Specials Staff


davidDavid Bell

General Music Grades 1-5 & Middle School Choir

David Bell is a conductor and composer native to Denver. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Colorado College, earning the David and Karen Smith Cowperthwaite Prize for Excellence in Music. He then moved to Boston, where he attended the New England Conservatory and received a Master of Music with honors, as well as a Graduate Diploma, studying composition with an emphasis in conducting.

On returning to Colorado in 2004, Mr. Bell became the director of the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church choir in Denver. Over the intervening years, he has led them in performances of major works by Schubert, Poulenc, Pärt, Charpentier, Bortnyansky, and Franke, in addition to weekly service music and anthems.

In 2007, Mr. Bell became the Music Director and Conductor of the Golden Concert Choir, a volunteer community choir. The choir has performed alone and in collaboration with local orchestras in major works by Mozart, Vivaldi, Fauré, Mendelssohn, P.D.Q. Bach, and Libby Larsen, among others.

As a composer, Mr. Bell has written numerous choral works, songs, chamber pieces, and orchestral works. He received a grant from the State of Massachusetts for a chamber work that was included in a Contemporary Composers concert. He has been commissioned for several works, including a piece for mezzo soprano and string orchestra, a work for Native American flute, a choral work with organ and solo trumpet, and a piece for clarinet and organ, among others. The Golden Concert Choir premiered his Elegy in 2010 and Ute Prayer in 2012, and the St. Barnabas Choir premiered his Holy Ground in 2007 and A Prophecy of the Last Days in 2011.


kelliKelli Cahoone

Spanish Teacher

Kelli Cahoone has a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish from Metropolitan State College of Denver and studied for a semester abroad in Seville, Spain. During high school she did home stays in Mexico through the “Open School” and also has worked extensively with the Spanish-Speaking Immigrant population in Denver. She spent six months in Valparaiso, Chile and three years in Buenos Aires, Argentina teaching English to children and adults to get by and singing with jazz and eclectic local bands. Upon returning from South America, she taught children Spanish in various homeschool and private classes and even was an Adjunct Professor of Spanish at Front Range Community College. Not yet sure she wanted to teach Spanish as a career, in 2005 she was hired at the now closed Front Range Waldorf School where she worked under wonderful mentors and discovered the wonder and beauty of Waldorf Education and of Rudolf Steiner. She had found a home. She is thrilled again for the opportunity to bring her creativity and love for the language and for children to Mountain Phoenix, and feels very lucky to share this experience with her first grade daughter. This past summer she attended a newly created one week training specifically for Spanish Teachers at the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks and  she is anxious to get to work! She also has an extensive songwriting/singing/keys career under the name “kal” and enjoys motherhood, gardening and cooking.


lizaLiza Cole-Brant

Handwork Teacher

Liza is a second-generation Waldorf teacher. She began her Waldorf journey attending City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she developed a passion for the fiber arts. She attended Naropa University and holds a BA in contemplative psychology with a double minor in education and visual arts. She enjoys bringing art to the classroom and inspiring children to create and appreciate beauty. Liza is thrilled to be MPCS’s new Handwork teacher! Let’s knit!


kevinKevin Kern

Physical Education and Middle School Band Director

Kevin Kern received his Bachelors degree in Music Education K-12 (Cum Laude) from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania. While attending school, Kevin arranged and taught percussion for the Nazareth Area High School and started their first indoor percussion ensemble that is still performing and is very successful to this day. Near the end of college, Kevin moved to Philadelphia, PA to learn more about urban teaching in an effort to balance his philosophy and experience with education. Kevin taught for two years in Philadelphia providing private in home lessons on guitar, piano, vocals, percussion, brass, and strings while also teaching guitar, adaptive, and general music at the Norristown Area High School. The private school performed four annual concerts which his students always participated in and a few of his students were starting personal recording projects. His guitar students at Norristown did a song writing project and several of them performed these songs as opening acts for the high school band and orchestra concerts.

Currently, Kevin is working for The Lesson Studio in Boulder, CO providing percussion lessons and rock band ensemble classes. The studio has been a great opportunity so far, but he is very excited to be directing the middle school band at Mountain Phoenix and has great anticipation for the coming school year. He is also excited about teaching Physical Education because it has been a huge part of his personal life. He is a certified ASSI Level 1 snowboard instructor and taught snowboarding for 8 years, has worked for a YMCA providing swim lessons for 5 years, and highly values physical activity as part of a balanced lifestyle. Every person is responsible for taking care of their body and learning how to do that in a fun and safe environment is his biggest priority. In his personal time Kevin enjoys performing with the funk trio Two&Four, riding his bike (bmx/mountain/road), being in nature, or learning something new.


margueriteMarguerite McKenna

Eurythmist

Marguerite splits her teaching time between Mountain Phoenix Community School in Wheat Ridge, CO and Mountain Song Community School in Colorado Springs, CO. From 2010-2011 she performed with Märchenensemble (Fairy Tale Ensemble), a traveling eurythmy group based in Stuttgart, Germany giving over one hundred eurythmy performances in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, England and Scotland. She sang and performed with chalice ensemble A Capella group for two season in Sacramento, CA, interned with the Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC, and performed in various theatre, film and dance productions in New York City, Los Angeles and Boston between 2000-2010. She completed her four-year, full-time eurythmy training at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, CA and her two-year full-time professional acting training at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York, NY. She holds and M.A. in Spiritual Philosophy from Prescott College and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Boston University. Marguerite has lectured, offered original published papers, and given workshops on eurythmy in Mexico, India and the United States. She performs regularly with Sound Circle Eurythmy ensemble, a professional eurythmy group offering performances at schools and public theaters in the Boulder/Denver area. She serves on the Board of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival Guild helping create and organize educational opportunities for youth introducing them to Shakespeare’s life and work. Marguerite was born in Courchevel, France but raised in the United States in Waimanalo, Hawaii, where she attended the Honolulu Waldorf School from 1982-1992. She loves being part of this amazing team of educators and administrators at Mountain Phoenix.


justinoJustino Perez

Orchestra

Justino Perez studied piano with Dr. Daniella Mineva, Cello with Carol Jacobson, and Composition with Dr. J. Brian Post at Humboldt State University. At Humboldt State he was the recipient of the Van Duzer Scholarship, Fulkerson Scholarship, President of the Music Club, and a Presidential Scholar, and graduated with academic honors. At HSU Mr. Perez had the honor of developing and teaching his own music theory lab courses, under the provision of Dr. Cindy Moyer, and has been a Theory and Cello instructor for The Porterville Intensive Strings Workshop. Justino has also studied Composition with renown composers Stacy Garrop and David Rakowski. In his past, Mr. Perez has participated in the Fresh Inc festival for new music premiering two new works including Trio for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano, at The Ravinia Music Festival, as well as I Just Lost to Myself at Hide and Seek, written for The Eclipse Trio. He also frequently premieres works with many ensembles from The Humboldt Symphony College of the Redwoods Concert Band, and The Vipisa Trio. Justino Is an active member of The National Association of Composers, and has been featured by the association on concerts. Justino has been the principal cellist for the Humboldt Symphony as well as had performed in other ensembles such as The Eureka Symphony, The All Seasons Orchestra, and The Humboldt Light Opera Company. Recent composition master classes include working with Dr. Chen Yi. Justino is also a private cello and composition teacher.


justinoKaren Smith

Art Teacher

Karen came to Mountain Phoenix while in search of a school that was a good fit for her son Riley. She found that and more. She discovered a wonderful loving community with a teaching philosophy that fit right in with her own pedagogy. Karen has more than 20 years experience teaching art to children of all ages. Much of that time was working with students in non-profit organizations. Karen believes art helps students to become life long lovers of learning.

Karen is a multimedia artist who periodically shows her art in the Denver metro area. As an artist, she is constantly learning new materials and styles for creating her art. Her undergraduate studies were in sculpture and modern dance. She graduated from SUNY Potsdam in New York State, spent a year studying at the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston, and a semester abroad in England. Karen recently completed her Masters of Arts in Arts Education at University of Northern Colorado. Her thesis explored what curriculum best creates questioning learners.

When she is not making art or sharing her love of art with others, Karen can be found spending time with her husband and two children. She also loves gardening and plans someday to learn to play the guitar.


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