photo Ellena Chen, NCTM

(Piano, Flute) - Ellena speaks English, Mandarin, and Korean.  She has a two-year old son.  She says, “I believe becoming a parent made me a better teacher.  Now I know what parents go through with their kids!” Ellena has played piano since age 3 and taught students since 1994.  She is a National Certified Teacher of Music and is certified in the Suzuki piano method.  Her education also includes a Master’s in Piano Performance from Southern Illinois University and a Master’s in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago.  She teaches music because it gives her a sense a accomplishment when her students learn to play the piano and enjoy music. 

photo Jessie Hunt

(Violin, Viola) - Jessie has been playing violin since she was eight years old. She has maintained a private studio in Chicago since 2007. Jessie graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a Bachelor's of Music in Performance in 2009.  She studied with David Taylor at Moody and with Laura Park Chen at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. She is trained in the Suzuki method and her students have been accepted into the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra at both the Preparatory Strings and Debut levels. Jessie remains an active musician in Chicagoland, playing regularly with the American Chamber Opera Company, the Candid Concert Opera Company and other groups. In addition to violin, she also plays accordion and sings with her band Renegade Lightning Rebellion.

She teaches music because she “loves helping her students develop their creativity and realize that making music is fun and something they can continue to master."

photo Sara Earhart

(Trumpet and other brass instruments) - Sara has played music since Middle School and has taught for about 6 years, on and off.  She has taught kids in the United States and in Jamaica.  Her education includes a Bachelor of Music, specializing in Jazz Studies, from Elmhurst College.  Teaching music helps her stay engaged in music education and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with others.  Sara speaks both English and Spanish.  She says, “I was fortunate to study under both Von Freemon and Fred Anderson.  Both men were Chicago Jazz icons and innovators having pioneered two distinct original Jazz styles.”

photo Richelle Hennen


(Voice, Clarinet) - Richelle has being studying voice since 1999 and taught voice occasionally since 2004.  Before moving to Chicago, she was a member of the Tulsa Opera Chorus and Tulsa Oratorio Chorus.  She has also studied piano and clarinet.  Her education includes a Masters in Vocal Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and a Bachelor’s in Sacred Music from Oral Roberts University.  She teaches music because she enjoys connecting with other people through music – an exchange that’s hard to replicate.  Richelle’s “mother tongue” is English but has studied diction and sings in multiple languages such as Italian, German, French, and Latin. She says, “My favorite music is classic jazz - it's what I use to relax and even to get me through washing dishes at home."

photo Brian Stark

(Saxophone, Piano) - Brian has a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from the prestigious University of North Texas with a concentration in Saxophone and Arranging/Composition. He has been performing since middle school when he joined his church band on electric bass. Since moving to Chicago in 2009, Brian has played saxophone regularly with the Done Deal Jazz Quintet, Big Band Boom and Suena Latin Jazz at such venues as the Dragon Lounge in Oak Park, Pete Miller's in Wheeling and the Fountain Square Art Festival in Evanston. In addition, Brian leads his own band, Renegade Lightning Rebellion, where he sings and plays upright bass. He is an active composer/arranger. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by various groups in Chicagoland including the Vandercook University Jazz Ensemble, the Covenant Presbyterian Choral Ensemble and the Willard Elementary School Children's Choir.

He says, “I love that I am making a living doing what I love and sharing what I love with students.  I enjoy encouraging students to do their best and excel at things they didn't realize they could do, like writing music.”

photo Ed McGrath

(Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele) - While singing with the Saint Gabriel and Father O’Malley’s Old Saint Mary choirs, Ed McGrath obtained an honors diploma from Saint Ignatius College Prep. While at DePaul University he studied classical guitar with Richard Pick and composition with Alexander Tcheripnin, among others, gaining a Bachelor's of Music in Composition, Magna Cum Laude. In post graduate work he studied jazz guitar with Joe Pass, Frank Dawson, Pat Martino, and keyboards and composition with Allen Swain. He has taught general music, guitar, keyboards, and composition to all levels from Headstart to college. He has performed with symphony orchestras, big bands, dance companies, musicals, clowns and a semi-trained monkey. He still enjoys teaching beginners because they haven’t learned anything wrong yet.

Beverly McClellan

(Yoga) - Beverly has been practicing yoga for about 10 years.  She originally pursued yoga to help address migraines and found a solution that has helped bring balance to her health and so many other areas of her life.  As a mother to two young children, she continues to benefit from the peace yoga practice brings in all forms--asana, pranayama, and meditation.  She received her 200-hour teaching certification in March 2012 from Tejas Yoga in the South Loop, where she has lived for more than 10 years.  Beverly is an avid environmentalist, working as attorney and volunteer board member for the Alliance for the Great Lakes for many years.  She also is a founding parent of Urban Prairie Waldorf School in Pilsen.  She has her JD from Chicago-Kent School of Law and Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas.

Alison Ramelb

(Yoga Tuesday Evenings) - Ali came to yoga in 2005 to offset the effects of work travel and stress. Yoga helped to relieve her back pain and strengthen her body. As her practice deepened, she found her breath helped to calm her mind. Her personal practice and teaching focus on stretching and strengthening to bring the body back to a more balanced state. In her class, you can expect postures held statically and dynamically with a focus on alignment. Classes end with simple breathwork and meditation.

She is a Tejas Yoga 200 hour certified instructor. She teaches Hatha style yoga influenced by Jim Bennitt and James Tennant.


Janice Lofton

(Certified Zumba Instructor) - Janice grew up in Chicago and became a long-time Zumba® participant, then a Zumba® enthusiast, and now a Zumba® Instructor. She has always had a passion for dance and has attended a number of classes at the Lou Conte Dance Studio (LCDS) Hubbard Street Dance Center Ballet; Basic Jazz ;Basic Modern; African; Pilates ;Vinyasa Yoga ;Zumba®.  The driving force behind her work as a Zumba instructor is to bring people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and ages together to build a healthy spirit, mind and body through dance.  You do not have to be a dancer or even consider yourself coordinated in order to enjoy Zumba, just come ready to have FUN!  Outside of the dance studio, she works as an IT Telecommunications consultant for one of the world’s leading consulting organizations.

Barbara Mutch

(Yoga Thursday Mornings) - Barb remembers her first attempts at yoga while watching Lilias on PBS when her children were young. She tried many styles of yoga before finding relief from an old back injury through Viniyoga and yoga therapy under the expert guidance and teaching of Kathy Ornish. Kathy introduced her to the Himalayan Institute where she was initiated into the Himalayan tradition in 2012. She will complete her 200-hour teacher certification with Tejas Yoga in March 2014 and is most appreciative to Jim Bennitt and James Tennant for their teaching and guidance.
She teaches Hatha style yoga incorporating asana, pranayama and meditation. Barb is forever grateful for the peace, balance, flexibility and stability found in yoga as it finds its way into every aspect of her life.

Chris Czopek

(Yoga Thursday Evenings) - After switching careers and becoming a personal trainer, Chris began practicing Yoga in 2009 as a way to augment his personal weekly exercise routine. Realizing Yoga was becoming a bigger part of his life, he enrolled at Tejas Yoga in 2013 and received his 200-hour teaching certification in the Spring of 2014. Chris teaches a Hatha Vinyasa style class that incorporates postures, breath work, and meditation. His goal is to help each person understand what yoga can give to them as individuals. He believes Yoga is for everyone and aims to help deepen his students' practice at their own pace.

Robert Crown Centers for Health Education

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