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:

George Ramirez ~ Guitar

George Ramirez is an active performer and instructor for a multitude of fretted instruments in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Making his professional debut at the age of 16, he has had the opportunity to perform in venues such St. Stephens Cathedral (Vienna), Munich Cathedral, Mannes College and the Riverside Cathedral of New York amongst … Continue reading George Ramirez ~ Guitar

Erin Wilson ~ Piano

Erin Wilson MT-BC Erin began studying piano at nine years old and began classical vocal instruction at the age of 10. She has been teaching both voice and piano for over 15 years. She has a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from Arizona State University. Her teaching methods are based on traditional practices and … Continue reading Erin Wilson ~ Piano

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

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

Lee Cook ~ Brass & Woodwinds

Lee Cook is originally from the Hickory area of North Carolina. He is an active musician and music educator in the Phoenix Area. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Limestone College in Gaffney, SC and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA. Lee has been an active … Continue reading Lee Cook ~ Brass & Woodwinds

Armand Sanchez ~ Guitar

My musical journey began when I was fairly young.  Although no one in my family was a musician, I was greatly inspired but the music my father played around the house on his old vinyl records.  I picked up the clarinet in the fifth grade and learned how to read music, count, and understand basic … Continue reading Armand Sanchez ~ Guitar

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

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