SMS Music Program

Message from Music Program

Dear Special Music School Families,

This year we honor two thrilling milestones. Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School celebrates its 20th anniversary and, we welcome the first graduating senior class at Special Music School High School, which opened its doors in the fall of 2013.

We are deeply grateful to the committed individuals, families and organizations that have helped make the school a reality and whose continued care help to keep it thriving. Because of the work we have done together, we have made it possible for many musically gifted New York City public school students to develop their talent and realize their full potential.
Recently, on the first day of school, we held an event to welcome the first graduating High School class to their final year. It was inspiring, filled with speakers from our community, the Department of Education, and the student body.
One of our seniors, Johanna Nelson, spoke and ended her remarks with this thought, “I have to admit I’ve gotten a little emotional thinking about the end of my SMS journey in less than a year. It’s pretty frightening, actually—SMS is like my personal guru that watches me try something, maybe fail, try again, and succeed. But I think that by the end of this year, I’ll be ready to face the world, armed with the knowledge, and love, I received at SMS.”
Each and every day, our diverse and talented students demonstrate the strong relationship between music and success. As this year unfolds let’s take the time to enjoy what we and our students have achieved together. Here’s to many more years!
Lydia Kontos
Executive Director
Kaufman Music Center 


Music Program Administration

Lydia Kontos: President, Kaufman Music Center

Dr. Igal Kesselman: Interim Director, Special Music School
Director, Lucy Moses School at Kaufman Music Center

Sandra Noreen: Dean of Music, Special Music School K-8

Kevin Michael Sullivan: Dean of Music, Special Music School High School  &

Eric Dumouchelle: Administrative and Production Associate, Special Music School High School  &

Nicholaus Tucker: Music Education Manager Admissions Associate, Special Music School K-8

Muisc Office Phone Number: (212) 501-3316

SMS K-8 Music Program Faculty

Sean Hartley: Chair of Admissions; Chorus (1st to 4th grade)
Emily John: 5th grade & Middle School Chorus, Music History
Yukiko Konishi: Dalcroze Theory for Kindergarten and Grade 1
Luke Schwartz: Grades 4 – 8 Music Theory
Mike Webster: Improvisation, Grade 8

SMS High School Music Program Faculty

Classroom Faculty:
Dr. Bradley Colten: Music History, Performance Classes
David Bloom: Senior Seminar: Graduation Project
Matthew Gantt: Music Technology
Brooks Frederickson: Music Theory
Loren Loiacono: Music Theory
Dr. Sandra Noreen: Music Theory
Vasu Panicker: Entrepreneurship and Arts Leadership
Luke Schwartz: Music Theory, Jazz Theory
Kevin Michael Sullivan: Senior and Junior Seminars

Large Ensemble Faculty:
David Bloom: Concert Orchestra, Sinfonia
Emily John: Select Choir, Women’s Advanced Choir
Tim Keeler: Concert Choir, Men’s Choir
Mike Webster: Big Band
Jude Ziliak: Baroque Ensemble

Chamber Music & Skill Building Faculty
Nanci Belmont David Bloom Liam Burke Dr. Bradley Colten
Rafael Cortes Anna Elashvili Brooks Frederickson Max Grafe
YiFang Huang Tim Keeler Julie Kurtzman Loren Loiacono
Adriana Mateo Aakash Mittal Mary Nessinger Dr. Sandra Noreen
Dr. Dalit Warshaw Luke Schwartz Lisa Tamagini Todd Walker
Mike Webster Emily White

Private Lesson Faculty
Rebekah Griffin Greene-Bass Nanci Belmont-Bassoon Alex Croxton-Cello
Kalin Ivanov-Cello Sibylle Johner-Cello Liam Burke-Clarinet
David Sapadin-Clarinet Kyle Blaha-Composition Max Grafe-Composition
Dr. Dalit Warshaw-Composition Keith Bonner-Flute Diane Taublieb-Flute
Dr. Bradley Colten-Guitar Luke Schwartz-Guitar/Jazz Guitar Joshua Richman-Jazz Piano
Phil Rashkin-Oboe Chris Graham-Percussion Joe Tucker-Percussion
Genia Betman-Piano Rafael Cortes-Piano Igal Kesselman-Piano
Natela Mchedlishvili-Piano Genya Paley-Piano Emily White-Piano
Heidi Garson-French Horn Mike Webster-Saxophone Aakash Mittal-Saxophone
James Rogers-Trombone Brad Siroky-Trumpet Todd Walker-Trumpet
Viktor Basis-Viola YiFang Huang-Viola Anna Elashvili-Violin
Adrianna Mateo-Violin Lynelle Smith-Violin Jude Ziliak-Violin
Mary Nessinger-Voice Lisa Tamagini-Voice

Muisc Office Phone Number: (212) 501-3316

Contact the School

Academic Office: 212.501.3318
Music Office: 212.501.3316
KMC Front Desk: 212.501.3308
KMC Support: 212.501.3356

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