Meet Our Teaching Artists


Kelly Jackson

Kelly Jackson is a teacher and musician from High Point, NC. He currently teaches music at North Graham Elementary A+ school. Kelly has been singing his whole life and was part of his first NC Honors Chorus in 5th grade. He continued his musical journey through middle and high school singing in many different choirs, learned to play guitar and began playing professionally at age 16. After high school Kelly studied music education at Appalachian State University. After graduating he went to Boston, MA where he performed weekly in historic Faneuil Hall and worked as a Coordinator for the Somerville Community Schools Program. After 4 years in Boston, Mr. Jackson returned to NC and became the music teacher at NGE here in Alamance county. He continues to perform professionally in the triad area and is proud to be a teaching artist in the Young Musicians of Alamance program.


Sara Realini

Sara Realini has been with the YMA program since January 2017. She graduated from Walter Williams High School in 2016 and is a Sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Sara is studying Elementary and Special Education for her undergraduate degree with hopes to eventually become a kindergarten teacher. She began playing the violin when she was in the fifth grade and has been playing with orchestras and chamber groups regularly over the last ten years. She had the chance to play with the Elon Orchestra her freshman year and a few members of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra her senior year. Sara also received the honor of being concert master for two of Williams High School’s Orchestra Concerts.

“I love working with the YMA program because it allows me to work with children, gain more teaching experience, and also allows me to continue playing the violin.” – Sara Realini


Mario Castillo

Mario Castillo, born in Chicago, Illinois, became a resident of Burlington, North Carolina at the age of 8. Mario began his journey as a musician at the age of 10 in the 6th grade playing for Turrentine Middle School’s Concert Band. Continuing on to High School, he was First Chair and Section Leader for the Clarinet Section of Williams High School’s Concert Band and Marching Band starting his sophomore year all the way through graduation. Eager to continue his life as a musician, Mario went on to graduate with a BA in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s School of Music where his research on the development of Video Game Sound was published in the  Academic Musicology Journal known as Found Sound. Mario Castillo is not only the Bilingual Administrative Assistant for the Young Musicians of Alamance, but  is also one of our Teaching Artists for General Music Studies.


Andrew Sanchez

Receiving his BM in Jazz Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, composer, performer, and educator Andrew Sanchez has been teaching and performing all over NC for 10 years. Proficient in piano, trumpet, flute, and cello, Andrew teaches students ranging from 6 years old to 40 years old. Many of Andrew’s students go on to win All-District and All-State band competitions. A prominent composer in North Carolina, Andrew has written original music and arrangements ranging from solo piano to large orchestral music and jazz orchestra. Being highly adept in both classical and jazz music, Andrew seeks to bridge the gap between the two genres and educate future generations on the many similarities between the two styles.