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Fall Master Classes

The 2016-2017 school year has been jam-packed with amazing master classes.

The music department hosted Hasu Patel on September 22, 2016.  Patel is a composer, performer and educator, who is one of the few world-class female artists performing today Classical Music of India on sitar, the most popular string instrument of India. Hasu plays Sitar in a style known as Gayaki Ang (vocal style), where the sitar replicates the fluidity and subtle nuances of the human voice.

Called a “brilliant musician,” a “ceaseless champion of India’s music,” and a sitarist whose “performance is memorizing,” Patel has dedicated her life to preserving and propagating in its pristine purity, the fascinating, and highly evolved classical music of Ancient India.














The dance department hosted Emily Schoen, who taught a Contemporary Movement master class, utilitzing pop and rap music October 7, 2016. Emily is part of the DANCENOW guest artist series.


Emily Schoen is now a New York City transplant where she teaches, choreographs, and presents work. She was the recipient of the Gibney Dance boo-koo grant for emerging artist in NYC, was chosen as Top 5 for the Houston Met Emerging Choreographer residency, and was a choreographer-in-residence at Marymount Manhattan College for the (M)mix. She has set original works on Salve Regina University, Glendale Community College, Long Island Dance Projects, Skidmore College, and the Hartt School. Emily conceived and created Schoen Movement Company’s dance film series: Ten Tiny Dances with the partnership of Nel Shelby Productions. Her company, Schoen Movement Company, is a three-time invitee to Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Festival and has presented original work at WestFest Top Floor, Greenspace, Steps on Broadway, and Gibney Dance. As a dancer, Emily is a current member of Keigwin + Company, has guested with Abraham.In.Motion, and has performed with the Metropolitan Opera in works by Mark Morris and Doug Varone. Dance Magazine chose Emily as one of their “Top 25 to Watch” in 2011.

The literary arts department hosted a media panel on October 13, 2016.  The panel included:  Perla Lopez of WFMZ, Nate Jastrzemski of The Bethlehem Press, Grover Silcox of PBS-39, and photojournalist, Matt Smith.









The vocal and theatre departments joined forces to host a master class with Phoenix Best a cast member of The Color Purple on Broadway, on October 13, 2016


The dance department hosted Jonathan Campbell and Austin Diaz of MadBoots on October 14, 2016.










Visual Art hosted Sandy Corpora for a master class on October 14, 2016.


Sandra Corpora has a BFA in Painting from Kutztown University, receiving the prize for top fine art graduate. Sandra has studied in workshops with Nelson Shanks, John Osborne, T.M. Nicolas, Kenn Backhaus and Scott Jennings. She paints primarily from life in the studio and outdoors on location.  She is a member of Oil Painters of America where she won an Award of  Excellence. She’s also a member of the American Impressionists Society, American Women Artists, and the Portrait Painters of America where she was a finalist in the Members Competition. She also teaches and conducts workshops. Her work is in private and public collections in Italy, Canada, Norway, and the US. She is represented by Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia.  (source:


Dance hosted Janet Wong on October 17, 2016.









Touring Choir enjoyed a master class at Moravian College, working with Dr. Paula Zerkle’s conducting class, on October 17, 2016.









Literary Arts students will have the chance to do a meet and greet with renowned poet Nikki Giovanni as part of a partnership with Zoellner Arts Center, on October 20th.  Students will then attend a lecture with the Giovanni.  Through this same partnership, students were also able to attend a lecture with Tavis Smiley earlier in the month.











ola-gjeilo-picture-2Vocal music is hosting composer, Ola Gjeilo, for a master class on October 21.  The combined choirs will be performing Gjeilo’s work, “Dark Night of the Soul”, for the winter vocal concert in December.

*Ola Gjeilo was born in Norway in 1978, and moved to the United States in 2001 to begin his composition studies at the Juilliard School in New York City. He is currently composer-in-residence with Voces8 and DCINY.

Ola’s albums include Ola Gjeilo on the Decca Classics label, a portrait of his choral and piano works featuring Tenebrae and Voces8. His debut recording as a composer and pianist, the lyrical crossover album Stone Rose, was followed by its 2012 sequel Piano Improvisations, both on the 2L label. Phoenix Chorale’s bestselling Northern Lights collection of Ola’s choral music on Chandos was named iTunes Best Classical Vocal Album of 2012. All four recordings are available on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

A full-time concert music composer based in New York City, Gjeilo (pronounced Yay-lo) is also very interested in film, and his music often draws inspiration from movies and cinematic music.

Ola’s choral works are published by Walton Music, wind band works by Boosey & Hawkes, and piano pieces by Edition Peters.


Music and Production Students work with crew of the John Lennon Educational Bus- November 1, 2016

Students wrote and produced an original song during their workshop day with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.  Another group of students also participated in photography lessons throughout the day, and produced a music video.

Mr. Wells joins some students on the John Lennon Bus.

Mr. Wells joins some students on the John Lennon Bus.


Dance Master with Belle Alvarez- November 3, 2016

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Belle Alvarez is a performing Crew Member with Carnival De Resistance. As a project based performer, Belle has been featured in work presented by the Kimmel Center, Sean Thomas Boyt, Jennifer D. Yackel, Jessica Warchal-King/The Embodiment Project, and Evan Hoffman.

Her work has been performed at FringeArts, the Performance Garage, the Outlet Dance Project, Inhale Performance Series, and Koresh Artist Showcase. Interdisciplinary collaborations include work with music artists Cory Neale and Julian Hartwell.

An active arts educator honored with a scholarship from the Bartol Foundation, Belle educates youth as a Teaching Artist with award-winning Pierre Dulaine’s Dancing Classrooms, Yes! And… Collaborative Arts, and Koresh Dance Company. In addition to her work with youth, Belle leads open level classes for adults at the Performance Garage.

Theatre Master with performance artist, Jose Torres Tama- November 2, 1026

Theatre students were thrilled to experience a vibrant master class with performance artist Jose Torres Tama.  Known for this innovative work, Tama, explored many facets of his art with students.  He was also in town to perform his award-winning solo piece Aliens, Immigrants, and Other Evildoers, at Touchstone Theatre.


November 17, 2016 – Dance with Tiffanie Carson


Tiffanie is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Shenandoah University.  She held a master class for the department which also included some Charter Arts alums who attended Shenandoah.







November 17, 2016- Xavier Raphael from Rennie Harris Dance Troupe



Dancers enjoyed a great hip hop class with Xavier Raphael from the acclaimed, Philadelphia-based, Rennie Harris Dance Troupe.












December 2, 2016– Vocal Music will welcome composer and conductor, Alice Parker


A Brief Biographical Note

Composer, conductor and teacher Alice Parker was born in Boston, MA in 1925.  She began composing early, and wrote her first orchestral score while still in high school.  She graduated from Smith College with a major in music performance and composition, then receiving her master’s degree from the Juilliard School where she studied choral conducting with Robert Shaw.

Her life-work has been in choral and vocal music, combining composing, conducting and teaching in a creative balance.  Her arrangements with Robert Shaw of folksongs, hymns and spirituals form an enduring repertoire for choruses all around the world.  She continues composing in many forms, from operas to cantatas, sacred anthems to secular dances, song cycles to string quartets.  She has been commissioned by such groups as the Vancouver Chamber Chorus, the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Chanticleer.  Her many conducting and teaching engagements keep her traveling around the United States and Canada.

In 1985, she founded Melodious Accord, Inc., a non-profit group which presents choral concerts, sponsors workshops, symposia, and her many professional appearances.  The Fellows programs have provided unique training for composers, conductors and song leaders.  Her techniques have encouraged a generation of music teachers and choral conductors to think about music and the act of conducting in new ways.  No less an authority than Robert Shaw himself has said of Parker that “…she possesses a rare and ncreative musical intelligence.”

She has made thirteen acclaimed recordings, most with the Musicians of Melodious Accord, a sixteen-voice professional chorus.  Recent releases include  O Sing the Glories; The Family Reunion; Angels and Challengers; the remastered for CD, Songs for Eve; Singers Glen; Saints Bound for Heaven; And Glory Shone and Where Heart and Heaven Meet, the companion to the popular Melodious Accord Hymnal .  The organization has received generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Copland Foundation, and the New York State Council for the Arts.

Now a resident of western Massachusetts, Ms. Parker has published books on melodic styles, choral improvisation and ‘Good Singing in Church’. Her detailed analysis, The Anatomy of Melody, was released in 2006.  In 2010, as a part of the Melodious Accord 25th Anniversary celebration, The Alice Parker Melodious Accord Hymnal was introduced.  Five videos have appeared, showing her work with hymns and folksongs.  She has been recognized by Chorus America, the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors Association, The Hymn Society and Choral Arts New England for her lifetime contributions to choral music.  She is the recipient of six honorary doctorates and the Smith College Medal.

December 19, 2016–Music with Lyric mezzo soprano Megan Durham, M.M., Cert. S.V.S., RYT-200, serves on the voice faculties of DeSales University, Lehigh University and Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. Ms. Durham also works as a Singing Voice Specialist (SVS) in partnership with medical professionals as part of a voice care team to habilitate singers diagnosed with voice disorders. In addition, Ms. Durham is a certified YogaVoice® practitioner,  RYT-200 and incorporates yoga philosophy, asana, meditative breathing into her pedagogy. Ms. Durham holds a Master of Music degree in voice pedagogy and performance from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of Richmond. She completed her certification in singing voice habilitation with Dr. Karen Wicklund at the Chicago Center for Professional Voice. Ms. Durham serves as the President of the Lehigh Valley chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and is a member of the New York Singing Teacher’s Association, the Voice FoundationVASTA and Yoga Alliance.

January 23, 2017:  Piano Master Class
Piano majors will enjoy a master class next week with Lehigh University Philharmonic Music Director, Eugene Albulescu.  Mr. Albulescu is an award-winning performer and conductor who has steered the Lehigh University Philharmonic since 2007.  Read More.





(Image from Lehigh University website.)

February 3, 2017 – Dance with Mark Gindick

February 7, 2017 – Music Master Class with Diane Monroe

Diane Monroe is more than simply a fine performer. She is a violinist whose versatility and expressive artistry consistently bring audiences to their feet. Her visibility as a jazz artist began with her long-standing membership as first violinist of the Uptown String Quartet (with Lesa Terry, Maxine Roach and Eileen Folson) and the Max Roach Double Quartet. With those ensembles, she performed with Cecil Bridgewater, Trumpeter; Odean Pope, Saxophonist and Tyrone Brown, bassist, and has recorded on the Soul Note, Philips/Polygram, and Mesa/Bluemoon labels.


In addition to her contributions as a side-person, Monroe has been leading her own ensembles for more than 15 years.  The Diane Monroe Quartet appeared on the Kennedy Center’s Women in Jazz Festival in 2012 and has performed at many other venues. She has developed a program for her sextet – “What Is This Thing Called Freedom”.

As an educator, she has taught at Oberlin College and is presently an adjunct professor at Temple University and Swarthmore College. She has given workshops for the coveted Op. 118 East Harlem Violin Program and Berklee College of Music in Boston. At the Verbier Festival 2000 in Switzerland, Monroe conducted the Fiddlefest Jazz Orchestra, featuring the violinist, Kennedy. Monroe’s twenty-five-year career within the “classical world” has afforded her performances with renowned musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and Arnold Steinhardt. In 2005, Ms. Monroe performed a recital presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, nicknamed “Infused with the Blues”. In 2010, the esteemed composer/master teacher, David N. Baker wrote a violin concerto for Ms. Monroe, which she premiered in 2010 with the DuluthSuperior Symphony with Markand Thaker conducting

February 24, 2017

Visual art and literary arts students enjoyed a master class with author, Kay Haring.  She spoke about her book, Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing.









March 1, 2017

Music will host professional marimbist and percussionist, Ian Rosenbaum.

(Photo retrieved from Post Gazette)