We loved that our four daughters all had a passion for singing. However, it became evident that some of their choirs were not holding their interest (which is hard to imagine because they would sing around the house all the time). Worried that they would lose their passion for singing, we began looking around for alternatives. Sadly, we discovered options were limited to other traditional choirs, private lessons, and musical theater. None of these options were the right fit.
This brought the question: can you teach proper vocal techniques using popular music (pop, rock, etc…). We began researching and consulting with vocal professionals. The answer was consistently the same: yes.
With the excitement around shows like American Idol, The Voice, and The Sing-Off, it became an obvious choice…we needed to create a vocal training studio that was centered around providing proper vocal training using music that kids are passionate about.
So, with our passion for music combined with our love for kids/families, we decided that we would build a vocal studio like no other. A place where singers can walk through the door and know that they are home.
To start, we believed that it had to feel like being on stage…with stage lighting, PA systems, microphones, etc. We built boxes fashioned after backstage road cases for kids to stand on (no boring risers here). Also, we wanted a place for people to gather and be a community. Not just some place with a small waiting room, but a hang-out area that’s alive with energy. We have a large lobby with couches, tables, phone charging stations and the infamous chalkboard.
We also anticipated that we’d need private lesson studios. But we didn’t stop there, because no rock-star environment would be complete without recording studios. So, we included professional quality recording booths in both of the private lesson studios.
All of these things were important, but we knew that finding the right coaches would be key. Coaches who are performers themselves, are familiar with today’s popular music, and have a passion for guiding their students.
Our coaches come from a variety of backgrounds and have such distinct personalities giving students the ability to find the perfect coaching fit. They are all committed to making vocal training fun while helping students achieve their goals by bringing out their passion for singing.
Maia Samuel has been groomed for working at Headliners since she was a baby, she just didn’t know it. Jay first met Maia in the hospital when she was first born as her father was a friend and co-worker with Jay. Fast forward to when Jay and Jeni realized that we needed help with running the Headliners front desk, Jay thought of Maia. After chatting with her for just a few minutes, it was easy to see that Maia was a great fit!
Since graduating from Cherry Creek High School, Maia has gone on to study computer programming and development. She has worked in customer service and in technical roles.
Maia is a natural go-getter and a leader. She’s also thoughtful and organized. She loves the Headliners students and wants to make sure they have a fantastic experience. Though she is not a singer herself, she is just as excited to watch the students grow and perform as anyone.
Elle Elliott is a fast learning go-getter who has been involved in the local Denver music scene for years. She has managed two bands, one of which is now touring nationally. She is also currently taking classes online at the University of Maryland Global Campus, majoring in forensic psychology and minoring in linguistics. Originally from New York City, she plans to receive her master’s degree from John Jay College in Manhattan.
Aside from her years of experience in customer service, Elle also has a second job in a medical office. Caring for patients is truly a passion of hers, and she is trained in first-aid and CPR.
While Elle does not sing herself, she is enthusiastic about helping the students at Headliners have the most fun possible and expand their talent.
Andrew Nietes is a lifelong musician, working as a guest coach with Headliner Vocals through mid-October, specializing in a cappella; pop, rock, and R&B vocals; and musical theater. He plays eight instruments and has been arranging vocal music over a decade. He earned his undergraduate in Music from New York University, graduating Summa Cum Laude and winning music departmental awards. Andrew has performed all over New York City, as a singer and instrumentalist. He also played in many pit orchestras at NYU for both Tisch and Steinhardt, getting a firsthand view of musical theater pedagogy from both schools.
Andrew is now a lawyer in New York, after attending Fordham Law School with Magna Cum Laude graduation honors, where he focused on intellectual property and entertainment law. He has held positions at Sony Music Entertainment, Atlantic Records, and Jazz at Lincoln Center so is intimately familiar with the music industry and popular music. Andrew worked frequently with top musicians, even curating a benefit album from scratch at an independent label that generated millions of streams on Spotify.
While at NYU, Andrew led the Mixtapes, one of the school’s premier a cappella groups, as both president and a music director. Under his leadership, the Mixtapes achieved great success in Varsity Vocal’s International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (the competition from Pitch Perfect), advancing twice to semi-finals which placed them amongst the best groups not only in the Northeast but in the nation. The Mixtapes can be seen briefly on PopTV’s “Sing It On.” In 2016, they won the New York City area regional and Andrew himself was awarded honors for “Best Arrangement” and “Best Choreography.”
He has continued this success in his professional life as a music director for Echo A Cappella. They have placed as high as fourth for the Northeast region in Varsity Vocal’s The Open. Andrew is proud to have coached and music directed Echo’s soloist who took home “Best Soloist” at New York’s semi-final in 2017, beating out the likes of Broadway stars. After performing on stage in many musicals in high school, he continues to sing musical theater today as director for the Fordham Follies and a recent performer in Next Stage Production virtual cabaret “The Part That Got Away.”
$70 per hour (30 & 45 minute options are also available)
Lizzy Gogolowski is a singer, songwriter, and vocal coach who has been performing since age 3, starting out with years of experience in Broadway Kidz, as well as solo performances for over 18 years in Anchorage, Alaska. After her first year of college at Colorado State University, she relocated to Los Angeles, where she sang and showcased as a cover artist in small venues, then moved back to the Denver/Metro area and performed around the scene here. Her most recent endeavor was being a rock band vocalist and entertainer for Carnival Cruise lines for the past year, traveling the globe and singing songs to thousands of new guests each week. She has studied music business, and vocal performance at Musicians Institute in the heart of Hollywood, CU Denver, and Berklee College of Music. Currently, She is working on multiple projects and bands with guitar player Zakk Wooten, called Madeleine, comprised of their original pop/americana/country original songs and unique covers as a duo, as well as backing vocals for Hunter James and the Titanic a local indie rock band. She has also been in a corporate wedding and event band as a lead vocalist for the past 3 years.
She teaches vocals, performance, and theory to children in hopes to inspire the younger generation like she was inspired by her earlier mentors in her younger years. She loves to know that her advice and coaching can help kids find their musical identity in this rapidly growing music industry. She is extremely enthusiastic about coaching at Headliners, hoping to take her experience in music and use it to have fun, work hard, and grow with the young musicians in her classes and private lessons!
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything” -Plato
$75 per hour (30 minute & 45 minute options also available)
Shelby Maxwell is a from-the-heart vocalist and musician, firmly believing anyone can benefit from finding a connection to music, no matter the type.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, she grew up with a passion for performance of all types. After discovering her love for the arts in high school, she attended Cleveland State University on an acting scholarship, where she pursued her degree in theatre. As she was attending school, she was also gaining experience from working with companies such as Cleveland Play House and Playhouse Square, two major players in the regional theatre industry. She believes that starting as a young performer herself helped mold her teaching methods, understanding that even the smallest of victories, such as hitting a difficult note for the first time, often inspired the students she was working with more than anything.
A few years later, Shelby started work on her deepest passion, music. What started as recording cover songs in her room with her ukulele, eventually turned into getting signed and working on her own music with multi-platinum producers in Los Angeles and Nashville. These next few years gave her a small insight into the music business that most young and upcoming artists are unfamiliar with. She enjoys sharing these experiences with those who are curious about some of the inner workings of the industry, and only hopes that it may be helpful to other young artists who seek to learn more about the professional side of music.
In between owning a business and being a mom, Shelby still enjoys writing, playing, and singing all types of songs, believing each genre brings something special to the world of music as a whole. She looks forward to sharing her passion, connection, and love of music with others, knowing how positively it can influence even the youngest or oldest of people with its universal language.
$65 per hour (30 & 45 minute options are also available)
Sky Denhof is a young, but well trained and passionate vocalist and musician. She has studied years of choir and solo performing in honors chorals and even took classes at our very own studio! She is great with kiddos and her goal is to make learning music an experience that each and every student looks forward to and gets excited about.
Currently a new graduate, Sky works as a cake decorator at Dairy Queen and is going to Metropolitan State University in the fall with plans to continue her adventure in music there. She is excited about her journey at Headliners as it has been a goal of hers ever since the studio opened.
Though vocal training, performance training, and music theory are all very important topics she loves to teach, she is also all about the experience and self-growth. As a shy girl growing up, diving into music and performing was able to bring her more confidence than anyone ever imagined, and she has grown ever since. She believes the importance of learning self-confidence, working with others, and being a supportive and valuable member of our studio and the community at large can help any passionate musician thrive.
Sky was able to learn so much from her former coaches here at Headliners and elsewhere, and she couldn’t be more thankful for them helping her understand and be so successful at the thing she loves doing the most, singing. Moving forward she hopes to help others find that passion just as she once did, and can’t wait for the next steps in doing so with the new generations of rock stars coming in.
$70 per hour (30 & 45 minute options are also available)
Kayla Fore is a native from Houston, Texas, where she began taking lessons and singing at a very young age. Kayla loves all styles of music and have experience in a wide variety such as opera, musical theatre, pop, jazz and country. Kayla has been a member of a private performing arts studio and was part of multiple award-winning productions at the annual Junior Theatre Festival competition in Atlanta, Ga.
I graduated with a B.M. in Vocal Performance from the University of South Carolina and obtained my M.M. from the University of Connecticut. At USC, Kayla performed in multiple productions with Opera at USC, and was a member of the USC Concert Choir. During her time with the USC Concert Choir, Kayla performed multiple solos in major choral works while touring Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic. The highlight of Kayla’s undergraduate career was when she performed the lead role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in Salzburg, Austria.
At UConn Kayla was awarded the role of Teaching Assistant, where she taught courses in popular music history. During her time at UConn, Kayla sang in multiple operas, recitals, choral works, and musical revues. To complete her degree, Kayla performed a solo recital that featured music in four different languages, spanning multiple centuries.
Kayla has studied under talented teachers that have shared their love of music and performance that have had an important part of influencing who she is as a performer and teacher. She enjoys watching her students grow musically and to see their confidence soar not only through performing but through all aspects of their lives. Kayla incorporates her knowledge of vocal pedagogy and the Alexander Technique to her teaching style. In addition to laying the foundation for good vocal technique across all styles of singing, she specializes in helping students reach their full potential by incorporating dramatic interpretation, musicality, and improvisation. Kayla also loves to help students explore music in different languages and assist them with classical and musical theatre college audition preparation.
$85 per hour (30 & 45 minute options are also available)
Alexa Kilgore started out performing with her mom’s old band equipment in the living room of her family home. For as long as she can remember, Alexa has been passionate about two things: music and dogs.
Alexa currently works as a music therapist with adolescents with severe trauma, abuse, and neglect. Alexa started her journey studying music therapy in 2010 at Drury University and never gave it up. She loves helping kids navigate how to use music as a coping skill and believes that anyone can benefit from music. You will often see Alexa carrying her guitar around outside of work as well as she performs each weekend at a variety of venues. Alexa started playing professionally, writing her own songs, and getting paid to do it at the age of 14. Alexa also started getting involved in musical theatre and classical vocal training. At her community theatre, she played several roles including Jasmine in Aladdin, Jr. and Kelsi Nielsen in High School Music 1 & 2. In 2011, Alexa and her sister, Alea, auditioned for The Voice. Alea and Alexa (also known as the Kilgore Sisters) flew out to LA from Missouri and got a call back from the producers of the show. Although they did not make it on to the TV show, this was a turning point for the Kilgore Sisters. They continued to perform all over the Midwest and eventually Alexa went solo when her sister moved to Denver. Alexa continued her music career and music therapy career, which eventually led her to Denver as well.You can find Alexa with her dog, Iggy, or even picking up stray dogs. Alexa would like to start her own dog rescue in the next year.
$75 per hour (30 & 45 minute options are also available)
Dr. Mark Hudson serves as Coordinator of Music Education and Associate Professor of Music at Colorado Christian University. He has been involved with music education in various roles for nearly 40 years, and is a Past-President of the Colorado Music Educators Association. His main passion is preparing future educators to be successful servants to youth and music.
Dr. Hudson has a BIG voice, and an even bigger heart for music and teaching. In addition to his work at CCU, he maintains a growing private studio of young people (and some young at heart). His teaching philosophy is to always emphasize the student’s needs above pedagogical norms. As such, he works with each student personally to design and implement an individualized curriculum for each student, according to their needs, interests, and abilities. Dr. Hudson’s emphasis is always on fun and enjoyment, never on complex and multiple demands that can’t provide opportunities for immediate success and continued growth.
Dr. Hudson is a scholar, researcher, author, presenter, and, most importantly, an experienced educator who truly believes in “students first”. He is excited to help each and every student develop their vocal abilities safely and effectively, and to serve as a partner in realizing your best potential as a musician!
$80 per hour (30 & 45 minute options are also available)
Greg Sonnier is a classically trained singer and musician who has been singing for as long as he can remember. He has a wide range of musical experiences, from playing lead characters in musicals to performing classic rock in a volunteer band. He can help you with a variety of different styles and genres, from Hamilton to Dream Theater to Italian arias and everything in between!
After spending two years as the music director for the University of Denver’s premier a cappella group Exit 205, Greg knows how to direct and coach music, both for groups as well as individuals. On top of teaching you the vocal techniques you need to make beautiful music, Greg can also teach you music theory and give you a foundation upon which you can improve for the rest of your life! Additionally, he can help fine-tune and polish techniques with more experienced singers.
With Greg’s knowledge combined with his passion for music, he can’t wait to get started on helping you reach your goals!
$60 per hour (30 minute & 45 minute options also available)
Jeevee Balangan coaches private lessons, Adult Choir, and the Headliner Vocals elite singing groups (Silver and Diamond).
He holds a Bachelor Degree with a Dual Emphasis in Music Business and Commercial Vocal Performance from The College of Arts and Media (CAM) at the University of Colorado Denver and an Associates of Music degree from the Community College of Denver. He graduated Magna Cum Laude at both institutions. Jeevee is a 1st place competition winner for the Donna Bogard Scholarship for Voice, a recipient of the Mike Barney Scholarship for Gifted Music Students, a consecutive College of Arts and Media Dean’s List Scholar for all years attended at CU, an Honorary Mention for the National Association Teachers of Singing Competition, and an inductee of Phi Theta Kappa and Golden Key International Honor Societies.
Originally from the Bay Area, Jeevee has had the pleasure of working with many artist from different backgrounds of musical styles including Pop, R&B, Jazz, Classical, Musical Theater, Hip-Hop and Gospel. Jeevee has toured with the Diablo Valley College Concert Choir, the 9th St. Singers (runner up at Mile High Vocal Jam) and CU Denver’s Musical Theater Ensemble. His performance credits include The Wiz, Godspell, Into the Woods as well as being a founding member of FIFTH (Fellas in Fine Tune Harmony) a R&B group based in the Bay Area. He has immense experience in gospel and has served as Music Director to various churches.
He has studied with notable Denver music teachers including, professional Jazz pianist Drew Morell, award winning director Dr. Erin Hackel, and Gene Roberts whose the vocal coach to Isaac Slade of The Fray, Flobots, Jonas Sees in Color, The Kinetix, The Heyday, and The Rouge.
Additionally, Jeevee worked as music intern for Mulinger Publishing, where he gained hands on experience as an Artist and Repertoire Coordinator working with performing rights organizations ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. He is the founder of Samonte Productions, an artist development company he started his senior year of college as his capstone project.
Jeevee believes in the philosophy that, “behind every great artist is a great teacher.” It is with this mentality that has ignited his passion to teach music. He believes in the study of technique that frees true musical expression. Through his experience in the study of voice, he has gained an in-depth understanding of training the adolescent male singing voice.
$75 per hour (45 minute option is also available)
McCartney Satterwhite is a lifelong vocalist and instrumentalist and is passionate about helping aspiring vocalists achieve their goals.
McCartney has been involved in musical theater and community choirs from a very young age, and has since stayed heavily involved in music and theatrical programs, both in school and in the community. She has been in productions such as “Annie,” “The Sound of Music,” “Lost Socks,” “Passing Go!,” “Seussical,” and “A Little Princess”. While in school, She was a member of the all-region choir and band for four years, and afterwards attended College in Texas on a music scholarship. She was a member of four different musical groups; chorale, show choir, chamber singers, and concert band, and was elected section leader for the Texas All State Choir in San Antonio for two years.
Currently, she works both as a teacher at Shiloh house, and as a coach that lives and breathes Headliner Vocals. As one of the original coaches at Headliners, she’s had a major role in coaching vocal group classes and private lesson students in the Headliner performances and concerts. She is constantly looking forward to seeing how much her students grow from one concert to the next! McCartney is thrilled to be a part of the Headliners team, and looks forward to helping you grow as a vocalist!
$75 per hour (30 minute & 45 minute options also available)
Jeni and Jay met Peyton through her mom who was recording an audio book at our studio. Peyton was so personable, confident, and well spoken that Jeni and Jay agreed that they needed to find a way to bring her into the Headliners family.Peyton has always had a passion for music. She’s been practicing guitar for a couple years and has also been teaching herself piano. Headliners sparked her passion for music and singing and she’s had the pleasure of taking private lessons with the very talented Coach Lizzy. She feels that the connections that she’s made with her fellow crew and the clients/families of Headliners are ones she’s sure will last a lifetime.You can find her out-and-about at concerts any time of year for artists big and small. Her dream is to one day be up on the stage; it is a dream she shares with the kids at Headliners. Peyton also loves being a part of a business that inspires younger generations to follow their passions all the way to the spotlight.