Giulio Garner is originally from Honduras where he began his musical training in piano and voice. After graduating from a music conservatory in Honduras, he came to the US to study. He obtained his Bachelor's in Music at Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia and his Master's in Piano Performance at Valdosta State University.
Giulio starred as a soloist with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra after winning the Concerto Competition held by VSU's Music Department. He has also performed as a guest soloist with the Eastern Mennonite University Orchestra in Virginia, and the Tegucigalpa Symphony in Honduras.
Giulio has a passion for teaching music to all ages. He thinks that it is never too early nor too late to start developing one's music capabilities. He started teaching back in Honduras while he was still a high school student and hasn't stopped since.
Guitar, Woodwinds, & Brass Teacher
Sarah Grant began her career as a music educator over 20 years ago. During that time she has served as Director of Bands and General Music Specialist in Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Since arriving in Valdosta, Ms. Grant has taught music at Pine Grove Elementary, worked as the Assistant Band Director with Lowndes County Schools, and currently serves as the Music Specialist at Sallas Mahone Elementary. In addition to her public school teaching, Ms. Grant has taught private lessons for 25 years on woodwind instruments (flute, clarinet, saxophone), beginner piano and beginner guitar. She remains a performer on her primary instrument, flute, as a soloist and with local instrumental ensembles.
Ms. Grant earned her Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Louisville. She is currently pursuing a degree in Arts Administration from Florida State University. Teaching certifications include Orff Level I and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She is a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association and the National Association for Music Educators.
Analine Hellman is originally from Brazil. She began studying classical piano at the age of 11. Mrs. Hellman received her Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance at Universidade Sagrado Coração in Brazil. In 2013 she received an assistantship to study at Valdosta State University and in 2015 received her Master's in Piano Performance under Dr. Lyle Indergaard. Analine has numerous years of experience in private and group piano instruction within various schools around Brazil and in the USA. Since an early age Analine has participated in many music festivals in Brazil, Chile, Argentina and the US. In addition, Mrs. Hellman has played for several choirs in Brazil as well as the US, and has also accompanied several instruments and ensembles.
Dr. Mark McQuade
Dr. Mark McQuade serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Voice Area Chair at Valdosta
State University, teaching private voice and vocal pedagogy. Along with his deep-rooted
passion for the art of singing he brings nearly 20 years of experience as a performer and director of opera and musical theatre. His voice students have been featured in principal and supporting roles with university, community, and professional opera and musical theater companies, and they are regular award winners, finalists, and semi-finalists at state, regional, and national voice competitions.
As a performer, McQuade has appeared in opera, musical theater, concert, and recitals
throughout the United States and Canada. His operatic performances have included singing
leading roles such as Horace Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte,
Belcore in L'elisir d'amore, Mr. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera, Bob in The Old Maid and
the Thief, the title role in Tartuffe, and Ko-Ko in The Mikado. Other professional credits include
appearances as Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale with the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in
Fairbanks, Alaska; the roles of Marco in Gianni Schicchi and Sciarrone in Tosca, as well as the
Baker and Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods Jr., all with the Natchez Festival of Music in
Natchez, Mississippi; and the roles of Marco in Gianni Schicchi and Fiorello in Il barbiere di
Siviglia as well as being a featured soloist for “Opera on the River” with the Como Opera Guild.
Recent operatic and musical theatre directing projects have included Rigoletto, Die Zauberflöte,
Susannah, Suor Angelica, Street Scene, Fortune’s Favorites, Passion in the Principal’s Office, Le
nozze di Figaro, Le Mariage aux Lanternes, The Tender Land, Hairspray, Joseph and the
Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Godspell. His production of Street Scene earned a top
honor in the 2013 National Opera Association Production Competition. McQuade also served as
the General Director of the Western Plains Opera Company from 2015-2017.
McQuade is an active researcher and published author. His article, "Second Formant Tuning in
Males Above the Secondo Passaggio" was published in the Journal of Singing, Nov/Dec 2014
and his co-authored article, “Cinderella Meets Cendrillion: Musical Theatre and Opera Living
Under the Same Roof” is scheduled for publication in the Journal of Singing in late 2018. His
work, "Richard Miller: A Retrospective" was presented at the 2013 International Congress of
Voice Teachers in Brisbane, Australia. In addition, McQuade has presented poster presentations
and lectures on formant tuning at the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Brisbane,
Australia (2013) and Georgia Music Educators Association (2018).
McQuade received the Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Oberlin
Conservatory of Music where he studied voice and worked in the Otto B. Schoepfle Vocal Arts
Center with renowned vocal pedagogue Richard Miller. McQuade also earned a Master of
Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Oklahoma and Doctor of Arts in
Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Mississippi. McQuade is an active
member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), where he has served as the
Texoma Region Governor, the Oklahoma District Governor, North Dakota District Governor, a
National Board Member, and was the recipient of the NATS Emerging Leader Award. He is
also an active member of the National Opera Association and the College Music Society.
Becky Pritchard began studying piano at the age of nine, with Ruth Carswell in Waycross, Georgia. She later studied piano at Valdosta State College under professors Ruth Ann Rich and Dorothy Lewis Griffith. Becky graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music in Applied Piano degree, and received the senior music student award. Shortly after graduation, she served as resident pianist for the Lowndes County Arts Commission. She has taught private piano for a number of years and has served as organist and/or pianist at various churches for over 50 years. Becky has also accompanied many vocal and instrumental soloists / ensembles. She currently serves as pianist for First Baptist Church in Valdosta, Georgia.
Rebeca Sierra started playing piano as a hobby when she was 8 years old At age 12, she enrolled in music school with french horn as her primary instrument. She continued playing piano on her own for several years before returning to it as her focus. While at first the change proved difficult for various reasons, as time passed she found a great passion for making music with other people through playing piano and french horn with an orchestra. In addition, she accompanies her classmates at Valdosta State University where she studies as a piano performance major. This has changed her perspective and desire to study piano more deeply and to be a better accompanist.
Prior to teaching for VAPA, Rebeca taught in her mother's music studio. From working with her mother, she has learned that every student needs a different approach. Rebeca is a patient teacher and knows how to organize activities to accomplish the goal of each lesson. Rebeca is also bilingual, so her students also benefit from learning some music terminology in Spanish.