Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester

Conservatory Included in Westchester Toyota's 22nd Give Back Campaign

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
The Music Conservatory of Westchester is honored to be included in Westchester Toyota's 22nd Annual Give Back Campaign this year. We've previously been fortunate to win this, and it'd mean the world of us to win this again and use the funds toward our scholarship program! Please see below on how to vote or CLICK HERE! Thank you.

Valhalla Fifth Grader Receives The James Ranti Trumpet Scholarship

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Trumpet teacher James Ranti was a fixture at the Music Conservatory of Westchester from September, 2002 until his passing this past December. At a memorial service held in January, many former students recounted the dedication and inspiration he gave to countless students over a lifetime of teaching. To celebrate this legacy, the Conservatory has named a scholarship in his honor.

Andrew Paucar, who began studying trumpet at the Conservatory in November, has been named the recipient of The James Ranti Trumpet Scholarship. The Valhalla fifth grader currently takes trumpet lessons with Conservatory faculty member David Hurd. He also takes Elementary Theory, and plays in the Latin Jazz band with his older brother Pablo, a saxophone student.  Andrew attends fifth grade at the Kensico Elementary School in Valhalla.  He is one of more than 80 dedicated students who receive need-based tuition assistance through the Conservatory’s Scholarship Program .  

Caption: (Left) Andrew Paucar stands under a picture of James Ranti (Right) James Ranti of Hartsdale was a fixture at the Conservatory for 15 years.  His wife Juliet Gopoian teaches piano at the organization.


Keys to Success: Conservatory Student Sets Record at Fundraising Event

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ailey Ann Simon performed “Silent Night” at the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Performathon, a biennial fundraising event in which students perform and compete for prizes by getting family and friends to sponsor them.  In the weeks leading up to the Dec. 10 fundraiser and marathon day of recitals, the nine-year-old piano student from Elmsford was quite vocal in trying to raise enough money to secure the event’s grand prize of a Petrof Upright Piano.

“It takes a village,” Hartsdale’s Marian Richardson said with a smile, noting that her granddaughter was relentless in approaching family members, friends, and parishioners at her church to sponsor her performance.  That hard work eventually paid off - literally. Ailey raised $1,260 – a record in Performathon’s ten year history – and the young girl took home her very first piano. 

“It takes a village...” 

In total, the event, which featured over 200 students performing, netted $6,129. Funds raised will go to the Conservatory’s scholarship program as well as the launch of a new electronic keyboard classroom. Fittingly, young Ailey is a scholarship student. The Conservatory provides tuition assistance on a sliding scale for qualifying youth ages 18 and under. Scholarships are provided for up to 95 percent of tuition (the Conservatory does not provide full scholarships). All scholarship awards are based upon household income, family size, and special financial considerations. Scholarship applications are kept confidential and must be updated yearly.  Save


"914 Insider" Launch Party and Awards Night

Monday, September 12, 2016

914 Insider, a new directory service that provides free local listings for Westchester-based small businesses, will award two local charities/non-profits donations totaling 2,750 as part of a kick-off event to be held Oct. 17 from 5 p.m. - 7p.m. at the Music Conservatory of Westchester at 216 Central Ave. in White Plains. Since the aim of the company is for customers to "stay connected" with their favorite local stores (learning first about sales and special offers), founder Sabrina Kucevik of Bronxville wanted to connect with the community by giving back to those that give so much in the county.

Winners will be announced at the event with online voting on the 914 Insider Facebook page playing a significant role in the selection process of a $1,000 grand prize, $750 runner-up prize, and a third prize in the amount of $500. An additional $500 will be donated to the Conservatory. 914 Insider plans to award two cash prizes every three months with the idea that businesses receive free advertising while, at the same time, support local charities. For more information, contact Jon Chattman at



MCW Piano students win Gold and Silver

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Students of MCW piano faculty Jaejin Lee performed beautifully in the recent New York State Music Teachers Association (NYSMTA) district 4 audition, which took place in May 1st.

Audrey Li, MCW student since 2014, won the Gold award. Anya Kar, MCW student since 2013, and Abigail Tsuji, MCW student since 2012, both won the Silver award. They played in the Winner's Award Recital on May 15 at the Music Conservatory. Take a bow!

MCW Graduating Seniors Shine!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

It's not a surprise that our students are amazing achievers. Two MCW students lit up the stage with their voices  and we are so proud of them! Graduating seniors Susanna Stepanyan and Boris Morocho are both voice students of Jeanai La Vita. Susanna has been an MCW student since 2015 and recently won the Yonkers Idol Competition!

Boris Morocho has been a student at the Music Conservatory since he was 12 and discovered his passion for opera here. He has attended Washington National Opera Institute in summer of 2014, Oberlin Summer Vocal Academy in 2015 and will be attending BU Tanglewood Institute this summer on a full scholarship. He recently won Honorable Mention in High School Musical Theatre and was a finalist in High School Art Song in the Hal Leonard Competition.


Congratulations Susanna and Boris, and congrats to all our graduating seniors. May your be futures be full of music!

Conservatory Student will Perform with Chappaqua Orchestra

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Sakurako Saimaru, winner of The Chappaqua Orchestra’s Concerto Competition, will perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the Orchestra at their spring concert on Saturday, May 21st, 8:00 pm, at Wallance Auditorium, 480 Bedford Road in Chappaqua. 

The program will also include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Coriolan Overture. The Conservatory was a sponsor of the Concerto Competition this year.  Our newest faculty member Enid Press (clarinet) plays with the orchestra, and Conservatory student Joe Konno won second place in the competition. 

Tickets are available at or

Conservatory Student Performing at Carnegie Hall!

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Congratulations to Sophia Wu, age 8, piano student of Jaejin Lee and MCW student since 2014. Sophia won Second Prize at the Little Mozart Competition!

She will be performing in the winners' concert at Carnegie Hall on May 8th. Well done Sophia!


Music Conservatory’s Annual Golf “Classic” to Feature Three Honorees and Broadway Revue

Monday, April 11, 2016

 Celebrating major milestones within their organization along with a major star of the stage and screen, the Music Conservatory of Westchester has announced its three honorees for its upcoming:

15th Annual Golf & Tennis Classic 
Monday, June 20th 
Brae Burn Country Club
Purchase, NY

The nonprofit community music school will honor its Music Therapy Institute, its Board President Rodd Berro, and Tony Award winner Laura Benanti. Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck (On the Town) will perform as will Benanti. The awards will be handed out at a celebratory dinner following a day on the greens and courts. Funds raised from the event will help support the Conservatory’s Scholarship Program, enabling deserving students to make their musical dreams come true and for special needs students and military veterans to take music therapy or adapted instruction.

Eventbrite - Music Conservatory of Westchester's 15th Annual Golf & Tennis Classic


Celebrating major milestones within their organization along with a major star of the stage and screen, the Music Conservatory of Westchester has announced three honorees for its upcoming 15th Annual Golf & Tennis Classic on Monday, June 20 at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase. The nonprofit community music school will honor its Music Therapy Institute, its Board President Rodd Berro, and Tony Award winner Laura Benanti. The awards will be handed out at a celebratory dinner following a day on the greens and courts.

In celebration of its 30th year, the Music Therapy Institute (MTI) will receive with its very first “Power of Healing” Award. Establish in 1986 through a $5,000 seed grant from the Westchester Community Foundation, the Institute was the first community-based music therapy program in Westchester County. Since then, it has become the largest provider of community-based music therapy, adapted instruction and professional development in the greater Westchester region providing private and group sessions to individuals with special needs. In 2014, the program expanded to serve military veterans with combat-related injuries through the “Healing Our Heroes” program. MTI students will perform following the award ceremony.

Longtime Conservatory trustee and current Board President Rodd Berro of Armonk will also be honored at the event, receiving the Distinguished Leadership Award. Berro is president of Pegasus Asset Management Inc. in Suffern.

As has been the case for the last two “Classics,” the evening will culminate with Broadway-centric performances by talents from the Great White Way. Tony Yazbeck, who received a Tony nomination for his role in On the Town will perform, along with four-time Tony nominee Laura Benanti, who won a Tony for her portrayal of Gypsy Rose Lee in the Patti Lupone revival of Gypsy. She will also be honored with the Conservatory’s Achievement in the Arts Award for her distinguished career, which includes Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Nine and Into the Woods on Broadway, and The Good Wife and Nashville on television. The actress may currently be seen in the hit CBS series Supergirl and on Broadway in She Loves Me.

Proceeds from this event will help us to continue to provide music therapy to enhance the lives of children, adults, and U.S. military veterans with disabilities throughout the community.

For more information, please contact us at


Honors Student, Boris Morocho, Excels in Singing Competition

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Boris Morocho, voice student in the Conservatory’s Honors Program and a graduating senior this year, placed third in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) annual competition, Upper High School Men’s Musical Theatre division.  Boris is a voice student of Jeanai LaVita and sings in the Teen Vocal Ensemble directed by Thomas Jamerson.

Morocho was competing with hundreds of students from PA, NJ, DE, WV, Quebec and NY and is now eligible to compete in the national conference this summer. Congratulations Boris!