Adam Kowalewski (Accordion, Piano)

My love affair with music began when I was 4 years old. My father, a strong and positive influence in my early life, continued to support and encourage me when was a youngster and during my years in high school and at the Music Academy.

My growth as a musician and performer continued after may graduation and I found ample opportunity to display my skills in three different ways: as a composer, performer and teacher.

Music is all around us, it is a complex language, but at the same time it is simple and universally understandable. Music is a key to a thousand emotions. I feel my music as a reflection of my soul. It is very important and I am very happy when I can say that my expression and emotion with which I interpret my music is exactly as I envision it. In describing my work I can say I write and play “just what comes to me”.

Presently, I perform at special occasions either solo or with my band Remix. I teach music and occasionally give workshops.

Catherine Sangiolo (Piano)

Catherine has been with Northern Westchester Music School since 1999 and a member of the Music Teachers National Association since 2001.  After 5 years of study in Music theory, Music History and Pedagogy she received her Music Teacher Certification from the M.T.N.A.

Catherine is helping to pioneer an exciting new method called, “Piano Teaching with Love.”  This experiential, holistic approach, established by Mary Jane Tashiro, allows children and adults to read and play music with comfort and pleasure!

Her primary ambition in using this new method is to teach all of her students at every level the easiest and most effective way to read music and to elicit the most beautiful sounds from the piano.  Mary Jane Tashiro’s revolutionary approach incorporates techniques and a unique presentation that is quickly transferable in the very first lesson.

Many teachers believe in entering their students to perform through an established organization that requires them to prepare 3 pieces on their list.  Ms. Tashiro believes that this limits the children from developing their sight reading ability. 50+ songs or more focusing on melodies with chordal patterns  (part of the course), build their confidence making piano playing a “joyful sharing” experience.

From the composer’s pen:

This Children’s Piano Course was composed out of necessity.  As a teacher for many years, it was apparent to me that children need to enjoy practicing the piano. Just to have the music appeal to them was not enough.  It had to be simple in approach as well as singable or pleasing to their “ear.”  The magical ingredient was to use their “input” for titles making them want to practice their “own songs.”

Conrad de la Cruz (Cello, Guitar, Bass, Tabla)

Conrad has been a professional musician for over 30 years, both teaching and playing guitar, bass guitar, upright bass, cello, and tabla.

Conrad’s training includes studies at the Naropa Institute, Mannes Conservatory, the Ali Akbar Khan College, Sounds of Joy, and private lessons with Richard Davis, Bob Seacrest, Zakir Hussain, and Ralph Towner.

As a performer, Conrad has been seen most recently on stage with Teatro Imperfecto, a musical storytelling troupe, in New York public schools and libraries. He is also known for his original compositions with A. Animal, The View, and The Adaptors Movement Theatre Co.

Conrad is also a graduate of the Institute of Audio Research, and a skilled audio and recording engineer. His production of “Rainbow Train” for “Talking Hands, Talking Feet” won a 2002 Parents’ Choice Award. He currently engineers live sound for theatrical performances and concerts at venues throughout the New York area, and records at his own Little Anguilla Studio.

Herb Nichols (Guitar, Piano, Violin, Cello, Banjo, Bass and African drums)

Herb has been teaching music at NWMS for 6 years and he loves it. His students are great. He finds that each aspiring musician is unique unto themselves, and he adjusts their lessons accordingly. He finds studying and playing a musical instrument to be a joyous experience and he tries to create an atmosphere that allows the learning that takes place to be just that. Herb has a Bachelor of Science Music Education Degree from C.U.N.Y.
Jonathan Stern

Jonathan Stern (Tuba, Euphonium, Trombone)

Dr. Jonathan Stern earned a Master’s degree in Trombone/Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and a PhD in Musicology from CUNY. He has studied with some of the biggest names in the brass world and has free-lanced all over the New York tri-state area, playing with such groups as the Lehman College Community Band and the Yonkers Philharmonic orchestra. He also attended the Interlochen, Aspen, and Tanglewood music festivals.

Peter Scholes (Guitar)

Pete Scholes has been playing guitar for over 20 years. He briefly studied with Westchester, NY legends, Rich Dashnaw and Lou Ubriaco, but is otherwise self-taught. A diverse interest in music led him to perform in several groups, from rock to jazz, as well as pit-orchestras for live theater. For the past 11 years, Pete has been encouraging his students to discover and pursue their own path with the guitar, while guiding them to develop a keen knowledge of proper technique and music theory. His band, Take One Car, has been together for 9 years and they continue to release albums and tour the country.

Philson George (Drums)
Robert Renino (Bass, Bass Guitar, Piano, Saxophone, Clarinet)

Bob Renino is a freelance bassist and music teacher who has lived and worked in the NYC metro area for the past 25 years. He studied with jazz bassist Richard Davis, and also attended and graduated the Juilliard School of Music. After playing at resorts, hotels, and clubs, he began playing Broadway shows both as a substitute and a regular player. Bob has played in nearly fifty musicals in Broadway theatres and has held the “chair” in some hits such as “Ragtime”, “The Producers”, and the latest being “Honeymoon in Vegas”. He also performs with the New York Pops Orchestra, and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. He has done much performing and recording work in NYC with many vocalists, and has also played on popular TV shows like “Good Morning America,” “Regis and Kelly” and “David Letterman.” He is currently married to singer/actress Sally Mayes and lives and teaches in Westchester County, NY.

Sanjra Livingstone (Vocal, Drums)

Sanjra grew up singing in church. high school, and college. She and her sister performed together in serveral R&B groups, during the “90s. She was a member of the acclaimed University Concert Choir of Kentucky State, and the Kentucky State Gospel Choir, while majoring in Music Performance. Both choirs toured the East Coast, and Montreal Canada. Sanjra is also a percussionist. She started playing drums in the in the high school marching band. Initially majoring in Voice/Performance Arts, she elected to switch her major to Nursing, and minored in Music Education. After graduation, she continued  as a member of several choirs, while working as an RN. Sanjra worked as a production assistant, behind the scenes, with many smooth jazz artists, such as Alex Bugnon, Jonathan Butler, Wayman  Tisdale, Ken Navarro, and many more. And opened for Jonathan Butler.

Sanjra played percussions for NYC vocalist Cyree, background vocalist and percussioninst for Tina Phenomena and performed percussions with Sherry Winston, Onajee Allen Gumbs, Serpent Wisdom, Kimerly Boydm Ron Hayden Group, and Cheryl Lynne Skinner, to name a few. Sanjra was a member of several gospel choirs, includingm recording with Messengers for Christ. Co-founder of Mystic Rhytms, a women’s percussion ensemble in Louisville, KY.

Musical mentos include: Hugh Peterson, Tony Lewis, Mike Clark, Sonny Emory-Drums, Luis Andino, Nannette Garcia, Earbie Johnson-Percussion, Baba Kazi Oliver, Baba Musa Sweeney, Baba yaya DIallo-African Drums, Dr Carl Smith, Keith Hunter, Belinga Lipscomb and Midnight Star- vocals and performance.

Currenlty she is the percussionist/vocalist for the Peekskill based band, Eclectic Paradise. This group has performed locally in Peekskill, and in NYC/NJ area, at such venues as SOB’s, The Bitter End, and Arlene’s Grocery, to name a few. Sanjra has appeared in several commercials, and she continues to gain more acting exoerience. She also working on a solo CD with plans for a 2017/2018, release.

Travis Carpenter (Cello, Viola, Violin, Piano)

Travis Carpenter is a graduate of the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education and a Performance Certificate in Viola. In addition to his experience teaching private lessons in violin, viola, cello, bass, and banjo, he taught school orchestra from 2007-2012 in Whitesboro, NY, conducting rehearsals and teaching group lessons to students in grades 4-8. He has played with the Utica Symphony, Catskill Symphony, Crane Symphony Orchestra, University of Vermont Orchestra, Burlington (VT) Civic Symphony, and ME2/orchestra. He also served as the Resident Life Director for the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in 2012 and 2013.

Travis’ musical focus is on community organizations, and he has served in several roles for groups that provide opportunities for amateur musicians. While living in Burlington, VT in 2012 and 2013, he played with the ME2/orchestra, which focuses on raising awareness for mental illness and removing the stigma associated with it. He led some rehearsals and also arranged several pieces for the group. He has also served in various support roles for the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association, which he was a member of during grades 6-12. While living in Ithaca, NY from 2013 to 2016, he served as assistant conductor and publicity manager for the Ithaca Community Orchestra, conducting a portion of each concert, writing press releases, and arranging for radio interviews.

In addition to his classical background, Travis also enjoys folk music, especially playing fiddle and banjo the old-time style. He has participated in recurring jam sessions in Burlington, VT, Ithaca, NY, and Yorktown, NY, and has also attended the Falling Waters Music Camp and Winter Village Bluegrass Festival in Ithaca. He has arranged several popular songs for middle school string orchestra, and enjoys adapting music to fit the skill levels of students of various ages.

Tadeusz Domanowski (piano)

In 2013 EMI Classics released Tadeusz Domanowski’s first solo album „Tadeusz Domanowski – piano”, which includes works by Scarlatti, Schumann, Liszt, Prokofiev and virtuoso transcriptions by Vladimir Horowitz. The album received excellent reviews from critics: „Whoever likes great piano music and virtuosity will not be disappointed after listening to Domanowski. A splendid debut!” (Stanislaw Dybowski), „His future career of a virtuoso is certain, the instrument sounds beautiful in his hands, in a rounded tone, the lightness and proficiency of difficult parts inspires jealousy, not only recognition.” (Kacper Miklaszewski).
Over the past two decades Domanowski toured extensively as soloist throughout Europe, America and Asia, performing in such prestigious venues as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, and Lutosławski Concert Hall at the Polish Radio, Vilnius Philharmonic Hall, and Musikhalle in Hamburg.

His discography includes solo album „Tadeusz Domanowski – piano” recorded for EMI classisc, „Harmony of he Struggle” which includes a world premiere recording of Piano Concerto by Marcin Błażewicz, who dedicated the work to Tadeusz Domanowski and his recent album „Eugeniusz Morawski Songs” with complete songs by Eugeniusz Morawski, recorded with mezzosoprano Agnieszka Rehlis. The album received a nomination for Fryderyk 2015 – award of the Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry.

Tadeusz Domanowski has also an active interest in education. He has been appointed as a faculty member of Frederic Chopin University in Warsaw, where he taught piano in the years of 2011 – 2013. After coming to the United States in 2013, he served as an Adjuct Faculty at New York University where he taught piano class. Currently he teaches piano at Music Education Center in Brooklyn and also serves as a pianist at Precollege Division of Manhattan School of Music. He also gave numerous piano and chamber music master classes in Poland and in the United States.

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Nara Simonyan

Nara Simonyan has been teaching piano for 30 years. Nara is originally from Yerevan, Armenia. She started playing the piano at the age of eight. After seven years of intense studies at one of the leading Music Schools in Armenia, she continued mastering the piano at the Music Conservatory, graduated in 1988 and became a certified piano teacher and accompanist.
Nara taught at Music Schools in Armenia and Russia preparing students for various competitions and recitals. She believes that teaching to play the piano needs to include a number of important elements if a student is to flourish. It’s equally important to teach the foundations and techniques. Nara creates an atmosphere that is friendly, supportive and encourages each student to bring their personal passion, feelings and individuality into each piece they play.