Meryt Reinker Dean received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Concordia University in Irvine, California. She has attended the Taubman Institute of Piano Studies in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She performs in her church and community as an accompanist, director, and collaborative pianist with her mother, Mary Reinker. She has won many awards including winner of the Southwest Music Festival of Southern California, and performing as soloist with the Saddleback Community Orchestra in Mission Viejo, CA. Mrs. Dean has over twenty years of teaching experience, both in California and Colorado, and her students have won many awards. She teaches piano at Forté Academy of Music, where she assisted in establishing the piano curriculum and the Certificate of Achievement program. She is also Assistant Director and Business Manager at Forté Academy.
Tom Sitzler, baritone, Tom Sitzler, baritone, has been capturing audiences with his warm, generous voice and convincing stage presence. Growing up in Arizona, Tom was buying CD’s of pianist Glenn Gould and composer Rachmaninoff, while his older brother and friends were buying the newest albums of the latest bands. This began his lasting love of classical music.
In 2009, Mr. Sitzler stepped into the professional arena of performing as the Old Gypsy in Il Trovatore with Union Avenue Opera. Among many other performances in 2012, Mr. Sitzler was heard singing Silvano from Un ballo in Maschera with UAO, where Sarah Bryan Miller from the St. Louis Post Dispatch said, “Tom Sitzler… made the most of a small role” and Mark Bretz from Ladue News said, “Tom Sitzler is entertaining as the sailor.” Three years later, Tom returned to St. Louis to perform the title role in The Boor with Gateway Opera, where he “proved his own skills both with his strong singing style and a good way with comedy.” (Ladue News). Last year, Mr Sitzler made his debut with Painted Painted Sky Opera as Germont in La Traviata.
A frequent performer in Colorado, Tom has been seen in performance with Boulder Opera as Escamillo in Carmen and Leporello in Don Giovanni, with Opera Steamboat as Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, with Central City Opera Ensemble Artists as Horace Tabor in an abridged touring version of The Ballad of Baby Doe, as well as a baritone soloist with several local orchestras including Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Boulder Symphony, Larimer Chorale and Orchestra, and Aurora Symphony. Most recent performances include his debut as Scarpia from Tosca with Painted Sky Opera.
Mr. Sitzler also loves passing on his years of music training and has been teaching voice and piano for ten years with his charismatic teaching style. He has conducted masterclasses on classical singing throughout the country, and has been a favorite in Oklahoma universities, including Southwestern Oklahoma State and University of Central Oklahoma. With his unique style, Tom focuses on interpretation and vocal technique to unlock the best in each singer. A graduate of Northern Arizona University and Washington University in St. Louis, Mr. Sitzler holds a Bachelors and a Masters in Vocal Performance, as well as a Bachelors in Choral Education. A lover of music theory, Tom has made it his passion to teach this important musical element to singers. He is currently in the process of writing a curriculum for singers that incorporates music theory in a fun and interactive way.
Jeanne has been a music instructor, private, small group, as well as general music, band, and orchestra, for the past 25+ years. She holds her BA from the Fort Lewis College of Music, Piano Performance. Additional training and certification in the “Let’s Start Music” program, Ventura, Ca.
Her piano performance history includes solo and collaborative, classical, jazz, pop, Celtic styles. Church organist and pianist, wedding and special occasion pianist. Accompanist for musical theatre productions, choirs, and individual vocalists and instrumentalists. National Guild international winner for piano. She is a member and past adjudicator for National Guild and Certificate of Merit programs.
Styles taught: classical, pop, jazz, music theatre, liturgical music, Celtic music, basic musicianship and theory. She has taught in several prestigious music academies, including Colorado Music Festival and Center for Musical Arts, Lafayette, Co., Bietry Broadmoor Academy of Music, Colorado Springs, Co., and currently Forte Academy, Centennial and Littleton, Co.
Jeanne provides individualized plans for each student, adhering to Forte’s proven and comprehensive curriculum. She has taught all ages- 4 to 80+. She believes music, as an art form, should be presented in a manner that fosters creativity, while maintaining core structure and appreciation for a composer’s intent. Jeanne has a very supportive, nurturing and relaxed approach. She believes learning is a two- way street, and open communication is a key component of learning.