MSA is pleased to welcome new teaching artists to work with students in our programs throughout the semester and school year. These professional dancers, choreographers, vocalists and musicians bring an unparalleled level of training to our students and offer a diversity of techniques and styles that allow students to grow to their full potential. These essential assets are only made possible through generous donation to our MSA Foundation by our families, supporters, business partners and foundations.
Read on to discover more about the incredible talents working with students in MSA programs.
Talli works with MSA Theatre as a choreographer, dance and movement teacher. Hewas a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company from 2009 to 2017 and participated in the development of 10 evening-length works, as well as the re-staging and extensive touring of some of Jones’ and Zane’s pioneering duets, including Monkey Run Road (1979), Blauvelt Mountain(1980) and Valley Cottage (1981).
Talli has also worked with The Francesca Harper Project, Paul Matteson, Erick Montes, Joseph Poulson, and The Vanaver Caravan and was the recipient of scholarships from the American Dance Festival in ‘06 and ’08, the Bates Dance Festival, and the Ailey School. In 2013, I was honored with a Princess Grace Award in dance.
His own work has been shown at various small and personable venues around NYC and the SF Bay Area, including FABnyc, Tisch School for the Arts, ODC, SAFEhouse Arts, and The Milkbar. He has taught dance at studios, colleges, and universities around the country. I feel honored to have been encouraged and guided by many wonderful teachers in my own development and seek to facilitate delicious, rich, and heart-full experiences for those who join me for class.
Scott works with all of our MSA Rock Bands. He is best known as a member of Frank Zappa’s band for much of the ‘80s, before appearing on a variety of albums by other cult artists. Thunes started out playing in a local Marin County cover band, specializing in such late ‘60s/early ‘70s artists as Yes, ELP, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Frank Zappa, among others.
Supporting himself by 1980 as a bicycle messenger, Thunes played with others (a band called Derek and The Young Republicans), before he was able to line up an audition for Frank Zappa’s band. Thunes landed the gig shortly thereafter—appearing on countless Zappa albums throughout the decade (including 1982’s Ship Arriving Too Late, 1983’s Man from Utopia, 1984’s Thing Fish, 1986’s Jazz from Hell, 1988’s Guitar, etc.) and tours (the 1985 homevideo, Does Humor Belong in Music?).
With Zappa retiring from the road by the ‘90s due to declining health (he would eventually pass away from cancer in 1993), Thunes and the rest of Zappa’s backing band were forced to look for work elsewhere. Subsequently, Thunes has appeared on recordings by a variety of other artists, including Frank’s son, Dweezil Zappa, Fear, Andy Prieboy, The Vandals (Fear of a Punk Planet), Wayne Kramer , and Cynthia Jane, among others. Thunes also took part in a tribute to Frank Zappa in 1991 at the Ritz in New York — issued as both an album and video (Zappa’s Universe). The early 21st century saw Thunes join as the bassist with The Mother Hips for a number of years before returning to work with former Frank Zappa bandmates to set scores and perform on the Frank Zappa Hologram Tour in 2019! Read more about the Hologram Tour.
Lacey joins MSA as the ballet instructor for all levels. She currently teaches all levels of dance at Stapleton Ballet and was trained through the San Francisco Ballet Trainee Teaching Workshop, where she also studied dance and was a company member from 2011-2015. She has performed internationally and nationally and appeared in film, television and music videos.
Through extensive training in Vaganova, Balanchine and Cecchetti classical styles at San Francisco Ballet, her goal as a teaching artist is to create curriculum that keep ballet exciting and enjoyable for all students. As a lifelong resident of Marin with deep connections in the area, her focus has been to share her love of ballet with the students and residents of the area.
Jessica is a professional vocalist, pianist and educator with a true passion for music. She has been studying and performing classical music for over two decades, and has made her mark as a notable mezzo-soprano in the Bay Area classical vocal community.
Jessica went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Music at Mannes College of Music in New York City and finished her education at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she received her Masters for training in vocal pedagogy and physiology, as well as vocal performance.
She has been teaching voice and piano since 2011, leading her students to high achievements in both fields. She is a Master Vocal coach at Acalanes High Schoolh and has taught as Musical Theater Camp Director for the Heads Up Program at Head Royce in Oakland and Village Center for the Arts, giving private lessons, leading In-School Outreach Programs throughout the Bay Area, and heading their Musical Theater program.
Making her professional vocal debut with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Stephen Montague’s Requiem, Jessica has taken both the operatic and choral stage, performing a vast array of styles and periods from Baroque to Contemporary.