Alfred Tam

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Alfred Tam received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Texas at Austin and Master of Music from the University of Houston, both in Trombone Performance. He has performed with numerous classical, jazz and pop groups including Galveston Symphony, Houston Civic Symphony, Campanile Orchestra, Clouseaux, SA8, etc. and participated in festivals such as International Music Festival – Roundtop and Texas Music Festival.

Alfred began guitar instruction at 9 and soon learned works by Albeniz, Bach, Carcassi, Giuliani, Sor, Villa-Lobos, etc. and participated in numerous recitals. Electric guitar and bass followed as Mr. Tam learned the songbooks of early Rock and Pop songs to the latest hits. He is active in the live music community, performing in a variety of venues here in Houston and abroad as well as lending his musicianship to studio recordings by local artists.

Mr. Tam has been teaching guitar, bass and low brass since 1996 and has been an instructor with The Moosic School since 2008. He enjoys introducing students of all ages to fundamental practice and musicianship skills as they learn a diverse range of music. He has many years experience successfully preparing students for auditions, competitions and recitals.
Ayako Onishi

A native of Tokyo, Japan, Ayako Onishi began piano lessons at the age of seven with Noriko Nakamura. She learned solfege, sight-reading, and music theory at the Music School for Children Toho Gakuen School of Music while taking lessons with Machiko Kurihara and Mami Kumabe until she moved to the US. In 1998 she entered Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a scholarship and studied in the studio of Lydia Frumkin. As a soloist and accompanist, she performed at many recitals and concerts including a master class with Jeremy Denk and the Interharmony International Music Festival in Geneva, Switzerland. After earning her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance in 2002, she pursued her piano studies with Nancy Weems while earning a scholarship at the University of Houston's Moores School of Music.

After completing her Master of Music in Piano Performance in 2004, she joined the teaching staff at The Moosic School. She has been teaching students from age three to adult and from beginner to advanced. Many of her students take the ABRSM (Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music) exams and successfully pass with Merit or Distinction.
Henna Mohamed

Originally from Fairfield, Connecticut, Henna Mohamed began playing the cello at the age of 7. She comes from a musical family but never decided to pursue music as a career until the age of 16 when her high school orchestra director inspired her to unleash her true potential. Since then, Henna Has studied under Allison Eldridge, Vagram Saradjian, Estelle Choi, and Eunghee Cho. Henna has been the recipient of numerous awards which include the Music For Youth Malafronte Scholarship and the Greenwich Symphony’s Music Award and Scholarship. She has been a finalist of several competitions including the Lyra Music Competition, the Stamford Young Artists competition, the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, and the Williams Chorale Bacardi Fallon Scholarship Competition. Henna hopes to inspire her students in the ways that her own mentors have.

With a passion for chamber music and working with young musicians, she has completed internships with Chamber Music Central and the Young Talent Chamber Music Inc. She has served as faculty for the Young Artists Philharmonic of Stamford, Connecticut and has the privilege of teaching young, talented cellists and pianists who come from Texas, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Aside from teaching, Henna is a performer of chamber and new music. She currently has her own group, the Miror Piano Quartet which performs regularly in Houston, Texas.

Henna has just completed the Bachelor of Music Performance degree at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston.
Hoa Ly

Hoa Giai Ly was introduced to the piano at the age of 5. After graduating with honors in 1992 from the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Conservatory of Music in Piano Performance, she got a Bachelor’s Degree in Conducting and Master’s Degree in Piano Performance in 1998, and then pursued further study at the Shanghai Conservatory in China. She has performed frequently with the HCMC Ballet, Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) throughout Viet Nam as well as in China, Hong Kong, and the United States; playing numerous piano concertos with the HCMC Orchestra under the batons of Zhang Xiao Dong (China), Jean Deroyer (France), Franz Rasmussen (Denmark), Colin Metters (England), Minh Cam and Tran Vuong Thach (Vietnam).

Since the age of 16, Hoa began to experience teaching, and substituted for her teacher, Mr Nghiem Phu Phi, in his class of piano in Saigon where he left in 1984. Her undergraduated pedagogic experience was a good preparation for her later teaching career in the Piano Department of HCMC Conservatory from 1992 to 2006, as well as in her private studio in Saigon, and recently in Orange County Conservatory, California. Her students range from 4 year old who have an early musical interest to adults who play piano in their leisure time as a mental exercise.
Jack McLaughlin

Born and raised in Houston, Jack McLaughlin began playing the piano at the age of nine and quickly developed a passion for it. Since then he has performed recitals around Houston and entered in piano competitions, winning second place in the Houston Music Teachers Association’s piano competition and competing in the Music Teachers National Association’s piano competition. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in piano performance with highest honors at the University of Houston in May of 2015 studying under the world renowned pianist Abbey Simon. He is now pursuing a Master’s degree in the same subject at the University of Houston and plans to graduate by the end of 2016.

Jack has studied pedagogy at the university level and taught around Houston the past few years in group and private settings of all different ages.

Omar Escobedo


Native to Houston, Omar Escobedo began his musical journey playing violin at the age of 10 followed by cello at the age of 15. Omar went on to receive a scholarship to pursue his musical studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music to study with Vagram Saradjian, a notable student of Mstilav Rostropovich. During his undergraduate degree, Omar performed in masterclasses for Istvan Vardai, Suren Bagratuni, Escher String Quartet and the Aizuri String Quartet. He was also selected to be an orchestral fellow at the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival in 2019. Omar received his
Bachelors of Music from the University of Houston.

Omar is an active freelancer in and around the Houston area. He has performed as a substitute in the Galveston Symphony, Texas Medical Center Orchestra, Symphony of Southeast Texas and the Victoria Symphony.

In the fall of 2016, Omar began working as a string intern for the Houston Youth Symphony’s Coda prgoram, an El-Sistema based program in the Houston area. In the fall of 2019, he became a Teaching Artist for the same program, where he leads group cello classes in elementary schools.

Shannon Murray
  voice & piano
Shannon Murray is a passionate educator and musician. Shannon grew up in a musical family, learning singing and piano from her mother and organ from her father. She later studied piano with Dr. Silvia Santinelli for many years before moving to Houston to attend the University of Houston, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Music in Vocal Performance. She has enjoyed teaching private lessons in both piano and voice for eight years, and loves seeing her students perform. Her goal is that they will come to love music as they see their own abilities as musicians grow.

As a singer, Shannon is a fearless performer of new music; she was recently featured in the 2020 Cincy Fringe Festival in Colony, a production by AURA Contemporary Ensemble and Psophonia Dance Company, merging music and dance into a compelling artwork about bees. Shannon has sung in Italy at the soundSCAPE summer festival, performing works by Chaya Czernowin and Georges Aperghis. She also premiered the song cycle “Voces Disconjuntas” by award-winning composer Alejandro Basulto Martinez. During her studies, Shannon sang with the Concert Chorale at ACDA and TMEA conferences and performed in Moores Opera Center productions of Hansel and Gretel, The Love for Three Oranges, Romeo and Juliet, and La Rondine. She most recently featured as Tina in the 2019 production of Dinner at Eight by William Bolcom. In 2017, Shannon was selected to be an exchange student to the Mendelssohn Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig, Germany, where she sang in the opera Giulio Cesare and performed for the Houston-Leipzig Sister-City Association. In addition to music, Shannon loves to study foreign languages and speaks French, Spanish, and German. 

 Ton Ta
Ton Ta studied violin with his father Bon Ta at the Hanoi National Conservatory of Music and Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music from the age of five until he left for Melbourne, Australia to pursue his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Melbourne. He also began his classical piano training with Ms. Ha Tran, Head of the Piano Department at the Hanoi National Conservatory, at the age of eight. After completing his Bachelors degree with Honors in 2003, he moved to San Francisco and earned his Master of Music Performance degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In 2006, he joined the studio of the world renowned violinist Fredell Lack at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, where he completed his Master of Music Pedagogy degree in 2008.

Ton discovered his passion for teaching soon after he began in 2001 and he has not stopped since. His teaching approach focuses equally on nurturing the student’s interest in playing the instrument, improving student’s playing technique, and the ability to read music.

More information about Ton Ta, his performances and teaching can be found on his website

 Wakana Kizu
Ms. Wakana Kizu is a concert pianist, collaborative pianist, and piano teacher from Sapporo Japan. She began her piano training at the age of three from her mother, who is a piano instructor in Japan. She was coached by Mrs. Kayoko Shimoya, Mrs. Yasuko Sato from Yamaha Institute, and Mr. Shigeru Maruyama, head of the music department at The Musashino Music University. In 2003, Ms. Kizu came to the U.S. and attended
The University of Texas at Austin where she studied with Dr. Betty Mallard and completed both her bachelor's and master's degrees in Piano Performance. She has performed internationally in numerous solo recitals, concerts as a collaborative artist, and in master classes with Claude Frank, David Chang, William Doppmann, and Anton Nel.

Ms. Kizu is passionate not only for performing but also for teaching piano, and she enthusiastically shares her musical expertise with each of her students. She received piano pedagogy training under Ms. Sophia Gilmson at the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, she taught for the UT Piano Project and college piano class PIA201.

She has been teaching private piano lessons and group piano classes at The Moosic School since 2009.

According to Ms. Kizu, the enjoyment of playing the piano is the key to becoming a successful student of the piano.

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