RPA Kids Teachers

Amanda Eckerman

“Amanda Eckerman earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education under the direction of Dr. Eric Hammer and Dr. Ruth Brittin of the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific in 2012. Mrs. Eckerman, a National Board Certified Teacher, is the full-time general music teacher at John C. Bohach Elementary School and teaches private lessons for flute, ukulele, and piano. In addition to her work as a music mentor teacher and technology chairperson for the WCSD music department, Mrs. Eckerman is a graduate of Northern Nevada’s Teachers Leading Change Cohort and is a WCSD trainer for Social and Emotional Learning. Outside of school, Mrs. Eckerman volunteers with the Reno Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota and the Nevada Humane Society. Mrs. Eckerman teaches note reading classes at Mathews Elementary for RPA Kids and enjoys spending that time deepening her students’ understanding of music and building a musical community at her school.”


Hyeyoung Choi

HyeyoungHyeyoung Choi was born and raised in Korea.  She started playing cello at age 8 and won a 3rd place at Korean National Youth Competition 3 years later.  She received her Bachelor’s degree from Chong-Shin University in Seoul, Korea.  After receiving Bachelor’s, she had played in a few professional orchestras in Seoul as a substitute cellist before she came to the states to study.  She completed a M.M and professional studies in cello performance with Jeffery Solow who is a professor in Temple University, PA.  Hyeyoung had been principal cellist with Temple Symphony, Opera and Chamber Orchestra as well as Germantown Academy Orchestra where she had played for 5 years.  Hyeyoung moved to Reno in 2009 due to husband’s ministry.  She joined RPA Kids program in 2012. She teaches both violin and cello in the program.  She is married with two children and they both enjoy playing in RPA Kids.

Jeffrey Lindhorst

Mr. Lindhorst received his B.S. in Education in 1986 at the University of Missouri-St. Louis under the instruction of Dr. James R. Richards. He studied violin for four years with Mr. Silvian Itcovici who was the Assistant Concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Lindhorst received a Master of Music Education/Performance in 1993, from the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville where he studied violin with Dr. Kent Perry and workshops with John Kendall. He is currently in his 33rd year of teaching Orchestra. Currently, he performs as concertmaster and soloist for Tahoe Toccata Symphony Orchestra and previously, Concertmaster/soloist with the Town and Country Symphony Orchestra. He performed as a first violinist for sixteen seasons and for five concerts as Principal Second Violinist with the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra. He performed with the Ballet Orchestra of St. Louis for Swan Lake, Nutcracker & Romeo and Juliet. He has performed for musical greats such as: Luciano Pavarotti, The Moody Blues, Vince Gill, Lou Rawls, Dionne Warwick, Barry Manilow, Sissell, Manhatten Transfer, Smoky Robinson, Gladys Knight and Louise Mandrell. Mr. Lindhorst is the Director of Orchestras for North Valleys and Sparks High Schools.

Katie Peterson

KatieKatie Peterson is an English teacher at Robert McQueen High School who began playing the violin at eight years old. Music has always been a passion of hers, and in high school Peterson traveled to Reno each week to participate in the Reno Philharmonic Youth Symphony Orchestra. During her adolescent years, Peterson also played with the Carson Valley Symphonia, the Carson City Symphony, and a private ensemble group in addition to taking private violin and piano lessons. After graduating college, music came back into her life, and in addition to teaching the fabulous students of RPAK, Peterson enjoys performing with the Reno Pops Orchestra, Toccata (Tahoe Symphony), the Ruby Mountain Symphony, and the Carson City Symphony. The impact that music can have on a life is so profound that Peterson believes that every child should be exposed to programs like RPAK. It is because of a similar program started at her school in the early 90s that Peterson has had the privilege of a life of music, and she wants every student to have the opportunity to experience that kind of joy in life, because there is no joy like the joy of music.

Madalyn Kao

Madalyn Kao is a mom, avid cellist in the Reno/Sparks area, and former middle school orchestra director. Her love of music started at age five learning to play the violin. Madalyn switched to cello in 6th grade and participated in a plethora of music programs and ensembles in the Washoe County School District area. While attending the University of Nevada, Reno Madalyn became fascinated by the learning process through music, and changed her major from Painting to Music Education. In her undergrad, Madalyn helped revive the NAfME Collegiate Chapter at UNR, stage managed for the Reno Chamber Orchestra, gave private cello and piano lessons, and much more. Since starting her teaching career Madalyn has coordinated the WCSD Junior Honor Orchestra, fulfilled many roles in the Reno Pops Orchestra including coordinator of the Summer Music Camp, and was the Northern Nevada All-State Orchestra chairperson. Having since left the classroom, Madalyn is now the State Executive of the Nevada Music Educators Association and an RPAK teacher. Outside of the music world she loves playing tennis, drawing and painting, and reading.