Palen Music Center Lesson Teachers

  • Springfield
  • Columbia
  • Joplin
  • Liberty
  • Broken Arrow


Kelly Brown

Kelly grew up in Springfield, attending Parkview High School and Missouri State University.  Beginning at 5 years old, he learned piano through traditional classical training and then shifted focus to playing by ear while attending the Berklee College of Music.  Returning home to play keyboards with The Skeletons and Dave Alvin, he traveled coast to coast a few times for four years.  Kelly performed on many big stages alongside such icons as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Taj Mahal, John Hartford, and Wilco to name a few.   Kelly has been teaching for ten years, combining reading music with ear training and music theory.  He is the current keyboard player with the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, but his biggest claim to fame is having written the words and music for the Andy's Frozen Custard jingle.

Alina Debbaut
Russian violinist Alina Debbaut possesses the rare qualities of being equally at home in the concert hall and the private studio.  Educated in Kazakhstan in the former Soviet Union, Mrs. Debbaut performed for twelve seasons as a member of the Great Novgorod Chamber Orchestra in Velikiy Novgorod, Russia.  During her last two seasons she was Principal Second Violin and a member of the Philharmonie String Trio, performing concerts for children throughout western Russia.  Mrs. Debbaut also served for several seasons as the orchestra’s Inspector, Artistic Liaison and Translator.  While in Novgorod and previously in her hometown of Balkash, Kazakhstan, Mrs. Debbaut established studios of several violin students.  Two of her former violin students are now majoring in Violin Performance at Russia’s world-renowned St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music.
As a member of the Great Novgorod Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Anima, the Russian-Finnish Chamber Orchestra and the Shostakovich Festival Orchestra, Mrs. Debbaut has performed concerts throughout the Russian Federation and in Estonia, Finland and Poland.  Educated at the Music College in Karaganda, Kazazhstan (Soviet Union), she received her diploma in Orchestral Performance (violin) and Music Education (violin and piano).  In addition she studied Russian Language, Literature, History of Languages and English at Russia’s Great Novgorod University.
Recently Mrs. Debbaut immigrated to the United States to be with her husband and to start a new life in Springfield and the United States.  She currently performs as a member of the Fort Smith Symphony, Springfield Little Theatre and serves as a paraprofessional Russian translator for the Springfield Public Schools.
Born Alina Anikeeva in Balkhash, Kazakhstan (Soviet Union), Mrs. Debbaut began her studies on violin and piano at age six.  She is the daughter of Viktor and Zinaida Anikeev of Novgorod, Russia, the wife of conductor Robert Debbaut and the mother of nine-year-old Sofia.
Nate Fredrick

Nate Fredrick (24) years old is a native of Springfield Missouri . Nate studied at Drury University and University of Arkansas. He started playing guitar any the age of 12 and is a singer/songwriter who has recorded in Arizona and Nashville. His style of music is compared to the likes Dave Mathews John butler and Andy McKee. With finger picking and alternate tunings as well as slide and dobro playing nate is a great teacher for the creative guitar students with hopes of career in music.

Abby Stuck
Abby Stuck is a 19 year-old cellist who grew up in Springfield, MO. She started playing in 5th grade and continued to play throughout high school. With a well known musician/teacher around Springfield, Mrs. Tina Sibley, Abby developed a strong desire to play with passion and excellence. She played for the pit in Kickapoo’s Phantom of the Opera. She is currently an Elementary Ed major at Baptist Bible College and is planning on playing for Missouri State University’s symphony in the spring.
Emily Dowden
Emily Dowden-Estes is a bluegrass/folk, musician/singer from the Midwest. Emily is a senior at Missouri State University – Springfield, where she is a Creative Writing English Major, and minoring in Theatre. Emily has a lifelong background in bluegrass music; she has been singing since around age two, and playing Grandpa Jones styled clawhammer banjo since age ten. She also plays Mother Maybelle styled autoharp, is learning guitar, and re-learning piano, which she used to play as a small child, before the banjo caught her attention. She began her music career early on, opening up for bluegrass superstars such as Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and The Dry Branch Fire Squad at age eleven. Emily Dowden toured for more than a decade with her family band, “The Dowden Sisters,” Emily now flourishes with a wonderful husband and a great job with Palen Music Center as a banjo instructor.
Renee Hellmann
Violin and Voice
Renee Hellmann is currently a student at Missouri State University majoring in Vocal Music Education with an emphasis in violin. She is from Washington, Missouri. While there she was highly involved singing, performing and theatre. She is currently in MSU’s Concert Chorale, which is their top touring choir. She has been performing as a singer since she was five years old; also violin and piano since she was ten. She has performed in various areas with Concert Chorale and various other choirs, such as Lincoln Center, St. Joseph Cathedral in New York and other venues in Ohio and Arkansas. In May of 2014, she performed in Scotland and England with the Missouri State Concert Chorale. She is also in “A Cub Bella”, MSU’s all-female a cappella group. She is currently one of the group’s featured vocalist. She has a passion for singing and playing anything from classical music to pop.
Jason Kopsian
Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar
Jason Kopsian, originally from Chicago, Illinois, moved to Springfield, Missouri in 1995. Jason has been playing guitar for over 25 years and teaching for 15 years at Palen Music Center. He played with the Mesa Mitchell Blues Band and competed with them in the Memphis Bound Blues Competition. Jason recorded with Raven Clan on the Staring at the Rain CD and worked with Don Shipps and the Titanic Blues Band. Jason was also a guitarist for Oak Grove Assembly of God orchestra for 3 years. He’s currently at work on a compilation of all original music that has been written over several years. Musical styles include, but are not limited to classical, blues, rock, jazz, folk, and gospel.
Lance Climer
Lance Climer received his Bachelors of Science in Education degree (B.S.Ed) in 2011 from Missouri State University and has taught public school since then.

Lance has studied guitar for more than 20 years and has taught private lessons for 15 of those years with a diverse array of influences from Eric Clapton to Pearl Jam and James Taylor to Chris Tomlin. With these influences Lance has helped many students to reach their own musical goals.

Lance’s experience in music includes the Kings Way UMC and Aldersgate UMC praise bands, establishing the youth praise band at Kings Way UMC, and touring with various Contemporary Christian artists over the years including Skillet, MercyMe, and Jars of Clay.
Christa Heimann
Saxophone and Clarinet

Christa Heimann is currently an Instrumental Music Education Major at Missouri State University. During her study she has served as principle saxophonist in the University Wind Ensemble, as well as a member of the Jazz Studies Ensembles. She is also an active member of the Saxophone Quartet. In addition to her contributions to the University ensembles, Christa has auditioned for the Music Teachers National Association Competition and won the 2014 Missouri State University Concerto Competition. Christa is currently the President of Saxophone Society and past Vice-President of the music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon.

Shawn Munday

Bass and Guitar
Shaun Munday was born at a very young age in Springfield, Missouri. He chose to forgo his studies in the field of sports medicine after he was awarded a generous scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music. While there he studied and performed with some of the greatest artists and educators in the industry. Grammy winners John Mayer and Esperanza Spalding, Matthew Garrison (Herbie Hancock), Antonio Sanchez (Pat Metheny) and Jetro Da Silva (Whitney Houston) just to name a few. Upon graduation he continued to live and work in the Boston/New York area. However, after years of the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life he decided to return to his place of birth. There he could continue his musical pursuits as well as make time for his other interests at the relaxed pace that Midwestern living affords. He currently divides his time between his two great passions: Music education and his many cats.

Michael Schwartz
Michael Schwartz has over 30 years of performance and private music instruction. In 1985 he graduated from Fullerton Community College with his Associate of Arts in Music and went on to graduate in 1992 with his Bachelor of Arts in Music from California State University. He also has over 17 years of composition, arranging, and orchestrating experience. Michael teaches advanced pedagogical trumpet and beginning to intermediate instruction of all wind instruments. With over 17 years of experience as recording engineer and producer, Michael also teaches ear training, composition, orchestrating, and arranging instruction at all levels.
Mike Steffen

Mike has been teaching saxophone privately to students in grades 5-12 since 2000. His students have earned numerous spots in District and State Bands, as well as earning many Superior 'I' ratings at various solo festivals."grew up in Grandview, MO and holds Music Education Degrees from Missouri State and University of Missouri - Kansas City. He served as a band director for five years in the Lee's Summit R-7 School District (KC area) where he taught band in grades 5-12. While he was there, Mike worked with the LSHS Golden Tiger Marching Band, directed the Concert Band, and directed the middle school program. Most notably, he was instrumental in the development of the Lee's Summit High School Jazz Program which had an active, well-respected big band, two student combos, and placed many students in the All-District Jazz Bands each year. Prior to that, Mike taught middle school band in Pleasant Hill, MO. Mike loves playing the saxophone, is married to his high school sweetheart, Miranda, and is the proud papa of three beautiful girls - Meldoy, McKenna, and Mae!
Seth Urban
Guitar and Bass
Seth Urban is a 25-year old musician who grew up as a missionary kid in the Philippine Islands. Seth started playing bass and guitar when he was 13 and never put it down since. Over the years he has played and recorded with many artists and groups such as the band Just Push Play, Johnny Lee, the Michelle McBride band, take it to the limit (eagles tribute band) and many more. He has also had the pleasure of sharing the stage with acts such as Hootie and the Blowfish, Edwin McCain, Aaron Lewis, Bradford Marsalis and many more. He is now a Springfield resident and studying engineering locally. He plays many styles of music such as, but not limited to Rock, Blues, Jazz, Folk, Classical, Finger style, and Country.

Dennis Winkle

Dennis Winkle is a 4 year alumnus of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. During his years at Berklee his courses of study were; Applied Music in Percussion, Arranging and Composition and private studies with Berklee luminary drummers, Alan Dawson, Joe Hunt, Fred Buda and Lou Maigano. After college, Dennis toured with local top 40 styled bands and contracted bands that put him in the company of artists like; Saxophonist Joe Lovano, singers Dux DeJohn, Rose Mary Clooney and even famous vaudville and violinist comic, Henni Youngman. Since coming to Springfield, in 1990, Dennis started to make a name for himself in 1995. He organized, The Swingfield Dance Orchestra a 10 piece Swing band and its smaller 5 piece group, unit The Notables. Dennis, has also been the Drummer/Percussionist at the, Landers & Vandivort Theaters and The Nixa Art Association, for such shows as; Guys & Dolls, Oklahoma, Damn Yankees, Batboy, Annie Get Your Gun, The Full Monty and has been called to substitute on many more. As of January of 2011, Dennis become a member of the locally famous and extremely popular, M-Dock Band | The M-Dock Band. M-Dock is a 9 pc. Classic Rock horn band playing dance music hits of the last 40 years including the hits of; Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago and other famous groups that will keep you dancing your sox off. Check "Performance" section of my website for M-Dock dates and all of the Drumguy's performance activities.

Todd Greene
Ensemble Instructor

After attending Berklee College of Music, Todd was recruited by Skoreman Weise Management Group to play drums in show groups throughout the United States and Canada. Todd is a “career teacher” and has owned nine private studios in Wisconsin and Florida. He has worked as a Yamaha, Zildjian, and Vic Firth clinician. He has also produced music instruction books for many artists including Metallica and Buddy Guy for Hal Leonard Music Publishing. Currently, Todd teaches private guitar, bass, drum set, keyboards and group lessons at Palen Music.

Alex Alfaro

Alex was born and raised in St. Louis where he started his musical career before moving to Springfield for college. Beginning his lifelong career in music at the age of 5, Alex was naturally drawn to the drum-set and all things percussive. Playing in basement bands throughout childhood and his early teenage years led to steady gigging throughout St. Louis all through high school, as well as having the opportunity to record an EP with then band “Trail Break” at the world famous Dark Horse Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Throughout high school, Alex expanded his musical ventures into the world of WGI, indoor marching percussion. Alex received a bronze medal in 2009 at the world championships with the Independent A Class group Voyager Intrepid Percussion. The following season, Alex was a founding member of the World Class group, Freedom Indoor Percussion. Both groups were based out of St. Louis. After high school, Alex left St. Louis for Springfield to attend Missouri State University where he is still currently enrolled pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance. Alex found a love all things classical when arriving in college and has began to build a career as a solo and chamber musician. Currently Alex is the Principle Timpanist/Section Leader of the Missouri State University Symphony, as well as a senior member of the Percussion Ensemble. Along with intensive classical study under the direction of percussion professor Dr. Scott Cameron, Alex also studies jazz drum-set with Marty Morrison and jazz theory, and piano with Kyle Aho. Balancing a classical and contemporary lifestyle of music, Alex is still an active gigging drummer traveling the midwest and playing around Springfield with bands such as Delta Sol Revival, as well as backing up famed local musician, Cory King.


Josh Cochran
Drums, Guitar and Piano

Josh began teaching at Palen Music Center in 2003. He began playing the piano in first grade, moving to drums in fourth grade beginning band and picking up guitar in Junior High. Since then he has played drums and percussion in University Concert and Jazz bands, studying Jazz under Andy Leask in Reading, England. He has performed and recorded on drums and guitar in many local rock, blues, and country bands. Josh received his BM in Music History from the University of Missouri in 2010 and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Musicology. 

Jack Falby

Saxophone / Guitar / Electric Bass / beginning Drumset / Composition / Theory Instruction

A graduate of the famed Baltimore School for the Arts in Baltimore, Maryland, Jack graduated with honors and scholarships after completing their four-year curriculum with an emphasis in saxophone performance. Upon qualifying for financial aid through the Berklee World Scholarship Tour, he began his studies at that renowned university during the fall of 2000. While at Berklee, Jack studied saxophone with professors Dino Govoni and George Garzone, music theory and composition with National Endowment for the Arts recipient Steve Rochinski, and was fortunate enough to study with Grammy Award-winning tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano for an entire year as part of the "Artist in Residence" series produced by Berklee. Opting to take advantage of Berklee 's renowned Music Production and Engineering program and facilities, Jack graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in that field, studying under, among others, Bill Scheniman, most notably credited with engineering Bruce Springsteen's legendary "Born To Run" album.  Continuing to play professionally in Boston while in school, Jack was able to appear with smooth jazz impresario Walter Beasley, as well as play as a supporting act for hip-hop legends Talib Kweli and Common.  Jack moved to the Columbia area in the summer of 2005, and began teaching at Palen Music starting in 2007.  While in Columbia, Jack has worked with many area and national acts across a wide range of styles, including local punk-rock-soul revue "The Record Collector", as well as internationally renowned soul recording artist Roy C.  

Jack currently teaches students aged 4 to 74, and especially enjoys teaching beginners. 

Joshua Hickam
Clarinet, Recorder, Fife, Penny Whistle
Growing up south of Boonville Missouri and being around music his whole life, Joshua is continuing his passion for music and education as an instructor at Palen Music. He graduated from College of the Ozarks in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music where he studied clarinet, jazz performance, and music production. Twice the recipient of the John Philip Sousa Award, Joshua traveled abroad, was drum major, first chair, received several music scholarships, and an internship in Colorado. Joshua has performed in numerous theater productions and bands around the Midwest and currently plays in Columbia with some of the areas finest. His goals as a private instructor at Palen are to help you become the best you can, and he will create a customized lesson plan that fits your style and personal goals, giving you the best experience possible.
Debbie Lenz
Piano, Keyboard
Debbie loves playing piano, writing songs, and playing keyboard in the worship band at church. When she has an extra 15 minutes, you will find her at her keyboard, playing spontaneously, working on a new song, or learning new material. She started piano lessons in first grade, performing in several recitals and talent shows while growing up. She learned to play the pipe organ in high school, and began playing in her father’s church for services, weddings and funerals. After she married her husband, Mike in 1971, she began teaching piano lessons and continued playing the organ in church. She wrote her first song almost 40 years ago and in 1987, Debbie started playing piano/keyboard in contemporary worship bands with guitars, drums, and brass instruments. Coming from a strictly classical and liturgical background for over fifty years, she was still tied to written music. However, in the past five years, Debbie has made the transition from liturgical music to playing with lead sheets and chord charts, and by ear. Her creativity and passion for music grew exponentially when she no longer had to have a full musical score in front of her. Debbie played keyboard on the first Revolution Church worship album, and co-wrote two of the songs with Nate White on that recording. She has recorded four easy-listening cds in the past two years (with her keyboard purchased at Palens!) and has distributed more than 150 cds to people in nine states and Canada and Mexico. Her cds have been used by other churches, in school classrooms, as music therapy during childbirth, and also by massage therapists. She has been invited by other churches to play during prayer times and also lead worship at conferences.
John White
I have been playing bass guitar for almost fifteen years and have been teaching for eight. As a musician growth and learning never stops. I continue to pursue my music education in different areas by loitering at Palen Music Center. By chatting with Jack Falby and Nathan White, I can brush up on my chord theory or having a conversation with Josh Cochran about the application of drum rudiments, and the developmental history of music. PMC and I have the same mindset and goal concerning the pursuit of music; that it should always lead to personal growth and produce ceaseless admiration for both art and life. Whether you are a beginner or have been playing bass for some time, you should definitely stop by to chat some bass (guitar not fish).
Nathan Redelf
Nathan began playing mandolin at the age of 14. He learned quickly, being mostly self taught. His style is influenced by David Grisman, Sam Bush, and Chris Thile. He has performed in Italy and Ireland, and is the 2012 Kansas State mandolin champion. He also plays guitar and sings, having studied vocal at Columbia College. Now, he focuses on learning Bach pieces transcribed and adapted to mandolin.
Caleb Alexander
Caleb Alexander is currently a Graduate Student at the University of Missouri pursuing a masters in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy. He received his Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies with a concentration in guitar from Wichita State University, where he graduated Cum Laude. Caleb has a wide portfolio of work ranging from large and small jazz groups to an electric blues band based out of Columbia. His life’s passion is music, and he is excited to share that passion with his students at Palen Music Center. Caleb accepts students of all levels in all styles, and integrates music theory, technology, and recording into all of his lessons.
Brian Parks
Brian began studying piano when he was in second grade and has been playing ever since. Brian earned his bachelors degree in instrumental and vocal music education from Missouri Baptist University in 2010 and his masters degree from Missouri University in May 2010. He has four years of K-12 teaching experience and is currently the director of music activities at Tolton Catholic High School in Columbia.
Greg Aker
Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet
Greg started the piano at the age of four and never looked back. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and was a four-year member of the award winning UNI Jazz Band One. Greg was selected in a national audition to play in the 2000 Disney All-Star Collegiate Band in Orlando, FL, with some of the nation's best college musicians. While learning an instrument is hard work, the benefits are many, and Greg strives to make it as much fun as possible!
Robert Michael
Drum Set, Snare Drum, Hand Percussion
Michael is a drummer who works in the oddly unrelated genres of country western and metal. Finding that his graduate studies in Greek and Latin at the University of Missouri-Columbia did not allow him enough time to play drums, Michael left to carpe diem. At 24, Michael has been active over the last ten years, recording albums with A Hill to Die Upon, touring the US, and playing festivals in Mexico and across Europe. In 2014, a student of Michael’s, from Wataga, Illinois, released an album on Thumper Punk Records, and Michael hopes that the second album to be released by one of his students will be by a Columbia-based drummer.
Garrett Pratt
Violin, Viola and Piano
Garrett is a violist, violinist, and pianist from Springfield, Missouri completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music at Missouri University. He has toured across the country with various ensembles in St. Louis, the Washington D.C. area, and has performed in New York City at Carnegie Hall. He was accepted into the Missouri Allstate Orchestra in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Garrett was the National Association of Free Will Baptists' Strings Champion at their fine arts competition 2006-2008. He has professionally taken gigs for clients including the University of Missouri's Curators Office, weddings, and James River Assembly. He has taught music at churches, music camps, and privately for seven years.
Cindy Segafredo
Piano and Voice
Cindy Segafredo teaches piano and voice lessons. She has been singing and playing for 40 years and uses her experience in many areas of music. She has participated in several organized choirs, including the Southern Illinois University Community choir where she sang at the St. Louis Opera House with the choir and the Philharmonic Orchestra. Presently, she sings with the Missouri United Methodist Church choir. In addition to teaching music, Cindy has been taking drum lessons for six years. Cindy taught Special education for 15 years, where she utilized her skills to teach music to special-needs children in the classroom and in private lessons. Cindy enjoys sharing her love for music with all ages.

Stephanie Taylor
Voice, Trumpet, Beginning Piano
Stephanie began singing in church around age 3. She later began playing piano at age 5. By age 12, the flute was added, trumpet at age 13, and french horn at age 14. At the age of 15 Stephanie began teaching private lessons. She graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University as an vocal/instrumental major and then received her teaching certificate. She's been involved in jazz, concert, & church performing groups throughout her life.


Cathy Holt
Piano, Voice, Woodwind, and Brass
Cathy Holt is a Graduate of Missouri Southern State University. She has her BSME in Vocal and Instrumental Education K-12, along wih 23 years teaching experience at the Secondary level, and 10 years teaching experience at the Elementary level. She has teaching experience in both public and private schools in Missouri. In 2010 Cathy retired from public school teaching. She now serves as an adjudicator of district and state music festivals in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Cathy has been employed by Palen Music as an instructor since 2009.
Chelsea Pfeifer
Chelsea Pfeifer is a graduate of Missouri Southern State University, Principal Violist in the Southern Symphony Orchestra, and manager of Golden Spectra string trio. A Texas native with 18 years of performance experience, she has been teaching in the Joplin area for 2 years and aspires to see string students in the area increasingly active in private lessons. She has high hopes for all of her students to grow in an understanding and appreciation for music, regardless of their experience thus far.
Rob Pommert
Rob Pommert began violin studies in 4th grade and six years later began working with the guitar. He has been a part of other artist’s recordings and has performed ensemble and solo work,and led worship in the Joplin area for 16 years. Pommert has been on the Palen Music and Ozark Christian College music staff as the guitar instructor since 1996.
Alex Taylor
Alex is a drummer of over 20 years experience academically and professionally. His background is in traditional methods and fundamentals, and in multiple styles of music. Teaching from the ground up, students will focus on mastering the cornerstones of drumming from sticking to reading. Alex comes from Seattle where he trained under Fred Taylor and John Ritchie, as well as short stints and private clinics with other nationally renowned drummers such as Zoro, Tony Coleman, Billy Cobham, Joe Morello, and Chad Smith.
Amelia Warstler
Amelia Warstler is a Music Education major at Missouri Southern State University. She has enjoyed playing cello for the last ten years and is a member of the MSSU Symphony Orchestra and the Arabesque String Quartet.
Jeffrey Yates

Guitar, Bass and Brass Instruments
Jeff has taught private lessons for over 6 years and enjoys teaching all ages. He is currently getting his music education degree from MSSU, and plans to continue his education after to better equip himself to teach a young generation how to become well rounded musicians.

  Grace Randolph

Grace is a Vocal Music Performance major at Missouri Southern State University, and plans on pursuing a Master's degree in music. She has over 12 years of experience singing classical, opera, jazz, choral, contemporary, musical theater, and more, as well as classical piano training. Grace enjoys touring and performing with the MSSU Chamber Singers and teaching the MSSU choirs as a section leader. She has also taught at the Thomas Jefferson Choral Institute. Her goal is to help every student discover a love for music and grow to their full potential as a musician.



Jeff Clymore
Low Brass
Jeff is a graduate of the University of Missouri and is a certified teacher in the state of Missouri. He is entering his sixth year as the band director for the Richmond School District and has been teaching private lessons with Palen Music Center for a few years. Jeff has helped many individuals achieve excellence for solo and ensemble District and State Music Contest.
Randall Cunningham
Dr. Randall Cunningham is a graduate of Indiana University and a professional teacher and performer with over twenty years of experience in the Northland. He teaches clarinet and saxophone at Palen Music and at William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. He is the principal clarinetist of the Liberty and St. Joseph Symphonies, bass clarinetist with the Des Moines Metro Opera and co-principal clarinetist of the Kansas City Wind Symphony. He is also a composer of original educational music for clarinet that has been published by Woodwindiana of Bloomington, Indiana.
David Hanna
Guitar and Bass
David started teaching private guitar lessons at 16 years of age and is an accomplished singer, guitarist and songwriter. David has a thriving studio and is one of the creators, directors and performers for Palen Music Center’s Rock Camp, summer 2010 and 2011. He has a very well developed studio and is also a traveling musician as a bassist with the Jill Marie Band. As Palen Music Center’s Luthier, he has repaired and fixed several fretted instruments from minor to severe damage.
Megan Hanna
Classical Strings and Voice
Megan attended William Jewell College right after graduating high school. After transferring to Northwest Missouri State, she graduated with a Music Performance degree with a focus in strings and education. She has performed with several symphonies including Liberty Symphony 2003-2006, St. Joseph Symphony 2009-2010 and the Heritage Philharmonic in 2011. A classically trained vocalist as a mezzo-soprano, she has performed choral and solo literature while studying choral education. Megan has a strong interest in teaching and hopes to someday teach music to children and adults of special needs.
Bill Leafblad
Piano and Trumpet
Bill is a highly accomplished musician, director, conductor, and a well as a skilled performer. He directed the Lee’s Summit School District and taught piano in his community for many years.
Dr. Thomas Jack Willbanks II, D. M. A.
Piano, Guitar, and Bass
Tom began his piano studies at age five and progressed to study undergraduate piano at San Jose State University throughout the 1990’s. Tom received his Master of Music Degree in 2002, and in 2007, he received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Tom has served on the Board of Directors for the Liberty Orchestra. A classically trained concert pianist, he is also a professional rock guitarist and bassist, teaching and performing extensively on the West Coast and in the Midwest. Tom is currently a performing musician as the lead guitarist and pianist with the Jill Marie Band.
Dale Zea
Dale picked up his first set of drumsticks at three years old and has been playing ever since. He participated in every available musical group throughout high school, and travelled extensively throughout the United States and Canada performing many varying genres in numerous bands post graduation. For over 20 years Dale has performed as a studio session player recording over 300 projects. He has participated as a teacher/assistant and also performed for his students for Rock Camp, summer 2011. He also plays for two worship teams on Sundays. Dale finds teaching very rewarding and has had students of all ages.
Jake Arant

Rob Leytham
Rob Leytham has been a popular Drum Instructor in the Kansas City area for over 25 years. He has written 8 Best-selling Drum instruction books for MEL BAY publications along with over 20 articles for MODERN DRUMMER MAGAZINE. He was an adjunct professor at Missouri Western State University. Rob teaches all ages from beginner to professional. Some of his former students are Tyler Chiarelli (FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE) Kenny Burkitt (PUDDLE OF MUDD) Jason Dean (SIDEWISE) David Vittetoe (U.S. AIRFORCE BAND) and Dr. Andrew McGraw (University of Richmond). Rob is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ascap).

Broken Arrow

Mark Deluca

Mark Deluca - Piano

Mark began piano lessons at the age of three. Over the years he has studied at the State University of New York as well as with various artists and instructors. Every week he plays for an audience of approximately 8500 people in the church he and his family attend. Throughout the years, he has given private lessons to many students of all ages, from 5 years of age to people in their sixty's. Mark is comfortable teaching classical music and improvisation. He also teaches several classes at Victory Bible College in Tulsa. This is a fully accredited institution where students come from all over the world to earn degrees in music as well as Practical Ministry.

Melanie Husky


Melanie Huskey is a recent graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Ms. Huskey began violin lessons at the age of 6 and participated in numerous music programs in the Greater Baltimore area. In college, she played with the University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra and took advantage of a variety of other performance opportunities. Ms. Huskey recently relocated to Tulsa with her husband, and is thrilled to be teaching in the Broken Arrow Public Schools orchestra program.

Tonya North

Tonya North graduated from Owasso High School in 2012. She began as a flutist and also became a saxophonist a few years later. She was member of the Pride of Owasso Marching Band and traveled to various contests with her fellow members from 2008-2012. During her senior year of high school, Tonya began teaching lessons to a few students and found her love for teaching. After graduation, Tonya attended Tulsa Community College and was a member of the school’s Concert Band and Jazz Band for two years. Now, Tonya is pursuing a degree in Deaf Education at the University of Tulsa and continues to play saxophone in a variety of groups and teach private lessons to many students.

George Toumayan

Born and raised in the Tulsa area, George discovered his passion by playing percussion in his school's bands throughout junior high and high school. He participated in the marching band, concert band, and the jazz big band.  George was accepted to the University of Tulsa on a music scholarship, majoring in Music Education.  He performed with the Sound of the Golden Hurricane, the basketball pep band, numerous jazz ensembles, and the symphony orchestra. After graduating, he immediately pressed forward to a Masters in Jazz Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he had the privilege of playing drum set with UCO's Jazz Lab I band, a stellar jazz big band that has been featured in Downbeat magazine in 2011.  With UCO's Big Band, George toured Europe, playing at two prestigious festivals  during the summer of 2010. After graduating UCO with Honors, George began to teach as an adjunct professor at two universities; Oklahoma Baptist University and the University of Tulsa as the director of percussion. George remains as an active performer, having played with great musicians such as the amazing Aretha Franklin, The Texas Tenors, The Irish Tenors, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., Pat Kelley, Steve Wilkerson, Walter White, Eldar Djongirov, Bob Malone, and Steve Lippia.

Jesse Wilson

Jesse Wilson is a Sand Springs, Oklahoma native, and a graduate of Charles Page High School. After starting band in the 6th grade, Jesse's curiosity of all things musical quickly saw him becoming a multi-instrumentalist. Throughout his "band" days Jesse became proficient on the flute, the bassoon, sideline percussion and drumline. It was during his High School years where Jesse finally found the musical instrument that fitted him perfectly - the piano. Soon after beginning formal lessons, Jesse was already composing short songs. Playing the piano and songwriting quickly became his favorite hobbies. After High School, Jesse attended the University of Tulsa, receiving a Bachelor's in Music Composition with an emphasis on Computer/Electronic Music of the late 60s and early 70s. Jesse joined the Palen Music Center team as a substitute piano teacher before officially filling the roll January of 2013.

Scott Wright
Guitar and Bass

Scott Wright has over 25 years experience teaching guitar and bass. He began playing in 1983 at the age of sixteen. Within two years he was playing in local bands and within five years he was teaching guitar professionally. He attended the Tahlequah campus of Northeastern State University, studying classical guitar and playing in the NSU Jazz Band. He completed the NSU music education curriculum in 1999. 

He has played with numerous rock, blues, jazz, and dance bands, sharing the bill with such national acts as REO Speedwagon, .38 Special, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He currently plays the role of Jimmy Page in the national touring act “Lets Zeppelin: a tribute to Led Zeppelin”.

Scott teaches all styles of guitar and bass, utilizing both tablature and standard music notation as well as music theory.

He currently resides in Broken Arrow and is married with four children and feels very much at home with Palen Music Center’s philosophy of family oriented service.