INTRODUCTION TO MUSIC, ELEMENTARY and SUZUKI FACULTY
Cello: Brent Charran
Drum set: Jesus Gallimore
Guitar: Fabian Carrera
Jazz: Allie Biancoviso
Music Production: Camilo Salas
Musical Theater: Kayla Wig
Orchestra: Yun Cao
Piano: Alex Sancho
Piano: Hugh Gonglewski
Piano: Inesa Gegprifti
Rock Band: Fabian Carrera, Jesus Gallimore
Strings: Eva Casado Ariza, Brent Charran
Suzuki Violin: Aileen Robertson
Violin - Classical & Improv: Eva Casado Ariza
Voice: Kayla Wig
Winds: Oliver Diez
Alexandra Rose Biancoviso
Allie Biancoviso is a trombonist, composer, and educator from Staten Island, New York. Currently residing in Miami, Allie attends the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami where she is pursuing a master's degree in Jazz Pedagogy and studying trombone with Dante Luciani.
Allie holds a degree in Music Education from the Penn State School of Music where she studied trombone under Mark Lusk. During her time at Penn State, Allie conducted research focused on ways to create inclusive classroom environments for women in jazz. She presented this research at the Jazz Education Network Conference in 2023. In 2020, Allie was selected to be a participant in both the Women in Jazz Organization's Mentors Program and The International Women's Brass Conference's Mentorship Program where she studied with Kalia Vandever, Jennifer Wharton, and Andrea Neumann.
Kayla Wig is a singer-songwriter from Minneapolis, Minnesota currently studying Music Education at the Frost School of Music. While at Frost Kayla has been a writer and vocalist for Café con leche (The Latin singer-songwriter ensemble) as well as served as musical director for UM's premier fusion a cappella group, Tufaan. Along with her ensemble experience, Kayla has worked on producing and writing her own original music and released her first single in December 2022. As a strong advocate for contemporary music education, Kayla's passion is strong and evident in her teaching to all students. The following quote emphasizes her teaching philosophy:
"The teacher is of course an artist but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves." - Paulo Freire
Brent Charran is a cellist from Miami, Florida. An active member of the Miami music community, Brent has performed and recorded across the Classical, Jazz, R&B, Latin, Modern, and Rock genres. Brent won the NWSA Concerto Competition with the Dvorak Cello Concerto (2007) and also received a full scholarship to the Aspen Music Festival (2009). Recent collaborations include a solo performance for the corporate reveal of Ralph Lauren's Love fragrance line and an appearance with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Miami during their Lost Christmas Eve concert tour.
Eva Casado Ariza
Dr. Eva Casado Ariza, is an awarded multi-instrumentalist, conductor, and singer from Barcelona, Spain holding a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Violin Performance with a Cognate in Instrumental Conducting. She started her music studies at five years old. At age twelve, she developed a severe type of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that forced her to be in bed for six years. She became, then, the first person who has ever earned a Professional Degree playing violin in bed. She also prompted a law in Catalonia improving the situation of people with disabilities in artistic degrees-which was finally approved by the Parliament in November 2013.
She graduated from the "Escuela Superior de Música de Cataluña" in Barcelona and West Virginia University, and later earned her master's in Violin and Conducting at the University of Florida, always with outstanding achievement.
She is a winner of the 2018 VSA International Young Soloist Competition and was awarded the most important fellowship of Spain, delivered by the King and Queen of Spain in person. She is also winner of the South Beach Jazz Award and funder and soloist-conductor of the Miami Diamond Chamber Orchestra.
She has worked as a conductor of professional orchestras and director-conductor of student orchestras since 2015, having studied under the mentorship of acclaimed Maestros such as Antoni Ros Marbá (former conductor of Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra RTVE), Salvador Brotons (music director and conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), and Gerard Schwarz (music director and conductor of the Palm Beach Symphony).
She is committed to using her expertise to help students with disabilities. For that purpose, she dedicated her nine years at university to develop recognized scholarly work presented at Yale University and, in the future, at the College Music Society's conferences in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. She was also a Senator of the Graduate Student Association, chair of the Music & Arts Committee, and member of the Student Coalition on Disabilities at the University of Miami.
Dr. Casado Ariza has performed at internationally recognized venues as a soloist, such as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Broward Center.
Alexander Sancho was born of Filipino descent on February 18, 1989. Raised in Miami, he started playing piano at the age of 12 and was self-taught in theory/music history.Though having a late start, Alex was determined to pursue a music career. He had played with many different orchestras/ensembles across South Florida. Some awards won are 1st Prize in Florida Federation of Music Clubs (Composition), 2nd Prize in the FIU Concerto Competition, 2009 and 2011, the Undergraduate Performance award from the FIU School of Music, 2011, as well as the Teaching Assistant position in Piano. In 2012, he was awarded the Philippine Consulate of South Florida Leadership Distinction Award for Outstanding Achievement and Performance in Music. Though coming from a classical background, Alex takes a musically-eclectic approach in his endeavors, with influences from Hip-Hop to Electronica that help shape his understanding of music. Alex plays regularly for Dr. Rosenberg, President of Florida International University, and graduated from FIU with his B.M. (2011) and M.M. (2013) in Piano Performance, under Professor Kemal Gekic and Dr. Jose Lopez. He is currently a piano instructor at SharpMinds Music Academy where he teaches piano and composition.
Hugh Gonglewski is a pianist and instructor in the Miami area. He received his Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance from the Philadelphia college of the Performing Arts where he studied with Susan Starr and his Masters in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern University. He taught piano and jazz history at Lake Forest College where he also directed the jazz and blues ensembles. He played for ten years in the Chicago area with his own trio and septet before coming to the University of Miami for his Doctoral work. He is instructor of the University of Miami's Computer/Keyboards & Music courses and teaches jazz, theory, and piano ensembles for the university's Piano Preparatory programs as well as improvisation, jazz ensembles and advanced theory for the university's young Musician's Camp. He has played with such diverse artists as Sugar Blue, Sandra Bernhardt, Tom McCormick, Nicole Yarling and Mark Colby. He frequently performs in the Miami area as a solo pianist and with the eclectic group LEGM. His private piano students have received numerous prizes and awards from such groups as Ars Flores, Music Teachers National Association, and Florida Federation of Music Teachers.
Pianist Inesa Gegprifti was born in Tirana, Albania, where she began her piano studies at the National Arts School "Jordan Misja" under the guidance of Valbona Kasaj. She left her home country in 2006 to continue her studies abroad. Over the years, Dr. Gegprifti has pursued her piano studies under the guidance of Dario de Rosa, Maureen Jones, Alberto Miodini, Igor Cognolato, Max Levinson, Evelyne Brancart, Santiago Rodriguez, and Naoko Takao. A graduate of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee (B.M.) and Jacobs School of Music - Indiana University (M.M.), she completed her D.M.A. at the Frost School of Music - University of Miami in 2017.
As a soloist and chamber musician Dr. Gegprifti has appeared in concerts across the U.S.A., Europe, and South America. Of note are the performances with the National Radio Television Orchestra of Albania and the Indian Hill Orchestra, chamber concerts in Italy, Slovenia, and Puerto Rico, as well as artist residencies at the "Vivace Vilnius International Summer Festival," International Portogruaro Festival "A tempo," the Conservatory of Cuenca, and the Museo de Arte Contempor√°neo in Ecuador. Dr. Gegprifti has also appeared as a guest speaker at the University of North Texas, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Conservatorio de M√∫sica de Puerto Rico - San Juan, and Heidelberg University - Ohio. Most recently, her performance of Michael Coleman's Four Bagatelles was selected by RMN Classics for production and release in their upcoming collection Modern Music for Piano 4.
Dr. Gegprifti is one of the founding members and current president of Kaleidoscope MusArt, a non-profit organization based in Miami, dedicated to bridging the gap between canonical classical music and rarely heard or recently composed works while prominently featuring living composers and emerging artists. She is on the faculty of the Frost Preparatory Program, the Frost Young Musicians Camp, and an Adjunct Faculty member for the Keyboard Department at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami.
Aileen Robertson was born in New York to a musical family. She and her sisters all played violin - Aileen started playing Suzuki violin at 3 years old - and her father provided piano accompaniment for impromptu family performances. These early experiences, along with later ensemble playing in orchestras and Suzuki group classes, instilled a lifelong love of music. Aileen's goal as music teacher is to inspire this same joy and appreciation in young children and their families.
Aileen attended the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where she studied music education and vocal jazz performance. After graduation she began her career with the New York City Department of Education, teaching music in the South Bronx to underprivileged youth. Aileen and her husband later relocated to Miami, where she decided to focus her skills on early childhood music education. She became a registered Suzuki and Music Together instructor and opened her own Miami Suzuki School. Aileen had long dreamed of bringing Suzuki to a wider audience, she was thrilled when the Frost Prep Team asked her to join the program as Manager of Early Childhood Music in 2016, with the mission of developing a nurturing yet challenging program for students as young as a few months. She serves on the Board of the Suzuki Association of South Florida and is active in the national Suzuki community.
Aileen performs as a vocalist with local jazz ensembles and has recorded for various commercials and movies with 10k Islands Music House.
Oliver Diez was born and raised Miami, FL where he graduated from Hialeah Miami Lakes Senior High School. He earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Music Education from Florida International University. He is currently in his 23rd year at Palmetto Elementary where he teaches General Music to students in grades K-5 and is also director of bands and chorus. In 1999 he was voted as Palmetto Elementary' s "Rookie Teacher of the Year" and in 2002 as "Teacher of the Year". In 2019 he was selected as the 2020 Miami-Dade County Public Schools District Teacher of the year. Mr. Diez has been nominated twice for the "Grammy Music Educator Award" and has been a "Who's Who in Education" nominee. He directed the Superintendent's Honors Recorder Ensemble in 2007 and again in 2018. He also received a proclamation on June 7th, 2011 by the mayor of Pinecrest declaring that date "Oliver Diez Day". In October of 2021 he would receive the Key to the City of Miami from Mayor Francis Suarez.
Mr. Diez has established an active music program at Palmetto Elementary which consists of a Beginning Band, Concert Band, Jazz Combo, a Drumline, a Chorus, and two levels of String Orchestra. All this being accomplished before and after school hours. He has had fourth and fifth graders chosen for both All-State Elementary Chorus and All-State Orff Ensemble (2006-2022) as well as for Superintendent's Honors Festival in Chorus, Bell Ensemble, Recorder Ensemble, Middle School Concert band, and Orchestra. His groups have received 1st and 2nd place along with Choral / Instrumental Grand Champions at Orlando's Music U.S.A. Festival since 2002. They have also received various Superior ratings in Concert Choir, Concert Band, Show Choir, Jazz Band at the Music U.S.A. Festival. In 2017 his elementary concert band performed alongside the F.I.U. Wind Ensemble. His groups have also performed at Miami Marlins and Miami Heat games as well as various performance around the community. His concert band and chorus students were honored in 2019 when invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Mr. Diez has been playing baritone saxophone in the Miami Wind Symphony since its inaugural season in 2011. He directed the "Young Sousas" in the Greater Miami Youth Symphony for nearly ten years. He is a member of the Florida Music Educators Association, Florida Elementary Music Educators Association and Florida Bandmasters Association and in 2017 was chosen as an FMEA Emerging Leader.
Mr. Diez has been married for 15 years to his wife Alina and they have two sons, Oliver (14) and Matthew (10).