Our Teachers & Staff

Kat’s Artist Tree has the best teachers available in their discipline.  Every one of our teachers is an expert in their field and have a passion for passing their knowledge on to their students.  Most importantly, they are loved and respected by our students.  An Academy is only as good as its teachers, and we have the best!  Learn more about the fantastic family of Kat’s Artist Tree teachers below:

Sarah Peters ~ Violin

Sarah Peters has been playing violin for almost 20 years. She holds a bachelors degree in Music Education from Youngstown State University. While she was there she performed with the Dana Symphony Orchestra, Dana Chamber Orchestra, and Dana String Ensemble. She has also played with the Cleveland Women’s orchestra and several other community groups. She … Continue reading Sarah Peters ~ Violin

Filip Voia-Tipei ~ Drums

Born and raised in Romania, Filip Voia-Tipei grew up in a musical environment from an early age. At the age of 7, he was enrolled into a music school and studied violin for the next few years. While there, he won several local and national competitions. This helped establish a strong musical education and performing … Continue reading Filip Voia-Tipei ~ Drums

DANIEL TODD CARTER ~ drums

Born in San Jose, CA and raised in Fairfield County, CT, Daniel grew up in a single parent household. His mother did her best to consistently help and nurture his talents and abilities as an artist and musician. He first became a musician by becoming a Drummer at the age of 14 by beginning local … Continue reading DANIEL TODD CARTER ~ drums

Fran Valladares ~ Voice, Piano

Soprano Francis Valladares, an Arizona native, has been involved with music since she was 7 years old.  She was exposed to piano and cello first, and shortly thereafter began taking voice lessons with Isola Jones, a former mezzo soprano with the Metropolitan Opera. In high school she was involved with the school’s symphony orchestra, and … Continue reading Fran Valladares ~ Voice, Piano

Kevin McCullers ~ voice & piano

Mr. McCullers began his musical “career” around the age of 5 by walking up and down the streets of his Southern California neighborhood imitating the great operatic and movie tenor Mario Lanza, whose records he listened to extensively as a young boy. Formal training began at age 9 with piano lessons, later adding voice in … Continue reading Kevin McCullers ~ voice & piano

Nathan Nordstrom ~ guitar

Nathan Nordstrom is a music performance major with emphasis on guitar.  He began studying guitar with Chuck Hulihan in 2012 at Glendale Community College, where he also studied music composition with Dr. Robert Albury and Dr. Robert Elser. While at GCC, Nathan was employed as the sole music tutor for four semesters, providing help for … Continue reading Nathan Nordstrom ~ guitar

Mikaela Perez ~ reception

Mikaela has had a love for music ever since she was young. Her passion for music has led her to the Valley Youth Theatre when she was at the age 12. At the Valley Youth Theatre, she performed in the musical The Jungle Book where she was King Louis. That’s when Mikaela decided to pursue … Continue reading Mikaela Perez ~ reception

Michael Paiser ~ piano

Michael was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Music has been his passion since age 10.  He was fortunate to have an outstanding teacher for seven years and then proceeded to the Conservatory of Music at Marquette University.  He graduated from there with a bachelors degree in Music Performance. Michael has played over 2000 performances … Continue reading Michael Paiser ~ piano

Michael Benner ~ Piano, & Voice

Michael was raised in southern Ohio. His hometown was fortunate to have a highly trained piano teacher whose pedagogy began with Beethoven. After high school he was accepted into and graduated from the College-Conservatory, University of Cincinnati with a BM in Music Theory and an MM in Choral Conducting. While at CCM he studied Music … Continue reading Michael Benner ~ Piano, & Voice

Ewa Medynska ~ Fencing

Ewa Medynska has been coaching internationally and locally for 21 years. She was a fencing coach in AZS Wroclaw and AZS-AWF Wroclaw team (both are academic sporting clubs) from 1990 to 1996. The fencers trained by her achieved high scores in junior’s classifications and tournament in Poland and Europe. Ewa held also duties in the … Continue reading Ewa Medynska ~ Fencing

Elisa Egli

Elisa grew up in the wild Alaskan wilderness. Despite the lack of resources and opportunities available to her as an aspiring actress and musician, Elisa was determined to realize her dreams for herself as an artist. Elisa has performed for international figures such as Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, and has toured Europe and the state … Continue reading Elisa Egli

Kathy Smith ~ Piano & Harp

Although her professional career was in the field of Nursing, Mrs. Smith has been an active student and performing musician since the age of eight.  She has experience with a wide array of instruments including Accordion, Organ, Piano, and Celtic Harp as well as Singing.  Mrs. Smith has been an active church musician  since the … Continue reading Kathy Smith ~ Piano & Harp

Dalton Attig

Dalton is a new addition to Arizona, after leaving his lifelong home of Illinois. He is thrilled to have the opportunity of becoming part of the Kat’s Artist Tree family. Dalton first became interested in music at the age of 13 when his parents bought him a guitar for Christmas, it didn’t take much time … Continue reading Dalton Attig

Edith Gonzalez ~ Reception

Edith Gonzalez was born and raised in Phoenix Arizona. She started drawing at the age of 4 with the help of her father pushing her to keep practicing. During her many years in school she took part in art classes and participated/won in several art competitions. During her high school years: art, theatre and stage … Continue reading Edith Gonzalez ~ Reception

Josh Snider ~ photography

Josh got his start in media by way of television broadcast and had the wonderful opportunity to work on many national productions including Super Bowl XLIX.  He’s been photographing the world around him for the last 10 years. During that time he also had the pleasure of working for The Walt Disney Company as a … Continue reading Josh Snider ~ photography

Alyssa Craft ~ Dance

Alyssa Craft was born in Columbus, Ohio and started dancing the age of 4. She quickly fell in love with the Art and continued with a new studio when she moved to Arizona at the age of 8.  Through this new studio where Alyssa was fortunate to receive a wide range of experience including competing … Continue reading Alyssa Craft ~ Dance