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.
Madeline Belknap (she/her) is a musician, actor, and educator based in San Francisco. As a music teacher, Madeline has worked with students of all ages as a private piano, voice and flute teacher, choir instructor, and music director. She is trained in classical and collaborative piano, classical flute, and musical theatre and pop voice. Her music directing credits include The Aristocats Jr, Frozen Jr, The Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon, and Seussical The Musical Jr. She also is a composer for Theatre for Young Audiences, and her previous compositions include Fantastagirl and the Math Monster at Adventure Theatre (nominated for a Helen Hayes in Washington, DC), and The Seaside Adventures of Zoey Brine at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts. She earned a BA in Music and a BA in Drama from the Catholic University of America.
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.