December 30, 2008
Community Music School of Webster University Announces New Faculty Members
The Community Music School (CMS) is pleased to welcome four new members to its distinguished faculty. Faculty members of the Community Music School include world-class performers who are accomplished musicians and professional teachers trained to teach students of all ages.
Erin Elstner is an experienced percussion and drum set instructor who received her B.M. in Percussion Performance at Mannes College of Music in New York. She has taught at the St. Louis Symphony Community Music School, the Third Street Music Settlement and Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Taichung School of Arts and Music in Taiwan. Ms. Elstner’s performance achievements include playing percussion at the International Women’s Brass Conference in 1996, an American tour led by Susan Slaughter and Principal Orchestral Players and “The True Heart”, a ceremony and performance with Glen Velez in 1998. She has also been the percussionist/drummer for blues, rock and pop bands, recorded numerous albums, and is currently a freelance performer in the St. Louis area.
Pianist Nina Ferrigno, described by the St. Louis-Dispatch as "a magnificent pianist," has appeared in major concert venues throughout North America. She has performed with the St. Louis Symphony, Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP). Earning degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, her experience includes teaching in Massachusetts at Brandeis University, Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, Winchester Community Music School, and The Dana Hall School. As a long-time member-director of the AUROS Group for New Music and founding member of the Boston-based Calyx Piano Trio, Ms. Ferrigno is committed to bringing classical music to new audiences and strives to commission and perform new works in a variety of settings.
Jeremy Pfeffer, double bass and electric bass, earned his B.A. in Music Performance (traditional) at Iowa State University and his M.M. of Jazz Studies at Webster University. Primary instructors included George Work, Dick McCoy, Diana Gannett, and Carolyn White of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. After performing and teaching across the country and abroad in the U.S. Air Force Band program, Mr. Pfeffer returned to St. Louis to continue his career as a performer/clinician in many genres. He has performed with the Sessions Big Band, Steve Schankman Orchestra, Phat Noize Blues Band, for the REP, the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, and his own group, The Pfeffer Trio featuring Debby Lennon. Mr. Pfeffer enjoys teaching all ages and skill levels.
A recent graduate of the Yale School of Music, cellist Valentina Takova was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, where she began cello studies at age six. She has appeared as soloist and with orchestras in her native Bulgaria and the United States, including performances in Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and Zankel Hall. In addition, Ms. Takova has recorded extensively for National Bulgarian Radio and has appeared on National Public Radio. A former member of Boston’s Kalistos Chamber Orchestra, the IRIS Chamber Orchestra, and for the past three years, as Fellowship recipient of the Aspen Music Festival, Ms. Takova has held the Assistant Principal Cello position with the Aspen Chamber Symphony and has collaborated with many fine musicians.
With a history spanning more than 80 years, CMS offers outstanding music education and performance opportunities to students of all ages and abilities and serves the entire St. Louis metropolitan region and beyond. Classes are available in University City, at Faust Park in West County, at the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club, and at CMS headquarters located on the Webster University campus in Webster Groves.
For more information, call 314-968-5939.
The Community Music School of Webster University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and is a certified member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. The Community Music School receives assistance from the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis and the Regional Arts Commission.
Webster Groves, West County at Faust Park, and Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club