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Private Lesson

Private Lessons

The Hopkinton Center for the Arts offers quality private and group music, art, theater and dance education for all ages and skill levels. Our professional instructors provide individually tailored instruction for artists, dancers, and musicians. Information about our talented teachers is below, within the Art, Music and Acting tabs. At this time many instructors are offering online private lessons. Please email info@hopartscenter.org if you would like to learn more.

 

Music only: Students study with these instructors on location OR online at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. Rates for Private Lessons (30 min. or 1 hr.) and lesson schedule are determined by the individual instructor. For more information, contact the HCA main office at (508) 435-9222 or email info@hopartscenter.org
 

Dance/Theater/Art: For current group classes, visit our CLASS listings. To inquire about private lessons, contact us at info@hopartscenter.org.

 
 
 

Acting

Alyssa Rae Surrette

Alyssa is thrilled to be on the teaching staff at HCA. With an extreme passion for the performing arts she has been performing, teaching, directing, and choreographing all over MA and RI for the past several years. Alyssa is a Boston-based actor working the past five years for companies such as New Repertory Theatre and Reagle Music Theatre. Credits include Me and My Girl, Singing in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof and many more. She is also no stranger to the New York stage as her credits include performances at Alvin Ailey and Carnegie Hall. Alyssa received her BFA in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory and attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts majoring in theater as a high schooler. In addition to private voice and acting, Alyssa teaches Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, and Storybook Theater here at HCA.

 

Jere Shea

Director of Acting and Musical Theater Training

 

Jere Shea is best known for appearing as Hank Signa in Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Showtime series City On A Hill opposite Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge. Jere's screen credits also include JUNGLELAND with Charlie Hunnam, Blue Bloods (CBS), Passion (American Playhouse/PBS), Path to Paradise (HBO), Law & Order, The Cosby Mysteries (NBC), and A Season in Purgatory (CBS miniseries) opposite Patrick Dempsey. He also starred with Donnie Wahlberg in the feature film SOUTHIE (Best Film, Seattle Film Festival).

 

Theater fans will recognize Jere for his Tony Award nominated performance as Giorgio in the original Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's Passion opposite Donna Murphy and Marin Mazzie. His career began with a small supporting “singing” role in a New York Shakespeare Festival production of As You Like It. The attention Jere received resulted in his first Broadway part in Jerry Zaks' Broadway revival of Guys And Dolls with Nathan Lane, Faith Prince, and Peter Gallagher. He went on to star in Jack O'Brien's remounting of Damn Yankees with Victor Garber and Bebe Neuwirth and appeared in the 25th anniversary concert production of The Secret Garden with Sydney Lucas, Ben Platt, and Sierra Boggess, directed by Stafford Arima at Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center. Jere has performed leading roles in theaters across the nation.

 

Jere is a member of the Boston College theater department, and he has taught acting and musical theater performance, and coached privately (novice through professional) for over 30 years. He is experienced in preparing actors for the college and professional training program admissions process. As Director of Acting and Musical Theater for the Hopkinton Center for the Arts in Massachusetts, Jere leads the successful Actor Studios for Adults and Teens, conducts workshops and master classes, and directs when his performance schedule permits. He has served on the faculties of Emerson College, Northeastern University, The College of the Holy Cross, and been a visiting artist at schools and cultural organizations throughout the Northeast. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theater at Boston College, and his Master of Fine Arts in Acting at the prestigious NYU Graduate Acting Program. Jere trained in Russia at Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre School and Ireland’s national Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

 

Also an accomplished singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Jere performs concerts in large and small venues. He can be heard on the Grammy Award winning Original Broadway Cast recording of Passion (Producer Phil Ramone, Angel Records). Instagram/Twitter: @jereshea; Facebook: @jeresheaofficial

Karin Trachtenberg

Karin Trachtenberg has over 30 years of experience in the theater as an actor, director, teacher, producer and arts administrator. She holds a masters degree in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University and attended drama school in London. Karin has taught theater and arts education at Clark University, Lesley University’s Creative Arts in Education Program, Pine Manor College and The Schauspiel Gemainschaft in Zurich Switzerland. She has performed at various theater venues throughout the Boston area including Zeitgeist Stage, Roxbury Rep, The Providence Fringe Festival, Newton Nomadic, Newton Theater Company, 4th Wall Stage, Stageloft Rep, Fort Point Theater Channel, Marblehead Little Theatre and Open Theatre Project. She is currently enrolled in the Master Teacher certification program with legendary voice and Shakespeare coach Patsy Rodenburg.  Read more about Karin at: www.karintrachtenberg.com

 

Music

Jack Byrne

Jack Byrne is a vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in Boston, MA. Jack holds a Bachelor’s in Music from UMass Amherst, and a Master’s in Voice Performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College. Jack is well versed in playing a wide variety of styles from Rock, Folk, Bluegrass, Metal, Classical, and Jazz. He has performed as a guitarist on tour with Indie/Pop band, “The Narrative,” and has been performing and recording his own music for about 15 years.

Jack teaches lessons in Voice, Guitar, Piano, Bass, Banjo, Ukulele, and Mandolin. His teaching philosophy is that you are the artist, and he is simply nudging you along to find your own voice. Whether you are an absolute beginner or a more seasoned player, it is Jack’s mission to help each of his students find the confidence to achieve their artistic goals through fun and upbeat lessons.

Robb Millet

Robb offers guitar, (acoustic, Electric, slide, etc) Bass Guitar, and Mandolin lessons. He started his guitar/bass-playing career in 1965 at the age of 10, (5th Grade), and has been performing as a solo artist and in bands in and about the Boston/Metrowest area since 1971. During 1978 through 1982, as a member of the Hot Dates, he wrote and recorded several songs included on the Singles and eponymous vinyl LP “Hot Dates” released in 1981, which went on to receive varied amounts of local airplay on WBCN, WERS, WAAF and several college stations – These days, the album can be found in its entirety on YouTube. In the early 90s, with “The United Snakes”, Robb (as the bassist for that band) wrote and recorded several of the songs released on the CD “Lighten Up! This Ain’t Brain Surgery” to local critical acclaim. Since 1995, Robb has been the front man/protagonist/ringleader of the Spock Goes Mental floating pick-up band. Over the course of his career as a guitarist/bassist/songwriter/musician, Robb has played in many bands of varied genres, including Rock & Roll, Metal, Punk, New Wave, Fusion, Blues, Folk, Jazz and Avant Garde. He is fluent in many styles, from Drop-C Thud to Folk fingerstyle, slap-and-pop bass, and Mandolin improv.

Robb tailors the lessons to the student’s interest and ability, from traditional sight-reading and scales, to improvisation techniques, and even song writing. Students are encouraged to bring in music they like, to work towards as a goal. Overall emphasis is on the enjoyment of making music with the instrument. As Robb likes to say, “Guitar is supposed to be fun.”

Victoria Bartolomeo

Soprano Victoria Bartolomeo holds a Master of Music (M.M.) in Vocal Performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania.

 Ms. Bartolomeo's partial roles include: Ilia (Idomeneo), Blanche (Dialogues of the Carmelites), and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni).  In October of 2014, Ms. Bartolomeo gave the modern-day premiere of vocal selections by Boston-based composer Salvatore Arnò (1884-1963).  She had a second opportunity to present Arnò’s pieces at IDEA Boston in November 2019 as part of a concert lecture titled Cartons to Concerts: Rediscovering the Lost Music of Salvatore Arnò.  From 2016-2018, Victoria served as the soprano section leader as part of the Lessons & Carols Service at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Acton, Massachusetts.  She has performed with MassOpera (formerly MetroWest Opera), Assabet Valley Mastersingers, and New England Conservatory Continuing Education Opera Studio.  


Along with being an active vocalist, Victoria performs as a pianist.  She could be seen most recently performing with the Westford Historical Society during a fundraising event titled An Evening at the Abbott Estate.  Ms. Bartolomeo performed selections by Schumann, Mendelssohn, Donaudy, and Andrew Lloyd Webber on the home’s antique Steinway piano.

Judean LaSalle Feldman

has taught strings and piano privately and for a number of school systems since 1979. Ms. Feldman plays the violin in numerous orchestras and ensembles including the Worcester Symphony Orchestra, Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, and the MetroWest Symphony Orchestra of Hopkinton

Philip Antoniades

graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Percussion and Music Synthesis, and has toured extensively throughout the US and the world. Phil has opened for the Spin Doctors, Van Halen, BB King, Indigo Girls and Rusted Root, as well as performed and/or recorded with artists such as Evan Goodrow, Todd Thibaud, Barbara Kessler, Jimmy Buffet, Bob Malone, Jennifer Tefft, Geoff Bartley, Jennifer Kimball, Buskin & Bateau, Tim Mason, Signs Of Life, John Fulbright, Shecky and The Pimp Monkeys, Stephanie Corby, Amy Fairchild, Zach Brooke, Timothy Rirdon, Gracie Fan Brunt, Charlotte Sands Berking and many other artists.

In addition to his performance career, Phil founded and developed multiple music companies including Nimbit Inc., Artist Development Associates and Johnny Brock Management. From Harvard Business School to Belfast Music Week, Phil has presented and motivated audiences around the world with his unique perspective of the real business of music.

Jodi Stevens

Jodi Stevens earned a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music in 1997 with a concentration in Education and Electric Bass performance. She has taught in Massachusetts for over twenty years, everything from private to small group lessons. She also co-directed a youth choir for 5 years.

Ms. Stevens has played and continues to play in multiple bands including The Mix ‘Em Ups, 8 Misbehavin’ (an 8 piece jazz band) and also plays in multiple musical theater pit orchestras. Jodi was one of ten featured performers at Brandeis University's Alive By Her Own Hand women's music festival in 2011 where she was selected to perform her original composition Simpatico. Her song 34268 was selected as the theme song for the independent film Quest For the Indie Tube and two other compositions were used in the soundtrack for the Great College Radio Hoax. Ms. Stevens draws from her vast experience teaching students of multiple ages, instruments and learning styles to design lessons towards the individual client

Eric Balboni

Tenor Eric Balboni currently teaches in Worcester, Massachusetts. Eric is a Professor of Practice in Music and the Voice Department Coordinator at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts where he teaches voice lessons and vocal performance classes. He holds a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance (Opera) and an Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy from New York University. Eric’s teaching method is strongly based in an understanding of the science of the voice and its application to the individual voices in his studio. Eric helps his students to form good vocal habits and singing technique that will grow as their voices develop. His approach affirms students of all gender-identities and he believes that voice types do not have gender.

Students in his private studio have gone on to participate in District and All State festival choirs, competed in national singing competitions and have been accepted at music programs of major colleges and universities.

Eric enjoys teaching all styles of singing including classical, musical theater, and contemporary commercial music. He believes in a comprehensive approach to technique using various genres of repertoire to help his students grow as singers and musicians. He currently serves the board of the Massachusetts chapter Pan-American Vocology Association as Director of Programming and the New England Chapter of the National Association for Teachers of Singing as the Technology & Social Media Chair.

Eric is currently offering in-person lessons to fully vaccinated students as well as virtual lessons.

Music directing credits include Drowsy Chaperone, Children of Eden, Firebringer (ESL Theater),  Avenue Q, The Wedding Singer, Beauty and the Beast (Clark University), Little Shop of Horrors, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Firebringer (Anna Maria College).

Eric is an active performer and an experienced accompanist.

Monica Spencer

Monica Anderson Spencer

Monica Anderson Spencer, soprano, has performed with many diverse organizations including the SpeakEasy Stage Company, the Heritage Chorale, Enter Stage Left, Opera Southwest, the Goldovsky Opera Institute Summer Workshop, the Wolf Trap Opera Training Program, the Nevilla Ottley Singers, the Joffrey Ballet, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and the Oscar Micheaux Theater Company Program.  Monica has performed with jazz greats Donald Byrd, Max Roach and Oscar Brown, Jr.

 

She has also appeared as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Takoma Park Symphony Orchestra and in recital at the U. S. State Department, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Danforth Museum, the Sumner Museum, the National Gallery of Art and several other venues in the Metropolitan area of Washington, D.C., and the Metrowest area of Boston, MA.

 

Having earned  Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Music Education, (Vocal Performance & Choral Conducting), from Howard University in Washington, D.C., Monica has served on the voice faculty of the Trinity College (Trinity Washington University), the Ottley Music School, the Sewell Conservatory of Music, the former District of Columbia Youth Chorale Program at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, the Oscar Micheaux Family Theater Company Program and the Suitland High School Visual and Performing Arts Program where she established an opera workshop.  She has also taught on the music faculty of Bellingham High School, Bellingham Memorial Middle School and is a frequent substitute music teacher in the Hopkinton Public Schools.

 

With over two decades of working with high school and college singers, she has a great deal of experience with the care and training of developing voices, paying attention to vocal health in students of all levels and ages.  Learning to sing is a slow, patient process.  It is a learned skill and those with sufficient motivation and patience will improve their performance considerably.  Monica’s teaching approach is based on a vocal technique pyramid with Posture as the foundation upon which Breathing, Tone Production, Diction and Resonance are built.

 

Her students have consistently earned gold and silver awards in the Massachusetts Instrumental & Choral Conductors Association’s Solo & Small Ensemble festivals, have been selected through audition for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association’s Central District & State Choruses, and has had a student chart at #10 on the Christian Top 20 Download chart.

 

Monica Anderson Spencer is a resident of Hopkinton, MA., and a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the American Choral Directors Association, and the National Association for Music Educators.

Eric Miller

 

HCA Director of Music

Eric’s experiences studying at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in both undergraduate and graduate careers influenced his teaching heavily. Eric has trained primarily in classical singing, and has performed with the New England Conservatory Summer Opera Studio, but also loves musical theater, performing in musicals throughout high school and college - notably at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts! Eric has taught all ages and across many settings. In graduate school, Eric was the assistant conductor for both Freshman Chorus and Choral Union, working with collegiates and adults from the community. He completed part of his student teaching at Lexington High School, where he worked with all five choirs, and most closely with the Madrigal Singers, the Tenor and Bass Chorale, and Concert Choir. He has been a K-2 music specialist at Brookside Elementary School in Milford, MA, and a K-4 music specialist in Methuen, MA, at Timony Grammar School.  

Eric’s teaching philosophy is built around what he refers to as “sustainable musicianship”. Such things as learning how to practice music effectively, how to read music quickly and efficiently, how to analyze music from a theoretical standpoint, and how to apply healthy singing technique to practice and performance are just a few parts of creating a lifelong musician. With every student, Eric takes the time to understand their reason for seeking out private voice instruction. Whether a student wants to become a professional musician, simply learn how to sing a little higher for school choir, pick up singing again after years of not singing, he wants to help each student meet their own goals and works hard to create a personalized approach that will best serve his students.

 

Jere Shea

Director of Acting and Musical Theater Training

 

Jere Shea is best known for appearing as Hank Signa in Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Showtime series City On A Hill opposite Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge. Jere's screen credits also include JUNGLELAND with Charlie Hunnam, Blue Bloods (CBS), Passion (American Playhouse/PBS), Path to Paradise (HBO), Law & Order, The Cosby Mysteries (NBC), and A Season in Purgatory (CBS miniseries) opposite Patrick Dempsey. He also starred with Donnie Wahlberg in the feature film SOUTHIE (Best Film, Seattle Film Festival).

 

Theater fans will recognize Jere for his Tony Award nominated performance as Giorgio in the original Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim's Passion opposite Donna Murphy and Marin Mazzie. His career began with a small supporting “singing” role in a New York Shakespeare Festival production of As You Like It. The attention Jere received resulted in his first Broadway part in Jerry Zaks' Broadway revival of Guys And Dolls with Nathan Lane, Faith Prince, and Peter Gallagher. He went on to star in Jack O'Brien's remounting of Damn Yankees with Victor Garber and Bebe Neuwirth and appeared in the 25th anniversary concert production of The Secret Garden with Sydney Lucas, Ben Platt, and Sierra Boggess, directed by Stafford Arima at Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center. Jere has performed leading roles in theaters across the nation.

 

Jere is a member of the Boston College theater department, and he has taught acting and musical theater performance, and coached privately (novice through professional) for over 30 years. He is experienced in preparing actors for the college and professional training program admissions process. As Director of Acting and Musical Theater for the Hopkinton Center for the Arts in Massachusetts, Jere leads the successful Actor Studios for Adults and Teens, conducts workshops and master classes, and directs when his performance schedule permits. He has served on the faculties of Emerson College, Northeastern University, The College of the Holy Cross, and been a visiting artist at schools and cultural organizations throughout the Northeast. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theater at Boston College, and his Master of Fine Arts in Acting at the prestigious NYU Graduate Acting Program. Jere trained in Russia at Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre School and Ireland’s national Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

 

Also an accomplished singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Jere performs concerts in large and small venues. He can be heard on the Grammy Award winning Original Broadway Cast recording of Passion (Producer Phil Ramone, Angel Records). Instagram/Twitter: @jereshea; Facebook: @jeresheaofficial

Art

Chelsea Bradway

Bio: Chelsea Bradway is a photographer and teacher at Marathon school in Hopkinton, born and raised in the Berkshires. She has a Masters in Special Education from Simmons College. Ever since she was a child she believed in wonder and whimsy.  Bradway was brought up to believe that women are powerful, alluring, intelligent, kind, and endlessly capable. In her photographs, she combines magical moments with women’s empowerment for every age. Her work has been shown in Boston, Cambridge, Plymouth, Attleborough, Hopkinton, Rhode Island, and Barcelona, Spain. Bradway has a studio in Framingham, MA at The Mill Contemporary Art.

Teaching Philosophy: My teaching philosophy is the same whether I am teaching Photography, Art, or Preschool and that is that all children are not alike and should be honored for their uniqueness. As a teacher, I am here to guide and help steer my students towards their passion. I am not one to provide strict guidelines on how a project should be completed. Rather, I help the students to ask their own questions, and together we will come up with the answers. All students must have a stimulating environment where they can grow artistically,  emotionally, and socially. I will provide a safe environment where students are invited to share their ideas and take risks.

My favorite part of teaching at the HCA is their warm and welcoming environment. To foster growth in children, you must start with a safe place. The HCA offers this as well fabulous art supplies that can awaken any child's imagination.


 

N. Lee Ball

n. Lee ball teaching philosophy
Art is for everyone.  Unlocking your inner voice with as much skill as possible comes from experience, practice, and exploration (and letting yourself have FUN!) I try to create an environment, in my classes and through my lessons, that allows students of all levels to explore their potential, feel comfortable with media, have confidence to start on their own,  and have the freedom to have fun doing it.  Sometimes learning to look at something in a new way is challenging.  My goal is to give as much foundational information on techniques and materials that students feel comfortable and curious about learning and improving skills on their path to sharing their inner voice.

Artist statement
I create contemporary oil paintings celebrating overlooked, mundane people, places, and things in the changing environment they occupy. Inspiration for much of my work comes from images obtained through my travels by car, train, bike, airplane, and even comfortable shoes.  I am particularly fond of unique architecture. Occasionally, I dig into my family’s archive of black and white photos of little-known relatives.  I crop and frame my images to detach the viewer from reality and to create a new narrative.  I start conversations on canvas, incorporating the natural patterns, textures, and space of an actual place into a pleasing composition of decaying Americana.  Currently, I am exploring a variety of materials, images, and experiences with works comparing man-made objects and ever-changing landscapes.

Bio
Lee is an oil painter born in Raleigh, North Carolina.  She grew up influenced by both the red clay around her home in the rural countryside of Johnston County, NC, and the opportunities of the Capitol city of Raleigh where her parents worked.  After high school, Lee studied Architecture at North Carolina State University School of Design and received a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture.  She also earned a BFA from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, concentrating in Painting and Sculpture, and staying a little longer to earn a teaching certificate. She taught secondary Visual Art for twelve years, ten of which were at Athens Drive High School.  After relocating to Franklin, Massachusetts, Lee currently enjoys teaching students at Danforth Art School and Hopkinton Center for the Arts.

Lee’s work has been juried into regional and national shows including the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh Fine Art Society, Raleigh Visual Art Exchange, Morini Gallery, Lexington Artwalk, and Cambridge Art Association. Much of her work is inspired by her interest in theatre, museums, and travel.   Although she considers Massachusetts and the Northeast her new forever home, she visits Johnston County in North Carolina often.


 

Judith Smith

I have always wanted to be an artist and teacher. When I was 12, I was running classes for neighborhood kids at my Mom’s kitchen table. I also danced, sang and acted.  I spent one year at Emmanuel College in Boston, studying piano, French and Drawing, however, I did not have the money to continue and transferred to Bridgewater State University as an Art Major. Graduating Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Art and minors in music, education and theater, I earned teaching certificates in Art K-12 and General Music K-12.  I travelled to Europe after graduation, seeing the great works of Art for a few weeks. I then worked at Harvard University Le Corbusier Center before landing my first Art teacher job at King Philip Middle School. 

On my second trip to Europe, I met my husband of 40 years in Corfu, Greece. I moved to England for a year, then returned to the States and worked at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. Fast forward twenty years; after raising 2 children, owning a floral and special event design business and an art lesson business under the name of Kreative Kids and Talented Teens, I found myself drawn to the field of special education after working as an arts teacher on the pediatric psych floor of Floating Hospital for Children.  I earned my Masters of Education degree and teaching certification in Special Education, moderate disabilities from BSU and worked as the art teacher at League School for Autism in Walpole for 9 years. After moving to Medway to be near my grandchildren, I found the Hopkinton Center for the Arts where I have been thrilled to teach for four years.

My philosophy is to “meet the child where he/she is that day.” All children have special needs each time you see them.  It is my job to connect with them emotionally first, so that instruction flows easily. My philosophy is to provide structure so that thinking and creating can take place in a developmentally appropriate way.  This means that I am well-prepared for class and able to communicate the learning objectives clearly and concisely in a relaxed, non-stressful manner.

Marion Buricatu

Bio: Life is basically a huge collection of moments. Sometimes you have no idea how everything will end up tying together - Marion Buricatu had a lot of those moments, and she definitely never expected to enjoy teaching art at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, where she works with such a diverse group of very talented artists and art teachers.

 

Marion was born in France in an artistic family. Academically, she oriented herself towards science. She received a master’s in Geophysics in Paris and worked in the environmental field. In 2001, she moved to the US with her family and decided to try her hand at painting. She took classes with painting teachers before becoming one herself, earned a modern art certificate at the MOMA, became a docent at the Worcester Art Museum and continuously keeps on learning. In 2011, she became a painting teacher where she combines her love for teaching art and art history. 

 

Teaching philosophy: From art techniques, to art history, to finding their own voice, Marion will accompany your children in their artistic journey and hopefully will create a lifelong interest in art appreciation, whether they become professional artists or avid connoisseurs. 

With her scientific background and artistic skills, she is able to offer art students different approaches to their art making and help them feel confident in their art projects. As an instructor, Marion is considerate of students' desires but able to elevate them to new levels.

 

HCA: HCA offers to its students love and curiosity about all forms of art, a well-rounded cultured experience. In this environment, Marion is very proud to be part of a team of talented teachers and artists

 

Sarah Alexander

Director of Visual Arts

 

Sarah Alexander is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist working on paper, canvas, and sculpting with steel. She is a core artist member at Fountain Street Gallery in Boston MA.  Sarah's work is in private collections and has been shown extensively throughout New England, and abroad. Her work has been published by North Light Book and is featured in Incite, the Best of Mixed Media 1, 2 &3. Sarah is the Director of Visual Arts and the Hopkinton Center for the Arts and teaches children through adults.

My teaching style is to expose my students  tools and coping skills that they can use in their art making journey. It is crucial to nurture creative voices and to encourage experimentantion and guide develop in creative problem solving. I use my own experiences as a professional artist as a way to communicate real life successes and failures, and the art of never giving up. My class motto is to “keep going” and to work through obstacles and accidents, which often turn into unexpected surprises.  In my classroom, we are all artists working together feeding off of each other's unique visions.

 

The Hopkinton Center for the Arts is an incredible place to work. I love being immersed in such a supportive environment where you can see the differences we are making with adults and children in our community. I love watching the moments of discovery as my students conquer a new skill. It’s a place for people to nurture their imaginations, find their self confidence, and where they can fully be themselves in whatever way they’d like in a safe and accepting space.  

Laurie Leavitt

Bio: I am an artist and teacher and art has always been an important part of my life. I have always enjoyed making art and for the last 15 years have gained huge satisfaction from sharing my passion for art with children.  I am currently teaching second through fifth grade art in Medway Public Schools, in person and virtually. This year has brought challenges and so many learning experiences and priceless moments with students engaged in artmaking. 

As an artist, I have always gravitated towards painting and printmaking.  My inspiration is the world around me which often includes the natural world as it changes with the seasons and light. In the last year, I have especially loved taking off from where my photographs begin and where the layering of paint and other media on the canvas can take me. My work can be viewed on my website: laurieleavitt.com

I love working at the HCA surrounded by thought provoking exhibitions and talented professionals who love art and inspire students! 

Teaching Philosophy: My approach to teaching is to develop lessons that excite as well as teach an objective. I want my lessons to engage and inspire the students at the same time that they are challenged while exploring new media and ideas. I believe practicing art can help a student learn about the world around them and themselves. Through practicing art students develop the habits of mind; expressing, observing, persisting, reflecting, stretching and exploring, that will serve them throughout their lives. 

Beth Newman

I love art and I’ve always loved sharing every nuance and excitement of image making with friends of every age. I studied fine arts from a young age (my mother was an art teacher), and graduated with a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design in 2003. There I learned all the facets of image making, from drawing to painting from life, to children’s book illustration. I studied with some fantastic illustrators such as Mary Jane Begin, Thomas Sguros, and David Macaulay (Caldecott award winning author of ‘The Way Things Work’). Since graduating, I’ve worked mainly in teaching in small art studios. I taught various studio art classes at the former Whitehall Farm Studios of Hopkinton (children and adult), independent painting workshops at Bunkhouse Creative of Holliston, and recently at the HCA. I am currently developing my personal work through my own studio art space in Holliston, MA. I have lived in Hopkinton for 18 years, along with my husband and three children, and our dog Maple. 

Since my own work derives from Classical Realism, I infuse classical drawing methods and techniques into my fine art classes, taking care to ensure every student grasps the art of observational drawing as a backbone to image making. I love technical drawing, watercolor, oil painting, and exploring with fun new mediums. We also love to explore color and collage art and painting and sculpture and other exciting methods of visual art. I truly strive to bring out the personality and expression of each student and help them achieve their greatest potential as an artist. 

At the HCA I love working with a diverse body of art students, bringing out each artists’ talent so they can feel the enjoyment and satisfaction of creating their own beautiful artwork. 


 

Cheska Komissar

Cheska Komissar earned her undergraduate and master’s degree in education from Boston University. A teacher in her heart, she has been experimenting with creativity her whole life and has used clay as her primary medium for over 20 years. With a background in special education, Cheska believes that, given the opportunity, everyone can be creative and turn their visions into realities. We can all find the artist in ourselves.

She can often be found in her studio at home, here at the HCA or one of the other places she teaches “doodling" with clay, making whimsical sculptures or whistles, drums and flutes. She believes in using as many senses as possible and frequently stops her whistling or humming to test out the sounds of her clay.

Cheska loves the ceramics community the HCA has created and works hard to maintain inclusive and supportive environments for all students.


 

Dance

Jessica Wilson

Director, HCA Dance program

Jessica began her dance training through the Royal Academy of Dance with Mary Tolland and received coaching from Herida May for R.A.D. exams. She also studied intensely with well known teacher Jacqueline Cronsberg. Jessica graduated from the Walnut Hill School (Natick, MA) and later attended State University New York at Purchase where she majored in dance and psychology and minored in philosophy.

Jessica began her teaching career in 1993 when she joined the faculty of Ballet Workshop New England. She was appointed Associate Director of the school in 2003. Jessica also held the position of Ballet Mistress with the Massachusetts Youth Ballet, where she worked closely with Sandra Jennings, Repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust, on ballets such as Serenade, Concerto Barocco, Who Cares?, Divertimento #15, Le Baiser de la Fee, Apollo, and divertissements from The Nutcracker. That same year Jessica was appointed Artistic Director of the company.

 Jessica founded MetroWest Ballet in 2005. Her students have gone on to join companies like Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Ballet Theater of Maryland, Dawson/Wallace Dance Project, Arch Contemporary Ballet, Carolyn Dorfman Dance, and Boston Dance Theater. In 2019, Jessica joined the Hopkinton Center for the Arts as its new Director of Dance. In addition to teaching dance, Jessica and her husband run a beekeeping business. She enjoys being outdoors and making ceramic honey pots. She has been teaching for nearly 29 years.

Theresa Kniaz

Contemporary Dance

Theresa discovered her love for ballet at age ten, and began her training with Cathy Fallon. By age 16, she enrolled as a full-time student at the Boston Ballet School and later spent a year as a student at renowned Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet where she trained under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. During her years of training, she performed extensively in corps de ballet and solo roles in productions of The Nutcracker, Peer Gynt, and Snow White, as well as annual Spring showcases. 

She also performed contemporary pieces in Boston Ballet School's production of Alice in Wonderland as the Cheshire Cat, and as a company member of SundanceX directed by David Sun.

In 2017, Therese graduated Summa Cum Laude from UMass Boston with a Bachelor's degree in Finance. After working full time as a business analyst at a fast paced start-up, Theresa renewed her passion for dance and discovered her love for teaching. In addition to her faculty positions, Theresa continues her own dance training, attending ballet and contemporary classes and workshops in the Greater Boston area, and is certified as a personal fitness trainer.

Alyssa McQuillan

Creative Dance, Pre-Ballet & Hip Hop

From the time she was three-years old, Alyssa has looked up to her own amazing dance teachers and is now thrilled to be a role model for young dancers at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. She began her training at the Academy of Tap, Jazz, and Ballet in Bellingham, Massachusetts. While training there, Alyssa competed all over New England and won several high awards and scholarships for solos, group dances, and productions. The Academy also provided her with an opportunity to work as an assistant dance teacher with children of all different ages and abilities. This position fueled her interest and passion for becoming a teacher. Now she attends Bridgewater State University with a major in business and a minor in dance in hopes to one day open up her own dance studio.

She also is continuing her dance training at the AS220 in Providence, RI. Alyssa is a member of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston, and is excited to share her passion for dance with students here at the HCA.

Desiree Reese Mottard

Ballet

Desirée began her formal dance training in Salem, Virginia on a full scholarship with the Southwest Virginia Ballet where she was privately coached by School Director Terri Post. ​Desirée’s professional career began at the age of 17 at the Virginia Ballet Theatre where she consistently performed leading roles in such ballets as George Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie and Agnes de Mille’s Three Virgins and a Devil. In 2000 she began dancing with Ballet Magnificat and toured across North and Central America, Europe and Southeast Asia. In 2004 Desirée joined José Mateo’s Ballet Theatre in Cambridge, MA and soon became a principal dancer and had the privilege of having original roles and choreography created specifically for her. Additionally, Desirée has guest performed the leading roles in Coppélia, Firebird, Cinderella, Graduation Ball and The Nutcracker. She has received recognition for her work throughout the Metro Area both online and in print within such publications as the Patriot Ledger, The Boston Phoenix and The Boston Globe.

​She has taught ballet for over a decade at The Brookline Ballet School until she moved to Holliston. She is certified in Vaganova Syllabus for years 1, 2 & 3. She also earned her degree in Holistic Psychology and Mindfulness Studies at Lesley University. In addition to her love for teaching ballet sheis also the founder of Movement & Mindfulness and has brought her program to both public and private schools, dance schools and community centers. She is happy to be part of the Hopkinton Center for the Arts community.

Daniela Aldrich

Ballet

Although her introduction to dance was through flamenco dance as a toddler, Daniela began her formal ballet training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet when she was 6. At 13, she spent a year in Madrid, Spain training with Víctor Ullate at the Centro de Danza. When she returned to CPYB, she had the opportunity to dance in more Balanchine ballets and fell in love with the specific style. At 16 she was accepted into the School of American Ballet, where she trained and worked as a Teaching Assistant in the children's division for the next two years. She spent summers at Miami City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet schools.

Upon graduating from SAB, Daniela was awarded the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and invited to join New York City Ballet as an apprentice dancer. After 18 months of performing and touring with the company, she moved back to Carlisle, PA to get her college education at Dickinson College. There she majored in Environmental Studies and Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies. She is now an organic vegetable farmer in Beverly, MA operating her own farm- Dancing Harvest Farm. She is thrilled to step back into the studio and share her love of movement with students. 

Upon graduating from SAB, Daniela was awarded the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and invited to join New York City Ballet as an apprentice dancer. After 18 months of performing and touring with the company, she moved back to Carlisle, PA to get her college education at Dickinson College. There she majored in Environmental Studies and Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies. She is now an organic vegetable farmer in Beverly, MA operating her own farm- Dancing Harvest Farm. She is thrilled to step back into the studio and share her love of movement with students. 

Haley Andrews

Contemporary, Jazz

Haley Andrews of Middleboro, Massachusetts graduated from Salve Regina University with a degree in English Communications, accompanied by a dance minor. Upon graduation, Andrews received the Salve Regina University Dance Award 2018. During her time at Salve Regina University, she was a dancer/choreographer for Extensions Dance Company, performed and presented choreography at American College Dance Association, and was a captain for SRU Dance Club. Her work 1,968.4 Miles of Vulnerability was one of just nine pieces selected for the Gala Concert at ACDA 2018 in which the adjudicators called her work “evocative” and praised her movement invention. That same piece was also selected to be showcased in Boston Contemporary Dance Festival August of 2018 at the Huntington Theatre.

While living in Boulder, Colorado the past two years, Haley’s piece 1,968.4 Miles of Vulnerability was selected to be showcased at Versatility Dance Festival, CO 2019 performed at The Dairy Arts Center, and at BANDchicago Dance Festival performed at Hubbard St. Dance Chicago. 

Throughout premiering her own work, Andrews danced with company T2 Dance Project, performing, choreographing, and traveling the 2019 and part of the 2020 season with them. Currently, Andrews resides back in New England instructing drop-in contemporary classes at Urbanity Dance in Boston, MA, and is an adjunct professor at Salve Regina University instructing contemporary dance for the Fall semester. Whilst instructing at various locations, Haley continues to build repertoire for Andrews Movement, her own project based company. AndrewsMovement.com

Erin Moody

Ballet

Erin began her dance training at Walnut Hill Community Dance Academy at a young age. She then went on to attend Walnut Hill School for the Arts, training under Michael Owen, Denise Lewis and Monica Lender. Erin attended the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, receiving her BFA in ballet performance and psychology. Erin spent her junior year of college studying abroad at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, where she had the opportunity to train with former and current members of the Scottish Ballet and Scottish Dance Theatre. During her senior year, Erin was selected to guest with the Dayton Ballet. Following graduation, Erin moved to Hartford, CT to dance professionally with Vivid Ballet, which became Ballet Hartford, under the direction of Elizabeth Mcmillan. She has had the opportunity to perform corps de ballet and soloist roles all over the Northeast, Ohio, and Austin, TX. In Hartford, Erin came to love the art of teaching dance as well as pilates, after receiving her pilates teaching certification. Currently Erin is in school to pursue nursing and she is more than thrilled to be on staff at Hopkinton Center for the Arts!

Cello,Viola,Violin

Judean LaSalle Feldman

has taught strings and piano privately and for a number of school systems since 1979. Ms. Feldman plays the violin in numerous orchestras and ensembles including the Worcester Symphony Orchestra, Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, and the MetroWest Symphony Orchestra of Hopkinton

Guitar

T.J. Mendillo

A guitarist since the age of ten, T.J. began his studies in traditional music theory and notation on classical guitar, and was then introduced to new styles such as rock and metal styles shortly afterward.  T.J. discovered his calling and passion for Rock guitar and continued his studies all the way to his college career. T.J. is also versed in teaching students on piano and drums (beginner level)

An active performer and studio buff, T. J.’s guitar skills and talent for studio production helped to secure him a spot at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where he earn a B.M. in Music Production and Engineering as a principal guitarist. Studying under guitar greats such as Bret Wilmott, Freddie Bryant and Shaun Michaud, and renowned MP&E faculty such as Susan Rogers and Prince Charles Alexander, T.J. has had hands-on experience with some of the best guitarists and studio experts anywhere in the music industry. Joining the BSM faculty to share his love of guitar, T.J. encourages students of all ages to explore the music that drives them, from indie to alternative, rock and metal, both on the guitar and in the recording studio.

Anna Freitas

Anna Freitas was raised on the pop and rock music of the 70's and 80's.  She would sing along with the top 40 hits of the day,  her ear pressed firmly against the speaker in the "way back" of her parents' station wagon.  Her love of music remained strong and led Anna to first pick up a guitar at age fourteen.  Before long,  she became a member of her high school jazz band.

Anna's studies continued at Berklee College of Music as one of only a handful of female guitarists.  At Berklee she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music with a focus on songwriting and music business.  She also had the honor of one of her original songs being nominated for a Berklee student CD release. 

Anna began honing her vocal chops as a member of the Berklee Reverence Gospel Ensemble.  Being accepted into this vocal group as a guitar major gave her the spark to pursue singing further.  After college she continued to study voice privately for several years.

Anna has performed consistently throughout New England since the mid nineties as a guitarist and vocalist with various projects.  She was lead guitarist for the rock/funk group Dr. Overseer, which caught a local buzz in the club scene.   Anna Also had a brief weekly gig at the renowned Wally's Jazz Cafe where she had the opportunity to play with some of Boston's best funk musicians.

Anna continued on to form her own original project as guitarist and vocalist drawing from a range of influences,  including classic rock and contemporary and classic RnB.  She has been a fixture in the Boston club scene, has toured and done live radio appearances throughout New England, and continues to perform at various private events in the area.

In addition to performing, studying music, and being a Mom to a young daughter,   Anna truly enjoys working with kids of all ages teaching private lessons.  She feels great satisfaction in knowing she had helped to encourage an interest in music for a student, whichever direction it may take!

Jodi Stevens

Jodi Stevens earned a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music in 1997 with a concentration in Education and Electric Bass performance. She has taught in Massachusetts for over twenty years, everything from private to small group lessons. She also co-directed a youth choir for 5 years.

Ms. Stevens has played and continues to play in multiple bands including The Mix ‘Em Ups, 8 Misbehavin’ (an 8 piece jazz band) and also plays in multiple musical theater pit orchestras. Jodi was one of ten featured performers at Brandeis University's Alive By Her Own Hand women's music festival in 2011 where she was selected to perform her original composition Simpatico. Her song 34268 was selected as the theme song for the independent film Quest For the Indie Tube and two other compositions were used in the soundtrack for the Great College Radio Hoax. Ms. Stevens draws from her vast experience teaching students of multiple ages, instruments and learning styles to design lessons towards the individual client

Jack Byrne

Jack Byrne is a vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in Boston, MA. Jack holds a Bachelor’s in Music from UMass Amherst, and a Master’s in Voice Performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College. Jack is well versed in playing a wide variety of styles from Rock, Folk, Bluegrass, Metal, Classical, and Jazz. He has performed as a guitarist on tour with Indie/Pop band, “The Narrative,” and has been performing and recording his own music for about 15 years.

Jack teaches lessons in Voice, Guitar, Piano, Bass, Banjo, Ukulele, and Mandolin. His teaching philosophy is that you are the artist, and he is simply nudging you along to find your own voice. Whether you are an absolute beginner or a more seasoned player, it is Jack’s mission to help each of his students find the confidence to achieve their artistic goals through fun and upbeat lessons.

Robb Millet

Robb offers guitar, (acoustic, Electric, slide, etc) Bass Guitar, and Mandolin lessons. He started his guitar/bass-playing career in 1965 at the age of 10, (5th Grade), and has been performing as a solo artist and in bands in and about the Boston/Metrowest area since 1971. During 1978 through 1982, as a member of the Hot Dates, he wrote and recorded several songs included on the Singles and eponymous vinyl LP “Hot Dates” released in 1981, which went on to receive varied amounts of local airplay on WBCN, WERS, WAAF and several college stations – These days, the album can be found in its entirety on YouTube. In the early 90s, with “The United Snakes”, Robb (as the bassist for that band) wrote and recorded several of the songs released on the CD “Lighten Up! This Ain’t Brain Surgery” to local critical acclaim. Since 1995, Robb has been the front man/protagonist/ringleader of the Spock Goes Mental floating pick-up band. Over the course of his career as a guitarist/bassist/songwriter/musician, Robb has played in many bands of varied genres, including Rock & Roll, Metal, Punk, New Wave, Fusion, Blues, Folk, Jazz and Avant Garde. He is fluent in many styles, from Drop-C Thud to Folk fingerstyle, slap-and-pop bass, and Mandolin improv.

Robb tailors the lessons to the student’s interest and ability, from traditional sight-reading and scales, to improvisation techniques, and even song writing. Students are encouraged to bring in music they like, to work towards as a goal. Overall emphasis is on the enjoyment of making music with the instrument. As Robb likes to say, “Guitar is supposed to be fun.”

Percussion / Woodwinds / Brass

T.J. Mendillo

A guitarist since the age of ten, T.J. began his studies in traditional music theory and notation on classical guitar, and was then introduced to new styles such as rock and metal styles shortly afterward.  T.J. discovered his calling and passion for Rock guitar and continued his studies all the way to his college career. T.J. is also versed in teaching students on piano and drums (beginner level)

An active performer and studio buff, T. J.’s guitar skills and talent for studio production helped to secure him a spot at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where he earn a B.M. in Music Production and Engineering as a principal guitarist. Studying under guitar greats such as Bret Wilmott, Freddie Bryant and Shaun Michaud, and renowned MP&E faculty such as Susan Rogers and Prince Charles Alexander, T.J. has had hands-on experience with some of the best guitarists and studio experts anywhere in the music industry. Joining the BSM faculty to share his love of guitar, T.J. encourages students of all ages to explore the music that drives them, from indie to alternative, rock and metal, both on the guitar and in the recording studio.

Philip Antoniades

graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music with a degree in Percussion and Music Synthesis, and has toured extensively throughout the US and the world. Phil has opened for the Spin Doctors, Van Halen, BB King, Indigo Girls and Rusted Root, as well as performed and/or recorded with artists such as Evan Goodrow, Todd Thibaud, Barbara Kessler, Jimmy Buffet, Bob Malone, Jennifer Tefft, Geoff Bartley, Jennifer Kimball, Buskin & Bateau, Tim Mason, Signs Of Life, John Fulbright, Shecky and The Pimp Monkeys, Stephanie Corby, Amy Fairchild, Zach Brooke, Timothy Rirdon, Gracie Fan Brunt, Charlotte Sands Berking and many other artists.

In addition to his performance career, Phil founded and developed multiple music companies including Nimbit Inc., Artist Development Associates and Johnny Brock Management. From Harvard Business School to Belfast Music Week, Phil has presented and motivated audiences around the world with his unique perspective of the real business of music.

William Moffett

William Moffett is a graduate of Boston Conservatory where he studied trumpet with Gerard Goguen of the Boston Symphony and performed in the Conservatory
Orchestra under Rouben Gregorian. Mr. Moffett has been performing professionally for over forty years primarily as a pit orchestra musician and a
trumpet soloist in various churches throughout Massachusetts and New England. Also during these years, Mr. Moffett was on the music faculty in the Milford MA Public Schools, where he taught strings and brass and conducted six orchestras before retiring in 2006.

In addition to continuing as a performer Mr. Moffett iscurrently active teaching in his music studio. Mr. Moffett is also the founder/director of the Birch Alley Brass Ensemble made up of current students, former students, and professional musicians.

Jodi Stevens

Jodi Stevens earned a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music in 1997 with a concentration in Education and Electric Bass performance. She has taught in Massachusetts for over twenty years, everything from private to small group lessons. She also co-directed a youth choir for 5 years.

Ms. Stevens has played and continues to play in multiple bands including The Mix ‘Em Ups, 8 Misbehavin’ (an 8 piece jazz band) and also plays in multiple musical theater pit orchestras. Jodi was one of ten featured performers at Brandeis University's Alive By Her Own Hand women's music festival in 2011 where she was selected to perform her original composition Simpatico. Her song 34268 was selected as the theme song for the independent film Quest For the Indie Tube and two other compositions were used in the soundtrack for the Great College Radio Hoax. Ms. Stevens draws from her vast experience teaching students of multiple ages, instruments and learning styles to design lessons towards the individual client

Piano

Victoria Bartolomeo

Soprano Victoria Bartolomeo holds a Master of Music (M.M.) in Vocal Performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania.

 Ms. Bartolomeo's partial roles include: Ilia (Idomeneo), Blanche (Dialogues of the Carmelites), and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni).  In October of 2014, Ms. Bartolomeo gave the modern-day premiere of vocal selections by Boston-based composer Salvatore Arnò (1884-1963).  She had a second opportunity to present Arnò’s pieces at IDEA Boston in November 2019 as part of a concert lecture titled Cartons to Concerts: Rediscovering the Lost Music of Salvatore Arnò.  From 2016-2018, Victoria served as the soprano section leader as part of the Lessons & Carols Service at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Acton, Massachusetts.  She has performed with MassOpera (formerly MetroWest Opera), Assabet Valley Mastersingers, and New England Conservatory Continuing Education Opera Studio.  


Along with being an active vocalist, Victoria performs as a pianist.  She could be seen most recently performing with the Westford Historical Society during a fundraising event titled An Evening at the Abbott Estate.  Ms. Bartolomeo performed selections by Schumann, Mendelssohn, Donaudy, and Andrew Lloyd Webber on the home’s antique Steinway piano.

Judean LaSalle Feldman

has taught strings and piano privately and for a number of school systems since 1979. Ms. Feldman plays the violin in numerous orchestras and ensembles including the Worcester Symphony Orchestra, Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, and the MetroWest Symphony Orchestra of Hopkinton

T.J. Mendillo

A guitarist since the age of ten, T.J. began his studies in traditional music theory and notation on classical guitar, and was then introduced to new styles such as rock and metal styles shortly afterward.  T.J. discovered his calling and passion for Rock guitar and continued his studies all the way to his college career. T.J. is also versed in teaching students on piano and drums (beginner level)

An active performer and studio buff, T. J.’s guitar skills and talent for studio production helped to secure him a spot at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where he earn a B.M. in Music Production and Engineering as a principal guitarist. Studying under guitar greats such as Bret Wilmott, Freddie Bryant and Shaun Michaud, and renowned MP&E faculty such as Susan Rogers and Prince Charles Alexander, T.J. has had hands-on experience with some of the best guitarists and studio experts anywhere in the music industry. Joining the BSM faculty to share his love of guitar, T.J. encourages students of all ages to explore the music that drives them, from indie to alternative, rock and metal, both on the guitar and in the recording studio.

Jodi Stevens

Jodi Stevens earned a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music in 1997 with a concentration in Education and Electric Bass performance. She has taught in Massachusetts for over twenty years, everything from private to small group lessons. She also co-directed a youth choir for 5 years.

Ms. Stevens has played and continues to play in multiple bands including The Mix ‘Em Ups, 8 Misbehavin’ (an 8 piece jazz band) and also plays in multiple musical theater pit orchestras. Jodi was one of ten featured performers at Brandeis University's Alive By Her Own Hand women's music festival in 2011 where she was selected to perform her original composition Simpatico. Her song 34268 was selected as the theme song for the independent film Quest For the Indie Tube and two other compositions were used in the soundtrack for the Great College Radio Hoax. Ms. Stevens draws from her vast experience teaching students of multiple ages, instruments and learning styles to design lessons towards the individual client

Voice

Victoria Bartolomeo

Soprano Victoria Bartolomeo holds a Master of Music (M.M.) in Vocal Performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania.

 Ms. Bartolomeo's partial roles include: Ilia (Idomeneo), Blanche (Dialogues of the Carmelites), and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni).  In October of 2014, Ms. Bartolomeo gave the modern-day premiere of vocal selections by Boston-based composer Salvatore Arnò (1884-1963).  She had a second opportunity to present Arnò’s pieces at IDEA Boston in November 2019 as part of a concert lecture titled Cartons to Concerts: Rediscovering the Lost Music of Salvatore Arnò.  From 2016-2018, Victoria served as the soprano section leader as part of the Lessons & Carols Service at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Acton, Massachusetts.  She has performed with MassOpera (formerly MetroWest Opera), Assabet Valley Mastersingers, and New England Conservatory Continuing Education Opera Studio.  


Along with being an active vocalist, Victoria performs as a pianist.  She could be seen most recently performing with the Westford Historical Society during a fundraising event titled An Evening at the Abbott Estate.  Ms. Bartolomeo performed selections by Schumann, Mendelssohn, Donaudy, and Andrew Lloyd Webber on the home’s antique Steinway piano.

Eric Miller

 

HCA Director of Music

Eric’s experiences studying at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in both undergraduate and graduate careers influenced his teaching heavily. Eric has trained primarily in classical singing, and has performed with the New England Conservatory Summer Opera Studio, but also loves musical theater, performing in musicals throughout high school and college - notably at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts! Eric has taught all ages and across many settings. In graduate school, Eric was the assistant conductor for both Freshman Chorus and Choral Union, working with collegiates and adults from the community. He completed part of his student teaching at Lexington High School, where he worked with all five choirs, and most closely with the Madrigal Singers, the Tenor and Bass Chorale, and Concert Choir. He has been a K-2 music specialist at Brookside Elementary School in Milford, MA, and a K-4 music specialist in Methuen, MA, at Timony Grammar School.  

Eric’s teaching philosophy is built around what he refers to as “sustainable musicianship”. Such things as learning how to practice music effectively, how to read music quickly and efficiently, how to analyze music from a theoretical standpoint, and how to apply healthy singing technique to practice and performance are just a few parts of creating a lifelong musician. With every student, Eric takes the time to understand their reason for seeking out private voice instruction. Whether a student wants to become a professional musician, simply learn how to sing a little higher for school choir, pick up singing again after years of not singing, he wants to help each student meet their own goals and works hard to create a personalized approach that will best serve his students.

 

Monica Spencer

Monica Anderson Spencer

Monica Anderson Spencer, soprano, has performed with many diverse organizations including the SpeakEasy Stage Company, the Heritage Chorale, Enter Stage Left, Opera Southwest, the Goldovsky Opera Institute Summer Workshop, the Wolf Trap Opera Training Program, the Nevilla Ottley Singers, the Joffrey Ballet, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and the Oscar Micheaux Theater Company Program.  Monica has performed with jazz greats Donald Byrd, Max Roach and Oscar Brown, Jr.

 

She has also appeared as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Takoma Park Symphony Orchestra and in recital at the U. S. State Department, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Danforth Museum, the Sumner Museum, the National Gallery of Art and several other venues in the Metropolitan area of Washington, D.C., and the Metrowest area of Boston, MA.

 

Having earned  Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Music Education, (Vocal Performance & Choral Conducting), from Howard University in Washington, D.C., Monica has served on the voice faculty of the Trinity College (Trinity Washington University), the Ottley Music School, the Sewell Conservatory of Music, the former District of Columbia Youth Chorale Program at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, the Oscar Micheaux Family Theater Company Program and the Suitland High School Visual and Performing Arts Program where she established an opera workshop.  She has also taught on the music faculty of Bellingham High School, Bellingham Memorial Middle School and is a frequent substitute music teacher in the Hopkinton Public Schools.

 

With over two decades of working with high school and college singers, she has a great deal of experience with the care and training of developing voices, paying attention to vocal health in students of all levels and ages.  Learning to sing is a slow, patient process.  It is a learned skill and those with sufficient motivation and patience will improve their performance considerably.  Monica’s teaching approach is based on a vocal technique pyramid with Posture as the foundation upon which Breathing, Tone Production, Diction and Resonance are built.

 

Her students have consistently earned gold and silver awards in the Massachusetts Instrumental & Choral Conductors Association’s Solo & Small Ensemble festivals, have been selected through audition for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association’s Central District & State Choruses, and has had a student chart at #10 on the Christian Top 20 Download chart.

 

Monica Anderson Spencer is a resident of Hopkinton, MA., and a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the American Choral Directors Association, and the National Association for Music Educators.

Anna Freitas

Anna Freitas was raised on the pop and rock music of the 70's and 80's.  She would sing along with the top 40 hits of the day,  her ear pressed firmly against the speaker in the "way back" of her parents' station wagon.  Her love of music remained strong and led Anna to first pick up a guitar at age fourteen.  Before long,  she became a member of her high school jazz band.

Anna's studies continued at Berklee College of Music as one of only a handful of female guitarists.  At Berklee she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music with a focus on songwriting and music business.  She also had the honor of one of her original songs being nominated for a Berklee student CD release. 

Anna began honing her vocal chops as a member of the Berklee Reverence Gospel Ensemble.  Being accepted into this vocal group as a guitar major gave her the spark to pursue singing further.  After college she continued to study voice privately for several years.

Anna has performed consistently throughout New England since the mid nineties as a guitarist and vocalist with various projects.  She was lead guitarist for the rock/funk group Dr. Overseer, which caught a local buzz in the club scene.   Anna Also had a brief weekly gig at the renowned Wally's Jazz Cafe where she had the opportunity to play with some of Boston's best funk musicians.

Anna continued on to form her own original project as guitarist and vocalist drawing from a range of influences,  including classic rock and contemporary and classic RnB.  She has been a fixture in the Boston club scene, has toured and done live radio appearances throughout New England, and continues to perform at various private events in the area.

In addition to performing, studying music, and being a Mom to a young daughter,   Anna truly enjoys working with kids of all ages teaching private lessons.  She feels great satisfaction in knowing she had helped to encourage an interest in music for a student, whichever direction it may take!

Eric Balboni

Tenor Eric Balboni currently teaches in Worcester, Massachusetts. Eric is a Professor of Practice in Music and the Voice Department Coordinator at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts where he teaches voice lessons and vocal performance classes. He holds a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance (Opera) and an Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy from New York University. Eric’s teaching method is strongly based in an understanding of the science of the voice and its application to the individual voices in his studio. Eric helps his students to form good vocal habits and singing technique that will grow as their voices develop. His approach affirms students of all gender-identities and he believes that voice types do not have gender.

Students in his private studio have gone on to participate in District and All State festival choirs, competed in national singing competitions and have been accepted at music programs of major colleges and universities.

Eric enjoys teaching all styles of singing including classical, musical theater, and contemporary commercial music. He believes in a comprehensive approach to technique using various genres of repertoire to help his students grow as singers and musicians. He currently serves the board of the Massachusetts chapter Pan-American Vocology Association as Director of Programming and the New England Chapter of the National Association for Teachers of Singing as the Technology & Social Media Chair.

Eric is currently offering in-person lessons to fully vaccinated students as well as virtual lessons.

Music directing credits include Drowsy Chaperone, Children of Eden, Firebringer (ESL Theater),  Avenue Q, The Wedding Singer, Beauty and the Beast (Clark University), Little Shop of Horrors, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Firebringer (Anna Maria College).

Eric is an active performer and an experienced accompanist.

Alyssa Rae Surrette

Alyssa is thrilled to be on the teaching staff at HCA. With an extreme passion for the performing arts she has been performing, teaching, directing, and choreographing all over MA and RI for the past several years. Alyssa is a Boston-based actor working the past five years for companies such as New Repertory Theatre and Reagle Music Theatre. Credits include Me and My Girl, Singing in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof and many more. She is also no stranger to the New York stage as her credits include performances at Alvin Ailey and Carnegie Hall. Alyssa received her BFA in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory and attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts majoring in theater as a high schooler. In addition to private voice and acting, Alyssa teaches Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, and Storybook Theater here at HCA.

 

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