Gulnara Ash (piano, piano pals) began playing piano at the age of five and attended the Uspensky School of Music for gifted children in Tashkent, Uzbekistan where she won numerous awards in piano competition before age nine. She received a full scholarship to study at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division and has performed as a soloist throughout Russian and Europe. Gulnara completed her undergraduate degree in music at SUNY Purchase where she received a full scholarship.
John Bruschini (guitar, jazz piano) attended SUNY Old Westbury, NY and the Conservatory de Belles Arts in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. John is known for his versatility having performed in many of NYC’s venues. His long tenure with Cecil Taylor has contributed to his wide appeal and where he was featured in jazz festivals in Austria and Germany. Other credits include performances through the New York Council for the Arts Foundation and the Katonah Museum of Art.
Jessa Callen (piano,voice,harp,composition) received her Bachelor of Music from SUNY Purchase. She has studied with numerous renowned harpists among them Elizabeth Huntley, professor at Skidmore College and Mario Falcao at SUNY Fredonia. In addition to her teaching, Jessa is an active performer throughout New York State.
Elizabeth Callen (piano, voice) received her Bachelor of Music from SUNY Purchase. She has taught in the Westchester County area for several years in addition to having worked as a production coordinator with The Webby Awards in NYC. She, along with her sister are members of “The Callen Sisters” band.
Jessica Drozd (voice, beginning piano) holds an MA in Music Education from CUNY Lehman, a NYS Teaching degree with a concentration on voice and has been giving private singing and piano lessons for over 5 years. She has been singing professionally since the age 11 as her parish cantor for 10 years. Jessica has also been the lead singer of various bands including rock, jazz, pop, and blues, recorded professionally, landed lead acting/singing roles in local theater groups back in her home area (eastern Long Island) and was a lead alto of the SUNY Suffolk Choir and Suffolk Singers, having various soloist parts. She is a patient, fun and compassionate teacher who believes in her students.
Gerry Fitzgerald (drums) has been teaching in Westchester for 15 years and performing the New York Area for 30 years. In that time, he has played with Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Bill Crow, Sir Roland Hanna, John Abercrombie, Jimmy Hall, Joe Beck and Carmine Leggio. He is presently appearing with Michelle LeBlanc and Doug Proper in Westchester and Putnam Counties. Gerry can also be heard on several CD’s by various recording artists.
David Freedman (guitar) attended University of Chicago and New York University. He is a freelance guitar player and instructor. Dave has performed all over the country as a member of various rock bands, including popular New York City bands The Thang and Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! He has done sideman work with a plethora of performers and has also recorded guitar for numerous televisions shows, including MTV’s The Real World. He plays comfortably in the realms of jazz, rock, pop, funk, soul, and country.
Jim Fryer (trombone, baritone) is a versatile and experienced musician, both as a teacher and performer. His expertise on low brass extends to all age groups and encompasses all fields of music. He has served on the faculty of Wesleyan University and Hartford Conservatory in addition to being on the faculty for numerous years at Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, CT.
Anne Bach Fumasoli (flute, piano) is Music School Director at The Rye Arts Center. She received her B.S. summa cum laude in Music Education from the University of Bridgeport. She has taught in the Stamford and Darien public schools, the Greenwich Academy, the School of the Holy Child and in various community based programs. Her performance credits include work with The Connecticut Grand Opera, Connecticut Public Television, Silvermine Art Guild and The Whitney Museum. Anne continues to perform throughout the tri-state area as a soloist, chamber musician and clinician. She is an active member of the New York State School Music Association and is a certified woodwind adjudicator for NYSSMA evaluation festivals.
Daniele Hager (voice, piano) is a New York based Opera singer. She holds a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree both in Opera Performance from SUNY Purchase and Florida State University. She was recently seen as Creuse for Opera Nova Costa Rica’s production of Médée in Costa Rica. Other roles include: Despina in Così fan tutte, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Maria in West Side Story, Catherine in Pippin among others. Daniele is also the founder of the new organization ”We Sing For The World” which is designed to organize benefit concerts for non-profit organizations such as AmeriCares.
Peter Hand (guitar) is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. He is a composer, arranger and leads his own jazz combos and big band in New York and New England. His credits include work with many jazz artists and bands including Carmen Lundy, Claudio Roditi, Houston Person, George Coleman, Lee Konitz, Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Charleston Jazz Orchestra and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. His big band CD, The Wizard of Jazz (Savant Records) was cited by leading critics as one of the best CDs of 2009. Peter conceived and co-founded the Westchester Jazz Orchestra and has over twenty years experience as a music educator.
Holly Hare (voice, beginning piano) Coloratura Soprano Holly Hare holds a BM and MM in opera performance from Purchase College, SUNY. In addition to performing in many operas and concerts with Purchase Opera, she has been a returning recitalist with the Penn Alps Music Festival. Her performed roles include Blanche de la Force in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Papagena and Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, and most recently, Frasquita in Carmen. She was also a soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Purchase College Orchestra and Chorus. She is currently on the roster for the new operatic company Polyopera NYC where she will be performing scenes as the title role in Massenet’s Manon. Holly is currently a student of soprano Sherry Overholt.
Paul Jones (flute, clarinet, saxophone, piano) received his B.S. from Berklee College of Music and his MM from Manhattan School of Music. Paul has taught in as a woodwind instructor in the Massachusetts area as well as teaching group instrumental music in the New York City schools through a Manhattan School of Music outreach program. Paul has performed nationally and internationally in varying styles of music. In Europe he has performed with soul sensation Eli “Paperboy” Reed and the True Loves. Also, he was a recent participant in Amsterdam Conservatory’s Keep an Eye on Jazz workshop where he performed at the Bim Huis. Capable of playing and teaching any style Paul can be seen performing regularly in New York City and New England.
Adriana Maria Pera (cello, beginning piano) received her Bachelor of Music from the University at Buffalo, and a Master of Music from the University of Toronto, studying with Jonathan Golove and Shauna Rolston, respectively. She also pursued doctoral studies at the University of Toronto with David Hetherington of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. A cellist and New York native, Adriana has established herself as equally at home in many genres of music. As a performer, she has been a cellist with the Slee Sinfonietta, Principal Cellist with the Symphony Orchestras of Toronto and Buffalo Universities, and a member of the Parkdale Revolutionary Orchestra – a contemporary rock band. Ms. Pera has participated in the International Bach Festival, directed by Maestro Helmuth Rilling, and at the “June in Buffalo” Series, an annual festival of contemporary music hosting notables such as Steve Reich. An engaging chamber musician, Ms. Pera has performed with many ensembles and has performed for Janos Starker, Leon Fleisher, Fred Sherry, and Menahem Pressler among others. Ms. Pera has most recently earned an Artist Diploma from the State University of New York – Purchase Conservatory with Julia Lichten of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Heather Rinello (piano, piano pals)is a graduate of Manhattanville College with a degree in music and concentration in management. She studied piano privately at the Music Conservatory of Westchester with the renowned Russian piano teacher Natalia Krassii-Watson. For three years she held a position as Rental Manager at Steinway Hall on 57th street in Manhattan, where her responsibilities included performing for clients. In 2002 Heather played piano in scenes from the movie Unfaithful, directed by Adrian Lyne, starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane. For the past several years Heather has taught at two Westchester music schools for students’ ages 5 and up, teaching all genre of music and theory and all of her students have performed in recitals.
J.P. Schlegelmich (piano, composition) received his BM in Jazz Studies from SUNY Purchase and woks as a free-lance pianist and composer in the Greater New-York Area. He has been teaching privately in The Westchester County Area for the past several years in addition to teaching in several outreach programs. These programs include Orphanage Outreach in the Dominican Republic, New York Cares in the Bronx and the Northern Westchester Center for the Arts Outreach Program.
Leah Tymochko (piano)is a graduate of Rovno Musical College in the Ukraine. She brings several years experience teaching privately in the Ukraine, New Hampshire and Westchester County. Leja has worked in the New Hampshire schools and has served as a church accompanist in New York City.
Vera Tymochko (piano, piano pals )is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music and has studied privately with Dr. Arkady Aronov and Sergey Osokin. She has been a private piano instructor for several years in both the New York and New Hampshire Areas. Vera’s performance credits include solo recitals, chamber music and choir accompanying in Riga, Latvia, New Hampshire and New York. She made her Kennedy Center Debut under the baton of Leonard Slatkin in 2005.
Eve Weiss (Suzuki guitar) is a cum laude graduate of CUNY with graduate studies at L’Accademia di Studi L’Ottocento in Italy. She has performed throughout America and Europe and was the first American woman to win the Toscanini Chamber Competition in Italy, a prestigious international guitar award.
Debra Whitman (Early Childhood Music) received musical training at the Manhattan School of Music and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Music Conservatory at Purchase College. She is the creator and teacher of the Classical Kids Music program and is active as a private piano instructor in Larchmont. As a harp soloist and chamber musician, she performs throughout Westchester and the metropolitan area.
Any Wright (Suzuki violin, violin) Amy Wright began her violin studies at the age of four in a Suzuki program in Wichita, KS. She has been active both as a performer and a teacher in the tri-state area for over twenty years. Ms. Wright plays with the Stamford Symphony, the National Chorale, Musica Sacra, the Voices of Ascension, the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola and the Bronx Arts Ensemble. She has recorded and performed with Alicia Keyes, Keith Jarrett, William Cepeda, Tony Bennett, and Henry Mancini. Ms. Wright has served on the faculties of Mannes College Preparatory Division, Greenwich House School of Music Suzuki Program, and the CW Post-Long Island University Suzuki Program. She currently serves on the faculty of the Spring School Montessori in NJ. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she has studied with Ruggiero Ricci, Almita and Roland Vamos and Joyce Robbins. Ms. Wright also has a Master of Music from Western Illinois University, and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Lehman College. She is a graduate of the School for Strings Suzuki Teacher Training Program in New York City. Amy is also a Suzuki mom who lives in New York City with her husband and two children, Ben, classical guitar, and Laura, violin
INSTRUCTOR BIOS – DANCE
Cara Milo began her study of classical ballet at the age of 5. At the age of 11, she began training at The Ballet Class of Rye under the tutelage of Lynne Stetson, a former member of The New York City Ballet. She also studied under David Howard and Elena Kunikova, among others, in New York City. While attending Fairfield University, Cara decided to pursue a career teaching ballet and was invited in 2004 to join the staff of The Ballet Class of Rye. Since the start of her teaching career, Cara has instructed students ranging in age from 3-adults in classical ballet.
Jonathan Riedel, native of Rye and Artistic Director of Riedel Dance Theater, created works for the Limón Dance Company, Purchase College, Dance International NY, the Yard, Good Moves Dance Consort, Agnes Scott College; presented at the Kennedy Center, Joyce Theater, Fringe NYC, World Trade Center Plaza, and The Egg. Jonathan performed with the Limón Dance Company (1996-2006,) featured in works by José Limón, Doris Humphrey, Antony Tudor, Donald McKayle, Lar Lubovich, and Doug Varone. www.riedeldancetheater.org.
Megan Williams hails from Los Angeles and is a graduate of the Juilliard School. She joined the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1988 with whom she toured internationally for ten years and appears in the films Falling Down Stairs (with Yo Yo Ma), The Hard Nut, and The Hidden Soul of Harmony. She recently returned to the company as a guest artist, creating the role of Lady Capulet in his Romeo and Juliet: On Motifs of Shakespeare and stages his works on schools and other companies. Megan has been on the modern dance faculty of the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College SUNY since 2000. In 2009 she directed a concert version of Paul Simon’s The Capeman at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She continues to perform and choreograph as a solo artist at venues throughout New York City and lives in Mamaroneck with her Husband and two sons.