Tamara Keshecki, Flute, Executive/Artistic Director

Tamara Keshecki, flute, is the Director and Founder of Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, Inc., a non-profit arts organization in NYC.  As Artistic Director of MCCE, Ms. Keshecki is the creative, producing force that drives all of MCCE’s programming.  She is responsible for the creation of numerous commissions and premieres including from composers Andrew Sterman (Philip Glass Ensemble), Sean Friar (Prix de Rome), Elizabeth Nonemaker, Laura Kaminsky and Mick Rossi (Paul Simon).  Ms. Keshecki deeply believes in a community-based approach to the arts.  It’s this approach that has led MCCE to create The Roaring Chorus, a free choral program for seniors in partnership with the NYPL; provide afterschool music instruction for elementary and intermediate school students; perform a free, four-part concert series annually for developmentally disabled individuals; to support young and emerging composers via premieres and commission through MCCE’s Annual Composer Search competition; and create MCCE’s Annual Open Air Music Festival.

A previous Artist-in-Residence at Cobham International School in London, England, Ms. Keshecki has taught masterclasses at the International School of Monagas in Maturin, Venezuela and Saint Maur’s International School in Yokohama, Japan. Keshecki was the principal flutist for the Austrian American Mozart Ensemble in Salzburg, Austria (2001).  She is a member of Angelic Ensemble and has performed with the Ensemble at venues as diverse as St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, St. Joseph’s Seminary and for Cardinal Timothy Dolan.  As a freelance flutist, Ms. Keshecki has performed at venues as diverse as Symphony, Space, Solar One Music Festival, Oheka Castle, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, The New York Historical Society, and CultureFest in Bryant Park.  Keshecki has been on the faculties of the Wagner College Academy of the Arts, SI Jewish Community Center, and was the Classical Music Artist-in-Residence for the National JCC Maccabi ArtsFest (2007).  She is featured on the recent CD “Fantasie for Rock Band and Orchestra” by Andrew Rosciszewski. Ms. Keshecki has been a guest lecturer for many organizations including New York University, Arts & Business Council of NY, Wagner College, St. John’s University, Bayonne Public Schools (staff development), and researched and presented the keynote speech at the 2010 Staten Island Legislative Breakfast for the Arts entitled “Arts Funding Trends on Staten Island and the Economic Impact Non-Profit Arts Have on Local Communities.”  Keshecki holds a Bachelor of Music from New York University and a Master of Music in flute performance from NJ City University.

Hilary Purrington , MCCE's 15th Season Composer-in-Residence

 

Hilary Purrington is a New York City-based composer of chamber, vocal, and orchestral music. Her work has received recognition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), the International Alliance for Women in Music, and the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC), among others. 

Purrington’s orchestral and chamber works have been performed by many distinguished ensembles, including the Peabody Modern Orchestra, the American Modern Ensemble, Voices of Change, and the Chicago Harp Quartet. Her orchestral work Likely Pictures in Haphazard Sky, premiered by the Yale Philharmonia, has been read by the Philadelphia and American Composers Orchestras and performed by the Minnesota Orchestra. Recent commissions include new works for the New York Youth Symphony, the NOVUS Trombone Quartet, and Washington Square Winds. Upcoming projects include commissions the Philadelphia Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra. She will also serve as composer-in-residence for the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble in its 2018-19 performance season.

Purrington has also composed several works for dance. Most recently, the Albany Symphony commissioned Patterns, a new work for chamber orchestra. Inspired by the life of fashion arbiter Ellen Louise Demorest, the piece featured the Albany Berkshire Ballet with choreography by Mary Talmi. In 2018, Purrington participated in Periapsis Music and Dance’s Emerging Artist Residencies and created a new work-in-progress with choreographer Annalee Traylor. While completing graduate studies at The Juilliard School, Purrington collaborated with choreographer Stephanie Terasaki to create a new work for brass quartet and dance. 

Also an accomplished vocalist, Purrington has developed a reputation as a skilled composer of solo and choral music. Her song For your judicious and pious consideration was premiered by mezzo-soprano Adele Grabowsky on the 2016 NY Phil Biennial’s New Music New Haven concert. In 2015, the Eric Stokes Fund commissioned Purrington to compose a new song cycle about the devastating effects of climate change. The resulting work, A Clarion Call, was premiered at the 2017 Conference for Ecology and Religion hosted by the Yale Divinity School. Recent vocal commissions include new works for the Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC, inFLUX, and the Bowers/Fader Duo. In November 2018, the Yale Glee Club will premiere a newly
commissioned  choral work. 

Originally from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Purrington lives and works in New York City. She holds degrees from the Yale School of Music, The Juilliard School, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.  

Madeline Casparie, Cello

Madeline Casparie is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music where she studied the cello with Evangeline Benedetti and Ardyth Alton.  She later continued her cello studies with Jascha Silberstein, former principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. She was  a member of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and spent many years as principal cellist for both the Staten Island Symphony and Opera at Florham.  Madeline was a member of the now-retired Staten Island Chamber Music Players String Quartet for more than 30 years, performed with the Serenade Chamber Music Series and as soloist with the Staten Island Philharmonic. In addition to these organizations, Madeline continues to serve as principal cellist with the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea and the Paper Mill Playhouse.
 
In addition to performing, Madeline enjoys teaching at her private studio where she teaches a wide range of ages and abilities. She coaches an adult chamber group and is the founder/director of the newly formed Staten Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
 
Izabella Liss Cohen, Violin

Violinist Izabella Liss Cohen has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as a solo, chamber, and orchestra musician. She has been honored to work under the batons of many great conductors, among them Valeri Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Yuri Bashmet, and Robert Spano. Izabella has been a member of the Philharmonia Virtuosi, Westchester Chamber Orchestra, and American Russian Young Artists Orchestra. An active recitalist, orchestra, and chamber musician, she has toured the US and abroad, and has participated in festivals such as Tanglewood, Bar Harbor, and White Nights.

A dedicated music educator, Izabella ran a strings program for ten years at the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, while maintaining a private studio. She has served as Director of Chamber Music at InterSchool Orchestras of New York, and as chamber music coach for the NJ Youth Symphony. Her achievements in string pedagogy have been recognized by New York’s Concert Festival.

A long-time resident of Staten Island, Izabella has been a three-time recipient of the Performing Arts Grant. She has also collaborated on numerous projects with the Wagner College Theater, and has served as assistant concertmaster and personnel manager of the Staten Island Symphony. A native of Tbilisi, Georgia, Izabella is a graduate of Brooklyn College and Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Burton Kaplan, Masao Kawasaki, and Itzhak Perlman. Izabella made her New York recital debut in 2000 at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, as the winner of Artists International Auditions.
Lucy Corwin, Violin/Viola

Lucy Corwin, violinist and violist, is currently a member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. An active freelancer in the Greater New York Area, she has been principal violist and soloist with the New York Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra, and the Staten Island Philharmonic, and toured with the New York Philharmonic throughout Europe, Asia, and South America. When living in Italy, she was principal violist of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome and participated in the Spoleto Festival.

As a chamber music performer and teacher, she is a member of the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble and the Viva Voce String Quartet, coaches violin and viola students of the Greater Newark Youth Orchestra and the MANY (Musical Advantage for Newark Area Youth), and has worked with members of the Interschool and Metropolitan Youth Orchestras. She has been a teacher of orchestral music at Tottenville High School, Staten Island, and Wagner College.

Dr. Corwin holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College and a Master's degree from Columbia University.
Joseph d'Auguste, Clarinet

Joseph d'Auguste has "consistently stood out" (New York Times) for displaying his "great virtuosity" (Columbia Spectator) in his roles as a performer, teacher, clinician, and artistic director. Constantly in demand throughout the tri-state area, the "richly equipped clarinetist" (SI Advance) maintains a busy schedule due to his great versatility. 

 

Dr. d'Auguste currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Woodwind studies at New Jersey City University. In addition he is the Artistic Director of Professional Music Academy, Inc. and has been a member of the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble since 2011.

Oren Fader, Guitar

The guitarist Oren Fader played Brilliantly.” — The New York Times.
“His scholarship, technique, and intelligent musicianship are plainly evident and the beauty of his tone is consistently compelling.”— Guitar Review
Classical and electric guitarist Oren Fader (www.orenfader.com) has performed in Asia, Europe, and throughout the United States. Recent concerto performances include the Villa-Lobos Guitar Concerto with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” with the New Jersey and the Omaha Symphonies.

Mr. Fader has performed hundreds of concerts with a wide range of classical and new music groups, including the Met Chamber Ensemble (directed by James Levine), New York Philharmonic, Talea Ensemble, ICE, Mark Morris Dance Group, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
He has premiered over 200 solo and chamber works with guitar, and can be heard on over 45 commercial recordings and film.

Mr. Fader received his undergraduate degree from SUNY Purchase and his Master of Music degree from Florida State University. His major teachers include David Starobin and Bruce Holzman. Since 1994 Mr. Fader has been on the guitar and chamber music faculty of the Manhattan School of Music.
 
Joseph Kubera. Piano

Pianist Joseph Kubera has been a leading interpreter of contemporary music for the past three decades. Recent activities include a video of John Cage’s Music of Changes for Swiss RSI Television and performances at Cage 100th birthday celebrations at Carnegie Hall in New York, and in Boston and Philadelphia. He has been soloist at such festivals as the Warsaw Autumn, Berlin Inventionen and Prague Spring, and has worked closely with such legendary composers as Morton Feldman, La Monte Young, and Robert Ashley. He toured widely with the Cunningham Dance Company at Cage’s invitation, and he has recorded the Music of Changes and Concert for Piano and Orchestra. Mr. Kubera has been awarded grants through the National Endowment for the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts.
 
In addition to his work with Musical Chairs, Mr. Kubera is a core member of S.E.M. Ensemble, the DownTown Ensemble and Ostravska Banda, and he as performed with a wide range of New York ensembles and orchestras ranging from Steve Reich and Musicians to the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Mr. Kubera’s playing may be heard on the Wergo, Albany, New Albion, New World, Lovely Music, O.O. Discs, Mutable Music, Cold Blue, and OpusOne labels.
 
Website: www.josephkubera.com
 
Tim Leonard, Cello

 
Cellist and educator Timothy Leonard maintains a commitment to engaging audiences through emotionally and intellectually satisfying performances. His performance career has taken him to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, the cow pastures of Texas, and throughout China.  In addition, he has shared the stage with musicians ranging from Peter Serkin to rapper Jay-Z.  

He plays regularly with Con Vivo Music, Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, and Artists by Any Other Name; recent performances include concerts at Barclays Center and NJPAC. He completed his undergraduate training at Mason Gross School of the Arts in the studio of Jonathan Spitz and is now pursuing his master's degree at the Aaron Copland School of Music, studying with Marcy Rosen.
Vincent Livolsi, Drum set/Percussion

Vincent Livolsi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Percussion Performance as well as Music Education from New Jersey City University.
As a freelance percussionist, he has performed with the New York Baroque Orchestra and Chorus, Bulgarian Opera Orchestra, Princeton Symphony, Arts Alive International Touring Ensemble, Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble (MCCE), and Rhythm Sticks Marimba and Percussion Duo (featuring NJSO percussionist, James Neglia).

As a drum set artist, Vincent is currently involved with the Midtown Direct Rep Theatre Company, residing at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), who’s recent musical, Rated P, opened to rave reviews at the West Side Theatre in New York City. Vincent also serves as Teaching Artist for Paper Mill Playhouse’s New Voices Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory and maintains a busy performance/recording schedule with various jazz/rock/pop acts throughout the Tri-State Area. He is an active member of the original progressive rock band, Eyes On Infinity and has composed music for the television program New York Giants Online as well as for several commercials for companies such as Ford Motor Company and Dania Jai-Alai Arena.
Wen-Yi Lo, Piano

A native of Taiwan, pianist Wen-Yi Lo, received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School as a scholarship student of Oxana Yablonskaya. She began her musical training at the age of six and won numerous national competitions in her country. Selected by the Government of Taiwan to further her studies under the Child Prodigy Music Study Abroad Program, Ms. Lo came to the United States to enter the Pre-College Division of Juilliard where she studied with Leonard Eisner.

Subsequently Ms. Lo has been a top prize winner in various International competitions, including the William Kapell International Piano Competition, the Citta di Marsala International Piano Competition and the V. Bellini International Chamber Music Competition in Italy. In 1990 Ms. Lo was presented in her New York Debut at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall as Winner of Artists International's Young Artist Debut Piano Award. Since then she has given an abundance of recitals in the United States, the Far East and Europe. Ms. Lo has also been featured on WQXR's Young Artists Showcase in New York.

Recently she was awarded the Certificate of Excellence for her extraordinary dedication and achievement in the field of piano teaching by the International Concert Alliance and has also received the Distinguished Pedagogy Award from the International Music and Arts Society. She is a member of the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble and has been a faculty member for the Academy of the Arts at CSI and at Wagner College since 1993.
 
Elizabeth McCullough, Soprano and Roaring Chorus Director

Elizabeth McCullough has been a performing and teaching artist with Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble since 2004, singing concerts and leading workshops for seniors in a choral setting. Elizabeth has performed leading roles with National Opera Company, Duke Opera Festival, American Chamber Opera Company and Liederkranz Opera. She has presented numerous solo recitals in the New York City area, including new works, songs by women composers and standard repertory. Elizabeth has performed internationally with Cunard Cruise Line and has been a guest artist in the New York Times sponsored Young Performers’ Series at Bryant and Battery Parks. She has been on the faculty at Wagner College since 2002.

A native of
Mississippi, she received her B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Texas. A Staten Island resident since 1988, Elizabeth maintains a private voice studio and has taught at William Paterson University, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Greenwich House Music School and the Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute at the Staten Island JCC. She is a member of New York Singing Teachers Association and The Saint Cecilia. Elizabeth is married to musician, Frank Santagata, and they have a son, Joseph.

Vincent Moncada, Cello

Vincent Moncada, cello, is a native of Staten Island.  He has studied the cello under the direction of Mrs. Madeline Casperie and at The Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Ms. Marion Feldman. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from The Manhattan School of Music and has a master’s degree from Touro College. He has been the winner of numerous awards; included are: The Western Union Share the Dream Scholarship, Lincoln Center Chamber Music Competition, Peter Hollander Cello Award, Maureen Snyder Award, The Conrad Strasser Memorial Award and is a two time recipient of The Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island Junefest Award.  

Mr. Moncada has performed with numerous Orchestras, Chamber Music Groups and as a Soloist throughout the United States and abroad. Including is with the New York City Opera Company under conductors Kurt Masur, Robert Spano, and Zdenek Macal.  He has also premiered the works by Author Foote on WNYC’s Sound Check.

Currently Mr. Moncada is a Music Teacher at The Tottenville High School on Staten Island where is the conductor of The Symphony Orchestra. In addition he is an adjunct music professor at The Touro College Continuing Education Program.  Mr. Moncada is also a freelance cellist in the New York City Area as well as the founder and cellist of The Riverside Ensemble.

 

Andrew Rosciszewski, Composer/Bassist

Described as "someone worth watching" (Alan Young, NY Music Daily, 2017)"listener-friendly, but fresh...” "intelligent…precisely interwoven musical thoughts.” and “a significant figure in new music.” (Michael Fressola, S.I. Advance)


Andrew Rosciszewski, composer and bassist, is known for his genre-bending compositions that fuse art music with rock in a colorful, eclectic style that reflects his passion and diversity of a wide musical palette. Influenced by composers such as Shostakovich, Bartók and Górecki, Andrew is intrigued and inspired by the folk music of his Polish heritage. This influence, when combined with his love of progressive rock music, makes rhythm a cornerstone of his works, often emphasizing shifting meters and incorporating song and dance idioms into his compositions.

Rosciszewski’s music has been performed by the Vermont Philharmonic, under the baton of Music Director Lou Kosma (MET Opera Orchestra), Evening Rhapsody Wind Trio with the commission of “Fantastic Adventure” as well as Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, Inc. (MCCE) with whom he has built a long standing relationship. A recipient of the New Music USA Met Life Creative Connections grant as well as several ASCAPLus awards, his music has been performed at numerous venues including the Barre Opera House, New York University, Staten Island Museum, amongst others.

An EP of original rock songs “Humble Genius – EP” joins his previously recorded release of original classical compositions "Fantasie for Rock Band & Orchestra" and the concept album “frail’ty” by his progressive-metal band Eyes On Infinity. Other past events include a residency for Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble's 2011-2012 season.
 

Rosciszewski is an award winning member of ASCAP and holds a BA from New Jersey City University where he studied composition with Dr. Stelio Dubbiosi and double bass with Lou Kosma (MET Opera Orchestra).

andrewrosciszewski.com

Anthony Turner, Baritone

Anthony Turner, baritone, has been featured in opera, concert and recital performances in the United States and Europe. 

He has had leading roles in Die Fledermaus, La Bohème, Cavalleria Rusticana, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Così fan tutte, St. Louis Woman, Street Scene and The Most Happy Fella. 

He has appeared with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Lincoln Chamber Orchestra, the United States Army Band, the Cincinnati, Phoenix, Omaha, Walla Walla Symphonies and been a featured soloist at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Next Wave Festival, Barbican Festival, Yachats Music Festival, Four Season’s Arts Concert Series and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 

Mr. Turner has performed with Jessye Norman, Laurie Anderson, Kathleen Battle, Dance Theatre of Harlem and conductors Jesus Lopéz-Cobos, David Stern and Leslie Dunner. 

Mr. Turner has served as Adjunct Professor of Voice on the faculty of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, New Studio on Broadway and currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Voice at Wagner College.

MCCE's The Roaring Chorus program is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Laura B. Vogler Foundation; Mid-Island Rotary Foundation, Con Edison, the New York Public Library; and through donations of generous individuals.

MCCE's 2018-19 Concert Season and related programs are made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; additional support provided, in part, by NYC Councilmember Deborah Rose, Laura B. Vogler Foundation, The M & T Charitable Foundation, Mid-Island Rotary Foundation, Con Edison, Richmond County Savings Foundation, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, the Staten Island Museum, and through donations of generous individuals.