Morganne Aaberg aims to create transformative experiences for her audiences. Trained as a violinist and pedagogue at the Cleveland Institute of Music and at Mannes College the New School for Music, Ms. Aaberg’s education in the classical tradition stretches from the early Baroque to the present. Spanning 400 years and the entire Western World, classical music provides a tremendous opportunity for both artists and audiences to step into another era, geographical location, and cultural identity, connecting us empathetically with what would otherwise be inaccessible emotions and ideas. Ms. Aaberg strives to create performances that encourage audiences to recognize themselves in the unfamiliar.
Because all genres of music have the power to act upon our emotions, Ms. Aaberg has not confined her artistic work strictly to the classical repertoire by engaging in diverse and eclectic performance settings, from Irish bands, to Bluegrass jam sessions with Cinder Blue and the Quincy Street Band. As an improviser Ms. Aaberg has appeared by candlelight at a yoga studio in Cleveland, and in collaboration with a poet and storyteller in the mountains of Oregon.
Ms. Aaberg has performed in a more traditional capacity in solo recitals, chamber collaborations, and various orchestral settings. As a member of the orchestras of the Mannes College of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music, Ms. Aaberg has had the pleasure of playing in renowned halls such as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Severance Hall. Her recitals, both in the United States and France, demonstrate a special fondness for violin sonatas
A passionate educator, Ms. Aaberg currently teaches private violin lessons, group classes, and musicianship classes at the Diller-Quaile School of Music. She also teaches privately at her home on the Upper West Side, and acted as teaching assistant to Dr. Ann Setzer at the prestigious Meadowmount School of Music in the summer of 2014. She holds certification in the Suzuki Method from the School for Strings and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
When she is not teaching or making music, Ms. Aaberg practices yoga, reads voraciously, and writes.
Hannah Barnard, Dance
Hannah Louise Barnard is an NYC-based Choreographer/Dancer, Creative Writer, and Teacher of Music and Dance. Her original choreographic works have been presented by Dixon Place (Lower East Side), Saint Peter's Church (Midtown) and the 2015 Lean In NYC Urban Women's Retreat (Flatiron District). Barnard is a founding member of TogetherWorks Dansgroep and Dance@SaintPeter's, a core member of the multimedia collective Artists By Any Other Name, and Co-director of the Dance in Jazz program at Saint Peter's Church with Ike Sturm (Director of Jazz Ministries). In addition, she currently directs an improvisational ensemble consisting of four musicians and four dancers dedicated to exploring the dialogue between movement and sound.
Hannah received classical ballet training from the Neglia Conservatory (Buffalo, NY), Princeton Ballet School, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, and Bodiography Center for Movement (Pittsburgh, PA). She performed as an apprentice with the Bodiography Contemporary Ballet Company (Artistic Director Maria Caruso) in 2009. Hannah then went on to study Ballet, Modern Dance, and Dance Composition at The Florida State University School of Dance, where she received training and creative mentorship from Professors Gerri Houlihan (Lar Lubovitch Dance Company), Dan Wagoner (Graham, Taylor, Cunningham), Lynda Davis (Bella Lewitsky), Tim Glenn (Alwin Nikolais), Jawole Zollar (Urban Bush Women), Sheila Humphreys (Royal Ballet), Anjali Austin (Dance Theater of Harlem), Rick McCullough (Nederlands Dans Theater), Zach Morris and Tom Pearson (Third Rail Projects), among other reknowned faculty members. Hannah received the 2011 FSU Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Award to conduct a choreographic research project in England in collaboration with The Pittsburgh School for the Choral Arts (Artistic Director Kathryn Barnard). Her research is published in The Owl (FSU Undergraduate Research Journal). Hannah graduated Magna Cum Laude with her BFA in Dance from FSU in 2012. She has also received nine years of training in classical piano and three years of choral training through the Oakland Girls Choir of PSCA, with whom she toured internationally. She currently studies Bharatanatyam, an ancient form of Indian classical dance, with her private instructor at Lotus Music and Dance in NYC.
Hannah resides in Brooklyn, NY, where she teaches Music at the PS 154 Elementary After-School Program and Ballet at the AbunDance Academy of the Arts. She also instructs several private piano students in Brooklyn. Hannah daily endeavors to provide her students with a delicate balance between structural discipline and creative freedom, imparting her own philosophy of life and art through both word and example: "The rules were not made to be broken. They were made to be bent into more interesting shapes."
Emile Blondel, Piano
Pianist Emile Blondel holds BM and MM degrees from the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with Eric Larsen. In 2001 he moved to France to pursue studies at the Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot. While living in Paris Emile was awarded a residency at the Cite International des Arts, and was named a Harriet Hale Woolley Scholar by the Fondation des Etats-Unis. Orchestral appearances include the Richmond Symphony, the Durham Symphony and the Heritage Chamber Orchestra.
Emile was named a 2009-10 Kenan Performing Arts Fellow at Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education. In 2013 he participated in Hoi Pollois' stage production of Shadows, and is a collaborating artist in the St. Anne`s Warehouse 2015 Puppet Lab. Emile is currently a faculty member of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and a teaching artist with the National Dance Institute.
Catherine Hancock, Voice
Mezzo-Soprano, Catherine Hancock was born in the British Channel Islands and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia before moving to New York City, where she is currently based. She works closely with countless New York based ensembles and groups, and her performances range from opera to chamber music and concert repertoire. Recent career highlights include performances at BAM, MoMA, Alice Tully Hall, The Mark Morris Dance Group, The New York Festival of Song, and The New York Electroacoustic Music Festival. She graduated from The Juilliard School with both a Bachelor and Master of Music, where she performed with Juilliard Opera, Juilliard 415, The Focus Festival and Chamberfest. Favorite opera performances include the roles of Orindo in Cavalli’s La Doriclea, Lucia in Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner and Valletto in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, and favorite concert performances include Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and String Quartet No. 2, Kurtag’s Kafka-Fragmente, and Ravel’s Ravel’s Chansons madécasses.
Catherine is particularly passionate about early music and contemporary repertoire and has established herself professionally in both of these areas. She is dedicated to working with composers and has premiered dozens of new works. Her belief in the importance of supporting current composers and social activism compelled her to found The Moirae Ensemble in 2011, a chamber music group that connects classical music and social responsibility through commissioning young composers.
Catherine has also spent time singing in Europe. Most notably, she was a resident artist with the Britten-Pears Young Artist Prorgramme in 2014 and 2015, performing the roles of Pallade and Valletto in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, led by Richard Egarr and participating in a masterclass and performance series with Andreas Scholl and Tamar Halperin.
As a committed educator, Catherine has spent many years working in arts outreach and community engagement. She has worked extensively with Artists Striving to End Poverty, The International Rescue Committee, and Sing for Hope, bringing music and art to communities in New York that would otherwise have limited access to music education and performance. She also has a private voice studio in New York City, specializing in children’s voice and vocal therapy.
In addition to singing, Catherine teaches yoga in New York City. She also plays the lute with the New York Continuo Collective and works part time as a visual artist and writer.
Marina Iwao, Piano
Japanese-born pianist Marina Iwao began playing piano at age three. As a soloist, Ms. Iwao made several festival appearances, most recently at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine and the International Keyboard Institute Festival in New York. In 2009 Ms. Iwao won the Solo con Tutti Concerto Competition at Mount Union College, appearing as a soloist with the Alliance Symphony Orchestra. She received 1st prize in the 2015 Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition and performed in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Iwao also maintains activity as a chamber musician and accompanist, performing throughout Japan and the United States. Her performance with a cellist, Mina Kim, was aired on WQXR New York, and she is currently at staff accompanist at the School for Strings.
After she graduated from the music department of Fukuoka Daiichi High school in Fukuoka, Japan, Ms. Iwao earned her Bachelor of Music from Longy School of Music at Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.. While studying at Logy, Ms. Iwao received the Margaret Rohde award for excellence in the study of music theory and musicianship.Ms. Iwao earned a Professional Studies Diploma in Piano performance at Mannes College the New School for Music in New York, where she studies under Victor Rosenbaum. Past teachers include Maira Liliestedt, Wayman Chin, Ann Schein, Victor Rosenbaum, Tadashi Kitagawa and Miyuki Hirakawa. As a chamber musician, Ms. Iwao has studied under Diane Walsh, Marco Granados and Terry King.
Harmonnia Junus, Violin
Australian born violinist Harmonnia Junus has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. Most recently, she appeared with the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra on their Australian Debut Tour The Sound of Taiwan performing at the Sydney Opera House and Brisbane City Hall. Also under the baton of maestro Gernot Schmalfuss, Ms. Junus performed with the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan and has appeared with the Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra in the JaoZi Concert Hall in Chengdu, China with conductor Xu Dong Yang. Currently based in New York City, Ms. Junus has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the National Opera Center, Symphony Space, the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
As a passionate chamber musician Harmonnia Junus has toured Taiwan with pianist Eduard Laurel having appeared at the Taichung Seaport Arts Center, Kaohsiung Cultural Center and the National Recital Hall in Taipei. She is a member of Ensemble NYC performing in New York City, South Korea and Australia. Ms. Junus is co-founder of the performance collective Artists By Any Other Name, whose mission is to reach a greater audience by using a symbiosis of various art forms including music, dance, drama and visual art. She has attended numerous music festivals including Meadowmount School of Music, the Next Festival for Emerging Artists at Music Mountain and Bowdoin International Music Festival studying with Lewis Kaplan and Itzhak Rashkovsky.
Harmonnia Junus recently graduated with a Master of Music from New York's Mannes College the New School for Music, where she also earned her Bachelor of Music under the tutelage of Sally Thomas. Other primary teachers include Dr. Goetz RIchter and Shi-xiang Zhang. As a dedicated teacher, Ms. Junus is on the faculty at the Diller Quaile School of Music maintains a private studio in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Gwendolyn Petry, Dance
Gwendolyn Petry is a recent graduate of Florida State University's School of Dance. She currently works and resides in New York City, where she has performed with Gerard and Kelly, Transbendables Dance Company, and Dance@St. Peter's. She has also performed with Edgar Cortes Dance Theatre, Empty Nave Projects, as well A.I.M. (Kyle Abraham). Gwendolyn is a former company member with both the Tallahassee Ballet and the Fairfax Ballet and spent summers studying with American Ballet Theatre, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and Atlanta ballet. She also enjoys teaching and has had the opportunity to work at Silva Dance Academy, Brooklyn Ballet, and the Russell School of Ballet. She spends her summer with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp's International Ballet Ensemble, touring throughout Europe and Michigan. She would like to thank her family and friends for their unyielding support and love.
Emily Petry, Dance
Emily Petry resides and works in New York City as a freelance performer. Emiy earned her Bachelor in the Fine Arts Degree in Dance, Magna Cum Laude, from The Florida State University and has trained in classical ballet and modern techniques all over the United States, attending summer programs with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Atlanta Ballet and Cecchetti International.
She has most recently performed with Gerard&Kelly, Dance at Saint Peter’s, Empty Nave Projects, The Transbendables Dance Company, and the Tallahassee Ballet Company. She also enjoys touring with the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp on their international ballet program during the summer. In addition to her international dance performances, she enjoys working on various film projects and collaborating with other artists.
Russell Thompson, Double Bass
Russell Thompson is a bassist from Cleveland, Ohio. He began his studies in Cleveland, where he was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and a student of Tracy Rowell. He earned an undergraduate degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Max Dimoff, principal bass of the Cleveland Orchestra. Currently, he is a graduate student at Boston University with Edwin Barker, principal bass of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is an alumni of the National Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Texas Music Festival. His other teachers include Paul Henry, Mark Atherton, Nick Walker, Paul Ellison, and Eric Larsen. His hobbies include lacrosse, hiking, traveling, and English literature.
Pedro Vizzaro Vallejos, Viola
Mr. Vizzaro Vallejos is an Argentine-American violist. Besides working with Artists By Any Other Name, he regularly performs in a variety of styles: standard orchestral repertoire with the Metro Chamber Orchestra, new compositions with the Curiosity Cabinet, authentic tangos with Binelli’s Astoria Tango Orchestra, and Dominican folk music with La Camerata Washington Heights. He’s appeared twice as soloist with La Camerata at Aaron Davis Hall in City College.
He is a founding member of the Washington Heights Community Conservatory, where he teaches violin and viola. The Conservatory offers full scholarships and instruments to students in need. He has degrees from Hunter and Brooklyn College, where he studied privately with Ji-Hyun Son and chamber music with Fred Zlotkin.
Kyle Walker, Piano
Pianist Kyle P. Walker strongly believes that music speaks for social justice issues with greater impact than verbal language. He brings this conviction to both traditional Western repertoire and the contemporary music of the living composers with whom he collaborates.
Recently, WQXR radio, NPR and UNC-TV featured Mr. Walker’s performances. Mr. Walker performed his debut solo recital at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, and he has also performed at Lincoln Center’s Metropolitan Opera Guild, The House of the Redeemer, The National Opera Center, Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, New York University’s Tishman Auditorium, and the innovative music and multimedia venue Spectrum NYC.
In 2014 Mr. Walker launched a solo performance project entitled Black Notes, which aims to explore the divides and connections between White American and Black American Art Music. This project received generous support from the Peter M. Gross Foundation. Currently in it's first season, Mr. Walker will tour areas of Upstate New York with the project including New City NY, Valley Cottage NY, Nyack NY, and public schools in Rockland and Westchester Counties.
Mr. Walker completed high school at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he studied under Clifton Matthews. He earned a Bachelor of Music under Benjamin Hochman and Keiko Sekino at East Carolina University, and his Masters of Music under the tutelage of Thomas Sauer at Mannes College The New School for Music.