Present and past faculty:
Phoebe Gelzer-Govatos holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, and Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, respectively. Her principal teachers include Igor Markstein, Alvaro Gomez, and Routa Kroumovitch.
She has a particular love of early music, and has received additional instruction in historical performance through festivals and workshops such as the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, Oberlin College’s Baroque Performance Institute, the International Baroque Institute at Longy, and the Berwick Academy of the Oregon Bach Festival, including studies with Marilyn McDonald, Julie Andrijeski, and Marc Destrubé.Read More
Recent performances include programs with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Louisville’s Bourbon Baroque, and vocal ensemble Audivi. Phoebe is also a core member of period-instrument ensembles l’Invenzione, the Michigan Bach Collective, and Ensemble Affect. She is a frequent guest artist with the baroque orchestras of the University of Michigan and Grand Valley State University, and has been invited to lead workshops in baroque style and technique at Bowling Green and Youngstown State Universities.
An active modern violinist as well, Ms. Gelzer-Govatos performs with a number of ensembles in her home state of Michigan, including the Adrian, Lansing, and Kalamazoo Symphonies, the Detroit Opera Orchestra, and CutTime Simfonica, and is an avid chamber musician. She teaches chamber music at the Rudolf Steiner High School of Ann Arbor and maintains a private studio in addition.
Emily Olson’s professional music career and personal artistic pursuits have revolved around mindful expression: performing, creating, teaching, advocating, coaching, fostering, and exploring.
Emily has enjoyed decades of experience as a classical flutist, performing regularly with the Ann Arbor, Flint, and Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestras, the Michigan Sinfonietta, and in musical theatre productions for the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre and Encore Musical Theatre Company. Summer music performances have brought Emily to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where she has appeared with the Pine Mountain Music Festival and Strings on the Bay chamber music series. Read More
Broadening her music experience with additional training in voice, harp, and ukulele, Emily served for many years as a Certified Music Practitioner in hospice and palliative care settings and working to promote the field of therapeutic music in healthcare. Emily’s imagination and innovative thinking have also been honed in administrative positions for various arts organizations, especially in the five years she worked in admissions, student services and career counseling for prospective and current students at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
John graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory with degrees in economics and piano performance, and he completed his Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Michigan. John currently serves as Director of Orchestras at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, a position he has held since 2012. In addition to his work as Founder & Creative Lead at Macon Creek, he has served as Director of Music & Technology at St. Clare’s Episcopal Church since 2007. John has served as Music Director and Conductor of The Life Sciences Orchestra at the University of Michigan and Conductor of the Ann Arbor Youth Orchestra.Read More
He has worked with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Civic Orchestras and other ensembles in the US and abroad. As a choral conductor, he has worked with the Boychoir of Ann Arbor and with numerous local and regional opera companies. He is also managing partner of Post Companies, a web services and consulting company he founded in 2003 specializing in communication tools for organizations around the world.
Theatre & Dance
Deena Bryan was born and raised in Tecumseh, Michigan and began her dance training at the age of 3 at Tecumseh Dance Workshop. She was one of the first Caravan Kids to tour with Hoctors Dance Caravan in 1993, where she met and assisted hip hop great Devora Cooper Howard. She received a dance scholarship to Oakland University where she studied all forms of dance including kinesiology, choreography and dance history.Read More
Through her years at Oakland University, she was a member of Oakland Dance Theatre Repertory Company under the direction of Laurie Eisenhower and Gregory Patterson. While at Oakland, she was chosen to perform ‘The Hundreds’ with Twyla Tharpe.
She has received numerous scholarships to Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in Los Angeles, California. She received the honor of being a forever guest choreographer for Cathy Roes Dance Spectacular. She was invited to be a part of Jayson Michaels Energy Source Dance Association in 2011 at his National Company Performance as a choreographer and teacher and quickly became a full time staff member and Energy Source Kids Director teaching all genres of dance in studios all around the country. She has taught at Tecumseh Dance Workshop, The Dance Centre, Metropolitan Dance Centre and was the Executive Director of Tecumseh Dance Theatre Company. She is well versed in all forms of dance and has taught for over 20 years. Through those years, her dances have won numerous choreography and technique awards.
In 2017, Mr. Jayson Michaels passed away and left the company to Deena and Associate Director, Angela Harris. They renamed the company Energy Source Dance Experience and Deena is currently the co director/co owner. Deena is very proud to be the owner/director of illuminaTe Dance and Arts Center. In addition to being the owner/director and teaching at illuminaTe, Deena is also an Adjunct Professor at Adrian College.
Deena believes in the art of dance, the integrity and discipline of the art and also the creativity and expression of the person. Through her unique choreography and connection with her students, she is able to convey her passion and inspire new generations of artists and performers.
Katherine Banks McBride
Theatre & Dance
Katherine Banks McBride is a Midwest based actor and educator. Her work as an actor includes theatre, film, commercials, industrials, and voiceovers. Film/TV credits include No Sudden Move (HBO Max, dir. Stephen Soderbergh) and Mindhunter (Netflix, dir. David Fincher). In Chicago, Katherine appeared in the Jeff Award winning Men Should Weep with Griffin Theatre and in the sold-out production of She Kills Monsters at the Steppenwolf Garage.Read More
Here in Michigan, Katherine performed in Every Brilliant Thing (Tipping Point Theatre, Wilde Award) and Silent Sky (Williamston Theatre). Other work includes commercials for Volkswagen, Perkins, Michigan Lottery, and LasVegas.com, industrials for United Airlines, Sears, and Stericycle, and voiceovers for Jewel-Osco, Sittercity.com, and First Midwest Bank.
Katherine currently teaches drama at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor. As a teaching artist, Katherine uses drama and dance to help students of all ages express themselves with clarity and purpose. In Michigan, she has worked with University Musical Society, EMU Bright Futures, Young Actors Guild, Cranbrook Theatre School, and Motor City Youth Theatre. In Chicago, she taught at Bubbles Academy, the Viola Project, Pulse Beat Music, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, and St. Therese Chinese Catholic School.
She is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan and also trained at the School at Steppenwolf and Columbia College’s Teaching Artist Development Studio.
Finnish-born cellist Katri Ervamaa, DMA, is a multifaceted performer with a special love for chamber music, new music and creative improvisation. She has performed and given master classes throughout North America, Europe and Taiwan. Her festival appearances include the Orlando, Kuhmo, Bowdoin, Lyckå and Norrtäjle Chamber Music Festivals (with the Finnish Owla String Quartet) as well as the Denison University Tutti! New Music Festival, Poison City Music Festival, Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival and Finnfest, among others.Read More
She has also performed at Ann Arbor’s Edgefest with Lars Hollmer’s Global Home Project, Guy Kluscevic, Mark Kirschenmann, E3Q, Andrew Bishop and Ed Sarath. Katri studied cello with Erling Blöndal Bengtsson and Marc Johnson in the US, and chamber music with the Amadeus, Borodin and Vermeer Quartets, among others. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan. Katri is a founding member and past president of the Brave New Works new music ensemble, the Muse Ensemble and E3Q, an improvisation-based genre-defying trio of cello, trumpet and percussion, as well as the newly founded Järnefelt Piano Trio. She appears on Envoy Recordings, Block M Records, and AMP Records labels. Most recently, she spearheaded and appeared in the documentary ”Mestiza Music”, produced by WFYI-Indinapolis, on 60 PBS stations nationwide, and the Brave New Works record ”The Outer Bar”, released in 2019. In addition to her lively performance career, Dr.Ervamaa is on faculty at the University of Michigan’s Residential College, where she is the Head of the Music Program and teaches chamber music and musicianship. She has also been on the cello faculty at the Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green State Universities. She plays on a 1868 HC Silvestre cello.
A composer, performer, and scholar of creative improvisation, Mark’s pioneering live electric trumpet performances are internationally acclaimed. He is also the creative force behind the band E3Q (Block M Records), an eclectic jazz-influenced trio with his wife, cellist Katri Ervamaa, and percussionist Michael Gould. Most recently, he released the solo album This Electric Trumpet (Sonikmann Records); recorded with the Nashville-based electronica duo Sub-ID (BFF, 1320 Records); and appeared with pianist Thollem McDonas, bassist Henry Grimes, flutist Nicole Mitchell, cornetist Rob Mazurek’s Sao Paulo Underground, saxophonists Oliver Lake and Arthur Blythe, and pianist Iiro Rantala of Trio Töykeät.Read More
As a composer and writer, Kirschenmann explores the confluence of composition and improvisation. He has published articles on Messiaen’s use of improvisation as a compositional technique, and on new approaches to melodic jazz improvisation. He is on the faculty at the University of Michigan, where he shares his time between the School of Music (Jazz) and the Residential College, a liberal arts living-learning community. He also directs U-M’s Creative Arts Orchestra, an innovative, creative improvisation ensemble, and the Michigan Youth Jazz Ensemble. Kirschenmann holds PhD degrees in composition and music theory from the University of Michigan and lives in Ann Arbor, MI with his wife and their three children.
Xiao Dong Hottman-Wei
Theatre & Dance
Joey is currently based out New York City, and is signed to the Daniel Hoff Talent Agency as an actor, specializing in Musical Theatre Dance. He is originally from Sterling Heights, MI, where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre Performance from Oakland University in Rochester, MI, where he is now a choreographer for the university’s musical theatre program, and a guest professor of tap for the school’s dance department.Read More
When he’s not performing, Joey is an award-winning freelance choreographer/instructor for multiple schools and studios in the midwest, and is a guest artist with the Energy Source Dance Experience intensive, where he teaches a seminar called Acting for Dancers, which acts as an Introduction to Theatre class that focuses on the importance of acting in the dance world. National Tour credit; Monty Python’s Spamalot. Regional Theatre credits; Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde (Mason Street Warehouse), Something Rotten! (Phoenix Theatre Company), Newsies (The Fireside Theatre), Shrek: The Musical, La Cage Aux Folles, The Producers, White Christmas (Barter Theatre), Anything Goes, Oklahoma! (Porthouse Theatre), A Chorus Line, & Little shop of Horrors (The Huron Playhouse). Choreography credits; Assassins, The Theory of Relativity, The Scarlet Pimpernel (Oakland University).
With over 25 years of experience teaching at the elementary through university levels, the founder of Curiouser Clay, Eli Zemper, knows what it takes to make learning fun and engaging. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Eli has also coached a roller derby team, led groups at the University of Michigan ropes course, and created playful activities for Odyssey Work’s Library of Experiences. On the creative side, Eli has studied glass-blowing with Annette Baron, ceramics at the University of Michigan and with Nawal Motawi, and experience design with Odyssey Works.Read More