CAMPANELLA'S GREAT PEOPLE
Campanella Founder & Choir Director since 2000
Marianna Kosaya was born in Kiev, Ukraine. As a child, she sang in the world-renowned Shchedrik children’s choir, which gave her a life-long passion for choral music.
Marianna studied at Kiev State Pedagogical University, graduating with an M.A. in Music Education and Choir Conducting. Upon graduating, she served as an accompanist at the University’s Department of Music. In 1994, Marianna immigrated to the United States, where she continued her music career.
In 2000, Marianna formed a children’s choir (at its inception, a small group of singing toddlers), which was to develop into what today is the Children’s Choir Campanella. Under Marianna’s leadership, the choir has become a competitive ensemble that performs widely throughout Chicago.
Moreover, the choir has inspired the development of the Campanella Children's Educational center, of which Marianna is the Artistic Director. Marianna maintains an active voice and piano studio, and collaborates with a number of Chicago musical ensembles.
Diana Kofman has been Campanella Choir’s accompanist since 2009. Diana was born in Odessa, Ukraine, where she studied at the Stolyarsky School, the city’s renowned musical institution. As a student concentrating in piano performance, Diana was the winner of numerous competitions.
For many years she has worked at Roosevelt University, accompanying the university’s vocal students and choir. To this day, Diana performs abundantly as a soloist and a member of various chamber ensembles, in addition to participating in competitions as an accompanist. Diana shares her experience with all of her piano students with great pleasure.
Art Class Instructor
Talia is an Art Educator (MA)/Artist living in Wheeling IL.
Originally from Ukraine, Talia came to Chicago from Israel in 1998. She participated in many local Art Shows and her work published in Art & Beyond magazine and in a catalog “Living Artists of today Contemporary Art.” She is the founder of a private Art Studio Artishock and served as Art Director/Instructor for 15 years now.
Talia loves teaching art in all levels to children, teens and adults. Since 2015 Talia is conducting Social Painting Parties with a great success, helping people to find their inner artist and inspiration. She believes that art has power to inspire, heal, challenge and bring peace to our lives. Being very enthusiastic and creative about teaching art, Talia has a lot of experience and excellent artistic skills to share with all art lovers.
Art Class Instructor
Valeriya Lapenko was born in Ukraine.
She is an artist, graphic designer, art teacher, creative thinking, and computer designer. Therefore, I can invent and create not by "hearsay" but because I have a lot of experience working with this.
When I share my experience with my students and teach them to draw, imagine, create and invent, I am very happy.
I started drawing when I was still a little girl, I went to art school, then the State Art Academy.
I worked as a designer, organized my Design Studio "Lapenko" in Ukraine, worked at the Computer Academy, and taught drawing, design, computer design.
I also participated in advertising exhibitions in Kyiv
(ranked 11th in Ukraine) and became a member of the Union of Advertisers.
In the USA, I started doing the same, but the idea and goal to teach children to draw and think creatively ignited me more.
French Language Instructor
Svetlana Dembovskaya holds a Ph.D. degree in Foreign Language Education from the University of Iowa and an M.A. degree in French and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the University of Northern Iowa. Svetlana is a native Russian speaker, she was born in Ukraine, completed her B.A. degree in English and French at Kharkov State University before moving to the USA for the M.A. and Ph.D. studies.
She has 25 years of experience teaching foreign languages to students of all ages. She started her teaching career at the age of 19 as a teacher of English at an elementary school in Ukraine. Since then, she has taught English, French, and Russian language, culture, and film courses at all levels: elementary school, high school, and college – both in Ukraine and in the United States.
She taught French and Russian for adults at Loyola University, as well as English teacher education courses at TEFL Institute and International TEFL Academy in Chicago. She worked as an Adjunct Instructor of French at Drake University in Iowa for 8 years. Currently, she is an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Loyola University Chicago where she has been teaching French for 18 years.
Svetlana truly enjoys being in class and interacting with her students who appreciate her enthusiasm and have fun while learning. They consider Svetlana’s courses to be intense and at the end of the program agree that they have learnt a lot and progressed considerably in their language skills.
Yoga for Youth Instructor and Drama/Theater Instructor
Tey Punsalan aka Tey Jyoti (in her spiritual music albums) is an internationally known recording artist, actress, and yoga instructor. Her creatively rich tones and classical yoga training bring healing to a variety of populations including kids, teenagers, seniors, those with PTSD, Parkinson’s and the developmentally challenged.
Tey holds Yoga Instructor Certification through the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre. She also teaches yoga and meditation in Military Communities, bringing healing power to those affected by Combat-stress, PTSD, and trauma.
As a recording artist, Tey and has put out eleven albums, three of which feature sanskrit chanting, available on Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, and Insight Timer.
Tey, along with her band and a crew of dancers, was a smash hit entertaining US troops in six countries in the middle east including three military bases in a heavily war-torn Afghanistan.
As an award winning actress, she has toured the United States with her stage performance, worked on films and TV. Her latest projects include internet commercials and commercial print for popular products.
Marina Krasnopolskaya has been practicing Yoga for over 20 years with some of most renowned teachers including Paul Waitz, Gabriel Halpern, Leslie Riley and many others. She is also a Registered Nurse, licensed Thai massage therapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist. Her therapeutic approach to yoga incorporates her knowledge from various medical discipline to teach individual how to use yoga in their everyday life to feel better.
Board Member, Treasurer
Mariya has a bachelors in Accounting and Management Information Systems from UW Milwaukee, and a CPA certification. She has been working as a consultant for the last 15 years, implementing ERP systems, doing design and architecture, process improvement, and requirements management.
In her youth, Mariya has graduated from 7-year music school. She can still read music and transpose it! She used to play piano and later a guitar, and she loves to sing. These days she doesn't have much time for music as she has three children. All of her kids take music lessons in some shape of form - guitar, piano, dance, choir. Mariya's daughter Liora has been singing at Campanella since she was 5 years old.
Ingrid Armstrong was born in England. She has two daughters, one a senior in college and the other is a freshman in high school. Ingrid enjoys going to theatre, loves music, and likes to travel. She has a background in Telecommunications and Human Resources. She considers herself to be an extremely positive and enthusiastic team player.
Ingrid became involved in Campanella in December 2017, when her daughter Maia successfully auditioned for the Concert Choir. Ingrid says: "I do not play an instrument and can barely carry a tune, but I am very fortunate to have a daughter who excels in both!" Ingrid looks forward to making sure that Campanella continues to have a bright future.
Julie is a skilled and energetic entrepreneur with a career in Business, Technology and non profit Consulting. She has learned about Campanella when her daughter joined the choir, and "got hooked".
Julie says: "Campanella is one of the most incredible organizations I came across. Doing Business Development for a Choir is almost no different than doing Business Development for a consulting or technology organization. It's just a lot more fun! I am glad I can put the skills I have learned in business to good use." Julie is really passionate about Campanella and absolutely loves helping out!
Zhenya Korkina, Marketing Support
Zhenya works as a General Manager at one of the CPG companies located in Chicago. She has more than 20+ years of experience working across Financial Services, Retail, and CPG industries.
Zhenya came to Campanella in 2019, when her daughter started singing at the Prelude Choir ensemble. Zhenya volunteered at Campanella projects, such as concerts, fundraising events, and etc., and enjoyed working with Campanella parents and children.
In March of 2021, Zhenya joined the Board of Directors. Being a professional in marketing, and advertising, she maintains Campanella's website and helps with marketing material and advertising. Zhenya is also responsible for communication with Campanella children and parents.