TCS Administration +
Teresa Stoupas is a veteran educator, spending the last 18 years as a school administrator in Palm Beach County, Florida. Always involved in the arts, she joined the inaugural faculty at Bak Middle School of the Arts in 1997. In 2010, inspired by her research, Stoupas launched the first El Sistema-inspired public school program in Palm Beach County at The Conservatory School. This program, the Children’s Orchestra and Performing Arts Project, now has over 650 student musicians and singers in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade, with all TCS students receiving a strong musical arts education. The mantra of Play, Passion, & Purpose grounds her school's academic and performing arts work. It has been her great joy to work with others similarly inspired by children, learning, the arts, and innovation.
Music Faculty + Staff
Derek Schuemann is a graduate of the University of Florida with a BSBA in Business Management and an MS in Educational Leadership. Since 2004, he has served as an educator and athletic coach in Palm Beach County schools, the past year at The Conservatory School. With his past experiences in athletics, Mr. Schuemann is creating an athletic department at The Conservatory School. Starting this year, 2015-2016, The Conservatory School's upper school, 6-8 grades, will participate competitively against other middle schools in baseball, volleyball, and track & field. We hope to add more sports in the future.
As former piano player, Mr. Schuemann believes in the principle ideal of El Sistema - transforming children's lives through music. Our mantra, Play. Passion. Purpose. is deeply rooted in all areas of instruction, where students get to play through their learning in order to develop a passion for their purpose in life.
Single School Culture Coordinator
Annick Charlot serves as the Single School Culture Coordinator at The Conservatory School. She is a product of Palm Beach County schools, graduating from Suncoast High School. Ms. Charlot continued on to Duke University, earning a B.A. in Public Policy Studies and Elementary Education, and an Ed.M. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, in Learning and Teaching. In her 11 years in the classroom, she has taught in inclusion, dual-language, and gifted education settings.
Ms. Charlot is inspired by the mission of TCS, where all learners are urged to innovate and pursue their passions. She supports teachers and students with project-based learning, encouraging learners to question and explore the world around them. In addition to her passion for teaching, Ms. Charlot is an ardent arts advocate, who began her music journey as a child, playing piano. As an educator, her arts interests expanded using arts integration to teach through visual arts, music, and drama. Ms. Charlot aims to provide COPA musicians with unique opportunities through organizing and supporting events for the Symphony Orchestra.
Choice Program Coordinator + Mathematics Coach
Brooke Brink serves as the Choice Program Coordinator at TCS. Holding a double BA from Bridgewater State University in Elementary and Physical Education and an MA from Rhode Island College in Elementary Education, Mrs. Brink is a master educator serving for 17 years as a Mathematics Coach in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Florida. She is also an avid runner, having run numerous full and half marathons across the southeast.
As a child, Mrs. Brink studied piano and cello. While exploring all aspects of the arts, she fell in love with visual arts and mixed media, continuing this passion throughout her adulthood. Mrs. Brink happily uses both sides of her brain during the school day; sharing her passion for mathematics with students of all grades, and using graphic design to promote her beloved school. In her position, she serves as The Conservatory School's community liaison, recruiting and supporting families interested in high quality arts and academic education.
Band Director | Band & Vocal Department Chair
Mr. Cleve A. Maloon started his teaching career twenty-nine years ago at Rock Island High School, in Illinois, and served as director of bands and the district’s music coordinator K-12. He was director of bands at Emerald Cove Middle School from 2015-2017, Director of Music Programs at Oxbridge Academy from 2012-2015, Director of Bands and Department Chairman at Bak Middle School of the Arts from 2001-2012, and Director of Bands at Palm Beach Gardens High School from 1996-2000.
Mr. Maloon earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Augustana College (Illinois) and his Master of Arts degree in Performance/Pedagogy from the University of Iowa. A native of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, he is a trombonist who has performed professionally throughout the Caribbean and United States in calypso, salsa, reggae, and jazz bands, as well as symphony orchestras.
In September 2013, The Legacy Palm Beach Post recognized Mr. Maloon as one of Palm Beach County’s Top Black Educators. In January 2007 and 2012, the Florida Bandmasters Association awarded Mr. Maloon for eleven consecutive years of Straight Superiors for Concert Band Performances. On July 11, 2005, Congressman E. Clay Shaw, Jr. nominated Mr. Maloon for the American Stars of Teaching Award. Mr. Maloon was also the 2005 Finalist for the Palm Beach County Economic Council William- Dwyer Awards for Excellence in Education. Mr. Maloon was nominated for the 2004 and 2005 Disney Teacher Awards, which honors creativity in teaching. In 1999, the Palm Beach Gardens Rotary International honored Mr. Maloon as one of the Teachers of the Year and in 1998, the Palm Beach Post selected him as a recipient of the “I Make A Difference Teacher of Excellence” Award. In 1995 and 1993, Mr. Maloon was awarded Most Inspirational Teacher and Master Teacher Awards from Western Illinois University.
From 2011-2013, Mr. Maloon facilitated and executed a partnership between the prestigious Juilliard School and Bak Middle School of the Arts and Oxbridge Academy to launch the only Juilliard Summer Jazz Camp in South Florida. Mr. Maloon has been a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, North Carolina, Missouri, and Florida. In January 2013, Mr. Maloon was the conductor of the Florida All-State Middle School Concert Band and he was recently selected to conduct the 2020 Florida All-State Middle School Jazz Band. Mr. Maloon has been married to his lovely wife, Kim, for twenty-seven years and they are proud parents of their daughters, Natalie and Amy.
Orchestra Director | String Department Chair
Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, Victor Fernandez came to the United States in 1995. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance, a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, magna cum laude, and a Master’s degree in Music Education from Florida State University. He previously served as orchestra director at Leon High School and Raa Middle School, and conductor for the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra program in Tallahassee, Florida. He also served as orchestra director at Booker Middle School and orchestra conductor for the Sarasota Youth Symphony Orchestra in Sarasota, Florida.
He has served and been actively involved with the Florida Music Educator’s Association board and the Florida Orchestra Association board as district chairperson and All-State orchestra coordinator. In 2012, Mr. Fernandez was honored with being selected as Sarasota County’s Teacher of the Year. In 2016, he was honored with being selected as Palm Beach County’s Hispanic Teacher of the Year by the Palm Beach Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In 2017, he was honored with being selected as a Dwyer Award winner for Palm Beach County Schools. He frequently serves as guest clinician for All-County events throughout the state and has contributed a number of teaching articles to the Florida Music Director magazine.
Currently, Mr. Fernandez serves as department head and Director of Orchestras at The Conservatory School, a K-8 public school, where he has served since 2013. Mr. Fernandez lives in Palm Beach County with his wife and three young children.
Ms. Essilevi Nadal is an active teacher and performer in South Florida. She has served on the cello faculty of the South Florida Symphony Orchestra (2014-2016), Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (2011), Lynn Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division (2010-2012) and the Schwob School of Music Preparatory Division (2006-2008). She often performs with many of the area’s leading ensembles including Miami Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Americas, Palm Beach Symphony Orchestra and the Dominican National Symphony Orchestra.
Born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Ms. Nadal completed her studies at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música. She served as the principal cellist of the Orquesta Nacional de Cámara and the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Juan Pablo Duarte. She was awarded first prize in the third Concurso de Interpretación Musical sponsored by UNESCO. Ms. Nadal holds a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Columbus State University and a Professional Performance Certificate from Lynn University-Conservatory of Music where she studied with Artist-Faculty David Cole. She is also an alumna of the Brevard Music Center. Currently, Ms. Nadal is completing a Master of Music Education at the University of Miami, where she was a Teaching Assistant for the Donna E. Shalala MusicReach program from 2014 to 2016. Ms. Nadal has been an Orchestra Director at The Conservatory School @North Palm Beach since 2016.
Band Director | K-2 Music Department Chair
Kathleen L. Towler, a National Board Certified Teacher in Early/Middle Childhood/Music/Band since 2003, earned her Bachelor of Music degree with endorsements in Music Theory and Music History from Michigan State University. She has been teaching instrumental music for 35 years at the elementary and secondary level. She taught in Michigan, South Dakota, New Jersey, and Illinois before coming to Florida. She was a W.T. Dwyer Award Nominee, in 2004 and was awarded the “I Make a Difference” Teacher of Excellence Award in 2005. She was a Conductor for the North Area Chorus at the Spotlight on Young Musicians Concert in 2008. She has performed in solo recitals, professional and amateur orchestras, chamber ensembles, and bands for the last 40 years. She has had the privilege to be involved in music education workshops with some of the world’s top musicians. She is active in The International Double Reed Society and Florida Music Educator’s Association.
A native of West Palm Beach, Jeff Adkins is a double bassist who thrives on connecting with audiences across musical genres. Mr. Adkins enjoys a diverse career in South Florida’s vibrant music scene, currently performing as a member of Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera, and Nu Deco Ensemble where he also performs on electric bass. Jeff has had the fortune of supporting great artists including Gloria Estefan, Sir James Galway, Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Mario Cantone, Bernadette Peters, and The Platters.
Also a committed instructor, Mr. Adkins coaches young bassists at The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts and The Bak Middle school of the Arts. Additionally, Mr. Adkins is an Artist in Residence at The Conservatory School in North Palm Beach. As a private teacher, Mr. Adkins encourages students to seek their own path by attaining the skills necessary for personal growth and expression. Many of his students have continued their studies at top music programs throughout the country.
Mr. Adkins began his studies on double bass at age eight at Palm Beach Public School. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Lynn Conservatory of Music where his primary teachers were Shigeru Ishikawa and Timothy Cobb.
Kaitlin Richardson, a native Michigander, began playing Violin at age three and progressed to win several competitions and the seat of Concertmaster of The Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra and String Quartet. She completed her Master’s Degree at Lynn University, studying under professor Carol Cole and Elmar Oliveira.
Currently, Ms. Richardson is a fixture in the South Florida music scene. She is a Violinist for many of the state’s premier ensembles including, South Florida Symphony, Palm Beach Opera, Gulf Coast Opera, Kravis Pops, and sits Assistant Concertmaster for Space Coast Symphony. She performs in Classical ensembles as well as Pops and Broadway. This season, Ms. Richardson will serve a Concertmaster for the following national tours: 4U a Symphonic Celebration of Prince, Brian Wilson and the Pet Sounds Orchestra, Michael Bolton Tour, and The Irish Tenors. Ms. Richardson is an Artist in Residence at The Conservatory School of North Palm Beach; she also maintains a studio of private violin students.
Axel Gonzalo Rojas Vallejos
Axel Rojas is a Chilean cellist who obtained a Bachelor of Music in 2014 at The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. He has a rich and varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and teacher. Mr. Rojas has performed chamber music and solos with orchestras throughout South and Central America, Europe, East Asia as well as in North America.
Mr. Rojas has made frequent national and international appearances as a chamber musician, and his versatility shows in performances of both traditional and contemporary repertoire. Additionally, he has participated in several summer festivals including Latin American Festival of Chascomús (Argentina), International Music Academy of Solsona, AIMS Festival (Spain), Orchestra of the Americas (YOA), Zeist Music Days (Netherlands), Quartet Fellowship at Wintergreen Summer Music Festival (United States), The Aronson Cello Festival (United States) and for four consecutive years across Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, SHMF (Germany).
Mr. Rojas completed a Professional Performance Certificate at Lynn University in 2017, and currently, he is pursuing a Master of Music under the tutelage of David Cole. He has been very involved in multiple projects where he maintains his dedication as a teaching artist. He is currently teaching at The Conservatory School (North Palm Beach), Plumosa School of the Arts (Delray Beach), and the Preparatory School of Music at Lynn’s Conservatory of Music (Boca Raton).
Violinist Kevin Seto appears as a soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, and pedagogue throughout the United States. He is a winner of several music competitions and a recipient of multiple awards. Mr. Seto is currently a member of the Palm Beach Opera, and frequently performs with the Atlantic Classical Symphony, Brevard Symphony Orchestra, and Tampa Opera. Mr. Seto has also performed as first violinist with the Waterbury Symphony in Waterbury, Connecticut. Most recently, Mr. Seto was awarded a grant through the Young Artist Awards Competition in pursuit of providing music education to local schools.
Mr. Seto holds his Masters Degree from The Hartt School of Music under the direction of Anton Miller, where he also participated in the prestigious Performance 20/20 Honors Chamber Music Program.
Karen Fuller is Principal Flute of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, a position she has held since 1989, and the Opus One Orchestra of Miami City Ballet. She is also Principal Flute of Orchestra Miami and The Symphonia Boca Raton, as well as a member of the Atlantic Classical Orchestra. In addition, Ms. Fuller is co-founder, board member and flutist of the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, now in its 28th season, and appears on all six of the Festival’s Chamber Music Palm Beach CDs on the Klavier Music Productions label.
As former Principal Flute of the Palm Beach Symphony, Ms. Fuller appeared as a concerto soloist 4 times during her 23-year tenure. She performed frequently with Ballet Florida, the Concert Association of Florida and the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra for over 15 years and was a member of the Naples Philharmonic for 10 years. She has also performed with Florida Grand Opera and the Sarasota Orchestra, and has appeared with the Munich Symphony, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, American Ballet Theatre and the Royal Ballet on their US tours. As a fellow with the New World Symphony, she was featured as a concerto soloist and toured South America and Europe. In addition, she has been a frequent performer in South Florida pits for Broadway Across America for over 25 years, including Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Miss Saigon, Peter Pan, Sunset Boulevard, Ragtime and many other shows.
Ms. Fuller is an Artist-in-Residence at The Conservatory School @North Palm Beach, Dreyfoos School of the Arts and Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach and Spanish River High School in Boca Raton. She is also Instructor of Flute at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees are from the Manhattan School of Music in Flute Performance.
Michael Forte is principal clarinet of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, the Southwest Florida Symphony (Ft. Myers) and co-principal clarinet of the Boca Symphonia. He is a former member of the Maracaibo Symphony in Venezuela. He has appeared as soloist with both the Maracaibo Symphony and the Southwest Florida Symphony and in 2006 performed the clarinet concertos of Mozart and Weber with the Palm Beach Symphony and the Palm Beach Atlantic University Orchestra. With the Maracaibo Symphony Mr. Forte toured Italy in 1985.
In 1992, Mr. Forte, along with two other members of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra, formed the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, a four week series of chamber music concerts during the summer. In 2016, the Festival completed its 25th season of concerts. A number of their live performances have been aired on National Public Radio’s Performance Today program. Mr. Forte appears, with members of the Chamber Music Festival, on a series of CD recordings on the Klavier label. Their 6th CD was released in July of 2010.
Mr. Forte teaches at Palm Beach Atlantic University and is Artist-in-Residence at the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Mr. Forte holds a Bachelor of Music in clarinet performance from Syracuse University.
Dr. Kendra Hawley
Oboe | English Horn
Oboe and English horn soloist Dr. Kendra Hawley has performed internationally as a chamber, opera, ballet, theater and orchestral musician. A member of Nu Deco Ensemble, Palm Beach Opera, and Tessellations Trio, Dr. Hawley was previously Assistant Principal Oboe and English Horn Soloist with the Orquesta Filharmonica de Santiago, Chile. She has performed with other ensembles including: Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile, Orquesta Sinfonica de Concepción, Florida Grand Opera, Naples Philharmonic, Orlando Philharmonic, and Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
Summer music festival appearances include Silicon Valley Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Amherst Early Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, and the Opera, Theatre, and Music Festival of Lucca, Italy.
Originally from North Carolina, she graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy, received her B.M. from Arizona State University, her M.M. from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, her Professional Performance Certificate at Lynn University, and her DMA at Stony Brook University. Her primary teachers include Pedro Díaz, Joseph Robinson, Mark Ostoich, Martin Schuring, Daniel Stolper and Petrea Warneck.
A dedicated educator, Dr. Hawley is Adjunct Oboe Professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University and Artist in Residence at Dreyfoos School of the Arts, The Conservatory School of North Palm Beach, and Miami Arts Charter School.
Wayne Miller has been a music educator in Palm Beach County for the past 40 years having earned his BME from LSU and FAU. He has taught at Lake Worth High School, Palm Beach Gardens High School, Jupiter Middle School, Dreyfoos School of the Arts and BAK Middle School of the Arts. During his time at the Arts Schools his bands always earned Superior ratings at all District and State Evaluations. The Wind Ensemble was invited and performed at the National Music Educators Conference in Salt Lake City and his Jazz Ensemble I competed in the Essentially Ellington Contest in NYC. Bands have also competed and won in Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C.,San Antonio, Atlanta and Anaheim, California.
Mr. Miller has been a two time Secretary and Chairman of District 14 of the Florida Bandmasters Association and has been on numerous State Comittees including the State Jazz Committee, which he remains an active member. Mr. Miller is very active as an adjudicator and clinician throughout Florida and is a Mentor for the Adjudication Committee for Jazz Adjudicator interns.
When he is not fishing in the Keys, Mr. Miller continues to work as an adjunct brass teacher at BAK Middle School of the Arts and The Conservatory School.
Performing Arts Faculty
Loren Foster received her BFA in Dance from Florida State University with honors in Liberal Studies. A native Floridian, Mrs. Foster trained with many local dance teachers and graduated from the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts as a dance major. She has over 15 years of experience teaching studio classes in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance at all ages and levels . For the past 7 years, Mrs. Foster has used her studio experience to help design and implement Arts Integrated lessons in association with classroom teachers, inspiring students to learn through music and movement. She can also be seen performing locally with REACH: A Dance Theatre Collective and The Kravis Center's The Dancers’ Space.