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UVMC Faculty

Tristan Bellerive - Guitar
Tristan Bellerive is a versatile guitarist and teacher of over 15 years. He performs actively in the Upper Valley for benefits, fundraisers and local businesses. He studied at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth under Berklee alumnus Issi Rozen and blues master Carl Stone. His passion for American roots music led him through Appalachia into Nashville, TN where he met and recorded with session/touring musician Chas Williams, author of ‘The Nashville Number System’. Tristan provides a solid foundation for new guitarists and fills in the gaps of knowledge for those looking to improve.

Lisa Carlson - Flute, Suzuki Flute
Lisa Carlson has taught flute since 1985, in private and ensemble settings, and adjudicated for festival auditions. A graduate of Oberlin College, her teachers have included Katherine Borst Jones, Jane Ambrose, and Jerilee Kechley, and master classes with Toshio Takashashi, Louis Moyse, and Robert Wiilloughby. Suzuki training includes study with Kenichi Ueda, June Warhoftig, David Gerry, Pandora Bryce, and Laura Larson at institutes ranging from Tennessee to Canada. An active freelance flutist, she regularly performs solo and in a variety of small and large ensembles with some of the top musicians in Vermont and her own young adult daughters.

Alicia Casey - Suzuki Violin Instructor
Alicia received her B.Mus from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Australia and her M.Mus form the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Alicia has performed with quartets and orchestras in Australia, the United States and throughout Europe. Alicia grew up as a Suzuki student starting at the age of 3 and has completed formal Suzuki teacher training with Allen Leib, Roger Steig, Ed Kreuitman, Kimberly Meier-Sims and Mark Mutter.

Alison Cheroff - Piano
Alison Cheroff is a versatile educator and concert pianist who has taught piano to all ages and levels and performed extensively in the US and UK. Ms. Cheroff has taught a large number of children over the years, and has given workshops to Music Teachers' Associations in New York, New Jersey and Vermont. Her students have been chosen for such honors as the Young Steinway Hall Artists Award, and have participated in the National Guild Auditions. Ms. Cheroff has developed MUSICFUN workshops for her students, which include some Dalcroze Eurythmic games. Her students often play their own compositions in recitals. Ms. Cheroff also specializes the Taubman approach to coordinate playing, and has helped experience pianists overcome minor and severe pains and injuries. Ms. Cheroff holds an MA from Hunter College, a BFA from SUNY Purchase, and studied at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Additional studies with Dorothy Taubman, Patricia Finlay, John Orlando, Adolf Baller, Peggy Salkind, Peter Serkin, Jennifer Tao and Lilian Kallir. Ms. Cheroff has previously been a faculty member at the Taubman Institute of Piano at Amherst College and the Preparatory Division at Mannes College of Music, NYC. Ms. Cheroff joined the faculty of the Upper Valley Music Center in September, 2015.

David Chaves - Piano, Collaborative Piano
David has lived in the Upper Valley for the past 26 years, where he has served as a private instructor in piano and organ.  He has directed and accompanied such diverse choral programs as Area Choir (Newport, NH), Colby-Sawyer College (New London, NH), Lebanon and Sunapee School Districts, and Shir Shalom Synagogue (Woodstock, VT).  He is currently Music Director for St. Patrick Parish in Newport, NH.  He resides in Sunapee, NH with his wife, Cindy.

Elizabeth Clendenning - Violin Instructor
Elizabeth received a BM from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia where she was a student of Ivan Galamian. She earned a MM from The Cleveland Institute. She played in the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell for 6 seasons. Since moving to Hanover, she has been concertmaster of the Vermont Symphony and Opera North, and played in the Chautauqua Festival Orchestra for 11 seasons and in other ensembles in the New England region. She also played and taught in Honduras for 10 years helping to develop a national orchestra, receiving a Fulbright Grant for that purpose. Elizabeth is a teacher of violin, viola, chamber music, and orchestral skills.

Tim Cohen - Percussion Instructor
Tim Cohen attended Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music in Winchester, VA (now Shenandoah University), where he studied under John R. Beck for percussion performance and William Averitt for music composition. He has performed with the NH Philharmonic Orchestra, Connecticut River Valley Orchestra, South Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Haddonfield Symphony Orchestra, Atlantic Brass Band, East Bay Jazz Ensemble, and many other ensembles throughout the Eastern Seaboard. His compositions have been performed by the Upper Valley Community

Meghan Donahue Davis - Wind Chamber Music
Meghan is a free-lance clarinet and bass clarinetist, who has been
teaching clarinet, saxophone, and flute since 2000. Ms. Davis received her Bachelor of Music in Woodwind Performance from Boston University in 2003 and her Master of Music in Clarinet Performance from Boston Conservatory in 2008. Her teaching experience includes private and group lessons, as well as coaching and conducting chamber music ensembles and middle school band. Ms. Davis is a member of the Buttonwood Woodwind Quintet in Brattleboro, VT and has played clarinet and bass clarinet for New Bedford Symphony since 2003. Ms. Davis can be heard playing with Grammy-winner Richard Stoltzman on the MMC recording of the Bach Fugue, BWV 903, released by Keiser Music in 2001, to accompany the printed arrangement edited by Mr. Stoltzman. Ms. Davis lives in New Hampshire with her husband, two children, and dog, Abby.

Edmund (Skip) Downing -Brass Instructor
Skip received his Bachelor of Music Ed. degree from Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts. Some of his playing experiences include the Cape Ann Symphony, New Hampshire Philharmonic, various Upper Valley ensembles, the Air Force Band of New England, and most notoriously the Wells Branch Brass Quartet, where he also served as full time arranger. Skip has played for over 45 years and taught privately for 35 years. He is also currently serving as instrumental music teacher at Mid Vermont Christian School in Quechee, Vt. He lives in Lebanon with his wife Susan, who teaches piano, and their two musical sons.

Susan Downing - Piano Instructor
Susan J. Downing, Lebanon, NH is very excited to be joining the UVMC's faculty. Susan received her B.A. in Music degree as a piano major from Wheaton College, Norton, MA, and B.M. in Education from Keene State College, Keene, NH. Her teaching approach is eclectic, including some Suzuki techniques for her younger students. Susan is a native to NH and has been teaching piano for 30 years. She previously taught public school general music/band grades K-4 for 8 years in Springfield, VT and Enfield, NH. She enjoys playing piano at her church and performing with her husband and 2 sons who are all trumpet players.

Pierre Fournier - Classical Piano Instructor
Pierre received a BM from Hartt College of Music where he studied piano with Anne Koscielny and chamber music with Bernard Greenhouse. He was awarded first place in the Kinsmen Music Festival of Ontario, Canada, served as pianist for the First U.S. Army Band, Washington, DC, recorded for “Voice of America”, and was staff pianist for the dance department at George Washington University. A former Chair of the Piano Dept. of the Selma Levine School of Music in Washington, he has been teaching and performing for 35 years, including in the Upper Valley since 1991.

PhotoJennifer Carol Hansen - Voice Instructor
Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Carol Hansen has performed as soloist throughout northern New England with choral societies such as the Manchester Choral Society, the Handel Society of Dartmouth College, the Brattleboro Music Center Concert Choir, the Concord Community Chorus, the Oratorio Chorale, the Androscoggin Chorale, and the Middlebury Festival Chorus, and with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the Boston Vocal Artists and with Opera North, and has given solo and chamber music recitals at Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, the University of Maine at Farmington, the Canterbury Shaker Village concert series, and the Annicchiarico Theater in Concord, New Hampshire. Jennifer is a magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College. She has been a semifinalist in the Oratorio Society of New York Annual Solo Competition and has been a New England finalist in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award Auditions. She holds the position of cantor at St. Denis Parish in Hanover, New Hampshire, and teaches voice privately in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Jennifer has taught voice since 1988. Her students have gone on to sing in music or theater programs at Oberlin Conservatory, Elon University, Ithaca College, Dartmouth College, and others.

Stuart Johnson - Classical Guitar
Stuart Johnson grew up in Western North Carolina and was involved in many youth choirs growing up. It wasn’t until Sophomore year of high school that he started learning guitar. He started learning folk music, but soon became interested in Spanish Classical music. After just two years of practice he auditioned for UNC Asheville’s music program where he studied under David Stevenson. He graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in general music studies with a focus on Classical Guitar. After graduating he has performed at many venues and gained experience teaching.

Benjamin Kulp - Suzuki and Traditional Cello Instructor
Benjamin Kulp is active throughout New England as an orchestral and chamber performer. He is a former member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Miami Symphony Orchestra, and performs regularly in opera, musical, and chamber settings. He founded the Logan Chamber Players, a not-for-profit chamber music orchestra in Chicago dedicated to bringing accessible classical music to local communities. He is the co-owner of Innocenti Strings, a nationwide network of classical music performers. Mr. Kulp completed his M.M. in Performance with Mihai Tetel, his B.M. in Performance with David Carter, and further lessons with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Brant Taylor. Currently, he is working on a year-long recital series of all 6 Bach Solo Cello Suites. In addition actively performing and freelancing, Mr. Kulp is a passionate and active Suzuki Cello Instructor, running www.benkulpmusic.com. He is registered for Every Child Can (Michelle George), Suzuki Cello Book 1 (Dr Beth Cantrell), and Suzuki Cello Book 2 (Jean Dexter). In addition, Mr. Kulp is registered for the Suzuki Principles in Action Course (Mark Mutter). Mr. Kulp is very excited to help students and parents learn the principles of Every Child Can, and he is enthusiastically joining the Upper Valley Music Center starting in the fall of 2014.

Hilary Lynch - Flute Instructor
Hilary recently relocated to the Upper Valley from NY. She has a Masters in Music from the Julliard School. She was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and played for five years with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Italy and Charleston, SC. Hilary held contracts with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Westchester Symphony and played for 14 years with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. She has toured nationally with the Zephyros Winds quintet and was a winner of the Trinity Wall Street competition with Aeros Quintet in NYC. Hilary currently plays with the Connecticut River Valley Orchestra and the chamber music group Hudson Valley Baroque.

Jeremiah McLane - Accordion, Jazz Piano, Improvisation
Jeremiah is a composer, accordionist and pianist with a diverse musical background including blues, jazz, Celtic, Québécois, French and other roots influenced music. In the early 1990s he formed The Clayfoot Strutters and Nightingale, two bands that have helped shape the sound of traditional New England roots music. In 2003 he formed Le Bon Vent, a sextet specializing in French and Franco-American music. Jeremiah holds a Master’s in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music and is the founder-director of the Floating Bridge Music Camp. He teaches regularly at summer music programs throughout the US and is on the faculty of the Summit School of Traditional Music in Montpelier.

Julie Ness - Voice Instructor
Soprano Julie Ness is a versatile performer of the opera and concert stage. After receiving her training at the Oberlin Conservatory she went on to make her professional debut with Opera San Jose in California and lived and worked on the West coast for many years in both operatic and concert repertoire.  While living in New York City, she made her Carnegie Hall debut as the featured soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah and John Rutter's Requiem and also performed recitals with Trinity Church and the New York Festival of Song.  Ms. Ness performed such roles as Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Despina (Così fan tutte), Atalanta (Xerxes), Adele (Die Fledermaus), and Norina (Don Pasquale).  She has worked with Opera San Jose, Festival Opera, Lake George Opera Festival and the Chicago Humanities Festival and has sung with the American Bach Soloists and the San Francisco City Choir and Orchestra.  Ms. Ness has recorded on the Deluxe label and worked with such prominent conductors as Daniel Beckwith, Paul Nadler, Jeffrey Thomas and Michael Barrett.  Since moving to Vermont, she has devoted her time to teaching voice privately and with the Upper Valley Music Center, recital work and raising her three young children.

Patrick Ross - Fiddle, Guitar & Banjo Instructor
PatrickRoss is a fifth generation fiddler.  He learned more than 100 fiddle tunes (by ear) from his father, Arthur, before turning eleven.  Arthur passed away shortly after leaving Patrick with those gifts. Patrick’s family and neighbors in Canaan, Vermont assisted in a fund raising effort to send him to the 1st annual Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp.  After 7 consecutive years of attendance at the camp, Patrick was asked to teach a workshop at Mark’s music camp in Nashville. Patrick became a hometown expert on fiddling after he was awarded the Vermont State Championship title at 14.  He has been touring and teaching fiddle, guitar, mandolin and many other stringed instruments ever since. Patrick has performed all around the world from countries throughout Central America to Eastern Europe. During the summer of 2012, he was featured at The Kennedy Center and The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. as a spokesperson and performer of traditional New England music. More at www.profiddler.com

Annemieke Spoelstra McLane - Piano
Pianist Annemieke Spoelstra was born in the Netherlands. She has studied classical piano and received degrees in Music Pedagogy and a Masters in Performance from the Conservatory in Zwolle, where she studied with Prof. Rudy de Heus and was awarded the conservatory's 'Student of the Year' for "great intelligence in pedagogy and sensitivity as a performer in well-balanced programs". Ms. Spoelstra has performed in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States. Ms. Spoelstra won the National Young Music Talent (Netherlands) for piano-accompaniment, praised for her touch and coloring. In Paris she was finalist at the international Nadia and Lili Boulanger competition. In 2004, Annemieke made her way to Vermont. She has been staff accompanist at the Boston conservatory, and currently teaches piano at Saint Michael's College and at her studio, accompanies the Saint Michael's College chorale and the Vermont Youth Orchestra choruses, and is pianist for the Thetford Chamber Singers and the Concertanto Singers. She collaborates with vocalists and instrumentalists in concerts. She forms a duo with accordionist Jeremiah McLane in "Folklassics". Her first album "toccare" was released in the Fall of 2009. Visit Annemieke online at www.annemiekespoelstra.com

Jennifer Turbes - Suzuki Violin / Viola Instructor
Jennifer Elton Turbes grew up in Duluth, MN and graduated from the Lake Superior Suzuki Talent Education Program, studying with Laurie Bastian for 12 years. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Olaf College and a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music. In spring 2011, she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in viola performance, also from the Eastman School. She has studied viola with George Taylor, John Graham, Sabina Thatcher, Charles Gray, Warren Friesen, and Bastian and Suzuki pedagogy with Carrie Reunning-Hummel, Nancy Lokken, and Ed Kreitman.

Jennifer is passionate about performing and pedagogy, teaching private lessons to a wide range of students (violin, viola, and Norwegian Hardanger fiddle) and appearing frequently on concert programs in Rochester, NY. She enjoys performing new music and can be heard on New World Records and Albany Records, performing works by Lee Hoiby and Michael Tenzer. Jennifer also enjoys hiking, cooking, being outside, and playing with her cat, Beep. She is thrilled to join the Suzuki faculty at Upper Valley Music Center as violin and viola teacher and excited to explore all the arts and nature the Upper Valley has to offer.

Ben Van Vliet - Suzuki Violin / Viola Instructor and Fiddle
Benjamin Van Vliet
graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in Music and holds a Masters degree in Violin Performance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he studied violin with Elizabeth Chang and viola with Kathryn Lockwood.

Ben teaches Suzuki violin at the Upper Valley Music Center and has been a faculty member at the Northampton Community Music Center and at Strings at Smith. He has completed Suzuki teacher training with Teri Einfeldt at the Hartt School of Music (Books 1—4, SPA), as well as Doris Preucil (Books 7 & 8), Ronda Cole (Book 1—4 Overview), Michele Higa George (ECC), and Alan Lieb (Book 1).

Ben is a co-founder of Red Oak Strings, an Amherst, MA based organization dedicated to teaching chamber music and small ensemble string playing. Ben studied chamber music as part of the Graduate String Quartet program at UMass and as a recipient of the Lark Chamber Music Award has performed in concert with the Lark Quartet. Ben is a founding member of the Bahn Quartet and has been a guest artist with the Lighthouse Chamber Players on Cape Cod. On baroque violin, Ben has performed for world-renowned violinist Andrew Manze and played with the Folger Consort in Washington D.C.

In addition to his love of classical music, Ben plays fiddle for contra dances from time to time in Greenfield, MA.

Judy Wild - Violin Instructor
Judy Wild moved to New Hampshire from England in 2000. She holds a teaching diploma in violin from the Royal College of Music, London, and in piano teaching from the Birmingham Conservatoire. Judy has taught children of all ages both privately and in schools.

David Wysocki - Community Orchestra Conductor and Classical Bass
David Wysocki received a degree in double bass performance from the Boston University School of Music. He studied with Boston Symphony Orchestra bassist Leslie Martin and former BSO principal bassist Henry Portnoi.
A Vermont resident since 1986, Mr. Wysocki has performed with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra and the Hanover Chamber Orchestra. In addition, Mr. Wysocki performs chamber music with the Upper Valley Mozart Project and the Abendmusik Chamber Players