Stefan Amidon

Children’s Choir

Stefan Amidon grew up in a world where singing was a part of everyday life, and started performing with his parents, Peter and Mary Alice, and brother, Sam, from an early age. Family trips to grandparents always ended with family style singalongs of You are My Sunshine, camp songs and Christmas carols. He was in the original Brattleboro Children’s Choir, directed by Peter Amidon, and was part of the group of kids who sang Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Blanche Moyse Chorale.

Starting at age 11 Stefan went on tour in Europe with the singing group Northern Harmony and attended a memorable singing workshop with Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey and the Rock, who treated the young singer as a peer as much as any of the adults present. Village Harmony singing camps brought more specialized instruction with on-site study of South African and Corsican singing traditions. Stefan and some fellow Northern Harmony alums started the Starry Mountain Singers who went on tour, recorded three albums, gave workshops, and had an artist residency that delved deeper into communal singing practices.

Stefan has always enjoyed making music with children; as a teacher at family camps, as the music teacher for Halifax Elementary and Signal Pine Play School, as a music director for the Wings summer musical, in one-on-one lessons and with his own children at home. He brings to those experiences a strong background in music education, from first with Steve Rice (recently retired music teacher of Brattleboro Union High School), then at Oberlin Conservatory as a jazz performance major.

In leading the Brattleboro Children’s Choir Stefan hopes to carry on a love of singing for all ages, in the strong belief that singing together makes people feel more connected and in tune with each other.

Kathy Andrew

violin, viola

Kathy Andrew is a resident of Brattleboro, Vermont, and has been a BMC Music School faculty member since 1993. She holds a B.A. degree from the University of New Mexico, and an M. M. from Peabody Institute. Kathy is Assistant Concertmaster of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Opera North Orchestra (NH), Co-Concertmaster of the Juno Orchestra, a member of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MA), and a frequent performer in the wide variety of classical music genres and performances in the New England area. In addition to decades performing with the New England Bach Festival Orchestra, she also frequently performed with the Burlington Chamber Orchestra, Green Mountain and Middlebury Opera companies, Berkshire, Albany and New Hampshire Symphonies. Kathy taught at Bennington and Keene State Colleges, and continues to perform chamber music with colleagues near and far. While teaching violin, viola and chamber music at the Brattleboro Music Center, she also has a private studio in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Susan Dedell

piano

Susan is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she studied piano with Charles Fisher and Gyorgy Sandor. As an undergraduate, she was privileged to be rehearsal pianist and choral assistant to the great conductor Maynard Klein, whose example as an emotionally communicative and humanistic musician continues to inform and inspire her work. Upon graduation, Susan joined the University Music School as a staff accompanist, and was highly in demand as recital and masterclass pianist. Surprising to many, during this time she also received a secondary degree in biochemistry and was part of a research lab whose work eventually laid the foundation for the first effective AIDS treatment. 

Susan joined the piano faculty of the Brattleboro Music Center in 1983, and also served as rehearsal assistant to Blanche Moyse. She became Director of the Brattleboro Concert Choir in 1989, and served in that position until 2018.  During her tenure, the chorus doubled in size and became one of the finest auditioned choruses in New England. She directed the Marlboro College Chorus from 1994 – 2002 and was founder/director of the Bach Festival Children’s Chorus as well as the VT Repertory Singers.

In addition to her work at the BMC, Susan is co-founder and director of Winged Productions along with her husband Paul; and founder and director of The Choir School programs for young people.  A long time church musician, Susan served as  Director of Music at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. Both as a pianist and choral/vocal coach, Susan’s approach reflects her commitment to creating meaningful musical communication, and building solid musical skills based on a healthy physical technique.  Susan is an avid gardener and cook, and she and her husband live in an 1830 farmhouse in Williamsville, VT, where they grow enough vegetables to feed the entire village.  

Zon Eastes

cello

Zon EastesZon Eastes began piano lessons at age five with his aunt Wanda in a small town in Kansas. He was introduced to the cello in fifth grade via a town-wide public school string orchestra program, and became entirely enamored of the cello and the wide world of music when he met his first private cello teacher, Nancy Kerr.
Eastes has taught cello and coached chamber music at Amherst, Dartmouth, and Keene State colleges as well as at the Brattleboro Music Center. He has performed as chamber musician and festival participant across North America, in Europe and China. He has conducted orchestras on both coasts, and directed the Windham Orchestra for over twenty years. He holds music degrees from Stony Brook University and the University of New Mexico. In addition to Nancy Kerr, his musical mentors include Blanche Moyse and Timothy Eddy.

Becky Graber

Piano

Becky Graber completed a BA in Music from Colgate University, followed by summer studies at Aspen Music Festival. She studied piano with Edith Oppens, and composition. She also has an MEd in the Creative Arts, Lesley University.  

Becky started playing piano at age five. Her first teacher, Ruth Kneeland, encouraged her to create and to write down her songs. Her mom (a World Book saleswoman) helped her learn to read music (using the World Book “Cyclo-Teacher”) so she read music as early as she read words.

Becky studied with Patricia Collyer Zavitz in Connecticut, and with Sharyn Godwin Duncan at Colgate. She served as accompanist and student director for choral groups in high school and college, and began teaching, directing and accompanying professionally when she moved to Brattleboro in 1977. She first joined the BMC faculty as a piano teacher from 1978 -82, and worked on the staff of BMC’s Camp Allegro from 1979 – 2007. Becky founded the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus in 1996. The chorus has had as many as 120 singers singing together in semi-annual concerts that have become a tradition and mainstay of our community. Becky is currently accompanist for the Brattleboro Concert Choir.

Bruce Griffin

piano

A native of Vermont, Mr. Griffin received his formal musical training at the Peabody Conservatory of Music studying with Walter Hautzig and Leon Fleisher. In 1985, Mr. Griffin gave his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall. Bernard Holland of the New York Times described Mr. Griffin as “serious and imaginative”, a pianist of “unusual warmth and virtuosity” who exhibited and “exceptional feel for melody’s magnetic pull”. Mr. Griffin has appeared in solo recitals and chamber music programs throughout the country as well as soloist with the Vermont Symphony and Tacoma Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Griffin is a member of the Leschetizky Association in New York. He joined the BMC faculty in 1990.

Jennifer Carol Hansen

voice

BA, Dartmouth College. Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Carol Hansen has performed as soloist throughout northern New England with choral societies such as the Manchester Choral Society, the Handel Society of Dartmouth College, the Brattleboro Music Center Concert Choir, the Concord Community Chorus, the Oratorio Chorale, the Androscoggin Chorale, and the Middlebury Festival Chorus, and with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the Boston Vocal Artists and with Opera North, and has given solo and chamber music recitals at Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, the University of Maine at Farmington, the Canterbury Shaker Village concert series, and the Annicchiarico Theater in Concord, New Hampshire.

Currently teaching at both the Brattleboro Music Center and the Upper Valley Music Center, Jennifer is a magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College. She has been a semifinalist in the Oratorio Society of New York Annual Solo Competition and has been a New England finalist in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award Auditions. She is choir director and organist at Sacred Heart Parish in Lebanon, a cantor at St. Denis Parish in Hanover, New Hampshire, and teaches voice privately in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Jennifer has taught voice since 1988.

Her students have gone on to sing in music or theater programs at Oberlin Conservatory, St Olaf College, Belmont University, UNH, UVM, Elon University, Hamilton College, Ithaca College, Dartmouth College, and others.

Karen Horton

french horn

BS in Music Education- Western Connecticut State College, MM in French Horn – Manhattan School of Music. A student of David Jolley, Karen is currently a member of the Windham Orchestra and an instrumental and vocal music teacher at Whitingham Elementary School and Twin Valley Middle School. She was formerly an adjunct professor of French Horn at Keene State College. She is also a former member of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Caracas and the Orquesta Municipal de Caracas, Venezuela, and has played with numerous groups in New England.

Michelle Liechti

violin, viola, New Approach

B.A., Mills College. A student of David Abel and Kato Havas, Michelle is a member of Arcadia Players, and free lances throughout New England. She teaches adult beginning violin class, coaches chamber music and specializes in the New Approach. She also teaches at Northfield Mount Hermon School.

Luba Lischynsky

piano

B.Mus., M.Mus.Ed., New England Conservatory; Certification, Kodaly Musical Training Institute. A member of the faculty since 1983, Luba is a frequent accompanist in the area. She has performed in numerous recitals as a soloist, and has appeared with the Windham Orchestra. Luba is also on the faculty of the Chesterfield School in New Hampshire.

Robin Tinkler Matathias

flute, Flute Ensemble Camp

Robin teaches flute and directs the Flute Ensemble both at the BMC and at Keene State College, NH. She holds a B.A. degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.A. degree from The City College of New York. Robin’s principal teachers were Frances Blaisdell and Deirdre McArdle. She has performed on both the East and West coasts as a soloist and in orchestral, opera, musical theater, chamber, and jazz ensembles. She is an active freelance flutist throughout New England and regularly performs in faculty recitals. Before moving to Vermont in 1992, she taught for eleven years in the New York City Public Schools and taught graduate courses at The City College of New York. Robin also teaches Environmental Studies at Keene State College.

Margery McCrum

voice

A.B., Brown University; M.D., UVM College of Medicine; M.Mus. in Voice Performance and Pedagogy, Westminster Choir College, Princeton. Margery has pursued vocal study with Laura Brooks Rice, Nan Nall, Dalton Baldwin, Glenn Parker and Jane Bryden. In addition to performing and teaching voice, Margery is a Board-certified Anestheasiologist with a MD degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Margery has a particular interest in discovering the full potential of one’s unique voice, working with a holistic approach to integrate all aspects of health – physical, emotional and spiritual – in freeing one’s voice.

Raquel Moreno

Suzuki piano

Raquel received her Master’s Degree in Music Teacher Education from the Autonoma University in Madrid, Spain, after she graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Madrid on Piano; Solfege, Theory, Transposition and Accompaniment; and Pedagogy. Her interest in piano education brought her to the British Suzuki Institute in London, England, where she studied with Caroline Gowers and received her Certification as a Suzuki Piano Teacher. Raquel is certified by both the European and American Suzuki Associations, and has taught at the BMC Music School since 2003.

Keith Murphy

Keith Murphytraditional music classes, summer programs, Northern Roots Traditonal Music Festival

Keith is a veteran performer, teacher, composer and recording artist in the traditional arts. For twenty years Keith has toured extensively as a singer and guitar, mandolin and piano player appearing at festivals, folk clubs and performance art centers. Originally from Newfoundland, he has been based in Brattleboro since the early 1990s. He has taught instrumental classes at dozens of traditional music events around the country, working with hundreds of mandolin players, piano players and guitarists.

Moby Pearson

violin, viola, Music School String Orchestra, Chamber Music, Salons

Moby Pearson grew up in the Boston area where he studied with Lucy Parker and George Zazofsky. He received his degree from Oberlin Conservatory as a student of Robert Soetens and Steven Staryk. Mr Pearson’s active chamber music career has included extensive periods as principal violinist with the Apple Hill Chamber Players and the Atlanta Chamber Players, with concerts at Carnegie Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Phillips Collection (Wash. DC), as well as tours to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He has performed with many Boston area orchestras and ensembles including Cantata Singers, Emmanuel Music, Boston Muscia Viva, Boston Lyric Opera, and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. Mr Pearson has been a soloist with the Concord Chorale and the Nashua Chamber Orchestra, as well as giving many solo recitals including Jordan Hall, the Gardner Museum, and WGBH radio. In addition, Mr. Pearson has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in Carnegie Hall and major concert halls throughout Europe. Recordings include the Deustche Grammaphon, Centaur, and Koch labels. His violin is by Bartolomeo Tassini, 1752.

Steve Rice

percussion

Stephen Rice began rhythmically striking things around the house when he was about five years old. In order to keep him from damaging the furniture, his parents bought him a Monkees drum set, and soon after, his first snare drum. Gradually, through high school and college, he came to focus that rhythmic striking in more artful ways. He briefly attended the Berklee College of Music where he studied drum set with Joe Hunt, and then moved on to earn his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where his percussion teacher was Peter Tanner. He also earned a Master of Music Education degree from UMass. From 1987 – 2023, he served as the band director at Brattleboro Union High School. For more than half of that time, he was the music department head, and for six exhausting years, he was also the band director at Brattleboro Area Middle School. He studied conducting with Malcolm W. Rowell, Jr. and Stanley DeRusha as well as with mime artist, Robert Rivest. Under his direction, the B.U.H.S. band marched in the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Parade for President Barack Obama and earned superior ratings at band festivals. In 2016, he received the Arthur Williams award for meritorious service to the arts from the Vermont Arts Council. He was honored as Music Educator of the Year by the Vermont Music Educators Association (2014), School Band and Orchestra magazine’s 50 Directors Who Make a Difference (2014) an Outstanding Leader in Arts Education by the Vermont Alliance for Arts Education (2003) and as Music Educator of the Year by the Connecticut Valley District Music Festival Association (2009).

As a percussionist and drummer, he has performed with the Vermont Jazz Center Big Band and Sextet, TUNDI Festival Orchestra, Massachusetts Wind Orchestra, Windham Philharmonic, Opera North, Marlboro Music Festival and many other local and regional ensembles. Some of his drumming and percussion students have gone on to perform in professional classical, folk, jazz, funk, rock, and country bands and orchestras.

Sabine Rhyne

cello

Sabine Rhyne has been teaching cello in Brattleboro off and on since the 1990s to both adults and youngsters. She especially loves to play chamber music, and encourages her students to discover the magic of making music with others. She also has recorded in collaboration with a number of singer-songwriters over the years.

Judith Serkin

Judith Serkincello

A graduate of the Curtis Institute, Judith was a founding member of the Brattleboro Music School in 1975.  She has toured extensively across the United States, Japan, France, and Canada and has played at various festivals in Switzerland and Poland. Judith began her studies in Puerto Rico with Marta Casals Istomin, then continued with David Soyer and Mischa Schneider at the Curtis Institute.  She was a founding member of the Guilford Quartet and the Hebrew Arts Quartet (later known as the Mendelssohn Quartet). She was also a member of the Iceland Symphony, in Reykjavík, and played principal cello for many years with Musica Sacra in New York City, under Richard Westenberg.  Judith has been a participant at both Yellow Barn and Marlboro Music and has performed on numerous Musicians from Marlboro tours over the years.  She has served on the faculty of the New England Conservatory Preparatory Department for the past five years, was a teacher at American University in Washington, D.C., and also teaches at the Brattleboro Music Center Music School.

Chonghyo Shin

piano

B.Mus. and M. Mus. New England Conservatory; private studies with Nadia Reisenberg and Stell Andersen. A former teacher at the Preparatory Division of the New England Conservatory and at Keene State College, Chonghyo now teaches at Amherst College. She has been a soloist with the Boston Pops, the Pioneer Valley Symphony, the New England Conservatory Orchestra, and the Windham Orchestra.

Bill Shontz

clarinet, saxophone, recorder, Intro to Improvization

M.Mus., in flute, clarinet, saxophone, and recorder, Ohio State University. Bill has performed and recorded widely as a member of RosenShontz, the nationally acclaimed duo. He has also taught at the University of Illinois, Ohio State University, Muskingum College, and Bluffton College and performs classical and jazz for children, families and adults.

Heather Sommerlad

Music-in-the-Schools, Youth Orchestra, violin

Heather was born and raised in El Paso, TX, where music became the foundation for her continuing studies at Bennington College. At 16, she began playing with the El Paso Symphony under the direction of Gurer Aykal, an opportunity which prompted the beginning of her professional career. During her time at Bennington, Heather worked closely with emerging composers, performing a countless number of new works. As first violinist of the Bennington College String Quartet, she traveled with the group to perform and teach in Kingston, Jamaica, and the Czech Republic. Today, Heather continues to promote new music as a regular performer for Brooklyn Emerging Artists, as well as the experimental folk band, Horse’s Mouth. She has recently returned to the southern Vermont area having spent the past several years teaching both group and private violin classes in New York City. Heather is dedicated to nurturing passion, dedication, and enthusiasm in all her students to maintain a healthy balance of technical proficiency and musical integrity.

Becky Tracy

Becky Tracyfiddle, traditional music classes, summer programs, Northern Roots Traditonal Music Festival.

Becky’s fiddle playing and repertoire combines elements of traditional Irish and French Canadian music. She is a veteran of the New England contra dance scene and has performed and traveled widely. Becky began playing for contra dancing in Maine, bending her early classical training to the demands of dance music. Later, she studied Irish fiddling styles with Brendan Mulvihill and Eugene O’Donnel and French Canadian fiddling with Lisa Ornstein. She has been a defining presence in some of the most popular and innovative contra dance bands to come out of New England, being the fiddler for both Wild Asparagus and Nightingale.

Richard Ullman

classical guitar, lute

B.A., Harvard College; M.F.A. in Early Music, Sarah Lawrence College; graduate of the Kodaly Pedagogical Institute, Hungary; studied with Peter Pears at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies, England. Richard, who won a national guitar competition in Washington, D.C., specializes in accompanying singers. He taught both guitar and solfege at Castleton State College for 23 years. He has performed widely and has also taught at Tufts, Sarah Lawrence, Concordia, Central Connecticut State, and Green Mountain College.  Ullman can be heard playing in the movie Meet the Parents.

Kim Wallach

Banjo, guitar   

B.A. Wellesely College. Kim Wallach is a music teacher, singer, songwriter, mom, camp counselor, Short Sister, Children’s Music Network board member, avid reader, and gardener.
Before moving to New Hampshire in 1990 and settling into teaching Kim studied with legendary Scottish singer Jean Redpath, busked in subways and on the streets of Boston, played at Club Passim, founded the Short Sisters singing trio, toured extensively, taught music to toddlers at the Brookline Arts Center and in Wellesley and found time to record more than a dozen albums and raise a daughter.

Junko Watanabe

voice

Junko Watanabe, soprano, has performed widely in operas, oratorios, and recitals in the U.S. and her native Japan, and she has been featured as a soloist with the Boston Lyric Opera, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, New England Bach Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival. Her recent performances include recitals of Schubert songs, a chamber concert with an all-Bach program, musical theater songs at a “Cabaret Night” fundraiser concert, and various contemporary songs at the Five College New Music Festival. She enjoys teaching singers of all ages and levels, and helping them to discover their voice, develop better vocal techniques, maintain healthy singing, prepare for auditions, and express themselves through music. She holds master’s degrees in opera performance from Osaka College of Music and Longy School of Music. She was a finalist in the Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition and winner of the NATS competition Professional Division.

BMC Bravo Society

We are pleased to honor the following for their help during this past season:
Karen Becker, Crager Boardman, Deb Bunker, Lisa Cox, Walter Cramer, Cathie Creed, Rebecca Curzon, Becky Day, Bill Dixon, Kim Effron, Phil Feidelseit, Lotte Gannon-Kurowski, Greg Goodman, Marta Gossage, Bill Gottesman, Rebecca Greene-Cramer, Freddie Hart, Jenelle Harvey, Kimi Hasegawa, Cal Heile, Richard Henke, Frances Herbert, Lynn Herzog, Jenny Holan, Jon Joyce, Susan Kunhardt, Lerna, Meg Lyons, Joe Madison, Joanne McLellan, Helen Merena, Raquel Moreno, Kris Outwater, Kaylina Phoenix, Antje Ruppert, Perrin Scott, Betsy Whittaker, Pete Wilson, Tom Yahner and Louise Zak.

The Brattleboro Music Center

72 Blanche Moyse Way
Brattleboro, VT  05301

(802) 257-4523

info@bmcvt.org

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