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.
Molly Aronson – Cello
Cellist Molly Aronson is an avid chamber musician, soloist and pedagogue known for her "solid[ity]" and "verve," (SFCV). 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.
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.
Maya Bennardo – Violin and Viola
Maya Bennardo is a freelance violinist and teacher living in Brooklyn. She graduated from NYU as a Master of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory with a Bachelor of Music. She studied with Gregory Fulkerson at both institutions. Maya is passionate about opening the dialogue between composers and performers, and she works tirelessly to promote emerging composers and their music. She performs with Ensemble Moto Perpetuo, Ensemble Mise-En, and andPlay, the violin/viola duo of which she is a co-founder. Maya also enjoys a rich teaching life with students ranging in age from four years old to adult . She teaches at the Larchmont Music Academy, Midori and Friends, Brooklyn Music School, and in her private studio.
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.
Jessica Dickinson McWilliams – Cello
Jessica studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Peabody Conservatory to complete a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance, and at the Hartt School completing a Master of Music in Cello Performance. While at Hartt she was one of two cellists in the full scholarship prestigious chamber music program, Performance 20/20. She has also completed Suzuki long term training from Pamela Devenport at the School for Strings. Jessica’s principal cello teachers include Susan Mayo, Dr. Andrew Kolb, Jeffrey Lastrapes, Alison Wells, and Mihai Tetel. Jessica has been a member of several orchestras and ensembles including the One World Symphony, Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, the Generous Ensemble, the Nutmeg Symphony Orchestra, the New Britain Symphony Orchestra, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, the Quartz Mountain Chamber Orchestra, and the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra. Jessica is originally from Kansas and moved to Brooklyn, New York in the fall of 2012. She is really enjoying her time in the big city continuing her love of chamber music, contemporary music, performing and teaching.
Patrick Doane – Violin and Viola
Called a "compelling violinist" by the New York Times, Patrick Doane studied with Sally Thomas and Naoko Tanaka and received his B.A. from The Julliard School. As a teacher, Patrick has taught at the Connecticut School of Music, the Hoboken School of Music, and has worked as a teaching artist in various schools in Brooklyn.
Patrick has performed at Lincoln Center, The Maine Festival of American Music, The New York Stock Exchange, and Alice Tully Hall. He is a recipient of numerous awards such as Scholarships from National Federation of Music Clubs, Portland String Quartet Chamber Competition, Meadowmount and Banff Academy Scholarships Awards, and the Bay Chamber Competition for Young Artists
Cassandra Douglas – Voice and Piano
Cassandra Douglas, soprano, lives and performs in NYC. Born in Brooklyn and grounded in Jamaican Heritage. With the grace of support and her passion she acquired her BA in Music from Westminster Choir College and her Masters from the
Manhattan School of Music. In between degree programs she was certified as an instructor of Spanda® Yoga to understand the body as a complete instrument created to perform at our highest good. Cassandra’s career has expanded once established in the NYC music scene. She performs with Opera Collective, Brooklyn on Tap, Tommaso’s Ristorante, Seabrook Opera, and in churches from NY to CT.
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.
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.
David Friend – Piano
Pianist David Friend holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and is a doctoral candidate in Keyboard Studies at Cornell University. His primary teachers were Phillip Kawin and Xak Bjerken (piano), and Laurie Carney (chamber music). Originally from coastal Louisiana, he has lived in New York City for many years.
David Friend enjoys a lively dual career as both performer and educator. With critics having described his playing as ‘brilliant,’ ‘sensitive,’ and ‘magical,’ he has established himself as a soloist and chamber musician well-suited to concert life in the twenty-first century. As an educator, David Friend has taught students from a wide array of backgrounds in various settings-- as a teaching assistant at Cornell University, in community music schools in New York City, and through private instruction. On numerous occasions, he has been invited to teach and/or lecture as a guest artist by institutions including the Eastman School of Music, Sarah Lawrence College, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. David Friend's active performance career has taken him around the world, including performances at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Chan Centre (Vancouver), Royal Festival Hall (London), and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), and he is known for his dedication to new music. He is a member of several successful chamber ensembles including Ensemble Signal, TRANSIT New Music, Hotel Elefant, and Grand Band, and he has recorded for the New Amsterdam, Innova, Albany, and Harmonia Mundi labels.
Hannah Fuerst – Voice and Piano
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 musical theatre and contemporary classical music. Ms. Fuerst has created leading roles with the Encompass New Opera Theatre and Apollo Opera in NYC, and was chosen to sing in a masterclass with musical theatre legend Marni Nixon. 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.
Kristina Gaschel – Piano and Voice
Kristina Saar Gaschel graduated summa cum laude from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam with a bachelor’s degree in music education. She then received her master's degree from Peabody Conservatory.
In addition, she holds a NYS Professional Teaching Certificate (Music, K-12) and received tenure in the Queensbury Union Free School District in upstate New York.
Kristina has performed widely along the east coast, notably featured on the Thursday Noon Recital Series at Peabody Conservatory, performing contemporary American art songs. In 2013, she was the winner of the NYSMTA Empire Competition. As an ensemble singer, Kristina has performed all over the world, touring throughout Europe with American Music Abroad and China with the Crane Touring Choir. Proud of her Estonian heritage, Kristina shared the stage with nearly 25,000 singers last summer at the 2014 Laulupidu [Song Celebration] in Tallinn.
Daniel Glaude – Winds and Piano
Daniel Glaude is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator based in New York City. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Purchase College in Jazz Performance, was awarded the Presser Scholarship, and graduated summa cum laude. Daniel has studied privately with Eric Alexander, Jimmy Greene, Jon Gordon, John Abercrombie, and Steve Wilson. He has also performed at several of New York’s most famous clubs including Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, Smoke, and Small’s. Daniel is a regular performer in many of New York's large jazz ensembles with groups including Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, the Ed Palermo Big Band, Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra, Jason Marshall Big Band, Howard Williams Jazz Orchestra, and Cecilia Coleman Big Band, among others. He has performed with artists including Dee Snider, the Coasters, and Melissa Manchester. Daniel has a passion for education, teaching students of diverse age ranges, abilities, and backgrounds. He has taught throughout the tri-state area.
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.
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, and the Peabody Institute.
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.
Amanda Lo is a multi-genre acoustic and electric violinist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Westchester County, Amanda moved to New York City in 2007 to attend New York University, where she studied with Stephanie Chase before earning her Bachelor's Degree in Violin Performance in 2011. 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 Frank Wigglesworth Chair and the New York Youth Symphony Rosengarten Chair, for which she served as Concertmaster.
Amanda is currently the violinist for the string quartet seven)suns and The Ludlow Thieves. She is also the Concertmaster and contractor of The Manhattan Camerata, a premiere world music chamber orchestra. In 2009, she was featured in Harry Connick Jr.'s music video "All the Way". Her recording credits include Alex Winston, Ben Lear, Chris McNulty, Colin Smith, Kent Odessa, Mono, and Snowmine. She has collaborated with artists as diverse as Amanda Brown, Andrew Bird, Bill Whelan, Björk, Efterklang, Guards, Goldfrapp, Judith Hill, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, MrNorth, Natalia Lafourcade, Paul Simon, Ra Ra Riot, Rihanna and Sufjan Stevens. In 2013, Amanda performed as a guest artist in Sleep No More, Punchdrunk Theater Company’s immersive play. Amanda has also appeared on America's Got Talent and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
She has appeared as a soloist with the Chelsea Symphony, Metro Chamber Ensemble, NYU Symphony Orchestra, Sympho, and the Westchester Philharmonic. In 2014, Amanda recorded Deon Price's "Violin Concerto for Oneness" with Metro Chamber Orchestra which was later released by Cambria Records/NAXOS and submitted during the first-round of Grammy balloting for Best Orchestra Performance and Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Her classical experience also includes performances with Artemis Chamber Ensemble, Chelsea Opera, DiCapo Opera, Ensemble 212, The Knights, Opera Moderne, Nouveau Classical Project and S.E.M. Ensemble.
In addition to her work as a performer, Amanda is on faculty at Larchmont Music Academy for violin, viola and piano. She 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
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.
Tristen Napoli – Brass 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.
Katya Powder – Voice and Piano
Mezzo-soprano Katya Powder is originally from the suburbs of our great Motor City - Detroit, Michigan. She received her BM in both Music Education and Vocal Performance from Oakland University, and graduated with her Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music in 2010. She has a lifelong passion for education, and has extensive experience in private teaching, master classes, classroom teaching, and vocal adjudicating. She is a classically trained mezzo-soprano; most recent operatic roles include Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Cléone in Pénélope, both of which received praise in Opera News and The New York Times, respectively. She also sang the world premiere of Margaret Ellen in Bettina Sheppard’s opera Stillwaters, a role written specifically for her voice by the composer. Also an active church musician, she has performed as the alto soloist in Haydn’s Grosse Orgelsolomesse, Schubert’s Mass in C, and Mozart’s Missa Brevis in G. Ms. Powder enjoys performing contemporary music, most recently with New York composer and guitarist Andrew McKenna Lee. She was a lead vocalist with Mr. Lee’s contemporary group, The Knells, and recorded and released a self-titled album with New Amsterdam Records in 2013. She currently lives in New York City as a vocalist and educator.
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 seven years, where he attended the Manhattan School of Music. As a saxophonist he has performed and recorded with 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 commissioned and premiered by saxophonist Steve Wilson, Jazz @ Lincoln Center, The Museum of Modern Art, the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Harrisburg Symphony, and the The Righteous Girls, Bucknell University, West Chester University and the Harrisburg Youth Symphony. In 2014 Ragonese premiered his ‘Not-this’ for two saxophones, at Carnegie Hall. Jonathan is an active educator, his educational endeavors continue to broaden with lectures, writings, and the development of an early childhood music program at Explore + Discover Learning Center in Manhattan. In the fall of 2013 Ragonese released his first album, Ardent Marigolds with long-time musical father Steve Rudolph on PACT Records. 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.
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.
Andie Springer – Violin and Viola
Andie Springer is primarily a violinist specializing in new and experimental music. As a soloist and through her ensembles Redshift, TRANSIT and Hotel Elefant, Andie has commissioned and premiered numerous works by young and established composers alike. The 2015-16 season will see the release of an audio-visual album of commissioned pieces for solo violin and electronics, and an album of music for violin and steel-string resonator guitar with duo partner James Moore. Andie is also active in the theater through her work with New York City Players and Object Collection, whose pieces resulted in performances on mandolin, accordion, electric bass, percussion and voice. A native of Alaska, Andie is a cofounder of Wild Shore New Music — a presenting organization dedicated to bringing adventurous new chamber music to the communities in and around Kachemak Bay, Alaska — and the New Music Coordinator of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.
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.
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.
Seth Weaver – Brass, Piano, and Voice
Seth Weaver is an award-winning jazz vocalist, trombonist, composer, arranger, and educator originally from Nashville, Tennessee. He completed a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas in 2013 and graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in 2015, with a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies.
Seth won the Downbeat Student Music Award for Best Vocal Jazz Soloist in 2011 as an undergraduate, and 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 in 2014 and 2015. Seth also received an Honorable Mention in the International Trombone Association’s Carl Fontana Jazz Competition. He was a member of the Downbeat award-winning UNT Jazz Singers for all four of his years at UNT. He was also member of the 2 O’clock Lab Band, which won a Downbeat Student Music Award for Best College Large Ensemble in 2014.
In high school, Seth received the Louis Armstrong Award his senior year. He also won numerous talent shows, and performed regularly around Nashville in many professional groups. When he turned fifteen, Seth was already singing and playing with the Blair School of Music Big Band (Vanderbilt University) and Establishment Big Band. Seth recorded multiple CD's with the Blair Big Band and played with the Nashville Jazz Orchestra. He was selected for both Classical and Jazz All State every year possible, and was first chair in Jazz All State his junior and senior years.
As an educator, Seth has had a private studio since 2010, teaching trombone, voice, and piano. He teaches voice through the MSM Distance Learning Program, including students studying all styles of singing. 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 at several schools in Manhattan.
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.