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Music Lessons in Fremont, CA

Soo Hong Student Recital

Dominican Sisters School of Music

Promoting Global Peace and Unity Through Music

Since the late 1880’s the Dominican Sisters have shared the love of music with thousands of eager students. The Dominican Sisters School of Music (DSSM) was formally established in 1961 - and continues to hear the voices of gratitude today.

photo of a DSMSJ music student

The Dominican Sisters School of Music strives to create a wholesome atmosphere in which the uniqueness of each student is valued and respected. Providing music lessons in Fremont, CA in an environment of acceptance, trust and security, our goal is to nurture students in their creative potential through a comprehensive education in music.

Located in the Mission San Jose neighborhood of Fremont, DSSM offers private music instruction in piano, violin, viola, cello, flute, and guitar.

The music lesson curriculum includes:
Instrument Technique
Music Theory
Solo Repertoire
Chamber Music Repertoire
Solo and Small Ensemble Performance Opportunities

DSSM students perform in three yearly recitals in the beautiful School of Music Recital Hall, and they are coached and prepared for competitions, auditions, and music festivals. A challenged student is a student who accomplishes much!

photo of DSMSJ music teachersStudents at the Dominican Sisters School of Music have received awards and honors from:
CBDA All State Honor Band
Nor Cal All State Honor Band
CODA All Staats Honor Orchestras
CMEA Honor Orchestra  
Junior Bach Festival
Bay Area Music Association
CMTANC International Music Competition
MTAC Certificate of Merit Convention Honors

For more information we invite you to call: 510-657-3217

"We thank God for the opportunity to serve our students from many cultures and religious traditions. We experience the truth that music not only enriches the lives of our students, but also promotes peace and unity in the global community."

S. Eva Beehner, Director

Music Faculty

  • Sister Eva Beehner, OP (director)

    Sister Eva Beehner, OP (Director) holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Cal State Los Angeles. She taught primary grades for 15 years in southern California and has been involved in music education, piano and organ instruction for over 25 years. She has been Director of the Dominican Sisters School of Music from 2002 to the present.

    Sister shares: “At our school we are blessed to experience the truth that music not only enriches the lives of our students but also promotes peace and unity in the global community”.

  • Sister Irene Mary Diones, OP (guitar)

    photo of S. Irene Mary DionesSister Irene Mary Diones, OP (guitar) has more than 30 years of education experience teaching, including music, art and as a bilingual in the Los Angeles Unified School District. A native of the Philippines she attended Philippines Normal College and graduated with a BA in Elementary Education with a Minor in Humanities and Art. She holds lifetime teaching credentials for grades K through 12 as well as Early Childhood and is a Certified Bilingual Teacher. She has taught in the Music for Minors II program, directed student choirs and musical theater productions. Sister Irene is also a liturgical music composer and teacher of award winning composition students.

    She encourages and inspires her students when she says to them. “The power of music affects your whole person; body, mind and spirit. Keep the music in your heart! Experience the joy, peace and beauty in this gift as you share it with others.”

  • Sister Andre Marie Fujier, OP (piano)

    photo of Sister Andre Marie FujierSister Andre Marie Fujier, OP (piano) earned her BA in Music Performance from Holy Names College and continued post graduate studies in Music Education at San Jose State and Cal State East Bay (CSUH). She is a certified Kindermusik International instructor. Her music studies have included clarinet and flute with Ernest Thompson, Gary Foster and Jean Cunningham. She has studied piano with Sister Lioba Doehman,Madame Kroell and Sister Mary Bertha Rehers. She has been an active member of the Music Teachers Association of California since 1976 and has guided countless students successfully through MTAC’s Certificate of Merit program. Sister has instructed students in piano, woodwinds and Kindermusik for fifty-two years.

    Of her teaching Sister says, “Each student has within themselves potential, talent and creativity. My job is to help them be the best they can be!”   

  • Sharon Hendee (violin, viola)

    photo of Sharon HendeeSharon Hendee (violin, viola) has taught at the Dominican School of Music for the last 17 years and has more than 25 years teaching experience. She holds a BA in Music from Cal State East Bay (CSUH) where she studied with Nathan Rubin. She has freelanced with many of the bay area’s regional orchestras and performed regularly with the Chamberlain String Quartet. Sharon has coached chamber music students at San Francisco State University as assistant to the Alexander String Quartet and at Cal State East Bay as a member of the University’s quartet-in-residence. She is a member of the American String Teacher’s Association and the Music Teacher’s Association of California.

    “I have the privilege of sharing my love of music with children of all ages and the pleasure of watching them develop into mature young adults. Teaching in such a peaceful, nurturing setting is an added bonus!”

  • Cathy O’Connor (piano)

    photo of Cathy O'ConnorCathy O’Connor (piano) received her BA in Music from Cal State East Bay and has more than thirty years teaching experience. She is a member of the Music Teachers’ Association of California and has chaired the Certificate of Merit Program and the Friends of Today’s Music Commissioning Project. Ms. O’Connor has worked closely with composers, publishers and instructors to promote and create new works for the contemporary repertoire. As an accompanist and chamber musician, Ms. O’Connor performs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She believes that music develops positive attributes far beyond the actual music and brings joy to students of all ages and levels.

  • Michelle Caimotto (flute)

    photo of Soo Hyun Hong Michelle Caimotto (flute)

    Originally from San Francisco, Michelle Caimotto has maintained an active career as a performer and educator for over 25 years. She has a flexible approach to teaching which is tailored individually to each student. Her approach and extensive experience are beneficial to casual students, students embarking on musical career paths, adult amateurs, and professionals.

    In addition to teaching at the Dominican Sisters School of Music, she is also the Instructor of Undergraduate and Graduate flute studies at CSU East Bay and Mills College.

    Ms. Caimotto has taught at the SF Waldorf School, SF School of the Arts, Northern California Flute Camp, La Honda Music Camp, numerous Invitational Music Festivals at CSU East Bay, the 2015 Music Teachers Association of California Convention, clinics for local band directors, and the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley. She has coached several of the Youth Orchestras in the Bay Area including the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, Oakland Youth Orchestra and Berkeley Youth Orchestra.

    Over a dozen of her students have participated in the All State Bands and Orchestras. Many of them are section leaders in their schools and youth orchestras, some are competition winners, some have gone on to gain acceptance into top collegiate music programs in the country and are now playing and teaching professionally. Many have gained admission to the top academic universities in the country as well.

    Ms. Caimotto performs with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera, and Ballet Orchestras and has toured and recorded with the SF Symphony. Her recording credits include soundtracks for television, motion pictures, DVD’s, video games, and 2 Grammy Awards: Skywalker Symphony: John Williams Conducts John Williams, Music from the Star Wars Trilogy (CBS-Sony) and San Francisco Symphony: Mahler Symphony 8, Michael Tilson Thomas. She is a member of 2 regional orchestras: Principal Flute, West Bay Opera, and Piccolo, California Symphony and has also played on Broadway shows with resident and National Touring Companies, including: The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, South Pacific, and the King and I.

    Ms. Caimotto’s education includes Preparatory studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Undergraduate studies at CSU Hayward, and further studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Her principal teachers were Barbara Breeden, Paul Renzi, and William Bennett., and Roberta Brokaw.

  • Soo Hyun Hong (piano)

    photo of Soo Hyun HongSoo Hyun Hong (piano)

    Since Soo was 5 years old, she has dedicated her life to the piano. Her love of music has an energy all its own – and, her students are transformed by her enthusiasm and love of the piano.

    While Soo’s education and experience is very impressive, it’s her creative approach to teaching that captivates her students. Her sense of dedication to sharing the joys of piano music are evident in her service to MTAC SACB as a Board Member and Vice President and as an After School Band Director in the Fremont Unified School District.

    Soo Hyun Hong is an Honor Graduate from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.  Studied with Gabriel Chodos, Stephen Drury.  Coached with John Heiss, Frank Epstein.  BM, Osaka College of Music in Japan.  Studied with Nagai Yuzuru.  She has performed in many ensembles, recitals and festivals such as Aspen Music Festival, NEC French Music Festival.  NEC Contemporary Music Festival, Boston International Summer Music Festival, NEC Gala Concert, NEC Percussion Ensemble, Kirishima International Music Festival, Japan, and Yong-Pyong International Music Festival, South Korea.  NEC Wind Ensemble, Heart of Hope Asian American Hospice Care Benefit concerts. Fremont Education Foundation ASB Benefit Concert.

    As an excellent performer, Soo is excited to release her CD album in the near future.

  • Corina Stoian (violin)

    photo of Corina Stoian Corina Stoian (violin)

    Corina Stoian began her musical career at an early age, performing while still a student with prominent symphony orchestras throughout Romania. She attended the prestigious “George Enescu School of Music” and the “Conservatory of Music” in Bucharest, where she graduated with the highest distinctions (equivalent to a Masters Degree). During this period she also won numerous prizes in national violin and chamber music competitions. She became a member of the “National Radio Orchestra of Romania” and the “George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra” in Bucharest. Corina Stoian furthered her studies at the famous “Folkwang Musikhochschule” (“University of Music”) in Essen, Germany and completed her Soloist Diploma with honours (Konzertexamen – equivalent to a Doctoral Degree).

    After being appointed as concertmaster of the “Folkwang Chamber Orchestra Essen”, Germany, she attracted the interest and support of several music foundations, most notably “Werner Richard – Dr. Carl Dörken Foundation” and “Villa Musica”, Mainz. This resulted in numerous recital and solo concert engagements with important orchestras in Germany, such as the “Neue Philharmonie Westfalen”, the “Klassische Philharmonie Bonn”, the “Bergische Symphoniker”, the “Philharmonisches Orchester Plauen – Zwickau” and “Detmolder Kammerorchester”, performing also in the “Saalbau – Essen” and the “Grosser Musiksaal – Basel”. She has collaborated with distinguished musicians, in concert tours in Spain, England, Ireland, Austria and Lithuania and giving solo concerts in Italy, Germany, Israel, Romania, Bulgaria, France, Switzerland and United States.

    In addition, she has recorded regularly for radio and television and has made numerous appearances at famous international festivals, including the “Schleswig – Holstein Musik Festival” (Germany), the “Rheingau Musik Festival” (Germany), the “Radio France Festival – Montpellier” (France) and the “Bear Valley Music Festival” (USA). She was also invited to the “International Academy of Music of Montpellier”, France, as a faculty member among the world’s most renowned professors and performers.

    Since August 2006 she has a residency in USA, where she appeared as a soloist at the "Bear Valley Music Festival", "Sonora Bach Festival", "Lesher Center for the Arts" – Walnut Creek (CA) with the "Diablo Symphony", with the "Merced Symphony" – Merced (CA), "Auburn Symphony" – Auburn (CA), "Academy at All Hallows Orchestra" – Sacramento (CA), "Folsom Lake Symphony" – Folsom (CA) and "Mother Lode Friends of Music Orchestra" – Sutter Creek (CA). She also performed in numerous recitals and concerts in Amador, Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties and with the "Gold Coast Chamber Players" in Lafayette (CA) and San Francisco (CA).

  • Bruce Foster (clarinet)

    photo of Bruce Foster Bruce Foster (clarinet)

    An active performer and educator, Mr. Foster recently has moved back to the Bay Area. From 2010-2016 he and his family lived in Beijing, China where he was Principal Clarinet for the China National Center for the Performing Arts. In 2012 he performed in concert with the Berlin Philharmonic in a co-operation concert with the NCPA under the direction of Maestro Lorin Maazel performing Maazel’s own transcription of music from Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

    Prior to working in China, Mr. Foster worked in San Francisco at the Conservatory of Music where he was appointed to the faculty of the Preparatory Division from 1999-2009. There he taught clarinet, chamber music and musicianship. He also served on the faculties of Summer Music West, Cazadero Performing Arts Camp, Marin Academy (Chamber Music Coach), San Francisco University High School (Orchestra and History), Santa Clara University, The University of San Francisco and the College of Notre Dame (now the University of Notre Dame De Namur). Bruce was a regular coach for the San Jose Youth Symphony, Youth Music Monterey and the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony.

    As a performer, Mr. Foster was a busy freelancer in the Bay Area and held permanent positions with the California Symphony, the West Bay Opera (Palo Alto, CA),Ensemble Monterey, the New Music Works (Santa Cruz, CA) and the award winning Citywinds Quintet. Bruce was a regular substitute with the San Francisco Symphony (2008-2010), the San Francisco Opera (2006-2009), Opera San Jose (2000-2010) and many others as a member of the ‘Freeway Philharmonic’.

  • Varvara Milinder (voice)

    photo of Varvara Milinder Varvara Milinder (voice)

    Varvara Milinder was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She graduated from Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music majoring in Piano Performance. In addition, she also holds a Theater History Degree from St. Petersburg Theater Academy. As a piano teacher Varvara has more than 25 years of experience teaching privately in St. Petersburg, Russia. She teaches all ages from beginning students to adults.

    She describer her Teaching Style and Philosophy: "It is my desire to help my students meet their fullest potential. In order to accomplish this, I consider each of my students and their skill level individually. Then together my students and I can work together to master the skills necessary to reach their goal. I strive to help my students improve their ability and gain confidence through accomplishing their goals."