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Edwin Sanders
Karen Valasek
Belle Armstrong
Jamie Fox
Elitei Tatafu
Claire Starz
Marla Wade
Luis Garcia

Our Teachers

 

Edwin Sanders

Edwin Sanders is the Founder and Executive Director of the Pacific School of the Performing Arts. Edwin holds a Masters Degree in ESL from the University of Hawai'i and is a well-known director and instructor of drama and language.
In addition to teaching for over 20 years, he has produced and directed more than 30 musicals and plays in Honolulu. His students have been seen on stage, television and film in Hawai'i, the U.S. Mainland and Japan.

Karen Valasek

Karen Valasek, Director of the Early Childhood Program for Pacific School of the Performing Arts, is a licensed Kindermusik instructor since 1998, has degrees in both music and early childhood education. Karen combined her love of music and young children as an administrator of a music-centered Day Care program. She sings with the Honolulu Symphony Choir performing with them at Carnegie Hall in 2004 and regularly performs in a variety of local venues. She was most recently seen at MVT in Working for which she received a Po'okela. A five-time Po'okela nominee she has received three including one for Best actress in Gertrude Stein and a Companion.

Belle Armstrong

A licensed Kindermusik instructor, Belle got her start right here in Hawai'i, training at Punahou School and local performing arts studios. After receiving her BA degree in Theater Arts from UCLA, she performed as a lead vocalist with many dance and show bands in California and Nevada and as a magician all over Western Europe. Locally, Belle has appeared in numerous musicals, conventions, TV shows, commercials, and as a featured singer on the Paradise Cruise ship, "The Star of Honolulu". She taught musical theater for many years with the "Alliance for Drama Education" and with Ron Bright for the CPAC elementary school program. Belle is the director of the St. Andrew's Priory School's Elementary Drama Program and MS/HS Theater Program.

Jamie Fox

A licensed Kindermusik educator and a member of the Screen Actor's Guild of America (SAG), Jamie began her dance training at Punahou at the age of seven and appeared in, or choreographed, a long list of local musicals before moving to California to perform. In addition to dance, Jamie has worked in film and television, and performed as one of the four members of The Sunshine Girls, a song and dance quartet that opened for headliner acts in LA.
Along with her responsibilities as Director of the Musical Theater Program and SWAT Team, she is also Program Director for PSPA's popular Summer Arts Experience.

Elitei Tatafu

Elitei Tatafu Jr has been a theatrical coordinator, director, and actor for the Kalihi-Palama Health Center's Heath Education plays since the year 2000. His originally written play, Crossroads, was produced by the health center in 2004 and has already been performed for over a thousand local elementary and middle school students. He has worked with the Alliance for Drama Education and the Travelling Storytellers, and has conducted residencies for students in elementary as well as high school. He has performed onstage at Diamond Head Theater, Army Community Theater, Manoa Valley Theater, Kennedy Theater, and Neil Blaisdell Concert Hall as an actor, and has also performed onstage with the Company Singers and Hawaii Opera Theater as a vocalist. Elitei is also experienced with improvisation and interactive theater, having performed in numerous Dave & Buster Mystery Dinner Theater productions, as well as OC16's Mental Tilapia.

Claire Starz

A licensed Kindermusik instructor, Claire Starz has been a flutist with the Honolulu Symphony since 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree and a Performer's Certificate from Indiana University. She also studied toward her Masters Degree at Rice University and spent a year as an exchange student at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Ms. Starz has been a performer in many prestigious summer festivals including the Acaémie Internationale de Nice (FR), the National Repertory Orchestra (CO), the Festival-Institute at Roundtop (TX), and Domaine Forget Music and Dance Academy (QC). A sought-after chamber musician, Claire has performed locally as a guest of the Terra Nova Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble as well as a substitute with the Spring Wind Quintet. She has been a private flute instructor since 1997 and loves helping students of all ages experience the joys of music.

Luis Garcia

Luis Garcia is musical director of the United Kingdom Theater School. An acclaimed tenor, Luis is returning for his second year as guest vocal director of the Summer Arts Experience. Luis completed his BMus (Hon) degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the United Kingdom. He completed his Masters of Music and a Masters of Opera at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where he received both the Thomas Sivewright Catto and Leverhulme Awards, and specialized in studying vocal technique. Luis has received acclaim for his capability as a dramatic performer and for his technical ability as a singer and has drawn upon his experiences to teach. He is passionate about working with young performers to improve their abilities. He has worked with professional singers from West End musicals and is in great demand as a vocal teacher, in both Hawai’i and Europe.

Marla Wade

A licensed Kindermusik Educator. Her commitment to Hawaii's children and families can be seen in her years of social service work as a Parent Educator and Family Advocate. In addition, Marla has served as a longtime children's Sunday School teacher and worship leader of both children and adult music teams. With her passion for strengthening families and love of music, Marla feels that Kindermusik is the perfect combination of the two. As a Kindermusik Educator Marla hopes to awaken the gift of music within each child, foster a lifelong love and appreciation for music, and bring great joy to every home by providing parents a safe, fun, and nurturing atmosphere in which to bond with their children through the exploration of music and movement.


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