Founding Directors: Dr. Mary Epstein, Jonathan Rappaport, Joanne Crowell
Choral Director, Sing! in Somerville
Michele Adams is an active guest conductor, educator, and adjudicator. Adams teaches masters level courses at Messiah College as an adjunct professor in the choral conducting program and serves on the faculty of Veritas Christian Academy in Massachusetts.
Described as “splendid” (The Wall Street Journal) and “eloquent and perfectly-tuned” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), Adams served for ten seasons as the Director of Choirs for the award-winning Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC). She conducted choirs of all levels, managed the innovative education program, and administrated the artistic programming for the thirteen choirs and twenty-plus-member artistic team.
She completed a Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Florida State University, where she studied with Rodney Eichenberger and André Thomas. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from The University of South Carolina.
Program Director, Sing in Somerville
Katie Bach holds a Bachelors degree from the Hartt School, a MM in Music Education with Kodaly emphasis from Holy Names University and a Fine Arts Director Certificate from Fitchburg State University. Ms. Bach has served on the board of the Northern California Association of Kodaly Educators in charge of the newsletter and merchandise sales and is presently President of the Boston Area Kodály. On faculty with the Kodaly Music Institute, she has held various positions as pedagogy teacher with Vocal Vacation to Chamber Music Coordinator to Conductor. In 2011, Ms. Bach was recruited by Cambridge, Massachusetts Public School District to teach as part of their growing Kodaly program. Entering her fourth year of teaching at the Peabody School, she is the lead teacher in the enhanced music program for grades JK-2. The Peabody School in Cambridge is home to the pilot daily music program based on the Kodaly Vision of music education being researched by Dr. Martin Gardiner of Brown University. Peabody students will be featured in a documentary sponsored by OAKE called the Cambridge Kodaly Project. Ms. Bach has served as a presenter for Cambridge Public Schools Institute of Excellence, Massachusetts Music Educators Association, Boston Area Kodaly Educators, Kodaly Music Institute and Chorus America Conference 2015.
Valerie J. Becker is a multi-faceted musician who is active as a pianist, conductor and music educator in the Boston area. A native of Boston, Ms. Becker received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Boston University where she was a student of Anthony di Bonaventura. Her post graduate studies led her to the University of Illinois where she worked on a collaborative artist degree, to Austria where she studied German Lied and to Italy where she performed with the Rome Festival Orchestra. She has been soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra and has appeared in recital with many major artists throughout the world. As a former rehearsal pianist for the Boston Ms. Becker had the occasion to play for world-renowned artists such as Midori, YoYo Ma, James Galway and Kathleen Battle. She served on the faculty of North Carolina School of the Arts, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and was Artistic Director for The Treble Chorus of New England for many years. Ms. Becker has adjudicated Northeast District Auditions, conducted the Northeast District Treble Chorus in concert and was a choral clinician for The Choristers Guild Southeastern Children’s Festival. Currently she is on the Performing Arts Faculty at the Commonwealth School, Needham High School, a faculty accompanist at The Rivers School and New England Conservatory, Music Director for the Congregational Church of Needham, pianist for both the Andover Choral Society and the Kodaly Institute of Boston’s summer program and coaches and teaches privately.
Charlyn Bethell has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Oboe performance and a Bachelor of Music Education from Western Washington State University in Bellingham, WA. She received a Diploma from the National Conservatory in Aarhus Denmark in Oboe performance. Her master’s degree is from Cambridge College. She has a Certificate from the Kodaly Center of America and is an Endorsed Trainer for Education Through Movement, Building the Foundation. As an oboist, she was an oboist in the Randers Town Orchestra in Denmark. She has performed with Monadnock Music, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Emmanuel Music, New Hampshire Symphony, and Springfield Symphony. She was a founding member of the New Art Winds which made its New York debut in Carnegie Recital Hall in 1985. She presently plays in Solar Winds and in Kaleidoscope Chamber Ensemble. She has recorded for CRI. Charlyn also teaches Kodály Pedagogy and Materials at the Kodály Music Institute, and, at Phillips Academy in Andover, she is the Adjunct Oboe Instructor and director of wind chamber music. She recently retired from teaching general music to Kindergarten through grade 5 in the Concord Public Schools. She presented a session at the 2019 Massachusetts Music Educators’ Association’s conference: “What is Kodaly Philosophy and How can I Use it Tomorrow”.
Stephen Buck teaches vocal and instrumental music grades pre-k to nine at the Fay School in Southborough, MA. He received a BM in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Ithaca College, an MM in Music Education from Boston University, and Kodály Certificate from KMI. Mr. Buck was the recipient of the 2012 International Kodály Society Scholarship to study in Hungary, where he received and an Advanced Diploma in Choral Conducting from the Kodály Institute in Kecskémet, working with Dr. Péter Erdei. He has worked with the Ithaca Children’s Chorus under the direction of Dr. Janet Galván, and has co-led and prepared singers at the Worcester Children’s Chorus on a tour to England. An accomplished singer, Mr. Buck has performed with the Berkshire Choral Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Canto Armonico, Ars Nova (Hungary), the Schola Cantorum at Saint Stephen’s Providence, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. He made his Symphony Hall soloist debut in the Defiant Requiem in April 2015.
KMI Co-Director, Conducting I
Carol Forward has been a clinician, general music and choral music educator for twenty years, teaching students at all levels from pre-school through post-graduate since 1996. She received two Bachelors Degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in Vocal Music Education and Vocal Music Performance, and her Master’s Degree in Education and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership from the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. She received her Kodaly training at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA, and spent a summer of study at the Kodaly Pedagogical Institute in Kecskemet, Hungary.
Mrs. Forward has been employed by the East Longmeadow, MA Public School District since 1998, and is currently the choral director at East Longmeadow High School. In this position, she has expanded the program selection to include a general chorus, advanced chorus, a select women’s ensemble, a men’s ensemble as well as general classes in history of rock and roll and music technology. Mrs. Forward enjoys collaborating with other educators, and has brought several prominent educators to do workshops and seminars for her colleagues and students. Her high school chorus has collaborated with many other school and community choral ensembles throughout the state to promote music learning and enrich the choral experience for her students.
In addition to her position in East Longmeadow, Mrs. Forward was appointed as Assistant Director of the Kodaly Music Institute in 2016 and Co-Director in 2017. Mrs. Forward has also served as adjunct faculty for various colleges in MA, NH and CT. She has also served on the state MMEA board as well as at the Western District level. Carol’s main goal in her career is to help her students find a love and appreciation of music that is as strong as hers is, and continue to love music not just when they are in her ensembles, but for the rest of their lives.
KMI Choir, Conducting II/III
David Hodgkins is the Artistic Director of Coro Allegro in Boston, which Boston Globe critic Michael Manning deemed “one of Boston’s most accomplished choruses,” Artistic Director of The New England Classical Singers in Andover, Director of Music at The Commonwealth School in Boston, advanced conducting instructor at the Kodály Music Institute, and serves on the advisory boards of The Boston City Singers and the UMass/Amherst Music Department.
Mr. Hodgkins has performed with Coro Allegro at the Chorus America conference and the ACDA and GALA music festivals. He has made numerous appearances as guest conductor and clinician and his ensembles have collaborated with the Boston Celebrity Series, Boston Cecilia, Handel and Haydn Society, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, The New England String Ensemble, The Terezin Music Foundation, and the Boston Landmarks Orchestra.
Over the past 25 years, Mr. Hodgkins has conducted over 23 world and Boston premiere performances of works ranging from Marianne Martinez to Arvo Pärt. With Coro Allegro, he received the 2019 Chorus America ASCAP Award for Adventurous programming and the 2012 Chorus America Alice Parker/ASCAP Award for their collaborative premiere performance of Kareem Roustom’s oratorio Son of Man, with The United Parish Church of Brookline and Music Director Susan DeSelms. Coro Allegro also released the critically acclaimed CDs Awakenings and In Paradisum on the Navona label, which feature contemporary composers Robert Stern, Ronald Perera, and Patricia Van Ness and soloists Sanford Sylvan and Ruth Cunningham. Gramophone magazine noted of Awakenings that “Coro Allegro, led by David Hodgkins, performs each score with fine balance and interplay.”
Mr. Hodgkins has been featured in Choral Director Magazine, The Voice of Chorus America, UMass Amherst Magazine, and Haverhill Life. He has served as producer for three award-winning CDs by La Donna Musicale, Laury Gutiérrez, Artistic Director, In the Style of... for Terry Everson, trumpet, and Shiela Kibbe, piano on Albany Records, and a CD of trumpet concerti for the Boston University Wind Ensemble and Terry Everson, directed by David Martins.
David Hodgkins received his Bachelor of Music in voice, piano, and harpsichord from UMass/Amherst, a Masters in Choral Conducting from Temple University, and fellowships in choral and orchestral conducting at the Aspen and Sandpoint music festivals. His mentors include Wayne Abercrombie, Fiora Contino, Alan Harler, James Roth, Gunther Schuller, and Paul Vermel. Mr. Hodgkins has served on the faculties of the New England Conservatory, UMass/Amherst, Temple University, and Clark University.
Jillian Falvo, Sing! In Somerville Instructor
Jillian Falvo has been teaching elementary classroom music and beginning chorus for eight years. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in music education and clarinet performance and studied at the Commonwealth Honors College. She holds a Masters degree in Education with a Kodaly emphasis from Anna Maria College. In addition to receiving her Kodaly certificate from KMI, Mrs. Falvo has studied Orff Schulwerk with Penny Mahoney and Tom Rice.
Currently Mrs. Falvo teaches K-4 classroom music and 4th grade chorus in the Shrewsbury Public Schools. She has been studying voice with Jane Shivick and regularly perform as a member of the Worcester Chorus under the direction of Chris Shepard. She is also an active member of the Blackstone Valley Community Concert Band and teaches clarinet privately. She currently lives in Leicester with her husband and rambunctious labrador Griswold.
Philip Montgomery, Sing! in Somerville Instructor
Philip Montgomery is the Arts Department Chairman of the Fay School in Southborough, MA, an independent school for students in Grades Pre-Kindergarten through Nine. He holds a Masters Degree in Organ Performance from The Boston Conservatory where he studied with James David Christie and was awarded membership in Pi Kappa Lambda. He holds an additional Masters Degree in Music Education, with Kodály emphasis, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Mr. Montgomery is a certified instructor in both the Orff-Schulwerk and Kodály methodologies of music education. He also attended the 25th and 26th International Kodály Seminars at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary. He completed levels 1, 2 and 3 of the “Creating Artistry Choral Conductors Workshop” with Henry Leck, founder and director of the Indianapolis Children’s Chorus. Mr. Montgomery has served as Assistant Organist at All Saints Church, Worcester, MA and as Organist and Choirmaster of Saint Mark’s Church, Episcopal, in Southborough, MA.
He is currently Associate Director of the Worcester Children’s Chorus where he conducts the “Da Capo” and “Young Artists” choirs. Additionally, Mr. Montgomery is a faculty member of the Kodály Music Institute where he has been the summer choir director for Institute’s “Vocal Vacation” program. Philip now serves on the national board of OAKE (The Organization of American Kodály Educators) as Eastern Division I Representative.
Susie Petrov holds a Bachelors degree in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory, a Masters in music theory from Temple University and a Kodály Teaching Certificate. She gives workshops each year for national and regional Kodály music teacher associations. She has taught Level III Materials and has mentored Level IV participants at KMI. She is currently Co-Director of KMI. She has twelve recordings and two books of Scottish music to her publication credit. She currently teaches music in the Lynn, MA public schools and spends weekends and holidays teaching and performing Scottish music across the USA and in Europe with her ensembles, Local Hero and A Parcel of Rogues.
Repertoire and Strategies
Kate Phillipson has been an ESL teacher for over 20 years. She has taught adults in private language schools, universities, in a non-profit setting for job skills. She has taught elementary aged students in public schools for 12 years. She has been a district EL registrar and coach and currently is the ESL Coordinator in Watertown, MA.
Founding Director, Through the Looking Glass Instructor
Co-Founder of KMI and Director Emeritus of KMI (1998-2015), Jonathan Rappaport is a conductor, educator, composer and author. He has published 20 choral works and 5 books, and is the recipient of several awards from MMEA, MAEA, MAAE, MALC, the New England Theatre Conference, and the OAKE Lifetime Achievement Award. He has taught music, trained teachers nationally, and directed choruses for over 50 years. Rappaport is Executive Director Emeritus of Arts|Learning (2008-2018); he is the past Executive Director of the Conservatory Lab Charter School (Boston) and the Performing Arts Curriculum Liaison of the Worcester (MA) Schools. Rappaport served as the Lead Facilitator for the panels that wrote the 2019 MA Arts Curriculum Framework and currently serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Arts Education Advisory Council for the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (past Co-Chair). Jonathan was appointed by MA Governor Deval Patrick to serve on a Commission to develop the Creative Challenge Index (2012), and served on the STEM advisory board which rewrote the revised MA STEM plan (2013). He is a past Executive Secretary of OAKE, and past president of the Boston Area Kodály Educators. Jonathan’s biography appears in the International Who’s Who in Music and Who’s Who in America. Graduate study has included work towards a PhD at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (ABD), M.M. from New England Conservatory (with honors), and a Kodály Certificate from the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest, Hungary.
Dr. Jill Trinka,
Repertoire and Strategies
Jill Trinka, Ph.D., is well known by children, parents, and music educators as “a dynamic, winsome, and energetic teacher and performer.” Her performances bring new life to the musical and cultural treasures of American folk music as she accompanies herself on the dulcimer, autoharp, guitar, and banjo. She has recorded and written four volumes of folksongs, singing games, and play parties for kids of all ages: My Little Rooster (1987), Bought Me a Cat (1988), John, the Rabbit (1989), and The Little Black Bull (1996). These publications and her collaborative recordings with John Feierabend – Had a Little Rooster (2005), Old Joe Clark (2006), and There’s a Hole in the Bucket (2006) – are published by and available from GIA Music, Inc. Her latest publication, a DVD, is entitled Jill Trinka: The Bass Hall Children’s Concerts (Ft. Worth, TX), released in 2012.
Dr. Trinka was a 1974-75 Ford Foundation Ringer Fellow at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, where she studied Kodály philosophy and practice in music education. She has taught in public and private schools in IL, NY, CT, and TX, and was on the music education faculties at the University of Central Arkansas, the University of North Texas, and the University of St. Thomas, where she also served as director of Graduate Programs in Music Education.
Dr. Trinka holds a B. S. in music education from the University of Illinois, and Ph. D. in music education with secondary studies in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught in Kodály teacher education programs throughout the United States, and served as director of the Kodály Institute of Texas at the University of North Texas, the Kodály Certificate Program at Portland State University in Portland, OR, and the Kodály Institute at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She is a Past President of the Organization of American Kodály Educators and received their Outstanding Educator Award in 2003. Jill was a contributing author to Pearson/Scott Foresman/Silver Burdett’s Making Music, Grades 5-8.
Originally from Oak Park, IL, Jill currently resides in Pawleys Island, SC, where she teaches music education, world music, musicianship, and elementary music methods courses at Coastal Carolina University, performs as a solo folk artist, and sings in the Carolina Master Chorale and the Carolina Master Chorale Chamber Singers. She teaches workshops for music educators throughout the United States and is an artist-in-residence in elementary schools. She is currently working on a CD of traditional Christmas music from the American South.
Gabor Virágh is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Supervisor of Ear Training at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford, who performs on both trumpet and coronet. He is classical-Jazz musician with a 5-year diploma graduate of the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest, Hungary, and an M.M. from the Berklee School of Music, Boston. Virágh studied at the Academie Musicala Ottorino Respighi Festival of Assisi, Italy. Mr. Virágh performs trumpet in both classical and jazz idioms. He is a revered solfège Professor at the Hartt School, University of Hartford, Connecticut and guest lecturer in Kodály courses in Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado. His seven publications include an English translation and Edition of The World of Sounds and Living Harmonies: Anthology of Renaissance & Early Baroque Vocal Works. Mr. VIrágh is a featured soloist of the New England Jazz Ensemble and other big bands as well as Musica Mundi (Classical Hits) and Toodle-e labels (“Let’s Fall in Love” June Bisantz Evans sings Chet Baker.)
Kati Virágh teaches music theory at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford and performs as a violinist. She completed her study in the Béla Bartók Conservatory of Music and the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. She was a member of the Hungarian National Opera when she had invited to the Orchestra Symphonica Tenerife in Canary Island, Spain. Since 1990 she is a resident of United States and is currently a member of the Hartford Symphony, and an adjunct professor of theory/ear-training at the University of Hartford/The Hartt School. Mrs. Virágh is a frequent guest clinician at Nebraska Wesleyan, the State University Wichita, New England Conservatory, and the University of Colorado. Mrs. VIragh won the Second Prize of the International Violin Competition, Czechoslovakia, was four times the First Prize Winner of the Hungarian National Violin Competitions. Among her teachers were the famous Russian violinist Semyon Snitkovsky and the outstanding master pedagogue of the Kodály movement, Melinda Kistétényi.
Our Past Faculty and Staff
Peter and Mary Alice Amidon
Dr. Mary Epstein
Dr. Brian Michaud
Dr. Katalín Kíss
Dr. Alyson Shirk
Dr. Jill Trinka
Dr. Susan Brumfield
James RF Holmes
Dr. Mary Ellen Junda
Frankie & Doug Quimby
Dr. Alice Hammel