Our Staff

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Geoffrey Penar

Voice & Piano

Available Saturdays Geoffrey Penar is a seasoned musical theater/classical and opera/rock singer and pianist hailing from Eastman School of Music and McGill University doing such roles as Lescaut in Manon, Leporello in Don Giovanni, and Puck and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has worked for Saratoga Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Green Mountain Opera, […]

Sage Mitchell-Sparke

Violin, Viola

Violin, Viola Sundays, Mondays. Sage Mitchell-Sparke is a violinist, violist, and pianist. Having played the violin since she was five, Sage grew up surrounded by music enthusiasts, performing concerts for her grandparents. She has taken lessons at Oberlin Conservatory while getting her BA at Oberlin College. Her favorite concerto is the Barber Concerto. She is […]

Available Tuesdays, Larion De Bhaile is a 20-year-old guitarist from Washington, D.C. Larion started his musical journey on piano, but reconnected with music during Covid, practicing guitar for hours on end through lockdown. Since then, he has begun playing live at local venues with his band Arid Bloom, as well as with his Irish folk […]

John Wenger has been playing cello for over 20 years. He grew up studying with Grace Field and David Peshlakai in Kalamazoo, MI, where he lived until moving to DC in 2018. An avid chamber and orchestral musician, John has performed with countless groups including the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony, the Kalamazoo Symphony, the Kalamazoo Philharmonia, […]

Having come of age in the cultural melting pot of Wilmington, North Carolina, Keith Butler, Jr. has deep roots in many musical traditions. Due in no small part to his versatility and creativity on the drum set, he has become a mainstay of the Washington D.C. music scene, performing with some of the area’s top […]

Matthew Waterman

Brass, Piano

Available Fridays Matthew Waterman is a musician, composer, and teacher from Bloomington, Indiana. Teaching trumpet, trombone, baritone/euphonium, and piano on Fridays, Matthew believes in treating all styles of music with respect, and fostering the irreplicable creativity of each student. Whether your goal is to play a classical concerto, improvise over a funk groove, or write […]

Available Wednesdays. Hays Dowdy is a DC based musician performing live as a solo artist along with elite bands in International Musicians League. Rooted in British Invasion rock, bluegrass, and trained in jazz, his approach blends different genres to evoke the modern sonic spirit of a surreal vibe found within the walls of a vintage […]

Ralph Burrows

Trumpet, Trombone

Teaching on Wednesdays only. “I started playing trumpet, like most, in elementary school.  I took to it right away and started private lessons soon after.  I enjoyed music and trumpet specifically so much that the more I played the more I grew as a musician. Private lessons helped immensely. I played classically as well as […]

Jason Russo

Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone

Teaching on Saturdays only. Passionate about music from a young age, Jason began his studies at the age of eight on the acoustic guitar. Quickly developing an interest in woodwind instruments, Jason joined his middle school band and began experimenting with the clarinet, saxophone, flute and bassoon. Throughout his grammar and secondary education, Jason participated […]

AJ Rios

Piano, Drums, Percussion

Available Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays Coming from a musical family on both sides, Rios was born fully aware of his purpose and passion. By age 3, he was given his first shot at playing drum set at his family’s Pentecostal church, one of the 3 churches he plays at to this today. […]

Available Sundays Jouelle Roberson (Soprano) hails from Washington, D.C. She began her musical studies at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts where she participated in the Show Choir. Following graduation, she was accepted into the vocal studies program at Morgan State University where she graduated with her B.A and M.A studying vocal performance with […]

Jaylin Conner

Piano & Voice

Available Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Jaylin Conner, 22-year-old musician and instructor, is thrilled to be a part of the amazing staff at Middle C Music. While this is Jaylin’s first year at Middle C, he is not unfamiliar to his vocation. Jaylin has been playing piano for eight years, ranging from musical theater, golden age, […]

Available Thursday – Friday Felipe first picked up a guitar to escape summer boredom when he was 12 years old at the bequest of his father. Initially, Felipe taught himself but quickly grew serious in his guitar studies and ultimately graduated from the National Conservatory of Music in La Paz, Bolivia with a focus in […]

Henry Upton

Guitar, Bass & Ukulele

Available Sunday and Tuesday. Hailing from Washington, D.C., Hank Upton has played bass and guitar for more than 25 years. He has toured internationally, playing more than 1,500 live shows in 20 countries with former rock band Lionize. Co-writer of more than 100 recorded songs, he is adept in numerous styles including rock, funk, R&B, […]

Available Sunday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday. Potter has had a passion for the fiddle since a young age. He started playing Bluegrass fiddle at 8, jamming with his father and uncle, attending jam circles with them, and performing with his uncle’s band, The Mutineers. Throughout his education, he was introduced to the world of classical music, […]

Douglas Gilchrist

Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba

Available Tues. & Sat. (Call for more availability) Doug is a longtime teacher and band director in the Washington, DC, and Maryland school systems, leading concert, stage, and marching bands to numerous awards over years of competition. At Eastern High School, Doug helped grow the instrumental music program from 12 students to more than 100. […]

Jack Irby

Woodwinds & Piano

Available Sundays, Mondays, and Thurdays Jack is a native of Richmond, Virginia. At age 11, Jack picked up the saxophone for his middle school band and has not put it down since. He started off playing the alto saxophone; however, as he progressed as a musician, Jack was drawn to the music of baritone saxophone […]

John Linn

Guitar & Ukulele

Available Monday, Thursday, & Friday John Linn is a performing singer and songwriter in Washington, D.C., with 20-plus years of experience playing guitar. Having grown up singing harmony and listening to folk music in the style of Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes, and Woody Guthrie, John specializes in teaching traditional styles of American music, such as […]

Alicia Kopfstein

Guitar & Ukulele

Available Sunday, Wednesday, & Saturday Alicia Kopfstein, Ph.D. is a master teacher (her students call her the “technique queen!”), classical guitarist, folk singer, ukulele player, and classical singer as well as award-winning musicologist, and published author. This broad range of experience provides her with an unusually varied perspective which enriches every lesson. A gifted communicator, […]

Nelson Dougherty

Guitar, Bass, & Ukulele

Available Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday Nelson Dougherty is a multi-instrumentalist, improviser and composer. He studied Jazz and classical guitar at Brevard College where earned a Bachelor of Arts with and emphasis in Jazz. Nelson also completed the 5 week Performance Program at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 2012 he recorded […]