Meet Our Faculty!
VOICE, PIANO, STORYBOOK WORKSHOP, A CAPPELLA
A native of Connecticut, Annie Bryson received her Masters of Music in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College and her Bachelors of Music, magna cum laude, from Western Connecticut State University. Annie’s opera roles include Rose Maurrant in Street Scene, Miss Pinkerton in The Old Maid and the Thief, First Lady in The Magic Flute, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Countess in The Marriage of Figaro and Nursing Sister in Suor Angelica. Her favorite musical theater credits are Thoroughly Modern Millie (Mathilde), Children of Eden (Snake), Into the Woods (Lucinda), High School Musical (Martha), Kismet (Princess of Ababu), Tommy, Cabaret, and The King and I. While at Westminster, Annie performed frequently with the Symphonic Choir at Carnegie Hall and The Kimmel Center with world-class ensembles such as The Berlin Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Simon Bolivar Orchestra, and The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Annie loves sharing her passion for music with her students. She currently sings with the choirs at Trinity Church in Princeton, NJ.
“Ah, music… A magic far beyond all we do here!”- Albus Dumbledore
Alicia Brozovich is honored to support the creative growth of the voice and piano students at Cornerstone Music Studios. For nearly a decade, she has had proven success in serving as a catalyst for founding, developing, and growing choral programs in the Midwest, on the East Coast, and abroad in the UK and Italy. She has served in musical leadership roles in community college, liberal arts, community, and conservatory settings and has taught students of various skill levels and backgrounds from elementary school through senior citizens. She is dedicated to musical excellence and the value of human connection through music, which she has supported through her own training and career as a professional vocalist.
As a vocalist, Brozovich's favorite endeavors include performing at the renowned Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, at Monsterrat Abbey in Spain, and locally in the Transforming Spaces initiatives in Trenton, NJ - all with the world-class Westminster Choir. She has had the privilege of conducting the GRAMMY-nominated Williamson Voices in Oxford, UK, and assisting in rehearsals for performances of the Westminster Symphonic Choir with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Her most recent artistic endeavors include performances in Carnegie Hall with the Continuo Arts Foundation as Conducting Fellow, TOSCA with the Philadelphia Symphonic Chorus, and supporting the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra's spring performance in New York City under the baton of her colleague, Dr. Thomas Cunningham.
Brozovich received a B.A. in Music and Theology from Benedictine College (2009) and an M.M. in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College (2017). She is an active member of The American Choral Director’s Association, and is a published contributor to Teaching Music Through Performance in Choirs, Vol. 4 (GIA Publications, 2017).
"Never practice, only play!" - Dr. James Goldsworthy
PIANO, WOODWIND, BRASS INSTRUMENTS
Greg DeLuca has taught private piano, saxophone and clarinet lessons for over a decade. Currently, Greg is a music teacher in central New Jersey where he runs an elementary band program. There he teaches students to play flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone and percussion. In addition to teaching piano at Cornerstone Music Studios, Greg has also taught at Westminster Conservatory and “Bach to Rock Music Music School”.
Greg earned his Master’s degree in Piano Performance from The Boston Conservatory and received his undergraduate degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University with a double major in Music Education and Piano Performance.
PIANO, VOICE, PRE-STORYBOOK SERIES
Mezzo-Soprano Melissa Fajardo is thrilled to join the Cornerstone Music Studios family. A professional opera singer, Melissa has taught voice for several years, most recently as Adjunct Professor of Voice at the New World School of the Arts, Miami-Dade College's conservatory, in both the Theater and Music departments. Her studio comprised 26 students ranging from high school freshmen to college seniors, in both the classical and musical theatre styles. Melissa strives to create a positive and encouraging learning experience to help students produce a clear, efficient, and beautiful sound. In her time at New World, her students were accepted to Northwestern University, North Carolina School of the Arts, DePaul University, Oklahoma City University, and a plethora of other institutions.
Melissa’s professional singing has led to numerous apprenticeships throughout the country, as well as national and international engagements with the New York City Ballet, Florida Grand Opera, Portland Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Tulsa Opera, Opera North, and The Crested Butte Music Festival. Her favorite roles have been Maddalena in Rigoletto, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Filipyevna in Eugene Onegin, Lady with a Hat Box in Postcard from Morocco, the Page in Salome, and The Sea in Before Night Falls. This decade of performing has allowed her to work alongside performers of the highest caliber, for example, Denyce Graves, with whom Melissa was recently double cast in the role of Filipyevna at Florida Grand Opera.
A New Jersey native, Melissa attended Westminster Choir College receiving a Bachelor's of Music in Voice Performance and graduate studies brought her to The Eastman School of Music where she completed a Master's of Musician Voice Performance and Literature. She now lives in East Windsor with her boyfriend and a fluffy puppy named Indy. They enjoy road trips, cooking elaborate dishes, and going on long hikes.
PERCUSSION, DRUMS, PIANO, THEORY
Greg Federico received his B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Music Education at William Paterson University. Having nearly 25 years of performance experience in varied musical styles with an emphasis in jazz, Greg has studied drums and percussion instruments with such notables as Peter Jarvis, John Riley, Richie Morales, Dick Weller, Joe Mekler, and Tony DeNicola. His musical studies have also included classical piano instruction by Joe Riccardi and jazz piano instruction by John Coates, Sr. Additionally, Greg is a respected music transcriptionist and engraver, and he has worked behind the scenes with jazz guitarist, composer, and 20-time Grammy award winner Pat Metheny, assisting the legendary musician in editing and scoring two songbooks published by Hal Leonard Publishing: "Orchestrion - The Complete Score" (released in March 2011) and a revision of "The Pat Metheny Songbook" (currently in production at this time).
Greg has independently released five CD recordings consisting primarily of original music and has been awarded many accolades as a composer from various songwriting competitions over the past 14 years. As a performer, he has had the good fortune to play with several accomplished jazz artists including Pete Levin, Mike Richmond, Jack Grassel, Tony Cimorosi, Eric Olsen, Dave Edwards, B.D. Lenz, Ron Velosky, and Steve Girardi. Though "home" for Greg is considered the New Jersey corridor between Philadelphia and New York City, he has also toured the Midwest on several occasions to promote his CD recordings. Greg has been teaching professionally for nearly 27 years.
"If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person."
TRUMPET, UKULELE, DRUMS, THEORY, COMPOSITION, AUDIO ENGINEERING
Joe Gullace is a trumpet player from Millstone Township, New Jersey. He has recorded and performed with more than a dozen up-and-coming New Jersey acts such as Remember Jones, The Shady Street Show Band, Karmic Juggernaut, We Used to Cut the Grass, and Brother Valiant. He has performed with international acts such as Village People and Ike Willis (on tour with We Used to Cut the Grass). He also toured the country as a part of Remember Jones’s production of “Back to Back to Black”, celebrating the music of Amy Winehouse, and their tribute to Joe Cocker’s “Mad Dogs and Englishmen”. In addition, he composes, arranges, and produces his own music. He performs his original work with Brooklyn based electric horn-rock band, Civilians. He is a graduate of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.
SAXOPHONE, CLARINET, JAZZ ENSEMBLE
Daniel Kochersberger, originally of Canandaigua, New York, is a saxophonist actively participating in the ever-changing New York City contemporary music scene. Daniel is a founding member of the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet, the Epoch Saxophone Duo, and is currently the saxophonist for the New York-based ensemble Contemporaneous. He has performed alongside artists such as David Byrne, Sondre Lerche, and Jherek Bischoff in new music venues including, (le) poisson rouge, St. Anne’s Warehouse, and Roulette.
In addition to orchestral appearances with the New World Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Mansfield Symphony, Plainfield Symphony, and the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, Daniel has performed as a soloist, recitalist and chamber player with the Contemporary Music Ensemble of Oberlin, the Chamber Winds Ensemble of Manhattan, the Manhattan Wind Symphony, Symphony Z and the Brooklyn College Wind Ensemble. Daniel received his B.M. at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and his M.M. at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Dr. Paul Cohen.
Jane Labban is pleased to be on piano faculty at Cornerstone Music Studios. She has had the pleasure of watching the wonderful opportunities her own family has had at Cornerstone Music Studios. Jane has studied piano since childhood and as an adult, she continues her own study of the piano and started teaching private lessons in 2014. As a mother of three grown sons, all of whom started instruments at a young age, she is a witness to the incredible life experiences and character development that music has afforded them. Her own family’s early musical journey included the eager son who could not wait for his lesson, the son with a 15 minute attention span, and the son that got a stomach ache 10 minutes prior to each lesson. She understands the nurturing and fostering needed along the ever-changing stages of musical development. All of her sons continue to play in orchestras, compose and use their musical training both in and out of college. Each child’s personality brings a gift and beautiful uniqueness to his or her music, putting a melody and emotion to an inner voice.
“Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.” Pablo Casals
GUITAR, PIANO, VOICE, VIOLIN, UKULELE, CELLO, MANDOLIN, BANJO/BANJOLELE, ROCK BAND,
UKULELE WORKSHOP, RECORDING STUDIO ENGINEER
Dylan Lloyd is excited and proud to be on guitar, piano, cello, violin, ukulele, mandolin and voice faculty at Cornerstone Music Studios. Dylan’s goal as a faculty member at Cornerstone Music Studios is to shape students into well-rounded musicians by creating a comfortable, enjoyable environment that is conducive to developing and sharing musical skills and ideas. Ultimately, these skills will promote confidence, self-esteem,measurable achievement, and a reason for living.
Dylan Lloyd holds a Bachelors of Music Education in guitar and voice from The College of New Jersey, where he graduated magna cum laude in 2013. In addition to teaching at Cornerstone Music Studios, he has instructed a widevariety of classes and groups including Vocal Music and Music Appreciation at Chestnut Ridge Middle School.
Dylan performed in the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society Festival in 2012 and the Wall Guitar Festival in 2011. He has participated in master classes with guitarists Kevin Gallagher, who was the winner of the 2003 GFA (Guitar Foundation ofAmerica) competition and Scott Tennant, who is the author of the guitar technique book, Pumping Nylon.
Dylan had the honor of performing two benefit concerts with the TCNJ chorale alongside multiple choirs from Japan to promote the rebuilding of Japan. These performances included Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre in New York City, with the New York City Opera Orchestra. Under his direction, the Trentones, an a cappella group at TCNJ, advanced to the 2013 ICCA (International Collegiate Competition of A Capella) semifinals.
“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” -Billy Joel
VIOLIN, VIOLA, STRINGS, STRING ORCHESTRA
Ruotao Mao is delighted to be on Strings Faculty at Cornerstone Music Studios! He is an active soloist and chamber musician, who holds numerous concertmaster posts in the tri-state area. His playing was described by The Classical New Jersey as "virtuoso display of world-class magnitude" and "his level of playing has reached far beyond mere technical competence." A native of Beijing, China, Mr. Mao graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with “distinction in performance” award. He earned his Masters Degree in Music from the Mason Gross School of the Arts where he studied under violinist Arnold Sternhardt of the Guarneri String Quartet. He also studied with Dorothy Delay, Paul Kantor and Masuko Ushioda. As a chamber musician, he is one of the founding members of the former Beijing Piano Quartet, winner of “Artists International Chamber Music Series” with appearances in Weill Hall of Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center, as well as the highly acclaimed Amabile String Quartet, and the quartet-in-residence at Rutgers University (2000 and 2001). As a soloist, he appeared with orchestras such as the Jupiter Symphony, NEC Symphony, Corelliard Chamber Orchestra, the Brunswick Symphony Orchestra, Riverside Symphonia, Edison Symphony, the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Bay-Atlantic Symphony, Arcadian Symphony Orchestra and Rutgers University Orchestra among many others. In 2004, Mr. Mao premiered a violin concerto by Ernie Stires in Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. His performance tours included locations such as Korea and Colombia, South America. He performed on WNYC, WETS and WDVR-FM broadcasts and is a recording artist for the CRI and Beijing Broadcast Labels. Mr. Mao also serves as the concertmaster of the Delaware Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, Riverside Symphonia, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony and most recently, the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra. Mr. Mao taught violin/viola and chamber music at The College of New Jersey and Princeton University.
ORGAN, PIANO, LANGUAGE, THEORY
Colton Martin holds degrees in Music, Theology, and Philosophy from Benedictine College (B.A., 2015) and in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College (M.M., 2017). He currently serves as the Director of Sacred Music for the Roman Catholic parish at St. Dominic in Brick, NJ. He also continues to sing with The Same Stream Choir under the direction of Dr. James Jordan. A true bibliophile and voracious learner, Martin is a musical product of both rigorous academic study, small-rural-American work ethic, and love for serving others. Most any day can find him sharing his passion for music with the students of his piano studio, or in friendly conversation over coffee and gelato, or nose-deep in a fresh new book. For leisure, Martin relishes spending time in nature, especially in wooded mountainous areas or near water. He also enjoys working-out at the local Cross Fit box and, during the summer, scuba diving.
While studying in Princeton, Martin sang with the GRAMMY(™)-nominated Westminster Williamson Voices under the direction of Dr. James Jordan, spending a year as the graduate assistant conductor and accompanist for the ensemble, which culminated in a graduate recital given in Oxford, UK. He also sang in the early music ensemble Kantorei with Dr. Amanda Quist, performing concerts with Juilliard 415, as well as participating in the world-renowned Boston Early Music Festival (2017). Martin’s involvement with the Westminster Symphonic Choir included performances with major orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Berliner-Philharmoniker, and the New Jersey Symphonic Orchestra (major conductors including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Alan Gilbert, Sir Simon Rattle, Jane Glover, and Charles Dutoit). Special collaborations also include rehearsal-lectures with Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, and Nigel Short.
Martin's strong foundation in a Catholic liberal arts education, as well as community involvement in service organizations (Eagle Scout, 2007), inform his passion for teaching and life-long learning. In his private studio, Martin’s goal is to engage in compositional conversations with the authors of music, to study history and humanity through the arts, and to enkindle spiritual and intellectual growth with each student. Colton currently lives in Morrisville, PA, with his beautiful wife and accomplished musical colleague, Alicia Brozovich.
"To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist." - Robert Schumann
GREAT HIGHLAND BAGPIPE
Derek Midgley is delighted to be on Bagpipes Faculty at Cornerstone Music Studios. Derek is from Tinton Falls, New Jersey, and began piping at 12 years old under George Bell. As he grew older and played in higher grades, competition took him all across the US and Canada, and eventually to Scotland where Derek became one of a handful of Americans ever to win the B Grade Marches and Silver Medal for Piobaireachd, which he achieved in 2011 and 2012 respectively at the Northern Meetings in Inverness. He is also currently the only American to have won all three A grade events at the Scottish Piping Society’s London competition and, most recently won the Dunvegan Medal for Piobaireachd in 2016, further cementing his place in the senior circuit of international piping. Derek also has significant Grade 1 pipe band experience, having played with the City of Washington, Toronto Police and ScottishPower Pipe Bands over the past 12 years. Currently a member of ScottishPower Pipe Band located in Glasgow, Scotland, the band features regularly in the top 6 in the world pipe band championships, most notably placing 2nd in 2012. As the former Vice President of the Competing Pipers Association, and currently graded A+/A+ in Scotland and Open in the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association, Derek is one of only a handful of American pipers to have achieved international renown on both an individual and band level. Now, as the premier bagpiper in New Jersey and through the tuition of Roddy MacLeod MBE, Derek recently joined the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association judging panel and continues the tradition of excellence that he was brought up in by teaching individuals and bands in New Jersey and across the east coast of the United States.
ORGAN, PIANO, VOICE, THEORY, COMPOSITION
Brittany Montoro is delighted to join the faculty at Cornerstone Music Studios. Brittany earned their Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition Summa Cum Laude from Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia and studied piano under Esther Olin, Scott Zane Smith, Emily Chua, and Noemi Otto, organ under F. Johnson Scott, III, and composition under Jong Kim and Raymond Weidner.
Brittany completed their Master of Music in Sacred Music with honors and distinction at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey and studied organ with world-renowned organist Ken Cowan and conducting with Joe Miller, James Jordan, and Steve Pilkington. Brittany is the music director and choirmaster at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Freehold, New Jersey.
Brittany is an active organ recitalist in the Mid-Atlantic region having performed regularly for the Roanoke and Philadelphia chapters of the American Guild of Organists. Brittany debuted the inaugural recital for the newly renovated Reuter organ in Snidow Chapel at their Alma Mater Lynchburg College in October 2016 and most recently performed at Princeton University Chapel in September 2017.
Brittany served as the music director for Catholic Community of Lynchburg College, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Forest, Virginia, New Brunswick Presbyterian in New Brunswick, New Jersey, First United Methodist Church of Freehold, New Jersey, and as principal organist at Saint Andrew Roman Catholic Church of Newtown, Pennsylvania. In addition to working as a church musician, Brittany also works as a teacher and conductor. They previously taught lessons and group music at the Branchburg School of Music in Branchburg, New Jersey, the Laurel School of Princeton, New Jersey, the Montessori School of Pennington, New Jersey, high school band and choir at
Conwell-Egan Catholic High School in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, and served as chorusmaster for Boheme Opera in Trenton, New Jersey.
GUITAR, SAXOPHONE, BASS GUITAR
Ed O’Connor has been teaching guitar and saxophone at Cornerstone since 2007. He has been playing professionally since 1983, spending ten plus years with Trenton-based oldies groups such as Stormy Weather and the Cop-Shoo Bops. In 1987, he joined the Mahoney Brothers Band and their Jukebox Heroes and Long Live the Beatles shows, doing over 200 performances per year.
During the eight years with the Mahoney Brothers, Ed did seven national television appearances including Dick Clark’s Summer Safari (CBS), Charlie Daniel’s Talent Roundup (TNN), and several spots on the Disney Channel during one of their several stints at the famous park in Orlando, Florida. Ed has performed in 35 of the 50 states and played for President Clinton in Washington, D.C. He currently performs all over the tri-state area with Kindred Spirit along with a few other Cornerstone faculty members.
His “real” job is as a Regional Supervisor for the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, overseeing all traffic safety programs in the seven Southern Counties. Ed is considered a national expert in the field of vehicle occupant protection and speaks at safety conferences all across the country. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The College of New Jersey.
Arielle is excited to be part of the voice, acting, flute, ukulele, and piano faculty at Cornerstone Music Studios! She received her Bachelors of Music in Music Education from Westminster Choir College. While at Westminster, Arielle performed frequently with the Symphonic Choir at the Kimmel Center and NJPAC with world-class ensembles such as The Philadelphia Orchestra. Favorite performances include: Bernstein’s Mass and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Philadelphia Orchestra (conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin) and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with NJSO (conducted by Jacques Lacombe). As a theater nut, Arielle enjoys anything musical theater, including a burgeoning performance career. Favorite credits include: A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theater Center) and Miss Saigon (Perry award winner for Best Musical). Arielle has also been a teaching artist at McCarter Theater, an assistant for the Cornerstone summer musical, and a choreographer for various other productions.
Arielle seeks to provide meaningful, artistic experiences and a safe environment whereby students can more easily discover, nurture, and expand their own musical interests. She aims to foster confidence in performance as well as a lifelong love and support for music.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
FLUTE, VOICE, PIANO, UKULELE, ACTING WORKSHOP
Frank Rosato is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in NYC. He studied under Harvey Kurtzman (Mad Magazine) and Will Eisner (The Spirit and creator of the graphic novel). He is also a graphic designer and illustrator. Some of his clients include Gannett and Berlitz language program. He currently runs his business Ragtime Art & Sound Studio, LLC in which he enjoysdrawing, writing, directing and acting in plays for community theatre, teaching art and
performs singing entertainment shows.
VOICE, PIANO, MUSIKGARTEN, PRE-STORYBOOK SERIES
Danyel Shiflet is excited to be on staff as the Arts Administration Manager and on faculty for voice, piano, Musikgarten, Storybook Series at Cornerstone Music Studios. She completed her Master of Music in Voice Performance, from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati in 2013 and received her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in 2011.
Danyel filled her summers by participating in various young artist programs such as The Florence Voice Seminar in Florence, Italy in 2010, Songfest at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, CA in 2012, and Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2013.
Danyel loves igniting a passion for music with her private students, the children in her Musikgarten and Storybook classes, campers during the MPAC Summer Music & Theatre Arts Camp, Storybook Series Camp and all of the students who enter Cornerstone Music Studios’ doors!
“Fortunately, something always remains to be harvested. So let us not be idle.” - Gustav Mahler
Shane Tapley is thrilled to be on voice and piano faculty at Cornerstone Music Studios. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, is a multi-faceted musician and vocalist. His background includes extensive training in classical and commercial styles and he comfortably instructs and performs these different styles of music. He has been a featured vocalist with the Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project (CUSP) performing art songs of Juliana Hall. Recent performances include multiple concert, opera, masterclasses, and recital performances throughout North America and Europe. He participated in the Songfire Festival with the Vancouver International Song Institute (VISI) at the University of British Columbia, presenting songs of Schubert, the Schumann Liederspiel, and Spanish songs in recital. He has performed in masterclasses with the likes of Graham Johnson, Dalton Baldwin, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Mark Markham, Frank Daykin, and Thomas Muraco through the VISI program and The Art Song Preservation Society of New York.
Known for his character portrayals, his operatic roles have included Monsieur Triquet in Eugene Onegin and Borsa in Rigoletto with Connecticut Lyric Opera, Long Island Opera’s production of Le nozze di Figaro as Don Basilio, and Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre’s 2014 season of Le nozze di Figaro (Don Curzio) and Gianni Schicchi (Gherardo). Mr. Tapley also worked in Greve-in-Chianti, Italy with Connecticut Lyric Opera’s inaugural Greve Music Festival in the summer of 2015. Other appearances include Westminster Opera Theater’s Gianni Schicchi (Gherardo), and Les contes d’Hoffmann (Spalanzani). He was a member of the Nashville Opera chorus in productions of Carmen, La fanciulla del west, La bohème, La traviata, Andrea Cheniér, Tosca, and Amahl, and the Night Visitors. Shane also participated as one of the six vocalists in the 2012 production of Side by Side by Sondheim with the Pull-Tight Players in Franklin, Tennessee.
Mr. Tapley lives in Princeton, New Jersey, and completed his master’s degree in vocal pedagogy and performance from Westminster Choir College in 2014. He is currently an adjunct instructor of voice at Rowan University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Before making his way to the Northeast, he completed his Bachelor of Music degree from Belmont University and worked as a session singer and background vocalist in Nashville, Tennessee.
“The impulse to sing, then, in our tradition, is not simply the wish to make a sweet sound, or a loud sound – indeed to ‘make’ any sort of sound; it is the overwhelming urge to express feelings.” – Thomas Hemsley
Mike Wells is excited to be on the guitar, mandolin, and voice faculty at Cornerstone Music Studios! He is an award-winning producer and published Warner Bros. songwriter, with his songs “Do You Know How To Fly?” and “Seven Times” having been the #1 and #2 Southern Gospel hits in Ireland and the United States. Mike has an additional 70 songs in the Warner Bros. song catalog in Nashville, TN, and produced the 2011 Independent Record of the Year.
Mike is a professional guitarist and vocalist, and is the Worship Leader at Faith Chapel in Union Beach, NJ. He also has proficiency in acoustic guitar, bass guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, & percussion and has been teaching privately for five years.
“What is essential is invisible to the eye.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Laura Hines Wittman
PIANO, MUSIKGARTEN, ROCK.OUT.LOUD
Growing up on a steady diet of classical music of such composers as Mozart, Haydn, Bach, Debussy and Chopin hardly prepared Laura for her current repertoire of music of Sara Bareilles, Coldplay, The Eagles, Brandi Carlile or Carole King. Laura grew up in a musical family, beginning her classical piano studies at a typically young age. Laura’s fondest memories include those of playful, intricate duets which she performed with her sister, Dianne. Fortunately, her parents always believed in the value of learning a musical instrument. Gratefully, she didn’t have a choice!
As a resident of Millstone Township, NJ for over twenty years, Laura has enjoyed her share of volunteer appointments to various committees, boards and foundations within the community and Monmouth County. Several years ago while (as a mother and homemaker raising daughters, Olivia and Isabel) Laura began teaching piano lessons in her private studio. It was a modest arrangement, yet served an important purpose. As the years progressed, she began to feel inspired to create a space in the community that would welcome and nurture music students of a wide range of instruments. The opportunity presented itself and Cornerstone Music Studios at Millstone became a reality.
Laura holds her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Master of Arts in Organizational Communication from the University of South Florida, where, during a part-time assistantship, spent semesters in a dance rehearsal hall, accompanying USF ballet students during their demanding advanced performance classes. She currently assists with the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Freehold, NJ, “Wiggle-n-Worship” music program.
Every being is musical and has the unique ability to foster and express creativity through melody! “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.” Psalm 104:33
VOICE, PIANO, ACTING WORKSHOP
Elizabeth Wojtowicz is excited to be on the voice, piano and acting faculty at Cornerstone Music Studios, in addition to joining the administrative team. Elizabeth holds the Master of Music degree in Voice Pedagogy and Performance from Westminster Choir College and the Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Baldwin-Wallace University Conservatory of Music in Berea, Ohio. Originally from Buffalo, NY, Elizabeth now resides in Princeton, NJ with her husband.
While living in Buffalo, Elizabeth maintained a successful private voice and piano studio, Wojtowicz Voice Studio, teaching 30 students a week. In addition, she also served on the voice faculty as Lecturer in Voice at SUNY Buffalo State College, on the voice faculty at the Community Music School of Buffalo (CMS) and on the voice and piano faculty at Performing Arts Music. Her younger students have won voice competitions, have performed principal roles in high school musical productions, have been chosen to sing in both Junior and Senior High All County Choirs, and have been accepted into various colleges for music. Her college students have gone on to pursue graduate degrees at top music conservatories, and her adult students remain active as both performers and music educators.
In addition to teaching, Elizabeth is also a classically trained operatic mezzo soprano. Operatic roles include Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Bradamante in Alcina, Dorabella in Così fan tutte and Mrs. Soames in the Ohio premiere of Ned Rorem's Our Town. She has been featured as the alto soloist for major works, including Handel's Messiah and Mendelssohn's Elijah. Locally, Elizabeth has performed with Opera New Jersey in their production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, with the Westminster Symphonic Choir and Opera Theater, Opera Theatre of Montclair and the Princeton Festival. She has attended Oberlin in Italy, the Florence Voice Seminar, and OperaWorks Winter Intensive.
She is currently an adjunct Lecturer in Music at Princeton University, where she teaches departmental voice lessons. Elizabeth is also an alto staff singer at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church - Whitemarsh in Ft. Washington, PA.
Outside of music, she loves to travel, is an amateur photographer, and an avid yogini.
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time." - Leonard Bernstein