing with the National Cathedral Choral Society and was preparing for a concert with the GRAMMY nominated Inscape Chamber Orchestra before Covid-19 took hold. Kate has completed long-term Suzuki violin training with the esteemed Ronda Cole. She earned bachelor’s degrees in viola performance and music education from the University of Maryland, College Park. There she studied with Daniel Foster, principal violist of the National Symphony Orchestra. She is also thankful to have worked with Daniel Foster’s grandfather, John Kendall... read more
Piano, Cello, and Bass
Ali Cook has always been passionate about the role music can play in the lives of people of any age, and she has enjoyed numerous opportunities to be a part of the music education of many. Her experience includes eleven years of teaching piano, bass and cello. She can be seen regularly performing orchestral, opera, chamber, and new music in Washington DC, Baltimore, MD, and Detroit, MI. Ali has toured Russia with the National Symphony Orchestra as well as Germany, Turkey, Spain, and Austria with the Christoph Eschenbach and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. While earning her Masters degree at Indiana University she won a Tanglewood fellowship as well as the double bass concerto competition, performing... read more
A recognized leader in contemporary music advocacy, pianist Elizabeth G. Hill has led and performed in the D.C. area’s most prominent chamber ensembles, and is known for her work as a solo performer, educator, and lecturer. A highly-regarded artist, she has performed lecture-recitals and concerts across the United States and in Europe, including for the Embassy Concert Series in Washington DC, the Center for Jewish History in New York, and the Robert-Schumann-Haus in Zwickau, Germany. She currently performs in numerous ensembles within the Washington, D.C. area, and is the Collaborative Pianist for the National Philharmonic Chorale and Chamber Series... read more
Piano and Jazz Piano
Aleks Izotov is a pianist, composer, and educator based in the DC metro area. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Aleks graduated with a bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance from Arizona State University, where he studied with pianist Michael Kocour. Since moving to DC in 2016, Aleks has been steadily growing his reputation as both a sideman and leader, appearing with Tarus Mateen, Michael Bowie, Marshall Keys, and headlining shows at The Nash and Ravenscroft. His first solo release, Solo Piano, was released in February 2021, and he is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree...read more
Percussionist Erika Johnson brings her unique musical versatility and voice everywhere, from cabarets to orchestral pits and stages. Most recently, Erika was the drummer for the Pulitzer-prize winning, pre-Broadway run of A Strange Loop at Wooly Mammoth theater. Erika was also seen on stage as the drummer and on-stage band member in Signature Theatre's highly acclaimed, Girlfriend, where she was described as a "marvel" (DC Metro Arts).
A frequent performer of new music, Erika is the percussionist for DC’s Great Noise Ensemble. Erika enjoyed introducing the West Coast to John Luther Adams' Drums of Winter, sharing the bill with percussionist and composer Glenn Kotche.... read more
Violin and Viola
Violinist Tong Li is a graduate of the University of Maryland where she was the finalist in their concerto competition studying with Dr. James Stern while holding the chamber music graduate assistantship. She did her undergraduate studies at the Eastman School of Music with Renee Jolles, and her previous studies were at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Vladimir Deninzon of the Cleveland Orchestra. Tong frequently played with Symphoria in Syracuse and was an associate member with the Chicago Civic Orchestra for its 2020-2021 season. She was recently the concertmaster of the National Orchestral Institute + Festival. Tong has participated in summer festivals such as Interlochen, Brevard... read more
Violin, Viola, and Suzuki Violin/Viola
Madalyn Navis is a violinist, music educator, and chamber musician currently residing in Alexandria, Virginia. She began studying violin at the age of 4 years old and quickly discovered the power music has to bring people together and to express and heal our emotions. She earned a double Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education and Violin Performance while studying with Mihai Craioveanu at Hope College. She went on to complete her Master of Music Degree in Violin Performance at Bowling Green State University, where she was a member of the Graduate String Quartet and studied under Dr. Penny Thompson-Kruse. During her Master’s degree, .... read more
Voice and Piano
Allysa Packard, soprano, has sung all over the world including China and Italy, with various choirs and study programs. This last summer, her travels took her to Prague where she sang Countess in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaroin the Estates Theater with Prague Summer Nights. Allysa has performed various roles and scenes from both opera and musical theater repertoire. Musical Theater roles include Belle from Beauty and the Beastto Marian the Librarian in The Music Man.She has participated in other shows such as Show Boat, Pirates of Penzance, and Trial By Jury. Opera roles include, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, and Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmelites. ... read more
Ariana Lee Parks
Ariana Lee Parks was born in Paradise, California but spent most of her growing up years in Salem, Oregon. She has loved music since she was born and started picking out tunes on the piano and singing harmonies with her brother when she was three years old. She began taking piano lessons that same year. Throughout her middle school and high school years she studied with the late Pamela Miller, who had a huge impact on her life. Over the years she has won multiple awards and competitions including being selected for the state recital 11 times in the Oregon State Junior Bach Festival and getting the chance to perform with the Salem orchestra. After high school she began her piano performance degree at Walla Walla University in Walla Walla, WA... read more
Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin, Banjo, and Bass Guitar
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Mark Sylvester regularly performs around the Washington, DC, area as a solo guitarist, as a singer/songwriter, and with numerous folk, world, classical, rock, and jazz groups. His recordings of original compositions include music for solo acoustic guitar, chamber music for classical banjo, and scores for live theater productions. Mark's primary musical influences and interests include folk and world music, cool jazz, prog rock, minimalism, American primitive and contemporary guitar music, and J.S. Bach.
Mark teaches individual and group lessons on guitar, ukulele, mandolin, banjo, and bass guitar. Drawing on his broad performance and compositional background...read more
Piano and Voice
Coming from North Carolina, Olivia has achieved her Bachelor of Arts in Music Studies, and she is about to graduate with her Master of Arts in Music Education this December. She has had 14 years of classical vocal training, and had pursued that in her undergraduate degree. She has performed in many musicals, choir ensembles, solo vocal performances, as well as the opera Pirates of Penzance. Her vocal training allows her to perform languages such as French, German, Italian, English, and Russian. Olivia has also had 12 years of classical piano training while pursuing her musical career.... read more
Emily Tsai began her musical studies at the age of four on the violin and started the oboe when she was ten. She won 2nd place in the Eastman Oboe and University of Maryland Concerto Competitions where she performed with the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra with added dance choreography. She has also appeared as a soloist with the Washington Asian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Amadeus Orchestra. She is currently the oboist and touring director of the internationally touring wind quintet, WindSync.
Based in the Washington, DC area, she is an active freelancer performing with such orchestras as the National Philharmonic, Amadeus Orchestra... read more
Voice and Piano
Soprano Alicia Woodberry has been praised as an insightful musician and captivating performer. Her most recent successes in opera include performing with the Genesius Guild Theatre Foundation as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, for which the River Cities’ Reader praised her for “shining vocally.”
Ms. Woodberry is an active performer, and some of her recent roles include La sorella cercatrice in Suor Angelica (Peabody Opera Theatre), Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos (Miami Music Festival), Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi (Genesius Guild), and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte (Genesius Guild)... read more
Hannah is Opal's studio coordinator. She loves being a part of our students' musical journeys, and believes music education lays a foundation for of lifetime of passion and creativity. When students learn to play an instrument, they are mastering a skill they will take with them as they navigate their life paths.
A drama major at Vassar College, Hannah has taught Kindermusik and Young Musicians, drama and public speaking, worked on scores for films, and led countless groups of children in scouting, caroling, and general adventures in Old Town. In addition to her work at Opal, Hannah produces... read more