Instructors and Staff

OUR TEACHERS ROCK!

 

This page and all of our pages are dedicated to our co-founder and teacher Mr. Matt, (1983-2016). He left a legacy of love and a passion for music education that we will carry on forever.

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Elexa Bancroft

Founder and Director of Atlanta Music Education

Education Director of Capitol City Opera Company

Voice, piano, acting and ukulele teacher

Children’s chorus director and Summer camp director and teacher

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Florida native Elexa holds a bachelors of music in voice performance from Florida State University. There, she studied in Marcia Porter’s studio for four years and before that, she studied four years in the studio of Carla Connors in Tallahassee. Elexa performed in FSU Opera productions of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Peaseblosson. At the Quincy Music Theatre she portrayed Belle in Disney’s The Beauty and the Beast and at the Tallahassee Little Theatre she performed Shelley in Bay Boy: The Musical and Wendy in Peter Pan.

Ms. Bancroft studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in the studio of Phyllis Bryn-Julson for her masters of music in voice performance. Elexa portrayed Despina in the production of Cosi fan tutte in the Peabody Opera mainstage production.

 Elexa made her debut with Capitol City Opera in 2012 as Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi at Ogelthorpe University. She performed Despina, in English this time,  in Cosi fan Tutte at the Conant Center for performing arts with CCOC in the fall of 2012 and in the spring of 2013 Ms. Bancroft was choir master for the children of Puccini’s La Boheme. Recently she sang one of her favorite musicals, Sweeney Todd, on the stage with Capitol City Opera.

She was honored to be a part of The Atlanta Opera’s children show and first commissioned opera, Rabbit Tales as the main character- Teenchy Duck. She and the cast traveled an entire school year to performance halls around Georgia bringing light opera to the ears of many young students.

Ms. Bancroft founded Atlanta Music Education almost ten years ago with her partner Matt Johnson. Their studio of students has performed at events all over the Atlanta area including the Tucker Farmers Market, King’s Bridge Retirement home, the ARTLOT, San Francisco Coffee Shop, the Conant Performing Arts Center and The Corner Cup Coffee shop to name a few. Recently, her student booked the national Broadway tour of the King and I.

She is Education Director at Capitol City Opera and a mentor and speaker at the Dekalb School of the Arts. She hosts the popular Kids Open Mic programs featured in the Decatur Focus, Decatur Dispatch and Tucker Times magazines.

Read her feature in Broadway World

Elexa also has a love for painting and re-uses old sheet music for her own popular art pieces. She is an active mixed media artist in Georgia art festivals and most recently, Broadwaycon in New York City. You can find her work on Etsy now.

In April 2019, Elexa won the Amber Grant for female entrepreneurs and is a nominee for their annual grant of $25,000 based on public vote: https://ambergrantsforwomen.com/voting/

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Gabriel Jose Caballero
 
Voice, Acting, Audition Coaching, Ukulele, Guitar, Piano and Private and Group Lessons
 
 
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Music has always been part of Mr. Gabriel’s life. From a very young age he remembers singing with his aunts and uncles in the car when taking long road trips. He grew up learning the songs that his grandmother use to teach her own children. At age 7, he started learning guitar and started playing in church groups and for his friends and family. As a child Gabriel took part of many different acting and vocal programs that helped shape his passion in music.

Mr. Gabriel completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Clayton State University. He is an  active performer with Capitol City Opera, Atlanta Opera Fabrefaction Theater, Newnan Theather Company, Town and Country Theather, The Henry Players among others. . Mr. Gabriel has a deep passion for acting and musical theater, some of his favorite roles are, Jack (Into the Woods), Anthony (Sweeney Tood), Enjolras (Les Miserables) and Bernardo (West Side Story).  He enjoys learning and teaching eclectic theatre roles and finding ways to relate to the characters and bring them to life on stage.

Mr. Gabe has taught private and group lesson for over 8 years and enjoys watching his students grow as musicians and turn into full blow performers. He has taught Voice, Piano and Guitar at Musicology Newnan and performed and taught for 4 years as a staff singer at Atlanta First United Methodist Church.

On his free time he enjoys taking road trips with his family, learning to cook new recipes, drawing and spending time with his little chihuahua Penny. His students are popularly known for their ukulele and singing duets of popular hits like Sweet Caroline to fun classics like You are my Sunshine.

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Ibukun (Ms. Bukie) Babalola

Piano, voice, ukulele and acting

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Ibukun (Bukie) Babalola is a Nigerian-American soprano who has recently returned home to the Atlanta area. A Master of Music degree candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi, she studied with Dr. Maryann Kyle, and in the 2016-2017 season, she debuted with the Southern Opera and Musical Theatre Company as Yum-Yum in The Mikado and with Mississippi Opera as Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto.

Ibukun is an alumna of The University of Alabama where she studied with Dr. Susan Williams and earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance. She was a principal performer with The University of Alabama Opera Theatre, and highlights from her time with this company include performances as Greta Fiorentino in Street Scene, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, The Lady Saphir in Patience, and the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel.

Ibukun made her hometown debut at Capitol City Opera’s 2019 On The Light Side benefit concert, and will be featured in upcoming concert school tours of Dr. Seuss children’s opera and Hansel & Gretel. You can also catch her as a lead princess in Ms. Elexa’s Education fundraiser this October with CCOC. 

Ibukun enjoys almost every genre of music, but hip hop and R&B are her favorites. She loves Disney princess movies and songs, and she will find any excuse to wear a tiara. Hamilton is her favorite musical, but The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown (Marietta native) is a close second. She is proud to be one of the earliest fans of the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift, and she is a dedicated member of the Beyhive. Ibukun also loves to do yoga and to dance, and she regularly takes classes at Atlanta Ballet.

Her students enjoy having dance parties and musical theatre sing alongs with her. The performance confidence Ms. Bukie radiates always helps her students grow and shine in their performance abilities. 

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Nathan Holmes

Voice, piano, guitar, and ukulele 

Nathan Holmes, Mercer music student

Nathan Holmes, baritone, was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia. Nathan has done music in some form for his entire life. He began singing when he was 9 years old when he joined the Atlanta Young Singers and sang with them for his entire school career. Nathan won a spot with Georgia All-State Chorus multiple years while additionally making All-State Sight-Reading Chorus. At age 13, he began taking guitar and piano lessons. He is popularly known for his performances at several open mics around town singing various pop and folk tunes. 

Nathan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Mercer University. He has performed many roles in both disciplines of musical theatre and opera with companies such as Mercer University Opera, Harrower Summer Opera and Decatur High School Theatre. Some of career highlights include roles in musical theatre like Nathan Detroit (Guys & Dolls), Lewis (Pippin) and Corny Collins (Hairspray). His favorite operatic roles include The Fox (The Trial of Goldilocks, children’s opera), Guglielmo (Mozart’s Così fan tutte), and Giuseppe (Gilbert & Sullivsan’s The Gondoliers.)

Nathan’s background in teaching began with 3 years at Zoo Atlanta teaching summer camp and classes. He has also worked as a camp counselor for Atlanta Young Singers (AYS), working with their younger and adolescent aged children. In addition to his counselor duties, he has also worked with some of the younger singers with AYS in their sight-reading and theory abilities at their “Workbook Sessions.” 

In his free time, Nathan loves to watch funny clips on YouTube with his students about music, listening to his favorite composers like Mahler, Puccini, and Rachmaninoff, and cheering on Atlanta United and Atlanta Braves. He is excited to be continuing enriching student’s musical education with the AME family!

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Laura McMahan

Piano, Voice, Mommy Moments Teacher, Camp teacher

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Ms. Laura received her bachelors in Voice performance at Georgia Southern University. She is an active teacher and event planning partner with Atlanta Music Education’s programs including the popular Kids Open Mic nights.

Ms. Laura also is lead teacher at the Holy Trinity pre-k music program and assistant teacher at the Mommy Music moments at Two Crafty Chicks.

She is an active singer in the Decatur Community Chorus and debuted at Carnegie Hall in the spring of 2017.

Ms. Laura and Ms. Elexa love to organize the studio’s musical outings each school year including the one pictured below where they took students to see the new live action movie, Beauty and the Beast.

The summer of 2018 they also took students to see Mamma Mia and are excited to plan their 2019 summer outing to see the new Aladdin!

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Staff

Courtney Justice

Administrative Assistant

There has been one constant in Courtney’s life, and that is music. Growing up in a house full of music lovers, she heard a wide variety of music that left Courtney wanting more. That want turned into a passion for creating sounds and feelings through performing and writing. Courtney took every chance she could get throughout grade school to be a part of the fine arts; whether it was playing clarinet in the band, singing in a chorus, taking voice lessons, working tech for shows, or playing a lead or ensemble role in musicals.

Courtney realized at a young age that she wanted to have a career in music and that is why she went on to major in Music Management at Georgia State University. During her time at GSU, Courtney wrote, recorded, and released original music for the first time. She was a member of the top choir at GSU, the University Singers, and worked as a Stage and House Manager at GSU’s Florence Kopleff Recital Hall. Courtney interned at a music nonprofit called Georgia Music Partners, and that’s when she realized her love for nonprofits.

Once she graduated Summa Cum Laude from GSU with her Bachelor’s degree, Courtney made it her goal to find a job at another music nonprofit. Her prayers were answered when Courtney was offered a job at the nonprofit professional opera company, Capitol City Opera Company. There she met Elexa Bancroft who would later offer Courtney a position at Atlanta Music Education.

In her free time, Courtney loves to read, obsess over superhero movies, write stories, listen to music, and take care of her fur babies Ray, Etta, and Bruno, who are all named after her favorite singers. Courtney is beyond excited to join the AME staff and continue her work with music organizations that matter!

Jillian Ogden

Administrative Assistant

Meet Jillian! Newest administrative team member for AME. Native to Atlanta, Jillian has always had an appreciation for musical theater and artistic expression since attending  productions with her mother at the Fox Theater as a child.

In 2007, Jillian graduated from Georgia Southern University with a bachelors in Biology and continued to finish her Master’s in Public Health at Georgia State University. 

Post college, Jillian worked for the Girl Scouts of America in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club spending her time mentoring 6-9 year old girls during after-school care. Jillian has also spent 4 years as a mentor for the Ben Carson Summer Science Academy, a summer program for elementary and middle school students to enhance their knowledge of science, mathematics and health careers.  

In her spare time, Jillian enjoys going to live concerts, modern art exhibitions, and fellowship with friends and family.  Jillian is very excited to be a member of the AME team and help with it’s continuing growth.

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