Our Teaching Philosophy

The Long Island Studio of Music® is committed to offering the highest quality music education and performance opportunities to all its students and is dedicated to inspiring and training the musicians of the future with integrity, quality and care! 

Music making creates teamwork and collaboration, teaches us to be great leaders and followers, can develop confidence, instill discipline, and offer healing and relaxation. We are experts in helping students achieve musical excellence, while having FUN!!  We have seen our students grow with confidence from the success of their musical strides and go on to do extraordinary things!


Jennifer Barsamian (Voice & Piano)

Jennifer Barsamian (Voice & Piano)

 

Jennifer Barsamian, mezzo-soprano, pianist and educator, has been teaching voice and piano for over 20 years. In addition to maintaining a private studio, Jennifer is currently a professor of voice and Five Towns College where she works with musical theatre majors. She has also served on the music faculty of Music Academy of Garden City, the Greenwich House Music School in Manhattan, Lucy Moses School in Manhattan, the Loomis Chaffee School in CT, the community division at The Hartt School of Music, and the community music school at North Carolina School of the Arts. As a performer, she has been praised as being a consummate artist with a winning personality and a deep, rich, strong, vocalism. Described as the “quintessential Carmen” Ms. Barsamian has sung the title role several times throughout the United States. On the opera stage she has sung with the Belleayre Music Festival, Opera Western Reserve, Asheville Lyric Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Company of the Highlands, Utah Festival Opera, New Jersey Verismo Opera, and the Spoleto Festival USA. Jennifer holds a Master’s Degree in Music from North Carolina School of the Arts and Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Westminster Choir College, where she began her studies as a pianist.  She has also earned two post graduate certificates in Voice and Opera from both the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and the Hartt School of Music. You can hear Jennifers work and stay updated with her performances and projects on her website at: www.JenniferBarsamian.com

Jennifer Grimaldi Toohey (Voice & Piano)

Jennifer Grimaldi Toohey (Voice & Piano)

Jennifer Grimaldi Toohey has maintained her own private voice and piano studio for over 20 years. Jennifer is a professional opera singer, who has performed internationally and across the US to high acclaim.  Described as “a soprano with a luxurious voice that sparkles and shines”,  Jennifer has performed as a soloist in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and Symphony Space in NYC, and internationally with major symphonies in countries including Belgium, Austria, Mexico, and across the US with opera companies and Symphonies in New York, Florida, Utah, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Michigan and North Carolina, among others. Jennifer is a graduate of the Aaron Copland School of music at Queens College. Jennifer is on the faculty for the Queens College Center for Preparatory  Studies in Music and the Queens Summer Vocal institute for High school Students. She has extensive experience directing children’s choirs and has a true affinity for developing and grooming young voices. Her piano and voice students have all had outstanding NYSSMA evaluation scores and many have gone on to top level music colleges and conservatories around the country. To learn more information on Jennifer Grimaldi Toohey as a performer, Please visit- www.JenniferGrimaldi.com

Matthew Allen (Brass, Woodwinds)

Matthew Allen (Brass, Woodwinds)

Matthew Allen holds a Masters degree in Trumpet Performance from Boston University and a Bachelors degree in Music Education and Performance from Ithaca College. As a performer, he has played with ensembles including the Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble and New England Philharmonic.  He has been an orchestra member in various productions with the Cortland Repertory Theater and  Hangar TheaterMatthew has had the privelidge of studying with Terry Everson, Bruce Hall, Kim Dunnick, and David Krauss. As an educator, he was the Teaching Assistant to the Boston University Concert Band and has held teacher positions at the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy as assistant trumpet faculty. Matthew teaches all brass and woodwinds.

Garrett Brown (Advanced Bassoon, Beginner/Intermediate Woodwinds)

Garrett Brown (Advanced Bassoon, Beginner/Intermediate Woodwinds)

Garrett Brown teaches all beginning/intermediate woodwind instruments and also advanced bassoon. Garrett is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Bassoon Performance at SUNY Stony Brook University where he studies with Frank Morelli. At Stony Brook he performs with the Baroque Ensemble and the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra. He serves as a Teaching Assistant for the Young Artist Program. He also performs with numerous other ensembles including the New Amsterdam Opera Company, the Manhattan Opera Studio, the Berks Sinfonietta, the Berks Opera Company, the Lancaster Opera Company, and the Reading Pops Orchestra. Garrett is a founding member of the DriftWood trio, which just recently won second prize in the ENKOR International Chamber Music Competition. While at Shenandoah, he performed in the premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ Blues Symphony. Garrett has participated in the Banff Master Class Program, the Bang on a Can Festival at MASS MoCA and the Orlando Chamber Music Festival. Garrett received his undergraduate degree in Music Education with a Performance Certificate in Bassoon from Shenandoah Conservatory while studying with Ryan Romine and his masters degree in Bassoon Performance at SUNY Stony Brook University.

Michela Christianson (Viola, Violin, Cello)

Michela Christianson (Viola, Violin, Cello)

Violist Michela Christianson is an active member of the classical music community in Westchester, New York City, and Long Island. Ms. Christianson has performed across the Northeast as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician. She is a devoted teacher, whose studio serves students across the New York City metropolitan area. As a committed performer and instructor of chamber music, Michela has served on the staff of the Summer Music Chamber Camp at Stony Brook University. She has participated in master classes with Kim Kashkashian, Andrew Manze, Cho-liang Lin, Lawrence Dutton, and members of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Michela holds Bachelor and Masters degrees from the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase College, where she studied with Danielle Farina and Shmuel Katz.


Megan Delatour (Violin, Viola, Cello)

Megan Delatour (Violin, Viola, Cello)

Megan Delatour began playing the viola at the age of eight. In her teens she went on to participate in New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Orchestral Study, Long Island Youth Orchestra, Sphinx performance Academy and many more programs while serving as the treasurer for the prestigious musical honor society, of Tri-M.  She has had the opportunity to study with musicians such as Barry Lehr, Jennifer Arnold, Shelly Tramposh, Gregory Williams. Ms. Delatour, has extensive  teaching experience  including a teaching artist position for the InterSchool Orchestras of America as well as string teacher for the Harmony Program. For these program Ms. Delatour had created scholarships to increase students access to quality music education.  Ms. Delatour is a graduate of the Music Education program at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queen’s College where she studied with Brett Deubner.

David DiTrapani (Trumpet, Trombone, Piano)

David DiTrapani (Trumpet, Trombone, Piano)

Born and raised in Queens, New York, David DiTrapani has been playing trumpet since the age of 13. He holds a B.F.A. in Music from The City College of New York and a M.M. in Jazz Performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. While at Queens College, David studied under the tutelage of Michael Phillip Mossman, Antonio Hart, and Tim Armacost, and was featured in the top jazz ensemble on WBGO 88.3. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Albert Ayler Award for Excellence in Jazz Performance and Improvisation. David has played at famous jazz venues throughout New York, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Minton's Playhouse, Fat Cat, National Sawdust, St. Peter's Church, Smalls, the Louis Armstrong House Museum, and continues to be an active performer in a variety of musical settings.

D’Metrius Fernandez (Percussion, Piano)

D’Metrius Fernandez (Percussion, Piano)

D’Metrius Fernandez is from Glen Cove, NY, and is completing his Bachelor of Music degree this year from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Throughout his time at Queens College, he has performed alongside his fellow students and faculty alike on both the professional and academic level. D’Metrius has performed internationally in Ireland at the Royal Irish Academy and in Bali at  Rumah I Dewa Alit. He has also performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indiana and Texas, and the White House in Washington D.C.  In addition to his work as a classical percussionist, D’Metrius has a love of latin music and performs regularly with Latin Combo Bands and a Balinese Gamelan group.

Chrissy Fong (Flute)

Chrissy Fong (Flute)

Chrissy Fong is an active freelance flutist and educator in the New York City area. She currently serves as Principal Flute of the Astoria Symphony Orchestra, New York Tutti Ensemble, New York Symphony Orchestra, and One World Symphony and plays piccolo with the Litha Symphony Orchestra and New York Wind Orchestra. Her extensive performing experience has taken her throughout the United States, playing in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall to the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, CA. Highly sought after as a teacher, her students have participated in All-City Bands for Manhattan and Queens, All-County, All-State, All-Eastern, InterSchool Orchestras of New York, the Long Island Flute Club Honors Flute Choir, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York, and Nassau-Suffolk Performing Arts bands. In addition to maintaining a private flute studio, Ms. Fong also serves as a teaching artist for Brooklyn High School of the Arts and for Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. Ms. Fong earned a Master of Arts degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (Ronald Roseman Woodwind Scholarship) and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College as a Presidential Scholar. 

Amy Guarino (Voice)

Amy Guarino (Voice)

Amy Guarino, soprano, is a graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, where she has received both a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and an Advanced Certificate in Music Education. This fall, Amy will be returning to ACSM to pursue a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. Amy has an extensive performance history of opera and musical theatre with such repertoire including Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, The Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Elisetta in Il matrimonio segreto, Suor Dolcina in Suor Angelica, Melanie/Ida in Die Fledermaus, Chava in Fiddler on the Roof, Sister Mary Leo in Nunsense: The MEGA Musical, Louisa von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Ensemble in Les Miserables, and Ensemble/Featured Dancer in Anything Goes. Amy is also an alumna of the prestigious Martina Arroyo Foundation’s “Prelude to Performance” vocal program in NYC, where she also performed in their outreach program in NYC public schools.

Ryan Hayward (Tuba, Trombone, Baritone Horn, Euphonium, Trumpet, French Horn)

Ryan Hayward (Tuba, Trombone, Baritone Horn, Euphonium, Trumpet, French Horn)

Ryan Hayward, originally from New Hampshire, began his career as a musician at an early age, performing nationally and internationally with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Bay View Music Festival, and Disney. He holds advanced degrees from Hofstra University, The Pennsylvania State University, and Manhattan School of Music. Currently, Ryan teaches tuba and euphonium at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and is completing doctoral coursework at Stony Brook University.

Sharon Hickman (Voice, Piano, Cello, Ukulele)

Sharon Hickman (Voice, Piano, Cello, Ukulele)

Sharon Hickman is a graduate of Liberty University’s School of Music, where she has received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with a focus on choral studies. Sharon is a classically trained soprano who studied with Adelaide Trombetta and has focused on performing and teaching opera and art songs. Sharon has also received a Master of Arts in Adolescent Special Education with an annotation in severe disabilities in pre-k to 12th grade from St. Joseph’s College. Sharon has an extensive background in working with students who have special needs in the music classroom and in private lesson settings. This fall, Sharon will be performing with the East End Women’s Choir in Center Moriches and will continue to serve in the worship band at her church where she sings and plays the cello. Sharon currently works as a 5th and 6th grade general music teacher where she instructs large classes in world drumming, folk dancing, and ukulele. During the spring, Sharon serves as a NYSSMA judge for voice. Sharon is available to provide private lessons for any level of voice, beginner and intermediate piano, and beginner and intermediate cello.

Grace Hwoang (Voice, Piano)

Grace Hwoang (Voice, Piano)

Grace Hwoang is a soprano and pianist from Los Angeles, California. She studied piano from a young age and her love of singing started to emerge later on with the discovery of pop and musical theater. She later decided to veer into opera and got her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. She has performed the role of the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, covered the role of Adele in Strauss' Die Fledermaus, and her opera scenes credits include Marie from La fille du regiment, Dorine from Mechem's Tartuffe and Eileen from Bernstein’s Wonderful Town. She sang as the soprano soloist in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the QC Orchestra, QC Choir and Nassau Community College Choir as part of the composer’s 100th anniversary. She was chosen as the finalist for the 2018 NY Lyric Opera Competition and placed 2nd in the Five Towns Competition.

Matthew Kent (Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano)

Matthew Kent (Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano)

Matthew Kent is a freelance violinist and music educator in New York City and Long Island. Mr. Kent is currently completing his Bachelor of Music Performance degree at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College where he has studied under Burton Kaplan, Heesun Shin, and Lara Lev.  Matthew has performed in various orchestras in the New York City area and Long Island, such as The Chelsea Symphony, Richmond County Orchestra, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, Philadelphia International Music Festival, and the LITHA Symphony; and as a pit musician for the Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts.  Mr. Kent‘s students have achieved great success participating in NYSSMA, All State, and student recitals.

Jakub Lewkowicz (Piano, Guitar)

Jakub Lewkowicz (Piano, Guitar)

Jakub Lewkowicz, pianist and guitarist, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Stony Brook University. During his studies, he focused on piano performance under the direction of Dr. Pablo Lavandera. Mr. Lewkowicz is dedicated to teaching and has helped his students to achieve top scores in NYSSMA in both piano and guitar. Mr. Lewkowicz won first place at the piano virtuoso LIMTA music festival between the years of 2012-2015 and was awarded the Arthur S. Lambert Music scholarship at Stony Brook University in 2017. He was a finalist at the 2017 Stony Brook Concerto Competition. As a classically trained pianist, he has performed solo recitals across Long Island  and at the Kosciuszko Foundation in Manhattan. He has he had the pleasure of accompanying the Chaminade High School choirs and also had the honor of performing  at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in Manhattan. As a producer, his original soundtrack was featured in the film Eastern Flies which premiered at the Brooklyn College Film Festival in 2018. He continues to produce original music in jazz, hip-hop, and cinema.

Lindsay Lipsman (Piano, Voice, All Styles Including Pop)

Lindsay Lipsman (Piano, Voice, All Styles Including Pop)

Lindsay Lipsman is thrilled to be joining the LISM faculty. Originally from Cherry Hill, NJ, Lindsay received her Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the Hartt School of Music at The University of Hartford. Upon graduation in 2004, Lindsay spent 2 years in the Hartford area where she created the first ever music program at the Connecticut Children’s Place School. She then settled in Queens, NY where she has been teaching private voice and piano for the last 12 years. Lindsay has helped numerous students prepare for both high school and college auditions. Many of her students have been accepted to some of NYC’s most prestigious performing arts high schools such as LaGuardia HS and Frank Sinatra HS, and universities such as NYU’s Tisch School of The Arts, Queens College, Molloy College, and Five Towns College. As a performer, Lindsay currently sings and plays keys with an acoustic pop trio, Landing Approach, and has also performed over the years in various A Cappella groups and wedding bands. Lindsay teaches voice for all ages specializing in pop, R&B, and theater, as well as beginner piano.

Francesca Lunghi (Voice)

Francesca Lunghi (Voice)

Francesca Lunghi, hailed as a “mezzo-soprano with a voluptuous voice and a velvety timbre,” holds advanced degrees from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Ms. Lunghi is a member of the prestigious Metropolitan Opera extra chorus and was also the recipient of The Arleen Auger Memorial Scholarship, The Claire Bennett Moringiello Award, and the George and Violet Zatkin Opera Award. Ms. Lunghi has performed with numerous regional opera companies including Sarasota Opera, Caramoor, and Chicago Opera Theater, and at the prestigious venue Carnegie Hall. Ms. Lunghi has a passion for sharing her vocal wisdom with those who aspire to grow further in the vocal arts.

Andres Maldonado (Piano, Guitar)

Andres Maldonado (Piano, Guitar)

Andres Maldonado, pianist and composer, holds a Masters degree in Music Composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and a Bachelor of Science in Music Composition from Hofstra University. As an active pianist, he performs as a soloist and collaborator. He has appeared with the American Chamber Ensemble, and accompanied the Wyandanch Youth Center Chorus in their inaugural concert, sponsored by Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts. He was the recipient of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Scholarship; in 2016 he received the Marvin Hamlisch Award for Composition; and in 2017, received the Gabriel Fontrier Memorial award. As a composer, Mr. Maldonado is dedicated to blurring the divide between classical, jazz and Latin music. His music has been performed throughout the United States and Europe. He has been commissioned by the American Chamber Ensemble (in collaboration with the Eglevsky Ballet), The John Cranford Adams Playhouse, The Curiosity Cabinet, and was a composition fellow at the Talis Music Festival in Saas-Fee Switzerland. Mr. Maldonado has been on staff at Usdan where he helps guide young children through the exploration of the arts. In addition to accompanying, he also enjoys working as a music director for musical theater productions. He is currently an adjunct professor of music at Hofstra University.

Brian Maulick (Drums, Piano)

Brian Maulick (Drums, Piano)

Brian Maulick is a drummer and percussionist based in the NYC metro area. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in music performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He is well versed in many forms of World Percussion, Latin Percussion, Orchestral Percussion, Contemporary Percussion as well as today's styles of Drum Kit. An accomplished performer, Brian enjoys teaching both drums/percussion and piano, and has taught extensively in both one-on-one and group settings. He looks forward to sharing his expertise with his students at LISM.

Stephen McLean (Trumpet)

Stephen McLean (Trumpet)

Stephen McLean received his Bachelor’s degree in music performance and history from SUNY Buffalo State College, where he studied with John Maguda and Kyle Resnick. He went on to serve as the graduate teaching assistant at the Pennsylvania State University where he earned both a Masters in Orchestral Performance and Professional Performance Certificate, studying with Dr. Langston Fitzgerald III. In fall of 2017, he began pursuit of a Doctoral of Musical Arts under the tutelage of Kevin Cobb at Stony Brook University. In addition to graduate studies and private teaching, Stephen can be seen performing in various settings including pit orchestras, churches, jazz combos, big bands and orchestras throughout Pennsylvania, and the Buffalo and New York City areas.

Melissa Nyman (Voice, Piano)

Melissa Nyman (Voice, Piano)

Melissa Nyman, Coloratura Soprano, received her Bachelor of Music degree from Long Island University, with a focus in Vocal Performance/Opera. She spent her undergraduate career learning extensively about opera, performing various arias and scenes. She has performed in a number of opera programs, including Songes d’ete en musique, an annual festival held in Quebec, CA, and Respiro Opera, NYC, held at Opera America in New York. Ms. Nyman was the co-founder of a small musical  group called Operanomoly, which was dedicated to presenting Opera scenes in an accessible way for the public and performed throughout Long Island. Equally comfortable on the pop and rock platform, Melissa actively performs in a band in various venues in the NY area.  Also, as an enthusiastic music educator, Ms. Nyman teaches voice, piano, and cello.

Eran Polat (Guitar)

Eran Polat (Guitar)

Eran Polat has been teaching and playing professionally in New York for over 10 years. He has performed in venues including the Tilles Center, Adelphi Performing Arts Center, Staller Center, Oheka Castle, Harvard Club, and the Mansion at Glen Cove.  He first started playing guitar while growing up in Turkey, then classically trained under Bill Zito at Nassau Community College and Jerry Willard at Stony Brook University. He teaches classical and Spanish guitar as well as other acoustic styles to students of all ages. He sees music as a powerful way to help his students grow into their fullest potential. His teaching approach is both nurturing and challenging — pushing his students in crafting a disciplined technique, expressive musicality, and confidence in performing. His speciality is helping students find their unique stage presence. His teaching and performance styles are informed by years of meditation practice. His aspiration is to use the power of music to heal and inspire, and to guide his students on discovering their own journeys. Eran is also an Argentine tango dancer and instructor. 

Christina Russo (Voice, Piano)

Christina Russo (Voice, Piano)

Christina Russo received her Bachelors Degree in Vocal performance from Hofstra University, and Master of Music at Binghamton University with a concentration in Opera Performance. Recent operatic roles and performances include Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) with New York Opera Theater, Sandman inHansel and Gretel with Tri-Cities Opera, Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte), La Zelatrice (Suor Angelica), Nicklausse (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi), and Dido (Dido and Aeneas). Christina has received awards in numerous vocal competitions including National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Christina is a mezzo-soprano and has extensive experience teaching both voice and piano.

Rebecca Rutkovsky (Voice)

Rebecca Rutkovsky (Voice)

Rebecca Rutkovsky, soprano, is an active performer and voice teacher in the Long Island area. In the 2019-2020 season, Rebecca will perform the title role in Handel’s Alcina with the Amadeus Opera, as well as the Sandman and Dew Fairy in Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel with the Allegro Singers. Recent roles and performances include Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), The Mother (Hansel and Gretel), Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Una conversa and Secondo Cercatrice (Suor Angelica), Edith (Pirates of Penzance), Cinderella (Into the Woods), and Rosalia (West Side Story). Rebecca has performed with Amadeus Opera, the Allegro Singers, Tri-Cities Opera, Plaza Theatrical Productions and as a soloist at Merkin Hall. As a recitalist, she has performed various song, operetta, and opera repertoire in concert with the Oyster Bay Music Festival and Songe d’été en musique festival in Quebec, Canada. Rebecca received her masters degree from Binghamton University and bachelors degree from American University, both in Vocal Performance. A passionate teacher, Rebecca maintains a private voice studio where she shares her knowledge and love of singing with her students.

Joanna Sanges (Voice, Piano)

Joanna Sanges (Voice, Piano)

Joanna Sanges, soprano, is a recent graduate of Boston Conservatory at Berklee with an MFA in Musical Theater Performance. She also holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. Ms. Sanges has extensive experience teaching both piano and voice and is always excited to share her passion for music with her students!

In 2014, Joanna was the winner of the Neva Pilgrim Award at the Civic Morning Musicals classical voice competition. Most recently, she wrote, directed, performed a one-woman show based on Debbie Reynolds’ experience working on “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Danielle Sopchak  ( Flute, Saxophone, Clarinet, Jazz Specialist, Beginning Piano)

Danielle Sopchak (Flute, Saxophone, Clarinet, Jazz Specialist, Beginning Piano)

Danielle Sopchak is a flutist and multi-instrumentalist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Tampa and is currently pursuing her Master of Music in Jazz Performance at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. After graduating from college, Danielle moved to Nashville where she began teaching, performing, and working with a non-profit for jazz education. There, she co-founded Nashville Women in Jazz; an organization of support dedicated to promoting, and networking between female jazz musicians in the community. As a private instructor, Danielle enjoys working with her students to achieve their individual goals. Danielle works passionately to make the flute more accessible to other instrumentalists, and to include the flute in various forms of contemporary music, including jazz and musical theatre.

Alina Tamborini (Voice, Music Play Assistant)

Alina Tamborini (Voice, Music Play Assistant)

Alina Tamborini is currently pursuing her graduate studies at Stony Brook University under the tutelage of Ms. Brenda Harris. She is a Michigan native where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Music Education at Michigan State University, studying with Dr. Anne Nispel. This season, Alina will perform in Stony Brook Opera Theatre’s productions of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Mozart’s Il re Pastore. Alina was a finalist for the Harold Haugh Light Opera Vocal Competition as well as a first-place winner at the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, (Junior Woman’s division). In addition to her many operatic roles, she has performed as a guest artist with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, as the soprano soloist for Handel’s Messiah with the Stony Brook Chamber Orchestra, and as a soprano soloist in numerous recital programs. Alina has been awarded the Robert and Carol Murrel Endowed Scholarship in Voice, Frank and Ruby ZARA Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Voice, and the GLMCA Guy Stoppert Scholarship. Alina teaches private lessons in voice, is a choral director, and is an early childhood music educator. 

Christopher Thaw (Drums/Percussion, Piano, Trombone )

Christopher Thaw (Drums/Percussion, Piano, Trombone )

Christopher Thaw, a dedicated music educator, has a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies and music composition from Ithaca College. A multi faceted instrumentalist in percussion, piano (jazz and classical), trumpet and trombone, Mr. Thaw has been teaching for over 11 years. As a performer and composer/arranger, he has played with and composed works played by numerous well known jazz musicians including Eric Alexander, Jim McNeely, Walter White, Steve Brown, Paul Merrill, Jeff Jarvis, Joe Magnarelli, among others. Chris had the honor of performing with a quintet that opened for jazz legend Herbie Hancock, playing vibraphone with a set list that included music that he composed. His teaching style emphasizes music theory, composition, freedom and creativity. He has experience with students of all levels and ages as well as children with developmental disabilities. Many of his students have gone on to receive scholarships from prestigious colleges and music schools, and have received outstanding scores at NYSSMA.

Tom Valdez (Cello)

Tom Valdez (Cello)

Tom Valdez, cellist, is a freelance musician and teacher serving the Long Island and New York City areas. He currently works as an Education Specialist at the Long Island Violin Shop and has most recently performed with Music That Heals and Mostly Modern Projects. Tom received his Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. Tom has worked as a sectional/ensemble coach, clinician, and orchestra director in the Loudoun County Public School district. He has also performed across the DC/MD/VA area as a member of Loudoun Symphony Orchestra, National String Symphonia, Washington Opera Society, and Shenandoah Summer Music Theater.

Kathryn Vetter (Clarinet, Saxophone, Flute, Theory, Music Play)

Kathryn Vetter (Clarinet, Saxophone, Flute, Theory, Music Play)

Kathryn Vetter is a doctoral student in clarinet performance at Stony Brook University. She completed her master’s degrees in clarinet performance and music theory at the University of Oklahoma where she served as a clarinet and music theory graduate teaching assistant. A native of New Jersey, she completed her bachelor’s in music education at Michigan State University. In 2018, Kathryn won first prize in the Contemporary Performance Competition at the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Cortona, Italy and performed as a soloist with the Oklahoma Community Orchestra after winning their Young Artists Competition. Kathryn was a clarinetist for the Painted Sky Opera in Oklahoma City for the 2017-2018 season and a woodwind specialist for the Ohio Light Opera in 2016. She has also performed in Carnegie Hall, was a member of the OU Saxophone Ensemble, and performed on clarinet, saxophone, and flute with OU Musical Theater. In addition to teaching private lessons in clarinet, saxophone, flute, and music theory, Kathryn is an early childhood music educator. Kathryn co-founded the early childhood music program "Music Play" in 2016 and has now brought this innovative and fun program to LISM. For Kathryn’s performance schedule, visit kathrynvetter.com.

David Voss (Piano, Music Play)

David Voss (Piano, Music Play)

David Voss is a composer, songwriter, pianist, and vocalist currently living and working in New York. David earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Theory/Composition at Lawrence University, and he is now pursuing his Master of Arts at Stony Brook University. His compositions have been performed at festivals such as the Atlantic Music Festival and the fresh inc Festival, and by ensembles including the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and the All Star Double Reed Band. He has prepared many students for NYSSMA evaluations and enjoys customizing each lesson to suit the individual students’ needs. He looks forward to sharing his expertise and passion for music education with his students.

Stephanie Weiss (Voice)

Stephanie Weiss (Voice)

Stephanie Weiss is a Long Island Native and soprano. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Hofstra University.  Ms. Weiss received her Masters of Music and  Advanced Certificate in Voice from Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College where she is the recipient of the Claire Bennett Moringiello Award for Greatest Potential for an Outstanding Career in Opera. Her most noted operatic roles include Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus), Marcelina (Le Nozze di Figaro), Countess Ludmila (Die Verschworenen) and First Witch (Dido and Aeneas). She has performed as a featured member of the Queens College Chamber Orchestra, Westchester Summer Vocal Institute and was an inaugural member of the Oyster Bay Music Festival. Ms. Weiss shares her knowledge of singing and love of teaching with her students.

Anna Marie Wood (Voice)

Anna Marie Wood (Voice)

Anna Marie Wood, soprano, is completing her Master of Music in vocal performance at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. She hails from Dallas, Texas and earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas, where she studied with Jeffrey Snider and Carol Wilson. She has sung the roles of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Papagena and First Lady in Die Zauberflote, and Spirit in Massenet’s Cendrillon. She has performed as a soloist with the Metro Chamber Orchestra, Queen’s College Vocal Ensemble, and various chamber groups throughout the city. Anna is a cantor at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Hell’s Kitchen, where she sings Gregorian chant and various sacred polyphonic works. She currently studies with Dr. Sherry Overholt. Anna began teaching voice lessons in 2012 at Calhoun Middle School in Denton, TX. She teaches private voice lessons to adults and children in Manhattan and is thrilled to be joining Long Island Studio of Music.

Leah Wool (Voice)

Leah Wool (Voice)

 

Leah Wool is a Grammy Award-nominated mezzo-soprano, hailed by Opera News as “among the more distinctive and accomplished artists of her generation,” with a “voice of truly beautiful timbre.” Ms. Wool’s recent appearances include her début with the Charlotte Symphony for Mendelssohn’s Elijah, a début with the Nashville Symphony for Mozart’s Requiem, the New York Choral Society for Beethoven’s Mass in C, and the Phoenix Symphony for Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass; as well as returns to the San Francisco Symphony for Handel’s Messiah conducted by Jane Glover; the Utah Opera for Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, and to Boston Baroque as Minerva in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. She performed as alto soloist for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Wiener KammerOrchester under Mark Laycock, and made her début with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah. A two-time Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she is also a Winner of the Sullivan Foundation Awards. Ms. Wool holds an Artist Diploma and Master of Music from Yale University, and received her Bachelor of Music magna cum laude from Westminster Choir College. www.leahwool.com