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Faculty & Staff

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Celeste Cosentino
Director of Theatre Studies

Celeste Cosentino (Interim Director of Theatre Studies) has served in one capacity or another for local Cleveland theaters her entire life, spending many formative years “in the house” while her mother, Lucia Colombi, was interim artistic director for Karamu in the early to mid 80’s, the same years her mother spent founding Ensemble Theatre.

She is well known and respected in the Cleveland Theatre Community having worked with The Cleveland Play House, Dobama Theatre, Clague Play House, Cain Park, Bang & Clatter, Willoughby Fine Arts and Weathervane Playhouse. She is a graduate of the Ohio University School of Theatre and returned to Cleveland in 2008, after living and working in New York City. Some of her favorite acting credits are Marela in Anna in the Tropics, Alice in Closer, Desdemona in Othello, and Kayleen in Gruesome Playgound Injuries. Favorite directing credits include The Gospel According to James, Death of a Salesman, Lower Ninth, Animals out of Paper, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The North Pool,both parts of Tony Kushner’s epic Angels in America,and most recently A Rasin in the Sun, By The Bog of Cats, and The Penelopiad!

Celeste also spent some time in the corporate/business management world and worked for the Cleveland Museum of Art in their groundbreaking ARTLENS technology gallery for almost a decade. She is excited to have stepped into the role of Interim Director of Theatre Studies at Notre Dame College! She is a graduate of Regina Highschool and feels honored to return to the “stage” where many parts of her journey began! Celeste is the daughter of Ensemble Founder, Lucia Colombi and has returned home to support her mother’s mission by providing a fresh perspective as the current Executive Artistic Director at Ensemble. She was raised by Ensemble Theatre and has special dedication to its continuation for many years to come.

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Alicia Gallucci
Co-Director of Performing Arts, Assistant Professor of Music

Alicia, professional flutist and pedagogue, joined Notre Dame College in Fall 2016. Alicia began her career at NDC as a woodwind instructor, and began taking on more responsibilities in the fields of teaching and administration. Alicia’s teaching experience at NDC consists of courses in music theory, history of rock and roll, applied flute lessons, and woodwind instruction with the band. Alicia is currently Co-Director of Performing Arts and Assistant Professor of Music. 

Having a passion for performing, Alicia is involved in community ensembles located in Northeast Ohio. Alicia is principal flutist of the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra, flute section member of The Cleveland Winds, and performs in the Siena Woodwind Quintet. In 2019, Alicia performed as a Faculty soloist with the NDC Wind Symphony in participation with their annual Honor Band Festival concert. 

In addition to performing, Alicia has developed a robust passion for music education. Alicia teaches applied flute lessons at NDC, where she fosters a warm, creative, and safe learning environment for her students. In flute lessons, Alicia’s students engage in a variety of studies; from flute fundamentals, extended techniques, baroque through modern-day works, popular music, flute history and pedagogy, mindfulness, and creative thinking. Alicia has also taught master classes for NDC’s Honor Band Festival. Outside of NDC, Alicia teaches private flute lessons through Beck Center of The Arts located in Lakewood, Ohio. She also has instructed flute sections for local high schools including Cuyahoga Falls High School, Medina High School, and St. Edwards High School. 

Alicia earned a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance at Cleveland State University under the direction of Sean Gabriel, and a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance at Kent State University under the direction of Diane Rechner.

Blake Kniola
Jazz Combo Director, Adjunct Faculty in Jazz History

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Michael Krueger
Co-Director of Performing Arts, Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Instrumental Studies

Michael is an educator, composer, and conductor. In 2016, Michael joined NDC as the Assistant Director of Bands. Currently, Michael is the Co-Director of Performing Arts, Assistant Professor of Music, and Director of Instrumental Studies. At NDC, Michael directs and supervises all instrumental ensembles, teaches applied composition lessons, and teaches academic courses in music theory, music literature, and composition. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Michael also serves as an administrator for the department in his role as a co-department head.

Michael primarily composes for wind ensembles, chamber ensembles, and marching ensembles. Michael’s most popular piece, For Patrick, has been a featured composition on The Composers Circle and Musicuratum. For Patrick was included in Volume 11 of GIA Publication’s Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series. Michael’s wind ensemble music has been featured at several honor band concerts and conferences, including the 2020 CVC Conference Band, 2018 NDC Honor Band Festival, 2018 Firelands Conference Band, 2018 and 2016 SIUE Bi-State Band Festivals and the 2014 Southwest CBDNA Conference. In June of 2017, Michael’s composition, Alone, was premiered at the International Trombone Festival. Alone was also recorded and featured on Dr.Matthew Hoormann’s debut solo album, SOMNILOQUY, which can be found on Spotify. In 2016, a consortium of fifteen bands led by Mr. Greg Allen, formed to create Michael’s Symphony 3The Dreamer.

Michael is in demand as a guest clinician and adjudicator for wind ensembles and marching bands around the United States. In the summers, Michael can be found teaching marching band camps near and far. In 2016, Michael joined the drum major and student leadership staff for Fred J. Miller Summer Clinics. In 2020, Michael was a founding member for the educational and marching band company, Music Effect Design. At Music Effect Design, Michael is a member of the Board of Directors, Director of Music Operations, and Chief Client Officer. Michael has received marching band commissions from numerous high school and collegiate marching and pep bands. To date, Michael has over 100 arrangements for the marching arts.

Michael holds a Master of Music in Music Composition from Butler University and a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Michael’s primary teachers have included Dr. Michael Schelle, Dr. Robert Grechesky, Dr. John Bell, Professor Michael Colburn, and Dr. Kimberly Archer. Michael is currently a member of ASCAP, OMEA, and US Bands. Michael is also an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi.

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Jeff Larch
Auditorium and Events Manager, Director of Percussion

Jeff Larch is an accomplished percussionist, composer, teacher, and recording engineer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance from Baldwin Wallace University (2015).  His love for music began at a very young age, starting drum set lessons at age 5. Through school, Jeff participated in every facet of music he was able to find, including jazz bands, concert bands, marching bands, and percussion ensembles. This led to a deep appreciation for music and the arts. 

His time at NDC began in 2011 with his participation in NDIPE (Notre Dame Indoor Percussion Ensemble), competing in the Winter Guard International circuit. From then, he returned to NDC as a percussion staff member in 2017. Since then, he has taken on the role of Director of Percussion, as well as Auditorium and Events Manager. His responsibilities include overseeing the marching band and concert band percussion sections, composing parts for the NDC drumline, teaching private percussion lessons, and managing the day-to-day events in the auditorium and around campus. 

Outside of NDC, Jeff stays busy as an active drum set and guitar performer, performing with one of his original or cover bands in the Cleveland/Akron area. He also runs a home recording studio, where he produces his own original music as well as singles/albums for his bands and other musicians in the Cleveland area. Lastly, he designs and composes marching band and indoor drumline shows for a number of high schools, both in and out of state. NDC is a huge part of Jeff’s growth both as a person and musician, and he loves giving back to such a great community.

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Mark Laseter
Director of Vocal Studies

Mark Laseter is thrilled to join Notre Dame College as Interim Director of Vocal Studies. Mr. Laseter enjoys a varied career as a vocalist, keyboardist, and educator. Recent engagements include projects with professional choral ensembles such as Seraphic Fire, the Portland Bach Experience, Apollo’s Fire, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Bach Collegium Fort Wayne, the Chattanooga Bach Choir, and Grammy Award-winning-ensemble The Crossing. Prior to his time in the midwest, Mark served as a choral scholar at Hereford Cathedral in the United Kingdom. There he enjoyed performances at the 2018 Three Choirs Festival, Buckingham Palace, and both the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City. Most recently, Mark was awarded first prize in the 2021 Audrey Rooney Vocal Competition from the Kentucky Bach Choir. 

In addition to his singing, Mr. Laseter is an avid keyboardist. Previous collaborative piano engagements include a year in residence with the American Boychoir School, the 2018 National Association for Music Education All-National Honor Choir, the 2016 Tennessee All State Honor Choir, the 2015 Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, the 2012 Southern Division ACDA Honor Choir, and concert and recital work at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Westminster Choir College, and Princeton University. 

Mark received his Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College and his Master’s degree in Sacred Music from the University of Notre Dame where he was a student of Kiera Duffy. Currently Mark studies voice with Ellen Hargis and Clifford Billions. 

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Tom Lempner
Applied Saxophone Instructor

Tom has taught at NDC since 2018. He is also a member of the music faculty at Cleveland State University and The College of Wooster. Tom is a woodwind coach for the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony, serves on the Medina Southtown District Arts Committee, and he is a Board Member of the Medina County Arts Council.

As a Music Therapist, he has worked at the Prentiss Autism Center and has over ten years experience working with the urban youth population of Cleveland who have severe emotional disturbances. In addition to crisis intervention, re-education and sanctuary therapeutic models, he is also trained in applied behavioral analysis from the Cleveland Clinic and completed the Child Trauma Academy with Dr. Bruce Perry. Since 2015 Tom has been chosen by ORMACO (Ohio Regional Music Arts and Cultural Outreach) to facilitate annual grant-funded therapeutic music workshops with at-risk youth.

The saxophonist has premiered solo and chamber works of local composers Nicholas Underhill, Geoffrey Peterson, Thomas Janson, John HC Thompson, Andrew Rindfleisch, Michael Leese, Buck McDaniel, Kurtis Jeffers, Jack Ballard, Darren Allen, Dr. Greg D’Alessio, Jeffrey Quick, and Stephen Stanziano. Tom is currently working on new premieres: Six Global Vignettes by Jack Ballard, Mind, Body, and Soul by Matthew Saunders, and concerto Three Vignettes ​(for saxophone and full orchestra) by Dave Morgan. He has recorded on Palmyra Music, Infinite Number of Sounds, Parousia Digital, for Ludwig Masters Publications, and with Noel Quintana’s Latin Crew. His performances include live broadcasts on WCLV Classical 104.9, 90.3 WCPN, WRUW-FM 91.1, WCR-FM 97.1, WJW FOX 8 News In the Morning, as he also has been featured on Ideastream, Cleveland Ovations, Innovations on WCLV, The Hazel Chapman Show, and Positively Cleveland. Tom performs locally as a member of Cleveland Winds, Akron Symphonic Winds, Ekklésia Reed Quintet, Canton Comic Opera Company, Neo-Tessares Saxophone Quartet, Night Owls, Powerhouse 5, NEO Dixie, Sarata & Lempner Duo, Trepanning Trio, MT Fraze, Pen & Axe, Hexapod, Freedom Jazz Collective, and is host of the experimental project Inquiries Into Sound.

Tom earned a Masters of Music degree at Kent State University where he was awarded the Walter Watson Jazz Award, Outstanding Soloist at Elmhurst Jazz Festival, and Winner of the Graduate Student Soloists Competition. He also earned a double Bachelors degree in Music Therapy and Music Performance at the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music, a Diploma from the Armed Forces School of Music, and is a U.S. Army Veteran with various awards and decorations.

Tom Lempner is a Conn-Selmer Performing Artist.

Taylor Parker
Dance Coach

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Dr. Irwin Shung
Collaborative Pianist, Applied Piano Instructor, Adjunct Faculty in Music History

Dr. Irwin Shung, whose playing has been praised by State Magazine for its “ease, technique, and musicianship,” has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.  He currently serves as Artistic Director of the Resonance Masters’ Series in Bellevue, Washington.

Shung received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Dr. Daniel Shapiro.  Upon graduation, he joined the faculty at the Institute, where he served for three years within the Joint Music Program, liaising with Case Western’s music department.  Past instructors include Daniel Shapiro (Cleveland Institute of Music), Marian Hahn (Peabody Conservatory), Leon Fleisher (Peabody Conservatory), Herbert Stessin (Julliard School), and Gabriel Chodos (New England Conservatory).

 

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Dr. Qin Ying Tan
Adjunct Faculty in Music History

A firm believer of story-telling through music, Qin Ying Tan is a historical keyboardistist with influences from a pool of diverse music which includes baroque French court dance, Indonesian gamelan, the Chinese guzheng, as well as community song and dance.  Born in Singapore, Tan moved to the United States in 2012 and recently graduated from Cleveland Institute of Music with a doctorate in harpsichord performance.  Currently, Tan works at Case Western University and Notre Dame College as keyboard and music history faculty. Tan has also performed as a concerto soloist with the Baltimore Baroque Band, the Case Baroque Orchestra, and the Charm City Baroque

When she is not immersed in music, Ying loves exploring hikes with her husband, Irwin Shung, and dachshund rescue, Jax.

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