High school students can enroll in RVCC applied music classes, dance ensemble


originally published: 08/29/2022

(BRANCHBURG, NJ) — Area high school music students are encouraged to enroll in applied music classes at Raritan Valley Community College and receive college credit for private lessons on their instruments. The experience will help them be better prepared for All-State and College auditions, and excel and enjoy creating music at all levels.

Auditions are required to participate in the 1-credit Applied Music I course (MUSC 131), and class times are coordinated individually between the faculty member and the student.

High school students are also encouraged to participate in both the 1-credit RVCC Choir (MUSC 151) and the 1-credit RVCC Jazz Ensemble (MUSC 157). The Choir meets on Mondays, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:50 p.m., and the Jazz Ensemble meets on Thursdays, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:50 p.m.

Additionally, high school students and community members are invited to participate in the Raritan Valley Dance Ensemble, a semi-professional traveling dance company that performs weekly at local schools and senior centers. RVDE meets on Fridays, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. Interested participants are invited to join RVDE without credit through the Community Education Division.

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 Keizerman, piano; Matt Slocum, jazz drums; and Dr. Will Berman, voice.

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Dr. Oliver Santana (featured at the top of this article) is the wind specialist at Music Tech Contemporary Music School and is professor of saxophone at County College of Morris. His talents as a gifted saxophonist, wind doubler, arranger and educator have made him a sought-after musician on the jazz, classical and Latin music scenes.

Dr. Greg Giannascoli, marimba artist and percussionist, teaches applied percussion to undergraduate and graduate students at New Jersey City University. He gave master classes at the Julliard School and the Manhattan School of Music.

High school students can enroll in RVCC applied music classes, dance ensemble

Robert Radliff is a member of the violin faculty at Cazadero Performing Arts Camp in California and directs the violin program at 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 directs the violin sections of the New Jersey Youth Orchestra. Radliff students participated in New Jersey area and statewide orchestras, and some went on to study music at the college level.

Jeremy Sweet holds a BM 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.

High school students can enroll in RVCC applied music classes, dance ensemble

Drummer and composer Matt Slocum has given masterclasses and clinics at programs including Berklee College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Brubeck Institute, San Francisco State University, University of California du South, the University of Minnesota, Sonoma State University, the University of Montana, and the University of the Arts.

American cellist Mark Edward Serkin earned a Master of Music degree from the Mannes School of Music in New York and is currently pursuing his doctorate at the Mason Gross School of Music at Rutgers University. Serkin is a cello and chamber music coach for the Face the Music program and a cello faculty member at Opus 118 Harlem School of Music, both affiliated with the Kaufman Music Center in New York City.

High school students can enroll in RVCC applied music classes, dance ensemble

Pianist Dr. Anna Keiserman was a faculty member at NYU Steinhardt School of the Arts and William Paterson University. She graduated from the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow and the University of Minnesota. She also received her doctorate in piano performance from Rutgers University, where she won the Elizabeth Wyckoff Durham Prize for Academic Distinction and Excellence in Piano Performance. In September 2020, Dr. Keiserman joined the faculty at Raritan Valley Community College as an Assistant Professor of Piano.

Dr. Will Berman, baritone, is an experienced performer of art song and operatic repertoire. More recently he completed a research project which resulted in a lecture recital on the work of Schubert Die Winterreise. He is also passionate about teaching and promotes physiologically informed singing, regardless of genre.

Auditions are required to participate in many RVCC music classes. To learn more about how high school students can participate in RVCC Applied Music classes, including information on auditions, fees, and class scheduling, contact Dr. Anna Keiserman at [email protected].

Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, New Jersey.

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