Dr. Steven Huter has taught piano and music theory in conservatories and colleges around the world, including Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music Preparatory Department, Indiana University, and conservatories in France and Switzerland. He has given solo and chamber music performances throughout the world and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1998. Dr. Huter holds a D.M.A. from Manhattan School of Music and an M.M. from Indiana University. His major teachers were Menahem Pressler of the Beaux Arts Trio and Constance Keene.
Claudia Huter has maintained a private flute studio in Larchmont since 1990. Claudia grew up in Larchmont, attended Manhattan School of Music and received her B.S. in Music Education from Concordia College. She has performed with orchestras and chamber ensembles both in the United States and Europe. She made her Carnegie Hall debut on the flute at the age of sixteen, and the same year played a solo organ recital at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. She has won numerous international competitions, including the Littman International Competition, where she won an unprecedented first and second prize on flute and organ respectively. Claudia specializes in early childhood development and is Kindermusik-certified.
Rachel Alexander – Violin and Viola
Violinist Rachel Alexander is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College where she studied with Laurie Smukler and Calvin Wiersma. Rachel also holds her MA in Music Education from Hunter College and holds her NYS Certification in Music Education (K-12).
Her professional performance career includes performances throughout the Tri-State area in such venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Pepsico Performing Arts Center and the Eastman School of Music. Rachel has also participated in the Wall to Wall: Stravinsky Concert held at Symphony Space NY, NY and can be heard on movie soundtracks and recordings of several bands and singer/songwriters.
As a passionate and dedicated musician and educator, it is Ms. Alexander’s objective to introduce students to a diverse selection of musical styles, instruments, theories and experiences in order to make music an accessible, meaningful and enjoyable medium.
Surai Balbeisi – Violin and Viola (Traditional and Suzuki)
Surai Balbeisi, violist, is active as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician; a versatile musician she performs a variety of genre including classical, rock and roll, hip-hop, jazz, and modern classical music, appearing in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and on The Today Show, The View, The Martha Stewart Show, Saturday Night Live, and MTV Unplugged, with artists, including Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, Katie Perry, Regina Spektor, and Il Divo. In the past year, Ms. Balbeisi toured with the Paris Chamber Orchestra and The Opera Show, and was viola consultant and teacher for the film, “A Late Quartet” due to be released Fall 2011. In addition to an active freelance career in New York City, she is a dedicated teacher.
Ms. Balbeisi is a Suzuki trained teacher and Level I certified Orff Schulwerk teacher. Additionally, she has extensive training in BrainGym, Alexander Technique and Dalcroze Eurhythmics. She has taught at Penn State University, the Virginia Commonwealth University Community School for the Performing Arts, and Hoff Barthelson Music School. In the summer, she is viola faculty at the New York Summer Music Festival. Ms. Balbeisi began her musical training in Amman, Jordan under the patronage of Queen Nour. She holds a B.M. in violin performance from the Pennsylvania State University, a Professional Studies Diploma in viola from the Mannes College of Music, and a Master of Arts from New York University. Her teachers have included Weigang Li, Tim Deighton, Karen Ritscher, John Graham, Martha Katz and Pedro de Alcantara.
Matt Blostein – Winds and Piano
Mr. Blostein received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Mark Turner, Bob Mintzer, Dick Oatts and Dave Liebman. In 2002 he performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland as a competitor in the White Foundation Saxophone Competition. In 2003, Matt formed the group, Blostein–Sperrazza Quartet, along with drummer Vinnie Sperrazza, shortly after their meeting at the Banff Jazz Workshop. The group has performed all over the east coast and in NYC. They released a self-titled CD in 2004, and are currently working on material to record for a new release. Recently, Matt toured with the Maynard Ferguson Big Bop Noveau and toured and recorded with the Tim Collins Group featuring Ingrid Jensen. Matt has performed at the Ravinia Festival, Aspen Snowmass Jazz Festival, Kennedy Center, Thailand Cultural Center, Cape Cod Jazz Festival, Utica Jazz Festival, Clarion Jazz Festival, and NY jazz clubs such as the 55 Bar, Cornelia Street Café, Smoke, Marie’s and Smith’s. Matt has taught extensively in NY, including positions at the Manhattan School of Music Prep Division, JCC on the Palisades, Third Street Music Settlement, and Greenwich Music School.
Sarah Charles – Voice and Piano
Sarah Elizabeth Charles is a vocalist and composer currently living and performing in New York City. Sarah’s musical stylings are extremely unique and the intricacies to her art focus on modernizing classics and composing distinctive originals. Currently, Sarah is a member of three projects including Manner Effect, The Enoch Smith Jr. Trio, and her own group, the S.E.Charles Quartet. With these groups as well as others, she has performed at numerous venues throughout the city including New York Couture Fashion Week, Blue Note, The Iridium, Smalls Jazz Club, and Zinc Bar NYC. Performances outside of the city have taken her to such venues as the International Bern Jazz Festival playing opposite Jack DeJohnette, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC (as a selected member of the 2009 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Composers Residency), Gillette Stadium, and The Northampton Center for the Arts.
Receiving her start in Massachusetts, Sarah has studied and grown as a musician first through the Community Music School of Springfield, MA and later through The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City under the direction of an unlimited number of renowned faculty members. She has had the pleasure of studying with such musicians as Richard Harper, Jimmy Owens, Cecil Bridgewater, George Cables, Junior Mance, Janet Lawson, Sheila Jordan, and Reggie Workman. In addition to educational and performance opportunities, Sarah has also taught private lessons in both Massachusetts and New York to a variety of age groups. These lessons have included training in voice, piano, ear training, theory, and songwriting and are structured to fit the individuality of each student.
Josh Davis – Percussion and Piano
Originally from the Motor City, this native Detroiter now stakes his claim in the Big Apple. Besides leading his own trio, and being a member of the band, Manner Effect, Josh has also performed with some of the country’s finest musicians, top jazz and pop groups, such as: The Rodney Whitaker Quartet, Wes “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Jason Marshall, Gaby Moreno, The Jon Batiste Band, The Grand Hotel Big Band, Diego Rivera Quartet and Felicia Renae, among others. Josh toured throughout Japan in 2009, playing with Rodney Whitaker and the MSU Jazz Octet where they held concerts, clinics and master classes at several high schools and universities throughout the country.
Josh has also been a music educator since early in his collegiate career. Working for several inner-city programs in Detroit, such as The Arts League of Michigan and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra CIVIC Jazz Program, he has mentored and taught dozens of students who have gone on to attend music conservatories and major universities across the U.S.. After receiving his BA in Music Performance from Michigan State University in 2008, he relocated to New York City, where he continues to perform and teach locally and abroad. Josh is also music accompanist for the Joffrey Ballet in NYC.
Angela Davis – Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, and Piano
Australian saxophonist Angela Davis is currently based in New York City and is a emerging as a unique creative voice after having immersed herself in the music scene. Her melodic approach is heavily influenced by the great Lee Konitz with whom she has had the privilege of studying with while living in NYC.
Angela is an active performer and was a featured artist in 2012 at the New York City club Tomi Jazz. So far she has recorded/performed with Don Burrows, Kevin Hunt, Jim Pugh, James Morrison, Graeme Lyall, John Hoffman, Matthew Jodrell, Kristin Berardi, Steve Newcomb, Joe Chindamo, the Lars Halle Jazz Orchestra the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra and the Cecilia Coleman Big Band.
As a group leader Angela has premiered original compositions at the Melbourne Women's International Jazz Festival and at the Noosa Jazz Festival. As a sideman she has performed throughout Australia and America at festivals such as the Villanova Jazz Festival, the Mainline Jazz Festival, the Sunshine Coast Jazz Festival, the Valley Jazz Festival and the Bangalow Jazz Festival.
Angela is an experienced educator and is on faculty at the University of the Arts as well as maintaining a private studio in New York. She has also had extensive experience teaching at both public and private schools throughout Australia.
Angela holds a Masters of Music from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and holds her Bachelor of Music with first class honors from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Australia and her Associate of Music in classical saxophone from the Australian Music Examinations Board.
Caleigh Drane – Cello, Violin, and Piano
Caleigh Drane is a musician of many styles including classical, contemporary, jazz, experimental and pop. In her three years as a freelancer in New York City she has performed and recorded with over 40 artists, ensembles and music companies. As a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas she has performed in Mexico, California, Vermont, Lincoln Center and Alice Tully Hall and played on their debut album released by Sony Records. She has performed with artists such as Lynn Harrel, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Sarah Chang, John Benitez and Imogen Heap. Other ensembles include the Di Capo Opera Company, One World Symphony, Bleecker Street Opera Company, and Mimesis Ensemble.
Caleigh is also an active music educater and teacher with Multi-Cultural Music Group, the Noel Pointer Foundation and All Island Music Company. She teaches cello, piano, and violin in both group classes and private lessons.
Caleigh Drane earned her Bachelor's Degree in Cello Performance from Indiana University where she studied with Emilio Colon.
Kristen Engebretson – Voice, Piano, Clarinet
Kristen Engebretson graduated from the University of Montana, where she received degrees in both Music Education and Classical Performance. She played in the top ensembles and orchestras at the UM. She had two chamber ensembles, the Silverwind Trio and the Forbauxdon trio, performing the music of Brahms, Muczynski, Beethoven, Kahn, Krommer, Kummer, and D’Rivera. The Silverwind trio had the pleasure of performing for local schools, providing students with the opportunity to hear Classical music and to learn about playing the instruments. She played clarinet for the Montana Lyric Opera’s rendition of Rigoletto and Marriage of Figaro, as well as having the opportunity to play with the Montana Symphony Orchestra.
Kristen was a Presser Scholar her final year at UM, which is the top senior award that is voted upon by the entire music faculty. Kristen was always active in the music education scene, maintaining a teaching studio all through her studies in Montana. Her students received superior ratings district and state music festivals and even made the Montana All-State.
Kristen moved to New York City last October to pursue a career in jazz vocals. She enjoys playing standards, blurring genre lines, and learning more about the music that she loves. She has her own group, Standard Deviation, and has been a guest performer at clubs like Jazz Standard and Smalls Jazz Club.
Kristen loves to learn about all music. Fortunately, because of her music education degree, she has had the pleasure of playing most instruments, from bass drum in drumline to violin. Piano was her first introduction to music, playing at age 6. Her appetite to learn more about music is constantly growing-a quality which she loves to share with her students! On top of playing piano, clarinet, and singing, Kristen is currently learning how to play the upright bass! Kristen is excited to have the opportunity to share her passion for music and to help students grow in their journey as fellow musicians.
Michelle Farah – Oboe
Oboist Michelle Farah is a dedicated orchestral and chamber musician. In addition to performances with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Ballet Theatre, New Jersey Symphony, The Knights, Princeton Symphony, and Very Young Composers with the New York Philharmonic, her solo playing has been described in the New York Times as “uniformly excellent”. Ms. Farah has also appeared as guest artist at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, and Vermont Mozart Festival, and since 2010, Acting Principle Oboe with the Lancaster Symphony.
Ms. Farah earned her Master of Music degree in 2009 from the Yale School of Music and her Bachelor’s from the Manhattan School of Music in 2007. Her primary teachers have included Stephen Taylor, Joseph Robinson, Carolyn Banham and Daniel Stolper. While in New Haven, Ms. Farah worked under Vivian Perlis and Libby Van Cleve at the Oral History of American Music, an archive of historic and contemporary interviews with American composers and creative musicians.
Born and raised in Miami, Michelle now lives in Manhattan and enjoys private teaching and professional reed-making.
Kristy Fox – Voice and Piano
Mezzo-soprano, Kristy Fox, a native of Washington State, graduated with her Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music in 2011. While attending Manhattan School of Music she performed the role of Mercury in John Eccles’ The Judgment of Paris under conductor Kenneth Cooper. Recent rolls for Ms. Fox include Mimí in La Bohéme, Marguerite in Faust, Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, Agathe in Der Freischütz and Salome in Herodiade. Ms. Fox has performed in masterclasses under Patrice Munsel, Carole Farley, Todd Thomas, Scott Rednour, and Ubaldo Fabbri. Before moving to New York City to pursue her operatic career, Ms. Fox made her professional debut in Spokane, WA with the Spokane Symphony and remained an active performer in the Inland Northwest; appearing with the Spokane Symphony orchestra and Spokane Opera. Ms. Fox began her musical studies at the age of 9 on the piano before moving to the flute and voice in middle school. Since 2002, Ms. Fox has maintained a voice and piano studio for young students as well as adults in Olympia, Spokane and New York City.
Hannah Fuerst – Voice and Piano
Ms. Fuerst holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. She has a strong background in voice, piano and clarinet. Ms. Fuerst is a classically trained soprano with extensive experience in musical theater and opera. Favorite roles include Luisa (The Fantasticks) and Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro, Aspen Opera Theater Center 2010). Ms. Fuerst recently sang the role of Cassie in the world premiere of J.D. Earnest’s The Theory of Everything with the Encompass New Opera Theater. Ms. Fuerst is passionate about sharing music outreach with young and older audiences. She co-wrote and performed a parody of the film Enchanted to teach kids about opera, and in 2010-11 she will perform an original revue of Jeannette McDonald & Nelson Eddy. Ms. Fuerst taught with the Manhattan School of Music Outreach program teaching children in elementary and middle schools throughout NYC.
Dustin Gledhill – Piano
Dustin Gledhill is an international prize-winner for the interpretation of French music. He recorded Livre II of Debussy’s 12 Etudes in his debut album Live at Wigmore Hall. MusicOMH said, “The Wigmore Hall audience was given a master class in pianistic textures and timbres… superb delicacy… a captivation level of excitement and virtuosity.” Dustin won the Debussy-Ravel Prize at the 2005 New Orleans International Piano Competition, and received rave reviews from The Times-Picayune for his interpretation of Saint-Saëns, saying he had “…spun an incantatory gold-medal performance.”
Dustin has recently performed at the Fazioli Concert Hall, Carnegie Weill Hall and has soloed with orchestras, including the San Diego Symphony, Utah Symphony, Florida Space Coast Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, Hilton Head Orchestra, and many others. Dustin is a keen collaborator with ballet and modern dance. He recently appeared with Saddler’s Wells Dance Theater in London, with the legendary choreographer and dancer, Pina Bausch, in Palermo Palermo. In 2009, Dustin was featured as pianist and recording artist for the world premier of AfterLight, produced and choreographed by the Russell Maliphant Company, and nominated for a Lawrence Olivier Award for Best Dance Production. London’s BBC premiered the work in December 2009. Future collaborations are set for 2011, including composition for dance with electronic infused music.
Dustin has studied with Dr. Irene Peery-Fox, Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Nina Svetlanova and Andre-Michel Schub at Manhattan School of Music and currently with Julian Martin at the Juilliard School. He has received instruction and master-class training from Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Stephen Hough, Nikolai Demidenko, Bernard d’Ascoli, Leslie Howard, and others.
Devin Gray – Drums, Mallets and Piano
Mr. Gray received his Bachelor of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and his Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He has performed throughout the world and toured extensively throughout Northern Europe and the east coast of the United States. Mr. Gray has recorded several records for the labels Umlaut Records and Flattened Planet Records. His CD "Corpulent" features Miles Davis Band Alum, Gary Thomas. He has taught in Stockholm, the Yarmouth, Maine Public Schools, and maintains an active teaching schedule in New York.
Madeleine Jansen – Violin and Viola
Madeleine Jansen is a violinist and teacher based in New York City. Her performance engagements have taken her across the United States, Canada, and Europe where she has appeared in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and London’s St. John’s Smith Square.
Madeleine earned her Bachelor of Music in violin performance from Boston University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She completed her Master of Music degree at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she was the recipient of a full scholarship and teaching assistantship. Upon graduation, Madeleine received the prestigious Julian Olevsky Memorial Award for excellence in violin performance.
A passionate teacher, Madeleine has taught violin at University of Massachusetts, Interlochen Arts Camp, and as a substitute for the Manhattan School of Music pre-college division. Additionally, she has given masterclasses and orchestral workshops around the east coast and Canada. Her students have been invited to perform in London, Austria, and the Czech Republic and have held leadership positions in regional honors orchestras, youth orchestras, and summer festivals.
Madeleine has appeared under the batons of Sir Roger Norrington, JoAnn Falletta, Leonard Slatkin, Lukas Foss, and Keith Lockhart, among others. While at University of Massachusetts, Madeleine served as concertmaster of the university orchestra, chamber orchestra, and studio jazz orchestra. An avid proponent of new music, Madeleine has performed in the Five College New Music Festival and on Interlochen faculty recitals, premiering works by University of MA and IAC faculty members. She regularly appears with the internationally-acclaimed rock band Trans-siberian Orchestra, with whom she has performed around the east coast on their Christmas and Beethoven’s Last Night tours.
Primary teachers include Elizabeth Chang, Elizabeth Faidley, Dana Mazurkevich, and Rosemary Furniss.
A native of Wisconsin, cellist Kirsten Jermé leads an active musical life as a performer, teacher, and administrator in New York City. Kirsten completed her M.M. in Cello Performance and Arts Leadership Certificate at the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Steven Doane. She received her B.A. from Stony Brook University, under the tutelage of Colin Carr and the Emerson String Quartet. An avid orchestral and chamber musician, Kirsten has performed at Carnegie, Weill and Zankel Halls, Symphony Space, W.M.P. Concert Hall, the Joyce Dance Theatre and Le Poisson Rouge in New York, Royal Festival Hall in London, and the Banff Arts Centre in Canada, and has participated in festivals including Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Banff Masterclasses for Strings and Winds.
Dedicated to education, community, and public service through the arts, Kirsten has worked as an administrator and teacher for a variety of arts non-profits. She was involved in community outreach and public school programs at Turtle Bay Music School and the Eastman Community Music School, and at Stony Brook, helped launch an arts outreach program and co-directed the annual Music for Peace Project. Kirsten is currently on faculty at the Greenwich House Music School, and teaches at P.S. 129 in Harlem for The Harmony Program, modeled on Venezuela's El Sistema.
Jess Jurkovic – Piano (Jazz, Classical)
A native of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, Jess Jurkovic started his musical life as a drummer and percussionist, but at age fourteen, began to compose and teach himself jazz piano. He is now an accomplished performer, composer, arranger, theoretician, and educator, and has been on the LMA faculty since 2000. Jess received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota, and his Master's degree in Jazz and Commercial Music from Manhattan School of Music. Jess has served as musical director to several New York cabaret artists, as well as with the American Tap Dance Foundation. He has also worked with Cherry Lane Music Co. as a freelance writer and editor; his book Keyboard Warm-up Techniques was published in 2006. In addition to his solo piano work, Jess is an integral member of the Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra, performing at the prestigious Macao International Music Festival in 2008.
Thomson Kneeland – Upright Bass, Electric Bass, Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Composition
Acoustic bassist and composer Thomson Kneeland has established himself as a formidable sideman and leader since moving to New York City in 2003. He began his studies of classical guitar with Peter Clemente. Kneeland furthered his theoretical studies at New England Conservatory with John McNeil, Jerry Bergonzi, Paul Bley, and others. Kneeland has released 5 albums as a leader, most recently Mazurka for a Modern Man and The Voice of Silence, featuring a quintet of his peers making their mark on the NYC scene. In 2012, as a member of the Jed Levy Quartet, Kneeland was selected to participate in the Rhythm Road Abroad program sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the US State Department.
Kneeland has taught at Wellesley College, Queens College, Berklee College of Music. He has conducted clinics at the University of New Hampshire, the University of Washington, Schenectady Community College, the Winthrop School, the Cohasset Arts Camp, the Peabody
As a leader, sideman, and composer, Kneeland has appeared on over 40 recordings to date and performed with such luminaries as Jerry Bergonzi, Kenny Werner, George Garzone, Chris Potter, Ted Rosenthal, Lynne Arriale, Rick Margitza, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Joe Maneri, Gunther Schuller, Peter Leitch, Paul Bollenback and many others. He has performed internationally at such venues as The Kennedy Center, Medellin University in Colombia, the Toronto Jazz Festival, the Perth Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Jazz Festival, and more.
Laurie Kono – Piano
Ms. Kono received her Bachelor of Music degree from USC and her Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She has a strong pedagogical background including positions teaching piano, theory and improvisation in California and the New York metro area. Her performing career has taken her to such places as Okinawa, Los Angeles and Madrid. She won the acclaimed Okinawa International Competition and the Puigerda International Competition in Spain.
Pascal Le Boeuf – Piano
Mr. Le Boeuf received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music as the recipient of the Michael W. Greene scholarship. Additionally, he has studied songwriting and electronic music at the Berklee College of Music. Pascal has garnered over twenty national and international awards and accomplishments, the most notable being the ASCAP/IAJE Commission honoring Quincy Jones, which premiered at the 2004 IAJE conference and featured tenor saxophonist Chris Potter. Pascal has also received awards from Downbeat Magazine, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and dominated the 2006 Independent Music Awards, winning Best Jazz Album and Best Jazz Song for his prior release Migration. Most recently, the track Code Word off his new album House Without A Door received 1st place in the International Songwriting Competition. Pascal performs frequently throughout New York with his twin brother Remy, Myron Walden, Clarence Penn, and Mike Ruby. His career as an educator has taken him around the country. He worked as jazz guide for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, maintained a private studio, and has been on faculty at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.
Eric Lemmon – Viola and Violin
Violist and Composer Eric Lemmon received his Bachelors in Music at New York University’s Music and Performing Arts Program, a Masters in Viola Performance from the Mannes Conservatory, and an Artist Diploma from University of Miami’s Frost School of Music where he was awarded a Mancini Fellowship. He is the founder and editor of the music criticism and review site OpenSourceMusic.org and an artistic adviser to Nodes Performing Arts.
Eric has performed throughout the New York City and Miami metropolitan areas with groups such as The Manhattan Camerata, DETOUR New Music, the troupe Project Opera, the New York Chamber Virtuosi, Aerial Photograph, for the non-profit Lower East Side Performing Arts, and as principal for One World Symphony, The Chelsea Symphony, the Highline Chamber Ensemble, and The Sheep Island Ensemble. He has performed in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, (le) Poisson Rouge, Carnegie Hall, The BankUnited Center, and The Adrienne Arsht Center. Eric has performed with the likes of Terence Blanchard, Mark O’Connor, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Take 6, Michael Feinstein, Clay Aiken, Johnathan Blake and Gordon Goodwin. He has been awarded NYU’s Creative Collaboration Grant, Mannes’ Peter M. Gross Grant, and MetLife’s Creative Connections Grant.
Dr. Francis Liu – Violin and Viola
With an inclination for eclectic projects, violinist Francis Liu plays music ranging from early Baroque to the latest contemporary pieces. He has most recently been on tour with the Baroque ensemble Musica Angelica and the actor John Malkovich, performing the stage-play “The Infernal Comedy.” Other projects include appearances in the KLANGSPUREN Festival of Contemporary Music in Austria, and a recording of Bach's St. Matthew Passion on period instruments for the 40th anniversary of Oberlin's Baroque Performance Institute. Mr. Liu was a founding member of the Adelphi String Quartet, which served as the graduate quartet-in-residence at the University of Maryland from 2009-2011. In 2009, the Adelphi Quartet joined with the Axelrod Quartet at the Smithsonian American History Museum for a performance of the Mendelssohn Octet on the museum's collection of Stradivarius and Amati instruments. With members of the quartet, Mr. Liu also completed a recording of Walter Gieseking's rediscovered Kleine Musik, which will be released on Centaur Records. Mr. Liu received his doctorate from the University of Maryland, where he was a teaching assistant to David Salness. He completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Rice University, where he was a student of Kenneth Goldsmith.
Amanda Lo – Violin, Viola, and Piano
Amanda Lo holds a Bachelor's Degree in Violin Performance from NYU, where she studied with Stephanie Chase. While at NYU, she became the youngest person ever to win the New York University String Concerto Competition. Her other awards include the New York Youth Symphony Rosengarten Chair, for which she served as Concertmaster.
She has appeared as a soloist with the Chelsea Symphony, NYU Symphony Orchestra, Sympho (as part of the “Traces” concert series), and the Westchester Philharmonic, and has held concertmaster chairs with the Chelsea Symphony, Ensemble 212, Aytia/Matia New Music Ensemble, the Manhattan Camerata and the New York Youth Symphony. Her classical experience also includes performances with Artemis Chamber Ensemble, Chelsea Opera, DiCapo Opera, Ensemble 212, The Knights, Metro Chamber Orchestra, Mimesis Ensemble, the New York Chamber Virtuosi, Opera Moderne, the New York Concerti Sinfonietta, Nouveau Classical Project, S.E.M. Ensemble, and the Syzygy New Music Collective.
She also specializes in contemporary music, and has performed with numerous ensembles across a wide range of genres. Her recording credits include Sufjan Stevens, Alex Winston, Ben Lear, Colin Huggins, Colin Smith, Mono, and Snowmine. In 2009, she was featured in Harry Connick Jr.'s music video "All the Way". She has performed with artists as diverse as Andrew Bird, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Efterklang, Amanda Brown, Bill Whelan, Colin Smith, Emily Katter, Guards, MrNorth, Nisha Asnani, and Ra Ra Riot. In 2013, she performed as a guest artist in Sleep No More, Punchdrunk Theater Company’s immersive play.
In addition to her work as a performer, Amanda also serves as Director of Special Programs and Outreach for Sympho Inc., a New York-based contemporary and classical music nonprofit.
Alex LoRe – Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, and Piano
Currently living in Manhattan, NY, saxophonist and composer Alex LoRe performs regularly around New York City as both a sideman as well as with his own groups. Having played at venues such as The Iridium Jazz Club, Smoke Jazz Club and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, saxophonist and educator Bunky Green says LoRe “…will become one of the leading voices on the international jazz scene.” LoRe’s playing and compositions are influenced by many genres, ranging from classical music through today’s most influential artists on both the jazz and popular music scenes.
LoRe has been featured at venues such as the Jazz at Ravinia Festival held at the Stean’s Institute for Young Artists in Chicago and the Monterey Jazz Festival in California, and has traveled internationally to perform in places such as Amsterdam and Tel Aviv, among others. LoRe is a co-founder and composer of the nine-piece ensemble, the “Jazz Conceptions Orchestra,” which has traveled and performed all across the eastern seaboard of the United States.
LoRe holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music degree from New York’s Manhattan School of Music. His mentors have included Dave Liebman, Bunky Green, Lee Konitz, George Garzone, James Moody, Steve Wilson, and Jerry Bergonzi.
Tristan McKay – Piano
Tristan McKay is a New York based contemporary pianist, multimedia composer and music educator. Recent performances have included participation in Make Music New York 2013, the Music With A View concert series curated by Kathleen Supove at the Flea Theater and a concert with Mr. McKay’s trio Dead Language of music by Elliott Carter, Todd Reynolds and Tristan Perich at Spectrum NYC. An avid supporter of new music, Mr. McKay frequently works with living composers and has premiered dozens of new works in the tri-state area, as well as internationally.
In addition to MSM Sundays, Mr. McKay is currently on faculty at the Bergen Academy of Music in Oradell, New Jersey, and Larchmont Music Academy in Larchmont, New York. Mr. McKay also maintains a private studio in Manhattan. During a week-long residency at the Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, Dead Language conducted seminars and performances for undergraduate students on a variety of contemporary music subjects.
Mr. McKay holds a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music in Contemporary Music Performance, where he studied with Christopher Oldfather and Anthony de Mare, and a Bachelor of Music from New York University in Classical Performance where he studied with Marilyn Nonken.
Q Morrow – Guitar
He studied music in Santa Cruz at Cabrillo College with the great jazz educator Ray Brown, theory and composition with Mickey McGushin, and Balinese gamelan with minimalist composer Lou Harrison before attending the University of North Texas's Jazz Studies undergraduate program in 2003. At UNT he studied jazz guitar, classical guitar, and composition with teachers Fred Hamilton, Lynn Seaton, and south indian percussionist Poovalur Srinivassan. After his studies at UNT, Q did a stint working on Carnival Cruise lines with his jazz trio before deciding to continue his music education. Under the urging of Poovalur Srinivassan, who insisted that the best way to study Indian music was to go live in India and study one-on-one with a master there, Q decided to spend a year studying Carnatic music in Bangalore, India with Veena Maestro Jayanthi Kumaresh.
Upon his return to the U.S. Q lived in San Francisco, CA and was an in-demand guitarist in the jazz and brazilian music scenes. While there he played with some of the top artists in the Bay Area such as Grupo Falso Baiano, Carlos Oliveira's Katavento, Harvey Wainapel, Masha Campagne, Ana Carbatti, SOCKET, Dandara Odara and Pra Gandaia, and Eric Garland's house band at Amnesia's wednesday night modern jazz session, the longest running in SF, as well as leading his own group.
In addition to being an in-demand player Q has maintained a very busy teaching schedule for the past ten years and is sought after for his expertise in guitar technique, improvisation, and chord solo playing. He is known for his easygoing intuitive approach which emphasizes ear training, exhaustive knowledge of music theory, and an introspective analyses of guitar technique. While in San Francisco Q taught at the world renowned guitar store and music publisher Guitar Solo Productions.
In 2013 Q relocated with his wife and daughter to Brooklyn, NY and is quickly becoming an in demand sideman while pursuing his own original music with his group.
Tristen Napoli – Trumpet and Piano
Tristen Napoli holds a Bachelor of Music from Purchase College where he studied Jazz Music, Piano and Trumpet Performance. In addition to being featured on several recordings, he maintains a rigorous performing schedule in the New York area and has performed at such venues as Birdland, the Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Smalls and the Falcon. Renowned bassist Dr. Todd Coolman said about Tristen,” He is one of the bright new emerging voices on the trumpet today, and his selfless dedication to the music is evident at all times. His playing represents the finest of any emerging artist in that it is steeped in the critical aspects of the jazz tradition while being fresh and forward looking. Tristen's new and unique voice in the music is sure to be embraced by all who hear him, and his future and the future of the music he creates will find a meaningful place for many years to come. He is poised to make a lasting imprint in music.” Tristen regularly works with school band programs including All-County audition prep, NYSSMA festivals, All-State and other school related festivals. As an educator, Tristen teaches piano, brass, composition and coaches numerous jazz ensembles throughout the area.
Martin Nevin – Bass, Guitar, and Piano
Martin Nevin grew up in Los Angeles and started playing electric bass and guitar when he was 12 years old. After hearing his first Thelonious Monk record, he became deeply interested in jazz and picked up the upright bass. In 2006 Martin received a scholarship to attend Manhattan School of Music, where he studied bass with Jay Anderson and David Grossman, piano with Inesa Sinkevych, and composition with Michael Patterson. Since then he has performed and/or recorded with notable artists such as Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Logan Richardson, and Aaron Parks, and in venues such as The Jazz Gallery, The 55 bar, the Deer Head Inn, and Kuumbwa Jazz Center. His talent has been recognized by the Downbeat Student Music Awards, Stanford Jazz Workshop, and Disney Spotlight Awards among others. Martin is also an educator, and has taught at programs including the Stanford Jazz Workshop. Martin currently resides in New York City where he continues to compose, teach, perform and record.
Hajnal Pivnick – Violin and Viola
Hajnal Karman Pivnick, violinist from Memphis, Tennessee, graduated with university honors from Carnegie Mellon University School of Music with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music, studying with Andrés Cárdenes, and received her Master's in Music from the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, with Eszter Perényi.
Hajnal has participated in festivals in Japan, South Korea, Israel, Hungary, France, Sweden, Czech Republic, as well as throughout the United States. Additionally, she has taken part in master classes with distinguished musicians such as Midori, Anton Barakhovsky, Arnold Steinhardt, Ruggiero Ricci, as well as the Director of the Aspen Music Festival, Alan Fletcher.
Hajnal has performed under the batons of Zoltan Kocsis, Jeanne Lamon, Michael Stern, Robert Page, Sir Andrew Davis, Michael Gilbert and Peter Oundjian with numerous ensembles, including the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra, Liszt Academy of Music Orchestra, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon Baroque Ensemble, the Hungarian New Music Chamber Ensemble, the Eroica Ensemble and Camerata Notturna.
Hajnal recently served as a member of the violin faculty at the Interlochen Arts Camp, where she taught privately, coached chamber ensembles, and mentored students in the Intermediate Concert Orchestra through sectionals and observation. She currently maintains a studio teaching violin and viola at the Larchmont Academy of Music.
Hajnal is a member of Ballet Next, a new company based in New York City and performs regularly with principal dancers from the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, including Artistic Directors Michele Wiles and Charles Askegard.
Jonathan Ragonese – Winds and Piano
Jonathan Ragonese, composer-arranger-saxophonist, is a native of New Cumberland Pennsylvania. He has lived in New York City for five years, where he completed his undergraduate degree at the Manhattan School of Music studying with Bob Mintzer, Steve Wilson & Garry Dial. As a saxophonist he has performed and recorded with local and international performers, Terell Stafford, David Liebman, Jon Faddis, Tim Warfield, JD Walter, The Harrisburg Symphony & Stuart Malina, Steve Rudolph, Steve Wilson and James Moody. As a composer his works have been premiered by saxophonist Steve Wilson, the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Harrisburg Symphony, and the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra. His large works include: "Mother Goose Suite" (2011) a collection of dramatic nursery rhymes, premiered in New York City with Steve Wilson, Glenn Zaleski, Harp and Winds featuring the narration of world-renowned composer, historian, and performer Dr. David Noon; a three-movement Piano Concerto No. 1 (2012) commissioned and premiered by soloist Erika Dohi; "Sweet for Duke", commissioned by the Vermont Mozart Festival was premiered in August of 2010. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Composition from the Manhattan School of Music where he studies with Michael Patterson. In the spring of 2012 his piece “The Rooster, The Mouse, and the Little Red Hen” for narrator and wind quintet won first prize in Boston’s Solar Winds Quintet Competition. He has conducted the ensemble in the premiere and subsequent performances. Jonathan has served on the faculty of the West Chester University Summer Jazz Institute & The Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz Camp; his educational endeavors continue to broaden with lectures, writings, and the development of a National Music Education Program as well as curating and leading a music-focused summer program for pre-school aged children at the Children’s Learning Center in New York City.
PJ Roberts – Bass, Guitar, and Piano
PJ ROBERTS – bass player, composer, and arranger originally from Ada, Michigan and now residing in New York City. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and recently finished his masters degree from CUNY Queens College. PJ has won many awards including the Sir Roland Hanna Memorial Award(2008) and Louis Armstrong Jazz Award(2002), and was a recipient of the Gilmore Emerging Artist Grant in 2006. In NYC he leads his own trio, is a member of the Atlantic Quartet, Charli Perisp’s trio and big band, as well as freelancing with various ensembles. In addition, he composes and arranges for big bands as well as smaller ensembles. He has had the great fortune to study with, and be mentored by the great Ron Carter for the past two years. PJ has performed at many prestigious jazz clubs including The Blue Note, Iridium, Sweet Rhythm, Smalls, Fatcat, and Smoke.
Samuel Ryder – Winds and Piano
Mr. Ryder holds both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Dick Oatts, Steve Wilson, George Garzone, and David Liebman. He has appeared in New York with the Saxophone Summit's big band ensemble featuring David Liebman, Ravi Coltrane, and Joe Lovano as well as other original music settings. Mr. Ryder also works as a composer for different ensemble types ranging from traditional classical groups to varying size jazz ensembles to experimental music arrangements. His recording experience includes the 2010 Grammy-Nominated jazz album of the year Urbanus, Presented by Stefon Harris and Blackout. His teaching experience includes New York City public schools through the Manhattan School of Music Outreach Program as well as his own private studio.
Erich Schoen-Rene – Cello
Mr. Schoen-Rene received his Bachelor's Degree from Bard College and his Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He has had extensive performing experience both in the United States and Europe as both a soloist and orchestral musician. Mr. Schoen-Rene has performed with the Manhattan Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic, and the American Opera Company. His teaching experience includes positions in Germany, Switzerland, and at the prestigious School for Strings in New York.
Nicole Sharlow – Violin and Viola (Suzuki, Traditional)
Ms. Sharlow graduated with honors from Carnegie Mellon University and received her masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music in violin performance. A gifted educator, Ms. Sharlow is the head of the String Department at the Larchmont Music Academy where she teaches violin, viola and chamber music. She also maintains a private teaching studio comprised of students from the New York City area as well as summer students in Maine. An active performer, she is currently principal second violin of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in Harrisburg, PA. Habituated to leadership, she has been concertmaster of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra in Germany and principal second violin of the Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra, among many others. Since 2001 Ms. Sharlow has been spending her summers in residence at Quisisana Resort in Maine, performing chamber music. Dedicated to the genre, she has won the Silberman Chamber Music Competition and the Lilian Fuchs Chamber Music Recital Honor. She has performed with Trio Solas, the Claremont Ensemble and Fireworks, all dedicated to 20th century music. In addition to her devotion to chamber music, she has appeared as soloist with the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic and the National Repertory Orchestra. Her foremost teachers have included Andres Cardenes, concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, and Lucie Robert. Nicole currently resides in Westchester County with her dog, Kezar.
Vinnie Sperrazza – Drums
Drummer Vinnie Sperrazza grew up in the Utica, New York area, and earned a degree in jazz studies from William Paterson University. While at WPU, he began a long-term musical relationship with the legendary pianist James Williams, which continued until Mr. Williams' passing in July 2004. Through the auspices of Mr. Williams, he performed in many memorable club engagements, concerts, and recordings with such individuals as Clark Terry, Bill Mobley, Steve Wilson, Javon Jackson, Richard Davis, and Mulgrew Miller.
Since moving to Brooklyn in 2002, he has been an in-demand sideman, and has made a name for himself as a leader. The Matt Blostein/Vinnie Sperrazza Band performed extensively in New York and across the US in support of their albums Ursa Minor (ENV 0701) on Envoi Recordings, and Paraphrase (YY 0006) on Yeah Yeah Records.
Fresh Sound Records, the Barcelona-based independent jazz label, has released two trio albums organized by Sperrazza and pianist Jacob Sacks. Peak Inn (FS 343), with Sacks and bassist Dave Ambrosio, focussed on improvisation, while Barcelona Holiday (FS 373) with Sacks and bassist Masa Kamaguchi, was a program of standards and jazz classics. The trio of Sacks, Kamaguchi, and Sperrazza completed a tour of Spain and Portugal in the fall of 2011, and the album was chosen as an "Honorable Mention- Best of 2011" by The New York Jazz Record.
Recent releases include the acclaimed debut recording by 40twenty, a collective group featuring trombonist Jacob Garchik, Jacob Sacks, and Dave Ambrosio, and he is currently at work preparing Apocryphal (working title was Summa Heretica), an album of Sperrazza's compositions. Also a dedicated music educator, he is the co-ordinator of both the Queens College CPSM Jazz Program and the JCC Jazz Program at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music, a Teaching Artist with Midori and Friends, and maintains a private practice at his home in Brooklyn, NY.
He has performed in concerts, clubs, and festivals in the US, Canada, Japan, and Europe, including the prestigious North Sea Jazz Festival, the NYC Winter Jazz Festival, and the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, had his work reviewed by the New York Jazz Record, All About Jazz, Jazztimes, and Downbeat, and Ben Ratliff of the New York Times singled out his "glassy, decaying tone" in a 2010 review of a concert.
Andie Springer – Violin and Viola
Ms. Springer received her Bachelor of Music degree from Carnegie Mellon University and her Master of Music degree from NYU. She has performed throughout the world with NYU Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera, the Arctic Chamber Players and Fairbanks Symphony. Recently she performed at the Tribeca Film Festival and with the Combo Nuvo at the Festival Jazz Peru and Lima, Peru. Her extensive teaching career includes positions as a private instructor and Suzuki group teacher. She has taught at New Song Studio, maintains a private studio and she is an adjunct professor at NYU.
David Tedeschi – Percussion and Piano
David Tedschi grew up in a family that immersed him in music at a very early age. David graduated with honors from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Rich Thompson and has performed at many prestigious venues and festivals including The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Telluride Jazz Festival and the West Palm Beach Jazz Festival. In 2006 he joined saxophonist Alex Graham for a residency at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan and has been a featured performer every year since.
David has had the pleasure of having a studio of talented young percussionists since he was seventeen. At the Eastman School of Music, David worked with the Community Education division alongside guest artists such as Mulgrew Miller and Peter Bernstein. He also has had the pleasure of being an artist in residence and clinician for the Irvine School District, Yamaha music schools, and the Bay View Music Festival.
David lives in New York City where he performs and teaches on a regular basis. He is a member of the People Vs. Larsen, Jeremy Siskind Trio, the Mike Cottone Trio and the alternative rock band Stone Cold Fox.
Logan Thomas – Piano (Classical, Jazz)
Mr. Thomas received his Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University in 2007. Mr. Thomas has received numerous awards for both performing and arranging. In 2008, he was 1 out of 4 pianists nationwide chosen to participate in Fred Hersch's "Solo Duo Trio" workshop and present a concert in Carnegie Hall. At the Notre Dame Jazz Festival 2 years in a row, Mr. Thomas received a total of 6 outstanding performance awards and Downbeat Magazine honored him with two different awards. Logan has been teaching both classical and jazz piano to students of all ages for the past five years. He was the musical director for the "All Ears Theatre Program" in Kalamazoo, MI.
Bryan Walters – Brass and Piano
Mr. Walters received his Bachelor of Music from Manhattan School of Music. He was a featured soloist and member of the resident brass quintet at the Santa Fiora Music Festival in 2005. A versatile freelance musician based in New York City, Bryan is versed in Classical, Jazz, Contemporary, Afro-Cuban and Electronic music. He has performed throughout the country including such venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Mr. Walters has maintained an active teaching studio since 2004.
A native of Washington State, Patricia received her Bachelor’s of Music from Washington State University, where she studied jazz and classical voice with Horace Alexander-Young, Jennifer Scovell and Dr. Sheila Converse. She recently completed her Master of Music Degree at Manhattan School of Music, where she studied jazz voice under the tutelage of Darmon Meader, Peter Eldridge, and Theo Bleckmann. She has also studied privately with Charenee Wade, René Marie, Sunny Wilkinson, and Sachal Vasandani. Influenced by musicians ranging from Carmen McRae to Tracy Chapman, her arrangements and compositions incorporate elements of folk, blues, world and popular music into the jazz idiom.
Patricia has been fortunate to share the stage with jazz greats such as Peter Eldridge, Joe Sanders, Kevin Mahogany, and Christine Salerno, and has performed widely throughout Washington State and New York City.
In addition to performance, Patricia is passionate about education, teaching both privately and in a classroom setting. Patricia believes every child should have access to music. She has done extensive volunteer work to bring the joy of music to underprivileged children in rural schools and communities in Washington State, as well as public school outreach in New York City through the Manhattan School of Music.
Patricia believes it is the goal of an educator to impart a lifelong love of learning to students, as well as provide a top quality musical education. It is this passion for music and education that has lead Patricia to Kindermusik. In Patricia's class, your child will be part of a joyful, dynamic learning environment where every child is encouraged to discover his or her own unique creative voice.
Jennifer Wong – Piano
Ms. Wong received her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music and her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia. She has given numerous performances throughout North America and is the recipient of awards from the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Chopin Foundation Competition. Ms. Wong maintains an active performing and teaching career.