Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester


Conservatory Students Continute to Excel in May!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Thirteen-year-old Conservatory student Marina Varriano stuns the audience with her winning performance at Carnegie Hall on April 29, 2018 at the Golden Key International Music Festival.

May is a Musical Month for Conservatory Students! 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 during this month. Congratulations to all of our students who have proved that practice does pay off!

Jad Benslimane, 11 year old cello student of Adriana Pera since 2010, was accepted into the Advanced String Summer Program at Interlochen this upcoming summer and received a perfect score or NYSSMA.

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 performed with the Concert Festival Orchestra on May 6, 2018.

Kenny Poor, 15 year old violin student since2013 of Christina Khimm, received a perfect score for NYSSMA All State Level 6.

Ellie Takaki (age 7), David Takaki (age 10), Audrey Li (age 10), and Abigail Tsuji (age 14), piano students of Jaejin Lee won first place by scoring over 95 for their NYSMTA District 4 auditions. They played in an award recital at 2pm on Sunday, May 20, 2018 in the Conservatory Recital Hall. Ellie and David have been students at the Conservatory since 2015, Audrey has been a student since 2013, and Abigail since 2011.

Marina 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 performed at Carnegie Hall on April 29, 2018.

Serena Xu, 13 year old violin student of Tatiana Feigin since 2017, received a perfect score for NYSSMA.

Daniel Zhang, 13 year old violin student of Tatiana Feigin since 2016, received a perfect score for NYSSMA.

Ruimin Zhang, 11 year old piano student of Marina Rozozhina since 2012, won second place in the 2018 New York Competition for Young Artists, and performed at the award recital at Carnegie Hall on May 10, 2018.

Congratulations to our many talented students!


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.



Conservatory Students Perform at Carnegie Hall

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Conservatory Students Honored at New York Celebration of Excellence Award Recital

  Music Conservatory of Westchester students Audrey Yusi Li of Scarsdale and Patrick Stanton of White Plains (front) performed and won awards for their musical achievements encouraged by their teachers Jaejin Lee and Dr. Douglas Bish (back) at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, February 18, 2018.

White Plains community music school Music Conservatory of Westchester students Audrey Yusi Li, of Scarsdale and Patrick Stanton, of White Plains took to the stage at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, February 18 for the New York Celebration of Excellence Award Recital.

Representing two of 48 performing students from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, Audrey was recognized as a Center Certificate of Excellence Winner, and Patrick as a National Gold Medal Winner.

Presented by the Royal Conservatory of Music, this performance opportunity at the Celebration of Excellence recital is for music students taking private lessons who have reached a national standard for achievement, determined by periodic performance evaluations as part of the program.

Piano student Audrey has been studying at White Plains community music school Music Conservatory of Westchester since 2013 under instruction of Jaejin Lee. “I’m turning 10 next week. I think it’s the perfect way to close being 9 years old,” Audrey said of her Carnegie Hall debut performing Creole Lullaby by Italo Taranta.

Of her experience at the Music Conservatory of Westchester, Audrey said, “I started piano with Ms. Lee at the Conservatory from the kindergarten year. She helped me develop the fundamentals and musical sensitivity. There are lots of performance and audition opportunities here that motivate me to work harder. I enjoy playing piano.”

For his second time performing at Carnegie Hall, 12-year-ol d clarinet student, Patrick Stanton, performed Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy, accompanied by Music Conservatory of Westchester piano faculty member Song Gonzalez, at the New York Celebration of Excellence Award Recital. He studies clarinet at the Music Conservatory of Westchester with Dean of Students and Faculty, Dr. Douglas Bish. “Once I was accepted to the concert, I only had a month to prepare, and Dr. Bish helped me sort through the options I had to choose from, and gave me practice suggestions that let me succeed.”

Music Conservatory of Westchester Dean of Students and Faculty and Patrick’s clarinet instructor Dr. Douglas Bish, said, “Even the youngest of our students receive thorough training in the essential techniques of playing an instrument or singing, but also the musical insights and stage presence that allow them to communicate effectively with their audiences.”

Recalling the “outstanding” performances by Music Conservatory of Westchester students at Carnegie Hall, Dr. Bish continued, “This really is the world’s grandest stage.”

Celebrate the Piano with this Free Concert Series

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


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.

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

Sunday, March 4, 2:00 pm North Castle Library
Saturday, March 24, 3:00 pm White Plains Library
Sunday, April 15, 2:00 pm Ossining Library


Join Us for a Livestream Masterclass with PubliQuartet

Monday, January 22, 2018


On Saturday, February 10, Associated Chamber Music Players will be holding a Live Stream Chamber Music Masterclass featuring PUBLIQuartet, recipient of the 2015 CMA/ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming. The free two-hour masterclass will be held at the National Opera Center in NYC with a multi-camera crew where award-winning, PUBLIQuartet, will be conducting sessions on Astor Piazzola's Oblivion and Prokofiev's Quartet No. 2 (2nd movt). Attendance for the live event in NYC is free, click here to register!

Join your fellow students and musicians at the Music Conservatory of Westchester and experience this unique event together! The Conservatory is inviting anyone interested to view the live stream on Feb 10th from 2:30 - 4:30pm in Rm 203. Participants will be able to submit questions or comments through a live chat feed. Those unable to make it Saturday can still tune into the live stream at home. To find out more information about PUBLIQuartet, how to view and downloading scores go to: prod.acmp.net/acmp.net/live.

Livestream Masterclass Facebook Event

Students Raise Funds with the Power of Performance

Monday, November 27, 2017

 

For more than 15 years, the not-for-profit Music Conservatory of Westchester has held an annual fundraiser called Performathon that truly gets its students involved. It’s a marathon day of student performances to raise funds for mission-specific programs at the Conservatory. On Saturday, December 9, 2017, over 200 participating students will donate their time and talent to perform in support of their community music school. This year, students will raise funds for scholarships for financially deserving students to enroll at the Conservatory, as well as for some important new equipment: orchestra chairs for student ensembles and music therapy students, and a stage piano with amplifier for student performances taking place in various community locations.

“For any not-for-profit, fundraising is essential. The fact that we can involve our students in this process with their musical performance at the center, instead of separate from their studies and training, is an ideal representation of that aspect of our mission. This way, everyone has a hand in sustaining and supporting the important work the Conservatory is doing,” said Dean of Faculty and Students Douglas Bish about the rewarding Performathon experience.

The Conservatory has garnered a list of generous sponsors, including P.C. Richard & Son, Guitar Center, Alamo Movie Theatre in Yonkers, Scattered Books in Chappaqua, Fun Fusion in New Rochelle, and Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in Yonkers. Local sponsors are donating their products to benefit children in the communities the businesses serve.

 

All students who raise funds for Performathon will receive a gift, and the students who raise the most will compete for super prizes from the aforementioned sponsors. Last year, the grand prize was an upright piano!

“Music study isn’t complete without performance, and since our students can now look forward to Performathon every year, they are able to plan much of their musical preparation around this exciting event,” Dean Bish said.

Performance is a major part of the day. Child, teen, and adult students will take the stage in the Conservatory’s two performance spaces - the Helen Demetrios and Michael Stadther Recital Hall and the Performance Salon - to perform on a variety of instruments and styles of music. Classical, jazz, rock, pop, and musical theater will be represented at Performathon as students have the opportunity to proudly play for their family and friends.

On the day of Performathon, the Conservatory’s lobby is transformed into a fun, creative space for students and their parents with crafts and games, a photo booth, and donated food, either homemade by families or from local restaurants. It takes a community effort to organize Performathon to support a successful outcome. Parent and student volunteers, local vendors and food establishments, donors and sponsors, and the Conservatory administrative staff make this event possible for students to share their talents and generosity with other music lovers.

Voted Best of Westchester for “Best Music School” of 2017, the Music Conservatory of Westchester started Performathon in 2001 as a musical day powered by its students, giving back to their fellow students. Each year the school raises more than $500,000 to support its Scholarship Program, its Music Therapy Program for children and adults with disabilities, and its Healing Our Heroes Program for military veterans.

Donations to the Music Conservatory of Westchester are also accepted here: http://www.musicconservatory.org/giving/donate-now


Benefit Concert A Wonderful Celebration

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Featured artist Ani Kavafian, Westchester native, Conservatory board member, and composer Mary Lynn Marx Bianco, and Executive Director Jean Newton of Scarsdale revel in the success of An Autumn Afternoon of Music benefit concert on Sunday, November 12 at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains.

The Conservatory celebrated great classical music at its benefit concert, An Autumn Afternoon of Music, featuring internationally renowned violinist Ani Kavafian on Sunday, November 12. Concert proceeds will benefit the Conservatory’s Scholarship, Music Therapy, and Healing Our Heroes programs.

Internationally renowned violinist and Goldens Bridge resident Ani Kavafian commands the stage alongside pianist Minyoung Kang.

Westchester native, long-time Conservatory board member and composer Mary Lynn Marx Bianco wrote a new piece for Kavafian to perform at the concert, showcasing Bianco’s signature composition style. Ms. Kavafian also performed two solo violin pieces by Fritz Kreisler. Joining Ms. Kavafian were a quartet of her Master of Musical Arts students from the Yale School of Music, to perform selections by Beethoven and Mozart, as well as a string quartet by Bianco.

Internationally renowned violinist and Yale School of Music professor Ani Kavafian leads a quartet of her students Sophia Mockler (2nd violin), Eric Adamshick (cello), Ethan Hoppe (2nd viola), and Josip Kvetek (1st viola) playing a Mozart composition.

The performances were thrilling and inspiring for the audience, a combination of prominent Westchester residents, as well as Conservatory faculty, students, and parents. Kavafian, whose son is a Conservatory alumnus, is among its Musical Advisors. Bianco, who was herself a Conservatory student as a child, has dedicated over 30 years of service to the music school.

Both were honored at the benefit by Executive Director Jean Newton for their commitment to the Conservatory and its mission-based programs that help provide the extraordinary benefits of music to all in the community.

Westchester native and special honoree at An Autumn Afternoon of Music joins Music Conservatory of Westchester students Anna Marie Simon, Alice Cabral, Lui Luankhot, Adrian Pascual, Ellie Konno, Board President Joel Breitkopf and Executive Director Jean Newton, both Scarsdale residents, at An Autumn Afternoon of Music benefit concert, bridging classical music with the next generation of musicians, and arts supporters on Sunday, November 12.

Westchester native, Conservatory board member, and composer Mary Lynn Marx Bianco accepts a commemorative gift from Music Conservatory of Westchester Development Associate Laura Layne.

Board members Rodd Berro and Jennifer Weiss, along with her husband Chip Weiss, all from Armonk, and Ronald Aaronson show their support.

Conservatory faculty members Mary Elizabeth Poore of New York City, Executive Director Jean Newton of Scarsdale, Thomas and Celeste Jamerson of Port Chester, and Juliet Gopoian of Hartsdale.

Faculty Concert: Piano as a Musical Partner

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


The Conservatory will celebrate the talents of its faculty and the history of the piano as a musical partner in a Faculty Recital on Friday, November 10. Open to the public, this free concert will start at 7 PM in the Conservatory’s Helen Demetrios and Michael Stadther Recital Hall with music featuring the piano as a collaborative instrument.

Performing will be faculty pianists Svetlana Gorokhovich, Hyemin Kang, Jaejin Lee, Irena Portenko, and Michael Zeiger. They will be joined by the Conservatory’s Dean of Students and Faculty Douglas Bish, clarinet, and Suzuki Coordinator Suzanne Wagor, viola.

The program will highlight the role of the piano in chamber music from the 18th and 19th century Germanic repertoire, as well as pieces for multiple pianists. Performances will include selections from Johannes Brahms’ Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano four-hands, Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio, K. 498 for clarinet, viola and piano, and three rarely performed works: Carl Czerny’s Divertissement Militaire for piano six-hands, Robert Schumann’s Märchenbilder for viola and piano, and Heinrich Baermann’s Adagio for clarinet and piano.

This concert is made possible by a grant from the Westchester Community Foundation’s Rudyard and Emanuella Reimss Fund.

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