NorthWoods  - School of the Arts
About Us
 
David McKenery  
NSA Director / Piano & Organ Instructor

David's professional career in music extends over 30 years in music ministry, music performance (classical and contemporary), teaching, and administration.  He has taught students, ranging from pre-school age to the college level, and adults.  He is highly qualified and holds  "All Level"  Texas  certification in Music Education and directs The Woodlands College Park High School Jazz Band.  David has served as a music minister, contemporary worship leader, orchestra director and fine arts administrator at several area churches.  He holds degrees from The University of  Houston and Houston Graduate School of  Theology with emphasis in church music.  He has worked with many distinguished professors including Bob Bennett, Carol Vaughn, David Wehr, Bob Jones and John Paul.  David also has professional experience in both corporate &  fine arts administration.

David is an accomplished pianist, organist and vocalist.  He has served as music director and keyboard accompanist for musical theatre productions for various organizations including Lone Star College, Sam Houston State University, The Owen Theatre, The Crighton Theatre and others.  In addition, David enjoys composing and recording contemporary Christian music.  He has worked with Houston based "SpiritWind" as well as several leading Christian artists in the Nashville area.  David is a session musician for local recording studios and has produced a wide variety of recordings.   Additionally, David is the bandleader/keyboardist for The DJ Mac Big Band, and The DJ Mac Dance Band.  These groups perform for many corporate and community events in our area.  David's professional associations include TMEA,  NFMC, MTNA, AGO, TJEA, and The Chorister's Guild.
  
Joanna Garcia
Piano/Violin Instructor

Joanna holds a degree in Piano Performance from Sam Houston State University. She has been involved in various local orchestras, playing violin as a secondary instrument.  Joanna studied piano with Ann McCloskey, Sandra Davidson, John Paul and Hiromi Matsunaga.  She has served as an accompanist for private lessons, choirs, orchestras, musical theatre and school competitions.  Joanna also plays piano for weddings and freelancing in various cafés.  She was a member of the SHSU Symphony Orchestra and studied violin with Barbara Allen, Joy Plesner, Barbara Rask and Andrew Wilson.  She has enjoyed teaching a wide variety of pedagogical methods, including Myron Cole, Music for Little Mozarts, Suzuki and Kindermusik. She loves teaching keyboard and strings and has over twenty years of experience teaching private lessons. 

Dawn Monachino
Voice, Piano & Flute Instructor

Dawn holds a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Northern Colorado and a Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Performance from Houston Baptist University.  She also completed one year of graduate studies at The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.  Dawn has been a professional vocalist since the early 1980's. Dawn's experience includes both classical and contemporary genres of music.  From Chamber Choirs to Las Vegas Shows and Cole Porter Cabarets to Cruise Ships, Dawn has been active in performing all types of music.  She has performed overseas and locally with TUTS, The Houston Grand Opera, community theatre groups, churches and synagogues. We are pleased to have Dawn as our principal voice teacher, flute teacher and instructor for beginning piano students.  

Jon M. Steen
Piano & Organ Instructor 

Born in Canada in 1941, Jon moved to the USA in 1947 to study piano and organ in Western Pennsylvania.  Jon played the 3-manual Moeller pipe organ at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA for required Chapel attendance from 1959 to 1963.  Moving to Texas in 1976 with his family, Jon was employed with Brook Mays Piano & Organ Company in keyboard sales and also taught organ & piano lessons.  During this same period, Jon played part-time at Pipe Organ Pizza on the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre pipe organ for 8 years, played several seasons with the minor league Houston Apollos hockey team, and played four seasons as organist with the National League Houston Astros.  From 1987 thru 1993 Jon was the organist at Airline Manor Baptist Church and Long Point Baptist Church.  Jon became organist at Spring Baptist Church from 1993 to 2001.  Being semi-retired now, Jon devotes his musical interests to the Houston Theatre Organ Society, being a Sunday morning organ substitute in Montgomery County, dabbling in musical written arrangements on the computer using Encore! software, and working with David McKenery at Northwoods.  Jon teaches and encourages keyboard students in the co-ordination of mind, eye and hand motor skills, which are the skills necessary to be a successful musician.  Jon and his wife, Martha, have lived the past 15 years in The Woodlands.
 
Davey Vela 
Drama Instructor/Director  

Davey received his received his AS Degree from Kilgore College, and has performed in the Van Cliburn theatre.  He holds a Masters of Arts from East Texas Texas State University in Commerce.  While there, Davey performed in college productions and also worked as a crew member for many shows.  He previously taught at Blooming Grove,  Brazosport and Willis.  He received national recognition as an outstanding Yearbook Advisor in 2009.  Davey has directed over 150 productions including musicals, dramas and comedies.  He has won many awards in UIL One Act Plays including a trip to the state meet in 1994.  Davey retired from Willis High School and now directs community theatre, local high school productions and productions at NSA.  Mr. Vela is also a proud grandfather!

 


Brenda Storseth 
Drama Instructor/Choreographer

Brenda is the theatre director and instructor at Montgomery Jr. High.  She brings 27 years of experience in performing, instructing, directing, and writing plays.  Brenda is also an experienced musician and vocalist.  She performs with Houston based "SpiritWind" worship band with David McKenery and works as a professional musician for a variety of events.  Brenda holds her Bachelor of Science degree in Education with an emphasis on Theatre and English.  Brenda has taught in Colorado, North Dakota, Florida, Guam and Texas.  As theatre director at Montgomery Junior High, Brenda has enjoyed great success as her students have won first place in the district UIL competitions for the past four years.  She has high expectations of her students and has the ability to bring out the "star" in even the most timid kids.  Brenda has directed over 35 plays and has written monologues, scenes and scripts specifically for her students to perform.