Stage Notes - School of Music

  
Owners
Becky and Devin Steinsultz
After over 15 years of studying the piano, Becky took her love of the instrument to the pageant stage, where she won numerous local titles, including four Miss America preliminary pageant titles.  Three times, she was named to the top ten at the Miss Arkansas Pageant. Along the way, she received many awards for her talent performances.
Becky continued her piano studies at the University of the Ozarks, where she was featured in the faculty recitals.  After graduating with a degree in Business Management from the U of O and an MBA from the University of Arkansas, she began teaching private piano lessons at Stephanie's Musique in Northwest Arkansas.  After moving to Texas in 2008, she then began her own piano studio, Stage Notes, bridging her love of music with her education in the field of business.  Becky and Devin married in 2010, making Devin an official member of the Stage Notes team!  Combining their efforts and talents, Stage Notes continues to expand by offering opportunities not available at other music schools!
 Using the stage name Devin Leigh, Devin is a multi award winning Fort Worth based singer, songwriter, and guitarist.  A touring musician for over 25 years, Devin has played guitar for some of the best acts in Texas including Bleu Edmondson, Jason Eady, and Max Stalling.  He has been a guest guitarist for Stoney Larue, Jason Boland, Pat Green, and many others.  His guitar work has been heard on several songs that have reached the top of the TX charts and national Americana charts, not to mention going as high as #3 on CMT.  His solo work is a mixture of rockabilly, country, southern rock, and blues, infused with fiery guitar.  His song, "100 Miles From Home", received an Akademia award for Best Blues Song, and he received a Global Music Award in the Emerging Artist category. Devin was also named a Texas Tornado by Buddy Magazine, an honor bestowed on the best guitarists in Texas. His album "Chants and Incantations" made it to the first round ballot of the 2016 Grammy Awards. He can be seen touring across the state as well as in OK and AR.  More information on Devin including tour schedule can be found at www.devinleighmusic.com.


Mr. Lucas Reader
~rock band/ piano/guitar/bass/drums/ukelele/theory~

Lucas is a professional musician from Houston, Texas. Raised in a musical family, he was exposed to and practiced many different instruments at a young age. Music has always been his passion and focus. His earliest memories involve playing music. By age 10 he was serious about studying classical music on the upright bass. Soon after, he was introduced to improvisation and jazz. He began playing electric and upright bass professionally at age 14 and has never looked back. 
Lucas is now a graduate of the University of North Texas with a B.M. in Jazz Performance. He plays regularly with some of DFW’s finest musicians in a wide variety of musical settings.
FUN is Lucas’ #1 priority. He believes that students should learn to love music first. He often teaches in group settings where his students can be social and express themselves freely. Music theory and improvisation are a cornerstone of his teaching methods. He encourages students to be the best they can be in music and other passions they may pursue

Mr. Edgar Valenzuela
~violin/viola/cello/piano/percussion~

A native of Peru, Edgar Valenzuela is one of the most versatile young musicians in North Texas with activities that go from playing in symphonic orchestras to salsa, jazz and world music ensembles, both as a percussionist and as a violinist.
He was raised in a family of musicians, starting his formal musical education at the age of 6 under the tutelage of his father. At eight, he was admitted into the Josafat Roel Pineda Conservatory in Lima as a clarinetist. He eventually switched instruments graduating with honors in violin and music education.
His musical interests have led Edgar to perform in diverse music festivals in Latin America, Europe and the United States, with a mixture of classical, popular, traditional Latin American and Jazz. Some of these festivals include performances with well-known conductors and musicians, among them Abelardo Vasquez, Alex Acuña, Vinnie Colaiuta, Eduard Melkus, and Gustavo Dudamel.
Since 2001 Edgar has been a resident of Fort Worth, where he is a member of the Latin Jazz trio Lunazul and director of the band Mambo Machine. Some of his most recent activities include serving as concertmaster for the New Irving Philharmonic Orchestra, and a performance, as a violinist, for the Van Cliburn Foundation in a concert series dedicated to Tango music. He is also a sub for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. 
Edgar finished his graduate studies on violin with Martha Walvoord at the University of Texas at Arlington and took conducting lessons with Sergio Espinosa, David Itkin and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. As an educator, Edgar has worked with the Fort Worth ISD as well as many other music schools in the DFW area.

Mr. Simon Petty
~piano/songwriting/trumpet/theory~



Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Simon Petty is an established jazz pianist who keeps an active schedule performing with the top jazz musicians in the DFW area. Such musicians include: Lynn Seaton, Quamon Fowler, Mario Cruz, and many more.  Simon holds a BA in Music Composition from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and holds a church pianist position in which he has done writing, performing, and arranging.  Simon has studied under nationally acclaimed jazz educators Thomas Burchill, Stockton Helbing, Josh Hanlon, and ASCAP award winning composers Ric Flauding, Dr. Mac Davis, and Dr. Stephen Johnson. Simon continues to develop a unique musical style in both his writing and performance while teaching music theory, piano and music composition since 2008.  His students have won competitions and perform professionally. He enjoys teaching others to hold themselves to a high standard in whatever areas they pursue, while enjoying the experience of their musical journey.


  Mrs. Sarah Petty
~voice, piano, Sing and Play~


Sarah Petty sang along to her parents’ Fiddler on the Roof 8-track tape soundtrack and choreographed simple children’s songs when she was 3 years old. In various choirs nonstop from age 5-25, Sarah developed a love for learning and performing music. She had the opportunity to audition in the TMEA and TPSMEA All-State Choir process, and was a member of the final choir numerous times. As part of Joyful Sound! Homeschool Choir, CYT, and HFAC in Houston, Sarah had major roles in several musicals, including Hello, Dolly!, Annie Get Your Gun, The Pirates of Penzance, and Beauty and the Beast. She taught group voice classes and introductory theatre skills at CYT in Houston between highschool and college. As a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Sarah extensively studied voice and was asked to sing in the Honors Recital several times. After completing a 50-minute solo recital during her senior year and a 40-page thesis, Sarah graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a Concentration in Vocal Performance. In addition to teaching at Stage Notes, she also works part-time at Central Market as the Lead in Healthy Living, and enjoys exploring the many ways a healthy lifestyle affects singing performance. She is thrilled to be a part of Stage Notes.




Mr. Michael Boggs
~Guitar/Bass/Sax/Banjo/Ukulele/Band Classes~

Michael began his career in music early, with a primary focus in songwriting. Covers and gigging came much later in his time playing.
He studied Saxophone in high school and kept playing guitar in college (2002-2006). He played in a band called “The Electric Authority”, and had success with online markets, hitting 3rd on the charts at ourstage.com (this site has now moved). 
His teaching style is predicated on the idea that music is simple, regardless of the complexities that people personify it having, music can be boiled down to an alphabetical, pattern-driven language. “It only has 12 options and we struggle to make sense of it”. 
His technical ability and stylistic expertise are in Rock and Funk, Country and Blues. 

Students can expect to be challenged to critically think through their lessons, but the majority of that is designed to have students understand the simplicity of using known terms (the alphabet!) to express and explain theoretical points. Bringing this understanding to young players is enjoyable, rewarding, and worthwhile to students, who can apply this level of thinking and routine to their lives.
“This whole idea of learning from instruction is held together by the glue that is practice”. Practice is expected. It is how students will achieve their goals and dreams and musical expressions! So above all else, Michael’s philosophy is to play a lot!




Mr. Zach Coffey
~guitar/voice~

Zach Coffey has been performing since he was 14 years old. He began singing on the Oklahoma Rodeo Opry stage in Oklahoma City at that age. After graduating high school, Zach took a track and field scholarship to Oklahoma Baptist University where he began studying opera and was classically trained by Dr. Louima Lilite. Zach was a three time NATS finalist and had the lead role in several productions as well as offers to continue that career path out of school. Zach studied guitar with Mike Hosty in Norman, Oklahoma. After graduating college Zach worked as a Behavioral Health counselor for inner-city youth. But, in 2012 Zach realized that wasn’t his absolute passion and he merged his singing and guitar talents, along with songwriting, and began pursuing a career in the Texas music scene. He has had a top 10 radio hit, I Love You Anyway, and he plays over 150 shows a year in Texas and the surrounding region with his band, Zach Coffey and the Grind. He has played shows with acts such as Casey Donahew, Roger Creager, Vanilla Ice (seriously), Cody Canada, Zane Williams, Walt Wilkins, and many others. More information on Zach including tour dates can be found on his website, www.zachcoffey.com.


Mrs. Jessica Mize
~voice/piano~

Jessica began singing in church at the age of 3, and has continued ever since then.  She was a part of the Texas All-State Choir in high school, sang Opera for the first two years of college, and, after a transfer of schools to be closer to family, began singing and playing keys with a “Cowpunk” type band called Braker Lane based in Dallas.  After Braker Lane, Jessica moved on to a Southern Rock/Blues band called Joey Black and the Coincidence, also based in Dallas, and then transitioned back to the musical theater in 2011.  She was cast in Maury Yeston’s Phantom and Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Sound of Music as Elsa Schraeder, the Baroness.  Since the wrap of the musicals, she recorded a demonstration of her raw skill level with Junius Recording in Dallas, TX, with Sound Engineer Lindsay Graham. Currently, she is living in North Texas and began teaching vocal lessons at Stage Notes Music in September 2014.

Mr. Sam Jones
~drums/percussion/piano~

Sam Jones is a talented and respected musician in the Dallas Ft Worth area. He began playing piano at the age of 3 and grew up singing in church with his dad, who is the worship pastor at Glenview Baptist Church. Sam completed his Associates in music at TCC while studying with Warren Dewey, Philip Baugh, and Rick Stitzl. He directed a trashcan, step, and dance team for 6 years which toured New Orleans and Texas. Sam began his professional career as a musician in 2010 playing drum set, percussion, piano and organ for bands with genres spanning jazz, rock, country, and funk. He is currently the piano and organ player for Zach Coffey and the Grind and Associate Worship Pastor at Glenview Baptist Church. In addition to studying with nationally acclaimed drummer and band leader, Stockton Helbing, Sam leads his own jazz and pop groups which include some of the top jazz musicians in the DFW area . He graduated from UTA with his BM in audio engineering in the Fall of 2015 and will pursue his master's in audio engineering this fall.

Mr. Alexander Petty
~piano/composition~


Alexander Petty began his study of music as a child with private piano and voice lessons. By his teenage years he was composing his own piano arrangements, competing at the Texas Private School Music Educators Association in both the solo and ensemble categories, and expanding his musical studies at the Travis Academy of Fine Arts.
His interests in music, especially the concept of leitmotif, ultimately led to the completion of a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition. During these years of study, typical days often included classes in music theory, instrumental ensemble practice, music writing, choral rehearsals and music history. 
Alexander has also completed a Master of Arts in History, which has led him to require that his music students have a basic understanding of the historical context behind their chosen piece. He has found that even a small amount of time spent increasing knowledge of musical styles and composers helps the student realize a greater appreciation for their art.

Not merely a theorist, Alexander has performed locally at various venues under different settings, ranging from choral performances at the Bass Hall to soloing in musical drama at Scott Theatre. While he relishes the solitary experiences of playing Chopin Nocturnes or setting out to write an entirely new piece, he also enjoys teaching others music and is happy to convey concepts and techniques in a simple way that aids and informs the student.


Mr. Hunter Spivey
~piano, guitar~


Hunter is a jazz pianist from Atlanta, Georgia. After studying Commercial Piano Performance at Belmont University, he is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Jazz Piano Performance at University of North Texas. Whether it has been playing Rhodes and Hammond B3 in country cover bands, keyboards with pop/rock bands, or 9-foot Steinways for jazz big band concerts, he has a lot of experience playing many types of modern music. Because of his academic experience, he has played a lot of serious classical music in a host of settings as well. His teaching approach is balanced between classical and modern styles, and is born from a philosophy that students should walk away with the ability to sit down and play without being dependent upon sheet music. However, this does not mean that students will not be able to read music, or that they will not understand the concepts behind the music they are learning. On the contrary, these concepts are essential to becoming a complete musician, and they are emphasized throughout the curriculum. He also emphasizes the importance of experimentation and composition, which are two of the most valuable ways of discovering music. For more information about Hunter and to hear his playing, please visit his website, hunterspivey.com
 


Miss Elena Maldonado
~violin/piano~

Elena began her study of music in elementary school while growing up in Dallas. Studying both violin and piano, she later focused her studies on the violin and became a member of the Young Strings program in Dallas, where she received private lessons from a Dallas Opera violinist and enrolled in the middle school Performing Arts Academy of Dallas.  She grew up competing in region and state competitions and playing in a chamber orchestra. Later, she moved to Arlington, TX and enrolled at UT Arlington where she studied under Dr. Sergio Espinosa and was part of the UTA Symphony Orchestra. Shortly thereafter, she joined the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Irving where she continues to play today. She also is part of Serenata Strings and performs at events throughout Dallas. Currently studying for her Masters in engineering, Elena has always been an avid supporter of music involvement in everybody’s life, especially the young versatile minds of children. She continues to pursue both her love of science and music and stresses the importance of music in your daily activities and how it can enhance your way of thinking and learning. In her teaching, she strives to connect music to what her students already love to keep them fully engaged and encourages them to apply the same concepts throughout their learning endeavors at home and school.