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Joria Productions Now at Theatre Row: Home of West Side Dance Project & City Music Schools

Music Teachers Bios

Alan Aurelia     Brass, Woodwinds, Piano, Strings, Percussion

As a concert performer, Mr. Aurelia has played under Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Feidler, and with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra. He has appeared at Alice Tully Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Symphony Space, and the Bottom Line. He has appeared on television in both the US and Europe including a PBS nationwide broadcast, and most recently on Manhattan cable TV with Effie the Elephant, (a children’s show). Mr. Aurelia is the founding conductor of the Staten Island Ballet Orchestra, and guest conductor of the NY Symphonic Arts Ensemble. He has worked with Benny Goodman, Isaac Stern, Midori, Ray Charles, and F. Murray Abraham. Mr. Aurelia holds a BA and an M.F.A. from the Univ. of Conn. and has been teaching for NYSM/CMS since 1976.


Arlette Beauchamps,     Voice

Arlette Beauchamps began her singing career at the age of 15 touring with top 40’s bands throughout Europe. At age 19, she got her first taste of musical theater in the Los Angeles productions of “Evolution of a Woman” staring Nichele Nicols from the original Star Trek series, and at the same time she discovered Jazz. She has been hooked on both ever since. Her credits include performances at Opryland USA, Foxwoods Casino, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, SeaEscape Cruise Lines, Dance Theater of Harlem (Music Series), and for TOHO Entertainment in Japan. She has worked with such greats as Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane, and Jothan Callins. According to his manager, Arlette was the only other singer Hugh Martin insisted upon personally playing piano for since working with and writing songs for one of the greatest singers of our time, Judy Garland, (“Meet Me In St. Louis”). Jazz buffs describe her style as reminiscent of an era when “golden-throated singers invested in good songs and simple arrangements and then trusted their voice. Beauchamps sounds comfortable wrapping herself around her heavyweight song list. Every line she sings in sharp and distinct. Listeners can understand each and every word”.  Arlette Beauchamp’s Albums include: Love Again on Renesants Records Label (2001) and Windmills on the Renesants Record label.


Jason Benjamin,  Horns, guitar, drums, piano. 
Jason Benjamin is a multi-instrumentalist, professional trumpeter, and bandleader with 20 years of experience in a variety of music.  He is currently the leader of the Red Hook Ramblers dixieland jazz band, the Music Minister of Greenpoint Reformed, and studying toward a Masters degree in musicology at Hunter College.  Jason has studied classical and jazz trumpet since 1986 and has been a guitarist, keyboardist, singer, drummer, bassist and songwriter in numerous rock bands since 1990.

John Blaylock      Guitar, Bass

Mr. Blaylock began studying guitar at the age of eight and went on to perform hard rock, progressive (art) rock, and jazz with numerous N.Y. bands including Castleton, Tasmanian Pig Fever, and The Kingsmen. A graduate of Brooklyn College, he recently resumed work on a revised score for John Gay’s “The Beggar’s Opera”.


Marion Brown     Saxophone, Classical Guitar, Piano (currently on leave)

City Music Schools is pleased by the return of Marion Brown to our teaching staff. Well known by jazz fans as one of the premier saxophonists of the post-Coltrane era, Mr. Brown made his recording debut in 1964 with 2 classic releases, (“Quartet” and “Why Not”), for ESP records. Shortly thereafter he appeared on John Coltrane’s landmark recording, “Ascension”. Mr. Brown has gone on to record, teach, and tour all over the world. Subsequent recordings of exceptional greatness include; “Three for Shepp”, “Juba-Lee”, “Afternoon of a Georgia Faun”, and a series of duets with Gunther Hampel. Mr. Brown has served on the faculties of Wesleyan & Brandeis Universities, Bowdoin College; Yale’s Caild Study Center, and the Weltmusik Institute of Hamburg. Mr. Brown holds an M.A. in music from Wesleyan University. Beginners as well as the most advance students are welcome to take advantage of learning from this acknowledged master.


Veronica Burke     Voice/Vocal Therapist (currently on leave)

Veronica received her Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, her Bachelors Degree in Music and Education at Carlow College, her Music Theater training at Carnegie Mellon University and Theater certification Program at Ohio State University. She is the winner of the West Side Institutional Synagogue Young Artists Award and First Place Winner of the Rina Telli Vocal Competition. As a performer, Ms. Burke has premiered more than 30 music works, including 5 compositions written specifically for her talents.


John DeBlass     Guitar, Bass, Piano

As co-director of City Music Schools, Mr. DeBlass draws on his extensive experience as teacher, musician, and conductor. Mr. DeBlass is an accomplished string performer who spent the early part of his career playing in everything from hard rock bands to symphony orchestras. A former guest conductor with the Hazleton Philharmonic Orch., Mr. DeBlass is also a Musical Theater Director and Choreographer with more than 75 productions to his credit.


Matt Goldberg        Voice, Piano, Guitar 
Matt is a graduate of the University of Miami Frost School of Music with a Bachelors in Musical Theatre.  He is an active songwriter and musician and has worked as a musical director and accompanyist on many theatrical productions.  He has played piano for 17 years and guitar for 8 and has also ghost written for various shows such as Reconstructing Mama, which appeared two years ago in the Fringe Festival.

Kung-Wei Lin,     violin, viola, cello, piano


Beth Price           Piano, Voice, Bass, Strings
Beth Price received her Master's in Music from the Longy School of Music and her B. A. from Bennington College. Her work has been commissioned and performed in Boston, Rochester, Ny and most recently for the Julliard School in New York City. Beth is alo a regular instrumentalist for the Off-Broadway circut and bass player for the national touring country band, The Havens. She is co-founder of the new works ensemble, Brooklyn Emerging Artists and Program Director of Brooklyn Emerging Artists Rock Camp, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to spreading new music to Brooklyn's youth.

Leenya Rideout       Voice, Violin, Guitar, Mandolin (currently on leave)

Ms. Rideout makes her living in Musical Theater (original cast , currently “Lulu” in the current Broadway revival of Cabaret, and the only violinist on the original cast recording.). Recent off-Broadway credits include Yiddle with a Fiddle, Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show, and Cowgirls. She has performed in regional theaters across the country as well as cruise ships, industrials, and an international tour of My Fair Lady. Leenya started violin lessons at the age of 4 and studied with such teachers as Oswald Lehnert. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Music in opera performance, where she studied voice and vocal pedagogy with Dr. Barbara Dosher and Suzuki string pedagogy with William Starr. While at C. U. she studied acting, Italian, German, and French, as well as participating in orchestras, chamber music ensembles, choirs, and a -capella groups. Leenya’s vocal technique includes fundamentals in classical, legit singing styles with an understanding of music and text that can withstand 8 shows a week and be transferred to pop, belt, jazz, or rock styles. This technique as well as her songwriting is exemplified on her recent debut album “Phoenix”, for more info. visit the web site at Leenya.com.


Erich Rausch,     voice, piano, sax, clarinet

Erich Rausch is the recipient of the prestigious Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award for musical direction of Once on this Island. He has worked on over 400 productions as a composer, arranger, music director, stage manager, director, and actor, with excellent notices in Newsday, The Village Voice, and The New York Times. He was accepted into The Mannes College of Music for clarinet studies, and into The Manhattan School of Music as a theory major. He was the lat student to live and study piano with Isabelle Sant’Ambrogio, a student of Alexander Siloti, student of Listz. He was also the last student trained to teach singing by Henry Rosenblatt, son of the famed cantor Yosselle Rosenblatt. He began as an intern for the late Rosetta LeNoire at Amas Theater, as a composer for The East Harlem Music School where he studied percussion, dance, jazz with the late Charlie Palmierim and portry with the late Rumanian writer Mihai Eres.


Chanelle Schaffer          Voice/Piano  (currently on leave)

Chanelle is a graduate of Stanford University, and the MFA program at American Conservatory Theater. She has performed nationally and internationally as a vocalist, pianist, and actress. Her theatrical credits include leading roles at American Conservatory Theater, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and San Jose Civic Light Opera. She is the recipient of a Hewlett Foundation Grant and a Dramalouge Award for Outstanding Achievement.in Performance. She spent 8 years on staff in the Music Dept. at Stanford as the principal vocal accompanist, and 6 years as Music Director of historic Judson Memorial Church in NYC. Chanelle is a former faculty member at ACT and AMDA, where she taught Voice, Musical Theater, and Cabaret Performance. Her students have performed in film, television, on Broadway, and on American Idol, and include ‘Dreamgirl’/Tony winner Anika Noni Rose


Maria Zannieri      Co-Director

A graduate of Adelphi University, Ms. Zannieri is also director of the West Side Dance Project School and co-director of WSDP Dance Company. As a Musical Theater Director/Choreographer, her credits include such shows as Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate”, Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance” and Stephen Schwartz’s “Pippin”. A dancer, actress, and singer herself, she has performed at Symphony Space, NY Theater Ensemble and in various regional and stock theaters.

Matt Goldberg        Voice, Piano, Guitar 
Matt is a graduate of the University of Miami Frost School of Music with a Bachelors in Musical Theatre.  He is an active songwriter and musician and has worked as a musical director and accompanyist on many theatrical productions.  He has played piano for 17 years and guitar for 8 and has also ghost written for various shows such as Reconstructing Mama, which appeared two years ago in the Fringe Festival.

Kung-Wei Lin,     violin, viola, cello, piano


Beth Price           Piano, Voice, Bass, Strings
Beth Price received her Master's in Music from the Longy School of Music and her B. A. from Bennington College. Her work has been commissioned and performed in Boston, Rochester, Ny and most recently for the Julliard School in New York City. Beth is alo a regular instrumentalist for the Off-Broadway circut and bass player for the national touring country band, The Havens. She is co-founder of the new works ensemble, Brooklyn Emerging Artists and Program Director of Brooklyn Emerging Artists Rock Camp, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to spreading new music to Brooklyn's youth.

Leenya Rideout       Voice, Violin, Guitar, Mandolin (currently on leave)

Ms. Rideout makes her living in Musical Theater (original cast , currently “Lulu” in the current Broadway revival of Cabaret, and the only violinist on the original cast recording.). Recent off-Broadway credits include Yiddle with a Fiddle, Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show, and Cowgirls. She has performed in regional theaters across the country as well as cruise ships, industrials, and an international tour of My Fair Lady. Leenya started violin lessons at the age of 4 and studied with such teachers as Oswald Lehnert. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Music in opera performance, where she studied voice and vocal pedagogy with Dr. Barbara Dosher and Suzuki string pedagogy with William Starr. While at C. U. she studied acting, Italian, German, and French, as well as participating in orchestras, chamber music ensembles, choirs, and a -capella groups. Leenya’s vocal technique includes fundamentals in classical, legit singing styles with an understanding of music and text that can withstand 8 shows a week and be transferred to pop, belt, jazz, or rock styles. This technique as well as her songwriting is exemplified on her recent debut album “Phoenix”, for more info. visit the web site at Leenya.com.


Erich Rausch,     voice, piano, sax, clarinet

Erich Rausch is the recipient of the prestigious Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award for musical direction of Once on this Island. He has worked on over 400 productions as a composer, arranger, music director, stage manager, director, and actor, with excellent notices in Newsday, The Village Voice, and The New York Times. He was accepted into The Mannes College of Music for clarinet studies, and into The Manhattan School of Music as a theory major. He was the lat student to live and study piano with Isabelle Sant’Ambrogio, a student of Alexander Siloti, student of Listz. He was also the last student trained to teach singing by Henry Rosenblatt, son of the famed cantor Yosselle Rosenblatt. He began as an intern for the late Rosetta LeNoire at Amas Theater, as a composer for The East Harlem Music School where he studied percussion, dance, jazz with the late Charlie Palmierim and portry with the late Rumanian writer Mihai Eres.


Chanelle Schaffer          Voice/Piano  (currently on leave)

Chanelle is a graduate of Stanford University, and the MFA program at American Conservatory Theater. She has performed nationally and internationally as a vocalist, pianist, and actress. Her theatrical credits include leading roles at American Conservatory Theater, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and San Jose Civic Light Opera. She is the recipient of a Hewlett Foundation Grant and a Dramalouge Award for Outstanding Achievement.in Performance. She spent 8 years on staff in the Music Dept. at Stanford as the principal vocal accompanist, and 6 years as Music Director of historic Judson Memorial Church in NYC. Chanelle is a former faculty member at ACT and AMDA, where she taught Voice, Musical Theater, and Cabaret Performance. Her students have performed in film, television, on Broadway, and on American Idol, and include ‘Dreamgirl’/Tony winner Anika Noni Rose


Maria Zannieri      Co-Director

A graduate of Adelphi University, Ms. Zannieri is also director of the West Side Dance Project School and co-director of WSDP Dance Company. As a Musical Theater Director/Choreographer, her credits include such shows as Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate”, Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance” and Stephen Schwartz’s “Pippin”. A dancer, actress, and singer herself, she has performed at Symphony Space, NY Theater Ensemble and in various regional and stock theaters.