Home      Calendar      About       Donate       Register       Pay Bill       E-News       Contact       Search

Join us as we share stories of our Hochstein family!

Milestone anniversaries for Hochstein faculty & staff

posted on
Milestone anniversaries for Hochstein faculty & staff

At the Hochstein All-Faculty Meeting on Tuesday, September 6, 21 members of the faculty and staff were recognized for milestone anniversaries with the School, from 5 years to 30 years. 

Hochstein’s dedicated faculty and staff are the life blood of the organization and we are grateful for all of their contributions.

See the full list below and read on for individual descriptions written by Hochstein Assistant Director and Dean Gary Palmer. Click on the individual event pictures for a larger version.


5 years
  • Jennifer Phillips (Chair, Expressive Arts)
  • Jennifer Carpenter (Cello and Suzuki Cello)
  • Elizabeth Clough (Expressive Arts) 
  • Absent: Allen Hopkins (Folk Music), Victoria Kenyon (Expressive Arts), Molly McDonald (String Chamber Music)
10 years
  • Kevin Markman (Expressive Arts)
  • John Rolland (Director of Wind Symphonies)
  • Matt Osika (Assistant Director, Philharmonia)
  • Absent: Yi-Wen Chang (Piano), Ruth Gates (Front Office Assistant and HYSO Manager)
15 years
  • Randy Kemp (Operations Manager)
  • Pia Liptak (Violin; Co-Chair, Strings; and Director, HochStrings)
  • Olita Povero (Viola)
  • Jeremy Stoner (Trombone and Co-Chair, Woodwinds/Brass/Percussion)
20 years
  • Yasuko Kelly (Accompanist, Hochstein Singers and Youth Singers)
  • Maryellen Giese (Director, Hochstein Singers and Youth Singers)
  • John Fetter (Director, Philharmonia and Sinfonia Strings)
  • Absent: Richard Felice (Percussion)

25 years

  • Galina Bertram (Violin and Suzuki Violin)

30 years

  • Grace Wong (Harp)

More About Individual Faculty & Staff

5 Years

Jennifer PhillipsJennifer Phillips – Jennifer began in 2017 as a music therapist at Hochstein, and then took over the reins of the Expressive Arts Department Chair in June of 2019. Under Jennifer’s leadership, Hochstein’s Expressive Arts program has significantly extended its reach into the community. During the height of COVID, she did a wonderful job staying connected with our community partners until we were able to resume onsite activities. By the end of the 2022 school year, thanks to Jennifer’s efforts, Hochstein’s Expressive Arts program is now serving a higher number of clients out in the community than it did pre-COVID.  Jennifer continues to be a valuable participant in Hochstein’s community outreach, most notably as the site coordinator for our School 19 program. She is a founder of Hochstein’s Diversity, Equity, and Access Committee and is always looking for ways for Hochstein to further extend its mission to new populations.  Despite her busy work life at Hochstein, Jennifer still manages to have time to perform with Concentus Women’s Chorus, as well as being devoted mom to two children, both who are currently students at Hochstein. 

Hochstein String Faculty - Jennifer CarpenterJennifer Carpenter – Jennifer has been a valuable member of Hochstein’s strings program for the past 5 years. She has been active not only as a Suzuki group class teacher and lesson teacher for both Suzuki and non-Traditional cello students, but she has been active as a coach for Hochstein’s ensemble program – most recently in our String Music Connections summer camp. Jennifer has a wonderful range as a teacher, working with students from beginners through advanced. An accomplished performer, Jennifer has been an active participant in Hochstein’s Spotlight on Faculty series. An enthusiast of historical performance, she studied baroque cello at Juilliard with Phoebe Carrai, as well as viola da gamba and baroque cello with Cathy Meints at Oberlin, where she performed with Oberlin Baroque Orchestra. These additional areas of expertise serve to further enhance her capabilities as a teacher. 

Expressive Arts Faculty - Elizabeth CloughElizabeth Clough – Upon completing her Bachelor of Music at Berklee College of Music, Elizabeth started her journey at Hochstein as one of our music therapy interns; her success in that program caused us to engage her as a music therapist once her internship was completed. Lizzy works with a variety of groups out in the community, as well as individual clients at Hochstein. She specializes in working with older adults suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It is Lizzy’s innate ability to connect on a personal level with each student, as well as her obvious strength as a musician (she is an engaging vocalist), which informs her work for Hochstein onsite and throughout the community. 

Chamber Music Connection - Molly McDonaldMolly McDonald – Molly is a member of the First Violin section of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been a wonderful member of the chamber music faculty for the past 5 years and was at one point acting as the Ensemble Coordinator for the Chamber Music Connections program. Her excellence as a musician as well as her professionalism in all aspects of her work distinguishes her tenure at Hochstein, and many chamber students have benefited from her expertise.  During the time when Hochstein’s programs were completely off-site due to COVID, Molly designed very popular online music appreciation courses on chamber and orchestral music. She shepherded the return of our String Chamber Music Connections Camp during Summer 2022 with great success, and we look forward to her continued work at Hochstein. 

Hochstein Expressive Arts Faculty - Victoria KenyonVictoria Kenyon – Victoria has been an art therapist on the Hochstein faculty since 2017. She has worked with both individual clients onsite at Hochstein and groups at various community sites throughout the Rochester area. She has been trained to work with individuals and groups with a variety of needs, from school-age to older adults, including individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury, eating disorders, developmental disorders, grief and loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and others. Victoria has also been an active member of the American Art Therapy Association and Western New York Art Therapy Association since 2013. Her art therapy clients benefit from her clinical expertise as a therapist, but also her skill as an artist, especially as an acrylic painter. 

Allen Hopkins – Allen has to be one of the busiest musicians on the planet. Pre-Pandemic, you would normally have found our harmonica and mandolin class teacher performing at several nursing homes, community centers, and local festivals in any given week. As things are returning to normal, Allen is resuming as much community activity as community partners will allow, and he has become Hochstein’s unofficial champion of all things folk/Americana. We appreciate Allen’s involvement in the community and we value his participation and input at Hochstein as we continue to build our non-classical offerings and bring new student populations to the School.


10 Years

Ruth GatesRuth Gates – Ruth has long been a stalwart of our front office staff – one of two long-standing part-time assistants who kept the front office activities going in the time of COVID and beyond. In addition to her wonderful work with our dean staff, faculty, and students/parents in the office, she has been a fantastic manager for the Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra – she is well-loved by HYSO students and parents alike. Of particular note is her crucial work organizing and keeping track of all details associated with HYSO tours (most recently the tour to Germany and the Czech Republic in Spring 2022).

Hochstein Piano Faculty - Yi Wen ChangYi-Wen Chang – Dr. Chang is a consummate teacher and performer – her performances on Live from Hochstein, Spotlight on Faculty Series, and at the piano department’s Celebration of the Piano programs have displayed just a few examples of her superlative musicianship and artistry. She has a varied repertoire, spotlighted in her “Then and Now” concert series combining traditional and contemporary music and presenting the evolution of piano music from the past to present time. Dr. Chang is also a gifted composer, having most recently composed new piano pieces that were featured on WXXI’s “Homestage” Series during the pandemic. She is a dedicated teacher who has a wide range of both student levels and ages. In point of fact, her studio includes several adults who began playing piano in her Piano 101 classes for beginners, then transitioned to individual lessons with her – they (like many others) have stayed with her for many years.  

Kevin MarkmanKevin Markman – Kevin began as an art therapist working with individual clients at Hochstein 10 years ago, and he has more recently become the overseer of Hochstein’s art therapists and interns. He has been an important mentor to the newest generation of art therapists. Using his second hat as a social worker, he has offered advice to both students and staff on thorny issues as they have come up; he is a wonderful resource for our program. Kevin has specific training in creativity, aging, memory, addictions, trauma and the effects on the brain, and all manner of different abilities. In addition to his work at Hochstein, he runs a private social work practice and offers training to other practitioners in the community. His skills in the art therapy and social work aside, he is also an active stand-up comic!

Hochstein Ensembles Faculty - Matt OsikaMatt Osika – Matt has served as Assistant Director of the Hochstein Philharmonia Orchestra since 2012 (and also for a number of years with Hochstein Sinfonia Orchestra), and he has been a wonderful conduit of communication to students and parents over the years. He has been active with coaching and conducting support, running sectionals for wind players, and occasionally filling in for the Director. Of particular note is his creation and implementation of the Young Composers’ Collaboration Project – inviting orchestra members to submit their own musical themes, from which he composes a full orchestra composition – a real highlight for the students! During the pandemic, Matt kept wind players from HYSO and Philharmonia engaged with an eight-week online course when they were unable to participate onsite, and he also led the creation of eight-week in-person ensemble experiences for winds, brass, and percussion. A full-time teacher in the Victor School District and current President of the Monroe County Music Teachers Association, Matt was the recipient of Hochstein’s 2021 Faculty Service award, and we are grateful for his commitment to Hochstein. 

John RollandJohn Rolland – John has been the energetic conductor of our wind symphonies since 2012. His groups consistently play at a high level and his students love participating in his groups. His enthusiasm and energy are infectious – his joy of music-making is obvious to anyone who sees him in action on the podium, and students love working with him. In his life outside of Hochstein, John is a full-time teacher in the Penfield School District as conductor of the high school band and wind ensemble, and he guest conducts junior and senior honors bands throughout the state. He is one of many of Hochstein’s faculty members who keep the School connected to public school educators out in the community. 


15 Years

Randy KempRandy Kemp – What can be said about Randy Kemp? Long-standing staff members find it hard to remember a time before we had Randy as our Operations Manager – he has become such an important part of the fabric here. His 15 years at Hochstein have transformed the efficiency of the use of our historic building, and especially advanced the efforts of activities in our Performance Hall. The busy-ness of our facility often has Randy working long hours and sometimes 7 days per week. He is Hochstein’s conduit to contractors, and is often researching options for improvements to our facility, most recently evident in his oversight of the renovation of the Performance Hall, coming to completion in the next few weeks. Randy and his family are imbedded at Hochstein, with wife Kathy and daughter Megan on the faculty, both of his children former students at Hochstein, and his grandchildren now participating in activities here. 

Pia LiptakPia Liptak – Pia’s excellence as a teacher and collaborative colleague is well-known. She taught through her private studio for many years in Rochester with great success, and we were very happy to have her join the faculty back in 2007. She is a quiet spirit who always has a kind word backed up by pedagogical insight and clear organizational skills. Dr. Liptak has had numerous students over the years who have been successful participants in Hochstein’s Honors Certificate Program, winners of our Merit Scholarship competition, and valuable members of Hochstein’s orchestral and chamber music programs. Pia was the founding director of the Cordancia Chamber Orchestra, and a hallmark of her history at Hochstein has been the success of HochStrings, and adult student chamber orchestra that she created – now entering its 9th year.

Olita PoveroOlita Povero – Olita’s reputation as a viola pedagogue and performer is well-known in Rochester, and she is most visible as a long-standing member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra viola section. Her expertise has benefitted many violists over her tenure at Hochstein; she has been committed to the education of young violists as well as adults through her work at Hochstein. She is a shining example of a teacher who maintains high standards for her students, while meeting each student where they are – the hallmark of the overall philosophy at Hochstein. This year, one of her violists will be graduating from the Honors Certificate Program – the first violist in many years to achieve this milestone!

Jeremy StonerJeremy Stoner – Jeremy is an active performing musician and educator in the Rochester area and beyond, most notably as a faculty member at Nazareth College in addition to his work at Hochstein. He has been a mentor to many low brass players over the years – both as lesson teacher and chamber coach for brass ensembles. We have been fortunate to have his expertise as both a chamber coach, HYSO brass coach, and as the coordinator of brass ensembles over the years; his work in creation of brass chamber groups and placement of students has been invaluable. From 2013-2015, Jeremy coordinated and hosted Rochester’s annual Tuba Christmas concert at the Hochstein Performance Hall. Jeremy continues to organize and conduct this event in Rochester every year. He has been a trusted voice in recent years as Co-chair of Hochstein’s Winds, Brass, & Percussion Department, and we look forward to him serving as a faculty representative to the Hochstein board this fall. 

20 Years

Richard FeliceRichard Felice – Rich has been active as a professional jazz drummer for over 30 years, and his expertise most particularly as a drumset teacher and performer has impacted many students during his time at Hochstein. Rich has been a frequent participant on Hochstein’s Spotlight on Faculty series, where he has collaborated with both other members of the jazz faculty, as well as members of the Expressive Arts and Dance departments. As a human being, Rich is one of the nicest persons anyone could meet – his calm, relaxed demeanor has put many a student and parent at ease over the years. 


John FetterJohn Fetter – Dr. Fetter has been the conductor of the Hochstein Philharmonia Orchestra and Hochstein Sinfonia Strings since 2002. John has an engaging personality, coupled with keen musical skills and insight, and his concert programming has been insightful and expansive over the years. He is well-loved by his students! John had also for many years directed the String Jam: Alternative Styles for Strings, a unique summer camp he designed to expose classical players to other styles of music such as jazz, rock, fiddling, Zydeco, Klezmer, Indian music, and other World styles. In addition to his work at Hochstein, Dr. Fetter was for many years a faculty member of the Music Teaching and Learning Department at the Eastman School and he is currently teaching full time in the RCSD School #35. Always with a heart for urban education, John coordinated the Urban Strings partnership between Eastman and the Rochester City School District, work for which he received the University of Rochester’s Presidential Diversity Award in 2012 and the Rochester Education Foundation’s Making a Difference Award.

Hochstein Ensembles Faculty - Maryellen GieseMaryellen Giese – Mrs. Giese has been the beloved Director of the Hochstein Youth Singers and Hochstein Singers since 2002. She is a font of energy and enthusiasm, and her hallmark of programming for the choral groups displays a breadth of classical and non-classical styles alike, with forays into styles from varied corners of the world, including multiple languages. While her choruses have no audition requirement, her groups continually sing at high musical levels, and her work with participants includes building up of overall musicianship skills. Over the years, she and the choruses have premiered works of living composers, most notably Cary Ratcliffe. Giese had a 31-year teaching career in the Brockport School District before coming to Hochstein, and Hochstein has been fortunate to benefit from her long history as an educator. In evidence of her standing in the musical community, Maryellen received the Rochester Philharmonic Musicians’ Award for Outstanding Music Educators in 2008 and Hochstein‘s Faculty Service Award in 2009.

Hochstein Youth Singers - Yasuko KellyYasuko Kelly – Yasuko has been a staple of Hochstein’s community since 2002, most notably as the dedicated accompanist of the Hochstein Youth Singers and Hochstein Singers. In addition to her accompaniment work with the choirs, she has also been active working collaboratively with students for Hochstein’s Merit Scholarship Competitions, all-school recitals, and studio recitals at Hochstein. She has provided wonderful support and encouragement to hundreds of students in her time at Hochstein. 


25 Years

Galina Konrad-BertramGalina Bertram – Galina is known for her quiet, unassuming personality – one of the sweetest, nicest individuals anyone would ever hope to meet! For 25 years, she has been shepherding young Suzuki violin students, as well as encouraging adults of all ages to delve into the joys of string instruction. Her tenure at Hochstein has not only included individual instruction for students of all ages, but Suzuki group classes and string ensembles earlier in her career. We are grateful for her longstanding service to Hochstein. 


30 Years

Hochstein String Faculty - Grace WongGrace Wong – Grace is best known as the long-standing Principal Harpist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, from which she retired at the end of the 2018 season. Grace has been a stalwart of Hochstein’s faculty, having just completed 30 years with the institution. During that time, she has worked with harp students of all ages and levels; a number of her adult students have been with her for decades. Recently, Grace completed training in Suzuki Harp and has begun teaching students as young as age 5 with the Suzuki method – a testament to her range of abilities as a teacher. This milestone of 30 years is a wonderful achievement!

| Categories: | Tags: | View Count: (210) | Return


Not any article