Stephanie Burkett Gerson
Founder and CEO
Stephanie is a Southern California native, and called New York City her home for seven years. She has wowed large audiences with her voice starring in lead roles in regional theater, national tours, Christmas and Broadway style reviews, and cabarets throughout New York City and Southern California. She has had the privilege of singing our National Anthem and "God Bless America" at professional sporting events worldwide. Stephanie also shares her singing and performing skills by teaching weekly private voice and piano lessons, group voice classes, and hosting Broadway masterclasses.
Elijah Enoch Obcemea
Social Media Coordinator
Our motto is to create, educate and inspire. Bringing joy through music and the arts.
Welcome to SBG Studios! We are a bicoastal in-person and virtual music and arts studio. Stephanie started teaching voice and piano in Southern California in 2001. After moving to the east coast to pursue her passion as a performer and voice and piano instructor, SBG Studios was officially established in New York City in 2017. The studio has grown from a singular teacher to an amazing team of Broadway performers, recording artists, professional singers and musicians all around the United States. Now co-owned by husband and actor Zane Gerson, SBG Studios continues to evolve. Our goal is to bring joy through music and the arts while focusing on discipline, hard work, and integrity on and off the stage.
Chief Operating Officer
Over the past 20 years, Zane has had his hands in all aspects of the entertainment industry. After a successful career in CA, in 2011 he and Stephanie moved to New York City to grow and continue their performing career. After an amazing couple of years of performing in National Tours, regional theater, and around the globe, he decided to venture to the other side of the table and advocate for his fellow actors as an agent with the Daniel Hoff Agency. During his time with the agency, Zane was able to use his skills as a performer to help drive other actors' careers in NYC. He also led agency/auditions classes to help shape and guide performers in their material for successful auditions. Since being an agent, Zane has found a love for the tech industry, customer service, and operations with companies like ShopKeep, Happy Money, Wellfit, and Pacific Dental Services. Being able to help facilitate performers and artists to achieve their goals is the greatest gift. Growing SBG Studios has allowed him to use his knowledge of the arts, tech, and operations to make the learning process as seamless as possible for our students.
Lesley McKinnell has performed in shows from Carnegie Hall with her Children’s Chorus growing up to two National Tours of WICKED (u/s Glinda & Nessarose) and the original touring cast of A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER (Miss Barley, u/s Sibella & Phoebe). She has also performed in Guam & Times Square in NYC with the USO Show Troupe and on Disney’s MAGIC Cruise Line as a Broadway Guest Artist (TANGLED, Mother Gothel & TWICE CHARMED, Lady Tremaine) to other such exotic places as Maine (BARBRA STREISAND TRIBUTE, portraying Barbra Streisand) and North Carolina (GUYS & DOLLS, Adelaide). In Los Angeles, Lesley performed in many UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL PARODIES at the former Rockwell Table & Stage (HOME ALONE, JURASSIC PARK, CLUELESS, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, etc.) and was the closing day Elsa in FROZEN LIVE AT THE HYPERION where she had performed that role full time for two years. Lesley has known the endlessly talented Gersons for many years and is honored & thrilled to be working for their amazing studio.
Rebekah has been teaching private piano and voice lessons for 10 years and loves sharing her joy of music with each student. She has a background in classical style piano as well as contemporary genres. She has been privileged to study under some of the most accomplished professors for both piano and vocal training. Her vocal experience includes musical theatre, pop, country, jazz, and gospel. Local to Dallas, TX she is a singer/songwriter with a piano instrumental “Song for Sleep” available on all music streaming platforms. She is currently working on finishing up her debut vocal album. While teaching she has an emphasis on fun while still creating a foundation of theory and technique. When not teaching you can find Rebekah performing in musicals at local theatres, singing songs in coffee shops, and leading worship at her church.
Shannon O'Boyle (SAG-AFTRA, AEA) is a conservatory-trained actress who has been working professionally and instructing for over a decade. Broadway: Once (Girl s/b), Kinky Boots (Nicola); TV: Manifest; Regional selects: Playhouse Square (Lizzie, Lizzie Borden), Broadway at Sacramento (Legally Blonde, Vivienne), Berkeley Rep (Amélie), and North Carolina Theatre (Newsies, Katherine). Shannon has recently relocated to Los Angeles from NYC, where she began her stage and on camera career. She has trained on camera with Bob Krakower & Vance Barber, in scene study with Larry Moss & Scott Freeman, and in voice with Katy Pfaffl & Benjamin Czarnota. She continues to study in LA with Sydney Walsh, as she firmly believes in sustaining growth both as a teacher and actress. Shannon aims to collaborate with her students to explore their creativity, sharpen their skills, and further their understanding and enjoyment as storytellers.
Elijah is a professional opera singer and voice teacher currently based in Southern California. In the 2022/2023 season he makes his debut with Lyric Opera Orange County and Opera Santa Barbara in several featured roles. He will also be singing in the Metropolitan Opera’s Los Angeles District Competition. Elijah is a graduate of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU Long Beach, and has had the pleasure of working with SBG Studios for a year.
Jennifer Wilcove is a versatile performer, having played in a variety of regional theaters around Southern California, and recently completed her 8th National Tour with "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". She possesses a Masters of Music Education and Theory Composition from Azusa Pacific University and has taught at the elementary, secondary and university levels. Recent regional performance venues include: Musical Theater West, Moonlight Amphitheater (Vista, CA), Starlight Bowl (San Diego, CA), Geffen Playhouse (Los Angeles, CA), Disneyland Theme Parks (Anaheim, CA), Saddleback Civic Light Opera, Candlelight Pavilion, The Laurie Beechman Theater (New York, NY), Performance Riverside, La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts (McCoy/Rigby), The Colony Theater, 5-Star Theatricals (Cabrillo Music Theater-Thousand Oaks), Lewis Family Playhouse and the Crystal Cathedral. Visit the performance media page for a list of the nearly 50 National locations she has visited with the "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" Broadway Tour. She has also toured with The Gershwin Singers and Orchestra to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Florida. Jennifer has years of voice over experience with the international company EECI, as well as MTV Studios and Playstation Video Games, and previously appeared as a flash mob dancer for Scope with Ryan Seacrest. Additional voice over work can be heard in the sci-fi short film, "Helio", and she was a featured extra in the 2018 movie "Unbroken; The Path to Redemption". As a music director and actress, she had the opportunity to shoot a commercial on the NBC backlots with William Shatner for Pedego Cycling. Jennifer also recently finished an extensive voice over project for the online educational agency "Achieve the Core", to assist students with learning and efficient English fluency. Her teaching resume includes adjunct work for Azusa Pacific University, Cal Baptist University, Life Pacific College, Pacific Center for Performing Arts, Corona Civic Center, Lyric Theater, California Theater, Candlelight Pavilion, Lewis Family Playhouse, New Hope Elementary School, MI Music Institute, Hillside Academy, San Dimas Music, Brushstroke Music, Azusa Renaissance and the Academy of Music. Recent directorial work (Vocal Director/Orchestra Conductor) includes: "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", "Beauty and the Beast", "Pirates of Penzance", "Forbidden Planet", "Music Man", "My Fair Lady", "Little Women", "Legend of the Arrowhead", "Piece of Tin", "Evita", "Man of La Mancha", "Once Upon a Mattress", "How to Succeed in Business...", "Hello Dolly", "Spitfire Grill", and "Singing in the Rain". She also acted as vocal director for the production of "Twelfth Night" during which she instructed students on the necessity of vocal projection without electronic amplification in an outdoor arena seating more than 1,000. Jennifer's students have gone on to book Broadway, National Tours, Tokyo Disney, OCSA, Netflix, Crystal Cathedral, Cruise Ships, Television Spots, NYU, Disney Affiliates, Carnegie Mellon, LACHSA, National Commercials, Dreamworks, The Lincoln Center, major motion pictures, top regional theaters and grad school programs across the United States and abroad.
Sarah Newman is a musician now based in Orange County but originally from Portland, Oregon. She began playing piano when 5 years old, and she took classical piano lessons until she was 15. When Sarah was 12 years old, she started playing pop and worship music as she discovered her love for both of those genres. She also learned how to sing at that time which lead her to start playing piano and singing for her church. It was also at the age of 12 that she began playing trumpet. During high school, Sarah joined the jazz band on trumpet, and this sparked her passion for big band jazz, combo jazz, and jazz arranging and composition. She had her first experience arranging music for a small jazz combo she created with her friends that performed at local events. It was in high school that she decided to study and pursue music as a full-time career.
Sarah graduated from Biola University in 2021 with a degree in Commercial Music. There she studied songwriting and jazz/contemporary piano, as well as music production and composition. During her studies, she gained experience playing in pop and worship ensembles on piano, and jazz and classical ensembles on trumpet. Sarah has written and produced several original pop songs and has performed them with a full band. A goal of Sarah’s is to write and produce songs in the pop, rock, and jazz genres for other artists. Sarah hopes to share her knowledge and passion for music with young students and is excited to see them grow!
As a California native, music performance has always held a significant role in my life—dare I call it a love of mine? However, I was always told to get a degree even if my long-term plans always revolved around music, thus I graduated from UCSB with a B.S. in Psychology. Psychology was a great choice for me for a multitude of different reasons, but the critical thinking skills I acquired while earning my degree allowed me to become a still greater musician. As such, I am on a constant journey to develop and advance my artistry. Another reason psychology has had a profound impact on my musicianship is the fact that I deeply understand how the brain interprets music—both for the listener and the performer. Now, I have been playing music for over twenty years and teaching for over a decade. Naturally, psychology plays an integral role when it comes to my love of music—especially when it comes to guiding young musicians.
Luke Monday is an award-winning actor and singer, hailed by the Times of San Diego as “excellent leading man material”. Pre-pandemic, Luke was the standby for Elder Price in The Book of Mormon, and also toured North America with Mamma Mia! Regionally, he has performed at La Jolla Playhouse (Lempicka), Lamb’s Players Theatre (Once, Festival of Christmas), Sacramento Music Circus (Hunchback), La Mirada (Rent), Scripps Ranch Theatre (She Loves Me), and San Diego Musical Theatre (Billy Elliot). Luke is currently a member of the Dapper Dans of Disneyland, as well as a former Disney Prince, having performed in both Frozen: Live at the Hyperion, and Micky and the Magical Map at Disneyland Resort.
Edgar Sandoval, born in the heart of Los Angeles, California, has held a successful career as a violinist. Classically trained primarily as a violinist and secondarily as a pianist, he has had the privilege of playing under the baton of John Williams, Kent Nagano, and Michael Tilson-Thomas. In his American Youth Symphony days, 2005-2010, he had the chance to perform with international soloists such as Placido Domingo, Sir James Galway, and Sarah Chang. As he moved along with his professional career, 2008-current, he started to perform with a long list of stars including Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Dr. Dre, Deadmau5, Aloe Blacc, One Republic, The Foo Fighters, P. Diddy, Marco Antonio Solis, Burt Bacharach, Natalie Cole, Stanley Clarke, and many others. During that time he was asked by Violin Master, Dr. Nabil Azzam, to tour the Middle-East in his orchestra and later to become his concertmaster. Countries they've toured include Jordan, Egypt, the United Emirates, and Oman. More recently, bringing him back to the east side of the world is the international pianist and virtuoso, Giovanni Marradi. After two successful tours in China in 2019, as violinist for Giovanni, 2022 will bring more appearances in Southeast Asia to be announced. Sandoval still resides in Los Angeles, enjoying a career as a recording artist, music producer, and composer. He owns a wide selection of violins and he particularly owns a fantastic acoustic violin by the Italian maker, Riccardo Antoniazzi, made in 1885.
Grace Osborne is a singer and actress who trained with some of the best in the business at The Institute for American Musical Theatre in New York City. Grace has been so blessed to be able to perform in multiple capacities from coast to coast, as well as having the opportunity to lead worship at her church. She recently took up teaching during COVID and can’t wait to continue at SBG Studios! Grace adores the arts and so appreciates those who guided and taught her along the way. She hopes to do the same for the next generation of performers. All glory to Christ!
Jeff Skowron recently played Eddie opposite Marsha Mason in Lost in Yonkers (Connecticut Critics Circle nomination). Broadway: Enron (Trader), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Grinch), The Lion King (Ed/Timon/Zazu), Beauty and the Beast (LeFou), High Society (Stanley) and The Boy From Oz workshop (Chris Bell) opposite Hugh Jackman. Los Angeles premieres: Clue (Wadsworth), A Gentleman’s Guide…(Dysquith Family), Skintight (Jeff) with Idina Menzel. Ovation Awards: Parade (Leo Frank), South Pacific (Billis). Ovation Award nominations: The Producers (Leo), Pride and Prejudice (Mr. Collins), Les Miserables (Thenardier). Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Nomination: Into the Woods (Baker). Jeff's film and TV credits include co-starring as Dorfman opposite Billy Bob Thornton in Miramax's “Bad Santa 2” and playing Malcolm opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Showtime’s “Super Pumped”.
Born in the Philippines, and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, Elijah has 10 years of experience in photography and videography and 1 year of graphic design. He runs his own freelance business called The Creative Dept. He also has 15 years of experience playing guitar and bass and is pursuing a degree in graphic design and music production. He currently is a music director and musician for Oceans Church and other religious organizations.
Hannah Donnelly is SBG Studios' singer/songwriter and keyboard/worship leader instructor. Hannah teaches the fundamentals of the keyboard and how to play in a worship set and a love and passion for music and why it is so important today. If you also have a passion for writing songs, she would love to help you discover what kind of songwriter you are! You can play/write anything and everything! Her goal is to make you feel safe to break out of boxes, and use your brilliance (and love for music) to create beautiful pieces of music!
Kenny is a working Actor, Writer, Director, and Creative Producer. Partial credits include Director, Co-Writer, and Executive Producer of “Dating Under Quarantine.” A short film that garnered Official Selects at festivals across the U.S. and was nominated for Best Screenplay at the International Christian Film and Music Festival.
Part of the creative development and performance team for “Legends of Frontierland” at the Disneyland Resort. An improv and interactive coach for “A Night In Bethlehem”, a 2000+ person interactive Bethlehem marketplace come to life with ride through Nativity in Chino Hills, CA.
Regional credits include Guys & Dolls (MTW) Oliver! (MTW) The 39 Steps (Annenberg Theater) His portrayal of Clown #2 earned him the Desert Star Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy.
He has written, produced, and mixed rap albums directed one-act plays, and a music video, and is hired to write original performance material.
Kenny brings a strong vision but loves collaborating with others to draw out the best in their skills and abilities. John 11:25-26
Sam Sohmer is a classically-trained pianist, vocalist, producer, and composer who was raised in Wheaton, IL. After taking classical piano lessons from ages 5-15, he began teaching piano himself, while pursuing more of a vocal track in high school; along with enjoying sports like Football, Track, and Basketball, Sam discovered a passion for Music Theater, and performed in shows through his high school and community theater; his favorite roles include “Link” in Hairspray, “Bert” in Mary Poppins, and “Riff” in West Side Story to name a few. He also participated in Wheaton North High School’s show choir, and found success as a soloist for the group, along with acting as the team’s Male Voice and Dance Captain. Additionally, he received the ILMEA All-State honors for choral vocalists twice, placing in the top-four tenors in the state. After high school, Sam attended Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he studied Contemporary Voice and Music Education, before leaving school to move to California and participate in ABC’s American Idol, where he placed in the Top-48. After filming the show, he decided to stay in California and attend Vanguard University to further his Music Education training, as well as study film-scoring and composition. Finally, after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down in-person learning, he transferred to Liberty University, and finished his degree, receiving a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, focusing on Music, Business, and Religion. He now lives in Newport Beach, where he spends the majority of his time writing music for films, teaching classical piano and voice, and spending time with his friends and family.
My passion for theatre is boundless! Nothing gives me more joy than empowering and encouraging young performers. An accomplished singer and actor Gigi has been coaching aspiring young actors for the past 15 years. Credits: Minnie/Angela in Parade(Cygnet) Crachitt/Tessie in Gypsy (ION) Texas in Storyville, Bloody Mary in South Pacific (San Diego Musical Theatre)Princess and the Black-eyed Pea, Book and a Song to Sing (San Diego Rep); Emma Goldman in Assassins, On the Twentieth Century, Fosca’s mother in Passion (Cygnet Theater), Julie LaVerne in Showboat, Petra in A Little Night Music (Riverside Center), Sarah in Ragtime (Arlington Players), Maria in Man of La Mancha (Lyric Opera San Diego) Mrs. Pugh in Annie (Moonlight) Other credits include: Rose Seller in Oliver (SCT), Oklahoma (Starlight), Maria in Man of La Mancha (Lyric Opera San Diego), Jekyll & Hyde, Marie in The Scarlet Pimpernel (Tantallon Players). Education: Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama
When I first came to SBG Studios, I was 12 years old. The second I met her, I could tell how passionate she was about music and how knowledgeable she was with her craft. Mrs. Stephanie always greeted my family and I with a smile, always excited to teach me. As I started to get older, my voice started to change, making it difficult to control my singing voice. She taught me how to control the new voice I had, as well as new singing techniques to use. For example, she taught me how to sing higher notes by making sure I was singing in a certain placement and giving me exercises that undoubtedly helped my voice go from straining a high note to a healthy belt. She is the best vocal teacher I’ve ever had and I am so grateful to be able to have a teacher like her.
Jodie Tallman, parent of Kensington Tallman (Series Regular on Nickelodeon's Drama Club.)
Stephanie has a unique beautiful ability to teach the craft of singing in a joyful, challenging and nurturing environment. Since working with Stephanie, Kensington has grown in her love and passion for music, and has given her the confidence and joy that she was previously lacking. This has enabled her to confidently approach each audition and job with a new found passion and skill. She helped her find her voice and celebrates her unique talent. Since their time together Kensington has booked several singing voice over jobs. Personally, I have seen an immense development in her ability to trust herself as a performer. She is singing joyfully around the home, and it has sparked a desire to create music everyday. We are grateful for the partnership and would highly recommend Stephanie. Whether your child is a beginner or a professional, Stephanie meets each child where they are at and gives them the tools to soar.
I’ve been with SBG Studios for 3 years now, and I’ve loved every minute of it! I take voice lessons weekly, and my teacher has been so helpful and kind. Every week I’m given new tips and advice on how to better my singing, and it has helped so much! My voice has never been more controlled and strong. The recitals we have are a blast, and everyone gets to sing a song of their choice. Playing an instrument is also encouraged, and the positive atmosphere has really helped me gain a lot more confidence! It’s very clear that everyone here loves each other and what they’re doing, and I adore it. This company really has grown so much, and I can’t wait to see where it goes!
Margo Marcus, parent of Brooklyn Marcus
We love Ms. Stephanie and SBG Studios! The past 2 years have been a blessing. Brooklyn has learned so much and we really appreciate Stephanie’s encouraging teaching style. She’s very professional, helpful and kind. She was able to pivot fast during COVID and has a very strong ear for music to make zoom lessons successful if needed. The studio is always innovating and allows several ways to foster creativity and the arts. We highly recommend Ms. Stephanie for piano and singing lessons. She’s a bright light we are privileged to learn from weekly.
Stephanie is absolutely amazing! She has not only transformed my voice, but has been the most supportive and encouraging cheerleader along the way. Since starting to work with Stephanie, my voice has become more powerful, expressive, resonant, and free. I find myself saying “Woah, that sounded good!” while rehearsing by myself and in lessons. Stephanie has taught me more about what is happening physically when I sing than any other voice teacher I’ve had before. She always has the best metaphor or exercise to get my voice right in its sweet spot. Working with Stephanie has made me feel more confident in my vocal technique, performing abilities, and, most importantly, in myself.
Stephanie is an amazing teacher. When I came to her I seriously felt like I would never be able to expand my range, or hear the notes I am trying to sing. Her amazing ability to explain, teach, show, and use visual examples, truly help you fully understand what she means, and what she is trying to get you to do. There is a lot to singing, it is not easy by any means. It requires full body engagement and Stephanie truly helps you engage fully. I am so blessed to have her as my singing teacher, she is an amazing teacher, an amazing person and she is a true inspiration. She is changing lives, one note at a time.
I am really enjoying my acting classes at SBG Studios with Mr. Brad. He always takes his time with us and makes sure we are comfortable with any scenes we are asked to work on.
I have a lot of fun in my singing lessons with Miss Stephanie at SBG Studios. She is an excellent instructor and I enjoy singing with her. I am learning to hold my notes longer and working on being more comfortable with getting my sounds out and using emotions. ~I am enjoying my acting instructors and appreciate that they make sure we are comfortable with our material. I always enjoy the skits and games!