Charter Arts students enjoy a vibrant master class program as a complement to their curriculum. This page serves as a representative list of the many visiting artists who have shared their artistry and expertise with our students.
The Charter Arts Dance Department welcomed Passion Fruit Dance Company for a 10-day residency in March 2023.
The Charter Arts Literary Arts Department held a master class to review the book, The Mothman, with the book’s author, queer and trans author/poet Robin Gow. Robin who is the Associate Director of Community Programs for the Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community Center.
Literary Arts also welcomed Hal Lubin who is a voice actor from Welcome to Night Vale and Venture Bros.
The Charter Arts Music Department welcomed Dr. Timothy Robblee and Dr. Jan Wagner from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music; Accordanist and jazz trumpeter, Alex Meixner; Director of Music at Moravian University, Dr. Neil Wetzel, and Charter Arts alum and teacher at the Berklee School of Music, Sachi Rodriguez. Earlier this week, the department also hosted several of the Kutztown University Music Faculty.
The Charter Arts Music Department welcomed the ARKAI duo , a Juilliard-trained violin/cello duo based out of NYC that performs contemporary and genre-bending music! Learn more: here!
The Charter Arts Dance Department welcomed back Dana Nichols as a visiting artist for ballet classes today! An accomplished dancer and choreographer with many accolades, Dana also performed for four years with Philadanco. https://dananicholsdance.com/
The Charter Arts Dance Department was thrilled to have Earl Mosley, Founder and Artistic Director of Diversity of Dance, for a master class: https://www.diversityofdance.org/founder
The Charter Arts Literary Arts department welcomed New York Times best-selling and Newbery Medal-winning author, Matt de la Peña, for a master class. He shared writing advice and insight on the illustration process- having worked with artists as collaborators for his picture books that include “Milo Imagines the World” and “Last Stop on Market Street”. This session was incredibly valuable to Charter Arts’ literary arts students who study children’s literature as part of their junior year curriculum and work collaboratively with students of the visual arts department to produce a children’s book as part of the class.
The Charter Arts Dance Department welcomed Frank Augustyn, acclaimed to be Canada’s most accomplished male dancer who was trained at the prestigious National Ballet School of Canada and was invited to join the National Ballet Company in 1970. He was promoted to principal dancer in 1972. In 1973, he and Karen Kain won a special award for the best pas de deux at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow, dancing the technically demanding role of the Blue Bird pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty. That win catapulted Augustyn and Kain to instant stardom, and they enjoyed a fabled partnership during their performing years.
The dance department also welcomed Daniel Padierna (pictured below), an assistant professor of dance at Shenandoah University.
The Charter Arts Theatre Department welcomed Charter Arts alumnus and filmmaker, Taylor Purdee, while he was in town promoting the release of his film, Killian and the Comeback Kids, which was screening in the Lehigh Valley region.
Master Classes during the 2020-2021 School Year
During this year filled with special circumstances, students still had the opportunity to participate in a variety of master classes in their artistic classes as well as through a Lunch & Learn Series, that was partially funded by a grant from the Charter Arts Foundation.
Tony Award-nominated costume designer, Michael McDonald. McDonald is an American costume desinger who was nominated for both a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award in 2009 for his work on the Broadway revival of the musical, Hair. He also worked on productions including The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (Broadway, 2000), The Goat, or Who is Syliva (Broadway, 2002), and Take Me Out (Broadway, 2003).
Filmmaker and educator, Keyvon Pierre held a two-part series titled, “Black Film History: Past, Present, and Future”.
Dhruv Jani. Studio Oleomingus is an award-winning video game design studio based in Chala, India and run by Dhruv Jani in collaboration with Sushant Chakraborty and Vivek Savsaiya.
Educator and author, Matthew Landis, held an Author Talk-Back session with students. He is the author of “It’s the End of the World as I Know It” and “The Not So Boring Letters of Private Nobody”.
In November, the dance department welcomed Johnnie Mercer, who is the choreographer and director of TheREDprojectNYC
Dr. Rollo Dilworth
Dr. Rollo Dilworth, Chair, Music Education and Music Therapy at Temple University held a series of master classes for music majors on November 30, 2018. Dilworth is an acclaimed composer– Read More!
Jubal Fulks and the Colorado Piano Trio
On October 5, 2018, the Charter Arts Music Department hosted a master class with Jubal Fulks and the Colorado Piano Trio, an international ensemble based at the University of Northern Colorado. The group includes American violinist Jubal Fulks, Polish pianist Adam Żukiewicz, and Slovenian cellist Gal Faganel.
Dance Department Master Class
The Charter Arts Dance Department welcomed Ariane Michaud for a master class on September 28, 2018.. Michaud is a freelance dancer, choreographer, and management consultant for the arts, based in New York, NY. She holds a BFA in Contemporary Dance from The Boston Conservatory and has been featured in works by Gerald Arpino, Richard Colton, Dwight Rhoden, Uri Sands, and Danny Buraczeski.
The Charter Arts Music Department welcomed Seth Wollam for a master class in early May.
Professor Seth Wollam has diverse experiences teaching and conducting students and adults of all levels. He holds the Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Youngstown State University and Master of Arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Currently completing his DMA at the University of North Texas (ABD), he is a student of Eugene Migliaro Corporon. At the University of North Texas, he served as the associate conductor of the brass band, has guest conducted the wind symphony, symphonic band, concert bands, and served as a staff member with the Green Brigade Marching Band. Wollam has also studied with Dennis Fisher, Nicholas Williams, Jack Stamp, Jason Worzbyt, Stephen Gage, John Venesky.
Recently appointed as the Marching Band Director at Linfield College in McMinnville Oregon, Wollam served as Director of Bands at Lock Haven University from 2014-2018. The assistant conductor of the Dallas-based Lone Star Wind Orchestra, Seth Wollam has also been the co-music director of the Grand Junction Centennial Band, and guest conducted numerous groups including the Filarmonica Uniao Taveirense, Taveiro, Portugal, and the Advanced Wind Orchestra at the Stuttgart Music Academy. He is a contributing research associate to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series.
Photo pulled from Linfield College website.
The dance department will welcome Deborah Lohse for a master class, arranged through Dance Now NY
Born and raised in California, DEBORAH LOHSE is a choreographer/performer living and working in New York City. Her work has been presented in theaters, public spaces and festivals including DANCE NOW Joe’s Pub, American Dance Festival, Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, United Solo Theater Festival, La Mama Moves and the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. She has received commissions from Women In Motion, Mantra Percussion, SUNY Purchase, DANCE NOW and Island Moving Company as well as artist residencies from The Yard, Marble House Project, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Acadia Summer Arts Program and SILO.
As a performer, Lohse has worked with theater directors Michael Preston, Barbara Karger and Anne Kauffman, visual artists Suzanne Bocanegra and Paulina Olowska and choreographer Monica Bill Barnes. She currently performs with Katy Pyle/Ballez, Cori Olinghouse, Doug Elkins, David Parker and her collaborative crew LMnO3 (Lohse, Marquis and Oakley) and as her alter ego indefatigable cabaret persona TruDee.
Choir attends Master Class with The King’s Singers
In early January, members of the Charter Arts Touring Choir enjoyed a master class with the Grammy Award-winning British chamber choir, The King’s Singers, who were in town for their concert at Miller Symphony Hall.
The Charter Arts Touring Choir was chosen earlier this year to take part in the masterclass and to attend the concert. This opportunity was made possible through a grant from the Century Foundation that was submitted by the Allentown Symphony Association.
Visiting Artist- Air Force Quintet
The instrumental music department welcomed the Air Force Saxophone Quintet for a master class. The group is based at Travis Air Force Base in California.
The dance department welcomed Muhlenberg professor and artist, Randall Smith, for an improvisation workshop in early December. The students also worked with Larry Keigwin and Nicole Walcott from DanceNow NYC for an ArtsQuest performance taking place on December 15.
The music department hosted a master class with acclaimed composer and classical guitarist, Allen Krantz.
The literary arts department welcomed author, Michael Pogach who taught a master class on publishing. Pogach has taught workshops on the writing craft at Arcadia University, Borough of Manhattan Community College, The Doylestown Bookshop, and the AWP Conference & Bookfair.
The music department hosted a master class with the Sachal Jazz Ensemble , which was made possible through collaboration with Lafayette College.
Temple University Master Class
Charter Arts alumna, Belle Alvarez, taught a modern dance class and spoke to students about Temple University’s dance program.
Alumnus returns for Master Class
Charter Arts alumnus and BFA student at Ohio State University, Cody Krause visited the Charter Arts Dance Department on October 13, 2017 to teach a Gaga master class followed by a recruitment talk.
(Above: Cody Krause performs with fellow student at Charter Arts in 2016.)
Gaga is a movement language and pedagogy developed by Ohad Naharin during his time directing and teaching the Batsheva Dance Company, that has defined the company’s training and continues to characterize Israeli contemporary dance.
Master Classes held during the 2016-2017 school year.
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.
October 7, 2016 Dance Master with Emily Schoen
Schoen taught a Contemporary Movement master class, utilitizing pop and rap music. She 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.
October 13, 2016 Literary Arts Master Class- Media Panel
The panel included: Perla Lopez of WFMZ, Nate Jastrzemski of The Bethlehem Press, Grover Silcox of PBS-39, and photojournalist, Matt Smith.
October 13, 2016- Musical Theatre Master with Phoenix Best, a cast member of The Color Purple on Broadway.
October 14, 2016- Dance Master with Jonathan Campbell and Austin Diaz of MadBoots.
October 14, 2016 Visual Art Master with Sandra Corpora
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: SandraCorpora.com)
October 17, 2016 Dance Master with Janet Wong
October 17, 2016- Vocal Master at Moravian College
Touring Choir enjoyed a master class at Moravian College, working with Dr. Paula Zerkle’s conducting class.
October 20, 2016- Literary Arts Master wtih Nikki Giovanni, through Zoellner Arts Center
Literary Arts students had 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.
October 21, 2016- Vocal Master with Ola Gjello
Vocal 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.
Dance Master with Belle Alvarez- November 3, 2016
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. www.bellealvarez.com
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 welcomed composer and conductor, Alice Parker
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
Megan Durham 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 Foundation, VASTA 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
The dance department enjoyed a vibrant and fun class 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 & Literary Arts Master with Kay Haring
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 Master with Ian Rosenbaum
Music hosted professional marimbist and percussionist, Ian Rosenbaum.
(Photo retrieved from Post Gazette)
Charter Arts alumnus, Christopher Ryland, Class of 2006, returned to Charter Arts to lead a master class on the Suzuki method of acting for current theatre majors. The Suzuki method works to build an actor’s awareness of his or her body and center. The method uses exercises that are inspired by Greek theater and martial arts and require great amounts of energy and concentration.
“Not many actors in this area are trained in the Suzuki method so we are incredibly fortunate to have one of our own come in each year to work with our students,” says Diane Wagner, Artistic Director of Theatre.
In April 2013, Scott Rosenfelt, a Lehigh Valley native, who is known as one of Hollywood’s most successful independent film producers, toured Charter Arts and conducted a master class for theatre students. His lecture focused on the art and business of producing and directing for film. Mr. Rosenfelt shared stories about his early days of producing and what it was like working on a major blockbuster like Home Alone. He shared tips and wisdom about working in the film industry which gave students the chance learn what the ‘business’ of show business is all about. He also talked about the writing process and getting a project off the ground from script to screen. Mr. Rosenfelt was a passionate and knowledgeable speaker.