MUSIC & VOICE
SHARON BERNSTEIN (CELLO) is a cellist who has played at leading festivals including the the NYSSA School of Orchestral Studies at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Aspen Music Festival and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. She has performed with several orchestras including the Boston Civic Symphony, the Greenwich Village Orchestra, the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, and the North Shore Opera Company. She is currently a member of the South Shore Symphony and the Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra where she performs regularly. Ms. Bernstein graduated from Brandeis University and holds a Masters from Columbia University and a JD from Hofstra University. Ms. Bernstein enjoys teaching cello to all ages and has taught at both the Gold Coast Arts Center and privately for several years and feels that it is important to be able to teach to the students learning style and create a love of playing the cello.
HSINWEI CHIANG (VIOLIN) is a Taiwanese violinist, composer, and educator in both jazz and classical genres. She has studied classical violin since she was child, and has toured with symphony orchestras in Malaysia, Italy, California, Hong Kong and Berlin since she was ten years old. After graduating from Taipei University of Art (BA), she discovered her interest in improvisation and collaborated with different artists (jazz, world music, dance, theatre, fine art) in major venues in Taiwan. As an experienced music educator, she has been teaching violin beginning in the Taipei for a decade, as well as general in public school in Taoyuan. She received a Master’s degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York.
ROBERT HOFFMANN (PIANO, VOICE) has developed his vocal and teaching ability through a variety of life experiences and is a graduate of Hunter College with a Master’s in Music Education. He achieved a 3-night record-breaking draw to New York’s China Club at the peak of its popularity, and his CD Believe was produced by Grammy award winner Richard Oliver. He has earned the respect of top studio musicians such as Richie Canata and Peter Yaro. He is a vocal instructor, teaching confidence from proper breathing and vocal exercises. He specializes in working with elementary students, and is also skilled in teaching. He has been teaching elementary choir at the Great Neck Public Schools for the last thirteen years. He is also a composer who has compiled a library of over 350 songs and is affiliated with the: National Association for Music Education (NAFME), New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) and the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
JAN KUS (SAXOPHONE, CLARINET) is both an educator and an active performer. He worked as head of the education department at the Slovenian-based institute Boben In Lajna from 2011-2012, and has shared the stage and the recording studio with some of the jazz world’s brightest stars (Chris Potter, Jimmy Heath, David Binney, Mark Turner, Alex Sipiagin, Jason Palmer, Marko Djordjevic, to name a few), as well as performed his original music all across Europe, in Asia, and the Caribbean. He has been active as a music instructor at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels for many years, with his students achieving great results on NYSSMA and ABRSM tests. Jan is a trained saxophone and clarinet player, but also teaches ensemble classes, beginner piano, music theory, and rhythm classes. While being firmly rooted in jazz and classical saxophone tradition, Jan comfortably performs in a wide array of musical styles, spawning from Latin Jazz to Pop, Flamenco, Hip Hop, Funk and World Music on a steady basis. You can follow Jan’s upcoming performances as well as find out more about his work and his upcoming album by his new group on his website www.jankusmusic.com, and see a video for his new album HERE. A review of his latest album can be found HERE.
TINA LAMA (BASS, PIANO, GUITAR, VOICE) is a string, voice and piano instructor based in New York. For the past 20 years, she has regularly performed with jazz, bluegrass, rock and orchestral groups throughout North America. Receiving her Masters in Jazz Performance from Queens College in 2014, Tina has had the honor to perform alongside Tony Bennett, Danilo Perez and Jimmy Heath, as well as Emmy- and Independent Music Award-nominated bluegrass and hip hop groups. Tina’s instruction career has spanned a decade. She has taught voice, bass, piano and music theory at universities and music academies throughout New York. She works with all ages, and strives to provide individualized programs based on the goals and interests of her students, in an encouraging and motivating environment. Read more about Tina at www.tinalamamusic.com.
GLENN MANION (GUITAR, BASS) has been playing the guitar since 1969. In 1983, he and his musical partner and wife, Suzanne Smithline, formed “Squeaky Clean,” which specializes in presenting classic rock and roll in schools, theaters, and the like. The group made regular appearances on Nickelodeon’s “Eureka’s Castle” for several years. As a songwriter, he has received awards from ASCAP and the SKC/New York Music Awards. He has a BA from New York University. He is also a blogger for the Huffington Post.
MICHAEL MCGOVERN (TRUMPET, TROMBONE) attended both Manhattan and Mannes School of Music. He studied with Simon Karasik (NBC Symphony) and Mel Broiles (Metropolitan Opera). He has had extensive studio session work including jingles for Sam Goody, Cable and CBS News, numerous million-selling recordings, and hundreds of production music samples. He has toured with Buddy Rich, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis, Sammy Davis Junior, and Jay Black. He was also part of the Broadway production Cats. He has participated in live shows with Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Nancy Wilson, and hundreds more. He was the former Chairman of Jazz Studies at USDAN Center for the Performing Arts, a brass lecturer at Stamford University, and brass instructor at Friends Academy, Kellenberg Memorial High School, and Long Island Conservatory. He teaches students including beginners, intermediate and working professionals.
MAYA NOVA (VOICE, GUITAR) is a trained voice instructor, and also teaches guitar and piano. She is a soulful jazz vocalist with 20 years of performing experience and 10 years of teaching experience over 3 continents: Europe, Asia and America. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from the Pop and Jazz Department of the National Music Academy, Sofia, Bulgaria and a Master’s Degree from The Jazz Vocal Performance Program at Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (2014). From 2008 until 2012, Nova was an adjunct main study voice lecturer at Contemporary Music Performance Department of LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore and also taught voice lessons at United World College, German International School, and Saint Joseph Institution International in Singapore. For more information, visit www.mayanova.com.
LESLEY STOLLER (PIANO) is a New York State Licensed Music Teacher with a MA in Psychology. He has been teaching music for the New York City Department of Education at Queens Children’s Psychiatric Center for nineteen years. Mr. Stoller is a permanent Member of the BMI Lehman Engel Advanced Musical Theater Workshop where he developed his new Musical, The Talking Cure. He is an ongoing contributor to The Night Kitchen Radio Theater, and recently conducted his original score for their production of The Emperor’s New Clothes at The Kennedy Center’s Family Theater.
TUOMO UUSITALO (PIANO) is an Award-winning jazz pianist, educator, composer and arranger. Born in Tampere, Finland, Tuomo started to play piano at the age of 6. As a teenager he played different types of music from classical to pop/rock, and soon became fascinated by Jazz. While studying music at University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria, Tuomo had the chance to work and perform with many jazz legends including Bob Brookmeyer, Billy Hart, Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Cobb and Jim Rotondi. In 2012, Tuomo moved to New York City, where he has quickly become a prominent pianist on the jazz scene. During his time in New York he has worked with several legendary jazz musicians and bands including The One And Only Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Rich Perry, Joe Farnsworth, Curtis Lundy, Tyler Mitchell, David Schnitter, Jeff Hirschfield, Johnny O’Neal and Greg Bandy.