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Eugene's Music Studio

  Our Teachers 

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Eugene Posniewski 

Our Director

Eugene Posniewski received his BM summa cum laude in Voice Performance and Opera Studies from the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase College. He has studied privately with Mina Kim, Joan Krueger, Hugh Murphy, and Jacque Trussel. Eugene’s performance credits include appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, and various other venues throughout  Westchester County. Eugene is an accomplished pianist and works as an accompanist, liturgical pianist, and baritone soloist in Westchester County. Eugene has been teaching for over a decade and is a certified Kindermusik Educator, specializing in early childhood education. He has directed musicals at the Education First International Academies of Tarrytown and Thornwood, and he has taught at various music schools in Westchester County. Eugene is trained, as a pianist, in the classical Russian method. His students have placed and performed in competitions throughout Europe, New York City, and Westchester County, including the Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition and the International Bach Competition.

"Sophie loved her first lesson! The second we walked out of the building she asked, “Can I do that every day?”! She especially loved the rhythm sticks, and she immediately came home to our piano and started doing the lesson Eugene taught her. She's hooked!" - Studio Mom

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Anneke Harger

Assistant Director of Voice

Piano & Voice

Soprano and pianist Anneke Harger earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory (NEC). Anneke received her Master's degree in Opera Performance from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College. While at NEC, she made her Jordan Hall debut as a soloist in the contemporary work The Awakening, under the direction of Maestro Simon Carrington. She also performed the role of Second Woman in Dido and Aeneas and participated in various ensemble roles with the undergraduate opera studio. She was a soloist in Bach Cantatas 199 and 202 with her Baroque Chamber Ensemble as part of the NEC's Chamber Music Gala.

 

Anneke holds a certificate in Baroque performance from Barock Vokal at the Hochschule für Musik, Mainz, where she worked with early music specialists Konrad Junghanel, Dr. Claudia Eder, Emma Kirkby and Andreas Scholl. Her performance of "Ombre Piante" from Rodelinda was described as “evoking a profound and somber introspection” by the Allgemeine Zeitung Mainz. A lover of chamber music, Anneke has participated in Baroque chamber music ensembles at the New England Conservatory, Amherst Early Music Festival, Vancouver Early Music Festival, and the Sommerakademie Neuburg.

 

An avid chorister, Anneke has also traveled to Canada, Germany, England, The Netherlands, Austria, and South Africa, and has sung under renowned directors such as Dr. William Weinert, Simon Carrington, Erica Washburn, Dr. Joel Navarro and Dr. Pearl Shangkuan. This past summer, she participated in the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute, where she performed as Susanna in scenes from Le nozze di Figaro and as Second Lady in scenes from Die Zauberflöte.

"Lessons with Anneke are enjoyable and progressing well. We have nothing but good things to say about Anneke! She is encouraging a love of music that will last forever." - Noel Petriello

"Our lessons are going great! Anneke always has great energy - she keeps the kids focused, motivated, and happy." - Studio Mom

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Bobby Durante

Double Bass, Guitar, & Piano 

Robert Durante is a piano and guitar instructor classically trained in double bass and music composition. A native of Westchester, he received his undergraduate degree in Music and History from Binghamton University. He then received his Master's in Education from Lehman College. Bobby currently works as a middle school teacher at the Windward School in White Plains. He is trained in numerous musical styles including classical, jazz, and pop. In his free time, he enjoys composing original pieces and performing in the Saint Thomas Community Orchestra in Rye, New York. 

 

Bobby believes that music lessons should be a fun and meaningful experience for both the student and teacher. By developing an individual plan for each student based on their interests and goals, he encourages his students to be the best musicians they can be!

"My son is loving his lessons with Bobby and making remarkable strides in his piano skills!" ~ Studio Parent

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Chris Nicolo

Drums & Piano

Chris Nicolo is a professional freelance drummer, percussionist, and private music instructor. He began playing drums at the age of 9 and piano at age 13. At age 16, he began performing professionally and has amassed a wealth of experience in many different musical styles, including rock, jazz, Latin, classical, and more.
 

Chris graduated from New Jersey City University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a Concentration in Jazz and Classical Performance. While in school, he was fortunate enough to perform with the great Randy Brecker as part of a program presenting the music of Miles Davis. He studied the drums with Dave Ratajczak, Akira Tana, Tim Horner. He also studied classical percussion with Jim Neglia. Additionally, Chris has studied privately with Keith Carlock and Cliff Almond. 

 

He has since performed locally, nationally, and globally in many different settings.
 

Chris has been teaching for almost twenty years. He enjoys teaching the art of making music and helping his students find their unique voice and confidence, regardless of playing experience.

"Chris is the best!" - Johnny

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Daniel Criado

Drums & Guitar

Daniel is an award-winning musician, composer, and educator who has performed internationally across the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. He is endorsed by the renowned percussion brands Bosphorus Cymbals and CANOPUS Drums. He started playing drums at an early age, surrounded by all kinds of music, including Latin, rock, and jazz. Daniel followed his passion for teaching and earned his Bachelor's Degree in Symphonic Percussion with a focus in Music Pedagogy from the Universidad Industrial de Santander, graduating summa cum laude. He then earned his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase College, obtaining the Outstanding Graduate Award in Jazz Studies. 

 

Daniel continues to develop his career both as an educator and as a performer through his own group Daniel Criado Project. He has performed in many venues in the New York area, including Birdland Jazz Club, The Side Door, Cleopatra’s Needle, Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, White Plains JazzFest, and Mezzrow. Daniel has also been awarded by the important Asakusa Jazz Contest in the category of "Best Jazz Ensemble" in Tokyo, Japan in 2018.

 

Daniel strives to grow a passion for music in all of his students. He looks forward to a new challenge and success in every lesson!

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Gavin Maguda

Bass Guitar, Drums, Guitar, Piano, Saxophone, & Voice

Gavin Maguda is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer from Rochester, New York. He began studying music at 4 years old and is a graduate of SUNY Purchase, where he graduated summa cum laude from the Studio Production program.  As a pianist, guitarist, bassist, drummer, saxophonist and vocalist, he is well-versed in a variety of different music styles and genres. 

 

Gavin has nearly two decades of performing experience. He has played with local bands in Rochester and White Plains. Gavin also writes, produces and records original music and has released several albums, EPs, and singles as a solo artist. He releases new music every Friday the 13th! 

 

Gavin has taught private music lessons to students of all ages and now brings his experience to Eugene’s Music and Learning Studio. He strives to help his students develop their love for music the way his own teachers did for him!

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Hannah Walker

Beginner Piano & Cello 

Hannah Walker is a cellist from Hyde Park, New York. She has studied Cello Performance in the College Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase College. She serves as the principal cellist of the Purchase Symphony Orchestra. Recent Purchase performances include Die Zauberflöte with Purchase Opera, Beethoven's 4th Symphony, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, and Julia Wolfe's riSE and fLY (a body concerto for percussion). In recent years, Hannah has attended programs such as The Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Vermont, Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College, and the Virtuoso & Belcanto Festival in Lucca, Italy. 

 

Hannah began her cello journey at the age of 11 and from very early on knew it was what she wanted to pursue as a profession. Hannah has had a passion for teaching young musicians since teaching her first cello lesson at 16 years old. She loves watching her students learn and grow throughout their musical journeys!

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Julianne Casey

Piano & Voice

New York City-based soprano Julianne Casey hails from Whitehouse, Texas. She most recently appeared in concert with the Bologna International Opera Academy in Bologna, Italy singing Italian arias and scenes from Puccini’s La bohème, Suor Angelica, and Rossini’s Zelmira. Last March, Julianne was the guest soloist in the East Texas Symphony Orchestra’s “Tribute to Boston Pops” performing music from West Side Story and Les Misérables. Following this highly successful and anticipated concert, she returned to her alma mater, Tyler Junior College, as a featured guest artist , where she taught a master class and presented a recital of arias and art songs. 

 

Last summer, Julianne was a featured soloist in the Festival Internazionale di Mezza Estate alongside the Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese in Tagliacozzo, Italy performing Puccini arias and scenes from Puccini's Madama Butterfly in the role of Cio-Cio San. She also performed as Liù in scenes from Turandot with Classic Lyric Arts of New York City. 

 

Julianne received a Master of Music in Voice at the Mannes School of Music as a Presidential Scholar, where she studied the role of La Contessa Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and performed as a soloist in the Mannes Sounds Festival. Julianne also holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice from Purchase College, where she performed the title role of Puccini's Suor Angelica and the role of Blanche de la Force in Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites. She regularly performs in her native Texas, recently as a guest recitalist in the Texas Guitar Festival in Dallas as part of the Texas Guitar Competition Festival. When she is not singing and teaching, Julianne can be seen on HBO Max's And Just Like That, the television series Billions on Showtime, Gossip Girl, and the 2023 Netflix film Maestro.

 

Julianne is dedicated to educating her students in a positive and nurturing manner. She believes that a strong foundation of musical technique cultivates a confident, passionate, and exemplary musician!

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Lian Qiao 

Cello, Viola, & Violin

Lian Qiao is a freelance cellist based in New York City. Originally from China, Lian began studying the cello when she was five and has been teaching in the United States for almost twelve years.

 

Lian is the former principal cellist of the Central Conservatory of Music European Music Centre Ensemble, the Duquesne University Symphony Orchestra, and the Purchase College Symphony Orchestra. She won First Prize in the Syracuse University Concerto Competition and subsequently appeared as a soloist with the Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra, where she has also served as principal cellist.

 

Lian is a seasoned performer of chamber music. She was a member of the Frances DeBroff Graduate String Quartet (also known as La Force Quartet), and has collaborated with countless musicians from top chamber groups, such as the Orion String Quartet and Atrium String Quartet. She has spent recent summers at the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, Waterville Valley Chamber Music Festival, and the Sunflower Music Festival.
 

Lian attended high school at Tianjing Conservatory of Music in China. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance at China's top music school, the Central Conservatory of Music, under the instruction of Rushi Quan. After graduating, Lian moved to the United States to attend Syracuse University for her Master's Degree, where she studied under Caroline Stinson. She earned her Artist Diploma at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh as a student of Adam Liu. She presently studies at Purchase College with Thomas Mesa. Throughout her academic career, Lian has served as a University teaching assistant, chamber music coach, and orchestra assistant. 

 

Lian's teaching style focuses on helping students produce a beautiful tone while maintaining healthy technique. Helping her students avoid unhealthy practice and performance habits is a top priority. She believes that everyone is unique, and she wants her students to be confident and happy while they make music!

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Manny De La Luz

Guitar, Strings, & Winds

A gifted string teacher, Manuel De La Luz has been teaching music in both private and classroom settings for six years. From the start, Manuel knew his passion and talent would be found in teaching. This led him to Chicago's VanderCook College of Music, where he studied violin with a dual emphasis on teaching and performance. He was a student of renowned violist Dr. Michael Hall, through which he learned the string coordination technique codified by Karen Tuttle. Beyond violin, Manuel also utilized his time at VanderCook to study viola, cello, and bass performance and education. It was also during this time that he fell in love with the guitar. Using his knowledge of violin, Manuel quickly mastered standard guitar repertoire in just three years.

Through his self-taught experience, Manuel has developed an innovative approach to guitar. By transferring methods he learned on bowed string instruments to the guitar, Manuel’s teaching approach has gained outstanding results among his students. In using Karen Tuttle’s coordination technique in guitar lessons, students are able to reach levels of performance beyond the technical aspect of playing a musical instrument. Manuel’s clear communication and attention to detail create a fun learning environment. He can’t wait to share his knowledge with new students! 

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Maura Lefèvre

Acting & Voice

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Maura Lefevre is a New York City-based classically trained soprano and actress. She made her Feinstein’s/54 Below debut in June 2018 under the direction of Lindsay Mendez and Ryan Scott Oliver. She has returned twice as a soloist since.

Recent NYC credits include Cosette in Les Misérables, Annelle in Steel Magnolias, Bielke in Fiddler on the Roof, and Laverna in the world premiere of Into the Beyond, presented at The Shakespeare Forum’s Summer Festival.

 

Maura graduated summa cum laude from the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase College with a Bachelor of Music degree in Opera/Vocal Performance. While at SUNY Purchase she performed as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel.

 

After graduating, Maura continued her vocal studies in Paris, France at The Conservatoire de Saint Nom La Bretèche.

 

Maura believes first and foremost in cultivating and expanding her students’ love of music. She strives to instill confidence in her students and provide a nurturing space for exploring their instrument. She is equally dedicated to helping her students be the best musicians they can be and taking the time to understand their individual needs!

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Michael McAvoy

Cello, Piano, & Voice

Acclaimed by Naples Daily News for his range, resonance, and interpretive skill, baritone Michael McAvoy has been singing and teaching for decades. Recently, he sang in Josh Groban’s backup quartet at Radio City Music Hall, Nassau Coliseum, Madison Square Garden, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning America, and on PBS.

 

Michael's various accolades include the New York Classical Music Society’s Gold Prize, a certificate of achievement in The Progressive Musicians Online Classics Competition, Grand Finalist in the International Talents of the World Competition, second place winner of the American Prize Competition (men in art song and oratorio category), and first prize in the oratorio division of the Lyra New York International Vocal Competition. 


Michael has performed nationally with opera companies and orchestras, most notably Connecticut Concert Opera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Opera Theater, Opera Naples, The Naples Philharmonic Chorale, The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey, Bronx Opera, and Light Opera of New York. Following winning the Opera Theater of Connecticut’s Amici Vocal Competition, Michael performed several roles in their opera productions, including Peter in Hansel and Gretel, Le Dancaïre in Carmen, Barone Douphol in La traviata, and Figaro in The Barber of Seville.


Michael holds a degree in Vocal Performance from The University of Connecticut. He continues to study voice with Dr. Constance Rock from the UConn faculty. He is the baritone soloist and bass section leader at Rye Presbyterian Church.

 

Michael loves seeing his students grow as musicians and performers! He enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels and nurturing their individual strengths.

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Mickey Asemenew

Euphonium, Guitar, Piano, & Trumpet

Mikyas (Mickey) Asamenew is a multi-instrumentalist who plays as many genres as he does instruments! He began his musical journey at the age of 11 with the trumpet. His teachers saw his knack for jazz and encouraged him to join his school jazz band, where he quickly rose to first chair. Mickey later picked up the euphonium in band class at age 15, giving him a diverse knowledge of both high and low brass. 

 

Apart from jazz and concert band repertoire, Mickey is experienced with musical theater orchestras, playing in the pit for productions of Bye Bye Birdie and Peter Pan, among others. 

Mickey is passionate about helping his students hone their musical skills! He enjoys keeping students engaged by creating arrangements of his students' favorite songs tailored to their playing ability. Through understanding his students' interests, he finds ways to inspire them to practice and set attainable goals.


Outside of music, Mickey's hobbies include computer programming, tennis, and running.

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Natalie Kriegler

Cello, Violin, & Viola

Natalie Kriegler is a Westchester-based violinist. She is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, where she majored in Violin Performance under the instruction of Raphael Bronstien and Arianna Bronne.  

 

Her orchestral credits include Broadway shows such as Grand Hotel, Guys and Dolls, Hello, Dolly!, Damn Yankees, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables. Natalie has also performed in orchestras, such as Music Sacra, and she has served as concert mistress for the Gilbert and Sullivan Players and a run of My Fair Lady at The Westbury Music Fair. She has also been the concert mistress for concerts by Joel Grey,  Bel Canto Opera, and she has performed for Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole (including the televised PBS Natalie Cole Christmas Special), Gladys Knight, Mel Torme, Dionne Warwick, Smokey Robinson, and many others.

Natalie has also appeared as a soloist with The Vermont Symphony Orchestra, The Amphion Chamber Orchestra, The Mohawk Trails Chamber Orchestra, and with the Capriccio Ensemble. She collaborates frequently in chamber music settings, as well.

 

Natalie is in high demand as a session musician. Her commercial performance credits include the Nickelodeon TV show Wonder Pets, and jingles/TV spots for Coke, Diet Coke, Amtrak, and CBS Evening News. She has also appeared on albums by Billy Joel and Kiri Te Kanawa.

 

Natalie loves teaching her students in an encouraging, enriching setting. She combines her love of teaching and her love of giving back to the community by arranging concerts at local hospitals, senior citizen retirement homes, and assisted living centers, all featuring her students.

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Sean Lippin

Drums, Electric Bass, Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, Violin, Voice, & Songwriting

Sean has been performing and teaching students of all ages in the Hudson Valley for the past eight years. A graduate of SUNY Oneonta's music department and matriculated at CUNY Lehman's MAT in Applied Music and Teaching program, Sean has a tremendous passion for performing and teaching. As a multi-instrumentalist, Sean knows firsthand that understanding each instrument helps to determine its role in an ensemble. 

 

Sean currently performs in his original musical project, Nerd Salad, and under his own name. He has played at many renowned New York City venues, such as The Bitter End, Rockwood Music Hall, Arlene's Grocery, Bowery Electric, The Knitting Factory, Gold Sounds, and many others. 

 

Aside from performing, Sean has a love for inspiring and engaging students to hone their musical skills and personal growth. He loves working with elementary and middle school children who are full of energy and have an eagerness to learn. He also enjoys working with high schoolers who are mature and able to handle more complex ideas. 

 

Sean believes that an outstanding teacher can drastically alter the course of any mind. This is the kind of teacher he aspires to be!

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Sean McCan

Guitar & Piano

Native New Yorker Sean McCann graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2015 with a degree in Music Technology, and has been teaching and performing full time ever since. An electric bassist first and foremost, he has also been playing guitar and drums in diverse genres for over a decade. 

Sean’s musical identity has always been defined by his curiosity for different styles. He is a performing musician in multiple bands across the tri-state area. Currently, he plays bass in the avant-pop act Diana Lopez, as well as the rock group Damn Jackals.  

Sean loves engaging musically with people of all skill levels. Exciting and encouraging, his teaching style is tailored to each student, with a focus on technique. Sean also provides tools for improvisation and songwriting as a way for students to foster their own musical voice and to keep them empowered as creative individuals. His infectious passion for music might bring you down musical alleys you never thought you’d venture!

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Susan Leiter

Early Childhood, Guitar, & Piano 

Susan Leiter joins us as a retiree from the bird department of the Bronx Zoo. Her lifelong love of music was fostered from an early age by her family. Susan has played various instruments all her life, including piano, harp, tenor recorder, guitar, ukulele, and voice. When she isn’t teaching, she performs recorder in a quartet, and sings in a barbershop quartet and chorus.

 

Susan spent many years educating children about animals and the natural world, and now applies that experience to awakening children's love and excitement for creating music. She knows the value of early musical experiences in creating an interest that can enrich your entire life, no matter your chosen profession. Her many years’ experience with teaching behavior through positive reinforcement has enabled her to create a learning environment that is responsive to the unique learning styles of early childhood. 

Susan believes that early childhood is a time to cultivate feelings, a sense of the beautiful, and excitement about the new and unknown. She knows that children have a natural love for animals and for music, and she has discovered that children's emotional response to these subjects enables a passionate teacher to foster the courage to try out new skills and discover a love of learning!

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Sylvain Falipou

Piano & Voice

Sylvain Falipou-Karkari is a bass-baritone and pianist from the south of France. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Classical Musicology from the University of Toulouse, as well as a Master’s in Choral Music and Music Education. Sylvain graduated with an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies from the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase College.

 

Sylvain has been teaching voice and piano to students of all ages for over a decade. He is currently the upper school choir teacher at The Ursuline School in New Rochelle. 

 

Sylvain has always had a passion for teaching. He brings his diverse multicultural musical and language background and broad skill set to his lessons. He individualizes his teaching approach to ensure that each student feels supported and has the resources they need to succeed. He believes fostering a genuine connection with students is the best way to get them excited about learning!

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Vera Cabo

Electric Guitar, Guitar (Classical, Jazz), Piano, Violin 

Pranvera (Vera) Cobo has been a musicologist and teacher for over 30 years. Born in Shkodra, Albania, Vera began playing piano and violin at the age of 6 and classical guitar at the age of 10. She started her teaching career immediately after graduating from the University of Arts in Tirana, Albania, which she attended on a merit scholarship. She worked at the Jordan Misja Artistic Lyceum teaching young musicians the fundamentals of music theory, harmony, analysis, and folk studies. 

 

Vera's decades-long career includes a host of international performing credits. At just age 17, she was awarded best guitarist representing her country at the Preveza Balkan Festival in Greece. She was an active musician in various ensembles in her native Albania, such as the Shkodra Symphony Orchestra, the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet, and RTV Albanian Variety Show Orchestra. In the U.S., she has performed with the Lehman Symphony Orchestra, Yonkers Young Chamber Music Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, often alongside many Albanian-American musician colleagues. 

 

Vera came to the U.S. in 2000 and earned her Master's Degree in Music Education from Lehman College of the City University of New York. Vera uses various time-tested methods for music theory as part of her teaching methodology, including the Pozzoli Solfeggio Method and the Dannhäuser Solfège des Solfèges method.

 

 

Many of Vera's talented students have pursued professional careers in piano performance and conducting. Vera's passion and dedication to teaching are credited to her jazz and classical guitar students, many of whom have scored high at NYSSMA and won competitions such as the American Fine Arts Festival (AFAF), the Golden Key Music Festival, and the Pelham Music Festival. Her students have performed at Merkin Kaufman Music Center and the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center as winners of these competitions. She also founded and directed the Albanian Annual Children's Song Contest, "New Voices 2013-2017," a singing competition where children from 6 states came to New York to showcase their musical talent and passion!

 

 

Growing up with music in her heart, Vera has a passion for teaching and performing music of all genres. Her ultimate goal is to help students achieve their love of every note of every piece they play!

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