The MusicBox was created out of the LOVE of music and the desire to grow, INSPIRE, encourage and develop aspiring artists and performers in their God-given talents.
Elizabeth Chaves founded The MusicBox in 2012, after many years of training students in both voice and piano from her home studio in Winter Springs/Oviedo, as well as training from and managing other local music studios and dance centers in Orlando.
Recognizing the need for a more relevant style of musical training, Elizabeth began mixing her backgrounds of both pop/contemporary and classical training and performing to achieve a training style that students could relate to, get excited about and grow from!
As her small business began to grow in Orlando, so did her dream and vision to one day open a music training and recording studio that is community oriented and set apart from the rest…not your typical ‘music school’.
“We want learning to be fun, we want learning to be relevant, and we want students to reach their goals in a hands on, hip environment where they can be challenged and inspired, while building self-confidence.” ~Elizabeth Chaves.
Right in the heart of the Tuscawilla Golf Community in Winter Springs, minutes away from Oviedo, Casselberry, Orlando near the nationally acclaimed Studio 5D Dance, and offering a wide range of classes from both private and group music lessons, to performance groups that incorporate both singing AND dance, as well as a recording studio…the MusicBox is just getting wound up. The MusicBox Apopka is coming in August 2016.
|Instructors||Type of Lessons|
|Elizabeth Chaves||Voice & Piano|
|Cristyn Schroder||Voice & Piano|
|Elizabeth Ingram||Voice, Piano, & Musikgarten|
|Kevin McMahon||Voice, Piano, & Guitar|
|Holly Sahmel||Voice, Piano & Musikgarten|
|Rebekah Sandiford||Piano & Flute|
|Jeremy Tomlinson||Recording Studio Director|
|Alexander Johnson||Piano & Bass Guitar|
|Alex Pandolph||Guitar, Piano, & Drums|
|Bruce Taylor||Guitar & Ukulele|
|Catheryn VanKley||Guitar, Piano, Violin & Musikgarten|
|Sean LePach||Drums & Percussion|
|Kimmie Louwsma Gehr||Performance Group Choreographer|
|Rachel Robbins||Studio Manager|
Vocal instructor and Founder of The MusicBox, Elizabeth fell in love with music at a very young age, and has been singing ever since! Her formal training began at age 14 under the instruction of Eleanor Tracey and continued throughout her college career.
A lead singer and recording artist of the former girl group R.E.A.L, Elizabeth has had the opportunity to perform at local venues such as Hard Rock Live, Universal Studios, House of Blues, and the Amway Arena to name a few. R.E.A.L’s success led to a national tour with the HealthSouth GoForIt! Roadshow, in which the group performed for thousands of people on a weekly basis. They headlined their own Pop Sensational Show at Walt Disney World, Orlando and sang at the Grand Opening of Epcot’s Test Track, and The Groove Night Club at Universal’s City Walk. Additionally, they opened for bands such as LFO, Earth, Wind and Fire, and The Spinners.
After many years of performing in church, school, girl groups (you name it!) and being classically trained in college (under the tutelage of Leah Pace-Berkley, Dr. Rebecca Brown-Bedell, University of Mississippi, and Dr. Michael Battruccio of The Boston Pops), and graduating from the University of Central Florida, Elizabeth decided to begin teaching.
Recognizing the need for a more relevant style of musical training, Elizabeth began mixing her backgrounds of both pop/contemporary and classical training & performing to achieve a training style that students could relate to, get excited about and grow from!
She adores her students and loves the many relationships she’s had the privilege of building while teaching private voice since 2006, as well as training and managing at some of Orlando’s finest music and dance centers.
In addition to teaching at and co-owning The MusicBox with her husband, Louis, Elizabeth leads worship at her church, and is a mommy to Isaiah, Ana and Lily. She and her family reside in Tuscawilla.
Cristyn Schroder’s love for music began at a very young age playing the piano and singing in her school choir. She began teaching beginning piano at the age of 16 and was an accompanist for her high school choir and fellow students in performance and competition. Upon graduation, she continued her studies in piano and voice at UCF. While attending college, Cristyn begin coaching her first vocal students in a variety of genres encouraging a natural, healthy approach using concepts from vocal pedagogy; during this time she focused her training in voice.
As a graduate of UCF with a Bachelor of Music, Vocal Performance Degree, Cristyn started her passion for a diverse repertoire of music by singing with groups like the Orlando Opera Company, Orlando Philharmonic, Jazz Live, and the International Cathedral Music Festival. Her first main stage role was in the Orlando Opera production of HMS Pinafore as Cousin Hebe. She also played Katisha in the Mikado, Carmen and Mercedes in Carmen, and Mussetta in La Boheme in various venues with the Clay Performing Artists Series.
After performing for a couple of years post graduation, Orlando became Cristyn’s permanent home where she built a music program for ages 2 through 5th grade at College Park UMC CDC and School using Orff Schulwerk, Kodaly,and Montessori techniques. For the next five years, she continued to share her musical passion with students at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School as the school music director and church youth choir director working with students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Her choir represented the United States in Rome, Italy in 2011 in concert and in the Mass, Mary, Mother of God Feast celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI which was internationally televised.
Cristyn has composed many children’s choral works and Orff arrangements and is recognized as a conductor with Pueri Cantores, National Pastoral Musicians, and the Diocese of Orlando while still performing locally with various ensembles and organizations like Vocal Fusion, Seraphym, Orlando Philharmonic, and the Florida Opera Theatre. Encouraging others to share their passion behind music making and to embrace the benefits it can provide to people of all ages, Cristyn is excited to teach not only private students but also music play dates for children and their parent
Elizabeth Ingram was born and raised in Winter Park where her passion for singing began. She earned her B.M. in Vocal Performance from Loyola University New Orleans studying under Ellen Frohnmayer. During her time in New Orleans Elizabeth sang with the New Orleans Opera Association in many of their main stage operas and galas. She continued her studies at the prestigious New England Conservatory where she received her M.M. in Vocal Performance and was in the studio of Canadian baritone, Michael Meraw. Elizabeth is a coloratura soprano and complimented for her effortless high notes and beautiful tone. She has sung the roles such as Nellie from Summer and Smoke, Calisto from La Calisto, Alice from Falstaff, Aminta from Il Re Pastore, Apollonia from La Canterina, and Second Lady from Dido and Aeneas. She is an active performer with Florida Opera Theatre and the Orlando Philharmonic. As well as being a voice and piano teacher, Elizabeth is a certified Musikgarten teacher for young children and families.
Kevin has been (and is currently) performing at Walt Disney World for over 22 years with The Voices of Liberty, The Dapper Dans of Main Street, and Four For A Dollar. He has a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Penn State University. It was there that he developed his skills as an arranger of a cappellamusic, writing for The Dreamers of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, an a cappella ensemble that he created in 1989. This year, they celebrated twenty-six years of singing as they continue to be a tradition at Penn State. Kevin has written arrangements for a cappella groups all around the globe. Even more than singing, playing the piano and guitar, and arranging for a cappella groups, he loves teaching! Ever since he was a sophomore in high school, he has wanted to be a teacher of music in various capacities. His favorite aspect of teaching several private students each week is that every individual student has a different story: What is it that they want to accomplish? Would they like to sing, play piano, or play guitar? Would they like training in music theory? Do they want to eventually have a career in music? Will this be a hobby for them? Whatever their goals are, he is excited to learn about their individual story. Kevin is married to Stacey, and they have two sons, Sean and Zachary.
She nurtured and grew a lifelong love for music through an active public education in the arts. She then earned a B.A. in Voice from The University of South Florida, where she cultivated a love of opera. After college, Holly returned home to Kissimmee, where she was blessed to grow a very successful private voice and piano studio with students of all ages and experience levels for more than five years. Holly’s students have enjoyed many successes including superior ratings at state & district Solo & Ensemble festivals, admittance to the heavily sought after Osceola County School of the Arts, as well as awards and recognition at their schools and in their communities. We are so excited to have her as a part of our MusicBox team!
Rebekah’s love and appreciation for music started at an early age and she always knew she wanted to share her love of music by teaching. Beginning piano lessons at age 6 and flute lessons at age 9 has given her a solid music foundation to support her desire to teach. She started teaching piano at the age of 14 and over the past 12 years has had the opportunity to teach students from the age of 4 to 52. She has successfully taught in her private studio, as well as, a Christian academy. Over the years she has had many opportunities to use her talents for the Lord as church pianist, choir and solo accompanist, and orchestra and ensemble member. She has been able to share her love of music with children for many years as a music instructor and accompanist for a children’s music club and performance choir.
Rebekah is excited to be a member of The MusicBox team and looks forward with joy to each lesson with her students!
Alex Pandolph-Drums, Guitar, & Piano
Alex was born and raised in Miami, Florida and began his musical journey at 4 years old with the piano as his first instrument. He moved to Kissimmee, Florida at age 9, and continued to take piano lessons at Florida Christian College’s Community Music School. At 11 years old, Alex decided to play the drums, and he received a drum set that Christmas with lessons that were soon to follow. Throughout high school, he took both piano and drum lessons from professional musicians and teachers Lisa Schonauer, who taught piano, and Paul Parker, who taught drums and percussion, and because he was homeschooled, there was more time and opportunity to practice. Playing for multiple churches in the area, he had a good foundation in practicing and performing as a group, and being exposed to other musical styles such as jazz, rock, and latin, he became well rounded as a musician and as a lover of music. In addition, he played the drums for a jazz-styled worship team led by world-class jazz guitarist Terry Bradds, who became an important mentor in Alex’s musical development. In his senior year of high school, he dual enrolled at Valencia Community College and Florida Christian College, where he began taking core college classes and basic college-level music courses, while also being able to take piano at a college level. Not only did he love learning and playing music, but he also had a passion for teaching, and he began teaching drums and piano privately to a few students. After graduating high school in 2011, he attended Stetson University in Deland, Florida as a music major and studied piano under Dr. Michael Rickman. While at Stetson, he continued his love for teaching students through the Stetson Community Music School.
Bruce Taylor-Guitar & Ukulele
Bruce Taylor has been playing guitar for about 25 years. He started listening to Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton at a young age and decided he wanted to be able to play like them. After selling his trumpet in the seventh grade, he bought his first electric guitar – a Silvertone, and that’s where it all began.
Bruce began playing rock ‘n roll at local gigs with many different bands over the years and has continued playing and performing ever since. He has also been a part of several praise teams at churches including Redeemer Lutheran Church, Living Water Church, and currently plays at River Run Christian Church in Chulota, FL, where he has been playing for the last several years.
He teaches both acoustic and electric guitar, as well as beginning bass and incorporates music theory in his lessons as students advance. He loves seeing the “light go off” as students learn the guitar and begin to better understand what he is teaching them. Bruce continues to study jazz, jazz fusion, and music theory, under Butch Harvey Campbell and says he’s “having the best time learning more and more about the instrument and music I love.”
Catheryn VanKley-Violin, Guitar & Piano
Catheryn Van Kley is Graduate Student at University of Central Florida where she is working towards an MA in Music. She is a Graduate Teaching Assistant at University of Central Florida. Catheryn is a Band Director for Real Life Christian Church and teaches piano, guitar, violin, voice, and cello. She graduated from Johnson University Florida as Valedictorian with a Bachelors of Arts in Musical Arts and Bible. Catheryn started playing piano at nine years old and has learned several instruments since then, including: guitar, violin, cello, upright bass, electric bass, handbells, trumpet, clarinet, alto saxophone, flute, drums, and melodica. Catheryn has participated in several musical groups over the years, such as choirs, a fiddle group, a youth orchestra, praise teams at church, instrumental ensembles, and two traveling music teams representing Johnson University Florida. Catheryn has been teaching for eight years. She recently received her certification from Musikgarten to instruct Infant and Toddler classes. Catheryn is passionate about inspiring her students in music by giving them the skills needed to become disciplined, expressive, and creative musicians. Future plans for Catheryn include teaching private lessons, courses within a university, and general music classes within homeschool groups.
Sean LePach is a former student of the Seminole State College music program where he studied percussion. He performed in the Seminole State percussion ensemble and advanced his studies of drum set, rudimental snare, hand percussion, and mallet percussion during his attendance there. Sean has been playing drums for over fourteen years and plays at Journey church in Apopka. He has also played for Orangewood Christian Church, the Orangewood youth program and First Baptist Church of Winter Park youth program. In addition to live performance, Sean has also recorded in local Orlando recording studios and regularly does session work for Eupnea Records.
Kimmie Louwsma Gehr Performance Group Choreographer
Kimmie has always had a passion for the arts, starting her dance training at the age of three. By eighteen, Kimmie started dancing professionally with Radio City. She has been a Radio City Rockette for ten years under the direction of Linda Haberman. Kimmie also toured with the Mel Brooks musical, The Producers, for three years finishing the tour in Tokyo, Japan. In this show, Kimmie trained under the direction of Tony Award winner Susan Stroman. She also performed The Producers in Las Vegas with David Hasselhoff and Tony Danza. Her teaching credits include All Souls Extended Day, Seminole High School Dazzlers, Marching Auxiliaries, School of Dance Arts, and Studio 5D Dynasty Dance Centre. She has judged for Marching Auxiliaries National Dance Competitions. She has worked for Disney World and Hard Drive Productions in Orlando, FL. She has trained at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Arthur Murray, and Browns Gymnastics. Kimmie has taught, performed, and choreographed for over fifteen years. She believes that proper technique is extremely important, and to be a successful dancer/singer you have to combine passion, dedication, and desire!
Rachel Robbins-Studio Manager
Rachel Robbins is from the small southern town of Eufaula, AL. She graduated from Southeastern University earning a degree in Vocal Performance with a minor in Pre-Seminary Studies. While at Southeastern she was a member of the Chamber Singers and performed in Southeastern’s musical theater and operatic shows as well as presenting two recitals of her own. She worked in the music office and served as a teacher’s assistant for the music department. Rachel was a music intern at First Baptist Church in Winter Park, FL for two years where she worked with the choir, praise team, youth and children’s choir. She is excited to be part of The Music Box team!