Southwestern Music Academy Teacher Bios

Quality Music Education in a Christian Setting

Southwestern Music Academy Teacher Bios

Donna Hopson – SMA Director and Piano Instructor

Donna has taught private piano lessons and general music classes for 19 years. Although she works with all ages, she loves the joys that young children have when engaging with music-making. She holds a BA in Piano Pedagogy, a BS in Music Education, and a MM in Church Music and Piano Pedagogy. Her husband and two children moved to Fort Worth in 2009 for her husband to pursue his education at SWBTS. Her family also includes a dog named Reko. The family attends Trinity Baptist Church in Fort Worth where she is the pianist and her husband is the pastor.

Donna’s role as director includes being a liaison between parents, teachers, and students so that the best musical learning can happen. Her goals for the SMA are for students of all levels to enjoy the God-given gift of music making.

Nelly Juarez – Preschool Classes and French Horn Instructor

Nelly holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in French Horn Performance. She is currently working on a MM in Worship Leadership at SWBTS. She is originally from Costa Rica and speaks English, Spanish, and French. Nelly has been teaching horn and preschool music classes for over 10 years. She loves watching students get excited about music and realizing they can learn a new skill. She believes in teaching beginners by starting with the basics and helping them build a new discipline into their lives.

Additionally, she also likes getting into the musicianship aspect with advanced students, helping them build a vision in their interpretation of different composers. Her favorite pieces are the four horn concertos by Mozart that feature the instrument’s warm but bold versatility. Traveling is one of her favorite hobbies and interest. Nelly attends Lamar Baptist Church where she is the worship leader for their Spanish service. Her parents, brother, sister, and niece and nephew all live in Costa Rica.

Juhee Baek – Choir Director and Voice Instructor

Juhee has been teaching for over 10 years. Her educational background was centered on church music, including classical and contemporary. She holds a BM in Voice, MA in Worship Leadership, and MM in Voice Performance, and is currently working on a doctoral degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. 

She is directing Southwestern Children’s Choir and is excited to see children learn to use their voices in large group settings. She also teaches private voice lessons to all ages and various levels. She enjoys seeing students’ confidence grow as they develop as singers. She is an Associate Minister of Music at her church. Juhee and her husband live in Fort Worth with a small dog, Cookie. 

Caleb Uhl – Chimes Ensemble and Voice Instructor

Caleb studied music education and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas. (GO HOGS!) He is currently working on a MM in worship leadership at SWBTS. He has experience conducting various ensembles, singing in the choir, playing in orchestras, and ringing bells. Caleb serves as the music minister at FBC Princeton. With so many avenues of music making, some of his musical favorites include ringing bells for “Now the Green Blade Riseth” (Sing We Now of Christmas), singing spirituals by Moses Hogan and Hall Johnson, or playing his horn for anything by Percy Grainger and Gustav Holst.

Most of his family lives in Arkansas, and Caleb is youngest and proud baby of the extended family. He has a 2 year old Pembroke Welsh corgi dog named Ellie Mae who is like an energetic barking potato!

Luke Hannah – Voice Instructor

Luke received his bachelor’s degree in contemporary worship ministries from William Carey University. He is now pursuing a MM degree in vocal performance and pedagogy at SWBTS. He is originally from Mississippi where he grew up with his mother, father, sister, and dog, Daisy. This year he competed and placed in the NATS collegiate vocal completion. Luke is recently married to Mary Catherine who is also a vocalist and music therapist. They attend First Baptist of Burleson where Luke serves as an Artist in Residence.

Teaching brings him joy to see students’ faces light up when they understand something for the first time. He is confident in teaching intermediate and advanced students but also loves training newer students to develop their voice. His favorite song for a tenor is “Ditty” from the song cycle A Young Man’s Exhortation by Gerald Finzi.

Taeyong Lee – Drum Instructor

Taeyong is originally from South Korea and has been teaching for 20 years. He teaches in both English and Korean languages. Taeyong holds a BM in Jazz Studies from UTA and is also studying jazz for his master’s degree at SWBTS. He attends Birchman Baptist Church with his wife and two young daughters. Taeyong enjoys playing worship songs with his church as well as jazz pieces with various ensembles.

He coordinated the SMA’s first Sacred Works Worship Night performance that gathered both SWBTS adult musicians and SMA students to present a concert of all Christian music. He enjoys teaching students to listen to the music as they play, developing the valuable ability to play by ear. He also has many YouTube videos showcasing his skills at drum performance as well as advanced percussion notation.

Matthew Naizer – Guitar Instructor

Matthew Naizer is from Houston, Texas and is studying guitar for his Master of Music at SWBTS. He holds a Bachelor of Music Performance from Texas State University. He likes teaching others so that he can pass on the knowledge that was given to him by his own teachers and mentors.

Matthew is happily married to his wife, Gabrielle, and they attend University Baptist Church. They had a beautiful baby girl, Nekoda, in October of 2021 and have a delightful female tuxedo cat named Kevin Jonas. One of Matthew’s favorite pieces to play is Sonatina for David Russell by Jorge Morel featuring a fantastic combination of Latin American rhythms and jazz harmonies for the classical guitar.

Dr. Will Douglas – Guitar Instructor

Dr. Douglas is a native of Fort Worth and has been teaching for over 18 years. He holds the BM, MM, and DMA degrees in guitar performance from UNT. He and his wife, Courtney, have a four-year-old daughter, Charlotte, who loves soccer and riding horses. They also have two dogs, a Great Pyrenees named Arrow and a lab named Isabelle. The family attends Trinity Hills Baptist Church where Dr. Douglas plays classical guitar and electric guitar with the worship team.

He loves every aspect of teaching, from beginning mechanics to advanced areas of musical interpretation. Helping his students improve spiritually and mentally alongside their musical development are his leading teaching goals. Because he grew up with a mom who was a teacher and a dad who was a radio comedian, he believes humor and education are inseparable. His favorite pieces include Preludio in E Major and Sonata Clasica by Manuel Ponce, Cello Suite No.3 by J.S. Bach and anything by Astor Piazzolla.

Jordan Boegner – Piano Instructor

Jordan holds an associate’s degree in graphic design, a bachelor’s degree in piano performance, and is currently working on a master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy at SWBTS. She is originally from New Mexico but has lived in four different countries where she enjoyed learning different cultures and connecting with people of different backgrounds. She also speaks English and conversational German.

Jordan started by teaching piano to adults, but she has learned that she enjoys teaching students of all ages. Jordan’s favorite piano piece is the 3rd Movement in Beethoven’s Les Adieux which displays exciting “vivacissimamente” arpeggios, scalar passages, and endless trills. She and her husband live in Fort Worth and hope to adopt a cat soon.

Ivan Rustandi – Piano Instructor

Ivan completed his Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance at SWBTS and is continuing his education in the Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy also at SWBTS. He is originally from Indonesia and speaks both English and Bahasa Indonesia. He attends First Baptist Burleson where he serves as their Artist in Residence for piano and keyboard in the contemporary service. He enjoys getting to see his students understand what he’s teaching and work hard with practice to advance in their playing skills each week.

Although he teaches reading notation, he also enjoys teaching others to play by ear. His favorite piece to play is Ravel’s Jeux d’eau, a piano piece mimicking the trickling and splashing of water in a fountain or brook. Ivan’s parents live in Indonesia, serving as Sunday school teachers at First Baptist Bandung. His younger sister attends an Indonesian university studying visual and verbal designs.

Anna Kim – Piano Instructor

Anna holds a Master’s of Music in Piano Pedagogy from TCU. She has been teaching for over 13 years and loves encouraging young beginners in their piano pursuits. Because of her diligent teaching, her students often win awards in various competitions.

She is originally from South Korea and teaches in both English and Korean. She enjoys playing the highly intricate and technically challenging Partita No. 2 by J.S. Bach. Anna and her husband have three children: Immanuel, Irene, and Isaac. The family attends New Song Church.

Lois Ling – Piano Instructor

Lois is originally from China and speaks both English and Chinese. She has been teaching for over nine years. Having already graduated with a master’s degree in piano pedagogy from SWBTS, Lois is currently working on a Master of Theology in Worship. She attends Glory Chinese Baptist Church where she serves as an accompanist and children’s Sunday school teacher.

She is blessed to come from a large, musical family where everyone sings, plays instruments, and worships together. Her favorite pieces to play are the contrasting pieces of Bach’s English Suits and Chopin’s Nocturnes as each show the musical essence of the baroque and classical time periods.

Ying Miao – Piano Instructor

Ying holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Purdue University and a Master of Church Music degree from Southern Seminary. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy from SWBTS. She is originally from China and speaks both English and Mandarin. Teaching allows her to get to know different individuals and different genres of music.

She enjoys not only classical piano, but also music from movies, musicals, games, and animation. She actually has a collection of hundreds of CDs, vinyls, and sheet music including everything from jazz, soul, electronic, and ambient music. She grew up in China with her music-loving parents and the family dog, Jackie, who they got after watching the show Lassie. Ying is a member at Arlington Chinese Church where she serves in the worship team.

Somang Choi – Piano Instructor

Somang received her bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from Korea Baptist Theological University. She is currently working on her Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy at SWBTS. She attends Happy Fellowship Korean Church where she serves as the accompanist. Her love is teaching young beginners to have fun playing the piano.

She teaches in both English and Korean. The Chopin Ballad No. 2 with its fiery and dramatic middle section is her favorite piece to perform. Her family includes her dad who has a wonderful 30 year career in the military, her mom who studied theology and loves the Lord, and her brother who is a fashion model in South Korea.

Alfred Situmorang – Piano Instructor

Alfred is an Indonesian concert pianist. He has done extensive solo and collaborative performances in Indonesia and the United States. He graduated with his master’s degree in piano performance from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) – School of Church Music & Worship. He is currently pursuing his DMA in piano performance and pedagogy at SWBTS with Dr. Tanya Karyagina. Besides doing his doctoral degree, he serves as Artist-In-Residence at First Baptist Church of Burleson. He has received numerous piano awards from SWBTS and is also a recipient of the MTNA (Music Teacher National Association) Collegiate Award in 2019.

In 2021, Alfred established the collaborative group “Situmorang & Sons” with both his sons, Frederic Situmorang (Piano) and Franz Situmorang (singer). They have performed classical music concerts as part of church music ministry in the Fort Worth area.

Jennifer Kim – Piano Instructor

Jennifer is a native of South Korea. She is studying for her DMA in composition and theory at SWBTS. She has taught piano and theory for over 15 years and her students regularly win local and state competitions. She also had a student win the national rankings for the Royal Conservatory of Music practical assessments.

Her family includes her husband and daughter, who is also an accomplished pianist.

Sojin Park – Piano Instructor

Sojin received her bachelor’s degree from Baekseok University, a Christian school in South Korea. She has been teaching piano for 7 years and enjoys teaching young beginners to adults. Her favorite composer is Chopin who produced many wonderful works for the piano. She currently serves as the accompanist at a church Killeen, Texas. Along with playing the piano, Sojin also likes to sing. She comes from a loving and supportive family. Her parents and brother live in South Korea.