An Inspiring International Faculty


HMP students work with Westminster Conservatory’s faculty of professional performers, composers, musicologists, and music theorists. Our faculty have extensive experience teaching at the elementary, middle, high school, and university levels, and received their training from some of the world’s finest institutions.

Click on a subject area to read about the faculty:


Music History, Theory and Ear Training


Chamber Music


Jazz Improvisation


Vocal Studies


Program Staff


Music History, Theory and Ear Training


Michael Green

Email: michaelcarlgreen@hotmail.com

Mike Green (2)

Following Composition studies at Michigan State University and Film Scoring studies at the University of California in Los Angeles, Michael C. Green joined various musical groups in London and Los Angeles, where he gained experience as an arranger in the recording industry.

Mr. Green moved to New York and continued performing as a trumpeter and pianist in small jazz groups, larger bands, pit orchestras, brass ensembles, and church services. Today his busy  career includes appearances in concerts, shows, clubs, private parties, corporate, and civic events and his decade-long performance as a solo jazz pianist at a major hotel in Princeton, NJ.

Active as a composer and arranger, Mr. Green has written works for piano, concert band, brass band, various ensembles, choir and organ. He orchestrated a Broadway show and the score of a PBS documentary film. He has been involved in jazz outreach programs in Pennsylvania high schools and has adjudicated jazz competitions.  In 2007 The Princeton Brass Band appointed Mr. Green Composer-In-Residence. PBB recently premiered two of his compositions and commissioned a major contest piece, which was premiered in 2010. Michael Green continues active freelance engagements as a pianist and trumpeter in a wide variety of musical settings.

Ikumi Hiraiwa

Email: hiraiwa@rider.edu


Born in Japan, pianist Ikumi Hiraiwa, NCTM, holds B.A. from UCLA and M.M. from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Ms. Hiraiwa recently performed both solo and collaborative piano in prestigious venues such as the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia and Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, New York City.  She is a frequent performer and accompanist in central New Jersey, Pennsylvania area. She is the recipient of first place at Westminster Piano Graduate Competition in 2006, and UCLA Benno Rubinyi Competition in 2005. Her principal piano teachers include James Goldsworthy, Victor Labenske, Walter Ponce and Jennifer Snow. Ms. Hiraiwa studied piano pedagogy with Jennifer Snow, Phyllis Alpert Lehrer, Betty Stoloff, Ingrid Clarfield, Jean Stackhouse and James Goldsworthy.

Ms. Hiraiwa coached at UCLA Summer Chamber Music Institute for four years,and taught basic musicianship at Point Loma Keyboard Institute, San Diego.

Currently, Ms. Hiraiwa is a member of MTNA, NJMTA, and College Music Society. She has a private studio in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and is on faculty at Westminster Conservatory of Music, teaching piano and theory, since 2006.


Julia Kovalev

Email: jkovalev@rider.edu


Julia Kovalev is a musicologist and pianist.  She received her Master of Music degree with distinction from Petrozavodsk State Conservatory, Russia; and her Bachelor of Music degree cum laude from Chernigov Music College, Ukraine.  Her  postgraduate research in music history was conducted at the Russian Institute for the History of the Arts of Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. Her principal piano teachers were Larisa Kolesnik and Lina Demchenko.  Her music theory studies were with Larisa Soloshenko and Joseph Kon; music history with Vera Nilova and Anna Porfirieva; and composition with Margarita Demidenko.

She began teaching in her native town of Chernigov and has taught at music schools and colleges in Ukraine, Russia and the United States.  Ms. Kovalev currently maintains a private studio in Pennington, New Jersey, and is on the faculties of Westminster Conservatory of Music, and Hunterdon Academy of the Arts in Flemington, NJ.  Besides teaching, she enjoys a performing career as a piano accompanist at Princeton Ballet School and as a church music director.  Currently, she  studies harpsichord and baroque music with Gavin Black.

Julia Kovalev is an author of various choral settings, children’s piano pieces and transcriptions. Her musicological research interests are Byzantine and Western medieval music, music psychology, music for children, children’s music cognition and music as language.


Craig Levesque

Honors Music Program Academic Coordinator

Email: clevesque@rider.edu


Dr. Craig Levesque received his  Ph.D. in Music Theory and Composition from Rutgers University; and both his M.A. in Music History and his B.A. in Music Theory and Composition from The University of New Hampshire. His primary composition teachers included Niel Sir, Dr. Andrew Boysen, Jr. and Pulitzer Prize winning composer Charles Wuorinen.

Dr. Levesque teaches Music Theory, Orchestration, and Ear Training at Rutgers University and at Westminster Conservatory of Music, where he also teaches Horn and Composition. He is in demand as a composer and arranger, with numerous premieres and performances throughout the Northeast.

Dr. Levesque’s compositions and arrangements are available through Art of Sound Music (www.artofsoundmusic.com).


Carmen Mateiescu

Email: cmateiescu@rider.edu


Dr. Carmen A. Mateiescu is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Composition, Theory, and Music History at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University (since 2000); faculty at Westminster Conservatory of Music (since 1988); composition competition coordinator on the NJMTA’s Board of Directors (since 2008). Dr. Mateiescu was on the faculty of the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University (1997-2005). She received degrees from the University of Music in Bucharest, Romania (BM in Piano Pedagogy and MM in Composition and Theory) and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Ph.D. in Composition and Theory).  Her teachers include Gerald Chenoweth, Nicolas Roussakis, Robert Moevs (Rutgers) and Stefan Niculescu, Speranta Radulescu (Bucharest).

Dr. Mateiescu conducted extensive research in the traditional music of Romania, where she was a recipient of the “Constantin Brailoiu Grant for Ethnomusicological Research.” She authored articles on ethnomusicology issues, LPs and CDs with Romanian traditional music, theory and musicianship textbooks for children, and a “bridge” course in the theory of western art music for musicians educated in non-European traditions.

Her compositions are performed regularly in Princeton, New York, and Philadelphia venues. She is an active concert organizer and presenter of early music  (Princeton) and traditional music (the Smithsonian Institution—Washington, DC, the World Music Institute –New York, and the Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ).

Present research interests include music in the oral tradition (from peasant music in central Europe and the Himalayas, to medieval chant – Gregorian and Byzantine) and the perpetuation of compositional devices of the oral tradition into the written music; twentieth-century music; spiritual dimension of sound and music; methods of theory and musicianship teaching.


Chase Morrison



Born in Boston, Chase Morrison attended Wellesley College, where she studied theory and composition with Arlene Zallman and Charles Fisk and where she received her B.A. in Music in 1978. A Masters in Music Composition was awarded by Westminster Choir College in 2000. Her formal studies in cello, piano, conducting, and composing took place in and around Boston beginning at the age of four. Other music studies were completed at The New England Conservatory with Albert Bernard (solfege), and Boston University (cello). Her teachers and coaches include Benjamin Zander, Leonard Shure, George Neikrug, and Eugene Lehner.

At Juilliard, she participated in master classes with Samuel Sanders. At age 22 she was appointed principal cellist of the Tasmanian Symphony (Australia), followed by a co-principal position with the Melbourne Symphony (Australia). After moving to New York City, she founded PANOPTICON, a non-profit music group performing works of women composers.

Ms. Morrison has played on Broadway, in Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, toured with Barbra Streisand and Joni Mitchell, and has recorded with Grammy artist Paula Cole. As a classical cellist, Chase has performed under Leonard Bernstein, Leopold Stokowski, Colin Davis, and Michael Tilson-Thomas. She has published Scottish fiddle music.


Jessica Rey-de-Castro

Jessica Rey-de-Castro is an artist faculty member at the Westminster Conservatory of Music. She earned her Master’s degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College and her undergraduate degree from Middlebury College. At Westminster, she studied piano with Phyllis Lehrer.

Ms. Rey-de-Castro has been an active member of the Westminster Conservatory since 2006. She has taught students of all levels, including college-level piano lessons at Centenary College.

Email: jessica.reydecastro@gmail.com


Marvin Rosen

Email: mrosen@rider.edu

Marvin Rosen

Dr. Marvin Rosen earned master’s degrees in musicology from the Manhattan School of Music and Teachers’ College, Columbia University; and his doctorate in Music Education from Teachers’ College, Columbia University. He has given many recitals and lecture/recitals as well as radio performances.

He has recorded two CD’s of Alan Hovhaness piano music for Koch International Classics.  The Washington Post described “Fred the Cat” as “delectable.” About “Vision of a Starry Night,” the British magazine, Tempo stated, “Rosen’s commitment to, and enthusiasm for, this very exceptional music cannot for a moment be doubted.”  Dr. Rosen is the author of liner notes for a number of recordings featuring American music on the Koch International Classics label and has written for Albany Records and the MMC label. He presented lectures at the College Music Society’s Northeast Chapter meetings.

Since 1997, he has been host of the weekly radio program, “Classical Discoveries” on WPRB (103.3 FM). The program won the prestigious ASCAP Deems Taylor Radio Broadcast Award in 2005. In addition he hosts “Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde.”   In 2011 Dr. Rosen was elected to the media council of New Music USA. For more information, visit www.classicaldiscoveries.org.

A full-time member of Westminster Conservatory’s piano faculty, Dr. Rosen teaches music history for the Honors Music Program and Musical Styles for the Piano Pedagogy Certification Program.


Angelina Shapoval

Email: aashapoval12@gmail.com
Angelina Shapoval

Angelina Shapoval received her B.M. from  San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied piano with Mack McCray and harpsichord with L. Goldberg. While in San Fransico she performed as soloist and as a member of  The Violin-Piano Duo Consortium and the San Francisco Conservatory Baroque Orchestra (harpsichord). Workshops in choral conducting and performance; director of music for church children’s program. Formerly on the faculty of  Calder Academy of Music (Cupertino, CA.,) Ms. Shapoval has been on the Westminster Conservatory Piano faculty since 2001 and continues to maintain a private studio in the Princeton area.


AnnaLotte Smith


Email: annalottesmith@gmail.com 

AnnaLotte Smith is an American concert pianist who has performed throughout the United States, England, and Germany and publically hailed for her moving performances on both sides of the Atlantic.  Smith has successfully competed in multiple international competitions, most notably winning the Grand Prix at the Baden Wüttemberg International Piano Competition, Germany, 2012, and frequently attends international piano festivals such as the exclusive Eastern Music Festival, USA, 2016.  Smith is also a distinguished academic and holds two prestigious Andrew J. Rider Scholar awards from Westminster College of Rider University from which she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Piano, Summa Cum Laude in 2017. In completion of her Bachelors degree, Smith studied Musicology at Princeton University and was a member of the internationally acclaimed Westminster Symphonic Choir, singing under the batons of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Alan Gilbert, Charles Dutoit, and Sir Simon Rattle. Smith is a faculty member of the Westminster Conservatory Honors Music Program, NJ and maintains a private piano studio.


Kevin Willois

Email: drivefest@aol.com

Kevin Willois graduated from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University with degrees in Music Performance and Music Education. He studied flute under Bart Feller, and participated in master classes with James Galway, Paula Robison and Jean Pierre Rampal. Mr. Willois is an active performer in the New York/New Jersey area performing with the Perth Amboy Band, the Edison Symphony, Artemis Chamber orchestra, Chelsea Opera orchestra, Martina Arroyo Opera orchestra, Actor’s Net and small chamber groups, including trio@play, Tripleplay Winds and Vento Trio. The latter group of flute, clarinet and bassoon was a featured group for the “Fou de Bassoon” bassoon conference of 2008 in Angouleme, France, where Mr. Willois, Janet Grice and Sarah Bednarchik played concerts of both classical and jazz music, and taught workshops on jazz improvisation. Mr. Willois and Vento Trio released their first CD, Brazilian Dances and Inventions in 2007, featuring several unpublished works of Brazilian art music, and have been back in the studio recording their second project. A recording project from the group trio@play featuring the music of Seymour Bereb and others is also pending.

Kevin Willois, a well-known teacher in New Jersey, teaches at Westminster Conservatory, the extension division of the Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts and at the Peddie School. He is also active with the Westchester Philharmonic outreach program, bringing his knowledge of woodwind instruments to school children in the New York area.


Chamber Music


The Chamber Music experience is a program focal point for HMP students. Student placement in ensembles is done personally by the director, and chamber groups meet weekly with their chamber instructor.  Chamber ensembles perform together as a program in the Honors Music Program Chamber Concerts at semester-end.  Some ensembles are inspired to remain together for many years, building musical communication and performing increasingly challenging repertoire. Others enjoy the experience of performing with new partners and instrumentation. Ensembles rehearse independently outside of class.


Laurie Cascante


Laurie Cascante: Suzuki Cello, Cello
B.M., Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music. Studied with Hirofumi Kanno and Philadelphia Orchestra member, Lloyd Smith. Suzuki training with Annette Costanzi, Pamela Davenport, Rick Mooney, Hartt College of Music Suzuki Institute. Faculty member, Trenton Community Music School and Trenton International Charter School. Conservatory faculty since 1995.

Carol Comune

Email: mcomune@rider.edu


Carol Comune, a successful teacher, composer, and recording artist, performs extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the eastern United States. She has been featured at Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall (New York City),  New England Conservatory of Music, the Gardner Museum, The Art Complex at Duxbury, and The Longfellow National Historic Site, (Boston) Flagler Museum, and The Kravis Center (Palm Beach.) Her recitals have aired on National Public Radio. Ms. Comune received a B.M. in Piano Performance from New England Conservatory of Music, where she was a student of David Hagan. She pursued graduate studies also at N.E.C: Piano Pedagogy with Jean Stackhouse, Composition with John Felice and Donald Waxman. Her influential mentor was concert pianist, Anthony di Bonaventura.

Through her own company, Elegant Entertainment & Co., Ms Comune has produced eight albums, which are heard on National Public Radio, U. S. commercial stations, broadcast stations in the Far East, Canada, Europe, and on the World Wide Web. She signed with Prolific Arts Music Library and founded Comune Music Press which publishes her original compositions (Gealyn and Me, Sleeping Beauty, The Nightingale, Variations on the hymn, “O, God Our Help in Ages Past,” Carousel Classics and Season of the Light.) Her compositions have premiered at Boston’s Rivers School 30th Annual Seminar on Contemporary Music, New York’s Steinway Hall, and Moravian College.

Since 1973 Ms. Comune has taught, coached, judged and accompanied hundreds of students, many of whom have been achievement award recipients and competition winners. Currently an accompanist for Lehigh University, Moravian College, and the NATS competition, Ms. Comune is  now on the faculties of Westminster Conservatory of Music, The Eastern Conservatory of Music, and The Piano Workshop at Chester. She  maintains a piano studio in Easton, PA.  Formerly Carol was  Staff Accompanist at Palm Beach Atlantic University, where she also taught piano, coached and performed with singers and instrumentalists. She was also on the piano faculty, accompanist, and chamber coach at New England Conservatory Preparatory School, Berklee College of Music, The  New School of Music, (Massachusetts), and The Conservatory of Music at Lynn University.  She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association and has given numerous programs for New England Conservatory Intensive Pedagogy, Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association, and Palm Beach Music Teachers Association.

Clipper Erickson

Email: clippererickson99@gmail.com

A native of California, Clipper Erickson made his debut as soloist with the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra at age 19 in Los Angeles. After studies at Indiana University, The Juilliard School and Yale University, he began performing as soloist with orchestra and recitalist throughout the United States as well as receiving prizes at several international competitions including the Busoni, William Kapell and the American Pianists Association competitions. His playing also has been heard in some of the most famous concert venues in the world, including the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and the Kennedy Center in Washington. Critics use words like color, power and excitement to describe his performances, with the Washington Post stating: Like a true heroic pianist, Erickson approached Liszt with power, precision and Romantic abandon; a take-no-prisoners rendition of the Waltz from the Opera Faust.

Erickson has a special interest in the wonderful diversity of music by Americans, specifically how these composers reflected American history and how America expresses itself in music. This interest has flowered in a series of CD releases of works by lesser known as well as popular American composers that have received considerable critical acclaim and have been often featured on radio. He also enjoys promoting new composers, always choosing pieces that speak to everyone, not only the initiated.

Now making his home near Philadelphia he participates in the roster of Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour. This affiliation, as well as being an alumnus of the Xerox Pianist Program of Affiliate Artists, has given him the opportunity to perform for diverse audiences and illuminate great music for all listeners. He has brought innovative programs to school children, and a wide variety of community groups, fulfilling a mission to bring the enjoyment of classical music to everyone. He currently is on the faculties of Westminster Conservatory in Princeton, Temple University in Philadelphia and previously at Bucknell University.


Larissa Korkina

Email: lkorkina@rider.edu


Larissa Korkina earned a Master of Music degree from the Byelorussia State Academy of Music, where she studied with Valerie Minenkov, Grigory Shershevsky, and where she later taught as a member of the music faculty. She has enjoyed a successful career as a recitalist, chamber musician and coach/accompanist. She has collaborated with many opera singers in recitals, as well as in opera productions, including Maria Guleghina of the Metropolitan Opera, Perry Ward, Hanli Stapela and others. She received awards as the best accompanist in three national competitions in Russia. A resident of the Princeton area, she has performed numerous solo, chamber and accompanying concerts in the tri-state area, including special functions at the Garden State Arts Center, McCarter Theatre and Richardson Auditorium.

Her recent engagements include the prestigious Matinee Musical Club at the Academy of Music of Philadelphia, Music Heritage Series at Westminster, The Friends of Music at Taplin Hall in Princeton and the Longwood Gardens Concert Series. Ms. Korkina is on the faculty of Westminster Conservatory and maintains a private studio in Princeton. She has also taught at The College of New Jersey and the Hun School.


Patricia Landy

Email: plandy@rider.edu

Patricia Tupta Landy holds a D.M.A. degree in collaborative performance from the University of Southern California, where she received awards in Pedagogy and Koldofsky Fellowships in performance.  She maintained a private studio and performed frequently as a freelance accompanist in the greater Los Angeles area.  She received her M.M. degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison, and her B.M. degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM).  Dr. Landy served as staff accompanist for CIM, and taught at the Cleveland Music School Settlement, where she performed frequently in solo and chamber music concerts.

Currently, Dr. Landy maintains a private studio, teaches at Westminster Conservatory of Music and coaches chamber music for the Young Artist Program.  She created and directs the Piano Chamber Music Camp as part of the Conservatory’s summer programs and teaches for the Westminster Professional Development Certificate Program.  Her students are frequent laureates in area, state and regional festivals and competitions.

Elena Panova

Email: epanova@rider.edu

Elena Panova is on the piano faculty at Westminster Conservatory and is also Chamber Music Coordinator. She received a M.M., with high honors, from Sverdlovsk Pedagogical StateUniversity (Russia) and a B.M. from Tchaikovsky Musical College (Russia). Mrs. Panova has extensive performing experience as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician in bothRussia and the United States. Her teaching experience includes State Music School No. 2 (St. Petersburg, Russia), Rutgers Community Music Program, The Peddie School, and Westminster Conservatory since 1998.


Galina Prilutskaya

Email: gprilutskaya@rider.edu

Galina Prilutskaya teaches piano and chamber music as a master faculty member at Westminster Conservatory of Music. She has performed extensively as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Germany and Russia. Ms. Prilutskaya is a recipient of prestigious teaching awards and her students, as winners of numerous competitions, have performed with orchestras at famous music halls in the United States and Russia.

Ms. Prilutskaya received her Master of Music degree and Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy and Performance in Russia. Her principal teachers were prominent professors Gregory Dinor, Valentina Pavlova and Roman Klyachko.

Ms. Prilutskaya also teaches piano in her private studio in Princeton, New Jersey.


Kyu Jung Rhee

Email: krhee@rider.edu


Kyu Jung Rhee, a native of Korea, received a D.M.A., M.M. and B.M. from Rutgers University. Her teachers and chamber coaches include Theodore Lettvin, Samuel Dilworth-Leslie, Herbert Stessin, Jeannette Haine, Arnold Steinhardt, Bernard Greenhouse and Zara Nelsova.

Recognized for her outstanding performances, Ms. Rhee has won numerous prizes and scholarships, including the Joanna Hodges International Competition and the Class Winner at the Corsi Internazionali Etruria, Italy. As a chamber musician, Ms. Rhee has performed with the Essex String Quartet and a founding member of I Medici Trio. As a soloist, she has performed in the United States, Italy and Korea. She has taught at Kon-Kuk University and Yewon School of Arts in Seoul, Korea. Currently, she teaches piano and chamber music at Westminster Conservatory.


Rita Shklar

Email: rshklar@rider.edu


M.M.,Rutgers University; B.M.,Rimsky-Korsakov Musical College of the State Conservatory, St. Petersburg, Russia; Graduate studies, Longy School of Music, Cambridge, MA.

Studied with Theodore Lettvin, Victor Rosenbaum and Faina Bryanskaya. Master classes with Claude Frank, Nathan Perelman and Grigory Sokolov. Solo and chamber recitals in the US, Germany, Italy, Hungary and Russia. Frequent adjudicator for competitions, festivals and the New Jersey Governors School. Member of New Jersey Music Teachers National Association.

Conservatory faculty since 1994. Was in charge of the Young Artist Program at Westminster Conservatory 1994-98. Teaching experience: The College of New Jersey 2002 -2006: Westminster Choir College Professional Development Certificate Program; She has maintained private music studios in Boston and Princeton. Recipient of teaching awards, including Cecilian Distinguished Pedagogy Award for outstanding teaching; Certificates of Excellence in teaching from American Concert Alliance and American Fine Arts Festival.

Her students have won top prizes at prestigious international, national, state and local competitions including: Eastman International Young Artists Competition, Marian Garcia Competition, Steinway Competition, Bart Pittman Competition for high school seniors, Princeton University Music Festival Competition, NJMTA Young Artist Competition, Cecilian Young Artist Competition, Westminster Concerto competition, American Fine Arts Festival and Golden Key Music Festival, among others. Students frequent performances include such venues as Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), Lincoln Center (Alice Tully Hall), Merkin Concert Hall in New York and Kimmel Arts Center in Philadelphia.

Barbara Highton Williams

Email: barbhwms@yahoo.com


Barbara Highton Williams, flutist, is a founding member of the Volanti Flute Quartet, former principal flutist of the Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra, and former member of the San Jose Wind Symphony and Blawenburg Band. She is also co-founder of AEOLUS, a duo devoted to dialogue between poetry and music for solo flute. She has performed on both coasts of the US and in France, and in 2012 collaborated in a series of flute duo concerts in the Western Cape of South Africa. That work can be heard in the CD Fofa le nna (Fly with me)– Music for Two Flutes. For more than two decades Ms. Williams has appeared frequently in chamber music programs in the Princeton area and throughout New Jersey.

A respected artist, teacher, and contributor to the wider flutist community, Ms. Williams is a member of the New York Flute Club (where she served on the board), and the National Flute Association. Her articles have appeared in flute publications, including Flutist Quarterly. She joined Westminster Conservatory’s flute faculty in 1998. She also coaches chamber music for the Honors Music Program and collaborates with the Early Childhood Department in outreach activities in Trenton and Princeton. Raised in Washington, D. C., in a family of artists, she received a B. A. in music, with honors, from Principia College. Her principal teachers were flutists Jacob Berg, Frances Blaisdell, and Jayn Rosenfeld.


Jazz Improvisation


HMP’s mission to provide Jazz training to classical music students is another defining element of its curriculum. Students develop the ability to improvise in various styles. Our structured approach to teaching Jazz Improvisation takes students from their first years in Musicianship class to their final years in Jazz Combos.  Jazz classes offer an opportunity to learn America’s signature music beginning at a young age. Jazz improvisation provides students with hands-on practice on their instruments working with theory concepts. Students experience both lab-style classes and combos and study with instructors who are active performers throughout the NYC and Philadelphia areas.

We are proud to have won the support of the Bharvaney Fund in support of HMP’s mission to offer jazz study to talented, classically-trained music students. The fund provides scholarships to many HMP students.


Ben Cahill


Ben Cahill has been a part of the Young Artist Program’s Jazz faculty since the Jazz program’s inception in 2001. He has been a teacher, an accompanist, and a co-author of the YAP Jazz Curriculum.

Ben holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, where he studied Composition and Analysis under Eastman School of Music’s Dr. Ernest Livingstone.  He attended The University of Miami’s (Florida) Recording Engineering and Jazz programs, where he studied jazz piano under Dave Roitstein and Vince Lawrence Maggio.  Ben also studied jazz performance and composition with Laurie Altman. Ben’s compositions have been performed in Westminster Conservatory’s Jazz faculty recitals.  He both composes and arranges choral and hand bell pieces, many of which are performed regularly at the Presbyterian Church in Flemington, New Jersey, where Ben has served as the church’s Youth Choir director. Ben continues his study of organ and performs regularly on Hammond organ, other keyboards, and electric bass in numerous jazz and rock ensembles throughout the New Jersey area.


Michael Green

Email: michaelcarlgreen@hotmail.com

Mike Green (2)

Following music composition studies at Michigan State University and film scoring courses at the University of California in Los Angeles, Michael C. Green joined various musical groups in London and Los Angeles, where he gained experience as an arranger in the recording industry.

After moving to New York, Mr. Green continued performing as a trumpeter and pianist in small jazz groups, larger bands, pit orchestras, brass ensembles, church services. He makes frequent appearances in numerous concerts, shows, clubs, private parties, corporate, and civic events and has performed for over ten years as a solo jazz pianist at a major hotel in Princeton, NJ.

Also active as a composer and arranger, Mr. Green has written works for piano, concert band, brass band, various ensembles, choir and organ. He has also orchestrated a Broadway show and the score of a PBS documentary film. He has been involved in jazz outreach programs in Pennsylvania high schools and has adjudicated jazz competitions. In recent years the Princeton Brass Band has premiered two of his compositions, and in 2007 Mr. Green was appointed composer-in-residence of that organization, which commissioned him to write a major contest piece (to be premiered in 2010). He continues active freelance engagements as a pianist and trumpeter in a wide variety of musical settings.

John Paul Velez

Honors Music Program Jazz Coordinator

Email: velez.johnpaul@gmail.com

John Paul Velez – Jazz Pianist
Young Artist Program Improvisation Coordinator

M.A., music education, Teachers College Columbia University; B.M., music education with piano principle, Westminster Choir College of Rider University.  Recipient of the Laura Fenn Hood piano award in 2001.  Piano studies with Jose Ramos Santana, Ena Barton and James Goldsworthy.  Jazz piano and composition studies with Laurie Altman.  Piano pedagogy studies with James Goldsworthy, Ingrid Clarfield and Betty Stoloff.  Teaching experience: vocal music teacher, Littlebrook School in Princeton, grades K-5 in general music and choir since 2005.  Private piano studio in Princeton since 2004.  Conservatory faculty since 2010.



Vocal Studies


YA Vocal Majors (ages 14-18) The HMP Vocal Program is a special community within HMP. In addition to their HMP Theory and History classes., vocalists study together each week in two classes geared to the needs of serious young classical singers.

Vocal Repertoire class focuses on communication, performance, and technique through the study of chamber music and solo song repertoire. Students work in a master class format and perform with a vocal accompanist. Exposure to such a wide body of vocal literature is a collegiate-level experience from which our high school singers grow immensely.

Language and Diction for Singers addresses the basics of the International Phonetic Alphabet and fundamentals of the principal singing languages: Italian, English, Latin, French, German and Spanish.

Students also experience seminars on Audition Skills, Baroque Ornamentation, Acting Songs, Vocal Health and Anatomy, and Performance Anxiety.


HMP Vocal Instructor

Danielle Sinclair

Email: dsinclair@rider.edu

Danielle Sinclair holds a B.S. degree in Music and French from Indiana University, Bloomington; and a M.M. degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Northern Iowa. She has performed with orchestras throughout the country in works ranging from Bach’s Magnificat and St. John Passion to Respighi’s Lauda per la Natività del Signore and Orff’s Carmina Burana, and in numerous operatic roles including Musetta in La Bohème, Despina in Così fan tutte, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel and Mabel in Pirates of Penzance. In 1995 she was named Grand Prize Winner of the Opera at Florham Guild Competition, and in July of that year performed on the Apollo Muses Concert Series to critical acclaim. Locally, Ms. Sinclair performs frequently in the Westminster Conservatory Faculty Recital Series, and with the Princeton Society of Musical Amateurs. She has appeared with both New York City Opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Ms. Sinclair is a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA), and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), where she currently serves as secretary of the New Jersey Chapter. Her students have gone on to study music and theater at Carnegie Mellon, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, New England Conservatory, University of Michigan, Rutgers University, and Northwestern University. For more information, visit www.daniellesinclair.com.