Category Archives: Piano

Rose Gifford

  • Master of Music, Piano Performance and Pedagogy; University of Oklahoma
  • Bachelor of Music, Keyboard Performance; Western Michigan University

From Portage, Michigan, Rose Gifford graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Keyboard Performance from Western Michigan University in 2015.  While at WMU, she held the Gilmore Piano Scholarship for four years. She studied applied piano under Dr. Silvia Roederer and collaborative piano with Lori Sims, and also served on the board for the WMU MTNA Collegiate Chapter under the direction of Jeremy Siskind.

Rose graduated from the University of Oklahoma in May 2017, with her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy.  While at OU, she worked as a graduate assistant serving as instructor of record for various group piano classes and secondary applied piano lessons.  In addition to her teaching duties, she also was assistant to Dr. Jane Magrath.  At OU, Rose studied applied piano under Dr. Jeongwon Ham and Dr. Ed Gates, and piano pedagogy under Dr. Barbara Fast and Dr. Jane Magrath.  She was awarded the Martha M. Boucher Piano Scholarship in 2016, as well as the Alice and Albert Kirkpatrick Scholarship and the Genevieve Vliet Piano Scholarship in 2017.  She served on the board of the MTNA Collegiate Chapter at OU during the 2016-17 school year, during which time it won the Collegiate Chapter of the Year Award.

Rose has presented at the MTNA National Conference in 2017, and has participated in the Interharmony International Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy, as well as the Classical Music Festival in Eisensdat, Austria. Most recently, she taught functional piano classes as Visiting Assistant Professor of Keyboard at the Crane School of Music at SUNY-Potsdam. Rose currently teaches private lessons at the Ada Conservatory of Music in Ada, MI, as well as the Crescendo Academy of Music in Kalamazoo, MI.

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Rufus Ferguson

  • Master of Music, Piano Performance; Western Michigan University
  • Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies; Western Michigan University

Rufus Ferguson is a jazz pianist based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Western Michigan University under the mentorship of Jeremy Siskind. During his tenure at WMU he has studied with artists such as Scott Cowan, Andrew Rathbun, Edward Simon, Frank Carlberg and participated in exclusive masterclasses with artists such as Fred Hersch, Kenny Barron, Barry Harris and more. He is an experienced performer, arranger, composer and teacher, specifically in the jazz genre.

Rufus got his start studying classical piano at the age of five. He became a gospel church organist at a young age and later began playing jazz piano at age 13. His dedication to being equally well-versed in multiple genres of music has afforded him many unique opportunities such as playing with Grammy-nominated and award-winning artists and groups of all genres.

Rufus arrangements and compositions has been played by many artist and groups such as, WMU Advanced Jazz Ensemble, the Rufus Ferguson Ensemble, the Nashon Holloway Band. These collaborative experiences led to opportunities to teach at The Keith Hall Summer Drum Intensive in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Showchoir Camps of America at Heidelburg University in Tiffin, Ohio.

He has performed at several festivals such as the Notre Dame Jazz Festival, Elmhurst Jazz Festival, Flint Jazz Festival and the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. In May 2016, Rufus became a piano instructor at Western Michigan University where he also directs the University Jazz Lab Band.  In addition to his position at WMU, Rufus is a piano instructor for the Suzuki Academy of Kalamazoo, Crescendo Academy of Music and Gilmore Education Department. He is also the Jazz Band Director at Portage Northern High School and rhythm section coach for the Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra.

To see Rufus in action, visit his website.

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Loretta Cetkovic

  • Master of Music, Piano Performance and Pedagogy, Central Michigan University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Piano Performance and Classical Languages, Grand Valley State University

Loretta Lanning Cetkovic, a native of Michigan, is a pianist and teacher in Kalamazoo, MI. She manages an active studio and performs frequently in Michigan as a soloist and collaboratively with local players, such as the Con Anima Duo with cellist Igor Cetkovic.

Loretta completed her graduate studies at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, MI, studying piano performance and pedagogy with Dr. Alexandra Mascolo-David and Dr. Adrienne Wiley. While at CMU, she was awarded a graduate assistantship and inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honors society, also serving as Co-President of the MTNA Collegiate Chapter. She completed undergraduate studies at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI, studying piano with Van Cliburn medalist Aviram Reichert and pedagogy with Dr. Helen Marlais.

Loretta, a Founding Teacher in the Music Development Program, has taught music in private schools in Grand Rapids, in Central Michigan University’s Community Music School, and the Stella Royce Piano Camp in Grand Rapids. An avid researcher, Loretta has presented her pedagogic research at Grand Valley State University, Central Michigan University, the Michigan Music Teachers Conference, the University of Michigan’s MTNA Collegiate Chapter, the Ohio Piano Teachers Association, and the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Loretta’s students have appeared in festivals, competitions, recitals, and assessments across Michigan, winning prizes for their performances in MMTA’s Student Achievement Testing, the Royal Conservatory’s Music Development Program, and the 20th/21st Century Piano Competition in Allendale, MI.

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Anthony Healy

  • 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!

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Jessica Louise Coe

  • 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.

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