Executive DirectorRead Bio
Alyssa Lee leads all management and operations of the organization. She works closely with the Board of Directors, the administrative team, and faculty members to develop, implement, and oversee programs to ensure that Project STEP continues to sustainably fulfill its mission.
Alyssa comes to Project STEP with over 15 years of nonprofit experience, including 10 years of executive level experience specifically focusing on community arts programming ranging from positions with community music schools, to arts activist organizations, and professional chamber music ensembles. Throughout her career, Alyssa continues to advocate for local artists in an effort to promote greater civic engagement and economic development.
In between earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Music (applied oboe) from Western Michigan University and a Master’s degree in Arts Administration from Boston University, she served in both AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps.
Artistic DirectorRead Bio
Javier Caballero, Artistic Director, serves as the key artistic leader of Project STEP, working closely with the Executive Director. He directs all educational programming, artistic activities, and collaborative partnerships in line with Project STEP’s mission and core values.
With a career in the performing arts spanning over 20 years, Mr. Caballero has worked as a performing artist, educator, and arts administrator. As a cellist, he studied with Scott Kluksdahl at the University of South Florida and Rhonda Rider at the Boston Conservatory. Performances have taken him to China, Turkey, and France, as well as Palestine and Israel with the Al Kamandjati Music School. Locally, he frequently performs with various groups such as Shelter Music Boston, Lexington Symphony, and SpeakEasy Stage Company, and has recorded several albums with Middle Eastern, New Age, Balkan, and Indie Rock groups.
In addition to his private teaching studio, he serves on the faculty of the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Point Counterpoint, and Boston University Tanglewood Institute Junior Strings Intensive summer festivals. He also directs the cello choir at New England Conservatory Preparatory School and previously taught in the Brookline and Watertown public schools.
Most recently, Mr. Caballero served as part of the senior leadership team at NPR’s From the Top as its Scholarship and Recruitment Manager, leading all aspects of its national admissions department as well as the prominent Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. Mr. Caballero is excited to return to Project STEP after having previously served in a variety of positions with the organization between 2007- 2017, including four years as Artistic Director. During that tenure, Project STEP visited the White House twice, and, on a separate occasion, Mr. Caballero gave a presentation at the National Endowment for the Arts on Project STEP’s legacy of artistic excellence.
Outside of Project STEP, he serves on the board of directors for The Theater Offensive, A Far Cry, and Challenge the Stats. Born in Puerto Rico, Mr. Caballero is a passionate advocate for the synergy between artistic excellence, music education, and social justice.
Program & Communications ManagerRead Bio
Rachel Forbes joined Project STEP in 2019. Rachel is a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she earned a degree in Music Education (voice). Prior to joining Project STEP, Rachel spent two summers as a Public Representative at the Tanglewood Music Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Rachel’s role at Project STEP is creating and implementing dynamic enrichment programming for our Core program students and families and providing engaging communication for our community and friends.
Artistic Advisor and violinistRead Bio
Mariana Green Hill began studying violin at the age of four. At age nine she auditioned into Project STEP, and under its auspices Ms. Green Hill studied at the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School. Her teachers included Farhoud Moshfegh, Marylou Speaker Churchill, then Principal Second Violin of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Tamara Smirnova, Assistant Concert Master of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Green Hill received Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the Juilliard School, and a Professional Studies Diploma from the Mannes College of Music. Ms. Green Hill is a Second, Third and Best Tone Award Winner of the Sphinx Competition and placed First in the Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Competition, the 17th Annual NAACP Act-So Competition, and the Chinese American Art Society Competition. Ms. Green Hill has been a featured guest soloist with the Memphis, New Jersey, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, the Boston Pops, Symphony Pro Musica, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Civic Symphony, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and the Cape Ann Symphony. Ms. Green Hill is a member of the Young Eight, a group of emerging African American artists who perform chamber music throughout the country. She is concertmaster of the Soulful Symphony in Baltimore. For eight years she was the second violinist of the Amaryllis String Quartet. She currently teaches at the Boston Arts Academy and Orchard Gardens Pilot School, as well as privately. She is Artistic Advisor of Project STEP where she consults with the Artistic Director and Executive Director on issues pertaining to the Youth Preparatory, Preparatory and Pre-College Divisions. She also assists with content and student selection from the FOCUS program. In conjunction with the Artistic Director and the Executive Director, she helps develop curriculum for the program. She is a resource for parents and faculty.
Director of Institutional RelationsRead Bio
Leigh Kelter served as Project STEP’s Executive Director from 2001-2005 and moved on to specialize in non-profit fundraising in her subsequent position as the Director of Development at the Conservatory Lab Charter School. She returned to Project STEP in 2010 and has been focusing on foundation, corporate, and government fundraising since then. Serving as Interim Executive Director in fall 2018 strengthened her already deep commitment to the organization. Ms. Kelter received a Master of Arts in ethnomusicology from UCLA and a Bachelor of Arts in music and anthropology from Tufts University.
Manager of Donor EngagementRead Bio
Jodie McMenamin joined Project STEP in the fall of 2014. Jodie has worked for nearly 15 years in the arts and culture sector of Boston in fundraising and development for various non-profit organizations including the USS Constitution Museum, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Glovebox, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her role at Project STEP includes working with the Executive Director, and Board of Trustees to lead a successful campaign of individual support for the organization’s continued growth and stability. In addition to her position with Project STEP, Jodie is a successful fine arts painter (jodiebaehre.com). Her art has been featured in Boston Magazine, Daily Artspace, Apartment Therapy, and the Boston Weekly Dig among others. Jodie’s work is on permanent reserve at the Boston Public Library, and State Street Bank, and permanent exhibition at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She has been nominated as a Brother Thomas Fellow by The Boston Foundation (2018), and recognized as a Fay Chandler Emerging Artist by The City of Boston (both in 2018 and 2019). In addition to her artwork and her work in fundraisin, Jodie is a member of the Fort Point Arts Community and Dorchester Arts Community. She studied Industrial Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Printmaking and the History of Italian Gardens at the Lorenzo de’ Medici School in Florence, Italy, received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, and a Master’s of Science in Art Administration from Boston University.
Diane M. Austin, President
Michael J. Hoyle, Treasurer
Jessica M. Fenton, Clerk
Rebecca Bogers, New England Conservatory Rep.
Rochelle Burgos, Parent Rep.
Melinda K. Cheston
Dr. Mark Churchill
Alexandra Fuchs, Boston Symphony Orchestra Rep.
Audley H. Fuller
Marta R. Jimenez, Parent Rep.
Meghan K. Jasani
Hon. Antoinette McLean Leoney
Alex E. McCray
Gregory Melchor-Barz, PhD, Boston University Rep
Gregory E. Bulger
Nina L. Doggett
Goetz B. Eaton
Rachel S. Moore
Ann Hobson Pilot
Martha Batchelor Volpe
Alexander Badalov received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Cello Performance from the Tbilisi College of Music, his PhD from Tbilisi State Conservatory, and an Artist Diploma from the Longy School of Music. He also received a Kodaly Method Certification Level I from the New England Conservatory. He has since performed many times with the Cape Cod Symphony, Nashua Symphony, Central Massachusetts Symphony, New Hampshire Symphony and Bangor Symphony Orchestras.
Angela Leidig’s involvement with the Suzuki method goes back 40 years. She started playing violin when she was five years old in a Suzuki public school program in Pennsylvania. She began teaching in 1991 while finishing high school and continued teaching ever since. She completed her Suzuki Teacher training for Books 1-10 under Kimberly Meier-Sims, Linda Fiore, Ronda Cole, Ed Sprunger and Ed Kreitman.
Currently Angela is on the Suzuki faculty at New England Conservatory teaching both private lessons and group classes and maintains a private studio in Somerville, MA. She was on the Suzuki faculty at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA from 2008-2013. In the summer, Angela teaches at the NEC Summer SuzukiFest and at White Mountain Suzuki Institute in New Hampshire.
Angela is also a certified Alexander Technique teacher; she is dedicated to teaching young children how to play with an attitude of creativity and enjoyment, developing a technical and musical foundation of ease, balance and freedom from the beginning stages. She works closely with parent and child to develop healthy habits with the instrument and practice at home from the very beginning. Angela teaches AT group and private lessons in the greater Boston area, as well at the Alexander Technique School of Cambridge teacher training program where she trained and graduated in 2011. She began teaching AT with Robyn Avalon at Meadowmount String Summer Institute to advanced string players ages 13 and up in 2019 and teaches AT courses at NEC Prep, NEC conservatory and in the greater Boston community.
Angela received her M.M. from Boston University with Bayla Keyes and did doctoral work in violin performance at the University of Colorado in Boulder under the Takacs Quartet. Angela has dedicated much of her performance career and study to chamber music and continues freelancing and giving chamber music concerts in the Boston area.
Anna Korsunsky (violin) studied at Gnessin Institute of Music in Moscow, Russia. After immigrating to the United States she continued her studies under a Special Director Award at Boston University, where she received Master of Music degree. She has appeared as a soloist and as a chamber musician in the former USSR, Germany, Italy, Japan and USA and has participated in the Musicorda, Spoleto and Pacific Music Festivals. Mrs. Korsunsky is a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and plays with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. She teaches extensively at her home studio in Needham and at the St. Mark’s School
Hailed by John Williams as “an outstanding cellist and truly dedicated artist”, Emmanuel Feldman has emerged as one of the most innovative and expressive cellists of his generation. Known for his intense and soulful playing that explores a broad range of repertoire and styles, Feldman’s unique artistic collaborations have bought him critical acclaim as a solo cellist. Following the release of his all American CD on Delos, Our American Roots, Gramophone called Feldman, “an artist who combines communicative urgency with tonal splendor”. He enjoys a multifaceted career as soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, composer, inventor and educator.
With a concert career that has taken him throughout Europe and the U.S., Feldman has performed at Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, The Phillips Collection, Salle Gaveau Paris France, Radio France, Franz Liszt Academy, and many other venues around the world. His playing on the world premiere CD of Virgil Thompson’s Cello Concerto was lauded by the New York Times as “Technically challenging, the concerto sounds exhilarating in this bracing and confident performance”. He has appeared as guest soloist with numerous orchestras including the Boston Pops Orchestra, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Greensboro Festival Orchestra, and Boston Philharmonic among others. Mr. Feldman has specialized in the performance of the J.S. Bach’s Solo Suites for cello and following his debut on the Marquee Celebrity Series of Boston, Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe remarked that, “Emmanuel Feldman was superb in the Bach Solo Suites”. With over a dozen recordings to his credit, his discography has been critically recognized for its commitment to solo and chamber works by contemporary and American composers. His all American CD release on Albany Records, Rider on the Plains received a 2008 Grammy nomination for producer Blanton Alspaugh (Producer of the Year). Highlights from the 2019-20 season include performances of the Schumann concerto with the Narragansett Bay Symphony, master classes and performances in Taipei, performances of Chopin with pianist Magdalena Ademek at the Kosciuszko Foundation, and as a guest artist with the Richmond Symphony’s chamber music series with pianist Yin Zheng and violinist and Richmond Symphony concertmaster, Daisuke Yamamoto.
A sought after chamber musician, Mr. Feldman has collaborated with pianists Robert Levin, Gilbert Kalish, Yehudi Wyner, Jorge Bolet, David Deveau and with pianist Joy Cline-Phinney whom he recorded several CDs; instrumentalists Paul Neubauer, Richard Stoltzman, Karen Dreyfus, Nicholas Kitchen, Jennifer Frautschi and Elmar Oliveira, as well as the Verona and Borromeo String Quartets and members of the Lydian and Jupiter String Quartets. He has also appeared frequently on radio and television broadcasts, including WQXR New York, WCRB and WGBH Boston, and Radio France.
As co-founder of Duo Cello e Basso (formerly Axiom Duo), with double bassist Pascale Delache-Feldman, they have commissioned more than a dozen new works and collaborated on chamber music concert series across the U.S. and abroad. Upcoming Duo projects include a Tango CD with pianist Victor Cayres and a consortium commission with Canadian composer Michael Oesterle in the 2019-20 season.
Through newly commissioned premieres and unique collaborations with dance and poetry, Mr. Feldman has joined forces in collaborations with artists and ensembles such as jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin, Mark Morris Dance Group, Rebecca Rice Dance, and as a core member of the Aurea Ensemble creating a unique and unexpected concert experience. A champion of new music, he has premiered works by composers John Harbison, Richard Danielpour, Michael Gandolfi, Aaron Kernis, David Diamond, Gunther Schuller, Charles Fussell, Jan Swafford, Andrew List, Yakov Yakoulov, John McDonald, and Gilbert Trout and many other prominent composers. As a composer himself, Mr. Feldman’s own compositions have been performed by the New England String Ensemble, Duo Cello e Basso and the Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival. His “Synergy” for String Orchestra” will be performed in Boston by the Commonwealth Chorale Orchestra on the fall 2019-20 season.
In addition to his work as a faculty member at New England Conservatory, he is also on the cello and chamber music faculty at Tufts University, VCU Global Summer Music Institute, International Cello Institute, Heifetz International Music Institute, Easton Chamber Music Festival, and Killington Music Festival. Mr. Feldman also maintains an active private studio in the Boston area. He has also taught at Yellow Barn, New York Summer Music Festival, Summit Music Festival, and Duxbury Music Festival. Feldman’s cello students have been accepted to virtually every major music school and conservatory in the United States and abroad and have won top prizes in international competitions including the Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, Presidential Scholars in the Arts, Brahms International Competition, Irving Kline, and Stulberg Competitions and have appeared on NPR’s “From The Top”. Many of his former students now have their own careers as artists and educators including a Tchaikovsky Competition medalist, artistic directors of prominent chamber music series and music festivals and leaders in their field.
Following his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, Feldman’s first orchestral work included part time positions with the Philadelphia Orchestra where he was mentored by principal cellist William Stokking and later the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was also principal cellist with many orchestras in the Boston area including the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Mr. Feldman is also an accomplished luthier and fine stringed instrument expert and is the inventor of the TekPin™ cello and bass endpins.
Born in New York City to a large musical family of Julliard trained parents, Feldman first studied the violin, piano and French horn and then chose the cello at age 12. Feldman later studied cello in New York City with renowned cellist David Finckel during his high school years. He was accepted as a student at the Curtis Institute of Music with Orlando Cole and also worked with chamber music coaches Felix Galimir, Karen Tuttle, and Jascha Brodsky. His other cello teachers include Bernard Greenhouse and Amy Camus. He was a student Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and worked in master classes with Yo Yo Ma who after hearing him wrote “he played with wonderful open sound, with great facility…a fine cellist”. He has also been invited to participate in numerous other summer music festivals, including the Marlboro Music Festival, Meadowmount, and Encore School for Strings. Currently, he is pursuing a master’s degree in composition at Tufts University studying with John McDonald and Kareem Roustom.
Hyun-Ji Kwon, cellist, currently maintains an active schedule as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree at Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, Korea, and was the winner of the top prize at the Seoul Symphony Orchestra Competition and the third prize at the Seoul Youth Chamber Music Competition. She was the principal cellist for the Ewha orchestra and performed as a soloist with the orchestra for two consecutive years.
She came to Boston to study at the New England Conservatory, where she earned a Master of Music in cello performance as well as a Graduate Diploma. From there she moved on to complete a Doctor of Musical Arts in cello performance at Boston University’s School of Music, in the studio of Rhonda Rider. Her other teachers have included Natasha Brofsky, Il-hwan Bai and Sungwon Yang.
Kwon has performed in master classes for renowned cellists such as Natalia Gutman and Anner Bylsma, and she has participated in numerous music festivals and concerts in Korea and North America. During her studies at BU, she was selected numerous times to perform in joint Faculty/DMA candidate “Chamber Music Masterworks” concerts, and she was awarded special String Department Honors upon graduation as well as membership in the national honorary society Pi Kappa Lambda. She has performed as guest alumna along with the celebrated Muir Quartet and violist Michelle LaCourse at BU’s Tsai Center, with the Convergence Ensemble, and in several other Boston area ensembles.
Kwon joined the BU School of Music cello faculty in 2015. During the summer, she serves on the faculty of Boston University Tanglewood Institute as co-director of the cello workshop program and cello instructor of the Young Artists Orchestra program.
Jason Amos began the viola at age eleven in his hometown of Southfield, MI. He placed 4th in the 2007 Sphinx Competition and 1st in the 2006 Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Bradlin Scholarship Concerto Competition. He has also performed as the featured young artist of the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings and as soloist with the Ann Arbor Symphony. After undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Mr. Amos received a Graduate Diploma at the New England Conservatory of Music. During the summers, he has enjoyed serving as faculty for the Sphinx Performance Academy and the Four Strings Academy, as well as mentoring the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Jason studied primarily with Martha Strongin Katz, Yizhak Schotten, Caroline Coade, and Catherine Carroll. Mr. Amos completed the Fellowship program at Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI. Jason serves as violist in the Boston Public Quartet, which has a permanent residency at the Chittick Elementary School in Mattapan, MA.
Patrice Jackson-Tilghman joined the Conservatory in 2018 and is an associate professor of cello. In addition, she has served on the strings faculty at Berklee College of Music since 2013. Jackson, who has carved a name for herself as a gifted and charismatic young soloist, has been described as a “big-toned, boldly projected soloist” (Detroit News) who “wowed the audience with effortless facility, playful phrasing and a sense of spontaneity that one hears usually only from the highest caliber of musicians” (Hartford Courant).
In 2002, Jackson was awarded first place in the Senior Laureate Division of the nationally renowned Sphinx Competition, and was the recipient of the Yale University Aldo Parisot Prize, awarded to a “gifted cellist who shows promise for a concert career.” Since then, she has performed with the Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Omaha, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Grand Rapids, Nashville, Hartford, Chautauqua, Colorado and Mississippi symphonies, as well as the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jackson has performed with the Ritz Chamber Players, Castle of Our Skins, and Boston Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, in addition to faculty recitals at Boston Conservatory.
Jackson received both a Bachelor of Music degree and Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School, and a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music. She has been a student of Janos Starker, Aldo Parisot, Joel Krosnick, and Bonnie Hampton. In addition to her classical credentials, Jackson has played behind some of the most iconic artists of our generation, including Alicia Keys, Kanye West, J-Cole, and Stevie Wonder.
Laura Williamson teaches private lessons and group classes in the Boston area. She holds a BA in Music Performance and Sociology from Vanderbilt University, where she graduated summa cum laude, and a MM from New England Conservatory. Laura is passionate about 20th and 21st century music. While at the Round Top Festival, Laura was featured on a “Best of” recital performing Ligeti’s “Metamorphoses nocturnes” Quartet. Other festivals Laura has participated in include the Brevard Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Monadnock Music Festival.
While at NEC Laura studied pedagogy under Magdalena Richter. Laura endeavors to prioritize working with young musicians for the duration of her career, and to be a “life-long learner” in furthering her pedagogical awareness. Laura has done Suzuki training with Teri Einfeldt, Kirsten Marshall, Carol Smith and Lynn McCall. She is currently on the faculty of NEC’s Preparatory School where she teaches private violin and viola lessons, violin ensembles, and Suzuki Early Childhood Education.
Liana Zaretsky is an active chamber and orchestral musician in the Boston area. She is the former principal second violinist of Portland, ME, Symphony and appears regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and Boston Ballet. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Zaretsky was one of the original and former members of the Radius Ensemble. She has collaborated with faculty from Longy School of Music, New England Conservatory, as well as with Boston Symphony musicians to perform frequently. Ms. Zaretsky holds a Masters degree in music from Northwestern University and a Graduate Diploma degree from the New England Conservatory. Between degrees, she was a member of the New World Symphony-one of the rotating Concert Masters, under Michael Tilson Thomas.
Ms. Zaretsky is currently the Rivers Summer Music Program Director, a newly appointed position. During the year, she is a string faculty member at the Rivers School Conservatory and at the Preparatory and School of Continuing Education at the New England Conservatory. She has recently joined the Project STEP faculty and continues to actively work with the Boston Youth Symphony, coaching chamber music and leading orchestra repertoire sectionals. In the summer, she has been a regular member of the Peninsula Music Festival in Wisconsin.
Lucia P. May is on the faculty of the Longy School of Music at Bard College, The Rivers School Conservatory, and Project STEP. She also maintains a private studio in Cambridge, MA. Prior to moving to Minnesota in 2001, she taught year-round at the Indiana University String Academy. From 2001-2016 she maintained a large private studio in St. Paul and was named Studio Teacher of the Year in 2015 by the Minnesota chapter of ASTA. Since the mid-1980s she has taught in various programs including the Indiana University Summer String Academy with Mimi Zweig, the University of Minnesota Bravo! Summer Institute with Sally O’Reilly, and the St. Louis Symphony Community Music School.
In 1984 she received her BM degree in violin performance from the Saint Louis Conservatory of Music, before graduate studies at Southern Illinois University. Her teachers included Daniel Majeske, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, Taras Gabora of the Oberlin Conservatory, and Fryderyk Sadowski of the Saint Louis Conservatory. For over ten years she was immersed in pedagogy as part of the teacher-training program at SIU Edwardsville, led by John Kendall, a pioneer of the American Suzuki movement. Lucia worked with Kendall in several capacities including graduate teacher assessment in teacher training, pedagogy, and performance. During the 1990s, she played with the contemporary ensemble Synchronia.
Mariana Green-Hill marks this upcoming year as the 15th anniversary as Founder and Director of Four Strings Academy, an intensive string program held during the summer geared to children, ages 4-18 and some adults, demonstrating the potential to become professional musicians and love for the art form.
Mrs. Green-Hill is also the Strings Director at Boston Arts Academy under the leadership of Gregory Holt, directing both technique and orchestral classes for the school’s string students. From 2012-2013, her role was expanded to teach violin at the Orchard Gardens School under the leadership of Principal Andrew Bott with his Arts Initiative Team also considered President Obama’s choice turn around school in Boston.
Along with these responsibilities, she currently serves as the Interim Artistic Director but usually has worked as the Artistic Advisor of the Project STEP program located in Boston’s Symphony Hall, where she teaches, coaches and advises students and parents grades K-12. Ms. Green-Hill also performs in various venues as a soloist and chamber musician and teaches privately.
Mariana Green-Hill is a multi- prize Winner of The Sphinx Competition as well as the recipient of the 2009 Sanford Allen Award in recognition of her “artistic merit, persistence, and extraordinary achievement.” She has also won first place in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Harry and Marion Dubbs Competitions. Mrs. Green-Hill has been a featured guest soloist with the New Jersey, Memphis, Detroit, and Boston Symphony Orchestras and The Boston Pops. In addition to her solo performances, she is an experienced chamber and orchestral musician. The Amaryllis String Quartet, of which she was a member, was awarded First Prize in the prestigious Fischoff Chamber Music Competition (Jr. Division). Ms. Green-Hill has performed with YoYo Ma, Pamela Frank, Lynn Chang, Marcus Thomson, and with members of the Houston and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. She was also a member of the Young Eight String Octet for six seasons.
Mariana Green-Hill was of the Concertmasters of Soulful Symphony, a symphony ensemble made up of classical orchestra, big-band and gospel choir. Their performance of “Song in a Strange Land” composed and directed by Darrin Atwater earned an Emmy. This ensemble has also performed in collaboration with members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Green-Hill was one of the violinists of the former MarNi Duo that performed for a benefit concert for former President Barak Obama in Boston’s Jordan Hall. She enjoys performing with non-classical musicians, and has recorded with gospel artists Donnie McClurkin and Richard Smallwood. She has also performed with the “Gorillaz,” and with Joss Stone and Alicia Keys. Ms. Green-Hill studied violin under the auspices of Project STEP and attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts. She received her Bachelor and Masters Degrees from The Juilliard School and a Professional Studies Diploma from the Mannes College of Music under the respective tutelage of the late Dean Stephen Clapp, Dr. Ann Setzer and Ida Kavafian.
Conductor, cellist and educator Mark Churchill is widely known in New England and abroad. He served as Associate Conductor of the Boston Ballet from 1990 to 2012 and is the founder and Music Director of Symphony Pro Musica, now in its 37th season. Former conducting roles include music director of Worcester’s Salisbury Lyric Opera and Salisbury Chamber Orchestra and the Thayer Conservatory Orchestra. He has also led the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra in its annual gala concert and recently conducted the National Ballet of Mongolia and the Tokyo’s Komaki Ballet. For eleven years he served as Resident Conductor and Faculty Chairman of the Asian Youth Orchestra in Hong Kong, a pan-Asian organization led at its inception by the late Sir Yehudi Menuhin. He is the founder and vice president of the Orchestra of the Americas (formerly the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, established in 2002, which draws gifted young musicians from throughout North and South America.
As a cellist Mark has appeared as soloist, recitalist, and chamber music player throughout the United States and on tours of South America. He has also appeared in Seoul, Hong Kong, and Taiwan with the Trio Pro Musica. He is much sought after as a cello teacher of gifted teenage cellists, many of whom have gone on to study at major conservatories, achieving notable careers as performers and teachers. He was given the Boston Cello Society’s 2017 annual recognition award for outstanding service to education, performance, and scholarship. In addition to his 40-year tenure as cello instructor at NEC’s Preparatory School, Mark has presented numerous masterclasses and workshops, and has served on the faculty of summer music festivals such as the Cremona, Heifetz, Musicorda and Foulger International Music Academies, and Greenwood Music Camp. He and his wife, violinists Marylou Speaker Churchill, received Harvard’s Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award in 2005.
Mark is Dean Emeritus of New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School and and School of Continuing Education, which he oversaw for 31 years. During his leadership of the Preparatory School, the program expanded enormously and became known as one of the best of its kind in the nation, emphasizing serious, professional training for the pre-college student along with high-level music education for students of all ages and aspirations. He launched the School of Continuation as the counterpart to the Preparatory School and shaped the first two decades of its growth. In addition he established the NEC at Walnut Hill Program 1982 and initiated and curated numerous community-based programs and local, national, and international partnerships.
An active advocate for the improvement and expansion of music education programs in American schools, Mark for many years oversaw NEC’s Center for Music-in-Education, which featured the development of new music education curricula and music teacher training programs. He is founder and board member of El Sistema USA, the advocacy and service organization for US programs that are inspired by the renowned Venezuelan model of social development through music, and he established NEC’s Abreu Fellows Program for the training of El Sistema leaders in 2008. Beginning in the late 1990’s Mark began developing New England Conservatory’s close relationship with Venezuela’s massive El Sistema youth orchestral training program, leading to the signing of the 2005 “Friendship Agreement” between New England Conservatory and El Sistema along with numerous faculty and student exchanges and the joint founding of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. He oversaw NEC’s close relationship with El Sistema until 2010. In January 2018 he was given El Sistema USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mark is currently Senior Advisor to the Boston Philharmonic and Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and serves on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations, including Project STEP, a pre-professional support program for string students of color; the Center for Artistry and Scholarship, dedicated to leading arts education reform in the US public schools; El Sistema USA; and the Orchestra of the Americas (vice-president). For 18 years Mark served as a founding board member of the Conservatory Lab Charter School, a K-8 public inner-city Boston elementary school offering a music based curriculum. Other former board roles include the Walnut Hill School, an independent school for serious high school age art students; and the Berkshire Institute for Theology and the Arts, which fostered the interface between those two areas.
Mark holds the B.M. M.M. degrees from New England Conservatory and a D.M.A. from the Hartt School. He received a Fulbright Grant to Brazil for doctoral dissertation research, and spent a year writing, playing and teaching in that beautiful country. His teachers include Herbert Blomstedt and Charles Bruck (conducting); Rudolf Kolisch (chamber music); and Raya Garbousova, Laurence Lesser, David Soyer, and Benjamin Zander (cello). He was married to the the late Marylou Speaker Churchill, Boston Symphony Orchestra principal second violinist and New England Conservatory faculty member. His twenty-three-year-old twin daughters are both studying music in university and plan to pursue careers in music.
Meghan Carye is an active cellist and music educator in the Greater Boston Area. She began her musical training at New England Conservatory and holds a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Performance Diploma in cello performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She has performed throughout North America, Europe and Israel and is a founding member and cellist of the Illyrian Chamber Players.
She is currently on faculty at New England Conservatory Preparatory School and the School of Continuing Education. In addition to her role as a cello teacher and chamber music coach at NEC she is the chair for SCE’s Chamber Music Department. From 2012 until 2016 she served as Program Director of New England Conservatory’s Festival Youth Orchestra (an intensive summer orchestral institute) after serving as the Assistant Director and Chamber Music Coordinator for twelve years.
In addition to her home cello studio in Lexington, she is also the cello sectional coach for Tufts Youth Philharmonic and an adjunct cello faculty member at Belmont Day School, Belmont Hill School and Buckingham Browne and Nichols School. Former teaching positions include cello faculty member at Powers Music School, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Intensive Community Program.
Meghan is the recipient of the American String Teachers Association 2018 Studio Teacher of the Year.
Raised in Portland, Oregon, Megumi started playing the violin at age three. She has soloed with orchestras throughout the US and Japan, and has toured with ensembles throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Now residing in Boston, she is a co-founder of A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra; has been a guest with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, the Radius Ensemble, the Boston Pops, and plays regularly with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Odyssey Opera, and the Aurea Ensemble. Starting in 2008, Megumi picked up the baroque violin and quickly fell for the gut strings and a variety of period bows. This love has led to performances with Boston Baroque, Les Bostonades, and the formation of Antico Moderno, a period instrument ensemble actively commissioning contemporary works.
She also loves to fiddle and play rock and has regularly toured with Britain’s Jethro Tull. Megumi’s primary influences include her teachers Lucy Chapman at the New England Conservatory and Camilla Wicks and Ian Swensen at the San Francisco Conservatory. Especially in chamber music and period performance, Roger Tapping, Phoebe Carrai, Manfredo Kraemer, and Mark Sokol have been significant mentors.
Photo Credit: Marco Borggreve
Born in the former Soviet Union, violist Michael Zaretsky graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory cum laude. He began his career as a member of the Moscow Philharmonic String Quartet and the Moscow Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra. In 1972, he immigrated to Israel and became principal viola of the Jerusalem Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra and a soloist with Radio Israel. The following year he played for Leonard Bernstein, who brought him to Tanglewood. That summer, while a Fellow in the Tanglewood Music Center (then the Berkshire Music Center), he successfully auditioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Besides being a longtime member of the BSO, Mr. Zaretsky regularly plays solo recitals and chamber music; he has appeared with such leading artists as Emanuel Ax, Yuri Bashmet, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, and Vadim Repin, as well as colleagues from the BSO. As a soloist, he has performed with the Boston Pops, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Atlantic Symphony, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, the Georgian State Chamber Orchestra, and the Sapporo Philharmonic.
He has also appeared as violist with the dance company Tom Gold Dance. While on tour in Japan with the BSO in November 2017, Mr. Zaretsky gave a relief concert in the tsunami-stricken city of Ishinomaki, performing music of Shostakovich and others. A faculty member at Boston University, Mr. Zaretsky has made several highly regarded recordings, including an album of Russian music for viola and piano; music of J.S., C.P.E., and W.F. Bach; music of Brahms and Schumann; Bach’s six cello suites performed on viola; and Hindemith’s Sonatas for unaccompanied viola, and, with pianist Xak Bjerken, viola with piano. Mr. Zaretsky has performed and discussed the six Bach cello suites on multiple occasions, including in Athens, Greece, at the invitation of the American College of Greece, and at TurnPark Art Space in West Stockbridge, MA. Besides the traditional viola repertoire, Mr. Zaretsky performs an extensive repertoire of new music. His collaborations with composer Jakov Jakoulov have resulted in many new works. In 2007, film composer and Boston Pops Laureate Conductor John Williams dedicated his Duo Concertante for violin and viola to Mr. Zaretsky, who premiered it at Tanglewood that summer with BSO violinist Victor Romanul. Their acclaimed recording of the Duo Concertante and other duos for violin and viola was released in fall 2008.
Miriam Bolkosky, cello, appears nationally as an orchestral and chamber musician. She has performed extensively with orchestras in Boston, New York, D.C. and Chicago, including Boston Lyric Opera, A Far Cry, Boston Pops, BMOP, Odyssey Opera, Boston Ballet, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, National Lyric Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has appeared as soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Paul Hill Chorale, and on classical and popular commercial recordings.
A graduate of the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Institute of Music, Miriam maintains a large private studio and has held faculty positions at Northwestern, the Music Institute of Chicago, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is on the faculty of Berkshire Summer Music, and of Project STEP. Miriam is also a Registered Yoga Teacher, and is currently pursuing an Alexander Technique teaching certification.
Nancy Hair (cello) received her B.M. from Indiana University and The Hartt School, and attended graduate studies in pedagogy at Ithaca Talent Education. She studied with Janos Starker, Raya Garbousova, Yehuda Hanani, George Neikrug, Timothy Eddy as well as the Alexander Technique. She has performed with Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, New Hampshire Symphony, Opera Company of Boston, Rhode Island Philharmonic and has been former faculty at Longy and Powers music schools. She is currently on faculty at The Hartt School, All Newton Music School, and New England Conservatory Preparatory Division.
Ms. Villani grew up in Colombia where she received her BA in Music at University of Cauca in Popayan. She then went to France to further her studies. There she studied choir Direction and Gregorian Choir Direction at Conservatoire de Paris, where she was awarded a First Prize. In parallel she got a certification in Music Pedagogy by the Willems Institute (Lyon) and the Kodaly Insitute (Ezstergom, Hungary). Upon moving to the USA she obtained a Level II Dalcroze certification from the Diller-Quaille School of Music in New York.
In Colombia, Ms. Villani worked as a Music Teacher from Kindergarten to High School and founded her own Music Academy. In France she taught Music Theory, Solfege and Choir at the Conservatoire Francis Poulenc and the Music School in Argenteuil. As a choir conductor she was assistant conductor of the Maitrise de Paris, and was invited to conduct the Maitrise of the Cathedral in Metz, two leading youth choral organizations. In addition she founded and directed various ensembles including the Training Choir at Conservatoire Francis Poulenc, the Choir of Palais de la Culture in Puteaux, the World Music Choir in the Cite International Universitaire, and the Popayan Choir celebrating Latin-American music. In the US, she founded the Women’s Choir of Croton on Hudson. In addition to her teaching and conducting work, she also regularly returns to Colombia to transmit her experience to the next generation of educators.
She is now the artistic director and conductor of the Treble Chorus of New England in Andover, MA. In 2019 she joined the faculty of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston as a conductor. Ms. Villani joined the Project STEP Faculty as a teacher of Music Fundamentals in 2018.
French double bassist Pascale Delache-Feldman enjoys a diverse career performing as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, recording artist, commissioner of new music, educator and founder and artistic director of the Boston Bass Bash.
As a soloist, she has performed with the Nashua Chamber Orchestra, Merrimack Valley Philharmonic, the North Shore Philharmonic, Greensboro Festival Orchestra, Longy Chamber Orchestra and others. New Music Connoisseur described her playing from a recent concert as having “technical certainty and musical imagination” and by the Phoenix as “ a gifted colorist ….who produced an entire range of orchestral effects”.
An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with violinists Midori, Joel Smirnoff, St. Petersburg String Quartet, Borromeo String Quartet, members of the Lark String Quartet, Fidelio; pianists Virginia Eskin, Victor Rosenbaum, Randall Hodgkinson, and with soprano Dawn Upshaw. She was a prizewinner at the Prague International Chamber Music Competition and won first prize with honors for double bass performance at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. She has recorded CDs of chamber music with the Albany, Archetype, Arsis, AFKA and CRI labels and has appeared on NPR’s Artbeat, WGBH Boston, Vermont Public Radio, France Inter, Radio France Toulouse, and local television stations.
As an orchestra player, Ms. Delache-Feldman has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Toulouse Capitole National Orchestra (France), and as principal bassist with Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, New England String Ensemble and BMOP, among others.
As co-founder of Duo Cello e Basso (formerly the Axiom Duo) with cellist Emmanuel Feldman, she has concertized both in the US and in Europe at such distinguished venues as the Kennedy Center, the Phillips Collection, Jordan Hall, Sanders Theater, Liszt Academy Budapest, Altes Rathaus Vienna, Radio France Paris and many others. Duo Cello e Basso’s repertoire champions music of our time and collaborates with dynamic artists from many genres. The duo has arranged more challenging and diverse music from Bach to Bartók and has commissioned numerous pieces including composers John Harbison, Daniel Pinkham, John McDonald, Eric Sawyer, Andrew List, Mark DeVoto, Alexander Blechinger, Elena Ruehr, Hayg Boyadjian and many others.
The duo debuted on the Boston Celebrity Series in collaboration with the Rebecca Rice Dance Group and has realeased their first CD on Synergy Classics.
Since 2001, Ms. Delache-Feldman has been the founder and artistic director of the Boston Bass Bash, an international festival dedicated to the double bass that included guests Edwin Barker, Larry Wolfe, Don Palma, Tim Cobb, Rufus Reid, Michael Moore and many others.
Ms. Delache-Feldman teaches double bass at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, Tufts University, New England Conservatory and has been recently invited to give masterclasses at Eastman, University of Taipei, New Englande Conservatory and University of Texas among others. She has taught at the Yellow Barn and Summit Music Festivals, and is on the faculty of the Killington Music Festival, VCU Global Summer Institute of Music, Foundation for Chineses Performing Arts and the Wellesley Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center.
A second-generation bassist, she studied with her father Jean-Claude Delache from age 10 at the Toulouse Conservatory, later studying with Jacques Cazauran and Frédéric Stochl at the Paris Conservatory where she earned her Bachelor of Music. Ms. Delache-Feldman came to the US to study with Roger Scott at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she received her Artist Diploma. She has also studied with Edwin Barker, Evgeny Kolosov, and violinist and renown pedagogue Burton Kaplan. Ms. Delache-Feldman was a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow and participated in the Pablo Casals and Schlesswig Holstein Musik Festivals.
Sassan Haghighi is a freelance cellist and teacher. Recently completing his M.M under the tutelage of Astrid Schween, he has also studied and played for well-known cellists such as Marcy Rosen, Zvi Plesser, Brooks Whitehouse, Rhonda Rider, Pieter Wispelwey, and David Finckel. A long time participant of the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Sassan spent part of summer 2012 as a member of a trio in the Young Artist Fellowship Program. An advocate of new music, he attended a Contemporary Cello Festival in 2012 held at Music from Salem in Salem, NY. After attending Ameropa Music Festival in Prague Czech Republic, Sassan was invited to study at the Prague Conservatory under the instruction of Vladan Koci. Sassan has won several awards, scholarships, and competitions including the Music Academy of North Carolina Strings Competition.
Susan Bradley-Jarvis, a native of Canada, is an internationally known violin teacher, adjudicator, and lecturer in string pedagogy. Currently living in Boston, she teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music where she was also chair of Suzuki Department, and teaches for and directs the Milton Suzuki Talent Education. A clinician at many Suzuki workshops and institutes in the Americas and Asia, she has twice been an invited guest speaker for Suzuki Association national conferences. Known as a teacher for the serious beginner, many of her students have won district, state, and national competitions including the Canadian Stepping Stone Competition, and the National Student Music Competition in Seoul, Korea. Her students have been featured on “From the Top”, and have appeared on solo recitals in NYC Steinway Hall.
An advocate of music for everyone and music in the public schools, Ms Jarvis was part of the delegation that visited Venezuala for the re-signing of the friendship agreement between the famous El Sistema program and New England Conservatory, and was instrumental in the establishment of the El Systema Fellowship training program. She teaches as a private instructor for Boston’s Project Step, and group classes Focus II program. For many years, Ms Jarvis coordinated and taught in the outreach for Boston Arts Academy, a public high school for the visual and performing arts in Boston’s inner-city schools.
Ms Jarvis holds degrees from Ottawa University (violin performance), University of Lethbridge (music education), and Ithaca College (Masters in Performance with Suzuki Emphasis), and is a Silver Medal winner from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She is president and founder of Arco Press, a music publishing house devoted to providing advanced technique to young string players, and the author of the soon to be published nine book series Tailor Made Scales, and Seeing Beats, Saying Rhythms; A String Player’s Guide to Understanding and Sight-Reading Rhythms.
Susanne Friedrich, cello, was born in Vienna, Austria, and received her cello training at the Vienna Conservatory (modern cello) and the Innsbruck Conservatory (baroque cello). She performed for many years with Concilium Musicum on period time instruments, touring all of Austria and Europe as well as Southeast Asia. During her years in Vienna she played regularly with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Wiener Kammeroper.In 1997 she moved to the Boston area to establish herself as a freelance player with many of New England’s orchestras. She was assistant principal of Symphony New Hampshire for many years, and plays regularly with many other ensembles. She founded Trio Orione (piano trio) together with Katharina Radlberger and Roy Imperio, as well as the Vienna Waltz Ensemble, which performs Strauss’ waltzes and polkas, and has been a member of Trio con Brio, two flutes and cello, with Wendy Vignaux and Laura Wilkins. With Joshua Peckins, Lilit Hartunian, and Gillian Rogell she performed as the Rivers String Quartet for two seasons.Most recently she is part of Trio con Anima, a piano trio, with Ana Popa, piano, and Marie Louise Sjöberg, violin.Susanne teaches cello and chamber music at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, Dana Hall School of Music, Rivers School Conservatory, and in her private studio.
Kathleen Jara is a creative educator who focuses on developing student voice through the refinement of the artistic self. She has spent the last fourteen years working in education while maintaining an active performance schedule with her violin, in various idioms, and has continuously found that one discipline informs the other. She has studied with Sharan Leventhal, Vasile Beluska, Steven Cornelius, Russell Schmidt, Bernard Woma, and Jeff Halsey on her journey to becoming a musician/educator, and has taught and performed in the United States and various countries in South America. It is her pleasure to be working with Project Step this year.
Described as “a tireless force of musical curiosity, skill, and enthusiasm” and “the one to up the ante” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), Sarah Darling enjoys a varied musical career, holding a variety of leading roles in A Far Cry, Musicians of the Old Post Road, Boston Baroque, Les Bostonades, Gut Reaction, and Antico Moderno, also performing with the Boston Early Music Festival, Emmanuel Music, Newton Baroque, Sarasa, the Boston Ballet Orchestra, and the Carmel Bach Festival. Sarah studied at Harvard, Juilliard, Amsterdam, Freiburg, and New England Conservatory, working with James Dunham, Karen Tuttle, Wolfram Christ, Nobuko Imai, and Kim Kashkashian. She has recorded old and new music for Linn, Paladino, Azica, MSR, and Centaur, plus a solo album on Naxos and two Grammy-nominated CDs on Crier Records. Sarah is active as a teacher and coach, on the faculty of the Longy School and serving as co-director of the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra.
Joung Hoon Song performs extensively as a violinist and violist throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He has been the featured soloist with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Equador National Symphony Orchestra, Parkway Concert Orchestra, Mt. Holyok Civic Orchestra, Reading Symphony, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Mesa University Orchestra, the Mont Clair Chamber Ensemble and the Aspen Baroque Orchestra, among others, and has performed extensively in New York and Boston at venues including Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Michael C. Paul Hall at Lincoln Center, and Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory.
In addition to his solo appearances, Dr.Song is active as a chamber musician and conductor, collaborating with artists and faculties from New England Conservatory, Boston University, Boston Conservatory, Wellesley, Stanford University, Smith College, Longy, Yale University, The Juilliard School, Mannes, Manhattan School of Music, University of Illinois at Urbana Champagne, University of Arizona, Louisiana University, Peabody and the Chopin Academy in Poland. He was the Director of Colorado Mesa University Orchestra, New England Conservatory’s Preparatory String Orchestra for 5 seasons, and of the Julliard Korean Chamber Ensemble’s 1992 providing music for President Roh Tae Woo’s visit to NY. In 1999, Dr. Song was invited to act as assistant concertmaster for the Asian Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Millennium” concert led by its founder Maestro Myung-whun Chung. Most recently he was the concert master for the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra and He is currently the concert master for the MIT Summer Philharmonic Orchestra.
Dr. Song received his Bachelor’s degree from Juilliard, the Master of Music and Artist Diploma degrees from Yale, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in both violin and viola from Boston University, studying with Dorothy DeLay, Naoko Tanaka, Hyo Kang, Erick Friedman, Eugene Becker, Bayla Keyes, and Michelle LaCourse. His dissertation; “Henri Vieuxtemps and his Contributions to the Unaccompanied Solo Violin and Viola Literature” focused on the legendary violinist and composer, Henri Vieuxtemps.
For summer festivals, He has taught at Medowmount as viola assistant to late Eugene Becker who was legendary Juilliard viola faculty and NY Philharmonic assistant principal, Aspen Music Festival as DeLay assistant, Bay View Music Festival in Michigan as faculty and resident String Quartet violist, Encore Coda as violin/ viola faculty and Conductor. Altschuler Summer Institute in Rimini, Italy.
Dr. Song has held faculty positions for The Juilliard-Iceland Youth Symphony Orchestra program led by Maestro Paul Zakofsky and Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. Currently serve as Assistant Professor of Upper Strings and Orchestra Director at the Colorado Mesa University, violin, viola, and chamber music faculty at the New England Conservatory; Preparatory School / School of Continuing Education and maintains teaching affiliation with Harvard University Office For the Arts and MIT Professional Education.
He currently performs on Vieuxtemps’ violin, a 1789 Lorenzo Storioni, and a 1695 Giovanni Baptista Grancino viola.