“Hochstein set a foundation for me; it was truly like a family.”
A Broadway actor, versatile performer, and teacher, Tamar Greene traces his roots back to his early years at The Hochstein School. He remembered, “my two little brothers and I would always hang out by the front door waiting for lessons to be done…. Hochstein was the place to be.” Tamar holds dear the memories of growing up with his siblings in the Hochstein building, saying, “Hochstein taught me what a music family is, beyond the actual teaching and training. The environment there was so welcoming.”
Tamar first came to Hochstein when he was around 6 years old and took dance and piano lessons and sang in the children’s choir. When he was in high school, he started studying piano with Dick Delaney. He says, Dick “opened my eyes up to different stylings, from jazz to Latin jazz to the Mambo Kings. He showed me what it is like to be an artist, a performer, a teacher, and a general great human.” Dick and other mentors at Hochstein gifted Tamar with his earliest formal musical training and inspired in him the seed of musical joy that guided him to where he is today.
After Hochstein, Tamar earned a B.A. in Music with a focus in Vocal and Piano Performance from SUNY Oswego, a B.A. in Computer Information Systems from SUNY Oswego, and a Master of Music from the Eastman School of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature.
Now, he plays the role of George Washington in the Broadway production of Hamilton. He performs eight shows per week. “Hochstein really prepped me for performing; for what it means to be a professional and perform all the time” says Tamar of his performance skills.
But his musical career is by no means limited to his time on the Broadway stage. He said, “I love my job. It is intense. Sometimes you need other creative juices to flow to still work on the longevity of your career. I collaborate with other artists, perform with different groups.” Tamar constantly organizes musical performances, from outdoor concerts to country club gigs to church events. During the pandemic, he formed a group of Broadway singers from Wicked and Phantom of the Opera and performed regularly.
In addition to his robust and varied performance career, Tamar blazes a trail as an educator. He teaches private vocal lessons, leads masterclasses, and offers prep classes for students going to college for musical theater and singing.
Hand in hand with teaching comes the importance of reaching community through music. Tamar said, “I saw the strength and importance of Hochstein in teaching and working with the local students. Working with local kids and just making opportunities for people is something I’ve taken from Hochstein; it’s planted that seed in me from a young age.”
Tamar has carried that seed of community outreach into adulthood, as he now works at the intersection of art and activism. He organized a musical commemoration on Juneteenth, singing speeches from prominent Black leaders. In 2020, he co-founded the Hamilton racial justice task force on Broadway, called Ham4Progress, which pushes the arts industry to invest more in communities, increases access to voter registration, and encourages employers to speak out about world issues. Through his activism, Tamar demonstrates that music is a powerful vessel for social change.
From running through the halls of Hochstein as a six-year-old to performing on the Broadway stage, Tamar’s musical journey has been long and winding. But the essential values of family, community, hard work, and joy that he internalized from Hochstein have carried him through. He says, “I’ve run away, but my heart drew me back into the arts. This is what I have to do, no matter what it means or what it takes.”
To every current Hochstein student, Tamar advises, “explore everything. Explore who you are, all the secrets of your craft. The arts are everything for me. They have gotten me through stressful times. The arts are healing and powerful and important, and you can do so much through your craft and your gifts. Utilize these gifts that are given to you. You are more than your instrument. Travel the world and learn and get involved in the community and meet folks who don’t look like you and just connect. You truly can be anything your heart can think of.”
To learn more about Tamar, visit his website: https://www.tamargreene.com/