Our Voice Teachers

 
 
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Patrycja Poluchowicz

I am a classically trained singer and I use this training to teach all genres. I love teaching my students to sing everything from pop, to musical theater, to opera. I choose pieces that are appropriate for the student's age, voice type, and temperament. I encourage all my students to explore different styles, which gives them the opportunity to grow and reach their full potential.

When I was growing up, I was very shy and introverted. Vocal lessons and singing on stage gave me a huge boost of self-esteem and confidence. I learned how to control my emotions and give my very best. During my classes, I teach my students how to open up and deliver an expressive performance and that means very often going outside their comfort zone. This skill is not only valuable on stage, but also extremely useful in life.

My goal for my students is to teach them techniques that allow them to reach the full potential of their voice. By using special exercises I develop in them vocal stamina and the ability to reach high notes. I pay close attention to their posture because I believe that good posture eliminates tension in the voice. I work with each student to help them create their own interpretation of each piece, and we remain engaged in it so that a truly memorable performance can be delivered.

Each one of my classes brings a new discovery and a new learning experience, not only for beginners, but throughout each student's entire vocal journey.

 
 

When Patrycja Poluchowicz launched her singing career in her native Poland at age 12, she focused mainly on the pop and musical-theater genres. Later on, she developed an interest in and everlasting love for classical music, graduating from the Music Academy in Lodz, Poland, with a master of arts degree in vocal music and acting.

Patrycja made her professional debut at Poland's Grand Theater, where she sang the roles of Susanna in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro and of Pamina in The Magic Flute. In 2001, Patrycja moved to the United States and earned a second master's degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Patrycja's many roles in opera and musical-theater productions have included the Countess (The Marriage of Figaro) at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco; Papagena (The Magic Flute) with the West Bay Opera; Olympia (The Tales of Hoffmann) at the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute; and, recently, Anna (The Haunted Manor) with the Pocket Opera. Patrycja was also part of the Sarasota Opera's Young Artists Program in Florida, where she performed in many concerts and opera productions.

Her CD, "The Wonderful World of Opera and Operetta," was recorded with the Opole Symphony Orchestra and was released to great success. Patrycja teaches voice lessons to all ages at Inspire Academy. She also created the Tots & Tykes Program at Inspire Academy.


 

Sookyung KoSwanson

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I am a strong believer of “enjoyment of music above all things considered.”  Unless you enjoy the music you are singing, listening, expressing or discussing then I think you are doing injustice to the music itself.  It is the attitude I have embraced toward music all my life that I hope it will have a tremendous contagion effect to all of my students.  

I believe sharing my experiences as a performer and incorporating various singing techniques I have learned & developed over the years will allow my students to gain confidence in their singing.  Furthermore, I hope they will learn to enjoy the music as they ought and will eventually inspire them to gain an utmost desire to grasp & develop better singing techniques.  

Sookyung was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. She discovered her love for music, especially singing, when she was six years old.  Singing and performing in front of audiences both small and large at such an early age prepared her to attend Kaywon High School of Arts in Korea.  She was a member of the North Korea Mission Choir throughout her high school years.  At one point, they were invited to perform in Japan.  This international performance experience further inspired her to pursue her music education in the United States.

Sookyung received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance at Northern State University in South Dakota.  Her passion and excellent musicianship earned her music scholarships during her junior and senior years.  She was an active member of Collegiate Choir & Chamber Singers throughout her college years.

After earning her degree in music, she returned home to Korea for a few years.  While back home, she leveraged her music background as well as a bit of business acumen to form a singing group called La Scala at the Grand Inter-Continental Hotel in Seoul, Korea.  They performed various arias and popular songs from various musicals while serving delicious Italian dishes to restaurant guests.  It was so unique that it appeared in one of Korea’s major newspapers.  Sookyung also earned her Kindermusik license in 2008 and worked as a children’s music director at the Kinderschule in Seoul, Korea.  Currently, Sookyung is an active member of the New Choir in Santa Clara, CA.

 

 
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Emery Williams

Emery T. Williams, soprano, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. There, she sang in the nationally acclaimed and Grammy nominated Central State University Chorus. Emery was also a part of the CSU chorus in the 1997 recording of “Porgy and Bess” and “Blue Monday” – a tribute to George Gershwin with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. In 2002, Emery was part of the CSU Chorus when they performed “Beethoven’s Fifth” with the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus. She was cast as Maria/Mary in Lorraine Hansberry Theatre’s 2010 production of “Joyful Noise,” formerly known as “Black Nativity.” Her international performance highlights include appearing as a guest vocalist with the Wilberforce University’s Choir, in their performance for the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. In 2004 and 2005, she also sang for the former governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Benedita Da Silva. Emery has taught classes for Oakland’s Fine Arts Summer School, and she continues to sing, lead, and teach the worship ensemble at The Church at Antioch, in Antioch, California.



 
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Sam Assefa

Sam Assefa holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music and Vocal Performance from Minnesota State University, Mankoto. She is currently a member of the East Bay Singers, who are based out of Cal State East Bay in Hayward, California. She has served as the vocal coach for the Eshee Havana Latin Jazz Band, Hasset Acoustic Band, Lubak Acoustic Band, and Take Five Jazz band. Sam was also the lead singer at the Take Five Music School and was the Alto section leader of the Wazema and Ethic-Groove band, based in Oakland, California. She was previously a member of the CSU Singing Society, the Edom Arts Youth Group, and both the Jazz Singers and Women’s Chorale of Minnesota State. Sam released her first original single in 2017 and is currently finishing her first solo album. She is pursuing a degree in guitar performance from CSUEB, and also holds a degree in law from Addis Abada University in Ethiopia.