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In The Spotlight


Name Description
Barbara Allen Principal harpist, American Ballet Theatre Orchestra and Greenwich Symphony Orchestra; recordings on DGG, RCA, EMI, CRI, Koch, Angel, Nonesuch, Bridge, and Arabesque. MM, The Juilliard School
Scott Altman Before moving into performing arts administration, Altman enjoyed a 20-year career as a professional opera singer and performed 37 opera roles internationally; currently executive director of the Cincinnati Ballet
Sébastian Bardin Composer, producer, MC; co-founder, The Brüknahm Project (with Saundi Wilson) and the Hip-Hop Loves Foundation; co-author, Freestyle (Massot/Millet Editions: France, 1993)
David Bianciardi Musician and interactive technology designer; founder and principal, Audio, Video & Controls, New York, N.Y.; co-founder, Synesthesia; co-creator, Interactive Dance Club; member of LEMUR (League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots)
Gregory Buchalter Maestro di banda and chorus master, Metropolitan Opera; premiered Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, Philip Glass’ The Voyage, and Harbison’s Great Gatsby; artistic director, Opera Fairbanks and Opera Camerata of Washington
J. Owen Burdick Internationally active composer, conductor, and clinician; organist and director of music, Trinity Church, New York City (1990–2008); Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music; recordings on Naxos, Hänssler Classic, Nonesuch, Summit, Gothic, and Centaur; PhD, University of California–Los Angeles
Kelsey Byrne Singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn; after receiving her BA in studio composition, Byrne immediately started recording under the name Vérité. Her debut album, Somewhere in Between (Kobalt Music Recordings) was released in June 2017; cited in the same month as one of “25 Rising Artists on Tour This Summer” by Ones to Watch
Jason Chapman Trumpet: Recordings and/or performances with numerous artists, including Spyro Gyra, the Shirelles, Kerry Kearne, and Mario Cruz’s DCT Octet; composer and arranger; MM, Manhattan School of Music
Imani Coppola Composer and recording artist; Sony/Columbia: Chupacabra (gold album), MTV hit “Legend of a Cowgirl” (platinum single); subsequent releases include The Black & White Album (Ipecac Recordings, 2007); signed to S-Curve Records as half of the pop duo Little Jackie, which has released three albums: The Stoop (2008), with the hit single “The World Should Revolve Around Me”, MADE4TV (2011), and Queen of Prospect Park (2014), featuring music from I Don’t Know How She Does It and Grey’s Anatomy.
Dwayne Croft Baritone: Opéra de Paris, Vienna Staatsoper, Salzburg Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera; recordings: EMI Classics, SONY, Decca Records, Philips Classics
Leah Danielle Soprano: Opera North; has performed in Europe with Dritan Luca and the Vienna Opera Harmonists
David DeJesus Jazz Saxophone; Leads the Birdland Big Band; Performances with the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Mingus Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, Jimmy Heath’s Big Band, Arturo O’Farrill Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Bobby Sanabria Big Bang and the Legendary Ron Carter’s Great Big Band; Assistant Professor of Jazz at Purchase where he leads the Purchase Latin Jazz Orchestra
Sam Dillon Jazz Saxophone; Bandleader and member of The Jimmy Heath Big Band, The Slide Hampton Octet, The Mingus Big Band, The Frank Basile Quintet, The 8-Bit Big Band, The Steven Feifke Big Band, and The New Alchemy Jazz Orchestra
Bob Donlon Bassist; founding member, The Rake’s Progress (Geffen Records); currently senior vice president and general manager, Wreckingball Media Group; founder and former general manager, Adobe TV at Adobe Systems
Victoria Drake Freelance harpist, New York City; performs in the American Symphony Orchestra, New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Ballet Theatre, Orpheus, and Brooklyn Philharmonic, and on Broadway; recordings on ESS.A.Y, CRI, Spectrum, Well-Tempered Productions, Arabesque, MSR Classics, London/Decca, and Koch International
Jack D. Elliot Los Angeles–based producer, songwriter, and remixer; president/owner, JDE Music; his credits include work for Britney Spears, N’Sync, The Backstreet Boys, Access Hollywood, E! News Live, Good Morning America, The View, and the Daytime Emmy Awards, among many others
Hugh Eddy Associate trombone, New York City Ballet Orchestra, since 1997; principal trombone, Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra; member of the American Composers Orchestra and the Westchester Philharmonic
Isabel Lepanto Gleicher Flute; International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) core member of Ensemble Échappé, founding member of SoundMind and Duo Helix, artist member of Annapolis Chamber Music Festival, Teaching Artist with the New York Philharmonic.
Lynne Haeseler Pianist; accompanist: Vail International Dance Festival, Arizona State University Dance Dept., American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet; DMA, University of Arizona
Alex Hamburger Jazz Flute, Voice and Baritone Saxophone; FocusYear fellow at the Musik Akademie’s Jazz Campus; Leader of the HD Quintet; Finalist in the Ella Fitzgerald Competition and Washington Women in Jazz Festival Young Artist Competition
Edward W. Hardy Violinist, violist, and composer; has performed as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician throughout the U.S., England, and Mexico. Composer, music director, and onstage solo violinist for the smash-hit show The Woodsman (Ars Nova, 59E59 Theaters, and New World Stages). MM cum laude, Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, City University of New York.
Eric Helmuth Recording engineer, mixer, and sound designer; principal, EricH Sound, since 1994; director of audio, executive committee, Beacon Independent Film Festival, N.Y.; audio production, Nuance Communications
Anna Jablonski Mezzo soprano: Minnesota Opera, Chautauqua Opera, San Francisco Merola Opera Program
Jill Jaffe Violist and composer; performs with the Orchestra of St. Lukes, the New York City Ballet, the American Composers Orchestra and many other NYC–based groups; member of the Crescent String Quartet and the Saratoga Quartet. Jaffe has played on the soundtracks of more than 50 movies, recorded with numerous artists, and concertized in Europe, Mexico, and Japan.
Lucy (DeJesus) Kalantari Composer and musician; 2019 Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album for All the Sounds. First Place in the Children’s Music category of the 2016 International Songwriting Competition for her song “Balloon.” Her Pockets Full of Joy was one of 14 albums named in The Best Kids Music of 2014 by Cooper & Kid. In spring 2015, it earned the Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award from the Parents’ Choice Foundation.
Paul Lehrman Composer, author, and technologist; director of music engineering at Tufts University; co-developer of the first graphic-based MIDI sequencer for the Apple Macintosh.
Jonathan Lipton French horn: Fourth horn, London Symphony Orchestra; faculty, Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Bradley Lubman Conductor and composer; has worked with Steve Reich, Elvis Costello, John Zorn, Pierre Boulez, and Michael Tilson Thomas, and appeared with Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt, Steve Reich Ensemble, Saarbruecken Radio Orchestra, Deutsches-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, New World Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, New York New Music Ensemble, Ensemble 21, and New Millennium Ensemble, among others; recordings on Auvidis Montaigne, BMG/RCA, Bridge, col legno, CRI, Centaur, Koch, and Nonesuch; associate professor, Eastman School of Music, and director, Eastman Musica Nova
Peter Matzka Conductor and violinist; member, Vienna String Sextet; concert master, Radio Symphony Orchestra, and faculty, University for Music, Vienna
Holly McCormack Soprano: Chicago Opera Theatre, American Opera Group, Chamber Opera of Chicago
Jordan McLean Over the past 25 years, classical composition alumnus Jordan McLean (MusB summa cum laude, ’06) has performed as trumpeter on hundreds of recordings, in thousands of concerts around the world, on every major late-night television program, with numerous members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and with artists from Public Enemy to Ornette Coleman. His compositions appear on dozens of recordings and in the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical FELA!, for which he served as associate music director. He is co-founder of System Dialing Records.
Jenny O. Jenny O. (Jennifer Anne Ognibene), an alumna of the studio composition program, now lives and works in Los Angeles. Her Work EP, released in October 2016, is a follow-up to her debut album, Automechanic (2013, Holy Trinity Records), produced by Jonathan Wilson. Songs from her self-produced, five-song EP Home (Manimal Records, 2010) have been licensed for the television series True Blood, Wilfred, and Off the Map, for advertising campaigns by Subaru and Toyota, and for the video game Rocksmith.
Anthony Parrino Producer and musician known professionally as Elite; has worked with J. Cole, Jadakiss, DMX, Nas, Common, Omen, Voli, and Sean McVerry, among others; began his career as the in-house producer at Ruff Ryders
Peter Press Guitar and mandolin: Has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, 20th-Century Classics Ensemble, New York Philharmonic, Mid-Atlantic Chamber Orchestra, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Bridgeport Symphony, and Shelly-Press Flute-Guitar Duo; recordings on Ess.a.y, Bridge, Koch, International Classics, Naxos, Centaur, and BMG; faculty, Hoff-Barthelson Music School.
Susan Radcliff Trumpet: Has performed with the New York City Ballet Orchestra, Solisti New York Chamber Orchestra, Fairfield Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Orchestra of St. Luke, among others
Jon Samson Songwriter and performer, producer, audio engineer (Beasts of the Southern Wild), educator, and board-certified music therapist; founder of CoCreative Music, based in Brooklyn, N.Y.; awards for his “Kids Albums” include first place in the 2009 and 2011 International Songwriting Competition, a 2012 Parents’ Choice Award, and a 2010 NAPPA Award; MA, New York University
John Selway New York–based techno DJ and producer; co-founder, Serotonin Records
Damien Simon Composer and guitarist; numerous scores for film, theatre, and dance productions
Rich Westover Vice president, Music Data Services, Shazam; former vice president of promotion/research and information systems, Island Def Jam Music Group (2005–2016)
Saundi Wilson Film composer, producer, and photographer; Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Indie Spirit, Atlanta, Muestra, Avignon, and Urbanworld awards
Ivy Wong Bassist; Member of Orchestra de la Suisse Romande; Performs with New York Philharmonic, NY Classical Players, NY Festival Orchestra and the New World Symphony
Bill Youngman Renowned rave DJ and recording artist, based in Berlin; Scandinavia Records, Tresor, Electrostep
Jenny Owen Youngs Singer/songwriter; Songs have been used in TV shows such as Weeds, Grey’s Anatomy, and Nurse Jackie.


Name Description
Jay Azzolina Jazz guitarist and composer: Has toured extensively and performed with Michael Urbaniak, Spyro Gyra (Grammy nomination), Herbie Mann, Chuck Mangione, John Patitucci, Charles Blenzig, Michael Franks, Donna Summer, The Manhattan Transfer, Carly Simon, and Rickie Lee Jones, among many others
Dan Castellani Composer, sound designer, and audio engineer; senior product manager, Speech Output Solutions, Nuance Communications; co-owner, House of Sound Inc.; principal, Galactic Music and Audio, since 2011
Tony Cimorosi Jazz bass: Active in the New York jazz and world music scene; international touring; recordings and performances with Randy Brecker, Alex Foster, Baba Olatunji, Michael Urbaniak, Lonnie Smith, Jeremy Wall, and Joe Taylor, among many others
Christopher Colmenero Voice and Opera Tenor; Alder Fellowship with San Francisco Opera, Merola Opera Program, Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Finals (3rd place), roles with Minnesota Opera.
Charlie B. Dahan Grammy-nominated producer; professor, Recording Industry Dept., Middle Tennessee State University; discographer and member of the national board of advisors, Starr Gennett Foundation; former talent agent, The Roots Agency (Nashville office); co-chairman and founder, Larchmont Recordings Inc.
Amanda Gookin Cello; Founder of PUBLIQuartet, which was awarded the 2019 Chamber Music America Visionary Award; Founder of Forward Music Project, which commissions works that encourage social change and empowerment for women and girls
Carl Harvoe Principal trumpet, Brass Quintet, Royal Australian Air Force Command Band, Sydney; recordings on Northquest and Newmarket
Leah Swann Hollingsworth Viola: freelance violist with IRIS Chamber Orchestra and Decoda;  writer with Writes for Strings Magazine, The Strad, and Symphony Magazine; program consultant
Brian Jagde Tenor; Principal roles at The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera House, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Massimo, and Teatro di San Carlo
Alice Jones Flute; Founding member of chamber ensembles context, and Ensemble 365, Fiati Five. Featured soloist and chamber musician at Composers Now Festival, Yale-China Music Exchange, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Campania
Jo Lawry Jazz vocalist, internationally acclaimed, featured in the Oscar-winning documentary, 20 Feet from Stardom, faculty at Manhattan School of Music
Alison Quinn McConekey Soprano: Opera North, City Beat Opera, Eastern Festival Opera, Downtown Symphony, Center for Contemporary Opera; 2009 first-place district winner, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; Best Performance by a Comprimario Female, OperaOnline, 2006
Leigh Mesh Associate principal double bass, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; has performed with the MET Chamber Ensemble, Caramoor Virtuosi, and Brentano and Tokyo String Quartets
Richie Morales Percussionist; credits range from the seminal jazz-fusion of the Brecker Brothers and the Latin jazz of Gato Barbieri, Ray Barretto, and Dave Valentin, to the experimental jazz of Dave Brubeck and the world music of Herbie Mann
Maria Quintanilla Jazz Voice; Outstanding Musician award at the DeMiero Jazz Festival, leading vocalist of the award-winning Pacific Standard Time ensemble; Performances with Tia Fuller, Steve Turre and John Benitez at venues and festivals such as The Louis Armstrong House Museum, Festival Portugal International de Montréal, Joe’s Pub and the legendary SummerStage Festival in Central Park.
Edward G. Robinson Musical director and conductor, Miss Saigon, Cats, and Shogun The Musical on Broadway; conductor, The Phantom of the Opera (Los Angeles company and national tour); musical supervisor, Mamma Mia! national tour
Hanan Rubinstein Producer, engineer, songwriter, and musician; guitarist with Alicia Keys and Rita Ora since 2012; has worked in most major studios in New York City, and many studios on the West Coast, in Nashville, and in Europe; has performed with Anthony Hamilton, Take 6, Leela James, Gladys Knight, Kanye West, Nas, DMX, Jadakiss, Lalah Hathaway, B.B. King, Roy Hargrove, The Funk Brothers, Keisha Cole, Jermaine Paul, Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Hudson, Pharrell Williams, Carole King, Ellie Goulding, Roy Ayers, J. Cole, and Steve Jordan, among others; chief engineer at HUB Studios in Berlin 2007–2011
David Sabella-Mills Broadway veteran and master teacher; originated the starring role of Mary Sunshine in the 1996 revival of Chicago; international tours with La Gran Scena Opera Company; recordings on Koch International and RCA Victor
Susie Benchasil Seiter
(Sasiwan Benchasil)
Los Angeles–based orchestrator and conductor of film, television, and video games
Benjamin Verdery Classical guitarist: Performs internationally; more than 15 recordings, including First You Build A Cloud (Rare Records, 2007), Start Now (2005 Classical Recording Foundation Award) and Some Towns and Cities (1992 Guitar Player Magazine Best Classical Guitar Recording); chair of the guitar dept., Yale University School of Music
Jeremy Wall Writer/arranger for Spyro Gyra (founding member), Windham Hill, and Koch International; Grammy-nominated producer, pianist, and composer; associate professor of music, SUNY Oneonta