Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester

Students Excel In and Outside the Conservatory

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Congratulations to MCW Music Therapy Student Matthew Welling (age 12), student of James Maxson and Donald Stevens
• Matthew was part of a group of Garden of Dreams kids that sang the National Anthem at the NY Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, 12/10.
• Matthew has been a student at the Conservatory since 2010.

Congratulations to MCW Student Audrey Li (age 9), student of Jaejin Lee, piano
• Audrey received an honor from the latest Royal Conservatory MDP assessment. She scored best in level 2 in the Center Certificate of Excellence.
• Audrey has been a student at the Conservatory since 2013.

Congratulations to MCW Student Patrick Stanton (age 12), student of Enid Press and Doug Bish, clarinet
• Patrick has won the National Gold Medal, State Certificate of Excellence, and Center Certificate of Excellence for level 4.
• Patrick has been a student at the Conservatory since 2010.

Congratulations to MCW Student Benjamin Gotian (age 17), student of Nicholas Brust, saxophone
• Benjamin received a talent scholarship (saxophone), to Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.
• Benjamin has been a student at the Conservatory since 2017.

Conservatory Awarded $500,000 REDC Grant

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Governor Cuomo Announced More than $755 Million in Economic and Community Development Resources Awarded Through 2017 Regional Council Competition

Recently, the Regional Economic Development Council announced its Grant Awards for 2017 and the Music Conservatory of Westchester is thrilled to announce it has been awarded a $500,000 grant toward facilities improvements and upgrades.

The funds, offered as a challenge grant, will cover half of the costs of a piano technology lab, recording studio, percussion studio, and new studios for jazz, ensembles and music therapy. New technology-based classrooms and programs will create construction jobs, teaching positions, and attract new, diverse students. The Conservatory will be fundraising for it's half of the challenge grant this year, and the $1 million project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

The details of the grant and the Conservatory's plans are highlighted in Westfair Communications' recent article, "In evolving music world, Music Conservatory of Westchester plans $1 million upgrades," by Ryan Deffenbaugh.

The Conservatory would like to thank all of its supporters in the community that made this grant award possible and looks forward to implementing these improvements. Click here for more information on the REDC and to view the official announcement on page 110 of the booklet click here.

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.

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

Conservatory Wins Best of Westchester Honor for "Best Music School"

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


The people of Westchester County have spoken! Non-profit White Plains music school, the Music Conservatory of Westchester is being honored with the Westchester Magazine 2017 Best of Westchester award for “Best Music School”. Westchester Magazine will hold an event celebrating its honorees on July 26, 2017 at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle for the 7th Annual Best of Westchester Awards. The regional lifestyle magazine celebrates the best of the county in various categories ranging from Dining, Fun & Leisure, Shopping, Health & Beauty, to Home, Kids, and more.

Nominated and chosen by popular vote from the magazine’s readers, the Music Conservatory of Westchester offers music instruction for children, teens, and adults as well as Music Therapy for all ages. With over 2,700 students annually, the Music Conservatory edged out the competition as the premier community music school of Westchester County. The Conservatory was chosen over other music schools in the area as the “Best Music School” of Westchester, which is also a new category for the awards.

“We are thrilled to receive this award,” Executive Director Jean Newton, said of the organization’s Best of Westchester win. “It’s a great honor to be chosen by the community we serve.”

The community music school prides itself on being a partner in the community, serving students not only from Westchester, but the surrounding counties as well. With variety among the programs offered to appeal to a diverse student community, Newton expressed that the Conservatory is, “an oasis for cultural harmony through music.”

The Conservatory has served the Westchester community for 87 years, with music instruction for students of all ages, Music Therapy for those with disabilities, student scholarships, outreach programs, and much more to broaden the reach and love of music in the region.  The Music Conservatory of Westchester looks to nurture the next generation of musicians, music lovers, and supporters of the arts.

This is the secondBest of Westchester” win for the Music Conservatory of Westchester. In 2001, the Conservatory won “Best Karmic Transformation” for the innovative renovation of its building in White Plains.

For more information about the Best of Westchester Competition CLICK HERE.

Congratulations to our NYSSMA All-Stars!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

The following students all achieved a perfect score on their NYSSMA assessments. Congratulations to all our students and their teachers for doing an amazing job this year!

  • Ahonesty Nisbett, 7th grade, piano student of Juliet Gopoian
  • Adrian Pascual, 8th grade, cello student of Tatiana Longo
  • Kohko Kamimura, 6th grade, cello student of Nelly Rocha
  • Tiana Kaga, 3rd grade, voice student of Mary Elizabeth Poore
  • Elise Kang, 4th grade, and Ben Wien, 5th grade, French horn students of Amanda Tabor
  • Dylan Jansky, 9th grade, violin student of Tatiana Feigin
  • Luis-Joshua Casenas, 4th grade, Suzuki violin student of Kate Branch
  • Paul Gschneidner, 9th grade, voice student of Thomas Jamerson
  • Melody Yunong Wu, 1st grade, piano student of Haodong Wu, received a near perfect score
  • Amanda Crewey, 7th grade, cello student of Adriana Pera, received a near perfect score
  • Augustus Cai, 5th grade, trumpet student of David Hurd, received a near perfect score
We are so proud of you!

Conservatory a Finalist in Mommy Poppins Bestie Awards!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
We've been nominated as the
"Best Place to Learn How to Play an Instrument"
Vote to help us win!

Cast your vote at
and be automatically entered to win a stay at Great Wolf Lodge or tickets to Quassy Amusement Park and Waterpark.

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.

“School of Rock” Broadway Star chats with Port Chester Middle School Students

Tuesday, February 07, 2017


On Feb. 2, Port Chester Middle School welcomed Scarsdale resident Rachel Katzke for a Q&A following a 4 p.m. performance of School of Rock at the school’s Archie Jacobs Auditorium.  Katzke, a student at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, spoke to students about her current experience starring in the Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s show. 

Port Chester Middle School is the first school production in the county to take on the Broadway offshoot of the 2003 Jack Black film . Students played electric guitar, electric bass, synthesizer, and drum live on stage as well as sing and dance.