The real MVPs of our operation are our 400+ teachers, who are actually doing the important work of nurturing passion and fostering musicianship in our students. They are too many to list here individually, but you can find lots more about them by visiting our school websites via our Our Schools page.
At Ensemble HQ, we embrace our role behind the scenes as supporters and enablers of our teachers. Our job is to make sure the trains run on time, taking care of all of the scheduling, administrative, and finance work necessary to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for our students and teachers. We are also responsible for getting the word out about our schools to help grow our musical communities and ultimately bring music into as many lives as possible.
Jeff founded Ensemble Music Schools in 2019 as a passion project that promised to combine his hobby as an amateur musician with his professional background in investing. Starting with just one school in Louisville, CO, Jeff’s vision was to build a best-in-class administrative platform that would equip local community music schools to thrive in the digital age and better serve their students and teaching faculty. Motivated by some early successes and the blessing of “doing what you love,” Jeff left his day job to focus full-time on Ensemble in early 2020 and hasn’t looked back! Jeff’s prior employers include institutional investment firms Bain Capital, Reservoir Capital, and Independence Capital Asset Partners. Jeff graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in Economics.
Favorite song: “An Ocean in Between the Waves” – The War On Drugs
Dana’s multifaceted career has been marked by singing in top venues, founding and teaching in her own private music school, Dana V Music, as well as consulting, and advising to further develop music education. As the teaching advisor for Ensemble Music Schools, she oversees the positive recruitment, retention and development of the many talented and nurturing teachers that are at the heart of our organization as well as oversees the pedagogical growth in each of our schools. A graduate of The Juilliard School and Carnegie Mellon University, she has been a featured soloist in Carnegie Hall, and Alice Tully Hall, as well as a touring artist and soloist with major orchestras around the US. Dana is a mother to three incredible children and also currently teaches voice at Dana V Music, the original Ensemble Music School.
Favorite songs: I get into music that my students and children suggest! But the song I play the most is “Somewhere Only We Know” By Keane
Jake St. John
Head of Operations
Jake is a professional drummer, semi-professional cellist, and experienced, self-taught administrator whose time at the helm of several small commercial media businesses led to coming onboard with Ensemble Music Schools in 2021. As Head of Operations, Jake is involved in all functions of the company, but especially those related to finance and human resources, as well as directly overseeing our growing East Coast portfolio.
Favorite artists: Meshell Ndegeocello, Prefab Sprout.
As General Counsel, Alan is a trusted advisor providing practical legal solutions across Ensemble’s operations. Having been shaped deeply by years of music lessons, Alan was thrilled to join Ensemble in 2022 and empower its network of community music schools to develop the next generation of music students.
Prior to joining Ensemble, Alan was a partner at Kleinbard, and he began his legal career at Dechert. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and is a graduate of the College of William and Mary.
Favorite Song: “Dean Town” – Vulfpeck
Matt Buder Shapiro
Matt grew up in a musical household and has always had a passion for music. As the Marketing Advisor for Ensemble Music Schools, he oversees a comprehensive and integrated approach to marketing to assist schools with growing their student populations and supporting their local community efforts. Before joining Ensemble, Matt worked on Madison Avenue, ran a political media team, and founded a leading healthcare technology company.
Favorite artist: His childhood friend Machine Gun Kelly.
Marivel is a seasoned finance executive who brings a wealth of experience in all facets of financial operations. She is a CPA and has worked as a CFO and Controller at several multinational companies, and has overseen finance and operations functions at both medium and large businesses. As Controller for Ensemble Music Schools, Marivel is responsible for leading the Finance function as we build for future growth, and also engages on administration and HR issues.
Musical interests: “I recently discovered a love for musicals—I watched Les Misérables four times!”
Social Media Manager
Nick is Ensemble Music Schools’ Social Media Guru and resident drum nerd. When he’s not on tour or in the studio, Nick works with our Ensemble team, guiding them on all things social media and school branding. With Ensemble Schools, Nick is able to combine his passions for music and connecting the world to our fantastic, growing community of music schools across the country. Nick is a published composer and earned his B.M. & M.M. in Percussion Performance from the University of Kentucky and the University of North Texas, respectively.
Favorite Drummers: Steve Gadd, Glenn Kotche, Nate Smith
Luisa’s journey with Ensemble Music Schools began first as a voice teacher at Dana V Music, the very first Ensemble school. After three years at Dana V, Luisa enthusiastically moved into teacher recruitment while continuing with her voice studio. Her favorite part of the recruitment role is showing how Ensemble cares deeply about its teachers, staff, and students.
Holding degrees in Music from the University of Colorado-Boulder and Lee University, Luisa is an active performer, a dynamic teacher, a conductor, and a passionate vocal pedagogue. When not actively recruiting or teaching, she is often making music with her partner, Brad, who is also an Ensemble piano teacher. Their recent collaborations include recitals on the music of Latin American composers, on the music of Edvard Grieg, and in partnering with friends to produce and perform in a local production of Dido and Aeneas. Luisa loves hanging out with her two tween-ager bonus children, trivia, karaoke, salsa dancing, and organizing fun gatherings and outings for the other Ensemble staff.
Musical Interests: Debating Stravinsky vs. Prokofiev, Elton John vs. David Bowie, and figuring out how all of these might relate to each other.
Finance & Payroll Coordinator
Christine is a vocalist and clarinetist who is passionate about supporting music teachers. As Finance and Payroll Coordinator at Ensemble Music Schools, she oversees payroll functions for our growing community of teachers and staff. She is also involved in finance, human resources, and operations functions. Before joining Ensemble, she was a public school music educator and music school administrator. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Favorite Artists: The Decemberists, Future Islands, The National
Christine grew up in a musical household and is passionate about connecting and collaborating with others. Her passion for human connection and compassion is what drew her to study and become an opera singer. Christine is able to apply her performance and behavioral skills to her recruiting position with Ensemble Schools by setting up a comfortable environment to make candidates feel at ease and perform their best. When she is not performing or recruiting, Christine likes to bring people together by planning and hosting 5-course dinners and making charcuterie and cheese boards.
Stephanie Henry is a classically trained pianist and composer from Minneapolis, MN. She has performed with classical and theatrical ensembles, as well as with rock bands. She composed original works for film, musical theater, orchestras, quartets, and solo piano. Her music has been applauded for its originality and charismatic charm. She studied music at St. Olaf College and received her Master’s from Hamline University. In 2020, Stephanie was selected to compose a piece for White Snake Projects’ Sing Out Strong: Decolonized Voices. Most recently she was commissioned to write an opera short for the Minnesota Opera’s MNiatures. Outside of composing and performing Stephanie has maintained a piano studio where she teaches music to people of all ages. She currently lives in Princeton, MN with her husband John and their two cats, Garfield, and Simon.
Lyndsey is the oldest of five kids that were raised by very unmusical parents in a small town in Michigan. They made it a point to surround their family with music whenever possible and because of this, Lyndsey has always had a love for singing, learning new instruments, and creating spaces for people to explore music for themselves. She started working with Cappella Music Academy in Tacoma, Washington in 2018, which allowed her new avenues to explore the music industry while continuing to cultivate her love for the arts.
After recently getting married, Lyndsey moved back to Michigan and began working behind the scenes with Ensemble’s Operations Team. Her experience growing up with music and managing a music academy gave her the knowledge and understanding needed to help many new schools around the country in her new role. Lyndsey thrives on creating organization out of chaos and couldn’t be happier to work with such an amazing team at Ensemble Music Schools!
John Boggs is a pianist, composer and vocalist based currently in Thornton, Colorado. He holds a DMA in Composition from the University of Colorado Boulder, a M.M. in Composition from the University of Michigan and a B.F.A. from Bard College. He’s had composition premiers by such groups as the American Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Children’s Chorale, Ars Nova, and the Da Capo Chamber Players. John is in his ninth year of teaching at Dana V Music, instructing piano, voice, music theory and songwriting. When not teaching, he is an active accompanist, music director, and performer. He is also passionate about sharing the power of music to students with developmental disabilities. Outside of music, John enjoys skiing, hiking, tennis, and cooking.
Favorite Songs: 2 + 2 = 5 by Radiohead, Right in Two by Tool, Tehillim by Steve Reich, When Sunny Gets Blue by Marvin Fisher, You Are All I See by Active Child
Business Development Manager
Dave Simon owned and operated a music school for 17 years in St. Louis. He sold his business to spend more time with his family and focus on licensing his group music curricula for younger children.
Dave is also the host of the podcast Music Lessons and Marketing which teaches music school owners how to market, manage and scale their business. As the Business Development Manager for Ensemble Music Schools, Dave helps guide music school owners through the selling process of their business.
Favorite Artists: Elvis Costello, Prince, and The Beatles
Anna Ahrens is a conductor and music teacher currently living in Boulder, CO. In addition to having a full studio of piano and voice students for Dana V Music, she also serves as artistic director for Summit Choral Society, a choral group based in the Rocky Mountains along side of the nations largest ski resorts. Her love for music stems from her desire to be a lifelong learner herself, as well as her belief in its ability to have positive impacts on individuals and communities. She joined the Ensemble Music Schools team in December 2022 and loves sharing ideas and gaining knowledge through the large network of teachers Ensemble has brought together. When not working in the music field, Anna enjoys weight lifting, gymnastics, hiking, her espresso machine, and her dog Ravi and cats River and Theo.