Larchmont Music Academy

Faculty

Directors

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.

Instructors

Alec Aldred – Brass and Piano
7/25/17 4:34:46 PM Portraits : Alec + BreannaAlec Aldred is a trumpet player, arranger, and composer originally from Waukesha, Wisconsin.  In 2015, he placed second in the National Trumpet Competition - Jazz Division.  In 2016, Alec graduated from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, and he is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at the Manhattan School of Music.  While studying at the Frost School of Music, Alec played in numerous Downbeat Award-winning ensembles as well as the Frost Concert Jazz Band, getting the opportunity to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival.  He has studied extensively with jazz trumpet greats Brian Lynch and Scott Wendholt.  Alec is a member of the chamber jazz trio Sound Underground which has released two critically acclaimed albums since the group’s inception in 2013.  With Sound Underground, Alec has toured Eastern Europe twice, playing at three major music festivals in Bulgaria and Serbia, and has also toured the Midwest and West Coast multiple times.  In addition to performing, he has a passion for teaching and engaging students through music education - empowering and allowing them to express themselves.  Alec has taught beginner, intermediate, and advanced students and ensembles both nationally and internationally.

"Alec is a great motivator and a supportive instructor. Our daughter always has something new to show us after her lessons with him."

Molly Aronson – Cello
Crop 2Cellist Molly Aronson is an avid chamber musician, soloist and pedagogue. Molly earned a Master of Music degree and Performer's Certificate from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Julia Lichten, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, studying with Astrid Schween. She is a founding member of the Rt9 Ensemble and Anderson Hill Trio with whom she has toured throughout the Northeast, New York and Georgia, presenting concerts in non-traditional venues to concert halls. She has performed chamber music as a part of the Mohawk Trails Concerts, Classical at Cornelia St. Cafe, Interlochen Faculty Chamber Series, to name a few, and this season will be featured with the Rt9 Ensemble on the Queens Library and University of Massachusetts Amherst Faculty Recital Series. In 2010 Molly had her concerto debut with the Holyoke Civic Symphony.

A great proponent of new music, Molly has collaborated with numerous award-winning composers, performing chamber and solo works on such series as Lex54 concerts, Spectrum NYC, Neuberger Museum's “Wednesdays at the Neu,” Vox Novus- "The Composer's Voice" and Purchase New Music. Not limited to the classical realm of performance, she has performed and acted in The Crook of Your Arm as a part of FRIGID, the NYC winter Fringe Festival. Molly has also appeared on stage with such icons as singers Rod Stewart, Michael Buble, and Josh Groban, and can be heard on the records of a number of emerging indie-pop and jazz artists.  She has also had her own compositions premiered in NYC and at the National Orchestra Institute's children's concert.

Molly is passionately committed to music education and has held teaching positions at Purchase College Conservatory of Music, the New York State Summer School of the Arts – Orchestral Studies, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Orchestra, has given masterclasses at the Savannah Arts Academy, and was awarded a teaching fellowship, joining the cello faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp in 2012.

"We love Molly! My daughter has really improved this year and Molly is an incredibly dedicated and gifted teacher. We would happily recommend her to anybody." ~ Shonna Keogan

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, Katy 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.

"We absolutely adore Surai, and couldn't be happier. Max's growth this year is a testament to Surai's teaching." ~ M.M.

Sage Boris – Brass and Piano

A native of Kingston, N.Y., Sage has studied and performed music his whole life. He attended the Crane School of Music at S.U.N.Y. Potsdam, graduating magna cum laude, followed by graduate school at the University of Michigan where he earned two Master of Music degrees. He has played professionally in New York, Michigan, and Canada, and performed solo recitals in Potsdam, N.Y.,  Ann Arbor, Mich., and Kingston, N.Y. Comfortable in any genre thrown his way, he is especially fond of chamber music and premiering new works by young composers. In addition to teaching at LMA, he is an adjunct instructor at Dutchess Community College and a freelance musician in the greater New York City area.

"My sons love their lessons with Sage, and my youngest can't wait to start with him next year."

Patrick Brennan – Guitar

Pat Brennan began playing guitar at the age of 10. With the encouragement of his father, who is also a guitarist, Pat began to listen to and practice jazz. While in high school Pat was chosen to be the guitarist in the 2008 Connecticut All-State jazz band. Pat attended the New School and then the City College of New York, receiving his undergraduate degree in jazz performance in 2014. In 2015 Pat was selected as a semifinalist in Wes Montgomery International Jazz Competition. Recently, Pat finished graduate school and received his Masters in jazz performance from the City College of New York. In addition to playing all around the city, Pat has a passion for teaching and loves seeing his students get fulfillment out of studying and playing music. Pat also knows the profound impact his teachers have had on him and wants to impact his student's lives in the same way.

"Pat is the best guitar teacher I've had!"

Zachary Brown – Cello
zacharyZachary Brown is a multi-styled, White Plains based cellist. Born in Queens, Zachary recently received two degrees, Cello Performance and Jazz Studies, from Ithaca College, and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Cello Performance at SUNY Purchase. He has studied and taught classical repertoire while also playing Jazz and Bluegrass traditions. He has also appeared as a guest artist at the New Directions Cello Festival twice where he has performed, taught, and led full scale master classes and workshops.

"We love Zachary, lessons are so much fun with him!"

Sarah Childers – Piano and Voice
Sarah Childers Head ShotSarah Childers (Mezzo-soprano) is a New York City based opera singer. She is a diverse singer performing repertoire ranging from musical theater, contemporary music, opera and operetta. Miss Childers recently participated in the Savannah Voice Festival as a studio artist with the Sherrill Milnes Voice Experience. Some of Miss Childers’s performance credits include Rusalka (2nd Wood Sprite), Mikado (Peep- Beau), Pirates of Penzance (Edith), Die Zauberflöte (third boy), Hansel and Gretel (Hansel), Suor Angelica (Infermiera), The Little Prince (Rose). Contemporary music premiers include Derek Cooper’s cantata What If?(Mary) and three art song premiers in a recital “Love, War, and Song” and John Taylor Thomas’s O Pioneers! (Marie Shabata). Miss Childers received her Masters of Music in Voice Performance at Manhattan School of Music.

As an educator, Sarah is currently serving as a conductor and voice teacher for the National Children’s Chorus (Manhattan division) where she teaches chorus and voice to children between the ages 6-10. Miss Childers has prepared students for auditions at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus, and America's Got Talent. Sarah was heavily involved in music educational outreach where she toured various schools to promote classical music. While still a student, she was featured as a soloist for the University’s annual Linkup concert, bringing music into impoverished areas.

"I love my piano teacher. She makes my lessons fun!"

Kristen Engebretson – Voice, Piano, Clarinet
KristenKristen 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.

"Kristen is amazing! She is a wonderful source of encouragement and support for Jess - she even went to see her in the Hommocks school play last year! We are very happy with her and recommend her to all our friends." ~ Jessica's mom

Gareth Fowler – Guitar

garethfowlerGareth graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire in the United Kingdom where he studied with Phil Robson and Jez Frankz.

During this period he performed at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival with Chris Potter, Norwegian Jazz Festival, South Africa with the Global Voices Project, Denmark, and Germany. He taught with the national company, Lick Library, Services for Education, Nottingham Trent Valley University and Painsley Academy. His teaching philosophy is to enrich someone’s life with one of the most powerful art-forms. He believes that music opens doors to a world of possibilities and the guitar is such a diverse, fun instrument, there really is a sound for everyone to enjoy. Music unlocks the mind and brings people together, he wants to pass on the knowledge and enjoyment he has had learning the guitar for the generations to come.

Upon graduating, Gareth became an in demand guitarist throughout the UK. He had the chance to perform with some of the top musicians in the UK and throughout Europe. He performed with the Naima Acuna Quartet for the International Jazz Festival in Spain and led a band featuring Berklee tutor, Perico Sambeat at the Atarfe International Jazz Festival. He performed on the award nominated set of works by UK Jazz master saxophonist, Mike WIlliams.

Gareth currently lives in New York City after receiving a scholarship to study on the Masters program at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. He has just returned from a two month set of concerts in Malaysia with a collective of Berklee and MSM students.

"Our son really enjoys his lessons with Gareth and can't wait for next semester to start!"

Kayla Fuentes – Piano and Voice
Kayla Fuentes HeadshotKayla Fuentes is a mezzo-soprano, vocal pedagogue, and quirky theatre teacher from Starkville, Mississippi. Coming from a family with a big appreciation of the arts, music has always played a significant role in her life. She first realized her abilities on the stage in the ground breaking role of “Bird Woman” from Mary Poppins in the 3rd grade. Kayla attended Mississippi College, studying voice under the instruction of Kristen Johnson, and graduated in 2014 with a B.A in Classical Voice. While at Mississippi College, she performed the roles of Old Maid from Menotti’s Old Maid and the Thief, Madame Thenardier from Schönberg’s Les Miserables, and Emma Goldman from Glaherty’s Ragtime.  She has had the opportunity to collaborate with members of the Mississippi Symphony and worked with the Mississippi Opera Company. She pursued her Master of Music in Classical Voice at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM). During her first semester at MSM, Kayla sang in the chorus of the main stage opera, Macbeth. In her final year, she appeared in MSM’s Opera Scenes, A World Made Real: Five Stories of Women in Pursuit of Dreams, as Alma from Little Women, Cabarets, and Outreach Programs for local schools. She graduated in 2016 and continues to study with her teacher and mentor, mezzo-soprano, Mignon Dunn. Her passion for teaching and performing has brought her to LMA, where she can help young and talented artists fulfill their love of music.

"Kayla is such a fun and outgoing teacher and our daughter is making great progress."

Hannah Fuerst – Kindermusik
Hannah Fuerst holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music in classical voice performance. Ms. Fuerst maintains a busy performance schedule in New York and California, specializing in contemporary classical music and crossover repertoire. Ms. Fuerst has premiered leading roles with the Encompass New Opera Theatre and Apollo Opera in NYC, and has performed leading operatic roles with Bronx Opera, Taksu Theatre Company, American Opera Projects, Aspen Opera Theatre Center, and many more. Before joining LMA Ms. Fuerst taught with the Manhattan School of Music Outreach program, teaching children in elementary and middle schools throughout NYC. She has been the director of LMA’s Kindermusik program since 2011.

Alexander Gertner – French Horn

Alex Gertner 12 editedAlex Gertner is a freelance horn player and educator. He received his Bachelor of Music from Virginia Commonwealth University, his Master of Music from the University of Connecticut, and an Artist's Diploma from Montclair State University. He has played in several groups in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Orchestras he plays with include the Montclair Orchestra, Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, Chelsea Symphony, and Garden State Philharmonic. Gertner has played in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kaufman Center, Symphony Space, Jorgensen Center, and the International Horn Symposium. As a soloist, he’s performed at Carnegie Hall, Society of Musical Arts, and the Northeast Horn Workshop. He has had the opportunity to perform with artists including Solomiya Ivakhiv, Dionne Jackson, Bucky Pizzarelli, Donny McCaslin, and The Machine. Gertner finds great joy in performing and in teaching new students of the instrument. He would like to thank his family and friends for all the support that he has received.

His teachers include Kyle Hoyt, Robert Hoyle, Patrick Smith, and Kate Sheeran. Gertner is passionate about education and has been teaching privately since 2013.  He enjoys teaching students from beginners to advanced.  He has helped young students with county, region, all-state, NYSSMA, and college auditions.  He plans to bring his years of experience to the Larchmont team and augment the horn and brass program.

Lucas Kadish – Guitar

Lucas Kadish was born and raised in Northeast Ohio.  There he spent his formative years discovering a deep love for all sorts of music such as Blues and Jazz, and fell in love with the guitar at a very young age  In his late teens he began studying and playing with Theron Brown, Dan Wilson, Bobby Selvaggio, and many other staples of the scene. By graduation he had already been named a National YoungArts finalist and a semi-finalist in the United States Presidential Scholars of the Arts for jazz guitar. He was admitted to The New School for Jazz on the President’s Scholarship and moved to NYC. In his first year of college, Lucas was selected for the Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Residency for composition. There he worked and studied alongside Jason Moran, Eric Harland, Carmen Lundy, JD Allen, Andre Hayward, Cyrus Chesnut, and Eric Revis. Lucas is now a recent graduate from the New School for Jazz with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Jazz Studies.

He has performed alongside artists such as Les McCann, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Braxton Cook, George Kontrafouris, Dominick Faranacci, and many more. He’s led five tours of his own music nationally and internationally. He has performed at the Montreux Jazz FestivalBern Jazz FestivalWinnipeg TD Jazz Festival, and Kennedy Center Millennium Stage to name a few. He has also performed at numerous venues in NYC such as Smalls Jazz Club, The Jazz Gallery, Cornelia St. Cafe, Jazz at Lincoln Center's Appel Room, and many more. Lucas’ own band, Tundra, showcases the powerful individual voices of Nick Dunston on the Bass and Tim Angulo on the Drums.

All along the way, Lucas began to fall in love with sharing his gift with the next generation. “I’ve had so many inspiring and life changing mentors that have guided me along the way.” Lucas has taught guitar privately now for about 8 years and at Western Reserve Music Academy teaching guitar and drums. “My philosophy is to inspire. Striking the balance between learning fundamentals and following the path towards proficiency, while fostering the love for what you’re spending all of this time and energy on in the first place.”

Timothy Leonard – Cello

IMG_5282Cellist Timothy Leonard is a devoted teacher and performer with a wide range of expertise from classical to rock and improvised music. He recently completed a master's degree at Aaron Copland School of Music, where he studied with Marcy Rosen. While there, he was chosen to play in the Balsam Trio, the scholarship chamber group at the school. As winner of the concerto competition there, he performed Leonard Bernstein's cello concerto, Three Meditations from MASS, with the Queens College Symphony.
A native of North Jersey, Tim grew up playing in New Jersey Youth Symphony ensembles and Regions orchestras. Tim's formative musical experiences include being chosen as one of two cello students for the New Jersey Governor's School for the Arts and playing bass with his high school rock band. He completed his undergrad degree summa cum laude at Rutgers University, where he studied with Jonathan Sptiz and was the sole undergrad chosen to perform with HELIX, Rutgers’ new music ensemble. Tim has held principal cello positions at Eastern Music Festival, Round Top Festival Institute, and Queens College. Additionally, Tim recently collaborated with members of the Juilliard Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble, ACME, and The MET Orchestra and shared the stage with artists including Jay-Z, Peter Serkin, and Paquito D’Rivera. He has performed in Australia, China, Mexico, Italy, and across the United States. A devoted believer in the future of classical music, Tim regularly worked with composers at Rutgers and Queens College and has premiered new works for cello at New Music Gathering, Spectrum NYC, and The Tank.
Tim firmly believes in the importance of music as part of a complete education.  He was Director of Elementary Strings in Warren, NJ and conducted the Morris-Union Jointure Commission Orchestra in 2015. He taught in El Sistema-inspired programs in NJ, including Sonic Explorations in Orange, NJ and New Jersey Symphony’s CHAMPS in Newark, NJ. Last summer, he went to Adelaide, Australia where he was on faculty for Young Artists Exchange and taught in Guadalajara, Mexico on  faculty at Crescendo con la musica.
Tim also enjoys cooking, reading, and bike touring.

"Tim helped me prepare for an audition and made me feel much more confident!"

Jesse Levit – Winds and Piano

20180605_151553A native of Oakland, California, Jesse Levit started playing saxophone and piano at the age of seven. After winning best soloist at the Reno Jazz Festival twice and holding the lead alto chair in the SFJAZZ High School All-Star Band, he went on to earn the lead alto chair in the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Star Band, with whom he toured extensively and taught masterclasses across Japan and in the U.S. Jesse has had the opportunity to perform with such talents as James Moody, Frank Lacy, Jim McNeely, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Jane Monheit, Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Daniels, Peter Erskine, Wycliffe Gordon, Frankye Kelly, Sam Rivers, Dave Liebman, Lenny Pickett, Khalil Shaheed, Mark Levine, Diane Witherspoon, Benny Green, Stefon Harris, Seamus Blake, and Rufus Reid. Recently, he was awarded a full scholarship to the Keep An Eye Workshop in Amsterdam and had the privilege of studying and performing with Dick Oatts, Jay Anderson, and Jon Riley, before making his way to the Bay Area to perform with his West Coast Levitation Quartet.
In addition to his passion for performing, Jesse places significant importance on pedagogy and has been teaching for over 15 years in various contexts. Starting as a teenager, he helped mentor younger musicians in Oaktown Jazz Workshops in Oakland, California, and began teaching private lessons in college. He has taught after-school programs in Oakland at Claremont Middle School as well as academically graded keyboard and jazz band classes at Conservatory for Vocal and Instrumental Arts. When the school year ends, Jesse often joins faculties at summer jazz camps, such as Lafayette Jazz Camp and Stanford Jazz Workshop.

"His quiet and patient nature has been perfect for my son!"

Alex LoRe – Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, and Piano
Saxophonist and composer Alex LoRe is “…making the connections among about 70 years’ worth of contemplative, articulate and light-toned players” (Ben Ratliff, New York Times). Originally from Tarpon Springs, Florida, LoRe frequents some of New York City’s most revered jazz venues, including Smalls Jazz Club, Smoke Jazz Club, and The Iridium Jazz Club. He has performed alongside the likes of Dave Liebman, George Garzone, Jim McNeely, and John Riley, among others. Internationally, he has performed throughout the Netherlands, Israel, and Canada.

Most recently, LoRe released the debut album of his trio, entitled “Dream House” on saxophonist Greg Osby’s Inner Circle Music label. Featuring bassist Desmond White, drummer Colin Stranahan, and LoRe’s mentor Garzone on three of the eight numbers, the album has been praised by All About Jazz for having “…moments of pure beauty, belying a depth of experience and thoughtfulness.” LoRe holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston’s New England Conservatory and a master’s degree from New York’s Manhattan School of Music. He currently lives, performs, and teaches throughout the New York City area.

"Nico loves music with Alex. He loved him over the summer with piano and continues to this fall with flute. I can see Nico is making greater progress now that he’s working with Alex, so we’re both happy." ~ Hilary Crevier

Matthew Malanowski – Piano
Matthew Malanowski is currently a jazz pianist who is working on his Masters of Jazz Piano Performance at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, NY. He received his Bachelors of Music for Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music. Matt has been playing piano since the age of four and comes from a very musical background. He has had the opportunity to learn from many great musicians throughout New York and is currently studying under Jeremy Manasia and Stefon Harris of the Manhattan School of Music. Matt has performed at many prestigious venues in the United States, as well as across Europe and Brazil. Some of the United States venues include, but are not limited to Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, the Appel Room, the Jazz Gallery, An Die Musik, the Grammy Awards, Capitol Records Studios, Detroit Jazz Festival, Martha’s Vineyard Jazz and Blues Festival, the Met Room, Club Bonafide, Webster Hall, Shapeshifter Lab, Carnegie Hall, Faust Harrison Pianos, Steinway Hall, as well as many others. Matt has also toured in Germany, France, Austria, and Brazil. He has gotten the opportunity to play with many well known musicians including, but not limited to Matt Wilson, Avery Sharpe, Conrad Herwig, Nilson Matta, Jazzmeia Horn, Jane Monheit, Lou Tebakin, Luis Bonilla, Jimmy Greene, the NY Voices, Jon Faddis, Kendrick Scott, Tyshawn Sorey, and many more. I have been teaching piano for about eight years now and I have learned so much from each and every student! The beauty of teaching is that every student is different; therefore it becomes our responsibility as teachers to find the right path of inspiration for each person. I absolutely love being able to find unique and individual ways to get a young mind to explore the vast universe of music! There is absolutely something for everyone to relate to and often times, it just takes the right guidance, patience and commitment to get there. I hope to be that guide for my students as best as I can and help assist in the growth of the next generation of amazing young musicians!

Phil McNeal – Percussion
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Phil McNeal is a drummer, composer, and music educator based in Brooklyn, New York. He holds a Master of Music degree in jazz performance from Manhattan School of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Princeton University. He has studied with John Riley, Kendrick Scott, Adam Cruz, Samir Chatterjee, and Dave Liebman.

A versatile performer and session musician, Phil collaborates with artists spanning a wide range of musical styles. His current projects encompass modern jazz, instrumental hip-hop, neo-soul, indie rock, brass-band funk, and countless other genres. In addition to his work behind the drums, Phil contributes original compositions to many of these projects and has produced several of their recorded works.

In 2017-2018, Phil performed in over 30 cities across the U.S. and Canada. He also toured Israel with indie-soul artist Zusha, performing to sold-out audiences at the Jerusalem Convention Center and the Moshav Music Festival. At home in NYC, Phil has recently headlined venues including Highline Ballroom, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Harlem Stage, Knitting Factory, and Brooklyn Bowl. He also maintains a weekly jazz residency at the newly opened CitizenM Hotel in New York’s East Village.

In addition to his work as a performer, Phil enjoys teaching private lessons. His wide-ranging experience on the bandstand, together with his strong grasp of instrumental technique and music theory, allow him to tailor lessons to the particular needs and interests of each student. Beyond his private teaching studio, Phil has led several group workshops in New York City public schools as part of Manhattan School of Music’s Outreach Program.

Celeste Morales – Piano and Voice
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Mexican-American Soprano, Celeste Morales is a recent Masters graduate of Manhattan School of Music majoring in Vocal Performance. She is currently studying under renowned dramatic soprano, Shirley Close. Before moving to the city, she graduated from Texas State University with her bachelors in Music Education. During her undergraduate career, she taught piano and voice in surrounding schools across the South Texas Region. Upon receiving her degree, she became the Assistant Entertainment Director for the Texas State Choir Camp. A choir camp dedicated to enriching the lives of young students who desire to learn more about music. It was through her undergraduate career that she discovered her passion of teaching and developing a private voice studio. From an early age, she acquired a great love for music. She believes that stems from parents who constantly supported and encouraged her as a child to discover the wonders of music.

She has sung in professional church choirs and ensembles including a tour to Beijing, China where she performed Mozart's Requiem with the Texas State Chorale and the Shanghai Conservatory. She recorded an album in 2016 called OneVoice with Vocalibre, a hybrid a-cappella ensemble that fuses together Pop, R&B, choral and South African freedom songs. Before returning to graduate school, she was chosen to be a Resident Artist with Opera San Antonio for their upcoming 2016 season. There she performed in numerous outreach programs where she taught kids in elementary school about opera, promotional events, and performed in the opera Madam Butterfly.

In 2018, she was invited to perform with her Alma mater as a featured soloist under the direction of Dr. Joey Martin at the Texas Music Educators Association Conference. She recently returned from Oberaudorf, Germany where she performed opera scenes with the Musiktheater Bavaria Opera Summer Program. In her spare time, she records and gigs around the city singing R&B, Pop and gospel contemporary music.

"Voice lessons with Celeste are my favorite after school activity!"

Adrianne Munden-Dixon – Violin and Viola
IMG_9047Adrianne Munden-Dixon is a soloist, collaborator, and innovator praised for her “animated and driven” performances (Connect Savannah). A native of Savannah, Georgia, she began her violin studies at the age of four with Kerri Sellman and has since become an in demand artist with engagements up and down the East Coast. She has appeared as a soloist with the New Artists Ensemble, the Carnegie Mellon Baroque Ensemble, and as a recitalist from New York to Georgia. Adrianne spent three summers studying and performing at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she was featured on their Spotlight Recitals at Aspen Chapel. As a founding member of the Anderson Hill Trio, she has given performances at Mannes, Spectrum NYC, and a tour of the Southeast.
Adrianne is a current member of the Savannah Philharmonic and has served as concertmaster of the Purchase Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Concertmaster of the Butler Symphony Orchestra. Adrianne has commissioned and premiered works by Stephanie Ann Boyd, Rodrigo Castro, Nicholas Virzi, Dana Malseptic, and has been featured of Purchase New Music and CMU Contemporary Ensemble concerts. She was featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for her project “Yoga Sebastian Bach”, which combines yoga with live music ranging from Bach to newly commissioned works. She is currently involved in Boyd’s 50 States Project and will give the Georgia premier of her violin sonata Amerigo in 2016.
She received her B.M. from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music and completed her M.M. on a full tuition scholarship at Carnegie Mellon University in May 2016. Adrianne has taught privately for over a decade, has led master classes at Savannah Arts Academy, and teaches at Larchmont Music Academy.

"Adrianne is the best teacher ever. Very helpful. Always a good time!" ~ Mia Reisman

Charlotte Munn-Wood – Violin and Viola

charlotte-munn-wood-headshotAn outspoken proponent of experimental sounds and expression, Charlotte Munn-Wood is an active freelancer, chamber musician, and teacher in New York City and beyond. She holds her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music Contemporary Performance Program, where she studied with Dr. Curtis Macomber and Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University.  She has performed in NYC at venues including Roulette, Scandinavia House, (le) poisson rouge, Spectrum, Silvana, the Downtown Music Gallery, the Firehouse Space, and on the Blank Space House Concert series. Abroad, she has performed in Handan, Tianjin, and at the Beijing Conservatory and National Center for Performing Arts in Beijing, China.

Charlotte has collaborated as a soloist and chamber musician with composers Sampo Haapamäki, Jeff Scott of Imani Winds, Sam Pluta, Zae Munn, Emily Praetorius, Sid Richardson, Halldór Smárason, Michael Harrison, and Dan Trueman. She is collaborating this fall with Venezuelan composer Icli Zitella on a commissioned work for solo violin, electronics, and verbalization. Charlotte appears regularly with the Curiosity Cabinet and as a founding member of the two-violin folk-noise duo with Aimee Niemann, aptly named du.0.

She has taught students of diverse ages and backgrounds both as a private violin and viola teacher.  Charlotte's passion is helping learners of all ages explore and create in the wonderful world of music.

"Charlotte is the best! Lessons are going well!" ~ Darby Dunn

Eugene Posniewski – Kindermusik, Piano, and Voice
eugenepicEugene received his BM summa cum laude in Voice Performance and Opera Studies from the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase College. He has studied privately with Mina Kim, Joan Krueger, Hugh Murphy, and Jacque Trussel. Eugene’s performance credits include appearances at Carnegie Hall and the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. He has also collaborated with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Eugene is an accomplished pianist and works as an accompanist, liturgical pianist, and baritone soloist in Westchester County.

Eugene holds several years teaching experience and is a certified Kindermusik Educator, specializing in early childhood education. He has directed musicals at the Education First International Academies of Tarrytown and Thornwood and has taught at the MGM Study Center of Yonkers, the Rye Arts Center of Rye, as well as the Amadeus Conservatory of Music of Chappaqua. Eugene is trained, as a pianist, in the classical Russian method. His students have performed in competitions throughout Westchester County and New York City, including the International Bach Competition.

Eugene is a very enthusiastic and committed teacher. He hopes to develop a love of music within all of his students, and strives to give them the tools to play with passion, precision, and confidence.

"We love Mr. Eugene's classes, we look forward to them every week!"

PJ Roberts – Bass, Guitar, and Piano
PJ is a 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.

"My daughter is enjoying her lessons very much. PJ is very patient!" ~ Larchmont Mom

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.

"My lessons with Sam are terrific. Sam is excellent. He is patient, understanding, smart, and very professional. You can tell he doesn't give up on you. He wants you to succeed. I always enjoy my lessons and the hour flies by." - Dan

Emilie Samson – Piano and Voice

_MG_4857(1) Born in Montreal, Quebec, Émilie Samson is a jazz vocalist, pianist, and educator. She graduated with honours from McGill University, where she completed her Bachelor in Jazz Performance, being awarded the mention of "outstanding performance in jazz voice". In 2017, Émilie relocated to New York City after receiving a scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, where she is currently studying with Theo Bleckmann, Kate McGarry and Jo Lawry. She has a monthly residency at the legendary 55 Bar and has performed in other venues in the city with musicians on the faculty of NYU and Berklee.

She is a versatile singer who touched many different styles, being jazz, brazilian music, musical theatre, contemporary, classical and popular music, and she often sings in French and Portuguese. She enjoys to write music and has studied composition with some in-demand composers such as John Hollenbeck, Christine Jensen, Phil Markowitz and David Liebman.

 "My five year old looks forward to piano lessons with Emilie!"

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.

"Our lessons with Nicole are great! Nicole is fantastic and so dedicated. Couldn't be happier." ~ Shonna Keogan

Valentina Shohdy – Viola and Violin
Dr. Valentina Shohdy is the founding violist of the Excelsa Quartet, first prize winners of “The Provincie Limburg Prijs” and the “EMCY Art Prize” at the Charles Hennen 26th International Chamber Music Competition in The Netherlands, as well as winners of the “Prix du Jury ‘Jeunes Musiciens et du Public’” at the Illzach 17th International Chamber Music Competition in France. Valentina has performed at various festivals including the Britten-Pears Young International String Quartet Academy in Aldeburgh, England, the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar in Stanford, CA, the McGill International String Quartet Academy in Montreal, QC, and at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in Michigan. Valentina has had the privilege of performing on instruments from both the Stradivarius and Vuillaume collections at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History as part of their Chamber Music Society Symposium and Concert Series. Valentina holds a Bachelor of Music degree with Outstanding Achievement in Viola Performance from McGill University in Montreal and a Master of Music degree with Academic Honors from New England Conservatory. With the Quartet, she received a Master of Music degree in Chamber Music from the Hochschule Luzern in Switzerland while simultaneously studying with the Alban Berg Quartet at the Hochschule Koeln in Germany. Following their time in Europe, the Quartet held the Graduate String Quartet Fellowship for three years at the University of Maryland College Park where Valentina recently earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree.

Andie Springer – Violin and Viola
Andie Springer has been living in New York City as a performer and teacher for the past 11 years. She grew up in Alaska studying the violin under the Suzuki Method and continued her Classical studies at Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to her Classical training, Andie spent her Alaskan summers playing Irish fiddle, and since moving to NYC has become a specialist in Contemporary Classical and Experimental music. These experience have resulted in performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall and countless museums and galleries in the NYC area, as well as numerous venues across Europe and South America.

In Andie's violin and viola studio, she tailors her approach and repertoire to each student while continually emphasizing technique and music-reading. Playing an instrument is about exploring and nurturing a love for music, as well as developing a sense of discipline and achieving long-term goals. Andie believes in finding what kind of music excites each student and helping them perform it to the very best of their ability.

Andie earned her BFA at Carnegie Mellon University with Professor Andres Cardenes, and her MFA at New York University with Professor Arturo Delmoni. She has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Strings Festival Orchestra in Steamboat Springs, the Orchestra for a New Century and the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys teaching and is currently on the faculty the Larchmont Music Academy.

"Andie is great. She is a perfect fit for my daughter, who was ready to quit violin altogether after a year with a teacher whose style just didn’t speak to Zoe. Andie is kind, fun, and accommodating." ~ Mary Beth Gierlinger

Wallace Stelzer – Upright Bass
image3Based out of New York City since 2011, Wallace Stelzer was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Wallace began playing the upright bass professionally at age fifteen and has participated in jazz festivals, spoken and performed live on radio, and played at many prestigious jazz clubs and concert halls around the country. He has been fortunate enough to study and perform with many world-class musicians throughout his career, including John Patitucci, Lynn Seaton, Mike Holober, Scott Reeves, Andre Hayward, Carol Morgan, and Don Hahn, to name a few. Wallace obtained his Bachelors of Fine Arts in jazz performance from the City College of New York in 2014 and was invited to join the Phi Beta Kappa academic honors society upon graduation. Wallace self-produced his debut record entitled First Flight in 2014 with his trio, the International Patdown, and continues to release new content via YouTube. Wallace Stelzer Music denotes his personal online brand, which is centered about his YouTube channel, where he uploads mini bass lessons, animated lectures, and music videos. He leads the Jazzvengers—a project band that performs top level, genre-bending arrangements of video game music—in an effort to both build a younger audience for instrumental music and showcase the compositional complexity of game soundtracks. Wallace has taught guitar and bass privately for over a decade and is delighted to share his performance knowledge at the Larchmont Music Academy.

"Everything is going great with Wallace! He is easy to work with and I’m learning a lot. We are doing a combination of theory, note reading, and strumming on the guitar, all of which I find very helpful and fun." ~ Julia S.

Seth Weaver – Brass, Piano, and Voice
Seth Weaver is an award winning trombonist, vocalist, composer, arranger, and educator based in New York City.  Originally from Franklin, TN, Seth was already playing and singing professionally in Nashville while still in high school. He completed a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas in 2013, and a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies at the Manhattan School of Music in 2015. Described as a “youthful trombone firebrand pelting NYC with deliciously soulful hard bop” by Michael Dease, international acclaimed jazz trombonist, Seth has quickly established himself as an upcoming voice in the NYC jazz community.

Seth has shared the stage with Ben Folds, Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros, Larry Harlow, Bucky Pizzarelli, Michael Dease, and many others. Seth has appeared on TV for “An American Big Band Christmas,” broadcast to over one hundred and sixty stations nationally. As a bandleader, Seth heads a seventeen-piece swing orchestra comprised of some of the most exciting new voices in the New York Jazz scene today. The band has performed in numerous venues around New York City including The Iridium, Swing 46, Club Bonafide, the APAP Showcase, Shapeshifter Lab, American Beauty, St. Peter’s Church, and many others. Described as  “big band swing with a modern twist," the group also has a monthly residency at Zinc Bar.

Seth is a sought after composer and arranger and his music has been performed all over the world. His composition "The Hudson" was debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2016. Seth's transcription and analysis of Michael Dease’s album Coming Home is available through Warwick Music Publications.

In addition to an active performance and writing schedule, Seth has had a private studio since 2010, teaching trombone, voice, piano, and composition/arranging. He is on the faculty at the Larchmont Music Academy and is a Music to Your Home teaching artist. In addition, has taught privately and led several master classes through the Manhattan School of Music Distance Learning Program. At MSM, Seth also co-wrote and performed “Swing Makes You Sing,” an interactive show for kids teaching them jazz, different instruments, and music history. Seth's students have performed at Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, and won numerous local and national competitions.

Seth’s talent has been recognized throughout his career, and he has received numerous awards. In high school, he received the prestigious Louis Armstrong Award. While completing his undergraduate degree, he won the Downbeat Student Music Award for Best Vocal Jazz Soloist. He went on to win a Downbeat Student Outstanding Performance Award as a Vocal Soloist in the graduate category in 2014.  He is the winner of the Texas State Jazz Trombone Competition, and was one of three finalists in the International Trombone Association’s J.J. Johnson Jazz Competition two years in a row.  He also received an Honorable Mention in the International Trombone Association’s Carl Fontana Jazz Competition in 2013.

"Brynn is really enjoying her lessons with Seth. He has helped her make great progress, especially over the last month or so. Thanks, Seth!" ~ Andrea Hektor

Ty Wes – Winds and Piano

fullsizeoutput_1Ty Wes holds a Masters Degree in Music from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelors Degree in Music from the University of Montana. Ty is an active freelance musician, teacher, and chamber musician in the greater New York City area.  He has performed throughout the United States and Europe including performances with the Wind Ensemble Society of New York City (WESNYC), The University of Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, University of Oklahoma Wind Symphony, University of Oklahoma Symphony Woodwind Quintet, Accademia Filharmonia Orchestra, Montana Lyric Opera, Missoula Symphony Orchestra, University of Montana Symphony Orchestra, and University of Montana Wind Symphony. He has had the privilege to work with many young composers in various chamber groups, including serving as clarinetist and bass clarinetist of the Pierrot Ensemble.

Ty has an incredible passion for teaching and coaching chamber music.  He has served as a lead teacher with the Harmony Program based here in New York City, as well as being the summer music coordinator for the Harmony Summer Music Program.  He has been a guest clinician at numerous schools during his time in Oklahoma and Florida, where he has worked with middle school and high school students, as well as being director of a clarinet choir.  Ty’s students in Florida have gone on to participate in All-State Band/Orchestra and All-State Solo and Ensemble.

Anna Whitaker – Piano and Voice
headshot(2)Anna Whitaker is a vocalist/pianist from Christchurch, New Zealand. She has her undergraduate degree in jazz piano, a masters in jazz voice, and a post graduate diploma in education. 2016 she was the grateful recipient of the Aotearoa Music Scholarship, the Kieth Laugessen and Anne Reid Memorial Trust Scholarships, which enabled her to move to New York to complete her masters at Aaron Copeland School of Music, Queens College. During her time at Queens College, she was also the recipient of the Michael Feinstein Scholarship and the Discimus ut Serviamus Award.
Anna is also a seasoned performer. Highlights have been releasing a live album featuring a jazz orchestra, a studio album with a full big band and string section, performing and headlining in multiple jazz festivals around New Zealand.

Alongside performing, Anna is a passionate educator. She is a fully registered classroom teacher in New Zealand, and after one year of teaching became head of department. After this year she became an adjunct professor of voice at Ara Music Arts College, providing one on one tutoring to undergraduate vocalists.
Now permanently residing in New York, Anna is thrilled to join the staff at Larchmont Music Academy.

 

"We love Anna! She is a fabulous teacher. She helped me with my music for the musical!"

Jenny Xu – Piano

Jenny Xu is a Canadian jazz pianist-vocalist and a graduate of Berklee College of Music, which she attended on full-scholarship. She holds a Royal Conservatory of Music ARCT Diploma for classical piano and a Bachelor's Degree in Performance (summa cum laude). She is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Jazz Performance at Manhattan School of Music and was a former member of the Latin-Grammy nominated MSM Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra.

Jenny is a recipient of numerous awards and accolades including a Downbeat Award, Berklee Jazz Performance Award recipient (2016), Dal Richard’s Scholarship, Yamaha Kando Award and was the first individual ever offered a full renewable scholarship to Humber College in Toronto. She completed her undergraduate studies in two years, at twenty years old and, as a result, holds the record for fastest graduation without transfer credits at Berklee.

Jenny has experience performing at over a dozen music festivals and has had the immense privilege of having worked with George Garzone, Eddie Gomez, Kendrick Scott, Dave Liebman, The New York Voices, Kenny Werner and Stefon Harris. On piano, she has shared the stage with the likes of Harold Mabern and Cándido Camero, in addition to having toured with world-renowned saxophonist, George Garzone.

Having taught piano since the age of thirteen, Jenny is a zealous advocate of music education and has worked with students as young as four years old, to those well in their adult years - ranging from complete beginners to undergraduate music majors. Her teaching philosophy prioritizes instilling a love of music within the student - regardless of their level of seriousness or technical aptitude.

"Jenny is an outstanding piano instructor and a true professional!"

Campbell Youngblood-Petersen – Percusson and Piano

punch-the-sun_39389784611_o(1)Campbell Youngblood-Petersen is a Brooklyn based drummer, composer, pianist and educator. He plays regularly in the New York area with his own band Songsāra, pop-rock outfit Punch the Sun, and electronic/drum and bass duo Flightless Birds. Campbell has studied with Jeff Brandt, Dr. Robert Ledbetter, Peter Retzlaff, Jordan Perlson, Nate Smith, and Mark Guiliana. Playing with funk band Kung Fu Kongress in Missoula, MT, he had the opportunity to share the stage with Galactic, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dumpstaphunk, The Wailers, and The New Mastersounds. Campbell holds a certificate in Jazz from the Drummers Collective in New York City, and a Bachelors in Percussion Performance from the University of Montana in Missoula, MT, where he received the Lance Boyd Undergraduate Jazz Award, and was the Rachel Sprunk Smith Scholar. Growing up in a household that doubled as a violin studio for his mother, Campbell has been around music education for quite some time. He has maintained a private studio of piano, drum and percussion students since 2011, and has worked with high school drumline and percussion ensembles. Through all of this, one thing has become clear to him: we can learn invaluable lessons about life, ourselves, and each other through music!
"Campbell rocks! He makes my lessons fun."

LMA is open Friday, March 8th

LMA follows the Mamaroneck public schools decisions on snow day closings. For the earliest notice go to www.mamkschools.org.If Mamaroneck Public Schools are closed LMA will be closed as well. If Mamaroneck Public Schools are delayed all lessons and classes will take place as usual. If there is an early dismissal at Mamaroneck Schools LMA will close at noon.