Musical Theater and Dance Instructor
Arlene "Ozzie" Ashburn is an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer and vocal coach who has performed in musicals, dramas and caberet throughout Weschester and Rockland Counties as well as in New York City and New Jersey. She earned her A.A.S. in Performing Arts from S.U.N.Y. Westchester and received the Opal Euard Motter Theater Award for "outstanding excellence in Drama. Further studies and training include: vocal major at Five Towns College, Seaford NY with Carl Olson, Craig Lee; Carnegie Hall Studios, and Karen Van Houten. Acting and dance at S.U.N.Y. Purchase, The New School with Claude Underwood; University of Maine at Orono; HB Studios and Northern Westchester Center for the Arts, where she was also a musical theater and drama instructor. She is a board member, performer and instructor with Westco Productions, a professional children's theater company based in White Plains, NY. She is also an acting and musical theater instructor for P/NY BOCES Arts in Education Program.
Christel Autuori is a certified AcuYoga instructor and yoga practitioner with over thirty years experience practicing Kripalu and Anusara style yoga. She became certified in AcuYoga after studying with Dr. Michael Reed Gach, director of the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, California. Christel has developed and led a number of workshops and classes in various intitutions, and she is the yoga teacher for the Ridgefield High School Wrestling team.
Aimee Berger-Girvalo has an extensive professional teaching background and has taught creative movement and music at Landmark Academy. She is also a certified yoga instructor for children and adults.
Ms.Cobelli has taught dance for the past twenty years. She received her BFA in Dance from Rutgers University and MS in Dance Therapy from Hunter College. She studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Modern, and performed for the Boston Ballet and the New Jersey Ballet. As a certified Dance Therapist, she worked with children for several years at Bronx Lebanon Hospital and Westchester Medical Center. Her own education and performance background has informed her teaching philosophy and method. "As a young dancer," she writes,"I was captivated with my dance teachers." Ms. Cobelli has designed her program to create memorable experiences for each and every dancer. She and her carefully selected staff expect their students not only to learn to dance, but to feel that the teacher is a partner in the learning experience. "There is no greater reward in life for a teacher," she says, "than to inspire a child." Ms. Cobelli, affectionately known as "Ms. Jean," continues to innovate ways to get dancers to "feel at home" in the studio and to take pleasure in stage performance. "Dance," she says, "has been a lifelong journey for me, and teaching has been the most magical part of it."
Canadian pianist Jason Cutmore has performed solo recitals and collaborative concerts throughout North America, Europe and India. Mr. Cutmore made his Chicago recital debut in the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in 2005 with an all-Liszt programme that was broadcast live on WFMT radio, and shown on Chicago Cable TV 25. Since then he has appeared in Canada’s Colours of Music Festival, the Elora Festival, the University of Calgary’s Celebrity Series, as well as at venues in Cleveland, Chicago, New York City, and elsewhere in North America. His concert performances, and an ardent interest in foreign travel, have frequently taken him abroad to Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, and India, including concerts at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, India, and the Franz Liszt Museum in Budapest. In 2008, Mr. Cutmore’s debut commercial CD, an album of piano music by Spanish composer Manuel de Falla on Centaur Records, was released to critical acclaim. Gramophone magazine declared that “more than a few orchestras can learn from Cutmore’s perfectly placed accents and ideal dance tempi” and Classicstoday.com called it “a first-rate release.” Mr. Cutmore holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Music in New York. His major teachers have been Stephanie Brown, Robert Shannon, and Michael Massey. Originally from Edmonton, Canada, Mr. Cutmore now resides in a suburb of New York City. To learn more visit jasoncutmore.com.
Chris DeAngelis received his Bachelors Degree in Music Performance in 2004 from Western CT State University. He has performed with jazz greats such as Jon Riley, Fred Hersch, Don Braden, Terrell Stafford, Chris Parker and the late Bob Berg. Chris is alos a composer and arranger. His big band composition, "The New Zoo," and his small group composition,"Slightly Temperamental," were chosen for WCSU 's promotional CD. Drumming great Chris Parker (Bob Dylan, Brecker Brothers) included one of Chris' songs in the repertory of his critically- acclaimed band, "Tophe and the PussyCats." Chris performs with several jazz and R&B groups in the area and has toured Europe with Randy Johnston, The Jamie Begian Big Band, Steve Davis, Parliament Funkadelic, Henry Cole, Tony Escapa, Niel Smith, Andrew Beals, Eric Kalb, Chris Morrison, Bob Leanord, and many others. Chris teaches in New York and Connecticut and has given clinics at several prestigious summer workshops (The UCONN Jazz Camp, The Litchfield Jazz Camp, the WCSU jazz festival) and at local high schools (Newtown, Bethel, and Southbury).
Bethany earned her BA from University of Northern Colorado and will soon complete her MA in Education with music certification from University of Bridgeport. She has been teaching music in the New Haven public school system since 2005, and has extensive experience as a preschool music teacher before that. With her love of musical theater, Bethany has performed in countless productions including the role of Fairy Godmother in Summer Theater of New Canaan's presentation of Cinderella.
Luis Espinosa has been selected by the leading breakdance website bboyworld.com as one of the ten best in the nation. In spring 2010, as member of Team USA, he competed in Paris and Montreal; and as a member of Team Puerto Rico he performed in Seoul, Korea before an audience of 3,000. Luis and three other Enchanted Garden teachers form the dance crew United Outkast, which has won two national and one international breakdance competitions. They were cast in the recent dance film Step Up 3D, where their choreography and amazing dance skills were showcased in a competition sequence. Luis has been teaching at the Enchanted Garden Studios since 2004.
A multi-talented performer, Corey Grimes has worked as a hip hop dancer and choreographer with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Sean "P diddy" Combs, J LO, Mario, Jay Z, Destiny's Child, and Jaheim. At Broadway Dance Center in New York City, Corey taught Hip Hop, Choreography and industry audition preparation. He and his crew, United Outkast, appeared in the recent dance film Step Up 3D. Corey has been teaching hip hop at the Enchanted Garden Studios since 2006.
Kathy holds a BA in Art History from Marymount, Tarrytown, where she choreographed and danced with the Marymount Dance Group. She studied at Balanchine's School of American Ballet.
Hailed for his "great depth of poetry, understanding and excitement" (Gazette), American pianist, Ronald Hawkins is quickly establishing himself as one of the country's leading pianists and has earned international acclaim for his sensitive and insightful performances. Mr. Hawkins began his musical studies at the age of sixteen and was performing in concert within eighteen months. Mr. Hawkins has performed in modern and historic venues throughout North America and Europe. Recent appearances include Carnegie Hall, The Lyceum, Tchaikovsky Great Hall, and St. Martins-in-the-Fields. Mr. Hawkins made his international debut in 1997 at The Rachmaninoff Conference held in England. He has recieved numerous awards throughout his career including the prestigious 2007 Young Career Award for his continued achievements in music. Shenandoah Conservatory awarded Mr. Hawkins his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance. His principal teachers include Samuel Bartos, Frederic Chiu, Paul Ostrovsky, Elizabeth Temple and Ruby Morgan. He has also performed in master classes with internationally acclaimed artists. Ronald appears on MSR Classics, Jamlet Records, Pier Records and PBS Records labels. His discography includes seven recordings, his most recent being J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Ronald lives in Connecticut, USA, where he enjoys spending his free time with his dogs, Andy, Ty and Dakota. He is a native of South Carolina. Ronald Hawkins is a Schimmel Piano Artist. - July 2009 www.ronaldhawkins.com
Mimi Hirt holds B.F.A. from the Tisch School at NYU. She also studied at the Royal Academy of the Arts in London. She has performed with the NY Wildlife Preservation's summer theater program at the Queen's Zoo and appears on the TV soap, "Guiding Light." She served as a senior instructor at the Enchanted Garden Conservatory's Shakespeare Summer Institute in 2007 and will be returning this summer to be part of the team led by Clista Townsend.
Director & African Dance and Drumming Instructor
Isaac began drumming at the age of seven and continued his music studies at Simon's Rock College of Bard, where he received his BA with honors. He completed his MA in World Music at Wesleyan University, where he also served on the faculty as a visiting instructor in both the Music and Dance departments. He spent the past eight summers researching traditional drumming and dance in Ghana and has presented lectures on West African Music and Dance at Princeton, New York University, Lehman College, and The New School. He has many years of teaching experience, from nursery school through university, and serves as director of the Enchanted Garden Conservatory of the Arts.
A teacher's teacher, Judy's innovative work with children spans over 30 years. She studied music, dance, and drama in her native Vancouver, Canada. She received her BA from University of British Columbia, and her MA in Dance Therapy/Psychology from Goddard College. A nationally-recognized pioneer in early childhood Music education, she is an author and music education consultant to Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Publishing Co.
Jennifer received her BFA in Dance from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has trained in Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Modern Dance (including Tharp, Ailey, Cunningham, and Varone). She has performed with the 2nd Avenue Dance Company in New York and with Sea World of Texas. She taught competitive dance themes in Texas and starred in a music video for the Texas Tornadoes. She is a certified American Aerobic Fitness Association group instructor and a certified New York City Ballet Workout instructor.
Soprano Robin Idestrom is a versatile performer and an influential teacher. She has performed throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, in a variety of genres from contemporary, spirituals and gospel, to Broadway, concert repertoire and modern opera. She has been featured on a number of recordings, singing classical, worship and a variety of contemporary styles. Robin began teaching voice and piano privately in California in 1993 after receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Azusa Pacific University. In Alberta, Canada, she taught privately for Canadian Nazarene College, Word of Life School of Music in Red Deer, and more recently at Rocky Mountain College in Calgary. She has performed with the Calgary Philharmonic, the Calgary Civic Symphony, the Johnny Summer’s Jazz Orchestra, and the Calgary Opera Chorus. Robin had the privilege of portraying Ruth Baldwin in the New York premier of the opera Later the Same Evening, as well as the Second Housewife in Griffilken by Lukas Foss. Robin has studied and performed with Centro Studi Lirica in Italy and graduated with her Masters in Classical Voice from the renowned Manhattan School of Music in 2009, studying under Joan Patenaude-Yarnell. While she loves to sing classical and opera, Robin is equally comfortable singing and teaching pop, gospel, jazz and musical theatre. The recipient of the Birgit Nilsson Scholarship in Voice, Robin is passionate about creating life and beauty through music that will touch the soul, as well as inspiring others to reach their potential as artists and communicators.
Tricia received her certification from Nyack Yoga Center, where she studied asana, pranayama, meditation and anatomy under Master Yoga Teacher Paula Heitzner. An active member of the Yoga Teachers Association of Westchester, she has also studied with Charles Matkin, Rodney Yee, Joan Gibbons, and many others. She instructs in the Hatha Yoga tradition, with Iyengar and Kripalu influences.
Mr. Kessler has more than a dozen years of experience teaching music lessons to children and adults. He performs in many genres on multiple instruments. Currently he teaches piano and woodwind instruments, as well as Jazz ensembles at the Enchanted Garden Conservatory of the Arts. His students continue to win awards year after year, including several first- place winners in regional competitions. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Connecticut, with an emphasis on Human Development, Culture, and the Arts.
Christen Klewicki has been practicing and studying yoga for the past 13 years. She discovered ISHTA (Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda) yoga in New York City in 2002, and completed a 500 hour level certification in the ISHTA tradition under the guidance of Yogiraj Alan Finger. She has also completed an additional training program in prenatal yoga. Her classes combine the energy of vinyasa flow with the peace and stability of holding poses in careful alignment. Christen strives to create classes that make yoga enjoyable, safe and accessible to everyone. Christen is also a high school English teacher, and she lives in Ridgefield with her husband and young son.
Electric/Upright Bass Instructor
Joel Lee is an electric bassist from CT that has performed for many different bands in the Connecticut, NYC, and NY capitol regions. He is also an accomplished studio musician. Joel’s playing style varies as he tries to get as much diversity out of the instrument using slapping, two-handed tapping, harmonics, and many other techniques. In addition to the electric bass, Joel also plays upright bass in jazz and classical settings. Joel recorded his own solo album entitled “The Overlooker” and will soon be working on a new solo project. Performance credits include playing with FRO, Bobby T and the Electric Circus, Paul Halley, Paul Winter Consort, Jenn Taylor, and Carrie Ashton. Joel continues to perform in his rock band FRAYD and children’s music ensemble Rossnoscerous with other E.G. colleagues. He has opened for such national acts as Michael Brecker, The Yellow Jackets, Tower of Power, Johnny Winter, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and the Marshall Tucker Band. Joel currently teaches in the New Haven Public School district as a middle school band director. As a bass instructor, Joel focuses on proper hand positioning, scales, chords, theory, jazz walking while reading chord changes, funk patterns, improvised solos, stylistic elements of many genres, advanced techniques such as harmonics and 2-handed tapping, and formal audition preparation. Many of Joel’s students have auditioned and were selected to perform in Regional and Allstate music festivals in both Connecticut and New York. Other former students have gone on to major in music in college and now perform professionally. BS Music Technology/Entertainment Arts – College of St. Rose, Albany NY MS Music Education- Western CT State University, Danbury CT
Kim is a classically trained singer having studied voice privately for over fifteen years. She studied with the celebrated and renowned professional Gwen Omeron, who also coached Grammy Award-winning vocalist Debbie Gibson and several other Broadway Stars. She went on to compete weekly on the national television hit show Star Search, where she was a finalist. From there she achieved National recognition and was given a recording contract with Atlantic Records. She recorded a record with producer Rob Freeman, who successfully worked with The Go-Go’s, Blondie, The Ramone’s and other artists. She had a billboard hit, and toured the United States and Canada, appearing at high exposure venues and on many television programs including Dance Party USA. Other career experience highlights include performing at the Superbowl, corporate events and weddings. Her professional career, spanning over 20 years, has also included voice-overs for Seinfeld and other national commercials and several Jingles. Kim has been teaching voice at the Enchanted Garden since 2003.
Arts & Science Teacher and Guitar Instructor
B.A. Simon's Rock College of Bard. M.A. in Music Composition, Goddard College. Operates The Enchanted Garden Recording Studio. Composes original music including three children's music CDs with his band Fezcat. Noah's (imaginary) twin brother Chef No-ah cooks with the Enchanted Garden's 3-5 year olds. Noah also teaches guitar and song writing.
Katty has been playing guitar for 16 years and has been actively teaching since 2003. She is fluent in several genres: folk, rock, metal and classical. Specialized in classical guitar technique, she finds ways of teaching that are interesting, challenging and rewarding for her students. While Katty insists on basic technical principles, she also encourages and guides each individual to find their unique flair and the highest quality of his or her own sound. She emphasizes the importance of sight reading and using music that students are interested in and will enjoy. Katty has an extensive repertoire and specializes in Latin American pieces. She received her BA in Performance of Classical Guitar from SUNY Purchase, and is currently finishing her MFA.
Mommy & Me Yoga Instructor
Corina has been dancing to the beat of her own drum since age 3. She has a BA in Social Science & Dance from Purchase College. Corina also is certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT ) with Yoga Alliance. She also teaches dance to children. Corina enjoys the journey of experiencing Yoga together with her daughter Ella and son Evan
Matt Moadel is a working drummer and teacher who has immersed himself deeply in many styles, ranging from traditional drum set styles and rudimental snare drumming to Middle-Eastern and African drumming. He earned a bachelor's degree in Percussion from Western Connecticut State University and has studied privately with teachers of many genres. Matt has performed in many settings, from Jazz and Reggae to Flamenco and Funk to marching bands and pit orchestras. He has worked for 15 years as a performer, with many musicians, including the great Jazz Bassist Bill Crow, Indian Tabla master Deep Singh, Jim Donovan of "Rusted Root" and Flamenco great Val Ramos. Matt has been giving one-on-one instruction the past 10 years. His curriculum is not limited to one path but follows a natural progression, directed not only by the need for the essential elements of music and drumming, but also by the needs and learning style of the student.
Beth received her BA. in Dance Therapy and Psychology from Goucher College, and has studied Ballet, Jazz, and Modern. She has many years of experience teaching movement with adults and children in therapeutic settings, and has taught fitness classes for adults. Beth specializes teaching dance to very young students.
Larisa Podoprigora is a pianist, organist and music educator with 21 years of working experience. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, she graduated from St. Petersburg State University of the Arts with MA degree in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy. Larisa was a full-time faculty member at the Pedagogical College in St. Petersburg and the School of Arts, also in St. Petersburg. After moving to the United States, she worked as a Piano teacher at the Connecticut Conservatory of the Performing Arts in New Milford, and served as Organist for the First Church-Christ Scientist in Danbury, CT. Her current positions include teaching piano for the Wooster School in Danbury and as Organist/ Pianist for the Bridgewater, CT Congregational Church.
Alicia is a national top-ranked competitive breakdancer and member of the dance team United Outkast, which has won two national and one international competition. She and three other members of United Outkast, all Enchanted Garden Studios teachers, appeared in the recent dance film Step Up 3D. Alicia has been teaching at the Enchanted Garden Studios since 2004.
Dr. Zisk has performed throughout Europe, Asia and North America as concerto soloist, chamber musician, and in solo recitals. Dr. Zisk has served on the piano faculty of Manhattan School of Music, Hartwick Summer Music Festival & Institute, International School for Musical Arts, and Tchaikovsky Summer School, where she also served as the Program Director. She has given masterclasses and adjudicated Music Competitions in Europe, North America and Hong Kong, and is the Examiner for The Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program in Canada and the US. Galina Zisk Rothschild holds a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Toronto, Canada. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of the SoNo Chamber Music Series in South Norwalk, CT. Click Here for a Full Bio
Amanda has been an avid Yoga practitioner since 1999. She is certified as a RYI-200 from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. She is also an athlete who loves outdoor activities such as hiking, trail running, snow shoeing, nordic and alpine skiing. Amanda strives to reflect the healing aspects of yoga during her classes and welcomes all levels.
Modern Dance Repertory Instructor
Brian dances with Momix, a world famous dance company based in Connecticut.
Bruce graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance. There he was the recipient of the James Furman Memorial Chamber Music Award. He currently performs in the Danbury Symphony where he has at times served as principal violinist and principal violist. Bruce is also a member of the Ives Festival Orchestra and American Chamber Orchestra. As the violist of the Barber String Quartet, he performed concerts throughout Poland on a U.S. Embassy-endorsed tour. An active chamber musician, Bruce is a member of Trio Dolce and the Ives Chamber Players. He has performed regularly throughout New York and Connecticut, including venues such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Stamford’s Rich Forum, Danbury Music Centre and benefit performances for OXFAM and the Kosciusko Foundation. Mr. Sloat has also recorded music in the genres of Classical, Hip- Hop and Afro-Cuban Jazz. He currently conducts sectionals and private lessons for Greens Farms Academy’s orchestral program. Bruce has taught strings lessons in the Fairfield County area for over 15 years.
Christopher Smalley received his BA in Dance and Theater from Manhattanville College. He was certified in stage combat by Fight Director's Canada and received further stage combat training at the National Theater Institute and at the St. Petersburg Academy for the Performing Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia. Chris spent four summers teaching theater at the Foote School in New Haven, CT, and in 2007 was a senior faculty member at the Enchanted Garden Conservatory's Shakespeare Summer Institute.
Denise Tan has been teaching violin and piano for over twenty years. She incorporates music theory, music history, and technique in her lessons, and caters to the individual learning style of each student. Denise has studied violin with William Barbini (formerly with the New York Philharmonic), Hamao Fujiwara, and Louise Behrend at The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. Her piano and organ studies have been under the tutelage of Thomas Gentry of Cal-State Sacramento, and Pauline Riddle of William Jewell College. Denise has received awards from the National School Orchestra, International Youth and Music Festival (Vienna, Austria), and has performed throughout the United States and Europe.
Director, Shakespeare Summer Institute
Clista Townsend -- actor, playwright, director, educator -- has performed in numerous Shakespeare theaters and festivals across Amercia. She is a founding member of the Arcadia Shakespeare Festival, Novel Stages in Philadelphia and Ark Theatre in Los Angeles. She has worked as an actor and director for several regional theaters, as well as for television and film. She holds an MFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University with further training from Jacques Lecoq, Carlo Mazzone-Clementi and Philippe Gaulier in Commedia, Clown, Mask and Physical Theatre techniques. She currently teaches at S.U.N.Y. Purchase, Hunter College, Manhattanville College, and Trinity College. As an educator she seeks to "immerse students in a culture where people are kind to and care about each other, where hard work matters and good character means even more -- where they can come to know themselves as part of something greater than themselves."
Nicole, a top-rated national competitive breakdancer is a member of United Outkast, which has won two national and one international competition and appears in the dance feature film, Step Up 3D, which showcased her crew's choreography and amazing dance skills. Nicole has been teaching dance at the Enchanted Garden Studios since 2000.