Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester


Music Conservatory's Annual Golf Classic Sets Record with $127,000

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

“Most Successful Event Ever” Honored Music Therapy Program and Board President  

With a tally of roughly $127,000 in net proceeds, the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s 15th Annual Golf and Tennis Classic – held June 20 at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase - proved to be its biggest ever. The event, which was held June 20 at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, honored the organization’s Music Therapy Institute (MTI), outgoing Board President Rodd Berro, and featured several special performances.

  (L-to-R) Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Executive Director Jean Newton of Edgemont, Board President Joel Breitkopf of Scarsdale, and Trustee Mary Bianco of California were all smiles.

“It was thrilling to have so many generous supporters turn out for this amazing event,” said Jean Newton, the not-for-profit community music school’s executive director. “In every respect, from the spirit of celebration to the unprecedented net proceeds – it was our most successful event ever.” Proceeds from the event will go toward MTI, whose co-directors Tina Brescia and Lisa Sandagata were honored with the not-for-profit community music school’s very first “Power of Healing” Award.

  (L-to-R) Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Board President Joel Breitkopf of Scarsdale, Music Therapy Institute (MTI) Co-Directors Lisa Sandagata of Ossining and Tina Brescia of Norwalk, Director of Communications Jon Chattman of Mamaroneck, Board Treasurer Nancy Goodman of Larchmont, and Development Manager Aishling Quinn of Yonkers present Sandagata and Brescia and their program with the organization’s Power of Healing Award.

In its 30th year, MTI 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. The enrolled veterans along with MTI student Matthew Welling, who has studied and regularly plays with James Maxson and Donald Stevens, performed at the event together.

  Matthew Welling of White Plains performs with military veterans enrolled in the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Healing Our Heroes program.

"Being able to use music to help others learn to express themselves is one of the greatest forms of gift giving.” 

Moments before Board Vice President Joel Breitkopf of Scarsdale and Board Treasurer Nancy Goodman of Larchmont presented the honor to Brescia and Sandagata, Matthew’s father Michael Welling of White Plains said,  “Musical talent is one of the greatest forms of human expression. The therapists from the MTI give this gift every day. But being able to use music to help others learn to express themselves is one of the greatest forms of gift giving.” He continued, “I have seen their impact on Matthew and on many, many of the other students at the MTI, big and small, young and old, musically inclined and not.”

Outgoing Board President Rodd Berro of Armonk receives the Distinguished Leadership Award from Board Chair Robert Heath, also of ArmonkSave 

 Berro was also honored at the event for his five years as board president. The Armonk resident is president of Pegasus Asset Management Inc. in Suffern, received the Distinguished Leadership Award by last year’s recipient: Board Chairman Robert Heath. “It has been such an honor to be the president of the board for this amazing organization,” said Berro, who resides in Armonk. As has been the case for the past three “Classics,” the celebratory awards dinner also featured a Broadway revue.

Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck wraps up a stellar evening with a tap dance at the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s 15th Annual Golf and Tennis Classic.

Broadway veterans Karen Mason and Rye’s John Treacy Egan performed as did recent Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck. Sue Anderson accompanied Egan and Yazbeck. Overall, Breitkopf, who succeeded Berro as board president July 1, summed up by saying, “The golf outing was an incredible record-setting event for the Conservatory. We had the most amount of attendees at both golf and dinner and many folks were new to the organization, which bodes well for next year's event.” The new board president, who is Principal of Alchemy Properties, added, “The highlight of the evening was clearly the music therapy students playing music for the crowd which was spellbound by the energy and passion of the musicians.”

Broadway veteran and Westchester resident John Treacy Egan starts the show off with “Sit Down Your Rockin’ the Boat” from Guys and Dolls.  

All photos by Alye Bea Carlevaro

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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!

 

Southern Westchester BOCES Honors Music Therapist Donald Stevens

Thursday, May 12, 2016

 

Congrats to our very own MTI faculty member Donald Stevens, who received the American Dreamer Achievement Award from Southern Westchester BOCES on May 12 in recognition of his dedication to helping students with disabilities achieve their goals.

As the presentation, a teacher who works with Donald said, “Mr. Donald is our music teacher at Pocatico and he is one of those rare individuals who see the best in our students. He sees their strengths and talents without being bogged down by their diagnosis. He is truly amazing and our students love him.”

We do, too. Congratulations Donald!

Meet the New Dean!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

 

Douglas Bish, our new Dean of Students & Faculty, will begin at the Conservatory this Saturday, April 30. He looks forward to meeting our students and families from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 pm in the main lobby - feel free to stop by to say a quick “hello,” share your Conservatory experience, and ask him about his previous experience and future plans for our institution.

If you’re not here on Saturday, stop by for any of these Meet the Dean opportunities:

Monday May 2, Tuesday May 3, Wednesday May 4: 4:30-6:00 pm
Thursday, May 12: 4:30-6:00 pm

Dr. Bish returns to the Conservatory after serving on our faculty from 2006-2011, and has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as an academic leader, conductor, clarinetist, educator, author, lecturer, and music clinician. Most recently, he was Dean of the School of Fine, Applied and Communications Arts at the City College of San Francisco. Previously, he served as Chair of the Department of Music for the Nyack Public Schools. He has conducted professional, amateur, and student orchestras and wind ensembles around the world.

From the Director: New Dean of Students & Faculty, Doug Bish

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dear Conservatory Students, Families and Friends,  

I’m so very pleased to announce the appointment of Douglas Bish as our new Dean of Students & Faculty. Dr. Bish, who returns to the Conservatory after serving on our faculty from 2006-2011, has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as an academic leader, conductor, clarinetist, educator, author, lecturer, and music clinician. Most recently, he was Dean of the School of Fine, Applied and Communications Arts at the City College of San Francisco. Previously, he served as Chair of the Department of Music for the Nyack Public Schools. He has conducted professional, amateur, and student orchestras and wind ensembles around the world.

Dr. Bish holds a master’s degree in clarinet performance and music education from the University of Oregon, and a doctoral degree in music education and conducting from Boston University. As a Fulbright Scholar, he earned an Artist Diploma in clarinet performance from the Vienna Music Academy. He lives in Beacon, NY with his wife, Kathy Sireno, a public school music teacher and professional flutist.

Doug Bish will start in his new position on Saturday, April 30, and looks forward to meeting each of our students, families, faculty members and friends. We will be scheduling a number of “meet the Dean” opportunities, and also invite you to stop by the dean’s office when you are in the building.

All my best,
Jean Newton
Executive Director

Autism Awareness Month and 30 Years of Music Therapy!

Monday, April 18, 2016

April is National Autism Awareness month! This year also marks the Music Conservatory's Music Therapy Institute's 30th Anniversary. Our amazing Music Therapy Institute has made an amazing and lasting impact on this school and the community. We are so proud of  the faculty, staff and students of MTI that have worked so hard to make it what it is today, 30 years later.

Congratulations MTI and may April be a month of action, awareness, inclusion, appreciation and acceptance. The Conservatory will be honoring the Music Therapy Institute at our Annual Golf and Tennis Fundraising Event this June, please show your support! For more information on our Music Therapy Program visit our website: http://www.musicconservatory.org/

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!

 

Set Your Mother’s Day to Music

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

 

Music Conservatory of Westchester is giving the gift of music this Mother’s Day with a free family concert! Suzuki violin and cello students will perform “A Musical Mother’s Day” – with Germanic folk songs from the Suzuki repertoire as well as tunes from the great Germanic composers. 

The students will be led by the Conservatory’s Suzuki Violin Coordinator Suzanne Wagor and Suzuki cello teacher Nelly Rocha.  Audiences will be introduced to the Suzuki method of instruction for young children pioneered by Japanese violinist and educator Sinichi Suzuki.  For more information, contact info@musiced.org

Greenburgh Public Library
300 Tarrytown Road in Elmsford
 Sunday, May 8th, 2:00pm


                    

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 info@musiced.org.



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Matthew Welling to Perform in "Garden of Dreams" Talent Show

Monday, March 21, 2016

 

Music Therapy Institute student Matthew Welling has been asked to perform again at this year's Garden of Dreams Talent show at Radio City Musical Hall on Monday April 11th. He will be part of the Alumni Choir that will open the show and perform a song midway through the show, during which he will sing a solo.

This will be an amazing evening and an inspirational experience. There is no cost to attend and you don't even need a ticket, just show up! Congratulations Matthew, break a leg! Click HERE for more info.

Video from Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley


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