Stephen Dydo (Guitar, Violin, Banjo, Mandolin) D.M.A. Columbia University, M.A. Columbia University, B.A. Columbia University
Stephen Dydo is a graduate of Columbia University. A composer of more than fifty pieces, his music has been performed by both chamber groups and orchestras in the United States and abroad. Amongst the most notable performers of his compositions are the Gregg Smith Singers, Stitching Combinatie van Utrechtse Muziekbelangen, New Calliope Singers, Group for Contemporary Music, and the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble.
Dr. Dydo continues to work as a freelance guitarist and conductor, performing in various national venues with the Gregg Smith Singers, the Group for Contemporary Music, and the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble. A founding member of the Composers’ Ensemble, he has lectured nationally regarding his participation in the group. Dr. Dydo is the recipient of such prestigious grants and awards as the Fulbright Research Grant, the American Music Center grant, the National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Johnson Composers’ Conference grant, the Joseph Bearns Prize, and the BMI Young Composers’ Award.
Ethan Mann (Guitar) M.M. Manhattan School of Music, B.M. Manhattan School of Music
After graduating from Manhattan School of Music in 1995, Ethan Mann quickly established his reputation as a bandleader on the New York scene. His group has appeared at Birdland, Iridium, Zinc Bar, 55 Bar, and Detour.Mr. Mann’s debut CD, Central Park North, was reviewed for Jazz Improv Magazine by Ernie Pugliese who wrote. “Central Park North is a refreshing offering from a standout young guitarist and composer. “Mann has also appeared as a sideman on a number of recordings, most recently Leave It To Luther of Luther Thomas.
Mr. Mann maintains a busy performance schedule. In January 2005 he toured Japan with singer Mari Watanabe. In May 2005, he was a guest artist at Muniak Jazz Club in Krakow. Mann has been teaching guitar at the Crestwood Music Education Center for a number of years and has developed a patient yet motivational approach.
Daniel Ori (Bass) M.M. Berklee School of Music, B.M. Rimon School of Music
Bassist and composer Daniel Ori’s interest in jazz music brought him to the Rimon School of Music, where he majored in jazz performance. Daniel has since collaborated with some of Israel’s foremost jazz prospects and founded the quartet, Fourword.
In December 2005, the Fourword Quartet released its debut album, Money. The group has been performing throughout Israel’s top jazz venues and festivals since the summer of 2004, including the recent Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat. Money features four of Mr. Ori’s original compositions, demonstrating deep groove with soulful melodies.
In 2006, Mr. Ori received a scholarship to continue his studies at the Berklee School of Music where he worked with world-class musicians Matthew Garrison, Dave Samuels, Alain Mallet, John Lockwood, and others. Upon completing his degree in contemporary composition and production, Mr. Ori is busy playing, composing, producing, and teaching in the New York City area.
A 2009 ASCAP Jazz Composers’ Award Winner, Mr. Ori has recently finished recording his debut solo album, So It Goes, soon to be released.
Keita Fukushima (Suzuki Violin, Viola) M.M. The Juilliard School, B.M. The Juilliard School
Keita Fukushima began studying violin using the Suzuki Method, meeting Dr. Suzuki himself every spring and summer at the Grand Children’s Concert. At the age of twelve, he won first prize at the 40th All-Japan Music Competition and appeared as a soloist with the Tokyo Symphony.
Mr. Fukushima has participated an performed in various music festivals, including the International Academy in Nice, the Music Session in Holland, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and the Bowdoin Festival in Maine. He was invited to play in the master classes of Ruggero Ricci, Zakhar Bron, Dorothy DeLay, Herman Krebbers, Eduard Schmeider, and many others. Mr. Fukushima received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School.
In 2000, Mr. Fukushima won the 28th Artists International Audition in New York City, receiving the Young Artists’ Award for violin. The following year, he gave his New York debut at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. He played in the Erie Philharmonic and the Eric Chamber Orchestra from 2003 through 2008 and served on the faculty at the Edinboro University Community Music School in Pennsylvania from 2004 to 2009. He has played recitals and concerts in Japan, Europe, and the United States, and has been a violin faculty member at Campus Orchestrale dell’Associazione il Palcoscenico in Italy since 2008. His former violin teachers include Chikashi Tanaka, Kazuki Sawa, Muneko Otani, and Lewis Kaplan.
Margaret Poggioli B.S. Concordia College
Raised in a musical family, Margaret learned violin and studied music from a young age. She pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in music and education at Concordia College in Bronxville, NY and continued violin instruction, playing in orchestras and ensembles and teaching. Margaret studied Suzuki violin with Keita Fukishima and has taught at Crestwood Music Education Center for over 10 years, specializing in early Suzuki instruction.
Tomas Janzon (Guitar) M.M.E. The Royal Conservatory in Stockholm, M.M. USC Thornton School of Music
Tomas Janzon graduated from The Royal Conservatory in Stockholm with a Master degree in Music Education and earned a Master Degree with honors in Classical Guitar Performance at USC Thornton School of Music. Teaching experience includes colleges, high schools, and private students from beginning to doctorate level. Tomas Janzon has also conducted clinics in the US, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Norway, and Sweden. He is an international recording jazz artist and he performs classical solo guitar recitals. He is also a composer, arranger and is a published author in several music publications.
Denise Rood (Violin, Viola)
Denise Rood (violin, viola) has been a 25 year member of the Philharmonia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and is currently a member of The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra and the Santa Fe Concert Association. She has participated in numerous concert tours of Japan and North America and has played on dozens of recordings with EOS, Philharmonia Virtuosi, and The American Symphony Orchestra. Mrs. Rood was formerly a member of the Goldovsky Opera Company, performing in over 70 American cities. Her recording of Copland and Barber with the Atlantic Symphonietta was nominated for a Grammy Award.
An experienced and passionate teacher, Mrs. Rood has had many of her students win places in All-State and All-County orchestras, as well as receive the highest scores in NYSSMA auditions.
Mrs. Rood emphasizes the importance of good form, freedom of movement and expression, tone production, and rhythm accuracy. At the same time, she strives to instill the joy of music in each and every student.
Michael Rood (Guitar) M.M. New York University, B.M. The New School for Jazz & Contemporary
Mike Rood is a guitarist, composer, and educator based in New York. Mike grew up in Westchester in a family of professional musicians, always immersed in music, performing in dozens of recitals, concerts, and competitions. Mike received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and his Master’s Degree in Music Performance from NYU. Soon after, Mike released his debut album of original music, The Desert and the City, to international acclaim, hailed as “one of the best and brightest of the new generation” and “a current master” with “a wonderfully fresh approach to the guitar” and “an ambitious and unique musical vision” (All About Jazz, HiFi Magazine, Just Jazz Guitar).
Mike has had the opportunity to perform with musicians such as John Patitucci, Drew Gress, Rogerio Boccato, Ben van Gelder, Colin Stranahan, Rick Rosato, Glenn Zaleski, Kenny Grohowski, Jerad Lippi, Sam Minaie, Arthur Hnatek, and Camila Meza. Mike had his national television debut at the age of 15 and has performed his music throughout the United States at venues such as Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium, Steinway Hall, Iridium Jazz Club, Bar Next Door at La Lanterna, Smalls Jazz Club, and Fat Cat. Mike also performed with his group at the Bern International Jazz Festival in Switzerland and toured Costa Rica with his guitar/cello duo with cellist Danielle Cho. In 2015, Mike performed with film composer Danny Elfman and the Philharmonia Orchestra of New York in Lincoln Center Festival’s “Music of Danny Elfman in the Films of Tim Burton” at Avery Fisher Hall and Live at Lincoln Center Broadcast on PBS. As a music educator, Mike taught at NYU for two years as an Adjunct Professor, and has also taught at McGill University (Montreal, Canada), Hoff Barthelson Music School (Scarsdale, NY), and The Convent of the Sacred Heart (Greenwich, CT). Mike continues to perform and teach throughout the United States and around the world.
Lubima G. Kalinkova-Shentov (Double Bass) M.M. The Juilliard School, M.A. Academy of Music, Romania
Lubima Kalinkova-Shentov is a professional double bass player.
In the past twenty-five years, she has performed solo recitals and chamber music concerts in France, Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy and the United States. Lubima Shentov has performed with numerous orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. She has appeared with orchestras and chamber music groups in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium, Paul Hall, Morse Hall, George Enescu Hall and The Art Museum in Bucharest, Romania, The Palace of Culture and Bulgaria Hall in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has performed for the Mayor of Paris and the President of Bulgaria.
Lubima is a former principal double bassist of the Radio Orchestra, Sofia, Bulgaria. She has solo recordings with The Radio Sofia Orchestra and chamber music recordings with Ensemble “Simphonietta”, Sofia, Bulgaria. Lubima is also a winner of several international double bass competitions in Bulgaria, Germany, France, and Italy.
She holds a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, Master of Arts from the Academy of Music, Bucharest, Romania. In the past fifteen years, Lubima Kalinkova-Shentov thought double bass, violoncello, chamber music, string ensemble classes, music theory, and music history. She is presently The String Orchestra Director of Tuckahoe Schools. Since 2002, Lubima has thought double bass and string ensemble at The Music Advancement Program at The Juilliard School. Many of her students are following professional music careers. Currently, she is a faculty member at The Westchester Conservatory and the Crestwood Music Center. Lubima Kalinkova-Shentov speaks fluently French, Russian, Romanian and Bulgarian.
Normearleasa Thomas (Cello) M.M. Teacher’s College Columbia University, B.A. Nyack College
Normearleasa Thomas is a professional cellist performing in Italy during the summer at the Assisi Music Festival in Assis, Italy and the Italian Chamber Music Conference in Naples, Italy, performing in ensembles with members of the Paris Conservatory of Music. Ms. Thomas plays cello in New York City with The Broadway Bach Symphony, Alaria Chamber performing at the National Opera Center, and St. Thomas Symphony Orchestra. Previous concerts have been with the Columbia University Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony, Ridgewood Symphony and Bennington Chamber Music Conference of the East in Vermont.
Ms. Thomas is currently the Orchestra Director and Instructor of Strings at the Performing & Visual Arts Magnet School in Mount Vernon, N.Y. She is a graduate of Music and Art High School and attended the Boston Conservatory of Music and Manhattan School of Music Prep as a cello major. Ms. Thomas attended Nyack College and achieved her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and later graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University with her Masters in Music Education. Ms. Thomas earned a 2nd Masters in Educational Leadership which allowed her to became an assistant principal and chairperson of the Department of Music for Mt Vernon City Schools. Ms. Thomas is presently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the Mason Gross School of Music of Rutgers University.
Alex Cano (Guitar)
Alex Cano is a New York based folk/alternative rock solo artist. Studying music since the age of 5, he began his professional music career as a drummer in his mid teens. He has since lent his multi-instrument skills to a myriad of musical projects, eventually falling in love with songwriting and shifting his focus toward his own solo career shortly after graduating college.
Cano’s sound has been described as a cross pollination between high energy alternative rock, and reflective folk/roots rock with a touch of outlaw country. His soulful baritone voice (often compared to those of Jim Morrison, Johnny Cash, and Eddie Vedder) makes you feel his honest stories of resilience and survivorship. Significant influences include Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, and Soundgarden.
Alex’s debut album ‘Every Rise of the Sun’ was released June 25, 2019. Co-Produced by Cano and his cousin Nick Sochan, and a majority of the instrumentation performed by Cano himself, it has since been featured in publications such as Paste Magazine and Indie Current. LEading up to and following its release, Cano has toured the United States in support of the record. Still active, the tour has spanned over 50 cities, and has been highlighted by performances such as Pleasantville Music Festival.
Wei Tan (Violin) M.M. Manhattan School of Music
Violinist Wei Tan holds the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music, where she studied under the tutelage of Stanley Bednar. She has also studied with Joey Corpus, and Weigang Li of the Shanghai String Quartet. As a soloist and chamber musician, Ms. Tan has performed regularly in the United States as well as in China. She made her New York debut at Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in 2002.
Born into a family of musicians in Shanghai, Ms. Tan began her violin studies at the age of three with her father, Guo-Zhang Tan, and grandfather, Shu-Chen Tan. Her grandfather was a renowned violinist, an influential educator, and held the position of Deputy Director of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music between 1949-1984. At age thirteen, she made her public debut in a live concert performing Lalo Symphonie Espagnole as soloist on the Shanghai Radio Station.
For more than a decade, Ms. Tan has earned many awards, beginning as a grant recipient of the Music for the World Foundation and the Blue Ridge Foundation, and continuing as a winner of the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition and as a Special Award winner of the 2001-2002 Artists International Presentation Series.
Ms. Tan’s solo and chamber music performances have been broadcast on WQXR, the Hong Kong Radio Station, and the Shanghai Classical Music Television network. Currently, she is on the faculty of the Weston Music Center and School of Performing Arts in Connecticut and the Crestwood Music Education Center.
As the co-founder of the New York International Artists Association, Ms. Tan acts as the Artistic Director of the organization.
Charles duChateau (Cello)
Charles duChateau, is a multi-instrumentalist, conductor, and educator. In addition to conducting, he has played piano, cello, accordion and erhu on (or near) Broadway for the last 20 years. When “Mr. D” is not teaching, you can find him in a Broadway orchestra pit either conducting or playing cello or piano in the orchestra. Mr. D loves introducing new music to young people. He has led youth rock bands, choruses, chamber groups and currently serves as the director of the string department at Tuckahoe Middle and High Schools as well as founding the Catalyst Youth Orchestra, an exciting and dynamic new ensemble for adventurous string young musicians based in Bronxville, NY. Mr. D lives in lower Westchester with his wife, two teenage sons, and their three cats!
Amedee Williams (Viola) M.A. Mannes College of Music
American born conductor and violist, Amédée Williams has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Ireland, Germany and Italy. He has been a participant in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and was featured on a Young Artist Concert Series presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Mr. Williams is the author of Lillian Fuchs: First Lady of the Viola, a biography of a musician who was one of his teachers, and has contributed several articles for the new edition of the Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He serves as president of The William Lincer Foundation and is a board member of The New York International Artists Association. He performs on a viola made in 1999 by Samuel Zygmuntowicz and uses a bow made for him by John Dalley. Mr. Williams has been the orchestra director at Scarsdale High School since 2007.
Nick Sochan (Guitar) M.M. Lehman College
Nick Sochan has been teaching at Crestwood Music Education Center for 5 years. With a Masters degree in Music Education from Lehman College, he has been playing guitar and producing music for 12 years. With a wide variety of influences and musical tastes there’s something he can offer every student.
Stefano Piscitello (Viola) Stony Brook University
Stefano Piscitelli has been playing the viola since the age of 7, coming from a full family of professional musicians. He has been teaching violin and viola since the age of 16 in orchestral, chamber music, and one-on-one settings. Mr. Piscitelli has worked extensively with elementary and middle school level orchestras and has worked as a coach for numerous youth chamber music programs. Mr. Piscitelli attended Stony Brook University where he studied with members of the Emerson String Quartet; Larry Dutton and Phil Setzer, as well as Matthew Lipman and Nicholas Cords. During his first year at Stony Brook, he won First Prize in the Undergraduate Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist with the Stony Brook University Orchestra, additionally where he sat as principal violist all four years at SBU. As an undergraduate, Mr. Piscitelli was brought into graduate-level chamber/contemporary music groups, the graduate orchestra, and the graduate-level opera program. After graduating from Stony Brook in the Spring of 2021, he is currently pursuing his Masters of Viola Performance at New York University under the tutelage of Karen Ritscher.
Thomas Ruberton (Guitar)
D. Marc Tagle (Cello) San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Cellist Marc Tagle graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance, studying with Irene Sharp, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has participated in chamber music seminars with the Amadeus String Quartet, the Muir String Quartet, and the Audubon String Quartet. He has also performed at festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, California Summer Music, and Le Domaine Forget Festival.
He has been heard live on WQXR and Hong Kong Radio 4. His awards include first prize in the Kohl Mansion Chamber Music Competition in 1996 and second prize in the San Francisco Conservatory Concerto Competition in 1995. He has performed on Broadway shows such as “Matilda” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”
As a teacher, Marc enjoys guiding students through their musical discoveries, inspired by his many wonderful musical influences.
Yoon Jung Hwang (Violin)
Yoon Jung Hwang (she/her) is a NYC-based violinist from Korea. As a chamber musician, she has been featured at the Montclair Music Club and as string quartet musician with the Cell Theater’s recent production of “The Final Veil”. Orchestral performances have seen her on the Holland America Line Rotterdam with RWS Entertainment, premiering works with the Next Festival of Emerging Artists and Composers Concordance, and repeat appearances at Birdland with clarinetist/saxophonist Ken Peplowski in sold-out performances of Charlie Parker’s eponymous album standards with strings. Yoon Jung has had masterclasses with Yura Lee, Gregory Fulkerson, and Lewis Kaplan, and is an adjunct faculty at New York University. She was admitted to Shenyang Conservatory of Music in China when she was 12 years old, and later attended the Aaron Copland School of Music to study with professor Daniel Phillips where she was the recipient of the LeFrak Fund/Endowment Scholarship, the Cantor S. Katz Scholarship, and Benno and Evelyn Feldmann-Ansbacher Scholarship. Additional studies include degree work at the New School and the Manhattan School of Music. Fun fact: Yoon Jung was featured in Kyung Hyang Newspaper when she was 7 years old for being the youngest accompanist in a Korean Catholic church.”
Jackie Freimor (Guitar)
Jackie Freimor started performing as a singer/guitarist as a child, and she played her first professional gig at age 15. For several years, she studied classical and fingerstyle jazz guitar with jazz guitarist, arranger, and author Howard Morgen. She taught herself to play piano, ukulele, lute, and viola da gamba, and she has performed extensively as a solo artist, in alternative rock bands, and in a medieval and Renaissance music group. Jackie is an early childhood music educator as well, having been awarded Level I and Level II teacher certification in the early childhood music program Music Together, and she currently teaches the curriculum and is a Music Together teacher trainer.