Welcome!

Voice in the Valley Music Studio is proud to embark on their our fifth year at our location in the heart of Maple Valley, WA. We are excited to serve your musical needs both online and in-person. 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

Owner and Instructor, 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. Wanting to serve the musical needs of her local community, Jessi embarked on her entrepreneurial journey in 2011 when she opened Voice in the Valley Music Studio. In addition to being a devoted wife, mother, and "CEO in training," Dr. Jumper currently serves as Adjunct Music Faculty at Green River College where she teaches History of American Popular Music and Music Appreciation. 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, Jamesson and Jasper.

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. Serena has been teaching our talented voice and piano students since 2019. 

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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. Jan has been teaching voice in the Pacific Northwest since 2006. She works with students from diverse backgrounds, ages, and levels of experience. Jan enjoys sharing her musical passion and creativity with students to help them develop their natural voice with confidence. Jan holds a doctorate of musical arts in vocal performance from the University of Oregon.  She also earned a Level III Certificate in the Lovetri Method Somatic Voicework™ and a teaching fellowship from the International Performing Arts Institute (IPAI) in Germany. Jan has previously taught at several colleges, including Seattle Pacific University and Western Oregon University, and is currently on the music faculty at Highline College. Dr. Nelson 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 has been instructing our talented vocal students for four years! 

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 joined our team in 2019 is thrilled to be the first violist/violin instructor at Voice in the Valley Music Studio!

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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. Dr. Lessley is a full-time music faculty member at Olympic college. Emerald has been coaching our talented singers since 2019.

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. Joseph is currently completing his doctoral studies at the University of Washington. He is thrilled to work with our talented voice and piano students since 2019.

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ABOUT ROSIE

Hailing from the suburbs of Washington, DC, Rosie Barry, relocated to the pacific northwest to pursue her career in music therapy. Rosie graduated Magna Cum Laude from East Carolina University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy, her primary emphasis in voice and secondary emphasis in guitar. An avid singer, guitarist, and pianist, Rosie employs her talents as a music therapist by facilitating group and individual music therapy sessions in adult family homes, focusing on topics of mental health and symptoms of progressive diseases. Rosie often performs indie and folk styles of music, but frequently takes requests from clients wanting to hear many other styles and genres, such as classic rock, and R&B. In addition to working with seniors, Rosie also enjoys working with kids of all ages. She has been helping young vocal, guitar, and piano students find their own unique sound since 2019. 

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. A sought after instructor and vocal coach, Kaitie has been working with our talented vocalists since 2018. 

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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 has been working with our talented vocalists at Voice in the Valley Music Studio since 2019!

 

ABOUT ELIN

Elin, a Montana native received her Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Montana. Elin has been a featured soloist with the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, the University of Montana Chamber Chorale, The Missoula Mendelssohn Club, The Ed Norton Big Band, The Missoula JazzoulaFestival, and the Zootown Cabaret. While in Montana, she served as the Musical Director for On Center Performing Arts, teaching private voice and musical theater. Though Elin specializes in the jazz idiom, she also enjoys musical theatre and classical genres. She has coordinated and directed local and regional musical theatre performances including camps, competition preparations, and recitals. After moving to the Seattle area to continue her musical journey as a teacher, Elin joined the Music Leader Team with Musically Minded serving as a music educator for kids ages birth – five. Elin was the first instructor we hired! She has been with Voice in the Valley since 2015.

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ABOUT MADDI

Tahoma High School graduate, Madelyn Fickel, is thrilled to be a part of the instructional team at Voice in the Valley, teaching beginning voice lessons for young beginners. A budding Broadway theatre star, “Maddi” began studying voice and performance from a very young age. She has participated in fifteen shows in the last seven years. Some of her favorite roles include Ursula in The Little Mermaid at Village TheatreIssaquah and Fantine in Les Misérables at Tahoma High School. Maddi was a part of Issaquah’s Village Theatre Institute Program for three years, where she had concentrated training in voice, acting, and dance. Maddi successfully competed in various vocal competitions,including the National Association of Teachers of Singing and Washington Music Educators Association Solo and Ensemble contest in both the musical theatre and classical categories. In addition to her vocal talents, Maddi is a dedicated and motivated student. She is currently working toward her AA degree at Green River College and will graduate this fall. Upon graduation, she plans to begin auditioning for professional theatres around the greater Seattle area. Madelyn loves working with children! She is excited to help young students enhance their technical and performance skills, giving them the confidence they need to let their inner star shine!

ABOUT MARS

Hailing from the greater Chicago area, guitarist, Mars Licciardi, boasts a professional career spanning over 25 years. Mars began his musical journey at William Rainey Harper College, in Palatine, Illinois where he studied theory, composition, and jazz guitar. A driven musician and passionate educator, his hunger for performance and music education grew, allowing him the opportunity to work in the US and abroad, including collaborations with multi-platinum/Grammy award winning producers, Johnny K and Warren Riker, as well as performances with dozens of national acts at some of the Midwest’s premier venues. In partnership with Consolidated Music of Barrington Illinois, Mars co-founded Rockstar 101, one of the most successful independent rock schools in the Chicago area. A passionate musical philanthropist, Mars has been highly active in non-profit Arts organizations fronting music marathons for non-profit entities such as: United Way, American Heart Association, American Cancer Association, Make a Wish Foundation and Harmony Hope and Healing. Equally at home on the contemporary worship stage, Mars has served as Music Director and Worship Leader at several churches, including Advent Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC and Mathews United Methodist in Mathews, NC. A versatile musician now based in the Seattle/Tacoma area, Mars specializes in contemporary worship music, rock, blues, country, R&B, indie/alternative, country, and acoustic genres. His musical collaborations can be found on iTunes with  bands, Elston and The Last of the Showmen. An active volunteer in his field, Mars currently serves as a music and arts performing practitioner for SINGRLY, a Seattle based arts engagement platform, offering musical therapy for dementia patients. A sought-after guitarist, vocalist, and music educator, Mars excels at creative songwriting and arranging, as well as inspiring and mentoring players and singers of all ages. Mars’ vibrant energy and unwavering work ethic are his trademark characteristics. He understands that each student is unique and works hard to adapt his teaching style to the strengths and needs of the individual. In his spare time Mars loves to cook! He enjoys whipping up new and old Italian dishes for his girlfriend, family, and friends. He is excited to join our teaching team and work with our talented guitarist and aspiring vocalist at Voice in the Valley Music Studio!

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ABOUT ALEX

Atlanta, Georgia native, Alex Stokes, began studying the piano when he was just four years old with Russian piano master, Aza Boguslavskiy. From a very young age Alex showed promise as a budding pianist and began to compete in state-wide piano competitions, receiving top ratings from the Georgia Teachers Association and Georgia Music Educators Association. Alex continued his piano studies at the collegiate level at Georgia State University studying under Dr. Robert Scott Thompson, world renowned composer of ambient, instrumental, and electroacoustic music. He also had the honor of studying under music industry legend, Ike Stubblefield, modern master of the Hammond B3 organ, and keyboardist for famous acts including the Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, The Jerry Garcia Band, George Benson, B.B. King, and Ike and Tina Turner. Alex completed his Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies in Media Entrepreneurship in 2019 with an emphasis in Music Technology. An accomplished vocalist as well as pianist, Alex has performed in over sixty choral ensembles, including quartets, chamber choruses, and a cappella groups. Alex is the founder and lead keyboardist/vocalists for the progressive, ambient rock band, Sumilan. The infectious psychedelic-pop band toured the US for seven years performing over seventy-five shows a year and released two full-length studio albums. Alex also performed at the 20th Annual electronic Ultra Music Festival in Miami, FL with the band, Kevens and currently resides as their lead touring keyboardist. When not performing, Alex enjoys DJ-ing, hosting a monthly radio show, DreamChaser Radio, on the leading worldwide Electronic Music Internet Radio Broadcast, AfterHours FM. A multifaceted musician and gifted instructor, Alex enjoys sharing his passion and expertise with students of all ages. His vast musical knowledge in all genres provide the rare opportunity for individualized instruction for students of all levels from beginner to advanced. When not performing or teaching, Alex enjoys spending quality time with his wife and their 8-month old son. Alex is excited to join the instructional team at Voice in the Valley Music Studio and looks forward to working with our talented online voice and piano students!

ABOUT ARIEL

Hailing from the great state of Idaho, pianist Ariel Faith Candies began her musical journey at a very young age. Raised in an artistically inclined family,Ariel was afforded the opportunity to begin formal Suzuki piano lessons when she was just four years old, studying sight-reading, music theory, and history, in addition to classical piano techniques. When she was ten years old Ariel had the honor of studying under Danny Wayne Beal, a well-known piano icon who toured the west coast for several decades. Growing up, Ariel and her talented family frequently performed together throughout Idaho, Montana, California, Oregon, and Washington, participating in Sonatina festivals, recitals, concerts, weddings, conventions, and competitions; she even recorded an album with her violinist brother entitled, “The Potter’s Hand.” Ariel began her formal academic career at Gem State Adventist Academy in Caldwell, Idaho, acting as lead accompanist for the choir program, where she also sang in an elite vocal octet that toured the west coast and Canada in 2006. After high school, Ariel continued to study music at the collegiate level enrolling as a music major at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. Wanting to return to her roots, Ariel returned to Idaho where she served as Musical Director at both Nampa Seventh Day Adventist Church and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Caldwell.Ariel officially launched her teaching career in 2009 at St. Luke’s Elks Rehabilitation Hospital in Boise, Idaho, offering lessons to children transitioning out of therapy; a position that fostered her love for piano and while supporting her desire to serve others, especially children. Her passion for early childhood education continued to grow and the following year Ariel began teaching at both New Way Montessori and Five Mile Montessori schoolswhere she served as an instructor from 2010 to 2013. Ariel’s unique teaching style provides tailored instruction for all ages and skill levels, from beginner-to-advanced. Her collaborative approach respects the individual interests, skill-level, and goals for each student, while upholding high musicianship standards. Ariel is excited to work with the skilled piano students at Voice in the Valley Music Studio and looks forward to nurturing and empowering their musical talent!

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ABOUT LAURA

Laura Garsson is excited to join the instructional team at Voice in the Valley Music studio teaching voice and piano! Though she is a native of Hawaii, Laura has lived coast-to-coast in both Washington and Virginia. Drawn to music from a young age, Laura taught herself how to play the piano at the age of nine Her parents enrolled her in formal piano lessons when she was eleven years-old and she continued studying privately throughout college. Her love for choral music was also evident from a young age. A natural soprano, Laura joined her church choir when she was twelve and continued to perform in choirs throughout high school and college. While living in Virginia, Laura received her Bachelor’s degree in Music with an emphasis in Choral Music Education from Christopher Newport University in 2011 with a concentration in voice and piano, studying under Dr. Lauren Fowler-Calisto and Dr. Alice Hammel. During her tenure at CNU she participated in several ensembles including the CNU Chamber Choir, Women’s Choir, as well as the opera program. She was a featured soloist in the 2010-2011 choral season, performing under notable guest conductors, Rene Clausen and Eric Whitacre. Laura continued her graduate studies at CNU, completing her Master of Arts degree in Choral Music Education in 2012, with a concentration in vocal performance. Upon graduation, Laura began her choral conducting career directing the choirs at Easton Middle School and Berkeley Middle School in Virginia from 2012-2015. Wanting to return to her Washington roots, Laura moved back across the country, where she began teaching for the Issaquah School District as the choir director for Pine Lake middle school and Beaver Lake middle school. In addition to her choral conducting duties, Laura also helps her students prepare and audition for the annual Washington Music Educators Association Solo and Ensemble Contest, All State Choir, and Large Group Festivals. She has had the honor of taking her 8th grade choir to perform at Disneyland five years in a row! A driven and motivated educator, Laura completed her National Board Certification in secondary Choral Music Education in 2017 and in 2018, she was awarded the Golden Apple Educator Award for excellence in leadership and teaching. In addition to her calling as a choral conductor, Laura feels equally passionate about private musical instruction, teaching private voice and piano lessons for over fifteen years. Laura has been playing the piano for over twenty-five years and has competed in several competitions, including the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association piano ensemble competitions and festival. A classically trained soprano, Laura was a featured soloist with the Seattle based women's choir, Ancora from 2017-2018. Laura feels comfortable teaching all styles and levels of voice. Laura and her husband, Nic, are proud to now call Maple Valley their home. In their spare time, they enjoy spending time with their soon-to-be year-old daughter Evelyn and her three “fur brothers.” Laura also enjoys gardening, cooking/baking, and traveling. She looks forward to serving the musical needs in her local community!

ABOUT ADENA, Administrative Assistant Extrodinaire 

Adena Pasibe is a smart, friendly, highly-organized, master-juggler, and local super-mom that helps keep us sane and keep our music lessons on track! You will often find Adena helping onboard students, prepping for recitals, and basically keeping families and teachers' happy and balanced; and for that we are truly grateful! What a blessing it is to have her on board!

 

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