Category Archives: News

Alfredo Balcacer Joins Crescendo Teaching Faculty

October 10, 2017 – Alfredo Balcacer has joined Crescendo as an acoustic and electric guitar instructor. Alfredo is a guitarist and educator from the Dominican Republic, currently living in Kalamazoo, MI. He graduated with a degree in Music Performance from Utah State University, and is currently finishing his masters degree in Music Performance at Western Michigan University. After coming to the United States, he has studied with Corey and Mike Christiansen, Fareed Haque, Tom Knific, Pat Martino, Bryan Baker, Fred Hamilton, Ed Simon, among others.

Alfredo has performed in the USA, Brazil, Canada and the Dominican Republic, and taught guitar privately for 8 years back in his home country, both in high-schools and at his private studio. Besides being a former member of the award-winning groups such a Gold Company Vocal Ensemble, USU Jazz Orchestra, WMU Jazz Orchestra and Mas Que Nada Latin Group, Alfredo is also a recipient of scholarships by the Dominican Republic Government, Utah State Caine College of the Arts and WMU Department of Music.

For the past 10 years, Alfredo has performed and collaborated with many artists such as Peter Erskine, Randy Brecker, Corey Christiansen, George Garzone, Peter Eldridge, Cedric Dent, Jeremy Siskind, Deborah Brown, and Tom Knific, among others. As attendee to many masterclasses, he has performed with John Scofield, Chico Pinheiro, Julian Lage, Peter Bernstein, Steve Kovalcheck and Philip Catherine.

You can see Alfredo perform here and here.

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Chamber Ensembles Now Forming

September 25, 2017 – Crescendo is now forming chamber ensembles for the 2017-2018 school year! All strings, woodwinds, brass, piano, and vocal students are welcome. New this year, we are offering jazz ensembles, too! Sign up online here or contact the office to be placed in an ensemble. More details can be found on our website.

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Loretta Cetkovic Joins Piano Faculty

September 11, 2017 – Loretta Lanning Cetkovic has joined the Crescendo faculty as a piano instructor and accompanist. Loretta, 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. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance and Classical Languages from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Central Michigan University.

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.

A complete bio can be found here.

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New for Fall: Beginning Strings Group Class

A beginning strings group class has been added for fall 2017.

This class will provide students with the opportunity to review pieces they have learned in private lessons in an ensemble setting. Students will be placed in a class based on skill level. A variety of activities will be covered, including warm-up exercises, note reading, scale studies, and weekly performance opportunities.

Beginning violin will be taught on Monday from 5:30-6:15 beginning in the fall of 2017 by violin instructors: Sophie Petroski and Michelle Bessemer. Drop in price is $15 per class. Email information@crescendoacademy.com to register.

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Melissa Ludwa Joins Crescendo Music Together Faculty

July 26, 2017 – Melissa Ludwa will be joining Crescendo as a teaching artist in the fall. Melissa is a Certified Level I Music Together instructor, and will start off teaching our Music Together classes at Excel Dance Centre on Tuesday mornings. Recently arrived in Kalamazoo, Melissa earned a Masters in Education in School Counseling and is an Early Childhood Music Specialist.

Melissa, has fed her passion for singing by engaging in solo and ensemble work in a variety of genres and venues throughout career. While studying at Butler University in Indianapolis, Melissa participated in workshops with The King’s Singers, Rockapella, and Take 6. She has been a founding member of The Cleveland Chamber Choir as well as Kaleidosong in Cleveland and Six in the City in Indianapolis- two select vocal jazz ensembles. Additional highlights from Melissa’s musical experiences include performing at the Bay View Music Festival near Petoskey, MI; singing live with Bobby McFerrin; attending Master Classes with Diana Krall and Harry Connick, Jr.; and several seasons as an ensemble member and soloist with Encore Vocal Arts in Indianapolis. Perhaps most importantly, Melissa still sings lullabies nearly every evening to her own boys, now ages 5 and 8.

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