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

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 teaches at Lone Star College. David was formerly the Choral Director for Willis ISD.  and currently directs The Woodlands College Park High School Jazz Band.  David has served as a music minister, contemporary worship leader, choral director, orchestra director,  and fine arts administrator for 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 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 organist, pianist 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 recording artists.  David is a session musician for local recording studios and has produced a wide variety of recordings.   David is  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.  Professional associations have included  TMEA,  NFMC, MTNA, AGO, TJEA, and The Chorister's Guild.
 
Matt Martinez 
Piano/Voice     

Matthew holds a Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from Sam Houston State University.  He is a highly accomplished accompanist and performs regularly at community and public school performances.  He has served as a rehearsal accompanist for several community choirs, private lessons, numerous choral concerts,  solo & ensemble contests.  He has also served as Music Director for productions at Vive Les Arts and Temple Civic Theatre in Central Texas and at Lone Star College University Park.  During graduate studies Matthew served as Director of Music Ministries at The Woodlands Christian Church for two years where he directed the choir and played in contemporary and traditional worship services.  He has taught piano at two different establishments in Central Texas before moving to The Woodlands area.  Currently he serves as Church Pianist at First Baptist Church in Conroe, Tx and is the Assistant Choir Director at Beverly Hills Intermediate School.  

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.  

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 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 with over 20 years as an instructor.    

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.  

Jon now devotes his musical interests to the Houston Theatre Organ Society, serving as 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 coordination of mind, eye and hand motor 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.