Welcome!

Voice in the Valley Music Studio is proud to begin our third year at our new location in the heart of Maple Valley, WA. We are excited to serve your musical needs. Our highly educated and passionate teaching faculty boasts three doctorate degree's, six master's degrees, nine bachelor's degrees, and a combined teaching experience spanning over 100 years! Voice in the Valley Music Studio is a fun, energetic, family-based studio where classic education meets modern, musical instruction. No matter your age or experience level, we can help you reach your full musical potential! Voice in the Valley Music Studio has been encouraging the musical talents in the greater Maple Valley area since 2010. We are excited to serve the musical needs of our local community offering private Voice, Piano, Viola, Violin, Guitar, and Ukulele Lessons, as well as Group Voice Classes for beginner singers!

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ABOUT JESSI

Dr. Jessica Jumper completed her Doctorate of Arts in Music and Vocal Performance from Ball State University in 2011. She began teaching in 2004 and thrives on a career that includes solo performance, as well as student education. Jessi has served as an Adjunct Music Instructor at Indiana Wesleyan University and Sweet Briar College, as well as Assistant Professor of Music at Lynchburg College before moving to Washington in 2010 to marry the love of her life. Dr. Jumper currently serves as Adjunct Music Faculty at Green River College where she teaches History of American Popular Music and Music Appreciation. She also serves on the Board for the Maple Valley Creative Arts Council. In addition to teaching and performing, Jessi enjoys serving her local community by assisting area schools and Art Centers with Musical Theatre productions, Talent Shows, and Vocal Performance workshops. Her most prized role, however, has been that of “Mom” to her two energetic boys.

ABOUT DAN

Internationally acclaimed composer, producer, pianist, and vocal coach, Dan Hegelund has enjoyed a teaching career spanning over twenty-five years. His private students include notable voices on televised talent shows, such as “Denmark’s Got Talent” and “True Talent” Sweden. At ease teaching all genres, including classical, jazz, gospel, and pop/rock, Dan’s unparalleled, professional, and masterful approach compliments all students beginner to advanced. An experienced and sought after performer, Dan has performed in over thirty countries and on four continents. Dan has had the honor of performing in such prestigious venues as the Presidential Palace of Ukraine, before the Latvian government, and on the nationally televised talent production, “Clash of the Choirs.” Hegelund holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Political Science from Uppsala University (Sweden) and speaks six languages. In addition to his radio and TV broadcasts, Dan’s original studio recordings can be found on Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon. After moving to the United States from Sweden with his wife and kids in 2014, Dan continues to serve his local community through music at his local church. Dan is excited to teach voice and piano at Voice in the Valley Music Studio!

 

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ABOUT JAN

Praised for her mellow voice and gorgeously sung performances, mezzo-soprano Dr. Janene Nelson, is an affecting interpreter of opera, oratorio, and art song. She has performed throughout the Pacific Northwest, collaborating with a variety of established music ensembles. Her professional engagements range from opera and oratorio to early music, contemporary premieres, and musical theater. Dr. Nelson holds a doctorate in vocal performance and arts administration from the University of Oregon where she studied with Milagro Vargas. She is currently on the voice faculty at Seattle Pacific University, where she teaches applied voice, group voice, and directs the vocal jazz ensemble. Dr. Nelson also serves as Adjunct Instructor at Highline College in Des Moines, WA. Jan is thrilled to begin her second year with Voice in the Valley Music Studio teaching our talented vocalists of all ages. 

ABOUT MARIA

New to the Seattle area, Maria Ritzenthaler is an accomplished violist, with extensive experience in performance and education. She received degrees in viola performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Roosevelt University in Chicago, and completed two years of a Doctoral degree in performance at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She has held positions in many orchestras including principal of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, assistant principal of the South Bend Symphony, and recently won the position of principal violist of the Great Falls Symphony and violist of the Cascade Quartet. Ms. Ritzenthaler has taught students of all ages through her experience at the Merit School of Music in Chicago, as Professor of Viola and Chamber Music Coordinator at Harper College, and has been teaching privately out of her home for over ten years. She has also been fortunate to participate in many outreach programs, including the Chicago Symphony’s Citizen Musicianship Initiative, and has seen first hand how music can change lives and build communities.  She strives to cultivate an active and inclusive musical environment in all of the places she has lived. Maria is thrilled to be the first violist/violin instructor at Voice in the Valley Music Studio and is looking forward to working the talented kids in our local community!

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ABOUT EMERALD

Highly sought after performer, instructor, and clinician, Dr. Emerald Lessley, soprano, began performing and studying music at a young age. She completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Washington in 2017. Emerald favorite operatic roles have included, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Suor Angelica in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Belisa in the U.S. premiere of Maderna’s opera Don Perlimplìn. In addition to traditional operatic repertoire, Emerald is an active performer of new music, premiering new works in both the U.S. and Europe. A passionate music educator, Dr.Lessley has enjoyed a teaching career spanning more than ten years, specializing in classical, musical theatre, contemporary styles, and voice for transgender singers. Emerald holds a Level I certification in Somatic Voicework, with the LoVetri Method of Contemporary Commercial Music. A modern-day renaissance woman, Emerald not only enjoys performing and teaching, but also researching aspects of vocal pedagogy and music history. She has been an invited speaker at the Northwest Voice Conference, the Vocology in Practice Conference in London, the London-based BAST webinar series, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing web-chat. Emerald is excited to join our Voice in the Valley family, teaching our talented voice and piano students!

ABOUT JOSEPH

Illinois native and lyric tenor, Joseph Muriello received his Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance with a minor in Piano Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2012. Upon graduation, Joseph relocated to Seattle to pursue his graduate studies at the University of Washington. Muriello completed his Master’s in Vocal Performance in 2014 and will begin his doctoral studies in 2019. A passionate music educator and avid performer, Joseph continues to perform in the greater Puget Sound area, and has made appearances with Seattle Modern Opera CompanyNorthwest Opera In Schools, Etc.Operamuse, and Pacific Musicworks. An eternal learner, Joseph actively studies modern vocal pedagogy techniques and enjoys helping students understand their instrument through a tailored instructional approach. A voracious music lover, Muriello enjoys teaching all genres from opera and musical theatre to jazz and pop. He is thrilled to join the Voice in the Valley team and looks forward to supporting our voice and piano students on their musical journeys.

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ABOUT JUSTYNE

Tahoma graduate, Justyne Snyder completed her Associate of Arts degree from Green River College in 2018. A gifted vocalist, actor, and director, Justyne has been involved in performance from a young age, participating in musicals, chamber choir, and jazz choir throughout high school and college. For the past six years, Ms. Snyder served as Musical Director for Heavier Than Air Theatre, where she has directed their summer camps and starred in shows including Oklahoma and Beauty and the Beast. An active performer, Justyne can also be found auditioning around the greater Puget Sound area in her spare time. Justyne loves working with kids! She is thrilled to join the Voice in the Valley teaching team, working with our young beginner voice students and is looking forward to teaching them all about the wonderful world of music and performance!

ABOUT SERENA

Soprano SERENA EDULJEE’s effortless high notes and full, beautiful tone has earned her much praise. Her recent performances include leading roles with Seattle Opera, Northwest Opera, Puget Sound Concert Opera, Pacific Northwest Opera, Opera Bend, Opera Mariposa in Vancouver BC, and Pacific Northwest Opera. With Seattle Opera, Serena also completed a season as Princess Gilda in the touring production of Laitman’s “The Three Feathers.” Serena continues to book concerts, recitals, and gala events on behalf of Seattle Opera around the greater Seattle area. Serena has been an honored singer of the Seattle Opera Guild and received their Opera Plus Artist Scholarship of 2015/2016 for her work.

Serena’s education and training include OperaWorks Advanced Artist Program in Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where she studied under world renowned opera star, Carol Vaness. She currently resides in Issaquah, WA and is excited to join us at Voice in the Valley teaching voice and piano. 

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ABOUT NATALIE

A pacific northwest native, Natalie Mayhew was born into a musical family in Maple Valley, Washington. She discovered her passion for performance at a young age and has been an active singer and guitar player since she was eleven years old. Natalie is a classically-trained guitarist and independent singer/songwriter. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts from Western Washington University in 2012 and returned in 2017 to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in Music Education with an emphasis in guitar. A talented vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Natalie plays guitar, clarinet, piano, and ukulele. An active performer in the greater Seattle area, Natalie’s most recent performances have included Highway 99 Blues Club, Bake’s Place, and regional Songwriters in Seattle venues. A passionate music educator, her teaching philosophy is simple; she encourages every student to explore music as a means of self-expression supported by solid musicianship skills and proper technique. Natalie specializes in classical guitar, fingerpicking styles, popular music, and singing with guitar as accompaniment. She is excited to teach our beginner through intermediate guitar and ukulele students, as well as our beginner piano and voice students at Voice in the Valley!

ABOUT KAITIE

Washington native, Kaitie Wade is a country/pop recording artist, songwriter, and active performer. She moved to Nashville right out of high school and graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance with an emphasis in Commercial/Contemporary Music in 2016 from Belmont University. Along with performing in some of Nashville’s most famous showcase venues and honkey-tonks, Kaitie completed a nation wide radio tour and opened for notable artists such as Russel Dickerson, Adam Craig, and Riley Green. A sought after entertainer, Kaitie consistently performs at fairs, festivals, rodeos, casinos, pubs, and private parties. Kaitie boasts numerous original songs on Spotify and iTunes and is currently cutting her second studio album. She is eager to share her experience and love for music with our vocal students at Voice in the Valley and looks forward to helping them find their own unique voice.

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Andrew Etherington, tenor

ABOUT ANDREW

Kansas native, Andrew Etherington, completed his undergraduate studies at Ole Miss and honed his singing and stage skills with Bill Hall’s American Opera Studio. Etherington completed his master’s degree at The Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University in Baltimore, studying both vocal performance and vocal pedagogy. While at Peabody, he conducted a volunteer choir at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and performed regularly in the professional choruses of Lyric Opera of Baltimore, Baltimore Concert Opera, and Washington National Opera. He currently serves as an Adjunct Voice Instructor at Olympic College in Bremerton, WA where he teaches applied voice and assists the opera productions. A regular member of Seattle Opera chorus, Andrew recently was proud to be a part of The ®evolution of Steve Jobsat Seattle Opera. Etherington was also the tenor soloist for Bremerton Symphony's December concert series and tenor soloist for Willy & Fred– a new Opera by Linda Kitchen. Andrew is excited to work with the talented vocalists at Voice in the Valley Music Studio!

 

ABOUT JORDAN

Maple Valley native, Jordan Snyder is currently embarking on her fourth and final year at Tahoma high school. A natural born singer and performer, Jordan has enjoyed being on the stage since she can remember. She has performed in over forty musical productions in the surrounding area, principally with the Auburn based family theater company, Heavier Than Air Theatre, including their summer theatre camps for the past thirteen years. Interacting and working with children has always come naturally to Jordan. She enjoyed working as an attendant at Discovery Playtown and most recently has been employed as a part-time nanny. Jordan is excited to join our team of instructors as our Group Voice Class Director. She looks forward to engaging and nurturing the musical passions in our young singers. 

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