MUSIC THEORY AND RECORDING ENGINEERING FACULTY

Joe DeVico, Recording Studio and Engineering Techniques

Joe DeVico grew up in Chatham and Madison, NJ, where he began playing both percussion and piano at a young age. He also became heavily interested in recording and opened his first studio to the public when he was 13 years old, recording local artists at no charge on his prized Tascam 388 8-track reel-to-reel recorder. After graduating from Madison High School, Mr. DeVico went on to study Jazz and Percussion Performance at Indiana University. After graduating, he moved back to New Jersey and began a successful performing and teaching career, working with area percussion and piano students and performing throughout the tri-state area, focused mainly on Big Band and small group jazz. As a drummer, Mr. DeVico has performed and toured with James Moody, Freddie Hubbard, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and many others. He was the drummer with Cecil’s Big Band featured on ABC’s Nightline. He is currently the drummer with The Jazz Lobsters and Asbury Fever and plays percussion with multiple artists and cabaret performances at New York clubs including Birdland and 54 Below.

Mr. DeVico never stopped recording, and shortly after finishing at Indiana University, he opened a commercial facility to allow jazz artists an affordable space to record their projects. During that time he began composing works for radio and TV. As a musician, recording engineer and composer, his original music can be heard on TBS, TLC, TeenNICK and We Networks and in national spots for clients including Coca-Cola and GE Capital. Mr. DeVico has spent the last eight years as an assistant to Grammy and Tony-winning arranger Don Sebesky, including multiple Broadway and Off-Broadway shows including Come Fly Away, Baby It’s You, Honeymoon In Vegas and An American in Paris.

Kevin Brown, Music Theory

Kevin Brown is adjunct professor of Double Bass and Music Theory/Aural Skills at Montclair State University and served as adjunct professor of Double Bass at Georgian Court College from 2003-2009. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies and Master of Music degree in Double Bass from the University of North Texas. Performances and recordings include the Staten Island Symphony, Metro Lyric Opera, Orchestra of St. Peter-by-the-Sea, New Jersey Pops, New Jersey Ballet, and the Richardson, Sherman and Wichita Falls Symphonies. He has appeared with Marvin Hamlisch, Regis Philbin, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the Drifters, as well as frequent productions at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse.

John DeMan, Music Theory

Percussionist John DeMan is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion from Montclair State University. He has taught percussion at Pequannock High School.

Diane Michaels, Music Theory

Diane Michaels has served as both the principal harpist with the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea since 1993, has played on Broadway in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and with the Queens Symphony, Metro Lyric Opera, the New York Verismo Opera Company, RTG Productions, the Garden State Philharmonic, and the Monmouth Symphony.  She has also performed with Tony Bennett at Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City and was a member of the All American College Orchestra at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center. Ms. Michaels has played aboard the QE2 and the Radisson Seven Seas Navigator, currently performs for tea at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, and has performed at New York’s most prestigious hotels and restaurants, including the Plaza Hotel, the Rainbow Room, the Waldorf-Astoria, the Ritz Carlton Hotel, and the Hilton at Short Hills.

Ms. Michaels is on the roster of Music for all Seasons, a non-profit organization through which she performs at numerous facilities including hospitals and shelters for victims of domestic abuse. She has toured with the New York Harp Ensemble in the United States and Italy and with the Paulson Harp Ensemble in New Jersey and Ireland. Ms. Michaels was a Masterwork Music and Arts Foundation Young Artist Recitalist and a four-time gold medallist in the harp division of the United Irish Counties of New York, Inc. Feis. As a winner of this competition, she appeared in the winners’ concert at Carnegie Recital Hall. She served as the President of the North Jersey Chapter of the American Harp Society 2008-2012, following four years as the Chapter secretary. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio, Ms. Michaels is on the faculty of the Wharton Music Center in Berkeley Heights. She also has published arrangements for harp ensemble and a book for beginning harp students.

Ms. Michaels received a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where she studied harp with Alice Chalifoux. She attended Interlochen Arts Academy, where she was a student of Joan Holland, and National Music Camp, both in Interlochen, Michigan, the Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden, Maine, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.

Joel Perry, Music Theory

Joel Perry, one of the premier guitarists and musicians of our time, has performed in over fifteen countries and in venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Garden State Arts Center, The Rainbow Room, Windows on the World, and the U.S. Department of State tour of West Africa with blues artist Johnny Copeland.

Mr. Perry has performed with such legendary artists as Papa John Creach, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Lavern Baker, Joni Mitchel, Herb Ellis, Rosemary Clooney, Leslie Gore, Margaret Whiting, Eddie Fischer, James Cotton, Percy France, Leon Thomas, Jimmy Dawkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Ken Peplowski and Al Hibbler.

He has recorded with Johnny Copeland and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and has three of his own CD releases: “Rainbow Skylight”, “Perry Airs”, and “Sonata to the Blues”. Mr. Perry holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, graduating magna cum laude, Master of Arts degree in Education from the University of Buffalo, Master of Arts Degree in Guitar Performance from Jersey City State University, and completed a Summer Fellowship at Northwestern University.

He is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the National Association of Jazz Educators, Music Educators National Conference, and American Choral Directors Association.

Kristen Wuest, Music Theory

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.

Ms. 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, Ms. Wuest studied under Kaoru Hinata and was a member of the Grammy-nominated Rutgers Wind Ensemble. She aspires to teach flute at the college level and has built a busy career in freelance performance.