Artisits' Bios

Producers

Margaret Elaine Plaza, 2014 National Artist Teacher Fellow and Artistic Director at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Middle School 131 holds an MA degree in Dance Education from Columbia University's Teachers College, a BFA degree in Dance from Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, and is a graduate of LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. Her choreography and artistic experiences studying dance in France and Cuba have been presented at Harvard University. Ms. Plaza is a National Dance Association Literary Award recipient. Her research, Voices of the Heart: Teaching Dance to the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing in the Least Restrictive Environment, has been published. She is a Curriculum Guest Speaker at Queens College's Family, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences Graduate Program, and an Arts Achieve Dance Assessment Specialist for the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects. She serves as Cooperating Teacher for New York University (NYU) Steinhardt Music and Performing Arts Professions Program in Dance Education, and Hunter College Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program. She has performed modern dance for over 20 years, including the choreography of eminent choreographers, Michael Leon Thomas and Noibis Licea, of Alvin Ailey. Margaret Elaine Plaza is Associate Director of Omega Dance Company, and has taught dance education at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Middle School 131 since 1997.

Dr. Isidore Rudnick
is a nationally recognized music educator, conductor, composer and performer. He holds a Bachelors of Music Degree and a Masters of Music Degree from the University of North Texas and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Miami (Florida). Dr. Rudnick has served as Director of Instrumental Music at Yakima Valley Community College (Washington), Music Department Coordinator at the University of Maine, Director of the International Summer Jazz School (Warsaw, Poland) and Visiting Lecturer in Music at the Krakow Academy of Music in Poland.  He is currently the Artistic Director at the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, one of only a very few K-12 arts schools in the U.S., and is a 2014 National Artist Teacher Fellow Conference Administrator.

An accomplished composer and arranger, Dr. Rudnick has written over 75 instrumental works for chamber ensemble, symphony orchestra and a variety of large and small jazz ensembles. He conducted the world premiere of his Suite for Jazz Trio and Orchestra with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra in 2007 and his String Quartet Indelible Imprints was premiered at SCPA by the Corbett String Quartet in 2008. In addition to his work with musicians, Dr. Rudnick has collaborated with both student and professional dancers, choreographers, actors, painters, sculptors, poets and authors. His production experience includes the creation and direction of two large scale original ballets, Emotions (2001) and Collages (2005). Collages, written for Dance Troupe, Chamber Orchestra, and painted murals received its premiere at the Yakima Valley Museum.

Special Guests

Kathleen Bawel, 2014 National Artist Teacher Fellow, teaches Music Theory and Keyboard at Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School. In addition to her instruction at PCCA, Ms. Bawel is a conductor for Ruth Eckerd Hall “Center Stage” and “Children’s Chorus”, serves as Minister of Music at Lutheran Church of the Palms in Palm Harbor, and maintains a private studio of voice, piano, and music theory students. Kathleen grew up in NY State, completing her undergraduate work in Biology and Music Theory/History at the State University of New York at Geneseo, as well her graduate work with two Masters degrees at Ithaca College, one in Music Theory and the second in Music Education. She has taught chorus, orchestra, music theory, and general music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Kathleen has served as Education Coordinator for The Florida Orchestra, music librarian for the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts, adjudicator for the Florida Vocal Association, conductor of numerous All-County choirs throughout the state, and clinician for grants and associations.  She holds National Board Certification in teaching music and has maintained leadership roles as president of the Pinellas County Music Teachers and District Chair for the Florida Vocal Association.

Pamela Nomura, 2014 National Artist Teacher Fellow, serves as Artistic Director of CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School, and CREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary School. She has served as Chair of the Creative Writing and Media Arts Department at the Greater Hartford Academy of Arts High School; Chair of Creative Writing at the Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University; Director of the Poetry Center and Poetry-in-the-Schools Program at Trinity College; and Artist-in-Residence for the Bushnell Foundation.

Ms. Nomura has given workshops and readings at prisons, shelters, convalescent homes, libraries, museums and universities. She has been in residence at Soul Mountain Retreat, the Blue Mountain Center, and in Cape Town, South Africa, where she partnered with U.S. and South African performing artists to work with youth-at-risk. Her poems have also been published in journals, magazines, and anthologies.

Theresa M. Rice
 a Music Educator at the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School of the Capitol Region Education Council in Connecticut. She actively continues her horn performance career, performing in Connecticut as a member of the 5 Metal Chemistry Brass Quintet and as a freelancer in the Greater Hartford area, and performing in New York with The Chelsea Symphony, Hudson Valley Chamber Winds, and Velocity Horns. Theresa is a graduate of The Hartt School, where she earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and French Horn Performance. She is a former student of Daniel Grabois, Peter Reit, and Fergus McWilliam.

The School for Creative & Performing Arts is a K-12 Cincinnati Public School offering world class pre-professional arts training and advanced college preparatory academics. Approximately 1500 students attend SCPA, which is housed in the new Erich Kunzel Center for Arts and Education in downtown Cincinnati. Artistic Departments include Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Technical Theater, Visual Arts, and Vocal Music. Academic departments include English, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Students entering grades 4 through 12 are admitted through highly selective auditions in the seven artistic majors. Please visit scpak12.org to lear more.

CREC Greater Hartford School of the Arts Middle School features an integrated learning environment for students in Grades 6-8 that combines a rigorous core curriculum enhanced by an art-themed focus. This natural pathway from the Elementary program allows students to further their education in an interdisciplinary learning environment that emphasizes the integration of core academics and the arts. The arts curriculum provides students the opportunity to further explore vocal and instrumental music, visual art, dance, theatre, creative writing, digital storytelling, and interdisciplinary arts. The experiences children develop at this school will prepare them for more advanced level work at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School, which strives to prepare students for college and/or a professional career in the arts.

Dr. Sun Yat Sen MS 131, located in the heart of Chinatown, prepares students to reach their highest potential through a rigorous and authentic curriculum. MS 131 inspires students through academics, arts, and technology, to explore, create and achieve. Staff, students, and parents work together as a community to provide a safe and supportive environment for all to succeed. Incoming 6th grade students choose between Instrumental Music, Visual Art, & Dance as their major, and complete a three year sequential arts curriculum that focuses on developing professional artists, critical thinkers, leaders, and individuals. To learn more about MS 131, please visit ms131.org. 

Omega Dance Company is a professional sacred dance company in residence at the Church of the Village. Comprised of professional dancers and educators of diverse backgrounds, Omega ministers to communities of varying faiths throughout the New York City metropolitan area by offering dance in worship settings, presenting concerts with spiritual themes, and giving workshops that explore how movement can reveal the sacred. To learn more about Omega’s unique 40-year history, and to find information on upcoming performances and workshops, please visit omegadancecompany.org. 

Ruth Eckerd Hall "Center Stage Troupe" is comprised of students from The Hoffman Institute's Teen Choir, this elite performing ensemble performs at hospitals, senior centers, and local charity events - broadening the awareness of the role of the arts in the healing process and general well-being.

In partnership with Morton Plant Mease Hospitals, this talented group of 14 - 18 years olds brings an atmosphere of peace and joy to members of our community through music.  Songs are specifically selected, rehearsed, choreographed and performed by the Troupe members as part of the Hoffman Institute's Arts in Medicine program.

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187 Contributors