Kathleen Ditmer, French Horn

Kathleen Ditmer, Brass Faculty, Wharton Music Center NJ

Kathleen Ditmer began playing horn at an early age in the church.  She was awarded scholarship to the Hartford Conservatory and won the solo competition at age 14.  She joined the musician’s union at 17 to play next to her teacher, Andy Spearman with the Hartford and New Britain Symphonies. She attended Hartt College of Music studying with James Jacobs and Paul Ingraham then moved to Nashville, TN where she finished her BM while recording in the studios there, playing extra with the Nashville Symphony and shows at Opryland, USA with the help of her teacher there, Eberhard Ramm. She travelled to Europe for four months and was accepted by Gerd Seifert to the Musikhochschule in Berlin. Her Graduate Assistant studies at Florida State University included jazz arranging and assistant horn and trumpet instructor before finishing her MA degree at Western Illinois University.

Following graduation, Ms. Ditmer began a fruitful freelance career in New York City where she has played with such respected groups as American Ballet Theater, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. She can be heard on numerous TV and movie soundtracks, as well as Broadway shows including Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables.

Ms. Ditmer loves to share her knowledge, inspiration and passion for the horn in all genres of music. She started teaching as a camp counselor and went on to create free music programs in her community. She has taught for the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division and is presently on the faculty of Mason Gross School of the Arts,Rutgers University, Wharton Music Center and The Ridgewood Conservatory. She teaches privately in her West Orange, NJ home and in after school programs in the public schools.

Alyssa DiNapoli, Flute

Alyssa DiNapoli is a graduate of Montclair State University where she earned two Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Education and Flute Performance with a minor in dance. She also holds a Master of Music degree from Rutgers University (MLIS). Ms. DiNapoli combines her training in ballet, jazz, tap, and modern styles along with her education, performance, and library experience to present original programs focused on movement, music, and literacy in libraries and schools. She currently teaches 3rd-8th grade vocal and general music and performs in professional and community theater, dance, and music productions. Ms. DiNapoli is a long time volunteer with the Montclair State University Preparatory Center for the Arts and maintains a private flute studio.

Laura George, Flute

Laura George, Woodwind Faculty, Wharton Music Center NJ

The versatile career of flutist Laura George includes performances at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and on Broadway in My Fair Lady. Ms. George was a Young Artist Winner with the St. Louis Symphony, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

Chamber music performances at Lincoln Center include the International Bach Society, Opera Club of the Met, New York City Ballet Guild, and the Richard Morse Mime Theater. Her ensembles have also performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bargemusic, Channel 13, IBM Concert Series, Sony Plaza, French Embassy and Columbia University.

Ms. George has toured nationally for Columbia Artist and with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. In addition to performing on New York radio stations WQXR, WNCN, WBAI, and WNYC, she has been heard on two National Public Radio series and an intermission film feature on HBO.

 Ms. George has performed orchestrally with the St. Louis Symphony, St. Louis Municipal Opera Orchestra, New York Virtuosi, St. Lukes Chamber Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Broadway Pops Orchestra, Charles Ives Summer Symphony, Julius Grossman Orchestra, Queens Symphony, Queens Opera, Amor Artis, Westfield Symphony, Sacred Heart Cathedral Orchestra, Paper Mill Playhouse, New Jersey Pops, Wayne Chamber Orchestra, Virtuosi de Camera, Rutgers Summerfest Orchestra, New Philharmonic of New Jersey, Ars Musica Chorale, Oratorio Society of New Jersey and the New Jersey Choral Society.

Ms. George was a student of Julius Baker, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Gerardo Levy, Gerald Carey, Jacob Berg and Janet Scott. She holds a Certificat de Stage from L’Universite d’Ete in Nice, France. She holds a Master of Music degree in Music from Western Illinois University and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she graduated magna cum laude. She has been awarded recognition in Outstanding Young Women of America.

Ms. George has taught at the 92nd Street Y in New York City and as Adjunct Flute instructor at Kean University. She is the director of Encore Ensembles. Her groups have been sponsored in formal concerts, children’s concerts, residencies and master classes by Concert Artists Guild,  New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council of the Arts, South Carolina Arts Agency, Missouri State Arts Council, New Jersey State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ms. George has recorded for Sine Qua Non. She and harpist Beth Robinson have released their debut CD, The Enchantment of Flute and Harp.

Thomas Kamp, Trombone

Tom Kamp, Brass Faculty, Wharton Music Center NJ

Trombonist Thomas Kamp received his Bachelor of Music from Ithaca College and his Master of Music from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Kamp also pursued graduate studies at the St. Louis Conservatory of Music. In addition to serving on the faculty of Wharton Music Center, Mr. Kamp teaches in the Berkeley Heights Public School District and the Caldwell-West School District, as well as serving as Adjunct Trombone Instructor at Caldwell College.


Dave Schumacher, Saxophone

Chicago native Dave Schumacher has been a key player in the New York jazz scene for more than three decades, touring throughout the United States and internationally with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Art Blakely Big Band, T.S. Monk on Monk Ensemble, Nicholas Payton’s Louis Armstrong Tribute Big Band, and as an original member of the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra. Highlights of his international career include an appearance at Mount Fuji Jazz Festival in Japan with the Art Blakely Big Band.

Schumacher can be heard on nearly a dozen Columbia Records recordings with the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra and with such jazz greats as Lionel Hampton and Mel Torme. Mr. Schumacher received a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Performance from Rutgers University/Livingston College and a Master of Music in Jazz Performance from New Jersey City University.

Carlyn Smith, Clarinet and Saxophone

Carlyn Smith, Woodwind Faculty, Wharton Music Center NJ

Ms. Carlyn Smith earned her Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she studied clarinet with George Waln. She spent a year abroad studying at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria with clarinetist Alois Heine. Ms. Smith has been a featured soloist with the Mountain Lakes Symphony, Hanover Wind Symphony, and the Plainfield Symphony.

She has taught instrumental music in the Morris School District and in local parochial schools. She has also performed numerous recitals, concerts and accompanied as a pianist. In addition to serving on the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts  faculty, Ms. Smith maintains a private teaching studio.


Kristen Wuest, Flute

Kristen Wuest, Flute, Woodwinds & Brass Faculty, Wharton Music Center, NJ

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.