Woodwind & Brass Faculty
Originally from Holland, Michigan, Dr. Sarah Korneisel Jaegers is a solo, chamber, and orchestral clarinetist now based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She teaches clarinet, saxophone, and piano at Amabile. She strongly believes that each student has a unique voice to contribute to the world of music. As a teacher, she instills in her students a deeper love and understanding of music, guides them toward the achievement of their aspirations, and aids them in the discovery of their own distinctive voice through the development of confident self-directed learning, critical thinking, and healthy performance practices. Her studio is a fun, welcoming environment that engages students and encourages them to grow as musicians. She believes that music enriches lives and communities and aims to inspire joy and creativity and cultivate musicianship in her students.
Dr. Jaegers has a strong interest in world music, expansion of the clarinet repertoire, and diversification of the canon, particularly through the promotion and commissioning of works by Turkish composers. In 2018, Dr. Jaegers traveled to Turkey to conduct research for her DMA document—entitled Turkish Classical Clarinet Repertoire: Performance, Accessibility, and Integration into the Canon, with a Performance Guide to Works by Edward J. Hines and Ahmet Adnan Saygun—which focused on classical clarinet performance in the Republic of Turkey and the value of works by Turkish composers that are a largely unknown segment of clarinet repertoire in America. Dr. Jaegers earned her DMA degree in Clarinet Performance from The Ohio State University, her MM from Michigan State University, and her BM and BA in Spanish from Iowa State University.
Flute, Saxophone & Clarinet
California-native Lucas Bere is an active performer, composer, and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lucas teaches saxophone, flute, clarinet, and piano. Every student learns differently, and Lucas adapts his teaching style to best fit each student. Some of Lucas’ students have gone on to participate in regional honor bands, as well as perform and receive recognition at festivals across the country. Lucas’ goal as an educator is to instill a passion for music in all of his students, regardless of whether they become professional musicians.
Lucas graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston with a Bachelor of Music in Performance. Prior to attending Berklee, he was a Saxophone Fellow at the Dave Brubeck Institute - a highly competitive program which accepts just five musicians at a time. Lucas’ studies include training in classical, jazz, and contemporary disciplines. Lucas has studied under renowned artists including Stefon Harris, Ed Simon, Shannon LeClaire, Joe Gilman, Dino Govoni, Wendy Rolfe, David Henderson, Matt Krejci, and Mike McMullen.
Oboist and Pianist Vivien Kong received her Master’s Degree from the San Francisco
Conservatory of Music, and her Bachelor’s Degree from the Glenn Gould School of the
Royal Conservatory of Music with the Ihnatowycz Emerging Artist Award. Originally
from Toronto, Canada, Vivien has over twenty years of piano performance experience
and nine years of orchestral experience playing the oboe. She teaches one-on-one lessons and group classes to children and adults from beginner to advanced level. She also teaches RCM and ABRSM examination materials. She speaks fluent Mandarin and English, and can teach in both languages.
Vivien has a strong passion for teaching. She believes music helps children be more
intuned with their thoughts and emotions, as well as broadening their minds, giving them
a creative outlet to be themselves. Vivien deeply values each individual's unique learning
style, and always develops a personalized way of teaching that best suits their strengths
and weaknesses. It is her priority to make each student feel special, valued and encouraged. Vivien is driven to inspire her students to explore and appreciate the beauty of music, and to help them create their own.
Trumpet & Bugle
Matt Funamura is a trumpeter, guitarist, composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist raised in the Sierra Nevada Foothills near Sacramento. At the age of six, he picked up his first guitar and trumpet at the age of 8 beginning his musical journey. He majored in music performance and jazz studies at American River College in Sacramento, California for two years during which time he was a freelance musician throughout the west coast. He then went on to earn a Bachelor of Performance from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
Matt has performed with and studied under numerous musicians in a wide range of genres including: Angelique Kidjo, Ingrid Jensen, Tiger Okoshi, Gamble & Huff, Salvador Santana, Joe Gilman, Charles Haynes, Dontae Winslow, Jerry Martini, and Victor Mendoza. He currently plays with local legend Ed Ivey and the North Beach Brass Band, as well as a wide range of musical acts in Northern California. He teaches trumpet, guitar, bass, ukulele, and mandolin.
“My parents always had classical music blasting on the record player and we all went to lots of concerts,” Hilary says. “I loved singing in school and church choirs when I was young.” In grade school, Hilary’s grandmother gave her a tiny little electric organ with a book, and Hilary taught herself keyboard. Piano lessons followed, continuing through high school. She sang in the high school choir and really wanted to play in an orchestra, and “of course there aren’t many parts for piano.” So she played percussion, cymbals, and bass drum in the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony.
Hilary went on to UC Santa Cruz, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Music, with an emphasis on piano and performance. She’s taught piano both privately and at the San Francisco Community Music Center since 1997. She was even a church music director for a number of years in Point Richmond.
But wait, you say. I thought this was about a French horn player? Yep! That’s where the serendipity came in. Hilary took her friend’s remark in 2007 to heart; she just immediately bought a French horn. “I had one lesson at Best Music and I just took to it.”
Hilary had lessons with a member of the San Francisco Symphony and it turns out she was simply a natural at it. “Then I was in a piano store and ran into someone who convinced me to join the Golden Gate Brass Band. I didn’t really know the correct fingering yet, but I joined and this forced me to learn quickly!” She credits all her section mates for helping her learn to play better. “Playing piano can be such a solitary activity at times.” Playing horn in an orchestra allows me to learn from the people I play next to. Every section mate has had a treasure trove of information and experience.”
Since that one day at Best Music in 2007, Hilary has played in the Community Women’s Orchestra and several concert bands.
Hilary offers an individualized approach, tailored to fit each student's learning style while building essential pianistic and musicianship skills. She loves fostering students' enjoyment of music-making by encouraging students to help select repertoire pieces. All genres of music are appreciated and added along with a steady mix of standard classical literature.