Artistic Staff
Cantabile’s artistic staff is comprised of highly-credentialed and qualified music instructors, led by internationally recognized conductor Elena Sharkova, who has been Artistic Director of Cantabile Youth Singers of Silicon Valley since 2004. 
 

 Katie Gerber

 

Double degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education at I.U Jacobs School of Music
MM in Voice at San Francisco Conservatory of Music


Katherine Gerber completed her undergraduate degree at the I.U Jacobs School of Music, where she received a double degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education with a Choral Music emphasis. Following this, Katherine resided in Sydney, Australia for several years, where she sang such roles as Antonia in “Tales of Hoffmann,” with the Sydney Madrigal Singers, and sang solos in several different oratorio works throughout the greater Sydney area. While in Sydney, Katherine also spent many years as Head of the Vocal Department at Stella Maris College, where she directed several of the school’s internationally award-winning choruses. 


Katherine is now based in San Francisco, and has completed her MM in Voice at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. At SFCM, Katherine sang the role of Pamina in “The Magic Flute”, Clori in “L’Egisto”, and the role of Armida in “Rinaldo”, with Conservatory Baroque. Upon graduating from SFCM, Katherine was awarded with several distinctions, including the Dean's Award in Excellence for Opera Performance, and the Dean's Award for Performance in Baroque Vocal Music. Katherine is now studying with mezzo-soprano and Voice Chair of SFCM, Catherine Cook. 


Following Katherine's graduation, she has worked as a choral director in several schools and choruses, including the world-renowned children's chorus, the Piedmont East Bay Children's Chorus. Katherine has also directed music at two prominent Bay Area churches over the past several years, while maintaining a busy private voice studio at home. She has now spent the past four years as Music Teacher and Choral Director for grades Pre-K-5th at the Nueva School in Hillsborough, where she also taught voice, and directed the Glee Club. Katherine is also Music Director and Pianist at Grace Lutheran Church in San Francisco.


With many years of experience as a music educator and choral director, Katherine has spent much of this time refining her own unique approach in choral education. With her pedagogical approach largely founded upon the Kodaly method, Katherine's commitment to dance and movement, drama, speech, and improvisation makes even the simplest piece of music come alive in the classroom, allowing children to experience and immerse themselves in the joy of music-making. Katherine believes rehearsing should be a joyous experience for children, much like playing, but with plenty of captivating challenges in order to give every child a sense of pride and dedication to their craft. Katherine is dedicated to making her rehearsal environment a warm and safe place for her singers, where they come every week bursting with excitement to be together, to sing, to dance, to learn, and to create life-long friendships with a common goal of choral excellence. 




natalie

 


Natalie Einhorn, Conductor, Prep 3

Master of Music, Vocal Performance, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Bachelor of Arts, University of California, Santa Cruz

Natalie Einhorn is thrilled to be returning to Cantabile for the third season. She has a deep passion for guiding young children through the world of music and choral singing. She uses an interactive, full body approach to teaching singing and musicianship. Her classes are filled with songs, creative movement, drama, and story telling.

In addition to Cantabile, Ms. Einhorn is the Music and Performing Arts department chair at Synapse School, K-8th grade, in Menlo Park. Previously, she taught Pre-K through 5th grade general music and the 2nd through 5th grade choirs for six years at the Nueva School, in Hillsborough. There she founded the Nueva Chamber Singers, a small ensemble of 3rd through 8th graders, and The Staves, a singing group of dedicated teachers, parents, and staff members. These groups sang at school functions, and throughout the greater Hillsborough community. Additionally, Ms. Einhorn was a founding member of the faculty at Helios New School for Gifted Children in Palo Alto, where she taught for three years.

Natalie has been singing in choirs since childhood and that experience has had a profound impact on her life. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Santa Cruz and a Master's Degree in Vocal Performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Ms. Einhorn has also completed the three levels of Orff Schulwerk training at Mills College.

Natalie now lives in Half Moon Bay with her loving husband and two children, ages 7 and 4.


 

 

 

Emilie Bertram

 

Emilie Bertram, Ensemble Conductor

Emilie is in her third year as Vocal Music Director at Presentation High School in San Jose where she teaches the auditioned choir, Bella Voce, piano keyboarding classes, voice class, and the Cantabile choir. Under her direction, Bella Voce, has received consecutive Unanimous Superior ratings at the CMEA Choral Festival in 2013, 2014, and 2015.  Bella Voce was invited to perform in the Heritage Music Festival of Gold in 2013 in San Francisco and again in 2015 in Anaheim, where the group was awarded the prestigious honor of a Spotlight Performance during the festival’s closing Encore Concert.  In 2014, Bella Voce performed as part of the Choirs of America National Top Honors Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City and will be traveling to Ireland in 2016 to represent San Jose in the Dublin-San Jose Sister City Concert Celebration.  Emilie currently sings as a Soprano II with the premier San Jose choir, The Choral Project.

Emilie Bertram holds a BM degree specializing in Secondary Vocal Music Education and Piano from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota where she studied under well-known composer and conductor Dr. Reneé Clausen. She received a MM degree specializing in Secondary Vocal Music Education and Piano from the Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca, New York where she worked with Dr. Janet Galvan. Emilie is in her 8th year of teaching and has instructed Kindergarten-college level students in the areas of piano, general, vocal, and choral music. She is a member of NAfME and ACDA. 


 

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David Belles, Conductor, Bravi Young Men's Ensemble, Conductor, Intermediate, Musicianship Instructor, Intermediate Honors

Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance, California State University East Bay, Summa Cum Laude

This is David Belles' second season working with Cantabile's artistic team and the young men of Vocalise and Ensemble. General music teacher and choral director at Bullis Charter School in Los Altos, David teaches music and singing to all students of the school, K-7th grade.

Since the beginning of his tenure in 2009, he has built the extra-curricular choral program from twenty students to one-hundred forty-five students, with the middle school choir involving over one-third of all 6th-8th grade students at the school. Under David's direction, Bullis' 4th-6th grade choir received Unanimous Superior rankings in the 2011 and 2012 California Music Educators Association Choral Festivals.

From 2009 to 2011, Mr. Belles served as an assistant conductor and accompanist to ECCO, a premier choral ensemble of the Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir. As a freelance accompanist and musical theatre coach, David has worked with numerous choirs, soloists and theatre groups. His interests include world history, baseball, family outings and, of course, theatre.

 


 

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Jazmine Harnishfeger-Brand, Conductor, Prep 1 and Prep 2

Master of Arts, Psychology, University of Santa Monica Bachelor of Arts, Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California

Jazmine Harnishfeger-Brand is honored and excited to join the Cantabile Artistic Staff this year! Jazmine began her musical studies with piano lessons at age four. She was extensively involved with school music programs throughout her education. While attending Long Beach Polytechnic High School (a Grammy Signature Gold School), she extensively performed with a diverse group of ensembles and instruments (including Harpsichord, Baritone Saxophone, Classical and Jazz Piano, Mallet Percussion and French Horn). She also studied theory and composition with Faculty from the Bob Cole Conservatory at the University of California Long Beach. Upon graduation, she was honored with the Pursuit of Excellence award for outstanding leadership, excellence and dedication in the area of music. While studying at the USC Thornton School of Music, Jazmine studied jazz piano and voice, classical voice, and composition. She performed with the USC Concert Choir and the Thornton Choral Artists, and served as the President of the Concert Choir. She also taught extensively with the Thornton JazzReach Program, including teaching private lessons, general music, and directing Jazz Choirs in the Los Angeles area. During her Graduate studies, Jazmine concentrated on Music Education, specializing in General Music and Choral Music. Previously, she served as the Director of Instrumental Music at Mountain View High School in El Monte, CA where she created an elite-level Wind Ensemble, which specialized in advanced and contemporary literature. Furthermore, she has served as the Director for the First Christian Church of Orange’s Children's Choir, and Youth Choir for five years. There, she focused on cultivating comprehensive musicianship with the Children’s Choir, and developing vocal and musical excellence with the Youth Choir. Ms. Harnishfeger-Brand lives in San Jose with her husband and two cats. When not engaged in a musical endeavor, Jazmine can be found volunteering at the 13th Street Cat Shelter, cooking, or baking.


 

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Simona Snitkovskaya, Accompanist, Ensemble and Vocalise
 
 Simona posseses a vast array of experience of playing piano and coaching both here in the Bay Area, and also in her home town of St. Petersburg, Russia. Simona studied for her Bachelor of Musical Arts in Piano at St. Petersburg Music College and went on to complete her Masters of Musical Arts in Piano and Postgraduate Studies in Piano and Chamber Music at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. After serving as the Staff Pianist and Principal Coach at St. Petersburg Conservatory and Mariinsky Theater for 10 years, Simona moved to Silicon Valley and and pursued her career as an accompanist and piano instructor. She first worked with Maestra Elena in 2002 as the rehearsal pianist to San Jose State University Concert Choir during their Spring tour of Southern California. Since then Simona has worked with Opera San Jose, coaching the vocal artists and accompanying them during such performances as Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, La Boheme and La Cenerentola among many more. In 2013 she once again coached the students of San Jose State University for their performance of The Marriage of Figaro. Also a performer, throughout her career Simona has given recitals and concerts in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Munich and in the Bay Area in San Francisco and in Palo Alto at the Annual Jewish Community Center Concert with Opera San Jose. Alongside her work as an accompanist and professional coach, Simona has a private studio where she teaches piano and voice lessons. 



 

    

 


 

Ron Sheffer

     

 


 

 

Ron Sheffer, Accompanist, Intermediate and Intermediate Musicianship A Instructor

Ron Sheffer is a composer, arranger, pianist and a music and piano teacher. Ron received his Bmus. diploma from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, majoring in music composition (Interdisciplinary Program) with Dr. Boaz Ben-Moshe. 

He has worked with a variety of small as well as large ensembles, from solo piano, through string quartet, a cappella choirs, to full scale big band and symphonic pieces, composing and arranging in a variety of genres such as modern composition, jazz, rock, etc.

His arrangements have been performed by the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva, Israel Stage Orchestra and more.