Valerie Young is a highly-specialized educator of children who has taught Kindermusik for 20 years and serves as director of children's ministry at University Congregational Church in Missoula. Valerie holds a degree in Music Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Canada) and an associate diploma in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto, Canada), and has been teaching piano since 1998.
Dr. Christopher Hahn is a well-respected pianist and performer, teacher, adjudicator, clinician, and author. He has been teaching piano to students of all ages for over 25 years. Dr. Hahn is professor of piano and pedagogy, and Chair of the Keyboard Division at the University of Montana where he has been on faculty since 2004.
Julian Jaszczak graduated with a bachelor’s degree in piano performance in 2017, and will complete his Master of Music degree this year. He served as the graduate teaching assistant at the University of Montana, teaching group and private piano instruction. While teaching at UM, Julian developed a primary focus on combining elements of cognitive therapy with piano instruction to aid in happy and healthy playing. When away from the piano, he enjoys outdoor and water recreation, reading for fun, and traveling around the country to spend time with family.
Heidi Martin is a sophomore at the University of Montana studying piano performance and political science. She has been playing piano for 12 years. When she started 5th grade she became the pianist/music director for St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. She has been involved in numerous festivals, masterclasses, and workshops around the state. Heidi also enjoys reading, running, singing, and playing the harp.
Karly Barthels is a junior pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Music Education. A pianist primarily, she has studied piano since September 2007, but she also incorporated cello lessons and voice training for part of that time. During her high school years she participated in five national piano guilds, two spring festivals, and two Royal Conservatory assessments. Karly has traveled overseas multiple times to serve and teach at an orphanage in Thailand. Her time spent with the children and teachers there kindled a passion for meaningful connections with others, especially through music. She seeks to cultivate a rich and rewarding experience in both the classroom, and from the stage, and hopes to encourage her students towards creativity, curiosity, and fun.
Clara Hahn is a junior at Sentinel High School where she participates in pep band, wind ensemble and is drum major for the marching band. She has studied piano for 9 years and has participated in numerous recitals, festivals, and Royal Conservatory assessments. Clara loves to sing and dance and has studied ballet for 13 years. This year will mark her 10th season of performing in the Garden City Nutcracker.