Camp Levine DC Campus: NW Teacher Bios

Jinha Park

NW DC, Upton St. Site Director

Jinha Park is a celebrated concert pianist and educator with over 30 years of experience in the arts. Dr. Park is an accomplished musician and a respected member of the music community. She has taught at various music festivals, including the Montecito International Music Festival, Washington International Piano Festival, Summit Music Festival, the Ouachita International Keyboard Music Festival, Music Fest Perugia, and the Costa Rica International Piano Festival. Her educational background is impressive, having studied at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Conservatory and the University of South Carolina in the United States.

Dr. Park is on the faculty at Levine Music, the Associate Director at Colorado International Piano Academy and Festival, the YMIC Virtuoso International Music Competition Chair, and the U.S. Associate Director of the Amigdala International Music Competition. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland University College and as faculty at the Augusta State University Conservatory. With her diverse experiences and impressive achievements, Jinha Park is undoubtedly a dedicated artist in the world of classical music.

Catherine Hammes

Assistant to the Site Director- NW DC, Upton St.

Catherine is a rising 4th year Flute Performance major at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Her love of music can be traced back to Levine Summer Camp, where she started as a camper in 2009 before becoming a teen apprentice in 2014 and joining as a staff member in 2022. She also finds great joy in playing in musical theatre pit orchestras around the area. In addition to her commitment to music, she is an amateur snowboarder and enjoys studying philosophy, which is also her minor.

Emily Douglass

Teen Apprentice Coordinator- NW DC, Upton st.

I am a rising junior at the Catholic University of America studying music education. I have loved music, particularly singing, since a very young age, and I am excited to share what I know with the campers at Levine Music! When I’m not holed up in a practice room, I enjoy reading, drawing, and watching Marvel movies.

Beth Barbaro

PreK Teacher- NW DC, Upton St.

Beth has been teaching at Camp Levine since 2010, and is so happy to be back again this summer! Her background is in music therapy and early childhood music, which led her to the preschool classroom where she now teaches 3 and 4 year olds during the school year. Beth’s passion is engaging children in play through theme-based music, art and literature. When she’s not in the classroom, Beth keeps busy with her family and foster dogs.

Cierra Grace

PreK Teacher- NW DC, Upton St.

Cierra holds a bachelors and masters of Music education from Norfolk State University. She has taught elementary and early childhood music for 13 years and has been with Levine for 6, teaching in their First Music department, primarily at the Silver Spring campus. Cierra enjoys cooking and baking for her husband, friends and family and also enjoys shopping!

Darren Shillingford

PreK Teacher- NW DC, Upton St.

Mr. Darren is a passionate music educator and pianist originally from Trinidad & Tobago. He holds a B.M. in Music Education from Florida International University, a M.A. in Music Education from University of Maryland, College Park and currently pursuing his PhD in Music Education, also at UMD. In addition to his studies, he has been a PK-8 music teacher, church musician, and collaborative pianist in the Silver Spring and DMV area. He is an accompanist and the curriculum coordinator with the Children’s Chorus of Washington(CCW). He has been with Camp Levine since 2019.

Christina Raczka

Flute Teacher - Session I - NW DC, Upton St.

Christina Raczka is excited to return to Camp Levine this summer. She is an active flutist and educator in the Mid-Atlantic region. Christina earned her Bachelors in Music Education from Rowan University in New Jersey. In 2017 she moved to Virginia and attended Shenandoah Conservatory for her Masters and DMA in flute performance. Christina currently teaches woodwind lessons at Community Music School of the Piedmont, Music & Arts in Herndon, and her own private studio. Outside of music, Christina enjoys hiking and yoga.

Jonathan Vesley

Cello & Production Art Teacher - Session I & II - NW DC, Upton St.

Jonathan Velsey has been introducing campers to the wonders of the cello at Levine’s Music & Arts camp since 1999. A Levine alumnus himself, Jonathan received a B.A. from Bard College, and got his Master of Music degree at Northwestern University. During the year, Jonathan teaches strings in Howard County, Maryland, is on the faculty as a studio and group cello instructor at Levine and is an active freelance cellist in the Washington area. Jonathan’s musical journey has allowed him to travel and perform as solo, chamber and orchestral cellist, giving critically acclaimed recitals at home and abroad. When not teaching or performing, Jonathan enjoys reading, hiking, cooking, traveling, composing and arranging music and learning new languages.

Ariel Nathanson Bolinja

Piano Teacher - Session I - NW DC, Upton St.

Ariel Nathanson Bolinja has been teaching piano at Levine Music since September 2021 and at Camp Levine since Summer 2022. She graduated from University of Hartford’s The Hartt School in 2018 with a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance with a Pedagogy Emphasis. Nathanson was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society by The Hartt School of Music chapter. She graduated summa cum laude from The George Washington University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music. In her time at GWU, Nathanson was both a Presidential Scholar in the Arts for piano and a recipient of the Steiner Scholarship in Music. She was also inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. In August of 2020, she began her DMA studies in piano pedagogy at the Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art at The Catholic University of America under the tutelage of Dr. James Litzelman. Prior to teaching at Levine, Nathanson taught piano and chamber music at community music schools in New England and Maryland including The Hartt School Community Division in West Hartford, CT and the International School of Music in Potomac, MD. In addition to her teaching, Nathanson has had the opportunity to perform throughout the east coast of the United States as well as internationally, in Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. In 2016, she was awarded Honorable Mention in the Cremona International Competition for Piano. In 2019, she was a judge for the Little Mozarts Competition. Nathanson served as the Coordinator of Student Affairs for the 2015 and 2016 Cremona International Music Academy and Competition. She frequently works as an accompanist for various ensembles and soloists.

Mark Sylvester

Guitar & Composition Teacher - Session I - NW DC, Upton St.

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Mark Sylvester regularly performs around the Washington, DC, area as a solo guitarist, as a singer/songwriter, and with numerous folk, world, classical, rock, and jazz groups. His recordings of original compositions include music for solo acoustic guitar, chamber music for classical banjo, and scores for live theater productions. Mark’s primary musical influences and interests include folk and world music, cool jazz, prog rock, minimalism, American primitive and contemporary guitar music, and J.S. Bach. Mark has taught guitar, ukulele, mandolin, banjo, and bass guitar for about 20 years. He is passionate about making music creation and appreciation an accessible part of students’ daily lives

Christine Kharazian

Violin Teacher - Session I & II - NW DC, Upton St.

Christine Kharazian is a concert violinist, a graduate of the Komitas State Conservatory and the Tchaikovsky Advanced School of Music in Yerevan, Armenia. She studied violin with Pof. Edward Dayan, a pupil of David Oistrakh and Prof. Hrachia Harutunyan, a pupil of Leonid Kongan. Her early performance experience includes 5 years with the Armenian National Opera’s Symphony as a member of the first violins, and with the Sharakan Ensemble of Ancient and Medieval Music of Armenian TV and Radio, as a soloist. She has performed in concerts at the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Hall, Dumbarton House, the Gallery at The Ellipse, and various Embassies in Washington, among other venues as a soloist and with various groups. Christine is an experienced educator. An alumna of the Inspired Teaching Institute, she taught many years at Fillmore Arts Center in Washington, DC. Currently she teaches violin technique at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Sidwell Friends. Previously she taught string orchestra at Fillmore Arts Center of DCPS and Churchill Road Elementary of FCPS. Christine is also the author and presenter of a series of interactive programs in music education. As a versatile and adventurous musician she loves exploring various styles, from Gypsy Jazz to Brazilian Choro and performs often with various ensembles including Orchester Praževica. Christine Kharazian enjoys experimenting with the merging of various art forms, such as theater and music. She was cast as the Wind in Quotidian Theatre Company’s 2015 production of Anton Chekhov’s “A Little Trick.” and later in 2016 another production of Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Little Dog”. The director Stephanie Mumford, in crafting her adaptation of Chekhov’s short story, devised a part with Kharazian in mind: the violin-playing wife of Dmitry Gurov. In addition Christine was a 2nd prize winner of the Unsigned Only competition in 2021 for her original composition Valse Astolfi. She serves as a Chair of Student Activities at Friday Morning Music Club, coordinating concert series for young aspiring musicians, and is a board member of Blues Alley Jazz Education Society.

Matt Tredwell

Percussion Teacher - Session I - NW DC, Upton St.

Matt Tredwell is a musician, teacher, and composer living in the Washington, DC area. Since 2009 he has taught thousands of drum, guitar, and piano lessons to students of all ages. As a drummer, he has performed extensively with bands and ensembles in New York and Washington, DC. He can be seen playing regularly with La Unica, Knovo, and Carly Harvey on some of the region’s biggest stages. Matt received a B.F.A. in Jazz Studies from the City College of New York (magna cum laude) and then went on to earn a G.P.D. in Jazz Performance from the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, MD.

Julia Malafarina

Music+ Teacher - Session I - NW DC, Upton St.

Julia Malafarina is in her 15th year teaching general music, including 9 years in MCPS, and currently teaches Pre-K 3 through 4th grade students at Key School in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. She has extensively studied Orff Schulwerk music pedagogy at George Mason University and the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria. She loves to sing, play French horn, and dance. Julia is excited to sing, dance, play, and create with the campers at Camp Levine!

Maya Cooper

Before Care & Music+ Teacher - Session I & II - NW DC, Upton St.

Maya Cooper is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she majored in music education vocal/piano. While at Eastman, she performed in five chorus and three world music ensembles including gamelan, mbira, and West African drumming. Maya is an award-winning accompanist and plays a variety of instruments including piano, organ and guitar. She also has extensive experience with music composition and arrangement. Maya loves working with children and delights in creating original songs for use in the classroom. She will be pursuing a Master’s degree in choral conducting at Westminster Choir College starting in fall of 2023.

Savannah Hanley

Instrument Building & Snack Teacher - Session I & II - NW DC, Upton St.

This will be Savannah’s second year with Camp Levine, having taught Instrument Building in the Summer of 2022. A graduate from George Washington University with a double major in Music and Psychological & Brain Sciences, she has since worked as the Performance Events Assistant for the GW Music Program, as well as a stagehand and member of the set team for productions at the Washington Stage Guild. Currently, Savannah is the Educational Program Coordinator with the Washington Bach Consort, an organization dedicated to introducing DC public school students to the musical works of Bach. Having spent much of her life and career engaging with music in a variety of different formats, she is excited to return this year with fun projects that work to encompass the nuances of music creation and the meaning of sound. As a performer and life-long lover of music she is excited to bring new challenges to the table for this year’s campers.

Zoe Couloumbis

Dance Teacher - Session I - NW DC, Upton St.

Zoe Couloumbis was born and raised in Montgomery County, Maryland. She received her initial dance training with Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and Academy and then continued on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Dance Education with Radford University, graduating with a K-12 Teaching Licensure in May, 2019. Zoe has gained teaching experience in numerous public school and private studio settings, and worked with the educational institutions of Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and Riverdale Avenue Community School. In addition, Zoe led an international workshop abroad in South Korea, where she taught modern dance. In addition to her educational experience, Zoe has been involved in and holds a strong passion for performance. Her performance credits include the NASA Langley 100 Year Centennial, in Continuous Relations under Kyle Abraham, Searching Darkness at the International Symposium of Electronic Art in 2019, and re:motions with Gotham Dance Theater in NYC. Aside from what she has accomplished, Zoe holds high hopes for the future of arts education and the professional dance world. She wishes to provide a strong technical education to her community that is affordable, inclusive, and heavily focused on maintaining a healthy relationship with the art form. Through community outreach, student-focused problem solving, and fair expectations of commitment and discipline, Zoe plans to guide the next generation of dancers to success, confidence, and self-worth. In essence, Zoe hopes to revolutionize dance pedagogy and theory by pushing for a new, progressive perspective of instruction in the dance world.