Board of Directors


Yuka Yahagi (Yuka Lee) is a pianist and experienced piano teacher with Masters degree in Piano Performance from University of Hawai'i at Manoa where she studied with Dr. Jonathan Korth and Dr. Thomas Rosenkranz.  She teaches at her own piano studio in town and at Manoa School of Music and Arts. She has been a board member of Honolulu Piano Teachers Association for years.  She also is a piano accompanist for UH Choir.  Born and raised in Japan, Yuka started her piano study at the age of three.  She participated in local piano competitions and was a prizewinner in many.  During the course of her study at UH Manoa, she served as a pianist for the UH Wind Ensemble for a semester and was a HPTA scholarship winner for 2011-12.  She served as one of the judges for Morning Music Club's annual competition held at Punahou school in 2013.  

Yuka Yahagi


Pavlina Nakalenova was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

She began studying piano at the age of four with Eliza Agasyan and later with Stella Oslekova at the Dobrin Petkov National Music School in her home city, Plovdiv. She held her first solo recital at the age of six. During her studies at the Music School, Pavlina was part of a Chamber Trio Ensemble and gave Solo Piano Recitals every year.  She has participated and attained honors in several National Piano Competitions. 

In 1999 Pavlina attended Sofia University to study Piano Pedagogy for two years. She was awarded the Piano Pedagogy Internship, which allowed her to work with children from the Elementary and Middle schools, teaching piano and voice. In 2000 Pavlina toured her country with fellow university students and Bulgarian composer Milcho Leviev, performing his Piano works. In 2001 she transferred to Manchester College in Connecticut, where she received the Life Learning Achievement Award of Music and assisted Doctor Deborah Simmons with her piano students, the Chamber Ensembles and the College Choir.  She graduated Dean’s List from Manchester College and was invited to perform at her Graduation Ceremony. Then Pavlina journeyed to Hawai’i, where she earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance Degree at the University of Hawai’i.  In 2007 she won the University of Hawai’i Concerto Competition and performed with the orchestra. 

She was named the Outstanding Student in Piano Performance by the Music Department and continued her music education earning a Master of Music in Piano Performance Degree at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. While completing her MM degree she was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Hawai’I Music Department, thought piano and was an accompanist for the University Choirs.

Currently Pavlina enjoys teaching at Manoa School of Music in Honolulu, as well as performing and collaborating with instrumental and vocal performers. She the Vise President of Honolulu Piano Teacher Association and a member of Music Teachers National Association.

Pavlina Nakalenova

1st Vice President

Emily is a pianist, teacher, and accompanist.  She first received a Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems and worked as a programmer at Matson Navigation Company while teaching piano part-time.  Following her passion, she returned to the University of Hawaii at Manoa and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music specializing in piano.  Emily has been a piano teacher since 1998. She is also a church accompanist at Christ Lutheran Church in Mililani.   She enjoys working with children and currently provides after school music programs at Star of the Sea. Early Learning Center.

Emily Lee Stanford

2nd Vice President

Jessica Choi received her Bachelor of music degree from the Julliard School, New York, NY and her Master of music degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, Il. As an active performer, Jessica has given performances in US, South Korea, Austria and frequently appeared in concerts halls in Hawaii such as Hawaii Theatre, Mamiya Theatre, Orvis Auditorium, Hawaii Public Radio Station, and Paliku Theatre. Equally dedicated to teaching, Jessica was on the music faculty at the Preparatory Division of the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University until returning to Hawaii in 2003. She is currently a full time music faculty at Leeward Community College, University of Hawaii. 

Jessica Choi


Deborah Lee , Recently moved from South Korea to Honolulu. in 2008.  For over 40 years Ms. Lee has maintained a successful professional studio,

and has become a specialist in performance training of the young (small) and gifted pianist, Lee's studio has become recognized worldwide for the successful preparation of pianists for key auditions, competitions and performances. Her students have been accepted to many outstanding universities throughout the USA and Europe, to include the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools, and the Chopin Academy in Warsaw, Poland. In February 2006, Ms. Lee was guest lecturer at Texas Christian University and the Fort Worth Piano Teachers' Forum , where she presented her articles, "The Korean Phenomenon" and "The Challenges of Small Hands". In 2007 she was invited to participate as a pedagogy panelist at the MTNA collaborative convention in Toronto, Canada and was a member of the piano faculty at the Schlern International Music Festival, Summer Academy and Competition in Vols Am Schlern, Italy.  Lee and her students have been featured on on South Korea's Global channel, "Arirang" and in various newspapers and educational journals. Ms Lee holds a BMA in piano performance from Boston University and an MA in piano pedagogy from Texas Woman's University. Other areas of study and experience include music therapy, vocal and choral training and conducting.

Ms Lee is married to  Korean Pianist, Dr. Chung Haing Lee.

Deborah Lee

Advisor (Former President)

Sam Adams

Recital Chair

Joanna Fan



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