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.
Dave Allen – Guitar and Bass
Mr. Allen received his Bachelors from the Manhattan School of Music in Jazz Performance . At the young age of 16, Mr. Allen was recognized by Guitar Player Magazine as a talent to watch. Mr. Allen has been teaching, composing and leading his own groups for over 15 years and has worked with many of the most respected musicians in New York, such as David Liebman, Ravi Coltrane, Mark Turner, Jeff Ballard, Seamus Blake, and Drew Gress. Mr. Allen has released two critically acclaimed recordings, "Untold Stories" and "Real and Imagined", which feature his original music. He can be heard performing at The Blue Note, Birdland, The Jazz Gallery, The 55, and many other venues in New York. His groups have performed throughout Europe and the U.S. Mr. Allen has been teaching guitar and composition and giving master classes for the past 15 years.
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.
Tim Basom – Guitar and Piano
Tim studied instrumental music education and received a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Akron in Ohio. After moving to New York he earned a Master of Music degree in Jazz Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Tim has had the good fortune of studying and playing with some truly great educators and musicians, including Chris Rosenberg, Phil Markowitz, David Liebman, Garry Dial, Gerard D’Angelo, Jim McNeely, John Riley, and Cecil Bridgewater.
Tim was on the faculty at the Aurora School of Music while in Ohio and has taught guitar and music theory lessons privately over the years. He is very proud to be a member of the esteemed faculty at the Larchmont Music Academy and continues to share his love of music and teaching with his positive and encouraging style.
Tim is actively involved in the New York City music scene. He can be seen performing with Bright Noise (jazz), the Jimmy Band (jazz & blues), the Uptown Party Down (high energy funk), and as a sideman with other local artists. He has appeared at many of NYC’s well-known jazz and dance venues, most notably Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, The Iridium Jazz Club, The Highline Ballroom, Sullivan Hall, Cameo Art Gallery, The Tutuma Social Club, and Rockwood Music Hall. He can also be found playing gospel, rock and inspirational music every Sunday morning at Hill of the Lord Ministries in Brooklyn.
Matt Blostein – Winds and Piano
Mr. Blostein received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Mark Turner, Bob Mintzer, Dick Oatts and Dave Liebman. In 2002 he performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland as a competitor in the White Foundation Saxophone Competition. In 2003, Matt formed the group, Blostein–Sperrazza Quartet, along with drummer Vinnie Sperrazza, shortly after their meeting at the Banff Jazz Workshop. The group has performed all over the east coast and in NYC. They released a self-titled CD in 2004, and are currently working on material to record for a new release. Recently, Matt toured with the Maynard Ferguson Big Bop Noveau and toured and recorded with the Tim Collins Group featuring Ingrid Jensen. Matt has performed at the Ravinia Festival, Aspen Snowmass Jazz Festival, Kennedy Center, Thailand Cultural Center, Cape Cod Jazz Festival, Utica Jazz Festival, Clarion Jazz Festival, and NY jazz clubs such as the 55 Bar, Cornelia Street Café, Smoke, Marie’s and Smith’s. Matt has taught extensively in NY, including positions at the Manhattan School of Music Prep Division, JCC on the Palisades, Third Street Music Settlement, and Greenwich Music School.
Sarah Charles – Voice and Piano
Sarah Elizabeth Charles is a vocalist and composer currently living and performing in New York City. Sarah’s musical stylings are extremely unique and the intricacies to her art focus on modernizing classics and composing distinctive originals. Currently, Sarah is a member of three projects including Manner Effect, The Enoch Smith Jr. Trio, and her own group, the S.E.Charles Quartet. With these groups as well as others, she has performed at numerous venues throughout the city including New York Couture Fashion Week, Blue Note, The Iridium, Smalls Jazz Club, and Zinc Bar NYC. Performances outside of the city have taken her to such venues as the International Bern Jazz Festival playing opposite Jack DeJohnette, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC (as a selected member of the 2009 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Composers Residency), Gillette Stadium, and The Northampton Center for the Arts.
Receiving her start in Massachusetts, Sarah has studied and grown as a musician first through the Community Music School of Springfield, MA and later through The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City under the direction of an unlimited number of renowned faculty members. She has had the pleasure of studying with such musicians as Richard Harper, Jimmy Owens, Cecil Bridgewater, George Cables, Junior Mance, Janet Lawson, Sheila Jordan, and Reggie Workman. In addition to educational and performance opportunities, Sarah has also taught private lessons in both Massachusetts and New York to a variety of age groups. These lessons have included training in voice, piano, ear training, theory, and songwriting and are structured to fit the individuality of each student.
Katherine Copland – Voice, Piano
Washington native Katherine Copland, a lyric soprano, completed her Masters Degree and Professional Studies Certificate at Manhattan School of Music. Recent roles for Ms. Copland include Micaela in Carmen, Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte. In 2009 she performed under the baton of conductor Kynan Johns as Rosalinde in Manhattan School of Music Opera Theatre’s production of Die Fledermaus. With the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy Ms. Copland performed as Magda in La rondine, Anna in Anna Bolena, and Butterfly in Madama Butterfly. She completed her Bachelor of Music Degree at the University of Washington, and while there sang in the UW’s vocal jazz quintet, as well as the roles of Badessa in Suor Angelica, Shepherdess in L’enfant et les sortilèges, and Counsel to the Plaintiff in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury. She began her music studies at the age of 5 on violin, and later became enamored with the cello for nearly a decade-- but ultimately settled on voice as her instrument of choice. Ms. Copland maintained a private teaching studio in Seattle, and then in New York, since 2005 and avidly pursues a performing career while enjoying mentoring, tutoring, and teaching voice, piano, and music theory to students of all ages.
Josh Davis – Percussion and Piano
Originally from the Motor City, this native Detroiter now stakes his claim in the Big Apple. Besides leading his own trio, and being a member of the band, Manner Effect, Josh has also performed with some of the country’s finest musicians, top jazz and pop groups, such as: The Rodney Whitaker Quartet, Wes “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Jason Marshall, Gaby Moreno, The Jon Batiste Band, The Grand Hotel Big Band, Diego Rivera Quartet and Felicia Renae, among others. Josh toured throughout Japan in 2009, playing with Rodney Whitaker and the MSU Jazz Octet where they held concerts, clinics and master classes at several high schools and universities throughout the country.
Josh has also been a music educator since early in his collegiate career. Working for several inner-city programs in Detroit, such as The Arts League of Michigan and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra CIVIC Jazz Program, he has mentored and taught dozens of students who have gone on to attend music conservatories and major universities across the U.S.. After receiving his BA in Music Performance from Michigan State University in 2008, he relocated to New York City, where he continues to perform and teach locally and abroad. Josh is also music accompanist for the Joffrey Ballet in NYC.
Angela Davis – Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, and Piano
Australian saxophonist Angela Davis is currently based in New York City and is a emerging as a unique creative voice after having immersed herself in the music scene. Her melodic approach is heavily influenced by the great Lee Konitz with whom she has had the privilege of studying with while living in NYC.
Angela is an active performer and was a featured artist in 2012 at the New York City club Tomi Jazz. So far she has recorded/performed with Don Burrows, Kevin Hunt, Jim Pugh, James Morrison, Graeme Lyall, John Hoffman, Matthew Jodrell, Kristin Berardi, Steve Newcomb, Joe Chindamo, the Lars Halle Jazz Orchestra the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra and the Cecilia Coleman Big Band.
As a group leader Angela has premiered original compositions at the Melbourne Women's International Jazz Festival and at the Noosa Jazz Festival. As a sideman she has performed throughout Australia and America at festivals such as the Villanova Jazz Festival, the Mainline Jazz Festival, the Sunshine Coast Jazz Festival, the Valley Jazz Festival and the Bangalow Jazz Festival.
Angela is an experienced educator and is on faculty at the University of the Arts as well as maintaining a private studio in New York. She has also had extensive experience teaching at both public and private schools throughout Australia.
Angela holds a Masters of Music from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and holds her Bachelor of Music with first class honors from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Australia and her Associate of Music in classical saxophone from the Australian Music Examinations Board.
David DeJesus – Woodwinds and Piano
Mr. DeJesus received his Bachelor of Music degree from SUNY Purchase and his Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. DeJesus was a semi-finalist in the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Competition. He has performed throughout the world with such groups as the Mingus Big Band, The Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and is currently performing with "In the Heights" on Broadway. His extensive teaching background has included positions at Brein McMahon High School in Connecticut, Manhattan School of Music, and he is currently on faculty at SUNY Purchase College Conservatory.
Christina Douglas – Voice and Piano
Christina Douglas is an active performer in concert, recital and opera. Christina earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in May of 2008 and a Master of Music from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2010. In August of 2011 Christina moved to New York.
Christina has sung in numerous recitals both in high school and in college, including three solo recitals. She was a soloist both in 2005 and 2007 at Luther College’s annual Christmas at Luther concert. Her opera roles include Adele in Die Fledermaus, Miss Silverpeal in The Impresario, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief, Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, The Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Adina in The Elixir of Love, and Sister Genevieve in Puccini’s Suor Angelica.
While in Las Vegas, Christina maintained a studio of around 35 students ages 4 to 81. Christina’s studio includes both piano and vocal students who learn not only the performance of their instrument, but also the foundations of music theory, ear training and general music knowledge. Her students ranged from beginners to advanced students both at the University of Las Vegas and at the local arts high school. Christina’s experience and knowledge, as well as her patience with her students are invaluable to their progress.
Caleigh Drane – Cello, Violin, and Piano
Caleigh Drane is a musician of many styles including classical, contemporary, jazz, experimental and pop. In her three years as a freelancer in New York City she has performed and recorded with over 40 artists, ensembles and music companies. As a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas she has performed in Mexico, California, Vermont, Lincoln Center and Alice Tully Hall and played on their debut album released by Sony Records. She has performed with artists such as Lynn Harrel, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Sarah Chang, John Benitez and Imogen Heap. Other ensembles include the Di Capo Opera Company, One World Symphony, Bleecker Street Opera Company, and Mimesis Ensemble.
Caleigh is also an active music educater and teacher with Multi-Cultural Music Group, the Noel Pointer Foundation and All Island Music Company. She teaches cello, piano, and violin in both group classes and private lessons.
Caleigh Drane earned her Bachelor's Degree in Cello Performance from Indiana University where she studied with Emilio Colon.
Michelle Farah – Oboe
Oboist Michelle Farah is a dedicated orchestral and chamber musician. In addition to performances with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Ballet Theatre, New Jersey Symphony, The Knights, Princeton Symphony, and Very Young Composers with the New York Philharmonic, her solo playing has been described in the New York Times as “uniformly excellent”. Ms. Farah has also appeared as guest artist at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, and Vermont Mozart Festival, and since 2010, Acting Principle Oboe with the Lancaster Symphony.
Ms. Farah earned her Master of Music degree in 2009 from the Yale School of Music and her Bachelor’s from the Manhattan School of Music in 2007. Her primary teachers have included Stephen Taylor, Joseph Robinson, Carolyn Banham and Daniel Stolper. While in New Haven, Ms. Farah worked under Vivian Perlis and Libby Van Cleve at the Oral History of American Music, an archive of historic and contemporary interviews with American composers and creative musicians.
Born and raised in Miami, Michelle now lives in Manhattan and enjoys private teaching and professional reed-making.
Hannah Fuerst – Voice and Piano
Ms. Fuerst holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. She has a strong background in voice, piano and clarinet. Ms. Fuerst is a classically trained soprano with extensive experience in musical theater and opera. Favorite roles include Luisa (The Fantasticks) and Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro, Aspen Opera Theater Center 2010). Ms. Fuerst recently sang the role of Cassie in the world premiere of J.D. Earnest’s The Theory of Everything with the Encompass New Opera Theater. Ms. Fuerst is passionate about sharing music outreach with young and older audiences. She co-wrote and performed a parody of the film Enchanted to teach kids about opera, and in 2010-11 she will perform an original revue of Jeannette McDonald & Nelson Eddy. Ms. Fuerst taught with the Manhattan School of Music Outreach program teaching children in elementary and middle schools throughout NYC.
Dustin Gledhill – Piano
Dustin Gledhill is an international prize-winner for the interpretation of French music. He recorded Livre II of Debussy’s 12 Etudes in his debut album Live at Wigmore Hall. MusicOMH said, “The Wigmore Hall audience was given a master class in pianistic textures and timbres… superb delicacy… a captivation level of excitement and virtuosity.” Dustin won the Debussy-Ravel Prize at the 2005 New Orleans International Piano Competition, and received rave reviews from The Times-Picayune for his interpretation of Saint-Saëns, saying he had “…spun an incantatory gold-medal performance.”
Dustin has recently performed at the Fazioli Concert Hall, Carnegie Weill Hall and has soloed with orchestras, including the San Diego Symphony, Utah Symphony, Florida Space Coast Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, Hilton Head Orchestra, and many others. Dustin is a keen collaborator with ballet and modern dance. He recently appeared with Saddler’s Wells Dance Theater in London, with the legendary choreographer and dancer, Pina Bausch, in Palermo Palermo. In 2009, Dustin was featured as pianist and recording artist for the world premier of AfterLight, produced and choreographed by the Russell Maliphant Company, and nominated for a Lawrence Olivier Award for Best Dance Production. London’s BBC premiered the work in December 2009. Future collaborations are set for 2011, including composition for dance with electronic infused music.
Dustin has studied with Dr. Irene Peery-Fox, Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Nina Svetlanova and Andre-Michel Schub at Manhattan School of Music and currently with Julian Martin at the Juilliard School. He has received instruction and master-class training from Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Stephen Hough, Nikolai Demidenko, Bernard d’Ascoli, Leslie Howard, and others.
Christopher Goddard – Piano
Originally from Ottawa, Canada, Christopher Goddard is a pianist and composer currently based in New York City. As a performer and advocate of contemporary music, his recent credits include performances at the Samos Young Artist Festival and the 2012 Avant Music Festival. He completed the contemporary performance program at the Manhattan School of Music, where he played with TACTUS ensemble and studied under Christopher Oldfather and Anthony de Mare. As a composer, he has written for a wide variety of ensembles and soloists, including most recently the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne as part of 'Forum 2012'. He holds degrees from McGill University, Rice University and the Manhattan School of Music. He is currently on faculty at the Bergen Academy of Music and Art, and has taught group classes in Dalcroze Eurhythmics.
Dmitry Gorodetsky – Upright Bass, Electric Bass, Electric and Acoustic Guitar
Mr. Gorodetsky received his bachelor of arts degree in music from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Early on in his career he began to teach guitar and double bass privately and continued teaching at a private music academy in Acton, Massachusetts. He has recorded with Grammy award winning and Grammy nominated artists such as Lauryn Hill, Duke Robillard and Roomful Of Blues. As a performer he has toured extensively throughout US, Canada, Europe, Middle East and the Caribbean in a variety of musical settings including jazz and blues groups as well as a symphony orchestra. He continues to freelance actively throughout the New York, Boston and New England 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.
A native of Wisconsin, cellist Kirsten Jermé leads an active musical life as a performer, teacher, and administrator in New York City. Kirsten completed her M.M. in Cello Performance and Arts Leadership Certificate at the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Steven Doane. She received her B.A. from Stony Brook University, under the tutelage of Colin Carr and the Emerson String Quartet. An avid orchestral and chamber musician, Kirsten has performed at Carnegie, Weill and Zankel Halls, Symphony Space, W.M.P. Concert Hall, the Joyce Dance Theatre and Le Poisson Rouge in New York, Royal Festival Hall in London, and the Banff Arts Centre in Canada, and has participated in festivals including Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Banff Masterclasses for Strings and Winds.
Dedicated to education, community, and public service through the arts, Kirsten has worked as an administrator and teacher for a variety of arts non-profits. She was involved in community outreach and public school programs at Turtle Bay Music School and the Eastman Community Music School, and at Stony Brook, helped launch an arts outreach program and co-directed the annual Music for Peace Project. Kirsten is currently on faculty at the Greenwich House Music School, and teaches at P.S. 129 in Harlem for The Harmony Program, modeled on Venezuela's El Sistema.
Jess Jurkovic – Piano (Jazz, Classical)
A native of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, Jess Jurkovic started his musical life as a drummer and percussionist, but at age fourteen, began to compose and teach himself jazz piano. He is now an accomplished performer, composer, arranger, theoretician, and educator, and has been on the LMA faculty since 2000. Jess received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota, and his Master's degree in Jazz and Commercial Music from Manhattan School of Music. Jess has served as musical director to several New York cabaret artists, as well as with the American Tap Dance Foundation. He has also worked with Cherry Lane Music Co. as a freelance writer and editor; his book Keyboard Warm-up Techniques was published in 2006. In addition to his solo piano work, Jess is an integral member of the Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra, performing at the prestigious Macao International Music Festival in 2008.
Jihye Kim – Voice and Piano
Jihye has over 10 years of teaching experience working with children through adults, specializing in jazz and contemporary styles for voice, and classical piano and violin. She is currently a faculty member of Yamaha Music School of Boston, and has received training in the Yamaha Music Education System.
Laurie Kono – Piano
Ms. Kono received her Bachelor of Music degree from USC and her Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She has a strong pedagogical background including positions teaching piano, theory and improvisation in California and the New York metro area. Her performing career has taken her to such places as Okinawa, Los Angeles and Madrid. She won the acclaimed Okinawa International Competition and the Puigerda International Competition in Spain.
Pascal Le Boeuf – Piano
Mr. Le Boeuf received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music as the recipient of the Michael W. Greene scholarship. Additionally, he has studied songwriting and electronic music at the Berklee College of Music. Pascal has garnered over twenty national and international awards and accomplishments, the most notable being the ASCAP/IAJE Commission honoring Quincy Jones, which premiered at the 2004 IAJE conference and featured tenor saxophonist Chris Potter. Pascal has also received awards from Downbeat Magazine, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and dominated the 2006 Independent Music Awards, winning Best Jazz Album and Best Jazz Song for his prior release Migration. Most recently, the track Code Word off his new album House Without A Door received 1st place in the International Songwriting Competition. Pascal performs frequently throughout New York with his twin brother Remy, Myron Walden, Clarence Penn, and Mike Ruby. His career as an educator has taken him around the country. He worked as jazz guide for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, maintained a private studio, and has been on faculty at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.
Remy Le Boeuf – Piano and Woodwinds
Mr. Le Boeuf received his Bachelor of Music and Master for Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. Among his numerous awards he was the 2008 recipient of the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts Astral Grant, the ASCAP Foundation Young Composers Awards for an unprecedented five years in a row. Mr. Le Boeuf has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada including such venues as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Banff and the Henry Mancini Institute. He is featured on more than ten recordings. Mr. Le Boeuf maintains a busy teaching schedule including positions at the Manhattan School of Music Educational Outreach Program, The Kappa IV School and MS 167 in New York City.
Eric Lemmon – Viola and Violin
Violist and Composer Eric Lemmon received his Bachelors in Music at New York University’s Music and Performing Arts Program, a Masters in Viola Performance from the Mannes Conservatory and an Artist Diploma from University of Miami’s Frost School of Music where he was awarded a Mancini Fellowship. He is the founder and editor of the music criticism and review site OpenSourceMusic.org and a classical curator at Brooklyn’s Vaudeville Park. He has taught at University of Miami as an Adjunct Teaching Assistant and through UM's String Academy in addition to the Manhasset School of Music and the Juliet School of Music.
As a violist, Eric has performed throughout the New York City and Miami metropolitan area with groups such as The Manhattan Camerata, DETOUR New Music, the troupe Project Opera, New York Chamber Virtuosi, and for the non-profit Lower East Side Performing Arts. He has appeared as principal violist of Brooklyn’s One World Symphony, The Chelsea Symphony, The Sheep Island Ensemble and for works such as Alan Menken’s King David, Bernstein’s Candide, Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Dylan Glatthorn’s Republic, and Robert Cuckson’s A Night of Pity. As a Mancini Fellow Eric has performed with Terence Blanchard, Mark O’Connor, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Take 6, Michael Feinstein, and Gordon Goodwin.
As a composer, Eric has recently given Kyoto and New York premieres of his solo viola work, “Closer”. His pieces have appeared in venues ranging from alt-classical venue (le) Poisson Rouge to the FIGMENT arts festival on Governor’s Island and have been reviewed by the New York Times. Eric has been awarded NYU’s Creative Collaboration Grant in relation to the performance of his work The Cure at Troy and Mannes’ Peter M. Gross Grant, which is dedicated to helping students at the conservatory achieve professional goals. Eric’s mentors on viola include Stephanie Baer, Pamela McConnell, Laura Shuster and Ira Weller. In composition, teachers include Jerica Oblak, Charles Norman Mason and Rudolf Palmer.
Hannah Levinson – Violin and Viola
Violist Hannah Levinson is pursuing her Masters of Music Degree in Contemporary Performance at the Manhattan School of Music. Originally from Pittsburgh, she graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Arts in Russian and East European Studies and a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance. Her interest in performing contemporary classical music has led her to work with living composers and commission original works. She is currently a member of the TACTUS ensemble and Au Courant, a string quartet focusing on contemporary works. Previous ensembles include the New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Ensemble and the renowned Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble. Hannah has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston, MA. Hannah was also a recipient of the NEC Community Performances and Partnerships Teaching Fellowships. Through this program, she created and implemented a program focused on leadership through music at a local Haitian community center. In addition to performance, Hannah is also passionate about outreach education and teaching and is thrilled to start her first year at the Larchmont Music Academy.
Dr. Francis Liu – Violin and Viola
With an inclination for eclectic projects, violinist Francis Liu plays music ranging from early Baroque to the latest contemporary pieces. He has most recently been on tour with the Baroque ensemble Musica Angelica and the actor John Malkovich, performing the stage-play “The Infernal Comedy.” Other projects include appearances in the KLANGSPUREN Festival of Contemporary Music in Austria, and a recording of Bach's St. Matthew Passion on period instruments for the 40th anniversary of Oberlin's Baroque Performance Institute. Mr. Liu was a founding member of the Adelphi String Quartet, which served as the graduate quartet-in-residence at the University of Maryland from 2009-2011. In 2009, the Adelphi Quartet joined with the Axelrod Quartet at the Smithsonian American History Museum for a performance of the Mendelssohn Octet on the museum's collection of Stradivarius and Amati instruments. With members of the quartet, Mr. Liu also completed a recording of Walter Gieseking's rediscovered Kleine Musik, which will be released on Centaur Records. Mr. Liu received his doctorate from the University of Maryland, where he was a teaching assistant to David Salness. He completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Rice University, where he was a student of Kenneth Goldsmith.
Alex LoRe – Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, and Piano
Currently living in Manhattan, NY, saxophonist and composer Alex LoRe
performs regularly around New York City as both a sideman as well as
with his own groups. Having played at venues such as The Iridium Jazz
Club, Smoke Jazz Club and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, saxophonist and
educator Bunky Green says LoRe “…will become one of the leading voices
on the international jazz scene.” LoRe’s playing and compositions are
influenced by many genres, ranging from classical music through
today’s most influential artists on both the jazz and popular music
LoRe has been featured at venues such as the Jazz at Ravinia Festival
held at the Stean’s Institute for Young Artists in Chicago and the
Monterey Jazz Festival in California, and has traveled internationally
to perform in places such as Amsterdam and Tel Aviv, among others.
LoRe is a co-founder and composer of the nine-piece ensemble, the
“Jazz Conceptions Orchestra,” which has traveled and performed all
across the eastern seaboard of the United States.
LoRe holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Boston’s New England
Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music degree from New York’s
Manhattan School of Music. His mentors have included Dave Liebman,
Bunky Green, Lee Konitz, George Garzone, James Moody, Steve Wilson,
and Jerry Bergonzi.
Tristen Napoli – Trumpet and Piano
Tristen Napoli holds a Bachelor of Music from Purchase College where he studied Jazz Music, Piano and Trumpet Performance. In addition to being featured on several recordings, he maintains a rigorous performing schedule in the New York area and has performed at such venues as Birdland, the Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Smalls and the Falcon. Renowned bassist Dr. Todd Coolman said about Tristen,” He is one of the bright new emerging voices on the trumpet today, and his selfless dedication to the music is evident at all times. His playing represents the finest of any emerging artist in that it is steeped in the critical aspects of the jazz tradition while being fresh and forward looking. Tristen's new and unique voice in the music is sure to be embraced by all who hear him, and his future and the future of the music he creates will find a meaningful place for many years to come. He is poised to make a lasting imprint in music.” Tristen regularly works with school band programs including All-County audition prep, NYSSMA festivals, All-State and other school related festivals. As an educator, Tristen teaches piano, brass, composition and coaches numerous jazz ensembles throughout the area.
Martin Nevin – Bass, Guitar, and Piano
Martin Nevin grew up in Los Angeles and started playing electric bass and guitar when he was 12 years old. After hearing his first Thelonious Monk record, he became deeply interested in jazz and picked up the upright bass. In 2006 Martin received a scholarship to attend Manhattan School of Music, where he studied bass with Jay Anderson and David Grossman, piano with Inesa Sinkevych, and composition with Michael Patterson. Since then he has performed and/or recorded with notable artists such as Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Logan Richardson, and Aaron Parks, and in venues such as The Jazz Gallery, The 55 bar, the Deer Head Inn, and Kuumbwa Jazz Center. His talent has been recognized by the Downbeat Student Music Awards, Stanford Jazz Workshop, and Disney Spotlight Awards among others. Martin is also an educator, and has taught at programs including the Stanford Jazz Workshop. Martin currently resides in New York City where he continues to compose, teach, perform and record.
Hajnal Pivnick – Violin and Viola
Hajnal Karman Pivnick, violinist from Memphis, Tennessee, graduated with university honors from Carnegie Mellon University School of Music with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music, studying with Andrés Cárdenes, and received her Master's in Music from the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, with Eszter Perényi.
Hajnal has participated in festivals in Japan, South Korea, Israel, Hungary, France, Sweden, Czech Republic, as well as throughout the United States. Additionally, she has taken part in master classes with distinguished musicians such as Midori, Anton Barakhovsky, Arnold Steinhardt, Ruggiero Ricci, as well as the Director of the Aspen Music Festival, Alan Fletcher.
Hajnal has performed under the batons of Zoltan Kocsis, Jeanne Lamon, Michael Stern, Robert Page, Sir Andrew Davis, Michael Gilbert and Peter Oundjian with numerous ensembles, including the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, IRIS Orchestra, Liszt Academy of Music Orchestra, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon Baroque Ensemble, the Hungarian New Music Chamber Ensemble, the Eroica Ensemble and Camerata Notturna.
Hajnal recently served as a member of the violin faculty at the Interlochen Arts Camp, where she taught privately, coached chamber ensembles, and mentored students in the Intermediate Concert Orchestra through sectionals and observation. She currently maintains a studio teaching violin and viola at the Larchmont Academy of Music.
Hajnal is a member of Ballet Next, a new company based in New York City and performs regularly with principal dancers from the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, including Artistic Directors Michele Wiles and Charles Askegard.
Jonathan Ragonese – Winds and Piano
Jonathan Ragonese, composer-arranger-saxophonist, is a native of New Cumberland Pennsylvania. He has lived in New York City for five years, where he completed his undergraduate degree at the Manhattan School of Music studying with Bob Mintzer, Steve Wilson & Garry Dial. As a saxophonist he has performed and recorded with local and international performers, Terell Stafford, David Liebman, Jon Faddis, Tim Warfield, JD Walter, The Harrisburg Symphony & Stuart Malina, Steve Rudolph, Steve Wilson and James Moody. As a composer his works have been premiered by saxophonist Steve Wilson, the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Harrisburg Symphony, and the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra. His large works include: "Mother Goose Suite" (2011) a collection of dramatic nursery rhymes, premiered in New York City with Steve Wilson, Glenn Zaleski, Harp and Winds featuring the narration of world-renowned composer, historian, and performer Dr. David Noon; a three-movement Piano Concerto No. 1 (2012) commissioned and premiered by soloist Erika Dohi; "Sweet for Duke", commissioned by the Vermont Mozart Festival was premiered in August of 2010. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Composition from the Manhattan School of Music where he studies with Michael Patterson. In the spring of 2012 his piece “The Rooster, The Mouse, and the Little Red Hen” for narrator and wind quintet won first prize in Boston’s Solar Winds Quintet Competition. He has conducted the ensemble in the premiere and subsequent performances. Jonathan has served on the faculty of the West Chester University Summer Jazz Institute & The Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz Camp; his educational endeavors continue to broaden with lectures, writings, and the development of a National Music Education Program as well as curating and leading a music-focused summer program for pre-school aged children at the Children’s Learning Center in New York City.
Sean Richey – Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Electric Bass
Sean Richey is an artist and music educator living in New York City. He is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music's Jazz Arts Program, singer/guitarist of the band Rahn Kooby, and curator of the 'Dr. Chim Richalds' music blog.
Sean is also a member of CP4 (an experimental group of improvisers, led by Michael Mitchell and Conun Pappas), Grant's Tomb (a psychedelic jam band led by trumpeter/lead-singer Michael Bafundo), and Fighting in the Streets (an exciting band led by Alex Lopez and Norman Paul Edwards Jr., that improvises the music from the classic NES video games).
As an educator, Sean has taught for the Manhattan School of Music Outreach and Summer Programs in NYC as well as Camp Encore/Coda in Maine. Sean specializes in teaching guitar, improvisation, songwriting, rock bands, and chamber eensembles.
In 2008, he moved to NYC to study with Chris Rosenberg at the Manhattan School of Music where he graduated with honors, receiving his BA in Jazz Performance and the Outreach Award (for 'displaying exceptional leadership and a humanitarian spirit in field of Music Education') in 2012.
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.
Jake Robinson – Percussion, Electric Bass, and Piano
Jake Robinson hails from western Massachusetts, where he began playing the drumset early on and studied under Alan Dawson protege Keith Levreault. Gigging professionally since age 13 in Blues, Rock, and Funk bands, Jake began looking at Jazz and world music with Bob Weiner and eventually found himself earning his B.M. at the Oberlin Conservatory. His teacher, legendary Jazz drummer Billy Hart, helped Jake build a solid Jazz vocabulary while finding a unique voice. Jake also studied with percussionist Jamey Haddad and trombonist Robin Eubanks at Oberlin, and was accepted to the M.M. program at the Manhattan School of Music on scholarship, studying with John Riley. An active educator, Jake has been teaching nearly 8 years and considers it an important part of the music lifestyle. He has been a private teacher, an Oberlin Conservatory tutor and secondary drum instructor, a high school clinician, and NYC public and private school music educator, working closely with The Trinity School and several city middle schools. Since arriving in New York City, Jake has already played at some of the most renowned clubs in town, including Birdland, Smalls, Smoke, Rockwood Music Hall, and the Highline Ballroom. Jake stays active freelancing with various Jazz groups and performing with his original funk band, The Uptown Party Down, for which he is the composer and leader, and teaches private students and several classes in the tri-state area.
She has performed at many venues throughout New York, including "The Crescent Beach Club" in Bayville, Long Island, and "The Terrace on the Park" in Queens, and "The Bitter End" in NYC. In 2010 her acapella group "The Jingle Belles" performed on "The Rachael Ray Show" in a "Carol off" competition judged by Nick Canon.
In the Spring of 2011, Tierney taught general music in East Harlem and China Town, to grades pre-k-8. She is currently studying for her Masters Degree with Peter Eldridge, Becca Stevens and Theo Bleckmann at the Manhattan School of Music.
Samuel Ryder – Winds and Piano
Mr. Ryder holds both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Dick Oatts, Steve Wilson, George Garzone, and David Liebman. He has appeared in New York with the Saxophone Summit's big band ensemble featuring David Liebman, Ravi Coltrane, and Joe Lovano as well as other original music settings. Mr. Ryder also works as a composer for different ensemble types ranging from traditional classical groups to varying size jazz ensembles to experimental music arrangements. His recording experience includes the 2010 Grammy-Nominated jazz album of the year Urbanus, Presented by Stefon Harris and Blackout. His teaching experience includes New York City public schools through the Manhattan School of Music Outreach Program as well as his own private studio.
Erich Schoen-Rene – Cello
Mr. Schoen-Rene received his Bachelor's Degree from Bard College and his Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He has had extensive performing experience both in the United States and Europe as both a soloist and orchestral musician. Mr. Schoen-Rene has performed with the Manhattan Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic, and the American Opera Company. His teaching experience includes positions in Germany, Switzerland, and at the prestigious School for Strings in New York.
Nicole Sharlow – Violin and Viola (Suzuki, Traditional)
Ms. Sharlow graduated with honors from Carnegie Mellon University and received her masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music in violin performance. A gifted educator, Ms. Sharlow is the head of the String Department at the Larchmont Music Academy where she teaches violin, viola and chamber music. She also maintains a private teaching studio comprised of students from the New York City area as well as summer students in Maine. An active performer, she is currently principal second violin of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in Harrisburg, PA. Habituated to leadership, she has been concertmaster of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra in Germany and principal second violin of the Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra, among many others. Since 2001 Ms. Sharlow has been spending her summers in residence at Quisisana Resort in Maine, performing chamber music. Dedicated to the genre, she has won the Silberman Chamber Music Competition and the Lilian Fuchs Chamber Music Recital Honor. She has performed with Trio Solas, the Claremont Ensemble and Fireworks, all dedicated to 20th century music. In addition to her devotion to chamber music, she has appeared as soloist with the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic and the National Repertory Orchestra. Her foremost teachers have included Andres Cardenes, concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, and Lucie Robert. Nicole currently resides in Westchester County with her dog, Kezar.
Andie Springer – Violin and Viola
Ms. Springer received her Bachelor of Music degree from Carnegie Mellon University and her Master of Music degree from NYU. She has performed throughout the world with NYU Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera, the Arctic Chamber Players and Fairbanks Symphony. Recently she performed at the Tribeca Film Festival and with the Combo Nuvo at the Festival Jazz Peru and Lima, Peru. Her extensive teaching career includes positions as a private instructor and Suzuki group teacher. She has taught at New Song Studio, maintains a private studio and she is an adjunct professor at NYU.
Carmen Staaf – Piano and Accordion
Winner of the 2009 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Pianist Competition, Carmen Staaf has been called "a new star to discover" (Allmusic.com) and "a most impressive pianist" (Bob Brookmeyer). She recently performed as a guest soloist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra under Wynton Marsalis, on a Jazz for Young People program about Duke Ellington. She was also featured on NPR's JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater (http://www.npr.org/2011/03/31/135010444/carmen-staaf-ambrose-akinmusire-on-jazzset), a program that included clips of her Kennedy Center performance at the 2010 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival. "Winner of the festival's piano competition last year, Staaf could have earned a small slot on the program on the strength of her technique alone. What stood out, though, were her compositions, particularly the fanciful "Merry Go Round," and her trio's fresh interpretation of Denzil Best's "45 Degree Angle," a Williams favorite." - David Malitz, The Washington Post.
Ms. Staaf has also worked with jazz luminaries including Henry Grimes (with whom she performed in duo), Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Gomez, Bob Brookmeyer, Rakalam Bob Moses, Esperanza Spalding, Matt Wilson, George Garzone, Francisco Mela, Anat Cohen and Avishai Cohen. She joined the piano faculty at Berklee College of Music at age 24, upon graduating from a five-year double degree program at Tufts University and New England Conservatory, receiving a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Piano Performance and Arts in Anthropology. At NEC she studied with Danilo Perez and Bob Brookmeyer. Carmen studied and performed classical music for 12 years, and took a year off before college to study music in Cuba.
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.
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.
Andrea Wood – Voice and Piano
Originally from Washington DC, vocalist, arranger and composer Andrea Wood brings a distinctively eclectic approach to Jazz singing in over four languages. In 2011, Andrea released her debut album “Dhyana”, which was widely reviewed and enjoyed international radio play. In addition to her own group, Andrea performs regularly in DC and New York City with Sleep.Shy, Afrikan Rhapsody, and The Hot Club of DC and has been featured on several albums including a recent recording with Bizzy Bone of BoneThugs N’ Harmony.
Andrea studied classical voice and piano at the prestigious Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. and went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance at Michigan State University in May of 2009. She studied reggae music during a study abroad in Kingston, Jamaica in 2007 and is currently working on a Masters of Music at The Manhattan School of Music and a Masters of Music Education at Columbia University Teachers College in New York City.
Andrea has taught piano and voice privately for ten years. She taught and co-created a Jazz appreciation class through the Washington Jazz Arts Institute in 2010-2011 and currently teaches general music and piano at Victoria Children's Group. She has also co-directed church and children's choirs in Washington DC.
Johanna Young – Piano, Voice, and Violin
A native of North Carolina, Ms. Young began her violin and piano studies at the age of 3. She graduated from Wake Forest University with Honors in Music Performance. While in college, Ms. Young taught violin and piano privately and coached voice for the musical theater program at Wake Forest University. Her busy teaching career includes a private studio in Manhattan, Huntington Center for the Performing Arts and Larchmont Music Academy. Ms. Young performs widely as a vocalist, violinist and pianist. Her recent performances include the roll of Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Tessa in The Gondoliers and Mimi in La Boheme and performances with the Chamber Ensemble of Piedmont. She was awarded top honors in the Giles Harris Music Competition as both a pianist and accompanist.