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  Our Teachers    

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Kendra Berentsen

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.

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Meg Hood

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. 

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Kathryn Olander

Accompanist

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.
 

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Bridget Hogan

Choir Instructor

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.

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