Our Faculty & Staff
Marvin R. Blickenstaff Director of PEPS Program (609) 921-2900 x111 firstname.lastname@example.org
Marvin Blickenstaff has directed the Program for Excellence in Piano Study (PEPS) at the New School since 1999. Blickenstaff holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Indiana University where he received both academic and performance honors. He is well-known across the country and in Canada for his frequent presentations at state and national conferences. The Marvin Blickenstaff Endowment Fund was established in his honor by the Music Teachers National Association Foundation. In 2007 the on-line journal Piano Pedagogy Forum published tributes to Blickenstaff honoring his contribution to piano teaching in America. Also in 2007 he was named Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He was honored in 2009 with MTNA’s highest honor, the MTNA Achievement Award. Blickenstaff has served as chair of the piano departments at the University of North Carolina/ Chapel Hill and Goshen College (IN) and from 2000-2013 he was President of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy.
Kairy Koshoeva Faculty 609-921-2900x104 email@example.com
Kairy Koshoeva earned her Doctor of Musical Art degree from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She also holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Gnessin’s Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia and an Artist Diploma certificate from Oberlin Conservatory at Oberlin College in Ohio.
Dr. Koshoeva has garnered awards from around the globe including the top prize at the International Piano Competition in Vicenza, Italy, the N. Rubinstein Competition in Paris, France, and was the 2004 Gold Medal winner of the Rachmaninoff Award in Moscow, Russia and first prize at Chautauqua Music Festival concerto competition in New York. In 2003 she was named Honored Artist of her nativecountry Kyrgyzstan. She has performed in Israel, France, Germany, Russia, Turkey, Switzerland, and the United States.
She has held teaching positions at Avila University, Kansas City Community College, the University of Central Missouri, UMKC Conservatory of Music, Park University, and the University of Kansas and Rockhurst University.
Dr. Koshoeva is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) through Music Teachers NationalAssociation (MTNA) and is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon (Alpha Kappa ‘07, Kansas City Alumni). Kairyreceived the 2013 Marian Bowker Davidson Collaborative Pianist Award for her project to performBach’s complete Goldberg Variations with the Owen/Cox Dance Group choreographed by JenniferOwen. She is also the recipient of the 2015 Berta Eisberg Award for collaboration with Owen/Cox in aperformance of Hindemith’s Ludus Tonalis.
Allison Shinnick Faculty 113 firstname.lastname@example.org
Allison Shinnick is thrilled to be joining the New School faculty as intern this fall. She is active as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. A prizewinner in various competitions, Allison was a finalist in UMKC’s 2014 Chancellor’s Concerto Competition, a finalist in the 2013 Chautauqua Piano Competition, and winner of the 2012 Lawrence University Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, which resulted in a performance of Aaron Copland’s Piano Concerto with the orchestra. Dedicated to teaching students of all ages, her previous teaching positions include instructor of keyboard skills courses and private lessons at UMKC, private instructor with Home Music Teachers Inc. in Kansas City, and intern piano instructor at Lawrence Academy of Music in Appleton, WI. Ms. Shinnick completed her masters of music in piano performance at University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, where she studied with Dr. Robert Weirich. She obtained her Bachelor of Music at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, with majors in piano performance and oboe performance and a minor in German. There she studied piano with Catherine Kautsky, oboe with Howard Niblock, and pedagogy with Mary Van De Loo.
Denitsa VanPelt Faculty, Certified Suzuki Teacher 609-921-2900x110 email@example.com
Dr. Denitsa VanPelt holds degrees from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (BM, DMA) and Bowling Green State University (MM). She has studied piano with Eugene Pridonoff, Elisabeth Pridonoff, and Virginia Marks and piano pedagogy with Dr. Michelle Conda.
Dr. VanPelt enjoys teaching traditional and Suzuki piano. She completed her Suzuki training for books 1-5 with Mary Craig Powell.
Dr. VanPelt has won numerous piano competitions and regularly performs solo and chamber music concerts. She enjoys performing with her husband, a classical saxophonist, and has a special interest in 20th century repertoire.
Jason Gallagher Faculty 609-921-2900x105 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Gallagher is in his first year on the faculty at NSMS. He received his Master’s Degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance, with distinction, from Westminster Choir College in May 2014. There, he studied piano with Phyllis Lehrer, and pedagogy with the various talented piano faculty. While there, he also completed a rigorous, year-long internship with renowned teacher Ingrid Clarfield, which involved helping a student prepare to compete in several prestigious competitions. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Theory, magna cum laude, from Ithaca College in May 2012. He studied piano with Dr. Jennifer Hayghe, and pedagogy with Dr. Deborah Martin.
Rebecca Mergen Pennington Administrative Director (609) 921-2900 x103 RMPennington@NSMSPiano.org
Rebecca Mergen Pennington has been a member of the faculty of the New School for Music Study since 2007. She currently serves as Administrative Director. Dr. Pennington has been a frequent performer in faculty recitals, contributed to teacher development through blog posts, teaching videos, and work at the NSMS Summer Seminar, and teaches the popular Piano Detectives Club class for kindergarten students. She holds a DMA and MM in Piano Performance from the University of Kansas, and a BM in Music Education from Concordia College. Previous teachers include Jack Winerock and Jay Hershberger. Prior to joining the New School faculty, she taught at The Music Clubhouse, The University of Kansas, and Midwestern Music Camp. Dr. Pennington has presented at NCKP and MTNA conferences. She is interested in collaborative music and 20th century music. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her two young sons.
Amy Glennon Educational Director (609) 921-2900 x102 email@example.com
Amy Glennon studied Piano Pedagogy with New School co-founders Frances Clark and Louise Goss, earning the Certificate of Professional Achievement in 1986. She then joined the piano faculty of Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA), where she remained for six years before returning to the New School faculty in 1996. During the following years, Amy has served as Admissions Director and more recently, Educational Director. In her current position, Amy oversees the New School’s faculty development program. Her articles have appeared in Clavier Companion Magazine. She is the co-author (along with Ted Cooper) of four duet collections comprising the Side by Side series, published by Alfred Publishing. Amy has presented at local and national music teachers conventions, including Music Teachers National Convention and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. Amy remains active as an adjudicator at local festivals and competitions. She is the pianist and choir director at Lawrence Road Presbyterian Church. She holds two undergraduate degrees from the University of Connecticut: a BM in Piano Performance and a BS in Music Education. She earned her Masters Degree from the University of Louisville in Piano Performance, where she studied with Lee Luvisi.
Angela Triandafillou Admissions Director, Music Librarian (609) 921-2900 x106 firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela Triandafillou joined the New School in 2011 and became Admissions Director in 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance and Music Education from Ithaca College and a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma. Her primary teachers include Jane Magrath, Barbara Fast, Ed Gates, Phiroze Mehta, and Sandra Wright Shen.
During her graduate study, Ms. Triandafillou taught group and applied piano to university students, served on the faculty of the Oklahoma Baptist University Preparatory Department, and established an adult beginning group piano program through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Ms. Triandafillou has spent summers at the Neighborhood Music School in Connecticut, the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, and the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. Most recently, she participated in a week-long Dalcroze (Eurhythmics) course at the Lucy Moses School in New York City. This has sparked renewed interest in developing and incorporating rhythm activities in her group and private teaching at the New School.
In March 2013, Ms. Triandafillou presented at the MTNA National Conference in California.
Beth Amoroso Business Manager (609) 921-2900 ext. 101 BAmoroso@NSMSPiano.org
Beth Amoroso came to the New School in 2002 as Business Manager. She functions in this position for the entire Frances Clark Center, which includes The New School, Clavier Companion magazine, and The National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. Previously she worked as the Administrative Assistant for Dining Services at The College of New Jersey. She graduated from TCNJ with a Bachelors degree in Communication.
She enjoys cooking, movies, music and is an amateur photographer. In the past year, Beth has had photographs accepted in shows in The Prince Street Gallery in New York City, Ellarslie Museum in Trenton, Gallery 14 in Hopewell, “Friends of the Marsh” show in Lawrenceville, and on Hamilton Township’s official calendar.
Margie Nelson Faculty (609) 921-2900 x 107 MNelson@nsmspiano.org
Margie Nelson came to The New School in 1993. She started her Masters’ Degree at Westminster Choir College with a desire to become a great teacher and later fell in love with the New School, after meeting Louise Goss and Frances Clark. She studied briefly with Frances and is still learning from Louise! In addition to the New School, Margie teaches at Raritan Valley Community College, music classes for Pre-K-8th grade at Christ the King Catholic School, at her piano studio in Hillsborough, and plays frequently for church. At the New School, Margie specializes in teaching students with special needs and organizes the yearly composition concert.
Margie enjoys life with a great husband and two fantastic teen boys. Her hobbies include housework, reading novels and swimming and running. She also enjoys watching “The Office” with her family.
Tracy Grandy Faculty (609) 921-2900 x108 TGrandy@NSMSPiano.org
Ms. Grandy completed a B.A. in piano pedagogy and a B.M. in piano performance and accompanying from California State University at Fullerton, winning the highest award in piano performance. Her M.M. is from James Madison University, where her dissertation was on a history of The New School for Music Study. Ms. Grandy has been a piano pedagogy student of M’lou Dietzer and has studied piano with Mark Zeyen. She served as accompanist for In Dal Choi, former concertmaster of the Seoul Philharmonic in Korea. She has performed in over 30 musicals, including productions by the Blue Ridge Theater Festival in Virginia.
Fiona Christano Faculty (690) 921-2900x109 email@example.com
Fiona initially joined NSMS as an intern in 2003 upon completing her Master’s in Piano Pedagogy from Bowling Green State University under the direction of Dr. Robert Satterlee. She became a full-time member of NSMS faculty in 2004 and taught numerous students until 2009. Prior to her study at Bowling Green State University, Fiona completed her Bachelor’s of Arts in Piano Pedagogy from Goshen College under the direction of Professors Marvin Blickenstaff, Beverly Lapp, David Gross and Matthew Hill with a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
During her time off from NSMS, she did various volunteer works including directing children’s choir at her church and giving pro-bono 3-month piano lessons to individuals with varying degrees of musical skills in her hometown Kudus, Indonesia
Fiona and her husband live in Princeton. She is a mother of two wonderful and lively children and enjoys knitting and baking with and reading to her kids.
Angela Leising-Catalan Faculty (609) 921-2900 x 112 ALeising@nsmspiano.org
Angela Leising-Catalan joined the faculty of The New School for Music Study in 2008. She teaches children and adults of all ages. She received a Master of Music degree from Ohio University in Piano Performance and Pedagogy in 2006. While at Ohio University, Miss Leising-Catalan received the STAR Award for excellence in student teaching. Originally from Nebraska, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Nebraska, Kearney, where she was the winner of the 2004 Concerto Competition and subsequently performed with the Kearney Area Symphony Orchestra. Miss Leising-Catalan previously was a faculty member of the Athens Community Music School in Ohio and has adjudicated various piano festivals and competitions. She is a member of Music Teachers National Association and the College Music Society. During the summer, she is on the faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp near Twin Lake, Michigan where she is the choral department accompanist. Additionally, she has a special interest in church music and the duet repertoire, especially with her husband, pianist and conductor Ramon Catalan.
Charl Louw Faculty (609) 921-2900 x 115 CLouw@nsmspiano.org
Charl Louw has taught and performed both nationally and internationally. As Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of North Texas and the University of Missouri, Kansas City he taught class piano and applied lessons to undergraduate and graduate students. He serves on the piano faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in the summer and has extensive experience teaching privately. Throughout his career Mr. Louw has received awards and scholarships including the prestigious Kauffman Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching (University of Missouri, Kansas City), Frederick B. Jenkins award, MC Roode award (North West University) and the Getrude Buchanan award (University of South Africa). He has been finalist and top-prize winner in piano competitions including the New Orleans Piano Institute Concerto Competition, St. Louis Artist Presentation Competition and the UMKC Concerto Competition. Active as soloist and collaborative pianist, Mr. Louw has appeared in recitals and with orchestras in the US and South Africa including a performance with the UMKC Chamber Orchestra conducted by Leon Fleisher. As a founding member and pianist-in-residence of the Mid-West Chamber Ensemble, Mr. Louw has performed with singers and instrumentalists in chamber music concert series. Pianist of the Filamental trio, Mr. Louw collaborated with clarinetist Sharra Wagner and bassoonist Ryan Morris in a recording project of newly commissioned repertoire by award winning composers from Kansas City.
Mr. Louw has served as adjudicator in piano festivals and competitions nationwide and currently serves as the MMTA Collegiate Honors Auditions Chair. He has presented lectures and master classes in South Africa and the US and is currently completing his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City where he studies with Dr. Robert Weirich. Mr. Louw’s teachers include Truida van der Walt, Pamela Mia Paul, Frank Heneghan and Jeaneane Dowis.
Kristin Cahill Faculty (609) 921-2900 x 114 KCahill@nsmspiano.org
Kristin Cahill joined the NSMS faculty in 2013 and has diverse interests in chamber music, performing, research, and pedagogy. In 2004, Kristin earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University and, in 2006, a Master of Music in Piano Performance with additional studies in Collaborative Piano from the University of Houston, where she studied with Ruth Tomfohrde and Timothy Hester. During her time in Houston, Kristin held an assistantship in group piano and taught private lessons at the AWTY International School. From 2008-2013, she lived in Barcelona, Spain, and extensively studied castanets and Spanish piano repertoire with Ludovica Mosca. At The American School of Barcelona, Kristin started and developed a group piano program in addition to teaching private lessons to students from all over the world. AT NSMS, she plans to continue her research of Spanish music and expand her knowledge of using varied repertoire and activities with students.
Emily Lau Faculty (609) 921-2900 x 113 ELau@NSMSpiano.org
Emily Lau joined the New School in 2013, and also maintains a private studio in Metuchen. She hails from Chicago, where she received the 2013 Member of the Year Award from the Chicago Area Music Teachers Association for her active service to the community. She holds piano performance degrees from Roosevelt University and University of Michigan. Her former teachers include Christopher Harding, Winston Choi, Fr. Sean Duggan, and Mary Siciliano. She is an active member of MTNA and a contributor to the New School’s resource website for teachers at PianoPedagogy.org. She has served as faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, as well as a teaching assistant at the New York Summer Music Festival. Ms. Lau grew up in southeast Michigan, and is an International Baccalaureate diploma alumna.