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JANELLE TIBBETTS

Owner/Director
(General Music, Winds, Piano, and Voice)

janelle@sparkcayman.com

Janelle Tibbetts is the Owner and Director of Spark! School of Performing Arts where she also teaches winds, piano, voice, and general music. She received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, summa cum laude, from Florida International University and received a Master of Science in Education specialising in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University. She taught music at Clifton Hunter High School between 2011-2015, serving as Subject Leader during her last academic year there, and has also taught at many private schools within the Cayman Islands over the last 8 years. 

Janelle is a passionate advocate for arts education in the Cayman Islands and participates in many events and programmes that include the youth and the arts year round. She continues to serve as an adept adjudicator for many music competitions in the local community, including the National Children's Festival of the Arts, and has done so for several years. Janelle served as Vice President from 2011-2012 for the non-profit organisation Creative Music Project, Inc. and from 2014-2015 she served as Founder and Director of Spark! Music Initiative, both of which were organisations that advocated for well-balanced music education for all and promote balanced student-based musical experiences.

A seasoned musical director and arranger, Janelle has worked with several groups and organisations over the years, teaching vocal and performance techniques within small and large group settings. This includes, but is not limited to, Cayman National Cultural Foundation's Young at Arts Summer Intensive Programme and the Cayman Islands Folks Singers, a company of amateur singers and musicians dedicated primarily to preserving, celebrating and propagating the musical traditions of the Cayman Islands.

 

At the 2017 National Arts & Culture Awards, she was a recipient of the Silver Star for Creativity in the Arts Award from the Cayman National Cultural Foundation for artistic endeavour, achievement, and excellence in the arts.

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AMELIA MATOS

Elementary Music Programme Coordinator and Music Teacher

(General Music, Piano, Strings)
amelia@sparkcayman.com

Amelia Matos started her music studies at the age of 6 in the School of Arts of her home country, Cuba. At 14 years old, she was selected to enroll in the Conservatory of Music “Esteban Salas” where she graduated in 2007 as Choir Conductor, Singer and Teacher. Amelia continued her studies and was accepted into the University of Arts in Havana, Cuba, where she graduated with honors and received a Bachelor of Music in Composition. During this time, she created an extensive portfolio with her compositions, exploring nontraditional music formats and dissimilar classical-contemporary music styles.

 

Amelia was also part of the Professional Choir of Camaguey, Cuba. Where she had the opportunity to participate in national and international festivals and concerts around the Island, not only as a singer, but as the conductor. With over 15 years of teaching experience, Amelia has worked with children of all ages empowering them with confidence and skills through education in music. She taught music in the Conservatory of Music “Jose White” in Camaguey, where she was the Subject Leader and taught general music, trained choir conductors and created the Female Choir.

 

After moving to Cayman, she was part of the team that founded Jubilate Programme in 2016, a non-profit afterschool music programme inspired by “El Sistema”. There she served as choir and orchestra conductor, piano accompanist, and general music teacher.

 

Through Spark!, Mrs. Amelia teaches elementary music at Triple C School and Village Montesori (Elementary) and private lessons on various instruments at the Spark! studio.

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SOPHIE NEVIN

Musical Theatre Programme Coordinator and Music Teacher

(Piano, Voice, Strings, and Musical Theatre)
sophie@sparkcayman.com

Sophie grew up in a very musical household, singing from the time she could talk. She started violin lessons at the age of four and piano lessons at seven years of age. She holds both her Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees from the University of Hull. Sophie was actively involved in the Music department for the duration of her time at Hull being apart of both Contemporary Choir and University Orchestra. In her third year Sophie was also given the opportunity to be apart of the Czech Opera, Hry o Marii.

Throughout her Master’s Degree, Sophie gained extensive knowledge in song writing and studio production. Sophie majored in Performance and Composition, creating her own E.P., establishing her own band and creating a portfolio of compositions transforming a bicycle into a musical instrument. In addition to her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Sophie has also received Grade 8 for both Musical Theatre and Classical Voice and Grade 8 Ballet from the Royal Academy of Music.

Over the years, Sophie has taken part in many music festivals, competitions and performances for Drama, Dance, and Music across Ireland, including playing with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and performing with Riverside Youth Theatre. Sophie has also worked as a session singer in England during her time at University. Originally from Northern Ireland, she also enjoys taking time out to sing with the Limavady Big Band, playing at the internationally renowned Cork Jazz and Blues festival. In 2011, Sophie was given the opportunity to play violin in the National Scout and Guide Youth Orchestra based in Berkshire England.

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BRIANNA RODRIGUEZ

Administrative Supervisor and Music Teacher

(Piano and Voice)

brianna@sparkcayman.com

Brianna Rodriguez began her musical journey at 3 years old, when she first began singing in public. Over time, she gained experience with various classical instruments, including piano, violin and clarinet. She studied piano, with a strong focus on the classical and baroque genres, for 13 years and has completed Trinity College music exams in piano, achieving the 8th grade level with Distinction. She’s also received various awards over the years for vocal and instrumental performances, including the Suggested Artist recognition for one of her compositions that was entered in the Song of the Year songwriting competition.

Brianna holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard University and has also completed a Specialist Certificate in Music Business from Berklee College of Music. During her experience in piano education, Brianna has tutored students from grades Initial to 8 in preparation for Trinity examinations, with a 100% pass rate. 90% of her students received Distinction or Merit. While most of her training and background is in classical music, Brianna has branched out and is an aspiring singer-songwriter. Though she endeavours to make music that transcends the archetypal boundaries of genres, classical music has always been a source of inspiration and creativity.

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Aleksandra Henszel

Music Teacher

(Piano and Woodwinds)
aleksandra@sparkcayman.com

Aleksandra is a prize-winning musician and teacher with a versatile portfolio of the
highest quality. Accomplished performer, she has worked as an orchestral and chamber musician, improviser, folk band leader and studio musician. She is a sought-after music arranger, workshop leader and educator.

Graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Royal College of Music London, Aleksandra's formal musical training began at the age of seven in her hometown of Szczecin, Poland. By the age of nine she received the City of Szczecin Artist Scholarship, the highest accolade in her region and ten years later started her conservatoire-level training in the UK. Whilst still a student, she performed with RCM Chamber Orchestra and singers from Opera Australia at a Gala concert at Buckingham Palace, organised by HM King Charles III in 2015. 

As a classical musician, Aleksandra has performed at some of Europe’s most famous concert halls including the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Konzerthaus Berlin and the Royal Albert Hall and orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Multi-Story Orchestra, Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra (Germany), and The NGF Orchestra (Italy). Keen soloist and chamber musician, Aleksandra's past and present collaborators include Athenaeum Winds (Music in Tuscany, Westbourne, Cottier's and Skye Chamber Music Festivals), OMBRA (St Lawrence Jewry Music Festival), Toru Ensemble (King's Place, Southbank Centre) and pianists Maksim Stsura, Ke Ma and Mateusz Rettner. 

Aleksandra's love for dance music has led her to establish Narnain, a folk music band specialising in Scottish, Irish and European balfolk music, where she plays flute and whistles. Narnain have performed at venues across the UK, Europe and Asia and sailed the Seven Seas as the Royal Revellers with Disney Cruise Line.  

Passionate about music education, Aleksandra’s teaching career has taken her around the world. In London she worked for the Royal College of Music Junior Department, Tri-Borough Music Hub and Lewisham Music teaching flute, woodwinds and piano and coaching ensembles. She was appointed Guest Professor at Penalolen Flute Festival in Santiago, Chile through the Global Leaders Institute in 2020. In 2021 Aleksandra joined the Music Department of the prestigious North London Collegiate School in Jeju, South Korea where she led many classes ensembles including the Symphony, Chamber and Junior Orchestras, Wind Ensemble and Music Theory. Aleksandra is the winner of many awards and prizes for her performance, music education and music arranging work, including The Musicians’ Company Lambert Scholarship, Patricia Prindl Prize and The Countess of Munster Derek Butler Award. She was selected as an awardee of the Oleg Prokofiev Trust in 2020 as well as the Britten-Pears Young Artist in the same year.

When not performing or teaching, Aleksandra enjoys travelling, swing dancing and listening to Spanish podcasts.

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Jessinah Astwood

Music Teacher

(Kindermusik, General Music, Piano)
Jess@sparkcayman.com

Jessinah Astwood is a former student of Spark! School of Performing Arts, where her journey in the
world of music began. It all started when she discovered her passion for playing the flute during her time in Primary school. Diving into this new interest, Jessinah continued to pursue her musical
aspirations while attending Clifton Hunter High School. She became an integral part of the school
choir and band where she honed her vocal and flute skills under the guidance of the talented Janelle Tibbetts. In addition to this, Jessinah began taking piano lessons and exams through Spark! School of Performing Arts, further expanding her musical repertoire.


For approximately 15 years, Jessinah has danced with the Cayman Islands National Dance Company, where she gained a wealth of experience. Jessinah’s love and commitment for dance has made her a senior member of the group, providing her with numerous opportunities to represent the Cayman Islands on international stages. She showcased her skills in performances such as the Dance Umbrella held in Jamaica and the renowned Carifesta in Barbados back in 2016.
 

In addition to her expertise in dance, Jessinah discovered a deep appreciation for drama and theatre during her years at university. Engaging with her college's drama society, she played an active role in setting up and performing in the captivating production of "The Addams Family". Jessinah's involvement in various dance and theatrical productions throughout the years has allowed her to become well-versed in the intricacies of both onstage performance and behind-the-scenes production.
 

Jessinah has completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education Studies and Music. This accomplishment will further solidify her dedication to her craft and her desire to contribute to the field of education through her musical expertise. To back her forthcoming Bachelor of Arts degree, Jessinah Astwood has also earned an Associate of Arts degree in Primary Education from the University College of the Cayman Islands. This academic achievement highlights her commitment to pursuing a well-rounded education, with a specific focus on her passion for teaching and shaping young minds. She believes in the power of arts education to foster creativity, critical thinking, and self-expression, providing students with a safe and enjoyable educational experience.

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Kenneth Cormack

Music Teacher

(Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele)
kenny@sparkcayman.com

Kenny Cormack is a Scottish guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, with over fifteen years experience performing on the guitar (classical and electric), bass guitar, ukulele, banjo, and mandolin.

Kenny studied electric guitar at the University of the Highlands and Islands, and classical guitar at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (ranked top 5 in the world) where  he graduated in 2015 as a Bachelor of Music, with Honours. Since graduating Kenny has enjoyed a busy professional career, with highlights including: regular contracts with Disney Cruise Line, performing at the American National Theatre in Lusaka, Zambia, performing Steve Reich’s Acoustic Counterpoint for the composer at the Glasgow Minimalist Festival, recording and touring with: Zac Scott, Narnain Band, and classical/folk ensemble Buchanan Duo.

In addition to performing Kenny is also a passionate music teacher, and in this way has been sharing his love for music throughout his career. He has taught at some of the UK’s top independent schools as a specialist guitar/ukulele teacher as well as in his own private teaching studio, and is an experienced workshop leader through his work with Paragon Music. In 2021 Kenny moved to the island of Jeju, South Korea, where he worked as a full time music educator, coaching an exciting music programme featuring: Ukulele Ensemble, Guitar Club, Rock Band, Jazz Band, and Orchestra.

 

Kenny believes in bringing out the best in his students, he has an excellent track record of taking students from beginner to advanced level, a 100% pass rate in exams, and prides himself in providing a positive learning environment in which to thrive.

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HEIDI ORDAZ-NYACK

Music Teacher

(Piano)
heidi@sparkcayman.com

Heidi Ordaz-Nyack, began piano lessons at 7 years old, and was a part of choirs all her life. She now plays the organ, directs choirs and is a songwriter.

 

In December 2009, the Piano Bank Program supported by the Steinway Society of Central Florida awarded Ordaz an upright piano. Created to give talented young students in Central Florida the opportunity to develop their talents, the Piano Bank provides deserving pianists with an instrument. She was also a recipient of the William E. Duckwitz Talent Scholarship at Stetson University, where she earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance. She continued her studies at Georgia Southern University, where she was the Graduate Piano Assistant and completed a Master of Music in Piano Performance. Mrs. Nyack continued her music studies at Andrews University in where she completed a second Master of Music specializing in Music Ministry with organ emphasis. 

 

An active performer, Mrs. Nyack has presented solo recitals in the USA and Grand Cayman. She has worked with many vocalists and instrumentalists in lessons, recitals, competitions, and master classes. For a while, she was the assistant organist and choir accompanist at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist of Savannah, GA. 

 

Her teachers have included Dr. Kenneth Logan, organ; Dr. David Murray, piano; Dr. Pierce Dickens, organ. She also studied with Steinway Artist, Dr. Michael Rickman, Lina Maria Pooler; organ and harpsichord with Dr. Boyd Jones and collaborative piano with Tammy Miller & Dr. Karla Rocker. Mrs. Nyack is a member of AGO, MTNA, and Pi Kappa Lambda. She enjoys sharing her musical heritage with young musicians. 

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BENEIL MILLER

Music Teacher

(Piano, Guitar, and Drums)

beneil@sparkcayman.com

Music has always been a part of Beneil Miller’s life. Coming from a musical family his journey started when he would strum the guitar strings as his father held the chords. Beneil began formal training at age 8 when he started taking piano lessons. In the years to follow he learned to play other instruments by ear through playing in church, school and in different bands on Grand Cayman.

 

In 2015 Beneil Miller graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree majoring in Professional Music. While in College he focused on studying jazz piano as well developing his song writing skills.

 

Beneil Miller is involved in all facets of the Cayman Islands music scene. In addition to being an educator he is a recording artist, band leader, recording engineer and songwriter. He has a keen interest in developing the Cayman Islands music industry and hopes to inspire his students through his passion for music. 

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JARED TIBBETTS

Music Teacher

(Drums and Music Technology)

jared@sparkcayman.com

Jared Tibbetts received his first pair of drum sticks at the tender age of 5, instigating his love and passion for music. This began his musical journey and drove him to undertake formal training by taking lessons in rhythm notation, learning rudiments and songs.

Having taught himself how to play the drum-kit by listening and playing to different styles of music, he furthered his knowledge by taking music theory and private instruction classes from an early age up to high school. During that period, he began playing in school and local bands including national bands for concert, big band and jazz, performing at gigs, events and national festivals and winning many awards.

 

Tibbetts has continued to grow and network within the local Caymanian music industry both as a drummer and audio engineer by taking part in several recording projects as a session drummer and assistant engineer.

Tibbetts was later accepted and awarded to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where he completed his Bachelor of Music degree majoring in Professional Music, becoming the first person from the Cayman Islands to do so. With the drum set as his principal instrument at Berklee, he has studied with several prominent faculty members in the school's percussion department, Mike Mangini, Rod Morgenstein, Terri Lyne Carrington, Larry Finn and Skip Hadden, as well as various world renown faculty from other departments within the school.

After graduating Berklee, he made the move to New York City with a thirst to continue his education and self-development. Not long after he moved, he enrolled at the SAE Institute of Technology to receive a diploma in Audio Technology. At SAE he studied and worked closely with faculty and instructors on a long list of recording/mixing consoles, digital audio workstations, outboard gear, microphones and speakers’ systems for recording, mixing, mastering and postproduction, as well as live sound.

Following his time in New York, Jared returned home to the Cayman Islands and aided in the opening of ‘Spark! School of Performing Arts’. At Spark!, he delved into the world of music education by teaching drum kit and music technology instruction to students of all ages, whilst giving a helping hand with maintaining the daily operation of the business. When outside the classroom, Tibbetts continued to work on projects in the studio as an audio engineer and simultaneously worked as an audio-visual technician for many events around the island, gaining a wealth of experience.

After three years back at home, Jared decided to venture further by undertaking a Master of Music in Music Production, Technology and Innovation at his alma mater, Berklee College of Music. Studying at the campus in Valencia, Spain, has allowed him to encounter new styles of music and experience working internationally. During his time back at Berklee, Jared dedicated his time to continue to perfect his craft as a recording and mixing engineer by creating an extensive audio portfolio.

Tibbetts also takes pride in being an ambassador and representing the Cayman Islands, and is known to encourage other Caymanians to follow their dreams and is active in helping the youth to develop their talents. His fierce passion for music and audio technology is rivaled by his desire to share this knowledge with others.

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