• Alan Borkenhagen

    Part-Time Accompanist

    Alan Borkenhagen was born in Milwaukee. He has studied and plays Piano (both popular and classical), Cello, Clarinet, Oboe, Flute, Recorder and Guitar. In high school he toured Europe with The Greater Milwaukee Touring Youth Symphony. In England, he received honors in a Piano competition. One of the judges was the Queen’s Pianist. The orchestra placed 1st in a separate competition. He studied music, art, theatre and dance at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in 1983. While there he studied Piano under Dr. Jeffrey Hollander. After graduating he played for dance classes both at the Milwaukee Ballet and UWM. Soon he began playing for the choir of St. Lukes Parish in Brookfield. He did this for 20 years. At the same time, he also played and continues to play for a small Christian Science church in Bay View. For the last three years Berea Lutheran church has hired him to accompany their choir. From 2002 through 2009 he was employed by two schools in the Wauwatosa school system and accompanied choirs there, grades 6 through 12. He played for their performances, competitions, and extracurricular performances. The hardest part of playing for dance classes is sometimes wanting to do the movements with them.

    Emai: aborkenhagen@milwaukeeballet.org

  • Daniel Boudewyns

    Senior Accompanist

    Daniel Boudewyns, pianist, holds a bachelor’s degree from the Arizona State University School of Music. He has served as company pianist for Ballet Arizona, Colorado Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the River North Dance Company. From 1989 through 1997, Boudewyns was on the music staff of the Dance Aspen Summer Festival. In 1998 he joined the staff of Burklyn Ballet Theatre in Johnson, Vermont, and was personally invited by former New York City Ballet star, Jillana, to be part of the inaugural season of the Jillana school in Taos, New Mexico, where he worked for four subsequent seasons. He currently guests each June with the Alwin School of The Dance in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Boudewyns is founder and sole proprietor of “Sky’s the Limit Recordings for Dance” through which he markets his compact discs of beautiful music for ballet class. In 2005, he made his debut as a composer with a score for a children’s ballet, The Princess and The Pea, which was performed by Ballet Pensacola. This was followed in May of 2007 by his second collaborative effort with Bobby Ball and Ballet Pensacola, The Reluctant Pirate. As a music educator, Boudewyns has taught on the faculties of the Barat College Conservatory of Dance, and the University of Wisconsin Dance Department. Boudewyns joined the music staff of the Milwaukee Ballet in 2001 where he has served as pianist for the company and school, and has worked to develop a uniquely creative music curriculum for the students of Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy.

    Email: dboudewyns@milwaukeeballet.org

  • Jane Ciske

    Part-Time Accompanist

    Jane Ciske began her love affair with the piano at age six, and studied at the Wisconsin Conservatory throughout high school. She also studied the bassoon under Professor Thompson at UW-Milwaukee where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Therapy.

    Music has played an important role in her adult life from accompanying various operatic concerts, to a gig at Summerfest, as well as a 4 year engagement playing dinner music at the Taste of Italy restaurant in Pewaukee. Jane also sings and plays the guitar, performing at assisted living facilities in the metro area.

    Ciske credits her start in accompanying for ballet classes to the late Aviva Sorkin, who mentored her in the techniques of playing for structured classes at her downtown dance studio. She started playing for the Milwaukee Ballet in 1991 and enjoyed watching her daughter dancing in some of those same classes. Jane returned to the ballet in 2012 after a hiatus and she loves working with the staff and children at the Towne Centre branch.

    Email: jciske@milwaukeeballet.org

  • Jessi Kolberg

    Part-Time Accompanist

    Jessi Kolberg is a well-known musician in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. She graduated with honors from Wisconsin Lutheran College with a music degree in Piano Performance, Vocal Performance, and Church Music. She teaches piano, voice, and violin at Wisconsin Lutheran High School and voice at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School.  Combined with the students she teaches out of her home, her private lesson studio totals 65+ students.  She has been an accompanist for the Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy since 2003, the staff accompanist at Alverno College since 2011, the accompanist for the Ozaukee Chorus since 2019, and serves as the organist at Loving Shepherd Lutheran in Brown Deer.  She has participated in such well-known groups as the Wisconsin Lutheran College Choir and Chamber Choir, the Bel Canto Chorus and Choral Artists, the Lutheran Chorale of Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, and has accompanied the Chant Claire chamber choir, the Waukesha Children’s Choir, the West Allis Suburban Singers, and various high schools’ choir concerts and solo/ensemble events.  Jessi is currently still a member of the Milwaukee Chamber Choir, the Kettle Moraine Symphony Orchestra, and Canticum Novum, and can also be seen playing violin with the band, The Nightinjails.

    Email: jkolberg@milwaukeeballet.org

  • Ruth Lin

    Part-Time Accompanist

    Ruth Lin started piano lessons at the age of 5 years old and has been playing ever since. She currently studies with Stefanie Jacobs at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. In addition to piano, she enjoys performing with her piano trio ensemble as part of the Advanced Chamber Music Institute and accompanying school performances. Other musical talents include playing the violin.

    Email: rlin@milwaukeeballet.org

  • Peggy Lozier

    Part-Time Accompanist

    Peggy Lozier has worked as a professional pianist and music director in the Milwaukee and Chicago areas since she graduated with masters’ degrees in piano and choral conducting from UWMilwaukee. She has directed many musical productions, is a church musician, has taught music and dance privately and in the public system, and has served as an accompanist for many dance companies. She first played for Milwaukee Ballet Co. and School in the 1990’s. Since she is also a ballet dancer, she has enjoyed performing on both sides of the piano and is happy to, at this time, be able to spend more time back at  Milwaukee Ballet.

    Email: plozier@milwaukeeballet.org

  • Rachel Mehail

    Part-Time Accompanist

    Rachel Mehail’s love of music started at the age of seven when she began piano lessons. Rachel took lessons for eleven years and along the way also picked up guitar, clarinet, and saxophone. During her senior year at Dominican High School, she received a starred first at the Wisconsin School Music Association’s (WSMA) State Music Festival for a piano solo.

    Rachel is currently enrolled at Marquette University studying Civil Engineering. At Marquette, Rachel continues to share her passion for music. She was a member of the Marquette Wind Ensemble, playing clarinet, and participated in Pep-Band. She has also played piano for the Marquette Jazz Band.

    Rachel joined the Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy in 2015 and enjoys playing for the students. She loves being part of a community where music and dance come together as beautiful works that uplift and inspire an audience.

    Email: rmehail@milwaukeeballet.org

  • Vera Pawlak

    Part-Time Accompanist

    vpawlak@milwaukeeballet.org

  • Benjamin Simoens

    Part-Time Accompanist

    Benjamin Simoens recently graduated from The Juilliard School where he performed the work of Twyla Tharp, Jerome Robbins, José Limon and Alejandro Cerrudo, among others. Simoens spent his summers training at San Francisco Ballet, and was a winner of the National YoungArts Foundation Winner in Dance/Ballet in 2014.

    Email: bsimoens@milwaukeeballet.org

  • Kate Stocks

    Part-Time Accompanist

    Kate Stocks (BA, MM) is a well-known pianist/accompanist in the Milwaukee area. In her career as a piano teacher, her students have gone on to achieve high scores in piano festivals and audition events. Her performance background includes solo, duo, duet, and ensemble/chamber music playing. Stocks received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her Masterʼs of Music degree in Piano Performance from Cardinal Stritch University. In addition to teaching piano privately in her home, Stocks has been on the faculty for the Stritch Music Studios at Cardinal Stritch University. She has been a respected adjudicator for local music festivals and audition events and is a frequent performer in the area. She is also an accompanist for the Dance Department in the Peck School of the Arts at UW-Milwaukee. In addition to her education as a pianist, Stocks has had over 20 years of training as a classical ballet dancer (and has recently returned to her dance studies). Her position at Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy has given her the extremely rewarding experience of merging her two favorite worlds, ballet and piano.

    Email: kstocks@milwaukeeballet.org

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