- Bachelor of Music, Music Education, K-12 Instrumental, Western Michigan University
Matt is based in Kalamazoo. Since graduating in 2011, he has taught at Gull Lake Public Schools, served as the Assistant Director of Bands in Plainwell Community Schools, was the Director of Bands in Forest Hills Public Schools, and has freelanced both locally and internationally. He is a stylistically versatile musician that has experience playing in classical, jazz, chamber, rock, reggae, funk, latin, hip hop, and world music ensembles. Currently, he performs at local theaters, is a member of Big Band Nouveau in Grand Rapids, and collaborates with artists in Indonesia and Syria.
- Master of Music, Piano Performance, Jazz Studies, Western Michigan University
- Bachelor of Arts, Music Education, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
- The Boston Conservatory, Special Programs Division, piano studies
Anthony Healy is a native of Boston, Massachusetts. Before moving to Kalamazoo to pursue a master’s degree in jazz performance at Western Michigan, Anthony worked as a teacher in the Belmont, Needham, and Westborough school districts, where he taught grades 6-12 choral and general music. He also maintained a private piano studio of over 30 students.
Anthony studied classical piano in Boston under Inna Muravnik before attending Ithaca College to earn a degree in music education with a piano performance focus, along with a minor in Italian studies. Anthony has always been fascinated by the art of improvisation, which led him to pursue a masters degree in Jazz Piano Performance from Western Michigan studying with Jeremy Siskind. He also had the opportunity to serve as a graduate assistant teaching group piano classes and supervising student teachers while studying at Western. Since living in Kalamazoo, Anthony has had the opportunity to share the stage with many of today’s leading performers, including Randy Brecker, Deborah Brown, and Edward Simon.
Anthony currently serves as the Class Piano Coordinator at Western Michigan, and also teaches group piano classes through the Gilmore Education Program at Spring Valley Elementary School. Anthony is thrilled to be joining a staff of dedicated and enthusiastic professionals at Crescendo Academy!
Also posted in Accompanist, Piano
- Bachelor of Arts, Viola Performance, University of the Pacific
- Master of Music, Violin Performance, Western Michigan University, anticipated graduation Dec 2016
Darren began his musical studies on the piano at the age of four in Taiwan, Hong Kong and then continued at the Chicago Music Institute. He later began studying the viola at the age of twelve under Clara Takarabe and Li-Kuo Chang. He graduated from the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific with an undergraduate’s degree in Viola Performance studying under violinist/violist Igor Veligan. He was the principal violist with the University of the Pacific Orchestra. He is currently pursuing a masters in violin performance at Western Michigan University on full ride scholarship under violinist Renata Knific with the anticipated graduation in December 2016.
Darren has been teaching viola and violin for over 6 years to student age ranges from 5 to 30 at Central Valley Youth Symphony, Zion Music Academy, Cazadero Music Camp, and privately. Darren was a participant of the Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy during the summers of 2011 and 2012 and while there he won the International Orfeo Music Festival Strings Prize of 2012. He was also the concert master for Opera Maya in Mexico during June of 2016.
Darren has also worked with other violinists such as Zino Bogachek, Routa Kroumovich, and violists such as Li-Kuo Chan and Roger Chase. He has played for groups such as the Townsend Opera and Vita Symphony in California as well as the Battle Creek Symphony in Michigan. Music is Darren’s lifelong passion and he enjoys helping others learn and love music.
Also posted in Viola, Violin
- Master of Music, Voice Performance Roosevelt University/CCPA
- Bachelor of Music, Vocal Performance, DePaul University
Before recently returning home to Michigan, Jessica Louise Coe studied, lived, and worked in Chicago for fourteen years. She spent seven of those years as a teaching artist at the world-renowned Old Town School of Folk Music, teaching diverse styles of piano and voice to students of all ages and abilities.
Whether working with voice or piano students, Jessica prioritizes technical development but only as a means to an end and not the ultimate goal. She believes the ultimate goal of learning an instrument is to have the ability to create meaningful art that impacts others, drawing from technical skills to create nuance and diverse expression based upon an understanding of the music. Jessica’s secondary goal with students is that they become independent musicians who are well-equipped to study, learn, and interpret music on their own. She believes this is possible for every student when he or she has achieved music literacy/fluency, developed an acute aural awareness and has a working knowledge of music history and theory. She would like all her students to take ownership of their art and works with them to teach them what this concept means and how to attain it.
A classically-trained soprano and pianist, she has performed at venues worldwide. Early concerts as member of the North American Choral Company in Grand Rapids, MI, afforded her the opportunity to sing at the United Nations, The Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, and in cities across the Netherlands. More recently, she has appeared with companies throughout the Midwest including The Grand Rapids Bach Chorale, The Grant Park Chorus, Elgin Opera, The Chicago Chorale, Chicago Opera Initiative, Opera Grand Rapids, the Byron Colby Barn Early Music Series, and in 2013 was recognized as a National Finalist in the American Prize contest for Art Song Performance. She remains an active member of Chicago’s Vox3 Collective, The West Michigan Opera Project and will be joining the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus as section leader later in the 2016-2017 season.
Jessica is an adjunct voice professor at Aquinas College and teaches piano through The Gilmore Festival’s piano lab program in Kalamazoo Public Schools. As pianist she has performed with pit orchestras, at auditions and rehearsals, and with The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s OperaKids! outreach program. For more information, please visit www.jessicalouisecoe.com.
- Artist Diploma Candidate, Jazz Studies, Western Michigan University
- Master of Music Performance, Jazz Studies, Western Michigan University
- Bachelor of Arts, Music Education, Albion College
Dan Willenberg is currently pursuing a Performer’s Diploma in Jazz Piano Performance from Western Michigan University and working as a freelance jazz pianist, accompanist, producer, composer, and educator. A 3-time Open Division winner of the Michigan Music Association’s statewide competition, Dan studied piano with Pattie Nelson-Raica of Marine City before attending Albion College, where he studied classical music with Dr. David Abbott and completed a K-12 Instrumental Music Education degree. During his time at Albion, Dan began teaching himself jazz and began to play several weekly gigs throughout Albion and surrounding areas. He was then accepted to the prestigious jazz program at Western Michigan University to pursue a Master’s degree in jazz piano performance under the tutelage of Grammy-nominated pianist Fred Hersch; internationally-renowned jazz educator, pianist, and composer Steve Zegree; 2010 Guggenheim Fellow and Grammy-nominated pianist Edward Simon; and young powerhouse Jeremy Siskind, winner of the 2013 Nottingham Jazz Piano Competition.
Dan finished his master’s degree in Spring of 2014 and became the host of the weekly jazz jam session at The Union Cabaret & Grille in downtown Kalamazoo. He has performed with/for some of the leading names in jazz music including Joe Lovano, Billy Hart, Randy Brecker, Robert Glasper, Miguel Zenon, Steve Wilson, Victor Goines, Xavier Davis, John Clayton, Bill Stewart, Andrew Rathbun, Sara Gazarek, and Billy Drewes, As an accompanist, Dan is known for being an extremely versatile sideman; working with vocalists and instrumentalists alike in classical, jazz, musical theater, funk, and pop realms.
As a pedagogue, Dan is currently an adjunct jazz piano instructor at Albion College; was the Jazz Piano Faculty instructor at the 2015 Gilmore Piano Camp; taught class piano for both music and non-music majors at WMU as a graduate assistant; was the resident jazz pianist of the Keith Hall Summer Drum Intensive in 2013-14; and maintains a private studio with classical and jazz piano students.
Also posted in Accompanist, Piano