Kris is the founder and owner of HSMT with over 25 years of experience as a worship and music director, teacher and performer, Kris holds an M.A. in Theology and degrees in both Music and Theater from Concordia University Irvine.
She manages and directs HSMT while raising her 3 boys who are also active in performing arts. Kris recorded multiple albums and ran her own tours before taking full-time music jobs.
Along with directing shows, teaching classes, and running two Musical Theater competition groups, Kris also teaches Voice, Acting, Musical Theater, Beginning Piano, Audition Coaching and Worship Band at HSMT.
Carolynn Schmahl has been part of the Huston Performing Arts faculty since 2015. She earned her BA in Music from Chapman University's Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music, where she was classically trained as a mezzo-soprano. Carolynn has acted as music director for several shows with HPA, including Honk, Annie, James and the Giant Peach, Shrek, A Christmas Story, and Seussical. Especially dear to Carolynn are her private-lesson students, many of whom have been cast as leading roles in local productions and have placed in the Musical Theater Competitions of America in the soloist category. She has also designed and directed several camps at HPA to teach musicianship skills such as sight reading, knowledge of music theory, composition, music history, and audition preparation. She loves to watch her students grow in their abilities and confidence, and believes that everyday she gets to make music is a good day.
Thomas Blumberg is a educator and performing musician from Placentia, California. He started his musical education studying classical violin and eventually shifted his focus to Guitar and Piano. Thomas has studied music at Fullerton College and is in the process of completing his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance at Cal State Northridge.
Shannon is a former Los Angeles Laker Girl and currently the choreographer of the Nickelodeon children's show Mutt and Stuff. She is also the choreographer for the children's television series and touring stage shows for Yo Gabba Gabba. She has been performing and choreographing for many years and has several film/TV credits. She also teaches technique to several Orange County high schools and studios and is the coach of El Dorado's award winning dance team in Placentia. Shannon loves working with kids and sharing her passion for dance and she is excited to be a part of Huston School Of Music and Theatre.
Avery Smith is a multi-instrumentalist and mix engineer, currently pursuing her music production and education degree with a dual emphasis in multiple woodwinds and jazz at Fullerton College. Her main instruments are bassoon and saxophone, and over the years she has found great joy in teaching her private students and students at various middle schools. Avery’s passion for bringing difficult concepts to light for other young musicians has led her to continue her teaching career here at Huston Performing Arts. In terms of production, she is currently an intern at Music & Production Studios in Fullerton, CA as well as a tech at her church, Redemption Hill. She loves to run recording sessions and mix music for bands and artists. Avery also works with Fullerton College Theatre Operations as a theatre technician, handling audio, lighting, and stage management for an array of events. She feels very blessed to be a part of the Huston team and looks forward to getting students excited about music!
Lucy Franco is a vocalist and keyboardist in the Orange County area. Having graduated from Chapman University in Vocal Performance, she has been involved with musical theatre, choral, and piano work for many years. Before coming to Southern California, Ms. Franco was the winner of the Washington State Solo and Ensemble mixed vocal competition and placed first in the musical theatre category at Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside. Her musical theatre roles include Éponine in Les Misérables and Mrs. Segstrom in A Little Night Music.
Yllary started off her career in the choral scene from the age of 6 & has been preforming around the SoCal area since. She has a BM in Vocal Performance at Chapman University & was also involved with many of their Operatic Productions. She has appeared in roles such as Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, Johanna in Sweeny Todd, Judas in Godspell, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Gretel in Hansel & Gretel, & Le feu in L’enfant et les sortileges. In 2015, she won the Chapman University Vocal Concerto Competition which granted her the opportunity to be the first undergraduate student to perform solo in the new Musco Center for the Arts. She has been with Huston School of Music for 2 years & has musically directed several shows such as Willy Wonka, Highschool Musical, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This year she made her directorial debut at HPA in their recent production of, Honk! Jr. She teaches as well as freelance performs around the Southern California.
Evan Haymond began touring professionally as a guitarist at age 18. After several years on the road w/ various artists, he decided to focus his attention on studio guitar playing & music composition. Evan currently composes and performs music for the Television show “American Pickers” on History Channel. His other Television credits include Disney Channel’s “Bunk’d”, Hollywood Medium on E! Entertainment Television, and other various projects w/ Oxygen Network, Animal Planet, Walt Disney Records, & Paramount Pictures. In 2018 he was awarded an RIAJ certified Gold Record & Billboard #1 Plaque for his work on the album “The Best From Now On” by the Japanese group SHINEE. Along with working in the music industry, Evan has always had a passion for music education. He believes that theoretical music knowledge and being provided the opportunity for performance experience is crucial in a music student’s development. Evan is committed to providing his students with a well-rounded musical education.
Nico picked up the guitar when he was 13. Inspired by John Mayer, BB King, and U2, he began playing at church multiple times a week – later exploring genres like jazz and folk – and decided to pursue music full-time as a session musician in Southern California. His teaching emphasizes conversation, practical music theory/technique, and development of the student’s ear. The goal is a well-rounded, confident, and performance-ready musician with a growing appreciation for the artform. Nico received an Associates of Arts Degree in Guitar Performance from the Los Angeles College of Music and is currently completing his Bachelor’s degree at Concordia University in Irvine, CA.
Notably, Nico has performed or worked with…
- Billy Cobham: jazz drummer (Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra)
- Dave Beyer: rock drummer (Loggins and Messina, Melissa Etheridge, Christopher Cross, Michael McDonald)
- Adam Levy: guitarist/songwriter (Tracy Chapman, Norah Jones)
- JoLi: songwriting duo (“Everything Is Awesome!!!” from the LEGO Movie) @ Comic-Con Palm Springs
- Neonomora: Indonesian singer/songwriter @ A&R Worldwide MUSEXPO2017 Kira Morrison: jazz/pop vocalist
Dylan started his journey as a dancer when he was 7 and spent the rest of his childhood as a competitive dancer. At the same time, he watched his brother Nathan Involve himself with musical theater and acting. After watching his brother on stage, he instantly picked up acting classes and auditioned for as many musicals as possible, furthering dedicating himself to the art form of performance.
Coming out of high school, Dylan has 10+ years of training in all styles of dance, 2 years of training with Reverb Tap Company, as well as experience in musical theater, acting, improv, and teaching children. He currently teaches tap classes to various studios while also working for the Imagination Machine.
Dylan is excited to work with Huston Performing Arts to help choreograph musicals and teach dance/MT dance. He hopes to share his passion for dance in every and any way possible!