Fall 2020 Music Faculty

Jeri Bannister teaches brass, woodwinds, and drums. She is a founding member of Pioneer Valley Brass and member of Flamingo, an all female swing band. Jeri holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from Ithaca College in New York, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Interdisciplinary Studies from Fitchburg State University, as well as additional graduate studies from the Hartt School of Music and Central Connecticut State University.  She has extensive teaching experience in public schools at Northfield, Mt. Hermon and Bement.

Cecilia Berger teaches violin, viola, and cello. Cecilia is the former Executive Director at Artspace, a co-founder of the Strings For Kids program, and a private lesson teacher for violin, viola, and cello students. In addition to her work at Artspace, Cecilia is the Production Manager and Principal Second Violinist of the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra and has served as Manager of the Pioneer Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra.She holds a Bachelor’s of Music for Violin Performance from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, and a Master’s in Music for Violin Performance from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Julie Carew is a cello teacher with a Bachelor’s of Music in Cello Performance from the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, and a Masters of Music in Cello Performance specializing in Suzuki Pedagogy from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, CO. While living in Denver, Julie maintained a private studio of nearly 40 students and taught through Denver Talent Education, a Suzuki group program for students in the greater Denver area. She also founded City Strings, an outreach string program in an underserved area of Denver in 2001. Since returning to New England in 2007, Julie has been teaching private and group classes at her home and has held teaching positions at the Suzuki School of Newton, Community Music Center of Boston, and the Powers Music School. Julie has been on the Artspace faculty since 2016 and now directs the Strings for Kids program.

Bruce Griffin A native of Vermont, Mr. Griffin received his formal musical training at the Peabody Conservatory of Music studying with Walter Hautzig and Leon Fleisher. In 1985, Mr. Griffin gave his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall. Bernard Holland of the New York Times described Mr. Griffin as “serious and imaginative”, a pianist of “unusual warmth and virtuosity” who exhibited and “exceptional feel for melody’s magnetic pull”. Mr. Griffin has appeared in solo recitals and chamber music programs throughout the country as well as soloist with the Windham Orchestra, the Vermont Symphony and Tacoma Symphony Orchestras. He is also a member of the piano faculty at the Brattleboro Music Center and is a member of the Leschetizky Association in New York.

Nina Gross teaches violin, and viola and has been a private strings instructor, writer, and musician-composer. Nina studied viola and piano performance at Interlochen Arts Academy. She holds her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Yale University where her focus was social science and education.  She taught elementary music and violin at Atlanta Montessori International School, general music and choral instruction on the elementary level in the Bronx, and Suzuki viola at the Atlanta Conservatory of Music. Nina has played in several symphonies including The Bronx Symphony, The Yale Symphony, and Georgia Philharmonic. She also enjoys chamber music, studio work, and improvisation. Nina believes musical expression should be the right of every child. In her teaching, she seeks to establish a strong musical foundation and joyous relationship with music. She tries to meet each student where they are and takes an organic approach, incorporating ear work, body movement, music theory, and the language of emotion and musical expression. Aside from music she enjoys sharing her poetry, practicing aikido, and singing –oops that’s music. She is currently writing a novel.

Laura Josephs teaches piano and voice. She grew up playing the piano and developed a love for piano accompaniment over time.  Her training comes from the New England Conservatory and Ithaca College.  She has a laid-back style, and likes to encourage students to direct the trajectory of their musical study according to their evolving interests.

Eric Lemm Guitar, Electric Bass and Ukulele. A.A., Madison Media Institute, WI. Eric has been teaching guitar for 15 years and has taught and performed in Wisconsin, Texas, and Massachusetts. He is a firm believer in building a strong foundation through chord memorization and enjoys working with students on songs that they feel passionate about.

Allyson Michal, violin, is a member of the Hartford Symphony, Portland Symphony Orchestra, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. In the summer, she played concertmaster for the New Hampshire opera festival, Opera North. Additionally, she participated on international tours to Asia and Europe with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and has also performed with them at Lincoln Center and the Proms in London.
Allyson enjoys collaborating in chamber ensembles of varied instrumentation. She especially enjoys working her husband, a horn player, and has given performances with him in many settings, including recitals at Bowling Green State Univeristy, Ohio University, and the Ohio State University. Their recording of “Persistant Tracings”, a piece for horn, violin and electronics, will be released in 2020. She has also performed on multiple occasions with colleagues at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Allyson is a graduate of Indiana University and Northwestern University, and has also performed with Chicago Civic Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and Columbus Symphony. Principal teachers include Kurt Sassmanshaus and Mauricio Fuks.

Nate Watson is a local musician and songwriter. He plays guitar, bass, piano, and often plays the fool. Since graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Environmental Science, he has been teaching music and science in a variety of settings, from Deerfield Academy Summer Arts camp to Boston Public Schools to the great outdoors. If there’s one thing he loves more than making music, it’s helping his students develop their own musical practices as a means of self expression.

Rafe Wolman teaches violin and fiddle and has a Bachelor of Arts from Mcgill University in Montreal. Rafe grew up in the Boston area, playing the violin in public school, local youth orchestras, and student jazz ensembles. He began playing fiddle music (on the violin) in Montreal at Sunday night Bluegrass Night, as well as backing up many bluegrass, country and rock and roll singers in that city’s fertile music scene. These days, he plays for square dances, weddings, farmers’ markets, and on the street corners of Shelburne Falls during leaf-peeping season. Rafe teaches primarily Southern-style old time fiddle tunes, but is also well-versed in Cajun, bluegrass, honky-tonk, blues, jazz and Eastern European musical traditions. He loves to work with students of all ages and is also a trained Suzuki Book One violin teacher. In lessons Rafe likes to emphasize learning tunes by ear, relaxed and effective technique, ensemble playing, and improvisation.