Meet Our Faculty

Meet Our Instructors

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  • Addie Deppa

    Addie Deppa received both her Bachelor’s and Professional Studies degrees in music performance from Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland Ohio. Ms. Deppa is a certified Suzuki teacher and previously lived and taught in Cleveland Ohio for 5 years at private schools as well as El Sistema after school programs. She has been teaching in NYC for the past year at various schools both in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In addition to the violin and viola, she also teaches music theory. Dr. Suzuki’s quote “Beautiful tone, beautiful heart” has always been a cornerstone in her teaching. She believes children are so sensitive and once they are exposed to beauty, they will never forget and whatever they decide to do with their lives, they will always strive to make it beautiful!

  • Amanda Bower

    amandaAmanda Bower is a junior at the Frost School of Music, studying Music Therapy with a double minor in Psychology and Creative American Music. Her principal instruments are contemporary guitar and voice, but she also loves songwriting, playing piano, and ukulele! Amanda is from Boynton Beach, Florida and is passionate about spreading the joy of music to people of all ages and abilities. She has led interactive music sessions in memory care and assisted living facilities throughout Palm Beach County and teaches music classes in summer camp and daycare settings for children. Amanda works with the Frost Preparatory Program assisting and leading Little Canes classes, as well as teaching piano lessons.

  • Andrea Caballero

    Operaworld Magazine describes Andrea Gonzalez Caballero as “the female voice of the Spanish guitar”. Andrea is a laureate of multiple prestigious international guitar competitions, receiving First Prize and Special Prize at the “XL International Competition F. Sor” (Rome), and First Prize at the “XIII Alhambra International Guitar Competition” (Valencia), of which she was the youngest guitarist to receive first prize.


    The BBC Music Magazine described her as one of today’s young rising stars of the classical guitar. Andrea has appeared at international festivals and concert series around the world. Recent highlights include performances at Palau de la Música in Barcelona, National Auditorium and Juan March Foundationin Madrid, as well as performances with Sinfonietta Ratingen and Neue Philharmonie Westfalen in Germany. Selected by the International Guitar Foundation of London to perform as a soloist in international music festivals such as the “London Guitar Festival”, she debuted in the UK offering concerts at venues like King’s Cross in London and Sage Gateshead in Newcastle.


    Andrea’s 2017 Naxos CD, which contains the premiere of new guitar compositions and pieces by composers like B.Britten, Albéniz or Tárrega was received with great acclaim: “This album is a delicate, elegant and majestic musical word…” obtaining the Golden Melomano distinction by Melomano Magazine.


    Andrea has been supported by “Alexander von Humboldt Foundation”, “DAAD” (German Academic Exchange Service), “AIE” (Society of Performing Artists of Spain) and “Provincial Council of Guipuzcoa” to study at the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule in Düsseldorf (Germany), where she graduated with honors. Andrea has recently obtained a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University receiving the James Winship Lewis Memorial Prize.


    In her effort to promote and expand the classical guitar repertoire, Andrea has premiered pieces composed by Sergio Assad, Joaquín Clerch, Carlos Fernando López and Dustin Carlson among others. In addition, her most recent projects include the participation in the film "No Man's Land",co-composing and performing part of the soundtrack and therelease of the recording "EUSKARAZ" in collaboration with the composer and producer Carlos Fernando López , Grammy and Latin Grammy winner.


    Andrea is sponsored by Guitarras Alhambra y D’addario and co.

  • Angelica Sganga

    Angelica Sganga, Artistic Director and Scholarship Chair of the Coral Gables Music Club, is both a Concert Pianist and Professional Classical Ballerina with vast experience in the Performing Arts realm. Born in Caracas Venezuela from Italian and Spanish parents, she began taking piano lessons from her mother and her musical training at the Juan Jose Landaeta Music Conservatory, where she was awarded special entrance at the early age of four. At the age of nine, she won her first piano competition, placing first, on the National Venezuelan “Demusica Piano Competition”. In 1989 Angelica moved to Miami where she continued her musical studies with renowned teacher Peggy Neighbors Erwin. She graduated with honors from the New World School of the Arts where she studied on a full scholarship and received a Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance. She obtained her Master's Degree at FIU and Artist Diploma studies under the direction of Kemal Gekic. Angelica has received wide recognition for her numerous public performances and awards throughout the years. From winning the Concerto competition at both New World and FIU to being a soloist with professional local and international orchestras. She has performed abroad from the United States to South America, Europe, and as far as, the Beijing Conservatory, Shanghai Music Hall, and the Peking Opera School. In 2007 she joined the faculty at FIU as a staff accompanist and does a great number of collaborative piano performances with numerous local artists. In 2015 Angelica co-founded the Zapateado Duo with Canadian born cellist Marie Elaine Gagnon, a piano-cello duo devoted to promoting Latin and Spanish Music. Since then they have done several tours around the Mid Western States, Florida, and most recently were invited to be part of the LoKo Arts Festival at SUNY-Potsdam New York 2019, performing at Crane School of Music.

    Mrs. Sganga has committed the past years of her life to give back to her community, helping promote young talented musicians; organizing numerous events for the Coral Gables Jr Music Club, raising scholarship money, judging many local music competitions, giving lecture-recitals and masterclasses. Together with the Coral Gables Music Club board, she will continue her efforts to help build a stronger local musical community.

  • Beiyao Ji

    Beiyao Ji is a pianist from Sichuan, China. He received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles in 2013. He continued his studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he received his Master of Music and Artist Diploma. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts at the Frost School of Music under the instruction of acclaimed pianist and teacher Kevin Kenner. Additionally, he serves as a full-time teaching assistant for the department of piano performance at Frost. Beiyao has received numerous accolades for his piano playing, including the opportunities to appear as a soloist with the Torrance Symphony orchestra, the Colburn Orchestra, and the Brentwood-Westwood Symphony Orchestra. Aside from performing, Beiyao has been teaching piano for six years and enjoys working with students from various levels. This is his second year teaching with the Frost Preparatory Program, and he looks forward to the opportunity to continue serving the community through his passion for music.

  • Benjamin Montgomery

    Benjamin Montgomery is a composer and theorist from Pennsylvania, USA. Writing for a diversity of vocal, instrumental, and electronic mediums, he avidly works closely with performers in the creation and realization of each work. He views the uniqueness and challenges of each piece as a personal journey to better understand human perception and beliefs. As an instructor, Benjamin’s pedagogy focuses on developing students’ curiosity and personal connection to the music. He aims to develop more complex individual understandings and interpretations by approaching music from a variety of different perspectives.

    His music has been programmed by ensembles and organizations such as Seraphic Fire, the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra, the New York City Electronic Music Festival, Duo Cortona, The NED Ensemble, Kaleidoscope MusArt, and the Skylark Vocal Ensemble. His work “Machine” for alto saxophone and fixed media has been released on RNM Music’s album “Electroacoustic & Beyond Vol. 4.” He has been in residence at festivals such as New Music on the Point, the Cortona Sessions for New Music, and the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium.

    Benjamin holds a DMA in Composition from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and MM degrees in Composition and Music Theory from Michigan State University. He received a BM in Composition from Ithaca College (NY). He has studied with composers such as Charles N. Mason, Dorothy Hindman, Ricardo Lorenz, Jere Hutcheson, and Dana Wilson. More information can be found at

  • Emiri Nourishirazi

    Emiri Nourishirazi started piano lessons at the age of seven with Russian-American pianist Irena Kofman. She has been the winner of numerous competitions at a young age. Participating in the International Keyboard Odyssiad Competition and Festival in the summer of 2015, she was the silver medalist in her category. She also had the honor of performing with the Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra and Coral Gables Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her performance career, Emiri is an active teacher. She currently teaches at the Frost Preparatory Program, where she works with children of various ages. Emiri received her Bachelor's in Piano performance in 2016 at the University of Miami Frost School if Music, where she studied with Santiago Rodriguez. Currently, she is pursuing her Master's degree at the same school, studying with Kevin Kenner. Emiri is the piano fellowship recipient of the Henry Mancini Orchestra, an ensemble which she has recently performed at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

  • Gene Paul Gayol

    Gene Paul Gayol is born and raised in Miami, Florida and has 15+ years of teaching experience in Miami and Los Angeles. He has recorded or performed with Latin Grammy & Platinum award-winning artists such as Marc Anthony, Alejandro Sanz & David Bisbal. He currently accompanies three-time Latin Grammy-winning singer Diego Torres. In 2018 Gene released an EP of original music Live at City of Progress Studio recorded under the name Gene Paul Band. 



  • Inesa Gegprifti

    Albanian-born pianist Inesa Gegprifti has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, U.S.A, and South America. Noted performances include appearances with the National Radio Television Orchestra of Albania and the Indian Hill Orchestra, chamber concerts in Italy, Slovenia, and Puerto Rico, as well as artist residencies at the “Vivace Vilnius International Summer Festival,” International Portogruaro Festival “A tempo,” the Conservatory of Cuenca, and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Ecuador. Over the years, Dr. Gegprifti has pursued her piano studies under the guidance of Valbona Kasaj, Dario de Rosa, Maureen Jones, Alberto Miodini, Igor Cognolato, Max Levinson, Evelyne Brancart, Naoko Takao, and Santiago Rodriguez. A graduate of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee (B.M.) and Indiana University (M.M.), she completed her D.M.A. at the Frost School of Music, UM. Dr. Gegprifti is one of the founding members of Kaleidoscope MusArt, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Miami, dedicated to bridging the gap between canonical classical music and rarely-heard or recently-composed works. Dr. Gegprifti is currently on the faculty of the Superior Academy of Music, the Frost Preparatory Program, and the Frost Young Musicians Camp, as well as the Keyboard Department at Frost School of Music Adjunct Lecturer. 

  • Jose Veliz

    Jose Veliz is an award-winning composer, performer, interactive artist, and technologist from Guatemala, currently based in South Florida. He has written musical compositions and arrangements for live performances, films, and other media projects, and has performed as a pianist and conductor in a variety of settings. One focus he’s had in recent years has been towards the development of interactive art experiences revolving around music and sound. His objective is to develop further engagement and understanding of unique musical genres by allowing audiences to be immersed and become a part of the music.


    Jose earned a Bachelor’s in Music Media Writing and Production at the University of Miami Frost School of Music with a certificate in Classical Piano Performance, and is currently earning a Master’s in Music Technology from Florida International University. He is a winner of various awards most notably a Knight New Work Winner and a Young Arts Winner.

  • Juan Gomez

    Juan Gomez is a Frost Prep group piano teacher who was formerly a piano student under the Frost Prep Program for 11 years. He has experience in teaching group piano as before he became a teacher, he was a volunteer teaching assistant for his last year as a Frost Prep student. He is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in music education and aspires to become a college music professor.


  • Katarzyna Cieślik

    Polish-born violinist Katarzyna Cieślik began her musical training at the age of 7 at the State Music School in Bialystok. Later she graduated from the Frederic Chopin University of Music with a Masters degree in Violin Performance and Pedagogy. She was a member of the award-winning Podlaska Philharmonic Orchestra for over 20 years in which she played an average of 80 performances annually and toured through most of Europe, the former Soviet Union, China, and the U.S. (Carnegie Hall). During her years as an orchestra musician, she was often involved in educational outreach programs at local schools. She was also an active member of the Sotto Voce String Quartet until moving to South Florida in 2015 where her attention focused more intensively on teaching children. She has worked as a violin teacher at the Miami Fine Arts Academy and continues to work with children in local schools for Miami Music Project. As a certified teacher of Music Mind Games, she helps children learn the basic principles of music through games. She also utilizes the examination system of the Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate Program.

  • Luca Cubisino

    Luca Cubisino is a polyhedral and versatile artist, whose path is paved with performance, teaching, and research. Prize winner in nearly twenty national and international piano competitions, Luca Cubisino has played in prestigious venues such as Teatro Massimo “V. Bellini” in Catania, Concertgebouw de Doelen in Rotterdam, Wiener Saal in Salzburg, Wertheim Concert Hall in Miami, and other venues in Bologna, Leipzig, New York, Austin, Atlanta, etc. His musicianship has benefited from lessons and master classes given by Antonella Scuderi, Flavio Meniconi, Franco Scala, Aquiles Delle Vigne, François-Joël Thiollier, Antonio Ballista, Choong-Mo Kang, Gerald Fauth, Bruno Canino, Enrico Pace, Anton Nel, Boris Slutsky, Marina Lomazov, and others. 

    Born in Italy, Luca Cubisino earned undergraduate (B.M.) and graduate (M.M.) degrees in his home country. Additionally, he earned two Master’s degrees at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Rotterdam and at Texas State University, where he was awarded the 2014 “Piano Achievement Award”. Recently, he has earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Keyboard Performance at the Frost School of Music, where he studied with Professors Tian Ying and Kevin Kenner and served as a Teaching Assistant. 

    Luca Cubisino collaborates with various musical organizations, including AmiCa in Sicily, of which he is the Artistic Director (, San Giacomo Festival in Bologna, which organizes almost two hundred concerts every year (, and Kaleidoscope MusArt in Miami, which focuses its activity mostly on contemporary classical music ( 

    Jury member in several piano competitions, Luca Cubisino has given masterclasses for Grumo Festival in Tesero (Italy) and for the Miami Conservatory of Music in Miami. He is also the 2016 winner of the Presser Award at the University of Miami for his project of publishing and recording Ottorino Respighi’s early piano works. 

    Currently, he teaches at the Preparatory Program of the Frost School of Music, University of Miami. 

  • Rosa Villar-Córdova Scott

    Rosa Villar-Córdova Scott’s pursuit of expressive pianism has caused her to be noted as an artist of unique abilities. Since her debut with the National Orchestra of Peru at the age of twelve, her talents as a pianist and collaborator have brought her to stages across America, Europe, and South America. Especially of note are her performances as soloist with orchestras in both South America and the United States.

    The Peruvian-Spanish pianist has been an award recipient in many competitions. These include prizes in the Bradshaw & Buono International Competition, National Society of Arts and Letters (Florida Chapter), the Central Florida Symphony Concerto Competition, the NYU Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, and Tutte le Corde (Music after 1950) among others in the United States. Also, in her native country of Perú, she has received recognition for her accomplishments by garnering first prize in the National Concerto Competition and receiving the Southern Perú Corporation Music Award.

    Rosa Scott performances as a soloist and chamber musician have given her the opportunity to appear in masterclasses and lectures given by world-renowned artists such as Vladimir Feldman, Mischa Dichter, John Perry, Arthur Pizarro, Glenn Dicterow, Daniel Epstein, Ursula Oppens, Donald Berman, Seymour Bernstein, Joaquin Achucarro, Mark Durand, Julian Martin, Robert McDonald, Ann Schein, Paul Posnak, Frank Cooper and Isaac Stern. She has also been awarded scholarships to participate in such noted music festivals as Marguess International Music Festival in Switzerland, the Gijón Festival in Spain, the International Institute for Young Musicians in Kansas City, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Mannes School in New York.

    The pianist Elena Ichikawa at the National Conservatory of Music in Peru was Rosa's first teacher in her home city of Lima. After she moved to the United States she was given the opportunity to study with such celebrated teachers as Susan Starr, Roberta Rust, Kemal Gekic and Nina Svetlanova. She also spent two years in Italy studying with the French pianist Marylene Mouquet and the Italian pianist Sergio Perticaroli. While living there she was awarded a music grant by the province of Rome. Upon her return to New York, she received two scholarships from the Marion and Eubie Blake scholarship award and the Steinhardt department at NYU to continue her studies in piano performance with Professor Miyoko Lotto. She attended the Manhattan School of Music and New York University for her Master's degree and she was awarded a full scholarship to study with Dr. Jonathan Bass at The Boston Conservatory where she received a post-graduate diploma in performance. In 2010 she married brilliant pianist Marion Scott and moved to Miami where she studied under scholarship in the Artist Diploma program at the Frost School of Music with professor Tian-Ying. Together with her husband, she is co-director of the Miami Music Series in Palmetto Bay. Her students have received numerous awards and scholarships to major music programs in the nation. She is the Music Director at Holy Rosary - St. Richard Catholic Church and a faculty member at the University of Miami’s Frost Preparatory School of Music.

  • Sarah Huesman

    SarahSarah Huesman, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, recently completed her Artist Diploma from the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Prior to being in Miami she received her Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she studied with cello professor Alan Rafferty. During her time in Cincinnati she became a member of New Downbeat, a new music ensemble featuring women musicians that exclusively work with living composers. She is still performing with New Downbeat this year for their virtual season. Prior to living in Cincinnati, Sarah lived in Miami while receiving her Bachelor of Music from the Frost School of Music. She was cellist in the Stamps String Quartet and studied with professor Ross Harbaugh. Sarah enjoys making music in both small and large ensembles and has attended a variety of summer music programs including Texas Music Festival, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, Meadowmount, and the Castleman Quartet Program. Miss Huesman is excited to be back in Miami continuing her musical journey. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, baking sweet treats, and listening to her favorite podcast Crime Junkie.

  • Sheena Gutierrez

    sheenaSemi-finalist of the 2011 Sphinx Competition, Sheena Gutierrez, is one of Miami’s promising young talents. Critics and mentors have acclaimed Sheena for her “striking musicianship”, “lovely tone”, “love for music”, and her “sensitive interpretation of classical masterpieces.”

    In 2005, Sheena debut as a soloist with the Coral Gables Young Musician’s Orchestra. She also performed in the annual Superintendent’s Honors Music Festival for six consecutive years. These early successes paved the way to her performances in halls such as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, New World Center, Adrienne Arsht Center, Harris Theater, Studzinski Hall, Benedict Music Tent, KKL Luzern Concert Hall (Switzerland), and König Albert Theater (Germany), among others.

    Sheena regularly travels to festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, Lucerne Academy Festival (Switzerland), Moritzburg Festival Academy (Germany), Bowdoin International Music Festival (Maine), and the European Union Orchestra (Austria), among others. Other honors include a distinguished finalist in the 2008 Walenstein Competition, and an honorable mention in the 2011 Alexander and Buono International Competition.

    As an avid contemporary musician, Sheena has participated in the Charles E. Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music, the Boston Conservatory New Music Festival, and the Boston New Music Initiative. She was also hand selected for 3 seasons, as one of the 130 highly gifted young musicians internationally, to travel to Lucerne, Switzerland and Paris, France to participate in the Lucerne Academy Festival founded by Pierre Boulez.

    Sheena also has a strong passion for string pedagogy. She recently just recorded a CD for The ABCs of Violin for the More Advanced, Book 4 with Janice Tucker Rhoda, author of the popular instruction series, the ABCs of Strings and Complete Technique, published by Carl Fischer Music.

    Along with Stepan Rudenko, pianist and husband, she has formed the Sotto Amore Duo in 2011 to inspire people with their love and passion for music. They are actively performing recitals around South Florida.

    She joined the Sphinx Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra-compromised of Top Laureates of the Sphinx Competition- in 2011. This Fall, she will join them once again for their tour -celebrating Sphinx Organization’s 20th anniversary.

    Sheena was introduced to the violin at the age of 12 with Mariana Carreras, violinist from Havana, Cuba. She later studied with Thomas Moore, world-renowned Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at the New World School of the Arts and Professor Emeritus of the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. She completed her Bachelor degree at the Boston Conservatory of Music studying with Rictor Noren, and Master degree at the University of Miami studying with Charles Castleman and Scott Flavin. Most recently, Sheena finished her Doctorate degree as a Teaching Assistant to Charles Castleman at University of Miami. Her dissertation was on “Gender Bias Among the Big Five Orchestras - As Illustrated in Hiring Practices of Women Instrumentalists.” Sheena plays on a

    “Kemp” Guarnerius del Gesu violin Opus 809, made by Douglas Cox, violin maker in Brattleboro, Vermont through a Sphinx Music Organization loan.

  • Stephen Gleason

  • Sydney Altbacker

    Sydney Altbacker is a junior Music Theory and Composition and Media Writing and Production double major at the Frost School of Music. She studies voice under Sandra Lopez-Neill and plays piano, guitar, and French horn on campus. She is a business manager and arranger of the University of Miami’s premier a cappella group, BisCaydence. In her summers, Sydney teaches elementary music at a Long Island day camp, private piano and voice lessons, and performs her own music locally.  Sydney has worked with the Frost Preparatory Program for 2 years accompanying Suzuki classes ranging from levels I-IV, Little Canes Music classes, and piano. 



  • Yudi Zhang

    Yudi Zhang started her study in piano performance at the age of 5. She went to The Affiliated High School of Tianjin Conservatory of Music in China for professional studies and received her Bachelor of Music at Tianjin Conservatory of Music with the first-place merit scholarship in 2017. Yudi continued her piano studies at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, where she obtained her Master of Music under the studios of the famous soloists Soyeon Kate Lee and Dror Biran in 2019. Now Yudi is pursuing her Doctoral degree in piano performance at the Frost school of music with Professor Tian Ying. In her time as an undergrad and master's, she successfully held her solo and chamber recitals and earned rich stage experiences from participating in concerts as both soloist and accompanist. She was honored to be the director of the department of academics of the student union to organize activities such as music tutoring and performance for professional students and non-major students. Yudi also had masterclasses with the Chinese-born Italian Pianist Jin Ju and Japanese Pianist Kyoko Hashimoto. 

    Besides Yudi's role as a professional student, she is also a passionate and patient piano teacher with more than six years of teaching experience.From the year 2020, Yudi joined the Frost Preparatory Program and had an enjoyable and unforgettable time with the Frost Prep family. Yudi enjoys teaching students of different ages and levelsand explores the art of piano teaching. She believes learning piano is not only a unique skill to show one's creativity but also a way to share one's joy and feelings from the heart.