A Few Notes About the Instructors
Dawn Smith Salmons
The founder of Dawn’s Piano Studio, Dawn Smith Salmons has been teaching piano in Orlando since 2002. She holds a B.A. in contemporary music ministry, with an emphasis in voice and piano, from Spring Arbor University and a Master's of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary. In 2009, she was recognized with the Young Leader Award from Spring Arbor University's alumni association. Dawn has accompanied and performed with various groups including bands, jazz bands, choirs, a ska band called The Smoothies, and WellSpring (Spring Arbor University’s traveling ensemble), in which she was the primary keyboard player. She has been the worship assistant for River Run Christian Church, the worship pastor at The Harbour Church, and is currently the worship leader at Asbury Seminary. In addition, she writes music, leads worship, consults and performs for a variety of venues and events including churches, camps, retreats, and conferences. Dawn believes that piano is best taught from many different angles so she focuses on combining note-reading with theory, ear-training, and chord playing. When put together, this well-rounded type of study helps students become pianists who are able to play many different styles with great understanding. Dawn’s students are encouraged to make suggestions about song selection so that they remain focused and move forward while learning songs that they specifically enjoy. Dawn enjoys watching students progress and her goal is for all students to grow in their understanding, ability, and love of the piano! In addition to music, Dawn loves to hang out with her three children and her husband, Blair!
Wilson Diaz started his piano and music studies at the age of 13 with the Colombian composer Jaime Doneys. During his high school years he was a member of marching bands and participated in arranging music for theater productions at the National Theater House in Colombia. He has been a piano student of recognized pianists such as Sergei Sychkov and Dr. Gary Wolf, has completed piano pedagogy courses under the instruction of Dr. Gloria Cook and Randall Faber, has had the honor of performing with virtuoso Bela Fleck, and has participated in clinics, workshops and master classes with globally recognized musicians such as Leon Fleisher, Joseph Banowetz, Chick Corea, Chano Dominguez and Avishai Cohen. In 2004, he was a recipient of the outstanding musician award in the honors recital at Seminole State College. He holds an A.A. in Music (Seminole State College) and an Honors B.A. in Music with an emphasis in piano pedagogy and composition (Rollins College), a degree he earned magna cum laude. Wilson has taught with Dawn's Piano Studio since 2007.
Keegan Matthews joined Dawn’s Piano Studio in 2011 with experience in a wide variety of musical areas. He began his musical studies on euphonium but switched his focus to piano after a group piano class in high school. He holds an associate’s degree in Music Education from Seminole State College of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Piano Studies from the University of Central Florida. While at Seminole State, he was a mentor in music theory and piano for other students in classical and jazz music, music theory, improvisation, and piano technique and performance. He has won awards in multiple competitions and has performed with notable musicians such as Bobby Koeble, Jeff Rupert, Richard Drexler, Roosevelt Collier, Anthony Cole, Linda Cole, and Matt Lapham. Currently, Keegan performs weekly with The Orlando Jazz Orchestra, the funky-Latin quartet Con Leche, the Get 2nds, and Orlando’s up and coming band Leisure Chief. He is also a composer/arranger who has his music performed throughout Central Florida. Keegan loves teaching piano and is passionate about each student finding their own interests in their study. He has seen a positive impact in his own life as a result of his piano studies and wants to pass that on to his students.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Marcinko Orozco began learning piano at age 11. In 2009, he began studying under renowned pianist Dr. Boril Ivanov. He went on to study at Florida State College at Jacksonville, where he received an A.A. in Music with a focus on piano and theory. In 2015, Marcinko moved to Winter Park to attend Rollins College, where he received his B.A. in Music with a focus in Composition and Piano Performance. While a Rollins student, he studied piano and music theory pedagogy extensively under the direction of Dr. Gloria Cook and Dr. Daniel Crozier and performed both piano and composition recitals. He has also taken master classes with Lise de la Salle and Marvin Blickenstaff. Marcinko performed as a solo artist at San Jose Country Club, provided accompaniment for FSCJ's production of Jacque Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, and played with the FSCJ’s President's Jazz Combo. He was the pianist for the Rollins Chamber Ensemble and the Rollins Acoustic Ensemble, a conductor for Vespers at Knowles Chapel, and a tenor in the Rollins College Choir. In 2018, he was awarded the Ralph Lyman Baldwin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Composition. In addition to performing, Marcinko has a real love for teaching and connecting with students. While at both of his undergraduate institutions he was a music theory and piano tutor and he has taught private piano lessons around the greater Orlando area. He is also a well-loved and sought after tennis instructor at the Interlachen Country Club in Winter Park. A passionate and creative teacher, Marcinko is committed to helping each student love their lessons and reach their greatest potential as a pianist.
Libby Sellers started playing the piano at a young age with her mother as her first piano teacher! An organist and pianist, she holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education and Piano Pedagogy from East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. and was a student of Dr. Henry Doskey, a protégée of William Gillock and Menahem Pressler. Some of the highlights of her undergraduate years were being selected as a semi-finalist in the ECU Young Artist’s Competition and being inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society. Libby spent thirty-three years teaching choral and general music at schools in North Carolina and Orlando and has been a music director at several Orlando area churches. Now she is excited to spend more time teaching students how to play her favorite instrument. Libby enjoys sharing the joy of music with her students and watching them grow as they learn about music and increase their piano playing skills. As an educator, she has learned that playing the piano has many benefits: it helps students develop good critical thinking and problem solving skills as they learn to read and analyze the music, gives students a sense of accomplishment as they meet their weekly practice goals, and creates a sense of confidence in students as they see themselves improve and move on to new and more difficult pieces. In addition to her teaching, Libby is on staff at St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church and also plays for theater productions. A sought-out musician, you will be captured by her talent, excitement, and enthusiasm!
Sandra Vázquez Hernández
Born in Manhattan, NY, Sandra moved to Puerto Rico when she was five years old. At the age of ten she began studying piano. By age thirteen she entered Puerto Rico’s premiere music school, The Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, where she later studied with Marisa Garcia and obtained her B.M. in Music Performance with a concentration in piano and a minor in education. In 1999, she earned an M.A. in Education Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix. In addition to her studies at the Conservatory, Sandra has also studied piano with Blanca Uribe, Jesús María Sanromá, and Paul Posnack (Juilliard). Sandra’s extensive teaching career includes almost thirty years of teaching at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico and more than twenty years as a public school music teacher, where she taught all levels K-12 and was also a principal for three years. Sandra has also been a soloist and accompanist for concerts throughout Puerto Rico, many of which were broadcast on the radio, and has played for weddings, birthdays, baptisms, ceremonies, anniversaries, and other professional activities both as a soloist and in other musical groups. A gifted teacher and musician, Sandra loves what she does and creatively works to help every student love learning piano!