Boston Conservatory Welcomes Acclaimed Artists to Its Faculty for Fall 2021

The new faculty bring to the Conservatory wide-ranging professional experience and academic expertise across the disciplines of dance, music, and theater.

September 8, 2021

As Boston Conservatory at Berklee makes a full in-person return to campus this fall, it welcomes a robust roster of dynamic artists, educators, and industry leaders to its esteemed faculty. Meet these new community members below.

Dance Division

Sidi "Joh" Camara (African dance) hails from Bamako, Mali (West Africa) and is a master of traditional African music and dance. As a dancer, he has has toured internationally with award-winning companies such as Troupe Sewa, Troupe Mande, Troupe du District de Bamako, and Percussion Fabla, and collaborates with renowned organizations such as Boston Ballet, Boston Symphony Youth Orchestra and Choir, Upward Bound, Planet Aid, and others.

Ana Harmon (Gaga technique) is an award-winning dancer (Yuri Stern Prize for Dance) who joins the Conservatory after performing internationally with Kamea Dance Company. Specializing in Gaga technique, she is the international project manager for Gaga Movement Research and a certified Gaga teacher. 

Jennifer Kelble (jazzdance, tap) is an experienced professional dancer, educator, and Boston Conservatory alum. She has performed with companies such as Prometheus Dance Company, Lydia Johnson Company, Santa Monica Contemporary Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet Theatre, LA Unbound, and Royal Caribbean, and has contributed to respected publications, including Dance Magazine.

Tim Kelleher (yoga) is a certified yoga instructor who has trained with Kate Greer, Nicole Clark, Schuyler Grant, and—most recently—Sondra Loring. His private studio offers advanced studies, teacher trainings, workshops, and retreats in Boston and beyond. 

Music Division

Jonathan Bisesi (percussion) is a percussionist, composer, arranger, and children’s book author. He is a member of the United States Marine Band, where he has been a featured soloist on multiple occasions, and he has appeared in concert with several prominent orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Kennedy Center Opera, Buffalo Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and more. 

Elena Blyskal (voice) is an acclaimed soprano praised for her “vocal color and variety” (South Florida Classical Review). An avid advocate for art song and new music, she has premiered works by Julian Brijaldo, Dylan Findley, Peter Evans, Zachary Friedland, Jared Hettrick, and more.

Dan Callaway (voice) is a professional theater artist and vocalist, having performed in dozens of productions, including the Broadway National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera and Where's Charley? A longtime educator, his online voice studio is a popular resource for artists. 

Andrew Eggert (opera) is an award-winning opera stage director and dramaturg who has directed countless productions, including the United States premiere of Clemency by James MacMillan for Boston Lyric Opera. In addition, he has worked with the young artist programs of Glimmerglass Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera. 

Corey Everly (voice) is a music director, conductor, pianist, and vocal coach who most recently served as music director for Resident Theatre Company, Bucks County Playhouse, and Bucks County Performing Arts School.

Brett Hodgdon (voice) is a pianist and vocal coach. As a chamber musician and vocal collaborator, he has performed for audiences at some of the country’s most renowned venues, including Merkin Concert Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Tanglewood Music Center, and more. He is a frequent performer in the Emmanuel Music Chamber Series in Boston and collaborates regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Anne Howarth (brass) is a respected chamber musician, orchestral player, and educator who serves as principal horn with the Lexington Symphony and Plymouth Philharmonic, in addition to performing regularly with other area ensembles. She is a founding member of Radius Ensemble, a senior member Vento Chiaro, and a new member of Juventas New Music Ensemble.

Craig Juricka (voice) is an active performer who has appeared in concert, opera, and musical theater productions across the United States, including with Des Moines Metro Opera, Odyssey Opera, Boston Camerata, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music, and the Henry Purcell Society.

Mary Kouyoumdjian (composition) is a composer and documentarian with projects ranging from concert works to multimedia collaborations. As a first-generation Armenian-American with family ​directly affected by the Lebanese Civil War and Armenian Genocide, she uses a sonic palette that draws on her heritage, interest in music as documentary, and background in experimental composition to progressively blend the old with the new. 

Caroline Pliszka (violin) is an active performer who has collaborated with artists such as Dawn Upshaw, Paul Katz, and Miriam Fried, and performs regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops Orchestra. She has also served as concertmaster of the Houston Ballet Orchestra, the New World Symphony, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the New England Conservatory Orchestras, and the Shepherd School of Music Chamber Orchestra.

Marcus Rojas (tuba) has performed in an array of musical contexts, with artists ranging from the American Symphony Orchestra to reggae's Sly and Robbie; from jazz great Lionel Hampton to extremist artist Foetus. He performed in Henry Threadgill's ensembles throughout the 1990s and has been a familiar face on the stage of New York City’s Knitting Factory.

Emily Siar (vocal pedagogy) is an active performer of opera, art song, chamber music, new music, musical theater, and cabaret who has appeared on major stages across the United States. As an educator, she is well-versed in classical, musical theater, and contemporary commercial vocal styles and is most interested in the intersection of voice pedagogy, voice health, and music history. 

David Small (voice) is a sought-after baritone who has led a robust international career on the operatic and concert stage. A respected educator whose students have gone on to perform roles with the Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Carolina, Opera Delaware, Houston's Opera in the Heights, he was named a NATS Master Teacher and is a regular contributor to Classical Singer Magazine.

Dan VanHassel (electronic music) is multi-instrumentalist and composer whose works have been recognized by grants from Chamber Music America, the Barlow Endowment, the Johnstone Fund for New Music, the Boston Foundation, and New Music USA. An active concert producer and electric guitarist, he currently leads the Boston-based contemporary quartet Hinge and is a founding member of contemporary chamber ensemble Wild Rumpus.

Owen Young (cello), who also teaches at Berklee College of Music, is a longtime member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent collaborator with singer/songwriter James Taylor, and performs regularly with top chamber music groups and festivals. 

Theater Division

Noa Barankin (tap) is an award-winning dancer/choreographer and the artistic director of DrumatiX, a rhythm-based dance company that combines drumming, body percussion, and tap dance. 

Jillian Courtney (voice and speech) is a performer, storyteller, playwright, and social justice activist who has worked in the United States, Mexico, and France. As a voice educator, she is trained in Roy Hart, Rodenburg, Fitzmaurice, Linklater, and Knight Thompson techniques. 

Brian Dillon (jazzdance) is an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, musical theater dance teacher, and Boston Conservatory alum who was most recently seen in Broadway’s Aladdin. He has performed in regional theater all over the country, as well as in the TV show Pose

Rebecca Holderness (directing and composition) is a Helen Hayes Award nominee who has both directed and taught all over the country. Her directing work has taken her to theaters such as La Mama, Shakespeare and Company, the Public Theater, and Lincoln Center Theater. 

David Pepin (musical theater) joins the Conservatory following 15 years as an active member of the Broadway community as music director/conductor/pianist for productions such as Wicked, Bring It On: The Musical, Kinky Boots, The Addams Family, Shrek the Musical, and Rent. He previously taught musical theater at Baldwin Wallace University.

Jeff Jean-Philippe (hip-hop) is educator and performer originally from Montreal who has traveled the world both to perform and to teach. He is the director of the Expressive Movement and is on the faculty of Urbanity Dance.

Sarah Jessop (vocal/physical connection) is a certified Fitzmaurice voice teacher and holds an M.F.A. from the American Repertory Theater at Harvard/Moscow Art Theatre. Among her professional voice and dialect coach credits is the premiere of the musical Once

Lila Rose Kaplan (playwriting) is an award-winning playwright dedicated to telling women’s stories in a new way. Her plays and musicals have been produced nationwide from the Huntington Theatre Company to South Coast Rep. 

Tina Mitchell (movement) is an international theater creator who trained with the SITI Company. She is coartistic director of Australian company Chopt Logic Productions and her work has been performed at La Mama, Steppenwolf, and the LA Theatre Centre. 

M. Bevin O'Gara (directing) is an Elliot Norton Award–winning director. She was the producing artistic director at New York’s Kitchen Theatre Company and spent 15 years as associate producer with the Huntington Theatre Company.

Wanda Strukus (acting studio, environmental and virtual theater) is a director, performer, theater maker, and educator who has created more than 40 immersive or site-specific productions. 

Brooklyn Toli (tap) is a dancer with the Boston Tap Company, DrumatiX, and the Boston She Party. She studied with Kat Pantos, Alex Biegleson, Billy Siegenfeld, and tap legend Dianne Walker. 

Explore Boston Conservatory’s dance, music, and theater programs.

 

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