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 enjoys an eclectic career as a soloist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. Molly is a founding member of the Ceto Ensemble, Anderson Hill Trio, and RT9 Ensemble, and has recently performed as a part of the Mohawk Trails Concerts and Interlochen Faculty Chamber Series. In May 2010, she had her concerto solo debut with the Holyoke Civic Symphony performing Eduard Lalo's cello concerto. A great proponent of new music, Molly has collaborated with award-winning student and faculty composers and premiered many works at the Neuberger Museum's “Wednesdays at the Neu,” Vox Novus—The Composer's Voice Series and many other engagements. Not limited to the classical realm of performance, she has appeared on stage with such icons as singers Rod Stewart, Micahel Buble, and Josh Groban, and can be heard on the records of a number of emerging pop artists.
Committed to music education, Molly has held teaching positions at Purchase College Conservatory of Music, and the New York State Summer School of the Arts – Orchestral Studies, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She was awarded a teaching fellowship, joining the cello faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp for the summer of 2012. In her own musical education, Molly has earned a Masters in Music and Performer’s Certificate the Purchase College Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Julia Lichten, and graduated with a Bachelors of Music in cello performance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, studying with Astrid Schween.
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.
Maggie Baum Napoli – Camp Faculty
Maggie was born and raised in York, Pennsylvania. She began her dance training at Greater York Youth Ballet and later joined Pennsylvania Regional Ballet. She attended summer intensives such as The Rock School, The Boston Ballet and The Craft of Choreography Conference in Seattle, WA. After graduating High School in 2008, Maggie attended the State University of New York at Purchase College, where she received a BFA in dance performance in 2012. Following her graduation from SUNY Purchase Maggie performed with a selective group of students in Beijing, China. She now currently resides in Bronx, NY where she is pursuing her dream of dance with Exit 12 Dance Company. She performs seasonally in West Hartford, CT as well as Manhattan.
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.
Jonathan Cziner – Piano and Composition
Jonathan Cziner is a pianist and composer based in New York, New York. Jonathan began piano at age six, studying with Claudia Huter and Dr. Steven Huter. As a pianist he made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 11. He continued these performances biennially as an honor student at the Larchmont Music Academy.
He began composing in the classical style at age 15. Continuing without any formal training, the finale of an early Sonata for Violin and Piano in D Major was premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2009 with the composer at the piano. Upon his acceptance to New York University, Jonathan began formal composition training where he completed a B.M. in music composition as a student of Artist Faculty member Justin Dello Joio. Other teachers he cites include Philip Lasser and David Conte, both of whom he studied with during the 2013 European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France. Jonathan is pursuing pursuing a masters in composition at The Julliard School studying with Robert Beaser.
American composer David Conte has called Jonathan's music “developed, consistent, and convincing” and yet, “filled with surprises, that somehow sound natural.” His works have been performed in Weill Hall in Carnegie Hall, the Frederick Loewe Theatre of NYU Steinhardt, La Schola Cantorum in Paris, France, and in Olin Hall at Bard College; and performed by artists including pianist Steven Masi and by ensembles including the Bard Composer’s Chamber Orchestra and the NYU Community Orchestra.
Mr. Cziner's passion for music education is evident in his outreach work and continued dedication to educating the next generation of musicians. He maintains a private teaching studio in NYC.
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 – 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
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.
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.
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.
Eric Lemmon – Viola and Violin
Violist and Composer Eric Lemmon received his Bachelors in Music at New York University’s Music and Performing Arts Program, a Masters in Viola Performance from the Mannes Conservatory, and an Artist Diploma from University of Miami’s Frost School of Music where he was awarded a Mancini Fellowship. He is the founder and editor of the music criticism and review site OpenSourceMusic.org and an artistic adviser to Nodes Performing Arts.
Eric has performed throughout the New York City and Miami metropolitan areas with groups such as The Manhattan Camerata, DETOUR New Music, the troupe Project Opera, the New York Chamber Virtuosi, Aerial Photograph, for the non-profit Lower East Side Performing Arts, and as principal for One World Symphony, The Chelsea Symphony, the Highline Chamber Ensemble, and The Sheep Island Ensemble. He has performed in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, (le) Poisson Rouge, Carnegie Hall, The BankUnited Center, and The Adrienne Arsht Center. Eric has performed with the likes of Terence Blanchard, Mark O’Connor, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Take 6, Michael Feinstein, Clay Aiken, Johnathan Blake and Gordon Goodwin. He has been awarded NYU’s Creative Collaboration Grant, Mannes’ Peter M. Gross Grant, and MetLife’s Creative Connections Grant.
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.
She has appeared as a soloist with the Chelsea Symphony, Metro Chamber Ensemble, NYU Symphony Orchestra, Sympho, and the Westchester Philharmonic. Her classical experience also includes performances with Artemis Chamber Ensemble, Chelsea Opera, DiCapo Opera, Ensemble 212, The Knights, Mimesis Ensemble, the New York Chamber Virtuosi, Opera Moderne, the New York Concerti Sinfonietta, Nouveau Classical Project, S.E.M. Ensemble, and the Syzygy New Music Collective.
Amanda has worked with numerous ensembles across a wide range of genres. She is the Concertmaster of The Manhattan Camerata, a premiere world music chamber orchestra. Her recording credits include Alex Winston, Ben Lear, Colin Huggins, Colin Smith, Mono, and Snowmine. In 2009, she was featured in Harry Connick Jr.'s music video "All the Way". She has collaborated with artists as diverse as Amanda Brown, Andrew Bird, Bill Whelan, Efterklang, Guards, Goldfrapp, Judith Hill, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, MrNorth, Paul Simon, Ra Ra Riot, and Sufjan Stevens. In 2013, she performed as a guest artist in Sleep No More, Punchdrunk Theater Company’s immersive play.
In addition to her work as a performer, Amanda is a violin, viola and piano instructor at Larchmont Music Academy. 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.
Dov Manski – Piano
Dov Manski is a pianist, composer and teacher who has performed professionally for over a decade. Manski is a Sunnyside Records recording artist and has shared the stage with many notable musicians including Scott Robinson, Marvin Sewell, Francois Moutin, Bill McHenry, Dave Holland, Cecil McBee, Kellylee Evans, Steve Davis, George Garzone, and Bob Moses. He has been featured at the Costa Rica Jazz Festival, Mexico City Jazz Festival, Portland Jazz Festival, and Boston Jazz Festival. He received his BMA in jazz piano performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Danilo Perez, Ran Blake, Michael Cain and Frank Carlberg. Dov currently resides in Brooklyn where he performs regularly.
Q Morrow – Guitar
He studied music in Santa Cruz at Cabrillo College with the great jazz educator Ray Brown, theory and composition with Mickey McGushin, and Balinese gamelan with minimalist composer Lou Harrison before attending the University of North Texas's Jazz Studies undergraduate program in 2003. At UNT he studied jazz guitar, classical guitar, and composition with teachers Fred Hamilton, Lynn Seaton, and south indian percussionist Poovalur Srinivassan. After his studies at UNT, Q did a stint working on Carnival Cruise lines with his jazz trio before deciding to continue his music education. Under the urging of Poovalur Srinivassan, who insisted that the best way to study Indian music was to go live in India and study one-on-one with a master there, Q decided to spend a year studying Carnatic music in Bangalore, India with Veena Maestro Jayanthi Kumaresh.
Upon his return to the U.S. Q lived in San Francisco, CA and was an in-demand guitarist in the jazz and brazilian music scenes. While there he played with some of the top artists in the Bay Area such as Grupo Falso Baiano, Carlos Oliveira's Katavento, Harvey Wainapel, Masha Campagne, Ana Carbatti, SOCKET, Dandara Odara and Pra Gandaia, and Eric Garland's house band at Amnesia's wednesday night modern jazz session, the longest running in SF, as well as leading his own group.
In addition to being an in-demand player Q has maintained a very busy teaching schedule for the past ten years and is sought after for his expertise in guitar technique, improvisation, and chord solo playing. He is known for his easygoing intuitive approach which emphasizes ear training, exhaustive knowledge of music theory, and an introspective analyses of guitar technique. While in San Francisco Q taught at the world renowned guitar store and music publisher Guitar Solo Productions.
In 2013 Q relocated with his wife and daughter to Brooklyn, NY and is quickly becoming an in demand sideman while pursuing his own original music with his group.
Tristen Napoli – 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.
Michelle Painter – Violin, Viola, and Piano
Violinist Michelle Painter has established herself as an indemand artist along the east coast, with concert engagements spanning from Vermont to Florida. Known for her “lively confidence,” (San Francisco Classical Voice), Michelle brings personality, spirit and energy to each and every performance. A highlight of the 2015 season includes a performance of Beethoven Violin Concerto, Cadenza by Eric Sawyer, with the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra.
As a chamber musician she has performed across the United States and South Korea, taking part in series including Music from Salem, The Lighthouse Chamber Players, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, the Five College New Music Festival, and the Robert Helps International Music Festival. She has recorded the world premiere recording of Robert Helps’ “Quintet” for Albany Records and has performed world premieres by Pulitzer Prize Winning Composers as well as Guggenheim Fellows. She is also cofounder and codirector of the NYC based RT9 Ensemble.
An advocate for music education and outreach, Michelle maintains an active teaching studio. She was adjunct violin faculty at the Patel Conservatory as well as a music teacher for several institutions. She frequently volunteers to play music for disabled veterans at the VA as well as retirement homes and hospitals. She has also collaborated across genres with the TransSiberian Orchestra, Michael Buble, Asia Mei, and Pearson Education INC. During her studies, Michelle was the recipient of a full scholarship and the Julian Olevsky Award for excellence in violin performance and leadership.
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 five years, where he completed his undergraduate degree at the Manhattan School of Music studying with Bob Mintzer, Steve Wilson & Garry Dial. As a saxophonist he has performed and recorded with local and international performers, Terell Stafford, David Liebman, Jon Faddis, Tim Warfield, JD Walter, The Harrisburg Symphony & Stuart Malina, Steve Rudolph, Steve Wilson and James Moody. As a composer his works have been premiered by saxophonist Steve Wilson, the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Harrisburg Symphony, and the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra. His large works include: "Mother Goose Suite" (2011) a collection of dramatic nursery rhymes, premiered in New York City with Steve Wilson, Glenn Zaleski, Harp and Winds featuring the narration of world-renowned composer, historian, and performer Dr. David Noon; a three-movement Piano Concerto No. 1 (2012) commissioned and premiered by soloist Erika Dohi; "Sweet for Duke", commissioned by the Vermont Mozart Festival was premiered in August of 2010. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Composition from the Manhattan School of Music where he studies with Michael Patterson. In the spring of 2012 his piece “The Rooster, The Mouse, and the Little Red Hen” for narrator and wind quintet won first prize in Boston’s Solar Winds Quintet Competition. He has conducted the ensemble in the premiere and subsequent performances. Jonathan has served on the faculty of the West Chester University Summer Jazz Institute & The Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz Camp; his educational endeavors continue to broaden with lectures, writings, and the development of a National Music Education Program as well as curating and leading a music-focused summer program for pre-school aged children at the Children’s Learning Center in New York City.
PJ Roberts – Bass, Guitar, and Piano
PJ ROBERTS – bass player, composer, and arranger originally from Ada, Michigan and now residing in New York City. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and recently finished his masters degree from CUNY Queens College. PJ has won many awards including the Sir Roland Hanna Memorial Award(2008) and Louis Armstrong Jazz Award(2002), and was a recipient of the Gilmore Emerging Artist Grant in 2006. In NYC he leads his own trio, is a member of the Atlantic Quartet, Charli Perisp’s trio and big band, as well as freelancing with various ensembles. In addition, he composes and arranges for big bands as well as smaller ensembles. He has had the great fortune to study with, and be mentored by the great Ron Carter for the past two years. PJ has performed at many prestigious jazz clubs including The Blue Note, Iridium, Sweet Rhythm, Smalls, Fatcat, and Smoke.
Samuel Ryder – Winds and Piano
Mr. Ryder holds both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Dick Oatts, Steve Wilson, George Garzone, and David Liebman. He has appeared in New York with the Saxophone Summit's big band ensemble featuring David Liebman, Ravi Coltrane, and Joe Lovano as well as other original music settings. Mr. Ryder also works as a composer for different ensemble types ranging from traditional classical groups to varying size jazz ensembles to experimental music arrangements. His recording experience includes the 2010 Grammy-Nominated jazz album of the year Urbanus, Presented by Stefon Harris and Blackout. His teaching experience includes New York City public schools through the Manhattan School of Music Outreach Program as well as his own private studio.
Erich Schoen-Rene – Cello
Mr. Schoen-Rene received his Bachelor's Degree from Bard College and his Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He has had extensive performing experience both in the United States and Europe as both a soloist and orchestral musician. Mr. Schoen-Rene has performed with the Manhattan Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic, and the American Opera Company. His teaching experience includes positions in Germany, Switzerland, and at the prestigious School for Strings in New York.
Sarah Scruby – Oboe
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.
Jessie Snoke – Violin and Viola
Jessie Snoke, violinist, is a performer and teacher based in New York City. She holds a M.M. in Violin Performance from the Hartt School of the University of Hartford where she studied with Katie Lansdale and completed her long-term Suzuki Pedagogy training with Teri Einfeldt. Jessie is a registered teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has her teacher certification in Suzuki Books 1-8. She received her B.M. in Violin Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts as a student of Kevin Lawrence.
As an active performer, Jessie participated in the Aspen Music Festival and the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival as well as chamber music masterclasses with members of the Emerson, Juilliard and JACK String Quartets. She served as concertmaster of the UNCSA Symphony and the Hartt orchestra, and has appeared regularly with the Litha Symphony, New Britain Symphony, and Nutmeg Symphony Orchestra. As a winner of the Winston-Salem Symphony competition, Jessie performed Vivaldi Concerto for Four Violins with renowned soloist Midori.
In addition to performing, Jessie is a passionate teacher and maintains a private violin studio. During her time in Connecticut, Jessie taught private and group lessons at the Hartt School Community Division and also worked as a Teaching Artist in the Hartford Symphony’s El-Sistema inspired CityMusic Program.
Adrienne Sommerville-Kiamie – Violin, Viola, and Piano
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Adrienne Sommerville-Kiamie is a recent transplant to the New York City area. An active Orchestral Musician, Mrs. Sommerville-Kiamie performs regularly with the Baltimore Symphony and the Kennedy Centre Opera House Orchestra. She has been a member of the Richmond Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and was Co-Principal of the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Mrs. Sommerville-Kiamie received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where she was also awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate.
Since moving to New York in September, she has toured Japan with the New York City Opera Orchestra and was in the Orchestra for Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular. She can also be found performing with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, North Eastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. A versatile musician, Mrs. Sommerville-Kiamie has also performed with Andrea Bocelli, Mary J Blige, Barry Manilow, Clay Aiken and Manheim Steamroller to name a few.
Andie Springer – Violin and Viola
A native of Fairbanks, Alaska and currently based in Brooklyn, Andie Springer is a violinist specializing in contemporary music. A founder and co-director of new music ensembles TRANSIT and Redshift, Andie is also a member of Hotel Elefant and has performed and recorded with such bands as Redhooker, Arturo en el Barco, Phthia, Pearl and the Beard and The Threefifty Duo. Andie has also had the pleasure of performing with David Byrne, Victoire, Ensemble de Sade, Anti-Social Music, the Wordless Music Orchestra, the Argento Ensemble, and American Opera Projects. She is a member the New York City Players and tours with their production of Richard Maxwell’s theater piece, “Neutral Hero.”
As a soloist, Andie has premiered and commissioned numerous works for violin including “For Andie Springer” by Robert Ashley, “Dandelion” by Mary Kouyoumdjian, “The Warmth of Other Suns,” by Leaha Villareal, "Mixtape for the Summer of 1963" by Matt Marks, and “Stealing an Image,” by Bryan Jacobs. Other artists Andie has worked closely with include Chinary Ung, Anthony Braxton, Robert Rowe, Tristan Perich, Richard Carrick, Jad Abumrad, and members of Bang on a Can and eighth blackbird.
Recent highlights include learning the mandolin, working with student composers at CalState East Bay, performing with TRANSIT in Homer, Alaska at the Wild Shore Festival for New Music, making debuts on music box and clave, and being referred to as “the best joining of human and machine since RoboCop” (I Care If You Listen).
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, and her playing has been broadcast on stations WQED FM, KUAC FM, WBGO FM, WBAI FM and WFMU FM. 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.
Jon hails from Pittsburgh, where he held the position of Associate Director of Music/Scholar in Church Music at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, and was the Assistant Director and Accompanist for the Renaissance City Choirs. Currently, Jon serves as Organist at Historic St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, the Baldwin Festival Chorus of New York, and the Astoria Symphonic Choir, as well as Accompanist and Assistant Director of the Forest Hills Choir.
In 2005, Jon was awarded the Chopin Award in choral accompaniment and also took first place in the Sharon Music Club Competition. In 2008, he won first prize in the Trinity Cathedral Organ Scholar Competition. He has also served as the organist for the Duquesne University Choral Department, and as rehearsal accompanist for such conductors as Robert Page, R. Douglas Sheldon, Anton Armstrong, and Andre Thomas.
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.