Randal Ames has a B.A. from the University of Colorado, and has been playing guitar for more than 35 years. Mr. Ames has also played guitar, bass, mandolin and piano in the U.S. and Europe, accompanying such superstars as Sammy Davis Jr. and Jimmy Buffet. As a member of the 7th Army Chorus he performed as a singer, dancer, musician, and choreographer in five languages and eleven countries.
Here in Colorado he has written music, directed, and performed at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, Taste of Colorado, Boulder Shakespeare Festival and has been a member of the University of Colorado Jazz Chorale.
He has written over eighty songs and produced six CDs of music ranging from madrigals and Gregorian Chants, to Jazz, Country and Pop.
His hobbies include a life long interest in Martial Arts (has earned black belts in Tae Kwon Do, Aikido and American Free Style Karate), sword fighting (he has taught Elizabethan Fencing at Colorado School of Mines).
Group Rock Band | Guitar | Bass Guitar | Ukulele | Mandolin
Debbie Brown has a bachelor’s degree in music education with an emphasis in piano from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. She began playing the piano at age 4, and the violin at age 7. She won the Colorado State piano competition at ages 13 and 15.
Debbie enjoyed wonderful experiences in music training from being in a Youth Orchestra to being the choir accompanist throughout high school and college and attending Interlochen Arts Camp where she studied under world renowned professors.
Debbie worked with High School students at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs where she was the piano accompanist and substitute teacher. Along with leading choirs, she also taught music theory classes. She has been teaching privately out of her home for about 16 years.
Debbie teaches classical music and has been trained in all the formal techniques. She also teaches music theory, ear training, and the basics of singing.
Violin | Piano
Jordan Brown received her Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Vocal Music Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State university in December 2015. Born and raised in North Texas, she found a love of music at a very young age. Her journey started with piano lessons, but then grew to participation in musical theatre, choir, and drumline.
During her time at SOSU, Jordan had the opportunity to travel with the Southeaster Chorale to Budapest, Vienna, and Prague on a ten day choral tour of Europe. She was the featured soprano soloist in many Chorale concerts, including Bach’s Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, Faure’s Requiem, and Barnett and Chamberlain’s The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass. During her time at SOSU, she was the organist and occasional cantor at Saint Williams Catholic Church.
Upon graduating from Southeastern, Jordan went on to accept her first teaching position at Denison ISD in Denison, Texas. There she was the head choral director for the Henry Scott Middle School and Denison High School. She conducted six choirs, co-directed a music theater class, and taught after school music theory and pop choir.
Jordan moved to Colorado in September of 2019 and soon after obtained the role of Studio Manger for Forté.
Studio Manager - Centennial and Littleton
LITTLETON STUDIO & CENTENNIAL STUDIO
Sue McPherson Brownson received a BM in Vocal Performance from the North Carolina School of the Arts. While at the university, she was a vocal student of William Beck and piano student of William Zimmerman. Following graduation she performed with the Charlotte Opera,, and Jacksonville Opera, The Lost Colony, and an off-Broadway production of the music of Gilbert and Sullivan featuring puppets. She has performed in regional theater productions of Camelot, Jesus Christ Superstar, and West Side Story.
Mrs. Brownson has served as minister of music and soloist in churches in North Carolina, Florida, and Colorado. She has also taught school and private lessons in these states. Mrs. Brownson serves as the soprano soloist for the Lakewood Chorale and Orchestra.
Mrs. Brownson enjoys teaching students of all ages and brings her gentle touch to each student as she imparts her love of music.
Dr. Stephen Fiess, a native of Stratford, Ontario, Canada, holds a
Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Western Ontario;
a Master’s degree in Piano Performance from Indiana University; and a Doctor of
Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance, Pedagogy and Literature from the
University of Colorado at Boulder. He also holds an Associate certificate in
Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, and is
Nationally Certified by the Music Teachers National Association and the National
Guild of Piano Teachers. He also holds an Associate Certificate in organ from
the American Guild of Organists. His teachers include Josephine Parrott,
Dr. Damiana Bratuz, John Ogdon, Dr. Henry Upper, Dr. Keith Wallingford, and
Robert Spillman.He was a prize winner in the 1989 Joanna Hodges International
Piano Competition. He also won first prize in the Kawai Searching for a Star
Dr. Fiess has composed ballets that have been performed in Colorado;
and a ballet that was performed at the International Dance Festival of Havana,
Cuba. He has composed several published piano solos and duets, including
Northern Wilderness Suite and Lorelei Suite, published by Waterloo Music.
Dr. Fiess has also composed church music; including a setting of the Lutheran
liturgy, and three sets of variations on Christmas carols for organ, published by
Morningstar Music. He has also recorded a CD of his solo piano compositions,
entitled White Reindeer.
His interest in Prokofiev's piano music led to a doctoral dissertation on that
subject, and subsequently a book, The Piano Works of Serge Prokofiev,
published in 1994 by Scarecrow Press.Dr. Fiess was the lecturer for the 2009 Denver Area Music Teachers Association (DAMTA) Fall Course, on the subject of Piano Music in the Romantic Era.
Dr. Fiess is currently organist at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in
Centennial, Colorado; and teaches piano privately in Parker, a suburb of Denver, CO.
LITTLETON STUDIO & CENTENNIAL STUDIO
Natalie Galey is a vocalist, guitarist, pianist and educator based in Denver, Colorado. She has performed and collaborated with numerous top-name performers and ensembles, including New York Voices founding members Peter Eldridge and Darmon Meader, and studied with jazz heavy-weights Theo Bleckmann, Dave Liebman, and Jim McNeely. She has performed in both the Chicago and New York jazz and pop scene, in venues such as Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field. She uses her background in jazz, blues, and rock to bring creativity and spontaneity into her classes and believes that music should be fun first and foremost. She carries her love of music into the classroom, and encourages play, growth, and creative exploration with every song, and strives to build community and friendships through song.
Natalie has an equal passion for educating and performing. She received her Master of Music in Jazz Performance degree in 2011 and her Master of Music Education at Columbia University in 2013. She has had the opportunity to study under Kurt Elling, Jane Monheit, Gretchen Parlato, Rodney Whitaker, and Sunny Wilkinson. Natalie was raised in a rich musical environment, playing guitar, piano, singing, and songwriting from an early age. Her compositions are an eclectic fusion of jazz, blues, rock, and soul. As a singer of wide-ranging styles, she has established a reputation as a flexible and talented soloist, as well as a creative and reflective educator. She relocated to the Denver area and joined the Forté Academy of Music Family in July 2019.
Voice |Piano | Guitar | Early Childhood Development
Christopher Gandara was born in Los Angeles, California and as the second youngest of nine siblings, remembers being surrounded by family and music at a very young age. Whether it was hard rock, traditional Mexican music, classical records, or jazz, he connected immediately with the rhythms of the music. At the age of 13, he began his formal training on guitar and music theory. He learned from four different teachers in the Denver area until finally being taken under the wing of flamenco master, John McCoy of Parker. From there, Chris became fascinated with classical music and began learning finger style techniques through Bach, South American Waltz, and Tango music. Chris then attended Metropolitan State College where he studied tonal music composition and the Berklee Methods of harmony and arranging.
Through studying jazz theory books, listening to a steady diet of harmonically sophisticated music, and picking the brains of accomplished local and online musicians, Chris began to piece together a comprehensive model of chord-scale theory. He currently composes, arranges, produces and improvises music with his modal jazz combo as well as various other musical outlets.
Renée Goletz has a Bachelor of Music degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver majoring in Vocal Performance with piano as a second instrument. She accompanies her church choir and has been a frequent soloist there as well. She has been teaching private voice and piano part-time for many years while working full-time for HealthOne, and then finally retiring from a full-time office position in 2018.
She loves sharing her musical talent with students who are eager to learn how to sing and play the piano. She loves attending music concerts, especially when one of her students is involved. She also has been a part of the Englewood Summer Musicals the last few years and played Mrs. Bedwin in “Oliver” and the
Mother Abbess in “The Sound of Music.” She has five grown children and seven grandchildren.
Piano | Voice | Group Piano
Mezzo-soprano Karoline Guerin holds degrees in Vocal Performance (MM) from Colorado State University and in Violin Performance and Psychology (BM) from Rutgers University.
She is often recognized for her lush, sultry tone and her captivating stage presence, and praised for her impeccable musicianship and theatrical intuition. Guerin has performed with a number of local companies and venues, including Opera Fort Collins, Emerald City Opera (now Opera Steamboat), and Opera Colorado. She will debut with Seicento Baroque Ensemble and Bravo! Vail Music Festival in the 2018-2019 season.
Before launching her career as a singer, Guerin trained and performed extensively as a violinist. Her studies began with Suzuki at age 5, and from a young age, she performed in chamber, solo, and orchestral works internationally. Though her professional pursuits are mostly vocal, she still enjoys playing in local venues, and she is a regular member of the violin and viola sections of Stratus Chamber Orchestra. Guerin is also an active liturgical musician, and has been a cantor and violinist for Masses for over 10 years. She spent several years as the Music Coordinator for Mother of God Catholic Church in Denver, where she not only planned, organized, and implemented the weekly music as head cantor, but also built, directed, and occasionally accompanied the adult and children’s choirs.
Through her varied musical and educational experiences, and now parenthood, Guerin has developed a deep passion in her teaching for creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere to meet students wherever they are, and provide a high level of support for achieving and exceeding their goals.
VOICE | VIOLIN | VIOLA
Throughout grade school and high school Marie participated in youth orchestras and eventually moved up to the Murray State University Orchestra by the time she was an upperclassman. Marie and her brothers also put together a repertoire and played at weddings, funerals, and social functions in their community.
The idea of sharing the joy of music with others through teaching first came to Marie while she was volunteering at a local elementary school. This was a great opportunity for Marie to learn two important lessons: that children desire to do something beautiful themselves, and that teaching violin was a path she wished to take. So, throughout college, Marie devoted several weeks each summer to take classes and become a certified violin teacher in the Suzuki Method.
The goal of Marie’s teaching is not simply to produce great musicians, but more importantly, to bring a love and appreciation of beauty and music to the students she teaches. That, after all, was the true goal of Shinichi Suzuki, and the reason why he developed his method.
LITTLETON STUDIO & CENTENNIAL STUDIO
After graduating with a degree in Music Education from Metropolitan State College in 1984, Twila started her career teaching vocal and instrumental music at a local elementary school for several years. Twila’s gentle and compassionate teaching style involves integrating fun with fundamentals, which makes learning piano an enjoyable and gratifying experience for her students.
Her teaching repertoire includes everything from Disney to Beethoven, and she tailors her curriculum to accommodate each student’s unique gifts and talents. She has taught piano privately to children as well as to young adults for over 20 years, and been a piano instructor and at Forté Academy of Music for six. Twila and her husband have lived in Lone Tree since 1991. They have two grown sons, both of whom are accomplished musicians in piano, guitar as well as percussion.
LITTLETON STUDIO & CENTENNIAL STUDIO
Baritone Jerome Síbulo received his Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in Vocal Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he also completed the coursework for a Doctor of Music degree. Jerome also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Ateneo de Manila University, in the Philippines, where he was born and raised.
Most recently, Jerome finished a four-year tenure as a Principal Vocal Artist with Heartland Sings in Fort Wayne, IN. With Heartland Sings, he performed a variety of genres of music, including opera, oratorio, musical theatre, pop, jazz, and a cappella. In Heartland Sings' summer 2019 season alone, he sang in an a cappella quintet concert, performed in a semi-immersive, fully acted Cole Porter revue, and was the baritone soloist in Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem. As a teaching artist with Heartland Sings, Jerome taught private voice lessons, coached choirs, and co-created their Vocal Arts Institute, a high school summer intensive with workshops, classes, voice lessons, and performance opportunities geared toward training well-rounded vocal artists.
Jerome has performed roles with Intimate Opera of Indianapolis, Reimagining Opera for Kids, IU Opera and Ballet Theater, IU Latin American Music Center, the Sieur Duluth Summer Arts Festival, and Monroe County Civic Theater. He has also appeared on concert stages in the US, Canada, and the Philippines.
Jerome is now a Colorado resident and has started singing with Opera Colorado's chorus. He sings and teaches voice lessons in the area, and sometimes he even brings along one of his ukuleles to change things up a bit.
Rico is a professional guitarist, music educator and independent recording artist from New York State who has been performing for over 30 years and teaching for more than 20 years. He was a jazz, rock, pop, solo guitarist with the 502nd Air Force Band, Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi Mississippi from 1984-1986; the United States Air Force Europe Band, Einsiedlerhof Germany from 1986-1992; the 530th Air Force Band, Atlanta Georgia from 1994-1995; touring the southern United States, Dominican Republic, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Russia, Romania, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Crete, Portugal, Sardinia, Turkey and the Middle East. He then moved to Florida from Germany and studied recording engineering at Full Sail University Orlando in 1993; jazz guitar performance with the famous jazz guitar educator Jack Peterson; jazz performance workshops with jazz musicians Dianne Reeves, Dave Brubeck, Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, Kenny Burrell, Count Basie Orchestra with Frank Foster, Bunky Green and music theory at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville from 1993-1995 to include the Essentials Of PA Engineering at The School of Recording and Music Technology, Surrey UK.
After leaving Florida, he moved back to Germany and then to England, working as a professional guitarist performing resorts, clubs, hotels, corporate events, festivals and concerts with jazz, fusion, funk, soul, pop and rock bands. He was also the guitar instructor for the Ramstein Community Center, Ramstein Air Force Base Germany from 1995-2007; RAF Mildenhall Community Center and RAF Lakenheath Community Center England from 2007-2010 along with teaching private students at his home music studio. As an independent recording artist, he has composed, recorded, produced and promoted four of his own CDs via performances with his band “Acoulectric” in Europe from 1998-2008. He then moved to Colorado Springs Colorado, working as a jazz and blues guitarist; taught students at Peterson Air Force Base Youth Center, the Colorado Springs Conservatory of Music, Lucci Music and again with his own private guitar students from 2010-2016. In April 2016 he moved back to England to teach at the RAF Mildenhall Community Center, RAF Lakenheath Air Force Base Housing Community; perform and record music for future CDs and teach private students at his home music studio. In April 2019 he has once again moved back to Colorado from England to teach and perform here in the great city of Denver Colorado.
Guitar | Bass Guitar
Cole M Stover completed his bachelor’s degree in percussion performance at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in 2019. He studied with Michael Spiro, Steve Houghton, Kevin Bobo, and John Tafoya at university, and countless other incredible instructors since he began playing drums in 3rd grade. He grew up in many places as a Air Force brat, but calls Colorado and Georgia home. He has benefited from diverse instruction in orchestral percussion, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian percussion, popular and jazz drumset, popular and jazz vocals, and Afro-Cuban folkloric and popular vocal genres. His passion for music has grown exponentially since he began playing the drumset, and today he is an active free-lance musician, songwriter, and teacher based in Castle Rock, CO.
As a performer, Cole is an experienced percussionist, drummer, and vocalist. Some career highlights include performing with Bootsy Collins at the Cincinnati Music Festival, touring with the IU Soul Revue, IU Wind Ensemble, and the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony, running and performing with his own cover band Top Shelf, and performances with Michael Spiro, Wayne Wallace, Jeremy Allen and many others. As a recording artist, Cole can be heard with the Liberation Music Collective, Matixando, Los Niños de la Noche, Soneros de la Caliza, and countless Indiana University faculty and student musicians.
As a teacher, Cole has taught percussion students at Feagin Mill Middle School, given clinics on traditional Afro-Cuban percussion at University of Central Florida and Indiana University. He has taught drumset, percussion, and vocal students privately since 2010. He is currently the coach for the Pikes Peak Winds percussion section at the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association, a percussion coach at Pine Creek High School, and a private lesson instructor in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Denver, and the surrounding areas.
Cole’s approach to instruction is rooted in a solid technical foundation and a thorough understanding of basic musical concepts that are crucial to developing musicianship and understanding music theory. While he has his preferred methods and books to assist instruction and practice, he understands that each student is unique and is committed to tailor each lesson to an individual’s needs while maintaining a fun and productive atmosphere. He encourages his students to listen to music often and attend live performances whenever possible to help cultivate a passion for music and practice.
Drums | Voice | Piano
Jeanne has been a music instructor, private, small group, as well as general music, band, and orchestra, for the past 25+ years. She holds her BA from the Fort Lewis College of Music, Piano Performance. Additional training and certification in the “Let’s Start Music” program, Ventura, Ca.
Her piano performance history includes solo and collaborative, classical, jazz, pop, Celtic styles. Church organist and pianist, wedding and special occasion pianist. Accompanist for musical theatre productions, choirs, and individual vocalists and instrumentalists. National Guild international winner for piano. She is a member and past adjudicator for National Guild and Certificate of Merit programs.
Styles taught: classical, pop, jazz, music theatre, liturgical music, Celtic music, basic musicianship and theory. She has taught in several prestigious music academies, including Colorado Music Festival and Center for Musical Arts, Lafayette, Co., Bietry Broadmoor Academy of Music, Colorado Springs, Co., and currently Forte Academy, Centennial and Littleton, Co.
Jeanne provides individualized plans for each student, adhering to Forte’s proven and comprehensive curriculum. She has taught all ages- 4 to 80+. She believes music, as an art form, should be presented in a manner that fosters creativity, while maintaining core structure and appreciation for a composer’s intent. Jeanne has a very supportive, nurturing and relaxed approach. She believes learning is a two- way street, and open communication is a key component of learning.
Piano | Jazz Piano | Violin | Cello
LITTLETON STUDIO & CENTENNIAL STUDIO
Diane Wieland is a passionate and dedicated teacher who teaches piano to students of all ages. Diane has been involved with music her entire life, starting when she was just six years old. She is a classically trained pianist, but also loves to play and teach pop and rock music. She worked at Imagine a Better World Recording Studio as a songwriter and producer for six years. After her time there, she began working as a Learning Specialist at Bear Creek K-8 School.
Diane is very excited to be a piano teacher at Forté Academy of Music! She believes that learning to play a musical instrument encourages students to excel in life skills such as having fun, problem solving, maintaining focus, developing discipline, and enjoying the results of hard work.
Andrew Zbryk is a professional musician and teacher. Graduating from CSU in 2014, he received his degree in music education, certification in private lessons, and certification in composition.
Since graduating from CSU he has performed as the Principal Violist of the Parker Symphony for four years, been an active member of a string quartet, played in multiple bands, and has even played with members of the band Devotchka. He is well versed in classical music, rock music, jazz, and bluegrass, and has taught students from ages 5 to 60. With a lifelong love of music, Andrew is dedicated to sharing his passion for music with as many people as possible.
Viola | Violin | Saxophone
*Denotes teachers that donate lessons for our Scholarship Program.