Instructors

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MSU Denver at DIME Denver
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  • With 14 years of experience as a voice coach and a background in speech pathology and laryngology, Karen has developed a biomechanical approach to voice training. Karen brings a new level of anatomical understanding to her teaching that is not often seen in the vocal community.
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    Karen Kitterman
    MSU Denver at DIME Denver Campus Manager & Instructor
  • Matt Hoffman has been teaching music for 13 years at various institutions, including Indiana University, CU Denver, MSU Denver, and MSU at DIME Denver. Matt is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a music theory and composition background. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music at the University of Colorado and his Masters of Music at Indiana University.
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    Matt Hoffman - Music Theory
    Instructor
  • Bart Dahl lends his skills to DIME Denver as our teacher of the Domestic Music Market, part of our Music Industry Studies program. And if you’ve ever enjoyed listening to Nathaniel Rateliff or the indie rock legends Dinosaur Jr, then you already know how pivotal Dahl has been for...
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    Bart Dahl - Music Industry Studies
    INSTRUCTOR
  • Born and raised in the small town of Brighton, CO, Patrick Scott Unruh turned to the least quiet thing he could find: the fuzzy crunch of amplified guitars. With his unrelenting drive to master the guitar, Unruh soon turned to overdrive pedals by founding and managing his own heavy...
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    Patrick Unruh - Guitar
    INSTRUCTOR
  • Colorado guitarist and music educator Ty Hughes has been performing, writing, recording, and teaching music for over 20 years. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Ty returned to Denver to join in developing the music performance-based School of Rock USA. He begun working with the Denver...
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    Ty Hughes - Guitar
    Instructor
  • Vic Stauffenberg has been playing drums since 1994 when he got his start in middle school band. Growing up in the musically fertile Dallas Fort Worth area, his instructors were alumni of the prestigious University of North Texas.
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    Vic Stauffenberg - Drums
    Instructor
  • Lemuel D. Williams is a professional drummer, born in Portland Maine.  Influenced by his back-up singer mother, who sang with the legendary Gladys Knight, he started to play the drums age three.  He quickly progressed to play in his grandfather’s church and explains ‘singing is in my genes, but...
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    Lem Williams - Drums
    Instructor
  • Andreas Schmid’s path to being DIME Denver’s drumming instructor began at age 9, when he joined a drumline. Schmid has been marching through the music business ever since. As one of Denver’s go-to professional drummers, Schmid’s mastery over a myriad of genres has made him a go-to for artists...
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    Andreas Schmid - Drums
    INSTRUCTOR
  • John specializes in many different styles of drumming including traditional African, Latin, Afro-Cuban, jazz, blues, rock, punk, metal, country, funk, soul, r&b, gospel, hip-hop, and electronic.  He has played percussion and drums with the Pink Hawks and the Dendrites, who are both award winning local Denver bands. He is...
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    John Olsson - Drums
    Instructor
  • Ron Bland lends DIME Denver 40 years of talent—four decades of being a professional musician and playing the bass guitar. On the stages of concert halls and theaters, or in the padded walls of recording studio rooms, Bland has played virtually every stile of music under the sun. Bland...
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    Ron Bland - Bass
    INSTRUCTOR
  • George has been playing bass guitar since he was 17 years old, and cut his teeth playing in local bands in St. Louis, Missouri.  He moved to Denver to study music at the University of Colorado,  continuing his study of Bass Performance, Music Theory and Music History.  He has...
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    George Lacson - Bass
    Instructor
  • Scott is an award-winning bluegrass recording artist with group Scott Slay and the Rail. He has worked with Grammy award-winning artists on projects in the Folk and Bluegrass genres. In addition to teaching at DIME Denver, Scott has been teaching elementary students for 14 years and is a...
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    Scott Slay - Guitar
    Instructor
  • Ashley Pontiff joins MSU at DIME Denver as a Music Theory and Class Piano instructor. Ashley earned her Bachelor's of Music (BM) in Music Theory with a concentration in piano, graduating summa cum laude from Baylor University.
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    Ashley Pontiff - Music Theory
    Instructor
  • Deborah De La Torre has is an award-winning music career as a pianist, music composer/arranger, instructor, classical performer, art festival founder, film producer and recording artist/producer. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Miami, Florida, and a Master’s  in Business Administration from Regis University in Denver.   
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    Deb De La Torre - Piano
    INSTRUCTOR
  • Junior Burke joins DIME Denver as the school’s songwriting instructor. And if you listen to Richie Havens or Mandy Patinkin, chances are you’ve heard a record written or produced by him. Burke’s folk-and-roots-infused sound has even caught the ear of American-folk-rock’s founding father, Bob Dylan, who recorded one of...
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    Junior Burke - Songwriting
    INSTRUCTOR
  • Jerome Gilmer is an eight-time Emmy Award winning composer, producer and pianist. He has written and produced hundreds of original musical works for film and television, and his clients include the BBC, AT&T, Chrysler and even his music has included the voices of Lyle Lovett and Yolanda Adams. Jerome worked...
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    Jerome Gilmer - Songwriting
    Instructor
  • Kristi Stice knows that nothing enhances musical creativity quite like knowing music theory. Each student has an individual pool of creative talent, but theory is the language students need to make their voices heard. As a professional musician, vocalist, and composer, Stice brings to DIME Denver’s students an impressive...
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    Kristi Stice - Vocals & Songwriting
    INSTRUCTOR
  • Doran graduated with a degree in Theatre/ Music Direction from the University of Nebraska and an undergraduate degree in Musical Theatre Performance from Missouri State University. She has unique specialty for coaching voice, body, musicality, and engaged performance and has worked with students diverse in training, background, age, and...
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    Doran Schmidt - Vocals
    Instructor
  • Steve Knopper is a Rolling Stone contributing editor and author as well as other publications such as the New York Times Magazine, GQ, the Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Traveler, and Fortune. He has lectured at many colleges, from New York University to the University of Colorado.
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    Steve Knopper - Music Industry Studies
    Instructor
  • Zack Anderson received an MA in English literature from the University of Wyoming, where his thesis explored the intersections of race and the gender performance among Beat Generation writers. He also holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include queer theory, the...
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    Zack Anderson - English
    Instructor
  • Bio coming soon!
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    Owen Chariton - American History
    Instructor
  • OliveAnn is an award-winning mathematician who understands creative students and how to help them appreciate that math represents the way the world works. She has spent her career working in public schools, teaching math and designing innovative curriculum.
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    OliveAnn Smith - Math
    Instructor
  • Bio coming soon!
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    Erin McDonald - Art & Visual Literacy
    Instructor