Music School Faculty
MA Music Education, Hunter College; MA Music Performance, Flute, Hunter College; BA English/Music, Queens College. Holley is a N.Y.S. Certified Music Teacher (Pre-K-12), a 2017 Lincoln Center Scholar, and brings to our school years of experience teaching students of all ages, in Public and Private Schools throughout N.Y.C. She was the accompanist, music assistant and Parent’s Association President for the DiCapo Opera Children’s Chorus from 2008-2016, and the Music Director of the Imagine Project for over 20 years.
A graduate from University of Washington, Seattle with a Bachelor of Music, her graduate studies took her to Cologne, Germany on consecutive Fulbright scholarships to work with Russian pedagogue Max Rostal, and to other parts of Europe for Master Classes with Russian violinist Nathan Milstein and American violinist Aaron Rosand. Professional life started with a position with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. After a 25-year career in the First Violins, Carolyn retired and moved on to win a position with the Vancouver Opera Core Orchestra. After studies with early music specialist Elizabeth Wallfisch in Germany she performed for many years in the Carmel Bach Festival, California. Carolyn Cole enjoys teaching privately and regularly adjudicates festivals and competitions. Part of her teaching expertise is coaching and training young semi-professionals for orchestral auditions and in mentorship programs in preparation for concerts. In 2013, Carolyn Canfield Cole developed a unique support program called Violin for Wellness, born from her love for horses, violin and in collaboration with disabilities. www.violinforwellness.org
Daniel Fernandez (Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute)
MM,Woodwind Performance, California State University at Fullerton; BM University of Texas at El Paso (Bachelor of Music). A seasoned performer and teacher, Danny regularly performs and teaches on saxophone, clarinet, and flute in classical, jazz, and Latin styles. Before moving to NYC, he was the founder and director of Fuego Latino, a Cuban Salsa band that performed with Son Como Son, Tito Puente Jr., and Ocho y Mas. As a classical player Danny has performed with the Orange County Wind Symphony, Claremont Winds, and more. He has served as a band director for several intermediate and high school programs; been an adjudicator for the Texas Music Educators Association, and has taught students from beginner to university level.
Degrees from National Conservatory of Music and Liceu Artistik School of Music in Tirana, Albania. In Tirana 1958-1993: Opera Concert Master, Piano Master for State Opera, Piano teacher at Tirana School of Music. Accompanist for Placido Domingo, International Vocal Competition, Paris.
BM, Jazz Bass, Manhattan School of Music, 2009. John has taught private lessons on upright bass, electric bass, piano, and guitar to students from ages 4 to 65 since 2011. He has also taught at music schools in Westchester, Connecticut, and Staten Island. John is experienced in teaching a wide variety of styles and subjects, including jazz, classical, rock, Latin, folk, country, and music theory, ear training, improvisation, composition, recording and production.
MM Vocal Performance, New Jersey City University; BM Vocal Performance, Barry University. Music instructor for Henrico Virginia Parks and Recreation; Consultant, Nu Jazz Agency. Performances with Miami Lyric Opera, Miami Music Festival, Colony Theater, the Band Shell Theater, the Cor Jesu Chapel and Montclair Opera.
BA Theater, Northwestern University; extensive dance training including a merit scholarship with Alvin Ailey School. Kim has worked in regional, stock theaters, and on Off-Broadway dancing, singing and acting, directing and choreographing. For nine years she was the Artistic Director of ARTISTS IN SEARCH OF …, a NYC performing arts company. Teaching work includes, Horace Mann, The Center for Arts Education, CommunityWorks and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She is currently a teaching artist for Alvin Ailey American Dance and Henry Street Settlement/Abrons Arts Center.
Artist’s Diploma, Manhattan School of Music; Certification from School for Strings; BM Empire College (in progress), over 30 years teaching experience including The Riverdale Y, Westchester Conservatory of Music, Montclair State University Preparatory Department, Crestwood Music Education Center, and Union College. She has appeared as a violin soloist with The Vermont Symphony Orchestra, The Amphion Chamber Orchestra, The Mohawk Trails Chamber Orchestra, as well as Capriccio Ensemble, of which she is the Artistic Director. She has been a NY State sponsored, and featured recitalist at The Empire State Plaza on several occasions.
BFA CUNY, Magna Cum Laude, Jazz Performance; Advanced Music Certificate, The Collective School of Music. Originally from Venezuela, Diego is a professional jazz drummer and educator. Diego has studied with players such as Kim Plainfield, Peter Retzlaff, Adam Cruz, Mark Ferber, Kendrick Scott and the arranger and piano player Mike Holober. In Venezuela, Diego toured and recorded with many jazz artists and was the head of the Jazz Percussion department at the jazz academy Taller de Jazz de Caracas for five years.
Currently working towards a dual degree in Music and Psychology at SUNY New Paltz with an end goal of becoming a practicing Music Therapist. I’ve been playing guitar for over ten years and have a drive to share my passion of music with individuals just learning. I try to approach each student in a way that is individualized to them so they can truly learn and enjoy playing the guitar.
MM Voice, Manhattan School of Music; BA cum laude Music, Cortland State University; Opera Engagements: Koblenz Operhaus (Germany), Lobero Theater (Santa Barbara), Nederlands Reisopera (Holland), Bachzaal (Amsterdam); music teacher, choir director, International School of Amsterdam, 1995-1999.
BM Composition, Juilliard. A composer who uses creativity as the main inspiration for his teaching, Sean encourages all of his students to express themselves by composing their own music on their instrument. Mr. Smeed also has experience in preparing students for the NYSSMA and Royal Academy music exams, of which 17 of his current students ranging from ages 6 to 16, have passed.
Studied in Moscow at the Stasov School of Music and Moscow Musical College, later earning her M.A. in Music Education at CUNY Lehman College. A creative and versatile music teacher, Mariya brings a special knowledge of Music History and Musical Genres. She is skilled in the Dalcroze and Kodaly methods of musical education.