About Our Team

Melissa Sondergeld-Hood

Voice, Piano, Ukulele

Melissa Sondergeld-Hood (she/her) is music/theater teacher and professional theatre artist in the Portland area. She taught at Mayer Christian School for 4 years and is active and working in local theater.

You may have seen her behind the scenes at Portland Musical Theater Company or Nutz and Boltz Theatre Company.

She graduated from Warner Pacific University in 2015 in Music and Theatre Education. She learned to play the clarinet at the age of 10, started in theater at the age of 15, and then sang from the age of 19.

She was recently in two world premiere online musicals with Portland Musical Theater Company, “The Show Must Go Online” and “Super Happy Awesome News” and is a proud alumni of the Portland Musical Theater Company Emerging Artists program.

Aaron Carney

Voice, Piano, Songwriting

Aaron Carney

Voice, Piano, Songwriting

Russell Gores

Guitar, Ukulele, Voice, Piano

Russell Gores is a guitar, ukulele, voice and piano teacher.

Music has been an integral and fulfilling part of Russell’s life since he was a teenager, with many of his teachers having left a lasting impact on him. He loves being able to pay this gift forward and inspire future generations to make music a part of their lives for years to come. It’s also extremely satisfying for him to see my students improve and have fun in the process.

More Bio Coming Soon!

Palmer Haffner

Voice, Piano, Ukulele, Guitar

Palmer Haffner is a multi-talented musician who has been finding creative ways to make music since a young age. He has a master’s degree in Music Education from Westminster Choir College in New Jersey.
While he studied there, he sang with the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic as a part of the Westminster Symphonic Choir. He also studied music abroad in England at Oxford University.
Palmer has been playing piano for 10 years and enjoys playing a variety of styles, including classical, contemporary, and pieces from pop culture.
Palmer is also an active songwriter with a background in digital music and sound design.
As an educator, he wishes to help students find their musical voice and give them the tools for creative expression and meaningful music-making.

Belle Williams

Voice and Piano

Belle Williams is a vocalist and actress and loves to watch students find their voice and what techniques work for them.

Belle had a passion for music that her mom encouraged early on. I love the storytelling music gives and enjoys seeing students grow in their craft.

She’s got a minor of theater arts and has worked in the professional world. She is knows for her compassion.

With studies in anatomy she loves helping people to know how the body works and what is healthy and not.


Deanna Maio

Founder & Director
Voice Teacher and Certified Professional Coach

Deanna Maio is a voice, piano and ukulele teacher and acting coach, specializing in providing voice functions for singers, speakers, and actors. She teaches in private voice coaching, workshops, courses, and lectures for children and adults with remote students around the world in Portland, Oregon. She is the founder of Confidence Voice Studio.

Ms. Maio has a rich performing background in concerts, plays, nightclubs and events. As a versatile lyric soprano with 3 octaves, Deanna most often sings solo and classical pop and musical repertoire. She is a founder, art director and lead performer of the Portland Music Theater Company. She also coaches countless singers, including audition skills, competition preparation, club solo concerts, collaborations with large bands and much more. For the past 39 years, Ms. Maio has performed on stages across the country, including the Oregon Symphony Orchestra.

More About Deanna Maio
As a Certified Professional Coach she is skilled at working with client to provide structure, guidance and support so they can:

  • Take a complete look at their current state, including their assumptions and perceptions about their work, themselves and others;
  • Set relevant and realistic goals for themselves, based on their own nature and needs;
  • Take relevant and realistic actions toward reaching their goals; and
  • Learn by continuing to reflect on their actions and sharing feedback with others along the way.

Deanna started dancing at 2 years old and just hasn’t stopped enjoying the stage. She grew up performing and has continued on in that tradition, taking lessons for dance, voice, piano, ukulele, stage presence, and acting. She has also completed a 25 hour course in vocal pedagogy through the NW Institute of Voice where she was certified the Blaylock Vocal Method for teens and adults. She is a Wunderkeys for Preschool Piano teacher. She scored her first professional (aka lived on the salary and didn’t have a side job) singing/acting job in 1998 with American Cabaret Theater after having completed numerous acting roles in middle school, high school and college.

She has taught privately, at summer music camps, afterschool programs in voice and ukulele, and speciality workshops like “Your Knock ‘Em Dead Vocal Audition.” She has performed with several local music groups including The Bureau of Standards Big Band, Girls., Swing Sisters, Tony Moretti and the Ray Sands Orchestra, and her own band, Deanna & the Downbeats and is a sought-after guest artist.

Ms. Maio is a certified associate teacher of the Blaylock Vocal Method. Developed at the Northwest Institute of Voice by Thomas Blaylock, it is a systematic approach to vocal development. This technique is revolutionary. It can teach you how to find and maintain a clear and fully resonant sound every day (for speaking and singing).

She is the Founder and Executive Director of Portland Musical Theater Company (PMTC). She has written and produced 5 original musical shows. She’s completed stage, film, television, and industrial acting roles in Portland since arriving in 1999.

Deanna completed her debut album titled” Deanna & the Downbeats” in 2008. She is a sought after voice over artist with over 100 voice over recordings to her name including the audio book version of Amazon bestseller “The Stolen Twin” by Michele Pariza-Wacek. Her own book, “GPS for Success” with Dr. Steven Covey and Dr. John Gray was published in 2010.

Other than music, Deanna loves to direct, dance and act. When she’s not doing those things she’s probably watching vintage makeup and hair tutorial videos, playing board and card games, or daydreaming of cheesecake.