MEET OUR EDUCATORS
Our Newest Instructor – Corey Wickline
Band & Private Instructor – Trumpet
Corey Wickline is an active freelance trumpet performer and private trumpet teacher in San Diego, California.
Mr. Wickline received his Bachelor of Music (B.M.) Degree in Instrumental Performance from Point Loma Nazarene University in May 2017. Immediately following the completion of his degree, Mr. Wickline went on to pursue a Master of Music (M.M.) degree in Cincinnati, Ohio at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). He received his M.M. in Trumpet Performance this past May from CCM and has returned to San Diego to teach and perform full time. Mr. Wickline can be found performing in many San Diego ensembles and groups all over town including the La Jolla Symphony, San Diego Musical Theatre, San Diego City Ballet, the La Jolla Brass, and more. Mr. Wickline is excited to expand his studio and help inspire musicians to be the best artists and people they possibly can be!
Our New Staff – Ashton Faust
Repairs & Private Instructor – French Horn
As a North County native, Ashton Faust feels thrilled to be giving back to their hometown musical community. “Ash” has been playing the horn for 10 years, and enjoys freelancing in a variety of settings throughout Southern California. In 2019 they graduated from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music with a Bachelor of Arts in French Horn Performance. Some highlights of Ashton’s musical endeavors include recording at Capitol Records, studying with the legendary Dale Clevenger at the Marrowstone Music Festival, and performing Mahler’s epic 2nd symphony with the UCLA Philharmonia. In the summer of 2018, Ashton had an internship with the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, an experience that compels them to advocate for inclusivity in classical music. Ashton firmly believes that practicing music improves other facets of one’s life, because through this practice one learns to set goals, be diligent, and have patience.
Our Staff – David Montoya
Manager, Repairs, Band & Private Instructor – Woodwinds
David Montoya has been involved in the music community for the past 6 years. He specializes in teaching flute, clarinet, and saxophone to students of all ages. He has coached for various different schools including: Mission Hills High, La Costa Meadows Elementary, Aviara Oaks Middle, and Pacific Ridge School. He is currently a group and private lesson instructor for San Diego Music Studio.
David performs regularly as a multi-woodwind player for different types of settings like musical theater, symphony orchestras, wind ensembles, and various solo instrument and choir events.
He has been apprenticing to become an instrument repair technician for the past 3 years and has experience repairing various different woodwind and brass instruments.
Our Instructor – Kristin Benes
Strings & Private Instructor
Violist Kristin Benes was born and raised in the Chicagoland area. She attended Western Michigan University where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in viola performance with emphasis in early music studies. During her undergraduate program Kristin served as principal violist for the West Michigan Opera Project. In 2013 she was awarded the WMU Fine Arts Faculty Fellowship grant which allowed her to travel to Russia and create a feature-length documentary. She has performed with the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, The Moscow Ballet, Early Music Michigan, and the MiraCosta Symphony Orchestra. Kristin serves as the violist for Zene Strings Quartet based in San Diego and teaches the strings program at Double Peak School in San Marcos, CA.
Our Instructor – Alix Acuna
After being inspired at a young age by jazz music and technique, Alix Acuna began to study the art form of jazz interpretation and improvisation. She currently plays with the Palomar Night time Jazz Band, Palomar Symphony Orchestra, and Palomar Brass Ensemble. Alix Acuna has been studying Palomar College for her Bachelor’s degree in music education with emphasis on keyboard education. She hopes to transfer to California State University Northridge to further her educational training. Alix hopes to lead high school jazz bands and wind ensembles after attaining her bachelor’s degree and credential. Alix has been with SDMS since January 2018.
Our Instructor – Diogo Andrade
Diogo Andrade was born in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and started studying Classical Guitar at the age of 15. After two years he began studying electric guitar and joined his first band.
After a couple of years he began teaching encouraged by on of his teachers. At the age of 21 he moved to California and by 2001 he resumed his Classical Guitar and Music studies at Grossmont College.
Fred Benedetti and George Svoboda were his instructors on Classical Performance and Guitar Ensemble. He started teaching and performing with Samba Chopps, NACalifa band and also The Parallel Project. He performed in many venues in San Diego, like: Belly Up Tavern, 4th and B, Canes and Cafe Sevilla. He also taught at Alan’s Music Center for 17 years and at Grossmont Union High School District for over 12 years. He is the founder of the website: www.weddingguitarsandiego.com. Diogo Andrade currently plays solo in many Weddings, Corporate and private events as well as with Grupo Resenha.
Our Staff – Kimberly Deverell
Director of Educational Development and Advocacy
A wife and mother of 2 children, Kimberly Deverell is a graduate of San Diego State University where she received Magna Cum Laude with Distinction in her major of Music Education. She has been an instructor at San Diego Music Studio since 1997 and serves as the Studio’s Director of Education and Professional Growth. She supervises all of the special events and educational programs as well as oversees all aspects of teaching and class structure. Kimberly is a member of the Music Teacher’s Association of California and participates in helping qualified students prepare for MTAC competitions. Additionally, Kimberly serves on the Board of Director’s for a local non-profit organization Charity Wings which promotes keeping Arts alive throughout her community.
Kimberly contributes her time and expertise by speaking at music industry educational sessions and being actively involved in the National Association of Music Merchants. Kimberly has participated in the NAMM Music Advocacy Fly-In in Washington DC each year since 2016 where she advocates for music education and arts in the schools. Additionally she became involved in S.W.I.M Foundation (Smart Women in Music); a movement to drive inclusion and empowerment within the music products industry. Most recently, Kimberly was elected to serve on the NAMM Board of Directors for 2019-2022.
Our Instructor – Sarah Hardin
Voice & Private Instructor
Sarah Hardin began singing since she reached an age old enough to vocalize. She studies Music Education at Palomar College with a focus in composition. In the future, she hopes to pursue careers in choir direction, elementary music education, private voice instruction, and freelance composing. Despite the length of the list, Sarah looks forward to studying these multiple fields throughout the long years ahead. She finds inspiration in jazz, punk rock, musical theatre, indie pop, and anything with funky harmonies!
Our Master Repair Technician – Mario Martinez
Mario Martinez, AKA “Super Mario” is our on-site master repair technician at San Diego Music Studio and has over twenty years of instrument repair experience. He is a certified member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) and specializes in the care of brass, woodwind, and string instruments. Mario mentors our other repair technicians and offers top quality, lasting repairs using the best tools, supplies, and parts, all while offering fast and reliable estimates and services with a guarantee of satisfaction.
Our Staff – Lauren Sleeper
Drums/Percussion, Piano, Guitar/Ukulele & Rock Band & Private Instructor
Born just outside of Toronto, Canada, Lauren Sleeper was raised in the small town Midwest. She achieved her Bachelor’s of Music, double-majoring in Percussion Performance and Music Education at Northern Illinois University. She then developed a music department at a nearby elementary school where her students learned to sing, play drums, percussion, recorder, piano and guitar. Her background consists of teaching, directing and performing in concert bands, orchestras, world music ensembles, theater groups, vocal ensembles, church choirs and praise bands. After relocating to San Diego, Lauren performed at the House of Blues and Del Mar Fair with a local rock band; Petco Park, Sea World and Disney Land with the San Diego Women’s Chorus; the Balboa Theatre with the Indigo Girls and Ben Vereen Awards/Broadway San Diego Awards; the California Center for the Arts for several musicals with Center Stage Productions and the Garfield Theatre and Spreckles Organ Pavillion as Encore Vocal Ensemble’s resident percussionist. She feels blessed by the LGBT community and enjoys teaching classes and camps throughout North County including private lessons at her studio in Escondido where she resides with her wife, two cats and four foster children. Lauren is thrilled to join the San Diego Music Studio faculty and excited to see what the future brings!