Meet our Woodwind Teachers
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Laura Canelo Cohen, began her musical studies at the National Conservatory of Music of Santo Domingo. Ms. Canelo Cohen graduated with honors from Columbus State University where she obtained a Bachelor degree in music performance, and holds a Masters in Contemporary Music from the University of Valencia. She obtained her Doctorate in Musical Arts in Flute Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Iowa with a focus in Orchestral Conducting and Jazz Studies.
Sarah Baldus holds an active Iowa Teaching License with K-12 Music endorsements. She graduated with a BA degree in music education from Iowa State University in 2009. She began teaching instrumental music in Iowa Schools in 2010. Sarah teaches brass and woodwind instruments, as well as, piano and ukulele. She is a firm believer in putting the “fun” into every students’ musical education. As a professional musician, Sarah has performed with small ensembles, bands, and orchestras throughout the state of Iowa, as well as, touring Europe with the ISU Wind Ensemble.
Hayley Graham graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2015 with degrees in clarinet performance and public relations. She then went on to complete her master's degree in music therapy at the University of Iowa in 2017. Currently, Hayley is a board-certified music therapist who enjoys working with people of all ages and abilities. She has experience teaching and performing on a variety of instruments, including clarinet, voice, piano, and guitar. Hayley believes in creating space for joyful exploration and expression through music.
Mina Jerome is a graduate from the University of Iowa, where she earned a B.M. in Clarinet Performance. Originally from Iowa City, Jerome started piano at the age of four, studying at the Preucil School of Music. In 2009, she was the Level A winner of the Iowa Music Teachers Association’s piano competition. At ten, she started playing clarinet. She played at Carnegie Hall as part of the Young Adult Honors Performance Series band and in the Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy. Currently, Jerome plays clarinet and saxophone in local theatre and opera productions including Three Decembers, Footloose the Musical, and The Drowsy Chaperone.
Sam Hoying has had a passion for music his entire life. He began playing piano, oboe, and singing Bass/Baritone at a very young age. Sam has years of experience teaching all three instruments and currently is a student at the University of Iowa. At the University, he is in involved in the Voice, Opera, and Oboe studio. Sam also arranges and is involved in the University’s Tenor Bass A cappella group. Sam is looking forward to helping others find joy through music.
Originally from Hong Kong, Dennis Kwok holds BM, with the addition of the Meredith Willson scholarship, MA and DMA from the University of Iowa, under the tutelage of Dr. Kenneth Tse. During his study, he had also performed with multiple renowned classical saxophonists, including Nobuya Sugawa, Vincent David, Jean-Yves Fourmeau, just to name a few. Outside of university, he instructed the saxophone quintet from the New Horizons Band in Iowa City from 2017 to 2018. Currently, he is managing a private studio in Iowa City. Dennis is passionate about drawing audiences deeply into the art of music and inspiring younger generations. As an educator, his focus is to bring joy in music learning and help students achieve their musical goals.