Mary S. Reinker
Academy Founder and Director, Mrs. Reinker has been performing as a pianist and organist for over 35 years. She received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano, and a Master of Music Degree in Composition from Chicago Musical College. She has done post graduate studies in Piano Performance and Pedagogy and has attended the Taubman Institute of Piano in Amherst and Williamstown, Massachusetts. She has performed as a soloist, accompanist, chamber musician, and church organist throughout the United States and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, New York, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Rome, Madrid, Paris, and Warsaw. Mrs. Reinker has taught music for over 35 years. Her students have won awards and have majored in piano and music at the college level. She has been an adjudicator and has presented teacher training workshops and lectures on piano performance and technique. She established the piano curriculum and the Certificate of Achievement program at Forté Academy and specializes in teaching an injury-free, natural hand technique. Mrs. Reinker is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.
Sue McPherson Brownson received a BM in Vocal Performance from the North Carolina School of the Arts. While at the university, she was a vocal student of William Beck and piano student of William Zimmerman. Following graduation she performed with the Charlotte Opera,, and Jacksonville Opera, The Lost Colony, and an off-Broadway production of the music of Gilbert and Sullivan featuring puppets. She has performed in regional theater productions of Camelot, Jesus Christ Superstar, and West Side Story. Mrs. Brownson has served as minister of music and soloist in churches in North Carolina, Florida, and Colorado. She has also taught school and private lessons in these states. Mrs. Brownson serves as the soprano soloist for the Lakewood Chorale and Orchestra.
Mrs. Brownson enjoys teaching students of all ages and brings her gentle touch to each student as she imparts her love of music. She is an instructor of piano and voice for Forté Academy.
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.
Molly Reinker holds a master of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Denver, a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance, with a minor in piano, Summa Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University, and has done graduate studies at the Prayner Conservatory in Vienna, Austria. She also received a Teaching Certificate in Suzuki Violin Pedagogy rom the University of Denver and is certified by the American Suzuki Institute in Violin Pedagogy for Levels 1 through 10.
Ms. Reinker has performed as a soloist with the Lakewood Symphony and in concerts and recitals in England and across Europe, including at the Salzburg Festival, as well as in Vienna, Prague, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, and Warsaw. She has performed as a chamber musician on both piano and violin, and as an orchestral musician, including a concert tour to Beijing and Shanghai, China. She attended the Aspen Music Festival and the Manitou Springs Festvial. She was a member of the Aviva String Quartet. She performs regularly as a recitalist and moves audiences with her warm sound and engaging personality. She is also a church musician, playing organ, violin, and piano. She has won many awards on both violin and piano, and is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. In her spare time, Ms. Reinker enjoys horseback riding, running marathons, snowboarding, and traveling.
Ms. Reinker has over 15 years of teaching experience and enjoys working with students of all ages and levels, bringing her own energy and excitement to the learning of music, while teaching repertoire in various styles and correct technique. She is an instructor in both violin and piano at Forté Academy of Music.
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.
Gregory Storkan received his bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Music from Washington University in St. Louis. In his youth, Mr. Storkan studied piano, and gradually gravitated towards a professioal singing career as a lyric baritone. Often priased for his “warm and regal voice,” he signed his first professional contract with Union Avenue Opera while still a graduate student at Washingston university. From there he has forged a burgeoning career and has sung with opera companies through Missouri and Illinois. Mr. Storkan also spend two season performing with the six-time Grammy-winning St. Louis Symphony and is a frequent recitalist, harboring a not-so-secret love of Kurt Weill, Jacques Brel, and other cabaret-style musical literature. In the fall of 2013 mr. Storkan relocated to Denver, Colorado, where he is pursuing intensive professional development training in opera, voice, acting, and business strategy. He recently performed in “The Vagabond,” a storytelling convert featuring the music of Grieg, Sain-Saëns, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, and Vaughn Williams.
Mr. Storkan teaches piano and voice to students of all ages, and, through his own unique style, enjoys imparting his love of music to his students.He is an instructor of piano and voice at the Forté Academy of Music.
Paula Verdicchio has over fifteen years of professional playing experience and has performed for audiences of over seven thousand people. Her experience includes lyric opera, symphonies, chamber orchestras, string ensembles, marimba bands, jazz combos, folk groups, celtic groups, singer songwriters and rock bands. She has a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Arizona State University. She has taught private lessons for twenty years, and has taught Kindergarten through 8th grade music in private schools for 8 years in addition to teaching workshops, festivals and adjudicating the Jefferson County Solo and Ensemble festival. She has directed musical events with nearly one thousand people in attendance, full scale musical theater productions and conducted chamber groups of all ages. Ms. Verdicchio believes in training each student as an individual, finding the correct synthesis of music pedagogy and repertoire to best inspire confidence and success. Her students have successfully auditioned for all-county and honor ensembles, earned superior ratings at festivals, created original musical compositions and arrangements, and gone on to music scholarships and majors in college. She is an instructor of piano, violin, and guitar at the Forté Academy of Music.
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.
After graduating with a degree in Music Education from Metropolitan State College in 1984, Twila started her career teaching vocal and instrumental music at a local elementary school for several years. Twila’s gentle and compassionate teaching style involves integrating fun with fundamentals, which makes learning piano an enjoyable and gratifying experience for her students. Her teaching repertoire includes everything from Disney to Beethoven, and she tailors her curriculum to accommodate each student’s unique gifts and talents. She has taught piano privately to children as well as to young adults for over 20 years, and been a piano instructor and at Forté Academy of Music for six. Twila and her husband have lived in Lone Tree since 1991. They have two grown sons, both of whom are accomplished musicians in piano, guitar as well as percussion.