Music Educators Association of New Jersey

Serving teachers and students since 1927

Member News

2021

February 2021

On February 14 at 12 PM Sophia Agranovich will be one of the featured performers at WWFM Classical Network program 'Piano Matters', hosted by David Dubal. She will play Nocturne in C minor Op. 48 No.1 and 1st movement of Sonata No. 2 in B♭ minor, Op. 35 by Chopin.

Nancy Modell is the instructor for the NJ Suzuki Workshop's online course, Every Child Can!, as part of the NJSW WinterFest. She will also conduct master classes as part of WinterFest, a one-day workshop for Suzuki music students.

Sophia Agranovich's new CD album dedicated to Beethoven's 250th Anniversary is released. Program: Fantasia in G minor/B Major, Op. 77; Sonata No.8 in C minor, Op. 13 'Pathetique'; Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor ‘Quasi una fantasia’, Op. 27, No. 2 'Moonlight'Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2, 'The Tempest'. This album will be available in hard copies, downloads and streaming via all the major distributors and online radio stations. It already had received multiple rave reviews.  Purchase link: https://amzn.to/3j75dnI

Brazilian composer, Daniel Rofer, announces the publication of Experimental Works for Children, Strange Lands, a book of new repertoire featuring a great variety of new compositions for the young. In order to write such creative and educational pieces, Daniel Rofer draws inspiration both from his abilities as an excellent pianist-improviser and also from his broad experience as a music teacher. The fifteen songs he presents in Strange Lands are refreshingly imaginative, highlighting many of the most important technical and theoretical aspects of piano pedagogy at its best. There are many correlations in Strange Lands to other works for children: from the structures and textures of Robert Schumann’s Album for the Young; glimpses of the wittiness and calmness we normally hear from Erik Satie; the experimentalism, proportionality, and daring of Bela Bartok’s Mikrokosmos; or even the mischievousness and innocence of Villa Lobos’s Cirandinhas. In a more practical sense, many of these songs are very catchy, which is a plus for piano teachers who are looking for compositions their students will enjoy practicing. In Strange Lands, Daniel Rofer works with a large range of techniques and emotions, opening a window where we can visualize his brilliant future as a composer for all levels of players, as well as presenting us with a fun and relatable new set of songs. Experimental Works for Children, Strange Lands is available at Amazon. The playlist is here.

On February 10 at 10 PM, Sophia Agranovich will be one of the featured performers at WWFM Classical Network program 'Piano Matters', hosted by David Dubal. She will play Nocturne in C minor Op. 48 No.1 and 1st movement of Sonata No. 2 in B♭ minor, Op. 35 by Chopin.

January 2021

Nancy Modell is teaching Suzuki student masterclasses and group classes at the Levine School in Washington, D.C., January 15-16.

2020

December 2020

Judy Kessler is pleased to announce the launch of her new website!  Please visit http://judykesslerpiano.com/ to learn more about her studio, her arrangements, sheet music, and more. 

November 2020

Ingrid Clarfield is thrilled to announce that her newest book with Phyllis Lehrer, Classics for the Developing Pianist Study Guide Book 5, is finally available at Sheet Music Plus!!  This book contains great teaching tips for everyone's favorite advanced pieces. Ingrid believes MEA members would enjoy using both the Repertoire and Study Guide Books.

Artist, Kathy Knittel, continues her collaboration with Producer, Joan Bujacich, releasing two new holiday favorites, My Favorite Things, and Christmas Time  Is Here. In addition to all the major digital distribution centers (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify), both songs were also picked up on Pandora Radio which only accepts 3 to 5% of submissions!  The recordings feature Kathy Knittel-vocals, Joan Bujacich-Piano, Joe Bilotti-guitar,  Phil Butler-upright bass and Kevin Ellman-drums. (Kevin is on many recordings with Todd Rundgren’s Utopia.)
Kathy released a complete CD of holiday music in 2018, A Songbird's Christmas.  For easy access to digital distribution centers visit: https://kathyknittel.hearnow.

October 2020

In NJMTA's 2020 Composition Competition, Danette Whelan's student won in the Senior division and Nancy Modell's student won in the Elementary division. Both students move on to compete in the Eastern division Competition! Nancy's student also received Honorable Mention in the Senior division and Sondra Tammam's student received Honorable Mention in the Elementary division.
https://www.njmta.com/news/2020-mtna-student-composition-competitions-results

Sondra Tammam was a guest at a PIANO STAR Master Class for PIANO LEAGUE "Live" on Restream on October 20, 2020. For the event, "Sondra Tammam discusses the Taubman Approach", Sondra presented Master Class lessons on Chopin - Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. posth., and Granados- Andaluzza, Op.5, No. 5 from 12 Spanish Dances. It can be viewed here on YOU TUBE.

Sophia Agranovich will release a new CD this month dedicated to Chopin's 210th Anniversary: Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, complete 4 Scherzi, Polonaise 'Héroïque'. It will be available in hard copies, downloads, and streaming via all major distributors. Two excellent reviews will be published in the November/December issue of the Fanfare Magazine.

Michell Kuo and Christopher Kuo performed in the virtual concert for Minds Matter San Francisco. They are excited to share the great news that $311K was raised! Their program included:  Rachmaninoff: Waltz from Suite no.2; Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations; and, Rachmaninoff: Russian Rhapsody.

September 2020

Since September 2019, Birgit Matzerath has been presenting a "Listening Journey" through the complete 1st book of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier 1. One Friday each month interested listeners met at the Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, 516 Prospect Street, Maplewood NJ to explore two Preludes and Fugues. Meetings begin at 7 PM and last for 60-75 minutes, followed by refreshments. The project will conclude with a complete performance of the WTC 1 on Friday, September 11 at 7:30 PM. The final concert is $25 to benefit the Ethical Culture Society and Interfaith Hospitality Network of Essex County.
 

August 2020

Since September 2019, Birgit Matzerath has been presenting a "Listening Journey" through the complete 1st book of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier 1. One Friday each month - usually 3rd Friday -  interested listeners meet at the Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, 516 Prospect Street, Maplewood NJ to explore two Preludes and Fugues. Meetings begin at 7 PM and last for 60-75 minutes, followed by refreshments. The next date is Friday, August 14 (2nd Friday!) No 23,24. Suggested donation $10 per session; to benefit the Ethical Culture Society and Interfaith Hospitality Network of Essex County.
The project will conclude with a complete performance of the WTC 1 on Friday, (2nd Friday!) on September 11 at 7:30 PM.
On August 8, the 2020 National Flute Convention will present the world premiere of Amanda Harberg's Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra on its Gala Concerto Concert, to be performed by Philadelphia Orchestra piccoloist Erica Peel and the Fort Worth Symphony, conducted by Ransom Wilson.

On August 6, the National Flute Convention in Dallas TX will present a recital called "The Chamber Music of Valerie Coleman and Amanda Harberg", which will feature two world premieres of chamber music composed by Amanda Harberg.

July 2020

Since September 2019, Birgit Matzerath has been presenting a "Listening Journey" through the complete 1st book of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier 1. One Friday each month - usually 3rd Friday -  interested listeners meet at the Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, 516 Prospect Street, Maplewood NJ to explore two Preludes and Fugues. Meetings begin at 7 PM and last for 60-75 minutes, followed by refreshments. The next date is Friday, July 17: No 21,22. Suggested donation $10 per session (final concert $ 25); to benefit the Ethical Culture Society and Interfaith Hospitality Network of Essex County.
The project will conclude with a complete performance of the WTC 1 on Friday, (2nd Friday!) on September 11 at 7:30 PM.

On July 4, Amanda Harberg's Suite for Wind Quintet will be performed on the Round Top Festival Institute Faculty Concert Series.

June 2020

On June 26, the International Clarinet Convention will present Amanda Harberg's Suite for Wind Quintet, to be performed by the Aspen Winds.

Members David Witten and Sondra Tammam, Co-Directors of The 9th Taubman Piano Festival 2020 at the Cali School of Music, Montclair State University, announce this annual event to be held on Fri/Sat/Sun - June 26-28. Three daily sessions begin at 8:30 am until 4:45 pm. Free Concerts on Friday and Sunday at 5 pm, and Saturday Gala Concert at 8 pm with Yilan Zhao, 2019 Prizewinner Viotti International Piano Competition.

MEA members Dan Crisci, Dragica Ćurčić, and Nancy Modell are Festival Presenters featuring Open Workshops for students and teachers. Daily Master Classes for children. Guest Master Class teachers are Dr. Lisa Yui, Yamaha Artists, and Ass't Dean at MSM, Dr. Cristina Gerling, Dept. Chair Porto Allegre University, Brazil, and Father Paul Maillet, recognized Taubman Institute Faculty and former Fleisher student.

Jackie Herbein, NCTM, Alexander Technique and Certified Yoga teacher, will begin each day with Body Mapping participant warm-ups.

This year’s events will be in Leshowitz Concert Hall. New events include Small Group Concept Workshops and Healthy Computer Habits.  Single-day attendance is welcome!  Free evening concerts!

For registration and for more information, visit https://taubmanuniversalapproach.org 

Since September 2019, Birgit Matzerath has been presenting a "Listening Journey" through the complete 1st book of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier 1. One Friday each month - usually 3rd Friday -  interested listeners meet at the Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, 516 Prospect Street, Maplewood NJ to explore two Preludes and Fugues. Meetings begin at 7 PM and last for 60-75 minutes, followed by refreshments. The next date is Friday, June 19: No 19,20. Friday, July 17: No 21,22; Friday, August 14 (2nd Friday!) No 23,24. Suggested donation $ 10 per session (final concert $ 25); to benefit the Ethical Culture Society and Interfaith Hospitality Network of Essex County.
The project will conclude with a complete performance of the WTC 1 on Friday, (2nd Friday!) on September 11 at 7:30 PM.

May 2020

Since September 2019, Birgit Matzerath has been presenting a "Listening Journey" through the complete 1st book of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier 1. One Friday each month - usually 3rd Friday -  interested listeners meet at the Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, 516 Prospect Street, Maplewood NJ to explore two Preludes and Fugues. Meetings begin at 7 PM and last for 60-75 minutes, followed by refreshments. The next date is Friday, May 15.  Suggested donation $ 10 per session (final concert $ 25); to benefit the Ethical Culture Society and Interfaith Hospitality Network of Essex County.
The project will conclude with a complete performance of the WTC 1 on Friday, (2nd Friday!) on September 11 at 7:30 PM.
On May 9, the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra will perform Amanda Harberg's Prayer for orchestra in Bel Air, MD.

April 2020

Since September 2019, Birgit Matzerath has been presenting a "Listening Journey" through the complete 1st book of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier 1. One Friday each month - usually 3rd Friday -  interested listeners meet at the Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, 516 Prospect Street, Maplewood NJ to explore two Preludes and Fugues. Meetings begin at 7 PM and last for 60-75 minutes, followed by refreshments. The next date is Friday, April 24 (4th Friday!) No 15,16. Suggested donation $ 10 per session; to benefit the Ethical Culture Society and Interfaith Hospitality Network of Essex County.
The project will conclude with a complete performance of the WTC 1 on Friday, (2nd Friday!) on September 11 at 7:30 PM. 

Youn-hee Kim will perform The Lark by Glinka-Balakirev for the MEA Annual Piano Competition’s 50th Year Celebration Concert on April 16.

Professor Youn-hee Kim will give a recital and lecture at 10 AM on Wednesday, April 1 entitled  “Etüdes as Character Portraits” for the Rockland County Music Teachers Guild in NY.

On April 1st, Birgit Matzerath will hold a presentation about J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier for the Pompton Valley Music Teachers Association.

March 2020

On March 21 and March 23, the Philadelphia Orchestra Sound All Around series will perform Amanda Harberg's Sadie's Birthday Adventures (commissioned and premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association in 2015) on four separate concerts: https://www.philorch.org/performances/our-season/events-and-tickets/2019-20-season/sound-all-around-ensemble/

Since September 2019, Birgit Matzerath has been presenting a "Listening Journey" through the complete 1st book of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier 1. One Friday each month - usually 3rd Friday - interested listeners meet at the Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, 516 Prospect Street, Maplewood NJ to explore two Preludes and Fugues. Meetings begin at 7 PM and last for 60-75 minutes, followed by refreshments. The next date is Friday, March 20: No 13 and 14. Suggested donation $ 10 per session (final concert $ 25); to benefit the Ethical Culture Society and Interfaith Hospitality Network of Essex County.
The project will conclude with a complete performance of the WTC 1 on Friday, (2nd Friday!) on September 11 at 7:30 pm.

On March 8, Amanda Harberg's Suite for Wind Quintet will receive its Australian premiere by the Astralis Wind Quintet as part of the International Women's Day festival.

Birgit Matzerath will give a presentation of her memoir More than the World in Black and White - How Music came alive and my Life became Music at the Book House, 218 Essex Street in Millburn, NJ on Sunday, March 8 at 3 PM. Based on readings from the book, the talk will focus on the aspect of embracing uncertainty, followed by Q and A.

The Ars Vitalis series will present "The Music of Amanda Harberg" at Kean University's Enlow Recital on March 5 at 7:30 PM.  This very special program will feature Dr. Amanda Harberg's award-winning Suite for Wind Quintet, for which she just received a 2020 New Jersey Council on the Arts Artist Fellowship.  Dr. Harberg will be joined by the renowned Dorian Wind Quintet, Met Orchestra cellist Samuel Magill, New York Philharmonic flutist/piccoloist Mindy Kaufman, flutist Cobus du Toit, and clarinetist Ben Fingland.  The concert is free and will be followed by a reception.  Please see the attached flyer for details, or use this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1098004713657085/

The Harmonium Choral Society is premiering Thomas Parente’s new choral work entitled I Am in Need of Music (text by Elisabeth Bishop) on March 1 at 3 PM at the Presbyterian Church of Morristown (http://www.harmonium.org).

February 2020

On Saturday 2/29 at 8 PM, Beatrice Long is performing with cellist Sophie Shao (winner of Avery Fisher Career Grant and Rostropovich Competition) at the Watchung Arts Center. Music is by Schumann, Beethoven, and Debussy.

On Thursday 2/27 at 7:30 PM, Beatrice Long will be performing Ravel's Concerto in G  with the Brooklyn College Orchestra CUNY,  with conductor George Rothman at the Leonard & Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts.

On February 24, the Sylvan Winds performed Amanda Harberg's Suite for Wind Quintet in New York City as part of the Composers Now festival.

On February 16, the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention presented an "All-Harberg" concert. Dr. Amanda Harberg performed her music with Philadelphia Orchestra flutist/piccoloist Erica Peel, and the Patagonia Wind Quintet performed her Suite for Wind Quintet.

On February 12, Amanda Harberg's award-winning Suite for Wind Quintet was performed by the UMass Faculty Wind Quintet in Amherst MA.

Dan Crisci will perform at Shanghai Jazz, Madison, from 7 to 9:30 PM, presenting several new songs from his recent albums. Sue Williams, bass, and Nick Scheuble, drums, will join Dan.  Dinner reservations can be made by calling 973-822-2899 or just come and hear music from the bar.

Birgit Matzerath was invited to adjudicate at the Minneapolis Music Teachers Forum's Mozart Concerto Competition for piano students. She also held presentations and workshops for teachers and students at the Mac Phail Center for Music in Minneapolis,  and at the monthly MMTF meeting.

The Cali School of Music of the Montclair State University presents a Faculty Recital by Professor Youn-hee Kim, pianist: Sunday, February 2 at 5 PM at Leshowitz Recital Hall, Chapin Hall, Montclair State University.
 
The program will include the complete Chopin Études, Op.10; Schumann Sonata in G minor, Op. 22 and Jazz Suite by Mike Cornick.

Joan Bujacich’s piano composition Fantasy To Toad Hall has been chosen to be included in a retrospective sampling of composers from a New York concert series that was created in 1985 and flourished for over a decade. The concerts were presented at Cami Hall which was located at West 57th Street in NYC. Lee McClure, director of the Eclectix concert series, writes of Joan’s composition: "In looking for a good sampling of the 130 composers from Eclectix concerts, yours stood out: Jazz groove, moody slow; sudden changes; classical climaxes - all seamlessly woven together. Just a really major statement." He continues, "I thought of you a lot while making my sampling of Eclectix recordings called From The Ecelctix Stage for Youtube: It has 18 recordings. I include the first movement of your Fantasy At Toad Hall. It’s the 5th selection. If you click the blue ‘5:10’ it’ll jump to your recording."
You can hear the audio clip Here along with the other composers selected. Or if you prefer seeing the video of Joan’s performance, it is posted from her website video page (scroll down to the 5th clip) where you will find the three compositions she performed that evening along with other original compositions: https://joanbujacich.com/video.php.
Though many years have passed, it is nice to see that Mr. McClure, a composer himself, is keeping this music alive!

January 2020

Dan Crisci is excited to present his new website: dancrisci.com. Dan designed the site to be a place to learn about his original music, to hear samples of his songs, and even hear some songs in their entirety (check out the Quite Zone for five songs that will take you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life). Dan welcomes your feedback about the site.

Two of Thomas Parente’s piano trios were performed at the National Opera Center in Manhattan. Both Morphs on “Dona Dona” and “Korobushka" are two transcriptions for piano trio from a larger work for piano duo which upon completion will be entitled “The Seasons”. This work is comprised of Morphs (or compositional transformations) of international folk songs related to the weather that occurs in that specific country for that specific month. Hence there will be twelve pieces  (there re eleven at present) - one for every month of the year. As an example, the colder months of December, January, and February’s draw upon the folk music of Russia, Iceland and Finland respectively. “Dona Dona”, as a much loved Jewish folk song by Sholom Secunda, relates to Israel, which represents June. “Korobushka”, is a popular Russian folksong and has been designated to represent December.        

2019

November 2019

While most Americans were sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, Westminster Choir College Associate Professor of Piano Thomas Parente was rehearsing for a performance of his compositions in Parana, Argentina. The Carmina Gaudii chorus, conducted both by Evangelina Burchardt and Dr. Parente, presented a concert of Parente’s music titled This Heavenly Night, which was taken from the chorale by the same name for three part women’s choir. The program included six choral works and three of his art songs, performed by soprano Cecilia Leyes, a Parana Conservatory faculty member.  Pianist Luciano Stizzoli joined Parente to perform three of his piano duets. Read the entire story HERE.

Heart 'N Hands Mission is presenting The Songbird Trio, comprised of Kathy Knittel on lead vocals, Joan Bujacich on piano, and Joe Bilotti on guitar on November 24th at 3 pm, St Timothy Lutheran Church, 395 Valley Road, Wayne NJ. The Trio will be performing songs from Kathy’s 2017 CD, A Songbird's Christmas featuring Joan's fresh arrangements of holiday favorites, along with other selections.  All proceeds benefit Heart 'N Hands Mission, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization whose mission is to collect and provide clothing and other necessities to the homeless and working poor of northeastern NJ servicing over 2,000 families per month. Tickets are $15.00 and are available at the door. To reserve tickets, please call St. Timothy Lutheran Church at 973-694-8316, select Mailbox #6 and leave a message, a volunteer will call to confirm.  Visit The Songbird Trio Facebook page here and purchase here.

 
The Alacorde Piano Trio announces its next concert on November 17th at 2 pm at the Fort Lee Public Library.  Piano trios by Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Turina and more.
Jacqueline Schiller-Audi, piano; Jee Sun Lee, violin; Suji Kim, cello 
For more information: alacordepianotrio.com
 

Sondra Tammam presented a Master Class Seminar at the Conservatorio G. Verdi of Milan.

David Witten, Coordinator of Piano Studies at the Cali School of Music, Montclair State University and Sondra Tammam, Piano Faculty at the Cali School of Music, were guest professors at the International Piano Week of the Music Academy Cetinge University of Montenegro in November.
 

 

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