Administrative Staff, Residential Staff, and Day Counselors.
Rebecca Charnow is Manhattan School of Music’s Director of Community Partnerships and Director of MSM Summer. Ms. Charnow also oversees the School’s dual degree program with Teachers College Columbia University. Since 2000, she has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses at Manhattan School of Music, including “Musician as Educator.” She has been a guest speaker at the New Zealand School of Music, Kobe College School of Music, Teachers College Columbia University, The Juilliard School, and the MENC National Conference.
Donna Galvan is the Assistant Director for Community Partnerships and MSM Summer at Manhattan School of Music. Donna graduated from St. John’s University magna cum laude with a BA in Psychology and a minor in music. She took an interest in the arts at an early age and along with learning flute and piano, Donna began dancing at the age of 6. Her dance studies began in her hometown of Park Ridge, New Jersey. Wanting to further her dance education she continued to study and grow at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in Manhattan.
Donna has performed in and choreographed numerous musicals and showcases at St. John’s University, Broadhollow Theatre, Broadway Blockbusters, and Cultural Arts Playhouse. Some of her credits include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, State Fair, Once Upon a Mattress, Wonderful Town, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Hair, Pippin, and Bye, Bye Birdie. She currently teaches dance for youth at a transitional family shelter in the Bronx, and is the dance teacher for Manhattan School of Music’s MSM Summer.
Karim Merchant, Head Counselor
I am one of the Head Counselors at MSM Summer. In addition to being a residential counselor, I teach jazz piano and theory. I am originally from London, England and currently live in California. My favorite ice cream flavors are Rocky Road & Double Chocolate. I look forward to seeing you at MSM Summer!
Heather Dahl, Head Counselor
I currently live in Chicago and look forward to returning to New York City every summer to live and work with talented people from all over the world! In addition to being a residential counselor, I teach clarinet and theory at MSM Summer. When I’m not busy teaching and performing, I love baking and doing yoga. My husband and I also enjoy traveling so much that we got married on a beach in Mexico!
Ashley DiFranza, Residential Counselor
I am a musical theater assistant director and I’m so excited to be returning to MSM Summer! I live in Boston, and love to direct and perform in productions in the city. In my spare time, I also enjoy writing, skiing, traveling to new places, and spending time with my family and friends!
Kayla Fuentes, Residential Counselor
I am originally from Starkville, Mississippi. I teach Acting at MSM Summer. I recently graduated with a master of music degree from Manhattan School of Music. Favorite past roles include Old Maid from Old Maid and the Thief, Madame Thenardier from Les Miserables, and Emma Goldman from Ragtime, I recently worked for The National Opera Center America as an Education Associate.
Remy Le Boeuf, Residential Counselor
I teach saxophone and composition at MSM Summer! As a residential counselor, I enjoy playing sports with the campers, talking about music, and offering impeccable wisdom! I live in Brooklyn, though I am from Santa Cruz, CA. In my spare time, I like foraging for mushrooms, reading literature, drinking espresso, playing basketball, watching football, and checking out new music. www.remyleboeuf.com
Sean Richey, Residential Counselor
Originally from Fresno, California, I am currently a performing artist and music educator living in New York City. I have also worked and performed frequently in Mumbia, India. I also play in a “video game music” cover band. I teach jazz guitar and lead the R & B ensemble at MSM Summer.
Raul Rios, Residential Counselor
Originally from Puerto Rico, I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in classical trumpet performance from the Mannes School of Music. Besides the trumpet, I am also a singer and have recorded children’s CDs and commercials in Spain and Puerto Rico. I have toured Puerto Rico as an actor in more than 200 performances at schools and colleges and I am bilingual in Spanish and English. I especially enjoy playing soccer with the students at MSM Summer!
Assata Alston began her musical theater studies at Camp MSM at Manhattan School of Music in 2008 when she was cast in a supporting role in Aladdin. In 2009, she returned and was cast as the lead role in Thoroughly Modern Millie. After performing in a master class with songwriter Jeanine Tesori, Assata was asked to perform at the American Songbook event at Lincoln Center in 2010. Later that year she was invited to sing for President Obama at PBS’ “Celebration of Broadway” event. When she was a sophomore in high school, she was accepted to the MSM Precollege Division for musical theatre. Assata graduated from the MSM Precollege Division in 2015 and is currently attending SUNY Fredonia majoring in musical theater and a minor in business. Her teachers include Giuseppe Spoletini and James Noble.
Rafael Betancourt is a frequent guest on concert stages around the world. Born in Venezuela, he earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with full scholarships at Florida International University (with Robert Davidovici) and Lynn University (with Elmar Oliveira and Stephen Majeske) respectively. In Germany he worked intensely with Professor Ida Bieler (Robert Schumann Hochschule Duesseldorf). He has performed in orchestras such as the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and Florida Grand Opera among others. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with artists from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra, and other major ensembles. He has given master classes in Europe and North and South America, and his students have won prizes in numerous competitions. http://www.betancourtviolin.com/rafael/
Trombonist Mark Broschinsky has been praised by the Rapid City Journal as a “true virtuoso on the instrument.” A zealous advocate of new music, he has commissioned numerous solo pieces, performs regularly with ensemble mise-en, and has appeared with New York-based ensembles Argento New Music Project, Talea Ensemble, and Tilt Brass. An active chamber musician, Mark is a founding member of the Guidonian Hand Trombone Quartet. The Hand has premiered numerous works and received grants from organizations such as Chamber Music America, the Barlow Foundation, and New Music USA. He has performed as a guest artist at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico and with numerous orchestras, including the Utah Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Britten-Pears Festival Orchestra in England and has also presented solo recitals at numerous universities including the University of California – Santa Barbara, Brigham Young University, and Capital University. Mark was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
Isaac Kaplan is a dedicated trombonist and music teacher in the New York area. Raised in Rossmoor and Long Beach, California, Isaac’s love of music ultimately brought him to New York City to continue his studies at Manhattan School of Music. As a freelance musician, Isaac has performed in a wide variety of settings and venues, including Central Park Summerstage, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Segerstrom Hall, and Carnegie Hall. He has had the privilege of performing with numerous artists, including George Porter Jr, Los Amigos Invisibles, Patrizio Buanne, and Michael McDonald. He also leads a jazz trio that performs frequently around the New York area.
Isaac also has a strong passion for teaching. He has been affiliated with the Precollege Division at Manhattan School of Music since 2007, jazz faculty as of 2012. He has been a member of the Camp MSM staff since 2011, working in a variety of roles including theory /ear training faculty, trombone faculty, and administrative responsibilities. Isaac maintains his own private teaching studio in New York. He holds Bachelor (’11) and Master (’13) degrees from Manhattan School of Music.
Described by the Los Angeles Times as having “irresistible verve, unpretentious directness, and fingers of steel,” pianist and composer Amir Khosrowpour “seeks out what is new and vital and delivers it with passion” (NY Concert Review). He recently toured Bulgaria, performing his original score to a puppet theater piece, as well as solo improvisational concerts. His keyboard duo, Corky Has a Band, released their second album, featuring prepared piano and electronics last year, and he is working on a solo album of improvisation to be released in early 2017. He works in the music department at The Horace Mann School and teaches at Camp MSM in the summer. Amir received his Bachelor’s of Music at University of Kansas, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees at Manhattan School of Music. He has been living and working as a professional musician in NYC for ten years. www.amirpiano.com
Alice Tsui started playing piano when she was four years old. She gave her first performance when she was seven years old and was awarded the Gold Medal of Excellence in the Brooklyn Technical High School Orchestra. At Manhattan School of Music where Alice studied piano, she was awarded the Eva Van Gelder Piano Scholarship; at NYU, Alice was awarded the Steinhardt Education Scholarship and the Eileen E. Zaglin Scholarship for Showing Exceptional Creativity and Promise in the Arts.
Alice has performed in the Interstudio Showcase in the Frederick Loewe Theatre, the Chopin Bicentennial Celebration in the Blackbox Theatre, the World Financial Center’s Chopin 200 Celebration, the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park for Sing for Hope, NYU’s Tutte Le Corde: Music after 1940, and in chamber ensemble recitals at Tenri Cultural Institute. Alice has played in the Kutztown University Summer Chamber Music Festival as well as the International Keyboard Institute & Festival. In May 2012, Alice won the American Music Teachers League Competition and performed in Carnegie Hall as part of the Young Musicians Concert.
Alice has studied with Mabel Tao, Maxim Anikushin, Maria Asteriadou, Miyoko Lotto, and Jose Ramon Mendez. Alice graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a Master of Arts in Music Education. Alice is the founding music teacher at P.S. 532 New Bridges Elementary, a new arts-integrated elementary school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where she established a general, vocal and instrumental music program. Alice is on piano faculty at Manhattan School of Music’s summer camp (Camp MSM). Alice also currently teaches private piano lessons to students of all ages and levels throughout the city. Alice is currently pursuing her doctorate in Music Education through Boston University. www.alicetsui.com
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