Meet Our Team

Our Founders

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.


13511042_1345813862101508_5295241375201899696_nElexa Bancroft

Founder and Director of Atlanta Music Education

Education Director of Capitol City Opera Company

Summer Camp Director and Teacher

Children’s Chorus Director and Voice, piano, ukulele and acting teacher

Florida native Ms. 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. Ms. 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.

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

Ms. 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. She also 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.

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Ms. Elexa 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

headshot elexaMs. 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.


Our Teachers

87504778_3267019503314258_8202139825885675520_nHila Brod-Isseks

Piano, Voice, Beginner Guitar, and Ukulele

Hila Brod-Isseks, originally from Maryland, moved to Atlanta to study her Master of Music in Vocal Performance at Georgia State University. There, she studied with well-known Voice Professor, Rick Clement. With the GSU Opera, Ms. Hila performed challenging Mozart roles such as Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni.  She also participated in several partial roles such as Susanna from Le nozze di Figaro, Clorinda from La cenerentola, and Phyllis from Iolante.

Ms. Hila has traveled around the world performing opera in various summer festivals. She has sung the roles Monica from The Medium in Greece, Despina from Cosi fan tutte in Vermont, and Adina from The elixir of Lovein Austria. She continues to perform around Atlanta, and you can see her in Dinner and a Diva productions with Capitol City Opera, and has upcoming roles this summer with Atlanta Concert Opera.

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Originally a rock musician, Ms. Hila discovered her passion for classical voice in undergrad but continued to study both jazz/pop. She also toured with a local band around the DC and Baltimore area. During her undergrad studies, Ms. Hila also taught as a music theory tutor at Towson University. 

Ms. Hila grew up playing piano and has over a decade of formal classical piano training. She loves teaching beginner and intermediate piano students of all ages and incorporating her musical experience on and off stage to her unique lesson plans. In her years of being a music educator, Ms. Hila’s students have made great accomplishments in their school auditions, recitals and All State chorus. 

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Ms. Hila is well known to her student’s families for her individualized lesson plans over the last ten years. She believes in tailoring each lesson to a student’s strengths and improvising in a fun clever ways to help out with struggles students meet musically. 

In her spare time, Ms. Hila enjoys spending time with her two dogs and going to see her saxophonist fiance perform at jazz concerts in the Atlanta area.

 


MrGsquare.jpgGabriel Jose Caballero

Private and Group Lessons in Voice, Acting, Ukulele, Guitar, Piano, and Audition Coaching. 

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.

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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.


IMG_7091Bryn Holdsworth

Piano, Voice, and Ukulele

Bryn Holdsworth is an operatic soprano with a huge passion for all types of music! She grew up as a very serious dancer, which she continued to teach as well for 15 years. Her love of dance introduced her to musical theater and opera which gave her the gumption to pursue a life in the arts!

She holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Manhattan School of Music in New York City and has performed all over the world since graduating. She has performed in operas with The Glimmerglass Festival, Des Moines Metro Opera, the Royal Opera at the Château de Versailles, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall to name a few. 

squareatlopera_cinderella_cccc0065.jpgHer students enjoy working on all types of music, having dance parties, singing Disney tunes, composing songs about animals, and anything fun out in nature with piano and uke. Ms. Bryn’s students can be found in off-broadway performances today and even composing full studio albums. 

 Ms. Bryn fell in love with Atlanta while the resident soprano for the Atlanta Opera from 2016-2018 where she returned numerous times to perform. She is thrilled to be joining the Atlanta Music Education team and continuing her teaching studio in this city. 


Nathan Square.jpgNathan Holmes

Voice, Piano, Guitar, and Ukulele

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. Mr. 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. 

Mr. 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.)

crop18guysndolls_jaw_207-e1591284953136.jpgMr. 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, Mr. 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!


Sarah Joseph HeadshotSarah Joseph

Voice and Acting

Sarah Joseph is an actress and operatic soprano born and raised in Georgia. She holds a BA in Theatre & Performance Studies with a concentration in Musical Theatre as well as a minor in Voice from Kennesaw State University. Prior to transferring to KSU and making the switch to study acting and music, Ms. Sarah studied Vocal Pedagogy for 2 years.

Growing up, the arts were always an influence and passion in her life. Ms. Sarah spent many years of her childhood taking dance classes and performing in recitals including Ballet, En Pointe, Tap, and Contemporary. She also grew up taking piano lessons, performing in recitals, and playing keyboard for her youth group, where her dad taught her how to play chords and the beauty of collaborating with other musicians. Always the little ham, as a child, Ms. Sarah has fond memories of performing songs from The Sound of Music with her siblings and cousins during family get-togethers and she cannot remember a time growing up when her house wasn’t filled with music, dancing, and putting on little plays.

Sarah The Diviners PicSome of her favorite recent roles include Clara Johnson in The Light in the Piazza, Emily in A Christmas Carol the Musical, and the Assistant to the Producer in the world premiere immersive murder mystery, Murder! at The Strand! Ms. Sarah has also enjoyed singing scenes from Cosi fan Tutte (Dorabella), La Boheme (Musetta), and the opera, Little Women (Amy March).

In addition to performing in productions with the Theatre & Performance Studies Department and the School of Music during her time at KSU, she has also performed in theatrical productions in the metro-Atlanta area. In 2019, Ms. Sarah enjoyed participating in the Georgia NATS competition where she won 1st Place in her division for classical voice, performing at Spivey Hall.

Sarah ACC PicBecause the arts have been so inspiring and influential in Ms. Sarah’s own life, she seeks to cultivate and give a safe space to all of her students where their love of the arts can also grow. Ms. Sarah believes in the power and healing of music and the arts and she loves seeing her students explore their own creativity. Ms. Sarah believes in creating lessons to fit each of her student’s needs and goals and to provide an educational and fun atmosphere for her students in lessons and in classes.

In her free time, Ms. Sarah enjoys studying languages such as Italian, German, and Yiddish, discovering new musicals, reading, and collaborating on virtual musical theatre projects with friends.  


squareunnamed1.jpgBrian Radock

Percussion, Drum Set and High School Master class leader

Brian Radock is a multifaceted percussionist/drummer with a Master’s Degree in percussion performance and over 20 years of experience in every music genre. Originally from Orlando, FL, Mr. Brian received his training from his mother and step-father Danny Gottlieb & Beth Gottlieb, who are both world famous drummers/percussionists.

Since moving to New York City in 2011, Mr. Brian has performed with 40+ musicals, 50+ bands of various genres, 3 record breaking tours of Italy (over 110 shows), several Symphony Orchestras (including the Manhattan Symphony in Lincoln Center), and in Carnegie Hall 9 different times. 

In Summer 2019, Mr. Brian toured China as the drummer/percussionist/co-writer with the popular show Rhythm Boom Boom performing 32 shows in 24 cities for over 50,000 people

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 Mr. Brian has performed with world renown artists Kansas (Legendary Rock Band), Joe Hisaishi (Academy Award Winner for Spirited Away), Josh Young (Tony Award Nominee), Jenn Colella (Tony Award Nominee), Chilina Kennedy (Beautiful: The Carol King Musical), Andrew WK, Chris McQueen (Snarky Puppy), Lucy Woodward, Steven Curtis Chapman, Chris Martin (Chicago Symphony), & Casting Crowns.   

Mr. Brian has been a music teacher for almost 20 years. Not only have his students frequently made all-state and All-County, many have gone on to perform with popular rock bands, received scholarships to music colleges, write film scores, and have famous performing careers with bands and orchestras.

Mr. Brian’s students enjoy learning drum set, percussion, mallet percussion (marimba, vibraphone, xylophone), Latin percussion (congas, bongos, cajòn, timbales), and Drum Line instruments. Students can learn over 100 instruments from Mr. Brian from countries in almost every continent!

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From 2009-2011, Mr. Brian taught the drum line and front ensemble for the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band. He assisted in composing works they still perform today. Mr. Brian marched drum corps with Boston Crusaders and won DCI timpani individuals with a self composed solo.

When Mr. Brian moved to New York City 2011, he gained real world experience and Broadway experience to bring to his students. His students flourish while he continues to be a full time freelance musician in shows all over the world. Mr. Brian is currently a teacher for the Dunwoody High School band. 

In his free time,  Mr. Brian loves going to farmers markets, visiting art museums and watching Star Wars movies. 


90696423_3350177574998450_5269006002593726464_nAlly Jenkins

Violin

Ally Jenkins is a violinist/violist based out of New York City. She began playing the violin when she was six years old and saw a fiddling street performer. After that, she was looking for any and every excuse to play: for family members, her stuffed animals, or anyone else who would listen. Ms. Ally later attended SUNY Purchase (’11) and majored in Violin Performance, studying with Cal Wiersma and Laurie Smukler.

Ms. Ally is a classically-trained violinist and member of several orchestras and chamber ensembles. Her quartet, The Manhattan Four, tours internationally every year and performs favorite chamber works all over the world.

She has taught private students for 15 years and group classes in NYC public schools for 2 years. Ms. Ally has also taught strings, led chamber ensembles, and conducted orchestras at Long Lake Camp for the Arts and The Noel Pointer Foundation. 

Ms. Ally believes that classical training is important, but has always been interested in playing and teaching other genres too. She is also an avid fiddle player and regular member of several rock bands, as well as an active studio and pop musician. Ms. Ally has recorded for artists including Jewel, Snoop Dogg, Sky Ferreira, PJ Morton, The Lumineers, Stephen Sondheim, and Philip Glass. She has also contracted and led orchestras for major film scores and ad campaigns for companies like Google and Emergen-C. 

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She frequently appears on television. Recently, she played in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live and The Grammys’ Tribute to Elton John. Ms. Ally has played on The Tonight Show with Pete Townshend, Common, The Roots, Questlove, Alfie Boe, and Metroboomin. Ms. Ally has also performed live or toured with artists including The Who, Harry Connick Jr., Joshua Bell, Nas (NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert), will.i.am, Brian Stokes Mitchell, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, & Coldplay’s Chris Martin.

One of Ms. Ally’s other greatest passion is playing in pit orchestras. She likes opera pits but LOVES musical theatre pits. She has played in every level of theatre pit, from local elementary school spring shows to regional union theatres to Broadway. She also regularly performs with Broadway singers in the studio or in cabarets and charity performances.

When not playing the violin or viola, Ms. Ally is usually busy watching videos of dogs, reading, and cooking.


squareimg_7434.jpgLaura McMahan

Piano, Voice, Prek Class Leader and Ukulele

Laura Posey McMahan, a converted Georgian originally from Southern Maryland, teaches Masterclasses, piano and voice through our sister studio in Oakhurst & loves collaborating to help with special Studio Events at AME. She is also the Music & Globetotting teacher at Holy Trinity Parish Preschool.  

Ms. Laura graduated from Georgia Southern with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in Vocal Performance. She has sung with The Augusta Opera, the Michael O’Neal Singers, various choirs allowing her to tour Europe, debut at Carnegie Hall & is a founding member of the Oakhurst Community Choir. Ms. Laura continues her Music Education studies by taking Music Therapy courses and regularly attends Music Education Conferences to learn from others and share in her own classroom/lessons.

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Ms. Laura has a deep love of music that she hopes is contagious to her students.  Her laid back approach to teaching is to make lessons fun in order to excite the student about learning. She celebrates all genres of music and loves to encourage her students to request songs they enjoy to learn.

Ms. Laura and her husband live in Oakhurst with their two dogs. Together they enjoy traveling, especially to see live music. On their honeymoon to Switzerland they ended up at a music festival & have been to over twenty music festivals all over the US together. Last summer they enjoyed taking their nephew to a private concert in Vienna when cruising the Danube with their family. When home Laura enjoys gardening, entertaining and general merriment.


Our Staff

squareheadshot.jpgCourtney 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.

squarecourtney-pic-3.jpgCourtney 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.

squarecourtney-pic.jpgIn 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 be a part of the AME staff and continue her work with music organizations that matter!


Screen Shot 2020-08-31 at 4.47.25 PMMia Peterson

Intern 

Born and raised in Georgia, Mia Peterson is a graduate of the Atlanta International School (AIS). Mia is fluent in Spanish after studying the language for 12 years at AIS. Mia is also conversant in Mandarin Chinese after studying it for 5 years. As part of her in country language studies, Mia travelled to Costa Rica and China where she studied at Shanghai Highschool.

Mia is an accomplished trombonist, composer and is recipient of the national Quincy Jones Musicianship Award. Mia has performed in the District Honor Band in 2016 through 2019. She also has performed in the Georgia Allstate Band in both 2018 and 2019. She has also performed at Carnegie Hall with the Honors Performance series in 2018.

During highschool, Mia tutored and mentored many of the low brass players and volunteered to teach lessons to middle school students. She has also performed in the pit orchestra of the AIS production of Mary Poppins alongside professional musicians. Mia has participated in multiple AIS recitals as a soloist. As a project in high school, Mia composed a piece dedicated to the middle school band and was performed for her.

While at AIS, Mia was a student ambassador for 4 years starting in 2016. As an ambassador, Mia was required to represent the school, give tours to prospective students and families, help new students adjust to life at AIS, assist with events at AIS, and more. 

Mia has had the opportunity to internship with the Atlanta Opera during the production of Sweeney Todd . During this internship, Mia learned about the role of backstage operations of the productions, understood various processes for executing an opera, managed and organized various artist documents, shadowed rehearsals and assisted in line delivery and assisted with translation from Spanish to English.

Outside of work and school, Mia loves to paint, compose, and spend time with her cat, Annie.


h11editHanna Reich

Intern 

Hannah Reich is a third-year undergraduate mezzo-soprano from Atlanta pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Voice at Reinhardt University. She studies with Dr. Rebecca Salter. Her roles with Reinhardt Opera Theatre include Miss Todd in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, Maria in The Sound of Music, Mrs. McLean in Floyd’s Susannah, and Rosine in Pasatieri’s Signor Deluso.  In the summer of 2019, she had the opportunity to cover the role of Cherubino with the Harrower Opera Workshop.

hannah mariaHannah’s notable competition wins include 3rd place in the Georgia NATS Vocal Competition and 1st place in the Southeastern Regional NATS Vocal Competition in 2020, 1st place at Georgia NATS, 2nd place at Southeastern Regional NATS, Semifinalist at National NATS, and Finalist in the Atlanta Opera Guild Scholarship Competition in 2019, and 1stplace at Georgia NATS in 2018.  She had the opportunity to further her education by attending The Atlantic Music Festival, Harrower Opera Workshop, and The Schmidt Vocal Institute.

hannah susannahHannah has loved music since she performed in musicals and All-State chorus in high school, and when she began taking voice lessons her freshman year at age 14, it changed her life.  Outside of her love of opera, she loves choral music, music history, and piano, which she has studied for 6 years.  Hannah aspires to one day teach voice and piano to students of all ages, and eventually teach either voice or musicology at the university level.