From "Queens, Fairytales, and Fantasies" Recital at Longy School of Music, May 2018.
Photo by Huimin Zhu
Akela is a classical soprano, music educator, theatre director, and arts administrator originally from Oakland, California. She has been singing and teaching in Boston since moving there in 2016 to pursue a Master of Music degree in vocal performance at Longy School of Music. Akela is an accomplished performer on the opera and recital stage alike, and she is passionate about using vocal music as a vehicle for social change. Recent performance highlights include frequent solo appearances at First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton, an immersive murder-mystery themed joint recital, the role of Fourth Spirit in Massenet's Cendrillon (Cinderella), and the role of Ghita in Alexander Zemlinsky's Der Zwerg (The Dwarf).
Akela has been an active music educator for the past four years, starting out as a teaching assistant with Boston City Singers. She has since gone on to teach for organizations such as Longy School of Music's El Sistema Program, First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton, Children's Music Center of Jamaica Plain, Community Music Center of Boston, and of course, YoFES. Akela's specialties include private voice lessons, choral activities, musical theatre direction, music theory tutoring, and early childhood general music instruction. She has also been formally trained in vocal pedagogy, choral conducting, acting, jazz studies, and Alexander technique.
Akela has maintained a private voice studio in the Boston area since 2018 and is excited by the opportunity to teach voice as part of the OAMEC program. Her teaching philosophy is rooted in the empowerment of singers through the production of healthy, free phonation. She helps students develop their technique through observation of sensation; discussion of anatomy and voice science; and experimenting with different types of physical, vocal, and emotional expression. Many of Akela's students have enjoyed success performing with organizations such as Boston City Singers and the BSO Children’s Chorus, as well in their extracurricular programs or professional lives.
Akela has been affiliated with YoFES since 2018. She started as a choral enrichment instructor for the YoFES Summer Program and went on to serve as a lead choral instructor for students enrolled Mattahunt Elementary's Touissant L'Ouverture Dual Language Academy. In addition to teaching voice, Akela currently serves as an executive assistant in the YoFES office.
Hannah Price is a graduate student at the New England Conservatory, studying under the mentorship of Ayano Ninomiya. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory, after having begun her studies at Indiana University under the instruction of Sibbi Bernhardsson. In past summers she has participated in the Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowdoin International Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, and Litomysl International String Masterclass, among others. Hannah has performed as an orchestral musician in venues including Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, and the Meyerson Symphony Center. An active advocate for community engagement, Hannah has been involved in the development of the Musical Storytelling Project and as a participant in programs that bring music and instruction to Grafton Correctional Institution and hurricane-stricken areas of Puerto Rico.
Hannah is a passionate and dedicated teacher of all ages and abilities. As an artist, scholar, and teacher, her efforts and contributions to music aim to propel the value and quality of music education forward, keeping it central to the core of human value in a quickly-evolving world.
Lucy Little is a classically-trained violinist, composer/improviser, teaching artist and Fulbright scholar, with an eclectic background in both music and public service. Described by WGN public radio as an “amazingly talented musician,” Lucy’s musical practice lives on the edge of many styles, inspired by a lifelong exploration of classical, minimalist, modal, and electronic music. In addition to various solo and scoring work, Lucy is a collaborative musician at heart, playing in multiple contemporary and indie rock ensembles and with numerous singer/songwriters. Recent performance highlights include performances in The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, and Greece, multiple premieres at Jordan Hall in Boston, opening for Le Butcherettes and The Flaming Lips at the Taste of Chicago music festival, at the 2018 NPR Tiny Desk Contest: Chicago Showcase, and at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. An arts educator since 2010 both privately and in community settings, Lucy is deeply passionate about using the arts to support health, wellbeing, and as a tool for positive personal and social change. Lucy spent the 2018-19 year working with Musicians Without Borders as a Fulbright scholar, where she supported their community music training program, led multiple workshops and storytelling projects in refugee centers, and studied how musicians are working to support people seeking asylum and social inclusion practices in the European Union.
From New York City and Chicago originally, Lucy is a new resident of Boston, and is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Contemporary Improvisation at the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC), under the tutelage of Eden MacAdam-Somer and Carla Kilshedt, among others. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Chicago where she studied musicology and composition with Fusun Koksal and Kotoka Suzuki. Lucy is a longtime student of classical violinist and pedagogue Addison Teng and contemporary violinist/composer Todd Reynolds.
Lucy’s musical experience and training is rooted in community, having started violin at the age of six with Roberta Guaspari and the Opus 118 Harlem School of Music in NYC, a program similar to El Sistema. Currently a Teaching Fellow at NEC, Lucy believes strongly in her community musical upbringing and the importance of music education, and through her work and teaching aims to holistically support her students. Lucy’s teaching specialities include classical music (with a special love for beginning violin studies), general improvisation and composition, folk styles, and more.
Cellist Yi-Mei Templeman aims to creatively fuse genres, and to rethink the typical presentation of classical music in order to welcome people of all ages, backgrounds and musical worlds into her emotive storytelling. Yi-Mei has performed throughout Asia, South America, Canada, and the U.S., bringing her music to venues such as Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, Walt Disney Hall, MIT, Jordan Hall and the Nokia Theater. She has spent past summers at Carnegie Hall’s Audience Engagement Institute, Yellow Barn’s Young Artists Program and the BU Tanglewood Institute, where she served as principal cellist. She also toured Taiwan with the National Taiwan Youth Symphony, performed in the 2016 International Piatigorsky Festival, and was principal cellist of New England Conservatory’s Symphony Orchestra. A native of Los Angeles, Yi-Mei studied with LA Phil's associate principal cellist, Ben Hong, for four years. Her previous quartet received first place at the Classics Alive Artist Management Competition, and currently, she is the cellist of the exciting professional piano trio, Trio Gaia. Trio Gaia was named an Honors Ensemble at the New England Conservatory, received the audience prize at the Plowman Competition, and are community performance fellows at NEC. For Yi-Mei, generosity is at the heart of music-making. She brought her cello-playing to outreach events for the TED-Ed and Classics Alive organizations with the goal of providing context for classical music outside of the concert hall. Yi-Mei is pursuing a B.M. with Lluis Claret at New England Conservatory of Music. When not practicing or rehearsing, you can find her songwriting, solving Rubik’s Cubes, or practicing yoga.
Voice & Piano Instructor
Praised for her "beautiful tone", ability to connect with her audience and "effortless stage presence", Amy Onyonyi is a talent to look out for. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. She was mentored and trained by sopranos Audrey Statler and Sara Goldstein, whose students have gone on to grace important opera stages across the world, including the Metropolitan Opera. Amy has had the privilege of singing for His Excellency the President of Kenya on multiple occasions; twice at The National Prayer Breakfast. She has also performed at The Boston Symphony Hall and performed solo concerts in Nairobi's premier venues. Amy currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts and teaches voice and piano lessons.
Piano Instructor, Saxophonist
Rayna DeYoung is a performer and teacher currently based in Boston, MA. She is pursuing her Master's degree in Saxophone Performance at the New England Conservatory, studying under Kenneth Radnofsky. She graduated from Harding University with a BA in Music and a BA in Humanities where she studied under Dr. Andrew Cook. An avid performer, Ms. DeYoung has experiences performing as principal with the HU Wind Ensemble, HU Orchestra, HU Jazz Band, and HU Pit Orchestra. She also has a flourishing soloist career, with her most recent recital that explored music composed and commissioned by women entitled "Women and the Saxophone." She currently is the alto player for the New England Conservatory Saxophone Quartet. Ms. DeYoung also performs in the Jazz Composers Workshop Orchestra on bari saxophone, bass clarinet, and Bb clarinet. Ms. DeYoung has taught private music lessons for saxophone and piano for four years through programs like the Searcy Community School of Music and the Youth and Family Enrichment Center (YOFES) in Boston.
Kevin Covney is a classical guitarist and music educator currently based in Greenwich, CT. Kevin received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Ithaca College, where he studied guitar with Award Winning guitarist Pablo Cohen. He earned his Master of Music degree in Guitar Performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Colin Davin and Grammy-Award winning guitarist, Jason Vieaux.
As a performer, Kevin focuses on preserving the music of Baroque masters such as J.S. Bach, as well as advancing the music of Pan-American 20th Century composers. His concert programs in Ithaca NY, Cleveland, OH, and the Fairfield Country area have also had a strong emphasis on chamber music. He has collaborated in Upstate New York with groups such as the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, Opera Ithaca, and the Ithaca College Madrigal Singers. His master class appearances include performances for Ricardo Gallen, Ana Vidovic and for Juilliard guitar department chair Sharon Isbin during the 2019 Aspen Music Festival.
As a music educator, Kevin Covney has taught guitar lessons to students aged 5 to 70. He has also taught general music, directed choir, and employed music therapy to students grades Pre-K – 8 at various schools such as Fox Lane Middle School in Bedford, NY and Immaculate Conception School in Ithaca, NY. While in Cleveland, Kevin was a Teaching Fellow with the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society, where he taught group and on-on-one guitar lessons with a focus on compassionate, equitable, and student-centered learning. Aside from his virtual work with YoFES, Kevin currently teaches with various educational organizations in Fairfield county, CT, and in the greater Cleveland area.
Jordan Eade is a classical soprano, performing arts instructor, and educational administrator based in Washington State. Jordan earned her Master of Music in Vocal Performance degree at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she studied with Carol Mastrodomenico. Jordan has performed operatic repertoire, chamber music, and choral music for both national and international audiences.
As an educator, Jordan has completed advanced vocal pedagogy courses at Longy School of Music of Bard College and Early Childhood Music Education classes at the University of Puget Sound. Jordan has also completed a teaching practicum with Judith Herrington, the director of Tacoma Youth Chorus and music instructor at Charles Wright Academy. During the 2018-2019 school year, Jordan worked with YoFES as a music instructor and site coordinator at Mattahunt Elementary School in Mattapan. Additionally, Jordan has experience as a vocal coach, vocal instructor, and general music instructor for individuals and organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest and New England areas.