BERKELEY HEIGHTS—Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) presents a Spring faculty concert featuring some of its talented staff on Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights. The concert is free and open to the public.
The concert includes two world premieres: John Centenaro’s Quintet for Flute and Clarinets performed by faculty member Carlyn Smith along with flutist Leslie Pruess and clarinetists Dimitry Chernavsky, Joe Elliott, and John Centenaro, and the second and third movements of Dmitri Korneev’s Violin Sonata with the composer at the piano and faculty member Mikhail Kuchuk, violin. The program also features performances by faculty members Timothy Maureen Cole, soprano; Christine Cuiffreda, piano; Rob Heinink, guitar; Adrienne Ostrander, percussion; Kristen Wuest, flute; and Luba Vasilyeva, piano.
Soprano Timothy Maureen Cole holds a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College and a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Ithaca College, and has been teaching voice, musical theater, and piano since 2007. She holds certification in Early Childhood Music Education from Kindermusik International, and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. In addition to private and group instruction, Cole has collegiate teaching experience at Horry Georgetown Technical College and James Madison University. A coloratura soprano, Cole has extensive performance experience in classical and music theater repertoire. Recent performances include Aics and Galatea (Damon), Elixir of Love (Adina), Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart, and Scarlatti’s La Giuditta. Music Theater performances include: Kiss Me Kate, Anything Goes, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Once Upon A Mattress, and My Favorite Year. Cole has worked backstage in theater for many years building sets, organizing props, costumes, and schedules at Westminster Choir College from 2008-2010, and later as an assistant director at James Madison University Opera. She has also staged and musically directed several youth theater summer productions and programs, most recently, Honk Jr. in 2015.
Pianist Christine Ciuffreda has performed extensively throughout the New York metropolitan area as a soloist and accompanist. She received the First Prize Award of the Piano Teacher’s Society of America in 1997 and subsequently has been a consistent prize winner in numerous competitions including the Young Pianist Competition of New Jersey, Music Educators Association of New Jersey, International Concert Alliance, Cecilian Music Club of Freehold, and New Jersey Music Teachers Association. She was both a finalist and winner in the Chinese American Cultural Association Competition and the Steinway Society Scholarship Competition.
In 2000, Ciuffreda participated in the Musica in Laguna, Italy Festival, where she made her orchestral debut with the Giavane Sinfonietta Clodiense under the direction of Roberto Boarini. She was awarded the Silver Prize in the festival’s International Piano Concerto Competition. Ms. Ciuffreda has additionally participated in the Steger Cultural Exchange Institute where she received the pre-college Award for Outstanding Performance. She has performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Steinway Hall, The Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, and the World Financial Center. Most recently, Miss Ciuffreda earned the silver medal in the American Protégé International Concerto Competition of 2013. A native of South Korea, Ciuffreda began piano in 1993 at the Mercy Conservatory of Music in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. She pursued piano performance at the College of Charleston on the Tate International Piano Scholarship. She has studied with Sister Mary Sharon Gross, Yelena Ivanov, Beatrice Long, and Enrique Graf.
Rob Heinink attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied guitar with Bill Leavitt, Pat Metheny and John Damien. As a freelance musician, Heinink has worked with The Drifters, Del Shannon, The Marvelettes, Chuck Berry, The Crystals, Leslie Gore, and Tiny Tim. He has appeared in recordings, Off Broadway shows, as well as the European tour of Hair and productions of Tommy, Big River, Fiddler on the Roof and Grease. He also writes and collaborates with others making original music. From 1994 to 2000, Heinink was the guitarist for The Royal Scam, a Steely Dan tribute band, and during that time was hired by Hal Leonard Music Corporation to write a guitar transcription book, The Best of Steely Dan. He composed and recorded the national radio jingle P-TOUCH for Brother International Corporation with Corey Glover from the rock band Living Colour. Heinink teaches private guitar lessons in all styles at Wharton’s Performing Arts School and the Paterson Music Project. Two of his students have performed at Carnegie Hall as part of the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program.
Violinist Mikhail Kuchuk graduated from the Academy of Music in Odessa, Ukraine and completed his Master of Music and Doctorate of Music degrees in Freiburg, Germany. Mr. Kuchuk was a winner of the Ukrainian National Violin Competition in 1990, Carl Flesch Violin Competition (Hungary) in 1993, and the Baden Wurtemberg Violin Competition (Germany) in 1996. Other awards included receiving the David Oistrakh Scholarship in Odessa, Ukraine and the Rosenberg Foundation’s Scholarship in Freiburg, Germany. Mr. Kuchuk served as concertmaster of Odessa Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, where he toured as a soloist in Germany, Italy, and France, and held a full-time position with the Odessa Opera House. Since 1999, Mr. Kuchuk has been a member of the Forte String Quartet, quartet-in-residence at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and has appeared as soloist on Broadway in the production of Forever Tango, as well as with the Manhattan Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, the Westchester Chamber Orchestra, St Peter’s by the Sea Symphony Orchestra, and the Bachanalia Chamber Orchestra. Presently he is concertmaster of the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra and St. Peters by the Sea Symphony Orchestra and a member of Adelphi University Orchestra, Edison Symphony, Princeton Symphony and Garden State Philharmonic.
Timpanist and Percussionist Adrienne Ostrander graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University School of Music. She has studied with George Gaber, Roland Kohloff, and Buster Bailey. As the timpanist and percussionist with Solid Brass, Ostrander has performed throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico and has made numerous recordings. She has performed on Broadway in Into the Woods and Sunday in the Park with George. In New Jersey, Ostrander has performed in several productions at the Papermill Playhouse in Millburn. She regularly performs with the Princeton Symphony, Westminster Choir College, Plainfield Symphony, and Sinfonietta Nova. Her festival performances have taken place in Greece, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Yugoslavia, France, and Cuba. Ostrander has coached the New Jersey Youth Symphony and New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra and is on the faculty of Stokes Music Camp. She performs educational concerts in schools with Young Audiences of New Jersey, Solid Brass, The New Philharmonic of New Jersey, Arts Horizons, Arts Alive, and BRAVO! Ms. Ostrander is a member of the award winning Rampant Lion Bagpipe Band of Basking Ridge, NJ.
Clarinetist Carlyn Smith earned her Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she studied clarinet with George Waln. She spent a year abroad studying at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria with clarinetist Alois Heine. Smith has been a featured soloist with the Mountain Lakes Symphony, Hanover Wind Symphony, and the Plainfield Symphony. She has taught instrumental music in the Morris School District and in local parochial schools. She has also performed numerous recitals, concerts and accompanied as a pianist. In addition to serving on the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts faculty, Smith maintains a private teaching studio.
Kristen Wuest, a New Jersey Youth Symphony alumna who served as principal flute for two years, has been playing the flute since the age of nine. She performed with the New Jersey Youth Symphony in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in May 2003. Wuest attended master classes with world renowned Julius Baker, Jan Vinci, Jeffrey Khaner, Bart Feller, and Paul Edmund Davies. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and a Master of Music in Flute Performance at The School of Music, Dance, and Theater at New Jersey City University where she studied under Katherine Fink. While at Rutgers University, Wuest studied under Kaoru Hinata and was a member of the Grammy-nominated Rutgers Wind Ensemble.
Pianist Luba Vasilyeva began studies at the Scriabin Music School of the Arts at the age of six and continued with pianist Lubov Pevzner at the Mussorgsky School where she received her Bachelor of Music degree with honors. She performed at the Great Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg Capella and participated in numerous master classes including those of pianists Natalia Trull, Tatiana Kravchenko. Vasilyeva earned her Master of Music degree studying with Vasily Kalmykov and Sergey Urivaev. She performed a series of piano recitals at the Great Conservatory Hall and participated in numerous chamber music ensembles. In 1999, Vasilyeva and her family immigrated to the United States where she became a faculty member and accompanist at Montclair State University. She also joined the faculty of Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts where she continues to teach and perform today. Vasilyeva is an active concert pianist and chamber musician. She has appeared in solo performance at the Millburn Library, Hinman Hall (West Caldwell), Montclair Women’s Club, Watchung Arts Center, Montclair Congregational Church, The Unitarian Church in Summit, Steinway Hall (NYC), and Wharton’s Library Concert Series.
The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ mission is to provide the highest quality performing arts education to a wide range of students in a supportive and inclusive environment, where striving for personal excellence inspires and connects those we teach to the communities we serve.
Wharton is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving over 1,400 students through a range of classes and ensembles including the 14 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony which serve 500 students in grades 3 - 12. Beginning with Early Childhood music classes for infants and toddlers, WIPA offers private lessons, group classes and ensembles for all ages and all abilities. We believe in the positive and unifying influence of music and the performing arts and believe that arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay. We teach all instruments and voice and have a robust musical theatre program.
The Paterson Music Project is Wharton’s El Sistema-inspired program held at the Community Charter School of Paterson and Paterson Public School 1/26. Students receive 6 hours of intensive music instruction each week with the goal of creating social change through the ambitious pursuit of musical excellence.
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 13 counties. All of WIPA’s extraordinary faculty members and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best.