Green Brooms Music Academy Adds New Instructors

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Green Brooms Music Academy in South Pasadena boasts an impressive list of instructors who are all professional musicians and singers. They are thrilled to introduce their latest additions in voice, drums & piano. Meet them here:

Chenchen Yang (Voice, Piano, Beginner Drums)

Chenchen is an exceptionally strong musician in both classical and popular areas. She started playing piano at the age of three and went on to learn voice and advanced drumming.

Chenchen gained Top Academic Scholarships (Top 2-3%) every year from Shenzhen University in Shenzhen, China (next to Hong Kong), where she had her B.A. in Music Performance. During college, she actively performed and composed. She was in the Chorus of Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra and was the lead vocal & keyboardist in Dr. Lung’s ensemble. In 2011, she was proudly chosen to perform in “Bridges of Friendship” World University student beach concert. She won 2nd Prize in Italian Opera of Guangzhou Division of China, Hong Kong International Vocal Open Competition in 2014.

With the Longy Schorlarship she received, Chenchen went on to pursue her M.M. in Vocal Performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College learning with Jayne West. She performed frequently in Chamber Music, Opera Workshop, and New Music by Longy composers.

As her former masters professor and mentor recalls, “She was very patient, clear, and knowledgeable with her students. She had very clear ideas about repertoire and planned her lessons very carefully to meet the needs of this particular student …… She has grace, humor, warmth and the most kindness one could ever hope to find.” 

Elizabeth Zharoff (Voice, Piano)

Elizabeth Zharoff is a successful opera singer, composer, and game sound designer. When she isn’t performing halfway around the world, Elizabeth is based in Los Angeles, California, where she works from her home studio and sings with the L.A. Opera.

Ms. Zharoff has performed in major halls
throughout America, Europe, and Asia, and has
sung in over 15 languages. Recent performances include singing Leïla in Les Pêcheurs de Perles with Seattle Opera, Violetta in La Traviata on an international simulcast with English National Opera, the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Colburn Orchestra, and creating the role of Esther in the World Premier of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Opera, Morning Star.

Elizabeth holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Oberlin Conservatory and the Curtis Institute of Music, as well as additional certification from Berklee School of Music. She began writing music and sound for games nearly 3 years ago, and has since created audio for over a dozen mobile games and virtual reality projects. With over 20 years of musical studies and performance experience, she brings excellence and enthusiasm to every project she approaches.

Cooper Wolken (Drums, Piano)

Cooper Wolken is a drummer, composer, and music educator living in Los Angeles, CA. Growing up in the woods of Massachusetts, he began studying drums at an early age. He completed studies at New England Conservatory’s preparatory school, then moved to LA to attend California Institute of the Arts where he earned a BFA in jazz drumset.

Currently, Cooper is an active member in LA’s creative music community. In addition to playing experimental and improvised music, he works extensively in rock, pop, folk, and jazz styles. In 2016 he was featured on three albums by three different bands.

As a teacher, his aim is to inspire curiosity and passion about music while developing the skills necessary for growth. Lessons will be shaped to each student’s unique learning strengths, and they’ll be positively guided in developing fundamental technique and facility around the drumset. They will be encouraged to explore the possibilities of the instrument, and ultimately find their own creative voice on the drums.

Erika Person (Voice, Piano)

Erika was bit by “the bug” at the age of 3 when she was cast in her first role as 4th Angel from the Left in her church’s annual Christmas pageant. Her mother also saw fit to start her in piano lessons at the age of 5, so the foundation of Erika’s musicianship was laid very early. She believes that solid musicianship helps take the guesswork out of the equation, so that a singer can more easily get to the really good stuff: connecting to the text and creating an authentic and compelling character.

Erika grew up in Eagle Rock, moved to Denver, then to upstate New York for her masters degree, then spent nearly 15 years in New York City. For 13 of those years, she was a featured and leading artist with the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, which was the perfect outlet for her to sing musical comedy with her operatic voice. With NYGASP, she traveled across the U.S. several times, and also made her international debuts in the U.K. and Canada.

Crossing over into classical musical theater, her favorite roles include Lalume (Kismet), Sarah Brown (Guys & Dolls), Martha Washington (1776), Lady Thiang (The King & I), and Tzeitl (Fiddler on the Roof). Erika has also performed with opera companies across the U.S., including-but not limited to – the Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall, New York City Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Indianapolis Opera, Annapolis Opera, Opera Delaware, Salt Marsh Opera and Opera Noire of New York.

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