Kevin Brown, Double Bass
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.
Alice Hamlet, Cello
Ms. Alice Hamlet earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Cello Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Her instructors include Robert Marsh, Richard Aaron, Marion Feldman and Julius Berger and chamber music instructors Laurie Carney, Dan Ashalomov, Dan Epstein, Curt Macomber, Jeffrey Cohen and Gerald Robbins.
Ms. Hamlet’s performances have included solo, orchestral and chamber music throughout the United States and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, the Cathedral St. John the Divine, Alice Tully Hall, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and Teresa Carreño Theater in Caracas. She traveled to Puerto Rico in 2011 to perform and record at Univision Puerto Rico as principal cellist with Cantico Nuevo. Featured as an on-stage performer in the Off Broadway production of La Poeta y La Compositor in 2010, she returned to the same theater to perform in La Llarona in 2012. Ms. Hamlet frequently performs with American Opera Projects, including a 2012 performance of David Del Tredici’s Haddock’s Eyes in which Del Tredici described her performances as “beautifully played.”
A prolific studio recording musician, Ms. Hamlet has recorded for over a hundred indie bands and singer songwriters and on the soundtrack for the 2013 Steven Soderbergh film Side Effects. She is the founder and director of NYC-based Ten Strings Music Studio and maintains a private teaching studio as well as serving on the faculty of Wharton Music Center where she teaches cello and music theory.
Mikhail Kuchuk, Violin
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. His teachers have included Alexander Stanko, Wolfgang Marschner, and Felix Gottlieb. 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 was a concertmaster of Odessa Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra where he toured as a soloist in Germany, Italy, and France. He also held a full-time position at 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.
He performs regularly in the tri-state area and throughout the Unites States. Since 2004, Mr. Kuchuk has been a member of Tito Castro Tango Quartet and has participated in concerts with Anna Saeki in New York, Hawaii, Korea, and Japan. Mr. Kuchuk appeared as solo violinist on Broadway in the production of Forever Tango and has appeared as a soloist 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 a concertmaster of the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra and St. Peters by the Sea Symphony Orchestra, as well as a member of Adelphi University Orchestra, Edison Symphony, Princeton Symphony and Garden State Philharmonic. As an educator, Mr. Kuchuk teaches violin at Wharton Music Center and maintains a large private studio.
Brittney Leghorn, Cello and Violin
Brittney Leghorn began her musical studies at the age of 10. During her high school years she attended the Salem County Music Academy where she studied under principal cellist of the Bay- Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Stephen Goodnight. Brittney is the winner of the 2009 SJBODA scholarship, as well as an alumna of the Rowan Youth Orchestra, South Jersey Regional Orchestra, and South Jersey Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Leghorn holds a Bachelor of Music from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University where she studied cello under principal cellist of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Jonathan Spitz. As well as teaching cello and violin at the Wharton Music Center, Ms. Leghorn teaches orchestra full time in the Edison Public Schools and maintains a private studio.
When Ms. Leghorn is not teaching she enjoys freelancing throughout the tristate area. Recent projects include collaborations with the Joe Gattuso Band and recording with singer-song writer Ian Flanigan. Ms. Leghorn aspires to continue her education and earn a Masters of Music Education.
Halina Listopad, Violin
Halina Listopad received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Violin Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and Suzuki Certification from the School for Strings in New York. Violin studies include chamber music with Carroll Glenn, Stanley Bednar, Louis Behrend, Paul Zukovsky, Arianna Bronne and Lillian Fuchs. Ms. Listopad received extensive training and certification in music, drama, yoga and Nada yoga with Dr. Louise Montello, Gertrud Schattner, and yoga master Yogiraj Nanak. Certifications include the New School for Social Research, Integral Yoga Institute , and Adhyatmic Sadhana Yoga Kendra in New Delhi.
Based on these Eastern and Western approaches to music, movement, expression and sound, Ms. Listopad has devised a holistic therapeutic approach to help expand awareness and sensitivity to music and sound, improve concentration, and make music-learning a more practical and fun experience.
Ms. Listopad received a Fulbright Music Research Grant to study in India and acted as music critic for the Hindustan Times. Ms. Listopad is currently transcribing and collaborating in the English translation of Raga Rahasya (Secret of Ragas) by renowned Hindustani vocalist and musicologist Sulochana Brahaspati.
As well as teaching at Wharton Music Center, Ms. Listopad is a faculty member at the Lucy Moses School, Integral Yoga Institute, Bloomingdale Music School, and Harlem School of the Arts.
Aurora Mendez, Violin
Born and raised in New York City, Aurora Mendez began her violin studies at the age of four. After relocating to South America, she became an active member of the national youth orchestra movement of Chile and began her formal musical studies at the University of Chile. While in Santiago, Ms. Mendez won numerous scholarships and principal orchestral positions including the Concertmaster position of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, principal second violin of the Chilean Municipal Theater Chamber Orchestra, and the National Talent Award. Ms. Mendez has traveled the world to perform with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Chile. She has performed in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, and most recently, China. Ms. Mendez has performed in master classes for Ida Kavafian, Martin Chalifour, Rachel Barton-Pine, Paavo Järvi, Ray Chen, Markus Stockhausen, and the Latin American Quartet.
Elizbieta Winnicki, Violin
Ms. Elzbieta Winnicki has been teaching violin and has served as Chair of the String Department at WMC for fifteen years. Many of her students have received awards at violin competitions. Ms. Winnicki teaches privately, group, and coaches chamber ensembles. Since 1988, she has served as an active chamber and orchestral coach for the New Jersey Youth Orchestra.
Mrs. Winnicki’s past teaching experience includes the Hudson School for the Gifted, the Mustard Seed School in Hoboken, and nearly a quarter-century of private studio teaching. She holds a degree in Violin Performance and Music Education from the Academy of Music in Wrocław, Poland. She continued violin studies in the United States with Masako Yanagita, Oscar Ravina of the New York Philharmonic, and Burton Kaplan.
She has attended several teaching workshops and seminars at the Hartt School of Music, Juilliard School of Music, the Starling-DeLay Symposium, and the American String Teachers Association Conference.
Her professional engagements include concerts as a soloist and chamber musician at Wharton Music Center, the Kosciuszko Foundation, and the Polish Cultural Foundation. Her orchestral experiences include Riverside Symphonia, New Jersey Philharmonic, St. Peters by the Sea Orchestra, Montclair Chamber Orchestra, Szczecin Symphony Orchestra in Poland, among others. She has performed in major concert halls in New York and New Jersey including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and NJPAC. She has toured Italy, Germany, and South Korea and has performed at the Spoleto Festival in Italy as well as the Bedford Spring Festival in Pennsylvania.