Yalyen Savignon

Executive Director

Born in Havana, Cuba, Yalyen Savignon began playing the violin at the age of eight and the piano at the age of ten at the Conservatorio de Música Guillermo Tomas. She continued her education at the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and became the concert teacher of her symphony orchestra. Yalyen has performed with the Camerata Romeu female chamber orchestra, as well as with the Chamber Orchestra of Havana and the Mozarteum Symphony Orchestra.

After arriving in the United States, she has performed with many symphonies orchestras in the state of Florida, including New World Symphony, Alhambra Orchestra, Miami Lyric Opera, Brevard Symphony Orchestra, Treasure Coast Symphony, Symphony of the Americas, and Vero Beach Opera. She was the winner of the Lynn Concert Competition 2015 at the Lynn Conservatory of Music, where she completed her degree in Violin Performance.

Yalyen has completed a master’s degree in Violin Performance at Carnegie Mellon University with Professor Cyrus Forough and postgraduate studies at the University of Southern California with Martin Chalifour, concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Yalyen is an avid chamber music performer. She has given many recitals in the The United States and has also performed with the Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra as a member of the Project Inclusion String Quartet and with the Ars Longa baroque ensemble from Cuba and the Chatham Baroque ensemble in Pittsburgh.

She has worked as a Teaching Artist for the LA Philharmonic and YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), Yalyen has taught violin and chamber music in the United States, Cuba, Chile, and Jamaica during different summer programs and festivals. She has traveled to Cuba since 2015 to deliver much-needed music supplies to the music schools in the country.

She is also the President and Executive Director of Volta Music Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that seeks to further music education in Latin American countries and provide the necessary supplies for music schools and conservatories. In this position, she oversees all Cultural exchange programs, Afterschool music programs in the U.S and The Havana Classical Music Fest (a festival for music students up to 18 years old in Cuba), and all the artistic strategies through which Volta Music Foundation expands access to classical music education in The United States and other Latin American countries.

Volta Directors

Masterclass Series Director

Dr. Manuel Capote

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Dr. Manuel Capote was principal cellist with the Florida Philharmonic, Florida Grand Opera, Boca Pops and the Miami City Ballet orchestras for over 20 years. He has taught cello and chamber music throughout South Florida, was Band and Orchestra Director at American Heritage School of Boca/Delray, and served as Conductor and Music Director with the Youth Orchestra of Palm Beach County.

Dr. Capote has performed chamber music in the United States and Europe. As a fellowship alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival, he has been a member of the Aspen Festival Orchestra and the Aspen Chamber Symphony. His teachers include Ingus Naruns, Dudley Powers, Frank Miller and Laszlo Varga. He has collaborated with such diverse artists as Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Mstislav Rostropovich, James Galway, Luciano Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Capote has recorded with Crosby Stills and Nash, the Miami Sound Machine, Julio Iglesias, KC and the Sunshine Band, the original Miami String Quartet, and the Florida Philharmonic on the Harmonia Mundi label.

Dr. Capote has served on the board of directors of the League of American Orchestras Youth Orchestra division and is currently on the programming advisory committee of the Nat King Cole Generation Hope, Inc. as well as the advisory board of the Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition. He has traveled to Havana, Cuba to perform and produce concerts, events and master classes as part of the Lynn University Conservatory’s Education and Outreach efforts.

From August 2010 to September 2020, Dr. Capote was the Coordinator – Preparatory School, Community Outreach, and Music Education at the Lynn University Conservatory of Music. His firm beliefs in the positive effects of mentoring led him to his Ed. D. dissertation topic: “The Perceptions of Participation in a Mentored Title I Elementary String Instrumental Music Program”. The purpose of this dissertation is to provide validation for the importance of free and expert music mentoring to the lives of young underserved students.

Music Curriculum Director

Laura Sinclair

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Laura Sinclair – Violist/Violinist/Educator.  An active performer in the South Florida music scene, she can be seen in Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Miami City Ballet, Boca Symphonia, and the Kravis Pops Orchestra.  A lover of Broadway old and new, she has appeared on both violin and viola in the South Florida stop of the national tour of “The Book of Mormon”, “Hello Dolly!”, “Anastasia” and “Aladdin”.  She has performed with Broadway greats Bernadette Peters, Idina Menzel, Lea Salonga and Hugh Jackman, rocker Rod Stewart, guitar legends Bucky and John Pizzarelli, indie artists Amanda Palmer and Dashboard Confessional, American Songbook legends Steve Tyrell, Neil Sedaka, Marilyn Maye, Anne Hampton Calloway, Michael Feinstein & David Foster, and renowned pianist/theatre star Michael Cavanaugh. 

She is a member of Trio Wolfe, an all female string trio with attitude, specializing in performing rockin’ arrangements of modern classics for a high energy performance experience. The group performs internationally.

Ms. Sinclair is the former Director of Strings at Plumosa School of the Arts in Delray Beach, Florida, where she implemented a Suzuki in the Schools based program focusing on a joyful music learning experience. Committed to bringing the arts into the schools, Laura used her network as a performer to bring performers from all over the world to the students of Plumosa. 

Laura maintains a vibrant Suzuki studio of young violinists and violists, supporting families as they learn how to create a positive learning environment with their child and see their child as their authentic self. She is a registered Suzuki teacher through Book 5, and is currently pursuing long term training through Book 10 with Dr. Terry Durbin at the University of Louisville. She has taken numerous supplemental courses in Pre-Twinkle, Group Class, Suzuki in the Schools, Spiccato, Priority Teaching, and Energy work. She blends high level teaching with her interest in neuroscience and attachment parenting. She shares this with her vibrant home studio, and parents and teachers worldwide.

In the non-profit sphere, Laura is committed to creating opportunities for as many students as possible. As the Music Curriculum Director for the Volta Music Foundation, she has created the curriculum for a virtual afterschool for students in Title 1 strings programs and provides teacher training for the mentors, who must be enrolled music majors. This curriculum creates an atmosphere of inclusion and incorporates composers from diverse backgrounds. This unique program provides training for a new generation of teaching artists, as well as supporting students who have a love for strings but may not have access to the necessary support to succeed. After a pilot phase in Palm Beach County, this program has expanded to engage students internationally, with mentors from leading music conservatories. Because the program is virtual, the possibilities for access are endless.

She has traveled to Cuba with the Volta Foundation, providing an introduction to Suzuki violin to students ages 8 – 11 and has done additional outreach with Symphony of the Americas in Panama. As orchestra director, she has taught 9 summers with the Nat King Cole Generation Hope Summer Strings at Lynn University.

Thanks to a partnership with the Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition, hundreds of Plumosa students have been exposed to high level musical performances. Laura helped facilitate the Community outreach portion of the 2020 EOIVC, with finalists performing for students in front of a jury of arts advocates, community leaders and educators. She looks forward to helping them prepare for the 2023 competition.

Ms. Sinclair attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, receiving a Bachelor of Music in Performance degree and Chamber Music Diploma, studying with Christine Vlajk and Jerzy Kaplanek of the Penderecki String Quartet. She earned her Masters of Music at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Jeffrey Irvine and Kirsten Docter.  Most recently, she completed a Professional Performance Certificate at Lynn University Conservatory of Music, under the guidance of Ralph Fielding.  Ms. Sinclair has had the pleasure of studying and performing at summer festivals around the globe.

Teaching Philosophy

Music can be a tool to break down barriers and build good citizens of the world.  In the right context, learning an instrument is an experience that uplifts, unites and empowers a child to be curious, work as a team and think beyond themselves. In combination with personal performance experiences with accomplished artists, students see a world beyond themselves and experience the power of “what if”.

Volta Management

Management Director

Veronica Lopez

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Veronica Lopez is an arts administrator, performer, and educator in Pittsburgh, PA. She is a recent Carnegie Mellon University graduate with a BFA in Viola Performance, certification in Music Education, and a minor in Conducting. She is currently finishing her Masters of Arts Management in the Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College.

 A Los Angeles native, Veronica began her musical education, at the age of 11, in the Los Angeles Unified School District- Henry T. Gage Middle School. From Gage Middle School, Veronica went on to study at one of the premier performing arts high schools in the country, The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. As a young musician, she volunteered and performed with many youth orchestra programs and community orchestras throughout the city such as, The Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, The Saturday Conservatory of Music, The North Torrance Youth Musicians Ensemble, The Bellflower Symphony Orchestra, and The Olympia Youth Orchestra.

Management Assistant

Michael Chong

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Michael Chong is currently pursuing a Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody

Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD studying under the tutelage of

Victoria Chiang. In the Spring of 2021, he completed his Master’s at the University of Maryland where he studied under Katherine Murdock and Daniel Foster as a Graduate Assistant. He is also a member of The Voyagers, a newly established chamber music organization based out of Honolulu, HI. During his time at the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings from where he is a proud graduate, Michael played alongside distinguished faculty in the Fabian Concert Series, recorded an album with members of American rock band R.E.M., and even had the chance to perform alongside faculty and friends at Carnegie Hall. He has played in masterclasses for Roberto Díaz, Dimitri Murrath, Melissa Reardon, and the Borromeo String Quartet. His past teachers include Rebecca Albers, Hsin-Yun Huang, Lawrence Dutton, Megan Yanik, and James Batts.

Management Assistant

Marina Machado

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Pianist Marina Machado Gonzalez graduated with honors at the ‘Alfonso X el Sabio’ University in Madrid, Spain, in 2019. She offered her first solo concert at the “Gabriel y Galán” theater in Trujillo in October 2014 and since then she has performed in venues in Spain, Germany, and Austria, such as the Eutherpe hall in León (León, Spain), the Medina Elvira Auditorium (Atarfe, Spain), the American Institute Auditorium (Santa Fe, Spain), the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln (Aachen, Germany) and the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg (Salzburgo, Austria). She has attended masterclasses with some of the most renowned pianists in Europe as Pavel Gililov or Mariana Gurkova.

She is a founding member of the Aidoni Piano Trio, who has in performance on many series including ‘Airas Nunes’, in Santiago de Compostela, and has given concerts in venues such as the Auditorium of the University of Santiago de Compostela, the Eutherpe hall in León or the “Manuel de Falla” hall in the Longoria Palace, current headquarters of the SGAE (General Society of Authors and Editors).

In 2017 she won the position of titular pianist in the Youth Orchestra of the Community of Madrid (JORCAM), performing in venues like the National Auditorium of Music and the ‘Teatros del Canal’ in Madrid. In September 2020, she participated with the JORCAM in the ENSEMS festival (Contemporary Music Festival held in Valencia, Spain) offering a concert in the “Palau de les Arts”, Valencia.

Until 2021 she worked as piano and music theory teacher in the High- Performance Music Center (Centro de Alto Rendimiento Musical), collaborating center of the ‘Alfonso X el Sabio’ University in Madrid and as pianist in the ‘Coro Abierto’ (‘Open Choir’), a choral project formed by people with intellectual disabilities interested in vocal training.

She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Instrumental Collaborative Piano at Lynn University, Boca Raton (USA) with Professor Lisa Leonard.

Volta Music Teachers

Volta Teacher

Amari Guerere

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Venezuelan violinist raised in the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela (El Sistema),and member of the “Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra” for 17 years. As a member of the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, Miss Guerere performed with distinguished international artists, touring Europe, Asia and Latin America, as well as participating in various commercial recordings with the late Mexican conductor Eduardo Mata.

Miss Guerere studied violin with Jose Francisco Del Castillo in Venezuela, participating in courses and festivals with recognized teachers such as Josy Zivonni and Vartan Manoogian, among others. At the same time she studied musical education at the IUDEM (University Institute of Music Studies) and “Education for children with special needs” in AVEPANE in Caracas, Venezuela.

As a violin teacher she worked as a member of “El Sistema” in the Orchestral Center of Montalban and Chacao in Caracas, and the Emil Friedman’s School for more than 20 years. She has also taught in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, taking part in pioneering music projects in the Brasilian “favelas” (low income communities).

She has been living in Florida since 2017. Since then has been an active free lance musician in the area, performing regularly with the South Florida Symphony Orchestra and other local orchestral groups. Miss Guerere is currently teaching violin at “Kalos Music and Arts School” in Aventura, “Da’s Music School” in Miami Gardens, “The Palm Beach Suzuki Schoo”l and the Volta Music Foundation. Miss Guerere is a certified Suzuki teacher, under the guidance of David Storm and Ann Montzka-Smelser. She is married to cellist German Marcano and lives in Miramar with daughter Laura and son Raul.

Volta Teacher

Anabel Tejeda

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Anabel Tejeda is a 21-year-old violist, originally from Cuba who is currently in her last year of study at the New England Conservatory, where she has been a section leader of the Philharmonia and Symphony Orchestras with Hugh Wolff and David Leobel in numerous instances. She is a co-founding member of the Musiva Concert Series, which brings performers of Hispanic and Latin descent together to play chamber music programming that is diverse and engaging. Anabel is also involved with the Boston Celebrity Series as an advancement intern. She is a substitute player with various orchestras in Massachusetts including the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Atlantic Symphony, Plymouth Philharmonic, and more. She has been playing the viola from the age of eight and is a graduate of the Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she was a section leader of the Philharmonic orchestra and the violist of the Piacevole string Quartet.

Anabel has received recognition for her viola playing in the form of awards and scholarships such as the Scholarship and The Amy Winehouse foundation “Amy’s Light Scholarship” and the Berman Summer Institute Fund. She has played in masterclasses for Roberto Diaz, Yehuda Hanani, Bill Chandler (Royal Scottish National Orchestra), Csaba Erdélyi, and others. Anabel has attended numerous music festivals including the Miami Summer Music Festival, the Castleman Quartet Program, and the International School of Music. Ahe was also a member of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States during the summer of 2018 with which she toured countries in Asia under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Anabel is an avid chamber music performer and orchestral player with experience in the

Volta Teacher

Devin LaMarr

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Devin LaMarr is a cellist currently studying at the Lynn Conservatory of Music with a full tuition scholarship as a student of David Cole. She is originally from California, where she studied with Jonah Kim. In 2012, Devin received first prize at the Navaroli Young Musicians competition and performed the Elgar Cello Concerto with the South Valley Symphony.  More recently, in January of 2019, Devin performed in a masterclass with Philip Setzer from the Emerson String Quartet. In 2017, Devin attended Curtis Summerfest, where she received private lessons from Soo Bae, Wilhelmina Smith, and Natalie Helm. In the summer of 2019, she attended Eastern Music festival where she studied with Neal Cary and Julian Schwarz. And in the summer of 2021, she attended Online Strings Summer Institute where she studied with Paul Katz, and Hidden Valley Music Seminars where she studied with Mark Kosower.
Volta Teacher

Marina Lopez

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Marina Lopez is a Pittsburgh-based composer, and educator. Born and raised in Mexico City, she has a deep interest in exploring the psychological, ethnomusicological, and physical roots of her heritage.

She began her musical studies at the age of 17, studying Piano Performance at Mexico’s National Autonomous University under Silvia Alonso Abreu. After relocating to the United States in 2011, she continued her studies at Duquesne University under Kenneth Burky and jazz piano under Ron Bickel. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spring of 2015.

She started pursuing musical composition in Fall of 2012, under the guidance of the late Dr. David Stock.

In 2014 her piece Sunstroke was selected by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as part of their 10th Annual Student Composers Reading Session. Her music has been performed by the Transient Canvas, Carnegie Mellon University Contemporary Ensemble, the Carnegie Mellon University Philharmonic, Kamratōn ensemble, Boston’s White Snake Project, The Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh, amongst others.

In the Spring of 2018 she completed her Master’s level studies in Musical Composition at Carnegie Mellon University, under Leonardo Balada. Through fall of 2019, she worked with Alia Musica Pittsburgh, a non-for-profit which helps nurture the New Music scene in Pittsburgh.

She is currently engaged in projects with Boston’s White Snake Project opera company and Victory Players ensemble.

From fall of 2020 through Spring of 2021 she developed and led an after-school program with a local nonprofit Casa San Jose that will provide an opportunity for Pittsburgh Area Latin American children to explore their musical and cultural heritage.

She is currently working with Volta Music Foundation, which seeks to make music education accessible to students in need in Latin America and creating music programs that help underserved communities in the U.S.

Volta Teacher

Luis Guiterrez

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Luis started music lessons at the age of seventeen. In 2011, he began studying at the Preparatory Program of the National Conservatory of Music of Peru; and then, at the Bachelor’s Degree Program in double bass performance with Prof. Henry Santander and Dr. Marcos Machado. In 2014, he won the Raymi Bass Competition, the first solo double bass competition in Peru. That same year he became a member of National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Peru with Pablo Sabat as artistic director and conductor; and in 2015, he became principal of the double bass section. During his time as member of the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of Peru, he played with renowned artists such as Nicola Benedetti, Ray Chen, Sarah Chang, Anna Netrebko, Joaquin Achucarro, Philip Setzer, and Lawrence
Dutton.

He also played with the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru in several occasions before coming to United States. In 2015, he took part of the Poços de Caldas International Music Festival (Minas Gerais, Brazil), and from 2015 to 2017, he received private lessons with Volkan Orhon, double bass professor at the University of Iowa. He also participated in masterclasses with renowned soloists as Jeff Bradetich and Luis Cabrera. Luis took part of the Simandl II and III Seminars, conducted by Elian Ortiz. Currently, he is studying at the Lynn Conservatory of Music undergraduate program with Prof. Timothy Cobb.

Volta Teacher

Melanie Riordan

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Violinist Melanie Riordan is a unique performer and passionate educator currently based in New York City. For the last decade she has devoted her time and energy into spreading the joy of music and art through her versatile performances and strong educational efforts. A native of New Rochelle, NY, Melanie began taking violin lessons at the age of 10. Since then she has had the privilege of performing in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls and teaching hundreds of students across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

An avid advocate of contemporary classical music, she has premiered dozens of works by both emerging and established composers such as Christopher Theofanidis, David Lang, Annie Gosfield, Matthias Pintscher, and Peter Eötvös among others. She has held performance residencies at Mass MOCA, the Centre d’Arts Orford, and the Rothko Chapel and has had the privilege of performing with members of 8th Blackbird, the Bang on a Can All-stars, the Philip Glass Ensemble, and the Silk Road Ensemble as well as visionaries Rhiannon Giddens and Saul Williams. Pre-pandemic concert seasons included performances of Alban Berg’s haunting violin concerto with the Lynn Conservatory Philharmonia and her New York City debut at the Kosciusko Foundation as a winner of the Lyric Chamber Music Society’s annual chamber competition. Equally comfortable on pop/rock stages, Melanie particularly enjoyed performances with artists Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Michael Bolton, and Ledisi, and has performed folk music at the legendary Austin City Limits Music Festival.

A devoted and passionate educator, Melanie is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Summer Strings Academy for Girls; an online summer festival for female-identifying string students from around the world. She was one of the first educators to launch the Houston Youth Symphony Coda Music program and has been a guest instructor for Sistemang Pilipino in Cebu City, Philippines and the Miami Music Project. All of these programs are inspired by the famed Venezuelan music education program “El Sistema,” providing free music education and instruments to underprivileged and at-risk children. She received her pedagogical training from Mimi Zweig, Brenda Brenner, Rebecca Henry and Elizabeth Zemple at Indiana University and her Suzuki Violin Method training under the guidance of Charles Krigbaum and Edmund Sprunger. She is also highly influenced by her own violin teachers, Carole Cole, Kirsten Yon, Jonathan Crow. Melanie is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree at Stony Brook University after having served as Adjunct Professor of Violin at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.

Volta Teacher

Sol Ochoa

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Violinist Sol Ochoa studied at the National Conservatory of Music of Peru with Laszlo Benedeck in her hometown Lima, and then privately with violinists Carlos Costa and Carlos Johnson.

She attended the Interlochen Arts Camp (Michigan, United States, 2014) where she received a Fine Arts Award, and she was granted fellowships in music festivals such as the Internationale Junge Orchesterakademie (Bayern, Germany, 2018), the Winter Festival of Campos do Jordão (São Paulo, Brazil, 2019), and the Orchestra of the Americas (2020). She was also a fellow of the Orchestra of the Americas’ OAcademy 2021.

Ms. Ochoa has participated in masterclasses with Vadim Repin, Lara St. John, Ray Chen, Gil Shaham, Nicola Benedetti, Leticia Moreno, Ryu Goto, Lavard Skou Larsen and Markus Däunert. She took part of the chamber music seminars conducted by Philip Setzer and Lawrence Dutton (Emerson String Quartet) in Lima in 2016.

From 2015 to 2018, she was a member of the Bicentenario National Youth Symphony Orchestra.

She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at the Lynn Conservatory of Music, in the studio of Maestro Guillermo Figueroa, and has been a recipient of the Shirlee’s Violin Scholarship.

Ms. Ochoa has certifications in Suzuki philosophy and violin pedagogy, and she has worked at the Lynn Conservatory Preparatory School of Music from 2018 to 2020. She is a current mentor at the Samuel Vargas International Music Foundation and music theory teacher at the Volta Music Foundation.

Volta Teacher

Stephen Soto

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Stephen Seto graduated from the University of Miami and Conservatory of Music at Lynn University. He holds a Master’s degree and Professional Certification in Piano Performance. Stephen has won numerous awards, prizes, competitions, and has been featured on National Public Radio for solo compositions and songs as well as performing with several bands. Mr. Seto has been featured on TV, music videos, and toured nationally. Versatile in all styles of music, he has recorded albums on piano, guitar, ukulele, and plays Djembe from the Ivory Coast. He teaches piano, guitar, and ukelele as well as music history, theory, and technique. Mr. Seto also performs in various venues throughout South Florida.