Nathan Schram, Director
Nathan’s work with incarcerated communities began at Rikers Island Correctional Facility in 2011. As a fellow of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW, he experienced, first-hand, the power and necessity of music in this environment. Since that time, Nathan has pursued different ways to work with musicians and non-musicians in incarceration. As part of his research for Musicambia, he was the first American to visit and work with Venezuela’s Penitentiary Orchestra Program, El Sistema’s extremely successful branch of their social music program.
Nathan is also an active musician in New York City. He is the violist of the Bryant Park Quartet and Decoda and frequently performs with Alarm Will Sound, ACME and New York Baroque Incorporated. He is a founding member of the world music string trio, Speed Bump.
Rachel Hauser, Development Director
Rachel Hauser has been working with Musicambia since the fall of 2014 and is thrilled to join us in our mission to provide meaningful musical experiences to inmates across America. An active Development Consultant since 2010, Ms. Hauser has helped organizations across all genres of the arts achieve their fundraising goals. She works regularly with solo artists looking to fund recordings and performances, classical ensembles of all sizes looking to build their annual income and educational institutions seeking specialized program funding.
Prior to launching her own business, Ms. Hauser served as the Grants Coordinator for the Madison Symphony Orchestra, earning the organization major awards from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional arts administration positions have included working as the assistant to the Executive Director of the Bach Dancing and Dynamite chamber music festival in Wisconsin and her very first internship at NPR’s From the Top.
In addition to her work as a fundraiser, Ms. Hauser performs regularly with classical music ensembles across the country. She has been a tenured member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Madison Opera Orchestra since 2007 and plays regularly with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Madison Ballet, the Lacrosse Symphony Orchestra and the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra where she previously served as Principal 2nd Violin. She is a regular performer of Chamber Music and was recently featured with her violin duo on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Midday show. She is an alumna of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, the Utrecht Conservatory of Music in the Netherlands, and The University of Wisconsin-Madison where she served as the 2nd violinist of the resident graduate string quartet. Her primary teachers include David Perry, Masuko Ushioda, Richard Wolfe and Louise Behrend.
A trumpeter, composer/arranger, and music educator in both the classical and jazz idioms, Thomas Bergeron is part of a new breed of emerging 21st century artists.
Critics called Thomas’ debut jazz album, based on the piano music of Claude Debussy, “a first class listening record” that “invites extended listening”.
Thomas is currently a trumpeter with Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW, and is a teaching artist fellow at The Academy, a program of Juilliard and Carnegie Hall. He is Principal Trumpet with the Springfield Symphony and has performed with with Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Temptations, Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, the Radio City Christmas Orchestra, and Vampire Weekend, among others. He has performed on Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and can be heard on the Daywood Drive, Naxos, Bridge, Koch, and Helicon record labels.
Thomas has held teaching positions at Williams College, Bennington College, Yale, and Amherst College. He holds two degrees from Yale, where he won the Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition and received the John Swallow Award for excellence in brass playing. He also holds a business management degree from UMass Amherst.
A strong advocate of the progressive new music movement, Thomas has commissioned and premiered numerous pieces and co-founded of the Reveille Trumpet Collective, which holds an annual competition for trumpet compositions.
Elliot Cole is a composer, singer, programmer, and educator. Postludes, his book of bowed vibraphone quartets, is a new staple of percussion repertoire, having been performed by over 100 ensembles all over the world, including all major American music schools, So Percussion, Blow Up Roma, Mobius Quartet, and Amadinda. He has sung his Hanuman’s Leap, a bardic epic for voices and drums, in nine cities, and it was performed by Grammy-winning choir Roomful of Teeth at the Five Boroughs Music Festival in NYC. His creative friendship (part band, part book club) with Brad and Doug Balliett has produced opera and hip hop collaborations with the Chicago Composers Orchestra, Metropolis Ensemble, Washington Square Winds, operacabal, the Berkshire Fringe Festival, and the Lucerne Festival Academy, where they were Spotlight Artists in 2011. He lives in Jersey City, and teaches courses in music composition, programming, history and performance between The New School, Manhattan School of Music, and Sing Sing Maximum Security Correctional Facility.
John Chin, born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Los Angeles, has been a fixture on the New York jazz scene since 1998 and was introduced to the piano at age four. He began studying jazz at California State University, which he attended at the age of fourteen as part of the Early Entrance Program for Gifted Students.Upon receiving his B.A. in Music at nineteen, Chin continued his musical studies at the University of North Texas, before pursuing a Masters of Music degree from Rutgers University (under the tutelage of master pianist and composer Kenny Barron), and an Artist Diploma from the world-renowned Juilliard School.
His extensive experience in the classroom would lay the foundation for his own pedagogy; his experience and reputation have led to teaching opportunities the world over, while helping to sustain a New York studio of his own, located in Brooklyn’s history-rich Prospect Park.
John has performed internationally as a leader and sideman, at many major festivals, as well as some of America’s most important and storied jazz rooms. He has shared the stage with Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jaimeo Brown, Alan Ferber, Mark Turner, Marcus & E.J. Strickland, Dayna Stephens, Irvin Mayfield, Terrell Stafford, Donny McCaslin, Joel Frahm, John Ellis, Chris Cheek, Gregory Hutchinson, and Rudy Royston, among many others. Chin is a prolific composer, drawing inspiration from the jazz, pop, and western classical traditions, with two releases as a leader to-date: 2008’s Blackout Conception, and his most recent project, 2014’sUndercover.
Leila Adu travels the spaceways of music without limits. From tours of the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Far East, London’s Time Out says, “Avante-garde pop that recalls Nina Simone and Tim Buckley,” and Italy’s popular music mag Blow Up describes her last album Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker as “splinters of folk and blues but also hypnotic and ghostly prog.” Steve Albini who produced her second album dubbed her “Spooky Adu.”
Leila was awarded a doctoral fellowship in composition at Princeton in 2011 — the same year she was voted MTV Iggy’s artist of the week who wrote:
This young New Zealander of Ghanaian descent treats genre distinctions in much the same way that Godzilla treated those little cities made out of cardboard…
She is a singer-songwriter, but more than that, she is part of a generation of highly accomplished young musicians such as Micachu, Joanna Newsom, and Esperanza Spalding who are eroding the distinctions between popular music and the increasingly academic worlds of jazz and instrumental music.
Leila’s unreleased fifth album and new live set take a new direction into Avantronica, replacing her acoustic sound for layers of, both live and pre-recorded, organ and vintage synth mixed with Ableton Live music software. The live set is a duo of Leila’s vocals, synth and piano with New York based Italian drummer, Federico Ughi who divides his time between New York and international tours with legends such as Daniel Carter, William Parker and spends time playing with Ornette Coleman and her latest recordings with kiwi beatmaker/drummer, Riki Gooch.
Leila is currently a Doctoral Fellow at Princeton University and recently wrote for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Brentano String Quartet and So Percussion. She is 2014′s Wellington Orchestra’s Emerging-Composer-In-Residence and will première and perform in a new work for voice and orchestra on tour in New Zealand in 2015.
“Adu’s music reflects her own rich and diverse identity, blending indigenous sounds from the South Pacific and Ghana with tangibly fantastical instrumentation – a sonic funhouse of second glances and expanded perceptions.” –Art Nouveau Mag
Cellist Hamilton Berry’s eclectic taste has led him to pursue a variety of performing, arranging, and composing projects in the New York area and beyond. He has performed with A Far Cry, Novus NY, The Con Brio Ensemble, The Toomai String Quintet, Founders, Ensemble ACJW, Decoda, and the Gotham Chamber Opera; collaborated with pop artists including Debbie Harry, Bjork, Becca Stevens, Vampire Weekend, FUN., and Cults; and written and arranged music for Speed Bump, a string trio co-founded with violist Nathan Schram and cellist Eric Allen. He recently joined the teaching roster of Musicambia, which offers music lessons to inmates at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.
A Nashville native, Hamilton has played at the Chelsea, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Olympic, and Yellow Barn music festivals. In 2009, he received his Master of Music from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Timothy Eddy. His previous teachers include Felix Wang, Grace Bahng, and Anne Williams. In June 2010, he and several Juilliard colleagues taught master classes and played concerts for children in the favelas of São Paulo, Brazil, in partnership with the Guri Santa Marcelina program.
During his fellowship with Ensemble ACJW – a program of Carnegie Hall, Juilliard, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education – Hamilton was a visiting teaching artist at IS61 on Staten Island.