About Our Teachers

Deanna Maio

Founder – Voice Teacher and Certified Professional Coach

Deanna Maio is a Voice, Piano and Ukulele Teacher and Performance Coach specializing in vocal function for singers, speakers, and actors. She teaches private voice instructions, workshops, classes and to kids and adults in Portland, Oregon and with remote students around the world. She is the Founder of Confident Voice Studio.

Ms. Maio has an extensive background in performing on concert, theater, nightclub and event stages. As a versatile Lyric Character Soprano with a 3 octave range, Deanna most often sings solo swing and classic pop and musical theatre repertoire. She is the founder, artistic director and a principal performer at Portland Musical Theater Company. She has also coached countless singers in audition techniques, competition preparation, solo club gigs, working with a big band, and much more. Over the past 39 years, Ms. Maio has been performing on stages, big and small, all over the country, including with the Oregon Symphony.

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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.

Gabriel Henriques

Voice, Piano, Ukulele

Gabriel Henriques has loved the craft of singing since he began lessons in high school; which turned into a degree in Opera Performance from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins.

He has many years of experience and loves to teach voice with a holistic approach; incorporating a deep understanding of vocal anatomy, breath support, ear training, and music theory.

His desire is to foster his students’ ability to sing their heart out in a voice that is honest, agile, and supported (and beautiful! ..obviously).

His instruction is tailored and personalized to each student and their interests and goals. Gabriel believes in his students and is humbled to be able to be a part of his students musical journey’s, whatever that looks like.

He also offers piano accompaniment within lessons and in performance, and enjoys teaching piano and ukulele lessons to boot!

He says to stay hydrated, take your dream bull by the horns, and charge ahead!

Favorite dessert: Anything with lots of chocolate. I think desert is underrated and have too many favorites to choose from! If you need me to choose one however, I suppose that would be the chocolate buttercream vanilla cupcake (especially from Magnolia’s in Manhattan).

Top 3 favorite singers:  David Bowie, Elton John, Nina Simone
What I wanted to be when I grew up:  A beach bum 🙂

Christie Quinn

Beginner Piano & Kidzrock

Christie Quinn is a local Portland actress, singer, teacher, and paralegal. She graduated from Presbyterian College with a B.A. in English and holds a secondary education teaching certificate as well. She has taught English to students of all ages in the U.S. and to adults in Prague.

She has also performed in several musicals in the Portland area and in South Carolina. She began learning piano when she was 6. She believes that arts are integral to life.

When not performing or teaching or helping as our studio manager, she runs The Bookmobile Babe, a non-profit that focuses on literacy.

Christie’s favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake.
Her favorite musicians are Chopin, Prince, and Ray Charles.
When she was a kid she wanted to be a Ballerina when she grew up.
Her favorite color is purple.

Click here to schedule with Christie

Western-Li Summerton

Piano

Western-Li Summerton is a pianist and teacher based in the Pacific Northwest. He is currently an accompanist at Oregon Ballet Theatre, as well as a music director at Bethesda Christian Church. Summerton has performed in a variety of recitals, festivals, and competitions throughout the region, while studying piano performance at Willamette University.

Summerton’s experience extends past solo piano performance. He has accompanied choral groups such as the Squalicum High School Chamber Choir, the Salem All City Honor Festival Choir, and the Willamette Chamber Choir, as well as numerous vocalists and instrumentalists. Besides accompanying. Summerton has participated in small chamber ensembles, winning the 2014-2015 OMTA Scholarship Competition Small Ensemble Division with a two piano ensemble.

Summerton believes that music is a fundamental part of life, and is passionate about teaching piano to all ages. He believes that lessons should incorporate not only knowledge of the instrument, but theory, history, and overall musicianship behind what one plays. Through the integration of these concepts, students get a well rounded education in order to expand their musical experience.

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Michelle Thibodeaux

Instructor: Voice, Piano, Guitar, Ukulele and Songwriting

I have loved music as long as I can remember. I learned the piano and flute in grade school, and then I began to pursue music seriously in high school. I took guitar and voice lessons and became passionate about song-writing. 

During high school I was accepted to The Interlochen Center for the Arts summer singer-songwriter workshop, did gigs at local venues, and also performed one of my own songs at my high school graduation.

During college music was never far from my mind and heart and I took private voice lessons while pursuing a degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland.

I have worked extensively with students of all ages as a reading tutor and have learned patience and the joy of seeing students succeed. I have also been teaching voice, piano, and guitar to a wide variety of students. I have experience working with people with special needs and find it particularly rewarding. 

Music has been a place of refuge and a source of inspiration for me. It helps to ground me in what can sometimes be a confusing and overwhelming world. I believe that it can be the point of connection and inspiration that helps students to persevere in school and in life and I would like to bring this kind of inspiration and connection to my music student.

My Favorite Dessert: Cheesecake with Fruit

My Favorite Color: Forest Green

My Top Three Favorite Artists: Carole King, Amy Winehouse and Lizzo

What I wanted to be growing up: a Pop Star