About Our Teachers

Meet those who made us possible

Srikar Vaasan

Mr. Doug Elmore

Mr. Doug Elmore is the Music Director and the Conductor of the Louisville Symphony Youth Orchestra. He brings to the podium over thirty-five years of outstanding musical leadership in the Midwest. He has conducted Youth Orchestra and school orchestra performances across North America and Europe, including performances in New York’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Some of the many accomplishments of Mr. Elmore can be found at Dr. Doug Elmore. Srikar has had the privilige of learning under his guidance for the past seven years.

Ms. Joy Cofield

Ms. Joy Cofield received her M.M. (Master of Music) in Piano Pedagogy from the Southern Methodist University. She retired after 40 years of teaching piano which included private lessons and piano group classes. She was a piano instructor at IUS Arts Institute for 9 years and a church pianist for 35 years. She was also the music director for several musical/theater productions. Srikar started his piano journey learning under the august guidanceof Ms. Joy when he was 3.5 years old.

Ms. Jessica Dorman

A native of Calera, Alabama, Ms. Jessica Litwiniec Dorman is an Adjunct Piano and Voice Instructor at Indiana University Southeast and maintains a private teaching studio at her home in Louisville. As well as being a staff accompanist at the University of Louisville, Jessica is an active freelancer in the Louisville area. Ms. Jessica holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Alabama where she studied piano with Amanda Penick. Jessica is the current Secretary of the Kentucky Music Teachers Association (KMTA), having also served as 2nd Vice President of KMTA (2012-2014) and Secretary of the Greater Louisville MTA (2010-2012). In 2017, Jessica received the Distinguished Service Award from KMTA. Some of the many accomplishments of Ms. Jessica can be found at Ms Jessica Dorman. Srikar has been learning piano from Ms. Jessica for the past six years.

Ms. Helen Bohanon

Ms. Helen Bohanon is a performance graduate from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Helen has performed with the faculty of the Eastern School of Music and as a member and soloist with the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. She has performed as an auxiliary member of the Louisville Orchestra, including the orchestra’s 1989 tour to Carnegie Hall. Helen was concertmaster for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Orchestra for 15 years, also held that position for 18 years for the IU Southeast Orchestra, and four years as concertmaster with the Jewish Community Center Orchestra under Rubin Sher. She was a co/director for the Floyd County Youth Symphony Philharmonic Orchestra during their 2004-05 season and directed the IUS Arts Institute Summer String Clinic Orchestra. Since 1996, Helen has been the Music Director at Grace Lutheran Church in New Albany, IN. Helen has been judging the KY Music Educators Association, Jefferson County, Solo and Ensemble Competition, plus the Orchestral Completion for the past eight years. She has also been an orchestra seating judge for the KY All State Orchestra. Srikhar has been learning violin under her able guidance since the past five years.

Ms. Marcille Dickinson

Ms. Marci Dickinon is currently an Organist/Handbell Choir Director at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Louisville. She is a retired instructor at Indiana University Southeast. She was formerly a piano instructor at Gavilan College in Gilroy, California; principal flutist in the South Valley Symphony in Morgan Hill, California; and a flutist in the Fremont Newark Philharmonic. Ms. Marci was Shrikar’s flute teacher for one semester at IUS.

Sri. Jayram Kikkeri

Sri Jayaram Kikkeri hails from a family of Carnatic musicians. He began his studies in music early on under the able guidance of Sri. Mani Kant and continued under the guidance of Vidwan A.V. Prakash, a renowned flutist. Sri Jayaram has performed for many international festivals, and has been especially recognized for his contribution to the dance field for accompanying internationally acclaimed dancers in both Bharathnatyam and Kupchupudi. Srikar has been learning the flute under his able guidance for the past couple of years.

Smt. Rajalakshmi Gopal Iyengar

Smt. Rajalakshmi Gopal Iyengar was Srikar's first guru who inducted him into the field of carnatic music at a young age of 3 years.

Smt. Pustakam Ramaa

Smt. Pusthakam Ramaa is a top graded artist of All India Radio. For her contribution towards music and dance field, Sangeetha Nrithya Academy has conferred KARNATAKA KALASHREE award on her. The Mayor of Louisville has honored her with Honorary citizen of Louisville. Ramaa's rich mellifluous voice with the effortless reach through the Octaves has charismatic blend of unique melody, depth of understanding of classical music is what she bring to her students. Srikar has been her student learning carnatic vocal music from the past two years.

Maithreyi Narakesari

Vidushi Smt. Vijayalakshmi

Maithreyi started her early tutelage with Smt. Vijayalakshmi in Bengaluru, India. She was fortunate to complete her Junior certification of music under her guidance. Smt. Vijayalakshmi was the former head of department at the school of music, Bangalore University.

Vidushi Smt. Archana Bhoj

Maithreyi's journey continued with Smt. Archana Bhoj, who is CEO of Smritikriti - The Academy of Music and Research. Smt. Archana molded her students to ascend recital and performance platforms. Renowned opportunities of repute opened up for Maithreyi, to begin explorations in this dimension.

Jithanth Vainatheya

Ms. Stephanie Antoine

Ms. Stephanie Antoine has been a Music teacher for over 30 years. This includes teaching recorder, piano and music theory for the graded exams. The lessons have been focused on playing for pleasure as well as towards the attainment of music exams so that students get a well rounded education and a sense of achievement which enables them to pursue their passion in music. Playing for fun has encouraged students to take part in performing at festivals.

Mr. Prashanth Kumar

Mr. Prashanth Kumar is a teacher with over 7 years of experience and is focused on building a strong foundation of piano technique. Prashanth gave a 1-1 focus in understanding the stage where Jithanth is and created an environment which is best suited to enhance his skills.

Mr. Kaushal Laxhkar

Mr. Kaushal Laxhkar is a music teacher with over 20 years of experience. He has his own music academy “White noise music academy” where he teaches piano, violin, guitar and other instruments which help the kids perform at small events.

Manasi Prasad

Mrs. Martha Hayes

Mrs. Martha Hayes has a Masters in Music in Piano from Indiana University. She has lived in the Wilmington area for 20 years after having taught previously in the Boston area. Under Mrs. Hayes' tutelage, Manasi has participated in recitals, festivals, individual and monthly group gatherings. Martha relates, “although I have certain musical and pianist principles that I adhere to with all of my students, I try to tailor each person’s lesson to his/her individual talent and interests.”

Ms. Shirley Lebo

Ms. Shirley Lebo has been a violinist in the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra since 2003. Manasi began her violin journey under her able guidance in 2020. In addition to playing violin in the Wilmington Symphony, Ms. Shirley also plays at weddings and receptions and in pit orchestras with local theater companies, including the 2010 re-opening of the famous Thalian Hall in Wilmington, NC.

Dr. Danijela Zezelj-Gualdi

Dr. Danijela Žeželj-Gualdi was born in Croatia where she began to study violin at a very young age. In 1998 she graduated from the Academy and became a member of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. Dr. Gualdi graduated with a Masters Degree in 2001 from Carnegie-Mellon University and a Doctoral Degree in violin performance from the University of Georgia. Some of the many of her accomplishments during her distinguished career can be found on her website Dr. Danijela Gualdi Manasi is currently learning violin under Dr. Gualdi's august guidance.