Alex Nordine graduated from Friends University in 2007 with Bachelor’s degrees in Music Performance and Spanish. He has spent many years performing in the Wichita area as a guitarist and bassist in a variety of genres, including: Rock, Blues, Jazz, Classical, Christian, Bluegrass, R&B, and Reggae. From 2003-2009 he taught approximately 40 weekly guitar & bass lessons, before moving to Puerto Rico in 2009 to pursue a Master’s degree in Translation. As a group leader, his Maple Street Trio performed all over the Wichita area. He has also performed with The Calyptones, The Project H, Matt Maholland, Lisa Hittle, David Lord, and Lisa Blake, among others. Teaching has long been an inspiration for Alex. He prides himself on being able to relate to students and adapt to all styles of music.
Asher Isaac is a graduate of Friends University, with a BA in Music. After studying for most of his college career to teach in high schools as a music education major, he changed in his last year to a Bachelor of Arts to focus more on individual education and private lessons. Asher was a part of several different ensembles in college, including the Singing Quakers, and the Jazz Vocal group at Friends University. Professionally, he has performed with local vocal Jazz ensemble Dreamliners, as singing with the Wichita Chamber Chorale since 2017.
Asher has a passion for music theatre, and has performed both on the stage, as well as in the pit. He has played lead trumpet for several production by CYT, as well as Sunrise Christian Academy. Asher has since transitioned to being the vocal music director for CYT and it’s successor, CPT. He teaches music classes there, as well as directing the pit for shows.
Asher loves teaching, and sharing the gift of music with students of all ages, and is excited to teach with Air House Music Academy, and spread the joy of learning even more!
Brandon Morse is a saxophone, flute and jazz instructor in the Wichita area. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Friends University in Wichita. His teaching experience includes:
At the beginning of 2011, Brandon formed the jazz combo, Air Traffic, with students between the ages of 12-14. In the first six months, Air Traffic received superior ratings at the Pioneer League Festival and the Wichita Jazz Festival. The group was accepted by audition to perform at the 2012 Kansas Music Educators Association annual convention and the 2012 Wichita River Festival. As a performer, Brandon has performed in concert bands, jazz bands, orchestras, rock bands, saxophone quartets, pit orchestras, a guest soloist for a high school concert band, and praise and worship groups.
Currently, Brandon is a member of the Metro Jazz Orchestra (formerly known as the Jazz Friends Community Big Band) and Second Time Around, an oldies rock band based out of Newton. To date he has been a member of 6 different saxophone quartets. Most notably he was a member of the Mid-Kansas Saxophone Quartet, a professional group based in Wichita with whom he traveled to Atlanta to premiere a composition written for the group. He also directed and performed in The Morse Code Saxophone Quartet, a group consisting of his own students. Together the group recorded a CD entitled Morse Code Saxophone Quartet. He is leading his student group, The Stand Benders Saxophone Quintet.
As a composer, Brandon has two albums of computer generated music known as Story of Life and As We Move.
Brenna offers lessons in piano, trumpet, and voice. At the age of 6, she discovered her connection to the piano. From there, she began her studies, eventually expanding them at Wichita State University. She started teaching privately her first year of college, 8 years ago, and has taken on students of all ages & learning abilities ever since. Outside of teaching, she has been writing, recording, and performing.
“With music, we paint upon the blank canvas that is silence. When I look at the keys of the piano, I see a playground of unlimited possibilities~ A vast universe to explore what hits us deep in the core and creates a unique essence I have yet to experience outside of the world of music and sound. Within this space, as we learn the fundamentals, we joyfully explore and decide what colours and shapes to form.
I absolutely LOVE working with individuals to discover what brings them that spark of pure joy, awe, and wonder. Music is not a chore, but a seemingly vital tool for therapeutic expansion. I look forward to embarking on this journey with you!”
Charisse has 15 years of experience as a piano and clarinet teacher. A native of Kansas, she participated in many of the local music ensembles and events that are still active today, including the Wichita Youth Symphony and the KMEA All State Orchestra. An Anderson Concerto Competition winner on two separate occasions, Charisse has also appeared as a soloist with the Hutchinson Symphony on both piano and clarinet.
Charisse holds a bachelor of clarinet performance degree from Wichita State University, and a master of clarinet performance degree from the prestigious New England Conservatory in Boston.
Charisse has attended many of the world’s foremost summer music festivals, including Interlochen Arts Camp, Aspen Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, and Tanglewood Music Center, where she performed alongside and studied with members of the Boston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Colorado Symphony and other major symphony orchestras.
Charisse has extensive experience in orchestral, chamber music, and solo performance. Other honors include being a prize winner at the International Clarinet Association solo competition, being named a Yamaha Young Performing Artist, and performing with the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.
In more recent years, Charisse has enjoyed running piano and clarinet studios of various sizes, successfully guiding students through auditions and competitions, and holding studio recitals so all of her students can perform in a welcome and safe setting. She has had numerous students receive outstanding ratings at regional and state level solo contests, earn a seat in the district and all state ensembles, and win such honors as first prize in the Hutchinson Symphony’s Anderson Concerto Competition.
When she isn’t teaching or accompanying, Charisse stays busy at home in West Wichita with her husband and seven children, who have all provided her with great insight into how to teach different personalities and temperaments and how to fit studying a musical instrument into the daily rigors of family life.
David is the owner and manager of Air House Music Academy. He has been teaching guitar for the last 20+ years. David has his B.A. in Music Performance from Friends University. From 2008-2011, David was the guitar professor at Friends University, teaching guitar lessons, directing guitar ensembles, directing jazz combos and teaching guitar class.
David has been working for the past 15+ years on developing a unique polychordal vocabulary and approach to composition and jazz guitar. After releasing 16 albums under the moniker Francis Moss and with Solagget, The Wonder Revolution and Elemental Trio, in 2018 David released his debut album under his name, “Forest Standards Vol. 1”, which features acclaimed drummer Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground, Pharaoh Sanders) and bassist Devin Hoff (Nels Cline, Mary Halvorson). The album was recorded and produced by Chris Schlarb at his BIG EGO Studios in Long Beach, CA and released on BIG EGO Records. Forest Standards was featured in the Feb. 2018 issue of “Downbeat” and has received positive reviews from publications and critics including “Dusted Magazine” and legendary music writer Bill Milkowski (Jaco Pastorius biographer).
In 2020, David released “Forest Standards, Vol. 2” which features guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Brian Blade), bassist Billy Mohler (Dolly Parton, Macy Gray) and drummer Chad Taylor. The album was featured in Downbeat Magazine, Pop Matters, A Closer Listen and All About Jazz and was included in several “Best Jazz of 2020” lists.
In addition to playing and teaching, David is the owner and engineer of Air House Studios where he records and produces a variety of bands and musicians.
Dawn Moore is a professional piano and voice teacher with over 15 years’ experience teaching students of all ages. Currently, she is the music teacher at a private school in Wichita, Kansas. She has been a professional musician for a variety of local churches as well as a musical coordinator for a national non-profit organization.
Originally from New York, she received her B.A. and her Master’s Degree in Music from Syracuse University. As a professional vocalist, Dawn was on tour as a vocalist with national recording artist Luther Vandross.
She teaches a vast range of music genres from classical to contemporary, performance vocals, and fundamentals of music.
When Dawn is not teaching, she enjoys camping and fishing and one day, she would really love to catch “the big one that got away!”
Grant Young is a trumpet teacher at Air House. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Wichita State University. He has taught privately for more than 25 years and has had students in all of the area’s honor bands: Kansas Music Educators Association all-state band, Kansas Music Educators Association all-state jazz band, Wichita Wind, Youth Symphony, and the Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble.
He is the leader and lead trumpeter of the Air Capital Big Band which has been featured at the River Festival and the Sedgwick County Zoo summer concert series. He heads the Latin jazz ensemble Sol Y Sombra which also has been featured at the River Festival, the Sedgwick County Zoo summer concert series, and the Bradley Fair summer concert series. He has worked several years as a jazz adjudicator and clinician at the Wichita Jazz Festival. He has played for a variety of musical groups including: Ray Charles, Ice Capades, Ringling Brother’s Circus, The Temptations, Shrine Circus, Patti Page, Music Theatre of Wichita, Marilyn May, National Pro Rodeo, and the Fabulous Flippers. He has played the last 13 years for the band Lotus, the house band at Margarita’s Cantina. Lotus was voted Wichita Eagle’s Best Live Band and Best House Band.
Injoy Fountain was born and raised in Wichita. She attended grade school at Collegiate and graduated from East High. She then moved to New York City for ten years and graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). There she performed in a band with four-time Tony nominee, Condola Rashad, all the while on and off Broadway. She also traveled to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts and media festival. There she performed in “Rent” the musical under the direction of Anthony Rapp.
Maybe you remember her from “The Voice’s” Team Kelly, or from her tour with Postmodern Jukebox? Perhaps you attended Music Theatre Wichita’s ”42nd Street” where she played Maggie Jones, or witnessed her transformative performance in “The Color Purple” at Roxy’s Downtown?
She focuses on healthy vocal placement and the ability to sustain and create longevity in career goals.
Jace Wilbert began his musical journey as a guitarist at age 13 and hasn’t looked back since. At 16, Jace formed and played lead guitar in an alt-rock band, “Shaft” that played hundreds of shows locally, regionally, and nationally for over a decade.
Since then, Jace has stayed busy over the years as a guitarist and recording artist with bands such as “Riverside 65”, “The Yale St. Players” and the “Lucky People Band”. He’s most recently been contributing and collaborating with hip hop artist, “XV” as a recording artist and member of his live band “the Squarian Brain Trust”.
Jace began teaching guitar, bass, and ukulele over 20 years ago and has instructed students of all ages and playing ability in Wichita, KS and Dallas, TX. He has extensive knowledge and experience playing and teaching almost all musical genres, specializing in Rock, Pop, Funk, Blues, and Soul. Jace has studied privately with blues and jazz greats such as David Keller, Jerry Hahn, and at Wichita State University with Craig Owens.
Jace’s philosophy on teaching:
“To me music instruction is more than just a weekly lesson. It is showing up consistently as a mentor and guide for those who seek to discover and cultivate their creative energy and to help unlock their musical potential.
Learning a new instrument or expanding one’s existing knowledge and ability can be a challenging, but greatly rewarding experience. I always approach each session as an instructor positively with a beginner’s mentality. I strive to keep the learning experience light and fun with the intent to nurture each student’s innate curiosity for the instrument while encouraging the self-motivation that it takes to improve by any increment.
My goal is to tailor each student’s learning experience to suit their personal interests and musical passions while staying grounded in the fundamentals of playing their instrument.”
Joel studied Jazz guitar and received his B.M. M.M. from Wichita State University in 2012 and became certified to teach Pre-K – 12 music education at Black Traditional Magnet Elementary. He plays in a variety of styles including classical, jazz, rock and pop music. Joel specializes in teaching music theory, music technology; including production and and home recording. Joel has been teaching since 2006 and has experience working with students of all ages and development levels. He also specializes in teaching students with disabilities and has several students with exceptionalities. His passion for music and teaching inspire his students to develop into sensitive, inspired musicians.
Kevin Rutschman has played the drums since age 10. He studied music at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, earning a BA degree in Percussion, with a minor in Education. After graduating in 1997, Kevin Relocated to Atlanta, Georgia and performed as a drumset player and percussionist both locally and touring. Since returning to Kansas in 2015, he has been performing in and around Wichita, and teaching private lessons.
Kevin has performed or recorded with the following: Grant Green Jr., Ike Stubblefield, Francine Reed, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, George Porter, Jr., Susan Tedeschi, Fred Tackett, Sean Costello, Sam Skelton, Zac Brown, Randall Bramblett, Jerry Hahn, Lisa Hittle, Craig Owens, Sterling Gray and many more.
Kim Trujillo is a drum teacher at Air House. A native of Kansas, she has been teaching and playing professionally for the past 16 years. She began to study music privately, then in her middle school and high school band and jazz band program, and went on to study percussion and composition at Wichita State University. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with her double bachelor’s in Percussion Performance and Music Composition, and went on to get her Masters in Music Composition. During her graduate studies, she served as GTA for the jazz department and instructed the steel drum and salsa band ensembles. She has studied with such drum greats as John Riley, Joe Morello, Matt Wilson, Steve Houghton, Michael Spiro, and Allison Miller.
In 2006, Kim moved to New York City to pursue performance and education. She served as a teaching artist for the organizations Education Through Music and The New York Jazz Academy. Since moving to NYC, she has played nationally, with highlights including the JEN Festival, Lollapalooza, The Smithsonian Art Museum, and the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. Regular Performances at NYC venues include The Garage, Cleopatra’s Needle, and Cornelia St. Café. The accompaniment of legendary jazz masters such as Junior Mance, Don Braden, and Tim Price are highlights of her time on the East Coast.
Kim recently moved back to the Midwest, and is looking forward to becoming re-established in the wonderful community she considers home.
Kurt teaches guitar, banjo, bass, mandolin, ukulele, and piano lessons. Coming from a family of talented musicians, he grew up with a love for music and especially music performance. He wrote his first tune on the piano at eight years old and that sparked a creative drive that never left. Although piano was his first love, the guitar seemed to be calling him and he dedicated himself to the instrument. Practicing for hours each day in his dorm room as a Kansas University engineering student and track and field athlete, Kurt began learning all the styles of American music. Engineering wasn’t his future. He knew that his true calling was to be a musician, so he began playing gigs around Lawrence, Kansas. In those days he played mostly for little or no money, but the early gigs were the beginning of his career as a professional musician that has lasted over two decades and counting.
Kurt had always known that his passion in music was to express himself through improvisation but mostly in the rock and blues tradition up to that point. Then one fateful day he walked into a little pizza joint in Lawrence, Kansas not expecting his life to change. The music playing on the sound system was unlike anything he’d ever heard. That was the very first time he heard John McLaughhelin, Al DiMeola, and Paco de Lucia. They were playing some sort of flamenco jazz guitar fusion and Kurt was mesmerized with the sound. The album was “A Friday Night in San Fransisco”, which he promptly purchased and set out to learn every note the three masters had played. This was the start of his love affair with jazz music. The complex harmonies and rhythms and the freedom to be creative were a perfect fit for his musical capabilities. Kurt went on to study jazz guitar performance at Wichita State University under the guidance of the great Craig Owens who would become his mentor and a major influence on Kurt’s music. To this day the two guitarists can be seen playing in Craig’s avant-garde jazz group, Bodo Ensemble, along with other heavy hitters in the jazz arena. Dale Black, one of the nation’s premier bass players, is the arguably the most famous band member, but there are so many others. Brian Mueller, Andrew Bishop, Jeff Stidham, and many other accomplished musicians trace their roots back to Bodo Ensemble. The band is a breeding ground for great jazz players. Kurt has also performed with funk legend Rudy Love, Steve McClure of Garth Brooks fame, and the well known actress/singer Cindy Summers to name a few. Showing his versatility, Kurt can also be heard playing some nice keyboard in the R&B, soul group Blue Eyed Soul, and regularly works as a session guitarist in Wichita Kansas.
Even though performing and recording music for a living is a dream come true for Kurt, he wouldn’t be complete without sharing the joy with others. He is experienced teaching piano, guitar, bass, and ukulele lessons. He seems to get more joy helping his students attain their musical goals than even working on his own, and it shows. Kurt has been at it so long that these days he is teaching many of his former student’s children, and he keeps himself busy teaching a studio of about 50 students per week. He is very excited about getting the students up in front of an audience, when they are ready, and he frequently organizes recitals for them to get their feet wet. In fact, many of Kurt’s students have gone on to become pro musicians themselves. A true musician’s musician, Kurt Aiken loves to share his talents with the world through both performance and education.
Madi Laughlin is a Wichita native, born & raised, who specializes in musical theatre performance, vocal accuracy and power, and songwriting. She graduated from WSU in 2021, and has lived in a few different places performing and writing music including Rome, Italy in 2019, Eastern United States in 2021, and writing music for her first album at Mission: Wolf sanctuary in Colorado, 2021. Madi has also been part of a few solo and collaborative music projects around Wichita including Keo & Them and Yogi Bogi. Since returning home, they have been recording an album, playing local shows, and performing at Roxy’s downtown theatre; you may have seen her as Veronica Sawyer in “Heather’s: The Musical” and Chris Hargensen in “Carrie: The Musical.” Madi specializes in helping students to conquer stage fright and performance anxieties while also expanding their range, finding healthy vocal placements, and developing character voice when needed.
Madi also plays piano and ukulele, and is always in the process of learning new instruments, currently including guitar and bass. Ideally, lessons are a collaborative space with student and mentor, and are relationally, musically, and creatively beneficial for the student. She would be honored to help you find your voice and to encourage you in your artistic endeavors!
Marial Mortimer Isaac holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a Vocal Performance emphasis from Friends University. Music is an essential part of her life, faith and connection to the world.
Her inspiration is drawn from a variety of experiences. At Friends University she performed vocally as a member of the Singing Quakers, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and was involved in Musical Theatre and Opera. She also performed as a violinist in the Chamber and Community orchestras. She has traveled to Germany for opera chorus work and was also able to tour to Costa Rica and Europe with the Singing Quakers. She has sung locally at various events including roles with Opera Kansas and as a member of the Wichita Chamber Chorale. She loves connecting with people and helping them learn and grow as artists. She focuses on healthy technique and confidence.
Rachel is a piano teacher & accompanist in the Wichita area. She has been playing the piano since five years old and earned her bachelors degree from Central Christian College of Kansas where she studied piano and worship arts.
Rachel offers both chord and traditional piano lessons to students of all ages. In addition to lessons she provides opportunities throughout the year for students to participate in recitals and practice performing in front of others.
Making his home in Wichita, Kansas, Steve Hatfield is one of the most in demand musicians in the Midwest. For over 25 years, he has performed in almost every musical setting imaginable. Everything from various Rock and Jazz groups to the Wichita Symphony and Music Theatre of Wichita. Steve has logged countless hours in recording studios performing on numerous albums and commercial jingles. Recently, he released his first album as a leader, “Just Be Wally” on Digital Boy Records.
Strongly dedicated to education, Steve serves on the faculty of Wichita State University and Butler County Community College and maintains private studios at Midwest Drum & Percussion and Air House Music Academy. As an endorser for Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, and Aquarian Drumheads, he has performed clinics and master classes throughout the Midwest as well as Canada and Mexico City.
William Bloomquist is a songwriter, performer, and educator, among other non-musical passions such as art and games. He graduated in 2013 from Friends University where he studied guitar, voice, and music theory. Since then he’s been a versatile creative contributor to the Wichita scene teaching lessons, playing in various local projects (The Hollows, The Radio Soul, Tommy Newport), and writing/recording solo work. He performs and releases music under the moniker Dot Bella Quist.
As a teacher, William is focused on helping students find a relationship to their instrument that feels authentic, exciting, expansive and sustainable. He is especially passionate about helping people accompany themselves and write their own music.