Current Teachers:

Amy Barker

Amy Barker is an experienced piano teacher and pianist. She studied piano at the University of Michigan, and has played piano as a soloist and accompanist all her life, while engaged in a number of other professions. Her bachelor's degree is in education from Oakland University, Michigan. Amy moved to Tucson from Texas in May 2018 to live near her aging parents. Her son, a video editor, and daughter-in-law also live in Tucson. In the previous ten years, Amy enjoyed a thriving piano teaching studio in College Station, Texas, played as a church accompanist, and was a solo pianist at restaurants and Texas A&M events, to include playing for President & Mrs. George H. Bush at the George H. Bush Library. Prior to living in Texas, Amy was a campus pastor and assistant professor in the Bible department at Bethel College, Kansas, after graduating from seminary. Though her passion for biblical theology remains, she finds that music best communicates the heights and depths of human experience, and provides such joy in our worship and praise of God. Since moving to Tucson, Amy has accompanied an active vocal studio, the church choir of Catalina Foothills Church, the Southern Arizona Women's Chorus and this year's Summer Chorus, and she regularly plays for several retirement homes. In addition to teaching piano students in her private studio, Amy teaches piano to students at Quest for Education and Arts. Amy has a love for musical theater and those drawn to it, and she looks forward to both teaching and accompanying at CYT Tucson.

Benny James

Benny James has had a passion for dance since his youth. From training for ballroom dance instruction at the age of 19 to dancing in various Movies and TV shows, his love of dance has found it's way into every part of his life. When not dancing, he has found time to be an actor, a circus clown and a magician.

Daniela Ayala

Daniela is a native from Yuma, Az that fell in love with theatre at the age of 9 when she heard The Phantom of the Opera for the first time. Since then, she has been a part of many productions, backstage and onstage. Her acting credits include Mrs. Savage (Curious Savage), Mrs. Bucket (Willy Wonka), and Margot (The Diary of Anne Frank). She has her Associate’s in Theatre from Arizona Western College, where she directed The Great Gatsby and Cagebirds, and has gone to direct many community plays such as The Diary of Anne Frank, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Real Women Have Curves. Daniela also created the Summer Youth Theatre Program in Yuma, AZ, a program to teach different theatre elements to children over the summer which is in its 6th year. She was also the stage director for Freaky Friday, a CYT production. Currently, she is a high school teacher at Salpointe Catholic HS.

Jacob Coffin

Jake has been in musical theatre for the majority of his life. He found his love for theatre at CYT Tucson, where he played a variety of roles such as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and the Cat in the Hat in Seussical to name a few. He discovered that he had an equal love for being on the other side of the curtain with directing and producing under the tutelage of Dr. Paul Russell - co-founder and president of CYT Tucson and former Dean of the Performing Arts at San Diego Christian College. Jake student directed and produced Little Shop of Horrors there, directed several one act musicals at CYT @ School, and has since moved on to directing 5 of his own original musicals for children 4th -12th grade. He worked as an actor at the Tucson-famous Gaslight Theatre for nearly 4 years, and is known to return there for a show every so often. When he is not on or near the stage, Jake teaches reading, writing, and drama at Desert Christian Schools, leads worship at his church, and lives his best life with his wife and his baby daughter.

Kara Myrick

Kara Myrick, a native Tucsonan, is thrilled to be returning to CYT! She brings with her a passion for music and children as she enjoys a dual career as a singer and a professional educator. Ms. Myrick is a trained musician who has spent the better part of her career teaching and molding young minds. As a singer, she has been featured as a soprano soloist with the Arizona Early Music Society, St. Andrew's Bach Society, Arts Express, Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church, and First Church of Christ Scientist, as well as a professional chorister with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Catalina Chamber Orchestra, and Reveille Men's Chorus. Ms. Myrick earned her B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Vocal Performance from the University of Arizona and later went on to receive her M.A. in Education.

Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes has been with CYT-Tucson since 2010 when he taught his first voice class and joined the artistic team as music director for “Annie”. Since then, he has been involved with numerous shows, including Shrek, James and the Giant Peach, Bye Bye Birdie, A Christmas Story, Annie, and The Little Mermaid. Michael holds a Master's degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Arizona, as well as having been involved with the Astronomy and Physics departments. He also holds an Associates degree in the field of computers. His chosen career path is going strong at Raytheon. Michael considers CYT his extended family, and is excited to join the team once again as the musical director for the '19-'20 Season.

Vanessa Corona

Vanessa Corona has been working in many areas as a Dance Company Performer, Music & Movement Teacher, Musical Theatre Choreographer, Wedding & Quiceanera Choreographer, Salsa Instructor, as a Live Theatre Performer and as a Voice-Over Talent. Vanessa has has also served on the Board of Directors for non-profit organizations and has been working in Administration, alongside the Arts for more than 15 years. She has worked for multiple companies in different cities coordinating and managing office procedures, marketing and developing websites. Being a part of the Creative Arts world is her true joy. Vanessa will be filling the role of Choreographer for CYT Tucson's upcoming Cinderella!