Meet Our Instructors
HERE TO GUIDE, INSPIRE AND SUPPORT
Who a teacher is, is more important than what he or she teaches. Our teachers create opportunities for exploration and learning by establishing engaging environments where students feel safe and confident. We have exceptional instructors who are caring, enthusiastic, and dedicated to helping students exceed their every expectation. The Overture School of Music selects professional musicians with a love for teaching. Read some of their stories below. More qualified staff will be joining us soon!
MS. REBECCA LO
Founder and director
Viola, violin, and piano instructor
When Ms. Rebecca Lo, Founder and Director of Overture School of Music, started teaching her sister and her neighbors at the age of 13, she never imagined that one day she’d be overseeing the musical upbringing of hundreds of students of all ages in what has become one of Houston’s best known music studios.
Having started Overture School of Music in her own apartment over 4 years ago, Ms. Rebecca is an energetic, passionate, and motivational educator who has grown alongside her students in her 18 years of teaching experience. Known by parents to be diligent, attentive, and communicative, she believes that the personal connection between teachers, students, parents, and herself is what makes Overture stand out in comparison to other music academies in the area. Having been the first person in her district to ever receive record-breaking perfect scores on piano, viola, and violin in All-State level exams during her high school years in New York, Ms. Rebecca understands the challenges that students face during their training, and she specializes in preparing them to succeed using personally tailored motivational techniques. Additionally, she firmly believes that through their musical education, students acquire vital life skills such as patience, discipline, and perseverance, all which contribute to their formation as well-rounded individuals.
As a recipient of Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees at Rice University on full scholarships, Ms. Rebecca not only recognized the importance of receiving mentorship from passionate, talented musicians, but also found her passion in teaching and has worked tirelessly to make Overture School of Music an extension of that experience; it is her priority that the Faculty at Overture is comprised by some of the most gifted and brilliant up-and-coming professional musicians in Houston, ensuring that the students at the studio receive guidance from only the best Houston has to offer.
Remembering her days where she was honored to perform in world famous concert halls such as Carnegie Hall (on nine occasions), National Taiwan Concert Hall and Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater, amongst others, Ms. Rebecca wishes for students at Overture to get the experience of being on stage and share their newfound musical abilities. In the near future, Ms. Rebecca hopes to allow even more children to gain access to music education through community outreach, sponsorship and scholarship programs.
Meet The Instructors
Harp and piano instructor
Ms. Caitlin is a harpist based in Houston, TX with degrees from both Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, having achieved a Bachelor of Music and Masters of Music respectively. An active performer, she has performed numerous times as a concerto soloist, most recently with the Akademisches Orchester in Leipzig and National Repertory Orchestra.
In addition to performing with many professional orchestras such as the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, and the Symphony of Southeast Texas, Ms. Caitlin has been the Outreach Director and Harpist for “The Syndicate for the New Arts” since 2014, a non-profit organization based in Cleveland, Ohio. She is also a core member of Loop 38, a contemporary music ensemble bringing new music to the heart of Houston.
An active freelance performer in the contemporary, classical, and jazz genres, Ms. Caitlin also enjoys teaching students of all ages! She has taught many young musicians, college students, and adult beginners, and always strives to work with the individual to help them achieve their unique goals in music. She has studied the piano since age four, began her study of the harp at age nine, and is a native of Thornton, Pennsylvania. When she’s not playing the harp, she can probably be found enjoying the outdoors, listening to good music with friends, or daydreaming about dogs!
Ms. Anna-Maria is an orchestral conductor, classical pianist and piano instructor. She has performed in venues in Greece, Germany and the USA. Alongside solo repertoire she participates in projects involving both chamber music and full orchestras. A native of Athens, she holds a piano performance and a music theory degree from Philippos Nakas Conservatory. Ms. Anna-Maria has earned her MA in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is currently pursuing her DMA in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Houston. Among her awards are the Schissler Foundation Fellowship, the University of Houston Graduate Tuition Fellowship and the Hellenic Professional Society of Texas Award. Professor Franz Anton Krager says that Anna-Maria is a natural talent. He continues “As a young and aspiring conductor, I would place Anna-Maria Gkouni in the top 1% of her peers! As a scholar and caring human being, she also ranks in the top 1%!! She is also a fine pianist. Her knowledge of piano playing and pedagogy is part of her musical mechanism, and will certainly serve as a foundation of understanding as she works with orchestras now, and into the future. She has accrued significant public conducting and teaching experiences in her native Greece. Her inspired work is nothing short of exemplary, and as her major teacher, I am pleased to express my pride and admiration for her artistic & organizational work”
Ms. Trinh grew up in a musical family in Saigon, Vietnam. She learned piano at the age of six, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Music at the University of California - Berkeley, where she also received her Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cell Biology. With her grandfather as her first piano teacher, she completed all eight ABRSM Practical Musicianship Grades and Theory Exams at the age of fourteen. She has performed in concert halls such as Herbst Theatre in San Francisco War Memorial and Performance Art Center, HCMC Opera House, Hanoi Opera House and Sydney Opera House with the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, Bing Concert Halls, and more.
Alongside teaching, Ms. Trinh is pursuing her Doctor of Medicine degree. Just as how she firmly believes in maintaining good physical and mental health, she also understands the importance of music in our daily lives. Furthermore, teaching and learning are both about exploration, inquiry and experimentation. As a music teacher, her goal is to help students unlock the meaning and message of any piece of music. She crafts her lessons to each student’s needs, passing on her love of music to her students in an inspiring and engaging manner, so they can take their creativity and love of music in many directions. With her teaching experience, she brings a unique flare that is both motivating and highly successful in helping her students achieve their goals.
Violin, viola and piano instructor
Ms. Julia is a young American violist and violinist from Jackson, Mississippi. As a soloist, her most notable achievements are First Prize Winner of the International Viola Competition of Mississippi and Finalist of the Shepherd School of Music Concerto Competition. Her performances have taken her all over the world to Europe, Asia, and South America. She has made solo appearances with the Symphonic Orchestra of Cuzco, Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, and the Master Camerata. In 2013, Julia won a position in the inaugural year of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, which traveled to Russia and England under the baton of Maestro Valery Gergiev. She returned to NYO-USA in 2015, winning a principal position, and traveling to China under the baton of Maestro Charles Dutoit. She has also won orchestral leadership positions at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, where she won the Maddy Summer Artist Award, and received a fellowship to attend Aspen Music Festival in 2017. Julia holds a B.A. in Theatre and Conducting from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She currently attends Rice University, pursuing her Master of Music in Viola Performance under the tutelage of Professor James Dunham.
Guitar, ukulele and piano instructor
Mr. Michael grew up in Apple Valley, California where he first started his musical journey at the age of 8. He started with the alto saxophone. He performed with the Apple Valley High School Marching Band and Jazz Band. During his freshman year of high school, he received his first guitar. After his brother taught him how to play Enter Sandman by Metallica, Michael fell in love with the instrument. He taught himself and advanced his skills by studying classical guitar with Rich Sumner at Victor Calley college for four years.
In 2009, Mr. Michael was accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston. He studied jazz guitar for one year before transferring to Musicians Institute of Los Angeles. Michael studied rock, pop and blues at the Musicians Institute with some renowned artists such as Dave Weiner, Jaime Kime and Alex Machacek. After leaving MI in 2012, Michael moved to Texas and performed with Houston band Enloom.
He then began teaching guitar at various elementary schools with IKIDS After School Program. Mr. Michael taught guitar with IKIDS for two years before becoming a full-time instructor teaching 35+ students a week. In addition to providing guitar lessons, Mr. Michael is also the main guitarist and composer for Small Deal, a Houston Funk Band.
Piano and composition instructor
More staff will be joining us soon. For more information on our courses or meet our staff, we invite you to get in touch and schedule a meeting!
Originally from Kazakhstan, Mr. Ilya is a professional pianist, piano instructor, composer, and laureate of international competitions with 25 years of experience in piano studies. He has worked with numerous symphony orchestras and conductors and has been featured in recitals across Kazakhstan, Russia, Austria, and the United States. Mr. Ilya graduated from Novosibirsk State Conservatory in 2016 with both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance. He was the winner of several international competitions throughout his time in the conservatory. Mr. Ilya was a member of the Cultural Olympiad in Sochi (2014) and a member of the Russian Union of Composers. Mr. Ilya’s first string quartet composition was performed in the great hall of Novosibirsk Philharmonic Society in 2018. In 2021, Mr. Ilya began his doctorate degree in Piano Performance at Texas Tech University. Mr. Ilya has taught and worked in many music schools, colleges, and universities in exciting locations from central Kazakhstan to the polar circle in northern Siberia. He has 5 years of teaching experience with students of all different ages and levels. Mr. Ilya believes in teaching his students to not only play music, but to also foster their own comprehension and progress in music independently. Mr. Ilya is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma focusing on concert performance for pianists at the University of Houston.
Violin and Piano instructor
Ms. Natalie is a recent graduate of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music where she received her Master of Music degree as a student of Kathleen Winkler. She received her Bachelor of Music degree, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Northwestern University. As an avid performer, Ms. Natalie has performed with orchestras all around the world, as well as a member of Lincoln Center Stage, the resident piano quintet on Holland America’s MS Oosterdam. She held the position of co-concertmaster with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for two seasons and has also performed with the Indianapolis Ballet Orchestra and the New World Symphony in Miami. She has also participated in many music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival and School, Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and AIMS Graz in Graz, Austria.
Ms. Natalie is also a passionate educator and has been teaching for over 10 years. She began teaching in her home school district, providing lessons for beginning fifth-grade students and leading sectionals for the high school orchestra program. While at Northwestern, Ms. Natalie worked with students of all ages in Northwestern University’s Music Academy and assisted with weekly violin group classes. She has also taught local community students at the Chautauqua Music Festival and School and through the P.A.L.S program at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Ms. Natalie strongly believes that music can help students cultivate the skills needed to succeed throughout their lives, such as hard work, determination, and self-confidence, and strives to help every student reach their full potential.
Harp, piano and violin instructor
Applauded by judges for his “elegantly nuanced playing”, Texas native Mr. Zane is currently pursuing his graduate studies in harp performance at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, with a full-tuition scholarship. He studies with Paula Page, former principal harpist of the Houston Symphony. Previously, he studied with Naoko Nakamura, principal harpist of the Dallas Winds.
A finalist of the SMU Meadows Concerto Competition in Dallas, Mr. Zane has been a featured performer at the Round Top Music Festival, Pierre Monteux School, and Eastern Music Festival. In the summer of 2018, he was named a Bernard Osher Instrumental Scholar. He has also performed in masterclasses for harpists such as Judy Loman, Emily Levin, and Sasha Boldachev.
In addition to harp, Mr. Zane studied violin under Dallas violinist/violist Jane Aten and composer Mary Alice Rich. He has performed with the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra around North Texas from 2010 to 2015. In 2015, he toured with the GDYO across China’s major cities.
Mr. Zane believes that every student is capable of creating beautiful and meaningful music. His goal is for students to develop a technical foundation that allows them to express themselves and play with ease. He hopes that each student will enjoy the satisfaction of working hard, finding their voice, and growing through their own musical experiences.
Bass and piano instructor
A versatile double bassist and music teacher, Mr. Casey is currently pursuing graduate studies at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. His musical roots are in rock and jazz, and he has received degrees in classical performance from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. As a professional bassist, Mr. Casey has performed in leadership positions with orchestras both across the United States and internationally. His performances with orchestras and chamber ensembles have found him on stages including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Chicago Symphony Center.
Mr. Casey believes that music should first and foremost be exciting for the student! He is constantly looking for the best ways to instill a love of music in each person he works with. Mr. Casey’s own love of music started from an early age and was fostered by caring and thoughtful mentors along the way. He hopes that he can be a similarly positive influence on his students and help them to grow as both musicians and people. Constantly striving for personal growth in his own playing and life, Mr. Casey believes that it is important to identify and affirm the strengths of each individual student while helping them to develop the skills they need to meet their own musical goals.
Violin, viola and piano instructor
Mr. Maxwell is a music educator, performer, and composer. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in music and studied with Jeff Irvine at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Mr. Maxwell was his class valedictorian and double-majored in viola performance and music theory, while triple minored in composition, eurythmics, and French. As an educator, he works with students of all ages in a variety of settings, including one-on-one instrumental training here at Overture and classroom general music in his role as the grades 7 to 12 music teacher at the Post Oak School's Museum District campus. His priorities in teaching are to inspire love and appreciation for all types of music and to approach topics from multi-disciplinary angles.
Mr. Maxwell has a great interest in technology integration into the arts. Mr. Maxwell completed a 3-year tenure with the Cleveland Institute of Music's Virtual Learning program writing and presenting music appreciation courses about diverse topics to grades K-12 using live videoconferencing technology. These courses also included related performance segments.
As a composer, Maxwell focuses on his primary instrument, the viola. Typically, his compositions feature programmatic themes about nature or life experiences.
Harp and piano instructor
Ms. Meghann is a graduate of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, earning a Bachelor’s Degree with the help of the Hines Endowed Scholarship. She grew up in Richmond, Virginia and began playing the harp and piano at the age of six. During her time with the American Youth Harp Ensemble, she performed in hundreds of concerts including at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, The White House, and the World Harp Congress. In addition, she has played in countries all over the world such as: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Norway, and the Netherlands.
As a music teacher, Ms. Meghann strives to create a fun, interactive, and meaningful musical experience for every student. She is a former mentor of the Harp Therapy Program, which teaches individuals with disabilities how to increase their fine motor skills by playing the harp. Furthermore, she has over 6 years experience teaching one-on-one lessons to students of all ages. She is currently learning how to play the guitar, and discovering the most effective teaching methods for harp, piano, and guitar. Ms. Meghann believes teaching music helps students express their emotions, increase their confidence, and lay the foundation for a healthy work ethic. She is excited to teach her students how to understand and enjoy the art of music making!
Piano and voice instructor
Mr. Grant is a pianist, organist, and bass from Fresno, California. He is currently studying at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice for a Master of Music in Organ Performance. Before moving to Houston, he received two bachelor’s degrees in music and civil engineering from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.
Mr. Grant began piano lessons when five years old, and music has been a passion of his ever since. He loves to play music from the classical tradition, but he is also quite adept at jazz, contemporary, film music, and improvisations. Mr. Grant performs frequently as a soloist and with ensembles: in the first half of 2022 alone, Mr. Grant has given four solo recitals and performed with six different ensembles. He loves teaching students to find the same joy from the piano that he does.
Mr. Grant has sung bass in choirs for over eight years. As a piano accompanist for choirs, voice classes, and individual voice students, Mr. Grant has coached numerous vocalists in diverse styles of music.
Some of Mr. Grant’s other interests include composing, hiking, reading, and learning foreign languages: he is currently tackling German and French.
Violin, viola and piano instructor
Mrs. Skyler Blair is an actively performing violinist and soprano with a passion for teaching. She earned a dual Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance and Music Theory from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a minor in Cognitive Science and Vocal Performance. While there, she studied violin under renowned pedagogues Ilya Kaler and Joan Kwuon and voice under Dina Kuznetsova.
Ms. Skyler has experience teaching all levels of violin, from young beginners to her very own colleagues at CIM under the supervision of Joan Kwuon. She has received training in Book 1 Suzuki Violin and the Suzuki Pedagogy philosophy from Ed Kreitman of the Naperville Suzuki School. She teaches students abroad online, with other students heralding from various states in the U.S., South America, and the Middle East. Ms. Skyler specializes in teaching virtuoso violin techniques, tackling the works of Heinrich Ernst and Niccolo Paganini in her own performances, and sharing her knowledge through her social media platform.
Skyler has been a featured soloist with numerous orchestras. Recently, she performed Poème by Chausson with the North Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO) in February of 2021. Also with the NFSO, she performed Brahms Violin Concerto as the winner of the John Leatherwood Concerto Competition. She performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra in their 2019 concert series. She served for three years as the Concertmaster of the Alachua County Youth Orchestra, and has since performed as Concertmaster and Principle Second in the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra and the Round Top Festival Orchestra. In 2020, she progressed through the state and division levels of the Music Teacher’s National Association’s competition, placing second at the National Finals division.
Violin, viola and piano instructor
Violist Jude is a graduate of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and Oberlin Conservatory. A recipient of Oberlin Conservatory’s Dean’s Scholarship, Jude had the opportunity to study violin with David Bowlin and viola with Peter Slowik and Kirsten Docter. She then completed her Masters studies at the Shepherd School under the tutelage of Ivo-Jan van der Werff. Jude has performed with numerous orchestras including the Houston Symphony, Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, Oberlin Conservatory Orchestra, and the Imperial Symphony Orchestra. She has also been accepted as a fellow to Tanglewood Music Center, Verbier Festival Orchestra, and Madeline Island Chamber Music.
As a passionate teacher, Jude has 8+ years of private teaching experience. She has taught in Hillsborough County, Fl, serving Tampa and surrounding areas. She served on faculty at Farnell Middle School, Alonso High School, and taught non-majors at Oberlin Conservatory. Her students have received superior rankings at solo and ensemble festivals, and have been selected to play in All-County and regional orchestras. Jude believes that every student has great potential and is thrilled to work with students to help nurture their love for music!