Professor of Music
Piano; Keyboard Studies Coordinator
David Witten – Website
Pianist David Witten has performed extensively in Europe, Russia and South America. As a 1990 Fulbright Scholar, he spent five months in Brazil. Witten has recorded piano music of various Latin American composers. Witten’s involvement in music has not been limited to performance. He is editor of Nineteenth-Century Piano Music: Essays in Performance and Analysis (Garland, 1997), which includes his landmark analytical study of the Chopin Ballades. Born in Baltimore, Witten studied at Peabody Conservatory and Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. His undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University led to a degree in Psychology. Later graduating with high honors from Boston University, he earned the DMA degree in piano performance. Witten is currently Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at the Cali School of Music at Montclair State University.
Mark Pakman‘s solo recitals and collaborations with other musicians have taken him throughout North America, Mexico, Russia and Europe. He performed at New York major concert halls and Richter Museum in Moscow, at a Mostly Mozart Festival pre-concert, Bard and Amati Festivals in New York State, Eighth International Cervantino Festival in Mexico, Musica Camerino Festivals in Italy and Bedford Springs Festivals in Pennsylvania. He also appeared on radio and TV. Mr. Pakman premiered compositions by Hayes Biggs and Alexander Zhurbin and wrote program notes for the Russian Disc and Consonance CD releases. A graduate of Moscow State Conservatory, Mr. Pakman has been on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music and Preparatory Division and 92nd Street Y School of Music. He serves on the board of the Leschetizky Association. He has judged numerous auditions and competitions including a scholarship competition at the Juilliard Preparatory Division. His students have won prestigious competition awards. Mr. Pakman has been working at Montclair State University since 1980.
Jazz Studies Coordinator
Professor of Jazz Studies
Oscar Perez – Website
Oscar Perez, a New York City native, has played in the musical groups of Phoebe Snow, Wycliffe Gordon, Christian McBride, Charenee Wade, Dave Stryker, Steve Turre, Eddie Allen and Don Braden. Oscar is also faculty at Montclair State University, Drew University, Manhattan School of Music and Jazz House Kids based in Montclair. He has been an educator through Carnegie Hall, the Kupferberg Center at Queens College and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
He is currently enrolled in the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Arts Doctoral program under the tutelage of Jim McNeely and Stefon Harris. Previous studies at the New England Conservatory, University of North Florida and Aaron Copland School of Music, gave him the opportunity to serve under the guidance of Danilo Perez, Michael Mossman, and Sir Roland Hanna, respectively. During his formative years he shared the stage with jazz legends Bunky Green, George Russell, Dianne Reeves and Curtis Fuller.
He is the recipient of the 2006 ASCAP/IAJE Commission in honor of Billy Strayhorn. Oscar’s group featuring Antonio Hart premiered the work at the 2007 International Association of Jazz Education Convention. He has also been commissioned to arrange music for Chick Corea, Regina Carter and the MSM Jazz Orchestra featuring Sean Jones. His critically acclaimed CD Afropean Affair, is the result of a New Works Grant by Chamber Music America for his septet Oscar Perez Nuevo Comienzo. He placed 2nd in the 2014 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition. His latest endeavor, Prepare a Place for Me, features Bruce Williams and is available through all media outlets.
Collegium Musicum, Director
Hsuan-Wen Chen, pianist and harpsichordist, is a native of Taiwan. She received her Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Music degree in Piano from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She also holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in harpsichord performance at Stony Brook University where she studied with Arthur Haas. Ms. Chen has been Assistant Director for the International Baroque Institute at Longy, Baroque Academy at Amherst Early Music Festival, and Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College. She is the artistic director of The Soul’s Delight, a period instrument chamber ensemble that seeks to explore the broad spectrum of music of the 17th and 18th century. As an active soloist and chamber music player, Ms. Chen has performed in the United States, Canada and Taiwan.
Praised for her “bountiful gifts and passionate immersion into the music she touches” (The Plain Dealer), pianist Fei-Fei Dong is a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition and a top finalist at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. She continues to build a reputation for her poetic interpretations, charming audiences with her “passion, piquancy and tenderness” and “winning stage presence” (Dallas Morning News), both in the US and internationally, including her native China.
Fei-Fei’s concert tours have taken her across the globe in concerto performances, recitals and chamber music collaborations alike. Recent projects include artist-in-residence with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic touring in Germany, a Carnegie Hall performance and tour of Spain with the New York Youth Symphony, a 19-city tour of China with her Aletheia Piano Trio, as well as concerto engagements with the Costa Rica National Symphony, Shenzhen Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Amarillo Symphony orchestras. Her 2022-23 season highlights include performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 at Lincoln Center with the Pegasus Symphony as well as performances of lesser-represented repertoire such as concertos by Leroy Anderson, Florence Price, Clara Schumann, and Xiaogang Ye.
Fei-Fei Dong was showcased prominently as a Cliburn finalist in the documentary film, Virtuosity, about the 2013 Cliburn Competition, which premiered on PBS in August 2015. Deeply committed to sharing her joy for music and connecting with communities, Fei-Fei also engages students and community audiences through frequent school and outreach concerts and masterclasses. Born in Shenzhen, Fei-Fei began piano lessons at the age of 5. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she studied with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky, and is currently pursuing a Doctoral of Musical Arts degree with pianist Yefim Bronfman at Manhattan School of Music.
Collaborative Pianist – Coordinator
In addition to his performances as a collaborative pianist, Dmitri Korneev is an active educator and a composer. His most recent chamber work won 1st Prize in IX International Competition of Performers and Composers (Moscow, Russia). Dmitri spent several years giving solo recitals throughout Russia, Greece, Italy and United States. His performances in the U.S included such prestigious concert halls as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall and United Nations Concert Hall in New York. Dmitri has worked at the University of Texas at San Antonio as a staff accompanist, at the San Antonio Lyric Opera as a rehearsal pianist and served as an Executive Director of the “You Need Music” Educational & Performing Enterprise, which holds an annual regional competition with the winner’s recital in Carnegie Hall. Dmitri holds his master’s degree from the Gnessins Russian Academy of Music and Mannes College of Music and studied at the Central Music School at Moscow State Conservatory. Among Dmitri’s teachers, Prof. Alexandrov and Prof. Slesarev were the most influential. He has participated in masterclasses held by Claude Frank and Arkady Aronov, and in the La Belle Epoque Festival in New York. In 1998 he became a laureate of the International Piano Competition IBLA Grand Prize in Italy.
John Julius Miller serves the Archdiocese of Newark as the Director of Music Ministries for the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Liturgical Music Coordinator for the Office of Divine Worship, Artistic Director of the Cathedral Concert Series and Chapter Director for the Newark Chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. John holds a Bachelor Degree of Music, cum laude, in organ performance and sacred music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and graduated with distinction from Westminster Choir College with a double Master of Music degree in organ performance and choral conducting. He also holds the Fellowship Certificate from the American Guild of Organists. As a frequent recitalist and clinician, John has maintained a busy schedule of concerts and workshops and is a frequent speaker in the field of liturgical music. His European performances have taken him to Rome, Venice, Leipzig, Prague, Salzburg and Vienna.
Piano for Non-Majors
YiKyung Diana Hughes holds a doctorate in piano performance from Rutgers University. She received both a master’s and bachelor’s degree in piano from the Mannes School of Music in New York City. As a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral pianist Diana has performed in South Korea, Spain, the United States and Canada. Currently she is on the faculty at the Bergen Community College and Montclair State University. Diana freelances as a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist in the greater New York area.
A native of Ukraine, pianist Tatyana Kebuladze graduated from the Gliere State Music College, the alma mater of virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz. For four years she served as accompanist with the New Jersey Children’s Choir, performing throughout United States and Canada, and appeared in collaborations with the New Jersey Chamber Music Society. Her appearances as a soloist and accompanist include concerts at the Kosciuszko Foundation, 92nd Street Y, St. Bartholomew’s Church, and a concert-lecture at Columbia University Teacher’s College (New York City), NJPAC, and Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Newark, NJ). She was a guest pianist at the Niagara Falls International Summer Festival, Canada. Ms. Kebuladze graduated with honors from Montclair State University, and received awards including the School of the Arts Talent Award. She holds a Master of Music degree from Rutgers University, where she worked as Teaching Assistant. She has taught at the Cali School and Westminster Choir College since 2004. She is also the owner and artistic director of Oranta Music Academy. She is a co-founding member of Montclair Piano Trio. She was recently awarded Genia Robinor Pedagogy Teaching Excellence Award presented by the Piano Teachers Society of America in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York.
Monsoon Han Kim
Mansoon Han Kim has won numerous competitions including the Yale Gordon Competition, the Yook Young Competition, the Piano Music Competition, and Nan Pa Music Competition. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Seoul National University with Honor. After coming to the United States, she began studies with concert pianist Ann Schein at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, where she received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. She has performed throughout the United States, Canada, South Korea and China. She has performed with members of the Maia String Quartet, Ceruti String Quartet, the Anchor Trio, and soprano Hyunah Yu. Kim has won the Clara Ascherfeld Accompanying Award, Peabody Career Development Grant. She has studied at summer festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, the Orford Arts Centre, and the Kent Blossom Summer Chamber Music Festival and participated in master classes by Menahem Pressler, Leon Fleisher, Abbey Simon, Jörg Demus, Sergei Dorensky and Gabby Casadesus. As an educator, she gave master classes at Arizona State University, Southern Illinois University, and the Pianofest held at Nyack College. She became an adjunct professor at the Cali School after serving as an Assistant Professor at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
Youn-Hee Bang Kim
Born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the US in 1998, pianist Youn-hee Kim’s numerous awards include the first prize in the 2000 Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, third prize in the Carmel International Piano Competition, and two-time grand prizes in the Music Associates Performance Award Competition in Southern California. Youn-hee was the first recipient of the Alicia de Larrocha Scholarship. Mme. de Larrocha highly praised her performance and wrote to her that “…with or without competitions, you will be a fantastic artist!” The Peninsula Review of the Carmel International Competition noted Kim’s performance of Rachmaninoff’s Études-Tableaux (Op. 39): “…was simply the best performance among any other performers’ live or recording.” She holds a BM degree in piano performance from Sungshin Women’s University in South Korea, MM degree from California State University Fullerton, Professional Studies Diploma from Manhattan School of Music, and DMA in piano performance from the Stony Brook (NY) University under the tutelage of Gahng-soon Lee, Young-joo Hong, Eduardo Delgado, Philip Kawin and Christina Dahl. As a pedagogue, Youn-hee has been awarded “Certificates of Excellence” from the Crescendo Competition, Forte International Competition, Golden Key Festival, recognizing her work as a leading teacher. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.
Cali School Extension Division, Office Administrator
Letitia Stancu is a pianist, keyboardist, educator and administrator. Ms. Stancu has served as an administrator for the Cali School Extension Division (formerly Preparatory Center for the Arts) and the Stokes Forest Music Camp since 2005. She has previously worked for both programs as a piano teacher and accompanist. Ms. Stancu has been a Cali School collaborative pianist since 2006, working with instrumental and vocal students. She has performed with the Montclair State University Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band as well as in the pit orchestras for the Montclair State University Musical Theater productions of Side Show and The Producers. In addition, Ms. Stancu has also performed as a keyboardist and backing vocalist with various cover and original bands of rock/pop genres. Performance venues include the Hard Rock Café in Atlantic City, Webster Hall in New York City, Seacrets, Ocean City, MD and Rainbow Room in Los Angeles. Ms. Stancu joined the Cali School of Music Faculty in 2008 as an Adjunct Professor of Keyboard Musicianship. She holds a BM degree from Oberlin Conservatory.
Internationally recognized as a pianist and pedagogue, Sondra Tammam has performed throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. She has performed at Carnegie Weill, Wigmore Hall and the Concertgebouw, appeared with members of the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, and with orchestras in Italy and the United States. She has broadcast on live radio in New York and Germany, and appeared on PBS television. Ms Tammam has recorded four cds including the 2018 release, Carnivals, Songs and Transcriptions. New Jersey Music Teachers Association bestowed Ms. Tammam with the 2018 Teacher of the Year Award. She has served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and as guest faculty in Israel, Taiwan, Italy, Austria, Montengro and Brazil. She has won many awards including first prize in the Paderewski Foundation, Awerbuch International, Juilliard Concerto and the New York Orchestral Society competitions. She is co-director of the Dorothy Taubman Festival. Ms. Tammam was selected to be listed in Who’s Who of American Women. Clavier Magazine featured an article she co-authored on the topic of performance injury. Ms. Tammam holds an MM from the Juilliard School and a BM from the Manhattan School of Music.
Soyeon Park Yoo
Pianist Soyeon Park Yoo is a performer, educator and adjudicator. She has performed in the United States, Canada, and South Korea as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed concertos with the Hope College Symphonette, Orchestra of St. Vincent and the Good Samaritan Symphony Orchestra. She has also presented performances at Northwestern University, Bradley University, Hope College, Gustavus Adolphus College, Aspen Music Festival, and Las Vegas Music Festival. She has presented at ISMTA conference on “Comprehensive Approaches to Teaching Harmonization.”
Dr. Yoo received degrees in piano performance from the Juilliard School, the Peabody Conservatory of Music and Northwestern University. With passion for teaching, Soyeon Yoo taught private lessons in the Northwestern University Music Academy and keyboard skills classes in Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts and Hope College. She joined the Montclair University Extension program in 2016 and in the following year was appointed as an adjunct professor for the Montclair University.