Music Educators Association of New Jersey

Serving teachers and students since 1927

Member News

2020

February 2020

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.
 

October 2019

MEA board member and Past President, Joan Bujacich, released a new CD of electronic compositions entitled, Seeing Sound, Hearing Color. She collaborated with artist/healer, Sandra Del Cioppio on this project. They will be exhibiting their project at the Nyack Holistic Fair on October 26. To learn more about this project which can “tune-up your aura”, visit Joan’s website Here. You can also visit their Seeing Sound, Hearing Color Facebook page for more details.

Michelle Chen Kuo & her son Christopher Kuo will be performing their annual friends & family benefit concert for the Walsh Memorial Bell Choir on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 6 PM. They will be performing works by Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Lutoslawski, and Infante. The recital will be held in the sanctuary at the Presbyterian Church of Morris Plains located at 400 Speedwell Avenue, and tickets will be sold at the door for $20, though youth can attend free of charge. This recital caps off Michelle & Christopher's 2019 tour, where they helped raise $220,000 for nine nonprofit organizations across the country through their strategic fundraising work and recitals. 
The Alacorde Piano Trio announces its next concert on October 20th at 2 pm at the Teaneck 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
 
 
The Alacorde Piano Trio announces its next concert on October 13th at 2 pm at the Tenafly 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
 
 
 

September 2019

Sophia Agranovich will perform a solo recital at the 'floating concert hall' Bargemusic on September 7, 2019, at 6 PM.  In the program: Sonata Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight' by Beethoven, Scherzo No. 4 in E Major by Chopin, Transcendental Etude 'Ricordanza' by Liszt, works by Mendelssohn and Debussy. 
Address; Brooklyn Bridge Boulevard, 1 Water St. , Brooklyn, NY  11201 
More information and tickets:
 https://bit.ly/2Z2EcpV.

 

July 2019

Nancy Modell will conduct student master classes at the New Jersey Suzuki Workshop at The College of New Jersey on July 20-21.

Nancy Modell will teach ECC!© (Every Child Can!©) on July 7 from 1 - 7 PM, and conduct student master classes July 7-8 at the New Jersey Suzuki Workshop at the Lawrenceville School.

MEA Vice President Marcia Maull was awarded the “2019 Distinguished Teacher Award” in July by the Mensa Foundation.  This award recognizes a teacher, professor, or instructor at any educational level who has had an especially positive influence on the education or life of a Mensa member.
 
Mensan Ingrid Bianca Byerly remembers the moment — her 15th birthday — when Marcia arrived at the Music, Art and Ballet School in South Africa and cast her inspirational spell. “She championed unique assets and tended individual challenges.  What stayed with me most, however, was not just the detail of small phrases or large works. It was what she shared about the art of mastery; the discipline and focus that results in the euphoria of realizing aptitudes.”

“My 15th birthday may be a distant memory,” Ingrid says, “but between 15 and 60 lie 45 years of inspiration that have affected my every day and every student that I teach now, too.”

June 2019

David Witten and Sondra Tammam, Co-Directors, announce The 8th Taubman Piano Festival 2019 at the Cali School of Music, Montclair State University, Fri/Sat/Sun - June 28-30.  MEA members, Dan Crisci, Dragica Ćurčić, and Nancy Modell are Festival faculty. Single day attendance is welcome!  Come listen to our free evening concerts!

Sophia Agranovich will perform a solo concert featuring works by Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn and Debussy at the Lambert Castle Concert Series, 3 Valley Road, Paterson, NJ on June 23 at 5 PM.  It is sponsored by the Passaic County Historical Society. 

Birgit Matzerath will be playing a benefit recital for the Ethical Culture Society of Essex County on Saturday, June 22 at 7 PM, 516 Prospect Street. Maplewood, NJ 07040.

On the program: four Preludes and Fugues from J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and Franz Schubert's Sonata in G-major op 78 - D 894 "Fantasy"- Sonata.

Helen Ryba will perform a solo recital on Saturday, June 8 at 5 PM at The Bronx River Art Center, 1087 E. Tremont Ave., Bronx, NY 10460
The program includes Bach’s Chaconne D minor from violin partita, transcribed for piano by Ferruccio Busoni, Viktor Kosenko’s Consolation Op. 9 and Allemande Op. 19 (from the 11 Etudes in The form of Old Dances).  It also features E-minor Sonata by Florence Beatrice Price and  Prelude and Fugue in F-major by Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk.

May 2019

Sophia Agranovich will perform a solo concert at the Watchung Arts Center, 18 Stirling Rd, Watchung, NJ on May 11 at 7:30 PM.  In the program are works by Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, and Debussy. More information: watchungarts.org.

Toni Russo is pleased to announce the publication of Thankful Me , a children's illustrated book taking children through a journey of things to be thankful for and happy about in their lives through images, the alphabet and rhymes.
A portion of the proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to the MEA-NJ.  
The book is available at Barnes and Noble: Thankful Me

Nancy Modell will present a workshop for teachers at the conclusion of her presentation, Creative Composing for pianists: Empower Creativity, Nurture Musicality, at the 1st Suzuki Convention of the Americas, in Cancun, Mexico, May 1–5.

April 2019

Youn-hee Kim was invited to perform on April 14 for the Richter Association for the Arts in Danbury, Connecticut.

MEA members Dan Crisci and Lisa Gonzalez are part of the 2019 Canticles for Life Concerts in March and April. The Triad Arts Ensemble presents three AIDS Benefit Concerts - Sunday, March 31st, 4 PM @ St Joseph Church in Maplewood NJ, Saturday, April 13th, 7 PM @ Parsippany United Methodist Church in Parsippany NJ, and Sunday, April 14th, 4 PM @ St Martin’s Episcopal Church in Bridgewater NJ.  All proceeds to benefit The AIDS Resource Foundation for Children, The NAMES Project of Northern NJ and New Jersey AIDS Services. In addition to accompanying the chorus, Dan will perform a set with his jazz trio. Join us for a musical journey and celebration of the human spirit through song!
Concert details on the Canticles for Life website and on Facebook.

Nancy Modell is invited to present Creative Composing: Embracing Creativity, Nurturing Musicality at the Piano Teachers Congress of NY on Thursday, April 4 at 10:30 AM at the Yamaha Artist Services, 689 5th Ave. #3, New York, NY.

March 2019

Beatrice Long and pianist Jo-Hwa Yao and I for a recital on Sunday, March 24 at 3 PM at Jacobs Music, 2540 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ.
This event is presented by the Steinway Society of Greater Princeton to aid students with scholarships. The afternoon recital will feature duet music by Faure and Brahms; solo piano works by Beethoven, Scriabin  Piazzolla and the world premiere of Tango Zurdo by young and an upcoming Mexican composer Eduardos Palacios.
Admission: $20 individual nonmembers; $10 full-time students.
For more information visit www.steinwaysocietyprinceton.org

 

Cosmos Piano Duo, Yuka Yanagi and Kai Pangune Kim, will perform Sunday, March 24 at 2 PM at the  Fort Lee Library.  Works by Bach, Strauss, Liszt, Stravinsky, Rossini, Bizet, and Khachaturian. 

Following her successful recital at the Van Vleck House and Garden in 2018, 
Youn-hee Kim was invited again this year to perform for the audiences there on March 10, 2019.  According to Pegi Adam the chair of the Van Vleck House and Garden, the seats for the Youn-hee’s concert this year were reserved 100% on the first day of the reservation period.  A big success!

February 2019

Dr. Salvatore Mallimo is pleased to announce the release of his new series, Elements of Piano Technique and Applied Theory.  This collection covers 44 different technical elements over 12 books (1a-1c, 2a-2c, 3a-3c, and 4a-4c) and spans Late Elementary to Advanced levels. Each unit contains theoretical explanations with examples of each element (so students understand what they are practicing) and anywhere from 5 to 10 preparatory exercises (so students know how to practice). Each book also contains a practice checklist to track progress and set tempo-related goals.  Technique can be highly personal, so this series intentionally leaves a lot of room for the teacher to guide the physical approach, allowing for its successful use as a supplement to any curriculum, or with any method book series. Individual copies and studio-licensed copies can be purchased as PDF downloads on Dr. Mallimo’s website, while paperback copies are available through Amazon.com.

Birgit Matzerath will introduce her memoir More than the World in Black and White - How music came alive and my life became music on Sunday, February 24 at 11 am at the Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, 516 Prospect Street, Maplewood NJ.

Music educator, pianist and jazz composer, Dr. Angy Estrada released her debut CD album entitled: Latin Pulse.  A tribute to her musical roots using Latin American rhythms, and jazz harmony. You will find an array of flavors and improvisation! Available at: cdbaby.com, Amazon.com and all digital stores. More info: www.AngyEstrada.com

Dan Crisci released a new CD, “Asked and Answered”, in January 2019.  It features Dan’s original jazz compositions with Dan on piano, Paul Ivory on bass, Steve Holloway on drums, John Carlini on guitar, Anton Denner on alto flute, flute, alto sax, and soprano sax, and Rob Thomas on violin.
The streaming version is available at CD Baby, https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/dancrisci2 and the CD version is available from Dan, dcrisci88@gmail.com

January 2019

Birgit Matzerath's memoir More than the World in Black and White- How music came alive and my life became music is now available on Amazon. The book traces the author's development from a child who resented her talent into a woman whose life is grounded in music. It explores how the fulfillment of talent is influenced by family dynamics and life events. First reader responses are enthusiastic. To read more about the book, go to https://www.amazon.com/MORE-THAN-WORLD-BLACK-WHITE/dp/1731108605 and check out the January 2019 posting on the author's blog: Music, Life and other Challenges.

On Sunday, January 20, Birgit Matzerath presented a lecture-recital on "Preludes and Fugues from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier as a source of meditation" at Beacon Unitarian Church in Summit, NJ. The event was part of the church's annual "service auction" fundraiser. 

2018

December 2018

Cherwyn Ambuter accompanied seasonal community chorus concerts: 
* The Newburgh Chorale
                * Dec. 22 at King of Kings Lutheran Church, New Windsor, NY
                * Dec. 30 at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Beacon, NY

Cherwyn Ambuter accompanied seasonal community chorus concerts:
         * Classic Choral Society:
                  Dec. 16 at the First Presbyterian Church of Goshen, NY
                  Dec. 23 at the Blooming Grove United Church of Christ, Blooming Grove, NY

October 2018

On October 28, Sophia Agranovich will play at the concert presented by the International Music and Arts Society at the Carnegie Weill Recital Hall.

Michelle Kuo and her son, Christopher Kuo, are launching their upcoming  Two Piano Journey season with a brand new program filled with exciting dances and indulgent romances from Spain, France, Argentina, and Russia by Gustavino, Infante, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, and Saint-Saëns. Watch this documentary to learn more about their project.
They are dedicating their coveted Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall debut on October 27 at 7 PM, to Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, a critical food rescue nonprofit that brings leftover food from restaurants to families in need in 18 cities in the country. Their model is simple - volunteers carry prepared food that otherwise would be thrown away by restaurants to food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters within walking distance. The end result - more than 2MM pounds of food have made it to families in need instead of landfills, restaurants are able to save money by reducing food waste taxes, and the environment benefits by a reduction in CO2 emissions. 
They have already received nearly $50,000 in sponsorships and commitments for Rescuing Leftover Cuisine this fall.  Please help them reach their target of $100,000! 

 

We regret to notify you that the Plainfield Music Store has officially closed its doors, permanently. The store, both online and retail, is no more.
We thank you all so much for your patronage and support over the years.  Thanks for all the memories!  We will still have the plfdmusic@aol.com e-mail, and our Facebook page, so drop us a line now and then.  Sincerely yours, Vicky Griswold & the Plainfield Music Store Staff - Pat, Michael, Wendy, and, in spirit, David

Maplewood's DeHart Community Center, 120 Burnett Ave., has recently acquired a concert grand due to the generosity of local music lovers.  To celebrate this instrument, local teachers will present a recital entitled "Teachers' Turn!" on Sunday, October 7, at 4:00 PM followed by a reception.  Suggested donation for adults is $20, students are free.  This event is a fund-raiser for a scholarship fund to benefit local music students who lack resources for private music lessons.  Performing are MEA members Kathy Allen-Roth, Elizabeth Burnett, Vicki Carter, Dan Crisci, Maxine Giannini, Birgit Matzerath, Nancy Modell, Yudit Terry, Tricia Tunstall, and other musicians. This is a celebration not to be missed!  

Pianist Murray Present (1921-2012) was a loyal and distinguished long-time member of MEA. A life-long resident of Montclair, his teaching career included 44 years as a Piano Professor at Montclair State University.

The John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University is pleased to announce to the MEA community of music teachers a new piano scholarship that will honor the legacy of Professor Murray Present. The Murray Present Memorial Piano Scholarship will be awarded to an incoming pianist applying for undergraduate or graduate study at the Cali School of Music. The award will be in the amount of $5,000 per year. An undergraduate award may be extended for a total of four years, and a graduate award may be extended for two years. No special application is necessary; the recipient will be chosen from among those applying to the Cali School of Music. For further information, please contact Dr. David Witten at wittend@montclair.edu.

September 2018

Co-leader, Joan Bujacich (keyboards and vocals)  will be performing with The Heart Of Gold Band for Morristown’s Festival on The Green. They perform from 1-5 on the main stage which is on the corner of DeHart and South Streets. This is their 8th year of gracing the main stage with their renditions of great classic rock music. You will also see MEA Board Member Kathy Knittel in the line-up! This is a free concert and a fun event for all! Visit Joan’s website for more details: www.joanbujacich.com

Cherwyn Ambuter performed a piano solo children's concert at Calvary Baptist Church, Warwick, NY.

Joan Bujacich will be giving a concert in Danbury, Connecticut at the Richter House located at 100 Aunt Hack Rd. It is an outdoor concert and it begins at 3:00 P.M. Joan will be accompanied by guitarist/vocalist Joe Bilotti. The duo version of their  “The Heart Of Gold Band” brings fresh arrangements to familiar classic rock songs. Admission is free.

 

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