Two New York Locations

ROCKLAND: 845.358.1710
MANHATTAN: 212.625.0500

 

 

School of Music NYC

Music Faculty (New York City)


Sue Lane Talley
Dana Talley
Elizabeth Swanson
Kyle Pfortmiller
A. Wayne Batchelor
Ron Blake
Gwendolyn Bradley
Mary Carey
Jason Covey
Tom Christensen
Stephen Clapp
Lars Frandsen
Sharmi Harper
Chris Hughes
Simon Li
Joan Mallory
Eleazer Rodriguez
Debbie Shen
Uli Speth
Jon Werking
Jhasoa Agosto

Willana Mack
Margrit Zimmerman
David Chavez
Merideth Hite
Matthew Hough

 

Sue TalleySue Lane Talley

Director, School of Music; Piano, Recorder, Collegium Musicum, Opera Workshop, Music and Worship, Chorale, Chamber Singers, and Hymnology 
   
A winner in piano competitions from the age of eight, Sue debuted with the Santa Barbara Symphony in Mendelssohn's G-minor Concerto at the age of 16. She was a scholarship student at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, the University of California, Santa Barbara, Whitworth College, and Western Washington University. She received her Ph.D. in Music Education from The University of Dublin. In 2006 Sue received a Doctorate of Worship Studies from the Robert Webber Institute of Worship Studies. She continues her career as a solo pianist, recording artist, accompanist/coach, conductor, Author/editor, teacher, and TV and Radio personality who for over thirty-five years she traveled throughout North America and Europe As a pianist, Sue has performed over 2500 concerts in concert halls and churches in all 48 states, Canada, Europe, Korea, and Russia of sacred and classical music.

Recently there have been performances with 'Agape Europe,' the European branch of Campus Crusade for Christ, in Florence, Italy, and E Lucevan le Stelle Opera festival, Vicenza Italy. Guest musician and lecturer at The Billy Graham Institute, Wheaton College, teaching on the history of Christian music since New Testament times and the varieties of Christian worship. Guest performer/lecturer at "Worship: A Celebration", a workshop sponsored by Maranatha! Music. Music director for weekly radio program for Radio TEOS, St. Petersburg, Russia and for National Public Radio with a report on the A Resurrection of Albania. There have been television and radio appearances throughout the U.S., in Canada, Moscow State television Russia, and RAI Uno, Italy, the Eternal Word Television Network, 100 Huntley St., Toronto, Canada, and many regional networks throughout the United States, from California to Florida. Performances and Master Classes in piano and accompanying at the following institutions: The King's College, Bryan College, Covenant College, Trevecca College, Harding University, Northwestern College, University of North Dakota, Indiana University, Valley Forge Christian College, Trinity College, Bridgewater College, Johnson Bible College, Cedarville College, Westminster College, and 26 other colleges and universities throughout the United States, as well as the University of Moscow, and the Moscow Conservatory, University of Padova and Venice, and the University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania. She has also been on the piano faculty of Whitworth College, Spokane, Washington and a lecturer for "Women in the Arts" series, Columbia University.  

She received a teaching assistantship at Western Washington University and later taught piano at Whitworth College. She married tenor Dana Talley, and had the opportunity to perform and study opera coaching in Italy, with the famous brothers, Mario and Marcello Del Monaco. Shortly thereafter, she received a National Opera Institute grant and studied opera coaching at The Metropolitan Opera. Winner of Young Artist Award, Battelle Institute, Seattle, Washington and Winner of New Dimensions in Music Competition (Ford Foundation National Competition in 20th century music.) Winner of Washington State Music Teachers' Association and Music and Allied Arts Festival Baldwin piano competitions.  

As an author, she was the gold medal winner of the Benjamin Franklin Book Award for the best religious book, 1995 The Illuminated Gospel According to St. Matthew. Her recent publications include music textbooks of Grades 2 through 5, for Harcourt Home Learning, which is a series of music education books for Harcourt Learning Direct, in which she uses both singing and the recorder to teach music to home-schooled children. Articles in Aria magazine, The Metropolitan Opera Guild publication, Ministry and Liturgy, The Encyclopedia of Christian Worship, The Lenten Triodion, The Word, Alive in Christ!, Modern Liturgy, Again, The Handmaiden, The Word, Alive in Christ!, Jacob's Well, In Communion, The First Hour, Worship Times, and Frontier, with Oxford Press and 1000 Years of Russian Culture (Music, Art, Religion, and Literature), 988-1988 (prepared as an overview for college Humanities courses) A History of Hymnology, East and West, also prepared and presented as an overview for college humanities courses. As an Editor Sue has been assistant editor, The World of Opera Magazine, Worship Times, and The Third Hour. She also served as Associate Editor at McGraw-Hill Books, for the "Share the Music" 2000 series. For Oakwood Publications she edited and prepared for publication. Alexander Men: A Witness for Contemporary Russia, by Yves Hamant About Christ and the Church, and Son of Man by Alexander Men, plus the text of The Resurrection of Albania videotape and voiceover The Way of the Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way, produced by Oakwood Publications, 1997, and distributed by SVS Press, 2000. She currently has 3 solo albums in National distribution and has recorded 17 albums of sacred and classical music with Dana Talley, Tenor. In addition she has composed arrangements and recorded with singers both in the United States and in Italy. As an Opera Coach/accompanist Sue began as a participant and accompanist for the Alberta Masiello master classes 1977-1983 and in 1980 received a National Opera Institute grant to study opera coaching (A National Council for the Arts Award), at the Metropolitan Opera. Later she was assistant to Joan Dornemann, Assoc. Conductor and aided Musical preparation of Metropolitan Opera singers, and coached and accompanied singers in the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, as well as many other Opera companies in the US and Italy where she was coach/accompanist/ conductor for major opera festivals Lucca, Venice, Padova, Vicenza, Verona, Feltre, Bassano, Bussetto with performances on Italian radio (RAI) and television.

Besides teaching Piano, Music History, and Chorale at Nyack College, Manhattan Center, she directs the choir at Annunciation Church in Manhattan and has spent several years as a translator/arranger changing Byzantine music with Greek texts, into modern English.  

Sue is grateful for the Christian leadership of her piano teachers, Karleen Huddleston, Galina Michniuk, Erno and Katinka Daniel, Margaret Saunders Ott, and many others with whom she studied more briefly. She studied opera coaching under Joan Dornemann, Alberta Masiello, and Martin Katz. Delighted to be "home" in New York City after her travels, Sue especially values the opportunity to make a small return to her students of some of the benefits she received from her Christian parents, college, and private teachers.

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Dana Talley

Coordinator, Vocal Program, Music History, Opera Workshop, Diction, Italian, Internship Program, Music of Diverse Cultures

Dana Talley was a winner of the 1978 Metropolitan Opera Auditions, and in the same year won the San Francisco Opera Auditions, the Sullivan Award, was a grant recipient of the National Opera Institute and the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for music and a winner in six other national and international competitions, including the Puccini Voices International Competition and Voci di Verdi in Bussetto, Italy.  

In February of 1979, Dana made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Verdi's Don Carlo, and subsequently appeared as a principal tenor with the company, in 23 roles and over 250 performances. Concurrently, he debuted in Carnegie Hall in the title role of Judas Maccabaeus and appeared in the Carmel Bach Festival, and with the Paris Radio Orchestra in the title role of Hindemith's Mathis der Mahler, in addition to the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, and with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as tenor soloist in Handel's Messiah, which was aired internationally on PBS for ten straight seasons. He also performed with the New York City Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Munich Opera, Arena di Verona, La Fenice in Venice, and other opera companies in Italy, and with many regional companies and symphonies throughout the United States and Canada.  

Dana has performed throughout Europe and Russia with over 100 performances in Italy.   He has performed Handel's Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Buffalo Symphony, 13 other symphonies, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir telecast on PBS television. The Verdi Requiem with symphonies in Detroit, Rochester, Spokane, Springfield (MA), Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and on the 75th anniversary of the composer's death in his hometown of Bussetto, Italy. Opera galas with Bulgarian State Orchestra, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, San Francisco, National Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota, Atlanta, Dallas and Seattle orchestras. His final appearance with the Live from the Met series was January 10, 2001. 

With his wife, Sue, they have done 2337 solo recitals and concerts throughout the U.S from 1970 to 2004. They have given Master classes at 48 colleges since 1973 and recorded 19 albums of opera and song literature. Co-founder of Russia for Jesus, supporting missionary work in Russia and Albania. Ministered in more than 2,000 churches, Billy Graham Institute, Maranatha! Music, Pensacola Theological Institute, Fairhaven Bible Conference, and Eternal Word Television Network. Since 2000 he has been on the faculty of Nyack College, New York City.

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Elizabeth Swanson

Chorale, Conducting, Ear training, Music Theory, and History

Elizabeth Swanson, D.M., is an Assistant Professor at Nyack College School of Music in New York City. She conducts the Nyack College Chorale and Chamber Singers, and teaches courses in conducting, rehearsal methods, music history, and sight singing and ear training.

Prior to her tenure at Nyack College, Professor Swanson held appointments as Assistant Director of Choirs at The University of Chicago, Assistant Professor at Ithaca College School of Music (Ithaca, NY), and served as the conductor of choral ensembles at North Park University, Northwestern University, and Roosevelt University (Chicago Center of Performing Arts) in Chicago, IL.

As a mezzo-soprano, Professor Swanson has performed professionally as a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Grant Park Chorus. More recently she has been a member of the Oratorio Society of New York and the Parish Choir at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New York City.

Dr. Swanson holds D.M. (Conducting), M.M. (Conducting), and B.M. (Education) degrees from Northwestern University, Ithaca College, and St. Olaf College, respectively. Her teachers and mentors have included Anton Armstrong, Lawrence Doebler, Janet Galván, Robert Harris, Steven Stucky, Mallory Thompson, and Bernard J. Dobroski. Her doctoral thesis is a contextual analysis of Steven Stucky’s oratorio, August 4, 1964. She has lectured on this work at Bowling Green State University (MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music) and most recently at the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA) National Symposium on American Choral Music in Washington D.C.

Swanson is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), College Music Society (CMS), and National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) for which she a National Board Member and representative of New York. 

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Kyle Pfortmiller

KYLE PFORTMILLER was born in Elgin, Illinois and currently resides in New York City with his wife Laura Pfortmiller and their daughter. He was a scholarship student at Illinois Wesleyan University (Bachelor of Music) and Manhattan School of Music (Master of Music.)

A Sullivan Award winner, he has employed his unique talent in opera, operetta and musical theatre from the contemporary to the classic. His repertoire includes the title roles in Don Giovanni and Il barbiere di Siviglia, as well as Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Silvio (Pagliacci), Valentin (Faust),Count Carl Magnus Malcolm (A Little Night Music), Billy Bigelow (Carousel), Sky Masterson (Guys and Dolls), Maximillian (Candide), Pierre/Red Shadow (The Desert Song), and Hajj, the Poet (Kismet).

Kyle made his European debut with the De Nederlandse Opera as Silvio in Pagliacci in March 2006 to critical acclaim heralded as “a voice that could give us a father Germont and other lyric roles in the great American baritone tradition of Robert Merrill.”
Mr. Pfortmiller was recently seen as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with both Florida Grand Opera and Utah Festival Opera.
He has appeared with companies across the United States including New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Carolina, Tulsa Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Sarasota Opera, Fresno Grand Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, Opera Grand Rapids and Utah Festival Opera.

Some of his upcoming performances include his debut with the Metropolitan Opera as Marchese d’Obigny in Verdi’s La traviata and his debut with Gotham Chamber Opera as the King in the American Premiere of Xavier Montsalvagte’s El Gato con Botas.

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Lars Frandsen

Guitar, Lute, Early Music, Collegium Musicum, Music Theory and History

Lars Frandsen was a student of the late Leif Christensen who was a pioneer in the rediscovery of nineteenth century guitar literature and a strong advocate of its historical performance.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Yale University, and Eastman School of Music, Mr. Frandsen holds a doctoral degree in performance and literature. He was the assistant to renowned lute player Paul O’Dette while at Eastman, where he also studied in master classes and doctoral seminars with equally renowned forte-pianist Malcom Bilson. His principal guitar teachers after Leif Christensen include John Mills (RAM), Benjamin Verdery (YSM) and Nicholas Goluses (ESM). Further, he has performed several times in master classes conducted by John Williams, David Russell and Manuel Barruecco.

Mr. Frandsen was the first guitarist to play and coach chamber music (during five consecutive concert seasons) at the Apple Hill summer music school with members of the London Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras.

Mr. Frandsen is the Director of Guitar Studies at Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music at the City University of New York. He directs the Collegium Musicum at Nyack College’s Manhattan campus, where he also teaches counterpoint, music history and theory.

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Ron Blake

Adjunct Professor Saxaphone

Ron Blake is the Coordinator of the Jazz Saxophone program at the Juilliard Schoolhas and been an integral part of the New York jazz scene for the past ten years. The rich language of jazz is still his home, but these days Blake is also finding new roles for his saxophone voice. On Lest We Forget, his debut CD for Mack Avenue Records, Blake celebrates the classic Hammond B-3 organ trio sound in an innovative setting, performing songs made popular by some of the legendary musicians associated with the instrument. Blake called on the talents of long-time friend and celebrated bassist Christian McBride to produce the CD, which also features Hammond B-3 specialist Joey DeFrancesco and drummer Greg Hutchinson as the core of his band.

Lest We Forget pays tribute to three musicians - Stanley Turrentine, Charles Earland, and Grover Washington, Jr. - whose music transcended time and category and appealed to vast audiences during their lifetimes. The CD's ten tracks, including Turrentine's "Minor Chant," Earland's "More Today Than Yesterday," (the cover of the Spiral Staircase song which earned Earland his greatest popularity) and Washington's huge hit, "Mr. Magic," provide a perfect platform for Blake's distinctive sound and lyrical style of playing. On that track, as well as on such diverse selections as Michel Legrand's "You Must Believe In Spring" and the traditional, Latin flavored "Asalto Navideño," producer McBride contributes support on both acoustic and electric bass. Guitarist David Gilmore joins the band on four tracks, including Washington's "Happenstance." Lest We Forget also introduces the talents of a young trumpet player from the Virgin Islands (Blake's own birthplace), "Rawshawn Ross, who is featured on five tunes, including the high-energy "Mighty Burner."

A member of the Christian McBride Band since 2000, Ron continues to explore a wider range of musical styles with the very talented bassist and composer, as evidenced on McBride's latest release, Vertical Vision (Warner Bros). As a featured soloist with the new band Yerba Buena, which was named IBE Best New Alternative Latin Band of 2002, Ron returned to instruments he'd played during high school and university; the flute and baritone sax. Yerba Buena contributed two tracks to MCA's Red Hot Riot (2002), a compilation dedicated to the music of Fela Kuti, on which Ron joins musical forces with such diverse artists as Meshell N'degeocello and Common.

Born on September 7th in the Virgin Islands, Blake began playing the guitar at the age of eight. Two years later, after listening to his father's many recordings (a lot of Miles Davis, Jimmy Smith, Cannonball Adderley, and King Curtis), he began playing the alto saxophone. After graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, Blake entered Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he studied primarily with classical saxophonist Dr. Frederick Hemke, and where he was awarded the Presidential Award for outstanding artistic and academic achievement. While still in college, Blake won first place at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition performing on baritone sax as a member of the Evanston Saxophone Quartet, which was the first saxophone quartet to win that classical competition.
Ron's early dreams of a professional career in jazz would begin to take shape in the summer of 1987, when he was in St. Thomas teaching in summer music programs. At the 1st Virgin Islands Jazz Festival he met and played with the great Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Hutcherson, Gary Bartz, Jimmy Hamilton, and others. It had a tremendous impact on him, and he subsequently received an NEA Grant to study with Gary Bartz prior to arriving in New York some years later.

Upon graduation from Northwestern, Ron immersed himself in Chicago's jazz scene, where he further honed his skill, performing with Von Freeman, Wilbur Campbell, Jody Christian, and Willie Pickens, among others. During this period he also began taking interest in the tenor saxophone, working with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and performing with such artists as Nancy Wilson, Louis Bellson, and Clark Terry.

In 1990, Ron left Chicago and moved to Tampa, Florida after being appointed Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of South Florida (USF). During a two-year stay at USF, he maintained an active performing career, leading the faculty jazz quartet as well as performing with the Florida Symphony Orchestra. He made frequent trips to New York City, sitting in with Branford Marsalis at the Village Vanguard as well as performing with pianists Mulgrew Miller and Kenny Kirkland.

Moving to New York City in 1992, Ron joined the Roy Hargrove Quintet (through 1997), and quickly became one of the most sought after jazz saxophonists in America. He has performed at most major jazz festivals and clubs internationally, and has been fortunate to share the stage with such jazz greats as Johnny Griffin, Arthur Taylor, Stanley Turrentine, Jimmy Smith, Bobby Hutcherson, Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Roy Haynes, and Ray Brown. Ron has made over thirty jazz recordings with his contemporaries as well as with jazz masters Art Farmer, Benny Golson, Jimmy Smith, and Arthur Taylor. He was also a member of the Art Farmer Quintet for seven years.

In 1998, Ron and drummer and fellow Virgin Islander Dion Parson released 21st Century (Tahmun), which received critical acclaim worldwide. As the leader of the Ron Blake Quartet, which featured Shedrick Mitchell on piano, Rueben Rogers on bass and Greg Hutchinson on drums, Blake continued to inspire and innovate. His debut recording with that band, Up Front & Personal, released in 2000, included eight highly original songs, either composed, arranged or co-written by Blake, which amplified his Caribbean heritage and emphasized the breadth of knowledge of various jazz styles. Up Close and Personal also includes the tune "Waltswing!" by Blake's mentor Johnny Griffin, who appears on the CD as a special guest.

Inspired by their passing from the music scene within a ten month span, on Lest We Forget, Ron Blake has paid fitting tribute to both the memory and ongoing legacy of three jazz greats, and in doing so, has taken another step toward insuring that his own legacy be built.

Ron Blake endorses RICO Reeds, Keilwerth saxophones, AMT Microphones, and sandals by Zora's of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

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Sharmi Harper

Adjunt Professor of Voice, Ear Training, and Vocal Literature

Sharmi Harper, Soprano holds a Master's degree from the Juilliard School where she was awarded a full scholarship as well as the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. Her studies carried her to Siena, Italy at the Dante Alighieri Scuola di Lingua for language study as well as to Rome where she studied voice with Tina Rella Scapini and Renato Federighi.

She has sung leading roles with the Aspen Music Festival, Des Moines Metro Opera, American Opera Center at the Juilliard School, Daytona Chamber Opera, Lake George Opera, Western Plains Opera, Minnesota Opera, Daytona Chamber Opera, Cantiamo Opera, University of Iowa and Teatro Corleone under such conductors as James Conlon, James Dixon, Roger Nierenberg, Dr. Robert Larson, Don V Moses, Peter Herman Adler and John DeMain. She also devoted much time to the performace Sacred music in New York and abroad appearing as soloist in the Mozart C Minor Mass, Bach B Minor Mass, Bach Magnificat, Schubert Mass in G, Dvorak Te Deum, Handel's Messiah, the Mozart Exultate Jubilate and Britten War Requiem.

Equally at home in contemporary music she was a resident performer as both violinist and soprano with the Center for New Music at the University of Iowa in collaboration with William Hibbard and Donald Jenni. She has premiered new works with the New York Contemporary Opera Arts as well as many other contemporary works with American composers from the Juilliard School in Alice Tully Hall.  She sang the New York Premiere of the Bizet's Djamileh with the Theatre Opera Music Institute in New York City under the baton of Joshua Greene.

In her early musical years she was an accomplished violinist and attended the Interlochen National Music Camp under scholarship for several years as well as beginning vocal studies.Growing up in North Dakota she began her beginning voice studies with Dorothy Thomas mother of renowned Juilliard violin teacher Sally Thomas.  As a student she was winner and finalist in many competitions such the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Pavarotti International Competition, NATS, and MTNA.

In New York she has studied with Rose Bampton, Beverly Peck Johnson, Joan Dornemann, Gwendolyn Koldovsky, Barbara Balk, Nico Castel, Barbara Honn, Olga Chernov, Vahan Mirakian, Alan Dornak and currently studies with Judith Coen.

Miss Harper garnered her skills as a voice teacher being a teaching fellow at the University of Iowa. She has maintained a thriving teaching studio in New York City since 1992. She has taught at The International Music Camp at the Canadian/American Peace Gardens. Her students have performed at New York City Opera, Broadway and Off Broadway as well as the Oudekerk Concertgebouw of Amsterdam.

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Chris Hughes

Adjunt Professor Percussion, Jazz and Percussion Ensembles

Chris Hughes (composer/arranger and drummer) has had a diversified musical career having played drums for Broadway shows, recording sessions, and for a number of years for Skitch Henderson's New York Pops at Carnegie Hall where he played with Doc Severinsen, Clark Terry, George Shearing, Nell Carter, Margaret Whiting, Peter Allen, Liza Minelli and many others. As a writer, he has composed and arranged music for Fox News, CNN, National Geographic, The Detroit Symphony, and the New York Pops. He composed the score for the independent feature film "The Journey" and in recent years has been the arranger/producer for a number of gospel CDs. He and his wife Jan have 1 son, Timothy.

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Eleazer Rodriguez

Adjunct Professor Guitar

Eleazer Rodriguez holds a Master of Music degree in guitar performance from The City University of New York at Brooklyn College where he studied under Lars Frandsen. Mr. Rodriguez learned his first chords from his father at the age of 10 and at 16 began his formal studies on the classic guitar with Richard Summers at Toronto Guitar Institute. In 1991 he was accepted at Manhattan School of Music and studied with Nicholas Goluses, the first Andres Segovia Professor of the Guitar Department. In 1993, he continued his studies at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico where he regularly performed solo recitals and was selected as one of the premiere guitarist to perform at the "Concierto de Gala." In 1997 Eleazer graduated from Nyack College with a Bachelor of Music degree in guitar performance.

Mr. Rodriguez has performed in masterclasses conducted by Ivan Rijos, Juan Mercadal, Paul Gregory, Ana Maria Rosado, and Roland Dyens. Furthermore. Mr. Rodriguez has served as Music Instructor on the faculty of Nyack College, New York City Campus since 2002.

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Simon Li

Piano, Worship Studies and Hymnology

Simon Li is recognized by music critics and professionals as one of the most talented pianists of his generation. American Federation of Musicians called Mr. Li “a pianist of extraordinary ability, which has been demonstrated by sustained international acclaim.” “Simon Li has fine musical ideas and an impressive temperament, created a happy merger with his innate musicianship”, praised by the New York Concert Review for Mr. Li sold-out New York Debut at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. The U.S. Digest Magazine recalled his Alice Tully Hall recital, "he has the natural ability to interpret the most demanding kind of music in this performance. His playing displayed the sense of romanticism and expressiveness. … The audiences' reaction was overwhelming that he has to play two encore pieces at the end.” Herbert Stessin, the past Chairman of the Piano Department of the Juilliard School, called Mr. Li’s playing “highly intellectual and highly motivated.” Robert Cuckson, the past Academic Dean and Chair of the Technique of Music Department called Mr. Li “an excellent musician who is outstanding in many areas…he showed himself to be an artist with major interpretive and pianistic abilities”, Mr. Li was the Winner of the Artist International Presentations’ competition in 2001 and 2000, who was the only pianist chosen to present in 2001 season for a winner recital at the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. He has appeared in numerous solo chamber music recitals throughout the world winning acclaim from the critics and audiences, including performances in Killian Hall of MIT, Harris Hall at the Aspen Music Festival, the Hong Kong Arts Center, the Moulin d’ Ande Festival in France. He has appeared in performances in Bloemfontein, South Africa; the Cathedral of the St. John-in-the-Wilderness in Denver, Colorado; the Consulate General of Argentina in New York City; and Madison Square Garden Theater; as well as a recent four-city concert of Brazil, including appearances in Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre. Mr. Li also performed in the Chopin 150th –Anniversary Festival that organized by the Mannes College of Music. He had performed in the master classes of such distinguished artists as Philippe Entremont, Joseph Kalishstein and Janina Fralkowska.

Born in Hong Kong, Mr. Li began piano studies at the age of seven, and gave his first performance at the age of eleven at the Hong Kong City Hall Theater. He studied with Dr. Siu-Wan Chair, a student of Cecile Genhart, who had studied with Ferruccio Busoni and Edwin Fischer (who in turn had been a student of Franz Liszt). With a scholarship to study in the United States, Mr. Li continued his studies at the Boston Conservatory of Music, where he was winner of the 1994 Piano Honors Competition. This resulted in a performance with the Greater Marlborough Symphony in Massachusetts. During the summer of that year, Mr. Li was awarded the Munro L. Lyeth Scholarship for Pianists to participate in the Aspen Music Festival. Mr. Li received his bachelor’s, master’s and Performance Studies degrees from the Mannes College as a scholarship recipient. His major teachers include Arkady Aronov, Irina Morozova, Jacob Lateiner, Herbert Stessin, and Jonathan Bass, and he studied chamber music with Leon Pommers, Harris Goldsmith, and Edna Mitchell.

Mr. Li came to know Jesus Christ and accepted Him as his Lord in 1994. In 1999, Simon Li and his wife, Iris dedicated themselves to the Lord for full-time music ministries. Since 2001, Mr. Li served as the music director of the Great Commission Bible Church in Flushing. He was the first coordinator for the church’s music center and youth student center, which gave him tremendous opportunities in sharing the gospel to children and young people. A compelling performer, Mr. Li participates actively as a church musician and composes, conducts, and arranges piano transcriptions for church music. His choral composition “The Lord’s Prayer” received its world premiere in 1998 at the Oversea Chinese Mission in the New York City. He also represented the Episcopal Church of Our Savior when he performed in the 2000 General Convention of the American Episcopal Church. In 1999 Mr. Li was awarded the Distinguished Chinese Scholarship from the Chinese Herald Crusades. In 2003, he also served as the Advisory Committee Member of the Eastern American Association for Chinese Church Music. Simon Li currently studies in the Doctor of Worship Studies program at the Institute for Worship Studies at Jacksonville, Florida. He resides at Queens, New York with his wife Iris, his son Johann, and his daughter Miriam.

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Debbie Shen

Flute

Debbie, Liang-Kuan Shen, flautist, was born in Taichung Taiwan, where she began her musical studies at an early age. Ms. Shen holds a Diploma in flute performance from the Music Division of the Tainan Junior College of Home Economics, a BA degree from Case Western Reserve University’s Music Department and an MA from New York University Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions. She is now pursuing her Music Education Degree at Queens College. She was an active flute performer and teacher in Taiwan. While pursuing her BA and MA degrees, Ms. Shen was an active performer in chamber music ensembles, bands, woodwind ensembles, and chamber orchestras. Her honors include the first place in the Taiwan National Music Competition in flute; Case Western Reserve University’s Kennedy Prize for Creative Work in Music; and an Outstanding Achievement Award in Graduate Instrumental Studies from New York University. Residing with her husband in New York City, Debbie, Liang-Kuan, Shen now performs regularly in solo and chamber music recitals and is active in the National Flute Association and the New York Flute Club. Ms. Shen also coached some chamber music group in the music camp in summer of 2001. She coached and conducted a youth flute choir performance at Taiwan Center in Flushing, New York for two years. Ms. Shen also performed at Donnell Library Center in NYC and Zuang Ren Taiwanese Community Journal in Queens as a guest flutist. She gives flute recitals at Messiah Lutheran Church regularly as well. She often teams up with other church’s members to perform some chamber music. She has two recordings of a short film “Yoni” and “The mere of haven” with a tape synthesizer. She has performed throughout New York City and Asia. She is very interested in promoting and performing new music. Currently Ms. Shen teaches at Nyack College, New York City.

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Mary Carey

Adjunct Professor Voice, Music Education

Mary Carey, soprano, is an instructor of voice, an opera singer and a musical actress. A native of Chicago, Mary was in her first show at age 3.  She started formal musical training in piano at age 8.  Her love for the piano helped her decide that she wanted to pursue a musical career.
   
Mary started taking voice lessons at 16 and soon after directed her career choice to opera.  She appeared in musicals, operettas and operas during her undergraduate and graduate years at Western Illinois University and Illinois State University, respectively.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, a comprehensive Education major from K-12 with a Choral emphasis, and a Masters in Music in Vocal Performance.

Upon returning to Chicago after college, Mary was a winner in the Miss Chicago (Miss America) Pageant and was a soloist with the Chicago Opera Repertory Theatre. Later, her love of singing brought her to New York where she studied voice with Anne Ottaviano LoMonaco and Franco Iglesias.  She performed in the New York City premiere of Alzira by Giuseppi Verdi with Amato Opera in New York City.  Her performing credits include Nedda in I Pagliacci, Musetta in La Boheme, Norina in Don Pasquale, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Monica in The Medium, Maria in West Side Story, Jenny in Company, Sergeant Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Carrie in Carousel, Amahl in Amahl and The Night Visitors, Apostle Woman in Jesus Christ Superstar, and Martha Jefferson in 1776.

Active in church work for more than twenty years, Ms. Carey is a soloist and conductor in the well-known Christ Tabernacle Choir, which her husband, The Rev. Steven Carey is music pastor. She also founded and leads the Christ Tabernacle Choir prayer band. She has also been a soloist on all of Christ Tabernacle Choir recordings and DVDs, being featured on an Ira Stamphill tribute recording that in 2003 was nominated for a Dove award. As a former member of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers, she traveled with that group for over ten years, appearing at such venues as the1996 Billy Graham Crusade in Charlotte, NC., Good Morning, America, the Today show, the Republican National Convention, and on many well-known Christian television networks. She was a soloist on the Brooklyn Tabernacle Christmas album 'O What A Love', and did extensive studio singing on many of the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir projects. Mary has also appeared as a guest soloist at Shea Stadium, Queens, NY.

Prof. Carey directed the Middle School Music program for nine years and the High School Chorus for 6 years at Evangel Christian School in Long Island City, NY over a 13 year span (1994-2007).  She lives in Queens with her husband Steven and their two children, Joshua and Anna.

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Jason Covey

Trumpet

A native of South Haven, Michigan, Jason Covey began his trumpet studies at the age of ten. In 2001, Mr. Covey graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Music degree studying with Scott Thornburg, and two years later received a Master's degree from the Juilliard School as a student of Raymond Mase. As a soloist, he has appeared with Musica Bella, Camerata NY, the University of Chicago Chamber Orchestra and the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra. As an active freelancer in New York City, he has performed with such organizations as the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Lukes, New York Pops, Philharmonia Virtuosi as well as numerous Broadway shows. Mr. Covey has recorded on the Vanguard label and has appeared on Bravo with Elton John at Radio
City Music Hall and ABC's Good Morning America.

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Uli Speth

Adjunct Professor Violin, Chamber Music

A native of Germany, Uli received all of his undergraduate education at the Mozarteum in Salzburg/Austria where he graduated earning the ‘Grand Diploma’. He was a student of Harald Herzl of the Pro Arte Quartet Salzburg. Uli participated in numerous performance classes given by such luminaries as Yfrah Neaman, Jaap Schroeder and Nicolaus Harnoncourt and, after migrating to the US, earned his Master of Music Degree from the Mannes College of Music. He was a student of Felix Galimir from whom he received both, violin and string quartet training.

As a chamber musician, Uli has enjoyed the opportunity of performing alongside well known soloists and members of the Hagen, Pro Arte, Rossetti and Ying quartets. With several chamber ensembles he has toured France, Germany, Austria, The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy as principal player and soloist and recorded for Austrian and Italian Radio.

As first violinist of both, the Diller-Quaile String Quartet and novo4tet, Uli has performed recitals throughout the US, has commissioned and premiered new pieces for string quartet and performed live on Vermont Public Radio and KMFA of Texas. Their recordings have been broadcast on WSKG and on National Public Radio.   

Uli’s recent solo performances of various concerti by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Mendelssohn and recitals with pianist Mary Robbins have earned him praise by the critics for his ‘brilliant sound and facile fingers’ (Austin American Statesman) and ‘gorgeous tone and stunning technique’ (Salzburger Nachrichten).   

Since 2005 Uli serves as Concertmaster of the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Tom Christensen

Clarinet, Music Education

Originally from Napa, California, Tom Christensen was educated at The Eastman School of Music where he received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees. Christensen is now an established saxophonist, woodwind specialist and composer in New York City. For eight years he was a member of The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra and performed with the Orchestra around the world. He can be heard on their latest recordings as well as on Grammy nominated albums with Joe Lovano, Paquito D'Rivera, David Sanchez and Don Sebesky. Christensen has also performed with The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, David Liebman, the BMI Jazz Composer's Orchestra and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He has also played saxophone and woodwinds for many Broadway shows, television and radio commercials, and numerous film scores. The Tom Christensen Ensemble, formed in 1994 to play Christensen's original compositions, frequently performs in New York City and does a series of educational workshops for Carnegie Hall each year in public schools. In 2003 Christensen was awarded a composition grant from Chamber Music America to write and perform an extended work for the ensemble based on the poetry of Frank O'Hara. This piece is featured on his 3rd CD "New York School" released in February 2005 on Playscape Records. "New York School" was listed as one one the top ten jazz albums of 2003 by All About Jazz. Tom Christensen has taught at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx for the past 17 years and served as music department chairperson since 2003.

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Stephen Clapp

Violin

Violinist Stephen Clapp, retired Dean of The Juilliard School, has maintained a performing and teaching career for decades, while serving as an administrator at Juilliard, Oberlin and Aspen.  He has been concertmaster of the Aspen Festival Chamber Symphony and the Nashville and Austin Symphonies, and has performed in collaboration with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Jacqueline DuPre, Yo-Yo Ma.  Winner of the first Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award as a member of the Beaux Arts String Quartet, Mr. Clapp also was a founding member of the Blair Quartet.  He has recorded and toured internationally with The Oberlin Trio. Dean Clapp has given master classes and appeared in recitals and concerto performances in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe and Asia.

A deeply committed teacher of talented young performing artists, Dean Clapp continues to teach violin and chamber music at Juilliard.  He began his teaching career at the Juilliard Preparatory Division (now called the Pre-College) in 1962 while earning his Master of Science degree from Juilliard.  Subsequent teaching affiliations were with the Aspen Music School, Peabody College in Nashville, The University of Texas at Austin and the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.  He has contributed articles to The Instrumentalist and was editor of the American String Teachers’ Journal’s Violin Forum.   

Dean Clapp has held several posts at institutions of higher education in the performing arts.  As Associate Dean of Juilliard from 1991-94, he supervised all orchestral and chamber music activities at the school; he has been a member of the Juilliard violin and chamber music faculties since 1987.  He has served in many policy and curriculum-related positions at Juilliard, including the Admissions, Financial Aid, Vocal Arts and DMA Governance Committees, Faculty Council, Administrative Council and the Committee on Scholastic Standing.  Dean Clapp was a member of the President’s Senior Staff from 1991 to 2007.  He also served as Dean of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and Acting Dean of the Oberlin Conservatory.

His musical training includes study with Dorothy DeLay and Ivan Galamian at Juilliard, with Andor Toth at the Oberlin Conservatory, where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree, and at the Mozarteum Akademie in Salzburg, Austria.  Mr. Clapp resides with his wife, Linda, in Connecticut.

 

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A. Wayne Batchelor

Double Bass, Jazz, Electric Bass

 

Wayne Batchelor began his career as a jazz bassist at London’s Guildhall School of Music, on the post-graduate jazz degree course alongside rising UK jazz stars Steve Williamson (saxophone), Jason Rebello (keyboards), &
Cleveland Watkiss (vocals). There followed an eight-year long successful career on London’s jazz scene, during which time Wayne traveled the world as a member of sax-player Courtney Pine’s band, Jason Rebello’s Quintet,
and pianist Julian Joseph’s Quartet. Wayne has also played with jazz guitarist Ronny Jordan’s band, supporting Barry White’s UK tour, and touring to Europe, the USA and Japan. Ronny and his band also played with Guru in New York at SOBs. Other UK collaborations included work with ex-Jazz Messenger Jean Toussaint, pianist Stan Tracey, alto saxophonist Pete King, vocalist Tina May, the Jazz Warriors, the Reggae Philharmonic Orchestra (including a world tour and television work) Melba Joyce and Bernardo Sassetti (Portuguese jazz pianist).
   
Soon Wayne’s name became known on the international circuit and has played with artists such as Eddie Harris, Clark Terry, Art Farmer, Billy Childs, Gene Harris, Joey Calderazzo, Terrell Stafford, Les McCann, Marlena Shaw, Will Downing and Jonathan Butler, and in Europe with South African pianist Bheki Mseleku.
  
In 1995, following eight years of work and study, Wayne decided to return to education, this time at the invitation of Reggie Workman, Coordinator of
Instruction in the Mannes Contemporary Music program at Manhattan’s New School. Studying under the tutelage of Buster Williams, Since 1998 Wayne has gigged or toured with Carlos Garnett, Monty Alexander, Chico Freeman Bobby Watson, Ernest Ranglin, James Williams, Kirk Whalum, Sly Dunbar, Ron Blake, and Ernie Watts. More recently he’s worked with Jimmy Heath on the QE2 Transatlantic Jazz Cruise (Tribute to Oscar Peterson), Houston Person, Wycliffe Gordon, Frank Wess, Hilton Ruiz, John Hicks, Ingrid Jensen, Carmen Lundy, Mark Murphy, Andy Bey, Jeanie Bryson, R&B vocalist, Miki Howard and the great Allan Harris. Wayne also joined vocalist Nnenna Freelon’s working band in 1998 and since then has worked with her at the Iridium and Blue Note jazz clubs in New York and Milan, Umbria Jazz in Italy, Jerusalem Jazz Festival in Israel as well as other festivals all over the world, including the Fujitsu Concord Jazz Festival in Japan and with the Takana Miyamoto trio, a special concert at Washington’s Kennedy Center with Take 6 and a gala concert with George Benson at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Wayne is also featured on Nnenna’s album ‘Soul Call’ which was nominated for 2 Grammy Awards, ‘Live’ recorded in Washington DC at the Kennedy Centre and Blueprint of a Lady, Sketches of Billie Holiday which was also nominated for a Grammy

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Gwendolyn Bradley

Voice

Read about Ms. Bradley on Wikipedia and view her samples on YouTube.

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Joan Mallory

Head, Department of Music Education – Music in the Elementary and Secundary Schools, Foundations for Excellence, Functional Piano, Basic Music Skills, Student Teaching, Fine Arts

M.S.W. Fordham University. B.M.E. West Virginia Wesleyan College, M.S. Lehman College
Recipient of "Model Classroom Teacher Award" by Music Educator's National Conference and "Jenkins Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education."  General music specialist and hostess of "The Classical Music Show" on WCWP-FM from 1997 to 2000. Presented workshops at Concordia College, Hunter College, Mt. Vernon Hospital, and King's Highway United Methodist Church. Chairperson of the Westchester Task Force on Issues of Loss and Grief in Children. Maintains a private social work practice in White Plains, N.Y. Formerly. General and choral music educator and music department chairperson in the Mt. Vernon (NY) Public Schools. Former leader of Asbury United Methodist Church, Tuckahoe, NY, from 1991 to 1997. Currently a member of the administrative board, chairperson of Missions, and certified Lay Speaker.

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Jon Werking

Piano, Jazz

Jon teaches the jazz and improvisational classes, as well as, piano, technology, business of music and songwriting classes at NCMC. In addition to teaching at Nyack, Jon is currently on the adjunct faculty of Teachers College at Columbia University. He holds a B.M. In Piano (minor in communications) from Ithaca College and a M.M. In Jazz and Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music. Jon has performed and recorded with a virtual who's who of contemporary artists (please visit jonwerking.com for a list of credits). As a songwriter and producer, Jon penned the Christmas song " Love's in our Heart's (on Christmas day)" for the pop group N'Sync that sold over 5 million copies worldwide. He also wrote the title track to (number one selling smooth guitarist) Chuck Loeb's album "In a Heartbeat". Jon has worked extensively on Broadway (Fosse, Aida and most recently, Twyla Tharp's "Come Fly Away" based on the music of Frank Sinatra) and on films (Beauty and the Beast, You've Got Mail, Gangs of New York and The Last Mimzy). Jon's passion is improvisation and helping the student find their own personal "voice". His prayer for his students and Nyack College comes out of Psalm 16, that we would see the Lord always before us and follow the "Path of Life" he has shown us, with passion and excellence.

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Jhasoa Agosto

Adjunct Professor of Voice, Ear Training, Theory, and Diction

Bio coming soon...

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Willana Mack

Adjunct Professor of Voice

Willana Mack's first solo performance took place in church when she was ten years old. Since that moment, singing has been an integral part of her life. As a high-school senior, she won Second Place in the Sony's Bertelsmann World of Expression competition, a city-wide event, for her original composition and performance, He Took My Place. She is a graduate of the Nyack College School of Music with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in Vocal Performance. As a featured soloist, Willana has toured Puerto Rico, South Korea and Italy. She will be returning for a month of performances in Seoul in the summer of 2011.

In 2008, Ms. Mack performed as soloist in the 80th annual Academy Awards, having been featured in the nominated song from the motion picture August Rush. She has also appeared on the television programs Good Morning America, Good Day New York and in the Disney’s Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra Special on ABC. She has been featured locally in Madison Square Garden, Giants Stadium and Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall at Nyack College’s 125th Anniversary Concert. In addition to teaching Applied Voice at Nyack College, New York City, Willana is currently completing her Master of Music Degree at Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music.

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Margrit Zimmerman

Adjunct Professor of Piano, Opera Workshop

Margrit Julia Zimmermann is an artist with uncommon poetic talent. Her special contact with the piano, her fine, gentle touch represents the best traditions of European and Russia piano schools. She posses an unusual musical creative ability and variety, that especially comes to life in interpretations of music by Schubert, Schumann and Brahms. Also Margrit Julia Zimmermann impresses with performances of Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninov and Mussorgsky with "fascinating intensity and highly poetic play ".

Margrit Julia Zimmermann, the Russian-born German pianist, comes from a family whose musical traditions go back many generations. She began her studies in a music academy with Eulalia Stepanova. Already during this time she played recitals and was as a soloist with several chamber orchestras.

She continued her studies at the world-renowned Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow with Dmitri Bashkirov, one of the Russian piano school's most influential and esteemed masters.

Further influence on her uniquely individual approach to music-making came from Lija Lewinson in Moscow (assistant to the legendary Alexander Goldenweiser), who gave her musical blessing.

M.J.Zimmermann completed her studies with master courses from Lev Naumov, Vera Gornostaeva, Vadim Sukhanov. Her subsequent recitals were frequently televised throughout Russia, Lithuania, and Germany.

After her distinguished graduation from Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, M.J.Zimmermann garnered engagements from Russian State Artists' Agency and began her international career as a soloist with recitals and appearances with symphonic and chamber orchestras. She has performed in Russia, England, Germany, Austria, Lithuania, and Switzerland (Vienna, Graz, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Potsdam, Göttingen, Wilhelmshaven, Kassel, Oxford, Vilnius, Kaunas, Rotterdam).

M.J.Zimmermann was a prizewinner in the 1996 International Johannes Brahms Piano Competition in Austria and the Roma International Piano Competition 1997 in Italy.
Since 1992 she has lived in Kassel, Germany, where she received the Arts Prize of the city counsel. With greater involvement she built her sphere of activity. She is a founder of the international music festival "Kaskados"(1998), where she performs regularly as a soloist and as a chamber music player in critically acclaimed concerts.

M.J.Zimmermann's repertoire ranges from Classical to Modern. At the same time she is actively engaged in interpretation of modern chamber music. Her recordings in major labels such as ASV and BIS in England and Sweden were highly praised in the Gramophone Magazine (England) and Penn Sounds(USA) for deep music sense and technical perfection.

Since 2005 she divides her time between homes in both Germany and the USA.

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David Chavez

Adjunct Professor of Music Education

Bio coming soon...

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Merideth I. Hite

Adjunct Professor

Oboist Merideth Hite is a doctoral candidate at The Juilliard School and also holds degrees from Yale School of Music and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. As a Fulbright Grant recipient, Merideth received an artist diploma equivalent from the Trossingen Musikhochschule in the Baden-Württemberg region of Germany. An active teacher and performer, she has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, American Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, and Spoleto Festival Orchestra USA, to name a few. As the oboist in the ensemble REED5, Merideth enjoys combining her two loves: educational outreach and cutting-edge woodwind chamber music. She hails from Abbeville, South Carolina.

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Matthew Hough

Adjunct Professor

Matthew Hough is a composer and guitarist based in Brooklyn, New York. His recent works have been performed and/or presented by Wet Ink, the Machine Project, soprano Rachel Payne, Freeport Schools, Red Light New Music, and Yarn/Wire. In 2009, he won the Nicolas Flagello Composition Award from the Manhattan School of Music, and his orchestral work "Without Memories, Without Plans" received accolades from both the Minnesota Orchestra and the New York Youth Symphony. Also an active guitarist, Hough has performed with such ensembles as Wet Ink, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, Columbia Composers, Blarvuster, and the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2012, he was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied composition with Reiko Fueting and guitar with Jack Wilkins. Hough currently teaches composition, theory and aural skills at Nyack College (School of Music, NYC) and Ramapo College of New Jersey. He has also taught at the Manhattan School of Music and SUNY Empire State College (Northeast Center).

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