3138 S. Parker Rd. | Aurora, Colorado 80014 | 303-369-8222

Music Ministry

Talented, inspiring musicians who will deepen and enrich your spiritual experience

Our Musicians

New Dawn’s exciting music ministry will inspire you, open your heart and uplift your Spirit each Sunday service. Music is the language of the soul, and these talented artists will deepen your experience and bring joy to your day.

Cheryl Hiraoka

Music Director, soloist, vocals

Cheryl loves making music at New Dawn!! Each Sunday her intention is to meet the congregation “inside” of the music – where the Oneness lives. After graduating in music from CU Boulder, she has performed in many churches throughout the country, performed in leading roles in music theater, served as Choral Director for small ensembles and large choirs of children and adults. A highlight was singing in the Vatican during Holy Week. Her CD, “Open to Grace,” combines inspirational music and messages. Cheryl firmly believes that the New Dawn music is the best around and uplifts the congregation each week in heart-centered service.

Freddy Rodriguez, Jr.

Soloist, keyboards, saxophone, vocals

Freddy has been performing professionally since the age of 9. After arriving in Denver in 1973, he has performed with his father, Freddy Sr., at the world-famous El Chapultepec Jazz Club in LoDo since the ’80s. He has played with many local groups, including Latin Crossover and his own band, “Chilli Willi,” as well as one of Denver’s top party bands, “Jakarta,” and is currently Mary Louise Lee’s (wife of Mayor Michael Hancock) main accompanist. Freddy is a proud soloist at New Dawn Church. He is an accomplished singer-songwriter, playing piano, synthesizer and sax. He has produced several CDs and is a well-known in the Denver music scene. Of course, his main inspiration to play music is his parents, Josephine and Freddy Sr.


Annie Achenbach

Soloist, vocals

Anne is so happy to be back home in Colorado! New Dawn first came into her life back in 2003, when Reverend Karen asked her to sing at her ordination, and she’s been coming back ever since! She is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Anne has been professionally singing/acting/teaching for a very long time… do the math – she graduated in 1975! Working for the Good of all there is, is why Anne (or Annie, as all her friends call her) sings. And, of course, all of you are such an integral part of that Good. So if you are moved by the music you hear here, then just know Annie is twice blessed. It works both ways in all ways. Her album, “The Gift,” is a compilation of favorite hymns, Broadway show tunes and three original songs written by Annie during her tenure at Mile Hi Church.


Launa Fujimoto

Vocalist

Launa calls New Dawn her spiritual home and is greatly honored to be singing for the church and the congregation. She is a founding member of the Hearts Afire ladies trio, which recorded two inspirational CDs: Make Me An Instrument and Breath of Light. Launa finds inspiration by singing in SOAR! Youth and Adult Choir; helping at-risk youth through mentorship and music. Launa has soloed at many of the Centers for Spiritual Living throughout the Front Range area.


Camilla Vaitaitis

Piano, keyboards

Camilla is a pianist, vocalist, arranger, and composer based in Denver, CO. She recently graduated from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver with a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies & Commercial Music. She is a part of several different groups, including her own jazz trio, “The Sharp Five” – a five-part vocal jazz group through the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, and her independent rock band “Specific Ocean”. Camilla dedicates time not only to performing, teaching, and accompanying throughout Denver, but also to composing and arranging pieces for groups ranging from vocal jazz ensembles to big bands. She has had the honor of playing piano for members of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Prince Harry. In 2016 & 2017, her vocal group “The Vocal Jazz Messengers” received Downbeat jazz awards for Outstanding Vocal Ensemble. Her future plans include pursuing a master’s degree in composition and continuing to grow as a musician in a variety of different settings.


Harry Olsson

Bass guitar

Harry Olsson Jr. picked up his first bass at age 12. His first experiences musically were singing and backing up his youth group orchestra. He played in various bands during high school before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, and graduating in 2004 as a performance major. Since then, he has played (and continues to play) electric and upright bass professionally in all styles of music including, but not limited to, Jazz, Funk, Blues, Orchestral, Soul, Gospel, Hip-Hop, Pop, R&B and Rock & Roll. He spends every day perfecting his playing and works full-time teaching privately and performing as an accompanist.


John Olsson

Drums

With over 20 years of experience, John Olsson specializes in the performance and instruction of drum set, hand drums, and percussion, in all styles. John studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where he worked on a Professional music degree, and he also completed a minor in Ethnic Studies from the University of Colorado at Denver. John has performed in Ghana, and Togo, West Africa, and studied African music and culture for over 6 years with Koffi Toudji from Togo. Aside from playing in the pit orchestra for many musical theater productions, and performing with the Dendrites, the Pink Hawks, A.O.A. Band, and the Olsson Trio, John teaches, accompanies, and performs at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School.


Guest Musicians

We are blessed to have some wonderful, award-winning musicians who come by and join our music team — People like Arthur Lee Land, Robin Hackett, Jamie Lula, Jana Stanfield, Eddie Watkins, Jr., Lauren Dutterer… and many more.  Music is a real celebration at New Dawn!

 

 

 

Renewing Minds, Igniting Souls and Inspiring Dreams!