Private Lesson Faculty


Dr. Rachel Woolf –

From classical to rock, from Indian fusion to improvisation, from award winning performances to inspirational teaching, Dr. Rachel Woolf’s musical reach extends beyond the confines of any one genre or boundary. She consistently captivates audiences through her innate musical fearlessness and charismatic joy.

Dr. Woolf has taught at Brookhaven College, and extensively across the DFW metroplex. She is a member of Dallas based symphonic pop rock band, The Polyphonic Spree, and has toured with them all over North America. Woolf has performed with Swedish-Argentinian indie folk singer José González, Iranian pop legend Aref, muliti-platinum operatic-pop superstars Il Divo, GLEE star and Emmy-winning Darren Criss, and has recorded with Grammy-winning producer John Congleton on experimental rock band Swans record, The Glowing Man (2016). Not one to be boxed in by notes on a page, she has sought out an array of opportunities to improvise – from freeform to jazz to Indian ragas. Notably, she was selected to perform traditional Hindustani North Indian flute during the Dalai Llama’s visit to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Accomplished as a soloist and chamber musician, Rachel was a finalist in the Myrna Brown Competition, semi-finalist at the 2017 NFA’s Young Artist Competition, and prizewinner at the San Diego Flute Guild and Coeur d’Alene Young Artist Competitions. Additionally, her performances with The Fawn Trio earned a spot in the semifinals at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and special recognition at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition. Equally comfortable in orchestral settings, Rachel regularly plays with the Dallas Winds and has performed with The East Texas Symphony Orchestra, Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra, Dearborn Symphony, the Firelands Symphony and spent two summers performing at the Brevard Music Center. She has performed under the baton of such luminaries as Keith Lockhart, Leonard Slatkin, Peter Oundjian, Michael Tilson Thomas, Jeff Tyzik, Marin Alsop, Mattias Barnert, and JoAnn Falletta.

An avid champion of contemporary music, Rachel has been a founding member of multiple new music groups in Ann Arbor and Los Angeles, and has premiered numerous new works for flute and piccolo, including Paul Schoenfield’s Psychobird (A Sonatina for Piccolo and Piano). She can be heard premiering works by William Bolcom and Jennifer Higdon on the widely released Classical Collaborations with the University of Michigan Symphony Band on Equilibrium Records. She can also be heard playing principal and bass flute on the GIA Windworks label, Canvases and Offerings, with the UNT Wind Symphony.

Beyond her performances across the United States, Rachel has performed in Sweden, Finland, Russia, Italy, Luxembourg, Germany, France, and England. She received her Bachelor of Music at the University of Michigan (where she was the recipient of the Presser Award for excellence in music and academics), obtained her Master of Music at Bowling Green State University, where she was the Flute Teaching Assistant, and recently completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of North Texas (UNT) as a Teaching Fellow. She has studied under the tutelage of Amy Porter, Dr.Conor Nelson, Terri Sundberg, Dr. James Scott, and Karen Reynolds, among others.


Rachel Domingue –

Rachel is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with her Masters of Music degree in oboe performance where she studied with Dr. Andrew Parker. A native of Ottawa, Canada, she completed her undergraduate degree in oboe Performance at the University of Ottawa in April 2017 where she studied with Principal Oboe of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Charles Hamann. She is a recipient of numerous awards, such as the Award of Excellence from the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, intended for section leaders and most advanced student. While competing in the National Art Centre Orchestra Bursary competition, she received the Sturdevant Prize for Orchestral Excerpts as well as the National Arts Center Orchestra Vic Pomer Award in 2017 and the Friends of the National Arts Centre Orchestra Award in 2015.

Having recently moved to Austin, Texas for her studies, Rachel regularly performed with the University of Texas at Austin’s Orchestra and Opera production as well as the Bach Cantata Project and woodwind quintets. Rachel is an active member in her music community. She performed with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra as well as the University of Ottawa Orchestra and the University of Ottawa Wind Ensemble. She spent her summers attending programs like Round Top, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Orford Music Academy, Scotia Festival, and Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA) where she studied under Erin Hannigan, Nicholas Stovall, Sarah Jeffrey, Beth Orson, Richard Killmer, Theordor Baskin, Roger Cole and Suzanne Lemieux.
Rachel is an avid reader and loves to spend time outdoors with her dog, Gamine. Tacos and chocolate is sure to make her smile.


Julia Littleton –

Julia Windle Littleton, a native of Kingsport, TN, holds a bachelor’s degree in Music
Performance from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of the prestigious
Interlochen Arts Academy. Mrs. Littleton has participated in the Colorado College Music
Festival, Brevard Music Center, Interlochen Arts Camp, and Las Vegas Music Festival. Former
teachers include Kristin Wolfe Jensen, Barrick Stees, and Keith McClelland. She currently
teaches private music lessons and is a freelance Bassoonist in the Austin area. Mrs. Littleton
currently performs with the Round Rock Symphony. She resides in Austin, TX with her husband,
Jason, and their cat Tallulah.



Katie Combest is a native Dentonite, and grew up around music. Her uncle is a retired Jazz Piano professor and her family encouraged her in her music education. 

Katie has performed with the New Orchestra of Spain, the Southern Winds Trio, the Las Colinas Symphony, the East Texas Symphony, the Allen Symphony, the Texas Winds Quintet, Música Nova, the Austin Symphony, the Austin Ballet, the Bear Valley Symphony Orchestra, numerous musicals and plays, the Eastern Winds, the Estes Park Village Band, and numerous freelance performances. 
She has taught for almost 20 years in Plano and Flower Mound, TX. During this time, her students have learned a lot, and have had much success. She has had students place first in the Texas All State organizations on the E-flat, Soprano b-flat, Bass, and Contra clarinets. Katie’s students have earned spots in the All-Region Bands and Orchestras, All-Area, All-State Bands and Orchestras, the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestras, the Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestras, the North Texas Youth Orchestras, and the Lone Star Wind Symphony Youth Program.

Her students have placed, and/or won in the TAASO concerto competitions, the Allen Philharmonic Youth Concerto competition, the I.C.A. clarinet competition, the Collin County Concerto Competition, the American Protégé Competition, the Lewisville Lake Symphony Concerto competition, and their respective band programs’ concerto competitions.

Katie’s students have been accepted to Interlochen, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, Eastern Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, NOI, and the Carnegie Hall National Youth Orchestra.

Seniors have been accepted to Juilliard, the Eastman School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, Peabody, Northwestern, USC, UT, TTU, CU, SMU, OU, ACU, Arkansas, and DePaul on music scholarships. She also has students who are non-music majors who have placed and soloed in the Yale, Princeton, UT, and the Stanford Symphony Orchestras. 

Katie studied clarinet with Kenneth Grant and Jon Manasse at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and Business and Spanish at UNT.  In addition, she has performed for Stanley Hasty, Lawrie Bloom, Larry Combs, Julie DeRoche, Edward Palanker, Steven Girko, Greg Raden, Donald Hunsberger, John Scott, Richard Kilmer, Bonnie Boyd, Will Roberts, Tom Booth, and John Kitzman. 

Her most influential teachers were Paul Garner and Denise Gainey. 

After living in DFW many years and Colorado for a brief time, Katie is excited to relocate to the Austin area!


Billy McPhail –

Saxophonist Billy McPhail has performed in venues around the country and internationally.  He has performed as a member and soloist with many distinguished ensembles to include the San Antonio Symphony, the Austin Symphony and the University of Texas and Victoria College Wind Ensembles, and with conductors such as Mitch Miller, Jerry Junkin, and David Effron.

Mr. McPhail holds a Bachelor of Music from The University of Texas at Austin, where his principal saxophone teacher was Harvey Pittel.

Mr. McPhail is also active as a chamber musician, joining The ELISION Saxophone Quartet in 2001, as a Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster member.   Mr. McPhail is a founding member of the Austin Saxophone Ensemble. Mr. McPhail can be heard on ESQ’s debut recording, “LIVE, Through the Years” and ASE’s album “Plunge” .  He also performs with The Nash Hernandez Orchestra, the longest running big band in Austin, Texas, as well as many other musical projects.

Mr. McPhail has served as saxophone instructor for Temple College as well as the Leander, Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown, Pflugerville, Lake Travis, Victoria, and Bloomington school districts.  He maintains a distinguished studio of private lesson students, and frequently leads master classes and adjudicates for school districts and regions across Texas.

Ben Kessler – 

Ben Kessler is an active saxophonist and music educator in Austin, Texas. He regularly plays with the Vintage 15 Big Band and is a founding member of the Austin Saxophone Ensemble, where he also serves as the group’s Financial Director. Ben has also performed with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Round Top Festival Orchestra. As a recording artist, Ben can be heard on albums on the Naxos, University Records, Austin Saxophone, and Hollywood Records labels. 

As an avid proponent of contemporary chamber and large ensemble music, Ben has commissioned, premiered, and recorded new works by Dan Welcher, Donald Grantham, Cater Pann, John Makey, Kevin Puts, Steve Bryant, John Mills, Jack Wilds, Chris Ozley, Michael Mikulka, and David Adams. Benjamin can also be seen and heard in the 2009 film Bandslam and on the motion picture soundtrack. Ben is passionate about music and saxophone education. He has a large private studio in Austin, TX, regularly presents master classes and coaches student chamber ensembles, and was formerly a Lecturer of Saxophone at Texas A&M University- Kingsville. 

Ben completed his Master’s degree and other degrees in Saxophone Performance at the University of Texas at Austin where he studied under Harvey Pittel and served as the saxophone studio Teaching Assistant. His other teachers include John Mills and Ron Jones


Benjamin Berghorn –

Dr. Benjamin Berghorn: A native of Buffalo, NY, has taught trumpet students in the states of New York, Florida and Michigan. He has prepared students for County, District and State Solo and Ensemble Festivals (NYSSMA and MSBOA) as well as given masterclasses, clinics, and prepared students for college auditions and performances.

During his recent time in Mid-Michigan, he served as an Adjunct Instructor at Lansing Community College and maintained an active private teaching studio in the Greater Lansing area. He also served as a brass coach and mentor for the Jackson Youth Symphony Orchestra. Along with teaching, he has also performed with the Jackson, Battle Creek and Lansing Symphony Orchestras.

Internationally, he has served as Guest Principal Trumpet of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, where he performed on Western and traditional music programs in many of Beijing’s finest concert halls. Other notable performing credits include a Guest Artist performance at the 2016 International Trumpet Guild Conference (Anaheim, CA) and as a Guest Musician with the Macau Orchestra.

He has collaborated with such artists as James Conlon, Joshua Bell, Placido Domingo, Andrew Litton, Wynton Marsalis and The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Lü Jia, Francis Kan, Tan Lihua, Shinik Hahm, Kevin Noe, Kevin Sedatole, Russel Mikkelson and the late Lawrence Leighton Smith.

Berghorn holds degrees from Niagara Community College, SUNY Fredonia, Yale University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University. His love and enthusiasm for teaching music, while working with young adults is one he continually finds extremely rewarding.


David Nowell –

David Nowell is a native Texan that currently resides in Austin,Texas.  Mr. Nowell is a former student of Mrs. Karen Houghton and attended the prestigious Interlochen Center For The Arts studying with Dr. and Mrs. Ellen Campbell.  Following his time at Interlochen he attended the Moody School of Music at the University of Alabama studying with Charles “Skip” Snead. For the past 7 years, he has maintained a full time private horn studio in Central Texas wherein his students have ranked among the top high school horn players in state. His students have been accepted into Northwestern University, Peabody Conservatory, Southern Methodist University, Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, University of Texas, Texas Christian University, and Oklahoma State to study music. As a freelancer Mr. Nowell plays in many community ensembles with his students, gigs frequently in the area, and is a full time substitute with the Temple Symphony. Mr. Nowell plays a custom Kortesmaki Geyer Model horn and mouthpiece.




Anthony Wise –

After graduating from high school in Pennsylvania, Mr. Anthony Wise attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, studying with the Principal Trombonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Nitzan Haroz.

After graduating from college he spent the next 15 years teaching students in many different countries, while simultaneously being a member of countless professional orchestras all over the globe that include, The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra Youth Outreach Project Leader, Louisiana State University Trombone & Tuba Masterclass Clinician, University of Florida Trombone & Tuba Masterclass Leader, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Youth Outreach Brass Quartet Leader, San Antonio Brass Quintet Summer Music Program Professor, and The Saint Joseph’s Preparatory Private School Trombone Instructor in Philadelphia.

Anthony has performed with many professional orchestras including, The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, The San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and The Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

He now has relocated to Austin, Texas and is looking forward to putting down roots here and being a trombone instructor for the Leander and Round Rock Districts exclusively.




Patrick Geren –

Patrick Geren is an independent music educator, performer, and composer across Austin (TX) and works as a brass instructor with the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps (Canton, OH). He earned his Master’s in Performance from the University of Georgia with David Zerkel and his Bachelor’s in Music Education and Performance from Illinois State University with Dr. Andy Rummel and Dr. Mark Babbitt. As a member of the University of Georgia Tuba Quartet, he earned honors as first runner-up in the chamber ensemble competitions at the 2014 Music Teachers National Association in Chicago and the International Tuba Euphonium Conference held at Indiana University. His original work, “Tipping Point,” was a finalist at the 2016 U.S. Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Composition Contest. His works have been published through Potenza Music, reviewed in the International Tuba Euphonium Association (ITEA) Journal, and performed at regional and national conferences. In 2016 he founded his own publishing company, Wiley Island Press. In addition, scholarly articles of his research have been published in multiple ITEA Journals.

He now has relocated to Austin, Texas and is looking forward to putting down roots here and being a trombone instructor for the Leander and Round Rock Districts exclusively.




David Hummel –

David Hummel was not born in Texas, but got here as fast as he could! After finishing his undergraduate degrees in Music Performance and Education from Texas Tech University in 2009 he completed his Master’s degree in Bloomington, Indiana at Indiana University, studying tuba performance. He has since been teaching low brass privately in the Round Rock, Leander, Georgetown and Austin Independent School Districts. He also is the co-founder of the summer tuba and euphonium camp Teupha Camp. During his time at Texas Tech, he was the principal tubist with the Amarillo Symphony for two years as well as a substitute with the Big Spring Symphony Orchestra. He has competed in several regional and international competitions, most recently being in the semi-final round of the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference’s Tuba-Euphonium Quartet Competition and the final round of the Mock Band Audition. He has been lucky enough to study with such notable teachers as Dan Perantoni and Kevin Wass. David is the principal tuba for the Round Rock Symph




Clayton Stroup –

Clayton Stroup is a composer, performer, and educator living in Austin TX. He attended the University of North Texas with a concentration in Percussion Performance where he played in various groups including the 2008 Indoor Drumline as Front ensemble section leader. In DCI Clayton was a member of the 2007 Phantom Regiment where he played Xylophone. He was a front ensemble technician at the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps from 2009-2010. Clayton has been an active percussion educator in the Dallas, Texas since 2008 and the Austin area since 2017.