Who We Are
Our mission to make music a part of every child’s education is achieved through the collaborative efforts of zSharp’s:
Anne Daniel, Music Teacher
Anne has been teaching voice, piano, and classroom music for over 20 years. After graduating cum laude in Music from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, she attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, where she graduated with distinction, receiving a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Ms. Daniel performed with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. One highlight was singing in the chorus for the recording of the opera Pagliacci, with the late Luciano Pavarotti. After completing her graduate studies, Ms. Daniel opened a private studio and was Adjunct Professor of Voice at Westmont College; she taught Kindermusik, directed junior high and children’s choirs, and spent five seasons as a chorus member with Opera San José. This is Anne’s first year with zSharp.
David Peterson hails from Hackettstown, New Jersey, and received his BA in Music Education from the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, studying conducting and classical percussion. He has been a participant and educator in the marching arts activity for the past 15 years, during which time he earned a Drum Corps International Division III World Championship title, and a US Scholastic Band Association New Jersey state title. Currently, he and his wife Paige are the co-caption heads for the Benicia High School Indoor Drumline in Benicia, CA. With other educators, he is in the planning stages of starting a performing arts organization for girls in the Bay Area.
Denali Gillaspie is overjoyed to be with zSharp. Previously, they taught guitar and slam poetry classes in Tulsa, OK for a year after graduating from Colorado College, where they studied voice, visual art, and performance. As a member of Colorado College's co-ed a cappella group, Room 46, Denali enjoyed composition and arranging. They grew up playing music in the Bay Area as a singer-songwriter and a Bread & Roses performer. In 2008-2009, they taught English and music classes in schools in Thailand and India, and taught in a Buddhist monastery & nunnery in Nepal. Denali has been volunteering at San Quentin State Prison for the past two years, where they play jazz with inmates in the Arts in Corrections music program. They believe music can be a tool for fostering self-empowerment, self-expression, and community, and looks forward to a second year of sharing the gift of music with students TK-5 at Cox Academy!
Eli Maliwan is a San Francisco Bay Area Native. He began playing saxophone at the age of 9 and by high school enrolled in independent study to study jazz full time. During this time Eli was studying with several different teachers and taught for The Prominence Project, a non-profit organization that brought jazz classes and lessons to underprivileged kids in Marin County. Eli realized that teaching came naturally and that he connected with young people in his community who had a similar socio-economic background as him. Eli was raised by a single mother who was an immigrant from Thailand. In 2004 he attended the Oberlin Conservatory on a full financial aid based scholarship studying with Gary Bartz, Robin Eubanks, and Paul Cohen. Eli taught private lessons in Avon Lake, Ohio during his time at Oberlin. In 2008 he attended Portland State University and studied with Darrell Grant and Alan Jones. Eli also minored in Women’s Studies and was highly involved in the program. Eli received a Master’s Degree in Music from the California School for the Arts and toured with faculty member Alfonso Johnson. He taught jazz classes through Community Arts Partnership and privately at West Coast Music in Santa Clarita, CA. In the years after graduate school, Eli played saxophone on various cruise lines before settling back down to San Francisco where he currently plays music professionally in many different groups and teaches at several organizations including Stanford Jazz Workshop, Amabile School of Music, and zSharp.
Elizabeth Ashley Lehr is a musician, composer, and educator residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her first taste of teaching came in middle school, when her orchestra director asked her to teach the class a new technique (left hand pizzicato). She’s never looked back, and now has over 10 years of experience teaching in both individual and group settings. She is also a prolific performer, and has been featured in a wide variety of settings, from classical to jazz to world, playing her chosen instrument, the double bass. Noteworthy accomplishments include producing, curating and performing in The Living Composer - An Intimate House Concert, as well as performing a concerto with the University Orchestra during her undergraduate studies. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s of Music Studies with a Performance Certificate from the University of Texas at Austin. She is passionate about sharing music with people of all ages, and is happy to join zSharp in bringing quality music education to more elementary students in the East Bay.
Jennifer Wu is excited to join the zSharp team from Toronto, Canada, where she earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Voice, and Bachelor of Education from Wilfrid Laurier University, and is currently in the midst of completing her Master of Arts in Community Music. She is an alumna of the Royal Conservatory of Music and a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. Jennifer has been teaching voice and piano for over 5 years, where her students ranged from 5 to 65 in age—one is never too old or too young to make music! Her love for diverse teaching experiences has given her the opportunity to work with international students, children with special needs, English language learners, as well as university students in a variety of settings. In the public school system, she has taught grades 1-8 in Music, Math and Language Arts. As a performer, Jennifer’s credits include, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Laurier), and Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel (Opera Laurier), as well as solo and collaborative recitals.
Nick Harmantzis, Music Teacher
Nick is an active performer and music educator in the Bay Area. A classically trained Tenor, he has performed numerous operatic roles ranging from “Rinuccio” in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi to “Apollo” in Monteverdi's L'orfeo. As an educator, Nick brings a wealth of knowledge into his lessons. He has taught both classroom music and private voice lessons since 2015. A lover of all types of music, he has worked with children of all ages both in private and classroom settings. Nickholds a M.M. from The San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a B.M. in voice performance from Ithaca College. He is proficient on guitar, piano, and ukulele.
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Kim Kays, Executive Director
Kim brings over a decade of experience to zSharp as a music educator, school leader, and nonprofit founder and director. She fell in love with music in high school where she participated in concert choir, marching band, pep band, dance troupe, and musical theater. Her experience in education spans from Kindergarten to Twelfth Grade general music, choir, band, theater, and dance. Most recently, she was the Dean of Student Advancement at Erie Elementary Charter School in Chicago where she coached teachers in classroom culture, student engagement, and effective teaching strategies. In 2014, she founded Swing for Kids, a nonprofit that provides in school Swing Dance instruction to Chicago Public School students. She attended Greenville College, earning a degree in Music Education and was an active member of the Greenville College Choir, under the direction of Dr. Jeff Wilson, and concert band, under the direction of Dr. Chris Woods. She earned her Master’s Degree in Urban Education Leadership from DePaul University. In her free time, Kim is an avid swing dancer and vintage fashion lover.
Sonya Harway, Program Director
Sonya is a music educator, singer-songwriter, pianist and vocalist. She came to zSharp from Washington DC, where she earned her Bachelor's degree at The George Washington University in Piano Performance with a concentration in Vocal Studies. She continued her graduate studies in musicology and music pedagogy at The Catholic University of America. Sonya has taught music to students from preschool to high school with fourteen years of teaching experience, including five years with zSharp. She has participated in orchestras, choirs, and a cappella ensembles on both coasts, in addition to leading her own bands. Sonya completed Level One with SF Orff in Carmel Valley in 2016 and will return for Level Two in 2017.
Grant Support Volunteer, Grant Support Volunteer
Allison is a Bay Area native and has been in the nonprofit field for over six years. After earning a Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from the University of San Francisco, she's gone on to work and write for March of Dimes, Seven Tepees Youth Program, and other youth based organizations. A music lover and choir member since childhood, she has a personal appreciation for music and arts programs in public schools. She is very excited to help zSharp further it's mission!
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Joshua Lachs, President, Board of Directors
Josh brings a deep background in executive leadership within the nonprofit, education, and social enterprise sectors. Most recently, Josh served as CEO for Breakthrough Collaborative, an award-winning national organization focused on college- and career-readiness; and the country’s largest pre-residency program for aspiring educators. He currently consults for several social venture start-ups in the areas of strategic and business planning, talent development, external relations, and resource development. Previously, Josh served as Chief Officer of Workforce Development & Community Engagement for Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin, a nationally reputed job training enterprise. In his prior life, Josh spent many years serving as a university dean, where he led several continuing education divisions. Deeply committed to zSharp's music education mission. Josh grew up with a love of world music and learned Arfo-Cuban percussion as an adult. He and his family call Berkeley their home. His boys attend public school. He holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley in Comparative Religions and two Masters degrees Education Policy and Administration from Columbia University.
As a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years, Adam has held executive- and board- level positions in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. He gets his love of music and singing from his mother and maternal grandmother. He grew up singing in church and school choirs, performing as a soloist and participating in various other performance arts. Cherishing the important role music has played in his life, Adam hopes to share that passion with others through his involvement with zSharp. Professionally, he has worked with composers, filmmakers and music publishers in relation to the licensing and distribution of digital content. In addition to music, his other loves are travel, food, wine and art. He’s a published writer and photographer. He holds a BA from the University of Virginia and his JD from the University of California-Berkeley.
Dylan brings a wealth of non-profit and private sector experience to zSharp, as well as a lifelong love of music as the child of a piano teacher. Most recently, he founded and led Tatz Entertainment, a four-employee management consulting firm working with startups and non-profits in the Bay Area. Previously, he served as an associate at McKinsey and Company and earned his M.B.A. at the Wharton School of Business. He previously served as Assistant Director of Strategic Planning at the American Jewish Committee for two years, managing AJC's global strategic planning process and helping devise strategies for optimizing operations. Before that, he spent 15 months as Prospect Research Analyst in the Office of the Executive Director at AJC. Dylan earned his A.B. from Princeton University in 2006, majoring in Religion and writing his senior thesis in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. At Princeton, Dylan founded and chaired the Princeton Committee on Prejudice, played saxophone in the marching band, and served as classical director of the radio station.
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