Alanna Furst, soprano, is a lifelong resident of northeast Ohio. She completed a Master of Music in Voice Performance in 2015 at Kent State University, where she was a graduate assistant. While at Kent, she was a voice student of Dr. Lara Troyer, and she performed with Kent State Opera and the New Music Ensemble. Her previous voice instructors include Marla Berg, Ann-Marie Wilcox Daehn, and James Mismas. Prior to her work at Kent, she earned a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Akron, where she was a graduate assistant and conducting student of Dr. Samuel Gordon. She also completed extensive course work in Music History during her time at Akron.
Currently, Alanna teaches private voice lessons in the Akron area in addition to her studio at NDC, and she studies voice with Dr. Gordon. In 2018, her interest in Japanese music and its history led to a faculty recital based on the cultural exchange between Japan and the West and a collaboration with the Columbus Koto Ensemble in a performance of folk songs at the Columbus Asian Festival. She sings with and is the administrative assistant for Singers’ Companye, a semi-professional chorus based in Akron under the direction of Dr. Gordon. She was previously choir director at York United Methodist Church in Medina.
North East Ohio guitarist Brent Hamker has been performing music all over the Cleveland area since he was 14 years old. Now at age 24 he has had the privilege of studying and performing under the tutelage of many great masters of music all over the world including Ernie Krivda, Bob Fraser, Victor Mendoza, Perico Sambeat, Dan Wilson, Stephen Enos, and many more. Brent began his education at Cuyahoga Community College in 2009 at the Tri-C Jazz Studies Program. In 2012 he began his studies at Cleveland State University where he earned is Bachelors in Music Performance in 2014. In the Summer of 2014 he moved to Valencia, Spain to begin his Masters Degree in Contemporary Performance at Berklee College of Music’sValencia Campus. While in Spain, Brent was fortunate enough to travel and be part of many performances throughout Europe. Upon graduating with his Masters Degree fromBerklee, Brent returned to North East Ohio to continue performing throughout the area and work on a vast array of new musical projects. He is part of the music faculty at Notre Dame College of Ohio as an Adjunct Professor of Guitar and Jazz Studies.
Adjunct Faculty in Piano
DMA, Cleveland Institute of Music
MM, University of Toronto
BM, University of Toronto
Korean-Canadian pianist Donna Lee is a veteran performer, playing in concerts, recitals and festivals all over North America and Europe. Born in Toronto, Donna started her studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in the Young Artists Performance Academy. Subsequently, she had the privilege of studying at the Musikhochschule in Hannover, Germany. During her time there, Donna won first prize at the San Sebastián International Piano Competition in Spain, special prize at the IBLA Grand Prize in Italy, and performed concerts and recitals at the Mozarteum Summer Festival in Salzburg, Austria. In Canada, Donna was the second-prize winner of the prestigious Canadian Chopin Competition. She also was on tour for Jeunesses Musicales du Canada Desjardins Series, with French Horn player, Louis Phillipe Marsolais. A recipient of the Simmonds Graduate Fellowship and the Drummond Graduate Fellowship, Donna holds a Master’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Toronto studying with Marietta Orlov. In 2018, Donna earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Daniel Shapiro.
Thomas Lempner, M.M.
Adjunct Faculty in Saxophone
MM, Kent State University
BM, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory
Tom is also a member of the music faculty at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music and Cleveland State University. He is a woodwind coach for the Cleveland Institute of Music Cleveland Youth Wind Symphonies and is a teaching artist for CIPC ArtsConnect at Gilmour Academy.
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. Tom has been selected by Ohio Regional Music Arts and Cultural Outreach for a third year to facilitate 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, Kurtis Jeffers, and Jeffrey Quick. He is scheduled this year to premiere another work of Geoffrey Peterson titled Homage to Donald Erb for solo baritone saxophone, as he also premiered Dr. Greg D’Alessio’s Harley (for saxophone quartet) and Buck McDaniel’s Labyrinth (for saxophone quartet) at the 2018 North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference. 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, WJW FOX 8 News In the Morning, as he also has been featured on Ideastream, Cleveland Ovations, The Hazel Chapman Show, and Positively Cleveland. Tom performs locally as a member of Cleveland Winds, Akron Symphonic Winds, Ekklésia Ensemble, Canton Comic Opera Company, Neo-Tessares Saxophone Quartet, Night Owls, Powerhouse 5, Trepanning Trio, Sarata & Lempner Duo, NEO Dixie, Dan Smith & Deep Cleveland Trio, Pen & Axe, OutLab, Hexapod, Freedom Jazz Collective, and he 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 and an endorsing artist for Air Revelation.
Oksana Melnychneko is an active member of the National Teachers Music Association of America (NTMA), and North East Ohio Music Teachers Association (NEOMTA) where she serves as a Director and Co-Chair of Music Festivals. Ms. Melnychenko currently holds Master’s Degrees in Music Pedagogy and Orchestra Conducting.
She is an Adjunct Faculty in Cuyahoga Community College, Eastern Campus in Highland Hills, Ohio, where she teaches Violin, Piano, String Quartet, Keyboard and Ear Training classes. Ms. Melnychenko is also Founder and teacher of her private Music Studio in Richmond Heights, Ohio, where she teaches Violin, Piano, Music Theory, and Music History classes. She is a professional musician and teacher with more than 10 years’ teaching experience in Europe and in the United States.
Since 2006, Ms. Melnychenko plays the Violin and conducts Cuyahoga Community College Symphony Orchestra as an honored guest. In August 15, 2010 Ms. Melnychenko received “Five Years of Faithful Teaching Service Award” from Cuyahoga Community College. In April 17, 2011 Ms. Melnychenko received award as “Outstanding Adjunct Faculty 2011” from Cuyahoga Community College. In November 8, 2015 – 11 students performed at NEOMTA Fall Music Festival in Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio. In March 6, 2016 – ten students performed at NEOMTA Spring Festival in Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, Berea, Ohio. Ms. Melnychenko teaches an international class of students from around the world.
Justine Myers is a member of CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, the Battle Creek Symphony, and the Mansfield Symphony. She has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra both at home and on their 2017 European tour. Justine has also performed with many other orchestras, including the New World, Akron, Ashland, Wheeling, and Youngstown Symphonies. She enjoys playing chamber music with musicians in the area, including members of the Cleveland Orchestra.
A dedicated teacher, Justine is lecturer in oboe pedagogy at Baldwin Wallace University, on the faculty of the BW Community Music School, and maintains a private studio in Northeast Ohio. While a graduate student, Justine was Artist-in-Residence at Judson Manor retirement community where she lived in an intergenerational environment while programming solo and chamber music recitals.
Justine holds a BM from Baldwin Wallace University and a MM from the Cleveland Institute of Music, having studied with Cleveland Orchestra oboists Jeffrey Rathbun and Frank Rosenwein. She will complete an Artist Diploma in Spring 2018 at Oberlin Conservatory, where she studies with Robert Walters, solo English horn of the Cleveland Orchestra. Born and raised in Alaska, Justine enjoys the outdoors, yoga, and cooking.
Irwin Shung, D.M.A.
Adjunct Faculty in Piano, Music History, Collaborative Piano
DMA, Cleveland Institute of Music
MM, Cleveland Institute of Music
BM, The Peabody Institute
BA, Johns Hopkins University
Irwin Shung received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music in January, 2015, where he studied with Dr. Daniel Shapiro. Dr. Shung joined the Institute’s faculty in July, 2015, teaching courses at the Case Western Reserve University. Shung’s playing has been praised by the State Magazine for its “ease, technique, and musicianship.”
In May 2010, Dr. Shung received his Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute along with a Dean’s award for holding the single highest GPA among CIM graduates that year. He completed his undergraduate education at The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he attained a Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance with the Pauline Favin Memorial Award. He was a winner in the 19th annual Darius Milhaud Competition in February 2012, as well as the Young Artist International Pianist Competition in June 2012.
Dr. Shung has received instruction on piano from various distinguished teachers, including Daniel Shapiro (Cleveland Institute), Marian Hahn (Peabody Conservatory), Leon Fleisher (Peabody Conservatory), Herbert Stessin (Juillard School), and Gabriel Chodos (New England Conservatory). He has performed in various states across the U.S., as well as in China and Singapore.
Pianist Sung-Soo Cho continues to captivate audiences with profound interpretations of musical depth. Praised for his technique and command at the piano, his wide musical perception has drawn critical acclaim. Awarded “Best American Contemporary Performance” at the Cincinnati World Piano Competition and “Best Performance of the Commissioned Work” at the Texas State International Piano Competition, he especially enjoys broadening his passion for contemporary music. One of his recent projects includes a CD “Minimum | Maximum | Modern Piano Music by American Composers” which was released in March 2016 by Albany Records.
Dr. Cho has been a worldwide prizewinner in numerous competitions including the International Piano Competition “Delia Steinberg” in Madrid, Spain, the Suri Music Concours, the JoongAng Music Concours in Korea, the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, the 5 Towns Music and Art Foundation Young Musician Competition in New York, New York International Music Concours, Glasgow International Competition for Young Pianists, The United States Virtuoso International Piano Competition, Texas State International Piano Competition, and the Cincinnati World Piano Competition.
Dr. Cho has appeared as a soloist throughout the world, including appearances with the Prime Philharmonic of Korea, the Festival Chamber Orchestra of Lublin Philharmonic, The Ashdod Symphony Orchestra, and The Round Rock Symphony. His performance highlights include solo performances in various venues throughout Korea, the United States and Europe. He has performed at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Yamaha Artist Service Seoul, and the Kumho Art Hall. He is also a pianist at Lake George Music Festival, which is a strong supporter of contemporary classical music. He has premiered many new works by leading contemporary composers at this vibrant festival.
Dr. Cho started his musical studies at the age of five in Seoul, South Korea and graduated from Yewon Arts Middle School, Seoul Arts High School, Seoul National University, and Manhattan School of Music. His teachers include Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Phillip Kawin and Hyoung-Joon Chang. He recently earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Dr. Cho serves as adjunct faculty in piano and class piano at New York University, as well as an adjunct faculty in music history (online) and a visiting artist-in-residence at Notre Dame College
For more information on Mr. Cho, please visit his website at www.sungsoocho.com.
Craig Wohlschlager, M.M.
Adjuct Faculty in Clarinet
Craig Wohlschlager, clarinet, has performed extensively in the NE Ohio area for over a decade. Currently Mr. Wohlschlager works extensively as a reed doubler for musical theater productions. His specializing in doubling all members of the woodwind family has allowed many opportunities to work with companies such as Porthouse Theatre, Great Lakes Theatre Company, Playhouse Square, Kent State University School of Theatre and Dance, Malone Opera Theatre, among others. When not performing in productions in the pit, Mr. Wohlschlager serves as the assistant woodwind caption head for the Nordonia High School Marching Band, a BOA Superior rated ensemble. He also serves as the private instructor for Nordonia, teaching clarinet, saxophone, oboe, bassoon, and flute. In addition, he serves as a chamber music coach during the non-marching season. He teaches adjunct small group classes at Nordonia and Cuyahoga Falls City Schools. At Cuyahoga Falls, he also serves as a private woodwind instructor. Mr. Wohlschlager has served as the Principal E-flat clarinetist for the Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Festival Band, played as additional clarinetist for Cleveland Orchestra concerts, E-flat clarinet for the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Principal Clarinet for Ashtabula Pops Symphony among others. He has served on the clarinet faculties of the Cleveland Music School Settlement and Malone University and has appeared numerous times in recital through organizations such as Tuesday Musical Association, Akron Art Museum, The Akron Library, the Jefferson Arts Council Series, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Malone University, and the MacDowell Club of Canton, Ohio.