MEET OUR EDUCATORS
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 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 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.