Valerie Young is a highly-specialized educator of children who has taught piano and Kindermusik for over 20 years. 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).
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.
Karly Barthels is a junior pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Music Education, where she studies piano and cello. 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.
Ingrid De Groot recently graduated with a degree in economics, but her first love is music. She has played piano for almost 20 years, taught for 10, and has had extensive training in violin and harpsichord as well. Having studied with Dr. Hahn in high school and early college, she is thrilled to return to UMT as a visiting music graduate student under Dr. Hahn and Professor Hesla year. By day, Ingrid works as a Greek-English interface editor for a forthcoming series of children’s textbooks, and in her spare time, she squeezes in as much practicing, hiking, cooking, reading, and dancing as possible.
Clara Hahn is a senior 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 14 years. This year will mark her 11th season of performing in the Garden City Nutcracker.
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.
Beth Mast earned a bachelor's of music in music theory from the University of Montana, studying both piano and voice. In addition to teaching at PLAY, she works in arts administration for The College Music Society and teaches yoga. She enjoys singing in the choir Dolce Canto, hiking, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.
Abby Van Allen is working towards a bachelors in music education, studying piano as her main instrument. She is a second generation piano teacher, and has been playing since the age of 4. Abby has taken opportunities to teach English abroad in Thailand, and teach piano classes to children in Hawaii! She loves to travel, participate in outdoor activities, and loves teaching music! She finds fulfillment in connecting with people, witnessing their growth both as musicians and in their personal lives.