We have an outstanding faculty who have many years of experience in teaching and performance.

Brett Bachus
Piano, Harpsichord, Violin, Viola, Cello, Music Theory

Brett Bachus, LLCM, LTCL, ALCM, DipLCM, ALCM(TD) founder of Bachus Conservatory, is a nationally acclaimed concert pianist and cellist. A versatile, dynamic, and sensitive virtuoso, he has performed in solo and chamber recitals, choral works, and has been a guest artist with orchestras. Appearing on radio and television, Mr. Bachus is known for his mastery of the keyboard with an extensive repertoire list.

Mr. Bachus is a Master Teacher who has been teaching children and adults since 1979. He was a cellist in the Scottsdale Symphony. He co-founded The Four Seasons Chamber Orchestra, and founded the Phoenix Valley Chamber Symphony and served as President on both boards of directors. Mr. Bachus is active as a solo performer and frequently accompanies local musicians for recitals and charitable events.

Links: Website   Resume   Business Card

Brett Bachus plays Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No.3 in d minor Op. 30 Listen

Karen Bolen
Piano, Flute, Clarinet

Karen Bolen began teaching students of all ages more than 40 years ago in El Paso, and has maintained a busy private studio since 1972.

Mrs. Bolen holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree (All levels) from the University of Texas-El Paso and is a certified Suzuki Flute Instructor. She has won many music honors and awards over the years, and was a flutist in the El Paso Symphony for several seasons. She is a frequent instrumental soloist at her church, a past member of the Austin Flute Choir and the former Director of the Music Conservatory at Hill Country Christian School.

Mrs. Bolen uses innovative curricula in her teaching, including Piano Adventures (Faber), Fearless Fortissimo- Piano Music for Boys (Dow), as well as Noteflight, Isle of Tune, and Treble Clef Island (Freddie the Frog) which are computer based programs. Her students learn Music Theory through music composition and the Theory Time books. She believes that her students make progress more quickly when they have the tools to write down the music that they hear and want to play.

Having taught in both public and private schools, Mrs. Bolen brings her extensive experience as an award-winning flutist and orchestral soloist, band and orchestra director, choral conductor, conservatory director, composer, arranger, TMEA adjudicator, clinician and touring musician to her piano studio.

Students reap the benefits of studying with an accomplished teacher who has worked on both sides of the podium, behind the scenes as well as on center stage.

Svetlana Clifft
Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano, Theory, Choir, Musical Theatre
English, Russian

Svetlana Clifft was born and raised in Russia. She is a professional musician and music instructor with extensive education from some of Russia's finest universities. She holds an M.A. from Moscow State Open Teacher's Training University Moscow, Russia. Her B.A. degree in Teaching Music is from L.V. Sobinov Music College Yaroslavl, Russia.

Mrs. Clifft has been teaching students of all ages since 2003 in both formal and informal settings. Her main goal in teaching is to make the learning process as much fun and educational as possible. Mrs. Clifft has also had great success with her students receiving "All-State" winner status at the Texas Federation of Music Clubs' annual State Festival. Her students also receive highest marks at Trinity London College of Music Exams. As a professional teacher she was awarded a diploma for preparation of a prize-winner of the City Contest of Young Violin and Cello Players.

Mrs. Clift has been playing violin with the Round Rock Symphony Orchestra since 2008. She has also played with the Balcones Community Orchestra Austin and Rybinsk Orchestra. In Russia she performed a variety of musical styles (baroque, classical, jazz, pop) for violin and piano solo, string quartet, ensemble and orchestra.

Yuan Ping
Suzuki Certified Violin Teacher
English, Mandarin

Yuan Ping was born in Shanghai and raised in Wuxi, China. While studying in China, she earned her Bachelor's Degree from China Normal University. Afterward she earned her Master's Degree from The University of Texas-Austin Butler School of Music where she was under the care of Professor Sandy Yamamoto. Determined to further her education, she completed the necessary training to become Suzuki Certified violin teacher.

Before devoting much of her time to teaching, she had the privilege of being a performance violinist with many orchestras including the prestigious Shanghai City Symphony Orchestra where she completed over 40 performances within a four year period. She also gained additional experience as a member of the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra.

Mrs. Ping has experience teaching and coaching students ranging from age 3 through adulthood. She has prepared students for orchestra auditions and designed the curriculum for an after school violin program which focused on learning the fundamentals through advanced classes.

Sondra Strietelmeier
Voice, Disney Songs, Arias, Art Songs, Musical Theatre, Children's Songs

Sondra Strietelmeier graduated Valedictorian from Medina Valley High School; graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Abilene Christian University; graduated with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Texas at Austin and was a member of the UT Graduate School Honor Society; completed graduate hours toward a Master's in Music Therapy from Southern Methodist University; and 150+ hours of Orff/Schulwerk workshop hours.

Mrs. Strietelmeier has taught students age 9 through adult. She has coached private high school student competitions, many of whom were successful at state competitions. One of her private students won the part of the fairy godmother in Cinderella which was performed at the Brentwood Christian School Performing Arts Center. She taught music at BCS for 18 years where she developed curriculum which combined the arts of voice, instruments and theatre. The curricula included: vocal instruction, solfege (Kodaly) and sight-singing; movement to music for learning beat, rhythm, tempo, pitch, volume, phrasing, etc.; multicultural games with song/movement; classroom instrument and ensemble instruction using Orff methodology; accomplishment of folk tale plays and "mini-musicals" using vocal and instrumental ensembles; music history lessons; preparation for December and May choral programs.

Mrs. Strietelmeier has been a vocal performer since high school. She played Dorabella in Mozart's opera "Cosi fan tutte" at Abilene Christian University. While studying at the University of Texas at Austin, she participated in several opera scenes and successfully completed a Master's Recital. She performed in a Gilbert and Sullivan production of The Gondoliers and in the Austin Choral Union. She has performed for weddings, at senior care facilities and as a soloist for the University Baptist Church in Austin with Hugh Chandler, classical guitarist and with Charles Smith, organist. While a member of the Round Rock Community Choir, she was a soloist for "Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion!" in the 1998 performance of Messiah, and for special programs at University Avenue Church of Christ. She stays active as a performer in care facilities and local recitals.

Josh Casiano
Percussion, Piano, Music Theory, Composition

Josh Casiano earned his Bachelor's degree in Music Theory/Composition at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Members of the music faculty have raved about his performances as doctoral-level repertoire, describing him as an "excellent resource" in music theory and instrumental knowledge. His compositions were described as "absolutely fabulous" with "very idiomatic" use of instruments.

Mr. Casiano has taught composition, orchestration, multiple systems of music theory, music literature, percussion, ear training, and use of the Finale family of notation software. In music theory, he has taught Tonal Harmony/Roman numeral analysis, Baroque counterpoint, species counterpoint, set theory, and Schenkerian analysis.

Mr. Casiano has performed with the Austin Chamber Music Center, at the Keyboard Percussion Festival, and was the principal percussionist of the Southwestern University Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble for three years. He played timpani in the world premier of Michael Cooper's edition of Mendelssohn's "Symphony No. 4" and was principal percussionist in the world premier of Jason Hoogerhyde's "The Color of Dissonance." Josh Casiano's compositions have earned him invitations to lecture and to perform future works, including a symphonic piece and a work for percussion ensemble. Mr. Casiano co-composed the music for Natalie Goodnow's play "Muntu" with Travis Jeffords. He performed the percussion part in the production, which received an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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