Dr. Aram Kim
. Aram Kim began to study piano when he was age 4 and he is performing piano for 30 years and teaching for 20 years. During his college period he studied at Kyunghee University in South Korea with professor Seo, who is a pupil of French composer Olivier Messiaen and his wife, Yvonne Loriod. Aram came to America in 2003 and continued to develop piano skills with top-class pianists such as Dr. Pamela Mia Paul and Professor Wodnicki at the University of North Texas. Under these dedicated teachers, he won various competitions in United States.
While Aram was obtaining master’s degree at U.N.T. he performed various piano solo works of Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin and Liszt including their piano concertos. He also acquired a lot of opportunities as a collaborative pianist while he was studying with Dr. Elvia Puccinelli. Since he participated in vocal accompanying, chamber music and other concerto works for audition and recitals, Aram enhanced diverse collaborative repertoires from the Baroque to the 21st Century.
Aram’s doctoral period at U.N.T. led him not only to build up his own characteristics of music but also to study integrated research of music that is a strong basis for his piano performance. Moreover, conducting orchestra, which was his related field for 4 years, affected him to investigate Beethoven’s symphonies and its’ arrangements for various piano works of other contemporary composers. This topic inspired him to initiate his doctoral dissertation, “Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Transcriptions of Beethoven´s Symphony No.2 Op.36: a Comparison of the Solo Piano and the Piano Quartet Version. Scholars and performers are evaluating the dissertation as an impressive method that refocuses a forgotten composer, Hummel and his piano arrangements of Beethoven symphonies. In fact, multitude of American and European publishing companies such as Proquest and AV Akademikerverlag GmbH & Co. KG have recommended publishing the dissertation.
Since Aram has studied music, he has worked at church as a music director, conductor, keyboard player and pianist. On weekends, Aram played an electronic synthesizer in a Contemporary Christian Band as a music director at a local church. In 2011, according to God’s calling, his family moved to Gateway Church and Aram is currently serving Gateway Worship service as a keyboardist at Frisco campus.
Since Aram has instituted his private piano lessons in 1997, he has taught many students, and some of them are studying at prominent music schools such as U.N.T. and various colleges in South Korea. Currently, he has 18 piano students, and they proudly achieved their excellences throughout distinguished competitions and recitals. He founded ARK Music Academy in Frisco Texas in 2017.
Dr. Mengni Tan
Mengni Tan, a native of China, is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts in Collaborative Piano at the University of North Texas under the direction of Dr. Elvia Puccinelli and Dr. Steve Harlos, and the related field in Piano Pedagogy with Dr. Bradley Beckman. She also received her double Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Collaborative Piano at the University of Central Oklahoma, under the tutelage of maestro Valery Kuleshov and Dr. Sallie Pollack. Mengni has worked as a staff pianist/piano collaborator/piano instructor for UNT,UCO, Oklahoma Christian University, McKinney High School, Santa Fe High School, Highland Park Baptist Church, Private Piano Institutions, and many others.
Mengni, as a piano soloist, won the first prize in the UCO Concerto Competition and performed with UCO Symphony Orchestra; runner up in the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Competition of Oklahoma; semi-finalist in the Kuleshov International Piano Competition. As a collaborative pianist, Mengni won the first prize in the 2022 UNT Concerto Competition with her partner Margaret Gunter.
Mengni has had the privilege to perform and/or record in fundraising events, summer festivals, recitals, masterclasses, competitions, solo & ensemble contests, degree auditions (both instrumental and vocal), choirs, operas, music theatres, and church services throughout the United States, China, and Germany. Leadership experience through working with instrumentalists/vocalists and providing effective musical advice, assisting with their intonation and diction, giving suggestions for technical/musical practicing, and conducting. Mengni has also had 10 years piano teaching experience tutoring more than 200 students throughout young age children to college students. She is passionate and accomplished educator with a robust background in music history, theory, collaboration, and piano performance. She insists on her philosophy that it is better to teach a man how to fish than to give him fish.
Dr. Daeun Kim
Korean pianist Daeun Kim is active as a solo pianist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist. She is the top prize winner of several solo competitions, including the International Society of Keyboard Music Competition. She was featured as a soloist with the Seoul Orchestra after winning their Concerto Competition. As a passionate chamber musician, her piano duo won the Korea-Asia Piano Chamber Music Competition, and her Clarinet, Cello, and Piano trio won the Music International Grand Prix in New York. Currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of North Texas. Daeun is studying not only solo performance but also collaborative piano performance. As a Teaching Assistant at the University of North Texas, she collaborated with UNT choirs. She earned her Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music and her Bachelor of Music from Hanyang University in South Korea.
Dr. Yongseok Kwon
Korean pianist Yongseok Kwon started his piano studies at the age of seven. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree from Chugye University for the Arts in Seoul, Korea, Yongseok moved to North Texas to continue studying at the University of North Texas. There, he earned Master of Music degrees and is currently pursuing his doctorate degree under the guidance of Adam Wodnicki.
Yongseok Kwon has appeared in several recitals and concerts as both a soloist and collaborative pianist in both Korea and North Texas. He has also played in the UNT Symphony, Concert Orchestra, Wind Symphony, and Wind Ensemble, as well as the NOVA Ensemble.
Dr. Yonsoo Park
Born in South Korea, Yonsoo Park holds a Bachelor of Music from Boise State University and Master of Music from the University of Minnesota. She earned another Master of Music degree from Boise State University as a graduate teaching assistant. She is currently working on Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of North Texas, studying with Philip Lewis. She is currently a member of the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra. She has served as concertmaster of the University of North Texas Concert Orchestra, University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, and Boise State University Symphony Orchestra. She has won numerous awards and was one of the finalists of the Music Teachers National Association Competition in 2018.
Dr. Crissanti Tamez
Born 1990 in Mexico City. She received her first violin lessons at the age of five.
At the age of seven she took up lessons with Lilia Vargas Aguayo as a junior student at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música and later on studied there under Boris Klepov, completing her undergraduate studies in 2011. Subsequently she studied at the University of Music Würzburg with Prof. Sören Uhde, finished her master’s degree in 2013, achieving an excellent mark, and continued her masterclass studies under Prof. Uhde, which she completed in November 2015.
Crissanti is currently working on her dissertation to complete her doctoral degree in music performance at the University of North Texas, where she studied with Dr. Felix Olschofka.
She has received many scholarships and performed as a soloist with the Orquesta de Cámara del Conservatorio Nacional de Música, the Orquesta Filarmónica de Tlalnepantla and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tlaxcala. Other notable performances include her appearance on the radio in 2005. While in Germany she was a member of the Camerata Würzburg and in Mexico of the Orquesta Juvenil Universitaria Eduardo Mata. In her time in the United States, she has played with the Plano Symphony Orchestra, Irving Symphony Orchestra, San Angelo Symphony Orchestra, as well with the Abilene Philarmonic and the Lewisville Lake Symphony.
She has taken masterclasses with the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Nicolas Dautricourt, Regis Pasquier, Scott Yoo and with Bartosz Bryła. She attended the Texas Music Festival in 2018.
Ms. Meredith Hinshaw
Ms. Meredith Hinshaw is a voice teacher from Murphy, Texas, who also offers lessons in piano and guitar. She is a proficient vocalist in many genres, including opera, jazz, pop, art song, and more. She is passionate about vocal pedagogy and offers a wealth of this knowledge to her students. She first began studying music as a child, and she enrolled in classical voice lessons at the age of 14. Currently, Meredith is pursuing her degree in Vocal Performance at the University of North Texas, where she sings in the A Cappella Choir. She is an active performer in the DFW area, singing in groups such as the Highland Park Chorale and Verdigris Ensemble.
Dr. Dai Xiaoyu
Dr. Dai Xiaoyu became a Doctoral Piano Performance student in 2020 at the University of North Texas, studied with Prof. Joseph Banowetz and Dr. Liudmila Georgievskaya; her related field is Collaborative Piano, and studied with Dr. Steven Harlos and Dr. Elvia Puccinelli.
She began to study piano at age 6 and has been playing piano for over twenty years. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music with Belgian pianist, Prof. Renaat Beheydt in 2013. In 2017, she earned her Master of Music Degree and Professional Study Certificate with a scholarship in Piano Performance at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) with Prof. Phillip Kawin.
During her time at UNT, she attended many school concerts and held her piano recital. As a collaborative pianist, she played student recitals, choral competitions, and vocal concerts with different performers; she also played as a collaborative pianist for several master classes.
She started teaching during her undergraduate in China, a lot of students had finished the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) exams, which included music theory, sight-singing, and performance.