Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester


Music Conservatory of Westchester Students Play (Music) to Win

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


2018 is already a winning year for the Music Conservatory of Westchester community! The Conservatory is proud of its students who have been recognized by the greater music community for their talents and hard work. Several students in our musical community received honors for their musical accomplishments and have had incredible performance opportunities so far this year. Congratulations to all of our students who have proved that practice does pay off!

Aniketh Arvind, 12 year old piano student since 2016 of Dr. Mikhail Zeiger at the Conservatory, won first place in the J.Y. Park Piano Competition in April 2018 at Western Connecticut State University, and performed at the Winner’s Recital and Award Ceremony. His teacher, Dr. Zeiger won the Teacher’s Award at the award ceremony.

Sarah Ashley Baldeon, 13 year old voice student of Christine Free-Rhodebeck since 2016, won second prize at the New York Concert Festival International Competition and performed at Engelman Recital Hall at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City in April 2018.

Alice Cabral, 12 year old student of Mary Elizabeth Poore, voice, and Francesco Barone, guitar, since 2013, and recipient of the Darlene Love Vocal Scholarship, presented at the Conservatory’s 2017 Golf and Tennis Classic, is now a contestant of the Celebration of Music Talent Search where she will perform at the Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford, CT live on PBS in a talent showcase on April 27, 2018.

Amanda Crewey, 13 year old cello student of Adriana Pera at the Conservatory since 2009, was offered admission to Special Music School (instrumental) and Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (instrumental and vocal). She accepted a spot in the instrumental program at LaGuardia.

Benjamin Gotian, 17 year old saxophone student of Nicholas Brust since 2017, received a talent scholarship to Muhlenburg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Elizabeth Jones, 13 year old cello student of David Krieger, was awarded the esteemed Grand Prix at the Concert Festival Concerto Competition. A student of both David Krieger, cello, and Svetlana Gorokhovich, piano, since 2011, Elizabeth will perform with the Concert Festival Orchestra on May 6, 2018.

Audrey Yusi Li, 10 year old piano student of Jaejin Lee since, 2013 performed at the New York Celebration of Excellence Award recital in February 2018 at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and was recognized as a Center Certificate of Excellence Winner.

Patrick Stanton, 12 year old clarinet student of Dr. Doug Bish since 2010, performed at the New York Celebration of Excellence Award recital in February 2018 at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and was a National Gold Medal Winner.

Mariana Varriano, 13 year old piano student of Laetitia Ruccolo at the Music Conservatory of Westchester since 2014, won at the Golden Key Music Festival and will perform at Carnegie Hall on April 29, 2018.

Matthew Welling, 12 year old MTI student of music therapists James Maxson and Donald Stevens since 2010, performed in March at the Beacon Theater in New York City and with the Band O.A.R., and at Radio City Music Hall with the Garden of Dreams Alumni Choir. Both events were fundraisers for the Garden of Dreams Foundation.

Ruimin Zhang, 12 year old piano student of Marina Rozozhina since 2012, won second place in the 2018 New York Competition for Young Artists, and will perform at the award recital at Carnegie Hall on May 10, 2018.

MCW Unites with Music in the Alps

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Music Conservatory of Westchester and Music in the Alps Unite for International Music Experience



This summer, the Music Conservatory of Westchester, known for its esteemed faculty with global performance credentials, and international music festival Music in the Alps, are uniting to make “Sound of Music” dreams come true – playing music in the heart of the Austrian Alps.

Established in 2013, by Ukranian-born concert pianist and Conservatory faculty member Dr. Irena Portenko, Music in the Alps has grown as a unique training experience bringing together internationally renowned musicians as well as students from around the world. This year, Music in the Alps will take place from July 31 through August 19, 2018.

Dr. Portenko says that the motto of the festival, "Share your passion, share your story,” resembles the Music Conservatory of Westchester's mission to provide the extraordinary benefits of music to all in our community. This summer, the Conservatory’s mission will extend far beyond Westchester County. Dr. Portenko will bring to her summer festival three additional faculty members of the nonprofit White Plains, New York community music school that was established in 1929: Conductor and clarinetist Dr. Douglas Bish, pianist Svetlana Gorokhovich, and jazz guitarist Dario Chiazzolino.The combination of world-class music and a majestic backdrop such as the Austrian Alps in Bad Gastein, Austria is unbeatable.


“Austria is the geographic heart of classical music,” Dean of the Music Conservatory of Westchester, Dr. Douglas Bish explains. “The Music in the Alps festival is located just an hour from Mozart’s home in Salzburg, Austria. Along with Vienna to the east, it helps to make up a country that is “music itself” to many musicians. Just being there, with the musical history that comprises the very fabric of that country, will be an inspiration and it must have an effect on the music.”

Music in the Alps is an opportunity for students of all ages to receive a well-rounded experience in music exploration. In instrumental and vocal masterclasses and chamber music groups, students study the works of composers such as Bach, Handel, Schumann, Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms. Frequent performances enhance students’ skills as they learn in such an inspirational environment. “One minute you are looking at this wonderful world around you; and in the very next minute you are illustrating it using your imagination, your skills, and your instrument,” Dr. Portenko says.

New aspects to the festival are introduced this year, inspired by its participants’ musical interests and the faculty’s expertise. Dr. Bish says, “All of the Conservatory’s faculty who will be participating in Music in the Alps already have received international recognition for their work in music, as concert performers, conductors, and recording artists. This opportunity does, however, remind people around the world of the strength of the Conservatory’s faculty and that we offer a world-class instructional program here in Westchester County.”

Led by Dr. Bish, a new Concerto-Aria Competition will bring advanced students together to compete for a chance to perform with the festival orchestra, make a special appearance in a music series in the legendary Marble Room of Mirabell Palace in Salzburg, and an invitation for the most impressive contestant to perform at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall during the 2018-2019 season. Blue Griffin Recording Inc. will live-broadcast the Concerto-Aria Competition and all performances from Music in the Alps to share the experience with music lovers around the world.

This summer, renowned jazz guitarist and Conservatory faculty member Dario Chiazzolino and former Conservatory jazz faculty member Bob Arthurs will expand the Music in the Alps offerings beyond classical music to the jazz and popular music genres. Conservatory piano faculty member since 1997 and internationally recognized piano recording artist with Blue Griffin Recording Inc., Svetlana Gorokhovich will return to Music in the Alps teaching Piano Solo and Piano Ensemble during the summer program.In addition to faculty members from the Music Conservatory of Westchester, other masterclass instructors and program directors at Music in the Alps also come with extraordinary credentials.

Grammy-nominated conductor and recipient of the American Prize for Conducting, Kenneth Kiesler will hold a highly anticipated intensive masterclass. Over 25 conductors from around the world have applied to participate. A selective program, only 6 applicants will be accepted to this particular masterclass. Classical vocalist, Tammy Hensrud, whose international performance appearances span from the Vienna State Opera to the Metropolitan Opera, is slated to lead the vocal program at Music in the Alps.

Dr. Portenko says of bringing a little bit of home influences from the Music Conservatory of Westchester to Austria, “I think the spirit of New York prevails in our festival and serves as a main drive and subject for astonishment. ‘Where do you get so much energy?’ We usually say: ‘From the city that never sleeps.’”

Several Conservatory students also traveling to Austria this summer to participate in Music in the Alps need not worry about language barriers. Dr. Bish explains, “Saying that ‘Music is the Universal Language’ isn’t just a phrase. It is reality.”

Visit musicinthealps.com for more info.



Jazz Sessions: Take Ten at Jacob Burns

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Jazz Sessions: Take Ten

May 2-30 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY

Come celebrate a decade of Jazz Sessions as we revisit films from past years, including The House of Tom, Chasing Trane, 1959: The Year That Changed Jazz, and Jazz on a Summer’s Day, and bring you two new films on Django Reinhardt and Bill Evans. John Pizzarelli kicks off opening night with a musical tribute to Antônio Carlos Jobim, followed by four more live performances that introduce us to some of the exciting young innovators who carry on the jazz legacy and continue to reinvent the form today.

Buy tickets here: https://burnsfilmcenter.org/series/jazz-sessions-2018-the-greats-on-camera/

An Evening Concert for Flute, Cello, and Harpsichord

Monday, April 16, 2018

Experience the rich music of Baroque and Classical repertoire from such composers as J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, Telemann, and Haydn on Friday, April 27 at 8pm at the Church of Immaculate Conception in Sleepy Hollow.

In this free evening concert, flutists David Markowitz and Holly Saks, cellist Adriana Maria Pera, and harpsichordist Jean Newton, will celebrate the great Baroque and Classical music and composers of the 1600s and 1700s, who continue to influence modern music, in a traditional format performance for today’s audience.

Jean Newton and Adriana Maria Pera are both members of the faculty at the Music Conservatory of Westchester, with Newton serving as the Executive Director of the community music school in White Plains. David Markowitz is an accomplished flutist and alumnus of the Music Conservatory of Westchester, having studied at the school with the late Harold Jones, then going on to study at Oberlin and Yale. Flutist Holly Saks brings her experience and expertise as a music educator and a multi-instrumentalist to the performance.

Friday, April 27 at 8pm, Free Admission
Church of Immaculate Conception
199 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591

Free First Notes Classes and Piano Concerts this Spring

Monday, April 09, 2018


Free Community Piano Concerts


Celebrate the Piano with the talented young students of the Music Conservatory of Westchester! Learn how the piano was invented, and how it became the most popular instrument of all time. Take a peek into the lives of the great piano composers and how they influenced piano builders to make it bigger and better.

Sunday, April 15, 2:00pm Ossining Library
Mother's Day Concert, Sunday, May 13, 2:30pm Greenburgh Library

These concerts are supported by the Westchester Community Foundation, The Rudyard and Emanuella Reimss Fund.
 

Free Baby & Music Bilingual Music Classes

Experience our bilingual (English and Spanish) early childhood music education program, First Notes/Primeras Notas, for free. First Notes classes will be held at libraries in White Plains and Ossining during early afternoon hours in 22 total classes April 15 through May 12, 2018.

Taught by Music Conservatory of Westchester instructor Sandra Muñoz, First Notes classes are an introduction to music geared toward jump starting early childhood education for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers through songs, sound exploration, rhythm and movement in an upbeat, nurturing environment. Children attend classes with a parent or caregiver, sharing the joy of singing and experiencing music together.

Free First Notes/Primeras Notas Library Lesson Schedule:

Ossining Public Library
2:30pm, 3-5 yrs
April 15, April 22, April 29

White Plains Public Library
1:00pm, 4mo-2yrs & 2:00pm, 2-4yrs
April 14, April 21, May 5, May 12

MCW Faculty Perform Downtown at Grace

Friday, April 06, 2018



Music Conservatory faculty members Elizabeth Farnum, soprano, Thomas Jamerson, baritone, and Christine Free Rhodebeck, mezzo soprano, are joined by pianist Laetitia Ruccolo for a special performance Wednesday, April 18th at 12:10pm. The concert will be held at Grace Church in White Plains as part of Downtown Music at Grace's award-winning concert series.

It is the second of two concerts of Germanic repertoire which illustrate the developing role of the piano as a musical partner in the classical and romantic periods. This concert is made possible, in part, with the generous support of Ridgeway Garden Center, White Plains, and Lago Ristorante, West Harrison. Click here for more info, admission is free.




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