Meet the Faculty
"Learning music is a two-way relationship in which both student and teacher are invested in an activity that mirrors life and enhances it to the highest degree. At its best, it's transcendental. Being able to share that energy with people of all ages and experiences is one of the most rewarding parts of my life. My students are all unique individuals, and I love tapping into the self-discovery process they go through to learn. Sitting side-by-side at the piano each week is like a little microcosm of life itself.
That is a beautiful thing."
Director Gretchen Sterling
Ms. Gretchen Sterling studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales, and was one of the youngest students ever accepted into the undergraduate program, auditioning at age 15. She went on to complete her Master's in piano performance from the London College of Music and began her teaching career in the States in 2008, building a reputation for her innovative methods in teaching piano technique. Gretchen studied privately with prominent artists, Vivien Harvey Slater, Fazliddin Husanov, and Dr Michael Schreider. Having worked closely with these artists allowed Gretchen to experience a unique tradition in Classical training that can directly be traced back to Beethoven and Russian composer, Nikolai Medtner.
Gretchen has performed in Wales, England, Germany, India, and along the US East Coast. She has been recorded for WCNY radio, TV, and received prizes for her performances of Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin. She is also an avid improviser and has been known to spontaneously compose complex, genre-bending works on the spot. Her interest in music's effects on the brain led her to complete professional studies on Music and the Brain through Berklee College of Music, and additionally, she holds certificates in audio engineering and electronic music production.
Gretchen's creativity, inner drive, and curiosity influence her teaching style and artistic vision. Her unusual, eclectic background and interest in many styles of music and other subjects make her a versatile teacher for students looking to shake up their mundane piano lesson experience. Her dedication to empathizing with each individual student and ability to fuse humor with a strong work ethic has resulted in a long-standing rapport with students of many ages/backgrounds. Gretchen is a much in-demand teacher in the DC area and maintains a fierce loyalty to those that learn with her.
For more information, visit: gretchensterling.com
Prof. Bo-Kyung Hwang
Born in Seoul, South Korean pianist Bo-Kyung Hwang has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. Ms. Bo-Kyung made her professional concerto debut in 2002, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the Seoul Royal Symphony Orchestra, and in 2004, she made her solo recital debut at The Mozart Hall in Seoul. Recent performances have taken Ms. Bo-Kyung to many of the world’s most prestigious concert venues in cities such as Naples, Amalfi Coast, Salzburg, London, Wisconsin, Chicago, New York, Arizona, Michigan, Washington D.C, Maryland, Virginia, Maine, and Florida.
Ms. Bo-Kyung has won numerous awards including the first prize at the 32nd International Young Artist Piano Competition and premiered Kaleidoscope by Li-Ly Chang at Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. Ms. Bo-Kyung is also a prize recipient of the Pauline Favin Memorial Award in Solo Piano and the Clara Ascherfeld Award in Accompanying and from Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. She was also received a full-tuition Collaborative fellowship from Bowdoin Festival. As a soloist, she has performed in many master classes for Aldo Ciccolini, Richard Goode, Ian Hobson, John Perry, Elizabeth Pridonoff, Jin Woo Jung, Leon Fleisher. As a chamber musician, she has performed in master classes for Garrick Ohlsson, Steven Isserlis, Gidon Kremer’s Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Bo-Kyung received the Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University under renowned pianist and professor, YongHi Moon. She received her Masters Degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University. Attending Northwestern University on a full-tuition scholarship, she studied under the guidance of Steinway artist and Professor, Alan Chow. Ms. Bo-Kyung is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) at Shenandoah Conservatory on a full-tuition scholarship and positioned as a Teaching Assistant.
Prof. Corrington Wheeler
Corrington Wheeler is an internationally touring American singer, voice actor, author, and a voting member of the Recording Academy for the Grammys. He served six years in the United States Air Force as an Aviation Atmospheric & Space Scientist, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant. Having studied Digital Media at the University of Houston, he also graduated the entrepreneurial Small Business Administration's "Boots to Business" certification. Currently, Corrington occupies the school's managerial position, human resources, marketing, various administrative roles, workshops, is a vocal instructor, and manages artists under SCM as an acting Label.
Corrington competitively played alto saxophone for over 10 years in his youth. Currently, in both Pop and Post-hardcore rock industries, he has performed in venues internationally located in Tasmania, Japan, Cambodia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and all across the United States. CW has collaborated with nationally touring musicians in bands such as The Color Morale with Fearless Records, Sycamour with Hopeless Records, Darkness Divided with Victory Records, & Dayseeker with Invogue Records/Spinefarm Records. His music has been played on over 177 global television networks cumulative including VH1 India, Bowling Music Network, In-Store Sports Network, ScreenPlay, Xcorps Action Sport TV and includes commercial exposure at locations such as Footlocker, Buffalo Wild Wings, Hardrock Cafe, and more.
He has been printed in newspapers, appeared on national radio stations, and toured with acts from bands such as Alien Ant Farm, Flyleaf, Bobaflex, Seasons After, Parabelle, Trapt, and others. As a completely independent artist, Corrington has sold +2,000 copies of his books, sold +500 shirts, gained +120,000 followers across social media platforms, +200,000 streams on Spotify, has +420,000 views between his current Youtube channels, and once held +100,000 YT subscribers on a publishing-backed channel.
For more information, visit: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3BGoe5FlbcZms0EZo95GYq
Prof. David Palmer
Having over 35 years teaching experience, David Palmer received the Bachelor of Music Theory and Composition from Ball State University, his Masters Degree in Piano Pedagogy from West Chester University, and Ph.D in Music Theory from Eastman School of Music.
David has been a Music Minister for the St. Alban's Episcopal Church, as well as a Pianist for hospice center, chamber music concerts, and memorial services. As a Music Director, he was charged with production of Man of La Mancha at Pfeiffer University. He has been a keyboardist for various rock, jazz, R&B, and church groups with a specialty in Organist performances. Additionally, he has over 10 years of fluency in Spanish.