Music Teacher – Woodwinds, Piano, Voice, General Music
Janelle Tibbetts is the Owner and Director of Spark! School of Performing Arts where she also teaches woodwinds, piano, voice, and general music. She received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, summa cum laude, from Florida International University and received a Master of Science in Education specialising in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University. She taught music at Clifton Hunter High School between 2011-2015, serving as Subject Leader during her last academic year there. Currently, along with her classes at Spark! studios, she teaches general music, beginning band, and choir at First Baptist Christian School.
Janelle is a passionate advocate for arts education in the Cayman Islands and participates in many events and programmes that include the youth and the arts year round. Janelle served as Vice President from 2011-2012 for the non-profit organisation Creative Music Project, Inc. and from 2014-2015 she served as Founder and Director of Spark! Music Initiative, both of which were organisations that advocated for well-balanced music education for all and promote balanced student-based musical experiences.
In July 2016, Janelle worked as musical director for the Cayman National Cultural Foundation’s Young at Arts Summer Intensive Programme where she arranged and taught the musical works for local play “Isabel”, written by Patricia Bent. At the 2017 National Arts & Culture Awards, she was a recipient of the Silver Star for Creativity in the Arts Award from the Cayman National Cultural Foundation. Lastly, she is an active member of the Lions Club of Grand Cayman, and engages in many service projects to support and serve the Grand Cayman community.
Gaining an appreciation for music from an early age, Jared Tibbetts started playing the drum-kit at the early age of 5 when he was given his first pair drums sticks. From there he began his formal training taking lessons in rhythm notation, learning rudiments and songs.
Although he taught himself how to play the drum-kit by listening and playing to different styles of music, he did take music theory and private instruction classes from an early age up to high school. During that period he began playing in school and local bands including national bands for concert, big band and jazz performing at gigs, events and national festivals, winning many awards. Tibbetts has also been a part of several recording projects as a session drummer and assistant engineer, helping him to continue to grow and network with other people both as a drummer and audio engineer.
Tibbetts was later accepted and awarded to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts where he completed his Bachelor of Music degree majoring in Professional Music, becoming the first person from the Cayman Islands to do so. With drum set being his principal instrument at Berklee, he has studied with a list prominent faculty members in the school’s percussion department such as: Mike Mangini, Rod Morgenstein, Terri Lyne Carrington, Larry Finn and Skip Hadden, along with a list of world renown faculty from other departments within the school.
After graduating Berklee, he made the move to New York City with a thirst to continue his education and self-development. Not long after the move he enrolled at the SAE Institute of Technology to receive a diploma in Audio Technology. At SAE he studied and worked closely with faculty and instructors on a long list of recording/mixing consoles, digitals audio workstations, outboard gear, microphones and speakers systems for recording, mixing, mastering, postproduction and live sound.
Tibbetts also takes pride in being an ambassador and representing the Cayman Islands, and is known to encourage other Caymanians to follow the paths of their dreams and is active in helping the youth to develop their talents. His fierce passion for music and audio technology is rivaled by the desire to share this knowledge with others.
Brianna Rodriguez began her musical journey at 3 years old, when she first began singing in public. Over time, she gained experience with various classical instruments, including piano, violin and clarinet. She studied piano, with a strong focus on the classical and baroque genres, for 13 years and has completed Trinity College music exams in piano, achieving the 8th grade level with Distinction. She’s also received various awards over the years for vocal and instrumental performances, including the Suggested Artist recognition for one of her compositions that was entered in the Song of the Year songwriting competition.
Brianna holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard University and has also completed a Specialist Certificate in Music Business from Berklee College of Music. During her 3 years’ experience in piano education, Brianna has tutored students from grades Initial to 6 in preparation for Trinity examinations, with a 100% pass rate. 90% of her students received Distinction or Merit. While most of her training and background is in classical music, Brianna has branched out and is an aspiring singer-songwriter. Though she endeavours to make music that transcends the archetypal boundaries of genres, classical music has always been a source of inspiration and creativity.
Sophie Nevin is a new team member of Spark! School of Performing Arts. Sophie grew up in a very musical household, singing from the time she could talk. She started violin lessons at the age of four and piano lessons at seven years of age. She holds both her Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees from the University of Hull. Sophie was actively involved in the Music department for the duration of her time at Hull being apart of both Contemporary Choir and University Orchestra. In her third year Sophie was also given the opportunity to be apart of the Czech Opera, Hry o Marii.
Throughout her Master’s Degree, Sophie gained extensive knowledge in song writing and studio production. Sophie majored in Performance and Composition, creating her own E.P., establishing her own band and creating a portfolio of compositions transforming a bicycle into a musical instrument. In addition to her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Sophie has also received Grade 8 for both Musical Theatre and Classical Voice and Grade 8 Ballet from the Royal Academy of Music.
Over the years, Sophie has taken part in many music festivals, competitions and performances for Drama, Dance, and Music across Ireland, including playing with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and performing with Riverside Youth Theatre. Sophie has also worked as a session singer in England during her time at University. Originally from Northern Ireland, she also enjoys taking time out to sing with the Limavady Big Band, playing at the internationally renowned Cork Jazz and Blues festival. In 2011, Sophie was given the opportunity to play violin in the National Scout and Guide Youth Orchestra based in Berkshire England.
Dance Teacher – Modern Fusion Dance and Afro-Caribbean
Nicole started dancing at age three with classical ballet training but started her professional dance career at age 18. She has performed in the Cayman Islands with the National Dance Company, Dance Unlimited and with Kri Performing Arts Co. in numerous productions. While in Jamaica she gained her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, School of Dance where she was an avid perfomer and Costume Director in the school’s performing body called DanceWorks. Her recent independent choreograpies include her final year production titled “Matryoshka”, and a solo performance at Cayman’s Gimistory in 2013 and a group peice at Cayfest Red Sky at Night in 2014. Nicole believes strongly in the Sankofa teachings of knowing ones past to progress to one’s future, and therefore she dives deeply into, and keeps close her Jamaican, Afro Caribbean, and African culture. Her heritage is very important to her and is evident in her choreographic works.