Our Teachers

Clare Birmingham, M.M.

       Clare Birmingham enjoys a multi-faceted career performing and teaching flute in Southern Nevada.  In addition to performing regularly as principal flutist of the Henderson Symphony Orchestra, she plays flute and piccolo with Portable Masterpieces, a traveling chamber orchestra, and performs with Duo Bel Vento, a flute duo she co-founded with Emma Pease-Byron.  She has also performed with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Opera Las Vegas, and Uncharted Winds, among other ensembles.  Clare maintains a private flute studio out of her home in northwest Las Vegas, where she welcomes students of all ages and abilities for lessons.  Her students have gone on to receive music scholarships in college, have been accepted to prestigious summer programs, have placed first overall at CCSD Honor Band and All-State festivals, and have been selected as soloists in their school music programs.  See clarebirmingham.com for more information!  For inquiries or to schedule a free trial lesson, contact Clare at studio@clarebirmingham.com.

Carmella Cao, D.M.A.

       Prior to becoming a doctoral student and part-time instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Carmella was a student at École Normale de Musique de Paris. Under the tutelage of Jean Ferrandis, Carmella won third prize in Reno’s Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition. Carmella has performed in the masterclass of Mary-Karen Clardy, Zart Dombourian-Eby, and Jim Walker. Contact Carmella at carmella.cao@att.net

Minji Park Wu, M.A.

       Thanks to Julius Baker’s recommendation to audition, Minji Wu moved to the States in 1999 on a scholarship to the Julliard School Pre-College Division where she studied with Bonnie Lichter and Dr. Bradley Garner. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Jeanne Baxtresser and Paula Robison. She then pursued her Master’s degree at New York University studying with Dr. Bradley Garner. During her time in New York, she also accepted a position at EMI Classics in publicity and marketing while continuing to teach in her private studio and performing for the school of American Ballet orchestra at Lincoln Center, performing and managing performances for ENOB (a non-profit organization that brings music to patients at Columbia University hospitals and other locations for disabled children), up until her move to Las Vegas. Minji has performed with numerous orchestras in the United States and South Korea at many honorable venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Jordan Hall, and also appeared on WQXR New York classical radio station. She has won many 1st prizes including the Flute Society of Washington D.C. young artist competition and the Julius Baker Flute master class performers competition. Currently Minji is a paraprofessional at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts and also runs a private studio. She moved to Las Vegas after getting married in 2010 and has been eager to share and pass on all the musicality and techniques that she has had the priviledge to learn from the most honorable and reputable teachers in the world. Contact Minji at minjilovesfl@gmail.com

Bonnie Buhler-Tanouye, M.M.

       Bonnie Buhler-Tanouye is a registered Suzuki Flute Instructor, including training from Toshio Takahashi, teaching students from age 4 to adult of both Suzuki and traditional styles. She received her Master of Music in Flute performance from UNLV in 2002 under the direction of Dr. Richard Soule and has been teaching a full private flute studio in the Las Vegas area since 1999. She is the co-founder and co-director of the Las Vegas Desert Suzuki Institute, the founder and program director for the Southern Nevada Homeschool Performing Arts program, and has served on such committees as the National Flute Association Pedagogy and Long-Range Planning Committees, the Las Vegas Flute Club Board of Directors, and has helped launch various student programs in the Las Vegas valley. Her flute students have participated in the National Flute Convention, the Suzuki Association of the Americas Conference, the Music Teachers National Conference state and division competitions, summer programs all over the US, and for a wide variety of masterclasses, including James Galway as part of the MTNA National Convention. Her graduating seniors have been offered music scholarships to schools across the country, and she continues to foster programs in her studio such as semi-annual tours of the local retirement homes, community performances, mentor programs, studio recitals and more. Bonnie is an active freelance performer and a founding member of Duo Mystique Flute and Harp. Contact Bonnie at bonnieflute@cox.net

Lisa Schroeder, D.M.A.

       Lisa Schroeder is an Altus Flutes performing artist and clinician.  She is also the founder/flutist of the internationally renowned flute and guitar duo, Noteworthy Duo.  The duo has released two CDs of Latin American music, the newest “As In Dreams…Reflections for flute and guitar” has received rave reviews from the music community, hailing it “…enchanting, mystical and breathtaking!” (Flautist, The Victorian Flute Guild Magazine).  Equally at home on flute, alto flute, bass flute and piccolo, Lisa has been described as an “…exceptionally fine musician who can play anything with pizzazz, precision and feeling…” (Michael Daugherty, composer).  In 2015, Ms. Schroeder received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in flute performance and pedagogy from the University of Iowa, where she was awarded the prestigious Iowa Performance Fellowship.  She also holds flute performance degrees from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University Long Beach (M.M.) and Middle Tennessee State University (B.M.).  Dr. Schroeder has served on the faculty at California State University San Bernardino, Vanguard University of Southern California, Golden West College and Cerritos College.  Please visit www.lisaschroeder.org for more information.  For inquiries or to schedule a lesson, contact Lisa at lisa-schroeder@hotmail.com.

Donnie Malpass, D.M.A.

       Defined by The Easterner as having, “wonderful vibrato and range of motion,” and “astounding technical skill,” Dr. Malpass has performed across the United States. He was principal flute for the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra and sat principal for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Wind Symphony where he has performed on numerous recordings under the Klavier Music Productions record label. Recordings include Marquee Mojo, Lost Vegas, and Ventanas. 

       Upon graduating with a masters degree from UNT’s College of Music, Dr. Malpass was accepted as a doctoral student to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Winning a full-ride scholarship, Dr. Malpass became a part-time instructor and graduate assistant for the university.  He has taught Music Appreciation, Flute Ensemble, and private lessons for the university. While at UNLV, he wrote his dissertation titled, “A Historical Examination: The Role of Orchestral Repertoire in Flute Pedagogy.” Currently he is finishing his second work, “From Etude to Excerpt: A Technical Guide for Orchestral Flute Repertoire.”

       Dr. Malpass has been a featured soloist for the EWU Wind Orchestra. He has performed with the Spokane Civic Theatre, Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, Henderson Symphony, and Opera Las Vegas.  He has performed for countless shows including, Beauty and the Beast, Carousel, The King and I, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Into the Woods.  In addition, he has won multiple gold and silver medals from MusicFest Northwest. 

       A strong advocate of music education, Dr. Malpass maintains an active role teaching at high schools including the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, Clark, Desert Oasis, Palo Verde, Shadow Ridge, Arbor View, Rancho, Green Valley, Basic, and others. Dr. Malpass maintains a large studio in the Las Vegas area, having numerous students obtain seats in the Clark County Honor Bands and the Nevada All-State Band and Orchestra.  In addition, his students have been accepted to schools including the University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Nevada Reno, Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, Central Washington University, and the University of North Texas.  His students have also received full-ride scholarships for university enrollment and have also been winners for the Las Vegas Flute Club Young Artist Competition and Silver State Schools Concerto Competitions.  Website: donaldmalpass.com   Email: donnie_malpass@yahoo.com

Candice Behrmann, D.M.A.

       Treasurer, Candice Behrmann Dr. Candice Behrmann currently teaches flute, flute choir, music theory, aural skills, and music appreciation at Dixie State College in Saint George Utah. As a frequent recitalist and chamber musician, Candice has given concerts and master classes in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and Nebraska. She is a musician for the Utah Shakespeare Festival, performing flute, alto flute, and piccolo for the production Les Miserables. She is the principal flutist in the Southwest Symphony, and performed in the Tuachan production of The Little Mermaid in 2011. She is also a frequent performer at The National Flute Convention, The College Music Society, and State Conventions. Candice is an active member of the National Flute Associaiton, Sigma Alpha Iota, and the College Music Society. While at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) she was awarded the Graduate Student Leadership award for the Hixson Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts for her contributions to the School of Music and the Graduate Student Association. She was also a founding member of the Graduate Musicians’ Organization at UNL which promotes music scholarship and continuing education for the graduate student body. Candice received her Doctorate of Musical Arts and Masters Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She also holds a Bachelors in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Utah. Her primary teachers include Dr. John Bailey and Susan Goodfellow. Visit Dr. Behrmann’s website at: http://www.candicebehrmannflute.com/ for more information about booking and teaching.

Lauren Sofka, M.M.

In May 2012, Lauren received her master’s degree in Flute Performance from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, where she studied with Aralee Dorough. She completed her bachelor’s degree in the same field under the guidance of Marianne Gedigian at the University of Texas at Austin. During her enrollment at the University of Houston, Lauren had the privilege of performing as principal flutist with the Moores School of Music Symphony Orchestra, solo flutist with the AURA Contemporary Ensemble, and as a featured soloist on The Front Row radio program on 91.7 KUHA. Upon the completion of her degree programs, Lauren has since dedicated the greater part of her career to teaching. From young beginners to performance level flutists, Lauren has over 8 years of experience teaching flutists of all ages. Lauren has provided numerous master classes, student recitals, and private lessons alike for various school districts across the Austin and Houston areas including Round Rock, Bastrop, Pflugerville, Austin, Spring Branch, Pearland, Katy, Cypress Fairbanks, and Houston. As a performer, Lauren has held principal, assistant, and solo positions with the St. Cecilia Chamber Orchestra of Houston, the United Nations Choir, the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, the UT Opera Orchestra, and the 2004 TMEA 5A All-State Symphony Orchestra. In 2007, Lauren won first prize in the Flute Society of Kentucky’s Collegiate Artist Competition and was a finalist in the Byron Hester Solo Competition in 2011. Ms. Sofka has worked with and performed the music of many established composers such as Paul Steinberg, Todd Reynolds, Eric Whitacre, Bill Ryan and Dan Welcher. Ms. Sofka has also participated in master classes with many acclaimed flutists including Leone Buyse, Marianne Gedigian, Laurel Zucker, Tal Perkes, Katherine Kemler, Katherine Borst Jones, Keith Underwood, and Trevor Wye. Currently based in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas, Lauren enjoys an active schedule as a freelance performing artist and music educator. Visit Lauren’s website at http://www.LaurenTeachesFlute.com/ to contact Lauren regarding booking and teaching.