Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester

World Premiere Concert of Composition by Mary L. Bianco with Manhattan Chamber Players, Saturday March 23rd

Thursday, January 17, 2019


Mary L. Bianco and Manhattan Chamber Players Concert at Music Conservatory of Westchester
Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 4pm
Free Admission
216 Central Avenue
White Plains, NY 10606

A world premiere musical performance comes to the Music Conservatory of Westchester this spring! On Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 at 4pm, the Manhattan Chamber Players will perform a new composition by former Scarsdale resident and Conservatory Board member Mary L. Bianco along with musical works by Ludwig van Beethoven and Max Bruch in the Conservatory’s Recital Hall for this free, public concert.

Chamber music fans will enjoy this exclusive debut of Bianco’s latest composition, a trio for clarinet, viola and piano, in addition to her celebrated work Alegre y Divertida (2017), Beethoven’s String Trio in C minor, Op. 9 no. 3 (1798), and selections from Max Bruch’s Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, Op. 83 (1908).

“The Manhattan Chamber Players are an exciting collective of outstanding young musicians with the versatility to perform both new and traditional repertoire. Mary’s music is wonderful - complex, compelling, and emotionally rich,” Conservatory Executive Director Jean Newton said. “This concert will be a thrilling experience to share with our students and for the whole community!”   

Composing from the heart with her passion for music, Bianco’s distinguished works have been performed around the world by renowned chamber ensembles including Salomé Chamber Orchestra, Symphony of the Vines, The Solera Quartet, and the Peninsula Trio. With classical and jazz influences, her accessible music exudes an ease both melodically and rhythmically.

Bianco has been composing for the Manhattan Chamber Players for several years, with performances in China, Israel, New York, Connecticut, New Orleans, and Columbus, Ohio. As a former student and active board member and supporter of the Music Conservatory of Westchester, the performance of these works is especially meaningful.

“I enjoy writing for musicians I have heard perform, thus writing for Mark, Luke, and David [Manhattan Chamber Players] was a most enjoyable endeavor as I have by now developed a good sense of each one’s unique style. They are superb musician which makes composing for them a joyful challenge as there are no limitations on their understanding my purpose and intent,” Bianco said. “I am honored to present my music at the school where I began studying piano at age 4 with Michael Pollon and at age 16 composing with Irwin Stall before entering Sarah Lawrence College and most recently graduating in 2015 with an M.A. in Composition from Mills College.”

Of the 30 Manhattan Chamber Players members, the following musicians will perform in the concert on Saturday, March 23rd:
David Fung, piano
Mark Dover, clarinet
Brendan Speltz, violin
Luke Fleming, viola
Andrea Casarrubios, cello

Alumni Spotlight - Regina Brady

Friday, November 09, 2018

Conservatory alumna Regina “Gigi” Brady began piano lessons with us at age 5, discovered the oboe at age 9, and continued her Conservatory studies for 10 years. She gained acceptance to Juilliard Pre-College, graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory with a double degree in Oboe Performance and Neuroscience, and then earned a M.M. in Oboe Performance from the Colburn School in Los Angeles.

“I think having a well-rounded background is an amazing thing,” she said. “It informs everything I do.”

Now 26 years old and a professional oboist, Gigi is currently a member of Orchestra Now at Bard College, a group of musicians who are innovating the 21st century audience experience. Coming from an academic family, a career in music was not her original plan. Gigi found her balance between academics and music.

“I realized that music is something I couldn’t live without. It was the obvious choice.”

Orchestra Now, Photos by: Matt Dine

Alumni Spotlight - Mary Bianco

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Alumna, long time board member and composer Mary Bianco had her piece Trio con Brio premiered by the Manhattan Chamber Players on March 5th at Holy Trinity Church in NYC.  Lewis Smoley praised the piece in Classical Source as “a well-crafted, moderately dense contrapuntal display of interweaving lines.”

The group also premiered Allegre y Divertida in China, performing it in five cities: Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu, Xiamen, Linyi, and Harbin.  Her cello trio was premiered on April 4th in Palos Verde, CA, and she is currently composing for summer festivals in Columbus, Ohio, New Orleans, San Luis Obispo and San Francisco.  Brava Mary!!

Ani Kavafian Performs at the Conservatory

Friday, October 20, 2017

Internationally renowned violinist Ani Kavafian will be the featured artist in An Autumn Afternoon of Music, a benefit concert at the Conservatory on Sunday, November 12, 2017. String players from the Yale School of Music will join Ms. Kavafian in performingworks by Mozart, Beethoven, and Kreisler, as well as two works by composer and Conservatory board member Mary Lynn Marx Bianco, an alumna of the Conservatory.

Ms. Kavafian, whose son attended the Conservatory, is Full Professor of Violin at Yale University. A member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1972, she continues to tour with them in North America, Europe and Asia.

The 3pm concert in the Conservatory’s Helen Demetrios and Michael Stadther Recital Hall will be followed by a reception with the artists. Proceeds from the benefit will support the Conservatory’s Scholarship, Music Therapy, and Healing Our Heroes programs. Ms. Kavafian’s special performance will celebrate great music while helping to raise funds for deserving

For more information, contact Aishling Quinn, Development Manager, at To purchase tickets, visit

MCW Alumnus Jack Coen Composes a Musical!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Alumnus Jack Coen, who graduated from the Conservatory 4 years ago, has already made his mark on the music world. For the past four years he has attended Blair School of Music on a full scholarship and graduated this past May.

Jack has accomplished much in his four years of college. Besides many solos and chamber music compositions, he completed a piano concerto, an orchestra piece and a musical. Jack also studied organ and continued piano lessons in college.  As a result, his piano professor, Mr. Craig Nies, has commissioned and premiered a number of Jack's original compositions.

Above is a video of Jack's original documentary and musical named "Folk & Flora." If you would like to read more about Jack's musical click here. Congratulations Jack on this wonderful accomplishment!


Alumnus Jun Luke Foster will perform at The Julliard School

Monday, April 04, 2016


Pianist Jun Luke Foster, a candidate for the Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School and a 2010 graduate of the Conservatory’s Honors Program, will perform his graduation recital at Juilliard’s Paul Hall on Wednesday, April 27th at 8:00 pm

Jun Luke, who earned his undergraduate degree at Yale University, was a student of Svetlana Gorokhovich during his nine years at the Conservatory.  The recital is free and open to the public.


Heartwarming Dedication and Memory Sharing of Harold Jones

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Yesterday the Music Conservatory had a beautiful dedication ceremony in memory of Harold Jones, a much loved faculty member that passed away last year. A group of our wonderful faculty came together and shared their memories of Harold. Do you have any memories of Harold you would like to share?  

A Special time to Honor the Late Harold Jones

Thursday, January 28, 2016


The Music Conservatory of Westchester will honor beloved flute teacher Harold Jones, who passed away last year, with a special dedication and brief performance outside his studio. Harold joined the Conservatory faculty in 1966. His impact as a performer, teacher, colleague, and friend has been wide reaching and unparalleled.

When: Friday, Feb. 12 at noon outside room 204 at the Conservatory, 216 Central Ave. in White Plains, NY

Beloved Conductor and Conservatory Parent, Maestro Kurt Masur, Passes Away

Monday, December 21, 2015


From our Director, Jean Newton:

"All of us at the Music Conservatory of Westchester were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Maestro Kurt Masur. We knew him not only as a transformational musical figure, but as a Conservatory parent during the years his son Ken-David Masur studied with us. Maestro Masur leaves a monumental legacy. Our hearts go out to the his family.  He will be greatly missed."

Please read the New York Times Tribute: Kurt Masur Dies at 88; Conductor Transformed New York Philharmonic

Alumni featured in Great Organ series at St. John the Divine in NYC

Monday, December 01, 2014


Ryan Kennedy, a junior at The Julliard School and a 2012 graduate of the Conservatory’s Honors Program, performed an organ recital at Grace Church Wednesday, April 15th 2015.  In November of 2014, Ryan was featured in the Great Organ series at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.