Our Instructors


FRED MASINTER

Violin Instructor
Fred Masinter has been playing the violin for 64 years and has taught violin for 30 years. His wedding website with music clips is http://sanantonioweddingviolinist.com

Daniella zamora

Voice / Piano instructor

Daniella Zamora, Mezzo-Soprano, is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. She studied voice under the direction of Linda Poetschke and Susan Olson. During her time at UTSA she was granted semi-finalists for South Texas NATS for 2 years. She has performed in the UTSA Concert and Chamber Choir, as well as perform in the ensemble for UTSA’s Music Department performances of Sour Angelica, The Tender Land, and Die Fledermaus. Daniella has held numerous officer positions such as, Editor, Vice-President and President with Sigma Alpha Iota, an International Music Women’s Fraternity. She has field observations and student teaching experience with all grade levels from early childhood to 12th; she also has taught adult voice and music students. Daniella enjoys music, reading, watching films, service opportunities, and spending time with friends and family in her free time. While gaining more experience as a choral director and voice instructor she plans on achieving a Master’s Degree in further Vocal Studies. 

 lacey peschel

trumpet / piano instructor

Lacey Peschel is a recent graduate from Texas Lutheran University who received a Bachelor's of Music in Trumpet Performance. Prior to college, her musical career began with piano studies at five years old. She started trumpet in the sixth grade, and studied both simultaneously well into college. Currently, she teaches a small studio of trumpet students from several high schools in the San Antonio area. She has also started the process to become certified in music education. 

DENISE WATHEN

Voice / Piano Instructor

Denise Wathen, mezzo-soprano, has performed extensively in operas for children, with her most recent credits being the role of Rita the Rat in Fantastic Mr. Fox for Emerald City Opera, as well as Chorus for Florencia en el Amazonas, and Dido and Aeneas. Ms. Wathen has also performed as the devious thief Flou-Flou, in Joseph Clokey’s The Emperor’s Clothes, and 3 seasons for Opera on the Run as the less-than-dainty Wood Nymph in The Pied Piper, and the Mother/Grandmother in Little Red Riding Hood. She also is an active chorus member for Opera San Antonio, and has performed in Madama Butterfly, as well as Carmen. In 2014, she was a soloist for the San Antonio Mastersingers for their performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria. Ms. Wathen has been teaching private voice for students young and old for 7 years, and focuses on a steady grounding in fundamental technique—healthy singing is beautiful singing—and having each student find their own voice instead of trying to emulate others. While specializing in Bel Canto and Broadway styles, she has also coached pop and folk singing, and strives to have students sing the best they can within their style. Ms. Wathen received her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Howard Payne University and is  a recent graduate of UTSA, with a Master of Music in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance. She is a dedicated church musician, currently serving as Alto Section Leader for St. Paul’s Episcopal in San Antonio, TX.

ADRIAN SOLIZ

Voice / Piano Instructor

Adrian Soliz recently received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Texas San Antonio. He has become a steady performer locally: performing with both the Community Theater, UTSA Lyric Theater, and local churches. With regards to opera, he has premiered a work with Opera San Antonio and has performed numerous times with UTSA Opera and UTSA Opera On the Run. As a performer he also traveled to Beijing, China to perform lead roles in a summer opera program. Piano being his secondary instrument, Adrian has taken lessons with some very prolific local piano teachers, one being Dr. Scott Donald who was on piano faculty at UTSA and is a nationally regarded performer. With piano, Adrian has had some background in accompanying students during solos.

Caleb bailey

guitar instructor

Caleb Bailey, a native to San Antonio, is an Instrumental Music Education student studying classical guitar performance and pedagogy under Dr. Matthew Dunne, and Johnny Peña at the University of Texas at San Antonio. While at UTSA he has participated in numerous ensembles, including the Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, the UTSA guitar ensemble, and the Men’s Glee Club. He began studying music at the age of 12 by learning how to play the trumpet through the band program at Harris Middle School. A year later he began studying electric guitar, and then classical guitar at the age of 16.

Before teaching guitar professionally, he taught for fun while being President of the Guitar Club at James Madison High School. After graduating, Caleb interned for a year with the UTSA after school music program; String Project. He has since then gone up the ranks, and is currently the Head Guitar Instructor, as well as the Assistant Director of the UTSA Downtown Campus program. He has also completed phase one of Austin Classical Guitar’s National Teacher Training Workshop, and is planning on going back to further his understanding of classroom guitar pedagogy. While he isn’t teaching or practicing guitar, he enjoys binging shows on Netflix, cooking, and playing with his dog Rex.

damon martinez

Percussion / drums Instructor

Damon Martinez is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and sound engineer native to San Antonio. Before attending the Eastman School of Music to earn his bachelors degree in music performance, he played quads with the nationally acclaimed Reagan High School marching band, and in 2007 earned himself a spot in the TMEA All State Orchestra, as well as 1st place at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) high school keyboard competition. When not in school, Damon was performing in a number of renowned summer music programs and orchestral festivals including the Juilliard Percussion Seminar, Boston Universtiy Tanglewood Institute, Brevard Music Festival, and the Chautauqua Music Festival. As a percussion performance major at the Eastman School from 2008 to 2012, Damon participated in a rigorous study of orchestral, chamber, and solo performance practice as well music theory, and digital sound design. In his sophomore year he received the Zildjian Scholarship, awarded annually to an Eastman percussionist, and in his junior year, he won the school’s concerto competition, culminating in his performance of the Schwantner Percussion Concerto with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Since graduating, Damon’s performance practice has centered around the drum set and electronic trap kit, often combining the two as he did in Los Angeles with a number of groups, the most recent being with Dawn Richard on a short tour run that took him to a number of venues including Webster Hall in NYC, and Stubbs Austin for the SPIN magazine SXSW showcase in 2016. Damon has taught private lessons and led group rehearsals at a number of high schools and middle schools in San Antonio and New Braunfels. His teaching seeks to foster the students improvisatory spirit, acoustical awareness, and musical vocabulary through a constantly evolving combination of technical and compositional exercises, while also empowering their ability to interpret musical styles and perform within them.

danny castillo

Voice / Piano instructor

Mr. Danny Castillo is a professional musician and educator based in the city of San Antonio, TX.

Mr. Castillo frequently performs with opera companies such as Austin Opera, One Ounce Opera, and Gilbert & Sullivan Austin. Recent performances include Tyler Mabry's "The Last Words of Che Guevara" with One Ounce Opera, Richard Dauntless in Ruddigore with Gilbert & Sullivan Austin, and Verdi's Otello with the Austin Opera Chorus. Mr. Castillo is also a section leader for the St. Thomas Episcopal Church Choir in San Antonio, TX.

Mr. Castillo received a bachelor’s degree in music from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2013 and a master’s degree in music from the University of Texas-Austin in 2016. In 2012, Mr. Castillo was a finalist in the National Association of Teachers of Singing - South Texas Chapter Auditions. In 2013, Mr. Castillo performed the role of Enjolras in the Harbor Playhouse's production of Les Miserables for which he received a Sammy Award Nomination. Mr. Castillo is a former student of soprano Dr. Melinda Brou.

Mr. Castillo will perform with the Austin Opera Chorus in Austin Opera's production of Kevin Puts’s Silent Night. For more information, please visit www.austinopera.org.

Kiana Burciaga

cello / violin / piano Instructor

Kiana Burciaga is a violin, cello, and double bass instructor, with her primary instrument being the cello. She is involved with the Suzuki Method and is an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas organization. She has completed Stage 1 of the Early Childhood Education curriculum, in addition to Units 1, 2, and 3 of the Suzuki cello curriculum. She offers both traditional and Suzuki lessons.

Ms. Burciaga received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, TX. While there, she held positions as the principal cellist of the TLU Orchestra for two years, as the Secretary for Service Through Music (Music & Memory), and as the President for Mariachi Oro y Negro de TLU. She is currently a member of Symphony Vivá (San Antonio) and the Mid-Texas Symphony (Seguin), in addition to an up-and-coming San Antonio-based chamber group. She also plays the cello for four local bands in the San Antonio and Seguin areas, with genres ranging from experimental, math rock, pop, and alternative indie.