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Arts and Culture

Arts & Culture Outreach Music Instructors

Peter Breden (Bass, Piano)

Pursuing a passion for music, Peter Breden is a bass performance major in his junior year at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, studying both bass and piano. Breden began studying the bass at the age of nine in his local school system. In 2008 he began further studies with Professor David Story of UW-Stevens Point, leading him to become a student at UW-Stevens Point in 2011. On the piano, Breden has also recently become a student of Dr. Raffi Besalyan of UW-Stevens Point. Previously, he had studied piano with Thomas Yang of the Aber Suzuki Center. As a performer, Peter Breden is currently a member in the bass section of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra and the UW-Stevens Point Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he has previously played in many other symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles, and performed much solo work. Breden’s accomplishments in music have earned him numerous scholarships and awards. Peter Breden looks forward to sharing his knowledge and passion of music to students through both bass and piano lessons.

Tom Bjoraker (Percussion)

Tom Bjoraker is a percussion student at UW-Stevens Point, studying percussion performance. Bjoraker’s former teachers include Vicki Jenks, director of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra’s percussion ensemble as well as Tom Ross, the current associate lecturer for percussion at UW-Madison. Bjoraker has been studying with Robert Rosen and Ryan Korb since the fall of 2008. During his studies, he has been instructed in mallet percussion, hand drums, and drum set. Bjoraker currently performs regularly with the UW-Stevens Point Orchestra and Jazz Combos, and has performed with the UW-Stevens Point Wind Ensemble. 

Dana Carlson (Voice)

Matt Clark (Percussion)

Matt Clark is pursuing a Percussion Performance degree and an Instrumental Music Education degree at UW-Stevens Point. He has performed with the Wausau Symphony Orchestra, the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin All-Star Collegiate Percussion Ensemble, and the Point collegiate ensembles as well as several local musical productions including West Side Story, The Wiz, and The Phantom of the Opera. In addition to his classical music training, his versatile interests have led to him to learn hand drumming techniques from various continents and composition and performance techniques of contemporary music. He has attended nationally known music festivals such as the Zeltsman Marimba Festival and the Neif-Norf Summer Festival. He has been a Teaching Artist in the Very Young Composers program and a camp counselor at both Camp COFAC and Birch Creek Music camp. Matt Clark continues to bring the performance and appreciation of organized sound to Students and Listeners of music everywhere.  

Katie DelGiacco (Saxophone)

Katie is currently a 5th year senior at UW-Stevens Point and she has been playing the saxophone for 11 years now, having played in wind ensembles and jazz bands on baritone, tenor, alto and soprano saxophone. Her majors are Arts Management and Spanish with a minor in Music. She has played at the Exemplary Award Soloists’ Recital in Madison, as well as been involved in an Honors Band playing in Carnegie Hall in New York City during her senior year of high school. She has been involved in the UW-Stevens Point Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble since her freshman year of college under the direction of Brendan Caldwell and Mathew Buchman. She has also been a counselor for Camp COFAC for the past two years and loves working with students and faculty members. This will be Katie’s first time working with the UW-Stevens Point Continuing Education program, and she is excited to make music and grow alongside her students!

Katie Evraets (Flute) 

Katie Evraets is a second semester sophomore at UWSP with a major in elementary education. Past flute teachers include Cathy Perronne of the Sheboygan Symphony. She was involved in Solo and Ensemble from middle school through high school. Katie achieved state level honors at Solo and Ensemble.

Laura Hamilton (Violin, Piano)

Laura Hamilton is a senior at UW-Stevens Point, currently studying Instrumental Music Education with a Spanish Minor. She has played the violin for 12 years and took lessons from Terry Wilkinson in Eau Claire for six years. Currently, she studies under Professor Steve Bjella. She is an active member in the UWSP Symphony Orchestra as well as a member of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. Along with performing, Laura has been a lessons teacher of a variety of ages for more than three years and looks forward to sharing her knowledge with her students. Along with violin, Laura began teaching herself piano at a very young age from her mother's own beginning piano books. This was an act of stubbornness (she didn't want to take lessons). Since then, she continued her exploration and has currently studied piano at UWSP through Piano Class IV (the highest level available to non-majors) With that in mind, it is Laura's goal to help people from any walk of life and share the beauty of music with those who desire it. “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” –Plato. 

Daniel Janik Jr. (Cello)

Daniel J. Janik Jr. is a junior cello performance major at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. He has privately studied with Dr. Lawrence, the UWSP cello professor, since the age of 6. He has also studied under other notable cellist such as Scott Tisdel and Peter Thomas of the Milwaukee Symphony, Tom Rosenberg of the University of Minnesota, Jason Duckles of Willamette University, and Adam Brown of the WSMA. Additionally, Daniel Janik has worked under the orchestra direction of Mrs. Ginger Marten of Lincoln High school, Tonu Kalam of the University of North Carolina, and David Becker of the Stevens Point Suzuki Institute. Daniel has participated in the National Music Festival in Maryland, the Wisconsin State Honors Orchestra, and frequently attends the Green Lake Music Festival. He is currently a member of the UWSP Symphony Orchestra and the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra.
After stubbornly surrendering to pursue the cello at a young age, it slowly evolved into a lifelong companion. Daniel hopes to similarly inspire students of all ages so that they may come to know the privilege of learning an instrument. He hopes to build and construct a confident play style that fosters individuality and technique; as stereotypical as it may sound, Daniel wishes to share the joy of music, playing, and performing.

Ian Johnson (Voice) 

Ian Johnson is pursuing a vocal performance major and German minor at UW-Stevens Point and currently studies voice under Prof. Susan Bender. He had previously studied voice at Shorter University in Rome, Ga (2004-2006) and the University of North Texas (2006-2007). He has studied Vocal Pedagogy; as well as Latin, Italian, and German diction and is currently working on French. Ian has performed with many honor and all-state choirs and collegiate choirs and is now a member of UW-Stevens Point Concert Choir and Opera Workshop. Ian has also competed in NATS singing competitions. He currently holds the office of treasurer for UW-Stevens Point Opera Club. He enjoys teaching and works to develop a healthy foundation of singing so the student's voice can find its potential.

Jordan Kropp (Voice)

Jordan Kropp is studying Choral and General Music Education as a major and Special Education as a minor at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  Jordan is going into her senior year and is currently studying with Dr. Matthew Markham.  She has studied vocal pedagogy with Dr. Markham and has also studied Latin, English, French, German, and Italian diction with Professor Susan Bender.  Jordan is a very active member on campus and holds multiple officers positions such as President of American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and Secretary of Delta Omicron.  Jordan has competed at NATS singing competition and has made it to the semi-finals in past years.  Jordan enjoys working with students and using multiple techniques such as aural, visual, and kinesthetic in order to cater to individual learning strengths.

Arin Lemke (English Horn, Oboe)

Arin is in her third year at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She is a Biology major, but music is definitely one of her passions. She began playing oboe​ 11 years ago. In high school, she was involved in a touring band/choir group that went on tours across the US. She is a working on completing her music minor this year and has been very involved musically on campus. She has taken lessons and studio, been a part of the Concert Band and Orchestra, and played in a woodwind trio. Arin has also studied reed making and English horn. She looks forward to her first year of teaching with UW-Stevens Point Continuing Education!


Natalie Lirette (Piano)

Natalie Lirette is currently a junior at UW-Stevens Point pursuing a BS in Water Resources and Physical Geography. She has had a passion for music for many years, having taken lessons for 14 years. Involved in solo and ensemble through middle and high school as well as numerous other state competitions, her passion for music does not stop there. She played the bassoon in high school for five years as well as having played with the Carroll University band and the Tulane University concert band. With her main love in piano, she studied under Roman Kontorovsky for over 10 years at Hartland Music focusing mainly on classical techniques. Natalie currently plays for the local church Beautiful Savior as well. She enjoys teaching and spreading her passion of music to her students and everyone around her.

Andrew Sprutta (Guitar)

Andrew has been playing the guitar for eight years and is an Environmental Education/Interpretation Major and an Adventure Education Minor here at UWSP. Within his career in guitar, he has taken lessons from multiple instructors which he believes has contributed to his wide range of playing styles, musical influences, and teaching/learning methods. Before picking up the guitar, Andrew was a practicing pianist with five years of formal piano lessons behind him. Learning to play the piano allowed Andrew to build a platform for his musical passion and talent which he now expresses through both the acoustic and electric guitar.

Eric Stashek (Clarinet, Saxophone)

Eric Stashek is a senior at the UW-Stevens Point as a B.A. in Instrumental and General Music Education. He is currently studying clarinet under Dr. Andrea Splittberger-Rosen. He has played clarinet in the UW-Stevens Point Concert Band and was section leader, played clarinet in the UW-Stevens Point Wind Ensemble under the direction of Brendan Caldwell, and was first chair in the Stevens Point City Band under the direction of Kathy Kawelski. Eric has been teaching clarinet for three years. He has played saxophone in the campus band under the direction of Dr. Patrick Lawrence. He is currently the President of Collegiate National Association for Music Educators, Vice President of Music Teachers National Association, and UW-Stevens Point Collegiate Representative of North Central Wisconsin Orff. Eric was awarded the 2014 Chancellor's Leadership Award.

Katie VanValen (Clarinet)