Faculty and Staff

Laura Kakis Serper

Laura Kakis Serper

Kairos Music Academy Founder and Artistic Director

Laura has vast experience conducting children’s choirs and serving as a community- builder through music programing. Ms. Kakis Serper received her degrees from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music as well as attended Westminster Choir College, and the Aspen Music Institute. She has performed for many years as a soprano soloist and in operas and musical theatre. Her Greek heritage inspired the name of the Kairos and its choruses and her folksong choral arrangements have been sung by choirs world-wide, including at Carnegie Hall.  She is also the Director of Choral Music at The Crowden School where her choirs have performed with the San Francisco Symphony for three seasons, most recently in Orff’s Carmina Burana. Ms. Kakis Serper was recognized at the California State Senate for over twenty years of excellent musical service to the community through Kairos Choir programs. She is dedicated to helping children find their voice for life through the art of singing.

Arkadi Serper

Arkadi Serper

Kairos Pianist and Composer

Arkadi received his music education in Russia at the Gnesin State Musical College and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He continues a distinguished career as a pianist, composer and music educator. Mr. Serper is Director of Piano and Composition, Music Theory and History at The Crowden School, and teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory in the Pre-College Department. He has written many choral compositions for Kairos Youth Choir, some of which have been published through the Henry Leck choral series. As an acclaimed composer, his symphonic and chamber compositions have been produced by several major orchestras. Kairos singers have the added benefit of performing tailor-made musicals composed by Arkadi Serper, with librettos by local writers. As a pianist, he continues to perform concerts, both as a soloist and a chamber musician.

Administrative Staff

Asher Witkin

Engagement Liaison

Asher is a singer-songwriter from Berkeley, California. He began singing with Kairos Music Academy as a third grader in 2008, and immediately fell in love with the warm community and exceptional artistic instruction. He’s been working with Kairos in one capacity or another ever since he graduated in 2012. Since then, Asher has sung with Coldplay, Daveed Diggs, The Head and the Heart, The Stone Foxes, Alexander Rybak, and recorded for Kehlani. He’s written with Graham Candy, Beatenberg’s Robin Brink, and grammy winner Dan Wilson. He graduated from Columbia College Chicago and Mannheim’s Popakademie in 2022. Asher’s newest project, bandcalledbeach, is signed to Duchess Box Records.

Astrid Kuljanic

Avghie/Anthos Director

Renowned for her complex musical sensibility and supple sound, Croatian vocalist Astrid Kuljanic has immersed herself in an eclectic variety of musical traditions from around the world. Her journey from the Balkans to New York has allowed her to absorb Jazz, Brazilian, and acquire an advanced knowledge of performing with electronics using Ableton Live. Astrid is equally skilled in faithful interpretations of these styles as she is inventive in her own arrangements – employing mixed meters and folk harmonies personally and authentically. Ms. Kuljanic’s mission is to engage audiences across cultural boundaries. To that end, she founded Crescendo Music Festival (Croatia), which has been exposing a diverse array of international artists to local audiences for more than a decade, and she is an experienced teacher and performer. In addition to her work as a bandleader, Astrid is a frequent collaborator on various projects. In 2020 she was a part of Thana Alexa’s album ONA, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Vocal Jazz Album. Astrid holds degrees from the University of Zagreb, Croatia in chemical engineering, a Bachelor of Music from the Conservatory G. Tartini, Trieste, Italy, and a Master of Music in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music.

Anda Neacsu

Administrative Director

Anda was born and raised in Romania. In her home country, she established a successful career in the legal profession, specializing in family law. With 18 years of experience as a family law attorney, she gained significant expertise in this field. Approximately ten years ago, Anda relocated to the United States. Her move was prompted by her husband’s new job opportunity in the high-tech startup industry. With the San Francisco Bay Area as her new home she quickly developed a strong affection for the region. After arriving in the United States, she pursued a paralegal degree from San Francisco State University. This educational step demonstrates her commitment to expanding her knowledge and skills within the legal field, even after transitioning to a new country. Perhaps the most significant shift in her career was her transition into the nonprofit sector. She dedicated her time and expertise to help vulnerable communities, with a particular focus on children facing removal proceedings due to immigration issues. This shift in her career reflects her compassion and desire to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need. Anda is passionate about arts, and finds solace in the halls of art museums and the magic of theater, and the symphony of live concerts. She is also embracing the joys of parenthood with her two kids and husband, bonding over shared sports activities.

Student Music Staff

Emile Serper

Student Music Theory Coach

Emile Serper started cello at the ancient age of six, yet he was singing with Kairos Youth Choir from the womb. Currently, he studies cello with Jeremiah Shaw and is a student in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Pre-College Program. He is the Co-Principal cellist in the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has performed on tour in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. He also studies composition with David Conte, is a two-season winner of the Kris Getz Composer’s Award, and has a published choral work entitled “Ave Maria”which is dedicated to environmental concerns. In addition to music-making, Emile enjoys mathematics, hiking, running, following baseball, and spending time with his recently-formed Kairos singers/alumni vocal acappella group “Evnia”, as arranger, singer and beatboxer. His Greek heritage comes to the fore in his love of friends and food!

Lily Stoliartchouk

Sarah Boe

Abigail Canafe

Gwen Hooley