Our Teachers

The Hudson Education Center prides itself on providing our students with music learning from highly qualified music professionals.

Austin Borst    Voice, Guitar, Ukulele   Austin Borst is graduating from MSU with a bachelors in music education after student teaching this fall! He was Treasurer and then President of the American Choir Director Association’s MSU Chapter. He has experience teaching music in kindergarten, middle, high school and retirement home choirs. Austin started his musical journey singing John Denver with his family as a toddler which eventually led to picking up the guitar and performing. In addition to guitar and singing, Austin plays piano and ukulele.

Austin Borst

Voice, Guitar, Ukulele

Austin Borst is graduating from MSU with a bachelors in music education after student teaching this fall! He was Treasurer and then President of the American Choir Director Association’s MSU Chapter. He has experience teaching music in kindergarten, middle, high school and retirement home choirs. Austin started his musical journey singing John Denver with his family as a toddler which eventually led to picking up the guitar and performing. In addition to guitar and singing, Austin plays piano and ukulele.

Charlotte Darr    Voice and Early Childhood Music   Charlotte Darr is a soprano originally from Dexter, Michigan. She has completed degrees in both Music Education and Vocal Performance from the Michigan State University College of Music. She has had the opportunity to perform with Tianjin Concert Hall in Tianjin, China, Master Classes at the Centro Studi Carlo Della Giacoma music festival in Todi, Italy, MSU Opera Theatre, the University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Croswell Opera House, and for various community events. In 2018, Charlotte was a finalist in the MSU College of Music Honors Competition.  Charlotte has a deep love for music education and has taught lessons in Dexter, East Lansing, and Grand Ledge, Michigan. Her students frequently perform for school and community theaters, and have gone on to pursue voice degrees at the collegiate level. Outside of voice lessons, Charlotte teaches Early Childhood Music classes with HEC.

Charlotte Darr

Voice and Early Childhood Music

Charlotte Darr is a soprano originally from Dexter, Michigan. She has completed degrees in both Music Education and Vocal Performance from the Michigan State University College of Music. She has had the opportunity to perform with Tianjin Concert Hall in Tianjin, China, Master Classes at the Centro Studi Carlo Della Giacoma music festival in Todi, Italy, MSU Opera Theatre, the University of Michigan Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Croswell Opera House, and for various community events. In 2018, Charlotte was a finalist in the MSU College of Music Honors Competition.

Charlotte has a deep love for music education and has taught lessons in Dexter, East Lansing, and Grand Ledge, Michigan. Her students frequently perform for school and community theaters, and have gone on to pursue voice degrees at the collegiate level. Outside of voice lessons, Charlotte teaches Early Childhood Music classes with HEC.

Gordon Darr    Piano   Gordon Darr discovered his love for music during his elementary school years. He began accompanying for Solo and Ensemble festivals in 1973, and hasn't missed a year since. Since 1971, Gordon has remained active as a volunteer in local schools, and as a performer, teacher, music director, and songwriter.  Gordon began teaching piano lessons in the Washtenaw County area in 2003. He then pursued a Master Degree in Education, earning that and Teacher certification from the University of Michigan in 2006.  Gordon leads the Piano Studio at HEC, and is the Director of Performance Programs (Rising Stars, Solo and Ensemble, Audition Preparation Program), and is President and Chairman of the Board.

Gordon Darr

Piano

Gordon Darr discovered his love for music during his elementary school years. He began accompanying for Solo and Ensemble festivals in 1973, and hasn't missed a year since. Since 1971, Gordon has remained active as a volunteer in local schools, and as a performer, teacher, music director, and songwriter.

Gordon began teaching piano lessons in the Washtenaw County area in 2003. He then pursued a Master Degree in Education, earning that and Teacher certification from the University of Michigan in 2006.

Gordon leads the Piano Studio at HEC, and is the Director of Performance Programs (Rising Stars, Solo and Ensemble, Audition Preparation Program), and is President and Chairman of the Board.

Benjamin Gittens    Piano   Benjamin Gittens is an American-born pianist of Caribbean and Hispanic descent. He has been teaching piano for the past nine years. He has won numerous competitions and scholarship awards beginning in 2012; most recently he won First Prize in the Marjorie Neville Collaborative Chamber Music Competition and the Wyoming Music Club Scholarship in 2018; First Prize in the Auer Solo Piano Competition in Indiana, First Prize in the Young Artist Division of the Colorado Piano Festival, and Third Prize of the International Young Artist Piano Competition in Washington D.C. in 2017. He and his chamber group won Second Prize at the 2017 College-Conservatory of Music Chamber Music Competition and he was the First Prize winner of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Undergraduate Piano Competition for three consecutive years during his undergraduate studies (2015, 2016, and 2017). He makes frequent national and international solo appearances, performs collaboratively with instrumentalists and vocalists and he performs for schools, churches, community events, and at other venues. Benjamin completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati in 2018. He is currently studying at the School of Music, Theater, and Dance at the University of Michigan where he is completing two Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance and Chamber Music.

Benjamin Gittens

Piano

Benjamin Gittens is an American-born pianist of Caribbean and Hispanic descent. He has been teaching piano for the past nine years. He has won numerous competitions and scholarship awards beginning in 2012; most recently he won First Prize in the Marjorie Neville Collaborative Chamber Music Competition and the Wyoming Music Club Scholarship in 2018; First Prize in the Auer Solo Piano Competition in Indiana, First Prize in the Young Artist Division of the Colorado Piano Festival, and Third Prize of the International Young Artist Piano Competition in Washington D.C. in 2017. He and his chamber group won Second Prize at the 2017 College-Conservatory of Music Chamber Music Competition and he was the First Prize winner of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Undergraduate Piano Competition for three consecutive years during his undergraduate studies (2015, 2016, and 2017). He makes frequent national and international solo appearances, performs collaboratively with instrumentalists and vocalists and he performs for schools, churches, community events, and at other venues. Benjamin completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati in 2018. He is currently studying at the School of Music, Theater, and Dance at the University of Michigan where he is completing two Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance and Chamber Music.

Spencer Hanson    Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin   Spencer is an Ann Arbor based gigging musician, having played from New York to Colorado, and is involved in several projects. A recent EMU graduate, he studied music at EMU, where he played classical guitar, as well as jazz guitar and bass.  As a teacher, Spencer values improvisation, songwriting and musical exploration as pathways to musical mastery. He believes that music should be fun, and that practice is most effective when it’s enjoyable.

Spencer Hanson

Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin

Spencer is an Ann Arbor based gigging musician, having played from New York to Colorado, and is involved in several projects. A recent EMU graduate, he studied music at EMU, where he played classical guitar, as well as jazz guitar and bass.

As a teacher, Spencer values improvisation, songwriting and musical exploration as pathways to musical mastery. He believes that music should be fun, and that practice is most effective when it’s enjoyable.

Ryan Jones    Composition, Piano   Ryan H. Jones is a composer, arranger, and pianist based out of Lansing, Michigan. He has recently completed his Bachelor of Music in Composition at Michigan State University. As a composer, Ryan is influenced by his experience free improvising, performing classical piano repertoire, and singing in choirs. He has won the Michigan State University Honors Competition (2018), and he received second place in the Symphonia Chorale New Music Competition (2017). His arrangements have been featured in The Church Pianist, published by the Lorenz Corporation. As a pianist, Ryan enjoys giving recitals, and loves accompanying, taking just about every opportunity he can find to play collaboratively.

Ryan Jones

Composition, Piano

Ryan H. Jones is a composer, arranger, and pianist based out of Lansing, Michigan. He has recently completed his Bachelor of Music in Composition at Michigan State University. As a composer, Ryan is influenced by his experience free improvising, performing classical piano repertoire, and singing in choirs. He has won the Michigan State University Honors Competition (2018), and he received second place in the Symphonia Chorale New Music Competition (2017). His arrangements have been featured in The Church Pianist, published by the Lorenz Corporation. As a pianist, Ryan enjoys giving recitals, and loves accompanying, taking just about every opportunity he can find to play collaboratively.

Madison Montambault    Voice   Mezzo-Soprano, Madison Montambault prides herself in her versatile performance ability across the operatic repertoire. Her array of repertoire includes the Old Lady ( Candide ), Bradamante ( Alcina ), Carmen ( Carmen ), Madame de Croissy ( Les Dialogues des Carmélites ), and Dorabella ( Così fan tutte).  In 2017, she made her professional debut with Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings in David Lang’s  The Difficulty of Crossing a Field  singing the role of Mrs. Williamson. In May 2019, she sang the role of Mrs. Muley in Ricky Ian Gordon’s  The Grapes of Wrath  with Michigan Opera Theatre. Ms. Montambault holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance and completed a Master of Music Degree in Voice Performance in 2019, both from The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance where she was a graduate fellow. She is a longtime student of internationally acclaimed bass-baritone, Stephen West.

Madison Montambault

Voice

Mezzo-Soprano, Madison Montambault prides herself in her versatile performance ability across the operatic repertoire. Her array of repertoire includes the Old Lady (Candide), Bradamante (Alcina), Carmen (Carmen), Madame de Croissy (Les Dialogues des Carmélites), and Dorabella (Così fan tutte). In 2017, she made her professional debut with Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings in David Lang’s The Difficulty of Crossing a Field singing the role of Mrs. Williamson. In May 2019, she sang the role of Mrs. Muley in Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath with Michigan Opera Theatre. Ms. Montambault holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance and completed a Master of Music Degree in Voice Performance in 2019, both from The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance where she was a graduate fellow. She is a longtime student of internationally acclaimed bass-baritone, Stephen West.

Amadeo Roberson    Saxophone   Amadeo is an Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti based saxophonist in the southeastern Michigan area. Amadeo is currently in the process of obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Saxophone performance from Eastern Michigan University. At EMU he has had immense amounts of experience in chamber music such as saxophone quartet, as well as saxophone & string duets. On top of which he has participated in the EMU Wind Symphony, Symphonic band, and both jazz ensembles such as Big band Jazz and Jazz chamber ensemble. His teaching style is varied upon the personality of his students and the goals he and his students set out together so that the most efficient and enjoyable experience of music is what drives his students to play and effectively practice. Amadeo advocates for the learning of jazz and improvised music as a means of deep musical exploration and the acquirement of language of music for any and all instruments as well as any and all genres. Outside of music performance Amadeo spends his time focusing on songwriting/composition, composition through improvisation, and producing audio for all forms of entertainment.

Amadeo Roberson

Saxophone

Amadeo is an Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti based saxophonist in the southeastern Michigan area. Amadeo is currently in the process of obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Saxophone performance from Eastern Michigan University. At EMU he has had immense amounts of experience in chamber music such as saxophone quartet, as well as saxophone & string duets. On top of which he has participated in the EMU Wind Symphony, Symphonic band, and both jazz ensembles such as Big band Jazz and Jazz chamber ensemble. His teaching style is varied upon the personality of his students and the goals he and his students set out together so that the most efficient and enjoyable experience of music is what drives his students to play and effectively practice. Amadeo advocates for the learning of jazz and improvised music as a means of deep musical exploration and the acquirement of language of music for any and all instruments as well as any and all genres. Outside of music performance Amadeo spends his time focusing on songwriting/composition, composition through improvisation, and producing audio for all forms of entertainment.

Dr. Joy Rowland    Double Bass   Maryland native Joy Rowland graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins Institute where she received her Bachelors degree in double bass performance in 2009. While at Peabody, Joy studied with John Hood of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She then went on to receive her Masters degree in 2011 and her Doctorate Degree in 2016 at Michigan State University under the tutelage of Professor Jack Budrow of the North Carolina Symphony.  She has participated in summer programs such as the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute in 2004-05, the Gateways Music Festival in 2013 and 2015, which promotes minorities in the arts, and the National Repertory Orchestra in 2015.  In addition to teaching and being a member of both the Ann Arbor and Midland symphonies, she frequently subs with the Grand Rapids, West Michigan, and Lansing Symphonies.

Dr. Joy Rowland

Double Bass

Maryland native Joy Rowland graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins Institute where she received her Bachelors degree in double bass performance in 2009. While at Peabody, Joy studied with John Hood of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She then went on to receive her Masters degree in 2011 and her Doctorate Degree in 2016 at Michigan State University under the tutelage of Professor Jack Budrow of the North Carolina Symphony.

She has participated in summer programs such as the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute in 2004-05, the Gateways Music Festival in 2013 and 2015, which promotes minorities in the arts, and the National Repertory Orchestra in 2015.

In addition to teaching and being a member of both the Ann Arbor and Midland symphonies, she frequently subs with the Grand Rapids, West Michigan, and Lansing Symphonies.

Hanna Rumora    Cello   Hanna’s love for the cello began at the age of 5, and has only grown as she's followed music to all corners of the US and around the world to places like Canada, China, and South Korea. Since her arrival at the University of Michigan where she is completing her graduate studies, Hanna has immersed herself in every type of music, including genres such as classical, contemporary, folk, and jazz. A committed teacher, Hanna maintains a studio ranging from young children to adult learners and has partially completed Suzuki teacher training under the tutelage of Andrea Yun. Constantly seeking opportunities to share music with all sorts of people, she finds joy in every variety of music-making.

Hanna Rumora

Cello

Hanna’s love for the cello began at the age of 5, and has only grown as she's followed music to all corners of the US and around the world to places like Canada, China, and South Korea. Since her arrival at the University of Michigan where she is completing her graduate studies, Hanna has immersed herself in every type of music, including genres such as classical, contemporary, folk, and jazz. A committed teacher, Hanna maintains a studio ranging from young children to adult learners and has partially completed Suzuki teacher training under the tutelage of Andrea Yun. Constantly seeking opportunities to share music with all sorts of people, she finds joy in every variety of music-making.

Alexandria Sikora    Clarinet   Alexandria is a Dexter based Clarinetist, and an alumni of the HEC Rising Stars Program. She graduated from Dexter High School in 2016, and was an active member of the Band Program while there. Alexandria is currently in her fourth year at Eastern Michigan University, where she is studying K-12 Instrumental Music Education. While at Eastern, she has had many performance and leadership experiences. Among these include being a section leader of the EMU Marching Band, being a member of the Wind Symphony, and participating in Chamber Music. Alexandria also has performance experience in piano, as well as choir. Alexandria is a member of three music organizations: Kappa Kappa Psi, Mu Phi Epsilon, and the National Association for Music Educators, all of which she holds officer positions. She is a committed teacher, and strives to make goals with her students that are obtainable, while still making their experience enjoyable. Alexandria finds joy in all kinds of music making, and loves any opportunity that she has to share her music with others!

Alexandria Sikora

Clarinet

Alexandria is a Dexter based Clarinetist, and an alumni of the HEC Rising Stars Program. She graduated from Dexter High School in 2016, and was an active member of the Band Program while there. Alexandria is currently in her fourth year at Eastern Michigan University, where she is studying K-12 Instrumental Music Education. While at Eastern, she has had many performance and leadership experiences. Among these include being a section leader of the EMU Marching Band, being a member of the Wind Symphony, and participating in Chamber Music. Alexandria also has performance experience in piano, as well as choir. Alexandria is a member of three music organizations: Kappa Kappa Psi, Mu Phi Epsilon, and the National Association for Music Educators, all of which she holds officer positions. She is a committed teacher, and strives to make goals with her students that are obtainable, while still making their experience enjoyable. Alexandria finds joy in all kinds of music making, and loves any opportunity that she has to share her music with others!

Emily Stegmuller    Violin and Viola   Emily began studying viola in Dexter Community Schools in 2009, and is currently attending the University of South Carolina for viola music performance where she studies with Daniel Sweaney. Versatile in a wide variety of musical genres, Emily enjoys performing both classical and jazz music with her peers. She has experience teaching students from all ages and skill levels.

Emily Stegmuller

Violin and Viola

Emily began studying viola in Dexter Community Schools in 2009, and is currently attending the University of South Carolina for viola music performance where she studies with Daniel Sweaney. Versatile in a wide variety of musical genres, Emily enjoys performing both classical and jazz music with her peers. She has experience teaching students from all ages and skill levels.

Ivan Suminski    Violin and Viola   Ivan Suminski has a Bachelor's of Music in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music, and is currently working towards a Master's degree at the University of Michigan where he studies with Aaron Berofsky. A native of Traverse City, Ivan has been playing since he was five years old. He participated in MSBOA orchestra festivals and Solo and Ensemble through middle school and high school, as well as attending the Michigan Youth Arts festival in 2013 and 2014. Locally, he is a member of the Dearborn Symphony, as well as a substitute violinist with the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra. Coming from a musical family, Ivan is dedicated to keeping music fun for his students as it was for him growing up.

Ivan Suminski

Violin and Viola

Ivan Suminski has a Bachelor's of Music in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music, and is currently working towards a Master's degree at the University of Michigan where he studies with Aaron Berofsky. A native of Traverse City, Ivan has been playing since he was five years old. He participated in MSBOA orchestra festivals and Solo and Ensemble through middle school and high school, as well as attending the Michigan Youth Arts festival in 2013 and 2014. Locally, he is a member of the Dearborn Symphony, as well as a substitute violinist with the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra. Coming from a musical family, Ivan is dedicated to keeping music fun for his students as it was for him growing up.

Hannah Taylor    Trumpet, Tuba, Early Childhood Music   Hannah is a fourth year K-12 Music Education student at Eastern Michigan University. She has studied trumpet with instructors Ryan Hobbs, Samantha Barnhart, Carter Eggers, and Ross Turner. As an Illinois native, she brings many experiences into her teaching. She has been recognized for her trumpet and tuba playing during her career as a musician, including the Semper Fidelis Award (2016) and the Trumpet Studio Scholarship. She has performed in many setting including band, jazz, orchestra, musical pit, chamber ensembles, and soloistic settings. Throughout her time in Ypsilanti, she has begun to establish an early childhood music program at a local daycare and has had success expanding it to the school-age summer program.   As both an early childhood music educator and private lesson instructor she aims to establish a solid foundation of skills for students while maintaining a fun classroom and lesson atmosphere. Hannah advocates for the advancement of music education through exposure and by helping students to further their studies with a challenging by enjoyable musical experience.

Hannah Taylor

Trumpet, Tuba, Early Childhood Music

Hannah is a fourth year K-12 Music Education student at Eastern Michigan University. She has studied trumpet with instructors Ryan Hobbs, Samantha Barnhart, Carter Eggers, and Ross Turner. As an Illinois native, she brings many experiences into her teaching. She has been recognized for her trumpet and tuba playing during her career as a musician, including the Semper Fidelis Award (2016) and the Trumpet Studio Scholarship. She has performed in many setting including band, jazz, orchestra, musical pit, chamber ensembles, and soloistic settings. Throughout her time in Ypsilanti, she has begun to establish an early childhood music program at a local daycare and has had success expanding it to the school-age summer program.

As both an early childhood music educator and private lesson instructor she aims to establish a solid foundation of skills for students while maintaining a fun classroom and lesson atmosphere. Hannah advocates for the advancement of music education through exposure and by helping students to further their studies with a challenging by enjoyable musical experience.

Eric VanWormer    Drums, Percussion   Eric VanWormer has been teaching drum set and percussion for five years around the Ann Arbor, Metro-Detroit area. He attended Eastern Michigan University studying music performance with John Dorsey. Eric has the the honor of playing alongside the Ann Arbor Symphony, The Detroit Symphony Civic Youth Orchestra, and was a featured soloist with the EMU Wind Symphony.

Eric VanWormer

Drums, Percussion

Eric VanWormer has been teaching drum set and percussion for five years around the Ann Arbor, Metro-Detroit area. He attended Eastern Michigan University studying music performance with John Dorsey. Eric has the the honor of playing alongside the Ann Arbor Symphony, The Detroit Symphony Civic Youth Orchestra, and was a featured soloist with the EMU Wind Symphony.