Private Vocal Instructor/ Vocal Class Instructor
Soprano Kendra Berentsen is a resident of New York City Berentsen is 2017 Merola Artist at San Francisco Opera Center. Currently a student of Marlena Malas, Deborah Birnbaum, and Diana Soviero. She was featured in The Schwabacher Summer Concert as Baby Doe in Ballad of Baby Doe and will also cover Serpina in La Serva Padrona for the Triple Bill in 2017. Kendra's most recent credits have been Adele in Die Fledermaus, Frasquita (cover) in Carmen, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Juliette in Romeo et Juliette, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. A native of Portland, Oregon Kendra recieved her BM and MM from Eastman School of Music. Eastman Opera Theater featured Kendra in principal roles in Il Matrimonio Segreto, Turn of the Screw, The Impresario, Cabaret, and Manon in the 2010 Opera Gala.
Kendra has also participated in Joan Dornemann’s International Vocal Arts Institute in Montréal and Blacksburg, VA. Her coaches include Yelena Kurdina, Valery Ryvkin, Chuck Hudson, and David Holkeboer.
Kendra most recently was on faculty as Professor of Voice at Concordia College in Bronxville, NY and a secondary instructor at the Eastman School of Music. This is Kendra’s first year of Reaching for the Arts. She also has a private studio in New York City.
Mixed Media/Visual Arts Director
Meg Hood knew she was an aspiring artist and art lover from the minute she picked up her first Crayola. She has degrees in Studio Art and Art History. Meg has participated in art shows and has taught different art mediums to students. Meg has taught ELA middle school for ten years and knows the struggle students have in their core subjects. The activities that made Meg enjoy school and feel successful while being creative were painting, photography and playing the violin to name a few.
The arts were more in abundance when she was in middle school and so Meg sees that her students do not get the same offerings. She noticed that many of them become their best when exposed to creativity. Meg's goal is to assist those students that want a career in the arts by giving them an opportunity to compete for the same specialty schools as their advantaged counterparts in our amazing city.
Michael Raymond Massound
Michal Raymond Massoud
Michal Raymond Massoud is a composer, conductor, electric bassist, and educator based in New York City. He organizes frequent concerts on the New York scene and is co-founder and co-artistic director of Amalgama. In recent compositional projects, Michal has turned his attention to what he describes as an aesthetic of fluidity. This can be found, for example, in notational devices (where gestures are notated in short-hand and with frequent use of verbal descriptions), but also in the incorporation of varying degrees of improvisation.
Michal has recently appeared at festivals such as Domaine Forget and the Conservatoire Américain de Fontainebleau, where he was awarded multiple prizes. Michal has studied composition at McGill University with Chris Paul Harman, Jean Lesage, and Brian Cherney; at Boston University with Joshua Fineberg and Richard Cornell; and recently earned his Doctorate from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, studying with Hans Thomalla and Jay Alan Yim.
A graduate from Manhattan School of Music, New York City based coach/accompanist Kathryn Olander is currently on the musical staff of recently revived New York City Opera. In past years she has served as assistant conductor with and as rehearsal pianist with many opera companies including Sarasota Opera, Kentucky Opera, Sacramento Opera, Dicapo Opera Theatre, Porgy and Bess Theatre. Chattanooga Symphony/Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Emerald City Opera, and Mobile Opera.
In addition to her private coaching studio Ms. Olander has held coaching positions with the Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Chautauqua Institute School of Music and served as musical director of the Indianapolis Opera Ensemble, a program devoted to developing up and coming talent. She was on inaugural faculty for the resident artists at Emerald City Opera and returned for four more seasons. She has also musically directed many productions for Dicapo Opera Theatre's productions for children. An avid recitalist she has concertized throughout North America and Mexico including such venues as Weil Concert Hall at Carnegie Hall. With recital partner vocalist Elena Armijo she performed multiple programs with the prestigious golden key society.
Ms. Olander is fascinated with contemporary opera and was recently honored to be on musical staff for the premier of Thomas Pasatieri’s “God Bless us Everyone” and revised “The Seagull” as well as the European premier of Tobias Picker’s “Emmeline” for which she also played the piano part with the orchestra.
This season she continues to musically direct and perform with New York City Opera's abridged production of Carmen which has performances in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and is looking forward to performing a program of Russian music with soprano Lori Phillips and mezzo soprano Mary Phillips.
Strings Instructor/Private Violin Instructor
A Chicago native, violinist/violist Lena Vidulich is a bold and multi-faceted performer based in New York City. She is a committed supporter of new music, and has worked with composers including Nina C. Young and Reiko Füting, among others. She is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Amalgama and performs regularly with TACTUS (NYC) and earspace (Raleigh, NC). In 2017, Lena was a member of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Academy.
Lena holds a Bachelor of Music in violin performance, with a minor in French, from Northwestern University, where she was a student of Gerardo Ribeiro and studied chamber music with the Dover Quartet, Desirée Ruhstrat, and Mathias Tacke. Her education also included studies with Alexis Galpérine at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris and Université de Paris 8 – Vincennes-St Denis. Lena is the string instructor for Reaching for the Arts and is an active practitioner of the Alexander Technique. Lena is currently pursuing her master’s degree in contemporary violin performance at the Manhattan School of Music, where she is a recipient of the President’s Award in the studio of Curtis Macomber.
Private Lesson Instructor
Arthi Nandakumar is a junior Classical Vocalist at the Manhattan School of Music working towards a Bachelor of Music degree. Having grown up all over the world, she has been exposed to many art forms and truly believes in their importance in people’s lives especially in the younger years. Arthi was granted her first teaching opportunity her senior year of high school where she directed/conducted her school’s Intermediate Choir and brought them to District and State competitions. She also headed her school’s Solo/Ensemble Festival where she coached and taught kids how to perform as soloists rather than ensemble singers. It was here that she fell in love with teaching and the joy of spreading knowledge. She takes absolute pride in her students and feels incredibly grateful to those who have given her an opportunity to pursue her passion in teaching.
Arthi has studied at the Texas Music Festival as well as Classic Lyric Arts where she performed in scenes from The Mikado (Yum-Yum), L’incoronazione di Poppea (Poppea), L’italiana in Algeri (Zulma) and L’Ormindo (Sicle). Last year, she was also casted as Gretel in MSM’s Sophomore Opera Scenes from Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel. Arthi’s greatest wish in life is to help spread her passion for music and inspire others to do the same.
A passionate music educator, Bridget has been proud to present young singers is a variety of ways. She is the music instructor for St. Joseph’s School Yorkville in New York teaching music for grades Kindergarten to 8. She also works as a regular music teacher with the Education Through Music program in schools throughout New York City. Ms. Hogan is also teaches voice, children’s choir and drama and Wonderray School in Westfield, New Jersey.She has served as Music Director for Children and youth choirs in New Jersey, New York and Toronto. Bridget has been thrilled to direct musical revues and plays in New Jersey, New York and San Diego, and continues to find interesting ways to promote the talents of children and youth. She maintains her private studio in New York and a full performing schedule internationally. Many of her students have performed as members of prominent choral ensembles including the Princeton Girls’ Choir, the Amadeus Choir in Toronto and the Toronto Children’s Choir. She has been proud to watch her students of all make debuts in school plays, community theater and in Broadway Theatres. Bridget hold a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, Bachelor of Vocal Performance from the University of Windsor and intensive vocal training from the Janacek Academy in Brno, Czech Republic.
Both as a teacher, Ms. Hogan embraces all forms of music. Using a good foundation of classical technique, Ms. Hogan guides her students through singing music of their choice alongside classical standard works. Her students enjoy singing Broadway, pop, R&B and jazz alongside more traditional repertoire. Ms. Hogan is proud to have a wide variety of successful students, from adults discovering their voice, to students preparing for school auditions, to working actors and singers. She is proud to have prepared students to attend many colleges and universities, as well as performing arts high schools.