(BRANCHBURG, NJ) -- Area high school music students are invited to enroll in Raritan Valley Community College's Applied Music courses and receive college credit for private lessons on their instruments. The experience will help them to be better prepared for All-State and college auditions, and to excel at and enjoy music-making at all levels.
Auditions are required to participate in the 1-credit Applied Music I courses (MUSC 131), and the lesson times are coordinated individually between the faculty member and student.
High school students are also invited to participate in both the 1-credit RVCC Chorale (MUSC 151) and the 1-credit RVCC Jazz Ensemble (MUSC 157). The Chorale meets Mondays, from 7:00pm-9:50pm, and the Jazz Ensemble meets Thursdays, from 6:30pm-9:50pm.
In addition, high school students and community members are invited to participate in the Raritan Valley Dance Ensemble, a semi-professional touring dance company that performs weekly at local schools and senior centers. RVDE meets Fridays, from 9:00am-12:50pm. Interested participants are welcome to join RVDE on a non-credit basis through the Division of Community Education.
RVCC's Applied Music faculty includes Dr. Oliver Santana, clarinet and saxophone; Dr. Gregg Giannascoli, concert percussion; Robert Radliff, violin and viola; Mark Serkin, cello; Jeremy Sweet, jazz piano; Anna Keiserman, piano; Matt Slocum, jazz drums; and Dr. Will Berman, voice.
Dr. Oliver Santana (shown at the top of this article) is the woodwind specialist at the Music Tech Contemporary Music School and is Professor of Saxophone at County College of Morris. His talents as a gifted saxophonist, woodwind doubler, arranger, and educator have made him an in-demand musician on the jazz, classical, and Latin music scenes.
Marimba and percussion artist Dr. Greg Giannascoli teaches undergraduate and graduate applied percussion at New Jersey City University. He has presented master classes at the Julliard School and The Manhattan School of Music.
Robert Radliff is a member of the Violin Faculty at California’s Cazadero Performing Arts Camp and runs the violin program at the Robert Treat Academy Charter School in Newark. He is also a member of the Violin Faculty at the Wharton Institute of the Performing Arts, where he coaches the violin sections of the New Jersey Youth Orchestra. Radliff’s students have participated in New Jersey Region and All-State orchestras, and some have gone on to study music at the collegiate level.
Jeremy Sweet holds a B.M. in Jazz Piano Performance from Moravian College and has performed extensively as an accomplished pianist. Sweet’s jazz trio has entertained thousands in the tri-state area. Sweet has performed at The Kimmel Center, The Philadelphia Museum, The Barnes Museum, and The Curtis Center.
Drummer and composer Matt Slocum has taught masterclasses and in clinics at programs such as Berklee College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, Brubeck Institute, San Francisco State University, the University of Southern California, the University of Minnesota, Sonoma State University, the University of Montana, and the University of the Arts.
American cellist Mark Edward Serkin received a Master of Music from the Mannes School of Music, New York City, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate at the Mason Gross School of Music, Rutgers University. Serkin is a cello and chamber music coach for the Face the Music program and a cello faculty member for Opus 118 Harlem School of Music, both affiliated with Kaufman Music Center in New York City.
Pianist Dr. Anna Keiserman has served as a faculty member at the NYU Steinhardt School of the Arts and at William Paterson University. She received degrees from the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow and the University of Minnesota. She also completed her Doctorate in Piano Performance at Rutgers University, where she earned the Elizabeth Wyckoff Durham Award for academic distinction and excellence in piano performance. In September 2020, Dr. Keiserman joined the faculty of Raritan Valley Community College as an Assistant Professor of Piano.
Dr. Will Berman, baritone, is an experienced performer of art song and operatic repertoire. Most recently he completed a research project culminating with a lecture recital on Schubert’s Die Winterreise. He is equally passionate about teaching and promotes physiologically-informed singing, regardless of genre.
Auditions are required to participate in many of RVCC’s music courses. To learn more about how high school students may participate in RVCC’s Applied Music courses, including information about auditions, fees, and scheduling lessons, contact Dr. Anna Keiserman at email@example.com.
Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, New Jersey.