About Our Team

As a part of Confident Voice Studio, each of us is committed to the belief that music education is more than just learning the music.


Music education is a personal development experience that can help us build resilience, self-confidence, problem-solving skills, self-understanding, and more.

We choose to teach and make a living from it, because we like to see others become more of who they could always be.

Deanna Maio

Founder – Voice Teacher and Certified Professional Coach

Deanna Maio is a voice, piano and ukulele teacher and acting coach, specializing in providing voice functions for singers, speakers, and actors. She teaches in private voice coaching, workshops, courses, and lectures for children and adults with remote students around the world in Portland, Oregon. She is the founder of Confidence Voice Studio.

Ms. Maio has a rich performing background in concerts, plays, nightclubs and events. As a versatile lyric soprano with 3 octaves, Deanna most often sings solo and classical pop and musical repertoire. She is a founder, art director and lead performer of the Portland Music Theater Company. She also coaches countless singers, including audition skills, competition preparation, club solo concerts, collaborations with large bands and much more. For the past 39 years, Ms. Maio has performed on stages across the country, including the Oregon Symphony Orchestra.

More About Deanna Maio
As a Certified Professional Coach she is skilled at working with client to provide structure, guidance and support so they can:

  • Take a complete look at their current state, including their assumptions and perceptions about their work, themselves and others;
  • Set relevant and realistic goals for themselves, based on their own nature and needs;
  • Take relevant and realistic actions toward reaching their goals; and
  • Learn by continuing to reflect on their actions and sharing feedback with others along the way.

Deanna started dancing at 2 years old and just hasn’t stopped enjoying the stage. She grew up performing and has continued on in that tradition, taking lessons for dance, voice, piano, ukulele, stage presence, and acting. She has also completed a 25 hour course in vocal pedagogy through the NW Institute of Voice where she was certified the Blaylock Vocal Method for teens and adults. She is a Wunderkeys for Preschool Piano teacher. She scored her first professional (aka lived on the salary and didn’t have a side job) singing/acting job in 1998 with American Cabaret Theater after having completed numerous acting roles in middle school, high school and college.

She has taught privately, at summer music camps, afterschool programs in voice and ukulele, and speciality workshops like “Your Knock ‘Em Dead Vocal Audition.” She has performed with several local music groups including The Bureau of Standards Big Band, Girls., Swing Sisters, Tony Moretti and the Ray Sands Orchestra, and her own band, Deanna & the Downbeats and is a sought-after guest artist.

Ms. Maio is a certified associate teacher of the Blaylock Vocal Method. Developed at the Northwest Institute of Voice by Thomas Blaylock, it is a systematic approach to vocal development. This technique is revolutionary. It can teach you how to find and maintain a clear and fully resonant sound every day (for speaking and singing).

She is the Founder and Executive Director of Portland Musical Theater Company (PMTC). She has written and produced 5 original musical shows. She’s completed stage, film, television, and industrial acting roles in Portland since arriving in 1999.

Deanna completed her debut album titled” Deanna & the Downbeats” in 2008. She is a sought after voice over artist with over 100 voice over recordings to her name including the audio book version of Amazon bestseller “The Stolen Twin” by Michele Pariza-Wacek. Her own book, “GPS for Success” with Dr. Steven Covey and Dr. John Gray was published in 2010.

Other than music, Deanna loves to direct, dance and act. When she’s not doing those things she’s probably watching vintage makeup and hair tutorial videos, playing board and card games, or daydreaming of cheesecake.

Melissa Sondergeld-Hood

Voice, Piano, Preschool Music

Melissa Sondergeld-Hood is a teacher and theatre artist in the Portland area.

She teaches at Mayer Christian School during the day and at night she works in a local theater companies.

She originally came from Washington State, where she learned her love of music and theater.

She learned to play the clarinet from the age of 10, did theater at the age of 15, and then sang from the age of 19.

She is excited to be a part of the Confident Voice Studio team!

Christie Quinn

Beginner Piano & Preschool Music

Christie Quinn is a Portland local actress, singer, teacher and paralegal.

She graduated from Presbyterian University with a bachelor’s degree. And has a secondary education teaching certificate as well.

She has taught English to students of all ages in the United States and adults in Prague.

She has also performed in several musicals in the Portland area and South Carolina. She has been learning piano since she was 6 years old. She considers art to be an integral part of life.

Without acting, teaching or helping our studio manager, she runs Bookmobile Babe, a non-profit organization dedicated to literacy.

Christie’s favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake.

Her favorite musicians are Chopin, Prince, and Ray Charles.

When she was a child, she wanted to be a ballerina when she grew up.

Her favorite color is purple.

Samantha Hughes

Voice, Piano, Ukulele, Guitar

Samantha is a multi-instrumental player who graduated from Portland State University in 2015 with a degree in Vocal Performance. Since graduation, she has played classical and rock music in the Northwest Territories.

Over the past few years, she has been delighted with Grammy-nominated Ramin Djawadi, Hanna Payne of the Portland Opera, Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Drama Singer, Portland’s Operetta works together and sings with Pink Martini, Tempest and Ali Shapiro.

In addition to singing, Samantha also plays guitar, piano, ukulele and flute, and writes and performs her own music for the local psychedelic surfing rock band Mad Honey.

Samantha believes that music education is very important for cultivating creativity and allows for comprehensive brain training.

In addition to fostering community, listening, singing, and playing musical instruments can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain, and improve sleep, mood, self-confidence, mental alertness, and memory.

Western-Li Summerton


Western-Li Summerton is an accompanist and teacher founded in the Pacific Northwest. He is currently an accompaniment to the Oregon Ballet Theatre and the music director of Bethesda Christian Church. Summerton studied piano at Willamette University while performing at various recitals, festivals and competitions throughout the region.

Somerton’s experience is not limited to solo piano. He accompanied choirs such as the Squalicum High School Chamber Choir, the Salem City Honor Festival Choir and the Willamette Chamber Choir, as well as many singers and instrumentalists. In addition to being accompanied.

Summerton participated in a small chamber ensemble and won the 2014-2015 OMTA Scholarship Competition small ensemble with two piano ensembles.

Summerton believes that music is an essential part of life and he is passionate about teaching piano to people of all ages. He believes that the course should not only include knowledge of musical instruments, but also the theory, history and overall musical level behind the performance. By integrating these concepts, students will receive a comprehensive education to expand their musical experience.