Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester

Come Join Chamber Starters for Adult Students!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Interested in playing chamber music with other adult students? Want to expand your musical experience and improve your skills? Are you ready to take on a new challenge and have some fun? Join Chamber Starters for Adult Students!

Starting fall 2017, intermediate to advanced level adult students can sign-up to participate in short-term ensembles of 4-6 weeks. You’ll play alongside other adult instrumental and/or vocal students, matched up for similar musical ability and interests, with coaching from one of our esteemed faculty members. Of course, you are welcome to work with your ensembles on your own as well. An optional performance in one of our Adult Student Performance Hours will cap off your experience.

For questions and more information, please contact Amanda Tabor at or 914-761-3900 ext. 114.

Elliott Forrest: Keeping it Classical at the Conservatory

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

On Saturday, November 4, WQXR Radio host Elliott Forrest will speak in the Music Conservatory of Westchester Recital Hall about the famous musicians and celebrities he has interviewed and worked with throughout his career at WQXR Radio and around the country.

Elliott has interviewed hundreds of musicians and celebrities, including Yo-Yo Ma, Billy Joel, Luciano Pavarotti, Ringo Starr, Alec Baldwin, John Cleese, Emma Watson, and the casts of Wicked and Avenue Q. Starting at 3 PM, this event will be in an interview format, followed by a Q & A session for the audience, and a post-talk reception with light refreshments. This free event is open to the public.

Conservatory Faculty Bring Music to the Alps

Thursday, October 05, 2017
While visiting Bad Gastein, Austria, Conservatory piano faculty member Dr. Irena Portenko had an inspired idea–a summer music program in the Alps. In 2012, Music in the Alps, an international music festival and master course program, launched. Conservatory piano faculty member Svetlana Gorokhovich has joined Dr. Irena Portenko as a faculty member for the summer program. Participating students range from child through adult years and experience levels. With the magnificent backdrop of the Austrian mountains, Music in the Alps is a place where teaching artists and students from all nations can learn, practice, perform, and enjoy music together. 

Plans are currently underway for the 2018 Music in the Alps summer music festival. Conservatory Dean of Students and Faculty, Dr. Doug Bish, John Cuk, and Kenneth Kiesler will be joining Dr. Irena Portenko for the 2018 Festival. Disciplines will include orchestral and choral programs, competition for young musicians, and various performances, Masterclasses, classes, and workshops.

For more information about how to participate in the upcoming summer program, visit

Inside the Studio Week is Back!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Back by popular demand, Inside the Studio week will return for the second time at the Music Conservatory of Westchester. During the week of Sunday October 22nd - Saturday October 28th, parents can sit-in and observe their child's private lesson. Parents will also have a chance during the last five to ten minutes of the lesson to talk with the teacher and check-in on their child's progress.

The special week will also include a meet-up opportunity for Adult Students, a social for Conservatory Parents and an information session with Dean Doug Bish on, "“Everything You Want to Know About the NYSSSMA Solo & Ensemble Festival." Don't miss out on this fun and unique experience!

Music Therapy Institute Nationally Recognized for Partnership with Hospice of Westchester

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


The Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Music Therapy Institute (MTI) and Hospice of Westchester recently announced their partnership to bring the healing qualities of music to those who participate in the Hospice of Westchester Complementary Care Program supporting the well-being and quality of life of their patients and their families.

News of this partnership garnered national attention. A majority of the coverage came from regional affiliate television stations of NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX that spanned coast to coast from California to Texas to Ohio. Local digital and print news outlets such as the San Antonio Express-News,, New York Nonprofit Media,, and also published this story.

The Music Therapy Institute partners with over 30 organizations in the Tri-State area, providing beneficial music therapy programs to over 2,000 children and adults annually in locations such as schools, hospitals, residential treatment facilities, group homes, rehabilitation centers, and special education settings. As the largest provider of music therapy services in the greater Westchester region, MTI made a national impact bringing awareness of the benefits of music therapy to a wider audience.

Faculty Member Hiroshi Yamazaki Concert Kicks Off Jazz Fest

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The audience was jazzed at the kick off performance of ArtsWestchester’s Jazz Fest 2017 from Conservatory faculty member Hiroshi Yamazaki’s trio. On the piano, Yamazaki led the trio, comprised of Steve LaSpina (bass) and Eliot Zigmund (drums), with original arrangements of staple jazz compositions as well as classics by Duke Ellington and George Gershwin sung by special guest Glenda Davenport. This concert was held at Grace Church in White Plains on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in partnership with the Music Conservatory of Westchester.

To find out more about the upcoming performances in this year's Jazz Fest program, visit

Adult Student Fall Social

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Welcome (And Welcome Back!) to a brand new school year at the Music Conservatory of Westchester! To kick off the semester, please come join the Adult Student Association on Friday, October 6th at 6:00 PM in Room 200 for an evening of socializing, fun, and best of all, music! Meet up with new and familiar faces at our first adult student event of the year. Please click here to visit our online potluck sign-up if you would like to bring food!

MCW Faculty John Lang to Rock Out With Sis-Boom-Bah

Monday, September 11, 2017

Music Conservatory of Westchester faculty member John Lang (bass) and his band Sis-Boom-Bah have a rockin’ upcoming performance on Saturday, September 30th at 8pm at the Saw Mill Tavern in Ardsley.

Sis-Boom-Bah is a high energy rock band playing 5 decades of crowd-pleasing tunes for audiences to dance and sing along with! Jennifer Justice (vocals) has sang professionally for 20 years from San Francisco to NYC and uses her background in stand-up comedy and musical theater for a dazzling performance. Tristan Clark (guitar) has played with jazz legends Dave Holland and Oscar Peterson and is one of the most in-demand guitar players due to his versatility and musicianship. Alan Eicher (keyboards) is an accomplished jazz, classical and rock player that effortlessly switches between genres to teach and play on multiple stages around town. John Lang (bass) has sat in for various Broadway shows and is an established jazz bassist at Birdland, Smalls and The Silver Lining. Brian Fishler (drums) has played with Ween's frontman Aaron Freeman's solo project and has been playing with multi-Grammy nominated singer Richard Cheese along with being an familiar face in many wedding bands around the greater New York metro area.

Lang has taught Bass, Electric Bass, and Group Guitar lessons as part of the Jazz/Pop/Rock program at the Music Conservatory of Westchester since 2015.

MCW Faculty Member Hiroshi Yamazaki Performing in Local JazzFest

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Wednesday, September 13th
Downtown Music at Grace Church
Hiroshi Yamazaki Ensemble with Glenda Davenport
Free Concert at Noon

Recently awarded Best Jazz Festival by Westchester Magazine, Jazz Fest offers concerts at a variety of White Plains venues throughout the week culminating in a free outdoor Jazz & Food Festival on Mamaroneck Avenue on Sunday, September 17, 2017.

Visit for more info!

Tango Band Abaddón to Perform at the Conservatory

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Brush up on your tango dance steps! On Friday, October 27, the Music Conservatory of Westchester will host tango band Abaddón for a tango concert at 7:30PM in the Conservatory’s Recital Hall. The event will offer the option to dance or sit while enjoying the live tango music. Refreshments will be included with admission. Tickets are available for purchase online at for $20 and available at the door for $25.

Abaddón is a sextet of New York City-based musicians with members hailing from Colombia, Argentina, Korea, Guatemala, and the U.S.A., comprised of two bandoneons, two violins, piano, and bass. Band members Shinjoo Cho (bandoneon), David Hodges (bandoneon), Sergio Reyes (violin), Sara Silva (violin), Antonio Boyadjian (piano), and Pablo Lanouguere (bass) play music by well-known tango musicians such as Astor Piazzolla, Raul Garello, Sexteto Mayor, as well as original compositions. Abaddón’s debut album will be released in 2017, featuring six pieces intended to make a statement in the contemporary tango scene. The group performed at the Bronx World Film Festival in 2016, and individually, group members have performed in orchestras and tango groups both domestically and internationally. Abaddón violinist Sara Silva is also on the faculty at the Music Conservatory of Westchester.

For more information about this event, contact Adriana Rivera, Communications and Development Assistant, at or 914-761-3900.