Jill Thomassen began studying piano at the French School of Music in NJ when she was 8 years old. The following year she added private lessons on the flute. A graduate of The Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, Ms. Thomassen studied modern and baroque flute performance with Timothy Day (then Principal flutist of the Baltimore Symphony). Her teaching and performing are also greatly influenced by her attendance and performance at many master classes taught by renowned English flutist Trevor Wye, one of the leading flute pedagogues in the world today. Other important teachers include Julius Baker, Christopher Krueger, Gerardo Levy, and Virginia Schulze-Johnson.
Ms. Thomassen enjoys teaching all ages and levels (including adults!). Her flute students have held positions in upper level ensembles such as All County, All State, and the Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra. Her teaching emphasizes effective and efficient practice techniques, and above all, she encourages her students to love and enjoy playing music, at every level.
Kimberly McNicholas Keehner inherited her love of music from her father, who played trumpet with a US Army Air Force band during World War II. Kim began playing flute at age 10 and was a member of bands and orchestras associated with Towson University’s outstanding music department. She earned bachelor and masters degrees in music education at Towson where she studied flute under noted instructor Robin McKey-Day.
During a 32-year teaching career with the Baltimore County Public Schools, elementary and middle school bands and orchestras under Kim’s direction received superior and excellent ratings at both county and state levels of competition. In addition she served as the elementary instrumental music representative to the Maryland Music Educators Association and has played flute and piccolo with the Gettysburg Symphony Orchestra.
Kim specializes in developing a lifelong love of music and performance in the youngest musicians. Although she excels at playing and teaching woodwinds (flute, clarinet and oboe), Kim is happy to work with students who are learning strings and brass. Quite simply, Kim’s passion isn’t just music, it’s teaching the techniques that guide beginning players to excel. Whether working with young musicians in several Howard County schools or as a part of the Mike’s Music family Kim is uniquely qualified to nurture the sheer joy that comes from making music.
Sarah Casey comes from a musical family and is from Baltimore, Maryland. Sarah earned her Master’s Degree from Ohio University in 2016 where she was a concerto competition finalist that year. While at OU, Sarah held positions as the flute graduate assistant and as a band graduate assistant. Sarah has enjoyed performing as principal of the OU Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra, as well as a member of the Shimmering Silver Flute Quartet, OU flute choir and various other chamber ensembles.
She attended James Madison University, where she graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance. At JMU, Sarah enjoyed a busy four years playing in the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and with the JMU Flute Choir. Sarah also made guest appearances with the JMU Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Band.
Sarah has ten years teaching experience, holding an active private studio with students ranging from seven to seventy. Sarah's students regularly hold principal positions in their school ensembles, and her students have been selected to perform as members of the Baltimore Symphony Side by Side Orchestra, All County Band and Orchestra, and Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra. Sarah believes the most important part of playing flute is to have fun!