The piano faculty at the Music Institute at HCC is a group of dedicated and experienced teachers who foster the love of music and enable lifelong enjoyment of music in their students. Their love of music and pursuit of excellence is demonstrated through their own achievements and actions. Most of the piano faculty have obtained a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance, and continue to distinguish themselves through performances in the Baltimore-Washington area as well as on national and international stages. In addition to teaching and performing, they are also active members of the National Guild of Music Teachers and Music Teachers National Association, and its affiliated organizations, on the state and county levels.
The faculty work with students of all ages. Whether you are a beginner, a piano student heading to a music conservatory or a college music department, someone who wants to enjoy playing the piano for yourself, or a working/retired adult who wants to realize the dream of playing the piano, come to MAC and the faculty will support, encourage, and guide you to your goal.
Alan Blackman, jazz piano and improvisation
Pianist and composer, Alan Blackman, has been a mainstay in the Washington-Baltimore area for nearly a decade. He has performed at Blues Alley, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and nearly all of the area’s Jazz Festivals both as a freelancer and with his group the Blackman/Barke Quartet. This group was runner-up in the DCJazz.com international competition and the Takoma Park Jazz Brawl.
Alan has been teaching the jazz combos at Towson University since 1999 as well as accompanying the Jazz Vocal Master Class and giving private jazz piano instruction. Alan received a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Music and Jazz performance from the University of Miami and a Masters in Jazz Piano Performance from Towson University.
Alan has worked for The Platters, soul artist Darlene Love, and toured South America as Latin pop singer Milton Cortez’s keyboardist in 1993. His folk and Broadway skills were honed as pianist for both Karen Goldberg and national recording artist Jane Olivor. Recently, he was awarded the eastern regional songwriting award by the Gospel Music Association and was selected to be part of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in D.C.
Alan released his first CD of original music, Shadowdance, in January 2000 and is currently working on his first jazz composition book tentatively entitled, Changing Standards, which will be accompanied by an audio CD of his original arrangements.
Dr. Marian Buck-Lew, classical
Marian Buck-Lew, an Asian-American pianist of Chinese heritage, is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University with the Bachelor and Master degrees of Music and an Artist Diploma in Piano Performance. She holds the distinction as the first pianist to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from West Virginia University. Her principal piano teachers include distinguished artists and pedagogues: the late Mieczyslaw Münz of the Juillard in New York City and the late Yvonne Lefebure of the Conservatoire National Superior de Musique in Paris, France. A winner of the First Prize in the Biennial Sterling Staff International Competition of Mu Phi Epsilon, the national music sorority, she was a finalist in the International Competition for Musical Performers in Geneva, Switzerland.
Dr. Buck-Lew’s concert appearances include recitals throughout the United States and the Far East. Her playing received critical acclaim. From the Central Daily News in Taipei, Taiwan, the reviewer wrote, “One cannot just speak of it as only a successful performance, but as the most outstanding in Taipei in recent years. Her superb musical training is clearly reflected in her execution which contains strong clear touch and excellent controls in dynamics. In her two-hour long program, she captured and grasped the heartstring of her audience.” The Los Angeles Times stated “She approached a program of masterworks with technical flexibility, reasonable control over matters of tonal balance, a splendid sense of subtleties of musical communications and exceptional physical endurance.”
She has held teaching appointments at the School of Music at the University of Iowa and West Chester University and was the Chair of Piano at Kean University. While a piano faculty member at Catonsville Community College of Baltimore County, where she directed the Musical Arts Institute, a preparatory department, and the annual Young Soloists Audition, a competition for instrumentalists aged 11-15, she received an “Outstanding Faculty Award.” In 2003, she joined the Music Department at Howard Community College where she is an adjunct piano faculty member for the Music Institute, specializing in the training of young pianists in solo performance and in collaborative playing.
Dr. Buck-Lew currently devotes her concert performances and collaboration for scholarship benefits. Her programs usually include one infrequently performed work by a major composer as well as a work by a local composer. In 2006, Dr. Buck-Lew established the Rose Buck-Lew Family Piano Scholarship Endowment Fund at Howard Community College where an HCC piano major with a 3.25 GPA is selected to receive this award.
Dr. Wei-Der Huang, classical
Wei-Der Huang began playing piano at a young age in Taiwan. Huang earned her Bachelor of Music degree at Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taiwan with Hsuan Lee and Kuo-Shang Kao, and won the first prize in the Taipei City Piano Competition. She holds the Master of Music degree and Professional Study Diploma from Manhattan School of Music in New York City where she was a student of Solomon Mikowsky and Marc Silverman. While in New York, she was the Music Director and Organist at Grace Lutheran Church, Astoria. Dr. Huang received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland at College Park where she studied with Anne Koscielny and Raymond Hanson.
She is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association and Maryland State Music Teachers Association and has performed at Hubbard Recital Hall (New York), Homer Ulrich Recital Hall, NIH Masur Auditorium, Concert Hall at Montgomery College, Strathmore Hall, Levine School of Music, Washington Conservatory of Music, Charles Sumner School Museum, and Smith Theatre at Howard Community College. In 2003, Huang, member of the Octtava Piano Duo, was invited to perform on the West Coast and in Taiwan. Dr. Huang is currently on the piano faculty of Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland and formerly served on the faculty of Washington Conservatory of Music in Bethesda, Maryland. She is currently the Music Director and Organist at Greenbelt Community Church in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Dr. Hsien-Ann Meng, classical
Hsien-Ann Meng, an active piano teacher and experienced adjudicator, is presently teaching at Howard Community College and Montgomery College. Dr. Meng received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from Peabody Conservatory of Music, and obtained her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland in College Park. In her pursuit of undergraduate and graduate degrees, Meng studied with distinguished teachers and artists such as Bradford Gowen, Raymond Hanson, Anne Koscielny, Yoheved Kaplinsky, and Marian Hahn. Meng has also received chamber coaching from Samuel Sanders and participated in the Master Class given by Misha Dichter. She has performed frequently in the Washington metropolitan area and has been a member of the Octtava Piano Duo since 2001. In addition, Meng is also a frequent lecturer on a variety of musical topics at OASIS in Gaithersburg.
Bill Scanlan Murphy, jazz piano, theory, composition, and improvisation
Bill Scanlan Murphy was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1954 and holds an MA degree in Music from the University of Oxford. A professionally complex life has included hosting radio shows (rock, classical, and documentary) for the BBC, writing music for television dramas, and working with diverse performers ranging from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to the Beach Boys and Charles Manson. “Cease To Exist,” a radio documentary on the musical life of Manson, remains the most-listened-to documentary in the history of the BBC Radio One network. A parallel career as a naval historian has resulted in a book on early submarines and numerous articles and radio features, including one on how many composers have been naval officers. Apart from teaching at Howard Community College, Murphy also teaches at Harford Community College and is Director of Music at Lovely Lane United Methodist Church in Baltimore.
Dr. Lisa Rehwoldt, classical
Lisa Rehwoldt holds the degrees of Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, and the Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance with a minor in music history from Oberlin College. She counts among her distinguished teachers Lana Bodnar, Joseph Schwartz, Paul Schenly, Theodore Lettvin, and Ellen Mack.
Dr. Rehwoldt has served on the music faculty of Howard Community College since 2000, teaching music theory, ear training, music literature, music appreciation, piano class, and applied piano lessons. She also serves on the faculty at Notre Dame of Maryland University. Rehwoldt has previously taught at CCBC Essex, held a teaching assistantship at Peabody Conservatory, and taught under the auspices of the student teaching program at Oberlin Conservatory. At the 1999 CUNY Graduate Students in Music Symposium in New York City, Rehwoldt presented the topic Schoenberg Amidst the “Brahms Fog”: The Significance of Brahms to the Formation of Atonality. A 2004 recipient of the Maryland State Music Teachers Association Judith A. Ferencz Teaching Grant, Rehwoldt is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, Mu Phi Epsilon, and the Music Teachers National Association. She is active as master class teacher, competition adjudicator, and private teacher.
Rehwoldt, a native of Santa Barbara, California, made her debut with the Santa Barbara Symphony at the age of twelve as first prize winner in the Santa Barbara Young Soloists Competition. She has since made numerous appearances with orchestra, including the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Maria Symphony, the Rainier Symphony in Seattle, Washington, and the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra in the San Francisco Bay Area. A top prizewinner in the Westminster Graduate Piano Competition in Princeton, New Jersey, the Young Musicians Foundation Competition at Ohio State University, and the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition in California, Rehwoldt also received honors in the Dorthy Anderson International Competition in Seattle and the Young Keyboard Artists International Competition at the University of Michigan. She has been chosen to perform as soloist in the master classes of such renowned artists as Konrad Wolff, Paul Schenly, Jerome Lowenthal, William Race, Jane Allen, and Lili Kraus, who praised Rehwoldt for “the joy she brings in her playing.” A scholarship recipient to the Music Academy of the West, Rehwoldt has appeared as soloist in the Baltimore-Washington area at Baltimore’s University Baptist Church Concert Series, Sundays at Three in Columbia, and on the Rising Star Concert Series in McLean, Virginia.
As chamber musician, Rehwoldt has appeared on the Music in the Mansion series at Strathmore Hall, the BSO series Chamber Music by Candlelight, Sundays at Central in Baltimore, and Sundays at Three in Columbia, as well as appearances as collaborator in the chamber music master classes of Bernard Greenhouse, Zara Nelsova, Ani Kavafian, and Martin Katz. Rehwoldt and HCC colleague Dr. Kristina Suter are members of the piano duo Accordare, known for their “snappy precision” and “spirited performance style” (The Baltimore Sun). Accordare has appeared in concert on the West Coast and in the Baltimore-Washington area, including the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore and the premier of a new two piano work by Kevin Olson commissioned to commemorate the opening of HCC’s new Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Building.
Dr. Kristina Suter, classical, Coordinator of Piano Studies
Kristina Suter holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from the University of Maryland, a Master of Music degree from Michigan State University, and both Bachelor of Music and of Science degrees from Mansfield University. She has studied with distinguished teachers and artists Ralph Votapek, Roy Johnson, Nelita True, and Angeline Schmid. Her doctoral research on Charles T. Griffes led to premier performances of the unpublished sonatas by this American composer.
She is active in the Baltimore-Washington area as a soloist, duo-pianist with the Accordare Duo, accompanist, and chamber musician, performing in series such as the Americana Series, Viva Mozart Series, Elderhostel Series at Peabody, and the Cultural Events Series in San Diego. A recipient of many awards, Kristina received the Outstanding Teachers Grant from the Maryland State Music Teachers Association and was also a two-time Gold Medalist in the International Piano Recording Competition for her recordings of Charles Griffes and Franz Liszt.
Dr. Suter has held teaching positions at Mount Vernon College in Washington, D.C. and Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. She is a full-time faculty member at Howard Community College, where she has been teaching since 1997, and is currently the Coordinator of Piano Studies. At HCC, she teaches applied piano and music theory courses including the music theory lab. Additionally, she recently completed work on the curricula for two Associate Degree Programs in Music Technology. In 2011, she received a grant to develop a course, Tunes in Toons, in which classical music is taught through cartoons. It will be offered in the 2012 fall semester. She is an active adjudicator for county and state piano competitions, and presents workshops and lecture-recitals for local and state Music Teacher Associations. Most recently, Dr. Suter presented a lecture on Divide and Conquer - Practice Strategies for the Developing Intermediate Student at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference, and gave a lecture-recital on Unique Piano Reptertoire for the Montgomery County Music Teachers Association.
Dr. Suter is the Past President, Vice-President for Student Activities, Secretary, and Chair for Competitive and Non-Competitive Events for the Howard County Music Teachers Association (HCMTA). She is a Past Board Member of the Maryland State Music Teachers Association (MSMTA) and is also a member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). She is also credited for her part in the creation of a partnership between the HCC Music Department and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS).
Dr. Hsiu-Hui Wang-Myers, classical
Dr. Hsiu-Hui Wang has enjoyed the enthusiastic applause of audiences across the United States and her native Taiwan. After a radiant performance of Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto, The Baltimore Sun admired her “graceful, buoyant” performance, adding that “there is an appealing sense of lift to her playing, which gave Beethoven’s passage work a balletic quality.” The New Britain Herald was impressed with the ardor of her playing, remarking that "watching the dramatic expressiveness with which [she] played was also a treat to behold. . . ." At the age of 19, Dr. Wang performed from memory the monumental first book of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier in recitals at Hartt School of Music and the University of Maryland at College Park. She has since appeared with the Emerson String Quartet and performed with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Hartt Symphony Orchestra, and New Britain Symphony Orchestra, as well as performed at the Aspen Music Festival, La Jolla SummerFest, Waterloo Music Festival, and Yellow Barn Music Festival.
Dr. Wang is a founding member of the award-winning Gemini Piano Trio which has performed in prestigious halls across America and Taiwan. Praised for their “amazing virtuosity” by Music Monthly, The San Diego Union-Tribune also hailed them as “mind readers, anticipating each other’s every move” while applauding their “almost uncanny musical closeness.” The American Record Guide praised their début CD of works by Ives and Brahms saying, “There is an admirable balance between confidence, polished technique, and impulsive, romantic ardor in this performance.” Their second CD of Ravel and Shostakovich trios also received great acclaim.
Dr. Wang received her bachelor's degree (summa cum laude) from the Hartt School of Music, master's degree from the University of Southern California, and her doctoral degree in piano performance from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has won numerous competitions and awards such as the Emerson String Quartet Competition, the Connecticut MTNA Competitions and the Hartford Symphony Auxiliary's young Artist Competition. She has studied with Raymond Hanson, Anne Koscielny, Gabriel Chodos, Stewart Gordon, and Thomas Schumacher, as well as studied chamber music with members of the Beaux Arts Trio, and the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets.
As a dedicated music adjudicator and a teacher for over twenty-six years, Dr. Wang’s students have won first prizes in various competitions. She currently teaches at Goucher College and Howard Community College, where she was selected as the 2003-2004 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member. Dr. Wang teaches Music Fundamentals, Music Appreciation, Theory I and II, Class Piano I and II, Applied piano, and Chamber Music sessions. She is also the Ars Nova/Practica Musica Academic Liaison for HCC, the Co-founder/director of the HCC/TMI Gemini Piano Trio Summer Chamber Music Workshop, and the Director of the 2009-2010 Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle, Lecture, and Masterclass Series. Dr. Wang will be giving her debut concert with the Gemini Piano Trio at Weill Recital Hall/Carnegie Hall in October 2010.
David Wasser, classical
As a youth, David studied with Thelma Callahan in Washington, DC. During these early years he performed in numerous competitions and recitals. In consecutive years, from age 12 to 14, he won the three divisions of the Jordon Music Awards Auditions sponsored by the D.C. Federation of Music Clubs, and was winner of that organization’s Concerto Competition at age 14. From a review in The Washington Star, the music critic said, “He has magnificent hands and a businesslike attitude at the keyboard which suggested more years. ...one would like to have heard more of his playing, for he seems destined to go far.”
Mr. Wasser is a graduate of the Juilliard School where, as a scholarship student, he studied with Jacob Lateiner and Adele Marcus. While at Juilliard, he performed in numerous concerts both at Juilliard and in the greater New York area with Lincoln Center Tours. David studied with Stewart Gordon, Ron Elliston, and Cleveland Page at the University of Maryland, College Park, where, among other honors, he earned the award of “Excellence in Performance”. Later in life, and for many years, David has studied with Dr. Kristina Suter at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. David performed in the Montreal International Piano Competition, and was an award winner at what is now the William Kappell International Piano Competition.
During the following years he and his wife raised their two children, he earned a degree in accounting from the University of Maryland, and, as a CPA, managed his own business consulting practice. For six of these years he was CFO and VP of Finance for a large builder-developer. Then, after a 25 year hiatus, David returned to his passion: the piano. Visit his website at www.davidwasser.com.
For more than 50 years, David Wasser, noted for his “musical sensitivity and pianistic virtuosity”, has performed in numerous solo and collaborative settings throughout the eastern United States. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Maryland, a member of the American Institute and the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants, and is a piano faculty member at Howard Community College. He lives with his wife in Columbia, Maryland.
Kuei-I Wu, classical
Kuei-I Wu began winning national prizes at the age of nine and is one of the most celebrated pianists from Taiwan. Ms. Wu was also a prize winner of several piano competitions including First Prize at the Mieczyslaw Munz Piano Competition, Promising Artist Award at the National Society of Arts and Letters Competition, and Second Prize at the New York Five Town Music and Art Foundation Piano Competition. Among her earlier awards are first prizes in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition, the National Taiwan Academy of Arts Piano Concerto Competition, the Taiwan National Kawai Piano Competition, and the Kaohsiung Piano Competition.
Ms. Wu received her diploma from the National Taiwan Academy of Arts and graduated with First Prize, the highest honor from the keyboard department. Upon immigrating to the United States, Ms. Wu attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on full scholarship and was named “Outstanding Pianist” at graduation. She received her Master of Music degree from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where she was employed as an accompanying assistant, also on full scholarship, and was selected as a regular performer for Leon Fleisher’s piano performance seminar. Ms. Wu received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland at College Park. Her major teachers have been Hsiao-Ping Hu, Mack McCray, Boris Slutsky, and Santiago Rodriguez.
Ms. Wu has performed as a solo artist and chamber musician at numerous festivals in Taiwan; Spain; Salzburg, Austria; and in the United States. Her major performance appearances include Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco; Mozart’s “Coronation” Piano Concerto in Taipei Taiwan; solo performances at the Netherlands Embassy in Washington D.C., the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (Twin Oaks Estate) in Washington D.C.; and at the “Sunday at Three”, “Community Concerts at Second”, and “Music in the Great Hall” concert series. Ms. Wu is also passionate about teaching and has been a member of MTNA and Piano Guild since 2004. Ms. Wu currently serves on the piano faculties of Frederick and Howard Community Colleges.
Deborah Zagorin, classical
Deborah Zagorin earned her Master of Arts in Music degree from California State University, Los Angeles, where she studied piano performance and pedagogy with Paul Van Ness. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from the University of Mary Washington, studying under Martha Fickett. Ms. Zagorin was also a student of Michael Steinberg at the University of Delaware.
Ms. Zagorin is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) in piano, and an active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the Maryland State Music Teachers Association (MSMTA), and the Howard County Music Teachers Association (HCMTA). She is also a member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
For over twenty years, Ms. Zagorin has performed at the piano as a soloist, accompanist, and chamber musician. She has participated in numerous piano and chamber music masterclasses, working with internationally renowned artists such as Andreas Klein and the Ahn Trio.
For over the past ten years, Ms. Zagorin has been dedicated to year-round, full-time teaching. In 2006 she joined the faculty at Howard Community College and The Music Institute, where she currently teaches applied piano. Ms. Zagorin's high energy, enthusiasm, and creative teaching methods allow her to effectively work with all ages and levels, including students with disabilities. In 2008 she became the music and piano instructor at Brookfield Christian School, where she enjoys teaching group classes to preschoolers. Ms. Zagorin has previously held teaching positions at various Yamaha Music Schools throughout the United States. Since 2004, Ms. Zagorin has maintained a private studio in Columbia, Maryland, where she resides with her husband and two sons.