Instructors

Stephanie Fernsler

A specialist in voice and piano instruction, Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education/Choral from the University of Delaware and a Master of Arts in Music Education from the University of Maryland-College Park. Her research is geared towards rural elementary music teaching and how teachers can provide strong characteristics and attributes to teaching in rural demographic areas.

Stephanie spent four years teaching high school choir and theatre. She directed three different high school choirs including a mixed choir, women’s choirs, and a cappella choirs. In addition to her classroom teaching, Stephanie is an experienced private vocal instructor able to teach in a variety of styles including jazz, classical, and musical theater. She spent three years teaching with a music studio in Washington, D.C. where she taught piano and voice to students ages 4-18, as well as adults. Stephanie has also played the piano for 26 years, in classroom, church and other accompaniment settings. 

Jon Gauer

Jon Gauer is a Denver/Boulder area professional trombonist and educator, one who’s equally at home in the jazz ensemble, symphony orchestra, brass quintet, or rock & roll band. He currently performs with the Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra, Whitney Center Jazz Orchestra, and a variety of other local bands. He also leads a rock & roll horn section, The Horn Stars, who can be heard on recordings by The Dusty Pockets, The Hawthorne Roots, Cure for the Common, The Dust Stompers, and Umbrella Man. Gauer is active in the Colorado music education community, working with several high school bands in Jefferson County and teaching lessons for all brass instruments.


 Prior to his career in Colorado, Gauer studied at the University of North Texas, where he was a graduate teaching fellow as well as a member of the One O’Clock Jazz Lab Band, Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, and Trombone Consortium. 

“Jon is a good teacher, a great guy, he’s not too serious, he’ll throw a few jokes into your lessons, and he makes the lesson days fun.”

Thomas, trumpet, age 14

Casey Wilkes

A Conifer native, woodwind doubler, guitarist, pianist, and arts educator. Casey has committed his life to sharing the power of the arts. He holds a Master of Music from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor of Music from Loyola University in New Orleans.

A diverse, utilitarian musician, Casey has performed in the United States, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Taiwan appearing with everything from symphony orchestras to commercial acts. He performed with Denver’s own Radical Knitting Circle, New Orleans-based TORGO, and the Kaleidoscope Orchestra in Washington DC. He regularly appears in musical theater pit orchestras as a woodwind doubler recently playing in productions of Newsies, Damn Yankees, and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

As an educator, Casey has been teaching clarinet, saxophone, flute, guitar and many other instruments since 2009. He has worked with schools in Delaware and DC as a teaching artist and sectional coach. His students have won top chairs in bands and college scholarship awards.

“Casey is very engaging when he teaches…there is never a dull moment when learning music with him”

Former student

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