Music has always been in Chelsea's life and started when she was a baby while listening to her mother play the piano and sing lullabies. Her love of music took off once she was enrolled in piano lessons at age five and voice lessons in high school. She loved performing at local and state competitions and providing accompaniment for her choir group and friends. Once she went to college at Kansas State University, she decided to continue her love of music by playing for local churches in praise and worship bands.
Once she graduated from KSU, Chelsea began her music journey as the Praise and Worship Coordinator for Immanuel Faith Community Church in Belvue, KS. She loved singing and providing music for her church community. After a few years, she decided to move with her family and currently plays in the Praise and Worship Band at Crosspoint Community Church in Wamego, KS. It was at this church that she met an amazing mentor and musical friend, Heather Miller (former owner of Studio Ambit), and started teaching private piano and voice lessons at Studio Ambit.
Studio Ambit, now known as Flint Hills Academy of Music, was founded in 2017 and offers a bright future for children and families through private and group music classes and piano and voice instruction.
Chelsea and her husband Chris have been married since 2007 and have a son and daughter who love to have karaoke contests at home. Chelsea and her family also enjoy weekends at the lake, watching movies, and riding ATVs in the beautiful Flint Hills.
I began taking piano lessons when I was six years old and finally stopped taking them when I graduated from college. I was fortunate enough to have a nationally recognized piano teacher throughout high school, which gave me the opportunity to participate in the National Federation of Music Clubs Piano Solo Festival and the Multiple Piano Concert in Kansas City for several years. I have years of experience accompanying vocalists of all ages and skill levels. I was a pianist/vocalist for the praise and worship band at my church in Kansas City for five years before I met the love of my life and transplanted to the Wamego area. I have been the Worship Coordinator at Immanuel Faith Community Church, Wells Creek, for a number of years. I am also one of the pianists and vocalists for the church.
I have a Bachelor of Science in Church Music with an emphasis in voice and piano from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. I have been teaching at the studio for two years now and have really enjoyed getting to know the families at the studio!
Matthew Meals is a concert pianist, jazz bassist, and multi-instrumentalist. Mr. Meals completed studies in piano performance at Kansas State University under Dr. Agustin Muriago. Additionally, he pursued jazz studies under Dr. Wayne Goins and historical performance practice under Mr. David Wood. During his studies at KSU, he was a finalist in the 2016 Honors Recital, gold medalist in the 2016 KMTA Honors Auditions, and Winner of the 2017 KSU Concerto Competition.
To supplement his studies, Mr. Meals attended international music festivals at the University of Florida (2017), The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music (2018), and The Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (2019). During these festivals, Mr. Meals had opportunities to study privately with some of the finest concert pianists in the world including Natalya Antonova (Eastman), Maria Szraiber (FCUM), Piotr Paleczny (FCUM), and Pavel Nerssesian (Moscow Conservatory), among others. Mr. Meals has performed in five European countries as a pianist and has performed extensively as a jazz/rock bassist locally throughout the state of Kansas. As a bassist, he performed with KSU’s top jazz ensembles and many student groups on and off campus.
Currently Mr. Meals resides in Randolph, KS. His hobbies include, reading, drawing, foreign language, and learning new instruments.
Annah Clark has lived in the Wamego community since January of 2010. She earned a Bachelor in Music Education from Kansas State University in 2005 and has taught music in the public school system off and on since. She also is a licensed teacher with Let's Play Music and has taught classes for over ten years. Annah teaches flute lessons, bucket drumming, and piano classes at the studio. When she's not teaching, she and her husband, Peter, are parents to six kids.
Andy started his professional music career playing tenor saxophone for the Vaughn Bolton Orchestra during his sophomore year of high school at age 16. He attended Texas Christian University on a music scholarship and, while in college, played with a rock band, The Liars, that attained regional fame with the release of several original songs played on Dallas/Ft. Worth radio stations. Andy returned to Manhattan and started playing with the popular horn band Mainstreet in 1987. He continues to play with them to this day. In addition to Mainstreet, Andy plays with many funk, soul, and blues bands and has his own group, Andy Bell Funky Smooth Jazz, that includes his twin boys, Andrew and Alan. He considers it such a blessing to be able to share the gift of music with his sons and has recently included his daughter on vocals at several events. “I am very proud of my children and their talents! This is the most rewarding musical experience of my life,” says Andy.
Andrew has been highly involved in music throughout his life. Growing up in a musical family, the importance of studying music was instilled in him at an early age, setting the foundation for his love for music and his interests in classical, popular, and traditional music styles.
Though a Manhattan, Kansas native, Andrew lived abroad in Bogotá, Colombia, his mother's homeland. While there, he performed in jazz, blues, and Latin ensembles, studied theory, composition, and guitar performance technique, and composed original film music for independent filmmakers in the region. He and his brother Alan have since created original scores for four short films and various multimedia and commercial projects. Their film work has been featured in film festivals in South America, Central America, and Western Europe.
Currently, Andrew is a graduate student at Kansas State University, working towards a Masters in Music Composition. His studies include composition and theory, jazz guitar, and conducting. He plays guitar in the university's jazz ensembles, as well as with a number of jazz and rock groups locally. He enjoys composing modern classical music and has recently received on-campus premiers of his work. He assists in the undergraduate beginning conducting class at Kansas State and participates in the KSU Symphony Orchestra rehearsals as a student conductor and coach.
Andrew is passionate about sharing his love of music, as well as the knowledge and experience he has acquired over the years.
Alan is a jazz pianist, composer, and music producer with over ten years of experience working professionally in the music industry. As a composer, he has been commissioned to create scores for several foreign films and documentaries, many of which have been selected for participation in international film festivals in countries such as Germany, Italy, Spain, and Colombia. He has also composed works for the concert hall, his first world premier being held in April of 2022. As a performer, he has had the opportunity to perform across the United States and Canada, in addition to a series of performances during several years in Bogotá, Colombia.
Music has been a lifelong pursuit and a part of Alan's life from a very young age. His musical education spans over twenty-five years, beginning at six when he first began taking piano lessons. His development has been achieved primarily through private instruction and independent study, including diverse topics such as music theory and history, ear training, psychology of music, and digital sound synthesis. Alan is currently pursuing a Master's of Music at Kansas State University, with an emphasis in Composition, Jazz Performance, and Orchestral Conducting. He is passionate about music and strives to instill this passion in his students, firmly believing that everyone can benefit from the virtues of making music.
Darryl Matsune is a guitarist from Walnut, California. He has received a Bachelor's degree for Instrumental Performance at the University of California, Riverside, under Robert Scarano and is currently attending Kansas State University's Masters program for a degree in Instrumental Performance under Dr. Wayne Goins. Darryl also participated in many of UC Riverside's ensembles, such as their Jazz Band, Symphony Orchestra (percussion), Concert Band (percussion), and Marching Band (drumline). He is also currently a member of Kansas State University's Concert Jazz Ensemble, Swing Machine jazz combo, and the Jazz Guitar Ensemble. Alongside his academic career, he has been a freelance musician and has played in various venues, theaters, and concert halls throughout Los Angeles, California, since he was ten years old. Now, Darryl plays guitar in a jazz organ trio called Mr. Direction around the Manhattan, Kansas area, with Michael T. Brown on the Hammond B3 organ and Caleb Brown on the drumset. He also plays lead guitar at the First Christian Church in Manhattan, Kansas.
Hello! My name is Caleb Brown, and I'm a born-and-raised Kansan. Music has always been a part of my life in one way or another. I started playing drums in a Baptist church. My father taught me at a young age, and he currently teaches in the jazz program at Kansas State University. I am also currently a student at KSU studying under Dr. Wayne Goins. I have been playing drums since the ripe age of 6 and am excited to be teaching. I started gigging with my dad at age 12 in various scenarios such as concert halls, coffee shops, parking lots, etc. I am a member of Kansas State University's Concert Jazz Ensemble, the "house wreckers" jazz combo band, and played piano in the "ComboNation" jazz combo band. I've also played drums in multiple theatre productions at the Manhattan Arts Center. Currently, I freelance and play in my dad's jazz organ trio, "Mr. Direction" with Darryl Matsune on guitar. I also play in "Andy Bell Funky Smooth Jazz" with Andy Bell Sr., Andy Bell Jr., Alan Bell, and Michael T. Brown (my dad). My goal is not only to teach but also learn to adapt to specific learning styles.
Connor Jones is a pianist and trombonist born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas. He is currently a student at K-State University and studies piano and trombone. Coming from a family of musicians, he has been involved with music for most of his life and has a large passion for the artform. Overall, Connor has been playing piano for around 14 years and trombone for 7 years. During that time Connor has played in many honor ensembles, including the Kansas All State Orchestra/Jazz Band, and played principal trombone in the NAfME National Orchestra. He has also played in many church gigs on trombone, and played in a ska band called “Sasquatch Stopwatch” during highschool. Connor is very excited to share his passion for music and wants to help his students enjoy music to its fullest.
Samantha Jones is excited to return to Flint Hills Academy of Music to teach voice lessons, Emerald City Singers, and music history! A passionate musician, Samantha graduated with a degree in Vocal Performance from K-State, where she had lots of experience singing in operas, musicals, choirs, jazz combos, and more! Her singing career has taken her all over, including Graz, Austria in the summer of 2018 to attend the American Institute of Musical Studies opera academy.
She can teach most vocal styles and bases her instruction on healthy vocal technique and artistic expression. Samantha has been awarded for her own vocal talents and skills and even placed 1st in the West Central National Association of Teachers of Singing classical singing competition in 2019. When Samantha is not teaching her students at Flint Hills Academy of Music, she is teaching her students at Blue Valley Schools in Randolph and Olsburg as the elementary music teacher and choir teacher.
In her free time, Samantha loves to curl up with her pitbull pups, Jaco and Luna, and read a good book. Samantha is also a part of the jazz duo Tandem Moons with her husband and guitarist, Colton Jones; you can catch them playing around the Manhattan area! Samantha can't wait to teach Flint Hills Academy of Music students again and help them discover the wonders of music!
Robert F. Rodriguez is a Drummer/Teacher in the Midwest known for his technical proficiency and high energy. Robert started playing live shows in 2003. At just twelve years old, he started touring all over the country. Playing some of the most iconic rock venues in the country such as CBGB's, The Whiskey A Go-Go and The Troubadour. In 2012, Robert started a new journey at Kansas State University where he would go on to play with The Concert Jazz Ensemble, Swing Machine, Lab A, House wreckers, Combo Nation, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Marching Band and even sang in the Collegiate Chorale. In 2019, he would tour the world as the Orchestra Drummer for Celebrity Cruises. Upon returning to Manhattan, he co-directed Combo Nation along side Michael T. Brown.
Currently, he's the Assistant Drumline Instructor at Seaman High School in Topeka, teaches private lessons and is furthering his studies at The Musicians Institute.
Song Park completed her undergraduate studies at Chopin Music Institute at Keimyung University in Daegu, South Korea. Subsequently, she pursued her performer's program, earning both Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Chopin Music University in Poland.
"Violinist Song Park captivates audiences with exceptional understanding of the instrument, vibrant tone, and nuanced, three-dimensional interpretations, showcasing a performance filled with vitality and charm." - Agineszka Marucha (Professor of Fryderyk Chopin University of Music)
She represented the Korean community at the Korea-Poland Friendship Concert. She participated in violin performances and pedagogical lectures at the Goreczki Summer Festival in Poland, Casa Ma Giorre in Italy, and various venues in Poland and Germany.
In the same year, Song Park had the opportunity to perform as part of a trio representing Poland. Following her international experiences, she contributed to music education by teaching children at schools and cultural centers in Daegu after returning to South Korea. Upon moving to the United States, she took on the role of a Violin Instructor at Manhattan Culture Center, orchestras, engaging in diverse musical activities.
“Song Park is a highly skilled and accomplished violinist and pianist with a profound passion for music education. Her mastery of the violin and piano, combined with their strong academic background, makes them an exemplary candidate for the role of a teacher. I have had the opportunity to observe Song's teaching methods closely, and I am always impressed by their ability to communicate complex musical concepts with clarity and patience. They have a remarkable gift for tailoring their teaching approach to suit each student's unique needs and learning style, creating a positive and nurturing learning environment.” - Chris Dunn (Director of Music and Arts)
Throughout her career, she has also held numerous solo Recital showcasing her exceptional talent and artistry.
Currently, she is in the process of preparing for her doctoral studies while actively participating as a Violin Instructor in the U.S. Her musical accomplishments and educational experiences reflect a versatile career that has been recognized.